|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
England women's allrounder Natalie Sciver has been showing up boys since her teens. She recalls herself as a 12-year old playing football in Poland's women's league, but rose to prominence as a cricketer when she tussled with Surrey's boys in club cricket. Amy Lofthouse of the BBC catches up with the only player to take a hat-trick for England in T20s.
Sciver fell into cricket as a teenager, playing games against her dad and brother in her back garden, before joining Surrey club Stoke d'Abernon. She played the usual games against boys' teams. "They didn't like it so much when a girl bowled them out," she joked. Her performances led to her being selected for Surrey's academy, which became the pathway to an international career that began when she was selected for England's limited-overs series against Pakistan in 2013. It was not until last October that Sciver made her big impact at the top level, becoming the first England player to take a T20 hat-trick in Barbados
Faf du Plessis shared a double-century stand with AB de Villiers recently. The partnership, though, goes a long way back. The two went to school together and then played for Titans. However, it took a while for Du Plessis to make his mark in international cricket unlike de Villiers, who, Du Plessis told the Independent, had the knack of scoring big when it mattered from a young age.
"We were very close at school, but also very competitive. I was laid back at school, just wanting to play games, and he was a bit of a hoofseun (headboy), wanting to study," Du Plessis said. "I remember one particular night before our exams when we were in Standard 9. I bothered him the whole night and the next day in the test; I obviously had no clue. So, during the test, I was like, 'Hey, AB, show me your work there, let me copy a few answers'. He took his suitcase, put it in the middle and turned himself the other way! So obviously I failed that test. Afterwards he said, 'You wanted to bother me last night, so there was no way I was going to help you'."
In Mid day, Clayton Murzello says that MS Dhoni has shown poor form in his recent interactions with the media. He also questions the reasoning behind the BCCI's decision to not send a selector along with the team to England.
At a time when Indian cricket needs to turn off the surround sound and play some soul music, the captain decides to go off tune. Then, as if to show his displeasure over what has been reported, Dhoni skips the media conference ahead of the second one-dayer in Cardiff. Nor does the team management send a representative for a briefing. This is sheer arrogance and it's surprising it happens under media man Shastri's watch.
It's also an escapist approach. In some ways, Dhoni is no more Captain Cool.
Criticism has been as regular as breakfast for Alastair Cook. He saved himself from becoming an "untenable" option as Test captain but the focus has now shifted to his one-day capabilities. With former players questioning if England have the composition to win a World Cup, Stephen Brenkley, in the Independent comes to the support of the embattled England captain
Cook's batting strike rate as captain is 81.89 runs per 100 balls, acceptable even by the era's standards. There seems to be a desire outside the selection room to pack the team with sluggers on the grounds that one or two are bound to come off. England may actually have it right as long as the totals to which they aspire are based on conditions on the day, not some statistical database. The plan is to backload the innings after a solid start with Joe Root, Morgan and Jos Buttler all scoring at a lick