When the two on- field Umpires called off the play implying there was not sufficient light to continue the play with a few minutes of the play still left on the 5th and final day yesterday of the First Test between India & New zealand , the Kiwis broke India’s record of 14 consecutive tests win or loss at Home. Their last wicket pair of Rachin Ravindra & Ajay Patel held on for a few overs before the play was called off.

The World’s best two Test teams battled for supremacy and the Kiwis, the WTC Champion showed their competitiveness in this Test. 

Again as in the first innings, the Kiwis top order put up a good show as Tom Latham and nightwatchman Somerville, who came at the fall of the first wicket defied the heavy odds and batted on till the lunch break on the final day without being separated.

After lunch, the New Zealand batters fell like ninepins as the Indian spinning trio led by Ravindra Jadeja, the ace spinner Ashwin ( who is now the 3rd leading wicket-taker in Tests for India) and Axar Patel did the damage though the pitch didn’t offer much purchase for the spinners..

In spite of all the wickets falling at the other end, it was the debutant Rachin Ravindra who held the fort at one end.  He batted like a champion as his BLACKATHON saved the Test as the Kiwis were precariously placed at 126/9 before the Umpires called off play.  

It was nothing unusual a Draw at Green Park stadium, Kanpur as out of the 23 Tests played here, there were as many as 13 Tests ( including yesterday’s test) were drawn, accounting for 56.5 % as drawn tests.  But this was the closest Drawn Test in the recent past around the world.

It was the two debutants in this Test viz., Shreyas Iyer, who hit a maiden century in the first innings and half-century in the second innings, and Rachin Ravindra, who stood like a rock of Gibraltar and spoiled the Indian chances of a win.

Shreyas Iyer, who batted like a true champion in this treacherous pitch top-scoring in both innings helped India to almost a win with his BATATHON and Rachin Ravindra with his BLOCKATHON that saved the Test with his obdurate blocking.

It was curious to observe that out of 36 wickets falling in this Test only 4 catches were held by non-wicket keepers and as many as 10 LBWs were claimed by bowlers especially in the second innings of Kiwis when there were 6 LBW dismissals. 

India took a firm lead of 49 runs in the first innings after Shreyas Iyer’s century and half-centuries from opener Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja as the veteran packer  Tim Southee ran through the Indian batting line up with 5fer and Kiwis replied strongly with their openers put up 196 runs for the first wicket and both missed century dismissed in the 90s.  And the chief wrecker was Axar Patel who claimed 5 wickets and Ashwin took 3 wickets restricting them below India’s score.

In the second essay, India did well again though the rate of scoring was slow and declared in the final hours of the 4th day leaving the Kiwis a target of 284 runs.

And both the teams head for Mumbai for the 2nd Test starting on 3rd December.



Cricket chiefs in Ireland are targeting the development of a permanent venue after the country was named as co-hosts of the 2030 ICC T20 World Cup.

Talks have been held between Cricket Ireland and the authorities for three years with a view to the construction of a dedicated facility at the National Sport Campus in Abbotstown. The National Development Plan 2021-2030 (NDP) published last month by the Government referenced a new velodrome and badminton centre at Abbotstown, but while “other projects” were mentioned there was no confirmation about the possibility of a cricket venue being constructed.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said that the case for the development of a dedicated stadium has only been strengthened by the prospect of co-hosting the 2030 World Cup along with England and Scotland. At present Ireland is a preferred co-host of the event with the ECB and Cricket Scotland, and ICC officials expect progress to be made in terms of venues and training facilities in the coming years.

Deutrom added in a statement: “We appreciate that there are still a number of details to clarify around hosting arrangements, not just for the co-hosts but also to enable our Government partners to move beyond in-principle support, but today’s announcement gives a greenlight for those discussions to begin in earnest.

“We believe the enormous global exposure of one of the world’s major sporting events will provide a huge boost for not just the sport on this island, but also the country through local economic impact and visibility in major tourism and economic markets.”

In 2021, Ireland played home matches at Dublin’s Malahide (pictured), Clontarf and at two venues in Northern Ireland. Malahide has a capacity of 11,500 and received approval from the ICC to host international matches in 2013.

Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers said: “Ultimately, the ambition of constructing an oval at the National Sports Campus remains, but hosting [World Cup] matches is not dependent on that, and Test matches have been hosted here before in Malahide.

“But I would be hopeful we will have substantially advanced the oval by 2030 and laying down the surface, which takes a number of years to settle, would be the first step.”

U.S.A. to Cohost ICC T20 WC 2024


Five US venues are set to stage around a third of the games at the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, which will be co-hosted by the West Indies.

The ICC this week announced that the US will host a major international cricket event for the first time when it stages the expanded competition in three years’ time.

Organisers have now confirmed that approximately two-thirds of the 55 matches will be held in the Caribbean. These will be played at 13 established international cricket grounds in the West Indies.

In the US, where the remaining one-third of the matches are likely to be played, there will be up to five venues. A spokesperson for USA Cricket said some of the venues are already ICC-approved for international cricket, some are under construction and some will be repurposed specifically to host World Cup matches.

The Central Broward Regional Park Stadium (pictured) in Lauderhill, Florida is the US’s only ICC-certified stadium and has hosted international matches and Caribbean Premier League T20 games. Other existing facilities include Moosa Stadium in Houston, BPL Cricket Ground in Chicago, Woodley Park in Los Angeles and the Indianapolis World Sports Park.

“All of the venues across both countries will be selected following a competitive tender process to be run over the coming months,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Paraag Marathe, USA Cricket’s chair, said the decision to stage the competition in the US will be a boost for the sport in a targeted emerging market and enhance the hopes of cricket being added to the schedule for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

Marathe said: “A major event in 2024 will be the critical catalyst to improve facilities, develop a professional league, grow the fanbase and inspire public and corporate support,” said Marathe, who is president of 49ers Enterprises for the San Francisco 49ers and vice-chairman of Leeds United FC.

“Bringing 20 different nations together for the first time in what will be the biggest T20 World Cup of all time in 2024 is also the ideal showcase for the prospects of including cricket in the Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028 and leaving a legacy of facilities and public enthusiasm for the sport across America ahead of the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.”

Organisers said they aim to deliver an event that will provide match-day experiences that “combine a Caribbean carnival with the best of American sportainment”. The tournament will also blend iconic West Indies grounds with new and developing venues that will leave a lasting cricket legacy in the US.

Iain Higgins, the outgoing chief executive of USA Cricket, said: “The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be delivered in a way that has the potential to break attendance and broadcast viewership records and set a new benchmark for commercial success, staging matches in broadcast prime-time to audiences around the world and inviting new public and private partnerships from corporate America for the ICC and its members to develop over the next eight years of ICC event.”

A.B. de Villiers – Mr.360

A.B. de villiers,  Mr. 360  

Courtesy :

South African star performer A.B. de villiers, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on November 19, 2021. ABD, widely known as Mr. 360 degree, ended his 17 years cricket career where he played 114 tests, 228 ODIs, and 78 T20Is for South Africa.

In a statement released, De Villiers said: “It has been an incredible journey, but I have decided to retire from all cricket. Ever since the back yard matches with my older brothers, I have played the game with pure enjoyment and unbridled enthusiasm. Now, at the age of 37, that flame no longer burns so brightly,” the South African said.  “That’s the reality I must accept – and, even if it may seem sudden, that is why I am making this announcement today. I’ve had my time. Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me. 

“I’m going to be an RCBian for life. Every single person in the RCB set-up has become family to me. People come & go, but the spirit & the love we have for each other at RCB will always remain. I’ve become half Indian now & I’m proud of that.”

The cricket world watched with awe this sudden bid adieu from all forms of cricket by ABD, a great cricketer.  The bowlers will heave a sigh of relief on this announcement.

The face of innovation in modern cricket that Mr.360, ABD is associated with, either with the scoop over the wicket keeper’s head or inside out stroke, it was a pleasure to watch ABD’s stroke-making, an artistic encore. 

It was a nightmare for the bowlers to bowl to him.  A ubiquitous ABD is used to cart any bowler in any part of the ground.  Some of his shots were breathtaking chutzpah and enterprising.  

In his boyhood days, he was a fine rugby player, golfer and tennis player besides cricket.  Cricket is lucky to have such a fantastic player.

De Villiers made his international debut in the Test at St.George’s Park, Port Elizabeth in 2004 against England as an opener along with Dale Steyn, the speedster.

Then he moved to the middle order position where he batted and treated the bowlers with utter contempt. He has become a household name in the Rainbow country. He was one of the few batsmen who batted from No.1 to No.8 position.

Though runs were drying for him in a couple of years in 2006 & 2007, he blasted his way into reckoning in 2008 with an audacious century knock in Durban against Windies and from there he never looked back.

His exemplary batting in 2008 saw the Proteas topple India, England and Australia in their own backyard.

First, he hit a masterly double century at Ahmedabad and South Africa inflicted an ignominy of Innings defeat and became the first Proteas player to hit a double whammy against India.

Then his scintillating 174 at Leeds against England helped South Africa to a first series win after their readmission.

His never-say-die spirit also helped a first series win against the Aussies after their hibernation with a well crafted century at Perth.

And a whopping 1061 runs to finish the year 2008 with his batting.

His career graph grew high in 2010 also almost a repeat of 2008, when he amassed 996 runs including an unbeaten mammoth 278 runs in Abu Dhabi in the Test against Pakistan.

He was blossoming into a great batsman of all time in the South African team.  

In 2013 he again hit a purple patch in Tests aggregating 933 runs which helped the Proteas to keep the Test mace with them claimed by them in 2012.

His ODI deeds were overwhelming as in a span of spreading over a decade from 2005 to 2018 his sublime performance with the willow blossomed.  

His fastest century ( off just 31 balls) and fastest half-century ( in 17 balls) in ODI were testimony to his batting prowess.

His sublime form in batting continued in ODIs also as in both 2011 WC ( he hit 2 centuries ) 2015 WC reached its peak was evident as 353 & 392 runs respectively and earned him the captaincy in 2015. He led the team admirably in 2015 when they reached the Semi-Final and were outplayed by the Kiwis team.

In T20 cricket his clean hit earned him laurels and accolades and was sought after by the different countries league teams including IPL.

His pyrotechnics in batting in T20 League format was a treat to our eyes.

His fielding was exceptionally good, especially in wicket keeping. 

He has been ranked among the top Test and ODI batsmen in the world and has established a cult-like following in T20 cricket, where his performances in the IPL have earned him a legion of Indian fans.

Unquestionably, with his ability to maneuver the field, his excellent hand-eye coordination, and his ability to cause the illusion that the bowler has bowled a poor ball, makes him a  revelation in the modern game.

His batting career illustrates his supremacy across formats.

Format      Matches   Runs        Hs      100s/50s       average

Test           114          8765           278          22                 50.66

ODI           228          9577           176          25                53.50

T20            340         9424           133            4 ( 50s)       37.24      


T20 WC 2021  PREVIEW

Courtesy :

As the clock is ticking for a grand finale of T20 WC 2021 at Dubai on a Super Sunday ( though it’s Monday for both the Finalists at home) between Trans-Tasman rivals for the elusive T20WC title, let’s take a sneak preview of this summit clash.

44 matches with 16 teams competing before this final was an extraneous task and U.A.E. Cricket Associations have done extremely well in this cramped schedule after the IPL 2021.

This will be the first time in the T20 WC a new champion is going to emerge and that too from a Southern Hemisphere country.

Both the Finalists have upset the apple cart of the tournament’s favourites and entered the Finals in similar Semi-Final matches. 

Newzeland hurt the chances of England in the last four overs when James Neesham unleashed a string of mighty heaves in a cameo and the dour opener Daryl Mitchell gave the finishing touches to overwhelm England juggernaut and the unpredictable Aussies ( who entered the SF only with a better NRR) kicked out the most favourite team Pakistan at the hustings by cameo innings by hitherto unknown slog hitter in M. Wade in the company of another pinch hitter Marcus Stoinis.

This is New Zealand’s 3rd straight ICC Event Final in the recent past, whereas for the Aussies first since the 2015 World Cup.

Both the Finalists have entered into this tournament on a bumpy road as the Aussies were battered by Bangladesh by 4-1 including a humiliating 66 all out and in the Caribbean shores. And the Kiwis had their moments of a scare when they also lost the series in Bangladesh.

Australia depends heavily on their batting as their bowling unit is yet to come to terms in this tournament barring the leggie Adam Zampa  a la Shane Warne. And for the Kiwis, it’s their bowling cohesive unit headed by the pacers Tim Southee, Trent Boult and spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner.  In fact, the Kiwis bowlers are more economical in the tournament.

The players to look for –

David Warner who otherwise had a poor year battling for survival including IPL has a better strike rate of 148 .42 in this tournament only behind Jos Buttler.  So, he has to give a very good start.

Tim Southee, the Kiwi pacer who adapted well; and who took 1 wicket in each of the outings in this tournament is expected to play a major role along with pacer Boult

Adam Zampa, the leggie, who bowled well consistently in this tournament with figures of 2/21, 2/12, 1/37, 5/19, 1/20 AND 1/20 is expected to bamboozle the kiwis.

An interesting contest on the anvil at DUBAI.

T20 WORLD CUP – Aus Vs New Zealand

Matthew Wade helps Australia into the final to face New Zealand in Sunday’s final.

The underdogs have made it to the summit clash of T-20 World cup 2021 to be held on Super Sunday, much to the surprise of the onlookers, on 14th November at DUBAI hosted by India.

The much fancied ,hyped and touted as tournament favourites viz.,Pakistan and England leaders in their Groups to the knockout stage , were shown the door from the tournament and it will be a TRANS-TASMAN title clash.

Both the Semi Final clashes had their moments of anxiety and the unfancied teams crossing the finishing line in an identical scenario much to the chagrin of their opposition teams.

Both the finalists, Newzeland and Australia winning from nowhere and by unsung heroes.  If it was Daryl Mitchell and James Neesham for the Kiwis and for Kangaroos it was Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade.  Their heroics put pale of their experienced team mates’ performance into oblivion.

The Australian team was in complete disarray before the start of the tournament as their previous outings in this shortest format were very dismal losing out to Bangladesh the series including a 66 all out and also against the Windies  and their senior pros both in bowling and batting were in and out of the team and preferred to play IPL or sit out.  Their captain Aaron Finch was an uninspiring leader.

The  Blackcaps too lost their T20 series to Bangladesh before T20 WC as most of their senior players preferred not to go to Bangladesh and only a second rung team headed by Tom Latham represented.

So with this backdrop Newzeland and Australia entered the T20 WC and it was a bolt from the blue that they will play in the T20 WC  2021 Final.

In the first Semi-Final between England and New Zealand, it was Chris Woakes who opened the bowling for England with a brilliant spell including two prized wickets of Guptil and Captain Williamson, was treated with utter contempt by Daryl Mitchell, who opened the batting and stayed till the end to see the finishing line.  His breathtaking assault of 72 runs of 47 balls was well supported by Devon Conway ( 46 runs) and a cameo by the pinch hitter all-rounder James Neesham 27 of 11 balls including 3 mighty heaves over the rope.  The defining 3 overs were bowled by Jordan 23 runs.

In the other Semi-Final between Australia & Pakistan, it was Shaheen Afridi, the tournament’s best bowler, who opened the bowling attack in an incisive opening spell claiming the wicket of Aussies captain Aaron Finch for a golden duck, bore the brunt of massive hits of the Aussies wicket-keeper,M. Wade conceded as many as 22 runs including 3 mighty heaves that sealed the fate of the Pakistani team.  He bowled the penultimate over and the savage hitting by Wade after he got a reprieve from a dropped catch by Hasan Ali in the second ball of the over and Wade went on to hit 3 sixes and the entire stadium went into an eerie silence. And he in the company of Marcus Stoinis (who plummeted the Pakistani bowlers) hit 81 runs in just 40 balls and set up a victory for Aussies.  And Pakistani players were in an inconsolable mood as for the second time they have lost to Aussies in a SF in the T20 WC, the first being in 2010 WC when Mike Hussey dashed the hopes of the Pakistani team to make it to a final. 

Now a mouth-watering summit clash between two Trans-Tasman teams will usher in a new WC Champion as the title is eluding them till now.