Monday, April 23, 2018


Top-ranked bowler Rashid Khan of Afghanistan and Bangladesh stars Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal have confirmed their participation for the ICC World XI which will play a Twenty20 International against the Windies at Lord’s on 31 May.

Rashid, who is ranked number one on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Player Rankings and is second in the list of One Day International bowlers, will be one of many big names to watch in the Lord’s match, which is being organised to raise funds for stadia in the Caribbean which were damaged due to hurricanes last year.

Shakib, the top-ranked all-rounder in ODIs and third in T20Is, and left-handed opener Tamim also come in with huge reputations and Bangladesh fans would be following their fortunes with interest. The trio joins three other Asians who have already confirmed for the match – Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik and Thisara Perera of Sri Lanka.

More big names are likely to be confirmed in the coming days for the ICC World XI side, which is being led by England’s limited overs captain Eoin Morgan.

Rashid Khan said: “It is a matter of great honour and pride for me and my country that I have been chosen to support one of cricket’s oldest and most loyal members. I don’t think it will be incorrect to say that a number of cricketers from this and previous generations were inspired and attracted to cricket due to the heroics of the West Indies sides of the 70s, 80s and 90s. And if the West Indies are now looking upon us for help, then there shouldn’t be a hesitation for even a second.

“Apart from my cricket obligations and responsibilities, the incentive of playing in this great match at the Home of Cricket at the age of 19, with and against some of the best cricketers of this generation, is just too tempting, irresistible and an icing on the cake.

“I urge all cricket fans and supporters to join hands with the match organisers and the players in making 31 May a hugely successful day so that the funds raised from this match can be reinvested into cricket that, in turn, will not only bring the smiles back on the faces of local cricket supporters but will also lead to the resumption of cricket activities in those regions.”

Tamim Iqbal said: “Cricket is a sport which unites people, bridges gaps, and in which players and teams support each other. This match is a testament to this statement and I am delighted to have been chosen to once again represent the ICC World XI for a cause which will only make cricket a bigger and better sport.

“The West Indies’ contribution to the global game is unmatched and unparalleled, and if the cricket fraternity can get together to play a small role in the rebuilding of their damaged venues following last year’s hurricanes, then this is a very small price with hugely positive results.

“Playing at Lord’s is itself a great honour for any cricketer. My only international appearance there was in 2010, so I look forward to reliving those memories. Playing with and against some of the best cricketers of this era will only make this occasion better and more memorable.”

The Windies, reigning ICC World Twenty20 champions, are being led by Carlos Brathwaite and the side includes other top names like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree and Andre Russell.

The tickets for the match are available at with all proceeds going towards rebuilding and renovating five major venues as well as other community cricket facilities that were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The venues that will benefit include the Ronald Webster Park in Anguilla, the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua, the Windsor Park Stadium in Dominica, the A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground in the British Virgin Islands and the Carib Lumber Ball Park in St. Maarten.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

South African New Batting Hero MARKRAM rockets to 9th in only his 10th Test - ICC Rankings

  • Root, du Plessis and Paine also move up after Christchurch and Johannesburg Tests

·        Morkel ends career on 800 points; Philander, Southee other bowlers to advance

South Africa opener Aiden Markram has sustained his surge towards the top during an amazing first year in Test cricket, making his way to ninth position among batsmen in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings.

The 23-year-old’s knocks of 152 and 37 not only contributed in South Africa’s massive 492 runs victory over Australia in Johannesburg for a 3-1 series win but have also helped him move up six places to ninth position in the latest rankings update, which also takes into account performances in the drawn second Test between New Zealand and England in Christchurch.

Markram, who led South Africa to victory in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2014, has broken into the top 10 for the first time and is now among a select group of 10 cricketers led by Don Bradman who have scored 1,000 runs or more in their first 10 Tests.

Markram’s opening partner Dean Elgar too has advanced after scoring 100 runs in the Test including a knock of 81 in the second innings while captain Faf du Plessis (up five places to 17th) and Temba Bavuma (up 12 places to 39th) are the other South Africa batsmen to make significant gains.

For Australia, captain Tim Paine has moved up eight places to 53rd position while for England, captain Joe Root (up one place to third), wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow (up three places to 13th) and Mark Stoneman (up 14 places to 64th) are the ones to progress.

Not surprisingly, South Africa fast bowlers ruling the roost in Johannesburg sees several of them making the latest rankings update a joyful one.

Pace bowler Vernon Philander’s player of the match effort of nine for 51 has lifted him six places to third rank, player of the series Kagiso Rabada remains at the top adding three points to take his tally to 902 while Morne Morkel has finished off on a high.

Morne Morkel touches 800-point mark in last Test

Morkel, who bowled despite a side strain in the second innings of his last Test, touched 800 rating points for the first time in his career.  He is now ranked joint-sixth along with Australia’s Pat Cummins, who has risen up from 18th to sixth place with nine wickets in Johannesburg.

The 33-year-old Morkel, who debuted in the 2006 Boxing Day Test against India in Durban, first broke into the top 10 in January 2010. His consistent performances ensured that he was never ranked lower than 15th from that time till retirement, while enjoying a career-high position of third in November 2010.

In other movements, New Zealand’s player of the match Tim Southee has moved up three places to take the 13th slot while Stuart Broad has gained five slots to reach 12th place.

Meanwhile, New Zealand have leapfrogged Australia to third place in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings. The swapping of places has resulted in a clear gain of $ 100,000 for New Zealand as they will now receive $ 200,000 from the International Cricket Council for taking third spot at the cut-off date of 3 April. Australia will get half that amount after finishing fourth.

India were presented with the ICC Test Championship Mace in February itself after they were assured of the top position at the cut-off date and a $ 1 million prize money while South Africa will receive a purse of $ 500,000 for finishing second.

The annual updates to the ICC rankings will be carried out on 1 May to ensure that the tables continue to reflect the recent form of sides with older results being discarded. The updated tables will reflect all matches from 1 May 2015, with matches played from 1 May 2017 carrying 100 per cent weightage.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as of 4 April, after the Christchurch and Johannesburg Tests):

Rank    Team              Points
1.     India                 121
2.     South Africa     117 (+2)
3.     New Zealand    102 (+2)
4.     Australia           102 (-2)
5.     England             97 (-2)
6.     Sri Lanka           95
7.     Pakistan            88
8.     Windies             72
9.     Bangladesh       71
10.  Zimbabwe           1

(Developed by David Kendix)

*The cut-off for the annual rankings is generally 1 April but was extended this year owing to these two series ending on 3 April.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as of 4 April, after the Christchurch and Johannesburg Tests):

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank      (+/-)        Player                  Team      Pts        Avge      Highest Rating
   1          ( - )         Steve Smith          Aus         929        61.37      947 v SA at Durban 2018
   2          ( - )         Virat Kohli             Ind          912!       53.40      912 v SA at Johannesburg 2018
   3          (+1)        Joe Root               Eng         867        52.63      917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015
   4          (-1)         Kane Williamson   NZ          847        50.35      893 v Aus at Perth 2015
   5          ( - )         David Warner       Aus         820        48.20      880 v NZ at Perth 2015
   6          ( - )         AB de Villiers        SA          813        50.66      935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014
   7          ( - )         C. Pujara               Ind          810        50.51      888 v SL at Nagpur 2017
   8          ( - )         Dean Elgar            SA          784!       42.58      784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
   9          (+6)        Aiden Markram    SA          759*!      55.55      759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
  10         (-1)         Azhar Ali               Pak         755        46.62      787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016
Other selected rankings

Rank      (+/-)        Player                      Team  Pts        Avge      Highest Rating
  13         (+3)        Jonny Bairstow        Eng     702        39.20      772 v SA at Old Trafford 2017
  17         (+5)        Faf du Plessis          SA       673        43.20      734 v Ind at Centurion 2018
  23         (+1)        Usman Khawaja      Aus      633        42.00      747 v Pak at Sydney 2017
  35         (+6)        B J Watling               NZ       596        38.33      644 v Eng at Headingley 2015
  39         (+12)      Temba Bavuma       SA       580        34.87      589 v Ban at Potchefstroom 2017
  53         (+8)        Tim Paine                 Aus      495*!      40.82      495 v SA at Johannesburg 2018
  56         (+13) Grandhomme NZ       483*!      38.35      483 v Eng at Christchurch 2018
  64         (+14)      Mark Stoneman       Eng     452*!      30.17      452 v NZ at Christchurch 2018
Bowlers (top 10)

Rank      (+/-)        Player                  Team     Pts        Avge      Highest Rating
   1          ( - )         Kagiso Rabada     SA          897        21.59      902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018
   2          ( - )         James Anderson   Eng         891        27.36      896 v Win at Lord's 2017
   3          (+6)        Vernon Philander  SA          845        21.46      912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
   4          (-1)         Ravindra Jadeja   Ind          844        23.73      899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017
   5          (-1)         R. Ashwin              Ind          803        25.56      904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016
   6=        ( - )         Morne Morkel       SA          800!       27.66      800 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
               (+12)      Pat Cummins        Aus         800*!      23.81      800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018
   8          (-1)         Trent Boult            NZ          795        27.84      825 v Eng at Lord's 2015
   9          ( - )         Rangana Herath   SL           777        28.18      867 v Zim at Harare 2016
  10         (-2)         Neil Wagner          NZ          765        28.26      785 v Win at Wellington 2017  

Other selected rankings

Rank      (+/-)        Player                      Team  Pts        Avge     Highest Rating
  12         (+5)        Stuart Broad             Eng    732        29.04     880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016
  13=       (+3)        Tim Southee             NZ      720        30.82     799 v Win at Jamaica 2014
  46         (+1) Grandhomme  NZ      349*       29.16     370 v Win at Hamilton 2017

All-rounders (top five)

Rank      (+/-)       Player                   Team     Pts        Highest Rating
   1          ( - )         Shakib Al Hasan   Ban         421        489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017
   2          ( - )         Ravindra Jadeja   Ind          391        438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017
   3          (+2)        V. Philander          SA          372        376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014
   4          (-1)         R. Ashwin              Ind          368        493 v Eng at Mohali 2016
   5          (-1)         Ben Stokes           Eng         329/*      396 v Win at Lord's 2017
*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.
! indicates career-highest rating
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