Dec 242013

The next IPL auction will see sides allowed to retain a maximum of five players from their side. With sides also faced with the possibility of buying back additional members of their squad with ‘’right to match’’ cards.

The auction will start on the 12th of February, with the auction able to continue into the 13th of February if needed, with the venue still to be decided.

The new idea of ‘’right to match’’ gives franchises first right of refusal on their players. Allowing sides to buy their own player back after the opposition franchise have completed their bidding process for said player.

So when a side has retained five of their players, they then can wait till bidding has commenced on ‘’X’’ player and simply match the offer for that player.

Depending on how many players that have been retained by a particular side, will alter the amount of right to match cards they’re issued. A side who retains between three and five players will only be issued one card.

Although a franchise who retains one or two players will receive two right to match cards. While sides not retaining any players will receive three cards.

A side isn’t allowed to retain more than four capped Indian players between the right to match cards and players retained prior to the auction.

The salary cap for each franchise is Rs 600 million for 2014. All players, inclusive of uncapped Indian players will participate in this auction. With Indian players receiving their payments in rupees from this season, while overseas players will have the choice of receiving their payments in either currency.

With players receiving a further 10% bonus should their side go onto compete in the Champions League T20.

Image: (Associated Press)

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Nov 022013
Volts down on power but set to surge again

If anyone is prepared for the resumption of the silly season, it should be the Otago Volts.

On the back of their remarkable run last season, where Vaughn Johnson’s side won 15 consecutive Twenty20 games, Otago will be riding a wave of confidence in this format.

Otago narrowly missed out on the semi-finals of the lucrative Champions League but still collected a cool $600,000 in prizemoney.

Those experiences will only benefit the squad in their quest to defend the title. That started against Canterbury under temporary lights at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval last night. The opening match of the season between Canterbury and Central Districts at the same venue was washed out on Friday night.

Six sudden-death games against some of the world’s best domestic teams in India should allow the Volts to cope with the absence of up to six players, better than others.

Like all other associations, Johnson will be without the services of Black Caps Brendon and Nathan McCullum, all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and opener Hamish Rutherford for the majority of the tournament. Injured seamer Ian Butler will also sit out the opening games. Johnson has been given no time-frame on when, or if, he will gain access to his internationals.

The Volts will, however, call on former Black Cap Jesse Ryder, who has been in impressive form for his new side in the Plunket Shield after returning from a six-month ban.

Ryder, who scored a century in his first four-day match of the year, was the top run scorer last season, notching 584 runs at 58.4 in typically brutal fashion.

Ryan ten Doeschate also offers unique balance with both bat and ball. The Netherlands import scored 401 runs at 50.12 last year. Spinner Nick Beard and seamer Jacob Duffy were also the best-performing bowlers, taking 15 wickets each. A repeat of those performances would make the Volts difficult to counter.

The mouth-watering money on offer gives an insight into why T20s have become such a focal point of cricket. Though purists bemoan the crash-bash style which has eroded many of the core skills, the pathways created here for aspiring cricketers are hard to match.

A ticket to the Champions League gives young players a fast-tracked chance to showcase their abilities on the world stage. On an individual level it means they can secure sizeable, short-term overseas contacts in various tournaments.

That said, it seems odd that New Zealand’s four-day domestic cricket has just started and, within days, T20 takes all the focus. Players are forced to juggle polar opposite disciplines. One day batsmen are asked to spend time at the crease and display patience; the next they are swinging across-the-line for the fence. Likewise, bowlers need to hit a consistent line and length in the longer form; then survive a batting barrage and unforgiving fielding restrictions through clever variations just days later.

Unfortunately, this is the reality of modern cricket.

Otago demonstrated the best ability to switch collective mindsets last year. They will now be aiming to do the same.

Volts team: Derek De Boorder (c), Michael Bracewell, Neil Broom, Mark Craig, Jacob Duffy, James McMillan, Aaron Redmond, Jesse Ryder, Bradley Scott, Ryan ten Doeschate, Neil Wagner, Sam Wells.

– © Fairfax NZ News

Oct 312013
Wizards look to local talent for T20 success

Canterbury’s quest to reach the cash-rich Twenty20 Champions League begins today.

Long gone are the shortest form’s hit and giggle days, T20 cricket is now a serious business – serious for the teams and for the individuals.

It’s the only cricket format that commands TV time and the only one that attracts a good number people through the gates.

Canterbury Cricket will be hoping thousands file into Hagley Oval tonight and tomorrow for the domestic T20 competition’s opening matches featuring Canterbury playing Central Districts and then Otago.

T20 is no longer just a fun-fest, but a millionaire maker.

The IPL and the ever increasing number of regional T20 leagues are offering silly money for short-term contracts.

And they scout now too. A player can’t score big runs, take a handful of wickets or even just bowl economically without sparking a passing interest from those looking for a handy import. Players want to do well for themselves, but they want to do well for their team and association too.

Both can mean big pay-days. If after the 32-game season is over your team is on top, the fun really starts.

The Otago Volts won the New Zealand competition last year and picked up the free pass to the Champions League qualifying tournament. They went unbeaten and waltzed into the main-draw.

The Volts narrowly missed the semifinals, but still picked up NZ$600,000 for making the tournament proper.

Wizards coach Gary Stead said when it came to winning, the Twenty20 tournament rated equally with the Plunket Shield (four-day, first-class competition) and the one-day tournament.

“But I do think the players see this as a potential opportunity to perhaps further their global existence.”

The game itself is different from what it was.

Death bowling and power hitting are practised harder and many plans have been developed for each aspect of the game.

The Wizards have opted not to use imports this year, and will develop their own talent long-term.

“That doesn’t mean we can’t win the competition,” Stead said.

“We know we’ve got good players and we’ve worked hard on our Twenty20 game.”

Stead believes he has the right balance of specialists and genuine allrounders.

The Wizards have a deep batting lineup and of the 12 players Stead has named for this weekend’s double header, nine are bowling options.

It’s a tough line to walk, he said.

“We’ve definitely developed a lot of genuine allrounders and Twenty20 seems to do that.

“But you still need specialists and absolute experts in some areas in the longer form,” he said.

“Twenty20 can develop these bits and pieces cricketers who can’t really do well enough in one job to be very good first-class cricketers, but we’re trying to make sure that doesn’t happen here.”

The Wizards’ goal for the competition, like everyone else’s, is to win.

But with the competition running in fits and starts – and alongside the four-day competition – confidence rather than momentum would be key, Stead said.

“Otago showed that last year, confidence is key. We want to win, but our first goal will be to make the top three, the first team goes straight to the final and two and three play for the other spot.

“If we make the top three, anything can happen from there.”

Today and tomorrow’s games start at 7.10pm.

– © Fairfax NZ News

Oct 212013
Is Duleep Trophy no longer relevant?

With tournaments like Champions League T20 nudging Duleep Trophy towards the margins of India’s domestic calendar, the once-popular event is facing an identity crisis

The spoils up for grabs at the Duleep Trophy, Central Zone v East Zone, Duleep Trophy final, 4th day, October 24, Chennai

In a crammed domestic calendar, is Duleep Trophy losing its importance? © K Sivaraman

The last time the Duleep Trophy was shared, before this year’s edition, was 16 years ago when the 1997-98 final between West Zone and Central Zone in Chennai lost three days of play due to rain. The common strands between then and now are the weather and the four-match format of the tournament.

However, the significance of the tournament to India’s domestic calendar has changed. Sixteen years ago, the Duleep Trophy was the last hurdle on the domestic circuit to earning a national call-up. In 2013, the tournament is struggling to find a slot in the domestic calendar that allows at least the zonal stars to participate. The tournament has clashed with the Champions League T20 for the last few years, and had the status of the Duleep Trophy not devalued, it would have seen domestic stars in whites rather than the coloured clothing of their franchise.

In such a scenario, one of the semi-finals this year was decided by a coin toss, followed by a final that saw just 10 overs played over five days – the last thing the tournament, already in the midst of an identity crisis, needed.

Amay Khurasiya, who led Central Zone in that final 16 years ago, feels it’s time to realise the declining worth of the Duleep Trophy.

“If there are so many avenues for a person to get selected for India, then some avenues are going to dip in terms of significance,” Khurasiya, who is now the director of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association’s academy, told ESPNcricinfo.

The Champions League matches were mostly held in cities that were unaffected by rain. A match scheduled to be held in Ahmedabad was moved to Jaipur following heavy rain. Yet that facility was not extended to the Duleep Trophy final that was held at the same venue where, 72 hours earlier, the semi-final had been washed out.

Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI’s general manager – game development, told Mumbai Mirror that October was the only slot available and the tournament could only be held in the southern part of India because other venues around the country were involved with the Champions League or the India-Australia series.

TC Mathew, the Kerala Cricket Association president who is also a member of the BCCI’s senior tournament committee, also cited the same reasons.

“First and foremost, we must understand that the rains were expected to subside in October,” Mathew said. “And it wasn’t raining every day, so the question of informing the Board of our (KCA) inability to host the final after the semi-final disaster didn’t arise.

“At the same time, I don’t think the Board was in a position to shift the final at the eleventh hour because of the volume of cricket played around the country. At the end of the day, when Kerala has seen rains more than 180% of the average annual rainfall, despite putting in all the possible human effort, we couldn’t have more than 10 overs in the game.”

The BCCI finds itself in a conundrum of scheduling too many tournaments in limited span of time, with recent additions such as the Corporate Trophy, IPL, Champions League and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. With a prolonged Ranji trophy, which now assures each team of at least eight games per season, there are questions over whether the BCCI should let go of the Duleep Trophy that, until recently, used to be a marquee event. Khurasiya isn’t averse to the idea.

“In an era when a four-over spell or an eight- or ten-over burst with the bat can catapult a youngster into the national team, Duleep Trophy has almost lost its value,” Khurasiya said. “Nothing lasts forever. With times everything changes.

“You need to have vision. If something’s not worth it, you better not continue with it. No doubt plenty of avenues have been created for cricketers to get noticed. At the same time, too much of cricket is also not good if it’s affecting the quality. And I suppose the quality is being affected these days.”

Oct 212013
Aussies happy to fox Indians with short ball: Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell is happy that the short ball strategy against Indian batsmen is working well

Aussies happy to fox Indians with short ball: Maxwell (© IANS)


Ranchi: All-rounder Glenn Maxwell today said there would be no let-up in Australia’s strategy of targeting the Indian batsmen with the short-pitch deliveries when the two teams square off against each other in the fourth one-dayer here on Wednesday.

“I think the short ball has probably been our best strategy so far. I don’t think we’re going to change our strategy too much. We thought we bowled pretty well (in the last match),” Maxwell told reporters here.

“Unfortunately, Dhoni went off at the end and played brilliantly. I thought we bowled really well last game. It felt like we sorted out a few of their batsmen. Hopefully they’ve got a few worries in their camp. We’re feeling pretty good at the moment,” he said.

Australia’s bowling spearhead, Mitchell Johnson, used the short ball successfully against the Indian middle-order and sent the hosts on the back foot in the third ODI in Mohali with figures of 10-1-46-4. The visitors, who lead the series 2-1, won the Mohali rubber by four wickets riding on James Faulkner’s match-winning innings.

The Australians will now take on India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his home town at the JSCA International Stadium Complex. Dhoni played a captain’s knock of 139 under trying conditions to set up the third one-dayer in Mohali.

Talking about their plans against him, Maxwell said, “I think we had pretty good plans to him in the last game, though a couple of things didn’t quite go to plan. I think we dropped a catch, one ball that just cleared mid-off.”

“If we take those chances, I think we’re chasing 260-270 and we finish that game a lot earlier. I felt like our plans were very good. We shut him down early. We made him face a lot of dot balls at the start of the innings. Hopefully we get a little bit more assistance with the ball here and some spin as well, we can really put a lot of pressure on him.

“It’s going to be very loud. The crowd is going to love it when MS comes out and tries to do his thing again. Hopefully, we can shut that down and keep the crowd as quiet as possible,” he said.

Maxwell has been contributing with valuable knocks in the middle order to help Australia to big totals – although he made only three in the last game.

Speaking about his approach to batting, Maxwell said, “I think playing in South Africa for the A-series helped my game a lot. The wickets were pretty favourable for batting so it was good to spend a bit of time in the middle. Over the last couple of years I haven’t really spent a whole lot of time in the middle.”

“It was nice to work on my batting over there for an extended period of time. It ended up working pretty well for me because that led straight to back to England and then the Champions League. I felt like I’ve been in good form for the past six or seven months. Hopefully that continues,” he added.

The Aussie batters have been consistent with runs but they are yet to notch a hundred in the series.

When asked about the absence of an individual century, he said,
“No one made century even in the game we had scored 359 but we had our top five made 50s and that’s the first time in cricket history.

I think it just shows how well the team is playing as a whole. Even though no one has got a 100 yet everyone has played pretty well.”

“The guys obviously want to post three figures but even if they’re not and we’re getting the job done I think we’re very happy with the way we’re going.”

The series had seen high-scoring totals with the Aussies not intimidated by the hostile crowd atmosphere and Maxwell said they were lucky to play the IPL and Champions League which was a good preparation for the series.

“Definitely. We’re very lucky that we’ve got the opportunity to play in the IPL and the Champions League where you get used to these crowds. When you come over here you’re not overawed by it. It’s just another day at the office. It’s very enjoyable playing in front of the big crowds in India.”

Maxell said he has learnt a lot in the august company of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting as part of the Mumbai Indians franchise.

“We had Punter, Sachin and a few of the legends of the game in our team. It was nice talking to them. I just soaked them up for everything they had. It was a very enjoyable time.”

“A lot of guys go for big money in the IPL, it’s very lucrative… I wasn’t alone. There were a lot of other guys that went for similar amounts of money. I was in good company at the Mumbai Indians,” he added.

Maxwell was all praise for stand-in captain George Bailey who is leading the side in place of an injured Michael Clarke.

“George has obviously been an excellent captain for Tasmania back home and he’s done very well. He’s won tournaments for them and he’s brought that straight into Australia. He’s a very confident captain. He’s always very upbeat in the field.”

“He’s good to talk to with the bowlers. He’s very calm. And especially when he’s making runs… He’s been such a consistent performer over the last 18 months. It’s great to have him doing well at the top and being one of our best performers, not just our skipper.

“He’s been brilliant for the group and has really settled into Pup’s (Clarke’s) shoes really quickly. As much as we’re going to welcome Pup back it’s been great to have Bailey as skipper for this series.”

Oct 212013
'Oz happy to fox Indians with short ball'

RANCHI: All-rounder Glenn Maxwell on Monday said there would be no let-up in Australia’s strategy of targeting the Indian batsmen with the short-pitch deliveries when the two teams square off against each other in the fourth one-dayer on Wednesday.”I t…

Oct 072013
Samson's Royal salute to Rahul Dravid

KOCHI: The focus during the Champions League T20 final was on two great servants of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, who were playing their last game in the shortest version of the game.But during the course of the match an 18-year ol…

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