Category Archives: Fanzfront

Hero ISL to kick off with more excitement than ever

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) is set to return this Thursday (October 07) and is poised to be bigger and more exciting than ever. The season will welcome back its 12th Man – the fans, who come back to cheer their teams at the stadiums.

With a productive pre-season, where most Hero ISL teams sent their first teams to participate in the Durand Cup, the clubs are all set to give fans an enthralling experience across the season.

Last season’s champions Hyderabad FC will aim to become the first Hero ISL team to defend their crown successfully, but will have healthy competition to contend with.

With some major transfers in pre-season in the likes of Roy Krishna and Greg Stewart finding new home bases, and the influx of top international coaches, the title will be more closely contested than ever.

“This season, the teams are better I think,” said Manolo Marquez, head coach of Hyderabad FC. “There are some teams that have improved the quality of the squad and I think that in some moments this will be good, because I think all the teams will lose some important points. We could see last season that Odisha FC had chances to qualify even with only two games left. I think every team can beat the other teams, and it will be an equal competition for sure.”

Hyderabad FC will be looking for a repeat from their main marksman Bartholomew Ogbeche, who topped the scoring charts with 18 goals and led Hyderabad to being the highest-scoring team in the league stage. Ogbeche is part of a solid core for Hyderabad FC, which includes captain Joao Victor.

“I said this last year, I’m the one who wears the armband, but we are full of leaders in the team,” Victor said ahead of the season. “There are experienced players who can help the young guys we have.”

Hyderabad will have stiff competition from the likes of ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City FC, and Bengaluru FC, who have all put together strong squads ahead of the new season. Former Bengaluru FC defensive midfielder Erik Paartalu suggested that Mumbai City FC will be a constant threat to all teams this season and predicted that they would go on to win the title.

“Their squad is not good, it’s crazy good!” Paartalu said. “When Des Buckingham took over last season they had lost quite a few big players from the season before that did the double. They were very up and down last year but Des managed to steer the ship impeccably in the Asian Champions league which was a big confidence boost for everyone involved. The arrival of Greg Stewart, who was the best player in the league last season, is already looking like a great move after he warmed up in the Durand Cup winning the Golden ball and looking untouchable as usual. With the squad they have, it needs to be a trophy this season.”

Mumbai City FC had one of the strongest transfer windows ahead of the season, bringing in big names like Rostyn Griffiths, Alberto Noguera, and Jorge Pereyra Diaz in particular to slot in alongside their talented Indian contingent.

ATK Mohun Bagan are another team that have gone for a rehash in their squad, having fallen at the semi-final stage two seasons in a row, and more recently losing in the AFC Cup inter-zone semi-final. Coach Juan Ferrando has said there have been psychological barriers to his team in the big matches and the addition of experience to a squad that has only five players over the age of 30 will make them strong contenders again.

“You look at the ATKMB squad before a ball has been kicked and say, ‘YES, On paper’. Make no doubts about it, this squad has been assembled to win the league,” said ISL expert Paul Masefield. “With the addition of Ashish Rai and Ashique Kurunian, ATKMB will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”

Both Masefield and Paartalu have predicted that ATK Mohun Bagan will be in the top six and fighting for title honors at the end of the season, and that is also the case with Bengaluru FC. Striker Roy Krishna will be playing alongside legend Sunil Chhetri in attack for the side who have been fallen giants over the last two seasons, but looked to be back at their best when they lifted their first Durand Cup title last month. The striker was also their unanimous pick to win the Golden Boot this season.

The Hero ISL this season will also require six developmental Indian players in every squad, and will provide a long calendar for young Indian talent to showcase their best. Some emerging players to watch out for this season will be Chennaiyin FC’s Vincy Barretto, Kerala Blasters’ Prabhsukhan Gill, and Odisha FC’s Narender Gahlot. The Indian talent on display will also be led by players like Liston Colaco and Sahal Abdul Samad who had breakthrough seasons last time around.

‘Gutted’ to miss out on T20 World Cup 2022: Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah is “gutted” for not being able to lead Team India’s bowling attack during the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, which gets underway on October 16 in Australia.

Earlier on Monday (October 3), the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Medical team had ruled out the star pacer from the showpiece event. “The decision was taken following a detailed assessment and in consultation with the specialists. The BCCI will be naming a replacement for Jasprit Bumrah in the squad for the marquee tournament soon,” the apex body of cricket in India said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Bumrah thanked his friends and family for the wishes and said he will be cheering for Team India during the T20 World Cup. “I am gutted that I won’t be a part of the T20 World Cup this time, but thankful for the wishes, care and support I’ve received from my loved ones. As I recover, I’ll be cheering on the team through their campaign in Australia,” Bumrah tweeted.

Bumrah, was initially ruled out from the ongoing three-match T20I series against South Africa due to a back injury.

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that the T20 World Cup 2022 winning team on November 13 in Melbourne, will take home a cheque of $1.6 million.

The total prize pot of $5.6m will see the runners-up assured of $800,000 and the losing semifinalists will receive $400,000 each at the end of the 45-match tournament being played across seven venues in Australia from 16 October, as per ICC.

Following the same structure as the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, the eight teams that exit at the Super 12 stage will receive $70,000 each, with a victory in each of the 30 games in that phase worth $40,000.

Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa are confirmed to start their tournament at the Super 12 stage.

Teams whose campaigns begin in the first round are Namibia, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Scotland, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

Inaugural edition of SA20 league to begin on January 10 next year

The inaugural edition of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) SA20 will begin on January 10, 2023 where a total of six teams will participate in the tournament.

The six teams are namely MI Cape Town, Durban Super Giants, Johannesburg Super Kings, Paarl Royals, Pretoria Capitals, and Sunrisers Eastern Cape.

Intrestingly, all these six teams have owned by the group that also owns franchises in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL). All six squads have a total of 17 players – with a maximum of seven internationals. The auctions for the first edition were conducted recently with youngster Tristan Stubbs being the most expensive player after being bought for approximately US$ 520,000 by the Sunrisers franchise.

Johannesburg Super Kings will be led by former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opening batter Faf du Plessis, and their assistant coach will be another former CSK all-rounder Albie Morkel.

Commenting on the upcoming league, Morkel said: “The player auction was a huge success for us as Jo’burg Super Kings and for the league itself. There were a lot of quality local and international cricketers picked up and that will certainly produce competitive cricket from the teams …We have already started doing work behind the scenes and can’t wait for the action to start come January 10th.”

Former South Africa spinner and MI Cape Town general manager Robin Peterson said that the upcoming league will help the development of cricket in South Africa. “The SA20 is going to have a massive impact on South African cricket,” he said according to ESPNCricinfo.

“It is going to revolutionize the game in our country and if used correctly and to its full potential, it will be an exciting competition. Being on the ground working at the domestic level, there is a certain level of excitement from cricketers that there is a league within our own country. There’s knowing that if they showcase their skills, who knows where it may lead to, be it playing for the Proteas or getting deals around the world,” he added.

In the first season, a total of 33 matches will be played with the first match to be played on January 10. All teams will play each other twice in the league stages, followed by two semi-finals and the final.

Sachin Tendulkar ranked no.1 sports celebrity in Brand Endorser Report 2022

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has emerged as the top sports celebrity in the country and is followed by former India skippers Virat Kohli and M.S Dhoni in the Brand Endorser Report 2022.

The Brand Endorser Report 2022 is prepared by Hansa Research and is claimed to be the largest Indian consumer insights provider. It is also a comprehensive report of intensive research conducted across 36 Indian cities.

As per the syndicated study, Tendulkar is the most recognised celebrity in the sports category with a recognition score of 84 per cent. The Master Blaster is perceived to be popular, likable, global personality, confident, aspirational, fit, trustworthy, and relatable along with a huge fan following including a social media followers base. These factors make him a compelling brand ambassador for a range of products, the organisation said in a release on Monday.

Commenting on the significance of the report, Ashish Karnad, Executive Vice President, Hansa Research said, “Our study Brand Endorser is a holistic and comprehensive assessment of the value that an endorser brings to a brand. The study aids marketers to take informed decisions and improve the overall return of investment (ROI) in celebrity engagement.”

“Sachin Tendulkar is perceived as a humble star known for sincerity, loyalty and self-discipline. The brands acknowledge these traits and recognize that the audience will choose a product endorsed by an honest celebrity. This stands as a key reason for Sachin Tendulkar to remain as the most preferred celebrity under sports category for endorsements,” he added.

According to the Brand Endorser report, Tendulkar has surpassed some of the popular sports celebrities including India skipper Rohit Sharma, all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, etc. Another interesting finding reveals that ace tennis player Sania Mirza is the only female sportsperson to be ranked in the top 10 list under the sports category.

The celebrities are ranked as per the Brand Endorser (BE) Score results. They are tracked on various metrics like likability, social media influence, perception, marketing potential, recognition, etc. which make up their final BE Score.

As per the study, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan topped the overall list as the most recognised celebrity in the country with a very high All India Rank.

Hansa Research’s Brand Endorser Report covered more than 550 celebrities across domains in the country. For this study, the research was conducted amongst 5100 respondents across 36 cities in the country, the release said.

Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of T20 World Cup, confirms BCCI

Ace India pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been officially ruled out of the upcoming T20 WOrld Cup with a back injury, the BCCI announced on Monday.

Issuing a statement, the BCCI revealed that the decision was taken following a detailed assessment and in consultation with the specialists.

“The BCCI Medical team has ruled out Team India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup squad. The decision was taken following a detailed assessment and in consultation with the specialists,” the statement said.

“Bumrah, was initially ruled out from the ongoing Mastercard 3-match T20I series against South Africa due to a back injury. The BCCI will be naming a replacement for Jasprit Bumrah in the squad for the marquee tournament soon,” it added.

Before Bumrah, star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was also ruled out of the showpiece event last month with a knee injury.

Recently, Bumrah was forced to miss the Asia Cup due to his back injury. He was later declared fit for the three-match T20I series against Australia at home. The Indian pacer was out of international cricket since July this year.

After missing the first T20I against Australia in Mohali, he aapeared in the seocnd T20I and bowled two overs for 23 runs for just a wicket. In the final match of the series in Hyderabad, Bumrah leaked 50 runs from his allotted quota of four overs and remained wicketless.

After this unfortunate development, the senior national selection committee will likely pick either Mohammad Shami or Deepak Chahar, who have been added as stand bye players for the tournament.

Mumbai City FC partners exclusively with DreamSetGo

DreamSetGo, India’s premium sports experiences and travel platform, on Monday announced a partnership with Mumbai City FC to become their ‘Official Ticketing Partner.’

After the development, DSG and Mumbai City FC will work together to curate unique experiences to drive fan engagement and grow the fan base for the Club in India.

Founded in 2014, Mumbai City FC is a Mumbai-based football club that competes in the country’s top-flight league, Indian Super League (ISL). The club is leading the football scene from India by not only emerging as the ISL League Winners & Champions in 2020-2021, but also becoming the first Indian club to win in the prestigious AFC Champions League.

The new partnership with the club marks DreamSetGo’s entry into Indian football, following successful partnerships with international football clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea FC and Manchester United. DSG’s association with City Football Group started in 2021 as Manchester City’s Official Football Hospitality Experiences Partner in India.

Through this partnership, fans will currently get access to match tickets for all of Mumbai City FC’s home matches, and gradually exclusive fan experiences like premium matchday hospitality, opportunity to meet players, watch team training sessions, and more.

Commenting on the development, Monish Shah, Founder and Chief Business Officer, DreamSetGo, said: “This partnership is exciting and a landmark moment as it marks DreamSetGo’s entry into Indian football and an extension of our association with City Football Group. Their commitment to improving the Indian football ecosystem and our focus on improving fan experiences will play a key role in increasing the fan base for the Club in India.”

On the other hand, Kandarp Chandra, CEO, Mumbai City FC, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with DreamSetGo. In a landmark season when we will be welcoming fans back into the stands after two years, DreamSetGo’s know-how and experience of working with international football clubs will play a key role in helping Mumbai City expand and engage with our fan base across India.”

Bumrah still not ruled out of T20 World Cup: Ganguly

Even after severalmedia reports had suggested that Jasprit Bumrah will miss the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia with back stress fracture, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly has refused to rule out the star India pacer out of the T20 World Cup, scheduled to begin on October 16.

Contrary to reports carried out by media on September 29 and 30, the BCCI president said that as there was still some time left for the tournament, Bumrah is still not ruled out of it.

“Jasprit Bumrah is still not ruled out of T20 World Cup yet. The World Cup is still quite some time away. Let’s not jump the gun,” Sourav Ganguly was quoted as saying by RevSportz.

Earlier on Friday, the BCCI’s All-India Senior Selection Committee had named Mohd. Siraj as replacement for injured Bumrah for the remainder of the ongoing T20I series against South Africa.

Bumrah has sustained a back injury and is currently under the supervision of the BCCI Medical Team.

Earlier, before the first T20I between India and South Africa at Thiruvananthapuram, which the hosts won by eight wickets, the Indian board had said that Bumrah has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game after complaining of back pain during practice session on Tuesday.

“Jasprit Bumrah complained of back pain during India’s practice session on Tuesday. The BCCI Medical Team assessed him. He is ruled out of the first T20I,” BCCI had said in its statement on Twitter.

Meanwhile, media reports had suggested that Bumrah could also miss the upcoming T20 World Cup and he will not be traveliing with the Indian team to Australia.

“We have been told that his injury is not good and at the moment and it looks like he won’t be travelling to Australia with the Indian team. The medical team will submit detail report soon,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Recently, Bumrah was forced to miss the Asia Cup due to his back injury. He was later declared fit for the three-match T20I series against Australia at home. The Indian pacer was out of international cricket since July this year.

After missing the first T20I against Australia in Mohali, he aapeared in the seocnd T20I and bowled two overs for 23 runs for just a wicket. In the final match of the series in Hyderabad, Bumrah leaked 50 runs from his allotted quota of four overs and remained wicketless.

In case Bumrah is ruled out of the T20 World Cup in Australia, the senior national selection committee will have to pick either Mohammad Shami or Deepak Chahar, who have been added as stand bye players for the tournament.

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 winners to receive over Rs 13 crore in prize money

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday announced that the title winners of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be taking home a whopping cheque of USD 1.6 million, which is equivalent to Rs 130,869,603.20 in the Indian currency.

The total prize pot of USD 5.6m will see the runners-up receiving USD 800,000 while the losing semifinalists will receive USD 400,000 each at the end of the tournament. The showpiece event will be played across seven venues in Australia from October 16 to November 13.

Meanwhile, the eight teams that exit at the Super 12 stage will receive USD 70,000 each, with a victory in each of the 30 games in that phase worth USD 40,000.

Apart from defending champions and hosts Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, 2010 winners England, 2007 champions India, New Zealand, 2009 winners Pakistan and South Africa are confirmed to start their tournament at the Super 12 stage.

The same structure is in place for the first-round victories – with USD 40,000 available to those who win each of the 12 games, amounting to USD 480,000. The four teams knocked out in the first round will get USD 40,000 each.

Teams whose campaigns begin in the first round are Namibia, the Netherlands, 2014 champions Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Scotland, two-time champions the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

Australia was originally scheduled to host the event in 2020, before it was postponed due to Covid-19 and re-scheduled for October 16 – November 13 this year.

Matches will be played in Adelaide (Adelaide Oval), Brisbane (The Gabba), Geelong (Kardinia Park Stadium), Hobart (Bellerive Oval), Melbourne (MCG), Perth (Perth Stadium) and Sydney (SCG).

It’s the first time Australia will host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after hosting a record-breaking ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, which was held in February – March 2020 and won by the hosts’.

Cricket Australia inks 4-year platinum partnership with NRMA

Cricket Australia (CA) on Friday announced the signing of a new men’s Test naming rights partnership with NRMA Insurance in an event attended by Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Ellyse Perry.

After the signing, NRMA Insurance will hold the naming rights for all men’s Test series in Australia for the next four seasons, including the iconic Sydney Pink Test in support of the McGrath Foundation and the partnership will begin with the forthcoming men’s Test series against the West Indies and South Africa.

Meanwhile, it will also be the Official Insurance Partner of both Australia Men’s and Women’s international cricket teams, as well as supporting community cricket across the country.

Commenting on the development, Nick Hockley, Chief Executive Officer CA, said: “We are extremely proud to partner with NRMA Insurance and are delighted that cricket has been chosen as the sport to promote its iconic Australian brand. This partnership further emphasises the enduring popularity of Test cricket with the Australian public.”

“We are particularly excited that NRMA Insurance shares cricket’s passion for helping local communities, meaning that benefits for clubs and volunteers will be significant. This is a great way to start a momentous summer of cricket and we look forward to NRMA Insurance becoming a prominent part of the cricket family going forward,” he added.

This will be the first time NRMA Insurance has taken a national tier one partnership with an Australian sporting code, enabling the brand to bolster its national presence, and further demonstrating the wide reach and strong reputation of cricket as Australia’s national sport.

While the NRMA Insurance brand will be prominent at Australia’s iconic cricket stadiums, the partnership will also have significant benefits for local communities and cricket clubs.

As a part of this partnership, NRMA Insurance will work with CA to support the sport’s continued growth, which relies heavily on a large network of volunteers and helpers. NRMA Insurance will celebrate and advocate for these helpers, who are the lifeblood of Australian cricket.

On the other hand, Julie Batch, NRMA Insurance Group Executive said: “This is a significant and purpose-led partnership for NRMA Insurance. Cricket is considered Australia’s national sport, and one that is built on community connection, so it was the ideal partnership to support the continued growth of NRMA Insurance across the country as we deliver on our brand promise of Help. NRMA Insurance has been helping Australians for nearly 100 years and we believe in the power of help in building resilient communities.”

“Without the helpers behind our national teams, the families that support and encourage the stars of today and tomorrow, and the 220,000 volunteers across community club cricket nationwide, Australian cricket simply wouldn’t exist. In partnership with Cricket Australia, we look forward to celebrating the local communities and volunteers that make this great game possible and hopefully inspire others to help too,” she added.

Mohd. Siraj replaces injured Jasprit Bumrah in T20I squad against South Africa

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) All-India Senior Selection Committee on Friday named Mohd. Siraj as replacement for injured Jasprit Bumrah for the remainder of the ongoing T20I series against South Africa.

Bumrah has sustained a back injury and is currently under the supervision of the BCCI Medical Team.

Earlier, before the first T20I between India and South Africa at Thiruvananthapuram, which the hosts won by eight wickets, the Indian board had said that Bumrah has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game after complaining of back pain during practice session on Tuesday.

“Jasprit Bumrah complained of back pain during India’s practice session on Tuesday. The BCCI Medical Team assessed him. He is ruled out of the first T20I,” BCCI had said in its statement on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Bumrah could also miss the upcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Australia from October 16, due to the injury.

Reports suggest that the ace pacer will not be traveliing with the Indian team to Australia.

“We have been told that his injury is not good and at the moment and it looks like he won’t be travelling to Australia with the Indian team. The medical team will submit detail report soon,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Recently, Bumrah was forced to miss the Asia Cup due to his back injury. He was later declared fit for the three-match T20I series against Australia at home. The Indian pacer was out of international cricket since July this year.

After missing the first T20I against Australia in Mohali, he aapeared in the seocnd T20I and bowled two overs for 23 runs for just a wicket. In the final match of the series in Hyderabad, Bumrah leaked 50 runs from his allotted quota of four overs and remained wicketless.

In case Bumrah is ruled out of the T20 World Cup in Australia, the senior national selection committee will have to pick either Mohammad Shami or Deepak Chahar, who have been added as stand bye players for the tournament.

India squad for South Africa T20Is:

Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohd. Siraj.