Rishabh Pant has not looked back since this year’s Indian Premier League.

World Cup

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES

Inzamam-ul-Haq Believes India And Pakistan Should Play More Often And The Bilateral Series Is Followed More Than Ashes

Inzamam-ul-Haq feels India and Pakistan should play more matches to bring the best out of the players. Matches between India and Pakistan used to be one contest where fans used to fight, chew nails and watch cricket in unison to support their favourite teams.

There was a time in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s were these two Asian giants would battle it out in the bilateral series or the ICC events. No fan can forget the epic ICC 2007 T20 World Cup final match between these two rivals, where India clinched a thriller at Johannesburg, or the last ball six by Javed Miandad off Chetan Sharma.

File Photo: India skipper Virat Kohli (right) with his Pakistan counterpart Sarfraz Ahmed along with Champions Trophy Photo: PTI
File Photo: India skipper Virat Kohli (right) with his Pakistan counterpart Sarfraz Ahmed along with Champions Trophy Photo: PTI

Inzamam-ul-Haq: India-Pakistan Series Followed More Than The Ashes

The battles between India and Pakistan would always be intense and close. But sadly now we don’t see the two teams playing often due to the political tensions on either side of the border. The two Asian rivals now only play matches during the ICC events and Asia Cup which relatively has become one-sided affairs with the Men in Blue edging the Men in Green.

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was part of many such matches against India during his time, feels the teams should play more often rather than just sticking to playing at global events.

“India-Pakistan series was followed much more than The Ashes and people thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment. For the betterment of the game and the players, it is important to have the Asia Cup and also bilateral series between India and Pakistan,” Inzamam told Sportstar in an interview.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP

The 2019 World Cup in England was when the two teams last met at a neutral venue. India won that match by 89 runs. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq has said that India vs Pakistan matches have more following than The Ashes. He urged that a bilateral series between India and Pakistan is important.

Inzamam-ul-Haq Believes India And Pakistan Should Play More Often

The former right-hand batsman also explained that the two teams would be beneficial by playing more games as it would make them better players due to the intensity that comes along with. The former Pakistan skipper believes that the players will earn more fans by playing against each other as this is the one rivalry that keeps the audience on their toes.

“Each and every competition is important. In our times, the Asia Cup was a tournament where the top teams would compete. The more you play high-quality cricket, you develop your skills.

“For instance, if India were playing Pakistan, the players would be excited to put in their best efforts because they know the importance and intensity of these matches. That not only helps a player grow but also helps him earn appreciation from the fans. I think it is important to have these tournaments.”

Inzamam-Ul-Haq and Sourav Ganguly during the 2004 ODI series. (Getty Images)
Inzamam-Ul-Haq and Sourav Ganguly during the 2004 ODI series. (Getty Images)

Inzamam-ul-Haq further concluded by saying that during his time in the 90s and early 2000s, the two teams played more and helped the upcoming youngsters to evolve their game.

Inzamam-ul-Haq belongs to a golden period of India-Pakistan cricket, the 1990s, and the early 2000s. India toured Pakistan for a historic series in 2004 and emerged victorious in both ODI and Test series under current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly with Inzamam-ul-Haq being the rival skipper. The following year, Pakistan toured India and beat them in the ODIs, while drawing the Test series.

Shakib Al Hasan Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Shakib Al Hasan Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Shakib Al Hasan May Prolong His International Career To Play 2027 World Cup

Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh’s ace all-rounder has revealed his wish to go to retirement only after winning the World Cup. And for that to achieve, he might even keep playing till 2027.  Shakib Al Hasan said this during his appearance in Daraz Live chat on Thursday (April 1).

First asked when Bangladesh would win the World Cup, Shakib Al Hasan gave an instant reply, “2023, because it would be my last World Cup.” But once the presenter insisted on what would happen if Bangladesh could not win the next World Cup, he responded: “Then I would keep playing till the 2027 World Cup to win it.”

Shakib Al Hasan | AFP
Shakib Al Hasan | AFP

Shakib Al Hasan Always Want To Win World Cup For Bangladesh And Has Been Part Of 4 World Cups

Shakib Al Hasan’s desire to win the 50 over World Cup with Bangladesh is nothing new. He has said time and again that the biggest achievement of his cricketing career would be to win the World Cup, and he has always targeted the 2023 World Cup to be held in India to finally win it.

Shakib Al Hasan has so far played four 50 overs World Cups for Bangladesh since the 2007 edition. While he captained Bangladesh in the 2011 World Cup, the 2019 edition turned out to be individually his most successful one, when he scored 606 runs and picked up 11 wickets.

File image of Shakib Al Hasan | AFP
File image of Shakib Al Hasan | AFP

But in spite of Shakib Al Hasan’s outstanding performances both with bat and ball, Bangladesh finished 8th out of 10 teams in the last World Cup in England and Wales. If Bangladesh qualified for the semifinals, Shakib Al Hasan could have won the Man of the Tournament award.

Shakib Al Hasan Is In India To Take Part In IPL 2021 For KKR

He is now in India to take part in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) for Kolkata Knight Riders. He was absent from the ODI and T20I series in New Zealand due to paternity leave, and will also skip the two-Test series in Sri Lanka as he wants to prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup by playing in the IPL. He, however, will return for the ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) upheld all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The BCB even thought of reconsidering his NOC for the tournament after the miscommunication between the board and the all-rounder.

Veteran Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is set to return in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the upcoming edition which begins on April 9. He will be back in action after serving a one-year ban and don the Purple & Gold jersey of Kolkata Knight Riders once again.

He was part of KKR’s title-winning campaigns in 2012 and 2014. He had featured in three matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019 before the ban led to his ouster from the game. Now in his second innings at KKR, he is ready to play any role that his team expects from him in the upcoming season.

The 34-year-old, who was bought by his former franchise for 3.2 crores in the players’ auction in February 2021. The two-time champions will kick-start their IPL 2021 campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on April 11. Shakib Al Hasan has played 43 IPL games amassing 498 runs averaging 21.65 and picked 43 scalps averaging 25.6 for KKR. He has also played 20 games for SRH.

He missed the 2020 edition on account of being banned for not reporting corrupt offences. He played 63 IPL matches scoring 746 runs at an average of 21.31 with two 50s and a high score of unbeaten 66 and taken 59 wickets averaging 28.

Irfan Pathan, Mahmudullah
Photo Credit: Star Sports.

Pakistan Team Didn’t Know About Bowl-Out: Irfan Pathan On 2007 T20 World Cup Match

The 2007 T20 World Cup started off in the most fascinating ways for India by beating Pakistan in the group stage in a Bowl-out, which they knew nothing about at that time. The match had ended in a tie after India’s 141-rum on the board was equalled by Pakistan and the match went for a bowl-out.

Prior to the super over the bowl out method was used to decide a winner, if the match ended in a draw. In a bowl out, five bowlers from each side deliver one or two balls each at an unguarded wicket. If each team has hit the same number of wickets after the first five bowlers per side, the bowling continues and is decided by sudden death.

Irfan Pathan, IPL
Irfan Pathan. Image Credit: Getty Images.

During The Bowl-Out, There Was No Competition: Irfan Pathan

Former Team India bowling all-rounder Irfan Pathan has revealed that the Pakistani cricket team had no idea of what a bowl out was, on the other hand, team India was well prepared for it. They were so confused they didn’t even know if they should take full or half run-ups, said Irfan Pathan.

“Pakistan’s captain accepted it in one of the press conferences that they didn’t know about the bowl-out,” Pathan said in Star Sports’ special episode of Cricket Connected chat show named ‘Watch Along of the 2007 ICC World T20 between India and Pakistan’.

“When the time for bowl-out arrived, they were not sure if they should be taking full run-ups or a half run-ups. On the other hand, we came in prepared for the bowl-out and the result was quite evident,”.

Irfan Pathan | Baroda Ranji team |
Photo Credit: Google/Web.

“There was no competition between the two teams. When the regulation match was going on, there was a fierce competition between both the teams, and it was a close affair. But during the bowl-out, there was no competition,” Irfan Pathan added

Recounting the 2007 T20 World Cup

The 2007 ICC T20 world cup was hosted in South Africa and was the maiden T20 World cup. Team India went on to win it beating Pakistan by 5 runs. India had also beaten Pakistan in the group stage in a bowl out after a tie. Gautam Gambhir scored 75 runs as India put a score of 157-5. The other Indian batsmen fell cheaply, with Rohit Sharma the second-highest scorer, reaching 30 not out.

2007 World Cup
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Misbah-ul-Haq was the top scorer for  Pakistan with 43 runs as they neared the Indian total, but wickets fell quickly as R P Singh took 3-26 and Irfan Pathan took 3-16 to set up a tense finish. Pakistan were bowled out in the final over, five runs short of India.

Ashish Nehra, Indian national cricket team
Ashish Nehra and MS Dhoni. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Listen, Just Hang In There – Ashish Nehra Reveals MS Dhoni’s Words That Inspired Him To Play 2011 World Cup

Former Indian speedster Ashish Nehra revealed how captain MS Dhoni motivated him when he was struggling with an injury and was going to opt-out of the World Cup 2011 final team. Ashish Nehra was in pain due to his back problems and had requested Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni to replace him for the World Cup.

MS Dhoni suggested Nehra have a second thought about his call and not rush things. He wanted him to wait till the end to see if he could play and then make a decision. The pacer recalled him being able to play 3 matches in the World Cup and winning the final were only possible because of MS Dhoni’s upliftment.

Ashish Nehra, Umesh Yadav
Credits: BCCI

MS Dhoni’s Inspiring Support For Ashish Nehra

Ashish Nehra recalled how MS Dhoni inspired him to stay on the ground to train and not to rush his decision to opt-out of the World Cup.

“Listen, just hang in there for another two to three weeks. See how you feel. Be with the physio, sort it out with him, wait for two-three weeks and then we’ll see how it goes.”

Ashish Nehra, Ravi Shastri, Future, Retirement, India Vs New Zealand, Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi
Ashish Nehra Photo Credit: AFP.

The pacer went on to play in three matches in the World Cup. He had a decent match against the Netherlands, which he ended with figures of 33/1. In his second match against South Africa, his form dipped and he struggled in the match which was India’s sole loss in the tournament. He played his third match in the semi-finals against Pakistan. He emerged as a star in the match keeping tight in the middle overs and took two wickets by conceding just 33 runs in 10 overs.

It Was A Roller-Coaster Ride For Me But In The End, I Did Manage To Land Safely

The match against Pakistan was his last match of the tournament as he fractured his right hand. India went on to win the finals against Sri Lanka.

“I had a massive fracture. The day after the final itself, I left for Australia for surgery. It was very disappointing but it was satisfying as well that we won the final, we won the World Cup. It was a roller-coaster ride for me but in the end, I did manage to land safely,” Nehra concluded.

Ashish Nehra,MS Dhoni
Ashish Nehra. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Ashish Nehra played an 18-year long career for the Men in Blue, debuting in 1999 and retiring in the year 2017. Nehra had his highs and lows facing a long list of injuries during his career. He was astonishing with his seam and his wrist movement and subsequently baffled the batsmen during the peak time of his career.

Photo Credit: ICC.

New Zealand Could’ve Hosted the Women’s WC In 2021 But They Support ICC’s Decision: Grant Robertson

The ICC postponed women’s ODI World Cup which was scheduled for 2021 in New Zealand. The sports minister of New Zealand Grant Robertson said after the decision was made that New Zealand could have hosted the World Cup in 2021 as scheduled but they support ICC’s decision to postpone it.

The ICC deferred the tournament until February-March 2022 because of the impact the pandemic has had on cricket globally. Earlier, ICC announced the postponing of the men’s T20 World Cup which was scheduled in October 2020 to 2022, in Australia.

ICC Women's World Cup
Image Credit: Getty Images.

We support ICC’s decision to postpone the showpiece event

New Zealand sports minister Grant Robertson has said that they support the decision of ICC to postpone the women’s 50-over World Cup to 2022, but they were well equipped to have hosted it in the previously scheduled ti,e.

“This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at home,” Robertson was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.

ICC World Test Championship
Image Credit: Twitter.

“The disruption caused by Covid-19 around the world has meant no international women’s cricket has been played and many teams will struggle to even come together to train in the foreseeable future. The organising committee in New Zealand has been working with the government to ensure a safe and enjoyable tournament could be played. We could have done it in 2021, but now we will look to 2022. As a government we have reiterated our commitment to supporting the tournament.”

ICC’s change of World Cup plans

The Men’s T20 World Cup which was to be held in Australia this year has been postponed to 2022 and will be played with a new qualification process.

“There has been no women’s international cricket played since the conclusion of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year and due to the varying impact of COVID-19 globally that is likely to remain the situation for a number of the teams,” Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said in a statement.

T20 World Cup 2020, Cricket Australia
T20 World Cup 2020 Trophy. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“Moving the event by 12 months gives all competing teams the chance to play a sufficient level of cricket ahead of both the qualification event and leading into a Cricket World Cup so the integrity of the tournament is maintained.”

The world cricket governing body said all fans who purchased tickets to the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia will be refunded in full.

India vs New Zealand ICC World Cup 2020, sourav ganguly
Virat Kohli returning to pavilion after losing his wicket in the semi-final against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2019. Image Credit: Getty Images.

World Cups Are About Winning Semi-Final And Final: Sourav Ganguly

Since winning the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 triumph, India has reached several semi-finals and grand-finale of ICC tournaments but has failed to grab the trophy. Many cricket pundits have also called Team India a new choker. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly also denoted the team’s failure in marquee clashes though India has tremendous players.

In World Cup 2019, Virat Kohli-led side won all group stage matches except against England before losing to New Zealand in the semi-final. Against Kiwis, the Men in Blue had the command of the game after showing exceptional bowling stint. However, the fall of top-order for five runs build the pressure which eventually costed India. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja tried to lead the team across the line but India fell 18 runs short. 

World Cups Are About Winning Semi-Final And Final: Sourav Ganguly 1

We will win: Sourav Ganguly

Addressing India’s failure in the mega event, Sourav Ganguly said that World Cups are about winning semi-finals and finals. As per him, India has the potential to win World Cups but they need to perform to grab their hand on the trophy. 

We will (win). In England, we played well, we lost the important game. The World Cups are like that. We played exceptionally well in 2003 and lost the final. That’s what the World Cup is,” Sourav Ganguly said in the latest episode of India Today Inspiration.

Sourav Ganguly, World Cup
Sourav Ganguly (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP) (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ganguly further added, “We will have a chance every time. We have tremendous players in this team who can take away World Cups. Then the World Cups are also about winning semi-finals and finals.” 

Meanwhile, Team India was scheduled to play in the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup this year but the coronavirus pandemic has hashed all the cricketing schedules. Asia Cup 2020 has already been called off while there are speculations that T20 World Cup will also be postponed.

World Cup, Adam gilchrist, Six Batsmen Who Scored Century In World Cup's Grand-Finale

Six Batsmen Who Slammed A Century In World Cup Finals

Every cricketer’s dream is to contribute his best to help them lift the World Cup trophy. He always wants to be part of the winning cause. In this regard, a batsman who registers a three-digit score in the grand-finale gets immense pleasure. His century can change the whole scenario for the team.

It builds confidence in the team and also guides them to victory. But sometimes, his effort might even go in vain. Here, in this article, we have discussed the players six batsmen who scored a century in world cup’s grand-finale

Mahela Jayawardene vs India: 103 runs

Mahela Jayawardene,
Mahela Jayawardene. Image Credit: Getty Images.

In the World Cup 2011, India had early success in the grand-finale against Sri Lanka as the opening partners Upul Tharanga, and Tillakaratne Dilshan lost their wicket within 16 overs.

But Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene took the command of the game. They both build pressure on India’s side and added 60 runs before Sangakkara lost his wicket in 28th over. However, Jayawardene continued the innings and smacked the bowlers. He went on to register a century but lost his wicket soon after that. He scored 103 runs off 88 balls, striking thirteen fours. His innings led the Islanders to set up the target of 275 runs.

However, Jayawardene’s innings went into vain as India lifted the trophy after MS Dhoni hit the winning six.

India, ICC World Cup 2019
India will face Kiwis in the semis. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Four U19 World Cup Winners Who Went On To Win The Senior 50-over World Cup

Cricketers who work hard in the domestic cricket get the chance to showcase their talent at an international level. While the age level domestic tournament gives the confidence to the young cricketers, enhancing their performance lead them to the national side.

A significant platform for juniors is the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup from where youngsters get noticed by the selectors. This tournament builds the budding cricketers who go to shine at the senior international level.

There are very rare cricketers who were part of the World Cup-winning team at the junior level as well as senior level. Here we will discuss those four cricketers who won the U-19 World Cup as well as senior-level Cricket World Cup.

Josh Hazelwood (2010, 2015)

Josh Hazlewood, U-19 World Cup, 2010, 2015
Josh Hazlewood.

The Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood was the one who impressed with his bowling in the U-19 World Cup 2010, after which he earned the place in the national side in the same year. He was also the part of the U-19 team in 2008 but lifted the trophy in 2010 U-19 World Cup. In that tournament, he was the third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament and most wicket-taker for the team, picking 13 wickets in 6 matches at the economy rate of 4.00. He also had two four-wicket hauls in that tournament.

With impressing in the Test format in 2014, he was also included in the Australian squad for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup and played a part in their triumph, picking up four wickets against Pakistan in the quarter-finals. In the final, he went wicket-less against New Zealand, but Australia successfully registered the victory.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Gautam Gambhir Tags The Area Where India Should Work To Win More Trophies

It is evident that India in the ICC tournaments mostly reaches in the knock-out stages (semi-final and grand-finale) but fails to get their hands on the trophy. Gautam Gambhir has given the mental weakness of the players as the reasons for India’s failure at crucial stages.

So far, India has reached the World Cup semi-final four times(1987, 1996, 2015, 2019). In 2003, they were the runner up after facing an embarrassing defeat against Australia in the grand-finale. India has only come out as victorious in the 1983 and 2011 World Cup.

Talking about the 20-over format World Cup, the Men in Blue have, so far, only won the inauguration edition (2007) at home. Since then, five editions have passed, and India was the runner up in 2014 and reached the semi-final in 2016.

gautam gambhir, World Cup
Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni during the World Cup 2011. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Gautam Gambhir, who was the star performer for the team in the World Cup 2011 and T20 World Cup 2007 winning campaign, said that India fails to handle the pressure at crucial games. Therefore, the team has less number of trophies.

“What sets you apart from being a good player to being a very very good player in a team squad is what you do on those crucial games. I think probably we have not been able to handle the pressure, probably other teams have been able to handle the pressure that way,” Gautam Gambhir

Mental toughness is necessary: Gautam Gambhir

India National Cricket Team
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: Getty Images

Gambhir acknowledged that India had got talented players who can be the world champions. But if they can not give their best at pressure situations, they can never be called the world Champions, as per the former cricketer. So, he feels India should work on their mental toughness equally.

“If you look at all the semi-finals and finals, it just shows when playing really well in the league stage and you don’t play well in the semi-finals or knockouts, it’s probably your mental toughness as well. We can keep talking that we’ve got everything, we have the ability to be the world champions, but till the time you don’t go on the cricket field and prove that, you will never be called the world champions. So it’s just your ability in those crunch situations,” Gambhir added.

Gautam Gambhir, who retired from the game in 2018, is now a politician. He is also connected to cricket as he does commentary and host shows.


Mohammad Azharuddin Opens Up Why VVS Laxman Missed Out The World Cup

Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin feels that the former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman was unlucky to miss out from experiencing a World Cup match. Azharuddin also opened up his feeling of why Laxman didn’t play many ODI matches.

VVS Laxman was one of the greatest Indian batsmen who served the national team from 1996 to 2012. Apart from playing 134 Tests (8781 runs), Laxman also played 84 ODIs where the right-handed batsman scored 2338 runs (average 30.76), including six centuries and ten fifties.

VVS Laxman, World Cup, ODI
VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)


While the Hyderabad cricketer Laxman made his Test debut under Sachin Tendulkar’s leadership in November 1996, he made his ODI debut in April 1998, when another Hyderabad cricket star Mohammad Azharuddin was leading the Indian team.

Talking about Laxman’s missing out the ODI cricket, especially during his good time, Azharuddin pointed out his fielding abilities. Though the former Indian captain feels that Laxman was an outstanding fielder, who took 174 international catches (135 Test catches and 39 ODI catches), he also believes that Laxman had to improve his fielding in the non-slip areas.

Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin (Image Credit: Google)

Azharuddin recently told Sportskeeda on Facebook, “Maybe the selectors felt that because of his fielding abilities he missed out. That’s what I gather. But as a player, he got two-three hundreds in one-day games as well. I think he got a couple of hundreds in Australia as well… He was a very good fielder, taking more than 120 or 130 catches. But in one-day matches, you can’t just field in the slips. You are required to field everywhere, wherever you are put.”

I think VVS Laxman was unlucky as a batsman: Mohammad Azharuddin

Respecting captain’s view according to the team’s requirement, Azharuddin feels that Laxman was unlucky as a batsman.

VVS Laxman, World Cup, ODI
VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)

The former Indian skipper added, “Sometimes we have to go with the combination and the captain’s view. I think he was unlucky as a batsman. Sometimes you can shield the fielders also.”

Another former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly, who is the current President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), once admitted that Laxman deserved to feature in a Cricket World Cup. However, when Ganguly led the Indian team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 in South Africa, where the Indian team finished as the runners-up, Laxman was not selected in the 15-member squad.

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