England captain Alastair Cook has urged the ICC to clear its stand on shining the cricket ball, saying that it has become a "grey area" and the confusion regarding the rules needs to be cleared. Speaking to the media a day before the start of the Mohali Test against India, he quipped that if players are categorically told not to put a finger from a sweet on a ball, then things might get a bit clear.“Players are slightly uncertain at the moment, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. I haven’t studied Faf’s case that closely to see if he was taking the sweet straight to the ball or did he just happen to have a lolly in his mouth", he said.
“I think the players are now, after the last 10 days, probably just looking to the ICC to clarify what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, " Cook added.
The Jharkhand state government announced on Friday that the World Cup winning Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be the state's brand ambassador for development. It was also confirmed that the wicketkeeper-batsman will campaign for the state in its first-ever global investors’ summit that is scheduled on February 16-17 next year .
Talking to The Financial Express, the state's industry secretary Sunil Kumar Barnwal said, "We have already done a television commercial with Dhoni. We will start airing it from next month. It will speak about Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors’ Summit."
It is to be noted that the ever since his retirement from Test cricket, Dhoni has taken his time off to help in some of the state's developmental activities. He was seen promoting government schemes like Sarva Siksha Abhiyan earlier this year.
Former England captain Geoff Boycott, who is in India carrying out the commentary duties, was forced to return home on Friday following some severe back problem.
The 76-year old did commentary for the BBC in the first two Tests in Rajkot and Visakhapatman respectively. Though he will miss Saturday's Mohali Test, the Yorkshireman hopes to be back next month for the fourth Test at Mumbai.
Boycott represented England in 108 Test and 36 ODIs and was one of the most influential English captains.
In keeping with recent cross-border hostilities, India and Pakistan have stayed away from playing each other. The Indian Women's team did not play the Pakistan Women's team between August 1 and October 31 this year and squandered six crucial points in the ICC Championship.
As the hostilities continue between the two nations, news emerging from the Middle East indicates that the two nations could break the deadlock by playing a rather unusual game of cricket. 'Tape ball' cricket is hugely popular in Pakistan and reports suggest that the neighbouring countries will be playing a Tape Ball Cricket Tournament in Sharjah at the end of November.
The tournament will have teams from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE) playing for a prize money of 0.25 million dirhams.
The glamour quotient for the event will be provided by former international cricketers Imran Nazir and Virender Sehwag who will be brand ambassadors for the tournament.
Australian fast-bowler John Hastings claimed on Friday that he was disappointed to miss out on a spot in the Australian ODI team for the Chappell-Hadlee series against New Zealand next month. ESPNCricinfo quoted him as saying, "I was very disappointed - I was initially pretty shocked, to be honest. I felt my performances over the last 12 months had probably stacked up and in my mind, I'm 100% fit."
"I know I haven't played a lot of cricket, but five and a half months of not playing cricket and then going over to Sri Lanka without a game, it didn't really stack up for me. So yeah, I was very disappointed not to be in that side," he added.
Hastings is the leading wicket-taker in the ODIs this year with 29 scalps to his name so far.
The New Zealand cricket board announce a 14-man squad for next month's Chappell-Hadlee ODI series against the Australians. While Colin de Grandhomme and Todd Astle were the surprise inclusions, Ross Taylor was ruled out of the series due to his eye injury.
"Todd and Colin de Grandhomme have both been in our thinking for ODIs and their ability with both bat and ball gives the squad an important balance," New Zealand chief selector Gavin Larsen said.
The squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, BJ Watling.
Cricket Australia's chairman of selectors Greg Chappell made a strong statement on Friday when he went on to say that Cricket Australia's problems were self-infected and hence they had to blame themselves for the rough patch they were going through. During an exclusive interview with Cricbuzz, the former Australian batsman said, "There is no doubt in my mind that some of our problems were self-inflicted."
He went on to claim that the Australian team found it hard to replace some of the greats of the game when they retired. He said, "The end of a great era is often hard to recognise and even more difficult to accept, so we were not agile enough to respond as well as we might have, but who is to say that it is not a bad thing that a system has a good cleansing every now and then."