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Ganguly’s BCCI team completes one year, crippled by Corona

The north-east states say the BCCI needs to address the issue of their annual grants immediately.

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New Delhi: The Sourav Ganguly-headed dispensation, a combination of four groups within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), completed one year in power on Friday. But except for the conduct of the Indian Premier League (IPL), they don’t have many achievements to show, thanks to Covid pandemic that ate up seven of their 12 months.

All the BCCI office-bearers were elected unanimously after four groups — widely identified to be led by Ganguly/north-east, Anurag Thakur, Rajeev Shukla, and former president N Srinivasan — joined hands to avoid elections after a Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) administered the BCCI for 33 months following the 2013 betting-fixing scandal.

Since none of the office-bearers had any experience of running the BCCI, they took time to settle down. Even as they were doing so, the Covid pandemic shut everything down in late March. The officials’ hands were tied as the country was under lockdown and even now cricket has barely begun.

And, now, there is a huge question mark over the 2020-21 domestic season, which has been delayed and could begin in January, Covid permitting. The BCCI Apex Council has decided that only the national championship for the Ranji Trophy, and maybe a senior women’s tournament, would be organised from January, provided the government allows sporting activities to start.

“The office-bearers were all new to the BCCI. To be honest, they didn’t get much time to perform. They hardly got time to settle down as the pandemic closed everything, including sporting activities. Their priority was to save the IPL, which they have done, and the brand continues and revenues are coming,” the president of a state association told IANS.

“But they could not do many other activities, like organising domestic cricket, due to the pandemic. Also, since a former India captain and cricketer was heading the BCCI we were expecting he would bring in new format for domestic tournament with a new mindset. A cricketer — and who had vast experience, a broad outlook,” he said.

How many marks out of 100 would the Ganguly-led dispensation would get for work done in office in a year? “No marks can be given because there was no exam; I mean they were not tested. Had they got a full year to work, marks could have be given,” said an official.

On the other hand, the north-east states that joined the BCCI in 2018-19 are disappointed as the BCCI hasn’t released their funds. These include Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.

“The team of CoA was more effective. But even they took time to study the situation post the betting sandal — almost seven-eight months — and settle down. And, in the five months before Corona that the present BCCI dispensation was in power we didn’t see much action. So, we can’t compare the two dispensations – CoA and the present one. It would be unjustified. And if Corona had not happened maybe this team would have done a better job. You’ve to give them the benefit of doubt,” said an official of a north-east.

The north-east states say the BCCI needs to address the issue of their annual grants immediately.

“In 2018-19, the CoA paid directly to the vendors, like hotels and transporters etc, involved in organising tournaments. All the states affiliated to the BCCI were to be given Rs 30 crore each for 2018-19 and 2019-20. But this amount has not been given to north-east states. The BCCI should deduct the amount paid directly to the vendors, and give the rest of the amount to us that would be used for development of cricket,” the official said.

“Last year, the BCCI gave Rs 10.80 crore each, for a season, to each of the new states that had complied with the Lodha Committee’s recommendations. But we actually spent between Rs 11 crore and Rs 12 crore on organising tournaments, and we need the rest of the amount to develop cricket. Since no accounting has been done for years 2018-19 and 2019-20, we haven’t received the rest of the amount. If we don’t get that money, how will we compete with the older BCCI member states? This needs to be addressed immediately, otherwise we will remain backward,” he said.

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Diego Maradona’s personal doctor under investigation

The medical psychiatrist and one other person who was in the house when Maradona passed could also be investigated.

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Leopoldo Luque, Diego Maradona’s personal doctor, is under investigation in Argentina over the football legend’s death.He has been named by prosecutors in San Isidro, in Buenos Aires, and the judge has ordered for the doctor’s house and clinic to be searched, with 30 police officers at each site.

There is a suspicion of medical negligence in the final days of Maradona’s life and, therefore, a potential culpable homicide.It has been claimed that Maradona didn’t have the medical permission to leave the clinic where he had surgery for a subdural hematoma earlier in November. But, he did leave on November 11 to return to his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires.

The medical psychiatrist and one other person who was in the house when Maradona passed could also be investigated.

This legal investigation could go on for some time as the prosecutors look to get to the bottom of what exactly happened in the final hours of Maradona’s life.

They’ll look to work out if he had permission to be at home, why there wasn’t a specialist doctor present 24/7, why there wasn’t an ambulance at the house, if he had the right medicine, if the general medical protocols were followed, why there wasn’t a defibrillator in the house and how the final hours were managed.

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India vs Australia: We were ineffective with the ball: Virat Kohli

Kohli with 89 runs and KL Rahul with 76 were India’s highest run scorers and both fell to sharp catches.

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Virat Kohli

Sydney: Indian captain Virat Kohli admitted that the team was ineffective with the ball on Sunday and outplayed by Australia in the second ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground which they lost by 51 runs.

A second consecutive 62-ball century from Steve Smith helped Australia reach 389/4 and India were restricted to 338/9.

“They have outplayed us. We were ineffective with the ball, and didn’t hit the areas. They have a strong batting line-up, they know the conditions and the angles well,” said Kohli after the match.

Kohli with 89 runs and KL Rahul with 76 were India’s highest run scorers and both fell to sharp catches.

“The chase felt steep, and one or two wickets would have taken the required rate up so we had to keep hitting. They took the chances that they created in the field, which was the difference,” said Kohli.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya bowled four overs and got the wicket of Smith. “Hardik felt okay to bowl. Initially just thought of trying for a couple of overs but he felt good and bowled a couple more. And he gave away a bit of a bowling plan with his off-cutters (smiles), but credit to them, they used the dimensions well. Even Rahul or Shreyas, if they carried on, it could’ve gotten us across the line with Hardik to come,” said Kohli.

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India fall to 51-run defeat; Australia win series

Rahul and Hardik Pandya then put up 63 for the fifth wicket but both succumbed to the pressure that came with the rising required run rate.

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Steve Smith

Sydney: Australia beat India by 51 runs in the second ODI on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The hosts have thus sealed victory in the three-match series, having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Chasing a mammoth target of 390, India were restricted to 338/9 after another century from Steve Smith took Australia to 389/4 batting first.

India started with a 58-run stand between openers Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan. The pair departed within a few balls of each other after which captain Virat Kohli anchored the middle order. Kohli and Shreyas Iyer steadied the ship for the visitors and just as they were looking to shift gears, the latter fell to Moises Henriques thanks to a stunning catch by Smith at deep midwicket.

Kohli soldiered on with KL Rahul at other end before falling to a brilliant catch, this time by Henriques himself, at midwicket again off Josh Hazlewood. Kohli made 89 off 87 balls, putting up partnerships of 93 with Iyer and 72 with Rahul.

Rahul and Hardik Pandya then put up 63 for the fifth wicket but both succumbed to the pressure that came with the rising required run rate.

Earlier, Smith smashed 104 off 64 balls, reaching three figures in just 62 balls for the second consecutive time in this series. He put up 136 runs with Marnus Labuschagne, which was the second century partnership for Australia in the match after the 142-run opening stand between captain Aaron Finch and David Warner.

Smith finally fell to Pandya, who was handed the ball for the first time since making his comeback from a back injury after which Glenn Maxwell smashed 63 off 29 balls to take Australia within 11 runs of the 400-run mark.

The third and final ODI will be played in Canberra on Wednesday.

Brief scores: Aus 389/4 in 50 overs (Steve Smith 104, David Warner 83; Mohammed Shami 1/73) vs Ind 338/9 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 89, KL Rahul 76; Pat Cummins 3/67).

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