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Recent Match Report – Scotland vs Bangladesh 2nd Match, First Round Group B 2021/22




Scotland have named two spinners in the playing XI – Chris Greaves and Mark Watt

Scotland 140 for 9 (Graves 45, Munsey 29, Mahedi 3-19) beat Bangladesh 134 for 7 (Mushfiqur 38, Mahmudullah 23, Wheal 3-24) by six runs

Scotland shook the T20 World Cup on the opening day by beating the No. 6 ranked Bangladesh by six runs. The margin doesn’t however reflect just how well Scotland played at the Al Amerat ground in Muscat. The little-known Chris Greaves, playing only his second international match, rescued his side with a quickfire 45 after Scotland slipped to 53 for 6. Then with his quickish leg-spin, Greaves removed Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim just when Bangladesh had started to make a move towards the 141-run chase.

Greaves was calm under pressure, adding 51 runs for the seventh wicket with Mark Watt. He scrapped hard in the last five overs, which ultimately helped Scotland immensely in terms of giving them energy in the field, and then sucking the life out of Bangladesh.

Brad Wheal took three wickets while Greaves finished with two scalps. Josh Davey and Mark Watt got one each, while Safyaan Sharif closed out the game in the last over, even though Mahedi Hasan threatened briefly with a six.

More to follow…

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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Depleted squad, travel worries ahead of knockouts




If India find themselves with fewer than 11 fit players, their fixtures could be rescheduled as per tournament rules

Who are the unavailable players?
India captain Yash Dhull, vice-captain Shaik Rasheed, batter Siddarth Yadav (Rapid Antigen) and wicketkeeper Aaradhya Yadav (RT-PCR) returned positive results. Allrounder Manav Parakh and seam bowler Vasu Vats have shown symptoms of Covid-19.

How does this affect India’s last group-stage game against Uganda?
Having won their first two games against South Africa and Ireland, India are through to the quarter-final from Group B. Their final group game, at the same ground as the Ireland match, is against Uganda on Saturday, January 22.

The mandatory quarantine period for Covid-positive players is ten days, which means India will likely be forced to field the same XI from the last game. ​However, India do not have any substitute fielder or concussion sub available under the current circumstances.

…and what about their quarter-final game?
If favourites India win against Uganda, their quarter-final knockout fixture is on Saturday, January 29 and it could be against defending champions Bangladesh. But that game is on another island – Antigua and Barbuda – and only those who test negative will be allowed to fly out of Trinidad.

While the six players in quarantine are expected to complete their isolation period by then, they will have to present negative tests to get on the plane. Additionally, they will miss valuable team practice sessions, and it remains to be seen what their physical condition is at the end of the infection cycle.

What if more India players test positive?
ICC’s head of integrity Alex Marshall had stated before the competition that “merely registering a positive PCR test result within a team will not result in the automatic postponement or cancellation of fixtures.” So, as long as they have 11 players fit, India may have to fulfil their current scheduled fixtures.

But if they have less than 11 available, the tournament’s Event Technical Committee will look to postpone India’s fixtures or move their games to another venue – say, in Trinidad itself. This is stated in the competition’s playing conditions and the same rule applies to every team that may find themselves in such a situation.

While this allows the ICC to be flexible with the running of the U-19 World Cup, their decision will be subject to the games being scheduled within reason and without unreasonably affecting the other teams or the competition.

Were the BCCI prepared for such situations?
The BCCI had announced five reserve players – Rishit Reddy, Uday Saharan, Ansh Gosai, Amit Raj Upadhyay, PM Singh Rathore – before the competition, but ESPNcricinfo understands they did not travel to the Caribbean. If they are needed, they will have to fly out to the Caribbean and serve a quarantine period before they can be added to the squad.

The ICC limited the size for each contingent for the 2022 event to 27. In earlier editions, the touring contingent of a team could consist of 15 players and five support-staff personnel tops, but the global governing body, which takes care of costs for every squad, increased the overall strength of each team’s travelling party by seven to account for any pandemic-induced uncertainties. Teams, however, are required to carry at least five support staff.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

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separate bio-bubbles, regular tests, dedicated hospital passages



The PCB is set to host another season of the Pakistan Super League during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the first 15 games to be played in Karachi from January 27, and the remaining matches scheduled in Lahore, including the final on February 27. There are provisions in place to avoid a postponement even if a handful of players contract Covid-19 – the franchises have 20 players on their roster, with an additional pool of reserve players to provide cover in case of an outbreak.

ESPNcricinfo has obtained PSL’s Covid-19 protocol document, which details how the PCB will form its bio-bubble environment. The document broadly covers health and safety protocols that are being put in place at venues, and has a step-by-step guide to every stage of the tournament.

What will the PSL’s bio-secure bubble look like?
This season the PCB has replicated the biosecure bubble that was created by Restrata, an independent company that managed the environment during the rescheduled Abu Dhabi leg last season. The PCB will regulate the bubble itself, forming three distinct bubbles with different protocols.

The main bubble will comprise all teams, support staff, match officials, hotel staff and certain PCB officials. Vehicle drivers, close protection security staff, reserve players, bubble-integrity managers, anti-corruption officials and hotel staff will all reside within the bubble and are not allowed to leave. As per the guidelines, each franchise will be allotted rooms on a separate floor of the hotel and maximum possible efforts will be made to avoid interaction between teams at the hotel.

The second bubble will be created in a separate hotel and will include the TV production crew, key event management staff and essential hotel staff and drivers. The third bubble will comprise of groundstaff, who will be housed in dedicated biosecure accommodation.

Vigilance will be more stringent for the primary bubble. The bubbles cannot interact with each other and every individual will be required to follow general health and safety guidelines, as well as specific protocols to maintain the integrity of the bubble.

How often are teams going to be tested for Covid-19?
There will be as many as 17 tests starting on January 20 – the day teams are checking into the hotel. There is a mandatory three-day quarantine, followed by four days of training, before the tournament starts from January 27 in Karachi. The first three days of quarantine will have regular testing before everyone with two negative PCR results is allowed to enter the bubble. Every individual will then have a PCR test every second day.

What if an individual requires hospital treatment for an injury or illness?
The PCB has designated Agha Khan Hospital in Karachi and Hameed Latif Hospital in Lahore to handle all potential medical requirements of individuals involved in the PSL.

A medical passage will be established through which individuals requiring hospital visits for scans and/or consultations will be moved with minimal contact with others. Individuals will be provided a dedicated treatment room, sanitised passageways, PPE suits for all medical staff and will be taken around in a dedicated vehicle.

What happens in case of a positive test?
The individual(s) will be immediately separated from the rest of the squad and undergo a PCR test.

All close contacts (those who have had an interaction of longer than 15 minutes from less than two metres away in the previous 48 hours) will be isolated and tested. All casual contacts will also be isolated and tested immediately.

Once the case is confirmed as positive, the individual will isolate for a minimum of seven days and self-monitor their symptoms, providing updates to the Bio-bubble integrity manager. On day seven, if the individual is asymptomatic, they will have to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test and on returning a negative result, can be re-integrated into their bubble.

If symptoms persist on day seven, the isolation will continue till day 10. If the individual is asymptomatic on that day, there will be no need for an exit test to rejoin the bubble.

What happens if protocols and guidelines are breached?
With every team there will be a bio-bubble integrity manager policing the bubble. The offender may face a sanction ranging from reprimand to expulsion from the league. Penalties can be levied for minor or major breaches, from game bans to match-fee fines. The PCB can require any participant to quarantine in their hotel room in case of a breach, and undergo repeated testing.

How many fans will be permitted?
The PCB had originally announced full crowds for both the Karachi and Lahore legs. However, Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) determines regulations surrounding Covid-19 restrictions, and with cases rising steeply in Pakistan over the past few weeks – particularly in Karachi – the NCOC announced that the Karachi leg would see a maximum of 25% crowd attendance. Lahore, for now, is still set to see full crowds. Spectators’ entry is subject to Covid-19 protocols – no one will be allowed to enter the venue without a valid vaccination certificate.

What is the PCB’s contingency plan for a Covid outbreak?
Each of the last two seasons, the PSL was played over two legs due to Covid outbreaks, but this season, the PCB has made contingency plans to try and ensure the PSL isn’t postponed or cancelled. The PSL management will instead reset the bubble and start over after seven days, recreating the bio-bubble from scratch. In case of outbreaks among franchises, matches can go ahead as long as there are 13 players available on each side. There will also be a reserve pool for franchises to pick players from. A PCB official confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that if the league were to be postponed for some reason, it would have to be cancelled altogether, since there will be no window to play the remaining games.

Could the entirety of the PSL be held in one city?
It would appear unlikely at present. ESPNcricinfo understands that all bookings and hotel confirmations have been finalised in both Karachi and Lahore, and there are at present no plans to change that.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent

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India home season 2021-22 – Ahmedabad and Kolkata likely to host India’s home series against West Indies




The BCCI also wants to tweak the schedule to avoid a clash with the two-day IPL auction, scheduled for February 12 and 13

The BCCI has decided to limit the number of venues for the upcoming limited-overs series against West Indies to two, instead of the original six, in a bid to limit chances of the pandemic affecting the series. As per the new plan, recommended by the BCCI’s tours and fixtures committee which met on Wednesday, Ahmedabad is likely to host the ODI-leg, comprising three matches, while Kolkata is likely to get the three T20Is that follow.

The BCCI also wants to tweak the schedule to avoid a clash with the two-day IPL auction, scheduled for February 12 and 13 in Bengaluru – as things stand, the third ODI is set to be played on February 12. But a final decision will be taken on this once it has been discussed with Cricket West Indies.

The development is a precautionary step by the BCCI, taken in response to the growing number of positive cases in India, which is currently experiencing a third wave of the pandemic, with the Omicron variant dominant across the country. Though the impact of this wave has been less severe than the preceding Delta wave, the high degree of transmissiblity of Omicron has led to stringent curbs on movement and public activities in the big cities. The current wave is expected to peak in early February.

Last September, while unveiling India’s home calendar for 2021-22, the BCCI had named six venues for the series: the three ODIs on February 6, 9 and 12 in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Kolkata, and the three T20Is on February 15, 18 and 20 in Cuttack, Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram.

The tours and fixtures committee felt limiting travel was a necessary safeguard to keep the bubble intact, and also minimise chances of a disruption to the home season – the series against West Indies is set to be immediately followed by a visit by Sri Lanka, and then the IPL.

ESPNcricinfo understands the two Tests against Sri Lanka will be played in Bengaluru and Mohali as originally planned, but the three T20Is are likely to be limited to just Dharamsala, which was originally meant to host the second match, sandwiched by games in Mohali and Lucknow.

The IPL auction is set to go ahead across the weekend of February 12-13 in Bengaluru, with the ten franchises being alerted to make their travel plans accordingly.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo

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