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Michael Atherton
Michael Atherton
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New Zealand Is The Strongest Team Across Formats: Michael Atherton

New Zealand has shown they are the strongest team across all formats of the game after reaching the final of the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup, former England captain Michael Atherton said.

Daryl Mitchell’s unbeaten 72 and Jimmy Neesham’s blistering cameo in Abu Dhabi led New Zealand to a dramatic five-wicket win over England as they entered their first T20 World Cup final on Wednesday.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP

New Zealand Is An Outstanding Team In All 3 Formats: Michael Atherton

The ‘Black Caps’ reached the final of the 50-overs World Cup in 2019 where they lost to England decided by boundary count after scores were the same after Super Over and beat India this year to win the inaugural World Test Championship title.

“They are an outstanding team, in all formats of the game really,” Atherton told Sky Sports.

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

“Across formats, you would have to say they are the strongest team at the moment so congratulations to them, a fantastic achievement with limited resources in terms of personnel and money and things that we’ve often talked about.”

New Zealand will face either Australia or Pakistan in Sunday’s final in Dubai. The 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy win (now referred to as ICC Champions Trophy) stands as one of two ICC tournaments won by the team in their cricketing history.

New Zealand also won the inaugural ICC World Test Championship tournament in 2021, beating India by 8 wickets. New Zealand had also reached the finals of the last two World Cups in 2015 and 2019 but lost both times.

Daryl Mitchell’s Unbeaten 72 And Jimmy Neesham’s Cameo Helps New Zealand To Win Semis

Chasing 167, New Zealand was on the back foot when key duo Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson were dismissed by Chris Woakes inside the first three overs of the reply. But the ship was steadied by Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway, who added 82 for the third wicket before James Neesham whacked 27 from 11 balls to turn the tide in his side’s favour.

Daryl Mitchell heaves the ball away during his matchwinning 72 not out as Jos Buttler watches on. Photograph: François Nel/Getty Images
Daryl Mitchell heaves the ball away during his match-winning 72, not out as Jos Buttler watches on. Photograph: François Nel/Getty Images

It was not until the 16th over of the second innings that either side seemed to grab the game, and at that point, it was England who briefly took control. At that point, their opponents needed an apparently far-fetched 57 from 24, and Jimmy Neesham was fresh to the crease.

In the following over, Chris Jordan, England’s one genuine death-overs specialist, was completely marmalized by James Neesham. It turned into England’s most expensive of the tournament, 23 runs coming off it.

Jimmy Neesham fell to the last ball of the 18th over, but it hardly mattered, given what Daryl Mitchell was about to do to Chris Woakes. He had never scored an international T20 half-century but ended the most important game of his life unbeaten on 72 off 47 balls. It was New Zealand opener Daryl Mitchell who finished the job, hitting 25 off his last seven deliveries to win the semis with an over to spare.

New Zealand 167 for 5 (Mitchell 72*, Conway 46, Neesham 27; Livingstone 2-22) beat England 166 for 4 (Malan 41, Moeen 51*; Southee 1-24) by 5 wickets

Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)
Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)
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Indian Players Should Prioritise Playing For Nation Rather Than IPL, Says Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev pointed out a couple of reasons which resulted in India’s underwhelming performance at the T20 World Cup after New Zealand’s win against Afghanistan saw India being knocked out despite starting as favourites and title contenders for the showpiece event.

Legendary all-rounder and former World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev feels the BCCI and Indian cricket should start planning immediately for the next World Cup instead of leaving things for later.

Kapil Dev lifting the 1983 World Cup | Reuters
Kapil Dev lifting the 1983 World Cup | Reuters

Kapil Dev: India Should Start Planning Right Away For Next 2022 T20I World Cup

The year 2022 will stage the next T20 World Cup, and with India not able to qualify for the knockouts this year – the first time it has happened in eight ICC events – Kapil Dev pointed out a couple of reasons which resulted in India’s underwhelming performance at the ongoing T20 World Cup.

“It’s time to look at the future. You should start planning right away. It’s not that since the World Cup is over, the Indian team’s entire cricket is too. Go and plan. I just feel that there should have been some gap between IPL and the World Cup. But this is certainly there that our players today have a lot of exposure but they could not make the most of it,” Kapil said.

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India exited the ongoing 2021 T20I World Cup after New Zealand beat Afghanistan to book the second semi-final berth from Group 2 on Sunday.

Virat Kohli’s team came into the tournament as hot favourites but let their future depend on other teams after big losses to rivals Pakistan, who were the first team to make the final four, and then the Kiwis. India crashed out of the T20 World Cup after New Zealand registered an 8-wicket win over Afghanistan to join Pakistan, England, and Australia in the semi-final.

Kapil Dev: Players Should Take Pride In Playing For Their Nation Instead Of Prioritizing IPL Over Country

Kapil Dev went on to make a big statement, saying that certain cricketers prefer playing the Indian Premier League and do not give importance to representing the country first, and explained that the BCCI needs to look into it. Although Kapil Dev insisted that he is not against the idea of cricketers playing franchise cricket, the order should be the other way round.

“When players prioritise IPL over playing for the country, we what can we say. Players should take pride in playing for their nation. I don’t know their financial conditions so can’t say much. But I feel that first in line should be the country’s team and then franchises.

“I’m not saying do not play cricket there (for the franchise), but the responsibility is now on the BCCI to plan its cricket better. To not repeat mistakes we committed in this tournament is the biggest learning for us,” added Kapil.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy, Image Credits: Twitter

India thrashed Afghanistan and Scotland, but it was all too late, and now they find themselves out of the tournament even before their final game against Namibia on Monday. On the eve of their last league game in Group Two against minnows Namibia, Virat Kohli & Co. bowed out of a campaign in which they never really belonged.

The two losses to Pakistan and New Zealand -in which they got outplayed – had already put India on the exit path. From there, it was more of a battle pitching hope against hope, and it eventually all came crashing with New Zealand’s eight-wicket win over Afghanistan.

However, not managing to bring a single ICC Trophy back home between 2017 and 2021 will remain a barren patch in an otherwise pleasant run for this team. The same will stand true for Virat Kohli as he bows out of T20 captaincy and could also relinquish the same in the 50-over format very soon.

India National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: BCCI
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Gautam Gambhir Disappointed Over India’s Early Exit In T20I World Cup 2021 But Urged Fans To Continue Supporting India

Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian opener, expressed his disappointment over India crashing out of the T20 World Cup and urged the fans not to support the team.

India exited the ongoing 2021 T20I World Cup after New Zealand beat Afghanistan to book the second semi-final berth from Group 2 on Sunday.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir Never Felt Good Seeing India Waiting To Proceed To Semi-Finals Depending On Other Team Results

Virat Kohli’s team came into the tournament as hot favourites but let their future depend on other teams after big losses to rivals Pakistan, who were the first team to make the final four, and then the Kiwis.

In his column, Gautam Gambhir wrote, “This was never a good feeling. As a sportsperson, you’d want to be the master of your destiny rather than wait for a few permutations to go right to know how far you are progressing in a competition. Indian team would tell you what I mean.”

“Champions train to win, they work hard to score that one run more than the opposition and not wait for the result of the New Zealand vs Afghanistan match to know their fate. Crashing out in this manner or for that matter losing out on Net Run Rate like South Africa is a bitter pill to swallow,” Gautam Gambhir said.

India was knocked out of the T20 World Cup after New Zealand beat Afghanistan. (AP Photo)
India was knocked out of the T20 World Cup after New Zealand beat Afghanistan. (AP Photo)

India crashed out of the T20 World Cup after New Zealand registered an 8-wicket win over Afghanistan to join Pakistan, England, and Australia in the semi-final.

“Both these instances underline one common fact – relevance of respecting the small dots while designing a road map to victory. There is no place for ifs and buts in sport, but things could have been different if India had planned better for Shaheen Shah Afridi, or assessed the pitch better when they took on New Zealand in the second game,” Gautam Gambhir said.

“For South Africa, they may be ruing their lack of aggression while chasing a small target of 85 against Bangladesh. Is there a lesson there for the organisers? Should the format be a round-robin, where every team plays each other, rather than have two groups?” Gautam Gambhir questioned.

India crashed to a humiliating 10-wicket defeat against arch-rivals Pakistan in their first match of the tournament. It was followed by another crushing loss against New Zealand. Despite these two defeats, India was still in a three-team fight to finish second in Group 2.

With New Zealand and Afghanistan winning three and two matches respectively from their four matches, and with a better net run rate, the inaugural 2007 T20I World Cup champions needed a massive win against Scotland in Dubai, UAE. India did it in style by first dismissing Scotland for a lowly 85, then chasing it down in just 6.3 overs for their biggest T20I win (in terms of balls to spare).

India managed to leapfrog both New Zealand and Afghanistan in terms of the Net Run Rate (NRR) following their emphatic 8-wicket win against Scotland. However, despite the massive win, India’s semi-final chances were not in their hands. India still hoped for Afghanistan to beat the Kiwis and beat Namibia in their final group match on November 8. But fate had other plans in store for India.

Gautam Gambhir Would Urge Fans To Be Proud Of Indian Team

New Zealand earned the last semi-final slot with a comprehensive eight-wicket win against Afghanistan in their final Group II match on Sunday. Najibullah Zadran smashed a career-best 73 to rescue Afghanistan from a top-order collapse and propelled them to 124-8 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. New Zealand gunned down the target in 18.1 overs to become the second team from Group II, behind Pakistan, to make the semis.

“I’d also urge the fans to continue to be proud of the Indian team. We will be disrespectful and unfaithful as their supporters if we judged them on this solitary performance in the ongoing World Cup. Yes, we lost to Pakistan. Yes, we were beaten on strategy by New Zealand. Yes, our friends from across the border are in the semis and we are not,” Gautam Gambhir said.

“But hold on. This Indian team won us a series in Australia early this year. Next they turned it around when England visited India to beat them in all three formats. We currently lead them 2-1 in the away Test series with the last game to be played next year,” Gautam Gambhir asserted.

T20 World Cup 2021: Najibullah Zadran scored 73 runs. This is the best innings of T20 career. (AP)
T20 World Cup 2021: Najibullah Zadran scored 73 runs. This is the best innings of T20 career. (AP)

India thrashed Afghanistan and Scotland, but it was all too late, and now they find themselves out of the tournament even before their final game against Namibia on Monday.

“Before we take them to the cleaners, please pause and think that all these games were played in a bio-secure bubble. I know a few individuals who were petrified answering their doorbell when Covid-19 was at its peak, leave alone stepping out to work.

“But players were training at home, taking flights, quarantining in a hotel room, living a bubbled life to play and entertain you and me. Yes, they are paid handsomely and it’s a professional world out there. How about just saying, “well-tried, boys”, Gautam Gambhir signed off.

The outcome eliminated India, who will finish their group campaign against Namibia on Monday.

Sri Lanka, West Indies
Image Credit: Twitter
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ICC Confirms 8 Of 12 Teams To Play T20I World Cup 2022 Super 12 Stage; Sri Lanka, West Indies Out

ICC confirmed eight of the twelve teams that will play in the Super12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2022 next year, following the 2016 T20I WC defending champions West Indies‘ defeat to Australia.

West Indies lost their final league game of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 to Australia, meaning the defending champions’ campaign at this edition came to an end on Saturday. Following the same, automatic qualifiers for the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 are now confirmed.

Out of the 12 automatic qualifiers for the 2022 edition of the tournament, eight of the twelve teams from this year will go through directly into the Super12 stage. As the T20 World Cup 2022 will be held in Australia, they are the first team to go through as the host nation. The remaining seven teams are England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

West Indies
West Indies. Image Credits: Twitter

ICC Confirms Automatic Qualifiers For The 2022 T20I World Cup In Australia

The automatic qualifiers for the T20 World Cup 2022 are to be decided by the winner and the runners-up of the ongoing T20 World Cup, along with six teams that are ranked next highest on the ICC Men’s T20I rankings by November 15, which is the cut-off date for the same. Therefore, West Indies and Sri Lanka will need to play an additional qualifying round to enter the Super 12 stage of the next T20 World Cup in 2022.

“The automatic qualifiers for the Super 12 stage were determined to be the winner and runner-up of the current T20 World Cup, alongside the next six highest ranking teams on the ICC Men’s T20I rankings at the cut-off date of November 15,” the ICC stated.

ICC- International Cricket Council , AFP File Photo
ICC- International Cricket Council, AFP File Photo

“On Saturday, the teams that will fill those spots were confirmed courtesy of West Indies’ loss to Australia, which means they will sit 10th by the cut-off date, with Bangladesh climbing to eighth,” it further said. 

England, Pakistan, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia are the current top six teams. However, before West Indies’ clash with Australia, these six teams confirmed that their rankings will not go down during the remainder of the 2021 T20 World Cup.

West Indies Slipped Down To 10th Spot In Rankings While Sri Lanka Is Just Above Them At Ninth

West Indies losing to Australia also ensured that Afghanistan, which is ranked seventh at the moment, will not drop below eighth, no matter what will be the outcome of their upcoming games in this edition. With this defeat, West Indies dropped down to the tenth spot, with Sri Lanka just above them at ninth. Bangladesh has risen to the eighth position, thus gaining the cut for the 2022 edition.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka. Image Credits: Twitter

West Indies, therefore, will have to play the first round of the 2022 tournament to make it to the Super12s. They will be accompanied by Sri Lanka, Namibia, and Scotland in the same. West Indies managed to win just one match in the ongoing tournament, while Bangladesh lost all its games in the Super 12 stage.

Pakistan
Pakistan cricketers (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Babar Azam Feels Proud To Win Against India In T20I World Cup 2021, Breaking Jinx Of Losing In World Cups

Babar Azam, Pakistan skipper, on Monday said he and his players were proud to have made history by beating India for the first time in a World Cup match. On Sunday, Pakistan humiliated their arch-rivals, romping to a ten-wicket victory in the Twenty20 World Cup in Dubai, sparking starkly contrasting reactions.

The win was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).

Babar Azam: Definitely A Proud Moment For Pakistan

Earlier, Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India recover from a disastrous start (India was reduced to 6/2) and post 151/7 against Pakistan in Sunday’s ICC T20 World Cup match.

“It is definitely a proud moment for me as well as for all my players that we have made history,” Babar told AFP in an exclusive interview.

Lanky paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi put India on the back foot from the start with the wickets of openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul off his first seven deliveries. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

Babar Azam, along with fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan knocked off the target in 17.5 overs without losing a single wicket. Babar Azam hit 68 not out, while Mohammed Rizwan finished with an undefeated 79.

“We realise how important and how much needed that win is as everyone wanted us to win and to have made history is one of the defining moments in our careers,” said Babar.

“I had said before the match that records are meant to be broken so we have broken that jinx and we are very happy, in fact, the whole country is happy and celebrating.”

Shaheen Shah Afridi AFP/Getty Images
Shaheen Shah Afridi AFP/Getty Images

Babar Azam said the ‘special’ match was as usual, of high intensity.

“All of us know that when Pakistan plays India there is very high intensity and it’s a pressure game,” he said.

“The whole world waits for this match, so it is a special match.”

Babar Azam admitted the noise in the stadium made his task of arranging his fielders tough.

“The stadium was nearly packed,” said Babar of the Dubai stadium where a 70 percent crowd was allowed in under relaxed Covid-19 restrictions.

“There was so much noise in the stadium that I found it tough to call my players.I told them to keep looking at me so that I can move the fielders in between overs. We have gelled well over the years so we are used to that. The response from the players was extraordinary. We got a head start in bowling when Shaheen got us wickets and then we batted as per our plan.”

India lost both their openers for the score of just six. Rohit Sharma was out off an inch-perfect yorker while KL Rahul saw his off stumps flying. This was Pakistan’s first ten-wicket win in all Twenty20 internationals and the first defeat by this margin for India.

Babar Azam: Pakistan Prepared Well In The National T20 So New Zealand And England’s Pullouts Didn’t Affect Much

Babar Azam said he had been part of two defeats against India, in the Junior U-19 World Cup in Australia in 2012 as skipper and then at the 2019 World Cup in England, so it was a much-desired win for him.

“I remember that we lost to India in the quarter-finals of the Junior World Cup in 2012 so it was a much-desired thing to beat India,” he said.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP via Getty Images)

Babar Azam said his team prepared well ahead of the tournament, despite New Zealand abandoning a tour due to a security alert last month without playing any of the eight limited over games scheduled. England followed suit in withdrawing its men’s and women’s teams from touring ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup.

“We prepared well in the National Twenty20 in Pakistan,” said Babar.

“Our plan was to keep things simple and through that, we affected that turnaround.”

Pakistan next plays New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday. Pakistan had limited-overs series against England and New Zealand scheduled at home ahead of the T20I World Cup, but the tours never came to fruition. Both boards pulled out at the last minute to tour Pakistan, citing security concerns and the wellbeing of players. New Zealand had even arrived there, but withdrew a few minutes before the toss happened.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Pakistan Will Help India If They Defeat New Zealand In 2021 T20I World Cup: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra believes a Pakistan win against New Zealand in tonight’s T20 World Cup 2021 encounter will help Team India’s cause.

The Indian team was handed a comprehensive 10-wicket drubbing by Pakistan in their T20 World Cup opener. The Virat Kohli-led side has a week’s break before they take on New Zealand in their second Super 12 encounter on October 31.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Pakistan Will Help India’s Cause If They Defeat New Zealand

Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Babar Azam-led side can do Team India a favour by defeating the Kiwis. At the same time, he previewed the Pakistan-New Zealand encounter in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

He explained: “I feel Pakistan will help India if they defeat New Zealand. But if it happens the other way round, New Zealand beats Pakistan, it can be a three-way tie, the net run rate story can come if India beats New Zealand and assuming the three teams win their remaining matches.”

Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India's score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki
Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India’s score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki

The cricketer-turned-commentator added that Pakistan will have one foot in the semi-finals if they put it across the Black Caps.

Aakash Chopra reasoned: “If Pakistan beat New Zealand, then only Afghanistan will be there in between and two teams who have come from the qualifiers – Scotland and Namibia. Then Pakistan through, make your place in the semi-finals and enjoy.”

Pakistan will almost certainly seal a berth in the knockout stages of the ongoing T20 World Cup with a win tonight. It would leave India and New Zealand to fight it out for the other semi-final spot from the group unless Afghanistan can spring a surprise or two.

Aakash Chopra: Pakistan Will Look For Revenge As They Felt Humiliated When New Zealand Went There And Returned Back Without Playing Any Match

Aakash Chopra highlighted that Pakistan might even be looking for revenge after New Zealand’s last-minute withdrawal from their tour recently.

He observed: “It is slightly a grudge match because Pakistan felt very humiliated when New Zealand went there and returned without giving any reason. So I feel Pakistan may have a point to prove.”

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

The 44-year-old concluded by stating that Pakistan seems to be a well-rounded unit with both their bowling and batting coming to the fore.

Aakash Chopra said: “Pakistan is the team on song. They are playing like that, top three were anyway playing well and these conditions are going to suit Hafeez and Shoaib Malik a lot. They are bowling well. The team is looking formidable.”

Pakistan had limited-overs series against England and New Zealand scheduled at home ahead of the T20I World Cup, but the tours never came to fruition. Both boards pulled out at the last minute to tour Pakistan, citing security concerns and the wellbeing of players. New Zealand had even arrived there, but withdrew a few minutes before the toss happened.

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 the next night. The Pakistan tour was Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003, and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.

A deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore saw Pakistan become a no-go destination for international teams. In between 2012 and 2015, Pakistan hosted England in the UAE, which has staged most of its “home” games since the attack. However, a rapid improvement in security in recent years has led to the return of international cricket, with Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa, and Bangladesh touring in the past six years.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Sunil Gavaskar: Everyone Would Like To See India Face Pakistan In 2021 WC Final

Sunil Gavaskar said that even the ICC, and not just fans or commentators, would like to see India face Pakistan in the final of the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said that even the apex board International Cricket Council (ICC), and not just fans or commentators, would like to see India face Pakistan in the final of the 2021 T20 World Cup. India had beaten Pakistan in the final of the inaugural 2007 T20 World Cup.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Sunil Gavaskar Would Like To See India Play Pakistan In The T20I World Cup Final

England and the West Indies were the finalists of the 2016 T20 World Cup. India and Pakistan are both looking to win the tournament for the second time in their history having won the trophy in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

India-Pakistan faced each other last in the 2019 ODI World Cup round-robin stage, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

However, due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

“I would like to see India in that final, and Pakistan. What else does anybody want? Even the ICC wants India and Pakistan to be in the final,” Gavaskar said on Salaam Cricket 2021.

Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar and former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram both named India, Pakistan, England, and the West Indies as favourites to reach the semi-finals.

Wasim Akram: New Zealand’s Chances Depend On The Weather

Wasim Akram said that 2019 World Cup runners-up and World Test Championship winners New Zealand’s chances would be dependent upon the conditions.

“New Zealand’s chances really depend on the weather I feel. It is hot now and if it remains like this, it will be difficult for them but then by October, it will be pleasant. For me, the four sides that can reach semis are India, West Indies, Pakistan and England,” he said.

“They have won the World Cup twice and people keep underestimating them,” said Gavaskar of the West Indies.

Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)
Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)

It’s worth noting that Pakistan is yet to beat their arch-rivals India in a World Cup game in 12 encounters across the T20I and 50-over editions.

 

ICC T20 World Cup
ICC T20 World Cup Image Credits: Twitter
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New Zealand Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue For 2021 T20I World Cup

New Zealand led by Kane Williamson will be a team to watch out for. The Kane Williamson-led New Zealand always enters the big ICC events with the tag of the underdog and does something stunning to earn praise from the cricket fans and experts. They have been consistently performing well for the last few years in limited-overs cricket.

The seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is all set to begin on October 17 and the final of the tournament will take place on November 14. Notably, the tournament was shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and OMAN due to the Covid-19 scare in India. However, BCCI still holds hosting rights.

Bangladesh vs New Zealand
Bangladesh vs New Zealand. Image Credits: Twitter

New Zealand Reached The 2015 And 2019 ODI World Cup Finals And Was Crowned WTC 2021 Winners

New Zealand reached the finals of the 50-over World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Also in the longest form of the game, they have been performing exceptionally well. Recently, they participated in the finals of ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2021 against Virat Kohli-led India and they won the match to be crowned the inaugural champions. New Zealand is placed in Group B of the tournament, alongside India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Notably, Team New Zealand won four back-to-back T20 international series heading into the T20I series against Bangladesh. However, they had a terrible run in the 5-match T20I series against the Bangla Tigers. In the first match, they got bowled out on 60 and lost the game by 7 wickets. Meanwhile, in the 2nd T20I, they lost the game by 4 runs. Overall they faced a T20I series loss against Bangladesh by 3-2.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

So far the Blackcaps haven’t won the ICC T20 World Cup trophy. However, looking at the team’s recent performance there is no doubt that they have full potential to win the T20 World Cup 2021. Also, new faces like Devon Conway and Kyle Jamieson are expected to play a huge role for Kiwis in the T20 World Cup 2021. Meanwhile, veterans like Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Martin Guptill will provide much-needed experience to the side.

New Zealand’s complete squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021:

T20 World Cup New Zealand Image Credit: ICC Twitter
T20 World Cup New Zealand Image Credit: ICC Twitter

Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover).

Like England, New Zealand also does not have a good track record of the ICC T20 or ODI World Cups. Apart from the ICC Champions Trophy and inaugural WTC 2019-21, they have never won an ICC event. That is why the team is considered one of the unluckiest teams of the ICC cricket world cup history.

The group features an all-star bowling group – Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, and Tim Southee alongside the likes of Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, and Todd Astle. Seamer Adam Milne has been selected as the 16th man and will join the team for the tournament but can only be called upon to replace a player in the squad in the event of an injury.

New Zealand’s complete schedule for ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Tuesday, October 26, 2021: vs Pakistan, at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in Sharjah. (7:30 PM IST)

Sunday, October 31, 2021: vs India, at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, in Dubai. (7:30 PM IST)

Wednesday, November 3, 2021: vs Qualifier (B1), at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, in Dubai. (3:30 PM IST)

Friday, November 5, 2021: vs Qualifier (A2), at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in Sharjah. (3:30 PM IST)

Sunday, November 7, 2021: vs Afghanistan, at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. (3:30 PM IST)

Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)
Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)
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Shane Bond All Set To Join New Zealand’s Coaching Staff For T20I World Cup 2021

Shane Bond, former New Zealand pacer was added as a fourth coach for the Kiwis for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and the following three-game T20I series against India.

The former fast bowler is no stranger to the team following a three-year tenure as bowling coach (2012-15) and helped out as recently as 2019 in a T20 series against England, along with stints leading New Zealand A. Hence, Shane Bond is familiar with the Black Caps set-up.

Shane Bond will assist the Black Caps at the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
Shane Bond will assist the Black Caps at the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup. MARTIN HUNTER/GETTY IMAGES

Shane Bond Hopefully Will Bring Some Tactical Insight For Being In The UAE As Mumbai Indian’s Bowling Coach: Gary Stead

Since stepping back as Sydney Thunder coach earlier this year, former pacer Shane Bond has been assisting the men’s winter training squads at Lincoln and also helped the White Ferns prepare for their tour of England.

The 46-year-old will next month resume his role as bowling coach with the Mumbai Indians as IPL 2021 restarts in the UAE, before linking up with the Kiwi T20 World Cup squad. Head coach Gary Stead said it was great to add someone of Shane Bond’s experience to the group.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead.
Black Caps coach Gary Stead ALEX DAVIDSON/GETTY IMAGES

“Shane’s been in our environment before and understands what we’re about. Being in the UAE (with the IPL) immediately prior to the world cup … he’ll hopefully bring some tactical insight into what’s been happening in the competition,” said Stead in an official release.

“He’ll be an extra set of hands especially around the bowlers, working with the spin and the pace bowlers and developing their plans in a tournament that moves pretty quick – so we need to be one step ahead of other teams,” he added.

New Zealand was the first team to confirm their 2021 T20I World Cup squad last week and will head into the tournament with tours of Bangladesh and Pakistan although without their IPL players. Gary Stead will also miss those two tours with Glenn Pocknall stepping in alongside assistants Graeme Aldridge and Thilan Samaraweera.

Gary Stead: Shane Bond Is Someone Who Always Adds Value

Gary Stead has utilised a fourth coach during past home summers such as Shane Bond’s stint in late 2019, but the role has also been employed for away tours to England and Sri Lanka as well as world events including the recent ICC ODI World Cup – where current batting coach Luke Ronchi was the fourth assistant.

“The fourth coach for me is an opportunity to bring in different voices to the environment and we’ve used it in a whole host of ways in the past. Shane is someone who always adds value and we’re delighted to have him on board,” said Stead.

Shane Bond will link up with New Zealand in the UAE Getty Images/ICC
Shane Bond will link up with New Zealand in the UAE Getty Images/ICC

Shane Bond played 18 Tests, 82 ODIs, and 20 T20Is for New Zealand in his playing days, enjoying plenty of success on the field despite persistent injuries. He will join Gary Stead, Shane Jurgensen, and Luke Ronchi as the coaching staff for the World Cup and India T20s.

Chris Cairns is a New Zealand cricket legend (Image: GETTY)
Chris Cairns is a New Zealand cricket legend (Image: GETTY)
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Chris Cairns Suffers An Aortic Dissection In Main Artery And Is In Sydney Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit

Chris Cairns, former New Zealand all-rounder is in an intensive care unit at a Sydney hospital after undergoing cardiovascular surgery following a major heart incident in Canberra last week. St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney said Chris Cairns, who was admitted on Tuesday, was in “a serious but stable condition” in intensive care.

His wife Melanie Cairns said the cricketer had surgery in Canberra after a “major medical event” late last week but the seriousness of his condition required him to be transferred to St Vincent’s for another operation.

Chris Cairns
Chris Cairns in Auckland. The former NZ star cricket player is in hospital in Sydney in a serious but stable condition after surgery. Photograph: Nigel Marple/Reuters

Chris Cairns Suffers An Aortic Dissection In Main Artery And Is In Intensive Care Unit In A Sydney Hospital

Chris Cairns has reportedly collapsed in Australia and is on life support. As per reports, he suffered a major medical emergency – an aortic dissection – in Canberra last week. This is when a tear occurs in the inner layer of the body’s main artery.

The Black Caps legend has reportedly undergone several operations while in hospital but has not responded to treatment as hoped. Chris Cairns will be transferred to a specialist hospital in Sydney soon.

“Chris’ family and friends are heartened by the respectful and warm manner in which this terrible news has been reported, and received by the public, both in New Zealand and around the world, and thanks to everyone for their warm wishes, prayers, and kind words,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.

New Zealand media outlet Newshub on Tuesday reported 51-year-old Chris Cairns had suffered an aortic dissection – a tear in the body’s main artery.

“We’re deeply concerned to hear of Chris Cairns’ medical emergency,” Cricket New Zealand boss David White said in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with his family in Aus and here in NZ. Chris is a much loved husband, father, and son – and remains one of our finest all-rounders. We hope he’s able to make a full recovery.”

Chris Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 One-Day Internationals, and two Twenty20 Internationals for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006. His father Lance Cairns also represented New Zealand in cricket.

Chris Cairns life support cricket legend medical emergency
Chris Cairns is on life support after suffering a medical emergency (Image: GETTY)

News of his health setback rocked New Zealand, where former teammates expressed sympathy for his family.

“It’s absolutely devastating. It’s the worst news you could possibly get,” former New Zealand teammate Chris Harris told local media.

In 62 Test matches, Chris Cairns has scored 3320 runs and scalped 218 wickets. Whereas in the ODIs he has chipped in 4950 runs and has picked up 201 wickets. He was named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the year in 2000 and is the son of former New Zealand all-rounder Lance Cairns. He went on to become a commentator with Sky Sport.

Chris Cairns Denied Any Wrongdoing After Allegations Of Match-Fixing In Defunct ICL In 2008

Chris Cairns has lived in Canberra for several years. After retiring from international cricket, he was the subject of allegations of match-fixing in India as captain of Chandigarh Lions in the defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008. He denied any wrongdoing and fought several legal battles to clear his name, winning a libel case against former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi in 2012.

In 2015, he was cleared of perjury in relation to the libel case after being charged by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service. Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who testified against Chris Cairns during the perjury trial, said the cricket community was suffering along with Chris Cairns’s family. Former New Zealand cricketers Brendon McCullum and Lou Vincent both claimed Chris Cairns approached them about fixing matches.

“It’s a difficult subject to obviously talk about. We haven’t seen each other for quite a long time,” McCullum, a host on New Zealand radio station SENZ, said.
Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

“Our relationship is unimportant in the whole thing, the fact is that Chris is a father and also a son to Lance and (mother) Sue. Today my family and myself are thinking of those people who are suffering.”

Post his retirement, Chris Cairns worked in Dubai as a diamond merchant in 2010. In March 2012, Chris Cairns successfully sued former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi in a liberal case. However, on 14 September 2013, he was charged with perjury in England.

With the costs of legal proceedings hitting his family, Chris Cairns took up the job of cleaning bus shelters to make the ends meet. As a result, he is one of the few cricketers who went from stardom to poverty.

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