Moeen Ali has announced his retirement from Test cricket recently, after questioning his ability to maintain focus in the longer format. The 34-year-old finished 84 runs and five wickets short of joining a golden list of all-rounders comprising Ian Botham, Imran Khan and Garfield Sobers.

Had the Manchester Test not been cancelled, the spin-bowling all-rounder could have become the 15th Test player in history to score 3,000 runs along with 200 wickets.

Moeen stopped at 2,914 runs with five centuries, 195 scalps, 28 victories, and nine series wins. “I’ve enjoyed Test cricket, but that intensity can be too much sometimes, and I feel like I’ve done enough of it, and I’m happy and content with how I’ve done,” he said.

Moeen had to swim through rough waters to revive his red-ball career that went downhill after the Edgbaston Ashes Test in 2019. He was not a centrally contracted Test player for 18 months before returning for the series against India in February 2021. He is part of England’s squad for the T20 World Cup.

Tom Curran has been drafted in as a travelling reserve after his brother Sam Curran was ruled out of T20 World Cup.   –  Getty Images

Curran for Curran in T20 World Cup

England all-rounder Sam Curran is out of the T20 World Cup 2021 with a lower back injury.

Sam’s brother, Tom, has been drafted into England’s squad for the ICC showpiece with Reece Topley as a travelling reserve.

The left-arm pacer — currently playing for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates — complained of back pain after the game against Rajasthan Royals.

A scan revealed the injury, which will now be reviewed by the medical team of the England and Wales Cricket Board. He has flown out of the UAE.

On the other hand, the English players and support staff, who are not part of the IPL, have reached their Muscat base on October 5 for mandatory quarantine. England will play warm-up matches against India and New Zealand before starting their campaign against the West Indies on October 23.

Umpire Nitin Menon.   –  AFP


Menon, only Indian umpire in T20 World Cup

Nitin Menon is the only Indian umpire in the T20 World Cup 2021 list announced by the International Cricket Council.

The 37-year-old, who played List A cricket for Madhya Pradesh, made his international umpiring debut in the T20I series between India and England in January 2017. Since then, Menon has officiated in landmark events such as the women’s T20 World Cup, the IPL, the one-off Test between West Indies and Afghanistan held in India in 2019 and more.

Former India pacer Javagal Srinath is one of the match referees in the tournament.

South African umpire Marais Erasmus and England’s Chris Gaffaney will be the two on-field umpires for the India-Pakistan game on October 24, while Richard Illingworth will be the TV official. David Boon will be the match referee.

Aleem Dar, Erasmus and Rod Tucker will be officiating in their sixth T20 World Cup.

Pakistan postpones Sri Lanka women series

The Sri Lankan women’s cricket team will not be travelling to Pakistan for the bilateral series scheduled from October 15.

The nation’s struggle to restart cricket activities in full swing took a hit once New Zealand and England pulled out of their scheduled tours. This time, logistical issues in Pakistan led to the indefinite postponement of the home series against the Sri Lankan women.

The three-match ODI series would have been the first bilateral tour of Pakistan for the Sri Lankan girls. “It is disappointing that the series did not come through. It has been cancelled from Pakistan’s end because they had some logistic issues,” Sri Lanka head coach Hashan Tillakaratne (in pic) confirmed the development.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja told the Senate Standing Committee that New Zealand is working on a new schedule to tour Pakistan after it abandoned the series in September citing security issues.

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