News Cricket

BCCI should contribute Rs 5 crore to families of the martyred soldiers: CK Khanna

Harshit Anand Updated: 18 February, 2019, 11:56 AM IST


The BCCI acting president, CK Khanna has requested the CoA chief, Vinod Rai to sanction at least Rs 5 crore to the families of the Indian soldiers, who were martyred in the Pulwama terror attack, which took away lives of at least 42 CRPF jawans.

“We are saddened and join our fellow Indian citizens in condemning the dastardly Pulwama Terror attack. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyred soldiers,” Khanna wrote in the letter to COA, office bearers and state units. “I request the Committee of Administrators that BCCI should contribute at least Rs 5 crore through the appropriate government agencies to the families of the martyred soldiers.”

“I am also going to request the state associations and the respective Indian Premier League franchise owners to consider making contributions,” he added.

He also said, “As a mark of respect to the Central Reserve Force personnel martyred in the terror attack, we should observe a two-minute silence during the first match of the India vs Australia series starting February 24, and during the opening ceremony/inaugural match of the Indian Premier League starting March 23.”

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News Cricket

Virat Kohli will definitely bat at 4 if it's needed: MSK Prasad

Staff Writer Updated: 18 February, 2019, 10:41 AM IST


Ravi Shastri's idea of playing Virat Kohli at no.4 has found an avid supporter in India's chief selector, MSK Prasad. Shastri had earlier opined that if the situation demands the Indian skipper can bat at no.4. The idea has been quashed by most of the cricket pundits since Virat has been exceptional at no.3 and you don't want to disturb the position of someone as important as Kohli in the team.

But the idea has been supported by few people as well and MSK Prasad is one of those men, whose opinion matters a lot since he is one of the major stakeholders in Indian cricket at present juncture of time. 

"I think it is a wonderful thought that Virat Kohli can bat at No.4 and that is what Ravi Shastri has expressed. This has been happening for quite some time, but we will have to see. Because Virat has done extremely well at No.3. He is the No.1 batsman in the world. But if it is for the requirement of the team and Virat has to come at No.4 he will definitely do it. But again, we will have to see what the team requires and what the dynamics of the team is. That will decide his batting position," said in a recent interview on Hotstar. 

It is Shastri, whose words sparked a debate about Kohli's batting position. Indian head coach, Ravi Shastri had said that flexibility is paramount is big ICC megaevents and separating the top three might well make India's batting stronger.

"The good thing about this Indian top-three is we can separate them, if conditions and situations demand. Someone like Virat Kohli can go to number four, and we can put a good number three to bring more balance to the batting line-up. That's flexibility for you, and for big tournaments like the World Cup, you have to be flexible to see what's the best balance for the side. So we will decide that (accordingly in England).

"Maybe Rayudu, or someone else, could bat at number three, and Kohli comes in at number four. We wouldn't want to disturb the opening combination. Separating the top-three could make the batting stronger," Shastri had told Cricbuzz.

News Cricket

Finally! Chris Gayle announces his retirement plans from ODIs

Staff Writer Updated: 18 February, 2019, 10:03 AM IST


West Indies batsman Chris Gayle will retire from one-day international cricket after the World Cup later this year.

The 39-year-old Jamaican has played in 284 ODIs and needs just 273 runs to become the 14th man, and the second West Indian after Brian Lara, to reach 10,000 in ODIs. Lara scored 10,405 runs in the 50-over format.

Gayle, a big-hitting left-hander, said: "In 50-over cricket, definitely the World Cup (is the end). I'm looking to draw the line there ... let the youngsters have some fun and I can sit back in the party stand and watch them.

"It is a big year for me, to be honest. I hope 2019 can finish for me on a great note."

He averages 37.12 in ODIs, with 23 centuries and a highest score of 215, ahead of the five-match series against England that begins on Wednesday.

After those matches and three Twenty20s, the West Indies take part in an ODI tri-series with Ireland and Bangladesh in May before the World Cup starts later that month. He is expected to continue playing in the Twenty20 format.

News Cricket

Twitter Bows Down As Kusal Perera Produces One of the Great Test Performances vs Proteas

Staff Writer Updated: 16 February, 2019, 11:57 PM IST


Sri Lanka pulled off an astounding against-the-odds run chase with 153 not out by Kusal Perera and a record last-wicket partnership of 78 to beat South Africa by one wicket in the first cricket test on Saturday.

Perera almost single-handedly won the game but No. 11 batsman Vishwa Fernando played a crucial role as he hung around for 27 balls for his 6 not out to allow Perera, with nothing to lose, to throw caution to the wind at the other end and ultimately take Sri Lanka charging home.

Chasing an unlikely 304, Sri Lanka was 226-9 and looked out of it at Kingsmead with the 10th wicket an apparent formality.

But Perera and Fernando had other ideas and carried the inexperienced tourists — written off at the start of the series — to a thrilling victory on the fourth day. Even Dale Steyn and top-ranked test bowler Kagiso Rabada couldn't break their last stand.

Perera scored 67 of those 78 runs for the last wicket and fittingly won it with a late cut down to the boundary for four, prompting Sri Lankan players to sprint from the dressing room out onto the field to congratulate their match winner. Perera removed his helmet and thrust both arms up in the air to celebrate one of the best innings ever by a Sri Lankan, and one of the team's most remarkable victories.

Perera batted for more than five hours over two days — Sri Lanka was 52-3 when he arrived at the crease — to set up the highest successful run chase ever for Sri Lanka away from home. He hit 12 fours and five sixes in his second test century and first in three years.

"I'm a bit tired now," Perera said. "Especially good effort as a team, especially the lower-order batsmen there giving me support."

The partnership between Perera and Fernando was a record for the highest 10th-wicket partnership to win a test. The previous best was 57 by Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mushtaq Ahmed for Pakistan against Australia 25 years ago.

The 304-9 was also the third-highest successful run chase in nearly 100 years of test cricket at the Kingsmead ground in Durban.

And Sri Lanka's scintillating victory gave it a 1-0 lead in the short two-test series and ended South Africa's run of seven straight home series wins in dramatic fashion.

"I thought Perera was unbelievable," South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said. "A superman effort. He deserves all the accolades that will come to him after this game.

"We can go back and try and figure out where it went wrong and what we did wrong and what we could have done better but, end of the day, it was an amazing batting performance."

News Cricket

Virender Sehwag to bear educational expenses of children of CRPF martyrs

Staff Writer Updated: 16 February, 2019, 11:26 PM IST


Former Indian opening batsman Virender Sehwag has pledged to bear the educational expenses of children of all the CRPF personnel martyred in the terrorist attack in Pulwama.

On Thursday, at least 42 CRPF brave hearts lost their lives when an explosive-laden car rammed into one of the buses carrying security personnel.

"Nothing we can do will be enough, but the least I can do is offer to take complete care of the education of the children of our brave CRPF jawans martyred in #Pulwama in my Sehwag International School @SehwagSchool , Jhajjar. Saubhagya hoga," Sehwag wrote on his twitter handle.

Earlier, Sehwag took to twitter to condemn the terror attack.

“Really pained by the cowardly attack on our CRPF in J&K in which our brave men have been martyred. No words are enough to describe the pain. I wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”

News Cricket

Vidarbha players donate their title prize money to families of CRPF martyrs

Staff Writer Updated: 16 February, 2019, 10:56 PM IST


In a noble gesture, Irani Cup winners Vidharbha donated their entire prize money to the donated to the families of the CRPF personnel martyred in the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on Thursday. Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal made this announcement after defeating Rest of India in the finale.

"Our heart goes to victims of the terrorist attack. As a small gesture from our side we dedicate this victory to the martyrs of Pulwama attack. The Vidarbha cricket team will donate the entire prize money to the families of the victims in the attack," said Fazal.

The Ranji champions were a better side and became the third team after Mumbai and Karnataka to clinch two successive Irani Cup titles.

News Cricket

Rishabh Pant credits this former Indian player for improvement in his keeping

Staff Writer Updated: 16 February, 2019, 5:27 PM IST


  • Pant has established himself in red-ball cricket
  • After a good show in New Zealand T20Is, he has got selected for Australia ODIs
  • His stocks have been on a rise at the highest-level

Rishabh Pant's stocks are on a rise at the moment. He is India's wicket-keeper batsman in Test cricket. The left-hander has been remarkable in red-ball format and averages close to 50 after playing nine Tests. His amazing displays in Tests have also helped him get a place in the Indian squads for white-ball cricket.

After being ignored for the New Zealand ODIs, he has been selected for the five-match ODI series against Australia. His wicket-keeping has often been doubted but he is improving with time. And the Indian youngster has credited Kiran More for the improvement in his glovework.

In a chat with PTI, Pant said " "Keeping in England was an altogether different experience. After that, I worked with Kiran sir at the NCA on a few specific areas. It included hand-positioning and body posture. Every keeper has distinct movement and I tweaked it a little and it worked".

"When you make it to the team at a young age, the more you are keen to learn, the better you get at utilizing the opportunities that come your way," the 21-year-old added.

News Cricket

Umesh Yadav posts a motivational tweet after getting selected for the Australia T20Is

Harshit Anand Updated: 16 February, 2019, 5:17 PM IST


The Vidarbha pacer, Umesh Yadav made it to India's T20I squad for the two-match series against Australia. Umesh didn't make it to the ODI side but only the T20I side but his selection in the shortest-format does indicate that he is one of the back-options when it comes to India's seam-attack in 50-overs format

There has never been any doubt about the talent that this pacer possesses but his inconsistency often puts him down. He is always in and out of the team. The right-armer has raw pace and ability to reverse-swing the ball. He was exceptional in the Ranji Trophy, which his side Vidarbha won for the second consecutive year.

After his selection, Yadav put out a motivational tweet, which read, “I’m going to always rise above the doubt that may exist about me.”

It willl be interesting to see if he is given a chance in the team for the series which starts on February 24.

News Cricket

Is Elli Avram getting married to Hardik Pandya? Actress clears the air

Staff Writer Updated: 16 February, 2019, 4:47 PM IST


Elli Avram, who was rumored to be dating Hardik Pandya, has quashed reports of her marriage with Indian cricketer. While they never confirmed or denied their affair, this is the first time that rumors of their marriage started doing the rounds.

"For God sake whoever have created this false article should be ashamed!!! Whatever it was, it ended a long time back!!! Kindly understand this and move on in life. I'm here for my work and not for disrespectful publicity like this. Thank you [sic]," Elli tweeted.

Speaking to Spotboye, she stated that they are no longer in touch and Hardik hasn’t called her regarding the fake news of their marriage.

"Nope, he hasn't. We are not in touch. And I wish this finishes all the questions on Hardik addressed to me forever. I don't even want to be asked anything about him on red carpets," she said.

Earlier, she had slammed the Indian cricketer for his sexist comments on Koffee with Karan.

“I got a little bit surprised because that’s not really the Hardik Pandya I personally once used to know! I think it’s great that people are reacting and putting their foot down on this kind of behaviour because it’s about time we all realize that this kind of mentality is not cool. Neither is it something to brag about,” IndiaToday quoted Elli as saying.

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

News Cricket

Vijay Shankar names one thing he wants to do more in Australia ODIs

Harshit Anand Updated: 16 February, 2019, 4:35 PM IST


  • Vijay Shankar was impressive on India's tour of New Zealand
  • He managed scores of 27, 14, and 43 batting at no.3 in T20Is against New Zealand
  • He is the only alternative to Hardik for team India at the moment

Vijay Shankar was impressive on India's tour of New Zealand, which comprised of five-ODIs and three T20Is. The right-hander scored an invaluable 45 in the fifth ODI when India was under the pump and then managed scores of 27, 14, and 43 batting at no.3 in the shortest format against the Black Caps. His good performances have earned him a place in India's squad for the home series against the Men in Yellow.

The Tamil-Nadu all-rounder disclosed that he wants to express and explore his bowling more in the Australia series.

"Last time, when I was playing in the Nidahas Trophy, my mindset was to pick wickets. In recent times, I was much more restrictive mentally. I was just thinking about putting the balls in the good areas. Maybe, in the Australia series, I will look to express myself a lot more if I get to bowl" said Vijay.

Indian chief selector, MSK Prasad had expressed how Shankar's rise had changed things in terms of team's selection.

"Shankar's performance in the recent series really changed a bit of dynamics and he brings a double impact to the side that's why have we have included him. We'll see how he performs in the next few matches," Prasad said after his selection in the squads.

News Cricket

Rishabh Pant reveals his preferred batting position

Staff Writer Updated: 16 February, 2019, 4:01 PM IST


Rishabh Pant was recalled to the ODI side after being axed following his mediocre performance against West Indies in 2018. He was exceptional in the Test series in Australia while made some vital contributions in T20 internationals against New Zealand.

Shane Warne and Sunil Gavaskar want team management to try Rishabh Pant in the opening slot for the upcoming ODI matches against Australia.

If Pant fits the ball, he should open with Rohit Sharma in the World Cup.

When asked about his preferred batting position, he stated that he would like to bat as high as possible.

“As a batsman, I would always like to bat as high as possible but the team combination is also very important,” said Pant.

He is expecting to see better display from his IPL franchise, Delhi Capitals.

“We have had a change in name, jersey and new players have come in. It’s a good blend of youth and experience. Hope both our departments click this time and Delhi Capitals have a good tourney.”

News Cricket

Michael Clarke predicts how Smith and Warner will perform on their return

Harshit Anand Updated: 16 February, 2019, 3:54 PM IST


  • Both Smith and Warner will be eligible to play from March 29 onwards
  • They are currently serving a 12-month ban
  • they were found to be guilty in Cape Town ball-tampering scandal

Former Australian Cricket captain, Michael Clarke feels discarded duo of David Warner and Steven Smith will hit back form instantly on their return to the senior team. They are currently serving a 12-month ban. Warner and Smith were banned after they were found to be guilty in Cape Town ball-tampering scandal. Cameron Bancroft had carried out the task of tampering with the ball but he has already served his nine-month ban and is back to the cricket field.

Both Smith and Warner will be eligible to play from March 29 onwards. Clarke reckons there's no doubt that the duo would hit gold on their return.

For Australian cricket there’s absolutely no doubt we need them back,” Clarke told Fox Sports News. “They deserve to come back because they’ve done their crime, they’ve suffered their time. They’ll scores runs, there is no doubt about (it). They’ll walk back into that team and perform straight away.”

Clarke, however, cautioned people not to think that these two would put everything on track for Australia. “We’re putting a lot of expectations and a lot of pressure on Steve Smith and David Warner to come back (and) all of our problems will be fixed when they come back. The reality is we have got to No.5 in the world with Smith and Warner in the team. Sports teams are a lot bigger than one or two players,” he said.

News Cricket

Navjot Sidhu removed from The Kapil Sharma Show after comments on Pulwama attack

Staff Writer Updated: 16 February, 2019, 3:32 PM IST


Navjot Singh Sidhu has been shown the door from The Kapil Sharma Show following his comments on the Pulwama terror attack. He will be replaced by Archana Puran Singh on the show.

“His remarks have not been taken kindly by most. Also, the channel and the show was getting dragged into the unwanted controversy. This is when the team amicably decided that Navjot make a distance from the show. The team has already shot a couple of episodes with Archana,” a source told

Earlier, Sidhu landed in a controversy after he urged people to not blame entire Pakistan for the attack.

“For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual?,” Sidhu was quoted as saying in Economic Times.

He went to Pakistan to attend the oath taking ceremony of Imran Khan, who was appointed as Prime Minister of the country in 2018.

“It (the attack) is a cowardly act and I condemn it firmly. Violence is always condemnable and those who did it must be punished,” the 55-year-old from Patiala added.

News Cricket

Having MS Dhoni keep for me will be special: Mayank Markande

Staff Writer Updated: 16 February, 2019, 3:16 PM IST


Punjab wrist-spinner, Mayank Markande received a maiden call-up to India's T20I team for Australia series on Friday. India will play a two-match T20I series, which will be followed by a five-match ODI series. These are the last seven games for India to try out different players and combinations keeping the World Cup in mind.

Mayank shot to fame with his appreciable performance in the last season of the IPL. He played for Mumbai Indians under Rohit Sharma. Markande termed Rohit as "legend" and also shared his excitement on the fact that he will get to play alongside Dhoni if given a chance.

“Sharing the Indian dressing room with Rohit Sharma will be special. He had motivated me a lot during the IPL. I always kept talking to him. He is a legend of the game now so I always try to learn as much as possible from him,” Markande told The Indian Express.

He further stated, “As for now I am not even thinking about getting in the playing XI. But if I do then having MS Dhoni keep for me will be special.”

Markande picked up 15 wickets in 14 games and had an economy of 8.36.

Feature Cricket

Stupendous Overseas Tour Cannot Overlook Mistakes

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 16 February, 2019, 3:07 PM IST


There is always the danger of costly errors being overshadowed by stupendous wins. India could be in danger of committing an oversight if they do not take stock upon their return back home after the terrific tours of Australia and New Zealand.

While Virat Kohli has already returned to the country as a result of having rest attributed to him through the tour of New Zealand, the rest of the Indian team returns home victorious from what would have undoubtedly been an enormously taxing tour, particularly of Australia. Although Australia were not as quick as England to step up to their game as on India’s previous overseas tour prior to the tour of Australia, India still had to put in the hard yards. That brought about some rather memorable and vindicating moments for players such as Cheteshwar Pujara and the Indian bowling quartet despite some injury niggles.

India’s win in Australia, the first time in seven decades, cannot overlook the fact that Australia were clearly playing well beneath the standards expected of them. And India had the opportunity to seal their success in England but let one too many opportunities slip through their fingers, literally and metaphorically speaking.

Not to be forgotten is the fact that prior to embarking on the tour down under, Virat Kohli was facing flak and not just because of his errant comments on social media. The duo of Kohli and Ravi Shastri, captain and coach respectively, had committed one too many blunders, whether it was in reading the pitch wrong or getting the team combination wrong and it had cost India dearly in terms of ceding to England a Test series that was, by most counts, India’s for the taking.

In the making of some rather bizarre moves such as at Lord’s when India’s team seemed to defy logic, the duo seemed to reflect thinking that was not on the par with that of the selectors, suggesting divisions right down the line where the squad did not match the think tank’s preferences and it led to the benching of some players such as Karun Nair who made their mark rather spectacularly. It kept the atmosphere terse and speculation rife, not an ideal situation on an overseas tour.

As the series improved down under, while India seemed to have been rewarded for backing some youngsters, the Nair issue was clearly one that would remain stuck in the throat, questioning whether the coach and captain were deciding teams based on who they favoured rather than who merited a place in the playing eleven.

As an afterthought, it would not be surprising that the team management may now claim they were running a horses-for-courses strategy when they may be asked to explain why Rohit Sharma was not considered for the home Test series against the West Indies but was selected without a single performance to justify his being picked for the tour down under.

Had India let the Australian series slip away, questions would have been asking about the manner in which the duo were running the show, at one point, even seemingly to openly differ with each other. Fortunately they quickly learnt the perils of leaving out a solid, weighty batsman like Cheteshwar Pujara, particularly when they play a mercurial player like Rohit Sharma in the Test format. While Pujara’s omission in England drew criticism, Pujara’s performance down under only underlined the learning curve that the skipper and coach had to go through.

Despite how well India played down under, even relieving some of the pressure and the idea that everything rested on how Kohli fared as a batsman, and the bowling fulcrum coming into their own with Jasprit Bumrah forming the core of the lineup, India cannot overlook the fact that they had their chances in South Africa which they failed to capitalize on and then let England regenerate themselves on the momentum they gained by making the right moves in terms of having their finger on the pulse as far as their fringe players were concerned. A hapless England was not only allowed to believe in themselves again but also, to celebrate vanquishing the team that Ravi Shastri once called ‘the best travelling team in the world.’

The victory down under may have undone some of the ignominy from the tour of England but it did not spare the bloopers as the coach was caught playing the game of whether a player was fighting fit or not with the captain talking otherwise when it came to India’s lead spinners in Test cricket, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. A review would be advised.