CSK to retain Raina; Kedar, Chawla and Vijay's fate hangs in balance

Agencies
January 20, 2021

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New Delhi, Jan 20: Chennai Super Kings has decided to retain Suresh Raina going into the mini-auction ahead of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League. But Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay's fate hangs in balance. 

Foreign stars like Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis are also set to be retained while Harbhajan Singh has been released and Shane Watson has retired.

Speaking to ANI, sources in the CSK outfit said that the management will take a final call on the likes of Kedar and Chawla before submitting the final list to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at 5 pm on Wednesday.

"Raina will definitely be a part of the CSK family. He is an integral member and there was never any doubt on him being retained. It was his personal call to return from UAE and the management was clear that his space needed to be respected. We expect him to fire on all cylinders this time around.

"As for Kedar, Piyush and Vijay, we will have to see. It is a touch and go situation and a final call will be taken by the senior management before the final list is submitted to the BCCI today," the source said.

Asked about any other big name who could miss out, the source said that the core would very much remain the same. "Harbhajan has been released as you are aware and Watson has retired. Apart from that, don't see any big name missing out. Bravo and du Plessis will be with us," the source pointed.

With the mini-auction inching closer, franchises looking to retain players were asked to complete the process by Wednesday. Former India batsman Aakash Chopra feels 'Dad's Army' CSK has heavily relied on senior players in the past and the time has come to introduce young guns in the side.

Mahendra Dhoni-led CSK had a dismal outing in last year's IPL. The Chennai based franchise finished at the seventh position in the points table. Chopra said CSK need to change their strategy and must retain last year's match-winners like Shardul Thakur and Ruturaj Gaikwad.

"As the deadline for the IPL Player Retention process approaches, I feel now would be the right time for CSK to shed their 'Dad's Army' tag and introduce young talent in the team," Chopra said on Star Sports show 'IPL: Retention Special'.

"Mahendra Singh Dhoni has relied heavily on senior players who have performed in the past, but he along with the CSK think-tank need to change their strategy. They would certainly need to retain last year's match-winners like Ambati Rayudu, Shardul Thakur and Ruturaj Gaikwad," he added. 

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Agencies
March 2,2021

The Ashwin brain teaser - TechiAzi

Dubai, Mar 2: India's senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been nominated for the International Cricket Council (ICC) men's Player of the Month (February) award.

The ICC on Tuesday announced the nominees for the ICC Player of the Month Awards for the month of February to recognise the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket.

Alongside Ashwin, England skipper Joe Root and West Indies all-rounder Kyle Mayers have also been nominated for the month of February in the men's category.
Ashwin played 3 tests against England as part of India's ongoing series against them. In these Tests, he scored a 106 in the second innings of India's second Test victory over England in Chennai and took his 400th Test wicket in the third Test victory in Ahmedabad.

Scoring a total of 176 runs across these games while also taking a total of 24 wickets, Ashwin is the deserving candidate to be nominated in the men's category for Feb.

England Test captain Joe Root makes it to the list of nominations again this month for his outstanding performance with the bat and the ball.

He scored a total of 333 runs and took 6 wickets overall in the 3 Tests that he has played against India. In the first Test against India, Root scored a 218 to lead England to victory.

From the West Indies, Test debutant Mayers played 2 Tests against Bangladesh and scored a match-winning 210 to help the West Indies successfully chase 395 and win the first Test against Bangladesh. This performance alone is deserving of this nomination.

In the women's category, England opening batter Tammy Beaumont and all-rounder Nat Sciver and New Zealand batter Brooke Halliday have been nominated for the month of February.

Tammy Beaumont's unbeaten 72 helped England to a comfortable seven-wicket win against New Zealand. She played 3 ODIs and passed fifty in each of these against New Zealand, totalling 231 runs.

Brooke Halliday of New Zealand also played 3 ODIs against England and scored a total of 110 runs and took 2 wickets in these games. Brooke also went on to become just the fourth woman to score half-centuries in each of her first two ODI matches.

England's Nat Sciver went on to take 5 wickets and score a total of 96 runs in the 3 ODIs she played against New Zealand. Nat was the leading wicket-taker in the ODI series between New Zealand and England and added an innings of 63 in the second match that they won.

India wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant had won the men's award in January while the women's award went to South Africa's Shabnim Ismail

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Agencies
March 1,2021

46 or 44? Shahid Afridi Adds to Age Confusion Once Again!

Karachi, Mar 1: Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi while thanking his fans on Monday for their birthday wishes, said in his tweet that he is turning 44 this year, despite saying earlier in his autobiography that he was born in 1975.

"Thank you very much for all the lovely birthday wishes - 44 today! My family and my fans are my biggest assets. Really enjoying my stint with Multan and hope to produce match winning performances for all MS (Multan Sultans) fans," tweeted Afridi.

In his autobiography "Game Changer", which was released in April 2019, Afridi had said that he was born in 1975 as opposed to 1980 which is what was written in the official records. It meant that he was above "19" when he hit a record 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in 1996 and not 16, which is what his official age was. However, he had confused fans then as well as he would have been at least 20 in 1996 if he was born in 1975.

"For the record, I was 19, and not just 16 like they claim. I was born in 1975. So, yes, the authorities stated my age incorrectly," Afridi said in his autobiography.

A few on social media pointed out the discrepancy. "The Man ! The Myth ! The Legend ! .... a 16 yr old Afridi scoring the fastest centuryyyyy......... today turns 44, according to his book he is 46 and Wikipedia says 41 , happy birthday lala," said a tweet from one fan.

"44? You sure Lala? HBD! (You still don't exist to me in the universe outside cricket .. but absolutely love you on the field!)," said another.

"We can now officially change Shahid Afridi's DOB to 1 Mar 1977 from 1 Mar 1980. This means Afghanistan's Usman Ghani (17y-242d) is now the youngest to score an ODI 100 (in July 2014). Afridi in Oct 1996 was 19y-217d (& not 16y-217d) when he made the famous 37-ball 100 at Nairobi," tweeted cricket statistician Mohandas Menon.

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Agencies
March 2,2021

Smriti-scaled.jpg

Dubai, Mar 2: England opener Tammy Beaumont on Tuesday made a jump of five places to grab the top position among batters in the ICC women's ODI rankings after an excellent display in the three-match series against New Zealand which her team won 2-1.

India opening batter Smriti Mandhana has dropped down two slots in the rankings and as a result, she is now at the sixth spot. Mithali Raj has maintained her ninth spot in the ODI rankings.

In bowling rankings, Jhulan Goswami (fifth), Poonam Yadav (sixth), Shikha Pandey (seventh), and Deepti Sharma (tenth) have all held on to their respective spots.

The 29-year-old Beaumont has overtaken the likes of West Indian Stafanie Taylor and New Zealand's Amy Satterthwaite to top the list and now leads Australia captain Meg Lanning by 16 points.

This is for the first time in her 12-year ODI career that Beaumont is number one, her previous best being the fourth position in July 2019. She has gained a whopping 49 points after topping the series with 231 runs, which comprised knocks of 71, 72 not out and 88 not out.

Natalie Sciver has moved into the top 10 after scoring 96 runs in the series while captain Heather Knight has progressed three slots to reach 13th position after aggregating 135 runs. Amy Jones is another England batter to move up the rankings, from 27th to joint-25th position.

Sciver, who bowls medium pace, has progressed 12 places to a career-best 22nd in the list of bowlers after finishing with five wickets in the series. Her effort with both bat and ball also resulted in her moving up three places to fifth position in the list of all-rounders led by Ellyse Perry of Australia.

Other England bowlers to gain in the new weekly system of updating, which will see women player rankings updated each Tuesday and those for men each Wednesday, include Katherine Brunt (up to two places to ninth), Sophie Ecclestone (up to one place to 14th), and Sarah Glenn (up to three places to 44th).

For New Zealand, who host the ICC Women's World Cup one year from now, all-rounder Amelia Kerr's match-winning effort of 72 not out and four for 42 in the final ODI has lifted her 10 places to 47th position among batters and up to two places to 11th among bowlers. She is now 13th on the list of all-rounders.

Brooke Halliday, who smashed half-centuries both times she batted in her debut series, has entered the rankings in 59th position while medium-pacer Hannah Rowe has gained three slots to reach 43rd position among bowlers.

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