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Recent Match Report – India vs New Zealand 1st Test 2021/22

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At tea on day four, India led by 216 runs with three wickets in hand

Tea India 345 and 167 for 7 (Iyer 65, Saha 22*, Jamieson 3-26, Southee 3-48) lead New Zealand 296 by 216 runs

Debutant Shreyas Iyer‘s second 50-plus score of the match handed India the advantage on the fourth afternoon of the first Test but his dismissal in the last over before tea gave New Zealand a measure of hope.

After Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel and Kyle Jamieson had reduced India to 51 for 5 in the morning session, Iyer added 52 for the sixth wicket with R Ashwin to ease the hosts’ nerves. Then, with Wriddhiman Saha, who was off the field with a stiff neck on day three, he stitched 64 for the seventh wicket to extend India’s lead to 216 by the end of the second session.

Given India were placed precariously at lunch, it was surprising to see Kane Williamson resuming with the batting allrounder Rachin Ravindra after the interval. To his credit, Ravindra was tidy, but didn’t pose much of a threat. From the other end, Southee’s short-ball ploy against R Ashwin didn’t quite come off.

Jamieson eventually broke the stand with Ashwin chopping one onto his stumps, but by then India’s lead had crossed 150.

Meanwhile, Iyer showed great maturity, playing the ball late on a slow pitch and picking up the majority of his runs in the third man region. He brought up his half-century off 109 balls, which also included a straight six off Ajaz Patel. He looked to bat more freely after reaching the milestone but was caught down the leg side for 65 off Southee.

Saha struck around with Iyer and even hit William Somerville for a four and a six off successive deliveries, the first of those shots bursting through Henry Nicholls’ fingers at midwicket. He was unbeaten on 22 at tea.

With India starting the day on 14 for 1, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal were offered some freebies on the pads as Jamieson and Southee bowled straight with a catching short midwicket in place. While Agarwal struggled, Pujara made good use of the opportunities and moved to 22 off 32 balls.

However, Jameison then banged one short, and even though the ball was angling down the leg side, Pujara ended up fending at it and gloved it to the wicketkeeper. The on-field umpire ruled it not out but New Zealand got the decision overturned on review.

Ajinkya Rahane had scored a valuable 35 in the first innings but on Sunday he didn’t look comfortable at the crease. He opened his account off his 14th ball with a four off Ajaz but fell off the next ball, playing for turn and getting struck on the pad by one that went on with the arm from the left-arm spinner.

Coming back for his second spell of the day, Southee drew the outside edge of Iyer’s bat straightaway, but the ball went for four through the gap between the wicketkeeper and a wide first slip. That prompted New Zealand to have a more conventional slip cordon, and soon there was another opportunity. In Southee’s next over, Agarwal edged an outswinger to second slip, where Tom Latham took a tumbling catch to his left.

Two balls later, Southee jolted India further by dismissing Ravindra Jadeja lbw from around the wicket. With half the side back in the pavilion and it not being clear then if Saha would bat, India’s lead of 100 looked paltry.

Iyer and Ashwin, though, eased some of the pressure by hitting four fours in the next three overs, and played out the rest of the morning session without further damage.

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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2022 English season – County Championship gets midsummer boost as 2022 fixtures are announced

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Bob Willis Trophy shelved, Yorkshire retained in Division One, Blast to be played in single block

“Lessons have been learnt” from England’s poor Test showing in 2021, according to Neil Snowball, the ECB’s managing director of county cricket, following the announcement of a 2022 domestic schedule which will provide prospective Test players more opportunity for red-ball cricket in the lead-up to their encounters with New Zealand, South Africa and India this summer.

Two “County Select XI” fixtures against New Zealand and South Africa, distinct from the England Lions set-up, have been added to the schedule as well, to provide Test candidates with further opportunities to pit themselves against the tourists. This comes after complaints in 2021 that England were undercooked going into their main campaign of the summer, against India in August and September, following just two Championship rounds in early July prior to the launch of the first season of the Hundred.

“It’s obviously well documented and acknowledged that recent results were extremely disappointing which again has called for a look at our approach to red-ball cricket,” Snowball said. “Clearly, the men’s domestic game has got a significant role to play in that, in terms of making sure that we can develop the best possible Test players who can then go on to aspire to be the best team in the world. We don’t think that county cricket has all the answers, but it certainly has some of the answers, and it certainly has an important role to play going forward, along with the first-class counties and the PCA and other stakeholders.”

Yorkshire have been included in the schedule as a Division One team, in spite of the ongoing investigation into the racism scandal that rocked the club in 2021 and may yet lead to further sanctions from the Cricket Discipline Committee (CDC), while both the Bob Willis Trophy final and the traditional Champion County versus MCC fixture, which has been held in the UAE and Barbados in recent seasons, have been shelved.
The Bob Willis Trophy, hastily arranged for the delayed 2020 season, was a success in providing context to a condensed first-class programme and culminated in a showpiece final at Lord’s. However, last season’s final was an anti-climax – comfortably won by Warwickshire, for whom it was a distant second to their County Championship triumph.

“The Bob Willis Trophy served us very well in 2020 to rescue the season, and of course we played for it last year as well,” Snowball said. “We’re very keen to continue to celebrate Bob’s legacy with a Bob Willis Trophy in some format but we’re not quite sure what that’s going to be yet. We’re in discussions with his family on that.”

In a bid to maximise the counties’ preference for Blast fixtures towards the back end of the working week, 99 of the 126 fixtures have been scheduled for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And, in an echo of the successful staging of the Hundred, in which the majority of women’s fixtures were played as double-headers alongside the men, ten Charlotte Edwards Cup matches will also feature on the same bill as the Blast, and at their respective county HQs.

Alan Fordham, the ECB’s head of cricket operations, said that the counties’ desire to put the women’s game on an equal footing to the men had been a factor in the double-header decision – as had the double bank holiday at the beginning of June, which encompasses half term and will provide an opportunity for more families to attend the matches. At this stage, one of the double-headers is due to be televised on Sky Sports.

A further boost for the women’s game will come with the final of the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, which is due to be held at Lord’s for the first time, on Sunday, September 25. The men’s Royal London Cup final will once again be held at Trent Bridge, but has been moved back to a Saturday (September 17), having been held on a Thursday last season.

“The women’s game is just going to have a phenomenal year,” Snowball added. “We’ve got the Ashes starting in Adelaide. We’ve got the Women’s World Cup and then the Commonwealth Games In Birmingham as well as the second edition of the Hundred. So it’s a huge year for women’s domestic cricket and international cricket. We look forward to seeing how that unfolds.”

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket



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CPL 2022 – Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Curtly Ambrose join Jamaica Tallawahs coaching staff

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The pair have been appointed as head coach and bowling coach respectively

Former West Indies batter Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been named Jamaica Tallawahs head coach for the 2022 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) while Curtly Ambrose, the former West Indies quick, has been roped in as bowling coach.
Chanderpaul, 47, represented West Indies in 164 Tests, 264 ODIs, and 22 T20Is, scoring more than 20,000 international runs in an international career that began in 1994 and ended in 2015. He replaces Floyd Reifer, who quit the position after taking over as head coach of the West Indies Under-19 side.

Ambrose, 58, took 405 wickets in Tests and 225 wickets in ODIs in an international career spanning 274 matches over 12 years, from 1988 to 2000. He has had spells as bowling coach of West Indies – he was in the role when the team won the T20 World Cup in 2016 – as well as in the CPL (with Guyana Amazon Warriors for three years). He also spent three years as assistant coach of the Combined Campuses and Colleges in Caribbean regional cricket. He is qualified to Level 3 standard.

“Shivnarine has had an illustrious playing career and is one of the greats of the game. He has served West Indies cricket with distinction, and I know he will take the Tallawahs to new heights,” Krishna Persaud, the Tallawahs owner, said. “Sir Curtly brings in a lot of technical expertise and experience to the Tallawahs and we look forward to having him in the team.”

Chanderpaul said being appointed the head coach was an honour.

“It’s an absolute honour to be appointed as the new Head Coach of the Jamaica Tallawahs and I am really looking forward to working with the players and support staff to bring another championship to Jamaica,” Chanderpaul said.

Andre Coley will serve as the Tallawahs assistant coach. He was part of the inaugural management team at the High Performance Centre Programme in Barbados from 2010-2013.



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Mark Boucher charged with ‘gross misconduct’

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South Africa’s head coach to face a disciplinary hearing chaired by senior counsel advocate Terry Motau; he will remain in his role as coach in the interim

In a follow-up to the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report, Mark Boucher has been charged with gross misconduct by Cricket South Africa, and will face a disciplinary hearing chaired by senior counsel advocate Terry Motau. Boucher remains in his role as head coach of the senior men’s team, and will be with the team as they take on India in the second ODI in Paarl on Friday.

On Thursday, CSA named Motau as chairperson of the disciplinary hearing into the allegations of misconduct against Boucher, and said in a statement that the coach had been presented with his charge sheet.

The statement said: “It is proposed that the parties [Boucher] will meet with Advocate [Motau] on 26th January 2022 to determine a timetable for the proceedings.

“This follows December’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report, which made tentative findings regarding allegations of discrimination and racism against various persons, including Mr Boucher. Specifically, during the SJN process, allegations of racism were levelled against Mr Boucher by his former Proteas team-mate, Paul Adams.
“CSA confirms that a charge sheet, containing both the disciplinary charges against Mr Boucher, as well as his rights, was provided to him on 17 January. The upcoming inquiry will also consider concerns and allegations that arose following the resignation of former assistant coach, Enoch Nkwe.

“While Mr Boucher is being charged with gross misconduct, which could lead to his dismissal, CSA emphasises it is important that the independent inquiry first needs to test all allegations before any question of sanction can arise.”

Responding to the development, Boucher issued a statement of his own later in the day, saying: “I look forward to dealing with and defending these allegations which have been made and will do so at the hearing in due course. For now I am solely focused on my duties as head coach of the Proteas.”*

The SJN report, which was released in December, made “tentative” findings that Boucher, among others, had engaged in prejudicial and discriminatory conduct in the past on the basis of race. But ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza was unable to make definite findings, and recommended to CSA that a further process be undertaken for this. This secondary process is now what CSA is flagging off, with Motau at the helm.

The CSA statement said further steps in this regard will be announced “in due course”. “Further steps and action by CSA to transform cricket and act on other applicable recommendations in the SJN report, aligned to the Board’s new strategic framework and pillars of access, inclusion and excellence, will be announced in due course.”

*2.45pm GMT, February 20: The article was updated with Boucher’s statement.



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