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Indian batsmen are very capable: Ishant

When pacer Ishant Sharma was asked whether short-ball can be a good tactic during the twilight period at Motera, he said that both India and England would be on the same page when it came to adjusting to a new stadium.



India’s pace bowler Ishant Sharma.

India pacer Ishant Sharma on Monday said that the batters in his side are capable of handling whatever is thrown at them during the pink-ball Test against England.

The four-match series between India and England currently stands level at 1-1 and now both teams will lock horns in a pink-ball Test, beginning Wednesday at the Motera Stadium. This Test will also be Ishant’s 100th in the longest format of the game. When Ishant was asked whether the short-ball tactic can be a good one during the twilight period at the newly-built Motera, Ishant said that one cannot answer for sure as both India and England would be on the same page when it comes to adjusting to a new stadium.

“Till now, I cannot really say what will trouble the batsmen at Motera Stadium. This is the second Test we are playing with the pink-ball in India. Motera is a new ground, even for us, some things are new to us. I am sure our batsmen are really capable of tackling all the things in the pink-ball Test at Motera,” said Ishant while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.

Further talking about the Motera Stadium, Ishant said: “The stadium looks fantastic, we are looking forward to playing in this new stadium. We do not know what kind of playing conditions we will have to face in this new stadium as it is a pink-ball Test. The lights are different, once we are in, then only we can know what kind of track and line and length we need to employ.”

Earlier in the series, Ishant Sharma had become the third Indian pacer to take 300 wickets in Test cricket. Overall, he became the sixth Indian to do so.

“I did not know this stat that I have taken most of my wickets against England. I just focus on the plans we have for every opposition, I like sticking to them,” said Ishant.

India had achieved an emphatic 317-run win against England in the second Test of the ongoing four-match series. As a result, the series stands level at 1-1 and the Virat Kohli-led side has also reached the second spot in World Test Championship (WTC) standings.

India remains in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship. The victory in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted India to the second position with 69.7 percentage points on the points table but they cannot afford to lose another match as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship.

England, who led the table after winning the opening Test, has slipped to the fourth spot with 67.0 percentage points. They can still qualify, but for that, they must win both remaining matches of the series against India.

Sharma said that once he hangs his boots in the longest format, it would be important for Jasprit Bumrah to take it upon himself to groom the youngsters in the side.

“I would not like to name one. If someone plays for India, it means he is talented and he has performed in domestic cricket and IPL. After me, if I think there can be one to play a lot of Tests for India, then it has to be Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah has to lead the way for the youngsters, it would be important how he grooms the new talent. Mohammed Siraj has good control and Navdeep Saini has pace. Everyone is different, you cannot pinpoint one regarding who will play more Test matches,” said Ishant during a virtual press conference on Monday. “If you tell Saini to bowl at just one area, then you are not doing justice to his talent. Similarly, if you tell Siraj to bowl at 140, then you are not backing his strength,” he added.

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The Sports Authority of India has announced the appointment of the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), Commodore PK Garg, at the Mission Olympic Cell meeting held on Thursday.

Commodore Garg was the High-Performance Director with Sports Authority of India till June 2021 and is an Arjuna Awardee recipient (1990) in Sailing and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Awardee in 1993-94. He joined Indian Navy in 1984 and handled various important and prestigious assignments over 34 years of service.

As an ex-athlete, he represented India in five Asian Games from 1986 to 2002 in the Enterprise-Class Sailing Event and was a National Champion five times.

“He also won the Gold and Silver at the Enterprise Class Sailing World Championships in 1993 in Zimbabwe and 1997 in Goa. He also won a couple of Bronze medals at the 1990 and 1994 Asian Games,” read an official SAI statement.

He served as Secretary of Services Sports Control Board (Indian Armed Forces) from 2014-17 and has also served as the Joint Secretary of the Yachting Association of India for four years.

He will be assuming the charge of CEO TOPS on Monday, October 25, 2021.

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Manchester United owners showing interest to be a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) may be one of the reasons why the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on September 21 informed they have decided to extend the date for purchasing the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the right to own and operate one of two proposed new IPL teams document till October 10 from the initial deadline of October 5.

Speaking to ANI, sources in the know confirmed the interest shown by Manchester United owners. “Well yes, it is true that they have shown interest and that may be one of the reasons why the dateline was extended by the BCCI. IPL is not just restricted to India, it is a global entity now,” the source pointed.

The Governing Council of the IPL had issued the ‘Invitation to Tender’ (“ITT”) document available on payment of the non-refundable tender fees on August 31, 2021.

“Pursuant to request from interested parties, the BCCI has now decided to extend the date for purchasing the ITT document till October 10, 2021,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

The ITT will be available to interested parties on receipt of payment of the non-refundable tender fee of INR 10,00,000 (Rupees Ten Lac Only) plus any applicable Goods and Services Tax. All other terms contained in the Invitation document shall be applicable.

“Interested parties are requested to email at to get further details for purchasing the ITT,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, from the football world, Premier League club Newcastle United on Wednesday confirmed that Steve Bruce has left his position as head coach by mutual consent.

He leaves the Magpies after more than two years in charge, having steered the club to 13th and 12th-place finishes in the Premier League and reaching the quarter-final stage in both the Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup during his tenure. In an official release, Steve Bruce said: “I am grateful to everyone connected with Newcastle United for the opportunity to manage this unique football club.”

“I would like to thank my coaching team, the players and the support staff in particular for all their hard work. There have been highs and lows, but they have given everything even in difficult moments and should be proud of their efforts,” he added.

Graeme Jones will lead the team on an interim basis, starting with Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace, and will be supported by the coaching team of Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence, Ben Dawson and Simon Smith.

The process of recruiting a new head coach is under way and an appointment will be announced in due course.

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India shuttler PV Sindhu on Thursday progressed to the quarterfinals of the ongoing Denmark Open.

Sindhu defeated Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-16, 12-21, 21-15 in a match that lasted for one hour and seven minutes. Sindhu dominated the first game, but Thailand’s opponent staged a comeback to send the match into the third and final game.

However, the Indian shuttler maintained her composure to stage a win in the match.

Earlier in the day, India shuttler Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the ongoing Denmark Open. Srikanth lost his round of 16 match against Japan’s Kento Momota 21-23, 9-21.

Mixed doubles pair of Dhruv Kapila and N Sikki Reddy also bowed out after suffering a defeat against Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet.

The Indian duo displayed a fighting spirit throughout the game and was able to stretch their opponents to three games.

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West Indies Women to play three One Day Internationals in Karachi



West Indies Women will visit Pakistan for three ODIs in November. Karachi’s iconic National Stadium will host the matches on November 8-14, following which both sides will travel to Zimbabwe for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier to be held from November 21 to December 5.

This will be Pakistan women’s third bilateral series in 2021 after they toured South Africa in January-February and West Indies in June-July. Stafaine Taylor’s West Indies will arrive in Karachi on November 1 for what is a reciprocal tour. The top three of the 10 teams will qualify for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, which will be played in New Zealand.

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja said: “We are delighted to announce the West Indies women’s tour to Pakistan in November. This will be a great series for the promotion, publicity and growth of women’s cricket in Pakistan, besides also providing both sides excellent opportunity to prepare for the World Cup qualifier. West Indies women’s tour will be followed by their men’s side who will visit Pakistan for three ODIs and three T20Is in December. So, the Pakistan cricket fans can brace for some exciting and entertaining cricket in women’s and men’s cricket later this year.”

Meanwhile, the national women’s selection committee – which includes Urooj Mumtaz (the chair) and Asmavia Iqbal – has also announced an 18-strong squad for the upcoming three ODIs and the World Cup Qualifier.

Batter Javeria Khan will lead the contingent, which has been devised after considering the performances on the last two tours and the recent Pakistan Cup Women’s One-Day.

Pakistan Women for West Indies ODIs and World Cup Qualifier: Javeria Khan (captain), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Kainat Imtiaz, Maham Tariq, Muneeba Ali, Nashra Sundhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Rameen Shamim, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin and Sidra Nawaz (wicketkeeper)

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Bangladesh displayed a spirited all-round performance to thrash Papua New Guinea by 84 runs in Group B of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Ministry Turf 1) on Thursday.

Chasing 182, PNG was put on the back foot right from the very start as the side lost four wickets inside the first six overs and the team was reduced to 17/4. PNG was never able to recover from the horrible start they got, and in the end, Bangladesh bundled out PNG for 97 inside 19.3 overs to complete a comprehensive 84-run win.

Earlier, Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan played knocks of 50 and 46 to help Bangladesh score 181/7 in the allotted twenty overs. Opting to bat, Bangladesh did not get off to an ideal start as the side lost opener Mohammad Naim (0) in the very first over of the innings to Kabua Morea.

Liton Das and Shakib then put on 50 runs for the second wicket, but PNG remained in the contest by taking wickets of Liton (29) and Mushfiqur Rahim (5) in quick succession, reducing Bangladesh to 72/3 in the 11th over.

Shakib went on to play a knock of 46 runs but his dismissal in the 14th over required Bangladesh to revive their innings and rebuild to post a solid total on the board.

Mahmudullah ensured that Bangladesh do not lose momentum and the side posted a total of more than the 180-run mark. Afif Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin also played useful cameos of 21 and 19.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 181/7 (Mahmudullah 50, Shakib Al Hasan 46; Kabua Morea 2-26); PNG 97 all out (Kiplin Doriga 46*, Chad Soper 11; Shakib Al Hasan 4-9).

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Scotland defeat Oman to qualify for Super 12s

As a result of finishing at the top of Group B, Scotland will join India’s group featuring Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan.



Kyle Coetzer played a knock of 41 runs as Scotland defeated Oman by eight wickets in Group B of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Ministry Turf 1) on Thursday.

With this win, Scotland and Bangladesh have progressed from Group B to the Super 12 stages. As a result of finishing at the top of Group B, Scotland will join India’s group featuring Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan. On the other hand, Bangladesh will join Australia, South Africa, West Indies and England. Chasing 123, Scotland got off a steady start as openers George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer put on 33 runs for the first wicket. Oman got the much-needed breakthrough in the fifth over as Fayyaz Butt dismissed Munsey (20).

Matthew Cross then joined Coetzer in the middle and the duo did not let the momentum drop for Scotland. Both batters formed a 42-run stand, but with 48 away from the target, Scotland ended up losing the wicket of Coetzer (41) in the 10th over. In the end, Matthew Cross (26*) and Richie Berrington (31*) ensured that Scotland register a comfortable victory with 18 balls to spare.

Earlier, a spirited bowling performance helped Scotland bundle Oman out for 122. Opting to bat first, Oman got off to a bad start as the side lost its first two wickets with just 13 runs on the board. Jatinder Singh (0) and Kashyap Prajapati (3) both failed to leave a mark with the bat. Aqib Ilyas and Mohammad Nadeem then formed a 38-run stand for the third wicket, but this was cut short by Michael Leask as he sent Ilyas (37) back to the pavilion, reducing Oman to 51/3 in the 10th over.

Mohammad Nadeem (25) then departed in the 13th over as his wicket was taken by Mark Watt and Oman was reduced to 79/4 and the hosts were in dire need of a partnership. However, that did not prove the case as Sandeep Goud (5) also failed to leave a mark with the bat, leaving Oman at 93/5 in the 15th over. Oman kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and in the end, the hosts had to settle for a score of just over the 120-run mark.

Brief Scores: Oman 122 all out (Aqib Ilyas 37, Zeeshan Maqsood 34; Josh Davey 3-25); Scotland 123/2 (Kyle Coetzer 41, Richie Berrington 31*; Khawar Ali 1-27).

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