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BCCI invites fresh applications for India team’s support staff

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The BCCI has called for applications for the entire roster of support staff for the India senior men’s cricket team, which ended its World Cup 2019 campaign with a semi-final defeat to New Zealand.

The contracts of the coaching staff, led by head coach Ravi Shastri, run up to the end of the World Cup. The BCCI subsequently extended the contracts by 45 days to include India’s tour of the West Indies, which starts on August 3 with the first of three T20Is. Three ODIs will follow the T20Is, with two Tests – part of the World Test Championship cycle – to come after the limited-overs matches.

The applications have been called for the positions of head coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, physiotherapist, strength and conditioning coach, and administrative manager, with the deadline being 5pm on July 30.

The BCCI said that the current coaching staff of the team would get “automatic entry in the recruitment process”, but it’s unclear as yet if Shastri, Sanjay Bangar (assistant and batting coach), Bharat Arun (bowling coach), R Sridhar (fielding coach), and Sunil Subramaniam (team manager) are going to re-apply for their positions or not.

Physiotherapist Patrick Farhart and strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu have both opted not to renew their contracts, and ended their association with the Indian team after the World Cup.

For the position of the head coach, who should be below 60 years of age, the BCCI wants the candidates who apply to have a BCCI Level 3 qualification. Failing that, the person should have played at least 30 Tests or 50 ODIs.

The support staff – with the exception of the team manager – have all had long stints with the team. While Shastri, Bangar, Arun and Sridhar all joined the team in mid-2014 for the limited-overs leg of the tour of England after a heavy loss in the Test series, Farhart and Basu had been part of the set-up since July 2015. Shastri, originally brought in as team director, was not part of the support staff for a year between mid-2016 to 2017, when Anil Kumble was in charge – and neither was Arun – but returned as head coach after that.

The BCCI’s elections are scheduled for October 22, which will also mean the exit of the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators, and CoA chairman Vinod Rai had clarified earlier that until the elections were held, the body would continue to monitor and authorise cricketing operations, including matters related to the appointment or renewal of coaching staff.



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Dhawan replaced by Shaw and Samson for New Zealand tour

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Prithvi Shaw could be in line for an ODI debut in New Zealand having replaced the injured Shikhar Dhawan for the three-match series set to begin on February 5. Both teams play a five-match T20I series prior to that, for which Sanju Samson has been picked as the BCCI confirmed Dhawan, who was first-choice opener before a grade two injury to his shoulder, will report to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore for rehabilitation.

Shaw, who made a Test century on debut in 2018, is already in New Zealand with the India A team and has been in excellent form. The 20-year old opener struck a compelling 150 against New Zealand A in a warm-up game on Sunday to follow a double-hundred for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. He did suffer a minor injury scare a few weeks ago, having fallen on his shoulder while fielding, but judging by that hundred in Lincoln, which included 22 fours and two sixes, there appears to be little discomfort.

Shaw has been on an upward track since his return from doping violation in November 2019. His first innings back was a half-century which he celebrated by pointing at his back and then making a talking gesture. The BCCI, while imposing a back-dated sanction, said Shaw had accidentally taken a forbidden substance commonly found in cough syrups. Should he make it to the XI during this three-match series against New Zealand, he will make his ODI debut in the same place where he led India to the Under-19 World Cup title in 2017. Outside of his inclusion, India kept faith in the same squad that beat Australia 2-1 at home.

Samson, meanwhile, has been on the fringes of national selection for several years. The wicketkeeper batsman played his first international in July 2015 and that had been his only game for India until earlier this month when he made the squad for the T20I series against Sri Lanka. Both Samson and Shaw may yet be confined to the reserves considering India still have Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to open the batting and Rishabh Pant to keep wicket.

Mohammed Shami is the only other addition to the T20I squad that beat Sri Lanka 2-0. He has shown great improvement in his limited-overs skills, some of which were display on his last tour of New Zealand when he picked up nine wickets from four ODIs. He joined a fast-bowling line-up which includes Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur. India were spoiled for choice in the spin department as well with Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar all part of the squad for the five-match T20I series.



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Ryan ten Doeschate steps down as captain of Essex

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Ryan ten Doeschate has stepped down as captain of reigning county champions Essex after four seasons at the helm.

In an open letter to the club he led to three Championship titles in four campaigns – once in Division two and twice in the top flight – the 39-year-old ten Doeschate said the captaincy had been “the biggest privilege”.

“Now is the right time for someone new to take charge,” ten Doeschate said in the letter, published on the club’s website on Tuesday. “I’d like to thank all our Members and supporters in general who have followed the team over the last four years. I hope we’ve provided much entertainment and that you’ve shared in our pride of representing the club.”

Ten Doeschate, who continued to represent Netherlands at T20 level through last year, will continue to play for Essex after signing a one-year contract extension in October following his side’s tense draw in a rain-affected final match of the 2019 season against nearest rivals Somerset which sealed them the Division One title.

Ten Doeschate thanked current Essex coach Anthony McGrath and England head coach Chris Silverwood, with whom he took Essex back into the top tier of the Championship by winning Division Two in their first season as skipper and coach respectively, in 2016. Ten doeschate and Silverwood also led Essex to the Division One title in 2017 before McGrath assumed the club’s head coaching role.

“I would like to pay tribute to an incredible bunch of players who have given everything to the team over the last four years and to whom I will always be indebted for allowing me to live out my cricket dream,” ten Doeschate added. “I can’t wait to join the troops, focus on my batting, and to give the new captain all of my support in continuing to try to get the best out of our great club.”

Ten Doeschate captained the side for 58 first-class matches, winning 33 and losing just eight. Having captained the club across formats from 2016 to 2018, he relinquished the T20 captaincy to Simon Harmer last year. Ten doeschate has represented the club 477 times in all formats, scoring 27 hundreds and taking more than 300 wickets in the process.

McGrath described ten Doeschate as “a phenomenal” club captain.

“His commitment and dedication to the club is second to none, and if you look at the position Essex were in before he took over and compare it to where they are now, a lot of that rise is down to Ryan,” McGrath said. “Now is the right time for someone else to take the reins and lead the team.

“It’s important to remember that Ryan isn’t stepping away from Essex, he’s still very much part of this club and I’m sure he will continue to have a positive presence both on and off the field.”



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Quinton de Kock named captain, as Lungi Ngidi, Temba Bavuma return to South Africa ODI squad

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Quinton de Kock will step up as captain in the absence of Faf du Plessis, while Lungi Ngidi has earned a recall to South Africa’s one-day squad for the upcoming series against England.

Du Plessis’ absence from the squad is notable, given the pressure he has been under during the Test series and the social media storm surrounding his comments about Temba Bavuma, who is back in the squad after answering du Plessis’ call of “weight of runs” with a first-class best of 180 last week.

Du Plessis said on Monday, after South Africa’s defeat by an innings and 53 runs in Port Elizabeth, that the fourth Test at the Wanderers could be his last on home soil.

“There isn’t a lot of Test cricket left this year,” du Plessis said. “There’s one massive Test where we need everyone to be as strong as possible to try and draw the series. After that, there is quite a big gap and there is an opportunity then to release some of the captaincy when it comes to giving guys opportunities, especially in one-day cricket.”

De Kock made his international debut in December 2012 after an impressive showing at that year’s U19 World Cup in Australia and was called up into the ODI squad just a month later. He boasts 115 ODI caps with 4,907 runs at an average of 45.01, including 14 centuries and 24 fifties. De Kock is South Africa’s highest run-scorer so far after three of the four Tests against England with 265 runs at 44.16 but the manner of some of his dismissals, to rash shot-making, has drawn criticism.

CSA Acting Director of Cricket Graeme Smith believes the new leadership role would “bring out the best” in de Kock.

“We all know the quality of the player that Quinton de Kock has grown to become,” Smith said. “Over the years, we have watched him grow in confidence and become one of the top ODI wicket-keeper batsmen in the world.

ALSO READ: Moonda: It’s time for de Kock to step up

“He has a unique outlook and manner in which he goes about his business and is tactically very street smart. We wish him the very best in this new role and look forward to watching him make his mark in this series against the World Cup Champions.”

Ngidi was ruled out of the current Test series against England after suffering a hamstring tear during the Mzansi Super League play-offs in December. His final selection in the 15-man ODI squad is dependent on passing a fitness test at the Centre of Excellence in Pretoria before the squad assembles in Cape Town on January 31 with the first fixture of the three-match series starting on February 4. Three other players – Sisanda Magala, Tabraiz Shamsi and Jon Jon Smuts – will also have to pass fitness tests.

Bavuma, who is expected to be recalled for the fourth Test starting in Johannesburg on Friday, confirmed his readiness after missing the first three Tests against England by producing a career-best first-class score of 180 for Lions in a four-day Franchise Series match against Dolphins last week.

Five players – Lutho Sipamla, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Janneman Malan and Kyle Verreynne – received their maiden ODI squad call-ups, with Malan in particular impressing as an opener for Cape Town Blitz in the Mzansi Super League.

CSA Independent Selector Linda Zondi said the squad reflected a changing of the guard. “The road towards the 2023 Cricket World Cup starts now and we want players doing well in our domestic structures to see the rewards of the hard work that they have put in.

“The pool that we build going forward is going to be vital in the selection of that 2023 World Cup squad but also without looking too far ahead, we are confident that we have players that will make South Africa proud in this ODI series against a confident England team.”

South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Jon Jon Smuts, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lutho Sipamla, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Janneman Malan, Kyle Verreynne.



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