Category Archives: Fanzfront

Pakistan team issued Indian visas; likely to land in Hyderabad on Wednesday

The uncertainty over Pakistan’s participation in the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 finally came to an end after visas were issued to the Green Brigade late on Monday, the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) said.

The global body’s confirmation came after the complaints of a delay in the process of visa issuance to the Pakistan cricket team.

Earlier, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wrote to the ICC about the visa delay which, it said, had disrupted the team’s preparation for the showpiece event, set to begin on October 5.

“Visas have been issued to the Pakistan team,” an ICC spokesperson told Reuters without elaborating anything further on the matter.

Meanwhile, PCB spokesperson Umar Farooq also confirmed to Reuters that they have been asked to collect their passports from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Notably, India and Pakistan face each other only in ICC or ACC events like the World Cup and Asia Cup as there has been suspension of bilateral cricket from a long time.

Earlier, Farooq had reacted strongly over the visa delay and had decried the “inequitable treatment” metered out to the Pakistan team, who are scheduled to arrive in India on Wednesday.

“There has been an extraordinary delay in getting clearance and securing Indian visas for the Pakistan team for the ICC World Cup,” Farooq said in the statement.

“We have written to ICC raising our concerns about inequitable treatment towards Pakistan and reminding them of these obligations towards the World Cup. It’s a matter of disappointment that the Pakistan team has to go through the uncertainty ahead of the major tournament,” he had added.

Notably, the Green Brigade will play two warm-up games before beginning their 2023 World Cup campaign. Both the matches will be held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

Pakistan will take on New Zealand in their first warm-up match in Hyderabad on September 29 before facing Australia on October 3 at the same venue.

Later, the highly-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan will be played on October 14 at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad.

Warm-up game between Pakistan, New Zealand to be played behind closed doors, confirms BCCI

Pakistan’s warm-up match against New Zealand in the upcoming 2023 ICC ODI World Cup on September 29 will be played behind closed doors at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, the BCCI confirmed on Monday.

All the 10 participating teams at the showpiece event will be playing some warm-up games ahead of the main tournament, which gets underway on October 5.

However, spectators will not be allowed for the Pakistan vs New Zealand warm-up match due to inadequate security in Hyderabad while the other games will be open for fans. As per reports, there will be a lack of adequate security provided by Hyderabad Police during the festive season.

“The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 warm-up match between New Zealand and Pakistan scheduled to take place in Hyderabad on 29th September will now take place behind closed doors as per the advice of the local security agencies,” the BCCI said in a statement on Monday.

“The match in Hyderabad coincides with festivals on the day and large gatherings are expected around the city. The spectators who bought tickets for the game will receive a full refund,” it added.

Earlier, the Hyderabad Police had urged the state cricket association to shift or change the date of the game as they won’t be able to provide enough security due to the game clashing with the festivals of Ganesh Visarjan and Milan-Un-Nabi which culminate on September 28.

However, the Indian board had rejected the appeal as they had already made some amendments to the busy schedule.

Notably, the highly-anticipated India vs Pakistan ODI World Cup clash was originally scheduled for October 15 in Ahmedabad but was later shifted to October 14. The BCCI made the change as October 15 was the first day of Navratri which sees Garba nights being held across the state of Gujarat where massive crowd is witnessed.

The change in the schedule of the clash between the arch-rivals further forced the ICC to make a few more changes in the original schedule. Significantly, India’s last league game against the Netherlands, a day-night clash to be played in Bengaluru, has now been shifted to November 12 from November 11.

Notably, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan will begin their campaign against 1996 champions Sri Lanka in Hyderabad on October 10. The BlackCaps, the runners-up of the 2019 edition, will take on defending champions England at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad on October 5, the first game of the showpiece event.

Hasaranga is highly unlikely to play the World Cup: SLC medical panel chief

Wanindu Hasaranga is most likely to miss the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup 2023, getting underway on October 5 in India, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) medical panel chief Arjuna de Silva has expressed.

The star cricketer is still recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered during the Lanka Premier League’s (LPL) playoffs last month which also ruled him out of Sri Lanka’s recent Asia Cup campaign.

The 26-year-old is facing a significant setback due to a grade three hamstring tear which has put a big question mark over his participation in the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2023.

The severity of the injury has led to speculation that Hasaranga may undergo surgery, which could further put him out of action for at least a period of three months.

However, the SLC is hopeful of his participation in the showpiece event and is looking for every possible way to bring him in action at the showpiece event. As per reports, the SLC is in consultation with foreign doctors to determine whether a surgery is necessary and are considering every other options to utilize his valuable services in the World Cup.

Despite this, SLC medical panel head Arjuna de Silva has stated that it is most unlikely that Hasaranga will be able to participate in the World Cup.

“We are consulting foreign doctors to see whether he needs surgery or not,” SLC medical panel chief Arjuna de Silva told the Sunday Times newspaper.

“If he does, he will be out for at least three months. At the moment, the situation is not that great and it’s highly unlikely if he can play the World Cup,” he added.

De Silva further expressed that the SLC is trying their best to get Hasaranga ready in time for the showpiece tournament but also admitted that it would ultimately depend on the opinions of the consultant.

“Since he is a key weapon in our attack, we are looking at other options to see how best we can get his services at least for important games. All that depends on the opinions of the consultant to whom we are trying to show his reports,” added De Silva.

Notably, only the islanders Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the two teams who are yet to name their final squad for the Men’s ODI World Cup. The two sides still have a time until Thursday (September 28) as it is the deadline for all the ten participating teams to submit their final 15-member squad to the ICC for the tournament.

Sri Lanka, the 1996 World champions and the runners-up in 2007 and 2011 editions, will begin their 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup campaign against South Africa at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on October 7.

bigbasket organizes Tata Ultra Marathon 10K Promo Run in Bengaluru

Demonstrating an unwavering commitment to health and wellness, bigbasket, a TATA Enterprise, organized the Tata Ultra Marathon 10k Promo Run on September 24 in Bengaluru.

The event witnessed an overwhelming participation of over 500 seasoned runners from across the city.

Under the captivating theme of ‘Moving Towards Wellness,’ the marathon was graced by the esteemed presence of senior figures from both bigbasket and Tata Sons. Among the dignitaries present were bigbasket Co-Founders Vipul Parekh, VS Sudhakar, and VS Ramesh, alongside COO TK Balakumar and Virat Mehta, Mukund Moghe, Saurabh Mitra from Tata Sons.

Initiating at 6 am from the South United Football Club Ground in Halasuru, the runners navigated through key locales: Cubbon Road, Cubbon Park, Vidhan Soudha Road, and MG Road.

In a world where maintaining one’s health and well-being is imperative, urban lifestyles and extended work hours often steer individuals toward sedentary routines, giving rise to persistent health challenges. To catalyze a positive shift towards well-being, bigbasket has committed to a series of initiatives, commencing with this promotional run.

Speaking about this, Vipul Parekh, Co-Founder and CMO, bigbasket, said: “In today’s world, there’s an urgent need to prioritize our health. Despite knowing this, our bustling lives often push well-being to the backseat. With initiatives like the Tata Ultra Marathon 10k Promo Run, bigbasket is not just promoting physical activity but also spearheading a movement. We’re driving home the message that an active lifestyle isn’t just a choice, but a necessity.”

The TATA Ultra Marathon will be held on 25th February 2024 (Sunday). Tata Ultra Marathon and Tata Challenge Run cover distances of 50 km and 35 km, respectively. Both race categories are open for men and women to participate in. The event has been carefully planned to be held in Lonavala in order to maximise the pleasant February vibes, and provide a challenging run across undulating slopes of the Sahyadris that will put every runner’s endurance to test. The route will cover scenic views of the region, and refreshments, water, physio, medical aid, ambulances, portable toilets, and other facilities will be made available on the route.

Axar Patel ruled out of third & final ODI vs Australia in Rajkot

Axar Patel has reportedly been ruled out of the third and final ODI between India and Australia, set to be played on Wednesday in Rajkot, after the all-rounder failed to recover from injury he picked during the Asia Cup 2023.

Axar wasn’t included in the India squad for the first two games against Australia. He was however, included for the third and final ODI, which was subjected to his fitness. However, now it’s being reported that Axar could get fit in time for India’s warmup games ahead of the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup.

According to a report in Cricbuzz, Axar is still recovering from a left quadriceps strain and undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

The left-arm spinner had picked up the injury during India’s Super 4 clash against Bangladesh following which he was forced to miss the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka. Washington Sundar was flown in as his replacement and played in the title clash which India won.

On the other hand, star India opener Shubman Gill and all-rounder Shardul Thakur have been reportedly rested for the upcoming third and final ODI against Australia, scheduled to be held in Rajkot on Wednesday.

Gill, who is the leading run-getter in the ongoing three-match ODI series with 178 runs from two matches, will now miss out a chance to topple Pakistan skipper Babar Azam in the ICC ODI ranking.

India have already won the three-match series with victories in the first two ODIs in Mohali and Indore.

Meanwhile, regular skipper Rohit Sharma and run-machine Virat Kohli, who were rested for the first two ODIs against Australia, will be making a comeback in the third and final ODI.

Also, fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who was also rested for the second ODI in Indore, will be returning to the Indian side for the final game on Wednesday.

According to a report by the Indian Express, both Gill and Thakur will not fly to Rajkot and will instead join the squad in Guwahati for the World Cup 2023 warm-up game against England on September 30.

Paarl Royals announce Fabian Allen as Wildcard signing ahead of SA20 Auction

Royals Sports Group-owned franchise Paarl Royals on Monday announced the latest addition to their retained squad as they pre-signed West Indies all-rounder Fabian Allen as a Wildcard pick ahead of the SA20 2024 Auction, set to be held on September 27 in Johannesburg.

The signing means that the Boland Park-based franchise will go into the auction with 16 pre-signed and retained players, with the likes of David Miller, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Lungi Ngidi, and Tabraiz Shamsi making for a strong core of experienced international players.

The new signing, 28-year-old Allen, hails from Jamaica and joins fellow West Indian Obed McCoy at the Paarl Royals, having impressed with his impactful performances with the bat for Jamaica Tallawahs in the recently concluded season of the CPL.

Internationally, Allen made his T20I debut for the West Indies in 2018, and has since appeared in 34 matches, picking up 24 wickets at an economy of 7.43 while also boasting of an impressive strike rate of 176.8 in the last five overs in the CPL.

Commenting on the Wildcard signing, Royals’ Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara said: “Fabian is an all-round talent who offers us depth in both batting and bowling, and is a livewire in the field. He is someone who has played in a lot of T20 competitions around the world, and we are pleased to have him in the squad given the flexibility he brings to this team.”

South African batters David Miller, spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin, pacer Lungi Ngidi, all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, top-order batter Wihan Lubbe, and wicket-keeper batter Dane Vilas were all retained by the Royals earlier, along with domestic talent which includes batter Mitchell van Buuren, all-rounder Ferisco Adams, and pacers Codi Yusuf and Evan Jones.

T20 World Cup-winning captain and highest scorer in SA20 2023 Jos Buttler, English opener Jason Roy and West Indies’ seamer Obed McCoy, were also announced as pre-signed players by the franchise.

In addition, the Royals had also signed highly-rated 17-year-old pacer, Kwena Maphaka, as an uncapped player, who became the youngest-ever player to be signed at SA20.

16-member Paarl Royals squad which has been retained and pre-signed by the franchise ahead of the Auction:

South African Players:
David Miller
Lungi Ngidi
Tabraiz Shamsi
Bjorn Fortuin
Andile Phehlukwayo
Dane Vilas
Wihan Lubbe
Mitchell van Buuren
Ferisco Adams
Codi Yusuf
Evan Jones
Kwena Maphaka

Jos Buttler
Jason Roy
Obed McCoy
Fabian Allen

Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur rested for third & final ODI vs Australia in Rajkot

Star India opener Shubman Gill and all-rounder Shardul Thakur have been reportedly rested for the upcoming third and final ODI against Australia, scheduled to be held in Rajkot on Wednesday.

Gill, who is the leading run-getter in the ongoing three-match ODI series with 178 runs from two matches, will now miss out a chance to topple Pakistan skipper Babar Azam in the ICC ODI ranking.

Before the start of the series against the Aussies, Gill, who was on 814 rating points compared to Babar’s 857, needed 200 runs to become the No. 1 ODI batsman ahead of the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. The in-form opener will now end the series with just 22 runs short of becoming the No. 1 batter in ODI cricket.

Meanwhile, regular skipper Rohit Sharma and run-machine Virat Kohli, who were rested for the first two ODIs against Australia, will be making a comeback in the third and final ODI.

Also, fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who was also rested for the second ODI in Indore, will be returning to the Indian side for the final game on Wednesday.

According to a report by the Indian Express, both Gill and Thakur will not fly to Rajkot and will instead join the squad in Guwahati for the World Cup 2023 warm-up game against England on September 30.

In the current year, opener Gill has two centuries against New Zealand and one each against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia this year. Meanwhile, Gill is also the leading run-scorer in ODIs in 2023 with 1,230 runs from 20 innings at a fantastic average of 72.35 and with a decent strike rate of 105.03.

The star opener also has a T20I century this year.

“It feels good. We are satisfied as a team, we have the momentum at the right time. It depends on the situation, there’s definitely some confidence,” Gill had said after the 2nd ODI against Australia in Indore.

“I can cover up later, and that confidence is because I am scoring at the moment. With the way KL (Rahul) and Surya (Suryakumar Yadav) played, they kept the momentum going. A target of 400 was going to be difficult on any surface, and the bowlers came out and did their job. I think the six against Green down the ground, it was really special for me,” he had added.

Overall, Gill has amassed 1,692 runs from 39 international innings in all formats of the game, with six tons at an average of 51. Former India great Sachin Tendulkar is the only Indian batter to score over 1,800 runs in one calendar year and Gill has a decent chance to break the record with the ODI World Cup just round the corner.

Asian Games 2023: Reliance Foundation launches campaign to encourage fans, Indian athletes

The 19th Asian Games has over 650 Indian athletes, its biggest contingent ever, representing the country at the continent’s showpiece event.

Reliance Foundation has launched the #LehraDoTeamIndia campaign to celebrate the Indian athletes and encourage the fans to get behind them with the iconic ‘Lehra Do’ cry as they aim to seek glory for the nation and make the tricolour fly high in Hangzhou, China.

The campaign features some of India’s most decorated and celebrated athletes as well as athletes who will be appearing at the Asian Games for the first time and have immense promise. Among the stars to feature in the campaign are two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu as well as hockey legends PR Sreejesh and Sushila Chanu.

It also features veterans Achanta Sharath Kamal (Table Tennis) and Virdhawal Khade (Aquatics), who have represented India at multiple Asian Games. Avinash Sable (Steeplechase) will be looking to add an Asian Games medal to his Commonwealth Games medal from last year, while Tejaswin Shankar (Decathlon) will look to add a decathlon medal to his bronze in high jump from the Commonwealth Games last year.

The campaign also has an eye on the future by including Shaili Singh (Long Jump), Anupama Upadhyaya (Badminton), Simranjeet Kaur (Archery), Mayuri Lute (Cycling) and Yash Tushir (Wrestling), who will all be making their first appearance at the Asian Games but are already among the brightest talents in the country.

Abhinav Bindra, the 1st Indian to win an individual Gold at the Olympics, also headlines the campaign. The campaign has been brought to life by Ogilvy.

Notably, the Reliance Foundation’s athletes have been in fine form this year, putting in impressive displays at the World Championships in athletics and boxing, the Asian Athletics Championships as well as the World University Games.

A total of 19 athletes from the Reliance Foundation will be competing at the Asian Games this year, including Lovlina Borgohain, Jyothi Yarraji, Amlan Borgohain, Jinson Johnson, Manika Batra, Shiva Thapa, Man Singh, Mohammed Afsal, Gulveer Singh, Kartik Kumar, Dhruv Kapila, Anupama Upadhyaya, Simranjeet Kaur, Vicky, Mrinal Chauhan, Tushar Shelke, Ganemat Sekhon, Palak Gulia and Kishore Kumar Jena.

Reliance Foundation also runs the largest corporate sports programs for the development of sports across the nation. Reliance Foundation’s Sports for Development initiatives have been helping kids across the nation to help achieve their sports dreams. These sports programs have a mass reach – promoting inclusivity, providing sponsorships, and sports science and nutrition assistance for the elite as well as promising upcoming athletes.

“Reliance Foundation celebrates the spirit of sports – joy, health, grit, determination, winning and losing. And works to ensure that more and more children and youth from all sections of society are able to play sports and, in the process, build a fitter, stronger and more active India. Our initiatives have touched the lives of over 22 million young people since 2013 across the country from 13,000+ schools and colleges, enabling an opportunity for a talented kid anywhere to be able to achieve their dream of a career/glory in sports,” the company said in a statement.

”We are especially committed to ensuring more presence and success of girl and women athletes in India and design our programmes in a manner that offers them maximum opportunities. At Reliance Foundation, we hope to be the wind beneath the wings of Indian sportspersons and help them reach their true potential,” it added.

ICC announce venues across Caribbean & USA for Men’s T20 World Cup 2024

The ICC on Friday confirmed the venues that will host the 2024 T20 World Cup from June 4 to 20 in the West Indies and the USA.

Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and St Vincent & The Grenadines are the seven Caribbean venues which will be hosting the showpiece event.

Meanwhile, the USA is also set to co-host the prestigious tournament for the first time with the Grand Prairie in Dallas, Broward County in Florida and Nassau County in New York announced as venues by the global cricket governing body.

Speaking about the announcement, ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “We’re delighted to announce the seven Caribbean venues that will host the biggest ICC Men’s T20 World Cup ever staged, with 20 teams competing for the trophy. They’re all popular venues with players and fans alike that will provide a wonderful backdrop to the event.”

“This will be the third ICC senior men’s event hosted by the West Indies, and the matches will again give cricket fans the unique experience of enjoying cricket in the Caribbean. I’d like to thank Cricket West Indies and the seven host governments for their continued commitment and support of our sport,” he added.

Meanwhile, a delighted CEO of Cricket West Indies Johnny Graves said: “This is an exciting moment as we announce the Caribbean venues approved to host the largest ICC T20 World Cup in history, with 20 teams playing in 55 matches in June next year.”

“We are grateful to the host Governments of the West Indies for their overwhelming responses and enthusiasm for hosting what will be the most significant sporting event held in the West Indies for a generation. The seven host countries have all committed to upgrading their international cricket venues and practice facilities, continuing to support and preserve the proud legacy of West Indies cricket. We are confident that together we will deliver a world-class event tournaments showcasing the best this region has to offer with our unique culture and carnival atmosphere that will ensure there is a real celebration of the sport next June,” he added.

Notably, USA was selected as the co-hosts back in November 2021 when the ICC Board awarded them the hosting rights.

The ICC said that the venues were chosen following an extensive evaluation of several options. 

In the 2024 edition, a total of 20 teams will be participating for the coveted title and the big prize money. While 15 teams have already been confirmed, the Americas, Asia and Africa Qualifier will determine the remaining five spots in the coming months.

United States and West Indies qualify by virtue of being hosts while Australia, England, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka will be part of the tournament after finishing in the top 8 in the 2022 edition.

Also, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have also qualified, courtesy their respective ranks in the ICC Men’s T20I Team Ranking at the end of the previous T20 World Cup. As of now, Ireland, Scotland and PNG have also sealed their berths for the showpiece event via the Qualifiers. 

How much will champion, runner up & others take home from 2023 ODI World Cup?

Winners of the upcoming 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup will see them earning a massive 4 million USD, which is Rs 33,18,30,800 crores, beside lifting the prestigious trophy at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Friday.

As per the global cricket body, the total prize money pool is 10 million USD, which is same that was given in the 2015 and 2019 editions of the showpiece event.

On the other hand, the runners-up of 2023 edition will receive 2 million USD (Rs 17 Crore Approx) while the losing semi-finalists will be handed 800,000 USD (Rs 6.63 Crore) each.

The upcoming event tournament will see prizes for each league match won. The winners of each match in the 45-match group stage will receive 40,000 USD and the six teams that do not qualify for the semi-finals will receive a payment of 100,000 USD.

In the 2023 ODI World Cup, the 10 teams will play each other once in a round-robin format before the top four advance to the semi-finals.

The upcoming edition will witness a total of 48 matches which will be held across ten iconic venues between October 5 and November 19.

The upcoming 13th edition of the event will kick-start with defending champions England taking on last edition’s runners-up New Zealand at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 5.

Hosts India, the 1983 and 2011 champions, will begin its campaign against five-time champions Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram in Chennai.

For the first time in history, India will be solely hosting the Men’s ODI World Cup.