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The Weekly - 19th February

Last updated on 19 Feb 2024 | 03:11 PM
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The Weekly - 19th February

From 'Jais-ball' to Annabel Sutherland's big show, here's everything that happened in the cricket world this week

Hello everyone! 

We are here again, doing the same stuff we did last Monday, so that you can have your weekly dose of all that happened in the cricket world encapsulated in this newsletter. 

There’s a lot to cover this week - from Bazball’s big humbling in Rajkot to the rise and rise of Annabel Sutherland. So why wait? Let’s dive right into the most comprehensive and zesty weekly recap of everything cricket!

Key Matches and Results 

> India defeated England by 434 runs in the Rajkot Test and now lead the five-match Test series 2-1. 

> The Pakistan Super League began on the 17th of this month. You can find the scorecard of the three games so far here

> Sri Lanka clean sweeped Afghanistan in the three-match ODI series. They have begun the T20I series on a positive note as well, defeating Afghanistan by 4 runs in the close first game.

> Australia women defeated South Africa by an innings and 284 runs in the one-off Test in Perth

> The ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 games for 2023-2027 are currently underway in Nepal, with all three teams (The Netherlands, Nepal, and Namibia) winning a game each so far. 

> UAE omen defeated Malaysia by 37 runs to win the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) Women’s T20 Premier Cup, 2024. 

> MI Emirates defeated Dubai Capitals in the final of the International League T20 in Dubai by 45 runs to win the tournament's second edition. 

What’s happening ON and OFF the field? 

> Ravindra Jadeja lit up Rajkot with a massive all-around performance that involved a 112 in the first innings with the bat and a 5/41 with the ball in the second innings. 

In the first innings, he came in to bat when India were 33/3 in the ninth over and notched up a crucial hundred batting at five in the absence of senior batters like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. The Player of the Matchaward he received despite Yashasvi Jaiswal’s mammoth innings is a testimony to his value in the side. 

Also read - England die by the sword in Jadeja’s land as sweep triggers their downfall 

> Alyssa Healy made a unique record when she became only the fifth woman to get out on 99 in a Test. But that's not it.

As per women cricket's stats legend Hypocaust on X, 3,892 people have played Test cricket since 1877. Just 12 among them have a career-high score of 99 in the format. Amongst the 12, two batters happen to live under the same roof and are married to each other. 

> Sri Lanka skipper Wanindu Hasaranga continued his good form against Afghanistan and, this time, showed his prowess with the bat. He scored 67 off just 32 balls apart from going for just 1/20 in his four overs in the first T20I. 

> Kashvee Gautam, who was the most expensive uncapped Indian player in the Women's Premier League (WPL) auction in December, has been ruled out of the upcoming second edition owing to an injury. India all-rounder Kanika Ahuja, who played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore last season, is also ruled out of the WPL 2024 owing to an injury. Sayali Sathgare and Shraddha Pokharkar are named as their replacements, respectively. 

> Rubina Chhetry became the first T20I centurion for Nepal Women in the ACC Women’s T20 Premier Cup. Nepal made to the semifinals of the tournament but couldn’t proceed to the final. 

> Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have named Dushmantha Chameera as a replacement for England pacer Gus Atkinson for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. The BCCI hasn't made the reason behind the replacement public, but it has been revealed that Chameera will join KKR at a reserve price of INR 50 Lakh. 

> Former Vidarbha skipper Faiz Fazal, who played one ODI for India back in 2016, has decided to hang up his boots from first-class cricket following Vidarbha’s Ranji Trophy match against Haryana. Fazal was a constant in the Vidarbha unit and one of the tallest run-makers in domestic cricket, accumulating 9183 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 41.36. 

> The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has refused to accept Lalit Modi’s offer to privatise The Hundred. 

Modi recently sent a proposal to ECB’s Director of Operations, Vikram Banerjee and ECB Chief Executive, Richard Gould, with a 10-year proposal that would allow him to buy the Hundred and make private investment, with a valuation of a billion dollars. According to The Telegraph, the ECB turned down the proposal straightaway.

> The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary, Jay Shah, has warned the centrally-contracted players to prove their worth in the domestic setups. ESPNCricinfo reported that Shah’s letter served as a ‘warning’ to players who chose the Indian Premier League over appearing for their respective states. 

Over the last few months, plenty of things have boiled up away from the pitch, with a spotlight on several players like Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer on their non-participation in the Ranji Trophy. 

> In a major development, Jay Shah has strongly hinted that Rohit Sharma will captain team India at the T20 World Cup in June in the United States & The Caribbean. Hardik Pandya, Shah hinted, will continue to be in a leadership role but will only serve as the vice-captain of the side in the T20 WC in June.

> On February 17 (Saturday), South Africa’s iconic all-rounder Mike Procter passed away after complications that surrounded his heart surgery, aged 77. Procter’s record, both with the bat and the ball, has been etched in the history of Proteas cricket, with 21936 runs and 1417 wickets to his name, having played 401 First Class games. 

> After recovering from his foot injury, New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell is set to be fit in time for the two-match Test series against Australia. While Kane Williamson and Tim Southee are set to make their 100th appearance together in the second Test at the Hagley Oval, pacer Trent Boult has been overlooked. 

New Zealand Test squad: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Will O'Rourke, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young

> New Zealand pacer Trent Boult returns to the T20 International (T20I) squad for the series against Australia. He is in line to play his first game for the Blackcaps in the format since November 2022. On the other hand, batter Kane Williamson will miss the entire series on paternity leave. Mitchell Santner will lead the side in his absence. 

New Zealand squad for T20Is vs Australia: Mitchell Santner (c), Finn Allen, Trent Boult (games 2 & 3), Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Devon Conway (wk), Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Adam Milne, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee (game 1)

> Injuries continue haunting New Zealand all-rounder Kyle Jamieson, who has been ruled out for the entire year with a new stress fracture on his back. Back in 2022, Jamieson suffered the injury for the first time, and ever since, has had repeated occurrences of the same injury. 

> The fifth edition of the Lanka Premier League is set to be played from July 1 to July 21, which means the tournament will clash with Major League Cricket and the Hundred. Last year also, the tournament clashed with Major League Cricket and the Hundred, but thanks to its local flavour, the tournament has gained wide popularity among fans. 

> Former Indian pacer Varun Aaron has decided to move on from red-ball cricket following the conclusion of the 2023-24 Ranji Trophy to focus solely on his white-ball career. Aaron, who made a name for himself with his lethal pace, has stated that the game against Rajasthan at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur will be his last for Jharkhand in the whites.

> UK-based club cricketer Rizwan Javed has been banned for 17 and a half years after he was found guilty of five different breaches of the Emirates Cricket Board's (ECB) Anti-Corruption Code.

Rizwan was one of the eight players and officials charged by the ICC concerning his involvement in the 2021 Abu Dhabi T10 Cricket League. ICC posted that Rizwan had attempted to corrupt matches in the tournament. ‘

> Former Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi has become the oldest player (39 years, one month old) to become the top-ranked ODI all-rounder, ending Shakib Al Hasan's reign at the top for nearly five years. Shakib has been on top since since May 7, 2019.

> Beth Mooney will lead Gujarat Giants (GG) in the second season of the Women's Premier League (WPL), the franchise has announced. After captaining the side in her absence in the first season, Sneh Rana will continue to be her deputy for the upcoming season as well.

> Former Indian skipper Dattajirao Gaekwad, India’s oldest Test cricketer, passed away in Vadodara on Tuesday, aged 95. He was survived by his son and former Indian coach Anshuman Gaekwad. The Original DK of Indian cricket, Datta Gaekwad, played 11 Tests for India between 1952 and 1961.

> Bangladesh on Monday (February 12) reappointed Najmul Hossain Shanto as national cricket captain for all three formats for the coming year due to uncertainty over the availability of regular choice Shakib Al Hasan.

Najmul, 25, a top-order batter, led Bangladesh in their last two series against New Zealand at home and away. 

> Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan’s Team Director and (defacto) head coach took to Twitter to announce that his stint with Pakistan cricket has ended owing to the change in leadership of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Hafeez recently accompanied the team on the tour to Australia and New Zealand. 

In the Spotlight 

Yashasvi Jaiswal

Yashasvi Jaiswal scored his first double-century in Tests just a few days ago, but such is his insatiable hunger for runs that he scored another (214 in just 236 balls) and looked good for a triple if Rohit Sharma hadn’t declared the innings. 

He took every single bowler to the cleaners, but what stood out amidst the carnage that insinuated from his end was his three consecutive sixes against the veteran James Anderson. 

The 22-year-old sent the 41-year-old to three different parts of the ground for a maximum, probably reminding Anderson of another Indian left-hander who did something similarly embarrassing to him on his last India Test tour. 

Regardless, his 12 sixes and 14 boundaries proved that this young man has immense range at a very young age, and he uses it with the maturity of a seasoned campaigner. Forget a gem. In Yashasvi, India, have an entire mine of diamonds that is not going to run dry anytime soon. 

Annabel Sutherland 

Annabel Sutherland proved once again that she is made for Test cricket (after her performance against India) by scoring 210 runs off just 256 deliveries against South Africa in the one-off Test. She also picked up 5 wickets in the Test to cap off a brilliant Player of the Match-winning performance. 

Across her last five Test innings, the right-handed batter has scored 137*, 15, 16, 27 and now a 210. In the one off Test against South Africa, she came in a pressure situation as Australia were once 12/3 and then 167/4. When she got out as the eighth wicket of her team, the scorecard read 541/8. 

Amidst all her runs, it’s easy to forget the value she adds with the ball. Her five wickets in this Test almost went unnoticed. But worry not. The entire spotlight is on Annabel Sutherland; god knows she deserves it! 

Aryan Dutt 

You might remember Aryan Dutt from the recent Cricket World Cup in India where he was the key bowler of his side and impressed a lot many people. 

The Netherlands off-spinner made news yet again as he picked up six wickets against Namibia in the ICC CWC League 2 game in Nepal. He gave just 34 runs in his nine overs, and picked up five of Namibia’s top 7 with his guile in the air and turn off the pitch. 

With the all-around talent he brings to the table, he is turning out to be one of the first names on the Netherlands’ team sheet whenever they play in spin-friendly conditions. The 20-year-old deserves this spotlight wholeheartedly. 

Controversy of the Week

No contract for Haris Rauf

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have penalised pacer Haris Rauf for his refusal to join the Pakistan Test setup for their series against Australia Down Under by terminating his central contract. 

Following the PCB committee’s thorough hearing process, the pacer’s central contract has been terminated starting from December 1, 2023. In addition to that, Rauf will not be granted a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to play in overseas T20 leagues till June 30, 2024. 

According to the press release, PCB management gave the pacer a chance to respond, but his response was unsatisfactory with the principles of natural justice on 30 January 2024. 

Naturally, this created a lot of furore, with fans both criticising and defending the move by the cricket board. Meanwhile, Rauf continues for the Lahore Qalandars in the PSL but his participation in the other leagues is jeopardised. 

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