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Recent Match Report – Worcs vs Notts Group 1 2021

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Nottinghamshire opener ends day not-out in follow-on as Worcestershire keep pressing

Nottinghamshire 276 (Hameed 111, Moores 62; Morris 3-30) and 87 for 0 (Slater 45*, Hameed 37*) trail Worcestershire 436 by 73 runs

Haseeb Hameed is long past the time in his life when he accepts cricket’s assurances at face value. While the rest of us are free to view the perfectly timed push through the off side that brought him to his first hundred in over two years as marking a further confirmation of his return to form after haunted late seasons at Lancashire, the batter himself will now want more, for both himself and for Nottinghamshire. He was plainly irritated to be caught behind by Ben Cox off Joe Leach for 111 when trying to angle the ball to third man. In the manner of all professional batters his attention will have shifted to the next innings.

That opportunity was not long in arriving. Hameed had been one of the last five Nottinghamshire batters dismissed in little more than ten overs and his side’s concession of a 160-run first-innings lead was followed quickly afterwards by Leach exercising his option of enforcing the follow-on. This was a surprise in itself: unless time is clearly pressing, asking a side to bat again sometimes seems to belong to the same era as pressing button B, buying a postal order or listening to the Third Programme on a wireless receiving set.

Nevertheless, barely 40 minutes after he trooped off New Road, slapping his pad in annoyance, Hameed was walking out again to face an attack clearly set on keeping their boots on the necks of Nottinghamshire’s cricketers. Like the April sunshine on this chilly afternoon at Worcester, his century was to be enjoyed but not yet unconditionally trusted. There was more work to be done. And despite the fact that he had already batted 400 minutes, Hameed will have relished this fresh responsibility just as he welcomed being appointed Nottinghamshire’s vice-captain at the start of this season. For one thing, fresh labours will replace some painful memories…

In 2016 watching Hameed bat might have been prescribed for people needing to find calm in their lives; three years later, a disordered relic of that gorgeous technique had itself become enough to cause anxiety among spectators. A player who had once invested the act of leaving the ball with natural grace suddenly found he was incapable of performing the act with even functional efficiency. Hameed was lbw or bowled letting deliveries go; he nicked catches off balls he should have left. A barely launched career that had been a statistical wonder became a repository of oddities. Lovers of the game who had derived deep joy from Hameed’s batting sat in the stands like John Steinbeck’s farmers: thinking, figuring, but never quite losing hope. After all, this was ‘Has’ and they had been through a lot together.

Early in 2019 there had been a quite lovely hundred against Middlesex at Lord’s but that summer brought him only 341 first-class runs and in late August the player seen two years previously as the future of English top-order batting was released by Lancashire. The news broke during an Ashes Test in which, so it had once been blithely assumed, Hameed was likely to be playing. Some thought Old Trafford’s decision premature but it was actually helpful. In order to revive the gift he valued most of all, Hameed needed to free himself from connections that had outlived their usefulness. Trent Bridge and the coaching of Peter Moores seemed the place to go. It still does.

In such a broad context it is easy to imagine the quiet pleasure Hameed might have derived from helping his fellow opener, Ben Slater, bat out the remaining 35 overs of this day. Nottinghamshire reached the close on 87 without loss after the third evening’s cricket at New Road bore a remarkable resemblance to the second. But Nottinghamshire’s coaches will hope that is where the comparisons end.



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WBBL 2021 – Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav set for maiden WBBL deals

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Verma has already signed a contract with two-time champions Sydney Sixers

India batter Shafali Verma and left-arm spinner Radha Yadav are set to make their Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) debuts later this year in Australia.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Verma, 17, has already signed a contract with two-time champions Sydney Sixers while Yadav, 21, is on the verge of finalising her deal with one of the two Sydney-based clubs. Aside from Verma and Yadav, at least one more India player is likely to make her maiden appearance in the competition this season.

“Yes, Shafali has signed the contract with Sydney Sixers, and given she is a minor, I have had to give my consent, too,” Verma’s father, Sanjeev, told ESPNcricinfo. “I would like to thank the BCCI and Haryana Cricket Association [HCA] for giving my daughter the permission and support to play in the WBBL. Without the guidance of the HCA, whatever Shafali is doing in her career wouldn’t have been possible.”

A senior BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo that the WBBL could see the largest ever Indian contingent this season. “All players who have been or will be approached by Big Bash teams will be given all necessary permissions to participate in the WBBL this season,” he said on the condition of anonymity.

Verma, as reported by ESPNcricinfo last week, is also set to make her debut in the inaugural edition of the Hundred, the 100-ball domestic competition of the ECB. She will be joined by her India team-mates Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues.

Only three India players have played in the WBBL previously. India T20I captain Kaur and vice-captain Mandhana debuted in the 2016-17 edition for the Sydney Thunder and the Brisbane Heat respectively. While Kaur played three straight seasons for the Thunder, Mandhana’s second bow in the competition was for the Hobart Hurricanes, in 2018-19. Veda Krishnamurthy played a solitary season, in 2017-18, also for the Hurricanes.

The WBBL didn’t have any Indian representation in 2019-20 as they focussed on preparing for the 2020 T20 World Cup instead, with assignments against South Africa and West Indies during the same time as the WBBL. A clash in scheduling with the 2020 Women’s T20 Challenge, the domestic three-team, four-match competition run by the BCCI, ruled at least three top-drawer India players out of the WBBL.

The seventh season of the WBBL is likely to run in its usual October-November window, and overseas players will be expected to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival in Australia.

Additional reporting by Daniel Brettig

Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha



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Charter flight may return Maldives-bound Australia players this week

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The group of 38 would be able to take a charter flight out of the Maldives via Malaysia to Sydney on May 16

Australian cricketers, coaches and media currently stranded in the Maldives may be able to return to home shores as soon as Sunday.

Cricket Australia, the Australian Cricketers Association and the BCCI are still awaiting confirmation from the Australian government that citizens who have recently been to India will be allowed to return to home shores after May 15 as previously flagged.

However, under plans currently being thrashed out on that condition, the group of 38 would be able to take a charter flight out of the Maldives via Malaysia to Sydney on May 16, where they would then serve their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.



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India retain No. 1 spot in Test rankings, West Indies rise to sixth place | Cricket

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India have a one-point lead over New Zealand © Getty Images


India and New Zealand retained the top two places in the ICC men’s Test rankings after the annual update, while England overtook Australia for the third spot. West Indies also moved up by two positions to be placed sixth, one slot above South Africa.

India, who have an aggregate of 121 rating points, are only one point ahead of New Zealand. The two teams will face off against each other in the World Test Championship final to be held on June 18 in Southampton.

England climbed up by a place after their 4-0 defeat to Australia in 2017-18 was dropped from the rankings in the latest update. In the current cycle, all matches played since May 2020 are rated at 100% and those of the previous two years at 50%.

Meanwhile, West Indies moved from eighth to sixth place on the back of a 2-0 series win against Bangladesh and 0-0 draw with Sri Lanka earlier this year. This is their best position since 2013.

Pakistan remained fifth despite gaining three points after their 2-0 win against Zimbabwe. South Africa are placed seventh, their joint-lowest in Test ranking history. Only Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are below them. Ireland and Afghanistan are yet to play enough Tests to figure on the rankings table.

Click here for full rankings table

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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.






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