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3 times when Yuvraj changed the game with his fielding

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YUVRAJ SINGH

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) With the likes of skipper Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja in the team, the current Indian squad is undoubtedly one of the best fielding units in the game. The story was not the same a decade back and the transformation from a below-par fielding outfit to becoming one of the best in the business started in the early 2000s.

It was Yuvraj Singh — a retired cricketer after Monday — and Mohammad Kaif who with their electrifying catches and fielding efforts changed the course of many matches and also started the fielding revolution under skipper Sourav Ganguly. While Yuvraj, will mostly be remembered for his six sixes in an over in the 2007 T20 World Cup and his heroics during the 2011 50-over World Cup, it cannot be denied that Yuvraj also changed the course of matches with his fielding efforts.

IANS takes a look at some instances when the southpaw’s fielding turned the games in India’s favour:

  1. India vs South Africa, Champions Trophy, 2002

India took on South Africa in the first semi-final of the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo and the then skipper Sourav Ganguly won the toss and decided to bat first. The Indians set the Proteas a formidable 261 run-target. In reply, the South Africans looked to be running away with the match as their score stood at 192/1 at one stage. Herschelle Gibbs’ 116 and Jacques Kallis’ 97 left the Proteas 68 runs away with 71 balls still to be bowled. Not to forget the 9 wickets in the bag for the Proteas. However, as Gibbs had to retire hurt, Jonty Rhodes came in and mistimed a sweep off Harbhajan Singh. Yuvraj ran in at short fine-leg and took a one handed stunner to cut short his stay.

POst the catch, the entire match took a turn as South Africa then lost wickets at regular intervals to finish their innings at 251 for 6.

  1. India vs Bangladesh, 2004

In an ODI against Bangladesh at Chittagong in 2004, batting first India put 245/8. It was the game where M.S. Dhoni also made his ODI debut. Meanwhile, chasing the target, Bangladesh were off to a flying start as opener, Mohammad Rafique was smashing Irfan Pathan. After hitting a six in that over against Pathan, Rafique tried to hit him over backward point, but an outstading Yuvraj was right there and the one-haded catch applied brakes on the opener’s knock as the Men in Blue went on to clinch the issue by 11 runs.

  1. India vs Australia, ICC KnockOut Trophy, 2000

In the first quarter-final against Australia in Nairobi in the ICC KnockOut trophy in 2000, India had scored an impressive 265 for 9, courtesy Yuvraj’s 84.

But apart from his contribution with the bat, it was also his superb catch which made the difference. Australia’s Ian Harvey, who was batting at no. 3, tried to gather some quick runs and hit a lofted drive off Venkatesh Prasad. However, Yuvraj, who was fielding at cover, flew in the air to take an outstanding catch. The catch once again changed the outcome of the match as the Kangaroos fell short by 20 runs.

(Kaushik Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])

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My eyes fixed firmly on Women’s World Cup trophy: Mithali Raj

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

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Mithali Raj

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Veteran India batter Mithali Raj has said that she is “definitely looking” at the ICC Women’s World Cup, which has been postponed to 2022 and has added that her eyes are firmly fixed on the trophy.

On Friday, the International Cricket Council decided to postpone the World Cup, originally slated to be held in New Zealand in 2021, until February-March 2022 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whilst this is never great news to wake up to. I can understand the reasons why given the lack of cricket in some countries. I just hope those players who were planning to retire after the World Cup can hold on for one year…right Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Rachael Haynes,” cricketer-turned-commentator Lisa Sthalekar tweeted following ICC’s decision to postpone Women’s World Cup.

To this, Mithali replied: “Oh absolutely, my eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy. With all niggles recovered, mind and body fresh and stronger than before, I am definitely looking at World Cup 2022.”

Mithali had led the Indian eves to the final of the showpiece event in 2017 where they had to face a heart-wrenching defeat against England in the summit clash at the iconic Lord’s.

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

The 37-year-old has already retired from T20 cricket and now aspires to win India their maiden World Cup for which she will now have to wait at least until 2022.

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Madrid Masters tennis tournament cancelled: organisers

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Madrid Masters tennis

The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20 has been cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish Capital, Organisers said on Thursday.

“As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstance that the pandemic continues to generate… it has been decided that 2020 Muta Madrid Open will not take place this year,” organisers said in a satatement.

The tounament, which was to feature both men’s and women’s draws, was seen as an important event for players to prepare for the Frech Open which begins on Sept. 27.

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BCCI issues SOP; players must sign consent form before resuming training

BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

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bcci

New Delhi, Aug 2 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket. While these will help the state bodies restart cricketing activities, all players will have to sign consent forms before getting back to training.

In the 100-page SOP, accessed by IANS, the BCCI has touched on principles while returning to training, ground and practice facilities preparation with an eye on the pandemic, gymnasium protocols, physiotherapy and medical protocols as well as protocols to manage a suspected COVID-19 case.

It also has the consent form where the players have to acknowledge that there is risk associated with resuming training and that the player has been informed about the protocols in place and the precautions taken by the association.

The player also needs to acknowledge that the association can’t guarantee complete elimination of risk despite taking necessary precautions and that the player is willing to resume training.

With an eye on the whole situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has shared its views with the state bodies with regards to resumption of cricket.

“The BCCI as the governing body for the sport of cricket in India is responsible for ensuring that appropriate protocols are put in place to protect the health and safety of players, staff and all stakeholders. Covid-19, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, poses a serious threat to the health of individuals as is evident from its spread to almost all countries around the world with more than 17.5 million infections and over 0.6 million deaths as on 1st August 2020. As the world grapples with Covid-19, cricketing activity has come to a standstill and players confined to the four walls within their homes.

“It is said that cricket is a religion in India and the fanfare and fervor that cricket commands are far greater than any other sport or event in the country. Besides, it also helps generate tremendous revenue and employs players and staff across 38 State teams, both in the men and women category. BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

“However, the BCCI is concerned about the high infectivity rate of SARS CoV-2 and in the interest of health and safety of all players, staff and stakeholders, the BCCI would not like to compromise on the preventive measures by resuming too soon,” the SOP read.

“The purpose of these protocols is to ensure the safe resumption of cricket activities and the below guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing Covid-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the Government of India at appropriate times. These guidelines have been prepared by the BCCI Medical Team.

“All BCCI affiliated State Cricket Associations will adhere to these guidelines and take additional measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection. Approvals must also be sought from local administration and health authorities before commencing any cricket activity. The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations.”

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