After a span of 24 hours, members of the Pakistan touring party who have tested positive for the coronavirus infection have been identified. According to reports in Pakistan media, former captain Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Abbas, Abid Ali, Naseem Shah, Rohail Nazir, Danish Aziz are the members who have tested positive for the virus after their arrival in the country.
Following a tough final warning from the local health administration and the New Zealand Cricket, Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Waseem Khan has alerted the touring squad against flouting the quarantine norms again after their first act of indiscipline was recorded in CCTV camera.
A big squad of 53 members reached New Zealand on November 25 and they had to go through four rounds of Covid-19 testing before starting their training while in quarantine. However, after six members tested positive, the NZC has halted their training while sending the six players to a separate isolation facility.
New Zealand and Pakistan are scheduled to start their series with a three-match T20 series starting December 18 followed by a two-match Test series.
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The Board of Control for Cricket in India has come with the update on the injury to Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharam and said that the pacer has been ruled out of the upcoming series against Australia while Rohit remains under the watch of the BCCI medical team. A further assessment of the right-hander's fitness will be done on December 11, after that, a decision on his availability for the Test series will be made. BCCI stated in releases that Ishant Sharam has recovered from his side strain injury but inadequate workload management means he is yet to be fit for a Test match. “Ishant has recovered completely from his side strain injury sustained during IPL 2020 in the U.A.E. While he’s building up his workload in order to achieve Test match fitness, Mr Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy,” BCCI said in its media release. The board took cognisance of a contentious question of why did Rohit Sharma decide to come back to India instead of going to Australia to complete rehabilitation in quarantine like Wriddhiman Saha and came up with the reason that forced the opener to return home before heading to NCA. “Mr Rohit Sharma had to come back to Mumbai after the IPL to attend to his ailing father. His father is now recuperating well and that has allowed him to travel to the NCA and start his rehabilitation,” BCCI informed on Rohit’s decision to return. Meanwhile, young seamer Navdeep Saini who has found a place in squads across formats has complained about back spasms and the BCCI has added rookie T Natarajan into the ODI squad. Earlier, he was added to T20 squad based on his good performance in the IPL and a possible rotational policy of pacers that Virat Kohli hinted on the eve of the first ODI.
Indian captain Virat Kohli showed his displeasure at the changed World Test Championship points system which has pushed India down to the second spot in the WTC rankings in terms of percentage point counting. "It is definitely surprising (the new system) because we were told the points are the matter of contention with the top two teams qualifying [for the World Test Championship final]. Now, suddenly, become a percentage out of nowhere. It is very confusing, very difficult to understand why,” questioned Kohli at the virtual presser ahead of the first ODI between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Indicating that a change regarding the points system should have been brought to the notice of the players and the boards before making a final decision, Kohli said, “If such a thing had been told to us from day one, then it would have been easier for us to understand. But it happened out of nowhere.” “For further questions, ICC should be asked why this has been done and what the reasons behind this are," suggested the 32-year-old. Earlier, Manu Sawhney, the CEO of the International Cricket Council had said in a statement that the differential points system was adopted on the recommendations of the Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee, keeping in view the altered playing conditions due to the effect of the covid-19. "The Cricket Committee recommended the option, which was approved by the Chief Executives Committee and ratified by the Board, meaning teams will be ranked in order of percentage of points earned," he said.
The inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League, the premium T20 tournament of Sri Lank got off to a flyer with a super over finish at Hambantotain the very first game featuring Colombo Kings and Kandy Tuskers. In the upper over, batting first the Kings made 16 runs, thanks to some lusty blows from Caribbean Andre Russell and captain Angelo Mathews. Defending the total was Isuru Udana, who had played a match-saving knock earlier with the bat. Udana was hit for a four and a six by Afghan batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz to bring down the equation to 7 from three balls, having played the first delivery as a dot ball. However, a rash umpiring decision meant that wide was not called in favour of the chasing side and thus seven was required from the last two balls. Udana, 29, bowled a wide Yorker which got Gurbaz off strike with Kusal Perera facing the first delivery in the Super over and required to hit a six, which he failed to do, thereby lose the match by four runs. Earlier in the game, the Tuskers, riding on the brilliance of their two openers, Gurbaz(53 of 22) and Perera (87 of 52) got up to 219 in the first innings. Kings too did not deter in the chase and made merry of the dew-laden pitch and ground as they equaled a daunting total of thanks to some amazing hitting by experienced pros Dinesh Chandimal (80 of 46) and a late dash by all-rounder Udana, in which he hit 34 runs off just 12 balls, which included four sixes. Chandimal for his brilliant knock was chosen as the Man of the Match. Tomorrow the Galle Gladiators captained by the deputy Bhanuka Rajapaksa in the absence of Shahid Afridi would take on Jaffna Stallions led by Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera.
Saying that it’s a no-brainer that the senior bowling pros of the Indian team Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami would be rotated in the limited-overs series; the Indian captain suggested that it is being done to make sure they remain fresh for the all-important Test series. “They have gone through a full IPL. It will be important to monitor their workload. You want to see how people react to different situations,” Kohli said in a virtual press conference on the eve of the first ODI in Sydney. “There is a fine balance that you need to maintain, something we have managed to do for the last few years,” added the Indian captain. The 32-year-old reasoned that rotation has been the reason for Indian bowlers remaining fit for the important games. “That is why our bowlers have been fit and available for the important matches most of the time for us. It is an important factor for me as a captain. It is going to be crucial,” said Kohli. For many Indian players, it is going to be an altogether new experience playing down under, Kohli being aware of it said that it surely can be a very intimidating experience, no doubt. But according to him, that happens only when one is not ready mentally and doesn’t have the skills. “In every sport, they are very tough, the crowd can be tough on traveling players and rightly so. But if you perform well, you get a lot of respect. As a sportsman, I am a big fan of it. The stadiums are amazing, always a nice tour full of challenges,” the Delhi born told the press.