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I want to become India coach one day: Sourav Ganguly

Ganguly, besides being the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president is with the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also does regular commentary.

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Sourav Ganguly

Kolkata, Aug 2 (IANS) Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday said he harbours ambitions of becoming the India head coach at some point if not right now.

“Definitely, I’m interested but not at this point of time. Let one more phase go then I will throw my name into the fray,” Ganguly said at the unveiling of a new range of men’s collections by Senco Gold & Diamonds.

Ganguly, besides being the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president is with the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also does regular commentary. Ganguly helped Delhi qualify for the play offs for the first time since 2012 last season.

“Currently, I’m associated with too many things — IPL, CAB, TV commentary. Let me complete this. But I will definitely put my hat at some stage. Provided I get selected. But definitely I’m interested. Not now, but in the future,” Ganguly said.

Talking about the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) led by Kapil Dev selecting the next India coach, Ganguly revealed that there are not many big names in the fray who have applied for the job, hinting at Ravi Shastri getting an extension.

India captain Virat Kohli has backed Shastri to continue in the role.

“Going by the applicants, I don’t see any heavyweight names. I heard Mahela (Jayawardene) would apply but ultimately he didn’t… There are not many big names who have applied for the coach’s job. Ultimately I don’t know what the panel will decide. They have been around for a while. We will see how big the term they will give. Not many names who have applied. Whoever they feel is good they should do it,” he said.

Ganguly, however, refused to comment on Shastri’s tenure as India coach. “I will hold my opinion on that. I don’t think it’s right for me to say about that. I’m too far from the system that decides the coach,” Ganguly said.

On the upcoming West Indies tour, he said: “West Indies in West Indies will be a lot stronger. T20 is their preferred format. They enjoy playing T20s and they are the current World T20 Champions. The two matches in Florida will be tough games.

“Test matches will also be tough as they played very well against England. It won’t be an easy West Indies tour as it was five years ago. India will be challenged. There are a lot of young players in the team.

“As I’ve said before you want to see these young players get consistent opportunities. You keep saying horses for courses but I feel don’t judge a horse if you want to keep them on the course. Consistency is important for rhythm and confidence.”

India will play a full series comprising three T20s, three ODIs and two tests starting Saturday.

Ganguly also lavished praise on former Australia skipper Steve Smith who scored a brilliant century in his first test since returning from a one year ban for his role in the ball tampering scandal. “Class is permanent and you could see it. These sort of hundreds will remain in everybody’s memories. Now they are in a big chance of winning the match. First innings scores are very important. From that point of view, it’s a fantastic hundred,” he said.

“To be away for a year and play the World Cup… He has had a quiet World Cup. And then to start the Ashes with a century, especially when the team was down was a remarkable effort. Ashes is the biggest England-Australia battle.”

Ganguly also said he is enjoying his time with Delhi IPL side. “The team had struggled for a number of times and we were joint number one after 14 matches. It’s been a great season for Delhi, hope we will go further.

“Looking after the Delhi Capitals team and being with the team right through the season… which I will be in the future as well. It helped me to work with the players, stay fit. That’s also one of the reasons for me to be in shape.

“I work hard to stay young, stay fit. The hardest thing is when you stop playing and still you have to stay fit. When you stand for six hours in a Test match, you automatically stay in shape.

“But when you stop playing, I train very hard. That’s the way I’ve been. I’ve been involved with sports in a different way,” he added.

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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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