Delhi Daredevils have brought in Marlon Samuels as a replacement for the injured wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, for the remainder of the season.
De Kock had been ruled out of the IPL with an injury to his right index finger he picked up during the New Zealand tour last month. Samuels is expected to join the Daredevils squad on April 29.
Samuels was among the unsold players in the IPL auction this year, with a base price of INR 100 lakhs. He last played in the IPL over four years ago, in 2013 for Pune Warriors, the only franchise he has represented so far.
In 2012, he played eight matches for them to score a total of 124 runs and take eight wickets. In 2013, he featured in only two matches, with scores of 5 and 3, and only one wicket to his name.
His overall T20 record is more impressive though. In 149 matches since his debut in 2006, he has scored 3757 runs at an average of 32.66 and a strike rate of 117.51, with two hundreds to his name. He has also taken 68 wickets with an economy rate of 7.01.
Daredevils, currently placed second from bottom with only two wins from six matches, play their next match on Friday, against table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens.
While Daredevils possess one of the best bowling attacks this IPL, their batting has cost them a few matches so far. Not one of their batsmen features among the top 10 run-scorers this season and they will further lose overseas recruits Sam Billings and Chris Morris in the coming weeks. Samuels’ inclusion is likely to beef up an inexperienced batting line-up that features domestic batsmen such as Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson and Aditya Tare.
Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari has announced his retirement from cricket with immediate effect at the age of 25.
Ansari made his England Test debut last October during the tour of Bangladesh and his shock announcement comes less than a month into the 2017 domestic season.
Ansari took his maiden Test wicket in England’s second Test against Bangladesh in October
The left-arm spinner and middle-order batsman has been with Surrey since the age of eight and combined his studies at Cambridge University with his County Championship career.
He made his one-day international debut for England in 2015 and was set for a Test debut on the winter tour to face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, only to suffer an open dislocation of his thumb the same day he learned of his call-up.
Ansari retires having played in three Tests and a single one-day international in which he didn’t get a chance to bat or bowl. He scored 3,009 first-class runs to go with 128 wickets and also played a regular role in Surrey’s one-day and Twenty20 sides.
He was part of the side that won the Clydesdale Bank 40 title in 2011 and also helped Surrey secure promotion to Division One of the County Championship in 2015.
Ansari told Surrey’s website: “After seven years as a professional cricketer and almost two decades in total playing the game, I have decided to bring my cricket career to an end.
Ansari suffered a serious thumb injury on the same day he was called up to play for England in their series against Pakistan
“This has been a very difficult decision to make and I have not made it lightly. I started playing for Surrey at the age of eight and the club has been a hugely important part of my life since then.
“Surrey have always completely supported me and I am extremely grateful to the club for their backing over the years. It is, therefore, with great sadness that I say goodbye.
“I have always been clear that when the time was right for me to move on I would, and that time has now come. While the timing may come as a surprise, I have always maintained that cricket was just one part of my life and that I have other ambitions that I want to fulfil.
“With that in mind, I am now exploring another career, potentially in law, and to achieve this I have to begin the process now.”
Ansari retires after passing 3,000 first-class runs, scoring three centuries with a top score of 112
Surrey’s director of cricket Alec Stewart added: “Zafar’s exceptionally tough but considered decision is one that we should all respect and understand.
“To retire at such a young age when his cricket career was progressing very nicely, earning a Test debut against Bangladesh last winter, proves that he has given great thought in deciding to walk away from the professional game.
He also took 128 wickets in 71 first-class games with a best of 6-30
“He is one of our own, having come through our age group and academy system where he first played for the county at the age of eight.
“Throughout his time with Surrey he has represented the club with great pride and skill. He will be missed by all his Surrey team mates, members and supporters and I speak on behalf of everyone in thanking him for his loyal service.
“We wish Zafar the very best in whatever the future holds for him and he will always be welcomed back to the Kia Oval with open arms.”
Rain Spoils Sport:
Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were gunning to make a statement at their home ground on Tuesday after a horrendous display in the last game, must be gutted with the rain gods.
The match was called off without a ball being bowled due to heavy rain which meant that both the teams earned a point each.
Now, it’s getting difficult for the RCB as they languish at the seventh place in the points table with only two wins in 8 matches. Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, must be equally disappointed but they would still take a point with a wry smile on their face.
Mustafizur Rahman is going to have to work harder if he wants his bowling to be more successful, as batsmen have begun reading him better. Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who made this observation, has also said that Mustafizur’s early accomplishment’s in his career was “extraordinary”, and urged that it would be counterproductive to put him under too much pressure.
“What he got in the early stage of his career was extraordinary so what is happening to him now is what is supposed to happen to any bowler…”
– Mashrafe said before Bangladesh’s departure to England for a preparatory camp ahead of their Champions Trophy campaign.
“… It is unbelievable that he got so many wickets in the first few games of his international career. Now he has to work hard to take wickets. Batsmen are reading him better. Every team has top-quality computer analysts who find out his strengths and weaknesses.
Mustafizur’s injuries have bothered him in the past, and he has only recovered from the latest injury a few months ago. At only 21 with everything in consideration, he is having a tough time off as of late. So we also shouldn’t put him under pressure. He has already proved that he is to be a strong part of Bangladesh’s future. If we can keep him relaxed by not weighing him down with expectations, he’s certain to be a wonderful asset over the next ten years.”
After coming back from a shoulder surgery towards the end of last year, Mustafizur wasn’t in full form against New Zealand and was dropped for the Hyderabad Test in India in order to allow more time to recuperate. He bowled reasonably well in patches in Sri Lanka, especially during the Test series, but certainly wasn’t at his best in the two completed ODIs and the first T20I.
As for the second T20I against Sri Lanka however, he took 4 for 21, but was expensive in his only appearance for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2017, conceding 34 runs in 2.4 overs. He has been benched since then, which has raised concerns over his playing form and mental state.
Mustafizur was scheduled to join the team on Tuesday but has been postponed until May 4th. In spite of his recent inconsistent form, he remains an essential cog in Bangladesh’s pursuit for a strong result in the Champions Trophy. Mashrafe said that the tournament will be challenging for the team, as they are situated in the same group as hosts England, Australia and New Zealand.
Apparently, the preparatory camp in Sussex does not guarantee success but will give the players a sounder understanding of local pitches and overhead conditions.
“Realistically, it is going to be a difficult tour,” Mashrafe said.
“The Champions Trophy won’t be easy when you look at our opposition. We have defeated England in that condition. We beat Australia in Cardiff once and, although this is history, I think it is still possible. A lot will depend on how we prepare our mentality…
“… The camp will give us an inkling about the pitches. Weather conditions change quickly in the early part of the English summer. We had a good World Cup after an early camp in Australia in 2015 but the same didn’t pan out in 2016 when we prepared for the New Zealand tour.”
Mashrafe has concern over the team’s fatigue towards the end of a long tour. Considering that the Champions Trophy falls in the latter half of their tour, the team will have to devise ways to avoid falling into that mental hole.
“This is not the first time we have been on such a long tour,” said Mashrafe.
“But we do have that problem of becoming fatigued at the end of such tours. History tells us that we have a really bad session after a good one in the latter part of a tour…
“… in Australia [during the World Cup] we didn’t feel too bad as we were always on the hunt. Winning in the early stage could help us fight fatigue, which we can start in Ireland. It is important to keep everyone together, in our group of 17-18 players, especially those who won’t go through a good time in the early stages. Keeping them tight-knit, like a family.”
Bangladesh leaves’s for the Sussex camp on April 26th.
Their tri-nation series, against Ireland and New Zealand, is to be played May 12th – 24th, then returning to London for the final leg of their tour.
“We have to strengthen our umpires for the sake of Bangladesh cricket’s future” – Nazmul Hassan
The BCB has formed a three-member committee to investigate the second division Dhaka League match between Lalmatia Club and Axiom Cricketers at the City Club ground, where a bowler conceded 92 runs off just four legal deliveries on April 11.
Sujon Mahmud, playing for Lalmatia, gave away 65 wides and 15 no-balls in an over as a form of protest against biased umpiring. BCB president Nazmul Hassan said the incident was “harmful” for Bangladesh cricket and that the board’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) had looked into it. In addition, BCB directors Jalal Yunus, Akram Khan and Sheikh Sohel would speak to all parties involved in the incident – the captains, coaches and the umpires – and deliver a report by the end of the week.
“The BCB’s ACSU looked into the matter of the 4-ball 92 game, and will present their report soon,” Hassan said.
“We have also formed a three-member umpires’ committee consisting of Sohel, Akram Khan and Jalal Yunus who will report to us in three days about the same incident.”
The umpiring standards were also criticised during last year’s Dhaka Premier League, the premier tournament in the Dhaka league system. In response, the board set up three cameras at each venue in this season’s competition. Hassan said the next two tiers – the first and second division – would also have cameras from next season.
“We said last year that we would do something about the umpiring problem, so this year we fitted three cameras in every Dhaka Premier League venue.”
“I haven’t heard any complaints about umpiring so far this year. From next season, we will do a similar thing in the first and second divisions too. We will assess the umpires.”
Hassan also said the umpires were scared of board directors, many of whom are directly related to several Dhaka clubs participating in the four-tier league.
“We have to strengthen our umpires for the sake of Bangladesh cricket’s future. We won’t reach a right decision if we keep sacking umpires based on complaints. They are, in any case, afraid of the board directors.”
Sheikh Sohel was named as the umpires’ committee chairman after Nazmul Karim passed away on April 18.