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Eoin Morgan backs ‘brilliant’ T10 format



England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has enthusiastically backed cricket’s “brilliant” newest format after turning out for Kerala Knights in the T10 League in Sharjah. Morgan suggested that T10 is the closest cricket will get to baseball, and that the format might even play a role in the sport’s Olympic aspirations.

“The T10 format is brilliant,” Morgan told reporters after arriving in South Africa to join the Tshwane Spartans’ Mzansi Super League campaign. “It’s probably the closest cricket will get to baseball.

“It exposes a different aspect of cricket. It also attracts a different fan as well in the sense that you’d probably find a lot of people there who wouldn’t go to a normal cricket match. It’s so easy to understand because it’s arguably as simplified a cricket match as there possibly could be. I’m a huge fan.”

The simplicity of T10 enhances its appeal with children, Morgan suggested, adding that tailoring cricket towards the young is vital to growing the game. It’s something he also likes about England’s go at a new format, The 100.

“The more you can tailor cricket towards kids, the more you can grow the game,” Morgan said. “Cricket’s scoreboard has a million different things going on. If you’re trying to explain that to a kid and you’re a parent who’s never played cricket, this is a solution. It’s 100 balls and you need to score as much runs as you can. The parent becomes a coach.”

Morgan also reiterated his feelings that T10 could provide cricket’s path to the Olympics.

“You can start and finish an eight-to-ten-team tournament within 12 days. You can’t do that in T20 cricket, it’s not feasible,” he said. “If we can grow the game in this manner, I’m all for it.”

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High on Hope and IPL riches, West Indies eye series win



Big Picture

Two days ago, West Indies crushed Bangladesh by eight wickets after chasing down their 130-run target in 10.5 overs. The next day, six of their players walked away with deals worth a total of USD 2.4 million (INR 17 crores) in the coveted IPL auction. It should put a smile on the face of the visitors who have had it rough in the last four weeks in Bangladesh.

And it is not just the IPL boys who will happy. Sheldon Cottrell, the left-arm quick, got career-best figures in Sylhet before Shai Hope struck six sixes in his 23-ball 55. Keemo Paul then struck three sixes in his unbeaten 14-ball 28 to take West Indies home. The Sylhet crowd, like Bangladesh’s bowlers and fielders, were stunned into silence.

The home side’s road to recovery will have to be through a more disciplined showing. The bowlers will be aided by the Dhaka pitch offering less bounce and pace.

Bangladesh’s batsmen must also use the pace on the ball from the West Indies fast bowlers. Neil McKenzie, the batting coach, said after the first game that there are better ways to go toe-to-toe with a pace attack. Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan all got caught trying to pull the ball. Shakib, however, looked more comfortable, and that was because he was patient.

Bangladesh’s bowlers would hope that they get a larger total to defend and if they are bowling first, they must find ways to stop West Indies’ big hitters from getting away to a rampant start again.

Form guide

Bangladesh LWWLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)

West Indies WLLLL

In the spotlight

While batting, Shakib Al Hasan had great judgment of deliveries that were beyond his control, and then off the bad balls, he cashed in. His pragmatism during his 43-ball 61 should have been copied by many of his team-mates in the first game.

Sheldon Cottrell created an awkward angle with his pace and bounce to get 4 for 28. It will be a bit of a challenge to do so in Dhaka, so Cottrell may have to dip his hands into his bag of tricks to do something different.

Team news

Shakib Al Hasan has a bit of fever but he is unlikely to miss out. Bangladesh are likely to give their eight batsmen another opportunity but it might not be so for left-arm paceman Abu Hider. Rubel Hossain could replace him. Mohammad Mithun and Nazmul Islam are the other options in the squad.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Liton Das, 3 Soumya Sarkar, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Ariful Haque, 8 Mohammad Saifuddin 9 Mehidy Hasan, 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

West Indies will be tempted to not change their XI after their overwhelming win in the first T20I. They also have Kesrick Williams, Khary Pierre, Denesh Ramdin and Sherfane Rutherford in reserve.

West Indies (probable): 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Shai Hope (wk), 3 Nicholas Pooran, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Carlos Brathwaite (capt), 8 Keemo Paul, 9 Fabian Allen, 10 Oshane Thomas, 11 Sheldon Cottrell

Pitch and conditions

Weather is likely to clear up by Thursday but dew will be a factor for both sides as it is a 5pm start in Dhaka. It might just end up being a high-scoring game because of the dew.

Stats and trivia

  • Mehidy Hasan has been struck for three sixes in an over twice this year, first against Sri Lanka in the January ODI tri-nation series final, and the second time against West Indies in the first T20I.

  • The Shere Bangla National Stadium has hosted 37 T20Is, the second-most behind Dubai International Cricket Stadium’s 47

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PCB to pay nearly USD 2 million to BCCI after losing legal dispute



Having suffered the injury of a lost claim for damages from the BCCI, the PCB now has to face up to the added insult of paying the India board nearly USD 2 million in legal costs.

Last month, the PCB’s attempt to claim USD 63 million from the BCCI for two bilateral series that did not take place in 2014 and 2015 was rejected by the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC).

As is the norm in arbitration cases such as this, the winning party claims legal costs from the losing side, which the BCCI had done. Those claims were submitted a week after the decision.

As with the final decision, there was a morsel of consolation for the PCB in that the panel decided they would not have to pay full costs.

“The Dispute Panel,” an ICC statement said, “has determined that the PCB should pay 60 percent of: “(a) the [BCCI’s] Claimed Costs; and (b) the administrative costs and expenses of the Panel… (including, without limitation, the fees of the Tribunal members, and the costs and expenses they incurred in relation to this matter), the figure whereof is to be supplied to the PCB by the ICC.”

Though neither party has made the total amount public, 60% is understood to come out to roughly USD 2 million. For a board that already does without playing India at bilateral cricket, or at home in Pakistan, that will be an especially unwelcome blow.

“The PCB notes the ICC Dispute Panel’s decision on BCCI’s claims for their legal expense incurred on the PCB-BCCI dispute,” the board said. “The award of significantly lesser costs than claimed by BCCI reflects that PCB’s case had merits. The PCB, however, reiterates its disappointment in the original decision/award given against it.”

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Carey fifty, Rashid three-for hands Strikers opening-day win



Adelaide Strikers 5 for 147 (Carey 70, Pattinson 2-23) beat Brisbane Heat 146 (Lynn 33, Rashid Khan 3-19) by five wickets

Winning is a habit, and Adelaide Strikers aren’t kicking it anytime soon. The reigning champions started their title defence in emphatic style with a five-wicket victory over Brisbane Heat, built on the back of another stunning spell from Rashid Khan and a dazzling knock from Alex Carey.

The match was marred by some bizarre umpiring, with James Pattinson incorrectly given run out by the TV umpire before the Strikers withdrew the appeal, and Carey admitted he nicked a ball to the keeper after being given not out on 52.

Rashid decimated the Heat’s batting line-up in conjunction with crafty spells from Peter Siddle and Ben Laughlin. At one stage, the hosts were 9 for 101 before Mujeeb Ur Rahman made 27 off 22 balls, a record for No. 11 in T20 cricket to push the total to 146.

Strikers made a blistering start to the chase and though there were some wobbles Carey went deep enough before Jon Wells finished the job.

When too many gimmicks might be too much

The BBL is supposed to be one of the best T20 leagues in all of professional cricket. The opening night of the new season featured a toss of a bat instead of a coin. At one stage there were three players mic’d up on the field at once talking to two different television broadcasters and the whole ground descended in darkness during the innings break to allow for a fireworks display. So when the TV umpire incorrectly adjudicated a run out as ‘out’ that every person at the ground, at home, and around the world could see was clearly not out, you could be forgiven for wondering how serious this tournament is.

Pattinson dived to beat a throw from Peter Siddle in the 13th over as the Heat were struggling at 6 for 92. Replays showed him clearly making his ground, but the signal coming down from umpire Greg Davidson was out. After much confusion, Strikers bowler Ben Laughlin inquired with his captain Colin Ingram as to whether they could withdraw the appeal. Ingram checked with on-field umpire Simon Fry and then recalled Pattinson. He only lasted seven balls for four runs before being stumped by Carey from the bowling of Matthew Short.

Rashid’s world

The Bash Brothers failed to fire after being sent in and the Heat combusted. Brendon McCullum hit the first ball for four and the second straight up the in the air to be caught by the wicketkeeper. Chris Lynn clubbed 33 from 20 balls including a six and a four off Rashid in the fifth over, but he was knocked over by Peter Siddle with four balls left in the Powerplay.

The Heat slumped to 9 for 101 with 31 balls left. Rashid claimed 3 for 9 in three overs post the Powerplay. Equally startling was that he bowled 14 dot balls on a batsman’s paradise. He undid Ben Cutting with extra bounce as the batsman holed out sweeping. He completely bamboozled Mark Steketee and Mitch Swepson in his last over with trademark wrong ‘uns. He was unstoppable and as a result, so were the Strikers.

Mujeeb makes history

Mujeeb, on debut in the BBL, walked out at No.11 having never made more than 16 in any of his previous 28 innings in professional cricket. He wandered all around the crease and played all sorts of mad strokes including several attempted reverse hooks off the express pace of Billy Stanlake. But he mustered 27 off 22 balls, including three boundaries, the highest-ever score by a No.11 in T20 cricket. Mujeeb and Peirson put on 45 for the last wicket before Mujeeb fell with two balls left in the innings.

Carey cool, calm and collected

The Strikers batting relies heavily on their opening combination and Carey and Jake Weatherald picked up where they left off last season. They cracked 56 in 5.3 overs before Weatherald fell to reduce the required rate to a meagre 6.53.

Carey was savage in the Powerplay. He took Steketee for 16 in three balls with simple clean striking and added another six off Joe Burns. Heat youngster Max Bryant dropped Weatherald in the second over which proved costly from a partnership perspective. Carey too was fortunate to survive a caught behind in the 11th over off the legspinner Swepson. He launched the next ball for six and added 18 more to his total before Swepson finally got his revenge. The Strikers still needed 39 from 36 balls but Wells made a very composed and unbeaten 24 to secure the victory with five balls to spare.

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