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  1. And what do you like the most about your favourite cricketer?
  2. Hello everyone, and mainly the cricket fans out here on InviteHawk, let's join the game. As the title says, it's to write cricketers name in alphabetical order. You have to write the full name, or least parts of the full name the player is known for. For example, you can write "Virat Kohli", which starts with V, and the next with W, e.g. Wanindu Hasaranga, but single names will not be accepted unless it is the official and only name of any cricketer. You cannot write only "Kohli" or only "Bradman".
  3. India 78; Hameed 60*, Burns 52*, England 120/0 James Anderson cast a swing-bowling spell over India's top order from which they couldn't recover Almost as if to make up for their horror final day at Lord's, England had the first day of their fantasies at Headingley. James Anderson cast a swing-bowling spell over the top order, reducing India to 21 for 3 in the 11th over, to immediately send the opposition into defence mode. Although Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane threatened, briefly, to rebuild, the supporting England seamers then came in and wiped out the last seven India wickets for 22 runs, to have them 78 all out - the third-lowest total India have ever made after choosing to bat first. When England bowled, conditions seemed exceedingly seamer-friendly, the pitch and the atmosphere allowing the ball to move just enough and late enough to get new batters nicking, rather than missing. But then when India's quicks had the ball, the surface appeared half-decent - even good - to bat on. Rohit - India's top-scorer - batted out 105 balls for his 19; Haseeb Hameed needed only 43 deliveries to get to the same score. Hameed later progressed to a half-century off his 110th delivery, before finishing on 60 not out. Rory Burns made an unbeaten 52. England finished the day with the match firmly in their grip. They had ten first-innings wickets still in hand, and were 42 runs ahead. Although Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Sam Curran, and the two England openers, imposed themselves at various points in the day, it was the maestro, Anderson, who set the tone. A dusting of grey hairs at his temple, and yet evermore skilful, he laid traps for KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara, which both batters could not resist. He bowled a string of inswingers at Rahul, all slightly short of a length, to get the batter playing back slightly, defending balls in front of his stumps. Then he snuck in a full delivery outside off, which seamed slightly away off the seam, to take Rahul's edge as he reached for it. A similar ploy worked for Pujara too. Although Pujara's was a poke rather than a big drive, the dismissal - edging an awayseamer to the wicketkeeper - was the same. For Kohli, Anderson plugged away in the channel, and then delivered a wobble-seam ball that pitched just outside off and moved away - Kohli venturing a big drive only to also be caught by Jos Buttler. He was out for 7 off 17, leaving India reeling while Rohit was attempting his best cave hermit impression - leaving, blocking, and dead-batting. Rohit and Rahane then threatened to right India's innings, batting out 15 overs together and putting on 35, but Rahane edging Robinson behind on the penultimate ball before lunch ended what turned out to be India's best partnership by far. James Anderson is pumped up after dismissing Virat Kohli once again After lunch, India careened into a chasm. Pant was out to Robinson - again nicking behind (this was Buttler's fifth catch out of five). A few overs later, Rohit's patience ran out and he tried to pull a short ball from Overton over the leg side, but managed only to bunt it to a catching mid-on. Next ball, Mohammed Shami was squared up, and he sent a catch to third slip. The following over, bowled by Curran, brought another double strike - Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah both out lbw, both pretty plumb. India lost four wickets while the score was 67, and were all out soon after, having slipped from 56 for 3. Perhaps India felt their bowlers would be able to replicate England's success in such conditions, particularly after their heroics on the final day at Lord's, but they began with far less discipline than the England attack had shown. Ishant Sharma, who opened the bowling ahead of Mohammed Siraj and Shami, was especially wayward, frequently straying into the batters' pads, and rarely finding movement on a line outside off stump. Bumrah was much better, and even drew an edge at one point that fell short, but was not especially menacing either. Hameed and Burns did not have to be particularly patient through the early overs, getting frequent enough deliveries that could be scored off, but were nevertheless solid when the good balls came as well. They were not beaten as often as India's batters were with the new ball. And they were more confident with their scoring strokes. Hameed was particularly severe on errors of line, dusting off an excellent cut shot repeatedly. Later, Burns hit the most memorable shot, however, thumping Siraj over deep square leg for the day's only six. Hameed got to his half-century with an edge through the outstretched hand of Rohit at second slip - the fielder getting some flesh to the tough chance, but unable to hold on. Burns, got to the milestone in the penultimate over of the day, punching the 123rd ball he faced through mid-on. Such was England's dominance on day one, India will probably need a dramatic session or several to get themselves back into the match.
  4. He can apply for a reassessment after modifying his bowling action, in accordance with ICC regulations Roy Kaia is also known for his batting abilities but hasn't scored too many runs of late An independent assessment has found Zimbabwe allrounder Roy Kaia's bowling action to be illegal, and he has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect. He can, however, bowl in domestic cricket with the consent of Zimbabwe Cricket. He can also apply for a reassessment after modifying his bowling action, in accordance with ICC regulations. "Kaia's international suspension will also be recognised and enforced by all National Cricket Federations for domestic cricket events played in their own jurisdiction," an ICC release said. "However, according to Article 11.5 of the Regulations and with the consent of Zimbabwe Cricket, Kaia may be able to bowl in domestic cricket events played under their auspices." Offspinner Kaia's bowling action was reported last month during the one-off Test against Bangladesh in Harare. He had bowled a combined 23 overs in the match without picking up a wicket. With the bat, he had bagged a pair in Zimbabwe's 220-run loss. The ICC release said an expert panel had reviewed the footage of Kaia's bowling action because "assessment at an ICC accredited centre was not possible due to various restrictions resulting from Covid-19". It added: "The panel concluded that his deliveries exceeding the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations and his bowling action was illegal." Kaia, 29, first played for Zimbabwe in an ODI in Pakistan in 2015, when he was picked more for his batting abilities. That remains his only appearance in while-ball cricket for the country. He made his Test debut earlier this year, also against Pakistan, and has played two more Tests since then. Since the Bangladesh Test in Harare last month, Kaia has played three competitive games - two one-dayers and one T20 - while representing Zimbabwe Emerging Players against Namibia Eagles. He went wicketless in all three games and managed scores of 6, 14 and 11.
  5. The team did not have the necessary approval and travel documentation required because of Covid-19 restrictions The next women's T20 World Cup will be played in South Africa in 2023 Turkey have withdrawn from the European qualifying competition for the women's T20 World Cup, with the ICC confirming "the necessary approval and travel documentation required due to Covid-19 restrictions for the team was not able to be secured from the Turkish sports ministry". The tournament starts tomorrow in Spain's La Manga, and will now be a five-team affair, featuring France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland. "It is with great regret that Turkey will not be taking part in the Europe qualifier at La Manga," Andy Wright, the ICC's regional development manager for Europe, said in a statement. "We have been in communication with the [Turkish] federation over the past month to provide any assistance to secure their arrival into Spain in time for the event and would like to thank the federation for their efforts in trying to secure the documentation. "We have worked closely with the remaining participating teams and the event will now be played as a five-team tournament. We are looking forward to seeing play getting underway tomorrow in what is still set to be a very competitive event." The next - eighth - edition of the women's T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played in South Africa; the tournament was originally slotted for late 2022, but has since been moved to February 2023. As the hosts, South Africa qualify directly for the tournament, and the seven other top-ranked teams will join them, with two more teams identified through qualifying events conducted around the world. Australia are the defending T20 world champions, having beaten India in the final of the 2020 edition at MCG.
  6. Injured fast bowler reiterates commitment to Test cricket despite recurrence of elbow injury Jofra Archer is out for the rest of the year Jofra Archer has admitted that a conversation with Tim Bresnan about his elbow injury made him feel nervous but he remains hopeful of a comeback in England's Test series in the Caribbean in March 2022. Bresnan, the seam-bowling allrounder who was part of the England side that went to No. 1 in the ICC's Test rankings in 2011, has suffered with elbow injuries throughout his career, undergoing surgery three times and struggling to regain his pace afterwards. Archer, writing in his Daily Mail column, said that the pair had spoken recently about their respective experiences. "Tim Bresnan had a similar problem, and we spoke about the issue which made me a bit nervous, I must admit," he said. "But I'm sure it will be fine in the long run, and I'm grateful that the injury doesn't stop me going about my daily business. It's not as if I'm limping around, or anything like that. "When I got the news that I'd be out for the rest of 2021 because I had suffered another stress fracture in my elbow, it was pretty tough to take. But I've always been of the view that everything happens for a reason, and the injury doesn't change the way I look at my career." Archer also insisted that he remains focused on resuming his Test career, rather than specialising in white-ball cricket. "I've said many times before that Test cricket is the most important format to me and nothing has changed in that respect," he said. "It's frustrating to be sitting out an important series against India, as well as not being to make the trip to Australia this winter - not to mention the Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE. "If I do end up with another stress fracture, I may have a different view on things as regards to my future. But for the moment, I'm still only 26 and I think my best years as a Test cricketer are ahead of me." Archer was officially ruled out "for the rest of the year" by the ECB at the start of August, following scans which revealed the recurrence of his stress fracture, but he suggested that he was unlikely to play any cricket until England's three-Test series against West Indies from March 8-28. "I don't want this thing hanging over me. I want to be out there again, taking wickets and helping win games for England," he said. "Having said that, I'm trying to be cautious about when I make my comeback, but I guess there's a chance I'll be ready in time for England's three-Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean in March. "But I can't make any promises, and I'll be seeing a specialist soon about the elbow."
  7. Fast bowler says they are "thankful" for the recent Australia series to plan for the T20Is against Bangladesh "We have four or five days of training to find out if our game plans will suit these types of wickets" New Zealand's record of one win in their last ten bilateral matches in Bangladesh will be their biggest motivating factor, according to quick bowler Hamish Bennett. The 34-year-old is an elder statesman in the squad as he is the only one in the touring party to have played in Bangladesh previously. Bennett, on his first tour since the pandemic, said that the lack of big names in the side was another source of motivation as everyone wanted to do well, particularly in the subcontinent. Bennett said that they are braced for a tough prospect after seeing the way Bangladesh dismantled Australia earlier this month in a 4-1 win in the T20Is. New Zealand, who arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday, are currently in a three-day room isolation before hitting the nets on Friday. They are set to play five T20Is starting September 1. "We have come together as a group and do a job for the country," Bennett said. "I have come to Bangladesh before and got beaten 4-0. We haven't had a lot of success here, so it is a huge motivating factor for us. We'd love to go back to New Zealand and say we won a series in Bangladesh, especially when you see what happened to Australia and other top teams who have struggled in Bangladesh. "It was fun and games [against the Australians]. I assume it will be the same. We are thankful for that Australia series to know how Bangladesh will approach us. But it is one thing knowing how they will approach us, and another thing playing in those conditions. We have four or five days of training to find out if our game plans will suit these types of wickets." New Zealand also received a big blow of Finn Allen testing positive two days after his early arrival in Dhaka. Allen is now in hotel isolation in Dhaka, and being taken care of by his team doctor. "We were gutted for him," Bennett said of Allen. "He had a big winter away, playing in the IPL, the Blast and the Hundred. Everyone was looking forward to his show of skills, so it is a real shame. Thankfully, he is feeling better in his isolation in the other side of the hotel. "He is upbeat though. He is in good health and good spirits. We will support him as much as we can. Once he is cleared, hopefully he can play a couple of games. I think everyone was prepared for someone to get Covid." The rest of the New Zealand squad arrived to nearly the same protocols that Australia had recently. They flew on a commercial flight, but were taken through the VIP terminal and straight to their hotel and didn't have to stand in any queues at either the airport or the hotel. "It was a tough long flight but getting off that plane, we were very fortunate that we are very well looked after," Bennett said. "I can't thank their cricket board and government enough for what they did, to get us as safe as possible. "The plans and process that BCB put in for us, has been amazing. They have done a superb job of minimising those risks." Bennett said he would be watching the England-India Test match at Headingley starting Wednesday, at the hotel. He also mentioned running into some WWE on the television. However, Ben Sears, one of two New Zealand squad members who played the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh five years ago, has his own plans. Bennett, who is known as a mentor to Sears, mentioned how the tearaway quick is expected to study for his law degree during most of his free time, apart from posing a real threat to the Bangladesh batters with his pace. "(Ben Sears) is loving the three-day isolation, because he loves to study," Bennett said. "He has his head in the books. I have never seen anyone so excited to be in two weeks of quarantine so that he can study without interruptions. Cricket could get in the way. "I expect him to run in and bowl fast. Conditions won't be ideal for that, but being aggressive and using change-up options as well."
  8. Ervine will be the fifth man to lead Zimbabwe in white-ball cricket since the start of 2020 This will be the first time Craig Ervine will captain Zimbabwe in white-ball cricket Craig Ervine will captain Zimbabwe for their limited-overs series in Ireland and Scotland. Zimbabwe had named the 18-member squad last week but hadn't named a captain. Ervine will be the fifth man to lead Zimbabwe in white-ball cricket since the start of 2020. During this period, they have tried Chamu Chibhabha, Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza and Test captain Sean Williams. This will be the first time Ervine will captain Zimbabwe in white-ball cricket. He has previously led the side in a Test match, against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2020. Ervine, who has played 18 Tests, 96 ODIs and 26 T20Is for Zimbabwe, had missed out on all three formats against Bangladesh after coming into contact with people who tested positive for Covid-19. Zimbabwe are scheduled to play a five-match T20I series against Ireland, starting on August 27, followed by a three-match ODI series. The tour was originally scheduled to begin on August 6 but was postponed because of complications around Covid-19 protocols. The ODIs will be part of the World Cup Super League. With one win from six matches, Zimbabwe are currently at the bottom of the World Cup Super League points table, while Ireland are a bit better placed with three wins and a no result from 12 games. After their matches against Ireland, Zimbabwe will travel to Scotland to play three T20Is. Zimbabwe squad for Ireland and Scotland tours: Craig Ervine (capt), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wellington Masakadza, Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Dion Myers, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams
  9. Nkwe's disillusionment with the role and differences in opinion with head coach Mark Boucher are said to have contributed to his decision Enoch Nkwe won't travel to Sri Lanka for South Africa's next assignment Enoch Nkwe has resigned as assistant coach of the South African men's team despite Cricket South Africa's (CSA's) board making what they called "every effort" to retain his services. Nkwe informed the board that he intended to resign at the weekend with the news made public on Monday, when CSA held emergency talks with him to persuade him to stay on. Further dialogue was had on Tuesday, ending with Nkwe stepping down. "It is deeply disappointing to lose someone of Enoch's calibre at this time, but we fully understand and respect his decision," Lawson Naidoo, CSA's chair said. While part of the reason for Nkwe's stepping down was put down to personal ambitions, CSA also cited "concerns about the functioning and culture of the team environment." ESPNcricinfo has learnt Nkwe's decision to step down resulted from a disillusionment with the job of assistant coach and differences of opinion with head coach Mark Boucher, but the issues were not related to race. Several sources close to both Nkwe and Boucher confirmed that the pair's personalities were incompatible and Boucher's strong presence as a coach left Nkwe feeling sidelined. At the same time, Nkwe also wanted to have less of a role at training sessions and more input into the technical aspects of the game. "The Board will be taking the necessary steps to investigate and address the issues raised by Enoch. We will not be commenting further on this until the process has been completed," CSA said. Although CSA left the door open for Nkwe's return at a future stage, it is also unclear whether he will remain part of the succession plan to take over from Boucher after the 2023 World Cup. Sources have also confirmed that Boucher's position, after he apologised in creating and maintaining an exclusionary team culture during his playing days, remains safe. CSA's board chair and acting CEO visited the team's training camp, where they held what sources called "productive" meetings with team management. The support staff for the Sri Lanka tour includes Northerns coach Mandla Mashimbyi, who will accompany Boucher, Justin Ontong (fielding) and Justin Sammons (new batting consultant), but is without regular bowling coach Charl Langeveldt, who cannot travel because of Covid-19 protocols. The South Africa contingent is expected to leave for Sri Lanka on Wednesday, and captain Temba Bavuma will lead a slightly depleted ODI side, without Quinton de Kock (rested), David Miller (injured) and Lungi Ngidi (personal reasons).
  10. He is experiencing moderate symptoms and is serving quarantine at the team hotel Finn Allen had featured in the Vitality Blast and the Hundred in England New Zealand opener Finn Allen has tested positive for Covid-19, two days after arriving in Dhaka. Allen and allrounder Colin de Grandhomme had arrived early in Bangladesh, on August 20, after completing their stints in the inaugural Hundred competition in England. The rest of the New Zealand contingent arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday afternoon. Allen, who is fully vaccinated, according to the NZC, is experiencing moderate symptoms and is serving quarantine at the team hotel in Dhaka. The BCB's chief medical officer Dr Debashish Chowdhury, who has been in touch with the NZ chief medical officer, had given Allen treatment. During his isolation, Allen will be monitored by the New Zealand team doctor Pat McHugh. He will get clearance to rejoin the team only after returning negative tests on consecutive days. New Zealand manager Mike Sandle said that Allen flew from the Heathrow airport on an Emirates flight and that team officials had notified the airline of his circumstances, as well as being in contact with his family in New Zealand. "It's really unfortunate for Finn," Sandle said. "He's comfortable at the moment and hopefully he'll recover quickly; test negative and be cleared and approved for discharge as soon as possible. The Bangladesh cricket authorities have been extremely professional in their response and we're grateful to them for that. They're treating the matter very seriously." The rest of the New Zealand touring party will start training from August 27, after three days of quarantine at their team hotel in Dhaka. Bangladesh is currently experiencing a downward trend in the number of Covid cases over the last week. Compared to the first 15 days in August, the last week has seen a 34% dip in new cases, and 27% fall in Covid-related deaths. Meanwhile, Lockie Ferguson has also tested positive, in the UK, and as a result he will miss Yorkshire's Vitality Blast quarter-final against Sussex on Tuesday.
  11. Shaheen Afridi, Nauman Ali bowl Pakistan to series-levelling win Afridi takes ten for the match as West Indies fold in the final session Shaheen Afridi was named Player of the Series for his 18 wickets 2005, 2011 and 2021. Three two-match series in a row West Indies took the lead at home, only for Pakistan to drag them back to parity. Rain, wet outfield, poor light all conspired to try and deny Babar Azam's side triumph in this Test, but Pakistan's positive approach and relentlessness in pursuit of a result was rewarded with a hugely gratifying 109-run win. Shaheen Afridi was the hero, finishing with a match haul of 10 wickets as West Indies folded against a well-rounded attack. It meant they will have to wait a few more years to record a first Test series win over Pakistan since 2001. At the start of the day, Pakistan needed nine wickets, West Indies 280 runs. For a brief while on the fourth evening, Pakistan were slightly jittery in the face of West Indian resistance. It remained that way for a brief spell on the final morning, as Alzarri Joseph and Kraigg Brathwaite kept the bowlers at bay. Each struck a boundary to get the the score rolling, and with the ball losing its shine, West Indies appeared to be making progress. But once Afridi bounced Joseph out, the innings changed colour. Hasan Ali hadn't enjoyed a particularly memorable series until Tuesday, but it took just one ball to make an impact towards levelling the series. Nkrumah Bonner played down the wrong line and was struck dead in front; Hasan didn't even bother to appeal as he set off to celebrate. The umpire made Pakistan review, but there was no redemption for Bonner. Faheem Ashraf at the other end should have seen off Brathwaite, but while one Pakistan opener simply cannot drop a catch in the slips, Brathwaite's outside edge looped to the other one. Abid Ali put down a dolly, perhaps illustrating why Imran Butt had dived so spectacularly in front of him in the first Test. To rub the point home further, when Roston Chase offered up a chance the following over, Butt dived adroitly to his right as Pakistan had another wicket. Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood have been West Indies' brightest batting sparks this tour, and for more than an hour, they kept Pakistan waiting for another breakthrough. It came from an unlikely source - their left-arm spinner Nauman Ali - who flighted the ball to draw the batter forward and induce an outside edge to the keeper. Brathwaite appeared to be the focal point of resistance when the middle session began but a rare loose shot a few overs in allowed Pakistan to chisel their way into the lower order. A loose, uppish slash to point found Fawad Alam, and Pakistan were sniffing at the prospect of finishing the game off before tea. But Kyle Mayers, who was yet to score a run this series before, found a bit of rhythm, and alongside Jason Holder, began to hunker down. The runs came from time to time, but they weren't a priority, and as Nauman's effectiveness wavered while the quicks tired, West Indies were raising local hopes of taking the game deep and infusing concern among the fielding side. Abid's butterfingers didn't help, the opener putting down his second catch of the day, this time a routine grab at short leg after an inside edge from Mayers. It was down to Afridi - who else? - to give Pakistan a lift, coming with an exquisite off-stump delivery that shaped away from the left-handed Mayers. The batter went for an expansive drive, only to see it take a feather off the outside edge, triggering relieved Pakistani celebrations. You wouldn't have blamed Pakistan for believing they were on the cusp of a series-levelling win, but the heavens chose that moment to open, and within moments, it had gone from bright sunshine to an absolute downpour. Holder jogged back off alongside the dismissed Mayers, while Babar followed in his wake, remonstrating with the umpires; after the drama around the wet outfield, thoughts must invariably have turned to a victory snatched from under his side's noses. But it was only a cloudburst, to Pakistan's relief and an early tea later, back out they came. The darkening skies added dramatic flair to the occasion, and for a while Holder made hay while the sun didn't shine. He targeted both quick and slow bowlers alike, and rode his luck on occasion, no more so than when Afridi failed to gobble up a chance on the boundary. Butt aside, Pakistan's lacklustre fielding was thematically consistent, and with no clear notion of when time might run out, there was always the danger it could cost them once more. But with Babar having turned to the spinners to rush through till the new ball became available, Holder's extravagance got the better of him. He had pierced Nauman through the covers the previous delivery, but three runs shy of a half-century found Alam at cover the next ball. From that point on, Afridi took over with the new ball, summarily removing Kemar Roach and Joshua Da Silva to close the game. Test cricket in these two nations might have been set back over the past few decades, but over yet another humdinger of a series, there was nothing to separate West Indies and Pakistan once more.
  12. Afridi, Abbas give Pakistan a shot at 1-1 scoreline West Indies start solidly in their steep chase as a thrilling final day looms Shaheen Afridi followed up two four-fours in the first Test with a six-for in the second The weather on day two and the farce around a damp patch near the pitch on the following day brought out the worst of Test cricket. But on day four, chasing a game to salvage the series and precious World Test Championship points, Pakistan ensured we saw the best of the grand old format, too. Shaheen Afridi, among the brightest stars in world cricket, lit up the contest with a career-best six-wicket haul in the first innings, rolling what was left of the West Indies first innings over in a little more than a session. It allowed Pakistan a lead of 152, and permission to put on their T20 boots as they hurtled to 176 in 27.3 overs, ensuring West Indies would bat for 18 overs. They must now prevent Pakistan from taking nine wickets on Tuesday if they are to cling on to the series. West Indies, mind you, need 280 more runs for a clean sweep, but on the evidence of events on Monday, it seems a tough ask. The elements seemed to have conspired to lead this game down the cul-de-sac of a pointless draw, but emboldened by having nothing to lose, Pakistan made it engrossing viewing. Afridi made short work of nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph in the morning, drawing a meaty outside edge that Babar Azam snaffled at third slip. The spell that followed was perhaps Pakistan's most wayward, with Afridi, in particular, going too far down the leg side as he tried to exploit the angle into the right-hander. Mohammad Abbas prowled and menaced, but through a combination of Jermaine Blackwood's flamboyance and Nkrumah Bonner's steel, West Indies were finding a way. Hasan Ali went after the stumps, too, perhaps to exploit Bonner's tendency to get out bowled or lbw, his mode of dismissal in six of his nine Test dismissals. But it gave away easy runs to fine leg and the pair soon brought up the 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket. At that point, it appeared to be the hosts' session. Abbas changed all that in two deliveries. Not exactly two, because he had worked on softening Bonner up with inswinging deliveries before moving one away that kissed the outside edge. Kyle Mayers, yet to score a run this series, saw his wait extended by another innings after Abbas went around the wicket and induced him to poke at one. West Indies were suddenly six down and Afridi was steaming in, enjoying a second wind. He went short to Blackwood, and even though the batter pulled him away for four once, he kept plugging away. A beast of a bouncer threatened to lodge up the batter's nostrils, and as Blackwood desperately fended it off, it flew up towards gully. Fawad Alam took an excellent catch as he leapt to his right, and both set batters had departed. Jason Holder's exuberance saw Abbas targeted early after lunch, going for two fours and a six off his first seven deliveries. But it was only a matter of time before Afridi got rid of him, the batter coaxed into playing a loose drive that only took a feather off his outside edge. Azam held on to a sharp chance at midwicket to give Afridi his six-for, and Pakistan sprinted out to bat with a spring in their step. Fawad Alam plucked a stunner at gully Abid Ali and Imran Butt have had difficult tours, but neither worried too much about their personal numbers in the manner they approached the innings. Recognising that time in this Test remains a precious commodity, they got Pakistan off to a flyer, with Abid setting the tone by smashing three boundaries off his first four balls. West Indies, until now impressively consistent with the ball, didn't help themselves, allowing four byes and as many leg-byes inside the first three overs as the run rate shot up to nine. West Indies are at their best when attacking the batters, but Pakistan's fast start put them in defensive mode. Jayden Seales went for three more boundaries in his third over, and as negative, wide-line bowling seeped into the hosts' game, Pakistan continued to press the issue. The openers and Azhar Ali fell before lunch in pursuit of quick runs, but it didn't stop Pakistan from bringing up the hundred in the 17th over on the stroke of tea. Not that the break offered the hosts any respite. Pakistan continued to go hell for leather as West Indies receded further into defensive, negative tactics. It prompted the umpires to clamp down on wide bowling, but the runs were still flowing freely. Hasan was sent up to bash a few, and Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf all joined the fun. When the captain Azam holed out, though, he decided enough was enough, and gave West Indies the last 90 minutes of the day to survive. West Indies' top order resistance came to the party for the first time, seeing off the new ball. Abbas and Afridi weren't quite at their spellbinding first-innings best, but Pakistan would still have wanted to break through into the middle order quickly. But Kraigg Brathwaite left everything that wasn't on the stumps and kept out the rest, while Kieran Powell, fighting for his place in the side, took a cue from his captain and turned out his most assured performance of the series. He would survive for more than an hour in hostile conditions, but no one will ever really remember that for how it ended. A classy cover drive from Brathwaite meant an easy three was on, and while Brathwaite jogged through to the non-striker's end, Powell was equally blasΓ© at the end the ball was thrown to. Afridi's lob was headed directly for the stumps, and Rizwan, recognising that, let it go. Powell didn't bother to ground his bat, and a West Indies partnership Pakistan were struggling to break dissolved all by itself. Unlike Sunday, however, there were no further wickets to fall. Nightwatchman Joseph ended the day as he started it, batting to keep his side in the game, and alongside his captain, lived to fight another day.
  13. The allrounder is doubtful for Jamaica Tallawahs' opening match on Friday Carlos Brathwaite is waiting to find out when he can leave isolation Carlos Brathwaite has been forced into isolation and is in doubt for Jamaica Tallawahs' opening match of the Caribbean Premier League on Friday after a positive Covid-19 case was reported on his flight from the UK to St Kitts and Nevis. Brathwaite travelled from Manchester to Basseterre ahead of the CPL after captaining Manchester Originals in the Hundred. A fellow passenger tested positive for Covid-19 and he was told to isolate until further notice. "My tests have been negative as far as I know," Brathwaite said. "We've been asked to be in quarantine. I still don't know the full extent of it. I've just been told I need to continue to quarantine as opposed to being allowed to walk around the hotel as was initially allowed. So I'm just as much in the dark as you are, unfortunately." Speaking from his hotel room following the announcement that he re-signed with Sydney Sixers for the upcoming BBL season later in the year, the allrounder said he was unsure whether he would be available for the Tallawahs' opening clash with Saint Lucia Kings on Friday. "Not sure," Brathwaite said. "I haven't actually received anything official yet to know when day one is and how many days of quarantine, etc. So yeah, I'm just skipping in my room and doing sit-ups and hoping to be at least physically ready to go if I can." Brathwaite was retained by Tallawahs along with Andre Russell after they were knocked out in last season's semi-final by eventual champions Trinbago Knight Riders. He believes Knight Riders won't have it all their own way this season. "The tournament is going to be interesting," Brathwaite said. "I don't think it will be an undefeated run to the finals as Trinidad had last year. I think it will be a little closer. I think all the teams are more evenly matched." Brathwaite said runs from the top order will be key to Tallawahs' chances given the quality of the allrounders and spin-bowling. "I feel as though we have a few potential match-winners. Myself, Russell, Rovman Powell obviously in the middle. Our spin attack, we've lost Mujeeb and we've lost Sandeep but we have Qais Ahmad, Veerasammy Permaul, and Chris Green. So when you look at it that's a real balanced spin attack, left-arm orthodox, right-arm offspinner, leg-break bowler. "I think we just need to get some runs at the top of the ordr and middle order to provide a good platform. I think too many times last year we were 30 for 3, 40 for 4 and we didn't really have a good platform to go on and get big scores. "So this year, setting a good platform and if we add the firepower that I know myself, Russell and Rovman can give, added with the spin stocks that we have and the whole bowling unit actually, I think we'll do well."
  14. Head coach Andy Flower also expects Keemo Paul and Obed McCoy to be available for their first game Faf du Plessis last played a game in early June St Lucia Kings head coach Andy Flower has hinted that Faf du Plessis is set to return to action in the franchise's CPL opener against Jamaica Tallawahs on August 27. du Plessis had been sidelined from the entire Hundred competition after having not adequately recovered from the concussion that had forced him to miss a chunk of the PSL as well. "He's had his own personal fitness challenges just recently with his concussion issues," Flower said during a virtual media interaction. "But he's on a back-to-play programme that should see him ready for our first match. We hope and pray that he's obviously fit for his own good but also for ours. There's no 100% guarantee about that, but that's what we're planning for. " du Plessis had suffered the initial concussion when his head collided with his Quetta Gladiators team-mate Mohammad Hasnain's knee during a game against Peshawar Zalmi at the PSL in Abu Dhabi in June. The injury subseqeuently put him out of the remainder of the tournament and he returned to South Africa shortly after, and then travelled to Croatia to quarantine ahead of the Hundred. du Plessis was originally scheduled to captain Northern Superchargers, before Ben Stokes and David Willey took over the responsibilities. du Plessis will now lead St Lucia Kings in the Caribbean before reuniting with Chennai Super Kings in the second leg of the IPL, which will restart four days after the CPL ends on September 15. He was in particularly strong form in the first leg of the IPL, rattling off 320 runs in seven innings at an average of 64 and strike rate of 145.45. Seam-bowling allrounder Keemo Paul, who has moved from Guyana Amazon Warriors, and left-arm seamer Obed McCoy are also fitness concerns for Kings. Paul has not been in contention for West Indies selection after suffering a groin injury last year; he hasn't played any competitive cricket since the BBL last December. As for McCoy, he was pulled out of the West Indies squad for the last two T20Is against Australia in July after suffering a niggle. Flower also expected the pair to be available for Kings' first game on Friday. "I'm yet to meet up with him [Paul] and yet to get a very clear update on his fitness, but he's going to play a part in the tournament and there's no doubt about that," Flower said. "And I expect him to play some match-turning performances as well. Again, I'm yet to catch up with Obed and our physio will be coming in with the [Test] contingent this evening from the second Test match... I anticipate Keemo Paul and Obed being fit for the first match." The Kings' new recruit Samit Patel, however, will not be available for the start of the CPL. The England and Trent Rockets allrounder will only link up with them after playing in the Vitality Blast knockouts for Nottinghamshire.
  15. The Afghanistan team will travel later this week and the dates of the matches will remain the same The the two boards are yet to announce the new venues for the series Afghanistan's three-match ODI series against Pakistan has been moved from Hambantota to Pakistan because of logistical challenges in the Afghanistan team's travel, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) CEO Hamid Shinwari confirmed to ESPNcricinfo. No commercial flights are taking off from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of the country and Sri Lanka announced a 10-day lockdown on Friday, two days after the country reported 3793 new cases and a highest-ever single-day death toll of 187. The Afghanistan contingent was supposed to travel by road to Pakistan, then fly to Dubai, and then on to Colombo for the series, but the circuitous route is throwing up logistical challenges because of the Covid-19 protocols. The Afghanistan team will now travel to Pakistan later this week and the PCB is yet to announce the venue(s) for the ODIs starting September 3. More to follow...
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  16. Boucher available for one-on-one discussions with any former team-mates that he has offended Boucher expanded on allegations made by Paul Adams too Mark Boucher, South Africa's head coach, has admitted that the national team culture in his playing days was exclusionary and offensive but blamed it on a lack of "maturity and consciousness," and apologised for his role in othering team-mates. He said he is committed to creating a more inclusive space going forward. Boucher submitted a 14-page affidavit to Cricket South Africa's Social Justice and Nation-Building committee with a "general response," to allegations against him of racial discrimination and intends to submit a second supplementary affidavit dealing with specific issues at the conclusion of the hearings. He has also made himself available for one-on-one discussions with any former team-mates that he has offended. However, Boucher did expand on the allegations made by Paul Adams, who told the SJN he was nicknamed brown s*** by his team-mates in the late 1990s, which included Boucher. While Boucher, "can categorically say that did not give Mr Adams the name 'brown s***' and "does not know who gave him the name," he conceded that he was part of a group of players that sang a song in which Adams' was called "brown s***" at fines' meetings and that some of what took place at those post-match celebrations was "totally inappropriate, unacceptable and in retrospect, understandably offensive." Boucher said he "deeply regrets and apologies for the part I played in joining in with my team-mates in singing offensive songs or using offensive nicknames." More to follow...
  17. "I'd be lying if I said it didn't have an impact on us as a team as many members have been named in the testimonies." Mark Boucher is expected to make a public statement about the SJN proceedings South Africa head coach Mark Boucher has addressed the national team to explain the accusations made against him by former team-mates at the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings. Boucher, along with other players from the 1990s and early 2000s, has been named in several testimonies alleging racial discrimination and an exclusionary team culture and has provided the SJN with a written response. He is also expected to make a public statement and has already explained himself to the team, who have been affected by the SJN proceedings. "I'd be lying if I said it didn't have an impact on us as a team. It's publicly known that members of the team have been named in the testimonies. Our coach, Mark Boucher has addressed us as a team, speaking to the accusations against him," Temba Bavuma, South Africa's white-ball captain, said. "He provided clarity and context and it was more about keeping the guys in his confidence and comfort. As much as we operate as a team and we try to control everything that is in our circle, those matters do come within the team and it's important that we deal with it internally and ask whatever hard questions that we need to ask of each other to make sure we can keep growing within the team." Bavuma said members of the current squad support the SJN initiative and hope to use what they have heard to ensure the divisiveness of the past is not repeated. "The large majority of the guys welcome the initiative of the SJN and understand its necessity in terms of allowing current and former guys to speak about their experiences in the past and for us effectively to be ale to learn from those experiences and those mistakes by certain individuals which can help us pave the way forward," Bavuma said. "That's what we've taken out of it as players. As players now, in this era, we have got an opportunity to shape the environment, to shape the team, in the way that we would like so that down the line we don't look back and say we could have done things in a different way. Most of the guys are following the SJN and we look forward to the good of it that is happening." The SJN will continue throughout South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka, with those who have been adversely implicated due to respond in the coming weeks. Chief among the allegations are that of an overpowering clique of white players and a toxic team culture, which the likes of Roger Telemachus, Paul Adams, Loots Bosman and Ashwell Prince, all spoke about. While Bavuma acknowledged that a poor culture may have existed before, he said the South African team is much more unified now and also more welcoming to new players. "In 2021, things are very different to the early 2000s. - whether you look at it from an exclusivity point of view or whether you look at it in terms of guys walking into the team and feeing a lot more comfortable," he said. "I can think of when I joined the team in around 2014 or so, it wasn't a big struggle. I would really really like to think that things are different now than they were in the past. In saying that, there is always good in looking at the past and seeing how best we can do things." Bavuma said the team would continue to keep a close eye on SJN proceedings, which will conclude when the ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza submits his report with recommendations for the future to CSA, and will use what they have heard to continue to work on a team culture of inclusion. "I think the biggest take for me is that you want to create an environment that allows guys to have a strong sense of belonging; that allows guys to be themselves and to express themselves," Bavuma said. "I think there has to be that acceptance. We all have different backgrounds which in turn shapes our perspectives. "I think being able to put all of that together and have a space where guys can express themselves and their beliefs is something I'd like to leave behind within this team. It starts with having those hard conversations, [regardless of] whether those conversations stem from happenings from outside of the team. We are having those hard conversations as a team. We are putting each in uncomfortable spaces and positions of vulnerability. Not so that we can expose each other, but just to find a better way going forward."
  18. Despite testing negative, duo ruled out due to Sri Lanka's Covid protocols; Sipamla replaces Dala in squad Junior Dala was tested positive for Covid-19 a few weeks ago South Africa's bowling coach Charl Langeveldt and seamer Junior Dala will not travel with the team for their white-ball series against Sri Lanka after testing positive for Covid-19 a few weeks ago. Though the pair have both subsequently returned negative results, the Sri Lankan government requires anyone entering the country to have not tested positive at least 21 days prior to arrival in the country, which has ruled them out of making the trip. Lutho Sipamla, who has played five ODIs and nine T20Is for South Africa, replaces Dala in the squad while Northerns' coach Mandla Mashimbyi will stand in for Langeveldt. Mashimbyi also travelled with the South African team to the Caribbean recently, where he replaced assistant coach Enoch Nkwe for the Test leg of the tour, after Nkwe had to attend to personal matters. South Africa will also be travelling with a batting consultant for the first time since Jacques Kallis was part of the set-up in the 2019-20 season. Justin Sammons, who has worked as batting coach of the Lions franchise, and has also previously worked with Zimbabwe, is part of the touring party. That means batting lead Neil McKenzie, whose task is to oversee batting across both men's and women's national teams, in the high-performance structure, and at age-group levels, will not be travelling to Sri Lanka. The squad leaves for three ODIs and three T20s, all to be played in Colombo, on Wednesday with the first ODI scheduled for next week Thursday. South Africa are without Quinton de Kock (rested), Lungi Ngidi (personal reasons) and David Miller (hamstring injury) for the ODI leg of the tour but the trio are set to return for the T20Is. Sri Lanka announced a 10-day nationwide lockdown beginning on Friday night to contain the spread of Covid-19 after the country witnessed a surge in cases. This means South Africa will have increased protocols from the Pakistan tour earlier this year.
  19. "He can be very emotional. It's probably his one downside, his greatest weakness is his emotion" Usman Khawaja has said that Justin Langer's emotional swings are his "great weakness" but he will feel like the players are "stabbing him in the back" after a dramatic week where the coach's position came under even greater scrutiny. Tensions between Langer and his players came to a head with Cricket Australia holding emergency talks between senior executives and players to try and map a way forward ahead of the T20 World Cup and Ashes. It appeared agreement had been reached for everyone to work together, at least until Langer's contract expires next year, but events have shed light on the fraught atmosphere within the squad. "How do you think JL feels? He probably feels like the guys in the team are stabbing him in the back and that's what it looks like and that's why it's so disappointing," Khawaja said on his YouTube channel. "It's actually a really bad look. This is something the group needs to sort out ASAP. "It's not always the coaches. The guys aren't performing, the players need to take ownership at some stage. It's not one person so there needs to be some sort of perspective put around this. "He [Langer] is a very passionate person. Loves Australian cricket, wants the best for everyone, wants to only succeed. He's driven by winning, driven by winning the right way and all the things he brought after sandpapergate were focused on those things. Usman Khawaja on Justin Langer: 'People thought I got dropped because I stood up to him, it's actually the opposite, I actually got closer' "One thing that keeps coming up is his emotions. Yes, the man wears his heart on his sleeve. He can be very emotional. It's probably his one downside, his greatest weakness is his emotion. He rides the highs and rides the lows but it's only because he is passionate. Unfortunately, it's probably the one thing that's letting him down the most but it comes from a very good place. He knows it, he knows he needs to improve, he's said it in the media, I've chatted to him." The relationship between Khawaja and Langer was one of the centerpieces of The Test documentary on Amazon which followed the men's team in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in 2018 and 2019. Early on in Langer's tenure, Khawaja spoke out about how the squad was intimidated by him and "walking on eggshells." Khawaja was dropped from the side midway through the 2019 Ashes but said that he was able to build a stronger relationship with Langer after speaking his mind. "People have seen the Amazon Test series, Uzzie is out of the team because of Justin Langer - let me stop it right there, my relationship with Justin Langer is really good," he said. "I still talk to him, still text him till this day because we have a lot of respect for each other. "People thought I got dropped because I stood up to him, it's actually the opposite, I actually got closer - he gained my respect and I gained his because we had some really honest and open conversations."
  20. Wood sustained the injury while diving to save a boundary on the fourth day of the second Test at Lord's Mark Wood did some damage to his shoulder while diving to field a ball Mark Wood has become the latest fast bowler ruled out of England's third Test against India due to a jarred right shoulder. Wood sustained the injury while diving to save a boundary on the fourth day of the second Test at Lord's, and was only fit to bowl four overs on the final day. He will remain with the squad in Leeds and continue his rehab with England's medical team. England have not called up an extra fast bowler as cover. As a result, Wood's injury is likely to open up the possibility of a Test debut for Saqib Mahmood, with Craig Overton also in contention. James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Sam Curran are the other seamers in the squad. England pace injuries Wood is the fifth England seamer ruled out of the third Test through injury, following Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Olly Stone and Chris Woakes, while Ben Stokes remains unavailable after taking a break from the game to focus on his mental health. Archer, Broad and Stone are all out for the series, but Woakes could play some part after being named in Warwickshire's second XI squad to play Worcestershire at New Road. An England statement said that Wood would be assessed further at the end of the third Test.
  21. The appointment is the first major cricketing development in the country since the Taliban's takeover New ACB chairman Azizullah Fazli (left) shakes hands with CEO Hamid Shinwari Azizullah Fazli is the new chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board. His appointment is the first major cricketing development in the country since the Taliban's takeover of the political reins following the withdrawal of western troops and the collapse of the elected government. Fazli has already served one term as ACB chairman, from his appointment in September 2018 - following the resignation of Atif Mashal - until July 2019, when he was replaced by Farhan Yusufzai following Afghanistan's bottom-place finish at the 2019 World Cup in England. Fazli's return to the chairman's post came after the Taliban held a meeting with ACB officials on Sunday. Fazli has been associated with Afghanistan cricket for close to two decades, and was among the early group of players who established the game in the country. He has also served as the ACB's vice-chairman and adviser in the past, and has been involved in running the country's domestic and regional set-up. Fazli's immediate task will be to see that Afghanistan's upcoming ODI series against Pakistan in Sri Lanka goes ahead in the face of numerous hurdles. With commercial flights from the Kabul airport yet to resume following the Taliban's takeover, the ACB's contingency plan for Afghanistan's players is for them to travel by road to Pakistan and fly out to Sri Lanka from there. The series could also be affected by the 10-day lockdown that has been imposed all across Sri Lanka in the face of rising Covid-19 cases in the country.
  22. Fawad Alam 124*, bowlers give Pakistan control The Test has sprung to life despite four sessions being taken away by weather and poor ground conditions Fawad Alam's century carried Pakistan Pakistan found themselves on top at the end of day three thanks to Fawad Alam's unbeaten 124, but they have both the opposition and time to beat if they are to level this series. Things went reasonably enough to plan for Babar Azam's men in the 53.2 overs that were possible, with West Indies' top order desperately engaged in damage limitation against Mohammad Abbas and Shaheen Afridi at twilight. The openers and Roston Chase were already back in the pavilion, with the hosts trailing by a further 263 runs with two days to go. The West Indian innings might have spanned merely 18 overs on Sunday, but felt like it would be the defining period. Pakistan had to press the issue as they look to level the series, and a solid passage of play here for the hosts might well have dealt a decisive blow to those hopes. Kieran Powell has been out of form for a while now, and when he offered his front pad to an Afridi delivery that looked like it had been programmed to hit middle stump, it was little surprise. Kraigg Brathwaite's dismissal felt like a bigger moment, the West Indies captain playing all around a textbook left-arm inswinger that crashed into his stumps. West Indies were down two wickets for nine, and there was still an hour to go. These were dream bowling conditions for Abbas, and a blank wickets column should not detract from his devastating ability. The subtle seam movement that threatens both edges of the bat was on full display; at times the batters looked as at sea about the direction of travel as they might to a well-disguised googly. There were thick edges through the slips, stifled lbw appeals, and just brilliant intensity when he had ball in hand. That Chase and Nkrumah Bonner found a way to hang on seemed like it might be vital, but Abbas had softened Chase up for Faheem Ashraf. It was the sort of dismissal Abbas might be proud of, with a length ball shaping back in off the seam, keeping a shade low and ripping past a bat Chase could not get down in time. Under rapidly deteriorating light, Alzarri Joseph was sent out to be the nightwatchman, and managed to stave off further damage to his side. The first session was lost despite bright sunshine Despite bright sunshine on a day where 98 overs were originally scheduled to be bowled, only eight balls were possible before lunch had to be taken. A wet patch around the bowler's run-up at the Michael Holding end was the culprit, with Jason Holder bowling only two balls from that end before asking for the umpires to get involved. Lengthy discussions that involved the captains, coaches, umpires and match referee followed, before officials decided to break for lunch early. The middle session was at times as soporific as the weather delays over the past four sessions had been, with just six runs scored in the day's first ten overs. Mohammad Rizwan and Ashraf eventually brought up the 50-run partnership, but were, in truth, going nowhere, even though Pakistan needed to force a result. Much of that was thanks to regimentally disciplined bowling, with the quick bowlers allowing few run-scoring opportunities. Those wicket-to-wicket lines paid off, with both men dismissed lbw. Ashraf was the first to go, leaving a gap between bat and pad that Seales honed in on, while Rizwan moved too far across to Holder and caught himself stuck in front. Nauman Ali was dispatched for a first ball duck, and suddenly Holder found himself on a hat-trick, while West Indies sniffed a collapse. The man of the day for Pakistan, though, was indisputably Alam, who continued to make a mockery of his decade-long exclusion from the national side with his fourth hundred this year. He had come back on after retiring hurt on the first day, and following the flurry of wickets at the other end, realised it was time to kick on. A flick of the wrists that brought him four broke the shackles, and he found himself inching towards three figures. A pull to midwicket took him to the landmark, and as the dressing room rose as one, Alam raised his bat; he had overseen a Pakistan fightback in the session and ensured they ended the innings on their terms. After tea, he kicked on in an entertaining 35-run stand with a cavalier Afridi, and when the No. 10 fell, Babar called his players back in. It felt only right that Alam went in undefeated, and, ever the team man, might have set Pakistan up for a remarkable series-salvaging win in the time that remains.
  23. With Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer also absent, the Royals are without all three of their England stars Glenn Phillips holds the New Zealand record for the fastest T20I century The Rajasthan Royals have signed New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Glenn Phillips as a replacement for Jos Buttler for the second half of IPL 2021. The development comes with Buttler opting out of the remainder of the season due to the impending birth of his second child. Phillips, who is currently with the Barbados Royals in the CPL, which begins next week in the West Indies, is scheduled to join the Royals squad in the UAE on September 19. Apart from having played 25 T20Is for his country and having participated in the CPL, he has also had stints in England's Vitality Blast as well as the Hundred. Last November, Phillips hammered a 46-ball century against West Indies in Mount Maunganui, breaking Colin Munro's record for the fastest ton by a New Zealand batter in T20Is. Aside from that, he has also cracked three other centuries in T20 cricket - two for Auckland and one for the Jamaica Tallawahs. Phillips' 506 T20I runs have come at a strike rate of 149.70, with the majority of his innings having come outside the top three. With Buttler's absence, the Royals will be without all three of their England stars, with Jofra Archer's elbow fracture ruling him out of all cricket for the rest of the year, and Ben Stokes taking a break from the game for mental-health reasons. The Royals will certainly miss Buttler, who had scored 254 runs at a strike rate of 153.01, including 124 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, before the IPL season came to a halt midway through. The Royals, who are placed fifth in the points table, resume their IPL 2021 campaign against the Punjab Kings on September 21.
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