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

Here are the top headlines of the day.

Gautam Gambhir News
Indian Cricketer Gautam Gambhir. (Photo by Amal Ks/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Gautam Gambhir reveals his favourite Indian Test batsman

  • Indian batsman and Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir is often known for his honest views on numerous subjects. He recently spoke to Cricinfo and lauded India’s mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara‘s rise in Test cricket. Gambhir expressed his opinion saying that playing one format has helped Cheteshwar Pujara rise as India’s best batter in Test cricket, and had he been vying a spot for ODIs and T20Is, things could have been more difficult for the Test specialist.
  • Gambhir, who was the leading scorer in both of India’s 2007 and 2011 World Cup final wins, went on to say that Pujara is more consistent than the current Indian skipper Virat Kohli. He also said that Pujara’s county stint helped him in his overall development.
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Mohammad Azharuddin to receive a sumptuous amount despite being served with life ban

  • Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who received a life ban following his involvement in the match fixing scandal in 2000, will have his NOC and pending payments verified by the BCCI when the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and BCCI official meet in Delhi tomorrow. The life ban was issued on him in the aftermath of the match-fixing saga describing it as ‘illegal’ and ‘unsustainable’. Azharuddin has also reportedly informed the COA that the Andhra High Court in its judgment five years back had absolved him of all charges.
  • The 54-year-old wrote to BCCI mandarins including President CK Khanna, secretary Amitabh Choudhary and the CoA asking them to clear his dues which include the one-time benefit given to the former captains of the Indian team. Sources also revealed that Azhar had asked the board officials to consider his compensation package as he was exonerated by the High Court way back in 2012.
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Axar Patel named replacement for suspended Ravindra Jadeja

  • 23-year old Axar Patel on Wednesday was named as the replacement for Ravindra Jadeja for the third and final Test match between Indian and Sri Lanka, set to take place at Kandy from August 12. The Gujarat’s slow left-arm orthodox bowler has so far represented India in 30 ODI matches and 7 T20Is. He has scalped 35 wickets in the shorter format and 7 victims in T20I at an average of 30.20 and 23.00 respectively.
  • He has been named as a replacement for the no.1 all-rounder after Jadeja was suspended for the Kandy Test match of the series after collecting his sixth demerit point for throwing the ball back at the batsman in an aggressive manner.
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Aravinda de Silva hails Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers as the greatest of the generation

  • “Virat (Kohli) and AB are the two guys I will pay to watch,” said Aravinda de Silva. The veteran then stated that these two batsmen have the capability to entertain with the willow. Flattering the South African, De Silva said that AB de Villers is fearless in his approach and does not hesitate to attack the bowler be it a spinner or a pacer. He admitted to the fact that Villiers is sometimes a bit unorthodox but he ha s a lot of confidence in what he does which makes him successful.
  • Speaking about other top notch cricketers of the generation, the Sri Lankan mentioned the names of Steve Smith, Joe Root and Kane Willamson. He added that these three batsmen have been brilliant in their own ways and have tasted a lot of success but Kohli and AB have something extraordinary in them.
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Chief Minister of Bengal asks CAB to erect bust of Jagmohan Dalmiya

  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to erect a bust of former BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya. She also said the Dalmiya’s contribution the sport cannot be forgotten. The CAB has a proposal to install Dalmiya’s bust near Dr BC Roy Club House at Eden Gardens entrance but the work is pending with the Ministry of Defence, the custodians of the land.
  • The Chief Minister also compared Dalmiya’s stature with former Indian footballer Gostha Pal and said that both had made similar impacts in the respective field of sport. The CAB president Sourav Ganguly too backed the proposal and said that they are trying to figure out a way to erect a statue once they get a nod from the Army.
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Kevin Pietersen believes England axing saved his marriage

  • After being axed from the national team, Former England International Kevin Pietersen suggested that the move from England and Wales Cricket Board helped him save his marriage as he can spend more time with his family. KP has been involved heavily in humanitarian activities off-late, in an attempt to save the rhinos in Africa from being poached.
  • “People don’t understand the pressure that goes on between the four walls of home when it’s all going wrong like it did for me on a daily basis for a year. England did me a favour in sacking me in 2014 because it has helped me with my relationship with my kids no end,” commented Kevin Pietersen according to quotations from Sportskeeda. “It sounds crazy but I now want to try to save the 30,000 rhinos that are heading for extinction because of poachers. All I care about (now) is my family and my African roots,” signed off KP.
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Axar Patel set to get the nod ahead of Kuldeep Yadav to feature in the third Test at Pallekele

  • Ravindra Jadeja stole the show on at the SSC stadium when India locked horns with Sri Lanka in the second Test of the series. Jadeja weaved magic with the ball in the second inning which saw Sri Lanka suffer a humiliating loss against the visitors. Apart from picking a 5 wicket haul in the inning, Jadeja also picked up a one match ban for misconduct which will see him miss out on the third Test at Pallekele.
  • However, the absence of the world’s number on Test bowler will not be much of a worry for coach Ravi Shastri considering the fact that they have already clinched the series by winning the first two Tests of the three match chapter. Left arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav who is already in the squad was the clear favorite to fill in the place for Ravindra Jadeja. But in an amazing turn around of events left arm spinner Axar Patel has not only broken into the contention but is now leading the race. According to reports, the Gujarat-born bowler is now Shastri and Kohli’s first choice to grab the opportunity.
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Najam Sethi appointed as the new PCB chairman

  • Prime Minister of Pakistan’s direct nominee, Najam Sethi has been elected as the board chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the next three years by the new Board of Governors (BoG). Sethi won the post unanimously as no other member of the 10-member BoG (Board of Governors) filed nomination papers for the post. The PCB constitution dictates that the chairman has to be elected from among those persons on the BoG. And thus, Sethi’s chance of occupying office was very likely as he was named on the PCB’s BoG just last month by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif.
  • The 69-year-old journalist and a former caretaker chief minister of Punjab, Sethi has also been the driving force behind the success of Pakistan Super League (PKL). This would mark Sethi’s third tenure in charge after the long battle over the leadership of the PCB between Zaka Ashraf and Sethi, which ended in May 2014. He had earlier held the office as chairman from June 2013 to January 2014 and February 2014 to May 2014.
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Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones bashes ‘hypocrite’ teams for not touring Pakistan

  • Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones has slammed the teams and termed them as hypocrites for not touring Pakistan. According to him, if a team can play in London even after blasts, then there should not be any reason to avoid Pakistan. “In recent times, there were quite a few terrorist attacks in Europe including London and sporting events are going on as usual. But teams refuse to travel to Pakistan. The hypocrisy is overwhelming!” said the fuming Islamabad United coach while speaking to Deccan Chronicle.
  • Praising the Pakistan Super League(PSL), the legendary cricketer said “In last two-three years, there is so much improvement in Pakistan cricket. The Pakistan Super League has transformed them into a professional unit. The Champions Trophy success can also be attributed to the players who emerged through PSL.”
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Barisal Bulls set to miss BPL-5

  • The Bangladesh Premier League’s chairman made a shocking revelation that Barisal Bulls won’t take any part in this year’s tournament. The BPL is set to begin on November 2 and it was originally an 8-team event after the authorities allowed the Sylhet franchise to participate this season.
  • In all probability, the BPL is expected to compete amongst 7 teams again this year. The members of the BPL governing committee met on Wednesday and decided to eradicate the franchise after they failed to respond back to the committee. Chairman of the league, Afzalur Rahman Sinha, confirmed that Barisal failed to meet the financial conditions.
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PCB chief still confident of resumption of Indo-Pak cricketing ties

  •  The new PCB chief, Sethi, still dreams of making the improbable happen. However, he conceded that the prospect of a series hinges on the political relationship between both countries.
  • “I think that as soon as relations between India and Pakistan improve, the Indian government will permit the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) to participate in a bilateral series,” the Dawn quoted Sethi as saying.
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Banished from the IPL, Raj Kundra starts Indian Poker League

  • On Tuesday, Raj Kundra launched a league based Poker series with an intent to change the perception of the sport in India. The tournament, which will feature eight franchises, will take place in Mumbai on 14 and 15 October. The winning team “will represent Team India in the World Cup”, according to an entry in the league’s official website. It has the official sanction as well as the support of both the International Federation of Poker, as well as the Indian Federation of Poker.
  • Nearly two years back, Kundra, who was the co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals franchise in the Indian Premier League was banished from all operations by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee for indulging in betting in the IPL. “As part owner having 11.7 per cent of the franchise, Kundra should have conducted himself in accordance of his stature. Betting is a crime punishable in India and it is corrupt practice against BCCI constitution. It is difficult to accept that as an UK citizen, he did not know that betting was against the law in India,” Justice RM Lodha had observed after the verdict was passed on Kundra regarding his betting links to the 2013 IPL scandal.
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BCCI will reward Indian men’s and women’s team selectors for good performances in ICC events

  • The BCCI has decided to reward the selection committees of both the teams for finding the perfect mix which was suited to the team.
  • We have seen the players receive a hefty amount whenever they perform well in a major ICC event. Now, the BCCI has decided that each member of the selection committee of both the teams will receive Rs 15 for selecting the best possible teams for the big stage. The BCCI had a meeting with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) today (Wednesday) where this decision was taken.
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KCA waits for BCCI’s approval on Sreesanth’s intent of making a comeback

  • In a press release, the KCA has said, “With the domestic season around the corner, KCA would also like to support him and provide an opportunity to train/practice in the pre-season preparatory camps and selection trials at the earliest instance, subject to clearance from the Committee of Administrators/BCCI.”  The KCA further elucidated that it is willing to take a “positive” decision on Sreesanth’s bid to participate in state cricket.
  • This upheaval has come in the wake of the ruling that the Kerala HC passed on Monday. Sreesanth was made free of the life ban that had been imposed on him due to his alleged mix-up in the IPL spot-fixing scam, owing to the fact that there was no incriminating evidence to establish and prove his involvement in match-fixing. Further, Justice A Muhamed Mustaque dismissed all proceedings against Sreesanth that had been brought into effect by the BCCI.
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Bangladesh hire Stuart MacGill as spin coach

  • Former Australia spinner Stuart MacGill has been confirmed as the spin coach for Bangladesh national team, subject to the former leg spinner obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC). MacGill has no prior coaching experience but has mentored a number of young spinners in Australia.
  • BCB has hired him for a period of three months and will reassess his performance at the end of this period. They hope that the 46-year old is initiated in the set up before Australia arrives in Bangladesh to play a 2-Test series. Spin is spoken to be the major hurdle ahead of the Steve Smith-led side. Earlier, Bangladesh had used spin as a weapon against England to draw the 2-match series 1-1 and the Tigers hope to repeat it again against the Australians. MacGill has replaced former Sri Lanka spinner Ruwan Kalpage, who was sacked by the BCB after a two-year stint.
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