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Fantasy XI: KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami should sparkle again

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Fantasy tips for the T20 World Cup game between India and Namibia



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KKR, Mumbai Indians set to become franchise owners in UAE-based Premier League T20

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The Glazer family, owners of Manchester United, are also set to make their first foray into cricket

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Mumbai Indians and the owners of Manchester United – the Glazer family – are set to be announced in the coming days as franchise owners in a new T20 league based in the UAE.

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

The league – the Premier League T20 – was announced in August this year though at the time details of who might be involved were in a formative stage.

Now, however, according to an official involved in the planning of the league, discussions are in varying – but broadly advanced – stages with the six owners. Of those, the official said KKR are “on-board” while Mumbai Indians are carrying out their own final due diligence, though terms and conditions have been finalised. “We just need a formal handshake [with Mumbai] to make it final now,” the official told ESPNcricinfo.

Other franchise owners include Capri Global, who bid recently but failed for an IPL franchise, the Big Bash League’s Sydney Sixers and Kiran Kumar Grandhi, a co-owner of the Delhi Capitals.

“With all six, contracts have been exchanged, and advanced discussions in place,” the official said. “Financial terms have been finalised. The details are being gone through in most instances, with lawyers, advisors and so on.”

The IPL-slant could’ve been heavier. Chennai Super Kings were involved in the earliest discussions around the league, which began a couple of years ago. Sunder Raman, a former chief operating officer of the IPL, and currently an advisor with CSK, was also part of the early strategising around the league.

It will offer, however, a first proper dip into cricket for the Glazer family. The Manchester United owners were also one of the unsuccessful bidders for one of the two new IPL franchises.

As currently conceived, the league will be a double round-robin format with a knockout stage: 34 games in all, of which four will be part of a knockout stage with qualifiers, an eliminator and a final. As of now, no decision has been made on whether players will be brought in through a draft system, or an auction, though once the announcements have been made and plans are finalised, a consensus on that is not expected to take long.

Although the ECB has provided the sanction for the league, the league is being spearheaded by a team led by the board’s vice-chairman, Khalid al Zarooni, the board’s general secretary Mubashir Usmani and Subhan Ahmed, who is an advisor to the board and formerly a senior and long-time PCB official. They will oversee an operational team that is likely to include former IMG officials.

This isn’t the first time a UAE-based T20 league has come close to fruition. The Emirates T20x was set to feature a number of the world’s leading players, including AB de Villiers and Andre Russell, and was supposed to start in December 2018. But it was cancelled a month before after only two of the five planned franchises found buyers.

With IPL franchises in the mix now, however, the PLT20 would seem to have acquired a more tangible shape. That involvement will also bring with it the prospect of enhanced financial status, with a mooted salary cap of “not less than USD $1.5 million,” according to the official. That, together with the attractiveness of the UAE as a sporting destination, and proximity of its planned window in the calendar, will raise the eyebrows of the PSL.

The seventh edition of the PSL, in 2022, has moved to a January start and running through to the third week of February because of the visit of Australia in Pakistan’s home season. Usually the tournament begins in February and runs through to March; it is not inconceivable that there is a direct clash at some point, if the PLT20 takes off, and that both leagues compete for a similar set of foreign players.

The official believes formal announcements of the franchise owners will start coming out in the next week; a broadcaster is expected to be announced in a similar timeframe.

Osman Samiuddin is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2021

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In the other Group B match, Thailand continued their rise with an eight-run win over hosts Zimbabwe

Bangladesh 202 for 7 (Rumana 50*, Hoque 45, Sandhu 2-24, Sohail 2-44) beat Pakistan 201 for 7 (Dar 87, Riaz 61*, Akter 2-25, Moni 2-36) by three wickets
Scorecard
Having come out of a 21-month-long hiatus in international cricket only earlier this month, Bangladesh pulled off an upset over Pakistan on the opening day of the Women’s ODI World Cup Qualifier as allrounder Rumana Ahmed closed out a tight chase of 202 in Harare with an unbeaten 44-ball 50.
Bangladesh’s final-over victory hardly appeared on the horizon when they were 98 for 4, with 104 still needed off 89 balls. Rumana was on 1 off 9 at the time, and Bangladesh had just lost the set Fargana Hoque for a 90-ball 45. Then the required rate climbed to 8.9 with 10 overs to go.
But in Ritu Moni‘s company, Rumana unleashed a counterattack, the pair adding 61 off 59 balls. Moni hammered three back-to-back fours off Fatima Sana in the 45th over before being dismissed for a 37-ball 33.

Omaima Sohail struck twice in the 46th over, leaving Bangladesh needing 41 off the last 24 balls. Then Rumana took control, carting three consecutive fours off Sohail in the 48th. With former captain Salma Khatun also chipping in with an unbeaten 18 off 13, Bangladesh got home with two balls to spare.

Earlier, two wickets apiece from Moni and Nahida Akter and Khatun’s run-out of opener Ayesha Zafar left Pakistan struggling at 49 for 5 after being sent in. Had it not been for the big-hitting allrounder Nida Dar‘s 111-ball 87 at No. 6 and No. 7 Aliya Riaz‘s unbeaten 82-ball 61, Pakistan might have finished well below their final score of 201 for 7. The duo’s 136-run stand was the third-highest in Women’s ODIs for the sixth wicket.
Thailand 247 for 6 (Chantham 48, Koncharoenkai 47, Tippoch 40, Tshuma 2-35, Chipare 2-50) beat Zimbabwe 239 for 5 (Musonda 69*, Nkomo 56, Mayers 47, Laomi 2-51) by eight runs
Scorecard

Thailand Women’s upward rise continued as they completed an eight-run win over hosts Zimbabwe on their ODI debut, in the second Group B fixture of the day.

Save for opener Nattaya Boochatham, all of Thailand’s top six made 30 or more. The other opener, Natthakan Chantham, was aggressive in her approach, hitting seven fours in her 59-ball 48. With Sornnarin Tippoch, who made 40 off 76, Chantham added 94 for the second wicket, taking Thailand past 100.
After the Chantham-Tippoch partnership ended, thanks to Loreen Tshuma who accounted for both batters, Nannapat Koncharoenkai, Naruemol Chaiwai and Chanida Sutthiruang made useful contributions to help steer them to 247 for 6 in 50.
In response, Zimbabwe, who had debuted in ODIs last month, made a slow start, with openers Modester Mupachikwa and Sharne Mayers putting on 49 runs in 16.5 overs. No. 3 Josephine Nkomo strung a 59-run second-wicket stand with Mayers (47 off 80) before Suleeporn Laomi cut short Mayers’ stay.
Nkomo’s 66-ball 56 kept Zimbabwe on track, as did captain Mary-Anne Musonda‘s unbeaten 65-ball 69, but after the pair 73-run third-wicket stand, Zimbabwe stuttered and fell eight short of the target as Thailand made a strong push towards securing a Super Six berth.



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Tim Paine makes playing comeback after resignation drama

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He was part of the Tasmania 2nd XI facing South Australia in Hobart

Three days after resigning as Australia’s Test captain, Tim Paine makes his return to playing as he bids to be part of the upcoming Ashes series.
The Tasmania 2nd XI match against South Australia, at Lindisfarne Memorial Park in Hobart, will likely attract significantly more interest than would normally be the case. This fixture had been part of Paine’s comeback plan from neck surgery before the drama of last week – his initial return in a club game at the weekend was washed out – and will be his first game since early April.

He will have the keeping gloves on initially with Tasmania bowling first. Away from the fallout of the text message scandal, there is a form and fitness debate for Paine to answer – especially now he is back in the ranks as a player.

The Cricket Australia board said they were satisfied for Paine to remain available for selection and he has insisted he wants to be part of the England series. The Ashes had been viewed as a potential end-point for Paine’s Test career before the latest developments.

“I see that as the ultimate high, to be able to finish your Test career after winning an Ashes series in Australia,” Paine said in an interview with the Herald Sun. “That’s the dream. That’s what I want to do.”

Todd Greenberg, the chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, said that Paine’s availability for the Ashes was a key part of the negotiations that took place ahead of him standing down. In a statement on Friday, the ACA had expressed their disappointment that Paine had felt the need to stand down as captain.

“We think he must be available for selection, then ultimately that’s an issue for the selectors,” Greenberg told SEN radio. “That was made clear to him and to us by Cricket Australia last week. I hope he is picked, and he plays an incredibly strong Ashes series.”

If Paine was unable to get through the fitness side of his comeback following the disc surgery he had in September, Alex Carey would be the likely replacement in the Test side. Carey is part of the Australia A squad which will also be in Brisbane alongside Josh Inglis.

When the Ashes squad was named on Wednesday morning, Paine was the only keeper named in the main 15-player squad even though the timelimes that emerged around his resignation suggested the situation was likely well advanced at that stage.

Following the 2nd XI match, Paine is due to link up with the Australia squad in Queensland ahead of the intrasquad match which starts on December 1 and will provide the final preparation for the first Test at the Gabba.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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