Jun 202017
Amir all set to debut for English county Essex this summer

Mohammad Amir. Photo Courtesy: Essex Cricket Champions Trophy hero Mohammad Amir, who destroyed the Indian top three in his fairytale spell in the tournament finale, is all set to make his county debut for Essex this summer. The Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the fast bowler for featuring in English county cricket later this season. Amir will represent Essex in the NatWest T20 Blast, England and Wales’ Twenty20 cricket league. Pacer Junaid Khan has also been issued an NOC to play for Leicestershire county this year. Junaid Khan bagged 8 wickets in the recently-concluded Champions Trophy – the third highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Amir claimed 5 wickets, three of which were the crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli in Sunday’s finale.  Click for detailed story

Jun 192017
‘Haan Bhai…saray hee har gaye phir!!!’

There was something different about the latest Pakistan and India fixture right from the beginning. The usual animosity was replaced with relative geniality. Saurav Ganguly was defending Pakistan against Amir Sohail’s comments, Indians were standing up for Sarfaraz Ahmed against people making fun of his English and most Pakistanis were simply glad to be in the final – let alone think about winning it. Things were so calm; Sarfaraz Ahmed even gave MS Dhoni his baby. PHOTO: FACEBOOK.COM/SHEHZADGS Everybody knew that India was going to win it and Pakistan was simply there to complete the formality of playing the finals of the Champions Trophy. The entire nation expected the worst when Fakhar Zaman nicked a ball outside his off stump for a regulation catch for MS Dhoni and he held on to the ball like it was Sarfaraz Ahmad’s baby. PHOTO: FACEBOOK.COM/SHEHZADGS But then everything changed – Indians showed that they also had no balls and Fakhar Zaman got a free hit instead of a lot of free s**t from fans. Boy! Did Fakhar Zaman make the most of the respite? Even Azhar Ali was hitting the ball all over the park. At one point, Azhar had 29 of 32 balls and Fakhar Zaman had 16 of 29 balls – finally proving the multiverse theory as clearly this match was being played in some parallel alternative universe. Jasprit Mumrah, wait no Bumrah, could not do much with the ball but he managed to get Azhar Ali run out. Was a [Read More…]

May 242017
Cricket great Tendulkar's life brought to silver screen

A hotly anticipated film about the life of Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar hits cinemas this week but the batting great says he might find watching it an unsettling experience.“I am used to seeing myself on a big screen inside the stadium, not inside a movie theatre,” Tendulkar told AFP ahead of Friday’s release of “Sachin: A Billion Dreams”The docudrama, directed by Emmy-nominated British filmmaker James Erskine, took four years to make and traces Tendulkar’s life from aspiring cricketer to arguably the greatest batsman of all time.It features real footage, including clips from his matches and interviews with colleagues and family and present-day stars including Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.It uses actors to recreate some scenes from the 44-year-old’s childhood in Mumbai.Tendulkar, who played 200 Test matches and enjoys an almost god-like status in cricket-mad India, consented to the biopic but admitted that letting the cameras into his family life didn’t come naturally.“Being a private person I always believed I should let my bat do the talking, stay focused on the game and give all my energy over there,” said the “Little Master” in an interview.“There are personal moments in the film and some family footage. I know fans want to see something more than what they have in the last 24 years.“Nobody knows what was going on in my mind at that time so we have spoken a lot about highs and lows and the line between me, my family and fans,” he added.The right-hander made his debut [Read More…]

Mar 232017
Indian cricket board doubles salaries of players

NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board Wednesday doubled the salaries of its contracted players while retaining former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the top pay bracket. Players holding a Grade A contract will now get an annual retainer fee of $3.05 million instead of the previous $1.71m they were getting since November 2015. Dhoni, who gave up the limited overs captaincy in January, held the Grade A contract with his successor Virat Kohli and a few other top Indian players for a period ending September 2017. Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a double century in the drawn game against Australia in Ranchi, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and opener Murali Vijay were the new additions to the top of the three grades. The cash-rich Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also hiked the retainer fee for Grade B and C players while increasing the match fee across formats. Players will now get $23,000 for a Test match, $9,000 in a one-day international and earn $4,000 for a Twenty20 game. The decision to restructure the central contracts and match fees was taken by the BCCI in conjunction with the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). Click for detailed story

Mar 032017

Australian superstar Hugh Jackman has revealed that he is a great fan of Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, adding that the cricket team will perform better in the second test match against his home team. According to the X Men star, the best part about Virat is that he thinks outside of the box. “Kohli is amazing! You know, what I love about him is that he thinks out of the box. He seems to absolutely love what he is doing. I mean, I get the sense that you’re Steve Smith, you are the captain of Australia, there is a huge weight of responsibility of the whole country and I think it pails in comparison to what it must be like being the captain of the Indian cricket team,” Hugh told India Today. “A billion people, you know and it means so much to so many people. I also love the fact that they respect and love their fans. I take inspiration from that because I respect and love the fans, knowing that I would not be sitting here if it weren’t for Wolverine.” Hugh Jackman’s wife didn’t want him to play Wolverine Ahead of the world premier of his latest film Logan, Hugh sent out a message of support for his Indian fans, via a video. “Namastey to all my fans in India. You guys know that cricket is my favourite sport. What a great journey you (India) and your cricket team have been on since the last few years. You’re superheroes,” he said in the [Read More…]

Feb 212017
I will always remember those who stood with me in difficult times, says Shahzad

SHARJAH: Quetta Gladiators’ opening batsman Ahmad Shahzad said that he will always remember those who stood with him in stressful times and also those who left him stranded.  In an interview, Shahzad said: “I will remember those who stood with me in difficult times and also those who didn’t,” further adding, “ups and downs are part and parcel of a player’s career,” he cited example of Indian star Virat Kohli, who admitted that he was on the verge of being dropped a couple of times but Dhoni came to his rescue. The right-hand batsman reiterated that he has learnt substantially during past few months by reflecting on his uneven journey and said that now he is more focused on giving better performances over being concerned about people’s opinion about him. “I’ve got seniors like Inzamam, Waseem bhai and Shahid Afridi, who have always helped me to regain focus and sail through difficult times,” Shahzad said. However, he did not miss the opportunity to remark that there are also some seniors who are not welcoming in giving their time to young players. On the question of whether Pakistan would see a “new Ahmad Shahzad” now, he said: “Not really. That would mean I was previously wrong. I would simply say that when I return I would give my 100% as a player.” Shahzad expressed his support to the new national team captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and called him a “fighter”, he said that national players must give their hundred percent support to [Read More…]

Nov 222016
ICC rejects ball-tampering investigation against Kohli

DUBAI: The International Cricket Council on Tuesday rejected a ball-tampering investigation against Indian skipper Virat Kohli. The ICC said the video of Kohli from the Rajkot test was nine days old and thus action could not be taken on it. Footage emerged of India captain Virat Kohli appearing to shine the cricket ball using saliva from a sweet in his mouth during the first Test against England which resulted in a draw, the Daily Mail reported. A series of pictures show Kohli rubbing the ball using residue from what appeared to be a sweet. Earlier today (Tuesday), South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was charged with ball-tampering during an ICC hearing of a similar incident which took place during the fourth day of the second Test against Australia. Du Plessis was caught on camera applying saliva to the ball with a mint or chewing gum in his mouth. He was found guilty of ball-tampering and fined his entire match fee from the second Test against Australia in Hobart, but the South Africa captain has been cleared to play in this week´s third and final match of the series. Click for detailed story

Oct 072016

INDORE, INDIA: India captain Virat Kohli said on Friday that his team management must manage the workload of their fast bowlers during their jam-packed home season. The veteran Ishant Sharma and in-form Bhuvneshwar Kumar have both been ruled out of the final Test beginning in Indore on Saturday, undermining India’s chances of a clean sweep against the Black Caps and raising fresh questions about the team’s strength in depth on the pace front. Sharma has missed the whole series after contracting the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya while Kumar was injured during the second Test in Kolkata after bagging his second five-wicket haul in the last three matches. India’s Kumar out of third Test against New Zealand due to back strain Kumar’s replacement is Shardul Thakur, who is yet to make his international debut, and it means Mohammed Shami will shoulder a heavier burden even though he is on the comeback trail after being plagued with knee problems. “It’s very important to manage workload, especially for your fast bowlers,” Kohli told reporters in Indore on the eve of the match. “For the one-day matches, they’ve been given rest because it’s a long Test season and we need the bowlers fresh,” he said, referring to the selectors’ decision to omit Sharma and Kumar from the squad for three ODIs which follow the Tests. The series against the Black Caps marks the start of a packed programme of international cricket for India who are also due to host Test matches against England, Bangladesh and Australia [Read More…]

Sep 122016

MUMBAI: India retained opener Shikhar Dhawan and middle order batsman Rohit Sharma on Monday for their home Test series against New Zealand, which will beginn in Kanpur later this month. The 29-year-old Rohit is an automatic choice in India’s limited-overs sides, but has failed to replicate that form in the five-day format, averaging 32.62 with the bat in 18 tests. He scored nine and 41 in the third test in West Indies at Gros Islet and did not get a chance to bat in the final match of the series at Port of Spain, which was washed out. Kohli promises signed bat to Aleem Dar’s son Left-handed opener Dhawan’s place was also under scrutiny after he was dropped for the fourth test against West Indies following scores of 27, 26 and one in his three previous innings in the Caribbean. The emergence of Lokesh Rahul, who was named in the 15-member squad, as an opener has put further pressure on Dhawan to perform after the 24-year-old right-hander scored two hundreds and a fifty in four innings against West Indies in tests and a T20 international. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who also scored two centuries against West Indies after being promoted in the batting order, will lead India’s slow-bowling attack, aided by leggie Amit Mishra and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Kumble loves Kohli’s aggression Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav were the three pacemen in India’s squad. The New Zealand series will mark the start of a bumper home season for India [Read More…]

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