Beaumont (Melbourne Renegades), Jones (Perth Scorchers) and Knight (Hobart Hurricanes) all held contracts in last season’s WBBL, but the teams they will play for this season remain unconfirmed. Glenn, Player of the Series against West Indies, will be playing in the competition for the first time, and is set to join the Perth Scorchers.
Meanwhile, it is understood that the ECB is open to allowing players to appear in India’s Women’s T20 Challenge, and will sign No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) assuming it is satisfied with the Covid-19 protocols in place.
ESPNcricinfo revealed on Wednesday that the BCCI is likely to stage the three-team tournament from November 4-9 – during the IPL playoffs week – with plans in place to involve overseas players despite the clash with the WBBL, which begins on October 25 in Sydney.
Although the BCCI is yet to make any formal announcements on the tournament’s fixtures or quarantine requirements, it is understood that both the Indian and overseas players will arrive in the UAE by the third week of October. All the three squads would be put up at one hotel, which will be part of a biosecure bubble. Just like the eight IPL franchises, the women’s contingent will undergo a mandatory six-day quarantine at the team hotel during which tests would be carried out on days one, three and five.
The selection process for squads the T20 Challenge has already begun, and English players are expected to be big draws. Sophie Ecclestone, the No. 1-ranked T20I bowler, and Danni Wyatt both appeared in the 2019 edition, and would be among the top overseas players involved if recruited, not least in the absence of Australian internationals due to the WBBL running parallel. Wyatt missed Wednesday’s fifth T20I for personal reasons.
It is understood that at least one top-flight England player had been waiting for an official update on the T20 Challenge before committing to the WBBL, but with details on the Indian competition slow to come out and a mandatory two-week quarantine set upon arrival in Australia, time for stalling ran out. Other players who could find spots might include Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Sophia Dunkley, Anya Shrubsole and Kate Cross.
England players not involved in either competition will have two weeks off at the start of October after leaving the biosecure bubble in Derby, before reporting to Loughborough for a training camp for seven weeks of training before Christmas with no international cricket scheduled for the rest of the year.
“The girls will have a few weeks off, then go back to Loughborough,” Knight said. “It’s fair to acknowledge it’s been quite tough, living in a bubble the whole time. It’s been particularly hard for the girls not playing, so credit to them.
“I think they need [the time off],” said Lisa Keightley, England’s head coach. “It’s been quite draining here – tougher than you might think – so it’s good to have a bit of a break, which they’re all looking forward to.
“It’ll be awesome for those players that are going to get a bit more cricket. It’s been pretty lean so, I’m sure they’re really looking forward to going out there and playing.
“We know [the WBBL] is a really good competition so the standard will be good. If you’re performing in that you know you’re travelling pretty well so it’s very exciting for those girls going out.”
England’s next international series is likely to be in New Zealand in early 2021, with NZC describing the tour as “confirmed” in a press release this week after it had previously been mooted by ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.
Cricket Australia are also in talks with NZC regarding a possible women’s tour, with some possibility that the sides could play a tri-series.
WBC creates ‘frontline’ championship belt for Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr., will also handle fight scoring
Despite being an exhibition bout, there will be a championship belt on the line when Mike Tyson returns to the ring to battle fellow former champion Roy Jones Jr. The WBC has created a “Frontline championship” that will be awarded to the winner of the fight, which has been titled the “Frontline Battle.”
Tyson, 54, and Jones, 51, are set to meet on Nov. 28 on pay-per-view. While the fight will be overseen by the California State Athletic Commission, the bout will be scored by a panel of three champions using the WBC’s remote scoring program, according to a press release.
CSAC executive director Andy Foster has insisted that the fight will be stopped if either man suffers a cut and that both Tyson and Jones should not be looking to score a knockout.
“I wanted to have their assurances that they understand, ‘I don’t care if they spar. I don’t care if they work.’ They are world-class athletes, even still,” Foster told BoxingScene.com in July. “They have a right to earn, and all these types of things. They’re about the same age. We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight. They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt. They know the deal.
“It’s an exhibition. They can exhibit their boxing skills, but I don’t want them using their best efforts to hurt each other. They’re going to spar hard, but they shouldn’t be going for a knockout. This isn’t a record-book type of fight. This is not world-championship boxing right now. It’s not what this is. People shouldn’t be getting knocked out. The public can see what kind of shape Roy and Mike are still in.”
YouTube star Jake Paul will fight former NBA player Nate Robinson in the night’s other featured bout, with former world champion Badou Jack also taking on Blake McKernan on the pay-per-view main card.
A press conference will be held for the event at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 29.
Rishabh Pant omitted from India’s white-ball squads, Varun Chakravarthy in T20I squad
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been omitted from India’s ODI and T20I squads for the upcoming Australia tour. Rohit Sharma, India’s white-ball vice-captain, who is currently nursing a hamstring injury in the IPL in the UAE, isn’t part of both the squads as well.
Tamil Nadu and Kolkata Knight Riders mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy earned his maiden national call-up on the back of his stellar performances in the ongoing IPL. Varun is the only player with a five-wicket haul so far this season, and in all he is the highest wicket-taker for the Knight Riders with 12 strikes at an excellent economy rate of 7.05.
India’s premier allrounder Hardik Pandya is set to play his first limited-overs international since September 2019. Pandya has undergone a back surgery surge and he returned to action in the IPL though he hasn’t bowled yet this season. According to Zaheer Khan, Mumbai Indians’ director of cricket operations, Pandya was “very keen” to bowl, but the team management has adopted a cautious approach, using him as a specialist batsman.
In the absence of Sharma, KL Rahul, who is captaining Kings XI Punjab, has been named Virat Kohli’s deputy in both the white-ball squads. Rahul is the only wicketkeeper in the ODI squad while India have another wicketkeeping option in Sanju Samson for the T20Is.
Varun, who had turned 29 just before IPL 2020 just August, played only 11 T20s before Monday. However, he has seven variations in his repertoire, and his victims in the IPL include David Warner, MS Dhoni, Pant, and Shreyas Iyer. Varun had also been the second-highest wicket-taker in the 2018-19 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy, with 22 scalps in nine matches at an economy rate of 4.23. However, a finger injury, sustained during his maiden IPL stint with the Kings XI Punjab in 2019, forced him out of action for more than a year.
Despite not playing any competitive cricket for a year, Dinesh Karthik, the former Knight Riders captain and the current Tamil Nadu white-ball captain, punted on him, with the Knight Riders shelling out INR 4 crore (USD 563,000 approx.) to get him on board. Varun has rewarded their faith, stepping up when Sunil Narine was placed on the IPL warning list, before his action was subsequently cleared. Varun’s Knight Riders team-mate Kuldeep Yadav was left out of the T20I squad, but was part of the ODI squad.
Ravindra Jadeja, who was the Chennai Super Kings’ finisher with the bat but struggled with the ball, was picked in both the white-ball squads over Axar Patel. Axar’s economy rate of 5.78 is the third best among bowlers who have bowled at least 25 overs this IPL. Under this condition, only Rashid Khan and Washington Sundar, who features in the T20I squad, have better economy rates.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will lead the seam attacks in both ODIs and T20Is. Fast bowler Navdeep Saini, who had suffered a split webbing in his bowling hand in the fixture against the Super Kings on Sunday, has been named in both squads well. Deepak Chahar is the fourth seamer in the T20I squad, with his Super Kings team-mate taking that spot in the ODI squad.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is currently nursing a thigh injury, will have to wait further for his international comeback. Kumar, who hasn’t played international cricket since December 2019, was set to make that comeback in the home ODI series against South Africa earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic struck and forced that series to be called off.
Karnataka and Kings XI’s Mayank Agarwal, who found a place in both sides, could be the back-up opener behind Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. Punjab and Knight Riders’ Shubman Gill wasn’t selected in the T20I squad, but could be another opening option for the ODIs.