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ICC expecting findings of study into women’s cricket in Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: April 8, 2022)

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will receive a report back from its working group into the issue of Afghanistan women’s cricket within the next two days.

Women’s cricket in Afghanistan has faced an uncertain future after the Islamic Emirate took over the country in August last year.

An IEA official’s comment that women would be banned from playing cricket led to calls for Afghanistan to be culled from the 2021 T20 Men’s World Cup and sparked debate over whether their Full Membership should be stripped.

Cricket Australia also postponed last November’s historic men’s Test with Afghanistan over the issue.

But Afghanistan has continued playing international cricket and the ICC has preferred to wait until a working group tasked with investigating the situation provided its findings.

ESPNcricinfo reported that the working group, in its only recommendation, has found 33-year-old Afghanistan all-rounder Mirwais Ashraf’s appointment as chairman to be in compliance with the ACB and ICC constitutions. If accepted by the board then Ashraf will become an ICC board director.

Ashraf replaced Azizullah Fazli who was in charge for just two months.

“There needs to be stability within ACB,” a former ACB official who was interviewed by the working group, told ESPNcricinfo. “The chairman is meant to be in the role for three years. There needs to be clear directions (by the ICC) to the government that the constitution and procedures need to be met.

“I told them (working group) that Afghanistan cricket shouldn’t be sabotaged because of the Taliban’s takeover of the country.”

Development and pathway structures for women’s cricket are part of strict criteria for Full Membership. When Afghanistan received it in 2017, an exemption was invoked on the provison that they take active measures to develop women’s cricket. Before the IEA’s takeover, the ACB had announced central contracts for a pool of women cricketers though they were still some way off fielding a team.

Former ACB Chairman Azizullah Fazli, however, said in October last year that there was officially no ban on women’s sport, especially women’s cricket.

“They (IEA) have no problem with women taking part in sport. We’ve not been asked to stop women from playing cricket. We’ve had a women’s team for 18 years, although it wasn’t a major team, we’re not on that level yet,” Fazli had said.

“There is no way to know if women’s cricket is developing there right now,” an official familiar with the situation said. “The ACB is saying that women are still allowed to play. Indication is that the ACB is trying. Every country has an obligation to develop women’s cricket.”

“Women’s cricket was moving in the right direction prior to the situation changing,” McCollum told ESPNcricinfo. “The priority is to make sure their players are still available and can play. It’s a difficult situation. Afghanistan is complex.”

Ross McCollum, a member of the working group, told ESPNcricinfo that women’s cricket had been “moving in the right direction prior to the situation changing.”

“The priority is to make sure their players are still available and can play. It’s a difficult situation. Afghanistan is complex,” McCollum said.


Chennai Super Kings pip Gujarat Titans in dramatic final to win fifth IPL title



(Last Updated On: May 30, 2023)

Chennai Super Kings equalled Mumbai Indians’ record of five Indian Premier League (IPL) titles after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side triumphed in a last-ball thriller, beating champions Gujarat Titans by five wickets in Monday’s rain-marred final in Ahmedabad.

Put into bat, Gujarat racked up 214-4 after their number three batter Sai Sudharsan capitalised on a strong start and smashed an incendiary 96 off 47 balls that included six sixes.

Chasing a revised target of 171 from 15 overs after a lengthy rain interruption, Chennai survived intense drama before Ravindra Jadeja sealed their victory, milking 10 runs off the last two deliveries.

The final was originally scheduled on Sunday but incessant rain forced the organisers to move the game to its reserve day.

After Chennai skipper Dhoni won the toss and elected to field, Shubman Gill walked out to bat having smashed three hundreds in his last four innings, read the report.

The opener seemed to have luck on his side too as Deepak Chahar dropped Gill, the tournament’s leading scorer, at square leg when the batter was on three.

Gill also survived a run-out chance when Jadeja could not properly gather the ball before breaking the stumps.

The left-arm spinner, however, made amends in the same over.

Jadeja lured Gill (39) out of the crease and Dhoni proved age has not dulled his reflexes as the 41-year-old whipped off the bails in a flash.

Chahar also floored a return catch from Wriddhiman Saha, who smashed 54 before falling to the seamer with Dhoni collecting the top edge, Reuters reported.

Sudharsan then tore into the Chennai attack and hit Matheesha Pathirana for back-to-back sixes in the final over of the innings to inch closer to a hundred.

Pathirana denied him the milestone but Gujarat could not be denied a 200-plus total.

Chennai’s openers faced three balls before rain forced them off the field and held up play for two hours and 20 minutes.

Chasing a revised target on return, Ruturaj Gaikwad (26) and Devon Conway (47) plundered 72 runs from the first six overs before Noor Ahmad removed both in the seventh over.

Shivam Dube, who made 32 not out, kept Chennai in the race but Mohit Sharma removed Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni in successive deliveries to inject fresh drama into the contest.

Chennai needed 13 runs from the last over from Mohit, who conceded three runs in his first four deliveries.

Needing 10 off the last two, Jadeja hit Mohit over his head for a six and followed it with a boundary to seal a thrilling victory.

“I was just trying to swing hard because every ball was important,” Jadeja said of the dramatic last over.

“I knew anything could happen, so I was trying to swing hard and hit it straight.”

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IPL: Chennai v Gujarat final, a ‘replay’ of opening match



(Last Updated On: May 27, 2023)

After nearly two months of intense action, cricket fans around the world will get to see a “rematch” of the opening game of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) when Gujarat Titans take on Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad.

The title match of this year’s Indian Premier League is a repeat of the opening game – a coincidence that did not surprise many.

Gujarat are the defending champions and hammered Mumbai Indians by 62 runs on Friday through Shubman Gill’s stunning 126 off 60 balls – which powered Gujarat to 233-3. 

Gill hit 10 sixes in his knock and put on a second-wicket stand of 138 with Sai Sudharsan, who made 43, to tear into the opposition attack at the world’s biggest cricket stadium.

He became the leading batsman this season with 851 runs, surpassing Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis (730), before he reached his IPL best and the top score of this season.

Chennai however are near permanent residents of the play-offs and will be fighting for the trophy for the 10th time.

If Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat manage to defend their title, the franchise will establish itself as the undisputed pioneers of the tournament in just their second season.

Chennai however has a lot riding on the game and victory will not only give them their fifth crown but also provide veteran captain MS Dhoni with what many expect will be a perfect send-off. Dhoni, 41, is expected to retire after having played this year’s IPL with a serious knee injury.

IPL 2023 prize money

Over the years, the prize money for the IPL, the richest T20 league in the world, has grown substantially and the winning team this year will receive a cheque of $2.4 million. 

The runners up will get $1.5 million, third place will take $840,000 and fourth place will get $780,000.

Friday meanwhile saw the back of Mumbai Indians, who went down to Gujurat in the final playoff. 

Mumbai’s coach Mark Boucher put his team’s loss down to injuries to fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer which he said left a hole in the team. 

Boucher, in his first season with Mumbai, said the replacement players offered their best efforts but were still not good enough for a place in the final.

“If you are losing out on your quality players, yes it’s going to leave a hole,” Boucher told reporters after his team’s 62-run hammering.

“Not to put any blame on anyone, those things happen in sports, injuries happen in sports and you’ve got to deal with it.”

Boucher, regarded as one of the world’s best wicket keepers during his playing days, said Mumbai may have to replace some of the team down the line.

“Hopefully the guys can get over the injuries. If they can’t, then we’ve got to look for other places,” said Boucher.

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Afghanistan beat Lebanon 3-2 in first futsal friendly



(Last Updated On: May 26, 2023)

Afghanistan defeated Lebanon 3-2 in the first futsal friendly match in Beirut on Thursday.

Reza Hussain Pur, Ali Amiri and Farzad Mahmoodi were the goal-scorers for the Afghan team in the match.

Afghanistan’s National Futsal team arrived in Beirut on Tuesday for three friendly matches.

The next match will be played on Saturday.

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