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The Hundred – India Women players formalising deals, Shafali Verma emerges as replacement option

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Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma have been given NOCs by BCCI

India Women players Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues are set to represent Manchester Originals, Southern Brave, London Spirit and Northern Superchargers respectively in the inaugural edition of the Hundred. A fifth Indian player, the ICC’s No. 1-ranked T20I batter Shafali Verma, is also on the radar of at least one team as a potential replacement player in the event of any last-minute withdrawals.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the four players – Kaur, Mandhana, Sharma, and Rodrigues – are likely to complete contract formalities imminently, with the BCCI already having sent the ECB No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) for each of them. It is expected that the ECB will announce the signings soon.

Verma, 17, is understood to be on the radar of at least one team, and would be a front-runner to fill a spot in the event of the unavailability of any other overseas players.

Five South Africa players – Chloe Tryon (Spirit), Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee (Originals), Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp (Oval Invincibles) – are contracted to play in the tournament, and direct flights between the two countries have been suspended since December 2020, though some players have travelled via other countries to fulfil contracts in men’s county cricket.

Travel concerns face the Indians, too, as it remains unclear how or when the men’s and women’s national teams, who have international assignments scheduled through mid-June to August in England, will fly to the UK, where India is among the government’s ‘red list’ of countries.

While India men are due to play the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton in June and a five-Test series against England starting in August, the women’s teams play against each other in a one-off Test, in Bristol, starting June 16, followed by three ODIs and three T20Is from June 27 to July 15.

The Indian contingent at the Women’s Hundred will extend their stay following the completion of that tour, with the 100-ball competition starting on July 21 with the match between the Invincibles and the Originals at The Oval before their respective men’s sides meet the following day.

Kaur, Mandhana, Rodrigues and Sharma completed the Indian contingent at the now-defunct Kia Super League (KSL), the ECB’s domestic T20 tournament that made way for the Women’s Hundred.

No male Indian players will be involved in the tournament’s inaugural season. Harbhajan Singh, the veteran offspinner, registered for the Hundred’s initial draft in 2019 but withdrew after it became clear he would have to sacrifice his IPL contract and retire from international duty to appear in the competition.

If Verma, India’s youngest T20I debutant in men’s or women’s cricket, gets a contract at the Hundred, it would be her first in any overseas T20 competition. In her nascent 22-match international career, Verma, who is capped only in the T20I format, has established herself as one of the most fearless strikers in world cricket, with her 163 runs a strike rate of 158.25 – the highest among players with 100 runs or more – at the 2020 T20 World Cup pivotal to India’s run to the final.

Twenty of the 24 overseas signings for the Women’s Hundred have already been announced, with confirmation of Ellyse Perry’s involvement in March making her the 11th Australian player to sign on, in addition to the five South Africans, two New Zealanders, and two West Indies players.

@ghosh_annesha and @mroller98



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Bangladesh unhappy as Australia’s Covid-19 demands force Mushfiqur Rahim to miss home T20Is

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According to the terms agreed to between the two boards, the senior batter can’t enter the Dhaka bio-bubble now

Bangladesh are unhappy with Mushfiqur Rahim‘s enforced absence from the Bangladesh squad for the upcoming T20Is at home against Australia, a direct result of the Covid-19 protocols demanded by Cricket Australia. The word “unfair” is floating around in some private conversations among players and BCB officials, and the general feeling is that CA has asked for too much, and the BCB has gone a bit too far in accepting the demands.
The two boards had agreed to include their respective bio-bubbles in Zimbabwe and the West Indies as part of the mandatory pre-series ten-day quarantine in Dhaka. But Rahim had to leave Harare for home after both his parents contracted Covid-19. As a result, he can’t be in the Dhaka bio-bubble now. What has upset the Bangladesh team even more is that while Rahim has not been allowed to re-enter the bubble, the players who have returned from Zimbabwe have had to do so after going through four airports – Harare, Johannesburg, Doha and Dhaka – with potentially greater exposure to the virus, but there have been no objections there.

“It is unfair what happened with Mushfiq,” a member of Bangladesh’s tour party to Zimbabwe, told ESPNcricinfo. “We came in a commercial flight passing through three airports so I don’t know if it makes much sense to keep Mushfiq out of the series. He went back home from the middle of a tour for a family problem. So to not allow him to enter the quarantine after just two or three days, is not right.”



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SL vs IND, 2nd T20I, 2021

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He trusted his lower-order team-mates to play big shots if he took the game deep

Bat long and take the game deep. These were the things Dhananjaya de Silva was telling himself during his match-winning 40 not out off 34 balls on Wednesday when he helped deliver Sri Lanka’s first T20I victory in six matches.

Not known for his hitting capability, the match situation was perhaps made for de Silva, who struck only two boundaries – a six and a four – and focused instead on running singles and twos. With a severely depleted India making only 132, Sri Lanka did not require huge fireworks with the bat to chase it down.

“This is what I’m meant to do for the team,” de Silva said after the match. “In the previous match as well, what I’d been told was to bat 20 overs from one side. I wasn’t able to do that in the previous game. Today was my day and I did that. If I can bat at a run-a-ball until the final overs, letting others attack around me, I can raise my strike rate towards the finish as well. That was the coach, captain and selectors’ plan.”



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The Hundred – Jofra Archer not expected to link up with Southern Brave this week

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Team hopeful of having the pacer for the last four games as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery

Southern Brave are not expecting to have Jofra Archer available for either of their next two men’s Hundred fixtures as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery.

Archer has played twice for Sussex in the last 10 days, first bowling three overs in their Vitality Blast win against Kent and a further six against Oxfordshire in a 50-over warm-up match last Tuesday, but has not linked up with the Southern Brave squad since the start of the Hundred and is not expected to do so this week.

“We’re hearing stuff from the medical teams at the ECB and Sussex,” James Vince, the Brave’s men’s captain, said after Tuesday’s defeat to Welsh Fire. “I think he’s maybe undergoing a jab or something yesterday or today, and then hopefully we might get him for the last four [games] or something.

“It’s one of those where I’m staying out of it and leaving it to the experts in that area. Hopefully we do get him because it would be a big boost for us, but if we don’t, we’ve got guys who are capable here.”



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