There were several suggestions on how to improve cricket doing the rounds on Wednesday (December 8). While the MCC World Cricket Committee’s recommendations are pending approval, other proposals raised quite a few eyebrows. There was Sachin Tendulkar’s radical two-pitch theory that didn’t impress Dilip Vengasarkar. But perhaps more outlandish than that was the wish of CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for Italian suits for the Indian cricket team, costing Rs 2.5 lakh each. Needless to say, that didn’t get a thumbs up either.

Elsewhere, Rishabh Pant talks about the key to his form this Ranji Trophy season, and The Guardian takes a tour through one of Brazil’s cricket clubs, Carioca Cricket Club.

Both Kohli and Cook have changed the culture of their teams (The Hindu)
A thought experiment: Would the result of the current series be different if the teams had switched captains? Would England be ahead if Virat Kohli were their captain, leaving India to play catch-up under Alastair Cook? Man-to-man, there seems to be little to choose between the teams. England have the better medium pacers, but it is the Indians who have been more effective. India have the better spinners. Both teams have impressive all rounders, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and R. Ashwin.

BCCI rejects CEO’s wish for Italian suits for Indian cricket team (The Indian Express)
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Rahul Johri, wanted Italian-tailored suits, costing Rs 2.5 lakh each, for the Men in Blue. But the board shot down the proposal. Besides the reluctance of the board’s old guard, who saw it as an extravagance, the keen eye of the courts on BCCI’s spending is also seen as a reason for the cricketers being denied the stylised formal attire, tailored by a brand of international repute.

My dad told me you can’t be a cricketer until you see blood on your face: Haseeb Hameed (DNA)
As a cricketer you want challenges. It’s something you have got to enjoy, relish, facing the No.1 bowler in the world (R Ashwin), it’s something more than you can ask for in his home conditions. Of course, it’s going to be challenging, that’s where you want to test yourself, that’s why you want to play cricket at the highest level. I really did enjoy it. I think the way which we played him has given me a lot of confidence as well. You know for me to be able to cope with him and not just get overawed by him which obviously gives me a lot of confidence. He is a very good bowler, he took a lot of wickets in this series as well which goes to show that, you know he is still on top of his game and he is very good bowler to face. It’s something that I have enjoyed facing him and will take a lot of confidence from that.

My aggression is paying off, says Rishabh Pant (The Asian Age)
Such has been his impact on the current domestic season that even before earning an India cap, Rishabh Pant is being spoken of as another ‘Adam Gilchrist’ in the making. The Delhi youngster, who smashed the fastest hundred in the Ranji Trophy, amassed 100 in just 48 balls against Jharkhand. Wicketkeeper batsman Pant, one of only the third youngest Indian to score a first class triple century, represents Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League. The 19-year-old speaks about a number of issues, including his prolific run scoring in the domestic circuit.

Did the Trinidad cricket board knowingly put a pedophile in charge of Under-19 cricket team?(
A few weeks ago, a call was received regarding a management official of the 2016 Trinidad and Tobago Under-19 cricket team that participated in the 2016 Regional Under-19 Three-Day and One-Day tournaments respectively, which were held in St Vincent and the Grenadines.The caller alleged that one of the team’s opening batsmen was sexually abused and/or sexually assaulted by the coach. The alleged incident took place somewhere between the end of the three-day tournament, and the commencement of the one-day segment.

Dilip Vengsarkar questions Tendulkar’s ‘impractical’ two-pitch idea, MS Dhoni’s match fitness (Mid-Day)
Former India skipper and current MCA vice-president Dilip Vengsarkar is known for being a straight-talker and brutally honest.Well, former chairman of selectors Vengsarkar isn’t in agreement with Sachin (Tendulkar) on this. Terming the idea impractical, the National Cricket Academy (NCA) director said, “How will this happen? If you play the first innings for two-three days on a green top and then shift, how can you predict if the ball will turn on the other pitch? And how will this help the bowlers? No, it’s not practical.”

Gatting and Holding would have seen red but sendings off should be rare (The Guardian)
The possible introduction of a red card in cricket is the most striking innovation. Umpires have never had the authority to send a player from the field. The expectation of the MCC in the past made this unnecessary. It was assumed the captain, inevitably an amateur, could be trusted to patrol the game and if necessary dispatch one of his players from the field for poor behaviour.

The notion of a red card has been prompted more because of the decline in standards in the recreational game than the professional one. A survey by Portsmouth University suggested 40% of British umpires said episodes of abuse made them question whether or not to continue umpiring.

Maxwell praised for post-fine response (
Glenn Maxwell has been praised for his response to being fined for “disrespectful” comments about a teammate and remains a chance to force his way into the Australia XI for the final Chappell-Hadlee match on Friday. “He’s been fantastic, full credit to him, the way he’s handled it and the way he’s been around the group and getting prepared to play each and every game,” Bupa Support Team Head Coach (Darren) Lehmann said.

Not only the bowlers, Indian bat-makers are ecstatic, too (The Indian Express)
“The (Indian) bat makers will be happy,” declares BDM’s Rakesh Mahajan in a phone conversation with The Indian Express. That makes them the second group, and a rather unwitting one, to welcome the MCC’s decision to put an upper limit on the z-axis of the blade after, obviously, the bowlers.

Mahajan elaborates. “This demand of making thicker bats with light weight has placed tremendous pressure on us. Players want the thickest of bats. But at the same time, they want the weight to not exceed 1100 grams. Ab aap hi batao ki ye kaise possible hai.”

Allan Border wants soul searching from Glenn Maxwell (Sydney Morning Herald)
Cricket great Allan Border has called on Glenn Maxwell to “get himself sorted” as he fights to earn a national recall and win back the trust of his peers. Border concedes he’s a huge fan of Maxwell, but has questioned whether the so-called “Big Show” has himself to blame for seemingly being on the outer with selectors.

Craig Kieswetter – the former England cricketer hoping to gain a place on golf’s European Tour (The Telegraph)
Craig Kieswetter has just hit his golf ball further than some of us go on holiday. With a glorious, elegant swing he has dispatched it from the first tee at Wisley Golf Club somewhere towards Guildford. After a lengthy hike up the fairway, however, the ball is not where he expected.Watching Craig Kieswetter – or to give him the full title by which he is invariably called these days “Former England Cricketer Turned Golfer Craig Kieswetter” – it would be a foolish punter who bet against him fulfilling his ambition of gaining a place on the European Tour within two years. The way he drives, chips and putts, he looks a golfer of natural accomplishment.

A thorny issue: WI cricket dogged by division (
It continues to boggle the mind why winds of division are blowing through West Indies cricket at a time when we should still be savouring an unprecedented treble and consolidating those gains. Instead it appears to have gone horribly wrong since the capture of the Under-19 World Cup and the men’s and women’s World Twenty20. Not so long ago I remember “all ah we” dancing to DJ Bravo’s monster hit Champion, a song that suited our achievements and the mood of the masses who seldom have much to celebrate in terms of cricket.

Here’s to Test cricket conferences, not divisions (ESPN Cricinfo)
First Brexit, then Trump, then Cuba without Castro, but is this groggy planet of ours ready for the most improbable happening of all? Recent rumblings emanating from Dubai certainly suggest there is reason to believe it may be in the offing. Once played, once aborted, perpetually defying the combined brainpower of the game’s purported leaders, a World Test Championship is firmly back on the agenda. And the ICC, bless it, is contemplating ripping off the Americans.

Cricket’s Brazilian outpost: how CCC thrive in the ‘corridor of sun certainty’ (The Guardian)
The last game of the 2016 season for the Carioca Cricket Club (CCC) proved an occasion of high drama, rich entertainment and rank incompetence – even by the standards of a team who have rarely had reason to disturb the trophy cabinet. Formed five years ago in the Pavão Azul (Blue Peacock) bar, the CCC – who have as their logo an image of Christ the Redeemer in an umpire’s jacket signalling a wide- is an anachronism wrapped in an anomaly inside an expat bubble that has doggedly found a niche in the most unpromising of circumstances.