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Abdul Qadir, fearless flagbearer of leg-spin will be missed

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Abdul Qadir Pakistan Cricket Player

Lahore, Sep 7 (IANS) As someone who revived the art of leg-spin with a unique bowling action and heart of a lion, the legendary Pakistani Abdul Qadir passed away on Friday night leaving the cricketing fraternity poorer and in his memory of the 1980s.

Qadir passed away at the age of 63 due to a heart attack drawing immediate reaction from the cricketing world at large who were once mesmerised by his skill and even terrified.

Qadir, who made his Test debut here against England in 1977, must be thanked for keeping wrist-spin alive through the late 1970s and ’80s. Qadir took 236 wickets in 67 Test matches, snaring 132 wickets in 104 ODIs.

He later served as the chief selector of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). He had a temperament of a fast bowler and his killer instinct with the ball left many a batsman befuddled.

Qadir preyed on English batsmen the most and the famous story of captain Imran Khan asking him to grow a beard before the 1982 tour to further intimidate the opponents is now part of folklore.

Qadir took 30 wickets in three Tests, including the best bowling in an innings by a Pakistani, 9/56 in Lahore against England in 1987. About his detailed action, Qadir had once said that it was done to distract batsmen. The saying was that he had six different deliveries per over.

Qadir was also said to have two different googlies. It was only against India that Qadir was not that successful, with a 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar famously hitting him for 28 runs in an over.

Qadir was also successful against the West Indies as Pakistan went without losing a series to them in the mid-80s which was largely due to Qadir’s exploits. Qadir was a fighter and that could be gauged by the way he batted with gusto like the one where he took 16 off Courtney Walsh’s last over to win a World Cup tie.

Qadir became a mentor to Shane Warne and Mushtaq Ahmed and with the emergence of the latter in the 90s, he faded away.

He ran a private academy near Gaddafi Stadium and his four sons have followed him into the game. He later served as the chief selector of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“They called him the magician for many reasons but when he looked me in the eyes and told me I was going to play for Pakistan for the next 20 years, I believed him. A Magician, absolutely. A leg spinner & a trailblazer of his time. You will be missed Abdul Qadir but never forgotten,” the legendary Wasim Akram tweeted, among many who remembered a great who will live beyond his 63 years.

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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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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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