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International

Amazon Prime Video forays into live sports, bags India rights for NZC

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Amazon-Prime-Video

Amazon Prime Video on Tuesday announced its arrival in the cricket streaming field in India after it inked a six-year deal with New Zealand Cricket.

Offering challenge to dominance of Sony and Walt Disney-owned Star network in the cricket streaming and telecast space, Amazon Prime Video said it has purchased the India territory rights for NZC through the 2025-26 season.

As per the deal, Amazon Prime Video will be carrying live coverage of all Black Caps and White Ferns internationals across all three formats — ODI, T20 and Tests — starting from late 2021.

“We are excited to add India’s most loved game — cricket, to our content selection for our Prime Video customers, and we are thrilled to work with NZC on this endeavour,” Amazon Prime Video Director and Country General Manager, Gaurav Gandhi, said in a statement.

“They have a strong, passionate and much-loved cricket team, and the cricketing rivalry between the two countries has been fantastic. We are happy to make this collaboration with NZC our first live sport offering in India, and are confident our Prime members will be delighted with this initiative,” he added.

The India-based NZC rights package is the latest in Prime Video’s growing line-up of live sports around the world including Thursday Night Football, the Premier League, ATP Tour Events, WTA, the US Open (tennis), UEFA Champions League, and the Autumn Nations Cup (rugby).

The deal with NZC comes at a time when the global sports rights market was being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This partnership with Amazon Prime Video is massive for NZC — we’re delighted and proud to be teaming up with such a famous and successful brand.

“As we’ve said before, the future of live sport is streaming and in Amazon Prime Video we have a partner right at the coalface of the industry; innovative, go-ahead and well-known for putting fans and subscribers first,” said NZC chief executive David White.

“India has always been an important market for us; no other country follows cricket like India, so it’s exciting to be announcing this agreement with India’s leading streamer.”

International

WTC final: India lose openers, go to lunch at 69/2

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Rohit-Sharma

India were 69 for two at lunch on the second day of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand here at the Hampshire Bowl on Saturday.

Openers Rohit Sharma (34 off 68 balls) and Shubman Gill (28 off 64 balls) made a solid start, helping India reach 62 without loss in 20 overs as New Zealand bowlers struggled for the ideal line.

But then Kyle Jamieson provided the breakthrough on the first ball of his sixth over, having Sharma caught at third slip.

Gill followed over four overs later, nicking one from left-armer Neil Wagner to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

The first day was washed out. New Zealand won the toss on the second day and elected to bowl.

Brief scores (at lunch): India 69/2 in 28 overs (R Sharma 34, S Gill 28, N Wagner 1/5, K Jamieson 1/10) vs New Zealand.

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International

WTC final: New Zealand win toss, elect to bowl

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India-vs--New-Zealand

New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl in the World Test Championship final against India here at the Hampshire Bowl on Saturday.

India have stuck to the playing eleven they had announced on Thursday. While India are going in with two spinners and three pace bowlers, the Kiwis have four pacers and no spinner in their attack.

The toss took place on the second day after the first day’s play was washed out due to rain. As many as 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled on Saturday. The Test will run into the reserve day on June 23.

Teams:

India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

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Sri Lanka middle order big worry for coach Mickey Arthur

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Sri Lanka cricket coach Mickey Arthur is worried about the lack of depth in the middle order as his team gears up to take on England in six white-ball matches, beginning with a T20 International in Cardiff on June 23.

The three-match ODI series will commence on June 29 and conclude on July 4.

“In Bangladesh, we got caught a little bit through the middle overs and that’s one area where we’ve focused hard on in our practice and preparation (in England). It’s about the intensity required through that middle period. Our strike rotation and intensity at the crease are really areas that we’ve worked on in this training block,” said Arthur, who has been with the team since February 2020.

Sri Lanka had lost the ODI series against Bangladesh 2-1 in May with all the matches being played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Arthur feels that one of the major reasons for the middle-order not clicking is shortage of players for the No. 4, 5, 6 slots, with far too many batsmen vying for top-order slots.

“We’ve reclassified guys’ roles. We’ve got a lot of players who can bat Nos. 1, 2 and 3, but we didn’t have many guys who could bat 4, 5 and 6. We’ve consolidated that here in our training session (in England). One of two players has had to change the roles that we’ve had before. We can’t be top-heavy and have no one who can bat in the middle and finish for us,” Arthur told cricinfo.com.

“We’ve knuckled down on the roles of each guy and set the scenarios up in the nets to replicate that. I’ve got a clear plan on who’s going to drop into the middle. If you look at Kusal (Perera), Avishka (Fernando) and Danushka (Gunathilaka) at 1, 2 and 3, that’s pretty good. We need to drill down and get 4, 5 and 6 batting comfortably within their roles as well, so that those middle overs — when we need to rotate strike — we’ve actually practiced it and the people we’ve sent into those positions can handle it.”

“We’ve got to settle down on a batting order as soon as we can. We can’t be jumping around having players bat in so many positions because that just creates confusion. Each position is so different.”

Sri Lanka cricket coach Mickey Arthur is worried about the lack of depth in the middle order as his team gears up to take on England in six white-ball matches, beginning with a T20 International in Cardiff on June 23.

The three-match ODI series will commence on June 29 and conclude on July 4.

“In Bangladesh, we got caught a little bit through the middle overs and that’s one area where we’ve focused hard on in our practice and preparation (in England). It’s about the intensity required through that middle period. Our strike rotation and intensity at the crease are really areas that we’ve worked on in this training block,” said Arthur, who has been with the team since February 2020.

Sri Lanka had lost the ODI series against Bangladesh 2-1 in May with all the matches being played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Arthur feels that one of the major reasons for the middle-order not clicking is shortage of players for the No. 4, 5, 6 slots, with far too many batsmen vying for top-order slots.

“We’ve reclassified guys’ roles. We’ve got a lot of players who can bat Nos. 1, 2 and 3, but we didn’t have many guys who could bat 4, 5 and 6. We’ve consolidated that here in our training session (in England). One of two players has had to change the roles that we’ve had before. We can’t be top-heavy and have no one who can bat in the middle and finish for us,” Arthur told cricinfo.com.

“We’ve knuckled down on the roles of each guy and set the scenarios up in the nets to replicate that. I’ve got a clear plan on who’s going to drop into the middle. If you look at Kusal (Perera), Avishka (Fernando) and Danushka (Gunathilaka) at 1, 2 and 3, that’s pretty good. We need to drill down and get 4, 5 and 6 batting comfortably within their roles as well, so that those middle overs — when we need to rotate strike — we’ve actually practiced it and the people we’ve sent into those positions can handle it.”

“We’ve got to settle down on a batting order as soon as we can. We can’t be jumping around having players bat in so many positions because that just creates confusion. Each position is so different.”

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