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Sam Curran

Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
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Chennai Super Kings Retains Moeen Ali For INR 8 Crore As He Agreed To Stay With CSK Irrespective Of Retention Amount

Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan revealed that Moeen Ali was keen on staying with the defending champions for IPL 2022, saying that the England all-rounder had told them that he was not even thinking about playing for any other franchise amid retention talks.

Chennai Super Kings retained Moeen Ali for INR 8 crore. The England all-rounder played a key role in helping MS Dhoni’s men win their 4th IPL trophy in the UAE earlier this year.

Moeen Ali was retained by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 8 crore (Courtesy of BCCI)
Moeen Ali was retained by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 8 crore (Courtesy of BCCI)

Chennai Super Kings Retains Moeen Ali Who Wanted To Play For CSK Irrespective Of Retention Amount

All 8 existing franchises announced their list of retained players on November 30 ahead of the mega auction for IPL 2022. Chennai Super Kings retained Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, and Ruturaj Gaikwad in that order. Ravindra Jadeja has been retained for Rs 16 crore, while MS Dhoni took home Rs 12 crore. Moeen Ali was retained for Rs 8 crore, while Ruturaj Gaikwad bagged Rs 6 crore.

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

Notably, CSK had bought Moeen Ali for Rs 7 crore at the auction ahead of IPL 2021. The England star played a crucial role in helping CSK win their 4th title as he hit 357 runs and picked up 6 wickets in 15 matches.

“When we spoke to Moeen first, he said he has been overwhelmed with the offer which was made and he said he has not thought of any other franchise at all. That was his reaction immediately and he said ‘whether I am one, two, three or four (retention number), I don’t mind, I will be there. So was the case with Rutu (Ruturaj),” Kasi Viswanathan told CSK’s official website.

“We always had a feeling that he will be a very useful all-rounder for us especially when we play in India. We were able to get him only last year. So it is good that he came in and was able to perform under the captaincy of MS (Dhoni),” he added.

Moeen Ali was a key member of the CSK squad, which won another IPL title in 2021. The English all-rounder played several cameos for the Yellow Army at the top of the order and also chipped in with crucial breakthroughs every now and then. CSK had bought Moeen Ali for Rs 7 crore at the auction ahead of IPL 2021.

MS Dhoni Also Took A Pay Cut

MS Dhoni also took a pay cut after confirming that he would continue playing for CSK and wanted to have his farewell game in Chennai. It remains to be seen if MS Dhoni will play the whole of IPL 2022.

Stressing that Dhoni will continue to play an integral role for CSK, Viswanathan added: “As all of you know, Thala has been the mainstay of CSK. He has been a captain who has delivered for the franchise and he has got the best out of the team any time he has played.”

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

“As far as we are concerned, Thala plays a major role because he controls the team and the team has benefited by his experience, and nobody can doubt his skill as a captain.”

After failing to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in the tournament’s history in 2020, CSK made a brilliant comeback in 2021 – where they not only became the first team to qualify for the play-offs but also defeated Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to clinch another IPL title.

MS Dhoni did not have a good run with the bat, but he remains to be one of the wisest skippers and continues to play an integral role for CSK. The defending champions Chennai Super Kings have retained Ravindra Jadeja (16 crores), MS Dhoni (12 crores), Moeen Ali (8 crores), and Ruturaj Gaikwad (6 crores). This leaves INR 48 Cr with the yellow brigade to spend in the IPL 2022 mega auctions.

The likes of Dwayne Bravo, Faf Du Plessis, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Suresh Raina were released by CSK. MS Dhoni scored exactly 200 runs in IPL 2020, averaging a below-par 25 while managing only 114 runs in IPL 2021 in 16 games averaging a dismal 16.28.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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MS Dhoni Not Keen To Be Chennai Super Kings’ 1st Retention In IPL 2022

MS Dhoni is reportedly not keen to be the first pick of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2022. MS Dhoni wants the franchise to prioritize other players who deserve to earn more than him as he is nearing the fag end of his illustrious career, having already retired from international cricket.

The final phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction had fans wondering whether they had seen MS Dhoni’s last. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper left the question unanswered as IPL’s season 14 concluded, but reports suggest that the franchise has retained him ahead of the IPL 2022 auction. However, the order of his retention isn’t confirmed yet.

Chennai Super Kings has won the IPL title 4 times under MS Dhoni's captaincy (File photo: PTI)
Chennai Super Kings has won the IPL title 4 times under MS Dhoni’s captaincy (File photo: PTI)

MS Dhoni Expressed Skepticism Over Retention By CSK In IPL 2022

MS Dhoni is no longer the player he used to be. Having retired from international cricket in 2020, the wicket-keeper batsman is only playing IPL when it comes to professional cricket. With the IPL 2022 season set to witness a mega auction, MS Dhoni himself had expressed skepticism over his retention, considering the franchise will only be able to keep hold of a maximum of 4 players.

As per a report, Chennai’s top priority remains MS Dhoni despite the fact that his prowess with the bat is nowhere near what it used to be a few years ago. However, the Ranchi-born wicket-keeper batsman doesn’t want to be CSK’s top pick as that would see him earning the most money. Instead, he wants the management to prefer another player who is worthy of being their top-earning player.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

It has to be noted that if CSK is retaining a total of 4 players, their top pick will earn a whopping INR 16 crore. The franchise, reportedly, doesn’t mind retaining MS Dhoni for the price, thinking if he retires after IPL 2022 season, it will have a bigger purse for the IPL 2023 season.

The No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 picks will earn INR 12cr, 8cr, and 6cr, respectively. While skipper MS Dhoni is the franchise’s No. 1 priority, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad are next on the list.

Chennai Super Kings Can Retain Only One Of Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, Dwayne Bravo, And Faf du Plessis

From the overseas lot, Chennai Super Kings has its eyes on Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, Dwayne Bravo as well as Faf du Plessis. However, only one of them can be retained.

The chances of Moeen Ali and Sam Curran staying at the franchise are higher considering they both are all-rounders and have contributed significantly towards CSK’s success in the recent past. The Chennai Super Kings are also expected to target those they fail to retain in the auction.

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

The now 40-year-old MS Dhoni started his T20I career, guiding Team India to glory in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, a year before IPL started. Thereafter, he helped his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings win the Indian Premier League four times and the Champions League T20 a couple of times as well.

MS Dhoni scored exactly 200 runs in IPL 2020, averaging a below-par 25 while managing only 114 runs in IPL 2021 in 16 games averaging a dismal 16.28. His strike rate was also below 120 both times. MS Dhoni still remains the only skipper to win all 3 ICC titles the inaugural T20I World Cup (2007), the 50 overs ODI World Cup after a hiatus of 28 years (2011), and the Champions Trophy (2013).

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2022: Sanju Samson Retained, KL Rahul Set To Leave Punjab Kings, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad To Be Retained By CSK

Sanju Samson is the first player Rajasthan Royals have retained for IPL 2022. The 27-year old will continue as captain after agreeing to an INR 14 crore per season contract this week. Sanju Samson, it is learned, was first on the list of players Rajasthan Royals wanted to keep before the retention window for IPL 2022 closes on November 30.
The frontrunners for the remaining three slots (in no particular order) are – wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler, fast bowler Jofra Archer, allrounder Liam Livingstone – and uncapped opener Yashasvi Jaiswal.
IPL 2022: Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram
Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram

IPL 2022: Sanju Samson Retained By Rajasthan Royals; Chennai Super Kings May Retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ruturaj Gaikwad; KL Rahul Set To Leave Punjab Kings

Sanju Samson joined Rajasthan Royals in 2018 for INR 8 crore. Sanju Samson was elevated to the captaincy last season and though he couldn’t take the team into the playoffs he still finished IPL 2021 with 484 runs at a strike rate of 137.  Ben Stokes (INR 12.5 crore), Jofra Archer (INR 7.2 crore), and Jos Buttler (INR 4.4 crore) also cost the Rajasthan Royals big money but they’ve been big-impact players. Jofra Archer even won Player of the Tournament in 2020 but had to sit this year out due to injury.

Even as the first deadline for the retentions is approaching, the franchises are in talks with players in a bid to get their preferred personnel. BCCI authorities have also been apprised of this. The eight existing IPL teams have November 30 to decide their retentions and already speculations are rife as to who is being retained or discarded.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rishabh Pant is set to stay on as captain of the Delhi Capitals while KL Rahul is all set to leave Punjab Kings and one of the new franchises, most likely Lucknow, could rope him in.

Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya may be approached by the new Ahmedabad franchise if they don’t figure in the Mumbai Indians’ retention list. Shreyas Iyer, it is learned, will prefer to be in the auction pool rather than being retained while Shikhar Dhawan, too, is one of the players hotly pursued by the two new teams.

The other big retention talk is that some players are unwilling to stay with a few franchises and the management also is not exactly fretting over it. The franchises would rather go in with a full purse and buy afresh. Others, depending on the number of their retentions, will have fewer funds.

Besides MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings is likely to retain Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad. One of Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Faf du Plessis will be their choice for the foreign player retention, with the franchise confirming that skipper MS Dhoni will have the final say on that matter. A top CSK official said that the franchise will try hard to buy back the players in the auction they fail to retain.

Mumbai Indians Pondering To Retain Kieron Pollard While Royal Challengers Bangalore Yet To Decide Their Skipper; Sunrisers Hyderabad Is Negotiating With Spinner Rashid Khan  To Retain Him

Mumbai Indians could retain Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan apart from Rohit Sharma but the internal debate for the five-time champions is on Kieron Pollard who is being seen as retention material. MI is unlikely to let him go.

Apart from Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, and Anrich Nortje or Kagiso Rabada are said to be on the Delhi Capitals retention list. The big debate in their camp is around pacer Avesh Khan, who has done well in IPL 2021. Having still not played for India, he could come for just Rs 4 crore, the price tag for an uncapped player.

Besides, Virat Kohli, the others in the retention list of Royal Challengers Bangalore could be opener Devdutt Paddikal, spinner Yuzvendra Chahal or pacer Mohammed Siraj, besides big-hitting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. The point to ponder for them is who will be their skipper. With KL Rahul unlikely to be available in the auction, they need a quality player to step into the shoes of Virat Kohli, who has given up captaincy.

Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021[photo: Twitter]

Sunrisers Hyderabad could end up with only one retention in Kane Williamson, who is set to continue as their captain as well. The second retention could be spinner Rashid Khan, who has the best economy rate in IPL history but it is understood that a hard bargain is ongoing between the two parties.

Negotiations are also underway between Rashid Khan and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Afghanistan leggie, one of the best T20 bowlers in the world, wants to be retained as the No. 1 player in IPL 2022 and the franchise may want to give that privilege to Kane Williamson, one of the most revered captains in world cricket. For the record, the difference between the two positions is Rs 4 crore (more than half a million dollars).

Punjab Kings may retain a couple of uncapped players like Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh for IPL 2022. Shahrukh Khan, who recently smashed a last-ball six in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 final, is also on that radar too.

The frontline choices of Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2022 seem to be Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, whom the franchise has taken much care of. The likes of Shubman Gill and big-hitting Andre Russell follow while IPL 2021 UAE leg sensation Venkatesh Iyer is a dark horse to be retained.

For existing teams, the deadline for retentions for IPL 2022 is until November 30. For the two new teams, the timeline to pick their players is from December 1-25. The 8 existing teams will first get the opportunity to retain a maximum of four players – not more than three Indians and not more than two foreigners.

Thereafter, the two new teams will be able to pick a maximum of three players – not more than two Indians and not more than one foreignerbefore the mega auctions. Rs. 90 Crores is what the 10 teams have but deductions will apply based on the number of retentions.

In case of 4 retentions, Rs 42 crore will be cut from the funds, Rs 33 crore in case of 3 retentions, Rs 24 crore if there are 2 retentions, and only Rs 14 crore if a team keeps only one player. However, if a franchisee pays any player(s) more than the suggested slab (they are permitted to), then the difference is deductible from the franchise’s purse.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni For Next 3 IPL Seasons As Franchises Decide On Player Retentions For IPL 2022

Chennai Super Kings are likely to retain their longstanding captain MS Dhoni for the next three Indian Premier League seasons. Apart from MS Dhoni, the franchise Chennai Super Kings is set to retain all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad-the top run-getter in IPL 2021, who played crucial roles as Chennai Super Kings won the 2021 IPL title.

As per BCCI rules, each team is allowed to retain a maximum of four players. Chennai Super Kings is also in talks with England all-rounder Moeen Ali to come on board. As BCCI secretary Jay Shah had stated that the next season of IPL 2022 will be played in India, CSK feels Moeen Ali could be a handy player on the slow, turning Chennai wicket.

Chennai Super Kings' Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Chennai Super Kings’ Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle

Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad And Moeen Ali Or Sam Curran

If Moeen Ali doesn’t agree to stay, Chennai Super Kings will have left-arm medium-pacer Sam Curran as their fourth retained player. The franchises have to submit their lists of retained players by November 30 and the IPL 2022 will have its mega auction next month.

Chennai Super Kings retaining MS Dhoni wouldn’t come as a surprise, especially with the brand value he brings to the team. At a recent Chennai Super Kings event, MS Dhoni had confirmed that his last T20 game will be in Chennai, putting his IPL retirement speculations to bed.

“I have always planned my cricket. My last ODI in India was in Ranchi. Hopefully, my last T20 will be in Chennai. Whether it’s next year or in five years’ time, I don’t know,” Dhoni had said.

Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL
Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL

Chennai Super Kings are also likely not to retain Suresh Raina for the first time. The former India batsman has been out of touch and didn’t play crucial knockout IPL games. Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals are set to retain wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw and pacer Anrich Nortje. Shreyas Iyer was released since he wanted to lead Delhi Capitals, but the franchise was keen to have Rishabh Pant as their leader going ahead.

However, most franchises will be following the tactic of not retaining four players as this could lead to stress on their purse during the auction. It is understood that Mumbai Indians will retain Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. While negotiations with their West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard are still on, the franchise wants to buy Suryakumar Yadav from the auction pool and chances of Ishan Kishan being retained are also bright.

KL Rahul Has Parted Ways With Punjab Kings And Will Likely Lead Lucknow Franchise

Two new teams Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG group and CVC Capitals (though they haven’t been given the green signal yet from the board), have begun approaching a few top Indian players. India opener KL Rahul is likely to lead Sanjeev Goenka’s new Lucknow team. KL Rahul, who was signed by PBKS for Rs 11 crore at the IPL 2018 auction, will reportedly spearhead the new Lucknow franchise in the IPL 2022.

It is learnt KL Rahul has parted ways with Punjab Kings and has accepted Sanjeev Goenka’s offer. It is also learnt that Suryakumar Yadav was approached by the new franchise, but the batsman hasn’t responded yet.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders are likely to retain their two all-rounders, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, while they want to keep Varun Chakravarty too. However, it is learnt that KKR is still deciding on whether to retain Shubman Gill or Venkatesh Iyer.

Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra opined that RCB will retain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, and Devdutt Padikkal. However, he excluded pacer Harshal Patel, who was the Purple Cap winner in IPL 2021 and inconsistent big-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell.

Players Likely To Be Retained:

CSK: MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali/ Sam Curran , Ruturaj Gaikwad

KKR: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill/Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy

RCB: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Yuzvendra Chahal

DC: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan/Axar Patel

RR: Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler

SRH: Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow/Kane Williamson

MI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard

PBKS: KL Rahul (if he agrees to stay), Mayank Agarwal, Ravi Bishnoi

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)
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Chris Silverwood Won’t Pressurize England All-rounder Ben Stokes To Feature In The Ashes 2021/22

Following the Ashes squad announcement, Chris Silverwood, England head coach, and selector shared an update on all-rounder Ben Stokes’ return. England’s full-strength 17-man squad highlights the absence of star all-rounder Ben Stokes as he continues his break from cricket to focus on his mental health. Ben Stokes is also yet to fully recover from an injury to his finger.

The all-rounder was already likely to miss the Ashes 2021/22 tour as he and England had not revealed any information about his return to cricket following his break. Additionally, Ben Stokes recently underwent a second surgery on his broken finger. As a result, Ben Stokes had decided not to take part in the England-India Test series, the second half of IPL 2021 at UAE, T20I World Cup, and Ashes to prioritize his mental wellbeing over cricket.

Ben Stokes Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Ben Stokes Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Chris Silverwood Won’t Pressurize Ben Stokes To Feature In The Ashes 2021/22

When Chris Silverwood was asked whether Ben Stokes could join the squad later, he remained uncertain. In a virtual conference clip uploaded by the ECB, Chris Silverwood said he would not rush Ben Stokes’ comeback. The head coach Chris Silverwood claimed his priority is to allow the all-rounder a complete recovery to be able to perform well after returning.

“I’m gonna go back to my old answer. I’m seriously not going to put any pressure on Ben whatsoever. Ben will come back when he is ready, he’ll give me a call. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to make plans when necessary. But first and foremost, my first intent is to make sure he’s okay from a well-being point of view when he is back to perform, ” said Chris Silverwood.

Chris Silverwood Getty Images
Chris Silverwood Getty Images

Ben Stokes has been on an indefinite break from cricket since August. As a result, the 30-year old will miss the T20 World Cup and most probably the Ashes. However, the recovery period for his finger injury means Ben Stokes will likely return during England’s tour of the West Indies in early 2022.

Ben Stokes To Miss Second Consecutive Ashes

His performance in the 2019 Ashes in England was remarkable, helping the hosts settle for a 2-2 draw. He amassed 441 runs in 5 innings averaging 55.13, which included 2 tons. Ben Stokes’ heroics in the final of World Cup 2019, where he scored 84 runs, helping England win their maiden 50-over World Cup title, is still fresh in every English fan’s memory.
England's Ben Stokes
England’s Ben Stokes — AFP

Ben Stokes broke his hand, taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the now-suspended Indian Premier League 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger. As a result, he missed the 2 Tests against New Zealand, while his last Test came against India in March 2021. Ben Stokes averages 37.05 in 71 Tests, where he amassed 4631 runs with 10 tons and has also taken 163 scalps averaging 31.38 with the ball in hand.

Ben Stokes and Sam Curran missed out, but seamer Stuart Broad was included despite the calf injury he picked up in the Test series against India. Fast bowler Jofra Archer was also unavailable after he suffered a recurrence of a stress fracture in his elbow, and Olly Stone was ruled out with a back injury. Moeen Ali had retired from Tests.

England’s full squad for The Ashes: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England, PTI
England, PTI
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England Picked A Relatively Predictable Squad For The Ashes 2021/22: Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain, the former England cricketer, said England has not taken any risks selecting the Australia-bound squad and picked a relatively predictable squad for the upcoming Ashes 2021/22 on Australian soil. On Sunday, October 10, the Three Lions England named a 17-member team for the five-match Test series, starting December 8 with the opening game at The Gabba in Brisbane.

One of England’s prolific captains, Nasser Hussain, said that the visitors could have gone in with fast bowler Saqib Mahmood and leg-spinner Matt Parkinson or Mason Crane. Saqib Mahmood has already played limited-overs cricket for the national team and conjured praises for bowling well against Pakistan earlier this year.

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

Nasser Hussain: Surprised To See Saqib Mahmood And Matt Parkinson Overlooked

Nasser Hussain said that Saqib Mahmood would have been a perfect fit after Jofra Archer and Olly Stone missed the bus due to injuries sustained. The veteran former batsman and commentator said that the Three Lions could have picked a leg-spinner to add variety in their bowling attack.

“England have picked a very predictable Ashes squad, avoiding selecting any uncapped players and refusing to take any kind of risk. The two surprises for me were overlooking Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson.”

Saqib Mahmood AFP via Getty Images
Saqib Mahmood AFP via Getty Images

“Saqib would have given a different element to the attack in Australian conditions with his skiddy reverse swing, in the absence of Jofra Archer and Olly Stone’s pace,” Hussain wrote on Daily Mail.

“And I would have gone for Parkinson’s leg-spin instead of Dom Bess. I would have liked a bit of wrist spin available to me as captain — if not Parkinson, then Mason Crane,” he stated.

Saqib Mahmood claimed nine wickets at 13.66 in England’s 3-0 series win in the ODIs against Pakistan in July, after being called up as part of an emergency squad following a Covid outbreak in England’s original party, and retained his place for the subsequent T20I series, where he picked up a further four wickets at 28.00.

The squad has a tried and trusted feel, with no uncapped test players selected. That means potential selections such as Lancashire trio Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, and Saqib Mahmood have all been overlooked.

Nasser Hussain Would’ve Selected Liam Livingstone

Nasser Hussain also said that he would’ve selected Liam Livingstone, who has already scored a T20I century out of 11 international games. As per Nasser Hussain, the right-handed batter exudes confidence similar to that of Kevin Pietersen and Ben Stokes. He has played 3 ODIs and 8 T20Is in his brief international career, amassing 278 runs.

“I’d also have taken a punt on Liam Livingstone, an in-your-face, confident cricketer in the mould of Kevin Pietersen and Ben Stokes. He’s someone who could take the attack to the opposition from his natural, middle-order position,” Hussain added.

Nasser Hussain also feared that all-rounder Ben Stokes’ absence will give England massive headaches regarding setting the right combinations. The Brits haven’t won a Test match in Australia since 2011, and it will need an arduous task for them to turn over the hosts in their own den.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

England have named their strongest available squad for the Ashes tour to Australia as all-rounders. Ben Stokes and Sam Curran missed out, but seamer Stuart Broad was included despite the calf injury he picked up in the Test series against India. Ben Stokes was unavailable as he continues his indefinite break to focus on his mental health while recovering from a second operation on a broken finger.

Sam Curran was omitted due to a stress fracture in his lower back. There were no uncapped players in the 17-member squad, including recalls for batsman Zak Crawley and spinner Dom Bess. Fast bowler Jofra Archer was also unavailable after he suffered a recurrence of a stress fracture in his elbow, and Olly Stone was ruled out with a back injury. Moeen Ali had retired from Tests.

England’s full squad for The Ashes: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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Barmy Army Planning To Go Down Under As 15,000 England Fans Are On Waiting List For Ashes

Barmy Army, the England cricket team’s fan club, is planning to go Down Under in droves, with reports suggesting that 15,000 are on the waiting list. The development followed the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) “conditional approval” to the Joe Root-led side to tour Australia for the Ashes this December.

Despite Australia’s stringent Covid-19 protocols and quarantine rules — the sore point among England players before the issue was resolved by the ECB and Cricket Australia recently — the Barmy Army is expected to have a significant presence during the fourth and fifth Tests in January.

England players applauded the Barmy Army before leaving the field. (Photo Source: Twitter)
England players applauded the Barmy Army before leaving the field. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Barmy Army Planning To Go Down Under

At first, the Barmy Army was an informal group, which was later turned into a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. The company provides tickets and arranges touring parties to follow the English cricket team in the UK and overseas. The name is also applied to team followers who join in with match day activities in the crowd, but do not necessarily travel as part of an organized tour.

The Australian media gave the group’s name during the 1994–95 Test series in Australia, reportedly for the fans’ hopeless audacity in travelling all the way to Australia in the near-certain knowledge that their team would lose and the fact that they kept on chanting encouragement to the England team even when England was losing quite badly. Paul Burnham co-founded it.

“The overseas touring group, formed as a result of the mockery they received in the Australian media on the 1994-95 trip, have over 15,000 England supporters on the waiting list for travel packages this winter, although far fewer are expected to head Down Under due to the uncertainty surrounding travel restrictions,” a report said on Sunday.

Barmy Army © Getty Images
Barmy Army © Getty Images

“The Australian government are planning to reopen their borders for international travel next month on a state-by-state basis depending on vaccination levels, although foreigners are unlikely to be admitted until next year. England’s Barmy Army group are hoping to head out to Australia to support at the Ashes,” added the report.

The fourth Test is scheduled to commence at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on January 5. England team supporters are hopeful they will be given permission as New South Wales has the “highest vaccination rate in the country”. The fifth Test, scheduled in Perth, could also be moved to Sydney, as the “vaccine program in West Australia is lagging behind other states”.

England Picks Experienced Squad For The Ashes

England has named a 17-man squad for this winter’s Ashes 2021/22 tour, with head coach Chris Silverwood leaning on familiar faces for the trip. However, Chris Silverwood and captain Joe Root cannot call on a full-strength group due to the continued hiatus of star all-rounder Ben Stokes and injuries to Jofra Archer, Olly Stone, and Sam Curran fears over players opting out due to concerns over Australia’s travel restrictions have not materialized.

File image of Sam Curran | Reuters
File image of Sam Curran | Reuters

As a result, the squad has a tried and trusted feel, with no uncapped test players selected. That means potential selections such as Lancashire trio Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, and Saqib Mahmood have all been overlooked. Still, they can expect to form part of the England squad for later tour stages. The 17-man squad is almost as expected, with Zak Crawley and Dan Lawrence the spare batsmen and Dom Bess the second spinner to Jack Leach.

England’s full squad for The Ashes: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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Australia Working To Be Flexible And Practical To Ensure Ashes 2021/22 Go Ahead: Greg Hunt

Greg Hunt, the Australian health minister, said that their government is working to be “flexible and practical” to ensure the Ashes 2021/22 can go ahead. Still, the fate of the series ultimately lies in the hands of the touring party.

Australia has been “flexible and practical” to ensure that the England men’s cricket team will tour the country for the Ashes, but the fate of the series lies in the hands of the touring party, health minister Greg Hunt said on Tuesday.

Minister for health Greg Hunt
Minister for Health Greg Hunt. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Greg Hunt: Ashes 2021/22 Happening Lies In The Hands Of England, But Australia Are Working To Be Flexible And Practical

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement that it will decide this week whether the proposed arrangements in Australia are sufficient for the Ashes 2021/22 tour to go ahead. Greg Hunt said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and sports minister Richard Colbeck had been working day and night with their British counterparts to ensure the series, which starts on December 8 in Brisbane, happens.

“Ultimately, it’s always in the hands of the touring party, but we’ve been working to be flexible and practical,” Greg Hunt told Sky News Australia on Tuesday.

England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board

“On the one hand, make sure that we have safety arrangements for Australia. On the other hand, to be practical and flexible to give that touring party every chance of coming here and to have the Ashes played this summer,” said Greg Hunt.

England captain Joe Root and other players have expressed doubts about the tour due to “bubble fatigue” and concerns their families will not be able to travel with them due to Australia’s strict COVID-19 protocols. As reported by local media, the five-Test series pours about 200 million AUD into Cricket Australia (CA) coffers through broadcast, sponsorship, and ticketing.

Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt said that the government is doing everything to ensure that England’s team can come and play the Ashes in December this year.

Cricket Australia Negotiating With England and Wales Cricket Board Over The Past 6 Months To Ensure Health And Wellbeing Of Both Squads

CA has been negotiating with authorities and the ECB over travel conditions and whether players’ families can visit during the Christmas and New Year periods.

“We have had regular and positive discussions with the ECB over the past six months on providing conditions which will allow players from both teams to perform at their best during the Ashes summer,” CA said in a statement.

“The health and wellbeing of both squads while ensuring the tour proceeds in a safe manner is a priority and we especially thank our government partners for all their support in this regard.”

Australia has strict limits on international arrivals and charges people thousands of dollars to isolate in designated quarantine hotels for a mandatory 14 days, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. ECB said on Monday that its decision later this week could hinge on whether it can select a squad “befitting a series of this significance”.

“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 squad befitting a series of this significance,” it said.

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

England and Wales Cricket Board warned the forthcoming Ashes 2021/22 will only go ahead if ECB can pick a squad “befitting a series of this significance”. The future of the Ashes tour will be settled by the end of this week.

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.

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.
Moeen Ali, Sam Curran,  Tom Curran, George Garton, Eoin Morgan, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Liam Livingstone, Sam Billings, and Jason Roy are the England players participating in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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England And Wales Cricket Board Warned Ashes 2021/22 Will Go Ahead Only If England Can Assemble A Strong Squad

England and Wales Cricket Board warned the forthcoming Ashes 2021/22 will only go ahead if ECB can pick a squad “befitting a series of this significance”. The future of the Ashes tour will be settled by the end of this week.

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.

England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board

England And Wales Cricket Board Warns Ashes Will Go Ahead Only If Conditions Are Favourable And England Can Assemble A Strong Squad

Further meetings between the concerned players are expected during the week before they make a final decision on their availability. The England and Wales Cricket Board released a statement on Monday morning, just a few hours before those players involved in the Twenty20 World Cup fly out to Oman to begin their winter. If there are mass withdrawals as reported, it would dent the credibility of the Ashes, but postponement is a last resort.

“Over the weekend we have been talking to England men’s players and management to provide them with the latest information about the proposed arrangements for this winter’s scheduled Ashes tour,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board statement.

England, PTI
England, PTI

“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.”

“We will continue talking to our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback. 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 squad befitting a series of this significance.”

To postpone the tour would be a financial disaster for Cricket Australia. Still, at the same time, England and Wales Cricket Board want to guarantee the best possible conditions for its players and their families, so it will continue to exert pressure behind the scenes this week.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have released a statement on the Ashes tour, saying that they will make a decision over whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the tour to go ahead later this week. The Ashes tour to Australia has been in doubt due to the quarantine conditions and players’ families accompanying them for the five-match series.

Cricket Australia Tried Reassuring That Rules Will Be Relaxed

Cricket Australia tried to reassure the players that rules would be relaxed as Australia’s vaccination rate grew. The Government expected to open up the country once 80 per cent of the population have been double-jabbed, a target they expect to reach in early December.

Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia
It is understood that England’s key players, including captain Joe Root, will decide on their availability shortly. However, 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. England’s participation in the Ashes series has been a debatable issue in the last few months due to players’ concerns with the strict quarantine measures in Australia. Notably, the Australian government refused to relax the stringent quarantine protocols for the England players and their families.
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Tim Paine Didn’t Show Empathy, Says Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain said that England players getting criticized for their attitude towards quarantining in Australia ahead of the Ashes does not ‘sit comfortably’ with him.

Australia captain Tim Paine did not show empathy as a fellow professional for England players when he said that the Ashes will go ahead regardless of whether Joe Root boards the plane to Australia or not, said Nasser Hussain.

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

Nasser Hussain: Tim Paine Didn’t Show Empathy

The former England captain said that current skipper Joe Root and the rest of the players have conducted themselves well, considering their hectic schedule and the number of days they had to spend in quarantine.

“When Tim Paine, Australia’s Test captain, spoke recently I didn’t hear much empathy from a fellow professional. Now others have jumped on the Ashes bandwagon, as if England are somehow trying to dodge an important series,” said Nasser Hussain.

Tim Paine recently said that England players have a choice to make as far as travelling to Australia is concerned for the Ashes later this year.

“They’ll have a choice to make, you either get on that plane or don’t,” Australia’s captain said on radio station SEN.

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

“No one is forcing you to come. If you don’t want to come, don’t come. The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on 8 December, whether Joe is here or not. There will be a squad of England players coming here.”

Tim Paine, Australia Test captain, said that the Ashes will begin on December 8 regardless of whether counterpart Joe Root is part of the tour amid ongoing uncertainty about the level of restrictions the tourists may face.

Nasser Hussain: England Has Played 18 Tests-The Most By Any Team Since Covid-19

Nasser Hussain said that England players have played many more Tests than Australia has since March 2020.

“England have played 18 Test matches since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. That’s five more than anyone else – and 14 more than Australia, whose four Tests all came at home against India last winter,” said Nasser Hussain.

England, PTI
England, PTI
“I’m quite proud of the way in which England’s Test team have kept the show on the road in difficult circumstances, moving in and out of bubbles and spending time away from their families. It’s draining. Mental health has suffered,” he said.
Australia has caps on international arrivals, and there is a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine even for the fully vaccinated.  The first Australia vs England Test match will be contested at Brisbane’s Gabba from 8-12 December whereas, the 2nd Test match will be at the Adelaide Oval from 16-20 December, and it will be a Day-Night affair.
The iconic Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (26-30 December) and Sydney Cricket Ground (5-9 January), respectively, with the final 5th Test scheduled for Perth’s Optus Stadium (14-18 January).
It is understood that England’s key players, including captain Joe Root, will decide on their availability shortly. However, 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. England’s participation in the Ashes series has been a debatable issue in the last few months due to players’ concerns with the strict quarantine measures in Australia. Notably, the Australian government refused to relax the stringent quarantine protocols for the England players and their families.
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