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WATCH: Shahid Afridi reacts to question on Team India wearing army caps vs Australia in 3rd ODI

Harshit Anand Updated: 12 March, 2019, 2:44 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

When Indian players donned camouflage-style army caps in the third ODI against Australia in Ranchi, a big controversy erupted with Pakistan urging the International Cricket Council to take strong action against India after their cricketers wore army caps. It was a tribute by Indian cricketers towards the martyrs of Pulwama terror attack, which was allegedly executed by a Pakistani based terror outfit.

Famous Pakistan cricketer, Shahid Afridi expressed his opinion on the topic. He said, "Caps pehni to utar bi deen (They wore but took it off as well)"

ICC also shared its view on the controversial topic and said, "The BCCI sought permission from the ICC to wear the caps as part of a fundraising drive and in memory of fallen soldiers (in Pulwama attack), which was granted."

The PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani had earlier said, "We believe that cricket and sports should not be used for politics and we have said this very clearly. Their (India) credibility in the cricketing world has gone down very badly. There's absolutely no misunderstanding in the ICC about our position."

There were also calls for boycotting Pakistan in 2019 Cricket World Cup after the deadly Pulwama terror attack took away lives of at least, 40 CRPF jawans.

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News Cricket

James Anderson announces his retirement plans

Staff Writer Updated: 12 March, 2019, 3:05 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

England's James Anderson is the most prolific fast bowler in Test cricket. He is at the top of his game at present. The 36 years old has taken 575 wickets in 148 Tests at an average of 26.93. He has aged like a fine wine. He is the fourth highest wicket-taker of all time in Tests.

The premier English speedster opened up on his retirement plans, “I feel as good as I ever have,” he told Sky Sports. “With me not playing one-day cricket over the last few years, it gives me that extra time to work on my fitness and stay fresh. I never really look too far ahead but I have no plans to finish up anytime soon. I will take it series by series and see what happens,” added Anderson.

The English veteran also revealed what went wrong for the English team in West Indies where they got whitewashed by 0-2 against Jason Holder led side.

“In the West Indies, we weren’t quite sure what we were going to get – we didn’t adapt to the conditions, their bowling attack and the way their batsmen played,” he said.

News Cricket

ICC says India sought permission to wear camouflage caps

Staff Writer Updated: 12 March, 2019, 2:27 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The Indian cricket team was granted permission to wear camouflage caps during a one-day international against Australia in Ranchi, the ICC said on Monday.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni distributed the caps among his team members before Friday's toss for the third ODI as a way to pay tribute to 40 Indian soldiers killed in a terror attack in Pulwama.

"The BCCI sought permission from the ICC to wear the caps as part of a fundraising drive and in memory of fallen soldiers who have died, which was granted," ICC spokeswoman Claire Furlong told The Associated Press in an e-mail on Monday.

The move by the Board of Control for Cricket in India was heavily criticized in Pakistan. Information minister Fawad Chaudhry even called for the ICC to ban the Indian cricket team for mixing politics with sports.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani said he has "strongly taken up the matter with the ICC."

"There's absolutely no misunderstanding in the ICC about our position," Mani said late Sunday in Karachi. "We believe that cricket and sports should not be used for politics and we have said this very clearly. Their (India) credibility in the cricketing world has gone down very badly."

The PCB was forced to shift the three PSL matches from Lahore to Karachi last week because of the recent political tensions between Pakistan and India.

Lahore was ruled out when its air space was temporarily closed in the aftermath of Pulwama attack. But the PCB was adamant to show the cricketing world that it's safe to play cricket in Pakistan by organizing eight PSL games in Karachi.

In the past, the ICC has either reprimanded or banned international players for showing off their political sentiments during international matches.

England all-rounder Moeen Ali was banned five years ago for wearing wristbands showing off slogans "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine" during a test match against India.

South Africa leg spinner Imran Tahir was reprimanded for showing of an image of Pakistan pop singer Junaid Jamshed underneath his playing T-shirt during a T20 against Sri Lanka in 2017. Jamshed had died in a plane crash in December 2016.

"You have two examples from the past already, where both Imran Tahir and Moeen Ali were sanctioned for something similar," Mani said. "The ICC had taken strong action against them and we have sought similar action against India. The permission they took was for a different purpose but they acted differently."

News Cricket

Bishan Singh Bedi slams Virat Kohli

Staff Writer Updated: 12 March, 2019, 2:23 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi termed India's wicket-keeper batsman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni as India's "half captain" and his absence made Virat Kohli "visibly rough" in the middle during India's fourth ODI loss in Mohali.

"We all are missing him (Dhoni) because he's almost half-a-captain on the field. His absence was felt yesterday (in Mohali) behind the stumps," Bedi told ANI on Monday.

“Dhoni is not getting any younger, he is no spring chicken either but the team needs him. He has a calming influence on the side. The captain needs him by his side, he is visibly rough without him. It is not a good sign,” added Bedi.

The wicket-keeper batsman has been rested for the remainder of the series which is tied at 2-2 as Australia snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the fourth match at Mohali.

Bedi, who took 266 wickets in 67 Tests, further said fiddle with the combination is not required ahead of the World Cup, scheduled to be hosted in England from May 30 to July 14.

“I would personally like them to live in the present. World Cup is still two and a half months away. Just play the game. For the World Cup, we have been experimenting and preparing for the last one year and I am not happy with that at all,” he said.

When asked about Pant, Bedi expressed himself with no holds barred. Bedi said: “Pant is a wild horse. Somebody has to tame him. Who is going to do that? The support staff should be able to do that. He is making the same mistakes again and again and behind stumps, too, he has a lot of work to do, honestly. Your chairman of the selection committee (MSK Prasad) is a wicketkeeper, you talk to him at least."

News Cricket

Even Dhoni missed catches and stumpings in starting of his career: Pant's coach

Harshit Anand Updated: 12 March, 2019, 2:09 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rishabh Pant's childhood coach Tarak Sinha has come out in support of 21 years old Indian wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant, who faced severe criticism post the fourth ODI between India and Australia, that the hosts lost. Sinha hit out at the criticism the young wicket-keeper batsman is copping at the moment.

“Such comparisons are cropping up because, like Dhoni, he (Pant) is also a wicketkeeper-batsman. But it’s unfair on him because it puts undue pressure for him to perform in a particular way, and be like Dhoni. He performs the best when his mind is free,” the coach was quoted as saying by Indian Express.

“There’s a difference between the Pant of today and Dhoni 14-years-ago when he was making his way into the Indian team. Back then, he did not come with the kind of baggage like Pant has. There wasn’t any legendary wicketkeeper whom he was replacing. The guys back then were either Dinesh Karthik or Parthiv Patel, players younger to him. So, he (Dhoni) was free from the pressure and expectations that Pant is facing today,” he continued.

“Which keeper in the world hasn’t missed a catch or a stumping? Even Dhoni missed catches and stumpings at the start of his career. The good thing is that the selectors persisted with him and did not drop him after one season. He improved with time to become one of the greats of the game,” added Sinha.

Pant missed two stumping chances in the Mohali ODI but he was impressive with the bat and scored a 24-ball 36. The series-decider between India and Australia will take place on March 13 in Delhi.

News Cricket

David Warner has a special message for Sunrisers Hyderabad fans

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 5:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

David Warner is all set to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League after completing a 12-month ban following his involvement in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.

Ahead of the new season, he has come out with a special message for Sunrisers Hyderabad fans. In a video posted by his franchise, he said, “Hi everyone, this is David Warner, I've a special message for all the Orange Army fans thank you for showing us all the love and support for all these years. Now its our time to give back to our loyal fans." He then goes on to tell fans about 25,000 seats that would be available for cheaper prices.

He led Sunrisers to their maiden IPL title in 2016, scoring 848 runs at an average of 60.57.

Warner sustained a small fracture to his thumb. He has scored a total of 4,014 runs at an average of 40.54 in 114 IPL matches.

News Cricket

Star Aussie player doubtful for series decider against India

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 4:45 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Australian all-rounder is doubtful for the series decider against Men in Blue in Delhi after he sustained a small fracture to his thumb during his team's 32 runs victory in the third ODI in Ranchi.

He didn’t play in the fourth ODI in Mohali, which Australia won by four wickets courtesy Ashton Turner's sublime Knock of 84.

Teammate Peter Handscomb said they will not rush with their star all-rounder.

"He'll look to play at some stage but it's just pain management with him," Handscomb said.

"When it's your bottom-hand thumb it makes it hard to hold the bat.

"We've just got to wait and see with him."

Stoinis was awarded with men ODI player of the Year award after his magnificent run of form in international cricket.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli vs. Sachin Tendulkar vs. Brian Lara? Vaughan settles GOAT debate

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 4:34 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former English skipper Michael Vaughan has rated Virat Kohli above Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara in ODI cricket. He has often lauded Virat Kohli for his exceptional display in international cricket. After he notched up his 41st ODI ton, Vaughan took to twitter to praise the Indian skipper. "The (GOAT) is at it again ... #Virat"

When Vaughan was asked by a Twitter user if he actually rates Virat Kohli above Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, he replied in the affirmative.

Virat Kohli is being hailed by cricket fraternity for his well compiled 123 runs in Ranchi. His knock, however, went in vain as Australia defeated India by 32 runs to keep the ongoing series alive.

Meanwhile, Ian Bell, who is regarded as one of the best English batsmen, has also lauded Virat Kohli. "Absolutely next level! Have run out of words to describe this guy!" Bell wrote.

Former Aussie opener and one of the commentators in the ongoing ODI series between India and Australia, Matthew Hayden has heaped praise on Virat.

"Absolutely staggering. I am trying to think back, check the memory banks of brilliant players over the years. Maybe Brian Lara in his heyday, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly all these players have been on top of their game at various points in one-day cricket. But Virat Kohli is doing it so easy. He is drifting away to a hundred. Not only that, just the way he is transcending every game seems to be a different performance," Hayden told Star Sports after Australia's win on Friday.

"I think he has always got great energy and the intent and he's got the fitness to be able to do it. It's almost like one performance leads to the next. His tempo is incredible. We saw the likes of Vijay that had an opportunity to bat with him. That's only going to be good for India ahead of the World Cup."

News Cricket

Harbhajan Singh sounds warning to Virat Kohli & Co

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 3:58 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian players will join their respective IPL franchises after the ODI series against Australia. With World Cup being the next international assignment, there are worries that T20 league could lead to injuries. Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has cautioned Indian players especially Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah to be extra smart while playing in the cash rich league.

“You don’t want your key players to get injured someone like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah you don’t want them to miss the World Cup because of injuries or niggles. You want them to be on their best of form and (play) best of cricket,” he said.

“Looking at his (Virat’s) form, from the last four-to-five years, he has hit that purple patch and he is definitely one of those toughest batsmen that you will come across as a bowler. Every batsman has a weak point where to bowl at and, at the moment, we don’t see that with Virat Kohli,” he added.

However, he is backing India to do well in the showpiece event in England and Wales.

“World Cup is still very far. We will have to wait and watch what happens. But this is a kind of a team which can lift any major championship. World Cup or any big tournament, – they can definitely win. They have the team (for it)”, Harbhajan was quoted as saying on Sportstar.

News Cricket

PCB sends a strongly worded letter to ICC, calls for action against India for wearing army caps

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 3:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The governing body of Pakistan cricket has written to ICC, urging them to take a strong action against India for wearing camouflage military caps during the third ODI against Australia.

“We have made our point very strongly to the ICC which now has no doubts or confusion about our intention or stance now on this matter,” Ehsan Mani told reporters at the National Stadium on Sunday night.

“We will be sending another letter to the ICC in next 12 hours after more consultations with our lawyers,” he added.

He further stated that cricket must not be used for politics. “This is the second that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has tried to use cricket for politics. They took permission from ICC for some other purpose and used it to do something else, which is not acceptable,” he said.

Mani said they have reminded the ICC about the action they took against Imran Tahir and Moeen Ali for making a politically motivated statement on field.

“We want the ICC to take similar sort of action against the Indians.”

Videos Cricket

Watch: Virat Kohli's reaction after Rishabh Pant tries to emulate Dhoni's no-look flick

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 3:46 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rishabh Pant is being criticized by fans for his mediocre wicket keeping display during the fourth ODI of the series against Australia. He had replaced MS Dhoni, who was rested for the final two ODIs of the five-match series.

Pant missed a few clear-cut wicket taking chances and on one occasion, he even tried to copy MS Dhoni's no-look flick but failed miserably, leading to angry reaction from Virat Kohli.

The Indian skipper looked miffed as Pant's mistake led to an overthrow. Yuzvendra Chahal was not amused with the antics of Pant, who was smiling after conceding an extra run.

Ashton Turner bludgeoned 84 off 43 balls as Australia beat India by four wickets in the fourth ODI on Sunday to level the five-match series 2-2.

Peter Handscomb added 117 off 105 balls, while Usman Khawaja made 91 runs as Australia made surprisingly easy work of an imposing 359-run target.

Handscomb and Khawaja put on 192 runs for the third wicket after Australia had been reduced to 12-2 and Turner applied the finishing touch to lead Australia to 359-6 in 47.5 overs.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan scored his 16th ODI hundred as India reached 358-5 after opting to bat on the best pitch in this series. Rohit Sharma also scored 95 runs and the duo put on 193 runs for the opening wicket to set the stage for a challenging score.

But dew and poor fielding put paid to India's chances as Australia rallied to its record chase in ODI cricket.

News Cricket

Spinner Mosharraf Hossain Rubel diagnosed with a brain tumour

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 3:18 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Bangladesh spinner Mosharraf Hossain Rubel has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

He is suffering from glioma, a kind of tumour that starts in the glial cells of the spine or the brain.

Mosharraf will travel to Singapore for further treatment.

The experienced spinner had fainted quite a number of times after which he consulted the doctors and was informed about glioma.

He is no more a part of Bangladesh team but continues to play in Bangladesh's domestic cricket. The Dhaka-born cricketer is confident of his recovery and is expected to be fine.

“I have applied for the visa and an appointment has been set at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. The doctors said the tumour is at a very primary stage and successful removal should be able to cure me, Inshallah,” Mosharraf was quoted as saying in Dhaka Tribune.

Dr. Debashish Chowdhury, the chief physician of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), stated that Mosharraf has consulted them regarding tumour.

“Severity of the tumour can only be understood once the biopsy is done following the operation. So far, the reports suggest that the tumour is at a primary stage but after all, it is a tumour in the brain so it is very sensitive. It was during the BPL this year when he fainted and was advised a thorough checkup,” he mentioned.

News Cricket

David Warner to win Player of the Tournament award in World Cup

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 2:48 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Shane Warne is backing David Warner to make an instant impact for Australia at the World Cup. He has tipped suspended Australia batsman to be named Player of the Tournament at this year's World Cup.

“The little things that used to make you say ‘here we go again’ don’t matter anymore. You get excited just going to the nets again because you have taken it for granted in the past so I think they will come back better than they were. They are going to come out and destroy attacks and I back David Warner to be the player of the World Cup,” said Warne.

“Warner overstepped the line a lot in his early career. He then changed into a more placid player but was then told by Cricket Australia to be the enforcer and was doing what he was told,” he added.

He gave his own example to talk about David Warner and Steve Smith’s comeback

“All I can go on is experience having a year off myself. The next four years were the best I ever had. I was hungry for the game. My body and mind were fresh and it is amazing how excited you are to play again,” Warne told Telegraph Sport.

News Cricket

Cricket Australia trolls Shikhar Dhawan for forgetting Ashton Turner's name

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 2:44 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ashton Turner bludgeoned 84 off 43 balls as Australia beat India by four wickets in the fourth ODI on Sunday to level the five-match series 2-2.

Handscomb and Turner put on 42 runs as the game changed course toward Australia in the final power play. Even when Handscomb was caught at long on off Yuzvendra Chahal (1-80) in the 42nd over, Australia remained in contention.

Playing only his second ODI, Turner made great use of the conditions as he smacked five fours and six sixes to stun the Mohali crowd, putting on 86 runs with Alex Carey (21).

He reached his maiden half-century off 33 balls and gained from two dropped catches in an over off Kumar, taking Australia across the finish line with 13 balls to spare.

Team India's opener Shikhar Dhawan lauded Turner for his batting but he completely forgot his name.

"He's a new player but we knew that - he already (played). Of course, 'that guy' played a really good knock and took the game away from us," Dhawan told the media in Mohali.

"But if there wasn't any dew it wouldn't be possible to play those shots. Because of the dew those things just got away from us. Credit goes to him that he played a great knock."

Cricket Australia's official website took a cheeky dig at Dhawan. "Ash who? 'That guy' leaves India reeling," reads the headline of one of their news stories.

News Cricket

Dhawan jumps to Rishabh Pant's defence, says don't compare him to Dhoni

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 2:10 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rishabh Pant had a miserable outing in terms of wicket-keeping in the third ODI between India and Australia. The youngster not only dropped catches but also missed a crucial stumping of Ashton Turner, who led Australia to victory.

The fans at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium were not amused by Pant’s glovework and they chanted Dhoni Dhoni to remind him of his role. During the 44th over of the Australia innings, Pant missed a straight forward stumping chance to dismiss Turner, who was on 38 at that moment.

He also tried to emulate MS Dhoni by flicking the ball towards the stumps to run Alex Carey out but missed the target and even conceded an extra run.

Pant also forced Virat Kohli to opt for a review against Turner but the on-filed decision was upheld by the third umpire.

Pant’s teammate Shikhar Dhawan has backed the young Indian star, saying it's unfair to compare him to legendary player MS Dhoni and he should give more time to prove himself in international cricket.

"Rishabh is a young bloke and like any other youngster, you have to give time to him. Rishabh is still finding his feet. You cannot compare Pant to Dhoni [bhai], given the experience he has having played over the years," Dhawan told the media in Mohali.

He added: "Of course, had the stumping chance been taken, it could have turned the game. Having said that, the game slipped away from our hands quite quickly after that. The dew also played its part in the game. But that's what it is."