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Randy Orton destroys the Bray Wyatt house

Randy Orton destroys the Bray Wyatt house

IPL Auction: Pune Pay 14.5 Crore for Ben Stokes, RCB Buy Tymal Mills for 12 Crore

IPL Auction: Pune Pay 14.5 Crore for Ben Stokes, RCB Buy Tymal Mills for 12 Crore

Bengaluru: The Indian Premier League 2017 auction on Monday witnessed two English cricketers become millionaires, all-rounder Ben Stokes and paceman Tymal Mills were bought for astronomical amounts as a total of 66 players were eventually sold to the eight franchises. Out of the 66 players, 27 were overseas cricketers.

Stokes, who was expected to be hot property in what is going to be his first season in the IPL was bought for a whopping Rs 14.5 crore by Rising Pune Supergiants. This makes him the second most expensive player ever to have been bought in an IPL auction after Yuvraj Singh.

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The other English player who drew a big bidding war was left-arm paceman Tymal Mills, who was finally bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 12 crore. With Mitchell Starc bailing out of this season, Virat Kohli’s outfit needed an overseas paceman and they were headstrong in going all the way for Mills.

There were other pacers too who drew lot of attention, although they didn’t go for such an astronomical figure. South African Kagiso Rabada was bought for Rs 5 crore by the Delhi Daredevils who too needed reinforcements after releasing their Australian recruit Nathan Coulter-Nile after last season.

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New Zealand’s Trent Boult was snatched by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 5 Crore. Boult, who won the IPL title with the Sunrisers Hyderabad team last season was released by his franchise. The paceman was a never a straight out choice in the presence of the likes of Mustafizur Rehman and can now look forward to some regular first team action this season.

Australian duo of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Johnson also fetched a good price at the auction. Cummins, who is known for his blistering pace, was bought for Rs 4.5 crore by Delhi Daredevils while 2015 ICC World Cup winner Johnson was bought for Rs 2 crore by Mumbai Indians, a franchise the Aussie had represented earlier.

Another England player was sold for a high price. Bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes, who is known for his wicket-taking abilities in the limited-overs format, was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 4.2 crore.

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Among the batsmen, England’s limited overs captain Eoin Morgan, who was released by Sunrisers Hyderabad, was bought by the Kings XI Punjab for Rs 2 crore. This will be Morgan’s third IPL outfit having already represented Kolkata Knight Riders and the Sunrisers.

The Delhi Daredevils spent heavily on foreign talent and bought two seam bowling all-rounders in New Zealand’s Corey Anderson, for Rs 1 crore, and Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews for Rs 2 crore.
The Sri Lankan captain has already played for the Daredevils earlier while Anderson, who was a star for the Mumbai Indians once, will play his maiden season for thecapital outfit.

Among the uncapped players, Karnataka batsman K Gowtham was bought for Rs 2 crore by the Mumbai Indians. Gowtham recently scored a half-century against Australians while playing for India A in the tour match.

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Among the Indian players, leg-spinner Karn Sharma, who was for the longest time a part of the Hyderabad outfit, was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 3.2 crore. Paceman Varun Aaron was bought by the Kings XI Punjab for Rs 2.8 crore.

Left-arm paceman Aniket Choudhary, who has been bowling in the nets for Team India as they prepare for Mitchell Starc in the Test series against Australia, also went for Rs 2 crore. He was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

There was a windfall for an Afghan player also, leg-spinner Rashid Khan was bought for a whopping Rs 4 crore by the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The leggie with a base price of Rs 50 lacs saw an intense bidding war between SRH and the Mumbai Indians, but the defending champions sealed the deal eventually.

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill went unsold initially, but was later bought by Kings XI Punjab for his base price of Rs 50 lacs. England all-rounder Chris Jordan suffered a similar fate and was eventually picked up for his base price of Rs 50 lacs by Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Surprisingly there were no takers for the world’s top T20I bowler Imran Tahir, who had a base price of Rs 50 lacs. Tahir, who has been South Africa’s premier wicket-taker in limited overs cricket, had earlier been an important player for Delhi Daredevils who released him after last season.

Virat Kohli Lands Rs 110-Cr Deal With Puma

Virat Kohli Lands Rs 110-Cr Deal With Puma

New Delhi: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has become the first Indian sportsperson to land a deal that is worth in the north of Rs 100 Crores with a single brand.

If reports are to be believed, Kohli has signed up with Puma for eight years that will make the Indian skipper richer by Rs 110 crores.

Virat Kohli-110 crore

Kohli will now rub shoulders with the likes of legendary Olympian Usain Bolt and former football World Cup winner Thierry Henry as the global ambassadors of the brand.

IPL 2017: Varun Aaron Can’t Wait to Work With Virender Sehwag

IPL 2017: Varun Aaron Can’t Wait to Work With Virender Sehwag

New Delhi: He has been out of the Indian team for more than a year and pacer Varun Aaron feels that the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League could provide him with the perfect opportunity to break back into the national fold.

Aaron was picked by Kings XI Punjab for Rs2.8 crore at the auction on Monday and the bowler says that he cant wait to team up with former India opener Virender Sehwag. While Sehwag is the mentor, it is understood that all major cricketing decisions will be made keeping him in the loop.

Speaking to CricketNext, Aaron said that he is excited about picking on Sehwags brain and improve his skills as he aims to make a comeback to the national fold.

To be honest, I am looking forward to working with Sehwag and picking his brain. I had earlier played with him during my stint with Delhi Daredevils and I am looking forward to joining him now in Punjab. The amount of knowledge he has is amazing and also he is always available to help you with his inputs. I am really excited to be a part of the KXIP franchise.

It isnt the best feeling when you are out of the Indian team for around a year. But I am looking to change that with the IPL. I had a couple of good IPL seasons in 2014 and 2015 before a mediocre one last year. And I want to perform well this time and take KXIP to the title. I have always loved playing in Mohali and we have a good team this time round so I am really positive, he said.

Asked about his own game, as he was laid low by a heel injury during the Ranji Trophy season, Aaron cant stop laughing about his tryst with freak injuries.

I felt a pain in the game against Maharashtra and was initially told that I will miss action for three and a half weeks. But as luck would have it, I had to sit out the whole of the Ranji Trophy. What do I say? I guess you just have to take it in your stride and come back stronger. You cant do much about injuries. But yes, to be fair, I last had a serious injury way back in 2011-12 when I was laid low by the back injury. Hopefully things get better from here on, he said.

While there is no set pattern to succeed when it comes to a format like T20, KXIP have been one of the most inconsistent teams over the last nine years. But Aaron is confident that the boys will change things around this time round.

See, you cant predict much when it comes to this format. But we do have a good side this time round and I am confident that if we play to potential, we can change things around. We had some good buys at the auction Eoin Morgan, Martin Guptill and uncapped star T Natarajan among others and lets keep our fingers crossed, he signed off.

IPL 2017 The Full Squads

IPL 2017 The Full Squads

IPL 2017 Player Auction just got over today in Bengaluru and Englishmen did really well in India this time which they were not able to do just recently.

All big players including, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills got big money.

Moreover, Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills were sold for more than INR 10 Crore!

Now, the squads are ready for the tournament which is scheduled to start from April 5.

Here are the full squads of all teams:

Captain Zaheer Khan

Indian Players

Zaheer Khan, Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, CV Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Shashank Singh, Ankit Bawane, Navdeep Saini

Overseas Players

Corey Anderson (New Zealand)

Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)

Pat Cummins (Australia)

Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Quinton De Cock, JP Duminy (South Africa)

Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies)

Sam Billings (England)

Captain Suresh Raina

Indian Players

Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Ishan Kishan, Pradeep Sangwan, Shivil Kaushik, Shadab Jakati, Jaydev Shah, Manpreet Gony, Nathu Singh, Munaf Patel, Akshdeep Nath, Basil Thampi, Shubham Agarwal, Tejas Baroka, Pratham Singh, Shelley Shaurya

Overseas Players

James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Andrew Tye (Australia)

Brendon MacCullam (New Zealand)

Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith (West Indies)

Chirag Suri (UAE)

Captain David Miller

Indian Players

Manan Vohra, Axar Patel, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Wriddhiman Saha, Murali Vijay, Nikhil Naik, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Armaan Jaffer, Pradeep Sahu, Vraun Aaron, Rahul Tewatia, Rinku Singh, T Natarajan

Overseas Players

Martin Guptill, Matt Henry (New Zealand)

Darren Sammy (West Indies)

Eoin Morgan (England)

Hashim Amla, David Miller (South Africa)

Marcus Stoinis, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell (Australia)

Captain Gautam Gambhir

Indian Players

Gautam Gambhir, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldn Jackson, Ankit Rajpoot, Rishi Dhawan, Ishank Jaggi, Sayan Gosh, R Sanjay Yadav

Overseas Players

Darren Bravo, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine (West Indies)

Chris Woakes (England)

Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn (Australia)

Trent Boult (New Zealand)

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

Captain Rohit Sharma

Indian Players

Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Jagadeesha Suchith, Hardik Pandya, Jitesh Sharma, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Punia, Saurabh Tiwary, Karn Sharma, Krishnappa Gowtham Kulwant Kejroliya

Overseas Players

Asela Gunaratne, Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

Mitchell Johnson (Australia)

Nicholas Pooran, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard (West Indies)

Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan (New Zealand)

Jos Buttler (England)

Captain Steven Smith

Indian Players

MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashok Dinda, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Ankit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Jaskaran Singh, Baba Aparajith, Deepak Chahar, Mayank Agarwal, Manoj Tiwary, Jaydev Unadkat, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Kumar, Milind Tandon, Rahul Tripathi

Overseas Players

Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand)

Daniel Christian, Usman Khawaja, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith (Australia)

Ben Stokes (England)

Francois Du Plessis (South Africa)

Captain Virat Kohli

Indian Players

Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Sreenath Arvind, Kedar Jadhav, Stuart Binny, Sachin Baby, Iqbal Abdulla, Lokesh Rahul, Avesh Khan, Pawan Negi, Praveen Dubey, Aniket Choudhary

Overseas Players

Tymal Mills (England)

Billy Stanlake, Travis Head, Shane Watson (Australia)

Tabraiz Shamsi, AB de Villiers (South Africa)

Samuel Badree, Chris Gayle (West Indies)

Adam Milne (New Zealand)

Captain David Warner

Indian Players

Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Namaj Ojha, Ricky Bhui, Siddarth Kaul, Bipul Sharma, Ashish Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Abhimanyu Mithun, Barinder Sran, Deepak Hooda, Vijay Shankar, Eklavya Dwivedi, Pravin Tambe, Tanmay Agarwal, Mohammed Siraj

Overseas Players

Ben Laughlin, Ben Cutting, David Warner, Moises Henriques (Australia)

Rashid Khan Arman, Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)

Chris Jordan (England)

Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)

Kane Williamson (New Zealand)

India vs Bangladesh: Kuldeep Yadav Replaces Amit Mishra in India Squad for One-off Test

India vs Bangladesh: Kuldeep Yadav Replaces Amit Mishra in India Squad for One-off Test

New Delhi: Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav has replaced senior pro Amit Mishra in the Indian squad for the one-off Test against Bangladesh starting February 9.

Mishra suffered an injury while fielding during the third T20I against England in Bengaluru.

“Mishra been ruled out of the match after he sustained a knee injury while fielding in the Bengaluru T20I match against England. He has been advised rest and will undergo further medical examination,” a BCCI release said.

Kuldeep took three wickets in the drawn warm-up match against Bangladesh. He dismissed Mahmudullah (23) in the first innings and removed Soumya Sarkar (25) and Mominul Haque (0) in the second innings.

The 22-year-old bowler from Uttar Pradesh has played 22 first-class matches claiming 81 wickets.

Following their recent victory against England in all the three formats, the No. 1 ranked Test side will hold the edge going into the one-off match in Hyderabad.

Kohli’s men are looking to set a new milestone after equalling India’s record of five consecutive Test series triumphs against England, New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa and Sri Lanka in the past 18 months.

Bangladesh have lost six of the eight Tests they have played against India, with two draws.

This will be the first time that Bangladesh will be playing India away from home since gaining full Test status in 2000.

Meet The Delhi Boy Who Scored 300 in a T20 Match

Meet The Delhi Boy Who Scored 300 in a T20 Match

New Delhi: There was time in cricket when scoring a hundred in a Test match was considered a tedious task, but not anymore.

Delhis Mohit Ahlawat has taken aggressive batting to an altogether new level by scoring 300 runs in T20 cricket in a club tournament.

Mohit slammed 300* while playing for Maavi XI against the local side Friends XI at the Lalita Park in New Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar area.

I was supposed to get three sixes of the last three balls to reach 300 and luckily I managed to do that, said Mohit in an exclusive interview with Cricketnext.

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Taking a cue out of Pranav Dhanavade’s book, who scored 1000 runs in a Mumbai school cricket match, Mohit has now set a landmark that has put all the limelight on him.

The ultimate goal is to play for India as every other player who starts playing the game and I hope I live upto that potential, said Mohit.

Hopefully Mohit keeps on performing at the local level so as to get a chance to perform at the highest level in the game in near future.

In Kohli Vs Smith, Whoever Masters Mind Will Be Best: Ponting

In Kohli Vs Smith, Whoever Masters Mind Will Be Best: Ponting

Virat Kohli has got stiff competition from his peers in international cricket and whoever out of them “masters the mind” best will end up having a better career, feels Australian great Ricky Ponting.

Brett Lee recently said Kohli is best in the business currently, ignoring the likes of Steve Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson. His longtime captain Ponting, however, feels it is still not time to settle the “best batsman” debate.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t really care (who is the best batsmen at the moment). I just love to see all these guys playing (Kohli, Smith, Williamson and Root). There are a number of current players who are probably on a similar career path,” said Ponting, who is in India promoting his home state of Tasmania as its brand ambassador.

“Kohli probably has got age on his side. His ODI career till this stage has been incredible. We also know what he did in last year’s IPL (hitting four hundreds). He is an ultra-skilled and talented player. More importantly, he has got the attitude to want to be the best he can be and wants to lead his country in the best way possible.

“Smith and Williamson are in the same boat. Whoever I guess masters the mind games the best will be the one who ends up with the best career record,” said the two-time World Cup winning captain further.

For the record, Kohli has hit 37 international hundreds while Root, Smith and Williamson have 18, 20 and 21 centuries to their names respectively.

While all four of them have played similar number of Tests, Kohli has played ODI cricket a lot more than his contemporaries, having already slammed 25 centuries.

The next question for Ponting was on the Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar comparison. The Australian, who himself has 71 international tons — second only to Tendulkar, said it is too early to compare the two Indians.

“I would say lets wait till Virat finishes his career.

Virat is still very young. He could have a bad injury tomorrow and not play another game and then probably there will be no comparison with Sachin having played 200 Tests and Virat 50 or 60 odd. So there will be no comparison,” said Ponting.

He also gave his thoughts on the proposed two-tier system in Tests but ended up criticising ODI cricket.

“Look I am all for adding as much context to all formats of the game as possible. The Test championship and the two division competition have been talked about for a long time and here we are now, still have not been able to come up with the right program.

“I think the question is more important for ODI cricket than Tests. ODI cricket is the format which is lacking the most context at the moment. You have a one off series, like Sri Lanka played Australia recently. It doesn’t mean anything.

Both teams want to win the series but there is nothing else riding on it. It is a great challenge (to come up with the right program for all formats),” said the 41-year-old.

Ricky Ponting also welcomed Anil Kumble’s appointment as the head coach of the Indian team.

“Anil’s appointment has been a good one for Indian cricket. He has been one of the stalwarts of the game. He has obviously had great success both as player and captain. I got the chance to work with him at Mumbai Indians. He has got great knowledge of the game. But it is down to the players to say and comment how great he is a coach. From the outside, you have no idea,” he reckoned.

Talking about Kohli taking over captaincy in all three formats, Ponting said he doesn’t see that happening anytime soon with M S Dhoni still going strong in limited overs format.

“It is up to the BCCI, what they think about having separate captains. It also depends on whether Dhoni thinks it is the right time to step aside. It doesn’t seem like that he is going to retire anytime soon. It seems he has still got the passion and desire to captain India in limited overs format.

“As far as captaining in all format is concerned, I would say it does take a toll on you. It (whether you okay with it or not) depends on the kind of character you are as captain.

Steve Smith is captaining in all three formats. It is a great challenge,” he said.

Among other issues concerning international cricket, Ponting spoke his mind on day-night Tests and how the modern-day batsmen are not as technically sound as the ones from his playing days.

“We all know Test cricket has been on the wane in recent times. So you have to try something different. We have had (day-night Test) once in Adelaide last year.

“Once again I am all for what fans and administrators think is right for the game. If the fans want day night Test cricket, then the players and administrators have to do all to deliver it to them.

“Having said that, some players have been a little negative about day night cricket, as it is not traditional way the game is played. But if fans are telling us that they want something different, then it needs to taken seriously. I feel more interaction is needed with general public and administrators of the game. To me that question (what they want to see) has not yet been answered by the public,” felt Ponting.

On the impact of T20 on the current generation, he said: “The Test match techniques of our young players are probably not where it used to be. When I played the game, I learnt first how not to get out and then accumulate runs. These days the guys are not worried about getting out. That is why you see some of them struggling in foreign conditions”.

When asked about Australia’s recent 0-3 defeat against Sri Lanka, Ponting said the team will learn from that and will hopefully fare better in the away series against India early next year.

“If you look at one series in isolation, then it looks exceptionally bad. But at the end of the day, the Australian team has been number one, two or three in the last 10 years with the currently being the World Cup holder in ODIs.

“Now we have bounced back to win the ODI series in Sri Lanka (4-1). Trust me it is not all doom and gloom. We have seen very talented players from Australia in the last two-three seasons. So it is as bad people would like to think.

We are playing India later in the season, once again it will be a great challenge for Australia,” he added.

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Four Terrorists Involved in 2009 Sri Lanka Cricket Team Attack Killed

Four Terrorists Involved in 2009 Sri Lanka Cricket Team Attack Killed

Lahore: Four Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) terrorists who were allegedly involved in the 2009 attack on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team were shot dead on Sunday by Pakistani police.

Seven terrorists attacked a CID team in Manawan area of Lahore where offices of the department are located, according to the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Punjab police.

“The police team which came under attack of terrorists returned the fire, killing four of them on the spot while the remaining three managed to escape by taking advantage of darkness,” a CTD spokesman said.

He said the police have launched a search operation in the area to trace the absconding terrorists.

“The dead terrorists have been identified as — Zubair alias Naik Muhammad, Abdul Wahab, Adnan Arshad and Attiqur Rehman.”

“They were involved in attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009 and Moon Market Lahore attack in 2008,” the spokesman said.

Weapons and explosives were also recovered from their possession.

In June, the Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore had indicted six members of banned LeJ in the Sri Lankan cricket team attack case.

The LeJ suspects who were charged by the ATC were — Obaidullah, Javed Anwar, Ibrahim Khalil, Muhammad, Wahab and Arshad.

Obaidullah, Anwar and Khalil were on bail while the remaining had been lodged in Kot Lakhpat Jail and they had pleaded not guilty.

The ATC had already declared two other suspects — Mohsin Rasheed and Abdul Rehman — proclaimed offenders.

LeJ chief Malik Ishaq, the alleged mastermind of the attack, was killed last year in an encounter with the CID.

In March 2009, a bus carrying the Sri Lankan team was attacked by the Taliban and LeJ terrorists with sophisticated weapons and grenades at Liberty Chowk, near Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Seven players including the then captain Mahela Jayawaredene, Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranavitana and Chaminda Vaas were injured, while six Pakistani policemen escorting the team were killed in the attack.

Dhoni Wants More US Matches Despite Washout

Dhoni Wants More US Matches Despite Washout

Fort Lauderdale: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants more matches in the United States despite a chaotic Twenty20 clash against the West Indies on Sunday ending in a rain-hit no result.

Heavy rain forced the game at the Central Broward Regional Park to be abandoned with India well-placed on 15-0 off two overs in pursuit of a modest 144-run target.

The outcome completed a miserable day for the organisers who were forced to delay the start of the game by 40 minutes after technical problems caused a loss of television pictures.

West Indies, the world champions in the format, claimed the two-match series after winning the first game on Saturday by just one run.

Dhoni, whose side conceded the third-highest total of all time in the format of 245 in the opening clash, said he defintely sees a future for T20 cricket in America’s crowded sports market.

“This is one place where we can come back and play cricket — a triangular or four-nation series,” Dhoni said at Sunday’s presentation in comments carried by the cricinfo website.

“A tournament like that can give us more time to spend in the US. Yes, it will be a cramped schedule, but modern-day cricketers won’t mind it.

“This is one place where spectators will come. The timing suits us. So it’s a win-win situation. It’s a good venue to continue cricket.”

Carlos Brathwaite, leading the West Indies for the first time after the sacking of Darren Sammy, also looked forward to returning to Florida.

“For me as a young leader to lead the players is an exciting experience. We want to remain champions and entertain the West Indies crowd. Most definitely we would love to come back here again,” he said.

West Indies struggled to 143 all out in their innings with slow bowler Amit Mishra claiming a career best 3-24.

Saturday had witnessed 489 runs scored — the highest aggregate for T20 cricket.

But the Florida pitch — and eventually the weather — turned its back on the strokemakers on Sunday.

Saturday century-maker Evin Lewis, again standing in for the injured Chris Gayle, mustered just seven runs before he was caught at mid-off from the bowling of Mohammed Shami.

Fellow opener Johnson Charles looked set for another 50 but was dismissed seven runs short by recalled leg-break bowler Mishra, who enticed a chance to Ajinkya Rahane at long-on.

The bowlers continued to apply the brakes with Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah getting rid of Lendl Simmons (19) and Marlon Samuels (5) respectively with the total on 76 by the 10th over.

Two overs and 22 runs later, the West Indies were six down with Ashwin having Kieron Pollard lbw for 13 and Bumrah clean bowling Andre Fletcher for three.

West Indies crawled past the 100-run mark in the 14th over; on Saturday, they were into three figures in the eighth.

Dwayne Bravo (three) tried to put his foot on the gas but his charge down the wicket was undone by a Mishra googly.

Andre Russell eked out 15 off 13 balls before he holed out off Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the score on 123.

Brathwaite (18) smashed a six and four off Mishra in the 18th over but the captain was bowled off the Indian’s last ball of his impressive spell.

Shami mopped up Samuel Badree for one with two balls of the innings left.

Major Dhyan Chand Should Have Got Bharat Ratna Ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, Say Former Hockey Players

Major Dhyan Chand Should Have Got Bharat Ratna Ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, Say Former Hockey Players

New Delhi: Former greats on revived the longstanding demand for Bharat Ratna to late hockey legend Dhyan Chand with some saying the “wizard” should have been given the honour ahead of cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Former captains Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal, Dilip Tirkey and Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar gathered here at Jantar Mantar another other former players in the hope that the government will fulfil their demand and confer Bharat Ratna to the legend who guided India to Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936.

“We have all gathered here in the hope that dada Dhyan Chand gets the honour which is long overdue. But we can only hope that he gets it. It is the political will that matters.

The same was the case when Sachin Tendulkar was conferred with the honour (in 2014). It makes no difference to his stature, whether dada (Dhyan Chand) gets the award or not. But he should get it as he is most deserving for the recognition,” Iqbal told PTI.

The clamour for the award to Dhyan Chand has resurfaced after he missed out on the honour in 2013 when Tendulkar was chosen for the country’s highest civillian honour ahead of the hockey legend. Even the sports and home ministry recommending Dhyan Chand for Bharat Ratna did not prove to be enough when UPA was in power.

Ajit Pal, who captained India to victory in 1975 World Cup, said Dhyan Chand should have been the first sportsperson to get the honour.

“People world over know him. He is known as a wizard of hockey and we have heard so many stories about him. If any sportsperson deserves the honour, it is him. He should have been the first one to get it. He played and won gold medals when India used to travel on bullock carts, there was extreme poverty. His sacrifice for the game is huge. The earlier governments erred in not giving him the award. I hope this government rectifies this mistake,” said Ajit Pal.

On Tendulkar getting the recognition ahead of him, Ajit Pal added: “I don’t want to compare any sportsperson with him.

Dhyan Chand played when we were still under British rule. The rewards that you see nowadays for winning medals were not there at that time.

“It was an era where one played for the applause and not for monetary benefits because there were none. I hope he is not disrespected anymore and gets what is long overdue.”

Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar said it is sad that hockey fraternity has been forced to repeatedly remind the government.

“He has been a father figure for us in hockey. Countless have picked up the game after being inspired by him and gone on to bring laurels for India. They looked up to the era of 1928, 1932 and 1936 and it is still binding the game. It is not a good feeling that we have all gathered here to demand Bharat Ratna for him. The government should have decided on it long ago,” he said.

“I don’t want to go into who got it before Dhyan Chand Ji. All we care about is that he should be bestowed with the honour. It is long overdue. Hopefully this central government will pay heed to our demand. If they don’t want to give, they should make it clear once and for all. We don’t want to be kept in the dark anymore,” Ashok Kumar added.

Former captain Tirkey said Dhyan Chand not getting his due is a classic case of discriminatory attitude towards sports.

“It is sad that we discriminate between sports. It is even more sad that we are demanding an award for him. He played when there was no recognition, no media. All I want to say is that we request the government to do the needful as soon as possible,” Tirkey said.

Other former players in attendance were Ashish Ballal, AB Subbaiah and Mohammed Riaz.

Abhinav Bindra to Head NRAI Review Committee on Rio Debacle

Abhinav Bindra to Head NRAI Review Committee on Rio Debacle

New Delhi: India’s first and only individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra was on Thursday named Chairman of a five-member review committee to probe the shooters’ Rio Games debacle but has recused himself from questioning them as he was himself a part of the team.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) said the mandate of the committee is to ‘examine and identify in a cold and ruthless manner’ the causes behind shooting not securing any medals at the Rio Olympics.

The committee is also mandated to recommend concrete steps that NRAI must immediately undertake to ensure that this is not repeated in future Olympics.

Bindra, who retired from the sport after his fourth-place finish in Rio, has told NRAI that though he would not question any of his teammates, he would remain open to any assessment by the review committee.

The NRAI order states that only in “matters specifically pertaining to the interview or findings/conclusions if any against or in favour of any Olympic team athlete that maybe examined by the committee, the Chairman of the committee shall be exempt participation in toto from such tasks by recusal, however upon his own request he too shall make himself available for interview by the remainder of the panel.”

The order further states that, “for this specific issue only, the remaining members of the commission shall officiate jointly, where majority view shall prevail”.

Other members of the committee include former tennis player Manisha Malhotra, who has also been appointed Convenor of the committee, NRAI Secretary Rajiv Bhatia and two journalists.

The order empowers the committee to go into a wide range of factors affecting the performance of the athletes. Also, as per the order, the NRAI Review Committee has been asked to submit its report to the President within a maximum period of four weeks.

The committee is expected to hold its first meeting on the August 30 or 31 and it has also been allowed the use of all available technology to help conduct its work smoothly.

West Indies, India Enter New World in United States

West Indies, India Enter New World in United States

West Indies face India in two Twenty20 internationals in Florida at the weekend in a litmus test for both cricket’s future in the US and Carlos Brathwaite’s credentials as Caribbean skipper.

After India cruised to victory in the Test series and in the aftermath of the Caribbean squad’s latest round of blood-letting, the sides head for the sport’s newest outpost, the Central Broward Regional Park, the only purpose-built cricket stadium in the US.

Six matches in the recent franchise-based Caribbean Premier League were played at the $10 million arena while the first full international matches, two Twenty20 games between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, were staged there in 2010.

Saturday and Sunday’s back-to-back fixtures come at a crucial time for the West Indies.

They may be the reigning world champions in the format having triumphed in India earlier this year, but that didn’t save Darren Sammy’s job as skipper.

He was sacked in what he claimed was a “30-second phone call” and replaced by Brathwaite who etched his name into West Indies cricket folklore by smashing four sixes in the final over against England to win this year’s World T20 final in Mumbai.

“I think a team like this will be pretty easy to lead, from the point of view that the dressing room is a fun place to be,” said Brathwaite.

“I don’t think it’s a case where I have to negotiate too many egos.”

His first job will be to introduce stability into the engaging but often frustrating nature of West Indies’ short-form cricket — before they won their second World T20 in four years, they lost to Afghanistan in the qualifying round.

Despite his heroics in Mumbai, 28-year-old Brathwaite is a lightweight when it comes to international experience, having played just three Tests, 14 ODIs and eight Twenty 20s.

In contrast, the team’s superstar Chris Gayle has 103 Tests, 269 ODIs and 50 T20s to his name as well as a host of batting records.

India, meanwhile, have no worries over their confidence levels heading into the weekend.

They have enjoyed a solid run in T20 series in recent times, winning in Australia, Sri Lanka and claiming the Asia Cup before recovering to beat Zimbabwe 2-1 in June.

Twelve of the 14-man Test squad will be in Florida with skipper Virat Kohli handing over leadership duties to Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

They will have revenge on their minds having lost to the West Indies in the semi-finals of this year’s World Twenty20.

A crowd of 15,000 is expected in Florida over each of the two days including vast numbers of expatriates.

“India is a like the rock star of cricket,” Rizwan Mohammed told the Sun Sentinel newspaper whose reporter went to great lengths to demystify the sport for his American readership.

“Instead of four bases there are two wickets bracketing a rectangular 22-yard-long dirt pitch at the centre of an oval ground,” wrote the paper’s correspondent.

“The 11 fielders have various ways of getting the batter out, including striking the wicket behind the batsman with a bowled ball or catching a batted ball on the fly.”

West Indies squad: Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Andre Fletcher, Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Evin Lewis, Jason Holder, Johnson Charles, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine

India squad: MS Dhoni (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Stuart Binny, Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli

Virender Sehwag Shuts Piers Morgan Down for Mocking India’s Olympic Celebration

Virender Sehwag Shuts Piers Morgan Down for Mocking India’s Olympic Celebration

New Delhi: Former India batsman Virender Sehwag slammed the eminent British journalist Piers Morgan for mocking India’s celebration of winning two medals at the Rio Olympics 2016.

Morgan on Wednesday wrote on his twitter handle – “Country with 1.2 billion people wildly celebrates 2 losing medals. How embarrassing is that?”

Known for his witty oneliners and hilarious tweets, the legendary India batsman Sehwag gave an epic reply to Morgan in his own unique style.

“We cherish every small happiness’, But Eng who invented Cricket,&yet2win a WC,still continue to playWC.Embarrassing?”, Sehwag wrote.

We cherish every small happiness’,
But Eng who invented Cricket,&yet2win a WC,still continue to playWC.Embarrassing? https://twitter.com/piersmorgan/status/768352437166112768

Nicknamed as ‘Viru’, Sehwag didn’t stop here. He continued to troll Morgan with his tweets.

“KP is a legend no doubt,bt wasnt he born in SA,&by ur logic Eng shd hv won 2007WC. Why hv prblm wid our ppl,celbrtng,” Sehwag further wrote.

KP is a legend no doubt,bt wasnt he born in SA,&by ur logic Eng shd hv won 2007WC.
Why hv prblm wid our ppl,celbrtng https://twitter.com/piersmorgan/status/768445345776959488

India won just two medals at the Rio Games.

Indian woman wrestler Sakshi Malik bagged bronze medal in 58 kg category and PV Sindhu won the first ever badminton silver medal for India in women’s singles.

 

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