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Friday, July 17, 2015

7 debutants at Harare ~ Mohd Hafeez banned for 12 M ~ Dravid speaks on ban

A lot happening on Cricket field…….. at Harare, in 1st T20, India beat Zimbabwe  convincingly by 54 runs.  The Indian openers Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, followed by Uthappa all made 30s – Mohit Sharma, Harbhajan, Bhuvaneswar Kumar and Axar Patel bowled well.  The score in brief : India 178 for 5 (Uthappa 39*, Mpofu 3-33) beat Zimbabwe 124 for 7 (Axar 3-17) by 54 runs.

Today, there were 7 debutants - :  STR Binny, KM Jadhav, MK Pandey, AR Patel and Sandeep Sharma (India); N Madziva and T Muzarabani (Zimbabwe) – some of them have been playing T20 for long courtesy the muddled IPL.

One such case is  Sandeep Sharma, 22, who has already played 43 matches in the format - many of them for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. His success last year earned him this spot, but today he found the game to be much different.  Chamu Chibhabha lifted his very first delivery over long-on, holding the pose after his shot. Hamilton Masakadza scooped his fourth delivery for a second six.  There have been 10  bowlers who have conceded a six off their first legitimate delivery in T20Is. Sandeep Sharma is  the latest to join the list, which includes Muttiah Muralitharan. The other debutant Neville Madziva found it even tougher conceding 46. 

At home, Bangladesh is celebrating.  Even after recording series wins against India and Pakistan, Bangladesh still had their doubters, but by overcoming another tough challenge from South Africa, they have finally made the cricketing world sit up and take notice.

Pakistan allrounder Mohammad Hafeez has been banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months after his action was found to be illegal for a second time since November 2014. He will be able to have his action reassessed by the ICC only after this period is completed. Hafeez, 34, had undergone testing at an ICC-accredited lab in Chennai on July 6, after his action was reported following the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in June. The tests revealed Hafeez's action exceeded the permitted 15-degree limit.

At Lords runs showered – finally, Michael Clarke declared Australian innings closed after just one over of the final session on the second day.  Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc added four runs to the total before Johnson holed out to mid-off from the final ball of the over to give Stuart Broad his fourth wicket and leave the score at 566 for 8, which prompted Clarke to call his men in.  On a friendly batting surface, it appeared Steven Smith could not get out at all - Smith and Chris Rogers had  284-run partnership, an Australian record for any wicket at Lord's, that once set this is a beautiful pitch on which to bat. Rogers missed the chance for a double-hundred but Smith got one in style and got out at 215.

Rahul Dravid, Rajasthan Royals' team mentor, has said he respects the Justice Lodha Panel's decision to suspend Royals and Chennai Super Kings' owners for two years, but felt the court's decision was a massive blow to the prospects of the younger players in the two teams. Dravid, who is currently the coach of the India A team, was speaking at a press conference in Chennai ahead of India A's four-day match against South Africa A. While he refused to get drawn into the specifics of Lodha's verdict, Dravid said the entire episode would affect "everyone involved with Indian cricket". The top players and coaches always find stuff to do afterwards. It's not difficult for top players to be picked by other franchises. However, the young players who don't easily get an opportunity, they miss out. I feel disappointed for them, but we respect the decision the court has taken. In my opinion, not everyone at Rajasthan Royals or Chennai Super Kings are bad. There are lots of very, very good people."

When asked if his association with Royals would forever be a blot on his career, Dravid diplomatically insisted it was "for the people to decide", but said had he been aware of any wrongdoing in the team, he would have "dealt with it".

It is for the people to decide … !

With regards – S.Sampathkumar

17th July 2015.

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