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Tom Banton

Harry Brook whips one into the leg side during the Hundred Getty Images
Harry Brook whips one into the leg side during the Hundred Getty Images
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Harry Brook Included In England Squad Against West Indies For T20Is As A Cover For Sam Billings

Harry Brook has been added to the England Men’s T20I squad for the five-match series against West Indies in Barbados. The Yorkshire right-hander has been called up as batting cover for Sam Billings after he was included in the squad for the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart.

Sam Billings remains a part of the 17-player squad for the West Indies IT20s. Harry Brook has spent the winter in Australia with the England Lions and the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League. He is set to return to the UK before flying to Barbados.

Harry Brooks. Photo- ESPNCricinfo
Harry Brook. Photo- ESPNCricinfo

Harry Brook Included As A Cover Up For Sam Billings

Harry Brook, Yorkshire’s promising young batter, has been added to England’s T20I squad for the forthcoming five-match series against West Indies in Barbados, as cover for Sam Billings, who has been added to the Ashes squad for this week’s final Test in Hobart.

Sam Billings warms up with the bat ICC via Getty
Sam Billings warms up with the bat ICC via Getty

Sam Billings will miss at least the first T20I due to his Test call-up but remains part of a 17-man squad for the series. In his absence, Tom Banton and Phil Salt are England’s wicketkeeping options for the start of the series. Harry Brook’s call-up comes after Anthony McGrath, Alan Richardson, and Paul Tweddle were added to England’s coaching team on a short-term basis for the duration of the series.

Sam Billings had been due to travel home ahead of England’s T20I series against West Indies in the Caribbean, before injuries to Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow, the two frontline Test wicketkeepers in Australia, forced a change of plan.

Jos Buttler is set to fly home from England’s tour of Australia, after sustaining a broken finger that hampered his performance in the drawn fourth Test at Sydney. Jos Buttler suffered the injury while keeping on the second day at the SCG, and struggled to grip the bat while making a duck in England’s first innings.

Eoin Morgan To Captain 17 Men England Squad For T20Is Against West Indies

Eoin Morgan will captain a 17-player squad for England men’s International Twenty20 matches against West Indies next month. Paul Collingwood will stand in as head coach for the five-match series, which will be played in Barbados from January 22-30. Marcus Trescothick will join the squad as an assistant coach.

Eoin Morgan | Photo: England Cricket
Eoin Morgan | Photo: England Cricket

The squad includes 11 players who travelled to the United Arab Emirates for the T20 World Cup last November. George Garton and David Payne are both uncapped players in the squad. The series begins on January 22 and will be played over a period of ten days in Barbados.

England Squad For The T20I Series vs West Indies:

Eoin Morgan (c) Moeen Ali, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Harry Brook, Liam Dawson, George Garton, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Tymal Mills, David Payne, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, James Vince.

Darren Sammy goes traditional after Peshawar Zalmi's PSL title win in 2017 AFP via Getty Images
Darren Sammy goes traditional after Peshawar Zalmi's PSL title win in 2017 AFP via Getty Images
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Darren Sammy Insists PSL 2021 Wasn’t Called Off Due To Him And Wahab Riaz

Darren Sammy and Wahab Riaz had allegedly breached the bio-secure bubble in the first half of PSL 2021. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 will reportedly resume in the first week of June, and all the teams would be gearing up for the marquee event.

Wahab Riaz. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.
Wahab Riaz. Image – @thePSLt20/Twitter.

Darren Sammy Insists He And Wahab Riaz Didn’t Break The Bio-Secure Bubble

The T20 tournament, which was initially scheduled to take place in February and March, was suspended midway after several members contracted the COVID-19 virus despite being in the bio-bubble. While the main reason behind the breach isn’t understood yet, some reports suggested that Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy have violated the protocols. Darren Sammy is the head coach of Peshawar Zalmi, while Wahab Riaz leads the side.

At the start of PSL 2021, the duo was accused of breaching the bio-secure protocols to meet team owner Javed Afridi during their practice session. As per the rules, they were supposed to be in isolation for three days and had to return two negative COVID-19 tests to be allowed back in the bubble. However, Darren Sammy and Wahab Riaz joined the squad before the required period, and the latter even played all the games.

England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

Subsequently, fans lashed out at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for easing the norms for the duo. The duo came under the scanner even further when the entire competition was postponed. Speaking of the same, Darren Sammy claimed he had nothing to do with the PSL being paused indefinitely.

“I wouldn’t say we broke the bio-secure bubble. This is new territory for everybody. When I read the news, it made it sound like Wahab and myself left the hotel and ventured out. We just had training and we said hello to our boss (Javed Afridi). By the time we realized what had happened, we had two COVID tests, so did the Boss,” Sammy said in an interview with The Current.

Peshawar Zalmi has a strong squad for PSL 2021 consisting of the likes of Fabian Allen, David Miller, Fidel Edwards, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, and the team management will expect their batsmen to perform better under mentor and batting consultant Inzamam-ul-Haq’s guidance.

Fawad Ahmed, Tom Banton, and another Islamabad United player besides one support staff member with the Karachi Kings (Kamran Khan) testing positive for Covid-19 have led to concerns which eventually led to the postponement of PSL 2021.

Darren Sammy: PSL 2021 Wasn’t Called Off Because Of Me And Wahab Riaz Shaking Hands With Peshawar Zalmi Boss

Highlighting that no one from the Peshawar Zalmi squad had got infected, the former West Indies captain said that the whole team was very strict about the rules, so it would be wrong to claim that PSL 2021 was suspended due to Wahab Riaz and his actions.

“We were negative and I could tell you from that day onwards, Peshawar Zalmi was really strict to the books and if you noticed, none of our players tested positive during or after that and the tournament was definitely not called off because of me and Wahab shaking hands with our boss at the cricket ground,” he added.

Darren Sammy
Darren Sammy. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

PSL will now be resuming in Abu Dhabi, with Darren Sammy joining his team soon. The Wahab Riaz-led side is currently second in the team standings, with three wins in five games.

Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament. The remaining 20 Pakistan Super League 2021 matches are scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from June 1-20.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
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Pakistan Super League 2021 To Be Held In Abu Dhabi Confirms Wasim Khan

Pakistan Super League 2021 which is in its 6th season had seen a surge of COVID-19 cases as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to halt and postpone the ongoing tournament in March 2021.Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament. The remaining 20 Pakistan Super League 2021 matches are scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from June 1-20.

Pakistan Super League 2021
Pakistan Super League 2021 Photo Credit: PCB.

Pakistan Super League 2021 Will Be Held In UAE’s Abu Dhabi As The Remaining Hurdles Have Been Sorted Out

The remainder of the truncated 6th edition of the Pakistan Super League 2021 is set to go ahead in Abu Dhabi after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that they have received all outstanding approvals and exemptions from the United Arab Emirates government. The PCB will now hold an online meeting with the franchises later today to apprise them of the situation and finalize all the details, which will be shared in due course.

“We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining HBL PSL 6 matches in Abu Dhabi have been overcome and all systems are now good to go,” Wasim Khan, PCB’s Chief Executive, said.

Pakistan Super League (Image Source: Google)
Pakistan Super League (Image Source: Google)

“We are grateful to the UAE government, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board, and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support and patronage in ensuring all final obstacles were removed, which has firmly put us in a position to complete our marquee event. The PCB, in consultation with the team owners, will now work at pace to finalize all event-related arrangements, details of which will be shared in due course,” he added.

The tournament, which originally started on February 20th in a special set-up bio-bubble in Karachi, had to be halted after only 14 games were completed as cases of Covid-19 arose due to a breach of the bio-bubble.

PSL 6 Was Postponed After Completion Of 14 Games As Tom Banton And Fawad Ahmed Contracted The Dreaded Virus

The 15th game of the Pakistan Super League 2021 between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United, had to be postponed after Australia’s Fawad Ahmed tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, three more cases including England’s Tom Banton were reported across teams, forcing the immediate suspension of the league.

The PCB then finalized the schedule for the rest of the Pakistan Super League 2021, to be played in a stricter bio-bubble in Karachi, starting from June 1st. But the worsening Covid-19 situation in Karachi forced the franchises to write to PCB seeking that the tournament is moved out, preferably to the UAE – which has in the past successfully hosted the tournament.

England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

However, their plans met with an unexpected objection from the UAE government which insisted everyone coming into the city/state should have taken vaccination. The PCB contended that it had no control over foreign technicians and television crew members travelling from different countries including India.

Following this, the PCB held a meeting with the Emirates Cricket Board and is understood to have given 24 hours to the board to resolve the matters. Simultaneously, the Pakistan board officials also apprised the six PSL franchises of the developments. All parties involved later agreed to wait for 24 hours.

Apart from the positive cases but there were breaches also reported of the bio-bubble prepared by the PCB. Peshawar Zalmi’s Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy had met their franchise owner, who was not part of the bubble. Pakistan-born Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed had tested positive for the coronavirus before the game between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators on March 1. The game was thereafter postponed to March 2 after initially being deferred until 9 PM.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)
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Pakistan Cricket Board Yet To Receive Some Clarifications From The UAE Which May Lead To Postponement Of PSL 6

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the six franchise owners on Wednesday discussed in a virtual session the operational planning and delivery of the remaining 20 Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches, which are scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from June 1-20.

Following detailed discussions in which all potential scenarios were reviewed and analyzed, it was unanimously agreed to wait until the close of business on Thursday (UAE time) before a final decision on the hosting of the remaining matches is made.

Pakistan Cricket Board: PSL Trophy, PSL 2021
Pakistan Cricket Board: PSL Trophy (Image Credit: Twitter)

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Needs Clarifications From Relevant Authorities In UAE And If It’s Not Received, The Remaining Matches Will Be Postponed Again

Pakistan Super League 2021 which is in its 6th season had seen a surge of COVID-19 cases as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to halt and postpone the ongoing tournament in March 2021. Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament. Fawad Ahmed and Tom Banton contracted the virus while Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy breached the bio bubble protocols which led to the postponement of IPL 6.

England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan in an official release said: “In today’s online discussion, we updated the team owners that the PCB had been advised that the PSL had received approvals from the relevant authorities in the UAE. However, some clarifications on certain exemption requests are still awaited, which are expected at some stage on Thursday.”

“The team owners agreed that if we do not receive clarity by Thursday afternoon, then they’ll have no other option but to request postponement of the remaining 20 matches. In the meantime, we will continue to liaise with the UAE government and the Emirates Cricket Board as they are equally keen for the event to be held in the UAE,” he added.

Earlier, the Abu Dhabi government had given its nod to host the remaining fixtures of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the Emirates.

PSL 2021 Will Resume In June

The governing body Pakistan Cricket Board had said last month that the PSL would resume on June 1 and the remaining 20 games would take place in Karachi’s National Stadium, with the final on June 20.

It was reported that all six PSL franchises had asked the Pakistan Cricket Board to move the tournament to the UAE, which also hosted last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. The lucrative IPL T20 competition of 2021 was suspended abruptly this week, triggered by a resurgence of the pandemic in India.

Pakistan Super League 2021
Pakistan Super League 2021

However, UAE authorities put forward a condition that all the participants need to be vaccinated against Covid-19, which was reported by ESPNcricinfo. This possessed a challenge to the PCB as the teams and broadcast crew to involve people from all around the world and each country has its own process of vaccination.

PSL six was postponed after a string of COVID-19 cases were reported in March this year. The tournament will now resume in June with the final scheduled for June 20.

Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
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Andre Russell And Shakib Al Hasan Signed Up As Replacements For PSL 2021

Andre Russell and Shakib Al Hasan are amongst the big names to have been signed up as replacements for the remainder of PSL 2021, the PCB confirmed on Tuesday (April 27). All six franchises picked overseas replacement players via an online process with the tournament all set to resume from June 1.

Andre Russell, who is one of the most sought-after T20 players, will replace Tom Banton in the Quetta Gladiators squad whereas spin all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will join Lahore Qalandars as Rashid Khan’s replacement. New Zealand opener Martin Guptill was picked up by Karachi Kings to replace South African batsman Colin Ingram.

Andre Russell is unimpressed by Shakib Al Hasan's biceps ©BCCI
Andre Russell is unimpressed by Shakib Al Hasan’s biceps ©BCCI

Andre Russell And Shakib Al Hasan Are Currently Playing For KKR In IPL 2021

One of the signings on the list was that of dashing Jamaican batting all-rounder Andre Russell, who was picked up by Quetta Gladiators. He has previously featured in the league for Islamabad United in the 2016 and 2018 editions.

Andre Russell For Islamabad United
Andre Russell For Islamabad United

 

He is currently playing in the IPL 2021, representing Kolkata Knight Riders. His KKR teammate, Shakib Al Hasan was picked up by Lahore Qalandars. Andre Russell has scored 118 runs and taken 7 scalps playing 6 games while Shakib Al Hasan has played 3 games taking 2 scalps and scoring 38 runs in IPL 2021.

Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns, James Faulkner, And Callum Ferguson Among 19 Replacement Players

Australian quartet Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns, James Faulkner, Callum Ferguson were among the 19 players picked up as replacements. Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, and Islamabad United have reserved one pick each and will be submitting the names later.

Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja of Australia(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The three teams can choose silver category players closer to or during the remainder of the tournament.
In the Diamond category, Kings nominated Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera and Afghanistan batter Najeebullah Zadran. South Africa batter Janneman Malan was nominated by United. Zalmi opted for West Indian all-rounder Fabian Allen while Qalandars opted for Australian quick James Faulkner.

In the Gold category, Qalandars nominated Australia’s Joe Burns, West Indian Rovman Powell was nominated by Zalmi and Multan Sultans submitted the name of Afghanistan’s keeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Windies pacer Fidel Edwards was nominated by Zalmi in the Silver round replacements followed by South Africa’s George Linde by Sultans, Litton Das by Kings, and Australian batter Callum Ferguson by Qalandars.

Obed McCoy and Seekkugge Prasanna were nominated by Sultans and Lahore Qalandars respectively in the supplementary round picks. Meanwhile, the teams would need to field a minimum of two and a maximum of four foreign players in their playing elevens for the June leg of the HBL PSL 6.

Earlier this year in March, the tournament was postponed after 14 matches as a result of an increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases. The remaining 20 matches will now resume from June 1 at the National Stadium in Karachi. Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament.

Three players including Fawad Ahmed and Tom Banton tested positive besides breach of the bio-bubble by Peshawar Zalmi’s Wahab Riaz and Daren Sammy saw PSL 2021 be postponed.

PSL 2021 overseas replacements

Islamabad United: Usman Khawaja replaces Alex Hales, Janneman Malan replaces Lewis Gregory.

Karachi Kings: Martin Guptill replaces Colin Ingram, Thisara Perera replaces Mohammad Nabi, Najeebullah Zadran replaces Dan Christian, Litton Das replaces Joe Clarke

Lahore Qalandars: Shakib-Al-Hasan replaces Rashid Khan, James Faulkner replaces David Wiese, Joe Burns replaces Samit Patel, Callum Ferguson replaces Tom Abell, Seekuge Prasanna replaces Joe Denly

Multan Sultans: Mahmudullah Riyad replaces Chris Lynn, Rahmanullah Gurbaz replaces James Vince, George Linde replaces Adam Lyth, Obed McCoy replaces Carlos Brathwaite

Peshawar Zalmi: Fabian Allen replaces Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Rovman Powell replaces Liam Livingstone, Fidel Edwards replaces Saqib Mahmood

Quetta Gladiators:Andre Russell replaces Tom Banton

Lewis Gregory and Zafar Gohar celebrate. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Islamabad United's batsmen Lewis Gregory (3R) and Zafar Gohar (3L) celebrate after winning the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 cricket match between Islamabad United and Multan Sultan at the National Stadium in Karachi on February 21, 2021. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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Pakistan Super League 2021: Remaining 20 Matches Likely To Be Played In September Or November

Pakistan Super League 2021 (PSL) season six’s remaining 20 matches are likely to take place in the months of September or November, due to the lack of a suitable window in March or June. According to sources, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and franchises are facing difficulties in scheduling the remaining 20 matches of the event after it was postponed due to a rise in Covid-19 cases among players and support staff officials.

Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament. One of the various options was to hold the remaining matches towards March-end but that will clash with Pakistan’s proposed tour of South Africa.

Squash legend Jahangir Khan and franchise captains pose with the PSL 2020 trophy. — Courtesy Karachi Kings Twitter/File
Squash legend Jahangir Khan and franchise captains pose with the PSL 2020 trophy. — Courtesy Karachi Kings Twitter/File

Fawad Ahmed And Tom Banton Tested Positive For Covid-19 Which Led To Postponement Of PSL 2021

Fawad Ahmed, Tom Banton, and another Islamabad United player besides one support staff member with the Karachi Kings (Kamran Khan) testing positive for Covid-19 have led to concerns which eventually led to the postponement of PSL 2021.

PCB believes that delaying an international series won’t be a good thing to do while it also doesn’t want to ruin its relationship with Cricket South Africa. Chartered flights have also been booked for the Pakistan team so chances of matches taking place in March are very slim.

England batsman Tom Banton has tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton has tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

June is also a viable option on the table but the hot weather, during that time of the year in Pakistan, and the availability of England players, due to Vitality Blast which starts on June 9, could be a hindrance in this regard. Also, foreign players would be tired after taking part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) which ends on May 30.

Pakistan Super League 2021 May Take Place In September Or November After T20 World Cup

Although, franchises want the matches remaining in Pakistan Super League 2021 to take place as soon as possible as the months of September when no international series is planned, and November, after T20 World Cup, seems to be the only viable options on the table at the moment.

Pakistan Super League 2021 : Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Pakistan Super League 2021 has seen the participation of several star players like Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Chris Gayle, Faf Du Plessis, Ben Cutting, Joe Denly, David Miller, Ravi Bopara, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Alex Hales, Imran Tahir, Carlos Braithwaite, Chris Lynn, and Shahid Afridi among others.

Earlier, reports emerged that Pakistan Super League 2021 can directly clash with the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which will run in the month of April and May. In such a scenario, players like Faf du Plessis, Chris Gayle, Chris Lynn, Imran Tahir, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nabi who are named in both leagues will have to make a choice between IPL 2021 and PSL 2021.

Pakistan Super League 2021
Pakistan Super League 2021
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PCB Postpones PSL 2021 Following Surge In COVID-19 Cases

Pakistan Super League 2021 which is in its 6th season has seen a surge of COVID-19 cases as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to halt and postpone the ongoing tournament.

Pakistan Super League 2021 was meant to be played at four venues this year, however, due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the PCB decided to hold all 34 matches in Karachi and Lahore. The first leg of 20 matches is being played at the National Stadium in Karachi until March 7 and the following 10 league games and four playoff matches are scheduled for Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament.

Shaheen Afridi celebrates a wicket in Pakistan Super League 2021...pcb
Shaheen Afridi celebrates a wicket in Pakistan Super League 2021 (Photo: PCB)

Pakistan Super League 2021: Fawad Ahmed And Tom Banton Tested Covid-19 Positive While Wahab Riaz And Darren Sammy Breached BioSecure Bubble

But all this preparation went in vain as three players- Fawad Ahmed, Tom Banton (who revealed his positive test publicly on Wednesday) and another Islamabad United player – and one support staff member with the Karachi Kings (Kamran Khan) testing positive for Covid-19 have led to concerns.

England batsman Tom Banton has tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton has tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

Now only the positive cases, there were breaches also reported of the bio-bubble prepared by the PCB. Peshawar Zalmi’s Wahab Riaz and Daren Sammy had met their franchise owner, who was not part of the bubble.

It was also reported that the duo reintegrated with the other members of their squad without following the proper bio-secure protocols. Peshawar Zalmi was allowed to play them after they refused to take the field against Quetta Qalandars without these two players. Players’ families also joined the bio bubble without spending time in quarantine and proper testing and were seen mingling with players in the stands at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Pakistan Cricket Board Decided To Postpone PSL 2021 Immediately After 7 Players Tested Positive For Covid-19

According to details, seven players and one support staff official had tested positive for the dreaded virus which led to question marks over PCB’s bio-secure bubble arrangements and reservations from foreign players. Following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and since the wellbeing of all participants is paramount, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the tournament with immediate effect.

Fawad Ahmed....PCB
Fawad Ahmed. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/Getty Images)

“HBL PSL 6 POSTPONED. PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan, Director – Commercial and Babar Hamid, will hold a media conference at the National Stadium at 3pm to provide further updates,” PCB tweeted while confirming the news.

Pakistan-born Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed was tested positive for the coronavirus before the game between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators on March 1. The game was thereafter postponed to March 2 after initially being deferred until 9 PM on Monday.

In Pakistan Super League 2021, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United, and Lahore Qalandars have 6 points each while Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators have 2 points each. Mohammed Rizwan is the leading run-scorer while Saqib Mahmood is the leading wicket-taker.

Pakistan Super League 2021 has seen the participation of several star players like Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Chris Gayle, Faf Du Plessis, Ben Cutting, Joe Denly, David Miller, Ravi Bopara, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Alex Hales, Imran Tahir, Carlos Braithwaite, Chris Lynn and Shahid Afridi among others.

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Mujtaba Yousuf, Kashmir’s 19 Year Old Pacer Called By Mumbai Indians For Trials

Mujtaba Yousuf, Kashmir’s 19-year-old pacer has been called by the Mumbai Indians for trials, after his impressive show in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

IPL 2021 auctions are set to take place in February and the teams have named the players who will be retained this year, and players who will go under the hammer. While some prominent names have been released by the franchises, once again the focus is on youngsters, that the teams are eyeing.

Mujtaba Yousuf
Mujtaba Yousuf. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Mujtaba Yousuf Bagged 5 Wickets In 4 Matches In Syed Mushtaq Ali T20

The pacer Mujtaba Yousuf bagged five wickets in four matches in the tournament and has already moved to Mumbai to prepare for his trials. Also, it was reported that scouts from various teams were present in Bengaluru to spot talent when Mujtaba Yousuf’s name surfaced. His association with IPL is not new as he went to the UAE for IPL 2020, as a net bowler for Kolkata Knight Riders.

With regards to IPL 2021, Glenn Maxwell has been released from KXIP along with Sheldon Cottrell, K Gowtham, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Jimmy Neesham & Karun Nair. Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh have been released from CSK while SunRisers Hyderabad released Billy Stanlake, Fabian Allen among others.

Lasith Malinga.
Lasith Malinga. Image Credit: Getty Images

Aaron Finch and Moeen Ali along with South Africa’s Chris Morris have been shown the door for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Jason Roy, Sandeep Lamichhane, Alex Carey and Mohit Sharma have been released by Delhi Capitals. Kolkata Knight Riders have also decided to part ways with Tom Banton, Siddhesh Lad and Nikhil Naik.

Delhi Capitals have traded pacer Daniel Sams and all-rounder, Harshal Patel, to Royal Challengers Bangalore. Mumbai Indians have released the likes of Lasith Malinga and Sherfane Rutherford along with Mitchell McCleneghan, Nathan Counter Nile and James Pattinson. Pacer Lasith Malinga retired from franchise cricket but ended as highest IPL wicket-taker.

Harbhajan Singh Thanked Chennai Super Kings For Spending 2 Years

Meanwhile, veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has turned out for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2018, took to Twitter on Wednesday (January 20) to thank the team for his time at the franchise.

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh (Credits: Twitter)

The spinner had previously spent the entirety of his IPL career in the Mumbai Indians (MI) till 2017 from the inaugural year 2008 but had been released from the side ahead of the 2018 edition of the tournament, with CSK electing to pick up the experienced campaigner.

Their decision was justified as he played a key role in the side going on to eventually win the trophy after their comeback into the tournament from a two-year ban in 2018. He opted out of IPL 2020 citing personal reasons.

Steve Smith, IPL 2020
Steve Smith. Image Credit: BCCI/IPL
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Steve Smith Released By Rajasthan Royals, Sanju Samson Assigned Skipper In IPL 2021

Steve Smith have been released by Rajasthan Royals franchise ahead of the IPL 2021 auction.  Highly-placed sources in the team have confirmed that the decision has been taken after much deliberation.

Steve Smith who took charge from Ajinkya Rahane in the middle of the season in 2019 has failed to live up to his expectations scoring 311 runs averaging only 25.91 with 3 fifties.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Steve Smith’s Contract Expired In 2020 And Rajasthan Royals Decided Not To Renew

The Australian skipper scored 311 runs from 14 games in the last season as the franchise finished last-eighth in the points table in extremely competitive IPL 2020.

“His contract expired in 2020 and we have decided not to renew it. Steve Smith has had a huge contribution but we had to take a call after much deliberation,” the official said.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Image Credit: Google)

Sanju Samson has been named as the new captain of Rajasthan Royals. There were speculations that the franchise could part ways with its head coach Andrew McDonald, but this publication understands that the Australian will continue as the head coach. Wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson scored 375 runs from 14 games averaging 28.84 with 3 fifties in IPL 2020.

Glenn Maxwell, Kedar Jadhav, Aaron Finch, Moeen Ali, Chris Morris, Tom Banton Among Players Released By Respective Franchises

One of the biggest mainstays in T20 Cricket. Glenn Maxwell has been released from KXIP. The Australian scored just 108 runs in 13 matches. Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, K Gowtham, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Jimmy Neesham & Karun Nair are players who are released from Punjab. Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Piyush Chawla have been released from CSK while the players retained are Suresh Raina, Faf Du Plessis & Dwayne Bravo. SunRisers Hyderabad released Billy Stanlake, Fabian Allen among others.

The likes of Virat Kohli, Ab De Villiers and Yuzvendra Chahal will be seen for RCB this season. While key performers of last season like Devdutt Padikkal and Mohammed Siraj have also been retained, Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch and England all-rounder Moeen Ali along with South Africa’s Chris Morris have been shown the door.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Delhi Capitals will look to make certain adjustments to come back even stronger in IPL 2021 and has decided to part ways with Jason Roy, Sandeep Lamichhane, Alex Carey, Mohit Sharma and Daniel Sams. Kolkata Knight Riders have also decided to part ways with flamboyant English opener Tom Banton after buying him in IPL 2019 auction pool. Delhi Capitals have traded pacer Daniel Sams and all-rounder, Harshal Patel, to Royal Challengers Bangalore. Mumbai Indians have released the likes of Lasith Malinga and Sherfane Rutherford

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KKR To Benefit Given To The Cordial Relationship Between Eoin Morgan And Dinesh Karthik: David Hussey

KKR’s chief mentor David Hussey stated that he expected Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik, to have good communication as it would be beneficial for the Kolkata-based franchise. Morgan, the man who led England to World Cup glory in 2019, was a great addition to the KKR side, according to David Hussey. Morgan’s calm nature would definitely help skipper, Dinesh Karthik.

Eoin Morgan — the England limited-overs skipper played for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011-2013 and also turned up for Sunrisers Hyderabad (2015-2016), Royal Challengers Bangalore (2010) and Kings XI Punjab (2017). Dinesh Karthik had captained KKR since 2018 taking over the charge from predecessor Gautam Gambhir, who led KKR to two title victories in 2012 and 2014.

David Hussey, KKR
David-Hussey KKR (Photo by Robert Cianflone-IPL 2010/IPL via Getty Images)

KKR Will Benefit From Eoin Morgan’s Presence: David Hussey

David Hussey believes that Eoin Morgan could easily advise the bowlers while fielding in the 30-yard circle and could also help them with the field placements. He could also play a crucial role in the middle-order alongside Dinesh Karthik irrespective of whether the team defends a score or sets up a total to give the opposition a target to chase.

“He is a World Cup-winning captain. He has captained England for a long time. Classy player. He will be a great ally for Dinesh Karthik. Maybe fielding in the ring and talking to the bowlers while our captain’s behind the stumps, keeping wickets,” Hussey was quoted as saying by IANS.

KKR To Benefit Given To The Cordial Relationship Between Eoin Morgan And Dinesh Karthik: David Hussey 1
Eoin Morgan KKR

“So I do expect them to have a really good relationship on and off the field. He is going to go a long way in having a cool head and winning many games for KKR during a very tight tournament,” he further added.

Eoin Morgan has scored 854 runs from 52 matches averaging 21.35. He has 4 fifties, his highest being 66 in IPL.

KKR Chief Mentor David Hussey: Tom Banton Is A New Or Better Version Than Kevin Pietersen

David Hussey opined that Tom Banton was a better and newer version of Kevin Pietersen. Considering the stature of Kevin Pietersen and the kind of success that he achieved playing for England, this came out as a big statement.

Tom Banton
Tom Banton. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Tom Banton impressed every critic in the Vitality T20 Blast and also showed his big-hitting prowess in the Big Bash League (BBL) for the Brisbane Heat. David Hussey is sure that Tom Banton is going to brighten up the IPL 2020 season with his exquisite stroke-play.

“What a player. He (Tom Banton) takes the game on. He is probably the new or better version of Kevin Pietersen I believe. He is going to be a great pickup by KKR,” Hussey said.

KKR will begin their IPL 2020 campaign against the defending champions Mumbai Indians on 23rd September at Abu Dhabi.

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