News Cricket

Happy Women’s Day: Rohit, Yuvraj & Bumrah salute ‘woman power’, give a strong message

Staff Writer Updated: 8 March, 2019, 2:00 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Mumbai Indians cricketers Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Jasprit Bumrah have revealed the importance of women’s in their lives. In a video posted by their IPL franchise, the trio gave a heartwarming message to every woman out there. Mumbai Indians shared a video featuring their skipper, new recruit Yuvraj Singh and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah. In the video, cricketers are seen sharing their respective stories and how women are influencing their daily lives.

According to Hitman, Women's Day should be celebrated as big as any famous festival. He further added that women have changed him completely. “Women’s Day has to be the most celebrated day in India. The women who have played a part in my life have changed me completely. So, I think, it is important that we celebrate Women’s Day as big as Diwali or any other festival that we celebrate,” said Rohit.

Bumrah feels women are ahead of men and the females in his life have always given him confidence. “I always feel women are way above men. They always give me strength, they always give me confidence. So, I am very happy to have them in my life. During any situation, they never feel weak. They are always there in tough times, in happier times,” said Bumrah.

Yuvraj Singh holds women in high regard and said that men are nothing without women. “They are very integral part of our life. I think without them we would be nothing. In my perspective, in my books, I really hold them in high regard. Definitely my mother, who has nurtured me over the years and kept me very safe, to my sisters as well,” said Yuvraj.

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News Cricket

Gambhir, Sehwag set to contest Lok Sabha elections on BJP ticket?

Harshit Anand Updated: 8 March, 2019, 12:51 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

As per BJP's party sources, former Indian cricketers, Virender Sehwag, and Gautam Gambhir may well appear in Bharatiya Janata Party's list when they release the names of candidates for all seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital. The list is likely to be out by March 10.

“The names of a former Delhi Congress MP, a senior central party leader, along with those of former cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, are being considered and may emerge as surprise contenders for the seats. Apart from all seven sitting MPs, more than 24 state leaders, including former MLAs, councillors and student leaders belonging to Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) are proposing names for the general elections,” the Delhi BJP leader said.

The names of Gambhir and Sehwag for the New Delhi seat has been making it to the headlines for a long time now. Gautam Gambhir fiercely expresses his political opinions and takes on the politicians on a wide range of issues on Twitter. Now, only time will tell whether these cricketers will fight elections for BJP or not.

News Cricket

Australia doesn't pick David Warner and Steven Smith for Pakistan ODIs

Harshit Anand Updated: 8 March, 2019, 11:28 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Discarded cricketers, David Warner, and Steven Smith didn't find a place in Australia's ODI squad for the final two matches of the ODI series against Pakistan in UAE. Their bans will come to an end on March 28. The Australian selectors retained the same ODI squad that was picked for the India tour. Mitchell Starc continues to be out of action due to a left pectoral muscle strain.

"After consultation with members of the National Selection Panel, Greg Chappell and Head Coach Justin Langer, Interim EGM Team Performance Belinda Clark, CA Medical Team and both players, it has been agreed Steve Smith and David Warner will not be available for selection for the final two matches of the series against Pakistan," said Trevor Hohns, Chairman of the National Selection Panel.

"While their bans will be finished on March 28, Steve and David have been working through rehabilitation from elbow surgery and it has been agreed the best pathway for them to return to play is in the Indian Premier League, a strong competition which features some of the world's best players. David will play with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Steve with Rajasthan Royals. Cricket Australia will continue to liaise with both Steve, David and their IPL clubs to monitor progress as we build towards the ICC World Cup and the Ashes," said Hohns.

The ODI series between Pakistan and Australia starts from March 22 in Sharjah,

Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa

News Cricket

BCCI Central Contracts: Kuldeep, Shami, Pant get promotion, Dhawan and Bhuvi get demoted

Harshit Anand Updated: 8 March, 2019, 10:54 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

In the latest central contract list announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Indian captain, Virat Kohli, limited-overs vice-captain, Rohit Sharma, and premiere bowler, Jasprit Bumrah bagged the Grade A+ contract.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant got a Grade A contract while pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and opener, Shikhar Dhawan got demoted to Grade A.

There were talks about Cheteswar Pujara getting a Grade A+ contract, but that wasn't the case and he continues to be in A category. Mohammed Shami also got promoted to Grade A from Grade B while players like KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya continue to be in the Grade B contract.

Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay were notable names that didn't get contracts. Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha also got a contract despite being out of action from the Indian team.

In Men's cricket, the A+ category players are paid a yearly fee of Rs 7 crore, while A category players get Rs 5 crore. Grade B and C category players are getting Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore respectively.

In Women’s cricket, Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav and Harmanpreet Kaur have got Grade A contract.

Grade A players will bag Rs 50 lakhs as yearly retainer fee while Grade B players are paid Rs 30 lakhs in Women’s cricket.

Men’s cricket:

Grade A+ (Rs 7 Cr): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah

Grade A (Rs 5 Cr): R Ashwin, Ra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant

Grade B (Rs 3 Cr): KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya

Grade C (Rs 1 Cr): Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Khaleel Ahmed, Wriddhiman Saha

Women’s cricket:

Grade A (Rs 50 Lakhs): Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam yadav

Grade B (Rs 30 Lakhs): Ekta Bisht, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues

Grade C (Rs 10 Lakhs): Radha Yadav, D Hemalatha, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut, Mona Meshram, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Taniya Bhatia, Pooja Vastrakar

News Football

Neymar lashes out after PSG's Champions League loss to Man U

AP Updated: 8 March, 2019, 10:51 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar has lashed out against a video assistant referee decision that opened the way for Manchester United to eliminate his French club from the Champions League.

The Brazilian star used an Instagram post to criticize VAR officials for awarding United a decisive penalty in injury time after defender Presnel Kimpembe jumped and blocked Diogo Dalot's shot with his elbow.

Marcus Rashford scored from the spot to secure a 3-1 win at PSG, allowing United to overturn its two-goal deficit from the first leg and secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

"This is a shame!" Neymar posted. "They put four guys that do not understand football to watch it in slow motion. This doesn't exist!" He also used an expletive against the VAR officials.

Neymar, who is recovering from injury, watched PSG's elimination from the sideline in the Parc des Princes stadium.

PSG's social media channels showed Neymar watching from near the bench in the final minutes, screaming and emotionally responding to the result.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel refused to criticize Neymar for his outburst.

News Tennis

Andy Murray upbeat after hip surgery, hopes to play again

AP Updated: 8 March, 2019, 10:49 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Andy Murray says he is pain-free after hip surgery but likely won't play at Wimbledon.

Murray tells the BBC in an interview he wants to continue playing but the surgeons "couldn't give me any guarantees."

The three-time Grand Slam champion says "I don't feel any pressure to come back. If it allows me to play that's brilliant."

After an emotional Australian Open exit in January, Murray had an operation to repair his damaged right hip with a metal implant. The 32-year-old Murray says he is now without pain for the first time in 18 months but cannot do "any high-impact movement."

Murray, who has two daughters, says "having the surgery was to improve all the day-to-day things and my quality of life."

News Wrestling

Tampa Bay to Host WrestleMania

AP Updated: 8 March, 2019, 10:47 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Tampa Sports Authority and WWE are proud to announce that Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay will host WWE’s pop-culture extravaganza, WrestleMania, on Sunday, April 5, 2020.

“Tampa Bay is proud to host WrestleMania,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "Our region enjoys a special place in sports entertainment history and has produced many of its iconic figures. We look forward to WWE fans from around the world converging on our city in 2020 to enjoy all that we have to offer.”

“On behalf of everyone at WWE, we thank Mayor Buckhorn and Commissioner Hagan for bringing WrestleMania to Tampa Bay for the first time,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “I am confident that Tampa Bay will be an outstanding host for our fans around the world.”

“We are honored to bring WrestleMania back to Florida,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan. “The week of WWE events will not only bring excitement to fans, but also generate a significant economic boom for Tampa Bay’s economy.”

WrestleMania is more than just a one-day event; it’s a week-long celebration. Over the past 12 years, WrestleMania has generated more than $1.2 billion in cumulative economic impact for the cities that have hosted the event. This year, WrestleMania 35 takes place Sunday, April 7 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and streams live around the world on WWE Network.

Feature Cricket

Women’s Day Special: A look at the significance of women in the life of current leading cricketers

Bhavesh Bhimani Updated: 8 March, 2019, 10:21 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

8th of March is celebrated worldwide as International Women’s Day. While you will undoubtedly be reading countless inspirational stories of women all over social media today, let’s not forget that the cricket world too is filled with motivational stories of the role of women in the lives of several current players. On this special day here is a look at some leading current cricketers and the significance of women in their lives.

Virat Kohli’s mother

The current Indian batting superstar has had a rather difficult journey growing up. He lost his father when he was just 17 years of age and his life transformed after that. It was Virat’s mother Saroj, who then ensured that Kohli remained mentally strong and focused upon his career. Kohli has credited his mother Saroj for being the major reason behind his tremendous success several times. He has often been insistent about the positive impact his mother has had in his life.

David Warner’s wife

Ever since the ball tampering scandal broke out, Australian batsman David Warner has been through an emotional roller-coaster. He was suspended from international cricket and was labeled a cheat by angry fans everywhere. It was Warner’s wife, Candice, who has stood with him like a rock in this tough phase. The couple has faced a lot together but Candice, despite going through an emotional turmoil herself, helped he vulnerable Warner out of the situation and has ensured that he is mentally better prepared when he returns to international cricket.

Rishabh Pant’s mother

Like Kohli, Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant lost his father at a very young age but has overcome that grief because of the support of his mother. Pant lost his father Rajendra Pant right before IPL 2017 but continued playing. Over the next few months, it was Pant’s mother who did not let his young son fall helped him cope with his grief. Earlier this year, after Pant smashed a brilliant 159 against Australia in the Test at Sydney he went on to thank his mother. “Thank you for taking all the stress of mine and making it yours can’t even express my feelings in word,” Pant write in an emotional Instagram post.

Australian woman fast bowler Megan Schutt’s partner Jess Hollyoake

Same-sex marriage has been a debatable issue across the globe including Australia. But Australian woman’s team fast bowler Megan Schutt, ignoring the raised eyebrows in the society over her decision, went ahead and got married to her lover Jess Hollyoake. "If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married." Megan has admitted that Jess has changed her life for the better. She draws strength from her partner. “I didn't hate love but I didn't believe it could change you as a person, or do any of the crap that the movies bang on about. But it does. It really does,” Megan was quoted as saying happily. Their story is an inspiration for any woman.

Yuvraj Singh’s mother

Cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s battle against cancer is now well known. What many don’t know is the role of his mother Shabnam Singh in helping him through it. A single parent, Singh divorced her husband, former cricketer Yograj Singh, when Yuvraj was still a teenager, has had a tough road and dedicated her life for her son. “We are like kind of best friends and he confides everything in me. It's just that I had to take over when he was sick,” Shabman was quoted as saying.

News Cricket

Stoinis names two Indian players from whom he learns a lot 

Harshit Anand Updated: 7 March, 2019, 5:49 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Marcus Stoinis played a valiant knock in the second ODI against India in Nagpur. He made 52 runs off 65 deliveries and was there fighting for his team till the very end. Vijay Shankar dismissed him in the final over and as a result, Australia lost the game by eight runs to concede India a lead of 2-0 in the five-match ODI series. 

Stoinis opened up on the heartbreak in the second ODI. The bright Aussie cricketer said, “We did well, fought hard, got close but we didn’t get the result we wanted. Hindsight is a beautiful thing … you think if this partnership goes longer or you take a risk earlier (what would have happened), all that sort of stuff. You never know what’s going to happen.”

“We haven’t had a debrief yet … when emotions are going it’s probably best to let that settle then have a more relaxed conversation the next day,” he added.

The Australian all-rounder also had words of praise for two legends of Indian cricket- MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. Stoinis said he looks up to them and it's a great thing that Australia are rubbing shoulders with a team like India, which helps players like him to play against such accomplished stars of India. 

“Virat and MS play very different roles, but they make sure they get the job done for the team,” Stoinis said before adding: “Two of the best players in the world … so there’s things to learn from them and it’s probably fortunate we’re playing them so frequently leading up to a World Cup.”

News Cricket

I cried for two days when Neymar left Barcelona - Kuldeep Yadav

Staff Writer Updated: 7 March, 2019, 5:46 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Kuldeep Yadav has become India's main spinner across formats. Since making his debut, Kuldeep has been among top performers. His partnership with Yuzvendra Chahal is talk of the town with rival batsmen finding hard to score runs against them. Kuldeep was phenomenal in South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand.

He is now all set to represent India in the World Cup, which will be played in England and Wales. Kuldeep's emphatic display was lauded by none other than Indian head coach Ravi Shastri. He had clearly stated that Kuldeep would be given preference over Ashwin and Jadeja in overseas matches.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Sportskeeda, he revealed how he found it tough to deal with Neymar's departure from Barcelona. In 2017, Neymar has joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee of £200m. Kulddep also stated that he now supports both the clubs.

“It’s a very difficult question to ask”, Kuldeep Yadav told Sportskeeda. “Before, when Neymar was in Barcelona, I used to support them. Nowadays, I am supporting both PSG and Barcelona, because Barcelona is my team and Neymar is my player. So yes, I am supporting both. I want Neymar to be back in Barcelona again,” he added.

He further revealed that he cried for two days after seeing Neymar leave his favorite club. “You must have seen my Instagram post. I was literally crying for two days. I didn’t want him to go to PSG. Barcelona is my team, and I wanted him to stay at the club, and maybe create some more records with Lionel Messi,” he added.

News Cricket

Bhuvneshwar Kumar gives a big statement regarding workload management in IPL

Harshit Anand Updated: 7 March, 2019, 5:22 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

There are a lot of talks going around the workload management of Indian bowlers during the 12th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). The World Cup will commence from May 30 in England and Wales. And no team would want their key players to get injured during a domestic T20 league like IPL when the World Cup is so close. Team India are no different. Not only they would want their bowlers to be fit but fresh and raring to fire with all guns blazing when the World Cup begins. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is one of India's premier quick bowlers, opened up on workload management during the IPL. Sunrisers Hyderabad‘s key bowler, said: “That’s there in our minds. It will come into play after the first half of IPL, six-seven matches then we can know how we can approach the second half of IPL and what we need to do to remain fit for the World Cup. 

“Yes, it (World Cup) is there on our minds but we’ll look after (our fitness) in the second half of IPL,” added Bhuvneshwar. 

Bhuvi will also take rest if he feels like there is a need for it. “There isn’t a surety for anything. Yes, there is something which is mind, if I feel that I am tired, then we can take rest. So, of course, it’s upto the franchise. I am sure they will cooperate with each and every player because the World Cup is a very important thing for us and BCCI may also talk to them,” said the Indian pacer.
 

News Cricket

Men in Blue on the verge of achieving big milestone against Australia

CT Contributors Updated: 7 March, 2019, 5:08 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Team India will be looking to seal the ODI series against Australia in Ranchi. Men in Blue are leading 2-0 with three matches to go. After registering their 500th win in the ODIs, Virat-led India is on the cusp of achieving another milestone in one-day internationals.

If India manage to beat Australia in the third match of the series, they will become the third country to complete 50 wins against Australia in this format of the game. England and West Indies are the two teams who have achieved this milestone.

Earlier, Chasing 251 to win, Australia was in it going into the last over until new allrounder Vijay Shankar, a medium-pacer, trapped Marcus Stoinis on 52 with the first delivery, and bowled Adam Zampa on 2 with the third delivery.

"I was ready to bowl that over. Only if I do it will people know I can," Shankar said after his first two wickets in his sixth ODI. "It was just about being mentally clear, not be crowded mentally."

Australia was all out for 242 in 49.3 overs, and India led the five-match series 2-0. The third match is in Ranchi on Friday.

Virat Kohli was man of the match for his 40th hundred, nine less than Sachin Tendulkar's ODI record. Kohli's 116 off 120 balls, including 10 boundaries, propped up India's par total of 250 all out in the 49th over.

News Cricket

Watch: Virat Kohli’s lookalike steals the show in Nagpur

Staff Writer Updated: 7 March, 2019, 4:48 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli's wife and one of the most famous Bollywood actresses Anushka Sharma was over the moon when she saw her doppelgangers picture. She had even messaged her in order to touch base.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli's lookalike was spotted during the second ODI between India and Australia in Nagpur.

He was donning the Indian jersey and the crowd even cheered for him when they saw him on the big screen.

The same fan had turned up during an India-Australia ODI in 2017.

The Indian cricket team has landed in Ranchi. The JSCA stadium will host the third ODI of the series between India and Australia.

Men in Blue could seal a series win against Aussies with a victory in Ranchi. The hosts are leading the five match series 2-0, having won the games in Hyderabad and Nagpur.

Feature Cricket

WADA’S BCCI Headache for ICC

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 7 March, 2019, 4:33 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Even as the muted euphoria over the re-induction of cricket into the Asian Games continues to do the rounds, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is having to deal once more with the WADA’s BCCI headache as the Olympics deadline looms perilously close.

The WADA, or the World Anti-Doping Agency, is the longest, perhaps trickiest obstacle for the ICC en route to seriously making a case for cricket to make the disciplines at the global sports event, the Olympics. While the percentage of opposition towards becoming WADA compliant is minuscule in terms of numbers, it is a powerful obstacle standing in the way given that it is the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), arguably the richest and most powerful cricket board in the world, which has not only been resistant to the idea of pushing cricket at a global event but also, and perhaps more importantly, been opposed to bringing the cricketers under the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) towards making becoming WADA compliant.

With less a week before the review committee of the WADA accepting the ICC proposal for the induction of cricket into the Olympics, once again the BCCI’s opposition is proving to be a perennial thorn in the flesh, once more hurting the agenda of the ICC to push for its globalization efforts through giving cricket exposure through the world sporting events.

While the BCCI is complying with another WADA approved anti doping and testing agency, that it has had its reservations about NADA and therefore, refusing to allow its cricketers to follow through with the NADA regulations compliant for other sports in the country, unless the sport as a whole comes under WADA including the Indian cricket team under the NADA regulations, the ICC will have a tough task pushing its agenda forth. The BCCI, on its part, has stated categorically in the past that given certain discrepancies that involved NADA in other sports, it is not trusting enough of the agency to subject its cricketers to testing under that body.

Although the rest of the cricket playing nations have raised no objections even a decade ago, the BCCI has long been withholding its cricketers from being subjected to the NADA testing, which has made compelling the Indian cricket team to come under WADA impossible and the ICC left languishing for want of unanimous support. The BCCI has been solitary but staunch in its opposition to the point that the ICC’s ambitions for cricket’s global landscape have had to repeatedly bite the dust.

However, notwithstanding India’s opposition, the ICC is determined to make a push once more, this time sending forth its strongest member in the ICC Chairman himself who was the BCCI chief before abdicating the latter position. However, while the BCCI officials might lend their ear, it is highly unlikely that the BCCI would be immediately in agreement. While the ICC will look to buy time, there is, also, a concern that given the fallout of Shashank Manohar with key BCCI officials in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s involvement, the issue could become more personal than professional which could further stall the ICC’s Olympics ambitions for as early as 2028 in Los Angeles.

Opinion Cricket

Shikhar Dhawan is a match winner, should be persisted with

Partab Ramchand Updated: 7 March, 2019, 4:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Slowly but surely the missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle that is the composition of the Indian team for the World Cup are falling into place. While most were certainties two or three places remained to be filled by the fringe players and a couple of them have virtually clinched their places and the selectors should be ready with their squad by now.

However even as the finalization has just about taken place there appears to be a question mark over one of the certainties. The form of Shikhar Dhawan is causing concern and while his place is not in any danger the runs have dwindled and the big scores he is so capable of have evaporated. Dhawan is a match winner as he has proved time and again thanks to his swashbuckling approach. When he is on song the bowling has never looked so helpless. Always on the look out for runs, always ready to play the big shots Dhawan can be a nightmare for the best of bowlers. No one can question his credentials. In 124 innings he has 5199 runs at an average of 44 coupled with a strike rate of 93 and 15 hundreds.

What is causing concern is his form of late. Since the Asia Cup in the UAE last year where he topped the figures with 342 runs from five innings at an average of 68 and a strike rate of 102 Dhawan has managed only 376 runs in 15 innings at an average of 26.85 with just two half centuries. With KL Rahul breathing down his neck Dhawan cannot afford to prolong this run. Indeed on the eve of the ODI series against Australia Virat Kohli spoke very highly of Rahul saying that his sparkling strokeplay strengthened his case for the World Cup.

Question marks have been raised about Dhawan’s technique in the past but this time the experts feel that it is the mindset that is the cause for his lean patch. They are convinced that once he gets out of this mental block he will be back to his buccaneering days when he just toys with the bowling.

The key question is whether Dhawan should be dropped for a match or two to help him regain his rhythm and confidence. With just the three matches in the ongoing series before the World Cup it would be better if he is retained and hope that he finds his form. In any case one would think twice before breaking up one of the most successful opening partnerships in ODI history. And perhaps the most encouraging fact is that Dhawan has always come off in England. He was the player of the tournament in the Champions Trophy in 2013 and again topped the run getters list in the Champions Trophy four years later.