Women's ODI rankings: Mandhana jumps to 8th; Deepti, Shafali also gain
Dubai, Jul 5 (Cricket News) India vice-captain Smriti Mandhana moved up a rung to eighth position in the batter's chart in the latest ICC women’s ODI rankings released here on Tuesday.
Mandhana, who hit an 83-ball unbeaten 94 in India's 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI on Monday, is the lone Indian in the top 10 of the batting chart which is headed by Australian Alyssa Healey followed by England's Natalie Sciver.
All-rounder Deepti Sharma and opener Shafali Verma have made significant improvements to their positions after helping India take an unassailable 2-0 lead against Sri Lanka in the three-match ICC Women's Championship (IWC) series being played in Pallekele.
Deepti, who grabbed three for 25 and scored an unbeaten 22, has moved up two places to the 29th position among batters and three slots to 16th among bowlers.
In the rankings for all-rounders, she has gained 20 rating points to reach within one point of Australia's Ashleigh Gardner, who is sixth on the list.
Verma, who is leading the run aggregate in the series with 106 runs including an unbeaten 71 in the second match, is up 12 places to a career-best 36th among batters. She is currently ranked fifth in the T20 list.
Other Indians to move up the batters' list are Pooja Vastrakar (up three places to 61st), Rajeshwari Gayakwad (up four places to 93rd) and Meghna Singh (up seven places to 100th).
They have all also moved up the bowlers' list -- Gayakwad from 12th to 11th, Meghna from 58th to 47th and Vastrakar from 57th to 50th.
Pacer Renuka Singh is also a major gainer, her seven wickets has lifted her 38 places to 65th position.
For Sri Lanka, Nilakshi de Silva has gained 13 ranks to reach 57th position among batters after accumulating 75 runs in the two matches while Hasini Perera (up 16 places to 83rd) and Anushka Sanjeewani (up nine places to 89th) are the others to progress in that list.
Among bowlers, former captain Inoka Ranaweera has progressed five places to 21st after her four wickets in two matches and Oshadi Ranasinghe has gone from 64th to 59th position.
The two wins have taken India to joint-second position with Pakistan in the IWC points table.
A win in the last match against Sri Lanka will see them catch up with South Africa at the top of the table with six points.
Sri Lanka are on two points, earned in their previous series against Pakistan.
Also Read : Indian women get 10-wicket win to seal ODI series against Sri Lanka
News Source : PTI
Babar Azam surpasses Kohli as world no 1 T20 batter for longest period
Dubai, Jun 29 (Cricket News) Pakistan captain Babar Azam has surpassed India's Virat Kohli in becoming the world No.1 T20I batter for the longest period of time after he maintained his top spot in the latest ICC T20 batting rankings.
Kohli was the No.1 ranked T20I batter for a total of 1,013 days during his reign last decade, but Babar has now surpassed this number following his long-standing stay at the top.
Among others, Ishan Kishan slipped two places but Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson made huge gains at the ICC T20I Player Rankings following their sensational innings at the second and final T20I against Ireland.
Left-handed batter Kishan slumped to number 7 after scoring 26 and 3 in the two T20s against Ireland but Hooda, who smashed 47 in the first game and a maiden century in the second match to power India to a series-clinching four-run win, galloped 414 places to 104th.
Samson was also rewarded for his knock of 77 as he reached the 144th spot in the batting chart.
Ireland's Harry Tector gained a massive 55 places to reach 66th position among batters with scores of 39 and 64 not out in the rankings, which was updated after the two-match India-Ireland series.
In the bowlers' list, pacer Harshal Patel moved from 37th to 33rd position while Ireland's Mark Adair climbed to 43rd from 45th.
In Test ranking, Joe Root hung on to his narrow lead as the top-ranked batter but there was some big movement behind him following the completion of England's home series against New Zealand.
New Zealand batting pair of Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell have attained career-best positions as has England spinner Jack Leach, after superb performances in the third match of their ICC World Test Championship series in Leeds.
Mitchell and Blundell, who were involved in century partnerships in all three Tests of the series, are both in the top 20 now.
Mitchell's scores of 109 and 56 saw him advance four places to 12th position while Blundell's knocks of 55 and 88 not out have lifted him 11 slots to 20th position.
England batter Jonny Bairstow advanced 20 places to 21st after scoring 162 and 71 not out in the series, while Oliver Pope is up three places to 49th after his 82 in the second innings of the Test, which England won by seven wickets to complete a 3-0 series victory.
New Zealand workhorse Neil Wagner dropped a spot to 10th on the latest rankings for bowlers, with England duo of Stuart Broad (up one spot to 13th) and Jack Leach (up 13 places to 25th) are among the notable movers.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan dropped a spot to third on the all-rounder rankings following a disappointing second Test against the West Indies, with India veteran Ravi Ashwin taking his place. West Indies' left-hander Kyle Mayers jumped three places to eighth on the all-rounder rankings following his Player of the Match performance against Bangladesh.
The recent rise of Australia's Josh Hazlewood as a dominant white-ball bowler continued as the in-form seamer moved up two places to equal fifth on the latest ODI rankings.
Hazlewood is already No.1 on the T20I rankings and his move up the ODI list comes on the back of a strong spell of 2/22 in the final 50-over match of the series against Sri Lanka.
Chris Woakes' absence during England's recent ODI series against the Netherlands saw the tall seamer drop two spots to fourth on the latest rankings, with New Zealand quick Matt Henry (second) and Pakistan speedster Shaheen Afridi (third) both rising a place behind the top-ranked Trent Boult.
There is also a small re-shuffle inside the top 10 on the ODI batter rankings, with Australia skipper Aaron Finch dropping two spots to 12th as Root and Shai Hope move up to joint 10th. Australia's Alex Carey was up three places to 23rd after his knock of 45 not out and England's Jos Buttler is up four places to 25th after his unbeaten 86.
Also Read : Hooda's maiden century helps India beat Ireland by 4 runs to pocket series 2-0
News Source : PTI
India spinner Radha Yadav moves up in Women’s T20 rankings
Dubai, Jun 28 (Cricket News) On the back of her splendid performance in the just-concluded T20 series against Sri Lanka, India's left-arm spinner Radha Yadav has moved up to the 13th spot in the ICC Women's T20 players rankings.
As per the latest rankings released by the ICC, Yadav has progressed seven places to the 13th among bowlers after bagging four wickets in the series against Sri Lanka, which India won 2-1.
In batting chart, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu has moved up one place to a career-best seventh position after aggregating 139 runs in three matches. She had struck a match-winning 80 not out in the final T20I in Dambulla.
Athapaththu has also gained two slots to reach seventh in the all-rounders' list.
Indian batters Smriti Mandhana (fourth), Jemimah Rodrigues (14th) and captain Harmanpreet Kaur (18th) have retained their places in the batting list.
The other Indian bowlers who have advanced in rankings are Pooja Vastrakar, who has moved up 30 places to the 32nd spot, and Renuka Thakur, who has jumped 83 places to reach the 97th spot.
Vastrakar clinched only two wickets in the T20 series, while she also scored 27 runs. Thakur was also able to clinch only two wickets in the three-match T20 series.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Anushka Sanjeewani has moved up four places to 60th among batters.
Sri Lanka spinners Oshadi Ranasinghe (up 11 places to 26th), Sugandika Kumari (up nine places to 40th) and Inoka Ranaweera (up16 places to 47th) have also improved their rankings.
Also Read : Takeaways from Indian women's T20I series win over Sri Lanka
News Source : PTI
India Test batter M Vijay makes return to action after nearly 2 years
Chennai, Jun 24 (Cricket News) India's discarded Test batter Murali Vijay returned to competitive cricket on Friday after a gap of nearly two years, playing for Ruby Trichy Warriors in the Tamil Nadu Premier League in Tirunelveli, some 700km from here.
The right-hander, however, did not fare well in his comeback match, falling for a patchy 8 from 13 balls. He did not look very convincing during his brief stay in the middle and was run out going for a sharp single.
The 61-Test veteran, who last played for Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League match in Dubai in September 2020, had not turned out for Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket and did not feature in last year's TNPL too. He had also not played in the local TNCA League.
He last played for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy in December 2019. Vijay's last Test for India was in 2018 against Australia in Perth.
The veteran batter seemed happy to be playing again and said ahead of the current edition of TNPL that he wants to enjoy the game.
"I want to play as long as possible. Just took a personal break," Vijay said recently ahead of the TNPL.
"I have a young family and wanted to take care of them. I'm enjoying my cricket now and I'm feeling fit, hopefully, I can do my bit for my team and TNPL," he had added.
He is playing under the captaincy of experienced left-arm spinner Rahil Shah at Trichy Warriors.
The TNPL which got underway on Thursday will go on till July 31.
Also Read : Yash, Shubham tons deflate Mumbai, MP close in on maiden Ranji title
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Karthik jumps 108 places, Ishan Kishan breaks into top 10 in ICC T20 rankings
Dubai, Jun 22 (Cricket News) On the back of his recent exploits, veteran Dinesh Karthik jumped a massive 108 spots to 87th on the latest ICC T20 rankings for batters, even as young opener Ishan Kishan broke into the top 10.
Kishan finished the series with two half centuries against South Africa and was the leading run scorer with 206 runs at an average of 41. That form catapulted the left-hander up one spot to sixth on the latest T20 rankings for batters.
Karthik has been in excellent form since the IPL-15 and had a few blazing knocks in the T20 series against South Africa.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam still holds the top spot on the T20 batting rankings and Kishan is the only Indian player rated inside the top 10.
Yuzvendra Chahal was the biggest mover on the T20 rankings for bowlers with the India spinner jumping three places to 23rd following his six wickets during the South Africa series.
Josh Hazlewood maintains his position as the top ranked T20 bowler, with Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan (joint third) and Sri Lanka tweaker Wanindu Hasaranga (sixth) both moving up a place inside the top 10.
Ravindra Jadeja maintains his top position in the Test all-rounders' list with 385 rating points. He is currently in the UK for India's upcoming Test against England, a spill over of last year's five-match series, which could not be completed owing to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Bangladesh captain Shakib al Hasan moved up to second position with 346 rating points, though he has a long way to go if he wants to overtake Jadeja at the top of list.
Former India captain Virat Kohli (742) maintained his 10th position in the Test batting chart, while seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (850) and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah (830) occupied the second and third positions in bowling respectively.
West Indies quick Kemar Roach also made his move on the updated list for bowlers, with the veteran right-armer jumping four spots to eighth following an impressive display against Bangladesh.
Australian quick Pat Cummins leads the Test bowlers' list with 901 rating points.
Also Read : Cricket Australia introduces draft system to pick overseas players in BBL-12
News Source : PTI
Mandhana holds on to 8th position, Jhulan slips to sixth in ICC women's ODI rankings
Dubai, Jun 21 (Cricket News) Star opener Smriti Mandhana held on to her eighth position but veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami slipped a spot in the bowler's list in the latest ICC Women's ODI rankings issued here on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old Mandhana, who has scored 411 runs in ODIs this year from nine matches, including a century against the West Indies at the World Cup earlier this year, is the lone Indian in the top 10 of the batting chart which is headed by Australian Alyssa Hailey followed by England's Natalie Sciver.
Goswami, on the other hand, slipped one spot to number six in the bowler's rankings. The 39-year-old has played nine ODI games this year and has scalped 12 wickets so far.
Goswami lost her position to Proteas pacer Ayabonga Khaka after her brilliant performance in South Africa's ODI series sweep against Ireland. England's Sophie Ecclestone and South Africa's Jen Jonassen continue to remain in the first and second positions respectively among bowlers. In the all-rounder's list, another Indian Deepti Sharma remained static in the seventh position.
Also Read : Ranji Trophy Final: Mumbai's might meets MP's desire
News Source : PTI
Indian boxer NT Lalbiakkima loses WBC Asian title fight
Dubai, Jun 19 (Boxing News) Indian boxer NT Lalbiakkima lost to Filipino Jayson Vayson in a 10-round WBC Asian Boxing Council's continental light flyweight title fight here.
Vayson, who is ranked 47th in the world, handed Lalbiakkima his first loss in his 5-fight Pro career at the Dubai World Trade centre in a 10-round blockbuster on Saturday night.
All the three judges awarded the fight unanimously to Jayson. The judges gave 97–94, 97–93 and 96-94 decisions.
The two boxers were out to get each other from the first bell and did not let up on the high-octane action throughout the 10 rounds.
The Mizo boxer had a distinct height disadvantage and he tried to cover up for it with leaping jabs followed by right hooks. Jayson used his superior height and reach to keep Lalbiakkima at an arm's length throughout the fight.
Lalbiakkima tried to slow things down in the fifth round, but Jayson was far too technically accomplished and he suddenly took the attack back to the Indian with aggressive right hooks and body blows that all landed where intended.
While Lalbiakkima landed the heavier blows in the early rounds, Jayson peppered the Indian boxer with left jabs and clean combinations to win over the judges over the entirety of the 10-round contest.
Saturday's defeat came as a blow to the Indian boxer who had looked to use this fight as a platform to get more fights at the global stage.
Jayson extended his undefeated record to 10 wins with a display of good counter attacking boxing throughout the 10 rounds.
Also Read : I'm not representing a community, but my country: Nikhat Zareen
News Source : PTI
ICC Rankings: Ishan Kishan jumps 68th places t0 7th in T20 batters list
Dubai, Jun 15 (Cricket News) India opener Ishan Kishan climbed up 68 places to grab the seventh spot among batters, while the bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal also made gains in the latest ICC T20 rankings released on Wednesday.
Kishan,who has been one of India's consistent performers in the ongoing T20I home series against South Africa, aggregating 164 runs in three matches including two half-centuries, has made a massive jump to enter the top 10 among T20 batters.
The 23-year-old is the lone Indian batter in the top 10 with KL Rahul occupying the 14 spot.
Skipper Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer have dropped a place each to 16th and 17th spots respectively, while Virat Kohli has slid two places to 21st.
Among bowlers, Bhuvneshwar is up seven places to 11th while leg-spinner Chahal has climbed up four places to 26th.
Australia's Josh Hazlewood has regained his number one spot among T20 bowlers, while Maheesh Theekshana of Sri Lanka is up 16 places to eighth in the list.
In the Test rankings, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has moved a spot to third, behind compatriot Ravichandran Ashwin, who remains static on number two.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin, however, continue to occupy the top two spots in the all rounders' list.
Rohit and Kohli retained their seventh and 10 spots respectively among batters while England's Joe Root is back at the top after smashing a second successive century in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship series against New Zealand.
Root, who had reached within striking distance of Marnus Labuschagne after the first Test, has wrested back the top spot from the Australia batter, whom he now leads by five rating points.
Root is on 897 points after his knock of 176 in the first innings of the Nottingham Test, 20 less than his highest of 917 points.
Root first grabbed the number one position in August 2015 and was last at the top in December 2021 before Labuschagne leapfrogged him. He has been No.1 in Tests for 163 days so far.
Steve Smith (1,506 days), Kohli (469 days) and Kane Williamson (245 days) are the others to have had substantial vigils at the top in recent years.
Root's compatriots, player-of-the-match Jonny Bairstow and captain Ben Stokes have also had major gains.
Bairstow's 92-ball 136 that led England's last day chase for an eventual five-wicket win, has moved up 13 places to 39th position while Stokes' 75 not out has taken him from 27th to 22nd position.
Ollie Pope (up 22 places to 53rd) and Alex Lees (up 26 places to 86th) have also moved up the rankings for batters while seam bowler Matthew Potts has advanced 18 places to 59th after picking up three wickets in the match.
For New Zealand, Daryl Mitchell's scores of 190 and 62 not out have lifted him 33 places to a career-best 17th position while Tom Blundell's first innings century has helped him move up four places to 31st position.
Devon Conway's innings of 46 and 52 saw him inch up one slot to 23rd. Fast bowler Trent Boult is up four places to ninth.
Also Read : Bowlers and openers shine as India keep series alive with 48-run win
News Source : PTI
ODI Rankings: Pakistan pip India to 4th spot inn ICC list
Dubai, Jun 13 (Cricket News) Pakistan have pipped India to climb to fourth spot in the latest ICC men's ODI team rankings after completing a clean sweep over West Indies in a recently concluded home series.
New Zealand with 125 points are on top of the table while England are a point below at 124 and Australia are placed third at 107.
Before the start of the series, Pakistan were placed fifth in the rankings with a rating of 102 points but it must be mentioned that India haven't played any ODIs since the home series against the West Indies few months back.
With a 3-0 victory over the Windies, Pakistan leapfrogged to No. 4 with rating of 106, leaving India behind a notch below at 105.
India, though, will have a chance to climb the rankings as they play England and West Indies -- three ODIs each -- before Pakistan play their next ODI series in August.
Pakistan have enjoyed a brilliant last couple of years in the 50-over format.
Apart from the blip against England away from home, they have won all their ODI series,including 2-1 series wins against Zimbabwe and South Africa.
They defeated Australia by the same margin when they came to visit Pakistan for the first time since 1998. West Indies stood no chance against Pakistan as they were rampaged 3-0.
This period of upsurge has come under the captaincy of Babar Azam, who has led by example in all formats of the game.
With his recent century in the first match against West Indies, he became the first batter to score three consecutive ODI centuries twice, having previously achieved the feat in 2016 as well.
And with a fifty in the second ODI, he broke the world record for most consecutive 50+ scores (9) in men's international cricket across all formats. The top-ranked ODI batter has built a troop of trusted players along the way.
One of them is Imam-ul-Haq, who has enjoyed a purple patch of late and has seven scores of 50-plus in his last seven ODIs to show for his efforts.
ICC Men's 'Player of the Year' Shaheen Shah Afridi has been the leader of the pack of bowlers that consists of Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan, among others.
Also Read : Angelo Mathews, Pakistan's Tuba Hassan win ICC 'Player of Month' award
Shuttlers Manashi Joshi, Manisha Ramadass bag gold at Canada Int'l Para Tournament
Ottawa (Canada), Jun 13 (Badminton News) Indian para shuttlers continued their great run of form as they clinched nine medals including two gold by Manasi Joshi and Manisha Ramadass at the Canada International Para Badminton here.
Joshi, the reigning world champion, produced a fine performance winning all her round robin matches over fellow Indian Parul Parmar, France's Coraline Bergeron, Noriko Ito of Japan and Ukrainian Oksana Kozyna.
In the final, Joshi rallied from a game down to take the second game and fought it out till the end before winning 21-18, 15-21, 22-20 against her Ukrainian opponent. This is Joshi's fourth title win in the women's singles event this season.
"Extremely delighted to be winning Gold in Singles & Bronze in Mixed Doubles with @RUTHICK_INDIA at Canada para-badminton international. With this my one month tour to the Middle East & North America ends," tweeted Joshi, who also claimed the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 bronze with Ruthick Ragupathi.
Ramadass too followed her Fazza Dubai 2022 International title triumph by winning the women's singles SU5 gold medal. The 17-year-old from Chennai kept her composure and fought it out to pull off a 27-25, 21-9 victory over Japan's Akiko Sugino in the final. This is her fourth women's singles gold in the SU5 category this season.
However, Paralympic gold medallist Pramod Bhagat had to settle for the silver going down fighting against his arch rival Daniel Bethell 14-21, 21-9, 15-21. This is Bhagat's second defeat to England's Paralympic silver medallist since the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Also Read : Sindhu, Sen eye consistency as focus shifts to Indonesia Open
News Source : PTI
Angelo Mathews, Pakistan's Tuba Hassan win ICC 'Player of Month' award
Dubai (UAE), Jun 13 (Cricket News) Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews and Pakistan’s debutante spin sensation Tuba Hassan were on Monday voted the ICC's 'Player of the Month' for May in their respective categories.
Mathews was selected the stand-out male player after piling on runs over the course of his side’s impressive ICC World Test Championship series victory against Bangladesh.
Amassing 344 runs at an average of 172 over the course of the two Tests, Mathews registered a huge score of 199 in the draw at Chattogram, and a supreme 145 not out in Mirpur.
His epic innings in the second Test enabled his side to post an imposing total of 506 and complete a 10-wicket victory, gaining valuable points in the ICC WTC standings.
Mathews becomes the first Sri Lankan player to be named the Player of the Month since its inception in January 2021, scooping the award ahead of fellow nominees Asitha Fernando (Sri Lanka), and Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh).
Mathews said, "I am absolutely honoured and delighted to be the ICC Men’s Player of the Month. I would like to congratulate Asitha Fernando and Mushfiqur Rahim who were front runners for this award, on their spectacular performances.
On the other hand, Hassan was awarded the to honour after enjoying significant success with the ball during her debut international series.
The 21-year-old leg spinner was instrumental in restricting scores set by opponents Sri Lanka in the three-game T20I series in Pakistan, where she captured the Player of the Series award, taking five wickets at an average of 8.8 and an economy rate of 3.66.
The highlight was during her debut international fixture in Karachi, in which she grabbed three for eight to limit the tourists to 106, setting the platform for a six-wicket win.
In securing this month’s award, Hassan overcomes fellow nominees in compatriot Bismah Maroof, and Jersey’s Trinity Smith.
Tuba is the first female player from Pakistan to win in the award.
Also Read : Kotak, Bali, Bahutule part of India support staff for Ireland tour under Laxman
News Source : PTI
Sri Lanka fined 40 percent of match fee for slow-over rate in second T20 against Australia
Dubai, Jun 10 (Cricket News) Sri Lanka have been fined 40 per cent of their match fee for maintaining slow over-rate against Australia in the second T20 in Colombo.
Ranjan Madugalle of the ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees imposed the sanction after Dasun Shanaka’s side was ruled to be two overs short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.
"In accordance with Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined 20 per cent of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time," read an ICC statement.
"Shanaka pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing," it added.
On-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Prageeth Rambukwella, third umpire Lyndon Hannibal and fourth umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge levelled the charge.
Australia lead the three-match series 2-0.
Also Read : India, SA teams reach Odisha as Cuttack gears up for Sunday's T20I
News Source : PTI
Women's ODI Rankings: Mithali maintains 7th spot; Mandhana remains at 9th
Dubai (UAE), Jun 7 (Cricket News) Talismanic Indian batter Mithali Raj continued to hold on to her seventh position while compatriot Smriti Mandhana also remained in the ninth position in the latest ICC Women's ODI batting rankings, released on Tuesday.
Australia's Alyssa Healy continued to lead the rankings chart followed by England's Natalie Sciver. Both the batters had a superb show at the Women's World Cup held in New Zealand earlier this year.
Veteran Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami also continued to be on the fifth position in the bowling list.
Veteran Pakistan opener Sidra Ameen has reaped rewards for her memorable series against Sri Lanka, that saw her make a big leap in the latest batting chart.
Sidra scored 218 runs in the series at an impressive average of 72.66, including a match-winning 123 in the second ODI game against the Lankans. The 30-year-old has now moved up 19 places to a career-best 35th position.
Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu also made a notable progress, climbing six spots to be placed at the 23rd position. The 32-year-old had scored 101 in the second ODI against Pakistan and totalled 142 in the three-match series.
The bowling rankings was led by Englishwomen Sophie Ecclestone, while South African Shabnim Ismail, and Australia's Jess Jonassen took the second and third positions respectively.
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News Source : PTI
UAE's ILT20 to be held from Jan 6 to Feb 12, 2023; Reliance, KKR, GMR, Adani own 4 out of 6 teams
Dubai, Jun 6 (Cricket News) The Emirates Cricket Board will conduct the inaugural International League T20 from January 6 to February 12, 2023, with three IPL franchises owning outfits in the six-team league.
Out of the six franchises, five are Indian companies including Reliance Industries which owns Mumbai Indians, Shah Rukh Khan's Knight Riders Group, Delhi Capitals co-owners GMR, Adani Sportsline and Capri Global apart from Lancer Capitals, a company belonging to Manchester United owners Glazer family.
Emirates Cricket Board chairman Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan said: "Emirates Cricket Board is delighted to welcome Reliance Industries, Kolkata Knight Riders, Capri Global, GMR, Lancer Capital, Adani Sportsline, broadcaster ZEE and all other stake-holders to the newly established T20 League of UAE.
"Such illustrious, experienced names and entities as partners bodes well for the UAE T20 League. Through the commitment of these partners they have demonstrated confidence in the Emirates Cricket Board as we take the game into the future," the ECB chairman added.
The tournament will also provide a valuable platform for Emirates Cricket to take their local talent to a higher level.
Also Read : England start new era with a 5 wicket win over New Zealand at Lords
News Source : PTI
Indian domestic players can walk into South Africa's side any day: Luus
Dublin, Jun 2 (Cricket News) Indian domestic players have benefitted immensely from the Women's T20 Challenge and they can "walk into the South African side any day", believes Proteas captain Sune Luus.
The 26-year-old played, who won the the FairBreak Invitational tournament in Dubai and the Women's T20 Challenge last month with the Tornadoes and Supernovas respectively, said it was "a massive opportunity and an awesome learning curve." "The IPL was a bit of a better standard. With FairBreak there are a lot of girls from the Associates, some girls who used spikes for the first time, who played on a turf wicket for the first time so it was a whole different experience," Luus was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'.
"The most surprising thing for FairBreak was the standard of cricket. You don't really know about Austrians playing cricket or countries like that. But to see the standard they are at and the love of the game, it was exceptional to see.
"You can't compare it to India. They are fanatics of cricket. They absolutely love it. And even the domestic players can walk into the South African side any day. The standards were a bit different but overall it was good cricket," added Luus, who is in Ireland for a white-ball series.
The BCCI is planning to start the women's IPL by 2023 and the inaugural edition is expected to have five or six teams.
Batting for the expansion of T20 franchise cricket, Luus said: "It's an opportunity for some of the domestic players within countries to play with international players from around the world and obviously gain experience and learn from them.
"It's important to have T20 leagues across the world to get to know different players and play in different conditions." Luus also acknowledges that more franchise leagues will mean international cricket may suffer.
"It's just a case of finding the balance with international cricket and finding the time to get enough international cricket in the calendar.
"It's a very difficult thing because we have ICC points up for grabs, we have a Test match coming up which is quite new for a lot of the players and in-between that we have to focus on T20 cricket for the Commonwealth Games," she said.
Also Read : India to play 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is vs West Indies between July 22-August 7; two games in Florida
News Source : PTI
Time to shift focus on CWG, gold is high on priority: Chirag
New Delhi, May 31 (Badminton News) The sweet taste of the Thomas Cup title win will linger but Chirag Shetty, one of the architects of that historic triumph, knows it's time to move on and focus on the next challenge at hand -- Commonwealth Games.
One half of India's best doubles pair, Chirag played a pivotal role both on and off the court to help India achieve an unprecedented win at the Thomas Cup tournament, considered to be the 'world cup' of shuttle sport.
"The feeling of that week still remains but it's time to get back to training and face the next challenges, starting with the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Asian Games," the 24-year-old from Mumbai told PTI.
"We have done well in Commonwealth Games last time and the Thomas cup win will act as a booster for us to retain the mixed team gold." India had won the mixed team gold at 2018 CWG for the first time and Chirag feels they can repeat the performance this year too.
"Competition is much tougher in Thomas Cup. So winning the trophy for me was simply the highlight of Indian badminton. CWG is a mixed team event, so naturally the dynamics will change.
"Malaysia has a strong team this time also. They might be seeded higher than us because of their women's doubles and mixed doubles players, but if we are able to have that fire once again and urge to win, we can retain the gold." Chirag and his men's doubles partner Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will also look to change the colour of their individual silver medal that they had secured at Gold Coast.
"Last time we were very new in the circuit. But now a lot of things have changed. We are now in the top 10, we have the experience of competing and winning against top players. So winning the gold will be high on our priority," he said.
The Commonwealth Games is scheduled to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8 this year.
But first up for the world number 8 Indian pair is the Indonesia Open Super 1000 and Malaysia Open 750 tournament in June.
"We have sent our entries for Indonesia Super 1000 but we are still not cent per cent sure if we will play that event as Satwik is recovering from a knee injury," said Chirag, who along with Satwik, had pulled out of Thailand Open due to the injury.
"It is nothing major but as a precaution we might skip the event as CWG is more important and we need to be in the best shape possible. We have been playing for a week and half during Thomas Cup and were exhausted also. We will play the Malaysia Open for sure." Chirag and Satwik dished out some superlative performance at Bangkok as they won all their matches, with the loss against Chinese Taipei's Lee yang and Wang Chi-Lin in the last league match being an exception.
"I was extremely upset after that match. I also spoke to my mental trainer. I made some silly mistakes and couldn't get a point for my team but (Kidambi) Srikanth told me just to forget about the match and focus on the quarterfinals.
"Thereafter when I went to the court, I just wanted to do everything possible to get that point, so that I have no regrets. We managed to silent Malaysia, who had a huge support." Talking about his role in the team, Chirag said: "I enjoyed my role as someone who was neither a newcomer nor a veteran. So I focussed on creating team bonding as much as possible whether it was via making Instagram reels or dancing after the matches. We even got Srikanth to dance."
Also Read : Manisha Ramadass win twin gold medals at Fazza Dubai Para Badminton
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Milind leads IGU trials for World Amateurs; Avani trails Smriti among women
Hyderabad, May 31 (Golf News) In-form Milind Soni got off to a flying start in the Indian Golf Union-organised trials for the World Amateur Championships to be held later this year.
The 17-year-old Telengana golfer, who wore India colours at the Asia-Pacific Amateurs last year in Dubai, shot a superb five-under 65 that included a late eagle took a three-shot lead after the first round at the Hyderabad Golf Association course.
A total of 14 amateurs in men's section and nine in women's section teed off in the trials.
Milind, winner of the IGA Assam Amateurs in April and then the IGU AP Amateurs in May, is now looking at making a place in the Indian squad for the World Amateur Team Championship in France.
Among the girls, Smriti Bhargava edge past the fancied Avani Prashanth to hold the lead.
Smriti shot two-over 72 while Avani carded 73. Saanvi Somu scored 74 and Sneha Singh, who alongside Avani went to the recent Queen Sirikit Cup, scored 75 and was fourth.
The 2022 World Amateur Team Championships (WATC) for 2022 will be held near Paris in France. The 29th edition of WATC for women for the Espirito Santo Trophy will be held from August 24 to 27 and the 32nd men's championship for the Eisenhower Trophy will be played from August 31 to September 3.
The Le Golf National (Albatross Course) and the Golf de Saint-Nom-La Breteche (Red Course) will be used for the events.
Milind started superbly and had four birdies and no bogeys on the front nine, while the back nine started with five pars. Then he birdied 15th and had an eagle on 17th while dropping shots on 16th and 18th for one-under back nine and a total of five-under 65.
Chugh had five birdies against three bogeys in a round of 68, while Pranav had four birdies against three bogeys in his 69.
Chugh (68) was lying second, and Pranav (69) was third, while Shaurya Bhattacharya and Yuvraj Singh were tied fourth with cards of 70 each. Krishnav Nikhil Chopraa and Tushar Pannu, with rounds of 72 each, were tied sixth.
Two-time All India amateur champion, Aryan Roopa Anand and Akshay Neranjen along with Shat Mishra were tied eighth with 73 each.
Also Read : India's Shubhankar Sharma finishes 14th at Dutch Open (DP World Tour)
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India's Shubhankar Sharma finishes 14th at Dutch Open (DP World Tour)
Cromvoirt (The Netherlands), May 30 (Golf News) India's Shubhankar Sharma completed a good week, laced with 18 birdies, with a Tied-14th finish at the Dutch Open on the DP World Tour.
Sharma had as many as 18 birdies over four days. But the Indian also gave away 13 bogeys.
The finish would nevertheless give Sharma a big boost, considering he missed four cuts in five previous starts.
After three birdies in his opening 71, Sharma had six birdies in a second round 71 and six more in his third round 69.
The final round saw two birdies on front nine but he gave away three bogeys in his first six holes on back nine before closing with a birdie on 18th for the third time in four days.
With a packed calendar ahead, Sharma will hope his birdie-making skills come good even as he works on cutting down the bogeys to improve on his 17th place on the Race to Dubai rankings.
The other two Indians, Gaganjeet Bhullar (73-74) and SSP Chawrasia (74-77) had missed the cut.
Meanwhile, the Dundee-based Frenchman Victor Perez, 29, was exceptional in clutch putting and held off Kiwi Ryan Fox in a play-off to win his second DP World Tour title.
Perez started the final day in a share of the lead but following Fox’s great show, he was three shots back as he stood on the 17th tee.
Fox double bogeyed the 18th and Perez birdied the penultimate hole and then missed a six footer for birdie. The duo went into a tie and a play-off down the par-five 18th.
Perez also earns himself a spot at The 150th Open Championship this summer alongside Fox and Pole Adrian Meronk, with the top three players in the top ten not exempt heading to St Andrews.
Meronk finished a shot out of the play-off after a 68, a score matched by German Marcel Schneider who finished at 11 under.
Swede Sebastian Soderberg and England's Matt Wallace were at ten under, two shots ahead of another Swede in Alexander Björk and Portugal's Ricardo Gouveia.
Also Read : Indian golfer Vani Kapoor finishes T-41st in Belgium
News Source : PTI
Manisha Ramadass win twin gold medals at Fazza Dubai Para Badminton
Dubai, May 29 (Badminton News) Manisha Ramadass claimed two gold medals, while Paralympic champion Pramod Bhagat also secured the yellow metal at the 4th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International here on Sunday.
In women's SU5 category, Manisha defeated Japan's Akiko Sugino 21-17 21-11 and then combined with Mandeep Kaur to outwit Thailand's Nipada Saensupa and Chanida Srinavakul 21-9 21-13 in just 21 minutes. In men's singles SL3, Bhagat, who won two gold medals at the recent Bahrain 2022 International, defeated compatriot Nitish Kumar 19-21 21-17 21-17 to emerge victories.
"I am very happy to keep the winning momentum in singles, but unfortunately, we fell short in mixed doubles. This win will boost my preparation and training for Canada International," the 33-year-old Bhagat said.
"Manisha is really a good emerging player in SU5 and I am sure we will deliver good results in future," Bhagat added.
Manasi Joshi also claimed gold in SL3, beating fellow Indian Mandeep Kaur 16-21 24-22 21-14 in 43 minutes.
Also Read : Toshniwal loses in semifinals of Austrian Open International series
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Toshniwal loses in semifinals of Austrian Open International series
New Delhi, May 29 (Badminton News) India's Smit Toshniwal suffered a straight-game loss in the women's singles semi-finals after an impressive week at the Austrian Open International series in Graz on Sunday.
Sixth seed Toshniwal, who had reached the finals of Odisha Super 100 and Slovenia International, lost 13-21 11-21 to top seed Wen Chi Hsu of Chinese Taipei in 28 minutes.
The 21-year-old from Nasik, who trains at Chetan Anand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad, had defeated compatriot Keyura Mopati in the quarterfinals.
In the earlier rounds, she had beaten Indonesia's Mutiara Ayu Pusapitasari and England's Estelle Van Leeuwen.
Also Read : Bhagat, Dhillon, Joshi enter finals of Fazza Dubai Para Badminton
News Source : PTI
Bhagat, Dhillon, Joshi enter finals of Fazza Dubai Para Badminton
Dubai, May 28 (Badminton News) Top Indian para shuttlers including Paralympic champion Pramod Bhagat and reigning world champion Manasi Joshi battled past their opponents to enter the finals at the 4th Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International here on Saturday.
In total, nine Indian para shuttlers have made it to seven finals scheduled to be played on Sunday.
In men's singles SL3, Bhagat, who won two gold medals at the recent Bahrain 2022 International, had to come back from a game down each to defeat an untiring Daisuke Fujihara of Japan, who eventually faltered after 18-all in the third game.
Bhagat won 14-21, 21-14, 21-18 after fighting for 1 hour 16 minutes.
"I never thought the game would go too long. I was trying to take control of the game but he was just not giving up, even though he looked tired. But I feel he gave up after 18-all in the third game," said the 33-year-old who will play compatriot Nitesh Kumar in the final.
Kumar beat fellow Indian Manoj Sarkar, the Paralympic bronze medallist, in straight games 21-17, 21-16.
In the men's singles SL4, as expected Tarun Dhillon and Indonesian Fredy Setiwan are set to play the final.
"I am keenly looking forward to the game. In Tokyo, I lost the semi-final to him so it will be sort of a revenge match for me. He is my greatest opponent in Asia, so this will be a good exposure for the Asian Para Games," said Dhillon, who defeated Rickard Nilsson 21-15. 21-17.
Setiawan will in fact play in three finals, including the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 with Khalimatus Sadiyah and men’s doubles SL3-SL4 with Dwiyoko Dwiyoko.
Like India, Indonesia also made it to eight finals including an all-Indonesian game in men's doubles Sl3-SL4.
Manasi vs Mandeep in SL3 final =================== Among women, it will be an all-Indian tussle for the gold medal in the women's singles SL3.
Joshi overcame a second game scare to defeat Australia's Celine Aurelie Vinot 21-13, 22-24, 21-19 and book the final against Mandeep Kaur who defeated Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar 21-15, 21-9.
"It was a good match. I always get nervous when I play with Parul didi. She is senior to me. I tried to make her move around the court," said the 26-year-old Kaur who aims to qualify for the World Championships.
Among others, promising Manisha Ramadass and Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan have advanced to the final as well.
Promising Ramadass, Nithya advance ====================== While Ramadass had to dip deep to beat Denmark’s Cathrine Rosengren 24-22, 22-20, Nithya defeated Thailand’s Chae Saeyang 21-18, 21-10. Ramadass meets Japan’s Akiko Sugino, whom she defeated in three games at the Brazil International.
Kaur and Ramadass are also through to the women’s doubles SL3-SU5 finals after getting a walkover from Parmar and Palak Kohli.
Meanwhile, Dhinagaran Pandurangan and Sivarajan Solaimalai will face top seeds from Hong Kong, Chu Man Kai and Wong Chun Yim in the men’s doubles SH6 final.
By definition, the SL3 category is for players with movement moderately affected one side of the body, both legs, or the absence of limbs.
SL4 is for players with movement affected at a low level on one side of the body, in both legs, or the minor absence of one limb.
SU5 is for players with movement affected at a low level in one arm, a high degree in the non-playing arm the absence of one limb, or the minor loss of one limb.
Also Read : Fazza Dubai Para badminton: Bhagat, 4 other Indians enter semifinals
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Fazza Dubai Para badminton: Bhagat, 4 other Indians enter semifinals
Dubai, May 28 (Badminton News) Paralympic gold medallist Pramod Bhagat was made to toil hard by fellow junior Nehal Gupta before emerging winner in three games to enter the semifinals of the fourth Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2022 here on Saturday.
Bhagat, who won two gold medals at the recent Bahrain Para Badminton International 2022, came back from a game down to beat Gupta 18-21 21-15 21-11 in the men's singles SL3 event.
"I took time to get my rhythm in the match. By that time, Nehal started playing well. He is improving fast and is highly skilled. He has a bright future," said Bhagat, who will next face Japan's Daisuke Fujihara, the Paralympic bronze medallist, in mixed doubles.
By definition, the SL3 category is for players with movement moderately affected one side of the body, both legs, or the absence of limbs.
In men's singles SL4 category, Tarun Dhillon also advanced to the semifinals with a 21-15 20-22 21-14 win over Korea's Cho Nadan.
SL4 is for players with movement affected at a low level on one side of the body, in both legs, or the minor absence of one limb.
The Haryana-based shuttler also entered the men's doubles SL3-SL4 semifinals partnering Nitesh Kumar.
Joshi, Parmar, Ramadass, Kaur in semis too *********************************** The women's SL3 semifinal line up has three Indians with reigning world champion Manasi Joshi set to face Australia's Celine Aurelie Vinot while Mandeep Kaur will meet experienced Parul Parmar in the other last-four match.
Joshi is also through to the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 semifinal partnering Ruthick Ragupathi after they pulled off a come-from-behind win over the new pairing of Bhagat and Manisha Ramadass 21-12 16-21 19-21.
SU5 is for players with movement affected at a low level in one arm, a high degree in the non-playing arm the absence of one limb, or the minor loss of one limb.
Meanwhile, Parmar and Palak Kohli have also advanced to the women's doubles SL3-SU5 semifinals.
Ramadass also progressed to women's singles SU5 event, defeating Italy's Rosa Efomo De Marco in straight games 21-17 21-11.
She will play Cathrine Rosengren of Denmark in the semifinals.
Also Read : Sen to train with Axelson in Dubai, Sindhu gets approval to take fitness trainer on tour under TOPS
News Source : PTI
Babar can become the first batter to be ranked No.1 batter in all formats: Karthik
Dubai, May 27 (Cricket News) Veteran India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik reckons Babar Azam will soon become the top-ranked batter across formats, adding that Pakistan skipper is reaping the benefits of the subtle changes made in his batting technique.
The 27-year-old, who has been a consistent campaigner across all three formats, currently holds the top spot among batters in T20Is as well as ODIs and Karthik is confident Babar can become the first player in the history of the sport to be ranked No.1 across all three formats.
"One-hundred per cent (he is capable of achieving the No.1 ranking in all three formats). He (Babar) is a high-quality player who is at the peak of his batting prowess and he has got some Test matches coming up," Karthik said on The ICC Review.
"He has been phenomenal in all three formats of the game and he has done well in different batting positions too. I think he has the potential. He has got all the following of Pakistan helping him in abundance to go on and do special things for his country," he added.
The seasoned wicketkeeper-batter feels Babar has tweaked his batting technique recently which has helped the right-hander become a better player and his timing of the ball is now on par with all modern-day batters.
"The two things that struck me when I watched him bat is his balance and his striking point when he plays a ball.
"Whether it is on the front foot or the back foot, his ability to strike the ball more often than not under his eyes, has been phenomenal.
"He strikes the ball at the point where it is optimum power for where the ball is pitched and that makes him a very special player." In the longest format of the game, Babar is ranked fifth in the world, behind Australia's Marnus Labuschagne and the 'Big Four' of India's Virat Kohli, England's Joe Root, Australia's Steve Smith and New Zealand's Kane Williamson.
"It is a very strong 'Fab Four' that we are talking about and they have obviously been there for much longer, but there is no doubt that Babar has all the credentials and he is going to make it a 'Fab Five'." "There is no doubt he is there or thereabout ... he is a very special player." Karthik believes Babar will continue to develop further as he learns how to adapt to different conditions that players face when playing away from home.
"When you play international cricket, you have got to keep changing a little bit here and there to keep improving your technique,” he said.
"Sometimes just by one per cent (improvement), you can go on and achieve success in that particular tour you are on, so I think he has definitely tweaked his technique a bit here and there over a period of time."
Also Read : RCB look to reach their second final as they take on RR in Qualifier 2
News Source : PTI
Sen to train with Axelson in Dubai, Sindhu gets approval to take fitness trainer on tour under TOPS
New Delhi, May 26 (Badminton News) World Championship bronze medallist Lakshya Sen is all set to train with World No. 1 Victor Axelson in Dubai from Sunday with the Sports Ministry's Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) approving his request, keeping in mind the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The MOC also cleared two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu's request for her fitness trainer M Srikanth Madapalli to accompany her abroad under Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Sen, the 20-year-old from Almora, was part of the Indian men's team that won the prestigious Thomas Cup this month and is a big gold medal prospect at the Birmingham event to be held from July 28 to August 8.
"Lakshay is set to train With Axelson in Dubai from May 29th till 5th June (8 days) and then head out to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 19th to train at the Malaysian Training Centre from 19th till 26th June (8 days)," the ministry said.
"Both the training proposals were approved by MOC in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.
"The sanctioned amount will cover the cost of his and his physio's air travel, boarding and lodging, and out-of-pocket allowance among other expenses." The ministry also approved Sindhu's proposal for financial assistance towards her fitness trainer's travel along with her.
"Srikanth is set to accompany Sindhu during Indonesia Masters (7-12th June), Indonesia Open (14-19th June), Malaysia Masters (28 June to 3 July), and Malaysia Open (5-10th July), and Singapore Open (12-17th July)," it said.
Sindhu, a former world champion, won two Super 300 tournaments this year at Syed Modi International in Lucknow and Swiss Open in Basel earlier this year.
Also Read : BAI awards cash prizes to Thomas Cup-winning contingent
News Source : PTI
Kohli, Rohit, Ashwin maintain their top-10 positions in ICC Test rankings
Dubai, May 25 (Cricket News) Bangladesh's Liton Das and Sri Lankan veteran Angelo Mathews have made valuable gains in the ICC Men's Test Rankings after fine performances in the drawn first match while there has been no movement in latest top-10 list issued by the world body.
In the batter's list, Marnus Labuschagne maintained his pole position while India captain Rohit Sharma and his predecessor Virat Kohli remained static at eighth and 10th place respectively.
Similarly in bowling, Pat Cummins (901 points) has a 51-point lead over his nearest rival Ravichandran Ashwin, who is followed by countryman Jasprit Bumrah.
India's Ravindra Jadeja also remained on top of the all-rounders' table.
With only Sri Lanka and Bangladesh engaged in a WTC series, it was inevitable that players from those two nations earned points.
Wicketkeeper-batter Liton has moved up three places to 17th after notching 88 in Bangladesh’s only innings, while Player of the Match Mathews' knock of 199 in the first innings has lifted him five places to 21st among batters in the list led by Australia’s Labuschagne.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal are other Bangladesh batters to advance in the latest weekly rankings update after scoring centuries that took Bangladesh to a total of 465.
Mushfiqur, who notched 105, is up four places to 25th, while Tamim has gained six places to reach 27th position following his innings of 133.
In the rankings for bowlers, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has inched up one place to 29th after finishing with four wickets in the match, while off-spinner Nayeem Hasan's career-best figures of six for 105 in the first innings see him progress nine places to 53rd.
Sri Lanka medium-fast bowler Kasun Rajitha has moved from 75th to 61st after taking four wickets and Asitha Fernando is now in the top 100 of the list led by Australia captain Cummins.
Also Read : You've got to swallow your ego sometimes and hang in there: Buttler on jittery start against GT
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Hardik Pandya says his name 'always sells, no problem with it'
Kolkata, May 25 (Cricket News) In his short international career, Hardik Pandya has seen it all -- highs and lows, injuries, surgery, being embroiled in controversies -- but he says he faces them with a smiling face.
Putting behind all these, Pandya has shone not just as an all-rounder but as a leader, taking an under-rated Gujarat Titans to the final in a dream IPL debut season.
"People always talk, that's their job. I can't help," Pandya said in a virtual media interaction after leading the Titans to a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday night to seal a final berth.
"The name 'Hardik Pandya' always sells. I've no problem with it, I just take it easy with a smiling face." After making his international debut in 2016 following his success with Mumbai Indians, expectations skyrocketed with Pandya as he was compared with the legendary World Cup-winning India skipper Kapil Dev.
In 2019, Pandya was suspended for his loose talk on women on 'Koffee with Karan'. He later apologised to the inquiry committee of the BCCI.
The 28-year-old star all-rounder made his last appearance for India against Namibia in the T20 World Cup in Dubai on November 8 and then struggled to manage his bowling workload post his back surgery.
Released by Mumbai Indians, Hardik was picked by Gujarat's for Rs 15 crore ahead of this IPL season.
Questions were raised when he was handed captaincy for a team making its debut, but Pandya has delivered, be it with the bat, ball or in his 'Captain Cool' demeanour, much like his mentor MS Dhoni.
"Obviously Mahi bhai has played a big role in my life. He's a dear brother, a dear friend, and family to me," Pandya said.
"...I've learnt a lot of good things from him. For me, it was more about being individually strong which I'm really proud of myself as well how I was able to manage all the parts." Mostly coming at number four, Pandya is at the fifth spot in the chart for most prolific batters this season, with 453 runs at a 45-plus average and a healthy strike rate of 132.84.
Pandya has also come handy with the ball, giving crucial breakthroughs for his team. He has bowled 26.3 overs so far and taken five wickets with an economy of 7.73.
"Before the captaincy as well, I always made sure that I approached all the situations in a cool-headed way. Generally, you make better decisions that way," he said about his recipe for success in this IPL.
"For me in my life, and in my cricketing journey, it was important to give that 10-second extra rather than rushing in." Chasing a stiff 189 for a win on a tricky Eden wicket, Hardik played the role of an anchor with an unbeaten 40, while David Miller finished off in style with 68 not out from 38 balls.
"It was very simple for me. I've been in this kind of situation before as well. I try to make sure that I'm neutral and calm. It helps to make the right decision," Pandya said.
"If you are too excited sometimes or too hyped up you tend to make wrong decisions where you don't need to. For me, it was important to create partnerships and be there till the end.
"When Miller came, I had to make sure that I kind of take pressure off him, and score quick runs and you saw what Miller did after he got set." Gujarat needed 16 runs in the final over and Miller smashed Prasidh Krishna for a hat-trick of sixes to seal the deal.
"I am genuinely proud of the way he (Miller) has lifted his game. He is genuinely a damn good, wonderful guy. I was proud to play with him, enjoy it. I always wanted good things to happen to him,” Hardik said in praise of the South African.
Miller started slowly and was on 10 off 14 balls when Pandya was scoring freely but the skipper then slowed down as the South African stepped it up in their match-winning unbroken partnership of 106.
"A lot of people counted David Miller out. But for us, he's always a match-winner from the time we bought him at the auctions. We always knew what he's capable of," Pandya said of Miller who was bought for Rs 3 crore.
"We always expected him to do that. It was about giving him that importance, that love, and clarity what we expect from him. if he fails, it's okay, it's just a game." Pandya also hailed star spinner Rashid Khan's tidy bowling show of 4-0-15-0 that put the brakes on Rajasthan Royals scoring in the mid overs.
"He (Rashid) plays a big role, he's been a match-winner for his country, his previous franchise. He's always a proven match-winner. There is no difference.
"I just relax when I give him the ball and let him do his magic. All the time, he comes up with new magic tricks. Always wonderful to have him in your team," Pandya said.
Asked about Sunday's IPL final at home ground at Motera, Pandya said, "It's going to be fantastic, such a massive stadium, our home ground, home state.
"I'm assuming we're going to get a full house supporting us there. We're all excited, looking forward to the final there," he signed off.
Also Read : Remember the Titans: Killer Miller, Captain Pandya take Gujarat franchise to IPL final
News Source : PTI
Indian contingent finish with 23 medals at Bahrain Para Badminton
New Delhi, May 22 (Badminton News) The Indian para badminton team finished with a rich haul of 23 medals, including seven golds, at the 1st Bahrain Para Badminton International Championships in Manama.
Promising doubles shuttler Manisha Ramdass shot into limelight with her twin gold medal show, while Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan (WS SH6) and Dhinagaran Pandurangan and Sivarajan Solaimalai (Doubles SH6) also claimed the other top honours for India.
Top para shuttlers Pramod Bhagat and Tarun Dhillon also clinched couple of gold medals each.
Pairing up with Bhagat, Manisha got the better of Thailand's Siripong Teamarrom and Nipada Saensupa 21-14, 21-11 to take the gold in mixed doubles.
Manisha also produced a strong show combining with Mandeep Kaur to win the gold in women's doubles SL3-SU5 finals. They took just 23 minutes to defeat the Paralympian pair of Palak Kohli and Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar 21-11, 21-11.
Asian Youth Para Games champion Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan continued her good run of form to defeat England's Rachel Choong 21-15, 21-15, while Mandeep settled for the second place after going down to Turkey's Halime Yildiz 21-5, 21-17 in the women's SL3 finals.
In doubles SH6, Dhinagaran Pandurangan and Sivarajan Solaimalai took the gold after Hong Kong's Chu Man Kai and Wong Chun Yim retired with one game all 21-12,10-21.
"Our para shuttlers have yet again come out with great results. I am very happy with the way the players are delivering excellent results in back-to-back events. Though there's still some work needed to be done and one of the main focuses will be on their fitness," chief national coach Gaurav Khanna said in a release.
"There are quite a few names who are doing really well in the recent tournaments. We have high hopes from promising names like Manisha Ramdass etc." The Indian team will next be in action at the 4th Fazza Dubai 2022 Para Badminton International that gets underway from Tuesday.
Also Read : Bahrain Para Badminton: Bhagat, Dhillon bag golds as India set for rich medal haul
News Source : PTI
Alyssa Healy, Keshav Maharaj win ICC 'Player of Month' award
Dubai, May 9 (Cricket News) Australian women's team star keeper-batter Alyssa Healy and South African men's side spinner Keshav Maharaj were on Monday voted the ICC's 'Player of the Month' for April in their respective categories.
Healy was selected the stand-out female player in April following her match-winning innings of 170 in the Women's Cricket World Cup final in Christchurch, setting a record for the highest-ever score in the summit clash of any ICC global event.
"I am very humbled to win this month's award ahead of two outstanding players. It was great to see Janet Mbabazi's name in the mix after a stellar tri-series for Uganda," Healy was quoted as saying in a release issued by the ICC.
"I'm looking forward to seeing her name in contention for more ICC Awards over the years to come. Thanks to all the fans for voting and supporting the women's game. It’s been a great start to 2022 for our sport and I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year holds," she added.
Proteas spinner Maharaj got the award for his prolific performance with the ball during their recent ICC World Test Championship series victory over Bangladesh on home soil.
The spinner proved a constant threat to the tourists, taking 16 wickets at an average of 12.12, celebrating two seven-wicket hauls in the second innings of both Tests.
His wickets were significant catalysts for his side's 2-0 series triumph, winning comfortably on both occasions -- by 220 runs in Durban and 332 runs in Gqeberha.
Acknowledging his award, Maharaj said: "I'm honoured and privileged to receive the ICC Player of the Month award for April and I want to thank my teammates for helping me win this award.
"I am really happy with how the team has performed this past season and I hope we can build on this to reach greater heights as a unit."
Also Read : Conway credits Dhoni for big score against DC, says skipper told him to come down and hit straight against spinners
News Source : PTI
Ignored from TOPS core list, World No. 3 Para shuttler Kadam calls it 'unfair' selection, wants Thakur's intervention
New Delhi, May 7 (Badminton News) Para shuttler Sukant Kadam on Saturday expressed his displeasure after being ignored from the TOPS Core list, saying he is disappointed at the "unfair" selection process and sought Sport Minister Anurag Thakur's intervention in the matter.
Kadam, the World No. 3 and current national champion in the SL4 Category, didn't find a place in the TOPS Core List which was released on Friday by the Sports Authority of India.
"I am so disappointed and discouraged with @Media_SAI currently world number 3 and national champion but it's not sufficient to be in #TOPScheme. Requesting Hon'ble @ianuragthakur sir to urgently look into this unfair selection," he tweeted.
Kadam had won the gold medal at the 4th Para National Tournament in Odisha and followed it up with a gold and silver at the Spanish Para badminton International II.
He also won a bronze at the Spanish Para Badminton International and bagged silver at the Brazil Para Badminton International 2022.
Kadam is currently training in Peru and will participate in Bahrain Para-Badminton International (May 16-21), 4th Fazza Dubai Para-Badminton International (May 23 to 29) and Canada Para-Badminton International (June 6-12).
SAI's Mission Olympic Cell had included six para athletes to the core team of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
The list included four para shuttlers Manasi Joshi (Badminton - SL3), Nithya Sre (Badminton - SH6), Mandeep Kaur (Badminton - SL3) and Manisha Ramdass (Badminton - SU5).
Also Read : Sindhu, Lakshya lead India's quest for medal at Thomas and Uber Cup Final
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Annual ICC Rankings: Australia are No. 1 in Tests, India remain on top in T20, NZ are No. 1 ranked ODI team
Dubai, May 4 (Cricket News) India under new captain Rohit Sharma finished the 2021-22 season as the world's number one ranked T20 team after a string of impressive performances at home but were a good nine points behind Australia in the annual Test rankings released by ICC on Wednesday.
The 'Black Caps' from New Zealand finished the last season as the world No.1 ODI team with the cut-off date being May 4, 2022. The England versus India series that began in 2021, will be included in the rankings once the final postponed Test is completed.
"Australia have increased their lead over second-placed India from one to nine rating points while Pakistan have overtaken England to fifth position in the ICC Men's Test Team Rankings following the annual update carried out today," the ICC release stated.
"India have also gained a point to move to 119 while England have had the biggest decrease of nine points as their 4-1 series win over India in 2018 is now dropped from the rankings. England's 88 rating points is their lowest since 1995," the release added.
Australia, who beat England 4-0 in the Ashes in January, have moved from 119 to 128 rating points in the annual update that drops the 2018-19 season and reflects all series completed since May 2019.
Series completed prior to May 2021 are now weighted at 50 per cent and subsequent series at 100 per cent.
India remain on top in T20Is, extending their lead over second-placed England from one to five points. South Africa and Australia have overtaken New Zealand, who are now in sixth place. Similarly, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are now ahead of Afghanistan (10th).
In the updated ODI rankings, New Zealand remain on top but their lead over England is reduced from three to one point. The gap between England and third-placed Australia has increased from seven to 17 points.
Also Read : Time for Lalit Yadav to deliver as DC fight SRH to stay alive in IPL
News Source : PTI
Not thinking about India comeback, my focus on IPL now: Pandya
Navi Mumbai, Apr 23 (Cricket News) In red-hot form with three fifties in a row for Gujarat Titans, out-of-favour India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Saturday said his national team comeback is not in his hands and he's just focused on doing well in the ongoing IPL.
The premier all-rounder, who sat out against Chennai Super Kings because of a groin injury, was back with a 49-ball 67 -- his third fifty in a row -- to lead Gujarat Titans to an eight-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Titans' third win on the trot consolidated their position on the top of the table.
"I don't think it's my (India) comeback anyway and secondly I don't focus on my comeback. I focus on the game which I play," Pandya said at the post-match media conference.
The 28-year-old made his last appearance for India against Namibia in the T20 World Cup in Dubai in November last year and then struggled to manage his bowling workload post his back surgery only to return to action in the IPL.
In the ongoing IPL, Pandya is sitting second in the run chart behind leader Jos Buttler with 295 runs from six innings at an average of 73.75.
"At the moment, I am playing IPL and will focus on IPL, then will see where the future takes. It's never in my hands now. I focus on the team which I'm playing in. We are doing well and I'm very happy," he added.
Pandya said he's relishing every bit of his captaincy role for debutants Gujarat Titans.
"Captaincy obviously helps. I'm always a cricketer who loves to take responsibilities. I have a bit of understanding of the game having batted for so many years," he said.
"You're successful because you've an understanding of the game. Having played so many matches, I'm able to use my experience. So far, so good," he added.
The Titans got off to a spectacular start, were 133/2 in 16 overs but they lost wickets in heap in the back-end -- four in the final over -- to settle for 156/9.
"I feel we were 10-15 runs short, they kind of finished very strong. But with the kind of bowling attack, I backed my chances. The wicket had up and down bounce. The back of the length ball was working pretty nicely," Pandya added.
For KKR, it was their fourth loss on the trot but head coach Brendon McCullum said they're confident to make the semi-finals.
"The confidence in the batting unit should stay relatively high. We still believe we're good enough to be in the semifinals and be the there at the thick end of the competition," McCullum said.
Chasing 157, KKR were going great guns with Russell on fire and needed 29 runs from the last two overs. But Alzarri Joseph produced a fine final over and dismissed Russell for a 25-ball 48 to derail their chase.
"Our batters have been very good so far. We scored 210-odd in the last game. We have got 170-plus batting first (against Sunrisers Hyderabad), our batters have been predominantly very good," he said, backing their batters.
"Overall I think we have been batting pretty well. From 34/4 and to be able to rebuild the innings and explode with Russell was pretty good but unfortunately that was not quite enough," he added.
Dejected at his side's loss, KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer said: "The way we started in the powerplay while chasing and even with the ball. We shouldn't have conceded that much in these conditions." "I think 160-165 was a decent score and we did well to keep them below that. In this format, all matches that are close we need to win those and only then we can climb up the ladder.
"Three out of our last four were very close matches. The energy and vibe is high before the game and it is disappointing that we are unable to convert it," he added.
Also Read : Kohli gets back-to-back first-ball duck as Sunrisers skittle out RCB for 68
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Hardik's thinking cap is on, it has raised his game, says Gavaskar
Mumbai, Apr 23 (Cricket News) Hardik Pandya has his "thinking cap on" this season, according to the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who feels the Gujarat Titans skipper is batting with discipline and making good use of field restrictions, which has raised his game.
The star Baroda all-rounder has led the Gujarat Titans from the front, rescuing the team on several occasions with his responsible knocks.
The all-rounder has contributed with the ball as well and is an important cog in the wheel for the Titans.
Pandya had struggled to manage his bowling workload post his back surgery in 2019. His last appearance for India was against Namibia in the T20 World Cup in Dubai on November 8 last year.
"He didn't play a lot of cricket before the IPL because he was trying to get fully fit with all the problems he had due to the injury," Gavaskar told 'Star Sports'.
"(Now) Look at the discipline he's showing in his batting. He's batting well in the powerplay and making full use of the field restrictions, he's doing exceedingly well in the field.
"So basically, that thinking cap is on; and once that happens your game just goes up," added Gavaskar, a former India captain." Former India batter Aakash Chopra said Pandya has learnt the right lessons from his "mentor" Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"I think Hardik obviously treats him (MS Dhoni) as his mentor, he's very close to MS. The number at which he bats and the role that he plays, nobody has played it better than Dhoni in the history of white-ball cricket," Chopra said.
"He's learnt the right lessons from MS. When we are in the company of greatness, we try and take little pieces and it shapes our lives. And that's what we are seeing with Hardik," added Chopra.
Former India pacer Irfan Pathan too lauded Pandya for his responsible knocks.
"This is a new Hardik Pandya. This is a better version of him. It was nice to see the situations in which he has played this season. The good thing about Hardik is that he is batting responsibly at No. 4," said Pathan.
"Whether it is team India or Gujarat Titans, Hardik is the most suited batsman at number four. This is because he can take the responsibility," signed off Pathan.
Also Read : Every angle of the controversial no ball and the reaction that followed
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ICC appoints Pakistan's Wasim Khan as its General Manager-Cricket
Dubai, Apr 22 (Cricket News) The ICC on Friday appointed Wasim Khan, the former chief executive of Pakistan Cricket Board, as its General Manager - Cricket to succeed Geoff Allardice.
Khan, who will take up his post next month, was also previously the Chief Executive of Leicestershire County Cricket Club and Chance to Shine. He last held the post of PCB CEO.
He will take over from Allardice who spent eight years in the role before being appointed as the ICC CEO.
"I am honoured to be joining the ICC, I can't wait to get started and work in partnership with our Members to strengthen and grow our sport," Khan said in an ICC statement.
"I'm particularly excited by the ICC's commitment to the growth of the women's game, and I look forward to playing my part in really accelerating that growth over the next decade." Welcoming Khan to his new position, his predecessor Allardice said: "He (Khan) brings an in-depth knowledge of our sport and its stakeholders and his firsthand experience of the international cricket landscape will be of enormous benefit as we implement the ICC global growth strategy and move forward into a new events cycle.”
Also Read : Delhi Capitals win toss, elect to field against Rajasthan Royals
News Source : PTI
With 'lot of time to decide her international future', Mithali to play in Women's Senior T20 Trophy
New Delhi, Apr 15 (Cricket News) Speculations rife about her international future, India's Test and ODI skipper Mithali Raj will be turning up for Railways at the Women's Senior T20 Trophy beginning on April 18 in what will be her first competitive event since the Women's World Cup.
The future of stalwarts Mithali and Jhulan Goswami have been a subject of debate since India's early exit from the World Cup in New Zealand last month.
While Jhulan is recovering from a side strain that she suffered during the global event, Mithali will groom the next generation of players in the Railways squad. Both are 39 and are at the business end of their illustrious careers.
"Mithali will be there to guide the younger players. As a senior player, she understands her role really well. Anyway, she never misses domestic assignments when not on national duty," a BCCI source told PTI.
Mithali, who is the leading run-getter in international cricket, had captained the Railways team to the title in the T20 competition last year. Her international T20 career came to an end in 2019.
As far has her ODI and Test future is concerned, the source added: "There is no international cricket lined up in the near future. She has a lot of time to think over her future." India's next confirmed international assignment is in September when they play three T20s and as many ODIs in England after the Commonwealth Games in July-August.
Majority of the players who were part of India's World Cup squad will take part in the domestic event which will be held in a bio-bubble across six venues. That also includes India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
The BCCI recently refused to give NOC to a few leading India players for the Fairbreak Invitational in Dubai as it wanted them to be available for the Women's T20 Trophy and the following Women's T20 Challenge which will be held alongside the IPL play-offs.
Also Read : Warne always had constructive conversations, he was a positive person, says Kohli
News Source : PTI
Charleston Open: Indian tennis player Sania Mirza-Hradecka lose in final
Charleston, Apr 11 (Tennis News) Veteran Indian tennis player Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka's splendid run at the Charleston Open ended after they lost the title clash to Andreja Klepac and Magda Linette.
The unseeded Mirza and Hradecka went down 2-6 6-4 7-10 in one hour 24 minutes to the fourth seed Polish-Slovenian duo on Sunday.
Mirza and Hradecka had a stunning run at the WTA 500 event, reaching the women's doubles final after pulling off a major upset by stunning top seeds Zhang Shuai and Caroline Dolehide in the semifinals.
In the quarterfinals, they got the better of third seeds Alexa Guarachi and Jessica Pegula.
Mirza and Hradecka had also reached the semifinal of the Dubai Tennis Championships in February.
The 35-year-old Mirza, who is India's most accomplished woman tennis player having won six Grand Slam titles, including three mixed doubles trophies, had earlier announced that 2022 would be her last season.
Also Read : Berrettini undergoes surgery, to miss three ATP Masters 1000 events
News Source : PTI
My goal is to make India an international force in combat sports
A pioneer of Mixed Martial Arts in India, Siddharth Singh has been the face of the sport in the country in the last few years. He is the only Indian to have a competitive Brown Belt in Jiu Jitsu and is the Founder and CEO of Crosstrain Fight Club, with over 500 students and five academies in North India.
In this exclusive interview, Siddharth Singh speaks about his journey so far, winning the silver medal at the AJP Tour Dubai, memorable achievements, being founder of Crosstrain Fight Club, overcoming challenges, promoting combat sports amongst the youth and his future goals.
Q 1) How did your journey in combat sports begin? What motivated you to pursue it professionally?
I was introduced to combat sports when I went to Doon School (boarding school) at the age of 12, where boxing was a sport and whilst it's not a mandatory sport, my elder brother was an established boxer so in a way it was expected of me to start boxing. I was like any other child at that age, i was scared to get punched in the face and while I picked up decent technique over the 6 years I was at Doon, I lacked confidence which led me to lose my boxing bouts year after year. It wasn't until I was 18 and in my final year of school where I had enough of losing and I made it my mission to become the best boxer in school. I trained year long and won my weight class and was adjudged 'Best Boxer'.
While school ended, the mission to become the best never stopped. I went to the UK for further studies and was introduced to Muay Thai (Thai KickBoxing) and later Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While I worked at one of the UK's largest fashion and lifestyle companies, during the day I was an executive and in the evenings I was a combat sports athlete. During this time I noticed that no one was teaching authentic MMA (Mixed martial arts) which was and still is the fastest growing sport in the world. I also noticed that there were no Indians competing Internationally in Jiu Jitsu so I decided to dedicate myself towards these two goals.
Q 2) You recently won the silver medal at the AJP Tour Dubai. How was the experience and what do you consider to be your most special achievement in your career and why?
This was my second Jiu Jitsu World Championship Silver Medal on the AJP circuit with the previous one being at the World Masters in 2020. It still feels like a dream come true as my team and I are fully based in India, I am mostly self taught in Jiu Jitsu as India does not have any competition Black Belts. I am a competition Brown Belt and I am the highest in India so I dont have much in the way of teachers that I can learn from. Considering these facts, I'm glad that I have been able to wave the Indian Flag all over the world at the biggest tournaments.
The experience at this year's Dubai Pro was a rough one, to be honest. I was cutting down my weight for the first time in several years to 69 kgs (previously I competed at 77kgs), and this took a massive toll on me both physically and mentally. I didn't eat any substantial food for 4 days leading up to the weigh in and even had to ration water intake with no water the last 24 hours. I missed the initial 'day before' weigh in and had to spend the night before the competition in the sauna room to make the 'same day' weigh in. At 10 am I weighed in at 68.9 kgs and had only 3 hours to refuel and recover before I had to start preparing to compete at 2 pm.
Thankfully I was able to perform up to my ability and was able to bring home the silver at the World Pro.
Other achievements that I’m proud of are the British Open in 2018 as a Purple Belt and ADCC Taiwan champion in 2018.
Q 3) You are also the Founder of Crosstrain Fight Club and ADCC India. Tell us more about them and how are they making an impact in the combat sports/fitness industry?
Crosstrain Fight Club was created to offer authentic MMA and combat sports training and we have been building national and International champions since 2013 in MMA, Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. Most of the coaches are my students who have learnt and understood our training systems and are preparing future generations to represent India and make the country proud.
ADCC stands for Abu Dhabi Combat Club and is the world's largest submission grappling tournament. I am the head of ADCC in India. Again, the motivation was to bring an International level tournament to India so we Indians don't have to visit foreigh countries to compete against foreign fighters. At our 3 events of ADCC India, we have already had competitors from Singapore, UK, UAE, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan who have come down and competed against our Indian fighters.
The main goal of Crosstrain and ADCC is to improve the level of Indian combat sports athletes.
Q 4) What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in your journey so far? How did you overcome them?
Such a difficult question to answer. What I would say is that being a sportsman in India is difficult by itself, now consider the added fact that in 2013 no one had heard of Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu or even MMA in India, the challenges were immense. I ran through my savings in a couple of years and honestly thought of giving up many many times. God has been kind and we have turned a corner and we have started to see that the sport is starting to grow and become more popular but no matter how bad things got financially, the training never stopped and even during Covid when gyms were shut, I spent hours planning and strategizing ways in which we could come out of Covid even better and stronger as a team.
Today our main centre is bigger and more profitable than we were even in our pre covid best months.
Q 5) According to you, what needs to be done to promote combat sports in India, especially amongst the youth?
We in India see countless cases of rape and violece against women and increasingly - bullying of kids. I strongly believe that we need to introduce combat sports training in schools as this would empower women and educate kids on how to tackle bullies in school or outside. In the UAE, Jiu Jitsu is mandatory in all schools and I believe we as a country would greatly benefit from adding either Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu in our schools. Many corporations like Google have already started Jiu Jitsu in their corporate offices.
Q 6) What are your future goals and ambitions? How do you plan to achieve them?
I have 3 goals as of now.
- Teach every woman and child in our country, who wants to learn real self defence, so they can honestly protect themselves.
- Make India an International force in combat sports/MMA/Jiu Jitsu/Muay Thai.
- I am a 2 time Silver medalist at the world championships, I want to get the Gold medal for India in Jiu Jitsu.
Babar, Brathwaite & Cummins nominated for ICC men's Player of the Month award
Dubai, Apr 6 (Cricket News) International captains Babar Azam from Pakistan, Kraigg Brathwaite of West Indies and Australia's Pat Cummins have been shortlisted for the ICC men's Player of the Month award following their outstanding individual performances in March.
In women's category, England bowler Sophie Ecclestone, and run-machines Rachael Haynes (Australia) and Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa) are in the running to scoop the award following stellar performances in the recently concluded ODI World Cup.
The winners will be announced next week.
Babar played an integral part in Pakistan's batting during the recent series against Australia, amassing 390 runs during the month in Tests, including a record-breaking 196 in the second Test to salvage a draw.
In addition, his efforts at the crease in the two ODI matches during the month saw Babar score 57 and 114 respectively, with the latter helping his side chase down an imposing target of 349 set by Australia.
This is the second time he's featured on the short-list for the ICC Player of the Month award, after winning in April 2021.
West Indies skipper and opening batter Brathwaite led from the front during the recently-concluded successful WTC series against England, scoring 341 runs at an average of 85.25.
He scored a monumental 160 from 489 balls in the second Test in response to England's big first innings total. This mammoth innings ensured a drawn second Test and provided the platform for his side to clinch the series by winning the final showdown in Grenada.
Cummins, on the other hand, stood out for his bowling performances in unforgiving conditions during the WTC Test series which was dominated by run scoring.
He led his side to victory in Pakistan with a match-winning spell, taking 5 for 56 in the first innings and following it up with 3 for 23 in the second innings of the final test.
Taking 12 wickets at an average of 22.50 helped Cummins secure his first nomination in the ICC Player of the Month awards.
In women's category, Ecclestone was nominated for the second time following her outstanding bowling performances which helped steer her side to the World Cup final. She took 20 wickets during the calendar month at an average of 12.85.
Haynes too was at the forefront of Australia's unbeaten run through to the World Cup Final, scoring 429 runs in the eight matches at an average of 61.28 and a healthy strike rate of 84.28 during the month.
Wolvaardt, on the other hand, played a critical role in taking South Africa to the semi-finals. She was the tournament's leading run-scorer, amassing 433 runs at an average of 54.12, passing 50 on five occasions.
Also Read : Dinesh Karthik, Shabaz Ahmed lead RCB to stellar chase against RR
News Source : PTI
Mitahli slips, Mandhana rises in ICC Women's ODI batters rankings
Dubai, Apr 5 (Cricket News) India skipper Mithali Raj dropped a place to seventh but star opener Smriti Mandhana moved up to ninth position in the ICC Women ODI batters rankings issued on Tuesday.
After her below-par outing in the just-concluded Women's World Cup, Mithali dropped a rung in the chart with 686 rating points. The veteran India captain accumulated 182 runs from seven games at an average of 26.
In comparison, Mandhana (669 points) scored 327 runs from seven games with a best of 123, averaging 46.71 in the showpiece.
Besides the duo, vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur climbed one place to the 14th spot.
Harmanpreet has been India's second best batter in the World Cup with 318 runs from seven games. Her highest was 109.
Australian keeper-batter Alyssa Healy jumped to the top of the batter rankings after her phenomenal 170 in the final against England.
The Australian's outstanding knock sent her soaring into the number one spot, ending South African opener Laura Wolvaardt's short stay at the summit.
The 32-year-old Healy smashed 509 runs, including two hundreds and two half-centuries, across her nine matches at the World Cup at a strike rate of 103.66.
Healy finished just ahead of compatriot Rachael Haynes as the tournament's top scorer.
Four Australians remained in the top six in the latest ODI rankings, with Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning and Haynes joining Healy among the world's top-ranked batters.
England all-rounder Nat Sciver's unbeaten 148 not out in the world Cup final saw her jump to the second spot in the batting rankings.
The English star's brilliant effort also saw her claim the top spot in the all-rounder rankings, usurping Ellyse Perry.
England spinner Sophie Ecclestone remained at the number spot 1 in the bowler rankings, with South Africa pacer Shabnim Ismail moving up to second after a terrific tournament.
Veteran swing bowler Anya Shrubsole was the big mover in the latest bowling rankings, jumping five places to enter the top 10 after her figures of 2/27 in the semi-final and 3/46 in the final.
Veteran India pacer Jhulan Goswami remained static at the fifth position.
Goswami also held on to her 10th spot in the all-rounders' rankings, which also featured another Indian in Deepti Sharma at seventh.
Also Read : Natarajan death over specialist, we missed him in T20 World Cup: Shastri
News Source : PTI
Rohit Sharma , Virat Kohli slip; Ashwin rises in Test rankings
Dubai, Mar 30 (Cricket News) India skipper Rohit Sharma and veteran batter Virat Kohli moved down a rung each to be placed 8th and 10th, respectively, in the latest ICC Test rankings released on Wednesday.
Rohit, who continued to remain the top-ranked Indian in the batters' chart, moved down a place to 8th. He has 754 points, while Kohli, who has 742 rating points moved to the 10th position.
Ravindra Jadeja retained the top position among all-rounders, while Ravichandran Ashwin displaced West Indies' Jason Holder to be second.
Ashwin and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah continued to hold on to their second and fourth positions, respectively, in the bowlers' chart.
In the ODI rankings, Kohli remained static on second while Rohit climbed up a place to fourth.
Bumrah, who is the only Indian in the top 10 among bowlers, remained at the sixth spot.
Also Read : RR completely outplay SRH to register their first win
News Source : PTI
India skipper Mithali Raj, pacer Jhulan Goswami rise in ODI rankings
Dubai, Mar 29 (Cricket News) India skipper Mithali Raj climbed two places to sixth while veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami also rose a couple of spots to fifth in the latest ICC Women's ODI rankings released on Tuesday, taking into account the ongoing World Cup in New Zealand.
Raj, who struck a half-century in India's final league match against South Africa on Sunday, surpassed Australia's Rachael Haynes and Tammy Beaumont of England.
However, the match ended in heartbreak for the Indian skipper as her team crashed out of the World Cup in a last-ball thriller.
Star opener Smriti Mandhana, who played a 71-run knock against South Africa, remained static on 10th.
In the bowlers' chart, Goswami, who missed the match against the Proteas, went past the South African duo of Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka to be fifth.
However, she lost her ninth position in the all-rounders' list to Katherine Brunt of England.
Goswami is now 10th with 217 rating points in her kitty, while compatriot Deepti Sharma held on to her seventh position.
South Africa opener Laura Wolvaardt, who has scored more runs (433) at the ongoing World Cup than any other player, moved up two places, overtaking the Australian duo of Alyssa Heau and Beth Mooney to claim the top ranking .
Also Read : Ireland Wolves coach Johnston shares his views about touring squad
News Source : PTI
Would be very emotional thinking about de Villiers if we win IPL: Kohli
Mumbai, Mar 29 (Cricket News) Virat Kohli feels if Royal Challengers Bangalore were crown champions for the first time in the coming seasons it would mean a lot to AB de Villiers, who would be the first person on the former captain's mind after the triumph.
One of contemporary cricket's greatest batters, de Villiers retired from all forms of the game in November last year. Since starting his association with RCB in 2011, the South African batting legend enjoyed 11 fruitful seasons with the franchise.
"The other day, it got me thinking, if we manage to win the title in the coming seasons, I would be very emotional thinking about him first," Kohli, who had stepped down as captain after the 2021 season, said on RCB Bold Diaries.
"Rather than what I would experience after such hard work of so many years, I would actually think of him.
"It would still mean a lot to him even if he is watching the game from home. He is a special human being as he has touched everyone, and we all can vouch for that," he added.
Kohli revealed that he had an inkling during the last IPL that de Villers was going to hang his boots.
"It's very strange I mean, I clearly remember when he decided to finally call it a day. He sent me a voice note, we were coming back from Dubai after the World Cup. I got a voice note from AB de Villiers while we were driving back home.
"I kind of had the impression and was guessing it in the last IPL. Our rooms were next to each other, and we would walk the same way and disperse, every time we walked to our room and he would see me outside, he would be like 'I want to see you for coffee, one of these days'.
"I kept getting nervous and was like 'I am not sitting with you because I think there is something coming' to which he always said 'No man there is nothing, I just want to have a chat with you, it's been a while and he never speaks like that because we interact all the time." Kohli and de Villers -- the two talismans had raised the batting standards in the IPL year after year and shattered numerous records along the way.
"So, I knew something is brewing up. It is a very strange feeling I got very emotional. The voice note was very emotional as well for me when he said, ‘Look I don’t have it in me anymore.' "I have shared so many moments with him, highs and lows, everything we have been through he was right next to me."
Also Read : Women's WC: Injured Perry ruled out of Australia's semifinal clash against West Indies
News Source : PTI
Desai, Padhiyar win gold as India sign off with 14 medals from Dubai Para Athletics
Dubai, Mar 25 (Sports News) Sprinter Pranav Prashant Desai and high jumper Ramsingbhai Govin Padhiyar clinched a gold each on the final day as India signed off with 14 medals from the 13th Fazza International Para Athletics Championships here on Friday.
India claimed five gold medals, six silver and three bronze to secure the eighth spot.
Colombia finished on top with 25 medals, including 12 gold, followed by Algeria (16) and Thailand (30).
After his 200m T64 gold on the second day, Desai claimed the top spot in 100m men T63/64 final racing in 11.74s to finish ahead of the Thailand duo of Denpoom Kotcharang (12.12s) and Kantinan Khumphong (13.57s) at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds.
"It was a perfect week for me. Both my races were over my expectations. I hope to continue the momentum and take gold medals in Asian Para Games in both the events," Desai said.
Later, Padhiyar and Shailash Kumar produced a leap of 1.84m each but the former was awarded gold in men's high jump T42 final. Thailand's Angkarn Chanaboon took the bronze in the T47 category with a jump of 1.90m.
In the shot put F42/46 final, Asian Para Games medallist Mohammed Yasser settled for a silver after confusion arose with the weight of his shot put.
He was thus forced to play with someone else's equipment, managing 14.73m in his fourth throw.
Kuwait's Faisal Sorour threw a distance of 15,23m to take the gold, while Kazakhstan's Ravil Mansurbayev (14.44m) won the bronze.
In women's events, Jayanti Behera ran the 100m final T46/47 in 13.16s to take the bronze, behind USA's Brittni Mason (12.43s) and Tereza Jakschova of Czech Republic (13.04s).
India coach Manju Nath was happy with his wards' show.
"The team did well. We secured several medals and Asian records. Now the team will be focusing on the upcoming Asian Para Games." Overall, the championships saw four world records and 20 continental records.
Also Read : Lalith Babu noses ahead in Delhi International open chess tournament
News Source : PTI
South African batter Zubayr Hamza provisionally suspended by ICC for failing dope test
Dubai, Mar 25 (Cricket News) South African batter Zubayr Hamza was on Friday provisionally suspended by the ICC for failing an out-of-competition dope test.
Hamza's dope sample collected out-of-competition on January 17 this year has been found to contain Furosemide, a prohibited substance under the World Anti-Doping Agency Code.
"The ICC has charged South African batter Zubayr Hamza with an anti-doping rule violation under the ICC Anti-Doping Code," the world body said in a statement.
"Hamza has been charged with the presence and/or use of a prohibited substance following the detection of Furosemide in a sample collected out-of-competition on 17 January 2022 and has been provisionally suspended pending the outcome of the disciplinary process." Furosemide is a Specified Substance contained in Section S5 of the 2022 WADA Prohibited List.
The ICC said proceedings against Hamza are ongoing and it will not make any further comment at this stage.
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New Delhi Marathon last chance for Indians to qualify for CWG, Asian Games
New Delhi, Mar 25 (Sports News) The seventh edition of the Ageas Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon on Sunday will be the last opportunity for the country's marathon runners to qualify for this year's two multi-sport events -- the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.
Leading the pack will be Anish Thapa Magar, Nitendra Rawat, Belliappa AB and Arjun Pradhan, who have all been preparing for the season's most-awaited race, with an eye to secure their tickets to Birmingham, UK and Hangzhou, China.
Organised by NEB Sports, the marathon is recognised as a National Marathon Championship by Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and is certified by Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
Magar, a half-marathoner for most of his career, has recently started training for full marathons. He has made remarkable progress and will run the New Delhi Marathon as a prime contender to qualify for both the upcoming major events this year.
The qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games in July-August is 2:18:40s for men and 2:38:19s for women. The corresponding qualifying time for the Asian Games in September is 2:18:48s and 2:39.28s respectively.
Rawat, a former Olympian, had finished a commendable 31st in 2 hours 22 minutes at the 2021 Boston Marathon in October, and is confident of booking a slot for the Asian Games.
The 2016 South Asian Games marathon champion has a personal best timing of 2:15:18s.
Pradhan and Belliappa AB are also targeting the qualifying marks after clocking 2:20:06s and 2:20:14s during the Dhaka Marathon two months back.
In the women's category, Jyoti Gawate, Prachi Godbole, Disket Dolma, Jigmet Dolma and Tsetan Dolkar will be seen in action.
The marathon will begin and end at the iconic Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Also Read : Dubai 2022 Para Athletics GP: Ramudri, Dharambir set Asian records, win 2 golds for India on Day 3
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Dubai 2022 Para Athletics GP: Ramudri, Dharambir set Asian records, win 2 golds for India on Day 3
Dubai, Mar 24 (Sports News) Indian long jumper Someswara Rao Ramudri and javelin thrower Mohit clinched gold medals in their individual events at the 2022 World Para Athletics Grand Prix here on Thursday.
Overall, the Indian contingent won six medals on the penultimate day and set two Asian records, thanks to the efforts of Ramudri in long jump men T64 final and paralympian Dharambir in discus wheelchair men F51 final.
In one of the last events of the day, Ramudri came out with a personal best effort -- a leap of 6.40m -- to take the long jump men T64 gold medal, in the combined T43/44/63/64 final.
Thailand's Kantinan Khumphong (5.74 m) and Malaysia's Eddy Bernard (6.20m) finished second and third, respectively.
"This is my international gold medal in long jump. And I am very happy. But during my training in India, I have attained more distance. I will try to improve and do well in the upcoming Asian Para Games," said the 24-year-old, who had finished fourth in the men's 400m T64 race in Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games.
Ramudri used to compete in 100m, 200m, 400m races in T64 category before a fracture in his right leg forced him to switch his event to long jump, which he is competing in for the past one year.
In javelin men final F44/46/63/64 finals, Mohit achieved an impressive 54.71m distance in his very first throw which was enough to clinch the gold medal.
Kazakhstan's Rufat Khabibullin (45.72m) and Nigeria's Sunday Adebayo (42,55m) took the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
"I am very happy to take the gold here. Though I think I could have done better given the conditions. I want to win more medals for India," said Mohit.
Second medal for Dharambir ------------------------------------- Meanwhile, paralympian Dharambir claimed his second silver medal in the Championships, this time in discus wheelchair men final F51 where he attained a distance of 10.93m.
Algeria's Mohamed Berrahal (12,29m) took the gold, as Dharambir's fellow thrower Ajitkumar Amrutla Panchal claimed the bronze in F52 category with a throw of 18.57m.
In women's track events, Jayanti Behera claimed the silver medal in 200m women final T46/47 clocking 26.94s, finishing behind USA's Brittni Mason (26.08s).
Ishwari Nishad also took second place with a timing of 1:25.50 in 400m women's final T11. Kenya's Nancy Chelangat Koech secured the top position clocking 1:04.25.
The Championships kicked off the World Para Athletics' Grand Prix season with around 500 para-athletes from 43 nations in action at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds this week.
Also Read : Desai wins India's first gold at Dubai 2022 Para Athletics GP
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Desai wins India's first gold at Dubai 2022 Para Athletics GP
Dubai, Mar 23 (Sports News) Sprinter Pranav Prashant Desai won India's first gold medal at the 2022 World Para Athletics Grand Prix here on Wednesday, claiming the top prize in the men's 200m T64 final.
T64 classification is for athletes with a leg amputation, who compete with prosthetics in a standing position.
Desai's gold was the only medal for India on the day as throwers faltered at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds.
Desai, a former gold medallist at the Fazza Championships, led from start to finish to end the race in 24.42 seconds, ahead of Thailand's Denpoom Kotcharang (25.78 sec) and Kenneth Jenssen Heggdal of Norway (27.08 sec).
"I came here with the gold in my mind and I am happy to lead the race from start to finish. It's nice to be back here. I have been working on my endurance speed for the past few months. Happy to execute my plans here," said Desai.
"My target is to win 100m and 200m gold for India at the Asian Para Games which would pave my way to the Paris 2024 Paralympics," added the 22-year-old, who trains in Sports Authority of India Centre, Gandhinagar.
The day also witnessed a world record in men's javelin F40 finals when Iraq's Naas Ahmed hurled the javelin to a distance of 39.08 metres to take the gold.
After two days, Colombia sits on top of the medals table with 13 podiums, including six gold, followed by Thailand (16) and Tunisia (7).
India lies in the 15th place with four medals.
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ICC Test Rankings: Jadeja regains top spot among all-rounders
Dubai, Mar 23 (Cricket News) India's Ravindra Jadeja reclaimed the top spot from West Indies' Jason Holder in the latest ICC Test rankings for all-rounders released on Wednesday.
Jadeja had risen to No. 1 after his 175 not out and nine wickets in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Mohali earlier this month.
However, he had lost the place to Holder last week. But the two players have once again interchanged places with Jadeja back on top with 385 rating points.
Jadeja's compatriot Ravichandran Ashwin held on to his third place among all-rounders and continued to be second in the bowlers' chart.
Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who had jumped six spots last week, remained static on fourth in the bowling list.
India skipper Rohit, the country's top-ranked batter, fell a spot down to seventh in the latest Test rankings for batters.
While former India skipper Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant remained static on the ninth and 10th place respectively.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who was at his glorious best against Australia during the second Test of the series in Karachi, gained three spots to move up to No.5 in the rankings chart.
Other star performers with the bat from the same match – Mohammad Rizwan and Usman Khawaja – have also taken a massive leap.
Rizwan has moved up six spots, to be joint No.11 alongside David Warner after his unbeaten knock of 104 in the second innings. Khawaja, who scored 160 and 44 in Karachi, moved up eleven spots to No. 13.
Kohli static at 2nd, Rohit slips to 4 in ODI chart ================================ In the ODI chart, Kohli retained his second spot even as Rohit moved down a rung to be fourth among batters.
Kohli has 811 points and is placed behind Paksitan captain Babar Azam, who also retained his top spot.
However, Rohit, who was earlier placed third was pushed down to fourth by South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.
Bumrah, the only Indian in the top 10 in the ODI bowlers' list , held on to his sixth spot but Ravindra Jadeja moved down a place to 10th alongside Zimbabwe's Sean Williams.
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The Ministry of Sports has approved financial assistance to five Indian swimmers.
New Delhi, Mar 23 (Swimming News) The Sports Ministry has extended financial assistance to five Indian swimmers, including Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj, under its Target Olympic Podium (TOPS) and ACTC schemes to help them prepare and participate in various upcoming international competitions.
The assistance, granted under TOPS and Annual Calendar for Training and Competition (ACTC) scheme, was approved by the ministry's Mission Olympic Cell (MOC).
The five swimmers who have been extended support are Olympians Sajan, Srihari and Maana Patel, besides young Kenisha Gupta.
While Sajan and Srihari are currently a part of the TOPS core group, Maana and Kenisha are from the TOPS development group.
Sajan, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics, has been cleared an amount of Rs 15.1 lakh (excluding pool fees and airfare), towards expenditure for training as well as participation in multiple competitions and camps. He will compete in the Danish Open in April before taking part in three Mare Nostrum events across Monaco, Barcelona and Canet in May. Sajan will then take part in a high altitude training camp at the Sierra Nevada training centre in Spain between June and July.
"We are focused towards achieving big at the Big Two meets. We have some qualifying meets in April, May and June before the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. These meets will act as preparatory competitions for us to know where we stand to peak at the right time," Sajan told SAI from his training base in Dubai.
Srihari, who also competed in Tokyo Olympics, has been approved an assistance of Rs 22.02 lakh towards expenditure on domestic training and participation in multiple competitions.
The financial support also includes expenses for his personal coach and physiotherapist.
Srihari will take part in the French Open Swimming Championships, starting March 31 and Mare Nostrum, scheduled for May 18 to 23.
Maana and Kenisha, meanwhile, have been sanctioned Rs 3.89 lakh each for their participation in the French Open Swimming Championships, which also acts as a qualification event for the World Championships in Budapest in June.
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Mandhana, Bhatia rise in Women ODI rankings, Mithali slips
Dubai, Mar 23 (Cricket News) India's Smriti Mandhana and Yastika Bhatia moved up to the 10th and 39th spots respectively in the recently-released ICC Women's ODI Player Rankings, but skipper Mithali Raj's descent in the batters' chart continued as she dropped to eighth position.
Star opener Mandhana, who played modest knocks of 35, 10 and 30 in India's previous three matches in the ongoing ICC Women's World Cup, climbed up one place to enter the top 10 with a rating of 663.
Bhatia's impressive run was also reflected in the rankings issued on Tuesday as she moved up eight places to the 39th spot. The left-hander had scored back-to-back half centuries against Australia and Bangladesh in India's previous two games.
Mithali, who has slipped five places in the past two weeks, has dropped one more spot to be joint eighth alongside New Zealand's Amy Satterthwaite. The Indian skipper got some respite from her wretched ODI form when she scored 68 against Australia but was out for a duck in her next innings in India's 110-run win over Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Australia's Alyssa Healy (730) still leads the way in the ODI batting rankings, though the wicket-keeper has quite a few players closing down on the number one spot, with a number of chasers being her Australian teammates.
Beth Mooney (2nd spot) is the best of the rest, jumping two places to a rating of 725 after scores of 30 not out and 28 not out, providing stability in Australia's middle order.
Compatriots Meg Lanning (715) and Rachael Haynes (712) have also risen to fourth and fifth positions respectively, with South African Laura Wolvaardt's fine start to the tournament reflected in a two-spot rise to third.
In the bowlers' chart, India pacer Pooja Vastrakar has risen 13 spots and is currently placed 56th while veteran Jhulan Goswami dropped a rung to be seventh.
However, Goswami's recent cameos with the bat have moved her two places to ninth in the all-rounders' list, while Deepti Sharma, who was dropped from the playing XI in India's last two games, has moved down to seventh.
England spinner Sophie Ecclestone (773) continues to occupy the top spot among bowlers, well above fellow left-arm tweaker Jess Jonassen (726), who remains in the second position.
South African quicks take up fourth, fifth and sixth places, with Shabnim Ismail edging past Marizanne Kapp. Ayabonga Khaka's two-place jump means she leapfrogs Goswami and Ellyse Perry, an indication that the Proteas' bowling success has been a collective.
Kate Cross has moved up three spots into the top 10 (623), with England teammate Anya Shrubsole climbing four places to 11th. New Zealand quick Jess Kerr leapt six places to 21st, while Pakistan bowlers Nida Dar (up five spots to 24th) and Anam Amin (up two spots to 31st) also enjoyed success.
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Indian para club thrower Dharambir sets new Asian record, wins silver in Dubai
Dubai, Mar 22 (Sports News) Indian para athlete Dharambir set a new Asian record in the men's F32/51 club throw event en-route winning a silver on the opening day of the 13th Fazza International Para Athletics Championships here.
India won three medals on the opening day with Devendra Singh also clinching a silver in the F44 men’s discus throw event, while Jyoti Behera claimed a bronze in 400m women’s final T37/38/47 final.
In the club throw F32/51 men's final, Dharambir, the 2018 Asian Para Games silver medallist, threw the club to a distance of 31.09m in his second attempt to finish second behind Algeria’s Walid Ferhah (37.42m) on Monday.
In the process, Dharambir also set a new Asian record.
Great Britain’s Stephen Miller took the bronze with an effort of 29.28m.
Later, Devendra clinched the silver in men’s discus throw F44 after hurling the disc to a distance of 50.36m in combined F42/43/44 category.
Kuwait’s Faisal Sorour, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic bronze medallist, took the F42 gold with a throw of 47.61.m, which was also a new Asian record, while France’s Badr Touzi claimed the bronze in F42 with a 39.16m throw.
“I am very happy with the result here. Few months back I wasn’t sure if I was competing in the Fazza event due to health reasons. I was down with Covid-19 and hardly trained for the past few months. We have important events in the year ahead, so it was good to start the year with a medal,” said the 28-year-old Devendra.
The championships kicked off the World Para Athletics’ Grand Prix season with around 500 para-athletes from 43 nations in action at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds.
The event holds significance as athletes will aim to achieve Minimum Qualification Standard for this July’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and Asian Para Games in Hangzhou this October.
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ICC rates Bengaluru pitch where India played 2nd Test against Sri Lanka as 'below average'
Dubai, Mar 20 (Cricket News) The Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch in Bengaluru, which was used for the second Test between India and Sri Lanka earlier this month, was on Sunday rated "below average" by the ICC.
India had defeated Sri Lanka by 238 runs in the Test which began on March 12 and ended inside three days.
The venue thus received one demerit point under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process.
"The pitch offered a lot of turn on the first day itself and though it improved with every session, in my view, it was not an even contest between the bat and ball," match referee Javagal Srinath said in a statement issued by ICC.
Srinath’s report has been forwarded to the BCCI.
In 2017, the Bangalore wicket was rated as below average by ICC match referee Chris Broad after the second Test between India and Australia.
According to the revised ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, which was introduced on January 4, 2018, "if a pitch or outfield is rated as being substandard, that venue will be allocated a number of demerit points." "One demerit point will be awarded to venues whose pitches are rated by the match referees as below average, while three and five demerit points will be awarded to venues whose pitches are marked as poor and unfit, respectively.
"No demerit point will be awarded when the outfield is rated as below average, but two and five demerit points will be awarded to venues whose outfields are marked as poor and unfit, respectively." Demerit points will remain active for a rolling five-year period.
When a venue accumulates five demerit points (or crosses that threshold), it will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for a period of 12 months, the ICC said.
A venue will be suspended from staging any international cricket for 24 months when it reaches the threshold of 10 demerit points.
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ICC Test Rankings: Bumrah breaks into top 5, Kohli slips to 9th
Dubai, Mar 16 (Cricket News) Fresh from his maiden Test five-wicket haul at home, Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah jumped six spots to fourth but struggling star batter Virat Kohli slipped to ninth in the latest ICC rankings released on Wednesday.
Bumrah, who returned with eight wickets in the Day/Night second Test against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru, climbed past Shaheen Afridi, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, James Anderson, Neil Wagner and Josh Hazlewood in the Test rankings for bowlers.
Former captain Kohli, who continued his struggle with the bat and could not convert his starts, dropped four places, but managed to remain inside the top-10 just ahead of Rishabh Pant who remained static at 10th.
Kohli scored 45 in the opening Test in Mohali, while in the second Test he had scores of 23 and 13. He is yet to score a century since his 136 against Bangladesh in November 2019.
India skipper Rohit Sharma, however, held on to his sixth position to be the best-placed Indian in the batting charts.
The in-form Shreyas Iyer was rewarded for his match-winning 92 and 67 against Sri Lanka as he took a giant leap, advancing 40 spots to be on 37th position in the batting chart.
Sri Lanka Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne jumped up to a career best No 3 after his fighting 107 in the second innings in Bangalore.
In the all-rounders' table, Ravindra Jadeaja was displaced from the No.1 position as West Indies' Jason Holder reclaimed the top spot.
Jadeja had risen to No 1 after his 175 not out and nine wickets in the Mohali Test earlier this month.
Ravichandran Ashwin, Shakib Al Hasan and Ben Stokes rounded off the top five in the all-rounders' list.
In the bowlers' ranking, Mohammed Shami climbed up a spot to displace fellow countryman Ravindra Jadeja to 17th. Pat Cummins, Ashwin and Kagiso Rabada have retained the top three spots among the bowlers.
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Will take up four-nation proposal with Ganguly at ACC meeting: Ramiz Raja
Karachi, Mar 15 (Cricket News) Undeterred by India's lack of interest, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja says he will discuss his proposal to launch a four-nation ODI tournament with BCCI counterpart Sourav Ganguly during the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Dubai on March 19.
Ramiz told reporters at the national stadium in Karachi that he has proposed the tournament, also featuring Australia and England, to ensure that players from India and Pakistan get to play each other more often and to increase revenue for other member countries in the International Cricket Council.
"I will talk to Sourav Ganguly about it when we meet for the ACC meeting in Dubai. Both of us are former captains and players and for us cricket is not about politics," he said.
"Even if India does not go with us on this proposal, we will think about launching an annual three-nation event with Australia and England in Pakistan," he added.
The former captain also expressed confidence that India would come to Pakistan to play in the Asia Cup next year.
"I think they will come and if they don't travel to Pakistan we will see what can be done," he added.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah has already shot down the proposal by Ramiz saying that India was more inclined towards globalisation of the sport and not any short term financial incentive.
Sri Lanka is due to host the Asia Cup T20 format event this year and the final dates for the tournament will be finalised in Dubai with expectations it would be held just before the ICC World T20 Cup in Australia scheduled in October-November.
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West Indies docked WTC points, drop below Bangladesh to eighth place
Dubai, Mar 14 (Cricket News) West Indies on Monday slipped to eighth spot in the World Test Championship standings after being penalised by docking two points for slow over-rate during their drawn first Test against England in Antigua.
The Kraigg Brathwaite-led side were found to have been two overs short after reasonable adjustments and time allowances had been taken into consideration, the ICC said.
As a result, West Indies were fined 40 per cent of their match fee and were also penalised two points in the ICC World Test Championship standings, dropping below Bangladesh to eighth place in the nine-steam standings.
They are one of three teams to have been docked points due to penalty overs.
This was West Indies' first slow over-rate offence in the 2021-2023 Championship cycle, while India have been docked three points and ninth-placed England docked 10 across 10 matches to date.
As per the WTC playing conditions, a side will be penalised one WTC point and fined 20 percent of their match fees for every over they have failed to bowl in the allotted time.
West Indies' four-pronged seam attack bowled the bulk of the 188.5 overs as the Antigua Test saw England bat long in both innings.
West Indies frontline spinner Veerasammy Permaul sent down just 25 overs of his left-arm spin in the match, a significant factor in the slow over-rate.
Brathwaite has pointed to it as an area for improvement going into the second Test in Barbados from Wednesday.
"There are some areas in terms of run rate we can improve and it’s simply just setting the field and bowling to it and being disciplined enough to bowl to that field," said Brathwaite.
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India batter Shreyas Iyer named ICC 'Player of the Month'
Dubai, Mar 14 (Cricket News) Fast-rising India batter Shreyas Iyer was on Monday voted the ICC 'Men's Player of the Month' for February, while New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr bagged the honour among women.
Iyer earned the award on the back of his brilliant white-ball exploits during the home series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka respectively last month.
He pipped UAE's Vriitya Aravind and Nepal's Dipendra Singh Airee to claim the honour.
The right-hander struck a well-crafted, match-winning 80 in the third ODI against the West Indies in Ahmedabad and followed it up with a brisk 16-ball 25 in the closing game of the subsequent three-match T20I series.
He was even better in the T20I series against Sri Lanka, aggregating 204 runs without being dismissed across three innings at a highly impressive strike-rate of 174.36.
He registered scores of 57*(28), 74*(44) and 73*(45) across three games, while striking 20 fours and seven sixes collectively in a Player of the Series performance.
"Throughout the month Shreyas showed tremendous consistency and control," remarked former Sri Lanka cricketer and voting panel member Russell Arnold.
"He totally dominated opposition bowlers and proved very hard to bowl at, scoring runs all-round the wicket and attacking the bowlers at the right moments. What really stood out for me was his composure as he battles for a regular place in the India lineup." The 27-year-old has carried his form in the ongoing month too, having produced an outstanding 92 in the first innings of the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka in Bangalore.
Kerr, the 21-year-old New Zealand all-rounder, was named the Women's POTM, following her supreme consistency with both bat and ball during the home white-ball series against India.
Kerr was chosen ahead of fellow nominees, India captain Mithali Raj and all-rounder Deepti Sharma for the award. The Wellington-born is already being hailed as one of the best women cricketers of the modern era.
After scoring 17 and returning 2/25 in New Zealand’s 18-run win in the only T20I, Kerr showcased exemplary skills during the ODI leg to further establish herself as a world-class cricketer.
She finished the top-run scorer in the ODI series with 353 runs at a staggering average of 117.67, while bagging seven wickets at an economy of 5.78.
She was named the Player of the Match in the second and fourth ODI respectively, her standout performance coming in the former, in which she returned 1/43 with the ball before anchoring a tense 271-run chase with a sublime unbeaten 119.
"Amelia Kerr is growing into her role as a genuine all-rounder in the New Zealand team," said Isobel Joyce, the former Ireland Women cricketer, and a voting panel member.
"She's been a world-class leg spinner for a number of years, but now her batting adds even more value to her spot in the team and makes her one of the best cricketers in the world." Kerr is an integral part of the White Ferns set-up at the ongoing World Cup, having already racked up 111 runs and bagged five wickets from four outings thus far.
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His bowling would be a 'surprise', claims fit-again Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik
Ahmedabad, Mar 13 (Cricket News) In his new avatar as Gujarat Titans skipper, a fit-again Hardik Pandya on Sunday claimed his bowling would be a "surprise" element in the upcoming Indian Premier League.
The ace Indian pace bowling all-rounder, who struggled to manage his bowling workload post his back surgery, will return to action in the IPL since his last appearance for India against Namibia in the T20 World Cup at Dubai on November 8.
Asked whether he would bowl again, Hardik said it would be a surprise.
"Sir, it would be a surprise, so let it be a surprise," the 28-year-old said on the sidelines of their jersey launch at their home ground Narendra Modi Stadium here.
Hardik was picked by Gujarat Titans for Rs 15 crore in the pre-auction draft and was named the captain as the former Mumbai Indians star will be seen as a new role of leading the side.
Hardik said captaincy is about man management.
"Success is theirs, failure is mine. Our role will be to make sure the players are comfortable in whatever capacity we can help them out. Clarity, honesty has to be there," he said.
"In good times they don't need any of us. But the season will test you, there will be difficult times and that's when we will be there to support them," Hardik reiterated what he had said during an earlier interaction.
The Ahmedabad-based franchise will make its IPL debut alongside Lucknow Super Giants to make it a 10-team IPL 2022 and they will take on the Lucknow franchise in their opening match on March 28.
The Gujarat Titans squad also includes India opener Shubman Gill, Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan, Australia's Matthew Wade, senior India pacer Mohammad Shami and New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson.
"We want to create a culture where all the players feel at home, we want to give them a sense of security then only we can get the best out of them. We want to make them feel like they belong here. It's about creating a new culture." The team will have former India pacer Ashish Nehra as the head coach and Hardik said it's fun to work with him.
"He's the funniest guy one can come across. He will never give you the coach vibe. It was very clear with Nehraji that let all the players decide what they want to do and give them freedom. You make mistakes but eventually you learn. I'm very excited to spend time with him," he concluded.
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Six Indian boxers clinch gold at Asian Youth and Junior Boxing C'ships
New Delhi, Mar 13 (Boxing News) Six Indian junior boxers, including Vini, Yakshika and Vidhi, registered contrasting wins to claim gold medals in their respective weight categories at the 2022 ASBC Asian Youth and Junior Boxing Championships in Amman, Jordan on Sunday.
Vini, the diminutive boxer from Hisar, beat Karina Tokubay of Kazakhstan in the flyweight 50kg final.
The Indian boxer started off well and won the first round convincingly, before her opponent made a strong comeback in the second round, which set the tone for a fierce final round that saw both the boxers exchange a lot of punches. Vini was scoring consistently and moving around the ring enroute securing a 5-0 verdict in her favour.
Yakshika (52kg) displayed remarkable courage and temperament against Uzbekistan’s Rakhima Bekniyazova to mount a comeback. The pugilist from Panipat conceded a lot of punches in the first round and was trailing 0-5.
But, she came back strongly in the second round and counter-attacked brilliantly to level the scores. She continued her aggressive approach in the last round to complete the comeback and win 4-1.
Vidhi notched up a comfortable 5-0 win against Aya Suwindeh of Jordan in the 57kg featherweight final. The Indian was in cruise control throughout the bout and forced the opponent to play at her terms. Playing at a distance, Vidhi was picking her punches smartly and moved around swiftly throughout the bout, without giving any chance to the local girl.
Defending Champion Nikita Chand (60kg) grabbed the yellow metal again as she dominated her bout against Uldana Taubay of Kazakhstan from the beginning which forced the referee to stop the contest in the third round.
Shrushti Sathe (63kg) was up against Nursulu Suienaly of Kazakhstan who had no answer for the Indian boxer’s reflexes and strong punches. Shrushti was relentlessly landing accurate punches in the second round and as a result of that, the referee stopped the contest in the second round.
Rudrika (75kg) blanked Kazakhstan’s Shuglya Nalibay 5-0 in a one-sided contest.
Earlier in the day, Mahi (46kg) and Palak (48kg) lost unanimously to Jasmin Tokhirova and Zilolakhon Yufova of Uzbekistan in their respective bouts. Supriya (54kg) also lost against Uzbekistan’s Uzukjamol Yunusova as the referee stopped the contest in the second round.
In the 81 kg final, Khushi went down fighting against Kazakhstan’s Kuralay Yeginbaikyzy 1-4. Nirjhara (+81kg) lost to Sobirakhon Shakhobidinova of Uzbekistan by RSC in the second round.
Later tonight, four Indian Junior boxers- Krrish Pal (46kg), Ravi Saini (48kg), Yashwardhan Singh (60kg) and Rishab Singh (60kg) will be in action.
With 21 medals in the junior and 18 in youth section, the Indian contingent has secured 39 medals at the prestigious continental tournament where both the age groups of men and women -- youth and junior -- are being played together.
India had won 39 medals, including 14 gold, in the last edition of the tournament held in Dubai in 2021.
The tournament has been witnessing a strong competition in presence of 352 boxers from 21 countries including India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Also Read : Vanshaj, Aman advance to youth men's finals at Asian Youth & Junior Boxing C'ships
News Source : PTI
Vanshaj, Aman advance to youth men's finals at Asian Youth & Junior Boxing C'ships
New Delhi, Mar 12 (Boxing News) Indian boxers Vanshaj (63.5kg) and Aman Singh Bisht (+92kg) registered commanding wins to enter the youth men's finals at the 2022 ASBC Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships in Amman, Jordan.
Last edition's silver medallist Vanshaj knocked out Syria’s Ahmad Nabaa in a referee stopping the contest verdict in the first round itself while Aman too produced an equally aggressive display to secure a convincing 4-0 win over Kazakhstan’s Tim Ofeypotashov in his semifinal bout late on Friday night.
Another youth boxer Anand Yadav, who was initially declared to have won his 54kg semifinal bout against Uzbekistan’s Abduvali Buriboev 3-2, ended his campaign with a bronze medal after his opponent protested and the decision was reversed.
Vishwanath Suresh (48kg), Vanshaj and Aman will be the three Indians who will feature in the youth men's finals while seven will play in finals among women on Monday.
In the junior finals scheduled on Sunday, 15 Indian boxers, including 11 men and four women, will fight for gold medal.
With 21 medals in junior and 18 in youth section, the Indian contingent has already secured 39 medals at the prestigious continental tournament where both the age groups of men and women -- youth and junior -- are being played together.
India had won 39 medals, including 14 gold, in the last edition of the tournament held in Dubai in 2021.
The tournament has been witnessing strong competition in the presence of 352 boxers from 21 countries, including from India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Also Read : Vishwanath, Anand reach finals of Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic set to participate at the Monte Carlo ATP Masters
(Tennis news) Serbian tennis star and World Number 2 Novak Djokovic has confirmed his participation at the Monte Carlo ATP Masters as he looks to defend his French Open title. The 20 time Grand Slam winner couldn’t defend his Australian Open title due to the COVID-19 vaccination requirements in Australia and recently withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells as well as the Miami Open.
Djokovic is a resident of Monaco and the country allows international travellers with a proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the last six months. The Serbian had recently recovered from COVID-19 in December for the second time. A post on Djokovic’s website said “Novak will open his 2022 clay court season in Monte Carlo, where he won the Masters 1000 title twice, in 2013 and 2015.
The Monte Carlo Masters will take place from April 10th to 17th and will be the second tournament Djokovic will participate in during the 2022 season so far. The Serbian was recently eliminated from the quarter finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last month and will hope to regain his rank 1 in the foreseeable future.
Billimoria becomes fastest Indian with Dystonia to finish triathlon
(Sports news) Huafrid Billimoria has become the fastest Indian with Dystonia to finish and place second runner up last week in Ironman Dubai 70.3, one of the world's toughest triathlons. Organised on March 5th in Dubai, it is said to be one of the most gruelling and toughest triathlons in the world. The Ironman 70.3 includes a 1.9km swim followed by a 90km bicycle ride and 21.1km marathon that needs to be wrapped up under 8 hours without taking a break. The triathlon is a very challenging one in itself, but battling Dystonia and managing to finish second runner up is a remarkable achievement.
Dystonia is a condition which causes involuntary muscle contractions and twisting movements. Not only did the Ironman of India -Huafrid Billimoria complete the triathlon, he also set a new world record by completing it in 7hours and 7 mins becoming the fastest Indian with Dystonia and Multiple Disabilities to bag the third position. The previous best was 7 hours and 44 mins. The Mumbai based athlete began preparations for the Ironman Dubai 70.3 three years ago and was invited to compete by Power Peaks, one of his sponsors. He was also sponsored by Veda Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre, which covered all of his travel and lodging costs. Previously, the firm assisted him in the treatment of mental conditions.
Pune based coaching academy PowerPeaks Athlete Lab, founded by coach and pro-athlete Chaitanya Velhal were not only inspired by Billimora’s commitment but also believed in his abilities. "Ironman Dubai 70.3 is a dream come true moment for me. It has been a long time calling, I feel elated to secure third place in the triathlon. I am indebted to Power Peaks who helped me immensely in my training. And I would like to thank all my sponsors from Veda Rehab & Wellness, Power Peaks and Koros- and all other sponsors without whom I couldn't have achieved this. It is an honour to represent India internationally." says Huafrid Billimoria after his win.
Huafrid Billimoria is only the second person in the world with Dystonia to have completed the full Ironman. He suffers from multiple challenges and disabilities like clinical ADHD, clinical mental health conditions like General Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He also had severe learning disabilities from the age of five. Despite the number of challenges, Huafrid Billimoria has proved that everything is possible if you set your mind to it. He has already reiterated that he wants to use his platform to spread awareness about disability, the lack of Empathy and belief in people who want to get ahead but can't because of all the bias and discrimination around the topic.
Billimora is already training for the toughest Ironman in the world, which will take place in April in South Africa, and he will also be competing in the upcoming Olympics. His sole purpose in participating in these marathons and triathlons is to represent India worldwide and to encourage more individuals like him to go forward and do their best.
Novak Djokovic withdraws from Indian Wells and Miami Open
(Tennis news) Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and Miami Open due to the COVID-19 restrictions in the United States. The World Number 2 remains unvaccinated and is not permitted to enter the US to compete in the tournaments.
In a statement released on social media, Djokovic said “While I was automatically listed in the @bnpparibasopen and @miamiopen draw, I knew, given the entry requirements to the US, it would be unlikely I'd be able to travel there. But as international COVID regulations are always being amended, I wanted to wait and see if anything would change. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) confirmed today that regulations are not changing which means I will not be playing in the US."
Having been recently deported from Australia, the 20 time Grand Slam winner saw his visa cancelled twice after arriving in the country with a medical exemption. Since then, Djokovic has reiterated that he is willing to miss tournaments due to his vaccination status and his withdrawal from the tournaments means that Grigor Dimitrov will take the Serbian’s place in the draw while a qualifier will get Dimitrov’s place after it’s completed.
Djokovic last appeared at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and was defeated by Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic in the quarter finals, resulting in the Serbian conceding his number 1 status to Daniil Medvedev.
Shreyas, Mithali, Deepti nominated for ICC's 'Player of the Month' award
Dubai, Mar 9 (Cricket News) Talented Indian men's team batter Shreyas Iyer, women's team captain Mithali Raj and star all-rounder Deepti Sharma were on Wednesday nominated for the ICC's 'Player of the Month' award for their performances in February.
The nominations in the men's category also feature UAE batter Vriitya Aravind, and Nepal's Dipendra Singh Airee.
In the women's category, New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr is in the list alongside Mithali and Deepti.
Iyer was in unstoppable form in the month of February and played a vital role in India's white-ball domination.
He started the month with a player of the match-winning 80 against West Indies in the final ODI and a 16-ball 25 in the last T20I.
With India opting to rest players and injury to Suryakumar Yadav, Iyer was promoted to No.3 in the T20I series against Sri Lanka.
He scored three unbeaten fifties in three games and finished with 204 runs at a blistering strike rate of 174.35 and was awarded the Player of the Series for his exploits.
Mithali was one of the few shining lights for India in the ODI series against New Zealand. She was the highest run-scorer for India and the second-highest overall with 232 runs, including three fifties, averaging 77.33 with a strike rate of 82.56.
In the final ODI, she played the role of the finisher to perfection, remaining unbeaten on 54 as India chased down 252 with four overs to spare. With that, India ensured that they finished the series with a win in their kitty.
All-rounder Deepti was brilliant with both the bat and ball in the series against New Zealand.
She took the most wickets (10) in the ODI series and was handy with the bat as well, aggregating 116 runs in five matches. She grabbed a four-for in the second ODI and followed it up with a 69 not out in the next match.
Also Read : ICC Test Rankings: Jadeja becomes world No.1 all-rounder
News Source : PTI
ICC Test Rankings: Jadeja becomes world No.1 all-rounder
Dubai, Mar 9 (Cricket News) India's Ravindra Jadeja climbed to the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for all-rounders on Wednesday after his match-winning performance against Sri Lanka in the opening Test in Mohali.
"Ravindra Jadeja's performance at India's recent Test win against Sri Lanka in Mohali has catapulted him to the no. 1 position in the MRF Tyres ICC Men's Test Player Rankings," the ICC said in a statement.
His unbeaten 175 lifted him up to 17 places from 54th to 37th with the bat and he added nine wickets to move up to 17th with the ball. His all-round contribution was enough for him to regain the top all-rounder spot from Jason Holder, who had held the position since February 2021.
Jadeja's only previous time on top was in August 2017, when he spent a week at number one.
Jadeja was named player of the match for his show against Sri Lanka in Mohali, where India triumphed under three days by an innings and 222 runs.
Also Read : ICC Women's WC: West Indies beat defending champions England by 7 runs in thriller
News Source : PTI
Djokovic entered into Indian Wells draw despite vaccination uncertainty
(Tennis news) World number 2 Novak Djokovic has been added to the Indian Wells draw by the tournament’s organisers but there remains uncertainty about whether the Serbian will be eligible to enter the United States. The 20 time Grand Slam winner has refused to take the COVID-19 vaccination and is prepared to miss tournaments as a consequence of his decision. Djokovic was deported from Australia due to his vaccination status after two visa cancellations, two court challenges and five nights at an immigration detention hotel.
In a statement by the Indian Wells organisers on Tuesday, they said on Twitter “Novak Djokovic is on the tournament entry list, and therefore is placed into the draw today. We are currently in communication with his team. However, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting CDC (US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) approval to enter the country."
As things stand, the CDC website says that non-US citizens who are not immigrants must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. The California based tournament is often regarded as the “fifth major” in the tennis calendar and was previously cancelled in 2020 and moved to October last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Djokovic recently competed at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships where he lost the quarter finals to Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic.
Raj, Mandhana slip two places in ICC Women's ODI Player rankings, Lannings grabs 2nd spot
Dubai, Mar 8 (Cricket News) Skipper Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana slipped a couple of places to the fourth and 10th spots respectively in the batting chart of the latest ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings released on Tuesday.
While Raj (718 points) was dismissed cheaply for nine runs, Mandhana (670 points) had hit a 75-ball 52 in India's opening women's ODI World Cup match against Pakistan on Sunday.
The Indian pair of Sneh Rana (53 not out) and Pooja Vastrakar (67 runs), however, moved up to their career best positions following their half-centuries in the team's 107-run win over Pakistan in the opening game.
Rana and Vastrakar had added 122 for India’s seventh wicket to lift them from 114-6 against Pakistan and both moved up to their career best positions with the bat.
Vastrakar occupies the 64th spot, while Rana still doesn't figure in the top 100.
Veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami was static at fourth in the bowlers' chart but spin all-rounder Deepti Sharma slipped a spot to the sixth position in all-rounders' rankings.
The first five games of the ICC event have caused a lot of movement in the women’s ODI player rankings with Australia skipper Meg Lanning climbing up two spots in the rankings for batters.
She is now just one position and 15 rating points away from the top spot that's currently occupied by her teammate Alyssa Healy.
Lanning was in sublime form in the first game against defending champions England, smashing 86 in 110 balls seven fours and a six, which helped Australia post a massive total of 310.
They eventually won the game in the last over by 12 runs.
The Player of the Match from the game, Rachael Haynes, who slammed a brilliant 130 of 131, climbed six spots and broke into the top 10 to occupy the No.7 spot in the rankings. The other centurion from the game – England's Nat Sciver rose five spots to No.6.
Hayley Matthews of West Indies made considerable gains across the board in the rankings for batters, bowlers as well as all-rounders.
She was the Player of the Match in West Indies' three-run heist against New Zealand – she scored a brilliant 119 to set a target of 260 for the White Ferns and then accounted for the wickets of the in-form Amelia Kerr and Brooke Halliday.
Matthews broke into the top 5 in the all-rounders' list, climbing six spots to No.4 and rose a massive 12 spots to No.20 for batters and three spots No.10 for bowlers.
Among the other players that moved up the rankings were South Africa’s Ayabonga Khaka, whose four-for against Bangladesh in the opening game helped her rise a spot to No.6.
Also Read : Warne would have done terrific job as England coach: Ponting
News Source : PTI
Warne would have done terrific job as England coach: Ponting
Dubai, Mar 8 (Cricket News) Shane Warne would have been a "terrific" England coach with his immense knowledge of the game, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said in an emotional tribute to the legendary spinner.
Following the sacking of Chris Silverwood in the aftermath of Australia's 4-0 Ashes win, Warne had confided to his friends about his aspiration to become England coach, weeks ahead of his shocking death due to suspected heart attack while holidaying in Thailand.
"His (Warne's) passion and knowledge for the game is something to behold. He would have made a great coach. Having someone like Warne to take over the England cricket team, I think he would have done a terrific job," Ponting told fellow broadcaster Isa Guha on 'The ICC Review'.
"He's a huge loss to the world game. It's simple as that, whether he would have done some coaching or even just the way he talks, the insights he gave us through his commentary, I think we're all gonna miss that." Ponting, who played for much of his 15-year international career with Warne said the spin king, however, did not talk to him about his intention to helm the England team. "He didn't (talk to me about that) because I would have tried talking him out of it pretty quickly.
"I think he had a pretty good idea of things to talk to me about and not talk to me about. He would have made a great coach," said the batting legend.
Guha herself said that Warne’s desire to coach England was real.
In a column for 'News Corp', Guha said Warne had floated the idea to her.
“The last time I saw Shane Warne in person, he came to me with a question... 'Hey Ish … I’m keen to put my hand up for this England job, what do you reckon?' He was serious," Guha wrote.
Warne had previously coached and captained the Rajasthan Royals to win the inaugural Indian Premier League in 2008. He also coached The Hundred franchise, the London Spirit.
"I know he's done a bit of it in The Hundred (with the London Spirit) but having someone like Shane Warne to take over the England cricket team now he would have done a great job," Ponting said.
"I don't think he left too much in his head. Whenever he had something to talk about, he made sure he got that out there and he did it in such a great way.
"It was in an educational way. That was what he was. He was very much a teacher through his commentary." Warne's career was marred by many unfortunate incidents and controversies and one of the lowest points was when he had to deal with his broken marriage with then wife Simone Callahan, a few days before the famous 2005 Ashes series.
Their marriage lasted 10 years before the duo split in 2005. But Warne showed character, returning with 40 wickets and finishing as the fifth leading run getter for Australia in their 1-2 defeat.
"I was worried about him, not just his cricket, but his life and home. I wanted to make sure everything was okay," Ponting remembered.
"I finally got him at breakfast and spoke to him. He told me, 'Mate what are you talking? I will deal with all this stuff, I guarantee you when the first ball is bowled in the first Test, you would not even know that anything's up'.
"If you look back, that was probably the greatest series he had in his career, not just with the ball but with the bat."
Also Read : Used to bowl medium pace to be next Kapil Paaji: Ashwin
News Source : PTI
Ponting says every time he thinks about Warne, he becomes emotional
Dubai, Mar 7 (Cricket News) Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting "loves" Shane Warne so much that he tends to switch off his television set on hearing the late spin king's voice in it in the past couple of days as he can't still believe that his one-time team-mate is no more.
In an emotional tribute to Warne with whom he played for much of his 15-year international career, Ponting said he is still struggling to comprehend the unexpected death of his close friend.
"It was so raw to me I couldn't really speak and every time I thought about him and our experiences and our journey together and I just got short for words," Ponting told Isa Guha, on The ICC Review.
"Even today I have had the TV on watching the tributes, but every time I hear his voice I have to turn it off.
"It's been a tough couple of days, but it makes us a bit more aware of things I probably need to pay more attention to and there is stuff there for all of us to learn.” Ponting knew Warne better than most having played alongside the iconic spinner for much of his international career, where the duo shared numerous Test victories, memorable series triumphs and a successful World Cup campaign in 1999.
But while Ponting lived in the same Melbourne bayside suburb as Warne and even caught up for the occasional game of golf all the way up to his death, the former Australia skipper said there was one thing he will never get to share with his long-time friend.
"I would say just how much I love him," Ponting said tearily, when asked what he would say to Warne if he had the chance for one final conversation.
"I didn't say that to him and I wish I did." Warne died at the age of 52 of suspected heart attack at the Thai resort of Koh Samui on Friday, leaving the cricket world stunned and shell-shocked.
"I woke up nice and early I was getting the kids ready to go to netball and Rianna (Ponting’s wife) looked at her phone and told me the news about Warney," he said.
"I grabbed the phone out of her hand to look at it and I couldn't believe it and it is still the same now," said the legendary batsman.
He vowed to ensure the champion leg spinner's legacy continues through his interactions with younger generation.
"He (Warne) was a teacher through his commentary and I've seen hundreds of photos over the last 24 hours of all the spinners he worked with. He helped Steve Smith in his younger days and Rashid Khan has been catching up with him - just imagine the conversations they would have had.
"So I feel it is now up to me whenever I get an opportunity to just let the world know what he was like and pass on some of the things I learnt from him." Ponting also reflected on the special memories he had with Warne while also paying homage to the type of man he was.
"If you spent a day with him (it was amazing to) see some of the names flashing up on his mobile phone.
"It was very rare for Warney just to be sitting at home. He would always try and find time for his friends and his family and that was one of his great strengths," Ponting said.
"The more people talking about Shane, the thing that will shine through will be just how loyal he was to family and friends and how loved he was. He had the energy that drew you to him and that is a trait that not a lot of people have."
Also Read : India register emphatic win against Sri Lanka with multiple milestones
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic set to play French Open after change in vaccine rules
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic is most likely to play at Roland Garros this season after the new vaccine rules were imposed. France will be announcing new rules later this month which can provide a safe passage to the Serbian after a controversial Australian affair. Djokovic has only played 3 matches this year all at Dubai, he reached the quarterfinals and lost to Jiri Vesely.
With the decline in cases, Djokovic is expected to have a smooth run to the rest of the season after a tough opening month. By missing the Australian Open and losing his no 1 status, the 20 time Grand Slam winner will have positive results as places around the globe will go easy on the current restrictions. Djokovic had earlier said in an interview with BBC that he is willing to miss Wimbledon or Roland Garros because of his stance because of his principles but his rankings will be affected as he continues to miss events.
The 34 year old has now won 991 matches in his career, he needs 9 more matches to become the 5th player in history to have won 1000 or more matches. Rafael Nadal is in 4th place with 1043 wins, Roger Federer is in 2nd place with 1251 wins but the Spaniard has the highest win percentage of 83.31 and Djokovic comes in second with 83.21 percent.
Djokovic is also into his 19th year as a professional and hasn’t missed the French Open since making his debut at the event in 2005. He missed the Australian Open for the first time in 17 years as he had been playing at the event from 2005. This year’s clay major will witness Nadal coming back for revenge and Djokovic aiming for a 21st Slam to tie with Nadal. The 13 time French Open winner was beaten for the 2nd time by Djokovic in the semi final last year and this time, Nadal has the edge since he started the year with a 15 match win streak.
The world number 2 has been inviting criticisms about his stance on vaccination but has also received praises from former players for his bold and courageous decision. Roland Garros will be held in May and from March 14, spectators will not have to show their vaccination certificates to get access to stadiums in France. If there won’t be any change of rules by May then it is guaranteed that Djokovic will be able to defend his title.
Anand Yadav enters quarter-finals at Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships
New Delhi, Mar 3 (Boxing News) Indian boxer Anand Yadav (54kg) produced a dominating show to enter the youth quarter-finals of the Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships in Amman, Jordan on Thursday.
Anand outclassed Kazakhstan's Aslan Aslanov in a unanimous decision.
Later this evening, last edition's silver-medallist Vanshaj will open his campaign in the 63.5kg youth men's category against local boy Abdallah Almharat.
In the junior boys' section, Ravi Saini put up a strong show against United Arab Emirates' Alsedrani Ali Bader in the 48kg preliminary bout, played late on Wednesday night.
In the 52kg opening round bout, John Lapung went down fighting 2-3 against Kyrgyzstan's Iasynov Nizamedin.
The continental showpiece, where both men and women in youth and junior category are competing, has been witnessing strong competition in the presence of 352 boxers from 21 countries, including Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The finals will be held on March 13 and 14.
During the last edition of the championships held in Dubai, the Indian contingent had won 39 medals, including 14 gold.
Also Read : Krrish Pal registers win in 1st round of 2022 ASBC Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships
News Source : PTI
DRS to be available at all matches of women's World Cup
Dubai, Mar 3 (Cricket News) The Decision Review System (DRS) will be available at all matches of the ICC Women's World Cup which begins on Friday in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.
The ICC on Thursday said that the March 4 to April 3 showpiece will be the most widely distributed women's cricket event of all time with unprecedented coverage.
This is the second time DRS is being used in the women's World Cup. The system was used in the 2017 edition in England.
"The Decision Review System (DRS) will be available at all matches," the world body said in a release.
"All matches of the prestigious tournament will be covered live by broadcast partners around the world, who will access a fully produced world feed programme from ICC TV using a minimum of 24 cameras at each of the six venues." Hosts New Zealand face West Indies in the tournament opener in Mount Maunganui on Friday.
"Women's cricket has made rapid progress in the past few years, and I have been following it very keenly. The world's best have converged in New Zealand and I'm sure there are lots of thrills in store in the coming weeks," fomer England men's team captain and one of the commentators, Nasser Hussain said.
Also Read : Never thought I would play 100th Test: Virat Kohli
News Source : PTI
Krrish Pal registers win in 1st round of 2022 ASBC Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships
New Delhi, Mar 2 (Boxing News) Indian boxer Krrish Pal opened the country's campaign on a winning note at the 2022 ASBC Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships, beating Uzbekistan's Sobirjon Tastanov in the first round of 46kg junior boys' category in Amman, Jordan on Wednesday.
The Chandigarh boxer, who was adjudged the Most Promising Boxer at the last Junior Nationals, notched up a 4-1 win in a hard-fought contest over his Uzbek rival. He will now square off against Robert Malu of Philippines in the next round of the prestigious tournament, where both the age groups of men and women, youth and junior, are being played together.
Later tonight, two more Indian boxers will begin their campaigns in the junior boys' section.
While Ravi Saini will take on United Arab Emirates' Alsedrani Ali Bader in the 48kg, John Lapung will take on Kyrgyzstan's Iasynov Nizamedin in the 52kg opening round.
A 50-member Indian contingent, with both junior and youth squads comprising 25 boxers each, are taking part at the ongoing Asian Youth & Junior Championships.
The continental showpiece will witness a strong competition in the presence of 352 boxers from 21 countries, including India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The finals will be played on March 13 and 14.
In the last edition of the ASBC Asian Youth and Junior Boxing championships held in Dubai in 2021, the Indian contingent concluded their campaign with 39 medals, including 14 golds.
Also Read : Strandja Memorial Boxing: Nandini ends with bronze after semifinal loss
News Source : PTI
Shreyas Iyer jumps 27 places to 18th in ICC T20 rankings
Dubai, Mar 2 (Cricket News) Riding on his splendid run against Sri Lanka recently, India batter Shreyas Iyer has jumped a massive 27 spots in the latest ICC T20I rankings, even as Virat Kohli fell out of the top 10.
India's recent home series win against Sri Lanka has had major ramifications on the player rankings aiding attacking top-order batter Iyer to make a massive jump to reach the 18th position in the list for batters.
Iyer scored three unbeaten half-centuries during India's 3-0 win against Sri Lanka in February, with the 27-year-old amassing an impressive 204 runs at a strike rate of 174.
Iyer's teammate pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar jumped three spots to 17th on the bowler rankings.
Sri Lanka's Pathum Nissanka scored an impressive 75 in the second game of the series, and he was rewarded with a six-spot rise to ninth on the rankings, while former India captain Kohli - who was rested for the series - dropped five places to 15th.
The other big mover with the bat in T20I cricket this week is Mohammad Waseem of the UAE. His unbeaten century against Ireland in the final of ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier A, helped him reach the 12th position with the bat. That is the highest T20I ranking by any UAE batter, surpassing Shaiman Anwar's 13th place achieved in 2017.
Sri Lanka's Lahiru Kumara's five wickets in the series with India have lifted him into the top 40 bowlers for the first time.
Other bowlers who enjoyed a successful time at the T20 World Cup Qualifier A include Zahoor Khan of UAE (up 17 places to joint-42nd) and Ireland's Josh Little (up 27 places to join-49th).
Rohan Mustafa's successes with bat and ball have enabled him to move up to sixth place among all-rounders, just one place below his best of fifth achieved in February 2020.
The biggest mover on the Test rankings was South African quick Kagiso Rabada, who shot up three places to third following his impressive display against hosts New Zealand.
Rabada managed 10 wickets during the two-match series, with his magnificent haul of 5/60 in the first innings of the second Test helping the Proteas on their way to an important 198-run triumph.
The kiwi duo of Kyle Jamieson (dropped two spots to fifth) and Tim Southee (dropped one spot to sixth) lost ground in the bowler rankings, with Australia captain Pat Cummins and India veteran Ravichandran Ashwin still leading the way.
Marnus Labuschagne remained as the top ranked Test batter, with New Zealander Devon Conway jumping six places to 17th following his 92 in the second innings of the second Test against South Africa.
In the ODI rankings for men, veteran spinner Rashid Khan re-claimed his spot in the top 10 for bowlers following five wickets from the recent three-game series against Bangladesh.
Rashid jumped six spots to ninth, while teammate Mehidy Hasan Miraz dropped two spots to seventh following the series.
Sri Lanka's Liton Das was the leading run-scorer in the ODI series between Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and he is up to a career-best 32nd with the bat.
Trent Boult remained the top ranked ODI bowler, while Pakistan right-hander Babar Azam led the way for batters.
Also Read : Harmanpreet credits team psychologist for helping her come out of 'shell'
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic parts ways with long term coach Marian Vajda
(Tennis news) Former world number 1 Novak Djokovic has split with his long term coach Marian Vajda for the second time. The 34 year old Serbian lost his number 1 ranking to Daniil Medvedev on Monday and announced the decision to part ways with Vajda, who has been with him since 2006 on Tuesday. The pair previously parted ways during Djokovic’s injury-stricken 2017 season with Vajda alongside fitness specialist Gebhard Phil-Gritsch and physio Miljan Amanovic departing at the same time.
Djokovic was deported from Australia due to his vaccination status earlier this year and one notable absentee from his camp was Vajda with head coach Goran Ivanisevic present at not just Australia but also in Dubai. The split between Djokovic and Vajda was mutually decided during the ATP Finals in Turin at the end of last season and 56 year old Vajda had expressed his desire to spend more time with family after being associated with Djokovic for 15 years. The Slovakian joined Djokovic’s camp in 2006 and has been an integral part of his team ever since, even though his role has evolved over the years.
"Marian has been by my side during the most important and memorable moments in my career," said Djokovic. "Together we have achieved some incredible things and I am very grateful for his friendship and dedication over the last 15 years." "During my time with Novak, I have been lucky to watch him transform into the player he is today. I will look back on our time together with immense pride and am so very thankful for the success we have achieved. I remain his biggest support on and off the court and look forward to new challenges," said Vajda.
Ivanisevic is expected to continue as Djokovic’s head coach while the rest of the team structure is also expected to remain the same including physios Ulises Badio and Amanovic and fitness coach Marco Panichi. It remains to be seen how much Vajda's departure affects Djokovic in a period of uncertainty for the Serbian who has only played three matches this year. In an interview with BBC, Djokovic said "Yes, that is the price that I'm willing to pay because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else.”
Harmanpreet rises to 20th, Mithali stays 2nd in ICC rankings
Dubai, Mar 1 (Cricket News) India's Harmanpreet Kaur gained a spot to be in 20th position while her skipper Mithali Raj retained her second place in the latest women's ODI batter rankings released on Tuesday.
Kaur scored a 66-ball 63 in the fifth and final ODI against New Zealand recently to roar back into form, the knock helping India to avoid a whitewash at the hands of the home team.
Raj and star opener Smriti Mandhana, who scored 73 in the final ODI, maintained their second and eight spots respectively.
All-rounder Deepti Sharma also saw her position improve in the bowling charts, gaining one spot up to No.12. She returned with figures of 1/49 in four overs and 2/42 in 10 overs in the fourth and fifth ODIs respectively.
She only scored nine runs in the fourth ODI and did not bat in the fifth match, which saw her lose one spot in the all-rounders' rankings, down to No.5.
Veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami continued to be the only Indian in the top 10, as she held on to her fourth spot in the bowlers' chart.
New Zealand's Amelia Kerr did very well in the final two ODIs of the five-match series against India.
In the fourth ODI, which was reduced to a 20-over contest, Kerr scored an unbeaten 68 in only 33 deliveries. In the fifth and final ODI, Kerr scored 68 in 75 balls. Her exploits with the bat have seen her jump up five spots to No.17 in the rankings chart for batters.
Kerr also contributed with a few handy overs in the final two matches. In the fourth match, she returned with figures of 3/30 in 3.5 overs as New Zealand successfully defended a score of 191.
In the fifth and final ODI, she registered figures of 1/55 in her 10 overs. This has seen her rankings rise up to No.17 in bowlers, a gain of four positions.
She has also broken into the top 5 of the all-rounders' chart, gaining two positions up to No.4. Her form will undoubtedly aid New Zealand as the hosts aim to clinch their second ICC Women's Cricket World Cup title, beginning March 4.
In other big movements, Amy Satterthwaite dropped down four positions in the batting rankings, down to No.7. She scored a 16-ball 32 in the fourth ODI and 21-ball 12 in the fifth and final contest.
Alyssa Healy continued at the top of the batting charts, while her Australian compatriots Jess Jonassen and Ellyse Perry maintained their status as the No.1 ranked bowler and the No.1 ranked all-rounder, respectively.
Also Read : 100th Test another feather in Kohli's cap: Jasprit Bumrah
News Source : PTI
Para archer Pooja enters World Championships final
Dubai, Feb 27 (Archery News) Indian archer Pooja on Sunday created history by becoming the first to enter the final in an individual section of the Para World Championships here.
The 24-year-old came back from 0-2 down to defeat Hazel Chaisty of Britain 6-2 to assure India at least a second silver medal from the ongoing tournament.
In her quest to become the first para archery world champion from India, Pooja will take on Italy's Petrilli Vincenza later in the day.
India are also in the fray for a second medal in the day, and third overall, as Pooja and her namesake and senior teammate Pooja Khanna will fight for a team bronze, taking on their rivals from Mongolia.
The compound mixed pair of Shyam Sundar Swami and Jyoti Baliyan had earlier opened India's account with a silver medal -- the country's first medal in the World Archery Para Championships.
India have participated in two World Championships -- Beijing 2017 and Den Bosch 2019 -- when Rakesh Kumar came close to winning a bronze medal.
Qualified as fourth seed, Pooja began her campaign by defeating Pooja Khanna 7-1.
In the quarters, she overcame a stiff resistance from Svetlana Barantseva to emerge 6-4 winner.
Also Read : India eyes elusive medal at World Archery Para Championships
News Source : PTI
Jiri Vesely sets up high intensity final against Andrey Rublev in Dubai
(Tennis news) Andrey Rublev reached the finals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships by beating Hubert Hurkacz. Rublev had lost his previous two matches to Hurkacz and had to fight hard through a defensive masterclass to win the semifinal. The Russian started the winners early into the match but the 25 year old defended most of them to take the lead in the first set.
Hurkacz hit 10 aces and 14 winners in the opening set as Rublev was far behind with 2 aces and 5 winners. In the second set, the Polish player again served 10 aces with as many winners but the 24 year old was still behind and got through in the final game with long extreme rallies. In the final set, both players held their serve but the world number 11 only lost one point off his first serve and kept on pounding aces against Rublev. The world number 7 did not slow his strokes as he kept hitting in the final point of the match as an unforced error by Hurkacz ended the match in 2 hours and 23 minutes. Hurkacz finished the match with 27 aces, 33 winners, 9 unforced errors and also 99 points in total which was 3 more than Rublev. Rublev defeated Hurkacz 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(7-5).
“I’m feeling super happy and super tired," said Rublev, who is now one win from his fifth ATP 500 title. "I could not imagine that it would happen this week again, that I would be in a final, and I’m just happy."
Jiri Vesely entered his first Masters 500 final when he beat Denis Shapovalov in a three hour, three tie breaker match. Vesely started with a 3-0 lead which was slowly pulled back as Shapovalov was quick with his feet to level the score and enter the tiebreak with growing confidence. The Canadian saved a set point with his attacking shots and took the first chance to take the set.
In the second set, the Czech started coming to the net more but it was Shapovalov who was more successful in the front as he won all the 8 net points. However, the serve quality went down for the 22 year old and had to defend 4 set points in the tiebreak but a double fault made it easy for Vesely to make a comeback. In the third set, the 28 year old was regularly serving above 200 km/ hour and his fastest serve was timed at 224 km/ hour as he only lost 4 points in his first serve. The world number 14 was still struggling with 6 double faults in the deciding set even though he was two points away from winning the match in the 10th game while returning serve. Vesely defeated Shapovalov 6-7(7-9), 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-3).
“I think I’m having a dream run here so far," said Vesely after the win. "I was just trying my best to really enjoy it as much as possible. It was my first ATP 500 semi-final and the only way to get through is just to fight until the last point, and I’m very happy.”
Daniil Medvedev ends Novak Djokovic’s reign in ATP rankings
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev will create history on 28th February when he captures the no 1 ranking on the ATP tour. Medvedev will become the first player outside the big four to take the top spot, the last time it happened was in 2004 when Andy Roddick was the world number one. Since then Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have never surrendered the top position in almost 18 years.
The 26 year old will become the third Russian after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1999 and Marat Safin 2000-01 to ascend to the top of the rankings. Medvedev will also become the 27th player in history to achieve the number 1 ranking on the ATP the tour, Djokovic had been holding the spot for over a year and Medvedev had his chances last year during Wimbledon but could not capture it back then.
Djokovic was trying to win the title in Dubai as he had to do well in order to delay the takeover. Djokovic's loss to Jiri Vesely in the quarterfinals confirmed the news for Medvedev who will take on Nadal in the semi final at Acapulco. An early loss for Medvedev and a deep run for Djokovic would have meant more time for the 20 time Grand Slam winner; while the current number 2 had to reach the final at Acapulco to confirm the ranking no matter what happened in Dubai.
The 2021 US Open winner first became number 2 in March 2021 but was floating around no 2 and 3 for a month, he has been sticking to number 2 since May. On Monday when the rankings will be released it will be a major change as the Serbian’s run will finally come to an end, the next gen has finally completed a key part of the mission.
Dominic Thiem’s US Open victory two years later opened the gates for the younger players as Medvedev made it bigger while beating Djokovic in a historic US Open final a few months ago. The last 2 years has seen the emergence of the next gen as they have won Grand Slams and now taken the rankings. Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open a month back, the next mission of the youngsters would be to win as many major titles as that will take care of the rankings and with time in their hands it will be a start of a new era.While there are still a lot of tournaments left in this season, it will be a positive change to the tennis community next week.
Swiatek topples seed at Doha, Ostapenko extends winning streak
(Tennis news) Iga Swiatek reached the last four for the first time at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open in Doha. Swiatek had lost her only previous meeting against Aryna Sabalenka but this time it was a formidable performance as she will face Maria Sakkari for a place in the final.
The top seed lost the first three games of the match, she seemed motivated even though she was down 2-4 as there was no halt on celebrations. The 20 year old on the other side was not very vocal when winning points as a clenched fist was more than enough, Swiatek had steady groundstrokes which was not fast but was very effective. Sabalenka did crush some of the groundstrokes but it came to use once or twice in a game.
In the second set, the world number 2 took the first three games with her hard hitting groundstrokes which affected her rival’s game for the first time in the match. Sabalenka’s sliced strokes were consistently getting hit for winners by Swiatek even from her backhand, the Belarusian could not never anticipate where the ball was going to go after slicing it. The world number 8 started hitting more and more winners as the match went in her favour as she took the next 6 games for the win. Swiatek defeated Sabalenka 6-2, 6-3.
"This match is going to give me a lot of confidence," Swiatek said in her post-match press conference. "I'm very happy that tactically I did a great job, and my mental game was also on point. That's the most important thing for me, because from the beginning I wanted to be aggressive and to be focusing on myself and on my game."
Jelena Ostapenko was playing against Garbine Muguruza for the 5th time in her career and had only one victory which was in 2017. Ostapenko had only taken two sets in their previous meetings but was on a 8 match winning streak that started at Dubai and it did continue at Doha. There were rarely long rallies in the match as it was either a winner from Ostapenko or an unforced error from her as it was the Latvian who ended most of the rallies.
In the first set, the Spaniard was struggling to stop Ostapenko from attacking every possible ball as there was a slight comeback from Muguruza when she took 2 straight games. Other than the minor lag there was nothing to block the 24 year old who finished the set by hitting 2 return winners. In the second set, there was no fight from the former world number 1 as Ostapenko gave no chances to survive her onslaught. In total, the world number 13 hit 39 winners in the match while Muguruza hit 5 of them. Ostapenko defeated Muguruza 6-2, 6-2.
Vesely stops Djokovic in Dubai, Rublev looks for first win against Hurkacz
(Tennis news) Jiri Vesely recorded a historic win over Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Vesley now has 2 wins against Djokovic as the Serbian is yet to secure a win in their career head to head meetings. There were service breaks by both players in the first four games of the match after which the Czech held his serve with powerful backhands and disguised dropshots.
In the second set, the world number 123 had faster serves than the earlier set which made him finish the points early. Even though the world number 1 served more aces in the second set, the left hander was more aggressive and even had a front facing tweener to win the point. Vesley’s serve reached speeds of 225 km/hour in the second set and his average second serve was around 180 km/ hour while for Djokovic it was 153 km/ hour. Daniil Medvedev will ascend to the top of the rankings on monday as he will face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals at Acapulco.
“It is an amazing feeling,” Vesely said in his on-court interview. “I never really thought I would have a chance against Novak. He is one of the greatest of all time. After the past 12 months, it is unbelievable. I have so many emotions inside. It is hard to describe. It is an amazing feeling.”
Hubert Hurkacz entered the semifinals in Dubai for the first time with a straight set victory over Jannik Sinner. Hurkacz had reached the quarterfinals in 2019 where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Polish number one who will face Andrey Rublev for a place in the final. In the quarterfinal, the 25 year old placed the ball perfectly whenever Sinner failed to hit it with his punishing speed. The 20 year old was broken thrice in the match but could not get a single break not even a breakpoint as the service games gave Hurkacz the lead in the match. Hurkacz defeated Sinner 6-3, 6-3.
Andrey Rublev reached the last four for the second consecutive time in Dubai. Rublev beat Mackenzie McDonald as he had lost to the American three years ago at the Australian Open. This time, Mackenzie started well with 10 winners in the first set as Rublev had 4 and the 26 won the net points on all five occasions coming forward. Mackenzie broke thrice in the first set as the world number 7 managed to break once, in the second set both players had three breakpoints as the 24 year old converted two of them and saved all three points on serve.
In the third set, there were a handful of volleys as it was all baseline power hitting. The world number 61 stood no chance as Rublev only hit 1 unforced error and lost a single point out of 13 in his first serves. Rublev will look for his first against Hurkacz in their third career meeting. Rublev defeated Mackenzie 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Mackenzie McDonald sends Aslan Karatsev packing in opening round at Dubai
(Tennis news) Mackenzie McDonald was playing at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the first time. He had a tough draw and was pitted against Aslan Karatsev in the opening round; the pair had met a month earlier at the Australian Open where Karatsev came out on top in four sets. The curtains came down early for the Russian as Mackenzie looked faster and stronger than his opponent, the defending champion was playing here for the second time after his strong run last year.
Karatsev was not looking sharp as usual and could not find a way to tackle the American’s serve. In the first set, Mackenzie served 8 aces and was behind in the number of winners but covered the margin in terms of unforced errors. Court coverage was also missing from the 28 year old while the world number 61 did not think twice in chasing the ball around the court. Mackenzie defeated Karatsev 7-5, 6-3.
Jannik Sinner has played 9 matches this year so far and has only lost one, he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open. Sinner has only played in hardcourt events so far in the 2022 season, this time in Dubai he had to down three match points against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the opening round. Fokina was much more agile in the first two sets than Sinner as he got to most of the balls and kept overpowering the Italian in the rallies.
The word number 10 tried to be aggressive but the Spaniard had the final answer as he took the first set. In the second set, it seemed like the Italian was slowly building his power as he had to defend three match points in the tiebreak. The first match point was saved in a defensive rally by the 20 year old as the world number 42 hit an inside out forehand long, the second one was saved by a 203 km/ ace and the third one was all due to the reliability on Sinner’s backhand which returned the ball perfectly.
The 22 year old lost his form in the deciding set as Sinner began attacking especially from his backhand. The 5 time title winner had 2 winners in the first and in the next two sets he hit 22 winners as he finished the match with an attacking forehand. Sinner defeated Fokina 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3.
“It was a very tough match,” said Sinner after completing the comeback. “I know Davidovich Fokina, but we’ve never played against each other. It was the first time for both of us and it was a tricky one, saving three match points. On the first one I got lucky because it was out, but not so far out.”
India eyes elusive medal at World Archery Para Championships
Dubai, Feb 22 (Archery News) India's top para-archers, including Tokyo Paralympics bronze medallist Harvinder Singh, will return to action at the World Archery Para Championships that begins here on Wednesday.
The nine-member Indian team arrived here after a two-month training camp at the Sports Authority of India Centre in Sonipat and the archers are confident of a good show at the showpiece.
India has won medals in almost every single event since 2017, except in the World Championships. Harvinder won a gold in 2018 Asian Para Games and bronze in the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Harvinder, who turned his farm in Punjab's Ajitnagar into a target practice venue before winning a historic Paralympic bronze in Tokyo, is focused on getting his job done -- shooting a perfect score and returning home with the elusive medal.
"Like every other player here, I will be very happy to go back home with a medal. But right now, I am not thinking about this. The target is to shoot well this week. The result will follow," he said in a release.
"There's a lot of excitement within the team as this is the first event after Tokyo Paralympics. This Championship is very important in terms of knowing where we stand right now.
"As this is the start of the season, the event will also give a direction to our plans ahead," said Harvinder, who finished seventh and ninth in the last two Worlds.
Harvinder said he does not want to be under pressure by setting a target in the championships.
"Mentally I am confident. But I don't want to be overconfident or be under pressure by setting any target in the championships. I want to just focus on shooting a good score.
"That's what I did at the Paralympics and Asian Para Games also. I want to follow the same strategy -- stay calm, focused and shoot well," added the recurve men's open archer who will celebrate his 31st birthday in three days.
Compound open archers, including Paralympians Rakesh Kumar, Shyam Sundar Swami and Jyoti Baliyan, will open their campaign.
National coach Kuldeep Kumar said that the team is the country's best bet for a medal at major championship.
"We are eyeing the elusive World medal, the gold, this time. There's a lot of expectation from the archers, it's a very balanced team," Kumar said.
"We have Paralympic and Asian Para Games medallists, and World Ranking tournament medallists. The team has worked very hard for the last few months in all aspects of their game," said the coach.
As many as 223 archers from 40 countries are competing at the championships, where 16 world titles are up for grabs.
Also Read : Star archery couple Deepika, Atanu dropped from TOPS program
News Source : PTI
UAE and Ireland qualify for ICC T20 World Cup
Dubai, Feb 22 (Cricket News) UAE and Ireland on Tuesday confirmed their tickets to the ICC men's T20 World Cup in Australia after reaching the final of the Qualifier A at Al Amerat, Oman.
UAE stopped the three-match winning run of Nepal with a 68-run victory while Ireland beat Oman by 56 runs.
At the Oman Academy ground 1, UAE produced a clinical performance to reach the T20 World Cup for the second time. The last time UAE made it to the global showpiece event was in 2014.
For Ireland, the only Full Member nation in Qualifier A, it will be their seventh appearance at the global showpiece.
The two winning teams took the 13th and 14th spots for the tournament in Australia later this year, with the last two places to be decided at the Qualifier B in July.
Chasing an imposing victory target of 176, Nepal were rocked by the early strikes of UAE pacer Junaid Siddique.
The quick was in top gear, removing the top-three Nepal batters in his three-over spell. A sensational opening over saw Siddique sending back opener Aasif Sheikh and one-down batter Lokesh Bam off two successive balls. Nepal were 3 for 2 in six balls and the chase looked a tall order.
Siddique then took the prize scalp of Nepal's in-form batter Kushal Bhurtel in his second over. UAE skipper Ahmed Raza's double-strike in the 13th over extinguished whatever hopes Nepal had as they were down to 83 for 6.
Raza's golden arm found him more success to wrap up Nepal innings for 107 and his five-wicket haul earning him the player of the match award. The experienced duo of Dipendra Singh Airee (38) and Gyanendra Malla were the only batters to reach double digits.
Earlier, Vriitya Aravind continued with his blazing batting display. A whirlwind knock of 46 off 23 set the tone for his team's impressive total.
Ireland ease to victory ============== Batting first after losing the toss, Ireland posted 165 for 7. Gareth Delany top-scored with a 32-ball 47. Oman began the Powerplay well as Ireland's usually reliable opening pair -- Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie -- failed them this time.
However, Delany and Harry Tector stitched an 82-run fourth wicket stand to put the pressure back on the hosts. Tector was the aggressor early on, but once Delany settled in, fireworks ensued on both ends of the wicket.
The winner of Thursday's final between UAE and Ireland will secure a place in Group 1 of the first round at the World Cup later this year. They will join Sri Lanka and Namibia with the fourth team to be decided after the Qualifier B in June.
The runners-up on Thursday will join West Indies and Scotland in Group 2. The winner of Qualifier B will complete the Group 2 in June.
Also Read : Hamstring injury rules Deepak Chahar out of Sri Lanka T20Is
News Source : PTI
Deepti, Richa, Meghana make gains in ICC ODI women's rankings
Dubai, Feb 22 (Cricket News) India's Deepti Sharma gained two spots to be at 18th while compatriot Richa Ghosh rose 15 places to occupy 54th position in the latest women's ODI batter rankings on Tuesday.
India skipper Mithali Raj, who struck half centuries in the first and second ODIs against New Zealand, maintained her second spot.
Though India have had a disappointing showing so far in the series against New Zealand, there were a few positives that were reflected in the rankings.
Deepti's unbeaten 69-run knock in the third ODI saw her gain two places to be at No.18 in the batters' rankings while her four-for in the second ODI helped her climb six spots to No.13 in the bowlers' list.
She also held on to her fourth position among the all-rounders.
Young wicketkeeper Richa also rose 15 spots to No.54, courtesy her innings of 65 that helped India post a big total in the second ODI.
Star opener Smriti Mandhana, who remained at eighth spot despite missing out on the first three ODI's against New Zealand due to quarantine restrictions, was the other Indian in the top 10 .
In Mandhana's absence, Sabbhineni Meghana grabbed the opportunity with both hands with knocks of 49 and 61 which saw her rise a massive 113 spots to be at No.67 in the batters' list.
Veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami continued to be the only Indian in the top 10, as she held on to her fourth spot in the bowlers' chart.
New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr, who scored a hundred and a fifty in the second and third ODI, climbed the batters' and all-rounders' charts.
The latest rankings saw Kerr attain career-high ratings for batters (512) and all-rounders (269). She jumped 21 spots to No.22 in rankings for batters and seven spots to No.6 for all-rounders.
Fellow Kiwi Lauren Down too climbed up the ladder, making a massive jump after her match-winning 64 not out off 52 balls in the third ODI. She rose 14 spots and broke into the top 50 to occupy the 49th spot for batters.
Also Read : Bowling attack is concern going into World Cup: Mithali
News Source : PTI
Halep suffers earliest exit in 5 years at Doha, Svitolina falls to Martincova
(Tennis news) Simona Halep had to return without a win at the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, Doha. Halep had lost in the opening round in 2016 to Elena Vesnina which was her only first round exit at the event, the Romanian was playing for the 7th year after making her debut in 2012. The former world number 1 had reached the final in 2019 and won the title in 2014 but this time she was beaten by Caroline Garcia.
The pair was meeting for the 9th time on tour, Garcia only had a single victory against Halep which came at Beijing in 2014. Halep’s form and her record should have taken her through but the 28 year old saved 9 breakpoints while converting 2 of her own to take the lead in both the sets. The world number 76 had a much more aggressive forehand and at the same time used dropshots which landed perfectly at the other end of the court. Garcia defeated Halep 6-4, 6-3.
Elina Svitolina was the next high profile player to make an early exit at Doha. Svitolina fell in the first round for the third time in 8 appearances, although it took 3 hours for Tereza Martincova to avenge her defeat at the Indian Wells last year. The Ukrainian had the edge in the shorter rallies in the opening set and in the tiebreak played breathtaking tennis to take the lead.
In the second set, Martincova’s backhand was no match for her opponent as it did the trick during breakpoints. While the 10th seed finished points at the net and the baseline for the world number 42, it was the baseline that helped her take the second set. In the decider, the 16 tour winner took a 5-3 lead and began playing more aggressively. In the 9th game, after an excellent defensive battle the Czech player hit a forehand pass shot which gave her the break and it was the turning point of the match.
In the tiebreak, the former world number 40 maintained her good record at tie breaks by changing the direction of the ball during the rallies. Martincova did not allow Svitolina to rest for one moment as the rallies were becoming more physical for the world number 15 and it took a toll on her in the end. Svitolina saved 12 of the 22 breakpoints she faced as Martincova saved 1 out of 10, both players could not do justice to their service but were successful while returning serve. Martincova defeated Svitolina 6-7(2-7), 7-5, 7-6(7-5).
Novak Djokovic wins first match of the season at Dubai
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic had a great start to his 2022 season by beating Lorenzo Musetti in the opening round at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The world number 1 has a task in hand in his first ever event of the year as his pole position is at risk, Djokovic will be keeping a close watch at the results in Acapulco as Daniil Medvedev is also on a mission. The Serbian had trouble in dealing with the one handed backhand which was slicing, hard hitting the ball as Musetti started the match with an inside out backhand winner.
The Italian had 7 chances to break serve in the match but failed to convert all of them, the 34 year old got the breaks as the rallies ended because of the untimely unforced errors. Djokovic defeated Musetti 6-3, 6-3.
“All in all, it’s a straight-sets win, so of course I have to be satisfied with my tennis, especially after not playing for two-and-a-half, three months,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “Of course, there were moments when I played great, there were moments when I made a couple of unforced errors in a row uncharacteristically. But it’s normal to expect that in my first match after a while.
Andy Murray pulled off a few textbook shots in his match against Christopher O'Connell. Murray also slammed his racquet to the ground a few times in the opening set, there was a huge improvement from the former world number 1 as his hand skills and speed gave him the second set. Each set lasted an hour but it was the qualifier who looked exhausted and not Murray who was getting to the ball somehow even though the match was short of nine minutes to 3 hours.
The 2017 champion got a break in the 12 game of the decider with defensive skills that got a standing ovation from the crowd as Christopher could not have played the rally better. Murray defeated Christopher 6-7(4-7), 6-3, 7-5.
Taro Daniel was playing at Dubai for the first time and made sure there was an upset on the opening day when he beat David Goffin. The Belgian is making his fourth appearance at the event but has not won a match yet, the streak continues as the world number 111 hit 18 winners and 3 unforced errors. In the second set, it was Goffin who was attacking the court with 20 winners but could not close it in the tiebreak. Daniel defeated Goffin 6-3, 7-6(7-5).
Also read: Carlos Alcaraz defeats Diego Schwartzman to reach new milestone at Rio
India climb to top spot in ICC T20 rankings after series sweep over WI
Dubai, Feb 21 (Cricket News) India on Monday claimed the top spot in the ICC men's T20 International Team Rankings, riding on their 3-0 series sweep over the West Indies at home.
India eased to a 17-run victory over the West Indies in the third and final T20 of the series on Sunday in Kolkata and in the process, clinched an emphatic 3-0 clean sweep.
The triumph helped India catapult England at the top of the T20 team rankings, with Rohit Sharma's side now matching the top rating of 269.
While England and India both have the same rating across 39 international matches in the rankings period (269), India has a total of 10,484 points, 10 more than England's 10,474.
According to a statement issued by the ICC, Pakistan (rating of 266), New Zealand (255) and South Africa (253) complete the top five list, while Australia (249) remain in sixth after their 4-1 series victory over Sri Lanka.
Also Read : We are good chasing side but pleasing that we were able to defend also: Rohit
News Source : PTI
Jelena Ostapenko overwhelms Veronika Kudermetova in Dubai final
(Tennis news) Jelena Ostapenko battled four Grand Slam champions and was a point away from making an exit in the semifinals at Dubai but it did not stop her from winning a 5th career title. Ostapenko was making her 5th appearance at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships and had one victory in her last 4 visits. She defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-0, 6-4 in 65 minutes, Kudermetova was playing in her third career final and the second one this year after Melbourne.
The Russian is now ranked at a career-best of 25 after her results over the past week. Ostapenko broke into the top 15 with a ranking of 13 which is her highest in 4 years, she started the year at 28 and has a possibility of entering the top 10 again.
"I was fighting until the very last point, I even was down a match point against Petra Kvitova," said Ostapenko. "Every match was very tough, and I was fighting, that was the main thing I was doing, because I honestly had no other choice. But I’m really happy with the way I was playing all week, and I think this way I can gain more confidence."
The former world number 5 spent over 8 and half hours on court and lost three sets in 5 matches at Dubai. The Latvian only needed 22 minutes to take the first set as the winners kept coming, especially her backhand which was at its peak while hitting cross-court winners. Kudermetova was failing badly to land her first serves in as there were only 4 of them and overall won 5 points in her service games. Although Ostapenko did not serve a single ace in the match, the 2017 Roland Garros champion lost just three points of her serve in the opening set.
After the first set bagel, the 2021 Charleston winner retaliated in the second by converting all three breakpoints and broke serve in the opening game. Ostapenko started punching the returns as she made it 2-2 and broke serve in the 8th game to serve for the match at 5-3. The four time title winner had no answer to her opponent’s forehand as it looked like Kudermetova had a chance to extend the set when she took the game to make it 5-4. After saving a championship point, a forehand into the net gave Ostapenko her first title of the season.
In the women’s doubles, Kudermetova gained revenge along with Elise Mertens as the pair beat Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok in the final. It was a much more lucid affair as Kudermetova and Mertens only lost four games in a match that lasted for 58 minutes. It was the Belgian’s 15th career doubles title as for the young Russian it was her 3rd doubles title. Kudermetova and Mertens defeated Ostapenko and Kichenok 6-1, 6-3.
Carlos Alcaraz defeats Diego Schwartzman to reach new milestone at Rio
(Tennis news) Carlos Alcaraz won his second career title after defeating Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Rio Open. Alcaraz is now the youngest ever ATP Masters 500 winner and has now reached a career high ranking of number 20 as he climbed 9 places after the final. Schwartzman climbed a place above with a ranking of 13 with his loss in the final, the Argentine was playing in his second consecutive final after losing to Casper Ruud at Buenos Aires.
The 18 year old had a weak start by losing the first two games but set up two breakpoints in the third game and won the point with a strong backhand towards Schwartzman who failed to set up a forehand half volley. The Spaniard was hitting huge groundstrokes as the 29 year old was getting more winners of the backhand and through volleys at the net. Alcaraz made the crucial move in the 9th game with an outstretched cross court backhand passing shot which was totally misjudged by Schwartzman.
In the second set, the first three games were broken in which the youngster was leading with two breaks. The world number 29 started using more dropshots as the 2018 winner could not catch up on time, a final break in the 5th game and the champion dropped to his knees in celebration.
“I can’t believe it, honestly. It has been a great week for me playing at a great level,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “First tournament on clay in a long time, so I’m really happy with the performance during the whole week. It’s an amazing feeling right now. I think this is my game. There's a lot of variety. It’s the key to how I won the match. I know how Diego plays and this was really important for me.”
Schwartzman has played 16 matches this year out of which he has won 11 and lost his first ever meeting against Alcaraz. The former world number 8 has now lost two consecutive finals and reached the semi final at Cordoba.
Alcaraz has so far played 8 matches this year, twice has he been taken to the deciding set and it was Matteo Berrettini on both the occasions. Berrettini also defeated him at the Australian Open which is the Rio winner’s only loss so far this season. The 6 foot one inch player is now 2-0 in finals as he defeated Richard Gasquet at Umag last year.
The players will be now shifting to hardcourts as the action starts in Dubai and Acapulco from today. The two Masters 500 event has top two players fighting for the top honour as Novak Djokovic will play his first match of the season while Daniil Medvedev needs to reach the final to become the world number one.
We are heading into women's ODI World Cup in good head space: WI captain Taylor
Dubai, Feb 21 (Cricket News) West Indies are heading into the upcoming women's ODI World Cup in New Zealand in a "good head space" with the team comprising a blend of youth and experienced players, who have learnt new things recently, reckons captain Stafanie Taylor.
West Indies, currently ranked seventh in the ICC ODI team rankings, had to go through qualifications to book their berth in the March 4-April 3 World Cup.
They have not won a title in the earlier 11 editions, their runners-up finish in 2013 being their best ever performance.
"The West Indies are heading to the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 in a good space, the like of which I have not seen for a long time," said Taylor in a column for the ICC.
The 30-year-old experienced all-rounder credited the coaching staff headed by coach Courtney Walsh for the team's recent successes. The team won ODI series in Pakistan and South Africa recently.
"A lot of that is down to the coaching staff. Courtney Walsh took over as head coach in 2020 and the impact that he and his team have made has been huge. They have been able to teach us things that we were just completely unaware of previously," she said.
"It makes you wonder what sort of players we could be if we had learned some of these things sooner. What sort of player would I be if I knew at the age of seven or eight, what I know now?" The eight teams at the World Cup play each other once in the first stage. The top four after the first stage advance to the semi-finals. West Indies will begin their campaign against New Zealand on March 4.
Taylor is banking on the experience of Deandra Dottin, Shamilia Connell and Hayley Matthews, along with the youngsters who will be eager to make a mark on the world stage.
"We still have a few players from the 2017 World Cup, and players like Deandra Dottin, and Hayley Matthews are in good form," Taylor said.
West Indies have named a 15-member squad with off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, who will be playing in her fifth World Cup, being chosen as the vice-captain.
The squad has five young players who could be making their debuts at the marquee event -- spinner Karishma Ramharack, pacer Aaliyah Alleyne, seamer Cherry Ann Fraser, all-rounder Chinelle Henry and opening batter Rashada Williams.
"There are also a lot of youngsters who we have been able to integrate into the side. For those playing their first World Cup, my advice to them is to enjoy themselves. There will be nerves, there is no way around that, but they just need to enjoy the opportunity," Taylor said.
"We need to play well across all three phases. Our fast bowling depth is looking good with Shamilia Connell in good form, and that could be very useful in the conditions over here.
"We are just really excited to get started because the team is in a really good space."
Also Read : We will take every match as final, says South Africa all-rounder Luus ahead of women's WC
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We will take every match as final, says South Africa all-rounder Luus ahead of women's WC
Dubai, Feb 20 (Cricket News) South Africa are determined to make the upcoming ICC Women's ODI World Cup a memorable one and will take every match as final in their bid to claim their maiden title, said all-rounder Sune Luus. South Africa have never won the title and lost by two wickets to eventual winners England in the semifinals in the last edition in 2017.
"After a long wait, the World Cup is finally here. We as a team have been preparing for the last five years, since the 2017 World Cup in England where we fell short in the semi-finals," Luus wrote in a column for the ICC.
"Every match will be played like final, therefore it is imperative that we only focus on what we do best and what we can control. In our previous series, this is what worked best for us. We tried to do the basics as best as we could, and the result took care of itself." The 26-year-old Luus said the team's main goal is to shed the "underdogs" tag that has been haunting the Protea women for long.
"We have always been seen as underdogs, but we have shown in the past few years that we are a team to be reckoned with. We have shown consistent performances in difficult countries like India and the West Indies. We as a team also had a great T20 World Cup two years ago in Australia and turned some heads," she said.
"I hope we do the same this year, and hopefully reach that final that we’ve been missing out on, on three different occasions." On current form, South Africa have a good chance in the marquee event to be held in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3.
"In our preparation, we have tried many combinations to find the right fit for this World Cup. We are confident that whoever walks out onto the park on the day can do the job for us," said Luus.
"We have a strong squad with a combination of experienced players and a couple of players who will be making their World Cup debut. This is very exciting for us as a team.
"We are coming off an extremely good year, and I know that the teams’ confidence is high."
Also Read : West Indies name 15-member squad under Stafanie Taylor for women's World Cup
News Source : PTI
Kadhe-Erler lift doubles title in Bengaluru Open 2 ATP Challenger
Bengaluru, Feb 19 (Tennis News) India's Arjun Kadhe and Austrian Alexander Erler defeated defending champions Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan in the finals to win the doubles title of Bengaluru Open 2 ATP Challenger here on Saturday.
The top seeded pair secured a 6-3, 6-7 (4), 10-7 win over third seeded Indian duo of Myneni and Ramanathan 6-3, 6-7 (4), 10-7 in the summit clash.
In singles semifinals, top seed Aleksandar Vukic halted the run of last week's finalist Borna Gojo of Croatia with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory.
In the title clash, the Australian will meet Bulgarian Dimitar Kuzmanov, who scripted an epic comeback victory against third seeded Frenchman Enzo Couacaud 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Results Singles (Semifinals) 1-Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) bt Borna Gojo (CRO) 7-6 (5), 6-3; Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) bt 3-Enzo Couacaud (FRA) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Doubles (Finals) 1-Alexander Erler (AUT)/Arjun Kadhe (IND) bt 3-Saketh Myneni (IND)/Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND) 6-3, 6-7 (4), 10-7.
Also Read : Ostapenko reaches final at Dubai, Kudermetova receives walkover
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Ostapenko reaches final at Dubai, Kudermetova receives walkover
(Tennis news) Jelena Ostapenko has had an arduous draw at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Ostapenko lost the first set for the third time in a row as she has one straight set victory in the last 4 matches, the Latvian has spent almost 8 hours on her way to the final.
In the semifinal, Ostapenko was against Simona Halep, an opponent who she has faced twice. Both their meetings were in 2017, the first one was in the Roland Garros final where Ostapenko won the title and next in Beijing where Halep won to reach the final. This time the 24 year old gathered extra strength for hard hitting winners as she hit 36 winners in the match whereas Halep could only manage a handful.
In the first set, it was Ostapenko going for winners straight away as the former world number could not get her racquet to most of them. The unforced errors were more in number for the world number 21 as she lost the first set. In the second set, the winners increased in intensity from Ostapenko as Halep’s defence was in no state to counter punch and in the last 34 points it was the younger player who took 27 of them. In the deciding set, the 2020 champion here simply had to retreat from the court as the groundstrokes were unplayable and for the first time the 2017 Roland Garros champion bageled the two time Grand Slam winner. Ostapenko defeated Halep 2-6, 7-6(7-0), 6-0.
"I knew I had to play aggressively no matter what the score was," Ostapenko said afterwards. "She really doesn't like to play against players who play aggressive and take time away from her.
Veronika Kudermetova will feel energised when she plays in the final against Ostapenko as she received a walkover from Marketa Vondrousova in the other semifinal. Kudermetova has spent 6 hours on court so far, she defeated Victoria Azarenka and Garbine Muguruza in the first two matches. The Russian entered the semifinal by beating Jil Teichmann and will be playing Ostapenko for the first time.
"The injury started a few days ago and I've played so many matches here which has aggravated it," Vondrousova said in a statement. "I'm really sad to leave the tournament this way but I've still enjoyed a great week and am proud of how I've played. I will travel to Doha and see how the injury is. I've played six amazing matches this week having come through qualifying and proud of my performances so it's unfortunate this has happened. Health is the priority for me."
India remain 5th in World Test Championship standings
Dubai, Feb 19 (Cricket News) India continued to remain in the fifth spot in the latest World Test Championship standings released by the ICC on Saturday.
India, the runners up of the inaugural edition of the WTC, are currently placed fifth in second cycle with a 49.07 percentage of points won (PCT), which is taken into account rather than the points earned.
India have played nine Tests in the second cycle of WTC, winning four, losing three and drawing two. They have 53 points, the highest among all teams so far.
They will have a chance to improve their standings next month when they host Sri Lanka for two Tests.
Sri Lanka lead the standings with 100 PCT, having won both the Tests they have played in this cycle. They are followed by Australia, who have a PCT of 86.66.
Pakistan (75 PCT) are third and South Africa are one slot behind with a PCT of 50.
Reigning champions New Zealand, who defeated South Africa by 276 runs in the first Test in Christchurch on Saturday, claimed 12 crucial points and are placed sixth with a PCT of 46.66.
Also Read : Chance for Shreyas and Ruturaj as India look to test bench strength
News Source : PTI
Dubai Tennis Championships: Sania-Hradecka lose in semifinals
Dubai, Feb 19 (Tennis News) Trailblazing Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka fritted away a great opportunity to lose the Dubai Tennis Championships doubles semifinal here.
After dominating the first set, Sania and Hradecka lost 6-2 2-6 7-10 to Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine and Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko on Friday night.
The Indo-Czech duo, which had received a wild card for the tournament, saved 11 break points while converting two of the three in the first set to take a 1-0 lead in the WTA 500 tournament.
However, the two were unable to keep the momentum going as Kichenok and Ostapenko levelled the proceedings in the second set and then eventually sealed the match in their favour.
The veteran Indian had won the doubles title here in 2013 with USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The 35-year-old, who is India's most accomplished woman tennis player having won six Grand Slam titles, including three mixed doubles trophies, had earlier announced that 2022 would be her last season.
Also Read : Jelena Ostapenko bounces back to beat Petra Kvitova at Dubai
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Jelena Ostapenko bounces back to beat Petra Kvitova at Dubai
(Tennis news) Jelena Ostapenko survived a matchpoint scare in her quarterfinal match against Petra Kvitova at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship. Ostapenko had beaten Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek in the previous rounds and had to spend almost 3 hours against Kvitova. The Latvian had a match winning start by taking a 4-1 lead and was only a point away from serving the set until the 31 year old swung the momentum back to her favour as her service returns steered her comeback.
In the second set, the Czech player took a 4-2 lead and was two points away from winning the match at 5-4 but Ostapenko went out of her way to get back into the match. The 24 year old was again a game away from losing the match but sabotaged the serves to force a tiebreaker. In the tiebreak, the youngster had three match points in which one went down due to a forehand return which made her look at Kvitova in disbelief. The former world number 2 also had a match point but an almost perfect backhand denied her the opportunity and a forehand down the line gave the world number 21 a semifinal matchup against Simona Halep. Ostapenko will be facing a former Grand Slam winner for the fourth consecutive match as she looks to stay for 2 more days at Dubai. Ostapenko defeated Kvitova 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(11-9).
For the third time in her career, Veronika Kudermetova made the last four at a WTA 500 event. Kudermetova had beaten Victoria Azarenka and defending champion Garbine Muguruza in the last two matches. The Russian was facing Jil Teichmann for the third time and had a 2-0 record against her with the previous 2 matches going till the decider. This time again it was Kudermetova who kept the record intact with the blend of strong strokes at the baseline and delicate touches at the net. Teichmann did win points from a losing cause as her reflexes off her forehand and backhand put pressure onto her opponent. Kudermetova defeated Teichmann 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
Marketa Vondrousova is only a win away from becoming the first qualifier to reach the championship match in the event. Vondrousova had a powerful start to every game in the opening set but somehow could not play to the extent of winning the game as Dayana Yastremska took a 5-3 lead. The 22 year old put up a clutch performance to turn around the match and take the first set. In the second set, the world number 38 could troubleshoot and resolve the issues from the set as the Ukrainian was put to the test. A couple of dropshots did give Vondrousova the advantage in the set and her defence too was a level higher later in the match. Vondrousova defeated Yastremska 7-5, 6-4.
Kadhe, Rawat go down fighting; Myneni-Ramkumar in doubles semifinals
Bengaluru, Feb 17 (Tennis News) Indian campaign in the men's singles event of the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger ended on Thursday after wildcard entrants Arjun Kadhe and Sidharth Rawat went down fighting in their respective second round matches here.
While Kadhe lost to third seed Enzo Couacaud of France 6-7 (7), 5-7, Rawat suffered 4-6, 6-2, 4-6 defeat to Swiss rival Antoine Bellier.
However, two Indian pairs entered the semifinals in the doubles event.
Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan got past Ukrainian-German pair of Vladyslav Orlov and Kai Wehnelt 6-4, 7-6 (3), N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan beat the duo of Markos Kalovelonis (Great Britain) and Toshihide Matsui (Japan) 6-3, 4-6, 11-9.
Kadhe compensated his singles loss by pairing up with Alexander Erler of Austria and defeated the Indian duo of SD Prajwal Dev and Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 to make it to the last four.
In the singles match, Kadhe did not show any kind of jitters in his match against Enzo. Despite being broken in the opening game and the fifth game to trail 1-4, he fought back by breaking Enzo’s serve in the sixth and 10th games to restore parity.
As the issue was being settled via a tie-break, Kadhe, with just a point to win the set 6-2, squandered away the opportunity, losing the tie-break 7-9, thanks to his own mistakes that gave his opponent an edge.
The second set saw both the players holding their serves until the fifth game before they broke each other for the next four games.
Despite the 11 double faults by Enzo against four by Kadhe, the Indian could not take advantage of his opponent’s mistakes as he was broken once again in the 12th game to lose the set and the match.
Rawat, meanwhile, traded blow for blow in his pre-quarterfinal match against Bellier until the 10th game where he made two double faults to lose serve and the set.
The Indian played some flawless tennis in the second set, which he won with two breaks in the fifth and seventh games.
The final set was an exact replica of the opening set, only this time, Bellier was brilliant with his ground strokes and broke Rawat’s serve in the 10th game to grab a spot in the quarterfinals.
Also Read : Sania-Hradecka pair enters semifinals of Dubai Tennis Championships
News Source : PTI
Sania-Hradecka pair enters semifinals of Dubai Tennis Championships
Dubai, Feb 17 (Tennis News) Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka progressed to the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships with a straight set win over Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia here on Thursday.
Sania and Hradecka, who had received a wild card for the tournament, claimed a 7-5 6-3 win over the Japanese-Serbian combination in the quarterfinals of the WTA 500 tournament.
The Indo-Czech pair will face the winner of the match between top seeds Japan's Ena Shibahara and China's Shuai Zhang and Ukraine's Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.
Sania is a past winner here, having lifted the title in 2013 with USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The 35-year-old, who is India's most accomplished woman tennis player, having won six Grand Slam titles, including three mixed doubles trophies, had earlier announced that 2022 would be her last season.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic’s return to 2022 season remains unclear
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Novak Djokovic’s return to 2022 season remains unclear
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic stood by his words in an exclusive interview with the BBC. Djokovic is yet to play a match on tour this year as he last played a match in December at the semifinals of the Davis Cup. This was the first time the Serbian has given his side of story after his controversial exit a day before the Australian Open.
The 20 time Grand Slam winner was the highlight last year as he reached the finals at the four Grand Slams and lost in the final at the US Open to Danill Medvedev. Djokovic is still firm on his stance about vaccination as he said it's a personal choice to take or not take the vaccine, he insisted that he is not an anti-vaxxer. If the pandemic protected his rankings last season, there are chances it will take a dark turn this year as his no 1 spot is in danger.
When asked whether he is willing to miss the French Open and Wimbledon because of his vaccination status, the 9 time Australian Open champion did not hesitate to say yes. Although both the majors will be played at the end of May and June respectively and the guidelines can change accordingly. It will be a question as to who will step up the no 1 ranking if Djokovic is absent.
The 34 year old has confirmed his stance on the topic, but the amount of time he has on tour is very limited. The next gen players are only getting better at every event and as months pass by it might be tough to get back on top. Medvedev can become the world number one if he wins at Acapulco which will start in 4 days while Djokovic will hope to play at Dubai and has to go for the title. If Medvedev wins the title or reaches the final then the position is confirmed, Djokovic will hope the Russian falls early while he can reach the semis or the finals at Dubai. The scenario can be confirmed by the end of next week as Medvedev prepares the third Russian to take top honours.
Roland Garros will be a stepping platform for Rafael Nadal to create another record at the Grand Slams. While he can aim for his 22nd title, the top three position will also be a possibility for the clay king. Nadal’s archnemesis has been Djokovic, although the absence of the 2 time Roland Garros winner won’t be a huge relief as the next gen has its way of rising to the occasion. There are still three Grand Slams to go this year as the tour will go on like usual, but Djokovic’s comeback to the season remains in doubt.
Yastrameska and Kvitova take out top seeds at Dubai
(Tennis news) Day 6 of the Dubai Duty Free Championships saw 5 seeded players end their run at the event as Ons Jabeur was the only seeded player to survive. Aryna Sabalenka had reached the quarterfinals in the past two years but was beaten by 2013 winner Petra Kvitova. The top seed could not handle the serve of Kvtiova who had also reached the final three years ago and did not need much of her ferocious forehands as her service was creating chaos.
Sabalenka committed 6 double faults in the first set which completely threw her off rhythm, in next she did have a break but the score was levelled immediately. The 31 year old broke serve for the second time in the set to set sail for the next round. Kvitova defeated Sabalenka 6-4, 6-4.
Garbine Muguruza got off the right foot against Veronika Kudermetova, the defending champion managed to take a 4-2 lead in the first set as Kudermetova’s powerful groundstrokes were guided to the right corners of the court. From the second set, the Russian started taking risks even though she was behind and had strong service games which were mostly 3 shot rallies and with quick hand skills at the net it was 1 set each.
In the final set, there was no break of serve until the final game as the defending champion extended the rallies but could not add the finishing touches. The 24 year ended a three match losing streak against the Spaniard who hit 3 double faults to end her title defence. Kudermetova defeated Muguruza 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Barbora Krejcikova had a dream debut at the event last year, she made the finals without dropping a set before losing to Muguruza. This year there was no place for the runner up after the round of 16 as she got ousted in straight sets by Dayana Yastremska. Dayana got her first victory at the event a few days ago in her third appearance and viciously attacked the ball to enter the quarterfinals. Krejcikova had trouble with deep shots into her backhand as the world number 146 consistently returned serves to the backhand baseline which worked out till the end.
In the second set, the 2nd seed had few final shots which saw her come close to taking the set. The world number 3 was out of breath to cover the court as her returns were treated severely which led to the tie breaker. In the tiebreaker, the Ukrainian started with lightwork to prevent her from levelling the score and finished the last two points with speeding inside out backhands. Dayana defeated Krejcikova 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
Rahul remains 4th, Kohli static on 10th in T20 rankings; Iyer, Suryakumar, Pant rise in ODI chart
Dubai, Feb 16 (Cricket News) India opener KL Rahul and teammate Virat Kohli continued to occupy the fourth and 10th spot respectively in the latest ICC men's T20 batting rankings released on Wednesday.
No Indian featured in the top 10 of the bowlers and all-rounders' list.
The recent run of form from Australia pacer Josh Hazelwood has been rewarded as he rose to a career-high second place in the bowling rankings.
The right-armer jumps four spots on the latest rankings, ahead of Adil Rashid, Rashid Khan and teammate Adam Zampa and is only behind South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi at the top of the charts.
The unlucky bowler is Wanindu Hasaranga, who drops from first to third after sitting out Sri Lanka's six-wicket loss to Australia on Tuesday night after testing positive for COVID-19.
Australia captain Aaron Finch drops one spot to seventh in the batting rankings, with New Zealand batter Devon Conway rising one spot to sixth.
Kohli static on 2nd, Rohit 3rd in ODI rankings ============================== There was little movement on the latest ODI rankings, with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma holding on to their second and third place, respectively.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam continued to hold on to the top spot.
The Indian pair of Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav have made strides up the table.
Yadav scored 64 in the second ODI against the West Indies whilst Iyer made an 80 in the third to help the home side complete a 3-0 series win.
Their teammate Rishabh Pant added a half-century in the third match to move to a career best of 469 points at the 71st place.
Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah also remained static on seventh while fellow fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, who was the leading wicket-taker across both sides with nine wickets at just 7.55, gained 50 places from 94th to 44th in the ODI bowlers list.
West Indies' Alzarri Joseph took two wickets in each of the three matches to earn himself a place in the top 20 bowler’s list.
New Zealand's Trent Boult remains the top ranked ODI bowler, while Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan is the highest rated all-rounder.
Also Read : Indo-Pak WC match will inspire girls across the border to take up cricket: Bismah
News Source : PTI
Richard Gasquet looking to end 4 year title drought
(Tennis news) Richard Gasquet is playing his 20th year as a professional on tour and has been the flag bearer for France for a long time now. Gasquet is currently playing at Marseille and is into the second round where he will face Andrey Rublev, the Frenchmen has 566 career victories so far and is the only from France who has more than 530 victories.
The 35 year old has won 15 titles with the last one coming in 2018 when he defeated fellow mate Jeremy Chardy in the Libema Open. Since then he has failed to win a title, last year the veteran had a chance to end the drought at Umag but lost to Carlos Alcaraz in the final. Gasquet’s ranking has had an impact because of his recent form, he is currently ranked 76 after starting the year at 87 which was his lowest since 2005. In the past 12 months, the right hander has had a decline in the rankings and it became worse in the last 5 months.
The former world number 7 is known to possess one of the best backhands of all time. His single handed backhand is powerful and still has no match on tour. Gasquet's forehand has been questioned at times for being slower and less effective as compared to his backhand. Although his game does not involve risk taking, he waits for a long time to take chances and in the current courts where the balls are fast it is not a very successful strategy. It can be a positive sign if a player can use his athletic strength but at this age the legs would not support it but power can still be used to beat younger players or even serve and volleys.
Gasquet is known to change his grip after every change of ends due to excessive sweating from his hands as the players sometimes play in extremely humid conditions which adds to his problem but the 15 time tour winner in a video put together the grip in 8 seconds to show how comfortable he was with the routine.
Gasquet had played in few challenger events last year in addition to the tour. Although he did not find much success there, on tour the French player recorded three quarter final appearances and one runner up trophy. The 2007 Kingfisher Airlines Open winner started last season ranked 48 but slipped over 40 places and now will try to stay in the top 100. He can catch up on the rankings in the next few months as it will be a mix of hardcourt and clay events. Although the 6 foot player is not as fast as he used to be, his performances on clay can give him a chance to redeem himself.
Ruse secures first top 10 victory at Dubai, Azarenka exits early
(Tennis news) Elena-Gabriela Ruse was making her debut at the Dubai Duty Free Championship along with Paula Badosa. Ruse was making her presence felt from the baseline as Badosa had fast serves but found it difficult to cut short the rallies, a handful of winners helped the Spaniard to level the score in the second set.
In the final set, the 3rd seed was leading 4-1 but the qualifier was yet to give up as she took the last five games for a first the biggest win in her career. The 24 year old was brave enough to go for the winners in the final few games even though she had a lot to cover for. Ruse defeated Badosa 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Victoria Azarenka was playing at Dubai after a 11 year absence. Azarenka had reached the finals back in 2010 where she lost to Venus Williams, this time it was Veronika Kudermetova who handed an opening round loss to the former finalist. Kudermetova was surging ahead in the match as she did not allow the 32 year old to take the lead in both sets. The world number 31 is into the round of 16 for the first time at the event and will face Garbine Muguruza for a place in the quarterfinals. Kudermetova defeated Azarenka 6-3, 6-4.
Elina Svitolina showed how familiar she is with the courts when she played against Mayar Sherif in the opening round. Svitolina had won the titles here in 17,18 and reached the semifinals in 16,19 but had faced first round defeats in her last two appearances. The Ukrainian showed consistency in the match as she had few unforced errors and was hitting solid winners.
Mayar had her moments in the match, her dropshots were too good as the 10th seed failed to get most of them. After 2 set points in the first set, Svitolina finally won the game which lasted for 10 mins and in the next set the wildcard was down 4-1. The Egyptian still took points from the net but it was enough for the world number 15 advancing to the next round. Svitolina defeated Mayar 6-2, 6-3.
Ons Jabeur hit over 42 winners in her return to tour after a month due to a back injury. Jabeur had to give everything against Vera Zvonareva as she entered the round of 16 for the third year running. The Tunisian’s forehand was strong and found its way across Zvonareva in the opening set, in the second set the veteran took a 4-0 lead with vintage defensive tactics. In the final set, there were service breaks by both players but the 37 year old lost control of her serve to give the lead in the 11th game. At 6-5, the former world number 2 had three breakpoints but Jabeur’s forehand made sure the match ended before the tie breaker. Jabeur defeated Zvonareva 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
Federico Coria beats defending champion Cristian Garin at Rio
(Tennis news) Federico Coria was meeting Crisitan Garin for the third time and all of their meetings have been on clay. Coria had won their previous meeting at Bastad but Garin had defeated Coria at the Rio Open in 2020 on his way to winning the title. The defending champion looked set to trouble the Argentine again but could only win 2 games in the match as it looked even in the first set. In the second set, both players could not land most of the first serves but the Chilean could only win 2 points in his return games as the 29 year old did not lose 6 of his first serve points. Coria defeated Garin 6-2, 6-0.
Thiago Monteiro had an unimpressive start against Sebastian Baez, the Brazilian could not sustain the rallies and was down 4-0 in the first set. In the second set, the wildcard entry started to dominate the match as he was always on the move as the Argentine saved double breakpoints in the 5th and 7th game but a single break was enough to level the score. In the final set, the 27 year old raised his game as his service was the key in keeping the qualifier down and will next face top seed Matteo Berrettini for a place in the quarterfinals. Monteiro defeated Baez 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.
"Of course I'm very happy. It's always an unbelievable atmosphere playing at home, an unbelievable feeling to win those important matches," Monteiro said after the match. "Today after the first set, I took time to think of the possibilities I had to do to try and come back. Luckily I could do it today. I played at a very good level."
Lorenzo Sonego is one match away from making his 4th quarter final out of 5 events this season. The Italian was beaten in the third round of the Australian Open but has made it to the last or better in the rest of the events. He was facing Laslo Djere who won the first 9 points in his service games and the 6th seed only lost one point in his first 2 service games. After the fourth game the match was all about Sonego as he won 10 straight games to take the match. The Serbian had 6 chances to hold his serve in the second game of the 2nd set after which he won three points in the 4 games to end the match in an hour and 9 minutes. Sonego defeated Djere 6-2, 6-0.
Mirza-Hradecka pair advances to quarterfinals of Dubai Tennis Championships
Dubai, Feb 16 (Tennis News) Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka eked out a hard-fought win to advance the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships here.
Mirza and Hradecka dispatched Chinese Taipei's Chan Hao-Ching and world number 12 Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands 7-6, 5-7, 11-9 in one hour 55 minutes on Tuesday night.
The Indo-Czech pair had received a wild card for the tournament and will now take on Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia in the quarterfinals of the WTA 500 tournament.
Mirza is a past winner here, having lifted the title in 2013 with USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sand.
The 35-year-old, who is India's most accomplished woman tennis player, having won six Grand Slam titles, including three mixed doubles trophies, had last month announced that 2022 would be her last season.
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Mithali Raj stays at number 2 spot in ICC ODI women's rankings
Dubai, Feb 15 (Cricket News) India skipper Mithali Raj maintained her second spot in the ICC Women's ODI player rankings even as New Zealand batter Amy Satterthwaite moved up to number three after a splendid show in the series-opener against India.
Raj made 59 off 73 balls in India's 62-run defeat in the first ODI of the five-match series in Queenstown.
Satterthwaite, who smashed a 67-ball 63 and was involved in an important 98-run third wicket partnership with opener Suzie Bates, has overtaken Australia's Beth Mooney with a gain of 13 rating points.
She is now 15 rating points behind Raj, who is second with 744 in the list led by Australia opener Alyssa Healy who has 749 rating points.
Bates' 11th ODI hundred, which helped her team take a 1-0 lead in the series, has lifted her into the world's top 20 batters in ODIs for the first time in six months.
The former captain has advanced five places to 17th position in the latest weekly update that includes the last match of the Australia-England series.
Australia completed their Ashes triumph with another comfortable victory in the final ODI in Melbourne last week.
Tammy Beaumont returned to form for England with a half-century, as did Meg Lanning with an unbeaten 57, allowing both batters to gain three places for their efforts.
Beaumont and Lanning are now in fourth and fifth positions, respectively, with just one rating point separating them.
In the bowlers' list, England spinner Sophie Ecclestone was a bright spark in the final ODI, bowling her 10-over allocation and conceding just 18 runs while dismissing Rachael Haynes, taking an an excellent catch off her own bowling.
She has moved a place up to second, closing in on the opportunity to top both the ODI and T20I bowling rankings at the same time.
Ellyse Perry's return to all-round excellence also enabled her to gain three places with the ball and increase her lead over second placed Nat Sciver in the all-rounders’ table to an impressive 87 rating points.
New Zealand’s Lea Tahuhu is up four places to 13th and India’s Rajeshwari Gayakwad is up five places to 16th. Both bowled economically in the first ODI in Queenstown to move up in the world's top 20 ODI bowlers.
In the T20I rankings, Beth Mooney is back in her third stint as the top ranked batter with captain Meg Lanning also gaining a slot to reach second position. India opener Shafali Verma is now third in the list.
New Zealand bowlers Amelia Kerr is up five places to eighth and her sister Jess Kerr is up 16 places to 34th, also making notable gains in the T20I rankings.
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Lehecka makes his debut into the top 100 of ATP rankings
(Tennis news) Jiri Lehecka has moved up 42 places in the ATP rankings for a career best of number 95. Lehecka had made his main draw debut at the 2022 Australian Open where he lost to Grigor Dimitrov in four sets. In the recently concluded ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament at Rotterdam, the 20 year old had to battle a tough fight in the second qualifier match against Corentin Moutet who was ranked 30 places above him.
In just his second match on the ATP tour, Lehecka was facing Denis Shapovalov who is ranked 12 in the world. The victory could not have come at a better time for the tour debutant as entered the next round with a loss of eight games. The youngster went on to defeat Botic van de Zandschulp, Lorenzo Musetti and lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinal in three sets.
As of now there is only player from Czech Republic who is in the top 100 of the rankings, the next highest ranked player after Lehecka is Tomas Machac at 115th place. The Czech number 1 has been the biggest mover of the week as Jenson Brooksby is the next as he moved 9 places to number 45.
The world number 95 is 6 feet one inch and does not have a rocket serve, at Rotterdam his fastest serve was clocked at 214 km/ hour in the semifinal and had an average of 201 km/ hour. Lehecka hit 20 aces in four matches with 7 of them coming in the final one, almost 55 percent of his first serve went in and in three matches won 70 percent of them. The right hander has an attacking game and comes to the net frequently to win points with mostly strong volleys rather than drop volleys.
Lehecka also showed moments of courage in the past week as he didn’t shy away from creating chances. The clean ball striking from the baseline allows him to come at the net as the opponent is chasing the ball or backing away from the baseline to defend it which leaves him time to prepare for the volley. The backhand is also stiff during defensive points which gives the return more speed and just above net height which reduces the opponent’s chances to continue the attack.
Players like Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek were the last stars from the country in the men’s tour. Although Berdych was one of the top players on the ATP tour a few years ago, Stepanek had found more success in the doubles competition. There are a few players on the rising players list as Lehecka is now leading among the next gen from his country.
Pegula hands opening round defeat to Gauff at Dubai
(Tennis news) After two opening round exits in the 2022 season, Jessica Pegula had reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open. After a few days of break she defeated Coco Gauff in their first ever meeting at the WTA 500 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Gauff served 5 double faults in both sets as it gave free points to Pegula who held on the service break, the 17 year old also committed 52 unforced errors which pulled her back even more.
The world number 14 only hit 9 winners in the match but had a minor scare when her three match points were dusted by the teenager with her super strong groundstrokes. When the world number 20 finally hit a slice which went long even though her counter attack was working perfectly as the 27 year old entered the fourth round. Pegula defeated Gauff 6-4, 6-4 and is one win away from 300 career wins.
Petra Kvitova secured her first victory over Camila Giorgi in 8 years, Kvitova’s victory at the 2014 Fed Cup was their first meeting and the left hander’s last win over Giorgi. The next two meetings were won by Italian including last year’s fourth round clash at Montreal. The former world number 2 only needed an hour and 8 minutes to beat her old rival, Kvitova saved all 4 breakpoints she faced in the match to keep her perfect service record. In the second set, there was no leniency by the 31 year old as she bageled the world number 29 who could only win a single point of her 2nd serve in the set . Kvitova defeated Giorgi 6-2, 6-0.
Simona Halep has already won 1 title in this season and reached the fourth round in Australia. The former world number 1 had won the event in 2015, 2020 and made her debut 10 years ago in the main draw. Alison Riske suffered her fourth loss in as many matches against the Romanian as she couldn’t break serve as she had 2 chances in the second set. Riske was hitting her strokes in the middle of the court and could only find winners from the net. Halep defeated Riske 6-2, 6-4.
Iga Swiatek notched up her 9th win of the season and is looking to enter the semifinal for the third consecutive time this season. Swiatek was against familiar foe Daria Kasatkina who she had met a few weeks back in Australia. The 6th seed lost 3 points in each set off her first serve and lost 5 points each on her second serve. Kasatkina was broken 5 times in the match, 2 of them were in the second set where the Russian denied four other chances. Swiatek defeated Kasatkina 6-1, 6-2.
Kontaveit inches closer to Novotna’s record after St. Petersburg title
(Tennis news) Anett Kontaveit won her fourth straight indoor title by beating Maria Sakkari in the final at St. Petersburg. Kontaveit was facing Sakkari for the 13th time, the pair had 6 wins apiece but the Estonian now has the lead by winning the last three matches. The second seed is now a win away from equalling Jana Novotna’s winning streak of 21 matches in 1994, Kontaveit can become the 6th player since 1989 to have 21 consecutive wins indoors.
The world number 9 was off to a lightning fast start with a 5-2 lead but Sakkari came back with all her might to take the set. The top seed took the lead in the second set by winning the first two games but Kontaveit did not lose grip and leveled the scores. There were no further service breaks until the 11th game as the Greek player saved a set point and took it to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreak, the former world number 6 did not stumble in taking the lead with her returns as she won the set.
In the final set, last year’s Ostrava runner up took a 4-1 lead as she had a second chance to win the title. For the third time in the match, there was a change in the end as Kontaveit was only a game away from losing the match at 5-3 but hit a forehand passing shot which gave her the break at 5-5. This time there was no exchange of comebacks as Sakkari will have to wait a few days for her second career title. Kontaveit defeated Sakkari 5-7, 7-6(7-4), 7-5.
When asked about her record breaking indoors streak, "Yeah, I'm not sure what to say about that," Kontaveit told WTA Insider after the match. "I like to hit the ball. Indoors there's no wind, there's no sun, there's nothing that's affecting you. But I think that would also help everyone else. So I don't know. I don't know what it is. I can't really put my finger on it."
Kontaveit has now moved three places up for a career best number 6 in the rankings, Sakkari went down one place as she is now ranked 8 and is four points below Garbine Muguruza. The Dubai Duty Tennis Championships will begin from today as the players get ready for a tightly packed tour this month. The first WTA 1000 event of the season, Qatar Totalenergies Open will begin next week.
SA's Keegan Petersen, England skipper Heather Knight win ICC Player of the Month for Jan
Dubai, Feb 14 (Cricket News) South African batter Keegan Petersen pipped under-19 star and compatriot Dewald Brevis and Bangladesh pacer Ebadot Hossain to claim the ICC men's Player of the Month award for January following a phenomenal Test series against India.
For the women's award, England skipper Heather Knight beat off competition from Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu and West Indies star Deandra Dottin to clinch the honour.
Petersen played a pivotal role as South Africa came back from 0-1 down to win the three-match series 2-1 against India. In the second Test, he scored 62 in the first innings, helping the Proteas gain a slender lead. In their chase of 240, he played a crucial 28-run knock.
In the final Test, Petersen scored a fifty in each innings, including a superb 82 in a challenging fourth-innings chase of 212 that helped South Africa complete their comeback.
He ended the series as the highest run-scorer with 276 runs and was named the Player of the Series.
"With the hype of the series and the high expectation, the composure he showed while batting in a pivotal No.3 position was simply staggering," said former South Africa star and member of the voting panel JP Duminy.
Knight captained England in the one-off Ashes Test against Australia in Canberra and finished as the highest run-getter.
In the first innings, England were in huge trouble as they kept losing wickets after Australia posted 337/9 declared. However, they did not have an answer to Knight, who walked in to bat at No.3 in the third over and remained unbeaten on 168.
At one point, the visitors were 169/8 before Knight and Sophie Ecclestone added 100 runs for the ninth wicket and eventually finished with 297, just 40 runs behind Australia. The knock helped England secure a thrilling draw that went to the very last ball of the match.
Her 168 not out was the second-highest score by a captain in the history of women’s Tests.
"168 is the highest Test score by any female English batter against Australia in Australia," former India pacer Irfan Pathan, member of the voting panel, said.
"It is also the second-highest score in women’s Tests in Australia. Her innings is made even more remarkable given its importance in securing the draw for England in the only Test."
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Pant and Gilchrist 'little bit same' but still too early to compare them, says Ponting
Dubai, Feb 11 (Cricket News) Ricky Ponting feels Rishabh Pant's aggressive approach on the field is similar to how the great Adam Gilchrist played the game but comparisons between the two can only be made after the Indian plays at least 50-60 Tests.
The 24-year-old Pant has often been compared to Gilchrist, both southpaws, due to his strikingly similar batting to the Australia legend.
"Yeah, [they are] little bit the same. I know Rishabh's really burst onto the scene, but let's just let him play his 50-60 Test matches first before we start making comparisons to one of the all-time great wicket-keeper batters,” Ponting said on ‘The ICC Review’.
Gilchrist, has played 96 Tests, scoring 5570 runs at an average of 47.6. He also represented his country in 287 ODIs, amassing 9619 runs at 35.89. While Pant has represented India in 28 Tests, 23 ODIs and 41 T20Is.
"But if you think about their personalities – Rishabh is a lot more outward, a lot louder, a lot noisier and ultra-competitive.
“Gilly was ultra-competitive as well, but a lot quieter and reserved, until he got his bat in his hand and then he became exactly the same as Rishabh.” While Ponting played with and captained Gilchrist, he has also worked closely with Pant, who he coached during his time in the Delhi Capitals.
The World Cup-winning skipper recalled an anecdote from his playing days with Gilchrist.
“You couldn't try and tell him [Gilchrist] how to play. I remember having a conversation with him late in a Test match at the SCG against Pakistan.
"He and I were batting, so we must have been four or five down, maybe just three overs left in the day, of which Danish Kaneria had to bowl two of them - and he was bowling around the wicket to Gilly into the big footmarks with a long-on and deep mid-wicket.
"So I went down to him and said, 'Look, let's just get through tonight, we have a beautiful batting day tomorrow, this wicket's going to be good. There's a new ball around the corner, so just get through'.
“Next ball, he ran down the wicket, it landed in the footmark and he hit it over long-on's head for six, and I thought, 'Well, it doesn't matter. It's no good me talking to him because he is not listening'.
Ponting feels Pant, who has penchant for going after bowlers irrespective of the situation, will turn out the same way.
"Rishabh will be exactly the same. If you look at Rishabh – I am not sure how many Test hundreds he's got – but he has a few 90s in there. And he's actually got out trying to bring up his hundred with a six. That's the good and the bad, right?” Shaw and Gaikwad exciting talents ====================== Having been part of the IPL for several years now Ponting has been observing the young Indian talent.
"I hung on to one at the Delhi Capitals this year, one of our retained players is Prithvi Shaw, who we saw some absolute brilliance from through the IPL season last year," said Ponting.
"I still think he is learning a lot about himself as a person and learning a lot about himself as a player. I am not sure I have seen many better to be totally honest." Ponting is also impressed by Chennai Super Kings batter Ruturaj Gaikwad.
"The other one that I thought was absolutely outstanding and I have only seen him in T20 cricket, but that's Ruturaj Gaikwad from Chennai Super Kings.
"Everyone knew that he was a nice player, more of a technically-correct sort of player but by the end of the IPL, he was doing some amazing things.
“He is someone who is I am sure going to play all three formats for India in the coming years."
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India U19 heroes feted on sidelines of second ODI
Ahmedabad, Feb 9 (Cricket News) India's U-19 World Cup wining squad was on Wednesday felicitated by the BCCI on the sidelines of the second ODI here on Wednesday.
The U-19 heroes, wearing blazers, first watched the second ODI at the Narendra Modi stadium from the stands, as they had a joyous time seeing their stars in presence of head coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar and other members of the support staff.
The victorious squad members could not get to meet the senior India cricketers as they were part of the bio-bubble created for the three match series.
Former India batter and National Cricket Academy head VVS Laxman, who was with the team in the Caribbean, was also present on occasion. And so was BCCI secretary Jay Shah, treasurer Arun Dhumal and few other senior officials of the state cricket bodies.
The Board has already announced cash reward of Rs 40 lakh for the players and Rs 25 lakh each for the support staff.
The India U-19 squad had returned home on Tuesday. The squad took the long flight back from the Caribbean with connections in Amsterdam and Dubai before reaching Bengaluru on Tuesday morning and the team then reached Ahmedabad.
More functions await the boys when they reach their respective hometowns by Thursday.
An utterly dominant India on February 5 won a record-extending fifth U-19 World Cup title in North Sound in Antigua, beating heavyweights England by four wickets in the summit clash of an extraordinary campaign that was almost derailed by a COVID-19 outbreak.
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Rohit retains 3rd spot but closes in on No. 2 Kohli in ICC ODI batting rankings
Dubai, Feb 9 (Cricket News) India’s new white-ball captain Rohit Sharma remained at third place but closed in on teammate Virat Kohli, who also held on to his second spot, in the latest ICC men's ODI batting rankings on Wednesday.
Rohit gained some valuable points from his fifty in the first ODI of the three-match series against the West Indies and he now has 807 rating points as against 828 of Kohli.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam continued to hold on to the top spot, while his compatriot Fakhar Zaman and England batter Joe Root broke into the top 10.
West Indies' Shai Hope, who scored 8 runs in the first ODI, lost out on valuable points and slipped out of the top 10.
There was no movement in the top 10 of the bowling rankings, as India pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah remained unchanged on seventh.
In the all-rounders’ list, Ravindra Jadeja was placed eighth, while West Indies’ Jason Holder, following his half-century in the first ODI in Ahmedabad, went up four places to get into the top 20. In a major leap, Oman's Jatinder Singh, who made a hundred in the first match of the UAE series, part of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2, jumped 26 places to break into top 100 of the batting rankings.
Jatinder is the second-highest run-scorer in the League 2 tournament with 594 runs in 23 matches.
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Windies all-roudner Akeal wants to impress in ODI series ahead of IPL auction
Ahmedabad, Feb 8 (Cricket News) Rising Windies all-rounder Akeal Hosein is aware that a significant performance in the ongoing ODI series against India could open the doors for him for the big-ticket IPL.
Trailing 0-1 in the three-match ODI series here, the Kieron Pollard-led side is faced with a must-win situation in the second rubber here on Wednesday as the left-arm spin all-rounder wants to make all the difference in the slow conditions on offer.
"Yes, we know, the IPL is the best league around. But I'm not really focused on that (IPL). The task at hand right now is these two games. They are very important for me, because it will determine the series," the 28-year-old said in a virtual media interaction on the eve of the second ODI.
"Having said that, I think once I do the right things and perform well for my team, the doors will open. For me, it's all about these two games and winning this ODI series." I see myself as a complete all-rounder ======================== A slow-left arm spinner and a dasher down the order, Akeal declared himself as a 50-50 all-rounder, who is hugely influenced by his fellow Trinidadians Pollard and Sunil Narine.
"I think I'm a 50-50 perfect proper batter, proper bowler. Having said that, over the last couple of years, I've played CPL, different formats and what not. Then you find yourself you might flex down the order if given an opportunity to bat.
"I definitely see myself as a total all-rounder and it's just about working my way up the ladder. Hopefully people can see that I am a genuine allrounder," he said.
Akeal, who was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders net bowling squad in the second phase of the IPL in UAE last year, said his fellow Trinidadian Sunil Narine played a big role during the stint.
"For me, having the opportunity to spend more time with him in KKR setup helped me a lot because the World Cup was played in Dubai as well," Akeal said.
How Narine helped Akeal during the T20 World Cup ================================ Akeal remembered he was feeling "terrible" at the nets on the eve of their T20 World Cup match and it was the two-time IPL winning KKR all-rounder who helped him.
"It was actually the day before the game, so it was a bit worrying. But Sunil said 'don't be surprised. That's how it goes. Some days you'll feel terrible in the nets, and then the next day you will see the ball coming out of your hand perfectly in the match.' "His advice was spot on. I didn't take it (the feeling) on too much and surprisingly in the match the ball came out beautifully," Akeal, who was their best wicket-taker with five to his kitty in the T20 World Cup, said.
"I was able to get a feel of the pitches and worked closely alongside, always giving me advice and information and little cues, the type deliveries, trajectory. Immediately after the IPL, we had the World Cup and I thought I didn't do too bad there." "Sunil is not only a friend to me but a big brother. He's very quiet but very open at the same time. He would share almost everything with all his tricks and ideas." "And if he thinks it's a trick that can't work and doesn't work for him, he will definitely shared with me as well.
Terming the duo of Pollard and Narine as his 'big brothers', he said: "It's always a blessing to have these guys around. They're more than friends. I consider them big brothers and they always look out for you in any way possible. I'm very thankful." "These guys are always around. We play with the same club back home -- Queen's Park. So it's where our relationship grew from. No matter where you are, these guys are just a phone call away." West Indies put up an ordinary show and collapsed against the spin force of Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar to be bowled out for a paltry 176 as India secured a six-wicket win to take a 1-0 lead in the ODI series.
"Yes, we've lost the match and it's a short series -- three matches. Although we lost, there were still positives. It's just about how we plan to bounce back and come back strong.
"The message is to stay positive and get ourselves in proper positions to play strong scoring shots. That's definitely something we're going to stick with, no matter the surface and condition. Once we do those things we'll be able to get through," he concluded.
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Mandhana rises to 5th, Mithali maintains 2nd spot in ICC ODI batting rankings
Dubai, Feb 8 (Cricket News) India opener Smriti Mandhana gained two places to rise to fifth while her captain Mithali Raj maintained her second spot among batters in the latest ICC women's ODI rankings on Tuesday.
Mandhana has 710 rating points in her kitty while Raj has 738.
Australia's Alyssa Healy remained at the top spot with 742 points. Other Australians Beth Mooney (719) and Amy Satterthwaite (717) are at third and fourth places respectively.
Among the bowlers, veteran Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami retained her second spot with 727 rating points, behind Australia's Jess Jonassen (773).
Australia's Ellyse Perry was back at the top of the list of all-rounders after a fine show in the second ODI of their three-match series against England.
The 31-year-old scored a steady 64-ball 40 and took three for 12 in seven overs to win the Player of the Match award in Melbourne. The performance helped her gain 47 rating points to go past England’s Nat Sciver (360) and grab number one position.
India's Deepti Sharma is unchanged at fourth with 299 points while Goswami (251) is at 10th.
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'Baby AB' Dewald Brevis, Petersen and Hossain nominated for ICC Player of the Month Award
Dubai, Feb 8 (Cricket News) Two South Africans -- batter Keegan Petersen and record-breaking U-19 World Cup star Dewald Brevis -- along with Ebadot Hossain of Bangladesh were on Tuesday nominated for the ICC Player of the Month Award following their stellar performances in January.
While Petersen was named Player of the Series for his sensational performance during the home Test rubber against India, Brevis took the U-19 World Cup by storm, scoring 506 runs in six innings at an average of 84.33 while also taking seven wickets, earning him the moniker 'Baby AB', after the legendary AB de Villiers.
Petersen helped the Proteas register a series win at home against a strong Indian side, his runs helping lay the foundation as South Africa bounced back from 0-1 down to claim the series 2-1.
Petersen played gritty knocks at the pivotal No. 3 position, amassing 244 runs during the series at an average of 61.
In the Caribbean, the brilliant Brevis scored two hundreds and three fifties in his six appearances, and picked up his wickets at 28.57. His all-round exploits helped him in claiming the Player of the Tournament Trophy as well.
Bangladesh pacer Hossain played two Tests against New Zealand in January and claimed nine wickets at 29.33.
He registered figures of 6/46 in the first Test and helped Bangladesh to a historic victory in New Zealand, their first in the country.
Among women candidates, Sri Lanka's Chamari Athapaththu, West Indies' Deandra Dottin and England's Heather Knight were named as nominees for the ICC Women's Player of the Month for their strong performances.
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Bopanna-Ramkumar pair lift Tata Open trophy
Pune, Feb 6 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan won their second ATP World Tour title together after pipping the top seeded Australian pair of Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith in the final of the Tata Open Maharashtra, here on Sunday.
The second-seeded Indians erased the first set deficit to win 6-7(10) 6-3 10-6 in one hour and 44 minutes.
Bopanna and Ramkumar had combined as a team on the ATP Tour for the first time at the Adelaide event last month in the run-up to the Australian Open and won the trophy.
For Bopanna, it was his 21st ATP doubles title while for Ramkumar it is his second trophy at this level and it will push him inside doubles top-100 for the first time in his career.
They split USD 16370 as prize money and earned 250 ranking points each.
Bopanna had won this event with compatriot Divij Sharan in 2019.
Still going strong at an age of 41, Bopanna said it's his years of playing experience that is helping him out in the circuit.
"A lot is to do with experience, which you really bring in, years and years of experience and the biggest thing is my body is feeling very very good at the moment," Bopanna said after the match.
"I did a lot of yoga which has helped me tremendously and I am very thankful to my Yoga Teacher (Mohan) in Bangalore which has made such a difference for me and I can try something new at this age.
"It has made a difference and that really shows as long as I am playing matches, competing and doing something that is physically appealing. May be at the practice court I may not be giving my 100% but as long as I am feeling good and go out their and enjoying the pace as currently right now." Asked to compare the two titles that they have won together, Bopanna said performing before the home crowd was tough while in Adelaide no one watched them.
"Both are extremely special but anytime you win a title at home it's lot more pressures. In Adelaide no one was really watching, but here there were lot more expectations and especially coming here with a win people expected an automatic win which wasn’t easy but at that tie break the crowd really helped.
"You just get that extra boost, that extra energy. Even if your legs are feeling tiered that’s the energy you need to hit the serve especially for me. Winning in India is always especial and especially with an Indian partner is truly truly great." Ramkumar said he now wants to play ATP 500 event in Dubai and for that wil try to do well in the the upcoming two Challengers in Bengaluru.
"Let's see if there is a chance to get in Dubai and hope I can play that," said the 27-year-old.
Ramkumar said everyone believed in his game and that gave him confidence in this tournament.
"Coming from Bops (Bopanna) who always believes in me, my coaches and every one who have always believe in me and said you play well and that just keeps me going.
"I just have to work on a few thing on court and just keep competing at this level as much as I can which will improve my game and automatically the ranking," he said.
Big serves marked the beginning of the contest with only Ramkumar and Luke losing a point each in the first four games.
Bopanna's volley error on a return from Luke made it 30-all in the fifth game but Ramkumar pulled off an ace and followed that up with another huge serve to hold for a 3-2 lead.
The Indian team had got a chance to break Patrick-Smith's serve in the next game when Luke made an error while attempting an overhead volley at 40-30 but the opportunity could not be utilised as the Australian pulled of a big serve on the deuce point.
The Australians also created break opportunity on Ramkumar's serve in the ninth game when they found two service return winners and the Indian serving a doubler fault at 40-30 but the home team managed to hold.
A comfortable hold at love by Patrick-Smith made it 5-5.
Eventually a tie-break was required for deciding the first set. Both the teams had a number of set points as the Indians squandered two chances and the Australians three before converting their fourth.
They got the chance when Bopanna made an unforced error at 10-all and Ramkumar netted a forehand on set point.
In the second set, the Indian duo needed a good start and they got it by breaking Luke's serve in the third game when the Australian made a volley error on deuce point.
Bopanna saved a break chance on his serve in the next game to keep their nose ahead. Patrick-Smith was serving to stay in the set in the ninth game and was broken to allow the Indian team force a Super Tie Breaker.
At 30-all, an engrossing rally ensued between the two pairs. Luke blinked to give Indian first set point which they converted when Bopanna dispatched a volley winner with ease.
Bopanna and Ramkumar dominated the STB to secure the title.
Also Read : Rublev and Tsitsipas getting ready for rematch at Rotterdam
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Kerala’s popular Nehru Trophy boat race to be held in UAE this year
Dubai, Feb 4 (Sports News) The Nehru Trophy boat race, a popular fixture held annually in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha in Kerala, is slated to be held in Ras al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates this year, in a move to build on the close-knit ties between the Gulf nation and the southern Indian state, the organisers said on Friday.
The race, named after former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, will be held on March 27, 2022 at the Al Marjan Island.
“The move is to build on the beautiful relationship between UAE and Kerala,” a statement from the organisers said.
The organisers of the UAE Nehru Trophy boat race met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is currently in the UAE, and briefed him about the same.
“We were conducting boat events in the region for several years. This year, we plan to take it to a grand scale by inviting teams from across the Emirates and present this event to different nationalities in the UAE,” Riyas Katil, Advisory Board Member, International Marine Sports Club, Ras Al Khaimah said.
The Nehru Trophy boat race is amongst the pioneer snake boat races in Kerala is a top tourist draw, where millions gather to watch 100 feet long boats compete to the tunes of old Malayalam folk songs.
The name of the water race was coined following Nehru’s visit to Kerala in 1952.
He was so enchanted by the sight of the majestic snake boats, that he leapt into one of the snake boats himself, ignoring the security cover.
Later on in the year, he donated a silver trophy in the form of a snake boat as a gift for his memories, and subsequently the boat race was named after him.
The boat race was not organised over the past two years in Kerala due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Shiv Kapur strong finish places him T-4th in Saudi International golf
Kaec (Saudi Arabia), Feb 3 (Golf News) India's Shiv Kapur landed four birdies on the back nine, including three in the last four, to lie tied fourth with a five-under card at the star-studded USD 5 million Saudi International Golf Championship here Thursday.
Kapur was lying T-4th alongside former world no 1 Dustin Johnson and the latest Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, Kim Joohyung, who also shot 65 each.
Kapur, who turns 40 in less than 10 days, carded 65 and was three behind surprise leader Italian Matteo Manassero (62). England's Sam Horsfield and Spaniard Adri Arnaus carded 64 each and were tied-second.
Indian golfer Rashid Khan too had a good comeback after a sedate front nine for a round of four-under 66 that placed him T-12.
Shubhankar Sharma, runner-up at the Abu Dhabi Championship last month, looked in great form with three birdies on the trot in his first four holes after starting from the 10th.
Sharma then parred the next 10 before dropping a shot on sixth, which he made up with a birdie on Par-3 eighth, his penultimate hole. He was lying T-23rd.
Among other Indians Veer Ahlawat (71) is tied at one-over alongside Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood, Khalin Joshi (74) shot four-over, while Viraj Madappa was one-under after 15 and S Chikkarangappa was even after 15.
Kapur, now based in Dubai, who also returned COVID positive during the break, said, "It was a pretty steady round. Nothing brilliant, just lots of fairways and greens. A couple of greens that I missed narrowly, I managed to get up and down. I never really put myself in trouble, so you know it was one of those sort of stress-free rounds - fairways and greens and give myself chances." "The greens are a little bit tricky to read here. Fast greens late in the day can be a bit of a challenge as ball kind of bounces around a bit." On his season so far, Kapur added: "A bit of stop and start after the break. I had COVID over the break and then came out a bit of lacklustre but I felt over the weekend I played quite steady in Singapore.
"Again nothing brilliant but just did a lot of good things and shot four rounds and came in this week. I was feeling quite good. I like the golf course and makes you think a little bit. There's a bit of strategy involved. And you need to have the right sections of the green." Kapur, who spent a little over 11 years between his first and second Asian Tour wins in 2005 and 2017, had three successes in 2017. Since then he lost a play-off in Thailand and a good start this week should renew his confidence.
Kapur began with a birdie on fourth but gave it back in sixth only to get another birdie on ninth.
On the back nine of the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, Kapur birdied Par-3 11th and then further gained on 15th, 16th and 17th. It was a rare occasion when he missed the fairway on 18th and made only a par.
Also Read : Saudi International: Shubhankar is top Indian as Dustin Johnson leads field
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New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell wins ICC's 'Spirit of Cricket' award
Dubai, Feb 2 (Cricket News) New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell is the recipient of the ICC 'Spirit of Cricket' award for 2021 due to his sportsmanlike gesture in the T20 World Cup semi-final against England in Abu Dhabi.
Mitchell won the award for refusing to take what was an easy single after coming in the way of bowler Adil Rashid in the high-pressure World Cup semi-final against England in Abu Dhabi on November 10 last year.
Mitchell is the fourth New Zealand player to win the award, following the footsteps of Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson.
"It's an honour to receive the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award," Mitchell said.
"To be part of that T20 World Cup in UAE was an amazing experience, and to receive an award like this is pretty cool.
"It's something that we pride ourselves on as New Zealanders, the way we go about playing our cricket, and yes, the Spirit of Cricket side.
"Personally, I felt I got in the way and we wanted to win on our own terms, and didn't want to be controversial in such a big game. It paid off in the long run that we won the game. Looking back, it all happened pretty quickly." The incident occurred on the first ball of the 18th over bowled by Adil Rashid, with the score at 133/4 and James Neesham on strike.
Neesham smashed the ball down the ground and it would have been an easy single. But Mitchell, at the non-striker's end, refused to take the run, conceding that he had impeded Rashid in a high-pressure chase, with a place in the World Cup final at stake.
Nasser Hussain, who was live on commentary during the contest, was full of praise for Mitchell saying, "That is very good. That is so New Zealand, it really is. So easy to take a run there. But the non-strike said, 'No, I've got in the way of Adil.' Anything sums up New Zealand cricket – it was that." Mitchell, explaining why he refused to take the single, added: "It was a pretty tight game against England in that semi-final, with only a few overs to go. Neesh (Jimmy Neesham) hit a single down to long-off I think it was, and I felt like I'd obstructed Rashid from getting to the ball.
"The game that we play, we play it because we love it. Yes, we want to win as much as we can, but we don't want that to come about from doing things that go against the values of cricket. Spirit of Cricket is vitally important. It sets a platform for kids in the future, who will go about playing the game in the right way.
"At the end of the day, it is a game, it's something that we love. So obviously we're so lucky to do that." Mitchell who opened the batting proved to be the match-winner, playing a memorable knock of 72 not out in only 47 deliveries, while also hitting the winning runs.
Also Read : Rahul moves a place up to 4th in ICC T20 rankings
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Rahul moves a place up to 4th in ICC T20 rankings
Dubai, Feb 2 (Cricket News) Opener KL Rahul moved a place up to fourth while Virat Kohli and India's new white ball skipper Rohit Sharma remained static on 10th and 11th positions, respectively, in ICC T20 rankings for batters issued on Wednesday.
In the bowling chart, seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar wasthe best-placed Indian at 20th position, having dropped a run while pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah feel two places to 26th.
No Indian featured in the all-rounder's list. India, though, did not feature in T20 Internationals in recent times.
Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and fast bowler Jason Holder have achieved career-best rankings in bowling after helping the West Indies to a series-deciding 17-run victory in the fifth match against England in Bridgetown.
In the latest weekly update to the men's rankings, which considers performances in the last three matches of the series, Hosein has moved up 15 places to 18th position after a haul of four for 30 that helped him finish with six wickets in three matches.
All-rounder and former captain Holder, who performed the unique feat of grabbing four wickets in four balls to finish with match figures of five for 27 and a tally of nine wickets in those three matches, has advanced three places to 23rd with a massive gain of 20 rating points.
Sheldon Cottrell (up 10 places to 31st) is another West Indies bowler to move up in the update while England spinner Moeen Ali (up three places to 32nd) and Liam Livingston (up 33 places to 68th) have also advanced.
In the ranking for batters, Nicholas Pooran is up eight places to 18th after scoring 113 runs in the three matches including a knock of 70, while Brandon King (up 25 places to 58th) and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard (up 15 places to 60th) have also advanced.
Moeen Ali, who was adjudged the Player of the Match in the fourth match of the series against West Indies, has moved up 30 places to 67th with 73 runs in the three matches, in which he also took two wickets. As a result, he has leapfrogged Glenn Maxwell and Wanindu Hasaranga to third place among all-rounders.
Also Read : Blow for SA as rising star Keegan Petersen ruled out of NZ tour with COVID
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Mithali Raj gains one spot to be at second in ICC ODI batting ranking
Dubai, Feb 1 (Cricket News) India captain Mithali Raj moved up one place to be at second among batters while veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami maintained her second spot among bowlers in the ICC women's ODI rankings issued on Tuesday.
Among the all-rounders, India's Deepti Sharma also gained one spot to be at fourth.
Raj has 738 rating points in her kitty, behind top-ranked Alyssa Healy (750) of Australia. Another Indian, Smriti Mandhana, is unchanged at sixth with 710 rating points.
Australian Jess Jonassen (760) leads the pack among bowlers, followed by Goswami (727). Another Australian, Megan Schutt (717), is at third.
Englishwoman Natalie Sciver leads the all-rounders' chart with 372 rating points, ahead of Ellyse Perry (365) of Australia, Marizanne Kapp (355) of South Africa and Deepti (299).
West Indies star Hayley Matthews made a jump of two places to sixth on the back of her strong performance against South Africa.
She had claimed four wickets across the two ODIs at an economy of just 3.78, while also making a well-compiled 51 from 63 balls in the first match, which was marred by rain.
Also Read : India, Australia to open cricket competition in Birmingham CWG
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India, Australia to open cricket competition in Birmingham CWG
Dubai, Feb 1 (Cricket News) Cricket will mark its return to the Commonwealth Games after a gap of 24 years with India taking on Australia on July 29 in the 2022 Birmingham edition.
The league-cum-knockout women's tournament kicks off with a match between women's 2020 T20 World Cup finalists Australia and India on July 29, with the bronze and gold medal matches scheduled for August 7.
Cricket is the first discipline to announce its complete line-up for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games after Sri Lanka was confirmed as the eighth team in the women's T20 tournament, the ICC said on Tuesday.
The announcement was made jointly by the International Cricket Council and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) following Sri Lanka's victory in the Commonwealth Games Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur last week and the subsequent CGF ratification of the island nation's entry.
Australia, Barbados, England, India, New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan have already qualified as women's cricket makes its first entry into the Commonwealth Games.
It will only be the second time that cricket features in the multi-discipline event after a men's competition was part of the Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and is considered a massive opportunity to bring the game to new audiences.
A Shaun Pollock-led South Africa had won the gold on that occasion, beating Steve Waugh's Australian side by four wickets in the final.
ICC Hall of Famers Sachin Tendulkar of India, Jacques Kallis of South Africa and Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka were among the many stars featuring in the 1998 Games.
Barbados and Pakistan are in Group A along with Australia and India while England, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka form Group B.
The ICC, CGF and Commonwealth Games Sri Lanka congratulated Sri Lanka for their qualification and looked forward to an exciting tournament.
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: "It's good to have finalised the identity of the teams participating in the Commonwealth Games. We will have eight of the best teams competing for the gold and I am sure we will get to watch a highly competitive tournament.
"The Commonwealth Games are an important part of the women's cricket calendar over the next year. It is a huge opportunity for us to take cricket beyond the traditional strongholds and give more people around the world the chance to enjoy the game." CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: "Cricket is a sport synonymous with the Commonwealth. We are so excited to have it back in the Games for the first time since the men's 50 over competition at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
"The debut of women's T20 cricket will be a historic moment and a wonderful showcase of women's sport across the world." The Birmingham Commonwealth Games, being held from July 28 to August 8, will see 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories compete across 11 days.
Birmingham 2022 will be the first major multi-sport event in history to award more medals to women than men.
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Danielle Collins enters top 10 in WTA rankings for the first time
(Tennis news) Danielle Collins made her debut in the top 10 WTA rankings after her performance at the 2022 Australian Open. She is currently the highest ranked American as Jessica Pegula is below 6 places at 16. Collins jumped 20 places after reaching her maiden Grand Slam final at Australia, her highest ranking before this month was 23 in 2019 after which her ranking did not wander around much.
The right hander has a strong backhand which can reach speeds around 130 to 140km/ hour. Her crosscourt backhand was very much visible at Melbourne especially with that bend in the knee and the long backswing which adds more power to the ball. The forehand also has a big swing and does not slice much of her shots even in the backhand.
Collins is also nine victories away from 200 career victories and will intend to reach the milestone by March. The 28 year old beat Elise Mertens and Iga Swiatek on her way to the final of the opening Grand Slam. She was a game away from winning the second set until home favorite Ashleigh Barty managed to break serve and take the set in a tiebreaker and win the title.
The world number 10 did not secure her first victory at the majors until the 2019 Australian Open where she reached the semifinals, beating former no 2 Angelique Kerber, Julia Georges and Caroline Garcia on the way. Collins had 5 majors before her big break at Melbourne and then in the next year it was at Roland Garros where she made an impact. She defeated Garbine Muguruza and Ons Jabeur on her way to the quarterfinals.
In the 2021 season she could not advance beyond the third round of any of the four majors but had a 12 match winning streak from the second week of July to August. She won the WTA 250 Palermo Ladies Open but her biggest victory was winning the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic WTA 500 event and brought her back to the top 30 of the rankings.
The WTA tour will have its next event on February 7th as this month has as many as 6 events. There are two WTA 500 events and the first WTA 1000 event of the season which is the Dubai Duty Free Championships. Collins has a few events to catch up on and ensure she stays in the top ten.
Aditi finishes T-13 as Lydia Ko wins title at Gainbridge
Boca Raton (US), Jan 31 (Golf News) Indian golfer Aditi Ashok got her 2022 season off to a solid start with a T-13 finish at the Gainbridge LPGA here.
A fourth-place finisher at the Tokyo Olympics, Aditi, who shot 66 on the first day, closed the week with three birdies against a lone bogey for 2-under 70 that saw her total 4-under 284.
Aditi might well have been inside the top-10 finishers but for the third round in cold and windy conditions which saw her shoot 76 and drop down the leaderboard.
The Indian, who just got two welcome sponsorships from Hyundai and Radisson, was pleased with her start to the season.
“Nice start to my 2022 season here at Boca Rio at Gainbridge LPGA. Had a lot of fun playing in the Pro-Am with young girls,” she tweeted.
Gracious as ever, she also thanked the volunteers and all those involved with the tournament and her supporters.
Lydia Ko became the first player to reach 17 wins before the age of 25 since Nancy Lopez captured her 17th title in 1979.
Lydia (69) held off a strong challenge from Danielle Kang (68) and she later said the birdie on the Par-4 15th tilted the scales in her favour.
The Kiwi star added another birdie on No. 16 before getting up and down out of the greenside bunker on No. 18 to seal the win at 14-under overall.
Kang finished runner-up, a week after winning the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.
Yuka Saso (67) was sole third, two shots back of Ko, while Charley Hull (68) and Celine Boutier (69) shared fourth at 11-under.
Lexi Thompson (68) finished in a tie for sixth on 7-under with Brooke Henderson (68), while Nelly Korda shot 2-under 76 to conclude the week in a tie for 20th at -2.
Korda is expected to lose the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings to Jin Young Ko, who is projected to assume the spot for the fourth time of her career despite not competing in Boca Raton.
Also Read : Hovland rallies to win Dubai Desert Classic, Sharma finishes 75th
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It may be easier for Kohli to break batting records without responsibility of captaincy: Ponting
Dubai, Jan 31 (Cricket News) Legendary Australian cricketer Ricky Pointing says he was "shocked" at Virat Kohli recently stepping down from Test captaincy but suggested that he must have taken the decision in his bid to do better with the bat and break some records.
Ponting, one of the most successful captains ever, hailed Kohli for his leadership skills, saying that under him India had improved its overseas record by winnings more Tests abroad than before.
He also backed Rohit Sharma to do well as Kohli's successor.
“Yes, it did actually (surprise me)...I was shocked... Probably the main reason why is I had a chat and good catch-up with Virat during the first part of the IPL (2021) before it got postponed," Ponting said in the first episode of 'The ICC Review'.
"He was talking then about stepping away (from captaincy) from white-ball cricket and how passionate he was to continue on to be Test match captain. He just loved and cherished that job and that post so much. When I heard it, I was really, really surprised." But upon reflection of his own experience as captain, Ponting felt Kohli must have weighed in many factors before his decision.
"There is potentially a shelf-life for international cricket captains and even coaches. Virat's been there for close to seven years now. If there's a country in the world that's the most difficult to captain, it’s probably India because of just how popular the game is and how much every single Indian loves to see the fortunes of the team.
"He is 33 years of age now and he will want to continue playing for a few more years I am sure and have a crack at breaking some records that he is not far off breaking.
"Maybe if he does that as a batter and without the extra responsibility of captaincy, it might make it a bit easier for him," Ponting said.
The legendary batter lauded the efforts of the Indian team under Kohli, even going so far as to say the team's efforts were more "staggering" than that of Australia under his captaincy.
"It was more of a staggering achievement for India than it was for us. When I took over, I took over a side that had dominated world cricket for a long time.
"If you think about India before Virat, it was about winning a lot of games at home and not winning quite as many overseas. The thing that improved most was India winning a few more games overseas..." "There was a real focus placed on Test cricket by BCCI when Virat took over, and I think a lot of it has come from him as well – to focus more on Test cricket and winning more games home and away." Ponting said given his Test record as captain, Kohli can walk away from the role very proud of what he has achieved.
No other Indian skipper has captained India in more Tests (68) or won more matches (40) than Kohli. India lost just five of the 24 series under his captaincy.
At home, India didn't lose a single series with Kohli as captain. In fact, they lost just two out of 31 matches.
Away from home, Kohli’s India won 16 out of 36 matches, with an impressive win percentage of 44.44, the highest for an Indian or Asian captain who has led their team in at least 10 matches.
Ponting rated India's 2-1 triumph in the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar as Kohli's greatest series win as captain. It was that series victory that broke India's jinx -- it was their first Test series win in Australia.
Ponting backed his former Mumbai Indians team-mate Rohit to fill Kohli's shoes. He said it was him who suggested Rohit to lead Mumbai Indians when he had to step down from that role after indifferent form in 2013.
"The proof is in the pudding with what he has done at Mumbai Indians. He has been a very successful leader there and has been when he has led India on a few occasions as well."
Also Read : Sri Lanka advance to 5th place play off, Uganda beat Scotland to finish 13th
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Hovland rallies to win Dubai Desert Classic, Sharma finishes 75th
Dubai, Jan 30 (Golf News) Viktor Hovland rallied from a six-shot deficit to get into a play-off and win the Dubai Desert Classic in rather dramatic fashion at the Emirates Golf Club here on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Norwegian youngster, who has now on three times in his last five starts had a birdie-eagle-birdie finish to end up at 12-under and the waited for the others, including Rory McIlroy to finish, even as the 48-year-old Englishman Richard Bland finished birdie-birdie to get to 12-under.
McIlroy needing a birdie to win outright had just saved par with two great shots on 17th, but on the 18th, going for the green in two, he found water. The resultant bogey dropped McIlroy to 11-under and out of the play-off.
In the play-off, Bland going for the green in two found himself in a divot and coming out of it, he left himself a birdie putt that just missed out. Hovland with a two-putt for a win made no mistake and added a second European Tour win to go with four others on the PGA Tour.
India’s Shubhankar Sharma after 72-72 on first two days, ended with 76-76 on last two days. The final round had two double bogeys besides three bogeys and three birdies for a 76 and ended T-75 a week after finishing second at Abu Dhabi.
As Bland finished second, McIlroy was left stranded third. Five players including Justin Harding, the overnight leader, Tyrrell Hatton, Sam Horsfield, Adrian Meronk and Erik Van Rooyen were Tied-fifth.
Hovland becomes the first Norwegian to win a Rolex Series event and adds this title to his maiden DP World Tour victory at the 2021 BMW International Open.
It is his third win in five starts after back-to-back victories in November and December at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba and Hero World Challenge, and could move him up to third in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Also Read : Aditi shoots 76 on tough day, drops to tied 17th
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U-19 WC: Herrmann approved as replacement for Stephenson in SA squad
Dubai, Jan 30 (Cricket News) The ICC has confirmed that its event technical committee of the U-19 men's World Cup has approved Ronan Herrmann as a replacement for Joshua Stephenson in the South Africa squad.
Stephenson has sustained a left hamstring strain and will be unable to take any further part in the event.
The replacement of a player requires the approval of the event technical committee before the the player can be officially added to the squad.
The event technical committee consists of the Chair Chris Tetley (ICC Head of Events), Ben Leaver (ICC Senior Event Manager), Fawwaz Baksh (Tournament Director) Roland Holder (CWI Representative) Alan Wilkins and Russel Arnold (both independent representatives).
South Africa will face Sri Lanka on Sunday in the Super League playoff semifinal at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua and Barbuda.
Also Read : LU-19 World Cup: Pacer Ravi wreaks havoc as India oust Bangladesh to enter semifinals.
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Aditi cards even par, stays in Top-5 at Gainbridge on LPGA
Boca Rio (US), Jan 29 (Golf News) Indian golfer Aditi Ashok carded a sedate even par 72 in the second round to slip to tied fifth at the Gainbridge LPGA here.
There were no fireworks from Aditi, who after a six-under 66 on the first day, slipped two places on Friday.
Danielle King (68) moved into the lead at 11-under alongside Lydia Ko (70).
Aditi, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics, bogeyed second and seventh and birdied fifth and eighth and parred the entire back nine of the course.
This is Aditi's first start in 2022 and a good finish here will help her to build a fine season on the LPGA.
Meanwhile, Nishtha Madan, making her LPGA debut, exited early with rounds of 77-80.
Ko had four birdies for a two-under 70 in the second round, while Kang had five birdies against one bogey.
Two players are four shots behind Kang and Ko at -7, including Jodi Ewart Shadoff (69), who will round out Saturday's final grouping off No. 1 tee.
The other is Yuka Saso (70), the 2021 US Women's Open champion. Saso has not missed a cut on Tour since accepting LPGA Tour Membership after that victory.
A group of five individuals, including Aditi share the fifth spot at six-under overall. As many as 74 players made the cut at one-over.
Also Read : Tense closing birdie helps Sharma make cut at Dubai Desert Classic golf
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Indian boxer Olympian Sarjubala Devi turns professional
New Delhi, Jan 29 (Boxing News) Decorated Indian woman boxer and Olympian Sarjubala Devi has decided to enter the professional arena and has signed a deal with leading Indian boxing promoter Mujtaba Kamal and Grassroot Boxing Promotions and Management in Imphal.
The 28-year-old Manipuri, a silver medallist in the 2014 AIBA World Boxing Championship in Korea and a former Youth World Boxing gold medallist, will be making her professional boxing debut on February 26 in Dubai.
Sarjubala is also a four-time national champion, has represented India in many international tournaments and has won medals in almost all competitions that she has participated in.
She was ranked second in 2014 in her weight category.
Mujtaba's company currently manages some of the top Indian professional boxers like Sabari J (current WBC India champion), Karthik S (WBC Asian silver winner), Faizan Anwar, Lalrinsanga Tlau (WBC youth world champion), Asif Asad, Gurpreet Singh and some other boxers.
The press conference was attended by P Doungel, Director General of Police, Manipur.
Mujtaba said that he was happy to have added a sensational boxing talent to his stable.
"Today marks a significant day for our sport with the news that Sarjubala is joining the professional ranks," he said.
"She is one of the most recognised Indian women's amateur boxers of all time and a public figure in Manipur." Indian Boxing Council President, Brigadier PK Muralidharan Raja said: "Sarjubala is an outstanding boxer and this is great news for her and all the fans who have followed her incredible career.
"Her career and familial background are already an inspiration to young people in the state of Manipur and we're very excited for her first professional fight in February 2022. It would not be long before she is able to fight in her homeland in front of a raucous crowd who love her to bits."
Also Read : Indian Boxing Council to launch NFTs in partnership with TIAR
News Source : PTI
Tense closing birdie helps Sharma make cut at Dubai Desert Classic golf
Dubai, Jan 28 (Golf News) Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma rode on a closing birdie with a 12-foot tense putt to make the cut at the 2022 Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic here on Friday.
Sharma, at one time was in danger of missing the cut, which looked like falling at even par and eventually fell at one-over.
Sharma, with birdies on third and 18th and bogeys on fourth and sixth, carded a second straight par and was placed T-49th.
With the cut coming at one-over, as many as 80 players ensured play over the weekend.
South Africa's Justin Harding landed a spectacular eagle to light up a 68, which he also called a grind, and took a two-shot lead into the weekend.
The South African had to return to complete his opening round on day two and birdied the last to take a share of the 18-hole lead before a hole-out from 183 yards on the par-four sixth in round two helped him hit the front at 11-under, two clear of four-time Rolex Series champion Tyrrell Hatton.
Sharma, who finished runner-up at the Rolex Series Abu Dhabi Championship last week, was relieved to ensure a chance over the weekend instead of missing out after a good week in Abu Dhabi.
"That would have been a pity, as I am playing well. That closing birdie, which was a bit of a double breaker, was good to go back with. It gives you confidence," he said.
"Mentally, it was a grind. It wasn't easy to make putts. I wasn't stroking at the best either. So it was tough towards the end. I was waiting patiently for a birdie to secure my spot for the weekend. But, I'm still confident I'm playing well. It's all about getting on to a good start tomorrow." Asked about his hitting, Sharma added: "I was hitting the ball really well yesterday and even today it was just putting that didn't work. I would say it could have been a solid 3 or 4 under. With that hitting I should have done better." Harding is a two-time winner on the DP World Tour but is yet to star in a Rolex Series event, with last week's tie for 25th at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship matching his best finish.
South African Erik van Rooyen and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti were at eight-under, one ahead of Ryder Cup teammates Viktor Hovland and Rory McIlroy, England's Richard Bland, Dane Joachim, B Hansen and Pole Adrian Meronk.
Defending champion Paul Casey was in the all-English group at six-under alongside Marcus Armitage, Tommy Fleetwood, Sam Horsfield and Lee Westwood.
Also Read : Aditi cards 6-under for a flying start, lies third; Nishtha way behind
News Source : PTI
Brendan Taylor banned by ICC for 3 and half years for delay in reporting spot-fixing approach
Dubai, Jan 28 (Cricket News) Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor was on Friday banned for three and a half years by the ICC for failing to report a 2019 spot-fixing approach by an Indian businessman on time and was also handed a one month suspension for failing a dope test which was linked to his intake of cocaine during the episode.
In a statement, the ICC said Taylor admitted to being in breach of the provisions of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
"Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has been banned from all cricket for three and a half years after he accepted breaching four charges of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code and, separately, one charge of the ICC Anti-Doping Code," the ICC said.
On January 24, Taylor made a stunning disclosure that he was blackmailed after "foolishly" taking cocaine during his meeting with an Indian businessman.
Taylor said he is facing a multi-year ban from the ICC for delay in reporting a corrupt approach by an Indian businessman in 2019.
Taylor had claimed that he was invited by the businessman to India to discuss "sponsorships" and potential launch of a T20 event in Zimbabwe besides an offer of USD 15,000 in October 2019. He did not name the businessman in question.
The 35-year-old, who played 205 ODIs, 34 Tests and 45 T20s before retiring last year, said he was also given a part payment to spot fix matches, which, according to him, he never did.
He tested positive for Benzoylecognine, which is primarily a result of cocaine ingestion.
"This one-month suspension will run concurrently with the suspension of three and a half years under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. Mr Taylor will be free to resume his involvement in the game on 28 July 2025," the ICC stated.
Also Read : India skipper Dhull and four others recover from COVID ahead of U-19 WC QF but Sindhu tests positive
News Source : PTI
No change in ICC women's World Cup schedule or venues despite COVID surge: event CEO Nelson
Dubai, Jan 28 (Cricket News) The ICC women's ODI World Cup CEO Andrea Nelson on Friday asserted that there will be no change in the number of venues or scheduling of the event despite the recent spread of the COVID-19's Omicron variant in host country New Zealand.
The World Cup is scheduled to be held in New Zealand from March 4, with the hosts taking on West Indies in the tournament opener.
However, New Zealand has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases recently leading to several restrictions.
"We have been in preparation to host the World Cup here in 2022 for quite a sometime, originally it was scheduled for 2021. We are well on track and 35 days away from the opening match in Tauranga and 66 days away from the final at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
"The first thing to say is that the tournament schedule is remaining as it is, and that involves moving around New Zealand," Nelson told a select group of reporters on a con-call on Friday morning.
"We are working with the ICC at a managed environment. But broadly speaking, the tournament will proceed nationwide as planned," she added.
On Thursday, New Zealand Cricket announced a reworked schedule to curb the risk of COVID-19 by ensuring that the teams will not have to travel a lot for matches in both men's and women's events.
"The big change in the last week or so has come about though is New Zealand has the Omicron variant. But what hasn't changed is our full commitment to staging an incredible event for the athletes," stated Nelson.
The World Cup is slated to be played at six venues - - Tauranga, Dunedin, Hamilton, Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch and Nelson maintained that as of now there was no change in location.
"The plan is to retain the schedule as it is with the six venues. The contingency measures were put in place related to protecting the travel between those venues as much as possible.
"We are currently staging the event as per the schedule that has been previously published with no changes of location." "So, there are no significant changes to the way the event will be delivered for the players. Predominantly the changes are related to spectators inside the stadium." Nelson added that New Zealand government is doing its best to "maximise" the attendance at the event.
"New Zealand has moved to a traffic light system. With the arrival of the new variant, we are at the red of the traffic light system. And, broadly speaking, that puts the attendance at events only in groups of 100.
"So, the work we're undertaking at the moment is how many groups of 100 can we fit within each stadium," said Nelson replying to a query by PTI on what changes have come in organising the tournament post the Omicron variant.
Also Read : Indian cricket in good hands under Rohit Sharma's captaincy: Sammy
News Source : PTI
Madappa, Joshi and Chikka take India's strength at Saudi International to seven
Abu Dhabi, Jan 27 (Golf News) India's Viraj Madappa tallied 10-under for the 36-hole Saudi International qualifier to win it by four shots and make the main draw of the USD 5 million Saudi International next week.
The qualifier was played at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Madappa joined Shubhankar Sharma, Rashid Khan, Veer Ahlawat and Shiv Kapur, who are already in the field for the star-studded lucrative event, which will herald the start of the 2022 Asian Tour season.
Making it sweeter for the Indian contingent was that Khalin Joshi, who failed to finish in Top-2 of the qualifiers also got into the field, as did S Chikkarangappa. That brought the total number of Indians in the field to seven.
The tournament, taking place at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club from February 3-6, will feature the strongest field ever assembled for an Asian Tour event.
The cream of the Asian Tour will compete in next week's PIF Saudi International. The field includes six Asian Tour number ones and over 50 Asian Tour players, who between them have hundreds of Tour titles.
The field, which includes some of the top stars of the world like former World No. 1 Dustin Johnson and US Open winner, Bryson DeChambeau, will see some young and upcoming Asian stars like Jooyhung Kim, 19, competing against them.
Kim just secured the 2020-21 Asian Tour Order of Merit title at the weekend, after finishing joint second in the SMBC Singapore Open.
Other world stars in the field include Olympic champion Xander Schauffele, multiple Major winner Phil Mickelson, Cameron Smith, former Masters champion Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, and Ian Poulter, among others.
Korea's Kim leads an impressive line-up which includes former Merit list champions Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand (2001, 2004, 2009), his compatriot Jazz Janewattananond (2019), India's Shubhankar Sharma (2018), Malaysia's Gavin Green (2017), and Australian Scott Hend (2016).
Majed Al-Sorour, Deputy Chairman and CEO of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, said: "It's incredibly exciting to enter a new era for the tournament in partnership with the Asian Tour by seeing the elite players from the region take on the world here in Saudi Arabia.
"There are some brilliant players who have qualified alongside some rising stars of the game across Asia that will have an amazing opportunity and platform next week to showcase their talent, in the strongest field in our history." The Asian Tour resumed play at the end of last year, following a 20-month break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with back-to-back events in Phuket.
Also Read : Sharma looks to build on Abu Dhabi showing in Dubai Desert Classic golf
News Source : PTI
Tough road awaits Kuldeep, Harbhajan wants Team India to 'stick by' him
New Delhi, Jan 27 (Cricket News) When Kuldeep Yadav had gone for a skier during a Kolkata Knight Riders practice session in the UAE last September, little did he know that within seconds his world would come crashing down with a twisted knee.
Those present at the Dubai training facility were horrified seeing his condition as he lay there writhing in pain, waiting to be stretchered out.
In a week's time, he underwent a major knee surgery in Mumbai, which cast doubts on how long it would take for him to get fit for competitive cricket.
He visited Mathura with his family on Thursday to offer prayers on his comeback, for Kuldeep really needed some divine intervention to make his way back into the Indian team.
Otherwise, all that he could have done was to wait at home to hear from the BCCI if it would hold the now-postponed Ranji Trophy, where he was supposed to lead Uttar Pradesh.
"It will be a very tough road ahead for Kuldeep. He hasn't had any proper domestic games under his belt and it's not easy to make an international comeback just like that," one of India's greatest spinners, Harbhajan Singh, told PTI when asked about his expectations.
"He wasn't playing regularly before surgery and when you are making a comeback in white ball, the first thing that's at the back of your mind is 'I don't want to get hit'.
"So it's like striking a balance as you are naturally dealing with a lot of insecurities. It's a test of mental fortitude," said Harbhajan, who saw Kuldeep from close quarters at KKR nets.
But Kuldeep has the skills and the 'Turbanator' expects that he can get a few early wickets and make it a different ball-game.
"Let me make it clear. If he gets a couple of early wickets, he will be a different bowler but things may not go as per plan. It might take some time for him to get back the rhythm.
"My only suggestion would be that stick with him since you have shown conviction based on his past performances and give him enough time and confidence. He is a man who can deliver the goods for India," said the holder of 700-plus international wickets.
The national selectors made an exception for him as he is one of the rare cricketers who is coming back without having to prove his match-fitness as there is no domestic cricket at the moment.
The rub of green finally seems to be going Kuldeep's way after enduring rough times as his exclusion from the playing XI wasn't always a cricketing one during the earlier regime of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri.
Call it India's bare spin cupboard and injuries or poor form of some elite spinners, the fact is that the 27-year-old Kanpur man is back in the national mix after an eventful near three years.
During this period, he was first called, "India's No. 1 overseas spinner" by Shastri after a five-wicket haul in Sydney, only to not play a single Test in the next two years.
It didn't help that some unwanted individuals were spreading canards about him to people close to the team management and no one knows if that had an adverse effect on his chances.
Childhood coach Pandey knows his "boy" is tough =============================== Kuldeep's childhood coach Kapil Pandey is a former first-class cricketer from Services and has nurtured him since he was only nine years old when he came at his camp at the Rovers ground in Kanpur.
"My boy (Kuldeep) is mentally very tough. He hasn't lost an iota of skill. Yes, the more he bowls, the better he will get. Rhythm is nothing but attaining a perfect execution level based on repetition of skills to create the muscle memory bank," Pandey, who has worked with Kuldeep after he resumed his skills training said.
So how was it after he came back from his initial rehab phase at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru? "We followed the routine provided by the NCA. Initially, he was told to start bowling two to three overs per day to just get the feel. That was at NCA and then when he came at the academy to train, he was bowling around five to six overs as per advice of NCA physio and Strength & Conditioning coach, the doctors.
"Obviously at the start, he would be slightly wary about the state of his knee while landing but with time, it became perfectly okay," Pandey, a former Indian Navy man said.
"Bowling between 15 to 20 overs a day" ======================== The coach said that it will be wrong to presume that Kuldeep hasn't bowled a lot as he arranged for red-ball practice games at the STI ground where he bowled to the U-19 and U-23 state level players.
"Since Kuldeep was supposed to lead in Ranji Trophy, we were practising with red ball and he played three to four red ball practice games and looked very comfortable. He would either play a mach or train a lot coming to the ground at 9:30 am and leave only after 5:30 pm," Pandey said.
So how many overs was he bowling every day? Pandey said that in the three practice games, he had bowled between 15 to 20 overs a day.
"I think it is a decent amount of overs. He would bowl in three spells of seven to eight in the first one followed by two six or seven over spells. He was releasing the ball well. He was giving it air and also getting a lot of drift and got it to turn both ways," Pandey said.
In fact, during the skills session, Pandey got Kuldeep to bowl to more left-handers as southpaws like David Warner and Usman Khawaja had played him well.
"He was practising taking the ball away from left-handers (conventional left-arm leg-break or 'chinaman') rather than bowling googlies (stock delivery for slow left-arm orthodox)." "His skill-set is intact" ============= Pandey believes that it's all in the mind as far as comebacks are concerned.
"Skill is an essential part and I don't agree with anyone who believed that Kuldeep had lost his mojo. Yes, rhythm was an issue but his skills remained intact. When you make a comeback after three or four months, it's all in the brain.
"If your head says, that everything is fine, you will get into the rhythm quicker," Pandey seemed confident.
"Don't forget he has 100- plus ODI wickets and two hat-tricks. I can visualise that my boy will get another hat-trick," Pandey signed off.
Also Read : Justin Langer inducted into Australian cricket Hall of Fame, Raelee Thompson too honoured
News Source : PTI
I try to watch and learn from every player who does well - Malaysian cricketer Virandeep Singh
At just 22 years of age, Virandeep Singh can already reflect on his career and consider it a success. He has captained the Malaysia team in the 2016 Under-19 Asia Cup, became the leading run scorer for Malaysia in the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifier and was the youngest male cricketer to captain a national team in a T20I match when he was just 20 years old.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Virandeep Singh shares his insights about his cricketing journey, being the youngest captain, receiving the Player of the Year thrice in a row, overcoming challenges, childhood cricketing idols and future goals.
Q 1) When did you start playing cricket and how did your journey lead you to become the youngest player to represent Team Malaysia at the age of 15 and 308 days?
I started playing at the age of 5, after watching my brother pick up the sport at school. We were lucky in a way that our school offered cricket at that time. My first coach Mr Munusamy was kind enough to allow me to join the school training sessions even though I was still not schooling. In Malaysia, we start school at the age of 7, so the initial 2 years jump start was great in helping me develop an interest in the game. Soon after, the new school coach Mr Damith suggested to my parents that I join the Royal Selangor Club for more exposure as there was plenty of training and matches being played at the club with the leather ball. Damith also gave me the opportunity to open the batting for the Kuala Lumpur U15 team. That exposure and experience of opening the batting at such a young age helped shape me to grow as a batsman. Moving on, at the age of 13, after a successful interstate tournament, I was selected to represent the Malaysian U16 team for the ACC U16 Elite Cup in 2012. One of the most memorable moments of the tournament was when I scored 54 runs not out and helped the team beat Nepal in the finals, winning our first ever ACC championship. I then went on to make my debut for the Malaysian U19 team the following year. As mentioned, I did become the youngest player to play for the Malaysian senior squad at the age of 15. It was at the ACC T20 Cup held in Dubai. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I'm loving every moment of it.
Q 2) You were the youngest T20 International captain at 20 years and 190 days. How proud are you of that achievement and tell us about the experience?
Playing for the country at a young age itself is an absolute honor and being appointed captain at a young age is definitely the icing on the cake. I am not one who chases after personal records but being provided with this opportunity meant a lot to me. To be honest with you, I was not aware I had become the youngest T20i captain in the world until I read a tweet by one of the cricket followers a few months after. Well, I would not say that it was completely a new experience for me as I had captained the Malaysian U16 and U19 teams prior to that. Being a part of the circle from a young age also helped as we had a strong bond, the passion to win and most importantly mutual respect amongst all the players. I must especially mention Ahmad Faiz who was more than willing to guide me whenever I approached him for assistance and guidance. It is a special feeling to have a unique world record to my name now running for the 3rd year, but there are bigger goals that I'm looking at.
Q 3) You were awarded Player of the Year by the Malaysian Cricket Association for three years in a row. How did you maintain your consistency and performances that has led to this impressive achievement.
Cricket has always been my passion. I love the game so much and am willing to do anything to strive to be the best. I remember watching my seniors play and thinking to myself , ‘I want to be as good as them’ and I guess that hunger to achieve or to be the best grew from there. I detested losing or coming off second best. Maintaining consistency I believe is all about hard work. Whatever I've achieved till date in my short playing career has come from hard work, and I'm extremely proud of that. There are no shortcuts to success. You want to achieve something, you have to put your heart and soul into it. As I progressed, I had completely changed my work ethics and discipline. For example, from hitting 100 balls at practice sessions to hitting 300, from batting for 30 mins to batting for 90 mins, from zero gym work, to a proper gym routine. To me, the recognition is the final product, but the excitement is in the process. That satisfaction you get after completing a challenging training routine and the feeling that you were pulled out of your comfort zone is something I crave for. Throughout, many coaches have assisted and guided me in different phases of my career and I'm grateful to each and everyone of them. I believe we crossed paths for a reason. My state coach was Neville Liyanage who used to bowl quick with his full run up on artificial pitches. It was scary but the challenge made me mentally stronger. Thushara Kodikara who until today pushes me to be more disciplined on and off the field. Sampath Perera who brought the best out of me in different ways. Bilal Asad, my mentor, who guided me through my transition from junior to senior cricket. It’s been a collective effort.
Q 4) What are some of the challenges that you have faced in your journey as a cricketer? How did you overcome them?
Personally, apart from trying to balance studies and playing, I would say there hasn't been any major challenges that I have faced. I feel I've been pretty blessed throughout. I've met the right people who've guided me through the years. However if there’s one challenge that not only me but the whole national team face is to make the sport a popular game in Malaysia. There has been some progress though. We have more schools playing the game, more cricket clubs across the country, MOU’s being signed with universities that provide cricket scholarships, job opportunities for cricketers, etc. Our national team is currently ranked 31 in the world. I strongly believe for things to change and to popularize the game, our national team ranking has to move up. Just look at how the sport has been transformed in countries like Afghanistan, Nepal, Oman, UAE, to name a few. I guess that the challenge would be to assist and guide my team to move up the ranks. I hope, in the years to come, the impression people have of cricket in Malaysia will change and this glorious game will be accorded the same recognition that sports like football and badminton enjoy.
Q 5) Who were some of your childhood cricketing idols and why?
I can’t name one because as a kid I was very indecisive, well actually I still am. It would be Sachin Tendulkar today and Rahul Dravid the next day. I came up with a formula for myself. I now look at players and try to emulate them in different ways. I would watch Virat Kohli, and try to understand how he goes about the run chase, Hardik Pandya for his aggressive batting and swag, Tim David for his power hitting, Ravindra Jadeja for his accurate left arm spin, ABD for his 360 shots. I try to watch and learn as much as I can from every player who does well. I actually did have local heroes growing up as well. Watching the fiery pace of Suresh Navaratnam, batting skills of Suhan Alagaratnam, patience of Ahmad Faiz, explosive batting of Anwar Arudin and many more.
Q 6) What are your future goals and ambitions? How do you plan to achieve them?
As mentioned above, I would like to perform and contribute to the national team's success. Moving up the ranks, preferably top 20 would be a dream come true. We have to play a lot of competitive matches against top nations in order to grow and build our confidence. Personally I endeavor to play in more franchise leagues that are gaining popularity around the world.
Sharma looks to build on Abu Dhabi showing in Dubai Desert Classic golf
Dubai, Jan 26 (Golf News) Fresh from his best performance on the European Tour since 2018, Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma is brimming with confidence and is raring to go in the second Rolex Series event at this week's Dubai Desert Classic here.
Sharma, who came within a shot of pulling off his greatest win and finished second at Abu Dhabi Championship, is drawn in one of the early groups from the 10th tee alongside 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Sam Horsfield, who won the Hero Open in 2020. They will tee off at 7.40 am local time.
"I am feeling good and confident. I have taken a lot of positives from the week (in Abu Dhabi). Naturally one is disappointed at having come so close and not closing it, but I am proud of the showing. I played well and had some really long putts on the final day," said Sharma.
He also had a few misses, which proved costly, but is hoping to work on them.
Sharma, now 25, has won twice on the European Tour at the Joburg Open and the Maybank Open in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy is looking for his maiden Rolex Series title at his happy hunting ground -- Dubai.
McIlroy made just his fourth DP World Tour start at Emirates Golf Club as a 16-year-old amateur in 2006 - also following Tiger Woods round inside the ropes - and three years later he lifted the trophy for his first professional victory.
He won the Dallah Trophy again in 2015 and having also tasted glory twice at the DP World Tour Championship and lived in the Emirates, the Northern Irishman is delighted to be back.
Paul Casey is seeking to add another achievement to his already glittering CV when he defends the title in Dubai this week.
The 44-year-old has 15 DP World Tour wins in addition to three victories on the PGA TOUR and has been on the winning side in three of his five Ryder Cup appearances.
Viktor Hovland arrives in Dubai in excellent form having finished fourth at last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and with two wins in his last four events.
Also Read: Lahiri set for star-studded Farmers Insurance Open.
News Sources : PTI
Kohli retains 2nd spot in ICC batting rankings, Rohit remains at 3rd
Dubai, Jan 26 (Cricket News) India stalwart Virat Kohli retained his second spot in the ICC men's ODI batting rankings on the back of his decent performance in the recently-concluded South Africa series.
Kohli, who stepped down from the Indian team Test captaincy after the away series against South Africa, scored 116 runs in the three-match ODI rubber against the Proteas, including two half-centuries.
Another India senior player Rohit Sharma, who has been named Kohli's successor in the India ODI team, also maintained his third place despite not playing in the South Africa series as he was recovering from an injury.
Kohli has 836 rating points to his kitty, while Rohit has 801. Pakistan captain Babar Azam leads the ODI batting rankings with 873 points.
South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen broke into the top 10 after a brilliant outing in the series against India. He went up 10 places to be at no 10 spot with 750 rating points, while teammate Quinton de Kock, who hit a century in the series against India, also went up four places to occupy the fifth position.
De Kock and van der Dussen topped the ODI run charts with 229 and 218 runs respectively, with both players making hundreds in the series.
De Kock averaged 76.33 while van der Dussen scored his runs at a staggering 218, and those performances have been reflected on the recent ICC ODI rankings.
Captain Temba Bavuma, who was the third centurion in the series against India, also climbed 21 places to be placed at 59th spot. Bavuma notched up 153 runs in three matches at an average of 51.
In the bowling rankings, Lungi Ngidi and Keshav Maharaj made big leaps. Ngidi went up four places to occupy no 20 spot, picking up five wickets at 31.40.
India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had an ordinary ODI series, meanwhile dropped four places to lie at no 22.
Maharaj, who dismissed Kohli twice in the ODI series, and impressed with his economy rate, went up 18 places to occupy the no 33 spot. There wasn't too much movement in the top 10 with Kiwi Trent Boult and Australian Josh Hazlewood continuing to occupy the top two positions.
In the ODI all-rounder rankings, Andile Phehlukwayo, who topped the wickets chart in the ODI series against India with six wickets, went up three places to be at the 15th position.
Meanwhile, in the T20I batting rankings, Dawid Malan lost three places after missing the first two T20Is against West Indies. He currently sits at no 4. Jos Buttler also slid three places and dropped outside the top 10.
Adil Rashid went up by one place to go level with Adam Zampa in the third position after picking up three wickets in the two T20Is. That apart, there wasn't much movement in the top 10.
Meanwhile, Moeen Ali's all-round showing in the narrow win in the second T20I against West Indies saw him go up by four places in the T20I all-rounder rankings to be at no 5 behind Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Glenn Maxwell and Wanindu Hasaranga.
Also Read : United Arab Emirates and Ireland enter Plate semifinals
News Source : PTI
Shafali Verma regains top spot among batters in ICC T20 ranking
Dubai, Jan 25 (Cricket News) India's teen sensation Shafali Verma on Tuesday moved up one place to regain her position at the top of the ICC Women's T20I rankings for batters while her opening partner Smriti Mandhana dropped a spot to fourth.
The Australian duo of Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning occupied the second and third positions in the rankings respectively. Another Australian, Alyssa Healy, featured in the sixth place.
New Zealand also have two representatives in the top 10, with Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates managing to hold on to their fifth and seventh positions respectively.
Sri Lanka's Chamari Athapaththu gained six positions to break into the top 10 after a superb performance in the Commonwealth Games Qualifiers, where she amassed 221 runs at an outstanding average and strike-rate of 55.25 and 185.71 respectively.
Athapathu was sitting in eighth place in the rankings.
England's Danni Wyatt also rose three places to 13th after her superb knock of 70 against Australia in the first T20I of the Women's Ashes recently while Australia's Tahlia McGrath gained 29 places in the rankings to rise up to 28th. McGrath remained unbeaten on 91 off just 49 deliveries to chase down a target of 170 against England in Adelaide.
In the bowler's rankings, the top three remained unchanged with England's Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn occupying the first and second spots respectively while the third place stayed with South Africa's Shabnim Isnmail.
India's Deepti Sharma gained one position to displace Australia's Megan Schutt from the fourth place.
The all-rounders' rankings didn't see much change either with Sophie Devine and Natalie Sciver holding on to their first and second places respectively.
Deepti Sharma again gained one place to third. Pakistan's Nida Dar and Thailand's Nattaya Boochatham also climbed up two places to the ninth and 10th positions, respectively, while Australia's Ellyse Perry went down four positions to go out of the top 10.
Also Read : Australian McDermott, WI's Shepherd eye maiden IPL deals
News Source : PTI
Smriti Mandhana wins ICC women's Cricketer of the Year
Dubai, Jan 24 (Cricket News) India's swashbuckling opener Smriti Mandhana was on Monday named the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year for her incredible run of form across all formats in 2021.
Mandhana was short-listed for the top award -- the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy -- along with Tammy Beaumont of England, Lizelle Lee of South Africa and Gaby Lewis of Ireland, the ICC said in a statement.
Despite India enduring a difficult 2021, Mandhana's stock continued to rise this year.
In the limited-overs series against South Africa where India won just two of the eight matches at home, Mandhana played a major role in both of the wins. She made 80 not out as India chased down 158 in the second ODI that helped them level the series and scored 48 not out in the win in the final T20I.
The 25-year-old played a sublime innings of 78 in the first innings of the one-off Test against England that ended in a draw. She played an important knock of 49 in India's only win in the ODI series.
Her 15-ball 29 and fifty in the T20I series went in vain though as India fell short in both the matches and lost the series 2-1.
The Southpaw was in good touch in the series against Australia, starting with the ODI series where she scored 86 in the second ODI.
She compiled a brilliant century in the only Test (the first of her career), and was awarded the Player of the Match. She scored her second T20I fifty of the year in the final T20I, though India fell short and lost the series 2-0.
Mandhana made India's first-ever pink-ball Test even more memorable by smashing her maiden century in the longest format.
Also Read : Managing conversations around change room has been the biggest challenge: Bavuma
News Source : PTI
Babar Azam named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year
Dubai, Jan 24 (Cricket News) Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was on Monday named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year following his exploits in 2021 when he scored 405 runs in six games at an average of 67.50.
The 27-year-old was the second-highest run-scorer with 228 runs and was the Player of the Match in both of Pakistan's wins in the 2-1 series victory against South Africa.
The architect of Pakistan's chase of 274 in the first ODI, Babar made a century and laid the foundation with an 82-ball 94 in the final ODI where the visitors posted 320 batting first.
He was the lone warrior for Pakistan when they were swept by England 3-0. He accumulated 177 runs in three games but found no support as none of the other batters managed to score more than 100 in the series.
Babar's best performance this year came in a losing cause in the final ODI against England.
Walking in to bat early in the innings, Babar strung a 92-run stand with Imam-ul-Haq to bail Pakistan out of trouble. He was cautious in his approach initially, bringing up his half-century in 72 balls. He made up for it by bringing up the next fifty runs in just 32 balls – it was his second ODI century of the year.
Marais Erasmus Umpire of the Year ===================== South Africa umpire Marais Erasmus was named the Umpire of the Year for the third time after receiving the honour in 2016 and 2017.
The 57-year-old officiated in the just concluded series between hosts South Africa and India.
On top of the T20 World Cup final, Erasmus oversaw 20 international fixtures across the three formats in 2021.
Also Read : Your commitment at an uncertain time has set example: Graeme Smith thanks BCCI for successful tour
News Source : PTI
Rizwan named ICC T20 Cricketer of the Year
Dubai, Jan 23 (Cricket News) Pakistan wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan was on Sunday named ICC Men's T20 Player of the Year following a prolific 2021.
The opener ruled the roost in 2021 when it came to the shortest format of the game.
Aggregating a staggering 1,326 runs in only 29 matches, Rizwan struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike-rate of 134.89.
Apart from his exploits with the bat, he was as solid as ever behind the stumps, playing a key role in Pakistan's run to the semis during the T20 World Cup 2021, where he ended up as the third-highest run-scorer.
He also scored the maiden T20I century of his career against South Africa in Lahore early in the year and ended it continuing his form with a brilliant knock of 87 against West Indies in Karachi.
With another T20 World Cup coming up next year, Pakistan will hope that Rizwan continues in the same vein.
Rizwan had also smashed an unbeaten 79 off 55 deliveries in the World Cup opener against India, helping Pakistan record their maiden win over arch-rivals in in a global event.
Also Read : India wins toss, opt to field against SA in 3rd ODI
Coach Dravid has to prove that he is not overrated: Shoaib Akhtar
Muscat, Jan 23 (Cricket News) Former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar believes Indian cricket finds itself at the crossroads after the end of Virat Kohli's captaincy era, leaving a big task ahead for Rahul Dravid who will have to prove that he is not an "overrated" coach.
Weeks after he was sacked as ODI captain, Kohli took everyone by surprise after he quit the captaincy from the longest format following a 1-2 series defeat against South Africa.
"I don't know what (BCCI president) Sourav Ganguly and other people think. But Indian cricket is definitely at the pinnacle point (crossroads)," Akhtar told PTI on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket T20 tournament here.
Under stand-in captain KL Rahul, India also lost the ODI series in South Africa as the new coaching management under Rahul Dravid suffered their first defeat on their maiden overseas tour.
"No, Indian cricket is not going down. You have to take control of the situation. Rahul Dravid has a big job in his hands.
"I hope people don't say that he's an overrated coach. He has to prove that, and obviously he has big shoes to fill in the place of Ravi Shastri. He has a big task ahead, let's see how he performs." India had won the first Test but lost the next two as a win in the Rainbow Nation remained elusive for India.
Kohli was appointed Test skipper in 2014 taking over the reins from MS Dhoni and ended as India's most successful captain.
The 33-year-old decided to give up T20 captaincy before he was removed as ODI skipper, creating a rift between him and BCCI's top-brass.
Akhtar saw it coming having seen the division in the Indian dressing room during the T20 World Cup.
"I knew that was coming. I was in Dubai during that time and I knew every bit of it. I knew the whole scenario and what was happening in the Indian dressing room from my friends in India.
"There were people against him. So I wasn't surprised at his decision to quit. It's not an easy job," said the 'Rawalpindi Express'.
"These are testing times for him, he will have to come out stronger. He will have to keep things simple, work harder and play his normal cricket." You've to change fast bowlers, like you change tyres ========================= India have seen a golden age in their pace attack with the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah leading the team to some memorable victories in Australia, England and South Africa.
"They have made very healthy progress. Yes I'm very impressed, hope more such fast bowlers keep coming from the sub-continent and they keep performing.
"I love everyone, I love Bumrah, Shami is great... It will be good fun if they also start developing an attitude like the Pakistanis," said Akhtar.
But with the likes of Ishant, Shami, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the fag-end of their career, it's time to think beyond them, he felt.
"They are like the 'wheels' of the team. Of course, you have to replace them like you change 'tyres'. They also need a bit of rest in between and you also have to make them perform.
"There's too much of cricket nowadays, there's too much of pressure on cricketers these days, especially on the fast bowlers, there's too much pressure and the amount of travelling they do. It's not right," he concluded.
Also Read : LLC: Naman's 140 in vain as Tahir wins it for World Giants
News Source : PTI
India to open T20 WC campaign against Pakistan on October 23 at the MCG
Dubai, Jan 21 (Cricket News) In a blockbuster T20 World Cup opener for India, the team was on Friday drawn to clash with arch-rivals Pakistan on October 23 at the iconic MCG as the International Cricket Council (ICC) released the fixtures.
India had lost to Pakistan for the first time in an ICC tournament when the teams clashed in last year's T20 World Cup in Dubai.
India's second Super 12 match in Group 2 will be on October 27 in Sydney against a qualifier (runner up of Group A) and will be followed by matches against South Africa (October 30 in Perth) and Bangladesh (Adelaide Oval on November 2).
The Men in Blue's last Super 12 match is scheduled for November 6 against the winners of Group B at the MCG.
The Super 12s -- round two of the tournament, with two groups -- will begin on October 22 with hosts and defending champions Australia playing New Zealand at the SCG on October 22 in a re-match of last year's men's T20 World Cup final.
The Black Caps will also face England at The Gabba on November 1 in a re-match of their epic semi-final encounter at the 2021 event.
In Super 12s, Australia are in Group 1 with world number one England, New Zealand, Afghanistan plus the winner of Group A and the runner-up in Group B from the first round.
The semi-finals will be played at the SCG and Adelaide Oval on November 9 and 10, respectively. It will be the first time the Adelaide Oval will host a World Cup semi-final.
The MCG will host the final, which will be contested under lights on November 13.
In the first round, 2014 champions Sri Lanka and Namibia will play the opening match at Kardinia Park, Geelong on October 16. They'll be joined by two qualifiers in Group A.
Two-time champions West Indies will also start in the first round, joined in Group B by Scotland and two qualifiers in Hobart.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super 12 stage.
ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said: “T20 is the global growth format for cricket and the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 will play a huge role in inspiring our next generation of players and fans as the world’s best players descend on Australia and showcase the very best of our sport." ICC T20 World Cup Local Organising Committee CEO, Michelle Enright said, "The release of the fixtures gives fans the opportunity to start planning their T20 World Cup experience, which is now just 268 days away." "By having matches spread across the nation in seven host cities and making tickets accessibly priced, we are hoping as many people as possible will be able to experience the incredible atmosphere that international fans bring to global sporting events, as well as the unique, fast-paced and unpredictable nature of T20 cricket."
Also Read : Prest's 154 not out power England to 362/6, Pakistan restricted to 239/9 by Afghanistan
News Source : PTI
India drop to third place in ICC Test rankings, Australia on top after dominant Ashes
Dubai, Jan 20 (Cricket News) Australia displaced India from the top of the Test rankings after their 4-0 drubbing of England in the recently-concluded Ashes series, even as the Virat Kohli-led side squandered a 1-0 lead to go down against South Africa.
After suffering a 1-2 series loss in South Africa, India dropped to the third spot while inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) winners New Zealand held onto their second position after a 1-1 drawn series at home against Bangladesh, which included the hosts' first ever loss to Bangladesh at home across formats.
South Africa's 2-1 win over India at home took them one spot up to fifth place, while England were in fourth position after a disastrous Ashes campaign Down Under.
India lost the top spot by losing the second and third Tests after winning the first in Centurion.
Australia, with 119 points, are three ahead of India in the rankings.
Overall, India played 14 Tests in 2021 and managed to win eight out of them. They lost three Tests last year, including the heart-breaking defeat in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.
Pakistan went down one spot to sixth, while Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland retained their positions.
The South Africa tour was Kohli's final assignment as India Test captain as he stepped down following the series defeat.
Before the T20 World Cup last year, Kohli announced his decision to quit as India's T20I captain and in December, he was replaced as the ODI skipper too, by Rohit Sharma.
Also Read : Rohit, Pant and Ashwin feature in ICC's 'Test Team of Year' but no Indian in ODI XI
News Source : PTI
Rohit, Pant and Ashwin feature in ICC's 'Test Team of Year' but no Indian in ODI XI
Dubai, Jan 20 (Cricket News) The flamboyant Rohit Sharma featured as opener, Rishabh Pant as wicketkeeper and R Ashwin as the lone specialist spinner in the ICC men's 'Test Team of the Year' but no Indian player was included in the global body's ODI XI for 2021.
After going unrepresented in the ICC men's 'T20 Team of the Year' due to a disastrous World Cup campaign in the UAE, it was no surprise to see the Indians miss out in the apex body's ODI side as well after playing just six matches, even as the list featured two players from minnows Ireland.
India, the world number one in Tests, however have three representatives in the year's best team for the game's longest format, with New Zealand talisman Kane Williamson as its skipper.
Overall, India played 14 Tests in 2021 and managed to win eight out of them. They lost three Tests last year, including the heart-breaking defeat in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.
Rohit, who was recently elevated as India's white-ball captain as Virat Kohli's successor, cracked 906 runs in the calendar year at an average of 47.68 with two centuries.
Both of Rohit's centuries were memorable knocks in contrasting conditions against England -- one in Chennai and the other in overcast conditions away from home at the Oval.
Pant, who established himself as India's first-choice wicketkeeper-batter in all the three formats, scored 748 runs in 12 matches at an average of 39.36 with one memorable ton against England at Ahmedabad. He also accounted for 39 dismissals in 23 innings, with his glovework continuing to improve.
The seasoned Ashwin scalped 54 wickets in nine matches at an average of 16.64, making a big impact in the home series against England and New Zealand. He also chipped in with 355 runs at an average of 25.35, which included a vital century against England in Chennai.
Besides the Indian trio and Williamson, the ICC Test team has one Sri Lankan in Dimuth Karunaratne, one Australian in Marnus Labuschagne, England captain Joe Root, New Zealand's Kyle Jamison and three Pakistanis in Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi.
Leading the 2021 ICC Test Team of the Year, Williamson was an influential captain for New Zealand, leading them to glory at the inaugural World Test Championship Final against India in Southampton.
He was also steady with the bat, scoring 395 runs in 4 matches at an average of 65.83 with one century.
Besides the absence of India players, the ODI team also doesn't have anyone from Australia, English, New Zealand or West Indies.
The team, which has Pakistan's Babar Azam as its captain, has two of his team-mates, including Fakhar Zaman.
South Africans Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen, Bangladeshis Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur Rahaman and Mushfiqur Rahim, who is also the designated wicketkeeper, Sri Lankans Wanindu Hasaranga and Dishmantha Chameera along with Irishmen Paul Stirling and Simi Singh form the rest of the squad.
India, in the year 2021, played six ODIs and won four while losing two.
The non-selection of Indian players in the XI is more to do with lack of matches rather than poor show since they have won both the series that they played in 2021.
The only Indian player who has played all the ODI matches in 2021 is veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan, who had 297 runs from six games.
The likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma only played three ODIs in 2021 and ditto for premier bowlers, who also didn't play all the six games.
Buvneshwar Kumar was there in five of those six games with his tally of wickets not in double digits (9 from 5 matches).
In order to make it to the team of the year, there has to be enough impactful performances to earn points which Indians didn't have.
Ireland's Stirling had a whopping 705 runs in 14 ODIs in 2021 with an average of 79.66 which made him an automatic selection.
Proteas opener Janneman has scored 509 runs in 8 games with an average of nearly 85.
Babar, who has played least among the 11 players, also has 405 runs in six games with two hundreds while team-mate Zaman has 369 runs in the year.
Also Read : ICC ODI men's Team of The Year: After T20s, no Indians in this one too
News Source : PTI
ICC ODI men's Team of The Year: After T20s, no Indians in this one too
Dubai, Jan 20 (Cricket News) After going unrepresented in the ICC's men's 'T20 Team of the Year' due to a disastrous World Cup campaign in the UAE, no Indian player featured in the global body's 'ODI Team of the Year' which features two players from minnows Ireland.
Incidentally, the team also doesn't have any Australia, English, New Zealand or West Indies players.
The team, which has Pakistan's Babar Azam as its captain, has two Pakistanis including Fakhar Zaman.
South Africans Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen, Bangladeshis Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur Rahaman and Mushfiqur Rahim, who is also the designated wicketkeeper, Sri Lankans Wanindu Hasaranga and Dishmantha Chameera along with Irishmen Paul Stirling and Simi Singh form the rest of the squad.
India, in the year 2021, played six ODIs and won four losing two.
The two 50-over series that they played were against England at home, which they won 2-1, and the other was an away clash against Sri Lanka in the island nation which was also won by an identical margin.
The problem with non-selection of an Indian player in the XI is more to do with lack of matches rather than poor show since they have won both the series that they played in 2021.
The only Indian player, who has played all the ODI matches in 2021 is veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan, who had 297 runs from six games.
The likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma only played three ODIs in 2021 and ditto for premier bowlers, who also didn't play all the six games.
Buvneshwar Kumar was there in five of those six games with his tally of wickets not in double digits (9 from 5 matches).
In order to make it to the team of the year, there have to be enough impactful performances to earn points which Indians didn't have.
For example, Ireland's Stirling had a whopping 705 runs in 14 ODIs in 2021 with an average of 79.66 which made him an automatic selection.
Proteas opener Janneman has scored 509 runs in 8 games with an average of nearly 85.
Babar, who has played least among the 11 players also has 405 runs in six games with two hundreds while country mate Zaman has 369 runs in the year.
In the middle-order, Rassie van der Dussen had an average of 57 in the year 2021 with 342 runs in eight games while Shakib was superb as an all-rounder with 277 runs and 17 wickets.
Mushfiqur Rahim had 400 plus tally along with stumpings and catches while Wanindu Hasaranga scored 356 run and picked 12 wickets.
The two pacers Mustafzur Rahaman and Duhmantha Chameera had 18 and 20 wickets respectively while off-spinner Simi had 19 scalps to his credit.
Also Read : U-19 World Cup: Zimbabwe's Chirwa suspended from bowling in international cricket
News Source : PTI
U-19 World Cup: Zimbabwe's Chirwa suspended from bowling in international cricket
Dubai, Jan 20 (Cricket News) Zimbabwe's Victor Chirwa has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect after the Event Panel of the ICC U-19 World Cup confirmed that he uses an illegal action.
The Event Panel comprised members of the ICC Panel of Human Movement Specialists.
Chirwa was reported by the match officials during Zimbabwe's match against Papua New Guinea on Saturday. Video footage of him bowling in the event was shared with the Event Panel for review.
The Event Panel concluded that Chirwa employed an illegal bowling action and, as such, in accordance with Article 6.7 of the regulations, he is immediately suspended from bowling in international cricket, the ICC said in a media release.
Also Read : India outclassed in all three departments by South Africa in 1st ODI
News Source : PTI
Mandhana named in ICC T20I women's Team of the Year, no Indian in the men's side
Dubai, Jan 19 (Cricket News) Star India opener Smriti Mandhana was on Wednesday named in the ICC T20 women's Team of the Year for her superlative show in the format in 2021 but no Indian made the men's side.
The stylish Southpaw, who is the Indian team's vice-captain in the format, was the country's highest scorer in the format in 2021 with 255 runs at an average of 31.87.
The 25-year-old scored two fifties in the nine matches she played and got her team off to rapid starts regularly, as evident up by her strike-rate of 131.44.
While Mandhana was the only Indian, several members of the English side feature in the team with Nat Scriver being named captain.
The experienced England all-rounder produced many impactful performances throughout the year. Batting in the middle-order, Sciver scored a total of 153 runs, including one fifty, and she also picked up 10 wickets at an excellent average of 20.20.
Accompanying Mandhana at the top is England's Tammy Beaumont. The 30-year-old's reliable presence at the top of the order helped England off to steady starts regularly. She played nine matches and amassed 303 runs at an average of 33.66, including three fifties.
Danni Wyatt, wicketkeeper Amy Jones and spinner Sophie Ecclestone are the other English players in the side.
Gaby Lewis of Ireland, South African trio of Laura Wolvaardt, Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp and Zimbabwe's Loryn Phiri make up the rest of the playing XI.
No Indian in the ICC Men's T20 Team of the Year ============================== There was no Indian representation in ICC Men's T20I Team of the Year 2021, which featured three Pakistanis including skipper Babar Azam, who has been named captain.
Apart from Azam, opener Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Afridi, who had a sensational T20 World Cup were name in the squad.
All-rounder Mitchell Marsh and pacer Josh Hazelwood, who played a vital role in winning Australia's maiden T20 World Cup title, featured in the team while the trio of South Africans Aiden Markram, David Miller and Tabraiz Shamsi also made it to the playing XI.
Flamboyant wicketkeeper batter Jos Buttler was the sole member of the England team in the ICC side.
Teams: Women: Smriti Mandhana (India), Tammy Beaumont (England), Danni Wyatt (England), Gaby Lewis (Ireland), Nat Sciver (c) (England), Amy Jones (England), Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa), Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Sophie Ecclestone (England), Loryn Phiri (Zimbabwe), Shabnim Ismail (South Africa).
Men: Jos Buttler (England), Mohammad Rizwan (Paksitan), Babar Azam (c) (Pakistan), Aiden Markram (South Africa) , Mitchell Marsh (Australia), David Miller (South Africa), Tabraiz Shamsi (South Africa), Josh Hazlewood (Australia), Wanindu Hasanranga (Sri Lanka) , Mustafizur Rahaman (Bangladesh, Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan).
Also Read : Kohli, Pant and Bumrah move up in latest ICC Test rankings
News Source : PTI
Kohli, Pant and Bumrah move up in latest ICC Test rankings
Dubai, Jan 19 (Cricket News) Indian star Virat Kohli on Wednesday moved up two places to seventh after scores of 79 and 29 in his last Test as captain in the latest ICC rankings for batters in the five-day format.
Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant's unbeaten century in the second innings of the series-deciding third Test against South Africa lifted him 10 places to 14th, while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah's six wickets in Cape Town took him back to the top 10 in the bowling chart.
Kohli decided to quit Test captaincy a day after India lost the three-match series against South Africa 1-2, ending his seven-year reign at the helm.
In the latest weekly update that takes into account the third match of the South Africa-India series in Cape Town which the hosts won by seven wickets to clinch the World Test Championship (WTC) series, Keegan Petersen has shot up 68 places to 33rd after match-winning scores of 72 and 82.
He scored the maximum runs to claim the Player of the Series award, his 276-run aggregate helping him surge up after starting the series in 158th position.
Temba Bavuma (up seven places to 28th) and Rassie van der Dussen (up 12 places to 43rd) are the other South Africa batters to advance while fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada (up two places to third) and Lungi Ngidi (up six places to 21st) have also made notable progress.
Australia's Travis Head has reached a career-best fifth position among batters after his Player of the Match performance in the fifth match of their Ashes series against England.
Head, who scored 101 in the first innings in Hobart to finish with a series topping 357 runs that also got him clinch the Player of the Series award, has advanced seven spots to joint-fifth with India's Rohit Sharma.
Head's previous best ranking was the 10th position that he occupied last month.
All-rounder Cameron Green is another Australia player to gain after the 146-run victory that helped Australia win the series 4-0 and climb to second in the WTC points table.
Green was up 23 places to joint 66th after his scores of 74 and 23 and has also moved up 13 places to 62nd in the bowlers' list. Scott Boland has moved from 49th to 43rd with four wickets in the match.
England opener Jack Crawley has progressed nine places to 68th after scores of 18 and 36. Among their bowlers, Stuart Broad has moved up two places to 12th position after finishing with six wickets in the match while Ollie Robinson (up one place to 24th) and Mark Wood (up seven places to 31st) have also advanced.
In the ODI player rankings that consider performances from the last two matches of the West Indies-Ireland series and the first two of the Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe series, Ireland off-spinner Andy McBrine has gained 17 slots to move into the top 10 with two four-wicket hauls.
West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein has moved up two places to joint-59th.
In other major movements, Zimbabwe's Sean Williams has advanced eight places to 40th after scores of 100 and 40 and Sri Lanka batter Kariyawasa Asalanka's knocks of 71 and 23 have helped him move up 16 places to 52nd.
Also Read : Laughable to blame The Hundred for England's Ashes defeat, says limited overs skipper Morgan
News Source : PTI
Traditional Indian fitness works on your mobility and is highly beneficial - Nithin Jayaraj, traditional workout tools trainer
For anyone starting their fitness journey, there is tons of information out there to get you the body you want. With most new age fitness regimes originating from the west, most have forgotten that India also has age old fitness techniques and natural nutrition diets that place greater emphasis on mobility and three dimensional movements.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Nithin Jayaraj, a traditional workout tools trainer speaks about making bodybuilding a profession, selling traditional fitness tools and their benefits, popularizing traditional Indian techniques amongst the younger generation and much more!
Q1) How did you get into bodybuilding and what made you choose it as a profession?
At a young age, watching all the Hollywood movies and looking at the physiques of all the action stars, I got into bodybuilding. I then switched to traditional Indian fitness because my mobility was reduced in body building and I suffered injuries as well because of having bigger muscles and due to the fact that my joints weren't getting worked out. Traditional Indian fitness has 3 dimensional movements whereas bodybuilding has only 2 dimensional motion where it's only push and pull along with lifting. In traditional Indian fitness there is swinging which works on your joints and your mobility. People need awareness about traditional Indian fitness and its benefits.
Q2) How did shredded farmers take its shape and what inspired you to come up with the idea of making and selling traditional tools?
I was born here but raised in Dubai since my schooling and college life was there. That was all city life and in 2018 when I came back to India I really wanted to pursue traditional fitness. It is much easier to pursue here, my house is situated on a farm and I grow my own food so it is healthy nutrition wise. In this kind of fitness, we do need a lifestyle like this to see the difference between diets in bodybuilding. Here we just have to eat what grows around you, we cannot have the same type of diet as the westerners while living in India.
I want to show people that we can eat normal healthy food but have to work out. We have to burn what we eat and then take equal rest. It is possible to get fit through by eating home food instead of supplements or lifting heavy or having a strict diet.
I started making tools when the pandemic started and I started experimenting with wooden logs in the carpenting shop. It came out really well, I only make them on an order basis and don't keep any stock. Whenever a client wants a particular Mudgar, Sumtola or a Gada, I build these tools through mahogany wood.
Q3) Can you explain the benefits of using these tools over the currently used gym equipment? Are these used for specific exercise or for overall body building?
This is called traditional Indian workout, bodybuilding mostly focuses on your muscles where you lift iron weights in a gym. In traditional fitness, it is more about swinging where the movement is different since it's rotational. When swinging these tools, your arm, joints, core and the whole body gets affected in just one swing. Let’s say if you weigh 80 kgs, you divide the weight by 8 then divide by 2 which gives you 5 kg and you start with a 5kg Mudgar. Every single wood has its own medicinal value which is the oil and when you lift them it goes into the bare hands which is good for the body.
These rotational movements help you with your body balance. The joints get pulled and pushed and keeps it stretched. Your muscle gains won’t be as much as bodybuilding but it will grow according to your height and it will look aesthetic. The muscles will be proportional to your height and you will have good mobility. In bodybuilding, you keep growing your muscles and you become rigid which affects your movement which reduces body balance.
Q4) How do Gada, Mudgar, Indian clubs, Persian meels and Sumtola help in improving body strengths?
In traditional tools, the common thing is the rotation and the weight distribution of the tool is different from a dumbbell. A 4kg dumbbell will look much lighter than a 4kg Mudgar because of the shape and weight distribution of the tool. A Gada will be harder than a Mudgar because the further away the weight is away from your grip it gets harder to swing. Indian club is the western name for a Mudgar, it is cone shaped and Sumtola is an Indian version of a barbell. All of these are used in the same technique which is the rotational movement as these movements help in your joint strength as it also increases the mobility in the body so the more you do it the more muscles you will get according to your height.
Q5) As these are traditional formats of yesteryears, how do you intend to popularize these amongst the youth of today?
The only way we can popularize this method is through social media and my clients. My main platform is Instagram. My perception is that you reach the youth you need to interact with them through social media.
Sen now needs to work on tactical acumen and endurance for consistent run: Vimal
New Delhi, Jan 17 (Badminton News) Former India coach Vimal Kumar is impressed with the title-winning performance of Lakshya Sen at the India Open but said the young shuttler still needs to work on his endurance and tactical acumen to have a consistent run in the international circuit.
The 20-year-old from Uttarakhand stunned world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore 24-22 21-17 in men's singles final to clinch his maiden Super 500 crown at the season-opening India Open here on Sunday.
"Lakshya was tactically much better, he was in control of the match, never allowed Loh to attack. His counter attack was very good. His net dribbles were excellent and with the same action he was flicking the shuttle to the back of the court. Overall, he played a very mature game," Vimal told PTI.
"He is at par with anybody, but he still needs to work on his tactical side, strength and conditioning. He can work on stability around the net areas, his endurance can be better. So, technically there are all the areas where he can work on.
"There are many youngsters from Europe, Thailand and Japan, who will be gunning for him now. It will be tough ahead. I don't want to put pressure on him by talking about the 2024 Olympics, it's all about how best he can play, how best he can take care of his body," he added.
Sen was not selected to represent India at the Sudirman Cup mixed team competition in Finland and Thomas Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark after he lost his first match to Sai Charan Koya at the round-robin group stage during the selection trials.
But a training stint with Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen and Loh Kean Yew in Dubai rejuvenated him.
"He was shattered after missing the Sudirman Cup and Thomas cup," said Vimal, who has guided Sen since his young age as part of the Padukone Dravid Centre for Excellence (PDCE) in Bengaluru.
"But then (Viktor) Axelsen phoned him and invited him for a two week training stint in Dubai. Loh was also there. So he stayed there and trained. That stint helped him to brush aside the disappointment," he said.
A rejuvenated Sen entered the final at the Dutch Open, played some close matches against Japan's Kento Momota, reached the semifinals at Hylo, reached the knockout stage at World Tour Finals on debut before sizzling at the World Championships with a bronze.
"Right from Europe circuit, he has been consistent in last three months. It is very important that he plays consistently well from now on. This performance will give him a clear understanding where he stands." Vimal, a former Olympian, said Sen is known for his attacking game but in the last few months he has shown that he can also outlast his opponents in gruelling three-game matches.
"There has been criticism in the past that once his attack doesn't work, he runs out of ideas. But in World Championships, he played some tremendous rallies, and long exhausting matches and prevailed in those long matches and that gave him the confidence," he said.
"He is playing better badminton overall and he is grabbing the opportunities. In the semifinals, it was tough against the Malaysian but he pulled through, he employed his smashes well. Also against HS Prannoy he had a long match, winning these matches shows his maturity." "Many players can't get that breakthrough, can't convert opportunities. But Lakshya has the ability to beat good players." Sen was in rampaging form three years back, winning five titles including two Super 100 tournaments but then the COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of the BWF circuit.
"He was in good rhythm in 2019 but the pandemic was a damper. If he could have had that opportunity, I was confident that he could have qualified for Tokyo," Vimal said.
"Many players suffered due to the pandemic, sometimes it kills the spirit of youngsters when you are not able to compete. I am glad he survived that phase and found the enthusiasm to play."
Also Read : Sindhu looks to end title drought at Syed Modi International
News Source : PTI
We played one of the best matches ever: Satwik
New Delhi, Jan 16 (Badminton News) India's top doubles player Satwiksairaj Rankireddy says they were desperate for a podium finish after a mixed 2021 season and described their performance at the India Open finals as "one of the best ever" in their career.
Satwik and Chirag Shetty became the first team from the country to win India's flagship tournament after registering a 21-16 26-24 result over three-time world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
"It was a dream match for us, we still can't believe it. We had a clear plan and we wanted to implement that and give 100 percent. I feel we played one of the best matches ever," Satwik said during a virtual press conference. "We stayed calm. I could see they were under pressure. So happy with the win." The Indian pair had lost thrice to the world number 2 Indonesian pair in four meetings but they came up with a plan to extend the rallies and play a more defensive game against the experienced pair.
"We know how to play them, we played against them in Thailand Open last year. We wanted to stay neck to neck, we wanted to keep them under pressure. We thought let them make mistakes and let's not give easy points.
"They are best in taking quick points but we kept calm and played big rallies, that was the positive point. Even when we were 24-24, we wanted to play big rallies. I kept telling Chirag that we should just try to keep the shuttle inside." Satwik and Chirag had failed to cross the group stages at their maiden Olympics despite notching up stunning wins in two of the three matches.
They ended the World Championships in Spain with a pre-quarterfinal loss, last month.
"Yeah, 2021 was a mixed feeling for us. We wanted to win a tournament, wanted to play a final. After world championships, I cried a lot, I wanted to win a medal," Satwik said.
"I was crying literally, I had a fire that I wanted to finish at the podium as much as possible, so that hunger was there and luckily we could win here, hopefully we will continue this form." His partner Chirag had expressed their target of reaching the world's top five this season.
After stunning Ahsan and Setiawan, Chirag said it was a performance worthy of being in top 5. "We usually don't play this kind of a game, it is a new thing for us and it is working well and it shows that we can get points and win matches while defending, so I think we definitely played like a top 5 pair today," he said.
"That is one thing which kinds of differentiates the top five pair and top 10 because things go your way, you try to change and play a plan 'B' kind of game, that in something that worked really well." World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen then made it a double delight, securing his maiden Super 500 title with a stunning 24-22 21-17 victory over world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore.
"This is the biggest world tour tournament I won. Winning feels good. In the match, in the closing stages I was nervous and anxious to finish it off as it was a big tournament but I am happy I could pull it off," Sen said.
"I think I played some good physical matches since quarterfinals. It will give me a lot of confidence to go ahead and play the whole season. Winning a world tour 500 event is a big thing for me." Talking about the final, Sen said he was anxious in the closing stages.
"I gave couple of easy points towards the end but after being a match point down, I played calmly. I took a break and it helped me to think better and play calmly." Sen and Loh have trained together in Dubai last year and so far have played each other four times in the international circuit with each winning two matches each.
"We know each other's game well, what to expect. I had beaten him last few months ago, I was confident and had a game plan and it worked well. I am happy I won today and again it was a close game," Sen said.
Also Read : Satwik-Chirag pair claims maiden India Open title
News Source : PTI
If UAE gets the right exposure against the bigger teams, they can become a force to be reckoned with - Anis Sajan, Vice Chairman of Danube Group
The United Arab Emirates has become a go-to destination for cricketing events, especially during the pandemic. Whether it’s the Indian Premier League or the World Cup, the presence of three cricketing grounds in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah combined with the ICC Academy means that it has infrastructure that can be considered at par with the best in the world.
Mr. Anis Sajan, Vice Chairman of Danube Group, more popularly known as Mr. Cricket UAE has played an integral role in the development of the sport, having mentored Team Bengal Tigers and then Team Delhi Bulls in the Abu Dhabi T10 league. Moreover, he was honored with the Hon. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Bharat Puraskar award for Sports category and kept the world entertained with ‘Cricket Unplugged’, featuring interviews with cricketers from around the world during the lockdown.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Mr. Anis Sajan speaks about his interest in cricket, how the sport has evolved in the last two decades, being a mentor for Bengal Tigers and Delhi Bulls, the potential of UAE to become a cricketing powerhouse, importance of yoga during the pandemic and launching Cricket Unplugged.
Q 1. Being a businessman, when and how did you cultivate your interest towards cricket?
My passion for the sport began — like the many millions in India — after the team under Kapil Dev won the Prudential Trophy in 1983. That triumph by the rank outsiders against the mighty West Indies gave everyone in the country the belief that India could be a force to reckon with. There was no looking back for me after that. Everyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I eat, sleep and breathe cricket. So much so that my wife started calling me Mr. Cricket UAE and that name has stuck with me till date. I feel I am fortunate to be able to live this passion for the game and share it with all other cricket lovers through various activities.
Q 2. You have been contributing so much to the sport for the past two decades, what do you think has changed a lot about cricket?
Cricket has become more fast paced, there have been more results in Test cricket. Secondly the big 3, i.e. India, England and Australia get to play more matches than any other countries and the most important thing happening for India after the evolution of IPL, there is a lot of talent emerging.
Q 3. How was your experience being the mentor for Bengal Tigers and Delhi Bulls in the Abu Dhabi T10 league?
It was a great learning experience for me. Not only did I get a chance to associate with some of the biggest names in the cricket fraternity but also learnt quite a few lessons both on and off the field. Got to understand all the hard work that goes behind the game, how decisions are taken by the coaches as well as the temperament of the players.
Q 4. With the ongoing historic US vs Ireland series, what other countries including the UAE do you think will enter the mainframe formats next?
To my knowledge I don’t see any other country, because they do not get enough exposure. UAE has the best infrastructure when it comes to cricketing grounds, be it the Dubai Cricket Stadium, ICC Academy, Sharjah & Abu Dhabi stadium. If they get the right exposure of rubbing shoulders with bigger teams, they can be a force to reckon with.
Q 5. How has Yoga been a part of fitness and why do you think people need to practice it especially during the pandemic?
Without an iota of doubt, I can say that Yoga has been my life savior. I have been a strong advocate of yoga for a good 7-8 years now, especially since I have personally experienced the benefits of it. As a daily routine, I practice yoga for 2 hours; first 45 minutes of proper yoga asana, 15 min brisk walking and then Aqua Yoga exercises for 30 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of meditation and 20 minutes of pranayama. This regime keeps me refreshed, energetic, youthful and full of life. In this pandemic, I would urge people to at least do the Pranayama, i.e breathing exercises daily. Studies have shown that the most common problem experienced by covid patients is breathing difficulties. Practicing pranayama for twenty minutes daily helps in passing oxygen to lungs and makes your immunity strong and in this battle to fight Covid.
Q 6. What made you launch Cricket Unplugged and are there more cricket ventures in the making?
Well to be honest, Cricket Unplugged was started during the pandemic when the world had come to a standstill and everyone was stuck at home. With no games happening either, I thought why not keep the spirit of the game alive and started Cricket Unplugged, where I would have conversations with international players and known sporting personalities. The interactions would revolve around historical moments as well as unveiling personal memories of the interviewed players during their respective careers. Till date, I have had the honour to interview the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Shane Watson,Dwayne Bravo, Eoin Morgan, Virendra Sehwag, Micheal Hussey, Harpreet Brar, Zaheer Khan, Jason Roy, Muhammed Nabi, Angelo Mathews, Wasim Jaffer, Harpreet Brar and many others.
Group C fixtures in ICC U-19 World Cup reworked after Afghanistan's late arrival
Dubai, Jan 13 (Cricket News) Afghanistan's late arrival into the Caribbean has forced the ICC to "rework" the fixtures in Group C for the 2022 U-19 World Cup, to be held in the West Indies from Friday.
"After successfully obtaining the necessary visas for travel, Afghanistan will arrive in the West Indies and undergo their required quarantine period," the ICC said in a statement.
The changes in the schedule were approved by the Event Technical Committee which comprises Chris Tetley, ICC Head of Events (Chair); Ben Leaver, ICC Senior Event Manager; Fawwaz Baksh, Tournament Director; Roland Holder, WICB Representative; Alan Wilkins and Russel Arnold.
"We are delighted that the Afghanistan squad have received the necessary visas and will be able to travel to participate in the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2022," Tetley said.
"We have reworked the fixtures for group C to ensure that all matches can take place within the allocated time frame and would like to thank the participating Members for their flexibility in finding a solution," he added.
To ensure all fixtures could be completed, four out of the six Group C matches in Trinidad and Tobago have been rescheduled as follows: January 15 - Zimbabwe v PNG -- Queens Park Oval. Rescheduled from January 20.
January 17 - Pakistan v Zimbabwe -- Diego Martin Sporting Complex. Rescheduled from January 22.
January 18 - Afghanistan v PNG -- Diego Martin Sporting Complex. Unchanged.
January 20 - Pakistan v Afghanistan -- Brian Lara Cricket Ground. Unchanged.
January 22 - Pakistan v PNG -- Queens Park Oval. Rescheduled from January 15 January 22 - Afghanistan v Zimbabwe -- Diego Martin Sporting Complex. Rescheduled from January 16.
Also Read : U-19 World Cup: Australia skipper optimistic despite warm-up defeat to India
News Source : PTI
Tasnim Mir becomes first Indian to claim world no 1 status in u-19 girls singles
New Delhi, Jan 12 (Badminton News) Young shuttler Tasnim Mir on Wednesday became the first Indian to grab the world no 1 ranking in the under-19 girls singles in the latest BWF junior rankings.
The 16-year-old from Gujarat was rewarded for last year's stellar run when she had secured titles in three junior international tournaments to jump three places to grab the top position in the junior world rankings.
"I can't say that I expected this. I thought I will not be able to become no 1 as tournaments were getting affected by COVID-19 but I won three events in Bulgaria, France and Belgium. So I am really excited and happy that finally I could become the world no 1. It is a great moment for me," Tasnim told PTI from Guwahati.
"I will completely focus on the senior circuit from now on and looking forward to playing at Iran and Uganda next month. My aim now is to improve my senior ranking. If I can weave some good performances and get into top 200 by end of the year that would be great." Tasnim, who is supported by OGQ, is currently ranked a lowly 602 in the women’s singles.
Tasnim's feat has never been achieved by any Indian girl, including two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu and London bronze winner Saina Nehwal.
While Sindhu was world no 2 in her under-19 days, Saina didn't make the cut for being a junior with the BWF junior rankings starting only in 2011. Another Indian Samiya Imad Farooqui of Telangana came close but could only reached the second spot in the BWF junior rankings.
In Boys singles, Lakshya Sen, Siril Verma and Aditya Joshi had become the world no 1.
Tasnim was part of India's campaign at the Thomas and Uber Cup held late last year in Denmark and says it had a huge impact on her game.
"It was a huge moment for me, it was first time that I was among the seniors, playing against world class players in big stadiums, it was a great experience. I also met Viktor Axelsen there, I like his game. I also like to watch players such as Tai Tzu Ying and An Seyoung," she said.
Tasnim has been training under Indonesian coach Edwin Iriawan at the Assam Badminton Academy in Guwahati for the last four years.
"I have been training for last four years under Edwin, it has been great experience, we get to train with men players, so I has helped to improve my game," said the teenager, who won the 2019 Dubai Junior International.
Tasnim got her first lessons on badminton from her father Irfan Mir, who is a badminton coach and also ASI in Mehsana police.
"My father is a badminton coach and also works for Mehsana police. He has always been interested in sports and used to take me alongwith him when I was about 7-8 years old," she said. I Tasnim, whose younger brother Mohd Ali Mir, a Gujarat state junior champion, also trains with her in Guwahati, has been an achiever right from her young days.
She won the national junior champion (U-19) at the age of 14 and also claimed the national crown in the under-13, under-15 and under-19 girls’ singles categories.
Tasnim also won U-15 singles and doubles titles at the All-India Sub-Junior ranking tournaments in Hyderabad and Nagpur in 2018.
At the 2019 World Junior Championships in Russia, she could not go past the round of 32 but returned to win the title at the Asian U-17 & U-15 Junior Championships the same year in Indonesia.
She also emerged victorious at the President Cup Nepal Junior International Series 2020 in Kathmandu.
"I will need to work on my stamina and mental aspect of my game, which will play a big role. I have confidence on my shots but it is important to focus on mind," she signed off.
Also Read : I've a point to prove, I can be in top 5: Prannoy
News Source : PTI
No change in Test rankings of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli
Dubai, Jan 12 (Cricket News) Out-of-action India opener Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli continue to remain static at the fifth and ninth positions respectively in the latest ICC Test rankings, issued on Wednesday.
While Rohit has 781 rating points, Kohli is just inside the top-10 with 740 points.
The batting list is being headed by Marnus Labuschangne of Australia with 924 points, while England skipper Joe Root (881) and Steve Smith (871) are in the second and third spots respectively.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (862) is at the fourth position.
Mayank Agarwal has dropped a rung and is the next best-placed Indian in the 13th spot.
Among Indian bowlers, veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has managed to hold on to his second spot with 861 rating points.
No other Indian features in the top-10 rankings of the Test bowlers list. The Test bowlers rankings is being headed by Australia skipper Pat Cummins, followed by Ashwin and Kyle Jamieson of New Zealand, who has moved up six places.
Ashwin also held on to his second spot in the Test all-rounders rankings, which is being led by West Indies Jason Holder.
Among others, after twin hundreds in the fourth Ashes Test at the SCG, Usman Khawaja has rocketed back into the Test batting ranking fray, re-entering at 26th place.
The left-hander made 137 and 101 not out across the two innings at the ground he made his Test debut 11 years ago, though the Australians were unable to take the last wicket for victory in the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney.
Also read : It's certainly on the table: Starc on returning to IPL
News Source : PTI
Mayweather in talks for exhibition boxing match against Youtuber Money Kicks
(Football news) Floyd Mayweather is currently in the final stages of negotiations to return to the ring next month to take on 20 year old internet personality Rashed Belhasa a.k.a Money Kicks. The Dubai based Youtuber and influencer is known for his luxurious lifestyle, sneaker collection and many exotic pets. The clash is set to take place over eight rounds at the helipad of the seven star hotel Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel.
Belhasa has said that he was inspired by the fight between KSI and Logan Paul and gave him the confidence that Youtubers can compete at the highest level in boxing. He has already staged two boxing events in Dubai and won both of them. In an interview, Rashed Belhasa said “I never thought I would ever fight Floyd. He is the best fighter ever. When I was young, I would collect his 'The Money Team' caps! Mayweather's team asked my team for a meeting. We thought: 'No way will this happen!' The same day of the meeting, I saw Mayweather saying: 'I would love to fight Rashed'. He is serious. It is an honour that he has called me out. I thought: 'This will go viral!’”
Last week, Mayweather teased the fight by saying “Money Kicks is doing big things and I like what I am seeing." The 44 year old retired in 2017 with a 50-0 and has featured in a few exhibition bouts since then. He defeated Tenshin Nasukawa and went eight rounds against Youtuber Logan Paul. "Logan made history," said Money Kicks. "The whole world was talking about their fight. He has already given me tips on how to fight Mayweather. He told me to flinch a lot, and to move a lot, because Mayweather is a fast guy who has experience. If I knock him out, I would not sleep for a year!"
Apart from the highly anticipated clash against Floyd Mayweather, Money Kicks has four other fights in the pipeline across Saudi Arabia and London. Money Kicks said: "I grew up with lions - I am not scared of any human being. I will never fear any human. People think I'm crazy because boxing is big in London, but here? In Dubai boxing is fresh. People think I am a professional fighter. They go crazy when they see me. Everybody thinks I'm the Mayweather of Dubai!"
NZ pacer Jamieson fined for using 'inappropriate language' during 2nd Test against Bangladesh
Dubai, Jan 11 (Cricket News) New Zealand fast bowler Kyle Jamieson was on Tuesday fined 15 per cent of his match fee for using "inappropriate language" after dismissing Yasir Ali during the just-concluded second Test against Bangladesh in Christchurch.
According to an ICC statement, Jamieson was found to have breached Article 2.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his/her dismissal during an International Match." In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to the disciplinary record of Jamieson, for whom it was the third offence in a 24-month period, taking his cumulative demerit points to three.
Jamieson's previous breaches were on March 23, 2021 during an ODI against Bangladesh in Christchurch, and on December 28, 2020 in a Test match against Pakistan in Tauranga.
The incident occurred in the 41st over of Bangladesh's first innings on Monday, when Jamieson used inappropriate language after dismissing Yasir Ali, the ICC stated.
Jamieson admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by match referee Jeff Crowe and ratified by the ICC Cricket Operations department as per the COVID-19 interim playing regulations.
On-field umpires Chris Gaffaney and Wayne Knights, third umpire Chris Brown and fourth umpire Shaun Haig levelled the charge.
Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player's match fee, and one or two demerit points.
New Zealand won the second Test against Bangladesh by an innings and 117 runs to level the series and hand a befitting farewell to veteran batter Ross Taylor, who retired from the red-ball format on Tuesday after having represented the Kiwis 112 matches.
Also Read : Documentary on Aussie spin legend Warne to be available on BookMyShow in India
News Source : PTI
World champion Loh keen on starting New Year on winning note
New Delhi, Jan 10 (Badminton News) Reigning men's singles world champion Loh Kean Yew hasn't got enough time to train after his triumph in Spain, but wants to start the New Year by putting his best foot forward in the India Open badminton.
The tournament is starting here on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old from Singapore, seeded fifth at the India Open, defeated Kidambi Srikanth in the World Championships final and the Indian is expected to be his biggest challenger at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall along with bronze medallist Lakshya Sen, who is playing in this tournament for the first time.
"There are a lot of good players here and it is not going to be an easy competition for sure. Everyone is coming here to do well... same for me too. I also want to do well and I also want to win this tournament," said Loh, who will open his campaign against Canada's Xiaodong Sheng on Tuesday.
Before going to Spain, Loh had trained in Dubai with Tokyo Olympics champion Viktor Axelsen and Sen and said the young Indian is an extremely talented player.
"He is a very good friend of mine and I actually have a very good relationship and I am happy to see him do well in his first world championship," Loh added.
Singapore's first world champion in badminton, Loh is aware that he would be the player to beat this year after the stupendous run in the World Championship but pointed out that it won't be easy to maintain the same form in every tournament.
"I ended the year on a high so it was a good year... Nobody will always win. The pressure is always there. I just hope that I can play the best and I can perform," he added.
Manu Atri-Sumeeth Reddy withdraw from doubles ----------------------------------------------------- Meanwhile, the experienced Indian men's doubles combination of B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Atri along with men's singles fourth seed Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand have withdrawn from the competition.
However, Sumeeth will be in action in mixed doubles alongside Ashwini Ponnappa with the pair taking on second seeds Rodion Alimov and Alina Davletova in the opening round.
Among women's players, eighth seed Fitriani Fitriani and women's doubles top seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Projongjai of Thailand have also pulled out.
Also Read : Badminton in times of COVID-19: Sindhu, Srikanth eye glory at India Open
News Source : PTI
New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel wins ICC Player of the Month Award
Dubai, Jan 10 (Cricket News) India-born New Zealand cricketer Ajaz Patel on Monday won the ICC Player of the Month award for December following his stupendous 10-wicket haul against Virat Kohli and Co. in the second Test in Mumbai.
The left-arm spinner was nominated for the award alongside India opener Mayank Agarwal and Australian pacer Mitchell Starc but beat them to it on the back of his incredibly rare feat.
Ajaz picked up 14 wickets in the Mumbai Test match in early December against India, including all 10 in the first innings, to become only the third player in Test history, after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble, to achieve the remarkable milestone.
The Mumbai-born Ajaz made a fairy tale comeback to his city of birth in his first-ever tour of India with the Test team.
Ajaz ended the first day of the Test with all four Indian wickets to fall under his name and made an impact on the first session the following day with wickets off back-to-back deliveries.
While he was denied a hat-trick, Ajaz went on to take all 10 wickets in the innings, prompting applause from even the opposition camp.
"Personally I think one of the greatest cricketing days in my life. And it will probably always be," Ajaz had said at the conclusion of the Test match.
JP Duminy, a Member of ICC Voting Academy for December, hailed the achievement.
"What a historic achievement! Taking 10 wickets in an innings is a feat that needs to be celebrated. There's no doubt that Ajaz's performance is a milestone that will be remembered for years to come," the South African cricketer said.
Also Read : Cape of 'Good Hope': All eyes on batter Kohli helping 'skipper' to win historic Test series
News Sources : PTI
Lakshya Sen eyeing maiden title on India Open debut
New Delhi, Jan 9 (Badminton News) World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen says he will look to build on his rich vein of form and return with a maiden title when he begins the new season with a debut appearance at the India Open Super 500 here on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old from Almora had a good outing in the last season as he reached the final of Dutch Open, made it to the semifinals at Hylo, and then entered the knockout stage of the World Tour Finals on debut.
However, the icing on the cake was his bronze at the World Championships, which helped him to emulate his mentor Prakash Padukone and compatriot B Sai Praneeth.
"This is the first time I will be playing the India Open as the last two editions were cancelled due to the pandemic. So I am looking forward to making the most of this opportunity and win the title," Sen told PTI after arriving in the national capital.
"I had a 10-day break after the world championships and started training from January 1st. I had some niggles but now I am back to full fitness." Walking down memory lane, Sen talking about the time when he would come as a fan to watch greats such as Lin Dan and Taufik Hidatay compete in the tournament.
"I remember coming to India Open as a 10-year-old in 2011-12. I was inspired a lot by Lin Dan and Taufik Hidayat. I have always loved Taufik's game, it influence me a lot." Sen will open his campaign against Egypt's Adham Hatem Elgamal and a win will pit him against Sweden's Felix Burestedt in the next round.
"I have a good draw. In the first round, I am playing a player from Egypt and in next round, it will be Felix. I had trained with him in Dubai.
"I will take one match at a time and the way I am playing, I am confident of winning the tournament." The year will be a hectic one with big-ticket events such as the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games lined up, apart from the regular BWF World Tour events.
Sen said his entire focus will be to stay injury free and peak at the right time.
"It is an important year as there are lots of important tournaments lined up. I have to come up with a proper training plan ahead of these important events, also pick and choose events," the world number 17 said.
"I have to perform well so that I can qualify for important events. So the focus will be on staying injury free and peaking at the right moment." Organised by the Badminton Association of India (BAI), the India Open is all set to kick off on Tuesday at the Indira Gandhi Stadium's KD Jadhav Indoor Hall.
Most players have started arriving in the capital for the tournament.
"All the participating players will be taking the necessary safety precautions right from their arrival in New Delhi as per protocol, and will be tested everyday at the hotel and from there they will be having shuttle buses to come to the stadium, play matches and go back to the hotel again," the BAI said in a release.
Also Read : England shuttlers pull out of India Open badminton after 2 positive cases in contingent.
News Sources : PTI
Mayank Agarwal among three nominated for ICC men's player of month
Dubai, Jan 8 (Cricket News) India opener Mayank Agarwal was on Saturday nominated for the ICC Player of the Month award for December following his stellar performance in the Test series against New Zealand and South Africa.
Besides Agarwal, New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel and Australian pacer Mitchell Starc were also short-listed for the award.
With regular openers Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and KL Rahul all missing games at some point last month, Agarwal grabbed the opportunity with both hands against New Zealand and South Africa.
In two matches, he scored 276 runs at an average of 69.00, which included two fifties and a century.
Agarwal was the architect of the win in Mumbai against New Zealand with a Player of the Match-winning performance of 150 and 62 in the two innings.
He also played a crucial role in India breaking the Centurion hoodoo for the very first time.
Batting first in overcast conditions, KL Rahul and Agarwal set the platform with a brilliant opening partnership of 117. During the stand, he was tested by the fiery Proteas pace attack but came out shining with a brilliant 60.
India posted 327 in the first innings, which eventually proved to be the difference between the two sides.
India-born kiwi spinner Ajaz Patel's name was immortalised in cricketing history in December, when he picked up 10 wickets in an innings against India, becoming the third player in Tests to achieve the feat after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble.
The left-arm spinner played just one Test in the month, where he picked up 14 wickets at an average of 16.07. He picked up all 10 wickets in the first innings but was disappointed by the Kiwi batters who were bundled out for 62.
In the second innings, he picked up four wickets, including that of Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara. He finished with figures of 14/225, the best bowling figures in a Test match in 2021.
Starc also had standout performances both with the bat and ball in hand as Australia retained the Ashes with two games to spare.
In three games last month, he picked up 14 wickets at an average of 19.64 and was more than handy with the bat, scoring 117 runs at an average of 58.50.
He set the tone for the whole series by dismissing Rory Burns with the first ball of the first Test. While batting, he kept Travis Head company with an innings of 35 and added 85 crucial runs for the eighth wicket.
In the second Test in Adelaide, Starc snapped six wickets and scored 58. This included a brilliant four-wicket haul in the first innings that helped reduce England to 236, giving Australia a massive lead of 237 runs.
In the Boxing Day Test, Starc picked two crucial wickets in the first innings, including that of England's captain Joe Root.
His innings of 24 not out helped Australia gain an 82-run lead, which proved to be enough as England were bundled out for 68. He picked up three wickets in the second innings as Australia won by an innings to retain the urn.
Also Read : Our goal is to create opportunities for recently retired cricketers - Raman Raheja, Co-Founder and CEO of Legends League Cricket
News Source : PTI
Slow overrate will lead to a fielder less outside 30 yard circle:ICC introduces changes to T20I playing conditions
Dubai, Jan 7 (Cricket News) The ICC on Friday announced that slow overrate in T20 Internationals will result in a fielder less outside of the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs of the innings, starting this month.
The governing body also introduced an optional drinks interval midway through the innings in bilateral T20 international cricket as part of its updated playing conditions.
The in-match penalties are in addition to the sanctions for slow over rate outlined in Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel.
"The over rate regulations are captured in clause 13.8 of the playing conditions , which stipulate that a fielding side must be in position to bowl the first ball of the final over of the innings by the scheduled or rescheduled time for the end of the innings," the ICC stated.
"If they are not in such a position, one fewer fielder will be permitted outside of the 30-yard circle for the remaining overs of the innings." The change was recommended by the ICC Cricket Committee, which regularly discusses ways to improve the pace of play in all formats, after considering reports on the effectiveness of a similar regulation that was included in the playing conditions for the Hundred competition conducted by the ECB.
In another change, an optional drinks break of two minutes and thirty seconds may be taken at the mid-point of each innings subject to agreement between Members at the start of each series.
The first men's match to be played under the new playing conditions will be the one-off tie between the West Indies and Ireland at the Sabina Park in Jamaica on January 16.
The first T20I of the three-match series between South Africa and the West Indies in Centurion on January 18 will be the first women's match played under the new playing conditions.
Also Read : Batting great Desmond Haynes named new lead selector of West Indies team
News Source : PTI
My main goal is to help my country qualify for a World Cup - Malaysian national cricketer Pavandeep Singh
While cricket in Malaysia is still finding its own two feet, the country has its share of talented cricketers who are aspiring to compete at the top level. With passionate supporters and a hardworking team, it seems only a matter of time before Malaysia establishes itself as a cricket playing nation and gives the big names such as Australia, England and India a run for their money.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Malaysian national cricketer Pavandeep Singh speaks about his journey as a professional, his childhood cricketing idols, overcoming challenges, memorable performances, playing alongside his brother in the national team and his future goals.
Q 1) How old were you when you first started playing cricket and what got you interested in it?
I first got involved in the game at the age of 9 at my primary school, Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur. Back then it was compulsory for students to play at least one sport as part of the extra curricular activity and since my dad played a little cricket during his school days, he suggested I should give it a try. I had then no clue what the game was about but decided to give it a try and joined the cricket programme at the school held every Monday from 2pm-3pm.
My first cricket coach was Mr Munusamy who taught me the basics of the game and just like every beginner, I first started playing with a plastic bat and tennis ball. A year later, we had a change of coach at the school. A gentleman from Sri Lanka, Mr Damith, was brought in as a replacement. He had a very different coaching style and emphasised more on making training sessions fun. He used to let us play games using alternative scenarios and this really got me involved during training sessions. I started developing a keen interest in the game and he then suggested that my brother, Virandeep, and I join the Royal Selangor Club to start playing with the hard ball and to train more regularly as the club conducted three sessions weekly.
I was soon selected to represent the Kuala Lumpur U15 state team and with good enough performances, was then selected to represent Malaysia U16’s. There was no turning back since and I subsequently made my debut for the Malaysian National Team in 2013, at the age of 16.
Q 2) Who was your favourite player growing up and what did you like about him?
Growing up, I was a big fan of the Indian cricket team. I made it a point to subscribe to the sports package on television every time India was playing. My favourite player was and still is MS Dhoni. His ability to hit the ball, especially that trademark helicopter shot just made me a big big fan of his. I truly admire his leadership skills as well his ability to remain calm in any situation. He reads and understands the game well and has the quality to bring the best out of his players. Amongst all his brilliant innings, his 91 runs of 79 balls in the 2011 World Cup final is my personal favourite. I wish to meet the great man one day…
Q 3) What are some of the challenges you have faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
One of them would be finding a balance between playing cricket and studying. It was a big challenge during my school days as I used to be away for months and missed a lot of classes. The only time I would be back in school was for exams. To keep up with the syllabus, I had to do a lot of self studying after matches and training and had to attend tuitions at night. I must thank my parents for always allowing me to continue my passion in cricket and of course my school and tuition teachers as well for always being patient and understanding. As cricket is not a main-stream sport in Malaysia, it is important to have an education as we cant solely depend on cricket to make a living in the future.
Although things are improving and cricket is gaining popularity in Malaysia, I still feel it's important to have an education. I’m currently doing my Bachelor’s degree in International Business Management at Asia Pacific University under their sports scholarship. It is a lot easier to balance both cricket and studies now and I must thank the Malaysian Cricket Association for their efforts in securing sport scholarships for National cricketers at the Asia Pacific University.
I think the challenge all cricketers face is having a bad patch. When I'm going through a bad patch, I always try to keep things simple and just remind myself why I actually started playing this game. Just thinking of my love and passion for this game helps bring me back to my zone. Another challenge faced mostly by Associate Cricketers is a lack of competitive matches. The ongoing pandemic has only made matters worse, for us here in Malaysia. We only played four T20 internationals matches last year which is a lot less compared to the previous year. I am hoping things get better this year and we get to play a lot more matches.
Q 4) What was the most satisfactory performance in your career so far?
As a team, I would say winning our first ever gold medal at the 2017 Sea Games is one moment that I will remember for a long long time. Playing at our home ground, Kinrara Oval, in front of passionate Malaysian fans just made that moment extra special. If i may add another one, it would be winning the T20 Bilateral series vs Hong Kong here in Kuala Lumpur. Prior to the tournament, we had been struggling as a team but I think we showed some strong character by coming back and winning our first ever T20 international series. Individually, it would be my spell of 3 for 13 in 10 overs vs Hong Kong during the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifier. I was also awarded as the Man Of the Match for that game.
Q 5) How does it feel to play with your brother on the Malaysian side?
It feels great. We both started our cricket journey from the same school, club and even state. In 2012, we made our debut for the Malaysian U16 team together and ended up winning our first ever ACC championship beating Nepal in the finals. The following year, we made our debut for the Malaysian U19 side and soon after we were both playing for the Malaysian National side. I still remember our first senior team tournament together in 2015 which was played in Dubai. Unfortunately, i missed out in the first couple of games but it was the game against Singapore which was our first ever game together for Malaysia.
Having him around really helps as I can always share and discuss a lot with him. In cricket, you always need someone to talk to about your game and how things are going and for me, he’s always the person to talk to. We constantly discuss how we can get the Malaysian team to the next level and improve ourselves as cricketers as well. Recently, he became the first Malaysian ever to be a part of a global franchise league (Everest Premier League). It was a proud moment for all of us at home as well as for the Malaysian cricket community. Having said that, I still believe both of us have a long way to go and we hope to keep playing and performing to the best of our abilities so that we can take Malaysia Cricket to greater heights.
Q 6) What are your future ambitions and what steps are you taking to achieve them?
My main goal is to help Malaysia qualify for a World Cup. We recently heard that the 2024 T20 World Cup will be expanded to 20 teams. Malaysia is currently ranked 30th in the ICC T20I rankings and if we can keep moving up the ranks I strongly believe we will create a strong opportunity for ourselves to qualify for the mega event. Personally, I feel the best way for us to keep improving would be to consistently play competitive matches. Going for short stints overseas to cricket playing nations would also be really beneficial as we will be moving out of our comfort zone and playing in different conditions.
If there’s not much international cricket in store for the national team this year, I would most definitely be going abroad, maybe to the UK and Australia to get some exposure. In addition, given the opportunity, I endeavour to be part of a global franchise league and for that to happen I will need to consistently perform for my country. Not many know that I was born in Australia but moved to Malaysia when I was one. I do have plans of going down under to play some good cricket at a higher level. I’m not looking too far ahead but if the opportunity arises then play in the Sheffield Shield or the Big Bash league or other franchise leagues around the world.
KL Rahul gains 18 places in ICC Test rankings; Shami, Bumrah too move up
Dubai, Jan 5 (Cricket News) India opener KL Rahul has made a huge gain of 18 slots to reach the 31st position among batters in the latest ICC Test rankings after his Player-of-the-Match effort that helped India defeat South Africa by 113 runs in the first Test.
With the win in Centurion, India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series which is a part of the World Test Championship (WTC).
Rahul, whose best in the format is eighth position that he attained in November 2017, struck 123 in the first innings and was associated in an important 117-run opening partnership with Mayank Agrawal (60) as India became the first Asian team to win a Test match at the venue while gaining important points in the WTC points table.
Agarwal has gained one place for his contribution, while Ajinkya Rahane is up two places to 25th in the latest update that is carried out on Wednesdays and includes all matches that are completed by Tuesday each week.
Fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami are other Indians to move up the rankings.
Bumrah was up three spots to ninth after finishing with five wickets in the match while Shami's eight wickets, including a five-for in the first innings, saw him move up two places to 17th.
For South Africa, captain and opener Dean Elgar has progressed two spots to 14th after a fighting 77 in the second innings, while Temba Bavuma was up 16 places to 39th for his scores of 52 and 35 not out.
Kagiso Rabada, who grabbed seven scalps, has advanced one place to sixth position while his fellow fast bowler Lungi Ngidi has gained 16 slots and is 30th on the list after finishing with eight wickets in the match.
Debutant left-arm fast bowler Marco Jensen entered the rankings in 97th position.
Also Read : Mohammad Hafeez retires from international cricket after 18 years
News Source : PTI
Our aim is to be synonymous with gaming in India - Rahul Bhattacharya, Co-Founder & MD, Microgravity
Gaming and esports is more than just a recreational pass time. It has quickly become a viable career option for many athletes around the world and the pandemic has further accelerated the growth of this industry, resulting in various gaming leagues in India organizing tournaments on mobile and console platforms, thereby providing a platform not just for those who wish to participate but also generating viewership amongst the masses.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Rahul Bhattacharya, Co-Founder & MD, Microgravity speaks about what inspired him to begin his venture, Microgravity Gaming League, his goals and vision, leveraging AR and VR technologies, overcoming challenges and building communities around gaming content.
Q 1) As co-founder of Microgravity Ventures, what inspired you to come up with a brand that promises to deliver a world-class multi-player gaming experience?
Video gaming had a cult following for generations. The latest and the best of them now attract even more fan-following as seen in my own house. I did spend a lot of time trying to master console-based gaming along with my son. I found the quality and the depth of the content taking major leaps in the last few years. Compelling content and great graphics have added to this excitement. Also, major metropolitan centers like New York, London, Dubai, and Melbourne have some of the best gaming hubs that are also multiplayer. My frequent travels to these locations during my consulting days at Accenture prompted me to bring such a platform to India. You can do a lot at home using your consoles and devices but the real fun in gaming is when you come together with friends and family. We wanted to set a new benchmark, not just in India but in this part of the world in terms of the quality of experience.
Q 2) Tell us about the Microgravity Gaming League and how it looks to enhance and promote the esports league format?
Microgravity Gaming League was conceptualized to promote communities around esports. We wanted to deliver the same quality of experience to people engaging purely online. At some point drive them to these locations to experience the best tech has to offer. As a company, we wanted to quickly acquire the know-how of hosting tournaments at scale. We have already managed 5 large tournaments, four on the mobile and one on the console. We want to be synonymous with gaming in India and therefore we will search for formats that are bigger and brighter. Last but not least these esports leagues are not just played or competing. They are also watched. When top players compete against each other, the quality of content and the story becomes even more compelling. I have had the good fortune to see India’s best competing at Microgravity Gaming League. We want to take this content to everyone who is an enthusiast or is seeking an experience.
Q 3) What is your vision for Microgravity Ventures and how do you plan to achieve your goals?
We want to capture the gaming enthusiasts’ mindshare. We want to be a platform where he satisfies all his needs. Setting up world-class destinations across major metros and tier 2 cities is part of the plan along with the ability to bring in the crowds onto our esports platform to satisfy the mobile gaming community. We are also working on an e-commerce website that is only gaming that can carry an enthusiast up the value chain whatever be his budget. So whether it’s playing or competing, experiencing multiplayer, or shopping it has to be Microgravity. That’s the vision.
Q 4) How is the company looking to leverage AR and VR technologies to bring solutions to the industry?
The team is gathering know-how and skills that are cross transferable across industries. At some point, we will look to explore other allied industries like Retail, Hospitality, and Travel. Travel is already part of our plan where you can walk the city of New York in the heart of Gurgaon.
Q 5) What are some of the challenges that you have faced as co-founder and MD of Microgravity Ventures? How did you overcome them?
We started small and needed to bring in the right team to achieve our short-term goals. We want to continue our search for the best talent in this space. It is a team effort and therefore building a good team from scratch has been a compelling need. I also feel we may be a little ahead in time in terms of monetization options but going forward this industry is going to explode. Working on raising capital has been an important part of this journey. We are actively searching for strategic partners to take this idea forward. There is a lot to do in this space and we are taking one step at a time.
Q 6) How are Microgravity Ventures building communities around popular gaming content? What are the various games that are promoted by the league?
We wanted to bring in a differentiated experience whether it’s online or an offline format for the gaming enthusiast. We would like to constantly bring in new products and offerings that operate in both the worlds and where possible deliver the best experiences across popular content in a multiplayer format. I can only say that we are working with some of the best principals globally and please watch this space.
Step in right direction, most of them performed: Kanitkar on U-19 Asia Cup triumph
Mumbai, Jan 3 (Cricket News) Head coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar has said the Indian team's triumph in the U-19 Asia Cup is a step in right direction with not just one but many players excelling before the ICC World Cup begins in the West Indies later this month.
India reaffirmed their supremacy in the tournament with a record eighth title as they hammered Sri Lanka by nine wickets in a rain-hit summit showdown in Dubai on Friday.
"I think it's a step in the right direction. What I felt is, like you said, quite a number of people performed and we won games," Kanitkar told PTI over phone from Dubai after the India Colts won the tournament.
India's only loss in the competition came against arch-rivals Pakistan who lost to Sri Lanka in the semifinals.
"We didn't have to depend on certain players only and from the coaching point of view, that's always a good sign, when more people contribute to a win and we don't depend on just a few players.
"So, from that point I'm satisfied (and) it's been very good high-level matches also, and we have been challenged in three out of four games or five games.
"It's been so far great preparation in terms of match practise, now the big goal is the World Cup," Kanitkar, who has played 2 Tests and 34 ODIs, added.
The India team will now head to the West Indies for the World Cup, which is to be played from January 14 to February 5, and according to Kanitkar, who has 10,400 runs from 146 first-class matches, the Yash Dhull-led team is taking one step at a time.
"We are planning to take one step at a time, not (think) too far ahead into the future, so once the quarantine is over in the West Indies, we will start practicing and focus on the practise games first and take it forward like that," said Kanitkar.
The U-19 boys hadn't played any cricket for a long period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in that backdrop, Kanitkar termed the Asia Cup win as "significant".
"It's very significant, it's a very positive thing and another challenge was that, they haven't played as a team as well, so you know combining together and playing as a team also was a goal and I think we have done that very well.
"And so that way it is very significant that, you know, a group of players coming together, having not played together before, are gelling so well and combining so well." Kanitkar has been associated with the Bengaluru-based National Cricket Academy (NCA) and his first major assignment was with the U-19 team.
"It is challenging because it tests all your abilities as a coach, your communication skills with U19, younger boys, how you explain to them, you know your options that you can use with them, if option A doesn't work, then you go to option B, C, whatever it may be.
"There is scope to work on their technique as well, you can work on player's technique at this age if it is not correct yet.
"So all these things matter and they are challenging but the role is also satisfying because the player develops right in front of your eyes and it is possible for you to make a difference to a player and a team in a major way," the former left-handed batter elaborated.
There are three Maharashtra players -- Kaushal Tambe, Rajvardhan Hangargekar and Vicky Ostwal -- who were part of the Asia Cup-winning team and also feature in a 17-member squad announced for the World Cup.
Asked whether the trio can carry forward the legacy of Maharashtra players like Chandu Borde, the 47-year-old said, "Yes they have what it takes for sure. All three of them have performed in various matches over here.
"I think they have a good future, they need to just keep working hard and be focussed, that's all. They will do well."
Also Read : Blow for Bengal's Ranji preparation as 7 members test COVID positive
News Source : PTI
India's Asia Cup win ideal confidence-booster for U-19 World Cup: Laxman
New Delhi, Jan 1 (Cricket News) National Cricket Academy (NCA) head VVS Laxman feels the Indian Under-19 team's Asia Cup title triumph becomes more praiseworthy as it came despite the players' preparations being hit by inclement weather in the run-up to the tournament.
India reaffirmed their supremacy in the continental age-group meet with a record eighth title as they hammered Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the rain-hit summit showdown in Dubai on Friday.
Laxman also called the result an "ideal confidence-booster" ahead of the ICC U-19 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in the West Indies from January 14 to February 5 in the West Indies.
"Congrats to the India U-19 side on the #AsiaCupU19 triumph! Their preparations were hit by the weather, among other things, but it's heartening to see them improve by the game.
"That's as satisfying as the title win itself. Ideal confidence-booster for the World Cup," Laxman tweeted.
In the final, the Indian bowlers were all over Sri Lanka, who were gasping at 74 for seven in 33 overs, when heavy rain lashed the Dubai International Cricket Stadium and stopped play for more than two hours.
It became a 38-overs-a-side contest when play resumed with Sri Lanka limping to 106 for nine.
India were set a revised 102-run target via DLS method which they reached in 21.3 overs with opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi scoring an unbeaten 56 off 67 balls.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah too congratulated the team on its victory.
Also Read : Ruturaj will do wonders for Indian team, feels chief selector Sharma
News Source : PTI
Root, Williamson, Rizwan and Afridi nominated for ICC Men's Cricketer of Year
Dubai, Dec 31 (Cricket News) England captain Joe Root, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and the Pakistan duo of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan were on Friday short-listed for the ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year Award for their stellar performances across formats.
The award will be given to the best overall performer in men's international cricket (Tests, ODIs and T20Is) during 2021. The winner, who will lift the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, will be announced on January 24.
Root enjoyed a year that will go down in the pages of the history books, scoring 1855 runs in 18 international matches at an average of 58.37 with six centuries. He though endured disappointment as captain with England suffering Ashes humiliation.
His year began with a marathon knock in 228 against Sri Lanka in Galle and he has only gone from strength to strength.
He would follow up his exploits against Sri Lanka with a memorable knock in Chennai, a brilliant 218 against India in the sweltering heat against a spin attack of the highest calibre.
Root continued his sublime form against India in the return leg of the Test series at home, aggregating 564 runs in four matches with three centuries to his name.
His performance also helped him reach the summit of the ICC Test Player Rankings for batting, where he would be eventually displaced by Marnus Labuschagne.
Despite failing to convert his starts into big scores, Root continued being England's best batter against Australia in the first three Ashes Tests.
As compared to Root, Williamson's 693 runs in 16 internationals at an average of 43.31 with one century was a modest total but the admirable Kiwi cannot only be judged on the basis of the runs he scored.
It was also his influential leadership that helped the Blackcaps scale unchartered heights during the year. None more so important than the ICC World Test Championship Final against India in Southampton.
Williamson played a crucial role in that game with the bat as well, scoring a vital 49 in the first innings against a quality bowling unit in conditions assisting the seamers. He followed it up with a crucial 52 not out in the run chase of 139, taking his side home before lifting the mace.
His leadership would again be vital during the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman, with his tactical nous helping New Zealand reach the final.
Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Rizwan had a stunning year with 1915 runs in 44 internationals at an average of 56.32 with two centuries. He also had 56 dismissals behind the wickets.
Rizwan ruled the roost in 2021 when it came to the shortest format of the game. Aggregating a staggering 1326 runs in only 29 matches, Rizwan struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike-rate of 134.89.
Apart from his exploits with the bat, he was as solid as ever behind the stumps, playing a key role in Pakistan's run to the semifinals during the T20 World Cup.
Rizwan also upped his game in Test cricket, scoring 455 runs in nine matches at an average of 45.50.
Swing, seam, sheer pace and sizzling yorkers -- Shaheen Afridi gave an exhibition of it all in 2021 with 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20. He had his best bowling figures of 6/51 The tall Pakistani fast bowler was on fire throughout 2021, knocking some of the best batters over across all three formats of the game. He especially had a year to remember in Tests and T20Is, reaching his absolute peak during the T20 World Cup in UAE where he impressed one and all with his sheer speed and skills.
He would scalp seven wickets in six matches during the tournament in Pakistan's run to the semi-final. He ruled the shortest format throughout the calendar year, scalping 23 wickets in 21 matches with his death bowling improving by leaps and bounds.
He scalped 47 wickets in nine Tests at a staggering average of 17.06.
Also Read : India beat Sri Lanka by 9 wickets to win U-19 Asia Cup title
News Source : PTI
India beat Sri Lanka by 9 wickets to win U-19 Asia Cup title
Dubai, Dec 31 (Cricket News) India on Friday clinched a record-extending eighth Under-19 Asia Cup title beating Sri Lanka by nine wickets via DLS method in the rain-hit summit clash here.
Opting to bat, Sri Lanka could only manage 106 for 9 in the revised quota of 38 overs.
India then required just 21.3 overs to chase down the target that had been reduced to 102 off 38 overs under the DLS method.
Opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi (56 not out) scored a brilliant half century, while Shaik Rasheed also remained unbeaten on 31.
For India, left-arm spinner Vicky Ostwal was the pick of the bowlers, registering figures of 3/11, while off-spinner Kaushal Tambe snared two wickets.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka U19: 106 for 9 in 38 overs (Raveen de Silva 15; Vicky Ostwal 3/11) India U19: 104 for 1 in 21.3 overs (Angkrish Raghuvanshi 56 not out, Shaik Rasheed 31 not out; Yasiru Rodrigo (1/12).
Also Read : India's tremendous year breaching fortresses in red ball cricket
News Source : PTI
India limit Sri Lanka to 106/9 in rain-hit U-19 Asia Cup final
Dubai, Dec 31 (Cricket News) India produced a dominating bowling performance to restrict Sri Lanka to 106 for nine in the rain-hit U-19 Asia Cup final here on Friday.
Sri Lanka opted to bat though early morning showers made conditions ideal for seam bowling first up.
The Indian pace duo of Rajvardhan Hangargekar and Ravi Kumar made the ball talk though the former was a tad unlucky to not get a wicket.
Left-arm pacer Ravi got the first wicket of the match by removing Chamindu Wickramasinghe in the fourth over. The left-hander opener went for a big hoick over mid wicket but ended up mistiming it straight into the hands of Raj Bawa at third man.
Wickramasinghe's opening partner Shevon Daniel tried to pull Bawa but the ball got big on him, taking a faint edge to wicketkeeper Aaradhya Yadav to leave Sri Lanka at 15 for two in the 11th over.
India, who have won a record seven Asia Cup titles, looked a far superior team. Hangargekar was the most impressive pacer in the first 10 overs, generating good pace that hurried the batters besides extracting movement off the pitch.
The Sri Lanka batters looked completely at sea against the Indian bowlers, be it fast bowlers or the spin pairing of Kaushal Tambe and Vicky Ostwal. Both off-spinner Tambe and left-arm spinner Ostwal got the odd ball to turn sharply.
Ostwal got two in one to leave Sri Lanka in dire straits at 57 for seven. Southpaw Dunit Wellagle attempted a slog sweep to break the shackles but ended up getting caught in the deep.
Two balls later Ranuda Somarathne missed Oswal's arm ball on the back foot, trapping him in front of the stumps.
With India set to bowl out Sri Lanka for a sub-100 total, heavy rain lashed Dubai International Cricket Stadium with the Islanders at 74 for for seven in 33 overs.
After a long delay, the match resumed and was revised to 38 overs a side.
In the five overs Sri Lanka had, they managed 32 runs for the loss of two wickets.
Hangargekar got a much deserved wicket on the last ball of the innings with Antriksh Raghuvasnshi taking a diving catch at the square leg boundary to dismiss Matheesha Pathirana.
Also Read : Kirsten interested in coaching England Test side
News Source : PTI
Mandhana is one of the four nominees for ICC Women's T20 Player of the Year award
Dubai, Dec 30 (Cricket News) India opener Smriti Mandhana was on Thursday nominated for the ICC Women's T20 Player of the Year 2021 award along with three more cricketers.
Besides Mandhana, England cricketers Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver and Ireland's Gaby Lewis are the other contenders for the honour.
In 2021, Mandhana scored 255 runs in nine T20 matches at an average of 31.87 with two half-centuries.
She played a major role in the first of the two wins, smashing 48 off just 28 balls against South Africa, chasing 113 in the final T20I. The win saved India the blushes, as they managed to avoid the clean sweep.
Mandhana was India's top run-scorer in the T20I series against England with 119 runs but didn't find enough support from the rest of the batters. She was India's top-scorer in both the matches that India lost, including a 51-ball 70 that went in vain in the final T20I.
Mandhana scored her second T20I half-century of the year against Australia in the final match of the series, but India fell short by 14 runs.
However, no Indian features among the nominees for ICC Men's ODI Player of the Year 2021.
The four players who are in the running for the recognition are Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, Janneman Malan of South Africa and Ireland's Paul Stirling.
The ICC Awards 2021 will recognise the outstanding achievements and feats in cricket over the past year.
Also Read : Rasheed hits unbeaten 90 to guide clinical India to U-19 Asia Cup final
News Source : PTI
Rasheed hits unbeaten 90 to guide clinical India to U-19 Asia Cup final
Sharjah, Dec 30 (Cricket News) Shaik Rasheed hit an unbeaten 90 as India dished out a clinical performance to thrash Bangladesh by 103 runs here on Thursday and set up a summit clash with Sri Lanka in the Under-19 Asia Cup.
One-down Rasheed made his runs in 108 balls to help India post 248 for eight after being invited to bat.
Rasheed paced his innings to perfection after India had lost both their openers -- Angkrish Raghuvanshi (16) and Harnoor Singh (15) -- inside the 50-run mark, in the 17th overs.
The Indian bowlers, then, produced a cohesive effort to bundle out Bangladesh for 140 runs in 38.2 overs.
Ariful Islam top-scored for Bangladesh with a 77-ball 42, while opener Mahfijul Islam made 26.
Bangladesh's chase never got going as the Indian bowlers picked up wickets at regular intervals, with only Ariful providing some resistance.
For India, Ravi Kumar (2/22), Vicky Ostwal (2/25), Raj Bawa (2/26) and Rajvardhan Hangargekar (2/36) shared eight wickets between them, while Kaushal Tambe (1/5) and Nishant Sindhu (1/25) picked up a wicket each.
Earkier, the Indian openers found the going tough and it was only after their dismissals that the run rate started to improve.
India lost Nishant Sindhu (5) cheaply before Rasheed and skipper Yash Dhull (26 off 29) stitched 41 runs for the fourth wicket to stabilise the innings.
Raj Bawa (23), Vicky Ostwal (28 not out off 18 balls) and Rajvardhan Hangargekar (16) also played useful hands to provide Rasheed support from the other end.
Even though it wasn't an extravagant knock from Rasheed, he did enough to give the Indian bowlers a target to defend. He struck three boundaries and one six during his unconquered innings.
For Bangladesh U-19, left-arm orthodox spinner Rakibul Hasan was the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 41 from his 10 overs.
India will face Sri Lanka in the title clash in Dubai on Friday.
Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 22 runs in another semifinal clash.
Sri Lanka made a modest 147 all out after opting to bat and then restricted Pakistan to 125.
Brief Scores: India U-19: 243 for 8 in 50 overs (Shaik Rasheed 90; Rakibul Hasan 3/41) beat Bangladesh U-19: 140 all out in 38.2 overs (Ariful Islam 42; Ravi Kumar 2/22, Vicky Ostwal 2/25, Raj Bawa 2/26, Rajvardhan Hangargekar 2/36) by 103 runs.
Also Read : 2021 will go down as one of the greatest years in Indian cricket: KL Rahul
News Source : PTI
ICC T20I 'Player of Year: Marsh, Rizwan, Hasaranga and Buttler shortlised
Dubai, Dec 29 (Cricket News) Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan were on Wednesday named among four players shortlisted for the ICC Men's T20I Player of the Year award.
The other two players are Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga and England wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler.
A part of the T20 World Cup winning Australian team, Marsh scored 627 runs in 27 matches at an average of 36.88 while also taking eight wickets at 18.37 during the year.
Throughout the calendar year, he was Australia's best batter in the shortest format, improving his game by leaps and bounds, especially against spin and when it came to rotating the strike.
"Australia's success at the T20 World Cup can be traced back to the decision to move Mitchell Marsh up the batting order to No.3, instead of designating him the role of being a finisher lower down," the ICC said in a release.
In the T20 World Cup held in the UAE and Oman, he aggregated 185 runs in six matches at an average of 61.66 and a healthy strike-rate of 146.82. He would reserve the best for the last, playing a match-winning knock of 77 not out off 50 deliveries in the final against New Zealand.
Rizwan aggregated a staggering 1326 runs in only 29 matches at an average of 73.66 and a strike-rate of 134.89. He was also solid behind the stumps, playing a key role in Pakistan's run to the semifinals during the T20 World Cup, where he ended up as the third-highest run-scorer.
He also scored the maiden T20I century of his career against South Africa in Lahore early in the year and ended it continuing his form with a brilliant knock of 87 against West Indies in Karachi.
Hasaranga took 36 wickets in 20 matches at 11.63 and scored 196 runs with one half-century during the year to establish himself as one of the best spinners in the shortest format while also being a player who could contribute with the bat.
A consistent performer throughout the year, Hasaranga's star shone the brightest during the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. He claimed a memorable hat-trick against South Africa and ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps. He also played some handy knocks with the bat, like his 71 against Ireland.
England wicketkeeper-batter Buttler was also brilliant during the year with 589 runs in 14 matches at 65.44 with one century. He also had 13 dismissals.
Buttler was in sublime touch during the T20 World Cup, always getting his side off to brilliant starts. His two best knocks came in consecutive matches -- first against age-old rivals Australia and then against Sri Lanka who faced his full wrath.
He ended the tournament as England's leading run-scorer with 269 runs, including a hundred against Sri Lanka.
Also Read : South Africa 94/4 at stumps on Day 4 in chase of 305
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Ashwin holds on to 2nd spot in both bowlers' and all-rounders' Test rankings
Dubai, Dec 29 (Cricket News) Seasoned India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Wednesday retained his second position in both the ICC Men's Test Player Rankings for bowlers and all-rounders.
Ravindra Jadeja managed to hold to his third position in the Test all-rounders list.
Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli also retained their positions in the Test batters' chart -- at fifth and seventh respectively.
While Rohit has 797 rating points in his kitty, Kohli has collected 756 points.
The Test batting chart is being led by Australia's Marnus Labuschagne (915 points), followed by England captain Joe Root (900) while New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson (879) has dislodged Steve Smith (877) from the third position.
Rohit, David Warner, Kohli, Dimuth Karunaratne, Babar Azam and Travis Head complete the top-10.
Among Test bowlers, Ashwin is the only Indian in the top-10, steady at the second spot with 883 rating points.
Australia Test captain Pat Cummins continues to lead the pack, while Pakistan left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi is placed third ahead of Tim Southee and James Anderson.
Australia Test debutant Scott Boland also made his first appearance in the ICC Men's Test Player Rankings for bowlers for his outstanding performance in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
By virtue of his six for seven run spell in England's second innings on Tuesday, the 32-year-old Victoria fast bowler is ranked 74th with 271 points.
Boland finished with a seven-wicket match haul in a thumping innings and 14 run victory for Australia.
In the Test all-rounders list, Indian duo of Ashwin (360) and Jadeja (346) are below leader Jason Holder (382) of the West Indies.
Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan is fourth, while Mitchell Starc nudged ahead of Ben Stokes into fifth place.
The Test Team ranking is being led by India with 124 rating points, while New Zealand and Australia occupy the second and third positions respectively.
England are fourth ahead of Pakistan.
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Dominic Thiem adds more woes with withdrawal from 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) Dominic Thiem has announced that he won't be taking part in the 2022 Australian Open. Thiem has been battling with a wrist injury since June this year, he had last played at Mallorca where retiring midway in the opening match against Adrian Mannarino. He has only played 18 matches this season and will see his ranking drop once he comes back in action at the end of next month.
"As you all know, I came back home to Austria to recover after the hard practice sessions I had in Dubai and the slight setback in my preparation. I am now feeling well again, my wrist is in optimal conditions and I am practicing normally with a very good intensity", said Thiem.
"After the short holidays, my team and I have assessed all matters and we have decided to make some changes to my initial tournament schedule: I will start the season in South America at the Cordoba Open in Argentina, end of January, and therefore I will not play this year at the Australian Open in Melbourne, a city that I love and where I have great memories of unforgettable matches in front of amazing crowds. I will miss the Australian fans but I will be back in 2023.”
The 2020 US Open champion will miss the Australian Open for the first time since making his debut in 2014. He had reached the finals last year by defeating Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal on the way, Novak Djokovic defeated Thiem in the final as the Serbian came back from a 2-1 set deficit in a four hour match. Thiem’s absence will also mean Austria taking a backseat at the ATP Cup as World number 119 Dennis Novak will be leading the team.
The 28 year old also won his first Grand Slam last year at the US Open and at Roland Garros he reached the quarterfinals to cap off the year as the world number 3. His current rank is 15 which will see a further fall after the first three three weeks in January. He was playing his 10th year on tour this season and failed to reach a final including a shock first round exit at Roland Garros.
Thiem has now joined Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka as the list continues to grow for the 2022 Australian Open. Nadal so far has not given statements about missing the Slam although he tested positive a few days back. There are also questions looming about Novak Djokovic’s participation especially regarding the vaccination rules for the players entering the event. The 2022 Australian Open is set to start from 17th January as the next gen players will again play in a similar situation like the 2021 US Open.
Ashwin among four nominees for ICC Test Cricketer of the year award
Dubai, Dec 28 (Cricket News) Seasoned India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was on Tuesday shortlisted as one of the four nominees for the ICC Test Cricketer of the year award.
The 35-year-old from Chennai snapped 52 wickets from eight Tests at an average of 16.23 and also contributed 337 runs with the bat at 28.08 with one century in the last one year.
Besides Ashwin, England skipper Joe Root, New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson and Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne were the others to be nominated for the prestigious award, which recognise the outstanding achievements and feats in cricket over the past year.
The winner of the award will be announced on January 24.
"One of India's greatest match-winners in the longest format, R Ashwin again asserted his authority as one of the world's finest spinners in 2021. Apart from his wizardry with the ball, Ashwin also made invaluable contributions with the bat," the ICC said in a release.
Ashwin started the year on a high, scoring a patient 128-ball 29 against Australia in the Sydney Test. His partnership with Hanuma Vihari helped India achieve a memorable draw that kept the series level at 1-1.
At home against England, Ashwin was adjudged the Player of the Series after he claimed 32 wickets from four matches at 14.72, while also contributing 189 runs with the bat.
The off-spinner had also picked up four wickets in the ICC World Test Championship Final against New Zealand on a seam-friendly wicket in Southampton.
After sitting out of all four Tests in England, Ashwin shone bright in the home series against New Zealand, winning another Player of the Series award after picking up 14 wickets in two matches at 11.36 while also chipping in with a couple of handy knocks in the Kanpur Test.
The ICC Awards will comprise a total of 13 individual recognitions in all, as well as five Team of the Year announcements for each format across both men's and women's cricket.
The other individual categories include Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for men's Cricketer of the Year, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for Women's Cricketer of the Year, men's ODI Cricketer of the Year, women's ODI Cricketer of the Year, men's T20I Cricketer of the Year, women's T20I Cricketer of the Year, Emerging men's Cricketer of the Year, Emerging women's Cricketer of the Year, Men's Associate Cricketer of the Year, women's Associate Cricketer of the Year, Spirit of Cricket Award and Umpire of the Year.
"The nominees for each of the first seven categories will be announced from 28 December to 31 December," ICC said.
"Each of those seven categories will have a shortlist of four nominees, comprising players who have had the most impactful performances in the period under consideration -- January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
"The nominees will be decided by the Awards panel, comprising prominent cricket journalists and broadcasters from across the globe along with Geoff Allardice, the ICC's CEO." The apex body said that "the winners for each category will be announced in January", while "the official ICC Teams of the Year are set to be announced on 17 and 18 January." "The individual awards pertaining to women's cricket will be announced on 23 January. The men's awards, as well as the Spirit of Cricket and Umpire of the Year award, will be announced on 24 January," it further stated.
Also Read : South Africa reach 21/1 at lunch in reply to India's 327 on day three
News Source : PTI
Spaniard Garbine Muguruza back on top three in WTA tour
(Tennis news) Garbine Muguruza has had a great season on the WTA Tour, climbing back into the top three of the rankings. Muguruza played 59 matches this year in which she won 42 of them. She started the year ranked 15 and had a gradual rise to the top three.
The 28 year old reached the final in the second event of the season at Yarra Valley Classic, even beating Sofia Kenin on the way to the final where she lost to Ashleigh Barty. At the Australian Open, she reached the fourth round before losing to champion Naomi Osaka. In the next event at Qatar, Muguruza reached her second final in two months but lost to Petra Kvitova in the final. She came back to reach another final in Dubai, beating Aryna Sabalenka for the second consecutive time and then defeated Barbora Krejcikova in the final.
The Spaniard then did not reach the last four in the next 10 events after three finals in the first 5 events of the season. She also could not secure a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, losing out to Elena Rybakina in straight sets. After a gap of almost 6 months, Muguruza won the title in Chicago after beating Ons Jabeur in the final. At the WTA Finals, Muguruza was the second most experienced player after Karolina Pliskova and the senior most player handed her a defeat in the second match. Muguruza lost only one match on the way to win the biggest title of the season.
"It's been a crazy season with the Olympics involved as well. It has been a year with many challenges, but at the same time, very successful for me.” Muguruza didn't enjoy success at the Grand Slam level in 2021 but still she felt it was the best season of her career.
"I truly believe this has been my best career season, even though I haven't won slam tournaments," Muguruza claimed. "It was a season in which I managed to find continuity in the game, albeit with ups and downs in the result.”
The two time Grand Slam winner was ranked number 1 four years ago and this year she has given herself a second chance to reclaim the top spot. Muguruza struggled at the Grand Slams as she reached the fourth round in Australia and at the US Open meanwhile at Roland Garros she was knocked out in the opening match. At Wimbledon where she last won a Grand Slam, she reached the third round, Muguruza winning the finals title was a stern reminder that next year she can pick up her usual speed at the majors. At the 2022 Australian Open, she will try to avenge her 2020 final loss and lift a crown that can boost her chances of becoming the world number again.
U19 Asia Cup: India beat Afghanistan by four wickets to enter semi-final
Dubai, Dec 27 (Cricket News) A match-winning 65-run seventh wicket stand between Raj Bawa and Kaushal Tambe ensured a fighting four-wicket victory for India over a gritty Afghanistan as they entered the semi-final of the U-19 Asia Cup tournament here on Monday.) Bawa (43 not out) and Tambe (35 not out) joined forced when India were in trouble at 197 for six but they kept calm to take the 'Boys in Blue' to their required 260-run target with 10 balls to spare.
This was after in-form opener Harnoor Pannu (65) and his partner Angkrish Raghuvanshi (35) added 104 for the opening stand. However, the middle order caved in with skipper Yash Dull (26) and Nishant Sindhu (19) failing to convert starts. It was left to Bawa and Tambe to take the team home.
With this win, India wee placed second in the group behind Pakistan team, which won all its matches.
India will face the winners between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, who are pitted against each other in the last group league encounter.
With India finishing second, they would meet the topper of the other group.
It was a game where India returned to winning ways.
Put into bat at the ICC Academy – Oval 2 here, Afghanistan skipper Suliman Safi’s patient 73 coupled with a blistering unbeaten 86 off 68 balls by Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai propelled Afghanistan to respectable 259/4.
Chasing 260, Harnoor, who hit nine boundaries and Angkrish were off to a flyer as India raced to 44 for no loss in six overs.
It was raining boundaries at the ground, with the two openers hammering the Afghan attack with utmost ease.
India was cruising at 74/0 after 12 overs. However, Raghuvanshi was trapped in the front by left-arm unorthodox spinner Noor Ahmad (4/43) as he broke the 104-run opening stand.
India slipped to 116/3, as Afghanistan removed Harnoor and Shaik Rasheed (6) cheaply. Then skipper Dhull and Sindhu tried to take the game deep, but Khalel Khalel pegged back India by removing Sindhu with India reeling at 162/4.
Then Noor Ahmad got his third, after Ishaq stumped Dhull in the 36th over, as India lost half its side for 183. Noor then trapped Aaradhya Yadav (12) to leave India teetering at 197/6. Bawa and Tambe had an enormous task at hand but they forged a match-winning stand to take their side to the last four stage with Tambe fittingly finishing the game with a boundary.
Brief Scores: Afghanistan U19 259/4 (Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai 86 not out, Suliman Safi 73; Kaushal Tambe 1/25) lost to India U19 262/6 (Harnoor Singh 65; R Bawa 43 not out; Noor Ahmad 4/43) by four wickets.
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News Source : PTI
U-19 Asia Cup: Pakistan beat India by 2 wickets in thriller
Dubai, Dec 25 (Cricket News) Pakistan edged out a mediocre Indian side by two wickets in a last-ball thriller in the U-19 Asia Cup here on Saturday.
Pakistan rode on a stroke-filled 81 by one-down Muhammad Shehzad and a late cameo by Ahmad Khan (29 not out) to chase down a target of 238.
Ahmad hit Ravi Kumar for a boundary in the game's final delivery to seal the game for his side.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistan U-19 bowlers, led by right-arm medium pacer Zeeshan Zameer (5/60), wreaked havoc as they bundled out the opposition for a sub-par 237.
India lost opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi (0), Shaik Rasheed (6) and skipper Yash Dhull (0) cheaply, with Zameer accounting for all the wickets to leave the batting side reeling at 14/3.
Nishant Sindhu (8) became Awais Ali's first victim as India slipped to 41/4.
Harnoor made a patient 59-ball 46, striking six boundaries. When it looked like he would score big, Ali dismissed him in the 19th over to leave India at 96/5.
However, wicket-keeper Aaradhya Yadav's 83-ball 50, in which he hit three fours, coupled with Kaushal Tambe's 32 and Rajvardhan Hangargekar's brisk 33 off 20 balls, took India past the 230-run mark.
Chasing 238, Pakistan lost opener Abdul Wahid (0) early as Hangargekar castled him. Then, Maaz Sadaqat (29) and Shehzad (81) rallied the innings with a 64-run stand for the second wicket.
Shehzad, who hammered four boundaries and five towering sixes, was in belligerent mood as Sadaqat played second fiddle. Left-arm medium pacer Raj Bawa (4/56) broke the stand by removing Sadaqat.
Bawa struck again by dismissing Haseebullah (3) as Pakistan slipped to 69/3. Skipper Qasim Akram (22) also fell cheaply as Pakistan found themselves in a spot of bother at 115/4, even as Shehzad continued to tore apart the opposition attack.
Hangargekar ran out Shehzad in the 37th over to bring India back into the contention as Pakistan lost half its side for 159.
However, Irfan Khan (32) and Rizwan Mehmood (29) took the game deep by adding 47 runs for the sixth wicket.
Then, Bawa pegged back Pakistan by removing Mehmood and Irfan Khan, but a composed Ahmad Khan, who hammered three boundaries and a six, completed the job for his team.
Brief scores: India U-19 237 all out (Aaradhya Yadav 50, Harnoor Singh 46; Zeeshan Zamir 5/60, Awais Ali 2/43) lost to Pakistan U-19 240/8 (Muhammad Shehzad 81, Irfan Khan 32; Raj Bawa 4/56) by two wickets.
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News Source : PTI
U-19 Asia Cup: India thrash UAE in opener
Dubai, Dec 23 (Cricket News) Harnoor Singh struck a fine hundred before the Indian bowlers ran through the opposition to complete a 154-run rout of UAE in their opening U-19 Asia Cup match here on Thursday.
Put in to bat, India put up 282 for five, courtesy Harnoor's 120 off 130 balls and skipper Yash Dhull's 63 off 68 balls. Rajvardhan Hangargekar's unbeaten 48 off 23 balls provided the final flourish.
UAE used as many as nine bowling options at the ICC Academy Ground but the move did not help their cause.
The home team's batters came a cropper against the Indian bowling line up, folding up for 128 in 34.3 overs.
Hangargekar took three wickets for India while Garv Sangwan, Vicky Oswal and Kaushal Tamble took two each.
India next play arch-rivals Pakistan on Saturday.
In the other matches played on Thursday, Pakistan beat Afghanistan by four wickets and Sri Lanka hammered Kuwait by 274 runs.
The tournament is being played ahead of the U-19 World Cup in the West Indies next month.
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News Source : PTI
ICC Test Rankings: Labuschagne is new world No 1, Virat Kohli slips to No 7
Dubai, Dec 22 (Cricket News) Indian captain Virat Kohli slipped a notch to be placed seventh in the latest ICC rankings for Test batters even as Australia's Marnus Labuschagne, riding on his prolific Ashes form, displaced England skipper Joe Root to become the new world number one.
India's Rohit Sharma remained static at fifth position.
Among bowlers, Ravichandran Ashwin is still in second place behind Australia skipper Pat Cummins.
Kohli, who played the second Test against New Zealand, was earlier placed sixth and now with 756 points is in seventh position.
Labuschagne has climbed to the top of the ICC rankings for batters for the very first time after sensational performances in the two matches of the Ashes so far.
With career-best 912 rating points, he went past Root (897), who has dropped to the second spot.
Ranked fourth before the series, Labuschagne rose two spots to No.2 after scoring 74 in Australia's win in the Brisbane Test. In the second Test at Adelaide, he scored a hundred and fifty (103 and 51) as Australia routed England by 275 runs to go 2-0 up in the Ashes.
His teammate Mitchell Starc broke into the top 10 for Test bowlers after returning figures of 6/80 in the second Test, which included a four-for in the first innings that helped reduce England to 236. He moves up to the 9th spot.
In the Player Rankings for T20Is, Pakistan captain Babar Azam reclaimed the top spot in the list for batters after just one week of losing it.
With scores of 0 and 7 in the first two T20Is against the West Indies, Bazar dropped two spots to No.3 in last week's rankings update.
He came roaring back and is now tied at the top of the rankings with Dawid Malan after a brilliant 79 in the final T20I that helped Pakistan complete a clean sweep over West Indies.
His fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan, who has had a tremendous 2021, capped the year by climbing to No.3 in T20I batters' rankings with career-best ratings of 798.
India's new white ball vice-captain KL Rahul is best placed Indian at fifth position in the table. There are no Indian bowlers in top 10 T20 list.
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News Source : PTI
CricFlix, Fanatic Sports & RevSportz to auction rare cricket NFT artifacts
(Cricket news) CricFlix, in association with Fanatic Sports and RevSportz is set to conduct its first ever cricket non-fungible token (NFT) auction in Dubai on December 24. Sports NFT’s have quickly become game-changing digital assets in recent times and CricFlix’s rare NFTs will give fans the unique opportunity to have ownership rights along with generating revenue by accumulating treasured moments from a digital sporting collection. The unique AI (augmented intelligence) backed and block chain based certifications proprietary to CricFlix will provide true value to the fans to not only become investors and shareholders for the first time through NFT purchase as well as avail an opportunity to immortalise these exclusive digital artefacts.
“We, at CricFlix, are providing powerful transformations into the metaverse by bringing world class cricket memorabilia with a renowned history behind it. It is an investment piece of a rare asset class for the future generations where the metaverse and physical world come together and thrive,” said Anwar Hussein, Co-Founder of CricFlix.
As the date of the auction approaches, CrickFlix will also aim to create market valuations so that cricket fans can turn fandom moments into profitable moments. Cricket fans will have access to authentic cricket memorabilia from the playing days of legendary CK Nayudu, Sachin's Retirement Test Collection Jhulan Goswami and other significant collectables like match ticket from the 1936 India tour of England, legendary Donald Bradman’s rare signed stamp, signed memorabilia from the 1983 team and Lata Mangeshkar’s concert recording for the 1983 World Cup - winning cricketers alongside various other memorable cricketing artefacts from global cricket which will be up at the NFT auction.
Talking about benefits of NFT purchase, Prantik Mazumder, Co-Founder of RevSportz, said: “The most powerful use case for NFTs is about empowering the ordinary fan. He or She can now own a piece of history in the form of digital memorabilia and this is what makes
NFT technology such a game changer. By bringing decentralisation to the world of sports, NFTs also provide athletes at all levels an opportunity to start earning an income from fans.”
With this collaboration, fans will also get VIP access to some of the biggest sporting events around the world, dinner with legendary cricketers, a stay at team hotels, only by-invitation celebrity events and signed merchandise among various other exciting benefits. “This is the world's first hybrid cricket NFT auction providing valuable collectible investment opportunities along with ‘Once in a lifetime’ sports experiences worldwide. We believe combining a tangible experience with the NFT auction is a game-changer and unique proposition for the passionate fan. Imagine watching the most viewed match from the best seats in the stadium and interacting with the legends of the game and providing immersive and unforgettable experiences is our speciality,” said Raghav Gupta, Founder & CEO, Fanatic Sports.
Thiem and Nadal cast doubts over 2022 Australian Open participation
(Tennis news) The 2022 Australian Open may have more absentees as the latest updates about Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem added doubts about their participation. Nadal has tested positive after playing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week. The Spaniard was playing after a gap of almost 3 months, he played two matches last week against Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov. Although he lost both the matches, Nadal was looking in shape and is now doubtful about participating in the year’s first Grand Slam.
Nadal has been playing the Australian Open since 2004 and has only missed it twice since then. He did not play in 2006 and 2013, his only title here came in 2009 while defeating Roger Federer in the final. This year, Nadal had lost in the quarter final stage to Stefanos Tsitsipas and lost to Thiem in the same round last year.
“The idea is to go there and try my best there in Australia, being 100% honest, I can’t guarantee it," Nadal said. “I need to speak with my team. It's been more than six months since the last real official match. Things are difficult and I accept that I was able to compete in both matches and even had my chances, so if we put that in perspective it’s a very positive thing.
“I went through this process unfortunately a lot of times in my tennis career but I need to practice and I need to be healthy enough to go through this process. If that happens, I’m confident that I will be back."
Meanwhile Dominic Thiem also announced that he will be missing the ATP Cup and Sydney Tennis Classic next month. His absence will be a big loss for Austria, Thiem had injured his wrist this year and was out of tour for six months. Six months back he failed to record a win at Roland Garros for the first time in his career and broke his streak of winning at least one title every season since 2015.
"I caught a cold while I was in Dubai and was unable to practice last week. I will therefore not be in the physical condition to be able to compete in the ATP Cup and Sydney ATP 250. After not competing for the last six months I cannot take the risk of coming back too early and picking up a further injury. My aim is still to play the Australian Open, but we will make a final decision on my participation by the end of December,” said Thiem.
Thiem has been featuring in the Australian Open since 2014 and reached the final last year as he lost to Novak Djokovic after taking the first two sets. The 28 year old will look to add to his US Open win last year when he comes back on tour in 2022.
UAE’s Mohammed Ben Sulayem elected new FIA president
(Motorsport) Former rally driver Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been elected as the new FIA president, after collecting 61.62% of the votes at the FIA General Assembly. The UAE national is the first non-European president of motorsport’s world governing body and replaces Jean Todt who had served in the role for 12 years and three terms.
Having been born in Dubai, Mohammed Ben Sulayem is a 14 time Middle East rally champion and has also served as vice-president at the FIA along with being a member of the World Motor Sport Council. Speaking after being elected, the 60 year old said “I am very honored to have been elected FIA President at the conclusion of the Annual General Assembly in Paris today. I thank all the Member Clubs for their esteem and trust.
“I congratulate Graham for his campaign and his engagement to the Federation. I wish to express my infinite gratitude in the name of the FIA and that of its Members to Jean Todt for all that has been achieved over the past 12 years. I am committed to pursuing the important work and make motor sport and mobility take further steps forward."
Amongst his election promises during his four year term has been to put the best practice governance structures, double motorsport participation and strengthen diversity and inclusion. Ben Sulayem has his work cut out for him as he takes over the role just five days after the controversy surrounding the Abu Dhabi GP. Following the events of the weekend, the FIA promised Mercedes to conduct a full analysis and review to understand the events around the Safety Car in the final laps at the Yas Marina Circuit and implement learning into the 2022 season.
A statement released by the FIA said “The FIA's primary responsibility at any event is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the integrity of the sport. The circumstances surrounding the use of the Safety Car following the incident of driver Nicholas Latifi, and the related communications between the FIA Race Direction team and the Formula 1 teams, have notably generated significant misunderstanding and reactions from Formula 1 teams, drivers and fans, an argument that is currently tarnishing the image of the Championship and the due celebration of the first Drivers' World Championship title won by Max Verstappen and the eighth consecutive Constructors' World Championship title won by Mercedes.
“Following the presentation of a report regarding the sequence of events that took place following the incident on Lap 53 of the Grand Prix and in a constant drive for improvement, the FIA President proposed to the World Motor Sport Council that a detailed analysis and clarification exercise for the future with all relevant parties will now take place.
"This matter will be discussed and addressed with all the teams and drivers to draw any lessons from this situation and clarity to be provided to the participants, media, and fans about the current regulations to preserve the competitive nature of our sport while ensuring the safety of the drivers and officials. It is not only Formula 1 that may benefit from this analysis, but also more generally all the other FIA circuit championships."
England fined eight WTC points for over-rate offence in Brisbane, not five: ICC
Dubai, Dec 17 (Cricket News) England have been penalised eight World Test Championship penalty points and not five, as announced earlier, for maintaining a slow over rate in the first Test against Australia in Brisbane, the ICC clarified on Friday.
The International Cricket Council had earlier announced that England were fined 100 per cent match fee and five WTC points for the over-rate offence in Brisbane last week.
England were eight overs short (not 5 overs short as previously announced) but were only fined 100 per cent of their match fee due to the limit.
"However, the points deduction for penalty overs is not capped and must reflect the actual number of penalty overs a team is short of the minimum requirement as per Clause 16.1.2 of the ICC Playing Conditions, hence they have been penalised one point for each over they were short," said the ICC in a statement.
"As per Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined 20 per cent of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, up to a maximum fine of 100 per cent of the match fee," it added.
England are trailing 0-1 in the five-match Ashes series and are struggling in the ongoing second Test in Adelaide.
Also Read : England lose 2 wickets late in the day after Smith and Carey fire on day 2
News Source : PTI
PCB convince West Indies team to play 3rd T20I despite multiple COVID-19 cases
Karachi, Dec 16 (Cricket News) The PCB has managed to convince the West Indies touring side hit by Covid-19 positive cases to play the third and final T20 international on Thursday but the three match ODI series remains in doubt.
The third and final match got underway at the national stadium in Karachi on time with a very sparse crowd in attendance as West Indies went into the match with just 14 available players out of their touring 21-member T20 and ODI squads.
Six of their players have tested positive for Covid-19 along with three team officials while one player Devon Thomas is out with a finger injury sustained in the first T20 match.
Earlier in the day there was suspense and doubt over whether the match would take place after the West Indies board confirmed that ODI captain, Shai Hope left-arm spinner, Akeal Hosain and all-rounder, Justin Greaves along with assistant coach, Roddy Estwick and team physician, Dr AKshai Mansingh had all tested positive in latest RT-PCR tests carried out on Wednesday. Earlier West Indies on December 9 had already missed three players Kyle Myers, Sheldon Cottrell and Roston Chase to positive cases before the start of the T20 series and had been placed in isolation at the team hotel.
A reliable source said that the high number of Covid-19 cases in the West Indies camp were being put down to the fact that the contingent had travelled to Karachi via New York and Dubai and had stopovers during which time some of the players are said to have frequented restaurants and bars at the airports.
The source said that with 14 available players now and also Chase, Myers and Cottrell due to come out of isolation by Saturday, the PCB was trying to convince the West Indies board to complete the tour and play the three ODIs.
"The problem is that since the ODIs are part of the ICC World Cup qualifying rounds the West Indies already without key players are reluctant to carry on with the ODIs," he said.
Also Read : Kohli Saga: BCCI unlikely to take any hasty step with Test series round the corner
News Souce : PTI
Hebert and Mahut receive doubles honors as Karatsev wins improved player
(Tennis news) The ATP announced the winners in two more categories on Wednesday as Aslan Karatsev won the most improved player of the year award and the doubles pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the Fans’ Favorite doubles team.
Aslan Karatsev had a breakthrough season by becoming the first man in the Open Era to reach a semifinal on his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open. He started the year ranked 112 and reached his career best of 15 in November, he is currently ranked 18. Karatsev won titles at Moscow and Dubai, he also reached the finals at Belgrade. Karatsev had won 34 matches this year and reached the third round at the US Open. He last played at the Davis Cup, partnering with Karen Khachanov against Germany in the doubles match and last played a singles match at Paris Masters 1000 where lost the opening match to Sebastian Korda.
Karatsev had immense success in singles but in doubles he was ranked 422 at the start of the season and now is ranked 91. He won the doubles title at Doha with Andrey Rublev and the pair reached the finals at Indian Wells.
“I am really happy to win this award,” Karatsev said. “It means a lot to me and I am really happy to get this. Thank you very much.”
The doubles pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the Fans’ Favorite doubles team of the year award. The pair had reached 5 finals this year, they won three of them including the Nitto ATP finals and the Roland Garros title. They became the eighth pair to complete the career by winning the 2019 Australian Open and have been playing together since 2015.
“Just want to thank all of you who voted for us,” said Mahut. “Winning on the court is a personal accomplishment, but receiving the Fans’ Favorite Award is a different kind of pride. Pierre-Hugues and I are very touched and hope to share some great moments next year together and with you. Thanks again and see you next year.”
Herbert added: “It’s the first time we've won this award. We had an amazing year and we’re so happy and so proud about it. We hope to be back next year, enjoying on the court and on the ATP Tour.”
Women's ODI World Cup schedule: India play opener against Pakistan on March 6
Dubai, Dec 15 (Cricket News) India will open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Women's ODI World Cup beginning in New Zealand on March 4, the ICC announced on Wednesday.
The first set of games will see two massive rivalries take the centre stage, with Australia taking on defending champions England at Seddon Park in Hamilton on March 5 and last edition's runners-up India facing Pakistan in Tauranga on March 6.
A total of 31 games will be played across 31 days, with the eight teams clashing to get their hands on the coveted World Cup trophy. Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Wellington will be the six cities that will host the tournament.
Australia, England, South Africa and India qualified for the event on the basis of their position in ICC Women's Championship 2017-20 while New Zealand automatically qualified as hosts.
On the basis of team rankings, Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies were the final three teams to book their berth for the World Cup after the Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier was called off due to COVID-related uncertainty.
The tournament will be played in the league format, where all eight teams will face each other once, at the end of which the top four sides will qualify for the semi-finals.
The first semi-final will be played at The Basin Reserve in Wellington on March 30 while The Hagley Oval in Christchurch will host the second semi-final on March 31 and the final on April 3. Both the semi-finals and the finals will have a reserve day in place.
The last global women's event played was the T20 World Cup in Australia in March 2020 when the hosts won by beating India in the final.
India will be touring New Zealand before the World Cup, serving as ideal preparation for the mega event.
Also Read : Delhi finish dismal fifth in group stage, Saurashtra, UP qualify for knock-outs
News Source : PTI
Warner named ICC men's player of month for November, Hayley Matthews gets women's award
Dubai, Dec 13 (Cricket News) Explosive Australia opener David Warner and West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews were on Monday adjudged the men's and women's ICC Players of the Month of November after their superlative performances.
Warner's crucial efforts in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which Australia won for the first time helped him pip Pakistan opener Abid Ali and New Zealand seam bowler Tim Southee to grab the men’s award.
Matthews' all-round show in the ODIs won her the women’s award ahead of left-arm spinners Anam Amin of Pakistan and Nahida Akter of Bangladesh.
Warner won the award on his maiden nomination following his Player of the Tournament show at the recent T20 World Cup, in which he smashed 53 in the final against New Zealand after 49 in the semifinal against Pakistan.
He was also named Player of the Match in an earlier Super 12 match against the West Indies for a blistering 89 not out off 56 balls. Warner aggregated 209 runs at an average of 69.66 and a strike rate of 151.44 in four T20Is during the period.
“David was back to his scintillating best during the T20 World Cup and his aggression at the top of the order was outstanding. His 209 runs at a strike rate of 151 in four innings simply tells the story," Jury member Russel Arnold said about Warner.
"There was no recovering from the early onslaught by Warner and his stroke play was pleasing to the eye.” Matthews won the award on her second nomination. She was earlier nominated in July along with her captain Stafanie Taylor, who was the winner then.
Matthews scored 141 runs and grabbed nine wickets at an average of 13.11 during the period. She starred in a series win over Pakistan, scoring 57 runs and taking three for 31 in the first match before a four for 26 runs in the second.
"Hayley was the star, performing with both bat and ball. Her all-round performance was one of the reasons the West Indies won against Pakistan, and she deserves to be the women's Player of the Month," jury member Irfan Pathan said about Matthews.
The selection process for the monthly awards, which were instituted in January, combines votes cast by former players, prominent journalists and global cricket fans.
Also Read : A series like India can set the ball rolling in right direction for SA cricket: Lungi Ngidi
News Source : PTI
England fined 100 percent match fee and docked five WTC points for slow-over rate
Dubai, Dec 11 (Cricket news) England have been fined 100 per cent of their match fee and penalised five ICC World Test Championship points for maintaining a slow over-rate against Australia in the lost first Test in Brisbane.
David Boon of the Elite Panel of Match Referees imposed the sanction after Joe Root’s side was ruled to be five overs short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.
In accordance with Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined 20 per cent of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time.
"In addition, as per Article 16.11.2 of the ICC World Test Championship playing conditions, a side is penalised one point for each over short. Consequently, five World Test Championship points have been deducted from England’s points total," said the ICC in a statement.
Meanwhile, Australia batter Travis Head has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct.
Head was found to have breached Article 2.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “use of an audible obscenity during an International Match".
In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to the disciplinary record of Head, for whom it was the first offence in a 24-month period.
The incident occurred in the 77th over of Australia’s first innings on Thursday, when Head used inappropriate language after he was beaten on a delivery from Ben Stokes.
"Head admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by the Match Referee and ratified by the ICC Cricket Operations department as per the COVID-19 interim playing regulations. There was no need for a formal hearing," the statement added.
On-field umpires Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker, third umpire Paul Wilson and fourth official Sam Nogajski levelled the charges.
Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points.
Also Read : England batters collapse once again as Australia win 1st Ashes Test at the Gabba
News Source : PTI
Manchester United striker Anthony Martial wants to leave Old Trafford says agent
(Football news) Anthony Martial has requested to leave Manchester United, the French forward’s agent Philippe Lamboley has said. The 26 year old has started just two Premier League games, scoring once and has not been picked by new interim manager Ralf Rangnick in either of the two games so far after picking up a minor knock in training last week.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Martial’s agent said “Anthony wishes to leave the club in January. He just needs to play. He doesn’t want to stay in January and I will speak to the club soon”. It’s fair to say that Martial has failed to live up to the expectations at Manchester United this season and has not developed into the player he was expected to be when the Frenchman was signed by Louis Van Gaal from Monaco. Moreover, Manchester United’s attacking prowess is formidable with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard so the side is expected to cut their losses short and let the 26 year old leave if a suitable offer comes their way.
Manchester United’s new interim manager Ralf Rangnick has already stated that it is not his job or anyone else at the club to convince any player of staying at the club. The 63 year old said “Players have to want to stay and play for the club, for a big club like Manchester United, if a player does not want to play for a club like Manchester United, even in the long term, I don't think it makes sense to convince him to change his mind. This is such a massive club [with] such fantastic support, I don't think that anyone in the club should then try to convince the player to stay”.
Martial might not be the only Frenchman departing from the club in the foreseeable future as Paul Pogba’s contractual situation has been at a standstill for a long time and the midfielder is expected to leave for a free transfer in the summer window. Rangnick has already said he has spoken to Pogba this week but the midfielder is expected to be sidelined for another month. Pogba is currently undergoing warm-weather recovery in Dubai after suffering a thigh injury during international duty last month.
Rangnick said, “He is better to come back today, and then we will get to know each other in person on Sunday. We had a telephone call for about 10 or 15 minutes. He told me he is getting better but obviously he is still not fully fit, so it will take another couple of weeks until he is fit for training again and then of course he has been idle for quite some time, so I guess it will take another couple of weeks to get match-fit. In the first instance it's important he gets fully fit in order to be able to train with the rest of the group and then we have to develop him physically and tactically to be fit to play in the Premier League."
Manchester United will next face Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday, 11th December at 11:00 pm IST.
Young shuttler Aditi Bhatt honing skills to earn her place among the best
New Delhi, Dec 9 (Badminton news) It can be intimidating to be hailed as the future of Indian badminton but young shuttler Aditi Bhatt, who has produced some good results in the past few months, is trying to steer clear of the pressure by focussing on her "strokes and stamina".
The 18-year-old from Uttarakhand made heads turn when she took a game off world No.13 Busanan Ongbamrungphan during India's clash with Thailand in the Uber Cup Final recently.
She lost the match in hard-fought three games but won a lot of hearts with her performance and many hailed her as someone who can bring the country laurels like star players Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu.
"Sometimes, it can be intimidating when people say you are the future and we want to see you in the Olympics. People expect a lot from you but it's fine, there is no pressure. I am going with the flow," Aditi, who won two out of her four matches in Denmark, told PTI during an interaction.
"After winning two matches against higher ranked players (Ania Setien of Spain and Rachel Sugden of Scotland) I was confident but honestly I didn't think I will be able to pull off a set. I was playing well and she was under pressure as she was playing a junior. It turned out to be a great match.
"My instagram kept buzzing, even though I lost, my followers, everybody were messaging me, that feeling was massive. It was a confidence booster. I was getting so much appeciation." She carried the confidence to Hungarian International championships, where she reached the finals.
Aditi made it to the Indian team for the Sudirman Cup and Uber Cup Final after coming through the selection trials and she says it was a huge learning experience.
"It was a dream come true moment when I got selected for the Sudirman Cup and Uber Cup," said Aditi.
"I learnt a lot, just watching the seniors train, preparing before a match was a learning experience. All the seniors in the Indian team like Ashwini Ponnappa helped me a lot." Her first match was against the Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei and Aditi said it gave her an idea on what she needs to work on to be successful in the senior circuit.
"I was both excited and nervous to play Chen. Her court movement and accuracy was superb. While I was running, she was walking around the court. I have to work on my footwork, stamina, accuracy and strokes really well." It was winning an under-13 state championship as an 11-year-old that gave her the confidence that she would like to pursue sports but then came a phase when she couldn't reach the finals of the under-12, under-13 and under-15 nationals.
"I got so demotivated, I thought of quitting and focus on studies but my parents were supportive. They pushed me and I won the U-17 national championship in 2018," said Aditi, who shifted to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) academy in Almora to train under DK Sen in 2014.
"I shifted to the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) in 2018 after coach Sen also moved there. I have been training there since." She had a good run in 2019 when she won the U-19 singles and doubles titles in All India Ranking, reached the quarters at the World Junior Championship in Russia.
She also won the doubles and reached the singles semifinals at the Dubai Junior International, claimed the doubles crown in the Bulgarian Junior International Championships.
She soon rose to number 10 in the World Junior rankings and was set to compete at the Dutch and German Open but an ankle injury scuttled her plans before COVID-19 disrupted the calender.
"I had an achilles' heel injury. I was selected to play at Dutch and German junior but I ended up with three months rest and rehab," she said.
"I didn't play any event for a year and a half after that and the selection trials for the Thomas and Uber Cup and Sudirman Cup was my first event since the injury."
Also Read : Defending champion Momota pulls out of World Championships
News Source : PTI
Ashwin rises to 2nd, Mayank Agarwal jumps 30 places to 11th in ICC Test rankings
Dubai, Dec 8 (Cricket news) Senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin climbed a rung to second while his teammate and opener Mayank Agarwal, along with New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel also made huge progress in the ICC Test Rankings issued on Wednesday.
Agarwal's Player of the Match effort in the second Test in Mumbai, where he scored 150 and 62, has helped him gain 30 spots and reach 11th position in the latest update to the men's rankings.
He is just one spot below a career-best 10th position that he first attained in November 2019.
The Mumbai-born Patel, who became only the third player to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings, emulating Jim Laker and Anil Kumble, has moved up 23 slots to 38th after finishing with 14 wickets in the match.
The left-arm spinner’s previous best ranking was 53rd and he had started the series in 62nd position.
Others to move up in the rankings after the Mumbai Test, which was a part of the ICC World Championships, are India opener Shubman Gill (up 21 places to 45th), fast bowler Mohammad Siraj (up four places to 41st) and New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell (up 26 places to 78th).
Ashwin has bridged the gap with top-ranked bowler Pat Cummins after finishing with four wickets in each innings in India's 372-run victory.
Ashwin has gained 43 rating points to reach a total of 883 and is 67 points ahead of third-placed Josh Hazlewood.
He has moved up one place to second among all-rounders even as his compatriot Ravindra Jadeja has slipped to fourth in the list led by West Indies’ Jason Holder.
Holder has gained one spot to reach 14th among bowlers in Wednesday’s update, that also considers performances from the Galle Test that Sri Lanka won by 164 runs to complete a 2-0 series victory and remain atop the ICC World Test Championship points table.
Kraigg Brathwaite (up 10 places to 39th) and Nkrumah Bonner (up 17 places to 42nd) are the batters to move up for the West Indies but the one to gain the most after the Galle Test is Player of the Match Dhananjaya de Silva, who has advanced 12 places to 21st after his unbeaten 155 in the second innings.
Spinners Lasith Embuldeniya and Ramesh Mendis too have made substantial gains. Embuldeniya has gained five slots to reach 32nd position after finishing with seven wickets in the match, while Mendis has progressed 18 places to 39th with an 11-wicket match haul.
Among batters, Rohit Sharma, who did not play in the Mumbai Test, and Virat Kohli (0 and 36) remained on fifth and sixth respectively.
Also Read : Captain Cummins grabs maiden Ashes fifer to give massively swing the game Australia's way at the Gabba
News Source : PTI
Warner, Southee among three nominated for ICC men's player of month
Dubai, Dec 7 (Cricket news) Explosive Australia opener David Warner, Pakistan batter Abid Ali and New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee were on Tuesday shortlisted for the ICC men's player of the month award for November.
Left-arm spinners Anam Amin of Pakistan and Nahida Akter of Bangladesh are in the running to scoop the women's award, alongside West Indies all-rounder Haley Matthews, who is nominated for the second time.
The nominations for the month of November were announced based on performances across formats and including matches from the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
An independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world can vote to decide the winners, which will be announced next week. Fans are invited to cast their votes until Sunday.
Warner, who was Player of the Tournament at the T20 World Cup, had standout performances of 49 in the semifinal against Pakistan and 53 in the final against New Zealand.
In four T20Is during the period, he aggregated 209 runs at an average of 69.66 and a strike rate of 151.44, proving to be a crucial figure as his team secured their first ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy.
Pakistan opener Abid Ali was named Player of the Match after scores of 133 and 91 in the first match of their ICC World Test Championship (WTC) series against Bangladesh in Chittagong.
Southee took eight wickets in the drawn opening Test of the WTC series against India in Kanpur, soon after excelling in the shortest format.
He had taken seven wickets during his November matches at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, helping guide his team to the summit clash in Dubai. In between these two milestones, he took three more T20I wickets against India in Ranchi.
Among the nominees for the women's award, Bangladesh's Nahida grabbed 13 wickets in four ODIs during the period at an economy rate of 2.22.
Pakistan's Anam accounted for 13 ODI scalps in November at an economy rate of 3.00. She was the leading wicket-taker in the ODI series against the West Indies with nine wickets and followed that up with four wickets in two matches during the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021.
West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews, who was shortlisted alongside her captain Stafanie Taylor in July, wins her second nomination after some consistent performances in four ODIs in which she scored 141 runs and grabbed nine wickets at an average of 13.11.
Also Read : England gear up to take on the Gabba challenge without Jimmy Anderson and Johnny Bairstow
News Source : PTI
It's one of those days when nothing worked for us: Latham
Mumbai, Dec 6 (Cricket news) India did to us what we have done to the other teams around the world, New Zealand stand-in skipper Tom Latham said on Monday after their whopping 372-run defeat against the hosts in the second Test.
After their tail-enders secured a thrilling draw in the Kanpur Test, New Zealand managed just 62 and 167 runs in the final game as India took less than an hour on fourth day morning to walk away with a massive 372-run win -- their biggest winning margin at home.
"It's one of those things in cricket where everything you do doesn't tend to work. It's one of those days," Latham, who led the side in the absence of an injured Kane Williamson, said at the post-match interaction.
"It happens in cricket. We have done that to teams at different times around the world. Unfortunately it was our time and things didn't quite unfold the way we would have wanted." Except the first innings in the Mumbai Test, New Zealand batters showed great character. Latham said they planned to attack the spinners but it did not work.
"Ross (Taylor) obviously had the approach where he wanted to put the bowlers under pressure. As soon as you do that, the sub-continent teams tend to take players from under the bat pretty quickly.
"Unfortunately for Ross, it didn't quite work out for him but I'm sure that was the plan Ross had getting into the innings," he said.
Wily off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was adjudged Player-of-the-Series, was simply unplayable. He used the new ball and old ball with consummate ease to rattle their top-order and finish with 4/34.
Then spin all-rounder Jayant Yadav grabbed a career-best 4/49 to wipe out the Kiwi middle and lower order.
"In these conditions, you can't just allow them to bowl. They are very good. They are very accurate, and they don't give you much to hit.
"For us it was about trying to put a little bit more pressure on them to get a few more fielders away from the bat. Because you know they don't miss that often.
"For us it was about guys having a certain plan and being able to stick to that. If you have a plan and you get out, that's just the game of cricket. It's up to individuals how they approach their innings." Latham said a bit of discussion happened after they were bowled out for just 62 but that innings was an exception.
"It's something that we talked about with the character in the group and trying to have a presence and try to put in as much effort as you can. We've certainly done that over the last four days. If you take the first innings out of it, then obviously it's a little bit of a different story," he added.
Their batters failed both against the pace and spin attack and Latham said: "I think it's a mixture of everything.
"Over here, you're going to be faced with the seamers with the new ball, as well as you will be challenged with the spinners with the new ball. As cricketers, you're always looking to improve and I'm sure the guys would be looking to do that when they get home at different times." For New Zealand, Mumbai-born left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel was the only talking point. He finished with match figures of 14/225 for the best match haul in Test cricket for any visiting bowler in India which included a 10-for in the first innings.
In the first Test, it was their opener Will Young who impressed with a resolute 89 off 214 balls, while Indian-origin debutant Ravindra played a steely 18 off 91 balls under fading lights to help them eke out a draw.
"It's their -- Ravindra, Young and Ajaz -- first time in this part of the world, for them to step up at different times for us, and to make contributions throughout the series was outstanding," Latham said.
"It is great for the depth of New Zealand cricket to have more exposure in these conditions. The more you play in this part of the world, the more you sort of learn and are able to grow your game." For the reigning World Test champions, it has been a crammed calendar playing the India series less than a week after they lost the T20 World Cup final to Australia in Dubai.
Asked if the fatigue factor contributed to their loss, he said: "Different guys have been away from home for different periods of time." "The T20 guys have been away from home for a long time. But it's part of our job in International cricket and that's what we need to do." They have slumped to sixth place just ahead of laggards Bangladesh in the 2021-23 cycle. New Zealand will now play two Tests against Bangladesh at home.
Also Read : I can't judge Rahane's form, only he knows what he is going through: Kohli
News Source : PTI
India return to top of ICC Test rankings
Dubai, Dec 6 (Cricket news) India on Monday reclaimed the top spot in the ICC rankings after winning the two-match series against New Zealand, the reigning World Test Champions. India beat New Zealand by 372 runs in the Mumbai Test on the fourth day after drawing the opening match in Kanpur.
India had lost to New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in June.
The Virat Kohli-led side now has 124 rating points and is followed by New Zealand (121), Australia (108), England (107), Pakistan (92), South Africa (88), Sri Lanka (83), West Indies (75), Bangladesh (49) and Zimbabwe (31).
On the WTC table, India are third with 42 points and win percentage of 58.33.
Sri Lanka lead the standings with two wins in as many games and Pakistan are second with win percentage of 66.66.
Also Read : MCA felicitates Ajaz Patel for his rare feat
News Source : PTI
Aslan Karatsev is the latest addition to the Russian powerhouse
(Tennis news) Aslan Karatsev had three tour level victories before playing this year and now he has ended with 37 career wins. He started the season at No. 112 in the rankings and is currently ranked 18. The 28-year-old Russian created a sensation by reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open as a qualifier, becoming the first man in the open era to reach the last four in a Grand Slam debut. He defeated Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov on his way to the semifinal where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
Karatsev is a right hander with a two handed backhand, his aggressive style makes him lethal in hardcourts. Since he is a risk taker in most of the matches the unforced errors are winners are more. Karatsev hits the ball flat but hard down the court and at times finishes with a well set up volley. He takes the ball on the rise and does not give the opponent much time to move around the court. Karatsev is not the fastest mover on the court but has groundstrokes from both the ends which can give him winners.
While winning the title in Dubai, Karatsev earned his second top 10 win when he defeated Andrey Rublev in the semifinals. His biggest win came at Belgrade where he defeated Novak Djokovic to reach the final and lost in the final to Matteo Berrettini. He also beat Daniil Medvedev in their only career meeting at Rome Masters 1000 in the third round, Karatsev had a 16-3 win/loss record on hard courts in the first quarter of the season. In the next 12 events, he failed to reach the quarterfinals until at San Diego where lost to Dimitorv in the last eight and then won at Moscow defeating Marin Cilic in the final.
Karatsev is nominated in the most improved player of the year along with Carlos Alcaraz, Cameron Norrie and Casper Ruud. Karatsev is the oldest of the four as he is 28 but along with two singles titles and a runner up, he also won one doubles title at Doha along with a runner up finish in Indian Wells all with Andrey Rublev. The ATP cup was also won by Russia where Karatsev played in the doubles but lost all the three matches he played.
Karatsev is currently playing doubles at the Davis Cup for Russia and has won all the three matches he has played so far with Rublev. Russia will be playing against Germany today in the semifinals of the Davis Cup and will look to win a third title. It has been a great year for Russian tennis fans as there are two players in the top five and a total of four players in the top 30.
HWC: Morikawa aiming to end year as top ranked golfer
Nassau (Bahamas), Dec 2 (Golf news) With an eye on the top spot in the rankings list, Collin Morikawa will aim to end his impressive 2021 campaign on a high at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament but standing in his way is field studded with major champions and PGA Tour winners, including the likes of a resurgent Rory McIlroy.
The tournament, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, will include two additional players after the field was permanently expanded from 18 to 20 this year.
Tournament host Tiger Woods, who is still recovering his near-fatal car crash in February, will not be competing but the veteran golfer has assembled plenty of star-power for the event.
World No. 2 Morikawa, who will make his maiden appearance, heads into the Albany Golf Club on the back of a sensational year that includs winning his second Major (the Open Championship) besides clinching the Ryder Cup and claiming the European Tour’s season-long points race, the Race to Dubai.
The 24-year-old, who joined Woods as the only player to win a major and WGC before turning 25, could end the year as the top ranked golfer, overthrowing Spaniard Jon Rahm with a win here.
Asked how he will approach the tournament Morikawa said, "I could have thought about scenarios and obviously there's one scenario here, I have to win, but I've got to focus on the tournament." “I said it all two weeks ago in Dubai, I've got to be ready on Thursday. I've got to be ready once I tee it up and that's the focus.” However, Morikawa will face stiff competition from four-time majors winner McIlroy who will also be making his debut.
The world No. 8 from Northern Ireland seems to have found his mojo back after an inconsistent run earlier this year. He won the CJ Cup in October. He was agonisingly close to winning the DP World Tour Championship but a bad break in the final round saw him finish sixth last month.
Talking about his year, McIlroy said,"Obviously there was a stretch during the year where I didn't feel like I was playing my best and went on a different path in terms of sort of looking for answers and came back sort of down that road, came back up that road and learned some things.
"Feel like I'm certainly a more like a wiser player than I was maybe nine months ago. It's been a year where I've struggled in parts, but I still got two wins on Tour, which is still pretty good. I got myself -- I was tied for the lead with nine holes to go in the U.S. Open.
“I played well in parts, I just didn't do it consistently enough. I go back to 2019 and had like 19 top-10 finishes or whatever it is, that's the level I want to play at.” Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Xander Schauffele will also be eager to register a win on the Tour.
The world No. 5 from USA has had eight top-10 finishes, including three second place finishes but a victory has eluded him.
Others in the field include three-time major winner Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay and defending champion Sweden’s Henrik Stensen, who will look retain his title.
The tournament purse is USD 3.5 million and the winner gets USD 1 million.
Also Read : Chadha on top with 63 on rain-marred opening day
News Source : PTI
Man Utd co-owner's company buys UAE T20 League franchise
Dubai, Dec 1 (Cricket news) Lancer Capital, headed by top English football club Manchester United's co-chairman Avram Glazer, has made its first foray into cricket by acquiring a franchise in the UAE Lleague.
UAE T20 League chairman and vice-chairman of Emirates Cricket Board, Khalid Al Zarooni, welcomed Glazer into the league.
"To have a partner who has invested into sports properties with a long term investment perspective is a testament to the strength of the UAE T20 League's business model and its value proposition to its stakeholders," Zarooni said in a release.
Lancer Capital has investments in a variety of best-in-class assets. Glazer is an owner of the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has also been the co-chairman of Manchester United since 2005.
Lancer Capital chairman Glazer said, "I am very excited to be a part of UAE T20 at its formation. UAE T20 promises to be a world class event that will be transformative to the growth of cricket in the Emirates."
Also Read : Who will make way for Virat Kohli? Rahul Dravid's big selection headache ahead of the Mumbai Test against New Zealand
News Source : PTI
ICC Test Player ranking: Rohit, Kohli & Ashwin retain spots; Iyer enters batting chart
Dubai, Dec 1 (Cricket News) Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli continued to be best-placed Indians in the batting chart, while off-spinner Ravichandra Ashwin also held on to the second spot among bowlers in the latest ICC Test Player ranking release on Wednesday.
While Rohit (5th), Kohli (6th) and Ashwin retained their spots, pacer Jasprit Bumrah slipped one place to the 10th position.
Save Ashwin, all the other three players were not part of the first Test against New Zealand which ended in a draw in Kanpur on Monday.
Debutant Shreyas Iyer's Player-of-the-Match effort of 105 and 65 helped him enter the batting rankings in 74th position, while opener Shubman Gill (up six places to 66th) and Wriddhiman Saha (up nine places to 99th) also made notable progress after notching half-centuries in the first Test.
Ravindra Jadeja is up two places to 19th among bowlers with five wickets in the match and is also up one place to second among all-rounders. Ashwin is the third-ranked all-rounder and 79th among batters.
For New Zealand, Tom Latham's knocks of 95 and 52 placed him back in the top 10 among batters as he goes up from 14th to ninth.
Kyle Jamieson is ninth among bowlers, his three wickets in each innings resulting in a gain of six places.
Tim Southee has gained 15 rating points to reach within one point of second-placed Ashwin (840) after his eight-wicket match haul.
The latest weekly update also includes the first Test between Sri Lanka and the West Indies at Galle, which the hosts won by 187 runs and the opening Test between Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi made it to the top five for the first time in his career after a fine show in the first Test which his side won by eight wickets.
The 21-year-old left-arm bowler, who grabbed seven wickets including a haul of five for 32 in the second innings of the Chittagong Test, has moved up three places to fifth position after overtaking James Anderson, Kagiso Rabada and Neil Wagner.
Shaheen's new-ball partner Hasan Ali jumped five places to a career-best 11th after finishing with a similar seven-wicket match haul that included a five-for in the first innings.
Among batters, Abid Ali may have missed out on a century in each innings but his scores of 133 and 91 helped him shoot up 27 slots to a career-best 20th position, while Abdullah Shafique enters the rankings at 83rd with scores of 52 and 73.
For Bangladesh, Mushfiqur Rahim is up four places to 19th with scores of 91 and 16, while Liton Das has moved up 26 places to a career-best 31st position after accruing 114 and 59.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam has progressed two places to 23rd after an eight-wicket match haul that included seven scalps in the first innings.
Sri Lanka, whose win in their first match of the ICC Test Championship put them on top of the table, also had some improvements after the Galle Test.
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne's Player-of-the-Match effort of 147 and 83 has lifted him four places to seventh, while Angelo Mathews (up two places to 23rd) and Dinesh Chandimal (up four places to 46th) have also moved up.
Also Read : We need to be tighter with our line and length in Mumbai: Ajaz Patel
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Mithali, Smriti remain 3rd and 6th in women's ODI rankings
Dubai, Nov 30 (Cricket News) India batters Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana held on to their third and sixth spots respectively while allrounder Deepti Sharma was also steady at the fifth position in the latest ICC women's ODI rankings released on Tuesday.
While Mithali had 738 points, Smriti had 710 points in her kitty in the batting ranking, which had South Africa's Lizelle Lee at the top with 761 points.
West Indies duo of Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews have risen in ODI batting and all-rounder rankings respectively.
The pair stood up for their side in Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier action, with Taylor moving into the top ten in batting (676) and holding on to her No.4 all-rounder ranking (319), as her teammate moved to equal eighth.
Matthews moved to her highest career rating (272) joining England's Katherine Brunt and New Zealand's Jess Jonassen in a three-way tie.
Taylor is only bettered by Marizanne (384), Natalie Sciver (372) and Ellyse Perry (365).
Deepti was fifth with 299 points in the list.
Also Read : South Africa promises secure bio-bubble for Team India; appreciates BCCI for continuing 'A' tour
News Source : PTI
Lakshya set to become youngest Indian to qualify for World Tour Finals
New Delhi, Nov 25 (Badminton news) India's Lakshya Sen is set to become the youngest shuttler from the country to qualify for the season-ending HSBC BWF World Tour Finals which will be held in Bali, Indonesia from December 1.
The 20-year-old from Almora has enjoyed an impressive run on the BWF world tour and is currently ranked fifth in the World Tour rankings.
He will join Kidambi Srikanth (ranked 3rd) in the men's singles competition, two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu (4th) in women's singles and women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy (6th) at the event, which was shifted from Guangzhou to Bali due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Srikanth, Sameer Verma, Sindhu and London bronze- medallist Saina Nehwal have competed in the year-ending tournament in the past.
While Sindhu is the only Indian to win the BWF World Tour Finals in 2018, Saina had reached the summit clash of the BWF Superseries Finals in 2011.
Srikanth and Sameer have reached the knockout stage but couldn't enter the finals.
Lakshya, who claimed five titles in 2019 before COVID-19 suspended the international circuit, has been on a roll with a final finish at Dubai Open and semifinal results at Denmark Masters and Hylo Open.
In the Indonesia leg, Lakshya couldn't progress deep in the draw after losing twice to top seed and two-time world champion Kento Momota of Japan.
The official list of players qualifying for the World Tour Final will be announced after the conclusion of the ongoing Indonesia open Super 1000 event.
The top eight players and pairs for each category in the Road to Bali Rankings will be invited to compete, where only a maximum of two players or pairs per Member Association are eligible to participate in the World Tour Finals.
Also Read : Sindhu cruises into Indonesia Open quarterfinals
News Source : PTI
Rahul gains a slot to fourth, Suryakumar jumps 24 places in T20I rankings
Dubai, Nov 24 (Cricket news) India opener KL Rahul gained a slot to occupy the fifth spot while middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav galloped 24 places to the 59th position in the ICC men's T20I player rankings released on Wednesday.
Pakistan's wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, too, gained a slot to occupy the fourth position.
Rizwan's upward movement is courtesy his 90 runs in the three-match series against Bangladesh that his side won 3-0, while opener Rahul is only six rating points behind after scoring 80 in two matches against New Zealand, a series also won 3-0 by India.
New Zealand's Martin Guptill has gained three slots to reach 10th position scoring 152 runs against India while Rohit Sharma is 13th, gaining two places after topping the series with 159 runs.
Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman is another one to move up the batters' list, from 40th to 35th.
The rankings for bowlers see Mitchell Santner gain 10 slots to reach 13th position with four wickets in the series against India and Bhuvneshwar Kumar up five to 19th with three scalps. Deepak Chahar has moved up 19 slots to reach 40th position.
Others to progress in the list include Mahedi Hasan (up six places to 12th) and Shoriful Islam (up three places to 40th) of Bangladesh, and the Pakistan pair of Shadab Khan (up two places to 14th) and Hasan Ali (up 16 places to 44th).
Also Read : Heroic Harmanpreet Kaur becomes the first Indian to win the WBBL Player of the Tournament award
News Source : PTI
Mithali Raj retains 3rd spot among batters, Jhulan second among bowlers in ICC ODI rankings
Dubai, Nov 23 (Cricket news) India captain Mithali Raj retained her number three spot among batters while her veteran compatriot Jhulan Goswami maintained her second position among bowlers in the ICC women's ODI rankings issued on Tuesday.
Raj, who has 738 rating points to her kitty, is behind Lizelle Lee (761) of South Africa and Alyssa Healy (750) of Australia as there was no change in the top-10 batters from the previous rankings.
Another India batter Smriti Mandhana also remained on sixth spot with 710 points.
Among the bowlers, Goswami (727) is behind leader Jess Jonassen (760) of Australia.
Pakistan left-arm spinner Nashra Sandhu climbed four places to 17th spot after her impressive figures of 2/24 against Bangladesh in the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe on Sunday.
Bangladesh batters were also among the top gainers with Fargana Hoque and Rumana Ahmed making significant progress.
Hoque's 90-ball 45 that laid the foundation for Bangladesh's victory helped her gain one slot to reach the 25th position, whereas Rumana Ahmed, who remained unbeaten on 50 climbed five places to reach the 29th spot.
Also Read : Ireland Women to face West Indies at first World Cup Qualifier
News Source : PTI
Kapur, Sandhu and Chawrasia gear up for Phuket Championship
Phuket (Thailand), Nov 23 (Golf news) Veteran golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, Shiv Kapur and Rashid Khan are among 14 Indian players who will compete at the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship as action is set to resume on the Asian Tour after 20 months.
The event, carrying a purse of one million dollars, will be held from November 25 to 28 at the par-72 Blue Canyon Country Club.
India will have as many as 14 players in the 144-man field, which signals a new era for Asian Tour, which now has a tie up with Greg Norman-led Liv Golf Investments, who have committed to 10 events of a one million dollars each in the season 2022.
Ajeetesh Sandhu, S Chikkarangappa, Viraj Madappa, Aman Raj, SSP Chawrasia, Honey Baisoya, Udayan Mane, Khalin Joshi, Aadil Bedi, Karandeep Kochhar and Veer Ahlawat are the other Indians in the fray.
The Dubai-based Kapur, who just won the Jeev Milkha Singh International on the Indian Tour, said, "It will be nice to see action on the Asian Tour once again." "It's been a long time and I am glad many of the youngsters and newcomers who were eager for competition in 2020 never got to see any of it since March 2020. The events in Thailand and Singapore should be a good start as the Asian Tour promises much more with its new tie-ups." Ajeetesh Sandhu and SSP Chawrasia did see some starts in Europe during the pandemic, but were both happy to see tournaments return to the Asian Tour.
"It is great for Asian golfers and youngsters,” said Chawrasia, a six-time winner on the Asian Tour. “We hear a strong schedule will be in place next year, so lets see how it goes.” India’s Khalin Joshi and Chikkarangappa S have also tasted wins recently on the Indian Tour and are in fine form.
The top contenders include American John Catlin, who has had a great season in Europe, Korean prodigy Joohyung Kim, Thai master and reigning Order of Merit champion Jazz Janewattananond and Malaysian star Gavin Green.
Catlin is the highest world ranked player in the field at 123 and he has won win three events on the European Tour.
The current Order of Merit leader Wade Ormsby of Australia who won the 2020 Hong Kong Open will also return to challenge for more honours. Korean sensation Joohyung Kim, who won the Panasonic Open India in only his sixth start on the Asian Tour, is also one of the fan favourites and Thai hotshots include Sadom Kaewkanjana and Phachara Khongwatmai.
Also Read : Sandhu clinches maiden title with dominating final round of 64
News Source : PTI
Two-year T20 World Cup cycle important for growth of cricket: ICC
Dubai, Nov 22 (Cricket news) The ICC on Monday asserted that a two-year T20 Word Cup cycle is important for the growth of the game as it is the format that is contested by all the members.
The global governing body last week announced the schedule of ICC events from 2024-2031 with a tournament slated to be played every year.
"We've got different events in different formats. I think the decision to play T20 World Cups every two years is a conscious one to try and position T20 as the growth format of the game across all of our members," ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said, replying to PTI's query during a media round table.
"The tournament we've just finished in the UAE and Oman was the first one in five years which, given the amount of T20 International cricket being played and the fact that so many of our members are playing that format, is too long.
"The aim is to get it on a two-year rotation so that in terms of that event that becomes a more consistent frequency.” Talking about the ICC Champions trophy which was last held in 2017 and will next be played in 2025, Allardice said the tournament is a "focal point" for ODI cricket midway the four-year World Cup cycle.
"In terms of the Champions Trophy it's a very popular, well supported event. I think it's short and sharp and you know, high entertainment in the ODI format and it also provides a focal point for ODI cricket in the midway between the Cricket World Cup cycle of four years.” In the recent T20 Word Cup, there was a trend that teams winning the toss and opting to bowl would emerge victorious. Asked about it, Allardice assured that the same wouldn’t be the case during the next edition.
“One of the things about cricket is that when a certain trend establishes itself, the teams and opponents work out a way to counter that. I think if there's a perception that winning the toss, winning the game existed in this tournament, I'm sure when the teams gather in Australia in 12 months the dynamic will be different.
“And I think, whether it's tactics, talking to various people, it didn't seem to be one obvious reason why that was the case. And I'm sure that coaches and the analysts and the players will work out a way to counter that.” ICC encouraging Afghanistan to take inclusive approach =================================== A Working Group was set up last week by the ICC to review the status of cricket in Afghanistan in the light of recent political developments in that country.
ICC chair Greg Barclay asserted that the body will continue to support Afghanistan as member of the ICC while encouraging them to continue to take an inclusive approach to cricket.
“At the moment Afghanistan are a full member of the ICC. Now, the position is that we want to continue to help them with the cricket programmes in the country, both men’s and women’s.
“We will continue to do that. Having said that there are certain criteria that any country needs to comply with to remain a member of the ICC, we haven't seen the transgression of the membership criteria.
“We will continue to support them as member of the ICC, and encourage them to continue to take an inclusive approach to cricket and continue the progress that's being made and that includes men’s and women's cricket. And if that is the case, we will do what we can to support them.” Cultural assessment to be held annually by the ICC ================================ The ICC had put Former CEO Manu Sawhney on forced leave after a workplace culture investigation earlier this year, subsequent to which he resigned from the post.
Shedding light on the investigation, Barclay said, "The ICC took a cultural assessment for two reasons. One, it’s good governance to have an ongoing sanitary check into how the organisation is operating, which is what we did.
"And secondly, the last few years, through COVID, have been difficult particularly at a board level, so we just want to make sure that the other key tenants have a good operating board, trust, free speech, communication, all of those things were where they should be.” Barclay added that he plans to undertake a cultural assessment every year.
“Cultural assessments are pretty usual, certainly, as far as I'm concerned in terms of ensuring best practice procedures are followed. I'll be carrying out probably on an annual basis." Discrimination has no place in the sport: ICC on racism =================================== With English cricket being rocked by allegations of racism, the ICC maintained that it doesn't stand for discrimination of any kind.
Former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq has alleged several former English internationals and the club of racism.
“It's something we have been watching really closely and watching with the degree of interest, cricket is for everybody, it's an inclusive sport. And we've got to ensure that we do everything that we can to support our members if they go through issues like this,” Barclay said.
“Discrimination has no place in the sport of any kind. We'll do everything we can to support all of our members.
"We accept we've got 106 of them at various stages and phases in terms of the way they promote the sports. The various issues will come along from time to time, we'll do whatever we can to ensure that we achieve those core values and objectives of this organization."
Also Read : ICC confident teams will have no problem playing 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan
News Source : PTI
ICC confident teams will have no problem playing 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan
Dubai, Nov 22 (Cricket news) The ICC is confident that teams will have no reservations travelling to Pakistan for the 2025 Champions Trophy despite over a decade-long scepticism about playing in that part of the world.
The ICC last week awarded the hosting rights of the 2025 Champions Trophy to Pakistan. It will mark the return of major cricketing event to Pakistan after more than two decades.
The last time Pakistan had an ICC event on its soil was when it co-hosted the 1996 World Cup along with India and Sri Lanka.
It has not been able to host many international games in the country since the 2009 terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.
"The answer is, from what we can see so far, absolutely (teams will travel)," ICC chair Greg Barclay said replying to PTI's query during a media roundtable.
"ICC cricket event is coming back to Pakistan after many years. All of it with the exception of what happened in the last few weeks has gone ahead without any any issues at all," added Barclay, who was joined by ICC CEO Geoff Allardice.
In September, New Zealand and England had pulled out of their bilateral tours to Pakistan due to security concerns.
Barclay insisted that the governing body wouldn't have awarded the hosting rights to Pakistan if it wasn't confident of the event going ahead successfully.
"So, we wouldn't have awarded the event if we didn't think the Pakistan were capable of hosting it.
"We think it's an exciting opportunity, a prospect for them to be able to host a world's event for the first time for a period of quite a period of time." "It's not until 2025 and I'm sure that they will, as all countries are required to do, put together the appropriate security plans and assurances to ensure that they can been as delivered.
"So yes, we were comfortable and confident that we'll go ahead," Barclay added.
India's participation in the tournament remains a doubt as no bilateral cricket has taken place between the two neighbours since 2012 due to diplomatic tensions after terror attacks in India.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur last week said a decision on India's participation in the Champions Trophy will be taken when the time comes as there are still security issues for international teams to tour the neighbouring country.
Barclay acknowledged that it will be challenging issue to work through and hoped the cricket could bring improvement in the relations between the two neighbours.
"We know that it is particularly challenging issue to work through. I mean, from my point of view, I can't control geopolitical forces are working on what we do.
"But I just hope that cricket can be forced to perhaps help improve relationships between them.
"One of the great things that sport can do is to help to bring people in nations together. So,if we can do something and in a small way to contribute to that, then that's fantastic," he added.
Also Read : With Shubman set for new middle-order slot, India to modify Test match ploy
News Source : PTI
Ashwin is always an attacking option for a captain: Rohit
Kolkata, Nov 22 (Cricket news) Ravichandran Ashwin is "always an attacking option" in the middle overs of a T20I match when a team needs wickets, India captain Rohit Sharma said of the seasoned off-spinner.
Rohit, the newly-appointed T20 skipper, picked his team's bowling as the biggest positive in the 3-0 sweep of New Zealand.
Having made a splendid white-ball comeback after four years in the T20 World Cup earlier this month, the 35-year-old Ashwin made quite an impact in the three-match series against the Kiwis, giving crucial breakthroughs while restricting the runs in the middle overs.
"He's always an attacking option for a captain. When you have someone like him in your squad, it always gives you the opportunity to take wickets in the middle and we understand how important that phase is," Rohit said.
The captain was speaking at the post-match press conference after their seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the final T20 at Eden Gardens on Sunday night.
"It's been a great comeback ever since he played in Dubai and till now. He's a quality bowler, we all know that.
"Over the years he's proved himself with the red ball and even in white ball he doesn't have a bad record. The way he has come back and bowled in Dubai and then two games here. It shows the quality that he has." Ashwin returned with tidy figures of 4-0-23-2 and 4-0-19-1 in Jaipur and Ranchi. Along with Axar Patel, he restricted the run flow in the middle overs.
"You know, that's where (middle overs) you need to put the brakes on the run rate, the scoring rate and try and keep taking wickets so I think Ashwin provides that to us in the middle along with Axar.
"Both of these guys are wicket-taking options in the middle and the goal is never about surviving, it's always about 'how I can get the batter out or how I can put the pressure on the batter'.
"That's what they come up with all the time. So it's always a good option for a captain to have someone like them in the middle, bowling those crucial overs and trying to put the pressure back on the opposition by taking wickets," Rohit said.
Asked what the new regime, under Rahul Dravid and himself, did to turn things around after their T20 World Cup debacle, Rohit said: "We're trying to create a healthy atmosphere in the team, trying to give players the security so that they can go out and play fearlessly.
"The first meeting that we had, we spoke of this very clearly to all the players that if you're trying to do something for the team, that act will never go unnoticed.
"It will always be recognised when you're trying to put up your hand and take the pressure on yourself and try to do something for the team. That is the job of the captain and the coach to tell the players that we do understand what you're trying to do for the team, you go and take your chances.
"With the talent we have in India, it's not easy, you have to see so many options. You try and fit everyone into the squad but only 11 can play so it's not easy.
"It's always tough but we will try our best to ensure that whenever the players step out they don't have any baggage," he said about the duo's philosophy going forward." Opting to bat, Rohit struck 56 off 31 balls while Ishan Kishan made 29 off 21 deliveries as India posted 184/7 in the final game of the series.
In reply, New Zealand were bundled out for 111 following a fine effort by the bowlers and fielders.
"Bowling was our biggest plus in the series. We came back really in the first two matches after explosive starts by New Zealand. To restrict such a strong New Zealand batting lineup in the 160-mark is really commendable." He also stressed on saving those extra runs on the field.
"We did well in all the three games. Whenever I go ground, I always want to think how much runs we have saved and in all the three matches we have saved about 15 runs and also had two run outs today."
Also Read : Venkatesh's bowling important going forward: Rohit
News Source : PTI
Good series win but we are also quite realistic: Dravid
Kolkata, Nov 21 (Cricket news) Newly-appointed India chief coach Rahul Dravid says the 3-0 result over New Zealand augurs well for the team in the long-run but at the same time, he is realistic enough to not read too much into the overall outcome with Black Caps having to play the series three days after the T20 World Cup final.
Some of the key players from both teams were rested for the series as part of workload management.
"It was a really good series win. Everyone played really well right through the series. It feels good, nice to start well. We are also quite realistic. We have to keep our feet on the ground and be a bit realistic about this win," Dravid said at the post-match presentation here.
The series was also Dravid's first assignment as head coach.
The Kiwis had reached Jaipur for the series opener less than 24 hours after losing the World Cup final to Australia in Dubai.
"Not easy for NZ to play a World Cup final and then to turn up three days later and play three games in six days, was never going to be easy for them. It was nice from our perspective but we have to learn from this series and move forward.
"It's a long journey ahead over the next two years and we'll have our share of ups and downs." India also rested some of their crucial players including the likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja. New Zealand gave rest to their skipper Kane Williamson.
India also gave debut caps to IPL performers Venkatesh Iyer (Kolkata Knight Riders) and Harshal Patel (Royal Challengers Bangalore) in the series.
"It's been really good to see some of the young guys come through. We have given opportunities to some of the boys who haven't played a lot of cricket over the last few months.
"We have seen some of the skills available to us and we have to keep building on those skills as we go forward. It's going to be a long season between now and the next World Cup being realistic with how much cricket some of our experienced players will play," Dravid signed off.
Also Read : Rohit guides India to clean sweep in his first series as full-time captain
News Source : PTI
ICC appoints Geoff Allardice as permanent CEO
Dubai, Nov 21 (Cricket news) Australian Geoff Allardice has been appointed as permanent CEO of the International Cricket Council after serving the role on an interim basis for more than eight months, the game's governing body said on Sunday.
Allardice thus replaced Manu Sawhney, who had resigned from his position in July.
"It's a great privilege to be appointed as the CEO of the ICC and I would like to thank Greg and the ICC Board for the opportunity to lead the sport as we enter an exciting new phase of growth," Allardice said in a release issued by the governing body.
"My continued focus will be on doing the right thing for our sport and working closely with members to deliver long-term success and sustainability.
"I would also like to thank the ICC staff for their commitment and support over the last eight months and I'm looking forward to continuing to serve cricket with such a talented team." Allardice, a former Australian first-class cricketer and administrator, was the ICC General Manager, Cricket for eight years. He had previously held a similar role at Cricket Australia.
"I am delighted that Geoff has agreed to take the role of ICC CEO on a permanent basis," Greg Barclay, ICC Chair said.
"He has shown tremendous leadership during an extremely challenging period culminating in the successful delivery of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021.
"Geoff has unrivaled knowledge of the global cricket landscape and its stakeholders and has consistently demonstrated he is the right person to work in partnership with our members to shape the sport for the next decade as we embark on delivering a new strategy and our next commercial rights cycle." Sawhney had been sent on "leave" in March pending an inquiry after he came under scrutiny for his "abrasive behaviour" with colleagues. He eventually resigned from his position in July.
Also Read : Better bats, smaller boundaries reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machine: Chappell
News Source : PTI
J&K alpine skier Arif Khan qualifies for Beijing Winter Olympics next year
Srinagar, Nov 20 (Sports news) Jammu and Kashmir alpine skier Arif Mohammed Khan has qualified for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing.
Khan, who hails from North Kashmir, booked the Winter Games ticket in an Olympic qualifier alpine skiing event in Dubai. He has earlier represented the country in many international events, including World Championships.
"Arif Khan qualified for Beijing Winter Olympcs in ski and snow board," Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said in a tweet.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah congratulated Khan on qualifying for the winter sports showpiece.
"Congratulations Arif, well done for qualifying for #Beijing2022. We will all be rooting for you," Abdullah tweeted.
The Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing from February 4 to 20.
Also Read : Olympian sailor Vishnu Saravanan aims Asiad gold after best finish by an Indian in World C'ships
News Sourcee : PTI
Hasan Ali reprimanded for breaching ICC Code of Conduct, Bangladesh fined for slow over-rate
Dubai, Nov 20 (Cricket news) Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali was on Saturday reprimanded for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct, while Bangladesh were fined 20 per cent of their match fees for maintaining slow over-rate during the first T20I in Dhaka.
The incident occurred in the 17th over of Bangladesh’s innings, when Hasan gave an inappropriate sendoff to batter Nurul Hasan after dismissing him caught behind the wicket.
Hasan was found to have breached Article 2.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his/her dismissal during an International Match." "In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to the disciplinary record of Hasan, for whom it was the first offence in a 24-month period," the ICC said in a statement.
Bangladesh players have been fined 20 per cent of their match fees for maintaining slow over-rate in the match as they were ruled to be one over short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.
"In accordance with Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined 20 per cent