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Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
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Dinesh Karthik Reveals Reason for Not Playing First-Class Cricket For Tamil Nadu

Dinesh Karthik has been the cynosure lately not because of the heroics on the cricket field but in the commentary box. The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has been entertaining fans with his hilarious and entrancing on-air remarks ever since making his commentary debut in the ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand in July earlier this year.

While the audience has been loving the commentator, the 36-year-old still has some plans as a player. Dinesh Karthik, on many occasions, has said that he is determined to make a comeback in the national team for the T20 World Cup. However, the dashing batter has a different perspective for the longest format of the game. In a recent interaction with Aakash Chopra, he revealed why he hasn’t been playing First-Class cricket lately.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Dinesh Karthik Reveals Reason for Not Playing First Cass Cricket For Tamil Nadu As He Doesn’t Have Future In Red Ball Cricket

Notably, Dinesh Karthik hasn’t played a red-ball game for Tamil Nadu since February 2020. Speaking of the same, the veteran asserted that had he continued playing First-Class cricket for the state team, young wicket-keeper N Jagadeesan’s place would have been blocked. He also accepted that his days as a Test cricket are over.

“The reason I don’t play red-ball cricket for Tamil Nadu is that it will block the chances of Jagadeesan and also I don’t have a future in red-ball cricket as well,” said Karthik while speaking on Aakash Chopra’s YouTube channel.

MS Dhoni with CSK's other wicketkeeper-batsman N Jagadeesan (File Photo/CSK)
MS Dhoni with CSK’s other wicketkeeper-batsman N Jagadeesan (File Photo/CSK)

For the unversed, Dinesh Karthik made his Test debut way back in November 2004. He couldn’t do much in his initial days and MS Dhoni’s arrival made his job even more difficult.  The Tamil Nadu-born cricketer did play some matches as a pure batsman but couldn’t cement his place in the team.

N Jagadeshan, the wicket-keeper batsman made his debut in the Tamil Nadu squad in 2016 against Madhya Pradesh. N Jagadeesan has been among runs for his state-side and was picked to play for the CSK franchise in IPL which is led by MS Dhoni. He scored 33 runs in 5 games in IPL 2020.

Dinesh Karthik Failed Terribly After Being Picked In India’s Test Squad For 2018 England Tour

After MS Dhoni’s retirement from the format, Dinesh Karthik got a chance to stamp his authority as he was picked in India’s Test squad for the 2018 tour of England. He failed terribly in the first two games and got dropped subsequently. That proved to be his last assignment in Test cricket.

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik (Image: NDTV Sports)

Dinesh Karthik is still determined to play white-ball cricket in India. This year’s T20 World Cup is just a couple of months away. Hence, if Dinesh Karthik put up a phenomenal show in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 he may forge a comeback in the national team.

Dinesh Karthik averages a below-par 25 in 26 Tests after debuting way back in November 2004 against Australia. He has scored only 1 ton and 4 fifties in the longest format. He scored only 4 runs against Afghanistan and only 21 runs in 2 Tests against England after being recalled in 2018.

Current India international and Tamil Nadu captain Dinesh Karthik’s longevity came to the fore again as he led Tamil Nadu to their second Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament title on Sunday, fourteen years after he led them to the inaugural title in 2006-07.

Dinesh Karthik was appointed captain of the KKR team prior to Eoin Morgan’s captaincy. However, midway through the 2020 season, the KKR management decided to switch roles by handing Eoin Morgan the leadership and making Dinesh Karthik his deputy. Dinesh Karthik had a poor IPL 2020 managing only 169 runs in 14 games averaging 14.08 while amassing 123 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021 averaging 30.75.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
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Dinesh Karthik Hopeful Of Staging A Comeback In Back-to-Back T20I World Cups

Dinesh Karthik revived his international career in early 2018 with his 8-ball unbeaten 29 knock which helped India beat Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy final. Dinesh Karthik made his debut for India in 2004, earlier than MS Dhoni. However, unlike the latter, he failed to cement his spot in the Indian team.

There have been periods in his international career when he has done exceedingly well but in some time, his form dropped and he was left out. Something similar happened to him after the 2019 World Cup.

Dinesh Karthik After 8 Ball 29* Associated Press
Dinesh Karthik After 8 Ball 29* Associated Press

Dinesh Karthik Hopeful Of A Comeback In The Indian Squad For T20I World Cups In 2021 And 2022

He played for India in the semi-final, where he batted at no. 5, with minimal returns. This resulted in him getting dropped, which seemed like a decision taken by the selectors considering Dinesh Karthik’s age. However, the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman has revealed that he is hopeful that he can make a comeback in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cups which are scheduled in 2021 and 2022.

Dinesh Karthik in action against Bangladesh at the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo - AFP
Dinesh Karthik in action against Bangladesh at the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo – AFP

Dinesh Karthik hit an unbeaten 29 off just eight balls to get India past their 167-run target in a tense chase of a dramatic final at the R. Premadasa Stadium against Bangladesh in the 2018 Nidhas Trophy. This gave him a reputation as a finisher and T20 specialist. Since then, he has done well in the format. He has emerged as one of the more skilled T20 batsmen in the IPL and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he led Tamil Nadu to a title win earlier this year.

Dinesh Karthik’s Aim Is To Play For India In The T20I World Cups As He Feels Selectors Want To See Fitness Rather Than Age

Dinesh Karthik played 26 Tests, 94 ODIs, and 32 T20Is. His last Test came in 2018, while his last limited-overs appearance came in the 2019 World Cup.

“What they want to see is not the age but how fit you are. If you can get through the fitness tests, it means you are ready to play for the country. My aim is to play for the country in the T20 World Cups. There are back-to-back T20 World Cups, this year and the next year, and I am doing everything I can to be a part of that,” Dinesh Karthik told Cricket Next in an interview.

Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)

Dinesh Karthik’s run in the IPL 2020 and 2021 hasn’t been that great but as an experienced player, he could be a valuable asset for India in the middle order during the T20 World Cup.  He expressed that he did well in T20Is until the 2019 World Cup.

“I know I have done really well in the past and even when I got dropped from the team after the World Cup, I thought I had done phenomenally well for India in T20s up till then, but because the World Cup did not go well, I got chucked out of the T20 as well.”

The cricketer further noted that there are finishers in Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, but he is eyeing the role of the middle-order specialist batsman who can also finish the game, a role which he has been perfecting in T20s since he revived his career.

Dinesh Karthik, who gave up KKR’s captaincy during the last season of the IPL mid-season, has been serving as Eoin Morgan’s deputy since. However, 2019 World Cup winner England’s Eoin Morgan’s captaincy hasn’t been fruitful for the Kolkata franchise as they have won just 5 out of 14 games they have played under his leadership.

Dinesh Karthik has said that he is ready to captain the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) once again when the IPL 2021 edition in case regular captain Eoin Morgan doesn’t get permission from the England and Wales Board (ECB) to travel to UAE for the tournament.

The IPL 2021 was suspended in May by the BCCI after COVID-19 cases got out of hand in the teams’ bio-bubbles as multiple players, coaches, support staff, and ground staff caught the virus. Recently, the BCCI announced that the remainder of the IPL 2021 consisting of 31 matches will be played in the Sept-Oct window in UAE.

Shahrukh Khan swats one on the leg side NurPhoto/Getty Images
Shahrukh Khan swats one on the leg side NurPhoto/Getty Images
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Shahrukh Khan Wants To Create Own Identity After Doing Well In IPL 2021

Shahrukh Khan admitted that it’s a big thing for him to be compared with West Indian Kieron Pollard but he wants to create his own identity, after proving his mettle in his debut IPL season in 2021.

Tamil Nadu batsman Shahrukh Khan made a sensational entry to Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Following a terrific stint in the domestic circuit for Tamil Nadu, the youngster was bought for a whopping Rs. 5.25 crore at the players’ auction for currently suspended IPL 2021.

Shahrukh Khan Image Credit : BCCI
Shahrukh Khan Image Credit: BCCI

Shahrukh Khan Needs To Create Own Identity But Felt Good When Anil Kumble Compared Him With Kieron Pollard

The PBKS team management looked for a hard-hitter in him as head coach Anil Kumble compared him with Caribbean all-rounder Kieron Pollard before the start of the tournament.

Shahrukh Khan didn’t get many opportunities to play in the season before it got suspended midway. However, the Tamil Nadu cricketer left no stones unturned in leaving an impact. His fiery cameos on multiple occasions made him a go-to middle-order batsman in Punjab’s line-up. Shahrukh Khan scored 107 in 8 innings at a strike rate of 127.38.

Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images
Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble, And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images

In a conversation with InsideSport, Shahrukh Khan stated that he felt great to be compared with Kieron Pollard but he wants to create his own identity.

“Definitely, that is obviously a big thing when Anil Kumble compared me to Kieron Pollard. But I’m just starting off. So, I feel that I need to create an identity of my own. I want to become what I do, the way I go about. Obviously, it’s a wonderful thing that he compared me to Kieron Pollard. He is head and shoulders ahead of me. I’m just starting off. I will get there but him comparing me to Kieron Pollard was pretty good,” Shahrukh khan was quoted as saying.

With his batting exploits in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), the 25-year-old Shahrukh Khan sparked an intense bidding war for his services in the IPL auction in February. The West Indian Kieron Pollard was picked up by Mumbai Indians for the 2010 season and has remained with them ever since.

Shahrukh Khan Wanted To Bat In IPL 2021 In A Similar Manner Like Tamil Nadu In Domestic Circuit

The 24-year-old further revealed the message he got from skipper KL Rahul and head coach Anil Kumble before going to bat in his debut season.

“It was very simple for me. They just told me to go and do what I do for Tamil Nadu and nothing different, nothing else. They told me, ‘You don’t need to do anything differently yet. It’s just a change in name, but the ball, everything is the same. We’ll be very happy with it,” said Shahrukh.

IPL 2021- PBKS vs RR: Punjab Kings' costliest uncapped India player Shahrukh Khan makes his IPL debut vs Rajasthan Royals
IPL 2021- PBKS vs RR: Punjab Kings’ costliest uncapped India player Shahrukh Khan makes his IPL debut vs Rajasthan Royals

Named after a popular Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan is a right-hand batsman and occasional right-arm off-spinner. At 6 feet 6 inches, the 25-year-old showed plenty of promise in the 2018 edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League tournament, where he honed his skills and compiled 325 runs in nine games for a new franchise – the Kovai Kings and it paved the way for his comeback into the Tamil Nadu side.

He was part of the Tamil Nadu side that went unbeaten all season on their way to winning the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2021. The 25-year-old Shahrukh Khan was one of the star performers in Tamil Nadu’s victorious 2020-21 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign. He blasted 88 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 220, scoring a best of 40 not out off 19 balls. Subsequently, he was purchased by PBKS in the IPL mini-auction for INR 5.25 crore, becoming Punjab’s biggest Indian buy-in IPL 2021.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. Image Credits: Twitter
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Chennai Super Kings Pledged To Donate 450 Oxygen Concentrators To Tamil Nadu Government

Chennai Super Kings, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise on Saturday pledged to donated 450 oxygen concentrators to the Tamil Nadu government which will help them in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chennai Super Kings director R Srinivasan handed over the oxygen concentrators to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin at his office in Chennai on Saturday. R Srinivasan handed over the oxygen concentrators to the state’s Chief Minister MK Stalin, with the president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Rupa Gurunath also present.

CSKCL Director Mr R Srinivasan, handed over an oxygen concentrator to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, on Saturday. - CSKCL MEDIA
CSKCL Director Mr. R Srinivasan, handed over an oxygen concentrator to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, on Saturday. – CSKCL MEDIA

Chennai Super Kings Donated  450 Oxygen Concentrators To Be Used For The Benefit Of Covid-19 Patients

The three-time champions have tied up with Bhoomika Trust, an NGO involved in Covid relief operations, to procure the oxygen concentrators. The first consignment of oxygen concentrators has arrived and the remaining is expected to reach early next week. The oxygen concentrators will be used for the “benefit of Covid patients being treated in Government hospitals and the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC)-run Covid care centres.”

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

India’s healthcare infrastructure is reeling under the pressure of the deadly second wave of Covid-19 over the last few weeks. India added more than 4.01 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours with a record 4,187 fatalities.

“The people of Chennai and Tamil Nadu form the very heartbeat of the Super Kings and we want them to know that we are all together in this fight against the pandemic,” CSK CEO Mr. KS Viswanathan said.

Hospitals in several states have been complaining of shortage of oxygen for weeks which forced the Supreme Court on Saturday to form a 12-member national task force that would be tasked with formulating a methodology for the “scientific allocation of medical oxygen”.

Chennai Super Kings Were Also Hit By The Covid-19 Virus After Both Batting And Bowling Coach Tested Positive And Shifted To Chennai

Chennai Super Kings were themselves hit hard by the virus after bowling and batting coaches Laxmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey tested positive for Covid-19 in Delhi, earlier this week, which also contributed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to suspend the IPL 2021 for an indefinite period.

Laxmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey have since been shifted to Chennai for further treatment. Notably, CSK captain MS Dhoni has decided to stay back in Delhi until all his teammates depart from the capital city, some of whom have already reached home.

Laxmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey recently tested positive for Covid-19.
Laxmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey recently tested positive for Covid-19.

4 players namely Varun Chakravarthy (Kolkata Knight Riders), Sandeep Warrier (KKR), Wriddhiman Saha (Sunrisers Hyderabad), and Amit Mishra (Delhi Capitals) – also returned positive results on May 3 and 4. Two more KKR cricketers – Tim Siefert and Prasidh Krishna – tested positive on Saturday.

CSK started with a defeat against Delhi Capitals but later bounced back with 5 straight wins before losing to MI in a high-scoring thriller in the last game before IPL 2021 was postponed. They held the 2nd spot in IPL 2021 points table with 5 wins in 7 matches. For CSK, Deepak Chahar, Sam Curran, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, and Ravindra Jadeja impressed with notable performances.

T Natarajan
T Natarajan. Image Credits: Twitter
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MS Dhoni’s Advice To Use Slow Bouncers And Cutters Was Useful: T Natarajan

T Natarajan, left-arm yorker specialist says former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s advice to bowl slow bouncers and cutters during his breakout IPL season last year helped him get better at his craft.

The 30-year-old T Natarajan, who bowled a maximum of 71 yorkers among all pacers in the last IPL, dismissed big names such as MS Dhoni and AB de Villiers during the season.

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

T Natarajan Said MS Dhoni Encouraged Him To Get Better With Experience

T Natarajan wasn’t initially a part of the Australian tour and was roped in for T20Is after spinner Varun Chakravarthy sustained an injury. After, initially, having toured Down Under as a net bowler, he played an ODI after being added as a backup for Navdeep Saini who complained of back spasms and a Test each but was a part of all three T20Is where he nailed the Yorkers with precision.

T Natarajan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T Natarajan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
He has played 1 Test, 2 ODIs, and 4 T20Is where he has 3,3, and 7 wickets respectively. He has also played 22 IPL games and picked 18 scalps.

“Speaking to somebody like Dhoni itself is a big thing. He spoke to me about fitness and encouraged me, saying that I will keep getting better with experience. He said, use slow bouncers, cutters, and variations like that. It has been useful for me,” Natarajan was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’.

Before that, MS Dhoni was dismissed by the Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer, who also shone during India’s tour of Australia following a surprise call-up to the national team as one of the reserves who was later included in the main team after likes of Navdeep Saini leaked runs in ODIs and key bowlers were injured before the 4th Test in Australia.

Recalling that wicket, he said, “I pitched one in the slot and he hit me for a big six – 102 metres or something. The next ball I got his wicket (and didn’t celebrate) — I was just thinking about that previous ball.After coming back to the dressing room, though, I was happy. After finishing the match, I also had a chat with him.”

Touted as India’s Mustafizur Rahman, KXIP picked him up 3 crores for IPL 2017 after his sterling performances in the domestic season and in the first season of TNPL as well. He played in 6 games in his debut IPL season and picked up 2 wickets.

T Natarajan missed the 2017-18 season of Ranji season owing to an elbow injury but was still picked up during the 2018 IPL auctions by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 40 lakhs. However, he was benched for the entire season with plenty of experienced campaigners competing for the role. He picked 16 scalps in as many games in IPL 2020 at UAE for which he was included in the Indian squad for the first time.

T Natarajan Recalls Getting AB De Villier’s Scalp On The Same Day He Became A Father To A Baby Girl

Another of his big wickets during the course of the IPL 2020 was of South African great AB de Villiers, who represents Royal Challengers Bangalore in the lucrative league. On the same day, he also became a father.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

“On one side there was my girl and on the other side, I got that wicket in an important knockout game. I was extremely happy), but I didn’t really tell the others (about the baby). I thought I will tell everyone else after we win the game, but my captain (David) Warner spoke about it, I think, at the post-match (presentation),” Natarajan said.

T Natarajan also picked crucial wickets of Virat Kohli, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Marcus Stoinis, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shane Watson among others in IPL 2020. T Natrajan’s Sunrisers Hyderabad will open their campaign in the IPL 2021 on Sunday by taking on 2-time IPL winners Kolkata Knight Riders.

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Shahrukh Khan Of PBKS Reminds Anil Kumble Of Kieron Pollard

Shahrukh Khan, Punjab Kings’ new recruit has managed to impress the team’s head and director of cricket operations, Anil Kumble.

The former Indian captain heaped massive praise on the youngster and even drew parallels with Kieron Pollard.

Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images
Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble, And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images

Anil Kumble Says Shahrukh Khan Reminds Him Of Kieron Pollard

Anil Kumble recollected his experience of bowling to Kieron Pollard in the Mumbai Indians (MI) nets and said that Shahrukh Khan brings a similar skillset to the table.

Anil Kumble said in this regard: “Yeah, he reminds me a bit of Pollard actually. When I was with Mumbai Indians, Pollard in the nets was dangerous. I used to bowl a bit (in the nets), and the first thing I used to tell him was don’t hit straight. Here I’m not even trying. I’m a lot older now, and the body doesn’t take the bowling anymore. So, I’m not going to bowl at Shahrukh, for sure”.

File image of KXIP coach Anil Kumble(Kings Xi Punjab/Twitter)
File image of KXIP coach Anil Kumble(Kings Xi Punjab/Twitter)

Shahrukh Khan has played 31 T20 matches thus far, scoring 293 runs at a strike rate of 131.39. With his batting exploits in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), the 25-year-old sparked an intense bidding war for his services in the IPL auction in February.

Kieron Pollard’s IPL Record: After his heroics in the CLT20 for Trinidad and Tobago, Kieron Pollard was picked up by Mumbai Indians for the 2010 season and has remained with them ever since. He has played many memorable knocks for them and has bowled several worthy spells. In 164 IPL games, he has scored 3023 runs averaging nearly 30 and has picked 60 scalps.

Shahrukh Khan Surprised At Bidding War At IPL 2021 Auction

The Delhi Capitals, the Royals Challengers Bangalore, and the Punjab Kings bid for him, with Preity Zinta’s franchise acquiring Shahrukh Khan for Rs 5.25 crore.

Named after a popular Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan is a right-hand batsman and occasional right-arm off-spinner. At 6 feet 6 inches, the 25-year-old showed plenty of promise in the 2018 edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League tournament, where he honed his skills and compiled 325 runs in nine games for a new franchise – the Kovai Kings and it paved the way for his comeback into the Tamil Nadu side.

He made his List A debut on 27 February 2014, for Tamil Nadu in the 2013–14 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy on 6 December 2018. He was part of the Tamil Nadu side that went unbeaten all season on their way to winning the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2021.

Shahrukh Khan (right) was sold to Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 auction(PTI)
Shahrukh Khan (right) was sold to Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 auction(PTI)

“Being amongst such stalwarts of cricket, it feels amazing to be here and the inputs have been great. I have been having a lot of conversations with everyone around here, getting to learn a lot as well,” Shahrukh Khan has said about his Punjab Kings experience.

Shahrukh Khan said that he was pleasantly surprised that there was a bidding war for his services in the auction.

“The auction started at around 3 PM I guess, and we were practising at the Holkar Stadium, obviously I had to bat and bowl a bit. So I told our physio that ‘please let me know when my name comes up. I’ll take a break and come and see the auction.’ Luckily my name didn’t come up, and it didn’t bother my batting much. Right after we finished practice and we hopped onto the bus, I still remember sitting on the first seat and my name came up. My heart started pumping, but I didn’t expect it to rise as much as it did,” Shahrukh Khan added.

Punjab Kings went in with the biggest purse for the IPL 2021 auction after having released several of their big names, including Glenn Maxwell. As expected, the Priety Zinta co-owned franchise spent big at the IPL auction, bringing in overseas stars like Jhye Richardson, Dawid Malan, Riley Meredith, and Moises Henriques.

Punjab Kings also signed up Tamil Nadu big-hitter Shah Rukh Khan, seasoned all-rounder Jalaj Saxena among others. After missing the play-offs berth at IPL 2020 despite a strong late surge, KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings will be keen on making it to the play-offs stage in IPL 2021.

IPL 2021: Punjab Kings squad

Retained players: KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohd. Shami, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Prabhsimran Singh.

Players bought at Auction: Jhye Richardson (Rs 14 crore), Shahrukh Khan (Rs 5.25 crore), Dawid Malan (Rs 1.5 crore), Riley Meredith (Rs 8 crore), Moises Henriques (Rs 4.20 crore), Jalaj Saxena (Rs 30 lakhs), Utkarsh Singh (Rs 20 lakhs), Fabian Allen (Rs 75 lakh), Saurabh Kumar (Rs 20 lakh).

BCCI, Domestic Circuit,
It's a logo of the BCCI. Photo Credit: BCCI.
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BCCI Set To Organize Vijay Hazare Trophy From February 20

BCCI is all set to organize the One Day tournament- Vijay Hazare Trophy from February 20, after the successful completion of the T20 tournament- Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Karnataka won Vijay Hazare Trophy last time in 2019-20.

After successfully executing the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, BCCI wants to organize Vijay Hazare Trophy, the domestic one-day tournament from February 20. The final will be held on March 14, two days after the semi-finals.

Karnataka, Vijay Hazare Trophy
Karnataka, Vijay Hazare Trophy (Image Credit: Twitter)

BCCI Will Organize Vijay Hazare Trophy From February 20 To March 14 Across 6 Cities

Six venues have been selected for the matches and the teams have been asked to report to their respective venues on February 13.

“The BCCI will be organizing the Vijay Hazare Trophy from February 20 to March 14 across six cities, with the teams entering the bio-secure bubble from February 13 in order to undergo three COVID tests. BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Saturday released the schedule with Surat, Indore, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Jaipur being five of the six venues.

“Eight Plate Group teams will be playing their matches at various grounds across Tamil Nadu. As per the BCCI protocol, the players will undergo three RT-PCR tests in their respective bio-bubble and three more on arrival, before the start of the knock-out stages (pre quarter-finals) from March 7,” new agency PTI reported on Saturday.

Jay Shah
Jay Shah. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Elite A (Surat): Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Hyderabad, Baroda and Goa

Elite B (Indore): Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Jharkhand, MP, Vidarbha and AP

Elite C (Bangalore): Karnataka, UP, Kerala, Odisha, Railways and Bihar

Elite D (Jaipur): Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, HP, Rajasthan and Pondicherry

Elite E (Kolkata): Bengal, Services, J&K, Saurashtra, Haryana and Chandigarh

Plate (Tamil Nadu, city TBC): Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim

BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Saturday released the schedule with Surat, Indore, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Jaipur being five of the six venues. Eight Plate Group teams will be playing their matches at various grounds across Tamil Nadu. As per the BCCI protocol, the players will undergo three RT-PCR tests in their respective bio-bubble and three more on arrival, before the start of the knock-out stages (pre-quarter-finals) from March 7.

Vijay Hazare Trophy’s League Stage Will Run From February 20 To March 1

The league stage of the Vijay Hazare Trophy will run from February 20 to March 1. After another round of testing and quarantine, the knockouts will start on March 8. The final, after two days of rest following the semi-finals on March 11, will be played on March 14.

The venue for the knockouts, the BCCI told the state units, will be announced later. Karnataka are the defending Vijay Hazare champions. Tamil Nadu is the most successful team with 5 titles while Karnataka boosts of 4 titles.

Tamil Nadu team poses with the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Tamil Nadu team poses with the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The BCCI’s Covid-19 protocols will include teams assembling in their respective cities a week before the start of the tournament, on February 13. They will then need to undergo Covid-19 testing procedures and quarantine in accordance with the state’s regulations and BCCI’s own process. That includes three Covid tests, on February 13, 15 and 17, with practice allowed on February 18 and 19.

IPL 2019, Dinesh Karthik, Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik. Photo by Saikat Das /SPORTZPICS for BCCI
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Dinesh Karthik Wants To Take Tamil Nadu Forward

Dinesh Karthik said he wants to take Tamil Nadu cricket forward and develop talent while still hoping to play for India again. Dinesh Karthik has played 26 Test, 94 ODIs and 32 T20Is but his last appearance came in July 2019.

Current India international and Tamil Nadu captain Dinesh Karthik’s longevity came to the fore again as he led Tamil Nadu to their second Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament title on Sunday, fourteen years after he led them to the inaugural title in 2006-07.

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik. Image Credit: Twitter.

Dinesh Karthik Keen On Taking Tamil Nadu Forward And Play For India Again

Tamil Nadu beat Punjab in 2006-07 final and hammered Baroda by seven wickets in 31st January 2021. The state team had lost the final last year to Karnataka. Dinesh Karthik, now the senior statesman, says he wants to take Tamil Nadu cricket forward and develop talent while still hoping to play for India again.

“You understand your cricket over a period of time, I am very keen on taking our state cricket forward and playing for the country is always on my mind,” he said after the match.

Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan.
Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan. Image Credit: IPL.

Dinesh Karthik scored 46 against Jharkhand, unbeaten 40 against Hyderabad and unbeaten 47 against Bengal. He hit unbeaten 26 against Rajasthan in semis and 22 against Baroda in final. He played 167 first-class, 238 List A and 310 T20 games. He also captained Kolkata Knight Riders in Indian Premier League since 2018 but relinquished captaincy to Eoin Morgan in IPL 2020.

Dinesh Karthik: Tamil Nadu Played Really Good Cricket Last Year Despite Losing Final And Has Been Consistent Enough

Dinesh Karthik said last year’s loss in the final to Karnataka hurt but to see players from that squad make the Indian team makes him proud.

“It really hurt us last year. We played really good cricket and we have been pretty consistent throughout. Just the fact that there are players like Natarajan and Washington Sundar in the Indian team… those guys were around last year playing this tournament for us. Just to see those guys go there… I am sure there’ll be few more going from here,” he added.

T Natarajan
T Natarajan. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“There have been so many good performances through the season. We are able to produce cricketers to play for the country, that’s always a sign of a team doing well,” he added.

The injury woes in the Indian camp during the Australia tour allowed T Natarajan to play the ODI, T20I and even Test series. The Tamil Nadu pacer had toured Australia initially as the net bowler but ended up making his debut across all the formats. He created history and became the first Indian player to make his debut in all three formats on the same tour.

Tamil Nadu cricketers such as Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Thangarasu Natarajan, Varun Chakaravarthy, Washington Sundar, Narayan Jagadeesan, Sandeep Warrier and Murugan Ashwin have played IPL for various franchises.

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik
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Ranji Trophy 2019/20: Dinesh Karthik And Karun Nair Involve In Heated Talk

While Karnataka-Tamil Nadu showcased a thrilling game in the round one of the Ranji Trophy 2019/20, Dinesh Karthik and Karun Nair involved in a heated talk on the final day of that game.

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have provided some high-voltage matches in this domestic season. At first, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu met in the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019/20 (List A format) where Karnataka won by 60 runs in VJD method.

Ranji Trophy 2019/20: Dinesh Karthik And Karun Nair Involve In Heated Talk 1
Karnataka have dominated Tamil Nadu in every format of this season (Image Credit: Google)

Later, in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019/20 (T20 format), they met twice, and Karnataka won both those games. At first, they met in the Super League stage (Group B), and Karnataka won by nine wickets. In the final of that same tournament, Karnataka beat Tamil Nadu by just one run.

 

Now, they started the new Ranji Trophy season with another high-voltage game. In that Group B encounter at Dindigul, Karnataka captain Karun Nair decided to bat first after winning the toss. With the help of three half-centuries, Karnataka scored 336 runs in the first innings.

In reply, Tamil Nadu managed to score 307 runs in their first innings where Dinesh Karthik (113 runs) played an impressive century knock.

Dinesh Karthik, Karun Nair
Dinesh Karthik scored 113 runs (Image Credit: Google)

Leading by 29 runs, Karnataka were bowled out for just 151 runs in their second innings. While Tamil Nadu had to chase the 181 runs target on the final day, they were bundled out for only 154 runs. Karnataka off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham bagged eight wickets (8/60) in the fourth innings that helped his team to win that game by 26 runs.

Dinesh Karthik was not happy with the excessive appealing

On the final day of that game (12th December), Tamil Nadu cricketer Dinesh Karthik and Karnataka captain Karun Nair involved in a heated exchange of words. To make the situation calm down, Karnataka coaches, S Arvind and Yere Goud, needed to intervene in that.

Dinesh Karthik, Karun Nair
Karun Nair was leading Karnataka team (Image Credit: Google)

According to the report of Deccan Herald, Dinesh Karthik, who scored 17 runs in the fourth innings, was upset and unhappy with the on-field behaviour from the opponent side, including their excessive appeals. However, Tamil Nadu captain Vijay Shankar has claimed that it is a very common thing during the match between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Dinesh Karthik, Karun Nair
Vijay Shankar (Image Credit: Google)

 

Meanwhile, on the day one of that game, Tamil Nadu opener Murali Vijay was fined 10% of his match fees for showing dissent over an umpiring decision.

Murali Vijay, Ravichandran Ashwin
Murali Vijay (Image Credit: Google)
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Murali Vijay Fined On Opening Day Of New Ranji Trophy Season

The day one (9th December) of the Ranji Trophy 2019/20 was eventful during the match between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka at Dindigul. On the very first day of the new Ranji Trophy season, veteran Indian Test specialist opening batsman Murali Vijay has been handed 10% match fee fine for showing dissent over an umpiring decision.

Karnataka captain won the toss on that morning and decided to bat first. While Nitin Pandit and Anil Dandekar were handling the on-field decisions, Tamil Nadu players had some good appeals.

Just two balls ahead of the tea break of that day, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and his other Tamil Nadu teammates had a massive appeal against the opponent batsman Pavan Deshpande. However, the bowling end umpire Nitin Pandit denied going with that appeal. After that decision, most of the Tamil Nadu cricketers gathered on the pitch. In that occasion, umpire Pandit went to talk with Ashwin.

Murali Vijay Fined On Opening Day Of New Ranji Trophy Season 2
Ravichandran Ashwin (Image Credit: BCCI)

Murali Vijay has been fined 10% of his match fees

Meanwhile, the square-leg umpire Anil Dandekar was busy to cool down Murali Vijay by holding his hand as the opening batsman was upset at that moment. Due to that action, Vijay has been fined 10% of his match fees. Tamil Nadu team management has confirmed this penalty news at the end of the day’s play.

Murali Vijay, fined
Murali Vijay (Image Credit: Google)

D Vasu, the coach of Tamil Nadu, said according to Sportskeeda, “Probably, in the heat of the moment, players would have reacted. But I think you also have to be mindful of the fact that today cricket is played very differently and everybody is being watched. Bad decisions and good decisions are part of the game. We have to take it in our stride and move on. I cannot comment on these things (if there was an edge or not). It’s not appropriate.”

If technology is available and money is available, why not use more technology?

Later, the Tamil Nadu coach has asked to utilise the available technology for every close decision as he believes that it can make a huge difference during the tight games. In the present Indian domestic cricket, the technology has been used only for line decisions.

Murali Vijay Fined On Opening Day Of New Ranji Trophy Season 3
Image Credit: Google

Basu added, “When tight games happen, two strong teams are competing, here and there…small things can make a huge difference. If technology is available and money is available, why not (use more technology)? For now, we use technology for line decisions in domestic cricket but whatever they can include with technology and if it’s possible we will be the happiest people to accept.”

“Anything new and anything that’s going to help the umpires as well the players, we will be happy because there is so much at stake these days for the players with regards to their careers.”

At the stumps on day one, Karnataka were batting on 259/6. Opener Mayank Agarwal scored 48 runs while Devdutt Padikkal (78) and Pavan Deshpande (65) scored half-centuries.

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