Lanka Premier League: Irfan Pathan in pool of 70 foreign players for draft

Agencies
August 1, 2020

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Colombo, Aug 1: Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has expressed his interest in playing the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL), scheduled to start from August 28.

Pathan is among 70 foreign players to have shown interest in playing the LPL, ESPNcricinfo reported.

It is believed that Pathan has taken permission from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take part in the competition. 

BCCI doesn't allow active players to participate in other T20 leagues but Pathan announced his retirement in January this year.

Former swashbuckling all-rounder Yuvraj Singh also played in a foreign league last year. He played for Maratha Arabians in the T10 League in Abu Dhabi.

According to ESPNcricinfo, Pathan will now be put in a player draft unless one of the five franchises choose him to be a marquee player. The details of the draft, and the franchise owners, are yet to be finalised and announced. 

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is also waiting on some government clearances even as it decides on franchise owners. The five franchises will represent Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna.

On Monday, SLC Executive Committee granted approval for the tournament.

"The 23 match League will be played on the four international venues of R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Rangiri Dambulu International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium. Five teams named after the cities of Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna will participate in the League," SLC said in a statement on Monday.

Sri Lanka has controlled the spread of COVID-19 better than many other cricket-playing nations.

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News Network
September 25,2020

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Dubai, Sept 25: KL Rahul's century before the bowlers' stunning performance against Royals Challengers Bangalore (RCB) cruised Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to a sumptuous 97-run win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Thursday.

Rahul played an unbeaten knock of 132 runs off just 69 balls and then bowlers bundled out RCB on just 109 runs. Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin took three wickets each in the match.

Chasing a massive target of 207 runs, RCB got off to a poor start as they gave away three wickets in quick succession. Sheldon Cottrell dismissed Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli in the first and third over of the innings respectively while Mohammed Shami dismissed Josh Philippe in the second over.

The fall of wickets did not stop as Aaron Finch too was sent back to the pavilion in the eighth over. Bishnoi bowled Finch, who scored 20 runs. In the next over, Ashwin got hold of AB de Villiers, reducing RCB to 57/5.

Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar then took the field but KXIP continued to dominate the game. Both formed a 26-run partnership before Glenn Maxwell bowled Dube (12).

Continuing their dominance in the match, RCB lost another wicket as Bishnoi bowled Umesh Yadav. In his next over, Bishnoi got hold of Sundar, who was the highest run-getter from RCB, scoring 30 runs.

Dale Steyn and Navdeep Saini were the next batsmen but their partnership also did not last long as the latter was bowled by Ashwin in the 17th over. As a result, KXIP were just one wicket away from the win.

Rahul-led team did not take much time to claim the victory as Ashwin dismissed Yuzvendra Chahal in the same over, taking Punjab over the line.

Earlier, after being asked to bat first, KXIP managed to post a total of 206 with the help of Rahul's magnificent ton. With this knock, he also achieved the highest individual score by an Indian player in the IPL.

KXIP had a decent opening stand of 57-run for the first wicket between Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Meanwhile, Rahul, who was two short of 2,000 runs in the IPL, became the fastest Indian to reach the 2,000 run-mark in the tournament.

Rahul broke an eight-year-old record held by Indian batting legend and former Mumbai Indians player Sachin Tendulkar, who reached the milestone in 63 innings. Rahul reached the milestone in his 60th IPL innings.

Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal broke the opening partnership in the seventh over as he scalped Agarwal on 26. Nicholas Pooran joined Rahul in the middle. The duo had a 57-run partnership for the second wicket.

All-rounder Shivam Dube dismissed Pooran (17) in the 14th over as he was caught at mid-off by AB de Villiers.

Glenn Maxwell (5) failed to score big runs and was caught at extra cover by Aaron Finch off Dube in the 16th over.

Karun Nair joined Rahul in the middle and built a 78-run stand for the fourth wicket. The duo scored 49-run in the last two overs. Nair remained not out on 15 runs off eight balls. Also, Rahul got lucky twice as he was dropped by Virat Kohli two times in the match.

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News Network
September 21,2020

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Dubai, Sept 21: ICC's new Elite Panel entrant Nitin Menon's howler may have cost Kings XI Punjab their first IPL game of the season against Delhi Capitals, decided through Super Over.

While both teams were tied at 157 for 8, it was Kagiso Rabada, who bowled a brilliant Super Over to clinch it for Capitals.

Before the match went into Super Over, TV footage showed that square leg umpire Menon had called a "run short" when Chris Jordan took a couple of runs off Rabada in the 19th over while playing towards long-on area.

The TV replays showed that Jordan legally completed the first run and the bat was inside the crease. However to KXIP's horror, Jordan was declared a "short run" which means he didn't enter his bat inside the crease which wasn't the case.

If that run would have been allowed, it would have meant that KXIP would have won the match inside the 20 overs.

Former India captain Virender Sehwag and his opening partner Aakash Chopra lashed out at Menon

"I don't agree with the man of the match choice. The umpire who gave this short run should have been man of the match. Short Run nahin tha. And that was the difference," Sehwag tweeted.

Chopra and former Delhi Daredevils coach Trent Woodhill also criticised the umpiring and that technology wasn't used.

"One short that wasn't. Technology must take over in these cases.....but that’s possible if only the third umpire spotted it in time. What if #KXIP don't make it to the final four by 2 points?? Tight," Chopra wondered aloud.

KXIP can appeal to the IPL Governing Council for a change in decision.

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News Network
September 19,2020

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Dubai, Sept 19: Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting believes that senior batsman Ajinkya Rahane's inclusion adds "more depth" to the side but there will be a healthy competition for middle-order slots during this IPL season.

The Capitals, which finished third last year, will start their campaign against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday and both Ponting and skipper Shreyas Iyer agreed that R Ashwin and Rahane have been great additions to the young side with their experience they brought in.

While the coach didn't give away much but there is a possibility that India's Test vice-captain may have to wait for his chance in the playing XI considering the explosive top five (Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer) that DC possesses. There is in-form Alex Carey also in the mix.

"We really have a balanced side. There is a lot of competition for middle-order slots. Rahane gives us more depth to our batting," the Australian legend said on Saturday during his team's pre-season virtual media conference sitting, alongside skipper Iyer.

"Shikhar had as good a last season as anybody. Prithvi has been training very well. Shreyas has had his best 12 months for the Indian team. We have Pant, Hetmyer and Alex Carey (both left-handers), which gives us a good mix of left-right combination. We have our bases covered," Ponting said, giving a subtle hint about Rahane's immediate future.

Iyer, on his part, said that Ashwin and Rahane have mixed well within the group and never gave a sense that they are senior players.

"They give that extra sense of confidence. You don't feel that they are seniors and are willing to help every individual," said Iyer, who believes that Ashwin will be beneficial for the team, given his idea of the KXIP core team (Chris Gayle, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal) and the slowish nature of the Dubai track.

Ponting also felt that wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been shaping up well since last week and he is expecting another good season from the burly southpaw.

"Pant, during the last week, has really turned the corner well and I would expect him to perform as well as he did last year.

"In DC, we as a coaching group don't put added pressure on the players. We like to take as much as possible pressure off them. We never expect any such thing from them which they don't expect from themselves," the coach said.

With Dubai hosting 24 games out of the 60, Ponting is sure that the tracks will get slower in the second half of the tournament and spin will become more important factor.

"Conditions might change through the tournament. They have four tracks in Dubai that will host 24 games. I saw a lot of green grass cover on the track and before the game, some of it will be off. I don't see a lot of spin now but it might become a factor during later part of the tournament," the three-time ODI World Cup winner said.

Considering the nature of the track, Ponting is confident that replacement left-arm seamer Daniel Sams can be very effective with his slower off-cutters and a pace of 135 to 140 kmph.

"I have watched Daniel Sams for the last three to four years. He has been one of the highest wicket-takers in BBL. He could be effective during the back end of the tournament when pitches will get slower. He has variations and bowls lot of off-cutters. He gives us left-arm option," Ponting said.

About celebrations, Iyer said that the players are restricting it to "fist bumps", something they had been doing during practice games.

While concluding, Ponting said that the "ban on saliva" at least in white ball cricket and that too in T20 won't be that big deal compared to red ball cricket.

"But it's about habit. We need to be careful as if you do it multiple times, you can cop hefty fines," he said.

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