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Passing of a player of grace is a reminder of Scottish cricket's progress in recent decades – Arab News

In my years of playing cricket, genuine characters were never far from sight — or out of earshot. No doubt this is true of many sports, but the nature of cricket and the length of time that participants are together, perhaps attracts people of a certain disposition. Last week, I learned of the death of a character with whom I was privileged to play in the later years of his career.

Hamish More, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, played 42 times for his country between 1966 and 1976, scoring more runs than any other Scottish player of that era. In Hamish’s view, the number should have been higher, although, by his own admission, it was partly his fault. Hamish was not known for being either tactful or taciturn. He was not shy in pointing out to selectors that he had scored 13 centuries in club and representative cricket before he was eventually selected. On that occasion he scored 50 against Cambridge University and, apart from becoming a regular in the national team, was invited to play in a number of select teams that included eminent international players of the time.

Another reason for not being selected more often was that Hamish took a break from representing his country in 1976 to care for his wife, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and a young family. Hamish’s softer side was always apparent when speaking of the effects of that stage of his life.

In 1979-80, he was selected for a Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) party to tour Bangladesh, in which he was the only amateur player. Following this, he returned to his country’s colours in 1980, when he played in Scotland’s first foray into English domestic limited-overs cricket. One of our first conversations centred on this when he became aware that I was from Nottinghamshire. Conspiratorially, he beckoned me to sit down.

“I opened the batting in the match against Nottinghamshire. I had been away from this level of cricket for four years and they got me to open against two of the finest bowlers in the history of the game on a green wicket tailor made for them. I survived for 12 overs, scoring 16 runs, and then they were replaced by bowlers of lower speed and quality. The first ball that one of them bowled at me was short and I went to hook it, only to be too early with the shot, the ball hitting me in the mouth. The rest of my stay in Nottingham was spent in the city’s hospital.”

Unspoken was the thought that his mental lack of mouth control had delayed his elevation to the national team and the physical damage to it had caused his retirement. Hamish continued to play MCC and club cricket into his seventies. I first met him when playing in a six-a-side tournament in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This was an annual international six-a-side tournament populated by teams from England, Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, plus local ex-pats. Some teams had former professionals among their ranks.

In one match, I was bowling to a former Sri Lankan international. He hit me for three successive boundaries. The next delivery went sailing for six. In my despair, I looked up to see our wicketkeeper appealing to the umpire and pointing at the stumps. During the act of despatching the ball, the bat, or some part of the body, had dislodged a bail, so that the player was adjudged out. Hamish strolled in from the boundary and announced that I had acquired yet another international victim. Behind this droll statement was a simple truth, rather than a lack of tact. The likelihood of me taking the wicket of an international cricketer was slim, other than via a slice of fortune.

During Hamish’s peak years, Scotland was beginning to emerge from a lengthy period when its international standing was low profile, few games being granted “first-class” status. This was despite a cricketing history dating back to 1785, with its introduction by garrisoned English soldiers. After breaking from the UK Cricket Council in 1992, Scotland became an Associate Member of the International Cricket Council in 1994, taking part in the ICC Trophy in Malaysia in 1997.

Since then, it has experienced a roller-coaster ride in establishing its international credentials. It is not one of the 12 leading cricketing nations that play Test matches, but this is its ambition. The way to make a case for inclusion is to perform consistently well in limited-overs cricket. Qualification was achieved for ODI World Cups in 1999, 2007 and 2015 and for T20 World Cups in 2009, 2016 and 2021. Progression to the main round was achieved in that last tournament through victories in all three first-round matches. In the second round, the major cricket playing teams proved to be too strong, although Scotland’s overall performance provided it with a breakthrough not experienced since the famous victory over England in June 2018, one that I know pleased Hamish enormously.

Since Hamish’s time at Scotland’s crease, the development of the national team, all part-timers, has improved steadily. It has built on a well-established recreational cricket structure, its 17,000 players making it Scotland’s second most popular sport. Yet, to achieve full-member status, more needs to be put into place. The further development of women’s cricket is one, and additional sponsorship is another, as is the expansion of cricket in schools, of which I am sure Hamish would approve.

One verse of the song “When an old cricketer leaves the crease,” by the English folk-rock musician Roy Harper, puts me in mind of Hamish.

“When the moment comes and the gathering stands and the clock turns back to reflect

On the years of grace as those footsteps trace for the last time out of the act,

Well this way of life’s recollection, the hallowed strip in the haze,

The fabled men and the noonday sun are much more than just yarns of their days.”

Sadly, Hamish’s moments have been and gone. Recollection reveals him to have been a player of grace on the hallowed strip, an entertaining raconteur, friendly, engaging company with a sharp tongue, whose cricketing prowess contributed hugely to the success of both club and country and whose yarns stitched together the idiosyncrasies of cricket and its characters. I am honoured to have shared his company.

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U-19 World Cup: Defending champions Bangladesh, Afghanistan advance to knockout stages – ANI News

Basseterre [Saint Kitts and Nevis], January 23 (ANI): Bangladesh‘s bowlers worked in tandem to restrict the United Arab Emirates to 148 on their way to a nine-wicket victory and qualify for the knockout stages in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup here at Warner Park, Basseterre.
The UAE slipped to eight for two inside three overs as Ashiqur Zaman dismissed the two openers to earn himself figures of two for 14 from eight overs. Dhruv Parashar and captain Alishan Sharafu then combined to steady the ship for the UAE putting on 44 runs for the third wicket.
Punya Mehra then top-scored with 43 off 64 balls but could not find a partner to stay with him as the final seven wickets fell for 98 runs. Ripon Mondol returned Bangladesh‘s best figures taking 3-31, with three other bowlers also coming away with dismissals.
Chasing 148, Bangladesh made a commanding start reaching 86 before losing their first wicket as Iftakher Hossain was caught by Soorya Sathish off the bowling of Jash Giyanani. Hossain had added 37 runs from 70 balls, with fellow opener Mahfijul Islam putting on 45 runs before the players were taken off the field due to rain in Basseterre.
Mahfijul was able to reach his half-century as the teams emerged with a new target of 107, the opener eventually reaching 64 not out from 6 balls, as Prantik Nawrose Nabil joined him in the middle as they sealed the victory and safe passage to the knockout stages.
Bangladesh will be hoping for a repeat of the final last time out when they face India while the UAE will face Uganda in the opening Plate quarterfinal.
At Diego Martin Sporting Complex, Suliman Safi’s century helped Afghanistan to victory over Zimbabwe in the final game of Group C to earn a quarterfinal tie with Sri Lanka in the Super League.

The Afghanistan captain put on 111 from 118 balls, including 14 fours and three sixes, to move Afghanistan to 261 for six as he was dismissed on the final ball of the innings. Four other batters posted scores of over 20, with opener Nageyalia Kharote contributing an important half-century from 45 balls.
Alex Falao was the pick of the bowlers for Zimbabwe as he took three for 54 from his ten overs to move on to eight wickets for the tournament so far.
In reply in Diego Martin, Zimbabwe opener Matthew Welch led the charge with Steven Saul contributing nine to the score before being given out leg before wicket to leave his side on one for 49.
Welch’s next two partners could add only one run to the total before it was Welch’s turn to fall having made 53 from 61 balls.
No one else was able to continue the run-scoring going as the required run-rate climbed above a run and ball and wickets kept tumbling as Nangeyalia Kharote took four for 30.
Rogan Wolhuter frustrated the Afghanistan bowlers putting on a gritty 28 from 52 balls and did well to keep the strike and deny Afghanistan the chance to bowl at tailender Mcgini Dube. However, Dube eventually fell for four and Falao followed soon after as Zimbabwe slipped to a 109-run defeat and will now face Scotland in the plate quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, three Australia players have received positive PCR test results for COVID-19 through the official event testing programme. The players are currently self-isolating and are being monitored and cared for by the medical team. (ANI)

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India vs Uganda, Live Score, ICC U19 World Cup 2022: Nishant picks four as India thump Uganda – Firstpost

00:42 (IST)

That’s all we have from this game. India will next play their Super League quarter-final game, hoping all players stay fit for that. We’ll be back for that one. Until then, it’s goodbye and good night! 

00:35 (IST)

Raj Bawa is the Player of the Match for his knock of 162*

00:32 (IST)

After 19.4 overs, Uganda 79 all out 

GAME OVER! Suwubi is run-out after a mix-up with Musinguzi, and this means Uganda bundle out for just 79. Isaac Ategeka, who retired hurt after getting hit on his left arm, won’t come back to bat. India make it three wins in three Group Games as they head for the Super League quarter-finals 

00:12 (IST)

After 16 overs, Uganda 67/6 

Nishant with his third wicket this match. Baguma this time, and Nishant goes down the leg side. Baguma tries to play this down leg, but misses and the ball hits the stumps. Clean bowled! Christopher Kudega is the new batter. 

00:04 (IST)

After 14 overs, Uganda 55-5

OUT! Juma Miyaji is the latest to depart. He goes out for a seven-ball duck, that adds more misery to Uganda. They are five down, half their side back in the pavilion. Joseph Baguma is the new batter. 

23:56 (IST)

After 12 overs, Uganda 47/4 

Nishant Sindhu with the wicket of Opio as Uganda lose their fourth wicket. Just when Uganda were looking to gather a small momentum, they lose another wicket. 

23:53 (IST)


OUT! Bowled by Nishant Sindhu and Ronald Opio has to depart. Opio goes for the sweep but misses it. Ronald Opio b Nishant Sindhu 11

23:38 (IST)

After 8 overs, Uganda 41/3 

23 runs from the last three overs for Uganda, and that can bring a smile on the faces of their fans watching this match. Raj Bawa is into the attack for the first time today, and concedes nine runs. 

23:28 (IST)

After 6 overs, Uganda 25/3 

Triple blow for Uganda. Ronald Lutaaya was the latest to depart, getting caught by Nishant Sindhu at mid-on. Uganda are struggling for runs, but can newcomer Ronald Oplo get some runs on board?  

23:12 (IST)

After 3 overs, Uganda 13/2

Another blow for Uganda as Brian Asaba departs. He’s caught by Vicky Ostwal at point with Hangargekar claiming his second wicket. Captain Pascal Murungi is the new batter. 

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ICC T20I Team of the Year 2021 Announced, Smriti Mandhana earns a Spot – Female Cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year for 2021. While the team consists of some prominent names of Women’s Cricket, what came as a surprise was the absence of the Australian players for the first time since the award category was introduced in 2017.

Chosen by ICC’s Voting Academy, the team is dominated by five players from England and has India’s Smriti Mandhana marking her presence for the third consecutive year, equalling it with Australia’s Megan Schutt who also made it to the team three consecutive times (2017,2018,2019) while Danni Wyatt also marked her second consecutive and overall, her third appearance in the team this year.

Below is the complete Playing XI-:

1. Smriti Mandhana (India)

Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana. Pic Credits: ICC

The star opener from India had a great 2021. Leading India’s T20I run-scorer for yet another year, Mandhana has also been nominated for Women’s T20I player of the year and Women’s Cricketer of the year award. The third-ranked T20I batter aggregated 255 runs with an innings of 70 off 51 balls which consisted of four boundaries hit in a span of just eight balls, being the highest in T20Is this year.

2. Tammy Beaumont (England)

Tammy Beaumont Leads England to 8 Wicket Victory over New Zealand. PC: englandcricket / Twitter
Tammy Beaumont Leads England to 8 Wicket Victory over New Zealand. PC: englandcricket / Twitter

The English batter has made it to all the five categories of the ICC Women’s award for 2021 that have been announced. Beaumont finished 2021 as the leading T20I run-scorer for her national side and third in the overall T20I tally for the year with 303 runs which included 3 50+ scores for her team, the highest being 97.

3. Danni Wyatt (England)

Danielle Wyatt completes 200 International Matches for England
Danielle Wyatt completes 200 International Matches for England

Joining Beaumont in opening the innings for England, Danni aggregated 252 runs in 9 matches at 31.50 last year. Though her only 50+ score was an unbeaten 89 which came against India, her power-hitting capability makes her a part of the best Women’s T20I playing XI for 2021.

4. Gaby Lewis (Ireland)

Gaby Lewis.
Gaby Lewis. PC: ICC

Marking the first appearance of an Irish woman in the T20I team of the year, the young Gaby Lewis finished 2021 as the second-highest T20I run-scorer. She aggregated 325 runs at 40.62 which includes the first T20I century by an Irish woman (105*) and saw her inclusion in the nominees for Women’s T20I player and Women’s Cricket of the year as well.

5. Nat Sciver (c) (England)

Natalie Sciver. Women's T20 World Cup 2020
Natalie Sciver. Women’s T20 World Cup 2020

Leading the team is the English all-rounder Nat Sciver who is currently ranked as the second-best all-rounder of Women’s T20I. Also being nominated for the ICC Women’s T20I Player of the year award, Sciver scored 153 runs and took 10 wickets with her best bowling figure for the year being 2/25 while 55 was her highest with the bat. This is her second appearance in the T20I team of the year (the first being in 2018).

6. Amy Jones (wk) (England)

Amy Jones. Women's T20 World Cup 2020
Amy Jones. Women’s T20 World Cup 2020

England’s Amy Jones impressed everyone with her wicket-keeping skills last year. Chosen as the wicketkeeper for the team, Jones who majorly bats as the lower middle order batter, also exhibits the capability to smash some power-hitting shots which is visible from the 151 runs she got in the format.

7. Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa)

Laura Wolvaardt - Northern Superchargers - The Women's Hundred 2021
Laura Wolvaardt – Northern Superchargers – The Women’s Hundred 2021

The South African though got just one 50+ score last year but she contributed well to Proteas middle-order keeping the scorecard moving at a consistent pace. Her average for the year was 53.66 with a great strike rate of strike-rate of 161.

8. Marizanne Kapp (South Africa)

Marizanne Kapp
Marizanne Kapp

Wolvaardt’s teammate, all-rounder Marizanne Kapp has been one of the key players for South Africa. Though she appeared in just 6 T20Is last year but aggregated 100 runs and 8 wickets from them at 15.00. She has lived up to her team’s expectations both with the bat and the ball and has been a go-to player in close and crucial matches.

9. Sophie Ecclestone (England)

Photograph: Alex Davidson/Rex/Shutterstock
Sophie Ecclestone. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Rex/Shutterstock

The top-ranked T20I bowler, England’s Sophie Ecclestone has been one of the favorites among the spinners. She ended 2021 with 11 wickets from 9 T20I at 17.18 as well as completed her century of international wickets. In June 2021, she was adjudged as the Women’s Player of the Month.

10. Loryn Phiri (Zimbabwe)

Representing Zimbabwe in their maiden appearance in ICC’s Women’s T20I Team of the year, Loryn Phiri was a surprise package last year. Finishing with the third-highest wickets of T20I, 16 wickets in 9 matches at 7.18, Phiri recorded her career-best figure of 5/6 which came against Botswana in September.

11. Shabnim Ismail (South Africa)

Shabnim Ismail. (Photograph by Mark Metcalfe/ Getty Images)
Shabnim Ismail. (Photograph by Mark Metcalfe/ Getty Images)

Recording her 2nd consecutive presence in the T20I team of the year, South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail is a delight to watch. Currently, the third-best bowler of women’s T20I, she was the leading wicket-taker for her team last year in just 6 matches she played. With 5/12 as her best spell of the year, Ismail took 11 wickets at 13.00.

Performance in 2021

Name Country Role Matches Runs Highest Score Wickets Best Spell Average
                Bat Bowl
Smriti Mandhana India Batter 9 255


70 31.87
Tammy Beaumont England Batter 9 303


97 33.66
Danni Wyatt England Batter 9 252 89* 31.50
Gaby Lewis Ireland Batter 10 325

(50s-1, 100-1)

105* 40.62
Nat Sciver England All-rounder 9 153


55 10 2/25 19.12 20.20
Amy Jones England Wicketkeeper Batter 9 151

(8 innings)

43 25.16  
Laura Wolvaardt South Africa Batter 8 161


53* 53.66
Marizanne Kapp South Africa All-rounder 6 100 36 8 3/24 16.66 15.00
Sophie Ecclestone England Bowler 9 28

(4 innings)

9* 11 3/35 14.00 17.18
Loryn Phiri Zimbabwe Bowler 9 16 5/6 7.18
Shabnim Ismail South Africa Bowler 6 11 5/12 13.00

Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.

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