Captain Cool and his India A side may have lost the warm-up match on Tuesday (January 10), but the accolades for MS Dhoni continued to pour in. On Wednesday, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka’s spin wizard, and Ashish Nehra, the veteran India pacer, had praise for the former captain.

Even as England got ready for the limited-overs leg of their India tour, some focus shifted to Australia’s visit in February, where David Warner plans to use a heavier willow to counter spin.

Pakistan’s Wasim Akram has an arrest warrant in his name, 19-year-old Hanan Khan, who makes parathas for a living in Karachi has been called to train at the NCA, and Melbourne Stars’ Liam Bowe who made his debut against Adelaide Strikers is now cricket’s Harry Potter.

Lodha panel goes into a huddle to ensure hassle-free India-England series (Indian Express)
The Lodha Committee is meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday morning to ensure that the upcoming limited-overs series between India and England — three ODIs and three T20 Internationals — is played without any hitch. According to a source close to the panel, the committee, in the wake of reports that the ousted Indian cricket officialdom is in a combative mood and might create impediments, wants to make watertight arrangements to avert any possible situation that could impact the schedule or smooth hosting of the matches. BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri is likely to take part in the meeting and will be apprised of the plans to organise a hassle-free series.

Anurag Thakur, Ajay Shirke’s official BCCI e-mail address removed (Indian Express)
Anurag Thakur doesn’t have an official BCCI email address anymore. Neither do Ajay Shirke and other ousted BCCI officials. On January 3, post the Supreme Court order, without informing its two former big bosses Thakur and Shirke, the current BCCI regime led by CEO Rahul Johri terminated their official email addresses along with those of their personal assistants. On January 3, after the judges introduced a sub clause which said officials with nine years cumulative experience in board or state associations can’t remain in office, the BCCI headquarters deactivated the email ids of its five vice-Presidents — TC Matthew, G Gangaraju, ML Nehru, Gautam Roy, CK Khanna, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary, Jt secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla as well their personal assistants’ email accounts. Shukla’s email was restored subsequently as he remains the IPL chairman.

A level playing field (Indian Express)
Remember the Rungtas? They ruled Rajasthan cricket from 1972-2004. The Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) office and the Rungta household were as far apart as a wicket-keeper and the extra-cover fielder on a cricket field. The men who tended their gardens, served them food and drove their cars were RCA members. District votes were irrelevant as the family retinue kept their masters, the Rungtas, in power for decades. With the home front secured, the Marwari businessmen from Jaipur outlived most in the BCCI. The father and son went on to secure top positions in Indian cricket, hobnobbed with the powerful and possessed the power to oblige the VVIPs in the cricket-crazy nation on match days.

How a fan scaled a 10-ft fence to touch Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s feet at Brabourne (Hindustan Times)
The Brabourne Stadium was buzzing with chants of ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’, emotions running high among thousands of his fans who had descended at the venue to watch his farewell as skipper of an Indian side. Mahendra Singh Dhoni fans were also granted their wish when he came out to provide a sparkling finish to the India A innings against England XI, smashing an unbeaten 68 off 40 deliveries. Although there wasn’t any shortage of entertainment, a spectator jumped the 10-feet fencing, dodged the security cover in the North Stand fence, only to touch the feet of Dhoni, who was batting, to add more colour to the memorable evening for the fans. Dhoni and partner Hardik Pandya were chatting in between overs. The well-built spectator was initially hesitant to come on to the pitch. It was only after Dhoni insisted that the person jumped over the wicket to touch the double World Cup-winning skipper’s feet.

After Virat Kohli, Ashish Nehra says MS Dhoni will always be the captain (Deccan Chronicle)
Indian skipper Virat Kohli melted many hearts when he said former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will always remain his captain. The Delhi lad is not the only Indian cricketer to hold such a special place for Dhoni, his teammate Ashish Nehra has resonated similar respect and love for ‘Captain Cool’. “For me, he will always (be) the captain, said Nehra to BCCI.tv. “Yesterday, I met him after 5-6 months and the first thing, (I asked) was how are you captain?” The pacer has spent a lot of time with the Jharkhand cricketer in the IPL side Chennai Supers Kings.

MS Dhoni one of India’s best captains: Muttiah Muralitharan (Cricketcountry)
Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan praised MS Dhoni for being one of India’s best captains. Dhoni, who won the ICC World Twenty20 (WT20), ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013, stepped down as the skipper of India’s limited-overs side last week. Muralitharan also stated that former India player, Ravi Shastri, must have missed mentioning Sourav Ganguly’s name while compiling his list of all-time best captains for India. “In my long cricket career, Dhoni is one of the best Indian cricket captains. The three years I played under his captaincy in Chennai Super Kings (CSK), I never saw any arrogance from Dhoni. He was always down to earth and was open to take advice from senior players like me and Michael Hussey. Being such a big star, he always maintained a low profile,” stated Muralitharan.

Warner for heavier bat to deal with spin, low bounce in India (The Times of India)
David Warner has started his preparations for the tour of India and the in-form Australian batsman has resorted to using a heavier bat to counter the conditions in the sub-continent. Warner will lower the sweet spot of his bat and have a heavier blade to tackle the lower bounce and sharp turn generated by the Indian spinners led by Ravichandran Ashwin, reported by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’. The daily also reported that the Australian captain Steve Smith will use the same bat he uses in Australia. Warner’s Gray-Nicolls Kaboom bat weighs 1.23 kilograms in Australia but the one he plans to use in India will weigh around 1.28 kilograms.

Mushy puts onus on batsmen (The Daily Star)
Bangladesh Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim said that they need to show character if they are to put up a fight in the Two-Test series against New Zealand with the first one starting at the Basin Reserve in Wellington from Thursday. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who missed the all but the first match of the six-match limited overs series after picking up a hamstring injury in the opening ODI at Christchurch, also stressed the need of the batting unit to show grit and application in the demanding five-day contest. “Our main challenge will be for our batsman to set the tone for our bowlers to fight. If we can put up enough runs on the board in both innings, it will help our bowlers to defend. And it is very important for us to score runs,” said Mushfiqur, adding that he was feeling alright at the moment but cannot rule out the recurrence of hamstring pain.

Arrest warrant issued against Wasim Akram in road rage case (India Today)
A Pakistani court has issued an arrest warrant against legendary cricketer Wasim Akram for continuously missing 31 hearings in a “road rage” case filed by him. Akram, 50, has missed the hearings of the case, that was filed by him in 2015 after his vehicle was fired upon in Karsaz area of Karachi in what the police had described as an incident fueled by “road rage”.

Comment from ‘my bunny Boof’ highlights everything wrong with Australian cricket: Brett Geeves (Fox Sports)
On Monday, I felt the repercussions of what happens when you step out of line and lose sight of your official standing in the code as a player who does not feature on a Channel 9 lithograph.
In response to my article that questioned Lehmann’s message in the media that Matt Renshaw was no guarantee to hold his place as a starter for the opening test in India – even though his last innings was a beautifully crafted 184 on a turning SCG wicket – he offered up this as a warning that I was to shut it.

Kevin Pietersen clashes with umpires as Stars outshine Strikers (The Australian)
Melbourne Stars batsman Kevin Pietersen clashed with umpires during his side’s nailbiting Big Bash win over the Adelaide Strikers last night.Pietersen earlier became embroiled in a dispute about Strikers’ allrounder Kieron Pollard’s strapped bowling hand. The former England star demanded that Pollard remove the tape on his bruised hand before he would face a ball against him. “I just want to get him to take that off his hand. I don’t think it’s right,” Pietersen said. “One umpire says it’s fair and the other umpire says it’s not, so I said ‘I’m not going to bat until it’s off’.” Pietersen eventually relented and faced up to Pollard but appeared frustrated by the umpires’ lack of action. “I don’t think we’ve got a solution here,” he said.

‘Parathay wala’ selected for T20s against Malaysia, eyes slot in national team (DAWN)
Hanan khan, who makes parathas at a local hotel, has been called to represent NCA XI against the visiting Malaysian team. “I am really happy to get this chance,” he said. “When the first telephone call came from Lahore, I was playing a match. Later I called back and was informed about my selection,” he told DawnNews.
Explaining his overwhelming jubilation, he said, “I wasn’t sure if it was a genuine call or not, so I called back again and confirmed my selection for the two T20’s.” The 19-year-old has been representing Quetta in the domestic grade-2 matches, while he was also selected by Quetta Gladiators during their talent hunt in Quetta.

Pakistan Cricket Board upset by safety warning over Super League final (stuff.co.nz)
The Pakistan Cricket Board is angry that the international players’ body has advised foreign players against visiting Lahore in March for the Pakistan Super League final. The Twenty20 league will be played mainly in the United Arab Emirates, but the PCB has scheduled the final for Lahore on March 5. In case foreign players refuse to go to Lahore, the PCB said it plans to replace them with other willing foreigners. But a report by the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) warns all foreign players from going to Pakistan for security reasons.

Chappell’s comments on Pakistan team draw Akhtar retort (Daily Times)
Former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar responded to former Australian captain Ian Chappell’s comments about Pakistan’s poor performances down under.Akhtar responded stating that just because a team is not winning matches doesn’t mean that they have to stop playing. He cited England’s performances in the ODI World Cups as an example. Akthar tweeted, “Pak lacked grit: Chappell. I agree but not coming to Australia no remedy. England never won World Cup but doesn’t mean they shouldn’t participate.”

Teen Big Bash debutant an instant crowd favourite (New Zealand Herald)
Teenage debutant Liam Bowe was an instant hit with fans.His debut for the Melbourne Stars at the MCG was destined to be impressive, occupying the number 23 jersey made famous by Shane Warne throughout his career in limited overs cricket. The left arm recruit caught the attention of fans after snagging powerhouse Ben Dunk with a quicker ball, forcing the Strikers opener to rush his shot and slice it into the hands of David Hussey at mid-off. His prowess with the ball led the Melbourne Stars to dub him “The Wizard”, much to fans’ enjoyment. With Bowe’s most obvious feature being his glasses, viewers were quick to affectionately rename him to “cricket’s Harry Potter”.