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Men’s T20 World Cup 2021

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Bowls for 20 minutes, raising the possibility that he might be able to send down a few overs against New Zealand

Hardik Pandya bowled in the nets in Dubai on Wednesday, raising the possibility of him bowling in India’s crucial Men’s T20 World Cup game against New Zealand on October 31.

Hardik bowled 16 overs across three ODIs and a T20I on India’s tour of Sri Lanka in July, and did not bowl a single over in the UAE leg of the IPL for Mumbai Indians. He also hurt his shoulder while batting against Pakistan and did not take the field after India’s innings as he had to go for scans.

On Wednesday, in Dubai, Hardik went through fitness drills, which included short sprints, overseen by strength and conditioning coach Sohum Desai and physio Nitin Patel. After that he bowled for close to 20 minutes to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur in one of the nets. India chief coach Ravi Shastri and mentor MS Dhoni also monitored Hardik’s progress. Then, following his brief bowling stint, Hardik took throwdowns from batting coach Vikram Rathour.

Hardik’s inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad had raised a few eyebrows because of his fitness concerns. Ahead of the game against Pakistan, captain Virat Kohli had said that he expects Hardik to bowl at least two overs per game at some stage during the tournament.

Edited PTI copy.



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The Hundred 2022 – ECB doubles Women’s Hundred salaries for 2022 edition

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Payment bands for female players next season will range from £7500 to £31,250

The ECB has more than doubled salaries for female players in the second season of the Hundred after the inaugural women’s competition broke records for attendances and TV viewing figures.

Women’s salaries ranged from £3600 (US$4800) to £15,000 (US$20,000) – with a captaincy bonus of £1200 (US$1600) – in the 2021 edition of the Hundred and while prize money for the men’s and women’s tournaments was equal, there was a stark disparity in wages with the lowest-paid male players earning 60% more than the highest-paid female players.

Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive, had pledged after the tournament’s final was watched by a record-breaking 17,116 crowd that salaries would rise as a result of the success of the women’s competition, while confirming that the double-header model would continue to be used in 2022.

ESPNcricinfo can reveal that women’s salaries will increase by 108% across the board for 2022, ranging from £7500 (US$10,000) to £31,250 (US$41,500), with a £2500 (US$3300) captaincy bonus. Teams will have a £250,000 (US$330,000) purse to split across their 15-player squads, up from £120,000 (US$160,000), with the ECB’s total outlay on women’s salaries jumping from £960,000 (US$1.28m) to £2 million (US$2.66m).

“Salaries in the Hundred women’s competition have more than doubled ahead of the second year of the competition,” a spokesperson for the Hundred said. “We’re proud to be significantly increasing our investment in women’s salaries, we believe this is a step in the right direction as we grow the women’s game and are committed to our ongoing support of the Hundred women’s competition.”

The salary hike further increases the chances of the world’s best women’s cricketers appearing in the 2022 edition of the Hundred, after a raft of Australia internationals withdrew shortly before its first season due to quarantine requirements and restrictions on international travel. With the Commonwealth Games due to be staged at Edgbaston from July 29 to August 7, many leading internationals are likely to remain in the country for the Hundred.

The increase is particularly significant for the lowest-paid players in the tournament, several of whom had to take annual leave or ask for time off from their employers during the inaugural season. Kate Cross, the England seamer, told the Telegraph last year that “until those lower brackets are topped up, you could have some girls dropping out because ultimately it’s not worth their while with work”, but an increase in the bottom salary band to £7500 for a month’s work will make playing in the Hundred more financially viable.

The ECB has also confirmed that men’s salaries will increase by 25% and return to their pre-Covid levels, as ESPNcricinfo revealed on Wednesday.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98



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BBL11 2021-22 – Ashton Turner backs uncertainty to galvanise Perth Scorchers

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There are only two games locked in for Perth with Covid-19 potentially causing more disruption

Captain Ashton Turner refused to be drawn into whether Perth Scorchers had the toughest challenge in the upcoming BBL amid ongoing pandemic hurdles, instead striking confidence that his team is well equipped to handle any arising drama.

The Covid-19 situation across Australia continues to cause headaches on the eve of the new BBL season exacerbated by the unknown of the Omicron variant.

With Western Australia implementing the strictest border controls in the country, where travellers from New South Wales and Victoria are not currently allowed into the state, Scorchers could face lengthy stints on the road much like last season when they only played four games at Optus Stadium.

Scorchers start their season against Brisbane Heat at home on December 8, but their next fixture against Adelaide Strikers on December 11 had to be moved to Sydney due to changed border rules.

Their only other confirmed match at Optus Stadium is against Hobart Hurricanes on December 20.

There are fears chaos could ensue during Scorchers’ bid to end a five-year title drought, but Turner sought a positive approach.

“We know we are going to get challenged,” he said as he was unveiled as Scorchers’ permanent captain on Wednesday. “There is a bit of uncertainty over where we will play our games. It’s something we’ve had time to prepare for. Everyone is used to changing schedules and fixturing at the last minute.”

Against the odds, Scorchers were runners-up last season and showcased a resolve reminiscent of their golden era under Justin Langer. Turner, who was the interim captain last season relieving then skipper Mitchell Marsh, believed they could once again be “galvanised” if the situation goes awry.

“We feel like we can be adaptable. We have a team that can play on the east coast,” he said. “I think there is a real benefit of being in a confined space together for a long period of time.”

Coupled with the off-field uncertainty, there is an unknown over a new-look Scorchers outfit without big-hitting openers Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone. It will add burden on returning international Colin Munro who has an extra point to prove after missing selection for New Zealand’s T20 World Cup squad.

Turner, however, believed the Scorchers had the “flexibility” to cover the absences of the dynamic Englishmen. “It will be a different approach this year. Mitch Marsh is probably the in-form T20 batter in the world and will move up the order,” he said. “I’m looking forward to Kurtis Patterson coming into the team and Cameron Bancroft having a more stable position at the top of the order.”

Scorchers will be short-handed at the start of the season with several stars on Ashes and Australia A duties, including in-form quick Jhye Richardson who Turned tipped to be absent for a while to come.

“He’s only getting better and better and I can’t wait to watch him on TV playing in the Ashes,” he said.

Stepping into the captaincy permanently, Turner takes the reins of the BBL’s most successful franchise which returned back to prominence last season after a couple of years in the wilderness.

“We’ve got a rich history…Katich, Voges, Marsh left their legacies,” he said. “It’s hard to emulate those guys who have come before. I’m learning, trying to get better.

“I’m hopeful for the best case scenario [this season]. We don’t know what happens [after the first two home games]. But what we can do is focus on the first game and we’re excited to play.”

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth



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Alex Carey determined to keep focus in 'the biggest game I'll play' as Test debut locked in

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The South Australia left-hander has been preferred ahead of Josh Inglis



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