Feature Cricket

Suspicions from Greats Worry Aussies

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 29 March, 2019, 10:43 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

In the middle of an immersive Indian Premier League (IPL), as Australia try to bury year old humiliation, from their own quarters finally come more vociferous concerns that have been voiced all year round by cricket fraternities across the globe.

There was a rather rushed feeling to the manner in which Cricket Australia handled the subject matter of the sandpaper-gate in the immediate aftermath of the revelations in the course of the Cape Town Test. While some called the yearlong bans on Steven Smith and David Warner harsh, there was an even greater worry that the problem had been hushed away too quickly without being adequately dealt with.

What was of greater consternation then and is now being expressed by former Australian legends including Mark Taylor, Ian Healy and the outspoken Ian Chappell is that although Smith had claimed at the time that this was the only time when he suffered a lapse in judgement as a captain and the only ever time that such malpractice had been committed, there seemed reasonable doubt that this was done in the know-how of more than the people punished and also, plausible that this was only the one time they were caught in the act and that perhaps it had been going on for some time.

The wrath on the Australian cricket team has been relentless for much of the year from the rest of the cricket world. However, for their own to speak out in such blatant fashion, albeit a year after the closed investigation that looked into the one match, tells that as much Cricket Australia and the Australian cricket team would like to bury the fiasco and move forward, there are skeletons in the closet that are refusing to go away.

At a time when there is such harsh debate about an incident of ‘mankad’ing and the subsequent vilification of Ravichandran Ashwin, it seems quite extraordinary that the subject of ball tampering, as relevant as the damaging spot fixing that brought the dark of the game to light in the IPL should be allowed to go almost unquestioned, not debated, not even raised as a matter of public awareness. This subjective handling of issues that bring the integrity of the game into disrepute is probably the biggest worrisome matter of the entire scenario.

The fact that has been raised by some esteemed voices within the sport should at least confirm that this issue cannot simply be buried to rear its ugly head at an inopportune time.

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Feature Cricket

Berbice 1983: India’s first really significant win in ODIs

Partab Ramchand Updated: 29 March, 2019, 10:01 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Just mention Berbice 1983 and the eyes of the middle aged cricket fan with sparkle with delight. March 29 of that year not only saw India register their most significant victory in ODIs till then but it is also seen as a precursor to the gloriously memorable day three months later at Lord’s.

In early 1983 Test cricket was still very much the ``in’’ thing in Indian cricket. ODIs had not yet caught the fancy of the average Indian cricket follower and the players themselves had yet to come to terms with the intricacies of the limited overs game. This was underlined by results. If one ignored the victory over East Africa in the 1975 World Cup and the three wins over Sri Lanka in 1982 India had won just seven ODIs against Australia, England, New Zealand and Pakistan against 26 losses when they arrived in the West Indies to play five Tests and three ODIs.

West Indies had won the World Cup both in 1975 and 1979 and were the No 1 team by a long way. And it was no surprise when they won the first ODI by 52 runs. But to all round amazement India pulled off a 27-run win in the second ODI at Berbice to draw level. The remarkable victory – the first over the world champions – not only raised the interest level of the Indian cricket fan in ODIs but also lifted the morale of the Indians with the World Cup just months away.

Sunil Gavaskar not known for his exploits in the limited overs game set the ball rolling with a rollicking 90 off 117 balls with eight fours treating the pace quartet of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts and Winston Davis in cavaliar fashion. Skipper Kapil Dev promoted himself and gave the scoring rate a further impetus by smashing 72 off just 38 balls with seven fours and three sixes.

India were able to post a competitive total of 282 for five in 47 overs but against a West Indian batting line-up that started with Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes and continued with Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Fauod Bacchus, Larry Gomes and Jeff Dujon there was no guarantee that it was a winning total. However, the bowlers now backed up the batsmen admirably. Kapil Dev, Balwinder Sandhu and Madanlal took one wicket each to have the West Indies reeling at 62 for three. Despite half centuries by Richards, Bacchus and Dujon the home team were restricted to 255 for nine off 47 overs. Kapil, Sandhu and Madanlal took two wickets each while Ravi Shastri finished with three and arguably the greatest upset in ODIs till then was accomplished.

Thirty six years later the victory has lost none of its lustre and as a breakthrough triumph it remains unchallenged. And every Indian cricket fan is aware of what happened three months later at Lord’s. The genesis of the World Cup triumph is generally tracked to the events at Berbice.

News Cricket

Sanju Samson hits first century of IPL 2019

Staff Writer Updated: 29 March, 2019, 9:49 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Sanju Samson, who plays for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, scored first century of this year’s IPL.

Playing against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the right hand batsman completed his second century of IPL career in just 54 balls.

The visitors had lost Jos Buttler pretty early in the innings but Sanju Samson and Ajinkya Rahane rescued their innings.

Rajasthan Royals scored 198 runs from the allotted 20 overs with Samson scoring an unbeaten 102 while Rahane accumulated 70 runs.

Samson’s innings was laced with ten fours and four sixes.

News Cricket

Yusuf Pathan hosts SRH teammates for dinner on Wedding Anniversary

CT Contributors Updated: 29 March, 2019, 5:44 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Yusuf Pathan, who celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary on Wednesday with wife Afreen Khan, hosted Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates and staff members for dinner. Yusuf also shared a picture with his wife and wrote: “Happy Anniversary my Love”.

His teammates also shared images on social networking sites to thank their teammate for the hospitality. Bowler Sandeep Sharma wrote: “Happy anniversary Yusuf Pathan bhai. Thank you for the lovely dinner.”

Afghanistan allrounder Rashid Khan wrote: “Happy Anniversary @iamyusufpathan bhai . Thanks for the delicious dinner absolutely love it ♥️. Missed you @IrfanPathan bhai”

SRH lost their opening game of the season against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens.

News Cricket

When Yuvraj hit three sixes, I felt like Stuart Broad - Yuzvendra Chahal

CT Contributors Updated: 29 March, 2019, 5:42 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Royal Challengers Bangalore spinner Yuzvendra Chahal felt like Stuart Broad when he was hit for three consecutive sixes by Yuvraj Singh in the IPL match against Mumbai Indians.

He blasted Chahal for three sixes in the 14th over of the match but Chahal had the last laugh when he dismissed Yuvraj Singh off the fourth delivery.

“When he (Yuvraj) hit three sixes, I felt like Stuart Broad,” said Chahal. “You know he is a legend batsman and I backed myself. I had to bowl a bit up, might be a chance to get him out because it is a smaller ground. So that time, I thought of bowling my best delivery and he got sixes. That you cannot help and hence I bowled a wider googly,” he told reporters in post-match session.

News Cricket

Jasprit Bumrah is a legend, says Krunal Pandya

CT Contributors Updated: 29 March, 2019, 5:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Krunal Pandya has heaped praise on his Mumbai Indians teammate Jasprit Bumrah after the latter bowled exceptionally well in last night's win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. Bumrah picked up three wickets in four overs and was declared Man of the Match.

"It was a great game. We were in-out throughout the second innings. The way Bumrah bowled, he is a legend. The way he's giving consistent performances whether he is playing for India or Mumbai Indians; he is outstanding," he said.

Bumrah was ecstatic to deliver in the winning cause."You go ball by ball and you try to control the controllables. You try to back yourself in the situation," the man-of-the-match winner said in the presentation ceremony.

"You don't go too far behind, I was just focusing on my plan and trying to back my strengths. I always try to back myself in any situation and execute the plan to perfection. I have always taken care of my body," added the pacer.

News Cricket

Mumbai Indians are lucky to have a top-class bowler like Jasprit Bumrah - Virat Kohli

CT Contributors Updated: 29 March, 2019, 5:37 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli has stated that he made a mistake by trying to go after Jasprit Bumrah against Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy stadium. Bumrah dismissed Virat Kohli for 46 runs which derailed RCB's chase a bit before AB de Villiers played an aggressive knock to take his team close to the target.

However, he couldn't complete the task and the home team lost the game by 6 runs in the end. Bumrah was awarded Man of the Match award for his three wickets.

"I got out at a wrong point of time. I mean Jassi is a top-class bowler. A bit of a mistake from me to take him on at that stage. Mumbai is lucky to have him. And also Malinga. And if Jassi is in good form, it is good for India.

"When they were 147 for 7, we should have done better. The last few overs were brutal for us. A few more strikes apart from AB could have done the job for us. We need to be smarter at death bowling. Sure the guys will take a lot of learnings from the game. I think the way they bowled, we can learn from their game. The onus is always on each and every member of the team," said Virat Kohli at the post-match presentation.

News Cricket

Upset Virat Kohli stormed into match referee’s room and hurled expletives over no-ball row

CT Contributors Updated: 29 March, 2019, 2:38 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The last night game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians was marred by a major controversy. With RCB needing 17 runs in the final over, stage was set for AB de Villiers to unleash his strokes. Malinga was hit for a massive six on the first ball by Shivam Dube. However, veteran regained his composure and bowled brilliantly conceding just four singles in the following four deliveries.

The equation came down to 7 runs with just one ball left. Malinga delivered a perfect yorker and Dube was not able to connect it well, resulting in another defeat for Virat Kohli-led team. Soon after the match, replays showed that Malinga had overstepped on the last ball of the innings but on-field umpire S Ravi completely missed the call.

This was enough to upset Virat Kohli, who lambasted the umpiring standard in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. “We playing at the IPL level and not playing club cricket. The umpires should have had their eyes open. That is a ridiculous call at the last ball. If it is a game of margins, I don’t know what is happening. They should have been more sharp and careful out there. When they were 145 for 7, we should have done better. The last few overs were brutal for us,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

He didn't leave it here and according to Times Now, Virat barged inside the match referee’s room and even hurled expletives. Kohli also stated that he doesn’t care if he is penalized for violating the code of conduct.

News Cricket

We have moved on from mankading incident: RR pacer Jaydev Unadkat   

Staff Writer Updated: 29 March, 2019, 11:48 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The mankading controversy lit up the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League. Punjab captain, R Ashwin had effected this sort of dismissal against Rajasthan Royals' Jos Buttler at Jaipur. It divided the cricketing community like none else. But, now Rajasthan Royals have moved on from the mankading incident as per pacer Jaydev Unadkat.

Unadkat said: “We haven’t even mentioned it once after that day. We have moved on from that incident. It’s time that we focus on the game coming up. Every game is going to be crucial in a tournament like this. Mankading (controversy) has not really made any kind of impact on us and we are looking for what we can do to win the game tomorrow.”

He also praised English international Jos Buttler, who has been in scintillating form for Rajasthan Royals. “It (Buttler’s form) actually adds to that confidence. If someone starts like that, people can take confidence and can learn from the way he has been approaching the game. He has been tremendous for us throughout the last season," said the left-arm pacer.

News Cricket

Former cricketers lash out at poor umpiring after Lasith Malinga's no ball was not spotted

CT Contributors Updated: 29 March, 2019, 11:37 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Royal Challengers Bangalore were undone by poor umpiring in their second match of the season against Mumbai Indians. Virat Kohli-led team needed 7 runs on the last ball of the match but Lasith Malinga managed to keep it tight and gave away just one run. Mumbai Indians won the game by 6 runs to record their first win of the season while RCB lost their second consecutive game. After the game was over, TV replays showed that Malinga had overstepped which was not spotted by the on-field umpire.

The incident became a talking point after the match with both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma criticized the decision. While Rohit said that it was an unfortunate incident, Virat Kohli lambasted the umpiring standard during the game.

Former and current cricketers too criticized the decision.

“We are playing at the IPL level and not playing club cricket. The umpires should have had their eyes open. That is a ridiculous call (last ball). If it is a game of margins, I don’t know what is happening. They should have been more sharp and careful out there. When they were 145 for 7, we should have done better. The last few overs were brutal for us,” Kohli said at the post-match presser.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli blasts on-field umpire after he fails to spot Malinga’s no ball on last delivery

AP Updated: 29 March, 2019, 10:30 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

With 7 runs needed off the last ball, Lasith Malinga fired one in the block-hole as Shivam Dube managed to take a single. However, camera showed Malinga had overstepped, which was not spotted by the umpire, and this was enough to shoot up Virat Kohli's temper. The skipper blasted umpire in the post-match presentation.

“We playing at the IPL level and not playing club cricket. The umpires should have had their eyes open. That is a ridiculous call at the last ball. If it is a game of margins, I don’t know what is happening. They should have been more sharp and careful out there. When they were 145 for 7, we should have done better. The last few overs were brutal for us,” Kohli said after the post-match presser.

He lauded AB de Villiers for his aggressive knock that almost won the game for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“A few more strikes apart from AB could have done the job for us. We need to be smarter at death bowling. Sure they guys will take a lot of learnings from the game. I think the way they bowled, we can learn from their game. The onus is always on each and every member of the team. I got out at a wrong point of time. Shivam was good as well. I mean Jassi is a top-class bowler. A bit of a mistake from me to take him on at that stage. Mumbai is lucky to have him. And also Malinga. And if Jassi is in good form, it is good for India,” Kohli added.

News Cricket

Smith, Warner to return to uncertain welcome

AP Updated: 29 March, 2019, 10:07 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Steve Smith and David Warner ended their 12-month ban for their role in Australian cricket's ball-tampering scandal.

But how soon and how warmly they will be welcomed back in an Australian team that has reshaped itself in their absence remains unclear.

Former captain Smith and vice-captain Warner are expected to be named to the Australian squad for the World Cup, which begins in England in late May. Their recall will inevitably result in players being left out who have played in their absence. Also absent has been young batsman Cameron Bancroft who served a nine-month ban.

Smith and Warner briefly met with Australian players in Dubai earlier this month. Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts called the meeting a "positive step" toward the reintegration of the suspended trio. But he said "a meeting in Dubai doesn't mean everything is fixed."

"What we're focused on is doing everything we can to support Dave, Steve, Cameron and all the other players in support staff with this reintegration to build harmony rather than to disrupt the harmony that is building," Roberts said at the Melbourne Press Club. "At the same time, let's be open about it. At any workplace you don't have to be best