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Dial BCCI for help to save TV revenues

Cricket boards have been worried on how to make money from TV contracts if no matches are held. The shortcut is to get a series with India, and fast.

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The BCCI uses TW3 for those up to the age of 16, along with verifying the documents they submit.

The aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak has almost pulled the covers on the cricket field. Given their dire financial situation in these social distancing times, every cricket-playing nation is eager to have a bilateral series with India, the home of the richest cricket board in the world, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which generates almost 70% of the revenue for the International Cricket Council (ICC). Most of the series under the nascent World Test Championship have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak and some are on the verge of being delayed. Similarly, ODI and T20 series have also been put on the backburner. Given how cricket boards have sold broadcast rights for crores of rupees, it is a perplexing situation for them: how will they earn if there is no cricket? Cricket Australia, which has lost millions of dollars by investing heavily in the stock market, has had to lay-off 80% of its staff. They are finding it difficult to even organise the T20 World Cup. Australian government guidelines are strict too, no foreigner can enter that country until mid-September. The Australian guidelines can prove to be just the insulation since the ICC, which organises the T20 World Cup, will need to pay the host’s their share. But it is small change compared to a bilateral series with India. Ever since the Covid-19 havoc began to snowball, their frustration has also increased since the series has not been sealed and delivered. To make the deal sweeter for themselves, Cricket Australia has proposed to the BCCI to extend the 4-match Border-Gavaskar series with one more match. Second, the Australian board wants to host the Indian players at a luxurious hotel in Adelaide Oval for the 15- day quarantine as per guidelines. Further, Cricket Australia is ready to even hold the full series behind closed doors at the Adelaide Oval where India has done well. The reason for this generosity is the fact that Cricket Australia has a six-year deal with Fox Sports and Channel 7 for $1.2 billion. If the series does not take place, then Cricket Australia will lose at least $2 crore. The India-Australia series has gained in prestige and comes almost second after the Ashes now. It would not be wrong to say that the India-Australia series has replaced the India-Pakistan series in terms of popularity. India and Pakistan have not played a Test series since 2008, and the reason the India-Australia series has been highlighted is because of India winning the 2001 home series against Australia thanks to the heroic performances of V.V.S. Laxman and Harbhajan Singh. The Indian team is on a high in world cricket after becoming the first Asian team to beat Australia in Australia and has become world number 1. In recent times, barring New Zealand, India has done well against every other country and has become a broadcaster’s delight. Though Cricket Australia had been pretty upset with India’s disinterest for pink ball cricket, the scenario is much different now. At the Adelaide Oval, India defeated Australia last year where Cheteshwar Pujara scored a century in the first innings and a half-century in the second while Rishabh Pant equalled the record for most dismissals behind the wicket in that Test. Meanwhile, the hopes of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are pinned on the Asia Cup and they have stated that they will not push dates even if it collides with the Indian Premier League. Their frustration is felt by everyone. Pakistan’s series against Bangladesh has not been completed. Similarly, England-West Indies, New Zealand-England, South AfricaWest Indies, New Zealand-West Indies series have been postponed. The ODI series between India and South Africa has not been completed due to coronavirus. Even this year’s Pakistan Super League has not been completed. Similarly, the coronavirus sword hangs over the Caribbean League, The Hundred and the IPL. Although, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is in better shape, it is definitely losing a lot of revenue due to the postponement of many series including The Hundred. England, India and Australia generate more than 3/4th revenue in the cricket world but the ICC has scrapped the “Big 3” model. Cricket West Indies has admitted the non-payment of match fees to the players. Their men’s team has not been paid for the home series against Ireland in January and the Sri Lanka tour in February and March. It is not a secret either that to help its balance sheet, the BCCI has been playing bilateral series with Sri Lanka time to time. Other boards like Bangladesh and Pakistan are eyeing the allocations for the T20 World Cup. But the priority of the BCCI is to organise the IPL. If the T-20 World Cup is not taking place this year, the BCCI wants to use that timeframe for the IPL. That will surely bring a smile on the faces of cricketers across the world.

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HOCKEY JUNIOR WORLD CUP IN BHUBANESWAR TO BE PLAYED WITHOUT SPECTATORS

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The FIH Odisha men’s Hockey Junior World Cup Bhubaneswar 2021 scheduled to begin on November 24, will be a telecast-only affair as Hockey India and FIH jointly decided to hold the marquee quadrennial tournament without the presence of spectators as part of precautions against COVID-19.

“With the sheer popularity of the sport in this region and expected crowds in the stadium, the organisers believe it would not be possible to control that number of people and yet follow all the necessary COVID guidelines and protocols laid out by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare , Ministry of Home Affairs , Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, State Government, FIH and Hockey India,” Hockey India said in a statement. According to organisers, social distancing is a priority due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation and the safety of the fans and athletes needs to be prioritised.

Hockey India said for the organisers, it is imperative to hold the tournament in an environment where the health and safety of the participating teams are of paramount importance.

While the stadium will only be open to accredited personnel and the participants of the tournament, the fans can tune in and cheer for their favourite teams and players, across platforms around the world for all games.

The tournament will see 16 teams in the fray. The participating teams include defending champions and hosts India, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands and the United States.

The classification matches will be held from November 30 with the quarter-finals to be played on December 1, semi-finals on December 3 and the title clash will be held on December 5.

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Matteo Berrettini seals spot in 2021 ATP Finals

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Italy’s Matteo Berrettini will make his second ATP Finals appearance after becoming the sixth singles player to qualify for the 2021 season finale, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from November 14-21.

The 25-year-old secured his return to the year-end championships for the first time since 2019 when he reached the Erste Bank Open second round on Monday. This year marks the first edition of the ATP Finals in Turin, following a 12-year stint in London. “My words aren’t going to describe the happiness I feel in my heart,” said Berrettini in a release by ATP. “2020 was a tough year for me on and off the court. Here I am about to play my second [Nitto ATP] Finals and I can’t believe it. I always have to remember where I started. I didn’t dream about this, because it was so big, but now it’s happening. I want to do my best,” he added.

Berrettini has notched a 40-10 record this season, including a run to his first major final at Wimbledon (l. to Djokovic). He went on to climb to a career-best Number 7 in the ATP Rankings — making him the highest-ranked Italian since Corrado Barazzutti in 1978.

The Italian also lifted the Serbia Open trophy in Belgrade (d. Karatsev) in April, reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Zverev) in May and clinched the cinch Championships crown in London (d. Norrie) in June.

Berrettini joins Russian Andrey Rublev and four former Nitto ATP Finals champions in the Turin field: World Number 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, US Open champion Daniil Medvedev of Russia, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev of Germany.

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NZ PACER FERGUSON RULED OUT OF T20 WC WITH CALF TEAR

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New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE with a calf tear.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in a release stated “Ferguson felt tightness in his right calf following training last night (Tuesday) and a subsequent MRI scan on game-day revealed a grade two tear which would require three to four weeks recovery.” With the Blackcaps set to play five pool games over the next 13 days, coach Gary Stead said they had no option but to rule Ferguson out of the tournament.

“It’s a real shame for Lockie to have this happen on the eve of the tournament and the entire team is really feeling for him right now,” Stead said.

“He’s a massive part of our T20 side and has been in such good form – so to lose him at this time is a blow. However, we are fortunate to have a like for like replacement in the form of Adam who has been with the squad training for the past two weeks.”

Stead indicated Ferguson would be replaced in the 15-player tournament squad by Adam Milne subject to approval by the ICC Technical Committee.

Milne is already in the UAE with the team having been selected in the squad as travelling injury cover.

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As team we were taken aback, says SA skipper Bavuma on De Kock’s withdrawal against WI

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South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma said the Proteas respect opener Quinton de Kock’s decision to not take a knee in the ongoing T20 World Cup on Tuesday.

De Kock decided not to take the knee ahead of Tuesday’s game against the West Indies and the batter missed the match following his decisions. “I think obviously as a team we’re obviously surprised and taken aback by the news. Obviously, Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat, but the role he plays from a senior point of view and from an experience point of view, and not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously something I wasn’t looking forward to,” said Bavuma in the post-match press conference as per ICC.

“In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He’s a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions. I know that he’ll be standing behind whatever decision that he’s taken.”

“From the team’s point of view, unfortunately, we still have to get the job done. There was still a game of cricket there for our country, and it was important, as much as everything was happening, that we found a way to get into the right mental space and take it home for our country,” he added.

Cricket South Africa said all players had been required, in line with a directive of the Board on Monday evening, to “take the knee” in a united and consistent stance against racism.

“I don’t know how far it’s going to develop. I mean, the decision that he’s taken is only today, so I can only speak about what has happened today. It wouldn’t be my decision whether to replace Quinton or to get a substitute. That would be probably the coach and the selectors,” said Bavuma.

“But as far as we stand, Quinton is still one of the players. He’s still one of the boys, so whatever support that he needs, whatever shoulder that he requires from his teammates, we’ll be there for him.”

“If there’s a need for further conversations to be had, I’m sure those will definitely happen amongst the guys,” he added.

The South Africa skipper said instruction from the country’s cricket board came in the morning and De Kock might have taken his decision of not taking the knee afterwards.

“The instruction from the board came in the morning, this morning. A meeting was convened between a couple of members, and that’s where that message was passed on to us. We then before, I guess, getting on the bus to travel to Dubai, that message was passed on to the players,” said Bavuma.

“I think the trip was about an hour and a half to two hours. In that trip I guess that’s where Quinton made his decision. We found out — I found out as the captain when we got to the changing room,” he added.

South Africa defeated West Indies to open their Super 12s account on Tuesday.

The Proteas limited the West Indies to 143 for eight as Dwaine Pretorious took three wickets late on to put the brakes on an innings that had looked set to reach a far more imposing total after opener Evin Lewis’s blistering 56.

In reply, South Africa rallied well from the early loss of captain Bavuma and never looked in trouble in pursuit of the runs as Aiden Markram’s destructive 51 not out from just 26 balls broke the West Indies’ resolve en route to an eight-wicket win.

SOMETHING THAT WE FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT:

WINDIES

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said that the Caribbean team feels very strongly about taking the knee and they will continue to do it in the ongoing ICC Men’s ICC T20 World Cup.

Pollard added education is sort of key and every individual has their own opinions on taking the knee which is now widely considered as a stance against racism.

“It’s something that we feel strongly about as a team and as a people, as well, and we will continue to do it,” the Windies skipper said in a post-match press conference on Tuesday.

‘INDIVIDUALS SHOULD DECIDE’

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has said an individual should determine if they want to be involved in any movement or not after South Africa’s Quinton de Kock decided not to “take the knee” ahead of Tuesday’s game against the West Indies in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

“Surely it’s down to the individual to decide whether he or she wants to be involved in any movement … A Cricket board should request players to do it but if that individual decides they don’t want too it should not stop them playing the game of Cricket … #T20WorldCup #DeKock,” Vaughan tweeted.

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MAKRAM SHINES AS SOUTH AFRICA BEAT WINDES BY 8 WICKETS

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Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen starred as South Africa thrash West Indies by eight wickets in the Group 1 encounter of Super 12s in the ongoing ICC men’s T20 World Cup here at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.

South Africa chased the target of 144 with eight balls to spare as Markram and Van der Dussen played the innings of 51* and 43* respectively. Chasing 144, excellent work in the field by Russell provided exactly the start West Indies had hoped for as Temba Bavuma walked back in the first over. Hendricks and Van der Dussen then forged a 50-run stand for the second wicket as South Africa consolidate their position in the chase.

Hosein then dismissed Hendricks to give a vital breakthrough to WI but the duo of Van der Dussen and Markram stitched another 50-run partnership and held SA’s innings in good shape.

The pair then cruised South Africa to victory and handed defending champions their second successive defeat in the tournament.

Put in to bat first, West Indies started off cautiously off the blocks initially after which Evin Lewis started to free his arms and took the attack against South African bowlers, especially to the part-time spin of Aiden Markram. At the end of the powerplay, their score read 43/0.

Evin Lewis continued his charge against SA bowlers as he brought up his half-century in the 10th over. But in next over, Maharaj removed dangerous-looking Lewis. He walked back after scoring 56 off 35 balls. Nicholas Pooran followed the opener soon.

The other WI opener, Lendl Simmons was dismissed in the 14th over after his 16 off 35 balls. West Indies lost a few wickets in clumps in the end but managed to make 143 runs in their 20 overs for South Africa to chase.

Brief Scores: West Indies 143/8 (Lewis 56, Pollard 26; Pretorius 3-17) vs South Africa 144/2 (Aiden Markram 51*, Rassie van der Dussen 43*; Akeal Hosein 1-27)

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Haris Rauf, Asif Ali fire Pakistan to thrilling win against New Zealand

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Haris Rauf scalped four before Asif Ali blistering cameo of 27 in 12 balls helped Pakistan defeat New Zealand by five wickets here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Tuesday.

Pakistan limited New Zealand to 134 for eight and then chased down the target with 8 balls to spare. With this win, Pakistan is now leading the Super 12 Group 2 with four points. Asif whacked one four and three sixes while Shoaib Malik smashed 26 to help Pakistan chase down 135 despite a wobble in the middle.

Chasing 135, Pakistan got off to a slow start and Babar Azam’s wicket in the sixth over further dented the team’s hopes. Tim Southee cleaned bowled Babar to take his 100th T20I wicket.

Ish Sodhi then trapped Fakhar Zaman in front of the stumps as Pakistan got reduced to 47/2. The Babar-led side lost two quick wickets in the name of Mohammad Hafeez and Mohammad Rizwan as New Zealand gained control over the game.

Conway flew in the air to pull off an absolute stunner which ended Hafeez’s stint at the crease.

However, Asif came to rescue Pakistan as he stitched an unbeaten 48-run stand with Shoaib to take his home in the 19th over.

Put into bat first, New Zealand scored 134/8 in 20 overs as Haris Rauf starred with the ball picking up four wickets.

Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson and Devon Conway scored 27, 25, 27 runs as New Zealand batsmen struggled to get their feet in.

The Kiwis got off to a decent start but Pakistan kept taking wickets at regular intervals which didn’t allow New Zealand to post a respectable total.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 134/8 (Daryl Mitchell 27, Conway 27; Haris Rauf 4-22) vs Pakistan 135/5 (Mohammad Rizwan 33, Asif Ali 27; Ish Sodhi 2-28)

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