India's Ravichandran Ashwin signs with Nottinghamshire for second half of county season

Sudhir Gupta 24/05/2019
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A second county stint for Ravichandran Ashwin.

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is set to embark on his second county stint in England after signing up with Nottinghamshire for the second half of the season.

The 32-year-old India Test stalwart will replace Australia’s James Pattinson as Nottinghamshire’s overseas player towards the end of the June and is set to play six first-class County Championship fixtures for the side.

It will be the second stint in the county circuit for Ashwin who had previously turned out for Worcestershire in 2017 where he picked up 20 wickets in his four appearances for the outfit.

“I’m really looking forward to joining up with Nottinghamshire, to playing cricket at an iconic venue like Trent Bridge and hopefully contributing to some County Championship victories,” Ashwin told Nottingamshire’s official website.

“I enjoyed my previous stint in England with Worcestershire. It’s a good, competitive standard of cricket over there and I can’t wait to get started.”

Ashwin’s stint at Trent Bridge will get underway on June 30 and he will play in six of the side’s final seven red-ball clashes. The off-spinner will miss the clash against Scarborough due to his India commitments.

“We knew what we wanted to sign and that was a world-class bowler,” Nottinghamshire’s Director of Cricket, Mike Newell stated.

“Whether that was a fast or a slow bowler, we were prepared to look at all options. As it happens, we’ve signed a very good spinner, a very experienced spinner and one we hope can contribute with the bat as well.

“We’ve seen world-class slow bowlers have a huge match-winning effect in county cricket over many years. Ravi certainly has that potential – and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming him to the squad and letting him loose on our opposition.”

Ashwin will be the second India player to play in the county this season with Ajinkya Rahane signing up for Hampshire earlier. Rahane had registered a ton on his county debut with a 119-run knock in the second innings of his side’s fixture against Nottinghamshire recently.

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World Cup 2019: PCB's new policy bans wives and families of Pakistan players from travelling with team

Waseem Ahmed 24/05/2019
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A new policy for the Pakistan squad for the upcoming World Cup.

In a change of policy, the wives and families of Pakistan’s squad members will not be permitted to stay with them for the duration of the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup in England.

According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has instituted a new policy according to which the families will have to make their own arrangements if they wish to travel with the players during the tournament.

In the recent ODI series between England and Pakistan, the wives and families had been permitted to travel with the team. The players have now been informed of the new policy although an exception has been made for batsman Haris Sohail who has been allowed special dispensation on personal grounds.

During previous World Cups, the families had been allowed to travel with the team but the PCB has constituted the new policy in a bid to increase the players’ focus during the tournament.

Pakistan are in action on Friday as they take on Afghanistan in their first World Cup warm-up game at Bristol. Sarfraz Ahmed and his men will open their World Cup 2019 campaign on May 31 when they take on West Indies at Nottingham.

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India's 1983 final triumph over mighty Windies and the other biggest upsets in World Cup history

Ashish Peter 23/05/2019
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India's 1983 World Cup triumph was a fairytale moment.

The countdown to the 2019 ICC World Cup in England is well and truly on as the top 10 teams in international cricket get ready to tussle it out for its biggest prize.

Over the course of its history, the World Cup has thrown up some colossal encounters between evenly matched team as well as some of the biggest upsets in cricket.

Here, we take a look at five of the biggest upsets in the history of the ICC World Cup.

Kenya v West Indies (1996)

Pune

Minnows Kenya produced the biggest shock of the 1996 edition held in the subcontinent when they beat a star-studded West Indies line up comprising of Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh and Courtney Ambrose.

Batting first, Kenya were bowled out for just 166 runs with Walsh picking up three wickets for the Windies. However, it all went pear shaped for the Caribbean side in what should have been a straightforward chase with only two batsmen getting into double digits.

Rajab Ali and Maurice Odombe snared three wickets apiece as Windies were bundled out for just 93 runs inside 36 overs with Kenya pulling off the unlikeliest of victories by 73 runs.

A shock defeat for a formidable West Indies side.

A shock defeat for a formidable West Indies side.

Ireland v England (2011)

Bengaluru

When it comes to the most recent upsets in the history of the World Cup, there are none bigger than Ireland’s shock victory over England in the 2011 World Cup.

The clash between the two sides at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru seemed to be following a familiar script with England racking up a daunting 327-8 following a 92-run knock from Jonathan Trott.

Ireland were in tatters after being reduced to 111-5 before Kevin O’Brien produced one of the best innings in World Cup history. The Irishman slammed the fastest ton in the competition’s history (50 balls) before Alex Cusack (47) and John Mooney (33) played important hands down the order to seal Ireland’s first-ever win over England.

In the end, Ireland won by three wickets and five balls to spare at Bengaluru.

Kevin O'Brien's 50-ball ton paved the way for a sensational win.

Kevin O’Brien’s 50-ball ton paved the way for a sensational win.

Ireland v Pakistan (2007)

Jamaica

1992 champions Pakistan were sent packing early from the competition after falling to a shock defeat to minnows Ireland at Jamaica.

On the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland scripted their first major upset in international cricket on a seaming track at Jamaica. Batting first, Pakistan were shot out for a mere 132 with Kamran Akmal’s 27 being the highest individual score.

In reply, Ireland lost both their openers cheaply skipper Niall O’Brien remained defiant with a superb 72 which ensured that his side crossed the finish line with three wickets to spare despite a late collapse.

It was a tournament of upsets with both Pakistan and arch-rivals India exiting the competition before the knock-out stages.

Extreme joy for the Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

Extreme joy for the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

Bangladesh v Pakistan (1999)

Northampton

Playing in their maiden World Cup campaign in 1999, Bangladesh wasted no time in making an impact with the Tigers scripting a shock win over Pakistan at Northampton.

Led by a 42-run knock from Akram Khan, Bangladesh managed to post a respectable 223-9 after being made to bat first by Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram.

Pakistan’s run-chase started off on a disastrous note with Bangladesh pacer Khaled Mahmud blowing away the top-order. Pakistan were reduced to 42-5 in no time and despite a minor resistance from the lower order, were unable to go the distance.

The Men in Green were ultimately bowled out for 161 as Bangladesh celebrate an emotional win over their subcontinent rivals.

Bangladesh fans invade the pitch after the shock win.

Bangladesh fans invade the pitch after the shock win.

India v West Indies (1983)

Lord’s, London

India’s victory over the might West Indies side of 1983 remains arguably the biggest upset in World Cup history given the magnitude of the occasion. The all-conquering Windies side were favourites to land a third title in a row after they had clinched the inaugural edition in 1975 followed by the 1979 edition.

India were still finding their feet in one-day cricket and had done extremely well to reach the final after winning just the solitary one match in the previous two editions in 1975 and 1979. However, Clive Lloyd and the likes of Sir Viv Richards were left stunned as Kapil Dev’s India defended a paltry total of 183 at the iconic Lord’s.

Windies were bowled out for just 140 in the run-chase with Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath picking up three wickets apiece. Richards top scored with 33 for the Windies but his knock was ended by an excellent catch by Kapil Dev and that proved to be the trigger of a dramatic collapse.

India left Windies stunned at Lord's.

India left Windies stunned at Lord’s.

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