That the unique situation of unending controversy over the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is a one off would be wrong from the perspective that the International Cricket Council (ICC) had plenty of time between the commencement of the premier limited overs tournament and its eventual conclusion to right a few obvious wrongs.
Alarms bells went off not just when some bad umpiring decisions seem to undo the West Indies in their round robin match against Australia but rather when it was revealed by the no-holds-barred Michael Holding that the sport’s governing body was attempting through the broadcasters to clamp down on criticism about the umpiring decisions in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England.
In fact, the erroneous umpiring decisions became such a dominant theme that the former West Indies cricketer-turned-commentator was not the only headache as far as the ICC were concerned. The increasingly numerous mistakes creeping in were beginning to border on the bizarre to the point where one had to wonder how much the technology in use could correct the errors on the field when the mistakes were repeatedly being ignored instead of being taken cognizance of.
Even in the semi-final there was anguish in the manner in with England’s Jason Roy was given out. With the world increasingly tuned in more acutely with the action now aired across television screens with additional aids, it seemed the sport had to get with the times and embrace the changes, making corrections as the game moved forward or else, cop controversy as it is currently doing in the aftermath of the runs awards after the ball deflection off Ben Stokes’ bat that went unchecked.
Right through the tournament, the ICC established a moribund outlook, refusing to address the white elephant in the room, almost as if it was powerless to the point where it had to resort to damage control by gaging the voices in the commentary box. Had the ICC adopted a more proactive approach, it could have made attempts to gather together the saner voices and come up with a way to stop the bleeding. Instead in their adamant silence and looking the other way approach, they perpetuated what turned into an embarrassing situation witnessed by more viewers who had either turned up or tuned in to the mega final.
In many ways, this was a disaster waiting to happen right under the nose of the custodians of the game, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and the governing body itself, the ICC, and eventually it was at the original Mecca of cricket, Lord’s, that the unprecedented happened where not only did the two teams run each other ragged run for run but also, the keepers of the game tripped up on each other to add ignominy to what was one of the most epic battles ever waged for the World Cup Trophy.
Headlines should have been speaking volumes of the winners and giving kudos to the losing team. Instead the headlines two days into the declaration of the winner read about the inept manner in which the whole scenario was handled in such a befuddled manner that left one team – New Zealand - in perpetual anguish and through no fault of their own.
KL Rahul has to be one of the most frustrating cricketers at present. He is so immensely talented and skillful that for lovers of the game, it is extremely disappointing to be deprived of the best that this Karnataka player can offer. Now, he is closing in on getting dropped after having another mediocre Test series.
In the last seven Test series barring the one-off Test against Afghanistan, Rahul's highest average in any single series has been 29.90, which is poor, to say the least, especially for an opener, who has a major role to play at the start of the innings. The stylish batsman managed scores of 44, 38, 13 and 6 in four innings in West Indies.
“I am fine if you get out early. But if you get out on 20, 30, 40 then your capacity and temperament are questionable. I saw Rahul going outside the off-stump and sweeping (in the first Test). You can’t do that. It’s a T20 shot. I saw Rahul going outside the off-stump and sweeping (in the first Test). You can’t do that. It’s a T20 shot,” Chetan Chauhan was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“Opening is the most difficult task in batting. We’ve to persist with the openers, they should be given time to settle down. We must persist with Rahul. He has to play more Ranji games, score big hundreds to find rhythm, how to change the game immediately (from ODI to Test),” he concluded.
Former Australian cricketer, Shane Warne has opined that Indian captain, Virat Kohli is a major threat to Sachin Tendulkar's records. Virat has always been but now he is inching closer in actual terms. And it's scary if you are a Sachin fan.
Before anything else, we have to look at records of Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper has 11,520 runs in 230 ODI innings at an average of 60.31. The 30 years old has 43 centuries to his credit. The Delhi batsman has 6,749 runs in 135 Test innings at an average of 53.14 with 25 centuries. He also has 2,369 T20I runs at an average of 49.35. His centuries add up to 68 in international cricket.
Given the fact that Kohli is 30-year-old, he is likely to overtake Sachin Tendulkar's world record of 100 centuries and most number of hundreds in ODI cricket.
Warne said, "Yes, I think Sachin's records are in danger and it is like anyone else who has a record. With me having 708 Test wickets, I was asked the question if I think Nathan Lyon can get me, I hope he does because that will mean that he has played well for a long period of time. It is the same with Sachin. I believe if you ask him if he wants Virat to break his records, he would say absolutely. It will be great fun to watch. Look out Sachin, Virat is coming for you."
Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, and Gautam Gambhir applauded the scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after setback during Chandrayaan-2 mission. Apparently, ISRO lost contact with Chandrayaan-2's lander Vikram. About 2.1 kms from the surface, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), unfortunately, lost contact with the lander
Gautam Gambhir tweeted, It's only a failure if we don't learn from our setbacks. We will come back stronger! I salute the great spirit of team @isro for making a billion Indians dream together, as one. The best is definitely yet to come 🚀 #Chandrayaan2
Virender Sehwag tweeted, "Khwaab Adhoora raha par Hauslein Zinda hain, Isro woh hai, jahaan mushkilein Sharminda hain .
Hum Honge Kaaamyab #Chandrayan2"
Ravi Shastri tweeted, "#India is proud of its #ISRO scientists who have made us a world leader in Space Science. #Chandrayaan2 will inspire millions of Indian kids. Jai Hind 🇮🇳"
"If we would have been defeated by our starting difficulties, we would not have become a premier space agency. Regardless of the result, I and all of India are extremely proud of our scientists and engineers," PM Modi said as he addressed the nation from Isro's headquarters in Bengaluru on Saturday.
"The learnings from today will make us stronger and better; there will be a new dawn. The best is yet to come in our space programme; India is with you. Countless people have got access to a better life due to the hard work of our space scientists. Our determination to touch moon has become even stronger, we came very close but we need to cover more ground," PM Modi further said.
The whole cricketing fraternity is mourning the untimely death of prodigal Pakistani leg-spinner, Abdul Qadir. Touted as the reviver of the art of leg-spin during his heydays, Qadir died of a cardiac arrest on Friday at the age of 63. His son revealed that they rushed him to the hospital but unfortunately, he couldn't survive much to the sadness of his family and cricket lovers.
Qadir represented Pakistan in 67 Tests from 1977-90, picking 236 wickets. He also took 132 wickets in 104 ODI games. Qadir served Pakistan as chief selector in 2008. He also ran a private cricket academy just outside PCB headquarters at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Let's take a look at how the cricketing community reacted to the loss:
Steve Smith has taken the Ashes series by storm. The former Australia captain has 589 runs in just four innings of the series at an average of147.25. Smith has scores of 144, 142, 92 and 211 in the ongoing Ashes, which is remarkable. Smith has been in Bradman-esque form when it comes to the Test matches between England and Australia. He has in fact made seven centuries in last 12 Ashes Test innings.
But former England cricketer, Steve Harmison believes no matter what he does, he will always be remembered as a cheat. “I don’t think you can forgive him,” Harmison told talkSPORT. “When you’re known as a cheat – and he is, I’m not going to sugar-coat it – that’s on your CV. You’re marked and you take it to the grave. Whatever Steve Smith does, he’ll always be remembered for what happened in South Africa.
“That’s something he’s got to live with. I can’t see anyone’s opinion changing on Smith, Bancroft, or Warner – because they’ve tarnished the game,” he added.
India's no.4 problem in ODIs has not been solved yet. It has been a long-standing issue, which has also been fuelled by India's poor selection policy. The Men in Blue led by Virat Kohli have been guilty of not giving enough chances to a particular player. Due to lack of opportunities, India have failed to find a consistent no.4 batsman in ODIs.
Indian off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh has batted for Sanju Samson's inclusion in the team after the right-hander made a 48-ball 91 in India A's brilliant 36-run win against South Africa A.
"Why not @IamSanjuSamson at number 4 in odi.. with good technique and good head on his shoulders.. well played today anyways against SA ," tweeted Harbhajan.
Replying to his former teammate, Yuvraj said, "Top order is very strong bro they don’t need no 4 batsman," followed by a laughing emoticon.
India's new batting coach, Vikram Rathour has advocated names of Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey for the no.4 slot in the 50-overs format. He said, "Shreyas Iyer has done well in the last couple of games and we also have Manish Pandey. These two guys have done very well in domestic cricket and with India A. These are the batters who are capable of doing the job and I have no doubt about it in my mind. It is a matter of getting it right at the top level."
The helicopter shot is one the trademark MS Dhoni things that we all love in cricket. The fanfare of the shot extends to Indian cricket team as well. All-rounder, Hardik Pandya absolutely loves the helicopter shot and we have seen him play the difficult shot in IPL successfully as well.
After missing out on the West Indies tour, Hardik Pandya is preparing himself for the three-match T20I series against South Africa that will commence from September 15. Pandya has been named in India's squad for the series.
Pandya shared a video from his net session where he can be seen middling the ball in all parts of the ground but one shot that stood out was the helicopter shot that Pandya has been trying to master for some time now. He doesn't play this shot in international cricket as much as he does in IPL and perhaps, that is the reason why he is practicing the shot so much of late.
The Baroda cricketer, tweeted, "Solid session in the nets today. Can't wait to join up with the boys."
India's squad for 3 T20Is against South Africa: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini.
Even with the number of outstanding spin bowlers produced by Pakistan there can be little doubt that Abdul Qadir remains the greatest. His legacy goes beyond figures which are impressive enough – 236 wickets from 67 Test matches allied to 132 wickets from 104 ODIs – as he was the bowler who revived interest in leg spin bowling after it was largely a forgotten art for a while.
Qadir was considered a ``magician’’ for the things he did with the ball, bewildering batsmen with his googlies, beating them with a trimming leg break and bowling them with one that fizzed straight through. There seemed to be no end to his bag of tricks and his unusual action which followed a long, loping run to the crease added to his mystic. He was an integral part of the highly successful Pakistan teams of the 80s under Imran Khan who gave him full scope to exhibit his skills.
Qadir’s googly was the most difficult to spot and on numerous occasions the batsman would aim to drive on the offside playing for the leg break only for the ball to skid off the inside edge and land up in the short fine leg area. He made the best of batsman look like novices and was one bowler capable of running through a side on his own like he did while bagging nine for 56 – still the best innings figures by a Pakistan bowler in Tests - against England at Lahore in 1987-88. In that three match series Qadir finished with 30 wickets. Yes, the phrase match winner fits Qadir like it fits few other bowlers.
Qadir was one bowler not at all bothered by a batsman’s reputation and he took on the strong West Indian batting line-up of his time head on with attacking bowling that was the apotheosis of a sublime art. In back to back series against the No 1 team in the world in 1986 and 1988 he took 32 wickets from six Tests at home and away. He was less successful against India the only blot in a long and illustrious career.
One of the finest tributes to Qadir was the fact that Mushtaq Ahmed who he mentored based his action entirely on Qadir’s. The younger leg spinner who was a natural successor to Qadir also carved out a fruitful career and openly acknowledged that he owed a lot to his guru. Even Shane Warne acknowledged that he received valuable tips from Qadir when he met him during Australia’s tour of Pakistan in 1994.
Qadir will also be remembered for his unexpected heroics with the bat during the World Cup against West Indies at Lahore in 1987. He hit Courtney Walsh for 2, 2, 6 and 2 off the last four balls of the match to clinch a last ball one-wicket victory. But it is the mesmeric bowling that will be his lasting legacy to Pakistan – and world - cricket.
41 years old retired English cricketer, Andrew Flintoff, who currently presents BBC motoring show, Top Gear, has expressed his desire to coach England. The incumbent England coach, Trevor Bayliss, will be stepping down from his position at the end of the ongoing Ashes series.
ECB are yet to name his replacement. Flintoff's ambition couldn't have surfaced at a better time than this but he also knows that he is far off from the role at this juncture of time.
"Coaching is definitely an ambition," Flintoff told Test Match Special. He added, "There are probably two or three coaching jobs I'd like - England, Lancashire or Lancashire Academy. I'd love to be England coach one day, just not quite yet. I like to come and watch, I turn up with a sense of excitement. A few years ago I applied for the England coaching job - we were getting beat, I was in the office and thought, 'I'm going to apply'.
"I wrote an email for the interview, a month passed and I'd heard nothing. I chased it up, then I got a phone call saying they thought it was somebody taking the mick. I've got two of my coaching levels - me and [fellow former England cricketer] Steve Harmison might do our level threes soon," said Flintoff, who played 79 Tests, 141 one-day internationals and seven T20s for England.
Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood took three big wickets in the final hour of play to reduce England to 200-5 on day three of the fourth Ashes test, setting up his team for another great chance for a victory to retain the urn.
Replying to Australia's 497-8, England was 166-2 — with Rory Burns and Joe Root on a partnership of 141 — when Hazlewood's burst of wickets arrived at Old Trafford.
Burns edged to Steve Smith at second slip for 81, Root was trapped lbw in Hazlewood's next over for 71, and Jason Roy missed with a weak defensive prod and saw his middle stump uprooted on 22.
Ben Stokes (7), England's hero from its memorable win at Headingley in the third test, and Jonny Bairstow (2) were in the middle when bad light brought an end to play about 30 minutes before the scheduled finish. Two-and-a-half hours were lost to rain at the start of the day.
England trailed by 297 runs, and needed 98 more runs to avoid potentially being asked to follow-on.
The teams are at 1-1 with one more test to play, at the Oval next week. The Australians will retain the urn with a win in Manchester.
Hazlewood has figures of 4-48 off 20 overs, having also taken the wicket of nightwatchman Craig Overton off the ninth ball of the day after England resumed on 23-1.
Yet Pat Cummins might have been Australia's best bowler on Friday, the pacemen somehow not getting a wicket in a superb 10-over spell either side of tea which only went for 22 runs. Root played and missed a number of times as the light started to fade.
"It was not to be for me," Cummins said. "It makes me happy when Josh comes on and takes wickets at the other end straight away. He did say 'I owe you one for that.'"
"We are pretty happy being 300 ahead," he added. "It was a tough day of test cricket. To get those three wickets late, we feel really in the game."
Burns played his part again for England, reaching a half-century for the third time in this series and for the fourth time in 11 tests.
His partnership with Root allowed England to recover from 25-2 and was their second century stand of the series.
"It's not ideal, losing those wickets, but the way we scrapped throughout the day, we're in a decent position," Burns said.
"A couple of points we got on top but it was a bit of a chess match as it went on."
Roy came in at No. 4 after failing as an opener in this series, but his technique and lack of true test-match mentality let him down again for his dismissal. Hazlewood's delivery nipped back off the seam, went between Roy's bat and pad, and removed a stump.
Australia has the new ball in eight more overs and it might require another big innings from Stokes to rescue England again.
If England manages to pull off a draw, a win at the Oval would regain the side the Ashes.
Abdul Qadir, the former Pakistan cricketer who was widely regarded as one of the greatest legspinners in history, died of a cardiac arrest on Friday. He was 63.
Qadir's son, Salman Qadir, told reporters in Lahore his father was rushed to hospital but did not survive.
The Pakistan Cricket Board said on its official Twitter account it was "shocked" and "devastated" by the death of the "maestro."
Qadir played 67 tests from 1977-90, taking 236 wickets including 9-56 against England at Lahore in 1987.
He made his one-day international debut in the 1983 World Cup, and took 132 wickets in 104 games before quitting in 1993.
Qadir served Pakistan cricket in various roles, including chief selector in 2008. He quit the following year when he claimed the PCB didn't give him independence to make decisions. He also ran a private cricket academy just outside PCB headquarters at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
"The PCB, like every Pakistani, is proud of his services to cricket and Pakistan," chairman Ehsan Mani said in a statement. "His contributions and achievements were not only limited to on-field, but he ensured he transferred the art of leg-spin to the up-and-coming cricketers.
"Apart from being a maestro with the ball, Abdul Qadir was a larger-than-life figure who was adored, loved and respected across the globe due to his excellent understanding and knowledge of the game, and strong cricket ethics and discipline.
"He played hard cricket within the spirit of cricket and, in doing so, not only earned respect from his opponents but turned his foes into friends."
Chief executive Wasim Khan added, "Pakistan cricket has lost one of its most beloved and admired sons.
"Abdul Qadir may have passed, but his contribution to global cricket — by giving popularity and impetus to the art of wrist spin bowling that inspired hundreds of youngsters across the planet — will live forever."
Former teammate Wasim Akram paid tribute on Twitter: "They called him the magician for many reasons but when he looked me in the eyes & told me I was going to play for Pakistan for the next 20 years, I believed him. A Magician, absolutely. A leg spinner & a trailblazer of his time. You will be missed Abdul Qadir but never forgotten."
Sikander Bakht, a fast bowler, said it was an honor to play alongside Qadir.
"Shocked speechless greatess RLS bowler produce by Pakistan, have the honor of playing with & against him," Bakht tweeted. "May Allah rest ur soul in peace my friend we will miss you. Sad day for me really sad."
A chorus of Hindi, Urdu and English permeates the grounds as the Staten Island Cricket Club suits up to play.
This club, unlike most other teams on the New York City cricket circuit, does not have a dominant religion or ethnicity.
Most of the players are immigrants from India or Pakistan, where cricket is a consuming passion. There are players from other countries as well, including a few first-generation Americans.
On the field, there is a congenial dynamic — even between teammates from India and Pakistan. Off it, though, the players can't escape the political realities. With recent escalations in Kashmir, a heavily disputed area between India and Pakistan, tension has increased between the countries.
The polarization has reached the Staten Island Cricket Club.
"You can come back in 200 years and there will still be two problems in the world," said team member Charu Choudhari, who emigrated from India in 1972 to attend graduate school at SUNY Stony Brook. "Israel and Palestine. And Kashmir."
The team tries to limit such conversations, keeping the focus on the fun. But as the rhetoric overseas rises, so does interest among teammates.
A WhatsApp group chat reached a zenith in August shortly after India stripped the Indian-administered portion of the Himalayan region of its limited autonomy. Another flare-up occurred when Prime Minister Imran Khan — perhaps Pakistan's best cricket player in history — visited the White House.
Jokes have been made at each other's expense; opinions thrusted upon one another. But hurt feelings were kept off the field, club president Clarence Modeste said.
Modeste has been watching this percolate for more than 50 years.
In 1964, he was driving three teammates to a match in New Jersey. One was from England, the second from India and the third from Pakistan. The Englishman was seated in front, Indian and Pakistani together in back.
Suddenly, a conversation about Kashmir started — the region has been in dispute since partition in 1947. Voices were raised. Soon, a physical confrontation followed. Modeste was forced to pull over in the middle of the New Jersey Turnpike.
The four cooled off on the side of the highway for about a half hour before their match that day. The two teammates made up and finally got to the game.
All was well once the first bowl of the match was made.
"Fortunately, cricket does bring people of all religions and nationalities together," Modeste said. "It acts as sort of a salve to sharp edges."
Most recently, teammates have grappled over the Indian government's move to impose a media freeze on the region. Little information has moved in or out of Kashmir since.
Unlike the highway fight in 1964, these teammates try their best to keep interactions on club time cordial and focused on cricket.
Still, there are underlying differences that linger as an integral part of the identities of the people involved.
Sunil Nayyar emigrated from India when he was 19. Before that, he played for the under-17 team for Delhi State, the squad representing the capital of India. He came to America to pursue better economic opportunities. He now owns a granite business in New York City.
"(Kashmir is) a part of India. It's a part of your body," Nayyar said. "India is a whole body — why would I give my hand to somebody else? Why would I give my hand to somebody else? Jammu and Kashmir belongs to India and it should stay."
Nayyar said he has many Pakistani friends that disagree with his opinions, but they are still friends nonetheless.
Omer Khwaja wholeheartedly disavows his teammate's assertions on Kashmir.
Khwaja immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan when he was 12 so his father could begin a Ph.D program in English literature at Emory University. Khwaja started a law firm after graduating from Temple and Seton Hall Law School. His family is Kashmiri-Pakistani.
"I generally hear from people from both countries about how Kashmir is theirs," Khwaja said. "It feels really isolating and alienating. I can't imagine how many people are dealing with that on a daily basis. When everyone around is saying, 'You're ours, and you don't have a choice about it.'"
Fahad Mughal emigrated with his family when he was 13 to find better opportunities. He was drawn to cricket from watching the 1992 World Cup — a tournament in which Imran Khan captained Pakistan to victory — its only World Cup victory to date.
"I remember the celebration that we had at home," Mughal said. "I was just infatuated for the love that my parents had for the game. ... It reminds me of my roots."
He, too, disagrees with Nayyar's perspective on Kashmir.
"We shouldn't as people decide who Kashmir belongs to. It should be decided by people who live there," he said.
Once they put on their uniforms, politics appeared to fade as the Staten Island Cricket Club lined up together, as a team, to try to notch 10 outs — the amount it takes to bring your side to bat.
Staten Island took its positions at Roy Sweeney Field in Brooklyn. Nayyar grabbed the ball, made a running start, then bowled. After several runs, Nayyar bowled a batter out with a pop up.
The team — Indian and Pakistani, Hindu and Muslim — came together. They formed a circle and put their hands into a pile.
"One, two, three, Staten Island," they scream in unison.
Lasith Malinga took four wickets in four balls and became the first player to take 100 wickets in Twenty20s as Sri Lanka earned a consolation victory against New Zealand on Friday.
With the three-match series already lost, Sri Lanka chose to bat first and made only 125-8, its lowest score of the series. But Malinga hastened his side to a thumping win by taking New Zealand's first four wickets in the third over of their reply. New Zealand was all out for 88 and Sri Lanka won by 37 runs.
Malinga bowled Colin Munro off the third ball of his second over, the 100th wicket in T20s for the 36-year-old paceman. Then Malinga trapped Hamish Rutherford lbw, needing a review to overturn the umpire's not-out decision, before bowling Colin de Grandhomme with a trademark yorker, and delivering another yorker to hit Ross Taylor on the foot for a plumb lbw.
The 4-for-4 was the second in T20s, after Rashid Khan for Afghanistan against Ireland in February. The hat trick was also Malinga's second in T20s. He also achieved a 4-for-4 in one-day internationals, against South Africa in the 2007 World Cup.
In Malinga's next over, he had Tim Seifert caught at first slip to give him figures of 5-3 off 16 balls at that stage. Malinga finished with career-best T20 figures of 5-6 off four overs, eclipsing his 5-31 in 2012 against England at the same venue.
"Last two games we were on track but we didn't get through, but this game we wanted to win because all the people were waiting for a win," Malinga said.
How about the 4-for-4? "Simple. Not much complicated. Just try to bowl my wicket-taking ball. I think yorker is the best way to go."
A brief rally by Daryl Mitchell and Mitchell Santner ended when New Zealand lost three more wickets for one run. Fast bowler Tim Southee finished with the top score of 28 from 23 balls.
Danushka Gunathilaka top scored for Sri Lanka with 30 in an underwhelming innings in which spinners Mitchell Santner took 3-12 and Todd Astle 3-28.
The test series was drawn 1-1 and New Zealand won the T20s 2-1.
Southee, New Zealand's stand-in captain, said the series was a learning curve for his young team.
"Malinga's bowling sort of broke the back of us," he said. "A class spell from a class T20 bowler and not much our guys could do."
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