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Tamim Iqbal, Rubel Hossain return for Pakistan T20Is

sports news india

Tamim Iqbal has returned to the Bangladesh T20I side for series against Pakistan, Bangladesh Cricket Board announced on Saturday (January 18). Hasan Mahmud, the 20-year-old pacer, has earned his maiden call-up with Rubel Hossain also making a comeback for the first leg of the three-part tour of Pakistan.

Tamim hasn't played international cricket since last year's World Cup. His poor run of scores in that tournament forced him to take a break from the game. He was supposed to return for the India tour in October but pulled out because of personal reasons. Tamim, who last played a T20I in December 2018, has recovered from a groin injury and was medically cleared to feature in the Pakistan series.

Rubel has had a longer break from T20I cricket with his last international game in the format coming in August 2018 against West Indies in Florida.

Mahmud has played 13 T20 games and has 10 wickets at an average of 37.9 and an economy of over nine. However, he has been fairly successful in first-class cricket (24 wickets from nine games) and List A cricket (19 wickets from 15 matches).

"There was a injury concern of Tamim but he was cleared and we are delighted to have him back as we need some senior guys in the team to lead from the considering some of our senior members are missing," Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz. "As for Rubel he is in and out of the national team for the last one year but looked to be bowling consistently in one area in the BPL and we preferred him over others as he got the experience that might be essential to doing well in Pakistan.

" Hasan is the quickest bowler for us at the moment and we included him just seeing his raw pace. We feel if he is nurtured in the national dressing room it will not take him long to make him capable of dealing the pressure of international cricket."

Taijul Islam, who has picked up just two wickets from nine games in Bangladesh Premier League 2019-20, has been dropped. Arafat Sunny, who was part of the touring side in India and last played a T20I in 2016, also has been axed from the side along with Abu Hider. Mushfiqur Rahim had earlier pulled out of the tour citing security reasons.

The first T20I will be played on January 24 while the second and third games will be held on January 25 and 27 respectively. All three games will be in Lahore before the visitors return to Pakistan for the first Test of the two-match series from February 7.

Squad: Mahmudullah (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Moammad Naim, Najmul Hossain, Litton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Aminul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Hasan Mahmud

Former Pakistan Captain Says Sourav Ganguly Can Help Resume Bilateral Matches

It remains to be seen whether Sourav Ganguly will once again play the catalyst to India and Pakistan resuming bilateral ties on the cricket pitch as former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif has urged the BCCI president to "help" the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in taking talks of Indo-Pak matches forward. Former wicketkeeper batsman Latif said it was Ganguly, then India captain, who played a big role in India agreeing to tour Pakistan in 2004 despite BCCI's reluctance. "As a cricketer and BCCI President, Ganguly can help (Ehsan) Mani and the PCB," Latif was quoted as saying by 'The Nation'.

"Unless full-fledged Pakistan-India bilateral series resumes, things won't improve for both countries. The world wants to see Pak-India playing cricket," he said.

"PCB CEO Wasim Khan should also play his active part to ensure top cricket-playing nations come and tour Pakistan as it will help Pakistan cricket and local players."

"In 2004, when the BCCI was reluctant to tour Pakistan, it was (Sourav) Ganguly, who persuaded the BCCI and players. It was a highly memorable tour for India as they managed to win big here after a long gap," Latif added.

India clinched the five-match ODI series 3-2 while they also won the three-match Test series 2-1. India and Pakistan only meet in ICC tournaments now due to political tensions between the two countries.

Pakistan welcomed back Test cricket after a long gap when Sri Lanka toured the nation recently. Pakistan won the series 2-0.

"The arrival of Sri Lankan team after more than a decade was a sigh of relief for not only struggling Pakistani cricket but also for long-suffering masses. Majority of our cricket grounds have also suffered badly in the absence of international matches," Latif added.

Deepak Punia, Ravi Dahiya Qualify For Asian Wrestling Championships

Tokyo 2020 bound wrestlers Deepak Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya once again proved their mettle as they qualified for the Senior Asian Championships to be held in New Delhi from February 17-23. The trials were held at the K.D Jadhav Wrestling Indoor Stadium on Friday. Deepak Punia, who is fresh from a string of good performances which led to him becoming World No.1 and UWW Junior Athlete of the Year, has had a great start to 2020 as he qualified in the 86kg freestyle category by defeating 2014 Commonwealth Games (CWG) bronze medallist Pawan Kumar.

Ravi Dahiya also managed to qualify in the 57kg weight category when he dominated Pankaj of Air Force, defeating him with a score of 10-0.

"I am feeling very confident and I am hoping to continue with my good form. My goal and dream is to win the ultimate prize in Olympics, but for that I have to consistently perform and be on top of my game in the all upcoming international competitions," Deepak Punia said in a statement.

"I enjoy wrestling and I am currently enjoying the best time of my wrestling career so far. I am hoping to continue this momentum and try and win as many medals for India as I can, including Olympics. I promise that I will give everything to get that Olympic medal," Ravi added.

Virat Kohli Ends 2019 As Leading Run-Scorer Across Formats, Rohit Sharma Tops ODI Charts

Virat Kohli finished 2019 on a high, leading India's chase in the series-decider against the West Indies with a fine knock of 85 runs off 81 deliveries. In the process, the India captain ensured that he finished as the leading run-getter across all formats in the year with 2,455 runs. Rohit Sharma, who also scored a half-century in the third ODI against West Indies, finished a close second with 2,442 runs. Rohit Sharma did, however, end the year as the leading run-scorer in ODIs.

Kohli scored 1,377 runs in 26 ODIs, 612 runs in eight Tests and 466 runs in 10 T20Is in 2019. Rohit Sharma scored 1,490 runs in 28 ODIs, 556 runs in five Tests and 396 runs in 14 T20Is in the year.

Babar Azam finished third on the list of overall run-scorers with 2,082 runs in the calendar year, while Ross Taylor and Joe Root rounded off the top five with 1,820 and 1,790 runs respectively.

Shai Hope finished behind the Indian duo in the ODI run charts for the year, with 1,345 runs in the 50-over format. Aaron Finch was behind the West Indies opener with 1,141 runs while Babar Azam finished fifth with 1,092 runs.

Kohli scored seven centuries in 2019, including his career-high Test score of 254 not out. Rohit Sharma hit 10 tons, including a whopping five in the World Cup. 

Looking back at the year gone by, Kohli said after Sunday's match: "2019 has been one of the best years for Indian cricket. Apart from the 30 minutes in the World Cup, it's been a great year. We'll keep chasing that ICC trophy. But apart from that, the way we've played has been satisfying."

Rohit Sharma Scores His 28th ODI Century, 7th Of The Year: India vs West Indies

Rohit Sharma continued his rich vein of form in 2019 as he brought up his 28th One-day International (ODI) century in the 2nd match between India and the West Indies in Vizag on Wednesday. With his century that came off 107 balls, Rohit equalled Sanath Jayasuriya's tally of hundreds in the 50-over format. Moreover, Rohit Sharma is currently leading the pack of the highest ODI run-scorers of 2019 with over 1300 runs. With seven centuries, out of which five came during the ICC World Cup 2019, Rohit Sharma also has the maximum 100-plus scores in the year.

India, who trail 0-1 in the ongoing three-match series, came out all guns blazing after being put in to bat by the West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard.

Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who scored his third ODI century, stitched together a 227-run opening partnership to put the hosts in a commanding position.

Rohit Sharma, who was finally dismissed by Sheldon Cottrell for 159, now has eight 150-plus scores in ODIs. Australia opener David Warner has six, while Sachin Tendulkar and Chris Gayle have five each.

The West Indies made two changes to the starting line-up in their bid to take an unbeatable lead.

Fit-again Evin Lewis, who injured his knee while fielding in the deciding match of the Twenty20 International series won by India 2-1 in Mumbai, and debutant Khary Pierre came in place of Sunil Ambris and Hayden Walsh.

"Sometimes you don't know how the surface plays, so better to know what you are chasing," Pollard said at the toss. "Important game for us, opportunity to win the series."

India, led by Virat Kohli, made one change with paceman Shardul Thakur included in the XI in place of Shivam Dube.

Kohli admitted he would have chosen to field first. "It's about wanting to do well. Even the first innings should have a lot of runs on offer."

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