Shahid Afridi praises Yuvraj Singh’s fighting spirit

Harshit Anand Updated: 11 June, 2019, 4:25 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Yuvraj Singh was one of the best batsmen to have played for India in limited-overs cricket. He played a pivotal role in India's 2007 WT20 and 2011 World Cup wins. The Indian cricketer was adjudged the Player-of-the-Tournament in India's historic 2011 World Cup triumph.

Former Pakistan cricketer, Shahid Afridi applauded Yuvraj Singh in his tweet for India's flamboyant batsman. “Congratulations on a fantastic career Yuvraj Singh. You were an amazing batsman and a brilliant fielder with big match temperament. Your fighting ability is very inspiring, we spent great time together. All the very best in your life ahead,” tweeted Afridi.

Yuvraj Singh and Shahid Afridi played several games against each other. They are good friends. Yuvraj Singh is known for his friendly nature in the cricketing circle. Players like Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh used to spend good time with Pakistan players like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar.

Yuvraj Singh was out of the Indian team since 2017. He played his last game for India against West Indies. The southpaw had made a brilliant century on his return to the Indian team in 2017 against England. But he couldn't carry on his good run in Champions Trophy and the bilateral ODI series in Windies, which led to his axing from the senior team.

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Feature Cricket

Test Points: Little Value in Lower Contests

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 14 November, 2019, 5:16 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

While the overwhelming reaction to the ICC World Test championship has been generally positive, the world Test championship points have been a matter of some debate and discussion. To that end, it would seem that in a contest such as the one between India and Bangladesh, even Test match points are little incentive in such a scenario, at least for the lower ranked team.

There is little doubt that the World Test championship brings a greater context to tie in all the bilateral series around the world. With a larger interest and prize at stake at the end of the two year cycle, the introduction of the World Test championship has ensured that every match counts and that no match will be considered redundant or only of academic interest. To that end, the system rewards results over draws, with draws becoming a final resort for teams that have no chance to win the points for themselves.

That said, the skewed nature of the system has already revealed itself.

India have a relatively easier opposition against Bangladesh than they did against South Africa and therefore, stand a more opportune chance to win the points on offer with no quite as much effort. Although South Africa, in the end, proved to be easy pickings for India, that context seemed to hold greater relevance in the points system than this David versus Goliath battle that is the two Test match series between India and Bangladesh.

Not only are India playing in home conditions but also, they are sitting pretty at the top of the table, courtesy of their 3-0 whitewash of South Africa and the punishment handed to the West Indies not so long ago. With easy points on offer, it would seem India can afford to experiment only to a reasonable extent. It is one of the advantages of the ICC World Test championship points system because no team will be able to take a series lightly by fielding a second string line up against the lower ranked teams.

But with even the limited scope to rest and rotate players, India clearly have a huge advantage over Bangladesh who are struggling for respectability. With that in mind, it would appear that even if Bangladesh were to do the unthinkable – which is highly unlikely in the present scenario, the fact that their points in the end will count for little when it comes to qualifying for the final makes this situation almost status quo as far as their options are concerned.

For teams such as India who would normally view the series as something of a side note, a match practice essentially to test their bench strength, the points are a lucrative incentive, particularly when compared to other series and cricket boards where the bilateral series cricket calendar is not an even playing field. For Bangladesh, it is a case of take everything they can get and it still might not be enough to get them across the line. They must continue to draw their motivation elsewhere.

Feature Cricket

Sri Lanka’s move to criminalize match fixing offences step in the right direction

Partab Ramchand Updated: 14 November, 2019, 5:06 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

They have had their problems with several aspects related to match fixing and now the Sri Lankan authorities have had enough. The island nation has become the first South Asian country to criminalize several offences related to match fixing after its Parliament passed a bill entitled ``Prevention of Offences Related to Sports’’ a couple of days ago. It decrees that offenders related to corruption in sports will carry a prison term of up to ten years as well as various heavy fines.

Interestingly one of the strongest supporters of the new legislation was former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga who is a cabinet minister. The 1996 World Cup winning captain has been vociferous in his criticism of those indulging in match fixing and has advocated stringent punishment. Now he has got what he wanted.

The sports ministry is understood to have worked closely with the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit during the process of drafting the bill. In fact, although the bill covers all sports, it is the recent ACU investigation into Sri Lankan cricket that is believed to have prompted the legislation.

The bill's ambit is broad. It seeks not only to punish "any person related to a sport" who is directly involved in fixing, but also those who "provide inside information", curators who prepare playing surfaces to suit betting operators and match officials who deliberately misapply the rules for money.

Just as significantly, the bill also criminalizes "acts of omission", which includes failure to report corrupt approaches. This means that Sri Lankan cricketers who are approached by potential corruptors may now have to report these approaches not only to the ICC's ACU under the ICC code, but also to a Special Investigation Unit appointed by Sri Lanka's government.

According to reports Ranatunga was a leading figure during the debate while urging Parliament to push an unamended bill through as soon as possible. Former president of Sri Lanka Cricket Thilanga Sumathipala proposed amendments to the bill that were ultimately defeated on the floor. It is believed that Sumathipala was at pains to mention, however, that he was not against the passing of the bill as a whole, only the contents of certain clauses.

Sri Lanka's cricket has been under investigation by the ICC's ACU since 2017. Several former players have been charged under the ICC code, the most notable of whom is former captain Sanath Jayasuriya who was banned for two years in February this year.

Even a cursory glance at some provisions in the bill is enough to bring out the severity of the punishments for the various offences. Perhaps the Indian government can take the first steps towards bringing similar legislation in this country. As things stand the laws are too lenient and the loopholes in the legal system have led to the accused getting away lightly. The result is that as recent events have underlined the menace of match fixing has percolated from the international level to domestic cricket.

News Cricket

Aaj bowling tera bhai karega’: Fans trolls Ravi Shastri for his ‘Old Habits’ post

Staff Writer Updated: 14 November, 2019, 5:01 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ravi Shastri has often face the wrath of Indian fans. They love to troll him on social media and his most recent post on Twitter has led to another meme feast. Currently, the head coach is in Indore with Team India for the ongoing Test match against Bangladesh. He was recently seen bowling during the practice session. The former Indian cricketer took to Twitter to upload his picture and captioned it, “Old habits die hard #INDvBAN #Cricket”.

The post didn’t go well with the fans and they started trolling him in a hilarious way.

Ravi Shastri was on the radar of Indian fans even on the occasion of Virat Kohli's birthday. He had wished Virat by sharing a picture of both of them, but his post was flooded with funny responses by the ardent followers of Indian cricket.

India have done reasonably well under his guidance. The visitors won their first ever Test series in Australia and even performed well in the last edition of the World Cup in England and Wales.

News Cricket

David Warner’s foul language played a part in Ben Stokes historic Headingley knock

Staff Writer Updated: 14 November, 2019, 4:45 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed that constant sledging by Aussie players especially David Warner motivated him to play one of the best knocks in the history of Test cricket. The left hand batsman scored a magnificent 135 to take his team to victory in the third Ashes Test against Australia. The home team was certain of a crushing defeat before Stokes played his part. He further added that Warner was unstoppable and was adamant to get the better of him.

“I had extra personal motivation due to some things that were said to me out on the field on the evening of day three when I was trying to get through to stumps,” Stokes revealed in an extract published in Daily Mirror. “A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy, but in particular David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me.”

“He just wouldn’t shut up for most of my time out there. I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though.

“The changed man he was adamant he’d become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed ‘Humble’ by his Australia teammates, had disappeared. Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get the bull back?,” he added.

News Cricket

Rishabh Pant will definitely come good for Team India – Shikhar Dhawan

Staff Writer Updated: 14 November, 2019, 4:09 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Shikhar Dhawan is confident about Rishabh Pant's success in international cricket. The young gloveman has failed miserably in the recent series, but Dhawan is still not ready to give up on him. According to him, Pant should concentrate on his game and stop thinking about media and critics.

"I keep telling him that don't see what is being said or written about you in the media. See, the point is that whatever you see or read will come into your mind. I don't read any newspaper. I have trained myself that way because I know that if I have done well, they will write good things and if I don't, they will write that. It is a journey. When I started, I also saw, but that is how you learn. Rishabh is a great talent and he will do really well in the long run," he said.

This is not the first time Dhawan has batted for under-fire Rishabh Pant. Time and again, the southpaw has stated that Pant is capable of doing great things across formats and should be persisted with despite continuous failures in the recent times.

News Cricket

Rohit’s gesture for a Bangladesh fan proves he is the nicest cricketer in international arena

Staff Writer Updated: 14 November, 2019, 4:03 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India and Bangladesh are currently playing in the first Test match of the two-match series against Bangladesh in Indore. Rohit Sharma, who is one of the most followed cricketers in India, won the heart of Shoaib Ali Bukhari.

He wanted to see his national players during practice sessions but the nature of security kept him away from getting close. When Rohit Sharma came to know about Shoaib, he made all the arrangements for his access.

Shoaib was allowed to go upstairs and was handed his access card after verification of documents.

“He asked me why I didn’t meet with him. I told him about the tight security here in India. I also told him that I tried but failed due to that tight security. Then he asked about my situation and where I am staying here. After that, a person sent me to the upstairs. Sudhir took me to the place. Their cards were made. They took my picture and passport’s photocopy and told me to come at 4 PM. And when I went at 4 PM, I found my card done,” Shoaib Ali Bukhari said as quoted by bdcrictime.

“After getting the card, I didn’t talk with Rohit. I beckoned to him when he was on the bus and said I would meet him in the hotel. He’s an exceptional person. A great personality. He’s a big cricketer but with a great mind.” he added.

News Cricket

Delhi Capitals make inroads in Rajasthan Royals defence, likely to sign Ajinkya Rahane

Staff Writer Updated: 14 November, 2019, 3:56 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Today is the last day of the transfer window ahead of the next edition of IPL. While the likes of Trent Boult, Krishanappa Gowtham and Ankit Rajpoot have moved to different franchises on Wednesday, there is a possibility of Ajinkya leaving Rajasthan Royals.

Delhi Capitals, who recently signed R Ashwin from Kings XI Punjab, want to add Rahane to their squad. With Rahane's price being at R s 4 crore, Delhi will have to give their two players to get the India’s Test vice-captain.

As per a report, the deal will be completed before the deadline. Earlier, Ankit Rajpoot joined Rajasthan Royals from Kings XI Punjab and would form a deadly pace attack with the likes of Oshane Thomas, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni.

In return, all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham has moved to Kings XI Punjab.

News Cricket

India’s pace attack is not in top 3 but is number 1 in the world- Virat Kohli

Tarun Singh Updated: 14 November, 2019, 3:35 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The captain ‘King Kohli’, who is proud to witness India’s emergence as the strong fast-bowling unit performing everywhere, firmly said that India have the best bowling attack in the world.

Beaming with confidence, Indian skipper Kohli said that the Indian bowlers' hunger for wickets is growing with every match and that’s their biggest strength.

Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, in the last few years, India have produced world-class pacers.

Indian pace battery has performed phenomenally in the recently concluded T20I series against Bangladesh, to clinch the series 2-1.

Virat Kohli’s confidence on the Indian bowlers will definitely boost them to crush the ‘Bangla Tigers’ in the ongoing Test series.

Kohli said, “Well, if you ask we are right at the top. I won't even count ourselves among the top 3. These guys deserve it. When we started off, that was the conversation. When I took over as captain, I really wanted to see our fast bowlers dominate world cricket. Spin was never an issue, batting was never an issue. After Zak (Zaheer Khan) and all these stalwarts went away, we were thinking how can we get back to the top and have the ability and the firepower to pick up 20 wickets.”

“Just see the way they have bowled. It's their belief that stands out. Any kind of pitch, any kind of opposition. They believe they can get more out of any pitch than the opposition. That belief matters a lot. I couldn't be more happy for them. The best thing is they are still not done yet. They are getting hungrier every time they go out. And they love bowling together. I think that's their biggest strength. The trust, the camaraderie and the belief they have is pushing this team forward,” Kohli further added.

News Cricket

Dinesh Karthik registers an unwanted record of ‘hit-wicket’ dismissals across formats

Tarun Singh Updated: 14 November, 2019, 1:43 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian wicket-keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who has had a stop-start career in international cricket, registered an unwanted record in the domestic arena.

Karthik became the first-ever batsman to be dismissed ‘hit wicket’ across formats.

He registered this unfortunate feat while playing for Tamil Nadu against Uttar Pradesh in the ongoing T20 domestic tournament, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

The captain of Tamil Nadu Karthik was batting (61 off 41) in full flow when Karthik ended up hitting wickets off Ankit Rajpoot’s bowling.

With this dismissal, Karthik became the sole owner of this unfortunate milestone as there is no other batsman in domestic cricket history who has been dismissed in such a fashion across formats - T20, List-A, and First-class cricket.

But when a fan on Twitter took a dig at Karthik reminding him of his ill-fate, Karthik chose to respond in a humorous way.

In his hilarious reply, he used emojis of “weary cat face” and “facepalm” to cover the embarrassing Tweet of the fan.

Karthik is remembered for his ferocious batting when he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for India against Bangladesh in the finale of Nidahas Trophy last year.

After his axing following Team India’s defeat in the World Cup semi-final, Karthik has been performing phenomenally with his willow in domestic cricket.

The veteran batsman was averaging 59.71 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a strike rate of 121.15. In the ongoing T20 tournament, Karthik has scored 33, 48 and 61.

News F1

Hamilton hopes new 2021 rules bring F1’s best era in years

AP Updated: 14 November, 2019, 12:21 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton believes new rules in place for the 2021 season onward could give the racing series its best era for a long time.

The 34-year-old Mercedes driver, who spoke on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, hopes the rule changes will enable him to test his abilities further in a more closely competitive racing environment.

F1 announced its new rules for 2021 late last month ahead of the Nov. 3 United States GP, in which Hamilton secured his sixth title to move one behind Michael Schumacher’s all-time F1 record.

F1 owners want closer racing and budget caps to reduce the financial gap between traditional big spenders — like Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes — and more modest teams.

Cars will be heavier and slower, too, wheel-to-wheel racing is set to be improved, and the calendar could be expanded from 21 to 25 races — although drivers are not in unanimous agreement on more races.

“If it (the new rules) does what it says on paper, it could be the best era of racing that we have seen in a long, long time. And I want to be there if it is the case. It will be another opportunity to show my abilities,” Hamilton said, adding F1 currently has a “massive problem” over being more competitive.

“We got these great cars with great power and grip, but you can’t get close enough in the races. That means less excitement for all of you. That means we have to have a DRS (drag reduction system), which is a band-aid for the poor characteristics of the current regulations,” the driver said.

Hamilton said he would like to spend time in Rio, though, because of frequent invitations from his friend and Brazil soccer star Neymar to attend New Year and Carnival celebrations.

Asked about the 2020 season, Hamilton said he expects a tougher challenger from Ferrari.

News Tennis

16-time major champ Bryan twins to retire after 2020 US Open

AP Updated: 14 November, 2019, 12:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Bob and Mike Bryan say they will retire after the 2020 U.S. Open, closing a professional tennis partnership that includes a men’s doubles record of 16 Grand Slam championships.

The 41-year-old American twins announced their plans at the season-ending ATP Finals, which they qualified for but decided not to enter.

The Bryans have won 118 titles in all, including 39 at ATP Masters tournaments.

Their resumes also include winning the 2007 Davis Cup and the 2012 London Olympics doubles gold medal for the United States, along with 10 year-end finishes as the No. 1 doubles team in the rankings.

Bob Bryan had hip surgery in 2018, but he rejoined his brother on tour this year, when they won two ATP titles.

News Tennis

Nadal saves match point v Medvedev for 1st win at ATP Finals

AP Updated: 14 November, 2019, 12:16 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Facing match point at 5-1 down in the third set, Rafael Nadal gave himself about a one-in-a-thousand chance of turning things around against Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals.

Those odds turned out to be more than good enough for the top-ranked Spaniard.

Nadal saved that match point with a perfect drop shot and then rallied to beat Medvedev 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (4) Wednesday, keeping alive his chances of advancing from the group stage.

"Today is one of those days that one out of 1,000 you win and it happened today," Nadal said. ”In that moment (facing match point), what you think is probably in five minutes you are in the locker room, because that's the more normal thing. In that moment, you play with not much pressure because you are almost lost.”

Nadal looked headed for a second straight loss at the season-ending tournament but won five games in a row to go 6-5 up in the deciding set. In the tiebreaker, Medvedev missed a routine forehand to hand Nadal a match point and then sent a backhand just wide. That shot was initially called in but was overturned by Hawk-Eye after Nadal challenged the decision.

The win gives Nadal a 1-1 record after two round-robin matches, while Medvedev fell to 0-2.

In the late match, Stefanos Tsitsipas beat defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-2 for his second straight win, a result that guarantees him a place in the semifinals.

News Football

Galaxy, Zlatan Ibrahimović mutually part ways after 2 years

AP Updated: 14 November, 2019, 12:16 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

You’re welcome and goodbye, Los Angeles.

Zlatan Ibrahimović and the LA Galaxy are officially parting ways after two eventful seasons, the 38-year-old Swedish superstar and the club announced Wednesday.

“I came, I saw, I conquered,” Ibrahimović wrote on Twitter. “Thank you (at)LAGalaxy for making me feel alive again. To the Galaxy fans - you wanted Zlatan, I gave you Zlatan. You are welcome. The story continues...Now go back to watch baseball.”

The Swedish superstar scored 56 goals in 52 MLS games after joining the Galaxy in March 2018, injecting his inimitable blend of talent and swagger into a stagnating club. This season, he scored a franchise-record 30 goals — more than the rest of the Galaxy roster combined (28).

A week before Zlatan debuted with a dramatic two-goal performance as a substitute in a win over crosstown rival Los Angeles FC, he announced his arrival in Hollywood by taking out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times reading simply: “Dear Los Angeles, You’re welcome.”

“Since his arrival in 2018, Zlatan has positively influenced the sport of soccer in Los Angeles,” Galaxy President Chris Klein said in a statement announcing the departure. “We are grateful for his work ethic and passion. We thank Zlatan for his professionalism and immeasurable impact on the Los Angeles community and the soccer community in North America as a whole.”

News Football

Bernardo Silva banned by FA over tweet to Man City teammate

AP Updated: 14 November, 2019, 11:52 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Bernardo Silva will miss Manchester City’s home match against Chelsea after being banned for one game for posting a tweet which compared teammate Benjamin Mendy to the character on a packet of Conguitos chocolates.

The midfielder admitted to an "aggravated breach" of rules because the post referenced race.

He was also fined 50,000 pounds ($64,000) and ordered to complete face-to-face education. The Premier League game Silva misses is on Nov. 23 after the international break against third-place Chelsea, which is immediately above City.

The FA commission accepted Silva “did not himself intend the post to be insulting or in any way racist” and was a “joke between close friends.”

But the FA verdict added that it “was not a private jocular communication between two friends. The post was on a social media platform exposed to the 600,000 followers of a high-profile and well-respected professional footballer.”

News Others

Olympic Channel launches global digital platform in Hindi

Staff Writer Updated: 14 November, 2019, 11:27 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Featuring Olympic stars and stories from across the globe and continuing the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round, the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Channel is now available to Hindi-speaking fans around the world in their native language. Starting today, fans and users have the option to experience the Olympic Channel in Hindi as one of the 12 languages offered on the global digital platform at olympicchannel.com and its mobile apps.

In addition to the multi-language user interface, fans and users have the option to experience the Olympic Channel in Hindi while also engaging with locally produced daily content, news and features as well as Olympic-themed original series and documentaries with an emphasis on Indian athletes, teams and sports.

Coinciding with the launch of Hindi, viewers can watch the new four-episode docu-series Shakti: India’s Super Women. The Olympic Channel original series features Indian female athletes Dipa Karmakar, Deepika Kumari, Sakshi Malik and Sandhya Shetty who face unmatched obstacles in order to participate in sports to achieve their dreams.

“The availability of the Hindi language on the global digital platform is a significant step in the Olympic Channel’s evolution as we look to create more personalised experiences for Olympic fans around the world,” said Mark Parkman, general manager of the IOC’s global Olympic Channel. “This is a great way to engage with more fans in growing markets and to tell the great Olympic stories in a way that connects directly to them as we build excitement on the road to Tokyo 2020.”

To experience the Olympic Channel in a language other than English, users can select the option through the language button in the upper right-hand corner of olympicchannel.com. On the Olympic Channel app, the experience will coincide with the language of the mobile device operating system. To select a different language, users should change their operating system language preference on their mobile device.

Offering unparalleled access to Olympic sports and athletes all year round, the subscription-free Olympic Channel OTT streaming service launched worldwide following the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Through inspirational stories, comprehensive coverage, original programming, live events and exclusive interviews, the Olympic Channel provides fans with a dedicated media platform to follow their favourite sports and athletes before, during and after the Olympic Games on the road to Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

The Olympic Channel is available worldwide at olympicchannel.com and its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.

About the Olympic Channel

The Olympic Channel is a multi-platform global media destination where fans can discover, engage and share in the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round. Offering original programming, news, live sports events and highlights, the Olympic Channel provides additional exposure for sports and athletes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in 12 languages. The Olympic Channel was launched in August 2016 in support of the IOC’s goal, set out in Olympic Agenda 2020, of providing a new way to engage younger generations, fans and new audiences with the Olympic Movement. Founding Partners supporting the Olympic Channel are Worldwide TOP Partners Bridgestone, Toyota and Alibaba. The Olympic Channel is available worldwide at olympicchannel.com, its mobile apps and on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and the Roku platform.