This week’s major cricket buzz: November 4 – 10

Cricket Buzz, Nov 4

Yuvi on fire as he bats against a few Indian Cricket policies

Former Indian Superstar allrounder Yuvraj Singh, popularly as Yuvi, on Monday, claimed that the Indian cricketers feel compelled to play even when they are not in a condition to for the fear of losing their place, a situation he wishes to change with Dada as the BCCI President. Yuvi applauded the example set by Australian allrounder Glenn Maxwell, who recently took a break from international cricket to deal with mental health issues stressing that he has got the backing of his Board.

Yuvi said he expects drastic changes in the BCCI’s functioning with Ganguly at the helm as players will finally be heard instead of merely listening to the administrators, which happened previously “I see great things happening to Indian cricket with Sourav as President. Cricket, from the administration point of view, and the cricketers’ point of view are two different things, Someone, who has been a very successful captain, will run cricket from a players point of view where cricketer’s concern will be heard and understood. It had never happened earlier. They would make decisions and cricketers were not asked. Now atleast he will listen to what cricketers want.”

Yuvi on the ‘moved on’ comments of the Selectors regarding the international future of former captain MS Dhoni, replied “I don’t know boss. You should ask Your great selectors when you meet them. That’s their call, not mine.” 

Yuvi also advised the selectors to avoid the shuffle, pick and drop players, ahead of the T20 World Cup, scheduled next year in Australia.

Harbhajan Singh’s request to all the dignitaries

Harbhajhan requests to counter pollution
Bhaji’s request about air pullution

As the pollution crisis in Delhi deteriorates, Former Indian Offie Harbhajan Singh on Monday uploaded a video on Twitter in which he pleaded to PM Modi and others to take action to reduce the pollution levels in the capital city. 

The video by Turbanator captioned: Requesting u all to come join me, take a pledge to look after our MotherNature for better tomorrow @narendramodi @capt_amarinder @ArvindKejriwal @mlkhattar @PrakashJavdekar @vijaylokapally @vikrantgupta73 @imVkohli

 #pollutionkills #swasthava JAI HIND 

As soon as the video got uploaded it boomed with 11.5 K likes, Watch the video.

The crisis is obviously severe as the 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) value on Monday morning was 437 and the average level of PM2.5 – the finer and more harmful of the particulates – was more than seven times the safe levels. With such a scenario around only smart approach by not only Political leaders but most importantly by the common public can save the National Capital from turning it to some wasteland.

Cricket Buzz, Nov 5 

The new threat for the already threatened Tour

The first T20 international between India and Bangladesh was played in the national capital despite severe smog and air pollution, prompting the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to thank both the teams. Bangladesh, who created history by beating India by seven wickets, lead the three-match series 1-0.

After a smog-hit series opener in Delhi, there is a cyclonic threat to the second T20 International to be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot. The cyclone Maha is expected to reach on the Gujarat coast on the day of the match, which could lead to heavy rains. As per the India Meteorological Department’s latest forecast, Maha would hit the Gujarat coast as a ‘cyclonic storm’ between Porbandar and Diu during the early hours of Thursday.

As of now, Maha is an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ over the Arabian sea and situated around 660 kilometres away from Porbandar. It is predicted that it would weaken into a cyclonic storm before hitting the Gujarat coast. The IMD, in a release, stated that light to moderate rain or thundershowers would occur at most places in all districts of Gujarat including Rajkot, on November 6 and 7.

The Saurashtra Cricket Association is keeping a close eye on the weather forecasts. It is expected to rain in the morning on the 7th but the game is in the evening, so the match is expected as of now. Both the teams had reached Rajkot on Monday. 

The final match of the series will be played in Nagpur on Sunday, November 10, which is hopefully, as of now is free of any threats.

India and Virat Kohli on top despite WC semi exit

Virat Kohli at 31, has become a Brand, and this is evident from the results of a recent study conducted on cricket which revealed Indian cricketers as the top three most researched players globally.

SEMrush, an online visibility management platform recently performed a case study which shows that the first three positions for the most searched players globally have been secured by the same Indian players for 2nd consecutive terms. Virat Kohli tops the list, followed behind by Legendary MS Dhoni and then the flamboyant opener Rohit Sharma respectively are the world’s favourite cricketers.

This year the interest in these players has increased almost by 1.5 times as compared to last year. The research results indicate that in 2019 from January to September, Virat Kohli has been searched over 2 million times on a monthly average. While MS Dhoni and Hitman Rohit Sharma have also crossed an average monthly search of more than 1 million.

In the list for most searched teams in 2019, Indian cricket team tops. However, the England cricket team who won the World Cup 2019 for the first time is 2nd on the list but was the top searched team in 2018. Consecutively for the 2nd year, the third position has been secured by the West Indies cricket team.

Cricket Buzz, Nov 6

The IPL at it again as The Buzz-Maker

The IPL is likely to start on April 1, 2020, and could end by May 30, but the news and reports surrounding it have started making the rounds already. This time, the report of scrapping of the opening ceremony and having the fourth umpire is confirmed, along with discussions to be made on early timings and lesser day matches.

Early start and lesser day games

In recent years, BCCI, along with the broadcasters, have come up with several options and a new schedule to cash in on the two-month window. The franchises will be informed about these plans when the IPL GC meets the owners in the coming months. The BCCI is also keen to have a 7 pm start for all matches and will discuss this with the franchises. Mumbai Indians, in the past, have expressed their disagreement with early starts and argued that Mumbai crowds come to watch matches post office hours. To counter those reasoning the GC has stated to think on having fewer day games, with a condition of each team to play only 1 day match in the marquee tournament.

It is also learnt that during informal discussions with franchises, many teams were in favour of early starts, especially for fans who face difficulties travelling back home after games. Many centres don’t have any public transport available post-night IPL games. So this time around the viewers can expect a change in schedule and have to adjust accordingly.

No opening ceremony

Meanwhile, the BCCI has also approached the Cricket Club of India (CCI) with an offer to host the IPL opening ceremony. The Indian cricket board has decided to scrap the IPL opening ceremony, the Bollywood-style extravaganza that previously cost close to Rs 30 crore.

Speaking to The Indian Express, a BCCI official said: “The opening ceremonies are a waste of money. The cricket fans don’t seem to be interested, and the performers have to be paid a lot.”

Over the years, a number of Bollywood stars and international pop stars, like Katy Perry, Akon and PitBull, have performed at IPL opening ceremonies amid dazzling fireworks and laser shows.

The fourth umpire

This was one of the key decisions taken during the IPL governing council meeting Monday. In another move, it was decided that the league will henceforth have the fourth umpire to focus only on no-balls.

The IPL GC in a move to relieve the on-field umpires from spotting a no-ball has now decided to introduce a dedicated no-ball umpire over and above the third and fourth umpire in the next edition of IPL. “If we have the technology, we must make full use of it. So there will be a separate umpire for no balls, Last season, several players were given out and later recalled when replays showed the bowlers had overstepped. The idea is to reduce errors and controversies.”

A progressive proposal of introducing substitutes in ‘powerplay’ has been put aside for now with very little time to experiment the same, as the IPL auction scheduled for December 19 in Kolkata, where few expected names will be thrown out for grabs, again.

Abroad Branding

The newly formed Governing Council had its first IPL GC meeting after Sourav Ganguly took charge of BCCI also marked a notable softening of the Board’s stance towards franchise interests. Franchisees interested in playing friendly matches abroad to promote their brand will be allowed to do so. “Friendlies will be allowed. As it is, we are playing for just two months. After that, we don’t have any activity. We are looking to popularise the game,” the member added.

At least two franchises Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have long been exploring the possibilities of cashing in on their popularity amongst the Indian diaspora.

“The idea is to create brand promotions in newer markets. This doesn’t mean that it will involve the main players who will be busy playing international cricket, but even the presence of the team’s legends will help execute the idea,” said a franchise official.

As per the IPL agreement, a part of the profits from the franchise friendly matches, promotional activity and gate receipt from the friendlies would go to the BCCI.

Smriti Mandana the 3rd fastest woman to 2000 runs in ODIs

India’s star Southpaw opener Smriti Mandhana became the 3rd fastest woman to get to 2000 runs in ODI cricket. To reach the milestone, she hit a match-winning fifty against West Indies in Antigua on Wednesday. Former Australian cricketer Belinda Clark holds the record for fastest to 2000 runs in women’s cricket, who achieved the feat in just 41 matches. Meg Lanning had reached the milestone in 45 matches.

Smriti Mandhana needed just 51 innings to go past 2000 runs in ODI cricket. She thereby became only the 2nd fastest Indian after Shikhar Dhawan, who took only 48 matches, to reach the milestone.

Smriti Mandhana, has breached the landmark in ODI cricket faster than Virat Kohli who took 53 matches,, Sourav Ganguly, and Navjot Sidhu who both did it in 52 ODIs.

In men’s cricket and overall, former South African batsman Hashim Amla holds the feat of being the fastest to 2,000-ODI runs who had achieved the milestone in 40 innings.

Cricket Buzz, November 7

As the dirty deeds at KPL got exposed the deep roots of fixing are daunting

This week’s major cricket buzz: November 4 - 10 1
CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi under custody

The Karnataka Police’s Central Crime Branch (CCB) exposes the dirty deeds in the local T-20 tournament KPL proving that the roots of fixing are daunting and it possesses a huge threat for the future of Indian Cricket. The BCCI is planning to take care of the first-class cricketers by hiking the salaries, and with various schemes but on the contrary, the first-class Cricketers are indulged in such shameful activities which is unacceptable. 

The dirty deeds in KPL

Just after a day, Nishant Shekhawat, a first-class Cricketer was arrested for allegedly acting as a mediator between bookies and players in the KPL by the CCB, two more former Karnataka cricketers CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi are arrested today on charges of spot-fixing in KPL final earlier this year. As of today, November 7, seven people – including four players – have been arrested for carrying out the dirty deeds in the Karnataka Premier League.

CCB officials stated that Gautam, captain of Bellary Tuskers, and Kazi who plays for the same team, allegedly accepted Rs 20 lakh for “slow batting” in the final against Hubli Tigers, which the Tuskers lost by eight runs. The two are also believed to have been involved in fixing another match against the Bengaluru Blasters. 

Gautam is a popular name in Karnataka cricket circles and was instrumental in helping the Karnataka Ranji cricket team win back-to-back domestic trebles in 2013-14 and 2014-15. After nine years with his home state, he moved to Goa this season and was named their captain for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy which begins on Friday. He is a wicket-keeper and a right-handed batsman. 

Gautam also played for the India-A team and has represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, and Delhi Daredevils in the IPL. Kazi, meanwhile, also played under Gautam at different stages of his career. He represented Karnataka before moving to Nagaland last year. He transferred to Mizoram at the start of this season. He represented Royal Challengers Bangalore in one game.

The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) runs the KPL T20 tournament every year just like of the marquee IPL organised by the BCCI.

The scandal came to light in September this year with the arrest of Belagavi Panthers owner Ali Asfak and the consequent suspension of the franchise. On November 6, it was reported that Nishant Shekhawat was also arrested who played an intermediary role between bookie Manoj Kumar alias Monty, and Bengaluru Blasters bowling coach Vinu Prasad, who was arrested alongside Blasters batsman M Viswanathan in late October. Shekhawat allegedly lured Viswanathan into a fix with the help of Prasad during the 2018 season. Shekhawat was a player with the Shivamogga Lions franchise at the time.

Shekhawat is the fifth man, and the second player, to be arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in the league, which began with the arrest of franchise owner Ali Asfak Thara and the suspension of his franchise Belagavi Panthers last month. Drummer Bhavesh Bafna, who was outed by a cricketer he allegedly approached, is the other person who was arrested and is being monitored by the BCCI’s anti-corruption unit since he also played the drums during Royal Challengers Bangalore’s home games at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. 

Fascinatingly, after all those advancements and all those ACU and policies being set-up the roots of the dirty deeds are still sunk deep and only God knows when will be the day when it will be uprooted and burned to ashes. It hurts being a Cricket fan to come up through such news every now and then and it hurts even more, when some Indian cricketers are indulged in such activities. On one hand, there are Players like Virat, Rohit, Rahul, Pant, Iyer and all who work hard every day, in and out, with a die-hard passion for the game, thereby earning name and fame for themselves, while on the other hand, there are these crooks carrying out the dirty deeds, desiring to be rich without being unhesitant even to defame the Game in the process. No mercy should be shown to the guilty, Ban them all.

Also read: The Match-Fixing Scandal- 2000

Not Maha but The Hit-Man carnage devastated Bangla Tigers, in Rajkot

With the series one down, Rohit’s India reached Rajkot with blurred thoughts of even getting a match due to the Cyclonic threat. Cyclone Maha remained as the major talking point before the start of the game, and thankfully, it stayed away, because something else was planned for the day, the Hit-man carnage.

After winning the toss Rohit elected to field first and Bangladesh got off to a flier, bht eventually was brought down as they could post only a modest score of 153.

 While chasing, Rohit stepped in the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot in a completely unexpected frame of mind and went absolutely crazy during his 43-ball stay at the crease. The Indian skipper banged six fours and six sixes to end the chase prematurely within 10 overs and unfortunately, the visitors had no answers.

As India won the match by 8 wickets, the series will be moving for the decider to the City of Oranges Nagpur, on Sunday. It’s 1-1 and both the teams have everything to play for.

Cricket Buzz, November 8

Perfect timing for Malan to score the fastest T-20 ton

David Malan fastest centurion

Dawid Malan created history as he became the fastest centurion in the England’s T20I history. The timing of the ton couldn’t have been better as it helped England to set up a series-levelling win in Napier. 

Malan, who reached the landmark in 48 deliveries, laid the platform for England’s highest T20I total, surpassing the 230 they made against South Africa in Mumbai in 2016. With Eoin Morgan also recording a career-best T20I score – he made 91 from 41 balls – England added 182 in 74 balls for the third wicket. It was the highest third-wicket partnership by any team in the history of T20I cricket and the fourth-highest partnership for any wicket. 

Malan’s unbeaten 103 (51) along with a Captain’s knock of 91, leads England to a crushing, series-levelling win vs the Black Caps.

Karnataka makes it 15 on trot only next to Stallions

In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 Group A match to create an Indian record for most T20 wins in a row, Karnataka beat Uttarakhand by nine wickets to make it a 15th T20 win in a trot. With this win they moved to the second spot in the overall list, joint with the Otago, New Zealand.

The record for the same is of winning 25 T20 games in a trot, held by Sialkot Stallions of Pakistan in its National T20 Cup.

Cricket Buzz, November 9

Windies end the 5 years drought

This week’s major cricket buzz: November 4 - 10 2
Windies end the 5 years drought

West Indies after beating Afghanistan have won their first ODI series since August 2014. It’s been five long years they’ve waited to taste an ODI series victory. Although the series win came vs a much younger team of Afghanistan but considering the talent of the Afghani boys the victory should mean a confidence booster for the Big Windies Guys.

BCCI impact? As ECB opposes ICC FTP

As soon as the BCCI has formed or should we rephrase it ‘re-formed,’ it has been opposing the FTP program proposed by the ICC for the 2023-31 cycle. Soon the BCCI got company of the Cricket Australia, and now the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have opposed the International Cricket Council (ICC) and said that they will not support the 2023-31 Future Tours Program (FTP) which bids to have a flagship event every year from 2023 to 2031.

As reported, the ECB chairman, Colin Graves wrote an email to ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney stating that the ECB is not in a position to support the current proposal for ICC events from 2023-2031.

Colin Graves, “The impact of the proposed schedule on ICC events on bilateral cricket is a serious concern for the ECB. The proposed schedule risks compromising the time available and thus value and integrity of the bilateral cricket calendar for all member boards. 

Players’ welfare is the primary concern to the ECB and current proposal requires that international players are likely to have fewer days to prepare and rest,” he stated, reminding that the global body should also be concerned about “mental and physical wellbeing” of players just like member Boards. 

ECB cannot support a proposal that seeks to play an additional ICC Men’s event in a year where the ICC Men’s World Test Championship is scheduled as it risks devaluing World Test Championship and future health of Test cricket.”

The ICC in its last meeting in Dubai had proposed that in the next FTP Cycle for 2023-2031, there would be 2 ODI World Cups, 4 T-20 World Cups and 2 more multi-national tournaments, making it the 8 year cycles with an event in each year.

Now with the top 3/Big 3 cricket nations opposing the plan ahead of the apex board, the members of the board with the dream of having an event each year can easily Rest in Peace. 

Cricket Buzz, Nov 10

2019 the unluckiest year for New Zealand Cricket ?

Few months later from one of the most controversial, thrilling, and heart-aching World Cup Finals, another decider match went the same way for the New Zealand Cricket. Fascinatingly, 2019 has not been a year for the Black Caps as it would have been for the English lads. As both the teams faced each other in the finals of two different formats, one being not as important as the World Cup, but wins like these under nerve-wrenching pressure rockets the team’s confidence sky-high. Unluckily in both instances New Zealand was the team that fall short by fraction of lengths from the finish line. 

Formats changed but England still stands superior to New Zealand in winning the crucial moments as they clinched yet another Super Over, this time a 5 match bilateral T-20I series’ decider in Auckland. 

Batting First New Zealand posted a humongous 146/5 in 11 overs of the play. While chasing England scored enough, but only enough, as they could manage only 146/7 in 11 Overs too. The match was tied. The World Cup Finals kindaa drama started, Commentators buffed up, Players in laughs as none could believe this has happened again.

 In the super-over England posted a decent 18 runs to win, as the hopes of Black Caps rested on the swashbuckling opener Martin Guptill, he chose not to be the Revenger, to take revenge for the World Cup Finals loss, the same way from the same team, by not taking the strike. New Zealand lost this final Fair and Square and this time only they are to blame for the loss. No Sympathies this time.

Exuberant India displays clinical performance to clinch the T20I series

Rohit’s exuberant young India showcased a clinical performance to keep Bangla Tigers at bay thereby clinching the T20 series. Asked to bat first, India put an above par 174 runs on the board, thanks to the swirling innings of Shreyas Iyer and a good knock by KL Rahul. 

On Chasing, Bangladesh started well with the newbie Md. Naim scoring a threatening 80 odd but the intelligent bowling of Deepak Chahar, who scalped a 6 fer (6-7), assisted by Shivam Dube, derailed the chase of Bangladesh ending their dreams of winning a series vs India. 

Deepak Chahar with his bowling dynamic became the bowler with best T20I figures. His 6-7, with a hat-trick, is the best bowling figures in the T20 format which was previously held by Ajanta Mendis (6-8) of Sri Lanka, in 2012. 

Hat-trick by Indian bowlers
Tests: Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan & Jasprit Bumrah
ODIs: Chetan Sharma, Kapil Dev, Kuldeep Yadav & Mohammed Shami
T20Is: Deepak Chahar

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