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Raisuddin Ahmed, key administrator in Bangladesh’s formative cricketing years, dies

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The former BCB general secretary had been battling with Covid-19 since late December

Raisuddin Ahmed, the former BCB general secretary who was instrumental in Bangladesh taking their first steps in international cricket, passed away in Dhaka on Wednesday. He was 82. Ahmed had battled with Covid-19, having been admitted to a hospital in Dhaka since December 25.

Ahmed was the board’s general secretary from 1975 to 1981, a period during which the MCC toured Bangladesh for the first time – in 1977 – and the team gained Associate status and participated in the 1979 ICC Trophy. Ahmed was a central figure in regularly communicating with Lord’s in those days, ensuring Bangladesh were a presence in the cricketing landscape. As a director of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national carrier, Ahmed also roped in Biman as cricket’s first major sponsor in the country.

During his time as the BCB’s vice-president from 1991 to 2001, Bangladesh took even more significant strides, as they won the 1997 ICC Trophy to qualify for the 1999 World Cup, as well as gain Test status in June 2000.

Born in 1939, Ahmed went to the three most prestigious educational institutions in Dhaka – St Gregory High School, Notre Dame College and the Dhaka University. He played first-class cricket for Dhaka University in the 1957-58 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, and was a regular in the Dhaka league during the East Pakistan period, regularly opening the batting and bowling legspin. Ahmed was also East Pakistan captain in basketball, and later served as the vice-president of Pakistan Basketball Federation.

BCB president Nazmul Hassan paid respect to Ahmed, hailing his contributions to Bangladesh cricket at its formative stage.

“Raisuddin Ahmed served Bangladesh cricket at a time when the game was struggling to take off. It is due to the selfless efforts of people like him that our cricket is where it is today. On behalf of the board, I extend condolences and sympathies to his family.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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Ind vs Eng 3rd Test – Virat Kohli on Ishant Sharma

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“Very happy to see him enjoy his bowling over the last four-five years and really become that stalwart of the Indian fast-bowling group”

Virat Kohli kicked his sleeping room-mate, Ishant Sharma, out of the bed to inform him he had been selected for India. That was 15-odd years ago. Things haven’t changed much over time. To Sharma, the Ahmedabad Test starting Wednesday is just another Test; to Kohli, the fast bowler’s 100th is as good as the 150th for a batsman in modern cricket. On the eve of the Test, Kohli paid rich tribute to his “dear friend” and his attack’s spearhead.

“I have known Ishant for many years now,” Kohli said. “He started playing state cricket with me from his first season onwards. We have been room-mates for many years in state cricket, in Ranji Trophy cricket. When he got selected for India, he was fast asleep in the afternoon, and I had to kick him off the bed and say you have been selected. And he wouldn’t believe me. That’s how far we go back.



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Channel Seven entitled to tiny rights discount, arbitrator finds, amid Cricket Australia dispute

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A strong season of ratings for the Australia-India series and BBL appears to have weakened the position of the free-to-air network

Seven West Media are entitled to a broadcast rights fee discount of as little as A$5 million from Cricket Australia due to changes in the schedule due to Covid-19, according to the independent arbitrator demanded by the free-to-air network.

In a draft outcome understood to have been delivered to the warring parties on Tuesday night, the arbitrator Justin Jameson, of Venture Consulting, concluded that Seven should get only a tiny portion of the A$70 million reduction the debt-laden network had been chasing. The figure would rise to around A$8 million if the rescheduled Test match between Australia and Afghanistan does not go ahead next summer prior to the Ashes.

While Jameson’s formal finding is still to be tabled, the heads-up was a source of some relief to CA, after an ugly and protracted campaign by Seven for massive cuts to their A$82 million-a-year share of the A$1.18 billion deal signed alongside Foxtel in April 2018.

Led by their chief executive James Warburton, Seven have mounted all manner of arguments for a greater discount, from complaints about the quality of the BBL to allegations of a vast conspiracy between CA, the BCCI and Foxtel to move this summer’s limited-overs fixtures from January to November.



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Hannah Darlington’s Australia call-up – ‘Everyday I’m pinching myself that this is happening’

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The pace bowler’s career already has strong links to New Zealand and it could be the scene of her international debut

New Zealand has already played a significant part in Hannah Darlington‘s cricket journey. Two years ago she toured with the Australia Under-19 squad and last season played for Otago in the Super Smash, her performances helping her secure a state contract with New South Wales.

Now it could be the scene of her international debut after being named in Australia’s squad for the ODI and T20I tour next month. Darlington, who has been a star of the last two WBBL seasons with Sydney Thunder, is one of two uncapped players on the trip alongside Darcie Brown, the Adelaide Strikers and South Australia quick, who was her roommate on the U-19 tour.

Darlington was named the female young cricketer of the year earlier this month after a WBBL campaign with the Thunder that brought 19 at 13.68 and economy rate of 6.19 for the champions. That followed 16 wickets in the previous season, although after that she was overlooked for New South Wales Breakers which is how she found herself back in New Zealand.

She took 13 wickets for Otago, with an economy rate of 5.75, and on returning to Australia was selected by NSW then during the off-season earned a full contract. This summer she was named vice-captain, although the plan for her to potentially lead the side when Alyssa Healy departed on tour will now have to shelved with her on the same flight.



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