World Test Championship Final: Virat Kohli eyes legacy, Kane Williamson prize for consistency in battle of equals
Southampton, Jun 17 Virat Kohli carries the expectations of a billion while cricket romantics will pin their hopes on Kane Williamson when India and New Zealand engage in a battle to create a lasting legacy in pristine whites in the inaugural World Test Championship final starting here on Friday.
For the connoisseurs of the glorious game, Test cricket is the ultimate format and despite its aura, the 144-year-old history needed a facelift along with a context which the World Test Championship provided despite various bottlenecks, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Kohli, India's most successful Test captain, a trophy-less cabinet doesn't do justice to the champion performer that he has been for a decade.
Lest one forgets, he has been a fine leader in his own right even though Mahendra Singh Dhoni may forever remain a sentimental favourite.
Kohli needs a global triumph. Every captain needs it but perhaps the Indian captain wants it more.
It's how history will remember him just like it remembers Dhoni with a lot of respect and utmost fondness for those heroic World title wins.
Williamson stands in his way with a bunch of fine cricketers and the most amiable set of players that one would come across in international cricket.
They are India's rivals but when Williamson hits those cover drives, Devon Conway teases a Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja, Trent Boult gets one banana inswinger aimed at Rohit Sharma's bootlaces, the crazy fans of a cricket-mad nation wouldn't possibly be able to hate them.
These are 'Gentlemen Cricketers' who have grown on the fans bit by bit with their cricket and their conduct. It's difficult not to love them, especially after their gut-wrenching World Cup defeat at the Lord's two summers back.
If Williamson happens to stand with the ICC Test Mace on the Hampshire Bowl balcony, one might just smile and think that perhaps "Nice guys don't always finish last".
But after two years and half a dozen series later, a battle-hardened Indian team will give its all in a match, from which the winning team will also walk away with a USD 1.6 million windfall.
There are a number of cricketers, who wouldn't practically have a shot at any other global trophy and for them it's their 'World Cup' which they want to lay their hands on.
Cheteshwar Pujara would be ready to take more bruises on his body if Neil Wagner starts bowling short. Ajinkya Rahane has grown in stature after a series for the ages and he will squeeze that extra ounce of energy to make it count.
Ravichandran Ashwin is unlikely to play a white ball World Cup again and wouldn't mind one bit if he can fool Williamson, Ross Taylor or the dogged Henry Nicholls with a carrom ball or a slider.
Ishant Sharma has grown 14 years older since that epic WACA spell to Ricky Ponting and India's senior-most player deserves to win a World Championship as much as anyone else.
Man to man, there is very little to choose between the two teams even though playing New Zealand in conditions that aid seam and swing isn't the easiest of tasks.
England found it out recently by losing a Test series and India have had a torrid experience, albeit in New Zealand where they lost two Tests inside three days.
But a final has its own set of pressures and no one would feel it more than Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, who would have the hardest job currently in Test cricket.
They would face the most under-rated but perhaps the best new ball pair in the business in Boult and Southee, who would make the new ball jag around and the old ball talk.
Rohit has had lot of success in India but the real battle would start with the WTC final followed by the England Test series where both his technique and temperament will be tested big-time.
Kyle Jamieson hasn't been played till now but Williamson knows what kind of a nightmare he was with his steep back-of-length bounce generated from his 6 feet 9 inch frame.
If that's not enough, Wagner will pound it in with stuff aimed at rib-cage enticing the batters to go for the hook and pull shots or take it on the body.
In fact, Wagner versus Rishabh Pant could be one intriguing battle, knowing his love for the fallen hook shot.
Pant's self control and Wagner's relentless probe will make for a great contest.
Similarly, New Zealand's new star Conway would face a very different kind of challenge that Jasprit Bumrah will pose with awkward angles and the late swing that will be generated by Mohammed Shami.
Conway has, in fact, also prepared for Ashwin and Jadeja by sprinkling kitty litter on the practice pitches back to create rough which helps in getting the ball to turn and bounce.
This match could be one for the keeps unless pacers from either sides engineer an anti-climax.
Teams (from): India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk).
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (C), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner BJ Watling and Will Young.
On-field Umpires: Richard Illngworth, Michael Gough Match Referee: Chris Broad Match Starts: 3:30 pm IST. News source PTI
Knight leads England from the front; late wickets helps Indian Women bounce back on the Opening day
In the latest cricket news, England Women got off to a great start on the day one of the one off test against India. England having won the toss, chose to bat first on the Bristol County Ground with the openers amassing 69 runs for the first wicket.
Heather Knight was the top scoring batter for England followed by Tammy Beaumont. The English skipper hit 95 but fell short of a second Test century on the day she was making her 100th appearance as the captain of England. Beaumont looked in great touch and scored 66. Sophia Dunkley and Katherine Brunt took care of the English innings by the end of the day. The two will look to add more runs when they take on the crease on day two today.
Indian Women made a solid comeback in the third session by claiming wickets at regular intervals. Sneh Rana was bowler of the day for India as she finished the day claiming 3 wickets conceding 77 runs. Deepti Sharma grabbed two wickets while Pooja Vastrakar one. India picked four wickets in the final session which saw them gain some control over the proceedings and leave the match evenly poised ahead of day two.
LV= Insurance Test - England women vs India Women , Day one
Pitch helped spinners, started offering turn from beginning: Debutant spinner Sneh Rana
Bristol, Jun 16 Debutant spinner Sneh Rana, who played a key role in India's comeback with a three-wicket haul, said the pitch was a bit on slower side but it suited them since it offered turn right from the beginning.
England were placed comfortably at 230 for two but Rana and Deepti Sharma took two wickets in the final session to bring India back in the one-off Test.
England lost those four wickets for just 21 runs in seven overs.
"The pitch was a little slow at the early stage, but it helped the spinners, because it was turning a bit from starting only," Rana said during the press conference that followed after day one's play.
"It's a really good wicket to bat on. I think it will remain the same tomorrow." Opting to bat, England women were poised at 269/6 at stumps. Skipper Heather Knight top-scored with a patient 95.
According to the 27-year spinner, she got to know about her debut in the team meeting.
"In the practise sessions, we used to speak to the captain (Mithali Raj) and coach (Ramesh Powar), on what to do, how to bowl, what needs to be done.
"I was playing for the first time in a Test, where the scenario is a bit different from one-days and T20s, so we used to speak daily about it," she said.
Rana, who was ably supported by Deepti (2/50), dedicated her performance to her late father.
"I lost my father two months back. When this team was announced, a little before that, I lost him. It was a bit difficult, it was an emotional moment because he wanted to see me play again for India.
But unfortunately, he can't. It's okay, it is part of life, but whatever I did after that and whatever I will do now, I will dedicate everything to him," she signed off. News source PTI
Format of World Test Championship final can be changed in future: New Zealand cricketer Tim Southee
Southampton, Jun 16 New Zealand pacer Tim Southee on Wednesday said changes can be made to the format of the World Test Championship final going ahead, instead of it being a one-off match.
Earlier this month, India head coach Ravi Shastri said that the WTC final should be decided in a best-of-three match series, which he feels would have been a fitting finale after two and a half years of cricket.
"At the start of the two-year cycle, we knew that it was going to be a one-off final. Maybe it's something they can look at going forward and then potentially make changes," Southee said during a virtual press conference.
"It was made clear two years ago at the start of the cycle, what was required to win the championship.
"It's been great to put context around the Test game, to have the two-year cycle. There have already been adjustments going forward to the next cycle. So, it'll be an evolving thing," he added.
The Kiwis finished runner-up in the last two ODI World Cups and talking about the Black Caps run in the recent ICC tournaments, the 32-year-old said, "It’s been long time since we won the Champions Trophy in 2000. We've come very close in the last last couple." “We know that it's going to be a tough week. Having a number of the guys that have been very close to winning an ICC event in the side, we have the experience of playing in the finals.” Southee, who has scalped 309 wickets in 78 Tests, said the team has prepared well for the marquee Test against India, starting here on Friday.
“We've played two Tests against England, which obviously has been pretty good for us. It's been a great preparation leading up to this Test final good number of guys that have had good performances throughout those two Test matches.
"A couple of good days training today and tomorrow. And as you know, we're all looking forward to what is the ultimate goal of this tour.” Aware that the Indian side has a potent batting line up with likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in their ranks, the pacer said Kiwi bowlers will have to be on top of their games to succeed.
"Rohit is a tremendous player in all three formats. He's personally a guy I like watching bat. He can take the game away from opposition. But I know as a bowling group that it's a dangerous batting lineup throughout.
"For he’s only one of many, many very good batters in this lineup and we know we're gonna have to be on top of our game." Southee said New Zealand will be viewing footage of not just the experience batsmen but also the youngsters like flamboyant Rishabh Pant and talented Shubman Gill.
"It's an exciting batting lineup, a mix of experienced guys and a couple of young guys who are coming to play with that freedom and the excitement that that they have. Nowadays, there's plenty of footage out. So, we will discuss footage and then come up with plans which will hopefully work." News source PTI
My objective is to help Malaysia win matches with my batting ability - Ahmad Faiz, Malaysia Men’s Cricket team captain
A captain in any sport is a role that is widely unappreciated by the onlookers. It’s not just about commanding your teammates, being the boss or taking credit in the cricket news. Just like a management position in any corporate role, it involves composure, decision making skills, taking risks and claiming responsibility when things don’t go according to plan. A captain is a leader who is approachable, respectable and has the insatiable desire to win.
For the Malaysian Cricket team, Ahmad Faiz is a captain that has navigated his players through memorable highs and crippling lows. He has won over the fans with his performances and led by example in a sport that is still getting its footing in Malaysia. In an exclusive interview with SPOGO, Ahmad Faiz speaks about being introduced to cricket, pursuing the sport professionally, memorable moments, giving credit to others, future goals and more!
Q 1) When were you first introduced to cricket and how did your interest in the sport grow?
My father Mr. Mohammad Noor Shuib was a Kedah Cricket State Coach, so I used to follow school/state training and tournaments since I was 5 years old. I remember when I was 8 years old, Kedah cricket players Ikhwan Rosli, tied me up with senior pads where the pads covered my whole body to practice together with them. Kedah players always wanted to play with me, even when I was a little boy. From there, I picked up the sport very fast. My first trial was at primary school, Ustaz Rizalman was my first coach at Sekolah Rendah Ibrahim who wanted me to try out my skills. I just bowled one over where all the balls were very good for a 10 years old boy, with no extras and I also hit the stumps twice. From there on, he asked me to join school, district and state training in the same year. My first Malaysia Cricket duty was Under 13 Tuanku Jaafar held in Hong Kong when I was 12 years old and we were crowned as champions in that tournament. It was a big step forward for me to play cricket at that moment.
Q 2) What are the challenges one needs to overcome in order to take up the sport of cricket professionally in a country like Malaysia where it isn't a mainstream sport?
Currently, Cricket in Malaysia is gradually getting more popular as the Ministry of Education (MOE) supports cricket by setting a cricket curriculum syllabus from primary school to secondary school. MOE also supports our new entrance programme, we call it ADIWIRA CRICKET which is also sponsored by Sime Darby Foundation, one of largest Malaysia government linked-company. Cricket is definitely becoming one of the top sports in Malaysia and we are progressing and getting more grassroot participants such as teachers and students at the school level. It will take time to invest in making cricket one of the main sports in Malaysia. We are also targeting parents' involvement as the main stakeholders of our resources for the incoming new players. More awareness surrounding the community will evolve the spirit of the game. Malaysian Cricket already implements a contract base for Malaysian Mens and Womens senior teams, which also help the players to pursue their career as cricketers. Currently, we have improved our ranking status but it's still not enough for us to be top 12 in the world and we are looking to progress it by the year 2025.
Q 3) You were the member of the Malaysian Cricket team which won the gold medal in 50 overs tour at the 2017 South East Asian Games. How special was that win?
It was the most overwhelming moment for me to represent my country and score a century in front of thousands Malaysian supporters. I still remember the roar and the claps from supporters in the stands, they shouted my name so many times. They gave me a standing ovation when I raised my bat after scoring a century against Singapore and once I got out, their faces were full of smiles and showed gratitude for my performance. We played really well as a team on that day. I was supported by Virandeep Singh at a crucial time and we made a big run partnership. We celebrated like true champions after we scored the last run of the game. Every teammate ran towards the batsmen and we also ran towards the spectator pavilion to celebrate with the fans because they all are our 12th men surrounding the field. It was a special day for Malaysian Cricket when we beat the Singapore team who had a better ranking than us at that time.
Q 4) Malaysian Cricket has been enjoying decent success in the T20 format off late. Who would you like to give credit for this?
Overall, I would like to give credit to all the players, coaches, MCA administrative officials and staff for all the sacrifice and hard work that has led to our success. Bilal Asad has proven his ability to lead the Malaysia Men's team, resulting in them being crowned champions again after he took the head coach position again in January 2020. Our performances and results have gotten better since Bilal came into the team. We also got support from many assistants like our trainer Shukri Rahim who looks after our fitness levels, our physio Yuvaraj for taking care of our injury status, coaches such as Aimal and Wahib who look after our overall requirements, psychologist like Madhuli ma’am who helps us maintain our mental health and our manager Mr. Amy Mokhzani who looks after our overall welfare.
Q 5) What are the areas that you think Malaysian Cricket needs to address for it to take it's recent success into ICC tournaments?
We have very good exposure thanks to our friends in Singapore, Nepal and Sri Lanka where we can travel and get the opportunity to play in different conditions. We need more competitive tournaments like the IPL, PSL, BPL, Global T20 to give more exposure to Malaysian cricketers so that we face better opponents as it will benefit the team.
Q 6) You finished as the leading run scorer of the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Four tournament. What was that experience like?
Actually, I did not know that I was the leading run scorer at that moment. My major objective is to win any Malaysia match by using my batting ability as my strength. Yes, I am happy that we moved from Division 6 to 4 in only 2 years in the previous years but I don't feel I have enough runs because I can't bring Malaysia to Division 3 due to my lack of runs for the team at 2018 World Cricket League tourney which we finished at number 3, resulting in Malaysia staying in Division 4.
Q 7) As a Cricketer and the captain of the Malaysian team what are you next looking forward to?
For now, we look at the T20 qualifiers and our aim is to reach the top 12 in the world rankings by 2025. We are also looking forward to playing against better opponents in the near future to give us a better pathway to progress. We are also looking forward to exposing our players to play at Global T20 by Canada Cricket. In a very sensitive Covid-19 situation, we remain optimistic and continue to train individuals and conduct team training via online platforms.
Javelin throwers Shivpal Singh and Annu Rani allege coach Uwe Hohn trains foreign athletes in overseas tours
New Delhi, Jun 16 Two of the country's top javelin throwers, including the Olympic-bound Shivpal Singh, on Wednesday alleged that German coach Uwe Hohn also "trains foreign athletes" when the Indian team travels abroad for exposure tours.
Shivpal, who qualified for the upcoming Olympics early last year and trains under Hohn, and another Tokyo Games hopeful Annu Rani said the German coach "is more interested in training abroad" due to "certain reasons".
"He (Hohn) also trains some other foreign athletes when we are overseas, ignoring us," the duo said in a joint statement.
Asked when exactly they had seen Hohn train foreign athletes, Shivpal and Annu told PTI, "It was in 2019 when we were training in Poland." The 58-year-old Hohn, a former world record holder javelin thrower, could not be reached for his comment despite repeated attempts. His contract ends in September this year.
A coach on the payrolls of the government cannot train athletes other than Indians during official tours abroad. "He is more interested in training abroad which we do not agree due to the prevailing situation as we want to save ourselves and avoid risk when travelling," the two throwers said from their training base at NIS Patiala.
Hohn was appointed javelin coach in November 2017 to train the likes of Shivpal and another Olympic-bound star athlete Neeraj Chopra.
But Chopra, an Olympic medal hopeful, does not train with Hohn anymore and has been placed under bio-mechanical expert Klaus Bartonietz for the last two years.
Annu said she did not train under Hohn because of his "working style".
"I have not trained with him due to his working style. I decided not to train under him early this year as he has an overbearing nature," she said.
The 28-year-old Annu, who holds the national record of 62.43m, is expected to qualify for the Olympics on the basis of world rankings even though she is yet to breach the qualifying mark of 64m.
The Olympics women's javelin event will have 32 competitors and Annu is sitting pretty at 19th in the Road to Tokyo list, which also includes all those who have breached the entry standard.
The duo said the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) tried to arrange a few invitational meets abroad but they had to be cancelled due to travel restrictions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"What can we do, we wanted foreign exposure and competitions and the AFI tried but did not happen ultimately. We are happy training at the NIS and we have two domestic events this month," they said.
The Indian Grand Prix 4 (June 21) and National Inter-State Championships (June 25-29), to be held at NIS Patiala, are the two domestic Olympic qualifying events.
"In the last one year of COVID-19, we have been kept in a protected environment by Sports Authority of India and the AFI in Patiala as well as in Bhubaneswar and provided good food, accommodation and facilities including medical support and recommended supplements.
"The AFI and the government imported more than 200 javelins and provided two javelin machines which are rarely available in other countries. We are fully prepared for the Olympics and we will try to give our best in the Olympics." News source PTI
I have reached here because of criticism: Indian cricketer Ajinkya Rahane
Southampton, Jun 16 Ajinkya Rahane doesn't mind a bit of "criticism" but has never been too overtly bothered by what people think about his game as he goes on with his job of winning Test matches for the Indian cricket team.
Despite his blow-hot-blow-cold form over the last few years, India's Test vice-captain with 1095 runs in 17 games is team's top scorer in the two-year World Test Championship cycle leading to the final against New Zealand.
"It feels special," Rahane said about emerging as the top scorer.
But what about the flak that he has faced because of poor run of scores? "I'm happy to take criticism. I feel it's because of the criticism I'm here. I always want to give my best whether people criticise me or not.
"For me, it's important to give my best for my country and contribute each and every time be it as a batsman or a fielder," Rahane, who played a massive role as skipper during epic series against Australia, said.
Having played Test cricket for more than eight years, Rahane knows that public opinion is fickle and at best left alone with focus on controllables.
"I don't really think about criticism. If people criticise me, that's their thing, and that's their job. I cannot control all these things. For me, I always focus on controllables, putting my best foot forward, working hard and following my process and the result follows." Rahane feels that even if he scores 40 and it proves to be useful for the team's cause, he is more than happy.
"I will be playing my natural game. Winning is really important whether I score hundred or not. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself and even if my 30 or 40 is valuable for the team, I am happy." The Indian vice-captain in 2019 had played for the Hampshire county and has a better idea about the ground where he has also played two Tests in 2014 and 18, both of which the visitors lost.
"I like to be in the present. I know the conditions. It's about being in the moment, adjusting to the conditions. Also me being the highest scorer doesn't matter now. It's past. I just don't want to put extra pressure and would want to play freely," said Rahane, who has three hundreds and six fifties in this inaugural cycle of WTC.
For Rahane, the WTC final is just another game and his mental make-up is such that he is not thinking of it as the biggest event.
"It's just a mental thing. If we can switch mentally and adapt, it's important. Yes one off, we have to take it as another game not as a final or anything. We just want to give our best, play good cricket, be consistent in the five days." The likes of Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill will be playing the biggest match of their short careers but Rahane feels it is better let them play their fearless brand of cricket with an uncluttered mind.
"Personally, I am not telling them anything. They know their game-plan. It's about giving them freedom, backing them, believing in their abilities. We don't want any kind of confusion." As it has been with Rahane over the umpteen media interactions, he dead-batted questions on team combination giving away virtually nothing.
"We are yet to decide about our combination. We still have two practice sessions left." While signing off, he did admit that in order to win the World Test Championship, batters will have to take up additional responsibility.
"Batters play a key role in England. The bowlers get a lot of help over here and we have a big responsibility. Everyone has a different game-plan. It's about backing your game-plan. We will take up the responsibility as batting unit and try to achieve the team's goal." News source PTI
Former F1 driver Karun Chandhok now finds seat on Motorsport UK Board of Directors
New Delhi, Jun 16 In a big honour for India's Karun Chandhok, the former Formula 1 driver was on Wednesday appointed to the Board of Directors of Motorsport UK, the governing body for four-wheel racing in the island nation.
Chandhok is one of the only two Indian drivers to have made it to Formula 1 with the other being Narain Karthikeyan.
The Chennai-born is also the first Indian to have raced in the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans. He is now a well-known commentator.
The 37-year-old is also a member of Motorsport UK’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and sits on its Racial Diversity Sub-Committee.
As a member of the FIA Drivers’ Commission – the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) of which Motorsport UK is a founding member – he is an advocate for the rights and views of drivers across the world, and he has been a Driver Representative on the FIA Single Seater Commission.
"I feel very honoured to be invited onto the Board of Motorsport UK. I moved to England from India nearly twenty years ago because the belief at the time was that if you wanted to get to Formula 1, you had to come and race in the UK as it was the capital of world motorsport.
"To now have the opportunity to work with the rest of the Board and the Motorsport UK organisation in shaping the future landscape of motorsport in the UK is very exciting," said Chandhok, who has become the governing body's youngest ever board member.
Motorsport UK Chair David Richards added said: "Karun is a respected and accomplished member of the motorsport community, whose wide-ranging experience from a variety of vantage points will be a major asset to Motorsport UK as we continue to grow and sustain the sport.
"In particular his values as a champion for a more equitable future for our sport will be a force for good as we ensure motorsport in the UK celebrates diversity and enables the full involvement of disadvantaged groups." News source PTI
India’s Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan knock out second seeds at Halle
Halle (Germany), Jun 16 India's Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan knocked out second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Edouard Roger Vasselin to move to the quarterfinals of the Noventi Open, here on Wednesday.
Bopanna and Sharan, who are waiting to know if they will make the cut at the Tokyo Games as a team, beat the Polish-French combination 7-6(11) 6-4 in the second round of the Euro 1455925 tournament that marked the beginning of the grass court season.
Bopanna (38) and Sharan (75) ended up with a combined rank of 113 on June 14, the cut off date for rankings to be considered for entries at the Tokyo Games.
The low combined rank means that the Indian pair needs a lot of withdrawals or pull outs from other nations to make the cut. News source PTI
Former Indian Cricketer Yuvraj Singh named as the face of Puma Motorsport in India
New Delhi: Global sports brand PUMA has today announced its extension of partnership with former Indian Cricketer Yuvraj Singh. The star allrounder has been associated with the brand for over a decade. Moving from cricket to the fast lane, Yuvraj Singh will now be seen in a new avatar as the face of PUMA Motorsport in India, displaying his liking for fast cars and sports-inspired fashion. With this association the 2011 World Cup Champion has joined the brand’s global league of greats like Thierry Henry, Boris Becker and Usain Bolt.
One of the most stylish players on and off the field, Yuvraj has a range of mean machines adorning his garage. A great fan of Formula 1 driver, Max Verstappen, Yuvraj fondly follows the Scuderia Ferrari Formula1 team.
Commenting on his association with PUMA, Yuvraj Singh said,“I share a long and fruitful relationship with PUMA, it’s like family. They have supported me through every point of my career—highs as well as lows. I am excited to continue working with the brand, blending my love for fast cars and style through PUMA’s motorsport–inspired collection.”
PUMA is globally associated with Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, BMW M Motorsport and Porsche Motorsport. With India being one of the greatest markets for PUMA motorsport, the sportswear brand looks forward to capitalising on the increasing demand for street style products inspired by performance gear.
Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, PUMA India & Southeast Asia added, “PUMA and Yuvraj share a deep emotional bond that only grew stronger over the years. His relentless courage and indomitable attitude perfectly embodies the spirit of our brand. Whether it’s his sporting exuberance or his sense of style, he has always been a role model of innumerable Indians. We cannot be happier about our continued relationship with Yuvraj. His love for F1, fast cars and orientation towards sports-inspired fashion makes him a perfect fit to represent our motorsport collection in India.”
Ireland Women's XI to take on North West Thunder in Manchester at Emirates Old Trafford
DUBLIN – In latest cricket news, Cricket Ireland will send a 13-player senior women’s squad to Manchester to play the North West Thunder at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground on 1 July 2021.
The T20 match will be played as part of a doubleheader, with the Vitality Blast match being played afterwards between Lancashire Lightning and Worcestershire Rapids.
North West Thunder is a regional side that plays in the English Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and will contest in the ECB’s new Regional T20 competition in 2021.
The 13-player squad to travel to Manchester is:
Laura Delany (captain), Ava Canning, Rachel Delaney, Georgina Dempsey, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Lara Maritz, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.
Ed Joyce, Head Coach of Ireland Women, said: “This will be a fantastic opportunity for our players to play a high-quality fixture in an international stadium in front of - hopefully - a vibrant crowd. The experience of the occasion will be great, however, with the T20 World Cup European Qualifier the following month, it’s crucial that our players are getting competitive, quality cricket. We see this fixture as a key part of our build-up to that qualifying tournament.”
“We are delighted to welcome Mary Waldron back into the set-up after being away in Australia for 18 months. I know Mary has been keen to get back home and join up with the squad, and her experience and skill will be a welcome addition to the playing group.”
“We would like to thank the Thunder for agreeing to play this fixture, and hope that not only can we reciprocate soon, but this may become a mutually-beneficial longer-term relationship.”
Concussed South African captain Faf du Plessis ruled out of remaining Pakistan Super League matches, returning home
Abu Dhabi, Jun 16 Former South African captain Faf du Plessis, who had suffered a concussion during a Pakistan Super League match here, was on Wednesday ruled out of the remaining matches of the T20 tournament.
Du Plessis suffered the concussion following a nasty collision with his Quetta Gladiators teammate Mohammad Hasnain while trying to save a boundary during their PSL match against Peshawar Zalmi here on Sunday.
"Faf du Plessis, who suffered a concussion in Quetta Gladiators' match against Peshawar Zalmi on Sunday, has been ruled out of the team's remaining games," ESPNcricinfo reported.
"He will be flying home to South Africa tonight." Following the freak accident, the South Africa batting star ay prone on the ground for a few minutes while the team physio attended to him.
The 36-year-old Du Plessis eventually got on his feet and walked back to the team dugout before being taken to hospital for scans.
He later tweeted the same day that he was back from the hospital and "recovering".
"Thank you everyone for all the messages of support. I'm back at the hotel recovering. Have concussion with some memory loss but I will be fine. Hopefully be back on the field soon. Much love," du Plessis had tweeted.
Du Plessis was playing his second game of the PSL upon its resumption. He had scored 5 against Islamabad United as the Gladiators lost the match by 10 wickets.
Before the resumption of PSL, du Plessis was playing in the IPL 2021, where he scored 320 runs from seven matches, including four consecutive half-centuries, his form helping Chennai Super Kings to a strong position in the table.
The lucrative league was then suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. News source PTI
England Women's cricket team make solid start in one-off Test against India
Bristol, Jun 16 Indian Women got rid of Lauren Winfield-Hill (35) after toiling hard as England Women reached a solid 86 for one at lunch on the opening day of the one-off Test here on Wednesday.
Tammy Beaumont was batting on 44 while giving her company was skipper Heather Knight (4) at the break.
The Indian pace duo of veteran Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey made a promising start, doing just enough to trouble the English batswoman on more than one occasion.
In the seventh over, Goswami induced an edge from Winfield-Hill as the batter went for an extravagant drive but Smriti Mandhana dropped the chance in the slip cordon despite getting both hands on the ball.
In the next over, Winfield got lucky again. Debutant Pooja Vastrakar induced a thick edge from the batter but the ball flew between second slip and gully to the boundary.
After a slow and cautious start, England picked up the pace. Winfield was the more positive of the two batters as she lofted Pandey over the mid-wicket to hit the first six of the innings and in the process brought up England's fifty in the 17th over.
An over later, Winfield hit another maximum, this time over backward square leg off Vastrakar.
Vastrakar eventually had the last laugh as she had Winfield caught by wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia, giving India the breakthrough.
As many as five players made Test debut for India, including Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatt, while for England Sophia Dunkley was the lone player to earn a Test cap.
Indian women team is playing its first Test match in seven years. It last played the traditional format of the game in November 2014 against South Africa in Mysuru. News source PTI