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Wednesday,12-May-2021

International

WTC final to be held at Ageas Bowl: ICC

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The World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand will take place at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, from June 18 to 22, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Wednesday.

The ICC said that the decision was taken after discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) where a range of options were considered to ensure the inaugural final could be staged safely with the potential impact of COVID-19 minimised for all involved. The final was originally scheduled to be held on the same dates at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.

“In selecting the Hampshire Bowl, the ICC drew on ECB’s experience of delivering a full summer of bio-safe international cricket in 2020. The venue provides world-class playing and training facilities, giving both teams the best possible environment in which to prepare. Whilst the on-site accommodation will significantly reduce the risk around COVID-19 transmission and better protect the health and safety of everyone involved in delivering the final,” said the ICC.

The Ageas Bowl was the first stadium to host an international cricket match within a bio-bubble amid the Covid-19 pandemic when England hosted the West Indies in the first Test from July 8, 2020.

“We are confident that in selecting the Hampshire Bowl, we have given ourselves the best possible chance to successfully deliver the final whilst keeping everyone involved safe and healthy and giving fans the opportunity to watch the two best Test teams in the world go head-to-head for the right to call themselves the ICC World Test Champions,” said ICC General Manager George Allardice.

“We are delighted that the ICC has chosen to host the inaugural World Test Championship Final at the Hampshire Bowl. As the world’s first fully bio-secure cricket venue, it has shown itself capable of delivering international matches to the highest of standards, even against the backdrop of a global pandemic. I am sure the finale of the ICC World Test Championship will be a wonderful occasion,” said ECB CEO Tom Harrison.

International

Kusal Perera named Sri Lanka ODI captain ahead of B’desh series

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Kusal Perera has been named Sri Lanka’s ODI captain ahead of their three-match series against Bangladesh.

Kusal Mendis, meanwhile, has been named as the 18-man squad’s vice-captain as regulars Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal were all dropped.

Sri Lanka have named a young squad for the series, which starts on May 23. Only three players in the team are aged more than 30 while 33-year-old Isuru Udana is the only aged over 31. “The team leaves for Bangladesh on the 16th May 2021 to take part in a 3-match ODI series,” said Sri Lanka Cricket.

The first match will be played in May 23 after which the second match will be played on May 25. The third is scheduled to be played on May 28.

Squad: Kusal Perera(Captain), Kusal Mendis (Vice-Captain), Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya De Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Dasun Shanaka, Ashen Bandara, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Niroshan Dickwella, Dushmantha Chameera, Ramesh Mendis, Asitha Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Chamika Karunaratne, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando

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India’s tour to Sri Lanka: Increasing Covid cases in island a worry

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India are to tour Sri Lanka for a short cricket series in July, but increasing Covid-19 cases in that country could worry Indian cricket board. The island nation recorded 2,568 cases on Tuesday.

According to official numbers announced in Colombo, the 2,568 cases recorded on Tuesday included 38 overseas returnees.

On May 10, the island recorded 2,624 cases and on May 9 the number was 2,672.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly had earlier said that India are set to travel to Sri Lanka in July for three ODIs and as many T20Is. Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium is likely to host all six games of the series.

“We plan to host the entire series at one venue. As of now, it has been decided that the Premadasa Stadium will host the fixtures. Obviously, it depends on how the situation is around that time,” Arjuna de Silva, Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) Administrative Committee chairman, told Sportstar on Monday.

“With the Covid situation fluid, we cannot allow fans yet, so all the matches will be closed-door affairs,” De Silva said.

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Shakib Al Hasan could give PSL a miss for DPL

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Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan could give the remainder of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) a miss to play the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) that starts on May 31. Shakib was one of three Bangladesh cricketers — alongwith Liton Das and Mahmudullah — who were picked by different franchises in the replacement draft for the remainder of the PSL.

An official of the Mohammedan Sporting Club (MSC), one of the teams participating in the DPL, said that Shakib had submitted a letter to the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) stating that the former Bangladesh captain wanted to play with them this season.

“We have submitted a letter signed by Shakib to CCDM that says he is keen to take part in the competition for us,” Tarikul Islam Tito, a top official of MSC told Cricbuzz.

“He will not play in the PSL and instead opted to be part of our team in DPL. He is a free player because he was not part of the 2019-20 DPL due to his ban and now as he is eligible to take part and we have shown our keenness to take him in our side. BCB is yet to grant him for us but we hope to get the permission soon,” he said.

Shakib was picked by the Lahore Qalandars in the PSL while Mahmudullah and Das were signed by Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings respectively. The sixth edition of the PSL was postponed 14 matches into the season after Covid-19 cases emerged within the tournament’s bio-bubble in March.

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