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World Cup-winning captain Morgan lights up Euro T20 Slam player draft ceremony

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L-R: Afghan spinner Rashid Khan, England's World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan and South African spinner Imran Tahir display their team's jersey at the Euro T20 Slam player draft in London. Photos: Euro T20 Slam

London: The Player Draft for the inaugural edition of the Euro T20 Slam took place during a gala ceremony at the Heathrow Airport here on Friday.

England’s ICC Cricket World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan joined a host of dignitaries and owners from each of the six franchises, including Indian great and one of the Board Members of league’s advisory committee Anil Kumble, Pakistan’s Babar Azam, Afghanistan leg-spin star Rashid Khan, England’s Tymal Mills and South African leg-spin star Imran Tahir, for the tournament which will take place in the Netherlands, Scotland and Ireland from August 30 to September 22.

Meanwhile, all six jerseys were unveiled on behalf of the official kit supplier TYKA, ahead of the draft.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for north Dubliner Morgan with the 32-year-old set to represent the Dublin Chiefs. Morgan, who recently became England’s most capped One-Day International (ODI) player during their historic march to the Cricket World Cup title, said that he was proud to be selected for the new franchise.

Former England Cricketer Darren Gough hosting the Euro T20 Slam player draft.

Eoin Morgan said: “I am proud and delighted to participate in the inaugural Euro T20 Slam. You only have to look at the calibre of international and local stars who have been selected to see that it’s going to be an electrifying tournament across three new T20 locations in northern Europe. There’s huge interest in the Euro T20 Slam and the teams are really taking shape. It’s going to be incredibly competitive and I can’t wait to get going.”

Imran Tahir, who has 63 wickets from 38 T20 Internationals and 173 wickets from 107 ODIs to his name till date, echoed Morgan’s comments and said that he was excited to embark on a new chapter in his career.

“There’s a real buzz around the Euro T20 Slam and I can’t wait to get started with Amsterdam Knights. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in numerous leagues throughout my career, but there’s something special about playing in a new competition. It’s clear how ambitious the organisers are to get the tournament started on a high note, and speaking to my teammates and opponents over the last few weeks, everyone’s incredibly excited to play in Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Dublin. It will be a new horizon for cricket in Europe and I’m relishing the chance to join my new teammates and get started,” Tahir commented.

Other delegates included some of the coaches for the franchises Mark O’Donnell (Head Coach, Amsterdam Knights), Herschelle Gibbs (Head Coach, Rotterdam Rhinos), Ian Pont (Head Coach, Belfast Titans) and Mark Ramprakash (Head Coach, Edinburgh Rocks). They joined representatives from each of the six franchises including owners, commercial partners and international media.

Anil Kumble, Board member of the advisory committee, Euro T20 Slam

The coaches of the other franchises were also confirmed; Daniel Vettori has been named Head Coach of the Dublin Chiefs, while Lance Klusener will lead the Glasgow Giants coaching team. In all, 33 matches will take place in Amsterdam, Edinburgh and the finals due to take place in Dublin following the closing round of pool matches including semi-finals (September 20) and finals (September 22).

Anil Kumble added: “It’s exciting to be a part of the Euro T20 Slam as an advisor to the league. It is encouraging to see the growth of cricket worldwide, and am excited to witness teams from Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland competing against each other. It will be a great opportunity for local talent to rub shoulders with some of the best cricketing talent worldwide. I look forward to contributing towards making the inaugural Euro T20 Slam a grand success.”

EURO T20 SLAM SQUADS:

AMSTERDAM KNIGHTS: Shane Watson*, Hasan Ali, Wesley Barresi, Saad Bin Zafar, Philippe Boissevain, Varun Chopra, Ben Cooper, Ben Cutting, Brandon Glover, Alzarri Joseph, Sikandar Raza, Ahmad Shahzad, Tony Staal, Imran Tahir**, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul Van Meekeren, Tobias Visee, Sikander Zulfiqar
Coach: Mark O’Donnell

BELFAST TITANS: Shahid Afridi*, Mark Adair, JP Duminy**, Shane Getkate, Colin Ingram, Muhammad Ilyas, Andrew McBrine, Mitchell McClenaghan, Muhammad Nawaz, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Aaron Summers, Greg Thompson, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Luke Wright, Craig Young
Coach: Ian Pont

DUBLIN CHIEFS: Eoin Morgan*, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam**, Andrew Balbirnie, Corbin Bosch, Dan Christian, Gareth Delany, Robert Frylinck, Harry Gurney, Tyrone Kane, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Kevin O’Brien, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker
Coach: Daniel Vettori

EDINBURGH ROCKS: Martin Guptill*, Corey Anderson, Dylan Budge, Kyle Coetzer, Anton Devcich, Oliver Hairs, Matt Henry, Michael Leask, Chris Lynn**, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, Tymal Mills, Adrian Neill, Tabraiz Shamsi, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt
Coach: Mark Ramprakash

Rotterdam Rhinos Head Coach Herschelle Gibbs along with his team representatives.

GLASGOW GIANTS: Brendon McCullum*, Qais Ahmad, Richie Berrington, Ravi Bopara, Scott Cameron, Matthew Cross, Alasdair Evans, Moises Henriques, Michael Jones, Heinrich Klaasen, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Usman Shinwari, JJ Smuts, Tom Sole, Dale Steyn**, Hamza Tahir
Coach: Lance Klusener

ROTTERDAM RHINOS: Rashid Khan*, Shaheen Afridi, Anwar Ali, Bas De Leede, Scott Edwards, Vivian Kingma, Fred Klaassen, Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Samit Patel, Luke Ronchi**, Pieter Seelaar, Shane Snater, Peter Trego, Hardus Viljoen, Fakhar Zaman, Saqib Zulfiqar
Coach: Herschelle Gibbs

*Denotes Icon Player
**Denotes Marquee Player

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Ideal time for Sundar, Chahar to boost profile for World T20, says Dhawan

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India opener Shikhar Dhawan
India opener Shikhar Dhawan

Bengaluru: India opener Shikhar Dhawan on Saturday said the time is perfect for youngsters such as Washington Sundar and Deepak Chahar to build their confidence in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup next year.

The senior player was speaking on the eve of the third T20 International against South Africa at the M Chaannaswamy Stadium here.

Both players have impressed in recent times with their performance and attitude.

“Washington is bowling really good, giving us the breakthroughs and also choking the batsmen. He has got very good control and variety as well.

“Even Deepak Chahar, he swings the ball both ways and at the same has pace as well. It is the perfect platform for them to perform and build the confidence for the T20 World Cup,” Dhawan told reporters.

He said senior players like him are always open to helping the youngsters in the side.

“For senior players like us, say someone like Rishabh comes in to bat or Shreyas coming in, we make sure we do the communication with them and make sure they are comfortable and not nervous. We make them think what is needed at that particular moment,” he said.

Dhawan added, That’s what we do even when I am batting with Rohit or Virat, we keep discussing and that is very important. Communication is very, very important.

“Any time any youngster wants to discuss something with us, we are always there for them.”

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Omission from T20Is opportunity to excel in Tests, says Kuldeep

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Kuldeep Yadav

Mysuru: Omission from T20 International squads for India’s last two series hasn’t bothered Kuldeep Yadav too much as the chinaman bowler feels it is an opportunity for him to do well in five-day cricket.

Kuldeep was dropped from India’s T20I squads for the West Indies tour and home series against South Africa but that hasn’t dented his confidence.

“So far, I have done a good job in limited-overs format. I feel very comfortable with the white ball,” Kuldeep told reporters here.

“I am not worried about not being picked for the last two T20I series. Maybe the selectors felt I needed a break. Maybe the team thinks some changes are required. I respect that, and I have no complaints. I see this as an opportunity to do well in Tests.”

Kuldeep was part of the India A side for the second unofficial Test against South Africa A, which ended in a draw in Mysore on Friday.

The wrist spinner had a decent outing in the game, scalping 4 for 121 in 29 overs in the only innings India bowled in the match.

In 68 T20 matches since that 2016 T20 World Cup, Kuldeep has taken 81 wickets at an average of 22.97 (ninth-best in the world, second among Indians), and an economy rate of 7.60 (fifth among Indians).

And, he feels wrist spinners are in demand currently.

“There is no doubt that wrist spinners are dominating the world,” Kuldeep said.

“But sometimes, when you try to stop runs, you actually turn out to be expensive. We need to work on our accuracy. You need to accept that you do get hit for runs and work on being economical.”

Kuldeep, however, feels it is very difficult to adjust to red-ball cricket after consistently featuring in the limited-overs formats.

“It’s hard to play red-ball cricket when you aren’t consistently playing that format,” he said.

“If you aren’t a regular in this format, it takes time to get into your rhythm. When you are consistently playing limited overs and suddenly switch to Tests without much preparation, it will be tough to excel.

“You need to bowl long spells, play practice games, to understand field placements and to know how to pick wickets. It was important for me to come here (in the India A game) and bowl as many overs as possible. There is still plenty of work to do,” Kuldeep added.

He said with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in fray for Tests, he will have to utilise the limited chances he gets.

“When three spinners like Ashwin, Jaddu and I are in the squad, it’s challenging to pick the right combination. You need to be ready to grab your chance. Of course, there is pressure because you only get a few chances, and you have to make full use of them,” Kuldeep said.

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England’s Moeen Ali takes indefinite break from Test cricket

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moeen ali
Moeen Ali.

London: All-rounder Moeen Ali will take a break from red-ball cricket and won’t be up for selection for England’s Test tours of New Zealand and South Africa.

Moeen’s decision comes after being left out of England’s list of centrally contracted Test players, announced on Friday, 20 September. He had lost his place in the Test side after the first Ashes Test, which England lost.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Moeen said he wanted a chance to “recharge his batteries” after a busy summer. “It’s just to get away from it a little bit,” he said. “I feel like I want to enjoy my batting and this will give me a bit of a break.

“I want to spend some time with the family. I’ve been playing for England for five years and it’s been quite tough. The intensity is obviously higher in Test cricket, so this is just to give me a break and then we will see what happens after that.”

Moeen didn’t rule out playing Test cricket in the future, and Ashley Giles, the ECB managing director, reiterated that the all-rounder has not retired from Test cricket. “He just wants a little bit of a break from Test cricket,” said Giles.

“He’s been a great servant to this team and that’s why I encouraged him to leave that option open for him to come back. He might just need that time away and freshen up, but he’s been a really good servant to this team and he’s relatively young.”

In the year up to losing his place in the Test side, Moeen had taken more wickets in Test cricket than anyone else. However, having been a permanent fixture in the England side in all three formats, Moeen endured a difficult 2019 summer. He was dropped from the ODI side in place of Liam Plunkett and then made two Test appearances before losing his place to Jack Leach.

Giles added: “I think for all the guys, not just talking about Moeen, it’s been a really challenging summer. A World Cup and an Ashes back-to-back has had a massive effect on many of these guys, psychologically as much as physically. Some of those guys are still carrying that. His experience in the first Test wasn’t a great one but that’s cricket.”

Moeen, however, has retained his white-ball contract, and figures to be a key figure in both the limited-overs sides.

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