Well, well, well
Welcome to the Summer of our lives! It’s that time of the year when Bengaluru blossoms with sakura flowers, Delhi grasps its summer stories, and Mumbai tells you the humid tales. But But But… Do you know what matters the most? It is the Incredible Premier League - a constant summer companion of our lives for the last 16 years.
In this week’s newsletter, we have so many stories to tell and make you revisit so many wonderful and not-so-wonderful stories that came out from the world of cricket. Dive in right away.
What’s made the headlines?
Mumbai Indians are the champions - Usual, Usual
There’s hardly a semblance of dichotomy in this. Mumbai Indians are always destined to be a champion. When experts turned a blind eye to them ahead of the Women's Premier League, putting Royal Challengers Bangalore above them regarding season predictions, things turned rapidly. Mumbai secured the inaugural title by beating Meg Lanning-led Delhi Capitals in the most ruthless manner possible.
Injury Premier League
Injuries aren’t finding a way to cease this season. Before the season even started, more than 10 players had gone down, and now the issue is deepening further. With South African and Sri Lankan players not available for the first few matches, the news of Josh Hazlewood not playing at least seven matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore made things worse for the Faf du Plessis-led side.
Even on the curtain raiser day, Kane Williamson, who had constantly been fighting a knee issue, awkwardly landed on his right knee while trying to grab a catch and had to be escorted off the ground. The latest news is that Williamson has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League, and Gujarat Titans may seek a replacement. Surely, we are in for a more open season of IPL.
You can follow our live injury tracker here.
Sri Lanka fail to secure direct WC qualification
In other news, Sri Lanka have failed to snatch the eighth spot in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League table after succumbing to a defeat against New Zealand in the third ODI at Hamilton.
That resulted in West Indies (88 points) overtaking Sri Lanka for the final direct qualification spot. Sri Lanka end their Super League campaign with 81 points. Sri Lanka will now travel to Zimbabwe in June to compete in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier and look to secure their place in the 2023 edition of the tournament later this year.
No charge on Vaughan
Michael Vaughan has been cleared of racism charge by the ECB disciplinary committee over the alleged use of discriminatory language, directed towards South Asian players almost 15 years ago.
He wrote: "Now that the ECB's charge against me has been dismissed, I want to thank the panel for their careful attention in very difficult circumstances and to thank all of those who have given me their support during an incredibly difficult period in my life."
What’s going on in international cricket?
> There was no Test cricket this week, but the preparation for ODI World Cup is on a fever pitch. Did you ever imagine a day when players from Sri Lanka and South Africa would have to be held back for international duty when IPL was on? Yeah, that was really the case.
>After getting the better of Sri Lanka in the Test series, New Zealand found it too easy to push Sri Lanka further down the river, beating them 2-0 in ODIs. It was Will Young who proved to be the difference in a low-scoring series finale that turned the tide in Kiwi’s favour. That eventually resulted in Sri Lanka failing to qualify for the World Cup and now will have to take the qualification route by playing the tournament in Zimbabwe in June.
> Elsewhere in South Africa, the home team beat the Netherlands by eight wickets thanks to an unbeaten 90 from skipper Temba Bavuma. Then there was the bowling brilliance of Tabraiz Shamsi and Sisanda Magala. After messing things up in the ongoing Super League season, South Africa have to beat the Dutch in both games and hope Ireland does not win anything in Bangladesh. Now that one game is sealed, there is a clear pathway for them to capitalise on.
> In ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off 2023, Canada, Namibia and the United States have done well to kick-start their playoffs campaign. Canada are the only team in the six-team competition to have remained undefeated but that might soon change. The Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off in Namibia will see six teams reduced to two in the race to qualify for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, whose qualifying event will be played in Zimbabwe in June.
Articles in Focus
We have designed a whole preview package of all teams, impact player analysis, batter narratives, venue guides and much more in the lead-up to the Indian Premier League, and we shall not stop anytime soon. If you’re not on Cricket.com reading these copies, then what are you even doing?
Attaching a few of our IPL and WPL stories for you to munch on immediately.
"Our greatest growth comes from our darkest times. You go!"
The last 12 months have indeed been a very challenging phase in the life of Shikha Pandey. And it comes as no surprise that this quote fits perfectly on the wall of her room as she strived to make a comeback to the national side. Our very own Shweta Haranhalli, former Mumbai skipper and our in-house expert, tells you the story of Shikha Pandey's rise from the dark to light. You can't miss this.
Following his game-changing cameo on Friday which not only put Gujarat on the front foot in the chase but deflated the Super Kings, it would be fair to say that the GT management would have been pleased to have stuck with Saha, not giving in to the temptation of trying out the shiny new toys.
Anirudh Suresh kickstarts our daily match coverage, with a superstar copy on another superstar.
From one Anirudh to another, Anirudh Kasargod has put together a quality statistical analysis of all venues for this IPL. What are the venue traits? How could teams maximise their potential? Everything on that and then some more.
On the back of Rohit and Rahul’s horror showing in the T20 World Cup last year, clamours for Shaw to become the first-choice opener in T20Is reached an all-time high but that he wasn’t a part of the starting XI — or even the squad — for the New Zealand T20Is was down to him not breaking the door down.
Sure, the selectors had every reason to pick him. But they also had plenty of reasons to not. But should Shaw demolish the league like Suryakumar did three years ago, he will ultimately take the decision out of the selectors’ hands.
Anirudh Suresh delves deep into what can help Prithvi Shaw regain his spot in the national side once again. If you are a DC fan, heck even a cricket fan, no way you should miss this.
Our in-house data miner Rahul Singh tried to assess the role uncapped players have played in the success or failure of IPL teams in 2022. Even though arguably a lot has changed since then. The most significant change being the ruthless ‘capping’ of players by the management, partly to manage the workload and partly to give some legitimacy to the idea of different teams for different formats.
In another episode of CDC Unbounded, we have an interview with David Wiese in which he spoke about encountering a possible career-ending injury in 2021, and how he scripted a memorable comeback.