Simon Doull blasts Dwayne Bravo for wearing "Champion" Jersey

Simon Doull blasts Dwayne Bravo for wearing "Champion" Jersey

Staff Writer Updated: 31 July, 2019, 4:55 PM IST


New Zealand's Simon Doull is one of the most respected and loved commentators in the world of cricket. His knowledge of the game is something many people admire. During Global T20 Canada, Doull was on air when he made his displeasure public regarding the word "Champion" printed on Windies cricketer, Dwayne Bravo's jersey instead of his name.

In 2016, Bravo had released his very own song named "Champion", which had become an instant hit. Doull feels putting "Champion" on his jersey insteadof name would confuse people in Canada about the identity of the all-rounder.

“I know this is going to sound a bit pedantic but I don’t like that at all. I do not like... put your real name!”, said Simon Doull on air.

“It’s a new tournament. You’re trying to encourage people to know who these players are. Recognize the superstars of the game. Yes, he might think it’s cool, but put your real name on your shirt so that the young kids, the older fans, the men, the women that come along to watch this game know exactly who that is. That is Dwayne Bravo. It’s not ‘Champion’! Champion of what,” he further added.

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News Cricket

Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya reveals his return date, says will comeback stronger

Garima Kotroo Updated: 10 December, 2019, 3:55 PM IST


Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has revealed his comeback date after a long-break from cricket. The 25-year-old is looking forward to play against New Zealand in January 2020.

“We thought this was the right time because even if I take four months, I will be coming back before the New Zealand series, mid-way actually. That was the plan that I play some international games, the IPL and then the World T20”.

Pandya, who is still in a rehabilitation phase, suffered a severe lower back pain during the final T20I encounter against South Africa.

The right-hander had tried to avoid back surgery for a long time but when he failed to recover, Pandya was left with no other option but to go under the knife.

“I noticed that I was not able to give my 100 per cent and that meant I was not doing justice to myself and the team. That is when I decided to go for the surgery,” said Pandya.

However, it is not that easy for a sportsperson to take such a brave step but Hardik decided to go for the surgery and make a strong comeback.

News Cricket

Shahid Afridi thanks Sri Lanka for bringing Test cricket back to Pakistan

Garima Kotroo Updated: 10 December, 2019, 3:54 PM IST


Red-ball cricket is back on Pakistan’s soil after a decade. The Green Army will play their first-ever two-match Test series against Sri Lanka at home since 2009.

Ever since the Sri Lanka cricket team bus was attacked by a group of terrorists in Lahore during their tour of Pakistan in 2009, all the cricket teams refused to play in the country due to security concerns.

Now it seems like the conditions have started improving for Pakistan as the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) has given its nod to Pakistan for the two-match series in the terror-hit country.

While welcoming the visitors on Pakistani soil, Afridi said, "I would like to thank the Sri Lanka cricket board for sending their team for the Test series, and I also want to thank the PCB for their efforts in ensuring the series takes place in Pakistan.”

Apart from Afridi, former Pakistani skipper Shoaib Malik also expressed his gratitude towards the the Sri Lankan Board for taking this step and playing an instrumental role in bringing Test cricket back to Pakistan.

He even got emotional while appreciating the crucial efforts of the visitors.

Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan will play their first Test encounter of the two-match series at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli’s birthday wish for MS Dhoni was the most re-tweeted tweet in 2019

Staff Writer Updated: 10 December, 2019, 3:29 PM IST


Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are the two most successful Indian cricketers. While the former India skipper led Team India to two World Cup titles, Virat Kohli has also achieved remarkable success as India's captain across formats. Virat Kohli's heartfelt birthday wish for MS Dhoni was the "most Retweeted sports-related Tweet" in the year 2019. On July 7, Virat Kohli had posted a picture with Dhoni and wrote: "Happy birthday mahi bhai @msdhoni. Very few people understand the meaning of trust and respect and I'm glad to have had the friendship I have with you for so many years. You've been a big brother to all of us and as I said before, you will always be my captain."

The tweet has garnered over 45K 'Retweets' and close 420K 'Likes' on Twitter.

Virat is currently leading India in the ongoing three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against the West Indies. He scored a well compiled 94 off 50 balls at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on December 6.

His innings played a crucial role in India's over over West Indies. The home contingent won the game by 6 wickets in the end.

News Cricket

MS Dhoni will never impose himself on Team India - Ravi Shastri

Tarun Singh Updated: 10 December, 2019, 2:52 PM IST


MS Dhoni has opted to remain out of cricket since Team India’s exit from World Cup in England. Since then, the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman, has chose to remain ‘cool as usual’ and silent on the rumors of his retirement from cricket.

In an interview, India head coach Ravi Shastri has said that MS Dhoni would never try to impose himself on the Indian cricket team.

However, Shastri added that the 38-year-old will decide about his comeback in international cricket after reviewing his own performance in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) edition.

Ravi Shastri heaped praises on MS and said, "That guy is a legend. The last thing he will want is to impose himself on an Indian team, having known him. He is wanting to take a break but he is going to play the IPL. The amount of sport he has played... if he puts himself in contention... if he feels after the IPL that 'I am good enough to play for India', don't mess around with that."

During his sabbatical from international cricket, Dhoni trained with the Territorial Army in Jammu and Kashmir for two weeks as he also holds the post of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army.

Meanwhile, veteran cricketer Dhoni has missed India’s home series against South Africa, Bangladesh and ongoing home series against West Indies after the World Cup.

Between all speculations, it seems that MS Dhoni will have to shine in the yellow jersey of Chennai Super Kings to become a member of ‘Men in Blue’ again.

A source close to MS Dhoni also had stated that Dhoni will decide his future in international cricket after the Indian Premier League (IPL) next year.

News Cricket

Rohit Sharma and Prithvi Shaw can surpass my record of 400 runs in Test cricket - Brian Lara

Staff Writer Updated: 10 December, 2019, 2:30 PM IST


Brian Lara, former West Indies skipper, still holds record for the highest individual score in Whites. The left handed batsman had scored 400 not out against England in 2004. David Warner, the Aussie star opener, recently came close to breaking Lara's record but Tim Paine's declaration stop Australia's free flowing batsman. With Warner being left stranded at 335 not out, the record of the Windies legend was left untouched. When he was asked about the players who can surpass his landmark score, he revealed two names.

Lara told News Corp, "A guy like Rohit Sharma who you know you wonder if he’s still a Test cricketer or not. If he gets going on a good day, on his day, on a good pitch, right situation he can do it. It will need an attacking option. I know he’s fell off the radar a little bit, Prithvi Shaw was one of those attacking options. Hey, here’s a 19-year-old who has the world in front of him, hopefully, he can come back soon."

News Cricket

Yuzvendra Chahal mimics best friend Rohit Sharma but the latter was not impressed 

Staff Writer Updated: 10 December, 2019, 1:44 PM IST


Yuzvendra Chahal and Rohit Sharma are close friends. They are often seen together on overseas tours and their chemistry is known among the cricket circles. Rohit and Chahal leave no chance to pull each others leg on social media. While Hitman has made fun of Chahal's social media posts on numerous occasions, Indian spinner has pulled Rohit's leg whenever he has posted a picture with his wife Ritika. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav recently participated in a rapid-fire questioning round with vice-captain Rohit Sharma.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted the video of the rapid fire round. "MUST WATCH: Rapidfire ft. Kuldeep, Chahal and the HITMAN. Many fun facts from the spin twins @yuzi_chahal & @imkuldeep18 on the questions curated by @ImRo45," read the caption.

They were asked to mimic one of their teammates and Chahal decided to mimicked Rohit but the latter was not impressed with his effort and said, "Bohot bekaar actor hai". However, Kuldeep opted for Mohammed Shami and did a pretty decent job.

News Cricket

Shivam Dube is the worst dancer in Indian team - KulCha

Staff Writer Updated: 10 December, 2019, 1:42 PM IST


According to Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Dube is the worst dancer in the Indian team. They was revealed during their rapid fire round with Rohit Sharma. The video of their conversation was uploaded by the governing body of Indian cricket.

Excerpts from the rapid fire

Rohit: Best thing about Hyderabad?

Chahal: Veg-biryani.

Kuldeep: The Rajiv Gandhi International stadium because I made by T20I debut there.

Rohit: Who is the worst dancer in the team?

Chahal: Shivam Dube.

Kuldeep: Shivam Dube.

Rohit: Who has the worst hairstyle in the team?

Chahal: Mohammed Shami. Kuldeep: Bharat Arun.

Rohit: One batsman you wouldn't want to bowl to?

Chahal: You (Rohit Sharma)

Kuldeep: Suryakumar Yadav.

Team India is preparing hard for the final T20I match against the Windies. The series is currently tied at 1-1 after India won the first match while the visitors defeated Virat Kohli’s team in the second game.

The home team was unable to defend 170 in the last match and might make changes in the playing XI for the series decider in Mumbai.

Kuldeep Yadav, who hasn't played a single game so far, has a chance to replace either Washington Sundar or Ravindra Jadeja

News Cricket

Yearender 2019: Cricket Today's T20 XI of 2019

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 10 December, 2019, 12:46 PM IST


The year 2019 is coming to an end. And, while all three formats have seen many memorable performances, T20Is have been significant for all teams as they build up to the World T20 to be held in Australia next year. Former champions India and current champions West Indies are presently battling it out in a three-match series, which is locked 1-1. As the teams build towards the 2020 World T20, we put together the World T20I XI of 2019.

Openers: David Warner, Babar Azam

David Warner has had an excellent year in T20Is. In six matches, he has 287 runs to his name at an exceptional average of 287, since he has been dismissed only once in the year. In the T20Is against Sri Lanka at home, he registered scores of 100 not out, 60 not out, and 57 not out. Warner has a strike rate of 145.68.

Pakistan’s Babar Azam, who has been in amazing form, will open with Warner. In 10 matches, he has amassed 374 runs at an average of 41.55, and a strike rate of 136.99. His best of 90 came off 58 balls against South Africa at Johannesburg in February.

Middle-order: Virat Kohli (Captain), Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Glenn Maxwell

Indian captain Virat Kohli will lead the World XI. Just like Tests and ODIs, he has been in great form in T20Is as well. In nine games, Kohli has 396 runs to his name at a strike rate of 138.46, and an average of 66. His best of 94 not out came against West Indies at Hyderabad in a chase of 208.

England batsman Dawid Malan has played only four games, but has smashed 208 runs at a strike rate of 163.77, and an average of 69.33. His most memorable performance was the unbeaten 103 from 51 balls against New Zealand at Napier in November.

English skipper Eoin Morgan also has had a good year. In nine matches, he has 268 runs to his name at a strike rate of 172.90, and an average of 44.66. He hit 91 from 41 balls at Napier against New Zealand.

Aussie Glenn Maxwell, before he took a break for mental health issues, had an amazing year. In four matches, he smashed 231 runs at a strike rate of 183.33 and an average of 115. His scores in the year read -- 56 from 43, 113 not out from 55, and 62 from 28.

Wicket-keeper: Quinton de Kock

South Africa’s T20I captain Quinton de Kock will keep wickets for the team. In three matches, he has 144 runs at a strike rate of 135.84, and an average of 72.00. His best of 79 not out from 52 balls came against India at Bengaluru in September as Proteas squared the series.

All-rounders: Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner

New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has had a consistent run with the bat. In matches, he scored 301 runs at a strike rate of 156.77 with three fifties. While de Grandhomme has starred with bat, Mitchell Santner has been impressive with the ball. In 12 matches, he has claimed 20 wickets at an average of 15.40, and strike rate of 12.6 with a best of 3 for 12.

Bowlers: Chris Jordan, Lasith Malinga

England pacer Chris Jordan has claimed 14 wickets in eight matches at an average of 12.85 and a strike rate of 10.2. His best of 4 for 6 came against West Indies at Basseterre. Veteran Lankan Lasith Malinga continues to impress at the T20 level. In 10 matches, he has 14 wickets with a best of 5 for 6. The sensational performance against New Zealand at Pallekele saw Malinga claiming four wickets in four balls.

12th man: Andile Phehlukwayo

With 13 wickets in seven matches at a strike rate of 12.0, South African pacer Andile Phehlukwayo can come in as replacement if needed.

News Cricket

MS Dhoni to produce TV series on bravery of Army officers

Tarun Singh Updated: 10 December, 2019, 12:38 PM IST


Ace cricketer MS Dhoni always finds a way to express his admiration for the Indian Armed Forces. MS Dhoni, who himself holds an honorary Lieutenant Colonel post in the Indian Army, is all set to produce a TV series on decorated army officers.

"The show will narrate stories of the brave Param Vir Chakra and Ashoka Chakra awardees. With compelling stories and intriguing content on board, the show is slated for a 2020 release," a source close to Dhoni quoted.

According to a report, the script-writing for the TV series has started and its objective is to bring the stories of the Indian army officers bravery to life. MS Dhoni is co-producing the project because he wanted to show the stories of officers and their hardships.

MS Dhoni, after India's semifinal exit from the ODI World Cup in England, took a sabbatical to serve his paramilitary regiment.

“During his sabbatical from sports, Dhoni spent a lot of time with army officers. He even went on to complete a two-week stint with India’s Territorial Army. That’s how he got to know more about the brave soldiers. He understood the soldiers and their families’ hardships. Wanting to bring their story to the fore, Dhoni decided to bankroll this project,” a source quoted.

‘Captain Cool’ MS Dhoni had produced and also featured in Hotstar Special’s Roar of the Lion, earlier this year.

Dhoni’s much-awaited comeback in International cricket has been a matter of intense debate on social media and in the cricket fraternity since his break from cricket.

In his last comment about his comeback, Dhoni had answered the question by saying, “January tak mat poocho (don’t ask me till January).”

News Cricket

MS Dhoni involved in strange luggage swap incident at the airport

Garima Kotroo Updated: 10 December, 2019, 11:58 AM IST


The former Indian skipper MS Dhoni has usually dominated the headlines for his exceptional innings but he was recently in the limelight for a strange luggage swap incident. Dhoni touched down at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport on Monday and after his arrival in the City of Joy, he witnessed that his luggage has been mistakenly swapped with another passenger.

The 38-year-old star cricketer was reportedly carrying someone else bag after deboarding the flight which was coming from New Delhi. When the concerned authorities came to know about this strange mishap, they immediately informed Dhoni at the Kolkata airport.

The airport officials cited that this unfortunate incident of luggage swapping was a rare case of mismanagement. In order to sort out the issue, they immediately informed the passenger who mistakenly took Dhoni’s goods and chattels from the airport and explained him about the whole incident.

The airport authorities will now collect the misplaced luggage from that passenger on Tuesday.

However, the airline from which Dhoni arrived in West Bengal, has denied that there was a lapse from their side. They claimed that Dhoni arrived at the Kolkata airport with someone else luggage as he accidentally swapped his bag.

News Cricket

Rohit bhai played a crucial role in my maiden fifty - Shivam Dube

Garima Kotroo Updated: 10 December, 2019, 10:40 AM IST


Although India lost the second T20I match against West Indies but young all-rounder Shivam Dube won the hearts of many cricket fans. After the shocking dismissal of both the openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, it was Dube who held the reigns of the home team with his maiden T20I fifty.

Interestingly, Dube batted at the third position and he took his time to settle down in the early overs. He admitted that there was some pressure on him at the beginning of the game but eventually Dube got the momentum and hit three boundaries and four sixes against Kieron Pollard's team .

The southpaw who scored 54 runs off 30 balls said that Rohit Sharma helped him a lot to settle down in the innings. Sharma advised Dube to play his natural game.

“I got the opportunity to bat at number three which was a big deal for me. There was some pressure. Rohit bhai asked me to back my ability and helped me calm down.”

Ahead of the series decider in Mumbai, Dube is confident that his side will bounce back against the visitors on December 11.

“We have a good team and back ourselves to win the series”.

News Tennis

Tennis’ Andreescu honored as Canada’s athlete of the year 

AP Updated: 10 December, 2019, 10:11 AM IST


U.S. Open winner Bianca Andreescu is Canada’s athlete of the year, the first tennis player so honored.

She won the 2019 Lou Marsh Trophy on Monday after becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title, defeating Serena Williams in the Open final. The 19-year-old soared to a No. 5 ranking after starting the year at No. 152. She also won at Indian Wells, California, and earned more than $6.5 million for the season.

"I can't wait for what 2020 will bring and am always proud to represent Canada at the highest level," she said.

She beat out golfer Brooke Henderson, sprinter Andre De Grasse, Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Soroka and St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.

The winner of the Toronto Star award is selected annually by a panel of Canadian sports journalists. The trophy has been awarded annually since 1936 with a three-year gap during World War II.

News Others

Anti-doping agency imposes 4-year ban on Russia

AP Updated: 10 December, 2019, 10:10 AM IST


Russia was slapped with a four-year ban from international sports events, including next summer's Tokyo Olympics, over a longstanding doping scandal, although its athletes will still be able to compete if they can show they are clean competitors.

The ruling by the World Anti-Doping Agency's executive committee means that Russia's flag, name and anthem will not appear at the Tokyo Games, and the country also could be stripped of hosting world championships in Olympic sports.

The sanctions are the harshest punishment yet for Russian state authorities who were accused of tampering with a Moscow laboratory database. Russia's anti-doping agency can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days — an action it has signaled it would take.

“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order ... but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial,” WADA president Craig Reedie said.

Russian athletes can compete in major events only if they are not implicated in positive doping tests or if their data was not manipulated, according to the WADA ruling.

For soccer's 2022 World Cup, WADA said the Russian team will play under its name in the qualifying program in Europe. If it qualifies to play in Qatar, the team name must be changed to something neutral that likely would not include the word “Russia.”

At the past two track and field world championships, Russians competed as “Authorized Neutral Athlete.” A softer line was taken ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, when the International Olympic Committee suspended the Russian Olympic body yet allowed athletes and teams to compete as “Olympic Athlete from Russia.”

Going forward, “they cannot use the name of the country in the name of the team,” WADA president-elect Witold Bańka told The Associated Press.

News Football

Messi's hometown offers emotional trip to his childhood

AP Updated: 10 December, 2019, 10:09 AM IST


Soccer wasn't always Lionel Messi's favorite activity.

When he was a child in the modest neighborhood of La Bajada in his Argentine hometown of Rosario, he spent his time bicycling with friends, building forts out of branches and stones, playing hide and seek — and occasionally stealing lemons from a neighbor to make juice.

Those stories and others are the focus of a new tour being offered by Rosario to celebrate their 32-year-old hometown hero, an international sports superstar who just won an unprecedented sixth Golden Ball as world soccer's player of the year.

The tour put together by Rosario's city hall is free of charge and available in an app translated into several languages, guiding fans through 10 stops.

Few houses are higher than two stories in La Bajada, a middle-class neighborhood in the city that is 186 miles (300 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires.

Halfway down Israel street stands a gray house, closed off by shut curtains and protected by railings. There is no sign outside indicating it was Messi's home, and no one lives there now, though it still belongs to his family.

The neighbors aren't so shy about the Messi connection, however. Colorful paintings dedicated to the soccer star stand in front of houses and there are sidewalks colored in the blue and white of Argentina's national team with Messi's jersey number, 10, painted in black.

Messi's neighbors and friends are often willing to share stories with visitors.

“Leo was normal and ordinary like other people here," Diego Vallejos, one of Messi's childhood friends, told The Associated Press on a sandy soccer field of the El Campito club as three youngsters played soccer.

“We fell, we scratched ourselves riding bikes. We went to the street with water bombs and threw them at buses," said Vallejos, who is one year older than Messi.

News Football

Arsenal end worst run since 1977 in comeback win vs West Ham

AP Updated: 10 December, 2019, 10:07 AM IST


Arsenal ended its worst winless run in 42 years by coming from behind at halftime to beat West Ham 3-1 in the English Premier League.

Arsenal's nine-match winless streak looked set to reach 10 after a lifeless first half, in which the Gunners conceded to West Ham's Angelo Ogbonna. They were booed off at the break.

For almost an hour the Gunners were characteristically woeful and listless, then out of nowhere Gabriel Martinelli scored his first league goal in his first league start, clinically finishing a cross from the left by Sead Kolasinac in the 60th minute.

Arsenal suddenly came to life. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang collected the ball outside the box and fed it out right to Nicolas Pepe, who curled the ball past goalkeeper David Martin to put Arsenal in front.

Moments later, Arsenal carved West Ham open again, Mesut Ozil fed Pepe on the right, and his cross found Aubameyang, who was just onside to fire in a crisp volley.

Three goals in a quickfire nine minutes from the Gunners prompted West Ham fans to depart the Olympic Stadium in droves.

The win lifted Arsenal to ninth in the standings and ended an alarming run of form which cost Unai Emery his job. Freddie Ljungberg was still coy on whether he wants to take the reins full-time.

“We won't get carried away,” Ljungberg said. “We have a lot of work to do.”