Cricket

Gautam Gambhir wants life ban on player who assaulted Delhi selector Amit Bhandari

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Gautam Gambhir on Monday condemned attack on former India pacer and chairman of Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) senior selection committee Amit Bhandari and demanded a life ban for the player.

Bhandari was attacked by a group of an unidentified men during the Under-23 team’s trials at St Stephen’s ground. He sustained injuries on head and ear and then his colleague Sukhvinder Singh took him to the Sant Paramanand Hospital at Civil Lines.

Former India opener and Delhi captain Gambhir took to Twitter, saying, “Disgusted to see this happen right in the heart of the Capital. This can’t slip under the carpet and I will personally ensure it doesn’t. To begin with I am calling for a life ban from all cricket for the player who orchestrated this attack post his non-selection.”

Shankar Saini, Delhi’s senior and U-23 team manager, said that around 15 men came with hockey sticks, rods and cycle chains.

“I was having my meal along with a colleague inside the tent and Bhandari along with other selectors and senior team coach Mithun Manhas was watching the probables play a trial match,” said Saini.

“A couple of men first came and went up to Bhandari. There were heated exchanges between Bhandari and the two men. They left and before we could gather our thoughts, suddenly some 15 men armed with hockey sticks, rods and cycle chains came charging,” Saini added.

“When the other boys attending the trials along with us rushed to save Bhandari, they started threatening us and one of them said, “Don’t get into this or else we will shoot you.”

“They hit Bhandari with hockey sticks and rods and he sustained head injury,” said the former Delhi seamer.

“I was not there when these two guys came and spoke with Bhandari. He is obviously rattled and once he gives his statement to the police, we will get to know more,” concluded Saini.

Nisha Shiwani has worked in many companies in various capacities and in her free time loves to express herself through her articles. She is based out of the pink city Jaipur.

Cricket

Pakistan to host ODI series in UAE after Australia raise security concerns

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Australia have refused to any of the ODI series matches in Pakistan due to security concerns and the two teams will now compete in the World Cup preparatory five-match rubber in the UAE.

After much delay, the Pakistan Cricket Board on Sunday finally announced that the one-day series would be played entirely in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from March 22 to 31.

The PCB had invited CA to send its team to Karachi to play one or two matches of the and were hopeful of convincing the Australians to come to Pakistan for the first time since 1998.

“The PCB was optimistic that it will be able to convince Cricket Australia to send its side for some matches after successfully staging high-profile bilateral series and the Pakistan Super League matches in the past 18 months, PCB Director Cricket – International, Zakir Khan, said.

“But, we are disappointed for the enthusiastic and passionate cricket fans in Pakistan who will now have to wait for some more time before they can see Australia cricket team live in action for the first times since 1998,” he said.

“Australia are the world champions and this series will provide the Pakistan cricket team an opportunity to assess their World Cup preparations,” Khan added.

Khan, however, said that the CA has assured them that they will send their security expert to oversee the execution of security plans for the PSL 2019 matches “In the meantime, the CA have confirmed they will maintain regular contact with the ICC, Zakir added.

In the last 18 months, Pakistan have hosted the ICC World XI, also comprising Australia Test captain Tim Paine and fast bowler Ben Cutting, in September 2017.

A month later, Sri Lanka played a T20I at the same venue. In April 2018, Karachi was the venue for three-T20I series between the Windies and Pakistan. Last month, the Windies women’s team played three T20Is against Pakistan women’s team in Karachi.

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Women’s Big Bash League: Beth Mooney guides Brisbane Heat to maiden WBBL title

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Australia wicketkeeper-batswoman Beth Mooney’s skillful innings helped Brisbane Heat to clinch their maiden Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) title at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney on Saturday.

Bowling efforts of Delissa Kimmince (2/25) and Grace Harris (3/23) assisted the Heat to wrap up hosts Sixers for 131 for the loss of seven wickets.

Although Harris failed with the bat, opener Mooney powered to add 84 for the third wicket with her skipper Kirby Short in hot and testing conditions.

Mooney brought up her fifty in just 35 deliveries, which included nine boundaries, before departing for 65, while Short pitched in with 29.

No other Heat batswoman got to double figures, as they slipped from 98/2 to 126/7. With just four runs needed off five balls, Laura Harris walloped the ball to the boundary to seal a memorable three-wicket victory over two-time champions Sydney Sixers.

Mooney, who was adjudged Player of the Final, said: “I just told myself we need to stay in the middle and we needed a good partnership. Kirby and I generally do a good job of that. The team has been really amazing. Several of them have come out of their shells and it has been a great pleasure to watch them evolve.”

Ellyse Perry, on the other hand, was declared Player of the Tournament for amassing 744 at an average of 93 and scalping 10 wickets.Short heaped praises on Sixers skipper Perry for making it a great contest.

“To Ellyse (Perry), there is a reason you are always in a WBBL final, and even when we only had a run a ball to get, you always pushed us, so thank you for a great contest today. You are an incredible team,” Short said.

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ICC names Rishabh Pant as Emerging Cricketer of 2018

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India’s fast-rising wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was Tuesday named the International Cricket Council’s Emerging Player of the Year in the world body’s annual awards.

The 21-year-old Pant was picked by the ICC’s voting academy for a stellar show in his breakthrough Test year in 2018.

He became the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test century in England and equalled the record for the most catches taken in a Test, with 11 against Australia in Adelaide in December.

He was also the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test hundred in Australia.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli was also named as the captain of the ICC’s Test and ODI teams of the year, leading the country’s domination in both the line-ups.

“…Virat Kohli named the captain of both sides following a remarkable 2018 as batsman and skipper,” the ICC said in a statement.

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Cricket

Dhoni’s hardware not keeping in touch with software: Sanjay Manjrekar

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni is known to finish a game that too in style. The man on Friday won his first Man of the Series in ODIs since 2011 after helping India achieve their first-ever bilateral series win against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

With many people showering praises for the 37-year-old wicketkeeper, India’s former batsmanSanjay Manjrekar also had a few words for Dhoni.

He said that Dhoni is being able to achieve success because his mind is still at its prime even though he has lost a bit of physical ability and confidence.

The World Cup-winning skipper hit an unbeaten 87 in the series decider as India gunned down a total of 231 with seven wickets and four balls to spare.

“[Dhoni is] clearly not at his prime… The software – his intention, his mind is still at its prime. He knows exactly what is needed. The hardware is not quite keeping in touch with the software. The hardware was a lot better 5-10 years back. He would hit sixes at will… he doesn’t have that ability or the confidence now but he finds ways to stay there till the end,” Manjrekar said.

Dhoni was criticised for his slow knock (96-ball 51) in India’s 34-run defeat in the first ODI. He, however, got back and clinched two back-to-back match-winning half-centuries in the second and third ODI in Adelaide and Melbourne, respectively.

Manjrekar added: “He [Dhoni] mentioned in the post-match presentation as well the calculations as to which bowler to go after and take the match deep. His great philosophy the one that has made him an all-time great is “stay there till the end”. I remember Javed Miandad also had a similar strategy take the match till the end and feed off the nervous energy of the bowler.”

Not just Manhrekar, Indian skipper Virat Kohlihas always been in support of the wicketkeeper-batsman. Kohli hit back at Dhoni’s critics and expressed that he has confidence on his senior compatriot.

“Every batsman needs that kind of rhythm and runs next to your name to gain confidence. People say a lot of things on the outside. As an individual, I know that nobody is more committed to Indian cricket than MS [Dhoni],” Kohli told the media in Melbourne.

“People should give MS his space… He is a very intelligent cricketer and he knows what he is doing.”

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That’s not the Hardik Pandya I knew: Ex Elli Avram slams cricketer for his sexist comments

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Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Their misogynistic comments on a celebrity chat show have created a stir across the country. The latest to slam the cricketers is Elli Avram, who was once rumoured to be in a relationship with Hardik.

Pandya along with KL Rahul received several backlashes and though they issued an apology over the matter, the social media is still abuzz with the controversy, specifically by Pandya.

Elli who was at a recent award function said that she saw few clips of the episode. “I got a little bit surprised because that’s not really the Hardik Pandya I personally once used to know! I think it’s great that people are reacting and putting their foot down on this kind of behaviour because it’s about time we all realize that this kind of mentality is not cool. Neither is it something to brag about,” she said.

The former Bigg Boss contestant and actress also said, “In terms of what is happening from what I read, they are getting suspended right? I mean I just feel when you get an opportunity to represent your country, it’s a really big privilege to get that and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. I believe because by the end of the day the youth that is our next generation is actually they are watching and learning from their idols. So… that’s all I have to say on this.”

Earlier, actress Esha Gupta, who was asked about her ‘friend’ Hardik’s comments on the show, she lost her cool and said, “Who is the one who told you (Hardik Pandya) is my friend?”.

The cricketers are currently suspended and waiting for the Supreme Court hearing.

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IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals owner to sell stakes ahead of 12th edition

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Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals‘ owners are all set to sell half of their stakes in order to give the side a much needed financial boost ahead of the 12th edition of the popular league.

It has been learned that the current franchise owners have approached key BCCI officials and intimated their decision to sell around fifty percent of their stakes. Manoj Badale is the principal owner of Rajasthan Royals.

“Yes, Rajasthan Royals are selling a major part of their stakes and the highest bidder will be getting it. What we have heard is that it is around fifty percent and some of the biggest business houses in the country are apparently interested in buying stakes,” a senior BCCI official privy to the development told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

While there are no confirmations as of now but Sanjeev Goenka, former IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants’ owner, is keen on buying stakes. Goenka could not be reached for comment.

Another big industrialist based out of Western India with multiple business interests is also in the mix.

Goenka, who is also the principal owner of Indian Super League (ISL) team ATK, had bought the Pune franchise (Rising Pune Supergiants) for the two seasons when Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings were banned for their involvement in spot-fixing scandal.

“Mr Goenka has always been interested in coming back after he had a fairly good but short stint in the IPL. His team made it to the finals in one of the years. Let’s wait and watch how it all pans out,” the official said.

Royals have been the champions of the first edition of Indian Premier League back in 2008 under the stewardship of legendary Shane Warne.

Their reputation, however, took a beating back in 2013 when three cricketers S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, and Ajit Chandila were arrested on charges of spot-fixing and the franchise was subsequently banned for two years by the Supreme Court-appointed committee.

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Please leave the gentleman alone,’ says Sunil Gavaskar of MS Dhoni

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Please leave the gentleman alone,” former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, insisting that the veteran’s value to the team cannot be calculated despite the lack of consistency.
Dhoni turned back the clock with a match-winning half-century against Australia in the second one-dayer in Adelaide, even hitting one of those trademark last-over sixes. The well-timed knock eased the pressure he has been under due to inconsistent form.
“My prayer is to please leave the gentleman alone and he will continue to do well. He is also not getting younger. So the consistency you might have at a younger age will obviously not be there and you have to bear with that,” Gavaskar told ‘India Today’.
The 37-year-old two-time World Cup-winning former captain’s future is one of the most debated topics in Indian cricket right now but Gavaskar feels he deserves better.
“Bear with that little inconsistency. But he’s still tremendous value to the team…
That value you cannot calculate at all,” the batting great said.
Elaborating on what he thought makes Dhoni a crucial cog, Gavaskar said the veteran stumper’s reading of the game and match situations is impeccable from behind the stumps.
“He keeps telling the bowlers to bowl a particular delivery, what a batsman is planning to do. He has a sense of what a batsman is thinking…What the batsman is looking to do now…is he looking to get out of jail kind of shot?” he said.
“These are the kind of things where Dhoni helps the bowlers and of course with the field placing because Virat is so important in the deep (as he fields outside 30-yard circle) in the final overs when he saves those two runs diving around, takes magnificent catches in the deep,” he added.
Gavaskar also spoke about the trust that current skipper Virat Kohli has Dhoni’s assessment of situations.
“…it’s not possible for Virat to maybe have a conversation with the bowlers or to make adjustments to the square fielders. That is where Virat has complete faith and trust in Dhoni to make those little bit of adjustments for him,” Gavaskar said.

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India vs Australia: Mohammed Siraj claims unwanted record on ODI debut

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Mohammed Siraj earned an unwanted record during the second One-Day International (ODI) between India and Australia in Adelaide on Tuesday

The Hyderabadi fast bowler, Siraj, who made his ODI debut at the Adelaide Oval, replaced Khaleel Ahmed in India’s playing XI.

Siraj, who became India’s 225th ODI player, did not have the perfect start to his international one-day career. It was just a repeat of his disastrous T20I debut, which he had made last year against New Zealand in Rajkot.

While India won on Tuesday by six wickets, Siraj gave away the most number of runs by an Indian bowler on debut as he was hit for 76 runs by Australian batsmen.

His figures (10-0-76-0) are the second most expensive for an Indian bowler on ODI debut. Karsan Ghavri holds the record for the most expensive figures on debut, having conceded 83 runs in 11 overs against England in 1975.

Coincidentally, Siraj also holds the forgettable record of second-most expensive figures on T20I debut. In 2017, Siraj had given away 57 runs on his T20I debut for India against New Zealand in Rajkot.

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Virat Kohli just revealed his retirement plans and we are shook

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Retired cricketers plying their trade in T20 leagues might be a global trend right now but India captain Virat Kohli says he wouldn’t even be “seen around the scene” the day he is “totally spent” to pick up the bat again.
Responding to a query on whether he would consider playing in the Australian Big Bash league after retiring or if the BCCI lifts the bar on its players, Kohli said he would certainly not be around for such a stint after retirement.
“Look I don’t know whether that stance is going to change in the future. As far as I am concerned, playing more cricket when I am done, I don’t think I am in that zone, to be honest,” the 30-year-old said ahead of the opening ODI against Australia on Saturday.
Retired cricketers such as AB de Villiers and Brendon McCullum are regularly seen playing in T20 leagues such as the IPL and Big Bash but Kohli says he isn’t interested in joining the bandwagon.
“I have played enough cricket in the last five years and I cannot comment on even the first thing I do when I retire because I don’t feel like I am going to pick up the bat again,” he said.
“I will be spent, the day I finish I will be totally spent and that’s the reason I am going to stop playing cricket. So I don’t see myself coming back and playing again. Once I am done, I will be done, and I won’t be seen around the scene,” Kohli said.

The skipper was all praise for his team’s batting line-up and said the line-up looks strong heading into the ODI World Cup starting May 30 in England. “In the last 12 months, our ODI batting has been very strong and openers are a very big factor in that. There was a phase in the middle when we addressed the issue of middle overs and from 25-40 overs we tried to change our batting style,” he said.
“Where our batting is at the moment, the team management and I are very comfortable because we have results in ODI cricket and performances have been very good as well.” In fact, Kohli felt the Indian team is perfectly balanced in every aspect.
“The bowling has been balanced too. In one-day cricket, any team can beat you on any given day. But as a team, you have to give your best and take your strongest eleven. And we feel like a one-day team we are on the right track and are on our full strength,” he said.

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BCCI serves showcause notice to Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul for comments on ‘Koffee With Karan’

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Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were Wednesday issued show cause notices by the BCCI for their comments on women on a TV show that triggered a massive outrage and might prompt the Board to bar players from such appearances.

Pandya, whose remarks on Koffee with Karan were criticised as sexist, apologised for his remarks, saying he got “carried away by the nature” of the show. Rahul, on the other hand, has not yet responded to the criticism.

“We have sent showcause notices to Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul for their comments. They have been given 24 hours to give an explanation,” Chairman of the Committee of Administrators that runs the BCCI, Vinod Rai, told PTI.

The 25-year-old all-rounder and Rahul appeared on the celebrity chat show, hosted by film-maker Karan Johar, together.

Taking to Twitter, Pandya posted, “After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, I would like to apologise to everyone concerned who I may have hurt in any way. Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone’s sentiments. Respect.”

On the show, Pandya boasted about hooking up with multiple women and also how open he has been about it with his parents.

When asked why he didn’t ask women their name in a club, Pandya responded by saying, “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I’m little from the black side so I need to see how they move.”

Criticism started coming Pandya’s way soon after and it is learnt that he was ticked off by the BCCI top brass.

According to a source, his comments were deemed “crass and cringeworthy” and might have a bearing on whether Indian cricketers appear on “such non-cricket shows” after this.

“It will be considered whether players should even be allowed to appear on such shows which have got nothing to do with cricket,” a BCCI source told PTI.

Pandya is currently with the Indian team in Australia where it recently recorded a historic maiden Test series win.

Pandya had joined the team before the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne after recovering from a back injury which he had suffered during the Asia Cup in UAE last year.

He will be seen in action in the three-match ODI series against Australia which starts on January 12 in Sydney.

 

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