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I see same passion in you: Richards to Kohli

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North Sound (Antigua), Aug 22 (IANS) Virat Kohli had a fan boy moment ahead of the first Test as he got an opportunity to interview legendary cricketer Vivian Richards, whom the Indian skipper has always idol-worshipped.

Kohli quizzed Viv Richards on how he dealt with the fastest of bowlers of his time without even wearing a helmet or a guard. He introduced the Caribbean master as “the greatest inspiration to all of us batsmen”.

“Whenever I have seen videos of you walking out, you’re in a hat, no helmets back then. Even when there were, after a point you chose not to. Because it was something that made you feel like you had the belief and ‘you are chewing gum’.

“I know the pitches were not as prepared or as covered back then. What was it like? What went through your head walking out knowing that you don’t have a lot of protection. There is no restriction on bouncers and then you go out and dominate like that.

“What did you feel from the time you left the changing room till you got to the pitch. What was the mindset?” Kohli asked.

“I believed I am the man,” said Richards. “It may sound arrogant but I always felt that I was involved in a game that I knew. I would back myself every time.

“You have to back yourself to get hurt, to take the knocks. But the helmet — I tried, I am not going to lie and tell you. But, it felt a little uncomfortable. So I felt my cap, my maroon cap which was given to me. I felt so proud with that.

“My mindset was that if I am good enough to be here, if I get hurt it’s God’s will. I will survive,” the 67-year-old replied.

Kohli also shared his experience of facing fast bowlers: “I feel like it’s better to get hit early on and get to know the feeling than always feeling like you might get hit.

“So, I prefer actually getting hit early on and really hard so it motivates me even further not allow that to happen again, just that pain to go through your body and be like — okay enough, it’s not happening again.”

Richards further said that getting hit was a part of cricket.

“Because to be fair while batting you are going to get hurt. It depends on how you come back from this knocks. In the old days, before these little guards (chest guards) around your ribs, you take it there and that’s when you feel it. You take a count but then that’s part and parcel of the sport,” Richards opined.

Kohli also quizzed him about the challenges Richards faced that made him believe in himself. The former Windies skipper said: “I always felt I was good enough to be competing and I wanted to express myself in the best way that I can.”

“I see that little similarity in you and that same passion in you,” said Richards as Kohli had his moment, “There are times when folks would look at us and say, ‘Wow why are they so angry?”

Richards, who retired from the sport in 1991, had amassed 8,540 Test runs along with 6,721 ODI runs. Richards had earlier hailed Kohli’s batting skills and had said that the Indian skipper’s batting style reminded him of his own days.

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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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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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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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