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India tour of Australia Aus vs Ind 2020-21 – T Natarajan

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The India left-armer looked back at his fairytale Australia tour, where he made his debut in all three formats

“I’m so happy right now. There’s no limit to it and I just can’t explain that feeling.”

This was India left-arm seamer T Natarajan‘s reaction to his rousing reception at his hometown Chinnappampatti, near Salem in Tamil Nadu, after returning from Australia, where he made his debut in all three formats and played his part in the historic Gabba Test win.

Natarajan, who had seemingly driven down from Bengaluru to Chinnappampatti on Thursday, was greeted by hoardings, drumrolls and firecrackers on Thursday. After being welcomed back by his mother Shantha, his father Thangarasu and other family members, Natarajan was carried home on a horse-drawn chariot, with everyone in Chinnappampatti wanting a piece of him.

Several people thronged Natarajan’s home for selfies and some even presented him portraits of himself.

On Friday, Natarajan recalled his grand homecoming at a press conference in Salem. “I never expected to get this kind of a reception. I have to thank the people in my village,” Natarajan said. “It was an unforgettable experience in my life and I dreamt of making it big, hoping to bring recognition to Salem. It’s all god’s grace, and I’m so happy right now. There’s no limit to it and I just can’t describe that feeling. I just feel like being selected for the Australia tour was a gift for me.”



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BCCI opposed to ICC’s new bidding policy for world events

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The Indian board would prefer for tournaments to be allocated, as they have been before

The BCCI has again expressed its unhappiness at the ICC’s new bidding policy to find hosts for its global events in the 2023-20131 cycle. The reservations are not new but were reiterated at a meeting for ICC members on Wednesday.

The meeting wasn’t a formal ICC Board meeting, but one with relevant members with a single point on the agenda – the events hosting process from 2023. The BCCI was represented by its current president Sourav Ganguly, the first big meeting he has attended since he was hospitalized twice recently after suffering a heart attack in January.

The decision to get members to bid to host events was a marked departure from how event locations were decided upon in the previous eight-year cycle: all the major global men’s events were essentially divvied up by the Big Three of Australia, India and England between themselves. On the surface, it would seem none of those three boards are especially happy.

In February last year the ICC sent out an email to all members, Full, Associate and Affiliate, asking them to tender expressions of interest for any of the 20 global tournaments – in both men’s and women’s cricket – listed in the 2023-31 cycle. To lobby interest Manu Sawhney, the ICC’s chief executive officer, went on a whistle-stop tour visiting a number of countries but not India. The objective, Sawhney told countries, was to make cricket a more global sport. A number of members have expressed interest, including the PCB, who have said in the past they would put in joint bids with the Emirates Cricket Board. However, none of the BCCI, ECB and Cricket Australia expressed any interest.



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Recent Match Report – South Aust vs West Aust 14th Match 2020/21

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Travis Head earlier completed his maiden first-class double century in a huge South Australia total

Western Australia 2 for 192 (Bancroft 106*) trail South Australia 8 for 510 dec (Head 223, Hunt 10) by 318 runs

Cameron Bancroft scored his second Sheffield Shield century of the season to lead a strong Western Australia reply to a huge South Australia total based around Travis Head‘s maiden first-class double hundred.

Bancroft, who made the most of a life on 13, reached his hundred shortly before the close as he and Cameron Green guided the home side into a position from where they will feel comfortable avoiding any potential follow-on then closing in on the Redbacks’ score.

The third-wicket stand was worth 120 at stumps and ensured Western Australia did not suffer further setbacks after Sam Whiteman was caught at slip off a beauty from Dan Worrall then Shaun Marsh clipped a full toss from the part-time offspin of Will Bosisto to midwicket on the stroke of tea. That would be Bosisto’s only over of the day.

South Australia’s pace attack toiled hard during the final session on a surface that has not offered much for the seamers. Green, as is his style, took time to get his innings up and running – he was 2 off 31 balls early on – but had collected seven boundaries by the end of the day.

South Australia had resumed handsomely placed on 4 for 368 and Head went to his double hundred in the second over of the day with consecutive boundaries off Liam Guthrie. His 245-ball innings was eventually ended when he was superbly caught at slip by Marsh.

The visitor were taken beyond 500 by Worrall and Jake Lehmann, the former hitting 39 off 41 balls before his dismissal brought the declaration.



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India v England 2020-21 – Chris Woakes flies home from India tour after lengthy spell on England’s sidelines

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Allrounder to return for ODI series in March, having played no matches in three countries

England will not be able to call upon Chris Woakes for next week’s fourth Test against in Ahmedabad, after he left the tour on Thursday for his pre-arranged break from the team’s bio-secure bubble.

Woakes, 31, has endured a frustrating winter with England, having been involved in squads in South Africa, Sri Lanka and now India without playing a single game.

He travelled to South Africa for England’s white-ball tour in December, but having sat out the T20I leg (his last such match came in 2015), the ODI series was then cancelled due to concerns over the implementation of Covid protocols in the team hotel.

Next, Woakes’ chances of pushing for a place on the Sri Lanka leg of England’s Test tour were kiboshed from the outset, after his Birmingham-based travel companion Moeen Ali was diagnosed with Covid-19 on arrival in the country in January, meaning that both men were required to undergo an extended period of quarantine.

Woakes was then left out of the first three Tests against India, including this week’s pink-ball Test – which might have been his one realistic shot at involvement, given England’s belief that the conditions may have favoured seam bowling.

However, his prowess with the bat was overlooked in favour of a reunion of England’s old guard, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, neither of whom took a wicket as spin dominated for both teams in the two-day finish.

In keeping with the ECB’s policy for all of their multi-format players, Woakes now returns home to be with his wife Amie and their two young daughters, Ella and Evie-Louise, who was born in October.

Already this year, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes have missed the Tests in Sri Lanka, as did Rory Burns, who was on paternity leave, while Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood flew home for the Chennai leg of the India tour.

Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Moeen are also unavailable for the remainder of the series, but will return to the squad next week to prepare for the five-match T20I series that starts on March 12.



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