Sunday, September 23, 2018

Shahbaz Nadeem: 8/10

Shahbaz Nadeem finally got his due in the limelight after years of toiling away for Jharkhand and India A. Topped the highest wicket-takers table for two Ranji seasons in a row and been a India A regular for a long, long time. Has been in the mix for an India call, which has yet to culminate. Yet he keeps toiling. Nadeem has also been part of the India nets as recently as last week. Don't think anyone has ever come this close to a call-up to the national squad without actually getting the call!

But after 375 Fist-Class wickets & over 200 limited overs wickets, Shahbaz Nadeem finally has the spotlight on him. It needed a world-record spell of 8 wickets for 10 runs from 10 overs against Rajasthan to grab it though. And Rajasthan are no minnows, having won the Ranji Trophy twice in recent years! This improved on Rahul Sanghvi's haul of 8 for 15 against Himachal Pradesh.

Finally, Nadeem has the media & the casual followers' attention. Hopefully, this translates into an India call soon. We do have the West Indies tour coming up and it is also the run-up year to the World Cup. The competition for slots is tough, with Kuldeep, Chahal, Jadeja, Ashwin, Sundar, Krunal all in the mix for the two spinners slots. But Nadeem has also put his hat in.

Links - Video of the 8-wicket haul. (BCCI)

Monday, September 17, 2018

Domestic Schedule 2018-19: Bihar

Bihar has rejoined the big league after years in wilderness post the partition with Jharkhand. This was on expected lines. However, following the acceptance of Lodha Committee decisions, each of India’s states is now represented in the main tournaments. So Bihar are joined by Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Sikkim and Puducherry. All the new entrants have been placed in the Plate Group of the domestic tournaments, with promotion likely for the winners!

Here are Bihar’s fixtures

Vijay Hazare Trophy – Bihar are placed in the 9-team Plate Group from which the winner will qualify for the knock-outs.
  1. 19-Sep-18: Bihar vs Nagaland
  2. 20-Sep-18: Bihar vs Uttarakhand
  3. 24-Sep-18: Bihar vs Puducherry
  4. 26-Sep-18: Bihar vs Meghalaya
  5. 28-Sep-18: Bihar vs Arunachal Pradesh
  6. 30-Sep-18: Bihar vs Sikkim
  7. 4-Oct-18: Bihar vs Manipur
  8. 8-Oct-18: Bihar vs Mizoram
Ranji Trophy - Bihar are placed in the 9-team Plate Group from which the winner will qualify for the knock-outs.
  1. November 1-4, 2018: Bihar vs Uttarakhand
  2. November 20-23, 2018: Bihar vs Puducherry
  3. November 28-December 1, 2018: Bihar vs Sikkim
  4. December 6-9, 2018: Bihar vs Arunachal Pradesh
  5. December 14-17, 2018: Bihar vs Meghalaya
  6. December 22-15, 2018: Bihar vs Nagaland
  7. December 30, 2018 – January 2, 2019: Bihar vs Mizoram 
  8. January 7-10, 2019: Bihar vs Manipur

This group seems to be the easiest of all the lots. Let’s see what our team has to show on its return to the big leagues.

Domestic Schedule 2018-19: Jharkhand

The domestic season has already started, with Duleep Trophy completed with some hue of India winning the Trophy. And it also clashed with India’s ongoing tour of England and a quadrangular A series where India fielded two teams. Thus we had India, India A, India B, India red, India Green, India Blue playing simultaneously. All this resulted in a mega confusion of who is playing for whom, at least for the viewers. Hopefully the players were clear about the matter! 

As is the process every year, the domestic schedule has undergone a change. But this year the change has been drastic with the addition of 9 new first-class teams. While Bihar’s addition was on expected lines, the Lodha Committee diktats have led to all North-eastern states, Uttarakhand and Puducherry gaining full status. 

With Bihar’s re-entry, I now have two teams to support. I guess quite a lot of players might also have shifted ranks here and there! So this blog will try to cover both Bihar & Jharkhand.

Here are Jharkhand’s fixtures

Vijay Hazare Trophy – Jharkhand are placed in the 10-team Group C from which 2 will qualify for the knock-outs.
  1. 19-Sep-18: Jharkhand vs Haryana
  2. 20-Sep-18: Jharkhand vs Rajasthan
  3. 24-Sep-18: Jharkhand vs Assam
  4. 25-Sep-18: Jharkhand vs Tamil Nadu
  5. 27-Sep-18: Jharkhand vs J&K
  6. 1-Oct-18: Jharkhand vs Bengal
  7. 5-Oct-18: Jharkhand vs Tripura
  8. 7-Oct-18: Jharkhand vs Gujarat
  9. 10-Oct-18: Jharkhand vs Services
Ranji Trophy - Jharkhand are placed in the 10-team Group C from which 2 will qualify for the knock-outs.
  1. November 1-4, 2018: Jharkhand vs Assam
  2. November 12-15, 2018: Jharkhand vs Haryana
  3. November 20-23, 2018: Jharkhand vs Rajasthan
  4. November 28-December 1, 2018: Jharkhand vs Goa
  5. December 6-9, 2018: Jharkhand vs Odisha
  6. December 14-17, 2018: Jharkhand vs UP
  7. December 22-15, 2018: Jharkhand vs Services
  8. December 30, 2018 – January 2, 2019: Jharkhand vs Tripura 
  9. January 7-10, 2019: Jharkhand vs J&K