ICC to get stricter with new leagues, four-day Tests likely for Afghanistan and Ireland

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The Masters Champions League folded up after one season in the UAE.

New T20 leagues and ventures like T10 cricket are likely to find it tougher to get sanctions from the International Cricket Council in the future, while Test minnows like Afghanistan and Ireland can expect to play four-day Tests.

ICC general manager Geoff Allardice made the revelations during an interaction with media at the Dubai Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

The 2016 Masters Champions League in the UAE folded after just one season, following serious financial troubles resulted in players not getting paid. The T10 edition in Sharjah also came under the scanner after some questions were raised about its viability.

While the 10-over competition has ICC’s approval and is set to return later this year in the UAE, Allardice said in future, such ventures will find it tougher to get the go ahead from cricket’s ruling body.

“One of the things we are talking about is the sanctioning of events and release of players. (ICC) Look at documentation and ownership structures and how the league is going to be funded and then provide approval,” Allardice said on Wednesday.

“How it rolls out after that is in the hands of the owners. What happens next time is if there is dissatisfaction among players, players won’t go back and the future of the league is in jeopardy. If we (ICC) get reports that that sort a thing happens, the likelihood of sanctioning the second edition is significantly reduced,” the 51-year-old said.

“The hurdles to jump for a promoter to put on a league are going to be higher. The vetting process by hosts and the ICC will be enhanced.

“It is a balance as league can be good vehicles. There was a tournament in Canada (Global T20 Canada), there is not a lot of league cricket in Canada. So that could be a good step. But the league has to be good for the game, the players must be looked after and there must be some legacy for cricket in the country. It’s not going to be an open door for any promoter to come in. It’s going to be harder to get sanctions in the future.”

Warner has recently returned from a stint in the Global T20 Canada.

David Warner featured in the Global T20 Canada.

FOUR-DAY TESTS

The other big issue in the game is the fate of Test cricket with four-day matches being suggested as a possible next step. South Africa played Zimbabwe in a four-day Test last year that ended in two days.

Allardice said that while it is an attractive option, the newly-formed World Test Championship (beginning in 2019) will continue to be a five-day affair while matches between ‘main’ teams and new entrants like Afghanistan and Ireland outside the Championship can be four-day affairs.

“In terms of Test cricket moving forward, all matches of the World Test Championship are scheduled over five days,” the former Victoria first-class cricketer added.

“At the moment, (it’s about) trying to get opportunities for Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe in Test cricket against teams that are in the Test championship, from a fixturing point of view that works out better over four days than five.”

Allardice, however, doesn’t think four-day Tests will devalue the game as it is not a new concept.

“In terms of devaluing the game, regular five-day Tests is a relatively recent thing. If you go to the 1970s, New Zealand were playing mostly four-day Test matches. You talk of devaluing Test cricket, there is a lot of history that wasn’t based around the five-day game. The percentage was reasonable, we had rest days in the past. The game has evolved. We should not see in a narrow snapshot of time.”

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Paceman Olly Stone set to be handed England debut in first ODI against Sri Lanka

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Pace: Olly Stone.

England are preparing to hand Olly Stone a debut as they begin their winter travels with a one-day international in Dambulla.

The Warwickshire paceman has impressed during his first week with the senior international squad and looks set to make the XI for the first of five ODIs in Sri Lanka.

Stone, who turned 25 on Tuesday, sent down six lively overs in England’s only warm-up match and has impressed enough in nets to nudge himself into the team.

With Liam Plunkett having been excused for the first three games of the series to get married, Stone is seen as the best like-for-like replacement and will bring some extra pace to the touring team.

Vice-captain Jos Buttler, who kept wicket to the seamer in Colombo last week, said: “He’s hitting the gloves hard, I thought he was impressive.

“The guys facing him in the nets said it wasn’t that enjoyable. He’s obviously had a great season and come back really well from injury. I think he is a really exciting prospect.

“They (Stone and Plunkett) perform a pretty similar role: a big, tall guy with a lot of pace.”


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Elsewhere in the side Alex Hales looks set to be the odd man out at the top of the order, amid reports he has agreed a controversial deal to play in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Hales, alongside captain Eoin Morgan, declined to tour the country in 2016 on security grounds but has now been linked with a lucrative franchise stint in the domestic Twenty20 competition.

England’s selection plans will not have been affected by the link, with Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow always considered the likelier opening pair on this trip.

The final place in the side may not be decided until the pitch is revealed, with paceman Mark Wood and third-choice spinner Liam Dawson vying for one slot.

Whatever happens, Morgan’s place is not under any imminent danger. Despite that, the Dubliner took the unusual step of suggesting he would not be afraid to axe himself if it improved the team’s chances at next summer’s home World Cup.

Morgan told Sky Sports Cricket: “When you drop yourself as captain it almost sets that example, that nobody’s place is cemented in this side.

“If I’m not supposed to be in the team I’ll be the first one to say it. If it means making a tough decision I’m more than capable of doing that.

“It’s a brave call, but we’ve come a long way with this team. We need to put ourselves in the best position in order to be contenders. If that means I’m not good enough to be in the team, both as a captain or as a player…I’m a pretty honest guy.”

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Live Cricket Blog: Rohan Mustafa unhappy with former coach comments about UAE team

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Catch all the latest happenings in the world of cricket.

The Sport360 Team is in place bringing you the latest cricket news on Tuesday.

There is plenty of action to look forward to with day three of the first Test between Pakistan and Australia currently underway in Dubai.

As ever, get in touch with us throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook.

8:30pm – UAE captain Rohan Mustafa not happy with former coach comments

Rohan Mustafa has responded to comments made by former coach Aaqib Javed, who said the national team were not going in the right direction after his departure. Click here on what he said.

Hurting: Rohan Mustafa

Hurting: Rohan Mustafa

8:00pm – Aaron Finch praises bowling effort of Bilal Asif

The Australian Test debutant had nothing but praise for the 33-year-old off-spinner. Read what Finch said about Asif’s six wickets here.

7:30pm – Bilal Asif credits Mushtaq Ahmed

It was a sensational Test start for Bilal Asif after his six wickets rattled the Australian batsmen in the first Test in Dubai. Following his success, the 33-year-old off-spinner credited spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed. Click here on what he had to say.

5:30pm – Dinesh Chandimal backs axed Angelo Mathews to bounce back

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal admits his axed predecessor Angelo Mathews remains the country’s best one-day batsman.

Mathews will sit out the five-match series against England, which gets under way in Dambulla on Wednesday, after being dropped in acrimonious circumstances by selectors.

Read what Chandimal had to say about Mathews here.

Big job ahead: Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal

Big job ahead: Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal

5:00pm – Pakistan in control at Dubai after Bilal Asif debut show

The third day’s play in the opening Test between Pakistan and Australia has drawn to a close and its been one which has belonged to debutant Bilal Asif. The Pakistan spinner picked up a six-wicket haul on his debut as Australia were bowled out for 202 in their first innings following a dramatic collapse.

Armed with an 180-run lead, Pakistan reached 45-3 in their second innings before stumps were drawn at the Dubai International Cricket stadium. Our man Alex Broun has been covering the action from the stadium and you can read more on the day’s play in his Test diary here. You can also read his report card from Tuesday’s play here.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur

4:30pm – Darren Lehmann looking to return to coaching

Australia’s Darren Lehmann is keen to return to coaching following a few months out of the game.

The former Australia coach resigned from his post at the end of March following the infamous ball-tampering episode which occurred during the team’s tour of South Africa.

Read what Lehmann had to say on his future plans here.

Darren Lehmann is itching to make a coaching comeback.

Darren Lehmann is itching to make a coaching comeback.

3:30pm – Inconsistencies continue to hamper India’s KL Rahul

As the India and West Indies prepare for the second Test, the spotlight will be bright on KL Rahul whose inconsistent 2018 shows no signs of ending.

For a batsman whose talents have promised much, Rahul has flattered to deceive more often than not. Here, we take a look at how inconsistencies have continued to hamper his progress ever since he made his Test debut against Australia.

Rahul's woes against the incoming delivery are becoming evident.

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3:00pm – Eoin Morgan willing to sacrifice himself for World Cup glory

Eoin Morgan insists he would not think twice about dropping himself if it helped England‘s chances of winning the World Cup.

Despite his considerable position of strength, the Dubliner has made it clear that nobody should consider themselves certainties over the next eight months.

Read what the England skipper had to say here.

Morgan (l) is ready to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

Morgan (l) is ready to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

1:30pm – Rohit Sharma to make domestic cricket return

While team India’s Test stalwarts battle it out with the West Indies in the two-match series, Rohit Sharma is set to turn out for Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Having been ignored for selection in the Test squad, the India opener plans to warm-up for the upcoming ODI series against the Windies by sweating it out in the domestic arena for Mumbai.

Read more on this developing story here.

Rohit Sharma will play in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Rohit Sharma will play in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

12:30pm – Rahul Dravid wants India to alter red-ball approach

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.

Read what the India legend had to say here.

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

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

10:30am – Australia look to build on momentum in Dubai

Australia’s openers Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne are at the crease on day three of the opening Test against Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket stadium. The Aussies resumed from their overnight total of 30-0.

Earlier on day two, Haris Sohail’s maiden Test ton and a spirited fightback by Australia in the final session saw Pakistan eventually bowled out for 482 in their first innings. Do not miss the action from this intriguing Test by following our live score service, here.

Can Australia get close to Pakistan's first innings score?

Can Australia get close to Pakistan’s first innings score?

10am – Syed Kirmani questions India selectors’ suitability

Former India wicket-keeper and selector Syed Kirmani has said that the current MSK Prasad-led selection panel is not experienced enough to challenge captain Virat Kohli or coach Ravi Shastri.

The former gloveman expressed his concerns after Test players Karun Nair and Murali Vijay were omitted from the squad for the West Indies series

Read what Kirmani had to say here.

Former Indian wicketkeeper and selector Syed Kirmani.

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9:30am – ICC provisionally suspends three Hong Kong players

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.

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

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

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