Kolkata Knight Riders have appointed former New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum as their new head coach, the Indian Premier League franchise (IPL) said on Thursday.
McCullum, 37, played for the two-time IPL champions in two separate stints and also represented Trinbago Knight Riders, the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) franchise that is owned by the same parent company Red Chillies Entertainment.
McCullum replaces South African Jacques Kallis, who parted ways with the Kolkata franchise last week after three seasons.
"It's a great honour to take on this responsibility. The Knight Rider franchises in IPL & CPL have become iconic and have set the standard in franchise cricket," McCullum said in a statement.
In the IPL, the former opening batsman McCullum is best remembered for his blistering knock of 158 not out against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first match of the inaugural season in 2008.
New European T20 league postponed until 2020
The inaugural Euro T20 Slam, a Twenty20 franchise tournament with six teams from Scotland, Netherlands and Ireland, has been postponed until 2020, the organisers said on Thursday.
The cricket boards of Scotland, the Netherlands and Ireland had agreed in March to form a new European league, developed in consultation with the International Cricket Council (ICC), to be held from August 30 to September 22.
The organisers did not provide a detailed explanation for the decision, citing "unforeseen circumstances".
"The Board of the Euro T20 Slam, funding partners and franchise owners of this exciting new T20 tournament have reluctantly come to the decision that staging of the event will not be possible in 2019," board member Prashant Mishra said in a statement.
"We believe the right course of action is to postpone the Slam to a further date. This will give us the necessary breathing space to ensure we are ready to go.
"We will work with the three cricket boards, our principal investors, the franchise owners, players and other stakeholders within the game to ensure we fulfil any commitments we have made to the extent possible."
The tournament schedule had already been released. Six city-based franchise teams, two from each country, were set to play 30 group-stage matches followed by semi-finals and a final in Dublin.
GS Holding Inc and Woods Entertainment were to deliver the tournament under an initial 10-year agreement, with the matches set to be broadcast in global markets.
Nathan Coulter-Nile joins Melbourne Stars for upcoming Big Bash League
Australian pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile joined Melbourne Stars for the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League tournament.
With this move, Coulter-Nile has ended his association with Perth Scorchers.
"The opportunity to come to Melbourne and the MCG for the summer and to play at the Stars proved to be an exciting one. I feel as though I am at a stage of my career where a move feels right and to have friends like Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis at the Stars, made it the right fit," Coulter-Nile said in a statement.
"The last eight years at the Scorchers have been great and it was a tough decision to leave. I really appreciate the support I've received from the coaches, staff, members, and fans and I'd like to thank all of them," he added.
Coulter-Nile had played in 38 BBL matches for Perth Scorchers, managing to pick up 46 wickets and scoring 285 runs.
Along with the pacer, Clint Hinchliffe and Lance Morris have also joined Melbourne Stars.
"We all know Nathan is an international star. He brings so much with the ball and provides us with depth in our batting. We're very excited to have him on board," Stars List Manager Trent Woodhill said.
"Clint Hinchliffe brings some variation to our spin bowling stocks while Lance Morris is a very promising fast bowler. We can't wait to see what both of these young players bring to the table," he added.
The 2019 BBL season will be starting from December 17 this year. Melbourne Stars will take on Brisbane Heat in their first match on December 20.
Former India cricketer VB Chandrasekhar passes away
Former India opener and national selector VB Chandrasekhar passed away in Chennai on Thursday following a massive cardiac arrest.
The dashing Tamil Nadu right-hander of yesteryears, who was only six days short of his 58th birthday, is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Chandrasekhar played 7 ODIs between 1988 and 1990, scoring only 88 runs, but at the domestic level he was prolific for a few seasons, aggregating 4999 runs in 81 games with a highest score of 237 not out.
A qualified engineer, Chandrasekhar made his first-class debut at the age of 25 and played in a formidable Tamil Nadu team, which comprised WV Raman, Diwakar Vasu, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Bharath Arun.
Till a few seasons back, he held the record for the fastest hundred in the Ranji Trophy -- a 56-ball ton for Tamil Nadu against Rest of India in an Irani Cup game -- that brought him into national reckoning.
Unfortunately, his technique was found out during a tri-series in New Zealand in 1990, ensuring that he never played for India again.
An astute reader of the game, he was later a national selector when Greg Chappell was the coach and in his later years also did commentary in domestic cricket.
"I have done two years of commentary with him and I can vouch that I became better simply interacting with him. His game reading, grip on technical aspects was mind blowing and it is memory I would always cherish," former India stumper Deep Dasgupta told PTI.
"His passion was unmatched and I know he used to spend a lot from his own pocket in a running a team in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) known as VB Kanchi Veerans. It will take some time for this tragic news to sink in," said Dasgupta.
India and Chennai Super Kings player Suresh Raina condoled the death of Chandrasekhar.
"Extremely sad & shocked to hear about the passing away of VB Chandrasekhar sir. His consistent efforts made it possible to set the right foundation of the CSK team. He always encouraged & believed in us since very beginning. My deepest condolences to the family," Raina tweeted.
India and CSK off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also expressed his sadness.
"Very shocking to hear VB Chandrashekhar indian cricketer is no more.. very sad news .. very young to go.. rest in peace VB.. Big lose. condolences to the family," Harbhajan wrote on his twitter handle.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra expressed shock at Chandrasekhar's death.
"Shocked to hear about the untimely demise of V B Chandrasekhar. Was only 57. Went away too soon. Thoughts with the family....heartfelt condolences. R.I.P.," he tweeted.