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The Weekly - 4th December

Last updated on 04 Dec 2023 | 02:43 PM
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The Weekly - 4th December

From yet another bilateral series win for India to Pakistan and Bangladesh Women's record wins, here's everything that happened this week

Hello people! Another week has passed in cricket, and boy, it was jam-packed with cricket left, right and centre! From the India-Australia T20I series and Bangladesh-New Zealand Test series to the plethora of domestic cricket ongoing in many countries, the cricket world was abuzz with action. And then there were the off-field happenings, which we have no dearth of in the most sophisticated but also most funny and dramatic modern sports known to mankind. 

Worry not, folks, because this zesty Newsletter will cover all that for your perusal and deliver much more. You know the drill, right? Close your Instagram and YouTube, and pay attention to these words for just a few minutes. I can guarantee you’ll come out of it more aware of the cricketing world! 

So, let’s begin by looking at which three players are in the spotlight this week!

In the Spotlight

Glenn Maxwell

Death, taxes, and Maxwell playing an innings so incredulous that he takes Australia home almost single-handedly at the end! Such was his 104* runs (off 48 balls) that Australia chased down 223 despite needing 78 runs in the last five overs with only five wickets remaining. It was his last innings in India on what was a fantastic tour for him, and he ended it with a bang. 

Ravi Bishnoi

Bishnoi, the leggie, has been boiling under the lid for quite some time now, but his nine wickets in the five-match bilateral series against Australia helped him win the Player of the Series and announce his arrival at the international level. Currently, he’s India’s top spinner in the shortest format. 

Also read - 'Ravi' Bishnoi shines as India's new wicket-taker

Najmul Hossain Shanto

Shanto has been captaining Bangladesh in the ongoing Test series against New Zealand, and things have started positively for him. After New Zealand got a slim lead, Shanto batted with a lot of intent and skill to score 104 (198) on a tacky turning track, which allowed Bangladesh to pitch up 338 runs on the board in the third innings, which proved to be 150 too much for the Kiwis. 

On field News 

> India defeated Australia 4-1 in the five-match T20I series. India lost just one game in what was a high-scoring series - the third T20I at Guwahati, where they got Maxwelled. Rinku Singh, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ravi Bishnoi, Axar Patel and Mukesh Kumar were the top performers for India in the series. 

> On the third day of the first Test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand, Glenn Phillips was caught applying saliva to the ball. The Bangladesh team management informed the fourth umpire about it, but the on-field umpires took no immediate on-field action during its occurrence. Law 41.3 of the game prohibits using saliva to shine the ball. 

> West Indies men defeated their English counterparts by four wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series, courtesy of a powerful 109* off 83 balls from skipper Shai Hope.

> Bangladesh won the first Test against New Zealand by 150 runs, taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series. Taijul Islam was adjudged the Player of the Match for his 10-wicket haul. 

> Uganda qualified for the T20 World Cup 2024 by coming second on the points table of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier, 2023. They lost just one game in the tournament against Namibia, the best team in the competition, who also marched on to their second consecutive T20 World Cup. 

Also read - Cricket becomes more than a sport as Uganda qualify for 2024 T20WC

> The Pakistan Women’s team won their maiden T20I game against New Zealand by defeating the White Ferns by seven wickets in the first T20I at Dunedin. Pacer Fatima Sana was the Player of the Match for getting three wickets for just 18 runs. 

> Continuing the positive trend of subcontinent women’s teams performing well, Bangladesh defeated the World Cup finalists South Africa at Benoni by 13 runs. It was Bangladesh’s first-ever T20I victory against the Proteas in South Africa. 16-year-old leg-spinner Shorna Akter insinuated a collapse by picking up a fifer and was selected as the Player of the Match. 

> The Adelaide Strikes have won back-to-back Women’s Big Bash League titles after they defeated the Brisbane Heat in a low-scoring game by three runs. Amanda-Jade Wellington picked up a three-wicket haul for just 16 runs to take her team home. 

> In the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy in India, Rajasthan and Haryana have entered the quarterfinals after winning five and six games on the trot, respectively. The other teams for the quarterfinals will be decided on December 5, when the league stage is over. Karnataka’s Devdutt Padikkal is leading the run-scoring charts with 465 runs in just five games, and Siddharth Kaul is at the top of the bowling charts with 18 scalps in five games for Punjab. 

Off-field News 

> The Board for Control of Cricket in India has offered Rahul Dravid, the current Head Coach of the senior Indian men’s side, a contract extension. It is widely understood that he’ll continue in the role until the T20 World Cup next year. Along with him, the contracts of National Cricket Academy’s Head VVS Laxman and the support staff of India's senior men’s side have also been extended. 

> The Dominican government has pulled out of hosting the T20 World Cup matches scheduled for next year, citing their inability to complete the preparation work in the venues on time. Windsor Park in Dominica was scheduled to host one group and two Super 8 games. 

> ESPNcricinfo reported on December 3 that Jofra Archer will not feature in IPL 2024 as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is looking to take care of his workload with a T20 World Cup scheduled for next year in the West Indies and USA. 

> With the Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction scheduled for December 9 in Mumbai, the list of all the players who will go under the hammer was released, including a pool of 165 players. Chamari Athapaththu, Deandra Dottin, Devika Vaidya, Shabnim Ismail, and Meghna Singh are the biggest names amongst those whose fortunes will be decided by the owners of the five WPL teams in a few days. 

> The Indian Women’s squad for the England Women’s Tour of India starting December 6 was recently announced. The tour includes three T20Is and a lone Test. Shreyanka Patil, Saika Ishaque, and Uma Chetry are the notable inclusions in the side, along with Renuka Singh Thakur returning after an injury-enforced hiatus from international cricket. 

> The Indian men’s squads for their South Africa tour have also been announced. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are rested from the white ball bilaterals. Hardik Pandya will also be absent from the tour, as Suryakumar Yadav will continue to captain the T20I side in his absence. KL Rahul has been named the captain of the ODI side. The BCCI also announced the squads for the A series, which will be happening alongside the senior side's matches. 

> The South African men's side also announced their squads for the India series. Tristan Stubbs is a notable inclusion in the Test squad, whereas Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada have been rested from the white ball leg of the tour to focus on the Test series. 

> On December 1, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the appointment of former cricketers Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum as consultants to the chief selector Wahan Riaz. This was the first time that Butt was going to work in an official role with the PCB after his long ban for his role in the spot-fixing scandal of 2010. 

However, this decision to include Butt as a consultant backfired as it created a huge uproar, and the PCB was heavily criticised for their decision. A day later, the chief selector Wahab Riaz called a press conference and announced that Butt’s name was being withdrawn from the consultancy panel. 

Controversy of the Week

Former Australian pace bowler Mitchell Johnson attacked his former teammate David Warner for his desire to play a farewell Test. In his Sunday column for The West Australian, Johnson asked the selectors and Cricket Australia blunt questions about accommodating Warner’s demands and blamed George Bailey for being too close to the players. 

Johnson said that Warner’s decision reflected the same “arrogance and disrespect” as the Sandpaper incident, which led to a ban on Warner. “It’s been five years, and David Warner has never really owned the ball-tampering scandal. Now the way he is going out is underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country,” Johnson wrote. 

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