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Recent Match Report – Somerset vs Essex Final 2020



Somerset 301 (Byrom 117, Overton 66, S Cook 5-76) v Essex

As has been the practice of several Somerset cricketers down the decades – think Sammy Woods or Peter Wight – Eddie Byrom arrived in the county by way of somewhere else. Born in Harare, he pitched up in the West Country a few years ago to complete his education, cricketing and otherwise, at King’s College, Taunton. Yet like many such offcomers, Byrom found the place got into his blood. So we may only imagine his deep feelings a few minutes after lunch this second afternoon when his on-drive to the Nursery End boundary off Sam Cook brought him a maiden first-class century against county opposition. And all this on his first appearance at Lord’s and in the final of the Bob Willis Trophy, too.

Byrom’s outward emotions were plain enough. There was the usual bat-brandishing, arm-raising and fist-pumping. So far as one could judge the pleasure was reciprocated, with many of the 23-year-old’s colleagues and coaches congregating – at a distance from each other – on the dressing-room balcony or near the pavilion seating to offer their applause. Tom Banton tweeted his happiness from Dubai and one imagines John Cleese was chuffed, too.

All that was missing was the deep-throated acclamation of “Tractor”, one of Somerset’s most voluble supporters, or the delight of the denizens of Gimblett’s Hill, some of whom would surely have made the trip to London for this match. One’s mind went back to Tom Abell’s maiden century at Taunton in 2015 when the County Ground erupted in joy and Marcus Trescothick declared himself no more than a warm-up act for the West Country’s young champion.

But there were no paying supporters at Lord’s this chilly autumnal Thursday and since Byrom is playing his sixth first-class match without crowds he is probably adjusting to their absence. Still it would have been pleasant to hear the rumbling approval of folk who followed Somerset in the tough summers as they watched Byrom and a noticeably responsible Craig Overton construct their fine partnership of 127 for the sixth wicket. That stand was ended by Jamie Porter with the new ball shortly after a three-hour rain break when he had Overton leg before wicket for 66, and the excellent Cook completed his own five-wicket return in successive overs immediately after that breakthrough. First Byrom was lbw for 119 when he moved too far across his stumps and Russell Warren then sent Lewis Gregory on his way when the batsman missed a hoick.

These three decisions refreshed Essex – Simon Harmer took the final wickets with successive balls – but the bowlers may also look back to occasions in the morning and early afternoon when things had gone nothing like so well. For example, Overton might well have been leg before wicket to Aaron Beard when he had made 22; perhaps the discourtesy of the celeb appeal spiced Rob Bailey’s pleasure at rejecting it. Thus reprieved, one of Instow’s finest reached his fifty off 85 balls and helped Byrom build a strong position, particularly powerful, indeed, when one remembers that this trophy will be settled on first-innings lead should both teams complete one innings and the match be drawn.

That, of course, is a satisfactory way of deciding the winners of a competition which has been a marvellous stop-gap in dark times. But to think that a similar method should resolve a County Championship final or that such a match is even necessary is to confuse an effective painkiller with a permanent cure for an illness whose existence is still disputed. No one has doubted the value of the Bob Willis Trophy this season but if a five-day game at Lord’s is to end the season it should be a well-financed and well-rewarded celebration rather than a means of deciding the winners of what is still the most important competition in English domestic cricket.

The county champions should receive their pennant after five months rather than five days. To be gulled by the attractions of a showpiece occasion is to sacrifice the satisfactions of an absorbing struggle in varying conditions against different opponents for the glitz of an X Factor shindig. Should the Hundred go ahead next year we will have three finals over 16.4, 20 and 50 overs. Why do we need another?

It is almost always a bad idea to regard football as a model for cricket but no one suggested that last year’s Premiership title should have been decided by a play-off between Liverpool and Manchester City. (That said, it would have been entertaining to hear the reactions on Merseyside had they done so.)

Absolutely none of which will affect Byrom’s sense of pleasure this Thursday evening. His patience laid the foundations of his side’s total and his boundaries were its coping stones. There were 16 fours in his 312-minute innings, three in an over off Beard in the game’s very first session, a perfect straight drive off Cook to reach his half-century and then a pull and a sweep in Harmer’s first over on Thursday morning. Yet Byrom never batted beyond himself; he used the depth of the crease but was not chary of getting on the front foot. Above all he never allowed the giddiness of the moment to trump his judgement. County chief-executives, please take note.

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Australia v India, 2020-21 – Victoria Premier ‘very confident’ over Boxing Day crowd at MCG



Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews is “very confident” that there will be a crowd for the Boxing Day Test against India following the announcement that Melbourne will come out of its Covid-19 lockdown which has lasted four months.

The schedule for India’s visit is yet to be rubberstamped as it awaits final BCCI approval following last week’s sign-off from the New South Wales government that the India squad, and the Australia players returning from the IPL in the UAE, could quarantine and train in the state.

Cricket Australia has kept Melbourne in its plans for the traditional fixture throughout, although Adelaide Oval has been put on standby to host the Boxing Day Test with the ability to host crowds a deciding factor.

“I am very confident that we will get a crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test,” Andrews told reporters. “I don’t know how big it will be but there will be a crowd. That’s the advice that I have, that’s what we’re working towards.”

Crowds have returned to sport in Australia over the last three months with 30,000 at the AFL final at the Gabba on Saturday followed by 40,000 at the NRL final in Sydney on Sunday.

The cricket season has begun with small crowds admitted to the Australia-New Zealand women’s series at Allan Border Field in Brisbane and a selection of the Sheffield Shield and WBBL matches.

Travel between various states is still restricted by border closures although Prime Minister Scott Morrison said last week that he hoped all borders, except for Western Australia’s, would be open by Christmas.

The India tour is set to start with ODIs and T20Is from November 27 which will be played in Sydney and Canberra. The four-match Test series will then take place in Adelaide for a day-night match, followed by Melbourne, Sydney and then Brisbane in mid-January.

On Monday, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly indicated the board’s approval for the trip was close with just a few final issues being ironed out.

“So far it is ahead,” he told Fairfax newspapers. “The initial part will be in Sydney. We are still in discussions how to get the bio part and medical parts stronger because it’s a long tour but I am told Australia is Covid free at the moment, there aren’t many cases. Basically, we are trying to get everything in place and make sure it is safe. That’s all.”

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Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab live streaming where to watch KKR vs KXIP IPL 2020 7.30pm Oct 26



In a race for the final playoffs’ spot, the Kolkata Knight Riders hold the edge over their opponents today, but only just. They will be confident considering the crucial contributions by Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine in the last game, but they need more from their senior names, including Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik. A loss today and their campaign could be derailed, at least for a while.

The Kings XI Punjab have four back-to-back wins to show after falling behind for the majority of the season. Two points today will push them up to fourth, where they will replace the Knight Riders courtesy of a better net run rate. They will be boosted further by the return of Mayank Agarwal from injury, as it is now or never for them.

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab is available to view in India on Disney+ Hotstar, Jio TV and Airtel TV.

When does the KKR vs KXIP live streaming start?
The KKR vs KXIP live streaming will start at 7:00 PM India Time October 26, 2020.

Where is the KKR vs KXIP match being played?
The KKR vs KXIP match will be played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE.

On which TV channels will KKR vs KXIP live coverage be available?
In India, Star Sports 1 and 1HD, Star Sports Select 1 and 1HD and SS1 Hindi and 1 Hindi HD will telecast the match live.

Where can one find KKR vs KXIP live score and commentary online?
The fastest and most comprehensive live score and details will be available here: KKR vs KXIP live score

What are the likely playing XIs for today’s KKR vs KXIP game?

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Nitish Rana, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Sunil Narine, 7 Pat Cummins, 8 Kamlesh Nagarkoti, 9 Varun Chakravarthy, 10 Prasidh Krishna, 11 Lockie Ferguson/Andre Russell

Kings XI Punjab: 1 KL Rahul (capt, wk), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Chris Gayle, 4 Nicholas Pooran, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Mandeep Singh, 7 Chris Jordan, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Ravi Bishnoi, 10 Arshdeep Singh, 11 Mohammed Shami

Who are the captains for today’s KKR vs DC game?
The captains for today’s game will be Eoin Morgan (KKR) and KL Rahul (KXIP).

Who are the umpires for KKR vs KXIP game?
The on-field umpires for today’s game will be KN Ananthapadmanabhan and Richard Illingworth. The TV umpire will be Krishnamachari Srinivasan.

Who will be the match referee for KKR vs KXIP game?
The match referee for today’s game will be Vengalil Narayan Kutty.

All telecast and streaming timings are according to information received from the host broadcaster.

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‘Not sure I want my son to go anywhere near a cricket ground’



Azeem Rafiq, the former England Under-19 captain who alleged systemic racism at Yorkshire that is currently under investigation, doubts he will ever be able to have another role within cricket and does not want to introduce his children to a bat and ball without seeing genuine, lasting change in the English game.

As part of Cricket Australia’s latest Cricket Connecting Country webinar, to be broadcast on the governing body’s digital channels on Tuesday evening Australian time, Rafiq spoke frankly about the toll of raising his voice on the issue of racism within cricket and his many painful experiences with Yorkshire. Appearing alongside his former coach, Jason Gillespie, Rafiq was visibly emotional when he described how he had stood back from introducing his son to the game because of how much pain it had caused him.

“We don’t even know how many people are out there suffering, and that’s a worry, everyone is going to heal in different ways. But to actually start the healing process it needs to start now – we can’t keep arguing and trying to show people there’s a problem,” he said. “That needs to stop, it needs to be about how can we stop it happening. My worry is what’s going to happen to our kids, are they going to be in the same position.

ALSO READ: Azeem Rafiq was ‘on brink of suicide’ after experiencing racism at Yorkshire

“The thing that really upsets me is that I love the game of cricket and I’m not sure I want my son to go anywhere near a cricket ground. That is really, really upsetting for me, because as Dizzy knows, I love the game, but I haven’t even got him a bat or a ball yet. And that really, really upsets me. I think it’s time we need to stop talking about and trying to show people there’s an issue, it’s time to move it forward, do something about it and get some solutions.”

Reflecting on the problems he had witnessed, Rafiq also spoke about how he felt his card was already marked in terms of further involvement in cricket, and for that reason he understood why others were so reticent to speak without the cloak of anonymity.

“It’s two cultures and you’re trying to fit in them both and you end up fitting in nowhere, but you shouldn’t have to. There should be a respect for everyone”

Azeem Rafiq

“Knowing why it was allowed to happen is something that will help me heal,” Rafiq said of the investigation currently underway at Yorkshire. “But I think more importantly it is for me about how we can stop it happening moving forward really. In my experience it is worse now because it’s done in such a way that it’s really difficult to open up and speak about it. What’s happened will help to get a few answers on that for my healing, but I’m not so much really bothered about myself anymore because I think my time’s gone.

“Especially since I’ve come out, I think it’s going to be really difficult for me to play any part within the game, but I think moving forward if I can help anyone – that’s been the sad thing, I’ve had a lot of messages reaching out from kids as young as 14-15, and that worries me, because right until the end I didn’t want to believe it was racism. I didn’t want to think it was that, I wanted to try and, as we’ve been brought up, fight through everything, let it go, let it go.

“If you pulled anyone up on it, it was like ‘well, can you not take a joke’ and a lot of times it was disguised as banter, but there was a lot of feeling in the banter. I don’t know [if it’s] coincidentally or not, a lot of the comments following on from that, they were acted on. So, the comment about ‘there’s too many of you lot’, I don’t think the four of us played a game together again. Whether that’s just banter or not is questionable really and a lot of times it is disguised as banter, but it’s quite simply not funny.”

Gillespie said Rafiq’s testimony had been “heartbreaking” and explained to him many of the problems he had witnessed in what he thought at the time had simply been a young cricketer wrestling with his game and the demands of professionalism. He now saw Rafiq’s Yorkshire career in a new and more unsettling light.

“When I saw this interview Azeem gives, that was quite confronting and quite heartbreaking for me as a coach, because some of those experiences happened when I was at the club,” Gillespie said. “A lot of those experiences happened when I wasn’t around, but still quite heartbreaking to listen to that.

“I remember there were a couple of times when I saw Azeem struggling, and I didn’t know there were these undertones of things going on regarding racism, because I remember Azeem, there were some issues with his cricket, but listening to that interview on Sky really opened up my eyes that there was a lot more to that period at the club when his game was suffering and he was battling off the field, and in turn there were battles on the field. Everything almost meshed together, and that’s why it was heartbreaking for me to watch that.”

Rafiq noted the complexity of the issue was shown by how the current England national team has proven itself to be a safe and welcome space for cricketers of colour, even as problems at county and club levels remain largely unaddressed in his view.

“The England team, and all due respect to them, knowing quite a few of them personally as well, I don’t know whether it’s happened by plan or by luck, but they don’t have this sort of issue in that dressing room, and that’s from speaking to a few friends of mine,” Rafiq said. “A couple of them say it’s the most comfortable they’ve felt playing cricket, they’re allowed to be themselves and they’re respected for their cultures, there’s no pressures on them to fit in in any way, shape or form.

“That comes from the leaders a lot, I think Eoin Morgan’s outstanding, I think Trevor Bayliss from what I’ve heard was really instrumental in that as well. But I think if you do strip it back, it’s just a rosy picture at the top currently. That’s not to say the England team hasn’t had this problem before and it won’t happen in the future.

“When you do ask the question, you get stuff thrown at you, like there were 50% in our academies from a south Asian background. You go into coaches I’m pretty sure it’s minimal, three out of 96 or something. There’s a lot of challenges you face when you go into that. It’s two cultures and you’re trying to fit in them both and you end up fitting in nowhere, but you shouldn’t have to. There should be a respect for everyone.”

The case of Andrew Symonds‘ racial abuse case in 2008 was among other issues discussed, and the Aboriginal activist Tamika Sadler pointed out that the toll of his premature loss from the international scene was to deprive Australians of colour of a rare non-white member of the national team to follow.

“I was only a young girl but that was the only person of colour, other than other international teams, that I would see that was on an Australian side, and as a young person growing up as well, Australia, we’re supposed to be so multicultural and multifaceted, yet why is there very few people of colour playing the sport,” she said. “Predominantly it is a very white privileged sport as well, and white society sport. When these situations happen, it can’t just be a situation and then nobody is learning from that, we can’t just keep having case study after case study, there has to be some action taken. It is up to clubs to take initiative with that as well.”

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