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Pay increase for Australia’s female domestic players as part of funding boost

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Meg Lanning: “Cricket has shown that when you properly invest in female sport, the results follow and everyone benefits”

Australia’s domestic female players have been given a significant pay increase on the eve of the new WBBL season with an extra A$1.2 million of funding.

That will see an additional A$800,000 invested in WNCL retainers and $A400,000 for the WBBL which relates to a 22% and 14% increase respectively for the two tournaments.

“This is another incredibly important step in driving gender equity in our game. Our players have made enormous sacrifices the last 18 months,” Nick Hockley, the Cricket Australia CEO, said. “We pride ourselves over results to really lead the charge about driving equality cricket and particularly investing in the growth as cricket as a sport for women and girls.

“There’s still a really big gap compared to their male counterparts but certainly we want to ensure to keep striving to make it an incredible full-time career. This week’s announcement is about pritoritising closing the gap and further demonstrating that we are the leading sport in terms of pay domestically across Australia women team sports and we’ll continue to invest in that way.”

The WBBL has moved to its own standalone window in the October-November period and this year will be fully broadcast on TV for the first time. Last year the Women’s T20 World Cup, the last major global event that took place before the pandemic, saw the final played in front of more than 86,000 people at the MCG.



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PSL franchises accept PCB’s offer of new financial model

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This development brings to an end a long-running stand-off between the board and the franchises

The PCB and the PSL franchises have agreed on a new financial model for the league, bringing to an end a long-running stand-off which, at times, has threatened the existence of the league as it stands. The PCB had presented a final offer of a new model at last month’s PSL governing council meeting, which included giving the six franchises a greater share of the central revenue pool, financial relief for the Covid-hit seasons five and six, as well as fixing a USD dollar-Pakistan rupee exchange rate for all future payments.



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Pakistan National T20 Cup – Semi-final line-ups in place after Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa clinch crushing wins

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All four qualifying sides finished with 12 points, and KP will take on Northern again in the semi-finals, while Central Punjab face Sindh

Sindh 117 for 5 (Taha 47*, Ibrahim 2-24) beat Balochistan 113 for 5 (Sohail 37*, Abrar 2-15) by five wickets

Sindh cruised to a five-wicket win in a low-scoring encounter against Balochistan, with Danish Aziz and Abrar Ahmed spearheading the win.

Put in to bat first, Balochistan struggled for fluency at the start of the innings, but it was the middle portion where the wheels really began to come off. Danish and Abrar combined for figures of 8-0-29-3, and with no batter really able to relieve the pressure with a high-impact knock, it was left to Sohail Akhtar to score an unbeaten 37 off 36 to ensure his side at least crossed the three-figure mark. Balochistan ended up limping to 113.

There was little jeopardy in the chase, where despite a couple of early wickets, it felt the pressure was entirely off Sindh. Mohammad Taha, who hung around till the end, top-scored with 47 off 48, in the circumstances exactly what Sindh needed. With the required rate never really rising above a run-a-ball, the result felt very much a foregone conclusion long before the game was actually over, allowing Sindh to join Central Punjab with 12 points and go into the semi-finals with momentum on their side.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 207 for 4 (Ghulam 110*, Iftikhar 54*) beat Northern 115 all out (Rohail 34, Usman 2-4) by 92 runs

An unbeaten 143-run partnership between centurion Kamran Ghulam and half-centurion Iftikhar Ahmed helped Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wallop Northern by 92 runs.

Northern put KP in and made early inroads, taking four wickets inside the first nine overs. Nauman Ali, who opened the bowling, was instrumental in keeping the run rate in check, conceding just 19 from his four, but once Iftikhar joined Ghulam at the crease, it all went downhill for Northern. No other bowler came close to managing Nauman’s control, each conceding over 40 from their allotted overs; the combination of Mohammad Musa, Aaqib Liaquat, Aamer Jamal and Muhammad Musa leaking 184 in 16 overs. Ghulam and Iftikhar brought up their individual milestones and there was time enough for a collective one, with KP crossing 200 in the 20th over, and finally setting Northern 208 for victory.

KP’s bowlers were on song right from the start, all six of them among the wickets, meaning Northern never came within sight of the target. Imran Khan removed Nasir Nawaz in the first over, and contributed to a run-out that removed his opening partner Ali Imran. Rohail Nazir, the brightest spark for Northern, was eye-catching in a 23-ball 34, but once Khalid Usman cleaned up his stumps, all resistance crumbled. The last five wickets fell for 19 runs as Northern were skittled out for 115.

The only consolation was this was something of a dead rubber. Northern will need to do a whole lot better when they face KP in the semi-final, while Central Punjab take on Sindh in the other one.



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Match Preview – Capitals vs Super Kings, IPL 2021, Qualifier 1

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Despite losing to Capitals twice in the league stages, Super Kings remain a dangerous side

Big picture

Delhi Capitals are threatening to become the most consistent side in the IPL. They have a solid all-conditions side, which doesn’t get affected by the event moving from the UAE to India at the start of the year and then from India to the UAE mid-tournament. In 2019, they finished third and lost the second qualifier; in 2020 they were second on the league table and lost the final. Many a thing around them has changed, but they are there at the top of the league table, with practically the same core.

Up against them are Chennai Super Kings, who have shed inhibitions not through a spirit of adventure but by installing fail-safes around fail-safes. They attacked more than any other side with the bat, which took them to the qualifiers before any other side. Despite the three losses at the end, despite Capitals’ two wins against them in the league stages, Super Kings remain a dangerous side.

The team that wins goes straight into the final, the team that loses gets another shot at making the final when it faces the winner of the match between teams placed third and fourth. Capitals will be happy they are playing in Dubai, a venue where they have beaten Super Kings this year, a venue where they have won two chasing and lost one defending in a last-ball finish.

Both teams will want to chase because dew does play a part in Dubai, also the venue of the final.

In the news

Capitals, who have been playing with just the three overseas players, are still waiting on the fitness of Marcus Stoinis. Their captain Rishabh Pant sounded hopeful on Friday that Stoinis will be available on Sunday and will take the place of Ripal Patel. With Sam Curran out, Super Kings’ seam-bowling allrounder will surely be Dwayne Bravo. The only decision they might have to make is between Suresh Raina and Robin Uthappa, with the latter being the favourite. Read on to know why.

Likely XIs

Delhi Capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Rishabh Pant (capt & wk), 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Marcus Stoinis/ Ripal Patel, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Avesh Khan

Chennai Super Kings: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Robin Uthappa/ Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Josh Hazlewood

Strategy punt

  • In the last league match, R Ashwin bowled just one over, which meant Ripal Patel had to bowl one as late as the 16th. The reason behind it was that Royal Challengers Bangalore had only one left-hand batter, who was dismissed early. Ashwin has dismissed only two right-hand batters this IPL and has gone at 8.1 an over against them as opposed to 6.3 against left-hand batters.
  • If they choose Uthappa over Raina, Super Kings will have a clutch of right-hand batters who could similarly dissuade Pant from using Ashwin in the middle overs. Having said that, one of the two right-hand batters Ashwin has dismissed this year happens to be Uthappa. Ashwin bowled all four of his overs against Super Kings last time, but he had either Moeen Ali, a left-hand batter, or MS Dhoni, in a defensive mode, to bowl at all times.
  • Left-arm spin is not a great match-up against Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, but Capitals could look for an over of Axar Patel in the powerplay just because both are right-hand batters. In the last match, it brought them du Plessis’ wicket.

Stats that matter

  • Of the 14 bowlers who have bowled at least 60 balls at the death in this IPL, Kagiso Rabada’s 10.84 is the worst economy rate. Avesh Khan, who has bowled 20 death overs to Rabada’s 13, has gone at 9.15 an over.
  • Capitals have hit the fewest sixes of all teams by a distance, 54. Super Kings are comfortable at the top with 100. Super Kings have scored 1412 runs in the boundaries, the highest. Capitals have 1172, the second-lowest.
  • Of the ten night matches in Dubai this year, seven have been won by sides chasing. Super Kings are one of the three teams that have managed to successfully defend.
  • Capitals have beaten Super Kings in their last four encounters, but when they last met in a playoff, Super Kings won and knocked Capitals out.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo



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