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World’s largest stadium in Ahmedabad ready to host matches this February

Abhijit Bhatt

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AHMEDABAD: The Motera Stadium of Ahmedabad— also known by the name Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Cricket Stadium—the largest cricket stadium in the world, will finally re-open in February 2021. The stadium will be inaugurated with the next cricket series against England. The Test series against England is set to begin on February 7 and a day-night Test will be held at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium from February 24.

The stadium was constructed in 1983 and was first renovated in 2006. With the seating capacity of 110,000 spectators, it became the regular venue for international matches in the city. As of 2020, the stadium has hosted 12 Tests, 23 ODIs, and 1 T20Is matches. In 2015 the stadium was closed and demolished before being completely rebuilt once again.

The Gujarat Cricket Association has set up an indoor academy at a cost of Rupees 40 lakh so that the players can practice efficiently. The academy has four different types of wickets which will help improve the skills of the players in every way. Moreover, the special thing about the academy is that the rain will no longer intervene with the practice sessions.

The academy was inaugurated by BCCI Secretary Jay Shah. Parthiv Patel, former India wicketkeeper, who retired from all forms of cricket on Thursday, was also at the inauguration along with Shah.

Exactly one year after the grand ‘Namaste Trump’ program for US President Donald Trump last February, the Ahmedabad stadium is ready to host international cricket matches.

“The first Test will start from February 7 and the day-night Test will be played in Ahmedabad at the Motera Stadium from February 24. 5 T20I matches will be played in Ahmedabad’s Motera stadium,” Jay Shah said while inaugurating Gujarat Cricket Association’s indoor academy for young cricketers. The third India-England Test will be played from February 24-28 and will be a day-night affair at Ahmedabad’s refurbished Sardar Patel Motera Stadium, which can accommodate 1,10,000 spectators, though no fans are likely to be allowed inside as the series will be played in bio-secure bubble. The BCCI statement, however, did not specify if spectators would be allowed in.

It will be only the second pink-ball Test in India, after the one played against Bangladesh in Kolkata last year.

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WORLD C’SHIPS: AIBA INTRODUCES WHITE GLOVES; WINNERS TO GET ­MEDALS, BELTS AND PRIZE MONEY

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The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has announced that the official gloves of the World Championships will be now white in colour replacing the red and blue ones.

With the title win, the champions will also receive medals and belts to keep and wear with pride. AIBA will award the winners of the men’s World Boxing Championships with designed medals and belts to commemorate their accomplishments. Medals will be made of solid gold and silver respectively.

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DENMARK OPEN: PV SINDHU MARCHES INTO NEXT ROUND

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India shuttler PV Sindhu on Tuesday marched ahead to the next round of the ongoing Denmark Open.

Sindhu defeated Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit 21-12, 21-10 in a match that lasted for 30 minutes.

The ace Indian shuttler dominated the entire match and her Turkish opponent was left struggling to search for answers.

Earlier in the day, India men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy progressed to the next round of the ongoing Denmark Open.

The Indian duo defeated England’s Callum Hemming and Steven Stallwood 23-21, 21-15 here at Court 3.

Earlier in the day, Srikanth Kidambi got the better of compatriot B Sai Praneeth in straight sets in the men’s singles 1st round of Denmark Open here at the Odense Sports Park on Tuesday.

Playing at court-2, Kidambi inflicted a 21-14, 21-11 defeat on Praneeth in just 30 minutes. With this win, Kidambi has now moved into round-of-16 in the World Tour Super 1000 event in Denmark.

Srikanth completely outclassed and dominated Praneeth in both games.

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DON’T MIX SPORTS WITH POLITICS, INDIA-PAK T20 WC MATCH SHOULD GO ON: PRAKASH PADUKONE

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India badminton legend Prakash Padukone on Tuesday said that sports and politics should not be mixed with each other, and the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan should proceed as planned.India and Pakistan are slated to lock horns against each other in the World Cup on October 24 in Dubai.

“According to me, the match between India and Pakistan should go on. Sports and politics should not be mixed together,” Padukone told ANI.

Earlier on Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party had demanded that the Indian cricket team should opt-out of its match against Pakistan in ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai.

During a press conference, Atishi, AAP MLA from Kalkaji said, “We see people being attacked in Kashmir. I’m sure that even the Prime Minister agrees with the stand of not conducting the match (IND v PAK) as when in Opposition he used to question that when state-sponsored terrorism is taking place in India why should we play cricket with them?”

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Harbhajan Singh, Javagal Srinath among 18 new honorary members of MCC

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Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on Tuesday announced 18 new honorary life members. MCC awards Honorary Life Membership (HLM) of the club to some of the world’s finest cricketers.

Eight of the 12 Test-playing nations are represented in this year’s list, which includes some of the most recognisable names in the modern game.

England’s leading Test run-scorer, Sir Alastair Cook, is joined by fellow countrymen Ian Bell and Marcus Trescothick, totalling more than 39,000 international runs between them. A fourth England star, Sarah Taylor, returned to the field this year, appearing in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Charlotte Edwards Cup and The Hundred, and is recognised as one of the finest wicket-keepers of her generation.

Four South African legends have been awarded Honorary Life Membership, with Hashim Amla, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis and Morne Morkel all receiving the honour. Kallis’s 13,289 Test runs puts him third on the all-time run-scoring list.

Alex Blackwell and Damien Martyn of Australia are also included. Allrounder Blackwell won over 250 caps for her country across all formats of the games, and batter Martyn scored almost 10,000 international runs.

Indian duo Harbhajan Singh and Javagal Srinath both enjoyed fine international careers. Harbhajan is India’s third-highest wicket-taker in Tests, with 417 dismissals in 103 Tests, while Srinath is one of the country’s greatest ODI players, having taken 315 wickets and ended his career as India’s second-highest wicket-taker in ODIs.

Ian Bishop, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan all represent West Indies. Bishop took 161 wickets in just 43 matches, while Chanderpaul is West Indies’ most capped Test player (164) and only seven players have scored more than his 11,867 runs.

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BERRINGTON, BOWLERS SHINE AS SCOTLAND DEFEAT PNG IN GROUP B

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Richie Berrington’s 70-run knock and a spirited bowling performance helped Scotland defeat Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 17 runs in Group B of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Ministry Turf 1) on Tuesday.

Chasing 166, PNG got off to a horror start as the side lost five wickets and was reduced to 35/5. Tony Ura (2), Lega Siaka (9), Assad Vala (18), Charles Amini (1), and Simon Atai (2) all failed to leave a mark with the bat and Scotland was firmly at the top.

Sese Bau and Norman Vanua then put on 32 runs for the sixth wicket, but the required run-rate got a bit too much to handle and as a result, Bau (24) ended up losing his wicket to Chris Greaves, reducing PNG to 67/6 in the 12th over. Norman Vanua and Kiplin Doriga then provided a real scare to Scotland as the duo put on a quickfire stand of 53 runs for the seventh wicket. Mark Watt then dismissed Doriga (18) and Scotland needed 42 runs to win from the final three overs.

Vanua (47) however perished in the 18th over, and with this PNG’s hopes were dashed and Scotland registered a 17-run victory.

Brief Scores: Scotland 165/9 (Richie Berrington 70, Matthew Cross 45; Kabua Morea 4-31); PNG 148 all out (Norman Vanua 47, Sese Bau 24; Josh Davey 4-18).

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Spirited all-round performance sees Bangladesh defeat Oman in Group B

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Aspirited bowling performance helped Bangladesh defeat Oman by 26 runs in Group B of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground (Ministry Turf 1) on Tuesday.

Chasing 154, Oman lost its opener Aqib Ilyas (6) in the second over of the innings. Jatinder Singh and Kashyap Prajapati then put on 34 runs for the second wicket, but the partnership ended in the 6th over as Mustafizur Rahman dismissed Prajapati (21), reducing Oman to 47/2.

Jatinder then rallied Oman’s innings alongside skipper Zeeshan Maqsood and at the halfway mark, the score read 70/2, still needing 84 more runs to win from 60 balls. Both batters stitched together a 34-run stand for the third wicket, but as soon as Oman started to gain an upper hand, Bangladesh stormed right back as Mahedi Hasan dismissed Maqsood (12). Soon after, Jatinder (40) was dismissed by Shakib Al Hasan and Oman was reduced to 90/4.

Oman kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and in the end, Bangladesh registered a victory by 26 runs to keep their hopes alive of progressing to the Super 12 stage.

Earlier, Mohammad Naim and Shakib Al Hasan played knocks of 64 and 42 respectively as Bangladesh posted a score of 153. Opting to bat first, Bangladesh did not get off to an ideal start as the side lost its opener Liton Das (6) in the third over of the innings. Bilal had Das caught right plumb in front of the wickets. Soon after, Mahedi Hasan was dismissed for a duck by Fayyaz Butt and Bangladesh was reduced to 21/2 in the 5th over.

Mohammad Naim and Shakib then got together at the crease and the duo revived the innings for Bangladesh. The duo put on 80 runs for the third wicket, but as soon as Bangladesh started to gain an upper hand, Oman managed to dismiss Shakib (42) via a run-out. After Shakib’s dismissal, Bangladesh lost the wickets of Nurul Hasan (3), Afifi Hossain (1) and Naim (64) in quick succession and Bangladesh was reduced to 122/6 in the 17th over. However, in the end, Mahmudullah (17) ensured that Bangladesh posts a total of more than the 150-run mark.

Earlier in the day, Richie Berrington’s 70-run knock and a spirited bowling performance helped Scotland defeat Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 17 runs in Group B.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 153 all out (Mohammad Naim 64, Shakib Al Hasan 42; Bilal Khan 3-18); Oman 127/9 (Jatinder Singh 40, Kashyap Prajapati 21, Mustafizur Rahman 4-36).

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