Category Archives: Cricket

MANU SAWHNEY NAMED AS ICC CHIEF EXECUTIVE

The International Cricket Council today announced Manu Sawhney has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer. Sawhney, the former CEO of Singapore Sports Hub and Managing Director of ESPN Star Sports, will join the organisation next month before formally taking over the reins from David Richardson in July following the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

The appointment was ratified by the ICC Board following a global search and appointment process led by ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar and the Nominations Committee.

Mr Manohar said: “I am delighted to confirm Manu’s appointment today. He brings 22 years of outstanding commercial experience to the ICC and will lead the delivery of our new global growth strategy for the game. Our search produced a host of excellent candidates from around the world, but Manu stood out as the man to work with our Members and take cricket forward.

“He has proven success in a number of leadership roles in both sport and broadcasting. He is a strategic thinker and understands the cricket landscape and its complexities. The decision of the Nominations Committee to recommend Manu to the Board was a unanimous one and I and my fellow directors are looking forward to working with him.”

Sawhney, was with ESPN Star Sports for seventeen years and during his tenure as Managing Director was responsible for scaling the business and doubling annual revenues whilst delivering an innovative content and digital growth strategy and building strong partnerships with stakeholders across 24 countries in Asia. Additionally, he led the global broadcast partnership deal with the ICC that ran from 2007-2015. He is also a non-executive director and member of the Audit Committee of Manchester United Ltd.

He said: “It is a great privilege and responsibility to serve the global cricket community as CEO of the ICC. The sport has more than a billion fans and an ambitious growth strategy so it is a very exciting time to lead the organization.

“I’d like to thank the ICC Board for giving me this opportunity and look forward to working with them, our Members, the team and ICC’s incredible partners and cricketers around the world to propel the sport forward into a period of significant and sustained global growth in the coming years.”

Sawhney will join the ICC in mid-February and will work alongside David Richardson the outgoing CEO to ensure a smooth transition of leadership before assuming control in July.

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USA CRICKET ANNOUNCED AS THE ICC’S 105TH MEMBER

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today welcomed USA Cricket as its 105th Member, in what is a historical milestone for the governing body established in 2017 to unify and develop the cricket community in the United States following the expulsion of USACA.

USA Cricket’s application to become the 93rd Associate Member in accordance with the ICC Constitution was approved by ICC Members following the Membership Committee’s recommendation to the ICC Board late last year and is implemented with immediate effect.

As a Member of the ICC, USA Cricket is now eligible to receive funding in accordance with the ICC Development Funding Policy and can sanction domestic and international cricket in the United States.

A transition plan has been agreed for the governing body, which has, to date, been managed by the ICC Americas regional support programme. This will see all governing body obligations transferred to USA Cricket under the auspices of the USA Cricket Board of Directors this month. The recruitment of a Chief Executive and key management roles will begin in due course as the immediate priorities of the new Member.

ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson said: “This is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and I would like to congratulate the Chair of USA Cricket, Paraag Marathe, and the Board, on this important milestone and wish them all the very best for the future.

USA Cricket Board Chair, Paraag Marathe said: “USA Cricket was established to bring together the cricket community in the United States, develop the game and unlock the sport’s undoubted potential for growth. Today’s confirmation that it is the ICC’s newest Member is a significant staging post on that journey.

“As David mentioned, this recognition is not just the work of our Board but is a result of thousands of volunteer hours over the last 18 months and USA Cricket appreciates the time, effort and sacrifice of all those involved.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors and the entire U.S. cricket community, I also want to thank the ICC and the other 104-member countries for your faith in us to deliver on the nearly limitless potential for cricket in the United States. We do not take this responsibility lightly and pledge to lead this great game with the integrity, passion and tireless work ethic that is a foundation for global cricket.”

DIRECT QUALIFIERS FOR ICC MEN’S T20 WORLD CUP 2020 CONFIRMED

Former champions Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to feature in group stage of 16-team tournament

The International Cricket Council today confirmed the sides that have qualified directly for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 to be held in Australia, based on the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings as on 31 December 2018.

As per the qualification criteria set for the tournament, Australia and the other nine top ranked sides have ensured direct qualification. The top eight make it straight to the Super 12s stage while the remaining two will play in the group stage along with six other teams who will make it through from the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2019. Four teams from the group stage will advance to the Super 12s.

Of the top 10 sides on the rankings table, top-ranked Pakistan, India, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the Windies and Afghanistan will start their campaign directly in in the Super 12s. Former champions and three-time finalists Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will have to contend with the other six qualifiers in the group stage of the tournament, which will be held from 18 October to 15 November 2020.

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga was disappointed at the 2014 champions not making it to the Super 12s but was confident of the team doing well in the tournament while Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan indicated that recent performances had given them belief and they would prepare well for the challenge.

For more on the tournament and the qualification pathway click here

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga: “It is a bit disappointing that we have not been able to ensure a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament.

“Having played three finals and winning once, it is natural that everyone expected us to finish in the top-eight but we have to take the opportunity in the extra matches of the group stage and prepare well for the knock-out matches.

“We have some fine players in the ranks and it is only a matter of doing our best when the time comes. We look forward to challenges coming our way as we prepare for the big event.”

UAE IN ACTION
photo credit : ICC

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan: “We have not secured a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament by going through the group stage.

“We are a side capable of beating the best on our day and I see no reason why we can’t go far in the tournament. There is still some time and we will use it to be at our best for the T20 World Cup.

“We won a T20 series against the West Indies, the world champions, in their backward not so long ago. That performance has given us a lot of belief in our Twenty20 capabilities.”

RICKY PONTING FORMALLY INDUCTED INTO THE ICC CRICKET HALL OF FAME

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting was today formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. To mark the occasion, Ponting received his commemorative cap from compatriot ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Glenn McGrath during the tea break on the opening day of the third Test against India in Melbourne.

Ponting was named in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame along with former India captain Rahul Dravid and England woman wicketkeeper-batter Claire Taylor during the ICC Annual Conference in Dublin in July, which Ponting could not attend.

Ponting, after receiving the cap, said: “It’s an incredible feeling, I think for it to happen here at the MCG is what makes the whole thing a little bit more special. I found out today I am one of 25 Australians to be inducted. When you play one Test for Australia, you join a very elite group of players but now to part of the ICC Hall of Fame, you join an even more elite group of cricketers, so it’s a pretty special day today.

“I have lots of great memories with Glenn. I went to the cricket academy with Glenn in about 1990, so I have known Glenn for a long time. It’s a really cool thing that they do to have a fellow inductee actually hand over your cap and induct you in, so to have someone like Glenn do it, with whom I’m working with now and have played with for 10 or 12 years, makes the whole thing a little bit better.

“It’s great recognition. I thank the ICC for what they have done in making this possible. To be here in the MCG with 75,000 people, it makes it an awesome day.”

RICKY PONTING FORMALLY INDUCTED INTO THE ICC CRICKET HALL OF FAME
PHOTO CREDIT: ICC

Ponting, a three-time ICC Cricket World Cup winner including two times as captain, is the 25th Australia cricketer to be formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. The 44-year-old retired from international cricket in 2012 after scoring 13,378 runs in 168 Tests with 41 centuries, 13,704 runs in 375 ODIs with 30 centuries and 401 runs in 17 T20Is with two half-centuries.

Ponting was named the ICC Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 while also being named the ICC Test Player of the Year in 2006.

ICC PARTNERS WITH ROYAL STAG

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced a five-year agreement with Royal Stag. The partnership, which runs through 2023, confirms Royal Stag as official sponsors of cricket’s international events, including the upcoming big-ticket calendar events – the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup and ICC World Test Championship.

Cricket has always been central to Royal Stag’s brand communication. Over the years, the brand’s continuous association with the world’s top cricketers has bolstered its engagement with cricket lovers across the country.

Commenting on the agreement, David Richardson, Chief Executive, International Cricket Council, said: “The ICC is pleased to welcome Royal Stag on board as our proud partner. We look forward to working together for the next five years in delivering a meaningful experience to the one billion plus adult cricket fans across ICC global events.”

Kartik Mohindra, CMO, Pernod Ricard India said: “Royal Stag has always stood by its brand philosophy of “Make It Large” – inspiring people to dream large and be the creators of their own destiny. Our journey with cricket started in 2000 and since then we have only strengthened our brand associations with the sport, creating a huge impact on cricket fans across the country.”

Mohindra further added: “Our aim is to share the excitement of the game with cricket fans around the world. Partnering with ICC, one of the most coveted sports bodies in the world, allows us to deliver a truly “Make it Large” experience for die-hard cricket fans, especially with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup around the corner.”

On this momentous occasion, Guillaume Girard-Reydet, MD, Pernod Ricard India said: “We are delighted to have partnered with the prestigious International Cricket Council for the coming five years. We are looking forward to an action-packed partnership, which includes two events in India. As India gets ready to host these upcoming tournaments, this partnership firmly cements our position in the international sports arena. We continue to stay committed to the sport and cherish the spirit of the game.”

BIRA 91 ENTERS INTO GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP WITH ICC

Bira 91, one of the world’s fastest growing craft beer brands, has entered into a major five-year deal with the International Cricket Council (ICC). The partnership, which runs through 2023, confirms Bira 91 as the official sponsor of ICC global tournaments including the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup, ICC World Test Championship, ICC U19 Cricket World Cup and the ICC Women’s Championship.

This is the brand’s first foray into sports. As an Official Partner, Bira 91 will integrate the partnership across broadcast and digital platforms, and in-venue activations at all ICC events through their range of products.”

Commenting on the agreement, Campell Jamieson, ICC General Manager Commercial, said, “As we started discussing the partnership with Bira 91, the natural overlaps in their ambitions and ours became obvious. Cricket has more than one billion adult fans and is a natural partner for this exciting brand.

“The ICC is delighted that Bira 91 has chosen cricket as its partner to drive its global expansion and help achieve its ambition of becoming the first global consumer brand out of India. We welcome Bira 91 into the world cricketing family, and we look forward to working together for the next five years to deliver a strong partnership at ICC global events.”

Speaking of the partnership, Ankur Jain, Founder & CEO, said, “The ICC partnership is a key moment for Bira 91 as we embark on creating the first global consumer brand to come out of India. A generational “change of guard” in beer is underway as consumers shift towards beers with more color and flavor.

“World cricket is undergoing a similar generational change as it expands to more dynamic formats, newer geographies and consumers. We are excited to be part of the ‘greatest celebrations of cricket’ on the international stage and adding consumer experience driven activations by our innovative and delicious beers.”

ICC currently has 104 member countries. It continues to expand its global footprint and reinvent the game with the vision of making it more relevant for younger and new spectators including females, which is in sync with Bira 91’s ambition. “Imagined in India, for new world” being the brand’s core philosophy, the brand aspires to drive a global shift in beer towards more flavour and colour.

WORLD T20 TITLE RETURNS DOWN UNDER AS AUSTRALIA BEAT ENGLAND IN STYLE

Australia won a record fourth ICC Women’s World T20 title with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over England at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday. Under lights and in front of more than 10,000 spectators, Australia took wickets regularly to strangle England, and then waltzed to a win.

Georgia Wareham,19, starred in the field for Australia: she was on a hat-trick, affected a direct-hit run-out, and took a catch amidst a rare sloppy Australian fielding effort; they dropped five catches, three of them straight-forward. Ashleigh Gardener then took home the Player of the Match award, hitting three sixes in the chase to build on a solid bowling effort. It gave Australia their first ICC trophy since 2014.

Winning the toss, England chose to put runs on the board, but could not string a partnership of more than 23 in their innings. Opener Danielle Wyatt was the common thread in four of those partnerships as she put on an enterprising 43 (37b, 5×4, 1×6), looking particularly dominant when hitting over mid-off.

Wyatt set the tone for England, taking 11 runs off the first over, but on a pitch that didn’t have the turn of two nights ago, Australia used their fast bowlers to rein things in. The pacers took two wickets in the first seven overs, the second of those giving Ellyse Perry her 100th T20I wicket, making her only the second player to breach that mark.

Perry should have had the wicket earlier, but Alyssa Healy put down an outside edge off the bat of Wyatt, the second of three lives the batter received. Wareham compensated by running out Amy Jones with a direct hit from midwicket in the fifth over. The evening saw more such up-and-down fielding from Australia, but a smart catch from Meg Lanning in the 11th over finally saw the back of Wyatt. .

Wareham then took over: After conceding just one run off the bat in her first over, she took two wickets in two balls in her second, the 13th, to leave England tottering at 74 for six. Despite captain Heather Knight’s rearguard 25 (28b, 1×4, 1×6), England were bowled out for 105 in the last over, with no other batter crossing double figures. Ashleigh Gardener claimed three for 22, including the wickets of Wyatt and Knight, to claim the best figures by a spinner in a World T20 final.

Despite the small total, the festive crowd cheered every boundary the Australians hit in reply. They lost the fluent Healy in the Powerplay, but not before she has built a partnership of 29, scoring 22 (20b, 4×4) of those. Gardener (33 not out, 26b, 1×4, 3×6) and Lanning (28, 30b, 3×4) then finished the job, with Lanning scoring the winning runs off the first ball of the 16th over.

Sir Vivian Richards gave away the World T20 trophy to Australia captain Lanning, and Healy took home the Player of the Tournament award for her 225 runs.

Australia have consolidated their top-spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings, while England have improved their pre-tournament position of third, overtaking New Zealand to move into second spot.

Player of the Tournament Alyssa Healy: “I’m a really bad watcher of cricket on the sidelines, but the girls played beautifully and I’m really proud of this team’s effort.

“I’m enjoying playing with freedom. Our batting line-up enables us to play freely and I knew it would come off eventually. Really enjoying myself and I hope to continue in the Big Bash.

“We worked hard on the culture in last 18 months. Win, lose or draw today, we are really proud of this group we’ve got and the way we played.”

Australia Are Women’s World T20 Champions

Australia captain Meg Lanning: “We probably didn’t have the best day in the field. But we came in prepared and the bowlers did a great job to create so many chances.

“We haven’t had success over the last two years, and the last two World Cups hurt. So we learned a lot and changed a few things. And the group really embraced that. So this is a very satisfying win.

“The India loss didn’t affect us. A couple of years ago it might have rocked us. But we’ve got a really calm group now.

England captain Heather Knight: “I thought it was a much better pitch than the semi-finals. Danni Wyatt started brilliantly but we kept losing wickets. We knew there would be dew, but we wanted to put runs on the board.”

“I’m really proud of the girls for making another world final. Australia were better than us today. But we came in with a lot of inexperience, so some of the girls stepped up brilliantly. Sophie Ecclestone, she’s only been around a year, and Kirstie Gordon was a real find.”

Scores in brief:

Australia defeated England by eight wickets at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua

England: 105 all out, 19.3 overs (Danielle Wyatt 43, Heather Knight 25; Ashleigh Gardener 3-22, Georgia Wareham 2-11, Megan Schutt 2-13)

Australia: 106-2, 15.1 overs (Ashleigh Gardener 33 not out, Meg Lanning 28 not out, Alyssa Healy 22)

Player of the Match: Ashleigh Gardener, Australia

Player of the Tournament: Alyssa Healy, Australia