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Saturday,08-May-2021

International

BBL 10: Rashid Khan extends stay with Adelaide Strikers

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Star Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan will again turn up for Adelaide Strikers for the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League (BBL).

“I’m so happy that I am able to play for the Strikers again in a big tenth season of the Big Bash, and I have loved this competition from the very beginning,” Rashid said from Dubai where he is playing for the SunRisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“The Strikers have been like a family to me since I joined them, and I am so thankful to the fans who have been supporting me and made me feel like Adelaide is my home,” he added.

Rashid is the third-highest wicket-taker for the Strikers with 56 from just 40 matches, and the best economy of those who have bowled more than 10 innings with 6.36. He first joined the Strikers as a teenager in 2017 and was part of the squad that won its maiden Championship, despite his absence in the final due to commitments with his national team.

Head coach Jason Gillespie is looking forward to welcoming Rashid back to South Australia for a fourth season.

“Rashid has been such a quality player and person for the city of Adelaide and the Strikers from the moment he arrived,” Gillespie said.

“We’re thrilled his world-class bowling and exciting batting will continue to entertain our loyal fans, and we want to again be challenging for a second title when the tournament begins,” he added.

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Mike Hussey and Balaji air-lifted to Chennai, put in isolation

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Mike Hussey and Lakshmipathy Balaji, the Covid-19 affected members of Chennai Super Kings’ coaching staff, have been flown to Chennai from Delhi in an air ambulance by their franchise and kept in isolation at a hotel in the city.

An official on Thursday told IANS, “They have been flown to Chennai in an air ambulance and have been kept at the Taj Club House in isolation.”

Both Hussey and Balaji had tested positive and were left behind as the rest of the team members, who reported negative tests, flew to Chennai soon after the Indian Premier League (IPL) was suspended on Tuesday.

While Balaji will then leave for home, Hussey will most probably be flown on a chartered plane to Maldives and stay there for a while before departing to Australia.

All of Hussey’s fellow Australians, who were part of the Indian Premier League — players, members of the coaching staff, commentators and other support staff — left for Maldives on Thursday morning.

They will do a two-week long quarantine before leaving for Australia.

The Australian government has banned flights from India till May 15.

After three Aussie players — Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye — had left for Australia earlier during the tournament after getting an inkling that the government would ban flights, commentator Michael Slater and umpire Paul Reiffel tried to leave but couldn’t since the ban was already underway.

Slater later escaped to the Maldives where the rest of the Aussies joined him.

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South Africa players felt safe in IPL bio-bubble: Graeme Smith

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South African players felt safe in the bio-bubble that was created by the Indian cricket board for the 2021 Indian Premier League, the country’s director of cricket Graeme Smith said.

The 2021 IPL, which was being conducted amid a raging Covid-19 pandemic in India, had to be postponed earlier this week after a number of positive tests for the virus came up within its bio-bubbles in Ahmedabad and New Delhi.

“In no way would we judge. Having spoken to the players, they felt safe. They felt the BSE (Bio-Secure Environment) was a really good experience in India. They never felt at risk. But that’s the nature of what Covid brings,” Smith, a former South Africa captain, said during a news conference,” Smith told reporters.

“Sometimes you can do whatever you want but the BSE – as we’ve said to everyone – is never foolproof. When COVID is raging in your country there’s always a risk. Unfortunately, once it gets inside it’s very difficult to predict what’s going to happen,” said the former South Africa captain.

Smith praised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for how they helped players get back to their homes once the tournament was deferred.

“The duty of care (the BCCI has) shown in getting everyone home has been exemplary. From our own players’ perspective it’s been made slightly easier in that our borders aren’t closed and there’s still commercial travel available for them,” he said.

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2022 T20 World Cup European qualifiers cancelled due to Covid

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday announced that three ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional Europe Qualifiers — pathway tournaments to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia — have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Finland was set to host their first ICC event with the Sub Regional Europe A and B qualifiers starting next month. The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional Europe B Qualifier was due to be hosted between June 30 and July 5 involving the hosts, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Luxembourg and Sweden. The A qualifier was scheduled to start three days later with Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Israel, Italy, Malta, Norway, Spain all competing until July 13.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional Europe C Qualifier which Belgium was due to host between July 5 and 10 involved Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Isle of Man, Portugal, Romania, Serbia.

“After extensive consultation with hosts, participating members, the relevant governments, public health authorities and in line with the ICC’s comprehensive contingency planning of Covid-19 the only course of action was to cancel the three events,” said the ICC.

With the three events taking place at the start of the pathway which are three steps away from the World Cup, all tournaments had to be completed by the end of July 2021 to logistically enable the Europe Qualifier currently scheduled for October 2021 to take place, therefore providing no available opportunity to reschedule the events.

Italy, Germany, and Denmark will now qualify from the Europe Sub Regional Qualifiers A, B and C respectively determined by their position in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings as on 30 April 2020. They will now join Jersey in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier scheduled to take place in Spain between 15 and 21 October 2021 with two qualifier spots up for grabs in the A or B global qualifiers.

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