England batter Jason Roy has been given a suspended two-match international ban by the Cricket Discipline Commission.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealed Roy had admitted a charge of "conducting himself in a manner which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the game of cricket, the ECB and himself into disrepute."

A disciplinary panel ruled that the opener had been in breach of ECB Directive 3.3, but did not specify what the matter relates to.

Roy has been given a fine of £2,500, which he must pay by March 31.

The 31-year-old pulled out of this year's Indian Premier League for personal reasons.

Roy had been due to play for new franchise Gujarat Titans in the competition, which runs from March 26 to May 29.

The powerful right-hander was last in action for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League a month ago.

 

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma has warned of the dangers of complacency as the Proteas tackle Bangladesh in a significant ODI series.

The three games in six days could have a major bearing on whether South Africa ease into the Cricket World Cup, or whether they have to go to the subsequent qualifying competition next year.

Series defeats to Sri Lanka and Pakistan, plus a draw with Ireland and an abandoned series against the Netherlands, have left the Proteas down in 10th position in the Cricket World Cup Super League after 10 games.

Bangladesh have played 15 games so far, winning 10 of those, and sit top of the table, just ahead of England, with India in third place.

South Africa have won all nine of their previous men's ODIs at home against Bangladesh, so they head into this series as firm favourites. A 3-0 ODI series win away to India in January showed their prowess, albeit that did not count towards World Cup qualification.

Bavuma said ahead of Friday's SuperSport Park opener: "We must make sure that we get ourselves in the right mental space. One of the things we have spoken about from a mental point of view is that coming up against a side like India generally it is easier for the guys to get themselves up.

"With Bangladesh, we can't afford to underestimate them in any way from a mental and intensity point of view and there can't be any sense of complacency."

Fitness concerns mean South Africa have not selected all-rounder Sisanda Magala. He is not injured and has performed strongly with the ball for the Lions in recent days, but South Africa do not see him being in the right physical shape to play international cricket.

Bavuma is a Lions club-mate of Magala but indicated the ruthless decision was one that he supported.

Speaking in a news conference on Friday, Bavuma said: "With Magala, he knows he can only point the finger back at himself and obviously as a captain I am disappointed that I don't have him at my disposal – but I think he can accept that it is his own doing."

The South Africa captain added, according to Times Live: "I play with the guy at the Lions, I have a good relationship with the fitness trainer and the communication that I have had is that there is a lot more good he is doing to try to improve his fitness. Unfortunately, at this time he is not at the eligible fitness level."

Bangladesh bidding to bounce back

Bangladesh suffered a seven-wicket loss to Afghanistan in their last ODI, bringing an end to a five-game winning streak in the format. It would be a statement result if they pulled off a win in any of their three games in South Africa, even though the Proteas have lost four of their last six completed men's ODIs in Centurion, including their last two. The Proteas have never lost more than two consecutive games in their 43 all-time fixtures at the venue.

Hosts go all out

A number of South Africa's big names will miss the Test series that follows the ODIs, as they head to the IPL, but the hosts will be fielding their strongest possible side in these limited-overs games. South Africa have scored an average of 300 runs per innings when batting first in men's ODIs since the beginning of 2021, the most of any team to have batted first more than once in that period and 53 runs more than Bangladesh (247).

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Board (KNCB) announced the match schedule for the West Indies Men’s first-ever One Day International (ODI) tour of the Netherlands in 2022.

New chairman Lachlan Henderson says Cricket Australia must take time to reflect on the "messy" manner in which Justin Langer's reign as head coach came to an end.

Langer resigned this month after only being offered a six-month contract extension on the back of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing of England.

The former Australia opener had also masterminded a T20 World Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Eyebrows were raised over Langer's dramatic exit, but Australia Test captain Cummins said the feeling in the dressing room was it was the right time for a new coach to be appointed.

New chair Henderson does not want a repeat of the way the situation was played out so publicly. 

He told reporters: "It got messy in terms of things playing out in the media. But the board's role was to receive recommendations from management. We made our decision based on that.

"With any significant decision like that boards should reflect on that process that was involved.

"It is unfortunate that a bit of that played out in the media, and we will reflect on whether that should have been accelerated through the summer."

Henderson will look to bring stability after taking over from interim leader Richard Freudenstein, who stepped in following Earl Eddings' resignation.

The new chair has vowed to be transparent in a new era for Cricket Australia.

"My communication style will be to be open, transparent, hopefully consistent," he said on Thursday. 

"I work in health care. We've negotiated a pandemic in the last two years. That's required a fair amount of resilience. So within the bounds of the confidentiality of boards, I hope that there's a really open and transparent way forward."

West Indies lost their second ODI against India at Ahmedabad by 44 runs on Wednesday and with it the three-match ODI series.

Rohit Sharma enjoyed a brilliant start to life as India's ODI captain in a dominant six-wicket defeat of West Indies on Sunday.

Rohit was named skipper in December but only now, in the series opener in Ahmedabad, has he been able to lead his side due to a hamstring injury.

It was worth the wait, however, as India cruised to victory in their 1,000th ODI, aided by 60 runs from 51 balls from Rohit.

That knock, which included 10 fours and a six, set the tone for a straightforward chase after West Indies had been bowled out for 176.

Even that modest total required some heavy lifting from Jason Holder, whose 57 improved markedly on a woeful 7-79 start after the Windies skipper survived a scare.

Holder could have been the victim of a hat-trick ball from Yuzvendra Chahal (4-49), but his inside edge fell short of short leg.

Chahal's fellow spinner Washington Sundar – returning for his second ODI more than four years after his first – finished with 3-30 to help ensure a straightforward target for Rohit and Co.

An opening partnership of 84 with Ishan Kishan took any jeopardy out of the situation, as India comfortably made 178-4 in 28 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Holder reaches milestone in attempted rescue act...

A stunning spell from Chahal, whose four wickets took him to 103 in 60 ODIs (the fifth-fastest India bowler to 100), had West Indies in all sorts of trouble, but it also brought Holder out into the middle.

The captain led the way as the tourists belatedly showed some fight, making 57 to pass 2,000 ODI runs (2,011) and become the fifth West Indies player to reach that mark along with 100 wickets in this format. Holder has 141 ODI wickets but could not add to that tally.

But both innings belong to opposite number Rohit

There is little doubting Rohit's ability with the bat, and the opener's 60 took him past Sachin Tendulkar (1,573) onto 1,583 ODI runs against West Indies, with only Virat Kohli (now 2,243) scoring more for India.

The full-time captaincy role is a new one, however, and Rohit was just as impressive in that sense. Rewarded for putting his faith in the spinners, the skipper also had three successful reviews from three to account for Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran and Shamarh Brooks.

Rohit Sharma takes charge of India for a milestone ODI against West Indies on Sunday, saying the team "have to change" as his tenure as captain begins in earnest.

India have lost their last four ODIs, after slumping to a 3-0 series defeat to South Africa in January, with Rohit forced to miss the games against the Proteas due to a hamstring injury.

The opening batsman was appointed India's ODI skipper in December, taking over from Virat Kohli, but he has yet to feature for his country since then.

Now his chance to stamp a mark on the team has arrived, and Rohit said it would be "the same template" rather than anything radical that he brings to the leadership, but it is clear this is a flexible template.

A three-match ODI series awaits, with matches being played on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, all at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, ahead of a three-game T20I tussle in Kolkata.

At the age of 34, Rohit is seen as a wise tactician, a safe pair of hands for the coming years, and he has no designs of being a radical skipper.

"We are a good team and have good players. It's just that on certain occasions, there will be situations presented in front of us where we have to change our game a little bit," he said.

"We have to change our game, there is no doubt about that. Adaptability and being open to different things at different points is what we have spoken of."

He explained: "We have played good ODI cricket over the course of a few years – more than a few years, actually.

"Suddenly a loss of a series doesn't mean there's a panic that we need to create. It's just the certain understandings, certain learnings that we need to take into our game.

"The South Africa series was a great learning [experience] for us as to what we didn't do collectively as a team."

India's 1,000th ODI arrives on Sunday. They will become the first men's team to reach that mark and have won 518 matches in the format to date (L431 T9 NR41) – only Australia have won more such games (581).

Rohit will be partnered at the top of the India order by Ishan Kishan, with COVID-19 positive tests sidelining both Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, while Mayank Agarwal, called up to add another option, is in the quarantining stage as he joins the team bubble.


A tangled history

India have won seven of their last eight men's ODIs against West Indies; however, it has been a different story at the venue for this series. In fact, West Indies have won four of the five ODIs they have played against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

India's lone win came in November 2002. The latest meeting of the teams at this ground took place in 2011, so although there is a historical record of West Indies dominance, it would be a stretch to point to this as particularly relevant to this series... unless, of course, West Indies rout India, then wise heads can say they saw it coming.

That seems unlikely, though. India have won nine of their last 10 bilateral home men's ODI series (L1), including the last three. Their lone defeat in this period was a 3-2 loss to Australia in March 2019. The last time West Indies triumphed against India, in India, in a bilateral ODI series was a 4-3 success in November 2002.

Can Holder dazzle again for West Indies?

West Indies are fresh from beating England 3-2 at home in a T20I series, so their morale is high. Jason Holder's four wickets in four balls in the final over of the series decider stands him in good stead, and the former captain will have another achievement in his sights. 

Holder, who has 141 ODI wickets, needs 46 more runs with the bat to reach 2,000 in ODI cricket. It would make him the fifth man to register 2,000 runs and 100 wickets for West Indies in the format.

Experienced fast bowler Kemar Roach, Nkrumah Bonner and Brandon King have been included in a West Indies squad named for their white-ball tour of India next month.

Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has revealed he is facing a "multi-year ban" from international cricket for delaying reporting a spot-fixing plot.

Taylor says he was blackmailed by an Indian businessman, who paid him USD $15,000 to travel to India to discuss sponsorships and potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe in 2019.

The 35-year-old says he had not been paid by Zimbabwe Cricket for six months and it was questionable whether his country would continue playing international cricket.

Wicketkeeper-batter Taylor stated that he "foolishly took the bait" when he was offered cocaine on a night out for a celebratory dinner with the businessman and his colleagues after concluding discussions.

Taylor says he was "cornered" the following morning when six people stormed into his hotel room to show him a video of him taking cocaine and told the footage would be made public if he refused to spot-fix in international matches.

The ex-Zimbabwe skipper says he was handed USD $15,000 as a "deposit" for spot-fixing and was told another USD $20,000 would be paid once the "job" was complete.

Taylor felt he had to take the money, so he was allowed go home but suffered with both his mental and physical health following the life-changing ordeal in India that has taken him to some "dark places".

He stated that he has never been involved in spot-fixing, but is facing a ban for not reporting what happened in India to the International Cricket Council for four months.

Taylor said in a statement: "The 'businessman' wanted a return on his investment which I could not and would not give. It took me 4 months to report this offence and interaction to the ICC.

"I acknowledge this was too long of a time but I thought I could protect everyone and in particular, my family.

"I approached the ICC on my own terms and I hoped that if I explained my predicament, my genuine fear for our safety and wellbeing, that they would understand the delay.

"Unfortunately, they did not, but I cannot feign ignorance in this regard. I have attended many anti-corruptions seminars over the years and we knew that time is of the essence when making reports.

"I would like to place on record that I have never been involved in any form of match-fixing. I may be many things but I am not a cheat.

"My love for the beautiful game of cricket far outweighs and surpasses any threat which could be thrown my way."

Taylor revealed he will check into a rehabilitation centre on Tuesday to "get clean" and to get his life "back on track" after living in "hell for years".

Shaheen Afridi and Joe Root have been named the ICC men's Player of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year for 2021.

Pakistan fast bowler Afridi took 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20, including a career-best of 6-51 against West Indies in August.

It was during Pakistan's run to the semi-finals of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup that the 21-year-old particularly impressed, taking seven wickets in six matches.

Mohammad Rizwan, England captain Root and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson were also nominated for the prestigious award.

While Root missed out on that accolade, he was voted the top Test cricketer for 2021.

Root scored 1,708 runs in 15 matches, including two double centuries and a further four tons, in what was otherwise a disappointing year for England.

Only Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indies legend Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976) have scored more in a single calendar year.

The 31-year-old saw off competition from New Zealand bowler Kyle Jamieson, Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

"I am incredibly proud to receive this award," Root said. 

"I am very humbled to be in the same breath as a number of wonderful players around the world and it means a huge amount to have got this award."

 

Root scored more than three times as many runs as any of his team-mates last year, with Rory Burns (530) and Jonny Bairstow (391) next on the list.

He is only the second Englishman to claim the accolade after Alastair Cook in 2011. 

The award had been won by an Australian player on five of the last seven occasions it has been handed out, with Pat Cummins the most recent winner in 2019.

Elsewhere, Afridi's team-mate Babar Azam was named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year on Monday after scoring 405 runs in six games at an average of 67.50.

And fellow Pakistan star Rizwan was crowned men's T20I Cricketer of the Year on Sunday, with England's Tammy Beaumont claiming the women's equivalent.

Rizwan, Babar and Afridi were also included in the ICC T20I Team of 2021, alongside the likes of Jos Butler, Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood.

ICC Teams of the Year

Men's T20I Team of 2021: Jos Butler (ENG), Mohammad Rizwan (PAK, WK), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Aiden Markram (SA), Mitchell Marsh (AUS), David Miller (SA), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Tabraiz Shamsi (SA), Josh Hazlewood (AUS), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

Men's ODI Team of 2021: Paul Stirling (IRE), Janneman Malan (SA), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Fakhar Zaman (PAK), Rassie van der Dussen (SA), Shakib Al-Hasan (BANG), Mushfiqur Rahim (BANG, WK), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Simi Singh (IRE), Dushmantha Chameera (SL)

Men's Test Team of 2021: Dimuth Karunaratne (SL), Rohit Sharma (India), Marnus Labuschagne (AUS), Joe Root (ENG), Kane Williamson (NZ), Fawad Alam (PAK), Rishabh Pant (IND, WK), Ravichandran Ashwin (IND), Kyle Jamison (NZ), Hasan Ali (PAK), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

Quinton de Kock made a magnificent century as South Africa won a dramatic third ODI by four runs against India at Newlands to seal a 3-0 series whitewash.

Half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan (61) and Virat Kohli (65) gave the tourists a platform to build their chase of 288 from, but some excellent bowling and safe hands in the field saw the Proteas dismiss India for an agonising 283 off the second ball of the final over.

India won the toss and put South Africa in to bat, taking the early wickets of Janneman Malan (1) and Temba Bavuma (8). When Aiden Markram fell to Deepak Chahar for 15 in the 13th over, the hosts were 70-3 and wobbling until a partnership of 144 between De Kock and Rassie van der Dussen.

De Kock followed up his 78 from the second game in Paarl by making a classy 124 off 130 balls, with Van der Dussen (52) the only other to make a half-century for the Proteas.

However, both fell in consecutive overs, and though a useful pairing of David Miller (39) and Dwaine Pretorius (20) put on a partnership of 44, South Africa was all out in the last over, with Prasidh Krishna (3-59) bringing the innings to a close with the penultimate ball for a total of 287.

The chase did not start brilliantly for India as KL Rahul was caught by Malan off the bowling of Lungi Ngidi (3-58) for just nine, though Dhawan and Kohli set about repairing that early damage.

Their partnership of 98 appeared to set the tourists on their way to a consolation win, though after Dhawan was dismissed when he hit an Andile Phehlukwayo delivery straight up in the air, allowing De Kock to snaffle the catch, Rishabh Pant was out first ball to Phehlukwayo and India's chase looked less assured.

Kohli steadied the ship with Shreyas Iyer (26) before he was taken by Bavuma off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj, but Suryakumar Yadav (39) and Chahar (54) had India scenting a win.

However, with just 10 runs required for victory, Chahar hit Ngidi straight up in the air, with Pretorious taking the catch, before Jasprit Bumrah (12) was caught by Bavuma off Phehlukwayo to leave India needing seven runs from nine balls with one wicket remaining, which fell when Yuzvendra Chahal (2) hit Pretorious straight to Miller.

Proteas in safe hands with Bavuma

It is safe to say that South Africa's ODI captaincy is in safe hands, quite literally when it comes to Bavuma as he took four catches to help his team dismiss India in Cape Town.

Bavuma also used his bowling attack expertly, with five different bowlers sharing the wickets (Ngidi and Phehlukwayo with three, Pretorius two and Sisanda Magala and Maharaj getting one each).

One day woes for India

Although the first two defeats in this series were the result of poor performances, this was a much tighter affair and stand-in ODI captain Rahul will be pleased with the improvement.

Chahar was one success story, coming in for his first game of the series and hitting 54 with the bat while taking two wickets with the ball, but this now makes it four defeats on the spin in ODIs.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has confirmed the Black Caps' limited-overs tour of Australia has been postponed until further notice over a lack of clarity as to when the team could return home.

Australia were scheduled to welcome their trans-Tasman rivals for three ODIs and a solitary T20I, with New Zealand set to be in the country from January 24 to February 9.

However, the New Zealand government has been unable to relax strict quarantine rules that have been imposed in response to the Omicron wave of coronavirus.

The conditions for re-entry into the country mean travellers have to undergo a 10-day period of hard quarantine.

As such, NZC has confirmed the tour has been shelved for the time being and discussions with Cricket Australia over when the matches can be played are ongoing.

"As we now know, the advent of Omicron prompted a change of heart from the government, resulting in a hard 10-day mandatory isolation period being imposed on all incoming travellers," said NZC chief executive David White.

"NZC and CA had explored a proposal to expand the tour and to push out the date on which the squad might return to New Zealand, in the hope that might be more achievable for the government.

"But we received advice this morning that they could not provide certainty over this, either."

No spectators will be allowed in to watch India's tour of South Africa due to a soaring number of coronavirus cases.

Six days before the Test series starts at Supersport Park, Cricket South Africa (CSA) revealed matches will be staged behind closed doors in order to protect the players.

The Proteas and India will play three Tests and as many ODIs without fans in attendance.

A CSA statement said: "Cricket South Africa (CSA) has noted the interests of cricket fans and other stakeholders on the scheduling and the release of the details of ticket sales, in connection with the forthcoming India vs Proteas tour that is scheduled to begin in less than a week.

"Regrettably, CSA wishes to inform the most ardent fans of cricket as well as all sports lovers that owing to the increasing COVID cases around the world, and the fourth wave locally, the two cricketing bodies have taken a joint decision to protect the players and the tour by NOT making tickets available for the India vs Proteas offerings.

"This decision was taken in order to avoid any breaches that could compromise the tour from a COVID-risk perspective and to also maintain a hazard-free bubble environment."

Pholetsi Moseki, the CSA acting chief executive officer, said: "We acknowledge the interest expressed by the fans and other stakeholders on being able to return to stadiums and want to assure all cricket fans that this decision was not taken lightly, but was instead taken in the best interest of the game and in the interest of the health and safety of all patrons.

"Consequently, we urge all sport lovers to exercise absolute care, during these extraordinary times.

"I also wish to take this time to urge all South Africans to continue spreading the positive messages of VACCINATION, VACCINATION AND VACCINATION, because this is the only way that we can truly get our country back into its high economic activity, which will assist government to open up the economy and all its forms of economic activity, including allowing greater numbers of fans back into stadiums."

 

New Zealand will tour Pakistan twice in 2022-23 after the two boards reached an agreement in Dubai last month.

The Black Caps pulled out of a limited-overs series in Pakistan at the last minute due to a government security alert.

Kane Williamson's side will be back in the country to play two Tests and three ODIs from December next year to January 2023.

They will then return for five ODIs and as many Twenty20 Internationals in April 2023 to make up for not facing Pakistan this year.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said: "Our respective chairmen, Ramiz Raja and Martin Snedden, had very fruitful and constructive discussions while in Dubai, further strengthening the bond between the two organisations It’s good to be going back."

Raja the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, said: "I am pleased with the outcomes of our discussions and negotiations, and thank Martin Snedden and his board for their understanding and support.

"This reflects the strong, cordial and historic relations the two boards have, and reconfirms Pakistan's status as an important member of the cricket fraternity."

The West Indies white-ball tour is at risk of being cancelled after five additional members of the touring party tested positive for Covid-19 during PCR tests administered by the Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday.

Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Justin Greaves as well as Assistant Coach Roddy Estwick and team physician Dr Akshai Mansingh all returned positive results and will now undergo a period of self-isolation. Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, and Kyle Mayers had tested positive prior to the start of the series are also in isolation.

With a total of six players now ruled out of the tour due to COVID-19 and a finger injury to Devon Thomas (sustained in the 1st T20I), CWI and PCB Officials met Thursday morning, after all members of the touring party were tested again, to determine whether the tour can continue.

According to sources, it was decided that the final T20 will be played but the ODI series could be called off if there is a further outbreak among the West Indies players.

The West Indies trail 0-2 in the T20 having lost the first match on December 13 by 63 runs and the second on December 14, by nine runs.

 

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