News Cricket

Rohit Sharma to join MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina in elite list

Staff Writer Updated: 26 February, 2019, 12:25 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Hitman is on the verge of joining MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina in the elite list. He is just one match away from becoming the third Indian player to play 300 T20 matches. Former Indian skipper has been part of 301 matches in the shortest format while Suresh Raina recently touched the 300 mark.

14 cricketers in total have played 300 or more T20 matches with Kieron Pollard leading the table with 451 appearances. The current vice-captain of the Indian team has played 94 T20Is for Men in Blue.

He needs just two sixes to go ahead of New Zealand’s Martin Guptill and West Indies batsman Chris Gayle (both with 103 sixes) to become the leading six hitter in T20 internationals.

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News Cricket

Surgical Strike 2.0: Cricketers Bow Down to Hail IAF's Strikes Across LoC

Staff Writer Updated: 26 February, 2019, 11:50 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India finally avenged the Pulwama terror attack, when several Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and destroyed terror camps in Balakot, Muzaffarabad, and Chakoti. ANI reported that around 3:30 this morning, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force dropped 1,000 kg bombs on terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.

“At 0330 hours on 26th February a group of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it,” IAF sources were quoted by ANI as saying.

In the dastardly Pulwama terror attack that took place on February 14, terrorists had targeted a convoy with a car bomb. They were carrying more than 350 kg of explosives.

Take a look at how cricketers reacted to the attack:

News Cricket

Jasprit Bumrah is on the verge of making history in T20I cricket

Staff Writer Updated: 26 February, 2019, 10:49 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian speedster Jasprit Bumrah became the second Indian bowler after R Ashwin to pick up 50 wickets in T20I cricket. He returned with figures of 3/16 in the first match of the series against Australia.

The pacer has taken 51 wickets in 41 matches and is just two wickets away from going past R Ashwin, who has taken 52 wickets in 46 T20I matches.

Jasprit Bumrah was pleased to see KL Rahul's comeback to form.

"It's always good when you've got good competition in the team. He looked the best batsman today I feel because he was playing with a lot of composure, he started off playing good shots and he was playing conventional shots. It's always good when a player like him is back in form," Bumrah said at the post-match press conference.

News Tennis

Media watchdog says Williams cartoon didn't breach standards

AP Updated: 26 February, 2019, 10:34 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The Australian Press Council has ruled there was no breach of its standards of practice in a cartoon of tennis star Serena Williams which attracted global condemnation after being published by Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper last September.

The depiction of Williams by cartoonist Mark Knight showed the 23-time major winner reacting angrily during her loss to Naomi Osaka in the final of the U.S. Open. Williams is depicted with her mouth open wide, hands in fists and jumping above a broken tennis racket and a baby's pacifier. The umpire was shown telling a blond, slender woman — meant to be Osaka, who has a Japanese mother and a father from Haiti — "Can you just let her win?"

In a ruling published Monday, the Australian Press Council said it "acknowledged that some readers found the cartoon offensive" but said there was sufficient public interest in commenting on the behavior of a player with a globally high profile.

Critics of Knight's cartoon described it as a clear example of a stereotype facing black women, depicting Williams as an irate, hulking, big-mouthed black woman jumping up and down.

The press council said it had received complaints from people who believed the cartoon was racist and sexist.

"Specifically, concern was expressed that the cartoon depicted Ms. Williams with large lips, a broad flat nose, a wild afro-styled ponytail hairstyle different to that worn by Ms. Williams during the match and positioned in an ape-like pose," the council said in a statement. "The council considered that the cartoon uses exaggeration and absurdity to make its point but accepts the publisher's claim that it does not depict Ms Williams as an ape, rather showing her as 'spitting the dummy,' a non-racist caricature familiar to most Australian readers."

Spitting the dummy is an Australian term for a tantrum.

The Washington Post criticized the cartoon at the time of its publication as reflective of the "dehumanizing Jim Crow caricatures so common in the 19th and 20th centuries."

The Herald Sun said the cartoon used "satire, caricature, exaggeration, and humor" to depict an event of public interest.

Knight told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday he was "very happy" with the council's ruling.

"I will not be changing the way I draw cartoons because I think I'm a very free and fair cartoonist and I accept issues on their merits and draw them as such," he said.

The press council said it accepted the newspaper's contention the cartoon was in response to Williams' behavior during the match.

The newspaper "said that the cartoon was not intended to depict negatively any race or gender and was drawn in a style that the cartoonist has drawn over several decades and was only intended to be a 'sporting cartoon' for the publication's local readership," the press council said in its findings.

During the final against Osaka, Williams got a warning from the chair umpire for receiving coaching from the sidelines. An indignant Williams emphatically defended herself, denying she had cheated. A short time later, she smashed her racket in frustration and was docked a point. She protested and demanded an apology from the umpire, who penalized her a game.

Williams has won the Australian Open seven times and is a crowd favorite at Melbourne Park, where she has been playing at the season's first tennis major since 1998. She returned for the tournament last month but lost in the quarterfinals.

News Football

UEFA charges Atletico coach Simeone for obscene gesture

AP Updated: 26 February, 2019, 10:32 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

UEFA has charged Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone with improper conduct for an obscene gesture after his team scored against Juventus in the Champions League.

After Atletico defender Jose Maria Gimenez scored the first goal late in a 2-0 win, Simeone turned to his team's fans and made the gesture.

Simeone said the gesture showed he had courage to make tough selection decisions. Two days later, he apologized.

UEFA says its disciplinary panel will judge the case at a later date. Simeone could be banned from a future game.

The second leg in Italy will be played on March 12.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri also faces an improper conduct charge for his team being late on the field for kickoff.

News Tennis

Federer wins in Dubai to begin latest bid for 100th title

AP Updated: 26 February, 2019, 10:29 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Roger Federer's latest attempt to win his 100th ATP singles title made a shaky start at the Dubai Championships where he overcame Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

Federer entered the first-round match with a 13-0 record against the German, and broke in the first game to run through the first set.

But Kohlschreiber forced a third set between them for only the third time. In that set, Federer forced an error to break for 2-0 and held, and cruised home.

"(My thinking was to) just somehow get through. Somehow try not to lose," Federer said. "I'm very pleased I was able to find a way. I actually played a really good third set, I thought."

Federer won his 99th tour title in October in Basel, and his bid for the 100th has ended so far in two semifinals, then the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Next up for him is Fernando Verdasco, the 2017 Dubai runner-up to Andy Murray. Verdasco beat Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The two other seeds in action beside Federer lost.

Nikolaz Basilashvili, the highest-ranked Georgian in ATP history at No. 19, upset fourth-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-4, 6-1, and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany spoiled seventh-seeded Milos Raonic's Dubai debut 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Basilashvili will play for a spot in the quarterfinals against defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who beat Indian wild card Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 6-3.

News Football

Chelsea goalie apologizes for refusing to leave field

AP Updated: 26 February, 2019, 10:26 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga apologized in a club statement for refusing to be substituted in the English League Cup final.

The world's most expensive goalkeeper was fined one week's wages.

"Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation. I wanted to take the time today to apologize fully," Kepa said in the statement.

Manager Mauricio Sarri ordered Kepa to be substituted on Sunday as the final against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium was heading to a penalty shootout. Kepa had been cramping, but gesticulated wildly that he was not going to leave the pitch. Sarri was furious, too. His authority undermined by Kepa's insubordination, he walked down the tunnel and returned just before the end of extra time.

Kepa played on and City won in the shootout.

Kepa and Sarri continued to describe what happened as a misunderstanding.

"Kepa and I have spoken about the incident. It was a good conversation," Sarri said in the statement on Monday. "There was a misunderstanding yesterday but he realizes he made a big mistake in the way he reacted. He has apologized to me, his teammates and the club.

"For me, this matter is now closed. Everyone's focus is now on the next game and we must all now put this behind us."

Kepa's refusal to obey instructions overshadowed the final, and a resolute performance by Chelsea after recent miserable results.

The performance was tamping doubts about Sarri's future at the club, until his credibility was undermined by Kepa and he was publicly humiliated, raising questions about his authority going forward.

News Cricket

West Indies-England 3rd ODI abandoned because of rain

Staff Writer Updated: 26 February, 2019, 9:42 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rain caused the abandonment of the third one-day cricket international between the West Indies and England on Monday.

England won the toss and elected to bowl first, but the match never started, and was abandoned five hours after its scheduled start.

The five-match series is tied 1-1. The fourth ODI is on Wednesday at the same ground.

Opinion Cricket

Four Mistakes that may cost India the World Cup

Harshit Anand Updated: 25 February, 2019, 5:31 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

We are just a few months away from the much awaited and anticipated- 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. The ICC mega event will start from May 30 in England and Wales. The Virat Kohli-led India are one of the red-hot favorites to win the title. Team India have been in exceptional form and their balance make them a big threat for all the participating teams. India are ranked no.2 in ICC ODI rankings and they are also 2017 Champions Trophy finalists.

But, there are certain mistakes that can prove costly for the Men in Blue. Take a look at Four Mistakes that may cost India the 2019 World Cup:

Playing MS Dhoni too low

One thing is for sure- MS Dhoni is no longer the power-hitter he once was. Dhoni's inability to execute big shots have become evitable. Dhoni generally plays either at no.5 or no.6 in ODIs. Batting at such position requires a player to put his foot on the accelerator instantly, most often than not. But, the 37 years old, Dhoni takes his time before going for the big hits, which puts additional pressure on the batsman at the other end.

In the last two years, the 37 years old has played 37 innings, out of which 29 have come at no.5 or no.6 slot. His average has been 51.50 but his strike-rate of 76.86 is too poor for a modern-day finisher. The Indian veteran is ranked eighth in the list of batsmen with the highest strike-rate in the last two years (Min- 500 runs). Dhoni needs to bat higher. If India are intent on playing him, better give him time to settle in than exposing him in death overs. Dhoni's slow-batting often break India's momentum in the fag-end.

Treating Kuldeep Yadav like a fringe player

The Indian chinaman-spinner, Kuldeep Yadav has scalped 77 wickets in 39 ODIs. One can gauge how good he has been from the very fact that no one has taken more ODI wickets than Kuldeep since his debut in the format. The Indian wrist-spinner is match-winner and has made himself an indispensable part of the team.

But despite that, on many occasions, the ace Indian spinner has faced the brunt of the team selection. If Kuldeep fails in a match or two, the 24 years old is shown the door. He was key to India's bilateral ODI triumphs in South Africa and New Zealand, while he performed remarkably well in England too. Kuldeep will be crucial to India's chances in the World Cup. And he should be the last player in the team to be dropped after a few failures.

Overlooking Dinesh Karthik from the side

In the last year or so, Dinesh Karthik has proved his mettle in white-ball cricket. He has finished crucial games for India and made a strong case for himself. With waning powers of Dhoni, Karthik becomes even more important given- he has ample experience plus the game to shift gears as per the needs and demands of the game. Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya are relatively inexperienced but Karthik is a seasoned campaigner, more importantly, he is at the peak of his powers. Unlike the earlier times, the stylish batsman is now more calm and dependable and India must include him in their World Cup squad.

Playing Virat Kohli at 4

There have been suggestions by both the Indian head coach, Ravi Shastri and chief selector, MSK Prasad, that India are open to batting Virat Kohli at no.4 in the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Kohli has a great record at the no.4 position but such last minute changes should be avoided especially given the enormity of an event like the World Cup. First of all, it won't be easy to fill the big boots of Kohli at no.3 for anyone and secondly, the best batsman of the team should always bat for as many overs as possible.

And Kohli is the last man, who needs protection from any bowler or team. The 30 years old is the best batsman in the world and he has conquered all the conditions like a boss. So, he should bat no.3 and a player as good as him shouldn't be tinkered with at any cost.

News Cricket

Dreamz Premier League increasing the Adrenaline Rush of the Cricket Fans

Staff Writer Updated: 25 February, 2019, 5:22 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

25th February 2019, Mumbai: When it comes to game of cricket in Indian context, it is the most watched sports on the television and the stadium is packed with cricket lovers. The same was visible during the Dreamz Premier League. Cricket has surpassed all possibilities for a reason. It is a mania a craze. DPL-Dreamz Premier League is one of the most elite, premium and professional cricket league of Mumbai. The opening ceremony of this league took place on 24th Feb 2019 at Astro Park, Bandra in presence of some renowned dignitaries like Dilip Balwant Vengsarkar (former Indian cricketer), Dr. PV Shetty (Mumbai Cricket Association Jt. Hon. Secretary). Shivranjani Singh (Indian playback singer) and Shashank Singh (Indian cricketer Rajasthan Royal).

Mr. Wasib Peshimam is the founder of DPL, Mr.Arhaan Peshimam- co-founder and Mr.Darshan Shetty. Mr. Wasib Peshimam is also the director of Al Samit International, AL Samit International recruitment services and prime projects infrastructure. He is the visionary and brainchild behind Dreamz Premier League. He himself is an avid sportsperson and a fitness freak. He envisioned sports as a form of engagement and encouragement whilst developing it as a medium of entertainment and sportsmanship. The 20 owners are elite business individuals belonging to diversified business across India like Mustakeen Sheikh of Realta Ventures, Parag Sanghvi of B Kitchen & Bar, Pranav Ghole of Shreem Hyundai, Vijay Mozar of Bytespan Software, Shubham Lad of Krystal securities, Parram Lakhani of Bright Advertising, etc own their teams in the DPL.

DPL is a most elite and premium under-arm cricket tournament, currently contested of 20 teams consisting of 19 players each from all over India. The 20 owners are elite business individuals belonging to diversified business across India. A total of 380 players will be participating and the tournament will be played of 18 days. The sports event will be broadcasted live on Discovery sports channel (DSports) and will be live on air in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Srilanka, and the Maldives. Big-ticket events strengthen local cricket by giving domestic talent an opportunity and also start a chain of non-cricket activities that gives the economy a boost and the image of the country is enhanced. The DPL is a competitive domestic league for all to see. Also, the league is expected to provide much needed financial security to domestic players who otherwise are tempted to migrate to other sources.

DPL is a platform for emerging players with immense potential. It is an opportunity for those who have an inclination towards underarm cricket to demonstrate their skills and gain recognition. It is helping to discover some talented players, who will benefit Indian cricket in short, medium and long run. The league is not just about performance, money and feel-good friendship, it is also a test of younger player’s ability to withstand the distractions of the fame factor.

As far as our country India is concerned, cricket is the most liked game, to the extent of madness among the children and youngsters. Wherever you move, you will find children with a bat & ball in hand. Because of lack of facilities, a new concept of underarm cricket has come into action. The reason appears to be very simple. There are restrictions on hitting the ball and it can be played in a very limited area. Therefore, it can be seen in Mumbai that most of the grounds have made a special court for underarm cricket, also called gully cricket.

Most of the young players having a natural talent have developed an interest in underarm cricket and have also made it their livelihood. Whenever they play, they are offered an amount as per their caliber. Such players register themselves on the internet site and they are divided into three categories, A,B & C; as per their caliber and they are priced accordingly. The game needs to be accorded importance because these boys cannot reach the national level of Overarm Cricket, as the opportunities are limited and a lot of facilities are required. Very interestingly, the boys have learned to control their bats, as they cannot hit the ball however they want. The player has to have a sense of bat control.

It is a chance for the upcoming cricketers to face an international standard opposition. It offers luxury prior to getting to that stage. It, therefore, allows them to be prepared when arriving on the international scene and gives them a taste of what is expected at the highest level. Having such a competitive tournament, in terms of player’s quality, means statistic taken from the tournament can represent the player’s caliber.

It works on the franchise system based on the American style of hiring players and transfer. The DPL is showing show how innovation in service can be appealing to the consumer, and how competition and globalization can bring improvements. The cursory glance showed many standouts were un-heard of India. DPL is a good opportunity for these players to enjoy the limelight of national and international audience. This would provide a steady stream of newly discovered players who can revitalize national teams.

Videos Cricket

India vs Australia: Jasprit Bumrah relives the productive 19th over – Watch

Staff Writer Updated: 25 February, 2019, 4:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Australia won on the last ball of its first Twenty20 match against India for a three-wicket victory on Sunday. Put into bat, India scored 126-7, with Australia reaching 127-7 in 20 overs.

From 89-2, Australia nosedived to 113-7 as India tightened its bowling and fielding.

Bumrah struck off successive balls in the 19th over to go past 50 wickets in T20 internationals, only the second India bowler after Ravichandran Ashwin (52) to do so in this format.

In a video posted by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Bumrah relived his final over of the innings and explained every delivery in detail.

Earlier, India didn't get off to the best start with Rohit Sharma (5) holing out off Jason Behrendorff.

Rahul reached his sixth T20I half-century off 35 balls. He put on 55 runs with India captain Virat Kohli (24) as India reached 69-1 in the ninth over. But India lost wickets in quick succession, starting with Kohli who was caught at long on off Adam Zampa, and the run rate slowed.

Nathan Coulter-Nile took 3-26 in his four-over spell and was named man of the match. He dismissed Rahul and Dinesh Karthik (1) in the space of five balls in the 13th over as India lost control of the innings. Rahul was caught at mid-off, while Karthik was bowled off a quick inswinger.

In reply, Australia was reduced to 5-2 by the third over with Bumrah trapping Aaron Finch for a first-ball duck. Maxwell then smacked his way to a sixth T20I half-century off 40 balls as he gave impetus to the Australian innings with six fours and two sixes.

Maxwell holed out off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 14th over, caught at long off.

The second and final T20 is in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

News Cricket

Jasprit Bumrah makes incredible statement on KL Rahul’s performance in first T20

Staff Writer Updated: 25 February, 2019, 4:25 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

KL Rahul reached his sixth T20I half-century off 35 balls. He put on 55 runs with India captain Virat Kohli (24) as India reached 69-1 in the ninth over. But India lost wickets in quick succession, starting with Kohli who was caught at long on off Adam Zampa, and the run rate slowed.

Kohli lamented a lack of runs on the board for his team.

"Pleased with Rahul scoring runs, but overall we were not up to scratch. We didn't really bat well even though pitch was decent till the 15th over," said Kohli. "But we are pleased with the bowling effort. Australia deserved to win."

KL Rahul’s teammate Bumrah was pleased to see him back in form.

"It's always good when you've got good competition in the team. He looked the best batsman today I feel because he was playing with a lot of composure, he started off playing good shots and he was playing conventional shots. It's always good when a player like him is back in form," Bumrah said at the post-match press conference.

News Cricket

ICC will not ban Pakistan from World Cup - Sourav Ganguly

Staff Writer Updated: 25 February, 2019, 4:14 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has stated that the governing body of international cricket will not ban Pakistan from the World Cup or from international arena.

Following the attack on the convey of CRPF by Pakistan based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, demands of isolating and boycotting Pakistan have grown louder.

Reacting to reports that Indian Government might appeal the ICC for a blanket ban on Pakistan from the mega event and international cricket, Prince of Kolkata said that there is even less than one per cent chance of this happening.

"The government has already defined the terms as far as bilateral series between India and Pakistan is concerned. India and Pakistan don't play bilateral series... the last bilateral series was played in 2006. However, I doubt the prospects of banning Pakistan from World Cup or international cricket. It is a big thing," Ganguly told IndiaTV.

"The ICC is a separate institution, World Cup is a separate institution and I feel it is very difficult to implement this here. This is my personal view that banning Pakistan from World Cup or international cricket won't be possible. World Cup is still far away and we will see what happens then. But in my opinion, it will be very difficult for India or the Indian government to go to ICC and ask for a ban on Pakistan from World Cup or international cricket. There's even less than one per cent chance of this happening," he added.

News Cricket

Despite his match winning knock, Maxwell unsure of his place in the World Cup team

Staff Writer Updated: 25 February, 2019, 4:00 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Put into bat, India scored 126-7. In reply, Australia was reduced to 5-2 by the third over with Bumrah trapping Aaron Finch for a first-ball duck. Maxwell then smacked his way to a sixth T20I half-century off 40 balls as he gave impetus to the Australian innings with six fours and two sixes.

Maxwell holed out off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 14th over, caught at long off.

"We probably should have lost and if it wasn't for Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson pulling something out of the hat," said Glenn Maxwell.

Despite his magnificent fifty, he is still unsure of his place in Australia’s World Cup squad.

"I have no idea if I'm going to be in that World Cup squad or what number I'm going to bat, so I suppose it just comes down to opportunity - if I can keep making most of opportunities like tonight," he said.

"It would have been nice to finish it off, but I chose that Chahal (over) as my time to go tonight and I still back that as the right decision.

"If I can turn those sorts of innings into not-out, 75-ish, and be consistent that way, I think I can probably go a long way in penciling my name for the World Cup and hopefully continue that job for the rest of this year."

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News Cricket

Virat Kohli asks fans to stay quiet during two-minute silence for CRPF martyrs

Staff Writer Updated: 25 February, 2019, 3:48 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Men in Blue wore black armbands as a mark of respect to the CRPF security personnel, who lost their lives in the terror attack in Pulwama on February 14.

The players also observed two minutes of silence to pay homage to the jawans before the start of the game. However, there were fans, who continued to make noise, prompting Virat Kohli to signal to them to keep quiet for some time.

"Our sincere condolences to the families of the soldiers who lost their lives. The Indian team is really shocked and sad about what happened," Kohli said on the eve of the game.

There has been growing demands that India should boycott World Cup match against Pakistan following dastardly terror attack on the CRPF convoy.

The governing body of Indian cricket has stated that it will go by government decision in this matter.