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PSL 2021: Unnamed player tests positive for coronavirus ahead of opening fixture

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Karachi [Pakistan], February 20 (ANI): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday confirmed that a player from a franchise featuring in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 has been tested positive for COVID-19.
The opening game of PSL 2021 will be played between Karachi Kings and 2019 champions Quetta Gladiators on Saturday and the unnamed player who tested positive for coronavirus has been quarantined for 10 days.
“Separately, a player from another franchise team who had shown symptoms and was in isolation, has tested positive. He will now remain in quarantine for 10 days and will require two negative tests in order to integrate again with the side in accordance with the applicable re-entry protocols,” the PCB said in an official statement.
Further, a player and an official of one of the teams taking part in the PSL 2021 have been placed in a three-day quarantine after they came into contact with a person outside the bio-secure bubble on Friday.
The two individuals will now require two negative tests during the three-day quarantine period before they can re-enter the bio-secure bubble in accordance with the re-entry protocols.
“The PCB is disappointed that two members of one of the sides showed carelessness and violated the bio-secure bubble protocols by coming into a contact with a person who was not part of the bubble,” the PCB said.
“As reiterated previously, the health and safety of all individuals associated with HBL Pakistan Super League 6 is of paramount importance to the PCB and the event. All players, player support personnel, match officials and family members are once again reminded to diligently follow the PCB Covid-19 Protocols as the PCB will not allow anyone to affect the integrity and credibility of the tournament,” it added.
Earlier this week, the PCB urged the players, players’ support personnel, and match officials featuring in the PSL to religiously follow the bio-secure and PCB’s COVID-19 Protocols to ensure the health and safety of all participants as well as the integrity of the 34-match event.
After the opening match, 2020 finalists Lahore Qalandars will take on 2017 winners Peshawar Zalmi in a day fixture, while two-time winners Islamabad United will square off against Multan Sultans in the evening on Sunday.
The 30-day tournament will culminate with the final at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on March 22, the first time the venue will stage the final since 2017. (ANI)

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You are one step closer to ultimate dream: Shami congratulates brother Kaif

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Pacer Mohammed Shami on Saturday congratulated his brother Mohammed Kaif for making his debut in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Kaif made his debut for Bengal in the match against Jammu and Kashmir in Kolkata.
“Congratulations to my brother on your Vijay Hazare Trophy debut. We have waited for this moment. You are one step closer to the ultimate dream. Keep working hard,” tweeted Shami.
Kaif had played a few club matches before representing Bengal’s senior side. He was also named in Bengal’s squad for the Syed Mushtaq Trophy which was played in January this year.
On the other hand, Shami is currently recovering from a hand injury that he suffered in the first Test against Australia in Adelaide in December 2020. The pacer missed the ongoing series against England and he has also been rested for the T20I series against the Three Lions.
India had defeated England by ten wickets in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium to gain a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
England is out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points. New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points.
India needs to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who is in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)

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Keyboard warriors should get a bloody life: Finch’s wife hits back at trolls after receiving threats

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Melbourne [Australia], February 27 (ANI): Aaron Finch’s wife Amy has fired back at online trolls who targeted the couple following Australia skipper dearth of runs in recent games.
Finch has witnessed a slump in form during the recent outings in the shortest format of the game. The white-ball skipper scored a paltry 12 during Australia’s chase of a mammoth total on Thursday in the second T20I against New Zealand.
Moreover, Finch has scored 495 runs at an average of 17.06 in his last 29 T20 outings across the Indian Premier League (IPL), Big Bash League (BBL), and international cricket.
Owing to Finch’s poor show with the bat, his wife Amy allegedly received threats of sexual assault on her social media. She decided to hit back and slammed the trollers via social media post (now deleted) saying,” Part of me doesn’t want to give this individual the satisfaction of a response, but this kind of crap happens far too often!
“I don’t appreciate it, neither does my husband who is battling and doing everything he possibly can to get back into the runs,” she said while responding to the vile attacks.
“Honestly, these keyboard warriors need to go get a bloody life. This isn’t even one of the worst that has come my way but I’ve had enough!” the cricketer’s wife added.
Following an unsuccessful chase in the second T20I against New Zealand, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis came out in support of skipper Finch.
Stoinis, who almost got Australia over the line with his sensational knock in the second T20I, voiced his support for the skipper citing the key role Finch can play in the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in India later this year.
“There’s just full confidence that he’s going to perform for us and, personally, all I can see is a long-term picture because come the World Cup, we need him firing,” cricket.com.au quoted Stoinis as saying.
“He’s arguably the best Twenty20 batter in the world over a long period of time. His record’s so good and he’s our captain, so maybe that’s what’s going on off-field but in our heads we just trust him,” he added.
Stoinis highlighted how Finch didn’t have a good Indian Premier League (IPL) season last year but wasn’t short of runs when it came to scoring in ODIs against India.
“The same thing happened when he came back from IPL. He didn’t have the IPL he wanted but then he came and made hundred after hundred in the one-dayers,” said Stoinis.
“I think that’s just the game of cricket, you’ve got to ride out these sorts of things and I think it’s important that, as a team, he feels backed,” he added.
The third T20I between New Zealand and Australia is slated to be played on March 3. (ANI)

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NZ vs Aus: Third and fourth T20I to be played behind closed doors

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Wellington [New Zealand], February 27 (ANI): The upcoming third and fourth T20Is between New Zealand and Australia will be played behind closed doors, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed on Saturday.
The first and second T20I between New Zealand Women (White Ferns) and England Women will also be played behind closed doors following the change to New Zealand’s alert levels with an eye on the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision regarding the fifth T20I between New Zealand and Australia and the third T20I between White Ferns and England will be taken later on.
“Double-headers (inc WHITE FERNS v ENG T20) to go ahead in Wellington on Wednesday, March 3, as planned — but behind closed doors. Double-headers scheduled for Auckland on Friday, March 5, now to be played in Wellington, also without crowds,” NZC said in an official statement.
“Double-headers scheduled for Tauranga on Sunday, March 7 to go ahead — will wait for Government advice re crowds. All ticket holders to receive full refunds,” it added.
On Saturday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland would return to level 3 for seven days. As a result, no sport can be held at level 3, reported stuff.co.nz.
Earlier, the T20I matches were set to be played in Auckland, but as per the new guidelines, the matches have now been relocated to Wellington.
The rest of the country has moved to alert level 2 and the restrictions will last for a period of seven days. While announcing the new restrictions, Ardern said that the lockdown was needed due to there being no immediate transmission link between the new mystery case and the latest Auckland cluster. (ANI)

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Yusuf Pathan, Sanath Jayasuriya to feature in Road Safety World Series

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Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], February 27 (ANI): All-rounder Yusuf Pathan, wicket-keeper batsman Naman Ojha and pacer Vinay Kumar will feature in the India Legends team in the upcoming Road Safety World Series scheduled to start at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Raipur from March 5.
While Yusuf and Vinay announced their retirement from cricket on Friday, Naman had hung up his boots earlier this month. Vinay played one Test, 31 ODIs, and 9 T20Is for India while Yusuf featured in 57 ODIs, 22 T20Is, and was a part of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning squad and the 2011 50-over World Cup squad.
On the other hand, Naman had made his international debut for India in 2010, but he played just one ODI for the Men in Blue. In the same year, Ojha went on to play his first T20I for India.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Legends have also included Sanath Jayasuriya, Russel Arnold, and Upul Tharanga in their team led by Tillakaratne Dilshan.
India Legends play their first match against Bangladesh Legends on March 5 and Sri Lanka Legends start their campaign against West Indies Legends on March 6.
England legends will open their account against Bangladesh on March 7 while India will take on the English side in their second match on March 9
The semi-finals of the tournament is slated for March 17 and 19 while the final will be held on March 21. All the matches will start at 7:00 p.m.
The Road Safety World Series is an initiative by Road Safety Cell of Maharashtra in association with Professional Management Group (PMG) spearheaded by Sunil Gavaskar as the Commissioner of the Series and Sachin Tendulkar is the brand ambassador of the league.
Education technology platform Unacademy is the title sponsor and Viacom18 is the broadcast partner of the league.
The first edition of the series had to be called off after four games on March 11 last year due to the Covid-19 situation worldwide. (ANI)

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India name ODI and T20I squad for series against South Africa women

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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 27 (ANI): The All-India women’s selection committee on Saturday announced the squads for the upcoming ODI and T20I series against South Africa.
India and South Africa will lock horns in a five-match ODI series before they face each other in three T20Is in March. The ODI series will begin from March 7 while the T20I series will be played from March 20 at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
Ekta Bisht, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Taniya Bhatia, and Shikha Pandey aren’t part of the squad while C. Pratyusha, Yastika Bhatia, Ayushi Soni, Swetha Verma, Monica Patel, and Simran Dil Bahadur have earned their maiden call-ups.
Veteran cricketer Mithali Raj will lead India in the ODIs while star batter Harmanpreet Kaur will captain the hosts in the T20I series against South Africa.
While Sushma Verma has been picked up as the wicket-keeper for both the series, Swetha and Nuzhat Parveen will give her company in ODIs and T20Is respectively.
Team India will undergo a full fledge training session on March 6 before they play their first international match after almost a year. While there is a gap between all the ODIs, the first two T20Is will be played on consecutive days.
The Indian women’s cricket team last played cricket during the Women’s T20 Challenge in November 2020 while their last international match was on March 8, 2020, when they faced Australia in the T20 World Cup final.
Australia defeated India in the final of the mega event to secure a fifth title on home soil. The hosts beat India by 85 runs at the MCG on the back of Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney’s sensational batting performances.
India Women’s ODI squad: Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), D. Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Swetha Verma (wicket-keeper), Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, C. Prathyusha, Monica Patel
India Women’s T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Nuzhat Parveen (wicket-keeper), Ayushi Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, C. Prathyusha, Simran Dil Bahadur (ANI)

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PSL 6: Sandeep Lamichanne replaces Rashid Khan in Lahore Qalandars’ squad

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Karachi [Pakistan], February 27 (ANI): Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichanne has been named as the replacement for Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan in the Lahore Qalandars squad for the ongoing sixth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Sandeep, the 20-year-old leg-spinner from Nepal, made his PSL debut in the 2019 edition and played seven matches for Lahore Qalandars.
Rashid had to depart after featuring in two matches against Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi as he was called up for national duty. Qalandars won the games by four and nine wickets respectively.
“Sandeep Lamichanne will be in Lahore Qalandars colours once again as he has been drafted in the 2020 edition’s runners-up’s squad as a replacement for Rashid Khan,” read an official statement from PSL.
Last week, Rashid was named in Afghanistan’s squad for the two-match Test series against Zimbabwe which gets underway from Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Lamichanne will be available to Qalandars for the entire season. The Sohail Akhtar-led side got off to good start with wins in the first two games.
However, the Qalandars lost the third game after half-centuries from Mohammad Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood guided Multan Sultans to a comfortable seven-wicket on Friday.
Sultans surmounted the 158-run target with 22 balls spare as Rizwan, who posted his second half-century and became the leading run-getter of the season, scored a breezy 49-ball 76, studded with 12 fours, and Sohaib hammered 61 not out off 41 balls.
Lahore Qalandars will next lock horns with Karachi Kings on Sunday. (ANI)

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