Ever since it became evident that the pandemic was going to shuffle the cricket calendar, there have been voices of dissension in Australia who have claimed that a potential clash of dates with the Indian Premier League and the domestic Sheffield Shield should not see Cricket Australia hesitate to not send the Australian cricketers. But with the world view having significantly shifted as a result of the pandemic, CA might have had little choice as it turns out.
Even if Cricket Australia would like to show that it was taking time considering whether to release its dozen and a half cricketers for the rescheduled Indian Premier League, reestablishing its authority over the players, the truth of the matter is that with the ICC Twenty20 World Cup now postponed, Cricket Australia knows that with the Indian tour of Australia the only major revenue stream available to it, it would do better than to antagonize the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at this point.
There has been much speculation in recent days that Cricket Australia and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are not seeing eye-to-eye particularly after the CA proposed to the International Cricket Council (ICC) that it should host the next year’s ICC Twenty20 World Cup in lieu of India after pushing to scrap this year’s edition on its own turf. Furthermore, with the expected domestic season coming in the way of a rescheduled IPL, Cricket Australia would have liked to have imposed its authority on the Australian cricketers with whom it has already suffered a fractious relationship over the salary cuts to the support staff at the outset of the pandemic break.
With as many as eighteen Australian cricketers set to earn in the high millions, there is a lot of money at stake and therefore, a lot of leverage. However, for Cricket Australia to even put out a statement a la New Zealand cricket that it was taking into consideration several factors before signing the No Objection Certificates that would facilitate the participation of these cricketers in the league, is folly, financially speaking.
Cricket Australia has made no bones about where its interest lies ever since expressing reluctance to host the ICC Twenty20 World Cup. It has been in negotiations with the BCCI to commit the Indian team to an additional fifth Test to the itinerary, counting the potential coffer change that would be on hand with India’s popularity on the cricket scene, not to mention its business attraction.
There has been more serious clamor in recent months for the domestic cricket season to be revived, for the forced participation of the Australian cricketers in the domestic circuit since they earn healthy retainer contracts and of putting a priority on Australia’s cricket redevelopment, having suffered a damaging quake after a steady world domination period beginning in the late ’90s.
However, not only have the Australian cricketers expressed strong loyalty to the IPL for obvious reasons, Cricket Australia is in an equally tempted compromise, wanting to appease the BCCI to fill its own coffers. Therefore, the whole proposition of Cricket Australia even contemplating the release of the cricketers for the IPL falls flat on its face. Cricket Australia would not want to be caught doing anything that jeopardizes the Indian cricket team landing on its own shores, least of which being upsetting the IPL apple cart.
An awkward incident took place on the second day of the first Test between England and Pakistan. When all-rounder Shadab Khan was batting with opener Shan Masood, the former asked for a change of shoes and former Pakistan captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed entered the ground as the 12th man carrying those shoes.
This did not go down well with former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar who termed as a humiliation of not only Sarfaraz but of respect and seniority in the game of cricket. Unlocking a barrage of words, Shoaib called Sarfaraz a weak and docile character who compromised with his respect. The Rawalpindi express didn’t stop there and rained on team management for making such a senior player carry the shoes.
“Those visuals, they were disrespectful. You can’t do this to a player who has led the national side for four years and got you the Champions Trophy. While I also believe that Sarfaraz is a weak character and he compromised with the situation. To me carrying the shows is not wrong. But the intent behind making Sarfaraz do that is very wrong. Even if he did it on his own, then someone senior should have stopped,” Akhtar said while speaking on Boss news.
No disrespect, it’s very humble of Sarfaraz to do that - Misbah
Late in the day an explanation over the same issue was given by current head coach of the team, Misbah-ul-Haq. Misbah said that it was a rather very humble gesture from Sarfaraz that he did it.
“I think there was nothing wrong with it. He was helping the team as the rest of the players were either playing or practicing. I think Sarafaraz is a great human being. He knows that it’s a team game and everybody needs to help. Plus, it is a sign of a good team,” Misbah said.
One might have seen dogs going out with their owners and playing with Frisbee or dodge balls or sometimes with rubber cricket balls too. We associate such playful characteristics with a dog quite easily. But what if you were told that a cat can catch balls with paws? Are you shocked? Well, don’t be, as the cat in the video below catches balls better than many fielders and even the renowned cricket commentators agree to it.
It was the former Australia cricketer turned commentator Dean Jones who shared the video on his official Twitter handle. Uploading the video, Jones wrote, “Have seen worst fielders I can assure you.”
In the video, a girl hits balls with a golf stick and shoots the activity on her mobile phone. Her cute little cat catches every ball and that too with just her two claws. There is a small net placed behind the cat just so that the ball doesn’t go far.
The video went viral with as many as 1.5 lakh views gathered by it in a very short span of time. Additionally, it got 7,000 likes and more than 1200 retweets.
Look at the second catch: Harsha Bhogle in awe of the cat’s catching abilities
Dean Jones was not the only commentator who was super impressed by the cat. Even Indian commentator and cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle remained awestruck by the cat’s abilities to hold on to such cats.
Replying to Dean Jones’ tweet, Bhogle wrote, “That second catch!” with clapping hands emoji.
Fans too were amazed to see the cat take the catches so easily. They compared it with former South African cricketers and one of the revolutionaries in the field- Jonty Rhodes, while others called former Pakistan wicketkeeper, Rashid Latif who was known for his agility behind the wickets and small height.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might have had to struggle a bit after it received a shock in the form of Indian Premier League (IPL)’s title sponsor VIVO mobiles pulling out from the deal. The Chinese company pulled out just ahead of the tournament because of the negative publicity it got on social media.
However, now things seem to be materializing in a better way for the board as there are a variety of companies ready to sponsor the league and leading the race is e-commerce giant Amazon. If reports in News 18 are to be believed then, BCCI is ready to negotiate a deal even with 1/3rd of the amount that VIVO was offering.
"If they are able to strike a deal worth Rs 180 crore, which would be just one-third of VIVO’s 440, even then also it would be a win-win situation for the board," a source close to the board was quoted as saying in the report.
Non-competitive brands can partner to pull in money for sponsorship
The source further hinted that BCCI is also looking at the idea of two non competing brands to take the lead and pool in the money for the sponsorship to serve their causes.
"You know the board is also looking for partners, so for example, BYJUs and Unacademy are rivals and so are Dream 11 and My Circle 11 in their own core areas. But if Dream 11 gets the title and BYJUs come in as official partners to pool in the money or if Unacademy gets the title and My Circle 11 pools in then that is also accepted by the board,” the source said.
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and his partner Natasa Stankovic were recently blessed with a baby boy. The cricketer had shared the good news on social media platforms. While enjoying his duties, Hardik is posting adorable videos and pictures of his son. The newborn is hogging a lot of limelight these days.
Hardik’s brother Krunal Pandya recently uploaded a clip with his nephew. Taking to his official Instagram handle, Krunal posted a video. He captioned the video as, “Let’s talk cricket”.
Tell him to become a fast-bowling all-rounder - KL Rahul
While people showered blessings on the little one, India batsman KL Rahul predicted the career profession of the junior Hardik Pandya.
He suggested Krunal to make the baby boy a fast-bowling all-rounder in future.
“Please tell him to become a fast-bowling all-rounder,” Rahul commented on the post.
KL Rahul is currently gearing up for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, which is scheduled to take place from September 19 in the UAE. While Rahul will lead Kings XI Punjab franchise, Pandya brothers will be back in action for the defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Notably, all the matches of IPL 2020 will be played across three cities - Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
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