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ICC World Cup 2019: India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets

All rounder Ravindra Jadeja was given his first opportunity to play in the World Cup in place of pacer Mohammed Shami.

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Indian Cricket Team

Leeds, July 6: Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul slammed brilliant centuries as India won their last World Cup league fixture defeating Sri Lanka by seven wickets at Leeds.India will play either England or New Zealand in the semi-final .

Placed precariously at 55/4 in the 12th over against India at the Headingley Cricket Ground on Saturday, Sri Lanka finally saw their most experienced batsman rise to the challenge as Angelo Mathews hit a slow yet steady 113 off 128 balls (4×10, 6×2) to take the island nation to 264/7 in their 50 overs.

A 124-run partnership with Lahiru Thirimanne (53; 68 balls, 4×4) went a long way in bringing the Lankans back into their final World Cup game.

Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka got off to a terrible start as Jasprit Bumrah sent back Dimuth Karunaratne for just 10 in the fourth over, caught by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The out of form Kusal Perera flattered to deceive once again as he hit a 14-ball 18 before being packed back to the hut by Bumrah, once again caught by Dhoni. This after he was given a life as Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya had a bad mix-up looking to take the top-edge off his bat as Bhuvneshwar Kumar wore a sorry look walking back to his bowling mark.

Kusal Mendis was the next to go, reminding the fans of the typical dismissal before Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal became India’s leading spinners — stumped Dhoni, bowled Ravindra Jadeja. The dismissal saw the Indian fans erupt with joy as Jadeja was playing his first game of the ongoing World Cup.

The otherwise in-form Avishka Fernando also flattered to deceive as Pandya had him caught by Dhoni for a 21-ball 20. With the score on 55/4 and Lanka in trouble, Thirimanne joined Mathews and the two ensured that they focused on stitching a partnership even if that meant the run-rate crawling at the pace of a snail. With almost half the batting back in the hut, they didn’t really have an option.

The duo kept looking for singles even as a plan carrying the slogan “Justice for Kashmir” distracted all in the media box. The episode wasn’t the first and last time that a private jet flew over the stadium with a political message as another plane followed a while later with the slogan “INDIA STOP GENOCIDE & FREE KASHMIR”.

On June 29 during the match between Pakistan and Afghanistan, a plane with a banner reading “Justice for Balochistan” flew over the same stadium.

In the middle though, it was focus personified as both teams looked to gain the upper-hand. While India knew they needed one wicket to get the ball rolling again, the duo of Mathews and Thirimanne knew that batting deep was the key. Mathews was handed a life in the 37th over when Bhuvneshwar dropped him off Jadeja. He was batting on 61 then.

But the Indians finally struck in the 38th over as Kuldeep dismissed Thirimanne, caught by Jadeja, with the scoreboard reading 179/5. Mathews was finally dismissed in the 49th over by Bumrah as Lanka managed to score 64 runs in the last 10 overs. It was a respectable finish considering that the likes of Aravinda de Silva and the recently banned (by ICC) Sanath Jayasuriya were watching the game from the stands.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka: 264/7 in 50 overs (Angelo Mathews 113, Lahiru Thirimanne 53; Jasprit Bumrah 3/37) vs India

(Baidurjo Bhose can be contacted at [email protected])

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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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