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India-New Zealand semifinal sets new viewership record

Across ICC’s digital and social platforms during the group stages, there have also been an unprecedented 2.6 billion video views.

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World Cup 2019 - India Vs Bangladesh

London, July 12 (IANS) The World Cup semifinal between India and New Zealand set a new world record by delivering the highest ever concurrent views on Hotstar with a peak of 25.3 million, as per the TV and digital viewing figures released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday.

The previous record was at 18.6 million. In the UK, the event has now reached a unique audience of 20 million people through Sky Sports’ live coverage and highlights on Channel 4.

The ICC released TV and digital viewing figures for the World Cup group stages and semifinals, setting new TV and digital records and becoming one of the world’s most watched sporting events.

Across ICC’s digital and social platforms during the group stages, there have also been an unprecedented 2.6 billion video views.

Meanwhile, the official tournament social channels have added 12 million new followers in the space of six weeks and attracted 386 million engagements with fans. In addition, the official World Cup website (www.cricketworldcup.com) has been visited by 65 million unique users worldwide and has recorded more than 250 million page views.

Through ICC’s global broadcast partner Star Sports and other broadcast partners, the event has been televised in over 220 territories on 46 separate TV channels and the group stages were watched by more than 675 million unique viewers.

Continuing the TV viewership records, England’s win over India at Edgbaston was the most watched cricket match within the UK across any format since 2006. The match saw a unique audience of 3.45 million on Sky Sports, with the audience peaking at 1.8 million during India’s run chase.

In India, the India versus Pakistan match delivered a rating of 14.8 across both Star and DD while the India vs England match delivered 18 million peak concurrent views on Hotstar.

While in South Africa, the viewership is tracking 250 per cent higher than the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 with the most watched match in the group stages being the one between South Africa and Bangladesh. The match saw an average audience of 1.13 million tuning in, as South Africa fought to chase down Bangladesh’s first innings score of 330.

Meanwhile, the old rivalry between England and Australia attracted an average audience of 587,000 in Australia, representing an increase of 504 per cent against the same match at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Both the matches were the most watched for each tournament.

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: “We are absolutely delighted that the ICC World Cup has become one of the most watched sporting events in the world across TV and digital platforms. These quite extraordinary numbers demonstrate how viewership habits are changing and the smart way cricket has adapted to deliver what fans today expect.”

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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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Thank you all for the lovely wishes for our baby boy: Hardik Pandya

After Hardik revealed to the world that he had become a father, wishes poured for him from all quarters. His Instagram post had read: “We are blessed with our baby boy.” It was posted with the picture of the baby’s hand.

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baby boy Hardik Pandya

New Delhi, Aug 2 : India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Sunday expressed his gratitude to everyone who wished him and his family after the birth of his first child.

Hardik had earlier announced on his social media handle on Thursday that he and Natasa Stankovic were blessed with a baby boy.

Hardik thanked everyone for their wishes and wrote on his Twitter handle: “Thank you all for the lovely wishes for our baby boy. It meansAa lot to us.”

After Hardik revealed to the world that he had become a father, wishes poured for him from all quarters. His Instagram post had read: “We are blessed with our baby boy.” It was posted with the picture of the baby’s hand.

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar wrote on his Twitter handle:”Many congratulations to the proud new parents! May the little one tiptoe with love into your hearts & stay there forever!”

India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane also sent his wishes via Twitter and his post read: “Congratulations to you both!!”

“Many congratulations to you both, have a great time being a parent. God bless the lil Champ,” said batsman Suresh Raina.

“Congratulations Brotherman @hardikpandya7,” said spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Apart from the players, Hardik’s Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians (MI) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also sent their wishes on Twitter.

“Welcome to #OneFamily Congratulations, @hardikpandya7 and Natasa,” tweeted MI.

“Congratulations to the couple and a warm welcome to Pandya Jr.,” said the BCCI on their Twitter handle.

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