IPL

IPL memories: Kohli on top, Gayle the master blaster, a season in South Africa and forgotten franchises

By Sports Desk March 29, 2020

Sunday was due to see the start of the Indian Premier League in 2020, with champions Mumbai Indians scheduled to take on Chennai Super Kings in a repeat of last year's final.

It was to be the first of 56 group games during the 13th season, the success of the lucrative Twenty20 competition showing no signs of slowing up despite pretenders springing up all over the world hoping to find the same magic formula for success.

However, the coronavirus outbreak put paid to the best-laid plans.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced a postponement until April 15 initially, yet it remains to be seen when – perhaps even if – the campaign will begin, considering the health crisis that is unfolding around the globe.

Still need your IPL fix, though? Why not enjoy a leisurely trip down memory lane to recall some of the notable moments in the tournament's history.

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    Fanalysts attempting to have their say in the makeup of SportsMax’s Ultimate XI One-Day International (ODI) XI have begun to come around to the idea of axing Chris Gayle from their team even as the Zone and a panel of experts have chopped the list of batsmen 3-5 in half.

    Yesterday, fans had been in agreement that Chris Gayle should be one of the openers in its Ultimate XI ODI team, but today, many of those minds have changed, with Gayle now trailing in the voting behind Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, the two Indian batsmen the SportsMax Zone and the panel had agreed upon.

    Today the SportsMax Zone asked its panel of experts to cut its list of 12 players vying for the spot to six and despite the number of big names, there was ruthless efficiency in dismissing a number of greats.

    First to go was one of Pakistan’s most respected batsmen in Inzamum-ul-Haq, who statistics say, bat too slowly to compete with the all-time great middle-order batsmen.

    Inzy was competing against the likes of Australia’s Ricky Ponting, Michael Bevan and Mike Hussey, India’s Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, South Africa’s AB de Villiers, the west Indies’ Brian Lara and Sir Vivian Richards, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva, as well as New Zealand’s Ross Taylor.

    Joining Inzy in the dressing room are Dhoni, Bevan, Hussey, de Silva, and Taylor.

    Taylor was seen as the best from New Zealand but not a standout when compared to the other great middle-order batsmen of his era, while Dhoni was chopped, presumably because he is expected to compete favourably for a spot as the Ultimate XI’s wicketkeeper.

    Bevan and Hussey, despite great averages and the latter’s ‘Mr Cricket’ moniker, were seen as a little outclassed by the other batsmen, while de Silva boasted an average that was too low to compete with the others in the group.

    Tomorrow, the panel will discuss the merits and demerits, if there are any, from a group of Sangakarra, Ponting, Kohli, Lara, de Villiers, and Sir Viv.

    Remember, no matter what has happened so far, votes are still open for all positions and you can have your say by going to SportsMax.tv and clicking on the banner, or following the link here.

  • CWI agree in principle to tour England in July, awaits UK gov't approval CWI agree in principle to tour England in July, awaits UK gov't approval

    Cricket West Indies has agreed in principle to send a West Indies team to England for a three-Test series in July. The decision was arrived at during a meeting of the board on Thursday.

    The decision comes only after CWI medical and cricket-related representatives and advisors have been involved in detailed discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and their own medical and public health advisers over the past few weeks.

    These discussions involved the local and international logistics and protocols, which are already being put in place to minimize risk and optimize the health and safety of all concerned.  CWI has also received and reviewed detailed plans for players and staff to be kept in a bio-secure environment for the duration of the tour, with all matches being played “behind closed doors”.

    The CWI will now be awaiting the England Cricket Board who is to get approval from the UK Government sometime over the next few days.

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    “I would like to thank the CWI management, the Medical Advisory Committee, and the Financial Strategic Advisory Committee for their detailed and timely presentations given to the Board meeting,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

    “In addition to our approval in principle of the proposed Test Tour of England, we made some significant financial management decisions that will be announced and implemented in due course.  The great detail to which the Board engaged in these matters is testimony to their urgency and importance, but it meant that we had to defer a few agenda items until next Wednesday (June 3), when we have scheduled to reconvene”.

    Most of Thursday’s lengthy meeting focused on discussing the initial short-term recommendations from the Financial Strategy Advisory Committee (FSAC), a special purpose committee that was put in place by CWI President Ricky Skerritt on April 2, 2020.

    The committee comprised a joint membership of Directors and Executive Management, all with significant financial management expertise, chaired by JCA President, Wilford “Billy” Heaven.

    The Board agreed to the committee’s business continuity plan of action, for how CWI would have to operate in order to survive its cash flow crisis, in the context of the debilitating economic uncertainties of the global pandemic COVID-19.

     

  • 'Cleon dedicated his life to coaching' - CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams 'Cleon dedicated his life to coaching' - CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams

    Cricket West Indies offered condolences to the family and friends of Cleon Smith, head coach of the Jamaica Women’s cricket team. He passed away on Thursday.

    Smith played a crucial role in the development of several players on the island, including Stafanie Taylor, the West Indies women’s captain.

    He is credited with the success of the Jamaica team in the CWI Women’s tournaments where they won several titles in the last decade. He also coached the St Ann’s parish team several clubs and in schools. Smith was a regular co-ordinator of the Kiddy Cricket programme, which was part of the CWI age-group and junior development pathway.

    CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams paid tribute to Smith.

    “It is with a deep sense of loss that all of us at CWI heard of the passing of Cleon Smith. He has been an integral part of the Jamaica cricketing landscape serving as head coach of the country’s women’s national programme for over ten years,” Adams said.

    “Cleon dedicated his life to coaching the game at community, school and regional levels and the game will be left that much poorer by his passing. All of us at CWI wish to convey our deepest condolences to Cleon’s family as we share their grief during this period of mourning

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