The landmark three-match Twenty20 International tour of Pakistan by a World XI created headlines on Tuesday (September 12), with The Dawn viewing it as a triumph over terrorists.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Azharuddin questioned the wisdom behind excluding R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from the first three matches of the One-Day International series against Australia.
Cricket under guns’ shadow (Mirror)
There is a huge security blanket for the World XI comprising of players from seven countries. It is natural as security risks are high in the country where bomb blasts, killings and unrest have been a common thing. Also, Pakistan is seeking to build up on the gradual efforts of reviving international cricket at home and do not want to leave anything to chance. Gradual improvement in security had given the Pakistan Cricket Board some heart to first stage a low-profile series against Zimbabwe and then the highly-charged Pakistan Super League final.
‘Terrorists cannot win and cricket must not give up on Pakistan’ (The Dawn)
First came the Zimbabweans to Lahore and got cheered like they were playing in Harare. Then came Darren Sammy and celebrated near Liberty Chowk like he was from Peshawar, and had conquered Quetta (he had).
Now an ICC World XI is set to play at the Gaddafi Stadium under towering lights against Pakistan’s best XI in a series that holds international status.
Azhar questions decision to rest Ashwin, Jadeja for Australia series (The Times of India)
Will ‘resting’ top spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja do any good to their confidence? Statistics seem to say that the lesser ODIs they played, the lesser their impact has been in subsequent tournaments/matches. Apart from the stats, former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin too questioned the ‘resting’ tactics of the Indian team management in an important home series against the Australians.
With no Lyon in India, Australia might struggle (The Roar)
I still can’t believe it. What, no Nathan Lyon in the squad for India? Sounds like “no, no, Nanette” to me.
I know, I know. Australia will be playing ODIs and T20Is in India and Lyon succeeded in Tests in Bangladesh, but along with opener David Warner, he gave Australia the confidence that Australia can succeed on spin-friendly pitches in Asia.
Stand up and be counted: Badani (The Hindu)
Team coach Hemang Badani, who knows a thing or two about using such a side game as a launch pad to national reckoning, said on Monday, “All the guys are raring to go because this is an opportunity for them to do well. Guys like (Gurkeerat) stand a good chance to get some runs on the board or get wickets and get back into the national side.
“I would go back to personal experience. I was out of the team and got a 100 in a side game against New Zealand and that kind of paved my way back into the ODI side.
After the pink-ball conquest, Priyank Panchal eyes a rosy upturn in his career (The Indian Express)
For an opener, a big deal about scoring a hundred in pink-ball cricket is conquering the ‘twilight zone’ – the period of sundown, when the ball starts moving alarmingly. During his twin tons for India Red in the Duleep Trophy fixture against India Green, Priyank Panchal, however, didn’t encounter too much oddity. “No, it was like normal. No extra movement in the air or off the wicket (when dusk fell),” he says calmly.
A wake-up call for BCB (The Daily Star)
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) partially assented to Shakib Al Hasan’s plea for a break from Test cricket, and as a result the selectors announced a 15-member Test squad for the upcoming South Africa tour sans the ace all-rounder.
The 30-year-old top-ranked all-rounder in the world has missed only seven Tests since his debut against India in May 2007 at Chittagong, but the previous reasons were different from the latest one as he has asked the BCB for a six-month break from Test cricket.
‘Will miss Shakib badly’ (The Daily Star)
This will be the first time that Shakib Al Hasan will not be a part of the Test team since the 2014 series in West Indies when he was serving a six-month suspension because of disciplinary issues.
Interestingly, despite being in superb form, scoring 665 runs and picking up 29 wickets in his last seven Tests, the all-rounder has asked for a break of six months from Test cricket, which the BCB partially granted by excusing him from the two-Test series in South Africa.
Sunil Joshi will continue to assist Bangladesh as a spin consultant till September 2018. His short contract, for two Tests against Australia, was extended following good results and recommendation of the senior players.
Bangladesh had made history by winning its first ever Test against Australia at Dhaka recently.
The handbrake on Ashes speculation has been released with the conclusion of the Test series against West Indies. This may not be a good thing but it is inevitable. Even Trevor Bayliss, usually so wary about looking too far ahead, seems eager to enter the fray with observations about who he would prefer to bat at three and the likely provenance of the tour party. After the Lord’s Test he said the squad was likely to comprise only players chosen in the past 18 months, which is bad news for any blind-side runners around the counties.
It was hailed as the biggest pay rise in the history of women’s sport in Australia.
And now our female cricketers are starting to reap the benefits, with national players Nicole Bolton and Elyse Villani among the first to sign multi-year contracts, securing their futures on and off the field.
Villani was living at home with her parents to save on rent and working odd jobs just so that she could keep playing cricket.
Afghanistan and Ireland: The challenges of being the newest entrants in the Test arena (First Post)
“No matter what kind of cricket you have played before entering the Test arena, Test cricket is a different ball game… a totally different ball game.”
Habibul Bashar fires a warning even before I start the conversation about the challenges that new entrants Afghanistan and Ireland will face in Test cricket. Bashar played for Bangladesh in the nation’s first-ever Test match and, just like his contemporaries, went through a whole range of emotions in his team’s nascent stages.