The IPL has already had its first casualties, less than two weeks before the league is set to begin in its biosecure bubble in the UAE. Thirteen Chennai Super Kings personnel tested positive for Covid-19 last week, while still more players had to make difficult personal choices - Kane Richardson chose to skip the tournament for the birth of his first child, Lasith Malinga opted to be with his ailing father, and Suresh Raina returned home apparently spooked by the number of positive cases in CSK. Meanwhile England have rolled from a busy cricket summer into a busier autumn as they take on Australia at home. Here's your catch-up of the week.
CSK's Suresh Raina to miss entire IPL for personal reasons
CSK lost their one of their mainstays this season as Suresh Raina returned to India from the UAE after 13 Chennai Super Kings personnel tested positive, of which two were players. Raina said he didn't want to "take a chance" if the safety of the bio bubble wasn't guaranteed, though he didn't rule out a return if the situation improved. And he wasn't the only one. Sunrisers Hyderabad's Kane Williamson said he too had "a little bit of apprehension" as it got closer to the date.
Azeem Rafiq was 'on brink of suicide' after experiencing racism at Yorkshire
Even as the ECB doubles down on tackling racism, former Yorkshire player Rafiq has made damning claims about the culture within the club, and says he 'lost faith in humanity' after claiming racist behaviour was ignored. Yorkshire have promised an independent review in the wake of Rafiq's claims.
Who is the real Mohammad Amir?
When fans complain that he doesn't swing the ball like he did as a teenager in 2010, what does it mean? Did the five-year fixing ban change his bowling or was he never really that bowler in the first place? Osman Samiuddin goes from Lahore to London in search of all the Amirs there have been, from the precocious ten-year-old besting tape-ball legends twice his age to the 28-year-old family man already looking at life beyond the game.
Mayank Agarwal hasn't had a breakthrough IPL yet. He's looking forward to correcting that
Coming off a fantastic red-ball run in 2019, the Kings XI Punjab batsman is hoping to crack the IPL code this season, he tells Shashank Kishore.
Meet the former Bangladesh cricketer who is also a rock star
Mohammad Isam meets Omar Khaled Rumi, who played cricket for Bangladesh in the '70s and '80s while also establishing a long legacy of rock music in the country.
It rains on everyone's parade but Jimmy Anderson's
Has he found a way to harness England's miserable weather? And is Mohammad Hafeez going for the Olympic gold in testing? Andrew Fidel Fernando has all this and more on his mind in The Briefing.
What is the template for a successful chase in the IPL?
Himanish Ganjoo looks at how teams successfully get to targets in the tournament and what they do at each stage of a game
Come to think of it: Why Courtney Walsh should be regarded as more than just another West Indian bowling great
While we remember the likes of Marshall and Ambrose for their unique traits, Walsh's legacy remains nebulous. It shouldn't be, says Andrew Fidel Fernando.
The balls of the century
In our ongoing series, at No. 15 Alan Gardner replays an Andrew Flintoff ball to Jacques Kallis that brought back memories of another thrilling Edgbaston spell, and Osman Samiuddin remembers a wicked, snaking, inswinging James Anderson delivery to Kraigg Brathwaite at No. 14.