The IPL is all systems go with the final pieces falling into place, even if quarantine rules are throwing a spanner in the works for a few Australia players. Elsewhere England are hoping to extend their lead over Pakistan in the second Test - if the rains don't get there first - while New Zealand look forward to a packed schedule later in the year. There's a glut of cricket coming up and absolutely no one is complaining. Here's what you may have missed this week.

IPL 2020: BCCI gets government go-ahead to conduct tournament in the UAE
The last hurdle for the IPL has fallen with the government giving the tournament the nod for the 2020 edition. The move to the UAE is good news for at least 50 domestic players who haven't made the roster as they will now travel with the eight teams as exclusive nets bowlers. However, 12 top-rung Australian players - including David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith - are expected to miss the start of the tournament on account of their tour to England.

Fawad Alam and the cruelty of batting: a ten-year wait ends in a duck
The ongoing England-Pakistan Test in Southampton was Fawad Alam's first since 2009... and he was out for a four-ball duck. He wasn't even at the crease long enough for the commentators to dissect his weird stance, writes Osman Samiuddin. Had Virat Kohli, Steven Smith and Kane Williamson made their debuts when Alam last played? Test yourself with our quiz. In other news from the rain-hit match, anti-corruption officials have spoken to umpire Richard Kettleborough about his smartwatch.

New Zealand to host West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh during home season
New Zealand are all set for a busy summer and are currently locking down biosecurity rules similar to those followed by the ECB for visiting teams. A visit by the Australia Women's team is also in the early stages of planning.

Joe Root's legacy as captain remains undetermined, but he has credit in the bank
As Joe Root steps into his 43rd match as captain, George Dobell says comparisons with history's unreliable memory are unfair to his captaincy. Mark Nicholas too says Root has grown into the captaincy and, along with Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad, has continued to learn, grow and excel.

Rabbit Holes: We need to talk about how wicketkeeping has changed over the years
Sidharth Monga, Karthik Krishnaswamy and Annesha Ghosh put their heads together to discuss how the role - and the art involved in it - have evolved.

Who has the best beach bod in the New Zealand team?
We ask New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry 25 such sizzling questions.

Gilchrist's Hobart mayhem to India's Boxing Day blues: five rearguard efforts that turned Tests
Following the Buttler-Woakes rescue act in Manchester in the last Test, Andrew Miller turns the clock back to other memorable chase-altering gigs.

Sheldon Cottrell: 'I wouldn't say that I'm a sure pick' in the West Indies side
The West Indies quick talks to Matt Roller about how he never takes his spot for granted, Patriots' chances in the CPL, and more.

Growing up with Murali
Ten years after Muttiah Muralitharan retired, Andrew Fidel Fernando reflects on what the spin legend has meant - and means - to a nation.

When 'little toothpick' Tendulkar made his maiden Test hundred and saved a game
Thirty years ago, the Little Master announced his arrival with an unforgettable innings. Hemant Brar relives the match with Graham Gooch, Angus Fraser, Jack Russell, Robin Smith, Dilip Vengsarkar, Kiran More and Anil Kumble, who were all there to witness it.

The balls of the century, No. 18: Steve Harmison to Michael Clarke
We're on the quest to find the greatest balls bowled this century: this time, the perfect split-finger legcutter from the 2005 Ashes.

When VVS Laxman turned out to bat for Pudsey Congs
Did you know about the time, 25 years ago, when the Indian batsman plied his trade for clubs in Yorkshire's Bradford Cricket League? Scott Oliver does.