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Kuldeep Yadav vaults to career-best No.2 in ICC T20I rankings

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Dubai, Feb 11: India’s premier wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav rose one place to take a career-best second spot in the ICC mens T20I player rankings after returning 2/26 in the final match against New Zealand which the men-in-blue lost by four runs to go down 1-2 in the series.

The 24-year-old Indian is now only behind Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the table, according to an International Cricket Council (ICC) release.

Spinners Imad Wasim of Pakistan (up five places to fourth position) and Mitchell Santner of New Zealand (up four places to 10th) have also moved up in the latest rankings update that includes two other series which saw South Africa beat Pakistan and Nepal beat the United Arab Emirates by identical 2-1 margins.

Among other Indians, left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya rose 39 places to a career-best 58th while openers Rohit Sharma (up three places to seventh) and Shikhar Dhawan (up one place to 11th) have made progress with some useful knocks in the ICC T20I rankings for batsmen.

For New Zealand, Kane Williamson (up one place to 12th), Ross Taylor (up seven places to 51st) and Tim Seifert (up 87 places to a career-best 83rd) among batsmen and Tim Southee (up seven places to 30th) among bowlers are some notable gainers.

In the ICC T20I team rankings, South Africa have overtaken Australia and England to third place while Nepal have overtaken the UAE marginally to be in 14th position even as they come on to the table within a week of similarly crossing the threshold of eight matches and gaining entry onto the ODI table.

IANS

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IND vs AUS: Kohli returns as BCCI announces squad for ODI, T20 series

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Virat Kohli will lead India in the T20I and ODI series against Australia.

New Delhi, Feb 15: Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) on Friday announced the Indian squad for the upcoming series against Australia starting February 24.

Rookie leg-spinner Mayank Markande was opicked for the two-T20I series against Australia even as skipper Virat Kohli returned to lead the side following a break.

Kohli had sat out the final two ODIs and the three T20Is against New Zealand, but is back to lead the team in the entire series against the Kangaroos.

Keeping in mind the preparations for the upcoming ICC World Cup, the BCCI selectors named two different squads for the subsequent five-ODI series against the Australians.

The only difference between the squads is seasoned pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar returning to the 15-man squad for the final three matches, replacing Siddharth Kaul, who was included for the two T20Is and the first two 50-over games.

Wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, who was part of the ODI squad in Australia and New Zealand, has not been included in the squad with Rishabh Pant getting a call-up.

The T20Is will be played on February 24 and February 27 in Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru, respectively, followed by the ODI series starting in Hyderabad on March 2.

Nagpur will host the second match on March 5, while Ranchi and Mohali will host the third and fourth games on March 8 and March 10, respectively. The final match will be played at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on March 13.

Squads:

For 1st and 2nd ODI: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohamed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Siddharth Kaul, KL Rahul.

For remaining 3 ODIs: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant.

For T20I series: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande.

WeForNews

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Pakistan Open golf to return after 10 years

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Lahore, Feb 14: The Pakistan Open will return to the Asian golf circuit from March 27, following a 10-year hiatus, officials announced on Thursday.

The country’s national championship, which was inaugurated in 1967, will be held for the first time on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) at the highly-acclaimed Defence Raya Golf and Country Club offering a prize fund of $80,000.

“We are delighted to announce the return of the Pakistan Open for the first time since 2009. We are confident that the championship course will be in superb condition once again when we return next month,” Asian Tour Chief Operating Officer Cho Minn Thant said in a statement.

“I would also like to thank the Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF) for its outstanding support of the game. The tournament’s return is a massive step forward and we hope to inspire a new generation of golfers in Pakistan as we continue to strengthen the game across Asia,” Cho added.

The ADT, launched in 2010 as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour, first sanctioned an event in Pakistan in 2017, where Thailand’s Poosit Supupramai secured his breakthrough win here.

In 2018, the Asian Tour marked its return to Pakistan by staging an event in Karachi where Tirawat Kaewsiribandit of Thailand sealed his maiden victory.

The Pakistan Open was held previously on the premier Asian Tour where England’s Chris Rodgers and Malaysia’s Airil Rizman claimed their respective maiden wins in 2006 and 2007. The last edition was staged on the domestic circuit in 2009.

The Pakistan Open, jointly sanctioned by the PGF and the ADT, will feature an international field of 144 players, with 50 players from the ADT, 80 players from the PGF, nine invitees and five amateurs.

With the addition of the Pakistan Open in the 2019 ADT schedule, players will have another opportunity to boost their rankings on the Order of Merit and play their way on to the Asian Tour.

The leading seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

All ADT events are afforded with Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner of each tournament receives a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

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Ex-wrestler Jagdish Bhola convicted in drugs case

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Mohali (Punjab), Feb 13: Former international wrestler and Arjuna awardee Jagdish Bhola was on Wednesday convicted by a CBI court here in a multi-crore drugs racket, busted by the Punjab Police in 2013.

Bhola had served as Punjab’s Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) but was dismissed from service in 2012 after his links with the drugs racket were revealed.

The Punjab Police had arrested Bhola in November 2013 in connection with a Rs 700-crore drugs racket.

Subsequent police action against the drug mafia led to the busting of a Rs 6,000-crore drugs racket.

Bhola and other 49 accused were produced in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court for the verdict in the case on Wednesday and several of them were convicted.

Bhola was the kingpin of the drug network which was diverting precursor chemicals for medicinal purposes to illegal factories in Himachal Pradesh that manufactured synthetic drugs like ‘Ice’ and was supplying the synthetic drugs to the international market in Europe, Canada and the United States.

IANS

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