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T20 WC: Archer named in Buttler-led England's 15-man squad

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London, April 30 (IANS) Fast-bowler Jofra Archer has been named in the Jos Buttler-led 15-member preliminary squad that will represent defending champion England in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies and United States of America starting in June.

Archer will be marking his return to international cricket for the first time in a year after recovering from his right elbow injury. Since 2021, he has faced several injury setbacks, ranging from stress fractures and recurring elbow issues to undergoing surgery following a mishap involving a fish tank.

The 29-year-old pacer’s last appearance at the international level came over a year ago on England’s tour of Bangladesh in March 2023.

Left-arm spinning all-rounder Tom Hartley is the sole uncapped player and, along with batter Will Jacks, the only player not to feature at an ICC World tournament previously.

All teams are allowed to make changes to their squads until May 25, after which any alteration will require approval from the ICC’s Event Technical Committee.

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Moreover, this squad will also take on Pakistan in the preceding four-match T20I series next month in Leeds.

England Cricket said that selected players, currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), will return in time for the series against Pakistan, which gets underway at Headingley on May 22.

The World Cup squad will fly to the Caribbean on May 31 ahead of England’s opening group match against Scotland at the Kensington Oval, Barbados, on June 4.

England Provisional ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and T20 Squad vs. Pakistan Squad:

Jos Buttler (Captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, and Mark Wood

–IANS

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ATP Tour: Musetti survives Koepfer scare in Stuttgart; Tiafoe reaches quarters

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Stuttgart (Germany), June 12 (IANS) Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti reached his third tour-level quarterfinal on grass on Wednesday at the Stuttgart Open, clawing his way past Germany’s Dominik Koepfer 6-7(9), 7-6(5), 6-3 in a hard-fought second round match.

The fifth-seeded Italian failed to convert five set points in the first set and then rallied from 3/5 in the second-set tie-break to stay alive in Stuttgart. He struck 15 winners in the third set to advance after two hours and 49 minutes.

With his 13th win of the season, Musetti levelled his ATP head-to-head series with Koepfer at 1-1. The No.30 player in the ATP Rankings also reached the quarterfinals in Stuttgart last year and will aim to go one step further this week when he next plays Alexander Bublik after the third seed defeated the 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hamad Medjedovic 6-1, 7-6(4).

Bublik, who fired 18 aces against Medjedovic, clinched the biggest title of his career last season on grass at the ATP 500 in Halle.

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Defending champion Frances Tiafoe continued his title defence with a 7-5, 7-6(5) win against German Yannick Hanfmann.

Tiafoe, who beat Struff in the title match last year to win his third ATP Tour crown, saved all 11 break points he faced according to Infosys ATP Stats to triumph after one hour and 55 minutes.

The fourth-seeded American holds a modest 13-12 record on the season. He will hope he can rediscover his best level this week on the German lawns, where he next takes on Jack Draper or Marcos Giron.

–IANS

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Bengal Pro T20 League: We need to focus on building stands, says Siliguri Strikers skipper Priyanka Bala after loss in first match

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Kolkata, June 12 (IANS) Following their defeat in the opening match of the Bengal Pro T20 League, Siliguri Strikers Women’s team skipper Priyanka Bala emphasized the need to focus on building partnerships in the middle to secure victories in upcoming games. Siliguri Strikers Women lost the opening match to Harbour Diamonds on Wednesday here at the Jadavpur University campus grounds, Salt Lake. Harbour Diamonds Women began their campaign on a winning note.

Despite the loss, Priyanka Bala remains optimistic about the team’s prospects

“We played well but we have to improve on certain aspects so that we can make a comeback in the League,” said Priyanka Bala after the defeat in the opening match.

Batting first, Siliguri Strikers got off to a slow start with opening batters crawling their way in the middle. It was skipper Priyanka Bala who played a knock of 23 in 13 balls and took her side to 95/5.

Chandrima Ghosal also scored 24 runs in 22 balls but due to Siliguri Strikers starting very slow in the T20 match, the side wasn’t able to cross 100. Harbour Diamonds registered their first win in the opening match.

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“Today we didn’t build any partnerships, so our main focus will be to build a partnership in the next match. And in bowling we need to see our line and lengths and then bowl accordingly,” said skipper Priyanka.

Speaking about her innings, Priyanka said, “I batted just like I bat in any other game. Our run rate was quite slow, so I tried hitting some shots. If I would have been there till the end, we would have given them a good target.”

Siliguri Strikers will now lock horns with Murshidabad Kings on Friday in the women’s leg of the Bengal Pro T20 League.

The Bengal Pro T20 League, which is managed by Arivaa Sports, is conceptualised on the lines of the IPL involving 8 franchise teams in both the men’s and women’s categories.

–IANS

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Shooting World Cup: Bhowneesh in line for Men's trap final at Lonato

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Paris Olympic quota winner Bhowneesh Mendiratta shot a three-round qualification score of 74 out of 75 in Men’s Trap, to stay in contention for a top-six finish in qualifying round and finals berth at the ongoing International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Shotgun in Lonato, Italy on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Indian shotgun shooter will come back on Thursday for the last two rounds of qualification, with the final slated later in the day. Yu Haicheng of China was on top of the leaderboard with a perfect 75 at this stage.

Bhowneesh was the best Indian on the show on Wednesday as the others in Men’s Trap, namely, Prithviraj Tondaiman (71) was in 21st and Vivaan Kapoor (70) was in 33rd position had quite a lot of ground to cover.

In the Women’s Trap, Shreyasi Singh (67) and Rajeshwari Kumari (67) shot identical scores to occupy the 15th and 17th positions respectively while Manish Keer shot 64 to lie 43rd at this stage.

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–IANS

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T20 World Cup: Arshdeep’s four-fer restricts USA to 110/8 in key clash

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New York, June 12 (IANS) A clinical bowling performances by pacer Arshdeep Singh (4-9) and Hardik Pandya (2 for 14) helped India restrict host the United States to 110 for 8 in a Group A match of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday.

Put in to bat first, the host had a disappointing start on a track that offered plenty of swing and seam movement. It took Arshdeep all of one delivery to strike Shayan Jahangir’s pad with a superb in-swinger.

With three overs on the scoreboard, USA were yet to score a boundary and had already lost two wickets, both in the first over to Arshdeep Singh. Andries Gous tried to slap a short-of-length delivery but was defeated by an extra bounce.

The USA’s only boundary in the Power-play came off a top edge that flew over fine-leg for six when Aaron Jones attempted to hook a Mohammed Siraj bumper. After scores of 94* and 36*, Jones couldn’t get going against India. He got away with a short ball that he top-edged for six off Siraj, but fell trying to pull Hardik as the ball skidded on quicker than he anticipated. It’s Siraj who took the catch at fine leg to effect the dismissal.

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Shivam Dube, who bowled all of one over in IPL 2024, was given the ball and USA went after him immediately with eleven runs in the over. Steven Taylor cut loose by walloping a 122kph half-tracker over deep midwicket. The USA were 42 for 3 after the halfway mark.

Axar Patel was handed the ball ahead of Ravindra Jadeja and he got the dangerous Steven Taylor (24) off his second over, after conceding 12 runs in the over. A ball after he was dismissed into the stands off a slot ball, Axar slowed it down and shortened his length nicely to have Taylor chop on while attempting a cut shot.

Nitish Kumar, who hit the last ball for a four to take their game against Pakistan into a Super Over, had a clean swing. It didn’t take him long to find his hitting range. Hardik kept bowling length and short-of-a-length but got punished at the first instance of bowling. Two balls later, he drilled another straight hit off a full delivery.

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In the following over, Corey Anderson slog-swept Axar to the deep midwicket fence. After a crawl of a first half, USA finally got momentum towards the end and were eyeing a score of 120. However, Kumar’s (27) journey was cut short by Arshdeep Singh courtesy of Mohammad Siraj picking a blinder at deep mid-wicket.

Arshdeep ended his spell with 4 for 9 as Pandya claimed a two-fer for just 14 in four overs.

Brief score:

USA 110/8 in 20 overs (Nitish Kumar 27, Steven Taylor 24; Arshdeep Singh 4-9, Hardik Pandya 2-14) against India.

–IANS

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PCB proposes Feb 19 start for Champions Trophy 2025, rejects hybrid model for India’s matches

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Lahore, June 12 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proposed that the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 will start on February 19 and will be held in Pakistan, refusing to entertain a hybrid model for India’s matches, like in case of the Asia Cup 2023.

As per the PCB proposal, the ICC Champion’s Trophy 2025 will be scheduled from February 19 to March 9 2025 with all the matches to take place across three major cities — Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore.

As per sources in the PCB, International Cricket Council (ICC) officials, who visited Pakistan to inspect the arrangements for the event, have expressed satisfaction with the systems in place.

Interestingly, the PCB has refused to entertain a hybrid model, specifically for India’s matches, and has insisted that all matches should be played in Pakistan.

The move is expected to get a concentrated response from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which had proposed a hybrid model with India’s matches being played at neutral venues on foreign land.

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In the past, India’s matches were relocated to Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup 2023. However, this time, Pakistan is not ready to opt for a hybrid model and wants to have all matches including that of India be played in Pakistan.

“We have not opted for the hybrid model. However, we have given this leverage that India’s matches can be played in Lahore only. This way, the team will not be required to move around cities within Pakistan and its security can be well maintained in Lahore”, said a source in the PCB.

“India can be based in Lahore for the entire tournament. This would minimise logistical and security complications associated with their travel between cities”, the source added.

The mentioned special arrangement for the Indian team may also provide an easier and more convenient option to attend matches, as they would be held in one city.

“The proximity of Lahore to Wagah Border crossing is also going to be more suitable for the Indian fans. However, the question remains, if India would accept and participate in the event”, the PCB source said.

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As per the PCB’s proposed schedule for the Champions Trophy, at least three matches will be played in Karachi, which includes the opening match and a semifinal. Lahore will hold at least seven matches, including the final. Rawalpindi will host at least five matches, including a semifinal.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Indian cricket team has not played in Pakistan since the Asia Cup in 2008. The decision to travel to Pakistan for the Champion’s Trophy will rest with the Indian government, which has not favoured the cricket team travelling across the border because of Pakistan’s alleged support of terrorism in India.

The ICC Champions Trophy 2025 will be the first major international cricket tournament hosted solely by Pakistan. Previously, Pakistan had c-hosted the 1996 Cricket World Cup with India and Sri Lanka and before that co-hosted the Reliance Cup with India in 1987.

–IANS

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