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Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Virat Kohli Faced Backlash Over The “Meaningful Diwali” Campaign As ‘Pinterest’ Link Goes Missing

Virat Kohli shared a video on his official Twitter account about the upcoming festival of Diwali. The video was part of the Pinterest Ad campaign. In the self-recorded video, the Indian skipper says that this year has been difficult for people across the globe, especially for Indians, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the link to his Pinterest account where he was supposed to give “tips” to celebrate a “meaningful Diwali” has gone missing from his Twitter and Instagram profiles a few days after the post was uploaded. It is noteworthy that he was heavily criticized for the campaign that he ran for Pinterest on his social media handles especially keeping the history of anti-firecrackers propaganda he had run in the past during Diwali.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli Faced Backlash Over The “Meaningful Diwali” Campaign

The screenshot of the archived version of his Twitter profile from October 17 shows that the Pinterest link was visible in the bio, as he had mentioned in the video and post. His video on Instagram also mentions that the link should be in his bio, but the link posted there was of his merchandise store and not his Pinterest profile.

The posts, however, mentioning that he would be giving tips to celebrate a “meaningful Diwali” are still available on both social media handles- Twitter and Instagram. Virat Kohli has not posted anything on his Pinterest account since the announcement of the campaign. It is unclear if he actually removed the links after the backlash or the contract with Pinterest was to post the link only for two days in the bio.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

On October 17, in a video post, cricketer Virat Kohli had said that he would be sharing “personal tips” to celebrate a “meaningful Diwali”.However, consideringg his history of making the anti-fireworks statement and general pontificating that irks people, the star cricketer faced an array of backlash on social media. Fans asked him to better prepare and stay focused for the upcoming T20 World Cup and improve his performance rather than giving sermons on how to celebrate a festival.

Virat Kohli Is Yet To Win An ICC Trophy

It is notable here that Virat Kohli is yet to win an ICC trophy as a captain and has never won the Indian Premier League. He has quit the captaincy of Royal Challengers Bangalore and will step down as the captain of the Indian T20 team following the World Cup.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Meanwhile, he will be leading India in the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE. The veteran hasn’t won an ICC tournament as a skipper and he is looking forward to breaking the shackles. Virat Kohli will step down from his post after the event. Virat Kohli, the India skipper, has come on the radar of fans for his video on Diwali. He uploaded a video on social with the promise of sharing tips on how to celebrate the festival lights.

Virat Kohli, who batted at No. 3 in India’s first warm-up encounter against Egland ahead of the 2021 T20I WC, scored 11 runs off 13 deliveries. However, he wasn’t at his fluent best and will hope for a longer hit in the middle during the second warm-up match against Australia.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

Chennai Super Kings Will Use First Retention Card For ‘Skipper’ MS Dhoni In IPL 2022

Chennai Super Kings fans were elated when skipper MS Dhoni after lifting the IPL trophy, told Harsha Bhogle at the post-match presentation on Friday that he hadn’t yet left behind a legacy. However, while it was seen as a sign that fans might still get to see the legend on the cricket pitch, the CSK management has now confirmed the same.

A CSK official said the first retention card at the auction will be used to retain the captain of the ship.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Chennai Super Kings Will Use First Retention Card For MS Dhoni In IPL 2022

MS Dhoni had said he hadn’t left behind with a wide grin when the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain was asked if the talismanic batsman is proud to have left a legacy behind in 12 seasons for the newly crowned Indian Premier League (IPL) champions. However, one of the most successful captains in the shortest format of cricket, MS Dhoni, had earlier admitted to the ‘uncertainties’ surrounding the 2022 edition of the cash-rich league.

“There will be retention and that is a fact. The number of retentions isn’t something we are aware of yet. But honestly, that is secondary in MS’ case because the first card will be used for him. The ship needs its captain and rest assured he will be back next year,” the official said.


MS Dhoni, on his part, played it like he always has as he said CSK will try to make a strong core that can contribute for the next few years.

Asked about the road ahead after registering his fourth title win in the IPL, Dhoni said: “Again I’ve said it before, it depends on BCCI. With two new teams coming in, we have to decide what is good for CSK. It’s not about me being there in top-three or four. It’s about making a strong core to ensure the franchise doesn’t suffer. The core group, we have to have a hard look to see who can contribute for the next 10 years.”

In the IPL 2021, the likes of CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (635 runs) and Faf du Plessis (633 runs) finished as leading run-getters in IPL 2021. Moeen Ali (357 runs), Ambati Rayudu (257 runs) also delivered in crunch situations. Dwayne Bravo (14), Deepak Chahar(14), Ravindra Jadeja(13), Josh Hazlewood(11), and Shardul Thakur(21) were amongst the wickets.

MS Dhoni Credits KKR For Comeback After Covid-19 Induced Break

He even made it a point to first congratulate Kolkata Knight Riders for this season’s tremendous display before talking about his own team’s display.

“Before I start talking about CSK, need to talk about KKR. Difficult to come back and do what they have, if any team deserved to win the IPL, it’s KKR. Huge credit to the coaches, team, and support staff. The break really helped them. Coming to CSK, we shuffled players. We had match winners coming game after game and doing really well,” said Dhoni.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Every final is special, if you look at stats, we may say we’re the most consistent team to lose the final too. I feel it’s important to come back strong, especially in the knockouts. Frankly no chats, we don’t talk a lot [meetings]. It’s more one-on-one, our practice sessions are meeting sessions. The moment you get into a team room, it brings about different pressure,” he added.

Dhoni didn’t forget the all-important CSK fans and said: “I would love to thank the fans, wherever we’ve played, even when we were in South Africa, we’ve always had a good number of CSK fans. That is what you crave. Thanks to all of them, it feels like we’re playing in Chennai. Hopefully, we’ll be back in Chennai for the fans.”

The Covid-19 induced break in the season came at the right time for KKR as they could regroup from the dismal start they had to the season. Unfortunately, the likes of KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were contracted with the Covid-19 virus, which eventually led to the postponement of IPL 2021 in India and the remainder of the league was moved to UAE.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 earlier.

Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram

Covid-19 Induced Break Came At The Right Time For Venkatesh Iyer: Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum hailed the impact Venkatesh Iyer, and the rest of his Indian players had in the UAE, allowing the team to bounce back from a dismal position after the first half of the season and reach the final.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum was full of praise for the impact that opener Venkatesh Iyer and the rest of the Indian top-order batsmen (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, and Nitish Rana) had in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL). As a result, KKR went from having just two wins in seven matches to reach the final in the UAE leg of the season.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum: Venkatesh Iyer Has Been An Incredible Story

In opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 innings and even put in handy shifts with the ball, taking three wickets in the season. In just 10 IPL 2021 games, all at UAE, the opener Venkatesh Iyer has 370 runs beside his name, averaging 41.11 with as many as 4 fifties. It was his debut IPL season, where he also picked 3 scalps averaging 23 with the ball.

“Venkatesh Iyer has been an incredible story. He was actually going to play in the next game after what turned out to be our last game in India but the break came at the right time there in a funny way. It gave him the opportunity to get a couple of months of cricket under his belt,” Brendon McCullum told the media after KKR’s 27-run defeat to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final on Friday.

“Then it was just a matter of bringing the game that he owns. The ‘Venkatesh Iyer Game Plan’ which is an aggressive intent. He is a big presence, a tall man, plays the game with a kind of a cavalier streak. It is so important to hold on to that because he might be challenged to change his methods,” said Brendon McCullum.

Venkatesh Iyer scored a half century in the final.
Venkatesh Iyer scored a half-century in the final. (Courtesy of BCCI)
“He might not be the most consistent with his flamboyance but I hope he remains the Venkatesh Iyer we have seen so far. He has got a big future in this game and he is a very intelligent man. I thank him for all his efforts he was a big catalyst for our turnaround this season,” said Brendon McCullum.

Shubman Gill amassed 478 runs in 17 games, while Nitish Rana amassed 383 runs and Rahul Tripathi managed 397 runs, while the likes of Eoin Morgan (133 runs) and Dinesh Karthik (223 runs) failed to deliver with the bat.

Brendon McCullum: Break Came At The Right Time

Brendon McCullum said that the Covid-19 induced break in the season came at the right time for KKR as they could regroup from the dismal start they had to the season. But, unfortunately, the likes of KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were contracted with the Covid-19 virus, which eventually led to the postponement of IPL 2021 in India and the remainder of the league was moved to UAE.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 earlier.

“The break came at a right time for us, it is difficult to keep your composure when the results are going against you. We had just two wins in seven games so the break came at a good time. We had some conversations in those months with some guys to smooth out some rough edges,” said Brendon McCullum.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Always felt that our intent needed to increase to put pressure back on the opposition. I can’t speak highly enough about our top four Indian batters what they achieved during the second half of the tournament. It takes guts to play the way they did and courage to trust the way that we were asking them to play. They were absolutely fantastic and a massive reason we had such a huge chance at winning this competition,” Brendon McCullum said.

In IPL 2021 final, CSK opener Faf du Plessis led the charge, making 86 as he anchored half-century stands for each of the three wickets that fell during the course of Super Kings’ 192. Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali played their parts with the bat before Shardul Thakur ended Venkatesh Iyer’s innings – and a dangerous opening stand – to cut Knight Riders’ middle-order open and consign them to their first defeat in an IPL final.

Chennai Super Kings 192 for 3 (du Plessis 86, Moeen 37*, Narine 2-26) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 165 for 9 (Gill 51, Iyer 50, Thakur 3-38, Hazlewood 2-29) by 27 runs

The 2021 edition of Women's Big Bash League, WBBL 2021will begin on October 14 in Hobart | Photo: Cricket Australia
The 2021 edition of Women's Big Bash League, WBBL 2021will begin on October 14 in Hobart | Photo: Cricket Australia

WBBL 07 Inaugural Week Uncertain After Hobert’s 3 Day Lockdown For COVID-19

WBBL 07 – The Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) inaugural week is facing uncertainty after Hobart was put under a three-day lockdown on Friday due to surging Covid-19 cases in Tasmania.

The seventh edition of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL 07), kickstarting on Thursday, will feature as many as eight Indian players – the highest number so far in the history of the Australian tournament. It is a fitting testament to the development of the young talent in the last T20 World Cup’s runners-up.

WBBL 07- Women's Big Bash League 2021
WBBL 07- Women’s Big Bash League 2021

WBBL 07- The Women’s Big Bash League’s Inaugural Week Uncertain As Hobart Goes Under A 3 Day Lockdown For Increase In Rising Covid-19 Cases

WBBL 07 is under uncertainty as Hobart goes under a three-day Lockdown owing to the rising Covid-19 cases in Tasmania on Friday. Cricket Australia has stated that they are working on a contingency plan.

Opener Smriti Mandhana, off-spinning all-rounder Deepti Sharma (Sydney Thunder), opener Shafali Verma, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav (Sydney Sixers), batters Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (Melbourne Renegades) keeper-bat Richa Ghosh (Hobart Hurricanes), and leg-spinner Poonam Yadav (Brisbane Heat) are the eight Indians set to feature in WBBL 07.

“Four WBBL-07 games are scheduled to be played at Blundstone Arena (in Hobart) across Saturday and Sunday, with Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein suggesting crowds will now not be able to attend those matches,” a report said on Friday, adding that Cricket Australia (CA) was in talks with the Tasmanian government after the flash lockdown was imposed.

The Sydney Sixers won the WBBL opener in Hobart on Thursday night, but doubts have been cast over upcoming games there.
The Sydney Sixers won the WBBL opener in Hobart on Thursday night, but doubts have been cast over upcoming games there. Photograph: Sarah Reed/Getty Images

The report said that CA and the Tasmanian government were working on “a contingency plan”, adding that the Australian cricket’s governing body had informed the state government authorities that all players and staff members had received COVID-19 vaccinations.

During a press conference on Friday, Gutwein was quoted as saying that, “Bearing in mind there are national and international matters to consider here in terms of the broadcast, if they do go ahead they would go ahead with no crowd and with the players remaining in a bubble.”

Cricket Australia will attempt to push on with the WBBL 07 in Hobart this weekend, despite Tasmania’s capital being plunged into a snap three-day lockdown on Friday. Just a day after Sydney Sixers beat Melbourne Stars in the first game of the tournament, Cricket Australia was left sweating on fears of a potential Covid-19 outbreak in southern Tasmania.

The next four games are scheduled to be played in Hobart this weekend, with two double-headers at Blundstone Arena. In the best-case scenario for Cricket Australia, those games at Hobart will now be played without crowds.

Cricket Australia Working With Tasmanian Government On Options For WBBL 07 Matches At Hobart

A total of eight Indian players, including Smriti Mandhana, are playing in the WBBL 07, and seven of the eight WBBL sides are already in Tasmania.

“Perth Scorchers were due to fly in (later) on Friday for their first match against Brisbane Heat on October 17 but confirmed they would remain in Western Australia until more information was available,” the report added.

“Also, Hurricanes are scheduled to play the Renegades on Saturday afternoon, before the Strikers meet the Thunder on Saturday night. The Hurricanes then back up against the Sixers on Sunday morning, before the Heat play the Scorchers,” the report said.

Alyssa Healy of the Sixers on her way to making 57 in the opening Women's Big Bash League match of the season. Photograph: Steve Bell/Getty Images
Alyssa Healy of the Sixers is on her way to making 57 in the opening Women’s Big Bash League match of the season. Photograph: Steve Bell/Getty Images

“The health and safety of our players, staff, match officials and partners, along with that of the wider community, remains our top priority,” CA said in a statement, adding, “We are currently working with the Tasmanian Government on options for the upcoming Weber WBBL|07 matches at Blundstone Arena, Hobart this weekend.”

“The next matches are not due to be played until October 19, after the scheduled end of the lockdown on Monday evening,” the report added.

More than 20 games are scheduled to be held in Tasmania over the next two-and-a-half weeks, in a bid to begin the WBBL 07 during Sydney and Melbourne’s lockdowns. The Perth Scorchers have already confirmed they will remain in Western Australia until at least Saturday, pushing back their flight on Friday. They are due to face Brisbane Heat on Sunday morning. All of the other seven teams are believed to already be in Hobart.

Alyssa Healy started the WBBL 07 season superbly as she guided the Sydney Sixers to a six-wicket win over the Melbourne Stars in Hobart. Consistent rainfall pushed back the start of Thursday night’s tournament opener at Blundstone Arena, reducing the match to 11 overs aside. Alyssa Healy whacked 57 from 27 deliveries, including four fours in a row off rookie Tess Flintoff in the third over, as the Sydney Sixers chased down the 100-run target with four balls to spare.

Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson (Image Credits: Twitter)
Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson (Image Credits: Twitter)

Adam Zampa Said He And Kane Richardson Were Lucky To Get A Flight Back To Australia From India After Withdrawing From IPL 2021

Adam Zampa, Australian leg-spinner has opened up on the sudden exit from the India leg of IPL 2021 earlier this year. Adam Zampa was amongst the few players to withdraw from the tournament early due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Adam Zampa was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore team. He flew with teammate Kane Richardson on the 25th of April, owing to what the franchise described as personal reasons. The duo was fortunate to reach Australia by catching a charter plane as the Australian government had suspended flights from India until the 15th of May.

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)

Adam Zampa feels they were lucky to get a flight, given how the circumstances were at that time. The South Australian spinner remarked that he and pacer Kane Richardson decided it was best to return home after a growing rise in Covid-19 cases in India and bio bubble breaches following which IPL 2021 was postponed and the remaining half was played in UAE.

Adam Zampa said:  “Getting a flight just in time, we were pretty lucky. It was a bit of a s***storm. I remember people saying to us they didn’t believe that Australia would lock out Australian citizens from their country then the next day, that happening. It was a bit bizarre. Kane and I made the decision together, thinking it was the best idea for us to get home.”

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 the 3rd best individual figure ever in IPL history.

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

The fourteenth edition of the league was Kane Richardson’s second stint with the RCB. He played 1 IPL game in 2021 picking a solitary scalp before withdrawing. Kane Richardson played only one game in IPL 2021, while Adam Zampa didn’t get a chance. The Australian pacer Kane Richardson has played 5 IPL games for RCB picking 8 scalps.

The pair weren’t part of the UAE leg of the tournament as the Sri Lankan duo of spinner all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga and pacer Dushmantha Chameera replaced them. But the Sri Lankan duo also didn’t feature in a single match before RCB bowed out from Eliminator after losing to KKR.

Adam Zampa Would Love To See Australia Win The 2021 T20I World Cup

Meanwhile, Adam Zampa reflected on Australia’s disastrous tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh and firmly set his sights on winning the World Cup T20I competition for the first time.  West Indies defeated Australia 4-1 in 5 T20Is in July but more embarrassment was in store when Bangladesh defeated them by the same margin of 4-1 in August. In the 5th and final T20I, Australia succumbed to a paltry 62 which was its lowest T20I score.

He added: “We had a rough time as a team and I think we all actually needed a little bit of a physical and mental break. I went and spent every minute I possibly could just around home. I’d love nothing more than to win the World Cup. Anything less will be a disappointment.”

Ashton Agar File Photo
Ashton Agar File Photo

The leg-spinner Adam Zampa remains Australia’s premier spin-bowler for the World Cup and will share the duties with Ashton Agar and Mitchell Swepson. The men in yellow, eyeing their maiden T20 title, will open their campaign against South Africa on the 23rd of October in Abu Dhabi.

Geoff Allardice-Getty Images
Geoff Allardice-Getty Images

Geoff Allardice : ICC Committee Will Decide Fate Of 2021 T20I WC Match Affected By Covid-19

Geoff Allardice, ICC interim CEO confirmed that the ICC will have a committee that will decide the fate of any 2021 T20I World cup game that is affected by COVID-19 cases in the team camps making it clear that no member nation can decide upon the same, unlike bilateral contests.

The ICC already has a committee of medical experts in place which also includes BCCI’s Dr. Abhijit Salvi but it is understood that there could be a few positive cases even if there’s a bio-bubble in place.

ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice. (Credits: Twitter)
ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice. (Credits: Twitter)

Geoff Allardice, ICC Acting Chief Executive: ICC Committee To Look If Any Covid-19 Case Arises During 2021 T20I World Cup

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) committee of medical experts, which includes the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Abhijit Salve, will handle situations involving a Covid-19 scare and not the concerned member nations, acting chief executive Geoff Allardice said on Sunday.

“I think we have been pretty clear in our communication with the members. We have a committee set up to look at any cases that arise during the event,” Allardice said.

International Cricket Council – AFP File Photo
International Cricket Council – AFP File Photo

“Any decisions around matches will be taken by that committee and it’s not going to be something that’s going to be dealt by the members as it may do in bilateral cricket,” he said.

The committee will decide the fate of any match that may be held in the circumstances. The ICC has already communicated with member nations that there could be a few positive cases even if there is a bio-bubble in place.

Geoff Allardice Will Allow 2 DRS Per Team During T20I World Cup 2021

Geoff Allardice said there will be 2 DRS(ZDecision Review System) per team allowed during the mega event.

“We have continued on with the playing conditions that have been in place for T20 internationals for the past 12 months, which is two reviews per team, so rather than sort of treat this tournament differently, we have just continued on with what’s in place for the last 12 or 18 months,” Allardice said during virtual con-call.

Meanwhile, the ICC interim CEO Geoff Allardice also made clear that the apex cricket body will use neutral umpires wherever the situation allows. In the post-COVID-19 world, ICC has used home umpires due to traveling and logistical issues.

“I think we are able to get all our Elite panel umpires here and the referees here to officiate in this tournament (ICC Men’s T20 World Cup), the UAE is a country that is fairly straight forward now to move in and out of,” Allardice said at the same call.

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

Geoff Allardice said that various countries have various restrictions in place and that’s making it difficult.

“The issue is in other countries, which have different levels of restrictions, so our position has been, we will be trying to use neutral officials, wherever the circumstances allow. In a number of countries, there are still restrictions that make that difficult, and moving umpires even as individuals is a bit different to the team moments and we found that over the last few months,” he explained.

He also said that the home umpires have done extremely well in the last 18 months.

“I think the umpires, the home country umpires have performed extremely well over the last 18 months and supported by DRS. But the aim is to get neutral officials back once a lot of those restrictions are lifted, so it may happen more after this tournament, but is a very much country by country assessment,” he signed off.

For the first time in an ICC men’s T20I tournament, the Decision Review System (DRS) will be in use as the governing body has announced that the system will be available at the 2021 T20 World Cup starting later this month.

As per the playing conditions released by the ICC this week for the forthcoming T20 World Cup, which begins on October 17 and will be played in the UAE and Oman, each team will get a maximum of two reviews per innings. The governing body had confirmed in June last year an additional unsuccessful DRS review for each team in each innings of a match across all formats,

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

ICC To Discuss The Course Of The 5th Test Of The Incomplete India- England Test Series

ICC- International Cricket Council is likely to discuss the course of an incomplete bilateral series in the ICC board and chief executive committee meeting at the end of the T20 World Cup next month.

The recent five-Test series between England and India in the UK was halted after the fourth Test because the Indian team refused to take the field at Manchester, Old Trafford, following a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp as assistant physio Yogesh Parmar was found to be Covid-19 positive.

International Cricket Council – AFP File Photo
International Cricket Council – AFP File Photo

International Cricket Council (ICC) Likely To Discuss The Course Of India- England Incomplete Test Series

The England and Cricket Wales Board (ECB) had sought forfeiture from BCCI’s end or a continuation of the series. In turn, BCCI has offered to play a standalone Test in England next year to make up for the financial loss incurred by the ECB. India was leading 2-1 when the series was halted.

The fifth Manchester Test between England and India at the Old Trafford was cancelled – which the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) first called forfeiture but soon changed it & the BCCI called postponement.

So far, the big talking point has been whether this series has ended up being 2-2 in favour of England and India or 2-1 in India’s favour, which was the result after the first four Tests. As per BCCI’s announcement, the two teams will play a standalone Test or the rescheduled 5th Test when India tours England in 2022, which ICC will decide.

“The competition terms of the World Test Championship states that if, for whatever reason, the series is not being able to be completed with matches left to be played, the first step is to reschedule those matches in the competition window. As for teams pulling out on the morning of matches in the T20 World Cup, we have our own team to assess the situation unlike it happens in bilateral series,” ICC’s acting CEO Geoff Allardice said during a session with select media on Sunday.

ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice. (Credits: Twitter)
ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice. (Credits: Twitter)

“During the ICC board and CEC meeting, we have set aside a day to talk about the future directions of the FTP,” he added.

The ICC has managed to get all of its elite panel umpires to travel and officiate in the T20 World Cup. However, the tournament will continue to have two DRS reviews instead of having just one in T20Is. The ICC had increased the number of reviews last year during the pandemic because the host boards could not get neutral umpires.

Geoff Allardice: ICC Has Been In Regular Contact With Afghanistan Cricket Board After Militant Group Taliban’s Takeover

Geoff Allardice also mentioned that the ICC was hoping to get neutral umpires back after the T20 World Cup. But it will also depend on the travel restrictions in various countries since making arrangements for three-four officials is not the same as making one for an entire cricket team.

The ICC official also confirmed that the 20-overs World Cup, last staged in 2016, will embrace the Decision Review System (DRS), with each team having a maximum of two reviews per innings.

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

The ICC Board will also discuss how to deal with Afghanistan cricket following the Taliban takeover of the nation. While calling off Afghanistan’s tour of Australia this year, Cricket Australia has made it clear that they won’t be playing the Afghanistan men’s team since the ruling regime doesn’t support women’s cricket in Afghanistan.

“When the change of regime took place in Afghanistan in August, we have been in regular contact with their cricket board and our primary function is to support the development of cricket in that country through the member board,” Allardice said.

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) acting CEO, Geoff Allardice, has revealed that the Afghanistan cricket team is currently preparing for the upcoming 2021 T20I World Cup, and their participation isn’t under any threat at the moment. The acting CEO further stated that ICC will have a meeting where they will discuss how to maintain a relationship with the Afghanistan Cricket Board.

Currently, they will play in the World Cup, but further participation will be pondered over.

Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images
Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images

Old Trafford May Miss Out On Hosting The Rescheduled 5th Test Between England And India

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

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

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

Old Trafford May Not Be The Venue For The Rescheduled Test

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

India vs England
India vs England- Image Credit: Twitter

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

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

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

England, PTI
England, PTI

Ashes 2021/22 Is Set To Go Ahead With England’s Players Aggreging To Tour Australia

Ashes 2021/22 is set to go ahead this summer with England’s players reportedly agreeing to tour in a move that will green-light the A$200 million series. England’s Test specialists cricketers spoke with Cricket Australia (CA) bosses again on Tuesday evening, to thrash out their concerns over strict Covid-19 protocols for Ashes 2021/22.

Players have been given until the end of this week to make a decision by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), with the team only set to tour if an adequate number of front-liner players agree to travel. However, those fears have now seemingly been allayed with the report that captain Joe Root has led a group of players committing to the series.

Ashes Urn Photo:
Ashes Urn Photo:

Ashes 2021/22 Is Set To Go Ahead Without Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, And Jofra Archer Missing And Jos Buttler Doubtful

According to the report, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler could be the only England player not to agree to tour. He had previously indicated his concerns over the Ashes 2021/22  tour and potential time away from family. Allrounder Moeen Ali will be unavailable after he recently retired from Tests, while all-rounder Ben Stokes is taking a break from the game, and pacer Jofra Archer is out injured.

Moeen Ali has played the last of his 64 Tests for England AFP/Getty Images
Moeen Ali has played the last of his 64 Tests for England AFP/Getty Images

Cricket Australia is yet to officially be informed about the development but will no doubt be breathing a massive sigh of relief given the magnitude of the decision of players. In a series of two separate meetings with England players in recent days, it’s understood fears over snap lockdowns and quarantine conditions in Australia for families were the chief concerns.

Nick Hockley Stressed Conditions In Australia Were Improving

But CA CEO Nick Hockley stressed to England players that conditions in Australia before Ashes 2021/22 were improving, with the country’s vaccination rate on the rise. Likewise, it’s believed a move to have a second group of England’s players’ families arrive before Christmas to quarantine in Melbourne has also been crucial.

Players had feared that families would only be able to arrive with them in November, meaning a hard quarantine before a long tour. But the move to let a second group into Victoria would be welcome news, given they do not need to spend as much time away from home.

Cricket Australia's CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Cricket Australia’s CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

There could be some freedoms for families in regional Victoria. That deal is not officially over the line with the state government, but would be in line with the road map out of COVID-19 as Victoria edges closer to 70 and 80 percent double dosage rates.

The last concern for CA will now be the Perth Test, with officials adamant they will be granted clearance to play in Western Australia just days after being in Sydney. If that doesn’t eventually happen, Canberra or Hobart could seize their first-ever Ashes Test. Alternatively, the match could be held as a second fixture at the SCG or MCG.

Test specialists James Anderson and Stuart Broad have publicly stated they are prepared to tour Australia for Ashes 2021/22, as have youngsters Dan Lawrence and Ollie Pope.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan Feels Ashes 2021/22 Will Happen

Michael Vaughan, the former England skipper reckons that most Three Lions’ cricketers will travel to Australia and the Ashes will go ahead as planned later this year.

Over the weekend, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had contacted its men’s players and management to provide them with the latest information about the proposed arrangements for this winter’s scheduled Ashes tour.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan Feels Ashes 2021/22 Will Happen And Most England Cricketers If Not All Will Travel

The players and the England and Wales Cricket Board met over the weekend with representatives of Cricket Australia to discuss Covid-19  arrangements for the tour.  The players have been given the rest of the week to decide their availability, with doubts still existing over the strict quarantine rules for families and the strictness of the bubble once the team leaves quarantine.

“The Ashes will happen. I also think most if not all players will travel,” Michael Vaughan tweeted.

“We remain in regular and positive dialogue with Cricket Australia over these arrangements as the picture is constantly evolving. With health and wellbeing at the forefront, our focus is to ensure the tour can go ahead with conditions for players and management to perform at their best,” ECB had said in an official statement.


England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board

“We will continue talking to our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback,” it added.

Later this week, the ECB Board will meet to decide whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the tour to go ahead and enable the selection of a strong squad befitting a series of this significance. England and Wales Cricket Board warned the forthcoming Ashes will only go ahead if ECB can pick a strong squad enough to compete in Ashes.

Boris Johnson Intervened And Met With Scott Morrison To Ensure Ashes Go Ahead

Earlier, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had made an intervention in order to ensure that the upcoming Ashes series against Australia goes ahead later this year as planned. Boris Johnson raised the issue of a travel ban on the families of England’s cricketers with Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Both Prime Ministers met over dinner on a diplomatic visit to Washington DC.

Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson(Reuters: Neil Hall)
Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson(Reuters: Neil Hall)

shes though continue to be doubtful after a number of England players have raised concerns about strict quarantine protocols they are likely to be placed in for the duration of the tour. The Ashes 2021/22 comprising of 5 Tests between England and Australia is set to commence on December 8 in Brisbane.

Michael Vaughan has asked England players to pick the Ashes over the T20 World Cup as uncertainty looms over the Australia tour. Michael Vaughan has asked England’s multi-format stars to sacrifice the 2021 T20I World Cup and take the flight to Australia.

The former England captain Michael Vaughan said if players prioritize the red-ball tour over the shortest format, it will send a strong message about Test cricket’s importance.

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