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  Real challenge awaits players after Under-19 World Cup: Rahul Dravid
Posted by: nairrk - Today 06:55 PM - No Replies

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On the eve of India's semifinal clash against Sri Lanka in the Under-19 World Cup 2016 in Dhaka, Rahul Dravid, the head coach, on Monday (February 8) spoke to the media about the team's next opponents, the welcome success of teams like Fiji and Namibia, the distraction of the Indian Premier League auction, controversy surrounding the Mankading incident, post-World Cup challenges for the players and a lot more.


What do you make of your semifinal opponents, Sri Lanka?
I think we played them in a tri-series back in December. In that sense, we know what to expect from their side. They have a couple of seamers and lot of spinners. They do bowl lot of overs of spin. Having said that, they also know what to expect. I think it should be a good contest. They are a pretty good side and we have been playing very good cricket as well.

Sri Lanka have played Pakistan in the group stage and then beat England in the quarters. They seem to have played stronger oppositions than India before the semifinal. Will that have an impact?
Not really. I think we have played pretty convincingly. We played New Zealand and of course Nepal in these conditions are quite a good side as we saw the other day against Bangladesh. They ran Bangladesh pretty close. Our lead-up into this tournament has been very, very good. We played three matches against the Board President's XI, which had a lot of senior India boys. We played three tough games against them in Mumbai. We played against Sri Lanka and England in December, and we played against Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Kolkata. We have had some tough games in the last three outings. We feel we are ready and we can bring our A game to the party tomorrow.

Does it make a difference that you, as a coach, haven't been part of a World-Cup winning side?
I don't really compare the two things. I believe it is a player's team not really a coach's team. I have been a player long enough to know a coach can have only a certain amount of impact on a team. It is really up to the players. It is their World Cup, their performances and theirs to win and lose. We are there to help them as coaches and support them in their journey as cricketers. I don't really compare the two and I am not trying to win a World Cup because I haven't won as a player. I think it has no relevance, really.

Teams like Fiji, Namibia and Nepal have come out and done really well for themselves in the tournament. What do you think about them?
It was really great to see Fiji, although we played against Ireland. I would call Ireland a little more established than them. We played against Nepal and Namibia. It was good to see some of the talent on show there and also good to see that they are taking U-19 cricket seriously.

It is just a great story. Having played in Scotland, I know how difficult it is for some of these countries to get people to play cricket. What a challenge it is in an amateur environment. Some of the more established Test teams including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, England, Australia and New Zealand. We are a lot luckier because the system is lot more established. There's a lot of cricket at the junior level.

A lot of those teams and players make a lot of sacrifices to be able to get to a tournament like this. You have to applaud their spirit and energy and what they bring here. I think it is a privilege to play against them.

What is your assessment of the Mirpur wicket?
We have played three games here. It is a funny one. It was not easy to start off because it swung around a bit. If you got through that initial period and put up a good score, then it was not easy to chase as well. You have to get a good score and defend it. If you are chasing, you have to be wary of not chasing too many. You just have to play well, irrespective of what you do.

I think it will vary from wicket to wicket. In the first couple of games it gave me an impression that something around 250 was required. It was a bit drier against Nepal and we batted well to get 170, but it was probably a 230 wicket. I am not that worried about it.

There is a lot of talent at the Under-19 level, but not many graduate to the senior side. What do you think is the reason for that situation?
It is hard to realise at 18 or 19 which one of these players will make it. The real challenge for them is what happens once they move out of this tournament. They are very, very talented to become the best 15 players in their country at this level. They play against boys of their own age-group. Suddenly from here they have to play against men in the first-class system against international and established Ranji Trophy players. I think it is quite a leap. Sometimes we underestimate how much of a big jump that is from this level to first-class cricket. It takes a bit of time to establish themselves.

Over the last few months we have had 22 players. We have given opportunity to all the players. I believe it is not about these 15 but we have another 15 back home. Just because they can't play the World Cup, doesn't mean they can't go on to play international cricket. I think some of them might just mature a little bit later on. For these 15 players, it is a great journey to be a part of this World Cup and hopefully put in a good performance and win it.

Bangladesh have made forward strides in the ODI format in the recent past. What do you make of their continued success and rising stars like Mustafizur Rahman?
Bangladesh have had a terrific last couple of years, especially playing at home and in the shorter format of the game. They are a force to reckon with. In the last couple of years they have been absolutely exceptional. Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe Mortaza are really stars at the international stage.

I have not seen enough to comment but people tell me nice things about Mustafizur. I saw one or two boys in the Bangladesh A team in India. Some nice talents like Mahmudullah have done well. The results tell me that the graph is going upwards, especially at home. I think their next challenge is to replicate these performances overseas for Bangladesh cricket.

The Mankading dismissal in the West Indies-Zimbabwe game sparked a 'spirit of cricket' controversy. What are your views on it? Is the criticism dished out to West Indies justified?
Sometimes you don't want to confuse the laws of the game and the spirit of the game, there's a thin line. With regards to the Mankading incident, it was within the laws of the game if you had to look at it purely from the point of view of the laws of the game. But obviously it doesn't look nice. It doesn't come across very nicely because people don't see that happen very often. You can't blame anybody and I am not going to judge anyone because it was purely within the laws of the game. Having said that, it doesn't really look nice in a tournament like this. It is a tough one for all concerned.

I guess we have to come up with some kind of solution, like give a warning or something like that. At least if you give a warning, you feel that you have given the opposition team a chance. It is something for the future; I don't want to judge the West Indies team and that particular player. What he did was within the laws of the game.

Does five Indian players getting IPL contracts midway through a tournament like a World Cup come as a distraction? How have you addressed the issue?
It is a reality for lot of our Indian cricketers - the fact that IPL auction happens every year. There's no point for us kidding ourselves in believing that they weren't thinking about it, and weren't hoping to be picked. It is just human nature. We spoke about it before and after the auction. There's no issue but we have addressed it as, yes, it is a factor and can be a distraction. It is over and done with. Their main focus is this World Cup and they have been very good about it. We have a pretty good bunch, we played with a lot of energy in the game. We have been together now for three months. There's a good vibe. Everyone is keen to do well.

Your team recently beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. Does that make a difference to your mindset going into such a key fixture?
Every game is a new game. We don't want to take anything for granted. We know that to beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka we had to play very well. They are a very good team. We cannot afford to relax. We are confident but not over-confident.

MS Dhoni recently said that there are no finished products at the lower level in Indian cricket. Having watched the Under-19 team so closely for a long period now, what do you think of Dhoni's views?
I don't know in what context MS Dhoni said that; I didn't read or see this statement. I think in the batting department there's some very talented players coming through. If not finished, they are close to finished products in my opinion.

In the spin department, it takes a bit longer which is the reality. Spinners take a bit longer to mature as cricketers. Very rarely you see spinners go from U-19 cricket. They need to play first-class cricket to grow. There will be odd exceptions to every rule. Fast bowlers also need time to develop.

Real challenge awaits players after Under-19 World Cup: Rahul Dravid - Cricbuzz

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  Scotland include pacer Main for World T20
Posted by: nairrk - Today 06:15 PM - Replies (1)

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Gavin Main made his List A and T20 international debuts for Scotland in 2015

Scotland have picked fast bowler Gavin Main in their squad for the upcoming World Twenty20, which starts in India from March 8, the only change to the squad that recently toured Hong Kong and the UAE last month.

Preston Mommsen will lead Scotland, while Kyle Coetzer has been named vice-captain. Main, 20, has replaced pacer Bradley Wheal, who played an ODI and two T20Is against Hong Kong.

Main, who represented Scotland in the 2014 Under-19 World Cup, was unavailable for selection for the Hong Kong tour after opting to play in New Zealand in January and February. He has played three T20Is for Scotland so far, following his debut against Ireland last year. He also made his List A debut in 2015, in a World Cricket League Championship match against Nepal. Main made his first-class debut for Durham in May 2014 and was a part of the county's Second XI squad in domestic season last year.

The 15-member squad will depart for Pune on February 22 for a training camp before they head to Mohali for their warm-up matches against Oman and Netherlands on March 4 and March 6 respectively. Scotland are slotted in Group B in the first round of the tournament, with Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Zimbabwe. They will play their first match against Afghanistan in Nagpur on March 8. If Scotland top their group, they will join England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies in Group 1 of the Super 10s stage.

Scotland squad: Preston Mommsen (capt), Kyle Coetzer (vice-captain), Alasdair Evans, Calum MacLeod, Con de Lange, Gavin Main, George Munsey, Josh Davey, Mark Watt, Matt Machan, Matthew Cross, Michael Leask, Richie Berrington, Rob Taylor, Safyaan Sharif

Scotland include pacer Gavin Main for World T20 | Cricket | ESPN Cricinfo

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  ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 venues announced
Posted by: mmadhankumar - Today 05:49 PM - No Replies

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Lord’s and Somerset will host the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 matches from 26 June to 23 July.

It will be the first time that the tournament will be held in England since 1993 when the home side beat New Zealand in the final at Lord’s, revisiting the scene of their triumph in 1973 in the first-ever ICC Women’s World Cup final against Australia.

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Clare Connor, Chair of the ICC Women’s Cricket Committee, said: “At a global level, the introduction of the ICC Women’s Championship has made our game more competitive and exciting than ever before. It has created global context and meaning to all our ODI series whereby the result of every match has a direct impact on qualification for next summer’s World Cup.

“In this country, last summer’s record-breaking attendances for the Women’s Ashes series showed there is a growing audience and appetite for women’s cricket – we witnessed excellent crowds, including full houses at Chelmsford and Hove, coupled with growing media and commercial interest.

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“The launch of the new Women’s Cricket Super League here later this year will give the women’s game another significant fillip and help set the stage for what promises to be a fantastic showcase for our sport next summer.”

According to the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 format, eight sides will participate in a single-league format with each side playing the other once. The top four sides following the conclusion of the league matches will progress to the semi-finals with the winners clashing at Lord’s on 23 July. This means that there 31 matches will be played during the 28-day tournament.

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The top four sides from the ongoing eight-team ICC Women’s Championship will progress automatically for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, while the bottom four sides will get a final chance of qualification through the 10-team ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in 2017.

Steve Elworthy, ECB’s Director of Events said: “This is a very exciting time for the women’s game in this country and staging a Women’s World Cup here will really help drive interest and participation in women’s cricket at every level.

“It’s critical we use this event to reach out to young children in particular so we’ve moved the tournament start date to earlier in the summer - a decision which will help our host venues encourage attendance by engaging with schools in the build-up to the event.”

The event logo and schedule will be announced in due course.

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ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 venues announced - ICC Cricket

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  Yasir suspended for three months for doping offence
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 06:37 PM - No Replies

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Yasir Shah clarified before the ICC that he had inadvertently taken his wife's blood pressure medicine

Pakistan legspinner Yasir Shah has been handed a three-month suspension by the ICC after he pleaded guilty to breaching the ICC's Anti-Doping Code that relates to the presence of a banned substance in a player's sample.

The bowler will be available to play again from March 27, once the retrospective penalty ends. The three-month penalty was backdated to December 27, when Yasir was provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance, an ICC release said.

The ban rules Yasir out of the ongoing Pakistan Super League, the upcoming Asia Cup and the World T20. The earliest he could return is for the tour of England in June.

A sample taken from Yasir on November 13, when Pakistan played an ODI against England in Abu Dhabi, was found to contain chlortalidone, which is on WADA's prohibited list of diuretics and masking agents and is prohibited both in-competition and out-of-competition. Chlortalidone is also used to treat high blood pressure.

According to the release, during disciplinary proceedings, Yasir clarified that he had inadvertently taken his wife's blood pressure medication and had no intention of enhancing his performance or masking the use of another performance-enhancing substance. Yasir pleaded guilty to breaching Article 2.1 of the ICC's anti-doping code, which deals with "the presence of a Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers in a Player's Sample."

"While making the decision, the ICC accepted that Mr Shah had inadvertently ingested the 'Specified Substance' for therapeutic reasons, specifically to treat his blood pressure," the ICC said. "He was able to satisfy the ICC through evidence and submissions prepared on his behalf by the Pakistan Cricket Board that he had no intention to enhance his sporting performance or to mask the use of another performance enhancing substance and had, instead, mistakenly taken his wife's blood pressure medication that was identical in appearance to his own but which contained the prohibited substance chlortalidone.

"However, Mr Shah has accepted that he had failed to satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility incumbent upon him as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules."

While he is suspended, Yasir cannot play - or be involved in any capacity in - international matches, and games organised by any national cricket board or its affiliated members.


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  3rd ODI: New Zealand v Australia at Hamilton
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 06:30 PM - Replies (16)

Australia tour of New Zealand, 3rd ODI: New Zealand v Australia at Hamilton, Feb 8, 2016

Match scheduled to begin at 14:00 local time (01:00 GMT) 06:30 IST (8th Feb)

New Zealand Squad
BB McCullum*, CJ Anderson, TA Boult, DAJ Bracewell, GD Elliott, MJ Guptill, MJ Henry, AF Milne, C Munro, HM Nicholls, L Ronchi†, MJ Santner, IS Sodhi, KS Williamson

Australia Squad
SPD Smith*, GJ Bailey, SM Boland, JW Hastings, JR Hazlewood, UT Khawaja, MR Marsh, SE Marsh, GJ Maxwell, KW Richardson, MP Stoinis, MS Wade†, DA Warner, A Zampa

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