Pakistan great Shahid Afridi believes T10 format can be cricket's ticket to Olympics

Waseem Ahmed 1/12/2018
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Shahid Afridi in action for Pakhtoons in the T10 League.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi believes the T10 format could be cricket’s route to the Olympic Games.

The veteran is currently representing the Pakhtoons franchise in the second edition of the T10 League in the UAE and feels that the format has come on leaps and bounds since its introduction.

“I think this is the best cricket (T10) you can introduce in the Olympic Games,” Afridi was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“I think you can take the game there and show the world what cricket is all about. I think this is the perfect format to introduce cricket and we are all enjoying it, which is the main thing.”

The 38-year-old is playing in his second season in the T10 League and believes that the format has the capability to change the way cricket is played.

“It’s quick fire, a big test of bowlers. Batsmen can show their skills and I saw myself some great innings, some great skills, some great shots,” the former Pakistan international stated.

“I think cricket will change with (T10). Even T20 and one-day cricket will change with this cricket. I think you can take it (around the world) definitely because of the time.”

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has been attempting to push for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympics for some time. Just recently, the governing body made a bid for women’s T20 cricket to be included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be held in England.

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Afghanistan to take on Ireland in one-off Test match in March 2019

Waseem Ahmed 1/12/2018
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Roberts feels four-day Tests are the need of the hour.

Ireland and Afghanistan will square off in a one-off Test match in India in March next year in what will be the first ever overseas Test for the Irish.

Cricket Ireland on Friday made the announcement as they confirmed their itinerary for the clashes against Afghanistan, set to get under way at the end of February next year.

The two sides will first play a three-match T20 series followed by five ODIs which will all be held in Dehradun, Afghanistan’s temporary home.

The historic Test between the two sides will also be held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Dehradun. The Test will commence on St. Patrick’s Day – March 17.

It is the second-ever Test outing for both nations, who were given full ICC memberships last year. Ireland took on Pakistan at home in their maiden Test while Afghanistan were hosted by India at Bengaluru.

Batsman Andrew Balbirnie described the tour as a historic one for Irish cricket.

“The Afghanistan series is a major step forward for Irish cricket as the tour is our first major tour as a full member,” he said.

“It will no doubt be a test for the entire squad – taking on Afghanistan in subcontinent conditions will require a level of adjustment by both our batting and bowling units.

“As we saw here at home in the summer, Afghanistan is a quality side with some world-class players, and will be a great challenge in their ‘home’ conditions.”

Ireland are also slated to take on England in a one-off Test at the iconic Lord’s cricket ground in July next year.

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Murali Vijay slams ton as tour match between India and Cricket Australia XI ends in a draw

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A quick-fire century from Murali Vijay.

A century from opening batsman Murali Vijay was the highlight of the day for India as their tour match against a Cricket Australia XI in Sydney ended in a draw on Saturday.

India’s bowlers were once again given a workaround by CA XI batsmen on the final day at the Sydney Cricket Ground with wicketkeeper Harry Nielsen bringing up a fine century.

The hosts ultimately posted a mammoth 544 in their first innings in reply to India’s 358, garnering an overall lead of 186 runs.

In response, India posted 211-2 in their second innings before stumps. Vijay warmed up for the first Test against Australia with a 132-ball 129 which included 16 hits to the boundary and five sixes.

His opening partner KL Rahul finally found some form with the right-hander slamming a 98-ball 62 before he was dismissed by D’Arcy Short. The performance of the two openers will please the Indian team management with young Prithvi Shaw ruled out of the Adelaide Test against Australia with an ankle injury.

Earlier in the day, Nielsen and Aaron Hardie continued from where they left off on Friday and continued to frustrate India’s bowlers with a stubborn stand. The pair added 220 runs for the sixth wicket before Nielsen was dismissed by the medium pace of India skipper Virat Kohli.

Kohli rolled down his arm too and bagged a wicket.

Kohli rolled down his arm too and bagged a wicket.

With the tourists struggling in the bowling department, Kohli sent down seven overs in total with his part-time medium pace while Vijay too rolled down five overs of his off-spin.

Ishant Sharma picked up his only wicket of the match to dismiss Hardie (86) while Ravichandran Ashwin sent back Daniel Fallins (43) to register his second scalp.

Pacer Jasprit Bumrah was given a brief run with the ball, bowling seven deliveries in total as he sent back last man Jackson Coleman to bring the CA XI innings to a close.

The fixture serves as India’s sole warm-up game before the start of the Test battle against the hosts. The four-match Test series will get under way at the Adelaide Oval on December 6.

BRIEF SCORES

Result: Match drawn

India first innings: 358 runs

Cricket Australia XI first innings: 544

Harry Nielsen – 100 (170)

Aaron Hardie – 86 (141)

Mohammed Shami: 3-97

India second innings: 211-2

KL Rahul – 62 (98)

Murali Vijay – 129 (132)

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