Rahul Dravid bats for more red-ball opportunities to improve India's Test set-up

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Dravid wants more red-ball opportunities for India's youngsters.

Rahul Dravid believes that India’s red-ball set-up is in need of a push in the right direction with lack of opportunities in the format hindering players.

The India batting great currently coaches the U19 and India A teams and believes that the two can create a healthy pipeline of talent for the senior team if used correctly.

“Work constantly needs to happen. It is not a one-time thing or a two-year thing,” Dravid told the Week when asked to comment on India’s batting performance on the England tour.

“I think it is important to tighten the process or programme that exists at U-19 and A team levels. Make it more robust. Make sure there are opportunities every year.

“There is now a path for people who do well in the Ranji Trophy. I definitely feel that in white-ball cricket we have lot of depth, largely due to the amount of white-ball cricket that is played. In red-ball cricket, we have talent and decent back-ups, but again it is a work in progress.”

Kohli's men played a single warm-up game on the England tour.

Kohli’s men played a single warm-up game on the England tour.

Virat Kohli and his men were handed a 4-1 thrashing in the five-match series with the team’s dismal batting performance coming under scrutiny. One of the major criticisms levelled against the team was the lack of practice matches on the tour. A three-day tour game against Essex served as the sole warm-up game for the visitors ahead of the series.

Dravid believes that a lack of proper first-class matches ahead of the tour was one of the reasons for the team’s poor show.

“I benefited hugely from having proper first-class games. Maybe schedules have changed and things are more complicated, but there is no doubt that a couple of first-class games before any Test tour is only going to help. I found this 14 playing 14 (rotation system) started happening towards the end of my career. I did not like those games as a player,” he explained.

The 45-year-old also lamented the fact that modern-day players are playing less red-ball cricket in order to balance their participation in all three formats.

“There were boys who came on the A tour with us to England, who had not played red ball cricket for six-to-seven months! It would never have happened before. The time they get to practice red ball cricket has altered drastically,” Dravid rued.

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West Indies star Chris Gayle hits century in final white-ball match for Jamaica

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Gayle received a guard of honour on his final List A game for Jamaica. Image: ICC/Twitter.

West Indies icon Chris Gayle ended his List A career for Jamaica with a century, leading his team to victory in the process.

The 39-year-old had had announced that Jamaica’s match against Barbados in the Regional Super 50 at the Kensington Oval will be his last in white-ball cricket for the team.

The left-hander smashed 122 from 114 balls before picking up a wicket to help his team defeat Barbados by 33 runs.

In an emotional match in Bridgetown, regular captain Nikita Miller handed over the captaincy to Gayle. The opener went on to hit his 27th List A ton as Jamaica were bowled out for 226. In the chase, Barbados were dismissed for 193 with Gayle taking 1-31 with his off-spin.

Gayle said he wants to play one four-day match for Jamaica before calling it a day.

“It’s very pleasing to get a hundred in my last 50-over game for Jamaica, it’s something I will always cherish,” said Gayle.

“To lead the team to a win makes it more special. It’s been a pleasure representing my country, more so captaining them. I’m thankful and grateful to be standing here aged 39 and still get a century in my last game for Jamaica.

“There’s a lot in the tank to be honest, but there’s life after cricket, so have to enjoy life as well. Playing cricket for over 25 years has been a great achievement, but I have a family now. I have to gel with them as much as possible and watch your kid grow.

“It’s possible that I’ll play a four-day game at Sabina Park. If possible, I will definitely play a four-day game. I don’t know when it starts but I’ll look into the schedule and make myself available.”

Gayle received a guard of honour from both camps as he walked out to bat.

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ICC provisionally suspends three Hong Kong players for breaching Anti-Corruption Code

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Irfan Ahmed (l) is among the three players suspended by the ICC.

The ICC on Monday charged three Hong Kong cricketers for breaching the Anti-Corruption Code on a total of 19 counts and provisionally suspended them with immediate effect.

Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed and Haseeb Amjad are the three players who have been sanctioned by the governing body after they admitted to breaching the code.

Irfan Ahmed, who has previously been banned for a period of two and half years on for a similar offence, has been charged with nine breaches while the remaining two players have been charged on five counts each.

The charges against the three concerned players range from the period between 2014 and 2016.

“The players have been provisionally suspended with immediate effect pending determination of these charge,” an official ICC release said.

“The players have 14 days from 8 October 2018 to respond to the charges. The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage,” the release continued.

The charges against the three players relate to “fixing or contriving or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to an effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect” of an international match.

Irfan and Haseeb last played an international match for Hong Kong in 2015 and 2016 respectively while Nadeem recently turned out for the side in the Asia Cup held in the UAE.

Nadeem was part of the team that secured qualification to the main draw before giving eventual champions India a major scare in their final group game.

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