Hello, dear readers!
Yet another week full to the brim with cricketing action! With plenty of men’s and women’s cricket going on, the cricket season is in full swing in India and the southern hemisphere countries.
However, don’t worry about missing any of the action or the cricket news from this week, as this zesty Cricket.com newsletter will cover it all for you in bite-size portions.
So, shut down your other tabs and give us five to seven minutes of your undivided attention. In return, we’ll take you through everything there is to know about the cricket world this week.
In the Spotlight
Renuka Singh Thakur
If swinging the ball, seaming it in, evading the bat and obliterating the stumps is an art, then Renuka is the Amrita Sher-Gil of that. Every single time she bowled in the three-match WT20I series between India and England women, she cleaned up the stumps. The batters knew what would come, but such has been Renuka’s skill that only a selected few could play her swinging, seaming and accurately pitched balls.
She was the lone shining star in the dark sky of the Indian women’s team, as they were comprehensively defeated by England in the series by a 2-1 margin.
With 93 runs in two innings that included a 77 off just 53 balls, along with two wickets, Nat Sciver-Brunt was rightly chosen the Player of the Series in the India vs England Women’s T20I series. She batted with disdain, thrashing the hapless and inaccurate Indian bowlers with authority and didn’t allow them an inch.
If you want to understand the value of her contribution to the England batting order, just see how the scorecard of the third T20I looked when she wasn’t playing.
It was like watching Badshah singing Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s qawwali and actually doing it well. New Zealand were staring at the dark end of the tunnel after Daryl Mitchell was out playing one whacky sweep too many.
New Zealand were tantalisingly placed in the game at 69 for 6, and needed 68 more for the win. Bangladeshi spinners were spitting venom like the naagins they so desperately wanna be. But Glenn Phillips did not just negotiate the venom. He killed the naagin itself. Scoring 40* off 48, along with Mitch Santner, who scored a fantastic 35* off 39, he took New Zealand through the doors of victory against Bangladesh in Bangladesh.
> England women defeated the India women 2-1 in the three-match WT20I series in Mumbai. The Women in Blue were poor with the ball and bat in the first and second game, respectively, but came back spectacularly and performed like a cohesive to register a face-saving victory in the third T20I.
> There is something about the West Indies when England tours them. They suddenly start playing they have to eke out “duguna lagaan” from the English. In the three-match ODI series, Shai Hope led the team from the front as the West Indies defeated England 2-1.
> In a historic result for them, the Pakistan Women's team won their first-ever WT20I series in New Zealand, where they defeated the White Ferns 2-1. Fatima Sana became the Player of the Series.
> New Zealand defeated Bangladesh in Mirpur by four wickets to win the Test match and draw the two-match Test series 1-1.
> Mushfiqur Rahim was given out obstructing the field in the Mirpur Test, which makes me wonder why Bangladesh have to be involved in every bizarre cricket dismissal.
> The first T20I of the South Africa vs India three-match series in Durban was rained out on December 10. People joke that whenever Durban people want to get rain, they should schedule a cricket match there, as many games have been abandoned.
> Haryana will play Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan will play Karnataka in the semifinals of the 2023/24 Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot.
> Ireland are currently leading 2-1 over Zimbabwe in the ongoing five-match T20I series in Zimbabwe. Sikandar Raza, the captain of Zimbabwe has been banned from the remaining two T20Is due to an altercation with Josh Little and Curtis Campher during the first match.
> New York Strikers won the 2023 edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 league by defeating Deccan Gladiators in the final.
> The 2023/24 edition of the Big Bash League has started, and Sydney Sixers have won both of their games. They are currently leading the table.
> The WPL auction was held in Mumbai on December 9, and all 30 slots available were filled. Kashvee Gautam, Annabel Sutherland, and Shabnim Ismail attracted some of the biggest bids.
You can read more about auction and how the five teams are shaping up after it in this article.
After the auction, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said that the upcoming WPL season will be held in one state only due to logistical constraints. It’s also worth noting that the BCCI formed a committee to look after the growth and working of the WPL, comprising eight members, including the BCCI apex council members and two others. The committee has no representation from former women cricketers.
> Cricbuzz reported on December 11 that Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant will be making a comeback to cricket in the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League. Pant is currently undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and is predicted to be fit by February, after which a call will be taken on his schedule by NCA officials.
> England men have announced their squad for the five-match Test series against India that will begin in January. They have named as many as four specialist spinners in their side, including 20-year old off-spinner Shoaib Bashir.
England Test squad: Ben Stokes (c), Rehan Ahmed, James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Shoaib Bashir, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood
> Amazon Prime Video has won the rights to broadcast the ICC tournaments in Australia, leading to no coverage of ICC events on free-to-air TV until 2027 in the country.
> Indian leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi attained the top spot in ICC’s latest T20I bowlers rankings.
> Former India cricket coach Sanjay Bangar was appointed as the head of cricket development for the IPL franchise Punjab Kings.
Controversy of the Week
Gautam Gambhir and S. Sreesanth have played 49 games for India together, which includes the title winning campaigns of 2007 and 2011. But that wasn’t enough to stop a verbal brawl between the two adult human beings.
Sreesanth alleged that Gautam Gambhir called him a “fixer” during a Legends League Game in Surat. In a video that he posted on his Instagram, Sreesanth revealed the incident.
Later, Gautam Gambhir posted a smiling image of himself on Instagram with the caption “Smile when the world is all about attention.”
Sreesanth replied with a long message on that post, calling Gambhir an “utterly classless individual”.
Who needs daily soaps when you have formed Indian cricketers and a lot of social media?
CDC Articles to check out from this week!
Check out this week's Monday Night Live