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Why bowling in tandem with Rashid is giving Sai Kishore the advantage



Gujarat Titans’ left-arm spinner Sai Kishore has said that bowling in tandem with Rashid Khan makes his job of taking wickets easier, and added that he tries to “pick up something from each IPL game” to try and get better.

Gujarat Titans, who will take on Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday in Qualifier 1, have the services of one of the best spinners in the world in Rashid Khan and batters heave a sigh of relief when he completes his over. But Kishore says rival batters are misled into thinking that they can take advantage of his bowling immediately after Rashid has completed his over, and fall prey to his bowling.

Kishore began his IPL career with Chennai Super Kings but never got the opportunity to play for the franchise before he was snared by the Titans in the mega auction this year. While the 25-year-old has got limited opportunities, Kishore has made a mark in the three games he has played so far this season, taking three wickets in three games, with a best of 2/7 and a superb economy of 5.80 in the 10 overs he has bowled.

Asked if he enjoyed bowling with the illustrious Afghanistan spinner, Kishore said, “Definitely. Because when people find it hard to go after Rashid, they’ll go after me, which is nice. When we both bowl together, they want to go after someone else, so it makes the job (of taking wickets) easier. And when you have five bowlers who can do that, obviously it’s going to… he (Rashid) might get hit some days but most days it’s going to be under control.”

On whether he has picked up some of the bowling tricks from Rashid, Kishore said that his bowling is modelled on different lines, adding that the Afghanistan cricketer was someone who was at the top of his game and could “bowl with pace and deviate the ball both sides”.

“Rashid is someone who can bowl with pace and deviate the ball both sides. That’s Rashid’s game. It’s a game that’s so hard to get — but once you get that game, you don’t have to do much. Just have to bowl that length.

“My game is about game awareness, speed variations, changing the releases, changing the angles, being smart, reading the batters. So for my game, more than the skill, it’s all in the head for me. That’s the beauty of cricket, different skillsets. Like some batsmen can sweep, some can’t. Some are good down the ground; some are good with the pull. I see it that way. I’m very comfortable in my game and confident in my own skillsets.

“So I don’t look to pick up something from others. Unless my game is going blatantly wrong in one direction. I always try to pick up something from each game that I watch. I try and watch all the IPL games, try and get better with my own game,” added Kishore.

He showered praise on Rashid, saying that the bowler was “one of the great competitors”.

“The overall game sense that Rashid brings to the table, I think he has been one of the great competitors that I’ve seen. Just wants the tough overs, wants to do that for the team. That competitive intensity is very nice to have. Two bowlers bowling in tandem, it’s very good to see. If two people can show up like that, it’s going to be very hard for the batters.”


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




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




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




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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