All posts by News Desk

Sridharan Sriram appointed Bangladesh coach for Asia Cup, T20 World Cup: Reports

Former India cricketer and long-time Australia men’s assistant coach Sridharan Sriram, who left his job with the Kangaroos to focus on his coaching career in India recently, has reportedly been appointed by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to lead the national team in the forthcoming Asia Cup in the UAE and the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia in October.

“Yes, we have chosen Sriram up until the World Cup,” a BCB director was quoted as saying by The Daily Star on condition of anonymity about the former India cricketer.

“As we are moving forward with a fresh mindset, the new coach will be seen from the Asia Cup onwards. And since the T20 World Cup is our main target, he (a new coach) will not get time to adapt if he is not recruited from the Asia Cup. Many may say that there is not much left for the Asia Cup. However, as I said, our main focus is the T20 World Cup,” the BCB official was quoted as saying in the report.

The report added that BCB president, Nazmul Hassan Papon, had on Thursday hinted at making “drastic changes” to improve Bangladesh’s performance in the two mega events. The reported development means new coach, Russell Domingo of South Africa, who has also arrived in Dhaka, will now focus his attention to red-ball cricket.

“Domingo would continue his role in guiding the Test team, for now, as we have a Test match against India in November,” the BCB director was quoted as saying.

Sriram played eight ODIs for the India national side between 2000 and 2004, playing his last international match against Bangladesh in 2004 at Dhaka. Sriram is also in the coaching staff of IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Gambhir confirms to feature in Season two of Legends League Cricket

Legends League Cricket (LLC) on Friday confirmed the participation of former India opener Gautam Gambhir in the second season of the league, kicking-off on September 17.

“I am glad to share that I have committed to take part in the upcoming Legends League Cricket from September 17th onwards. I am excited in anticipation of being on a cricket field once again. It will be a privilege and an honour to rub shoulders once again with the glitterati of world cricket,” said Gambhir on his association with LLC season two.

Gambhir was a part of India’s World Cup-winning teams in the inaugural edition of Men’s T20 World Cup in 2007 and Men’s ODI World Cup in 2011. He had played a crucial 97-run knock against Sri Lanka in the 2011 ODI World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Overall, Gambhir represented India in 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is, scoring 6,170 runs in limited-overs cricket apart from 4,154 Test runs and also captained Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to clinching two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014.

Earlier, the LLC has added iconic players like Chris Gayle, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Shane Watson, Brett Lee, Mohammad Kaif, Irfan Pathan, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Jacques Kallis amongst others. The upcoming second season of the league will be played in six Indian cities: Kolkata, New Delhi, Cuttack, Lucknow, Jodhpur and Rajkot.

Meanwhile, LLC had recently also announced that a special match between India Maharajas and World Giants will be played at Eden Gardens on September 16.

Ticket sales reach 2.45 million for 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

A total of 2.45 million tickets have been sold so far for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, set to be held in Qatar later this year, the world soccer governing body has said.

According to FIFA, in the last sales period, which ran from July 5 to August 16, a total of 520,532 tickets were sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The biggest number of allocated tickets were for group stage matches like Cameroon v Brazil, Brazil v Serbia, Portugal v Uruguay, Costa Rica v Germany and Australia v Denmark.

“Fans living in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the USA, Mexico, the UAE, England, Argentina, Brazil, Wales and Australia led the way and the digital queues by securing the biggest number of tickets,” FIFA said.

Meanwhile, the launch date for the next sales phase will be announced in late September. Over-the-counter sales will also start in Doha after the launch of the last-minute sales phase.

The 64-game tournament begins a day earlier than originally scheduled with the opening ceremony taking place before the host nation kicks off the tournament on November 20 against Ecuador. Notably, it will be the first World Cup staged in the Middle East and Arab.

KKR appoints Chandrakant Pandit as their new head coach

Two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday announced the appointment of Chandrakant Pandit as their new head coach.

Pandit, a former India wicketkeeper who featured in five Tests and 36 ODIs, was the head coach of Madhya Pradesh side which recently lifted the 2021-22 Ranji Trophy for the very first time.

Commenting on his appointment, Pandit said: “It’s a great honour and privilege to be given this responsibility. I have heard from players and others who have been associated with the Knight Riders, about the family culture, as well as the tradition of success that has been created.”

“I am excited about the quality of the support staff and the players who are part of the set up and I am looking forward to this opportunity with all humility and positive expectations,” he added.

Notably, Pandit was a part of India’s squad for the 1987 World Cup and represented Mumbai, Assam and Madhya Pradesh in the domestic cricket circuit. He also won the Ranji Trophy twice as a player.

“We are very excited that Chandu is joining the Knight Riders family to lead us through the next phase of our journey. His deep commitment to what he does and his track record of success in domestic cricket, is there for everyone to see. We are looking forward to his partnership with our skipper Shreyas Iyer, which promises to be an exciting one,” said Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR.

Notably, Pandit has been a coaching stalwart in the Indian domestic cricket circuit as before Madhya Pradesh, he had also led Mumbai to Ranji Trophy titles in 2002-03, 2003–04 and 2015-16.

New dates for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games announced

The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) and HAPGOC, the local organising committee, on Wednesday announced that the 4th edition of the Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, originally scheduled to be held in October this year, will now be held from October 22 to 28, 2023.

The decision on the new dates came after discussions were held between HAPGOC, National Paralympic Committee of China, the APC and other stakeholders.

The duration of the Games remains unchanged and, after considering that the Para Games are usually held two weeks after the close of the Asian Games and ensuring that the proposed dates didn’t conflict with other international events, the new dates were agreed upon.

The Olympic Council of Asia last month announced the new dates for the Asian Games, which will be now held from September 23 to October 8, 2023.

“We are happy to announce the new dates for the Asian Para Games, which were approved by the APC Executive Board. We would also like to thank HAPGOC (organisers), the Chinese Paralympic Committee and Hangzhou and Zhejiang provincial governments for their continuous support and efforts to ensure that the Games take place on the new dates,” APC President Majid Rashed said.

Rashed also thanked the NPCs, international/ Asian federations and other stakeholders for their patience and trust in the APC and Hangzhou 2022 in announcing the Games’ new dates.

This is the second time China will host the Asian Para Games after the successful staging of the first edition of the Games, the Guangzhou 2010 APG.

Due to COVID-19, the Asian Games and Asian Para Games were postponed in May 2022.

ICC announces men’s FTP for 2023-27 cycle, India to play 20 Tests

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday released the much-awaited Future Tours Program (FTP) for the 2023-27 cycle as per which the Indian team will play 20 Test matches in the new cycle, starting with an away two-match series against Bangladesh in December 2022.

The men’s FTP will include a total of 777 international matches – 173 Tests, 281 ODIs and 323 T20Is – which will be a part of ICC events as well as bilateral and tri-nation series.

In the new cycle, India will host Australia for the much-awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy next year. The series will witness a five-Test matches in February and March rather than the usual four. India will then tour West Indies and South Africa for two-match series each.

Later in 2024, India will host England, Bangladesh and New Zealand, while travelling to Australia.

In 2025, India will tour England for a five-match Test series before hosting West Indies and South Africa.

In 2026, India will host Afghanistan for a one-off Test match before touring Sri Lanka and New Zealand. India’s final Test series of the 2023-27 cycle will be a home series against Australia.

Commenting on the development, ICC GM of Cricket Wasim Khan said: “We are incredibly lucky to have three vibrant formats of the game, with an outstanding programme of ICC global events and strong bilateral and domestic cricket and this FTP is designed to allow all cricket to flourish.”

England, Australia and India will feature in the greatest number of Test matches during the cycle, as they are set to play 22, 21 and 20 five-day games respectively. The upcoming cycle of the FTP also features five major ICC events, starting with the Cricket World Cup next year in India.

Champions Trophy in 2025 to be hosted by Pakistan. India and Sri Lanka will jointly host the T20 World Cup in 2026 and the FTP cycle will be rounded off by the Cricket World Cup in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia in 2027.

Speaking on the decision to increase in the number of match in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said: “I think spectators from Australia and India and probably anyone that loved the game around the world would have liked to have seen more Test matches between Australia and India, so absolutely I think it’s a fantastic initiative and more importantly, I think all the players will really enjoy that as well.”

“The thing about Australia-India series is that the conditions we play into so are so different and so contrasting. When India come to Australia they get the fast, bouncy wickets that offer something for the seamers,” Ponting told host Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review.

“And then when Australia go to India it’s pretty much the other way round with a lot of spin and a lot of reverse swing bowling. So that contrast in itself I think is what players really like and what the fans would love to watch,” he added.

Zimbabwe can possibly give India run for their money: Karim

Former India cricketer and ex-member of the senior selection committee Saba Karim has reckoned that Zimbabwe can give the visitors a run for their money during the upcoming three-match ODI series, starting from Thursday in Harare.

Saba said that based on their recent 2-1 series victory over Bangladesh in both 20-over and 50-over formats, the hosts can pose some serious challenge before Team India.

Although several senior Indian players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma have been rested in the Zimbabwe tour, the visitors still have a strong squad in stand-in captain KL Rahul, vice-captain Shikhar Dhawan apart from Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan and others.

“It is exciting to see a young Indian cricket team taking the charge and representing the nation in various international series. While the team will be playing under the close watch of some senior players like KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, the series will be crucial for preparing the young players for major cricket tournaments.”

“I also think Team India shouldn’t take Zimbabwe lightly, as their recent performance during the Bangladesh tour has highlighted their growth and they can possibly give Team India run for their money,” said Karim in an official release by the Sony Sports Network.

As per the release, Karim will be a member of the broadcast team on Sony for India’s three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe alongside Ajay Jadeja, Maninder Singh, Robin Uthappa, Dirk Viljoen, RP Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Vivek Razdan, Paul Valthaty in English and Hindi coverage.

Meanwhile, Kaif expressed that he is expecting the youngsters to grab the opportunities in the absence of senior cricketers.

“Zimbabwe is in good form and they have the chance to showcase their talent in this series against India. However, despite missing some key players, India is still a strong squad and we have a great team with players hungry to perform and grab the opportunity to make their mark with this series in Zimbabwe,” he said.

India will face hosts Zimbabwe in the first match of the series at the Harare Sports Club in Harare on August 18 while the remaining two games will be held on August 20 and 22.

Sony Sports Network announces broadcast plan for India’s tour of Zimbabwe 2022

Sony Sports Network has rolled out an extensive broadcast plan for the upcoming India tour of Zimbabwe 2022.

The three-match ODI series which will see a young Indian team touring Zimbabwe after years will kickstart on 18th August 2022. All the matches of the high-octane series will be telecasted LIVE on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi), and SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels as well as live-streamed on its on-demand OTT platform SonyLIV.

Capturing the excitement around the series, Sony Sports Network has launched the ‘Experience Tod Phod Cricket’ campaign. The campaign celebrates the return of our Men in Blue to Zimbabwe after years and anticipates fireworks on the pitch with top-class cricket and entertainment from the young brigade.

In order to provide a comprehensive viewing experience to its viewers, Sony Sports Network has announced the language feeds, commentators and panelists for its LIVE flagship studio show for cricket, EXTRAAA INNINGS. The wraparound show will feature former cricketers Saba Karim, Ajay Jadeja, Maninder Singh, Robin Uthappa, Dirk Viljoen, RP Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Vivek Razdan, Paul Valthaty along with presenters Matt Floyd and Arjun Pandit as part of the English and Hindi coverage.

The Tamil language commentary will be provided by WV Raman, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Thirush Kamini, Arun Venugopal, and Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan. Former cricketer Venkatpathy Raju along with Gnaneshwara Rao, Sandeep B, Rakesh Deva, and Sudheer Mahavadi will be seen doing Telugu language commentary.

The much-anticipated series will see a young team India led by KL Rahul along with Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, and Avesh Khan representing the nation. On the other hand, Zimbabwe will rely on their new captain Regis Chakabva along with Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, and Wesley Madhevere to make a mark against Team India.

Commenting on the development, Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer, Distribution and Head – Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks India, said: “A young Indian team will be touring a new Zimbabwean side and the squad led by KL Rahul will guarantee top class cricket to engage cricket lovers. We endeavor to provide a holistic viewing experience to the fans with the live broadcast of the series in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu along with a panel of former cricketers as part of our studio offering.”

Meanwhile, Saba Karim, Former Indian Cricketer, said: “It is exciting to see a young Indian cricket team taking the charge and representing the nation in various international series. While the team will be playing under the close watch of some senior players like KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, the series will be crucial for preparing the young players for major cricket tournaments.”

“I also think Team India shouldn’t take Zimbabwe lightly, as their recent performance during the Bangladesh tour has highlighted their growth and they can possibly give Team India run for their money,” he added.

On the other hand, Mohammad Kaif, Former Indian Cricketer, expressed: “Zimbabwe is in good form and they have the chance to showcase their talent in this series against India. However, despite missing some key players, India is still a strong squad and we have a great team with players hungry to perform and grab the opportunity to make their mark with this series in Zimbabwe.”

ICC announces maiden women’s Future Tours Programme

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced the first ever women’s Future Tours Programme (FTP), confirming the international cricket calendar for 10 teams over the next three years, incorporating all the three formats of the game.

With teams featuring in more matches across formats in bilateral series, over 300 matches will be played as part of the 2022-25 FTP, a substantial increase from the previous IWC cycle. As previously announced, Bangladesh and Ireland are two additional teams in the IWC 2022-25.

Issuing a statement, the ICC said: “Australia, England, India and South Africa are the teams to schedule multi-format series during this period.”

Among the fixtures are two multi-format Ashes series during the period consisting of one Test, three ODIs and three T20Is each – one in England in June 2023 and the other in Australia in January 2025.

Commenting on the development, ICC General Manager of Cricket, Wasim Khan, said the confirmation of the first ever women’s FTP was a watershed moment for women’s cricket. “This is a huge moment for the women’s game. This FTP not only lends certainty to future cricket tours but also sets the base for a structure that is sure to grow in the coming years,” Khan said.

“The ICC Women’s Championship, which underpins the FTP, is instrumental in propelling the game to the next level and the competitive matches that we saw in this year’s World Cup in New Zealand were a result of the greater number of matches that women have got to play because of the IWC. I thank the Member Boards in helping draft this historic FTP, which I am sure will go a long way in taking the women’s game to the next level,” he added.

Shahbaz Ahmed replaces injured Washington Sundar for Zimbabwe series

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Shahbaz Ahmed as a replacement for Washington Sundar for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, the board said in a statement on Tuesday.

Notably, Sundar had injured his shoulder while playing a County game in England and has been ruled out of the Zimbabwe tour.

India will play the first ODI against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on August 18 while the remaining two games will be held at the same venue on August 20 and 22.

India’s squad for 3 ODIs:

KL Rahul (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Shahbaz Ahmed.