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Friday,12-August-2022

Sports

CSK’s Conway reveals his emotional struggles following a freak injury during 2021 T20 World Cup

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Chennai Super Kings’ charismatic batter Devon Conway has revealed the trauma of missing the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 final in the UAE because of a freak injury in the semifinal against England.

The 30-year-old New Zealand cricketer was dismissed by England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler in the successful run chase in the semifinal, and a frustrated Conway smashed his bat to the ground, breaking the fifth metacarpal in his right hand.

“I think it took a while for me to get over that. I remember when I got the X-rays back, the surgeon said to me you have got a fracture in your hand. It was immediate devastation. Right, this is the end. I am not playing the final. I am not going to India straight after the World Cup (for the Test and limited-overs series). All the opportunities that were presenting themselves, I was close to the door and I think the worst thing was to go back to the hotel and tell the boys that I have done this and jeopardised my opportunity to play and help the guys to try and win the final,” Conway said on chennaisuperkings.com.

“That was the toughest thing. I was fortunate enough to get the support from every single player in the group. They knew that it was a freak accident, I never for one second thought that punching my bat with my glove on I would potentially break my hand and be out of the World Cup final. So it was an immediate regret.”

Conway, who is averaging a massive 77 in IPL 2022 after scoring three half-centuries (231 runs) in the four games he has played for CSK this season, added that he had no option but to come to terms with what he had done and try to control his emotions.

“For me to overcome that I had to come to peace with that it was a mistake and the learnings that came from it all was just to make sure that you control your emotions in the heat of battle. Whether it is through your actions or it is through what you say you have to remain calm. No matter how intense that moment becomes, instead of me dwelling on that for years.

“Unfortunately, that will live with me forever. I might never get an opportunity to play in an ICC World Cup final again, but I cannot let that hold me back. I have got to try and take the learnings from it and just remember that I don’t want to go through that experience again. So, it was a bad situation but I can take the learnings from it and move on,” he added.

International

England beat Germany after extra time to win UEFA women’s Euro

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England beat Germany 2-1 after extra time in a packed Wembley Stadium in London, bringing home the trophy of the UEFA women’s Euro for the first time.

Germany suffered a heavy blow minutes ahead of the final on Sunday evening as their captain Alex Popp had to pull out after picking up an injury during the warm-up.

The 31-year-old forward had scored in all five previous matches in this tournament and scored twice in Germany’s 2-1 win against France in Wednesday’s semifinal, reports Xinhua. England, reaching the Euro’s final for the third time, couldn’t break the deadlock until Ella Toone came off the bench to score the opener in the 62nd minute.

But midfielder Lina Magull helped Germany equalise in the 79th minute.

The 1-1 scoreline was held until the 110th minute while substitute Chloe Kelly prodded in her first goal for the England team.

“What we’ve done is incredible. I knew we had England behind us- we saw that coming to the stadium,” said England head coach Sarina Wiegman in front of 87,192 fans in Wembley.

“But the whole tournament we’ve had so much support from our fans. I’m so proud of the team.”

The 52-year-old Dutchwoman, who also guided the Netherlands to win the women’s Euro trophy in 2017, is the first coach to lead two different teams to the title.

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National

Ravi Shastri calls for reduction in number of T20Is played to counter scheduling issues

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Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has called for a reduction in the number of T20Is played to counter the raging issue of scheduling in international cricket. The month of July 2022 has seen the issue of hectic scheduling in cricket and prioritisation of franchise T20 leagues being reignited.

South Africa chose to pull out of a three-match ODI series against Australia in January 2023 to ensure their players would be available for the upcoming new domestic T20 competition in the country.

Earlier this week, England’s Test skipper and all-rounder Ben Stokes announced his retirement from ODI cricket after the first match against South Africa at the age of 31, citing the “unsustainable” workload by playing in all three formats.

With speculations coming that the upcoming Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the 2023-27 cycle will have more of T20I action, Shastri, currently in United Kingdom as a member of the Sky Sports commentary team, feels that bilateral T20Is should be reduced by a huge amount to free up the hectic international calendar.

“I would be a little careful of the number of bilateral splits, especially in T20 cricket. There’s a lot of franchise cricket which can be encouraged, whichever country it’s in – India, West Indies, or Pakistan. You play less bilaterals and then you get together for the World Cups. So, the emphasis on ICC World Cup events becomes paramount. Then people look forward to them,” said Shastri in an episode of the Vaughany and Tuffers podcast.

Shastri, a former India all-rounder and member of the 1983 Cricket World Cup winning team, further asked for creation of two divisions in Test cricket in a bid to safeguard the future of the longest format of the game.

“I think two tiers are needed, otherwise Test cricket will die in 10 years time. You need six teams at the top, and then six teams in the second and then you qualify. And those top six play against each other more often because of the corridor you open up by having less bilateral T20 cricket and just franchise cricket. That’s the way all formats of the game can survive.”

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International

Pakistan Cricket Board wants ICC to form strategy on growth of franchise T20 leagues

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Saturday that it has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to form a strategy on controlling the growth of lucrative franchise T20 leagues with rising concerns about its impact on the international cricket calendar.

Earlier this week, South Africa pulled out of a three-match bilateral ODI against Australia in January as it clashes with their new domestic T20 competition, the third time they will be attempting to have a successful franchise T20 League.

The next cycle of the Future Tours Programme (FTP), for 2024-31, which shows the schedule of teams playing bilateral series against each other and at what venues, is set to be confirmed in the upcoming week during the annual conference of the ICC at Birmingham.

“Growth of franchise cricket is impacting the already crammed international cricket calendar. The PCB is concerned about this development and wants the ICC to formulate a strategy on this issue,” said PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain in a statement.

“We have sent a proposal to the ICC, which they have added to their meeting agenda. Two other boards have also conveyed their apprehensions to the ICC on this matter and urged the ICC to create a working group to debate on the expansion of franchise-based T20 leagues,” added Hasnain.

Talking about the confirmation of the FTP, in the context of Pakistan recently starting to host international cricket at home, Hasnain remarked, “Finalising the Future Tours Programme (FTP) is very important for us.

“This will give us certainty about which teams will be visiting us and which countries we will be touring. 80 per cent of the FTP has already been agreed upon and the remaining 20 per cent will be completed in the upcoming meeting.”

The upcoming ICC Annual Conference in Birmingham also marks the first time the meeting will happen after a Covid-19 pandemic caused a stoppage. “The annual conference presents a unique opportunity for networking with representatives of the world cricket.

“We are planning several initiatives that involve fellow members and meetings have already been set up on the sidelines with other boards to collectively enhance our common interest,” concluded Hasnain.

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