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CRICKET - ICC 13 Jun, 2024

Motie and Athapaththu named ICC Players of the Month for May
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday (June 13, 2024) revealed the winners of the ICC Player of the Month awards for May 2024 as Gudakesh Motie of the West Indies and Chamari Athapaththu of Sri Lanka.Left-arm spinner Motie was inspirational as the West Indies enjoyed a promising build-up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 with a convincing series win over touring South Africa, while Sri Lankan skipper Athapaththu celebrates her second ICC Women’s Player of the Month after starring in her side’s surge to qualification for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2024 in Bangladesh later this year.ICC Men’s Player of the Month Motie wins the accolade for the very first time, and claims the award following impressive wicket-taking exploits in the West Indies T20I series triumph.The 29-year-old becomes the second West Indies winner of the men’s prize, following in the footsteps of teammate Shamar Joseph who was crowned back in January. During May, Motie took eight wickets at an average of 8.50 across the three-match series in Jamaica, as the islanders gathered valuable momentum in the lead up to their T20 World Cup campaign.Defending a score of 175 in the first contest, Motie played a pivotal part in restricting South Africa’s middle order charge, with his three for 25 including the prized wicket of the dangerous Rassie van der Dussen.With a higher total to defend in the second match, the Guyanese once again hampered a promising South African run chase with career-best figures of three for 22.More success followed in the final outing, with the left-arm spinner exploiting conditions and varying his pace expertly in a spell of two for 21, which heralded a player of the series prize to accompany the series whitewash.Reacting to his award win, the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for May, Gudakesh Motie, said, “It means a lot to me and I am very happy to win this award. It’s very encouraging, I have put in a lot of work during this season and I am happy that I am seeing the rewards now.“The standout performance for me during the series against South Africa was the first game, where I took three for 25. The third wicket that night was my favourite.“Playing in a World Cup means a lot to me, and playing at home in front of our fans and knowing the conditions is also special. We have started strongly, playing three games and getting three wins, and I see us going all the way and lifting that cup on 29 June.”Having won a raft of awards of late, including the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2023, Sri Lanka’s captain Chamari Athapaththu continues her spell of scintillating form by claiming the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for May – her second after previously winning in September 2023.The month heralded plenty of success for the Sri Lanka team, where they cemented their place at this year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2024 in Bangladesh with victory at the Qualifier in Abu Dhabi.Athapaththu topped the runscoring charts at the event, and capped another fine spell of performances with 151 runs and six wickets in May, culminating in a sublime yet explosive 102 score in 63 balls against fellow finalists Scotland to guide Sri Lanka to the Qualifier trophy.ICC Women’s Player of the Month for May, Chamari Athapaththu, said, “I am extremely delighted and honored to once again receive the ICC Women’s Player of the Month Award, and wish to mention that continuous recognition at this level keeps me motivated to further up my game and continue the good performance.""I wish to mention here that, both Kathryn [Bryce] and Sophie [Ecclestone] are also two exceptionally talented players with a proven record and wish them the very best, whilst I thank my teammates for their support given to me in this endeavour."

CRICKET - ICC 10 Jun, 2024

Shahid Afridi: Pakistan missed out on a huge opportunity to beat India
Let’s be honest: 120 was an easily chaseable target. No team has ever defended a lower total at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.Pakistan’s bowling was disciplined and they managed to restrict what is the best batting line-up in the world to just 119.Post-match, Rohit Sharma admitted that India didn’t bat well enough and the early wickets of the skipper and Virat Kohli brought the game to life.They are the backbone of the team and removing them cheaply gave Pakistan plenty of momentum.There has been a lot of talk about the drop-in pitch in New York and the surface was a little slow compared to the batting-friendly pitches we have become accustomed to in T20 cricket.But the pitch should never be used as an excuse and neither captain did so - they know that top-level professionals should know how to adjust to any conditions.Pakistan’s bowlers did very well and at the halfway stage, I believed India’s batters were 35 to 40 runs short of where they wanted to be.In my experience, international cricket and especially the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is all about handling pressure.On the big days, you have to have nerves of steel until you make it through.India stayed positive and calm until the last ball and the pressure of the run chase was not handled well by Babar Azam’s side.The key difference between the two teams was India’s consistency, self-belief, discipline and attitude on the field.The Pakistan batting line-up simply isn’t clicking and what we saw was a weak display of power hitting.For several reasons, this game wasn’t about playing aggressively. But strategy and smart cricket were required to get the run chase over the line, and those qualities are exactly what Pakistan lacked.India have now won seven of their eight matches against Pakistan at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and Pakistan fans are highly disappointed.First, Pakistan lost to hosts USA in a close game and now they have lost to India when they had only a small total to chase.The next match is against Canada at Nassau County International Stadium tomorrow and it goes without saying that this is a must-win game.I think now is the time for Gary Kirsten and Babar Azam to make some changes.I would like to see Salman Ali Agha come into the side in place of Usman Khan and Abrar Ahmed to come in for Shadab Khan.Most of all, I believe Fakhar Zaman should be promoted to open the innings alongside Mohammad Rizwan, with Babar dropping down to number three.There are some tough conversations and choices to come but we need to remember that there is still hope: Pakistan are not out of the tournament yet. 

CRICKET - ICC 24 May, 2024

Shahid Afridi unveiled as ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Ambassador
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday announced Pakistan’s iconic all-rounder Shahid Afridi as the latest name on the star-studded roster of Ambassadors for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies which begins on 1 June.A veteran of six T20 World Cups, two of which as captain, Afridi spearheaded Pakistan’s 2009 triumph with a Player of the Match performance in the final at Lord’s, and will feature in a range of promotional activities around the World Cup and lend expert insights to the event through a series of guest columns.Shahid Afridi, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2009 winner, said: “The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is an event that is very close to my heart. From being Player of the Tournament in the inaugural edition to lifting the trophy in 2009, some of my favourite career highlights have come from competing on this stage. T20 World Cups have gone from strength to strength in recent years, and I’m thrilled to be part of this edition, where we will see more teams, more matches and even more drama than ever before. I am particularly excited to witness the India v Pakistan fixture on 9 June. It is one of the great rivalries in sport and New York will be a fitting stage for this unmissable encounter between two great teams.”Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager, Marketing and Communications, said: “Shahid competed in six ICC Men’s T20 World Cups, two of which as captain and delivering a Player of the Match performance when winning the trophy in 2009, so who better to join our all-star Ambassador team. He’s a fan favourite around the world and alongside Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle and eight-time Olympic gold-medallist Usain Bolt, will be bringing fans closer to the event ahead of what is set to be the biggest T20 World Cup ever.”

CRICKET - ICC 05 May, 2024

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup: ICC announces Schedule
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): The International Cricket Council (ICC) today (May 5) announced the fixtures for the ninth ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2024 taking place from 3 to 20 October in Bangladesh, an event that promises to inspire and connect with a new generation of fans across the globe.Ten teams will play 23 matches, over 18 action-packed days, at two venues in Bangladesh, the Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka and the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet as the world’s best battle it out for the ultimate prize in T20 cricket.The schedule was unveiled at an event in Dhaka, attended by Nazmul Hassan, President of the Bangladesh Cricket Board alongside Geoff Allardice, CEO of the ICC and the Captains of India and Bangladesh women’s team- Harmanpreet Kaur and Nigar Sultana respectively.Before the official fixture launch, Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina met the two captains at her residence, offering her best wishes for a successful World Cup.ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2024 fixtures: Thursday, 3 October 2024: England v South Africa, Dhaka, 15h00Bangladesh v Q2, Dhaka, 19h00Friday, 4 October 2024: Australia v Q1, Sylhet, 15h00India v New Zealand, Sylhet, 19h00Saturday, 5 October 2024: South Africa v West Indies, Dhaka, 15h00Bangladesh v England, Dhaka, 19h00Sunday, 6 October 2024: New Zealand v Q1, Sylhet, 15h00India v Pakistan, Sylhet, 19h00Monday, 7 October 2024: West Indies v Q2, Dhaka, 19h00Tuesday, 8 October 2024: Australia v Pakistan, Sylhet, 19h00Wednesday, 9 October 2024: Bangladesh v West Indies, Dhaka, 15h00India v Q1, Sylhet, 19h00Thursday, 10 October 2024: South Africa v Q2, Dhaka, 19h00Friday, 11 October 2024: Australia v New Zealand, Sylhet, 15h00Pakistan v Q1, Sylhet, 19h00Saturday, 12 October 2024: England v West Indies, Dhaka, 15h00Bangladesh v South Africa, Dhaka, 19h00Sunday, 13 October 2024: Pakistan v New Zealand, Sylhet, 15h00India v Australia, Sylhet, 19h00Monday, 14 October 2024: England v Q2, Dhaka, 15h00Thursday, 17 October 2024: Semi Final 1, Sylhet, 19h00Friday, 18 October 2024: Semi Final 2, Dhaka, 19h00Sunday, 20 October 2024: Final, Dhaka, 19h00

CRICKET - ICC 26 Apr, 2024

Yuvraj Singh named ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced India legend Yuvraj Singh as an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador, with just 36 days to go until the pinnacle global event for T20 cricket gets underway.Yuvraj, who famously hit 36 runs in an over during the first ever T20 World Cup in 2007 which he and India ultimately won, will attend a range of exciting World Cup promotional events in the United States in the lead-up to and during the T20 showpiece, including the highly anticipated India versus Pakistan fixture in New York on 9 June.Yuvraj Singh, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2007 champion, said: "Some of my fondest cricketing memories have come from playing at the T20 World Cup, including hitting six sixes in an over, so it’s very exciting to be part of this edition, which is set to be the biggest one yet.“The West Indies is a great place to play cricket with the fans coming to watch creating a vibe that is completely unique to that part of the world, while cricket is also expanding in the USA and I’m excited to be part of that growth through the T20 World Cup.“India’s clash against Pakistan in New York is going to be one of the biggest sporting fixtures in the world this year, so it’s a privilege to be a part of and to witness the best players in the world playing in a new stadium.”Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager - Marketing & Communications, said: “It’s an honour to have Yuvraj as an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Ambassador. His name is synonymous with the T20 World Cup, owning one of the event’s most iconic moments when he became the first player to hit six sixes in a T20 International. He joins Chris Gayle and Usain Bolt as the first ambassadors to be announced, who will each add to the excitement of what will be the biggest T20 World Cup ever.”

CRICKET - ICC 24 Apr, 2024

Chapman, Shaheen move up in ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): New Zealand batter Mark Chapman and Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi have made notable gains in the ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after their Player of the Match performances in the ongoing five-match series which is level 1-1 after three matches.Left-handed Chapman’s unbeaten 87 off 42 balls in the third match has lifted him 12 places to 33rd position in the latest weekly update while left-armer Shaheen’s haul of three for 13 in the second match has helped him move up two places to 17th position.Wicketkeeper-batter Tim Seifert is another New Zealand batter to gain in the rankings, moving up from 27th to 24th while leg-spinner Ish Sodhi has progressed from 23rd to 18th position.Meanwhile, Dipendra Singh Airee has become the fourth player from Nepal to reach the top 50 in the Men’s T20I Batting Rankings after scoring an unbeaten 44 against Hong Kong in the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Men’s Premier Cup.The others to reach the top 50 from Nepal are Kushal Bhurtel (27th in March 2022), Paras Khadka (42nd in September 2019) and Rohit Paudel (45th in March 2024).Airee’s 11th position in the all-rounders’ rankings is the highest for Nepal, with the next best being Kaushal Malla’s 25th position.Hong Kong’s Anshuman Rath (up seven places to 70th) and the United Arab Emirates’ Alishan Sharafu (up 29 places to 88th) among batters, and Nepal’s Sompal Kami (up 16 places to 92nd) among bowlers, have also progressed following their performances in the ACC Men’s Premier Cup.

CRICKET - ICC 27 Mar, 2024

Gardner gains big in ICC Women's ODI Player Rankings
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): Australia all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner has moved up all three lists in the ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings after a fine run with both bat and bowl in the first two matches of their ICC Women’s Championship series against Bangladesh in Mirpur.Gardner, who scored 52 runs and grabbed five wickets in the two matches, has moved up five spots to 17th in the batting rankings, entered the top five in the bowling rankings and advanced from sixth to second position in the rankings for all-rounders.In other notable movements, fast bowler Megan Schutt has inched up to second position among bowlers, left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux has re-entered the bowling rankings in joint-69th position after her match-winning three-wicket haul in the second ODI and Alana King has moved up 19 spots to 58th among batters after smashing an unbeaten 46 in the first match.Annabel Sutherland (up five places to 38th among batters) and Ellyse Perry (up six places to joint-52nd among bowlers) have also gained in the latest weekly update.Bangladesh left-arm spinner Nahida Akter, who returned figures of two for 27 in the first match, has entered the top 10 for the first time. Her previous best was 12th position, which she had attained in December last year. Nahida is presently ranked 25th in T20Is but had a career-high third position in July 2018.Off-spinner Sultana Khatun has moved up six places to be joint-52nd with Perry after finishing with three wickets in the two matches. The two wins have helped Australia consolidate their position at the top of the Women’s Championship points table. They are now on 26 points from 17 matches while South Africa are second with 20 points from 15 matches. The full standings are available here.Meanwhile, in the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings, England captain Heather Knight has moved up five slots to 23rd position among batters after scoring 129 runs in the first three matches of the ongoing series against New Zealand, which England lead 2-1.Maia Bouchier’s 126 runs in the three matches have lifted her 43 places to 53rd position while New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr is up three places to 11th. In the bowling rankings, Sarah Glenn (up two places to second), Charlotte Dean (up eight places to 11th) and Lauren Bell (up 15 places to 18th) have all progressed.

CRICKET - ICC 24 Mar, 2024

International Cricket Council pays tribute to Shaharyar Khan
Sports ReportDubai (UAE): The International Cricket Council (ICC) has expressed its sorrow at the passing of former Pakistan cricket chief Shaharyar Khan at the age of 89.Shaharyar was a career diplomat who served as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chair from 2003 to 2006 and again from 2014 to 2017, also representing the PCB on the ICC Board.In a statement, ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “This is sad news for the cricket world. Shaharyar was a very prominent and important figure who contributed hugely to the development of the game over many years.“His experience as a diplomat helped him lead cricket administration very skillfully in Pakistan and he was also a respected member of the ICC Board. On behalf of the ICC, I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends as well as to our colleagues at the PCB.” 

CRICKET - ICC 13 Mar, 2024

Ashwin reclaims No. 1 position in ICC Test Bowling Rankings
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is back at the top of the ICC Men’s Test Bowling Rankings after finishing with a nine-wicket match haul in his 100th Test match. Ashwin returned hauls of four for 51 and five for 77 against England as India won by an innings and 64 runs in Dharamsala to complete a 4-1 win in the ICC World Test Championship series.Ashwin reclaimed the top spot from compatriot Jasprit Bumrah to start his sixth stint at the top of the rankings. He first became number one in December 2015. Player of the Match Kuldeep Yadav, who became the fastest Indian in terms of balls bowled to take 50 Test wickets, has risen 15 places to a career-best 16th position after finishing with seven wickets in the match.India captain Rohit Sharma (up five places to sixth) and Shubman Gill (up 11 places to a career-best 20th) have also made notable gains while Player of the Series Yashasvi Jaiswal has moved up two places to eighth after notching a half-century. Jaiswal aggregates 740 rating points after nine Tests, with only two batters having tallied more after as many Tests – Australians Don Bradman (752) and Mike Hussey (741).England players Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow have moved up a slot each in the batting rankings while spinner Shoaib Bashir has progressed 11 places to 71st position. Australia completed a 2-0 series win over New Zealand in Christchurch to take second place behind India in the WTC table and Alex Carey’s match-winning 98 not out sees him go up from 50th to 38th. Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood continued his fine run to finish with six wickets in the match, including a five-for, to make it 35 wickets at 15.31 for the season and moved to second position behind Ashwin.That equals his best-ever position in the rankings, which he first achieved in February 2017. Despite a peak bowling rating of 864 – achieved in March 2017 – Hazlewood has never been in top spot. Only Kapil Dev (877), Ryan Harris (870), Courtney Walsh (868) and Rangana Herath (866) have had higher peaks without ever reaching number one position.Matt Henry’s superb first innings figures of seven for 67 helped him advance six places to 12th and over the 700-point mark for the first time in his career. He is also up to sixth among all-rounders. Australian Mitchell Marsh (up eight places to 55th) and New Zealand players Tom Latham (up six places 35th) and Rachin Ravindra (up 10 places to 66th) are others to move up the batting rankings.In the Men’s ODI Rankings, Ireland’s Harry Tector has moved up two places to a career-best-equalling fourth position after aggregating 141 runs in the three-match series against Afghanistan while Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s series-topping 172 runs in his team’s 2-0 win, sees him move up from 24th to 22nd. Ibrahim Zadran (up three places to 14th among batters) and Fazalhaq Farooqi (up 10 places to 41st among bowlers) have also gained in the latest update.The Men’s T20I Rankings see Mohammad Waseem move up two places to 14th among batters after scoring 68 not out and Junaid Siddiqui move up 14 places to 74th among bowlers after returning four for 14 as the United Arab Emirates beat Scotland in the first T20I in Dubai.Michael Levitt of the Netherlands (up 17 places to 32nd), Najmul Hossain Shanto of Bangladesh (up two places to 33rd) and Nepal captain Rohit Paudel (up six places to 48th) are others to move up in the batting rankings while Shoriful Islam of Bangladesh (up 19 places to 39th) and Ayan Afzal Khan of the UAE (up six places to 40th) have gained in the bowling rankings.

CRICKET - ICC 10 Mar, 2024

Towhid Hridoy guilty of breaching ICC Code of Conduct
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): Bangladesh player Towhid Hridoy has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third T20I against Sri Lanka in Sylhet on Saturday.Towhid was found to have breached Article 2.20 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to displaying conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game.In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to Towhid’s disciplinary record, for whom it was the first offence in a 24-month period.The incident occurred in the fourth over of Bangladesh’s innings, when after being dismissed, Towhid turned around on his way back to the pavilion and remonstrated aggressively and inappropriately with the Sri Lankan players.Towhid admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, so there was no need for a formal hearing.On-field umpires Sharfuddoula Saikat and Tanvir Ahmed, third umpire Gazi Sohel and fourth umpire Masudur Rahman levelled the charge.Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points.