Category Archives: Fanzfront

Pak pacer Md Hasnain undergoes official bowling test after three month of suspension

Around three months of remedial work on his bowling action, Pakistan pacer Mohammad Hasnain has undergone an official test in a bid to revive his international career.

Earlier in February this year, Hasnain, 22, was suspended from bowling in international cricket as he failed a biomechanics test in which the majority of the deliveries he bowled exceeded the 15-degree tolerance limit for a legal bowling action.

The official outcome of the test is expected to be compiled in two weeks and will be shared with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and all member boards in the world.

Meanhiwle, Hasnain is optimistic that he will be cleared for bowling in international cricket however, if the decision doesn’t come in his favour, he will have to start afresh.

Notably, the Pakistan pacer was first reported in January by umpires in the Big Bash League (BBL), where he was playing for Sydney Thunder.

While awaiting his results, he was allowed to play any cricket and as a result, he participated in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for his franchise Quetta Gladiators in their first three games of the season.

According to the ICC’s regulations on illegal bowling actions, the PCB can allow Hasnain to continue bowling in their domestic tournaments. But the PCB decided against it and sent him back to the High-Performance Centre to rework his action.

Earlier, Hasnain has been suspended from bowling in international cricket after the 21-year-old failed to clear his bowling action, which was reported by umpire Gerard Abood in a match between Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers at Sydney Showground Stadium on January 2.

Later, Cricket Australia (CA) had issued a statement saying: “This process has been completed, with Hasnain’s action found to be illegal by the PCB’s testing laboratory and the report reviewed and verified by CA’s independent expert.”

On the other hand, Peter Roach, Cricket Australia’s Head of Cricket Operations and Scheduling, had said: “We’d like to commend Mohammad Hasnain, the Pakistan Cricket Board, Cricket NSW and Sydney Thunder for their cooperative and respectful approach to this process – particularly given the logistical challenges around travel and testing.”

“CA’s independent expert is satisfied that Mohammad replicated his bowling action in the controlled environment during testing and that the results are accurate,” he added.

Roach had further said that the CA has full confidence the PCB will support Mohammad to rectify his action.

“We wish Mohammad the best over coming months and look forward to welcoming him back to Australia in the future,” he had added.

Meanwhile, the PCB confirmed that the pacer will remain suspended and a bowling consultant will be appointed to work with him.

Sony Sports Network to broadcast first edition of Ultimate Sports Quiz featuring Harsha Bhogle

The Ultimate Sports Quiz (USQ) is all set to launch on the Sony Sports Network from June 5, 2022 onwards, every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM. The show will mark the comeback of Harsha Bhogle as a quiz show host.

Notably, USQ is a national-level Inter-School Sports Quiz. The 2022 edition will host 27 schools from 22 different cities across the country. The quiz provides a unique opportunity for the sports-loving students to pit their knowledge against some of the best quizzing minds & bring glory to their institution.

Commenting on it, Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer, Distribution and Head – Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks India, said: “We are delighted to bring back the sports quiz genre to television. What better destination for a sports quiz show than a sports channel with a dedicated following. Quiz shows attract a great audience because viewers love tracking and trying to put themselves in the participants shoes and guess the answers.”

“Harsha Bhogle’s charming personality paired with brilliant hosting skills will keep the audiences glued to the television and asking for more,” he added.

On the other hand, Pratik Gosar, Founder & CEO, VUSport said: “Quiz shows were a rage in the 90s and early 2000s, and we have all grown up being glued to our television screens predicting the answers to multiple questions. Being a sports enthusiast, bringing back a sports quiz show was the only logical step for us. And partnering with a leading broadcaster like Sony Sports Network will give us an ideal platform to reach millions of sports fans across the nation and help us revive the sports quiz genre.”

Meanwhile, Harsha Bhogle, Indian Cricket Commentator said: “It was such a delight to host the inaugural edition of the national-level inter-school sports quiz. It took me back so many years and brought so many wonderful memories back. These kids are not only some of the brightest minds of the country, but also huge sports fans.”

Significantly, the competition is also an endeavour to support grass-root level sports development by awarding a total amount of Rs. 1 Crore in prize money to the winning schools for developing sporting infrastructure at their respective schools.

Apart from this, the winners will get a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit a sporting event of their choice anywhere in the world, sponsored by DreamSetGo.

Three Kiwi players test Covid-19 positive ahead of England Test series

As many as three members of the New Zealand touring party for the scheduled three-Test series against England have returned positive for Covid-19 ahead of the first game, slated to be held at Lord’s from June 2.

Top-order batter Henry Nicholls, right-arm pacer Blair Tickner and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen have tested positive for the virus and will be in five days of hotel room isolation.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) issued a statement on Friday saying: “Three of the BLACKCAPS touring party are in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 on the morning of the first warm-up match against Sussex in Brighton. Henry Nicholls, Blair Tickner and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen have begun five days of hotel room isolation after producing positive Rapid Antigen Tests this (Friday) morning.”

The statement also said that New Zealand’s scheduled four-day warm-up game against Sussex will go ahead as per the schedule, adding that all other members of the touring party had tested negative in the test.

“The remainder of the tour party have now all been tested and returned negative results. The four-day warm-up match will go ahead as planned,” said NZC in the statement.

New Zealand will play a second warm-up against County Select XI from May 26-29 before the Lord’s Test. The teams will then face off in the second Test at Trent Bridge (June 101-4), followed by the final game at Headingley (June 23-27).

England, meanwhile, will be buoyed by the inclusion of pace bowling stalwarts James Anderson and Stuart Broad and all-rounder Ben Stokes being elevated as Test captain. England have also appointed New Zealander Brendon McCullum as their new Test team head coach.

RR would be hoping to click in all departments against CSK: Graeme Smith

Former South African cricketer Graeme Smith has reckoned that inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) would be aiming to give their best in their last league game of the season against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as it will help them finish in the top two of the points table.

The Sanju Samson-led side has played brilliantly in the most exciting IPL season and a win tonight will put them in the second spot on the leaderboard.

Talking about RR’s strategy against CSK – who were the second team to be eliminated from IPL 2022 – Smith claimed the men in pink and blue should look to put up a comprehensive show against the four-time champions.

Speaking on ‘CRICKET LIVE’ on Star Sports, Smith said: “Jos Buttler should look to get another big knock under the belt. We’ve all talked about the importance of finishing in the top two and giving yourself an extra chance of playing in the knockouts. So that will be key for Rajasthan as well. They’ve played good cricket, they’ve found the form. Hetmyer is back after the birth of his first child so that’s a positive.”

“They would just be hoping that they click in all the departments against CSK. The top two will need to give them a good start,” he added.

Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh also claimed that Rajasthan Royals have a golden opportunity to finish in the top two with a win over CSK and they will be disappointed if they lost this game.

Speaking on ‘CRICKET LIVE’ on Star Sports, Harbhajan said: “It is a golden chance for Rajasthan Royals to finish in the top two and give them an extra shot at fighting for the trophy. Beating Chennai Super Kings is never easy for any team but Royals will be disappointed if they fail to win as they’ll lose the opportunity.”

The Royals are currenty placed third in the points table with 16 points in their kitty and another win could see them finish second in the ten-team standings. As of now, RR have won eight of their 13 games and have lost the remaining five.

On the other hand, MS Dhoni-led CSK is already out of the race to the playoffs as they had a season to forget after they managed to win just four out of their 13 games and they would now aim to finish the season on a winning note.

Sony Sports Network introduces four language feeds for live broadcast of Roland Garros 2022 in India

Sony Sports Network is all geared up to live broadcast this year’s second Grand Slam event — the Roland-Garros 2022, scheduled to begin on May 22, 2022.

Ahead of the prestigious event, the network has said that this will be the first year when it will be showing the Grand Slam in four languages.

“For the first time in India, audiences will get to watch the Roland Garros in a language of their choice, English, Hindi, Tamil & Telugu across SONY SIX, SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 3, and SONY TEN 4 channels as well as live-stream the tournament on its on-demand OTT platform SonyLIV,” the network said in a statement.

It also said that it will provide the viewers with an unapparelled viewing experience of the marquee event with a holistic coverage of the tournament with four language feeds and a live Studio show. The tournament will see the return of Extraaa Serve, which is the broadcaster’s flagship show for Grand Slam tournaments.

“The show will be hosted by Sarthak Lal and will feature expert panelists like Olympian Somdev Devvarman, Davis Cup player Purav Raja, and former tennis player Gaurav Natekar. The Hindi commentary on SONY TEN 3 channels will be provided by Manish Batavia, Atish Thukral, and Gaurav Natekar. Current Indian player Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Arun Venugopal will be part of the Tamil commentary panel, while Asian Game medalist Vishnu Vardhan and Sandeep Kumar will be seen doing Telugu language commentary on the channel,” the statement added.

Commenting on the development, Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer, Distribution and Head – Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks India said: “Sony Sports Network has been a premiere destination for tennis fans in India and with Roland-Garros 2022 we intend to bring the best of the international tournaments to a larger audience base across the country. We are proud to announce that for the first time in India, the Roland Garros will be broadcast in four languages, English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.”

“Our viewers will be able to watch the tournament in a language of their choice. The tournament has also received a great response from advertisers with nine brands on board and more in the pipeline,” he added.

Notably, Roland Garros has always been circled by tennis fans as this is the only Grand Slam where they get to watch the top ranked tennis players from across the world perform on the clay court. While the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal is an absolute fan favourite, last year’s champion Novak Djokovic will also look to defend his title and look to join Nadal in the 21 Grand Slam winners club.

Apart from the tennis giants, Carlos Alcaraz has also caught the interest of fans with his brilliant performances. In the women’s matches, World No. 1, Iga Swiatek will look to extend her stupendous performance and win her second Grand Slam title against the likes of Barbora Krejcikova, and Paula Badosa. The marquee tournament will also see participation from top-seeded Indian players like Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza among others.

Meanwhile, Sony Sports Network has received a huge response from advertisers with brands like Hyundai, Amul, Rolex, Apple, 1x News, Target One, Fairplay News, Lottoland and Dafa News coming onboard.

USA’s Major League Cricket raises 120 million dollars in funding

United State of America’s upcoming Major League Cricket (MLC) has announced that it has secured 120 million dollars in funding from series A and A1 fundraising round, which includes some of the Silicon Valley bigwigs like Satya Nadella.

According to MLC, the six-team franchise T20 competition sanctioned by USA Cricket, 44 million dollars has been secured after the closure of these investment rounds and an additional 76 million dollars will be secured over the next 12 months.

The Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella-led group has invested 16 million dollars in the central equity pool of the MLC enterprise along with Dallas-based Ross Perot Jnr, a Texas billionaire, and his partner Anurag Jain.

It has been learnt that the Nadella group will obtain the rights to operate the Seattle franchise of the MLC while the Perot-led consortium will operate the Dallas MLC franchise, a Cricbuzz report said.

The list of other investors includes — Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan (Founding Partners at Milliways Ventures and Rocketship VC), Sanjay Govil (Founder and Chairman of Infinite Computer Solutions and CEO, Zyter), The Baheti Family (owners of YASH Technologies) and Tanweer Ahmed (CEO, PAK Foods, CEO, OUR Energy). Ahmed is also the owner of America’s largest cricket complex (Prairie View Cricket Complex) located on the outskirts of Houston, housing five turf-wicket grounds on its premises.

The closure of these investment rounds is a major shot in the arm for this cricket ‘start-up’. As part of their deal with USA Cricket, MLC is under obligation to deliver six world-class cricket stadiums. Notably, MLC is under exclusive negotiating agreements with respective city governments in the greater Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco Bay area to construct multi-million-dollar cricket stadiums.

The procurement of funds in rounds A and A1 will add to the enterprise’s financial muscle to materialise the deals presently under negotiations. MLC has already entered into a long-term lease for Airhogs Stadium near Dallas and is expected to start revamping the stadium for cricketing use this summer.

“The significant funding committed by an outstanding group of investors will allow Major League Cricket to build first-class facilities and accelerate the sport’s development across the country, bringing world-class professional cricket to the world’s largest sports market,” said Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan, co-founders, Major League Cricket in a statement.

“This investor group comprises leading business executives and successful tech entrepreneurs who have led some of the world’s most prominent companies. They bring tremendous experience and expertise in support of MLC’s plans to launch a transformative Twenty20 league and establish America as one of the world’s leading homes for international cricket events,” he added.

Quite confident Kohli, Rohit will be in top shape before T20 WC: Ganguly

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been struggling with the bat in the ongoing season of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) and with the T20 World Cup few months away, the duo’s form has become a cause od concern for the fans and the Indian selectors.

In 13 games this season, former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Kohli has managed to score just 236 runs at an average of 19.67 and a strike rate of 113.46. Kohli’s tally comprises just a single half-century and three golden duck dismissals, which is his worst performance in the 14 years of IPL.

Only in the inaugural season of the cash-rich league, Kohli had scored fewer runs than the ongoing edition.

On the other hand, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit has managed just 218 runs from 12 games at an average of 18.17 and with a strike rate of 125.29. Rohit’s tally comprises five single-digit scores and one dismissal on duck and he is yet to slam a single half-century the ongoing season where his side, which is already out of the race to the playoffs, have couple of more games to play.

In such a scenario, a lot is being talked about the two main pillars of Indian cricket with the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Australia this October, just around the corner and now Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly has opened up on the matter and reckoned that the duo will be back in form at the right time.

Speaking to Mid Day, the former India skipper opined that with the T20 World Cup still far away, he remains unfazed over Kohli and Rohit’s current form and also backed them to bounce back strongly.

“I’m not worried at all about the form of Rohit or Virat. They are too good…real big players. The World Cup is far away and I am quite confident that they will be in top shape much before the tournament,” he said.

Notably, after the ongoing edition of the IPL, India will play four T20I series with the five-match contest against South Africa scheduled to begin in June which will be followed by T20Is in Ireland and three in England and three more at home against Australia, although it is yet to be conformed by the BCCI.

Former Aussie cricketer Andrew Symonds dies in car crash

Former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds passed away at the age of 46 in a single-car crash late on Saturday.

As per a report in Daily Mail, the former all-rounder died in Hervey Range, 50 km west of Townsville in far north Queensland, when his vehicle left the road and rolled.

“Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant, however, he died of his injuries,” Queensland Police said on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia issued a statement and confirming the shocking development. “Australian cricket has lost another of its very best. Andrew was a generational talent who was instrumental in Australia’s success at World Cups and as part of Queensland’s rich cricket history.

“He was a cult figure to many who was treasured by his fans and friends. On behalf of Australian cricket our deepest sympathies are with Andrew’s family, team-mates, and friends.”

The accident is under investigation. Meanwhile, Symonds’ family confirmed of his passing away and also thanked their friends and fans for their sympathy and support.

Notably, the unfortunate incident shocked the sporting world just a few weeks after another Aussie great Shane Warne had suffered a fatal heart attack while on holiday in Thailand in March.

Following the tragic news of the death of Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, the cricketing world bid farewell to one of the most well-liked former stars.

Brendon McCullum named England men’s Test team head coach

Former New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum has been appointed as the head coach of England’s men’s test team, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday.

Issuing a statement, the ECB said: “McCullum, 40, will be in place to start his role for next month’s LV Insurance three-match Test series against New Zealand, which gets underway at Lord’s from 2 June, subject to obtaining the necessary work visa.”

The ECB’s selection panel of Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison, Managing Director of England’s Men’s Cricket Rob Key, Strategic Adviser Andrew Strauss and Performance Director Mo Bobat unanimously agreed that he was the outstanding candidate for the role, having impressed during the competitive interview process.

Notably, New Zealand born McCullum is currently serving as the head coach of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). He had previously coached Trinbago Knight Riders to the 2020 Caribbean Premier League title.

Commenting on the development, Rob Key, said: “We are delighted to confirm Brendon as England Men’s Test Head Coach. It has been a real privilege to get to know him and understand his views and vision for the game. I believe his appointment will be good for England’s Test team. He has a recent history of changing cricket culture and environments for the better, and I believe he is the person to do that for England’s red-ball cricket. We were incredibly fortunate to have a seriously strong list of quality candidates for the post, with Brendon demonstrating he was our number one choice.”

“I would like to thank Tom Harrison and the ECB Board for their support in this process. I believe in Brendon and Ben Stokes – a formidable coach and captain partnership. Time for us all to buckle up and get ready for the ride,” he added.

On the other hand, an elated McCullum said: “I would like to say how pleased I am to be given this opportunity to positively contribute to England’s Test cricket set-up and move the team forward into a more successful era. In taking this role on, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces at present, and I strongly believe in my ability to help the team emerge as a stronger force once we’ve confronted them head-on.”

“I have enjoyed several robust conversations with Rob Key about the direction of travel for the team and have found his enthusiasm contagious. I’m no stranger to bringing about change within a team environment, and I can’t wait to get started. Ben Stokes is the perfect character to inspire change around him, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a successful unit around us,” he added.

McCullum featured in 101 Tests for New Zealand and was the Test skipper of the Black Caps from 2012 to his international retirement in 2016. He will arrive in the UK later this month after the completion of his assignment wit the KKR, who have two matches left in their IPL league stage.

Vivo becomes official sponsor of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Vivo, the Chinese multinational technology company, on Thursday announced its partnership with the most prominent international football tournament, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as the official sponsor and the official Smartphone.

Aligned with the brand’s pursuit to deliver excellence, vivo aspires to connect fans around the world with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Through this partnership, vivo will leverage its rights to the FIFA World Cup 2022™, including the emblem, official brand identities, and run unique promotions to connect with passionate football fans globally.

Expressing excitement on the partnership, Yogendra Sriramula, Director Brand Strategy, vivo India, said: “This collaboration with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is a defining moment for vivo. Football, termed as the ‘Beautiful Game’ has the power to bring joy to billions around the world and bring them together regardless of their age, race, gender, culture, or nationality. Indeed, it has a truly global reach, and has the ability to influence and inspire billions across the globe, making the iconic FIFA World Cup™ an ideal stage for vivo, as we expand our presence across more than 60 countries and regions across the globe.”

“This partnership reflects our inherent value of promoting sports that help inspire joy among millions and provide a unique experience for consumers worldwide,” it added.

Notably, the FIFA World Cup is one of the most prestigious sports tournaments across the globe, which began in 1930. It has since created a special place in the hearts of football fans globally. This year, the tournament will take place in Qatar, beginning on 21st November 2022.