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Anrich Nortje’s fastest ball in IPL doesn’t excite Mike Atherton




Delhi Capitals’ South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje may have created waves after he bowled the fastest delivery in IPL history, clocking 156.2 kmph against Rajasthan Royals on October 14, but it has failed to excite former England captain and opening batsman Mike Atherton.

In his column for The Times newspaper, Atherton said he was surprised that a bowler in IPL or any T20 tournament still hadn’t surpassed the record set by former Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar 17 years ago, during the 2003 World Cup in Cape Town.

Atherton wrote that while hoopla around anything in the IPL was guaranteed, his own reaction to Nortje’s IPL record was more muted. The former England batsman said that what had surprised him was that despite four-over spells which were tailor-made for short, sharp spells, a bowler in a T20 tournament had still not surpassed the quickest ball in cricket.

Atherton wrote in his column that the top speed seemed to have been topped out. He based his article on a research done on baseball pitchers that infers that more players were pitching at near top speed although there had been no increase in top speed.

He has quoted a study of Glenn Fleisig, who is researching on the subject of baseball pitchers’ injuries at the American Sports Medicine Institute at the University of Alabama. The study says “unlike muscles, tendons and ligaments cannot be strengthened indefinitely” and hence the limit on the speed.

Atherton adds that there may be more quicker bowlers operating at present but the fastest are not “appreciably quicker” than the fastest bowlers of the past generation.


Six members of Pakistan squad in New Zealand test positive for Covid-19




Six members of the Pakistan’s touring squad in New Zealand have tested positive for novel coronavirus, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) informed on Thursday.

This was reported to the NZC after some of the members of the touring side, which is currently in isolation at a facility in Christchurch, had “contravened protocols on the first day of managed isolation”.

“Two of these six results have been deemed “historical”; four have been confirmed as new,” NZC stated in a media release.

“This means that, in line with the protocols governing the squad’s entry into New Zealand, the six members of the squad will be moved to the quarantine arm of the managed isolation facility,” it added.

Following the development, the Pakistan team’s exemption to train while in managed isolation has been put on hold until investigations have been completed, the host board further said.

Prior to leaving Lahore, all members of the Pakistan touring squad had returned negative results on the four occasions they were tested.

“Separately, NZC has also been made aware that some members of the Pakistan team had contravened protocols on the first day of managed isolation. We will be having discussions with the tourists to assist them in understanding the requirements,” NZC stated.

“NZC considers public health and safety to be paramount in the hosting of international teams, and is supportive of the Ministry of Health and Government position,” it added.

The Black Caps are scheduled to play three T20Is and two Tests against Pakistan, starting December 10. Before that, New Zealand will be playing three T20Is and two Tests against West Indies beginning Friday.

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Danny Fox to lead SC East Bengal in debut ISL season




Scottish defender Danny Fox will be leading SC East Bengal while Irish midfielder Anthony Pilkington will serve as his deputy in club’s maiden Indian Super League season, head coach Robbie Fowler announced on Thursday.

A centre-back who has plied his trade in the English Premier League for Southampton and Burnley, Fox previously led Nottingham Forest and Wigan Athletic, a club he played for last season in the English Championship.

“I have known Danny for a quite some time now and I strongly believe he has leadership qualities. In the two weeks that we have trained together, he has already earned the players’ trust and is a popular figure in the team who many look up to,” said Fowler as per a East Bengal’s media release.

“Our team is full of leaders and Danny is a leader among leaders. I believe in him and feel he has the acumen to drive SC East Bengal forward as we build up to the our first game, the big derby. I have had good conversations with him and he has shown the hunger like everybody else, to deliver the goods for the team,” added Fowler, the seventh-highest goal-scorer in the Premier League’s history.

Fox joined Coventry City in the English Championship from Walsall in 2008, playing 57 league games and scoring six goals before being snapped up by Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.

After his stints with Burnley and Southampton in the Premier League, he moved to Nottingham Forest in the Championship ahead of a move to Wigan.

“This is a big responsibility and I am ready for it. The Gaffer has shown his trust in me and I will not let him down. The team has gelled really well together and the mood within the group is positive. I believe we have the hunger to do well as a unit. We have had good training sessions and the lads look sharp. We obviously start with the big derby against ATK Mohun Bagan on Friday and I cannot wait to lead the red and golds on our home ground,” Fox said.

Pilkington, meanwhile, joined the red and gold brigade having played in England with more than 400 games under his belt. He has scored 83 goals in his 14 year-long professional career.

“Being the vice-captain of SC East Bengal brings with it a lot of responsibility. I am happy that the Gaffer has shown his trust in me, and I am ready to give my all for the red and golds. This team has a lot of leaders and they are all pushing eachother. We have one goal, and that is to do well in our maiden ISL season,” Pilkington said.

SC East Bengal take on ATK Mohun Bagan in their season opener on Friday at their home ground in Tilak Maidan.

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Bowling action of USA’s Nisarg Patel found illegal by ICC




The bowling action of USA’s Nisarg Patel has been found illegal by the International Cricket Council and, as such, the bowler remains suspended from bowling in international cricket.

An independent ICC assessment revealed that the amount of elbow extension in Patel’s bowling action was still above the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted in the ICC regulations.

“In accordance with Article 11.1 of the ICC Illegal Bowling Regulations, Patel’s international suspension will be recognised and enforced by all national cricket federations for domestic cricket events played in their own jurisdiction,” ICC stated in a media release.

“However, pursuant to Article 11.5 of the Regulations and with the consent of USA Cricket, Patel may be able to bowl in domestic cricket events played under the auspices of USA Cricket,” it added.

Patel was originally reported following the World Cup League 2 fixture between Oman and USA in Kathmandu on February 11 2020, following which the expert panel declared his bowling action to be illegal.

He can apply for a reassessment after modifying his bowling action in accordance with clause 4.5 of the Regulations.

Patel has so far played 8 ODIs and 4 T20Is for USA in which he has picked up 7 and 5 wickets respectively.

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