News Cricket

Punjab's youngsters want to win the IPL for the Universe Boss: Chris Gayle

Harshit Anand Updated: 26 March, 2019, 5:44 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Universe Boss, Chris Gayle has been on fire in the last few months. He had a prolific series against England where he took the Poms to the cleaners in the ODI series. And he has made an excellent start to IPL as well. Gayle blasted 79 runs off 47 balls against Rajasthan Royals to help Punjab win the game. The southpaw hit eight fours and four sixes and also won the Man-of-the-Match award for his superlative show with the bat.

"I have been in a bit of form in the England series and it’s good to start off the IPL on a positive note. What was more important is that we got a win. We just keep getting better and better. Sometimes some people will write you off but it’s still early days and I’m enjoying my cricket,” Gayle said during the post-match presentation.

“Eventually they got a better wicket to bat on but our bowlers did the job the for us. Sarfaraz got some runs today and it was really good. Our youngsters have a lot to offer for the team, they want to win the IPL for the Universe Boss,” he added.

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Feature Cricket

Clock This One!

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 26 March, 2019, 5:47 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

A countdown timer will now decide the pace at which Test cricket is played, that is if the Marylebone Cricket Club has its way.

Timeouts and countdowns are relatively new concepts, brought into the more traditional sport of cricket through its youngest avatar, Twenty20. However, following the research that suggests that the past year was the slowest in Test cricket in terms of over rate, the Marylebone Cricket Club’s world cricket committee comprising of illustrious former cricketers has suggested that a countdown timer be used to ensure that time wasting is reduced to the bare minimum.

This would include time for drinks breaks, for when one batsman is dismissed and also, for the use of the Decision Review System (DRS). Of these the latter has been considered one of the big factors when it comes to slow over rate even though cricket laws allow for just two reviews per innings for each team.

There have been rare instances in the past when a batsman was timed out simply for not being ready at the fall of a wicket and it could go some way between teams that look to simply play for time. How a timer would work in such a scenario is still anyone’s guess. For the moment though the MCC is only suggesting addressing the issue of the former where a prefixed time would be set for the new batsman to take the crease. Furthermore, only marginal more seconds would be accorded to the fielding team for a change of bowler and even the decision review system is not being spared either.

Rather than run through the mandatory replays, speeding up the process of arriving at a decision without going through all of the protocol for the sake of television is being mooted. In that light, there is a proposed countdown for play to resume even as the broadcasters and the umpires decide on the fate of the batsman.

While on the face of it, it seems in line with the times and with the need particularly to improve on overrates, at the present time, there are already penalties on teams as well as captains and countdown or no countdown, one wonders if the quantum of punishment change would have a more drastic effect than merely imposing a clock on the screen. Unless the punishment, which currently goes as far as barring a skipper for a match even, perhaps is more impactful on the match proceedings directly, infringements could well continue even if the clock is now prominently displayed before every over, between drinks and between change of guard at the fall of a wicket. Changing the scenario of over rates could, also, prove tricky on pitches that favour pace and bounce rather than the slow, enticing duel of bat versus spin. Several factors to consider as a countdown clock might need an additional support system to be truly effective over time.

News Cricket

Sarfraz Ahmed says there's no need to panic

Harshit Anand Updated: 26 March, 2019, 5:42 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed feels there is no need to panic despite Pakistan's consecutive defeats against Australia in the ongoing ODI series. He believes that the Men in Green have a lot of time to prepare and for the World Cup that will take place in England and Wales from May 30.

"The World Cup is a tough competition because of the format this time but we have done our preparations and we will have time to finalise our plans when we go to England and also play the ODI series against England and some practice games as well," said Sarfaraz.

The national skipper had recently led the Quetta Gladiators to a title win in Pakistan Super League. Sarfarz wore a Pakistan Army uniform to cherish the PSL win at a special ceremony, which was organised by the Baluchistan government.

News Cricket

Shane Warne attacks Harsha Bhogle, terms him biased after he defends Ashwin's Mankading

Harshit Anand Updated: 26 March, 2019, 5:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Shane Warne has been on a ranting spree ever since Kings XI Punjab skipper, R Ashwin mankaded Rajasthan Royals player Jos Buttler in yesterday's encounter, which took place at Jaipur during IPL. Punjab went on to win the game against Rajasthan by 14 runs. At one stage, it seemed as if Buttler will run away with the game but he got run-out at 69 and after that, the hosts suffered a collapse and ended up losing the game.

Rajasthan Royals' brand ambassador, Shane Warne not only slammed Ashwin but also attacked popular TV commentator, Harsha Bhogle.

Harsha Bhogle did respond to Warne.

News Cricket

Ricky Ponting says Rishabh Pant has X-factor

Harshit Anand Updated: 26 March, 2019, 12:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rishabh Pant is very quickly evolving into one of the biggest draws in T20 cricket. He had a phenomenal IPL last year and in 2019 IPL as well, he has made a brilliant start. The southpaw scored 78 runs off 27 balls against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium

Delhi Capitals coach, Ricky Ponting revealed how much Pant has evolved with time."I have seen Rishabh mature in his game and as a person and that won't be the only game he wins for DC. He will win many more games for sure," said Ponting on the eve of Delhi's match against Chennai Super Kings.

Ponting is quite impressed with Pant's match-winning abilities. "I have known for a couple of seasons now that Rishabh Pant has got that X-factor but what I like more and more about him is how he is turning that into match-winning performances more and more often as well," said Ponting.

Ponting reckons Pant can does a very good job as a finisher. He said, "If you look at the back half of the last edition, he was playing his best when our team was playing its best in those games. Even yesterday, we set up a good platform for him to go and express himself.

Feature Cricket

The onus is on the batsman to be more careful

Partab Ramchand Updated: 26 March, 2019, 12:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

So yet again ``Mankading’’ becomes the hot topic for discussion. Ravi Ashwin’s running out of Jos Butler on Monday has set off the predictable reactions on social media, on television and on websites.

Right from a very early age when I became interested in cricket and learnt of the incident involving Vinoo Mankad and Bill Brown during the Indian tour of Australia in 1947-48 – bowler Mankad ran out Brown at the non-striker’s end thus leading to the term ``Mankading’’ which has stood the test of time since then – I always wondered why there should be such a big hullabaloo about the dismissal. I have always maintained that the bowler is right and the batsman wrong. It is as simple as that. Somewhere along the line however the phrase ``spirit of the game’’ crept in and people tended to look down at the bowler dismissing the batsman thus and taking the high moral ground that he should be warned first.

I have always been clear in my mind about the various aspects concerning this kind of dismissal. First, does the umpire warn the bowler that he is sending down a no ball and tell him that hereafter he will be pulled up for stepping over the crease? Second the batsman is gaining an unfair advantage by stepping out of the crease before the bowler has delivered and in a close run out decision that extra yard or so could make a difference.

In any case to quell charges of the bowler acting in an unsportsmanlike manner – a rather unfair charge - we now have a law that states ``if the non-striker is out of his ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him out.’’ With the rule in place the onus is clearly on the batsman to be more careful to stay within the crease till the ball is delivered.

I can do no better than to quote Sir Donald Bradman and he wrote this in his autobiography ``Farewell to cricket’’ released in 1950. Recalling the incident which happened in the second Test at Sydney Bradman writes: ``Brown was run out by Mankad who in the act of delivering the ball held on to it and whipped the bails off with Brown out of his crease. In some quarters Mankad’s sportsmanship was questioned. For the life of me I cannot understand why. The laws of cricket make it quite clear that the non-striker must keep within his ground until the ball has been delivered. If not why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out? By backing up too far or too early the non-striker is very obviously gaining an unfair advantage. On numerous occasions he may avoid being run out at the opposite end by gaining this false start.’’

After hearing from the greatest cricketer of all time little more need be said.

News Cricket

Mr. Ashwin, you will be remembered for that low act: Shane Warne

Staff Writer Updated: 26 March, 2019, 12:11 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rajasthan Royals' brand ambassador, Shane Warne has taken a strong disliking to Ravichandran Ashwin's mankading act and he is making no bones about it. Warne has been on a ranting spree and is playing the role of moral police on the whole fiasco, which has divided the cricketing community.

“So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain and as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall and agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball – so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to you BCCI – this a not a good look for the #IPL,” he wrote.

“As Captain of your side – you set the standard of the way the team wants to play and what the team stands for! Why do such a disgraceful and low act like that tonight? You must live with yourself and FYI – it’s too late to say sorry Mr Ashwin. You will be remembered for that low act,” he wrote.

“Last point on the embarrassing and disgraceful act of @ashwinravi99! This win at all costs mentality has got to stop and the integrity of the game along with the spirit of the game must be of the most importance, as we need to set examples to the young boys and girls playing cricket!” he said.

“And to all the people (including former players) saying it’s in the laws of the game, but you don’t like what he did and you wouldn’t do it – I ask you this “why wouldn’t you?”! Simple answer – it’s disgraceful and embarrassing plus it’s against the spirit of the game!

“Sorry – one more thing to add. If Ben Stokes did what Ashwin did to @imVkohli would it be ok? I’m just very disappointed in Ashwin as I thought he had integrity and class. Kings lost a lot of supporters tonight. Especially young boys and girls! I do hope the BCCI does something,” he said.

Punjab captain, R Ashwin has defended his actions and said, "My actions were within cricket's rules, can't be called unsporting." Jos Buttler was in full flow against Punjab but his wicket turned the game around and in the end, Punjab secured a brilliant win to kick-start their campaign on a high.

News Cricket

Ashwin's actions represent him: Rajasthan coach

Harshit Anand Updated: 26 March, 2019, 11:33 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

When R Ashwin mankaded Jos Buttler in yesterday's game at Jaipur, it created a stir. It divided the whole cricketing community. While some thought it was against the spirit of the game and should not have been done by Punjab's skipper, there were others who were of the opinion that following the laws of the game can never be equated with breaking the spirit of the game.

Rajasthan Royals head coach, Paddy Upton opened up on the controversial run-out and said, “I think R Ashwin’s actions tonight speak for him and represent him. When I looked in the eyes of his team-mates, I’m not sure it represented his team-mates. We’ll leave it up to the IPL fans to decide if that’s the kind of thing they want to see, and we’ll leave it up to the cricket world to judge R Ashwin’s actions tonight. But for us, we certainly are here just to play cricket and entertain the fans and just be good role models for people who love the game.”

Feature Cricket

The Workload Debate

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 26 March, 2019, 8:43 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ever so often a scenario emerges wherein the idea of managing workload in the present generation cricketers appears to get the goat of former cricketers. There has been a fair debate for some time now about whether the modern cricketer simply finds the various formats too taxing and therefore, carries the illusion of carrying more workload on his back than his predecessor.

The Indian Premier League never fails to rake up a debate along similar lines. Not only is the Twenty20 summer extravaganza an enticing, lucrative, financial opportunity for the cricketers but also, in some ways a necessary evil for simply that factor for the sustenance and security it provides the cricketer and his family, no matter how fleeting. While most cricketers willingly and sometimes grudgingly submit themselves to the gruelling nearly two month tournament, travelling home and away and playing under conditions that are sometimes either humid or under intense heat, the notion of feeling the load is often expressed only in terms of citing the international cricket calendar playing in national colours for breakdowns or simply breaks.

Shane Warne, one of the more successful former captains of an IPL team, recently shared his take which ironically is not that different from those of his contemporary generation who have played alongside or against him and in contrast to the current lot of cricketers who feel they are playing much more than cricketers have ever played before. The former Australian leg spinning legend was vocal about the fact that the idea of additional workload was a mere illusion and simply a case of viewing the calendar with a different lens.

For one, Warne feels that his generation of cricketers played a lot more first class cricket, even in the midst of a busy international cricket season. That fact can be attested to by the consensus around the cricket world that the modern day cricketer plays not enough domestic cricket in his own home not only to hone his own skills but also, to be able to impart his international experience amongst his aspiring peers. To an extent, it has been attributed as one of the reasons why while Test cricket has been enticing, it has not always lived up in terms of quality.

For another, playing three formats has become almost the norm for most cricketers and those that do not play limited overs cricket somehow tend to be the anomaly, almost forgotten right between seasons and/or series. With cricket now a virtually non-stop affair, played somewhere around the world, even if not all cricketers are participating, there is the illusion that there is too much cricket being played when perhaps there are too many cricket tournaments, particularly under the banner of Twenty20, being held which attract a bevy of cricketers, some part of a retired junket discarded for representation in national colours.

Perhaps what is a fairer line to draw is the fact that while most cricketers in the past went back to the drawing board by playing in this home town matches to maintain rhythm or correct errors, cricketers playing the three format game now feel the load of having to not only switch between formats but also, travel more as a result of meeting these commitments even though they are often seen skipping local and domestic tournaments as a result of it. In that light, it is easy to see why the idea of workload management in more professional set ups has become a buzzword, even if its implementation is still far from desired.

News Cricket

Ashwin requests PM to allow Indian cricketers playing in IPL to vote from wherever they are

Staff Writer Updated: 25 March, 2019, 11:41 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

R Ashwin, who is leading Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, has urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow Indian cricketers to cast their votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections.

He wants every cricketer playing in the IPL to be allowed to cast their votes from which ever place they find themselves at.

His request came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tagged several sports personalities including him, Shikhar Dhawan, Dipa Karmakar, Hima Das and Sakshi Malik on twitter, urging them to inspire their fans to exercise their voting right in the upcoming elections.

“On the cricket field, @SDhawan25, @BhuviOfficial and @ashwinravi99 shine with their incredible talent and absolute commitment towards their team. I urge them to encourage greater voter awareness and voter participation. Young India will follow their lead. #VoteKar,” Modi tweeted.

R Ashwin, who hails from Chennai, would travel with his IPL franchise to different parts of the country during the Indian Premier League.

"I would also like to request you @narendramodi sir to enable every cricketer playing in the IPL to be allowed to cast their votes from which ever place they find themselves at," Ashwin wrote in response to the tweet.

News Cricket

Cricketers blast R Ashwin for mankading Jos Buttler

Staff Writer Updated: 25 March, 2019, 11:35 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Cricketers have blasted R Ashwin after he ran out Jos Buttler via Mankad. The right hand batsman was hitting Kings XI Punjab's bowlers to all parts of the park and reached his fifty in just 29 balls.

During the fifth ball of the 13th over of the Rajasthan Royals innings, Buttler left his crease at the non-strikers end even before R Ashwin had completed his bowling action.

Realizing that there was an opportunity to dismiss Jos Buttler, Ashwin dislodged the bails and appealed to the umpire. The umpire went upstairs and the English batsman was declared out.

He looked angry while leaving the field after scoring 69. Ashwin was slammed by cricketers who stated that his act was against the spirit of the game.

News Cricket

Brian Lara wants India-Pakistan final in World Cup

Staff Writer Updated: 25 March, 2019, 7:40 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former West Indies skipper Brian Lara wants to see India taking on Pakistan in the finale of the World Cup. However, he is also backing West Indies to perform better in the mega event in England.

"The World Cup is going to be very dependent on weather. The English weather, you never know what it is going to be like. England in England are a tough opposition but they are also a team that knows how to lose important matches.

“I was not surprised when Pakistan won the Champions Trophy. I felt that even though they are a team that are inconsistent, they do have players that can win any tournament. The West Indies are similar. Very inconsistent, but on their day they can beat any team," he added.

He praised the Indian team despite their recent ODI series defeat against Australia. "They are capable of playing all around the world. India start as favourites," added the 49-year-old.

"The Champions Trophy final a couple of years ago, Pakistan versus India… that would be a wonderful final to see again," opined the veteran.

News Cricket

Stephen Fleming makes a big statement on Rishabh Pant

Harshit Anand Updated: 25 March, 2019, 5:29 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rishabh Pant is the talk of the town after he made a brilliant 78 in the tie against Mumbai Indians. He was amazing for Delhi last season as well. In fact, he was one of the major talking points in the last year's edition of the lucrative league.

Chennai Super Kings coach, Stephen Fleming heaped high praise on Pant and said, “You have to respect so many players in the tournament and he is one of them. But there are others as well. Have to be sure you don’t overplan. He is one of the great young prospects in Indian cricket. But there is Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Ingram, captain Shreyas Iyer. One thing is to find a weakness, but have to use it well. You must focus on own strength.”

News Cricket

Lyon highlights massive headache for AUS heading into the WC

Staff Writer Updated: 25 March, 2019, 5:00 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Australia have been on fire in the last seven ODIs, winning five and losing just two that too against India and Pakistan, the top two sides of the 2017 Champions Trophy. Australia's 3-2 win over India was unprecedented as not many gave them a chance and now the Men in Yellow are creating ripples against Pakistan in UAE as well.

Not to forget with the comeback of Steven Smith, David Warner, and Mitchell Starc, Australia will only get stronger. But, whom will the trio replace is a question that will give sleepless nights to selectors.

"That is just going to cause a massive headache for our selectors heading into the World Cup. It is a great problem to have for Australia. The guys in our dressing room, and with Steve Smith and David Warner coming back – they are world-class players – we have enough to be adaptable to whatever conditions and scenarios are thrown at us. The guys worked their backside off, firstly, and are now getting the rewards in the middle,” Nathan Lyon was quoted as saying by ICC.

News Cricket

Rishabh Pant reflects on his heroics against Mumbai

Harshit Anand Updated: 25 March, 2019, 4:09 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Delhi Capitals' wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant starred for his side in the encounter against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. He scored 78 runs off 27 deliveries and helped Delhi post in excess of 200 runs, which proved too much for the hosts, Mumbai Indians to chase down.

Rishabh Pant is a star in making. He has made giant strides at the highest level and is also doing well in IPL. "It's been a great journey, I'm trying to learn every day of my cricketing career. It feels good when your team wins. I always play according to the situation most of the time, said Rishabh Pant.

"This time I needed to increase the run rate for the team, and I took my chances, and it came off today. Especially in T20, you have to do something different. When the bowler cramps you for room, you need to make your own room."

"First game is always a bit of a challenge for most of the teams. Lot of new players in the squad as well. We made a lot of mistakes today, as simple as that. We were pretty much in the game in the first 10 overs when we were bowling, but the way Rishabh batted, you've got to give him credit, said the swashbuckling batsman.