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Chris Woakes

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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Perth May Not Be Able To Host 5th Ashes Test Due To COVID-19

Perth might not be able to host the forthcoming fifth Ashes Test due to Covid restrictions. Optus Stadium in Perth may not be able to host the fifth and final match of the Ashes series in January next year as a surging Covid-19 pandemic is seeing border controls.

Serious doubts are raised on whether the Optus Stadium in Perth would be able to host the fifth and final match of the Ashes series in January next year as a surging Covid-19 pandemic is seeing border controls being implemented more strictly.

Optus Stadium, Perth,
Optus Stadium, Perth, (Photo: IANS)

Perth Test: Cricket Australia Will Find It Difficult To Stage A Test At Perth

West Australia has taken stringent measures to control the Covid-19 pandemic and is unlikely to open its borders to New South Wales and Victoria this year-end and possibly the beginning of next year.  Mike McKenna, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Optus Stadium — the venue for the fifth Ashes Test from January 14-18 — said that “there’s no way the summer could go ahead as scheduled in the current climate”.

“But I think the COVID situation even now would make you question that scheduling (of the Ashes Test). The direction they’re going in, it’s going to be very difficult for Cricket Australia to try to find a program that’s going to work easily. They’re no doubt thinking about that now,” McKenna told SEN’s Dwayne’s World on Thursday.

Perth stadium CEO Mike McKenna
Perth Stadium CEO Mike McKenna (ABC News: Jacob Kagi)

“Right at the moment, it would not be possible to bring a team from New South Wales where they’re playing a Sydney Test to Perth, it just would not happen the way things are going. These things change, I think Cricket Australia is going to spend some time having a look at that.”

While Mike McKenna said that though Perth Stadium could be in doubt to host any fixtures, the “Optus Stadium would be happy to help out Cricket Australia if they were forced to move forthcoming Tests from other venues pending COVID restrictions”.

“We’re ready to help Cricket Australia should they need to move Tests from other venues. But, who knows what the situation will be here, in Queensland or where South Australia might be by that part of the summer. We’re only hoping that we stay clear of COVID, but at some stage West Australia will have to make some decisions about borders and opening up to COVID. Who knows what that all looks like and when,” he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there won’t be any kind of special arrangement for the visiting England team that will tour the country in December for the Ashes. The historic Ashes series has been under an ambivalent situation as England players remain sceptical and they also sought more clarity from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regarding the travel restrictions in Australia.

Ashes 2021/22 Will See 5 Tests Starting On December 8, 2021, And Ending On January 18, 2022

At this stage, the first Test match between Australia and England is scheduled to begin on December 8th at The Gabba in Brisbane. From thereon the sides will meet in Adelaide, before moving to Melbourne for the annual Boxing Day Test and Sydney for the New Year’s Test. The Ashes Test series will conclude in Perth, with the final match beginning on January 14th.

England(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
England (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

 

DATE VENUE
December 8-12 The Gabba, Brisbane
December 16-20 Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
December 26-30 Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
January 5-9 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
January 14-18 Perth Stadium, Perth

Australia is the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18 with the 2019 Ashes series ending in a draw. The series will be part of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship. As many as 10 England players could be forced to pull out of the Ashes tour of Australia if an agreement is not arrived at over travel and quarantine arrangements for their families.

Australia has some of the strictest COVID-19 quarantine regulations in place. England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes, wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held. Some of those will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. There is also a prospect of a postponed Ashes tour.

England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
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Stuart Broad Confirms He Will Be A Part Of The Ashes 2021/22 Tour If Fitness Permits Him

Stuart Broad confirmed that he will be part of the Ashes 2021/22 tour if his fitness permits him to play but added that England’s players still need more details about the Covid-19 restrictions they will undergo in Australia.

It is expected that some multi-format players will withdraw from the trip regardless of the final protocols that are put in place but Stuart Broad, who is a single-format player and could even have an outside chance of captaining the side if Joe Root isn’t available, has committed to being there. The pacer was ruled out of the recently concluded India Test series after playing the first Test when he suffered a calf injury.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Stuart Broad Would Be Happy To Get On A Plane To Australia In November

England players have expressed serious concerns about the quarantine and bio-bubble protocols being put in place for the team when they tour Australia for the gruelling Ashes series, and there are speculations that some key players might pull out of the tour. Stuart Broad – a veteran of 149 Tests and who has taken a whopping 524 wickets opened up on the matter.

“If you ask me if I would be happy to get on a plane to Australia in November, I would say yes,” Stuart Broad said in his Mail on Sunday column. “I am working tirelessly to get there. I don’t feel there will be a postponement. In my mind, it is 100 percent clear that an England team of some description will embark on the tour.”

“It is now just a couple of weeks away from a squad being selected but players can’t sign up to something unless they know what they are signing up for,” Stuart Broad said

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad(Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

Extensive negotiations are continuing between the two boards- ECB and CA to try and find compromises to maintain quarantine norms and living arrangements during the two-month trip with Australia continuing to battle significant Covid-19 outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales, although there remains hope that restrictions will be eased by November end.

England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held. Some of the players will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. There is also a prospect of a postponed Ashes tour. Australia is the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18 with the 2019 Ashes series ending in a draw.

Stuart Broad: ECB Informed Cricketers With Available Minimal Details Of Australia’s Plans For Ashes 2021/22

However, the final conditions of the tour largely rest with what Cricket Australia is able to negotiate with the federal and state governments in Australia. The biggest challenge is finding biosecure plans that allow the tour to move around the country.

“The ECB have tried to keep us as informed as possible with the information that they are getting from Cricket Australia,” Stuart Broad said. “It’s just that minimal detail has been available. I don’t think anyone can say hand on heart that we won’t be living in a bubble out there and that will be extremely challenging.”

The conditions of the initial 14-day quarantine period have been one of the key areas of discussion between the two boards. The England squad may be housed in a resort on the Gold Coast with a greater degree of freedom, although it may be limited to a period of training each day. India was permitted the same last season.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au

Recently the India Women’s squad, and the majority of the women Australia players, had to undergo two weeks hard quarantine in Brisbane ahead of their multi-format series.

“With the situation, Australia is in — with their own citizens struggling to get into the country — I am not thinking we will just be able to fly in with no quarantining, as if we are living a normal life, because the world is not a normal place at the moment,” Stuart Broad said.

“We need to be in a situation where we are allowed to train for between two and three hours a day. An international bowler rarely goes two weeks in a year without bowling,” Stuart Broad said.
While doubts about whether families will be able to travel have receded, there remain concerns about the conditions of their length of the quarantine period. The possibility of reducing the quarantine period for the squad, which will be entirely double vaccinated, had been raised. 14 days quarantine period is the federal government policy norm throughout the pandemic, so it would appear an unlikely concession.

Late last week a glimmer of a solution had emerged when the New South Wales government, who last season helped rescue the India Test tour by providing the necessary quarantine and training facilities, announced a trial program for a reduced seven-day home quarantine program that would begin in late September as part of the plan to open up international borders. However, progress would have to move quickly for it to be an option for the Ashes.

The Ashes between England and Australia is set to commence on December 8 in Brisbane.

IPL 2021: Complete List Of Players Who Have Withdrawn From The UAE Leg
IPL 2021: Complete List Of Players Who Have Withdrawn From The UAE Leg.

IPL 2021: Complete List Of Players Who Have Withdrawn From The UAE Leg

IPL 2021 has been facing a different scenario so far as the tournament was suspended midway in April and the resumption is set to take place in a few day’s time. With the T20I World Cup set to take place in UAE straightway after the IPL 2021 gets over, the players have been looking at the tight schedule ahead and have opted out of the cash-rich league.

Injuries often see player pullouts in the IPL. But when players register their name in the auction and then fail to honor their contract without injuries, it becomes a problem for the franchises. A total of 64 foreign players are allowed in IPL and in IPL 2021, 17 of them have withdrawn, dealing a blow to both BCCI and the franchises.

IPL 2021: Complete List Of Players Who Have Withdrawn From The UAE Leg

Adam Zampa (RCB)

Royal Challengers Bangalore leg-spinner Adam Zampa was thinking about his mental health before pulling out of IPL 2021. (Source: Twitter)Royal Challengers Bangalore leg-spinner Adam Zampa was thinking about his mental health before pulling out of IPL 2021. (Source: Twitter)

One of the first players to pull out midway through IPL 2021 was Australian spinner Adam Zampa. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player pulled out citing bubble fatigue amid the second wave of COVID-19 in India in May. In phase 1, Adam Zampa didn’t feature in any match. Royal Challengers Bangalore have roped in Sri Lanka’s spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga for the 2nd phase of IPL 2021. He has replaced leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

Adam Zampa was one of the few players who had withdrawn from IPL 2021 before the season was suspended. He has been named in Australia’s T20 World Cup squad.

Adam Zampa has picked 21 scalps in 14 IPL games averaging 17.61 including a 6 wicket haul in his debut season in 2016. He played in IPL 2016, 2017 and 2020. His career-best figures of 6/19 for Rising Pune Supergiants against Sunrisers Hyderabad is 3rd best figure ever in IPL history.

Daniel Sams (RCB)

Daniel Sams 
Daniel Sams Image Source: Twitter

Another RCB player to pull out was Daniel Sams. The Australian played two matches in the IPL 2021 after spending 14 days in isolation after contracting COVID-19 upon reaching India. But he didn’t want to come back and pulled out ahead of Phase 2.

He played 5 IPL games scoring only 6 runs and picking up a solitary scalp and didn’t have an impact as expected. Delhi Capitals brought Daniel Sams to their squad for IPL 2020 as a replacement for an injured Jason Roy and he played for RCB in IPL 2021.

Daniel Sams, who was traded to the RCB this season from Delhi Capitals, was the second player of the franchise to recover from COVID-19. Opener Devdutt Padikkal, who was the highest run-scorer for RCB last season with 473 runs from 15 matches, had earlier recovered from the dreaded disease and joined the team after returning negative.

Mitchell Marsh (SRH)

Mitchell Marsh winces in pain BCCI
Mitchell Marsh. Image Credits: BCCI

Australian Mitchell Marsh was the first player to pull out of IPL 2021 even before the tournament began. Retained for the 14th edition of IPL, SRH looked for consistency in batting and roped in Mitchell Marsh in the IPL 2020 auctions but he pulled out next season citing bubble fatigue after getting injured in 2020.

Mitchell Marsh played 21 IPL games scoring 225 runs averaging 17.3 and picking 20 scalps averaging 21 with the ball. He played only 1 IPL game in 2020 where he failed to make an impact. Last year, Mitchell Marsh was not able to play the entire tournament for SunRisers Hyderabad as he was ruled out with an ankle injury mid-season. He was ruled out after suffering an ankle injury in the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Josh Philippe (RCB)

Australia's keeper Josh Philippe will be unvailable for RCB during IPL 2021 (Courtesy of BCCI)
Australia’s keeper Josh Philippe will be unavailable for RCB during IPL 2021 (Courtesy of BCCI)

RCB have had a long list of pull outs and Australian youngster Josh Philippe was one of them. He too informed the franchise that he won’t be available for the IPL 2021. Royal Challengers Bangalore had signed explosive New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Finn Allen as a replacement for Josh Philippe.

Finn Allen has a career T20 strike rate of over 180. Josh Philippe, who made his debut for RCB in IPL 2020 in the UAE, made himself unavailable for the whole of the upcoming season.  He played 5 matches for RCB in IPL 2020 managing 78 runs averaging 19.5.

Regarded as one of the brightest batting prospects in Australia, particularly in limited-overs cricket, wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe was given his first taste of the international set-up for the 2020 tour of England which took place amid the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, he has played 3 ODIs and 10 T20Is for Australia.

Ben Stokes (RR)

Ben StokesBen Stokes. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ben Stokes played just one match for RR in IPL 2021 before injuring his finger. He returned to England after the match and since then has been recovering from the injury. However, the all-rounder decided to take an indefinite break from cricket citing mental health, and decided not to return for IPL 2021.

England and Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes is unlikely to take part in the second leg of the Indian Premier League 2021. Ben Stokes had announced an indefinite break from cricket last month, intending to focus on his mental health. The all-rounder had spent considerable time away from family and in bio-secure environments with the England team.

Ben Stokes was a part of the Royals set up in the first half of the IPL before he broke his finger in a fixture against Punjab Kings while fielding in the deep. Having been ruled out ever since from all cricketing action, he returned to lead England to a 3-0 ODI win over Pakistan after Covid-19 struck the home camp, ruling out four players including skipper Eoin Morgan. Ben Stokes, however, did not participate in the T20I series that followed and revealed his decision soon after.

Jos Buttler (RR)

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia
Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia

Another Rajasthan Royals player to pull out was Jos Buttler. The England opener played the entire IPL 2021 phase 1 but decided against returning for Phase 2 citing bubble fatigue.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler hit the top gear against Sunrisers Hyderabad by smashing 124 off 64 balls in an IPL 2021 match. RR opener Jos Buttler wasn’t at his usual best before he came to his own with a scintillating 124 versus Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), just a few days before BCCI suspended the tournament due to Covid-19 threat.

He had scored 328 runs in the IPL 2020 and 254 runs in 7 games in the IPL 2021 averaging 36.28. While he had to leave IPL 2019 midway to join the England team for the World Cup 2019 preparations, he made an impact during his eight-game stint, scoring 311 runs, following his 548-run season in IPL 2018 where he averaged 54.8.

Liam Livingstone (RR)

Liam Livingstone Instagram
Liam Livingstone Instagram

Liam Livingstone left IPL 2021 midway through the season amid the second wave of COVID-19 in India. The England batsman although will be returning for Phase 2. In a major boost to Rajasthan Royals, English all-rounder Liam Livingstone is all set to be available for the second phase of IPL 2021 which will resume from Sep 19 onwards.

After three English players Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, and Chris Woakes pulled out of IPL 2021 there were question marks of Liam Livingstone’s availability for IPL. However, Rajasthan Royals confirmed that Liam Livingstone will be featuring in the second phase of the cash-rich league.

Rajasthan Royals though have been dealt with a massive blow as in-form batsman Liam Livingstone is likely to miss the first few games of the second phase of IPL 2021 due to injury.

Dawid Malan (PBKS)

Dawid Malan File Photo
Dawid Malan File Photo

It is difficult to term Dawid Malan’s pull out other than plain and simple revenge. After Virat Kohli-led India decided not to play the 5th Test amid the COVID-19 outbreak inside India’s camp, Dawid Malan pulled out at the last moment, annoying Punjab Kings.

Dawid Malan was picked by the Punjab Kings in the 2021 auction for a price tag of INR 1.5 crores and it will be the lefthander’s debut IPL season. He played only 1 game scoring 26 runs.

Jonny Bairstow (SRH)

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow of SRH (Photo Source: Twitter)

Another last-minute pullout came from SRH’s top-scorer Jonny Bairstow and it is believed that he too followed similar instincts as Dawid Malan, dealing an ailing SRH a heavy blow. Jonny Bairstow had a brilliant debut IPL season in 2019 scoring 445 runs that included a century while opening the batting with David Warner. He had amassed 1038 runs in 28 IPL games averaging 41.52.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have roped in West Indies batsman Sherfane Rutherford for the remainder of IPL 2021. The middle-order batsman from the West Indies comes in as a replacement for opener Jonny Bairstow. Notably, SRH has had a disastrous campaign so far winning only one of the seven games in the first phase of IPL 2021, and are currently placed at the bottom of the table.

Chris Woakes (DC)

Chris Woakes | Delhi Capitals
Chris Woakes | Delhi Capitals

Amongst the three players, Delhi Capitals’ Chris Woakes is the other England player to announce his pull-out at the 11th hour. The England pacer gave no reason behind the opt-out. Chris Woakes played just two matches in Phase 1 due to injury.

Chris Woakes did not feature in IPL 2020 but Delhi Capitals retained the England cricketer for the IPL 2021. He scored 15 runs and picked up 5 scalps in 3 games before IPL 2021 was suspended due to Covid-19. Overall, he has 30 scalps in 21 matches averaging 21.93, and scored 78 runs playing IPL 2017,2018, and 2021.

Andrew Tye (RR)

Andrew Tye has flown back home from IPL.
Andrew Tye has flown back home from IPL. Photo: BCCI

After returning midway through IPL 2021 Phase 1, Australian pacer Andrew Tye informed RR that he won’t be returning for Phase 2 due to bubble fatigue. Andrew Tye, who had first joined RR in 2020, wasn’t a regular for RR but was one of the overseas options that RR could have considered.

The Purple Cap winner of IPL 2018, Andrew Tye only played 6 matches for Punjab Kings(then KXIP) in 2019. He moved to RR at his base price of Rs 1 crore. He only played one match in IPL 2020 in UAE. He went for 50 runs and scalped one wicket in the fixture and despite that fact, he was retained by the franchise.

Kane Richardson (RCB)

Kane Richardson. (Image Source: Twitter)
Kane Richardson. (Image Source: Twitter)

After playing Phase 1 of IPL, the Australian all-rounder Kane Richardson decided against returning for Phase 2. He had also opted out of Australia’s tour of the West Indies and Bangladesh. Signed by the Pune Warriors India for IPL 2013, he had the opportunity to sharpen his skills with the legendary Allan Donald.

He was then inducted into the Rajasthan Royals side in the 2014 auction, followed by RCB in IPL 2016. The fourteenth edition of the league will be his second stint with the RCB. He played 1 IPL game in 2021 picking a solitary scalp.

Pat Cummins (KKR)

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins[photo: Twitter]
KKR’s star pacer and Australia’s vice-captain Pat Cummins was the first confirmed pullout of Phase 2. The star opted out to be with his partner who is expecting their first child. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have signed Tim Southee for the remaining 31 games of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Pat Cummins, who was signed for Rs. 15.5 crores for IPL 2020 season, has been a key member of their side, and this season he played all their seven games, taking nine wickets and scoring 93 runs, including a career-best 66 not out against Chennai Super Kings. Pat Cummins picked 12 wickets in 14 games that included a 4-wicket haul in the 2020 IPL season. He bowled well in IPL 2021 picking 9 scalps in 7 games averaging 26.33 besides scoring 93 runs averaging 31.

Jhye Richardson (Image Credit: Twitter)
Jhye Richardson (Image Credit: Twitter)

Riley Meredith (PBKS)

Riley Meredith is excited to be part of the IPL | PBKS Instagram
Riley Meredith is excited to be part of the IPL | PBKS Instagram

The other PBKS pacer to pull out is Riley Meredith. The Australian star also featured in Phase 1 and has missed Australia’s tours while also opting out of Phase 2. The right-arm pacer from Tasmania is capable of clocking 140 kmph very consistently and has proved his worth in the domestic circuit.

He made his T20 debut against New Zealand in 2021 and debuted in the IPL after the Punjab Kings won the bidding war, eventually acquiring the Aussie pacer for INR 8 Cr. He picked 4 scalps in 5 IPL games.

Finn Allen (RCB)

Finn Allen IPL 2021
Finn Allen IPL 2021

The New Zealander Finn Allen came as a replacement player for Josh Philippe and spent the first half of IPL on the bench. But he has informed the franchise that he won’t be returning and Tim David has been roped in as a replacement.

Chris Woakes. (Getty Images)
Chris Woakes. (Getty Images)
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Chris Woakes Preferred The 2021 T20I World Cup And Ashes 2021/22 Over IPL 2021

Chris Woakes, England seam-bowling all-rounder has elaborated on his decision to skip the second phase of the IPL 2021. Chris Woakes of Delhi Capitals earned a spot in England’s T20 squad and is among three English players to pull out of the UAE leg.

The 32-year old has put his international commitments ahead of the lucrative tournament. Chris Woakes wants to be available, fit and firing in England’s bid to win their second T20 crown and the Ashes in Australia soon after.

Chris Woakes, playing for his first-class side Warwickshire, preferred the T20 World Cup and the Ashes, claiming it would be an exciting few months for the English team. Thus, he had to sacrifice his IPL deal. The UAE leg of the IPL 2021 begins on September 19 and goes on till October 15, following which the T20 World Cup will begin in a couple of days.

“With the World Cup and the Ashes, it would have been too much in a short space of time. I would have loved to have been part of the IPL but something has to give. A World Cup and an Ashes tour, it’s almost as big a winter as our summer was in 2019.”

“It’s a shame with what’s going on Covid-wise that it’s not going to be as normal as everyone would like. But, from a cricket perspective, it’s very exciting,” Woakes said as quoted by The Guardian.

Story Image Ben Dwarshuis is the sixth-highest wicket-taker in the BBL Getty Images
Ben Dwarshuis is the sixth-highest wicket-taker in the BBL Getty Images

Chris Woakes further remarked that he was unaware of being part of the T20 squad. The right-arm seamer said the IPL has stumbled upon them at the end of their summer. Chris Woakes has featured in only 10 T20Is since debuting in early 2011. He was recalled after 6 years in T20Is and featured in 2 matches of the Sri Lanka T20Is in June 2021.

“My inclusion in the World Cup squad, I didn’t know was going to happen – especially a couple of months ago. The IPL has been rescheduled and thrown on to the end of our summer,” Woakes said as quoted by The Guardian.

Chris Woakes was part of the Delhi Capitals and took five wickets in three games in the first half at 16.40 apiece. The franchise announced Australian seamer Ben Dwarshuis as his replacement on Monday.

Chris Woakes Played Only 1 Test This Summer Against India

The 32-year old could only feature in one Test this summer, playing in the fourth Test at the Oval against India. He recovered from his heel injury to replace Sam Curran and picked up four wickets in the first innings. Chris Woakes followed it by scoring a crucial fifty.

The all-rounder was named in England squad for South Africa, Sri Lanka, and India series but wasn’t picked in the playing XI in any of the tours. The talented all-rounder underwent knee surgery before New Zealand Tests, which made him unavailable for the 2 match Test series against the Kiwis.

England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Unfortunately, England slumped to a 157-run loss in the 4th Test. The fifth Test in Manchester was abandoned after India refused to take the field. It emerged later that the influx of COVID-19 cases within their support staff had created tensions in their minds.

Chris Woakes had pulled out of the remainder of the IPL because of personal reasons, joining Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Jonny Bairstow, Punjab Kings’ Dawid Malan, and Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler in withdrawing from the tournament. The Delhi Capitals are currently on top of the IPL points table with 12 points from eight matches. They resume their campaign against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 22.

Chris Woakes did not feature in IPL 2020 but Delhi Capitals retained the England cricketer for the IPL 2021. He scored 15 runs and picked up 5 scalps in 3 games before IPL 2021 was suspended due to Covid-19. Overall, he has 30 scalps in 21 matches averaging 21.93 and scored 78 runs playing IPL 2017,2018, and 2021.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
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BCCI Informed IPL Franchises That Every Player Coming In From The UK To UAE Have To Undergo 6 Days Of Quarantine Before Joining Team Bubbles

BCCI directs six days mandatory quarantine for players coming from the UK.  The final Test between India and England got cancelled owing to some COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp and BCCI and ECB are discussing when to reschedule the match.

To further avoid the spread of the virus, the Indian side didn’t take the field in Manchester and the match stood cancelled. It has to be noted that the second phase of IPL 2021 is just around the corner and franchises are eyeing how to take their players out of the UK.

BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI
BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI

BCCI Informed IPL Franchises That Every Player Coming In From The UK To UAE Have To Undergo 6 Days Of Quarantine Before Joining Team Bubbles

In the latest turn of development, it has been confirmed by a franchise official that BCCI has directed a mandatory quarantine of six days for players coming from the UK before they join the IPL bubble. It is very obvious that bubble to bubble transfer no longer stands valid as there are already few cases in the Indian camp.

“The BCCI has informed us that every player coming in from the UK to UAE will have to undergo six days of quarantine before they can join the team bubbles. Obviously, the bubble-to-bubble transfer from the UK to UAE no longer stands keeping in mind the current scenario,” a franchise official said.

Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma Image Source : SURYAKUMAR YADAV/TWITTER
Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma  Image Source: SURYAKUMAR YADAV/TWITTER

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma, pacer Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav along with their families arrived in UAE on Saturday for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. They will now undergo six days of quarantine and then will link up with the Mumbai Indians squad. The trio tested negative before departure from Manchester and arrival in Abu Dhabi.

RCB Have Arranged A Charter Flight For Their Skipper Virat Kohli And Pacer Mohammed Siraj

Talking about several franchises airlifting their players from the UK, RCB stated that they have arranged a charter flight for their skipper Virat Kohli and ace pacer Mohammed Siraj. They will move from the UK to Dubai on Saturday around 11.30 pm. The team source added that the safe transit of players stands at the utmost priority for them.

“Yes, we have arranged a charter flight for Virat and Siraj, both of them will be flying out at 11:30 PM UK time on Saturday and they will reach Dubai early Sunday morning. The safe transit of players is the utmost priority for RCB. They will undergo 6-day quarantine there before joining the team bubble,” a team source added.

RCB skipper Virat Kohli with pacer Mohammed Siraj(Twitter)
RCB skipper Virat Kohli with pacer Mohammed Siraj(Twitter)

In the same line, CSK is also trying its best to get its players out of the UK as quickly as possible. CSK’s CEO confirmed that they will move Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shardul Thakur to Dubai on Saturday itself.

“Now that the Test match is off, we are looking to get the CSK boys into Dubai tomorrow,” said Kasi Vishwanathan on Friday.

Meanwhile, several of England’s all-format players have withdrawn from this year’s IPL as a result of bubble fatigue and in anticipation of a long winter. Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, and Dawid Malan have joined Jos Buttler in confirming their withdrawals.

Dawid Malan will be replaced at Punjab Kings for the rest of the season by Aiden Markram. Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), Dawid Malan (Punjab Kings), and Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) have all been named in England’s T20 World Cup squad and might expect to be named in England’s Ashes tour party, too.

Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, George Garton, Eoin Morgan, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Liam Livingstone, and Jason Roy are the England players still expected to participate in the IPL.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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India’s Refusal To Play 5th Test Strained Relationships, One Cricketer May Pull Out Of IPL 2021

India’s refusal to feature in the 5th and final Test against England at Manchester due to fears of Covid-19 has strained relationships between the two teams. While many in the English cricket fraternity are criticising Virat Kohli-led Indian management, some cricketers are reportedly even looking to pull out from the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

At least one of the England players, a part of the Test series against India, is looking to pull out from IPL 2021 after Team India’s unwillingness to feature in the 5th Test led to its cancellation.

Indian test team
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

Indian Cricket Team’s Refusal To Play 5th Test Strained Relationships

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have had a healthy relationship with each other. However, after Team India’s 11th-hour withdrawal from the Old Trafford match, many English cricketers are said to be left unamused.

Some members of the England team claim that they had even spotted the Indian players roaming around in Manchester on Thursday even though they were supposed to remain inside their hotel rooms due to the Covid-19 scenario in the camp.

BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo

The cancellation of the Test is said to cost the ECB and others involved in organizing the match several millions of pounds. What has infuriated the hosts most is the fact that the match could’ve been deferred by a day or two if the resumption of IPL 2021 on September 19 wasn’t at stake.

At Least One Among Five Cricketers Of Test Squad Participating In The UAE Leg Of IPL 2021 May Pull Out

While the BCCI is busy planning its players’ departure from the UK to UAE, 5 England Test players are also supposed to participate in the extravagant T20 league. At least one of those five players — Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan, and Chris Woakes — is said to be thinking of pulling out from IPL 2021 because of the 5th Test’s cancellation.

The aforementioned five England players are supposed to travel to UAE with the Indian contingent and serve 6 days of quarantine upon their arrival.

Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)
Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)

At 6 PM on Thursday, the England cricket team was reportedly informed of the Indian team’s availability for the match since all of them had tested negative for Covid-19.

Later, however, they were informed of the players’ unwillingness to go ahead with the match amid the risk of catching the virus. Most of the English players even travelled to the ground to collect their kits while the spectators had also started to show up.

List & Status of England Cricketers in IPL 2021:

  • Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) 4.4 Crore – Has pulled out of IPL already citing birth of his child.
  • Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals) – 7.2 Crore, Has pulled out due to injury
  • Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals) – 12.5 Cr, pulled out citing mental health issues
  • Liam Livingstone (Rajasthan Royals) – 0.75 Cr – Injured & doubtful
  • Eoin Morgan (KKR – 5.25 Cr), Sam Curran (CSK – 5.5 Cr), Moeen Ali (CSK – 7 Crore), Jonny Bairstow (SRH – 2.2 Crore), Tom Curran (DC – 5.5 Cr), Sam Billings (DC – 2 Crore), Chris Woakes (DC – 1.5 Cr), Chris Jordan (PBKS – 3 Crore), Dawid Malan (PBKS – 1.5 Cr), Jason Roy (SRH – 2 Cr),
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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England Cricket Team Yet To Be Informed Of The Itinerary For The Ashes 2021/22 Tour

England cricket team is yet to be informed of the itinerary, travel plans, and accommodation for the Ashes tour. The Joe Root-led side is reportedly unhappy with the England Cricket Board (ECB) about being left in the dark regarding the proceedings.

The ECB is currently working with Cricket Australia to finalize the details of the tour slated to take place later this year. Skipper Joe Root and other senior players have reportedly been asking the ECB for updates, but there have been no developments to information as of yet.

England, PTI
England, PTI

England Cricket Team Yet To Be Informed Of The Itinerary, Travel Plans And Accommodations For The Ashes Tour

Response from Cricket Australia to the official tour schedule is being awaited so that England can confirm the availability of the players and send a contingent to Australia to win the urn back. The iconic five-match Test series last took place in 2019 and is at serious risk given Australia’s vulnerable condition with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment.

The nation recorded its highest number of cases involving the virus yesterday and has seen a surge of cases recently. There are concerns that the long-drawn-out series will not be possible given the rate at which Australia is closing its state borders.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Image Credit: Twitter)

England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood, and Chris Woakes wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held.

Some of those will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. There is also a prospect of a postponed Ashes tour. Australia is the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18 with the 2019 Ashes series ending in a draw.

Ben Stokes, who announced an indefinite break from cricket due to mental health issues ahead of the England vs India Test series, is highly doubtful to attend Ashes 2021. Ben Stokes is also not part of the upcoming IPL 2021 UAE leg and is highly doubtful for the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

Pacer Jofra Archer has been already ruled out from playing for the entire year. Hence he will not be part of The Ashes 2021 as well. Jofra Archer is preparing for a comeback to the field in March 2022. Olly Stone has also been ruled to due to injury. Joe Root might have a tough job leading the team in the absence of prominent players.

Jos Buttler Hinted He Won’t Be A Part Of The Squad Touring Australia If Families Aren’t Allowed In Australia

England’s players have already cast their doubts over traveling to Australia to compete in the Ashes. Jos Buttler has hinted that he would not be part of the squad if families are not allowed to travel together with the squad. Ben Stokes could also miss the series due to his indefinite break from the sport. The all-rounder is a doubt for the T20 World Cup in the UAE as well.

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Pace bowlers Jofra Archer and Olly Stone have already been ruled out due to injuries. Skipper Joe Root is also apparently worried about leading a weakened squad if senior members pull out of the tour. He believes this is his last chance to claim the Ashes as captain, and the task will be tougher fielding a second-string side against Australia away from home.

England had a horrid record in Australia in the recent past. They have only managed to rack up a single victory across the last two editions of the Ashes played Down Under. They lost the 2013-14 Ashes by a 5-0 margin and followed it up with a 4-1 defeat in the 2017-18 edition.

Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
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Sourav Ganguly Impressed With Well Fought India-England 5 Match Test Series

Sourav Ganguly, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is left impressed with the spectacle being provided by both India and England in the ongoing five-match series in the UK.

The BCCI chief, Sourav Ganguly reckons that both countries have displayed great skill on the field and there is no substitute for a well-fought series. The ongoing series stands level at 1-1, and heading into the final day of the fourth Test at the Oval, hosts England need 291 more runs for the win with all ten wickets in hand.

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

Sourav Ganguly: Nothing Can Beat A Well Fought Test Series

Former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was left impressed with the way India and England are battling in the ongoing 5-match Test series. Sourav Ganguly reckoned that both teams have displayed great skill on the field and there is no substitute for a well-fought series.

“Cricket at its best…Nothing can beat a well-fought test series. The one in Australia and now this one. The most skilfull form of cricket ..@BCCI @ICC,” tweeted Sourav Ganguly.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Image Source: AP IMAGE

 

Earlier this year, India had defeated Australia 2-1 in the Border Gavaskar Trophy against all odds. Many players got injured, skipper Virat Kohli headed home but under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane and guidance of head coach Ravi Shastri, Team India pulled off a heist especially after losing the first Test, where they were bundled out for 36 in the second innings.

Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, and Shardul Thakur Score More Than 50 Runs Each To Set England A Stiff Target Of 368

Coming back to the ongoing Test series, England has been set a target of 368 in the fourth Test of the five-match series and the hosts have all ten wickets in hand heading into the final day of an absorbing Test match. Earlier, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, and Shardul Thakur all registered scores of more than 50 as India set a target of 368 for England on Day 4 of the ongoing fourth Test here at the Kennington Oval on Sunday.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah also played cameos of 25 and 24 as India posted a score of 466 in the second innings, extending the lead to 367. For England, fit-again Chris Woakes returned with three wickets. At stumps on Day 4, England’s score read 77/0– still needing 291 runs for the win with all ten wickets in hand. For the hosts, Rory Burns (31*) and Haseeb Hameed (43*) are at the crease.

Shardul Thakur (60 off 72) struck his second fifty of the match and shared a hundred-run stand with Rishabh Pant (50 off 106) to put India in a strong position. Resuming the day at 270 for three, India lost three wickets in the morning session including skipper Virat Kohli (44 off 96). Chris Woakes removed Ravindra Jadeja (17) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) whose struggles continued. On Saturday, Rohit Sharma hit his first hundred in overseas conditions to bring India back in the match after England took a 99-run first-innings lead.

Nasser Hussain said England were lacking "a bit more toughness in that middle order" and Mark Butcher stated that they "let India back in" to the game ( Image: Sky Sports)
Nasser Hussain said England were lacking "a bit more toughness in that middle order" and Mark Butcher stated that they "let India back in" to the game ( Image: Sky Sports)
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Mark Butcher Unimpressed By England’s Batting And Agrees With Nasser Hussain As Lead Must Have Been Above 100

Mark Butcher was unimpressed by the national team’s batting display on day two of the fourth Test against India. Mark Butcher criticized the Three Lions for allowing India a sniff despite favorable batting conditions on day two at the Oval.

Although England did well to recover from 62-5 to take a 99-run lead but the fact is that most batsmen failed to convert their starts. The likes of Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, and Dawid Malan made impressive 30s and perished at crucial junctures. Only Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes made half-centuries, with the former top-scoring with 81.

Mark Butcher waves to the crowd as he walks off celebrating England's victory over South Africa.(Getty Images)
Mark Butcher waves to the crowd as he walks off celebrating England’s victory over South Africa.(Getty Images)

Mark Butcher: India Had Ran Out Of Ideas And They Couldn’t Stop Runs From Moeen Ali And Ollie Pope

Responding to Nasser Hussain’s comments on the lack of England’s toughness in the middle order on Sky Sports, Mark Butcher remembered when Indian bowlers looked clueless. Mark Butcher said India could not make the ball talk, failing to control Moeen Ali and Ollie Pope.

“It’s easy to forget they were five down for 60 but I think there was an occasion there towards the back end towards the lunch and tea break and onwards where India had ran out of ideas. They weren’t able to make the ball move so much, it was getting soft which they were complaining about and they couldn’t stem the flow of runs from Moeen Ali and Ollie Pope.”

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain claimed that “if there was just a bit more toughness in that middle order then they could almost still be batting”, while Mark Butcher believes England “let India back in” and they should be “150 in front”.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Nasser Hussain said: “You can always have a better day but when they were 60-odd for five, to get up to 290 just shows the value of that middle order and Chris Woakes in particular, batting with the tail, got them a healthy lead. Both sides actually ended up getting more than expected but you always feel, on a flatter Oval pitch that if there was just a bit more toughness in that middle order then they could almost still be batting.”

Ollie Pope scored an excellent 81 on his return to the Test team, sharing an 89-run partnership with Jonny Bairstow and a 71-run partnership with Moeen Ali. Chris Woakes also scored an excellent fifty, further underlining his impressive all-around credentials.

However, with Ollie Pope unable to reach the three-figure mark and both Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali getting out for 37 and 35 respectively, Nasser Hussain and Mark Butcher believe England should have ended up getting a much bigger lead.

Mark Butcher Criticizes Moeen Ali’s Shot Selection

Mark Butcher further claimed that England let India back into the game. The cricketer-turned-commentator was particularly unhappy about Moeen Ali’s shot selection against Ravindra Jadeja. Mark Butcher stated that Moeen Ali has repeated the pattern often throughout his career.

“England let them back in again and I’m not criticising Moeen for trying to have a go at the left-arm spinner, he has the best strike-rate against spin of anybody in the world in white-ball cricket so he can take down the left-arm spinner. It’s the option that has blown people’s minds about Moeen Ali throughout his career. How can a guy who’s so good and with so many options often pick the wrong one?”

Moeen Ali's shot selection was questioned after he was dismissed playing a slog-sweep with both mid-off and mid-on up inside the circle and two fielders back on the leg side
Moeen Ali’s shot selection was questioned after he was dismissed playing a slog-sweep with both mid-off and mid-on up inside the circle and two fielders back on the leg side ( Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Butcher added: “Mid-off and mid-on were up, there were two men back on the leg side for that slog sweep and he went for the slog sweep when he could bash it over long-on and long-off and there was nobody back.”

Both Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain opined that England should have extended the lead well beyond 100. At the close of day two, India reached 43-0, still trailing by 56 runs. On the 3rd day, India is on 108/1 having lost KL Rahul (46). Rohit Sharma is batting on 47 and Cheteshwar Pujara is batting on 14 when Lunch was taken.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
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Salman Butt: India Will Feel They Need To Score At Least 350 Runs To Defend Around 250

Salman Butt feels that Team India will need to score a minimum of 350 runs in the second innings at The Oval. According to the former Pakistan captain, since there is plenty of time left in the game, Team India will need to set England a target of at least 250 to stay in the game.

Team India reduced England to 62 for 5 on Day 2 of The Oval Test. However, Ollie Pope (81) and Chris Woakes (50) had other ideas as the duo lifted the hosts to 290, giving them a sizeable first-innings lead of 99.

Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Salman Butt: The 99 Run First Innings Lead Claimed By England Is Significant And India Will Feel They Need To Score At Least 350 Runs To Defend Around 250

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt reckoned that, with three full days of play left, Team India could put up a good second-innings total.

Salman Butt said: “The 99-run lead claimed by England could be quite significant. I am sure Team India will now feel that they will need to score at least 350 runs. If they do that, their bowlers will have a target of around 250 runs to defend, which will give them a decent chance to get the England batters out. Remember, there is a lot of time left in this Test. We have had only two days of play, three full days are still left.”

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

The former Pakistan batter pointed out that The Oval surface is getting easier to bat on and that Team India must take full advantage of the same.

Salman Butt added: “There was a lot less movement off the pitch on Day 2. It wasn’t looking as green as it was earlier. Day 3 will be the best batting day on this surface. Usually, the third day in any Test is the best day to bat. There will be a little bit of moisture but if Team India can play that out, things can get easy.”

“The top four will hold the key. Team India’s openers have been playing outstanding cricket. In fact, if we leave out Joe Root, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have been the best batters in this Test series. Rohit would love to get a hundred as he has been batting brilliantly,” Salman Butt added.

Earlier, England was bundled out for 290 runs after Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes shined with the willow and smashed their respective half-centuries to help hosts take a vital 99-run lead. Ollie Pope made 81 runs while Chris Woakes contributed 50 runs to guide England’s comeback after a shaky start. Moeen Ali (35) and Jonny Bairstow (37) also added important runs along with Pope lower down the order.

Rohit Sharma is India’s second-highest run-scorer in the series thus far, with more than 250 runs to his name, only behind his opening partner KL Rahul who has reached the 300 run mark.

Salman Butt: If Any Indian Player Manage To Score A Ton, India Will Be In With A Great Chance

After bowling England out for 290, Team India’s openers batted with defiance, taking the side’s score to 43 for no loss at stumps. Team India crumbled at Headingley on Day 4 to undo the hard work of an impressive fightback. Salman Butt acknowledged that the first hour of play on Day 3 will be critical.

He stated: “If Team India play out the initial 15-20 overs, they will mostly wipe out the deficit and the pressure will be less then. However, if England strike early and claim 2-3 wickets, Team India will be in a lot of trouble. India, especially these openers who are playing so well, need to make sure that they keep batting.”

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul | Photo: ICC

“If one of Team India’s players manages a hundred, they will be in with a great chance. Spin will come into play in the second innings and Team India have Ravindra Jadeja. The key is, of course, for them to bat well,” the former cricketer stated.

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