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Recent Match Report – Netherlands vs Singapore, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, 20th Match, Group A

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Netherlands 104 for 5 (O’Dowd 35, Ackermann 34*) beat Singapore 101 (Chandramohan 28, van der Gugten 3-9, van der Merwe 3-22) by five wickets

Somerset allrounder Roelof van der Merwe spearheaded the Netherlands past Singapore, taking three wickets with his left-arm spin before calming Oranje nerves in a tricky chase to strike the winning runs for a five-wicket victory on Tuesday.

After Singapore went through the Powerplay unscathed, the wily veteran struck a huge blow on the first ball of the seventh over to beat Singapore batsman Tim David’s drive and knock back the stumps for 19. He struck again in the 12th over, enticing Manpreet Singh to drive to long-off before rounding off his spell with a successful lbw appeal after Sidhant Singh played back to a skiddy ball off a good length.

Van der Merwe was well supported by the Dutch pace unit – particularly Timm van der Gugten, who missed the birth of his first-born child to stay with the Dutch squad in Dubai and was rewarded with figures of 3 for 9 off three overs.

Surendran Chandramohan was the first of van der Gugten’s scalps, driving flat to Colin Ackermann at mid-off for a top score of 28. Van der Gugten later came back to clean up the tail in the 18th over, claiming Selladore Vijayakumar caught behind driving and Amjad Mahboob bowled after he was beaten for pace.

Navin Param, the star of Singapore’s win over Bermuda, entered at No. 5 but quickly ran out of partners thanks to van der Merwe and van der Gugten. He was last man out for 13 when his attempted scoop off Paul van Meekeren was tracked down halfway to the fine leg rope by wicketkeeper Scott Edwards, who pulled off a magnificent one-handed diving catch to end the innings.

What looked like an opportunity for the Dutch to go for a net run rate boost soon turned into an awkward endeavor due to a gritty effort from Singapore’s bowling and fielding unit. Tobias Visee drove to long-on in the second over and Ben Cooper edged a back foot drive behind to end the third over at 16 for 2. Max O’Dowd had been peppering the off-side boundary, including a trail of fours off Mahboob in the fourth over, but finally perished in the ninth after a failed charge to Vijayakumar.

Ryan ten Doeschate was then yorked for 1 by the 19-year-old Janak Prakash before Pieter Seelaar chipped a low full toss off the toe of the bat to David at midwicket off Sidhant to make it 65 for 5 in the 12th.

Van der Merwe had entered at No. 5 and No. 6 in the first two Dutch wins but was pushed back to No. 7 on this occasion with Ackermann coming into the XI for his first match of the tournament at the expense of Fred Klaassen, who was suffering from heatstroke. Van der Merwe’s experience paid off as he settled nerves to give Ackermann the support he needed to ice the chase. Van Der Merwe eventually struck a full toss over square leg for the winning runs with 21 balls to spare at ICC Academy Oval 1.



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Trinidad & Tobago government “very much open” to hosting CPL

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The CPL has received a shot in the arm after the Trinidad & Tobago government indicated that it is “very, very much open” to hosting the 2020 edition of the tournament in the country. However, Shamfa Cudjoe, the Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, stressed that a final decision would be subject to permission form the health ministry and the CPL providing a “commitment” to stick to the guidelines.

Earlier this week, the CPL submitted a proposal to hold the entire tournament comprising 34 matches at two main grounds in Trinidad. Originally the CPL, which comprises six teams, was scheduled to take place between August 19 and September 26 at six venues. In its proposal, the CPL mentioned that it would conduct the tournament across 25 days with several double headers.

In 2018, the CPL had signed a three-year contract with the T&T government to host the semi-finals and the finals in addition to home matches of the local team, the Trinbago Knight Riders. Last year, Trinidad hosted eight matches comprising five of the TKR home matches along with the knockouts in addition to two T10 women’s exhibition matches. As per the contract T&T government is meant to pay US $ 1 milion to CPL to facilitate the matches in the country.

On June 4, CPL had its first meeting with the T&T government, which was attended by Cudjoe along with the country’s chief medical officer and officials from the Ministry of Health. According to Cudjoe, the CPL proposal, which she called a “draft document”, primarily focused on health protocols and travel arrangements for the six franchises to follow.

“They wish to hold CPL in Trinidad and Tobago only,” Cudjoe told i95.5fm, a Trinidad-based radio station, hosted by local broadcaster Andre Errol Baptiste, hours after the meeting. “The proposal speaks primarily to the health protocol, and doesn’t cover budget or anything of that sort. I must commend CPL for taking this time out to touch on and examine each and every part of the health protocol – from quarantine period after the players land, as to how they are going to be housed, how they are fed and how to maintain social distancing, even rules as to whether saliva or sweat can be used on the ball – they went into detail.”

Despite both parties walking out optimistic from Thursday’s meeting, Cudjoe said without the health ministry’s green light nothing would move forward. “Most importantly, we are asking the Ministry of Health to give us clearance, and guidelines, to see if this is even possible, and what’s the best way to execute these games. But we are open to hosting, and as long as our numbers (Covid-19 cases) remain low, and we can establish the right health protocols and guidelines, and get the commitment from CPL to abide and adhere to those guidelines, then we are very much, very, very much open to hosting the CPL at this point in time.”

Cudjoe did not reveal tournament dates, but said CPL was “recommending mid-August, very early in September, playing games almost every day”. Cudjoe reiterated that the government would not gamble with the safety of the people at a time when the pandemic has caused close to 400,000 deaths worldwide. T&T has remained vastly unaffected so far with 117 people having tested positive for Covid-19 with 8 deaths.

“All of that (the tournament dates) would have to be looked at based on the health guidelines and the protocols from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of National Security,” Cudjoe said. “You don’t want to chance anything. Our priority is safeguarding the athletes, the workers and all the stakeholders, most importantly the wider public of Trinidad and Tobago.

“So we will not be taking any chances, we have to examine these protocols very, very meticulously, and then we will come up with a way forward as to whether this makes sense, whether we can remain healthy, whether this is safe, before we give the go-ahead. We will be deliberating on the matter during the next week, and we hope to come up with a proper and solid response to CPL soon.”

Cudjoe said, as part of the next step, the CPL has been asked to present the “budgetary items”, which would be initially examined by the Sports Company of Trinidad & Tobago, the government arm administering various sport in the country. A “concrete position”, Cudjoe said, is likely to be taken next week once CPL returns with further details in the proposal. That then would be heard by the T&T government cabinet before taking a decision.



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Coronavirus newsfile: Cricket Ireland receives provisional approval to start limited club training

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June 6

Cricket Ireland has received provisional approval from sports and health authorities for club cricket to move a step closer to limited training in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

However, restarting activity at club level is dependent on when the Irish government and the Northern Ireland Executive plan their next phase of reopening, according to a release, and that the clubs undertake pre-opening protocol compliance measures. The board had made its submission to both the governments on May 22 seeking approval to restart activity.

“This means that Provincial Unions and clubs can actively progress their COVID-19 safety preparation work in anticipation of each Government’s progression to Phase 2 / Step 2 of respective roadmaps to reopening,” a board release said.

In the first stage, Cricket Ireland will make “information packs” and resources available to all clubs across the country starting next week which will include checklists and advice regarding training practices that comply with social distancing and health protocols. “Our priority from the outset was to take a safety-first approach – to ensure the health of players, coaches, volunteers and families,” Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland CEO, said.

“With this in mind, it’s important that we remind our club and grassroots family that the 20km radius rule still applies to club cricketers, and that the ability to restart training depends upon being able to comply with the protocols. We fully understand that it won’t feel like normal, and there will be more work than usual to implement and properly monitor hygiene protocols and social distancing, but we are sure everyone recognises their role in controlling the spread of the virus and protecting the vulnerable in our community.

“There will undoubtedly be some details still to resolve during implementation, but we will provide advice on issues as they arise. If we work together on meeting these protocols, then we can begin to look towards an eventual resumption of competitive matches later in the roadmap – a scenario that seemed very distant to many just a few weeks ago.”



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Anju Jain, Devika Palshikar to take charge of Baroda women

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Former India captain Anju Jain and allrounder Devika Palshikar have been appointed on the Baroda women’s coaching staff after their contracts as the head coach and the assistant coach of the Bangladesh women’s team expired in early March following the Women’s T20 World Cup. While Jain will be in charge of batting and wicketkeeping at Baroda, Palshikar will be looking after the bowling and fielding departments.

ESPNcricinfo understands the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) had formally approached Jain and Palshikar last month after non-communication on the part of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) left the Indian pair without any clarity on their future with Bangladesh. The BCA finalised both appointments at its apex council meeting on Tuesday, where the decision to remove Atul Bedade as the head coach was also taken, “considering the sensitivity” of the sexual-harassment allegations levelled at him by the players which had led to his suspension in March.

“It was a [conscious] decision by the Association and the management to bring in female coaches in Anju Jain and Devika Palshikar for the women’s team of Baroda,” Rajkuvardevi Gaekwad, the Baroda women’s selection committee chief, told ESPNcricinfo. “Besides, we had been trying to rope in Anju for the past three years and were on the verge of finalising our talks with Devika in 2018, when the evening before she was due to hear from us, the BCB confirmed her appointment, so our plans never worked out. This time they did, and we are happy that we could get such vastly experienced coaches as Anju and Devika on board for specific disciplines.”

Under Jain and Palshikar, Bangladesh lifted their maiden multi-team title, in June 2018, by defeating heavyweights India at the Women’s Asia Cup final in Kuala Lumpur. However, they failed to win any matches in the T20 World Cups in 2018 and 2020. The coaching staff were due to be part of a review meeting with the BCB officials after the last edition in Australia but, according to Jain, they have not yet heard from the board.

“Before we – Devika, Kavita Pandya [the trainer], and I – returned to India, we spoke to the BCB CEO [Nizamuddin Chowdhury], who had kindly agreed to hold a meeting with us and other board officials about our performance at the World Cup because we, as the coaching and support staff, needed to address to a few concerns from our side and they, too, needed to have their internal meeting, which sounded fair enough,” Jain said. “But, unfortunately, we never had that meeting nor did we get any clarity from the board [about our future with the Bangladesh team].

“It has, however, been a positive and learning experience working with the players because they have been pretty open to the changes we tried to bring about in training and practice; they have given their best.”

The BCB, meanwhile, is understood to not have been keen on renewing Jain and Pashikar’s contracts although there has been no official announcement from the board yet. The fate of Pandya, too, remains unclear.

“Their contract with the BCB ended in March and had no obligation or commitment with us,” Touhid Mahmood, the women’s wing manager of the board, said. “They didn’t contact us, and we learnt about it (their new job) through the media. Our process of looking for a new coach is in place, but we have been slowed down by the current [Covid-19] pandemic.”

Jain and Palshikar, whose previous coaching stints on the domestic circuit were with Vidarbha and Goa respectively, underlined that their job at Baroda has to start with creating an environment of trust in the wake of the allegations around Bedade.

“I’ve been a firm believer that appointment of coaches — for men’s or women’s teams — has to be based on merit and passion, not gender,” Jain said. “That said, there’s no denying that given it’s unfortunate what’s happened, our work with the Baroda girls would begin with rebuilding the trust there should be between a coach and his or her players because that’s key to any team’s performance.”

Palshikar echoed Jain, adding that their appointments could also offer an evolved perspective on prevailing gender-biases around coaching in India. “I think for a coach as respected as Anju di and my being approached as a unit and coming together [to train a domestic side] after our time with a national team should help administrators and players [in India] look past any debates [inclined towards favouring male coaches] because of the gender factor. Labelling all male coaches as [morally] bad for women’s teams because they are ‘male’ is as unreasonable as labelling women’s coaches as being incapable or inferior to men because of their gender. Prevalent as the latter outlook especially is, both need a re-look into.”

With additional reporting by Mohammad Isam



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