September 27, 2013
England have announced a 17-man squad for the winter tour to Australia where once again they will be competing for the Ashes. The main bulk of the party, captained by Alastair Cook, consists of the tried and tested, but three uncapped players who started their cricket education overseas are included. They are Irish pace man Boyd Rankin, all-rounder Ben Stokes who hails from New Zealand and Zimbabwean born Gary Ballance, a middle order batsman. Spinner Monty Panesar, with his off field issues seemingly behind him, returns to the fold as do quickie Chris Tremlett, out of international action for two years, and opener Michael Carberry, who played a solitary test match in 2009. Graeme Onions, the leading wicket taker in domestic first class cricket this year, is an unlucky omission, while Tim Bresnan, recovering from back injury, does not make the main party.
The autumn sun is lingering, but the 2013 county cricket is virtually done and dusted. Nottinghamshire have won the YB40 competition, defeating Glamorgan in the final at Lord’s. In Division 1 of the LV= Championship, Yorkshire have finished as runners-up to Durham and Surrey and Derbyshire are relegated. Lancashire (champions) and Northamptonshire are promoted from Division 2. Derbyshire’s Wayne Madsen, and Onions, from Durham, finish as the country’s leading Division 1 run scorer and wicket taker.
In India, the T20 Champions league is under way. Ten teams are taking part in the final stages – four Indian, two Australian, two South African and one each from New Zealand and West Indies. Home sides Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings, both with maximum points from two games, are setting the early pace.
The political infighting in Indian cricket continues unabated. Lalit Modi, the former IPL chairman, has been expelled from the BCCI for alleged serious misconduct and indiscipline. Modi continues to fight to save his name. Former England batsman Graeme Hick has been employed as high performance coach at the Australian Centre of Excellence. His main role will be to oversee the creation of a national batting programme.
The Scoop 27/09/13