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Coach Amre lauds Rahane for answering critics with bat

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Ajinkya Rahane

New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) West Indies folding up for 100 in the second innings in Antigua on Sunday was as much about India’s brilliant bowling as it was about failing to grind it out on a surface that wasn’t most conducive to batting. And that is what made Ajinkya Rahane’s century even more special in the third innings of the game. And personal coach Pravin Amre hopes that this will finally silence the critics.

Speaking to IANS, Amre said that Rahane keeping calm and not going for an exaggerated celebration after reaching his century showed a mature side as also the confidence that the Test deputy has in his own game.

“He has handled himself really well. While everyone speaks about his knock in the Johannesburg Test match that won India the game, not many realise that the vice-captain had been dropped at the start of the series. He isn’t frustrated and that shows the confidence he has in his game. That also showed when he got to his hundred. He spoke to himself and there was no exaggerated celebration. Any other batsman would have jumped in the air and done quite a few things.

“For me, his first innings score of 81 was more important because India were in a spot of bother at 25/3 and when two big batsmen like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are back in the hut, there can be immense pressure. You needed someone to bat and hold fort and that is just what he did. I don’t think nobody can handle the situation better than him on days when Kohli and Pujara are out cheaply. He has the technique and the temperament to adapt to situations,” Amre pointed.

While it is no secret that bowlers like Ishant Sharma have improved by leaps and bounds by playing County cricket, Amre feels his ward has also benefitted by playing in tough conditions against the Dukes ball.

“I must say the last two years weren’t very easy for him and the way he got the Man of the Match on Sunday was very important. But if you see the last six months, his hardwork was there for all to see. He went to England, played County cricket and did his best against the Dukes ball which isn’t easy and then he went to Bengaluru (National Cricket Academy) for a week and trained there as well. I think it is a reward for the hardwork that he put in,” he smiled.

The coach feels that Rahane has once again proved to the world that form is temporary and it is all about having the class to stand the test of time at the international level.

“We all know that class is permanent and form is temporary and he has shown that once again. This was a very crucial knock and God has been kind. But when I as his coach analyse it, I feel that he played some quality knocks last year as well, be it in South Africa or England and he has as much contribution in India becoming the No.1 Test team. As a player he has been contributing on and off, even if he didn’t score a hundred.

“Milestone isn’t always important and contributing to the team’s success as this is a team game. Not for once did he doubt his ability and that was the reason why he managed to stand tall and score 183 runs in the Test match. He was dropped even during the Indian Premier League and he came back and made a statement with the bat,” he said.

In fact, Amre believes that Rahane should have been there in the team during the 2019 World Cup as well.

“Even during the World Cup, if he was there at No.4, things would have been different because I honestly believe that he has a role in the team when they are playing in conditions like those in England,” he signed off.

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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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