Andrew Strauss gave up his commentary contract amid speculation that he would become the next director of the England cricket team

Elsewhere, Wasim Akram felt things would get better for Sunil Narine, while Dilip Vengsarkar was of the opinion that an Indian coach who follows the game at the grassroots should be the national team’s next coach.

While Kings XI Punjab were mulling the idea of releasing overseas players for the last leg of the 2015 Pepsi Indian Premier League for financial reasons, Indian cricket could be in for an infrastructural reshuffle with the National Cricket Academy like to move to Pune from Bangalore.

Andrew Strauss closes in on England job after pulling out of TV work (The Guardian)
Andrew Strauss is set to be unveiled as England’s new director of cricket before the end of this week with the future of head coach Peter Moores top of his to-do list. Strauss was due to commentate on England’s one-day international against Ireland in Dublin on Friday for Sky Sports and while the broadcaster has declined to comment, it is understood he will not be involved in their coverage.

Andrew Strauss’s key challenges as ECB director of cricket (The Telegraph)
Strauss is conservative by nature (and indeed was identified by the Conservative Party as a potential MP) and he has studiously avoided making any public comments about the director of cricket role, a sign he knows the political game that he will have to play working at the England and Wales Cricket Board. However, since his retirement, he has worked in the business world through his motivational speech company MindFlick, rubbing shoulders with chief executives. He should have learnt the ruthlessness needed to make big decisions.

T20 has helped people improve skills: Steve Smith (The Hindu)
“I think IPL is a great tournament, to come over to in India and be able to play in these conditions with and against the best players from around the world. It is a great learning experience. I have really enjoyed being involved in this tournament.”

Kings consider sending back foreign players (Ahmedabad Mirror)
Currently, the franchise has six foreign players besides captain George Bailey — David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Beuran Hendricks and Thisara Perera. The seven foreign players cost the management Rs33.85 crores (taking into account Rs12.5 crores for Miller who was retained and whose fee was not disclosed). If the team decides to release all seven, they could save up to Rs 5 crores.

National Cricket Academy likely to be relocated to Pune (Mumbai Mirror)
Relatively cool weather in the summers is what working for Pune and it is understood that finding land will not be a problem there. “The search for a piece of land is on. We wish to turn the NCA into a high-performance centre and that would necessitate a big land, of about 30 acres. We are hoping to find one in Bangalore but we are open to moving out of Bangalore if the required land is available elsewhere,” a BCCI official, who attended the recent NCA meeting in Delhi, said.

Everything will go well for Sunil Narine: Wasim Akram (Indian Express)
“He is a hard working guy and I am sure everything will go well for him. KKR need him. Narine has been exceptional for KKR. He bowled us to the championship in 2012, and he contributed immensely last season,” Akram told reporters at DPS North Kolkata.

‘Pick an Indian to coach the Indian team’ (The Hindu)
Dilip Vengsarkar said: “We have been picking up foreign coaches who operated out of five-star hotels and were more focused on the players selected for the team and hardly ventured out to know what was happening in the domestic circuit.”

Room for a viewpoint on the Indian Premier League (The National)
The fact is no other league has a market as ripe for such a competition as India. But in overcoming self-inflicted wounds, the IPL’s stickability deserves recognition.

With his captaincy, Brendon McCullum has changed cricket, says Tim Southee (Indian Express)
Kiwi pacer Tim Southee feels that the New Zealand captain has set a new benchmark in world cricket for others to follow.

International ‘rebel’ cricket just the ticket to put the ‘big three’ in their place (Business Day)
We’re talking about an international league here, not club or franchise. We’re talking nation versus nation, SA against England, Australia against India, etc. Like most big ideas, it seems absurd and fanciful to the majority of us because we are the victims of our own limitations. Most minds will boggle at the enormity of the logistics required. But all things are possible with three building blocks: media, money and motivation. And they exist.

Associate nations can earn Test status: ICC (Deccan Chronicle)
The ICC on Thursday paved the way for Associate Members to earn Test status by introducing the ‘ICC Test Challenge’ which will take place every four years between lowest ranked Test team and winner of ICC Inter Continental Cup. The decision, taken at the ICC’s Executive Board meeting, will effectively mean that one among Bangladesh and Zimbabwe the two lowest ranked Test teams in ICC rankings will have to fight it out with the likes of The Netherlands, Ireland or UAE for Test status.

Something better change or Trott’s early retirement will not be the last (The Guardian)
While Trott’s symptoms were his own, some of the issues that caused them were common to the team. England ground all their best players down, it’s just that the strain showed in different ways.

West Indies are rediscovering the spirit of the wounded underdog (The Telegraph)
All of which goes some way to demonstrating that to a large extent the history of West Indian cricket has been a struggle not just for success, but for redress. Not just for victory, but for pride. And if the Barbados Test taught us anything, it is that this West Indian side may be rediscovering the spirit of the wounded underdog.

Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England… whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket (The Independent)
By the weekend, England may have a new director of cricket. By the middle of next week, they may also have a new coach and perhaps captain. By the end of the summer they will probably have failed to regain the Ashes, which will almost certainly lead to calls for the lot of them to be replaced.

Selectors too busy with district trials to focus on national team (Dawn)
While local media has been claiming that the out-of-favour trio Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik would stage a comeback in the national team, sources in PCB disclosed that not a single session of the national selection committee could be held so far as the selectors are busy with district level trials in different parts of the country.

Sangakkara signs Big Bash contract (Courier Mail)
Hobart Hurricanes have pulled off a signing coup by recruiting Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara for the next two Big Bash League seasons.

Khurram Khan’s brother aims to emulate exploits (Gulf News)
Cricket flows in the genes of the family of Khurram Khan, the talismanic figure of UAE cricket. Younger brother Zeeshan Khan – a left-hand batsman and left-arm spinner – has been guiding Multiplex International Cricket team to impressive victories in domestic tournaments.