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Ind vs Nam – T20 World Cup

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Ravi Shastri signed off from his four-and-a-half-year tenure as India’s men’s head coach as an “emotional, but a very proud man”, labelling his side “one of the great cricket teams in the history of the game” and underlining the toll that non-stop touring in biosecure conditions had taken on him and his players.

Since his appointment in 2017 and the extension of his contract two years later, Shastri has overseen back-to-back Test series wins in Australia and his side will return to England with a 2-1 lead in July 2022. They have enjoyed sustained success in bilateral white-ball cricket but their stretch without winning an ICC event extended to eight years after exits at the semi-final and Super 12s stages of the 50-over World Cup in 2019 and the T20 World Cup in 2021 respectively.

“The quality of cricket this team has played over the last five years across all formats, the performances are there for everyone to see,” Shastri said in his press conference. “When you perform in that fashion, when you go across the globe, across all formats and beat teams, then you know you’re part of one great cricket team.

“I’m not saying a great cricket team, India – I’m saying one of the great cricket teams in the history of the game, because if you look at those kind of performances, they don’t happen often. You’ve got to have a bunch of players who are fit, hungry, fearless, have the quality, have the belief, and then to stay fit so that you can play those five years together and go across the globe and perform everywhere.

“If you want the real highlights, nothing beats Australia, England, we’re up in the series, it’ll be longest time will be up in the series till next year [sic]. I might be commentating on that game, for all you know, but I’ll keep that one. It feels good. But white-ball, everywhere: we beat West Indies in the West Indies, we’ve beaten Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka – good teams. All round, it’s been fabulous.”

India were eliminated at the Super 12s stage of this World Cup after back-to-back defeats in Dubai in their first two games against Pakistan and New Zealand. While Shastri admitted that they “lacked daring”, he suggested that the result of the toss had been crucial throughout their campaign, and said that he wished players had been afforded a longer break between the end of the IPL and the start of the tournament.

“We are disappointed with the result in the first two games here,” he said. “I’m not here to make any sort of excuses. We lacked the daring in the second game against New Zealand. I know the toss was important and as you’ve seen in the last three games how important it is, and I do feel it’ll continue to be important – though not as much now as the weather has cooled down a bit, but still. It’s something for the boys to learn and they’ll get an opportunity again next year. It’s not often you have [two] World Cups in 12 months, so hopefully, they’ll go and kick some butt there.

“The cricket itinerary is so packed that you can do only one thing at a time. At least they played some T20 cricket in the IPL – I just wish that the gap was a little more. That’s not my job, it was already done. That’s something I’m sure the administrators, not just from India [or] from BCCI, but from others around the globe who will also be looking at it – before big tournaments, to ensure that there is a little bit of a gap so that the guys are mentally fresh and ready to play.”

India’s multi-format players have been in biosecure environments since their arrival in England in June ahead of the World Test Championship final, and Shastri said that while a culture of “trust” meant that players would be free to take breaks from the game when they needed to, it was vital to remember that they are “human”.

“We actively worked towards it: we wanted trust in that dressing room,” he said. “That’s the only way you can get each other’s backs. We needed communication, we needed no finger-pointing at each other, we needed the word ‘I’ to be thrown into the dustbin, and the word ‘we’ coming in. We created a culture that had to be obeyed and followed with Virat [Kohli] leading the way.

“One thing I would say – this is not an excuse, this is a fact – when you’re six months in a bubble, there are a lot of players in this team who played all three formats of the game. I don’t care who you are, if your name is Bradman, if you’re in a bubble as well, your average will come down, because you’re human. This is not something where you just put petrol in the backside and then expect the guy to move on in overdrive. It doesn’t happen that way. They’ve shown the drive to hang in there, no complaints, but sooner or later, the bubble will burst so you’ve got to be careful.

“It’s one of the great sides to have played cricket at the highest level in the history of the game when you look all round. Let’s not take anything away from that. For me, to be part of that journey with the boys and for the boys to respond and raise the bar in that fashion leaves you going from the dressing room emotional, but a very proud man.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98



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BBL 2021-22 – Chris Jordan jets into Sydney Sixers squad as replacement for Carlos Brathwaite

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Jordan set to play for his fourth BBL club after Brathwaite is ruled out of the tournament due to shoulder surgery

Two-time defending BBL champions Sydney Sixers have pulled off a coup signing England quick Chris Jordan as an international replacement for Carlos Brathwaite after the West Indian was ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury.

Brathwaite has undergone surgery and is unavailable for the entire BBL. Jordan has been signed at short notice to bolster Sixers’ squad alongside fellow England internationals James Vince and Tom Curran.

Jordan has previously played for three different BBL clubs in three different seasons, starting at Adelaide Strikers in 2016-17 before a short stint with Sydney Thunder in 2018-19. He played almost a full season with Perth Scorchers in 2019-20 before having to leave the tournament late due to international duty.

Jordan comes off a T20 World Cup where he was arguably England’s best seamer claiming six wickets at an economy rate of 6.84. Cricket NSW Head of Male Cricket Michael Klinger, who oversees Sixers’ list management, said Jordan was a valuable addition.

“It’s disappointing for Carlos and the group that he has succumbed to injury but Chris is a world-class T20 cricketer and will provide the Sixers with fantastic versatility and high-quality skills in all three aspects of the game,” Klinger said.

“His death bowling and changeups, as well as being one of the world’s best fielders, will be a huge asset for the Sixers early in the BBL.

“He is experienced in playing in the BBL and has been previously successful in this tournament.

“I know Greg Shipperd (Sixers coach) and the rest of the coaching staff are very excited to have Chris on board.”

Sixers will open their new campaign on Sunday, December 5 against Melbourne Stars at the SCG.

Sydney Sixers squad: Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Daniel Christian, Tom Curran (Eng), Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Daniel Hughes, Chris Jordan (Eng), Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Ben Manenti, Stephen O’Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, James Vince (Eng)



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South Africa vs Netherlands 2021

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Although Netherlands are unable to catch a flight out, it is understood the players have communicated they are not in the right mental state to play

The second and third ODIs between South Africa and Netherlands have been postponed after concerns around a new Coronavirus variant, Omicron. The first match in the series, which forms part of the World Cup Super League, was washed out on Friday, leaving the teams sharing five points each. That keeps Netherlands in last place on the points table, and South Africa in ninth, outside the automatic qualification zone.

Although Netherlands will be in South Africa for the duration of the series because they are unable to catch a flight out, ESPNcricinfo understands that the players have communicated they are not in the right mental state to play. On Friday, their coach Ryan Campbell tweeted that the team played with “unbelievable pressure hanging over their heads,” after travel restrictions began to affect the southern African region.

“We are disappointed by the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in, but the comfort of all visiting teams must always be paramount,” Pholetsi Moseki, CSA’s acting CEO, said. “The mental well-being of players is one of CSA’s top priorities, and we respect our visitors’ position and point of view.

“CSA and KNCB will get into discussions around possibly rescheduling the tour within this cycle of the ICC Future Tours Programme ending in 2023.”

“We are saddened by these circumstances, but are grateful to Cricket South Africa for their assistance and understanding of our team’s position,” Jurgen Delfos, chairman of Netherlands cricket board, said. “

It must be made clear that the concerns are strictly over travel issues and how soon the team can get home and have nothing to do with the integrity of the Bio-Secure Environment (BSE) that CSA has successfully hosted. Our team has been pleased with every aspect of the organisation of the tour and have been well treated by our hosts.”

The United Kingdom, United States, much of Europe, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand have all banned travel to and from countries in southern Africa, and imposed a quarantine on their own citizens returning from the region in response to Omicron.

News of a new variant was first made public on Tuesday, November 23 and cases in the Gauteng province of South Africa, where the Netherlands series is taking place, have increased severalfold since. Although South Africa is only reporting around 2,000 new cases a day, there are concerns this will rise exponentially and stricter restrictions are due to be introduced soon. South Africa is currently on Level 1 of 5 of its restrictions, the most lenient since the pandemic began, and the first ODI was the first time since March 2020 that cricket was played in front of a limited crowd, but the government is meeting on Saturday to discuss further measures.

As yet there is no indication of how this will affect the rest of the cricket calendar. India A are also in South Africa, playing first-class matches against South Africa A in Bloemfontein. So far, that series is continuing. India’s senior side is due to travel to South Africa for three Tests, three ODIs and four ODIs on December 8. India has not imposed any restrictions on southern African travelers to date, but has stricter testing measures for people from the region in place.

Last summer, South Africa’s season was severely impacted after England left the country early without playing the ODI leg of their white-ball tour and Australia pulled out of a four-Test series which was pencilled in as the marquee event of the summer. Sri Lanka and Pakistan both toured the country without incident in strict bio-bubble conditions, which Cricket South Africa will replicate for the India series.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent





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Recent Match Report – Scorchers Wm vs StrikersWmn Final 2021/22

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The home side finished strongly with the bat and started superbly with the ball in the powerplay

Perth Scorchers 5 for 146 beat Adelaide Strikers 6 for 134 by 12 runs

Marizanne Kapp, who had been ill all week in the lead-up to the WBBL final and barely left her hotel room, produced a critical all-round display to help Perth Scorchers claim their maiden title as Adelaide Strikers’ powerful late-tournament surge came to a halt at Optus Stadium.
In front of a crowd of 15,511, the highest for a standalone WBBL match, the defining passages of the match were how Scorchers finished their batting innings and then started with the ball: their final five overs brought 47 runs, with vital hands from Player of the Match Kapp and Alana King, then they restricted Strikers to 2 for 16 in their powerplay with Kapp’s first two overs costing just two runs and Sophie Devine producing a wicket maiden.

The middle order did their best to keep Strikers in the match with useful hands but it proved out of reach despite Madeline Penna’s best efforts with 30 not out off 21 balls.

Kapp produced some superb deliveries to build the pressure on Strikers’ openers and it was Devine who earned the reward when Katie Mack’s extraordinary run of scoring was halted as he she drove to cover. Before this match Mack had made 332 runs in her last six innings for just one out.

Without a run added van Niekerk also departed, edging Taneale Peschel down the leg side, and by the end of the powerplay the asking rate was above nine an over.

Laura Wolvaardt and captain Tahlia McGrath rebuilt with a stand of 65 in eight overs which was forming a base from where Strikers could have run down the target. However, both fell within the space of six balls carving catches to the off-side ring which meant new batters had little time to get set.

The prolific Scorchers opening pair of Devine and Beth Mooney made a solid if unspectacular start after being put into bat, reaching 0 for 37 after the powerplay. They were immediately aggressive against Amanda-Jade Wellington who conceded more in her first four balls than she did the entire record-breaking Eliminator spell, although she would fight back well.

Neither opener could really cut loose and Strikers started to chip away at the top order. Mooney picked out mid-off, Devine was run out by a direct hit by Dane van Niekerk from short third and Chloe Piparo edged Darcie Brown who was rewarded for some rapid outswing bowling.

At 3 for 75 in the 12th the innings was at a tipping point and there was caution from Kapp and Heather Graham which threatened to leave Scorchers short. However, Kapp started to find the boundary and King made a dynamic late entrance with three boundaries in a five-ball stay.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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