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Pant released for Syed Mushtaq Ali, Bharat called up as cover

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The Indian selection committee has decided to release Rishabh Pant from the Test squad in order to allow him to get some game-time ahead of India’s limited overs series against West Indies next month, according to a report from PTI.

Pant will link up with the Delhi squad that is currently playing in the Super League of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019-20. He will thus be available for Delhi’s next two Super League matches, against Haryana on November 24 and Rajasthan on November 27, and for the semi-finals and final if Delhi make it that far.

Meanwhile, the selectors have called up KS Bharat, the Andhra wicketkeeper, to join the Indian team as cover for Wriddhiman Saha for the remainder of the second Test in Kolkata. Andhra have not qualified for the Super League in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

“Rishabh will be playing all the six matches (3 T20Is and 3 ODIs) against the West Indies. The selectors thought it’s only prudent that he goes and plays in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Delhi,” Press Trust of India quoted a BCCI official as saying.

Bharat has been a regular with India A in the longer format for the past few seasons, though he has never broken into the senior team. He made his first-class debut in January 2013, and has so far played 69 games, scoring 3,909 runs at an average of 37.58. He has eight centuries and 20 half-centuries, which includes a highest of 308 against Goa in 2015.

“I played the first pink ball match in Lucknow when it was introduced in the Duleep Trophy in 2015,” Bharat told PTI as he was on his way to airport from his Visakhapatnam residence. “I got a call and was asked to join the team. I’m reaching at 8.30 tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to sharing the dressing room with my idol Virat bhai. Wriddhiman is one of the best wicketkeepers of the current era. I’m hoping to learnt a lot from them.”

There have already been two concussion substitutes in the ongoing Test, both for Bangladesh. In the match itself, India’s first day-night Test with a pink ball, the home side are firmly in control after the first day.



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Rachel Trenaman takes leave to focus on mental health

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Rachel Trenaman, the Sydney Thunder and New South Wales allrounder who has been named in the Australia A squad to face India A, has taken time away from the game to focus on her mental health.

Trenaman, 18, played twice for the Thunder during this season’s WBBL and was part of the Australia A one-day squad for the series that will take place in Brisbane next week.

She has now stood down from that series and will be rested from the Women’s National Cricket League which resumes in January.

“We’re proud that Rachel was brave enough to speak up, and we’re here for her,” Dominic Thornely, the NSW Breakers head coach, said. “I know the cricket family is right behind her and we wish her the very best.”

Sydney Thunder’s acting general manager Chris Botherway said Trenaman had the full support of the Thunder, Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia.

“Rachel is a highly thought of young person who has the respect of her team-mates, coaches and support staff at Sydney Thunder and NSW Breakers,” he said. “Player health and well-being will always be our top priority and we will provide Rachel with all the time and support she needs to make a full recovery.”

Trenaman is the latest Australian cricketer to step back from the game for mental health reasons this season. Sophie Molineux, the Melbourne Renegades and Australia allrounder, announced last month that she was taking a break which followed the decisions taken by Glenn Maxwell, Will Pucovski and Nic Maddinson.

Pucovski and Maddinson returned for Victoria in the last round of Sheffield Shield matches while Maxwell is back in training with Victoria.



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Bob Willis – 1949-2019 | ESPNcricinfo.com

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Bob Willis, legendary England fast bowler, dies aged 70
The former England captain and fast bowler, who will be forever synonymous with England’s 1981 Ashes victory, died on December 4.

Icon, survivor, grandee: Farewell Bob Willis, the man with the longest run
Andrew Miller, ESPNcricinfo’s UK editor, writes a moving tribute in memory of England’s mightiest of fast bowlers.

Tributes: ‘An English legend who inspired a generation of fast bowlers’
Willis’ passing, at the age of 70, had the cricketing world in mourning.

‘That was abject, Charles, absolutely pathetic’ – Bob Willis’ best quips
Willis had developed a reputation for his dry, acerbic and generally scathing verdicts during his punditry career working for Sky Sports.

Podcast: The late, great Bob Willis – Warm, generous … terrifying
Mark Butcher, Andrew Miller and Alan Gardner reflect on cricket’s sad loss, and look back on England’s tour of New Zealand.

WATCH – Mark Butcher delivers an emotional tribute to Bob Willis
He joins the Switch Hit team to pay tribute to Willis.

The Cricket Monthly: ‘I don’t think odds of 500-1 have appeared since’
How Willis’ bowling England to an incredible Ashes win at Headingley was the culmination of a golden five-year period for him.

Archive: The hero who almost didn’t play
What is less well known about Willis is that he was not even in the original squad picked for the Test.



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Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme cleared to travel to Australia

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New Zealand have had a major boost ahead of the first Test against Australia next week with Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme both making good progress in their recoveries from injury.

NZC confirmed the pair would travel to Perth with the squad on Saturday having come through a training session in Mount Maunganui on Friday. Boult (side strain) and de Grandhomme (abdominal tear) had missed the second Test against England in Hamilton.

“Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme are both making good progress with their injuries and successfully trained today at Bay Oval,” NZC posted on Twitter. “The pair will travel with the team to Perth tomorrow.”

There still remains a question mark over their participation in the day-night Test at Perth Stadium which starts on Thursday, but the progress is encouraging.

Boult, especially, is vital to New Zealand’s hopes of pushing Australia with him potentially being a handful with the pink ball and his side strain was causing the most concern after he picked it up against England in Mount Maunganui.

“I don’t know if I’m really confident, but I’m quietly optimistic they’re tracking where we want them to be,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said earlier this week.

In Boult’s absence, Matt Henry played the second Test against England but New Zealand will need to give serious consideration into introducing the extra pace of uncapped Lockie Ferguson. Tim Southee and Neil Wagner, who has yet to play a Test in Australia, were the other members of the pace attack.

De Grandhomme provides important balance to the New Zealand side. He averages 40.33 with the bat and 29.63 with the ball in 19 Tests. His injury handed a Test debut to Daryl Mitchell who made 73 but went wicketless in Hamilton.



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