Tag Archives: Ravi Shastri

Legends League Cricket announces schedule for the upcoming second season

The organisers of Legends League Cricket (LLC) on Tuesday announced the full schedule and venues for the upcoming second edition of the tournament.

As per the announcement, the second season is scheduled to be played from September 16 in six cities off which 5 are Kolkata, New Delhi, Cuttack, Lucknow and Jodhpur.

The Venue for Play-offs will be announced later. Eden Gardens, Kolkata will host the special match between Indian Maharajas and World Giants, to commemorate the 75th Year of Indian Independence. All the grounds will have three matches each apart Jodhpur and Lucknow, where two matches are planned.

Raman Raheja, Co-Founder & CEO, Legends League Cricket said, “The wait is over for our fans and viewers.They can plan for the matches with the announcement of fixtures. We are soon announcing our ticketing partner along with the dates for the availability of tickets online. With the line up of iconic player from the 10 nations in a new format, I am sure fans will experience powerful performances on the pitch and a great season this year.”

“We are not getting any players from Pakistan for the upcoming season. We will soon be adding some more international players into the Draft. And all our Legends would be playing full season with us and not miss any matches for any other League or commitment,” he added.

“For final match of this season we are looking at Dehradun,” he further added.

Ravi Shastri, Commissioner, Legends League Cricket said, “We are coming to mesmerise the cricketing fans at these wonderful cricket grounds. This festival season we will be presenting the cricket carnival with Top Legends competing for the first Legends League Cricket Title.”

COMPLETE FIXTURES:

Kolkata: September 16 to 18

Lucknow: September 21 to 22

New Delhi: September 24 to 26

Cuttack: September 27 to 30

Jodhpur: October 1 and 3

Play-Offs: October 5 and 7 – Venue to be announced

Finals on October 8 Venue to be announced

Wouldn’t be surprised if IPL could expand to have two distinct seasons in a year: Ravi Shastri

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has reckoned that he wouldn’t be surprised if the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) expands to having two distinct seasons in a year.

Shastri also fekt that the TV demand for more IPL matches could be met by adding a second season later in the year and by expanding the number of teams in the current form.

“I think you might have two (IPL) seasons. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. If bilateral cricket is reduced, you might well have a shorter format of the IPL in the latter half of the year, more like a World Cup format with a knockout that decides the winner. The full competition with 10 teams could go to 12 teams in the future with the schedule stretching from one-and-a-half to two months,” said Shastri on the latest episode of Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club Podcast.

Shastri meanwhile, also felt that IPL’s growth is good for the sport.

“All that is possible because it is driven by the money and supply and demand. The demand is big for that type of format. The IPL will be tempted to go in that direction. It’s great for the sport, great for the players, broadcasters and people who work around the teams. It’s (the IPL) an industry on its own now,” he reckoned.

Recently, the global cricketing schedule had come under huge debate last week after all-rounder Ben Stokes’ retired from ODI cricket citing “unsustainable” workload of playing all three formats of the game and speaking on it, Shastri felt that reducing bilateral T20Is is the apt solution to solve scheduling problem.

“I would be a little careful of the number of bilateral splits, especially in T20 cricket. There’s a lot of franchise cricket which can be encouraged, whichever country it’s in – India, West Indies, or Pakistan. You play less bilaterals and then you get together for the World Cups. So the emphasis on ICC World Cup events becomes paramount. Then people look forward to them,” he expressed.

Reduce Test playing teams to six to help the format survive: Ravi Shastri

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that Test cricket should be restricted to only the top six teams in the format and emphasis should be put on white-ball cricket as it can be used to spread the game globally.

Shastri, who is currently working in the United Kingdom for Sky Sports as a member of their commentary team, shared his views on ways to help the Test cricket survive saying: “You cannot have 12 teams or ten teams. You keep the top six, keep the quality and respect quality over quantity. That’s the only way you open a window for other cricket to be played. Expand teams in one-day cricket and T20 cricket if you want the game to spread. But Test cricket will have to reduce the number of teams that play.”

“The bottom line, it’s the football model. You’ve got the EPL, La Liga, the German league, the South America Copa America. In the future it’s going to be like that, you’ll have one World Cup, the big one and then the rest of it will be all different leagues happening around the world,” added Shastri.

Elaborating on ways he wants the Test format, Shastri said that the format wouldn’t be limited to only six sides, but teams will have to qualify for being part of the top six to be able to play the format.

“Whether it’s India, Australia, or England you have to qualify for red-ball series if you want to be around to play Test match cricket. Then it doesn’t matter if England doesn’t go to the West Indies, or West Indies come to England. If they’re in the top six, they play, but if they’re not in the top six they don’t play,” he said.

In complete contrast to Shastri’s views, West Indies beat England 1-0 in a three-match series in March while Sri Lanka recently drew their two-match Test series against Australia 1-1. When asked if he would be pleased with keeping Test cricket to just six teams, Shastri, the former India all-rounder, replied in the affirmative.

“Absolutely. Because what is Test cricket? It tests you and for that you need quality. If there’s no quality then who’s going to watch it? You’re going to have three-day games, two-day games if the opposition is not right.”

“If you have countries who have never played Test cricket and then you say ‘come to India’ or ‘come to England’, in bowler-friendly conditions the game over in two days, two-and-a-half days. And you’ve taken money from the broadcaster for five days.”

“So he’s going to be unhappy, the fans are going to be unhappy and the standard is going to go down. Quality is important and in that format of the game extremely important for cricket to survive in the future,” he added.

Ravi Shastri calls for reduction in number of T20Is

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has stressed on the need for a reduction in the number of T20Is played to counter the raging issue of scheduling in international cricket.

Recently, South Africa decided to pull out of a three-match ODI series against Australia in January 2023 to ensure their players would be available for the upcoming new domestic T20 competition in the country.

Meanwhile, England’s Test skipper and all-rounder Ben Stokes, who announced his retirement from ODI cricket after the first match against South Africa at the age of 31, had also citied the “unsustainable” workload by playing in all three formats.

Currently, there are speculations the upcoming Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the 2023-27 cycle will have more of T20I action and in such a scenario, Shastri expressed his views on the matter.

“I would be a little careful of the number of bilateral splits, especially in T20 cricket. There’s a lot of franchise cricket which can be encouraged, whichever country it’s in – India, West Indies, or Pakistan. You play less bilaterals and then you get together for the World Cups. So, the emphasis on ICC World Cup events becomes paramount. Then people look forward to them,” said Shastri in an episode of the Vaughany and Tuffers podcast.

“I think two tiers are needed, otherwise Test cricket will die in 10 years time. You need six teams at the top, and then six teams in the second and then you qualify. And those top six play against each other more often because of the corridor you open up by having less bilateral T20 cricket and just franchise cricket. That’s the way all formats of the game can survive,” he added.

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri named brand ambassador of FanCode

Ravi Shastri, the legendary cricketer known for his flamboyant attitude and successful stint as Team India coach, has become the new brand ambassador for FanCode, India’s premier digital sports destination for all fans.

FanCode is set to host some of the best cricketing action with exclusive rights to India’s tour of the West Indies and ECB’s The Hundred; and Shastri will bring out FanCode’s ‘fan-first’ proposition by leading the upcoming campaigns for these properties.

Shastri has been one of cricket’s most recognisable faces having served in a variety of roles throughout his distinguished career, including his on-field duty for India between 1981 to 1992, stint as a commentator, and his role as Team India’s head coach.

His in-depth understanding of the sport and popularity among sports fans will be leveraged through this association with FanCode. Starting 22nd July, all eyes will be on FanCode, as it becomes the first-ever platform to host a Team India bilateral only on digital.

The India tour of West Indies will be played during India’s Prime-Time with ODIs starting at 7pm and T20Is starting at 8pm IST, which is expected to bring 10 crore users to FanCode. The digital platform aims to reinvigorate sports broadcast by developing a holistic and immersive digital experience and giving the control to sports fans; this will be the key messaging for the upcoming campaign featuring Shastri.

Some fan-first features include on-demand real-time highlights where users can choose the highlight they want to watch during a live game; Real-time and interactive statistics and analytics overlaid throughout the live-stream like scores, heat map, wagon wheel, performance monitor, and career graph; an option to subscribe for ad-free viewing; and fans can also decide which commentator they want to listen to, besides choosing language feeds.

Welcoming the new ambassador, Yannick Colaco, Co-Founder of FanCode, said: “We are delighted to have Ravi Shastri onboard as our brand ambassador. Ravi is one of few sports personalities who has experienced success as a player, a coach and a broadcast analyst, and this has helped him develop a deep connection with casual and die-hard sports fans alike.”

Commenting on his association, Shastri, said: “Sports is always believed to bring people closer, and FanCode is taking that several notches higher by solving for the accessibility issues of cricket fans like me. I can now watch a live cricket match right from the ongoing Jharkhand T20, Vitality Blast, to a premier India tour of the West Indies upcoming in July; all of this with superior user experience on digital.”

“I’m elated to join FanCode in this journey of democratising sports for fans in India,” he added.

Founded by sports industry veterans Yannick Colaco and Prasana Krishnan in March 2019, FanCode has over 5 crore users accessing top-notch sports content, commerce and statistics through the FanCode App (Android, iOS, TV) and www.fancode.com.

FanCode has partnered with domestic and international sports leagues and associations across multiple sports including the West Indies, Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe cricket boards; with the Bangladesh board for the Bangladesh Premier League; a four-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for The Hundred; ICC Pathway Events; the J League in football; Major League Baseball; and Fifa qualifiers for the African, North and Central American, and Caribbean regions, among others.

Notably, FanCode is India’s premier digital sports destination committed to giving all fans a highly personalised experience across Sports Content, Commerce and Statistics. Founded by sports industry veterans Yannick Colaco and Prasana Krishnan in March 2019, FanCode has over 5 crore users.

Bangalore vs Rajasthan will be royal encounter as both wants to win badly: Shastri

Former India captain and head coach Ravi Shastri believes the Qualifier 2 clash in IPL 2022 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday will be a royal affair as both teams want to be on the victorious side to play the title clash against Gujarat Titans on Sunday.

“It’s been 14 years for RCB (as they’ve never owned that elusive silverware) and 13 years since Rajasthan won their last title in the inaugural season. So between the two of them, it’s been 27 years (laughs). They both want it badly and it will be a battle of Royals. Let’s wait for that one. It’s going to be a great contest as both the teams would want to win it badly,” said Shastri on the Cricket Live show on Star Sports.

In IPL 2022, both Bangalore and Rajasthan have showcased great skills and class to bring themselves into a position where they can end their title drought. While Bangalore are yet to win an IPL trophy, Rajasthan have been searching for the elusive title since winning the inaugural IPL season in 2008.

 

Former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith believes Qualifier 2 will be a cracker of a contest. Smith, who was a part of the Rajasthan Royals side in winning the 2008 IPL, reckons the pressure will be on Sanju Samson & Co. as they are heading into the game on the back of a seven-wicket defeat in Qualifier 1 to Gujarat while Bangalore come into the match after defeating Lucknow Super Giants by 14 runs in the Eliminator.

“I think the challenge will be on Rajasthan Royals after their disappointing loss against Gujarat Titans (in Qualifier 1). They must be hurt. Can they pick themselves up? RCB on the other hand are on a high. They’ll be keen to turn it around and put back a high skill level in the game. So, I agree with Ravi that we are going to have a cracker of a game on Friday night,” concluded the former left-handed batter.

Right men pitching up at right time for RCB, team brimming with confidence: Ravi Shastri

Former Indian captain Ravi Shastri has reckoned that the Royal Challengers Bangalorev(RCB) side is doing well in the ongoing TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 because the team is not looking reliant on a few players and different players are rising to the occasion instead.

Under the leadership of Faf du Plessis, the RCB have done well in the most exciting IPL season and experts believe they are certainly going to make it to the playoffs and are even capable of lifting the title.

Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Shastri said, “They are doing well and the win against CSK must have given them a lot of confidence. This looks like a much better dressing room now. RCB players must be brimming with confidence, and their mindset will be different now as the right men are pitching up at the right time for the side.”

“They are putting up a good all-round show in the tournament,” he added.

On the other hand, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra claimed the balance of RCB looks better this time and that is why the team is doing so well.

Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Chopra said, “The balance of RCB currently looks quite good. It used to be a bit different in the earlier seasons but this year a lot is going well for them. Earlier it used to be a team of alpha males i.e. AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli but that’s not the case this year.”

“They have plenty of options in the bowling department which is the best thing for them,” he added.

Meanwhile, former England cricketer Graeme Swann also praised the du Plessis-led RCB for their performance in the ongoing season and claimed that this team is capable of beating anyone on its day.

Swann also backed the RCB’s top-four batters to do well in the remaining games of the ongoing IPL season.

Speaking on Cricket Live on Star Sports, Swann said, “Let’s face it, this team is full of quality players. If their batsmen actually support each other and one of their top-four (batters) goes on to score that 70-80, they could beat anybody on their day.”

“Whether they go on to do that remains to be seen. Certainly, their top four is very-very spicy,” he added.

With seven wins from 12 games, RCB have 14 points in the ten-team standings and are placed at the fourt place.

On Sunday, RCB registered a thumping 67-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the historic Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. They will next take on Punjab Kings (PBKS) in their second-least game of the league stage at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on Friday (May 13).

Ravi Shastri announced as commissioner of Legends League Cricket

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has been named as the Commissioner of the Legends League Cricket (LLC), a professional event for retired players likely to begin in January 2022 in the Gulf.

In a release issued by the event’s organisers, Shastri said: “It feels great to remain connected with cricket in the thick of action, especially with the Legends of the game who have been champions in their own rights.”

“It is going to be a lot of fun with some serious cricket going. These stalwarts have nothing new to prove but they have their reputation in line and I can assure you, it will be interesting to see how they do justice to it. I am extremely thrilled to be a part of Legends League Cricket. This is a unique initiative and we see a very bright future ahead,” added 59-year-old Shastri.

Meanwhile, Raman Raheja, co-founder and CEO of the LLC said: “He (Shastri) has been a true legend of Indian and world cricket, bringing glory to India for years.”

“We perhaps couldn’t have (had) a better person to lead our cricket affairs and guide the League in the right direction. We look forward to the exciting days ahead,” he added.

On the other hand Australian physiotherapist Andrew Leipus, who was associated with Team India and also the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, had already joined as the Director (Sports Science) of the league and will monitor the fitness of all the players featuring in the league.

The LLC will feature former cricketers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia and England, among other cricket nations divided into three teams which will be representing India, Asia and Rest of the World (RoW).

Shastri had served as the head coach of the Indian senior team between July 2017 and November 2021. His last assignment was the just concluded T20 World Cup in the UAE where the Men in Blue had failed to enter the semi-finals.

Recently, several reports claimed that the newly inducted Ahmedabad franchise is most likely to rope in Shastri as their head coach for the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as the franchise, which is owned by private equity firm CVC Capitals, had already approached the former India cricketer.

In a recent ineterview, Shastri had also said that he would definitely want to coach a franchise in the cash-rich league.

“If I get the opportunity, I will definitely do it. There are no two ways about that. It will be a great experience. Something I have not tried and I relish challenges. I will go in that direction, for sure,” he said in an interview with NDTV.

“The sporting fraternity, since I left the game and went to broadcasting for 23 years, has opened up that massively, five fingers will not fit, you need ten. But I am good enough with five and it will be everything connected to cricket because whatever I am, it is because of the game and in many ways, the BCCI, because they are the custodians of the sport in India. But the media space is exploding and I think I fit in there.,” he had added.

Significantly under Shastri’s tenure, Team India had made it to the final of the inaugural World Test Championship in England in June this year but went down against New Zealand.

India had earlier reached the 2019 ODI World Cup semis under Shastri.

Hunt for Team India’s next coach to begin before T20 World Cup

The search for Team India’s new coach is most likley to begin before the upcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in the UAE and Oman from October 17, by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Notably, the upcoming showpiece evnt will be head coach Ravi Shastri’s last assignment with the Men in Blue.

As per reports, the BCCI is almost done with the criteria for documentation and subsequent support staff and would release an advertisement for the post later this week.

Along with Shastri, contracts of bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar will also expire in November.

India are scheduled to play a full series against New Zealand between November 1 and 17.

“The process of hiring the next support staff will begin this week. The board is looking at releasing the ad on October 14. The board is keen to bring in a new coach during the New Zealand series to get used to it. The dressing room before the team leaves for South Africa in the second week of December,” a top BCCI official was quoted as saying by the Times of India (TOI).

As per reports, the BCCI has asked former India cricketers Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman whether they are interested in the job.

“These are very early stages. Bigger names can be applied for the job. The board will wait to see who will apply and then decide on individuals to follow,” the BCCI official added.

Reports also suggest that former India pacer and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) bowling coach Paras Mhambrey is one of the front-runner to become Team India;s bowling coach.

Commenting on Membre, who has been training youngsters in NCA under its chief Rahul Dravid, the official said: “It would be great if Membre applied for the job. He knows the system well. But the board needs to find out who will take care of the U-1 team because there is not much time to prepare or the U-1 World Cup.”

Meanwhile, the board would also have to look out for fielding and a strength and conditioning coach.

Last week, Team India trainer Nick Webb had also announced to step down from his post of strength and conditioning coach after the upcoming T20 World Cup and will not seek a contract extension.

The New Zealander, who was appointed to the position in 2019, had himself confirmed the development.

“I have recently informed the BCCI that I will not be seeking extension of contract following the Twenty20 World Cup,” Webb had written in a social media post.

Meanwhile, not just the coaches but also current India T20 skipper Virat Kohli will step down after the showpiece event.

Notably in September, Kohli had announced to step down as India’s T20I captain after the upsoming showpiece event.

Taking to the micro-blogging website Twitter, the run-machine had tweeted: “I have given everything to the Team during my time as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward.”

“Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussions with my close people, Ravi bhai and also Rohit, who have been an essential part of the leadership group, I’ve decided to step down as the T20 Captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October,” he had added.

Team India trainer Nick Webb to step down after T20 World Cup

Team India trainer Nick Webb has decided to step down from his post of strength and conditioning coach after the upcoming T20 World Cup and will not seek a contract extension.

The New Zealander, who was appointed to the position in 2019, himself confirmed the development.

“I have recently informed the BCCI that I will not be seeking extension of contract following the Twenty20 World Cup,” Webb wrote in a social media post.

Webb also confirmed the development to Cricbuzz and said the decision was taken due to the restrictions imposed following the spread of COVID-19 pandemic as he was finding it difficult to spend time with his family.

“This has not been an easy decision. But ultimately I must put my family first. The current Covid restrictions for the New Zealand citizens wanting to enter the country is the primary reason. While these restrictions may ease in the future, the uncertainty of this happening moving forward along with potential 5-8 months stint at a time away from my family has made it unsustainable for me past the T20 World Cup,” he wrote.

Commenting on India captain Virat Kohli and coach Shastri, he said: “They are both great leaders in their own right. They both strive for excellence, set high expectations on us all and left nothing to chance. I have learned a lot from them both and have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside them,” he was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

“If Covid restrictions were not in place, I would not be making this decision,” he added.

Last month, head coach Ravi Shastri had also hinted that he might step down from his post after the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, slated to be held in the UAE and Oman, as he had said that “I believe one thing — never overstay your welcome.”

Shastri, who was criticised for launching his new book in London and spreading the Covid-19 virus among the Indian support staff two days before the fourth Test at The Oval during the just concluded England tour, had said: “I believe so because I’ve achieved all I wanted,” when asked whether the ICC T20 World Cup would be his last outing with Team India as chief coach.”

“Five years as No 1 (in Test cricket), to win in Australia twice, to win in England. I spoke to Michael Atherton earlier this summer and said: ‘For me, this is the ultimate — to beat Australia in Australia and win in England in Covid times.’ We lead England 2-1 and the way we played at Lord’s and the Oval was special,” Shastri had told The Guardian.

“We’ve also beaten every country in the world in their own backyard in white-ball cricket. If we win the (T20) World Cup that will be the icing on the cake. There is nothing more. I believe one thing –never overstay your welcome. And I would say that, in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side, I’ve over-achieved. To beat Australia away and to lead the series in England in a Covid year? It is the most satisfying moment of my four decades in cricket,” added he.

Along with Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar are also expected to leave.