News Cricket

Virat Kohli condemns terror attack on mosques in Christchurch

CT Contributors Updated: 15 March, 2019, 3:21 PM IST


Virat Kohli is in shock after hearing the news of terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch. The gunman killed 49 people while injuring several others during Friday prayers. The Bangladesh team was about to reach one of the mosques to offer players but fortunately they escaped unhurt.

The third Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh have been canceled. "They were on the bus, which was just pulling up to the mosque when the shooting begun," Mario Villavarayen, the team's strength and conditioning coach, told Reuters via Twitter. "They are at the ground, they are shaken but good."

Virat took to Twitter to offer condolences to those who have been impacted by this cowardly attack. "Shocking and tragic. My heart goes out to the ones affected by this cowardly act at Christchurch. Thoughts with the Bangladesh team as well, stay safe. 🙏🏻"

Bangladesh players had to go through Hagley Park to the cricket ground in order to prevent themselves from getting hurt. "All our players are now safe in their hotel which has been cordoned off," the spokesman said. "We have advised the players not to step out," a Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesperson said. "Importantly, our players are safe."

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News Cricket

Watch: MS Dhoni issues warning to Virat Kohli ahead of IPL

CT Contributors Updated: 15 March, 2019, 2:57 PM IST


MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli are all set to lock horns with their IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore taking on each other in the first game of the tournament in Chennai on March 23.

In a latest IPL advertisement, the duo can be seen challenging each other ahead of the tournament. Both RCB and CSK have massive fan following because of Virat and Dhoni and the advertisement shows the tussle between the followers.

The tussle is being enjoyed by both skippers from a rooftop. Dhoni lands a major verbal punch by telling Virat don't be late for their opening match of the season.

CSK won the title in 2018 after making their first appearance in two years, while Virat Kohli's RCB are yet to win the IPL title.

The governing body of the league had announced the schedule for the first two weeks on February 19.

News Cricket

Bad news for Indian cricket! Police files charge sheet against Mohammed Shami

Harshit Anand Updated: 15 March, 2019, 12:45 PM IST


Indian pacer, Mohammed Shami is in trouble again as Kolkata police have filed a charge sheet against him. Mohammed Shami has been charged under IPC 498A (dowry harassment) and 354A (sexual harassment).  Police sources said around 25-30 people had recorded their statements as witnesses. Last year, Shami's wife had put allegations of harassment for dowry on him.

“Shami has been charged under section 498A (torture for dowry). His brother Hasib Ahmad has been charged under section 498A and 354A (Sexual harassment),” said a police officer.

The Indian paceman has also been summoned by the court to be present during the next hearing of the case which will take place on June 22. Notably, the 2019 Cricket World Cup commences from May 30 and that means the hearing date will be amid the ICC showpiece event. However, Shami is likely to board the flight to England with the Indian cricket team for the World Cup. 

News Cricket

Huge Setback for BCCI, Supreme Court lifts life ban on Sreesanth  

Staff Writer Updated: 15 March, 2019, 12:20 PM IST


India's apex judicial body, Supreme Court on Friday lifted life ban on Indian cricketer, S Sreesanth. The disciplinary committee of BCCI had imposed a life ban on the Indian speedster for his alleged involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, which shook the Indian cricket and unearthed deep dark secrets of the cash-rich league that takes place annually in India.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and KM Joseph has asked BCCI to reconsider the quantum of punishment within three months in regards to Sreesanth's case.

The top court, however, maintained that its verdict will have no bearing on the criminal proceedings pending against the controversial Indian seamer in the Delhi High Court, where the Delhi Police had challenged a trial court's order which had discharged Sreesanth from the 2013 IPL spot-fixing case.

Sreesanth was heard in the Supreme Court after he had filed a plea to challenge the decision of a division bench of the Kerala High Court which had restored the life ban imposed on the 36 years old by BCCI. 

News Cricket

3rd Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh canceled after mosques shooting

AP Updated: 15 March, 2019, 10:48 AM IST


The third test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh scheduled to begin Saturday has been canceled after the Bangladesh cricket team had a narrow escape from a mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch.

A New Zealand Cricket spokesman confirmed the cancellation two hours after the shootings on Friday.

Earlier, members of the Bangladesh cricket team described on social media their narrow escape from the mass shooting on New Zealand's South Island.

Players and members of the team's coaching staff were reportedly on their bus, approaching the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Hagley Park when the shooting broke out.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted "entire team got saved from active shooters. Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers."

News Cricket

Bangladesh cricket team flees mosque shooting

AP Updated: 15 March, 2019, 10:00 AM IST


Members of the Bangladesh cricket team have described on social media their narrow escape from a mass shooting at a Christchurch mosque on New Zealand's South Island .

Players and members of the team's coaching staff were reportedly on their bus, approaching the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Hagley Park when the shooting broke out.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal tweeted "entire team got saved from active shooters. Frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers."

Performance analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekeran, also on Twitter, said "Just escaped active shooters. Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere."

Player Mushfiqur Rahim posted "Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque. We (were) extremely lucky...never want to see this things happen again....pray for us."

Mario Villavarayen, a strength and conditioning coach with the team, told New Zealand media the players did not see the shooter but heard shots. He said they were shaken but unhurt.

"I spoke to one of them shortly after," Vllavarayen said. They didn't see anything but heard gunshots. They were at the ground and just started running. The coaching staff were all at the hotel."

The team is reported to have left the bus and fled on foot to nearly Hagley Oval where it is due to play New Zealand in a test match starting on Saturday.

Reports said the team is under lockdown in its dressing room at the stadium from which manager Khaled Mashud has remained in contact with officials from New Zealand Cricket and the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

A New Zealand Cricket spokesman confirmed the organization is "in constant communication" with the Bangladesh team. He was unable to say whether the test match would go ahead on Saturday as scheduled.

Mohammad Isam, a journalist traveling with the Bangladesh team, said he believed the players wish to leave New Zealand as soon as possible.

"I don't they're in a mental state to play cricket at all," he told Fairfax Media. "I think they want to go back home as soon as possible. I'm speaking from experience, I'm speaking from what I've heard."

Isam said he was contacted by one of the players as the shooting was taking place and he raced towards the scene.

"It was very traumatic there and people were running out from that mosque presumably and the Bangladesh players were coming out," he said. "They are in terrible and severe mental (distress), they're not feeling well.

"They were just outside the mosque about to get off from the bus and go into the mosque when they heard shooting and a lot of people running out and they saw someone wounded in front of them.

"And seeing that, they didn't get off the bus. About 10 minutes later they ran out of the bus and ran through Hagley Park and into the Hagley Oval."

News Cricket

World Fame 100: Virat Kohli only Indian in top 10

Harshit Anand Updated: 14 March, 2019, 5:37 PM IST


In this year of ESPN World Fame 100 list, Virat Kohli is the only Indian to make it to the top 10. The list is topped by Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo and he is followed by former Basketball player Lebron James and Barcelona captain Lionel Messi. As many as eight Indian cricketers found a place in the list but none above the legends Kohli and Dhoni.

Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, stands on the seventh position. India's former skipper and incumbent limited-overs gloveman, MS Dhoni is placed on the 13th position. Notably, only cricketers from India made it to the list in terms of Indian athletes.

The other Indian cricket players, who found a place in the list are Yuvraj Singh (18), Suresh Raina (22), R Ashwin (42), Rohit Sharma (46), Harbhajan Singh (74) and Shikhar Dhawan (94).

News Cricket

This is the most open World Cup in history: Craig McMillan

Harshit Anand Updated: 14 March, 2019, 5:09 PM IST


We are not too far away from 2019 Cricket World Cup that commences from May 30 in England and Wales. It is going to be exciting and quite close this time around with a lot of teams playing quality cricket. India and England are favorites but teams like New Zealand Australia, West Indies, South Africa are right up there when it comes to competing in the event.

Former New Zealand batsman Craig McMillan feels the ICC World Cup 2019 in England is going to be an open tournament. He said, “We have known this schedule for some time. We have played a ton of ODI cricket over the summer just not at the end of the summer. We have learnt a lot about our side over the summer – India showed as a couple of areas where we need to get better but I think this is the most open World Cup in history,” he said.

He continued, “There are six or seven teams with a real chance of winning. You have Afghanistan making serious strides with a couple of very talented young players – they will be a tricky opponent for any side. It’s going to be an open and exciting tournament because so many sides are capable of winning it.”

Opinion Cricket

Is it fair to compare Pant with Dhoni?

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 14 March, 2019, 4:45 PM IST


One of the fallouts of any loss is the scrutiny on the more vulnerable players. In such a situation, there is always the danger of the player either succumbing to the pressure or rising above the shadows of his predecessor. In Rishabh Pant’s case, it is far too early to tell.

As India tasted an unexpected, rare home series defeat to Australia in the recently concluded one day international series, while Virat Kohli’s captaincy came under the scanner with the conspicuous absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the Ranchi one day international, another player under the spotlight has been Rishabh Pant.

If Rishabh Pant’s wicketkeeping made headlines in Australia, including a sledging incident involving the Australian Test captain, Tim Paine, which eventually turned into an amusing moment, in this particular series, the contrast between Dhoni and Pant could not have been highlighted more fiercely. With Dhoni having not played the rest of the series after his home town showing which led to speculation about Dhoni having already played his final one day international on home soil, Pant came glaringly under the scanner for obvious omissions on the field in his role as a wicketkeeper.

If Mahendra Singh Dhoni broke out on the international scene as something of an unconventional batsman, a freak of a cricketer in the sense that not only India but also, the rest of the cricketing world had rarely seen a more rambunctious wicketkeeper-batsman barring Australia’s Adam Gilchrist, Rishabh Pant’s young talent has already had speculation being etched about his potential career graph. Therefore, for the youngster to have hiccupped in the course of the series in which India surprisingly could not hold up an otherwise sedate Australia who struggled in home conditions, pointed out the harsh reality of the obvious chasm between Dhoni’s wealth of talent, acumen and experience and Pant being still wet behind the ears.

Defeat tends to draw in greater scrutiny. Indeed questions can and should be asked about India’s ability to hold their own on home turf and whether they have perhaps been a tad complacent amongst other issues to have let Australia get some valuable, much needed confidence under the belt. For Australia to make a comeback to hand India rare home series defeat, a scapegoat had to be found particularly since the ICC Cricket World Cup is only drawing closer. This is not say Pant is being unduly criticized. But while there is acknowledgement that there is a learning curve ahead for Pant, what must, also, be recognized is that comparison, particularly at this point in time, is made redundant by the fact that while Dhoni is in his sunset years as a player, Pant is still finding his feet in international cricket.

News Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar had the most filmy birthday wish for Aamir Khan

Staff Writer Updated: 14 March, 2019, 4:35 PM IST


Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan are close friends and often meet each other when they are in Mumbai. While Sachin has attended Aamir Khan's movie premiers, Aamir has watched international matches featuring master blaster. He recently attended one of the functions which was organized to felicitate Sachin for his great service to nation.

Meanwhile, Sachin took to Twitter to wish his buddy on his birthday. He wrote, “Wishing my dear friend, @aamir_khan a very happy birthday! “A”, kya bolta tu?”

Sachin Tendulkar was recently embroiled in a controversy when he stated that Team India should play Pakistan in the World Cup as losing two points by not taking up the field against arch rivals would be more painful.

Aamir Khan is working on his next project which is an adaptation of the Mahabharata. He didn’t reveal the details of his next project. "I'll start preparing for my next because I have to look slim and lean. There are two films (in consideration) and in both of then I have to look lean."

News Cricket

Justin Langer says he has never seen a player like Virat Kohli

Harshit Anand Updated: 14 March, 2019, 4:31 PM IST


Despite losing ODI series against Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi on Wednesday, Indian skipper Virat Kohli earned huge praise from the Australian head coach Justin Langer. The former Australian opening batsman said that he has never seen a player like Virat Kohli and also hailed India's character in the series.

“I have never seen a player like Kohli. They showed character and great fighting spirit. India had the better of us in Australia and we were able to have the better of them here,” said Langer.

Langer further said he was “incredibly proud” of the Men in Yellow, who also registered first T20I series win in India.

“It is going to be tough to pick the World Cup squad. It has been an unbelievable ride since India arrived in Australia,” Langer added.

Langer also praised opener Usman Khawaja and Australia's pacers. “I think Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins are forming a great partnership, they can also contribute with the bat. Usman Khawaja also has been fantastic, having not played much of white-ball cricket, in the last 12 months,” said Langer.

Australia will now play Pakistan in a five-match ODI series starting March 22.

News Cricket

IPL franchises will realize my worth soon, says Cheteshwar Pujara

Staff Writer Updated: 14 March, 2019, 4:05 PM IST


Cheteshwar Pujara has been a true servant of Indian cricket since making his international debut. The right hand batsman is one of the best batsmen in Test cricket and played a decisive role in his team's maiden Test series win in Australia.

He amassed 521 runs that included three hundreds in the four-match series as the touring party defeated Australia 2-1. Pujara, who is renowned for temperament and patience, had faced 1,258 balls throughout the series, which is the most by any Indian player in a Test series in Australia.

Not just Test cricket, Pujara showed his class in the T20 format as well. He slammed his maiden T20 ton and followed it up with scores of 68, 42 not-out and 39 not-out in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

He was recently asked about his isolation from Indian Premier League.

"Sometimes it’s difficult to accept things but I am someone who moves on. I am not worried about what people think. However, the perception is changing now. When I started scoring in the T20 format, people have started saying ‘he can do it’. I think IPL franchises will realize that soon," he said.

News Cricket

Sourav Ganguly joins hands with Ricky Ponting in IPL

Harshit Anand Updated: 14 March, 2019, 4:03 PM IST


Former Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly will be joining two-time World Cup-winning skipper, Ricky Ponting as an advisor for Delhi Capitals in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier Leauge. Delhi are yet to win an IPL title despite appearing in all the first 11 editions of the cash-rich league. They keep bottling up in the tourney somehow. But they have been boosted by the joining of Sourav Ganguly.

Sourav Ganguly said: “I am very pleased to come on board with the Delhi Capitals. Having known the Jindals and the JSW Group for years, I am now excited to be a part of their latest sports venture. I am really looking forward to working with the players and the support staff.”

On his joining, Delhi Capitals chairman, Parth Jindal said, “Sourav is one of the most astute minds in world cricket. A lot of what we see in Indian cricket today was born because of Sourav. His aggression, positivity and never say die attitude are traits we want the Delhi Capitals team to imbibe. It is truly an honour that Sourav has chosen Delhi as his IPL team. I have no doubt that our team will benefit immensely from his experience, guidance and advice. Sourav has been like family to me and I am deeply humbled to have him as an Advisor."

News Cricket

Virat Kohli hands onus to players ahead of Indian Premier League

Staff Writer Updated: 14 March, 2019, 3:45 PM IST


Virat Kohli has stated that players will have to manage their workload smartly during the upcoming Indian Premier League season to stay fit and fresh for the World Cup.

The 12th edition of the league will begin on March 23 and will end just before the World Cup, which will start on May 30. Many cricket boards have already warned players to be smart while playing in the IPL to avoid any injury ahead of the show-piece event.

Kohli said it's not that he is asking the players not to be committed to their respective IPL franchises.

"All the workload will be monitored and given a window, the guys can afford to rest. The World Cup comes every four years and we play IPL every year," said Kohli.

"Not to say we won't be committed to the IPL but we've got to be smart. We have to work in balance and take smart decisions. "The responsibility and the onus is on the player. No one will be forced to do something. Eventually, no one wants to miss the World Cup and cost the team good balance," added Kohli.

News Cricket

Australia end Virat Kohli’s unbeaten run

Staff Writer Updated: 14 March, 2019, 3:39 PM IST


Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, was handed first defeat at home in ODIs as captain after India's 35-run loss against Australia in the fifth and final ODI.

Chasing 273 for victory, India were bundled out for 237 by the rivals, who won the series 3-2. Men in Blue suffered their first ODI series loss at home since 2015. It was also the first time India lost three consecutive ODI matches under Virat Kohli's leadership.

Australia beat India by 35 runs to win the fifth and final ODI on Wednesday and secure a 3-2 victory in the series.

It is the first ODI series' win for Australia since January 2017 and the fourth on Indian soil, the last coming in 2009. It was India's first loss in an ODI series at home since 2015 when they lost 3-2 to South Africa.

Usman Khawaja (100) struck his second century in three ODIs as Australia rode to 272-9. Peter Handscomb also followed his hundred in Mohali with 52 off 60 balls, as the duo put on 99 runs for the second wicket.

In reply, Rohit Sharma top-scored with 56 but India lost Shikhar Dhawan (12) and Virat Kohli (20) cheaply, which cost them the game. From 132-6 at one stage, Kedar Jadhav (44) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (46) put on 91 runs for the seventh wicket but it wasn't enough to salvage the situation.