Bangladesh Cricket Board to seek clarity from Mashrafe Mortaza on his future plans

Waseem Ahmed 16/08/2019
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Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) intend to meet ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza in the near future to seek clarity over his international future.

Mortaza’s Bangladesh future has been the subject of heavy speculation ever since the World Cup in England drew to a close with the 35-year-old picking up just the one wicket in his eight appearances in the tournament.

The right-armed seamer has been hampered by knee injuries for some time now and recently pulled out of the side’s tour of Sri Lanka due to a hamstring injury. That the Bangladesh skipper was elected as a member of the parliament earlier this year has added further fuel to rumours that he will be retiring from international cricket from very soon.

“We don’t know what is going on in his mind,” BCB president Nazmul Hasan told Cricbuzz.

“Let him come [from his village where he is celebrating Eid] and we are hoping to sit with him to know about his future plan],” the BCB supremo added.

Mortaza has declined drastically as a player.

Mortaza has declined drastically as a player.

According to the report by Cricbuzz, the BCB is looking to arrange a solitary ODI fixture to give Mortaza a deserved send-off but are finding it hard to schedule one. The Tigers are set to take on Afghanistan in a one-off Test next month before hosting a T20 tri-series also involving Zimbabwe.

The plan for the BCB is to organise a one-off ODI against Zimbabwe somewhere between the Test and T20 tri-series but the board will first seek clarity from Mortaza on his plans before they proceed.

Mortaza is only active in the ODI format for Bangladesh but there is no other 50-over game scheduled for the national team before the clashes against Ireland in June, 2020. Hence, the board are hoping that they can arrange a solitary fixture against Zimbabwe next month to give the skipper a farewell game.

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Ravi Shastri retained as head coach of India, bags a new two-year contract

Sudhir Gupta 16/08/2019
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Ravi Shastri remains in the India hot seat.

Ravi Shastri has been retained as the head coach of India after he was announced as the preferred choice of the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) on Friday.

Shastri beat competition from New Zealand’s Mike Hesson, Australia’s Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh after the five shortlisted candidates interviewed for the job before the Kapil Dev-led CAC on Friday.

Hesson was the second most preferred choice among the candidates for the CAC with Moody being the third preference.

The CAC had earlier shortlisted six candidates for the role including Phil Simmons but the former West Indies and Ireland coach pulled out of the running at the last hour citing personal reasons.

Shastri and Moody appeared for their interview with the CAC via Skype on Friday while Hesson, Robin Singh and Lalchand Rajput made the journey to the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai to appear before the panel.

Shastri is currently with the Indian team in the West Indies after the support staff were given a 45-day extension for the ongoing tour and he will now sign a new two-year contract with the BCCI which is set to run until the 2021 T20 World Cup.

The rest of Shastri’s support cast including the batting, bowling and fielding coaches will be selected by the MSK Prasad-led senior selection committee.

Shastri was already being seen as a favourite to retain his job due to his excellent equation with skipper Virat Kohli and the former India all-rounder was given an automatic entry into the recruitment process after the BCCI invited applications for the role.

In Shastri’s previous tenure, India managed to bag their maiden Test series win on Australian soil while also reaching the top of the Test rankings. The Men in Blue recorded a maiden ODI series win on South African soil as well under Shastri but had to face a semi-final exit at the hands of New Zealand in the recently concluded 2019 World Cup.

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Ashes 2019: Jonny Bairstow finds form at last and other talking points from day two at Lord's

Ashish Peter 15/08/2019
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A fighting 52 from Jonny Bairstow.

An enthralling battle between bat and ball greeted a packed house at Lord’s on day two of the second Ashes Test between England and Australia after what had been a miserable opening day washed out completely due to rain.

Jofra Archer made his much-awaited Test debut for England on the second day but the Barbados-born pacer had to wait his turn to get into the action with Australia skipper Tim Paine electing to bowl first.

It was the Aussies who were on top in the first-half of the day with England struggling at 138-6 at one stage but the hosts persevered through a lower-order fightback to ultimately post a 258-run total in their first innings,

In reply, the visitors lost the wicket of David Warner and reached 30-1 before stumps were drawn.

Here, we take a look at the major talking points from day two at Lord’s.

Burns makes most of his two lives, Roy disappoints

Having cracked a gritty ton on his Ashes debut at Edgbaston, England opener Rory Burns followed it up with a half-century at Lord’s on day two although he did have to ride his luck again.

The left-hander was dropped twice on his way to a fifty with Usman Khawaja giving him the first reprieve at gully before Australia skipper Tim Paine spilled another catch behind the stumps.

In the end, Burns’ plucky knock was ironically brought to an end by a stunning catch by Cameron Bancroft at short-leg after the opener attempted to fend a short-ball from Pat Cummins.

Burns’ opening partner Jason Roy, however, did not fare so well with the right-hander caught-behind for a three-ball duck while trying to push at a delivery moving away from his body.

Burns was dropped early into his innings by Khawaja.

Burns was dropped early into his innings by Khawaja.

Hazlewood justifies his inclusion

Australia made just the one change to a winning combination with Josh Hazelwood coming in for James Pattinson and the seamer justified his inclusion with some excellent bowling throughout day two.

Hazlewood got the visitors off to a roaring start with Roy’s early dismissal and he then put Australia firmly on top by trapping England skipper Joe Root on the pads. While the other Aussie bowlers struggled to come to grips with the Lord’s slope initially, Hazlewood was completely at home with his lateral movement giving the batsmen plenty of trouble.

While it was an all-round effort from the Aussie bowlers in the end, Hazlewood was the clear pick among them and the one who troubled England’s batsmen the most. The 28-year-old sure loves playing at Lord’s and had picked up a five-wicket haul in his only previous Test appearance at the venue in 2015.

Hazlewood was the pick of Aussie bowlers.

Hazlewood was the pick of Aussie bowlers.

Bairstow finds form at last

With 16 runs in his last five Test innings and a batting average of less than 14 in 2019, the pressure was well and truly on Jonny Bairstow when he walked out to bat on day two.

The Yorkshire man walked in to bat with England reeling at 136-6 and then soon saw Ben Stokes dismissed at the other end as things went from bad to worse for the hosts. Despite surviving a testing period early on, Bairstow dug in this time around and banished his horrendous form with a well-crafted half-century.

The right-hander found an able ally in Chris Woakes with whom he forged a 72-run stand for the seventh wicket and his unbeaten knock was crucial in the hosts ultimately scaling the 250-run mark after being reduced to 138-6 at one stage.

His innings of 52 along with the early dismissal of David Warner will give England some semblance of hope ahead of a crucial third day at the home of cricket.

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