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Tuesday, Jul 07th

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In addition to picking the squad for the fourth and final test of the series against England, the All-India Senior Selection Committee also named a rather massive 15-man squad for the 2-match T20 series to be played against the same opposition later this month in Pune and Mumbai. The two noteworthy absentees from the squad - Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag - were unavailable for selection, giving the selectors an opportunity to draft in a few necomers.

There are no real surprises in the batting unit for the T20 squad, with Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane expected to open the batting with a strong middle order in Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh to follow. Manoj Tiwary and allrounder Ravindra Jadeja will probably be warming the benches.

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The ECB today announced the appointment of former England international and Warwickshire Director of Cricket Ashley Giles as England ODI and T20 Head Coach.

Andy Flower will remain as England Team Director and will continue to be responsible for the preparation and playing strategies for the England men's cricket teams supported by Ashley Giles. The change in structure will provide a more efficient and sustainable use of coaching resources, ensuring that both coaches have an opportunity to prepare thoroughly for each series as well as interacting more regularly with other important areas of England cricket.

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Fast bowler Tino Best will miss the five One-day Internationals and the Twenty20 International on the West Indies tour of Bangladesh due to a hamstring injury.

West Indies team physiotherapist C.J. Clark described the injury as a "Grade 1 lateral hamstring strain", which Best suffered on the first day of the second Test at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium here.

". . .Though being able to bowl in the second innings with pain-killing injections, he will need to return home to Barbados for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation," said Clark.

"It is expected that he will be back to full fitness for the Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament in January."

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The Sydney Sixers thrashed the Highveld Lions by 10 wickets in a one-sided Final of the Champions League Twenty 20 to be crowned the new, Champions. The Australian outfit dominated the contest with both bat and ball, knocking over the Lions for 121 and then chasing down the target in just 12.3 overs without losing any wickets. A battling half-century from Jean Symes gave the Lions' bowlers something to compete with after the South African side's top order had collapsed to a poor 9-4 in 3.3 overs. Josh Hazzlwood and Nathan McCullum shared 6 wickets evenly between them, while Michael Lumb stared with the bat for the Sixers, smashing an unbeaten 82 from just 42 balls, hitting 5 sixes and 8 boundaries to seal what was an easy win.

The Sydney Sixers won the toss and opted to bowl first, and surprised their opponents by opening with spin at both ends. Nathan McCullum was hit for a six by Gulam Bodi on the third ball of the first over, but got his man on the very next ball to put the Lions in early strife. McCullum was immediately replaced by Josh Hazzlewood, and it proved to be a masterstroke from Sydney skipper Brad Haddin with the fast bowler striking twice in his opening over to remove Quinton de Kock and Neil McKenzie for 1 and 0 respectively.

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Sri Lanka and New Zealand will launch what will be an interesting couple of months of Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) when the two sides go head to head in a one-off match at Pallekele on Tuesday 30 October. As many as seven T20Is, featuring most of the top ranked sides, are confirmed to be played across the globe before the turn of the year, and, if Sri Lanka loses in Pallekele, then there can be a change at the top of the table on at least two occasions.

Sri Lanka, the ICC World Twenty20 2012 finalist, will start off as the number-one ranked side on the Reliance ICC T20I Championship table while New Zealand, which lost two ICC World Twenty20 2012 Super Eight stage matches in Super Overs, will begin in eighth position.

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The Sydney Sixers beat the Titans in a last ball thriller to get across the line and win the 2nd semi final of the CLT20 2012 at Centurion. Needing 164 to win, the Sixers began in superb fashion, lost their way in the middle and somehow managed to scramble past the finish line with just 2 wickets in hand. Nothing can be taken away from the Titans though, they batted brilliantly and came back strongly in the 2nd innings to give the Sixers a tough battle.

Opting to bat first, the Titans lost a wicket in the first over as opener Jacques Rudolph departed for just 1, caught at thirdman. Due to the early wicket, Heino Kuhn was promoted up the order. The wicket-keeper batsman struck three boundaries before he was dismissed for 13, trying to flick a slightly low one from Mitchell Starc to the leg side. Starc struck again in his next over with a slower delivery that Skipper Van Jaarsveld popped into cover's hands. The Titans were in a spot of bother at 36-3 inside the powerplay.

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rain1Group A of the Champions League T20 continued to be a real mystery halfway through the tournament as yet another match was rained out in Durban today. The Delhi Daredevils and Auckland Aces, locked at 4 points apiece heading into the contest left it with 6 points each, tied for 2nd place with the IPL team having played a game less and ahead on net run rate.

The Daredevils could well secure a spot in the semi-finals with one more win, while the Aces must win their last game of the Group stage to give themselves any chance of progressing.

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