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Friday,12-August-2022

International

SA v IND: We have discussed it with Pant, he knows his mistake, says Kohli

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 India Test captain Virat Kohli said that they have had conversations with wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant in the practice sessions ahead of the third Test starting at the Newlands Cricket Ground from Tuesday. Kohli added that Pant is someone who reflects on his mistakes and will make improvements on them in the future.

In the second innings of the second Test at Johannesburg, Pant played a reckless shot to be out for zero. After being beaten outside the off-stump, Kagiso Rabada rattled Pant with a snorter of delivery, by hitting him on the gloves through a ball that bounced a bit. On the very next ball, Pant stepped out to slog on a short ball from Rabada but gave a feather edge behind to Verreynne. The manner of dismissal brought a lot of criticism for Pant from all quarters.

“We have had conversations with Rishabh Pant at practice. The batters know before everybody else whether they’ve played a shot to get out was the right shot or not. As long as an individual, everyone has to accept that responsibility, I think progress happens from there. We have had made mistakes in our careers in important situations,” said Kohli in the pre-match press conference on Monday.

“We have been out due to pressure or our mistakes or even the bowler’s skills. It is important to understand what was player s mindset and decision at that moment and where did the person make the mistake. Once we find our mistake, we can understand and improve upon it to make sure it doesn’t happen,” added Kohli.

Kohli then went on to reveal an advice former India captain MS Dhoni gave him on making mistakes in international cricket. “MS Dhoni gave me very good advice in the start. He once told me ‘there should be a gap of at least 7-8 months between repeating one and another mistake. Only then can you have a long career in international cricket.”

“This piece of advice really stuck with me that I won’t make the same mistake all over again. It happens when you reflect upon your mistakes, which Rishabh does. I know this and will definitely improve going ahead. He will make sure that in important situations, he will stand for the team and will give a big performance after improving from his mistakes.”

Siraj unavailable
Talking about his availability for the third Test, Kohli declared himself fit but added that Mohammed Siraj won’t be available for the series decider. “Yes. I’m absolutely fit. Siraj is still recovering from the niggle he had in the last game. At present, I don’t think he’s match-ready to take the field in the third Test. You cannot risk a guy who isn’t 110% as a fast bowler because we know how that little niggle opening up and extending into an injury could be for the team. So, Siraj is not up to the mark but I am absolutely fit to play tomorrow.”

With Siraj unavailable for the winner takes it all affair, it will be a toss-up between Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav for another pacer’s slot in the playing eleven. Kohli disclosed that the chat on Siraj’s replacement is yet to happen within the team.

“We are yet to sit down. Myself, the head coach, vice-captain to decide what we want to do about the replacement. I say because of our bench strength, the fact I had mentioned that it is difficult to figure out who will play because everyone is at the top of their game, bowling well, batting well and these things become a point of discussion, contention.”

“You have to have a healthy discussion around a decision like that and just agree everyone feels balanced about it. So, we are yet to have that discussion but I would rather be in this position where we have to decide who is going to play rather than to figure out other options with our balance and stuff like that.”

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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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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T20 World Cup could be a swansong for several Australian cricketers, indicates Finch

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Australia white-ball skipper Aaron Finch has no doubt in his mind that he will be leading an “ageing side” in the ICC T20 World Cup at home later this year, and indicated that the tournament could be a swansong for several cricketers, especially batters.

As Australia prepare to defend the title they won in the UAE in 2021, Finch added that lifting the trophy in front of a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground in November would be a dream come true for him.

“It might be a full stop on everything (several players retiring from T20Is, including him) if it goes to plan like that. Fairy tales can happen in sport,” Finch, 35, was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au during the 100-day countdown celebration to the mega event on Friday.

While Finch has indicated that this could be the last T20 World Cup for him, it could also be opener David Warner and wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade’s last mega T20 event, given that both are in their mid-30s.

Wade has already said the 2022 T20 World Cup will be his international swansong, while Warner has also indicated that he might retire from T20Is to prolong his Test and ODI career. Finch will also probably turn his attention to the 50-over World Cup in India in 2023 to finally call it a day from international cricket.

Asked about his white-ball future post the T20 World Cup, Finch said, “Good question… It obviously shifts to a 50-over World Cup focus… after the (T20) World Cup, so I don’t think there’s too many T20 games in the next 12 months (after the World Cup) anyway. So I don’t know.

“I think just naturally when guys get to their mid-30s, it’s going to be that way. Davey (Warner) just keeps going; he could play for another 10 years, I think, with how fit he is and how much he loves the competition and continuing to challenge himself.

“(Matthew) Wadey has gone through a few phases (and) he’s now become so important to the structure of our team, batting at seven there and being so dynamic. But it’s an ageing side, isn’t it? Especially in that batting group,” said Finch.

Finch added that the World Cup in Australia would be “incredibly tough” after what he saw in the UAE last year where South Africa, in spite of winning four out of their five games, missed out on net run rate.

“Iit’s going to be an incredibly tough competition. We saw how brutal the format is with South Africa winning four out of their five games at the last World Cup and still not qualifying on net run rate. It’s just so brutal that you do need a bit of luck along the way. So let’s see.”

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