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Neetu David – Covid-19 has made picking Women’s T20 Challenge squads ‘a challenging first assignment’

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Neetu David, the new chairperson of selectors for India Women, expects picking squads for the upcoming Women’s T20 Challenge to be “a challenging first assignment” given that the Covid-19 pandemic has left players with little to no training. But she backed several “exciting India prospects” to make a mark in the three-team competition, to be played in the UAE from November 1 to 10.

Her colleague Arati Vaidya, meanwhile, feels that when it comes to veterans Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, performance and not age, would determine selection.

“These are, of course, unprecedented times; the pandemic has made any cricket close to impossible in India at the moment,” David told ESPNcricinfo soon after news of the appointment of the panel was made public. “It’s not an ideal pre-tournament situation for any team, in any sport, in any country, so when it comes to selecting the squads for the Women’s T20 Challenge, it’s going to be a challenging first assignment of sorts, but it’s not impossible to pick promising lesser-known players.

ALSO READ: What’s next for India women?

“We are awaiting guidelines from the BCCI on how the board expects us to proceed. The players are mentally ready and eager to get back on the field, they have been training in their respective towns. And having known and played with some of my fellow selectors in this panel, and also given Mithu Mukherjee has formerly been a national selector, we are looking forward to working as a team and introducing new players from our current domestic pool, who we think are exciting India prospects. They have the potential to do well in the T20 Challenge.”

David was hopeful that the new selection panel would be able to build on the work of the previous panel – India finished as runners-up in the 2017 ODI World Cup and the T20 World Cup earlier this earlier during their tenure. With two World Cups and a Commonwealth Games slated for 2022, much of the new committee’s focus would be on putting together squads that take the next step – win a World Cup.

“We do well up to the final, but have not been able to get over the final hurdle yet – that’s something we need to find a solution to,” David said. “We are looking to work on the mental resilience and temperament aspect of our upcoming squads, and we’ll work with the board, coaches, players and captains to make sure that we put systems in place that helps us overcome that final barrier. We will look to go one better in the next major events.”

“Whether it’s Mithali or Jhulan or any other experienced player in our national or domestic mix, we will try to make sure that the performance of players alone is what dictates the look of the squads”

Arati Vaidya

While David spoke of becoming world champions in senior cricket, Vaidya expressed hope that India would do well in age-group global tournaments going forward too.

“The more new talent we unearth, the better the health of the national team and domestic cricket will be,” she told ESPNcricinfo. “I can tell you that the age-group players we have at the moment, we can surely be in the final of the [inaugural] Under-19 World Cup for girls – whether it goes ahead on schedule next year or is postponed.

“My career as a match referee has helped me get a glimpse of many uncapped players, and from what I have seen, I am hopeful we will do well, and if other things fall into place, we might even win the title. India doesn’t lack talent; it’s just that more systems need to be put in to place to unearth and nurture those talents. As a selection committee, we will, therefore, try to get the best talent we can from all zones.”

Raj and Goswami are now both past 37, and retired from T20Is, but Vaidya wanted to take their age out of the equation when discussing their futures with the national team.

“Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami’s contribution will remain matchless, and to this day they remain key performers in the ODI team,” Vaidya said. “Personally, my view is only performance – not age or how long they’ve played – should determine whether or not a player warrants a place in the side.

“Whenever they choose to call it a day, it’s their call, and yes, someone or the other will take up their places in the coming years when they bow out of the game, but to us ensuring the right blend of youth and experience will be key. So whether it’s Mithali or Jhulan or any other experienced player in our national or domestic mix, we will try to make sure that the performance of players alone is what dictates the look of the squads.”

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Recent Match Report – Kent vs Glamorgan Group 3 2021

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Matt Quinn claimed the third Glamorgan wicket to fall but only 6.2 overs were possible

Glamorgan 64 for 3 trail Kent 307 by 243 runs

Glamorgan moved to 64 for 3 against Kent on day three of their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury, trailing by 243 at stumps after just 6.2 overs were possible due to a waterlogged outfield and then bad light.

Matt Quinn took the only wicket to fall, removing Joe Cooke for 10, leaving him with figures of 2 for 10. Billy Root and Kiran Carlson were the not out batsmen, on 26 and nought respectively.

Play was delayed until 5.19 pm after heavy overnight rain left several areas of the outfield unplayable, with umpire James Middlebrook’s shoes making an audible squelch as he strolled towards the pavilion to deliver the bad news following one of six pitch inspections.

When the action did finally get underway, with around 50 diehard fans still in the ground, Glamorgan resumed on 55 for 2 in reply to Kent’s 307 all out. Just five runs had been added when Quinn knocked back Cooke’s off stump in the 25th over, the batsman failing add to his overnight score.

Root initially looked more comfortable, driving Stevens for four through long-off but then surviving an appeal for caught behind off next delivery.

With the light deteriorating the players went off after just 24 minutes and with increasingly heavy rain falling, play was abandoned for the day. A bleak forecast for Sunday means the Group C game is almost certain to end in a draw.

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1263852.html?ex_cid=OTC-RSS

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Recent Match Report – Lancashire vs Northants Group 3 2021

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Recent Match Report - Lancashire vs Northants Group 3 2021
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Only 11 overs possible at wet Wantage Road, with Keaton Jennings the batter to fall

Lancashire 75 for 1 vs Northamptonshire

Gareth Berg made the only breakthrough for Northamptonshire as just 11 overs were possible on another rain-affected day of this LV= County Championship tie with Lancashire at Wantage Road.

The evergreen seamer found plenty of bounce and movement and claimed his 20th wicket of the season when he enticed Keaton Jennings to drive loosely at a ball outside off stump and edge through to wicketkeeper Adam Rossington, who took a comfortable catch.

With Jennings departing for 27, Alex Davies was joined by Luke Wells and the pair faced a testing spell from Berg and Ben Sanderson, fresh from their 19-wicket demolition of Sussex two weeks ago. They maintained pressure, beating the bat regularly and making it difficult to score.

Davies did manage to break the shackles briefly by cutting a rare wide one from Sanderson for four and later driving him through midwicket for another boundary. By the time play was called off Lancashire had advanced to 75 for 1 after 28.1 overs.

The start of play was delayed until 2.30pm due to a wet outfield after the whole of the second day was lost to heavy rain. Jennings and Davies were resuming on 59 without loss, their fourth 50 opening stand of the season.

After further interruptions due to showers, the umpires called stumps shortly after 4pm following further rain and hail which turned the outfield white as the players left the field.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1263849.html?ex_cid=OTC-RSS

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WATCH: Chris Cooke comically bumps into stumps during a County Championship match against Kent

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In the ongoing Group 3 match between Kent and Glamorgan of County Championship 2021 at St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, a funny incident involving Glamorgan wicketkeeper captain Chris Cooke captured everyone’s attention.

It all happened in the 28th over of Kent’s first innings bowled by Australian pacer Michael Neser. The fast-bowler bowled a short of a good length delivery around the middle and leg stump which was tapped by Sam Billings down to fine leg for a single.

The fielder collected the ball and threw it towards the strikers’ end. Cooke, who was standing behind the wickets, quickly came near the stumps to collect the red leather. The throw was a bit off target and while catching the ball, the wicketkeeper ended up crashing over the stumps before falling onto the ground. As soon as Cooke fell, his teammates couldn’t control their emotions and burst out in laughter.

Here is the video:

Darren Stevens rescues Kent with a sensational ton

After winning the toss, Glamorgan asked Kent to bat first and bundled them out for 307 runs. 45-year-old Darren Stevens was the main highlight in Kent’s innings. The senior lad went on to score 190 from 145 deliveries rescuing his team, which was struggling for 128/8 at one stage.

Stevens formed a 166-run partnership for the 9th wicket with tailender Miguel Cummins, who contributed with just 1 run. It became the highest first-class partnerships in which one player scored more than 90% of the runs.

Stevens smashed 15 fours and as many sixes to score 150 runs by just boundaries out of his total 190 runs knock.

In reply, Glamorgan have made 55/2 in 19.4 overs before the wet outfield stopped play. Stevens, who shined with the bat, proved his mettle in the bowling as well. The all-rounder dismissed Australian batting sensation Marnus Labuschagne for just 11 runs.

WATCH: Chris Cooke comically bumps into stumps during a County Championship match against Kent

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