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Five wickets in six balls: Abhimanyu Mithun’s unreal T20 record

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Abhimanyu Mithun is having a domestic season to remember. First, he picked up a birthday hat-trick and a maiden List A five-wicket haul in Karnataka’s win over Tamil Nadu in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final last month. On Friday, he not only picked up another hat-trick but became perhaps only the second bowler to pick five wickets in six balls in T20 history. From the time ESPNcricinfo has been gathering ball-by-ball data, only Bangladesh’s Al-Amin Hossain has managed to knock over so many batsmen in a single over.

Mithun’s 5 for 39 came in the semi-final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – the domestic T20 competition – against Haryana in Surat. Coming into his fourth over after conceding 18 off his third – the most expensive over of the innings – Mithun’s strikes prevented Haryana from going past the 200-run mark.

Before Mithun started the over, Haryana were rampant at 192 for 3, with Himanshu Rana and Rahul Tewatia having stitched together a robust partnership. Between overs 15 and 19, Haryana had scored 57 runs, and a 200-plus score was very much on the cards. But Mithun had plans up his sleeve – slow the pace down. And it worked.

Rana, who had blasted his second fifty in the tournament, his highest in the format, mistimed a pull straight into the hands of Mayank Agarwal at deep midwicket. Tewatia then holed out to wide long-on. Mithun then achieved his maiden hat-trick in the format after Sumit Kumar failed to read a slower one and scooped it straight to the fielder behind square leg.

Off the next delivery, he bowled a knuckle ball that Amit Mishra mistimed to cover to become the second bowler after Lasith Malinga (against New Zealand in September) to take four wickets in four balls in the same over in T20 cricket this year. A back-of-the-hand slower delivery, which Jayant Yadav did not read, was easily pouched by KL Rahul behind the wicket off the last ball to complete the haul.

Stats inputs by Shiva Jayaraman



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The Hundred 2021 – ECB clarify player retention plans for postponed Hundred

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Teams in the Hundred will be able to retain as many men’s players as they wish for the 2021 competition, as details for next season’s draft were revealed on Thursday.

The Hundred, the ECB’s new flagship 100-ball competition, was due to be staged for the first time this summer before the Covid-19 pandemic caused its postponement to 2021. The competition’s regulations had initially allowed teams to retain up to 10 players at a mutually agreed salary band for the second season, but that has been extended to the full squad on account of the delay.

In practice, teams are unlikely to retain their entire squads due to a number of factors, including the end of Kolpak status, a lack of clarity over the international calendar, and form over the last 12 months.

The ECB are due to release a list of centrally-contracted players for 2020-21 – likely to be within the next two weeks – at which point teams will be able to negotiate to retain a player at a mutually-agreed salary. That could be higher or lower than their salary last year, meaning that Dawid Malan (a £40,000 pick by Trent Rockets) could negotiate up after an impressive 12 months, while a player who had struggled for form could agree a deal worth less. As revealed by ESPNcricinfo, all salary bands have been cut by 20% from last year.

Teams will have from October through to January in which to negotiate with players and agents, with a mini-draft to follow at some point in early 2021. In that draft, each team will then have a ‘right to match’ option, allowing them to retain players with whom they failed to negotiate a deal, if they have a spot remaining in the draft at the salary band at which another team picks him.

Each team will still be able to pick one ‘wildcard’ player, who will be chosen after the T20 Blast season in 2021 and will sign a £24,000 contract for the competition.

The early stages of retention will depend on England’s red-ball central contract list, with the competition again set to overlap with a Test series, this time against India, and their Hundred deals falling outside of the main draft system. It is unlikely that many of the 10 players currently with deals will fall off the list, with Jonny Bairstow the main exception, but a handful of players – Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Dom Bess – will come under consideration for red-ball contracts.

Players with red-ball central contracts both years will be able to be retained. Ultimately, each team will have at least one, and at most two players with a red-ball central contract, which will be confirmed in October.

There will be several sub-plots regarding retentions, not least questions over the availability of certain players on Kolpak deals. Dane Vilas, for example, was signed by Manchester Originals as a top-price pick in last year’s draft. He hopes to continue playing as a local via a UK ancestral visa next year, but would be less likely to command a top salary if competing for one of three overseas spots. Cameron Delport, signed by Birmingham Phoenix, is in the same position.

Some players may also negotiate with teams closer to home. The Originals, for example, may try to sign Liam Livingstone – a first-round pick by Birmingham Phoenix – who lives in Manchester, but could lose Joe Clarke – based in Nottingham – to the Trent Rockets.

The process for women’s retentions has already been confirmed, with players given more control in that they are able to choose to roll their contracts over at the same salary if they choose to do so.



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PSL franchises seek legal action against PCB over financial model of league

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All six Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises have collectively sought legal action in a bid to force the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to change the financial model of the league. They have submitted a law suit in the Lahore High Court over the long-running dispute because the franchises claim the PSL is making the PCB richer while the franchises are running losses every season. The petition asked the court to direct the PCB to “formally redress the grievances of all franchises” and “revise the model of PSL in accordance with its statutory mandate and make it financially viable”.

The PSL is now entangled in legal disputes with two of its major stakeholders: the broadcast-rights holder and now the six franchises. The PCB had last week terminated the contract of PSL’s international media-rights holder, Techfront, citing a series of breaches, including matters relating to payments. At the same time the PCB is also in arbitration against PSL’s local media-right holders – Blitz – who went to court for a stay order against the board’s move to cash in an insurance guarantee from the broadcaster (held as security for the deal) of PKR 1 billion.

More to follow…



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Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2020 – Rolling Report

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All the buzz from the game between KL Rahul’s Kings XI Punjab and Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore



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