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Tuesday,15-June-2021

International

Manohar must evaluate damage done to BCCI during his tenure, says Niranjan Shah

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Former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah has said that Shashank Manohar stepping down as ICC Chairman was rather obvious and he must now look back and evaluate what he did during his time at the helm.

“Shashank Manohar stepping down as Chairman of ICC was rather obvious. Shashankji must be having mixed feelings from what could have been done for the promotion of cricket at international level and what was done to cricket of India during his tenure.

“In the relaxed phase now he may evaluate his tenure as Chairman of ICC and also as of BCCI that has been the platform. He may appraise what damage was done to Indian cricket and BCCI during his tenure; forgetting that cricket and cricket fans of India have given utmost popularity to the game; and also how much revenue and fame cricket of India has brought to the world of cricket,” he said.

Shah further stated: “BCCI went through much turmoil in last couple of years. And ICC during these years took undue advantage to damage cricket of India and BCCI in all possible manner. However, I am fully confident that present strong and worthy leaderships of BCCI shall have strong, beneficial and constructive representation and initiatives at ICC.”

Reacting to the turn of events, former BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry told IANS that the development is purely on account of the increasing clout of the BCCI at the ICC and the apprehension that Atlas might shrug.

The ICC in its statement on Wednesday said: “ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar has stepped down after two, two-year tenures at its helm. The ICC Board met today and agreed that Deputy Chairman Imran Khwaja will assume the responsibilities of the Chairperson until a successor is elected.

“The process for the Chairperson election is expected to be approved by the ICC Board within the next week.”

International

Indian team winds up its match simulation, out of quarantine

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The Indian cricket team ended its three-day match simulation on Sunday ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal among others getting a chance to bat.

“The third day of intra-squad match simulation was about settling down & finding that rhythm. [emoticon: thumbs-up twice] #TeamIndia,” tweeted the Board of Control for Cricket in India along with a brief video recapping the day’s play.

The third day saw Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill opening the innings with the former, who had a terrible outing with Warwickshire county this season, shown glancing the ball.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is shown playing a cover-drive, Rohit a cut off the back-foot and Rahane flicking the ball. Coach Ravi Shastri is seen watching the proceedings from the dressing room balcony.

The Indian team came out of its mandatory 10-day quarantine on Monday and will gear up for the WTC final which begins on June 18. The players had reached Southampton on June 3.

The New Zealand squad, after its 1-0 series win over host England, will reach Southampton from Birmingham on Monday afternoon.

The WTC final will be the first Test match India will play at a neutral venue.

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International

Williamson likely to be fit for WTC final vs all-round India: Tom Latham

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New Zealand opener Tom Latham has said that captain Kane Williamson and wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling are recovering well and is confident the duo will be available for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India from June 18 at the Hampshire Bowl.

“They are recovering reasonably well. It was important for them to get a bit of rest and be fully fit heading into the next week, so I am sure they will go through the fitness testing protocol over the next day or two in order for them to be ready to go for the next week. Fingers crossed. We will have a fully fit squad,” said Latham, who stood in place of Williamson in the second Test against England at Birmingham which the Kiwis won.

New Zealand defeated England in the second Test by eight wickets on Sunday to clinch their first Test series win in England since 1999. They managed to do it with a side that missed many frontline players.

Apart from Williamson and Watling, the Kiwis missed pace bowlers Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson who were both rested.

However, Matt Henry stepped up to the plate and took the Kiwis to victory. Batsman Will Young, who replaced Williamson, too scored runs.

Latham attributed it to the fact that the New Zealand isn’t reliant on any one player’s performance.

“We don’t necessarily rely on one or two guys. I think it is a complete team performance, guys in different situations, different guys stood up in different times and lot of the guys have been in this group for a long time now, they haven’t necessarily played as much as they would have liked,” Latham told media after beating England.

“But being around the group and travelling around the world has certainly held them in good stead and for the guys to come in and play really well, put great team performance necessary,” added the New Zealand captain.

Latham said that India are a very good all-round side and they will have to be at their best against them in the WTC final.

“[Threat from India] will be all round the board really. They have a fantastic set of bowlers, lot of quality batsmen that has scored runs in different conditions around the world. They were here a few years ago and played really well so you know we have to play really well to beat them but our focus will shift to them in a couple of days and even though the preparations have not been great over the last two weeks you know it is important shift our focus to playing completely different side,” added Latham.

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Get set, play late to score in England: Ajinkya Rahane

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India Test team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has said that batsmen need to get set and play late to score runs in England.

India play the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand from June 18 here at the Hampshire Bowl and a five-Test series against England in August-September.

“You say as a batsman you always like challenging situations and conditions. England is a place where if you are set, it (the pitch) becomes very good for batting. I have always believed that the more close you play, the later you play, the better it is for you,” said Rahane in a video posted by bcci.tv.

“One more thing I feel is that as a batsman you are never set. Even on 70-80 you are never set. One ball and there is a chance you will get out,” he added.

The 33-year-old Rahane, who is India’s top run-getter in WTC with 1,095 runs in 17 Tests, said reaching the final wasn’t easy and the team had to perform as a unit.

“We have played cricket consistently for two years as a team and the result we have is that we are in the final. It wasn’t easy. Because you know in every match, you have to give off your best,” said Rahane.

“Overall, [in] the cricket we have played since the WTC began in West Indies (in 2019) from then till now, we have performed as a unit. Yes, this is an important match, but as team we will take this as just another game. We have done great preparation. I am excited but this is just another game… whatever result we have, we will have to accept it,” he added.

Rahane termed leading the India team in Australia as one of the proudest moments for him.

“Leading the country in Australia was the proudest moment for me. When you become captain, lead the team, that gives you a different feeling and after that the way we won the series in Australia especially after losing the first Test [was the biggest moment for me],” he said.

“That was the biggest series win for us in our history. Personally, I am really happy with the way we played in Australia and overall in the last two weeks. Right now, it is about this game and giving off our best.”

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