Former West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels will contest recent charges made against him under the ICC anti-corruption code.

The 40-year-old former batsman retired from the sport in 2020 but was charged by the ICC on behalf of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) for breaching the anti-corruption code during his participation in the 2019 T10 league.

Samuels was charged on four counts of breaching the code relating to:

A breach of Article 2.4.2 – Failing to disclose to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official, the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit that was made or given in circumstances that could bring the Participant or the sport of cricket into disrepute.

A breach of Article 2.4.3 - Failing to disclose to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official receipt of hospitality with a value of US $750 or more.

Breaches of Article 2.4.6 – Failing to cooperate with the Designated Anti-Corruption Official’s investigation.

Breaches of Article 2.4.7 – Obstructing or delaying the Designated Anti-Corruption Official’s investigation by concealing information that may have been relevant to the investigation.

Samuels who had 14 days to contest the charges has since hired legal representation and informed the ICC of his intent to content the allegations brought against him.

West Indies bowling legend turned commentator Michael Holding has accused the England team of displaying ‘western arrogance’ following the decision to withdraw from the tour of Pakistan.

Last month, the England Cricket Board announced the decision to pull out of the tour of Pakistan, which was expected to include matches for both the men’s and women’s teams.  The decision came sharply on the back of the New Zealand’s team's choice to pull out of a similarly planned tour after citing security concerns.

The ECB cited a concern for "mental and physical well-being" as the primary reason for taking the decision particularly as the group had ‘already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments’.  Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chair Ramiz Raja accused the ECB of failing a fellow member of the cricket fraternity and Holding was also not convinced by the body’s reasons.

"The ECB statement doesn't wash with me," the always forthright Holding said. "No substance."

"Nobody wants to come forward and face up to anything because they know what they did was wrong,” he added.

"So they put out a statement and hid behind a statement. It just reminds me of the rubbish they did with Black Lives Matter.

"I won't go back into that because I've said enough about that. But what that signal sends to me, is the same Western arrogance.

"I will treat you how I feel like treating you, it doesn't matter what you think, I'll just do what I want."

 

Nathan Coulter-Nile claimed his best Indian Premier League figures and Ishan Kishan smashed a half-century as Mumbai Indians stayed in the play-off hunt with an eight-wicket hammering of Rajasthan Royals.

Both sides started their penultimate match of the regular season on Tuesday knowing they needed a win to have any real chance of taking the fourth and final play-off place.

The defending champions moved level on points with the fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders, who have a superior run-rate, and left the sorry Royals facing an early exit by dishing out a thrashing at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Coulter-Nile finished with incredible figures of 4-14 as the Royals could only post a meagre 90-9 - the second-lowest total in the full 20 overs in IPL history.

Jimmy Neesham took 3-12 and Jasprit Bumrah 2-14, with Rajasthan capitulating from 41-1 under pressure.

Mumbai had no such trouble with the bat in their run chase, reaching their target for the fall of only two wickets with 70 balls to spare.

Such an emphatic win for the holders may still not be enough for them to qualify ahead of their match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday, with KKR in pole position as they prepare to face the seventh-placed Royals on Thursday.

Coulter-Nile rips through Royals

Australian paceman Coulter-Nile was the Royals' chief tormentor after they had got off to a promising start.

He ended an opening stand of 27 by getting Yashasvi Jaiswal caught behind and Rajasthan fell to pieces after Lewis was snared leg before by Bumrah.

Coulter-Nile cleaned up Glenn Phillips and struck David Miller in front before bowling Chetan Sakariya, while Neesham claimed the wickets of Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube and Rahul Tewatia on the New Zealand all-rounder's IPL return.

Sealed with a Kish

Kishan came to the wicket on the back of three failures, but he returned to form in spectacular fashion to seal victory in a hurry.

Rohit Sharma (22 off 13) became the first Indian batsman to hit 400 T20 sixes before fellow opener Kishan came to the fore.

The 23-year-old reached the 1,000 runs landmark for the franchise, clearing the rope three times and hitting a further four boundaries, dispatching Mustafizur Rahman for four and then a six to reach his half-century and wrap up a crushing win.

All-rounder Sam Curran will miss England's Twenty20 World Cup campaign with a back injury.

Curran's older brother Tom has been called up to replace the 23-year-old, who suffered the setback while playing in the Indian Premier League for Chennai Super Kings at the weekend.

Scans revealed a lower-back issue, meaning disappointment for one sibling but an opportunity for another.

Surrey's Reece Topley will also join up with the squad after being added as a travelling reserve for the tournament in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

England's opening match is against West Indies, who beat them in the 2016 final, on October 23.

Delhi Capitals moved to the summit of the Indian Premier League table with a three-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in the battle between the top two on Monday.

Both sides were already assured of a play-off spot before they met at the Dubai International Stadium and it was the Capitals who moved to the brink of sealing a top-two finish with their 100th victory in the IPL's 50th match of 2021.

Kagiso Rabada steered Dwayne Bravo for four to take Delhi beyond their target of 137 to win, moving above their opponents with one game of the regular season to play.

Ambati Rayudu top scored with an unbeaten 55 from 43 balls in CSK's total of 136-5 after they were put in by birthday boy Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel the pick of the bowlers with 2-18 from his four overs.

Shikhar Dhawan struck 39 off 35 deliveries in his 300th T20 game, but Delhi collapsed to 99-6 after the opener and Ravichandran Ashwin fell in an excellent 15th over from Shardul Thakur (2-13)

Ravindra Jadeja (2-28) had earlier removed Pant and Ripal Patel, into the side at the expense of Steve Smith, but a dropped catch from Krishnappa Gowtham and some wayward Dwayne Bravo bowling cost CSK.

Substitute fielder Gowtham dropped a simple chance offered by Shimron Hetmyer in the 18th over and the West Indies batsman finished unbeaten on 28, with Rabada settling a tight contest.

Axar peaking at the right time

Spinner Axar was named man of the match after taking 3-21 in a four-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

The tweaker made a big impact once again two days later, getting dangerous duo Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali caught at deep midwicket.

Axar has taken 14 wickets in IPL games, with his economy rate of 6.05 the sixth-best in the tournament, and he could have a big say in whether Delhi win the title.

 

Gowtham gaffe punished

The Capitals needed 28 to win off three overs after losing their way in the run chase, but the game swung back in their favour in the 18th over.

Bravo had already bowled two wides and been hit for four by Hetmyer before his Windies team-mate was put down by Gowtham coming in from long-on, the ball going through his hands and crossing the ropes to add insult to injury.

Hetmyer launched Josh Hazlewood for a huge six into the leg side in the next over as Gowtham looked to the skies in disbelief.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will decide this week whether to go ahead with the upcoming Ashes Tour after communicating Cricket Australia's proposed arrangements with players.

The first Test of the Ashes is due to begin on December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane, though the full length of the Tour is expected to be 11 weeks, and during that time the England team will have to live under restricted conditions in an attempt to prevent coronavirus outbreaks.

Australia has been one of the most restrictive countries in the world during the pandemic, with strict border rules in force since March 2020.

Its international borders are set to reopen in November, though Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested last month that England will not benefit from any "special deals" regarding quarantine rules if they are to travel to Australia.

Nearly 57 per cent of Australians are fully vaccinated, while 82.5 per cent of Brits are, though all state and international borders are not expected to be open until regional and national vaccination rates hit 80 per cent.

With players and management informed over the weekend of what life will look like for them in Australia, the ECB board is set to make a final decision on whether to go ahead with the trip by the end of the week.

An ECB statement read: "Over the weekend we have been talking to England men's players and management to provide them with the latest information about the proposed arrangements for this winter's scheduled Ashes Tour.

"We remain in regular and positive dialogue with Cricket Australia over these arrangements as the picture is constantly evolving.

"With health and wellbeing at the forefront, our focus is to ensure the Tour can go ahead with conditions for players and management to perform at their best.

"We will continue talking to our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback.

"Later this week the ECB Board will meet to decide whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the Tour to go ahead and enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance."

Shubman Gill made a decisive half-century as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets in their battle for the final Indian Premier League play-off spot.

There is only one place in the last four up for grabs after Royal Challengers Bangalore qualified on Sunday and KKR are primed to extend their season after this victory at the Dubai International Stadium.

Rooted to the bottom of the table with only two wins, Sunrisers could only post 115-8 after Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat first.

Williamson top scored with only 26 and Abdul Samad made a quickfire 25, with Tim Southee (2-26) Shivam Mavi (2-29) and Varun Chakravarthy 2-26 restricting Hyderabad to a below-par total.

Shakib Al Hasan marked his first appearance since the tournament resumed in the UAE by running Williamson out with a direct hit and the all-rounder also took 1-20.

Gill struck 57 from 51 balls with support from Nitish Rana (25) and Dinesh Karthik made an unbeaten 18 as the Knight Riders got home with two balls to spare

The win moves Eoin Morgan's fourth-placed side two points clear of Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians with a superior run-rate.

Rajasthan and defending champions Mumbai have a game in hand ahead of KKR's final match of the regular season against the Royals in Sharjah on Thursday.

Southee sets the tone

New Zealand paceman Southee went for 40 from four wicketless overs in a loss to Punjab Kings on Friday.

He charged in to put that behind him two days later, trapping Wriddhiman Saha leg before first ball off the second delivery of the match.

Southee also saw the back of Samad after he had hit three sixes, with Varun and Mavi also impressing along with the returning Shakib.

Composed Gill fits the bill

Calm heads were needed in the run chase with so much at stake as the play-off battle hots up, with the Royals knowing a second successive defeat could be so costly.

Opening batsman Gill delivered, laying the foundations with a composed knock that included 10 boundaries.

Siddarth Kaul had Gill caught by Jason Holder, who took 2-32, in the deep in the 17th over, but Morgan's men were well on their way to victory by then.

Royal Challengers Bangalore sealed an Indian Premier League play-off spot thanks to a six-run win over Punjab Kings on Sunday.

Glenn Maxwell smashed 57 from just 33 deliveries as Royal Challengers made 164-7 after opting to bat first, the highest total posted at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium since the 2021 season resumed.

Punjab Kings had won each of the three previous games against their opponents staged in the United Arab Emirates, and they looked well set to extend that streak when opening duo KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal impressed again, putting on a 91-run stand.

However, the innings lost momentum after Rahul departed for 39, spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3-29) turning the tide in his side's favour.

Agarwal would end up top-scoring with 57, but the Kings came up short in the final reckoning, ending on 158-6 as Bangalore's bowlers held their nerve in the closing stages.

While Punjab missed the chance to move into the play-off positions, Bangalore are certain to finish the round-robin stage in the top four after ending a three-match losing run at the venue.

Taking it to the Max

While Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal made 25 and 40 respectively at the top of the Bangalore order, both struggled to force the pace before being dismissed by Moises Henriques, who finished with 3-12. However, Maxwell had no such problems, smashing four sixes in a knock that was eventually ended when he became one of three wickets for Mohammed Shami (3-39) in an eventful final over.

Rahul on top, Kings in trouble

Rahul is back on top of the IPL's run-scoring list for the campaign; he has now managed 528 in 12 innings at an outstanding average of 52.80. His dismissal to Shahbaz Ahmed changed the complexion of proceedings, though, as his team fell away down the stretch to suffer a painful defeat.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes the team’s overall experience will be a critical factor in the bid to successfully defend its World T20 title.

The final 15 selected to represent the West Indies, for the tournament in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, has stirred up considerable debate in the Caribbean, with several questioning the age of the squad.  At current, the team boasts four players over the age of 35, with an average age of 30.6.

Pollard, however, sees the likes of Chris Gayle, Ravi Rampaul, and Lendl Simmons in the squad, several of who have won multiple World Cups, as a major advantage, particularly in tight situations.

“It’s great to have all these guys and myself playing together again,” Pollard told India.com.

“This hasn’t happened in a very long time. No matter which way you look at it you can’t beat experience because we have seen different scenarios time and time again,” he added.

“We react (to those scenarios) and we get the other players to react and understand the magnitude of what we are in and what we are about to do. Having guys like that to lean on is great, and guys that can get you out of situations where people might think, or you might think as well, that you can’t get out of.

“The younger guys get to learn and get to understand some of the things that are needed to be successful, especially from a T20 aspect. As I’ve said before, we would have seen it time and time again all over the world, different situations, different conditions, different bowlers – having guys like that to help the younger guys, I think you can’t ask for anything better than that.”

 

 

Ruturaj Gaikwad's magnificent maiden Twenty20 century was in vain as Rajasthan Royals boosted their Indian Premier League play-off hopes with a seven-wicket win over leaders Chennai Super Kings.

Gaikwad replaced KL Rahul as the leading run-scorer in the 2021 tournament, hitting a six off the final ball of CSK's innings to finish unbeaten on 101 off 60 balls.

The opener struck five sixes in a sensational knock, with Ravindra Jadeja scoring a rapid 32 not out in the Super Kings' 189-4 at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

Rahul Tewatia took 3-39 but it was a tough day for the Royals bowlers, Mustafizur Rahman going for 51 off his wicket-less four overs.

A big run chase was no problem for the Royals, though, as they cruised to a what could be a vital win with 15 balls to spare in an Abu Dhabi run-fest.

Shivam Dube (64no from 42) struck a brilliant maiden IPL half-century after Yashasvi Jaiswal made 50 from just 21 balls, with Josh Hazlewood (0-54) and Sam Curran (0-55) given the treatment.

Victory for the Royals leaves them in sixth place with two games of the regular season to play, behind Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings on net run-rate.

CSK are already assured of a play-off place but are not guaranteed a top-two finish after their four-game winning run came to an end in MS Dhoni's 200th match as an IPL captain.

Gaikwad takes Royals to all parts

The Rajasthan bowlers were taken to all parts by an inspired Gaikwad, who set the tone by hitting the first ball of the match from Akash Singh for four. 

He brought up a seventh IPL half-century off 43 balls and then cut loose, taking 71 off 30 deliveries and reaching three figures by launching Mustafizur for a huge six.

Gaikwad has 19 runs more than Rahul in the battle for the orange cap, having found the rope nine times to go with his five sixes in a breathtaking innings.

Dube and Jaiswal stun CSK

It was the turn of the CSK bowlers to suffer as Jaiswal and Evin Lewis (27 off 12) made a blistering start to the run chase, putting on 77 in 5.2 overs.

Teenager Jaiswal had his half-century off only 19 balls, striking Hazlewood for two sixes in a fifth over that cost 22 runs before falling to KM Asif to leave the Super Kings on 81-2.

Dube then came to the fore in a stand of 89 with captain Sanju Samson (28), bringing up a maiden fifty from 31 deliveries in a knock that included four sixes, and debutant Glenn Phillips hit the winning run to end the Royals' run of three consecutive defeats.

Shreyas Iyer nudged Delhi Capitals to a four-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians to leave the defending Indian Premier League champions in danger of missing out on the play-offs.

Avesh Khan (3-15) and Axar Patel (3-21) limited Mumbai - who are sixth with two matches to play - to 129-8 as the holders lost wickets at regular intervals.

Anrich Nortje also picked up 1-19 from his four-over allocation and, despite Suryakumar Yadav's 33, Rishabh Pant's side looked like the firm favourites at the halfway point in Sharjah on Saturday.

Nathan Coulter-Nile dismissed fellow Australian Steve Smith (nine) with his first delivery to leave the Capitals teetering at 30-3 after openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw were also dismissed cheaply.

Pant (26) followed to off-spinner Jayant Yadav to leave Delhi 57-4 but Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer (15) offered resistance to drag their side up to 93-6 before the latter fell to Jasprit Bumrah's deceiving slower ball.

Ravichandran Ashwin (20) then joined Iyer, who finished unbeaten on 33, to secure victory for second-placed Delhi with five balls to spare and leave the Indians under serious threat of failing to reach the play-offs.

Avesh torments Indians

Avesh toyed with the Mumbai line-up as he delivered a mix of slower balls and inswinging yorkers to secure his three dismissals.

The seamer impressively dismissed the dangerous finisher Hardik Pandya in the penultimate over, while also removing Coulter-Nile after he had claimed the big scalp of Rohit Sharma in his first over.

Ashwin final-over gamble fails

Pant gambled by holding back Ashwin to the final over of Mumbai's innings. The off-spinner dismissed Jayant Yadav but conceded 13 from his final six deliveries as he ended with 1-41 from his four overs.

However, Ashwin made up for it with the bat as he sealed the win with a six off Krunal Pandya's first ball of the last over.

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan insists the franchise is monitoring the fitness of West Indies star Andre Russell on a day-by-day basic but remains unsure of exactly when the player will return to action.

The bit-hitting all-rounder was forced to leave the field after making a good save on the mid-wicket boundary and jumped himself off the field as soon as he threw back the ball.  The 33-year-old did not feature for the team against the Dehli Capitals, or Friday’s encounter against the Punjab Kings XI.

Despite Russell missing the second game in a row, Morgan did not shed any more light on the player’s current injury status.

“Lockie and Russell are being monitored day by day. They have to rehab extremely well in order to be fit,” Morgan said.

Earlier, David Hussey, KKR’s team mentor, had described Russell’s injury as a hamstring injury but expressed hope that the player could return to the line-up soon,

“He said he felt something pop in his leg, his hamstring. We’ve got the best medical staff in the business so they’ll tend to him and hopefully, it’s nothing too serious, because he’s a key part of our team,” Hussey said.

In addition to the Knight Riders, the West Indies will also be closely monitoring the situation, with the player expected to line up for the World T20 later this month.

 

 

Punjab Kings emerged triumphant after a dramatic finish to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets and keep their Indian Premier League play-off hopes alive.

Chasing 166 to win, captain KL Rahul (67 runs from 55 balls) took Punjab to the brink of a vital victory only to fall in the final over, leaving them needing four from as many balls.

Shahrukh Khan (22 from nine) then looked like he had been caught in the deep off the next delivery, only for Rahul Tripathi to drop the ball over the boundary for a six, ending the contest.

That thrilling finale came after a run chase that Punjab had long looked to have under control, with Mayank Agarwal (40 from 27) also making a key contribution.

KKR had earlier managed 165-7 after being put in to bat, with Venkatesh Iyer scoring 67 off 49 to give his side a chance.

Instead, Punjab's successful chase means they join KKR and Mumbai Indians on 10 points in a competitive battle to achieve a top-four place.

No Gayle, no problem for Kings

Chris Gayle leaving the IPL due to bubble fatigue was a blow for the Kings, but they were still able to get the win they desperately needed here.

Rahul, who had two maximums, anchored the innings and would have been disappointed not to have finished the chase himself. Still, he can reflect on a job well done while sitting as the competition's leading run scorer with 489, this being his fifth fifty in 11 matches.

KKR fail to build on Iyer platform

With Andre Russell out injured, it was Iyer who did the damage with the bat for KKR, his 72-run partnership with Tripathi for the second wicket setting an impressive platform.

However, KKR did not take full advantage and, having reached 120-2, they struggled. After Iyer's dismissal, Nitish Rana (31 off 18) was the only batter able to accelerate the rate.

Tim Paine says the Ashes will go ahead as scheduled regardless of whether Joe Root and other key England players travel to Australia.

Root this week stated that he is "desperate" to do battle with fierce rivals Australia, but the England captain is not ready to commit to the tour until there is more clarity over coronavirus restrictions.

Jos Buttler is among the other England players who have made it clear they may pull out if their families are not allowed to head to Australia.

Talks between Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board over what protocols may be in place are ongoing, with players having already spent long periods in bio-secure bubbles at home and overseas.

Skipper Paine says he will lead his side out at The Gabba on December 8 come what may.

"The Ashes are going ahead - the first Test is on December 8 whether Joe's here or not," the wicketkeeper told SEN Hobart.

"They all want to come, there's no doubt about it.

"They're trying to get themselves the best possible conditions they can, but at the end of the day, we all are.

"It will be worked out above us and then they'll make a decision whether or not they'll get on that plane. There will be a squad of England players coming here for the first Test on December 8th."

Australia prime minister Scott Morrison last month warned England will not benefit from any "special deals" regarding quarantine rules when they arrive in the country.

Former West Indies batting coach Toby Radford has expressed concern that Cricket West Indies' (CWI) current system of allowing for medical exemptions for some players could present the illusion of unfairness.

The debate has continued to rage around the selection of the squad after the selection panel was unable to even considered some players for the World Cup squad after they had reportedly not made the requisite CWI fitness standard.

Among that crown were batsman Sherfane Rutherford, promising fast bowler Odean Smith and spinner Sunil Narine. With that considered, for some, the selection of players like Chris Gayle and Ravi Rampaul proved problematic, but both players were given exemptions by the CWI’s medical committee.

At current, all players are required to pass the popular Yoyo fitness test, but the results of the tests are graded on a sliding scale.  The CWI has repeatedly insisted that its policy, along with the exemptions is a standard international practice.  It has, however, continued to stir debate.

“You have to be seen to be fair across the board.  Either everybody does it (meet fitness standard) or nobody does it,” Radford told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“You can’t choose who gets tested and who gets an exemption, it doesn’t seem to be a fair system.  I think it either all the players are tested and they all need to pass it or they don’t,” he added.

“Otherwise, it makes a mockery of the test.  You’re leaving out players who are on form and younger and fitter, generally, saying they haven’t passed the test and you are taking people 10 years older who struggle to run between wickets and the field.”

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