Rahul Dravid to mentor India's junior players, gives up Delhi Daredevils' IPL contract

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Former captain Rahul Dravid will continue as coach of the India ‘A’ and U-19 teams for the next two years, ending his tenure as mentor of IPL team Delhi Daredevils.

Earlier this month, Dravid took exception to the suggestion by outgoing the court-appointed Committee of Administrators member Ramachandra Guha that the batting legend had been given ‘preferential’ treatment which allowed him to coach India’s junior sides and also be mentor at Daredevils.

Dravid had apparently demanded clarity on the conflict of interest issue. The BCCI settled the matter with the announcement yesterday.

BCCI acting president CK Khanna said: “Over the last two years, Rahul Dravid has been instrumental in getting young talent into the mix who have proved their worth on the big stage. We are glad to continue his services for the next two years and are sure that this is a bright sign for Indian cricket which will see many more young talents coming up in the future.”

On their part, the Daredevils thanked Dravid for his services.

“It was an honour and privilege to have Rahul Dravid as Mentor of the Delhi Daredevils over the last two years. We truly enjoyed our association and nurtured some great young talent together. We are sad that he will not continue with us as Mentor as he chooses to serve India A as a coach. Being a true servant of Cricket he believes he still has a lot to give back to the game and help nurture young India talent. We wish him all the best,” they said in a statement.

In his first assignment as coach, the India ‘A’ side won the triangular series at home in 2015 which included the Australian and South Africa teams. Dravid replicated that success with the Under-19 team, guiding them to the final of the 2016 World Cup.

Dravid will thus continue in a role that has always remained close to his heart. The former skipper had been offered positions in the senior team but preferred to work with the next generation of players.

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UK tour delayed but UAE head coach Dougie Brown says it will not affect preparations for Netherlands series

Denzil Pinto 28/06/2017
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Head coach Dougie Brown insists preparations for their ODI series against the Netherlands will not be affected after their UK tour was delayed.

The national team were scheduled to fly to Birmingham on Thursday for a short training camp before moving to Netherlands for three limited-overs matches beginning on July 10 against the Dutch.

The reason has not been disclosed but the amendment to the itinerary means the 14-man squad will now catch a flight straight to Amsterdam.

“The UK tour has been delayed and we will not be going to UK now but going straight to Netherlands,” said Brown, who was appointed the full-time head coach last month.

He had served a successful three-month stint as interim where under his helm, the team won ODI and T20 series’ and the four-day ICC Continental match against Papua New Guinea and a limited-overs series against Oman in Muscat.

“It will be exciting to play against a side (Netherlands) who are on top of their game and have just beaten Zimbabwe in a ODI series.”

Brown will oversee the team’s preparations in Dubai until their departure but insists the UK tour shouldn’t be used as an excuse against the Dutchmen.

“Not really,” when asked if it would affect their preparations.

“It’s disappointing obviously but we all believe that we’re in a good place with regards to our cricket.

“We will still be working hard over here in Dubai on areas which will be important for us against the Netherlands.

“Whatever happens, we will be leaving the UAE in a very good shape as a team that will go out there and compete.

“I strongly believe we’re in a good place at the moment and have got a couple of weeks until the series to do things appropriately.

“Once we get there (at Netherlands), there should be no excuse. We will be well prepared and it’s something that we’re all looking forward to.”

Despite the hot climate, the national team have continued to train indoors this month even during Ramadan at the ICC Academy.

The centre will continue to host Brown’s side until their departure and the 47-year-old wants to make the most of that advantage if they want to produce a result.

“That’s the challenge isn’t it,” said the former Warwickshire boss.

“The great thing about playing international cricket is that you can actually prepare for specific matches. The conditions we play in the Netherlands will be very different to what we are used to playing here.

“And we got to make sure that we use the facilities here in a smart way and I feel we have done that so far.

“We got to make sure that we are practising the skills we want to use there, here in Dubai and hopefully we can be competitive.”

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Sri Lanka bowler Lasith Malinga handed suspended one-year ban for media remarks

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Pace ace: Malinga.

Lasith Malinga has accepted a suspended one-year ban from the Sri Lanka team after being charged with breaching his national team contract.

The veteran pace bowler can take part in the forthcoming one-day international series against Zimbabwe but must remain on his best behaviour to avoid a year-long ban from his employers.

Sri Lanka Cricket imposed a 12-month ban on Malinga – suspended for six months and enforceable in the case of a further breach – following a disciplinary hearing over his remarks in a broadcast interview.

The 33-year-old, who has 291 caps across the formats, accepted the charges and made a formal apology for his response to sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara’s criticism of the Sri Lanka team for poor fielding and fitness standards during this month’s Champions Trophy.

The SLC inquiry ruled that to be Malinga’s second contravention of its players’ “terms of agreement” in a matter of days, fined him 50 per cent of his match fee for his next ODI and put him on notice about the possible suspension.

Malinga reacted on Twitter on Wednesday – although he wrongly identified the terms of the ban – writing: “Sorry to my family, friends and fans all over the world … disheartened by my ban of 6 month!!! ThankU all who support.”

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