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Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
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Sourav Ganguly Says India’s Tour To South Africa Remains On Schedule Despite Emergence Of Omicron

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI president on Tuesday, said India’s tour to South Africa remains on schedule, and they’re keeping a close watch on the situation surrounding the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant.

There has been growing concern about the spread of the new COVID-19 variant, named Omicron, which was first reported in South Africa.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sourav Ganguly: The Tour Is On As There Is Enough Time To Decide Upon

The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs, and four T20Is in South Africa from December 17 to January 26. For now, CSA continues to build a strict bio-bubble for the tour and has proper protocols in place.

BCCI has put a hold on the selection meeting for the upcoming all-format tour of South Africa. It is learned that BCCI is awaiting clearance from the government before going ahead with the tour. South Africa has been identified as an ‘at-risk country’ after the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus.

“The tour is on as things stand till now. We still have time to decide. The first Test is scheduled from December 17. We will ponder about it,” Sourav Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event.

India's Tour Of South Africa : India is supposed to tour South Africa in December 2021 © Getty
India’s Tour Of South Africa: India is supposed to tour South Africa in December 2021 © Getty

India plays the final 2nd Test against New Zealand in Mumbai and is scheduled to depart to Johannesburg from there on December 8 or 9 on a chartered flight.

“Players’ security and health has always been BCCI’s first priority, we will do everything possible for this. We will see what happens in the days to come,” said Sourav Ganguly.

On the tour, India plays three Tests, three ODIs, and four T20s. India, A tour of South Africa, will continue, the detection of a new Covid-19 variant in the country notwithstanding. The Indian A team is presently in South Africa for three unofficial Tests. With one of the Tests being completed, the team is still in the country, and the unofficial Tests will continue.

Sourav Ganguly Backed Hardik Pandya To Make A Comeback After Successfully Recovering From Injury

The former India captain also backed out-of-favour allrounder, Hardik Pandya, to regain his place in the side after returning to full fitness.

“He is a good cricketer. He’s not fit, that’s why he’s not there in the team. He’s young, I hope he makes a comeback after recovering from his injury,” said Sourav Ganguly.

Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images

Recently, legendary Kapil Dev questioned Hardik Pandya’s role as an allrounder in the India team after he had stopped bowling following his back surgery.

“Don’t compare him (Hardik) with Kapil Dev. He belonged to a different league,” Sourav Ganguly concluded.

Hardik Pandya was not selected for the recent home T20I series against New Zealand at home, which India won 3-0. Despite being given multiple chances, Hardik Pandya did not fulfil his duties as an all-rounder as he concentrated on his batting and hardly did any bowling be it in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 or even at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Now, it has been learned that the player has asked the national selectors to not consider him for a while as he wants to focus on regaining full fitness.

Hardik Pandya is said to be eyeing a return to full-time bowling and has asked the selectors to give him time for the same. In fact, the last time the all-rounder bowled in the IPL was in 2019 and had played the 2020 edition only as a pure batter.

Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
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Amid Omicron Scare BCCI Puts Team Selection For South Africa Tour On Hold – Reports

BCCI has put a hold on the selection meeting for the upcoming all-format tour of South Africa. It is learned that BCCI is awaiting clearance from the government before going ahead with the tour. South Africa has been identified as an ‘at-risk country’ after the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus.

The selection meeting was planned for just after the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. The players who have been rested for the ongoing home series against New Zealand were supposed to undergo a five-day quarantine before entering the bubble for South Africa on the night of December 8. The players have not been intimated yet about the exact itinerary.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

BCCI Puts Team Selection Meeting For South Africa Tour On Hold

Players like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami, KL Rahul, and Shardul Thakur are waiting for clear communication from BCCI about joining the bubble. After the end of the T20I series, they were informed they would have to be in quarantine in Mumbai by December 3.

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma---Image: Twitter
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma—Image: Twitter

Any bio-bubble is only as effective as those inside it make it. During the England tour this year, the bio-bubble was breached for which better discipline should be maintained this time around.  In September, there was a minor outbreak in the Indian camp when the team was touring England for a 5-match Test series. As a result, the fifth Test had to be cancelled and rescheduled for the next year.

The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is in South Africa from December 17 to January 26. For now, CSA continues to build a strict bio-bubble for the tour and has proper protocols in place. India will play three ODIs in South Africa for the first time since their 5-1 series win in 2017-18.

Historically, India didn’t have a great record in bilateral series in that part of the world. However, they did qualify for the final when the World Cup was played in 2003.

South Africa Assured The Touring Indian Team Will Be Kept In The Best Of BioSecure Bubbles

The latest development comes on the day South Africa’s ministry of international relations and cooperation issued a statement thanking BCCI for letting the India ‘A’ team stay back to complete the series in Bloemfontein. In the statement, the ministry also assured that the Indian team will be kept in the best of bio-secure bubbles.

“South Africa will take all precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the Indian teams. A full bio-secure environment will be established around both the South African and Indian ‘A’ teams as well as the two national teams,” the statement read.

India's Tour Of South Africa : India is supposed to tour South Africa in December 2021 © Getty
India’s Tour Of South Africa: India is supposed to tour South Africa in December 2021 © Getty

However, BCCI isn’t committing anything yet.

“Cricket South Africa and their government are doing everything to ensure the tour goes on. But BCCI is awaiting a nod from the central government. Things will be clear in a couple of days. The players too need to be assured of the arrangements. The board doesn’t want a repeat of what happened in Manchester when an outbreak within the camp got the players traveling with their families jittery,” a top BCCI official said.

Former India batter VVS Laxman will do the formalities to join the NCA as cricket head only after the Test series against New Zealand. VVS Laxman is currently completing his broadcast commitments.

India, A tour of South Africa, will continue, the detection of a new Covid-19 variant in the country notwithstanding. The visiting team, currently based in Bloemfontein, has had a series of meetings with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials and the local medical team and has decided to complete the three-match series.

The Indian A team is presently in South Africa for three unofficial Tests. With one of the Tests being completed, the team is still in the country, and the unofficial Tests will continue. The ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe was cancelled, and South Africa’s ODI series against the Netherlands has been postponed.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KL Rahul Could Be Made Skipper Of New Lucknow Franchise And Rashid Khan May Be Included But The Duo Can Be Banned For 1 Year

KL Rahul has been in ominous form with the bat, especially in the T20 format. Now, with KL Rahul parting ways with Punjab Kings, as per a report, new franchise Lucknow is set to lap him up. Reports claim Lucknow has offered him Rs 20 Cr. If that happens, he would become the most expensive player in the history of the league.

Even otherwise, KL Rahul at Rs 17 Cr (2018-2021) is still the most expensive player. If Lucknow ropes him in, then he could very well be made the captain of the side. Thus far, KL Rahul has played 94 matches in IPL and has amassed 3273 runs at an average of over 41.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul Could Be Made Skipper Of New Lucknow Franchise Which Reportedly Has Offered INR 20 Crores Making Him The Most Expensive Player In IPL History

In the 2021 IPL, KL Rahul smashed 626 runs in 13 matches and was the third-highest run-getter in IPL 2021, but unfortunately, failed to inspire the side to a title. KL Rahul has been the best opener in IPL since 2018 and scored 659, 593, 670, and 626 runs in the past four seasons, respectively.

The Lucknow franchise has zeroed in on KL Rahul to be their next captain, and negotiations are learnt to be on with the opening batsman. If it goes ahead, the development will leave seven franchises – including SRH, if they want an Indian to replace Kane Williamson as captain and the new Ahmedabad franchise – looking for a new skipper. The BCCI will come out with its new media-rights tender after the mega-auction gets over.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. Image Credits: Twitter

Some reports also suggest that the new franchise is in talks with Rashid Khan. Lucknow is interested in getting the services of the Afghan star. Rashid Khan is apparently not happy with Hyderabad’s offer. He wants to be the first-choice at the Retention, but the franchise reckons Kane Williamson is the one for that.

The existing eight franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have reached the deadline to submit their respective lists for player retention. The BCCI will make the names of retained players public on Tuesday afternoon and pave the way for the two new teams to start signing players ahead of the mega-auction.

The retention rules are as follows: A franchise can retain a maximum of a) three Indians and one overseas player; b) two Indians and two overseas players.

It has been learnt that RPSG owned Lucknow based new IPL franchise is willing to offer INR 20 Crores salary to KL Rahul to leave PBKS while Rashid Khan will be getting INR 16 Crores for his services in the coming season.

Chennai Super Kings Have Retained MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali, While Mumbai Indians Have Retained Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard

Bearing these set of rules in mind, IPL 2021 defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have retained MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali.

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians are holding back captain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard. However, it is learnt that MI have, until the last moment, been deliberating over all-rounder Hardik Pandya who played as a specialist batter in the last 2 IPLs but whether the Baroda cricketer will be fit to bowl or not starting next season remains the key.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Here are the details from the remaining franchises:

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje. The franchise has decided to let go of former skipper Shreyas Iyer and their leading batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell. Late until Monday evening, there was no confirmation if Shubhman Gill would remain part of the Knight Riders’ plans.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj and Glenn Maxwell. The franchise wanted to retain Yuzuvendra Chahal, but it is learnt that both sides couldn’t reach an understanding.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: The beleaguered franchise may just retain New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan is learnt to be negotiating with one of the new franchises.

Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal and two uncapped players Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh, are what Punjab is looking to retain.

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson, Jos Butler and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

This list of retention is based on sources in the IPL, but final confirmation of the same can only be expected on Tuesday. Once the BCCI ratifies these retentions, the two new franchises – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – will be asked to identify players – a maximum of three Indians and one overseas player or two Indians and two overseas players – by mid-December and the remaining players will go into the mega-auction being planned either towards the end of December or January first week.

Last mega auction

This will be the last mega-auction that the IPL intends to hold and most stakeholders in the league, including the majority of franchises, are in line with the proposal.

“We genuinely hope this is the last mega-auction because the trend has clearly gone past its sell-by date. This, in turn, will also put pressure on franchisees to pick well at this mega-auction because they’ll be building their future teams around these set of players,” said sources privy to developments.

Amidst all the retention process going on with the eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could hand-over one year ban to Indian star batsman KL Rahul and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan for breaching the IPL code of conduct.

A verbal complaint has been raised by Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) against Lucknow based new IPL franchise for ‘pursuing & poaching’ Rashid Khan and KL Rahul to leave their respective franchise in the coming season.

India vs South Africa - | BCCI/Twitter
India vs South Africa - | BCCI/Twitter
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India’s Tour Of South Africa Will Likely Go On :Cricket South Africa (CSA) Acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki

India’s tour of South Africa has been under doubt after South Africa was hit by the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. However, the tour seems likely to go on with no statement of cancellation made at the moment from either of the two boards.

With the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, in African nations, there have been speculations over India’s forthcoming all format tour to South Africa. However, Cricket South Africa is confident that India will still tour the rainbow nation. The all-format series includes three Tests, three ODIs, and four T20Is to be played during December and January.

India's Tour Of South Africa : India is supposed to tour South Africa in December 2021 © Getty
India’s Tour Of South Africa: India is supposed to tour South Africa in December 2021 © Getty

India’s Tour Of South Africa Will Likely Go On Despite Emergence Of A New Deadly Covid-19 Variant As BCCI Is Committed To Tour: Cricket South Africa (CSA)

The Indian A team is presently in South Africa for three unofficial Tests. With one of the Tests being completed, the team is still in the country, and the unofficial Tests will continue. The ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe was cancelled, and South Africa’s ODI series against the Netherlands has been postponed.

Nonetheless, Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting chief executive officer Pholetsi Moseki believes that India’s Tour of South Africa will progress as scheduled. The cricket boards of both nations have been in touch and are monitoring the situation constantly as well. As reported, Pholetsi Moseki said that they (CSA) have spoken to the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India).

“We spoke to the BCCI and they are very much committed to the tour,” Moseki said. 

“India A is still in the country and there isn’t a sign of them leaving. They’re still committed and they’re expecting the tour to go ahead. The tour is definitely still on and there’s no reason for it not to go on unless we’re blindsided by something we’re not expecting,” Moseki added. 

South Africa vs India - Photo Credit: AP
South Africa vs India – Photo Credit: AP

The senior team India’s tour to South Africa for 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 4 T20Is, starting on December 17, is on, although the situation is being considered fluid.  The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs, and four T20Is in South Africa from December 17 to January 26.

India’s tour of South Africa remains unchanged as it is understood that the Indian team will require special government permission to tour South Africa – the borders between the countries are open at the moment.

Pholetsi Moseki Is Confident CSA Will Make Required Arrangements For The Tour

However, it remains to be seen if fans will be allowed at the stadiums during the matches or not. On this matter, Pholetsi Moseki said that they are trying to bring in more fans to the stadiums. Although, given the way things have been going at present, they will have to wait for the decision by the government.

Pholetsi Moseki also hoped that there will not be a total shutdown. As bio-bubbles have become the new norm, Pholetsi Moseki is also confident that CSA will make the required arrangements for the tour.

 “Our bio-bubbles are very strong because you need to remember the England one that ended up being a disaster,” he said. 

Cricket South Africa Image Source : TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL

After the incident, CSA increased the security of the bio-bubbles. Pholetsi Moseki said that the board will first have to deal with the Netherlands series, and they will then communicate further, showing their commitment to making the India tour happen. He concluded by saying that the tour can take place without spectators, similar to the series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as they are preparing strong bio-bubbles for the same.

India, A tour of South Africa, will continue, the detection of a new Covid-19 variant in the country notwithstanding. The visiting team, currently based in Bloemfontein, has had a series of meetings with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials and the local medical team and has decided to complete the three-match series.

There is no immediate information on the Indian senior team’s tour, scheduled for next month, but the CSA said that they are monitoring the situation and will keep the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed.

Anjum Chopra
Anjum Chopra
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Anjum Chopra Calls For A Structured Plan To Initiate Women’s IPL Immediately

Anjum Chopra believes that while the BCCI has shown intent, having announced a four-team Women’s T20 Challenge last season before it was cancelled owing to the pandemic, there is a gap with its execution due to their conviction in going forward.

Former Indian captain Anjum Chopra, the cricketer-turned-commentator, also called for a ‘structured plan for initiating a women’s IPL’ with just four or five teams, explaining why the board might benefit from starting the tournament without any further delay.

Former India cricketer Anjum Chopra. DC File Photo
Former India cricketer Anjum Chopra. DC File Photo

Anjum Chopra Is In Favour Of A Shorter IPL For Women Which Should Start Immediately After India Women Were Successful In Women’s Big Bash League

Following their participation in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), women’s cricket in India has successfully hit a new high. And if that wasn’t enough, the fact that most of the players returned an impressive show in the tournament adds to it.

As many as eight Indian players have returned home, having gained from the rich experience of playing in one of the biggest franchise T20 cricket leagues in the world, and leading the way was Harmanpreet Kaur, who emerged as the biggest star, winning the Player of the Tournament honour following her all-round brilliance for the Melbourne Renegades in Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).

The India captain peeled off 399 runs at 66.50 and a strike rate of 135.25, including three match-winning half-centuries and was a huge asset with the ball grabbing 15 wickets.

Smriti Mandhana. Image-PTI
Smriti Mandhana. Image-PTI

Accompanying her in setting the WBBL on fire was her India teammate Smriti Mandhana, who smashed a record century for Sydney Thunder. It was accompanied by decent outings by Jemimah Rodrigues, Radha Yadav, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Poonam Yadav and Shafali Verma, as the chorus has only grown louder in support of a women’s Indian Premier League with several current and former players joining in the debate.

” Women’s IPL… it’s a very interesting stage. I understand the chorus is happening and people are saying that it should happen especially after Harmanpreet (Kaur) won the Player of the Tournament (Women’s Big Bash League) award. All these are absolutely fine, ” said Anjum Chopra on Women’s IPL after outstanding performances from women cricketers in Women’s Big Bash League

“The day the BCCI decides to conduct a Women’s IPL it will happen, the point is, the resistance is not only because they do not want to start it or they do not want a women’s tournament. I think there might be some other issues or questions on how it can be done and how it can be handled. We can of course have a shorter version of the IPL, maybe with 4 or 5 proper teams with international players, ” said Anjum Chopra on Women’s IPL.

“IPL men’s tournament is now on a very auto-pilot stage. And people like Venkatesh Iyer have been chosen for the Indian team straightaway from a seven-match performance in IPL 2021. There was a time when players were judged by their performance in a season, but now players are selected based on their performance in half a season,” said Anjum Chopra on selection in national team after decent outings in men’s IPL. 

“Many years ago, not many people know about it but people in the BCCI do know, I have already worked on it. 4 or 5 teams will definitely make a lot of sense. Maybe an administrator is assigned.  You can have the same people running the Women’s event as well,” said Anjum Chopra.

“But probably they know the answer better as to whether they do need a separate team altogether. No cricket organisation has so much manpower. So, it is not about intent with the BCCI not wanting to initiate it. Let’s not forget that they had proposed a four-team Women’s T20 Challenge event last season and would have happened in May had the pandemic not hit. So that was already announced,” Anjum Chopra further said.

“It’s not the franchises in India that do not want to do a Women’s IPL. It’s the parent body that needs to lead the way. If the BCCI can increase the size of the IPL from 8 to 10, I’m sure we can have a structured plan for initiating a women’s IPL.

“It may not be eight teams to 10 teams, it can be just five or six or even four teams. But in a very structured manner. But the benefit that BCCI will have now is that these women’s T20 leagues have already mushroomed around the world, whether it is the Women’s Big Bash or the Kia Super League. So it’s all about intent and execution.”

Earlier, the BCCI had announced a four-team Women’s T20 Challenge (WT20C) for last season, but it was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The WT20C began as a one-off exhibition match in 2018 before becoming a three-team, four-match event in the next two years. It has also been given an official T20 status.

Anjum Chopra: Harmanpreet Kaur Emerging Out Of Her Injuries And Is Contributing With Bat And Ball

Also, with Harmanpreet Kaur recently winning the Player of the Tournament in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), calls for a women’s IPL have increased in India.

“Didn’t see all of her innings though, but she scored runs at a strike rate of over 130 which is good for me. But what is heartening to see is that she is emerging out of her injuries that she has been picking up over the last couple of years and she has come back to striking the ball in a way she has been known best. She is contributing with the bat and ball. And that’s a very good sign for Indian cricket and for Harmanpreet.”

“You need scores to back yourself now. She had a few good performances but she hasn’t had an impactful performance. Picking up the player of the tournament award is very special for any player. And others have also done well. For Harmanpreet I hope she is ready to carry this form as long as possible for the Indian team as well.” said Anjum Chopra on Harmanpreet Kaur.

Harmanpreet Kaur of Melbourne Renegades. Photo- Getty
Harmanpreet Kaur of Melbourne Renegades. Photo- Getty

“Jemimah batted well, very good. Smriti Mandhana scored a record century, again very impressive. So all these things are absolutely essential for Indian cricket that these players will come back with a valuable experience and exposure in a tough situation.

“Harmanpreet, who won the Player of the Tournament award, still has to play a match-winning knock in 50-over cricket which is very different to T20 cricket,” maintained Anjum Chopra on performances from Indian women cricketers in Women’s Big Bash League.

“Franchise cricket is very different from international cricket and how players are utilized in franchise cricket is up to them and how the player shapes up.. I was actually not surprised that she (Shafali Verma) was used in different conditions. At least they gave her an opportunity to be part of the XI because we have seen in the IPL that if a player doesn’t perform in two games, then there is no coming back,”Anjum Chopra concluded.

Anjum Chopra also said that the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises want Women’s IPL, but the parent body will have to make way for it. She also mentioned that BCCI can definitely organise a women’s IPL with 5 or 6 teams if they can increase the number of teams in the men’s IPL.

Sydney Thunder: Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma

Melbourne Renegades: Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues

Hobart Hurricanes: Richa Ghosh

Brisbane Heat: Poonam Yadav

Sydney Sixers: Radha Yadav, Shafali Verma

BCCI : IPL
BCCI : IPL
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The CVC Capital Partners’ Alleged Connection With Some Betting Companies To Be Investigated By BCCI Before IPL 2022

The CVC Capital Partners, who have bought the Ahmedabad franchise for a sum of INR 5625 Crores in the auctions, are now in the spotlight for their alleged connection with some betting companies. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will now investigate this matter keenly. In fact, the BCCI is even planning to appoint a neutral panel to look into this issue as well.

This esteemed panel is likely to consist of the Supreme Court and High Court judges as well as other legal big names as well. Also, there will be a meeting of the IPL governing council on 4th December 2021 regarding this matter.

The CVC Capital Partners
The CVC Capital Partners

The CVC Capital Partners Website Features Tipico And Sisal Both Betting Companies

Now, the question that arises is that what happens if the BCCI decides not to allow the CVC Capital Partners to own the Ahmedabad franchise. In that case, the Adani Group, the next highest bidder (INR 5100 Crores), will become the owners of the Ahmedabad franchise.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The website of the CVC Capital Partners features Tipico and Sisal, both betting companies. While Tipco is a betting company for online gaming, Sisal is a payments company. And needless to say, betting is banned in India. IPL is already tainted due to the 2013 betting and match-fixing scandal.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) named RPSG Ventures Limited and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) as owners of the new IPL teams from 2022. RPSG Group bagged the Lucknow franchise by paying a whopping Rs 7,090 crore, while CVC Capital made the second-largest bid (Rs 5,600 crore) to win the Ahmedabad franchise.

BCCI had earlier concluded in late October 2021 that CVC Capital was “fit” to own an IPL franchise after lengthy discussions between the board and CVC Capitals. The confusion over CVC Capital’s bid for the Ahmedabad franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) seemed to be over, before this latest development.

Lalit Modi Tweeted That BCCI Not Done Its Homework As A Betting Company Bought An IPL Team

The founder and the very first chairman of the IPL, Lalit Modi, had tweeted on the day of the bids being finalized that the BCCI has started allowing betting companies to buy IPL teams. Lalit Modi also added that the BCCI has not done its homework.

Lalit Modi
Lalit Modi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“I guess betting companies can buy an IPL team. must be a new rule. apparently, one qualified bidder also owns a big betting company. what next… does BCCI not do their homework. what can Anti-corruption do in such a case ?,” tweeted Lalit Modi.

Lalit Modi, the former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman, made serious allegations against one of the owners of the two new IPL teams that joined the lucrative league, saying that “even betting companies can buy team”.

India A
India A. Image Credits: Twitter
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India A Tour Of South Africa Will Continue Despite New Covid-19 Variant

India, A tour of South Africa, will continue, the detection of a new Covid-19 variant in the country notwithstanding. The visiting team, currently based in Bloemfontein, has had a series of meetings with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials and the local medical team and has decided to complete the three-match series.

However, there is no immediate information on the Indian team’s tour, scheduled for next month, but the CSA said that they are monitoring the situation and will keep the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed.

South Africa Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)
South Africa Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

India A Tour Of South Africa Will Continue Despite New Covid-19 Variant

The senior team’s tour to South Africa for 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 4 T20Is, starting on December 17, is on at the moment, although the situation is being considered as fluid.

“We are in contact with the BCCI and there is no prejudice to the Indian tour to South Africa at this stage. We will, of course, continue to monitor developments regarding the spread of the virus and keep the BCCI informed. As CSA we remain committed to ensuring that all visiting teams and Proteas players are afforded a safe environment to play cricket,” Lawson Naidoo, the head of CSA, said on Friday (November 26) evening.

Cricket South Africa Image Source : TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL

Meanwhile, the India A management has been assured of all safety measures. Besides, they have been told that the new variant, which, in scientific parlance is known as B.1.1.529, has been found only in the northern part of the country, and Bloemfontein is on the southern side.

“The distance between the two places is over 1000 miles and we have been told that there is no immediate health hazard. We have had discussions with the CSA officials and the medical team. The team hotel and the ground area have been sanitized and we’re in a bio-bubble,” team manager Anil Patel told Cricbuzz on Friday. “At this stage, we have decided to stay on.”

The discovery of a new strain of Covid-19 in South Africa has cast a shadow on India’s tour of the country. The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is in South Africa from December 17 to January 26, but the fact that British Government announced that the country has returned to the red list because of the spread of the new variant, B.1.1.529 has put the tour in jeopardy.

Abhimanyu Easwaran Scored A Ton In Practice Game

The visiting team has also had conversations with the BCCI officials. Two new members – Deepak Chahar and Ishan Kishan – joined the squad on Thursday, and the team is scheduled to leave for India on December 10. The new Covid variant has been causing panic the world over, and the Indian government has ordered rigorous screening and testing of travellers from the country.

Abhimanyu Easwaran
Abhimanyu Easwaran

Friday was the last day of the India A team’s first match, and the play was washed out, with the match ending in a draw. The team is scheduled to play two more four-day games, which start on November 29 and December 6.

Abhimanyu Easwaran compiled a solid hundred, but skipper Priyank Panchal missed out on one by only four runs as India A reached 308 for four against South Africa A before bad light forced early stumps to the third day’s play in the first unofficial Test. The 26-year-old Abhimanyu Easwaran made 103 off 209 balls and hit 16 boundaries during his stay in the middle.

Right after getting to the three-figure mark, he was dismissed by fast-medium bowler Lutho Sipamla. Priyank Panchal made 96 runs falling to left-arm spinner George Linde. India, A skipper, found the fence 14 times during his 171-ball knock at the Mangaung Oval on Thursday.

Brief scores:

South Africa A: 509 for 7 declared in 135.3 overs (Pieter Malan 163, Tony de Zorzi 117; Navdeep Saini 2/67, Arzan Nagwaswalla 2/75). India A: 308 for 4 in 93.1 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 103, Priyank Panchal 96, Prithvi Shaw 48, Lutho Sipamla 2-73)

Farhaan Behardien notched his maiden T20 international fifty © Getty Images
Farhaan Behardien notched his maiden T20 international fifty © Getty Images
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Farhaan Behardien Hopeful India’s Tour To South Africa Remains Unaffected Despite New Variant Of Covid-19

Farhaan Behardien is hoping that the new COVID-19 variant, which is causing alarm in South Africa, will not jeopardize India’s tour of the country next month as young cricketers of his nation need the series “more than ever”. The senior team’s tour to South Africa for 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 4 T20Is, starting on December 17, is on at the moment, although the situation is being considered as fluid.

The discovery of a new strain of Covid-19 in South Africa has cast a shadow on India’s tour of the country. The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is in South Africa from December 17 to January 26, but the fact that British Government announced that the country has returned to the red list because of the spread of the new variant, B.1.1.529 has put the tour in jeopardy.

South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )
South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )

Farhaan Behardien, Hopeful India’s Tour To South Africa, Remains Unaffected Despite Discovery Of A New Covid-19 Strain

Amid reports of a possible pullout and growing Covid concerns, former South Africa batter and captain Farhaan Behardien is hopeful that the tour remains unaffected, in the best interest of the future of SA cricket.

Farhaan Behardien of South Africa
Farhaan Behardien of South Africa. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The new COVID variant, which the WHO named Omicron, has put India’s tour of South Africa in jeopardy, with the BCCI insisting that any decision on the fate of the series will be taken based on the government’s advice.

“I hope the biggest cricket nation in the world tours our country next month!! The future generation of South African players need it more than ever,” tweeted Behardien.

The 36-year-old Farhaan Behardien, who is a former T20 captain of the Proteas, also objected to the variant being identified as South African.

The 35-year-old Farhaan Behardien has played 59 ODIs and 38 T20Is since his international debut in 2012-13, scoring over 1,500 runs and seven half-centuries in both formats combined.

Farhaan Behardien has also taken 17 international wickets-14 ODIs and 3 T20Is. In the T20s, Farhaan Behardien averages 35 and has a strike rate of 132-plus, which is slightly better than his corresponding figures in international T20 games.

BCCI Is Unsure Of Next Step, And Will Only Decide On The Tour Once The Board Gets A Detailed Picture Of The Ground Situation

As per a BCCI official, the tour is still on, but it is unsure if it will remain so once a thorough research is conducted.

“Look, till we get a detailed picture of the ground situation from Cricket South Africa (CSA), we will not be able to tell our next step. As per the current plan, the Indian team is supposed to leave either on December 8 or 9 just after the New Zealand series gets over in Mumbai,” said a senior board official said on Friday.

India is supposed to tour South Africa in December © Getty
India is supposed to tour South Africa in December © Getty.

The new variant has already thrown sports in South Africa into turmoil. Two rounds of the United Rugby Championship were postponed, with teams from Wales, Italy, and Ireland trying to find their way out, while there were several withdrawals from a golf tournament as well. In addition, the Netherlands played a rain-marred ODI against the Proteas, but the rest of their tour remains unsure as of this moment.

Although the India A team is in South Africa to play three unofficial Tests, it remains to be seen whether the BCCI persists with its planned cricketing tour of the country. Friday was the last day of the India A team’s first match, and the play was washed out, with the game ending in a draw. The team is scheduled to play two more four-day games, which start on November 29 and December 6.

India National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: BCCI
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Hints That Problems Between BCCI, Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli Led To India’s Early Exit From T20I World Cup

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, feels that the relations between Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri may have turned frosty ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, which resulted in India’s early exit from the ICC tournament.

The legendary former Pakistan batter reckons the announcement of Virat Kohli stepping down as India’s T20 captain after the World Cup was something the BCCI and the team could have done without.

Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File
Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Virat Kohli’s Statement Of Leaving Captaincy After T20I WC Not Good And All Knew Ravi Shastri Was To Be Replaced By Rahul Dravid

Inzamam-ul-Haq has made a bold statement about the Indian cricket team and their performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021, which saw the Men in Blue lose to their arch-rivals for the first time ever in World Cups. The former Pakistan captain commented about India’s performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021.

“I said this even before the match, that this statement of leaving captaincy after the tournament… it is not good. You have to play a big event and this shows that there is pressure on you and you are not comfortable. They all knew that after this tournament, Shastri was to get replaced by Dravid,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said.

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

Inzamam-ul-Haq weighed in further on the matter, pointing out that the news of Ravi Shastri’s impending departure and Virat Kohli stepping down as the team’s T20I captain indicated that not all was right within the Indian camp, including relations between the captain-coach duo and the BCCI.

“This should not happen before a big event. Your authority gets challenged. And this means that relations between Kohli, Shastri, and the board were not great. If India were to win the T20 World Cup, would they have removed the captain and coach? There was some problem between them,” said the former Pakistan batter Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets as the opening pair of Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan chased down 152 to break the team’s almost three-decade-long jinx in World Cups.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Pakistan Always Have A Good Pace Attack And Every Team Is A Little Apprehensive Facing Pakistan

Inzamam-ul-Haq spoke about Shaheen Shah Afridi’s destructive spell against India, which saw him return 3/31, including the wickets of openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma and later captain Virat Kohli. Lauding Pakistan’s pace battery comprising of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf in T20I WC 2021, Inzamam-ul-Haq said the country’s pacers are of the quality that they can dismantle any batting unit in the world.

“Our fast bowlers always stamp their authority on India. We have always had a good pace battery. Every team is a little apprehensive about facing Pakistan’s bowling,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrating one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC
Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrated one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

In the next match, India managed only 110 for seven batting first against New Zealand. They lost the game by eight wickets, which pretty much sealed their fate in the T20 World Cup 2021.

Vinoo Mankad's (L) son Rahul Mankad (R) condemns the use of the term 'Mankading'. Agencies
Vinoo Mankad's (L) son Rahul Mankad (R) condemns the use of the term 'Mankading'. Agencies
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Rahul Mankad Writes Email To BCCI, Objecting ‘Mankading’ Usage

Rahul Mankad doesn’t want BCCI to use the term ‘Mankading’ as he finds it disrespectful. Run-outs that are affected by bowlers when the non-striker backs up too far are popularly and unofficially known as ‘Mankading’.

The term came into effect when legendary Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad ran out Australia’s Bill Brown for backing up too far during India’s tour to Australia in 1948. Since then, this form of dismissal is commonly termed as Mankad-ing. However, the late all-rounder’s only surviving son, Rahul Mankad, isn’t amused by the fact.

Rahul Mankad
Rahul Mankad. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rahul Mankad Writes To BCCI To Resolve The Mankading Post As He Finds It Unearranted And Disrespectful

Rahul Mankad doesn’t want the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) to use the term ‘Mankading’ as he finds it disrespectful. The official Twitter page of BCCI referred to a run-out as ‘Mankading’ during the women’s Under-19 semi-final match between Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Disappointed by the same, Rahul Mankad wrote an email to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, asking him to avoid using the term.

“I am writing this email with a request to please resolve the unwarranted and disrespectful situation that has appeared in a post on the BCCI website,” Mankad wrote in an email on October 18.

Secretary Jay Shah and chief executive officer Hemang Amin were also marked in the email.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Vinoo Mankad was best known for record opening partnership of 413 runs with Pankaj Roy in 1956, which stood for 52 years. He scored 2109 runs in 44 tests averaging 31.47, and scored 5 tons, the highest being 231. He also took 162 wickets, averaging 32.32, with the best being 8/52.

Rahul Mankad Yet To Receive Any Response From BCCI

Meanwhile, Rahul Mankad also confirmed that he hadn’t received any response from the Indian cricket board. Moreover, that post hasn’t been deleted yet.

“It is an overenthusiastic and ill-informed post and perhaps a misplaced attempt at humour, but the fact that it has not been taken off is a cause for concern, in my view. I urge you to take immediate action and remove the offensive post forthwith,” he had written further.

Jos Buttler was furious with the umpire's decision after being Mankaded by R Ashwin (BCCI Photo)
Jos Buttler was furious with the umpire’s decision after being Mankaded by R Ashwin (BCCI Photo)

Rahul Mankad also pointed out the fact has ICC has stopped using the ‘unfortunate’ term and is referring to the controversial form of dismissal as a run-out.

“Vinoo Mankad was a great Indian cricketer, and his stature as a player and person is unquestionable, you will agree. I strongly believe that BCCI needs to come out and endorse the wrong associated with the eponymous dismissal and term it as it is rightly and under the Laws of Cricket labeled as “RUN OUT,” wrote Mankad.

“As you are aware, the ICC has dropped the unfortunate term referring to my father and has started calling it a Run Out. It is only right that BCCI of all the peak bodies ought to take lead and put this issue to bed, once and for all,” he added.

Vinoo Mankad was an opening batsman and was also a slow left-arm orthodox bowler and hit his career-best 231 against New Zealand in 1956 besides establishing a world record partnership of 413 runs with Pankaj Roy.

Ravichandran Ashwin made headlines in IPL 2019 when he ‘Mankaded’ by running Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler out at the non-striker’s end after the Rajasthan Royals batsman was found outside his crease even before then Kings XI Punjab’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin delivered the ball. Jos Buttler was also out similarly against Sri Lanka in 2014 when Sachithra Senanayake did the same.

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