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Test cricket still excites me: England’s Anderson

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England veteran pacer James Anderson has said Test cricket is what excites him still but added that the longest format of the game is facing pressure from the popularity of Twenty 20.

“It still excites me. I prioritise it in my head and my heart,” Anderson was quoted as saying by the BBC on Tuesday.

“It is what I will concentrate on doing for the foreseeable future,” he said.

The right-arm fast bowler who made his debut in 2003 in Tests is England’s leading wicket taker in the format.

Anderson has 427 Test wickets in 111 Tests, but played the last of his 19 T20 internationals in 2009, against South Africa in Centurion.

“There is a slight worry with the domestic T20 competitions doing so well.”

Anderson also said that he believes Test cricket is where the real skill and character of players are tested.

“But speak to players and there is a still a passion to play Test cricket. It’s a real test of someone’s character and skill, to perform in this form of the game,” he said.

“Hopefully it’s not just players but fans too, because we need people to keep supporting the game so that it does flourish.”

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Tokyo Olympics to be held from July 23 to Aug 8 in 2021

The Summer Games had never been postponed in its 31 editions from the first modern Olympics in 1896, although they were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to war.

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Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo, March 30 : The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will now be held from July 23 to August 8 next year and the Para Olympic Games will be held from August 24 to September 5.

The new dates of Tokyo Olympics, which had been scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 in the Japanese capital, were agreed Monday between the International Olympic Committee and local organizers, as per a report from Japan’s Kyodo News agency said and further confirmed by sources in the Indian Olympic Association.

A task force established by the Tokyo Games organizing committee charged with handling the delay opted for a similar time frame in 2021 in order to use existing plans for the games as much as possible, added the report.

Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori has warned international federations that it will be a “major challenge” on deciding who covers the additional costs arising from the postponement of the Olympic Games.

The announcement of the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics was made by the IOC and the organising committee last week after IOC president Thomas Bach’s telephonic conversation with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Summer Games had never been postponed in its 31 editions from the first modern Olympics in 1896, although they were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to war.

Nearly 725,000 people have been infected globally and at least 34,000 deaths have been reported till now because of coronavirus.

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Bhaichung offers building in Sikkim to help migrant workers

The direction came amid migration of labourers from cities to their villages in different states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced nationwide lockdown to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.

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Bhaichung Bhutia

Kolkata, March 30 : Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia on Monday offered his building in Lumsey, Tadong, Sikkim to the migrant workers in the state at a time they are struggling to reach their homes amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are a lot of migrant workers who are stuck in Sikkim also. Sikkim does not have any cases of coronavirus as of now. So I decided to offer my building which is still unfinished to them,” Bhutia told IANS from Siliguri in West Bengal where he has been stuck since the first day of the 21-day lockdown.

“I was returning from Kolkata and due to this lockdown now I am here. So I am coordinating everything from here. The building can accommodate upto 100 people. It has five floors. Already 10 workers are staying there. We are providing them food. We have asked the local government to support us,” Bhutia said.

The iconic former striker said he and his team at United Sikkim FC (USFC) is also working on helping migrant workers in Bengal get ration.

“We are in talks with local authorities. Let’s see what can be done for them here in Bengal also. I feel strongly for the migrant workers who hope to reach their homes,” added the 43-year old.

The West Bengal government has come up with a series of measures to prevent movement of migrant labourers, directing district administrations to arrange for temporary shelters and provisions of food, and all employers to pay full wages on the due day to the workforce irrespective of whether their establishments are under closure during the lockdown period.

The Centre on Sunday directed the states to strictly follow the nationwide lockdown norms and stop the movement of people across the cities, advising them to arrange shelter, food and other facilities for migrant labourers at their workplace.

The direction came amid migration of labourers from cities to their villages in different states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced nationwide lockdown to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.

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FC Barcelona seeks to cut players’ salaries by 70%: Report

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Madrid, March 30 : Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona wants the players to cut their salaries by 70 per cent until June 30 as a way of saving around 106 million euros (117 million dollars) due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Spanish Marca sport newspaper, the club will lose at least 100 million euros (110.7 million dollars). The amount is about 10 per cent of the club’s budget for the 2019/20 season.

The club’s board of directors is currently working to invoke the ERTE, or temporary employment measures, which will suspend the players’ labor contracts, reports Xinhua news agency.

The system will be in place in the coming days and will help the club compensate any financial losses.

Barcelona had decided to join hands with the Catalonia government in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak and will provide masks so that people can wear them and stay safe from the deadly virus. The masks are set to be supplied to nursing homes so that doctors and nurses can make use of them to treat the patients.

In a statement issued by the club, it said: “The club has put itself at the service of the health authorities to help to fulfill and enforce all its instructions, recommendations and orders to combat contagion of the virus and alleviate its effects as much as possible.”

Earlier, Barcelona became the first Spanish football club to officially announce a pay cut for players and club staff as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Sports in Spain has come to a standstill and Barcelona had to make the move so as to pay their support staff.

“Faced with this scenario, the Board of Directors has decided to implement a series of measures to mitigate its effects and reduce the economic effects of this crisis,” said the club in its statement.

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