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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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CWI could trim board in response to task force recommendations

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The CWI board could be cut to nine members if governance reforms recommended by an independent task force are accepted.

CWI currently features an 18-member board including 12 members put forward from the regional boards. But a task force, headed by Jamaican senator Don Wehby, has called for the board to be cut to 12 immediately and nine eventually.

It has also called for the board “to reflect a wide cross section of skills and competencies” and include a minimum of two women. There is currently one woman on the board.

If the recommendations are to be enacted, they will have to be accepted by the current board. That means current board members would effectively have to agree to their own removal.

The task force, which also included Sir Hilary Beckles, Deryck Murray and Charles Wilkin QC, was formed at the request of CWI’s president, Ricky Skerritt, to look into corporate governance at the organisation. Alongside a streamlining of the board, it called for a redefining of the role of the president and vice-president to ensure they were “more board specific and non-executive”.

The recommendation would appear to stem from a previous report, by independent auditors PKF, which raised concerns that during the presidency of Dave Cameron, Skerritt’s predecessor, the line between president and executive was often blurred. Cameron has denied all allegations made in the report.

Other recommendations in the 36-page task force report include the establishment of a nominations committee to “identify and evaluate potential directors and to nominate future directors and committee members” and a reduction in the number of CWI committees from 12 to five. Such a change would be likely see more independent directors, with less influence – and arguably less partisanship – from the regions.

The report, which was compiled after months of consultation and observation of best practice elsewhere, also noted that reform was needed to ensure the sustainability of CWI. It highlighted the “need to foster the rebuilding of trust and a common purpose between CWI and the other stakeholders, especially with regional governments”.

It follows the PKF audit, which suggested CWI has suffered from overly optimistic revenue projections and unsustainable costs. That audit also criticised an opaque and inadequate accounting system, which enabled abuses to go unreported and posed a threat to “the board’s long-term sustainability”.

Former presidents and officials of CWI had previously urged CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) to conduct a forensic audit of the board in order to save West Indies cricket from “absolute and total downfall”.

Skerritt’s ability to see the recommendations enacted may define the success of his period as president. When running for office, he promised to provide greater accountability and transparency. Comprehensive reform and modernisation of CWI’s governance structure would form a major part of that.



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Cricket

CWI could trim board in response to task force recommendations

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The CWI board could be cut to nine members if governance reforms recommended by an independent task force are accepted.

CWI currently features an 18-member board including 12 members put forward from the regional boards. But a task force, headed by Jamaican senator Don Wehby, has called for the board to be cut to 12 immediately and nine eventually.

It has also called for the board “to reflect a wide cross section of skills and competencies” and include a minimum of two women. There is currently one woman on the board.

If the recommendations are to be enacted, they will have to be accepted by the current board. That means current board members would effectively have to agree to their own removal.

The task force, which also included Sir Hilary Beckles, Deryck Murray and Charles Wilkin QC, was formed at the request of CWI’s president, Ricky Skerritt, to look into corporate governance at the organisation. Alongside a streamlining of the board, it called for a redefining of the role of the president and vice-president to ensure they were “more board specific and non-executive”.

The recommendation would appear to stem from a previous report, by independent auditors PKF, which raised concerns that during the presidency of Dave Cameron, Skerritt’s predecessor, the line between president and executive was often blurred. Cameron has denied all allegations made in the report.

Other recommendations in the 36-page task force report include the establishment of a nominations committee to “identify and evaluate potential directors and to nominate future directors and committee members” and a reduction in the number of CWI committees from 12 to five. Such a change would be likely see more independent directors, with less influence – and arguably less partisanship – from the regions.

The report, which was compiled after months of consultation and observation of best practice elsewhere, also noted that reform was needed to ensure the sustainability of CWI. It highlighted the “need to foster the rebuilding of trust and a common purpose between CWI and the other stakeholders, especially with regional governments”.

It follows the PKF audit, which suggested CWI has suffered from overly optimistic revenue projections and unsustainable costs. That audit also criticised an opaque and inadequate accounting system, which enabled abuses to go unreported and posed a threat to “the board’s long-term sustainability”.

Former presidents and officials of CWI had previously urged CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) to conduct a forensic audit of the board in order to save West Indies cricket from “absolute and total downfall”.

Skerritt’s ability to see the recommendations enacted may define the success of his period as president. When running for office, he promised to provide greater accountability and transparency. Comprehensive reform and modernisation of CWI’s governance structure would form a major part of that.



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Lanka de Silva named Sri Lanka women interim head coach

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Lanka de Silva, the former Sri Lankan Test wicketkeeper, has been made interim head coach of Sri Lanka women, replacing Harsha de Silva.

He will be in charge until the end of the year while Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) searches for a long-term option. “Lanka de Silva is also free to apply for the role,” SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said. Lanka has long been a coach within the Sri Lankan system, and recently worked with the men’s Under-19 team.

Sri Lanka do not have any matches scheduled until the end of 2020, with the 2021 ODI World Cup Qualifiers, originally slated to be held in the country in July this year, pushed back by a year. Sri Lanka is likely to remain the host, with its team competing for one of the three remaining spots for the eight-team 50-over main event. With the World Cup itself now also postponed until 2022, the early part of next year has freed up as well.

SLC’s decision not to persist with Harsha as head coach is understood to be down to Sri Lanka’s poor performances under him. Sri Lanka lost each of their 19 matches in 2019, and only won their game against Bangladesh in this year’s T20 World Cup.

The new coach will also be tasked with rebuilding parts of the team, with allrounders Shashikala Siriwardene and Sripali Weerakkody having retired over the past few months.



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