West Indies veteran Chris Gayle confirms he has not retired from international cricket

Sudhir Gupta 15/08/2019
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No retirement plans for the Universe Boss.

West Indies veteran Chris Gayle has confirmed that he has no intentions to retire for now following the completion of the ODI series against India on Wednesday.

Gayle struck a 41-ball 72 in the third and final ODI at Trinidad while wearing a special jersey with the number 301 on his back. It was the southpaw’s 301st ODI appearance for Windies and the extended send-off he was given by the Indian players post his dismissal sparked rumours of a potential international retirement.

The Jamaican poured cold water over those rumours after his side’s six-wicket loss and confirmed to Windies Cricket in a video that he has not announced any retirement plans.

The 39-year-old was originally due to retire from international cricket post the completion of the 2019 World Cup in England. However, he changed his mind midway through the tournament and expressed his wish to feature in the ongoing series against India.

Gayle was granted his wish by Windies Cricket with the opening batsman making full use of that chance to go past Brian Lara’s ODI run-tally and become the highest run-getter for his country in the format.

“To my knowledge, he [Gayle] has not retired,” West Indies skipper Jason Holder said on Wednesday.

“But today was an example of his career. He was entertaining, he showed presence, and that’s just what people have come to expect of Chris Gayle over the years.”

Gayle has not been picked for the upcoming two-match Test series against India although he had previously expressed his desire to play one more five-day game for West Indies.

It now remains to be seen whether the veteran batsman features in West Indies’ upcoming tour of the subcontinent in November where they are slated to take on both Afghanistan and India.

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Lower-order fights back for Sri Lanka after Ajaz Patel's five-wicket haul for New Zealand

Ashish Peter 15/08/2019
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Suranga Lakmal shone with both bat and ball on day two.

A lower-order fightback led by Niroshan Dickwella kept Sri Lanka afoot in the first Test against New Zealand at Galle after what was an evenly contested day two between both sides.

An unbeaten 66-run stand between Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal saw the hosts reach 227-7 at stumps on the second day after the Kiwis had earlier been bowled out for 249 runs in their first innings.

New Zealand started the day at 203-5 with Ross Taylor inching towards a 19th Test ton but the right-hander failed to add to his overnight score before he was caught-behind off the bowling of Lakmal.

Lakmal was in inspired mood in the morning session at Galle and the Sri Lanka seamer ran through the Kiwi tail after dismissing Taylor. Lakmal sent Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult and Ajaz Patel packing in a terrific spell with the visitors adding just 46 runs to their Day One total.

In response, Sri Lanka lost opener Lahiru Thirimanne early to the left-arm spin of Patel while Dimuth Karunaratne marched to 39 before falling prey to the same bowler.

Patel picked up his second five-wicket haul in Tests.

Patel picked up his second five-wicket haul in Tests.

Kusal Mendis and Angle Mathews put the hosts back on track with both the batsmen registering their half-centuries. Sri Lanka looked to be in command at 143-2 before Patel turned the game on its head with a flurry of wicket.

The Kiwi spinner sent dismissed Mendis and Mathews in quick succession before sending back Dhananjaya de Silva as well to bring up his second five-for in Test cricket. Boult removed Kusal Perera at the other end while William Somerville got the better of Akila Dananjaya as Sri Lanka slid to 161-7.

However, the visitors were frustrated for much of the final session at Galle with Dickwella and Lakmal leading a stubborn resistance which has reduced the lead to just 22 runs.

SCORECARD

New Zealand first innings: 249 all out

Ross Taylor: 86

Akila Dananjaya: 5-80

Suranga Lakmal: 4-29

Sri Lanka first innings: 227-7

Kusal Mendis: 53

Angelo Mathews: 50

Azaj Patel: 5-76

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Brendon McCullum unveiled as new head coach of Kolkata Knight Riders

Sudhir Gupta 15/08/2019
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McCullum turns coach for KKR.

Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has been appointed as the head coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders for the upcoming season.

McCullum has also taken charge as head coach of Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with both franchises being owned by the same management.

The former Black Caps skipper only recently announced his retirement as a T20 freelance player post the completion of his Global T20 Canada stint.

“It’s a great honour to take on this responsibility,” McCullum said on his appointment as KKR coach.

“The Knight Rider franchises in IPL and CPL have become iconic and have set the standard in franchise cricket.

“We have fantastic squads in both KKR and TKR and I, along with the support staff will be looking to build on the success both franchises have enjoyed.”

The Kolkata franchise had earlier parted ways with previous head coach Jacques Kallis and his assistant Simon Katich following the team’s failure to qualify for the play-offs of the 2019 edition.

KKR chief executive Venky Mysore has expressed his confidence in McCullum to do a good job with both Knight Riders franchises.

“Brendon has been an integral part of the Knight Riders family for a long time,” Mysore said.

“His leadership qualities, honesty, positive and aggressive style, combined with his natural ability to bring the best out of the teams he has been a part of makes him ideally suited to lead both KKR and TKR as a head coach.”

McCullum has previously been associated with the Kolkata franchise as a player in two separate stints. He was part of the squad for the inaugural edition in 2008 and scored an explosive 158 in the very first match of the competition’s history.

He had another stint with KKR between 2012-13 before spending three seasons with CPL franchise Trinbago Knight Riders from 2016 to 2018.

McCullum’s first assignment will come with the 2019 edition of the CPL which gets underway on September 21.

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