Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, who is gearing up for the upcoming Indian Super League where he will be leading Bengaluru FC, has stated that staying inside a bio-bubble “isn’t easy”.
In a video posted on his Twitter handle, Chhetri on Thursday revealed that during the last three week’s of the team’s quarantine, he has been keeping himself busy by doing double training sessions, reading books, watching renowned broadcaster and historian Sir David Attenborough’s A Life On Our Planet.
“This is our third week inside the bio-bubble and I must confess it isn’t easy but, of course, needed. We are doing double time session and we are trying our best as a team to be as fit as possible before the tournament starts,” Chhetri said in a one minute-16 second video.
“It’s just 10 days left and I am pretty sure all of you are waiting for the ISL as I am and the whole team is,” he added.
The 2020/21 season of the ISL will start on November 20 with all matches to be played in three bio-secure venues across Goa amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
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WHAT PANT DID IN TWO MONTHS, NO ONE WOULD DO IN LIFETIME: SHASTRI
AHMEDABAD: After the success over England in the Test series, India head coach Ravi Shastri on Sunday gave special mention to wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and said nobody can match what he has done in the last two months in even their entire lifetime. “At 21, I had similar success, so I can relate to what these guys have done. Yes, after IPL Pant came with a lot of baggage. He has trained harder than anyone. The results are not just for him to see but for the whole world to see,” Shastri said in a virtual press conference on Sunday. “When you have a naturally brilliant match-winner of his ability playing to the potential there is no greater sight for cricket. I think in the last two months what he has done for India, no one would ever do that in a lifetime. His keeping was outstanding,” he added.
We deserve to be in WTC final: Kohli
‘Well, we are quite relieved now that we have made it to the WTC final. Probably, if you look at the last 2-2.5 years and how we have played, we deserve to be in the finals,’ says India skipper Virat Kohli.
AHMEDABAD: After reaching the final of the World Test Championship (WTC), Team India skipper Virat Kohli said that his side completely deserves to be there in the summit clash of the Test Championship.
Team India on Saturday roared into the final of the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) following an emphatic 3-1 series win over England. Kohli’s men, who defeated England in the fourth and final Test by an innings and 25 runs at the Narendra Modi Stadium, will now face New Zealand in the WTC final slated to be played from June 18 to 22, with June 23 as the reserve day at the iconic Lord’s Stadium in London.
“Well, we are quite relieved now that we have made it to the WTC final. Probably, if you look at the last 2-2.5 years and how we have played, we deserve to be in the finals. Now, it’s just about getting together as a group and focusing on that big game which is quite exciting for us as a team,” said Kohli in a video posted on the official website of BCCI.
Speaking about the upcoming WTC final, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said: “I think the way we came back as a team, each and every individual stepped up. Credit to everyone, I think everyone hung in there. It is all about the team, we always speak about how we can contribute to the team and that’s what we did. I am really happy as an individual and as a vice-captain. Our journey in not only the WTC, but before that as well, we played really well.”
Batsman Rohit Sharma said that India bounced back after every challenge that was thrown to them, and hence the side completely deserves a place in the finals. “Big congratulations to every team member and the staff for making it to the final. It has been a long journey since the WTC started, we played well in India and we played outside India as well. We were put in difficult situations many times and we responded well to those situations that is why we stand here in the finals of the WTC. We deserve to be in the finals of the WTC,” said Rohit.
India finished as the number one team with 72.2 percentage points in the WTC points table, the factor that determined the final placings rather than total points won, following a change to the points system owing to the Covid-19 disruption.
The Black Caps were the first team to ensure a place in the final with 70 percentage points. Australia finished third with 69.2 percentage points while England ended with 61.4 percentage points at the fourth position.
Road Safety World Series: Pietersen stars in England Legends’ win
Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], March 7 (ANI): England Legends captain Kevin Pietersen stole the show in the low-scoring match as they got a maiden win in the Road Safety World Series T20 against Bangladesh Legends at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium in Raipur on Sunday.
Pietersen cracked a quickfire 17-ball 42 to help England chase down a 114-run target with 36 balls to spare. In his entertaining knock, Pietersen slammed seven boundaries and a six. Darren Mandy saw the team through to 117 in 14 overs with an unbeaten 32.
Earlier, England bowlers put up a strong show as they restricted Bangladesh to a low score of 113 for five in 20 overs. Captain Kevin Pietersen, who won the toss and elected to field first, used seven bowlers to put the opponents in check.
Of England bowlers, seamer Chris Tremlett was the most successful with two wickets for 10 runs while left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who opened the bowling, was the most economical of the lot.
Bangladesh, who lost their opening tie to India Legends, continued to struggle with the bat. Struggling for shots on a slow wicket, Bangladesh ended up throwing wickets one after another and were down to five wickets for 55 runs at one stage.
Opener Nazimuddin, who played a crucial role for Bangladesh against India with 40 runs, failed to put up a better show and was dismissed by left-arm pacer Ryan Sidebottom for 14-ball 12.
In search of a partnership, lower middle-order batsmen Khaled Mashud and Mushfiqur Rahman did the rescue act with a 56-run stand for the sixth wicket.
Both Mashud and Rahman kept a check on their shots and chose to rotate the strike to avoid another collapse.
In the end, Mashud had to return retired hurt after scoring 31 not out off 39 balls with three boundaries while Rahman got an unbeaten 30 from 26 balls and four hits to the fence.
Brief scores: Bangladesh Legends 113/5 (Khaled Mashud 31 retd hurt, Mushfiqur Rahman 30*; Chris Tremlett 2/10); England Legends 117/3 (Kevin Pietersen 42, Darren Maddy 32*, Phil Mustard 27, Mohammed Rafique 2/31). (ANI)
PSL 6: Independent fact-finding panel named to review bio-secure protocols
Lahore [Pakistan], March 7 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday named an independent fact-finding panel that will review the bio-secure protocols that were put in place during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 6.
PCB on Thursday had announced that the PSL season 6 will be postponed with immediate effect following a string of positive COVID-19 cases. PCB had said the decision was made after seven cases were reported in the competition, which had started on February 20.
“Distinguished infectious disease experts Dr Syed Faisal Mahmood and Dr Salma Muhammad Abbas have been appointed as independent members of the two-person fact-finding panel that will review the bio-secure protocols as well as the bylaws that were put in place during the Pakistan Super League 6,” PCB said in a statement.
The board said the independent panel will submit its findings and recommendations to PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani by March 31.
“The independent panel has been tasked to carry out a holistic and detailed review of the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures for the Pakistan Super League 6, identify any gaps and advise as to the reasons why the bio-secure environment did not remain COVID-free,” the statement read.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, in a statement, said: “The PCB takes the health and safety of its players, player support personnel and match officials seriously. We have demonstrated our duty of care in the international series against Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as during the nine domestic events in which we successfully staged 220 matches. This included the 34-match National T20 Cup in Multan and Rawalpindi as well as the first and second elevens Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and the Pakistan Cup in Karachi.
“The independent panel of two distinguished experts has been appointed with the sole purpose of an honest, constructive and objective review. The independent panel will speak with all the relevant stakeholders, including the event and hotel staff, medical and compliance officers, team players, and managements, so that we can get a better understanding how the cases occurred. The independent panel will make such recommendations as it considers appropriate,” he added. (ANI)
Rangers win Scottish Premiership title after Celtic held to draw by Dundee United
Glasgow [Scotland], March 7 (ANI): Rangers FC has won the Scottish Premiership title after Celtic FC were held to a goalless draw by Dundee United on Sunday.
Rangers on Saturday inched closer to sealing the title after a 3-0 win over St Mirren. With Celtic’s witnessing a draw, Rangers can mathematically no longer be caught with six matches still to play.
Steven Gerrard’s team has 88 points from 32 games while Celtic has 68 points from as many games.
It’s title number 55 for the club – the most of any football club in the world.
“There is little doubt today’s success can be put down to the unbelievable loyalty of the Rangers support – you stood by this club in its hour of need, and you deserve this success as much as every member of Steven Gerrard’s players and backroom staff, Ross Wilson, Douglas Park and the club’s board,” the club said in a statement.
The club has been simply outstanding this season and is still unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership. (ANI)
England players will be staying for the whole of IPL: Silverwood
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 7 (ANI): England coach Chris Silverwood has said that England players will be available for the whole of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The IPL Governing Council on Sunday announced the schedule for IPL 2021 to be held in India across six venues from April 9. England are scheduled to play a two-match Test series against New Zealand, starting June 2.
“We have not looked at selection for the Test matches yet. For me, playing for your country is a big thing. It is always difficult to change anything. So, they will be staying for the whole IPL as it stands at the moment,” Silverwood said during a virtual press conference.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Chennai in the tournament opener.
“After nearly two years, the IPL extravaganza will return home with Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata hosting the marquee event,” the BCCI said in a statement on Sunday.
The final of the 14th edition of the tournament will be played on May 30 at Narendra Modi Stadium. Playoffs will also be played at the same venue.
“The World’s Largest Cricket Stadium – Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the Playoffs as well as the final on 30th May, 2021 which promises to be a visual spectacle. The newly-built stadium that hosted India’s second pink-ball fixture at home with great grandeur will host its first-ever IPL,” the release read.
The BCCI said that this IPL will be played “behind closed doors to begin with and a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament”.
“The fixtures of the tournament have been mapped in a way that every team will travel only three times during the league stage, thus reducing commute and minimising risk,” it added.
Each team is set to play at four venues during the league stage. Out of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru will host 10 matches each while Ahmedabad and Delhi will host eight matches each.
One of the highlights of this edition of the IPL will be the fact that all matches will be played at neutral venues, no team will play at their home venue. All teams will play at four out of six venues during the league stage.
There will be a total of 11 doubleheaders where 6 teams will play three afternoon matches and two teams will play two afternoon matches. The afternoon games are slated for a 3:30 PM IST start while the evening games will have a 7:30 PM IST start.
“After hosting the tournament safely and successfully in the UAE last year with all safety protocols in place, the BCCI is confident of hosting the IPL at home with health and safety of players and all people involved being paramount,” the release concluded. (ANI)
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