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Buzz: Watson slams BBL's rule changes

November 18, 2020 12:14 IST
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The Sydney Sixers pose with the trophy after winning the Big Bash League Final match against Melbourne Stars, in Sydney, on February 8, 2020 (Image used for representational purposes)

IMAGE: The Sydney Sixers pose with the trophy after winning the Big Bash League Final match against Melbourne Stars, in Sydney, on February 8, 2020 (Image used for representational purposes). Photograph: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has lashed out at his country's cricket board for introducing new rules in the upcoming Big Bash League, calling them "gimmicks" and "misguided attempts" to revitalise the T20 event.

The country's cricket board has decided to introduce three new rules -- Power Surge, X Factor Player and the Bash Boost -- in the 10th edition of the BBL which is set to begin on December 10.

"I read today that the BBL is introducing these new gimmicks, such as the Power Surge, the X Factor Player and the Bash Boost in a misguided attempt to reinvigorate the tournament," Watson wrote in a blog post on his T20 website.

 

"I just can't seem to get my head around why there are people out there who are trying to reinvent the wheel when the wheel was not broken."

Power Surge allows the batting team to call for a two-over powerplay at any point from the 11th over, while shortening the usual six over powerplay to four overs at the beginning of the innings.

The X Factor player, on the other hand, is an option of calling in a substitute player -- named as either the 12th or 13th player -- who can replace a batsman or a bowler after the 10th over of the first innings.

The points system has also been altered with three points awarded for a win and one bonus point (Bash Boost) will be on offer for the chasing team if they are ahead of their rivals' 10-over score.

Watson, who retired from all forms of cricket during the 13th IPL earlier this month, said the changes will make the game more complex.

"The complexities that these new 'science experiments' are going to create for the viewers, let alone the players and coaches, when none of these have been tried and tested at lower levels, have really taken the wind out of my sails," Watson said.

Watson, who had retired from international cricket in 2016 and bid adieu to the Big Bash league last year, played 59 Tests, 190 ODIs and 58 T20Is, scoring 10,950 runs and taking 291 wickets for Australia.

Babar Azam shines as Karachi Kings lift maiden PSL title

Babar Azam played an unbeaten knock of 63 runs on Tuesday to steer Karachi Kings to their maiden Pakistan Super League (PSL) title.

The Imad Wasim-led side defeated Lahore Qalandars in the final by five wickets at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Babar Azam recorded his fifth half-century of the 2020 PSL edition, which was studded with seven fours. Karachi Kings chased down the 135-run target with eight balls to spare.

Kings were provided a steady start as Babar added 23 and 26 runs for the first and second wicket with Sharjeel Khan (13 off 12) and Alex Hales (run-a-ball 11). After that, he stitched a 61-run stand for the third wicket with Chadwick Walton (22 off 27) and that settled the game in his side's favour.

With 11 runs left in the last three overs, Haris Rauf took two back to back wickets as he dismissed Iftikhar Ahmed (four off six) and Shane Rutherford (0) to give Qalandars a glimpse of hope, but Kings' captain Imad Wasim took his side home with an unbeaten knock of 10 runs.

Babar finished as the highest run-getter of the tournament with 473 runs at an impressive average of 59.12 and a strike rate of 124.14.

Earlier, Qalandars had managed only 134 runs at the loss of seven wickets after their captain Sohail Akhtar elected to bat first. The opening pair of Tamim Iqbal and Fakhar Zaman provided a cautious start with a 68-run stand from 67 balls.

The two, however, failed to build on it as they were dismissed in a span of four balls by Umaid Asif in the 11th over. Problems compounded further when Mohammad Hafeez (2) got out trying to slog Imad Wasim as Qalandars lost three wickets for two runs in seven balls.

From there on, Qalandars lost wickets at regular intervals as Samit Patel (five off eight), Ben Dunk (11 off 14), and Sohail (run-a-ball 14) fell in the 14th, 16th, and 19th overs.

Qalandars' bowlers had something to bowl at because Shaheen who helped his side gather 15 runs off the last over.

Brief Scores: Karachi Kings 135/5 (Babar Azam 63, Chadwick Walton 22, Dilbar Hussain 2-28) defeat Lahore Qalandars 134/7 (Tamim Iqbal 35, Fakhar Zaman 27, Waqas Maqsood 2-18) by five wickets.

IPL petitioner asks Pondicherry governor to investigate illegal stadium construction
Indian Premier League spot-fixing petitioner and Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma has lauded Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry Kiran Bedi for pulling up the Cricket Association of Pondicherry (CAP) and its former secretary P Damodaran for allegations of illegal construction of Seichem Cricket Stadium in Thuthipet.

In a letter to Bedi, accessed by ANI, Verma has not only praised her for putting her foot down against illegal acts conducted, but further pointed at how the full membership is given to CAP also needs a relook.

"I have gone through the documents tweeted by you wherein you have given strict instructions to the District Collector to take immediate remedial steps like registering FIR for trespassing on government lands, directing to stop any further activities on the Seichem Cricket Ground in Thuthipet, for gross violations by encroaching GP lands, water bodies and shrinking bore wells for construction of the ground.

"The directions demonstrate your incorruptible soul and the strength of your character. The powers that be at the CAP and M/s Seichem (the controllers of both entities being the same group of people) have managed to influence and hoodwink a score of people into getting their way by any means possible but they did not account for the presence of the epitome of honesty that is you," he wrote.

Throwing light on how those in power in the CAP paved their way in the BCCI, Verma wrote: "They had even pulled the wool over the eyes of the former CAG of India, Vinod Rai when he held the position of chairman of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) appointed by the Supreme Court. Some of their activities invited sanctions that were never imposed upon them."

Verma also pointed at how neither the Lodha report -- foundation of the new BCCI constitution -- nor the Supreme Court provided for granting of full membership to the association from Puducherry.

"Interestingly, neither the Lodha report, nor the Supreme Court settled constitution of the BCCI provides for the admission of an association from Puducherry as a full member and therefore, even the full membership CAP is void ab-initio and flies in contravention of the orders and judgment of the SC.

"Even if an organisation from Puducherry was to be admitted to the membership of the BCCI, the proper procedure has not been followed. Had you not been true to the oath of office, this land acquisition would have all been regularised," he pointed.

The CAB secretary further urged Bedi to look into other unlawful acts of the association wherein he believes that cricket in Puducherry is becoming an asset of a company and a man.

"The CAP has been involved in a lot of other illegal, unethical and unlawful acts while conducting its activities. The most shocking being the involvement of outsiders parading as guest players to play for Puducherry teams. It curtails and restricts the opportunity to the domicile players. I request you to please initiate an investigation into the act.

"You may find that these outsiders (players and support staff) are either employed by M/s Seichem or are residents at properties belonging to people involved with M/s Seichem. I am sure an investigation into this aspect will surely yield more startling revelations into the unfair, illegal practices going around in CAP. I am the petitioner in the matter in the SC that brought about sweeping reforms in cricket. I request you to kindly take cognisance of this entire issue to ensure that cricket in Puducherry does not become an asset of a company and a man," he added.

Munaf Patel joins Kandy Tuskers in LPL; Sarfaraz pulls out, Malinga unsure

Former India pacer Munaf Patel has been roped in by Kandy Tuskers for the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) scheduled to begin on November 26.

The 37-year-old Patel, who has played 13 Test matches, 70 ODIs and three T20Is, was a part of India's 2011 World Cup-winning team. He will pair up with former India teammate Irfan Pathan in the tournament.

"Former India fast bowler Munaf Patel has signed a contract to @KandyTuskers," the LPL wrote on its Twitter handle on Tuesday.

Besides this development, there were reports that former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has pulled out of the tournament.

Sarfaraz, who was supposed to captain the Galle Gladiators franchise, will no longer take part in the tournament as he has been selected in the national team for the New Zealand Tour.

"Sarfaraz has been selected in the Pakistan squad for the New Zealand tour and hence he is not travelling (to Sri Lanka)," Moin Khan, the Galle franchise coach, was quoted as saying by www.dailymirror.lk.

"Now we have to decide the new captain. Will sit with the team owner and the management and decide in a day or two."       

The report also said that Sri Lanka's T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, who was supposed to spearhead the pace attack of the Gladiators, "is in two minds whether to play the LPL or not."

Malinga, who had opted out of the recently-concluded IPL in the UAE citing personal reasons, has "indicated a desire to pull out."

"He has not been able to train for quite some time and is a little hesitant. We are persuading him to play. He is a celebrity and we don't want to miss him," team owner Nadeem Omar said.

The Gladiators will begin their campaign with a clash with Jaffna Stallions on November 27.

Apart from the Gladiators, the four other teams have reached Hambantota and entered into a bio-secure bubble.

However, there are uncertainty over the participation of Chris Gayle, who was roped in by Kandy Tuskers franchise.

"There is also uncertainty about Chris Gayle's involvement in the league ... Gayle is still negotiating the terms of his contract with the Tuskers," a report in ESPNcricinfo said.

The report also said that Jaffna Stallions have roped in former South Africa fast bowlers Kyle Abbott and Duanne Olivier as replacement for Pakistan batsman Asif Ali and England batsman Dawid Malan.

Malan has been drafted into England's forthcoming tour of South Africa and will not be available.

"Stallions had also announced that batsmen Ravi Bopara and Shoaib Malik would be part of their squad, but their involvement is now also uncertain," the report said.

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