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Nadal maintains top spot in ATP rankings



Roger Federer
Tennis Star, Rafael Nadal (File Photo)

Madrid, Feb 5: Spain’s Rafael Nadal remained in the number one spot in the men’s Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) world singles rankings released on Monday with 9,760 points, ahead of Switzerland’s Roger Federer.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer, who won the Australian Open title last month over Croatia’s Marin Cilic, needs just 155 points to get past Nadal and reach the ranking’s top position, reports Efe.

Cilic came in third with 4,960 points, while Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov kept his fourth position.

Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta maintained his 10th spot, behind Argentina’s Juan Martin del Porto.

The current ATP rankings and point scores are as follows:

1. Rafael Nadal (Spain) 9,760 points

2. Roger Federer (Switzerland) 9,605

3. Marin Cilic (Croatia) 4,960

4. Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) 4,630

5. Alexander Zverev (Germany) 4,610

6. Dominic Thiem (Austria) 4,060

7. David Goffin (Belgium) 3,460

8. Jack Sock (USA) 2,880

9. Juan Martin del Porto (Argentina) 2,815

10. Pablo Carreño Busta (Spain) 2,705



Ganguly’s BCCI team completes one year, crippled by Corona

The north-east states say the BCCI needs to address the issue of their annual grants immediately.




sourav ganguly

New Delhi: The Sourav Ganguly-headed dispensation, a combination of four groups within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), completed one year in power on Friday. But except for the conduct of the Indian Premier League (IPL), they don’t have many achievements to show, thanks to Covid pandemic that ate up seven of their 12 months.

All the BCCI office-bearers were elected unanimously after four groups — widely identified to be led by Ganguly/north-east, Anurag Thakur, Rajeev Shukla, and former president N Srinivasan — joined hands to avoid elections after a Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) administered the BCCI for 33 months following the 2013 betting-fixing scandal.

Since none of the office-bearers had any experience of running the BCCI, they took time to settle down. Even as they were doing so, the Covid pandemic shut everything down in late March. The officials’ hands were tied as the country was under lockdown and even now cricket has barely begun.

And, now, there is a huge question mark over the 2020-21 domestic season, which has been delayed and could begin in January, Covid permitting. The BCCI Apex Council has decided that only the national championship for the Ranji Trophy, and maybe a senior women’s tournament, would be organised from January, provided the government allows sporting activities to start.

“The office-bearers were all new to the BCCI. To be honest, they didn’t get much time to perform. They hardly got time to settle down as the pandemic closed everything, including sporting activities. Their priority was to save the IPL, which they have done, and the brand continues and revenues are coming,” the president of a state association told IANS.

“But they could not do many other activities, like organising domestic cricket, due to the pandemic. Also, since a former India captain and cricketer was heading the BCCI we were expecting he would bring in new format for domestic tournament with a new mindset. A cricketer — and who had vast experience, a broad outlook,” he said.

How many marks out of 100 would the Ganguly-led dispensation would get for work done in office in a year? “No marks can be given because there was no exam; I mean they were not tested. Had they got a full year to work, marks could have be given,” said an official.

On the other hand, the north-east states that joined the BCCI in 2018-19 are disappointed as the BCCI hasn’t released their funds. These include Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.

“The team of CoA was more effective. But even they took time to study the situation post the betting sandal — almost seven-eight months — and settle down. And, in the five months before Corona that the present BCCI dispensation was in power we didn’t see much action. So, we can’t compare the two dispensations – CoA and the present one. It would be unjustified. And if Corona had not happened maybe this team would have done a better job. You’ve to give them the benefit of doubt,” said an official of a north-east.

The north-east states say the BCCI needs to address the issue of their annual grants immediately.

“In 2018-19, the CoA paid directly to the vendors, like hotels and transporters etc, involved in organising tournaments. All the states affiliated to the BCCI were to be given Rs 30 crore each for 2018-19 and 2019-20. But this amount has not been given to north-east states. The BCCI should deduct the amount paid directly to the vendors, and give the rest of the amount to us that would be used for development of cricket,” the official said.

“Last year, the BCCI gave Rs 10.80 crore each, for a season, to each of the new states that had complied with the Lodha Committee’s recommendations. But we actually spent between Rs 11 crore and Rs 12 crore on organising tournaments, and we need the rest of the amount to develop cricket. Since no accounting has been done for years 2018-19 and 2019-20, we haven’t received the rest of the amount. If we don’t get that money, how will we compete with the older BCCI member states? This needs to be addressed immediately, otherwise we will remain backward,” he said.

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IPL 2020: Ideal opportunity to try youngsters now says, Dhoni after loss




MS Dhoni CSK

Sharjah, Oct 23 : Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni on Friday admitted that his team’s chances of making it to the playoffs this season may have all but ended after their 10-wicket thrashing at the hands of Mumbai Indians on Friday, saying that the team would now be giving chances to players who haven’t played too many matches this season.

“I think it’s important for us to have a clear picture of next year. There are lots of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ — what kind of auction we are looking, where the venues will be. The coming three games will be an ideal opportunity to give platforms to players who have missed out. See some of the youngsters in preparation for the next year. A few more who are on the bench will get games in the coming three games,” said Dhoni after the match.

CSK were blown away by MI’s bowling attack led by Trent Boult with Sam Curran’s 52 dragging them to 114/9 wickets after which Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock ensured that they chase down the target without losing a wicket.

Dhoni said that the players have not done enough this season considering the kind of stats they have accrued over the course of their careers. CSK had incidentally started the season with a comfortable margin of five wickets.

“What you need to see is where we actually went wrong, right from the second game. It was more about the bowling and the batting was not turning up. [Ambati] Rayudu got injured, the other batsman were maybe not able to perform,” said Dhoni.

“Whenever we don’t get off to a good start, it puts pressure on the middle order. In cricket when you’re going through a tough phase, you need a bit of luck which hasn’t happened this year. The games we wanted to bat first, we haven’t won the toss, and there’s no dew and all of a sudden when we bat first there’s dew.”

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IPL: CSK suffer first 10-wkt loss, Mumbai win and go atop

The South African stumper’s innings contained five boundaries and couple of sixes while Kishan’s knock was laced with six fours and five maximums.




mumbai indians ipl

Sharjah, Oct 23 : New Zealand speedster Trent Boult’s four-wicket haul and an unbeaten 116-run opening stand between Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock steered the reigning Mumbai Indians (MI) stroll to a 10-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday, and go atop the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table.

Going by their poor form — this was their first defeat by 10 wickets in IPL history — three-time champions CSK are virtually out, but they still have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the playoffs. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team now has six points from 11 matches, out of which they have lost eight, and are now placed at the bottom of the eight-team table.

With Friday’s comprehensive win, three-time champions Mumbai have gone atop the table with 14 points. Although Delhi Capitals and Royals Challengers Bangalore also have 14 points, they are placed second and third respectively on net run rate.

After winning the toss, the MI bowlers came all gun blazing on a batting-friendly Sharjah track as they restricted their opponentsto 114/9 wickets in 20 overs, thanks to Boult, who wreaked havoc with stunning figures of 4/18 from his quota of four overs.

Boult received able support from teammates Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar, who bagged two wickets each conceding 25 and 22 runs respectively.

The three-time champions, who suffered a batting collapse, had made as many as three changes in their playing XI. However, the decision backfired as just three of their batters — Sam Curran (52), Dhoni (16) and Shardul Thakur (11) — were able to touch the double digit.

CSK lost their top six batsmen with just 30 runs on board. However, it was Curran’s patience with the bat which helped him notch-up up a half-century besides taking his side past the 100-run mark.

In return, MI openers Quinton de Kock (46 not out) and Ishan Kishan (68 not out) made light of the small target as their unbeaten 116-run stand drove the team home quite comfortably with 46 balls to spare.

The two handed an ideal start to MI, taking their side to 52 runs in the initial six overs before adding another 46 runs in the next four overs to inch closer to victory. In the process, Kishan also completed his half-century off 29 balls.

de Kock put the final nail in the coffin, smashing Thakur for a boundary over square-leg to garner MI’s seventh win of the season.

The South African stumper’s innings contained five boundaries and couple of sixes while Kishan’s knock was laced with six fours and five maximums.

Brief scores: CSK 114/9 wkts in 20 overs (Sam Curran 52, MS Dhoni 15; Trent Boult 4/18) lost to MI 116/0 wkt in 12.2 overs (Ishan Kishan 68 not out, Quinton de Kock 46 not out; Hazlewood 0/17) by 10 wkts.

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