England players unlikely to be available for re-scheduled IPL: ECB

London, May 11  England have a busy international schedule from June onwards and the players are unlikely to be available for the remainder of the suspended IPL if the T20 tournament is rescheduled this year, says ECB Director of Cricket Ashley Giles.



The IPL was suspended last week after multiple COVID-19 cases inside its bio-bubble. There are two windows for the T20 event to be resumed this year -- one is in the second half of September and before the T20 World Cup (October-November ) and the other is after mid-November.

But England's top players will be in action at both times. They have tours to Bangladesh and Pakistan in September and October, while they will compete with Australia at the Ashes right after the T20 World Cup.

"We're planning on involvement of England players in England matches. We've got a full FTP schedule. So if those tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh are going ahead, I'd expect the players to be there," Giles said as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

There were 11 Englishman in various franchises in the suspended IPL.

"None of us knows what a rearranged IPL looks like at the moment, where it's going to be or when. But from when we start this summer against New Zealand, our programme is incredibly busy," Giles said.

"We've got a lot of important, high-profile cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. And we're going to have to look after our players."

Giles dismissed suggestion that this signals a change in approach from the ECB as the management had earlier allowed up to a dozen players to miss the Test series against New Zealand at the start of June due to their involvement in the IPL.

"The New Zealand scenario was very different. Those Test matches were formalised at the end of January, by which time all those contracts and NOCs (no objection certificates) were signed for full involvement in the IPL."

Giles expressed hope that players would be allowed "a bit more freedom" from bio-bubbles as the England summer progresses. The Test players are likely to enter their latest bubble from around May 28.

He is also keen to see England players appearing in the Hundred which starts on July 21 and runs until August 21. England's Test series against India is scheduled to start in Nottingham on August 4.

"We'd love them to be involved in the Hundred at some point and the launch of that competition. It would be great to have our best players playing in it. But we'll have to look at workloads very carefully."

Giles also hinted that England will look to try some new faces against New Zealand.

"What we do know, and what's not going to change, is the weight of cricket. Given the Ashes series (this winter), we don't know what conditions that's going to be played in at the moment with regard to a Covid environment, but we are going to need a bigger group of players still," he said.

"We may also choose against New Zealand to look at some new faces. With the amount of other cricket we have to play, we almost want to get this tapering towards the Ashes. We have got to get that right.

"Is that against New Zealand? I don't know, that's something for us to continue to discuss.

Clinical KKR hope to get it right against nemesis MI

Chennai, Apr 12 : Fresh from their clinical display against Sunrisers Hyderabad, two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders will look to set the record straight against nemesis Mumbai Indians in their second IPL match here on Tuesday.

Having missed the last two playoffs, KKR looked a completely different unit, in the manner in which they defeated SRH by 10 runs in their IPL opener here on Sunday.

Be it the aggression shown by the top-order or the explosive finish by Dinesh Karthik, KKR's displayed a fearless approach under skipper Eoin Morgan.

Morgan's intent was evident right at the toss when he chose to leave out their most-trusted lieutenant, Sunil Narine.

The left-right opening combination of Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill started to attack right from the first ball, clearly indicating that the new approach had Morgan's success mantra written all over it.

Boasting of a solid middle-order in Andre Russell, Karthik and Morgan, 2020 was a season of promise for KKR but some rudderless planning did not help their cause.

This time KKR have further bolstered their middle-order by adding Bangladesh superstar Shakib Al Hasan, while Morgan, in his full season as skipper, gives a new dimension to the side.

Rana's deft wrist work and brute power was on full display on Sunday and it ensured that they stayed ahead despite Rashid Khan's twin blows in the form of Gill and Russell.

After Rana's 56-ball 80, it was underfire Karthik who hit an unbeaten 22-run cameo from nine balls to propel KKR to a winning total of 187 for 6.

And KKR would look to come out all guns blazing against the five-time champions on Tuesday. They have won just once in their last 12 games against MI, and have an overall lopsided 6-21 head-to-head record.

But eventually it will all boil down to battle of wits between Morgan and Rohit Sharma, under whose captaincy MI has won a record fifth IPL title last season in UAE.

MI will pose real challenge for KKR as the title hoders would be desperate to secure their first win of the season after their two-wicket loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL opener on Friday.

KRR found it easy against SRH bowlers, which lacked firepower but in Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult, MI attack will be a completely different proposition.

Gill's struggle to bat at T20 pace has been a concern for KKR and it will be interesting to see the young opener's approach against the finest in the business.

Often known as slow starters, MI lost the other day due to individual brilliance of RCB's Harshal Patel and AB de Villiers on a two-paced wicket here.

In his debut match for MI, Chris Lynn was their top-scorer, albeit with some stroke of luck as he survived some edges and mishits.

If Quinton de Kock is still in quarantine, MI may have to persist with Lynn at the top, otherwise they may go back to their preferred left-right opening combination of Rohit and de Kock.

MI's explosive middle-order consisting Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and the Pandya brothers -- Hardik and Krunal -- also failed to fire to be restricted to 159 for nine.

Squads (from):

Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Aditya Tare, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar.

Match starts: 7.30pm IST.

Sanju's ton in vain as Punjab Kings beat RR by 4 runs

Mumbai, Apr 13 : Sanju Samson's magnificent 119 went in vain as Punjab Kings beat Rajasthan Royals by four runs in their IPL match here on Monday.

Put in to bat, Punjab Kings made 221 for six against Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League match here on Monday.

K L Rahul top-scored with 91 off 40 balls while Deepak Hooda smashed 64 off 28.

IPL debutant Chetan Sakariya was the pick of the Rajasthan bowlers with three wickets for 31 runs in four overs.

Chasing the big target, Rajasthan Royals could score 217 for 7 in their 20 overs with Samson top-scoring with 119 from 63 balls. He hit 12 fours and seven sixes.

Brief Scores:

Punjab Kings: 221/6 in 20 overs (K L Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64; Chetan Sakariya 3/31).

RR: 217 for 7 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 119; Arshdeep Singh 3/35, Mohammed Shami 2/33).

 

SRH captain Warner wins toss, asks KKR to bat

Chennai, Apr 11 Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner won the toss and elected to bowl against Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League match, here on Sunday.

Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh was named in the KKR playing eleven.

The Teams:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (c), Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna and Varun Chakravarthy.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Wriddhiman Saha, Manish Pandey, Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma and T Natarajan.

In Sam Curran's 95, Buttler saw shades of MS Dhoni

Pune, Mar  England's stand-in skipper Jos Buttler saw shades of legendary finisher Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Sam Curran's valiant 95 not out in the third and final ODI against India here.

In pursuit of 330, England slumped to 168 for six at the midway stage but Sam, who came into bat at No. 8, took them to the verge of an unlikely win with his counterattacking knock.

"Sam played an outstanding innings there and will take a lot from that moving forward, even though there's the disappointment of losing the game," Buttler said at the post-match press conference on Sunday night.

"I'm sure there were shades of the way that he (MS Dhoni) would have liked to take the game down if he was in that situation. He's a great person for Sam to have a conversation with when he meets up MS (in the IPL)."

"He's a real impact player in the game. He will just continue to get better and better. He is still only 22 and the scope of where you can take his game to is massive. So we're all very excited for him."

India won a close game by seven runs despite Sam's exploits with the bat.

Continuing his praise for Sam, Buttler said: "Many guys are never really exposed to that kind of situation in their whole career. He will take great learning from that. I can't think of many times myself I've ever been in those situations.

"All of us in the team and the squad will have taken great learning from watching him and trying to think through how we would take that situation down individually as well."

The pace bowling all-rounder not only notched his career-best score but also dismissed the dangerous-looking Rishabh Pant for a 62-ball 78.

"Sam just keeps showing what a match-winner he is really. He came up with Rishabh Pant's wicket as well. He takes big wickets whether it's a Test, ODI or T20.

"We're all very proud of the way Sam played, showed all the traits that we know he has in abundance and the character and the skill level that embodies what we're about as a team."

In contrast to the Test series that India won handsomely by a 3-1 margin, England showed resistance in the white-ball leg, even as they lost in both the 20-over and 50-over rubbers.

Buttler, who led the side after Eoin Morgan suffered a split-webbing in the first ODI, said there were a lot of positive takeaways.

"There'll be some great learnings taken from the tour, and some great exposure to players playing in this part of the world for the first time," he said, referring to the impressive performances from Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone, who made his ODI debut in the second match.

"We've expanded the talent pool available to us in one-day cricket, building ahead to the T20 World Cup in a few months' time and, of course, the 2023 World Cup later on down the line as well.

"So anytime we expand that player pool, that creates competition, that creates better performances, and that's the upward trajectory that we're always after as a side, that continuous improvement," he added.

The loss meant that the reigning world champions have now suffered successive ODI series defeats. They had earlier lost to Australia by the same 1-2 margin at home.

"We've been a brilliant side for a long time now... We've lost two series now but it's two series in the last 11, I wouldn't read too much into it."

Apart from Morgan, England also had pace spearhead Jofra Archer on the injured list, while Joe Root and Chis Woakes were rested as part of their rotation policy.

"We are still a very good side and we're expanding the talent pool with a few guys missing and few other guys getting opportunities."

"It's a long cycle looking ahead to the next World Cup (in 2023) and of course you want to learn and win at the same time.

"We're disappointed when we don't do that but there's a big picture. I think we're in a good place," he concluded.

IPL set to return to India, 14th edition to be played in 6 venues from April 9 to May 30

IPL 2021: The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League will be played across 6 venues in India from April 9 to May 30. Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru have been zeroed in by the BCCI.

IPL set to return to India, 14th edition to be played in 6 venues from April 9 to May 30 (Courtesy of BCCI)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • IPL 2021 will be played across 6 venues in India
  • The 14th edition of IPL will kickstart from April 9
  • The IPL 2021 final will be played on May 30

 

The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League will be held across 6 venues in India from April 9 to May 30, according to indiatoday.in sources. IPL 2021 will be played in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai in bio-secure environments and it will be a 52-day tournament with 60 matches overall.

While the 2020 edition of the IPL was moved out of India and played in the UAE due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Board of Control for Cricket in India was keen on hosting the upcoming edition in India.

IPL 2020 was held in the UAE across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The final was played between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals in Dubai. Rohit Sharma's men became only the 2nd team to defend the title as MI won their 5th title to extend the record.

The BCCI zeroed on the 6 venues in India where bio-bubbles will be created. Notably, the apex body of Indian cricket has been hosting domestic white-ball tournaments across the country in bio-secure environments.

The IPL 2021 Auction was held in February where all 8 teams made sure they fixed the final pieces of their jigsaw. Punjab Kings spent the most as they added an array of superstars to their roaster led by KL Rahul. Meanwhile, MS Dhoni and a few of his Chennai Super Kings teammates have already arrived in Chennai for a pre-season training camp, likely to get underway from March 9 in the South Indian city.

Full squads for IPL 2021 after the auction

Mumbai Indians:

Retained players: Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Mohsin Khan

Players bought at Auction: Nathan Coulter-Nile (Rs 5 crore), Adam Milne (Rs 3.2 crore), Piyush Chawla (Rs 2.4 crore), James Neesham (Rs 50 lakh), Yudhvir Charak (Rs 20 lakh), Marco Jansen (Rs 20 lakh), Arjun Tendulkar (20 lakh)

 

Rajasthan Royals:

Retained players: Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Robin Uthappa, Jaydev Unadkat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, Kartik Tyagi, David Miller, Andrew Tye

Players bought at Auction: Chris Morris (Rs 16.25 crore), Shivam Dube (Rs 4.4 crore), Mustafizur Rahman (Rs 1 crore), Chetan Sakariya (Rs 1.20 crore), KC Kariappa (Rs 20 lakh), Liam Livingstone (Rs 75 lakh), Kuldip Yadav (Rs 20 lakh), Aakash Singh (Rs 20 lakh)

 

Royal Challengers Bangalore:

Retained players: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Md. Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Joshua Phillipe, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson

Players bought at Auction: Glenn Maxwell (Rs 14.25 crore), Sachin Baby (Rs 20 lakh), Rajat Patidar (Rs 20 lakh), Mohammed Azharrudeen (Rs 20 lakh), Kyle Jamieson (Rs 15 crore), Daniel Christian (Rs 4.8 crore), KS Bharat (Rs 20 lakh), Suyash Prabhudesai (Rs 20 lakh)

Sunrisers Hyderabad:

Retained players: David Warner, Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad

Players bought at Auction: Jagadeesha Suchith. (Rs 30 lakh), Kedar Jadhav (Rs 2 crore), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Rs 1.5 crore)

Chennai Super Kings:

Retained players: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore

Players bought at Auction: Moeen Ali (Rs 7 crore), K Gowtham (Rs 9.25 crore), Cheteshwar Pujra (Rs 50 lakh), Harishankar Reddy (Rs 20 lakh), Bhagath Varma (Rs 20 lakh), Hari Nishanth (Rs 20 lakh)

Delhi Capitals:

Retained players: Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Daniel Sams, Pravin Dubey, Chris Woakes

Players bought at Auction: Steve Smith (Rs 2.2 crore), Umesh Yadav (Rs 1 crore), Ripal Patel (Rs 20 lakh), Vishnu Vinod (Rs 20 lakh), Lukman Meriwala (Rs 20 lakh), M Siddharth (Rs 20 lakh), Tom Curran (Rs 5.25 crore), Sam Billings (Rs 2 crore)

Punjab Kings:

Retained players: KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohd. Shami, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Prabhsimran Singh

Players bought at Auction: Jhye Richardson (Rs 14 crore), Shahrukh Khan (Rs 5.25 crore), Dawid Malan (Rs 1.5 crore), Riley Meredith (Rs 8 crore), Moises Henriques (Rs 4.20 crore), Jalaj Saxena (Rs 30 lakhs), Utkarsh Singh (Rs 20 lakhs), Fabian Allen (Rs 75 lakh), Saurabh Kumar (Rs 20 lakh)

Kolkata Knight Riders

Retained players: Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim SeifertLive TV

Players bought at Auction: Shakib Al Hasan (Rs 3.20 crore), Sheldon Jackson (Rs 20 lakh), Vaibhav Arora (Rs 20 lakh), Karun Nair (Rs 50 lakh), Harbhajan Singh (Rs 2 crore), Ben Cutting (Rs 75 lakh), Venkatesh Iyer (Rs 20 lakh), Pawan Negi (Rs 50 lakh)

 

Also Read: Gavaskar “remains my hero”, says Tendulkar

 

Snubbed by IPL franchises, S Sreesanth takes his first five-for in List A cricket after 15 years

Snubbed by IPL franchises, S Sreesanth took a five-for in the Vijay Hazare Trophy match for Kerala. The right-arm pacer was recently snubbed by IPL franchises.KE

 

kEY  HIGHLIGHTS

  • S Sreesanth scalped a five-for for Kerala in the Vijay Hazare Trophy
  • It was his second five-for in List A cricket
  • Sreesanth was recently snubbed by the IPL franchises as none of the teams shortlisted his name for the IPL auction

Playing his first List A tournament after a long break of 8 years, pacer S Sreesanth shone in the league stage game against Uttar Pradesh and took the 2nd five-wicket haul of his career. Leading Kerala's pace attack in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Sreesanth dismissed opener, Abhishek Goswami, for 54 in the 21st over of the match.

Brought back to bowl in the death overs, Sreesanth bowled brilliantly and scalped another 4 wickets in the last 3 overs. He accounted for the wickets of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohsin Khan in the 48th over.

Bowling the final over, Sreesanth completed his five-for with the scalps of Akshdeep Nath and Shivam Sharma on the 2nd and 4th deliveries. This was his first five-for since 2006.

Despite Sreesanth's heroics, Uttar Pradesh posted a huge total of 283 on the board. Apart from Abhishek, Priyam Garg (57) and Akshdeep Nath (68) also scored half-centuries for UP. In the bowling department, Kerala captain Sachin Baby scalped 2 wickets.

Chasing the target, Kerala are 163/3 after 25 overs. They have lost the wickets of Robin Uthappa (81), Sanju Samson (29) and Vishnu Vinod (7).

Sreesanth's reminder to IPL franchises

Sreesanth's heroics have come just a couple of weeks after he was snubbed by the IPL franchises. The former India pacer was among 1114 cricketers who had registered for the IPL 2021 auction but he wasn't shortlisted as none of the franchises asked for his name to be included for the auction.

Hence, his name wasn't announced during the one-day event. Despite that, Sreesanth can make his IPL comeback if any of the franchises calls him to replace an injured player.

Sreesanth, who made his comeback to Indian cricket in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, will hope to continue his form to draw the attention of the franchises.

The senior pacer has 211 first-class, 118 List A and 52 T20 scalps. Sreesanth has played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is.

Input: TimesNow

BCCI likely to add two new teams for IPL 2021: Reports

The meeting will be held on 24 December, 2020

Guwahati: The BCCI, in their Annual General Meeting will look to work on adding two new teams in the IPL, the PTI reported.

The meeting will be held on 24 December 2020.

As per reports, they will also discuss the appointment of the country’s ICC representative and three new national selectors.

The additional teams in the IPL is understood to be the among the most important points of the agenda for the AGM with the Adani Group and Sanjeev Goenka’s RPG (previously owners of the Rising Pune Supergiants) interested. A franchise from Ahmedabad is also on the cards, PTI reported further.

The election of the vice-president also on the agenda. As is the norm, the BCCI has sent a 23-point agenda to all affiliated units 21 days prior to the holding of the AGM.

Another important point will be BCCI’s representative to the ICC and the Asian Cricket Council. It is expected that secretary Jay Shah will be the BCCI representative in the global committees.

The appointment of three new selectors, along with a chairman of selectors, is also on cards given that Cricket Committees and Standing Committees are part of the agenda.

“Selection committee is a part of cricket committee plus the technical committee also needs to be formed. They are all statutory sub-committees,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by PTI.

The umpires’ sub-committee will also be formed and matters related to the National Cricket Academy will come up for deliberation.

The agenda also includes discussion on India’s Future Tours Program for 2021, preparation with regards to organisation of next year’s T20 World Cup (includes the ICC tax issue) and inclusion of cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

On the administrative front, one of the primary points on the agenda is the election of a new vice president, a position that has been left vacant after Mahim Verma’s resignation. It is expected that the choice would be unanimous.

Also, two representatives from the governing body will get a seat in the IPL governing council, the report stated.

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Uncapped Indian batsmen likely to shine in upcoming IPL in UAE

Guwahati: Each edition of the IPL provides a chance to watch some of the lesser known Indian cricketers go up against a class of players they haven't encountered in their brief careers. This list of uncapped Indian batsmen features a couple of players who have been part of, and impressed in, the IPL already, and some who will want to make their debut in the IPL memorable.

DEVDUTT  PADIKKAL

Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore 

Devdutt Padikkal can bat for long and score quickly, as he showed in the last season of the Karnataka Premier League. In both the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy last season, he finished as the top-scorer. In the Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy last season, the 20-year-old Padikkal scored 580 runs at a strike rate of 175.75 and struck a 50-plus score every two innings on average.

So far as his possible position as an opener is concerned, it is assumed that Aaron Finch and Josh Philippe may fight for one opening spot while Padikkal and Parthiv Patel may fight for the other. With AB de Villiers as an option to keep wickets as well - apart from Philippe himself - Padikkal is well-placed to beat Patel to a starting spot.

RUTURAJ  GAIKWAD

Team: Chennai Super Kings

A compact and aggressive batsman, Gaikwad has scored more List A runs than anyone for India A in the last two years - 843 runs in 15 innings, at a strike rate of 105, and has a "sharp cricket mind," according to MS Dhoni.

Gaikwad bats as both an opener and a No. 3 batsman. In Suresh Raina's absence, he is considered as the front-runner at one-down.

ABDUL  SAMAD

Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

Abdul Samad is a finisher at the domestic level and handpicked by VVS Laxman himself. He is a brutal hitter against spin bowling and led the fight with team-mate Shubham Khajuria when Jammu & Kashmir nearly managed to pip Karnataka to a Ranji Trophy semi-final spot. He hit the most number of sixes in the last Ranji season despite playing two matches fewer than possible, and has a career strike rate of 112.97 in first-class cricket.

His probable place in the team: If Sunrisers continue to keep Manish Pandey in the top four, two spots open up for finishers at six and seven. He may lock horns with Virat Singh, Mohammad Nabi and Fabian Allen for those places.

YASHASVI  JAISWAL

Team: Rajasthan Royals

There isn't a level of limited-overs cricket that 18-year old Yashasvi Jaiswal hasn't dominated so far. He has six 50-plus scores and averages 70.81 in 13 List A matches, and crowned with a double-century.He was the leading run-scorer at this year's Under-19 World Cup.

His probable place in the team: If it be assumed that Jos Buttler has one opening slot reserved for himself, Jaiswal will be up against the likes of Manan Vohra and Robin Uthappa - maybe even Sanju Samson for the other spot, if the Royals want Steven Smith no lower than No 3. In any case, he is likely to get a go in his best position, even if that means that he may not have a regular place in the playing XI.

SARFARAZ  KHAN

Team: Kings XI Punjab

Sarfaraz Khan had a breakthrough first-class season in 2019-20 BCCI. He has been caught in many crossfires, some of his own making, others to do with team management. But he is only 22, and has come screaming back to top-level cricket with scores of 301*, 226*, 78, 25, 177 and 6 in his last six first-class innings. He is an instinctively aggressive batsman, and format means little in comparison to his confidence.

His possible place in the team: Played eight innings for Kings XI last year in various middle-order roles, and that is likely to be the same this season too.

RIYAN  PARAG

Team: Rajasthan Royals

At 17 last year, he became the IPL's youngest half-centurion and displayed a wide range as a cricketer - whether in his 29-ball 43 in a winning chase against Mumbai Indians, or with his many variations that make his bowling style difficult to classify. He was one of the finds of the last season.

His probable place in the team: Parag is only 18, but seems a front-runner for the middle-order spot among domestic batsmen in the Royals squad.

MAHIPAL  LAMROR

Team: Rajasthan Royals

Lomror likes to hit straight and then not watch where the ball has gone. There are fears, though, that this fluency is restricted to power-hitting against spin. In a Royals video, he is heard telling his batting coach Amol Muzumdar that he is not quite comfortable against high pace. A spin power-hitter, though, is a valuable commodity in T20 cricket, which is why Royals would be trying hard to take his game to a level where he can be a regular starter in their XI.

His probable place in the team: Royals seem to have set up for a largely Indian middle and lower order. Lomror could fit in at No. 6 for them occasionally, perhaps at a higher slot, depending on Ben Stokes' availability.

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BCCI will try every possibility for commencing IPL 2020: Sourav Ganguly

Guwahati: IPL 2020, which was about to begin from March 29, has been postponed subject to the current pandemic. Since then, the future IPL 2020 seemed to be vague.

But, a ray of hope from the side of  President of BCCI,  Sourav Ganguly can be seen.

Ganguly, on Thursday, said that the board is trying all possible options to bring IPL, 2020 to stage, including playing behind closed doors with no spectators.

Sourav Ganguly on his letter to the members of the board stated,  "The BCCI is working on all possible options to ensure that we are able to stage the IPL this year, even if it means playing the tournament in empty stadiums. The fans, franchisees, players, broadcasters, sponsors and all other stakeholders are keenly looking forward to the possibility of IPL being hosted this year."

Green signal from the side of the players can also be witnessed.

"Recently a lot of players, both from India and other countries, participating in IPL have also shown their keenness on being a part of this year IPL. We are optimistic and the BCCI will shortly decide on the future course of action on this."

"The BCCI is in the process of developing a COVID-19 Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for all State Cricket Associations. Essentially this SOP is being made with a view of providing our Members with a standard set of guidelines which will help the associations to resume cricket in their respective areas," further reads the letter.

Proposal for domestic tournaments is also in the talk.

In regards to that Ganguly said, "Moving ahead, the BCCI is in the process of planning the domestic competitions for the next cricketing season. We are working on various formats and options in our endeavor to ensure that various domestic tournaments are held, they stay competitive and participation is feasible. The BCCI will come up with more details on this front over the next couple of weeks."

President also brought to notice that the dues of the members of the board have been released.

Also Read: BCCI will surely make IPL 2020 happen: Rajasthan Royal’s COO