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IPL Auction 2021 – Kumar Sangakkara



IPL 2021 auction - how the eight teams stack up

Rajasthan Royals were willing to break the bank to secure the right fast-bowling support for Jofra Archer, according to their director of cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, after the franchise put in the highest bid in IPL auction history on Thursday to sign the South Africa allrounder Chris Morris for INR 16.25 crore (US$2.2 million).

Although Morris is highly rated as a tall fast bowler and hard-hitting lower-middle batsman, Rajasthan’s bidding war with three other franchises – most notably Punjab Kings – was one of the big surprises of the auction, particularly given Morris’s past injury record, and the fact that he will turn 34 midway through this year’s competition.

However, speaking to the media on Friday, Sangakkara justified Morris’ selection in light of Rajasthan’s lop-sided display in the most recent IPL. They finished bottom of the table in the UAE in November – albeit one win from reaching the play-offs – despite the stellar efforts of Archer, who was named the tournament’s MVP for his haul of 20 wickets at 18.25, including an economy rate of 6.55 that no seamer who bowled more than 15 overs in the tournament could match.

However, that disparity was particularly stark within Rajasthan’s own ranks. Ten of Archer’s wickets came in the Powerplay, in which he returned a remarkable economy rate of 4.34, the best by a distance in the tournament. However, the remainder of the Royals’ attack managed six wickets at an economy of 9.93 in their own Powerplay overs, and Archer himself ended up being stretched across too many roles, with his economy rate ballooning to 10.08 when asked to bowl at the death.

Hence Rajasthan’s exhaustive pursuit of Morris, whose own Powerplay economy for Royal Challengers Bangalore last season was a very respectable 6.26, but whose death-over figure of 7.03 was the best among those who bowled 50-plus balls in the season, ahead of Delhi Capitals’ Anrich Nortje, at 8.44.

“For us, it was a case of getting some support for Archer, to get him to be as effective as possible,” Sangakkara said. “We considered the all-round abilities that Morris has, but focused on his bowling because he actually has one of the best economy rates at the death. He’s at the top of the tree in terms of positively impacting side’s performances.

“Morris has a very specific role for us to play in supporting Archer,” Sangakkara added. “It gives us a lot more flexibility, because it frees us to use Archer in other ways. We also have AJ Tye, Mustafizur [Rahman] and young Indian quicks to support us, so it gives us a few more combinations that we can play with.”

Sangakkara acknowledged that Rajasthan had had their eye on further pace-bowling options to supplement their squad, including Jhye Richardson, Adam Milne and Kyle Jamieson, the New Zealand allrounder who would prove to be out of reach as he went for a bid of INR 15 crore (US$2.05million) to RCB.

“The high price is just the nature of the auction’s supply-demand dynamics,” he said. “If you really want a player and you’re competing against someone with a huge purse, you have to stretch yourself. We would’ve liked to have got [Morris] for much less, but Mumbai and Kings were as interested in him as we were, and we had to push through that upper limit.”

Addressing the issue of Morris’ injury record – he sustained a side strain during the last IPL campaign that caused him to miss the first three weeks of matches – Sangakkara said that the prospect of a reduction in the number of internal flights between venues, due to Covid, could help to preserve his 6ft 4in frame from wear and tear.

“Questions will be asked about his training, load management – everything’s been taken into consideration,” Sangakkara said. “Regular flying, packing bags and leaving has a significant effect of injuries on players. Yes, there’s a trend for him to get injured but it’s hard to predict who gets injured and who doesn’t. The key is to have cover in your squad if the unthinkable happens.”

As for the burden of coming into the squad with such a heavy price tag, Sangakkara insisted that Morris would be valued as a player and a person more than a “commodity”.

“Managing his mindset, in terms of stepping up and trying to justify an auction price is one thing, but then getting him to concentrate on what we really want him to do, and what we expect of him in terms of our side and our strategies [is another],” he said.

“It affects various players in different ways. Some really take that pressure on and it helps them to perform even better, others can at times wilt, but Chris is a very mature guy.

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EngVsPak- England defeated Pakistan by three wickets

Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.





James Vince scored a hundred and Lewis Gregory contributed 77 as England defeated Pakistan by three wickets to complete a clean sweep of the three-match ODI series.

Vince raced to 102 off 95 deliveries and Gregory struck his 77 of 69 balls as hosts England, chasing Pakistan’s challenging score of 331 for seven wickets, reached 332 for seven with two overs to spare.

Opener Phil Salt scored 37 while skipper Ben Stokes added 32 as England held their nerves to register a comfortable win in third and final ODI.

Earlier, skipper Babar Azam struck a career-best 158 (139-ball) and helped Pakistan’s batting finally came good in this series.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored 56 and Mohammad Rizwan 74 as Pakistan posted 331 for nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Playing against a makeshift England squad, after the originally selected player went into isolation after three players tested positive for COVID-19, Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.

Babar came in after Fakhar Zaman was out early for 6, caught by Zak Crawley off Saqib Mahmood. He raised 92 runs for the third wicket with opener Imam-ul-Haq and then put together a partnership of 179 with Rizwan.
However, they suffered a collapse soon after Rizwan was out, caught by wicketkeeper Simpson off seamer Brydon Carse, with the score 292/3. Only one of the remaining seven batsman managed to reach double digits.

But Babar kept blasting runs from the other end and was the eighth batsman out with the score 328 in the 50th over.

He struck 14 boundaries and four sixes during his innings.
Carse was the best England bowler on display as he claimed five wickets for 61 in his 10 overs.

Brief scores: Pakistan 331/9 in 50 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 56, Babar Azam 158, M Rizwan 74; Brydon Carse 5/61).

England 332/7 in 48 overs (Phil Salt 37, James Vince 102, Ben Stokes 32, Lewis Gregory 77; Haris Rauf 4/65).

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Corona hit – India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days




Corona hit - India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days

India’s tour of Sri Lanka has hit a roadblock after two Covid-19 positive cases in the home team’s camp delayed the start of the ODI series by at least four days, and canceled due to more cases. The possibility has been left open. Sri Lankan batting coach Grant Flower and the team’s performance analyst Shirantha Niroshna have both tested positive and the entire team that arrived from England this week has been put in isolation.

Though both the boards have not made any official statement yet, it seems that all the six matches will be played within a period of 10-11 days if there is no scope for any more positive cases. There are also concerns that the series could be called off if more positive cases emerge in the Sri Lankan camp. This means that the Indian team, which has already spent 12 days in Sri Lanka, will have to return home without playing a single match.

The tentative dates for the ODIs have been set as July 17, 19 and 21. The report states that the T20 Internationals will be played on July 24, 25 and 27. However, neither Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) nor the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given any confirmation regarding the dates.

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Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise




Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise

Just two months ago, Indonesia came forward to India’s aid with thousands of tanks of oxygen. Today, the Southeast Asian country is running out of oxygen as it grapples with a devastating wave of coronavirus cases and the government is seeking emergency supplies from other countries, including Singapore and China.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government minister in charge of Indonesia’s pandemic response, said a shipment of more than 1,000 oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other health equipment arrived from Singapore on Friday, followed by another 1,000 ventilators from Australia.

In addition, Pandjaitan said, Indonesia plans to purchase 36,000 tons of oxygen and 10,000 concentrators — equipment that generates oxygen — from neighboring Singapore. He said he was in contact with China and other possible oxygen sources. The US and the United Arab Emirates have also offered help.

Overall, Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has reported more than 2.4 million infections and 63,760 deaths from COVID-19. Those figures are widely believed to be a huge undercount due to low testing and poor tracing measures. On Thursday, Indonesia reported nearly 39,000 confirmed cases, its biggest single-day jump.

Indonesia’s hospitals have been flooded, with increasing numbers of sick people in isolation at home or waiting to receive emergency care. In Indonesia’s most populous island, Java, hospitals began setting up temporary intensive care units in mid-June. Many patients are waiting for several days to get admitted. Oxygen tanks rolled on the sidewalks for the lucky few, while others were told they’d have to find their own.

The city’s deputy mayor Yaya Mulyana said emergency rooms at a public hospital in Bandung city were closed earlier this week amid panic buying over rising infections in the West Java provincial capital.

“The panicked people bought oxygen tanks, though they didn’t need them yet,” said Muliana. “This has exhausted the supply of oxygen.”

At a hospital in Yogyakarta in central Java, 63 COVID-19 patients died in one day – 33 of them during its central liquid oxygen supply, although the hospital switched to using oxygen cylinders was, spokesman Banu Harmawan said.

When a brutal outbreak ravaged the country, Indonesia donated 3,400 oxygen cylinders and concentrators to India. As its own cases rose, Jakarta scrapped plans to send another 2,000 oxygen concentrators to India in late June. The daily requirement of oxygen has reached 1,928 tonnes per day. According to government data, the total available production capacity of the country is 2,262 tonnes per day.

“I asked for 100% oxygen first for medical purposes, which means all industrial allocation should be shifted to medical,” said Panjaitan, a minister in the government. “We are racing against time, we have to act fast.”

Noting the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant, he warned that Indonesia could face a worst-case scenario with 50,000 cases a day. The next two weeks will be crucial, he said.

The industry ministry responded by issuing a decree that all oxygen supplies be sent to hospitals packed with coronavirus patients and asked industry players to cooperate.

Oxygen is used to make many products including textiles, plastics and vehicles. Oil refineries, chemical makers and steel makers also use it. But industry leaders are clamoring to support government efforts to maximize supplies for hospitals.

The government has redirected oxygen supplies from industrial plants at Morowali in Central Sulawesi, Balikpapan on the island of Borneo, and Belawan and Batam on the island of Sumatra, Pandjaitan said. Small oxygen industries have also been directed to produce pharmaceutical oxygen.

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