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IPL 2021 – Devdutt Padikkal links up with Royal Challengers Bangalore after testing negative for Covid-19

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The opening batsman was quarantining at home after testing positive on March 22

Devdutt Padikkal, who had tested positive for Covid-19 on March 22 and had been quarantining at home since then, has travelled to Chennai and linked up with the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad after returning “negative reports for Covid-19 as per the BCCI’s protocols”.

Announcing the update, the Royal Challengers said in a statement that the franchise’s medical team was “in constant touch with Devdutt to ensure his safety and well-being”.

In a video released by the team on Twitter, Padikkal said, “As per BCCI and IPL protocol, I had to quarantine at home for two weeks. Now I have joined the camp after two negative tests, and I am feeling completely fine now, and I just can’t wait to get back out there and join the RCB camp.”

The Royal Challengers’ first game of IPL 2021 is the tournament opener against the Mumbai Indians in Chennai on April 9. Their second match is on April 14, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, also in Chennai.

It is unclear if Paddikal will have to go through the mandatory hard quarantine for seven more days. According to The Hindu, the Royal Challengers’ head coach Simon Katich said in a media interaction on Tuesday that the team had been told Paddikal would not have to quarantine upon his return. If that were true, he would be available for the season-opener against Mumbai.

Padikkal was the leading run-scorer for the Royal Challengers in IPL 2020, his debut season, scoring 473 runs at an average of 31.53 and a strike rate of 124.80. Coming into this season, he had a stellar Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy too, tallying 218 runs in six innings at an average of 43.60 and a strike rate of 134.56.

Also on Wednesday, it emerged that Daniel Sams, the Royal Challengers’ Australian allrounder, had tested positive for Covid-19. According to a statement tweeted by the Royal Challengers, Sams had returned a negative test upon his arrival in Chennai on April 3. A second test on April 7, however, returned a positive result, as a result of which he had to go into isolation at a designated medical facility.

Since Sams, who is asymptomatic, has been in quarantine since his arrival in India, he had not yet made contact with any other player or Royal Challengers staff member.

More to follow…





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Eng vs NZ 2021 – New Zealand’s wholesale changes show immense strength in depth

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Unprecedented six changes also highlight WTC’s impact on international cricket

New Zealand have never previously made six changes to their side within a series and that they did so at Edgbaston and still managed to take seven wickets after being asked to bowl on a flat pitch was evidence of two things: firstly, unprecedented strength in depth within their Test squad, and secondly, the extent of the World Test Championship’s impact on international cricket.

Tom Latham, their stand-in captain, insisted in his pre-match press conference that beating England was “higher on our priority list” than the WTC final, but that he was saying it in the first place was proof of the inverse: Kane Williamson was ruled out through elbow pain here but would surely be risked against India if he suffered the same ailment next week.
Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Colin de Grandhomme were all rotated out to manage their workloads ahead of the same fixture, and while BJ Watling’s stiff back and Mitchell Santner’s cut finger might well have caused them to miss out under any circumstances, the presence of ready-made replacements in Tom Blundell and Ajaz Patel and Trent Boult’s return meant only a limited drop-off in the quality of New Zealand’s side.

It has been clear for some time that the notion of teams knowing their ‘best XI’ is anachronistic in this era of international cricket but in the Covid era of enlarged squads, bubble fatigue, variety in conditions and a punishing schedule, squad depth is more relevant than ever. India proved as much during their improbable series win in Australia at the start of this year, and with New Zealand fielding 17 players across these two Tests, they are showing that the era of “Hadlee at one end, Ilford seconds at the other” is long gone.

The only time a team has used more than that in a two-match series was when Sri Lanka rested seven players after an innings-and-196-run win against a struggling Bangladesh in 2002, which led Sanath Jayasuriya to complain he had never seen some of his new side before and drew the disapproval of the government’s sports minister – though they still won the second Test by 288 runs.



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SL vs Ind 2021 – Shikhar Dhawan to captain India on limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar named vice-captain, Chetan Sakariya and Nitish Rana among new faces in the mix

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya have all received maiden call-ups to the national team, figuring in the 20-man India squad for the white-ball series in Sri Lanka, scheduled for July. The second-string squad – the main team will be in England at the time – will be captained by opening batter Shikhar Dhawan, who has never led India previously, and will also see the international comeback of fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been appointed vice-captain.
India’s Sri Lanka tour comprises six matches: three ODIs (on July 13, 16 and 18), followed by three T20Is (July 21, 23, 25). Former India captain Rahul Dravid has been confirmed as the head coach, although the BCCI did not announce the coaching staff for the side on Thursday when it announced the squad, which will have five reserve bowlers.

Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-capt), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya

Net bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, R Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh

More to follow…



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County cricket 2021 – Kyle Jamieson signs for Surrey on short-term deal

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Fast bowler will head to Kia Oval at conclusion of the World Test Championship final

Kyle Jamieson, the New Zealand fast bowler, has signed a short-term deal for Surrey across formats, and will link up with the club at the conclusion of the World Test Championship final against India later this month.

Jamieson, who has been rested from the ongoing second Test against England after claiming three wickets in the opening match at Lord’s, will be available for the Vitality Blast London Derby against Middlesex at The Kia Oval on June 25, and will remain with the squad until their final group game in mid-July.

In that period, he will also be available for Surrey’s final two group games in the LV= Insurance County Championship, against Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl from July 4-7 and against Somerset at The Oval from July 11-14. This will be his first time playing in English domestic cricket.

“I’m really excited to get the chance to play some county cricket after the Black Caps tour,” Jamieson said. “Originally I didn’t think this opportunity would be possible with the schedule this year, but with how things have unfolded it’s great to be able to join Surrey and experience both T20 and first-class cricket.

“Playing county cricket is something I’ve always wanted to do in my career, so to have the chance to do so now is awesome. I’ve heard a lot of great things about county cricket, particularly T20 Blast nights at The Kia Oval, and can’t wait to take up the opportunity with Surrey to continue to learn and grow whilst trying my best to contribute to the teams’ success.”



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