Abu Dhabi and T10 a win-win combination for Deccan Gladiators

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Shane Watson will lead Deccan Gladiators in the new Abu Dhabi T10 tournament.

Abu Dhabi T10 is ready for a new era with the exciting league shifting base to the capital of UAE this year, thanks to the wholehearted support of Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Cricket.

Moving from the iconic Sharjah Stadium to the swanky Zayed Cricket Stadium, the T10 League also welcomes a new team to its fold – the Deccan Gladiators.

This is Gladiators team owner Gaurav Grover’s first foray into franchise cricket and the prospect of beginning a new era from Abu Dhabi has filled him with confidence.

“This is my first experience in franchise cricket. We waited for three years. We monitored other franchise leagues as well. But T10 connected with us. And the UAE has always fascinated me,” Grover told Sport360.

“I am glad this is happening in Abu Dhabi and am confident of attracting more people to the tournament. The league is being backed by Abu Dhabi and that gives us a lot of confidence.”

T10 League creator Shaji Ul Mulk had signed a long-term deal with the Abu Dhabi government and the combination of cricket, tourism and the drama of franchise sport make it an exciting product.

“The Abu Dhabi government will be looking towards tourism as well. Cricket is a sport that is loved by Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis… Asian cricket has a lot to offer. Also, players of UAE are doing very well in international leagues.

“We are seeing that not only cricket, various sports are being promoted in Abu Dhabi. We definitely want to grab that opportunity,” Grover added.

Grover is a business tycoon from Delhi and has business interests in IT and real estate. He has invested in the property market in the UAE as well.

The buzz surrounding the shortest format in the game is what attracted Grover to the league and with top cricketers like Eoin Morgan, Shoaib Malik, Shane Watson and Kieron Pollard associated with the tournament, the sky seems to be limit.

“The only thing that is constant is change. Cricket has changed over the years. We had 50 overs, then T20 and now T10. The T10 league is attracting people. A number of top stars are associated with the league.

“In the future it can be part of bigger events like the Olympics. The game is over in three hours. That’s what attracted us to the format.”

The Gladiators will be led by Australian great Watson with a player draft for the 2019 season set to be held in September. For now, the focus of Grover is to put together a competitive team.

“Watson is a great player. What we are looking for is a stable team. Since this is our initial year, we want the players to gel well. At the same time, we want to create a team that is competitive,” he concluded.

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Australia pacer Pat Cummins determined to feature in all five Ashes Test against England

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Australia pacer Pat Cummins.

The threat of a burnout runs large for Pat Cummins who has featured in all three Ashes 2019 Tests so far against England but the Australia pacer is in no mood to relinquish his spot for the remainder of the series.

Cummins was greatly hampered by injury troubles in the early part of his career but the pacer has shown tremendous fitness since coming back in 2017 and has not consolidated his grip at the top of the ICC rankings.

The 26-year-old fast bowler is currently leading the wicket-taking charts in the Ashes with 17 scalps in three matches and he is determined to feature in the fourth and final Tests at Old Trafford and the Oval respectively.

“I’m feeling really good actually,” Cummins said about his fitness levels to cricket.com.au after Australia’s one-wicket loss at Headingley.

“If you’d asked me that a few months ago after the World Cup and three Tests, I would have thought I’d be a bit more tired and rundown than I’m feeling now.

“So I’ll have a bit of a break after this and be right for Manchester, then see how we go.”

Cummins was one of the Aussie bowlers to cop some serious punishment in the second innings at Leeds when Stokes went full-throttle with the pacer returning with figures of 1-80. Despite Australia’s setback at Headingley after the stunning assault by Stokes, Cummins is satisfied with the displays of Australia’s pace battery in the series and his confident that the Leeds result remains an aberration.

“I think the most pleasing thing for us, one we bowled really well, but also I feel like we’ve got really good plans and processes to all of them,” the Aussie speedster stater.

“Ben Stokes obviously had a day out and was probably playing more like one-day cricket towards the end there but we saw on the third day they batted for 70 overs and we kept them to two runs an over and always felt like we were in the game.

“All three games we’ve been in a match-winning position so we know how to do 99 per cent of it. Hopefully we can get over the line in the next one.”

Stokes’ sensational innings thwarted Australia’s hopes of retaining the Ashes on English soil for the first time since 2001. With the five-match series now level at 1-1, the visitors and Cummins will be hoping to bounce back at Manchester when the fourth Ashes Test gets underway on September 4.

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Ben Stokes and Jasprit Bumrah make big strides in latest ICC Test rankings

Sudhir Gupta 27/08/2019
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Stokes is the man of the hour in Test cricket.

Ben Stokes’ unforgettable heroics in the third Ashes Test between England and Australia has seen the star all-rounder make substantial gains in the latest ICC Test rankings for players.

Stokes’ unbeaten innings of 135 along with four wickets with the ball in England’s dramatic one-run victory has seen the Englishman climb to second and 13th spot in the ICC Test rankings for all-rounders and batsmen respectively.

The other player to make significant inroads in the updated rankings is Jasprit Bumrah with the India pacer breaking into the top 10. Bumrah picked up sensational figures of 5-7 in the second innings against Windies at Antigua and that effort has seen the India man climb to seventh position in the charts with a career-best rating of 774 points.

Australia pacer Pat Cummins continues to top the bowlers’ rankings after his four-wicket match haul at Headingley while Jofra Archer has made remarkable strides just two matches into his England Test career. The England pacer is up to 43rd now after his latest display at Leeds where he claimed a six-wicket haul in the first innings.

In the batting department, India skipper Virat Kohli has held on his No1 ranking but only just. The India man registered a half-century in the second innings at Antigua but his lead over second-ranked Steve Smith is now down to just six rating points despite the Aussie’s absence at Headingley due to a concussion injury.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson retains the third spot ahead of India’s Cheteshwar Pujara while Tom Latham has risen to the eighth position after his splendid ton in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen (Top three)

  1. Virat Kohli – 910 points
  2. Steve Smith – 904 points
  3. Kane Williamson – 878 points

ICC Test Rankings for Bowlers (Top three)

  1. Pat Cummins – 908 points
  2. Kagiso Rabada – 851 points
  3. James Anderson – 814 points

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