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Friday,23-April-2021

International

COVID-19: BCB requests ICC to extend World Test Championship cycle

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Bangladesh Cricket Board. (Photo: Twitter/@BCBtigers)

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to extend the World Test Championship cycle as it does not see the team playing its eight recently-cancelled matches because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh were supposed to play one away match against Pakistan in April, a two-match series against Australia in June, two Tests against New Zealand along with three against Sri Lanka.

“Unless the current ICC Test Championship cycle is extended there is no way we can play those eight Test matches in the stipulated time frame of the first cycle,” BCB cricket operations chairman Akram Khan told Cricbuzz.

“We are looking forward to see what ICC does with the Test Championship because unless it is reshuffled there is hardly any possibility to play the eight Test matches that got cancelled,” he said.

BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury also said there will be little scope to play those cancelled Test matches if the ICC Test Championship final is held as slated next year.

“If the Test Championship final match happens on schedule that is in next June then the fate of these matches (eight Tests) is very slim because it means there is no possibility of these Test matches because we have no space left to play these matches by next June,” said Nizamuddin.

“But if the Test Championship final date gets extended, then maybe there will be a chance but even after the extension, even if there is an opportunity, it will have an impact on other schedules as well because we have a compact schedule until 2023,” he said.

The World Test Championship has nine of the 12 Test-playing nations that clash swords in a two-year cycle.

As per the schedule, all teams were slated to play six Test series — three at home and three away but not all will play the same number of Tests.

The two teams with the most points at the end of the league stage will contest the final next June with every team being able to score a maximum of 120 points from each series.

A total of 72 Tests were supposed to be played between July, 2019 and March 31, 2021.

International

Eoin Morgan fined Rs 12 lakh for KKR’s slow over-rate

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Eoin-Morgan

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan has been fined Rs 12 lakh for maintaining a slow over-rate during their IPL match against Chennai Super Kings here at the Wankhede Stadium.

“As it was his team’s first offence of the season under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to minimum over-rate offences, Morgan was fined Rs 12 lakh,” said the IPL.

KKR’s lower order put up a brave fight but could not get their team past the finishing line on Wednesday, as CSK beat them by 18 runs in a high-scoring encounter.

With KKR reeling at 31/5 in 5.2 overs while chasing an imposing 221 for victory, it looked like CSK would win the match with ease.

However, Andre Russell (54 off 22 balls; 3×4, 6×6), Pat Cummins (66 not out off 34 balls; 4×4, 6×6) and Dinesh Karthik (40 off 24 balls; 4×4, 2×6) staged a remarkable fight back to take KKR to 201/9 in 19 overs. With 20 needed off the last over, last man Prasidh Krishna was run out off the first delivery as Cummins tried to steal a double to retain strike, thus confirming an 18-run win for CSK.

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Karim Benzema brace takes Real to top of the table

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Karim Benzema struck twice to earn Real Madrid a comfortable 3-0 victory over Cadiz to take them provisionally back top of La Liga.

They are level with Atletico Madrid on 70 points but have a better head-to-head record than Diego Simeone’s side, who face Huesca on Thursday, DPA reported.

Benzema netted his 20th league goal of the season from the penalty spot after Vinicius Junior was fouled, after an even start to the game.

Three minutes later Alvaro Odriozola doubled the lead from Benzema’s cross, and the Frenchman netted again in the 40th minute from close range, heading home a Casemiro ball.

“I’m happy for the team because it’s not easy to play away from home and we had to pick up three points,” said Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane. “We are happy for the win.”

“When you score a goal it’s easier but we scored three. We have to continue, rest now because we have a game on Saturday [against Real Betis].

“How Benzema is playing makes me happy, we know how important he is. He’s crucial for our game. We enjoy him and I hope that Real Madrid keep doing that for a long time.”

Zidane’s squad is heavily depleted due to injuries and the coronavirus, with the coach starting in midfield 20-year-old Antonio Blanco, who made his debut as a substitute last Sunday in the 0-0 draw with Getafe.

Blanco was impressive and helped Madrid control the game, although Iza Carcelen’s clumsy foul on Vinicius was the moment that put Madrid in the driving seat.

Cadiz, 13th, made several changes at the break and substitute Anthony Lozano was lively in attack but they failed to trouble Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Earlier, Youssef En-Nesyri struck in the 53rd minute to hand Sevilla a 1-0 win at Levante, to take them provisionally third before Barcelona host Getafe on Thursday.

Alaves earned an important 2-1 win over Villarreal to move 16th and three points clear of the relegation zone, while Elche and Real Valladolid, 19th and 17th respectively, drew 1-1.

Elsewhere Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao drew 0-0 and Osasuna earned a 3-1 win over Valencia.

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South Africa captains fear suspension due to administrative crisis

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Dean-Elgar

South Africa’s Test captain Dean Elgar, limited overs captain Temba Bavuma and women’s captain Dane van Niekerk signed a statement by the country’s cricketers in which they apologised to stakeholders due to the administrative crisis in Cricket South Africa (CSA).

They also expressed fear that government intervention in the administration of the sport could lead to the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspending the team with just months left for the men’s T20 World Cup this year.

The statement has been written on behalf of the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and signed by its president Khaya Zondo.

“The governance crisis that has engulfed cricket for over 18 months has now escalated to the point where the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture has formally noted his intent to intervene in the sport. We respect the fact that the Minister has shown great patience in dealing with the governance crisis, and the events as they unfolded at the Special General Meeting of 17 April 2021, were in bad faith and disrespectful not only to his office, but to all cricketers and the public,” said the cricketers in the statement.

“Government intervention in the sport will have dire consequences, the full extent of which we do not yet know. The right to represent South Africa may be withdrawn and the ICC may suspend Cricket South Africa. These outcomes will in turn impact touring, broadcast rights and sponsorship deals. Ultimately the financial viability of the game will suffer and cricket at all levels will be severely prejudiced,” they said.

The players said that they recognise the importance of the support of sponsors in their own careers.

“As players, we wish to speak directly to the many sponsors of our beloved game – such as SAB, Betway, Momentum, KFC – we recognise and acknowledge that your involvement in the game supports our careers and provides funding for the development of the game throughout South Africa. We apologise for the actions of our Administrators who have undermined and betrayed your commitment to the sport. We are aware that many of you have engaged SACA directly over the past 12 months, confirming your support for us, the players, and for that we thank you,” they said.

“And finally, to the most important stakeholder in the game – the public – we ask that you continue to support cricket. It is the most wonderful game, and we are immensely proud to represent you on the field. We implore the Members’ Council, Interim Board, Ministry and SASCOC to resolve this impasse so as to ensure that we can continue to do so,” said the statement.

They also expressed concern over the development of the women’s game, especially considering the success the national team has enjoyed recently.

“The Momentum Proteas Women’s team has enjoyed unparalleled success over the past 14 months, and the women’s game in South Africa is on the verge of significant expansion. The development of the game is now under serious threat, and at a time when we should be enthusiastic about the future, we have to be concerned about its future,” it said.

“The Proteas Men’s team has an ICC World T20 Event in November. Preparation has already started for this event, and the current state of cricket administration undermines our work in this regard. It may even lead to our suspension from this event should the ICC decide to suspend South Africa,” said the statement.

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