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Rajeev Shukla

File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
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The Rumour Of Virat Kohli Stepping Down After T20I World Cup Isn’t True, Says Rajeev Shukla

Rajeev Shukla, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice-President is not impressed by the latest rumours of Team India looking at a change of captain in the limited-overs format after the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. Rajeev Shukla is unimpressed by the latest rumours that regular skipper Virat Kohli will step down from limited-overs format after the T20I World Cup.

Reports have been doing the rounds that Rohit Sharma could take over at the end of the showpiece event and Virat Kohli could continue as the Test captain and focus on his batting.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma- Twitter

Rajeev Shukla Urges Indian Team To Focus On The 2021 T20I World Cup

Rajeev Shukla said while there is no truth to this rumour, it is important the team focuses on the showpiece’s event rather than getting distracted by such news.

“There is nothing to this rumour. Also, let’s focus on the T20 World Cup rather than playing soothsayer and predicting the future, ” Rajeev Shukla said.

“There have been no talks on split captaincy,” Rajeev Shukla said.

Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS

The Indian national selectors last Wednesday picked the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. There were inputs from Rohit Sharma as well as the deputy of the limited-overs team and that seems to have led to talks of split captaincy post the World Cup.

One of India’s most successful captains, Virat Kohli led India in 95 ODIs, and with 65 wins and 27 defeats. In 45 T20Is so far where he has been the captain, India has won 27 times while losing 14 times. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma, 34, has led India 10 times in ODIs and led them to victories on eight occasions. In T20Is, he has captained them 19 times of which they have won 15 and lost four.

Rohit Sharma is in the form of his life across formats and enjoys the status of a senior member of the squad. His T20 captaincy records are second to none, having won five IPL titles for the Mumbai Indians apart from Asia Cup and Nidhas Trophy 2018 wins in Virat Kohli’s absence.

Ravichandran Ashwin Stages A Comeback Into World Cup Squad After Playing His Last T20I In 2017

Coming back to the squad, in a surprise move, Ravichandran Ashwin has been included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. He had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal missed out as veteran former skipper MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team.

Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has the hosting rights, the tournament has been moved out of the country with an eye on the COVID-19 pandemic. India will start its campaign against Pakistan. India and Pakistan will be locking horns on October 24 in a group-stage encounter. The tournament will get underway from October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14.

The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prithvi Shaw, and Yuzvendra Chahal were some notable omissions from the World Cup squad. India is placed in the Group B of the tournament alongside Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan.

Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Sourav Ganguly and Rishabh Pant were together for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019 (IANS Photo)
Sourav Ganguly and Rishabh Pant were together for the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019 (IANS Photo)
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Sourav Ganguly Defends Rishabh Pant Saying It’s Physically Impossible To Wear Masks All The Time

Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian cricketer, has defended Rishabh Pant, who has tested positive for COVID-19. Virat Kohli’s men are currently on a break and the left-handed Rishabh Pant was seen enjoying and going to watch Euro 2020 matches. The southpaw won’t be travelling with the team to Durham for preparation ahead of the five-match Test series against England.

The series gets underway on August 4 at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham with the other games to be played at the Lord’s, Headingley, Kennington Oval, and Old Trafford.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Sourav Ganguly Defends Rishabh Pant Saying It’s Physically Impossible To Wear Masks All The Time

Sourav Ganguly, also the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), backed Rishabh Pant, saying that it’s not possible to wear masks everywhere.

“We have seen Euro Championship and Wimbledon in England. Rules have changed (with the crowd being allowed inside venues). They were on leave and it’s physically impossible to wear masks all the time,” Sourav Ganguly was quoted as saying in an exclusive interview with News18.

Rishabh Pant was spotted with a friend at a packed Wembley Stadium enjoying the Euro 2020 knock-out match between England and Germany. Image Source : TWITTER
Rishabh Pant. Image Source: TWITTER

Earlier, a BCCI source stated that Rishabh Pant contracted COVID-19 and had been isolating for the past eight days.

Sourav Ganguly, president of the BCCI, defended Rishabh Pant after the wicketkeeper-batsman contracted the coronavirus in England. On Thursday, the BCCI revealed that Rishabh Pant and the team’s training assistant cum net bowler Dayanand Garani tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel with the rest of the squad to Durham where Team India are scheduled to play a practice match ahead of their five-match Test series against England.

Rishabh Pant Affected By The Delta Variant Of The Covid-19 Virus

As per reports, Rishabh Pant has been affected by the Delta variant, which has resulted in the surge of COVID-19 cases in England.

“He is in quarantine at an acquaintance’s place and won’t be traveling with the team to Durham on Thursday,” the source was quoted as saying, ESPNcricinfo reported.

“Yes, one player has tested positive but he has been in isolation for the last eight days. He was not staying in any hotel with the team, so no other player has been affected. As of now, no other player has tested positive. Also, you must be aware our secretary Jay Shah has written a letter to all players to maintain protocol,” BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla told.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter

The Indian team is set to play a practice match, starting July 20 to prepare for the high-voltage series. The Test series also marks the start of the 2021-23 cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC). Back in June, India played the final of the previous cycle against New Zealand at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. However, they went on to lose the match and the inaugural WTC title by eight wickets.

Bowling coach Bharat Arun, Wriddhiman Saha, and Abhimanyu Easwaran were identified as close contacts and were isolated from the rest of the squad. The trio along with Rishabh Pant and the training assistant did not travel with the team to Durham.  Team India traveled to Durham and is set to play a three-day practice match starting July 20 to gear up for the upcoming Test series.

File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
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Rajeev Shukla : Board Officially Informed ICC That T20I WC 2021 Can Be Shifted To UAE

Rajeev Shukla, BCCI vice-president has said that the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus situation in India forced the cricket board to shift the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to the United Arab Emirates.

On Monday, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the board has officially informed ICC that the marquee event can be shifted to UAE.

Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS

Rajeev Shukla: It Has Been Decided BCCI Will Inform The ICC To Move T20I World Cup To The UAE Due To Prevailing Covid-19 Situation In India

However, the BCCI will remain the host of the event.

“As far as T20 World Cup is concerned, today (June 28) was the deadline as we had to inform the ICC about our decision so today there was a conference call between BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Secretary Jay Shah, Treasurer Arun Dhumal, me and the Joint Secretary,” Shukla told news agency ANI on Monday.

He continued, “We looked at the COVID-19 situation and nobody is sure what is going to happen after two-three months, looking at everything, it has been decided that Secretary Jay Shah and President Ganguly will inform the ICC to move the tournament to the UAE.”

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Rajeev Shukla also termed UAE as the ideal venue after India to host the marquee event and said considering the scale of the T20 World Cup, BCCI took the decision.

“UAE is an ideal venue after India. We all wanted to host it in India, but you know it is an international tournament and that too of big size, so it was very hard to predict what is going to happen with the COVID situation, after due consideration, now the BCCI has decided to move the T20 World Cup to the UAE,”Rajeev Shukla said.

The T20 World Cup scheduled to happen in India will be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the health and safety concerns posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly.

The T20 cricket event is to be held in October-November. This development came after the pandemic forced the postponement of IPL,  the second part of which will be also held in the UAE in September-October. BCCI was also mulling if Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Pune could host a three-city event with the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium. But there were several complications on that front, too.

Rajeev Shukla: Dates For The T20I World Cup 2021 Will Remain Unchanged

Rajeev Shukla also said that the dates for the event remain unchanged and will start from October 17, two days after the IPL 2021 final. He added that Oman and Muscat could play host to the qualifying matches.

“The dates are going to be the same, immediately after the IPL, the tournament will start. The format for the World Cup has already been decided by the ICC, qualifiers may take place in Oman and Muscat. The rest of the matches will be in the three grounds — Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah,” he said.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

The ICC T20I World Cup will be played in three stadiums of the UAE — Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah — and Oman’s Muscat. It said that each group will have matches in the UAE and Oman. Round 1 will include 12 matches that will be played between eight teams. Out of these, four teams would qualify for the super 12s.

In the super 12s, four teams from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, and Papua New Guinea will join the others. In super 12s, 30 games will be held. Following the conclusion of the super 12s, four teams will move to the semi-finals. The dates of the finals and the semi-finals have not been decided yet,

File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
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IPL 2021 In The UAE Will Be Held Between September 19 And October 15: Rajeev Shukla

IPL 2021’s remainder Phase-2 will be played between September 19 and October 15 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Indian cricket board BCCI confirmed on Wednesday.

There are 31 matches left to be played after the cash-rich tournament IPL 2021 was suspended on May 4 due to Covid-19 positive cases in the camps of four of the eight franchises.

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

IPL 2021’s Remainder Phase-2 In The UAE Will Be Held Between September 19 And October 15: Rajeev Shukla

The cash-rich league was suspended midway, after the completion of 29 matches. With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announcing that the remaining games of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be played in UAE in the September-October window, franchises have started working on the logistics.

“IPL 2021 will be held between September 19 and October 15,” Rajeev Shukla, vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told IANS on Wednesday.

Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS

The second half of the tournament IPL 2021, to be played in UAE, will however be too close to the start of the T20 World Cup that begins around mid-October.

Although the International Cricket Council (ICC) has not officially announced the dates for the T20 World Cup that immediately follows the IPL, October 18 is the date being bandied about in certain quarters. The T20 World Cup, which will be hosted by the BCCI, will likely be held in the UAE as well as another gulf nation, possibly Oman.

ICC Will Release The Dates And Venues Of The T20 World Cup In July And There Is No Rule On The Need Of A Gap Ahead Of An ICC Event : Official

The BCCI has until June 28 to tell the ICC whether it is in a position to host the tournament as the Covid-19 pandemic is still not over in India. The October 15 finish leaves only three days between the end of IPL 2021 and the start of the T20 World Cup if it begins on October 18. The ICC told IANS on Wednesday that there was no rule of a mandatory gap between a domestic tournament and an ICC tournament.

“We will release the dates and venue of the T20 World Cup only in July. We cannot comment on it as of now. But there is no rule on the need for a gap ahead of an ICC event. The ICC needs 10 days to prepare the pitch and the ground ahead of an event. That too is a norm and not a rule,” said an ICC official.

“The rest of it is still being worked out between the BCCI and the ICC. We can talk about it only later,” the official said.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

Asked if the gap will be too little for players to switch from IPL 2021 to T20 World Cup, Rajeev Shukla said the small gap shouldn’t be a problem as the initial phase of T20 World is likely to involve non-Test playing nations.

“There should be no problem with the gap. The first phase of the T20 World Cup will comprise qualifiers [according to BCCI’s knowledge]. So the main teams like India and others will get sufficient gaps,” said Shukla, implying that the non-Test playing nations could be playing the tournament first.

There are 16 teams participating in the 2021 T20 World Cup, including five non-Test playing nations. Papua New Guinea, the Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland, and Oman are also participating apart from the 11 Test-playing nations including relatively new Test-playing nations Afghanistan and Ireland too. The initial matches involving weaker teams could be hosted in Oman. The ICC, however, said they couldn’t confirm this since it is still being worked out.

“The process is still being worked out. We cannot comment on it,” said the ICC official.

On India’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka in July, comprising ODIs and T20Is, Rajeev Shukla said that it is still under works and a final decision would be taken soon. The broadcasters Sony Sports India, however, have already come out with the schedule stating that the series will begin on July 13 and end on July 25.

Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
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Rajeev Shukla Hints Remainder Of IPL 2021 Could Start On 19th September And Conclude On 10th October

Rajeev Shukla, BCCI vice-president has arrived in the UAE to lay the groundwork for the remaining leg of IPL 2021, while president Sourav Ganguly, Jay Shah, and IPL chairman Brijesh Patel will reach the country soon, according to a report.

The IPL 2021 was suspended midway due to few positive cases in certain teams, on May 4. Now it is expected to start in mid-September.

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

Rajeev Shukla: Fine With Any Decision By Emirates Cricket Board To Invite Spectators Or Not

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) held the virtual Special General Meeting (SGM) on Saturday and the resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the hosting of the T20 World Cup was discussed there.

“I am already here. Now a team of BCCI office-bearers, president (Sourav Ganguly), secretary (Jay Shah) and the IPL chairman (Brijesh Patel) will be coming here in a couple of days,” Rajeev Shukla told Khaleej Times.

“We will be having discussions with the cricket board here and the other authorities. And accordingly the schedule will be made, so the tournament happens in a very smooth manner as it happened here last year,” Rajeev Shukla added.

Rajeev Shukla informed that the decision to invite spectators for the matches lies in the hands of the Emirates Cricket Board. For now, 29 matches of the IPL 2021 are done, and 31 matches remain now.

“The only issue is about the spectators, whether they will allow the spectators or not. So we will talk to them about that. We will go by whatever UAE authorities decide,” Rajeev Shukla further stated.

File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla

“If they say it’s with spectators, and certain percentage of spectators, we are fine. Or if they say without spectators, that is also fine with us. There is no problem.”

The IPL is expected to begin on September 18, four days after India’s Test series in England gets over. While the same bio-bubble will be used for IPL, some of the foreign stars are expected to miss the tournament.

“We have discussed that (foreign players) issue also. Our main focus is on completing this edition of the IPL. It should not be left halfway through. So whichever foreign players are available is fine. Whoever is not available, it is not going to stop us from hosting the tournament,” Shukla stated.

“The Indian players are there, foreign players are there, but few foreign players will not be available. As I said, we have to complete our tournament. So the franchises will definitely look for other players. Whoever is available, we are going to have the tournament with them. That’s our policy.”

He also said that the players will be vaccinated before the tournament starts.

“Whatever, Covid protocols (on vaccination) are required, we will be following those protocols, the Indian protocols as well as the UAE protocols,” Rajeev Shukla said.

Also, the franchises are happy with the way things are being planned.

“They are all very happy. From day one, they have been backing the UAE. There were some media reports about England (hosting the remaining matches), but there’s a weather problem in England where it rains a lot,” he said.

“Also, we have got about 20 days to complete the tournament. Even if we start on September 19, by the 10th of October we have to finish it. Then there’s a T20 World Cup (October-November) also. So keeping the weather in mind and the top-class facilities, the UAE was the best option.”

There are 31 remaining matches in the IPL 2021. It will be the first time that the IPL will be held in UAE for two consecutive years.

Rajeev Shukla: BCCI Seeking Some Time A Month Or So To Decide Hosting T20 World Cup In India Or UAE

He also made a big revelation about the T20 World Cup.

“That issue also has been deliberated. Our first choice is India. So we will be seeking some time from the ICC, a month or so, to decide about it,” Rajiv Shukla maintained.

T20 World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20 World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“If towards the end of June or maybe, the first week of July, the situation is not good there (India), then obviously it (T20 World Cup) will come to the UAE. If the situation improves (in India) and we are able to host it, then we will be hosting there (in India).”

With regards to the forthcoming T20I World Cup, the source informed it was unanimously decided that with more than 4 months remaining for the event, BCCI will seek time till the end of June or the beginning of July to take a call on hosting the tournament.

The Dubai International Stadium. - BCCI/IPL
The Dubai International Stadium. - BCCI/IPL
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BCCI During Its SGM Formally Decides The Unfinished Part Of IPL 2021 Will Be At UAE

BCCI during its Special General Meeting, formally decided that the unfinished part of the Indian Premier League 2021 will be held in the United Arab Emirates.

The move to stage the IPL in the UAE was largely expected. As reported earlier, the BCCI has already had an informal agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board. The remainder of IPL 2021 has been moved to the UAE and BCCI has earmarked a window in September and October this year to conduct the matches.

BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI
BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI

BCCI Formally Decides To Stage The Remainder Of IPL 2021 In UAE

The formal decision was taken on Saturday (May 29) to move the remainder of IPL 2021 to the UAE – in view of the bad weather (monsoon) in India around September-October, when it wants to host the remaining 31 IPL games.

The biggest obstacle to host the tournament will be the non-availability of overseas players, and the Indian board has decided that the franchises will be told to take replacements, both from India and overseas, to refurbish their line-ups. England and Wales Cricket Board has already stated that it won’t release its players for the unfinished part of IPL while Cricket Australia is yet to come out with its position on the matter. A meeting with the IPL franchises will happen at some stage.

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

The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games. Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier (both KKR), Laxmipathy Balaji, Michael Hussey (both CSK coaches), Amit Mishra (Delhi), and Wriddiman Saha (Hyderabad) tested positive during IPL 2021 prompting organizers to indefinitely postpone IPL after 29 matches were held.

Later KKR’s Tim Seifert and Prasidh Krishna also tasted positive but all of them have hence recovered. Last year, the BCCI hosted the entire edition of the cash-rich tournament successfully in the Middle East, across three venues – Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai.

BCCI Seekd Time Till 1st Week Of July From ICC For Decision To Stage T20I World Cup In India

The board also decided to seek time till the first week of July from the International Cricket Council for a decision on staging the T20 World Cup in India. The ICC has slated its meeting on June 1 to decide on the matter, but the world body may have to defer the decision on moving the October 18-November 15 tournament out of India in view of the BCCI’s request. The BCCI thinks that it will explore all possibilities to host it in India itself.

During the meeting, it was also decided that the BCCI will pursue talks with the government over tax concession for the upcoming T20I World Cup, and it was calculated that the BCCI will have a liability of INR 900 crores if it failed to get the exemption. Considering the financial liability and the constantly evolving grieve Covid-19 situation in the country, the BCCI will take a call on staging the T20 World Cup. For the time being, it would tell the ICC to grant another month’s time.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Meanwhile, the issue regarding payments to domestic players, who were supposed to be compensated after several tournaments were not hosted, and was not discussed in the SGM. One of the associations even raised this issue for discussion but was turned down by Sourav Ganguly and Rajeev Shukla, stating that it was not a part of the agenda.

The meeting was also a huge assertion for Mohammed Azharuddin, who was allowed to attend it ahead of Shivlal Yadav, who in turn was nominated in a faction-ridden Annual General Meeting of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. The meeting, held virtually, decided to allow Mohammed Azharuddin after the legal department of the BCCI concluded that the claim of the former India captain is genuine.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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BCCI Refused To Discuss Compensation Yet To Be Disbursed To Domestic Cricketers For Ranji Trophy 2020 Cancellation

BCCI refused to discuss the issue of compensations that is yet to be disbursed to the Indian domestic cricketers since the Ranji Trophy 2020 was cancelled on account of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, at its Special General Meeting (SGM) on Saturday.

According to a report, a state association did raise the topic but BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and vice-president Rajeev Shukla turned it down saying it was not part of the meeting’s agenda.

File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla

BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal: No States Have Yet Sent Proposal For Compensation Package

BCCI is found itself answering questions related to delay in payments to its players after a UK publication claimed that the India women cricketers are yet to receive their share of prize money from the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia where they finished runners-up.

The board quickly replied saying the prize money will be disbursed soon. That led to the issue of delay in payments to domestic cricketers coming into the limelight as well. However, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has said that the board is yet to receive a compensation package from any of the state units.

BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal
Arun Dhumal, Treasurer of BCCI Photo by: Arjun Singh / Sportzpics for BCCI

“We have to discuss with states because they have to tell us who would have played, how many matches, who would have been in reserves. None of the states have sent any proposal for the compensation package,” Dhumal told news agency PTI.

A former BCCI official and state unit veteran said it’s hard to devise a uniform formula.

“The treasurer is right. The BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has announced the compensation but how do you determine which are the players who would play 8 games or 10 games in a season? The reserve players get half, so how do you compute that?” the official said.

“You can’t just give a flat amount to every player. Giving a lump sum to states is an option but how do you monitor the states?” the official added.

The Ranji Trophy compensation package is another instance of delay and devising an acceptable formula for one and all isn’t as easy and linear, Arun Dhumal admitted.

Arun Dhumal Claimed Payments For Vijay Hazare And Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Have Been Disbursed

However, Arun Dhumal did claim that the payments for Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy have been cleared. During this edition of the Indian Premier League, there were 73 uncapped Indian domestic players across eight teams (including Basil Thampi and Deepak Hooda, who have been a part of the Indian team).

These players had contracts ranging from Rs 20 lakh to nearly Rs 10 crore (Krishnappa Gowtham). However, there are around 700 others, who don’t have IPL contracts and make anything between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh in a full domestic season with maximum earnings coming from Ranji Trophy where they get a match fee of Rs 1.40 lakh.

Deepak Hooda screengrab
Deepak Hooda screengrab. Photo Credit: IPL.

“I can also confirm that payments for the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy have also been disbursed,” said.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is in a fix after announcing the compensation for domestic players amid the pandemic-hit 2020-21 season. With around 3000 cricketers across 38 Ranji teams, including women, waiting for their compensation, BCCI does not know whom to compensate.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
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Sourav Ganguly Confirms IPL 2021 Will Go On As Planned Despite Surge In COVID-19 Cases

Sourav Ganguly, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president on Sunday confirmed that everything will go on as per schedule in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Sourav Ganguly’s confirmation comes just some hours after the Maharashtra government announced a weekend lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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

Sourav Ganguly: Everything Will Go On As Per Schedule

Earlier Rajeev Shukla, the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sounded confident that the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will go ahead “without any problem”, despite a rise in Covid-19 cases.

“Everything will go on as per schedule,” Sourav Ganguly told ANI.

Sourav Ganguly claims there were few such incidents during IPL 2020 in UAE too but the bio-secure bubble is safe and nothing happens when a player or staff member enters it. Sourav Ganguly said that the BCCI has got the permissions and assurances from the state government to host matches in Mumbai in case of lockdown in the state.

In the last 48 hours, various stakeholders, workers connected with IPL 2021 have tested positive in Mumbai. 10 Groundsman at Wankhede tested positive, 8-10 IPL Event managers tested positive, Nitish Rana(KKR)(tested negative later), Axar Patel (DC), Devdutt Padikkal (RCB) tested positive and 1 member of CSK Staff tested positive.

Maharashtra will enter a strict weekend lockdown from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am, said state Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik adding that essential services and transportation including buses, trains, and taxis will be allowed. The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting today in view of surging COVID-19 cases, he told reporters.

“A cabinet meeting took place today and some important decisions were taken related to COVID-19. Strict rules have been made and they will be enforced from 8 pm tomorrow. The night curfew will be in force from 8 pm to 7 am. During the daytime, section 144 will be in force from tomorrow prohibiting more than five people to gather at one place.

“A decision has been taken to shut down malls, restaurants, bars. Take away services will continue. Essential services will be allowed. Government offices will open with 50 percent capacity. Industries will continue. There is no restriction on construction work, markets,” Nawab Malik said.

Wankhede Stadium IPL @ians
Wankhede Stadium IPL @ians

“A decision has also been taken to impose strict lockdown from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday in Maharashtra. The decision has been taken after consultations,” he added.

Wankhede Stadium is set to host 10 IPL games this season from April 10-25. The first match at the Mumbai stadium is slated to be played on April 10 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings. Four franchises — Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals have set up their base in Mumbai as of now.

The fifth franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is also based in Mumbai currently, but they will soon move to Chennai to play their first match against SunRisers Hyderabad on April 11.

Rajeev Shukla: The Only Solution Is To Get Vaccinated

The BCCI is also thinking of players’ vaccination ahead of the IPL with BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla saying that the board will get in touch with the Health Ministry for players’ vaccination.

“In order to cope with this coronavirus rise, I think the only solution is to get vaccinated. BCCI is also thinking on those lines that players should be vaccinated. Nobody knows when coronavirus is going to end and you can’t give a deadline that by this time frame, it will not be there so players can play easily. So, I think now will have to think over that. Vaccination should be done for the players also,” Shukla told ANI.

Rajeev Shukla File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
Rajeev Shukla File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla

When asked if BCCI has written to the Health Ministry regarding players’ vaccination, Rajeev Shukla said the BCCI is mulling over the idea and they will definitely get in touch with the ministry that players should be vaccinated.

Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)
Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)
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IPL 2021: Devdutt Padikkal Is In Mandatory Quarantine And Could Miss 2 Games For RCB

Devdutt Padikkal is the latest IPL player to have contracted the novel coronavirus. The RCB player tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. The RCB opener has been isolated from the rest of the squad and is in quarantine.

The positive test now makes him doubtful for the IPL opener against reigning champions Mumbai Indians.

Devdutt Padikkal
Devdutt Padikkal. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Devdutt Padikkal Was RCB’s Highest Scorer In IPL 2020 And Had A Great Domestic Season In 2020-21

Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday confirmed that their opener Devdutt Padikkal had tested positive for COVID-19, revealing he is in mandatory quarantine at his home in Bangalore.

“Royal Challengers Bangalore, Left-handed Batsman Devdutt Padikkal had tested positive on 22nd March 2021. He has been in mandatory quarantine at his residence in Bengaluru since then.

“He will be fit to join the RCB bio-bubble once his RT-PCR tests are negative. RCB Medical team is in touch with Devdutt ensuring his safety and well-being. Devdutt is feeling well and we can’t wait to have him join the squad for the IPL season ahead,” the franchise said in a statement.

Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI
Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI

Devdutt Padikkal could miss up to two games for RCB. Missing Devdutt Padikkal, even for a short while, will be a big blow for RCB. He was their highest scorer last season. He has also been in tremendous form in the domestic circuit too becoming the first Indian to score 4 successive hundreds in List A cricket. He aggregated 737 runs (avg 147.40), finishing only behind Prithvi Shaw who scored record-breaking 827 runs in Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The Karnataka batsman scored 473 runs in 15 games averaging 31.53 with five fifties in IPL 2020. The 20-year-old uncapped batsman was one of just five players to play every game of his team’s IPL campaign.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India is currently in crisis management after the Corona scare which saw one of the Delhi Capitals players–Axar Patel after KKR player Nitish Rana and ten ground staff at Wankhede testing positive for the Pandemic.

“It’s too late to move the matches from Mumbai now. The members of the organizing team have been in separate bubbles. The players are in a strict bubble. BCCI had Hyderabad as a backup but it’s very difficult to move it in a week,” the official told the newspaper.

Although it is understood that Indore and Hyderabad are on standby for hosting the opener, Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium in all likelihood will get the game as planned. The Times of India has quoted a senior BCCI official saying ‘it’s too late to shift the match.’

Devdutt Padikkal Was 3rd Player After Axar Patel And Nitish Rana To Test Positive

Earlier in a huge blow to Delhi Capitals, spinner Axar Patel has tested positive for Coronavirus. Earlier Nitish Rana too was said to be Covid-19 positive but KKR later clarified that the cricketer was found negative later. The Indian Premier League begins on April 9 with Capitals playing their first game on the very next day on April 10.

Nitish Rana , AFP
Nitish Rana, AFP

Kolkata Knight Riders player Nitish Rana has clarified that he has tested negative for Covid-19. His statement comes after there were rumours that he has tested positive and was asked to undergo quarantine. His team came out with a statement soon.

“Nitish Rana had checked into the KKR team hotel in Mumbai, on March 21, 2021, with a negative COVID report which was done on March 19, 2021. As per IPL protocol, he was tested on March 22, during his quarantine and the report showed that he was positive.”

Rajeev Shukla, the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is confident that the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will go ahead “without any problem”, despite a rise in Covid-19 cases.

File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
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Rajeev Shukla Hopes IPL 2021 Will Go Ahead As Planned

Rajeev Shukla, the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is confident that the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will go ahead “without any problem”, despite a rise in Covid-19 cases.

With the second wave prevalent in the country, it would be interesting if BCCI can host games in Mumbai or not. Maharashtra has seen the biggest spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases. Eight Wankhede groundsmen also tested positive.

Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS

Rajeev Shukla: BCCI Taken Precautions For Covid-19

A total of 10 matches will be played at the Wankhede Stadium. A total of six bio-bubbles are being organized for the IPL, with Mumbai being one of the venues. The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League will be played across 6 venues in India from April 9 to May 30. Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Bengaluru have been zeroed in by the BCCI.

“That’s the concern that coronavirus cases are rising. That’s why BCCI has already taken all the precautions. That’s why only six venues have been kept and a bio-bubble has been created. The number of members of the squad has also been increased, keeping in mind that in the future if the coronavirus case rises then all the precautions can be taken,” Shukla told ANI.

Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)
Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)

“So, keeping in mind all the precautions, the tournament will go on without any problem. Bio-bubble has been created, those who are in bio-bubble, they are getting tested now and then and I think the tournament will take place without spectators,” Rajeev Shukla added.

Devdutt Padikkal is the latest 3rd IPL player to have contracted the novel coronavirus. The RCB player tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. The RCB opener has been isolated from the rest of the squad and is in quarantine. The positive test now makes him doubtful for the IPL opener against reigning champions Mumbai Indians.

Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Nitish Rana was the first, while Delhi Capitals spin all-rounder Axar Patel is the other. Nitish Rana has hence recovered and joined the squad after two negative tests. DC’s Axar Patel could also miss the first game of the franchise.

Rajeev Shukla: No Decision Taken To Shift Mumbai But Lucknow, Hyderabad, And Indore Are Stand-by Stadiums

Maharashtra is witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases but Rajeev Shukla said that so far, no decision has been taken regarding the shifting of Mumbai matches to some other venues for the upcoming IPL, set to begin on April 9.

“So far, no decision has been taken to shift the Mumbai venue. It will take place in Mumbai because all the arrangements have been done. In the future, as you know there are standby venues also if there is any problem then we will think but currently, there is no such decision which has been taken.

“The first stand-by stadium is in Lucknow then Hyderabad and Indore are there and some others also. Nothing has been decided and it will take place as per the earlier decision,” Rajeev Shukla said.

Axar Patel
Axar Patel Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Wankhede is set to host 10 IPL games this season from April 10-25. The first match at the Mumbai stadium is slated to be played on April 10 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings. Four franchises Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals have set up their base in Mumbai as of now. Moreover, the Delhi-based franchise suffered a huge blow on Saturday as all-rounder Axar Patel tested positive for COVID-19.

The previous edition- IPL 2020 was originally scheduled to commence on 29 March 2020 but was suspended until 15 April due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Later, BCCI suspended the tournament indefinitely. On 2 August 2020, it was announced that the tournament would be played between 19 September and 10 November 2020 in the United Arab Emirates.

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