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Ind vs Eng: Fans flout social distancing norms in bid for tickets for second Test

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 12 (ANI): Wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing are mandatory during visits for the redemption of tickets but the fans were seen flouting COVID-19 safety norms while doing so in Chennai ahead of the second Test.
The second Test between India and England, which gets underway on Saturday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, will see the return of fans in the stadium after a more than 11-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The second Test will have 50 per cent crowd in attendance, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary had confirmed last week.
Speaking to ANI, TNCA secretary RS Ramasaamy said that the association has got the final approval from the BCCI to allow fans to come in for the second game of the Test series.
“We will have 50 per cent crowd for the second Test,” he had said.
The redemption of online tickets was done from 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. on Friday at booth number six and eight located at Victoria Hostel Road for ‘C, D, E and F’ Stands, at Wallajah Road near Gate No. 11 and 12 for ‘I, J, K and H’ Stands.
Meanwhile, on all match days, online tickets can be redeemed between 8.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
“I bought the ticket for the second day. I’m a big Indian fan. With Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Ajinkya Rahane, India’s batting line-up is strong and it seemed to be a little weak in the first match but still, we have hopes for the three Tests,” Darshan one of the cricket fan who was outside the stadium for the tickets, told ANI.
England defeated India by 227 runs in the first Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.
England’s winning start against India in their ICC World Test Championship series has kept alive the visiting side’s hopes of making the final of the nine-team competition.
The victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday lifted England to first place and 70.2 percentage points on the points table and they’ve improved their chances of securing one of the three series results in their favour that could see them through to the final – 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0.
India, who have slipped to the fourth position with 68.3 percentage points, cannot afford another loss in the four-match series and will be looking to win at least two of the remaining three matches to secure a 2-1 or 3-1 result and a place in the final.
The second Test will be played in Chennai at the MA Chidambaram Stadium before the cricketers move to Ahmedabad for the third and fourth Test. (ANI)

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Liverpool mourns demise of former player Ian St John

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Liverpool [UK], March 2 (ANI): Liverpool on Tuesday mourned the demise of former player Ian St John, who died at the age of 82.
“Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of Reds legend Ian St John, aged 82,” the club said in a statement.
St John passed away on Monday evening following illness, the club said.
The former forward made 425 appearances for the club over the course of a hugely successful decade between 1961 and 1971, scoring 118 goals.
Under the management of Bill Shankly, St John was the scorer of one of the most iconic goals in Liverpool’s history when he netted in extra time to secure their first ever FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Leeds United in 1965.
League title wins were achieved either side in 1964 and 1966, while the Scot had earlier helped the Reds into the First Division by gaining promotion in his first season following his transfer for a then club-record fee of £37,500 from Motherwell.
Liverpool also mentioned Ian’s family’s statement which read: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that after a long illness we have lost a husband, father and grandfather. He passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside.” (ANI)

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Zidane feels Real Madrid ‘deserved a lot more’ after draw against Real Sociedad

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Madrid [Spain], March 2 (ANI): Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is not quite satisfied with the point his team secured against Real Sociedad and said his side “deserved a lot more” from the game.
Real Madrid and Real Sociedad played out a 1-1 draw in the LaLiga here on Tuesday.
“We deserved a lot more, particularly when you look at the chances we created. We didn’t put them away, especially in the first half and that could have changed the complexion of the game. They had one chance and scored,” the club’s official website quoted Zidane as saying.
“That’s the way things go in football. We’ve had games where we won when we perhaps didn’t deserve to. This doesn’t change anything. I think we’re in good shape, that’s now five wins and a draw and we must remember that there’s still a long way to go,” he added.
During the match, Portu scored the opening goal, putting Real Sociedad ahead in the 55th minute. However, Vinicius Junior’s goal in the dying minutes of the game saved Real Madrid from the defeat, and the match concluded on the same.
Securing one point from the game, Real Madrid now have 53 points, five points behind table-toppers Atletico Madrid.
Reiterating that there is still a long way to go, Zidane said his side needs to keep picking up points.
“All of the teams drop points over the course of the season. We know that we have to keep putting points on the board. We’ve also dropped points and will be trying to keep picking up the points. It’s the last time I’ll say it, but there’s still a long way to go,” he said. (ANI)

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Former Indian cricketer Madan Lal gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Madan Lal, who was an integral part of the World Cup-winning Indian team in 1983, on Tuesday received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lal, 69, took the vaccine at the Jeewan hospital and nursing home. The former India pacer was “proud” to get the jab and praised the “organised and well-handed” procedure employed in the hospital.
“In the fight against Covid -19 .. I’m vaccine strong!!! “Proud to get the Jab “. Organized and well handled at Jeewan hospital and nursing home !!” Lal tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Team India head coach Ravi Shastri took the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Shastri, 58, got the jab at the Apollo Hospital in Ahmedabad.
The second phase of Covid-19 vaccination — for those above 60 years of age, and people between 45 and 59 years of age with specific comorbidities — began on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with other political leaders, got vaccinated on the first day.
Shastri is currently with the Indian cricket team participating in a four-match Test series against England.
Virat Kohli’s men are 2-1 up in the series, having won the third Test, played with the pink ball, by 10 wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium here last week. The fourth and final Test of the series is slated to begin on Thursday.
India requires only a draw in the fourth game in order to seal their berth in the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, scheduled to be played at the Lord’s, London from June 18-22. New Zealand has already secured a spot in the WTC final. (ANI)

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Those are the type of players that we aspire to bring: Beckham reveals interest in Messi, Ronaldo

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Leeds [UK], March 2 (ANI): Former England captain David Beckham has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the type of players that he aspires to bring to his club, Inter Miami.
Beckham is the co-owner of Inter Miami and has already acquired the likes of World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi and ex-Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain.
“Without a doubt, those are the type of players that we aspire to bring to our club,” Goal.com quoted Beckham as saying at a fan event ahead of the 2021 MLS pre-season when quizzed on interest in Messi and Ronaldo.
“I think that the fans would really appreciate that. But, as owners, we want players here that are driven, that want to win, and that’s our priority. With Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo, these are players that we feel add to the glitz and the glamour of what the club is,” he added.
Former Manchester United player, Beckham, said Juventus’s Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Messi have been at the top of their game for the last 15 years because of their hard work.
“Going forward, we also want to bring other players in if we have the opportunity to bring some great names in, you obviously mentioned Leo and Cristiano. They’ve been at the top of their game for the last 15 years because of hard work. Sir Alex Ferguson was a master at it,” he said.
“He didn’t always bring in the best player in the world. He didn’t always bring in the top player. He bought the right player for the club. And I think that that’s the one thing that I take into our club, is the player has to be right,” Beckham added. (ANI)

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ICC Player of the Month: Ashwin nominated after impressive all-round display

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Dubai [UAE], March 2 (ANI): India’s senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been nominated for the International Cricket Council (ICC) men’s Player of the Month (February) award.
The ICC on Tuesday announced the nominees for the ICC Player of the Month Awards for the month of February to recognise the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket.
Alongside Ashwin, England skipper Joe Root and West Indies all-rounder Kyle Mayers have also been nominated for the month of February in the men’s category.
Ashwin played 3 tests against England as part of India’s ongoing series against them. In these Tests, he scored a 106 in the second innings of India’s second Test victory over England in Chennai and took his 400th Test wicket in the third Test victory in Ahmedabad.
Scoring a total of 176 runs across these games while also taking a total of 24 wickets, Ashwin is the deserving candidate to be nominated in the men’s category for Feb.
England Test captain Joe Root makes it to the list of nominations again this month for his outstanding performance with the bat and the ball.
He scored a total of 333 runs and took 6 wickets overall in the 3 Tests that he has played against India. In the first Test against India, Root scored a 218 to lead England to victory.
From the West Indies, Test debutant Mayers played 2 Tests against Bangladesh and scored a match-winning 210 to help the West Indies successfully chase 395 and win the first Test against Bangladesh. This performance alone is deserving of this nomination.
In the women’s category, England opening batter Tammy Beaumont and all-rounder Nat Sciver and New Zealand batter Brooke Halliday have been nominated for the month of February.
Tammy Beaumont’s unbeaten 72 helped England to a comfortable seven-wicket win against New Zealand. She played 3 ODIs and passed fifty in each of these against New Zealand, totalling 231 runs.
Brooke Halliday of New Zealand also played 3 ODIs against England and scored a total of 110 runs and took 2 wickets in these games. Brooke also went on to become just the fourth woman to score half-centuries in each of her first two ODI matches.
England’s Nat Sciver went on to take 5 wickets and score a total of 96 runs in the 3 ODIs she played against New Zealand. Nat was the leading wicket-taker in the ODI series between New Zealand and England and added an innings of 63 in the second match that they won.
India wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant had won the men’s award in January while the women’s award went to South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail. (ANI)

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ICC Women’s ODI rankings: Mandhana drops two slots, Mithali retains ninth spot

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Dubai [UAE], March 2 (ANI): England opener Tammy Beaumont on Tuesday made a jump of five places to grab the top position among batters in the ICC women’s ODI rankings after an excellent display in the three-match series against New Zealand which her team won 2-1.
India opening batter Smriti Mandhana has dropped down two slots in the rankings and as a result, she is now at the sixth spot. Mithali Raj has maintained her ninth spot in the ODI rankings.
In bowling rankings, Jhulan Goswami (fifth), Poonam Yadav (sixth), Shikha Pandey (seventh), and Deepti Sharma (tenth) have all held on to their respective spots.
The 29-year-old Beaumont has overtaken the likes of West Indian Stafanie Taylor and New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite to top the list and now leads Australia captain Meg Lanning by 16 points.
This is for the first time in her 12-year ODI career that Beaumont is number one, her previous best being the fourth position in July 2019. She has gained a whopping 49 points after topping the series with 231 runs, which comprised knocks of 71, 72 not out and 88 not out.
Natalie Sciver has moved into the top 10 after scoring 96 runs in the series while captain Heather Knight has progressed three slots to reach 13th position after aggregating 135 runs. Amy Jones is another England batter to move up the rankings, from 27th to joint-25th position.
Sciver, who bowls medium pace, has progressed 12 places to a career-best 22nd in the list of bowlers after finishing with five wickets in the series. Her effort with both bat and ball also resulted in her moving up three places to fifth position in the list of all-rounders led by Ellyse Perry of Australia.
Other England bowlers to gain in the new weekly system of updating, which will see women player rankings updated each Tuesday and those for men each Wednesday, include Katherine Brunt (up to two places to ninth), Sophie Ecclestone (up to one place to 14th), and Sarah Glenn (up to three places to 44th).
For New Zealand, who host the ICC Women’s World Cup one year from now, all-rounder Amelia Kerr’s match-winning effort of 72 not out and four for 42 in the final ODI has lifted her 10 places to 47th position among batters and up to two places to 11th among bowlers. She is now 13th on the list of all-rounders.
Brooke Halliday, who smashed half-centuries both times she batted in her debut series, has entered the rankings in 59th position while medium-pacer Hannah Rowe has gained three slots to reach 43rd position among bowlers. (ANI)

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