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Shashi

A cricket addict

Transfer rumors May, 22, 2014: Players who are on the look out for new club

All clubs end their season and now it is time for some transfer rumours. With passing hour various players are being linked to different club. Player like Benzema, Fabregas being linked with big clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United. Many big clubs now will spend huge amount of money to get hold of their player.

Latest transfer rumors

1. Jordy Claise- The Dutch football player, who plays as a midfielder for Dutch Eredivisie Club Feyenoord and the Dutch National team. For Feyenoord he made 98 appearances and scored 6 goals. His style of play earned him the label of ‘Dutch Xavi’. Jordy Claise may on his way to Swansea city. The Dutch international has a contract in Rotterdam until 2016.

2. Lukasz Fabianski- The Arsenal goalkeeper who was the hero for Arsenal in the FA cup Semi final and Final wants to leave the club. Fabianski stated that he played the last game for the club in the FA cup final and was happy to end his stay at Arsenal with a Silver ware. Fabianski rejected new deal with gunners. Fabianski will move to any Premier League side and for that he is in talks with various English clubs.

3. Romelu Lukaku-The Belgian striker is in rich vein of form. Lukaku was loaned to Everton by Chelsea, and the striker helped Everton with his goal scoring ability. Lukaku scored 15 goals for Everton in 31 appearances. Lukaku seeked assurance from Mourinho about his future at the Bridge. On other hand Zenit has entered the race for signing Romelu Lukaku. Andre Villas Boas wants to sign Romelu Lukaku for a transfer fee of 20 million pound.

4. Ashley Cole The Chelsea defender, who is considered as one of the best defender may leave the club in this transfer window. Former Chelsea and Arsenal player may be one of the biggest signing of this season. Latest, Monaco joined in the race of signing the Chelsea defender. The 33 year old Chelsea defender is also in the transfer list of Real Madrid.

5. Mario Mandzukic- The Croatian and Bayern striker is also attracting various big clubs. Mario Mandzukic has scored many goals for Bayern and has real skill for scoring goals. Mandzukic scored 18 goals this season for Bayern but there always has been a friction between Pep guardiola and Mandzukic. Recently Barcelona is targeting Mario Mandzukic. Chelsea,Arsenal and Manchester United is also linked with Croatian.

6. Pedro Rodriguez- The Barcelona star may be in his way out in this season. With Liverpool lining up for an audacious attempt to secure Pedro in this transfer window. Brendan Rodgers is clear that he is ready to spend huge amount of money behind bringing the Barcelona star at Anfield. Versatility of Pedro has attracted Rodgers and might be he is the right man and will provide huge support to Luiz Suarez and Daniel Sturridge upfront.
As days pass various other players will be linked up with other big clubs. Various big names will come on in the transfer list and various will go down. This are all latest Transfer rumors of which how many turns out is what we need to watch out for.

IPL 7: Has the quality of cricket improved this season?

Robin Uthappa                                                                                                                         “Full many a Flower is born to blush unseen,
                                                                                                                        And waste their Fragrance in the desert air”.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             GRAY’S Elegy.

Undoubtedly, one of the most arguable topics since IPL came on the floors. Firstly, it was the One Day International (read chaddi cricket), then it is this T20 format and finally evolved out of sheer want of entertainment, the game of impropriety called the Indian Premier League. It was right from the time of delivery of the first ball of IPL that cricket pundits had started questioning the genuineness and authenticity of the game. Gallons of questions came galore. There were several scandals regarding the quality of the spirit of the sport being destroyed continuously, especially, keeping in mind the scams that triumphed over the newspapers the last year.
The Indian Premier League was injected into the Indian Cricket with the optimism of making the Indian Cricket robust and entertaining. The declining interests in the longer formats led to the evolution of T20 cricket, domestication of which churned out the notion of IPL. Cricket turned out to be more like a girl’s outfit, less the clothing, more the entertainment. But not to forget, the main idea behind the curtain-rise of IPL is to amplify the zeal of the cricket-lovers and to entice them to the world of cricket. Initially though, it pretty well succeeded in doing so. But unfortunately, IPL-4 didn’t match the footsteps of its predecessors. Soon enough, it lost its much coveted TRP, public interests seemed to thin away, even the DLF sponsorship rolled its sleeves. The then IPL Commissioner, Lalit Modi was found guilty of committing acts of misconduct and indiscipline and was therefore, banned from the next IPL seasons. In return, Modi denied all the allegations and blamed the BCCI Administration for calumny. It was all over when until a few months back, a few cricketers along with their owners were interrogated and were found guilty of match-fixing scandal. A handful of bookies were also arrested and questioned. Whether or not, ‘the Azharuddin era was recuperating’ was the common question of all cricket lovers. Even the BCCI President was brought under the watch-glass of suspicion. The role of Rajiv Shukla, the successor of Modi as the IPL chairman, was also scrutinised, following which, he resigned. Vindoo Dara Singh, Gurunath Meiyappan and a lot others involved in the heinous scam of IPL. The purpose with which IPL was launched simply took a U-turn and acted as a boomerang against the cricket-lovers. Message of corruption and even political influence started breezing in the fresh air of cricket. A fresh start was the need of the hour and to ensure that, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was assigned the duty as the IPL chairman.
IPL-7 stretched its wings on April 16th 2014. Due to the Election purpose and certain critical security issues, it was scheduled to be segmented into 2legs, each leg being hosted in different countries, the first in UAE and the second in India. As of now (till match no.-46), everything is looking poised. Talents are advancing from almost all corners of the world. What has been most discernible this IPL is the Indian players, particularly the uncapped ones like Karn Sharma and Lokesh Rahul of Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sandeep Sharma ,Aksar Patel,Manan Vohra and Rishi Dhawan of Kings XI Punjab, Yuzvendra Chahal of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sanju Samson and Praveen Tambe  of Rajasthan Royals who, one may presume, have already made their names enrolled in the National Selector’s hit-list. Some of the Indian hotshots are also performing well and that too under pressure. Mohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Wriddhiman Saha are few of them. Even some old goons have proved that ‘form is temporary, skill is permanent’. The likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh well concur with it. Moreover, the foreign cricketers have also come hand-in-hand to deliver cricket to its zenith. With all these talents flourishing sky-high, the virtue and rectitude of IPL-7 can’t be questioned anymore.
With the new Government promising higher and clearer goals, it can only be hoped that the chastity of cricket be well maintained and usher in optimism about what we need the most at this hour, a pure IPL, better to say, Indian Purity League.

IPL 7: Permutations for play-offs

IPL has reached it’s business end and the teams for the semi finals have almost been finalised . The teams will love to make it into the Top 2 , just it gives them an extra shot at the semi finals . Kings X11 Punjab and Chennai SuperKings had a significant lead from the rest but now it has narrowed down to just 2 points. Everything seems likely here . But what is sure is the participation of Chennai SuperKings and Kings X11 Punjab in the knock out stages. But they will love to reach there , being top 2 of the tournament.

There is an outside chance that 5 different teams ( KKR, SRH, RCB , MI and RR) may end up being on 14 points each and it will then come to the net run rate to decide their fate. If KKR and Rajasthan Royals win atleast 1 game each of the remaining 3, it will be all over for the rest of the two teams . With a win , they will have 16 points and none of the other 3 can reach there.

For others to have a chance, KKR and Rajasthan Royals must lose both their remaining games . Also, the other teams must win all their remaining games , to have any sort of chance what so ever. Then it will come to net run rate . But there are certain mutual games also, which will mean that all these teams cannot end up with 14 points , even if Kolkata Knightriders and Rajasthan Royals lose both their remaining games.

On a neutral note, there is very slim chances for the other 3 teams as the net run rate of KKR and RR is significantly high from the others. Until and unless , they lose by a very significant margin , it ‘s not possible for others to make it into the top4.

But, it is IPL and everything can happen here and fans might be itching to see their teams into the top4. This , to an extent has prevented some dead games and has made this a very interesting IPL.

Brendon McCullum confirms match-fixing approach in New Zealand's cricket tour of England

The clouds of Match-Fixing has yet again started in cricketing world. Brendon McCullum was asked to submit a testimony on fixing scandal by the ICC and now that confidential testimony was publicly disclosed last week. This created a havoc among former New Zealand cricketers,namely Chris Cairns , Lou Vincent, Andre Adams. International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson has announced an investigation into how Brendon McCullum’s confidential testimony to anti-corruption officials came into the public domain.

McCullum had reportedly said a former star, Player X, whom he described as “a hero who became a friend”, offered him up to 107,000 Pounds ($180,000) to underperform in matches. The current New Zealand captain said he was “shell shocked” at the approach and had reported the same to the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU).

Although Media has already guessed it as Chris Cairns since he was a big Star in New Zealand team some years before and had played with Brendon McCullum, Chris Cairns,though, clearly denied all the allegations and said he is not that “Player-X” .

Player X is believed to be the same person who former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent admitted that he fixed matches for. Vincent is believed to have agreed to a plea bargain with ICC in the hope of avoiding a criminal prosecution for his involvement in and knowledge of spot-fixing in five or more countries between 2008-2012. Vincent was revealed last December to have been under investigation along with fellow New Zealanders Chris Cairns and Daryl Tuffey over allegations of match-fixing. He later confirmed he had been approached by bookmakers.

Cairns on the other hand repeatedly asked ICC to provide some copies of Vincent’s documents but ICC was more loyal towards the media than on the former New Zealand Skipper.

Now after these incidents Former New Zealand cricketer and a good friend of Lou Vincent, Andre Adams have feared of Vincent’s safety after he went public about these fixing related matters. Adams also added “It’s scary for me, I don’t want to wake up one day and hear that my mate’s gone because he’s made some bad choices”.

On the other hand Andre Adams lashed out at former New Zealand player Iain O’Brien as O’Brien had called Vincent “a fixer, a cheat and many more unprintable things” when he was plying his trade in the Indian Cricket League.
Vincent said he had identified 12 games around the world which involved fixing, including Auckland Aces’ games during the Champions Trophy in South Africa in 2012.
ICC playing it fair and said that McCullum acted quite properly and the matter is ‘Urgently investigative’.

IPL 7, Match 49: KKR vs RCB – Hits and Flops

It was the second game at the Eden Gardens and we had witnessed the ambience of another 70000 crowd. It was the match between the men in purple, Kolkata Knight Riders Vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore. The game was hugely important for RCB and they had to win each of the two games to find a narrow chance for making to the play-offs. The game has been a high scoring one and for yet another time the host crowd witnessed the home team getting victorious quite comfortably. There has been some sensational performances and also some disappointing ones. Here are them:

FLOPS Of The Match

Gautam Gambhir (KKR): The KKR skipper had a bad day at the centre. He was dismissed in the very first over while trying to glide a ball through the legs. He managed to score just 4 runs off 4 balls and was dismissed by Mitchell Starc.

Yuzvendra Chahal (RCB): The promising uncapped leg-spinner of RCB did not manage to keep things tight tonight and failed to bowl according to field setups. He bowled several wide deliveries and Uthappa thrashed him for boundaries. He gave 24 runs in his 4th over and Shakib thrashed him for 3 sixes. He gave 50 runs off his 4 overs and went wicketless.

Chris Gayle (RCB): For once again, the big man disappointed with his performance. He remained out of form throughout the tournament and failed to score a single half century till now. He looked uncomfortable at the crease and struggled against the KKR bowlers. He scored just 6 runs off 9 deliveries.

AB De Villiers (RCB): This man came to bat when the game was going almost out of the reach for RCB and needed a fiery innings from him but he failed to deliver today and just scored 13 runs off 13 deliveries with a single boundary.

HITS Of The Match

Robin Uthappa (KKR): Once again this man came up with a fantastic innings. It was his 8th consecutive knock of 40+ runs, previous ones were like these, 47, 65, 47, 46, 80, 40, 67 in this IPL and surely this man is carrying the KKR’s baton with his batting. Today he scored an unbeaten knock of 83 runs off 51 deliveries with 10 fours and a six. He was also involved in a century partnership with Shakib Al Hasan. He received the Orange Cap today.

Shakib Al Hasan (KKR): The Bangladeshi all-rounder did play his part today. He was involved in a brilliant partnership with Uthappa and himself, played very aggressively. He scored 60 runs off 38 deliveries with 5 fours and 3 sixes. He was also handy with the ball and gave just 27 runs in his 4 overs.

Sunil Narine (KKR): The sensational match-winning spinner once again came up with golden colours for the knights. He took crucial wickets at crucial times and broke the healthy partnership of Kohli and Takawale. His 4th over was priceless when he took the wickets of Yuvraj Singh and AB De Villiers. He took 4 wickets in his 4 overs and gave just 20 runs. He was truly economical and bowled 9 dot balls.

IPL 7, Match 50: CSK vs SRH – Hits and Flops

Yes, Saffron is the colour all over Jharkhand. After a tight contest, it is the Sunrisers who emerge victorious from the ashes of the Super Kings. The entire JSCA stadium remained most loyal to their home man, Mr. Captain Cool, but that was not adequate to man CSK. With their most consistent man, Dwayne Smith, they successfully climbed the stairs of a handsome total of 185/3 after 20 overs. Captain Cool looked pretty happy and poised while leaving the ground after 1st innings, but little did he knew that his once jovial mood will soon dwindle into something depressive.
Let us have a surface into the hits and flops of the match :-

FLOPS:-

i)Suresh Raina :- The player having played the maximum number of matches in the IPL so far have failed severely in today’s match. After hankering for a just sum of 4runs in 7balls, he quite successfully makes his place among the few failed ones. The only white part in his contribution has been the wicket of Naman Ojha and a run-out of Aussie-man Aaron Finch.

ii)Dale Steyn:- This veteran Speedstar has failed miserably in today’s match. 46-0 figure has been, I hope, is one of the worst bowling figures in his T20 over cricket.

iii)Bhuvaneshwar Kumar:-Bhuvi, as his loved ones call him and his jersey-name speaks, has delivered his worst spell in this year’s IPL. 36-0 is his worst this year. Not only that, he also lost his Purple Cap today to Sunil Narine.

iv)Ravindra Jadeja:– Another unsuccessful figure in today’s match. 42-1 has been his figure.

HITS:-

i)Dwayne Smith:- One of the Orange Cap contenders of this IPL season. Scored a decent 47(28). With his bat still doing the talking, Captain Cool can still hope to win the IPL.

ii)David Hussey:-What a substitute this has been for the Super Kings. He scored 50(33) and kept the heat moving.

iii)MS Dhoni:– A captain’s knock this has been. Came up at the last moment with his cameo-type appearance of 57(41).

iv)Shikhar Dhawan:-Looks like a captain’s duel, it was Shikhar Dhawan replying to MS Dhoni’s innings by scoring a supporting score of 64*(49).

v)David Warner:-The most effective man comes last in the queue. What an incredible cricket this man plays. With a whooping strike-rate of 200, this man scored a blast of 90 off just 45 ball before being bowled out by the King’s bowler John Hastings. This man too is in the chase of the Orange Cap.

Finally, after the evaluation of today’s match and after juxtaposing the pros and cons, it is believed that CSK must right away find ways to improve their cricket, particularly, the bowling section. And to SRH, they need to keep cool and carry on. If not this time, why not the next? The Sun will rise once the dawn arrives.

IPL 7: Sunil Gavaskar claims two Players Approached by Bookies this season

After the Supreme Court has appointed a committee to probe allegations of match-fixing and betting in the 2013 Indian Premier League , a shocking revealation has come from the interim president of the BCCI, Sunil Gavaskar. He has stated that 2 IPL players have been approached by the bookies this year. The players have reported the matter to the IPL governing council. The name of the players have not been made public till now.

The concerned players reported the matter to the IPL security officers appointed with each team and the it the matter has been reported to the BCCI’s anti-corruption unit. “They are looking into it,” Gavaskar said. 

It’s not still clear whether the players were approached in the UAE leg or the Indian league of the IPL. But there are reports that Morne Morkel was one of the players approached.

On the MCCullum issue, he said that the news was not leaked in India and IPL has nothing to take with it. The ICC will be looking into this matter.
Talking about the other issue over the final venue of the IPL . The venue was shifted from Mumbai to Bangalore. He said that the reason was not logistics and all but the permission of loudspeakers and fireworks after 10 pm at Mumbai.

KEVIN PIETERSEN : Has he become a liability for Delhi Daredevils

Kevin Pietersen is one of the most prolific batsman in the T-20 format. He has been a nightmare for many bowlers around the world with his flamboyant stroke play and aggressive approach. He is facing the downfall with this franchise Delhi Daredevils. However, he averaged 37.94 at the healthy strike rate of 141.52 in the international T-20 format. Let’s not forget his man of the series performance for England in the T-20 world cup 2010 that helped them to lift the trophy. Obviously, he is one of the best in this format of the game, when at his best.

Being an experienced player and captain of the side, what’s the problem he is facing in this IPL?      

One can’t decline his batting ability. He is not good as a batsman while being a captain of a side but he is very good as a player while playing under a captain. As a captain he averaged around 18 and as a player he has an amazing average of over 40 in his IPL career.He never had a decent run with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

His vulnerability against spin bowling is the biggest drawback in this IPL especially under the Indian conditions, which suits more to the spinners. He has been a bunny of the left armers , and Yuvraj proved it. It’s be clear from his way of dismissals in this IPL, he thrown away his wicket to Chahal by coming down the track and getting stumped. Similarly, against Tambe caught at long on and suicidal run out against KKR where he was unable to tackle the spin.

This just sends a wrong signal and lowers down the morale of the team. A captain should lead from the front and not be a liability for the team. In IPL, it disturbs the balance of the team when a foreign captain do not perform.

Another aspect is his lack of match practice after being sacked from England Cricket. He is completely out of action since the Ashes series. Leader is the one who needs to lead from the front when the team is facing the downfall. Clearly, Kevin Pietersen’s  form is a huge factor for Delhi Daredevils downfall.

The best thing can change the fortune for Delhi as well as KP is his shot selection against spin bowling which has to be improved. Though Delhi Daredevils is in bad patch in this year the team ,management and KP will come with different strategy for the next season to change their fortune.

I feel  KP is a good captain, the way he leads the youngsters, but  it causes his batting. He has not been at his best while captaining , neither for the English team and nor for the IPL franchises. He has to have match practice before he comes to play IPL, or will face tough time in the IPL.

IPL 7: SRH vs KKR – Hits and Flops

The Match 46 of Pepsi IPL 7 had got bulk of importance. It was the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore Vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad at Hyderabad and it was the first home victory for the Sunrisers. It was indeed a do or die one for each of the team. In such an important encounter, there has been a number of performances which were responsible for the outcome of the match. Here is a list of the FLOPS and HITS of the match.

FLOPS Of the Match

Chris Gayle (RCB) : The giant from Jamaica has been struggling with his batting form throughout the IPL. We were yet to see the GAYLESTORM from him in this season and unluckily the wait continues. He disappointed with his performance tonight. He looked very much uncomfortable at the crease and struggled throughout. He managed to score 14 runs off 20 deliveries when he was dismissed by Karan Sharma.

Mitchell Starc (RCB): The leading pacer from RCB did not manage to give up a standing performance today. He went for plenty in his initial overs and did not manage to give RCB the much needed breakthroughs. He gave away 31 runs in 3.4 overs and went wicketless.

Yuzvendra Chahal (RCB): The promising spinner from RCB had a bad day today. Although, he bowled well in his initial overs, yet he went for runs. He did not manage to pick up a single wicket today and went for 32 runs in his 4 overs.

HITS Of the Match

Virat Kohli (RCB): The RCB skipper has not been in his touch for the past few games. But he stood up with a fantastic performance when his side needed him the most. He geared the RCB innings with his glorious strikes and the sixes over cover region were just treat to watch. He was dismissed in the 18th over by Irfan Pathan. He scored 67 runs off 41 deliveries with 4 fours and 4 sixes.

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (SRH): The master of swing for SRH did make a brilliant performance today. He bowled with perfect line and length and bowled brilliantly at the deck overs of the innings. He also took the wicket of AB De Villiers in the 19th over which was an extremely valuable one. He took 2 wickets in his 4 overs and gave 27 runs.

David Warner (SRH): The Australian power hitter was sent to open the innings for the SRH today. He did a fantastic job for his team and was involved in a century opening partnership with Shikhar Dhawan. He took the game away from RCB with his aggression and his way of running between the wickets today was simply awesome. He scored 59 runs off 46 deliveries with 3 fours and 4 sixes.

Shikhar Dhawan (SRH): The left handed Indian opener once again gave SRH an aggressive start. Today he carried on with his aggression and played a blistering knock of 50 runs off 39 deliveries with 7 fours and a six. The opening partnership between him and Warner was surely a match-winner for them.

IPL 7: Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in a must win game

Royal Challengers Bangalore and  Sunrisers Hyderabad  will face each other in a do or die sort of encounter today at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium , Hyderabad.  A loss in this game will definitely shatter the hopes of the semi finals but a win here may not gurantee a berth in the knock outs as it will depend on the results of the other matches.

Hyderabad have not been playing at home , the way they played last time around. Much of it goes to the pitch which has been prepared this time. The pitch is a lot batting friendly and this is where the local team has suffered. I wonder  who regulates the nature of the pitch , but anyways it won’t please Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Strong points: RCB’s batting has started to click and Yuvraj’s exploits just makes them a dangerous side. Virat showed some good signs in the previous encounter against Chennai and Chris Gayle too played a sensible innings. This pitch will support their kind of batting and run flow can be expected here.

SunRisers on the other hand depends on their bowling. Defending low totals have been their strength . In the last match Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a rough day and it is bound to happen, but overall they are a formidable bowling unit.

Weak points: RCB is still not settled as a bowling unit and have performed in patches , but now when their batting is showing glimpses of their ability, this won’t matter much to them.

On the other hand, Sunrisers have a lot to think about. Darren Sammy has been appointed as captain and this is perhaps not a sensible move. Their batsman have got starts but have not been able to convert those starts into big ones. Amit Mishra has looked out of sorts and  he has been a weak link in the lineup. Also, their 5th bowlers are a weak link and batsman will surely target them.

Team news: After Darren Sammy has been appointed as captain of the side, it doesn’t look that Sunrisers will have any change in their lineup and will be going with the same playing 11.

Bangalore , on the other hand may make a batting change , but that also seems very unlikely.

Expected result:  It should be a walk in the cake for the Royal Challengers Bangalore , considering that they have improved after their batting has started to click. Unless, Sunrisers pile up a good score or get the opposition out at a decent score, this must be a Bangalore’s match.

Fans must be waiting for another Devilliers –Steyn battle . Both the teams have played some very close encounters and may well repeat it this time.

The match will start at 4pm local time at Rajiv Gandhi stadium, Hyderabad.