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Ravi Shastri to remain India head coach

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Ravi Shastri will remain head coach of the India men senior team, with his new contract extending up to the 2021 T20 World Cup in India.

The interviews for the remainder of India’s backroom staff will commence next week, tentatively from August 19-22. India’s senior selection panel was supposed to pick the head coach’s support staff, as per the BCCI’s new constitution, but the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) wanted to have a say, and expressed its interest and wrote to the BCCI to get involved in the process.

“The CAC has given us a letter expressing their willingness to be involved in the selection process of the support staff,” Rahul Johri, the BCCI CEO, said. “We will forward it to the CoA.”

The CAC spent all of Friday interviewing five candidates for head coach, with a sixth – Phil Simmons – pulling out of the race. The CAC rated the candidates on five separate categories – coaching philosophy, experience, achievements, communication, and “knowledge of modern coaching tools”.

The three members of the CAC – former India captain Kapil Dev, former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad and the former India women captain Shanta Rangaswamy – agreed “unanimously” to retain Shastri’s services, Kapil announced, with Mike Hesson, the former New Zealand and Kings XI Punjab coach, and Tom Moody, the former Sri Lanka and Sunrisers Hyderabad coach, coming a close second and third respectively.

Apart from Shastri, Hesson and Moody, the CAC also interviewed Robin Singh, who has coached at four-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians and was formerly India’s fielding coach, and Lalchand Rajput, India’s manager during their victorious World T20 campaign in 2007 and more recently coach of Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

Hesson, Robin and Rajput made their presentations to the CAC in person, while Moody and Shastri – who is with the India team in the West Indies – appeared via teleconference.

The contracts of Shastri and his support staff were meant to expire at the end of the 2019 World Cup, but they were given a 45-day extension keeping in mind the West Indies tour. Ahead of his departure, India captain Virat Kohli made a public announcement that he would prefer if Shastri was to continue as head coach.

Shastri joined India’s backroom staff as team director during the 2014 tour of England, and remained in charge when head coach Duncan Fletcher’s tenure ended after the 2015 World Cup. Shastri’s role as director ended when Anil Kumble became head coach in June 2016, but Kumble’s tenure lasted just over a year before ending in fractious circumstances after the Champions Trophy in 2017.

Shastri came back as head coach, and since then has overseen Test match wins in South Africa and England, and a maiden Test series win in Australia, in 2017-18. Under Shastri, India most recently reached the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in the UK, topping the round-robin phase of the tournament before exiting with a loss to New Zealand.



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Sheffield Shield round-up: Great catching puts NSW in control

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A round-up from the second day of the latest Sheffield Shield matches



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CWI suspends Test opener John Campbell for illegal bowling action

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Cricket West Indies has suspended Jamiaca offspinners John Campbell (a part-time bowler who opened the batting for West Indies in all three formats last year) and Pete Salmon from bowling in domestic West Indies matches with immediate effect, for illegal bowling actions. CWI confirmed that opinion reports from independent assessors at Loughborough University found that the actions of the two bowlers exceeded the permissible limit of 15 degrees.

Campbell and Salmon will remain suspended until their actions are found legal either by an opinion report from Loughborough University or by an independent analysis from an accredited testing centre, in accordance with the board’s regulations for dealing with suspect bowling actions.

The duo will undergo remedial work supervised by Jamaica and they can apply for a reassessment after modifying their actions.

Cambell was reported for a suspect bowling action during the first round match against Trinidad & Tobago early last month. He took figures of 1 from 54 in his 19 overs in the match.

Salmon’s action was reported on his first-class debut, the fourth-round match between Jamaica and Guyana earlier this month in Guyana. Salmon’s figures were very impressive: he finished with a match haul of 8 for 110, which won him the Player-of-the-Match award in his team’s narrow win of seven runs.



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Recent Match Report – Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Only Test 2020

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Lunch Zimbabwe 114 for 5 (Raza 33*, Nayeem 3-44) and 265 trail Bangladesh 560 for 6 dec (Rahim 203*, Mominul 132) by 181 runs

Bangladesh’s march to victory continued with a couple of vital wickets on the fourth morning in Mirpur. It was the spinners that struck first, with Taijul Islam opening a route into the middle order with a wicket in the sixth over of the morning before Nayeem Hasan struck the big blow, removing Brendan Taylor in his first over of the day. After a brief rally, the run-out of Craig Ervine further sunk Zimbabwe and they went to lunch at 114 for 5, still 181 runs shy of making Bangladesh bat again.

With men crowding the bat and pressure from the off, Islam didn’t take long to get the better of Kevin Kasuza. Coming around the stumps, and making liberal use of the arm ball, he suckered the right-hand batsman into playing inside an orthodox delivery that gripped on the surface, taking the shoulder of the bat and landing in the lap of Mohammad Mithun at second slip.

Taylor appeared much more at ease against the left-arm spinner, stepping out to loft him cleanly over the long-off boundary, but it was similar positivity that got him into trouble against Nayeem. Taylor missed a reverse sweep to the offspinner’s second delivery of the day, and then perished attempting an aggressive regulation sweep shortly afterwards. Aiming for the midwicket boundary, Taylor instead watched in dismay as a looping top-edge was easily caught by Islam, running in from deep backward square.

Despite the dismissals, the Zimbabwe batsmen kept playing their shots. Sikandar Raza whipped Nayeem through square leg with a one-handed sweep early in his innings, while Ervine was even more proactive. Having cruised into the 20s with a pair of boundaries on either side of the pitch in Nayeem’s third over of the morning, he stepped out to hit the same bowler over long-on and repeatedly demonstrated that he wasn’t afraid to use his feet to the slower bowlers.

At the other end, Raza paddled Islam to the fine-leg boundary, and then raised the fifty stand by powering him well over long-on for his first six, the runs having flowed at close to five an over. Ervine, meanwhile, was into the 40s at virtually a run a ball but Nayeem kept probing, and might have removed Zimbabwe’s captain had Liton Das been able to complete a stumping opportunity 15 minutes before the lunch interval. Drawn out of his crease, Ervine was beaten by the turn and bounce, but so was Das, the ball rearing up to hit him on the shoulder.

The error wasn’t a costly one. Moments before lunch, Raza tapped Islam towards point and the batting pair chanced a quick single. But Mominul Haque was onto the ball in a flash, hurling in a direct hit to catch Ervine short of his ground: the first time Ervine has been run out in this format.

With a light drizzle starting to fall, Raza survived until lunch alongside Timycen Maruma, but three wickets in the session significantly advanced Bangladesh’s cause.



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