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ICC announces nine-team Test championship & 13-Team ODI league



The International Cricket Council (ICC)

Auckland, Oct 13: With an aim to bring context and meaning to bilateral cricket, a nine-team Test cricket league and a 13-team One-Day International league will start in 2019 and 2020, respectively, it was announced on Friday.

The Test series league will see nine teams play six series over two years — three home and three away, the International Cricket Council (ICC) declared after the ICC Board meeting here.

Each team will be having a minimum of two Tests and a maximum of five and all the five-day matches will culminate in a World Test League Championship Final, according to the statement.

“The ODI league will be a direct qualification pathway towards the ICC Cricket World Cup and will be contested by the 12 Full Members plus the winners of the current ICC World Cricket League Championship,” ICC said in a statement.

In the first edition of the league, each side will play four home and four away series each comprising of three ODIs moving to all teams playing each other from the second cycle onwards.

ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said that the leagues are a genuine solution to bring context to bilateral cricket.

“I would like to congratulate our Members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first,” Maohar said.

“Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but this is the first time a genuine solution has been agreed on,” the former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President added.

“This means fans around the world can enjoy international cricket knowing every game counts and in the case of the ODI league, it counts towards qualification to the ICC Cricket World Cup.”

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “This is a significant point in time for ICC Members and our collective desire to secure a vibrant future for international bilateral cricket.

“The approval of both leagues is the conclusion of two years of work from the Members who have explored a whole range of options to bring context to every game.

“The ICC Board decision today means we can now go and finalise a playing schedule for the first edition as well as the points system, hosting arrangements and competition terms.”

The ICC Board here also approved a trial of four-day Test matches to run through until the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Members will be able to schedule four-day games by bilateral agreement and a set of standardised playing conditions will now be finalised.

Richardson said: “Our priority was to develop an international cricket structure that gave context and meaning across international cricket and particularly in the Test arena. This has been delivered and every Test in the new League will be a five-day Test format.

“However, throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear that whilst context is crucial we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket. The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by members.

“Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top nine ranked teams.”

Meanwhile, the ICC announced that the World Cup Qualifier will be held in Zimbabwe in March 2018.

Namibia have been confirmed as the host of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in February 2018 whilst the Netherlands have been approved as the host of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier 2018.



Aussie women beat India in T20I Tri-Series first match



t20 tri series AusVInd women
T20I women tri series INDvAUS, Photo Source Twitter @BCCIWomen

Mumbai, March 22: Australia dominated with both bat and ball to defeat India by six wickets in the first match of the women’s Twenty20 International (T20I) Tri-Series here on Thursday.

Asked to bat first, India made 152/5 in their 20 overs. Opener Smriti Mandhana was the highest scorer for the hosts with 67 runs off 41 balls. Her 72-run stand with Mithali Raj gave the innings a strong platform, but the other Indian batters were not equal to the task. Anuja Patil scored 35 runs off 21 deliveries lower down the order to help add some late momentum to the Indian innings.

Ashleigh Gardener and Ellyse Perry were the most successful among the Australian bowlers with a couple of wickets each. Delissa Kimmince also bagged a wicket when she dismissed Patil with the last ball of the 19th over. In reply, the Australians romped home with 11 deliveries to spare.

T20I Triseries women AUSvIND

T20I Triseries women AUSvIND, Photo Source Twitter @BCCIWomen

They suffered an early scare when opener Alyssa Healy was bowled by veteran Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami in the very first over. Goswami dealt yet another blow when she bowled Gardener in the third over to leave the visitors in a spot of bother at 29/2. However, opener Beth Mooney and Elyse Vilani added 79 runs between them to bring the Australian innings back on track.

Mooney was the highest scorer for the visitors with 45 runs off 32 balls before being dismissed by Goswami in the 13th over. Vilani, who scored 39 runs off 33 balls, followed Mooney back to the pavilion just six deliveries later when she was caught and bowled by Poonam Yadav. However, the Australians were well in sight of victory by then and skipper Meg Lanning scored 35 runs off 25 balls to finish the job in style.

Goswami finished as the most successful among the Indian bowlers with figures of 3/30.

Brief scores:

India: 152/5 in 20 overs (Smriti Mandhana 67, Anuja Patil 35; Ashleigh Gardener 2/22, Ellyse Perry 2/31) vs Australia: 156/4 in 18.1 overs (Beth Mooney 45, Elyse Vilani 39, Meg Lanning 35; Jhulan Goswami 3/30).


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West Indies qualify for 2019 Cricket World Cup



Evin Lewis of West Indies

Harare (Zimbabwe), March 21: Rain came to the rescue of the West Windies, who qualified for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup after defeating defending champions Scotland by five runs via the Duckworth-Lewis (DL) Method in a Super Six fixture of the World Cup Qualifier here on Wednesday.

Scotland, chasing 199 for a place in the World Cup, were 125 for five in 35.2 overs when a heavy downpour prevented further play in the match. When play was called off, Scotland needed 74 runs in just over 14 overs at the Harare Sports Club.

While the result ended Scotland’s hopes of featuring in their second successive World Cup and fourth overall since 1999, Afghanistan and Ireland are now back in contention if rain affects Thursday’s match between the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.

If there is no result, then net run-rate will determine the second qualifier behind the Windies.

In the Super Six winner-takes-all match, the Windies, put in to bat, lost Chris Gayle on the very first ball of the match, his seventh career golden duck, and then saw Shai Hope return to the pavilion 12 balls later to slip to two for two.

Evin Lewis (66, 87b, 7×4, 2×6) and Marlon Samuels (51, 98b, 4×4) revived the Windies’ innings by adding 121 runs for the third wicket in 168 balls. But Lewis departed and 12 runs later Samuels and Shimron Hetmyer also returned to the hut.

The Windies innings was wrapped up for 198 in 48.4 overs, with the last eight wickets falling for just 75 runs in close to 18 overs.

Scotland bowlers maintained a very discipline line and length as is evident from the fact that they delivered 174 dot balls and conceded just 12 fours and three sixes. The most impressive of the lot was 26-year-old Safyaan Sharif who picked up the prized scalps of Gayle, Hope and Rovman Powell conceding 27 runs.

Brad Wheal also rose to the occasion and bowled his heart out, to be rewarded with figures of three for 34, while off-spinner Michael Leask snapped up the wickets of Samuels and Hetmyer off successive deliveries to finish with two for 36.

The Windies needed quick wickets to not only qualify for the World Cup but also end Scotland’s dreams of featuring in the ICC’s pinnacle 50-over event for the second successive time and fourth since 1999.

And Kemar Roach obliged Jason Holder by accounting for the in-form Kyle Coetzer and Michael Jones, while the captain dismissed Matthew Cross as Scotland slipped to 25 for three.

The Windies, sniffing a win, continued to apply pressure and were eventually rewarded at the score of 67 in the third over when Ashley Nurse brilliantly caught Calum MacLeod (21) off his own bowling to end the 42-run resistance and then dismissed Berrington (33) was adjudged leg before as Scotland slipped to 105 for five.

George Munsey lived dangerously for his 32 not out and kept Scotland in the hunt for a place in the World Cup as they reached 125 for five before Mother Nature smiled on the two-time former world champions as rain came down in force to end any chances of resumption.

The victory by five runs meant the Windies finished the Super Six with maximum eight points and not only qualified for the World Cup but also qualified for the March 25 final where they will meet the other qualifier.

Brief scores: Windies: 198 all out in 48.4 overs (Evin Lewis 66, Marlon Samuels 51, Carlos Brathwaite 24; Safyaan Sharif 3/27, Brad Wheal 3/34, Michael Leask 2/36) vs Scotland 125-5 in 35.2 overs (Richie Berrington 33, George Munsey 32 not out, Calum MacLeod 21; Kemar Roach 2-20, Ashley Nurse 2-35). Windies beat Scotland by five runs via Duckworth-Lewis Method.


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Miami Open: Puig beats Stosur, reaches second round



Monica Puig

Miami (US), March 22: Puerto Rican player Monica Puig advanced to the second round of the 2018 Miami Open after defeating Australian Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-4.

Puig played better than her Australian rival in the match on Stadium Court in the Tennis Center at Crandon Park here on Wednesday, where she managed to win the first set, taking advantage of the lead she achieved in the eighth game, reports Efe news agency.

In the second set, Puig did not take long to clinch a 2-0 lead, and although she let her serve slip in the sixth game, she immediately regained control of the court and won the set.

Read more…Serena bows out in first round of Miami Open

Prior to this match, Stosur had enjoyed a record of four victories and two losses in a total of six matches against Puig but the Puerto Rican has won their last two matches.

The next match will not be easy for the gold medallist of the 2016 Rio Olympics as she is scheduled to take on No.2 seed, Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, who was a finalist in the 2017 Miami Open.


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