ESPNcricinfo Awards: Pant wins 'Test Batting Award', Williamson is 'Captain of Year'
New Delhi, Feb 10 (Cricket News) India's dashing keeper-batter Rishabh Pant won top 'Test batting' prize for his series-winning knock of 89 against Australia in Brisbane last year while New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was adjudged 'Captain of the Year' at the 15th Annual ESPNcricinfo awards.
The Test bowling award went to Kyle Jamieson for his 5 for 31, which helped New Zealand become the first World Test champions.
Pant steered India to an unlikely victory in the dying moments of play in the final Test, taking them to a 2-1 series win. Few would have predicted India to emerge victorious as they went into the match with a third-string side in the wake of numerous injuries to their first-choice players.
Williamson, who was up against Virat Kohli, Babar Azam and Aaron Finch for the award, won it for leading his side to the World Test Championship win and a runners-up place at the T20 World Cup.
England fast bowler Ollie Robinson was named Debutant of the Year for his 37 wickets at 21.16 in eight Tests, which made him England’s second highest wicket-taker in Tests in 2021.
While England men's side had a largely forgettable year, they still managed to grab three awards.
Saqib Mahmood's 4 for 42 in a nine-wicket win over Pakistan got him the top ODI bowling prize. Jos Buttler won the T20I batting award for his unbeaten 101 off 67 balls on a challenging surface in Sharjah against Sri Lanka at the T20 World Cup.
The ODI batting and T20I bowling awards went to Pakistan. Fakhar Zaman won the top batting prize for his 155-ball 193 against South Africa at the Wanderers, the highest score in an ODI chase and the second highest ever in a losing cause.
And, Shaheen Afridi won the T20I bowling award for his annihilation of India in the 10-wicket win for Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.
The jury for the awards included former players Daniel Vettori, Ian Bishop, Tom Moody, Ajit Agarkar, Lisa Sthalekar, Daryll Cullinan, Russel Arnold, Daren Ganga, Shahriar Nafees, Bazid Khan and Mark Nicholas, as well as ESPNcricinfo's senior editors and writers.
The jury picked the best performances in the three men's international formats, and performances in women's and Associates cricket at large, in the previous calendar year.
Also Read : ICC Women’s World Cup squad announced for England
News Source : PTI
Docu series 'Down Underdogs' will leave Indian cricket fans in nostalgic tears
(Cricket news) It's been almost a year since the Indian cricket team against all the odds defeated Australia in an away Test series. Now Sony Sports has released a 4 part docu series on India's triumph where they won 2-1 away against the mighty Australia despite numeral setbacks. The series is available to watch on SonyLiv
In the docu series, viewers will see players Hanuma Vihari, Mohammed Siraj and Marnus Labuschagne talking about their experiences. Former cricketers turned commentators Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Nick Knight, Isa Guha, Vivek Razdan, Lisa Sthalekar, Micheal Clarke, Jason talked about the series and also their own experiences in similar situations. Journalists Harsha Bhogle, Ayaz Memon, Joy Bhattacharjya, Gaurav Kapoor and Rajdeep Sardesai highlighted several points about the series and the historical context of it.
The topic of the documentary was such that fans of Indian cricket would enjoy it regardless of the quality of the end product because it is still fresh in people's mind and the memories of it would trigger the nostalgic factor in people's brain who have experienced the series even if it is through their T.V screens. Each episode focused on the 4 Test matches titled Adelaide Aberration, Melbourne Magic, Sydney Siege and Brisbane Breached.
Throughout the series there were stories and anecdotes about players like Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar. The series brilliantly portrayed important parts of the series like Virat Kohli leaving after the first Test, Ravichandran Ashwin's battle with Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane's hundred, India's multiple injury woes, racist abuse, the unexpected debuts of inexperienced Indian players and Tim Paine's sledging.
The main thing missing was that Marnus Labuschagne, Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Siraj were unable to enlighten the viewers about their mindset during and before the games. What the atmosphere was inside the changing room was not really talked about. The main takeaway from the series was that it depicted the beauty of Test cricket and why it is the best format of the game and must be preserved. Overall the series is definitely a must watch for all the cricket fans. The high drama along with the ebbs and flow of the Test series is highlighted and enhanced in the docu series.
Harmanpreet named in WBBL Team of the Tournament
Adelaide, Nov 22 (Cricket news) Indian T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has been named in the Women's Big Bash League's official 'Team of the Tournament' after her stellar all-round performance for Melbourne Renegades this season.
Kaur has shone bright with both bat and ball for the Renegades, scoring 399 runs with three half-centuries. Her strike rate has been an impressive 135.25 while her average is 66.5.
Her highest score was an unbeaten 81-run knock against the Sydney Thunder last week. She has also hit a competition-best 18 sixes till now.
"Harmanpreet Kaur has been a dominant force with bat and ball for the Renegades, spearheading their rise back up the ladder after joining her new club," cricket.co.au said.
Kaur has also proved her mettle with the ball following an injury to the team's star leg-spinner, Georgia Wareham. The 32-year-old has been brilliant in the power play and has snared 15 wickets. The Indian T20 skipper also boasts of the best figures of 3/22.
Kaur is the only Indian to feature in the best XI of WBBL despite some quality performances by the likes of Smriti Mandhana, who became the first from the country to hit a century in the league with a record-equalling 114 not out.
Apart from Kaur, New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine, who plays for Perth Scorchers, was the only other international player in the best XI.
The selection panel included cricket.com.au journalist Laura Jolly, former Australia players Lisa Sthalekar and Mel Jones and Australia national selector Shawn Flegler.
The Renegades are slated to play The Challenger on Thursday.
Also Read : Better bats, smaller boundaries reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machine: Chappell
News Source : PTI
Pakistan's Asif Ali and Ireland's Laura Delany voted ICC Players of Month
Dubai, Nov 9 (Cricket News) Pakistan batter Asif Ali and Ireland all-rounder Laura Delany were on Tuesday named the ICC male and female players of the month for October.
Ali beat Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan and Namibia's David Wiese to the men's award, and Delany prevailed over teammate Gaby Lewis and Zimbabwe's Mary-Anne Musonda for the women's prize.
Ali scored 52 runs without defeat across three matches for Pakistan in October at the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, scoring at a strike rate of 273.68.
He first grabbed headlines at the tournament by blasting 27 not out from 12 balls to help Pakistan beat New Zealand, but it was what he did in the next game that made him the talk of the town. With Pakistan needing 24 runs off the final two overs against Afghanistan, Ali hit four sixes in the 19th over to lead his side to victory.
Commenting on Ali’s performance, ICC Voting Academy member Irfan Pathan said: “Helping your team to win, especially from the jaws of defeat is what makes Asif Ali special. And he did that not just once but twice.
"Although he scored considerably less than other two nominated players, the contribution he made and the pressure situations from where he snatched the victories made all the difference.” Ireland captain Delany shone in their 3-1 ODI series win over Zimbabwe. The all-rounder flourished with bat and ball, scoring 189 runs at 63, and taking four wickets at 27.
Commenting on Delany’s performance, ICC Voting Academy member Lisa Sthalekar said: “Laura has been playing international cricket for over a decade and has the difficult task of captaining her country, which carries a great weight of expectation.
"I have been following her career ... watched her development. This recent series was a breakout series for her as she was able to register her highest ODI score and is a worthy recipient of the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for October.” Fans can vote every month for their favourite male and female cricketers across all formats of international cricket.
Also Read : New Zealand elect to bowl against England in first semifinal
News Source : PTI
Irish cricketer Laura Delany announced ICC Player of the Month
(Cricket news) Ireland’s Laura Delany has been voted ICC Player of the Month for October, the 28 year old was selected ahead of her teammate Gaby Lewis and Zimbabwe’s Mary-Anne Musonda. In the men’s category, Pakistan’s Asif Ali received the coveted award.
Commenting on Delany’s performance, ICC Voting Academy member Lisa Sthalekar said: “Laura has been playing international cricket for over a decade and has the difficult task of captaining her country, which carries a great weight of expectation. I have been following her career ever since I played alongside her in the Gordon Women’s Club in Sydney and watched her development. This recent series was a breakout series for her as she was able to register her highest ODI score and is a worthy recipient of the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for October.”
Laura Delany said: “I was delighted to be nominated with Gaby and Mary-Anne, and from an Irish perspective it has been a really good sign that we’ve had a few players in recent times to have been nominated. It’s a great honour to win it though, and I’d like to thank Lisa [Sthalekar] for her kind words.”
ICC to replace 'batsman' with 'batter' from T20 WC onwards
Dubai, Oct 7 (Cricket news) The International Cricket Council on Thursday decided to replace 'batsman' with gender-neutral term 'batter' in all its playing conditions starting with this month's men's T20 World Cup, describing the move as a "natural and overdue evolution" in the sport.
Last month, the Marylebone Cricket Club announced it would be replacing the word 'batsman' with 'batter' in the Laws of Cricket. That change will now be reflected across all ICC playing conditions going forward.
The ICC said over the past four years it has been moving away from the word 'batsman', with 'batter' implemented regularly in commentary and across the organisation's channels.
The body's acting CEO Geoff Allardice said the MCC's decision to move to 'batter' in the laws of the game was one they 'welcomed'.
"The ICC has been utilising the term batter for some time now across our channels and in commentary and we welcome the MCC’s decision to implement it into the Laws of cricket and will follow suit with our playing conditions that are derived from the Laws," Allardice said in a statement.
"This is a natural and perhaps overdue evolution of our sport and now our batters are gender-neutral in the same way as bowlers, fielders and wicket keepers." He said it's a small change but one that will have significant impact on cricket being viewed as a more inclusive sport.
"Of course language changes alone will not grow the sport, we must ensure that girls and boys who are inspired to play cricket have a fantastic, fun first experience and are both able to progress as cricketers without barriers." For ICC Hall of Famer and former Australia star Lisa Sthalekar, the move to 'batter' is a simple but important one.
Unaware cricket was a sport played by women as a child, Sthalekar went on to become one of the finest from Australia before making the step into commentary.
Having grown up using the term 'batter' as a player, she stuck to the word when she stepped behind the microphone and remembers being told by a co-commentator in one of her earliest gigs that “batter was for fish.” "We don't say 'hey look at that fieldsman', we say 'look at the fielder'. We don't say 'bowlsman', we say 'bowler'," she said following the MCC decision.
"So if there is a similar term to describe someone with a piece of wood in their hands, why wouldn't we follow suit?" The ICC said it's worth noting that up until this century, the phrase 'fieldsman' was an accepted term before the MCC stepped in back in 2000.
Sthalekar is well aware even with the ICC and MCC both moving permanently to 'batter' that 'batsman' will still be heard on occasion in the media.
"It's like a habit, it takes forever to get rid of it." But the more 'batter' is used, the more it will become the norm and with that cricket will better engage with the next generation, she said.
Allardice described the move as a "common-sense change".
"Why not take a small step to ensuring we're a sport that doesn't exclude 50 per cent of the world's population with outdated language choices.
"Whilst some may have made lots of noise against this common-sense change, the majority of people within the game have welcomed the move."
Also Read : Former spinner Kristen Beams wants India-Aus women's trophy to be named after Goswami, Fitzpatrick
News Source : PTI
Indian cricket players emerge as hottest overseas property in Women's Big Bash League
Sydney, Jul 8 (Cricket news) Indian players, led by teen sensation Shafali Verma, have emerged as the hottest overseas property for the Women's Big Bash League, considering they will already be in Australia before the event kicks off on October 14.
The tournament schedule was announced on Thursday.
India play three ODIs, a pink ball Test and three T20s against Australia in September-October.
Since they would have already done their 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Australia, it makes a lot easier for the teams to sign them.
Sydney Sixers are close to formalising a deal with Shafali and left-arm spinner Radha Yadav.
According to cricket.com.au, Smriti Mandhana Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues and Poonam Yadav could also be in demand for their services in WBBL.
"(Shafali Verma) is on everyone's list, no doubt," Sydney Sixers list manager and former Australia captain Lisa Sthalekar told reporters on Thursday.
"She loves Australian conditions, we saw that in the T20 World Cup. Each club will have some vacancies and (there may be) an Indian player there that could fit that role ... I'm sure that they're picking up the phone and making those calls.
"It helps that they're in the country and they've already done the two weeks’ quarantine." Another big reason why Indians are in demand is that England's tour of Pakistan is clashing with the WBBL.
Cricket Australia's head of Big Bash Alistair Dobson expressed confidence is getting the services of overseas players amid the pandemic.
"It's inevitable there will be some hurdles but we have great experience from last year and we showed our ability to work closely with governments and players and different stakeholders to get players in," Dobson said.
"We understand the challenges but we’re hopeful of being able to work around it again. That said, it is an ever-changing landscape and we’ll have to be nimble and flexible."
Also read: Cricketers Shafali, Sneh nominated for 'ICC player of the month' award after exploits against England
News source: PTI
Lisa Sthalekar slams BCCI on Veda Krishnamurthy
New Delhi, May 15 Former Australian women's team captain Lisa Sthalekar has claimed that the BCCI neither checked on Veda Krishnamurthy after the twin tragedies in her family nor communicated to the bereaved India cricketer its decision to not consider her for the upcoming tour of England.
Earlier this month, the flamboyant middle-order India batter lost her elder sister Vatsala Shivakumar to COVID-19, two weeks after her mother succumbed to the dreaded virus.
On expected lines, she was not included in the Indian Test and ODI team for next month's tour of the United Kingdom, but ICC Hall of Famer Sthalekar was not convinced with the BCCI's handling of the whole episode.
"Whilst not selecting Veda for the upcoming series may be justified from their point of view, what angers me the most is that as a contracted player she has not received any communication from BCCI, just to even check how she is coping," Sthalekar said in a note on her Twitter handle.
She added, "A true association should deeply care about the players that play the game... not focus solely on just the game at any cost. So disappointed." Bengal's wicketkeeper-batsman Shreevats Goswami, who has also had stints in the Indian Premier League (IPL) besides representing the country in the U-19 level, backed Sthalekar.
The 28-year-old Bengaluru-based Veda recently paid an emotional tribute to her sister and mother, who succumbed to the virus in a span of two weeks.
The all-rounder, who has been helping others through her social media by amplifying their requests for aid, has represented India in 48 ODIs and 76 T20s.
Sthalekar, the first player to achieve the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in women's One-Day Internationals, felt the time has come for a player' association for the Indian women's team.
"As a past player the ACA (Australian Cricketers' Association) have reached out daily to see how we are and provided all kinds of services. If there was a need for a player association in (India) surely it is now." The 41-year-old Sthalekar, now a commentator, said being looked after has become more important at the moment, with the pandemic wreaking havoc across the world.
"The stress, anxiety, fear and grief that many players have experienced through this pandemic will take its toll on them as individuals and inadvertently affect the game," Sthalekar signed off.
Goswami said state cricket associations in India don't care about their players.
"I don't think cricket Associations caring about their players are even thought by the management in India, Mental health & communicating with players on drawing a future guide for their players doesn't even cross their mind, I can say this for domestic cricket," Goswami tweeted.
India is reeling under a devastating second wave of the pandemic with cases rising by over three lakh everyday and the crisis has been compounded by a shortage of some crucial medicines and oxygen supplies. News Source : PTI
We'll ensure you reach home seamlessely: BCCI assures foreign players at IPL
New Delhi, Apr 27 The BCCI on Tuesday said it would do everything to ensure that foreign players competing in the IPL reach their respective countries seamlessely once the tournament ends, a day after three Australians quit the event amid an upsurge of COVID-19 cases in India.
Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals) and the duo of Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) withdrew as apprehension set in after a couple of weeks went by smoothly for the league held in front of empty stands across six venues.
"We understand that many of you are apprehensive about how you will get back home once the tournament concludes... We want to apprise you that you have nothing to worry about," BCCI COO Hemang Amin said in a letter addressed to the players.
"The BCCI will do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations seamlessely. The BCCI is monitoring the situation very closely and is working with the government authorities to make arrangements to get you home once the tournament concludes.
"Be rest assured that the tournament is not over for BCCI till each one of you has reached your home, safe and sound," he added.
India is recording over 3 lakh daily cases for the past few days and the health infrastructure is struggling to handle the rise with shortage of oxygen and some crucial medicines adding to the crisis.
Australia on Tuesday suspended all direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect until May 15 due to the "very significant" spike in COVID-19 cases.
Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey acknowledged that Australians in the IPL are a "bit nervous" about getting back home in the wake of the situation here.
Amin lauded the players for carrying on.
"As some of you have said, 'if we can help distract people from all the troubles of recent times, even if it is for a short while, we have done a great job'. When you all walk out onto the field, you are bringing hope to millions of people who have tuned in.
"If, even for a minute, you can bring a smile on someone's face, then you have done well. While you are professionals and will play to win, this time you are also playing for something much more important," he concluded.
The letter also stated that the teams will no longer be allowed to order food from outside.
"...earlier in the tournament, we had permitted food deliveries from outside your designated hotels, but these privileges have also been withdrawn. Apart from this, we have also increased our level of caution to strengthen our bio-bubbles," it said.
"I am sure you will understand and co-operate with us on these steps taken to strengthen the bubble." Several England and New Zealand players are also competing in the event but haven't yet spoken about their concerns. The IPL final is scheduled to be held on May 30 in Ahmedabad.
As many as 14 Australian players remain in the event, including stars such as Steve Smith (DC), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), as well as coaches Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katich (RCB).
Commentators Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Michael Slater and Lisa Sthalekar are also among the Australians involved with the league right now. News Source : PTI