Hello and welcome to the daily round-up of all the major stories happening in the cricketing world today.
Also see – Under 19 world cup most wickets
First up is the shocking rumour regarding Ajinkya Rahane's possible ODI call-up for the New Zealand tour followed by Virat Kohli's praise for Mitchell Starc in limited-overs cricket. ICC wants to expand the World T20 and increase the number of teams participating from the 2023-31 cycle. AB de Villiers hints at a possible WT20 appearance and lastly, JP Duminy announces his retirement.
Here is a look at those stories in detail.
#1 Selectors discuss Ajinkya Rahane for NZ ODIs
According to reports, the current Test vice-captain of India, Ajinkya Rahane can be a surprise inclusion for the tour of New Zealand as far as the limited-overs squad is concerned. India is scheduled to play three ODIs five T20Is on their tour beginning from 24th January.
With recent injury concerns to Prithvi Shaw, the selectors are in talks to send a batsman who is technically sound and suited to bat under tough New Zealand conditions.
Rahane last played an ODI way back on the 16th of February in 2018 against South Africa in Centurion. In 90 ODIs, Rahane has scored 24 fifties and three hundred at an average of 35.26.
#2 Virat Kohli praises Mitchell Starc
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has praised Australian pacer Mitchell Starc despite his lack of presence on the Indian soil to play international cricket.
Replying to questions in the pre-match press conference, Kohli talked highly of his former RCB teammate and stated that the left-arm bowler has performed extremely well since his change of action which has helped him to generate that extra swing.
“I don’t think that not having played in India [recently] will be much of a factor for him, because he’s played a lot over here... And anyone who has pace, once they find their length they can adjust anywhere, so the pace is always going to be an advantage. But having said that we have played against these guys a lot.”
“He is a very skillful bowler and he’s changed his action now, which we saw him getting more swing. Looks like he’s back to swinging the ball like he used to, and that makes him a lethal bowler all over again.”
#3 ICC wants T20 World Cup expanded to 20 teams
According to reports, the International Cricket Council is considering to change the current 16-team World T20 format to a 20-team event from the 2023-31 cycle.
With 20 nations participating, ICC can choose from two different formats. The first is the current format involving two-tier teams to play qualifiers, with the top two teams making it to the main round to face the top teams. The second option could include four groups of five teams each battling it out for eight quarter-final spots.
In case the ICC goes ahead with the 20-nation plan, USA, Canada, Germany, Nepal and Nigeria could be the new faces in international T20s.
The first T20 WC in the next cycle will be held in 2024.
#4 AB de Villiers hints at playing the T20 WC
Celebrated former South African captain AB de Villiers has hinted at a possible international comeback in the T20 WC scheduled to be held later in the year.
Speaking after his heroics in the ongoing BBL09, where he scored an unbeaten 40 in 32 balls, de Villiers stated that he was in talks with the CSA and the support staff that included head coach Mark Boucher.
"I would love to. I've been talking to 'Bouch' (new South Africa coach Mark Boucher), (new director of cricket) Graeme Smith and (captain) Faf (du Plessis) back home, we're all keen to make it happen. There's a lot that needs to happen before that becomes reality."
Speaking on the rumoured topic, Boucher had earlier spoken honestly in his first press conference as the head coach and stated that only the best players in the format will travel to Australia for the WT20.
"When you go to a World Cup, you want your best players playing for you. If I feel he is one of your best players, why wouldn't I want to have a conversation with him?"
Full article: AB de Villiers hints at playing the T20 World Cup
#5 JP Duminy announces retirement
Veteran South African all-rounder JP Duminy announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Duminy, who played 46 Tests, 196 ODIs and 81 T20Is, explained that he wants to continue playing in the franchise games as he feels that he is still young to do it.
“I am young enough to play and still earn money from the franchise game, but I am lacking a strong purpose with that. I played CPL and Canadian Premier League. I found at the CPL there is a hunger for young players to seek out older players.”
Duminy has been in fine form since the CWC debacle and has played important knocks in his team Winnipeg Hawks' winning campaign in the Global T20 Canada.