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Chetan Sharma, Sivaramakrishnan, Agarkar apply for selectors’ job

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Former India players Chetan Sharma, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Nayan Mongia and Ajit Agarkar have applied for two positions in the Indian men’s selection committee after the board invited applications last week. PTI reported that two others, the former India and Madhya Pradesh duo of Rajesh Chauhan and Amay Khurasiya, have also thrown their hat into the ring.

The BCCI had earlier announced January 24 as the cut-off date to receive applications. They are yet to release an update on the number of applicants and the interview date. It’s also unclear as to when the new set of selectors, which also includes a new women’s selection panel and a couple of junior men’s selectors, would be appointed.

The position of chairman in the men’s committee is up for grabs with MSK Prasad, the former India wicketkeeper, finishing his four-year term last November. Since then, he has been on an extension along with former India and Rajasthan batsman Gagan Khoda.

Sivaramakrishnan is the oldest among the list of people ESPNcricinfo confirmed to have applied, while Mongia, the former wicketkeeper, has the most Test caps (44). Agarkar, meanwhile, was the last of the lot to retire, in 2013.

As per the rules of the constitution, the person with the most Test caps will be the chairman of the selection committee.

All three have been selectors at their respective state associations. Sivaramakrishanan headed the Tamil Nadu Under-19 selection committee in the early years of this decade. That aside, he has been a broadcaster for two decades and even sat on the ICC Cricket Committee.

Mongia was part of Baroda selection committee in both senior and junior men’s categories while Agarkar was the chairman of Mumbai selection committee for two years between 2017-19.

It is unclear yet as to who would conduct the interviews. As per the BCCI constitution the men’s selectors need to be appointed by a cricket advisory committee (CAC). However, the CAC has been defunct since last November.

Although, as reported recently, three former India players comprising Gautam Gambhir, Madan Lal and Sulakhshana Naik were in the running for the CAC. But the BCCI has not made that decision public yet.

What is also not clear is whether the BCCI would pick the selectors purely on merit and not on the zonal basis, a criteria that was applied for long till it was discarded in 2017 when the board conducted interview for the first time to pick the selection committees.

Additional reporting by Shashank Kishore



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Hardik Pandya ‘very keen to bowl but we have to listen to his body’

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Mumbai Indians are keen to get some overs out of their key allrounder Hardik Pandya but are taking a cautious approach with him after his back surgery last year. Zaheer Khan, Mumbai’s director of cricket operations, said on Sunday that Pandya is “very keen and really wanting to bowl,” but they also have to “listen to his body”.

Pandya has not bowled so far in Mumbai’s two games – against the Chennai Super Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders – and Khan didn’t specify when exactly the allrounder could be expected to bowl next.

“We’re all expecting him to bowl and he’s someone who really changes the balance of any side when he’s bowling and understands that but we have to listen to his body and that’s a conversation we’ve been having in consultation with the physios,” Khan said while answering questions from the press.

“We’re looking forward for him to bowl, he’s very keen and really wanting to bowl. We just have to wait and be patient and listen to his body. At the end of the day, any bowler’s injury plays a huge role. We’re happy he’s there as a batter and with full fitness contribution, so that’s the exciting part. Hopefully you’ll see him bowl soon.”

Pandya underwent a back surgery in October last year in the UK after his lower back had been troubling him since the Test series in England in 2018. The surgery kept Pandya out of action for almost a year, last playing a T20I against South Africa at home in September 2019. After that he missed the Tests against the same opposition, the home series against Bangladesh and West Indies, a T20I series against Sri Lanka and ODIs against Australia at home, and the entire tour of New Zealand earlier this year.

Pandya was a crucial player for Mumbai last IPL with both bat and ball: his strike rate of 191.42 for the 402 runs he scored in 15 innings and the 14 wickets he took in 42.3 overs helped his team lift a record fourth title. He plays the role of a key fifth or sixth bowler – interchangeably with his brother Krunal Pandya – which Mumbai used in the form of Kieron Pollard in their last game, against the Knight Riders earlier this week. It was a rare sight because Pollard last bowled in the IPL more than three years ago, in April 2017. Against the Super Kings in the first game, Mumbai used their regulation five bowlers while defending 162 and lost by five wickets.

Speaking of Pandya’s bowling, Mumbai coach Mahela Jayawardene told host broadcaster Star Sports during the game against the Knight Riders that they would “gradually build him up”.

“[It’s a] day-by-day progress, we don’t want to take a risk,” Jayawardene said on September 23. “He came back from operation. He looks healthy now so we’ll gradually build him up. We’ll see when he’s comfortable and then take a call.”



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RR vs KXIP, IPL 2020, 9th game

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Welcome to ESPNcricinfo’s Rolling Report of the ninth IPL 2020 match, between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. Which means we’ll be seeing the likes of Steven Smith, Jofra Archer, KL Rahul and Glenn Maxwell locking horns. Who will come out on top?

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Dettol become naming-rights sponsor of Australia men’s ODIs and T20Is

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In a sponsorship deal fitting for the times, Dettol has become the naming-rights partner for the Australia men’s ODI and T20I series as part of a four-year deal.

They replace Gillette, the previous title sponsors for men’s limited-overs matches, in a deal that also will see them be the naming partner of the men’s support staff – previously Bupa – and also have an association with the women’s team.

The brand contacted Cricket Australia after hearing of its plans to trial disinfectant on cricket balls following the onset of Covid-19 earlier this year. The use of saliva has been banned and while sweat is still permitted at international level the Australia team faced stricter protocols on the recent tour of England which limited where they could use it from.

In the current women’s series between Australia and New Zealand, which is being watched by a limited number of spectators, if the ball gets into the crowd it needs to be sanitised by the umpires before play resumes.

As part of the new deal the company will also supply its product to nearly 3,500 cricket clubs around Australia as the game resumes for the summer amid a range of new health and safety protocols.

“Dettol is such a well-known and trusted brand with a long heritage, both here in Australia and around the world, and their support will give confidence about protecting the return of community and elite cricket this summer,” the Cricket Australia CEO, Nick Hockley, said.

“Beyond this summer, we look forward to working with Dettol to help embed hygienic behavioural change into schools, clubs and communities through cricket.”

Dave Rankine, Regional director for RB Health ANZ, owner of the Dettol brand, said: “We’re excited to bring the expertise of Dettol to Cricket Australia, partnering together to protect the sport so many Australian’s love, from watching our national teams play, to participating in games ourselves through community clubs. Our partnership with Cricket Australia will help to embed important hygiene habits into the lives all Australians as we enter the new normal.”

Following the postponement of New Zealand’s short limited-overs tour to Australia that was scheduled for late January, due to the issues around mandatory quarantine, the only men’s limited-overs series this season will be three ODIs and three T20Is against India.

It remains to be confirmed how India’s tour is finally structured, but the trip is expected to begin with some white-ball cricket before the Test series begins in mid-December.

Earlier this month Vodafone signed on as the naming partner for men’s Test cricket.



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