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ICC Men’s World Cup League 2 to start today; here’s the complete schedule

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A month after England were crowned world champions, the ICC on Monday launched Men’s League 2, a part of the new four-year qualification for the 2023 World Cup, to be commenced from August 14.


The League 2 will witness seven teams — Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Scotland, UAE and the USA — contesting in 126 One Day Internationals (ODIs), to be played across 21 tri-series.


Each of the seven teams will play 36 ODIs over a period of two-and-half-year from August 2019 to January 2022.


The inaugural League 2 series will be played among Scotland, PNG and Oman at Mannofield Park, Scotland from August 14 to 21, which will include four ODIs for each team, worth two points per ODI that will contribute to the Men’s CWC League 2 table.


After the completion of 21 tri-series, the top three teams will confirm their places in the ICC Men’s Qualifier 2022.


The bottom four teams will drop into the Men’s Qualifier Play-Off 2022, which is a repechage event to the Global Qualifier, and will be joined by the winner of Challenge League A and B.


The top two teams from the Play-Off will keep their hopes alive of participating in the 2023 World Cup, by qualifying for the Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2022.


ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley is excited by the prospect of four years of competitive men’s 50-over cricket.


“The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup provided us with great entertainment and competitive cricket, I am delighted to see the start of the qualification process to India 2023. The new structure has given meaningful context to bilateral cricket for the Men’s Cricket World Super League, but also more competitive opportunities to Associate Members,” he said.


ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 Series one schedule:

Wednesday August 14: Oman vs PNG at Mannofield Park, Aberdeen.


Thursday August 15: Scotland vs Oman at Mannofield Park, Aberdeen.


Saturday August 17: Scotland vs PNG at Mannofield Park, Aberdeen.


Sunday August 18: Scotland vs Oman at Mannofield Park, Aberdeen.


Tuesday August 20: Scotland vs PNG at Mannofield Park, Aberdeen.


Wednesday August 21: Oman vs PNG at Mannofield Park, Aberdeen.



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Keemo Paul ruled out of first Test, Miguel Cummins named replacement

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All-rounder Kemmo Paul has been ruled out of the first Test against India due to an ankle injury and pacer Miguel Cummins was named as his replacement by Cricket West Indies.


Paul was ruled out due to an injury in his left ankle and will remain in Antigua to continue his rehabilitation.


“With Keemo ruled out for this match, it’s good to have someone with Miguel’s quality back in the squad, as he brings experience to the team,” Windies interim head coach Floyd Reifer said in a statement.


Cummins had made his Test debut against India three years ago and took a career best 6 for 48 in the second innings of the second match of the four-Test series.


“Watching him in the last A Team series against India A and the training sessions his lengths have improved. He’s a very hard worker and a wicket-taker. I’m sure, if given the opportunity to play, he will make a valuable contribution in our bid to win this series,” he added.


The first Test beginning on Thursday marks the start of the ICC World Test Championship for both teams. In this series, each team can earn 60 points for a win or 20 points for a draw.



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Ramnaresh Sarwan feels Windies can give India a run for their money

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While many would think that India will have a walk in the park in their Test series against West Indies, former WI skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan begs to differ. He feels that the boys can give the Indian team a run for their money if they join hands and perform as a unit.


“If we can collectively play well, we have a chance of beating India. We have individual talents, but it is a matter of playing well as a unit. Hopefully, we will be able to play as a team. At the end of the day, once we gel as a unit, we have a chance of winning,” Sarwan said.


The wicket could turn out to be the difference as tracks in the Caribbean Islands have slowed down over the years and the ball may once again lose pace on the wicket, making it difficult for the batsmen to play their shots. Sarwan feels the home team needs to make best use of the conditions on offer.


“Yeah, ideally you would want a fast wicket in Antigua. We have to ensure we play well on whatever wicket we play on. Obviously, the guys would have plans and if they are able to execute 70-80 per cent of the time, we would have a good chance of winning,” he said.


Commenting on the camp at the start of the Test series, he said: “It has been really well. We had Brian (Lara) as well, the way he put everything to them was very simple, guys understood him. The guys really applied themselves in the pre-series camp.


“Mostly we have tried to work on the mental aspect with them. We did not want to change anyone, just tried to keep them in a clear mindset, hopefully, they will be able to take it to the game. Brian stressed the need to be patient in the middle.”


 


 



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Akhtar wants ‘match-winner’ Rohit in playing 11 in opening Test against WI

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Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has backed India’s limited-overs deputy to be a part of the playing XI for the opening Test against West Indies and feels that not picking the batsman will be ‘wrong.


Speaking on his official Youtube channel, Akhtar said that since Rohit was a part of the squad for the two-match Test series against the Windies, it was important that he should also be given a chance in the XI to go out and grab his opportunity.


“I know Rohit has been given chances to play in the Test format earlier and he has not been able to grab on to the opportunity. But I believe he should be included in the team. He is a big match-winner, and not including him will be wrong. He is in good form and he should be given a chance right away,” the 44-year-old expressed.


“When you have selected him in the squad, leaving him out of the playing XI should not be an option. I believe he will showcase his talent in the longest format of the game, he will become a great player in the Test format as well,” Akhtar added.


Meanwhile, speaking on the Indian team, which had crashed out of the ICC World Cup after losing the semi-final contest against New Zealand this year, Akhtar also said the Virat Kohli-led team has recovered well. Earlier, India had outclassed West Indies in the just concluded T20I and ODI series.


“The team has recovered well after the World Cup set-back, and I believe they will perform well against West Indies in the Test series,” Akhtar concluded.


 



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