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India vs Pakistan cricket matches remain the biggest revenue generating fixtures for the ICC. | File Photo
India vs Pakistan cricket matches remain the biggest revenue generating fixtures for the ICC. | File Photo
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T20 World Cup 2021 Garnered A Record Viewership Of 167 Million

The T20I World Cup 2021 in the UAE garnered a record viewership of 167 million as nearly 10,000 hours of live coverage was offered across TV and digital platforms in as many as 200 countries. The International Cricket Council on Thursday revealed that India and Pakistan in the T20I World Cup 2021 Super 12 match in Dubai set a new record for the most views with 15.9 billion minutes in India alone, despite Pakistan winning by 10 wickets.

The match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan proved to be a one-sided affair but that didn’t deter the fans from it as they consumed 15.9 billion minutes on the Star India Network, surpassing the previous high of the India vs West Indies semi-final match from the 2016 edition of the ICC event held in India, the game’s governing body said.

 Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets in Dubai to open their Super 12 campaign with a bang in the T20 World Cup 2021 (AFP Photo)
Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets in Dubai to open their Super 12 campaign with a bang in the T20 World Cup 2021 (AFP Photo)

The T20I World Cup 2021 Overall TV Consumption In India Was Recorded At 112 Billion Minutes Despite India’s Early Exit

The overall TV consumption for the entire tournament in India was recorded at 112 billion minutes, despite India’s early exit from the tournament. Digital consumption for the tournament saw explosive growth on Disney+ Hotstar in India, adding significantly to the overall television viewership in the market.

 

“We are pleased with these outstanding global viewership numbers(in the T20I World Cup 2021), that demonstrate the power of T20I cricket to attract a huge audience across the globe on linear and digital platforms,” ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said in a release.

Australian Geoff Allardice has been appointed as permanent CEO of the International Cricket Council after serving the role on an interim basis for more than eight months, the game’s governing body announced a few days ago. Geoff Allardice thus replaced Manu Sawhney, who had resigned from his position in July.

Geoff Allardice-Getty Images
Geoff Allardice-Getty Images

“It reinforces our belief that there is a significant opportunity and appetite to grow the game in our strategic growth markets including the USA, so more fans can enjoy it, more kids are inspired by it and sponsors and broadcasters want to be a part of it.”

In the UK, viewership for the India-Pakistan match in the T20I World Cup 2021 grew by 60 per cent on Sky UK whereas the overall viewership for the market went up by 7 per cent. In Pakistan, the T20I World Cup 2021 was being broadcast by three players(digital channels) for the first time namely PTV, ARY, and Ten Sports, which led to further growth in viewership by 7.3 per cent compared to the 2016 edition of the event.

In 2021 T20I World Cup winners Australia, the viewership increased by 175 per cent on the Fox Network. In the USA, which the ICC recently named as one of the focus markets for the sport, the tournament was the most viewed cricket tournament ever on ESPN+.

The T20I World Cup 2021 Total Video Views Recorded  Was 4.3 Billon Compared To 3.6 Billion In 2019 ODI World Cup

The ICC’s partnership with Facebook was a driver for the significant increase in video views in the recently concluded T20I World Cup 2021, with a total of 4.3 billion views across all channels for the tournament, compared to 3.6 billion views which were garnered for the 2019 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

Eoin Morgan of England celebrates with his team as he lifts the Cricket World Cup trophy after the Final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and England at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Eoin Morgan of England celebrates with his team as he lifts the Cricket World Cup trophy after the Final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and England at Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 14, 2019, in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The consumption across digital assets also grew, recording a total of 2.55 billion minutes. ICC’s social media channels also saw significant growth in the T20I World Cup 2021 at 618 million across those platforms, which is a 28 per cent jump since the 2019 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, which was won by England dramatically.

 

Vinoo Mankad's (L) son Rahul Mankad (R) condemns the use of the term 'Mankading'. Agencies
Vinoo Mankad's (L) son Rahul Mankad (R) condemns the use of the term 'Mankading'. Agencies
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Rahul Mankad Writes Email To BCCI, Objecting ‘Mankading’ Usage

Rahul Mankad doesn’t want BCCI to use the term ‘Mankading’ as he finds it disrespectful. Run-outs that are affected by bowlers when the non-striker backs up too far are popularly and unofficially known as ‘Mankading’.

The term came into effect when legendary Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad ran out Australia’s Bill Brown for backing up too far during India’s tour to Australia in 1948. Since then, this form of dismissal is commonly termed as Mankad-ing. However, the late all-rounder’s only surviving son, Rahul Mankad, isn’t amused by the fact.

Rahul Mankad
Rahul Mankad. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rahul Mankad Writes To BCCI To Resolve The Mankading Post As He Finds It Unearranted And Disrespectful

Rahul Mankad doesn’t want the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) to use the term ‘Mankading’ as he finds it disrespectful. The official Twitter page of BCCI referred to a run-out as ‘Mankading’ during the women’s Under-19 semi-final match between Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Disappointed by the same, Rahul Mankad wrote an email to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, asking him to avoid using the term.

“I am writing this email with a request to please resolve the unwarranted and disrespectful situation that has appeared in a post on the BCCI website,” Mankad wrote in an email on October 18.

Secretary Jay Shah and chief executive officer Hemang Amin were also marked in the email.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Vinoo Mankad was best known for record opening partnership of 413 runs with Pankaj Roy in 1956, which stood for 52 years. He scored 2109 runs in 44 tests averaging 31.47, and scored 5 tons, the highest being 231. He also took 162 wickets, averaging 32.32, with the best being 8/52.

Rahul Mankad Yet To Receive Any Response From BCCI

Meanwhile, Rahul Mankad also confirmed that he hadn’t received any response from the Indian cricket board. Moreover, that post hasn’t been deleted yet.

“It is an overenthusiastic and ill-informed post and perhaps a misplaced attempt at humour, but the fact that it has not been taken off is a cause for concern, in my view. I urge you to take immediate action and remove the offensive post forthwith,” he had written further.

Jos Buttler was furious with the umpire's decision after being Mankaded by R Ashwin (BCCI Photo)
Jos Buttler was furious with the umpire’s decision after being Mankaded by R Ashwin (BCCI Photo)

Rahul Mankad also pointed out the fact has ICC has stopped using the ‘unfortunate’ term and is referring to the controversial form of dismissal as a run-out.

“Vinoo Mankad was a great Indian cricketer, and his stature as a player and person is unquestionable, you will agree. I strongly believe that BCCI needs to come out and endorse the wrong associated with the eponymous dismissal and term it as it is rightly and under the Laws of Cricket labeled as “RUN OUT,” wrote Mankad.

“As you are aware, the ICC has dropped the unfortunate term referring to my father and has started calling it a Run Out. It is only right that BCCI of all the peak bodies ought to take lead and put this issue to bed, once and for all,” he added.

Vinoo Mankad was an opening batsman and was also a slow left-arm orthodox bowler and hit his career-best 231 against New Zealand in 1956 besides establishing a world record partnership of 413 runs with Pankaj Roy.

Ravichandran Ashwin made headlines in IPL 2019 when he ‘Mankaded’ by running Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler out at the non-striker’s end after the Rajasthan Royals batsman was found outside his crease even before then Kings XI Punjab’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin delivered the ball. Jos Buttler was also out similarly against Sri Lanka in 2014 when Sachithra Senanayake did the same.

Manchester United owners Glazer family are intrested in buying an IPL team |Courtesy-@MancesterUnited | Photo Credit: Instagram
Manchester United owners Glazer family are intrested in buying an IPL team |Courtesy-@MancesterUnited | Photo Credit: Instagram
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Manchester United Owners, Mumbai Indians Will Be Part Of Emirates T20 League

The Glazer Family that owns and runs the Manchester United football club may have fallen short of a few thousand crores in their attempt to buy a new Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 franchise last month, but that isn’t stopping them from making a foray again into the cricketing world.

The Glazer Family along with five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians, Shahrukh Khan’s Knight Riders franchise, financial services company Capri Global, Kiran Kumar Grandhi of Delhi Capitals and Big Bash League (BBL) club Sydney Sixers are now part of the new Emirates T20 League that’s all set to get underway early 2022.

The Glazer Family
The Glazer Family Source: cdn.theathletic.com

The Glazer Family, Along With Mumbai Indians, Capri Global, Kiran Kumar Grandhi And Sydney Sixers, Will Be Part Of The Emirates T20 League

The six-franchise league – which is a brainchild of former IPL chief operating officer Sundar Raman, and now being run by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) in the United Arab Emirates with the blessings of Sheikh Al Nahyan, who heads the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth & Social Development – had been in the making for a couple of years now and will finally see the light of the day tentatively in January next year.

 

United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.(AP)
United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (AP)

ECB is all set to lock in a broadcaster soon, and despite the IPL’s media rights tender waiting to come out soon, there has been relative interest.

“January’s a great time to play cricket in the UAE. The destination caters to multiple time zones, especially in the west. It suits prime-time in the Indian sub-continent very well, as we’ve seen during the last two IPLs and the recent T20 World Cup that were played there,” say industry executives tracking developments.

Sheikh Al Nahyan first began working on the league two years ago. The business model backing it and multiple IPL owners – including the proverbial ‘Big Three’ MI, CSK and KKR – initially took interest. According to reports, the defending IPL 2021 champions Chennai Super Kings were also in the fray to buy a team, but they backed down at the last minute. Nevertheless, the league is duly approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“However, as things changed and the ECB took charge, CSK opted out. But Mumbai Indians giving their consent was a huge shot in the arm for the organisers of the league,” sources added.

The Glazer family showing interest in the Emirates league, after their recent bid attempt at owning the new IPL 2022 franchise either Ahmedabad or Lucknow, shows their growing interest in cricket and how the sport – that India dominates in terms of finances and eyeballs – is waiting to hit the American markets in the near future.

The Glazer Family Failed To Win Bid For New Franchise In IPL 2022

Meanwhile, financial services company Capri Global too, had submitted bids for an IPL franchise in the recent auction and are learnt to be taking an active interest in the sport’s T20 landscape. However, Delhi Capitals co-owner Kiran Kumar Grandhi is learnt to be investing in the league from an individual perspective. The IPL’s franchise other 50% co-owner Parth Jindal will not be a part of this league.

Sydney Sixers, the first participants of the T20 Champions League – one that was conceived by former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi back in 2008-09 – have always looked beyond Australia.

Kiran Kumar Grandhi of Delhi Capitals with family Photo by Arjun Singh /SPORTZPICS for BCCI
Kiran Kumar Grandhi of Delhi Capitals with family Photo by Arjun Singh /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

“And for Shahrukh, Dubai has always been a second home to him. Brand SRK has been synonymous with this part of the world and it naturally augurs well to have him and his franchise participating in our league,” say those working on the property.

This ‘desert league’ will work on a unique business model where the franchises will invest on an annual basis and work on substantial returns through broadcast and sponsorships. While there’s no word on whether the BCCI – that now shares a good working relationship with the ECB – will allow any Indian players to participate, the league’s organisers expect cricketers from across the globe to show huge interest.

The Glazer family submitted a sealed bid to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at the Taj hotel on behalf of Lancer Capital. But Lancer Captial’s bid failed to secure one of the new two franchises, who will be added to the lucrative IPL from 2022. Instead, Lancer Capital was outbid by CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm that already has stakes in Premiership Rugby, the Six Nations and La Liga.

Just 24 hours after the Manchester United owners, the Glazer family saw their club humiliated at the hands of Liverpool, the Glazer family’s attempts to venture into cricket were scuppered in IPL 2022 auction in Dubai, as RPSG and CVC Capital bagged the rights for the two new teams in 2022.

Mirwais Ashraf with Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Facebook
Mirwais Ashraf with Afghanistan cricket team. Credits: Facebook
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Former Afghanistan All-rounder Mirwais Ashraf, 33, Appointed As ACB’s Acting Chairman

The Taliban Wednesday appointed former all-rounder Mirwais Ashraf as acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board to replace Azizullah Fazli, who was in charge for just two months.

Afghanistan media reported the decision was taken after demands by national players while meeting the Taliban officials in Abu Dhabi during the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup.

Mirwais Ashraf (Credits Twitter)
Mirwais Ashraf (Credits Twitter)

Mirwais Ashraf Was Appointed Acting Chairman Of The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) By The Taliban

Mirwais Ashraf played 46 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20 internationals, his last in 2016. Afghanistan bowed out of the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 stage after winning only two of their five Group 2 matches, losing to heavyweights Pakistan, India, and New Zealand. In addition, the country has faced political and cricketing upheavals since the Taliban took over following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops in late August this year.
The decision to appoint a new acting chairman was taken by the Taliban after consultation with the Afghanistan players in Abu Dhabi during the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup.

“The prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has appointed Mirwais Ashraf as acting chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB),” said the Taliban statement.

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul (Image Credit: AP)
The Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

The Taliban’s hardline stance on not allowing women to play cricket prompted calls for the Afghan team to be banned, with Australian Test skipper Tim Paine believing teams will refuse to play them.

Afghanistan Will Tour Zimbabwe For 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is After One-Off Test Against Australia Postponed

Cricket Australia on Friday postponed a Test match against Afghanistan — the first scheduled between the two nations — in Brisbane later this month, saying they will host the match only once the situation is clearer. The International Cricket Council — which has rules stating all member countries should have both men’s and women’s teams — has been cautious, saying it will discuss the matter in a board meeting later this month.

Australia has so far played three international matches against Afghanistan. All three were ODIs, the latest being a World Cup 2019 contest. - REUTERS
Australia has so far played three international matches against Afghanistan. All three were ODIs, the latest being a World Cup 2019 contest. – REUTERS

Still, the ACB announced its team will tour Zimbabwe for three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals next month. The dates of the matches are yet to be finalized. Afghanistan posted wins against Scotland and Namibia in the Super 12 stages of the tournament. The T20 World Cup also saw Afghanistan veteran cricketer Asghar Afghan announcing his retirement from the game, after more than a decade with the Afghanistan side.

Mirwais Ashraf has featured in 46 ODIs and 24 T20Is for the Afghanistan side. While the 33-year-old scored 399 runs in the ODI format of the game, Mirwais Ashraf amassed 126 runs in T20I cricket. The right-arm pacer also picked up 46 wickets in the ODI format of the game, while he scalped 14 scalps in T20I cricket.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images
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Tom Harrison Flies To Pakistan To Mend Relations With PCB After October 2021 Tour Cancellation Hurt PCB

Tom Harrison, England and Wales Cricket Board Chief Executive, has flown to Pakistan to meet PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja in a bid to mend relations that were damaged by the cancellation of last month’s tour.

According to sources in the PCB, besides meeting Ramiz Raja, Tom Harrison is also due to call Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad before he flies out to Dubai for the final of the T20 World Cup and the ICC Executive Board meeting on November 17.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)

Tom Harrison’s Decision To Go To Pakistan Came After It Was Announced Australia And West Indies Would Tour Pakistan In 2022

After New Zealand decided to abandon its tour of Pakistan right ahead of the first ODI, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had announced that its men’s and women’s tour of Pakistan would not go ahead as planned.

The England men’s team was set to tour Pakistan in October for the first time since 2005, while their women have never played in that country. However, ECB had cancelled both the series, citing the “mental and physical well-being” of players and security concerns, a decision that was met with heavy criticism.

Australia
Australia. Image Credits: Twitter

Tom Harrison’s decision to come to Pakistan comes on the heels of the announcement by Cricket Australia that it will be touring Pakistan early next year. Australia’s confirmation to send its team to Pakistan had come days after the West Indies board announced it would be touring Pakistan in December for a white ball series.

Australia’s men’s team is set for a three-format tour of Pakistan in March-April 2022, playing in the nation for the first time since 1998. The Pakistan Cricket Board announced details for the seven-match tour on Monday.

The campaign will comprise three ICC World Test Championship matches through march, three ICC Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs (29 March to 2 April), and one T20I (5 April). Australia’s last tour of Pakistan was in 1998-99, which in turn was their first series in Pakistan since 1959-60.

Ramiz Raja Would Be Taking Up The Case Against New Zealand Cricket And ECB At ICC Board Meeting

The confirmation by the two boards has come as welcome news for the PCB, which was shattered by the decision by New Zealand Cricket to pull out its team from the tour of Pakistan in September because of security threats and later the ECB’s decision also not to send its teams for white-ball matches.

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

But one PCB source made it clear that while Tom Harrison’s visit was welcome, and so was his assurance that England would make a full tour of Pakistan late next year, Ramiz Raja would be taking up the case against New Zealand Cricket and ECB strongly at the ICC board meeting.

Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images
Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images
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Old Trafford May Miss Out On Hosting The Rescheduled 5th Test Between England And India

Old Trafford cricket stadium in Manchester could miss out on hosting the rescheduled Test between England and India next due to scheduling conflicts.

Reports suggest that the rescheduled Test could be taking place at the same time as England’s white-ball matches against South Africa.

Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Old Trafford Cricket Ground (Photo | AP)

Old Trafford May Not Be The Venue For The Rescheduled Test

The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester in early September. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

“An agreement in principle has been reached with India over completing the aborted series next year, after the tourists refused to play at the 11th hour last month due to concerns over Covid. However, the deciding Test will take place elsewhere due to scheduling issues at Old Trafford,” said a report on Thursday.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
In the four matches prior to the Manchester Test fixture at Old Trafford, India had led the series 2-1. The opening Test at Trent Bridge was drawn before India won the next clash at Lord’s. England inflicted India an innings defeat in the third Test at Headingley, but the visitors rallied to win the fourth Test at the Oval.

Lancashire Unable To Commit To Put The Test In The Narrow Window Available

County cricket side Lancashire had reportedly lost more than one million pounds through hospitality income when the fifth and last Test between England and India was cancelled.

The final Test was called off just two hours before the start of play due to a COVID-19 outbreak scare in the Indian camp after assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive. However, it is understood that they have opened talks with the ECB about receiving compensation, which will be forthcoming.

“It is understood Lancashire were unable to commit to putting on the Test in the narrow window available. Old Trafford is already due to host a one-day international between England and South Africa on July 24 while the Old Trafford club are also expected to stage several gigs next summer. While the ECB have yet to finalise a date with their Indian counterparts, it is likely there will be some overlap between the Test match and England’s one-day series against South Africa,” further said the report.

India vs England
India vs England- Image Credit: Twitter

India is scheduled to tour England for three ODIs and as many T20Is from July 1 to 14. England’s home series against South Africa begins on July 19. After the series concludes on July 31, it will be immediately followed by the second edition of the Hundred.

With a limited time period for the match to take place and an ODI game between South Africa-England set to take place in Manchester on 24th June, and various music gigs scheduled to take, Lancashire has refused to commit to hosting the game. Although the two boards have agreed to play a rescheduled Test match, there is still no clarity on whether that match will be the series’ fifth match or a stand-alone event.

Both teams are awaiting the International Cricket Council‘s (ICC) verdict on the implication of the postponed game on the WTC. It remains to be seen whether India will be forced to forfeit the game, or the game will be counted as abandoned, or whether ICC allows the fifth game to be played next year.  If the series ends as thing stands now, India will be declared winners by a 2-1 margin.

Australia's Aaron Finch ©Reuters
Australia's Aaron Finch ©Reuters
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Aaron Finch And Teammates Support Cricket Australia’s Position To Cancel The One-Off Hobart Test Against Afghanistan

Aaron Finch, Australia’s white-ball captain. said on Wednesday that Australia’s players support the country’s board over its threat to call-off a Test with Afghanistan if the Taliban regime ban women from playing cricket.

Cricket Australia said it would cancel the November 27 Test in Hobart if reports that women in Afghanistan would be banned from playing the game were substantiated.

Aaron Finch, AFP
Aaron Finch, AFP

Aaron Finch Supports Cricket Australia’s Position To Cancel The One-Off Hobart Test Against Afghanistan

Governing body Cricket Australia said it would cancel the November 27 Test in Hobart if reports emerge that Afghanistan women are banned from playing cricket like the Taliban’s previous regime.

“It’s a really challenging time no doubt, but we’re supportive of Cricket Australia’s position,” Aaron Finch told reporters in a media call.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) said last month it was committed to women’s cricket though it was awaiting instructions from the government on its future. Afghanistan’s men’s squad is preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman starting on October 17.

Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine said last month teams might refuse to play Afghanistan at the World Cup and questioned how the International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body, could sanction their participation in the tournament.

With the state of Afghanistan in political turmoil and the Taliban not in support of women’s cricket, Tim Paine had stated that the current teams would not love to play against a country that is taking off opportunities from half of their population. Tim Paine also asserted that there’s no word from the apex body ICC on the matter.

Aaron Finch Hopeful That Things Will Be Resolved

The ICC will discuss Afghanistan and women’s cricket at its next board meeting during the World Cup. Aaron Finch declined to say whether Australia would feel comfortable playing the Afghans at the World Cup, where they would not meet unless both teams advance to at least the semi-finals.

“That’s an ICC decision,” Aaron Finch said.

“We’re hopeful that things can resolve themselves and Afghanistan can play a huge part in international cricket. We’ve seen how important they are, the development of their game in Afghanistan no doubt is huge,” Aaron Finch said.

Afghanistan Test team Source: AP
Afghanistan Test team Source: AP

Australia is due to face the Afghanistan men’s team in Hobart from November 27, but Cricket Australia said on Thursday it would not host the side if reports that women’s cricket would not be supported in the war-torn country were substantiated.

Under ICC regulations, nations with Test status must also have an active women’s team, and Australia on Wednesday said it would cancel a maiden Test against Afghanistan in Hobart in November unless the Taliban backtracks.

Afghanistan’s Test against and in Australia is due to take place on November 27. Afghanistan played its first test match in 2018, becoming the 12th test nation. Since then, they have played 6 test matches, compiling a record of 3 wins and 3 defeats. Australia has so far played three international matches against Afghanistan. All three were ODIs, the latest being a World Cup 2019 contest.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
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Wasim Khan Points At Inequality In Terms Of Treatment Towards Pakistan

Wasim Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive, has pointed at “inequality” in terms of treatment towards Pakistan, in the backdrop of the New Zealand team pulling out of the tour due to security concerns.

Wasim Khan, who insisted that the security protocols that were in place for the Kiwi team were similar to the presidential security when the Royal Couple visited Pakistan in 2019, said the PCB will take the matter up with the apex board ICC and New Zealand Cricket in order to prevent countries from taking unilateral decisions regarding pull-outs which will have an adverse impact on the host country.

Wasim Khan said that PCB will take the matter up with the ICC and NZC in order to prevent other countries from unilaterally pulling out
Wasim Khan said that PCB will take the matter up with the ICC and NZC in order to prevent other countries from unilaterally pulling out © Getty

Wasim Khan: PCB Will Take The Matter Up With The ICC And New Zealand Cricket

New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight later. The Pakistan tour was the Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003 and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.

“Ramiz Raja, the chairman, and myself will be taking this up at the ICC level but also with New Zealand. It is something that we’ll be pushing to have a discussion more broadly over this topic, when we sit at the ICC table,” Wasim Khan said at an online press conference on Sunday (September 19).

“Because as I said, the issue we have at the moment is that people can unilaterally make that decision without any consequences for themselves. There’s consequences for the others who are the recipients, in this case it was us. Is it fair that that can happen?” Wasim Khan said

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

“Yes we understand that there was guidance provided by the New Zealand government. But were we not owed the respect to at least to have some dialogue to share the information, security to security, to see if we can mitigate the potential threat,” Wasim Khan said

“We at the PCB didn’t need to know about the security threat, that could have been done at security level, and collaborations could happen at international level. We all want to see a peaceful, harmonious world. If at that level, we cannot share information outside a circle, then it’s going to be very hard for countries to be able to deal with and mitigate any potential threats that might be,” Wasim Khan said

“There is inequality. I don’t care what people say and I’ve been around cricket for a very very long time. We went to New Zealand, Bangladesh. We’ve done everything that’s been asked of us. We’ve shown solidarity in cricket. Our players have gone through hardships in 14 days of quarantine in New Zealand,” Wasim Khan said

“We went after the Bangladesh team got attacked in a Masjid. We’ve done everything we possibly could do. What we have to look at now is that we expect fair treatment the other way as well. It’s easy to walk out of countries like Pakistan without any reason, any dialogue or discussion. That has to stop. Because the inequality has to stop in world cricket, unless we do that we’re not going to have an even playing field, both in treatment and in finances,” Wasim Khan said

The PCB chief executive, who spoke about the security inputs that emanated from Five Eyes – the joint intelligence wing of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and the US – said there was no change in the travel advisory despite the report that prompted New Zealand to pull out of the Pakistan tour.

New Zealand was scheduled to play three ODIs in Rawalpindi starting Friday (September 17) before the series shifted to Lahore for a five-match T20I series, but the entire tour now stands unilaterally postponed following the visitors’ expression of concern.

Wasim Khan Hopes ECB Will Decide To Send England Team To Pakistan For A Short Tour

Wasim Khan was also hopeful of the forthcoming England tour comprising of 2 T20Is going ahead as per schedule, stressing on ESI head of security Reg Dickinson’s assessment which gave a clean bill of health.

“Our understanding is that from a security perspective, as I mentioned, the travel advisory is an indicator of threat levels. Most of the western embassies and high commissions across the world use the travel advisories as an indicator of where the threat levels are. As it stands at the moment, the travel advisory has not changed from the British High Commission. Nor has it changed for the US, Australia and Canada who are also part of that five-eyes alliance.”

“England are meeting today to make a decision on whether they will tour Pakistan or not. We know what the guidance is, we know from a security perspective there’s a clean bill of health. We certainly hope England will tour. We certainly believe they should be coming and hope they will be coming, based on what the competent authority in Islamabad and the security expert are saying.”

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

“The same security expert who provided the guidance for the ECB to go to Bangladesh, six weeks after the bomb blast that killed 12 people [in 2016] – so there’s a lot of trusts put into this security expert who is understood and respected around the world. We certainly hope when the board meets, the ECB will decide to send their team to Pakistan for this short tour,” Wasim Khan said

Wasim Khan, meanwhile, ruled out any possibility of Pakistan not playing their match against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup as a mark of protest.

“I don’t think the answer to that is not taking part or playing against New Zealand in the World Cup. We have a duty to the fans, we have a duty still to get out there and play. Our duty is to go out and win that match. This is an ICC World Cup and our job is to go out and do that and we’ll continue to have dialogue and discussion offline, myself and the chairman will do that with the competent authorities,” Wasim Khan said

The indications are that the two-match T20I series for the men’s England team and the five-match program for the women’s team will be postponed. Although it is still a possibility that the two series will go ahead, the England tour is in jeopardy after New Zealand’s pullout.

Australia Image Source: Twitter
Australia Image Source: Twitter
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Australia Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue For T20 World Cup 2021

Australia will be led by Aaron Finch in the T20I World Cup 2021 event. Australia is placed in group A of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 which many experts refer to as ‘Group Of Death’. Notably, Group A is a comparatively stronger group as it consists of teams like West Indies, England, Australia, and South Africa and all the teams have full potential to dominate the league. Especially teams like England and West Indies will be a major threat for everyone.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has revealed the fixtures for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 which will be played between October 17 and November 14. At first, it was scheduled to commence in India. However, due to the Covid-19 scare in the country, it was shifted to UAE and OMAN. Meanwhile, Team Australia which is going through a rough patch will be the team to watch out for in the upcoming marquee event.

Australia Pic: Getty
Australia Pic: Getty

Australia Has Lost All Of Its Last 5 T20Is Series

Team Australia is going through a very bad phase lately, as they have been consistently underperforming and have received massive criticism from fans and experts. Notably, Australia has lost the last 5 T20I series they have played against New Zealand, India, England, West Indies, and Bangladesh.

Aaron Finch, AFP
Aaron Finch, AFP

Australia will be commencing its journey in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 with a clash against South Africa. With the return of big names like David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, and Pat Cummins the Aaron Finch-led side will be looking forward to gaining back the momentum. Notably, team Australia has never won a T20 World Cup and they will have an eye on lifting their first-ever T20 World Cup championship.

Australia’s Squad For ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Among the 15-member squad, the most surprising name is Josh Inglis. Uncapped to this stage at the international level, Josh Inglis is a wicketkeeper-batter adept at playing both as an opener and in the middle order.

Aaron Finch (C), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (VC), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams

Steve Smith
Steve Smith- Photograph: David Gray/AFP/Getty Images

Australia has named a star-studded squad for their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 campaign, with captain Aaron Finch and Steve Smith among a host of big names returning to action.

Aaron Finch (knee) and Steve Smith (elbow) have been backed to return from injury for the tournament, with David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins and Kane Richardson also set to be back in action after sitting out the team’s tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh in July-August.

Australia’s Complete Schedule For ICC T20 World Cup 2021

October 23, 2021: vs South Africa, Abu Dhabi (03:30 PM IST)

October 28, 2021: vs Qualifier (A1), Dubai (7:30 PM IST)

October 30, 2021: vs England, Dubai (7:30 PM IST)

November 4, 2021: vs Qualifier (B2), Dubai (03:30 PM IST)

November 6: vs West Indies, Abu Dhabi (03:30 PM IST)

Michael Atherton
Michael Atherton
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COVID-19, Player Power And IPL 2021 Combined To Manchester Test Abandonment: Michael Atherton

Michael Atherton believes that Covid-19 or the IPL alone is not a factor and that three factors overall and their combination resulted in the abandonment of the deciding 5th and final Test at the Old Trafford Cricket Stadium in Manchester. The cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England in Manchester came as a big let-down for players and fans alike.

With India leading the series 2-1, the final deciding Test promised to be a mouth-watering clash, but the match never happened, and a lot is being talked about what could have been the reason behind it. Former England captain Michael Atherton is the latest to present his views.

Michael Atherton Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Michael Atherton Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Michael Atherton: Covid-19, Player Power And IPL 2021 Combined To Manchester Test Abandonment

While the Covid-19 scare is certainly one of them, with India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar testing positive for the virus, there could be more factors that led to the calling off of the Manchester Test. Some reports claim that Indian players, despite testing negative on the eve of the match, were reluctant to take the field, while some others are blaming the IPL, believing that players prioritized the IPL since the tournament was to resume from September 19.

However, Michael Atherton has offered a fresh take on the entire episode. Michael Atherton believes that Covid or the IPL alone is not a factor and that three factors overall and their combination resulted in the abandonment of the Manchester Test.

“Covid-19, player power and the Indian Premier League combined to scupper the fifth Test in Manchester yesterday, to the consternation of the Lancashire club and the 85,000 or so supporters who had bought tickets to attend the first four days. There was a profound sense of shock and disappointment over the cancellation of the match, especially at the end of a compelling series that stood at 2-1 to India with everything to play for,” Michael Atherton wrote in his column for The Times.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“That there has been so little international cricket lost to Covid is, amid the anger and sadness, a surprise too. Authorities recognized that they could not ask players to operate in last summer’s strict bio-secure bubbles, as society was opening up again. Inevitably this relaxation increased the risk of a Covid outbreak.

“County games have been affected this summer, as was the ODI series against Pakistan, which required a whole new England squad, and now a Test match has gone, although space will probably be found in the calendar at some point to mitigate the loss of broadcast income,” Michael Atherton wrote.

Why certain players and experts hold the IPL responsible for the cancellation is because of what transpired after the match was called off. Several key players were flown to the UAE on charter flights as early as possible, so they could undergo a six-day quarantine, re-join the squad and be ready for the IPL 2021, which resumes next Sunday.
The majority of Indian players playing the Test series have joined their IPL franchises in UAE. They are now serving the six-day mandatory isolation period. The 2nd phase of IPL 2021 kicks off on September 19. Ravi Shastri and other COVID-19 positive coaches will land in India after completing their isolation period. They will likely reach UAE for T20 World Cup next month.

Michael Atherton Points Out That There Was A Potential Danger Over The Manchester Test Due To The Proximity Of The IPL

The likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, and Mohammed Siraj have already reached the UAE and entered mandatory quarantine, while more are expected to arrive shortly. Keeping this in mind, Michael Atherton makes an interesting point.

“The proximity of the IPL was always a potential danger hanging over the Manchester Test: before the summer began there were pointed discussions between the ECB and BCCI about rescheduling the fifth Test for earlier in the summer, something the ECB held firm on. India’s players were concerned that further positive tests would result in a ten-day isolation period in England, thus meaning they would miss the start of the tournament, while the cost to the BCCI of not staging the IPL is about £360 million,” Michael Atherton further wrote.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

“After the India players’ stated reluctance on Thursday evening, officials from the ECB and BCCI were locked in discussions throughout the night to try to navigate a way through the situation, with the ECB providing whatever assurances it could around the safety and well-being of the players.

“No solution was forthcoming, which reflects on where the balance of power lies in the modern game. Once the players had spoken, there was little the administrators could do about it. Players have never been more powerful than now,” Michael Atherton said.

The players started departing in clusters — some in charter flights arranged by their franchises like Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad while Chennai Super Kings cricketers took commercial flights.  The ECB has written to the ICC seeking an outcome to the Test series. Although the BCCI has stated that the Indian board and the ECB are hoping to work towards staging the cancelled Test match, nothing is concrete yet.

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