Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey were in the men in focus on Tuesday (March 13) after guiding India to a six-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the ongoing Nidahas Trophy.

In the domestic section, lack of uniformity in salaries for Ranji Trophy coaches and the need for better umpiring occupied the bulk of the discussions at the BCCI’s Captains and Coaches Conclave in Mumbai.

Meanwhile in South Africa, Faf du Plessis expressed his displeasure at the ICC’s decision to ban Kagiso Rabada for two Test matches.

Karthik, Manish Pandey: The fringe men cometh (The Indian Express)

Dinesh Karthik is an enigma in the Indian cricket context. He’s been around so long, even if more so as the best amongst the rest when it comes to the fringes of the Indian team, you often end up ignoring his numbers like they don’t matter.

Here, even though in a way they were up against each other as well as the opposition, both Pandey and Karthik showed just why the selectors could look at both of them as the leading candidates to fill the gap now and the MS Dhoni-sized hole that’ll be left behind once the former captain decides to step away.

We would like BCCI to allow players outside the contract to play in our league: SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala (The Indian Express)

Sumathipala: We would like BCCI to allow players who are outside the 30 contracted players list to play. I’m making my appeal to the BCCI. I can understand the contracted top players playing for the country should be protected and there are 100 of talented players in India.

They have time after IPL. We are 20 million but we allow our players to play outside. I think Indian players should allow player outside their top 30.

Domestic coaches seek uniformity in pay structure (The Times of India)

The huge disparity in the salaries of the coaches of state teams has created a lot of heartburn among the coaches. There is no structured payment as such and each state pays the coaches according to the demand or reputation of the said coach. This has created a sense of insecurity among the coaches of the Ranji Trophy teams.

Poor standards of umpiring raise heat at BCCI conclave (The Times of India)

Do something about the rapidly declining umpiring standards, revert to playing eight games at the league stage in the Ranji Trophy, avoid 9 am starts in the Vijay Hazare Trophy – these were some of the suggestions put forth at the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) annual domestic captains and coaches conclave here on Monday.

Mohammed Shami case: Kolkata police seeks information from BCCI (Mirror)

In the latest development in the ongoing saga of allegations and counter-allegations between Mohammed Shami and his estranged wife, the Kolkata Police on Monday sent a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seeking information about the Indian cricketer’s route during India’s tour to South Africa in January-February this year. The police are investigating a claim made by Shami’s wife Hasin Jahan that he had stayed back in Dubai.

2009 IPL probe: Srinivasan cross-examined (The Times of India)

The adjudication authority on Monday cross examined former BCCI president N Srinivasan in connection with transfer of funds from India to South Africa in 2009 for the Indian Premier League (IPL) without mandatory permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

It is alleged that in 2009, BCCI transferred foreign exchange equivalent to Rs 243 crore into the account of Cricket South Africa (CSA) in South Africa to organise IPL tournament there.

Faf fired up about ICC disciplinary system (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Faf du Plessis has questioned international cricket’s disciplinary approach, stunned that David Warner’s staircase rampage and Kagiso Rabada’s rowdy send-off could both be worth three demerit points.

“If you look at both those incidents, one is brushing a shirt and the other one is a lot more aggressive,” du Plessis said.

“That was my question: why are both of these incidents labelled as exactly the same? Because for me they’re not.

Steve Smith made to look mortal as South Africa put captain in spin (The Guardian)

“He’s just looked in complete control, hasn’t he?” This was Steve Smith, talking about AB de Villiers after his side were comfortably beaten in the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

Variations of that sentence are routinely uttered by exasperated opponents of the Australian captain from all over the cricket world. But less often by the South Africans, and certainly not over the last fortnight.

James Whitaker to leave role as England’s chief national selector next month amid overhaul (The Telegraph, UK)

England will introduce a scouting system under the control of a new national selector in time for the start of this summer following the removal yesterday of James Whitaker.

Whitaker leaves his job as national selector at the end of this month as part of a long overdue shake up of England’s selection panel.

Lanning strolls into the record books (Cricket.com.au)

At 1.30pm on Monday in Vadodara, Meg Lanning scored her 3000th one-day run.

A quick single from the first delivery she faced against India in the opening ODI brought up the milestone – a moment that almost went unnoticed, coming as it did a long seven months after she scored run 2999.

Lanning herself didn’t realise until much later.

Battle of the Blues: A 139-year cricket rivalry that transcends Sri Lankan society (Hindustan Times)

The quaint Colombo Cricket Club ground fall on the way to the Test venue, Sinhalese Sports Club. Even from a kilometre away, one can faintly hear the drums. As one nears SSC, the drum rolls get louder and trumpets are blaring. At the Arjuna Ranatunga and Dr CH Gunaratne gates, fans are lined up in thousands with security personnel and the police out in force to maintain order.

Entering the ground, the atmosphere that greets you defines Sri Lanka’s passion for cricket. A capacity crowd of 28,000 is at the SSC. The papare bands and the cacophony make the atmosphere electric. Chants reverberate around the ground.

Cheerleaders are dancing to the beat. But this not an international game, but a battle between two prestigious educational institutions, Royal College and St Thomas, dubbed the ‘Battle of the Blues’ or ‘Big Game’.

Gary Neville: ‘Cricket toughened me up a lot more than football’ (The Guardian)

Neville: Without the good fortune of having seen an England side lose games of cricket for almost an entire decade, I don’t think I could have fallen in love with sport. That run of defeats bred in me commitment to a doomed cause, a sporting value I held above all else.

Certainly, above winning. Teams that won all the time, were, to my mind, slightly distasteful. Of that era, there were two in particular: the Australian cricket team that won everything going for 15 years and Manchester United. For me, they were one and the same.