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R Ashwin: Disallow the run or give bowler a ‘free ball’ for non-striker backing up

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R Ashwin has revived the discussion around non-strikers backing up before the ball has been bowled, suggesting that technology be used to spot and penalise the errant batsmen, by either disallowing the runs scored off the ball in question, or giving the bowler a “free ball”.

Ashwin went on to explain – on Twitter – how non-strikers, by backing up, could give their team an advantage as they could put a better batsman on strike. He said penalising the batsman could address the “grave disparity” between bat and ball in what he called an “increasingly tough” environment for the bowlers.

“Just hope that technology will see if a batsmen is backing up before the bowler bowls a ball and disallow the runs of that ball every time the batter does so!!Thus, parity will be restored as far as the front line is concerned #noball #dontbackup,” Ashwin started off tweeting. “Many of you will not be able to see the grave disaparity here, so let me take some time out to clarify to the best of my abilities. If the non striker backs up 2 feet and manages to come back for a 2, he will put the same batsmen on strike for the next ball.

“Putting the same batsmen on strike might cost me a 4 or a 6 from the next ball and eventually cost me 7 more runs instead of may be a 1 and a dot ball possibility at a different batsmen. The same will mean massively for a batter wanting to get off strike even in a test match.

“It is time to restore the balance in what is an increasingly tough environement for the bowlers. #thefrontcrease #belongs to #bothparties @bhogleharsha we can use the same tech that we are proposing for a no ball check 120 balls in a T 20 game.”

This came after the ICC announced that TV umpires would watch front-foot no-balls in ODIs during the World Cup Super League, which starts July 30 with the first England v Ireland game in Southampton.

The debate has divided opinion afresh since last year, when in an IPL game, Ashwin, the Kings XI Punjab captain at the time, ran out Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler at the non-striker’s end without delivering the ball. The dismissal sparked off the old debate, with the MCC first deeming the dismissal “legal” and a day later calling it against “the spirit of cricket” because Ashwin had “paused too long” before taking the bails off.

When Twitter users disagreed with Ashwin for asking for alternate penalties, Ashwin replied: “Make the run invalid of that ball or give the bowler a free ball the next one.

“Instead of Disallowing the run, may be the bowler can get a free ball the very next one where the batsmen has backed up. Some fairness to start off may be.”

While Ashwin did not clearly define what he meant by “free ball”, it could mean a bowling version of a free hit – no runs allowed, but the batsman can be dismissed.





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Bangladesh news – Abdur Razzak to join BCB’s selection panel

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He will join as a third selector and will join former captains Minhajul Abedin, the panel chief, and Habibul Bashar

The Bangladesh Cricket Board has named left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak as the third senior selector, to join former captains Minhajul Abedin, the panel chief, and Habibul Bashar. Razzak, who played 200 international matches between 2004 and 2018 and, at 38, continues to be an active cricketer, will have to retire from the game to take up the new job.

“My playing experience will certainly be valuable in this regard,” Razzak told ESPNcricinfo. “I used to play cricket, and now I have to help build the national team. I have been captaining in domestic cricket for a long time and I have often helped form teams. It has usually gone well. But the stakes are higher here, and the expectations are more. But still, I believe I can manage it.

“I am pretty sure I have to (retire). I haven’t mentioned it yet since I am awaiting the appointment letter but certainly when I join this new job, I have to quit (playing).”

Razzak was the first Bangladesh bowler to pick up 200 ODI wickets – he has 207 from 153 outings – and, despite not being a frontline batsman, is the holder of the record for the fastest half-century by a Bangladeshi in ODI cricket – 21 balls, joint with Mohammad Ashraful. He also made a comeback in the Test team against Sri Lanka in 2018 after a four-year break, which turned out to be his last international outing.

Over the years, he has been a domestic giant, with 137 first-class appearances. He has taken 634 wickets in them with 41 five-fors. He is also the first Bangladeshi bowler to bag 600 first-class wickets and has won nine domestic first-class titles with Khulna Division and South Zone.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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Recent Match Report – Rajasthan vs BIHAR 4th quarter final 2020/21

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Rajasthan will meet Tamil Nadu in the first semi-final on Friday

Rajasthan 164 for 5 (Lomror 78*, Aman 2-31) beat Bihar 148 for 4 (Mahrour 68*, Bishnoi 1-34) by 16 runs

Bihar’s spirited fight was extinguished by a much-experienced Rajasthan, who became the fourth semi-finalist at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. They will play Tamil Nadu, last year’s runners-up in the first semi-final on Friday, with Punjab clashing against Baroda later that evening.

Victory was set-up by Mahipal Lomror, who smashed an unbeaten 37-ball 78 at No. 4 to inject momentum and respectability to Rajasthan’s batting show. Openers Bharat Sharma and Ankit Lamba made 38 apiece too, as Rajasthan posted a competitive 164 for 5 after Ashok Menaria elected to bat.

Lomror, who equalled his previous best of 78, steered the innings after the openers fell in quick succession. He smashed five fours and as many sixes, after coming in to bat in the 10th over.

Bihar opted to preserve wickets in the first half and then attempt a heist. They were helped along the way by Babul Kumar (24), Mangal Mahrour, who finished unbeaten on 68 off 58 balls and Vikash Yadav (27 off 17 balls)

They got into a position from where they needed 45 off the last three overs with a set Mahrour looking to do the unthinkable, but perhaps they left themselves with a little too much to do.

Khaleel Ahmed, the left-arm pace spearhead, conceded only eight off the penultimate over to leave Bihar with 27 off the last over, which was a tad too many. They eventually fell short by 16 runs.

However, Bihar will take back with them the experience of having come through a tough qualifying pool, winning all their five games in the league phase. They may just wonder if they left things for a little too late on the flight home.



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Former India captain Sourav Ganguly hospitalised again with ‘chest discomfort’

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The former India captain will undergo a stenting procedure on Thursday

Former India captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has been hospitalised for the second time this month after complaining of “chest discomfort”. It is understood that Ganguly complained of restlessness on Tuesday evening and was admitted to the Apollo Gleneagles hospital in Kolkata on Wednesday, and will undergo a stenting procedure on Thursday.

A statement from the hospital on Wednesday evening provided the following details and updates:

  • Past history: He had pain [in the] chest on Jan 2, 2021. He came to Woodlands hospital then. Diagnosis was done as Triple vessel disease. He had three blocks in RCA [right coronary artery], LAD [left anterior descending artery], OM2 [second obtuse marginal].
  • Stenting was done on RCA on Jan 2, 2021. Medical Board was done with many experts including Dr Devi Shetty.
  • The advice was the rest two blocks were to be revasculalised/stenting to be done after 2-3 weeks.
  • Today is 25th day post PTCA [percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, a procedure to open blocked coronary arteries and improve blood flow to the heart muscles].
  • He had chest discomfort today and he is taken to Apollo today. Dr Saptarshi Basu and Dr Saroj Mondal are attending. Dr Aftab Khan will do the stenting tomorrow in presence of Dr Devi Shetty.

This came after a statement from the hospital earlier in the day, which said, “There is no change in his parameters since his last hospitalization and his vital parameters are stable”.

Earlier in the month, Ganguly had been discharged from Woodlands Hospital following treatment for a similar complaint, later described as a heart attack by doctors. He was said to have recovered after the angioplasty. After being discharged, Ganguly had been on oral medication and was to be “monitored by doctors and nurses on a daily basis at home”.

The MD and CEO of Woodlands Hospital, Dr Rupali Basu, had said at the time that Ganguly had no known comorbidities, but a family history of heart diseases, and that he had tested negative for Covid-19. His brother, former Bengal cricketer and current Cricket Association of Bengal joint secretary Snehasish Ganguly, underwent a successful angioplasty last week, also at the Apollo Gleneagles Hospital.

One of the expert consultants, renowned cardiologist Dr Devi Shetty, had said during the discharge that Ganguly had no heart damage.

“Did he have a heart damage? No. He had a blockage and he was getting some discomfort, but at the right time he landed in the right hospital and he had the right treatment,” Shetty had said at the time. “His heart is today as strong as it was when Sourav was 20 years old. I want everyone to understand that he didn’t have a major cardiac event which has damaged his heart. He has a very, very strong heart.”



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