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Top Stories: Things that made news in the cricket world today

Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble News
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli (L) and the head coach, Anil Kumble. (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Stephen Fleming opens up about his mate MS Dhoni

  • “Infact during my time in IPL, I have not seen him any wicket keeping training, it’s all natural and it’s unorthodox but it’s fast and effective. Some of the dismissals and stumpings during the recent IPL were absolutely dynamite. If his keeping was deteriorating, that might be a sign but it is actually getting better, which is a real positive for India,” Fleming said.
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Gautam Gambhir’s conflict with “Gautam Gambhir”

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  • Gautam Gambhir is one of those cricketers who likes his privacy but one who is not afraid to lash out in case it gets affected. That was the case this Sunday when Gambhir approached the Delhi High Court to register a case against a restaurant cum bar which uses his name as a tagline and promotional purposes.
  • Coincidentally, the owner of the restaurant is also named Gautam Gambhir. The cricketer has filed a petition through the law firm Jaitley & Bakshi in reply to which Justice R S Endlaw has issued a notice to Ghungroo Bar. Gambhir’s lawyer expressed in the court that a chain of restaurants/bar running by his client’s name recently came to their notice.
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Ponting, Sangakkara, McCullum, Pollock and more to voice Champions Trophy

  • Many legends of the game such as Ricky Ponting, Brendon McCullum, Shaun Pollock, Graeme Smith, Shane Warne and Sourav Ganguly would return into the scheme of things post their retirement, but this time dispensing their opinions behind the mic.
  • These stalwarts of the game would be accompanied by seasoned campaigners in the field of commentary such as Ian Bishop, Athar Ali Khan, Rameez Raja, Michael Slater (Channel 9 Network), Nasser Hussain, Simon Doull and Michael Atherton(Sky Sports Networks) and Sanjay Manjerekar (Star Sports Network).
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Glenn McGrath says India are the favorites in the Indo-Pak clash

  • Speaking of India’s arch-rivals Pakistan, McGrath did not want to rule them out of the tournament. He feels Pakistan have a good bowling attack and can beat anyone on their day.
  • McGrath didn’t mince his words and considered India the favourites in the game since they have an all-round side. He was particularly pleased with the Indian pace attack.
  • “Umesh Yadav is bowling really well, and (Jasprit) Bumrah is bowling at good pace with potent yorkers. They should do well in the tournament,” the former Aussie pacer said.
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Sunil Gavaskar has his say on the Kohli-Kumble controversy

  • “You will never have situation, where a captain and a coach will always be on the same page. It cannot happen because the coach is invariably somebody who has played in an earlier generation, so their attitude will always be slightly different,” Gavaskar said at the Aaj Tak Salaam Cricket 2017.
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Azhar Ali with his pick for the tournament

  • “I won’t name any single player, everyone has got the ability to perform and everyone is eager to perform well but the way Babar Azam has played recently and performed consistently, he would be our key player,” Ali said.
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Oppo showcases its support for Team India

  • To support Team India’s quest to retain the Champions Trophy, OPPO on Wednesday launched a new version of OPPO F3 Black. The phone will be featured at a market price of Rs 19,990. It boasts of a dual front camera which has a resolution of 16MP and a wide angle lens for group selfies.
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Former Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali confident about Wahab Riaz’s availability

  • Speaking about Riaz, Azar said: “Wahab has recovered well so we have no doubt that he will be fit to play,” Azhar told media.
  • “He bowled well in the nets and has shown great recovery but its international cricket you have to be 100 percent fit. He has practiced today so we are hoping that by the time the first match comes he will be able to play,” added the former Pakistani skipper.
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Ben Stokes fit for CT 2017 opener; suspense over bowling continues

  • Allrounder Ben Stokes whose availability remained uncertain due to the knee injury has recovered ahead of the game and will certainly be fit enough to feature in the starting XI.
  • That guarantees England a dashing batsman in the middle order but Stokes’ the bowler who is equally effective and important for the team will be able to contribute or not is yet to be known. He has been cleared for participation in the game but the number of overs that he can bowl will be determined based on the result of his fitness test scheduled for the morning of the match.
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CT 2017: Saha claims teams with best bunch of all-rounders carry an edge

  • After a gruelling season, Saha is now planning a vacation to Kashmir with family. However, the wicket-keeper batsman hopes to catch live action from Kashmir and will support the men in blue.
  • “The team that has the best all-rounders will have an edge. India is obviously my pick and they have been playing really well. I will try to watch India-Pakistan on Sunday from Kashmir, India on the current form have the edge over Pakistan, I feel.” quoted Saha on the sidelines during the finals of the tournament according to Business Standard.
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VVS Laxman gives a thumbs up to government’s stand

  • One of the most respected cricketers to have graced the game, Laxman said that he had always relished playing against the arch-rivals Pakistan. But the present situation is grim enough to entertain any sporting event between the two countries now.
  • The stylish cricketer is of the opinion that cricket cannot act as a soothing balm to the terror as some things are beyond the ambit of sports. “I have always enjoyed playing against Pakistan. But it is very important to respect whatever decision the government takes because it is beyond sports at the moment,” he said.
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Hunt for new IPL title sponsor begins

  • Now that the title sponsorship agreement with VIVO has expired, the BCCI has invited fresh bids for the sponsorship rights and has floated tenders for the same through its Invitation to Tender process. The deal will have a validity period starting from August 1, 2017, to July 31, 2022.
  • The ITT is offered at a price of 3 lakhs carrying non-refundable fees from June 1 to 21 at BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. The deadline for the submission of the documents is at 12 noon on 27th June at the place mentioned in the document or as desired by the board.
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Pat Cummins keen to lap up the friendly English conditions

  • “I’ve been playing games for about eight or nine months flat without missing a game or being rested. I feel that I’m in a really good place and I feel that I’ve played a lot of cricket. It’s been a bit of dream run which is always what you hope for. So I’m feeling good,” Cummins said.
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Sourav Ganguly claims he isn’t aware of what’s brewing inside Indian dressing room

  • “I don’t know what’s going on between Kumble and Kohli and I think this is not the right time to talk about all these things. A coach’s job is to help the captain. I am a firm believer that the captain is the man to run the show and a coach must be there to support him. If India doesn’t do well in the Champions Trophy then both the captain and coach will be criticised” quoted Sourav Ganguly, according to News18.
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Sourav Ganguly and Shane Warne place a bet on Australia-England CT game

  • In an event held in London – Aaj Tak Salaam Cricket conclave – on Wednesday, former cricketers Shane Warne, Sourav Ganguly and Michael Clarke spoke about the teams to look out for in the Champions Trophy. Clarke predicted an India-Australia final on June 18 at the Kennington Oval in London to which, Ganguly disagreed.
  • The former India captain, who led India to victory in the 2002 edition, was of the opinion that England is a far better team than Australia on current form. Shane Warne found this ridiculous and asked Ganguly to state the match winners of the English side. The Prince of Kolkata then took the names of Joe Root and Jos Buttler.
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Indian batsmen are not the best players of spin anymore: Shane Warne

  • The 47-year old acknowledged India’s dominance against spin in the yesteryears but said that the current lot is not as good as their seniors were. Warne pointed out that barring Kohli, the rest are just good players of spin, not great.
  • “This Indian team no longer has the best batsmen against spin bowling, barring Kohli. They are still very good but certainly not the best anymore. Don’t ever stop appreciating how good Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag were. That’s why I would rather bowl at the current Indian team,” Warne told India Today.
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Shaun Pollock feels England are a good side only on flat wickets

  • South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock has called England out on their fear of the moving ball. Speaking on a Sky Sports podcast with Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton, the champion South African asked – “Do green seamers suit your current England team, or actually not?”
  • “I think they’re a flat wicket team now. Even the bowling side, someone like (fast bowler Liam) Plunkett is not looking to swing it around,” he continued.
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Indians are the firm favourites against Pakistan, claims Sunil Gavaskar

  • Sunil Gavaskar stressed on the fact that Pakistan’s batting lineup would miss the services of their veteran Misbah-ul-Haq, as he recently retired from all forms of the game after 3rd Test match between Pakistan and West Indies. Without Misbah, Gavaskar believes that Pakistan’s batting lineup appears inexperienced.
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Scotland selectors announce squad which will face Namibia

  • Preston Mommsen is one of the finest batsmen in Scotland cricket, and his inclusion in the World Cricket League fixtures, despite his international retirement in 2016, is a proof of the same. Mommsen, who still has the burning fire to be a part of the Scotland team, is now working full time but will be taking leave to represent his country one more time.
  • He has been training regularly with the national coaches and has been in fine form for his club side Grange. While Kyle Coetzer will captain the side, Con de Lange will act as his deputy.
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Pakistan missing big hitters but are good enough to beat India: Abdul Razzaq

  • Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaqhas backed his country to beat India on Sunday. While Razzaq is wary of Pakistan being without their power-hitters Sharjeel Khan and Umar Akmal, he still thinks that Pakistan is good enough to win against a powerful India side.
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VVS Laxman is confident that India will defend the Champions Trophy

  • “I am very confident that India will do well in the Champions Trophy and will defend the title,” Laxman said on Wednesday.
  • “Especially, the way they played in the last two warm-up games. The batsmen are in form. I am very impressed with the way Shikhar Dhawan batted in both the games. Even Dinesh Karthik used the opportunity against Bangladesh brilliantly,” said Laxman.
  • He acknowledged how outstanding the bowlers were in both the practice games, bowling accurate lengths aggressively and picking up wickets.
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Hardik Pandya reckons teamwork extremely important in India-Pakistan clash

  • Speaking to the media regarding preparations ahead of India’s encounter against Pakistan, Hardik said, “Preparations will be the same. India-Pakistan match is a big game and we have done some hard work. Pakistan has a good line-up as well.”
  • In Hardik’s view, not a single player but the entire team’s effort is what attracts favourable result for the team. “A single player can’t always win the match. It is always team work. So, it depends how they play as a team,” he quipped.
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Bangladesh coach says they will play proper game in a proper match

  • “We have tried different combinations in both the practice games. Our target was to take the positives out of the two games and that’s what we are going to do,” Hathurusingha said.
  • “We didn’t score runs. They bowled well at the start. So it showed how important it is to have a good start that we had in the last few games. I think they bowled well,” he added.
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Michael Vaughan shares his verdict on the Champions Trophy

  • Michael Vaughan stated that if the pitch remains dry throughout the tournament, Indians have a high chance of winning the tournament whereas England will go on to be the winners if pitches support swinging and seaming conditions.
  • England pitches coupled with overcast conditions, always induces swing and seam, assisting bowlers. According to Vaughan, if the pitches used resembles the normal English nature in the United Kingdoms, then there’s no stopping the home team. England bowling boasts the services of Chris Woakes, David Willey, Mark Wood and Ben Stokes.
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India’s ICC brand ambassador Harbhajan Singh has arrived in England

  • Bhajji who was with the Indian team that shared the 2002 trophy with Sri Lanka said: “To be appointed as an Ambassador for a global event in which India will be the defending champion is one of the highs for me as a cricketer and something to be really proud of.”
  • Harbhajan further added that he is confident Team India will perform well, especially on the back of the support that they get from fans.
  • “I am confident that team India will achieve greater heights and am sure that millions of fans back home will be following the side’s fortunes,” he added.
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Conflict between Kohli and Kumble wasn’t going to be surprising: Ray Jennings

  • Ray Jennings was of the opinion that there must be a smooth relationship between a coach and the captain. He was the coach of RCB when Kumble was the skipper and Kohli played under him and knows both persons from close quarters.
  • “I know both of them. Pretty headstrong gentlemen with conviction of their views. A conflict, I guess, wasn’t going to be surprising” said Jennings.
  • Jennings also pointed out that a captain has a right to work with a coach he is comfortable with. Both must share an open relationship and have trust in each other.
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Injured Wahab Riaz in doubt ahead of the Champions Trophy encounter against India

  • Wahab Riaz has been one of the most experienced pacer for the men in green, with the absence of the veteran 7ft left-arm seamer Mohd. Irfan. Reports suggest that Wahab Riaz might be ruled out of the 15-man squad if the problem persists.
  • However, on the contrary, Pakistani bowling coach Azhar Mahmood suggested that the injury to the left-arm seamer is not a serious one, while he hoped for a speedy return for the fast-bowler. Wahab was also not seen bowling the practice session conducted by the Pakistan coaching staff on Tuesday, while he finished his gym sessions.
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Anil Kumble allegedly leaks team information with media on WhatsApp

  • A senior BCCI official came out to reveal that there was a WhatsApp group created by Anil Kumble which contained his influential media personalities companions and the legendary leg-spinner disclosed confidential information of some of the senior players in the team with his friends in media.
  • Media has been plagued with reports regarding unrest within the Indian team and drift in between players in the team and the coach. Anil Kumble is said to have an overbearing attitude and known to have a hard-taskmaster nature which did not go down well with Kohli and his men.
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Andrew Strauss says England have a good chance to win the Champions Trophy

  • England are yet to win a major 50-over tournament. They have had plenty of good teams over the years but have seldom made it deep in the tournament. After their first-round exit from the 2015 World Cup, England have changed the way they play cricket.
  • Strauss, however, thinks this team can do it. “We’ve match-winners from one to seven, so I think other teams will look at us and think they’re up against dangerous opposition,” he exclaimed.
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CT 2017: Bookies place their bet on India against Pak, Eng to win the Trophy

  • A website known as easyodds.com have tipped off their take on the odds of the tournament for various categories. They took to Twitter to share their link which provides essential insights for bookies prior to the tournament.
  • For a rupees bet, Bookies have offered a bet of Rs 4 on England, Rs 4.4 for Australia, Rs 4.7 for South Africa and Rs 5.9 for India to clinch the tournament, while Bangladesh is the least favourites to win the trophy.
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‘India’s father’ will also have to talk to Pakistan, remarks Najam Sethi

  • As per the reports in Dunyanews.tv, PCB Executive Committee Chairman Najam Sethi has blasted the Indian board with their remarks. He remarked that not India, but even ‘India’s father’ will have to hold the dialogues and discussions with Pakistan for the bilateral series. His statements are a direct translation of a popular Hindi slang.
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Irfan Pathan backs Mohammed Shami as key to India’s Champions Trophy defence

  • “I am really impressed with Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah’s bowling in international cricket, especially in one-dayers… as well as, for that matter, Shami and Umesh. Shami has been the bowler who can deliver with both the old and the new ball. He has got the most beautiful seam position I have ever seen in international cricket. He will be key to India’s success in the Champions Trophy,” Irfan Pathan said.
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Sachin: A billion dreams sees a dip in box office collections

  • On Monday, the movie saw a slight dip with a total earning of INR 4.2 crore. On the following day, on Tuesday, the movie has seen a further dip with earnings of only INR 3.5 crore to their earnings. At present, the movie stands with a total earning of INR 35.75 crore in all the five languages of release in the Indian business.
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Majority of IPL stars register in Tamil Nadu Premier League draft

  • A large proportion of Indian Premier League players has opted to play in the Tamil Nadu Premier League. Players already playing in the TNCA’ s league (Tamil Nadu Cricket Association) enrolled their names for the upcoming TNPL draft, which is scheduled to be held in June.
  • The famous trio of Jolly Rovers, Piyush Chawla, Ankit Bawne, and Robin Bisht have already signed in for the draft. Former Indian International Piyush Chawla has been an integral part of the Kolkata Knight Riders setup, under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir.
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CT 2017: Mohammad Kaif picks his India Playing XI for Pakistan clash

  • Kaif picked Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan as the openers. Skipper Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, and MS Dhoni make up the middle-order in his playing eleven.
  • Kaif went ahead with Kedar Jadhav as another batsman in the lower middle-order. In the bowling department, he chose to go with two spinners and three pacers. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja owned their places in the team. In the pace bowling department, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah made up the numbers.
  • It is surprising to see no room for Hardik Pandya in the lineup who was phenomenal with the bat in the warm-up against Bangladesh. Also, Umesh Yadav, who had picked up 3/16 in the same game also misses out in the Kaif’s list.
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CT 2017: Bangladesh coach defends lackluster show against India

  • After the defeat, team head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe defended the defeat. He noted that teams are bound to have off days at work. He, however, added that he is definitely not satisfied with the way things have panned out for the team in the match.
  • Trying to cite positives from the lackluster performance, he admitted that the team has started to know about the conditions now. He expects the tournament to be a high scoring tournament this time around.
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CT 2017: Hardik Pandya relishing Dhoni’s finishing tips

  • “I had a chat with Mahi bhai.  He said ‘If you can take some time at the start, later on the runs are there to come’. The best part I have learned from him is when he shares his opinions and experience. I still remember one incident when I asked him how to finish games during the England (home) series,” said Hardik Pandya.
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MS Dhoni becomes the national brand ambassador of Zed Black Agarbatti

  • Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is roped in by the Indore-based Mysore Deep Perfumery House (MDPH) as the brand ambassador of the incense stick- Zed Black Agarbatti. MDPH is reportedly targeting to grab a major share in the Rs. 6000 crores incense stick market.
  • The company wants the 35-year old wicketkeeper-batsman to infuse the importance of prayers in the youth of the modern era. “Prarthna Hogi Sweekar” (prayers will be accepted) is the tagline of Zed Black Agarbatti.
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4 Indians in ESPN’s top 100 most famous athletes list

  • Ben Alamar, ESPN’s director of analytics says that they combine endorsements with social media following and internet search popularity to create their World Fame 100 rankings.
  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli is at No.13, dropping five places from last year’s No.8. He is closely followed by the Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The other two Indians to have made to the list are all-rounder Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina. Yuvraj is placed at No.90 while Raina holds No.95. No other country cricketer was able to make a place for themselves.
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