The West Indies coach Ottis Gibson, revealed that the members who are at camp in Barbados would be putting in some hard work, along with team bonding exercises. In Cardiff, there will be more hard work, and specific preparation for the tournament. Gibson went on to say that the key to success in this competition will be to acclimatise to English conditions as quickly as possible, and that his side were very lucky to have a number of players who are familiar with English conditions. The West Indies will play two warm up matches, against Australia and Sri Lanka, as part of their preparation. Before they open their tournament proper with a game on June 7 against Pakistan. In Group B, they will also play against South Africa and India.
The victor of this match, to be hosted by Delhi, will meet the rampant Chennai Super Kings in the Grand Finale of the tournament, on Sunday.
The Mumbai Indians were denied any breathing space while fielding, in their last match. The Chennai batsmen, namely, Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey were in a destructive mood, as they made the Mumbai attack hapless and at their mercy. Hence, while chasing a target of 193, the Mumbai Indians were shot out on 144.
Dwayne Smith had other plans and he threatened to take the match away from the Super Kings, hitting 68 of just 28 balls. However, no support from the rest of the batting lineup, led all his efforts into vain. He has transformed himself into a match winning player, and remains the key for Mumbai in tomorrow’s game.
When all-rounder Marlon Samuels, who is an integral part of the West Indies limited overs team, returned home early from his contract in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in late April, there were fears that he would not be fit to travel with the squad to England for the ICC Champions Trophy.
However, Samuels has recovered much quicker than was feared from the groin injury, and was able to join his Caribbean team mates at the pre-Trophy training camp on Monday in Bridgetown, Barbados. Following on from the camp in Barbados, the team will fly to the UK, where they will embark on a second camp in Cardiff.
A number of leading players were missing when the squad assembled in Barbados, due to their ongoing commitments in the latter stages of the IPL; including the team's new ODI captain Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder.
Batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan, was also missing, as he is currently playing for the English county side, Leicestershire. It is anticipated that all the players still in India, playing IPL cricket, as well as Sarwan, will join the training camp in Cardiff.
Sri Lankan fast bowler, Chanaka Welegedara, has failed to recover from the ankle injury that he sustained on May 18, and he is not fit to join his national team's squad for the trip to England for the ICC's Champions Trophy. The bowler underwent a fitness test on Wednesday morning, which he subsequently failed.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have named his replacement, picking bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige to make the trip in Welegedara's place. Although the selection has been cleared by the Sri Lanka sports minister, the ICC has get to give official ratification.
The 32 year old Lokuhettige, appeared in eight ODIs for his country, back in 2005, and two Twenty20 internationals three years later. His eight ODI's have seen him take six wickets, at an average just over 36.
Lokuhettige owes his selection to his fine recent form in the List A tri-series in Pallekele, where he snared nine victims, making him the joint highest wicket taker. His wickets costing him less than 18 a piece.
The injury that almost ruled out Sri Lanka fast bowler Chanaka Welegedara from the squad for the Champions Trophy did not turn out too bad. After scanning, the doctors did not find any fractures or breaks on his landing foot or ankle.
The scan report has definitely improved Welegedara’s chance to travel with the team to England for the Champions Trophy. His condition will be observed in the next two days. After that, a final decision will be taken about his inclusion in the team. Sri Lanka team will leave home for England on Sunday.
Welegedara picked up that injury while playing a domestic ODI match on last Saturday. He could bowl only 2.4 overs before leaving the field with pain in his foot and ankle. Since that day, he has not attended training or played any match.
Michael de Zoysa, the team manager of the team, said that the scan showed nothing serious except inflammation around the affected area. He said that everybody had to wait and see to know if the bowler would be in the touring squad. Welegedara will have to undergo some fitness tests, which will decide his fate for the Champions Trophy.
Former New Zealand Test captain, Daniel Vettori, who was originally selected only for the one-day and Champions Trophy legs of the tour to England, could play an unexpected part in the second Test of the series against England at Headingley later this week.
The 34 year-old, left-arm spinner, has joined his country's squad earlier than expected, and with Bruce Martin being forced to return home due to a calf injury, the way is now open for Vettori to take his place in the starting line up for the forthcoming Test. A match that the Black Caps need to win, in order to share the series, after their crushing defeat at Lord's.
Vettori has played 111 Tests for his country, taking 360 wickets, which leaves him second on his nation's all time list, behind only the legendary Sir Richard Hadlee, and the most successful left-arm spinner in test history. But he hasn't played Test cricket since July 2012, due to an achilles tendon injury.
In the wake of their defeat at Lord's, when they were dismissed just 68 in their second innings, the Kiwis would undoubtedly welcome back a player, who quite apart from the wickets he has taken, has also scored over 4,500 runs at an average of over 30
Chennai Super Kings enter the playoffs against Mumbai Indians as minor favourites given their experience at this level.
After making it into the final 4, the top two teams from the round matches, the Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians, will clash in the first qualifier of the IPL 6, tomorrow.
The match will be hosted at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. It is important to note that none of the teams will savor the home advantage in this qualifier.
The rules to make it to the final have been modified this time. The winner from this qualifier will go straight to the finals, but the loser still has one chance to make it into the final as well.
The loser will face the winner of eliminator, in qualifier 2 and then the winner will proceed to meet the victor of qualifier 1 for the grand finale.
The first Test between England and New Zealand at Lord's continued to ebb and flow early on the fourth day, as each side appeared to have gained the upper hand, before their opponents found a way to drag themselves back into the game.
The ebb and flow nature of the game, finally came to an end once New Zealand began their second innings chase for the 239 runs that would bring them victory, and a 1-0 lead in the two match series.
Stuart Broad, who was woefully out of form when the two sides played a series in New Zealand during the winter, and had many pundits questioning whether he warranted his place in the side, ripped through the visitors batting, taking seven wickets in 11 overs, as the home side completed a victory by an astonishing 170-runs.
The Black Caps, appeared to have bowled themselves in with an excellent chance of winning the match, as they removed the last four England batsmen in less than an hour on the fourth morning, as the hosts innings was wrapped up for 213, setting the Kiwis 239 for victory.
New Zealand continued to make a mockery of the current ICC Test match rankings, as they again had the better of a day's play against England. This time, the second day of the first Test at Lord's.
England's last six wickets fell for just 40 runs, as they were dismissed for a meagre 232 on day two. Tim Southee being the pick of the Kiwi bowlers, finishing with 4-58.
England did threaten an immediate fight back, as Lancashire seamer, James Anderson, removed both openers, Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton, to reduce the visitors to 7-2. In the process, Anderson became only the fourth Englishman in test match history to reach 300 Test wickets. The only players to have reached the milestone before Anderson, were Sir Ian Botham 383 wickets, Bob Willis 325 and Fred Trueman 307.
After the early shocks, Ross Taylor, the former captain, led a spirited and skilful fightback. After a traumatic winter, in which he had been stripped of his nation's captaincy, Taylor with 66 off just 72 balls proved his undoubted ability with the bat. With Kane Williamson hitting an unbeaten 44, the visitors were able to close the day on 153-4, trailing by 79 runs.
After registering a much needed victory in their last game, the Sunrisers Hyderabad will now face the Kolkata Knight Riders, in a crucial game, tomorrow. The Sunrisers will be hosting this 72nd and the last league match of IPL 6 at Hyderabad.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad pulled off a spectacular victory, with their bowling, in their last match against the Rajasthan Royals.
They could only make 136 runs in their 20 overs, as Biplab Samantray helped them to reach this respectable total, at least. However, the Sunrisers bowled superbly, and stopped the Royals on a dismal score of 113.
Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra were extraordinary with the ball, especially Mishra, who grabbed 2 wickets and gave away only 8 runs in 4 overs. These two bowlers will again hold the key for Sunrisers chances, in their important match, tomorrow.
The batting is strong but the top order has not been delivering off late. If they want to win tomorrow and make it to the playoffs, and be competitive at that stage, they need to improve their batting at the top, otherwise the opponents will seek advantage and the Sunrisers will have to go on the back foot early in the innings.
After losing a tight game, the dismal Delhi Daredevils now look to save some pride as they face the nose-diving Pune Warriors, who also need to bring back their lost reputation, tomorrow. This 71st fixture of IPL 6 will be hosted by the Warriors at Pune.
The Delhi Daredevils just could not make it to the finish line, as they had the will to chase, in their last game against the Kings XI Punjab. Earlier, only Morne Morkel could resist the onslaught from Kings XI batsmen, and it again raised questions on their all-out pace attack.
Afterwards, the lower order gave some hope to the Daredevils, but the contribution wasn’t quick and enough for them to secure a victory.
Morne Morkel has been in and out of the Daredevils, due to form and sometimes fitness issues as well. But no one can deny that he is a match winner and if he had been properly utilized, the results would have been a lot better for the Daredevils.
Ben Rohrer played a good cameo at the end of the innings, and he might be the next future prospect for the Daredevils tomorrow and in the seasons to come.
After registering their first victory on a long tour of England, Pakistan will now face Scotland in the 2nd and final match of the ODI series at Edinburgh. As was expected, their bowling rescued them in the end, after they were not up to the mark in their batting.
Scotland looked very competitive while Pakistan were batting, and they made run scoring difficult for Pakistan, even in the middle phase, where Pakistani batsmen are the most comfortable. They just lost their way in the end, when Misbah-ul-Haq and tail enders accumulated very important runs.
Rob Taylor and Majid Haq were the pick of the bowlers, as both were pretty economical. Majid Haq grabbed 3 wickets as well. The two bowled 3 maidens in between them, and that was a great achievement against a Test playing nation.
The batting let them down, but for a while Kyle Koetzer and Josh Davey looked in good touch, however it was short-lived, and then none of the batsmen could even reach 20. They need to improve their batting, if they want to have any chance of troubling Pakistan tomorrow.
After losing their previous game, the Royal Challengers Bangalore will now host a crucial match, which is very important for their place in the playoffs, against the Chennai Super Kings, tomorrow. This 70th fixture will be played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
After being thrashed by the Kings XI Punjab in their last game, even after making 174 runs, the Royal Challengers move into the next match, with a lot of pressure. Although, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli were very good with the bat, poor bowling and superb hitting meant the Kings XI chased down the target in 18.1 overs.
Zaheer Khan’s return has been welcomed by Royal Challengers, and it will help the team to be more effective as a bowling unit, however, other bowlers should also take some responsibility and learn from the mistakes they did in their last match.
The batting is still their main weapon, and the trio of AB De Villiers, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli will be the key for their matchup against the Super Kings tomorrow. The trio needs to deliver in the very important game tomorrow; otherwise it might mean that Royal Challengers do not make it to the playoffs.
Although Pakistan arrived in Scotland to be greeted by a rainy Glasgow day, their head coach, DavWhatmore, remained upbeat as his side prepared to begin their ICC Champions Trophy warm up.
Pakistan are scheduled to play two One Day Internationals (ODIs) against Scotland this week, and will then cross the Irish Sea to take on Ireland.
Whatmore re-iterated the importance of the tournament to his team, and cricket in Pakistan generally, which continues to be excluded from hosting international cricket on home soil, due to security concerns. The coach maintained that the weather was all a part of the build up to the competition, and that his side would deal with whatever conditions they encountered, just as they will be required to do once the tournament gets underway.
Diplomatically, Whatmore went on to add, that the warm up matches scheduled in Scotland, would be excellent preparation for his side, but would also be good for the game in Scotland too.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has confirmed the schedule of Sri Lanka tour. It will be the first assignment for Russell Domingo as the head coach of South Africa team.
South Africa will visit Sri Lanka to play five one-day matches and three Twenty20s between July 20 and August 6.
The original schedule included three Test matches too but Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) requested to postpone the matches for hosing the second season of Sri Lanka Premiere League (SLPL).
The cancellation of Test matches has become a blessing in disguise for SA, as they do not have to be worried to defend the no. 1 ranking in Test until November, when they will play against Pakistan in the UAE.
For this year, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced 30 central contracts. The contracts include 15 percent increment in the monthly retainership charge.
Surprisingly, the board has retained Younus Khan and Shahid Afridi, who are now out of the ODI team, in the top A category. On the other hand, pacer Umar Gul, who is included in all three formats, has been demoted from A to B. Wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal was out of the contract last year. However, he has made it this year by being included in the C category.
For the second straight year, the board has enhanced the retainership fees, with the fees in all grades of Test matches up by Rs. 55,000. In a statement, the PCB said that it had raised 15% retainership fee in 2013 Central Contracts. The same fee was raised by 25% in 2012 Central Contracts.
Before 2012, the last increase in player fees was made in 2009. So, the board has increased the fees by more than 40 percent in the last two years.
In fact, the raise has come after prolonged conversations between the PCB and the players. Most of the senior players were displeased with the offered retainers. The PCB deprived the players of the appearance fee in the ICC tournaments and did not allow them to play in the Bangladesh Cricket League 2013.