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Sheffield Shield Marsh Cup 2021-22

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Offspinner suffered a minor head knock in the field after bowling 20 overs in an intrasquad game on Tuesday

Australia offspinner Nathan Lyon suffered a mild concussion while fielding during a New South Wales intra-squad match in Sydney on Tuesday, but is expected to be available for their opening Sheffield Shield match against Victoria on October 27 at Drummoyne Oval.

Lyon knocked his head while fielding on the opening day of a three-day trial game at Hurstville Oval. He bowled 20 overs and took 1 for 79 on the day but is understood to have woken up with a headache on Wednesday morning and will sit out of the remainder of the three-day game as a precaution.

Cricket Australia has announced the next set of Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup fixtures with the New South Wales and Victoria border finally opening on Wednesday.

The two teams will play against each other in back-to-back Shield matches on October 27 at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney and on November 5 at the MCG. They will also play a Marsh Cup game on November 12 at the MCG.

Lyon and other Australia Test hopefuls such as Sean Abbott, Moises Henriques, Marcus Harris and James Pattinson are set to be available for at least the two Shield games but any Test squad member will then need to do 14 days quarantine in Queensland before the first Ashes Test against England.

Meanwhile, Queensland will finally get to return home after the Western Australia government re-opened the border to Queensland following last month’s Covid outbreak in Brisbane. Tasmania and WA will travel to Queensland for Shield and Marsh Cup games in Townsville and Brisbane respectively.

WA will host South Australia before that at the WACA in Perth. There are still plans for a third Sheffield Shield fixture between NSW and Victoria to be scheduled before the BBL starts in December but it is yet to be finalised.

Marsh Sheffield Shield
Oct 27-30: Western Australia vs South Australia – WACA Ground
Oct 27-30: Queensland vs Tasmania – Riverway Stadium, Townsville
Oct 27-30: New South Wales vs Victoria – Drummoyne Oval
Nov 5-8: Victoria vs New South Wales – Melbourne Cricket Ground
Nov 10-13: Queensland vs Western Australia – Gabba
Nov 10-13: Tasmania vs South Australia – Blundstone Arena

Marsh One-Day Cup
Oct 25: Western Australia vs South Australia – WACA Ground
Nov 1: Queensland vs Tasmania – Riverway Stadium, Townsville
Nov 12: Victoria vs New South Wales – MCG (Day/Night)
Nov 15: Queensland vs Western Australia – Gabba (Day/Night)

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo



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SJN report – Another delay as CSA ombudsman asks for week’s extension

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“We will have a board meeting soon after we receive the report and then we will release it publicly,” CSA acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki

CSA’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report will be delivered to the organisation a week later than scheduled, with the ombudsman, Dumisa Ntsebeza, requesting an extension to the revised November 30 deadline. The report will now be sent to the board on December 6.

Pholetsi Moseki, the CSA acting chief executive, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the report would be made public after the board has spent time deliberating on its contents: “We will have a board meeting soon after we receive the report and then we will release it publicly.”

The report will contain recommendations made by Ntsebeza on issues relating to discrimination in South African cricket, and is expected to cover issues around the culture in the national teams, selection, match fees, and the grassroots.

CSA is not obligated to implement any of Ntsebeza’s suggestions, but is likely to act on at least some of them.

This is the second time the report has been delayed after it was initially expected to be completed by September 30. The deadline had to be extended after several parties that were implicated in the first phase of testimonies between July 5 and August 6 requested for time to compile their replies, which was granted.
The second phase of testimonies was held in October and included responses by current head coach Mark Boucher, director of cricket Graeme Smith, and former men’s captain AB de Villiers. All three submitted written affidavits and did not appear before the SJN to give oral evidence, and only Boucher’s statement has been made public so far.
Although Ntsebeza had previously indicated that the process could do with more time, it has already run for most of 2021 after the first call for submissions was put out at the end of April. It is believed that CSA had budgeted Rand 5 million (US$ 350,000 approx) for the project but the amount has gone up because of the extensions. The costs have come at a time when CSA is waiting to see if its coffers will be filled by an India tour, scheduled to begin in mid-December but in doubt because of the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant in southern Africa.

South Africa’s men’s team is also due to play New Zealand (away) and Bangladesh (at home) this summer, while the women’s team is scheduled to host West Indies before the Women’s World Cup.

Last week, CSA confirmed that all national teams would continue to take a knee before each match this season to show solidarity with the fight against racism.



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Manchester United owners acquire team in UAE T20 League

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After failed bids to acquire an IPL franchise, the Glazers have made their first formal foray into cricket

Manchester United Football Club’s American owner, Lancer Capital, has made its first foray into cricket by acquiring a franchise in the soon-to-be-launched UAE T20 League. The update came a week after Reliance Industries, the owner of Mumbai Indians in the IPL, also announced their investment in the league through a franchise ownership.

“I am very excited to be a part of UAE T20 at its formation,” Avram Glazer, chairman of Lancer Capital, said in a statement. “UAE T20 promises to be a world class event that will be transformative to the growth of cricket in the Emirates.”

Last month, Lancer Capitals was among the final shortlisted bidders for the two new IPL franchises, eventually losing out to RPSG Group and CVC Capital, the groups that acquired the Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises respectively.

Out of the nine bids, Lancer Capital had posted the lowest bid at INR 4128.65 crore (US$ 551 million approx.) for the Ahmedabad franchise, and INR 4023 crore (US$ 537 million approx.) for the Lucknow franchise.

The latest investment adds to the company’s portfolio in the sporting world: the Glazer family also owns Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I am very excited to welcome Mr. Glazer to the UAE T20 Family,” Khalid Al Zarooni, UAE T20 League chairman, said. “To have a partner who has invested into sports properties with a long term investment perspective is a testament to the strength of the UAE T20 League’s Business Model and its value proposition to its stakeholders and an ode to the UAE as the destination of choice for global sports events.”

The owners of the Knight Riders T20 teams are also understood to be “on-board” to own one of the teams in the UAE event. Capri Global, which also made a failed bid for the two new IPL franchises, Big Bash League’s Sydney Sixers, and Kiran Kumar Grandhi, a co-owner of Delhi Capitals, are believed to be among the other interested parties.

The six-team league has been sanctioned by the Emirates Cricket Board and is looking to make room for itself in the January-February window, although its inaugural edition in 2022 is likely to be played in February-March.



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Shaheen Shah Afridi breaks into top five in Test rankings for bowlers

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Latham, Karunaratne in top 10 of batting rankings; Jadeja No. 2 allrounder

Shaheen Shah Afridi has broken into the top five of the ICC Test bowling rankings for the first time following his five-for against Bangladesh in Pakistan’s eight-wicket win in the first Test in Chattogram. Afridi, who finished with a match haul of seven wickets, moved up three places to No. 5, overtaking James Anderson, Kagiso Rabada and Neil Wagner in the process.

Each of the three bowlers Afridi has overtaken will have an opportunity to make gains of their own. Wagner could have the first crack if he makes New Zealand’s XI for the second and final Test against India in Mumbai. Anderson is likely to line up for the first Ashes Test next week, while Rabada will spearhead South Africa’s pace attack during their home Tests against India later this month.

Meanwhile, Afridi’s new-ball partner Hasan Ali also moved five places to 11th, his best-ever position so far, following seven wickets in the Chattogram Test. This included figures of 5 for 51 that hastened Bangladesh’s collapse in the first innings after Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim put on 206 runs for the fifth wicket.
Kyle Jamieson, who impressed in his maiden outing in the subcontinent, was ranked ninth, while Tim Southee was within a point of second-placed R Ashwin following his eight-wicket match haul in Kanpur. Pat Cummins, Australia’s new Test captain, heads the list.
Among batters, Tom Latham and Dimuth Karunaratne made significant gains for their efforts in Kanpur and Galle respectively. Latham, who made 95 and 52 in New Zealand’s thrilling draw, jumped five places to No. 9, while the Sri Lankan captain was two spots higher st seven following scores of 147 and 83 in Sri Lanka’s 187-run win in the first Test.
Over in Bangladesh, the nature of Pakistan’s come-from-behind win had a few other gainers too. Abid Ali‘s 133 and 91 helped him jump 27 slots to a career-best 20th rank, one place above Mushfiqur. Among the other gainers was Bangladesh left-arm spinner Taijul Islam climbed two places to 23rd after picking up a seven-for in Pakistan’s first innings.
In the allrounders’ rankings, Ravindra Jadeja jumped one place to be ranked second, behind West Indies’ Jason Holder. Jadeja struck a defiant half-century in the first innings, while his five wickets in the match also helped him jump to 19th in the bowling chart.



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