Any sport must keep up with the times to stay relevant and so changes in the laws, rules being tweaked a bit and innovations to a point are welcome. But beyond a limit, these changes could do more harm than good for the game and that is why it is important for administrators to draw a line between the acceptable and the unacceptable. Will it benefit the game and will it benefit the players would have been the first thoughts of those advocating any change in the past but these days I suppose the question also has to be added as to whether it is attractive to draw television audiences. The timing of any change is important. One day cricket had its birth quite by accident in January 1971 but it came about at a time when interest in Test cricket had slightly declined. Its popularity spread steadily first and then in the late 70s thanks to Kerry Packer’s innovations during World Series Cricket, ODIs became the rage.
Through the 80s and 90s ODIs replaced Test matches as the more popular of the two formats but then a surfeit of such cricket saw interest decline so in the first years of the new millennium Twenty20 made its appearance. Like in the case of Fifty50, this too was initially dismissed as slam-bang cricket but its popularity soared with a new generation of cricket fans lapping it up.
One wondered whether T-10 would be the logical successor and sure enough, there were a few such competitions in the Middle East but it is clear that it has not caught on. Hot on the heels of these tournaments came the ECB’s idea of The Hundred which consists of hundred balls per innings – just 20 short of the T-20 format. Almost everyone scorned at the illogical rules which had a team send down 15 overs and one ten-ball over. As luck would have it The Hundred which was to be introduced this year has been put off due to COVID-19 interfering with the English domestic cricket calendar.
As if all this is not enough we now have an experimental three-team format to kick off South Africa’s return to cricket, It is listed as an exhibition event in collaboration with a new company 3TeamCricket and will feature three teams of eight players each and will be played on an experimental format with AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada captaining the sides. The one-off event is scheduled to be played at SuperSport Park on June 27 and one really hopes that it is going to be a one-off for the rules that are too complicated and the format too uninteresting to be attractive to audiences even if some big names are involved. It is best that cricket stays with three formats which in their own diverse ways help cement the sport’s popularity.
Arjun Tendulkar, the son of Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, finally made his senior debut as he donned the Mumbai jersey during an Elite Group E fixture of the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020/21.
After missing the first two games, Arjun played his first game during Mumbai's third game of the tournament. However, the pacer didn't have the best of outings as he finished his spell at 3-0-34-1.
Arjun had conceded 15 runs in his first over before returning to take the wicket of Haryana opener, Chaitanya Bishnoi. However, Mumbai ended up losing the game by 8 wickets, and thus, crashed out of the tournament with two games still to play.
The 21-year-old is expected to be retained in the line-up for the remaining games. After the all-rounder bagged his first wicket, he became one of the top trends on social media. England women's team batter Danielle Wyatt also reacted to the southpaw's debut.
Wyatt, who is known to be a close friend of Arjun, lauded and congratulated the youngster for bagging a wicket on his debut. "Congratulations Arjun! Great start," the World Cup winner wrote on Twitter.
During an interaction with Cricket.com, Wyatt, who has after faced Arjun in the nets, said the youngster is getting quicker.
“Since then whenever I bump into Sachin or Arjun or whenever they come to Lord’s to train, I go to the nets and ask him (Arjun) to bowl with the new ball to me. But he is getting very quick now. He always says I will bounce you and knock your head off so I don’t like him bowling to me anymore. He is getting too dangerous to face,” Wyatt had said in June 2020.
Having finally made his senior debut, Arjun could be in action in IPL 2021 as he is now eligible to register for the auction. As per the norms, unless a franchise recommends someone, a player has to play at least one domestic game to enter the IPL auction.
Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne cleared up the comments he made about Marnus Labuschagne that earned him a fair bit of flak from the Australian fans. However, Warne on Saturday cleared up the comments he made about Labuschagne.
Warne was blasted by the Australian cricket fraternity after Labuschagne scored a ton on Day 1 of the fourth Test against India at Gabba. During the third Test, Warne, alongside former teammate and all-rounder Andrew Symonds, was reportedly heard using an 'expletive' while commentating on Marnus' batting.
"Jeez it's annoying. 'No!!!' Just f---ing bat properly," he had said according to World Wide of Sports.
Warne said he's a huge fan of Labuschagne's batting and added that the had already cleared the air with 26-year-old. The 51-year-old instead revealed that Marnus was 'ok' with it and the pair had a laugh regarding the same.
“I just want to clear something up,” Warne said on Fox Cricket.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Marnus. I’ve read a few reports saying ‘cop that Shane!’ about what you said about [him]. What I said about Marnus Labuschagne was ‘bat properly’. And what that means is none of that silly stuff of ‘wait on!’ and all of that carry on," he added
“Just bat, because you’re such a good player and yesterday I thought he didn’t do any of that stuff and he made a brilliant hundred.
Indian team vice-captain Rohit Sharma has been facing a lot of criticism for playing an aerial shot off the bowling of Nathan Lyon, which led to his dismissal on Day 2 of the ongoing fourth Test in Brisbane.
However, Rohit, who played a knock of 44, said he does not regret playing the aerial shot, despite gifting his wicket to Lyon, who is making his 100th Test appearance for Australia. Instead, Rohit said that he didn't connect his shot properly.
"I reached where I wanted to reach, just that I did not connect with where I wanted to hit the ball. I was trying to pierce that long-on and deep square-leg fielder, I just did not connect with the way I would have loved to," Rohit said during a virtual press conference
"I actually liked what I did today, before coming here, we knew it would be a good pitch to bat, of course, there would be bounce and carry to the keeper, but this is what I enjoy," the 33-year-old added.
"Once I was in and I had played a few overs, I realised there was not much swing so I did little adjustment there, after that, it was an unfortunate dismissal, it is something I won't regret. I like to put pressure on the bowler once I am in," he further stated.
"That is my role in this team to keep putting pressure on the bowlers. The run-scoring has been slightly difficult for both the teams so someone needs to put their hand up and think about how to put pressure on the bowlers," he concluded.
India will resume day 3 at 62/2 after rain forced early stumps on day 2 at the Gabba. The visitors are trailing the hosts by 307 runs. The series is currently tied at 1-1 after the Sydney Test ended in a stalemate.
Nathan Lyon on Friday became the 13th Australian player to play 100 Tests in the 'baggy green' as he lined-up on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth and final Test in Brisbane. He marked his debut with the wicket of Rohit Sharma.
It has been some journey for Nathan Lyon, having made his Test debut in 2011 against Sri Lanka at Galle. As called by his teammates, 'Garry' has enjoyed a decade of success and will now unarguably qualify as one of the greatest bowlers to have ever graced the game.
Lyon is already the third-highest wicket-taker for the Aussies with 397 wickets to his name. And, considering the fact that he started his journey as a pitch curator at the Adelaide Oval, Lyon's story is nothing short of a fairytale.
In the same light, Lyon has now recalled the humorous interaction that he had with his father before putting on the Australian Baggy Green Cap for the first time. Lyon revealed that his father was happy that he would at least play a single Test match for Australia.
“I called Mum and Dad, I think Dad was out the back of Temora (NSW town) somewhere working. I said, ‘Dad, you won’t believe this,’ and he said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘I’m making my debut.’ He goes, ‘That’s all right, at least you’ll play one game,’ and he hung up,” said Lyon in a chat with Mark Howard on Fox Cricket.
Lyon said that his father got too emotional and hung up early to avoid a conversation. He also recalled that both his mother as well as his grandmother were crying and also added that his brother was totally speechless.
“I’ve since found out that he was probably too emotional to talk. Then I called my brother, and he was speechless. Mum started crying… I called my grandmother and she started crying,” the off-spinner added.
Lyon would savour every moment he is spending at The Gabba as the match will determine the outcome of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is currently tied at 1-1- after India salvaged a draw in Sydney.
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