Bangladesh Test and T20 captain Shakib Al Hasan, along with top order wicketkeeper-batsman Litton Das, have been signed by Kolkata Knight Riders for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in an auction held Friday.
While Shakib is a familiar figure in the IPL, Litton has received his inaugural call to the highly lucrative T20 tournament.
Shakib, one of the best all-rounders of the current age, went unsold when his name was first called at Friday’s auction. Despite his reputation, no team showed interest in signing him. However, Kolkata picked him up for INR 1.5 crores when his name was called again. Litton also found his home with the team owned by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, going for INR 50 lakhs.
Litton scored 1388 runs with eight fifties in 65 T20I matches he played for Bangladesh. In domestic level T20s, he played 160 games and scored 3443 runs with the highest score of 78 not out.
Undoubtedly what made the difference for him this time is the blazing assault he launched against the Indian attack when Bangladesh and India squared off in October’s ICC T20 World Cup. Opening the innings for the Tigers after India had posted a stiff target of 186 to win for their smaller neighbours, Das threatened to take the game away from the Indians with a 21-ball 50: the second-fastest by a Bangladeshi batsman in T20Is, next to Mohd. Ashraful, who did it off 20 balls against the West Indies.
Once Das was unluckily run out for a memorable 60 off just 27 balls, featuring seven hits to the fence and three that went over it, Bangladesh’s hopes in that game quickly faded.
Shakib’s IPL performance over the span of 2011-2021 has been decent during this period, he played a total of 71 matches for two teams— Kolkata and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
He has scored a total of 793 runs with the highest score of 66*, and a batting average of 19.82. He took 63 wickets with the best bowling of 3/17 and an average of 29.19. He has yet to take a five-wicket haul in IPL.
India Signals Mayday as Aussies Secure Victory
In anticipation of ending their decade-long quest for a major ICC trophy win, a fervent crowd gathered at the Narendra Modi Stadium, expecting India to secure victory. However, it was Australia who dominated the day, showcasing a stellar bowling performance that restricted India to 240 runs. Travis Head’s remarkable century ultimately led Australia to their sixth ICC Cricket World Cup title, marking a triumphant moment in a remarkable year for Pat Cummins’ team across various formats.
Australia faced an early challenge in pursuit of the 241-run target, losing key wickets, including David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, and Steven Smith. Yet, a resilient partnership between Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne became the turning point. Head’s spectacular century, complemented by Labuschagne’s steadfast half-century, secured Australia’s victory with six wickets and seven overs to spare.
Earlier, in a high-stakes match, Australia won the toss and chose to bowl. Inspired by captain Rohit Sharma, India made a dynamic start, but key wickets, including Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer, shifted the momentum. Virat Kohli and KL Rahul stabilized the innings, helping India reach a competitive total. However, Australia’s bowling attack, led by Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood, proved effective, restricting India to 240.
The second innings witnessed a thrilling start, with David Warner’s aggressive play and a dramatic early wicket by Mohammed Shami. Despite a spirited effort by India’s bowlers, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne’s partnership steered Australia to victory. The article highlights the pivotal moments of the match, emphasizing the dominance of Australia’s bowlers and the outstanding batting performance of Travis Head.
Sri Lanka Cricket Faces ICC Suspension Amidst Board Controversy
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) faces an immediate suspension from the International Cricket Council (ICC) due to alleged government interference, as stated by the sport’s governing body on Friday (November 10).
In response to Sri Lanka’s poor performance in the recent World Cup, the country’s Ministry of Sport replaced the SLC board with an interim committee. However, this move was contested in Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal, putting the sacking on hold. The ICC Board convened and concluded that SLC is in serious violation of its member obligations, specifically emphasizing the need for autonomous management without government interference in cricket governance.
The ICC Board will determine the conditions of the suspension in due course. Sri Lanka won only two out of nine games in the World Cup, ranking ninth in the standings. SLC has not yet commented on the ICC’s decision.
Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe criticized SLC as “traitorous and corrupt,” urging board members to resign. Following the resignation of SLC secretary Mohan de Silva, Ranasinghe formed an interim committee chaired by former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga. Ousted SLC President Shammi Silva sought legal intervention against the dismissal, obtaining a two-week stay order with a full hearing pending. The matter has also been discussed in Sri Lanka’s parliament.
Addressing allegations of a $2 million transfer, SLC clarified that funds were used for operational expenses and not transferred out of their accounts. SLC explained its practice of transferring funds from USD to local currency to meet regular operational expenses.
CWC23: Tigers Uncaged for the Hunt
In the upcoming ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup 2023, Bangladesh finds itself ranked just above the Netherlands, with Afghanistan being the only other team ranked lower. This places both Bangladesh and Afghanistan in a challenging position, as they’ll need a series of remarkable upsets to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Nonetheless, these teams are far from lacking in talent and have the capability to trouble even the most formidable cricketing nations, especially when the playing conditions align with their strengths. Some of the tournament venues are known to provide conditions that could favor Bangladesh and Afghanistan, potentially tipping the scales in their favor.
A victory in Dharamsala would significantly bolster the semi-final prospects of either side, although the conditions at this venue may not necessarily play to their strengths. Afghanistan boasts three spinners within the top ten of the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Bowling Rankings, while Bangladesh features the iconic Shakib Al Hasan, who continues to rank among the best all-rounders in the world.
However, historical trends suggest that Dharamsala typically favors quick bowlers, thanks to its short boundaries and high altitude, factors that have seen fast bowlers make a more significant impact at this venue.
The Bangladesh squad for the tournament includes the formidable captain Shakib Al Hasan, Litton Kumer Das, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, vice-captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, Tawhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, and Tanzim Hasan Sakib.
Afghanistan’s squad boasts the leadership of Hashmatullah Shahidi as captain, with a strong lineup comprising Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, and Naveen ul Haq.
As the cricketing world anticipates the excitement of the 2023 ODI World Cup, Bangladesh’s evergreen skipper Shakib Al Hasan continues to make history. Holding the prestigious No.1 ranking in the ODI all-rounder category, Shakib has remarkably maintained this position leading up to each of his five World Cup appearances (2007, 2011, 2015, 2019, and now 2023).
Adding to his accolades, Shakib stands as Bangladesh’s highest-ranked bowler at 17, while Mushfiqur Rahim claims the top batting ranking for Bangladesh, ranking at 21.
Afghanistan also showcases its strength in the ODI rankings, with former captain Mohammad Nabi positioned as the No.2-ranked all-rounder. Notably, spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman secures the third spot in the ODI bowler rankings, while Rashid Khan, ranked fourth, is widely acclaimed as one of the world’s premier white-ball players, primarily due to his remarkable performances in the shorter format. Rashid’s contributions will undoubtedly be pivotal to Afghanistan’s aspirations in the tournament.
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