South African star announces retirement, latest update on IPL schedule and more - Cricket News Today, 4th March 2019

Sahil Jain

IPL is less than three weeks away now

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South Africa kicked off their final ODI assignment before the World Cup with a win. They beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets as skipper Faf du Plessis struck a sublime ton. The England women won the first T20I against their Indian counterparts convincingly.

Meanwhile, Ian Chappell feels Aaron Finch’s introduction to Test cricket is probably the worst thing that has happened to Australia’s limited-overs skipper. Also, Morne Morkel who retired from international cricket last year and went the Kolpak way may be eligible to play the 2020-21 Big Bash as a local player after he relocated his base to Sydney. Moreover, former New Zealand player Bill Playle who made his debut back in 1958 passed away at the age of 80.

Here are all the top news that made headlines in the cricketing world today.

#1 Imran Tahir to retire from ODIs after the 2019 World Cup

Imran Tahir

South Africa’s premier white-ball spinner Imran Tahir has announced that he will bid adieu to the 50-over format after the 2019 World Cup later this year. The Pakistan-born leg-spinner wants the youngsters coming through domestic cricket to get a chance at the highest level.

However, he confirmed that he would continue to play T20 cricket for South Africa and wants to be there at least till the T20 World Cup in 2020. When Cricket South Africa (CSA) recently released the list of contracted players, Imran Tahir was surprisingly left out. However, the 39-year-old confirmed that it was his decision to leave ODI cricket after the World Cup and hence, the decision.

“I have always wanted to play in the World Cup. It would be a great achievement for me to play for this great team. I have a mutual understanding with Cricket South Africa and going forward I decided that I would finish at the World Cup, that is why I am contracted until then,” Tahir was quoted saying.

Tahir has played 95 ODIs so far and has picked up 156 wickets at an average of 24.56.

#2 Jhulan Goswami reclaims No. 1 spot in ODI cricket

Jhulan Goswami

India’s premier fast bowler Jhulan Goswami has reached the No. 1 spot in the ICC ODI bowlers rankings once again. She overtook Australian pacer Megan Schutt and Pakistan spinner Sana Mir to be crowned the new No. 1 bowler. The last time she was at the numero uno spot was back in February 2017. Goswami’s new ball partner Shikha Pandey also took a big jump as she gained 12 places to occupy the fifth spot with 688 points.

On the back of good performances against New Zealand, Australia’s Jess Jonassen also made a significant gain as she jumped to the second spot and now trails Goswami by 7 points. Meanwhile, Smriti Mandhana held on to her number one spot in the ICC ODI rankings for the batters. Ellyse Perry is at the second spot while Mihali Raj and Amy Satterthwaite gained a place each to rank third and fourth respectively.

#3 Amitabh Choudhary uncertain over home and away format for the second half of the IPL

Amitabh Choudhary

A few weeks ago, the schedule for the first two weeks of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) were announced. The BCCI said that they will assess and see the election dates and then decide on the other dates for the rest of the tournament. Despite the elections overlapping with the IPL, the tournament is set to go ahead in India itself, unlike the previous election years (2009 and 2014).

BCCI’s Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary revealed that the full IPL schedule will be out once the election dates are announced. The elections dates will give the BCCI and the organizers a clear picture of which venues will be available on what dates.

“We’ll know which areas or which states will have elections in which phases and accordingly we’ll announce the IPL schedule. We have followed the home-away format for the teams in the first half of the schedule. Whether or not we’ll be able to follow that in the next half again depends on the election dates and venues,” the BCCI’s Acting Secretary was quoted saying.

#4 India women go down in the first T20I against England

After winning the ODI series 2-1, the Indian women lost the first T20I against England in Guwahati. This was India’s fifth T20I loss in a row.

Smriti Mandhana who walked out as captain for the first time in her international career won the toss and opted to field first. England’s openers Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont provided a brilliant start as they put on 89 for the opening wicket in 11.3 overs. A couple of quick wickets brought India back in the game but Heather Knight’s 20-ball 40 provided the flourish at the end as England racked up 160 in their 20 overs.

Chasing about 8 runs an over, India were never in the chase. They lost their top three as early as the fourth over and never recovered. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and eventually fell 41 runs short. None of the top four could get to double figures as all the England bowlers impressed.

The second T20I will be played at the same venue three days later (March 7th).