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India vs NZ, 2nd Test

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Tom Latham will lead New Zealand

Rahane is out due to a minor left hamstring strain he picked up while fielding on the final day of the Kanpur Test. Jadeja’s is a right forearm injury that required scans which revealed swelling. “He has been advised rest,” stated a BCCI release.

Ishant, meanwhile, dislocated his left little finger on the final day in Kanpur, leaving the door open for Mohammed Siraj‘s return. Siraj had himself sustained a finger injury during the T20I series, but has now been deemed fit.
For Williamson, it’s the recurrence of an old left-elbow problem that has troubled him for much of the year. Coach Gary Stead confirmed the injury had flared up during the first Test and with it failing to improve in the days following the match, the call was made to rule him out. In his absence. Tom Latham will lead the side.

“It’s been a really tough time for Kane having to deal with such a persistent injury,” Stead said. “While we’ve been able to manage the injury through the year and the T20 World Cup, the shift to Test cricket and the increased batting loading has re-aggravated his elbow.

“Ultimately the injury is still not right and while he got through the Kanpur Test, it was clear playing in the second Test wasn’t an option.”

Meanwhile, the absence of Rahane and Jadeja could leave India’s team management contemplate a sixth batting option. If they go down this route, it could mean a debut for KS Bharat or Suryakumar Yadav at his home ground. Wriddhiman Saha was ruled fit by Virat Kohli a day before the match.



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Former Leicestershire chair Mehmooda Duke told MPs she feared being ‘poster girl’ for ECB inclusivity

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Board members grilled by MPs on contents of letter during tough day at DCMS hearing

Mehmooda Duke, the former chair of Leicestershire, quit her post on the eve of the ECB’s unveiling of their game-wide anti-racism strategy, because she feared being held up as a “poster girl” for the sport’s inclusive ambitions, according to a letter she is understood to have sent to members of a Parliamentary select committee.

Duke had been one of only two non-white chairs of a first-class county – and the only female in such a post – when she walked away in November, four months ahead of her scheduled departure in March, with a call for “fresh leadership at national level” – a choice of words that seemed to point the finger at the ECB’s chief executive, Tom Harrison.

According to The Telegraph, Duke’s letter to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee told of how she had been “intimidated”, “coerced” and “manoeuvred” by the ECB in the wake of Azeem Rafiq’s claims of institutional racism in English cricket, adding that she walked away because she was being treated as a “token woman of colour” on a predominantly white, male board.

In her resignation statement in November, Duke said that cricket had been “torn apart” by the racism scandal, and that she was “deeply saddened by the hurt felt by individuals within our game”. She has not spoken publicly since her departure, and she is due to take up a new role as High Sheriff of Leicestershire at the beginning of April.

During another difficult session in Parliament, the ECB’s representatives – Harrison and Barry O’Brien, the interim chair, alongside non-executive director, Baroness Amos and deputy chair, Martin Darlow – were quizzed repeatedly on the matter of Duke’s departure, but refused to respond directly, citing matters of confidentiality.

Julian Knight, the DCMS chair, put it to Amos that Duke’s resignation must have been a “hammer blow to the ambitions of the ECB”, given their stated aim of achieving 30 percent boardroom representation by women and representative ethnicities by April 2022.

Amos, who confirmed that she had spoken to Duke and had been given permission to discuss her concerns with the board, but not to divulge them at the committee hearing, replied: “I think it’s a huge pity that she has resigned.”

Kevin Brennan, the Labour MP for Cardiff West, then quoted what appeared to be extracts from Duke’s letter to the committee, asking whether she had felt “intimidated, coerced, and manoeuvred by the ECB?” That line of inquiry did not receive a direct answer.

O’Brien, however, did offer a glimmer of detail when he was asked whether Duke had been “unhappy in any way with any of your personal dealings with her, in the way that you’ve handled her concerns?”. He replied: “Yeah. She may have been.”

When contacted by ESPNcricinfo, an ECB spokesperson confirmed that the board’s senior independent director, Brenda Trenowden, would be looking into the comments that Duke had offered to Baroness Amos, potentially alongside one other board member.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket



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Recent Match Report – Afghanistan vs Netherlands 3rd ODI 2020-2022/23

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Afghanistan in joint-fifth place, with Australia, on the ODI Super League points table

Afghanistan 254 for 5 (Najibullah 71, Hassan 50, Floyd 1-17) beat Netherlands 179 (Ackermann 81, Edwards 54, Qais 3-32) by 75 runs

Fifties from senior pro Najibullah Zadran and debutant Riaz Hassan led Afghanistan to a 3-0 sweep of Netherlands, who were slapped with a five-run penalty by the umpires for ball-tampering.

The penalty was handed down in the 31st over, bowled by Brandon Glover.

What the laws say

41.3 The match ball – changing its condition

41.3.4 If the umpires consider that the condition of the ball has been unfairly changed by a member or members of either side, they shall ask the captain of the opposing side if he/she would like the ball to be replaced.  If necessary, in the case of the batting side, the batters at the wicket may deputise for their captain.

41.3.4.2 Regardless of whether a replacement ball has been chosen to be used, the bowler’s end umpire shall

  • award five penalty runs to the opposing side.
  • if appropriate, inform the batters at the wicket and the captain of the fielding side that the ball has been changed and the reason for their action.
  • inform the captain of the batting side as soon as practicable of what has occurred.
After electing to bat, Afghanistan lost their in-form wicketkeeper-opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz (12) to Clayton Floyd, who was playing his first List A match, in the tenth over. Floyd would turn out to be the most economical bowler on the day, coming away with 1 for 17 in his eight overs.

Hassan made it a day to remember for the debutants by bringing up a 72-ball half-century. He got to the landmark when he cracked Glover for four in the 27th over. However, in the very next over, Saqib Zalfiqur had Hassan holing out. Rahmat Shah (48), Hashmatullah Shahidi (28) and Najibullah (71) then gave the innings the boost it needed in the middle and in the slog overs.

Najibullah was particularly severe on Glover, taking him for 24 off a mere ten balls. Glover ended with overall figures of 1 for 64 in his ten overs.

In pursuit of 255, Netherlands had a good start, with Scott Edwards (54) and Colin Ackermann (81) forging a 103-run opening stand. The legspinners Rashid Khan and Qais Ahmad then rattled Netherlands with regular strikes. Six Netherlands batters were dismissed lbw, including both openers Edwards and Ackermann. From 103 for 0, Netherlands subsided to 179 all out, with the third-highest score in the chase being 13.

While Rashid returned 2 for 37, Qais, who was also making his ODI debut, emerged as Afghanistan’s best bowler on the day with 3 for 32. Fazalhaq Farooqi, also making his ODI debut, took 1 for 30.

Afghanistan walked away with the full 30 points from the three-match series, drawing level with Australia with an overall tally of 60 points. Only Sri Lanka, Ireland, Bangladesh and England have more points than Afghanistan now in the Super League.



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Zimbabwe cricket – Brendon Taylor says he failed drug test after his final international game in September 2021

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“By then, I’d given up on cricket and where I was going in life”

Brendan Taylor failed a drug test after his final international game in September 2021, and thinks he may have “beaten a few” more drugs tests in the two and a half years leading to that point.
On Monday, Taylor revealed that he had been filmed using cocaine during a meeting with alleged businessmen in India, who then used that video to try to blackmail him into an agreement to spot-fix. Taylor posted the details of that meeting with the corruptors on Twitter. He also said an ICC punishment for delaying reporting the approach was imminent.
Taylor, who checked into rehab for substance abuse today, told the Daily Mail of the failed drug test in Belfast, where Zimbabwe were playing Ireland in an ODI: “By then, I’d given up on cricket and where I was going in life. I locked myself in rooms for hours and hours and somehow managed to train with no sleep. If you live by the sword, I guess you die by the sword.”

He added: “I might have beaten a few tests in the past two-and-a-half years but it got me when I was heading for destruction.”

That ODI against Ireland was played on September 13, 2021. A day earlier, Taylor had said on Instagram that it would be his last.

Taylor had said on Twitter that he had made the trip to India thinking a businessman wanted to discuss sponsorships and “the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe”. In the interview, he expanded a little more on his meetings with the group, saying that they entertained him for three days and gifted him a mobile phone. It was on the final evening that the cocaine use occurred.

Of the next morning, when they turned up at his hotel room, he said: “Two bigger guys were always lurking, circling me. It felt very claustrophobic around my personal space. I was scared for my own safety. I’d fallen for it. I’d willingly walked into a situation that has changed my life for ever.”

He pointed once again to his circumstances at the time, with Zimbabwe’s cricketing future uncertain, and his own as a result, and that he had not been paid for six months. “I was six months with no salary, there were rumours we wouldn’t be allowed to play for two years, and all I was trying to do was put food on the table. Prepare for life after playing.

“That’s why I went. I’d told them on numerous occasions that if there was any skulduggery, they shouldn’t waste time in getting me over there. That I was not wired that way.”

Taylor spoke of his struggles with addiction in his original Twitter post and said he was due to check into a rehabilitation centre today. “l owe it to myself and to my family to get clean and to put them first,” he had said. “I have let a substance take control of me and impair my vision, my morals and my values and it is time that I prioritise what really matters.”

In August 2015, Taylor was found sleeping in a stranger’s car after a night out to celebrate a Nottinghamshire victory, with the police being called in. At that point, he was in England on a Kolpak deal, before returning to Zimbabwean cricket in late 2017.



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