Category Archives: News

Rohit Sharma to lead Team India in white-ball series against England

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) All-India Senior Selection Committee  has announced the squads for the three-match T20I and ODI series against England, set to be played after the rescheduled fifth Test, with Rohit Sharma returning to lead both white-ball sides.

Rohit, who has been ruled out of the Edgbaston Test, starting on Friday, after testing Covid-19 positive, is expected to recover and be fit for the white ball series, beginning on July 7 in Southampton.

Keeping in mind the short time gap between the last day of the fifth Test and the start of the T20I series, the All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked two different squads for the three 20-over matches.

The squad for the first T20I have all players, who took part in the recently concluded two-match series against Ireland, with Rohit being just one addition. After getting rested for the series opener, the second and third T20I will see the return of members of the Test squad — Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Venkatesh Iyer and Arshdeep then make way for them in the second and third T20Is. However, Deepak Hooda, who hit a hundred against Ireland, has been named in both the T20I squads. Apart from Hooda, pace sensation Umran Malik also retained his place in both T20 squads.

Meanwhile, Arshdeep Singh, who was impressive during IPL 2022, has received a maiden call-up to the ODI squad. On the other hand, Hardik Pandya, who last played an ODI in July 2021, expectedly returns to the 50-over squad. Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja, who were rested from the home ODI series against West Indies, return, as does Axar Patel.

Despite K.L Rahul missing ODIs due to injury, there’s no place for Ruturaj Gaikwad as Shikhar Dhawan retained his spot at the top order. Injured Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, Shahrukh Khan and Washington Sundar all miss out after being part of the last series.

India’s squad for 1st T20I:

Rohit Sharma (Captain), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik

India’s squad for 2nd and 3rd T20I:

Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik

India’s squad for 3 ODIs:

Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd Shami, Mohd Siraj, Arshdeep Singh

Adani Sportsline announced as official partner of Indian Olympics Association for CWG 2022, Asian Games & Paris Olympics

Sports arm of the Adani Group — Adani Sportsline has become an official partner with the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) for the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, Hangzhou Asian Games 2022 and Paris Olympic Games 2024.

Notably, it will be for the second time that the Adani Group has come on board with IOA. The earlier association was in 2021, when the group sponsored the Indian Contingent during the Tokyo Olympics.

The partnership is an extension of the Adani Group’s sports portfolio that focuses on building a world-class ecosystem to nurture sporting talent, accelerate the sports economy, and play the role of an enabler in India’s journey to becoming a leading sporting nation.

“We are delighted to welcome Adani Sportsline’s participation in our journey of representing Indian athletes across the global platforms. Corporate participation will help emerging sports stars, allowing India to genuinely become a sporting nation,” said IOA Secretary General, Rajeev Mehta in a statement.

Speaking on the occasion, Pranav Adani, Director, Adani Enterprises Ltd., said, “It is our privilege to support our athletes’ journeys in their quest to bring glory to India. We celebrate this journeythrough our initiative #GarvHai. The association with IOA is a natural extension of expressing our support for the Indian Contingent.”

Adani Sportsline has supported over 28 athletes through its athlete support initiative, across a variety of sports. Six of these athletes represented India at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and among them was wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya, who brought home a silver medal in the 57 kg division.

Cricket South Africa appoints Enoch Nkwe as Director of Cricket

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday announced the appointment of Enoch Nkwe as their Director of Cricket.

The 39-year-old Nkwe will replace Graeme Smith, whose three-year term came to an abrupt end in March earlier this year following racism allegations which he was later cleared of.

Enoch played professional cricket for the Highveld Lions before he was forced to an early retirement due to his career-ending injury. He played 42 First Class, 38 List A and 9 T20s. In 2016, Nkwe joined the Netherlands team as the assistant coach.

In 2018, he took over as head coach of Highveld Lions winning both the CSA T20 Challenge and the first-class competition in his first season in charge.

A Level IV coach, Nkwe also led Jozi Stars to the inaugural Mzansi Super League title in 2018 as head coach and later in the year was the assistant coach of Vancouver Knights in the Global T20 Canada where the team finished runners-up.

Nkwe had previously been named the interim Team Director in 2019 before Smith took charge, relegating him to the assistant head coach role of the national side.

Besides Nkwe, CSA have also announced three more appointments to the board who will form a part of the organisation’s executive team.

Mtunzi Jonas takes over as the Chief Commercial Officer, Tjaart van der Walt has been appointed as the Chief Financial Officer while Wanele Mngomezulu comes on board as the Chief Marketing Officer.

According to the CSA statement, the Director of Cricket will assume duty on July 1, 2022, while the other three Executives will join on August 1.

Jos Buttler named England’s white-ball captain

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday appointed Jos Buttler as England’s new white-ball captain.

Buttler now, takes over from ODI World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, who had announced his retirement from international cricket earlier this week.

Notably, Buttler had made his T20I debut in 2011 and made his ODI debut a year later. The wicketkeeper/ batsman has led England 14 times so far (Nine ODIs & five T20Is).

Commenting on the development, Buttler, said: “I would like to offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to Eoin Morgan for his outstanding leadership over the past seven years. It has been the most memorable period for everyone involved. He has been an inspirational leader, and it has been fantastic to play under him. There are lots of things that I have learnt from him that I’ll take into this role.”

“It is a great honour to take over from Eoin, and the place he has left English white-ball cricket in is exciting, and I’m inspired for the challenges ahead. There is excellent strength-in-depth in the white-ball squads, and I’m looking forward to leading the teams out for the series that are coming up against India starting next week and later in July against South Africa. It is the greatest honour to captain your country, and when I have had the chance to step in the past, I have loved doing it. I can’t wait to take this team forward,” he added.

On the other hand, Clare Connor, Interim ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “Jos is a fantastic role model who inspires through his performances on the pitch. He has been instrumental in setting new standards in men’s white-ball cricket, and is the perfect leader to build on the incredible legacy which Eoin has built for our men’s white-ball teams.”

“I’m excited to see where Jos and Matthew Mott take things from here, particularly as we build towards the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rob Key, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, said: “Jos Buttler was the perfect choice to succeed Eoin Morgan as our white-ball captain, and I had no hesitation in offering him the role. Jos has been part of our white-ball set-up for over a decade and was integral in the transformation of the way the team has played its attacking brand of cricket over the past seven years. He is well respected in the dressing room by all of his teammates and will relish leading his country.”

“He is in the form of his life and is showcasing his talent against the best players and teams in the world. I believe the extra responsibility will take his game to a new level and inspire those around him. I’m looking forward to seeing him take us forward. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity,” he added.

Notably, Buttler is one of three England cricketers (Dawid Malan and Heather Knight) to have scored a ton in all three formats of the game.

His first assignment as England’s full time captain will be the three-match T20I series against India, scheduled to begin on July 7 at The Rose Bowl, Southampton.

Bumrah to lead Team India in Edgbaston Test, confirms BCCI

Right-arm India pacer Jasprit Bumrah was on Thursday named as the captain of the Indian team by the senior selection committee for the rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston, starting from Friday, said an official release by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The release also said that wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant will serve as Bumrah’s deputy for the much-anticipated Test match.

Bumrah becoming India’s captain for the Edgbaston Test comes after regular skipper Rohit Sharma tested positive for Covid-19 on the second day of the warm-up match against Leicestershire last week. He had scored 25 runs in the first innings of the match but didn’t come out to bat in the second innings after testing positive for Covid-19.

But with Sharma still infected with Covid-19, it means that Bumrah, who was vice-captain when India last played Tests, against Sri Lanka at home in March, will be captaining the side at Edgbaston from Friday. He will now become the 36th Test captain of India, becoming the first fast bowler to be India’s Test skipper since Kapil Dev led India against Pakistan at Bengaluru in March 1987, which was also legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar’s final Test match.

“Mr Rohit Sharma, Captain, Indian Cricket Team is ruled out of the rescheduled fifth Test against England to be played from Friday. Rohit underwent a RAT Test on Thursday morning and returned a positive result for COVID-19. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Mr Jasprit Bumrah as captain for the upcoming Test and Mr Rishabh Pant as his deputy,” said the BCCI in its official release.

With Bumrah becoming the Test captain of India for Edgbaston Test, 2022 is set to be the year where the national side had six different captains across all formats, the highest for any calendar year. He also becomes the eighth man to lead India since 2021. Previously, India had played under five captains in 1959; they were Vinoo Mankad, Hemu Adhikari, Datta Gaekwad, Pankaj Roy and Gulabrai Ramchand.

India currently lead the five-match series for the Pataudi Trophy 2-1, having registered famous victories at Lord’s (by 151 runs) and The Oval (157 runs) last year apart from a draw in Trent Bridge and a loss by an innings and 76 runs at Headingley. A win at Edgbaston will seal the series in their favour, which will be just the fourth time the visitors won a Test series in England after 1971, 1986 and 2007.

India’s squad:

Jasprit Bumrah (Captain), Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain) (wicketkeeper), KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna and Mayank Agarwal

Rohit being monitored by medical team, not yet ruled out of Edgbaston Test: Dravid

WIth the uncertainty revolving around India skipper Rohit Sharma, who had tested positive for Covid-19, head coach Rahul Dravid has now said that the right-hander hasn’t been ruled out of the Edgbaston Test against England, beginning on July 1, as he is being monitored by the BCCI medical team.

According to Dravid, the Indian team management will take a final decision after examining two more test reports of the India captain.

Rohit, 35, had returned positive on the second day of the warm-up match in Leicester last week and is currently serving the five-day isolation as recommended by the UK government.

“Rohit is being monitored by our medical team, he has not yet been ruled out. Obviously, he needs to get the negative test to be available. So we will keep monitoring that, we’ve still got close to 36 hours to go. He will have a test later tonight and maybe one tomorrow morning as well. And then we’ll see,” Dravid said in a virtual press conference.

“Obviously, he’ll have to come out of that, and it’s really up to the medical team and sports science team to decide on that. We haven’t had a chance to see him, since he is in isolation. But we will keep monitoring the situation,” he added.

Dravid further said that the clarity on Rohit’s health will only come from the chief selector Chetan Sharma and they will finalise the playing XI for the rescheduled Test after accessing the whole situation.

“It’s probably better that the communication comes officially from official sources (selectors).Once we have exact clarity on Rohit, you’ll hear something from the official sources. It’s not for me to give out official communication,” he said.

Moreover, with uncertainty over Rohit, reports suggested that Jasprit Bumrah will take up the role of the skipper in the one-off Test.

Notably, the Indian team management didn’t nominate a vice-captain after KL Rahul, who was named Rohit’s deputy when the squad was picked in May, was ruled out having picked a groin injury earlier this month.

Bumrah was the vice-captain during India’s previous Test series, against Sri Lanka at home. The pacer incidentally has never led in any form of cricket, so this will be his maiden captaincy stint. He will also become the first fast bowler to captain India since Kapil Dev.

If the 28-year-old Bumrah walks out for the toss on Friday, he will be the eighth man to lead India since 2021.

Talking on the issue, Dravid further said: “It is what it is. When I took the job I wouldn’t have predicted that there would be so many captains in the last six-seven months. That happens, right? In the times that we are living in, with Covid, there have been some unfortunate injuries to people. Even here, it is quite unfortunate what has happened to Rahul and Rohit in the last three weeks for us. And sometimes we’ve had to balance out the workloads of people. So it happens.”

“Of course, it is not something you envisage when you first start off, but if a situation arises then you react to that, you deal with that. And in spite of the number of captains we have had, we have played very good cricket over the last six to eight months. Yes, obviously the South Africa Test series was probably the one I would have liked to have won after going one-up. But even there I thought we were not outplayed, we were very close in a lot of those games. We had a few unfortunate injuries and some of our main players were probably not available for that Test series,” he added.

Dravid further hoped that the team might not have to deal with these situations in future and even if something happens, they would have the necessary plans in place.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that we don’t have to deal with these situations, but they seem to come up and we have to react. We are not fazed by it. We are clear about our communication with people. We know what is going to happen over the next few days. If something happens, we have got contingency plans and, within our group, within our team, we know what’s happening. That’s really important for us,” said Dravid.

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri named brand ambassador of FanCode

Ravi Shastri, the legendary cricketer known for his flamboyant attitude and successful stint as Team India coach, has become the new brand ambassador for FanCode, India’s premier digital sports destination for all fans.

FanCode is set to host some of the best cricketing action with exclusive rights to India’s tour of the West Indies and ECB’s The Hundred; and Shastri will bring out FanCode’s ‘fan-first’ proposition by leading the upcoming campaigns for these properties.

Shastri has been one of cricket’s most recognisable faces having served in a variety of roles throughout his distinguished career, including his on-field duty for India between 1981 to 1992, stint as a commentator, and his role as Team India’s head coach.

His in-depth understanding of the sport and popularity among sports fans will be leveraged through this association with FanCode. Starting 22nd July, all eyes will be on FanCode, as it becomes the first-ever platform to host a Team India bilateral only on digital.

The India tour of West Indies will be played during India’s Prime-Time with ODIs starting at 7pm and T20Is starting at 8pm IST, which is expected to bring 10 crore users to FanCode. The digital platform aims to reinvigorate sports broadcast by developing a holistic and immersive digital experience and giving the control to sports fans; this will be the key messaging for the upcoming campaign featuring Shastri.

Some fan-first features include on-demand real-time highlights where users can choose the highlight they want to watch during a live game; Real-time and interactive statistics and analytics overlaid throughout the live-stream like scores, heat map, wagon wheel, performance monitor, and career graph; an option to subscribe for ad-free viewing; and fans can also decide which commentator they want to listen to, besides choosing language feeds.

Welcoming the new ambassador, Yannick Colaco, Co-Founder of FanCode, said: “We are delighted to have Ravi Shastri onboard as our brand ambassador. Ravi is one of few sports personalities who has experienced success as a player, a coach and a broadcast analyst, and this has helped him develop a deep connection with casual and die-hard sports fans alike.”

Commenting on his association, Shastri, said: “Sports is always believed to bring people closer, and FanCode is taking that several notches higher by solving for the accessibility issues of cricket fans like me. I can now watch a live cricket match right from the ongoing Jharkhand T20, Vitality Blast, to a premier India tour of the West Indies upcoming in July; all of this with superior user experience on digital.”

“I’m elated to join FanCode in this journey of democratising sports for fans in India,” he added.

Founded by sports industry veterans Yannick Colaco and Prasana Krishnan in March 2019, FanCode has over 5 crore users accessing top-notch sports content, commerce and statistics through the FanCode App (Android, iOS, TV) and www.fancode.com.

FanCode has partnered with domestic and international sports leagues and associations across multiple sports including the West Indies, Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe cricket boards; with the Bangladesh board for the Bangladesh Premier League; a four-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for The Hundred; ICC Pathway Events; the J League in football; Major League Baseball; and Fifa qualifiers for the African, North and Central American, and Caribbean regions, among others.

Notably, FanCode is India’s premier digital sports destination committed to giving all fans a highly personalised experience across Sports Content, Commerce and Statistics. Founded by sports industry veterans Yannick Colaco and Prasana Krishnan in March 2019, FanCode has over 5 crore users.

Babar Azam overtakes Kohli for longest period as No. 1 batter in ICC T20I rankings

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is now officially the top-ranked T20 batter in the world for the longest period of time, surpassing Virat Kohli’s tenure, after he maintained his spot at the head of proceedings in the latest ICC T20 batting rankings released on Wednesday.

India cricketer Kohli was the No.1 ranked T20 batter for a total of 1,013 days during his reign last decade, but Azam has now surpassed this number following his long-standing stay at the top.

The Pakistan skipper is currently rated as the No.1 batter in T20Is and ODIs and recently suggested he was keen to try and claim top billing in all three formats of the game.

There was little change within the latest T20I rankings released on Wednesday, with India left-hander Ishan Kishan dropping one place inside the top-10 to seventh on the list for batters.

Ireland’s young batter Harry Tector moved up a 55 places to 66th following his impressive series with the bat against India, while Deepak Hooda jumped 414 spots to equal 104th overall.

While former England Test skipper Joe Root hangs on to his narrow lead as the top-ranked Test batter, there is big movement behind him following the completion of England’s three-Test home series against New Zealand.

Player of the Series Daryl Mitchell of New Zealand rose four places to 12th on the latest batter rankings, while fellow Kiwi Tom Blundell jumped 11 spots to 20th.

Root’s England team-mate Jonny Bairstow also caught the eye with a 20-place improvement seeing the 32-year-old move to 21st on the Test batter list.

New Zealand’s Neil Wagner dropped a spot to 10th on the latest rankings for bowlers, with England duo Stuart Broad (up one spot to 13th) and Jack Leach (up 13 places to 25th) among the notable movers.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan dropped a spot to third on the all-rounder rankings following a disappointing second Test against West Indies, with India veteran Ravichandran Ashwin taking his place in second.

West Indies’ left-hander Kyle Mayers jumped three places to eighth on the all-rounder rankings following his ‘Player of the Match’ performance against Bangladesh.

The recent rise of Australia’s Josh Hazlewood as a dominant white-ball bowler continued as the in-form seamer moved up two places to equal fifth on the latest ODI rankings.

Hazlewood is already No.1 on the T20 rankings and his move up the ODI list comes on the back of a strong spell of 2/22 in the final 50-over match of the series against Sri Lanka.

Chris Woakes’ absence during England’s recent ODI series against the Netherlands saw the tall seamer drop two spots to fourth on the latest rankings, with New Zealand quick Matt Henry (second) and Pakistan speedster Shaheen Afridi (third) both rising a place behind the top-ranked Trent Boult.

There is also a small re-shuffle inside the top 10 on the ODI batter rankings, with Australia skipper Aaron Finch dropping two spots to 12th as Root and Shai Hope move up to equal 10th.

Broad guilty of breaching ICC Code of Conduct during Headingley Test

England pacer Stuart Broad has been handed an official reprimand for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third match of England’s ICC World Test Championship series against New Zealand in the Headingley, which the hosts won by seven wickets.

The 36-year-old Broad was charged with a breach of Article 2.9, which relates to throwing a ball at or near a player in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner.

“Broad was found to have breached Article 2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to throwing a ball at or near a player in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner during an international match,” the ICC said in a statement.

“In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to Broad’s disciplinary record, for whom it was the second offence in a 24-month period, taking his cumulative demerit points to two,” it added.

The incident occurred in the 89th over of New Zealand’s second innings on Sunday, when Broad, after fielding the ball on his follow through, threw it in the direction of Daryl Mitchell, when the batter was within the popping crease and not intending to take a run.

Broad admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by David Boon, the ICC match referee at Headingley, so there was no need for a formal hearing.On-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Richard Kettleborough, third umpire Aleem Dar and fourth umpire David Millns levelled the charge.

Notably, Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points.

Eoin Morgan announces retirement from international cricket

England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan on Tuesday announced his retirement from international cricket amidst question marks over his form.

The southpaw started his career, playing for Ireland, but later shifted to England and became one of their finest cricketers in the limited-overs formats.

In 16 Tests, 248 ODIs and 115 T20Is, Morgan went on to score 700, 7701 and 2458 runs respectively with 16 centuries and 64 half-centuries.

The Dublin-born cricketer captained England in 126 ODIs and 72 T20Is.

“After careful deliberation and consideration, I am here to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect,” Morgan said.

“To call time on what has been without doubt the most enjoyable and rewarding chapter of my career hasn’t been an easy decision, but I believe now is the right time to do so, both for me, personally, and for both England white-ball sides I have led to this point,” he said.

“I am hugely proud of what I have achieved as a player and captain, but the things I will cherish and remember the most are the memories I made with some of the greatest people I know along the way.

“I have been lucky enough to play in two World Cup-winning teams, but I believe the future for England’s white-ball teams is brighter than ever. We have more experience, more strength and more depth than ever before. I look forward to watching on with a huge level of excitement,” said England’s 2019 World Cup-winning skipper.