The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League will have no regular opening ceremony this year as the Committee of Administrators (CoA) has decided to donate the allotted money to the families of martyred jawans in the recent Pulwama attacks. “There will be no IPL opening ceremony. Instead, the money will be donated to Pulwama martyrs,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Next on Friday.
He also added that BCCI will be writing to the governing body of international cricket to inform them about the terror attack on CRPF security personnel and about their security demands for Team India during the World Cup.
"We'll write to ICC expressing our concerns about attacks that took place & that security of players, officials & everybody else must be taken care of. We're telling cricketing community that in future we must sever ties with nations from where terror emanates," Rai said.
Javed Miandad has criticised BCCI for trying to forfeit the World Cup match against Pakistan and called them foolish and childish for trying to get his country out of the World Cup.
“ICC will not accept this foolish and childish move by BCCI. There is absolutely no chance of ICC listening to BCCI as its constitution allows members the right to participate in its events,” Miandad told APP.
Sourav Ganguly had called for stopping all kind of sporting relations with Pakistan.
“I think Sourav wants to run for elections in the coming days or wants to become the chief minister as it is just a publicity stunt to gain the attention of his country mates. We should not bother with India’s cowardly acts instead we must focus on improving ourselves. Pakistan has always offered India a peaceful resolution of the issues but Indians have always responded in negative.”
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is not happy with the turn of events between Pakistan and India after Pulwama terror attack. He has expressed his disappointment and said the World Cup game should go ahead as millions are waiting to watch this game.
“The India and Pakistan match should be played as per schedule as there are millions of people who want to watch this game. I just don’t think cricket should be targeted for political gains,” Sarfraz told the CricketPakistan.com.pk website.
“It is disappointing to see cricket being targeted after the Pulwama incident. I don’t recall Pakistan ever mixing sports with politics,” he said.
“Sports should just be taken as sports,” Sarfraz added.
Earlier, Javed Miandad has criticized BCCI for trying to forfeit the World Cup match against Pakistan and called them foolish and childish for trying to get his country out of the World Cup.
Former Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar has broken his silence on the issue of playing against Pakistan in the World Cup. Sachin stated he would “hate” to see India forfeit the encounter and concede two points.
“India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament,” said Tendulkar.
“Having said that, for me, India always comes first. So whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart,” he added.
Earlier, Sunil Gavaskar had expressed the same sentiments. “Who wins if India decide against playing Pakistan in the World Cup? And I am not even talking about the semis and the finals. Who wins? Pakistan wins because they get two points,” Gavaskar had told India Today.
“India have so far beaten Pakistan every time in a World Cup, so we are actually conceding two points when by beating Pakistan, we could make sure that they don’t advance in the competition,” he had said.
The governing body of Indian cricket wants cricketing nations to end tie with countries supporting terrorists. In his letter to the ICC, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has requested top body to ensure safety of the Indian players following attack on CRPF personnel, which took 42 lives.
"This communication is being addressed to voice the BCCI's concerns and sentiments that have emerged after the recent dastardly terrorist attack which was carried out on Indian soil by a terror outfit based out of Pakistan which resulted in the death of 44 (sic) Indian security personnel," Johri wrote in the letter, a copy of which is in possession of IANS.
"In view of the aforesaid terrorist attack, BCCI fears for the safety and security of players and match officials participating in upcoming ICC events including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019," he wrote.
"Most countries from which the members of the ICC hail (including United Kingdom) have strongly condemned this terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with India. BCCI urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates," he added.
The CEO also urged the ICC to provide full proof security cover to Indian players and officials.
"The BCCI also wishes to express its concerns over the safety and security of fans of Indian cricket at the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019."
"The BCCI trusts that the ICC and ECB will ensure that the most robust security is provided to players, match officials and fans of Indian cricket for the upcoming World Cup. The BCCI reserves all its rights and entitlements in this regard," he signed off.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will follow government instructions on the matter of playing with Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup. India and Pakistan are scheduled to play in the marquee event on June 16.
According to a report in India Today, ICC has hinted that the governing body of Indian cricket will lose the proposal of keeping Pakistan out of the World Cup.
The officials of BCCI and members of COA met in New Delhi to decide on the issue but couldn’t come to one conclusion.
"16th June [India vs Pakistan match in World Cup] is very far away. We will take a call on that much later and in consultations with the government," COA chairman Vinod Rai said.
"We'll write to ICC expressing our concerns about attacks that took place & that security of players, officials & everybody else must be taken care of. We're telling cricketing community that in future we must sever ties with nations from where terror emanates," he added.
BCCI will also consult Indian players and then decide whether to play against Pakistan or not.
India head coach has given his statement on the subject of boycotting World Cup match against Pakistan. He stated that his team will go by what BCCI and government decide, even if it means foregoing the entire showpiece event in England and Wales.
Speaking to Mirror Now, he further added that BCCI and Indian government know what is happening and what should be done in this situation. They are the ones who will take the final call.
"It’s entirely left to the BCCI and the government. They know exactly what is happening and they will take a call. We will go by what they decide," said Shastri.
When asked if Men in Blue are ready to boycott the entire World Cup if the government decides so, he said: “If the government says it’s that sensitive you do not need to play the World Cup, I will go by my government.”
As a successful all-rounder, Shahid Afridi was respected for his consistent bowling that relies on change of pace rather than spin, but drew greater attention for his aggressive batting style. Afridi holds the distinction of hitting the most number of sixes in the history of ODI cricket. He is known for hitting long sixes, while his trademark shot is a cross-batted flick to the leg-side to a ball outside off stump.
“I like to eat Kebabs”– Shahid Afridi
Name – Shahid Afridi
Born - March 1, 1980
Place of Birth – Khyber Agency
Playing Role – All-rounder
Playing Style – Right-hand bat
Bowling Style – Legbreak Googly
Favorite sport apart from cricket
Hit over mid-wicket
Like to play against
Nature on field
Shah Rukh Khan
It is not just India but also, other cricket teams around the world that are raising the critical issue of managing workload, particularly with the attention now squaring turning towards the ICC Cricket World Cup. But while some have suggested a two team policy to reduce the burden on cricketers, the issue is far more complicated than it seems on paper.
At the present time, there is no current Test playing nation that is composed entirely of Test cricketers alone. In fact, if anything, there has been the contention put forth by the most players themselves that they would not like to be branded as a one trick pony and therefore, relegated to any one format alone.
Even those that play Twenty20, sometimes accepting their fate as specialists in limited overs cricket or those looking at an easier route to retirement, often do prefer to play both formats, one day internationals as well as Twenty20, rather than be chosen for just the one. In such a scenario, there are very few players who have cut themselves off from playing Test cricket or even contemplate playing Test cricket in the future.
With the Indian captain most vociferously raising the issue of managing workloads, while some former cricketers have contended they spent longer time on tours, others are of the opinion that there has to be a method to the madness even in such a scenario. However the rotation of players has been a somewhat contentious issue because no player likes to be rested while in form given the competition for places in the lineup and also, given the proximity of major tournaments such as the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.
Unless a particular player enjoys the favour of the captain, it is not easy to see how players take to being given a break without a certain pattern given that very few have managed to cement places quite like the captain himself.
Besides even if a team fields two different teams at any one time, which is cutting off their talent pool, it is not an easy proposition on the fans either because of the level of competitiveness that is likely to take a beating when certain versatile players are cut off from the roster altogether. What could, also, precipitate with such a move is cricket boards, already looking to double and triple their pockets, may look to host tournaments simultaneously across formats, thereby reducing the weightage given to each platform and premier event and thereby also, reduce their overall cricket fan base.
There are already contentious issues of players playing far less cricket, particularly in the five day format and forgoing domestic cricket and four day games as a result of it and not being held accountable for the lack of match practice as well as for the fact that their experience could broaden the intensity base to strengthen domestic cricket. These are matters that must be taken into consideration before the powers that be can decide if cricket can exist as a cohesive whole if its world were to be divided into two clear divisive lines that players must now choose. While it puts the format with less commercial interest for cricket administrators in peril, it threatens to devalue the sport’s credibility overall, not to mention, depriving the sport of some of its greatest, most versatile champions.
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has condemned the Pulwama terror attack. He said India have a right to pull out of the World Cup clash against Pakistan as their country was attacked.
“Should sports stay political? Not at all. So these differences set in matters of circumstances. We strongly condemn the loss of lives,” Akhtar told a Pakistan news channel.
However, he backed Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had denied India’s claims that Pakistan was behind the attack.
“But when it comes to our country, we are one nation, united and we will stand by our Prime Minister’s statement without having a second thought. They have a right to pull out. Their country was attacked and hence the decision.”
He further added that the governing body of Indian cricket also wants to play against Pakistan considering the amount of money they would earn by hosting rival nation.
“BCCI wants to play with Pakistan, the government says no. Had they played with Pakistan, the broadcasters and BCCI would have earned the maximum revenue. The series would have a monetary value of 600 million dollars. Do you think they don’t? Of course, they want that,” the former Pakistan speedster said.
“The Pakistan board had mentioned that they want to play a bilateral series and you cannot deny it although the series can be held at a different venue altogether. But they (BCCI) have said that they have a board to run which falls under (the purview of) Supreme Court. That is their argument and that is logical.”
Indian skipper Virat Kohli knows how to win hearts. Time after time, Virat has done generous acts for his fans and co-workers. Despite being busy, he took some time out of his schedule to celebrate the birthday of his security personnel Faizal Khan. He not only arranged the cake for the birthday boy but also gifted him an expensive present.
After his brief rest from international arena, Virat will be leading India in the T20 and ODI series against Australia.
Australia led by Aaron Finch have landed in India to play two T20 internationals and five ODI matches.
This is the last international assignment for Men in Blue before the World Cup in England and Wales.
Virat will also be seen leading RCB in the upcoming Indian Premier League season.
Former cricketers, fans and celebrities from different spheres of life are urging BCCI to boycott the World Cup match against Pakistan, which is scheduled to be played on June 16 at Manchester.
However, there are many, who are not in favor of forfeiting the upcoming game against arch rivals in the showpiece event. Former minister Shashi Tharoor took to twitter and batted in favour of the tie.
He stated that if India refuse to play with Pakistan, it would be worse than surrender.
His post read, “Reminder: at the height of the 1999 Kargil War, India played Pakistan in the cricket World Cup, & won. To forfeit the match this year would not just cost two points: it would be worse than surrender, since it would be defeat without a fight.”
Cheteshwar Pujara made an unbeaten 61-ball 100 for Saurashtra in the Group C encounter of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 against Railways at Holkar Stadium, Indore. Pujara has been in red-hot form and was also the star of India's first Test series win in Australia. He even shone through with the bat in Ranji trophy.
Pujara is considered to be a Test specialist, so for many people, his T20 hundred came as a surprise. But, it wasn't the case with the Saurashtra player, who could see it coming.
Pujara stated, "It is special. This was expected because I have done well whenever I have got the opportunity in white-ball cricket. I am not surprised by this century, but I am sure many people are. I knew this one would come at some stage in my career, and this is the right time. I have been really batting well. Good form in Test cricket can help you bat well in shorter formats. It helps you get into good positions, you pick the ball early so I am really happy. Although it came in a defeat, but it was a close game where Railways needed 12 off the last over and they pulled it off."
He also reflected on getting unsold in IPL auctions. He said, "I think twice for sure (after being unsold). I put my name in because somewhere down the line I am very confident about playing white ball, whether it is ODI or T20. If I am not picked, I am not picked. But with such results, if I can carry on like this, people will start noticing. Even franchises might take notice. If I am still not picked I will carry on doing things I am doing. I don't want to change anyone's perceptions."
The two-match T20I series between India and Australia is all set to begin from the 24th of February at Visakhapatnam. India and Australia have enjoyed a great rivalry in Test and ODI cricket in the recent past and this series will be the perfect opportunity to revive that rivalry between the two sides in the shortest format.
As we wait for the T20 series to begin, here is a look at some interesting stats and numbers from the India-Australia T20I history.
The first ever T20 between India and Australia was played at the ICC World Twenty20 at Durban on Sep 22, 2007. It was the all-important semi-final of the event and batting first, the MS Dhoni-led India posted 188-5 on the board and then went onto restrict Australia for 173-7, thus winning the game by 15 runs.
The highest team total in India-Australia T20Is is India’s 202-4 at Rajkot in October 2013. While chasing Australia’s massive total of 2013-14 in the one-off T20 between the two teams, India reached the target courtesy a sublime 77 off 35 balls by Yuvraj Singh.
India’s batting superstar Virat Kohli leads in this category with 488 runs in 14 matches at an incredible average of 61 and a strike-rate of 142.69. He has struck 5 T20I fifties against Australia thus far with a best of 90* at Adelaide in January 2016.
Shane Watson’s unbeaten 124 at Sydney against the Men in Blue is the highest score by a batsman in India-Australia T20Is. Watson’s effort took just 71 balls and included 10 fours and 6 sixes. No other batsman from either side is yet to score a hundred.
India’s fast bowling sensation Jasprit Bumrah leads this category with 12 wickets in 9 matches at an average of 21.33 and an economy of 7.87. His best bowling figures against Australia has been the 3-23 at Adelaide in January 2016.
The highest strike by a batsman in an innings in India-Australia T20Is (minimum 25 runs) is 288.88 by Shikhar Dhawan. The left-handed Indian opener achieved this stunning strike-rate in a T20I at Sydney in January 2016 where he smashed 26 off just 9 balls.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s terrific 4-11 in at the World T20 at Dhaka in March 2014 has remained the best bowling figure in India-Australia T20I history. The Indian off-spinner achieved those figures in a spell of 3.2 overs that helped India shoot Australia out for 86 runs and win the match by 73 runs.
The massive 134-run stand for the third wicket between India’s Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina in the first match of the series at Sydney is the highest partnership by runs for any wicket in T20Is between India and Australia till now. The two came together at 41-2 in the 5th over and were separated when they had taken India to 175 in 19.2 overs.
He always said his first goal was to get into the top 100 of the ATP rankings. And now that he has achieved that – he is perched on No 97 in the current rankings list – Prajnesh Gunneswaran will no doubt set his sights higher. It will not be easy in a fiercely competitive field and Prajnesh is aware of the tough task ahead. He just has to look at the fortunes of two of his colleagues Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan. Not too long ago Yuki reached a high of 83 while Ramkumar had a best of 111. But they found it hard to stay at these spots. Yuki is currently ranked 137 while Ramkumar too has slipped to 133.
So does Prajnesh have it in him to stay in the top 100 for an extended period and then looking further ahead to rise in the rankings? Standing over six feet and looking fit he has the game at least for a slow and steady rise and it all depends on how hungry he is for success. At 29 he does not have time on his hands and will have to move quickly if he is to make a considerable impact. But at least he is on the right track and the steady improvement is underlined by his maiden entry into a Grand Slam. Last month he won the qualifying competition to make his debut into the main draw of the Australian Open. He however went down in straight sets to 29th ranked Frances Tiafoe of the US.
Actually Prajnesh should have made his Grand Slam debut last year but was a trifle unlucky. At the French Open he lost in the final qualifying round. However, he was chosen as the lucky loser after Nick Kyrgios of Australia withdrew from the competition. But Prajnesh could not participate in the main draw as he had already left Paris before Kyrgios announced his withdrawal thus missing out narrowly on making his first main draw appearance at a Grand Slam.
Indeed 2018 was a breakthrough year for Prajnesh. At the start of the year he was world No 243 but a series of commendable performances saw him end the year on a career high ranking of 104. He reached four ATP Challenger finals winning two of them. He won his first ATP Challenger title at the Kunming Challenge in China defeating Mohammed Safwat of Egypt in the final. Then in an all Indian final he defeated Saketh Myneni at the Bangalore Challenger. He finished runner-up at the Ningho Challenger in China and the Pune Challenger events. And in August he won the bronze medal in the men's singles event at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
So it can be seen that Pranesh has made steady progress over the last year. But from now on the climb will be that much tougher and it remains to be seen whether India’s leading player can rise to the occasion.
Sunil Gavaskar and Imran Khan were contemporaries during their playing days. But, they were friends beyond the cricket field. They still share cordial relations. But, the Pulwama terror attack has shaken India to the core. In this shameful attack, at least, 40 CRPF Jawans were martyred. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the cowardly attack.
Sunil Gavaskar said he wants the Pakistan PM and former cricketer, Imran Khan to take the first friendly steps and ensure perpetrators of terror are handed over to the United Nations. He had a direct message for Pakistan's 1992 World-Cup winning skipper.
"I don't want to react to what these young players have suggested but if I may speak directly - Imran, when you took over, you said it was going to be a new Pakistan," Gavaskar told India Today.
"You said India should take one step and Pakistan will take two steps. I want to say that Pakistan should be the one to take the first step. You ensure that those in Pakistan creating problems - maybe to the United Nations.
"You take those two friendly steps and then see the many steps India will take. I am no politician. You are my friend, Wasim is my friend, Shoaib Akhtar is my friend. You take that first step. Let old Pakistan stay. You take that first step, and then see the number of friendly steps India will take.
"If he takes those first steps, it’s a Naya Pakistan. Hand over those responsible for the attacks, stop cross-border infiltration. You see then how many steps India will take. But I am not a politician, I am a sportsperson. But I am sure people in India will appreciate.
"The first friendly steps.. if Imran takes those steps, you will see the steps India will take. I am sure the people of India will appreciate. Imran has spent a lot of time in India - as a cricketer, as a friendly visitor to the India and he knows the Indian people more than any other (Pakistani) prime minister.
"I am not asking for words, I am asking for action to be taken," Gavaskar said.
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