ESPNcricinfo understands Gayakwad tested positive last month and is currently recovering in Bengaluru
Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad has been left out the India Women’s squads for the tour of England because of an injury she is understood to have been carrying during the home series against South Africa earlier this year and also because she is currently recovering from Covid-19.
ESPNcricinfo understands Gayakwad, who played just two matches for the Railways in the Women’s Senior One Day Trophy 2020-21 after the South Africa series, tested positive for Covid-19 last month and is currently recovering in Bengaluru. In the domestic tournament, she had walked off the field in the semi-final against Bengal without finishing her quota of overs. She did not play the final against Jharkhand on April 4.
No official announcement was made during or after the South Africa series about Gayakwad carrying the injury. The squad announcement for the England tour did not contain any information concerning Gayakwad’s exclusion either.
But she would likely have been picked if not for injury and illness. Gayakwad was among the best performers from the India side during the South Africa series. She was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the five-match ODI series with eight wickets at an average of 20.25, and picked up a Player-of-the-Match-winning 3 for 9 in the third and final T20I.
India is currently grappling with a devastating second wave of Covid-19, and has recorded upwards of 300,000 new cases every day for the last three weeks. Sachin Tendulkar, S Badrinath, Yusuf Pathan, Vanitha VR, and Harmanpreet Kaur are among the former and current cricketers to have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past two months and recovered since.
Former India Women players Devika Palshikar – who was among the shortlisted candidates for the head coach role that eventually went to Ramesh Powar – Amita Sharma and Sunetra Paranjpe have also recovered from Covid-19. Families of several other cricketers, including those of MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Chetan Sakariya, Veda Krishnamurthy, and Piyush Chawla have also been affected.
Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha
Recent Match Report – Sultans vs Gladiators 25th Match 2020/21-2021
The biggest loss by runs in PSL history also eliminated the Quetta Gladiators from the playoffs race
Multan Sultans 183 for 5 (Masood 73, Charles 47, Khurram 2-26) beat Quetta Gladiators 73 (Weatherald 19, Tahir 3-7, Imran 2-13) by 110 runs
Put into bat by Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Sultans’ innings owed their early impetus to Masood, as he helped bring up 50 off six overs. There weren’t a lot of dot balls, with Mohammad Rizwan happy to work the ball around, as Masood found the boundaries with ridiculous ease. Standing tall, he peppered the arc between midwicket and covers at will, with the pick of the shots a firm on drive to a length ball from Usman Shinwari. Masood looked even more dangerous after the powerplay, smacking Mohammad Nawaz for six over midwicket before going straight down the ground for another maximum off the very next ball, en route to 50 off 26 deliveries.
An all-too-brief fightback by the Gladiators
The introduction of Khurram Shahzad brought the Gladiators some hope, with Rizwan chopping him on to his off stump to start the ninth over, thus ending a 72-run association for the first wicket. Zahir Khan gave his team another lift by getting Sohaib Maqsood to miss one that turned into him to tickle the top of off, leaving the Sultans at 88 for 2 at the halfway mark.
The Sultans were left with an opening to surge on to a massive score, but Rilee Rossouw then skipped down the wicket to Hassan and top-edged an intended lofted drive towards square leg, where Usman Khan came running in from the deep to take a diving catch. Zahir then spun a web around Khushdil Shah, zipping googlies and conventional legspinners across him, while also inducing an edge for a sharp chance that Ahmed failed to latch on to in a 16th over that fetched the Sultans just one run off the bat.
The final push and a sign of things to come
The Sultans ended up pillaging 49 off the last four overs, which really should have been contained had Hassan held on to a Charles flick off Shahzad that went through his fingers and hit the midwicket boundary skirting on the full when he was on 23. Charles eventually fell to Shahzad for 47, but by then having clubbed Mohammad Hasnain for four down the ground and whipping him over midwicket for six. Post that, some hefty blows from Khushdil Shah saw the Sultans through to 183.
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Imran got a sharp length ball to take Weatherald’s edge through to Rizwan, and two balls later, Cameron Delport skipped down the wicket and popped a slower ball to mid-off. Usman was run-out in comic fashion, having overrun a quick single after Ahmed tapped a ball to point, and thus not responding to his captain’s call for an overthrow in good time. At the end of the powerplay, the Gladiators were going at a run a ball, but had consumed 21 dot deliveries and three precious wickets in the process.
Azam Khan then fell to a lazy waft off Blessing Muzarabani to leave the Gladiators at 46 for 4. They then lost four more wickets for just 13 runs, with Rizwan afforded the luxury of bringing on Tahir after nine overs. His first ball produced the wicket of Nawaz, who had batted competently for 10, run-out through a Tahir deflection at the non-striker’s end. Tahir then mesmerised the lower order, pinging Shinwari and Shahzad leg before after having induced a false shot from Hassan.
T20 Blast 2021 – Wales beat Turkey, as Glamorgan succumb to Kent in turkey | Cricket
Kent 144 for 7 (Cox 32*) beat Glamorgan 104 (Milnes 5-22) by 40 runs
If you are going to directly clash a Glamorgan T20 Blast tie with a Wales match in the European Championship, then at least reward those who turn up with a decent pitch. Instead, the surface at Sophia Gardens was roguish and the loudest cheers of the night, which sounded from the crowd when Wales secured a 2-0 win against Turkey, suggested that many thoughts had strayed elsewhere.
This was a dreadful match. Kent scrambled to 144 for 7 with a series of batsmen persistently mistiming shots and, upon their dismissal – the shot that mattered most – some batsmen, to various degrees, allowed themselves an aggrieved look. Predictably, this mediocre total proved to be of gargantuan proportions as Glamorgan made 104 with Matt Milnes working up a decent head of steam to take 5 for 22. Kent now have four wins in five and will be relieved to move on, their position in the top four of South Group strengthened.
Millnes’ five wickets included three excellent top-order scalps, incuding two overseas players. David Lloyd pulled him to deep square leg and there were two return catches – Marnus Labuschagne failing to loft over the head (cue intense shot practice on the way back to the pavilion) and Colin Ingram, a little cramped on a pull shot, contriving to send it back in his direction. Even at 59 for 4, at halfway, the outcome felt predictable.
To play this T20 tie on the same day as Wales’ clash with Turkey was bad enough and would have been best avoided. To begin at the same time owed something to misfortune, forced upon Glamorgan by a malfunctioning scoreboard and the recognition that the previous match had finished in bad light. But also to contest it on a two-paced pitch of unreliable bounce – a different kind of turkey – did nothing to persuade those cricket lovers, or football haters, that they had made the right decision.
Matthew Maynard, Glamorgan’s coach, proferred: “It was a difficult wicket to bat on – both teams found that”, before adding: “You have to play on instinct in T20 cricket and that instinct was maybe a little bit off today.”
Instinct, though, is undermined by a lack of trust, especially when modern-day players expect T20 pitches to be true. Cricket pitches are natural and variable and, allowing for interesting and valid experiments with hybrid pitches, may that always remain the case. Neither does every game has to finish 200 v 200 – good bowlers deserve the chance to succeed. But this was not a match when skilful bowlers dominated, it was just a cricketing dirge in which the bowlers – any bowlers – were bound to get lucky in the end.
Glamorgan are far from alone in occasionally producing indifferent surfaces: this is a general observation. More generally, the T20 Blast is struggling to assert its status in a summer when the Hundred is to be launched and every night of poor entertainment is a sword in its side. Produce these sorts of pitches when Welsh Fire is the name above the home dressing-room, and there will be a secretive ECB inquest. Call me cynical, but they’ve probably reserved the best pitches already.
Kent fielded two players who had been freed from England duty – and both were ill-served by this match, as was another player of recent England vintage, Joe Denly, whose frantic innings suggested he was spooked by the whole thing.
Zak Crawley, who made 15, desperately needed a chance to rebuild his belief, to restore his touch. Instead, he was part of a frenetic Kent start that, one ball after the Powerplay, saw them 37 for 3 as he mistimed a pull at a long hop from the slow left-armer Prem Sisodiya and fell at short fine leg. He might be in bad form, but he is not in that bad form.
Sam Billings managed 30 from 36 balls, the top score of the night, sensibly compiled. He has netted and played head tennis in the Test bubble for the past few weeks, while loyally observing James Bracey take the gloves ahead of him. He has also had a couple of T20 matches for Kent, the side he captains, but all too rarely, and is due to join up with England’s T20I squad – also in Cardiff at the weekend – where he also may not play. Billings is 30, at the peak of athletic prowess, holding admirable ambitions, and has had three innings all summer. What an appalling waste of his talents this is. There has to be a better way.
This observation may have been made before.
Billings’ two successive sixes over midwicket against Andrew Salter (had Kiran Carlson been on the rope, he might have intervened) represented the most dominant batting minute of the night in a match containing 22 boundaries in 38 overs. His first slog-sweep was imperfectly timed, so Salter tossed up another one, as if for practice.
Labuschagne also took two intelligent wickets, having Jack Leaning caught at the wicket, cutting, and then tossing one up wide of off stump for Darren Stevens, who had timed a couple, to pick out deep cover.
Labuschagne will probably be regarded, statistically, as failing in the Blast for the first time this season but actually his 22 was the second top-score in Glamorgan’s reply, outdone only by some late-order slogging by James Weighell after Millnes had ripped the heart out of their innings. But at least Aaron Ramsey made the night worthwhile for the hosts.
David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps
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Complaint filed against Sabbir Rahman for alleged racial abuse and stone throwing
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club lodge the complaint for apparent offences against their player Elias Sunny; Rahman denies allegations
Play was stopped for a few minutes when Sunny, fielding at the time, informed the on-field umpires Habibur Rahman and Mozahiduzzaman about the incident. After the match, Dhanmondi wrote a letter to the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) – the BCB committee that oversees club cricket in Dhaka – requesting disciplinary action.
“[Sabbir Rahman] used abusive and racially discriminate language against Sunny. As a professional cricketer, such behaviour is not only indecent but also a punishable offense,” the letter said. “In this case, you are specially requested to take disciplinary action against Sabbir Rahman.”
“Sabbir started abusing me when I was batting against Rupganj on June 13,” Sunny told ESPNcricinfo. “I asked him thrice whether he himself understood what he was saying, but he kept repeating it. I got angry, after which the umpires had to separate us. But he kept calling me kalo (referring to his skin colour) repeatedly from the outfield. We won the match so I didn’t react too much.
“During today’s match, when we were fielding, Rupganj’s bus had arrived near the BKSP 3 ground. He started teasing me with the same kalo, kalo. I didn’t react at first. But shortly afterwards, he threw a stone at me. I maintained the protocol by telling the umpires. Play was stopped for a while. I also spoke to the match referee.”
Speaking to the Daily Star, Rahman denied that he had used a racial slur, adding, “There is no question of throwing a stone. Is it easy to throw stones? Why would I do something like that? He is my senior.”
The CCDM, which will hold a hearing on the incident, has to investigate the matter since Rahman was technically an outsider or bystander during the Dhanmondi-Old DOHS game. If the match officials of the Dhanmondi game also report Rahman, it would be used as evidence against him.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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