BREAKING NEWS: Kohli steps down as India Test captain

By Sports Desk January 15, 2022
Virat Kohli has stepped down as India Test captain following the 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.

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  • South Africa head coach Boucher charged with misconduct following racism allegations South Africa head coach Boucher charged with misconduct following racism allegations

    Mark Boucher has been charged with gross misconduct following allegations of racism made against the South Africa head coach by his former team-mate Paul Adams.

    Boucher faces a disciplinary hearing, chaired by senior counsel advocate Terry Motau, following a Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report that revealed "tentative findings" regarding allegations of discrimination and racism.

    Those allegations were made against "various persons", one of which was Boucher.

    Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday confirmed ex-Proteas wicketkeeper Boucher is due to meet Motau on January 26 to determine a timetable for proceedings.

    Boucher will remain in his role, although CSA stated that the gross misconduct "could lead to his dismissal" as his side prepare for the second ODI of the series against India.

    CSA added it is "important that the independent inquiry first needs to test all allegations before any question of sanction can arise."

    When releasing his report, ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza indicated that he was not in a position to make “definite findings” and recommended that a further process be undertaken in this regard.

    The CSA board was obligated to institute further formal enquiries into CSA employees, suppliers or contractors who are implicated by the SJN report.

    CSA board chairperson Lawson Naidoo said: "The Board remains mindful of its duty to treat allegations of racism or discrimination with the utmost seriousness and in a manner that ensures fairness and due process in terms of South Africa's Constitution and labour legislation. It is now up to the inquiry to determine to which extent the allegations are true and justify the need for further disciplinary steps."

    Boucher was given a charge sheet on January 17. The upcoming inquiry will also consider concerns and allegations that arose following the resignation of former South assistant coach Enoch Nkwe.

    Naidoo added: "CSA emphasises that any implicated party will be given a fair opportunity to be heard so that finality can be achieved."

  • ICC names T20I teams of the year, with Babar and Sciver as captains ICC names T20I teams of the year, with Babar and Sciver as captains

    The International Cricket Council has announced its men's and women's T20I teams of the year, with Pakistan's Babar Azam and England's Nat Sciver named as captains.

    Six countries are represented in the men's side, with three each from South Africa and Pakistan, two from Australia and one from England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

    The three Pakistan players to make the team are Babar, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi. Babar was the top scorer in the T20 World Cup and amassed 939 runs in 29 matches in 2021 overall. Rizwan managed 1,326 runs in the same number of matches at a strike rate of 134.89, while Afridi took 23 wickets in 21 matches at an economy of just 7.86.

    Aiden Markram, David Miller and Tabraiz Shamsi are the chosen trio from South Africa. Markram scored 570 runs in 18 matches, Miller 377 runs at a strike rate of 149.60, and wrist spinner Shamsi took 36 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 5.72.

    Australia duo Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood are also chosen, with the former making 627 runs in 21 matches and starring in the T20 World Cup final win over New Zealand.

    Hazlewood also played a huge partl in his team's World Cup success, taking 23 wickets in 15 matches at an average of 16.34.

    England's Jos Buttler makes the team after scoring 589 runs in 14 matches at 65.44 apiece, with one century. He was England's leading run-scorer in the World Cup with 269, which included a stunning century against Sri Lanka, who themselves are represented by Wanindu Hasaranga.

    The spinner was another standout performer at the World Cup with 16 wickets to his name, more than anyone else in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Hasaranga took 36 wickets in 20 matches last year.

    The final selection is Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman, who claimed 28 wickets in 20 matches at an average of 17.39, as well as keeping things tight with an economy of 7.00.

    The women's team sees five English selections, including Sciver as captain, along with Tammy Beaumont, Danni Wyatt, Amy Jones and Sophie Ecclestone.

    They are joined by Smriti Mandhana (India), Gaby Lewis (Ireland), Laura Wolvaardt, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail (all South Africa) and Loryn Phiri (Zimbabwe).

  • Van der Dussen and Bavuma hit centuries as South Africa see out ODI win over India Van der Dussen and Bavuma hit centuries as South Africa see out ODI win over India

    Rassie van der Dussen and South Africa captain Temba Bavuma starred as the Proteas claimed a 31-run win over India in the opening ODI at Paarl.

    Having won the Test series, South Africa started the three-match ODI series in confident fashion on Wednesday.

    It was not all plain sailing, with the hosts 3-68 when Van der Dussen came to the crease in the 18th over but, along with his skipper, the 32-year-old turned in a supreme performance.

    After dismissing Janneman Malan (six), the returning Quinton de Kock (27) and Aiden Markram (four), India – under the leadership of stand-in white-ball captain KL Rahul – had their tails up, but Bavuma and Van der Dussen put on a stand of 204 to take the game away from the tourists.

    Bavuma's methodical 110 from 143 deliveries – his second ODI 100 – anchored things at one end while Van der Dussen flourished at the other, hitting 129 not-out to propel South Africa to 296-4 from 50 overs.

    Rahul (12) edged Markram through to De Kock in the ninth over, but Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, playing for the first time since he was relinquishing the captaincy, seemed to have India well-placed.

    Dhawan was bowled by Keshav Maharaj (1-42) for 79, however, and Kohli (51) fell inside three overs with a failed attempt at a sweep, shortly after reaching his half-century.

    India needed 141 to win heading into their last 20 overs, yet Shreyas Iyer (17), Rishabh Pant (16), Venkatesh Iyer (two) and Ravichandran Ashwin (seven) lost their wickets in the space of six overs. 

    The impressive Shardul Thakur reached 50 with the final ball of the day, but his flurry was never enough to trouble South Africa as India finished on 265-8.

    Record-setting Van der Dussen dazzles

    "In the past, I maybe would have taken 15-20 balls to assess, but the conditions told me I had to get going from fairly early on," said Van der Dussen after his innings. 

    Getting about it early on is just what Van der Dussen did, sweeping for four off the third ball he faced. It set the tone for an exquisite display that included nine boundaries and four sixes, with his 129 n.o. reached in 96 deliveries, at a strike rate of 134.37.

    He now has the best average of any batsman to have scored at least 1,000 ODI runs, with 73.62.

    South Africa share the wickets around

    Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of India's bowlers with 2-48 from his 10 overs, though he had little support from the rest of the attack.

    The Proteas, meanwhile, had Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi and Andile Phehlukwayo each contribute two wickets, albeit Bavuma will be unhappy with some sloppiness that crept in late on, when Thakur was able to tally 16 in the 48th over.

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