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Will speak to selectors about Dhoni on Oct 24: Ganguly

Ganguly is expected to meet captain Virat Kohli for the first time since becoming the BCCI President during the meeting on October 24.

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MS Dhoni with Ganguly

Kolkata, Oct 16 : Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President-elect and former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday said he will speak to the selectors about M.S. Dhoni’s future and seek their opinion before giving his views during the meeting on October 24.

India’s T20 squad for the Bangladesh home series will be picked in Mumbai on October 24 after Ganguly is officially appointed the President of BCCI on October 22. The selection was supposed to take place on October 21 initially.

India will play Bangladesh in three T20s starting November 3 and two Tests.

Former India skipper Dhoni, 38, has been away from international cricket since India’s exit from the World Cup after losing the semi-final clash to New Zealand.

Dhoni later joined the Indian Army for two weeks and also missed the West Indies tour. He was also not selected for the T20Is against South Africa at home.

Significantly, Dhoni’s retirement from international cricket has been a matter of debate in recent times with every cricketer giving their views.

“I will find out from the selectors when I meet them on 24th. I will find out what the selectors are thinking. Then I will put my opinion,” Ganguly told reporters at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) premises here.

Asked if a cricketer can take such a long break, he said: “I was nowhere in picture (when it transpired). So my first selection committee meeting will be on 24th.”

Ganguly further said he will see what Dhoni wants before commenting on whether the 2011 50-over World Cup winning captain should call it a day or not.

“Let’s see what Dhoni wants.”

Ganguly is expected to meet captain Virat Kohli for the first time since becoming the BCCI President during the meeting on October 24.

Since getting the top job in Indian cricket administration, Ganguly has recieved congratulatory messages from across the world cutting across every spectrum.

From those in the Indian team who have wished him are Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan among others.

India, who have taken an unassaiable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series against South Africa, play the third rubber in Ranchi from October 19.

Quizzed if he would be attending it, Ganguly said the Indian Super League inauguration will force him to visit Kochi on October 20.

Earlier, speaking to IANS, Ganguly made it clear that discussing the idea of the Indian team playing pink-ball cricket would definitely be on the top of his to-do-list after he comes to office.

“We will deal with it. It is too early for me to comment on how we will work on this, but let me take office and then we will discuss this with every member,” he said.

Ganguly has always been vocal about how day-night Tests is the way forward and that this Indian team under Kohli has the arsenal to do well in the format.

“Day-night Test is the way forward. Every country has to play day-night Test, that’s a long-term future for Test cricket. They (India) are a good side, they will win day-night Test matches also. There is no difference in day-night Test matches and day Tests. t’s just a different ball. They are such class players, they can win,” Ganguly said.

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World

Pompeo meets Qureshi, lauds Pak’s efforts for Afghan peace

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mike pompeo

Washington, Jan 18 Visiting Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here, during which the latter lauded Islamabad’s efforts for a political and peaceful solution to help resolve the Afghan conflict.

Qureshi is on the final leg of his tri-state visit aimed at diffusing US-Iran tensions, as instructed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Besides the Afghan peace process, Qureshi and Pompeo on Friday also exchanged views on matters pertaining to Pakistan-US bilateral cooperation and regional security situation, reports The News International.

Qureshi, who earlier called on the US to remain engaged in Afghanistan’s reconstruction even after withdrawal of its troops, informed the top US diplomat that Pakistan would continue its efforts for political solution to the Afghan conflict.

“Pakistan is fulfilling this joint responsibility for the Afghan peace process with sincerity of intent,” he said.

In response, Pompeo appreciated Pakistan’s “sincere efforts” for the Afghan reconciliation and peace process and a peaceful neighbourhood.

During the talks, Qureshi also briefed Pompeo about discussions held during his recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia.

He said that Pakistan desird peace and stability and was determined to play its role to defuse prevailing tensions in the region, Dawn news reported.

The Minister also underlined the need for strengthening bilateral trade and investment “in order to give a practical shape to Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump’s vision of comprehensive bilateral Pakistan-US relations”.

The US was the last leg of Qureshi’s three nation trip after visiting Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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India

Those opposing CAA, NPR should come together: Chidambaram

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P Chidambaram

Kolkata, Jan 18 : Urging all parties opposing CAA and NPR to come together, the Congress on Saturday extended the olive branch to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and other leaders who skipped January 13 Delhi deliberations hoping they would turn up in some other meeting that might be convened on the twin issues.

“For the sake of the country, all parties which are opposing the CAA and NPR should come together… What is at stake are far more important issues… One shouldn’t miss the larger picture.

“The larger picture is we are fighting to save the Constitution of India, we are fighting to save the enduring values embodied in th cConstitution of India. So all those who fight for these values must eventually come together on one platform. And I am confident, they will,” Congress Working Committee member P. Chidambaram told media.

Apart from Banerjee, Samajwadi Party, DMK and the BSP did not attend, while Shiv Sena and the AAP said they were not invited for the meeting convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

Chidambaram said Gandhi made an attempt to invite as many parties as possible, and 20 of them participated.

“Some did not. That doesn’t mean that is the final word. Maybe there well be another meeting, maybe they will attend. What is important is we are fighting, not that we are fighting together always. But fighting separately is also fighting, fighting together is also fighting,” he said.

“The fact is we are trying to build a united opposition to the CAA and NPR. We have succeeded substantially. Some parties are fighting separately. Hopefully, some day they will all come on a united platform,” he said.

Asked whether the Congress would invite to future meetings leaders like Banerjee who stayed away from Monday’s deliberations, Chidambaram said he was certain invitations will go out.

“If somebody asks my view, I’ll say of course we send an invitation. What is the harm? I invite you to my house once, you do not come. That doesn’t mean I don’t invite you again,” he said.

To repeated queries about the lack of unity of the anti-CAA parties in Bengal, Chidambaram said: “In Bengal or in any other state, there are some domestic factors at play. Purely intra-state factors, though the big picture should not be missed”.

He pointed out that the Congress was working with the Left parties in the state, and they were carrying on the movement together at the district level too.

On questions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi sending an invite to his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan, Chidambaram said it only means the government has modified its earlier position “about no engagement with Pakistan”.

He disagreed with a scribe who said that many parties now find the Congress unreliable”.

“In the last Lok Sabha election, 19 per cent Indians relied on the Congress and voted for it. The Congress also got votes in the recent assembly polls in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand.

“But I do admit, we need to do more, we need to get more people on our side. But that doesn’t mean nobody relies on us,” he added.

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Politics

PDP leader Altaf Bukhari dares Congress’s Azad to prove charges

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Ghulam Nabi Azad

Srinagar, Jan 18 : Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Minster Altaf Bukhari, here on Saturday, dared senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to prove his allegations against him or quit Parliament on moral grounds.

Reacting to media reports in which Azad had been quoted as saying that some Congress leaders were being threatened to join the “Third Front” or face false cases, Bukhari said it was unfortunate that a leader like Azad was playing cheap politics.

In a press statement Bukhari said, “I hold Azad in high esteem, but it’s unfortunate that he has made baseless allegations against me and my colleagues, stooping this low for doing petty politics.”

Bukhari said he neither held power nor was in a position to misuse the state machinery or agencies, as used to be done during the Congress-led regimes in J&K.

“I have reiterated that I am joined by some friends, colleagues and well-wishers of J&K to raise and address the sufferings caused to the people by whosoever has been at the helm of affairs in J&K and in the Centre,” Bukhari said.

He said several senior Congress leaders were in touch with him, but there was no question of coercing them or extending any favour as had been alleged by Azad. “Many Congress leaders share the same vision, passion and motivation to serve people in their own capacities and are coming forward for that,” he said.

The remark by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha had exposed Azad’s respect for his party colleagues in J&K, whom he termed imprudent to take any decision on their own, Bukhari said.

“The Congress style of politics is over. There is no question of forcing anybody or extending any facilities to someone to garner his/her support for a sacred cause. Yes, Azad is right in his saying that he has run the government and knows about those tricks.

“But let me remind him that the era of manipulations and political manoeuvring is over. I and my friends want the people to get rid of this type of politics. People know everything. My colleagues and friends in the Congress are not politically naive that anybody could take them for a ride,” the PDP leader said.

Some leaders who represented people in J&K House had come together to resolve the injustice committed to the people on August 5, 2019, he said.

“Why the efforts in this direction — for restoration of some of achievable rights — have send shivers down the spine of Congress leadership,” Bukhari said.

Azad was unable to find any fault with his memorandum to the Lieutenant Governor and was trying to malign his own colleagues who came forward to safeguard the people’s interests, Bukhari said.

The PDP leader said the people remembered the communal politics of 2008, causing death and destruction in J&K, and added, the people also remembered the self-centred and despicable laws, like the Roshni Act, that favoured their blue eyed acquaintances at the cost of state.

“Instead of finding faults in others, the Congress leadership, including Azad, should do self-analysis and soul-searching and see how the party is responsible for death, destruction and disintegration of J&K in the last 72 years,” Bukhari said.

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