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in IPL Anything below 130 is difficult to defend: Dhoni

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : After getting bundled out at 97 and later losing the clash by five wickets against Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni admitted that any target below 130 runs is difficult to defend.

The crucial partnership between Tilak Varma and Hrithik Shokeen and a quick unbeaten 16 by Tim David helped Mumbai Indians register a third win against Chennai Super Kings here at Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.
“Irrespective of how the wicket is, anything below 130 is difficult to defend, but what I asked the bowlers was to show a lot of character and forget about the result. Both the young fast bowlers bowled really well and I feel a game like this really helps them in believing in themselves that irrespective of the conditions, whenever we start we need to have the same kind of attitude and that’s what is needed in the shortest format,” said Dhoni in a post-match presentation.

“We have gone through periods where we never really had that extraordinary bench of fast bowlers. Also, fast bowlers, they take their time to mature if you are lucky you get somebody who can feature in all formats in six months’ time and that is what IPL is doing and it is an opportunity for a lot of them. They bowl a bit courageous now which is very important in a format like this. And some players take their time before executing their plans better. The fast bowlers to have both of them really well is a big positive, and also we will have two more fast bowlers coming into the next season, also we have a few more up the sleeves, just want to give ample time for them to prepare.” he added.

Despite posting a small total, CSK showed some true character with the ball as Mukesh Choudhary scalped three wickets while Simarjeet Singh and Moeen Ali took one wicket each.

“It’s the first few deliveries which is important when you are batting in that kind of pressure, so it was a chance of survival. Once they are past those first few deliveries, they can be themselves. It didn’t pay off today but I think they bowled really well. A bit of application was needed from our side, and a few of the batters got out on good deliveries, hopefully, they are learning with each and every game,” said Dhoni.

For CSK, Dhoni (36*) was left-hanging as the lone warrior for his side, as a brutal pace attack by Mumbai Indians fast bowlers skittled out the Men in Yellow for 97.

Daniel Sams was the pick of the bowlers for MI, with 3/16 in their four overs. Meredith (2/28) and Kartikeya (2/22) also bowled well. Bumrah and Ramandeep Singh got a wicket each.

With this win, MI is currently at the bottom of the points table with six-point. CSK is at ninth position with 8 points. (ANI)

 

IPL- DC coach Ponting admits loss against CSK will be ‘huge dent’

Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]-  After facing a crushing defeat against Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals’ head coach Ricky Ponting was concerned about his team’s net run rate as it would affect their chances of going into the play-offs.

An all-round display by Chennai Super Kings, led by Devon Conway’s 87 and Moeen Ali’s 3/13 helped them seal a 91-run win over Delhi Capitals here at DY Patil Stadium on Sunday.
“To lose by 91 runs, it will put a huge dent in our net run-rate. It means we need to bounce back really strongly in our next game. We would think we can make the play-offs with three wins. Eight wins might be enough to get in and one big win might help our net run rate. Who knows we can be in the final,” said Ponting in a post-match presentation.

Apart from Moeen, Mukesh Choudhary, Simarjeet Singh, and Dwayne Bravo scalped two wickets each and bowled out the Capitals at 117. The head coach backed Delhi’s skipper and said that ‘it’s easy to make judgment from outside’.

“I fully back every decision he (Pant) takes on the field. Being a T20 captain before, I know you don’t have a lot of time to think about it, especially under extreme pressure. It is easy to make judgments from outside but trust me when you are in the middle it is not an easy thing to do. A captain makes decisions in a very short time and the decision he takes he thinks is the best for the team at that given time of the match,” said the head coach.

“He takes things like boundary size and batsmen at the crease into account when he takes those decisions. Our bowling was not up to the mark, similarly, our batting was very very poor. There were not many positives to take from the match. The only positive was Khaleel Ahmed, he was outstanding with the ball again,” he added.

Delhi Capitals will now be facing Rajasthan Royals for their next IPL 2022 clash on Wednesday, at the same venue.

 

 

 

BCCI bans Boria Majumdar for 2 years after he ‘threatened and intimidated’ Wriddhiman Saha

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced a series of sanctions against journalist Boria Majumdar for bullying the India wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha via text messages.

A BCCI Committee comprising Rajeev Shukla, Vice-President, BCCI, Arun Singh Dhumal, Treasurer, BCCI, Prabhtej Singh Bhatia, Councillor, BCCI has imposed on the journalist a two-year ban on: Getting any accreditation as a member of the press in any of the cricket matches (domestic and international) in India, getting any interview with any registered players in India, and accessing any of BCCI and members associations owned cricket facilities.
“As you may be aware, Wriddhiman Saha had shared screenshots of messages sent by a journalist on the social media platform, Twitter, wherein he stated that he felt bullied by the conduct of the said journalist. Saha in the hearing named Boria Majumdar as the journalist.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India had taken cognizance of this incident and deemed it necessary to investigate and probe the matter to avoid the recurrence of such instances with other players,” reads a letter from BCCI.

In this regard, BCCI formed a committee comprising Rajeev Shukla, Vice President, BCCI, Arun Singh Dhumal, Treasurer, BCCI and Prabhtej Singh Bhatia, Councillor, BCCI (“BCCI Committee”).

“The key issue for deliberation for the BCCI Committee in the matter was to ascertain if the messages sent by the journalist were in the nature of threat and intimidation. The BCCI Committee considered the submissions by both Saha and Majumdar and concluded that the actions by Majumdar were indeed in the nature of threat and intimidation,” the letter added.

The BCCI Committee recommended the following sanctions to the Apex Council of BCCI. The Apex Council of BCCI agreed with the recommendations of the BCCI Committee and imposed the following sanctions:

1). 2 (two) year ban on getting any accreditation as a member of the press in any of the cricket matches (domestic and international) in India.

2). 2 (two) year ban on getting any interview with any registered players in India.

3). 2 (two) year ban on access to any of BCCI and members associations owned cricket facilities. (ANI)

 

IPL: Dhawan, Rabada steer PBKS to comfortable victory over GT

Navi Mumbai (Maharastra) [India]: Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten 62 off 53 balls and Kagiso Rabada’s four-for guided Punjab Kings to a comprehensive eight-wicket win against Gujarat Titans at the Dr DY Patil Stadium here on Tuesday. Punjab Kings comfortably chased the target of 144 with four overs to spare.

Chasing the moderate target, Punjab Kings lost the opener Jonny Bairstow for 1 in the third over. The first wicket was lost with only 10 on board.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa then joined in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan and the duo forged a partnership to take the team’s total beyond the 50-run mark in 6.2 overs.

Dhawan-Rajapaksa struck a fifty-run partnership in just 31 balls and Shikhar Dhawan too notch up his half-century off 38 balls. The southpaw allowed Rajapaksa to hit boundaries and sixes keeping one end tight.

The 87-run partnership was finally broken Lockie Ferguson dismissed Rajapaksa for 40 off 28 balls to reduce PBKS to 97/2.

It took Punjab Kings only 12.1 overs to reach the triple-figure mark. Liam Livingstone joined Dhawan and wreaked havoc with the bat scoring a 10-ball 30 with help of two fours and three sixes.

Dhawan remained unbeaten on 62 hitting eight fours and one six in the chase that lasted 16 overs.

Earlier in the day opting to bat first after winning the toss table-toppers Gujarat Titans did not get a great start losing in-form opener Shubman Gill for 9 as he was runout by Rishi Dhawan for 9 as Gujarat Titans lost their opening wicket for 17 in the third over.

In the next over Gujarat were dealt with another blow as Kagiso Rabada got the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha for 21 off 17 balls to leave his team in a spot of bother at 35/2.

Captain Hardik Pandya walked in to bat but he failed to deliver getting out cheaply for 1 to medium-pacer Rishi Dhawan to leave Gujarat Titans tottering at 44/3.

B Sai Sudharshan was joined by David Miller and the duo took the team beyond the 50-run mark in 8 overs. But the 23-run partnership was broken as Liam Livingstone got the dangerman Miller out for 11 to reduce GT to 67/4.

Gujarat Titans desperately needed a partnership and Sudharshan along with Rahul Tewatia did exactly that the duo took the team’s total beyond the triple-figure mark in 15.2 overs as Sudharshan played the role of the aggressor.

Sai Sudharshan notched up his half-century in 42 balls as he was the only batter who was able to perform with the bat.

Rabada struck again to break the 45-run partnership dismissing Tewatia for 11 and in the next ball he cleaned up Rashid Khan to a golden to put Gujarat in trouble at 112/6.

In the next over Arshdeep Singh struck cleaning up Pradeep Sangwan for 2 as GT lost their seventh wicket for 122. In the next over Rabada took his wickets tally to four wickets in the match dismissing Lockie Ferguson for 5 to restrict Gujarat Titans to 143/8 in 20 overs as Sudharshan remained unbeaten on 64 off 50 balls.

Brief Scores: Gujarat Titans 143/8 in 20 overs (Sai Sudharshan 64, Wriddhiman Saha 21; Kagiso Rabada 4/33) vs Punjab Kings 145/2 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 62*, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 40, Liam Livingstone 30; Lockie Ferguson 1/29). (ANI)

BCCI Sec Jay Shah announces IPL playoff venues with full crowd

New Delhi [India]:  BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirmed the playoff games of the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played in Ahmedabad and Kolkata with full capacity crowds for the first time in two years.

“I am pleased to announce that the Playoff Stage of the IPL 2022 will be held in Ahmedabad and Kolkata. The mega final will be held at Narendra Modi Stadium on May 29 along with Qualifier 2 on May 27. The Qualifier 1 and Eliminator will be played at the Eden Gardens on May 24 and May 25 respectively,” Jay Shah told ANI.
Both Kolkata and Ahmedabad hosted the limited-overs series between India and West Indies in February. While the ODI leg was played in Ahmedabad behind closed doors, 75 per cent crowd capacity was allowed in the T20I series that followed in Kolkata.

Jay Shah also confirmed that Pune will host a three-team Women’s T20 Challenge from May 23 to May 28.

“The Women’s T20 Challenge resumes this year and Pune will host the fourth edition of the tournament. The dates of matches will be on May 23, May 24, May 26 and Final on May 28,” he said.

The four grounds used for the matches so far are in Maharashtra itself, namely: Wankhede Stadium and Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, the Dr DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai and the MCA Stadium in Pune. (ANI)

IPL: Krunal Pandya credits ‘hard work’ for improved bowling

Pune (Maharashtra) [India]: Lucknow Super Giants all-rounder Krunal Pandya was thrilled that his “hard work” at the nets transformed into good bowling form for LSG against Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League 2022.

Lucknow Super Giants beat Punjab Kings by 20 runs here at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday to register their sixth win in nine matches.
Krunal Pandya was brilliant with the ball in the middle overs and put the restriction on Punjab with a high-class spell of 2/11 in his four overs. Pandya credited former India spinner Rahul Shanghvi for improvement in his bowling performance.

“I have been bowling well. For the last 7-8 months, I have been working hard. Special mention to Rahul Sanghvi. The results everyone can see as I have tried to improve skillwise. A lot of times when you are playing shorter formats you don’t realise a lot of things. I have been trying to increase my height with my release and some things on my grip. I took Rahul Sanghvi’s help and it has worked,” said Krunal Pandya in a post-match presentation.

However, Krunal was also decent with the bat and the LSG all-rounder expressed hope that he looks to contribute with the bat in the tournament.

“Batting is slightly close to my heart. I haven’t been contributing much with the bat but it is a long tournament and going forward I will look to contribute with the bat,” he added.

Coming to the match, chasing a 154-run target, Punjab Kings got off to a decent start. Captain Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan gave their team a steady start. Agarwal did most of the hitting as he took the bulk of the strike.

Dushmantha Chameera got Lucknow Super Giants back into the game dismissing Punjab Kings skipper Agarwal for 25 off 17 balls as PBKS lost their first wicket for 35 runs.

Leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi got the prized scalp of Shikhar Dhawan for 5 as Punjab Kings lost their second wicket for 46. Jonny Bairstow and Bhanuka Rajapaksa took their team’s total beyond the 50-run mark. In the next over, Krunal Pandya dismissed Bhanuka Rajapaksa for 9.

Punjab desperately needed a partnership and Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone struck one to keep their side in the game. The 30-run partnership between the two was broken as Livingstone was dismissed by Mohsin Khan and Punjab Kings lost their fourth wicket for 88. In the next over, Jitesh Sharma was dismissed leg before wicket by Krunal Pandya for 2 as Punjab lost half of the side for 92.

Rishi Dhawan joined Bairstow to take Punjab’s total beyond the 100-run mark in 14.4 overs. But Punjab were dealt with a body blow as Chameera made him his second victim to leave Punjab Kings tottering at 103/6.

From there on Punjab never looked like chasing the total down as Mohsin Khan came in the 18th over to dismiss Kagiso Rabada and Rahul Chahar cheaply as Lucknow restricted them to 133/8 in 20 overs to register a victory. (ANI)

Rohit Sharma reaches milestone of 500 fours in IPL

Pune (Maharashtra) [India]: It was yet another milestone for Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma as he became the fifth batter to achieve this feat.

Rohit Sharma achieved this feat against Punjab Kings here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Wednesday.
He also became only the second Indian batter after Virat Kohli to complete 10,000 runs in the T20 cricket.

However, other than Rohit Sharma’s achievements of hitting 500 fours in the IPL and 10,000 runs in T20s there was nothing much to celebrate for Mumbai Indians as they lost to Punjab Kings by 12 runs, which was their fifth defeat of the season in as many matches.

Mumbai Indians failed to chase a 199-run target against Punjab Kings as they could only manage to score 186/9 in 20 overs.

Post-match Mumbai Indians were also fined Rs 24 lakh for a slow over-rate. (ANI)

 

IPL: Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant fined for slow over-rate

Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Delhi Capitals have been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate against Lucknow Super Giants here at the DY Patil Stadium on Thursday.

As it was the team’s first offence of the season under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to minimum over-rate offences so Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant was fined Rs 12 lakh.
It turned out to be a disappointing day for Delhi Capitals as they lost the match to Lucknow Super Giants by six wickets and their skipper Rishabh Pant faced a hefty fine of Rs 12 lakh.

Earlier, Nitish Rana from Kolkata Knight Riders has been reprimanded and fined 10 per cent of his match-fee for breaching the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) Code of Conduct during his team’s match against Mumbai Indians at Pune.

Rana admitted to the Level 1 offence of the IPL Code of Conduct and accepted the sanction.

While Jasprit Bumrah from Mumbai Indians has been reprimanded for breaching the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) Code of Conduct during his team’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Pune.

Bumrah admitted to the Level 1 offence of the IPL Code of Conduct and accepted the sanction. For Level 1 breaches of the Code of Conduct, the Match Referee’s decision is final and binding.(ANI)

 

IPL: MI’s Tilak Varma has shown lot of maturity & composure, feels Ravi Shastri

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Former Indian captain and ex-head coach of the national side, Ravi Shastri, is highly impressed with the performance of young Mumbai Indians’ batter Tilak Varma and the wide range of shots he possesses in his repertoire.

Tilak Verma smashed a quick 61 runs off 33 balls against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai.
While speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Ravi Shastri said, “He has shown a lot of potential in both the innings he has played for Mumbai Indians. I am impressed looking at his wide range of shots-front foot, back foot, sweep. There’s a lot of variation in his shot selection. His composure, body language and temperament are very good for a young player. He’s batted very confidently. This player has the potential to go ahead.”

Shastri also claimed that Tilak Varma, along with Suryakumar Yadav, will make the Mumbai Indians’ middle-order strong.

“Tilak Varma has shown positive intent with his batting and these are good signs for Mumbai Indians. Once Suryakumar Yadav is back in the playing eleven, Mumbai’s middle-order will be strong,” said Shastri.

MI are yet to open their points tally in IPL 2022 as they have lost their opening two matches against Delhi Capitals (DC) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). They will be going up against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their next clash on Wednesday at MCA Stadium, Pune. (ANI)

IPL : Will bat at No 4 so others can play freely : Hardik

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper Hardik Pandya expressed happiness after his side defeated Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the clash of debutants of Indian Premier League (IPL), 2022 on Monday.

Fighting knocks from Deepak Hooda and Ayush Badoni guided Lucknow Super Giants to 158/6 in their assigned 20 overs before their fellow IPL debutants Gujarat Titans chased the target with two balls to spare.
“This was the right game for us to be on either side and learn, but have learnt a lot by winning. Shami is known for his seam positions and he got us to a great start. We would have any day taken 160 on this wicket. Mostly I’ll bat at number four because I want to take pressure with my experience so that the others can play freely. We want to win as a team and nobody can take the contribution away from anyway,” said Hardik in a post-match presentation.

“It was quite humid as well, so I wouldn’t have finished Shami’s spell over there. Manohar is some talent to look at with the talent he has. He is someone who you are going to hear about in the future. Tewatia was sensational as well. Getting out to Krunal would have pinched me more had we lost, but now the family is neutral and happy. He got me out and we won the match,” he added.

IPL 2022: KKR beats CSK by six wickets

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Ajinkya Rahane’s knock of 44 runs put Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s half-century in vain as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Chennai Super Kings in the opening game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, here at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.

Rahane scored 44 runs while Umesh Yadav scalped two wickets as KKR registered a six-wicket victory over CSK with 9 balls to spare.
Chasing 132, KKR openers Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer provided their team with a great start as they scored 43 runs in the powerplay. CSK finally heaved a sigh of relief when Venkatesh got caught by Dhoni on Dwayne Bravo’s delivery.

Nitish Rana then joined Rahane and troubled the CSK bowlers for a brief period of time and departed after scoring 21 runs, with 76 runs on the board. Following Rana’s dismissal, Rahane also perished on Mitchell Santner’s delivery as he got caught by Ravindra Jadeja, leaving the team’s total at 87/3 in 11.4 overs.

KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer and Sam Billings came to the crease and anchored the innings. The duo took the score to 123 but before they could take their side through the victory line, Billings got dismissed by Bravo for 25 runs.

Later, Shreyas, who was then joined by Sheldon Jackson, ended the match with a boundary with 6 wickets and 9 balls remaining in hand.

Earlier, Dhoni scored an unbeaten half-century to provide CSK, which was led by Jadeja, with a respectable total of 131/5, after they faced an early loss of wickets.

CSK will now be facing Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in their next clash on March 31 while KKR will be going up against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on March 30.

Brief score: Chennai Super Kings (Dhoni 50*, Jadeja 26*; Umesh Yadav 2/20) vs Kolkata Knight Riders 133/4 (Rahane 44, Billings 25; Bravo 3/20). (ANI)

BCCI to not make Yo-Yo test harder for players

New Delhi [India]: In order to look after players’ mental health, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official on Friday said that the Yo-Yo tests, which are conducted for the selection of the team players, will not be made tougher.

Yo-Yo tests are mandatory for Team India players to secure a place in the top 15 but in recent times, many players have failed to clear the test and had to sit outside.
BCCI had recently announced that the players who fail to clear the Yo-Yo tests, will not be allowed to feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.

“No, we don’t have any plans of making the Yo-Yo tests harder for the player, as it is not good for the mental health of the players. A lot of cricket is being played and we can’t put unnecessary pressure on our players,” a BCCI official told ANI.

Currently, bio-bubble is the main factor of fatigue for the players, which is harming their mental health. Considering this, the board has decided to not put any extra pressure on the players.

IPL 2022 will start from Saturday with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) squaring off in the inaugural clash at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. (ANI)

 

IPL 2022: Kohli lauds Dhoni’s ‘legendary’ captaincy tenure at CSK

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday lavished praise on MS Dhoni’s “legendary” tenure as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and said the fans will never forget the rich legacy of the wicket-keeper batter.

MS Dhoni has decided to hand over the leadership of CSK to Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the much-awaited season of IPL 2022.
“Legendary captaincy tenure in yellow skip. A chapter fans will never forget. Respect always,” Kohli captioned the post on Koo app.

Jadeja, who has been an integral part of CSK since 2012, will only be the third player to lead the Chennai-based franchise. Dhoni will continue to represent CSK this season, an official statement from the franchise confirmed.

Dhoni, who was the most expensive buy at the inaugural IPL auction in February 2008, has been the captain of CSK since the beginning of the IPL. Under his leadership, CSK has registered a record 121 wins in 204 matches in the IPL.

The IPL games will be played across stadiums in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune with an audience occupancy rate of 25 per cent as per COVID-19 protocols.

In all, 20 matches each will be held at Wankhede Stadium & DY Patil Stadium, 15 matches each at Brabourne and MCA International Stadium, Pune. (ANI)

ICC Test rankings: Ravindra Jadeja is No. 1

Dubai [UAE]: Star India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has regained the No.1 spot in the latest ICC Test Rankings for all-rounders after his fiery performance in the recently concluded two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

West Indies’ Jason Holder is at No 2 spot in the ICC Test Rankings for all-rounders. Holder is currently participating in the three-match Test series against England and so far he has been ordinary in the two concluded matches.
Jadeja has 385 rating points and Holder has 357.

In the bowling rankings, Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi has moved to the No.6 spot after struggling in the Karachi Test. He scalped only two wickets in the match. Australian skipper Pat Cummins has moved up one spot to No.8 after taking three wickets and scoring 34* in the first innings of the Karachi Test. Mitchell Starc, who picked up three wickets in the first innings, has moved up one place to No.15.

India’s Ravichandran Ashwin is on No. 2 position. Jasprit Bumrah, who bagged eight wickets, including his maiden Test five-for at home in the second against the Sri Lanka Test in Bangaluru, leapt to No 4 spot.

Australian batter Marnus Labuschagne’s great innings in the ongoing Test series against Pakistan has got him to No.1 spot in the batting chart. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam’s glorious knock of 196 runs in the Test against Australia has taken him to No. 5 spot in the batting rankings.

Mohammad Rizwan and Usman Khawaja have also made big leaps. Rizwan has moved up six ranks to be at No.11 alongside David Warner after his knock of 104* in the second innings. Usman Khawaja, who scored 160 and 44* in Karachi, moves up eleven spots to No.13. (ANI)

 

IPL 2022: BCCI to welcome 25 pc fans inside stadiums

 

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 23 (ANI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to welcome fans back to stadiums for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 after a brief hiatus owing to the pandemic.

The IPL 2022 matches will be played across stadiums in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune with an audience occupancy rate of 25 per cent as per COVID-19 protocols, BCCI confirmed on Wednesday.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 resumes with the Chennai Super Kings taking on the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium on March 26. This match will be a momentous occasion as the 15th edition of the IPL will welcome fans back to the stadiums.

Ardent cricket fans are all set to witness nail-biting matches, cheering for their favourite players at the most anticipated cricket tournament of all time.

In all, 20 matches each will be held at Wankhede Stadium and DY Patil Stadium, 15 matches each at Brabourne and MCA International Stadium, Pune. (ANI)

 

IPL 2022: Skipper Rishabh Pant shares first impressions of new DC squad

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant expressed his thoughts of working with the newly formed squad, ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.

Pant, who attended his first training session with the side in Mumbai, said that all players are in a good frame of mind.
“It seems like the team has been made for the first time. I observed every player during my first practice session with the team and it looks like everybody is in a good frame of mind. Everybody is enjoying each other’s company,” said Pant in a statement.

The wicketkeeper-batter also spoke to the new players about the DC team environment, “At the moment, we are trying to understand what do the new players need during nets sessions. We are discussing the roles the players can take up during matches and the kind of team environment we would like to set up. We have spoken to the new players about the team environment we’ve had in the last few years.”

Speaking about working with Head Coach Ricky Ponting for yet another season, Pant said, “It’s always special meeting Ricky Ponting. Whenever I meet him, it feels like I am meeting a family member. And he always brings the energy out of every player on the field. Everyone looks up to him and waits for him to say something different.”

IPL 2022 will kick start from March 26 with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squaring off in the first clash. DC will be going against Mumbai Indians in their opening game on March 27. (ANI)

 

Asia Cup to be held in Sri Lanka in t20 format from August

Colombo [Sri Lanka]: The Asia Cup will be held in Sri Lanka from August 27 to September 11 in the T20 format and the qualifiers will start from August 20.

There will be six teams in the Asia Cup 2022, which includes India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and a qualifier. India will be playing Pakistan for the first time after the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. The qualifier match will be played between UAE, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong.
India will be competing as defending champions, which conquered the title in 2018. The 2020 edition of the tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19 and its restrictions. India remains the most dominant team in the history of the Asia Cup clinching it seven times out of the 14 editions so far, including the last two editions.

They have also made the most appearances in Asia Cup followed by Pakistan and Bangladesh who have played the tournament 13 times each. Pakistan have won the remaining two times – 2000 and 2012. This will be the 15th edition of the Asia cup, which was started in 1984. (ANI)

 

Virat Kohli extend wishes to people on Holi

New Delhi [India]: India star batter Virat Kohli on Friday shared his greetings to the people on the occasion of Holi.

Taking to his Twitter, Virat wrote, “May the spirit of this festival fill our lives with happiness and peace. Happy Holi to all.”
Former India batter and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) chief VVS Laxman wished love and prosperity to everyone.

“May the colours of Holi spread peace, happiness, love and prosperity all around. Wishing you a blessed and #HappyHoli,” tweeted Laxman.

“A very Happy Holi to all my friends. Stay colourful, stay happy,” tweeted former India batter Irfan Pathan in Hindi.

Marking the onset of the spring season, Holi is a festival of colours, symbolic of joy and victory of good over evil.

Even though Holi is a predominantly Hindu festival, it is celebrated by people of other faiths as well. It marks the arrival of the spring harvest season in the country. (ANI)

 

Sachin Tendulkar congratulates Team India for winning

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar praised Team India on clean sweeping the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

India beat Sri Lanka by 238 runs in the second Test on Monday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to clinch the two-match series 2-0.
“#TeamIndia’s pink, white and red ball form at home this season has been outstanding. Congratulations on a good win,” tweeted Sachin.

Former India batter and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) chief VVS Laxman also took to his Twitter and wrote, “Clinical series win for India. Shreyas Iyer was a treat to watch in both innings, Rishabh Pant was at his entertaining best and Bumrah showed his class again. For Sri Lanka,Karunaratne fought valiantly but it was always going to be an uphill task. Congratulations.”

On the other hand, former Indian batter Irfan Pathan also congratulated Team India and also said that Sri Lanka needs to work on their performance.

“Feel good series win by team India Bumrah was outstanding on this dry pitch. Not a single win during this Indian trip for Sri Lanka, they need to learn a lot quickly,” tweeted Irfan.

Resuming the post-Tea session at 151/4, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella struck a 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket. The 55-run partnership was broken by left-arm spinner Axar Patel who dismissed wicket-keeper batter Dickwella for 12 after he was stumped by wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.

Charith Asalanka joined his skipper but could not do much as he became the second victim of Axar Patel, caught by Rohit Sharma for 5 to put Lankans in further trouble at 180/6.

Karunaratne kept the fight on as he went on to notch up his century and along with Lasith Embuldeniya took Sri Lanka’s total beyond the 200-run mark.

Jasprit Bumrah was again introduced into the attack and the pacer cleaned up the centurion Karunaratne for 107 with the visitors losing their seventh wicket for 204. In the next over, Lasith Embuldeniya was dismissed leg before wicket for 2.

Bumrah struck for the third time in the innings as he cleaned up tail-ender Suranga Lakmal for 1 picking up his eighth wicket of the match. Ashwin delivered the final blow as he dismissed Vishwa Fernando for 2 to bowl out visitors for 208. Ashwin finished with 4 wickets in the second innings.

This was India’s third day-night Test match victory on home soil in as many matches. (ANI)

 

Ashwin surpasses Dale Steyn, becomes 8th highest wicket-taker in Tests

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin surpassed South African pacer Dale Steyn’s tally of 439 Test wickets here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday.

Ashwin bagged his 440th Test wicket on Day 3 of the ongoing pink-ball Test match against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru. The veteran spinner, who removed Dhananjaya de Silva for his 440th Test wicket, has now become the 8th highest wicket-taker in the history of red-ball cricket.
Ashwin trails the likes of Muthiah Muralidaran (800), Shane Warne (708), and James Anderson (640) – the top 3. However, he is third among currently active players, behind Anderson and Stuart Broad (537).

Ashwin is, at present, India’s second-highest wicket-taker after Anil Kumble who has 619 wickets in the longest format of the game.

In the first Test match of the series in Mohali, Ashwin had overtaken Kapil Dev’s tally of 434 wickets to become India’s second-highest wicket-taker in the history of the longest format.

The hosts are just six wickets away from victory as they dismissed three batters to leave the visitors at 151/4 at Tea on Day-3 of the second Test being played here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. (ANI)

 

Bumrah terms first home fifer as contribution towards team’s success

Bengaluru (Karnataka) : Elated India pacer Jasprit Bumrah who achieved his first five-wicket haul in Test, while playing in India said it was a contribution towards the team’s success.

Bumrah’s fifer bundled out Sri Lanka for 109 on Day 2 of the ongoing second Test here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.
India have set Sri Lanka a mammoth target of 447 runs and the visitors are 28/1 at stumps on day-2 needing 419 more runs to win with 9 wickets in hand.

“It feels good… When you play all three formats, you have to look after your body and you sometimes miss out on the home Tests. This was an opportunity and to be able to contribute towards the team’s success is always a great feeling,” said Bumrah during a virtual press conference.

Speaking about the tough playing conditions on the Bengaluru pitch, the pacer said the players should be ready for every new challenge in their way.

“You always play in different conditions, not every wicket will be the same. If there is some help for the bowlers, it gives you (the batsman) a lot of confidence when you score runs on such a wicket,” said the pacer.

“Everybody is finding a way and looking forward to contribute because they know if they score good runs on a tough wicket, then that will give them a lot of confidence. You will not get flat wickets everywhere you play, so whenever it’s a challenge, you are always looking forward to that challenge. Nobody is complaining about the wicket,” said the pacer.

On Day 2, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant surpassed former India captain Kapil Dev to register the fastest fifty in the longest format.

“Not each and everyone (can) play in the same manner. Every individual has a different game plan, so he has backed his strengths. Not every player in the team will play with the same tempo, we understand that. He is still getting more and more experience and learning about this game. That is his plan (attacking) going forward so that’s a positive sign for us,” said Bumrah.

Indian bowlers need 9 more wickets in three days to clean sweep the Test series 2-0. Sri Lankan batters will have to play out their skins to come anywhere close to challenging the gigantic target set by hosts. (ANI)

 

Ind Vs SL, 2nd Test: Just decided I couldn’t get out defending the ball, says Shreyas Iyer

Bengaluru (Karnataka) : Shreyas Iyer played a pivotal role in taking India’s total to 252 in the first innings of the second Test being played here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Iyer scored 92 of 98 balls hitting 10 fours and four sixes.

“I just decided I couldn’t get out defending the ball because there was more chance of getting out that way. So we had to have that intent,” said Shreyas Iyer after the end of the day’s play.
Shreyas Iyer looked on course for yet another Test ton but the Mumbai lad was dismissed 8 runs short of the triple-figure mark.

“I didn’t think of the 100 until I reached the 80s. Jassi was defending so well I never felt I can take a single only the fifth or the sixth. I don’t have any regrets, I could have got out before as well. When the ball was new, it seamed and swung for us, ” told Shreyas Iyer.

Shreyas Iyer scored runs in tough conditions and was also involved in crucial partnerships with Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel to take the team’s total to a respectable 252 after tottering at 126 for 5. After Iyer’s impressive knock Indian bowlers wreaked havoc on Sri Lanka batters to leave them tottering at 86/6 at stumps on Day-1. (ANI)

 

WI vs Eng, 1st Test: Holder, Bonner rebuild hosts innings after quick wickets (Stumps, Day 2)

St John’s [Antigua]: England bowlers were put to a stern test by West Indies batters on Day 2 of the ongoing first Test here at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Hosts will resume 109 runs behind and with six wickets in hand after a topsy-turvy second day in Antigua and Barbuda.
At stumps, West Indies’s score read 202/4, trailing visitors by 109 runs with Nkrumah Bonner (34*) and Jason Holder (43*) at the crease.

England’s reshuffled bowling attack served up a mixed bag on a tricky day in Antigua, after Jonny Bairstow and co. added 43 to the overnight score to post 311 in the first innings.

A wayward start with the ball from England’s new opening pair of Chris Woakes and Craig Overton helped the West Indies openers build a stand of 83 from just 19.3 overs as the reply got off to a rapid start.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite smashed a quick 55 while other WI opener John Campbell scored 35 before getting dismissed.

Mark Wood, Ben Stokes and Jack Leach bowled tidily, and four quick wickets in the afternoon session threatened to swing the momentum back in England’s favour.

But a stand of 75 after Tea between Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder helped West Indies to 202/4 by the close, 109 runs behind against a bowling attack who failed to immediately justify England’s unorthodox selection policy for the Caribbean tour.

Brief Scores: England 311 (Jonny Bairstow 140*, Ben Foakes 42; Jayden Seales 4-79) vs West Indies 202/4 (Kraigg Brathwaite 55, Jason Holder 43*; Mark Wood 1-24). (ANI)

 

Shakib Al Hasan rested from international cricket till April 30

Dhaka [Bangladesh]: Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Wednesday announced that all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been rested from all forms of international cricket till April 30.

Shakib will now be missing Bangladesh’s upcoming Test and ODI tour of South Africa, which is scheduled to be played between March 12 to April 8.
According to ESPNcricinfo, the BCB has not named a replacement for Shakib and, for now, the ODI squad will travel to South Africa without him.

Earlier, BCB president Nazmul Hasan slammed Shakib after the all-rounder expressed his willingness to take a break from international cricket and not tour South Africa.

Hassan also went on to question Shakib’s commitment towards international cricket, asking whether he would have wanted a similar break from the Indian Premier League (IPL) had he been picked in the mega auction.

“I think it is logical to think that if he was in a poor physical and mental state, he wouldn’t have given his name in the IPL auction. But he went ahead with it. So, does it mean that if he got his IPL contract, he would have said the same thing? We can’t do anything if he doesn’t want to play for Bangladesh,” ESPNcricinfo had quoted Hassan as saying.

“But he can’t keep saying I will play this game, I won’t play that game. We are soft on those who we love, but they also have to be professional. Otherwise, we will have to take decisions that no one will like,” he added. (ANI)

 

IPL 2022: Mayank Agarwal will lead Punjab

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Punjab Kings (PBKS) head coach Anil Kumble on Monday said he believes the appointment of batter Mayank Agarwal as the captain, will give the franchise a successful campaign in the Indian Premier League (IPL), 2022.

PBKS on Monday announced that Mayank Agarwal will assume the role of captain of the team for the 15th edition of the tournament.
“Mayank has been an integral part of the side since 2018 and of the leadership group for the last two years. The new squad we selected at the recently concluded auction has exciting young talent and outstanding experienced players,” said Anil Kumble in an official release.

“We want to create a strong foundation for the future with Mayank at the helm. He is hardworking, enthusiastic, a team player with all the attributes required of a leader. I look forward to working with him as captain and believe that he will lead this team to a successful campaign,” he added.

In the mega auction, Punjab Kings bought the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Shahrukh Khan, and Kagiso Rabada.

Punjab Kings squad: Mayank Agarwal, Arshdeep Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Angad Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Writtick Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Benny Howell. (ANI)

Ind vs SL: Was just looking to watch ball closely : Iyer

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Batter Shreyas Iyer expressed happiness after his knock helped Team India defeat Sri Lanka in the first T20I here at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium here on Thursday.

Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer hit fifties before a combined bowling performance helped India thrash Sri Lanka by 62 runs in the first T20I.
“Once I got going, I wanted to play my shots and keep the intent going, just wanted to play my shots. He (Ishan Kishan) wasn’t able to time (in the middle overs), was losing patience. I just told him to take his time, look for twos and threes. Our plan was to hit the pockets, initially, that’s what we did, and things came out pretty well for us. Coming from Kolkata, this ground had different dimensions,” said Shreyas Iyer in a post-match presentation.

“I wasn’t thinking a lot, thought 180 was a good total, was just looking to watch the ball closely and then played my shots. I had already put my hand up (for a bowl). Around the 16th over when he (Rohit) went it he had already told Bumrah these are the bowlers who need to bowl. I tried to bribe Bumrah but it didn’t work for me (laughs),” he added.

With this 62-run win over Sri Lanka, India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series. Both teams will now lock horns in the second T20I on Saturday.

Chasing 200, Sri Lanka got off to the worst possible start as the side two wickets inside three overs. Bhuvneshwar removed both openers Pathum Nissanka and Kamil Mishara as Sri Lanka struggled in the chase.

Sri Lanka reach the 50-run mark in the tenth over but lost two more wickets. Charith Asalanka did hit a fifty for the visitors but the asking rate was too much to ask for as Sri Lanka lost momentum.

Sri Lanka needed 102 runs in the last four overs and the visitors were completely outplayed in the first T20I as they lost the match by a considerable margin. (ANI)[instagram]

IPL 2022: Mumbai Indians’ Tilak Varma wants to play against CSK to get ‘confidence’

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Mumbai Indians’ newest recruit N Tilak Varma has said that he wants to play against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the contest will help him get great confidence.

Varma was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 1.7 crore on Day 2 of the mega auction. The 19-year-old had set his base price as Rs 20 lakh, but Mumbai was involved in a bidding war with SunRisers Hyderabad, and in the end, Mumbai was able to get hold of him.
“I have watched Sachin sir and Rohit bhai a lot while I was growing up and it has been a dream of mine since childhood to play for MI one day. I feel like it is going to be a great experience. I’m eager to get started as soon as possible. MI also has this unique spirit of bouncing back from tough situations. Whenever it felt like they would lose a game, the team always found a way to win. I then felt that there was something different about this team and it always motivated me. It always felt like a family and the fans just make it all the better,” Mumbai Indians’ official website quoted Varma as saying.

“I think that would be CSK. I have admired MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja for a long time, so doing well and winning a match for MI against them will give me great confidence. I can already feel it is going to be a nightmare to face him. I must make sure to not forget my helmet while batting against him!” he added.

Mumbai Indians also picked up England pacer Jofra Archer in the mega auction. The mega auction of IPL 2022, saw Ishan Kishan, Deepak Chahar, and Shreyas Iyer among the top picks of the event.

Mumbai Indians squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Dewald Brevis, Basil Thampi, Murugan Ashwin, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, N Tilak Varma, Sanjay Yadav, Jofra Archer, Daniel Sams, Tymal Mills, Tim David, Riley Meredith, Mohd Arshad Khan, Anmolpreet Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Rahul Buddhi, Hrithik Shokeen, Arjun Tendulkar, Aryan Juyal, Fabian Allen. (ANI)

Team India becomes No.1 ranked side in T20Is

             

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India](ANI): After winning the third and final T20I against West Indies, Team India became the number one ranked side in the shortest format of the game.

The triumph helped India overtake England at the top of the T20 team rankings, with Rohit Sharma’s side now matching the top rating of 269.
While England and India both have the same rating (269), India has a total of 10,484 points, 10 more than England’s 10,474.

Pakistan (rating of 266), New Zealand (255) and South Africa (253) round out the top five countries, while Australia (249) remain in sixth after their 4-1 series victory over Sri Lanka.

With the 17-run win in the third T20I, India won the three-match T20I series 3-0. Earlier, the Men in Blue had defeated West Indies 3-0 in the ODI series as well. India will next lock horns against Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series, beginning Thursday.

Suryakumar Yadav’s 65-run knock was backed up by a spirited bowling performance as India defeated West Indies by runs in the third and final T20I here at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. Harshal Patel returned with three wickets while Venkatesh Iyer also got two wickets.

Earlier, Suryakumar Yadav (65) and Venkatesh Iyer (35*) starred with the bat as India posted 184/5 in the allotted twenty overs. In the last five overs, the hosts managed to add 86 more runs to the total, taking the score past the 180-run mark. Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav formed a 91-run partnership for the fifth wicket. (ANI)(image -instagramBCCI)

IPL : Yuzvendra Chahal buy of the auction in terms of value, says RR CEO

              

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India](ANI): Rajasthan Royals CEO Jake Lush McCrum has said that Yuzvendra Chahal was the buy of the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction in terms of value.

Rajasthan Royals have consistently been one of the best cricket franchises in Indian cricket. From winning the championship in the league debut in 2008, the team has had an ethos of giving young Indian cricketers a platform to shine and grow as players.
They’ve relied on a core of Indian and international experienced players flanked by young talent in almost every season. With the conclusion of the auction for the 2022 season, Rajasthan Royals has a new-look team that will excite all their fans.

“I think we are trying to change how we are perceived as a team because we’ve had three poor years now. Yes, they were impacted by availability and injuries, but we’ve had three poor years as a franchise. We want the fans to look at us and be able to say we are competing for the top-2. We are competing for the championship. And that’s the mentality that has to resonate from within the franchise and around the franchise,” said McCrum during a chat with Red Bull.

“We think we have done that with building this squad. We’ve got quality Indian players; we have four players who are consistently in the Indian national team. Our overseas players are also available throughout the season and very talented individuals. There’s a good balance to the side. We want to be competing near the top of the table, and we want to win as many games as possible for our fans, and hopefully, we will be lifting the trophy at the end of the season,” he added.

Talking about Rajasthan’s picks in the auction, McCrum said: “I think we secured a lot of our top priorities. We went in not with fixed individuals – we were quite flexible within the structures of what we wanted to secure. It was mostly about trying to achieve our ‘what it takes to win’ criteria. But we are delighted to have people like Ravi (Ravichandran) Ashwin, Yuzi (Yuzvendra) Chahal, (Devdutt) Padikkal, Riyan (Parag), Rassie (van der Dussen), Trent Boult; the list could go on and on. All of them were on our target list. And we are delighted to have secured all of them.”

“I would probably say Yuzi is the buy of the auction in terms of value, so we are delighted to have his leg-spin wicket-taking capability in our side. Overall, we got almost everyone we wanted to. Yes, there were players on our list who we missed, but we had to prioritize and be flexible to get the players at a good value so we could have the best possible squad. We are very happy with what we have achieved,” he added.

Rajasthan Royals squad: Sanju Samson (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Riyan Parag, KC Cariappa, Navdeep Saini, Obed McCoy, Anunay Singh, Kuldeep Sen, Karun Nair, Dhruv Jurel, Tejas Baroka, Kuldip Yadav, Shubham Garhwal, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rassie van der Dussen, Daryl Mitchell. (ANI)

Always wanted to play for MI, glad to finally get the opportunity: Archer

              

New Delhi [India](ANI): England pacer Jofra Archer has said that he always wanted to represent Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and he is glad to finally get the opportunity.

Archer was picked up by Mumbai Indians for Rs 8 crore on Day 2 of the IPL mega auction here in Bengaluru. The England pacer will not be available for IPL 2022 season, and he would only start playing for the franchise from the next season.
“I am super excited to be joining the Mumbai Indians, they have been a franchise that has always been close to my heart and I always wanted to play for them. I am so glad that I have finally gotten the opportunity to play for the franchise and share the dressing room with biggest stars in cricket. Really looking forward to start a new chapter,” Archer said in a video posted on Instagram handle of Mumbai Indians.

Mumbai Indians’ Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan has said that it will be worth the wait when Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah start bowling in tandem for the franchise.

“You are eagerly waiting for the partnership to go on the field and so am I. To see two legendary fast bowlers bowling in tandem and I’m glad that it seems possible and will be worth the wait,” said Zaheer.

Mumbai Indians also picked up Singapore’s Tim David for Rs 8.25 crore in the mega auction.

In the mega auction, Mumbai Indians also picked up Ishan Kishan (Rs 15.25 crore) and Arjun Tendulkar (Rs 30 lakh). (ANI)

Langer speaks to Cricket Australia staff days after resigning as coach

               

Sydney [Australia](ANI): Former Australia coach Justin Langer on Monday spoke to Cricket Australia’s staff to talk about his resignation and defend his reputation.

As per Sydney Morning Herald, Langer spoke to the staff through video conference. In an all-staff meeting, Langer joined Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley to deliver a similar message to his resignation email.
Now, Hockley and Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) chief Todd Greenberg will reach out to angry former players group to mend bridges between past and current cricketers.

They will also explain why Langer’s tenure as head coach ended, stated Sydney Morning Herald’s report.

Cricket Australia on Saturday accepted men’s team head coach Justin Langer’s resignation. “Justin was offered a short-term extension to his current contract, which sadly he has opted not to accept,” stated an official Cricket Australia release.

The contract extension offered to Justin was the result of a thorough review process that evaluated many factors including future requirements of the team and the upcoming extensive schedule of fixtures. The extension was approved by the CA Board and was put to Justin last night. It included the opportunity to defend the T20 World Cup title in Australia at the end of this year.

After Langer’s resignation, many former players including Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, and Mitchell Johnson have slammed Cricket Australia for their handling of the issue.

Langer was appointed as the men’s team coach in 2018 after the Sandpaper Gate which saw David Warner, Steve Smith serving out one-year bans. Under Langer, Australia managed to win the T20 World Cup 2021 and then the Ashes.

In his resignation letter, Langer stated that he is content with his decision, and the speculation regarding his tenure as a coach took a toll on his family. (ANI)(image-cricket australia)

Ind vs WI: Focus on Rohit’s leadership, Kuldeep-Chahal combination in ODIs (Preview)

         

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India](ANI): The Rohit Sharma-era of leadership is here with the right-handed batter getting ready to don the captaincy hat in the upcoming ODI series against West Indies, beginning Sunday.

Team India are set to play three ODIs at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad from February 6 followed by the T20I series at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata from February 16.
Rohit was supposed to lead the side in the ODIs against South Africa, but a hamstring issue ruled him out. However, he has regained fitness and is ready to lead the Men in Blue.

When India takes the field on Sunday, it will become the first international team to play 1000 ODIs. Currently, at 999 matches, India accounts for 518 wins and 431 losses. The Men in Blue had played their 500th match in 2002 and two decades later, the side will now reach the milestone of playing 1000 ODIs.

On Thursday, the BCCI had confirmed that Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad tested positive for COVID-19 and hence will miss the ODI series. Mayank was drafted into the squad and he could be seen opening the batting alongside Rohit Sharma.

Kuldeep is also back in the squad and it would be interesting to see whether the team management gives him a chance alongside Yuzvendra Chahal in the playing XI. Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna and Avesh Khan are also in the squad and it would be nice to see these three being given games consistently.

Batting against South Africa left a lot to be desired and it would be nice to see a different approach against West Indies and one would expect the batters play their natural game. Virat Kohli has not scored a century since November 2019 and the entire country is waiting for the right-handed batter get to the three-figure mark as soon as possible.

Talking about West Indies, the side from the Caribbean is fresh from the T20I series win against England and it would be interesting to see how Kieron Pollard leads the side against the Men in Blue.

India ODI squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Mayank Agarwal, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, KL Rahul (available for 2nd ODI), Rishabh Pant, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan.

West Indies squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Kemar Roach, Nkrumah Bonner, Brandon King, Fabien Allen, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shephard, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr. (ANI)(image-instagramBCCI)

India vs WI: Visitors arrive in Ahmedabad for white-ball series, Advantage India

              

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India](ANI): Ahead of the white-ball series against India, the Kieron Pollard-led West Indies arrived in Ahmedabad for the ODI leg of the tour.

India and West Indies are slated to lock horns in three ODIs and three T20Is, beginning February. All the ODIs will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.
The T20Is will be played at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

“After a long couple days of travel from Barbados, the #MenInMaroon have arrived in India,” the official handle of Windies Cricket tweeted.

The Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) on Tuesday had confirmed that the upcoming three-match ODI series between India and West Indies will be played behind closed doors.

“Considering the current situation, all the matches will be played behind the closed doors,” the official handle of Gujarat Cricket Association tweeted.

“We are all set to host West Indies Tour of India ODI Series 2022. 1st ODI on the 6th of Feb will be a very special and historic match as India will be playing its 1000th ODI. The Indian team will be the first cricket team in the world to achieve this feat,” it added. (ANI)

Excited to play for my home: Hardik Pandya

               

By Vivek Prabhakar Singh

Baroda (Gujarat) [India]: Hardik Pandya was not retained by Mumbai Indians for IPL 2022 season but it was homecoming for the star all-rounder as he was picked for a staggering INR 15 crores by the Ahmedabad franchise.
The Gujarat born cricketer Hardik Pandya is excited as he will be playing for a franchise of his home state.

“To be very honest I was very excited when I got to know I will be playing for my state. It is my home state where I was born and brought up. It is going to be an exciting and new opportunity for me because I have always played as a player who wanted to take up a lot of responsibility and ownership of things when I do things and now when I have got the opportunity, I want to create some nice culture where all the players get equal opportunity– one for all and all for one,” said Hardik Pandya while speaking to ANI.

“It is a new pamphlet, a new legacy for us. Obviously I am very lucky for having played in Mumbai Indians where I learnt a lot from being a new kid coming to the IPL to now getting an opportunity to lead a team. It has been a dream for me and I am grateful for all the opportunities and chances given by the people,” he added.

Hardik Pandya will not only be playing for Ahmedabad but will also be captaining the side and being from Gujarat makes him a local lad. The 28 year old has been a star performer in the limited overs format for both Mumbai and Team India and is now elevated as captain of an IPL franchise.

“The feeling is surreal to be honest. I have never imagined as I have said multiple times. If I look at 2015 what Hardik was and what Hardik has been now. It has been a journey where I never would have told people that this would have ever happened. As a player it has been a learning curve in everything in my life. Playing and learning new things from all the senior players and becoming a senior player to a guy to whom people come and started asking questions and now getting a new role. It has been a beautiful journey and I am very grateful for everything I have got and the journey does not stop now, it continues. It is a new phase and new turn to the life which I am very excited about,” said the India all-rounder.

Hardik Pandya playing for another franchise means that he will be playing against his previous franchise Mumbai Indians where he will be up against his former Mumbai teammates Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard.

“First I will say not just him but just as a franchise point of view and players point of view it was a tremendous journey for me. I mean a lot of things but everything I have got through Mumbai Indians. I have played India through Mumbai Indians. A lot of things in my life has changed playing for Mumbai. Franchise wise, I have been very grateful to every guy who was there to contribute or to help me to get better as a cricketer and yes I will miss it but now a new role is there and as they say, the show must go on.” explained Hardik Pandya.

All are eager to see Hardik Pandya in action as he has been out of action since November 2021 after the 2021 T20 World Cup due to back injury and was also going through rehabilitation. But now the welcome news for all his fans is that he is back to training and is practising every day to get back to full fitness.

“Just getting fitter, healthier and looking after all the parts which I need to work at or look after, in a very nice space right now. Training hard, not taking anything forward, taking day-by-day and focusing on a lot of new things which is a nice thing, getting up early doing two sessions in a day. It is nice and healthy,” he said.

Hardik Pandya will be leading an IPL side for the first time and moreover he will be leading a franchise which will be making its debut in IPL 2022. (ANI-image -instagram)

Rohit has been on top of his game in Tests-Ponting

             

Dubai [UAE]: Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has shown support for Rohit Sharma leading India in Tests looking at his impeccable record as a leader.

Earlier this month, Kohli stood down as India’s Test skipper a day after the country suffered a 1-2 series defeat against South Africa in the three-match series. Last year, the 33-year-old had also stepped down as T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader after the selectors wanted one leader for white-ball formats.
“I was at Mumbai Indians when Rohit Sharma took over the captaincy there. I was bought in the auction to be their captain and unfortunately, I wasn’t playing well enough after the first few games to keep myself in the team, so I had to make room for another international player to come into the side,” the ICC website quoted Ponting as saying.

“The owners and the team management wanted to know who I thought would be the appropriate person to take over the leadership at the Mumbai Indians. There were a few names thrown around between owners and the other coaches but it was really clear to me that there was only one guy that can lead the team – he was a young guy and his name happened to be Rohit Sharma,” he added.

Rohit had missed the series against South Africa due to a hamstring issue but he has now recoved and would be leading the side in the upcoming white-ball series against West Indies.

“I think the proof is in the pudding with what he has done at the Mumbai Indians since that moment on. He has been a very successful leader there and has been when he has led India on a few occasions as well. If I go back to what I said at the start about being on top of your game when you take over a captaincy role, then it is pretty hard to argue after what he has done with his Test cricket in the last 2-3 years. He has played as well as anybody in the world through that period of time, and we know how good he is as a white-ball player,” said Ponting.

“They (BCCI) will have a decision to make what they want to do with their roles as well, whether they split roles or they want to keep the same captain for all formats,” he added.

Further talking about Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul as leaders, Ponting said: “To be honest, I have worked with Ajinkya – he is just a great bloke, a very, very good player. He hasn’t had his best period with the bat in Tests, but we saw what he can do leadership-wise in the series against Australia last summer.”

“I don’t know KL Rahul well – his name’s been thrown around a little bit. All reports I hear about him is he is a terrific guy, and he’s playing very well and starting to put together a really good Test record, particularly overseas which is impressive. There will be a few names that will be thrown around,” he added. (ANI/Image -Instagram)

Starc admits to having phase where he did not want to play any cricket

              

Canberra [Australia]: After being crowned as the Allan Border medallist, Australia pacer Mitchell Starc on Saturday admitted that there have been times in the past couple of years where he wanted to stop playing the game.

Allrounder Ashleigh Gardner and prolific fast bowler Mitchell Starc were the maiden Belinda Clark and Allan Border medallists respectively, having been awarded the top honours in Australian cricket.
Starc had a major role to play in Australia’s 4-0 Ashes victory and the left-arm pacer was also a part of the T20 World Cup-winning squad.

“The last two years, as life is at the moment, there’s a lot of ups and downs. You find ways to adapt and what not, but it’s a reflection of the support base I have had throughout those two years as well. There have certainly been times when I haven’t played my best cricket or certainly times over those two years where I didn’t want to play any cricket. I’m very thankful for my support networks and in particular Alyssa, to play cricket at the highest level [and] be there to support me as well, I can’t thank her enough for that,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Starc as saying.

“It goes back to the work you do behind the scenes and the work you put in with strength and conditioning and time spent with physios and what not. A huge thanks to the support staff, particularly [Australian Men’s] physio David Beakley to keep me on the park for five Test matches and keep me on the park for five and let me play five,” he added.

Starc has enjoyed a sensational year of international cricket and captured a combined 43 wickets at an average of 24.4 across all formats, 12 clear of the nation’s next best. The left-arm quick was crowned the Male ODI Player of the Year following dominant performances in the three-match series against the West Indies which included a haul of 5-48 in the opening game.

One of the best pink-ball bowlers in the game, Starc thrived in the Ashes series and amassed 19 wickets at 25.36 with a best of 4-37 in the first innings of the Day-Night Test in Adelaide. Starc also scored 241 runs across all formats at an average of 26.8 to sit inside Australia’s top 10 run-scorers over the past 12 months.

“I went through periods years ago where seeing any criticism or different opinions was almost a bit of a spur for me to stick it up to them, but a couple of years ago I made that decision to get away from it all. Think that’s helped me stay really level between some really good stuff and not so good stuff and not let it affect me at all,” Starc said. (Image -InstagramAus)

Cricket Australia name Darcie Brown as Young Cricketer of 2022

               

Melbourne [Australia]: Cricket Australia on Friday named pacer Darcie Brown as Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year.

CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) have announced the winners of the peer-voted Domestic and Young Cricketer of the Year Awards.
Eighteen-year-old Darcie Brown’s rise to one of the most exciting fast-bowling talents in cricket has been meteoric.

Brown completed her High School Certificate during the Women’s Big Bash League, 06 hub in October 2020 and produced outstanding performances in her debut season to announce herself as a future star.

“I’m really honoured to have won the Betty Wilson award, it is such a special award, especially being voted by my peers,” said Darcie Brown in an official statement.

“I’ve loved the opportunities I’ve had to play for Australia and wouldn’t have been able to do so without support from my family and friends, and my teammates and coaches who have been able to push me to improve and help me enjoy my cricket,” she added.

Meanhwile, Tim Ward was named as Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year. This award is a testament to his high level of persistence and the strength of Premier Cricket in Australia.

Playing for Sydney Premier Cricket Club Parramatta, the 23-year-old continually knocked on the door for higher honours before an opportunity presented itself in Tasmania.

Ward’s six matches in the Marsh Sheffield Shield since debuting in April 2021 have drawn 506 runs at an average of 46, including a maiden century against Queensland and three half-centuries.

“Eighteen months ago, if you told me I’d win this award, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s been quite surprising how fast I think I’ve grown as a cricketer since coming down to Tasmania and I’m honoured to receive the award,” said Tim Ward.

“It means so much to win this award but when it’s voted by the players it’s extra special. Eighteen months ago, most of them wouldn’t have known who I was. So for them to vote for me, it means a lot,” he added.

Male Domestic Player of the Year – Travis Head: As evidenced by his destructive, match-defining innings in the recent Vodafone Ashes series, South Australia captain Travis Head has used the domestic competition to lay the platform for success at the international level.

Through 12 matches in the voting period, Head plundered 902 runs at an average of 50.1, with included three centuries, including a mammoth 223 in a Marsh One-Day Cup match against Queensland in October.

“I am honoured to receive this award and thank Cricket Australia and SACA for the opportunity to play cricket at the highest levels. Things like this are not possible without the hard work of teammates and coaches and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me both on and off the field,” said Travis Head.

“I’d also like to thank the ACA for their help during the year, and for this award voted for by my peers. Domestic cricket in Australia is in a very strong position, something shown by our recent performances on the world stage. I love representing South Australia and hope to do so for many more years to come,” he added.

Female Domestic Player of the Year – Elyse Villani: She becomes the first woman to win this award in consecutive seasons after a sensational 12 months.

The 32-year-old enjoyed an incredible run of form during the voting period and finished with five centuries and four half-centuries as she piled on 1,050 runs at an average of 61.8 across 24 matches.

Her unmatched output in the WNCL helped Victoria host the Final, while Villani also led the run scoring for the Melbourne Stars in WBBL|07.

“I feel privileged to be awarded the Female Domestic Player of the Year, to know that it is a peer voted award makes it really special and something I hold close,” said Villani.

“Thank you to the girls I’ve played with and against in the past year, the competitions we play in get better each year and it’s amazing to see the development of women’s cricket, thank you for your efforts over the past season, particularly in trying circumstances,” she added. (ANI)

Dhoni – One of sharpest cricket minds: Greg Chappell

              

Melbourne [Australia]: Former Team India head coach Greg Chappell has lavished praise on MS Dhoni for his “decision-making and strategic skills” which set him apart from his contemporaries.

Dhoni, the former India skipper who is probably one of the greatest captains to grace the cricket field, has won it all in his time: From the T20I World Cup in 2007 and the 2013 Champions Trophy to the 2011 ODI World Cup on home soil.
Chappell while speaking about natural environments that help in shaping up cricketers, said Dhoni is one of the “sharpest cricket” minds the former Australian cricketer has encountered.

“The developed cricket countries have lost the natural environments that were a big part of their development structure in bygone eras. In those environments, young cricketers learned from watching good players and then emulating them in pick-up matches with family and friends,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.

“The Indian subcontinent still has many towns where coaching facilities are rare and youngsters play in streets and on vacant land without the interference of formal coaching. This is where many of their current stars have learned the game.”

“MS Dhoni, with whom I worked in India, is a good example of a batter who developed his talent and learned to play in this fashion. By competing against more experienced individuals on a variety of surfaces early in his development, Dhoni developed the decision-making and strategic skills that have set him apart from many of his peers. His is one of the sharpest cricket minds I have encountered,” Chappell added.

The former Australia batter Chappell said England have “very few” of these natural environments and the cricketers are groomed after a coaching programme.

“England, on the other hand, have very few of these natural environments and their players are produced in a narrow band of public schools, with an emphasis on the coaching manual. This is why their batting has lost much of its flair and resilience,” said Chappell.

Coming back to Dhoni, the former skipper who made his international debut against Bangladesh in 2004, went on to play 538 matches across formats during his 16-year-long career. Dhoni played 350 One-Day Internationals, 90 Tests, and 98 T20 Internationals for India.

His last appearance in an international game came in July 2019, when India lost to New Zealand in the semi-final of the World Cup. On August 15, 2020, Dhoni announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, bringing down the curtains on an illustrious career.

During his career, Dhoni amassed 4,876 runs in Tests at an average of 38.09 and scored 10,773 runs in ODIs at an average of 50.57. In T20Is, the swashbuckling batsman scored 1617 runs at a strike rate of 126.13. (ANI-Instagram)

Preview: SA vs Ind: KL Rahul takes charge but eyes on ‘batter’ Kohli in ODI series

               

Paarl [South Africa): Virat Kohli might not be India’s skipper but the batter remains a key cog in the visitors’ batting lineup for the ODI series against South Africa which gets underway from Wednesday.

Kohli last played an ODI in March 2021, when India locked horns with England.
KL Rahul will captain India in absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma but still, the eyes will be on Kohli as he gears up to play an ODI purely as a batter.

However, India pacer Jasprit Bumrah has insisted that Kohli will always be the leader in the group.

“He brings a lot of energy to the side. He will always be a leader in the group and his contribution has always been immense,” said Bumrah while replying to ANI query during a virtual press conference on Monday.

The ODI series will also begin India’s preparation for the 2023 ODI World Cup and with a new-look side, the visitors will be looking to kick start the year on a high.

Meanwhile, South Africa will look to continue the momentum after winning the Test series against India. But South Africa is not underestimating India for the ODI series.

“Obviously, we are taking momentum from the Test series into the ODIs. But we are not underestimating India at all, India is one of the best teams in the world so we have to bring our A-game. We are looking to take the fight to them. We have to be as prepared as we can, a series win against India would be big,” South Africa left-arm seamer Marco Jansen said.

India ODI squad: KL Rahul (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj, Jayant Yadav, Navdeep Saini

South Africa ODI squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Zubayr Hamza, Marco Jansen, Janneman Malan, Sisanda Magala, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne (Image – Instagram)

NZ vs Ban, 2nd Test: Latham, Boult and Southee help hosts dominate (Stumps, Day 2)

             

Christchurch [New Zealand] (ANI): Tom Latham’s 252-run knock backed up by a dominant bowling performance helped New Zealand dismantle Bangladesh on Day 2 of the ongoing second Test here at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch.

Before stumps, Bangladesh was bowled out for 126 in the first innings, giving New Zealand a lead of 395 runs. For the hosts, Trent Boult returned with five wickets.
Trailing by 521, Bangladesh got off to a horrendous start as the visitors lost their first five wickets with just 27 runs on the board. Trent Boult scalped three while Tim Southee took two to put New Zealand on top.

Yasir Ali and Nurul Hasan then got together at the crease and the duo stitched together a stand of 60 runs for the sixth wicket, but this partnership was finally broken by Tim Southee as he had Hasan (41) adjudged leg-before wicket, reducing Bangladesh to 87/6.

Mehidy Hasan then joined Yasir Ali in the middle and the duo put on 22 runs for the seventh wicket, but half an hour before stumps, Boult dismissed Mehidy (5) and Bangladesh was reduced to 109/7. Soon after, Taskin Ahmed (2) was dismissed by Kyle Jamieson and Bangladesh was running the risk of being bowled out under 50 overs.

Before stumps, Jamieson dismissed Yasir Ali (55) and Boult took the final wicket to bundle out Bangladesh for 126 in the first innings.

Earlier, resuming Day 2 at 349/1, Conway brought up his century but after playing a knock of 109, he was sent back to the pavilion via a run-out. Wickets kept falling around, but skipper Tom Latham remained firm at one end.

Latham went on to play a remarkable knock of 252 runs off just 373 balls with the help of 34 fours and 2 sixes. Wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell also chipped in with an unbeaten knock of 57 as New Zealand finally declared their innings at 521/6.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 521/6d (Tom Latham 252, Devon Conway 109; Shoriful Islam 2-79); Bangladesh 126 all out (Yasir Ali 55, Nurul Hasan 41; Trent Boult 5-43). (Image – Instagram)

Dean Elgar credits ‘impressive’ bowling performance for SA win over India

            

Johannesburg [South Africa]): South Africa skipper Dean Elgar lavished praise on the Proteas bowlers after a historic win over India in the second Test on Thursday.

Elgar played a captain’s knock scoring an unbeaten 96 to take the hosts to a 7-wicket win levelling the 3-match series 1-1 against India.
“I don’t know what’s the right or wrong way in winning a cricket match, but it’s all about doing the basics right. We ticked a lot of boxes right to make it 1-1,” said Elgar in the post-match press conference.

“We now go to Cape Town with plenty of confidence – it wasn’t easy, the batters were determined. but credit to our bowlers, the effort they put in was very impressive,” he added.

Skipper Elgar notched up a gritty half-century with a boundary. He along with Rassie van der Dussen struck a fifty-run partnership and also took the team’s total beyond the 140-run mark which meant that the hosts needed less than 100 runs to win with 8 wickets in hand.

The South Africa skipper was happy with the batting performance and he feels the hosts have found the right combination ahead of the third Test.

“When you perform like this over the period of four days, it does make you forget the pain in doing so. A lot of test for our batters, we have struggled to find the right batting line-up, find the people for the right roles, entrust the people into their roles and to bat in such a way in not so easy conditions pleases you a lot,” said Elgar.

“The way he batted (Rassie van der Dussen), he will go a long way in his career, the way he batted (during his knock of 40) will set him up in the future,” he added.

India and South Africa will now lock horns in the third Test from January 11.

“Not exactly sure what will happen in CT, played a domestic game there, interesting to see what kind of a surface they’ll give us. 1-1, South Africa v India, going into the final Test all square, we couldn’t have written a better script,” Elgar concluded. (ANI)

SA vs Ind, 1st Test: Marco justified his selection, says Kagiso Rabada

                

Centurion [South Africa]: South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has praised debutant pacer Marco Jansen stating that the latter has justified his selection in the team in the ongoing first Test against India.

India need six wickets to win the first Test against South Africa as the match enters the final day here at SuperSport Park, Centurion.
Marco scalped four wickets in the Indian second innings and gave the visitors a tough fight.

“He is a phenomenal talent. He is an awkward customer to face. There is swing, bounce and pace coming at you. In the (Indian) second innings, he justified his selection…he seems like he wants to learn. He is a hard worker. He is really keen on doing well for his team and himself,” said Rabada in the press conference after the end of Day Four’s play.

The pacer said that he is hopeful that Proteas can still win the game despite being reduced to 94 for 4 in chase of 305 runs.

“Definitely. we have just got to show belief. Strategize overnight and see how to approach this. Every sportsman has got to believe,” said Rabada.

Rabada further hailed his skipper Dean Elgar and said that he has been the best person for the team.

“Dean is doing his best for his team, his country and himself. He is leading from the front. He has done it countless times,” said Rabada.

Coming to the match, after India were folded in the second session on Wednesday, 40.5 overs were bowled with South Africa losing four wickets in the tricky phase.

At stumps, the Proteas went into the dugout at 94/4 with 211 runs more required to win and six wickets in the bag. For hosts captain, Dean Elgar is currently unbeaten on the crease as the Test goes into the final day.

Ashes, 4th Test: Pink Village back to give fans themed entertainment zone at Sydney

              

Sydney [Australia]: Cricket Australia’s Pink Village will be back this year, providing fans with a dedicated pink-themed entertainment zone at Driver Avenue, Moore Park during the Men’s Ashes Pink Test at the SCG starting on January 5.

Fans attending the Pink Village can expect a range of entertainment options, such as a food and beverage area that includes a bar stocked with 4 Pines, plus big screens to catch all the action of the fourth Vodafone men’s Ashes Test.

There will also be numerous fan activations, such as a cricket simulator, a nail art salon, smoothie bikes, freebies, and a Spirits stand with non-alcoholic cocktails and a viewing area to watch live entertainment by various artists on the stage.

EGM, Event Experience & Operations Brian Nourse is excited to have the Pink Village take place once again this year and extend the support of the McGrath Foundation and the Pink Test to fans outside the ground.

“We are ecstatic to have returned the Pink Village at this year’s Vodafone Ashes Series Pink Test, not only to provide an exciting experience for our fans, but also to support the McGrath Foundation, which is undeniably a cause important to us all,” said Nourse in an official statement.

Australia has already retained the Ashes after gaining an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series. The fourth Test will begin on January 5.

Ashes: Would have played Broad instead of Robinson in 3rd Test, says Warne

               

Melbourne [Australia]: Former Australia spinner Shane Warne on Sunday said that he would have played Stuart Broad in place of Ollie Robinson in the ongoing third Ashes Test.

England made four changes to their lineup as they brought in Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood and Jack Leach into the lineup. These four replaced Rory Burns, Ollie Pope, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.
“England looks a better balanced side – but I would have played @StuartBroad8

instead of Robinson & Pope looks a good player to me, but Bairstow had to play. Pope will play a lot of test cricket. Aussies will welcome back @patcummins30 & good luck to S Boland on debut, he’s good,” tweeted Warne.

England openers Haseeb Hameed and Zak Crawley failed to leave a mark as Australia gained an upper hand in the morning session on Day 1 of the ongoing Boxing Day Ashes Test here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

At the lunch break, England’s score reads 61/3 with Joe Root (33*) at the crease. A total of 26.3 overs were bowled in the first session. (ANI)

Harbhajan Singh announces retirement from all forms of cricket, put curtains on ’23-year-long journey’

New Delhi [India]: Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh on Friday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

The 41-year-old has played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is for Men in Blue. He scalped 294 wickets in limited-overs cricket.
“All good things come to an end and today as I bid adieu to the game that has given me everything in life, I would like to thank everyone who made this 23-year-long journey beautiful and memorable. My heartfelt thank you Grateful,” Harbhajan Singh tweeted on Friday.

He played his last red-ball match against Sri Lanka in 2015 while his last ODI was against South Africa in the same year. His last game for India was a T20I against UAE in the 2016 Asia Cup. Since then he was not picked for the Indian side.

Harbhajan retires after scalping 417 wickets in 103 Tests at an average of 32.46. The 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World Cup winner is also the first Indian to scalp a Test hat-trick.

Overall, Jalandhar- born cricketer has played 367 international games and claimed 711 international wickets and scored 3,569 international runs. (ANI)

Wagner, Conway to play for New Zealand XI in practice match ahead of Bangladesh series

Wellington [New Zealand]: Blackcaps’ Neil Wagner and Devon Conway will get an early look at the touring Bangladesh team when they play for the New Zealand XI in a two-day match on December 28 and 29 on Bay Oval’s number two ground.

Both players have been selected in the side to get some much-needed cricket under their belt ahead of the Walton Test Series against Bangladesh, starting on January 1 at Bay Oval.
Wagner is primed for a return to cricket having not featured in the team’s recent Test tour to India.

“I love getting the red ball in my hand and this match presents a perfect opportunity to get some miles in the legs ahead of what should be a hard fought Test series against Bangladesh,” said Wagner in a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement.

“The boys are happy to be back home and we can’t wait to play in front of our home fans over the New Year period in both Mount Maunganui and Christchurch.”

Conway’s inclusion sees him return to cricket after breaking his hand in the ICC T20 World Cup semi-final against England in November.

New Zealand Cricket said Conway’s selection in the New Zealand XI is subject to the hand injury being fully recovered in time to take the field.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back into some competitive cricket and hopefully I’m passed fit to play,” said Conway.

“I’ve just started batting again and testing out my hand so I’m hopeful of making my return for the New Zealand XI. There’s nothing like a match situation to really test it out and help build some confidence,” he added.

Brendon Donkers will coach the New Zealand XI for the two-day warm-up fixture. New Zealand and Bangladesh will lock horns in a two-match Test series from January 1. (ANI)

New Zealand to tour Pakistan twice in 2022-23 to make up for abandoned series

Lahore [Pakistan]: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has confirmed it will tour Pakistan for two Tests and three ODIs in December/January 2022-23 as part of the Future Tours Programme and will return in April 2023 for 10 white-ball matches to make-up for the September 2021 abandoned tour, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Monday.

PCB said the arrangement was finalized following meetings and discussions between the PCB and NZC Chairpersons Ramiz Raja and Martin Snedden, respectively.
The two Tests and three ODIs will be part of the ICC World Test Championship and ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, respectively, while the second visit will include two additional ODIs and will now comprise five ODIs and five T20Is that will count towards the ICC Rankings.

“I am pleased with the outcomes of our discussions and negotiations and thank Martin Snedden and his board for their understanding and support. This reflects the strong, cordial, and historic relations the two boards have and reconfirms Pakistan’s status as an important member of the cricket fraternity,” said PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja in a statement.

NZC Chief Executive David White said: “Our respective chairmen, Ramiz Raja and Martin Snedden, had very fruitful and constructive discussions while in Dubai, further strengthening the bond between the two organizations.”

The latest announcement means Pakistan will host eight Tests, 11 ODIs, and 13 T20Is against Australia, England, and New Zealand in the period from March 2022 to April 2023.

The Blackcaps abandoned their tour of Pakistan in September this year following a New Zealand government security alert. (ANI)

SA vs Ind: Kohli-led Indian squad begins training for first Test

Centurion [South Africa]: The Virat Kohli-led Indian Test squad has begun preparation for the South Africa tour ahead of the first Test which gets underway from December 26.

South Africa and India will lock horns in the three-match Test series before the two sides meet in the limited-overs format.
The Indian squad held their first practice session on Saturday to gear up for the South Africa tour.

“#TeamIndia begin preparations for the first Test in Centurion Stadium. First practice session done,” BCCI tweeted the pictures from the practice session.

The Indian Test squad arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday. Rohit Sharma will be missing the upcoming Test series after the hamstring injury and Priyank Panchal was named as the replacement.

Meanwhile, the All-India Senior selection committee on Saturday named KL Rahul as vice-captain for the upcoming 3-match Test series against South Africa.

Pak vs WI: Pity about the rescheduling of ODI series, says Ramiz Raja

               

Karachi [Pakistan]: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja expressed disappointment after the ODI series against West Indies was rescheduled following the COVID scare.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Thursday issued a joint statement after five more positive cases were reported in the West Indies camp following Wednesday’s PCR testing, taking the total number of positive cases to nine since their arrival in Karachi on December 9.
It was agreed that the ODI series, which forms part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, will be postponed and rescheduled for early June 2022.

“Very impressive record chase tonight. Self-belief & calmness was at the heart of that feat! Great year for Rizwan & he doesn’t have a bad partner in Babar too. Pity about the rescheduling of the ODI series but we will have a full-fledged fit WI team for that June encounter,” Ramiz Raja tweeted after Pakistan win in the third T20I.

Coming to the game, Pakistan completed a clean sweep in the three-match T20I series against a virus-hit West Indies with a resounding seven-wicket win on Thursday.

Run-machine Mohammad Rizwan rounded off the year with his 12th half-century in Twenty20 internationals by scoring 87 while captain Babar Azam made 79 in Pakistan’s blistering run-chase of 208-3 in 18.5 overs.

The West Indies’ top-order batters, led by captain Nicholas Pooran’s blazing 64 off 37 balls, still did well to post 207-3 after the tourists had won the toss and elected to bat. (ANI)

Ashes: Cricket Australia CEO confirms fifth Test would be day-night contest

Melbourne [Australia]: Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley on Thursday confirmed that the fifth Ashes Test between England and Australia will be contested under lights.

Hockley’s comments came as the fifth Ashes Test has been moved out of Perth due to COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions.
“We’ve had lots of interest, I won’t go into specifics because we’re going through all the details now but as I said, we’re working to come to a position as quickly as possible. Hopefully, there will be an announcement in the not-too-distant future,” Hockley told SEN Test Cricket.

“We’ve tried to be fair to everyone, we’ve given everyone an opportunity, we’ll be taking in a range of considerations, and ultimately it’s my job to put a recommendation to the board. The plan is, wherever it’s played, to be a day-night Test with a pink ball,” he added.

Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday had confirmed that the fifth men’s Ashes Test match will be relocated from Perth Stadium due to COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions.

CA and Western Australian Cricket (WA Cricket) have worked closely and constructively with the Western Australia Government and Perth Stadium over several months, with the shared goals of prioritizing the health and well-being of the WA community, while providing the best possible environment for the players, their families, match officials, staff and broadcast partners.

Discussions about a replacement venue for the fifth Test match are underway. (ANI)

Ashes, 1st Test: James Anderson ruled out due to calf strain

Brisbane [Australia]: England pacer James Anderson has been ruled out of the upcoming first Ashes Test.

The first Test between England and Australia of the five-match series will be played at the Gabba, beginning Wednesday.
As per a report in Sydney Morning Herald, Anderson has been ruled out due to a calf strain and this is the same problem that had ruined his 2019 campaign.

England management has decided to rest Anderson for the first Test to ensure that he is raring to go for the pink-ball second Test slated to be played in Adelaide.

Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday had confirmed that the fifth men’s Ashes Test match will be relocated from Perth Stadium due to COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions.

CA and Western Australian Cricket (WA Cricket) have worked closely and constructively with the Western Australia Government and Perth Stadium over several months, with the shared goals of prioritizing the health and well-being of the WA community, while providing the best possible environment for the players, their families, match officials, staff and broadcast partners.

Discussions about a replacement venue for the fifth Test match are underway.

Inspired by Harbhajan Singh’s famous spell: Ashwin

ashwin

Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], November 30 (ANI): India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has said that surpassing Harbhajan Singh’s tally of 417 Test wickets is a “wonderful milestone”.

Ashwin on Monday had surpassed Harbhajan Singh to become the country’s third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. Ashwin scalped the wicket of Tom Latham (52) to go past the milestone.
“These are numbers that are just happening because of the effort I have been putting in. I am trying to enjoy my game. I am not worried about what number I am surpassing, it is a wonderful milestone. When Harbhajan Singh bowled that famous spell against Australia in 2001, I did not think I would be an off-spinner one day,” Ashwin told teammate Shreyas Iyer in a video posted on bcci.tv.

“I was inspired by him and here I am. Actually, I was more of a batter, and a lot of people know this story. After that 2001 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, I decided to take up spin bowling. That’s how I started, I have been on my action for a while, don’t know whether I can copy Harbhajan’s style now,” he added.

The off-spinner had equalled Harbhajan’s tally of 417 wickets on Sunday after he dismissed Will Young on Day 4.

New Zealand managed to survive by the barest of margins on the last day of the first Test against India after a gritty performance from their lower-order batters insured that visitors walked away with a draw here at Green Park, Kanpur on Monday.

“It is still sinking in the fact that we could not win, we were so close yet so far. Tough thing to get over for me, it happened once in Jamaica. It takes some time for me as a bowler, it just did not happen today,” said Ashwin.

“I mean it is a matter of pride. You play for India, I had my 200th wicket on the same ground and now I surpassed Harbhajan Singh’s tally on this ground. I had not played the last Test in Christchurch before the COVID-19 pandemic, god has been kind and I have been able to turn it around,” he added.

Team India managed to take eight wickets on Day 5 of the ongoing first Test but some late drama and stout-hearted performance from visitors’ batters clawed back victory from the jaws of hosts. (ANI)

Imam-ul-Haq named in Pak squad

Dhaka [Bangladesh]: National selectors on Monday announced the Pakistan men’s cricket team for the two Tests against Bangladesh, which will be played in Chittagong (November 26-30) and Dhaka (December 4-8).

Opener Imam-Ul-Haq, middle-order batter Kamran Ghulam and off-spinner Bilal Asif have been named in the 20-player squad, replacing Haris Rauf, Imran Butt, Shahnawaz Dahani and Yasir Shah, who were part of the 21-player side that toured the West Indies in July/August.
Left-handed Imam has been recalled following his stellar performances in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in which he has aggregated 488 runs in five innings of four matches, including an unbeaten double-century. Imam had played his 11th and last Test against Australia in Adelaide in November/December 2019.

Bilal has replaced Yasir Shah who is still recovering from a thumb injury he sustained during the National T20 and is yet to feature in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. The off-spinner has taken 16 wickets in five Tests and has been drafted in the side considering Bangladesh squad includes left-handed batters and also looking ahead to the home Tests against Australia.

Kamran has returned to the side after missing the West Indies tour. He was in the squad for the home series against South Africa after scoring a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy record 1,249 runs in the 2020-21 season. Kamran is presently in Sri Lanka with the Pakistan Shaheens where he scored 58 not out and 45 in two innings of the rain-affected two-match four-day series.

Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim: “We have selected the squad following discussions with the team management and after taking into consideration the opposition’s potential make-up and the conditions in which the Tests will be played. As we already have four frontline fast bowlers, we have allowed Haris Rauf and Shahnawaz Dahani to return to Pakistan after the T20Is so that they can play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and prepare for Australia Tests. An in-form left-handed Imam-Ul-Haq has replaced Imran Butt, who managed to score at 17.8 in 10 Test innings, but he has a chance to continue to play and perform in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy so that he can force his way back in the side.”

“Bangladesh are strong side in their backyard but we have the resources, talent and experience to perform strongly and then carry that momentum into the Australia Tests, which will be part of the ICC World Test Championship,” he added.

Pakistan Test squad: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Bilal Asif, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Fawad Alam, Imam-Ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Zahid Mahmood. (ANI)

Rohit Sharma reaches 3000

Dubai [UAE]: Indian batter Rohit Sharma on Monday completed 3000 T20I runs and became the third cricketer in the world to achieve this feat.

Rohit reached the 3000 run mark in the ongoing match against Namibia in ICC men’s T20 World Cup here at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is at the top of the tally with 3227 runs, which is followed by New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and India’s Rohit Sharma with 3115 and 3008 runs respectively.

India restricted Namibia to 132/8 in the Group 2 match. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were picks of the bowlers as they scalped three wickets each for India.

For Namibia, David Wiese and Stephan Baard played knocks of 26 and 21 runs respectively and no batter from their side crossed the 30-run mark. (ANI)

Australia playing on our backyard will be special for Pak fans: Ramiz Raja

Lahore [Pakistan]: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja said that Australia playing on Pakistan soil after a gap of 24 years will be special for all fans.

“I am delighted to welcome Australia to Pakistan. From a personal point of view, it pleases me no end that we’ll be engaged in a three-Test match series, connoisseurs delight,” said Raja in an official PCB release.
“Australia is one of the high-performing sides and them playing in our backyard for the first time after a gap of 24 years will be a special treat for the fans. Likewise, it will be a great opportunity for the Australia cricketers to not only play at our iconic venues but also feel and enjoy the respect, love and hospitality that this great country offers, something which most of their previous generation of cricketers missed out by playing offshore,” he added.

PCB on Monday announced details of Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998, which will take place in March and April 2022, and comprise three Tests, three ODIs and one T20I.

The Tests will take place in Karachi (March 3-7), Rawalpindi (March 12-16) and Lahore (March 21-25), while Lahore will be the venue for the four white-ball matches to be played from March 29 to April 5.

The Tests will be played as part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs will be connected to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League – a 13-team event from which the seven highest-placed sides and the hosts, India, will qualify directly for the event proper in 2023.

As part of the reconnoitring process, Cricket Australia’s delegation will visit Pakistan to meet with PCB officials as well as provincial and federal authorities to discuss and finalise matters relating to team operations, logistics, security and Covid-19 protocols.

Australia last toured Pakistan in 1998-99 when Mark Taylor led them to a 1-0 series victory – their first since Richie Benaud’s side defeated Fazal Mahmood’s team by 2-0 in the 1959-60 series. Between the two series, Pakistan hosted Australia in 1964-65 (drew 0-0), 1979-80 (won 1-0), 1982-83 (won 3-0), 1988-89 (won 1-0) and 1994-95 (won 1-0).

Pakistan staged the last four series with Australia offshore – 2002-2003 (Colombo and Sharjah, Pakistan lost 3-0), 2010 (drew 1-1 in England), 2014-15 (won 2-0 in the UAE) and 2018-19 (won 1-0 in the UAE). (ANI)

SA vs Ind : New Year’s Test moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town

Cape Town [South Africa] : Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced that New Year’s Test match between India and South Africa will now be hosted in Cape Town instead of Johannesburg.
In an official CSA release, it was announced on Friday that India’s tour to South Africa is scheduled to take place in December-January 2021-22 across all formats of cricket. The India touring party will play South Africa in 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 4 T20s. The tour will kick start on December 17 and will end on January 26. The New Year’s Test Match has been moved from the Wanderers in Johannesburg to Cape Town’s Newlands.
“CSA is excited to welcome India back to South Africa, which also significantly marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s first tour to India after re-entry into International Cricket in 1991. This tour affirms our unique relationship with the BCCI,” said Graeme Smith, CSA Director of Cricket in an official CSA release.
“This tour comes at a fitting moment when Cricket South Africa, together with the people of the world celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 152nd birthday. We are indeed indebted to India for its support to our cricket efforts over the years. We are looking forward to hosting our guests for what promises to be nail-biting on-field encounters,” said Pholetsi Moseki, CSA Acting Chief Executive Officer.
This trophy, which is dedicated to two global icons – Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela – was first awarded in 2015.

ECB suspends Yorkshire from hosting international matches over racism case

London [UK] : England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday suspended Yorkshire from hosting international matches over handling of the issues raised by Azeem Rafiq.
The Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) in September this year had said Rafiq, during his first spell as a player at YCCC, was the victim of racial harassment and bullying. ECB found Yorkshire County’s report “wholly unacceptable” and the board said the matter is “against the spirit of cricket and its values”.
ECB said YCCC is suspended from hosting international or major matches until it has clearly demonstrated that it can meet the standards expected of an international venue, ECB member and First Class County.
“It is clear to the Board that YCCC’s handling of the issues raised by Azeem Rafiq is wholly unacceptable and is causing serious damage to the reputation of the game. The ECB find this matter abhorrent and against the spirit of cricket and its values,” read ECB statement.
As per ECB, there is no place for racism or any form of discrimination in cricket and where it is found, swift action must be taken.
“This matter must be dealt with robustly if the sport is to demonstrate its commitment to truly being a game for everyone,” added the statement.
The ECB Board agreed that it will hold YCCC accountable in relation to its handling of the matter.
“Given recent events, it is clear there are serious questions regarding the governance and management of YCCC. The club’s failure in relation to actions and responses to their own report represents a significant breach of its obligations to the game,” said the statement.
The ECB reaffirmed its commitment to making decisions in the best interests of the whole game as a governing body with duties to act for all in cricket.
It also agreed that sanctions including, but not limited to, financial and future major match allocations may be considered at the conclusion of our investigations, the statement added.
The ECB Board has asked the ECB Executive to commission a review of Yorkshire CCC’s governance to consider whether the existing arrangements are fit for purpose.
Meanwhile, the regulatory processes are already underway into the allegations brought by Azeem Rafiq which will be ultimately determined by an independent tribunal (The Cricket Disciplinary Committee).
Before any regulatory investigation is complete, the Board wished to take immediate action in relation to Gary Ballance.
On Wednesday, former England batter Gary Ballance admitted that he was the one who used a racial slur against former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq.
While Ballance has not been selected to play for England since 2017, he will be suspended indefinitely from selection. This position will be reviewed following the ECB regulatory investigation into his conduct, said the ECB statement.
The Board reiterated its unwavering commitment to ensuring that cricket is a game for everyone. Discrimination of any kind on the field of play, in the dressing room, in the stands, or in the boardroom is intolerable in sport or indeed, society.

Yorkshire CCC chairman Roger Hutton resigns amid racism row

London [UK] : The chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Roger Hutton, announced his resignation on Friday ahead of an emergency meeting to discuss the club’s response to racism experienced by former player Azeem Rafiq.
The Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) in September this year had said Rafiq, during his first spell as a player at YCCC, was the victim of racial harassment and bullying but the club said it would take no disciplinary action. On Thursday, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) suspended Yorkshire from hosting international or major matches until it has clearly demonstrated that it can meet the standards expected of an international venue, ECB member and First Class County.
ECB found Yorkshire County’s report “wholly unacceptable” and the board said the matter is “against the spirit of cricket and its values”.
“For much of my time at the club, I experienced a culture that refuses to accept change or challenge,” Hutton said in a statement released to ESPNcricinfo. “There has been a constant unwillingness from the Executive members of the Board [Arthur and Moxon are the executive members of the board] and senior management at the Club to apologise and to accept racism and to look forward.”
“During my time as Chairman, I take responsibility for failing to persuade them to take appropriate and timely action. This frustration has been shared by all of the Non-Executive members of the Board, some of whom have also now resigned. I now call for those Executive members of the Board to resign, to make way for a new path for the Club I love so much.”

“I am sorry that we could not persuade Executive members of the Board to recognise the gravity of the situation and show care and contrition. I remain disappointed that legal restrictions, including an ongoing employment tribunal, have prevented the investigation report from being published and look forward to the time that everyone can see its recommendations. I hope for it to be published as soon as possible.”
“Azeem left the club in August 2018, 18 months before I joined. I have never met Azeem. I know however, that when someone makes claims as serious as his, they need to be investigated and changes need to be made. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly to Azeem. The club should have recognised at the time the serious allegations of racism.”
Hutton also took a swipe at the ECB. “I want to be clear that when I was made aware of Azeem Rafiq’s allegations, I immediately reached out to the ECB to ask for their help and intervention to support a robust inquiry,” Hutton said.
“I was saddened when they declined to help as I felt it was a matter of great importance for the game as a whole. It is a matter of record that I have continually expressed my frustration at the ECB’s reluctance to act,” he added. (

Dravid stalwart of cricket: Rohit Sharma

Abu Dhabi [UAE]: India opening batter Rohit Sharma has welcomed the move of appointing Rahul Dravid as the head coach of the senior men’s team.

Dravid was appointed head coach of the senior side on Wednesday and he will take over the reins from Ravi Shastri after the ongoing T20 World Cup.
“Yeah, is it official? Obviously, we were playing the game, so I had no idea. Congratulations to him for coming back but in a different capacity in the Indian team. We look forward to working with him. He’s a stalwart of Indian cricket, and it’ll be nice working with him in the future,” said Rohit during a virtual post-match press conference.

Earlier, Dravid said that he is honoured to be appointed as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. The Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sulakshana Naik and RP Singh on Wednesday unanimously appointed Rahul Dravid as the head coach of Team India (Senior Men).

Dravid will take charge from the upcoming home series against New Zealand. “It is an absolute honour to be appointed as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team and I am really looking forward to this role. Under Shastri, the team has done very well, and I hope to work with the team to take this forward,” said Dravid in a statement released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“Having worked closely with most of the boys either at NCA, U19, and India A setup, I know they have the passion and desire to improve every day. There are some marquee multi-team events in the next two years, and I look forward to working with the players and the support staff to achieve our potential,” he added.

The BCCI had invited applications for the said position on October 26 to appoint Ravi Shastri’s successor, whose term gets over after the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup.

India became the first Asian team to win a Test series in Australia (2018-19) and followed it with another series win in 2020-21. India was also the first team to win all five T20Is in a bilateral series when it blanked New Zealand 5-0. Under Shastri and his team’s guidance, India won all their seven Test series at home. (ANI)

T20 WC: India thrash Afghanistan by 66 runs

Abu Dhabi [UAE] : Power-packed batting display from Indian openers was followed by spirited bowling performance as Men in Blue thrashed Afghanistan by 66 runs in the Group 2 match of the Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC men’s T20 World Cup here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday.
Men in Blue lit up Abu Dhabi with a stunning display of power-hitting to post 210/2 as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul played innings of 74 and 69, respectively. And in reply, Afghanistan never looked like chasing it down, finishing on 144/7, still 66 runs short. Mohammad Shami scalped three wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin took two. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja returned with apiece for India.
Chasing 211, Afghanistan were 47/2 after the powerplay as they stared down the barrel of a heavy defeat. Indian bowlers clawed further deep as Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Gulbadin Naib were removed before halfway point of their chase.
Ravichandran Ashwin struck again as he clean bowled Najibullah Zadran in the 11th over. With runs in scarcity, Mohammad Nabi and Raashid Khan feel were sent back to the dressing room by Mohammad Shami in the penultimate over of the match. In the end, Afghanistan fell short 66 runs short of the target.
Earlier, put in to bat first, a selection reshuffle saw Rohit Sharma moving back up to opener alongside KL Rahul, and the pair more than justified the move with a brilliant century stand. After that Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant finished the innings in style by scoring 35* and 27* respectively.
Brief score: India 210/2 (Rohit Sharma 74, KL Rahul 69; Karim Janat 1-7, Gulbadin Naib 1-39) vs Afghanistan 144/7 (Karim Janat 42*, Mohammad Nabi 35; Mohammad Shami 3-32, Ravichandran Ashwin 2-14).

T20 WC: Return of Ashwin is the biggest positive, says Virat Kohli

Abu Dhabi [UAE] : Indian captain Virat Kohli said that return of Ravichandran Ashwin in the side was a huge positive as the team gained control in the middle overs against Afghanistan on Wednesday.
A power-packed batting display from Indian openers was followed by a spirited bowling performance as Men in Blue thrashed Afghanistan by 66 runs in the Group 2 match of the Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC men’s T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Veteran Indian spinner Ashwin scalped the wickets of Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran and gave just 14 runs in his entire spell.
“Much better wicket to be fair. We spoke about the fact that in the other games, if we just had two overs of free-flowing batting, then that sends a message to the opposition that we are going to put you under the pump. When we do that, we know how we can play. Sometimes, you do fall to pressure and have to accept that. T20 cricket is a very instinctive game, in batting, bowling and decision-making. We do make decisions on the go,” said Virat Kohli in the post-match presentation.
Men in Blue lit up Abu Dhabi with a stunning display of power-hitting to post 210/2 as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul played innings of 74 and 69, respectively. And in reply, Afghanistan never looked like chasing it down, finishing on 144/7, still 66 runs short.
“Top three is mostly settled unless situations like today when the openers batted all the way through and the power-hitters were ready. We don’t always decide early to go hard, but we do back ourselves and when we do get going, we know what we can do.”
“Well, yes that is the plan (to keep playing this way) but as I said, sometimes you just give in to the pressure. The other teams bowled really well to us. Yes, it (net run rate) was to be honest. We are always positive, and so were thinking about it,” the Indian skipper explained.
Mohammad Shami scalped three wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin took two. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja returned with apiece for India.
“The return of Ash (is the biggest positive), we saw him doing well in the IPL and when he does this, we get control in the middle overs. That’s what I’m most pleased about (today),” he added.
India will next clash with Scotland on Friday while Afghanistan will square off New Zealand on Sunday.

T20 WC: Team India need to keep mental fatigue aside and think positively

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has said that the Virat Kohli-led side needs to keep mental fatigue aside and think positively heading into the crucial game against Afghanistan.
It will be a change in venue for India after playing both their opening games at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium as they will play Afghanistan at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. “Look, the Indian team has been touring non-stop, first WTC, then the England tour – which was a long tour – then the whole IPL, and now coming into the World Cup is not easy for anyone. But, most of the teams are in the same boat as well. So, you need to keep that aside and just keep thinking positively, because I think, in the two years of the pandemic a lot of people lost their jobs as well. So, you need to think from the perspective, that you are definitely working but you are representing your country as well, that’s the biggest pride moment for anyone,” said Pathan on Star Sports’ show ‘Game Plan’.
“So you need to think like that. I know it’s not easy. We are all human. We think in a certain way, and we all get homesick. In the series which is coming up after the World Cup, there will be a rotation policy for sure because you don’t want to keep playing all the time, as you are human and not a machine at the end of the day. I want them to keep focusing on the games and make sure whatever game you are playing, remember you are representing the country, and that’s the biggest pride one can have,” he added.
In the previous game against New Zealand, India had brought in Ishan Kishan as an opener and Rohit came out to bat at number three with Virat dropping to number four.
“First of all, get the batting combination right, get the proper guys at the proper position like Rohit Sharma batting up the order and then once he gets set then it’s a different thing. With the Abu Dhabi pitch, you get more turns but the good thing is the pitch has more pace as well which means it will come nicely onto the bat and this is what the Indian team needs to be aware of. They don’t need to worry about what happened in Dubai, they don’t need to be worried about what’s happening in Sharjah as far the pitch is concerned where the ball doesn’t come onto the bat,” said Pathan.
“It’s a good cricketing pitch, so you need to enjoy that bounce, and I think guys like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will cherish this and they will enjoy, and if they just believe in their own timing spend a bit more time and get the opening sorted then they don’t need to worry about the quality spinners that we were talking about, they can face any spinner any fast bowler but they just need to spend more time,” he added.
Having faced the wrath of the fans as well for below-par performances so far, it will also be about pride for Virat Kohli’s men as they play under his leadership in the T20 format for the last time in this tournament. (

Morgan is to England what Dhoni is to India: Dinesh Karthik

New Delhi [India], November 2 (ANI): India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik on Tuesday likened the impact of England skipper Eoin Morgan to former India captain MS Dhoni.
Karthik hailed Morgan’s leadership in England’s T20 World Cup game against Sri Lanka. He also said that the Three Lions are the team to beat in the ongoing competition. “MS DHONI is to India what EOIN MORGAN is to England. Well-led @Eoin16. Brilliant yesterday. The team to beat this World T20 is @ECB_cricket,” tweeted Karthik.
Jos Buttler smashed his maiden ton before England displayed an all-round performance to defeat Sri Lanka by 26 runs in the Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
England scored 163 in 20 overs and then restricted Sri Lanka to 137 to register their fourth win in four games in the tournament.
Sri Lanka needed 34 from the final three overs to win the match, but the Lankan Lions lost their last five wickets for eight runs.
England has now won all its four matches in the Super 12 stage and they are all but set to qualify for the semi-finals.
England might have managed to defeat Sri Lanka in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, but wicketkeeper-batter Buttler admitted that his side was under pressure in the second innings, and he hailed the bowling attack in ensuring the Three Lions walk away with a victory.
“I think staying patient was the key (when England lost early wickets), but I managed to get a partnership with Morgan. I found it really tough early on in the innings. There was a point when we were thinking to get to the 120-run mark, but then we got going and got 160-plus. I use the same bat, even in the nets. It feels good,” said Buttler after the game ended.

T20 WC : Only Afghanistan or Pakistan can beat England, says Pietersen

New Delhi [India] : Former England captain Kevin Pietersen on Tuesday said that only Afghanistan or Pakistan can defeat the Three Lions in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
However, the former England captain also said that Afghanistan and Pakistan can beat England only if they are playing on a used wicket. “Only Pakistan or Afghanistan can beat England in this T20 World Cup. BUT and it’s a BIG BUT, the game would have to be played on a used wicket in Sharjah. Anywhere else, just hand England the trophy like Chelsea should be handed the EPL trophy RIGHT NOW,” tweeted Pietersen.
Jos Buttler smashed his maiden ton before England displayed an all-round performance to defeat Sri Lanka by 26 runs in the Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
England scored 163 in 20 overs and then restricted Sri Lanka to 137 to register their fourth win in four games in the tournament.
Sri Lanka needed 34 from the final three overs to win the match, but the Lankan Lions lost their last five wickets for eight runs.
England has now won all its four matches in the Super 12 stage and they are all but set to qualify for the semi-finals.
England might have managed to defeat Sri Lanka in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, but wicketkeeper-batter Buttler admitted that his side was under pressure in the second innings, and he hailed the bowling attack in ensuring the Three Lions walk away with a victory.
“I think staying patient was the key (when England lost early wickets), but I managed to get a partnership with Morgan. I found it really tough early on in the innings. There was a point when we were thinking to get to the 120-run mark, but then we got going and got 160-plus. I use the same bat, even in the nets. It feels good,” said Buttler after the game ended.

Time is running out, Team India needs to perform miracles: Irfan Pathan

New Delhi [India] : Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan said that the time is running out for the Virat Kohli-led side in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and the team now needs to perform miracles in order to reach the semi-finals.
Pathan’s comment came after India suffered an eight-wicket loss against New Zealand on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the Super 12 stage. “Well done NZ you were too good. And for team India, they need to get together and perform miracles. Time is running out. #indvsnz,” tweeted Pathan.
Trent Boult and Ish Sodhi starred with the ball before Daryl Mitchell smashed 49 off 35 to help New Zealand defeat India by eight wickets in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
India was restricted to 110/7 in the allotted twenty overs against New Zealand. No batter was able to stay at the crease for long, and what followed was a lacklustre performance.
For the all-important clash, India made two changes — Shardul Thakur and Ishan Kishan came in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Suryakumar Yadav. Rohit Sharma came into bat at number three, while Ishan came out to open alongside KL Rahul, but this move backfired as Ishan did not manage to leave a mark with the bat.
Kohli and boys will next take on Afghanistan on Wednesday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

T20 WC: Boult, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell star as New Zealand thrash India by 8 wickets

Dubai [UAE] : Trent Boult and Ish Sodhi starred with the ball before Daryl Mitchell smashed 49 off 35 to help New Zealand defeat India by eight wickets in the Super 12 match of the ongoing T20 World here at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
With this defeat, India has now lost two games in the ongoing tournament while New Zealand has bounced back after losing the first match. Mitchell and Kane Williamson stitched a 72-run stand for the second wicket to steer the New Zealand chase.
Chasing 111, New Zealand got off to a decent start as openers Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell stitched a 24-run stand. Jasprit Bumrah gave India the first breakthrough when he dismissed Guptill in the fourth over.
But the target was so low that New Zealand didn’t falter and kept scoring at a brisk rate as Kane Williamson and Mitchell look comfortable at the crease.
In the end, just when New Zealand were about to wrap up the win, Bumrah dismissed Mitchell in the 13th over.
However, with 15 runs needed in 44 balls, it was too late for India as New Zealand got home in the 15th over.
Earlier in the day, India had a bad start as Ishan Kishan made a little impact before Tim Southee struck to remove another Indian opener, KL Rahul.
India’s score read 35/2 after six overs in the innings. Rohit Sharma went to the pavilion two overs later as the Asian side kept losing wickets.
India’s fortunes then took a huge blow when Virat Kohli was caught on the boundary of the very first ball after the drinks break, leaving India 48/4 after 10.1 overs.
After the torrid start, India collected 11 runs in the last over as they reached 110 in 20 overs.
Brief Scores: India 110/7 (Ravindra Jadeja 26*, Hardik Pandya 23; Trent Boult 3-20, Ish Sodhi 2-17) vs New Zealand 111/2 (Daryl Mitchell 49, Kane Williamson 33; Jasprit Bumrah 2-19)

T20 WC: India have to disconnect from pressure and continue with process, says Kohli after defeat

Dubai [UAE] : India captain Virat Kohli said that the team need to disconnect from the pressure and continue with the process after New Zealand thrashed Men in Blue by 8 wickets in the Group 2 match of Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Set a modest target of 111 to win the Group 2 fixture, Kiwi opener Daryl Mitchell top-scored in a comfortable chase, hitting a quickfire 49 as his side chased it down with 33 balls to spare. The result means that India will need other games to go their way if they are to reach the semi-finals.
“I thought we were brutal upfront. We weren’t brave enough when we entered the field, but NZ sustained that pressure. Every time we took a chance, we lost a wicket. It’s most often a result of hesitation of whether you should go for a shot or not,” Kohli in the post-match presentation.
“When you play for India, there are loads of expectations. We are watched, people come to the stadium and everyone who plays for India needs to embrace that and cope with it. We haven’t done that in these two games, and that’s why we haven’t won.”
“We have to be optimistic and positive and take calculated risks. We have to disconnect from the pressure and continue with our process and play a positive brand of cricket. There’s a lot of cricket to play in the tournament,” he added.
Earlier India endured a disappointing evening with the bat, limping to 110/7 off their 20 overs after being put in to bat first. Trent Boult scalped three wickets while Ish Sodhi returned with two for New Zealand.
For the Men in Blue, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya played the innings of 26* and 23 as no Indian batter crossed the 30-runs mark.

T20 WC: This was great performance against a side that puts up fight, says Williamson

Dubai [UAE] : New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said the wicket wasn’t an easy one to bat but the Kiwis openers made things easy for the side against India in the ongoing T20 World Cup on Sunday.
Trent Boult and Ish Sodhi starred with the ball before Daryl Mitchell smashed 49 off 35 to help New Zealand defeat India by eight wickets on Sunday. “There’s always planning going into game, but this was a great performance against a side that puts up a fight. The surface wasn’t easy to find rhythm on, and the way the openers came out really set things up for the chase,” said Williamson after the match.
Williamson also praised New Zealand’s spinners and said the Kiwi side has adapted well to the conditions here in the UAE.
“It’s just about adapting to the conditions as well as we could. The way the spinners kept applying pressure was commendable and it was a complete performance,” said Williamson.
“We play against strong teams all the time, and there are match-winners in every side, and we commit to our brand of cricket and today was a good example of that.
“Ish is an outstanding white-ball bowler, and he’s very experienced in playing T20 cricket, having played in different leagues all over the world, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the games in the league stages,” he signed off.
With this defeat, India has now lost two games in the ongoing tournament while New Zealand has bounced back after losing the first match.
Mitchell and Kane Williamson stitched a 72-run stand for the second wicket to steer the New Zealand chase.

T20 WC: Devon Conway must open against India, says father Denton

Dubai [UAE]: New Zealand batter Devon Conway’s father Denton Conway said that his son should open against India on Sunday in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup clash.

India and New Zealand will lock horns against each other in the Super 12 stages of the World Cup on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Both sides will enter the contest after suffering a loss against Pakistan.
Speaking to ANI, Denton Conway said, “We just want him to score runs against India and focus on the runs. Of course, he should open. We spoke to him last night and he sounded confident.”

About New Zealand’s probability of winning, Denton said, “We’ll see what happens as luck plays a big role. If someone comes good on the day then it’s over.”

Meanwhile, Devon’s mother, Sandy Conway said that he should not look far ahead and focus on the game.

“Just take one game at a time and he shouldn’t look far ahead and focus on the game,” said Sandy Conway. (ANI)

T20 WC: Russell holds nerve as Windies win thriller against Bangladesh

Sharjah [UAE] : West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell defended 13 runs off the last over as his side defeated Bangladesh by three runs in the nail-biting thriller on Friday in Sharjah.
West Indies went against Bangladesh in the Group 1 Super 12s match of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Bangladesh needed 13 runs in the last over as the game went down to the wire. However, Russell gave just nine runs as West Indies got home for the first time in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
Put to bat, West Indies got off to a pathetic start as they lost early wickets of Evan Lewis and Chris Gayle and the score after 4.2 overs was 18/2. Bangladesh bowler Mahedi Hasan later scalped the wicket of Shimron Hetmyer. This was his second wicket after Gayle.
Later, Roston Chase and Nicholas Pooran provided the momentum to their team after playing great knocks of 39 and 40 runs, respectively. Their scores brought the team to a total of 142/7 at the end of 20 overs.
Chasing 143, Bangladesh got off to a bad start but Liton Das and skipper Mahmudullah made sure the side were right in the game till the last over before Russell brought out his A-game.
West Indies will now be facing Sri Lanka for their next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup clash in Abu Dhabi on November 4 while Bangladesh will be going against South Africa on November 2.
Brief scores: West Indies 142/7 (Nicholas Pooran 40, Roston Chase 39; Shoriful Aslam 2-20) vs Bangladesh 139/5 (Liton Das 44, Mahmudullah 31; Jason Holder 1-22)

T20 WC : Hardik bowling ‘stiffness free’ a welcome sign ahead of NZ game, says team source

Dubai [UAE] : Hardik Pandya’s position in the Indian team has come under intense scrutiny after he stopped bowling due to stiffness in the back. But his back holding up at training on Wednesday after he bowled a short spell for around 15 minutes comes as a huge sign of relief for the Indian team management going into the must-win game against New Zealand.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the know said the basic problem Hardik had earlier was that his back muscles were getting stiff the moment he bowled. “If you see, even during the IPL, he did bowl at the nets in the beginning, but his back started getting stiff and that is why he had to rest and skip the game against Chennai Super Kings on September 19 and against Kolkata Knight Riders on September 23. “But him coming out to bat after his short bowling burst on Wednesday and then to play the pull shots showed that his back was able to hold up. The pivot that comes with playing the pull exerts pressure on the back and if you have muscle stiffness, you cannot attempt that shot. So hopefully, he is almost there when it comes to giving the captain an option as a bowler,” the source said.
Coming into the T20 World Cup, skipper Virat Kohli had said he is looking at Hardik getting ready to bowl at least two overs in a game at some stage in the tournament.
“Well, I honestly feel that Hardik Pandya presently with his physical condition is getting better in terms of being prepared to bowl at least two overs for us at a certain stage in this tournament and we strongly believe we can make the most of the opportunity we have at our hand till the time he starts bowling. We have considered a couple of other options to chip in with overs so we are not bothered about that all,” said Kohli during a virtual pre-match press conference ahead of the Pakistan game.
“What he brings at number six for us is something that you cannot create overnight. Hence, I was always in favour of backing him as a batter in Australia purely and we saw what he did in the T20I series and how he can take the game away from the opposition. We understand the value he brings to the team as a number six batter and it is important to have such players who can play impact innings. For us, that is way more valuable than forcing him to do something that he cannot at the moment, he is motivated and he is keen to start giving us a couple of overs to us,” he had added.

T20 WC: Jason Roy shines as England defeat Bangladesh by eight wickets

England batter Jason Roy played a crucial knock of 61 runs as his side defeated Bangladesh by eight wickets in their clash here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Wednesday.

Abu Dhabi [UAE] : With this win, England went to the top of the table in Group 1 after they consigned Bangladesh to their second loss in the Super 12 stage. England dominated the Asian side in all departments as they chased the modest target of 125 in just 14.1 overs. Chasing 125, England faced no difficulties as the opening pair of Jos Buttler and Jason Roy played a partnership of 39 runs in 4.5 overs. The first success came to Bangladesh in the form of Buttler’s wicket, leaving England’s total at 39/1.
Later, Dawid Malan anchored the innings as he played a knock of 28 runs and took his team over the line against Bangladesh.
Earlier in the match, England’s bowlers produced their second stellar performance of the tournament to restrict Bangladesh to 124/9. Spinners Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone shared four wickets between them, while Chris Woakes, who took the new ball, was economical with 1/12 and Tymal Mills scalped three at the death.
For Bangladesh, Mushfiqur Rahim played an innings of 29 runs and brought his team to a decent total of 124/9.
England will now be facing Australia for their next clash of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on October 30 in Dubai while Bangladesh will be going against West Indies on October 29 in Sharjah.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 124/9 (Mushfiqur Rahim 29, N Ahmed 19*; T Mills 3-27, L Livingstone 2-15) vs England 126/2 (Jason Roy 61, Davis Malan 28*; N Ahmed 1-26)

Absolutely vile from Waqar Younis : Jaffer on ‘namaz’ comment

Former India batter Wasim Jaffer on Wednesday did not mince his words while condemning former Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis’ comment following the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match.

New Delhi [India]: Younis’ comment on Mohammad Rizwan offering namaz during the drinks break in the India-Pakistan game in the ICC T20 World Cup on Sunday had not gone down well with former cricketers as well as Pakistan fans. “Absolutely vile and disgusting comments from Waqar Younis. #Shameful,” tweeted Jaffer.
While cricket fans across both nations have lauded Pakistan’s dominant performance, former pacer Waqar finding joy in something beyond cricket had left fans unimpressed.
“The manner in which Babar and Rizwan batted, the strike-rotation, the look on their faces, it was amazing. The best thing, what Rizwan did, Mashalla, he offered the Namaz on the ground surrounded by Hindus, that was really something very special for me,” said Waqar on ARY News.
After facing severe backlash, Younis on Wednesday apologised for his comments.
“In the heat of the moment, I said something which I did not mean which has hurt the sentiments of many. I apologise for this, this was not intended at all, a genuine mistake. Sports unites people regardless of race, colour, or religion. #apologies,” Younis tweeted.
Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam put on a remarkable show on Sunday as Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Rizwan (79*) and Babar (68*) didn’t give any chance to Indian bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match.
This was the first time that India has lost a T20I by ten wickets. Coincidentally, this was also the first time that Pakistan has won a T20I by ten wickets. Shaheen Afridi was adjudged as Player of the Game after a three-wicket haul.

T20 WC: Afghanistan thrash Scotland by 130 runs

Mujeeb Ur Rahman stole the show with his fifer as Afghanistan thrashed Scotland by 130 runs in the Group 2 match of the ongoing T20 World on Monday.

Sharjah [UAE] : If Mujeeb picked five, Rashid Khan took four wickets to dismantle Scotland batting as the five batsmen registered ducks during the chase. Chasing 191, Scotland crumbled as Mujeeb picked three wickets in the fourth over. From there on Scotland never really recovered as the side kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Mujeeb came back to pick two more wickets as Scotland got reduced 45/7 in the eighth over. In the end, Scotland was folded for 60 runs in the 11th over as Rashid took two wickets in two balls.
Earlier, opting to bat first, Afghanistan scored 190/4 at the end of 20 overs. Najibullah Zadran was dismissed on the final ball of the innings after he smashed 59 off 34 balls to steer Afghanistan to 190.
Afghanistan got off to a blazing start as openers Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad whacked boundaries in the powerplay and took their side over the 50-run mark within six overs.
While Shahzad scored 22, Zazai missed out on fifty as his blistering knock of 44 came to an end in the 10 over.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Najibullah Zadran then stitched an 87-run stand for the third wicket. While Gurbaz departed in the 19th over, Najibullah took Afghanistan to 190 before being dismissed.
Brief Scores: Afghanistan 190/4 (Najibullah 59, Gurbaz 46; Safyaan Sharif 2-33) vs Scotland 60/10 (George Munsey 25; Mujeeb Ur Rahman 5-20) (ANI)

World knows Afghanistan have good spinners like Rashid, Mujeeb: Mohammad Nabi

Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi lavish praises on Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan following their havoc which saw Scotland getting folded for 60 runs in the ongoing T20 World Cup on Monday.

Sharjah [UAE] : Mujeeb stole the show with his fifer as Afghanistan thrashed Scotland by 130 runs in the Group 2 match. If Mujeeb picked five, Rashid Khan took four wickets to dismantle Scotland batting as the five batsmen registered ducks during the chase.
“The world knows we have some good spinners in the form of Rashid and Mujeeb, they’ve played everywhere in the world. We have a very good team combination,” Nabi told the host broadcaster Star Sports after the match.
“When we play the local tournaments, I, Mujeeb and Rashid are the most expensive bowlers. Mujeeb is playing his first T20 World Cup match and he got the Player of the Match award, that’s good to see, it’s fantastic,” he added.
Opting to bat first, Afghanistan scored 190/4 at the end of 20 overs. Najibullah Zadran was dismissed on the final ball of the innings after he smashed 59 off 34 balls to steer Afghanistan to 190.
Nabi said Afghanistan’s aim was to put on a big total on board and he was glad the team executed things as per the plan.
“It’s important to win at the start of the tournament. This was our plan, to bat first and post a big total. Both the openers started well, we finished the powerplay on a good note,” said Nabi.
“The running between the wickets was good, we rotated the strike really well and Najib played well to help as post such a big total,” he added.
Afghanistan will next lock horns with Pakistan on Friday.

T20 WC: Scan done, Hardik is fit to go for New Zealand game

In what comes as good news for Team India ahead of the next game against New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup, all-rounder Hardik Pandya is fit for the match after hurting his shoulder in the opening encounter against Pakistan on Sunday.

Dubai [UAE] : All-rounder is already feeling better. “There is no issue and he is already feeling good. It was just a precautionary scan and the team management didn’t wish to take a chance as yesterday was only the first game of the tournament,” the source said. Hardik had been taken for scans after he received a blow on his shoulder during the game against Pakistan.
“Hardik Pandya was hit on his right shoulder while batting. He has now gone for scans,” the BCCI’s media team had informed.
Rizwan (79*) and Babar (68*) didn’t give any chance to India bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match.
This was the first time that India lost a T20I by ten wickets. Coincidentally, this was also the first time that Pakistan won a T20I by ten wickets.
India will next square off against New Zealand on Sunday, October 31 while Pakistan will take on New Zealand on Tuesday.

IPL 2022 to have 74 matches, each team to play 7 home, 7 away games

The Governing Council of the IPL had issued an Invitation to Tender (ITT) to acquire the right to own and operate two new franchises. Pursuant to the tender process, various interested parties submitted their bids for the new franchises. The bids were submitted by the authorised representatives of the interested parties in Dubai on Monday.

Dubai [UAE] : BCCI announced the following successful bidders (subject to definitive documentation and other formalities being completed): RPSG Ventures Ltd. – Lucknow (for INR 7,090 crores) and Irelia Company Pte Ltd (CVC Capital Partners) – Ahmedabad (for INR 5,625 crores). The new franchises will participate in IPL from the 2022 season onwards subject to the bidders completing the post-bid formalities as specified in the ITT document. The IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play seven home and seven away matches.
BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly said: “The BCCI is happy to welcome two new teams from the next season of the Indian Premier League. I would like to congratulate RPSG Ventures Ltd & Irelia Company Pte Ltd for being successful bidders. The IPL will now go to two new cities in India viz in Lucknow and Ahmedabad. It is heartening to see the inclusion of two new teams at such a high valuation, and it reiterates the cricketing and financial strength of our cricket ecosystem. True to IPL’s motto of ‘Where Talent Meets Opportunity’, the inclusion of two new teams will bring more domestic cricketers from our country to the global stage. The ITT process included two interested bidders from outside of India, which strongly emphasises the global appeal of the IPL as a sports property. The IPL is proving to be a wonderful instrument in globalising the game of cricket. I am keenly looking forward to IPL 2022.”
Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI said: “It is a momentous day for all of us and I formally welcome RPSG Ventures Ltd. and Irelia Company Pte Ltd into the IPL fold. We had promised that IPL will be bigger and better from the 15th season and with Lucknow and Ahmedabad, we will take the league to different parts of India. The IPL has established gold standards for leagues across the world and remains a premium event on the sporting calendar as it has grown rapidly in a short span. Despite numerous challenges posed by COVID-19, the 13th and 14th seasons were completed, and the bids prove that interested parties have faith in BCCI and its hosting capabilities. I am thrilled for the people of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat as the long wait is over and they will now have their own IPL team. My best wishes to the two new teams.”
Brijesh Patel, Chairman, IPL said: “The level of interest among the interested parties prove that IPL is among the most sought-after sporting leagues in the world. We had bids from different parts of the world and from parties with diverse portfolios wanting to make a foray into the world of sports. I extend my heartiest congratulations to RPSG Ventures Ltd and Irelia Company Pte Ltd for securing the rights to operate the two teams. We had a wonderful 14th season and the 2022 season will see a new beginning.”
Arun Singh Dhumal, Honorary Treasurer, BCCI said: “The fact that winning bids were way above the base price set for the two new IPL franchises is a direct indication of the true value of the Indian Premier League. We received tremendous interest after the ITT was floated with many conglomerates putting their hat into the ring. I congratulate RPSG Ventures Ltd. and Irelia Company Pte Ltd for placing the highest bids and winning the rights to own the IPL teams. I also thank all the bidders for showing faith in the BCCI and IPL. This is the start of an exciting chapter, and I can’t wait for the big auction to see how the new teams shape up.”

IPL will fulfil aspiration of cricket fans across the world, says BCCI Vice President Shukla

Dubai [UAE] : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice President Rajeev Shukla on Monday said the Indian Premier League (IPL) has reached its pinnacle and the tournament will now cater for the aspiration of fans across the world.
BCCI announced Ahmedabad and Lucknow will be the two new members of the IPL family as it will now be a ten-team affair from the next season. The new franchises will participate in IPL from the 2022 season onwards subject to the bidders completing the post-bid formalities as specified in the ITT document.
Rajeev Shukla also hailed the “wonderful achievement” of BCCI following the announcement of two new teams.
“It’s a big achievement, a big success. I congratulate the people of Uttar Pradesh as the state didn’t have any IPL team before. Talking about Ahmedabad it has a very good stadium and getting an IPL team is a welcome move,” Shukla told ANI.
“Delighted to know two more teams have added. It is a wonderful achievement as far as BCCI is concerned and all the IPL fans. What an amazing story it has been, in 2008 during the inception of IPL it was difficult to look for a franchise and look at today where have we reached,” he pointed out.
“Now the IPL will really work in such a way that it caters for the aspiration and fulfil the aspiration of cricket fans across the world. As far as globalisation of IPL is concerned, it had happened long back but now it is expanding. It has reached its pinnacle and that’s something which must be recognised,” Shukla added.
The IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play seven home and seven away matches.

IPL : Ahmedabad, Lucknow will be new teams as CVC Capital Partners, RPSG makes winning bids

Ahmedabad and Lucknow are the two new members of the Indian Premier League (IPL) family as it will now be a ten-team affair from the next season.

New Delhi [India] : The bidding took place at the Taj Hotel in Dubai on Monday and it is the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG) (Lucknow) and CVC Capital Partners (Ahmedabad) who will join the cash-rich league as the new owners, a BCCI official confirmed this development.
The IPL’s first season was played in 2008, and ever since, the league has grown in stature and it is one of the most viewed competitions in the world.
Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals, SunRisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals have been with the league since its inception. The Hyderabad franchise was earlier named Deccan Chargers but it came to be known as SunRisers Hyderabad after a change in ownership.
There have been fourteen seasons of the IPL tournament. The fifteenth season promises to be like no other and viewership is all set to increase.
In 2010, two new franchises – Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala – joined the league before the fourth season in 2011 and for a brief period, the league was played by ten teams.
One year later in November 2011, it was announced that Kochi Tuskers Kerala side would be terminated following it “breaching” the BCCI’s terms of conditions. Pune Warriors India had withdrawn from the IPL in 2013 over financial differences with the board.
But it is all set to be a 10-team affair again come 2022.

Ganguly ‘not surprised’ by bidding numbers for new IPL teams

Dubai [UAE : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Monday said he was not surprised by the bidding numbers which were submitted by the various interested parties for the new franchises.
The bids were submitted by the authorised representatives of the interested parties in Dubai. BCCI announced the following successful bidders (subject to definitive documentation and other formalities being completed): RPSG Ventures Ltd. – Lucknow (for INR 7,090 crores) and Irelia Company Pte Ltd (CVC Capital Partners) – Ahmedabad (for INR 5,625 crores). Sourav Ganguly in a press conference after the announcement while replying to ANI query said: “We were not surprised actually, this (IPL) is a big brand and we are extremely happy that Indian cricket is moving growing forward. That is what is important for us. Congratulations to Sanjeev and CVC for being number one and number two but we look at Indian cricket and that’s what our job is. The more Indian cricket prospers, the better it is.”
“All the money goes back to the Indian cricket. That’s what we are here for, we want Indian cricket to go forward and it has gone long way forward in the few years. This is the 14th season of IPL and the brand has grown and I think it is a great sign for us,” BCCI President added.
IPL Governing Council (GC) chairman Brijesh Patel stated: “We had nine bidders, all of them were qualified.”
“CVC group quoted 5,625 crores for Ahemadabad and 5,116 crores for Lucknow. RP Goenka ventures quoted 7,090 crores for Ahemadabad, For Indore 4,790 and for Lucknow 7,090 crores.”
“The highest was the Goenka group and they were highest for both Ahmedabad and Lucknow. And they preferred to take Lucknow as their franchise. CVC was second highest and they got Ahmedabad for 5,625 crores,” he informed.
The new franchises will participate in IPL from the 2022 season onwards subject to the bidders completing the post-bid formalities as specified in the ITT document. The IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play seven home and seven away matches.

India should play Pak in 3 T20Is at neutral venue every year, suggests Pietersen

Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen on Monday suggested that arch-rivals India and Pakistan should play every year in three T20Is at a neutral venue.

New Delhi [India] : Pietersen’s suggestion comes after India and Pakistan’s T20 World Cup game on Sunday witnessed a viewership of more than 1 billion. The former Three Lions captain also suggested that whoever wins the series, gets to take the prize money of USD 15 million.
“IDEA: India should play PAK every year in 3 T20s at a neutral venue over a 5 day period! 15 man squads, $15M purse for the winning team. Cities/countries/broadcasters would queue up to have that week every single year,” tweeted Pietersen.
Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam put on a remarkable show on Sunday as Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Rizwan (79*) and Babar (68*) didn’t give any chance to India bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match.
This is the first time that India has lost a T20I by ten wickets. Coincidentally, this is also the first time that Pakistan has won a T20I by ten wickets.
India will next square off against New Zealand on Sunday, October 31 while Pakistan will take on New Zealand on Tuesday, October 26.

T20 WC: Babar, Rizwan, Shaheen steal show as Pakistan thrash India by 10 wickets

Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam put on a remarkable show on Sunday as Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets in their opening game of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Dubai [UAE] : Rizwan (79*) and Babar (68*) didn’t give any chance to India bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match Before this game, Pakistan had failed to beat India in the history of the men’s World Cup but the Babar-led side came out with flying colours on Sunday on the back of some sensational performance after Shaheen Shah Afridi’s show with the ball.
Chasing 152, Pakistan got off to a steady start as openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam took Pakistan to 35 after five overs. The two batsmen looked in great touch and steered the side to 71/0 after the end of 10 overs.
Both Rizwan (79) and Babar (68) not only hit timely boundaries but also made sure they rotate the strike at regular intervals to put pressure on India
Rizwan and Babar continued to pile further pressure as they both smashed respective half-centuries to take Pakistan over the 100-run mark without losing a wicket.
Earlier, put into bat first, India posted 151/7 in their 20 overs on the back of skipper Kohli’s fifty. The India captain once again showed what it takes to be a big match player as he hit a quality 57 to take his side over the 150-run mark.
India got off to the worst start possible as it was once again a left-arm pacer who came in to haunt the Indian top order after Mohammad Amir had rocked the lineup in the 2017 Champions Trophy final.
Suryakumar Yadav then joined Kohli in the middle and the hopes were high from them.
Both batters put on a brief 25-run stand for the third wicket, but as soon as the innings started streamlining for India, Hasan Ali dismissed Suryakumar (11), leaving the Men in Blue at 31/3.
Rishabh Pant then came together with Kohli and at the halfway mark, India’s score read 60/3.
Pant changed the tempo of India’s innings with two sixes in the 12th over bowled by Hasan Ali and the Men in Blue started to gain some momentum.
However, Pant went for a shot too many and he perished off the bowling of Shadab Khan after playing a knock of 39, reducing India to 84/4 in the 13th over.
Kohli brought up his 29th half-century in the 18th over of the innings and he changed his batting gears upon reaching the landmark.
Jadeja departed after scoring 13, and Shaheen once again changed the game as he took the key wicket of skipper Kohli (57).
Brief Scores: India 151/7 (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-31) vs Pakistan 152/0 (Mohammad Rizwan 79*, Babar Azam 68*; Jasprit Bumrah 0-22)

‘Insane’ that over 1 billion people will watch Ind-Pak match, says Warne

Former Australia spinner Shane Warne on Sunday called the estimated viewership of more than 1 billion of T20 World Cup match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan as ‘insane’.

Dubai [UAE] : India and Pakistan will square off against each other on Sunday evening in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and it will be after a gap of two years that these two teams will meet on the cricket pitch, having last played in the 50-over World Cup in 2019. “Is it true that over 1 billion eyeballs will watch India V Pakistan today at the #ICCT20WorldCup2021? I know cricket is now the 2nd biggest and most popular sport in the world but that seems insane,” tweeted Warne.
In another tweet, the former Australia spinner said: “Ps What is the most eyeballs that have ever watched a singular sporting event globally? Super bowl? Soccer World Cup? 100m sprint at the Olympics or India V Pakistan at a World Cup? Does anyone know – if so please share.”
Excitement among the cricketing world is at an all-time high as arch-rivals India and Pakistan gear up for the clash in their opening game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on Sunday.
Both teams will open their campaigns in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup with what is billed to be a mouth-watering clash. After almost over two years, Virat Kohli and Co. will face-off against Babar Azam-led Pakistan and rekindle the age-old rivalry. Pakistan is yet to get a one-up over India in World Cups as the head-to-head has been completely dominated by the Men in Blue.
Ahead of that match, Indian cricketer Manoj Tiwary stated that the Pakistan side is looking a bit strong but hoping that India will win.
“India’s record against Pakistan is good. Our batting is good and since Bumrah came, India’s bowling performance has improved. Because he is the leader of the pack in bowling. I have a feeling that this time Pakistan side is looking a bit strong but hoping that India will win,” he told ANI.
The stakes are at an all-time high with Kohli and Co. looking to continue their dominance against Pakistan in ICC World Cups. Both sides have a strong lineup and it will be about keeping calm and rising to the occasion when they set foot on the pitch on Sunday. 

‘India always won, but the one who plays better today will win’

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Sanjay Jagdale on Sunday said that India has been winning matches in the past but that has become history and the one who plays better today will win, adding that history doesn’t matter, circumstances change, players and grounds change so past record does not matter.

Indore (Madhya Pradesh) : Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Sanjay Jagdale on Sunday said that India has been winning matches in the past but that has become history and the one who plays better today will win, adding that history doesn’t matter, circumstances change, players and grounds change so past record does not matter.
Jagdale said, “I worry the most about Hardik Pandya in Team India because if he is not bowling then he will put the team in a big backward search. Pakistan’s strength is fast bowling, Afridi and Hasan Ali are their main bowlers. Batting depends on Babar-e-Azam because he is the best batsman in the world.” Regarding the ground, Jagdale said, “Our players have been playing in rhythm, but Pakistan did not get as much practice as they wanted. They have a lot of idea of the conditions because if international cricket is not done in Pakistan, then they come and play their matches in UAE.”
“The strength of the Pakistan team is fast bowling, still, I understand Afridi and Hasan Ali are their main bowlers. Their batting is dependent on Babar-e-Azam. I think Babar-e-Azam is also one of the best batsmen in the world… Great batsman I am personally his fan…
T20 is a game of extreme uncertainty. In 2 balls the direction of the match changes. Whoever seizes the opportunity will win,” he said.

INDIA vs PAKISTAN: The world to come to its feet as the arch-rivals meet once again

The sensitive nature of cross-border relationship between the neighbours has led to minimal sporting engagements and cricket has always become the vehicle of one upmanship for the fans on both sides.

Dubai : The most sought-after megastars of the current generation are primed to show their might against a bunch of enigmatic cricketers as India and Pakistan engage in an ICC T20 World Cup face-off, something that transcends the 22-yard strip.

The sensitive nature of the cross-border relationship between the neighbours has led to minimal sporting engagements and cricket has always become the vehicle of one-upmanship for the fans on both sides. In terms of numbers, India have an all-win record against their arch-rivals in the T20 World Cup since its inception in 2007. Incidentally, all the matches were won under the one and only Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will be there on skipperVirat Kohali’s ears with his ‘diamond crusted info-nuggets’, which might lead to Babar Azam tearing a hair or two in exasperation.

Yet, this is a match that everyone awaits in the global event — the fans because of its novelty factor, the ICC and the broadcasters for filling up the coffers. Everyone is invested be it emotionally, like the fans, or materially, like the other stakeholders.

Be it Sunil Gavaskar or Sourav Ganguly, everyone who understands the game would tell you that this is the one format where the margins are thinnest and qualitative difference matters the least, as anyone performer can win it for his side on a given day.

It could be Kohli, who would love to get over his mediocre run of form in a match that always carries a posterity value or Shaheen Shah Afridi could tail one into KL Rahul’s pads first up to set it up for Pakistan.

It could be Mohammed Rizwan, who might just launch into Mohammed Shami or it could be Suryakumar Yadav, who could play a reverse flick off Hasn Ali. The players may say that it’s just “another game of cricket” but even they know that in this day and age of retro videos and offensive memes, a not-so-great performance stays forever.

No one knows it better than the current chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma, who is carrying the cross of a last-ball six off Javed Miandad for the past 35 years. But cricket has changed since those heady days of Sharjah and India, with its robust structure and talent factory, has produced world-class performers by the dozens.

The Virat Kohlis, the Rohit Sharma and the Jasprit Bumrahs don’t carry any baggage despite the blip in the 2017 Champions Trophy final.

On Sunday, the Pakistanis will have a lot more to prove than their Indian counterparts.

For the likes of Shah, Rizwan, Harris Rauf and their uber cool captain Babar, it will not just be about breaking a World Cup jinx against a world-class side. It is also about how global cricket perceives Pakistan which saw two of the cricketing elites England and New Zealand close ranks and refuse to tour the country.

Over the years, Pakistan cricket have faced an existential crisis and a good game against India will certainly give them some breathing space.
But it will be easier said than done against an Indian side whose players are coming into the tournament with a heavy dose of IPL games in the UAE, which is Pakistan’s adopted home.

For India, their strength is a crack top-five that comprises Rohit, Rahul, Kohli, Suryakumar and Rishabh Pant. Here is a line-up that can send a chill down the spine of Afridi, Rauf, Hasan, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan, who are going to form the core of their bowling attack.

India’s problem is going to be a long tail and the absence of a sixth bowler if Hardik Pandya is played purely as a batter. But if one believes in the MSD template of T20 cricket, this format is all about handling the pressure and if 20 is required off 10 balls, Pandya is still a better bet than a greenhorn like Ishan Kishan, who is supposedly in better form.

The bowling department will depend on which side of the track they are playing as Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja , Shami and Varun Chakravarthy pick themselves. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s experience holds him in good stead and he has better variations than Shardul Thakur, who despite a knack of getting wickets, can go for runs. If there’s an extra spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, with his great game awareness, could be more effective than Rahul Chahar, but the Indian team management can throw in a surprise or two.

For Pakistan, their two main players will be skipper Babar, an all-format superstar and someone who is destined to be one of the modern day greats. He will require support from Shaheen with the new ball as Hasan and Rauf could go for runs against India.

Left-arm spinner Imad has had a great record in UAE for Pakistan and how he varies his pace in the power play and middle-overs against the likes of Pant and Surya will also define how they fare.

Similarly, the two old men in Shoaib Malik and Mohammed Hafeez will be keen to settle scores with India. On paper, it looks unlikely but T20 is a different beast.

Teams (from) India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar

Pakistan (Playing XI): Babar Azam (captain), Mohammed Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Harris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haider Ali.

Match starts: 7:30 pm IST.

T20 WC: Australia defeats South Africa in nail biting thriller

Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis played a knock of 24 runs as his side defeats South Africa by five wickets in a nail-biting thriller match here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Abu Dhabi [UAE] : Both the teams played the first Super 12s match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Chasing 119, Australia started off at a low pace with skipper Aaron Finch being sent back by Anrich Nortje without scoring a single run. Following Finch, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh also lost their wickets and by the end of the 7.5 overs, Australia was 38/3.
Steve Smith played an innings of 35 runs in 34 balls and kept the hopes for his side alive. But at the end of the 15.2 overs, Smith and Glenn Maxwell were also sent back, leaving the team’s total to 81/5. It was Stoinis, who in partnership with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, ended the match with a boundary and took Australia home.
Earlier in the match, South Africa lost early wickets, with Australia’s Josh Hazelwood and Adma Zampa scalping two wickets each. The South African skipper Temba Bavuma was the first wicket, which was followed by Van der Dussen and Quinton de Kock. Batter Aiden Markram then smashed 40 runs off 36 balls and brought his side to a decent total of 118/9.
Brief scores: South Africa 118/9 (Aiden Markram 40, Kagiso Rabada, 19; Anrich Nortje 4-21); Australia 121/5 (Steve Smith 35, Marcus Stoinis 24; Josh Hazelwood 2-19)
Australia will now be facing Sri Lanka for their next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup clash on October 28 in Dubai, while South Africa will be going against West Indies on October 26.

T20 WC: Adil Rashid stars as England kick-off campaign with 6-wicket win over West Indies

Adil Rashid scalped four as England thrashed West Indies by six wickets in their opening Super 12 match of the ongoing T20 World Cup on Saturday.

Dubai [UAE]: Set a paltry target of 56 by West Indies, England completed the formalities in 8.2 overs despite a wobble which saw them losing four wickets. With this win, England defeated West Indies at the men’s T20 World Cup for the first time in six games.
Chasing 56, England started off decently but soon lost two wickets. While Jason Roy was dimissed by Ravi Rampaul at the start of the third over, Jonny Bairstow departed six balls later leaving England at 30/2.
England lost two more wickets during their chase as Moeen Ali was run out while Liam Livingstone got dimissed as Akeal Hosein took a catch off his own bowling in the seventh over.
In the end, Buttler and Morgan made sure England don’t suffer any further hiccups as the side cruised to victory in the ninth over.
Earlier, put into bat first, West Indies got off to a bad start that only worsended as the game progressed. West Indies lost three wickets in the first five overs as England bowlers came firing on cylinders.
The Kieron Pollard-led kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were soon found reeling at 44/7 in the 11th over. West Indies had some hopes from Pollard and Russell but the duo also met the same fate as the side was folded for 55/10 in 14.2 overs.
Earlier in the day, Australia kickstarted the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2021 with a nervy five-wicket victory over South Africa in a low-scoring contest in Abu Dhabi.
Brief Scores: West Indies 55/10 (Chris Gayle 13; Adil Rashid 4-2, Moeen Ali 2-17) vs England 56/4 (Jos Buttler 24; Akeal Hosein 2-24)

T20 WC, Ind vs Pak : Hardik skips optional training, Bumrah spends quality time with Dhoni

With the Indian team calling for an optional training session on the eve of the high-voltage clash against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, Hardik Pandya gave it a miss. Another interesting aspect was the lengthy chats between mentor MS Dhoni and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah.

Dubai [UAE] : The likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav spent quality time fine-tuning their batting skills as did the likes of Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja. Interestingly, Shreyas Iyer was also seen spending quality time at the nets even as Ishan Kishan was also absent. In the bowling department, it was a regular affair with all of them bowling in short bursts to stay fresh for Sunday’s crucial opening encounter in the showpiece event. Bumrah was in fact the last one to bowl at the nets having engaged in discussing strategies with Dhoni.
Earlier, skipper Kohli on Saturday said that all-rounder Hardik will be able to bowl two overs for the side at some stage, but his ability with the bat is priceless and there is no substitute for that.
“Well, I honestly feel that Hardik Pandya presently with his physical condition is getting better in terms of being prepared to bowl at least two overs for us at a certain stage in this tournament and we strongly believe we can make the most of the opportunity we have at our hand till the time he starts bowling. We have considered a couple of other options to chip in with overs so we are not bothered about that all,” said Kohli during a virtual pre-match press conference.
“What he brings at number six for us is something that you cannot create overnight. Hence, I was always in favour of backing him as a batter in Australia purely and we saw what he did in the T20I series and how he can take the game away from the opposition. We understand the value he brings to the team as a number six batter and it is important to have such players who can play impact innings. For us, that is way more valuable than forcing him to do something that he cannot at the moment, he is motivated and he is keen to start giving us a couple of overs to us,” he added.

T20 WC: Our bowling has always been dominant, we have experienced attack, says Babar

ANI | Updated: Oct 23, 2021 14:08 IST

Dubai [UAE], October 23 (ANI): Ahead of the high-octane clash against India in the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Saturday said that his side has a good bowling attack and everyone is experienced of playing in big tournaments like World Cups.
The most anticipated encounter of the Super 12 stage will be played on Sunday between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. It will be after two years that these two teams will battle it out on the cricket field, after having last played in the ICC Men’s 50-over World Cup in 2019. “Every team has their own strength, our bowling has always been dominant. When you want to win a big tournament, the onus is on the bowlers to perform well, our bowlers are in good shape. They have experience of playing big tournaments like Champions Trophy, World Cup,” said Babar while replying to an query during a pre-match press conference.
“I am always focused on keeping things simple, I try to stick by my game and I just want to take it ball by ball,” he added.
Pakistan has never won even a single match against India in the history of World Cups (50-over and 20-over).
“Our preparation is going well, we got good confidence by playing the warm-up games, we will try to give our best on the day. We have decided the 12 players that have been shortlisted for the game, we will name the eleven tomorrow,” said Babar.
“It is about staying relaxed, we are in constant touch with all the players. It is about playing well on the day. We have played a lot of cricket here, we know the conditions and we know how to go about it. We have gone for the players that we felt would be the best for the clash against India,” he added.
Asked whether Prime Minister Imran Khan had a special message for the team, Babar said: “We met PM Imran Khan before coming here, he shared anecdotes from the 1992 WC triumph, but he gave no special message to us.”
Talking about India’s record against Pakistan in World Cups, Babar said: “It is about keeping things simple, we need to focus on the basics. We just want to give our best. We should not think about the past, records are made to be broken, we are just focused on what lies ahead.”
“It is a World Cup, you cannot take any game lightly. India Pakistan matches are always full of high intensity, you cannot be relaxed at any point. You have to do well in all three basics of the game — batting, bowling, and fielding. It is not like our bowling is under pressure, we tried different things in the warm-up games. I have full confidence in my team,” he added.

T20 WC: Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah to be X factor for India, believes Agarkar

Former cricketer Ajit Agarkar stated that Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah could be team India’s X factor in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Dubai [UAE] : The Sunday evening will see the Dubai International Stadium house one of the most historic and mouth-watering clashes in cricketing history as team India will start their campaign in the T20 World Cup by locking horns with arch-nemesis Pakistan in the Super 12 stage. Speaking on the Star Sports show ‘Class of 2007’, former Team India batter Ajit Agarkar shared his thoughts on who will be Team India’s X factor in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. He said: “Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. I think Rohit could be the key, opening the innings and Bumrah with what he does.”
Former Team India all-rounder Irfan Pathan also spoke about Virat Kohli’s men in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, “I think nobody expected anything from the 2007 team, but there are a lot of expectations from the current World Cup squad. The new team has expectations and experience. When we entered the 2007 T20 World Cup, we hardly had the experience of playing in T20 format.”
“But now, things are different, people play IPL, they play a lot of T20 games and there are a lot of conversations around T20 format. In 2007, there was no social media, but now there is social media, so there are a lot of conversations around performances and memes. I think the boys know that there are a lot of expectations from them and they know how to handle it,” he added.
After almost a two-year hiatus, Virat Kohli and Co. face-off against Babar Azam-led Pakistan in this highly anticipated encounter which will also be the Indian skipper’s swansong with the captaincy tag. Pakistan is yet to get a one-up over their rivals in World Cups. However, both teams have entered the tournament with a fresh perspective, filled to the brim with enormous young talent and the hunger and eagerness to prove themselves on the biggest stage of them all.
The India vs Pakistan fixture in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be live on Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar VIP on October 24th at 7:30 PM.
The stakes in the India-Pakistan fixture are at an all-time high with Kohli and company looking to continue their dominance against Pakistan. Both sides have a strong lineup and on the day of the major clash, time will tell which side will emerge triumphantly.

In-swingers can trouble Rohit, must make Kohli earn first 10-15 runs, says Mushtaq

He was known as one of the best leg-spinners in the business during his playing days and while Mushtaq Ahmed has turned to coaching after retirement, he knows what it takes to be a part of India-Pakistan games in the World Cup. Having played against India in the 1992 and 1996 World Cup, the Deccan Gladiators head coach believes it will be all about temperament when the two teams clash in the T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Dubai [UAE]: Mushtaq said more than talent, it will be the temperament of players that will be tested when the arch-rivals clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. “What is important in the World Cup is temperament and the team which has the belief will have a better chance. Stats are in favour of India but if the Pakistan players keep this in mind and play, the chances will go down. The balance with Shoaib and Hafeez coming back will give them a lot of confidence as these pitches need experienced players. India obviously is one of the best teams but this game is about temperament,” he said.
Having picked five wickets in two World Cup encounters against India (3 in 1992 and 2 in 1996), Mushtaq did rise to the challenge against quality Indian batsmen. And the player turned coach feels strategising will be important when it comes to attacking two of India’s best batsmen in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
“Rohit takes his time and is smart and I feel an inswing bowler can be effective against him at the beginning of his innings. It creates a bit of a problem for him. Also, bouncers can work on slow wickets as he is a compulsive puller so that can work if you set the field well.
“For Kohli, I believe you have to play with the field setting. It is white-ball cricket so you won’t have much swing. But the key will be to make him earn the first 10-15 runs by keeping the fielding tight. In that case, he will try to hit over the fielders and that can create chances,” he explained.
While Rohit and Kohli are conventional cricketers, someone like a Rishabh Pant can change the complexion of a game with his unorthodox style. But Mushtaq wants the Pakistan bowlers to play with the field when bowling to Pant.
“Looking into the stats, whoever is more successful against Pant, such bowlers should be handed the ball against him. With players like Pant, you need to play with the field more than the bowlers. If you are tactically smart with the field settings, you can change his approach. Of course, he is very aggressive and dangerous, but you must plan well against such players,” he pointed.
While the Indian team looks solid on paper, the absence of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has raised quite a few eyebrows and Mushtaq feels the team could end up missing his services, especially after his brilliant show in the recently concluded IPL in UAE.
“Chahal has been bowling beautifully for India for the last couple of years so they will definitely miss his experience. But I think maybe they have considered his form or the conditions and made the call, I don’t know. A mature wrist spinner is always handy and I feel they will miss him during the course of the tournament,” the Deccan Gladiators coach signed off. (

T20 World Cup: Team India look to use Varun Chakravarthy as trump card for crunch games

It is no secret that two cricketers who have been the focus of the Indian medical staff are Varun Chakravarthy and Hardik Pandya. While Varun’s knees are a cause of concern, the medical team has also been looking to get Hardik bowling ready. And it looks like the team management is looking to use Varun judiciously.

Dubai [UAE] : Sources in the know of developments said the team management in consultation with the medical team has decided it is best to keep Varun as fresh as possible and use him in crunch games. “He is undoubtedly a match-winner in this format and the leadership group knows what four overs can mean in a big tournament like the T20 World Cup. The medical team has been working closely with him and Varun will be used judiciously. He is a trump card and Virat Kohli and the leadership group is looking to use him just like that,” the source said.
Asked if that means he could be kept away from a game if the stakes aren’t high, the source said: “Yes, that is exactly what the idea is. While the team is looking to have his services as much as possible, it is also clear that his knees aren’t a 100 per cent. So, he will be used as per the demands of the tournament. If it is a must-win or big game, you will see him out there weaving his magic with the ball. If the team is well placed and you can afford to give his knees a bit of a rest, the team might do that. But yes, MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri will be right there to guide Kohli and Rohit Sharma in such a scenario.”
India will open its T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. While India won both its warm-up games –the Men in Blue defeated England by seven wickets while the side registered an eight-wicket triumph over Australia — Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden on Thursday said that the T20 World Cup clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be a ‘dogfight’, and one team would not run away with the game.

T20 WC: India-Pak clash will be ‘dogfight’, one side won’t run away with game, says Hayden

Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden on Thursday said that the T20 World Cup clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be a ‘dogfight’, and one team would not run away with the game.

Dubai [UAE] : India will open its T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. “One side is not going to run away with the game here. It’s a dogfight. The conditions and margins for error will be very little. And so, good leadership will be the key. Babar commands that presence and commands that role. In the batting sense as well, he is the premium player. He will be targeted,” said Hayden during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“He will be the person who every player would want to put in his pockets. There will be pressure on him both as a captain and as a batsman. But I sense that the way he will go about with it will be spot on,” he added.
Talking about the rivalry between India and Pakistan, Hayden said: “Nothing that I have ever seen through the various elements of our game ever matches the rivalry of India and Pakistan. There is an obvious pressure much like the pressure that’s there when you play against England for Australia. But the pressure is only as much as you allow it to be. Your preparation is there, your experience is there, your opportunity now becomes a history-making opportunity.”
“We can present all the stats, do all our homework and research, but nothing can replace all the stuff that we all dream about, or coach about and commentate on which will be the game itself. I can sense that the players are waiting for that opportunity. I can sense that there is a sense of calm about that. It’s now the opportunity of playing the game,” he added.
Ahead of the T20 World Cup, Hayden was appointed as Pakistan’s batting consultant while former Proteas pacer Vernon Philander was roped in as bowling consultant.
“I would have never thought in my wildest dream that I would be sitting inside the Pakistan dressing room,” said Hayden.
India won its both warm-up games ahead of the T20 World Cup. The Men in Blue defeated England by seven wickets while the side registered an eight-wicket triumph over Australia.

Warm-up games suggest India ‘hot favourites’ to win T20 World Cup, says Vaughan

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan feels India are “hot favourites” to win the ongoing T20 World Cup considering their performances in the warm-up games.

Dubai [UAE], : Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma were the standout performers as India defeated Australia by eight wickets in the warm-up match on Wednesday. India had defeated England in their first warm-up game on Monday on the back of Rahul and Ishan Kishan’s sensational performances.
Vaughan’s remarks came hours after India defeated Australia to clinch both their warm-up matches.
“The way India are playing the warm up games suggests they may be now Hot favourites to Win the #T20WorldCup !!” Vaughan tweeted.
India will now face Pakistan in their opening game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Stadium on October 24.
India, champions in the inaugural edition played in South Africa in 2007 and finalists in 2014, will also have Afghanistan, New Zealand, and two qualifiers from Round 1 to contend with in Group 2.
Meanwhile, Group 1 comprises England, Australia, South Africa, the West Indies, and two qualifiers from Round 1

T20 WC: Hasaranga, Nissanka star as Sri Lanka defeat Ireland to qualify for Super 12s

Wanindu Hasaranga’s 71-run knock backed up by an all-round bowling performance saw Sri Lanka defeat Ireland by 70 runs in Group A of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Abu Dhabi [UAE] : With this win, Sri Lanka has progressed to the Super 12s from Group A. The match between Ireland and Namibia on Friday is now a shootout, and the winner will progress to the Super 12s stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup. Chasing 172, Ireland lost its opener Kevin O’Brien (5) in the very first over to Chamika Karunaratne and the innings got off to a bad start. Maheesh Theekshana then got among the act as he sent Paul Stirling (7) back to the hut. Ireland went further into a slump as Hasaranga bowled Gareth Delany (2) and the side lost three wickets with just 32 runs on the board.
Curtis Campher and Andrew Balbirnie then got together at the crease and the duo stitched together a partnership for the fourth wicket. Both batters put together a stand of 53 runs, but this finally came to an end in the 13th over as Theekshana dismissed Campher (24), reducing Ireland to 85/4.
In the end, the task proved too much for Ireland and Sri Lanka registered a 70-run win.
Earlier, Wanindu Hasaranga and Pathum Nissanka registered knocks of 71 and 61 as Sri Lanka posted a score of 171/7. Put into bat, Sri Lanka got off to the worst start possible as the side lost its first three wickets with just eight runs on the board. Paul Stirling dismissed Kusal Perera (0) while Joshua Little sent Dinesh Chandimal (6) and Avishka Fernando (0) back to the pavilion. Hasaranga then joined Nissanka in the middle and the duo retrieved the innings for the Islanders, with Hasaranga playing the role of the aggressor.
Hasaranga and Nissanka went great guns in the middle and at the 15-over mark, Sri Lanka’s score read 130/3 with the side poised to score big runs. Ireland finally got the much-needed breakthrough in the 16th over as Mark Adair dismissed Hasaranga (71), ending the 123-run stand for the fourth wicket. In the final four overs, Sri Lanka managed to add 34 more runs, taking the score past the 170-run mark.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 171/7 (Wanindu Hasaranga 71, Pathum Nissanka 61; Joshua Little 4-23) vs Ireland 101 all out (Andrew Balbirnie 41, Curtis Campher 24; Maheesh Theekshana 3-17).

Aussie speedster James Pattinson retires from international cricket

Australian fast bowler James Pattinson, once one of the most feared bowlers in the cricket world, has retired from international cricket.

Melbourne [Australia] : The 31-year-old Victorian, who made his Test debut for Australia as a tearaway right armer, has made the decision to step away from international cricket to focus on family, playing for his state and helping develop the next generation of fast bowlers. The right-armer played 21 Test Matches, 15 One-Day Internationals and four T20 Internationals for Australia. He has played 76 first-class games for Victoria. He took 81 wickets at 26.33 in his Test career and has 302 wickets at 22.52 in first-class cricket.
“Leading into pre-season I really wanted to give the Ashes a crack but in the end, I haven’t had the preparation I would have liked heading into the coming season,” Pattinson, who will miss the opening round of fixtures for Victoria through injury, said.
“If I was to be part of the Ashes, I would need to do myself and my teammates justice. I didn’t want to be in a position of battling with my body when you need to be 100 per cent fit and ready to go at any time. That would not be fair to myself or the team.”
“It was then I felt that instead of trying to play at the very highest level, knowing I have only got three or four years of cricket left, I would focus more on Victoria, helping the young guys develop, perhaps some cricket in England and spending more time with my family.”
Chair of the National Selection (NSP) George Bailey said Pattinson’s passion, drive and energy in his time within the Australian team was one of his greatest strengths, along with his ability with the ball.
“Everyone who has played with Patto has thrived on his competitive nature and the sheer pride he takes in playing for his country,” Bailey said.
“James epitomises what it means to play for Australia, the sacrifices you make and the hurdles you have to overcome on the journey. But his record speaks for itself, he has been a wonderful player. We would have loved to have seen a lot more of him over the years.”
Pattinson said he felt at ease with his decision to step away from the international game.
“Now I have made the decision I am hoping to really enjoy the last three or four years of cricket,” he said.
“I have had a great time over the years and thank Cricket Australia for the opportunities, the faith they have put in me and of course all of my teammates through the journey. They have instilled a lot of trust in me especially at times when I have been injured and helped me through those times. For that, I am very grateful.”
Pattinson played his first Test against New Zealand in 2011 and announced himself on the world stage with 5/27 in the second innings of Australia’s nine-wicket win. He was named Man of the Series with fourteen wickets in the two-Test series.
He repeated the effort in his next Test against India at the MCG with 6-108. After a short injury lay-off, he returned against India with another five-wicket haul in Chepauk, the only time an Australian fast bowler has done so at the ground.
The dose was repeated at his next outing in 2015 against the West Indies with another five-wicket performance, taking 5-27 which equalled his best career figures.
He played a further six Test matches after but was restricted due to a number of injuries including back surgery and the strength Australia’s pace bowling stocks during this period.
Somewhat fittingly, his last Test was against New Zealand in Sydney, the side he made his debut against a decade earlier.

ANI | Updated: Oct 20, 2021 14:33 IST

T20 WC: Kishan, Rahul star as India defeat England in warm-up fixture

Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul played knocks of 70 and 51 respectively as India chased down 189 to defeat England by seven wickets in the warm-up match of the ongoing T20 World Cup here at the ICC Academy Ground on Monday.

Dubai [UAE] : Chasing 189, India got off to an excellent start as opening batters KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan put on 59 runs inside the first six overs. Rahul continued with his form and he brought up his half-century in the 9th over of the innings. However, Rahul (51) lost his wicket to Mark Wood immediately after reaching the landmark and this brought an end to the 82-run opening stand. Rahul’s wicket did not slow the run-rate down for India as Kishan kept on going on his merry way and he brought up his fifty off just 36 balls in the 12th over of the innings. However in the 13th over, Liam Livingstone got the better of Virat Kohli (11), ending the 43-run second-wicket stand, reducing India to 125/2.
Kishan eventually retired hurt after playing a knock of 70 runs and this brought Suryakumar Yadav to the middle with Indian still needing 39 runs for the win. However, he did not manage to stay at the crease for a long haul as he departed after scoring just 8.
In the end, Rishabh Pant (29*) and Hardik Pandya (12*) took India over the line by seven wickets with six balls to spare.
Earlier, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone played knocks of 49 and 30 respectively as England posted a total of 188/5. Sent into bat, England got off to a quickfire start as opening batters Jason Roy and Jos Buttler put on 36 runs inside the first four overs, but the introduction of Mohammed Shami paid dividend straight away as he clean bowled Buttler (18) in the fourth over of the innings. Shami then next removed Roy (17) in the sixth over and after the end of the powerplay overs, England’s score read 51/2.
Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow put on 30 runs for the third wicket, but as soon as the duo started to gain an upper hand, Rahul Chahar provided the breakthrough as he dismissed Malan (18), reducing England to 77/3 in the 10th over. Liam Livingstone then joined Bairstow in the middle and the duo started accelerating the innings for England.
Livingstone and Bairstow stitched together a fourth-wicket partnership of 52 runs, but Shami once again stood up for India as he bowled a perfect yorker to send Livingstone back to the pavilion. In the final few overs, Bairstow and Moeen Ali added some crucial runs to take England’s score past the 180-run mark. Moeen Ali played a useful unbeaten knock of 43 runs.
Brief Scores: England 188/5 (Jonny Bairstow 49, Moeen Ali 43*; Mohammed Shami 3-40) vs India 192/3 (Ishan Kishan 70, KL Rahul 51; Liam Livingstone 1-10).

ICC T20 WC, Rd 1: Scotland stun B’desh in Group B

Chris Greaves’ 45-run knock and two-wicket haul helped Scotland stun Bangladesh by six runs in Group B encounter of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Ministry Turf 1) on Sunday.

Muscat [Oman] : Chasing 141, Bangladesh did not get off to an ideal start as Josh Davey dismissed Soumya Sarkar (5) in the second over of the innings. Two overs later, Bradley Wheal removed Liton Das (5) and Bangladesh was reduced to 18/2 in the fourth over. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim then got together at the crease and the duo put on 47 runs for the third wicket, but Scotland got the crucial breakthrough of Shakib (20) with Bangladesh still needing 76 more runs for the win. Chris Greaves then dismissed Mushfiqur (38) and Scotland gained complete control over the match.
Afif Hossain and skipper Mahmudullah then came together at the crease and put on 32 runs for the fifth wicket, but Scotland managed to maintain their cool to register a thrilling six-run victory.
Earlier, Mahedi Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan took five wickets among themselves as Bangladesh restricted Scotland to 140/9. Sent into bat, Scotland got off to a bad start as the side lost its skipper Kyle Coetzer (0) in just the third over of the innings. However, George Munsey and Matthew Cross managed to steady the innings and at the end of the powerplay overs, the score read 39/1.
Munsey and Cross put on 40 runs for the second wicket, however, Bangladesh stormed right back into the contest as Mahedi Hasan dismissed both Cross (11) and Munsey (29), reducing Scotland to 46/3 in the 8th over. Shakib Al Hasan then got into the act to dismiss Richie Berrington (2) and Michael Leask (0), reducing Scotland to 52/5 in the 11th over. In the final few overs, Mark Watt and Chris Greaves played knocks of 22 and 45 respectively as Scotland posted a total of more than the run mark.
Earlier in the day, Zeeshan Maqsood’s four-wicket haul was backed up by unbeaten knocks of 73 and 50 by opening batters Jatinder Singh and Aqib Ilyas to help Oman defeat Papua New Guinea by ten wickets.
Brief Scores: Scotland 140/9 (Chris Greaves 45, George Munsey 29, Mahedi Hasan 3-19); Bangladesh 134/7 (Mushfiqur Rahim 38, Mahmudullah 23, Bradley Wheal 3-24).

ICC T20 WC, Rd 1: Zeeshan Maqsood, Jitender Singh star as Oman defeat PNG in Group B

Muscat [Oman] : Zeeshan Maqsood’s four-wicket haul was backed up by unbeaten knocks of 73 and 50 by opening batters Jatinder Singh and Aqib Ilyas to help Oman defeat Papua New Guinea by ten wickets in Group B encounter of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Ministry Turf 1) on Sunday.
Later in the day, Scotland will lock horns against Bangladesh in the same group. Chasing 130, Oman got off to a good start as opening batters Jatinder Singh and Aqib Ilyas put on 46 runs inside the first six overs. Both batters continued with their momentum and at the halfway mark, Oman’s score read 88/0, with the side needing just 42 more runs for the win.
Both batters brought up their 100-run opening stand in the 12th over of the innings. In the end, PNG was not able to take any wickets and Oman cruised to a ten-wicket win with 38 balls to spare.
Earlier, Assad Vala played a knock of 56 but Zeeshan Maqsood’s four-wicket haul helped Oman restrict PNG to 129/9. Sent into bat first, Papua New Guinea got off to the worst start possible as Bilal Khan dismissed opening batter Tony Ura (0) in the very first over. The other opener Lega Siaka (0) also failed to trouble the scores and PNG was reduced to 0/2 in the second over of the innings.
Charles Amini and skipper Assad Vala then retrieved the innings for PNG as the duo put on 81 runs for the third wicket. This partnership helped PNG come back into the contest, however, a proper confusion in the middle helped Oman as the side was able to dismiss Amini (37) via a run-out in the 12th over, reducing PNG to 81/3.
Soon after, Vala (56) also departed as he was sent back to the pavilion by Kaleemullah in the 14th over, and the lower-order was required to take PNG to a respectable score. However, PNG lost its way in the final overs, and the side had to settle for a score of just over the 125-run mark.
Brief Scores: Papua New Guinea 129/9 (Assad Vala 56, Charles Amini 37; Zeeshan Maqsood 4-20); Oman 131/0 (Aqib Ilyas 50*, Jatinder Singh 73*; Simon Atai 0-9).

T20 WC: Team India needs to win for Kohli, says Suresh Raina

Former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina said that it is really ‘important’ for the Indian team to win the T20 World Cup 2021, as it will be probably the last tournament of Virat Kohli as the skipper.

Dubai [UAE] : Earlier, Kohli announced that he will step down as Team India’s T20I captain after the T20 World Cup 2021. “It will probably be his (Virat Kohli) last time at this tournament as captain, so it’s very important for him to make everyone believe we can do it and for us to get behind him,” said the former Indian batter Suresh Raina in an International Cricket Council (ICC) column.
“All of our players have just played the Indian Premier League in the UAE and they have played themselves into top form with eight or nine games in this environment,” he added.
Raina said that team India is one of the ‘favourites’ to win the tournament, as they have an edge over all the teams because of the IPL.
“The conditions in UAE are very similar to what we play India and also in Pakistan. It’s a good opportunity for the Asian teams to come and play their natural game,” he said.
“We need to remember there are lots of other good teams in the tournament. Pakistan, Australia and England also look very good, and anything can happen in T20 cricket,” he added.
Raina further said that the top batting order of India is a key reason for the ‘success’ of the team.
“The key to success for India’s batting lies in the top three. Rohit Sharma is a gun player – he has a brilliant record at ICC events in the past and had a great IPL. We need Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat to bat through to 15 overs and lay the platform. They can set the momentum for the India team by doing this,” said Raina.
Raina also called the Indian spinner Varun Chakravarthy the ‘main guy’ for the bowling attack.
“Varun Chakravarthy the main guy in the India bowling attack. He has shown he can exploit the pace of the pitches. Varun has only played three T20Is but I’m not concerned by any lack of experience. There is plenty of experience in this team, particularly in the seam attack,” he said.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar in particular leads the way when it comes to experience and knowledge of how to deal with the big games. The inclusion of Shardul Thakur can also give extra strength to the fast bowlers that Virat has at his disposal,” he added.
India will be facing their arch-rivals Pakistan for their first clash in the T20 World Cup 2021 on October 24.

No celebrations minus MS Dhoni, CSK will celebrate IPL win after skipper returns to India: CEO

New Delhi [India]: Chennai Super Kings will wait for skipper MS Dhoni to return to India before the franchise celebrates winning the fourth Indian Premier League title. CSK beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs on Friday at the Dubai International Stadium, but the party will happen after Dhoni is done mentoring the Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman.

Speaking to ANI, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan said there can be no celebration without the skipper. “We shall wait for the skipper to return to India. We shall happily wait as there can be no celebration without MS. He has already switched caps from CSK skipper to Team India mentor, so we shall have a small get together once he returns to India after the T20 World Cup,” he said.


CSK redeemed itself after a dismal performance last year to clinch the IPL 2021 title but head coach Stephen Fleming still rates the 2018 final win as special and termed it “very emotional”. The former New Zealand skipper said he is very proud to have won the IPL 2021 final since many pundits had written off CSK due to the absence of young blood in the side.

“It’s very hard to rate them, they (IPL wins) all are specials as they are results of our hard work. I think the one coming back in 2018 was very emotional but there is a lot of hard work in this one too,” Fleming said during the post-match press conference. “If you look back when we were called Dad’s Army in the first year (2018), I think a lot of people had no hope from us to maintain the competitiveness during this cycle.”

For IPL 2022, two new teams are set to come in, and it needs to be seen how many players a franchise is allowed to retain before the mega auction. Fleming knows it will be difficult to retain most CSK players and he is looking forward to see how things pan out ahead of the IPL 2022.

“We don’t know (on being asked if this was an end of an era). But we know that whenever we get to the end of the cycle we know that we cannot get some players back,” said Fleming.

“CSK always had a system where we maintain players and keep them with you for a long period of time and get the best out of them. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the next few months. Most teams will have a change in them and we will be one of them,” he added. (ANI)

Young Saurashtra player Avi Barot dies after suffering cardiac arrest

29-year-old Barot was former India Under-19 captain and a member of the Saurashtra’s Ranji Trophy-winning team in the 2019-20 season.

Saurashtra : Batter Avi Barot, a former India Under-19 captain and a member of the Ranji Trophy winning team in the 2019-20 season, has died after suffering a cardiac arrest at a shockingly young age of 29, the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) said.

The player, who also represented Haryana and Gujarat in his career, died on Friday.

“Everyone at Saurashtra Cricket Association (is) deeply shocked and saddened on (the) very shocking, untimely and extremely sad demise of Avi Barot, remarkable and notable cricketer of Saurashtra.

“He left for heavenly abode in the evening of 15th October 2021 due to severe cardiac arrest,” the SCA stated in a media release issued here.

He was a right-handed batter, who could also bowl off-breaks.

Barot played 38 first-class matches, 38 List A matches and 20 Domestic T20 games. He was a wicket-keeper-batsman and scored 1,547 runs in first-class matches, 1030 runs in list-A games and 717 runs in T20s.

Barot was a part of the Ranji Trophy winning Saurashtra team, which had defeated Bengal in the summit clash. For Saurashtra, he played 21 Ranji Trophy matches, 17 List A matches and 11 domestic T20 games.

Barot was India U-19 captain in 2011 and earlier this year, he grabbed attention with his stupendous 122-run knock in just 53 balls during a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match against Goa. SCA President Jaydev Shah condoled Barot’s demise.

“This is absolutely shocking and painful to learn about Avi’s sad demise. He was a great teammate and had great cricketing skills. In all recent domestic matches, he had performed remarkably well.

“He was a very friendly and noble human being. We all at Saurashtra Cricket Association are in deep shock,” said Shah, himself a former Saurashtra captain.

ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2021 set to commence on Sunday amid huge anticipation

Five long years the teams and fans have had to wait but the ICC men’s T20 World Cup returns on Sunday with 16 sides looking to emulate the West Indies who lifted the trophy in 2016.

Dubai [UAE] : It all begins with the first round in which eight teams are split into two pools, from whom the top two will qualify for the Super 12 where they will join the world’s top eight sides. Among the first-round sides are Sri Lanka, who have played and won more matches in ICC men’s T20 World Cup history than any other team, and Bangladesh, the other ever-present among the eight.
Bangladesh will be in action on the opening day against Scotland, but it all kicks off with hosts Oman taking on debutants Papua New Guinea at the Al Amerat Cricket Stadium.
Those four sides are in Group B, while in Group A, Ireland and Netherlands face off in a potentially crucial match on Monday, with Sri Lanka going up against Namibia later in the day.
With 12 games across the first six days, the action will come thick and fast to decide which teams will make it through to the Super 12 where Group 1 looks like a blockbuster with defending champions, the West Indies, reigning one-day world champions England, and heavyweights Australia and South Africa.
They will be joined by the winners of Group A and the runners-up in Group B.
Meanwhile, in Group 2, inaugural winners India are joined by great rivals Pakistan — who they will face in their opening game — as well as New Zealand and Afghanistan, the emerging force in T20 cricket, plus the winners of Group B and runners-up from Group A.


The Super 12 action kicks off on October 23 with Australia against South Africa, one of the sport’s iconic rivalries, followed by a day/night affair at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium between England and the West Indies — a repeat of 2016 final when Carlos Brathwaite announced himself to the world.
The experienced Windies side includes three players who featured in the first T20 World Cup – the Universe Boss Chris Gayle, as well as all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and fast bowler Ravi Rampaul.
They are three of the seven players who return having also appeared in the first edition. The other four are Bangladesh duo Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and India opener Rohit Sharma.
Those players could all have a big influence on the final outcome, but as Brathwaite showed in 2016 with his 34 off 10 deliveries, newcomers can also become the heroes.
With that in mind, could one of Babar Azam, Rishabh Pant, Lockie Ferguson or Tabraiz Shamsi be the player to swing a crucial game this time around?
Shamsi, the number one ranked bowler in the men’s T20I Player Rankings, could be particularly influential on the turning wickets in the UAE and Oman as he tries to help South Africa reach the semi-finals for the third time.
T20 cricket is all about speed, and the Super 12 will also go by in a flash with 30 matches in just 17 days.
By November 10, it will be down to just four teams, with the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi playing host to the first semi-final, while the Dubai International Cricket Stadium hosts the second as well the final on November 14.
Over the previous six editions of the tournament, a trio of sides have made it to the semi-finals on four occasions.
Pakistan did so in the first four editions, while Sri Lanka did it four times running between 2009 and 2014. The other side to have managed it are the West Indies, the only team to have won the tournament more than once.
Australia have the best record of any team not to have won the competition, with three semi-final appearances and one runners-up finish in 2010, beaten by England in the final.
Under the leadership of Aaron Finch, could this be the tournament where they break their duck? Or maybe Afghanistan will continue a remarkable rise, spearheaded by the world’s number one all-rounder Mohammad Nabi and the ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Decade Rashid Khan.
At this stage it is impossible to tell, so one must follow every moment of what should be a thrilling World Cup.

IPL 2021 Final: Thriller on cards as in-form KKR take on ever-reliable CSK

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 has been played in two parts this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and after a long wait, the final is finally here. The summit clash will see MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings clash with Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday.

New Delhi [India], October 14 : MS Dhoni-led CSK has won the IPL title thrice and after putting on a dismal show in the 2020 season in UAE, the side made a remarkable comeback this year and some fearless cricket from the franchise has seen Dhoni’s men reach the finals. Dhoni might have managed to score just 114 runs from 15 matches this season, but he rose like a phoenix when the team needed him most and his best knock came in Qualifier 1 against Delhi Capitals. He scored 18 runs from six balls, rolling back time, giving fans a perfect nostalgia trip as the Chennai franchise roared into the final. His innings even got Virat Kohli to label Dhoni as the “greatest finisher ever”.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dwayne Bravo have all played their roles to perfection and under Dhoni’s leadership, the bunch has proved to be good on days when it has mattered.
Moving to KKR, Eoin Morgan’s side was completely down and out in the India leg as the side had won just two games out of seven. However, travelling to the UAE brought about a change in fortunes.
Venkatesh Iyer’s inclusion provided the much-needed boost to the batting lineup and the Kolkata-based franchise has been playing fearless cricket. Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, and Rahul Tripathi have done their job too this season.
However, Eoin Morgan’s form remains a concern as the left-handed batter has not played any innings of substance this season. In Qualifier 2 against Delhi, Morgan had a perfect chance to guide the side home, but he was not able to do that, and in the end, it was Tripathi who somehow took KKR over the line in a thriller.
Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy have acted as perfect partners in crime and the duo has spun a web over opponents this season and it would be interesting to see whether the likes of Gaikwad and Faf manage to get better of them.
KKR might also have the services of Andre Russell for the final and if that indeed happens, the side might just prove to have too much ammunition for Dhoni’s side. However, looking at how Dhoni has led the side this season, one cannot bet against the man who has a knack for keeping his cool under the most intense situations.
It will undoubtedly be a clash of two top-quality teams come Friday.
Squads: Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood, Suresh Raina, Imran Tahir, Jason Behrendorff, Krishnappa Gowtham, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Hari Nishanth, N Jagadeesan, KM Asif, Harishankar Reddy, Dominic Drakes, Bhagath Varma, Karn Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakaravarthy, Harbhajan Singh, Tim Southee, Andre Russell, Ben Cutting, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Kuldeep Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Sheldon Jackson, Sandeep Warrier, Tim Seifert, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Vaibhav Arora. (ANI)

Team India’s new jersey displayed at Burj Khalifa

As the cricketers prepare for the T20 World Cup, MPL Sports, the official kit sponsor for the Indian team, marked the launch of the new Team India ‘Billion Cheers Jersey’ with a scintillating light show at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, one of the host cities for the tournament on Wednesday.

Dubai [UAE], October 14 : It was a night to remember for all cricket fans who have been eagerly waiting to get a glimpse of the brand new jersey of the Indian cricket team. In a video posted by the MPL Sports, on their Twitter handle, the Burj Khalifa was shown brightly lit with the new jersey.
“For the first time ever, a Team India Jersey lit up the @BurjKhalifa. The #BillionCheersJersey inspired by the cheers of a billion fans reached new heights, quite literally. Are you ready to #ShowYourGame and back Team India?” tweeted the MPL Sports.
In a first-of-a-kind initiative, the shirt features soundwaves of the fans’ cheers from iconic past matches and is an ode to their unwavering support over the years.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday unveiled the new jersey of the men’s team ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup.
BCCI along with MPL Sports unveiled the jersey on their social media handles. The Men in Blue will kick off their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.

Hardik’s primary role in T20 WC will be to finish games with the bat: Team India sources

With the Indian team management assessing all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s back over the last couple of days, it has been decided that he will primarily be a finisher going into the T20 World Cup in UAE.

New Delhi [India], October 14 : Hardik is still not a 100 per cent when it comes to bowling, but his experience when it comes to absorbing pressure and finishing games with the bat cannot be overlooked going into a showpiece event. “He is not a 100 per cent when it comes to bowling so it will be a finisher’s role for Hardik in this World Cup. We will keep assessing him as we progress, but at present, the team will look at him as a batsman who comes in and looks to play the finisher’s role just like MS Dhoni did over the years,” the source pointed.
Asked if the bowling part is a complete no, the source said: “With someone like Hardik, you know the level of dedication and effort is always 100 per cent. So, we will keep working on his bowling.”
The All-India Senior Selection Committee after a discussion with the team management on Wednesday added Shardul Thakur to the main squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of standby players.
India will open its T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. After the upcoming T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli will be stepping down as the side’s captain in the shortest format.
India’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami.
Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel.
The following cricketers will join the team bubble in Dubai and assist Team India in their preparations: Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed, and K. Gowtham.

T20 World Cup: Brett Lee backs India to reach final

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee has backed India to reach the finals of ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

Melbourne [Australia], October 14 : The legendary pacer, however, wants Australia to win the World Cup and considers that it is the best chance for the Aaron Finch-led side to clinch the coveted trophy. “I’ve backed KL Rahul to get the most runs in the competition. I think KL Rahul coming off a great IPL, he’s the pillar that the guys can build around him because it takes the pressure off Kohli if Rahul is scoring runs. It allows Kohli to just play his natural game,” Foxsports.com.au quoted Lee as saying.
“And obviously with Kohli and the captaincy, it’s probably his last crack at it so he’ll want to go out on a high. India would definitely be one of top picks and could definitely win this thing.
“I’m very patriotic, I want Australia to win and I think they can, but India definitely will be in the final and I think Australia has their best chance,” he added.
India will face Pakistan in their opening game of the T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Stadium on October 24.
India, champions in the inaugural edition played in South Africa in 2007 and finalists in 2014, will also have Afghanistan, New Zealand, and two qualifiers from Round 1 to contend with in Group 2.
The ICC T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman will get underway from October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14. (

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