Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Virender Sehwag and Muttiah Muralitharan are among the big names set to feature in a T20 tournament aimed at promoting road safety, called the Road Safety World Series. Some other prominent names that are set to be part of the tournament include Jacques Kallis, Brett Lee and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
ESPNcricinfo understands the first season of the tournament will be played in 2020 between February 2 and 16 in Mumbai and will feature the following teams: India Legends, Australia Legends, South Africa Legends, Sri Lanka Legends and West Indies Legends.
It is understood that a total of 110 players – all retired – have confirmed their participation in the tournament, which would be based on the franchise model prevailing across domestic T20 leagues around the world. The participating teams have been restricted to only Test-playing countries for the first season.
Among the organisers promoting this event are Professional Management Group and the Road Safety Cell of the Maharashtra government. Part of their business plan is to host the event for 10 years across India. It is understood that the organisers had received the nod from BCCI in August 2018 to conduct the tournament.
Although the players’ payments would be taken care of by the franchises, the proceeds from the tournament itself would be utilised by the Road Safety Cell to promote the cause in addition to highlighting how India ranks highest in the list of deaths caused on roads in the world.
Tendulkar will be returning to play cricket in front of a crowd for the third time since his retirement in 2013, having played for the MCC against Rest of the World XI at Lord’s in 2014 and three exhibition T20s in the USA in 2015.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
T20 World Cup fate under ‘very high risk’- Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts
The ICC may continue to insist that this year’s men’s T20 World Cup in Australia has not yet been postponed, but Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said on Friday there’s “a very high risk about the prospect” of the tournament taking place as planned in October-November. Roberts’ comments came a day after the emergence of a communication from CA chairman Earl Eddings to the ICC in which he asked for Australia to be able to host the event in the same window next year.
The tournament, featuring 16 teams (including eight qualifiers for four spots), is scheduled to be held between October 18 and November 15, but as reported earlier this week, there is a strong likelihood of the event being postponed, something the ICC said on Wednesday was “inaccurate.” On Thursday, the ICC board was meant to discuss the postponement and contingency planning, but eventually deferred that discussion to June 10.
“The timing of the men’s T20 World Cup is really a matter for the ICC,” Roberts said on Friday in a virtual media briefing. “Obviously, we’ve been hopeful all along that it could be staged in October-November. But you’d have to say that there’s a very high risk about the prospect of that happening.”
In case the World Cup does get postponed, Roberts said there were a few potential windows to stage the event in 2021 and 2022, some of which were listed by ESPNcricinfo on Wednesday. “In the event that that doesn’t happen, there are other potential windows in the February-March period, October-November the following year.”
“We are exploring all options, from chartered flights in from other countries through to creating bio-security bubbles in different venues, and it may well be as much as we’ve released the schedule and we have for example four Indian Tests scheduled for four states, that assumes that state borders are open to domestic travel.”
However, Roberts stressed that the ICC would have to “deal with a lot of complexity” in order to work out an alternate window, especially since India are scheduled to host the 2021 men’s T20 World Cup (scheduled for October-November) and the 2023 men’s ODI World Cup (scheduled for February-March).
“There’s implications for ICC events over a number of years,” Roberts said. “They need to be thinking about when to stage the men’s T20 World Cup that’s planned for Australia. There’s another one planned in India a year later and then in 2023 there’s the men’s cricket World Cup for India as well. And not to forget on the women’s side of the ledger, you’ve got the cricket World Cup in NZ early next year. The ICC is juggling a lot of balls there and looking at the windows that are possible over the coming years.”
Roberts’ comments come on the back of Eddings writing to the ICC to say it would be “detrimental to cricket” in case the “cancellation” of the World Cup in Australia this year is “replaced by award of” the tournament in October-November 2022. Contents of Eddings’ correspondence with the ICC were reported by the Times of India on Thursday.
Eddings instead suggested that Australia host the event in October-November 2021 and India stage the tournament on roughly the same dates a year later in 2022. Doing that, Eddings said, would financially help all the member countries.
“Australia has thankfully managed to flatten the (Covid-19) curve, meaning there is greater certainty of being able to play in Australia in 2021 (which is key to maintaining member distribution). This would give India another year to resolve any Covid-related problems,” the paper quoted Eddings as saying in his communication, which it said was only addressed to the ICC’s Finance and Commercial Affairs (F&CA) committee.
The F&CA is headed by former ICC president Ehsan Mani, who is currently the chairman of the PCB as well. The other members of the F&CA are Imran Khawaja (ICC deputy chairman), Colin Graves (ECB chairman), Chris Nenzani (CSA chairman), former Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi (independent women’s director) and Eddings. Shashank Manohar (ICC chairman) and Manu Sawhney (ICC CEO) sit as ex-officio members in the committee along with Ankur Khanna (ICC chief financial officer) as the secretary.
Test venues for India tour could be cut to ‘one or two’
Roberts said that in case the World Cup is ruled out this year, CA would suffer a potential loss of approximately A$20 million (US$13.3 million approx.). As far as the international summer is concerned, CA has forecast a shortfall of around A$80 million (US$53.3 million approx.).
Roberts said that about A$10 million (US$6.66 million approx.) would be spent on creating the biosecure environment that is being considered for cricket to resume with precautions. On Thursday, CA released the home schedule for 2020-21, which includes India playing three T20Is in October followed by four Tests (starting December 3) and then three ODIs in January 2021. Zimbabwe, West Indies, Afghanistan and New Zealand are also scheduled to feature in men’s bilateral series with several venues across Australia pencilled in at this stage.
However, Roberts accepted that based on the Covid-19 situation at the time, the number of venues might be shrunk.
“It’s still very early days,” he said. “The international season doesn’t start for some time. So you’d appreciate those plans will evolve. We are exploring all options, from chartered flights in from other countries through to creating bio-security bubbles in different venues, and it may well be as much as we’ve released the schedule and we have for example four Indian Tests scheduled for four states, that assumes that state borders are open to domestic travel.
“It may be that circumstances dictate that when the time comes, maybe we can use only one or two venues. We don’t know any of that yet. We need to plan for all those scenarios. There are a lot of variables based on whether we have four venues.”
Peter Siddle switches to Tasmania after 15 years with Victoria
Fast bowler Peter Siddle has switched to Tasmania with a two-year contract after 15 years of playing for his home team Victoria. Siddle said a future career in coaching and a chance to mentor the young crop of Tasmania’s fast bowlers were the reasons behind his move.
The 35-year old, who had retired from international cricket last year after playing 67 Tests in 11 years, started his Victoria career at underage level and debuted for the senior side in 2005. He went on to play 62 first-class matches and 35 one-day games for them, where he picked 234 and 43 wickets respectively. He was also part of their two successful Sheffield Shield campaigns and a one-day title. He finished with 32 wickets at 19.87 in eight matches in the 2019-20 Shield season.
“My greatest goal is to come to Tasmania and play good cricket, while hopefully winning a few games which will be my biggest aim,” Siddle said. “There’s a few players down here that I’ve played a lot of cricket with, and there’s a bunch of younger players that I’m looking forward to playing alongside.
“It’s a great opportunity for me while I’m still playing to work alongside Griff (Adam Griffith, Tasmania’s mentor). I want to develop my coaching skills further and really help some of the younger boys who have already shown a great amount of talent. I see this as an exciting venture for me, and it’s something that I am really looking forward to.”
Siddle said he was planning for the future as he knew his playing days would be over in the near future. “When you’re an older player, it’s always nerve-wracking not knowing whether you’re going to get another deal with your home state or any state,” Siddle told cricket.com.au. “To have four states interested in signing me … it’s always nice to feel loved, especially at the back end of my career.
“But it was about making the right decision to help develop me not just as a player at the back end of my career but also looking ahead to the future and what I might move into once my playing days are done.”
Meanwhile, James Faulkner, who last played first-class cricket for Tasmania in 2017, has been left out of the state’s contract list. He debuted for the side in 2008 and last played for them in the domestic one-day cup last year where he finished with seven wickets in as many games.
George Bailey, who took up a role in the national selection panel last year, is no longer contracted with Tasmania, while Alex Bevilaqua, Gurinder Sandhu, Sean Willis and Simon Milenko have also been left out.
Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett left out as England name 55-man training group
18 bowlers returned to individual training last week with a focus on red-ball cricket, and a further 37 names have been added to that list.
Players have not yet been named with specific formats in mind, but the longlist will be the source of the squads for the Test series against West Indies and ODI series against Ireland.
Several players who impressed on England Lions’ tour to Australia have been included, with James Bracey, Brydon Carse, Will Jacks, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Dan Lawrence among them.
Ben Duckett, Sam Billings, Reece Topley, Liam Livingstone, Mason Crane and David Willey are among those who have been named after a spell out of the international fold, but there is no room for Hales or Plunkett in the group.
“It’s really pleasing to be in a position to have players returning to training and a huge amount of work has been done by many to get us this far,” said Mo Bobat, the ECB’s performance director. “The pool of players will give selectors strong options when it comes to selecting squads across formats further down the line, as we move closer to our aim of playing international cricket this summer.”
“We will need to continue to work closely with our medical team and government to ensure that our return to training and play activities are in line with best-practice guidelines. We’re also really grateful for the positive and collaborative response from our county colleagues who are doing a great job at facilitating coaching and support for the players. The fact that we can call on our network to support the national effort shows the strength of our system.”
England training group: Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonny Bairstow(Yorkshire), Tom Banton (Somerset), Dom Bess (Somerset), Sam Billings (Kent), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Henry Brookes (Warwickshire), Pat Brown (Worcestershire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Mason Crane(Hampshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), Joe Denly (Kent), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Laurie Evans (Sussex), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Richard Gleeson (Lancashire), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Tom Helm (Middlesex), Will Jacks (Surrey), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Yorkshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Craig Overton (Somerset), Jamie Overton (Somerset), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Phil Salt (Sussex), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Reece Topley (Surrey), James Vince (Hampshire), Amar Virdi (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)
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