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India-Pakistan clash in spotlight at Asia Cup

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Dubai, Sep 14: The spotlight will on the India-Pakistan rivalry when the six-nation Asia Cup cricket tournament begins here on Saturday.

India under the leadership of stand-in captain Rohit Sharma will be the favourites along with Pakistan. The two traditional rivals have been grouped together in Group A.

India are the most successful team in the Asia Cup, having won six of the 13 editions of the tournament. But this time it will be an uphill task for the Indian players as they will miss the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli.

But on the pitches of Dubai where the spinners will get turn, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav should be a handful. Kedar Jadhav who is also making his comeback to the side could also support the spinning duo if the situation demands.

Pakistan, meanwhile, have won the tournament twice. The first time in 2000, when they beat Sri Lanka in the final, and then in 2012.

Fakhar Zaman with his disciplined batting is capable of turning a match with the support of Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, and Sarfraz Ahmed.

Shadab Khan will be leading the spin department, while Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi will take care of the pace department.

Apart from India and Pakistan, Hong Kong were also clubbed with the two Asian giants. They were previously the part of the Asia cup and will hope to do better than in 2004 and 2008. Batsmen Anshuman Rath will be on spotlight as he played 16 limited overs games and scored with an average of 52.57.

Group B includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In the opening match, Bangladesh will face Sri Lanka. Both teams are struggling with the injuries of their key players.

Bangladesh have three injured players –Tamim Iqbal, Nazmul Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan –while Danushka Gunathilaka and Dinesh Chandimal were out from Sri Lanka squad but return of veteran pacer Lasith Malinga included some spark in the Sri Lankan squad.

The third team which is grouped with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is Afghanistan. Last time they played Asia Cup is in 2014 where they crashed out in the group stages however, they registered their first Asia Cup victory, defeating Bangladesh.

Afghanistan’s improvement in the international circuit has increased over the years. With spinning star Rashid Khan in the squad along with Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan’s bowling line-up will be a test for the others teams in the group.

IANS

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India-Pakistan World Cup tie on schedule: ICC

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New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Wednesday a decision on the group match between India and Pakistan at the ODI World Cup will be taken at its next meeting.

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials Sanjay Patel and Rajiv Shukla had demanded that India boycott the World Cup match against Pakistan following the recent suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed.

“There is no indication that any World Cup match will not go ahead as planned. Sport, in particular cricket, has the wonderful ability to bring people together and unite communities. We will work with our members on that basis,” Richardson was quoted as saying.

According to ICC officials, the game’s global governing body is likely to take a call on cricket ties between the two south Asian nations at the February 27 meeting in Dubai.

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Veteran coach Irfan Ansari banned from cricket for 10 years

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Irfan Ansari
Irfan Ansari (File Photo)

Dubai, Feb 20: United Arab Emirates-based veteran coach Irfan Ansari has been banned from all forms of cricket for 10 years after he was found guilty of breaching three counts of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Code, it was announced on Wednesday.

During the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing, the Tribunal heard evidence that Ansari approached Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed during the Pakistan series with Sri Lanka in the UAE in October 2017 with a view to engaging him in corrupt conduct by soliciting information from him, according to an ICC statement.

Sarfaraz reported the approach immediately and an ICC ACU investigation ensued which resulted in these charges and decision.

Ansari is bound by the code as a result of his affiliation to the Pakistan cricket team and also as a result of being a coach to two teams that participate in domestic matches in the UAE.

He was found guilty of the three offences under the Code.

Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – ACU said: “I would like to place on record my thanks to Sarfaraz Ahmed who showed true leadership and professionalism from the moment he reported this approach. He recognised it for what it was, rejected it and reported it. He then supported our investigation and subsequent tribunal.

“This is the first time we have prosecuted for failure to cooperate with an investigation since the new rules enabling us to demand the participants hand over their phone for examination and the sanction reflects the seriousness of the offence. It is an important tool to aid our investigations and continue in our efforts to rid the sport of these corrupters,” he added.

IANS

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IPL 2019: Schedule for 2 weeks announced, CSK to take RCB in opener

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Defending champions CSK will face RCB in the IPL 2019 opener

New Delhi, Feb 19: Defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the opening match of IPL 2019 in Chennai on March 23.

The schedule of the 2019 edition of the IPL will be released in parts by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in view of the coming Lok Sabha elections. A total of 17 matches will be played during the two-week period from March 23 to April 5 across the eight home venues of the respective franchises.

All teams will play a minimum of four matches with the newly-christened Delhi Capitals and RCB playing five matches. Every team will play a minimum of twp home and two away matches with DC playing three home matches, while RCB will play 3 away matches.

Here’s the schedule; Take a look!

March 23 – Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8 p.m.

Match 24 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – 4 p.m.

March 24 – Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals – 8 p.m.

Match 25 – Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab – 8 p.m.

March 26 – Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings – 8 p.m.

March 27 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab – 8 p.m.

March 28 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians – 8 p.m.

March 29 – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals – 8 p.m.

March 30 – Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians – 4 p.m.

March 30 – Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders – 8 p.m.

March 31 – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – 4 p.m.

March 31 – Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals – 8 p.m.

April 1 – Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Capitals – 8 p.m.

April 2 – Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8 p.m.

April 3 – Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings – 8 p.m.

April 4 – Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – 8 p.m.

April 5 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders – 8 p.m.

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