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Beating China tough but not impossible: Anas

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Anas Edathodika

Shuzhou (China) Oct 11 : Indian football team defender Anas Edathodika feels upsetting China in front of their home crowd is “a tremendously tough job but not an impossible one.”

“It’ll be a tremendously tough job for us against China, that too at an away match. But winning isn’t impossible. We had a 13-match unbeaten streak including 9 wins recently and that is a perfect testament to the team’s hard work,” Anas told www.the-aiff.com.

“Coach (Stephen Constantine) has backed the younger guys and they have also repaid it equally. There’s a feel-good factor in Indian Football at this moment and it provides us with a positive vibe,” he commented.

India will take on China in an international friendly on Saturday as part of their preparations for next year’s Asian Cup.

Having won 12 out of the 17 encounters between the two countries so far the Chinese have always enjoyed an upper hand over their Indian counterparts but Anas shared that “both teams have to start afresh on 13th.”

“Indian Football has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 3-4 years. Younger players have put in terrific effort along with the seniors which has eventually helped the team gain more success up front. We can’t deny the history but both teams have to start afresh on 13th. Both teams will start from ground zero,” the 31-year-old defender stressed.

“Chhetri bhai, Gurpreet, Jeje, Sandesh, etc, have been there for a significant time and they never shy away from sharing a bit or two with the youngsters.”

Being a defender, Anas is aware of the uphill task of keeping the rivals at bay.

“Every single game is a tough test for the defenders. But, we have to work cohesively as a unit. Everyone including the attackers, midfielders, defenders have to play their due part to get the job done. It’s a no-brainer that the match will be a gruelling one for us,” he said.

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Obituary – Ex-Aus batsman Dean Jones had a love affair with India

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Dean Jones

For some strange reason, a 51-second video clip of Dean Jones being bowled neck and crop for a duck by the legendary Kapil Dev in a Test against Australia went viral on Wednesday, with a commentator uttering the words “that’s the end of Dean Jones”. And, on Thursday Jones died of a cardiac arrest, aged 59 years and 184 days, in Mumbai.

Jones, who was in India to honour his contract with a broadcaster for the IPL, was close to many Indian players, like Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar, and was a regular visitor to India for cricket-related work.

A top order batsman, Jones, who was part of the second Tied Test in which he scored his maiden double century in 1986 in Madras, played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs between 1984 and 1994. He was a gutsy batsman and wasn’t scared of stepping out to play speedsters. His running between the wickets was very brisk. Jones is perhaps best known for his 210 in the Tied Test, his maiden double century at that level — an innings after which he was taken to a hospital and was put on a saline drip after he was dehydrated during his eight-and-a-half hours at the crease in hot and humid Madras, as Chennai was then called.”

A day that changed my life forever,” Jones tweeted on September 19, on the 34th anniversary of the Tied Test. Another tweet of his that day read:

“This Test was the Renaissance for Australian cricket. It was our Mt Everest moment. Under AB [Border] we started to believe that we can compete against the best. Great friendships started with the Indians. Our Journey had just begun!” Indeed, Jones’s friendship with Indians had well and truly begun in 1987, and some of his friends, like Kapil Dev, were in the team that played at Chepauk. India proved lucky for Jones as he was part of Allan Border’s team that won Australia their first ever World Cup, in 1987 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. After retirement, Jones started getting TV work in India and was nicknamed ‘Professor Deano’. He even named his twitter handle @ProfDeano. Jones’s love affair with India continued both on and off the field. In Test cricket, although he played only three matches on Indian soil, his average here — 92.

75 — was the highest of the six countries he had played in. He played 18 ODIs in India and tallied 719 runs at 44.

94. The Aussie once also played alongside Indians in unofficial cricket. When a World XI gathered in England to celebrate the bicentenary of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1987, former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar partnered Jones in a game against Gloucestershire in Bristol.”

He was a very nice, jovial person. I was shocked when I heard this news today. I was absolutely devastated. Of course, we played against each other, representing India and Australia. We also played together once. It was one of the three matches played before the main five-day game between the MCC and Rest of the World XI at Lord’s in London. Dean and I had a 200-odd-run partnership. I scored 171 and he scored 70-odd in that match,” Vengsarkar told IANS. “Of course, I knew him very well. When he used to come to Mumbai for commentary etc, sometimes we used to meet. He was a good friend. And he used to play golf also. So, I was surprised that he collapsed and died today. It’s absolutely shocking,” he said. In mid-2000s, Jones also applied for the India coach’s job. Although he didn’t get the job, he became coach of the Islamabad franchise in the maiden Pakistan Super League in 2016 and guided the team to the title.

Jones played a prominent role in the revival of Australian cricket in late 1980s, especially during the 1987 World Cup and the 1989 Ashes Test series.

He went on to captain Victoria and Derbyshire. At times, Jones was too outspoken. As a commentator, he slipped a couple of times. In 2006, he called South Africa cricketer Hashim Amla a “terrorist”, a comment for which he had to pay a penalty. But he was accepted back into the commentary box while Amla forgave him. On Thursday morning, Jones reportedly greeted everyone when he was at the breakfast table in the hotel where he was staying in Mumbai. “When he went for breakfast, he was jovial and said ‘good morning boys, hope everything is fine’ to people present there,” a hotel source told IANS.

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali

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Rahul’s ton helps KXIP script facile 97-run win over RCB

It was an especially bad the day in office for Kohli, who apart from being dismissed for just one run, was guilty of dropping Rahul twice in the 17th and 18th over.

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KL Rahul

Dubai, Sep 24 : Riding on a blistering century skipper KL Rahul, Kings XI Punjab thrashed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 97 runs in an IPL encounter at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

Rahul’s unbeaten 132 off 69 balls helped KXIP post a mammoth 206/3 in 20 overs. In reply, RCB were bowled out for 109 in 17 overs.

RCB needed big contributions from their star-studded top order to stand a chance in the mammoth chase. But what ensued was far from it, as RCB were reduced to 57/5 inside nine overs with the young Devdutt Padikkal (1), Aaron Finch (20), Josh Philippe (0), captain Virat Kohli (1) and AB de Villiers (28) all back in the hut.

Mohammed Shami put the early breaks on the RCB innings, giving away just 14 runs in the three overs he bowled and taking the wicket of Philippe. Sheldon Cottrell dismissed Padikkal in the very first over of the innings before claiming the all-important wicket of Kohli in the third.

Finch and de Villiers then put up 49 runs for the fourth wicket, which was the only meaningful partnership that RCB managed to put up on the night. Ravi Bishnoi (20) ended the stand with the wicket of Finch in the eighth over. De Villiers fell in the ninth over to Murugan Ashwin to end any slender chances of RCB putting up a challenge. Bishnoi and Ashwin ended the game with three wickets each.

It was an especially bad the day in office for Kohli, who apart from being dismissed for just one run, was guilty of dropping Rahul twice in the 17th and 18th over.

Rahul went berserk after that, smashing 26 runs off Dale Steyn in the 19th over before ending the 20th with a four and consecutive sixes. His 132 is the highest score by any Indian in the IPL and the first century by any batsman this season.

Brief scores: KXIP 206/3 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 132 not out, Mayank Agarwal 26; Shivam Dube 2/33) vs RCB 109 in 17 overs (Washington Sundar 30, AB de Villiers 28; Murugan Ashwin 3/21)

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Dean Jones, former Australia cricketer and renowned commentator, passes away at 59

Former Australia cricketer and renowned commentator Dean Jones passed away on Thursday following a massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai.

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Dean Jones

Former Australia cricketer and renowned commentator Dean Jones passed away on Thursday following a massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was 59. A batsman during his playing days, Jones played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs for Australia between 1984 and 1994 before venturing into commentary.

Jones was part of the Australian team that won the 1987 World Cup, playing a starring role in the campaign. Jones was Australia’s third highest run-getter in the tournament, scoring 314 runs in 8 matches. He was currently in India as part of the team of experts working on the Indian Premier League with host broadcaster Star Sports.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Mr. Dean Mervyn Jones AM. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest. We express our deep condolences to his family and stand ready to support them in this difficult time. We are in touch with the Australian High Commission to make the necessary arrangements,” Star India said in a release.

“Dean Jones was one of the great ambassadors of the game associating himself with Cricket development across South Asia. He was passionate about discovering new talent and nurturing young Cricketers. He was a champion commentator whose presence and presentation of the game always brought joy to millions of fans. He will be sorely missed by everyone at Star and his millions of fans across the globe.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Jones made his debut for Australia in a Test match in the West Indies in 1984. He scored almost 9500 international runs. He retired from international cricket with an average of 46.55 in Test cricket and 44.61 in ODIs.

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