Category Archives: Media

SA20 can help young South African cricketers take their game to next level, feels de Villiers

Former South Africa cricketer AB de Villiers has reckoned that just like the Indian Premier League (IPL) elevated his game to the next level, the SA20 league will do so for young South African players.

De Villiers feels that the experience of playing with world-renowned coaches such as Lance Klusener (Durban’s Super Giants), Stephen Fleming (Joburg Super Kings), Simon Katich (MI Cape Town), Graham Ford (Pretoria Capitals), JP Duminy (Paarl Royals) and Adrian Birrell (Sunrisers Eastern Cape) will elevate South Africa’s promising cricketers to the next level.

“It is difficult to explain the value of youngsters spending time with some of the best players and coaches in the world,” De Villiers said following the first half of the League matches.

“I had that experience in 2008 in my very first IPL. I found myself in the same dressing room as Glenn McGrath, Dan Vettori, Shoaib Malik, Viru Sehwag … the list goes on. The impact that had on my game was immense. You saw my game grow from 2008 onwards and I took it to the next level,” De Villiers was quoted as saying by the broadcasters on Friday.

“And it was largely because of that. Spending time with experienced campaigners from different countries.”

“At the top of my head among the batters is Jordan Hermann. I didn’t even know about him before the tournament to be honest. I heard his name once, and then I watched him bat, and I was really impressed,” the former Proteas captain said.

“I would love to work with these batters. I really have a lot of passion regarding that. You have to evolve as a player. If you stagnate you will end up not enjoying the game. I think there need to be constant check-ups. I think that’s what kept me fresh. I always wanted to raise the bar every single season until the very end.”

FanCode to live-stream England tour of South Africa 2023 in India

India’s premier sports streaming platform FanCode will live-stream England’s tour of South Africa starting this Friday, January 27.

The three-match ODI series culminates on February 1. All three ODIs will be streamed on FanCode’s app (Android, iOS, TV).

The series will be crucial for the hosts as they look to achieve direct qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India later this year. All three ODIs are part of the World Cup Super League that determines qualification for the marquee tournament. Meanwhile, England will look to begin 2023 on a winning note and prepare to mount a successful World Cup defence.

With this series and more international cricket to be streamed on FanCode, such as the two-match Test series between Zimbabwe and West Indies early in February, FanCode has a packed calendar for cricket lovers. It is also currently streaming the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup, and the Bangladesh Premier League.

Current ODI and T20 World Champions England will be led by Jos Buttler and will feature the likes of Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Dawid Malan and others. This series will also mark the comeback of all-rounder Jofra Archer after a two-year injury lay-off. South Africa’s pace attack will be raring to go on home turf, headlined by Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, while their batting will be led by Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, and David Miller.

FIFA annual survey reports record transfers globally

The International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) has revealed the 2022 Global Transfer Report, showing record transfers in the world in the past year.

A total of 71,002 transfers across borders, including 21,764 involving professionals for both men and women, were made in 2022, according to the annual report released on Wednesday.

In men’s professional football, 20,209 international transfers were concluded last year, 11.6 per cent more than those in 2021 and even exceeding the levels of 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic, FIFA said.

Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA’s Chief Legal and Compliance officer, was quoted as saying in FIFA’s statement, “The two-year negative trend in clubs’ spending on transfer fees was turned around in 2022.”

English clubs once again spent the most in the world, with a record spending of almost 2.2 billion U.S. dollars, while France made the most profit from transfers, receiving 740.3 million U.S. dollars from other associations.

Also for the first time, Portuguese clubs had the most incoming transfers, numbering 901, while Brazil released the most players (998) to other associations.

NEUFC sign Spanish midfielder Joseba Beitia

Indian Super League (ISL) franchise NorthEast United FC (NEUFC) has strengthened to the middle of their park with the signing of Spanish midfielder Joseba Beitia.

“Here to strengthen the center of the park! Welcoming Joseba Beita to the Highlands”, NorthEast United FC said in a tweet.

The Spaniard who is no stranger to Indian football having featured in the I-League for over three seasons will look to have an instant impact at the Highlanders who are looking to end the season on a high under new head coach Vincenzo Annese.

Beitia, a youth product of La Liga side Real Sociedad spent the first nine years of his career in Spain playing for various clubs before making India his home.

Having signed for Mohun Bagan in 2019, he went on to win the I-League with the Kolkata club before representing RoundGlass Punjab and Rajasthan United in the I-League.

The 32-year-old will get his first taste of ISL experience as he will turn up for NorthEast United FC who secured an entertaining 2-2 draw against FC Goa in their previous home game.

Beitia will look to hit the ground running as NorthEast United FC travel to Kochi to take on Kerala Blasters FC in their next match on Sunday.

Ahmedabad franchise in WPL to be called ‘Gujarat Giants’

The Ahmedabad franchise in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) will be called ‘Gujarat Giants, the owners — Adani Sportsline, the sports arm of the Adani Group — has announced.

Notably, the Adani Group acquired the Ahmedabad franchise with the highest bid of Rs 1289 crores at the auction held by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday.

It is expected that the inaugural edition of the WPL could be held in March this year while the player auction for the tournament is likely to be held in February.

“The Indian women’s cricket team has been doing exceptionally well — and a cricket league for women is a significant step in creating more opportunities for women through sports,” said Pranav Adani, Director, Adani Enterprises.

The Gujarat Giants cricket franchise in the upcoming Women’s Premier League joins Adani Sportsline’s family of successful teams, like the Gulf Giants in the ongoing ILT20 in the UAE, and the Gujarat Giants in the Pro Kabaddi League.

“Cricket is an inseparable part of the country’s fabric and Adani Sportsline was keen to begin their association with the sport with the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League. While I wish every other franchise the very best, I look forward to the Gujarat Giants standing out as the top team in this new, exciting league,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals (RR), the IPL 2008 champions congratulated the BCCI for bringing WPL closer towards turning it into reality.

“We would like to extend our best wishes for this new beginning to all the successful bidders and also congratulate the BCCI on bringing the Women’s Premier League to life. It is a huge step forward for Indian cricket, and will prove to be a game changer for women’s sports across the globe,” the franchise said in an official statement.

The franchise had also bid for a team in the WPL, but were unable to be among the top five winning bidders.

Apart from Adani Sportsline, Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd acquired the Mumbai franchise with a bid of INR 912.99 crores. Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd, JSW GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd and Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd won the rest of the three teams, Bangalore, Delhi and Lucknow respectively with winning bids of INR 901 crores, INR 810 crores and INR 757 crores respectively.

“That being said, we are obviously disappointed not to have won the bid for a team in this historic inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League. We always knew there was going to be a lot of competition given the IPL’s success in the men’s format, but still were hopeful of securing a women’s franchise to extend the Royals Family and hope there will be an opportunity to do so in the future,” RR said.

Rajasthan remarked they would continue to do their bit of unearthing next generation of female cricketers in India.

“At the Royals, we have been deeply committed to the women’s game and that will continue. We are significantly investing in our new talent hunt ‘Cricket Ka Ticket’ to find the best female cricketers from across the country and provide them with a development pathway to the new Women’s Premier League and hopefully the India team, while our High Performance Centre in Nagpur continues to serve as a hub for both female and male athletes through world-class coaching to aid in their overall progression,” it said.

“With the objective of strengthening women’s grassroots cricket even further, we will also continue to invest in organising and expanding competitions such as the Rajasthan Royals Women’s Cup which can prove to be a stepping stone for potential female cricketing superstars of Indian cricket.”

Our intention is to keep scaling these investments and also look at other avenues to enable the growth of women’s cricket in India, and take it to the next level,” it added.

Earlier, on January 16, Viacom18 Media Private Limited won the consolidated bid for media rights (i.e., Global Televisions Rights and Global Digital Rights) of the WPL for the period of 2023-2027.

Viacom18 won the rights with a bid of INR 951 crores, which translates to a per match value of INR 7.09 crores. It is believed that 22 matches could be held for the first three seasons with a possibility of increasing the matches to either 33 or 34 from 2026 onwards.

Adani Group, Capri Global win bids to own Women’s League

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced that men’s IPL teams Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, along with the Adani Group and Capri Global have won bids to own the five Women’s Premier League (WPL) teams.

The inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League is expected to be played in March this year. The home teams of the five winning franchises will be Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Lucknow respectively.

The auction was held in Mumbai earlier in the afternoon. The five winners were revealed after opening the bids. While Adani Group, through Adani Sportsline Pvt. Ltd got the Ahmedabad franchise with the highest bid of INR 1289 crore, Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd acquired the Mumbai franchise with a bid of INR 912.99 crore.

Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd, JSW GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd and Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd won the rest of the three teams with winning bids of INR 901 crore, INR 810 crore and INR 757 crore respectively.

Honorary Secretary Jay Shah had earlier said that a whopping INR 4669.99 crore came in as total bids for owning teams in the upcoming Women’s Premier League (WPL), which he added has broken the record of the inaugural Men’s IPL in 2008.

“Today is a historic day in cricket as the bidding for teams of the inaugural #WPL broke the records of the inaugural Men’s IPL in 2008! Congratulations to the winners as we garnered Rs.4669.99 Cr in total bid.”

“This marks the beginning of a revolution in women’s cricket and paves the way for a transformative journey ahead not only for our women cricketers but for the entire sports fraternity.”

“The #WPL would bring necessary reforms in women’s cricket and would ensure an all-encompassing ecosystem that benefits each and every stakeholder. The @BCCI has named the league – Women’s Premier League (WPL). Let the journey begin….,” wrote Shah in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

Bangalore, the runners-up of 2009, 2011 and 2016 IPL, tweeted their excitement of owning a Women’s Premier League team. “Breaking barriers, making history, and playing bold! Royal Challengers Bangalore are the proud owners of the Bengaluru Women’s Premier League Team.”

Parth Jindal, Director of JSW Sports, who jointly owns the Delhi team in the IPL with GMR Group, was ecstatic about buying a franchise in the Women’s Premier League.

“Proud to announce that @TheJSWGroup GMR Group and @DelhiCapitals are the proud owners of the Delhi Womens IPL team. This marks a historic moment for Indian cricket and for the women’s game and we could not be more proud to own the Delhi Capitals WIPL franchise!” he tweeted.

Earlier, on January 16, Viacom18 Media Private Limited won the consolidated bid for media rights (i.e., Global Televisions Rights and Global Digital Rights) of the WPL for the period of 2023-2027.

Viacom18 won the rights with a bid of INR 951 crore, which translates to a per-match value of INR 7.09 crore. It is believed that 22 matches could be held for the first three seasons with a possibility of increasing the matches to either 33 or 34 from 2026 onwards.

Official Match Ball for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 unveiled by adidas

OCEAUNZ, the official match ball of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 has been launched in spectacular fashion in Sydney / Gadigal, Australia, travelling over the iconic Sydney skyline by helicopter before arriving at Marks Park overlooking Bondi Beach.

The ninth successive football produced by adidas for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, OCEAUNZ’s design is inspired by the unique natural landscapes of the two host nations, with visuals nodding to the vast mountains of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia’s connection with the Indian Ocean.

The ball is a celebration of the cultures of both host countries and features designs by Aboriginal artist, Chern’ee Sutton, and Māori artist, Fiona Collis. Their art is also part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 brand identity, Beyond Greatness.

Speaking about the launch of OCEAUNZ, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said:

“adidas has created an iconic Official Match Ball for the FIFA Women’s World Cup that reflects diversity, inclusivity and togetherness, fitting themes for the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted by two different countries from different confederations. This edition of the tournament will be extremely special and the rich cultures of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, as evoked on OCEAUNZ, are certain to take the experience of visiting fans and teams #BeyondGreatness.”

The Official Match Ball’s name reflects the coming together of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand as host nations of the tournament.

OCEAUNZ features the same connected ball technology as was seen in Qatar at the FIFA World Cup 2022. This provides precise ball data, which will be made available to Video Match Officials in real-time.

Combined with player position data and by applying artificial intelligence, the innovative connected ball technology contributes to FIFA’s semi-automated offside technology and offers Video Assistant Referees instantaneous information to help optimise decision-making.

South Africa’s Aaron Phangiso suspended from bowling in SA20 for illegal action

Joburg Super Kings’ left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso has been suspended from bowling in the ongoing SA20 league because of an illegal action.

Phangiso, 39, has been penalised after the SA20’s Independent Bowling Action Panel confirmed his bowling action does not conform to the regulations of a legal bowling action as defined by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Phangiso has represented South Africa in 21 ODIs and 16 T20 Internationals, taking 26 and 20 wickets respectively.

The panel submitted its final report on January 23, as constituted under the SA20 Suspect Bowling Action Policy. The report confirmed that Phangiso bowled with a non-compliant bowling action during the match between Joburg Super Kings and Pretoria Capitals on January 17 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, the SA20 said in a statement on Tuesday.

Phangiso is subsequently suspended from bowling in SA20 matches going forward as of January 23.

The Joburg Super Kings have requested to have Phangiso’s action tested under laboratory conditions at an ICC Accredited Centre. If the ICC testing shows that his action is legal, he will be allowed to continue bowling.

The Independent Bowling Action Panel comprised Zama Ndamane, Vincent Barnes and Vernon Philander, the SA20 release informed.

Didn’t think I’d get picked up for that much’: Harry Brook on IPL contract

England batter Harry Brook has said that he is unable to understand how he landed a massive Indian Premier League (IPL) contract during the mini-auction and added that “IPL is a big dream” for him.

Brook was acquired for a massive sum of Rs 13.25 crore from Sunrisers Hyderabad after entering the auction at a base price of Rs 1.5 crore.

“I’ve not got many words, to be honest. I thought I’d get picked up, but I didn’t think I’d get picked up for that much. One thing I would say is that I’m not motivated by money,” Brook told Daily Mail.

“Obviously, it’s a nice touch, but I just want to play cricket for the best teams and play for England as long as I can. Yes, the IPL was a big dream for me and the money is a big bonus, but it is not the be all and end all. I play because I love batting.”

The English youngster made his presence felt during England’s Test tour of Pakistan with a string of match-winning scores. He accumulated 468 runs at an average of 93.60, including three centuries with the highest score of 153.

“It might have been a different story if I hadn’t done so well in the Tests in Pakistan, but I played spin fairly well out there and there will be a lot of that in the IPL. The World Cup is in India this year too, so there will be plenty of spins to face in the coming months and different challenges,” he added.

Shreyas, Siraj named in the ICC Men’s ODI Team of the year

India batter Shreyas Iyer and pacer Mohammed Siraj have been included in the ICC Men’s ODI Team of the Year for 2022, which will be led by Pakistan skipper Babar Azam.

Other names in the Men’s ODI team of the Year 2022 are- Travis Head (Australia), Shai Hope (West Indies), Tom Latham (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Mehidy Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh), Alzarri Joseph (West Indies), Trent Boult (New Zealand), Adam Zampa (Australia).

Iyer emerged from 2022 as one of India’s most consistent in the 50-over format while also becoming the anchor of their middle-order. Mostly slotting in at No.4, he played 17 games during the calendar year and scored 724 runs at an average of 55.69.

The 28-year-old scored his runs at a brisk pace of 91.52, which included one century and six fifties. With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 fast approaching, Iyer has moved ahead of the competition to become a regular fixture in the India ODI setup.

On the other hand, Siraj’s skillset in white-ball cricket, especially the 50-over format developed in leaps and bounds in 2022. With Jasprit Bumrah often missing due to injury, Siraj emerged as the most potent weapon of the India pace unit.

Delivering with both the new and old ball, he played 15 matches and picked up 24 wickets. His wickets came at an economy of 4.62 and an average of 23.50, with best figures of 3/29.

Siraj has moved ahead of the pack and has a good chance of being a part of the India pace battery in the ODI World Cup in home conditions scheduled for later this year.