Saha, Sharma and Ronchi move up in Test batsmen’s rankings


Wriddhiman Saha and Rohit Sharma of India, and Luke Ronchi of New Zealand have made notable gains in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen after the second Test in Kolkata which India won by 178 runs to take a winning 2-0 lead and assure itself of the number-one Test team ranking at the end of the three-match series.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Saha’s unbeaten knocks of 54 and 58 not only earned him the player of the match award but has also propelled him 18 places to 56th position in the list of batsmen led by Australia captain Steve Smith.

Sharma, whose crucial second-innings contribution of 82 helped India set a challenging 376-run target for New Zealand, has gained 14 slots to reach 38th rank.

Cheteshwar Pujara is the other India batsman to gain as he has moved up one slot to 15th position after scoring a total of 91 runs in Kolkata, including a first innings knock of 87.

For New Zealand, Ronchi, primarily a wicketkeeper-batsman in limited overs cricket who has played both Tests of the series as a specialist batsman, produced knocks of 35 and 32 to gain 12 slots and reach 40th rank.

His compatriot and left-handed opener Tom Latham has gained three places to reach 33rd slot after innings of one and 74.

In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers led by South Africa pace bowler Dale Steyn, India fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s six wickets in the match, including a five for 48 in the first innings, have helped him gain nine slots to reach 26th place.

His fellow pace bowler Mohammad Shami’s two three-wicket hauls have seen him move up two places to 23rd position, while left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has gained one slot to reach sixth rank with four wickets in the match.

New Zealand pace bowler Matt Henry, playing only his fifth Test match, has gained 16 slots to reach 61st position after grabbing five wickets in the match, while Trent Boult’s five wickets in Kolkata have seen him gain one position to reach ninth rank as he switched positions with compatriot left-arm pace bowler Neil Wagner who slipped from ninth to 10th rank.

Meanwhile, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson have slipped one slot each in the bowlers’ and batsmen’s rankings, respectively.

The pair had risen from third to second positions after the opening Test in Kanpur. However, Ashwin’s four wickets in the Kolkata Test were not enough for him to retain the number-two position, while Williamson’s absence from the match due to illness meant he lost one percentage point from his rating points and, as such, has slipped back to third position.

Ashwin now trails England’s James Anderson by 11 points, while Williamson is eight points behind England’s Joe Root.


Australia women’s extend advantage over England following annual update


The Australia women’s side has opened up a six-point gap over its closest rival England, while New Zealand, West Indies and Ireland have also gained valuable points following the 1 October annual update of the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Team Rankings, which incorporates results in all three formats into a single rankings system.


The annual rankings update is carried out to ensure the table continues to reflect the recent form of the women’s sides. As such, results from October 2012 to September 2013 have been discarded in the new table, while results between October 2013 andSeptember 2015 are now weighted at 50 per cent whereas results from October 2016 until September 2017 will be weighted at 100 per cent.


In the new calculations, Meg Lanning’s Australia has retained top position on 128 points but England has slipped from 124 points to 122 points. This means the two sides are now separated by six points.


New Zealand has collected three points, which means Suzie Bates’ side has now reduced the gap with Heather Knight’s England from nine points to four points.


ICC Women’s World Twenty20 reigning champion the West Indies have also gained in the latest update. Stafanie Taylor’s side has collected three points, which has put it at par with India on 107 points but behind Mithali Raj’s side by a fraction of a point.


Ireland has moved up three points to 38, but Pakistan and Bangladesh have dropped one point apiece and Sri Lanka has conceded two points.


Sixth-ranked South Africa has retained its position and rating of 90 points following the update.


The top five sides are now separated 21 points. With a lot of women’s cricket to be played in the coming weeks in relation to the ICC Women’s Championship, which is a qualifying tournament for next year’s ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, a reshuffle in the team rankings could potentially be on the cards as the sides will be striving hard to claim automatic qualification for the biggest event in women’s cricket.

NorthEast United FC partnered with logistics solutions provider DTDC

NorthEast United FC has partnered with India’s leading logistics solutions provider, DTDC, to administer the overall logistics.

Competing for the title spot, NorthEast United FC had roped in the international star, Didier Zokora as its marquee. Furthermore, the envious line-up of players in the squad includes the Arjuna Awardee Subrata Paul and the young talent of child protégés, Jerry Mawihmingthanga & Lallianzuala Chhangte (Zuala).

Further sharing his thoughts on the association, Ardeshir Jeejeebhoy, Director of Football for NEUFC said, “We were looking for a logistics partner with a keen eye for detail and couldn’t have asked for better associates than DTDC. With their expertise and experience in the domain, they have seamlessly integrated the operations at NEUFC. Owing to their assistance, we are hopeful for a successful season and are looking forward for a long term association with DTDC.”

Echoing the same thought, Mr. Abhishek Chakraborty, Executive Director, DTDC Express Limited said, “We at DTDC believe that football and logistics have huge synergies as both drive with speed, teamwork and passion. The North East region, with a huge football following, has massively contributed to Indian football and DTDC with its unparalleled reach of the North East region makes for an ideal logistics partner for NEUFC. We are confident that this will be a fruitful association where we can deliver the passion and excitement of the game and foster even stronger connections with our customers.”

Hero Indian Super League 2016: Opening Ceremony to Celebrate the Cultural Diversity and Spirit of the Eight States in the North East Region

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The north east region has consistently groomed talented football professionals who have represented some of the biggest clubs in the country as well as the national team. To recognise the region’s immense contribution to the sport, the opening ceremony will celebrate the cultural diversity and spirit of the eightstates in the north east region – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.


NorthEast United owner John Abraham today accompanied ISL Founder and Chairperson Mrs Nita Ambani to Guwahati ahead of the much-awaited opening ceremony.


Abhishek Bachchan, Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandes and Varun Dhawantoo landed today into Guwahati with the latter three slated to put up a spectacular performance.


Mumbai City FC owner Ranbir Kapoor, Kerala Blasters FC owner Sachin Tendulkar and Chennaiyin FC owner M.S Dhoniwill be reaching Guwahation 1st October 2016


Opening ceremony to have a local North East flavour with the famed Shillong Chamber Choir who have enthralled audiences across the globe slated to perform.The scintillating ceremony will see over 500 artistes and drummers from the north east regions come together to perform amidst a spectacular show.


India’s only Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu who brought glory to India at the Summer Olympics 2016 is the star attraction at the grand sports event.


Gates to Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium will open at 3.00pm sharp. The spectacular star studded opening ceremony featuring Bollywood stars to commence at 5.30pm sharp.Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandes and Varun Dhawanhave been putting in long hours into the intense practice sessions for the opening ceremony act which promises to be a cracker of a performance.


One can catch the opening ceremony on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2, Star Gold, Star Gold HD, Star Jalsha Movies, Star Jalsha Movies HD, Asia Net Movies, Vijay Super and Hot Star (deferred live) from 6.15pm


The first match of Hero ISL between home side NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters FC will kick-off at 7.00pm sharp. The two teams missed out on qualification to the semi-finals of the league and they will be looking to go that extra mile this year. This promises to be a cracker of a season with a potentially explosive opening fixture.



Australia qualifies for ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 after blanking out Sri Lanka


Australia has qualified for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 after a 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in the ICC Women’s Championship. Australia captain Meg Lanning has lauded her side for the way it adjusted to the conditions to become the first side to book a place at next summer’s event to be held in England.


“We were hoping to win all games that we played. I thought Sri Lanka tested us at certain stages but we stuck to our guns pretty well, certainly in the last two games we set pretty high standards.


“The conditions have been difficult, I guess, from the batting perspective, very different from back home, but the last couple of games we have adjusted very well, we came with our plans and stuck to them,” Lanning said.


Australia had arrived in Sri Lanka needing just one win to qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. And Lanning’s side achieved it in style when it wrapped up the first match in Dambulla last Tuesday by 78 runs. It then won the two Colombo ODIs by nine wickets and 137 runs.


Australia now sits pretty on 30 points from 18 games, 10 points more than its nearest rival the West Indies, which, like the remaining six sides in the competition, has played three less matches. England is third with 19 points, followed by New Zealand (16), South Africa (15), India (13), Pakistan (eight) and Sri Lanka (five).

The top four sides from the ICC Women’s Championship will automatically qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 while the bottom four sides will get a final chance of qualification through the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in February 2017.


Lanning said the team was preparing for the different challenges in England next year.


“We are going to every game trying to improve and be better and we want to win every game. We have got a World Cup in July that we need to be ready for and play really good cricket, so it’s important we play every game the way we want to and also try on work on things to get better.


“The conditions will be different in England. The key is in being aggressive and to take the game on as much as we can. Wickets are very important in ODI cricket. I think we are in a really good spot but have areas to improve,” Lanning said.


Sri Lanka captain Chamari Atapattu said they had been hoping to do better but hoped to learn from the series.


“We are not satisfied with our performances in this series. We couldn’t complete our tasks individually and were unable to follow our plans. This is a big experience – playing a series against Australia – and we hope to learn from it.


“The Australia players applied themselves very well and came up with good individual performances. As for our team, we had some satisfaction in taking several wickets in the first match but we seemed to lose focus in the remaining matches,” Atapattu said.


Australia’s dominance in the series saw some gains for both its batsmen and bowlers.


Left-hander batter Nicole Bolton, who was the pick of the batters with 212 runs and finished as the only centurion of the IWC series with scores of 64, 35 and 113,  moved up three slots to 18th position in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Women’s Player rankings.


Bolton’s opening partner Elyse Villani’s 115 runs in the three matches enabled her to re-enter the rankings at 52nd position while top-ranked Lanning, fourth-ranked Ellyse Perry and sixth-ranked Alex Blackwell retained their positions with reasonably good showings.


Leg-spinner Kristen Beams, who was the most successful bowler in the series with 10 wickets and conceded just 61 runs in three matches, moved up 16 places to 28th rank in the rankings for bowlers. Beams had hauls of 4-15 in the first match and 4-26 in the third.


Left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen’s four wickets took her up two places to seventh position while pace bowler Holly Ferling’s seven wickets helped her move up 10 places to 52nd rank.


For Sri Lanka, opener Prasadani Weerakkody moved up four slots to 26th position while captain Chamara Atapattu made up for her lack of big contributions with the bat by taking five wickets with her medium-pace bowling that helped her move up 17 ranks to 76th position.

South Africa has chance to climb up to second position in MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings

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Fourth-ranked South Africa has a chance to climb up to second position in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings when it hosts number-one ranked world champions Australia in a five-match series from 30 September to 12 October.


A busy limited-overs cricket period, which starts on 25 September with the Bangladesh versus Afghanistan ODI in Mirpur and the one-off South Africa versus Ireland ODI in Benoni and culminates with the third ODI between Bangladesh and England in Mirpur and fifth ODI between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town on 12 October, will see 16 matches being played between eight teams on the ICC ODI rankings with a year to go before the determination of which seven highest-ranked sides along with England will qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.


While Australia and South Africa I will aim to consolidate their current positions, Bangladesh, the West Indies  and Pakistan will target to improve their rankings.


The string of matches start on Sunday with the first of three ODIs between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Mirpur and a one-off ODI between South Africa and Ireland in Benoni. Ireland also gets a match against Australia in Benoni on 27 September, while Pakistan and West Indies will play a three-match series in the United Arab Emirates from 30 September to 5 October. Bangladesh will host England for three ODIs from 7 to 12 October.


World champion Australia is currently on 124 points and without an immediate threat to its top ranking with New Zealand second on 113 points.


But a series win for South Africa, which is fraction of a point behind India, against Australia could help it move ahead of the reigning ICC Champions Trophy winner. A 3-2 series win will put South Africa in third position on 112 points, while a 4-1 series win will lift it to second position on 114 points.


For Australia, a 3-2 series win will maintain its current 124 points with a maximum drop to 118 points in the case of a 5-0 series whitewash. Even if it also loses its preceding one-off match to Ireland and gets blanked by South Africa, Australia will retain number-one position at 116 points with South Africa behind it on decimal points.


For Bangladesh, which is currently seventh-ranked with 98 points, a 3-0 win against Afghanistan and a 2-1 win against England could help it move to sixth place, ahead of Sri Lanka on decimal points.


England will retain its fifth position, irrespective of how the series pans out.


Former world champion Pakistan, which is the top-ranked Test side but is struggling in ninth position, but can overtake eighth-ranked West Indies only with a 3-0 win. In that scenario, it will jump from 86 points to 89 points, while the West Indies will slide from 94 points to 88 points.


The ODI team rankings, unlike the Test rankings, are updated after each match. The ICC ODI predictor function is available here.


In the individual rankings, South Africa players will be in focus since they have four each in the top 10 in the list of batsmen and bowlers.


Captain AB de Villiers is top-ranked in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen, Hashim Amla is third-ranked while Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis are in ninth and 10th places, respectively.


In the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for ODI Bowlers led by West Indies’ Sunil Narine, leg-spinner Imran Tahir is South Africa’s leading player at fifth position with the pace duo of Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada at joint-seventh place. Morne Morkel completes the team’s dominance in individual rankings at ninth slot.


Australia does not have a single batsman in the top 10 but a group of batsmen just a little below with David Warner the best at 13th rank. Aaron Finch (15th), George Bailey (17th) and Steve Smith (18th) are all in the top 20.  Pace bowler Mitchell Starc is the only Australian in the top 10 among bowlers, at third position.


Other batsmen looking to better their rankings in upcoming matches will include Joe Root (4th) of England, Mushfiqur Rahim (19th) of Bangladesh, Mohammad Hafeez (23rd) of Pakistan and Ed Joyce (28th) of Ireland.


In the bowlers’ list, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan (4th), Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Irfan (11th) and the Afghanistan pair of Mirwais Ashraf (21st) and Mohammad Nabi (22nd) will be among those eyeing chances to improve their rankings.

ICC conducts Elite Panel Conference in Dubai


The International Cricket Council conducted its annual three-day Elite Panel Conference in Dubai from 17 to 19 September, which was attended by members of the Emirates Elite Panel of Match Referees, Emirate Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, members of the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires as well as its umpire coaches.


The workshop conducted at the ICC Headquarters and the adjacent ICC Academy gave the officials an opportunity to discuss various aspects of the game’s conduct, share their experiences, engage in group discussions as well as to go through simulation exercises.


The topics discussed at the workshop included, among other items, the front-foot No-ball trial during the recent England-Pakistan ODI series, learnings from the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India and the new regulations which come into effect from 22 September.


ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice said the seminar was important because it was not easy to get so many officials together.


“It gives us a chance to get the umpires and referees together – twice a year – once around an ICC event, the other time in September, to go over changes to playing conditions, regulations and focus on areas for improvement,” Allardice said.


Speaking on the importance of the event, Adrian Griffith, Senior Manager, Umpires and Referees said the annual seminar helped build teamwork and gives the officials an opportunity to share their experiences and learnings.


“Our seminar in September is about re-grouping and discussing relevant issues in the game’s conditions. We, the umpires and referees, have our own role to play in the game and we want to ensure we do that to the best of our ability. We make sure we give the umpires the tools and resources that they need to place them in the best position to perform.”


ICC Match Referee Javagal Srinath said it was an opportunity for officials to discuss many aspects.


“This seminar has high significance, enhancement of our own performance can happen through discussions and finding solutions. All these things can only lead towards one way – the development of the game.


“This is a collective learning, expectations are set, minimum standards are described, when you get together, amended laws come into play, overall learn a lot and share a lot.”