Cricket news

The England Women Central Contracts for the 2023/24 season have been announced by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board). The one-year contracts have been awarded to a total of eighteen players. Maia Bouchier and Danielle Gibson have earned central contracts for the first time, whereas bowlers Mahika Gaur and Lauren Filer and wicketkeeper-batter Bess Heath have been awarded development contracts - which are awarded to back the players that the board think will play an important roles in the future of women's cricket in the country. The aforementioned contracts last until October 31, 2024. The contracts have several new clauses to aid players, such as remuneration advancements including enhanced family provision entitlement, a bonus structure that rewards success against higher ranked oppositions, increases to the value of retainers and pay parity with England's men's team. Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Heather Knight, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Issy Wong, Danni Wyatt Bess Heath, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur "The Central Contracts are awarded to the players we feel will play a significant role over the next 12 months and beyond." said Jonathan Finch, Director of England Women's Cricket. "We are at the start of an unprecedented busy period of international cricket and the group reflects the requirements of the multi-format schedule we face. "Maia Bouchier and Danielle Gibson have been part of our group over the summer, have performed well and will be important players for England moving forward. The introduction of development contracts is a key step for us and allows us to support a wider group of players in their ongoing development and we will work closely with the regions to manage the players' development and workloads. "After a record-breaking Ashes summer, we have a really exciting 12 months of cricket ahead and we feel this group of players will form the foundations of our side that will take us through various bilateral series, and the ICC Women's T20 World Cup."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the launch of Cricket Regulator, an independent 'body which will be responsible for monitoring compliance with the game's regulations, enforcement of adherence to those regulations and providing relevant information and education'. An independent cricket regulatory board will oversee the Cricket Regulator and will be ring-fenced from the rest of the ECB, the board announced. The Cricket Regulator will be responsible for different areas of work that had previously been in ECB's remit, including safeguarding, integrity (anti-corruption, misconduct, anti-Doping) and anti-discrimination. The formation of the Cricket Regulator was recommended in the report published by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC). "The launch of the Cricket Regulator seeks to bring further independence to the regulatory processes within cricket, to give greater assurance around the separation between this area and the remainder of the ECB," the ECB stated. Effective immediately, the Cricket Regulator will handle investigations when a case is reported and will decide if there is enough evidence to present it to the Cricket Discipline Commission. As per the ECB's response to the ICEC report, the Cricket Discipline Commission will be repurposed as the Cricket Discipline Panel in 2024. Dave Lewis will take charge as the interim director of the Cricket Regulator. Lewis is a former police chief with 30 years of experience as a police officer, 'with a wide variety of roles including Senior Investigating Officer, Head of Criminal Justice, Head of Local Policing, and Regional ACC leading serious organised crime and counter-terrorism policing in the South-West'. Lewis has been tasked with setting up the Cricket Regulator and a permanent successor will be appointed in 2024 in an open recruitment process. Lewis will report to Nic Coward who is the chair of the Cricket Regulatory Board. "It is important that the game has the best processes in place in order to enforce regulations. The ICEC Report recommended that we introduce further independence to the game's regulatory process and the Cricket Regulator overseen by an independent Cricket Regulatory Board will do that," said ECB Chief Executive Officer Richard Gould. "The Cricket Regulator is ring-fenced from the ECB, and that separation will ensure that their work is distinct from our work as the game's promoter." Dave Lewis, the Cricket Regulator's interim director, added: "The Cricket Regulator will cover a wide range of matters on which the game has set clear standards, including anti-discrimination. The team and I are clear about the importance of meeting high standards in ensuring people across the game know what is expected of them, and having the best procedures in place, to protect and promote the good of the game, and everyone involved."

Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha said on Tuesday that there are no 'tall poppies' in the dressing room and that the seniors are making sure complacency doesn't creep inside the dressing room. Bangladesh head into the second Test against New Zealand with a in the series. A win or a draw in the second game will give them their first-ever Test series win over New Zealand. "I can't see complacency in the team. If I see any action of complacency, I will have one to one chat. We had a good chat in the dressing room yesterday. Strong and experienced leaders like Mushy and Mominul spoke very emotionally. I can see there's no tall poppies in the dressing room," Hathurusingha told reporters ahead of the second Test at the Sher-e- Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday. The head coach was also effusive in praise for stand-in skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto's future as a leader. Shanto, who is currently leading the Test side in the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, is the front-runner to be handed all-format captaincy. "Captaincy and leadership are two things. Captaincy was excellent. He was tactically on the mark. He was step ahead of the game most of the time. Very impressive field placing as well and sometimes unorthodox but very effective and his leadership was excellent. He led from the front with his performance. He was commanding respect, and demanding the standard," Hathurusingha said. "I think he has a long future ahead. The decision to appoint him as captain is with the board. They will make that decision when the right time comes. Definitely (a strong contender for captaincy)," he added. The head coach also reckoned his team will play with the same kind of freedom they played with in the opening fixture, and that the result was a strong advertisement for domestic cricket as they were without a handful of their regulars like Shakib, Tamim Iqbal, Litton Das, Ebadot Hossain and Taskin Ahmed. "The message is the same. It is about going forward with what we have, understanding our strength, trying to compete in every session. It is a young side in sense of experience but they are really good in terms of skills. When they are given the freedom to play, the way they normally play in the NCL, they play well," Hathurusingha said. "This is a good advertisement for our domestic cricket. Seven players from that XI played domestic cricket. You can see their energy on the field till the fifth day. It is not about the outcome. It can vary in cricket. They were still there when the opposition had long partnerships. Those are little signs that I look at. The young team gave their all. The message is to do the same thing," he added. Reflecting on the win in Sylhet, Hathurusingha praised his batters for their effort in both the innings of the fixture. Bangladesh batted first and posted 310 even as they lost early wickets to some poor shot selection. Hathurusingha admitted they could've scored more but defended the approach his batters took. "Our second innings batting was crucial to win the game. We had two 90-plus partnerships and Mominul (Haque) in both of them. We could have scored a little more in the first innings but we decided a certain approach when the wicket is good. Things can go your way when you approach it like that. It can sometimes go against you. We played according to the conditions and our plan. I am happy with the performance in both innings," he said. Though, Bangladesh played with only one fast bowler in their last Test, it remains to be seen what they do going into the Dhaka fixture. The last time they played a Test in Dhaka - against Afghanistan - Bangladesh went with three quicks but Hathurusingha opined that the combination of his side will depend on conditions and the limitations of the opposition. "I think if you know cricket well, you will have the combination depending on conditions and oppositions' limitations, tactically. The pitch was different in the last Test we played here against Afghanistan. It was not on this strip. It was on the other side. He had a lot of time to prepare. There was no cricket leading up to that time," he said. "We decided to go with three fast bowlers because of the conditions and opposition. If you remember the Test prior to Afghanistan, it was a different wicket against Ireland. The fact is that we have all these skillsets now. We can use it the way we want. That's a plus side for Bangladesh cricket," he added. Bangladesh have some injury concern as Nayeem Hasan injured his finger while batting in the nets and looks unlikely for the second Test.

After an underwhelming start to their Test Championship campaign, against Bangladesh in Sylhet, New Zealand captain Tim Southee gave his assessment on the Kiwis' performance, citing consistency as a problem in both departments. He does, however, expect another surface that will aid spin when the two teams face off in Dhaka. "First and foremost, obviously a different surface. Again, we're expecting obviously spin-friendly conditions," remarked the New Zealand captain, in anticipation. "After the last game, we spoke about being more consistent for longer as a bowling group. And then, obviously, partnerships as a batting unit. We've had a great couple of days of training. So looking forward to getting into another Test match." Assessing the younger crop of players who haven't played too much cricket in Asian conditions, Southee backed them to trust their methods, and work on sustaining them for longer. "We expected the pitch to be pretty much what it was. It was a pretty good surface, and what we sort of expected in this part of the world," Southee admitted. "Some of the guys that haven't played in this part of the world would've learned from that. And all the guys have got different methods and different ways to go about it. It's just about trusting that those ways are enough. "We saw, obviously, Kane, his brilliance, in the way that he goes about it compared to the likes of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips who go about it slightly differently. So, it's just about trusting your way and doing it for longer." When asked about Tom Latham's surprising lean run, and his incredible record against Bangladesh, Southee backed the veteran southpaw to come good. "I think any player wants to go out and perform. And Tom has been a great performer for us for a long period of time," said Southee. "He'll be as hungry as ever. Like every Test match, he's prepared extremely well and given himself the best chance to go out and score runs. It's a side that he enjoys playing against and has had a lot of success, which I'm sure he'll look back on and have great memories and great confidence from the record he's got against Bangladesh." With the tall left-armer Mitchell Santner, and the prodigious Rachin Ravindra who had a prolific World Cup, New Zealand have even more spin options - something that they might leverage, given that the pair had a long session in the nets on the eve of the second Test. "All fifteen (players) have got a pretty good chance, they're here, so yeah, they've a good chance of playing," said Southee, holding back in his response. "We'll have one final look at the wicket tomorrow morning and then decide. But yeah, I guess all 15 are fit, so they're available for selection. "It's about the whole bowling group just being slightly better than what we were in the first Test match and creating some pressure. We know that spin is going to play a big part in this part of the world. So, I think we just got to be a bit better for longer."

On expected lines, Zimbabwe ring in multiple changes to their T20I squad ahead of their next assignment, at home against Ireland. After failing to qualify for the T20 World Cup following a poor showing in the qualifiers, Zimbabwe's selectors have axed four players from that squad. Pacer Tendai Chatara, spinner Wellington Mazakadza and openers Innocent Kaia and Nick Welch are the ones who have been left out. Leg spinner Brandon Mavuta and Tony Munyonga have been recalled and the selectors have also picked two uncapped players. 20-year-old batter Brian Bennett, who was amongst the runs in List A cricket recently for Mountaineers, has been rewarded and 25-year-old fast bowler Trevor Gwandu has been picked as well. Sikandar Raza will continue to lead the side and will have the services of veteran Craig Ervine, who missed the majority of the qualifiers with a groin injury. The three-match series kicks off December 7 at the Harare Sports Club. The same venue will host the next two games as well on December 9 and 10. Sikandar Raza (c), Brian Bennett, Ryan Burl, Craig Ervine, Trevor Gwandu, Luke Jongwe, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Brandon Mavuta, Carl Mumba, Tony Munyonga, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sean Williams

New Zealand arrived in Bangladesh with a target to their back. They were of course walking into the lair of spinners, but also brought the baggage of giving Bangladesh their most recent high in Test cricket. Luke Ronchi had to deal with questions on whether New Zealand's loss to Bangladesh in 2022 in Mount Maunganui would weigh on them. He politey rubbished any possible correlation between that game and what was to come. Bangladesh though, added New Zealand to yet another Test highlights reel with a stirring victory in Sylhet. Now they come to the national capital, with a winning start to their WTC campaign and a shot at history. There's an opportunity to take their Test highs beyond single wins and secure a series victory - which they've never pulled off against New Zealand in this format. The visitors move south from Sylhet with the same concern - how do you tackle so much spin? They did alright in the first innings in the first Test but crumbled against Taijul in chase. They arrive wiser - at least in theory - and intend to be "better for longer" to address a criticism that came their way even when they went on to win the first WTC title - of winning a Test in Asia. : Bangladesh vs New Zealand, 2nd Test, December 6-10, 09:30 AM Local time : Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka More spin? The venue usually sides with the spinners but in the previous Test here against Afghanistan, Bangladesh loaded their side with three quicks. Only 5 of the 20 opposition wickets to fall were picked by spinners. That said, Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha confirmed that the pitch on which they will play New Zealand is not the same as the one where the Afghanistan game was played. Hathurusingha also reckoned team combination will depend on the limitations of the opposition, which is code for preparing to unleash more spin. Nayeem Hasan injured his finger in training ahead of the game. If he is ruled out, Hasan Murad - a left-arm spinner - could debut. Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Zakir Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto (C), Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shahadat Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nurul Hasan, Nayeem Hasan/Hasan Murad, Taijul Islam, Shoriful Islam The visitors know they have another spin challenge is coming their way, so could they take the leap of playing just one fast bowling and drafting in an extra spinner? Big call coming up for Tim Southee. Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell, Glenn Phillips, Kyle Jamieson/Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee (C), Ajaz Patel "We're expecting obviously spin-friendly conditions. After the last game, we spoke about being more consistent for longer as a bowling group. And then, obviously, partnerships as a batting unit. We've had a great couple of days of training. So, looking forward to getting into another Test match." - "Captaincy and leadership are two things. Captaincy was excellent. He was tactically on the mark. He was step ahead of the game most of the time. Very impressive field placing as well and sometimes unorthodox but very effective and his leadership was excellent. He led from the front with his performance. He was commanding respect, and demanding the standard." - on

A (128 off 139) wasn't enough for Kerala as they went down by 18 runs to Railways in Bengaluru. Samson's 138-run stand with Shreyas Gopal (53 off 63) was the only stand of substance for Kerala. For Railways, Sahab Yuvraj (121 off 136) top-scored as his knock gave them a strong total. A collective performance from Odisha saw them stun Mumbai by 86 runs in a low-scoring game in Alur. It seemed like Odisha's total of 199 would be under-par on a tricky surface. Kartik Biswal's fifty was the top-score in Odisha's total while their bowlers all chipped in to make the score look much bigger than it was. Only four Mumbai batters got into double digits and only one of those . In Jaipur, Maharashtra bulldozed past Manipur with a mammoth 167-run win. Ankit Bawne produced a century while three other Maharashtra batters got past 50 in their imposing total of 427. The result was a foregone conclusion at the halfway mark but Manipur's batters showed some application to bat out the 50 overs. Three of them also got fifties though the margin of defeat . More one-sided action continued in Group B as Hyderabad trounced Meghalaya by nine wickets with 188 balls left to spare. Kartikeya Kak's five-fer led Hyderabad's charge as they shot out Meghalaya for 158. The Hyderabad batters then made short work of the chase thanks to Gahlaut Rahul Singh's 56-ball 105 that . In Ahmedabad, it was a comfortable stroll for Karnataka who swept Mizoram aside by six wickets in a low-scoring game. Vasuki Koushik picked four wickets while Krishnappa Gowtham snapped three to keep Mizoram to a low total. Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey and Manoj Bhandage then threw their bats around in pursuit of a brisk finish as Karnataka got home with . Ayush Badoni's 97-ball 87 was in vain as Delhi suffered a jolting defeat to Uttarakhand in Ahmedabad. Chasing a low target of 222, Delhi's batting lost the plot with no support for Badoni as the innings crashed. Earlier, Uttarakhand got to a respectable total only thanks to fifties . In a high-scoring game in Chandigarh, Gujarat eked out a thrilling eight-run win over Himachal Pradesh. Urvil Patel's century and his double century opening stand with Priyank Panchal paved the way for a competitive total although Arpit Guleria's astonishing eight-wicket haul pulled things back for Himachal. His spell restricted Gujarat from a possible 350-plus score to 327 but it proved to be enough for them. Prashant Chopra and Sumeet Verma kept the chase alive with big fifties but in the end, . Uttar Pradesh crushed Arunachal Pradesh by eight wickets in a hugely one-sided encounter in Chandigarh. Ankit Rajpoor, Yash Dayal, Shiva Singh and skipper Nitish Rana shared the ten wickets between them to keep the opponents to a paltry total. Uttar Pradesh then finished off the chase quickly with Aryan Juyal's 42-ball 58 leading the way as the game . In a high-profile clash at Thane, Bengal rode on Anustup Majumdar's century and a strong bowling performance to upstage Punjab by 52 runs. Apart from Majumdar, there was a priceless fifty down the order from Karan Lal who was critical to get the total to competitive levels. Bengal's bowling was relentless as .

India women's team head coach Amol Muzumdar laid down the marker on what the focus of his era will be as the team gears up to host England for three T20Is and one Test. "Fielding and fitness are of highest priority," Muzumdar said on Tuesday (October 5). "We need to play a certain brand of cricket, which we have been known for. Fearless cricket is something I've always advocated." "Goals have already been set. We already had some [fitness] test done when we were at the NCA in Bengaluru. [The parameters] are already in place and we follow it very rigorously and religiously moving forward. There will be three tests in the season, that is already being followed," Muzumdar added. Muzumdar also reckoned that the young players coming through the ranks will be afforded chances as India begin their preparation for next year's T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. "More exposure, fitness and fielding will be my top priority. The fringe players - the new generation coming through - will get equal opportunities. These are the prime things that we will take forward after this series," Muzumdar said. Muzumdar begins life as India's head coach at Wankhede, where he has played most of his cricket at the domestic level for two long decades. Muzumdar was expectedly delighted for such an opportunity but hoped not to get complacent. "Coming back to Wankhede, I am starting a new role at the home ground," he said. "I have played all my cricket since childhood here. [It is] great to start the series here at Wankhede. [We are] familiar with the conditions but cannot be complacent as every game has its own challenges." "We have decided to leave the statistics and whatever has happened behind us," Muzumdar said of India's poor record against England in T20Is. "We are looking forward to a fresh start. The numbers are there to be seen, but these girls and the team are looking forward to the season ahead. We are not going to go back in history -- of course it is important -- but at the same time, it is also important to look forward to the season ahead." The T20I series kicks off the series on December 6 with the next two games on December 9 and 10. The one-off Test begins on December 14.

As the Indian team embarks on a month-long all-format tour of South Africa, the major concern is Mohammed Shami's injury. The Indian pacer, widely regarded as one of the best seam and swing bowlers in the world, is reportedly facing issues with his ankle. Although there is still time for the team management and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to make a decision on his participation in the tour, currently, his ankle appears to be a cause for concern. Shami has been included in the squad for the two-Test series and has understandably been rested for the white-ball leg of the tour, comprising three T20Is and three ODIs. He has also been named for the three-day warm-up game before the Test series, set to commence on December 26 at Centurion in Pretoria. While announcing the squads on November 30, the BCCI had stated that Shami's participation in the tour is contingent upon his recovery. "Mr. Mohd. Shami is currently undergoing medical treatment, and his availability is subject to fitness," said the BCCI at the time of announcing the squad on November 30. According to sources, Shami has been dealing with a niggle in his ankle, a concern that has persisted since the World Cup. Even though he emerged as the highest wicket-taker in the World Cup, Shami played while experiencing discomfort, particularly during landing while bowling. The Indian team is scheduled to depart for Durban via Dubai from Bengaluru in the early hours of Wednesday. Coach Rahul Dravid and all members of his support staff will be flying out with the Twenty20 squad led by Suryakumar Yadav. The first Twenty20 match is scheduled for December 10 at Kingsmead in Durban. In another development, the BCCI has filed an insolvency case against Byju's, the company that served as the jersey sponsor for the Indian team. The BCCI alleges a default by the edtech company amounting to Rs 150 crore, and the case has been lodged in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). It is believed that the case was filed in Bengaluru. As of the time of going to print, neither the BCCI nor Byju's head, Byju Raveendran, have responded to a message from this website. According to the NCLT website, the case has been scheduled for a hearing on December 22.

West Indies' fortunes in ODI cricket have been dwindling for a while now. Post the 2019 World Cup, they haven't secured many memorable wins in this format and their poor run eventually culminated in them missing out on the ODI World Cup for the very first time in 2023. In these last four years, West Indies have sealed a series in this format only against the likes of Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, UAE and Ireland. They have also suffered some embarrassing results with Bangladesh whitewashing them 3-0 twice and Ireland defeating them 2-1 once in the same period. But with the men in maroon on a mission to pick themselves up once again in a format they once bossed, they can do so with a morale-boosting triumph over the 2019 world champions England. West Indies were very clinical with the bat as they breezed through in a daunting chase of 326. Four batters in that top five stood tall with the skipper leading from the front with a spectacular century. The fact that they did the job over a team that is also hurting for different reasons (but in the same format) is definitely commendable. If they can pull a job on them for the second time in four days, it will do a world of good for their confidence. As far as England are concerned, ideally they wouldn't fret over the loss in the first ODI. After the WC debacle, they did come into this series making multiple changes. As far as approach is concerned, nothing has changed as Phil Salt showcased on Sunday. Wins are indeed important but looking at the bigger picture, they will hope the new faces manage to impress and push for places if the big names do return in the future. 2nd ODI, December 6, 2023, 1:30 PM local time Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua Clear skies are expected for the game. It will be interesting to see how the wicket behaves under the lights though considering this is a day-night fixture. Having picked up a famous win, West Indies will likely stick to the same playing XI. Brandon King, Alick Athanaze, Keacy Carty, Shai Hope (c & wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Yannic Cariah, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Oshane Thomas The visitors would most likely not make changes to that batting group given they posted 325 on the board. A change or two might be made to the bowling attack though based on the nature of the surface. England skipper Jos Buttler is in need of runs. : Philip Salt, Will Jacks, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Brydon Carse/Matthew Potts, Rehan Ahmed, Gus Atkinson

An all-round performance from skipper Tahlia McGrath led a collective Adelaide Strikers performance as they successfully defended their WBBL title with a thrilling over Brisbane Heat in the final at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday (December 2). Chasing an under-par total of 126, Brisbane Heat needed 13 off the last over bowled by Amanda-Jade Wellington who held her nerve to see her side over the line. The well-set Amelia Kerr got off-strike on the second ball of the over and then had to watch helplessly as she never got back the strike again. Opting to bat, the defending champions lost the in-form Katie Mack early but a 66-run stand between McGrath and the seasoned Laura Wolvaardt raised hopes of a total in excess of 150, if not 160. The Strikers captain in particular looked in good touch barring the odd nervy moment but once the two set batters departed, the innings went downhill for the Strikers. The surface appeared to be decent to bat on but the variable bounce and turn on offer meant that the bowlers were always in the game. Heat came back strongly to put the squeeze on and regular wickets helped their cause as the Strikers endured a horrendous final ten overs. Nicola Hancock continued her good form in the season with a three-fer including the big wickets of Mack and McGrath. Jess Jonassen also produced a tidy spell with the crucial breakthrough of Wolvaardt. With a low score to chase, Grace Harris started on a positive note as Heat scored 25 off the first three overs. However, the Strikers didn't lose their composure and quietly went about putting a lid on the scoring rate. The result was the big wicket of Harris, with Georgia Redmayne also falling shortly after to kick the game alive. The runs started to dry up as Strikers' spinners stifled the batters. To win defending a low score in a final required one defining moment and McGrath provided that with her second over. A well-disguised slower ball cleaned up du Preez and then a very full ball got the dangerous Laura Harris for a golden duck. It was the kind of situation the Strikers needed heading into the back end of the innings with the kind of score they had to defend. But Charlie Knott defied them with a 14-ball 20 that put the chase back on track with the power surge yet to be taken. The game ebbed and flowed until the wily Megan Schutt removed Knott and Jonassen off her successive overs to push Heat to the edge. Kerr was starved of the strike in the last three overs and while she tried her best with the odd boundary, her partners lost the plot against a relentless Strikers attack that fed off the roaring home crowd at the Adelaide Oval. The defending champions weren't flawless on the field and a few missed catches/run outs did occur but what they did well was to ace the crunch moments as they landed successive WBBL titles. : Adelaide Strikers 125/5 in 20 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 39, Tahlia McGrath 38; Nicola Hancock 3-23) beat Brisbane Heat 122/8 in 20 overs (Amelia Kerr 30, Georgia Redmayne 22; Amanda-Jade Wellington 3-16, Tahlia McGrath 2-16, Megan Schutt 2-30) by three runs

India and Australia find themselves on a very similar path. They've been on the field just four days after a draining - both physically and emotionally - ODI World Cup final and yet have had to find takeaways and tick boxes with eyes set on the next big event in less than seven months' time. The wounds of the final were still perhaps fresh for Suryakumar Yadav when the two teams attempted to hastily turn the page over and kick on in search of a fresh start towards glory. He said it as much: "It is difficult. It will take time. I mean it can't be that you get up the next morning and you forget everything that happened." The absurdity of playing cricket so soon after such a fixture was not lost on Australia either. They afforded rest to some of their stars - as did the BCCI - while a few others were allowed to head back home midway. Mitchell Marsh, who got to skip the series, was rather vocal about the situation, while speaking to SEN radio in Australia. "Yeah it was pretty outrageous for the guys that had to stay behind. It's a fine line because we've got to respect the fact we're playing for Australia and it's a series against India which is always really big. But there's also the human side of it, the boys have just won a World Cup and probably deserve to celebrate for a while and get home to their families. It's an interesting one. You'd hope there's not too many of those series put on after big tournaments again." Marsh has a point, and Suryakumar deserves a bit of empathy but this is international cricket in 2023 in a nutshell - blank slates come at you faster than you can comprehend. Sunday's game comes without the pressures of winning the series for the two sides, and yet carries context. This will be both India and Australia's fifth out of just 11 T20Is they play (respectively) in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup next June. And it comes right before they have to start splitting their focus with the ongoing World Test Championship cycle while figuring out the nuts and bolts of their T20I team composition. Sunday's game thus, isn't a dead rubber despite being one, and that once again is international cricket in 2023 in a nutshell. : India vs Australia, 5th T20I, December 3, 2023, 07:00 PM local time : M Chinnaswamy stadium, Bengaluru : After Raipur dimmed the run-making in a series of massive scores, Bengaluru will once again make the batters smile and the bowlers sweat. It's also a venue where visiting teams with batting might can come and flex it better than the hosts as the win tally shows: India have won just 2 of 7 completed T20Is at this venue. A chilly evening with temperatures in the early 20s should greet the two sides on Sunday. Washington Sundar, who will soon be on the flight to South Africa for the six white-ball games, should get a look-in after warming the bench for four games. While they are at it, India could also offer an opportunity to Shivam Dube - the only other member of the squad who hasn't played in this series. : Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav(c), Jitesh Sharma(w), Rinku Singh/Shivam Dube, Axar Patel/Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar Chris Green debuted in Raipur but could make way for one of the two quicks on the bench - Nathan Ellis or Kane Richardson - at a venue that chews up and spits out spinners mercilessly. Josh Philippe, Travis Head, Ben McDermott, Aaron Hardie, Tim David, Matthew Short, Matthew Wade(w/c), Ben Dwarshuis, Kane Richardson/Nathan Ellis, Jason Behrendorff, Tanveer Sangha - In his last eight T20I innings against India, Matthew Wade has scored 333 runs at an average of 111 and a strike rate of 174.34. He's also fifth on the list of most runs against India in T20Is. - Shivam Dube came into this series with 190 runs in 7 Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy innings for Mumbai at a strike rate of 129.25. "Just to continue to learn from the guys who are already established in the team and to have depth in the squad is really key as the T20 World Cup is round the corner." -

Jos Buttler has already called this series "a bit of a new beginning". He arrives on the Caribbean shores still intact as the ODI captain, and accompanying him are only five other members from England's underwhelming campaign at the World Cup in India last month. But there's another trophy to be won in a few months time, albeit in the T20 format, which means England don't have the time to start from scratch. And so England have retained faith in Buttler at the top, a World Cup-winning captain nonetheless as they aim for a soft reset in white-ball cricket. If why they are doing so with an ODI series while preparing for a T20 World Cup is what's bothering you, then welcome to cricket in 2023. The ODI format is something that the West Indies wouldn't mind engaging with. Having failed to qualify for the World Cup, they just spent the last couple of months watching teams fight for the trophy they helped establish the legacy of once upon a time. Thankfully, there's all of four years to build towards winning an ICC ODI trophy, for they will again not be participating in the Champions Trophy next year. Under Shai Hope as captain and Alzarri Joseph as the new vice captain, West Indies start a new cycle by taking on England, a team they love to beat and a team which tends to bring the best out of them. There will be no Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder and Darren Bravo turning up for them this time, so it will be up to the fresh faces in the camp to step up and make a mark. All in all, the series might seem like low-stakes on first glance but there's plenty of opportunities for both teams to suss out new players on the circuit. What does Alick Athanaze have up his sleeve? How exciting will Will Jacks be at the top of the order? Can Rehan Ahmed stand up to the standards set by Adil Rashid? How will Alzarri perform with the vice-captaincy tag? There's plenty to look forward to as both teams not only build up to the next ODI World Cup but also slowly get into rhythm for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will be played in the same conditions. 1st ODI, December 3, 2023, 09:30 AM LOCAL Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua The ground last hosted ODIs in 2021, all three of which were won by the hosts. The pitches here are usually slow, which means middling scores. The 300-mark has been breached only three times in 20 ODIs here but England's all-out approach, if still around, could mean that West Indies could be forced to go hard at the top too. Batting allrounder Sherfane Rutherford and bowling allrounder Matthew Forde are the two uncapped players in the squad and in line to make their debuts. Shane Dowrich, who was named in the squad after a gap of three years, has since retired much to the surprise of everyone and hence won't be available. Brandon King, Kjorn Ottley, Alick Athanaze, Shai Hope (c/w), Keacy Carty, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Matthew Forde/Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph, Oshane Thomas, Gudakesh Motie Buttler has confirmed that he won't move to the top of the order, which would mean that Will Jacks, Phil Salt and Zak Crawley are likely to take the top three spots. Phil Salt, Will Jacks, Zak Crawley, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (c/w), Ben Duckett, Liam Livingstone/Tom Hartley, Sam Curran, Brydon Carse, Rehan Ahmed, Gus Atkinson 2y3EYWYvZZ "We have had one bad tournament. It [England cricket] has been in a great place for a long time and you see the depth of talent of guys coming through and you want to help shape that period of white ball cricket. That's something I feel responsibility and motivation for and individually I am always incredibly motivated to perform the best I can and reach my potential. Any time that you get challenged and get pushed back and people challenge that sort of thing, it certainly lights a few fires and motivates you" - Jos Buttler, England captain

A day after appointing Salman Butt as a member consultant for the chief selector, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has removed the former captain because of intense public and media pressure. The removal was announced by chief selector Wahab Riaz on Saturday. "People started talking all sorts of stuff about me and Salman Butt. It was my decision to have Salman Butt as a consultant because he is a good cricketing mind. I am now reversing that decision. I have already informed Salman Butt that he cannot be part of my team. But personally I think people have to move on as he has served his sentence," Riaz, a former Pakistan pacer, told reporters in Lahore on Saturday. Forefront among many critics of the PCB was Ramiz Raja, a former chairman of the Board. Ramiz for appointing a tainted person for an important job. "It's insane to have a selection committee consisting of a member whose decision can be termed as a display of filial affection or non-affection and another who was locked up for match fixing," Ramiz had told on the appointment. Butt, a former Pakistan captain, was a central figure in was in the 2010 spot fixing-scandal along with Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif. Butt, who had played 33 Tests, 78 ODIs and 24 T20Is, was banned for 10 years by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and even had to serve a prison sentence in the United Kingdom. Cricbuzz has reached out to the PCB and Riaz.

Pacer Lance Morris is in line for a Test debut as Australia selectors recalled the pacer in the 14-member squad for the opening Test of the against Pakistan in Perth. Morris, the only uncapped player in the 14-strong squad, is returning from a back stress injury that ruled him out of the Ashes series. He's played three of the six Sheffield Shield games for Western Australia, bagging 11 wickets on domestic comeback at 25.54. There are otherwise no surprises in the squad with 10 of the XI from the last Ashes Test named in the 14 and only Nathan Lyon, back from calf injury, replacing Todd Murphy. Alex Carey, who lost his ODI spot as Australia's wicketkeeper during their successful 2023 World Cup campaign, has retained his spot in the multi-day format. Likewise, Cameron Green, who was subsequently replaced by Mitch Marsh in Australia's World Cup XI, also finds a place in the team for the first Test. David Warner, who had earlier in the year expressed his desire for a Test farewell in the New Year's game against Pakistan - the last of this series, has been backed despite a poor patch in Test cricket, albeit capped off by a double century against the same opponent in his 100th Test. Pat Cummins (C), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner "This group, led by Pat Cummins, has built a strong resume over an extended period. We believe they have earnt the opportunity to start in our first home Test match at the beginning of the new World Test Championship cycle," chair of selectors George Bailey said. "Thirteen members of the squad were part of the victorious World Test Championship and successful Ashes tours over the winter and Lance Morris has been recalled after recovering from his back injury over the same period. "As ever, there will be opportunities in the short to medium term to break into this squad and we look forward to seeing the continued strong performances from players who have been performing domestically, many of whom will get a tremendous opportunity in the PM's XI fixture against Pakistan later this week."

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