Josh Philippe is one of three uncapped players included in Australia's squad after their ODI and Twenty20 tour of England was confirmed to go ahead.

Philippe, Daniel Sams and Riley Meredith were included in a 21-man touring party.

Australia named a preliminary squad last month amid uncertainty over the tour due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it was confirmed on Friday the matches would go ahead in September.

Philippe scored 487 runs at an average of 37.46 for the Sydney Sixers during the 2019-20 Big Bash League, while the Sydney Thunder's Sams (30) was the leading wicket-taker.

Meredith, meanwhile, took 10 wickets at 13.70 in six games for the Hobart Hurricanes.

Australia will fly to the United Kingdom later this month before a three-game T20 series starts on September 4, while the ODIs are scheduled to begin a week later.

Glenn Maxwell returns to the squad, replacing D'Arcy Short, while Marcus Stoinis was also recalled.

"It's a squad with great depth and a sprinkle of some exceptional young players," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said. 

"We are very pleased with the final group which was chosen with a view to continuing our recent form in T20 cricket and the longer term goal of returning to the top in the 50-over game.

"The top and middle order is extremely strong, there's plenty of accomplished all-rounders, fantastic fast bowling depth and spin options. The squad also has the cover required to meet all contingencies given replacements are not available for this tour if injury or illness were to occur.

"The NSP [National Selection Panel] believes this squad, along with those who missed out and others who perform well in domestic cricket, offers a solid platform for success in the white-ball game going forward."

Australia senior assistant coach Andrew McDonald will not travel with the squad due to a commitment to coach the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.

Australia: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

It is 30 years to the day since India legend Sachin Tendulkar scored a match-saving maiden Test century against England at Old Trafford.

The 'Little Master' was still churning out the runs in his 200th and final Test more than 23 years later.

Tendulkar is comfortably the leading run-scorer in the history of Test cricket, having racked up a mammoth 15,921 at a staggering average of 53.78.

The elegant right-hander is the fifth-youngest player to make his Test debut – against fierce rivals Pakistan aged 16 years 205 days – back in November 1989 and bowed out on a high note with a half-century against West Indies well over two decades later.

With help from Opta, we look at some of the astonishing numbers Tendulkar amassed during his record double-century of Test appearances.

 

From boy to a man in Manchester

It was already apparently India had unearthed a gem in Tendulkar before his heroics in Manchester, but the teenager showed his incredible maturity on this day three decades ago.

Coming in at number six, he showed great application and skill to make a brilliant unbeaten 119 after contributing 68 in the first innings as India salvaged a draw on the final day.

Aged 17 years, three months and 21 days, he goes down as the third-youngest batsman to score a hundred in the longest format behind Mohammad Ashraful and Mushtaq Mohammad.

He went on to score almost twice as many Test runs as a teenager than anyone else (1,522).

 

A master at home and away 

There have been plenty of players over the years who have varying records playing at home and away, but Tendulkar is not among them.

He averaged 52.7 on home soil and 54.7 on tour, scoring 8,705 runs in 106 Tests outside of India and 7,216 in 94 games in his country of birth.

Tendulkar also scored three of his Test double-centuries away from home and as many in front of his adoring fans in India.

 

A half-century of centuries, Australia a happy hunting ground

No batsman has made as many Test centuries as the 47-year-old icon.

The majestic middle-order talisman reached three figures as many as 51 times, with 22 of those achieved in his homeland. 

Tendulkar also has fond memories of batting in Australia, where he crafted 11 Test hundreds and chalked up nine in Sri Lanka. He also struck 68 Test half-centuries in a magnificent career.

 

A record-breaking 2010

While Tendulkar can reflect on such a special day 30 years ago, he also has plenty of fond memories to look back on from a decade ago.

He was unstoppable in 2010, scoring seven Test centuries: with two against Bangladesh, a couple versus South Africa before double-hundreds against Sri Lanka and Australia.

Only Mohammad Yousuf has more in a calendar year, the Pakistan batsman making a jaw-dropping nine in 2006. Tendulkar also scored 1,000 Test runs in six calendar years – which no other player has achieved.

 

Leading by example

Judging by the numbers, the captaincy did not weigh too heavily on Tendulkar's shoulders.

He averaged 51.4 in 25 Tests as skipper compared to 54.2 in 286 knocks without that responsibility.

There were seven hundreds and the same amount of half-centuries in Tendulkar's 43 visits to the crease during his captaincy.

Fans and the SportsMax Zone were not in agreement with a panel of experts, who made a decision on its picks for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 bowlers today.

The panel on the set of the Zone, made up of former West Indies fast bowler and cricket commentator Ian Bishop, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician Zaheer Clarke, along with Tom Moody and Vernon Singer (offset), have picked Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga as their three bowlers.

The Afghan Rashid, the Sri Lankan Malinga and the West Indian Narine, were picked from a group of six that included India’s Jasprit Bumrah, South Africa’s Dale Steyn, and Australia’s Mitchell Starc.

Jasprit’s exclusion is where the bone of contention lies.

According to the SportsMax Zone, while Malinga and Narine are shoo-ins, Rashid was not.

In Rashid’s stead, the Zone has picked Jasprit.

In coming up with SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20, there is a three-way split in the decision-making process with the panel’s picks accounting for 40% of votes, while the Zone has 25, and fans who vote online have a 35% stake in who makes the team.

Fans, so far, have agreed with the SprotsMax Zone’s take on the three best bowlers the T20 game has ever seen, also picking Jasprit to go alongside Narine and Malinga.

There is still an opportunity for the fans to change their minds, but at the moment, they are joining the zone in beating back the opinions of the expert panel.

So far, the panel has picked Chris Gayle and David Warner as its openers, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and AB de Villiers as its middle order to go along with Rashid, Narine and Malinga as its bowlers.

Tomorrow the panel will go about whittling down what are termed impact players in a bid to come up with its version of an Ultimate XI.

The Zone has differed in small ways to date, picking Rohit Sharma to go along with Gayle as well as picking Jasprit over Rashid.

Fans have stuck even closer to the panel to date. As far as openers and the middle order are concerned they are in complete agreement but have veered away with the bowling choices, choosing the same way as the Zone.

But the voting isn’t finished and fans, called fanalysts, can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Seven years ago I was watching this T20 series involving the hosts West Indies women, England women and New Zealand women in Barbados.

The West Indies won the triangular tournament in which Deandra Dottin was named MVP. Stafanie Taylor was named player of the final as West Indies defeated England by a resounding eight wickets.

However, during that tournament, a 17-year-old girl impressed me, and I just knew she was going to be a superstar.

Against England, Shaquana Quintyne almost single-handedly won a match for the West Indies that we had absolutely no business winning. England were 69 without loss, chasing 141 to win with openers Charlotte Edwards, England’s skipper and the number two batter in the world at that time, and Lauren Winfield going great guns.

Shaquana, however, with her leg-spin, picked up both openers and also added the world’s best batter at the time Sarah Taylor as another scalp.

The much-vaunted England batting wilted under the pressure, and the girl from Barbados had stolen my heart and garnered admirers all over the world as she picked up a career best 5-16 off 4 overs. I still remember her beaming child-like toothy smile during that game.

The following March, she was ranked the second-best bowler in all of T20 cricket.

But this story does not have a happy ending.

Shaquana Quintyne, though not formally, for all intents, at just 24 years old, is retired. She cries herself to sleep.

She cries not just because of the pain she endures in her leg but she’s haunted by a future she now knows she will never have.

In March 2017 while fielding in a West Indies squad practice match at the Coolidge cricket ground in Antigua, Shaquana did some damage to her right knee. She felt the pain immediately.

What happened afterwards was a laid back, negligent response to her plight.

After all, what does a 21-year-old girl know about serious injury? It must be an exaggeration. She’s fine. Give her ice and Cataflam, that’ll do it.

Neither the Cataflam nor the ice worked.

A month later, when the pain became unbearable, she took it upon herself to get an MRI scan done. And the scan showed she had a full-blown posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) grade three tear. Then and only then did the medical team of the then West Indies Cricket Board take it upon themselves to advise her to have the urgent surgery needed… three months later in Jamaica.

And so the up-and-coming star, who was at this time, the captain of the Barbados team, had to go under the knife on June 8, 2017, and do surgery, (by a WICB recommended doctor) which could take her out of the action for about a year.

However, while in Jamaica in the immediate aftermath of her release from the hospital, she experienced more pain. Ripped stitches and blood made for a dramatic scene at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel before she was rushed back to the hospital.

And although she was put on a first-class flight from Jamaica to Barbados, one week after that intrusive surgery, it wouldn’t have helped being on a plane for 12 hours, and in high altitude making stops in Antigua and Trinidad.

Back in Barbados… more pain. Shaquana was told it was all in her mind.

However it was clear she needed another surgery.

And four months later, an independent surgeon from Barbados, removed one of the screws implanted and found out that the graft from the first surgery did not take hold. The doctor also noticed her right knee was not positioned properly back into the socket. There was nothing the doctor could do for Shaquana then and there. The recommendation was to go to Canada.

By the time the third surgery came around in Canada in April of 2018 at the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, the doctor informed her that based on the damage in her knee, and the lack of cartilage, she would not play cricket again.

And this is when the support of Shaquana by Cricket West Indies stopped.

Previously, according to the board, the Total and Permanent Disablement policy, which did not exist for the women’s team in 2017 was extended to the young Bajan, in light of her injury.

Since the third operation in Canada, however, she has had to fend for herself. She went under the knife for a fourth time, in Canada where she spent six months in rehab. In total her expenses have exceeded US$30,000.

There has been radio silence from Cricket West Indies since June 14, 2018 under the previous administration led by Dave Cameron. Not a call. Not a bit of inquisition. Not a care in the world. And nothing has changed under the new administration led by Ricky Skerritt.

I once had empathy for sporting associations which, based on the economic climate in the Caribbean, can do little to help athletes. However it is bordering on cruel to totally abandon one of your brightest stars, a young star, a girl, in her hour of need.

The call by chairman of selectors Courtney Browne informing her she would not have been offered a central contract for 2018 to 2019 despite the fact she was injured on the job, wreaks of the injustice many in this world are fighting against today. At the first opportunity, she was forsaken.

Where is the West Indies Players Association in all this? Their last call to her was on her birthday in January of 2019… wishing her all the best. No solid representation from an association of which she is still a member.

There is no argument which can be made stating that enough was done. The loyalty of our regional cricketers should never be questioned until this travesty is addressed.

Who failed Shaquana Quintyne? There are so many dirty hands at the moment.

Donald Oliver is a football and cricket commentator and a senior producer at SportsMax. Learn more about him at www.thedonaldoliver.com or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Caribbean Premier League (CPL) COO Michael Hall has revealed the competition’s delight at increased interest in viewership demand, despite the scaled down nature of this season’s tournament.

With the region and globe disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus this year’s edition of the tournament will be held in Trinidad and Tobago.  The event, which will get under way August 18, will be played in a bio secure environment and without fans, which Hall admits is a big challenge.

“We will be no different than any other sporting event that has taken place since the pandemic.  Is it going to be the same, ‘absolutely not’,” Hall told the Mason and Guest radio program.

The CPL has throughout the years being known for vociferous fans, which some speculate might affect the intensity level of the cricket played.

“I don’t know how much of a factor (no spectators) that is in players performances.  I’ve always heard that the really great athletes shut out the crowd and focus, so I don’t know. But are we going to miss the fans, absolutely there are the lifeblood of the tournament,” he added.

“We are still having the tournament though, fans or no fans.  I know for a fact based on feedback.  Based on feedback, these are things that we track, the anticipation for our global viewing audience has almost trebled.  There have been people reaching out to ask where we can watch it, saying we are dying to watch it and that is only good for the league.”

The CPL will be the first T20 tournament played since the start of the pandemic.

 

There is no place in the final XI set of SportsMax Ultimate XI T20 bowlers for a man who, at one time or another, was the world’s foremost T20 bowler after a panel of experts had to make tough choices to reduce a shortlist of the best in the format of all time.

A panel made up of cricket umpire Chris Taylor, former Australian cricketer and commentator Tom Moody, and regional commentator Vernon Springer, today on the SportsMax Zone, had to bring a not-so-short shortlist of 17 bowlers down to six for final discussion tomorrow where another panel will pick three for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 team.

Samuel Badree will not be part of that discussion.

The team is picked through a combination of voting among fans, the panel, and the SportsMax Zone’s team.

Fans vote online, with their collective decision amounting to 35% of the vote, while the Zone team’s votes amount to 25%. The panel has the lion’s share of the percentage with their vote counting for 40%.

Today, the panel had to decide among a group made up of Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis; Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz; Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan; Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan; West Indies’ Sunil Narine, Badree, and Dwayne Bravo; South Africa’s Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn; India’s Jasprit Bumrah; along with Australia’s Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Starc, who would remain in the discussion for a second evening.

From that list, Afridi, Shakib, Umar, Saeed, Ajantha, Imran, Sohail, Badree, Nannes, Wahab, and Bravo, were all cut.

In the case of Bravo, the panel felt the all-rounder would be better suited as one of the Impact Players, a discussion that is to come down the line.

Badree, on the other hand, was seen as limited and not offering as much flexibility as would Rashid or Narine.

According to the panel, Taylor in particular, Badree is at his best when opening the bowling, while Narine and Rashid are useful throughout an innings.

The SportsMax Zone, in response, found no fault with the eventual six the panel came up with. The Zone and panel will discuss the merits and flaws of Malinga, Rashid, Narine, Steyn, Jasprit, and Starc before coming up with a final three.

While fans, call fanalysts, have not yet made up their mind on the three bowlers who would make up their Ultimate XI, there has been a trend that suggests their six for final discussion.

According to fans, Malinga, Narine, Jasprit, Rashid, Bravo, and Nannes would be the six they would have under consideration tomorrow.

Fanalysts can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Teams in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League have voiced annoyance with a decision that seems to have given a slight advantage to the Trinbago Knight Riders ahead of the competition’s start on August 18.

The grievance appears to have been caused because local players from the TKR did not join the bio-secure bubble at the Hylton Hotel, continuing to train.

The first teams allowed to train were announced on Tuesday with the St Lucia Zouks and the Knight Riders getting the go ahead. According to a release from the CPL, local players had gone through the mandatory testing process and would this week enter the bubble.

“Everyone should have been part of the bubble from the first day to “guarantee” that the health and safety of all stakeholders is not “compromised”, read a social media post from Zouks skipper Daren Sammy.

"How can everybody else be in a bubble no access to training or practice games while others on the outside in a COVID infected area be training and playing practice games. Then allowed to join the bubble without self-isolation," read another from the Zouks skipper.

According to reports, defending champions, Barbados Tridents have also not taken kindly to the difference being shown to the local TKR players and asked why it was that all players from the franchise were not asked to enter the bubble and undergo the mandatory weeklong quarantine everybody else did.

But according to Michael Hall, operations director of the CPL, it was necessary to take precautions to ensure local players entering the bubble were not a threat to the environment’s bio-security.

Mohammad Hafeez has been placed in self-isolation on the eve of Pakistan's second Test with England after breaching bio-security protocols by posing for a photo with a member of the public.

The picture, taken on the golf course adjacent to the on-site hotel at the Ageas Bowl, was posted on the Pakistan all-rounder's Twitter page on Wednesday.

The course is part of Pakistan's bio-secure bubble but interaction with others is not permitted as per social distancing rules and former skipper Hafeez, who is not a part of the Test squad but there for the limited-overs leg of the tour, must now await the results of a fresh coronavirus test.

Pakistan said in a statement: "As it was evident from the photograph that Hafeez had breached the two-metre social distancing protocol and following a consultation process with the team doctor, the team management has decided to isolate him until he returns a negative Covid-19 test.

"Hafeez underwent the Covid-19 test late Wednesday afternoon and the result is expected at some stage on Thursday. The decision to put Hafeez in isolation has been taken for his and, the safety and security of everyone around him.

"The team management believes it was an inadvertent mistake, but a good reminder for everyone on the importance of following the bio-secure protocols, which have been designed for the health and safety of everyone involved in the series.

"The team management has updated the England and Wales Cricket Board of its decision."

Meanwhile, Pakistan have named an unchanged squad for the second Test of their three-match series with England, which they trail 1-0 following an agonising defeat at Old Trafford last week.

The tourists were undone by a stand of 139 between Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes in their first match back in six months because of the coronavirus pandemic, going down to a three-wicket defeat.

Joe Root believes England's first Test win over Pakistan was exactly the sort of victory they need to build on if they have serious designs on becoming the world's best team.

England had their backs against the wall for much of last week at Old Trafford but made a remarkable recovery to win the series opener after Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler led a successful 277-run chase.

Root's side are now preparing for the second match against Pakistan at Southampton, where they can clinch the series and the captain can claim a seventh Test win in succession.

Yet Root did not feel he performed his duties particularly effectively in Manchester, although the match moved the team in the right direction.

"I didn't think I had a very good game last week, to be honest," he told reporters. "I made a few errors, tactical errors, but that can happen from time to time.

"You're not always going to get it right. I think most importantly, it's very clear for the guys how we're looking to play.

"Those messages are consistent and we're seeing improvement week in, week out. That's a really promising sign for the group, and long may that continue.

"Most importantly, we're looking forward, it's not about me, it's not about how many games we win with me as captain, it's about us getting consistently better over a long period of time, looking towards being the number one side in the world.

"If we can maintain that attitude collectively, winning obviously breeds confidence all the time. And people putting in performances like Jos and Wizz [Woakes] did on that final day will breed confidence in the rest of the guys, too.

"The other players, young batters in the team, looking at those two getting the job done, will think, 'I want that to be me next time, I want to be the one stood there at the end having won the game when the heat was on'.

"The more and more we can keep performing like that and keep winning, the quicker I think our development as a side will move forward."

Pakistan will look to capitalise on the "huge loss" of Ben Stokes from the England side by taking advantage of a lighter middle order, says bowling coach Waqar Younis.

Stokes withdrew from the rest of the series, which England lead 1-0 after a three-wicket win at Old Trafford, to travel to New Zealand for family reasons.

The world's top Test all-rounder had initially been limited to the role of specialist batsman for the first Test because of a thigh injury but came on to bowl in the second innings to help England dismiss the tourists for 169 with the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

England improbably chased down 277 to win, though Stokes was not a major factor in that pursuit as he followed a first-innings duck with nine in the second innings.

However, captain Joe Root is under no illusion as to the impact of his absence, telling a media conference: "It's a huge loss for us. For a long period of time, he's been arguably our best player.

"He offers so much in all departments. He's a big leader within the group - vice-captain, as well - and, of course, we'll miss him dearly.

"We're all thinking about him. But it's an opportunity for someone to come in and try to fill those boots.

"That's always exciting for someone to take on that challenge. Whoever gets that responsibility has to try to step up to the plate and trust in their own game to help us hopefully get two up in the series."

Waqar does not necessarily see Stokes' exit from the series as a boost to the tourists given their bowling performance against him.

But with Zak Crawley expected to come into the side, he does see potential for Pakistan to have greater success against England's middle order.

"He's [Stokes] the kind of batsman that takes the game away from you single-handedly at times," said Waqar.

"I wouldn't say it's a boost because of the way we bowled at him in the previous game. I thought we had very clear plans and I think we executed really well.

"Yes he's not around, it's unfortunate for cricket but there's no doubt he's a match-winner. If he's not around, England will probably be a touch light when you talk about the middle order. We're going to talk about it and try to cash in."

James Anderson is set to keep his place in the England team despite a disappointing performance in the first Test against Pakistan last week.

England head to Southampton with a 1-0 lead in the three-match series despite frustration for Anderson at Old Trafford.

The 38-year-old seamer - closing in on 600 Test wickets - returned underwhelming match figures of 1-97 and subsequently fielded questions on whether he was set to retire.

Anderson insisted that was not an option, though, and he has the support of captain Joe Root, who intends to keep faith with England's record Test wicket-taker.

"Jimmy's likely to play," Root told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the second Test, which starts on Thursday. "I can't tell you who else is likely to play.

"The only other player I can guarantee if he's fit and well and doesn't get food poisoning tonight is probably me."

Pressed on Anderson getting an immediate opportunity to bounce back, Root replied: "Wouldn't you give him the opportunity with nearly 600 wickets under his belt?"

The captain, who welcomed "very exciting" Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson to the squad, revealed he had a private conversation with Anderson during the Old Trafford Test.

Having told the veteran to "remember how good a player you are", Root offered a firm defence of his most senior star.

"I think to question Jimmy's ability and his record... do that at your own peril," the skipper said.

"There's a reason he's got so many wickets over such a long period of time. It's because he's a consistent performer. I don't think it'll be long before he's back in the wickets big time.

"It would be very silly for us to write someone like Jimmy off. He's still as dedicated as ever, working very hard at his game, and looking very good in practice.

"I don't think it'll be long before he's got another five-fer next to his name."

He added: "It just shows that even the greats of the game and the greats of English cricket still have those days where it doesn't always come as naturally to you, it doesn't always feel the easiest game in the world.

"You know it can be a struggle sometimes. That's just the way it goes.

"I think with Jimmy, you know it won't be long before he's right back at the top, at the peak of his powers, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing him perform again this week."

Anderson's long-time colleague Stuart Broad had a more prominent role in proceedings with figures of 6-91 in Manchester, yet his send-off of Yasir Shah saw him fined by the match referee, his father Chris.

Root said: "It was disappointing for that to happen. It just shows the frustrations that Test cricket can throw at you sometimes.

"You know how much it means to Stuart, and over the past couple of weeks he's made it clear how much it means for him to play for England and do well. That probably just slightly boiled over.

"I'm sure that was a frosty conversation with his dad at some point last week. But he'll look to move on. He knows he's got to set an example and I can't see that being a major talking point dragging over into this week.

"Ultimately, we want to make sure none of our players are missing games through avoidable incidents like that."

England have included Ollie Robinson in their squad for the second Test with Pakistan as a replacement for Ben Stokes.

Stokes, the world's top Test all-rounder, withdrew from the rest of the series to travel to New Zealand for family reasons.

That has opened the door for Robinson, who has taken 244 first-class wickets in 57 matches.

Batsman Zak Crawley is expected to return to the XI for the contest at the Ageas Bowl, which begins on Thursday.

England are looking to clinch the three-match series after Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes inspired them to a three-wicket win at Old Trafford last week.

 

Squad in fullJoe Root (Captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

West Indies fast bowler, Sheldon Cottrell, has admitted he was too nervous to keep watching the IPL draft bidding process, once it landed on his name, but is now eager to give it his all in a first season with Kings XI Punjab.

The Mohali-based franchise splashed out a handsome Rs 8.5 crore (US$1,139,160.65) for the fast bowler who has become known as much for his blistering pace as his Rockstar-style army salute.  During the draft, however, the former army man admits that he had simply hoped to be selected and could not stand to watch for the figure the gavel would eventually rest at.

“I was in a hotel room with Evin Lewis. So, I watched everyone’s auction before me and I was comfortable watching it. But then when my turn came, I was like ‘oh man!’. And when I was heard the first bid on me, I just went to the balcony and I was like ‘yes!’. I didn’t want to see it anymore, I wanted to see just one bid, to be honest. ‘Yes, I am going to play in the IPL!’. But then two minutes after the bidding was still going, I took a peek and Evin Lewis was more excited than I was. I was just nervous. But yes, it was a great feeling. I can never forget that feeling and moment ever in my life,” Cottrell said in a recent interview with WION.

The onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, however, put the player's dream debut on hold.  With the tournament, which will now be held in the United Arab Emirates, scheduled to bowl off next month, Cottrell is shifting into competition mode.

“I am really looking forward to it. I have been waiting for this for all my cricketing career, to tell you the truth. But more eagerly in the past four to five months. I have been ready mentally and physically. Even with the lockdown, I have been keeping myself in shape, ready, just in case the call comes. So I am totally ready and can’t wait to go onto the park with the Kings XI Punjab.”

Former West Indies batsman, Ramnaresh Sarwan, will not serve as an assistant coach for the Jamaica Tallawahs in this year’s edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) after being given leave to return home.

The entirety of this season’s tournament will take place on the island of Trinidad and Tobago as organisers, like many around the globe, operate with an abundance of caution due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The six CPL franchises and match officials reported to the twin-island republic a week ago where they have been quarantined at the Hilton Hotel in St Ann's.  The tournament will get under way on August 18.

Tallawahs CEO Jeff Miller confirmed that Sarwan, who was appointed to the post two years ago, was not among that number.

“Mr Sarwan requested leave for personal reasons and that was granted,” Miller said in an interview with the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

“It’s a big loss, Sars (Sarwan) brings a lot to the game - his knowledge, his experience and the way he has dealt with the players over the years, so it is a great loss,” he added.

Sarwan will be replaced by former West Indies spinner Ryan Austin.  In April, Sarwan was in the news after a public spat with former teammate and then Tallawahs batsman Chris Gayle.  In a Youtube rant Gayle blamed Sarwan after he was released by the team.  Sarwan denied having anything to do with Gayle’s release.

 

There was no place for Marlon Samuels in SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 batsmen 3-5 after a panel of experts dumped the allrounder from a shortlist of 14 on the SportsMax Zone earlier today.

The panel consisting of David Brook, cricket commentator and reporter, Sachin Ramsuhbag, cricket commentator, and Chris Taylor, commentator and cricket umpire, felt Samuels, though a proven match winner, did not stack up with the consistency of some of the other batsmen in the list.

The panel also felt that Samuels’ strike rate (117.93) over the course of 187 games was not high enough, when compared to others in the list.

That list reads a veritable who’s who in the T20 game, with India’s Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni; South Africa’s Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy and AB de Villiers; West Indies’ Samuels; England’s Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan, and Joe Root; Pakistan’s Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik; Australia’s Glenn Maxwell; Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara; and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson all getting the nod.

From that list, du Plessis, Samuels, Morgan, Duminy, Sangakkara, Maxwell, Williamson and Root have all been cut.

That means Kohli, Pietersen, Babar, Shoaib, de Villiers and Dhoni are the men who will vie for three places, from the number-three to the number five positions in the batting line-up when another panel of experts makes a judgement on the SportsMax Zone tomorrow.

While voting fans, Fanalysts, just pick a final XI, if they were to pick a group for a final discussion, it might look a little different from the one the panel picked.

So far, the fans have favoured Kohli, de Villiers, Dhoni, Maxwell, Pietersen, and there is a toss-up between Samuels and Sangakkara for the sixth position.

For the fans, neither Babar nor Shoaib factor in their all-time XI.

Fans, called Fanalysts have a 30% weighted vote on who makes SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 team, with the SportsMax Zone having another 30% of the vote. The panel of experts’ vote will count for 40% of the overall votes.

Fanlysts can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

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