Top Stories: Things that made news in the cricket world today

Here are the top cricket headlines of the day.

Dane van Niekerk South Africa
Dane van Niekerk, Captain of South Africa. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Ajinkya Rahane’s role in Indian team needs to be defined: Sourav Ganguly

  • A lynchpin in the Indian batting line-up at the top of the order, Ajinkya Rahane has been one of the most consistent performers for the Men in Blue over the past couple of seasons. In the ongoing Caribbean tour, Rahane has impressed with scores of 62, 103 and 72. However, the right-hander’s role in the team needs to be defined by the team management, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly emphasised.
  • With a win in the previous fixture, India leads the five-match series 2-0. However, it was a match in which India’s top order failed to score too many runs. The bowling department, on the other hand, put up an incredible performance, with Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin claiming three wickets as the hosts fell woefully short of the target. Windies next play in a must-win fixture today at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. A defeat would crown the Men in Blue the winner of the series.
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Protea skipper Dane Van Niekerk becomes the holder of an extraordinary record

  • South African all-rounder Dane Van Niekerk created history during their clash against the West Indies in the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup. The 24-year-old pulled off something no one could do since the birth of the game.
  • Niekerk, the Pretoria-born cricketer became the first bowler in the history of the game to pick up 4 wickets without conceding a single run in an international match. She hit the best economy rate possible and bowled a tremendous 3.2 over spell. She picked up 3 maidens and was on her way to the fourth.
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Yuvraj Singh was unavailable for the 4th ODI and not rested

  • Yuvraj Singh has been out of touch in the last couple of games, except for his sensational half-century against Pakistan in India’s opening game of the Champions Trophy 2017. The once very attacking and aggressive batsman has been able to muster only 162 runs in his last 8 outings in ODIs, which placed a question mark against his name to decide his future in the Indian team. He scored a 39 in the 3rd ODI, not huge score but good enough to bring his confidence back.
  • However, he had to be left out of the XI for the 4th ODI due to a sore hamstring. This was confirmed by Harsha Bhogle on Twitter as he tweeted, “So Yuvraj’s hamstring sore enough to warrant a rest. Prudent”
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Team India manager Kapil Malhotra’s report reveals no rift between Kohli and Kumble

  • When ex-India coach Anil Kumble put down his papers suddenly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had asked administrative manager Kapil Malhotra to report the reasons for the rift between Kumble and captain Virat Kohli. An administrative manager has to prepare a report after every series that India plays. But in the report Malhotra made after the Champions Trophy, he made no mention of the rift.
  • Rumours of a serious fallout between Kumble and Kohli did the rounds during the build-up to the Champions Trophy where India lost the finals. It was also reported that when one walked into the nets, the other walked out. However, in his report, Malhotra suggests no such incident which can be called a breach of discipline set by the BCCI.
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Amir was a key contributor to Pakistan’s Champions Trophy win: Yasir Arafat

  • Experienced all-rounder Yasir Arafat has stated that Mohammad Amir’s performance in the recently concluded Champions Trophy was a key to Pakistan’s maiden title triumph. After losing the first group game to neighbours India, Pakistan gained momentum by winning the rest of the games to meet India again in the finals. This time they crushed rivals India in the finals on June 18 by 180 runs at The Oval.
  • “Coming to the Champions Trophy, Mohammad Amir’s contribution to Pakistan’s victory was immense. He put in a valuable batting performance with Sarfaraz Ahmed in that crucial game against Sri Lanka and then when it came to the final, he delivered those hefty blows to the Indian batting line-up which contributed heavily to the Pakistan victory,” quoted Arafat as saying.
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Michael Vaughan unhappy with Gary Ballance’s call-up in South Africa series

  • Former English Test captain Michael Vaughan criticised the selection of Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance in the English squad for the forthcoming Test series against the South Africans starting on Thursday, July 6. Vaughan claimed that the Yorkshireman has been found wanting when it comes to facing raw pace.
  • In the 21 Test matches the Zimbabwe-born left-hander has amassed as many as 1413 runs at an average of just a shy under 40. In his short Test career so far, he has already added four centuries and seven half-centuries to his name. But the southpaw has not been able to retain his place in the side due to his inconsistency.
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I think I still have a lot to do for Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed

  • As per the quotes to, Sarfraz spoke at length about his captaincy and his plans for the future. He even reflected back at how things changed for the team after the CT win. Sarfraz Ahmed conceded that the kind of reception the team got after the win was amazing. He noted that perhaps a similar reception was given to the team after the team had won the 1992 World Cup.
  • “I think this is the happiest moment of my career and it’s a big achievement for myself and my family. Our motto when we reached for the CT was that we wanted to win the tournament. All of us made a lot of mistakes in the first match against India and we were very low on confidence. I haven’t seen a similar welcome by the fans compared to the one we got on our arrival back home after winning the CT. Maybe there was a similar reception for the 92 team but I was very young then,” quoted Sarfraz Ahmed.
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ICC names umpires and match referees for 2017-18 season

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) today named an unchanged Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires for the 2017-18 season, following the annual review and selection process. The ICC has also retained the same group of Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees for the 2017-18 season.
  • The decision was made by the ICC Umpires Selection Panel that consists of Chairman and ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle, ex-England player, coach, umpire and now a commentator – David Lloyd, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, the former India captain and international umpire.
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Our culture prohibits us to play cricket with boys, claims Sana Mir

  • Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team captain Sana Mir, ahead of the all-important clash against the Indian Women’s cricket team in the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup in England, came out and stated that the country’s culture didn’t allow girls to play cricket with the boys. But later revealed that in the recent years there has been a change of perception in regards to the matter.
  • The Mir-led side is yet to register their first win in the competition after losing their first two matches against South Africa and hosts. But that didn’t the stop the women to take inspiration from the men’s team who had a similar start in the recently concluded Champions Trophy and abiding by their unpredictable tag, they went on to clinch the coveted trophy.
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List of resolutions handed over by the ACA executive during emergency meeting in Sydney

  • The Australian Cricketer’s Association executive handed over 14 resolutions in an emergency meeting held in Sydney on July 2nd, as they continue their efforts to come to mutual terms with Cricket Australia over the pay dispute.
  • The players revealed the great amount of respect they hold for the game of cricket and the fans. They also spoke about the fact they are privileged to be a part of the Australian cricket team and takes it as an honour to represent the country.
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Former Indian cricketer says Ankit Bawne can be the next Murali Vijay

  • Bharath Reddy reckons that Maharashtra opener Ankit Bawne can be the next Murali Vijay for the Indian team. The former Tamil Nadu captain feels that while Bawne’s temperament and approach are similar to that of a young Vijay, the youngster is heading in the right direction.
  • Bawne, who was picked in the India A squad that will tour South Africa later this month, has been a consistent run-scorer in the domestic circuit for the last few years. Recently, he played a vital role in the Jolly Rovers Chemplast’s (which is coached by Reddy) title win at the Tamil Nadu Premier League.
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Yusuf Pathan makes some stunning revelations from childhood on the Kapil Sharma Show

  • Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan have been around the cricketing circuit for a long time now. They have played a crucial part for India in important games and have been match-winners. Though they are not a part of the current Indian setup the brothers are trying hard to make it back to the Indian team and playing in all domestic competitions including the IPL.
  • Yusuf revealed that he was the one that took the beating from their parents and not Irfan. The younger brother used to look after him by keeping himself fit and exercising daily. Yusuf did not believe in any of that and their parents used to scold him for the same.
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Playing for the country is the first priority, says Murali Vijay

  • In the present cricketing scenario, we have seen many cricketers giving up on their national duties to play in lucrative Twenty20 leagues. Even in the IPL, we saw examples where cricketers participated in the tournament with injury concerns and then made themselves unavailable for international matches succumbing to the injury.
  • However,  Indian opener Murali Vijay thinks otherwise. The batsman successfully completed the Test series against Australia with an injured wrist and then opted to skip the IPL’s iconic 10th edition in order to undergo surgery.
  • Speaking to The Hindu, Vijay said “Money is important but it is not everything. You got to be honest with yourself and put your hand up for the country in tough times.” He added, “Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than representing India, the pride I get in playing for the country in the whites is above everything else. That motivated me to put my pain aside and play the series against Australia.”
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Bangladeshi fan travels over 400 Km to meet his hero, Mustafizur Rahman

  • Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world. In the subcontinent, especially in India, it is looked upon as a religion and the star players are looked upon as demigods. In Bangladesh, as well, the craze for cricket is huge.
  • It is the fans that make a cricketer into a celebrity. And in Bangladesh, the fans’ unique love for their favourite cricketers know no bounds. One such Bangladeshi fan, recently, travelled over 400 Km to meet his favourite cricketer, Mustafizur Rahman.
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Another blow for Sri Lanka as Kusal Mendis ruled out for the second game

  • Nothing has been going right for the Sri Lankan cricket team lately. After an early exit from the Champions Trophy, their head coach Graham Ford stepped down. Rifts in the administration also saw the Sri Lanka Cricket Vice President giving up his spot. Now after Lasith Malinga was ruled out, it’s Kusal Mendis who is the latest prey to the influenza virus from the Sri Lankan camp.
  • He’s expected to miss the second ODI against Zimbabwe as well. The selectors have roped in Chamara Kapugedera and Suranga Lakmal as replacements for the duo. This would be Kapugedera’s first game since he picked up an injury after their match against India last month.
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I had scolded Smriti Mandhana for copying Sangakkara in the nets, says her coach

  • With the Indian Women’s team registering two consecutive wins in the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup in England, all the attention in India has shifted to two cricketers, who’ve been amassing runs for fun. Whilst skipper Mithali Raj silently keeps notching up crucial runs, its Smriti Mandhana who is currently hogging all limelight after she registered scores of 90 and 102 in her first two games.
  • The southpaw’s aggressive approach to the game propelled India to massive victories against two hot favourites of the tournament, the hosts England and West Indies. The entire cricketing fraternity currently is in awe of her splendid batting display and interestingly, her childhood coach has claimed that she was a huge fan of Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara.
  • He also said that Smriti was a huge fan of Sangakkara and tried to copy him while playing in the nets. He added that she was extremely disciplined when it came to her training and that’s what is helping her excel right now.
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Sourav Ganguly says new Indian coach to be selected on July 10

  • Former Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the new Indian Head Coach will be selected on July 10th. The appointment of a new coach has been the supreme topic of debate in the cricketing world ever since former coach, Anil Kumble has stepped down from the position. Sourav Ganguly is a part of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), that has been handed with the responsibility to appoint a new coach.
  • The CAC is a 3-member panel, comprising Indian cricketing greats, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. A lot of buzz was created when Kumble had earlier resigned from his position, owing to his “untenable” working relationship with the current Indian skipper, Virat Kohli. Right now, the onus is on the CAC to find the right person to mentor the team.
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