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ICC regulations – Non-neutral umpires and Covid-19 regulations to extend until July

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BCCI asks ICC Cricket Committee to re-open discussion on soft signals

Non-neutral umpires will continue to officiate in international cricket, with the ICC deciding to extend the Covid-19 regulations it put in place last year till July 2021. That is one of the key recommendations of the ICC Cricket Committee, which has been approved by the global body’s chief executives’ committee (CEC) and is set to be ratified by the ICC Board when it convenes virtually later this week on March 31 and April 1.

The ICC Cricket Committee, which is chaired by the former India captain Anil Kumble, had met earlier in March and approved a hybrid model of match officials where feasible; that would allow for one neutral umpire and three home umpires in a bilateral series. But this model would be restricted to countries where the neutral officials can travel without having to quarantine.

The CEC, which met virtually last week, approved the recommendation and has sent it to the ICC Board to get a final approval. As it stands, the World Test Championship final – scheduled from June 18 from 22 in Southampton between India and New Zealand – would be officiated by a team of neutral match officials, all English. Chris Broad is likely to be the match referee, with Richard Kettleborough, Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth – the three English umpires on the 12-man elite panel – to form the umpires’ line-up for the match.



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Men’s Hundred – Alex Hales brings Trent Rockets back from the dead to seal two-wicket heist | Cricket

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Marchant de Lange bowled another fiery spell © PA Images via Getty Images


Trent Rockets 134 for 8 (Hales 40*) beat Northern Superchargers 132 (Simpson 42, Brook 38, de Lange 3-22, Rashid Khan 3-31) by two wickets

Alex Hales sparked into life in the absolute nick of time, to swipe an extraordinary victory from the jaws of a thumping defeat – and he was gifted the opportunity by a game-turning blunder from his former England team-mate Ben Stokes, as Trent Rockets sealed an incredible two-wicket victory on a pulsating night at Trent Bridge.

Chasing a sub-par target of 133, Trent Rockets’ chase had been rocked by back-to-back ducks for Dawid Malan and Joe Root, each of them extracted by their Yorkshire and England team-mate Adil Rashid in a sensational start to his spell, and after slumping to 58 for 6 after 58 balls of their chase, their prospects of a revival at once stage dipped as low as 2 percent, according to the tournament’s Win Predictor.

Rashid Khan began their revival with a typically walloping innings of 25 from 12, but once his cameo fizzled out, Rockets’ hopes rested entirely on their sleeping giant Hales, who had seemed unable to raise his game while the wickets were tumbling around him. Between balls 49 and 73, he faced a mere four deliveries, and had limped along to 16 from 25 until a moment from Stokes that evoked memories of his own game-turning strokes of fortune in the World Cup final two years ago.

From his 26th delivery, bowled by Rashid, Hales worked a single to mid-off to give up the strike, only for the delivery to be called dead ball due to an intruder on the field. After a lengthy period of remonstration, the ball was served up again, and Hales climbed into a full-blooded drive down the ground to long-off … where Stokes, right back on the rope and perhaps still mindful of his still-problematic broken finger, spilled the chance clean over the rope for six.

One ball later, Hales carved Rashid through point to ignite his innings in a more conventional fashion, and though Luke Wood was prised out by Mujeeb Ur Rahman three balls later, the mood among a 11,483-strong crowd had transformed. Matt Carter, a late inclusion after a Covid outbreak caused Steven Mullaney to miss the match due to self-isolation, backed up a fine bowling display with vital boundary-finding levers, before Hales sealed the chase in a riot of strokeplay, including a vast winning six, high into the stands at square leg.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket


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BCB wants Ashwell Prince to stay on as batting consultant until T20 World Cup

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He was initially appointed only for the Zimbabwe tour, and is due to return to coaching the Cape Cobras

The BCB wants to extend former South Africa batter Ashwell Prince‘s contract as batting consultant up to this year’s T20 World Cup. ESPNcricinfo understands, however, that Prince is yet to agree to the BCB’s new offer.
Prince was initially roped in only for Bangladesh’s tour of Zimbabwe, which concluded on Sunday, with the understanding that he would return to coaching the South African domestic side Cape Cobras.
According to Akram Khan, the BCB’s cricket operations chairman, the BCB remains satisfied with Prince’s work in Zimbabwe after having received positive feedback from some of the players during the tour.

“We had appointed him for the Zimbabwe series initially,” Khan said. “Since it will be hard to get a coach before the T20 World Cup, we took a bit of feedback and it has been generally positive. I think some of our batsmen did really well in Zimbabwe. Some of the players told us that they have confidence in him. They are satisfied with his work.

“So we plan to go ahead with him. We can confirm that he is with us till the T20 World Cup. We will take on a decision on his further involvement (after the World Cup) over the course of the next week.”

ESPNcricinfo has learned, however, that negotiations between the BCB and Prince are still ongoing, contrary to Khan’s statement.



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Recent Match Report – West Indies vs Australia 3rd ODI 2021

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Shimron Hetymer returns for the home side in place of Jason Mohammed

West Indies won the toss and decided to bat against Australia

Dan Christian will play his first ODI in more than seven years – and his first List A game in four – as one of three changes for Australia in the deciding match against West Indies

Christian comes in for the injured Ben McDermott who hurt his ankle colliding with a boundary board during the second match. Moises Henriques is slated to open the batting alongside Josh Philippe.

Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, is also recalled to bolster the spin attack while Josh Hazlewood returns. Riley Meredith and Wes Agar miss out.

West Indies, who opted to bat first on a used surface, have made one change with Shimron Hetmyer replacing Jason Mohammed. They have not beaten Australia in a bilateral ODI series since 1995.

West Indies 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Shai Hope (wk), 3 Shimron Hetmyer, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Nicholas Pooran, 6 Kieron Pollard (capt), 7 Jason Holder, 8 Alzarri Joseph, 9 Hayden Walsh Jr, 10 Akeal Hosein, 11 Sheldon Cottrell

Australia 1 Moises Henriques, 2 Josh Philippe, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Alex Carey (capt & wk), 5 Matthew Wade, 6 Ashton Turner, 7 Dan Christian, 8 Ashton Agar, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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