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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

50-year-old Tillakaratne named Sri Lanka's temporary batting coach

Hashan Tillakaratne has joined the Sri Lankan team as  temporary batting coach for the upcoming Test series against India. The 50-year-old, who also donned the hat of a national selector between 2013 -2015 , is expected to remain with the side at least till the end of the three Tests.
Tillakaratne represented Sri Lanka in 83 Tests and 200 ODIs, and has over 8000 international runs under his belt. The island nation, which is currently seventh in the ICC Test rankings, would be hoping to draw from the vast experience of its new batting coach, ahead of the contest against Virat Kohli-led India.

The first Test gets underway from July 26 at Galle International stadium.

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Ben McDermott at a hotel in Chennai on Monday

While the entire Australian cricket circuit feels that Ben McDermott — the eldest son of former Aussie quick Craig McDermott — has all the potential to be the next big thing, the youngster smiles shyly as you ask him about his goal.

Waiting in a hotel lobby can often be interesting. As one looks around the floor to find himself a cosy corner seat, the elevators keep moving from one floor to another. The fancy fragrance sets the mood right, and often makes one forget that the time for an appointment has gone well past the scheduled hour.

And those moments just spice up further if you bump into someone quite unexpectedly. So on Monday afternoon, as the wait to meet former Ireland fast bowler, Trent Johnston, grew longer at a five-star hotel in the city, there came a young gentleman dressed in a grey tee and shorts.
At first glimpse, he looked just like any other youngster, getting past his teens. But a closer look told you a different story. The ones who follow international cricket from close quarters are in the know of a 22-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman. And, if you are a fan of the Big Bash League, there’s no way you could have missed this young face.
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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Explaining the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup qualification scenario

The 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifiers are scheduled to take place from March 1 to April 4, 2018. Hosting rights were initially with Bangladesh but later moved to Ireland and England. There will be 10 nations participating in the tournament.

The event will have two groups, each with five teams. The participating teams will be drafted from three different zones. The four lowest-ranked teams from the ICC ODI Championship will automatically qualify for the event. Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe are certain to play the qualifiers. The other team will be decided after 30th September 2017.

The top four teams in the ICC World Cricket League Championship, which is currently taking place, will qualify for the qualifiers of the main event in 2019. Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Hong Kong, Kenya, Nepal, Namibia and the United Arab Emirates are presently the eight participating teams.Also, the two finalists of the ICC World Cricket League Division Two will take part in the qualifiers. The tournament is scheduled to be played in 2018. There will be six participating teams. Oman and Canada, the top two teams in the 2017 ICC World Cricket League Division Three, are eligible to play in the league. The bottom four teams from the ICC World Cricket League Championship will form the other four entrants.
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Chris Lynn to undergo shoulder surgery

Australia batsman Chris Lynn faces a lengthy absence after booking in for shoulder surgery.
Lynn will miss out on 2017 Caribbean Premier League and 2017 Bangladesh Premier League paydays after an operation on his troublesome left shoulder next week.

The procedure will also rule the big-hitting Queenslander out of his country's proposed one-day matches in India in September and October, but the 27-year-old is looking at the bigger picture.

"I have been battling through each tournament and umming and ahing at training but the time has come to get it done,'' Lynn told the Courier Mail."I was getting sorer and sorer after training. I am pretty confident I will be back for the Big Bash.

"I was supposed to play in the Caribbean Premier League on Wednesday so I have had to give them the bad news. I will cost myself a bit [having to sacrifice the T20 contracts], but physically and mentally it will mean a lot to get it done."He added: "They are pretty confident they can get it right but there is obviously no certainty.
"If you hurt something once you are never going to be 100 per cent but I would like to be somewhere near 100 per cent. Right now it is about 50 per cent and declining. If I can get it up to around 90 per cent I would be real happy with that."It is so frustrating. You get a roll on but it ends up being two steps forward and three steps back. It is a big decision but the right decision."
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Australian cricketers turn to India for new jobs

What's the story?
Tim Cruickshank, the commercial manager of Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) is in India to explore new job opportunities for the Australian cricketers. Due to the ongoing pay dispute between Cricket Australia and ACA, about 230 players have been left unemployed.

Tim explained the purpose behind his visit in an exclusive interview with TOI. He said, "The main reason for my trip is to have a few meetings, because as of July 1, when the players came off contract, the majority of the Australian cricketers have signed their intellectual property over to the ACA, and that's been managed by the cricketer's brand wing of ACA. So, that creates obviously a number of commercial opportunities for the ACA and for the players"

He also added that since the players are unemployed due to the dispute, it will be beneficial if they are able to find additional sources of revenue for the players and the board.

What's next?
If the pay dispute is not solved soon, Australia's tour to Bangladesh might get canceled.

Author's take
The dispute over the revenue share between Australian Cricketers and Cricket Australia has taken a toll on the overall image of Cricket in Australia. The players have a fair point in demanding a share in the revenue, especially when it comes to the domestic players, because they contribute majorly in strengthening the Board.

If the Australian Cricketers are looking beyond their national boundaries in order to find additional sources of revenue, Indian Cricket will be a safe option for them.The two parties can conveniently seek mutual benefits from the deals that ACA signs for the players.
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Captain's Corner: MS Dhoni vs Ricky Ponting

Both Dhoni and Ponting have spent the majority of their cricketing careers as the captain of their national teams and occupy the top two spots for the most number of international matches as captain. Dhoni has led India on 331 occasions, seven more than Ricky Ponting who has led Australia in 324 matches. Dhoni has led in more T20Is than any other player with 72 matches as captain, 16 more than second-placed William Porterfield, and 55 more than Ricky Ponting who only played and captained Australia in 17 T20Is.
Dhoni overtook Sourav Ganguly as the most successful Test captain of India as well as Mohammad Azharuddin as the most successful ODI captain of India. Similarly, Ricky Ponting also bettered the records of Steve Waugh in both Test and ODI cricket although his win percentage in Tests is less than that of Waugh.
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TNPL 2017: Brett Lee charms Kovaimakkal

Former Australian pacer Brett Lee enthralled the students of SNR College and School as he arrived in Coimbatore to promote the second edition of the India Cements Ltd Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) on Saturday.

Coimbatore: Cheers erupted at the SNR College when Lee uttered one word, “Vanakkam.” The students were absolutely ecstatic and continued cheering for a few minutes. Lee charmed everyone; from the young ones, to college students and even the teachers who made some of their students go and get a photograph of them.

When quizzed on his school life, Lee responded by saying that he went to the school of life and as a student, he was easily distracted. Lee was taken by surprise when asked who his favourite Indian cricketer was and the crowd echoed with chants of “Dhoni, Dhoni.” He reminisced about how the chants used to be “Sachin, Sachin” earlier and are “Kohli, Kohli” now. While Lee reiterated his admiration for Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, he also shared his admiration for MS Dhoni as a captain and person off the field.
Lee also shared an anecdote about Kohli with the crowd. “My 10-year-old son’s favourite batsman is Virat Kohli. Once, when Kohli walked past me and we shook hands, I told him that you are my son’s favourite batsman. Kohli showed a great gesture when he gave my son one of his Test shirts signed - with best wishes Kohli,” Lee narrated.
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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Women's World Cup: India set 282-run target for Australia

  • India scored 281/4 in 42 overs against Australia in the 2nd semifinal of Women's World Cup 2017 on Thursday.
  • Harmanpreet Kaur, 171*, was the highest scorer for India.
  • Earlier, India won the toss and opted to bat first in the rain-hit match.
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Women's World Cup, Ind vs Aus: Raj, Kaur take India past 70

  • India are 70/2 in 20 overs.
  • Harmanpreet kaur and Mithali Raj are at the crease.
  • Earlier, Mithali Raj won the toss and elected to bat.
  • The match has been reduced to a 42-over a side due to rain.
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Women's World Cup: India win toss, elect to bat vs Australia

  • Team India captain Mithali Raj won the toss and elected to bat first against Australia in the second semi-final of the ICC Women's World Cup 2017.
  • The match has been reduced to 42-overs-a-side due to rain.
  • The winner of this match will take on England in Sunday's final.
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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

England Moeen Ali scored four centuries in the year

It is staggering that Moeen Ali sits as lowly as sixth on the world’s all-rounder rankings. He doesn’t have the destructive reputation of England teammate Ben Stokes, but there’s no team on the planet that couldn’t be improved by having the dependable Moeen coming to the crease in a crisis.
The 30-year-old scored the fourth-most runs in the middle order behind Virat Kohli, Jonny Bairstow and Younis Khan. That’s lofty company. He’s no frontline spinner, but 34 wickets certainly more than justifies his all-round status.

14 Tests, 978 runs at 46.57.
Four centuries. Top score of 155 not out
34 wickets at 46.85.
One five-wicket haul. Best figures of 5-57.
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Chris Woakes took 11 wickets at Lord’s against Pakistan

After being on the fringes of England’s Test squad for the past few years, Woakes has well and truly cemented his spot in the XI. Noticeably quicker than previous seasons, the Englishman boasted a better average with the ball than any seamer (minimum 35 wickets) between the two Mays. The 28-year-old had a Test to remember at Lord’s writing his name on the honour boards twice in one match by picking up six wickets in the first innings and five in the second against Pakistan. Remarkably he still wound up on the losing side. That campaign was undoubtedly his best with the ball (26 wickets at 16.73).
A more than reliable performer with the bat, Woakes boasts a first-class average of 36.28, but such is the depth of England’s batting order that he often found himself coming in at No.9.

11 Tests, 40 wickets at 22.45
Two five-wicket hauls. One 10-wicket match. Best innings figures of 6-70. Best match figures of 11-102.
462 runs at 33.00.
High score of 66.
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Shakib Al Hasan scored a career best 217 against New Zealand

The world’s No.1-ranked all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan enjoyed his finest 12 months with the bat — as well as another impressive year with the ball. Never before has the 30-year-old passed 500 runs in a calendar year, but he’s already racked up 550 in 2017 alone.
He showcased his undeniable class with a career-best 217 against New Zealand, which was part of a Bangladesh-record 359-run partnership with Mushfiqur Rahim. Has the fifth best average of a spin bowler who took 29 wickets or more.

Seven Tests, 656 runs at 46.85.
Two centuries, top score of 217
29 wickets at 31.68.
One five-wicket haul. Best figures of 5-85.

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Ravi Ashwin finished one wicket short of a century

Hindered by a sports hernia and fatiguing badly by the end of India’s home season, Ashwin still managed to leave his mark in India’s final campaign against Australia. The beguiling offie picked up 21 wickets against the Australians, including a series-levelling five-for at Bengaluru. Undoubtedly aided by favourable conditions, the offie was the leading wicket-taker in the world by some margin over the 12 months — the next best bowler took 23 fewer. At his best he was simply unplayable as New Zealand found out (27 scalps at 17.77).
For a large part of the year he was India’s most important player, with his ability with the bat allowing Virat Kohli to play just the five specialist batsmen. Often called on to bat in the top six, Ashwin scored two vital tons against the West Indies and passed 50 four times in seven innings against England.

17 Tests, 99 wickets at 24.91.
Nine five-wicket hauls. Three 10-wicket matches. Best innings figures of 7-59. Best match figures of 13-140.
699 runs at 33.28.
Two centuries. Top score of 118.
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