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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australia Pic: Getty
Australia Pic: Getty

Australia Has Lost All Of Its Last 5 T20Is Series

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

Aaron Finch, AFP
Aaron Finch, AFP

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

Australia’s Squad For ICC T20 World Cup 2021

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

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

Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams

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

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

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

Australia’s Complete Schedule For ICC T20 World Cup 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

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

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

Tim Paine. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Tim Paine. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
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Asghar Afghan Slams Tim Paine’s Statements Of Boycotting Afghanistan

Asghar Afghan, the former Afghanistan captain slammed Australian Test captain Tim Paine for his ‘all teams should boycott’ comments at Afghanistan team ahead of the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2021, set to start from October 17 in Oman and UAE.

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

Asghar Afghan
Asghar Afghan. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Asghar Afghan Slams Tim Paine’s Statements Of Boycotting Afghanistan

After coming across Tim Paine’s harsh comments, dejected Asghar Afghan slammed the Aussie Test skipper and urged all nations to support Afghanistan and its national team.

“I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population,” Paine told on SEN radio

“We’ve heard nothing from the ICC, which is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in just over a month’s time. I’d imagine it’s impossible (for Afghanistan to take part) if teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores. How a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see,” he had said.

Tim Paine went a step further and stated that countries might consider boycotting playing against Afghanistan in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

“It’s (boycott) something that teams will discuss on the eve of that World Cup”.

Tim Paine (File Photo/CricketAustralia)
Tim Paine (File Photo/CricketAustralia)

Tim Paine, Australia Test captain said the chances of its first-ever test against Afghanistan going ahead are “not looking good” with the Taliban unwilling to let women play cricket and questioned why the game’s governing body had remained quiet on the issue.

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

Asghar Afghan Appeals To All Nations To Support Afghanistan And Asks Tim Paine To Refrain From Aggressive Statements To Isolate Afghanistan

After coming across the comments, Asghar Afghan urged Tim Paine to refrain from giving such statements and appealed to all nations to support Afghanistan and its national team. He also stated that Tim Paine made his statement without knowing the actual circumstances.

“Mr. Paine! The Afghan National Cricket Team has the right to play not only in this World Cup but in all ICC organized tournaments/events in accordance with the rules and regulations of ICC, and I’m sure that our brave National Heroes will perform their best in it and showcase their elite Talents Inshallah.

As a Sportsperson and Professional Cricketer you know that it require too much of hard work and dedication to reach this level of Cricket. For a less privileged Cricketing Nation as Afghanistan with zero infrastructure and support reaching where we are right now and playing shoulder to shoulder with top 10 countries require sheer determination, passion and talent,” said Asghar Afghan.

Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi playing for Aghanistan. Credits: Twitter
Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi playing for Afghanistan. Credits: Twitter

“Therefore, you should refrain from delivering aggressive statements which would result in isolating the Afghan Cricket. Cricket is now the No#1 Sport in Afghanistan and is being followed by nearly 30 million Afghans,” said Asghar Afghan.

He added, “This shows, either you are unaware of the circumstances or talking out of contradiction; in any case you are mistreating Afghan Cricket and all the gains we have obtained with hardship in the past decade. (Sports should be separated from politics)”

Afghanistan named its T20 World Cup squad on Thursday with Rashid Khan as the skipper, but the star spinner immediately resigned from captaincy, stating he was not consulted before picking the 15-member side. Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has been named Afghanistan skipper for the upcoming T20 World Cup after star spinner Rashid Khan stepped down from captaincy protesting the selection of the national squad without his inputs.

Afghanistan T20 Squad: Rashid Khan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Naveen ul Haq, Hamid Hassan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran, Qais Ahmed  Reserves: Afsar Zazai, Farid Ahmed Malik

ACB president Hamid Shinwari. Credits: Twitter
ACB president Hamid Shinwari. Credits: Twitter
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Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Hamid Shinwari Urged Cricket Australia To Reconsider Decision And Play

Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Hamid Shinwari has urged Cricket Australia to not isolate Afghanistan from international cricket.

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) CEO Hamid Shinwari on Friday asked Cricket Australia (CA) to reconsider its decision not to host its men’s team for a Test in November after the Taliban banned women from playing the sport, saying such a move will only isolate the strife-torn country.

Hamid Shinwari appointed new CEO of Afghanistan Cricket Board- Twitter
Hamid Shinwari appointed new CEO of Afghanistan Cricket Board- Twitter

Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Hamid Shinwari Urgest Cricket Australia To Keep The Door Open For Afghanistan

Soon after forming an interim government, the Taliban banned women from playing cricket or any others sports, casting doubts over Afghanistan men’s team Test status. As per ICC rules, all Test-playing nations must have a women’s team as well. Cricket Australia (CA) said that its men’s team’s season-opening Test against Afghanistan, slated to start on November 27 in Hobart, will be scrapped due if the Taliban doesn’t allow women in sports.

In a statement, ACB CEO Hamid Shinwari expressed “shock and immense disappointment” at the potential cancellation of the Australia-Afghanistan Test, which he described as “sudden and unexpected”. The ACB CEO said there is an alternative to cancelling this “significant, history-making Test match”. But, instead of offering any such alternative, the ACB said it is “powerless to change the culture and religious environment of Afghanistan”.

Afghanistan Test Team
Afghanistan Test Team. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“We ask Cricket Australia and the whole cricketing world to keep the door open for us, walk with us, do not isolate us and avoid penalising us for our cultural and religious environment,” Shinwari said.

“We accept that CA sees cricket as a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level’. We understand, too, why, if recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated’, CA might believe they have ‘no alternative’ but to refuse to host the scheduled test match,” he said.

Amid political uncertainties in the Asian nation, there were suspicions about the future of Afghan cricket. The Asian side played its first test match in 2018, becoming the 12th test nation. Since then, they have played 6 test matches, compiling a record of 3 wins and 3 defeats. The team won against Ireland, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe (1 Test apiece) while they lost against India, West Indies, and Zimbabwe(1 Test apiece).

Hamid Shinwari Fears That If CA Decides To Cancel The Test And Isolate The Afghanistan Team, Other Countries Will Follow Suit

Hamid Shinwari said it fears that if other Test-playing countries follow CA, then Afghanistan will be alienated from the cricket world and the game may cease to exist in the country.

“If the CA decides to cancel the test match and isolate the Afghan men’s national team, it will have no impact upon those cultural and religious values as they stand. The spokesman for the government has unequivocally stated this,” he said.

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

He said the Taliban’s diktat regarding women’s participation in cricket is not substantially different from the ACB’s cultural and religious environment during the earlier governments. He also brought the International Cricket Council into the picture.

“ICC has been aware of our cultural and religious environment and it has taken a balanced, diplomatic, sensitive and considerate approach as we have worked to develop every aspect of the game of cricket in our country despite the situations we have faced.”

“We believe that the ICC has had the forethought to recognise and accept that we have been doing all we can to grow cricket in the traditional cultural, religious and changing political environments of our country”

“The alternative to cancellation of the test match would be for CA to take the same approach as the ICC. A considered, balanced, ‘cricket diplomacy’ would be far more productive for Afghanistan and for cricket than a sudden knee jerk’ reaction,” he added.

The Asian side is scheduled to play Australia in a solitary Test match in November, in what could be their first Test against one of the strongest nations in the world at Blundstone Arena in Hobart. The match will be played between November 27 to December 1 in Hobart.

Tim Paine. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Tim Paine. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
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Teams Could Boycott Afghanistan At The ICC T20 World Cup 2021, Says Tim Paine

Tim Paine, Australia Test captain said the chances of its first-ever test against Afghanistan going ahead are “not looking good” with the Taliban unwilling to let women play cricket and questioned why the game’s governing body had remained quiet on the issue.

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

Tim Paine (File Photo/CricketAustralia)
Tim Paine (File Photo/CricketAustralia)

Tim Paine Stresses That To Be A Test Playing Nation One Has To Field An International Women’s Team Too According To ICC’s Guidelines

Tim Paine also highlighted the International Cricket Council’s continued silence given that Afghanistan is due to take part in the Twenty20 World Cup, which starts from October 17 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

“(The Hobart test) is not looking good, we are in a world of trouble no doubt about that, but the reasoning around it is probably fair enough,” Paine said on SEN radio.

“There are probably two levels to it. There’s the cricketing aspect to it from an ICC point of view that to be a test-playing nation you have to have an international women’s team, obviously with the Taliban at the moment banning women from playing any sport and that has implications at an ICC level.”

Afghanistan Test team
Afghanistan Test team

“Secondly from a female, human rights point of view, excluding half of your population from trying to do something is not on. I don’t think we want to be associated with countries that are taking things or opportunities off literally half of their population.”

Australia Test captain Tim Paine said Friday he believes teams could pull out of next month’s Twenty20 World Cup or boycott playing Afghanistan over the Taliban’s reported ban on women participating in sport. The International Cricket Council has yet to decide how to deal with the regime’s stance on women and the Afghan men’s team is still scheduled to play the event from October 17-November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

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

Tim Paine Finds It Strange As Nothing Is Heard From ICC Despite 2021 T20I WC Being A Month Or So Away

Tim Paine said he could not see how Afghanistan can be allowed to play in an ICC event under the current circumstances. Australia’s Test captain was fully supportive of Cricket Australia’s decision to signal the cancellation of the Hobart match

“At this stage, we have heard from Cricket Australia, we’ve heard from the Australian government, we’ve heard from the Australian Cricketers Association,” Paine said.

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

“But as yet we’ve heard nothing from the ICC, which I think is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in a month’s time and at the moment Afghanistan is in that. It will be interesting to see what happens in that space.

“Does the team get kicked out of the World Cup? I imagine it will be impossible if teams are pulling out against playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores, then how a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see.”

Cricket Australia (CA) all but confirmed on Thursday its men’s season-opening Test against Afghanistan, slated to start November 27, will be scrapped because of the Taliban’s ban on women’s sport.

Tim Paine backed the governing body’s strong stance, adding the relative silence from the ICC was “fascinating” and he can’t see how Afghanistan can be allowed to compete in next month’s T20 World Cup.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
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Ramiz Raja All Set To Be The New Chairman Of Pakistan Cricket Board

Ramiz Raja is all set to be the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The decision follows a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who gave the go-ahead for the change of guard at the PCB. Ramiz Raja will replace Ehsan Mani once the succession process is complete.

Both Ramiz Raja and Ehsan Mani met the Prime Minister on Monday (August 23) afternoon. After the meeting Ramiz Raja, a former Pakistan captain said that he had given Imran Khan his plans and the PM will make a call and decided to wait to hear from the PM’s office. Eventually, the decision was made three days later.

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja will meet with Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan today to discuss his probable appointment as chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Ehsan Mani's tenure ends.
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja met with Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan to discuss his probable appointment as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after Ehsan Mani’s tenure ends.

Ramiz Raja All Set To Be the New Chairman Of The Pakistan Cricket Board

Ramiz Raja confirmed that he has accepted the job as an official of the PCB confirmed that Ehsan Mani was no longer chairman of the board as his tenure ended on August 25.

“The aim is to reset Pakistan cricket’s GPS and will be in pursuit of excellence,” Raja, who was also a Chief Executive Officer of PCB said on Thursday (August 26).

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

Meanwhile, Imran Khan is understood to have asked Ehsan Mani – whose three-year term ended on Wednesday – to ensure a smooth transition of power. Ramiz Raja, a member of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan team under Imran Khan’s leadership, has played 57 Tests and 198 ODIs from which he scored a total of 8674 international runs with 53 fifties and 11 hundred.

Ehsan Mani, 76 Years Old, Is Seen As Too Old For The Job As Chairman

Ehsan Mani (76), an experienced hand in cricket administration, both at the PCB and the International Cricket Council (ICC), was seen as too old for the job, which necessitated high amounts of energy, particularly at the ICC forum, where the PCB is left with very few friends.
Also, Ehsan Mani’s constant posturing against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), a powerful body at the ICC, did not leave him with too many friends in India. On the other hand, Ramiz Raja has no shortage of friends in India, which is an advantage for him.
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)

However, Ramiz Raja’s appointment will entail a bit of a process. His name first will be forwarded to the Board of Governors of the PCB, being one of the two nominees. Following this, there could be an election if another BoG member wants to contest, but normally, a PM’s nominee is unlikely to meet any resistance.

When nominated by Imran Khan three years ago, Ehsan Mani was elected unopposed. In the same way, Ramiz Raja should find his way to the top position. The second member to be nominated by the Prime Minister is believed to be a noted businessman – Asad Ali Khan. There are seven on the BOG currently – four independent directors, CEO (Wasim Khan), and two nominees of the Prime Minister.

Ramiz Raja is a former chief executive of the PCB and had been in the hot seat when India’s revival tour of Pakistan took place in 2004. Shahryar Khan had been the chairman then. It will be the first time that two former captains are in charge of India and Pakistan’s cricket boards. Sourav Ganguly has been BCCI president since October 2019.

New Zealand and England are slated to tour Pakistan later this year. Ramiz Raja had said that the Babar Azam-led Pakistan side remains highly inconsistent and their ranking in all three formats reflects that they cannot make it to the finals of major tournaments.

Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
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ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 Schedule Released, To Commence From October 17

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman will get underway from 17 October, with the Final to be played in Dubai on 14 November. The ICC announced the fixtures for the marquee tournament ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on Tuesday, 17 August.

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will begin with the Round 1 Group B encounter between hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea at 2 pm local time on 17 October, with Scotland and Bangladesh, the other teams in Group B, clashing in the evening match at 6 pm.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 Schedule Announced, Will See England, Australia, South Africa, And West Indies In Group 1

Ireland, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, and Namibia – making up Group A – will be in action in Abu Dhabi the next day, with Round 1 matches running till 22 October. The top two teams in each group will proceed to the Super12 stage of the tournament, beginning on 23 October.  The second round of the tournament – the Super12 stage – will get underway in Abu Dhabi on 23 October, with the Group 1 contest between Australia and South Africa.

West Indies and Australia
West Indies and Australia (Image Source: Twitter)

This will be followed up with an evening clash between England and West Indies in Dubai. Old rivals England and Australia will lock horns in Dubai on 30 October. The group will conclude on 6 November with matches between Australia and West Indies in Abu Dhabi, and England and South Africa in Sharjah.

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will start a few days after the IPL final, which is likely to be held on October 15. The remainder of IPL 2021 will also be played in the UAE, starting September 19.

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 Will See Pakistan And India High Voltage Clash On 24th October

India, the 2007 World T20 winners, have been placed in Group 2 alongside Pakistan, Afghanistan, and New Zealand. They will be joined by two teams from the qualifiers stage. Group 2 will commence with a heavyweight clash between India and Pakistan in Dubai on 24 October at 6 pm local time. Pakistan then takes on New Zealand in Sharjah on 26 October, in a tough start for the 2009 champions.

Afghanistan begins its campaign on 25 October at Sharjah, taking on the winners of Group B from the first round. The group will conclude on 8 November, with India taking on the second-placed Round 1 qualifier from Group A.

The first semi-final of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held in Abu Dhabi on 10 November at 6 pm local time. The second semi-final will be hosted by Dubai on 11 November. Both semi-finals have reserve days. The marquee clash of the tournament will take place in Dubai at 6 pm local time on 14 November, Sunday, with Monday acting as the reserve day for the final.

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

It’s been five years since the last T20I World Cup. The world has undergone massive change since 2016 when West Indies became the first-ever team to win two T20 World Cups. The marquee event was to be held last year too (in Australia) but for the coronavirus pandemic that made it nearly impossible for a tournament of that profile to be held under the circumstances.

ICC after holding discussions with its stakeholders arrived at the decision that the 2020 edition will now be held in 2022 in Australia but the 2021 edition will remain in India. But the global body stumbled upon another roadblock. The coronavirus pandemic continued to rage with India one of the worst affected countries. Again, the stakeholders met and eventually decided to shift the venue to Oman and UAE but the hosting rights remained with BCCI.

Here’s a full list of Indian fixtures at ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

#October 24, 2021: vs Pakistan, Dubai (7:30 PM IST)

#October 31, 2021: vs New Zealand, Dubai (7:30 PM IST)

#November 3, 2021: vs Afghanistan, Dubai (7:30 PM IST)

#November 5, 2021: vs Qualifier (B1), Dubai (7:30 PM IST)

#November 8: vs Qualifier (A2), Dubai (7:30 PM IST)

India Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP
India Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP
/

Once Cricket Is Added In The Olympics India Will Participate: Jay Shah

Jay Shah, Indian cricket board secretary confirms BCCI’s support for cricket’s Olympic entry in 2028. From a solitary two-day fixture between Great Britain and France in the 1900 Olympics, prospects of cricket’s inclusion as an 8-team medal sport for men and women in Los Angeles 2028 have brightened.

The International Cricket Council (ICC)’s proposal to introduce cricket as an Olympic sport in 2028 has been placed before the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Importantly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s reluctance to join the Olympic movement is now a thing of the past.
Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes
Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes

Jay Shah: Once Cricket Is Added In The Olympics, India Will Participate

As India’s unprecedented journey in the Olympics comes to an end with India winning 7 medals, the cricket-crazy country still awaits re-entry of the sport in the Olympics, where it last featured in 1900 and didn’t involve India which was yet to be an independent country and was under British rule.

“Once cricket is added in the Olympics, India will be participating,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said. “The BCCI and the ICC are on the same page as far as participation in the Olympics is concerned.”
Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC)
The BCCI in its Apex Council meeting in April had given a conditional nod to send a team for the 2028 edition if its autonomy wasn’t disturbed and there was no interference from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The BCCI, IOA, and government though are working in sync.

While cricket has been a part of the Commonwealth Games in the past, the last time it had featured in Olympics was over 120 years ago, in the year 1900. Talks between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been taking place since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Cricket had previously featured in the 1900 Paris Olympics. After Belgium and Netherlands pulled out, only one match in the tournament, the final, took place which saw Great Britain defeat France by 158 runs. However, cricket was never played again in the international Games.

It culminated in the formation of ICC’s Olympic Committee last year which fueled hopes for the addition of the game to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The Indian cricket board pledged Rs. 10 crores to assist the Tokyo-bound Indian contingent’s marketing budget. They also announced a cash prize totalling Rs. 4 crores for the seven medal winners on Saturday.

Jay Shah announced a Rs 1 crore cash reward for star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra after his historic gold medal-winning feat in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. Jay Shah also announced that Indian athletes Mirabai Chanu and Ravi Dahiya who have won silver medals in the Games will get Rs 50 lakh each from BCCI.

Jay Shah said BCCI will give Rs 25 lakh each to bronze medal winners — shuttler PV Sindhu, boxer Lovlina Borgohain and wrestler Bajrang Punia. Also, the Indian men’s hockey team will get Rs 1.25 crore for their sensational show which saw them claiming a medal after 41 years in the sport, said Jay Shah.

BCCI Happy To Work Together With The Government And Help Increase India’s Medal Chances

The ICC, which has 92 Associate members but only 12 members play Test cricket, has been slow on the Olympics front. Many of the top Test nations have in the past have had an insular view of safeguarding their playing window and TV rights revenue and resisting cricket’s entry into the Olympics.

Now, with an agreement amongst most leading cricket boards, it has been in constant talks with IOC and an Olympics committee formed for the purpose. With a nudge from the government to increase India’s medal prospects, the BCCI administration has also switched its stance.

“The BCCI is more than happy to work together with the government and help increase India’s medal chances,” a BCCI official said.

Cricket has been added as a discipline in the 2022 Commonwealth Games (Birmingham, July-Aug). There’s cricket in the 2022 Asian Games (Hangzhou, September) too.

With the cricket calendar congested with ICC events, bilateral cricket, and franchise leagues, finding a window for each of these games consistently may become a challenge. That is why the Commonwealth Games will only have women’s cricket. The Olympics, it is learned, will require the participation of men and women.

Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022
Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022

T20 has emerged as the format of choice despite some Associate nations championing the introduction of T10. The English cricket board has explored the prospects of taking the Hundred-ball format to the Olympics, riding on its newly launched league. With neither format having international status, ICC is expected to start with T20Is.

With the Olympics fever high, the Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Jay Shah has confirmed that the Indian cricket team will take part in the Olympics if the sport is added to the Games. It is reported that it will be an 8-team event for both men’s and women’s teams. However, the India Olympic Committee should not have any issue with BCCI participating in the events and the Indian board will also need the support of the government.

Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
/

T20 World Cup 2021 Draws To Be Announced On 16th July

T20 World Cup 2021 will begin on October 17 in the Middle East. The draws for the marquee event will be announced in a ceremony held in Oman on Friday 16th July. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and board secretary Jay Shah will be attending the event.

The much-awaited draws for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 to be held in the UAE will be announced on Friday 16th July. The announcement will be made in a ceremony attended by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, board secretary Jay Shah and other ICC officials at around 3:30 pm.

Sourav Ganguly (BCCI president), Manu Sawhney (ICC chief executive) and Jay Shah (BCCI secretary) pose with the T20 World Cup International Cricket Council
Sourav Ganguly (BCCI president), Manu Sawhney (ICC chief executive) and Jay Shah (BCCI secretary) pose with the T20 World Cup International Cricket Council

T20 World Cup 2021 Draws To Be Announced On 16th July

The exact match schedule will take another week to finalize but the groups will be announced as it will be interesting to see if arch-rivals India and Pakistan, who won the first 2 editions of the tournament, are paired in the same group. Notably, the showpiece event was shifted from India to UAE and Oman in the wake of the coronavirus situation in the country.

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

However, the BCCI will remain the hosts of the event, which will now be held across four venues- Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground. The first round of the tournament, comprising the eight qualifying teams, will now be split between Oman and UAE. Four of these teams will then progress to the Super 12s round where they’ll join the eight automatic qualifiers.

T20 World Cup 2021 Will Take Place 5 Years After The Last One Was Won By West Indies In 2016

The upcoming edition will be the first Men’s T20 World Cup played since 2016 when defending champions West Indies beat England in the final in India. The 8 teams competing in the preliminary stage are Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, and Papua New Guinea, before the play-off stage and the final on November 14.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

Indian teams and players from other countries are expected to land in UAE from September to participate in the IPL 2021. The BCCI is also set to host the remaining matches- the second half of the IPL 2021 in the Gulf nation. The corona-hit season is believed to resume from the third week and end just before the start of the T20 World Cup 2021. The last Test match between India and England is scheduled to be held in Manchester from September 10 to 14.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the 2020 release of the T20 World Cup 2021 that should be held in Australia being delayed to 2022. The T20 World Cup 2021 will be facilitated in the UAE from October 17, with the final planned on November 14.

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