BCCI not to push for T20 World Cup postponement to open IPL window

Agencies
May 22, 2020

India's cricket board will not push for the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia to be postponed but would consider staging the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the October/November slot if it becomes available, a senior BCCI official has told Reuters.

This year's IPL, which is worth almost $530 million to the BCCI, has been indefinitely postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic while the World Cup, which is scheduled to begin on Oct. 18, is also in jeopardy.

Reports in Australian media have suggested India's influential board may look to push for the World Cup to be postponed to open up a window for the IPL.

World Cup contingency plans are on the agenda at next week's International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting but BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said India would not be recommending it be pushed back.

"Why should the BCCI suggest postponing the Twenty20 World Cup?" Dhumal told Reuters by telephone.

"We'll discuss it in the meeting and whatever is appropriate, (the ICC) will take a call.

"If the Australia government announces that the tournament will happen and Cricket Australia is confident they can handle it, it will be their call. BCCI would not suggest anything."

While Australia has seen new infections of the novel coronavirus slow to a trickle and is gradually easing travel curbs and social distancing restrictions, hosting a 16-team World Cup would be a Herculean task for Cricket Australia.

Dhumal questioned whether the tournament should go ahead if it had to be played without spectators and said the Australian government would play a key role in any decision.

"It all depends on what the Australian government says on this - whether they'd allow so may teams to come and play the tournament," he added.

"Will it make sense to play games without spectators? Will it make sense for CA to stage such a tournament like that? It's their call."

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts was guarded about the prospects of staging the tournament as scheduled on Friday.

"We don't have clarity on that one, yet. But as the situation continues to improve, you never know what might be possible," he said.

"It's ultimately a decision for the ICC."

The ICC has said it was unlikely to make a final call on the fate of the World Cup until August but some boards are in the process of making contingency plans in the event of a postponement.

While the BCCI recognised an open October-November window would suit the IPL, Dhumal said there was no point in making plans until there was some certainty about the World Cup.

"If we have the window available, and depending on what all can be organised, we'll decide accordingly," he added. "We can't presume that it's not happening and go on planning."

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News Network
September 21,2020

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Dubai, Sept 21: Kagiso Rabada once again proved to be the 'King of Super Over' after Marcus Stoinis' star turn with both bat and ball ensured a thrilling Super Over win for Delhi Capitals in an IPL encounter against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.

It was Stoinis whose late assault saw Delhi reach 157 for 8 in 20 overs with his 53 off 21 balls and 57 in the last three did the trick.

In reply, KXIP were looking down the barrel with half of the side back in the pavilion before Mayank Agarwal's 89 off 60 balls took them to 157 before Stoinis came back to strike a double blow in the final two balls to set up a Super Over finish.

Both the teams ended with a score of 157 for eight and when it spilled to a Super Over, South African pacer Rabada conceded only two runs and took two wickets off successive balls to tilt in the favor of Delhi Capitals.

Rabada had pulled off a stunning Super Over even the last year against Kolkata Knight Riders and like Andre Russell, this time it was Nicholas Pooran, who got a lethal yorker.

It was difficult for Shami to defend two runs.

Earlier, Shami's exceptional fast bowling spell had put the Capitals on the mat as they had not crossed the 100-run mark even after 16 overs but Stoinis' whirlwind knock lifted the Delhi side to 157 for eight.

The Capitals, sent in to bat, scored 57 runs in the last 18 balls with Stoinis punishing the bowlers with seven fours and three sixes.

Punjab badly missed a good death bowler.

Stoinis' timely and gritty batting ensured that the repair work done by skipper Shreyas Iyer (39) and Rishabh Pant (31) did not go waste.

The severe bashing demoralised Punjab batting line up, which fell apart in no time. However, Mayank Agarwal emerged an unlikely batting hero, bringing Punjab back from no where.

He, though, was dismissed when only one run was needed off the last ball of the innings but Chris Jordan could not score the final run, giving Stoinis his wicket and the match was tied.

In Punjba's chase skipper KL Rahul (21) was first to go and then India spinner R Ashwin sent back Karun Nair (1) and Nicholas Pooran (0) in space of five balls. It, though, did not end well for Ashwin, whose needless dive in the last ball to stop a single resulted in a freak shoulder injury.

Ashwin landed on his left arm. Writhing in pain, Ashwin's jersey became a temporary sling as he left the field.

True to his reputation, Agarwal held the one end but Punjab needed Glenn Maxwell to fire, which did not happen as he could add only one run to his and team's total.

Half the batsmen back in the pavilion and no big-hitting batsman left in the lineup, Agarwal's heroic batting kept the game alive. He hit seven fours and four sixes.

Earlier, the pitch had a tinge of grass, the ball was swinging and pacer Shami relished the bowling on a helpful track. His wicket-taking and run-choking act served the Punjab side well.

It was a pitch that required patience from the batsmen but reckless shots was how Delhi Capitals began after being invited to bat, with Prithvi Shaw (5) paying the price for his extravagance and Shimron Hetmyer (7) failing to check his shot.

Shikhar Dhawan (0) was run out to a horrible mix-up and the scoreboard was not a pleasant sight for the Delhi side at 13 for 3.

However, skipper Shreyas Iyer (39) and Rishabh Pant (31) respected the conditions to raise the 73-run stand for the fourth wicket while Stoinis' knock towards the end put Capitals in a psychologically advantageous position.

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News Network
September 20,2020

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Abu Dhabi, Sept 20: Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said his team's tremendous "experience" proved to be a crucial factor in its five-wicket victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the IPL opener.

Ambati Rayudu and Faf Du Plessis set up the win with a 115-run stand for the third wicket, while Piyush Chawla was exceptional with the ball and was aided by likes of Sam Curran, Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi.

"The experience pays off, everyone talks about it. You get it only after you play a lot of games. 300 ODIs is a dream for anybody to play and when you put an XI on the field, you need a good mix of youngsters and experienced players," Dhoni said.

"You need the experienced players to guide the youngsters on and off the field. The young players get 60-70 days with the seniors in the IPL," the veteran added at the post- match presentation ceremony.

Dhoni also spoke about what all things the team learnt from the first game.

"We may practice enough but when you go on the field you need to assess the conditions and give it your best. It took time for the bowlers to find the right length on this pitch. Plenty of positives but still plenty of areas for us to improve

"In the second half there is a bit of movement till the dew sets in. If you don't lose wickets early, you have the upper hand. These are the learnings. Rayudu had a wonderful partnership with Faf. Most of us are retired so luckily no injuries as well."

MI skipper Rohit Sharma was upset that none of his batsmen could carry on the initial momentum that they gained.

"None of our batsmen carried on for us, like du Plessis and Rayudu did for CSK. I think we were 85 in the first 10 overs. Credit to the CSK bowlers, they bowled well at the end to pull back things. Something for us to learn," Rohit said.

"Still early days. We all want to start really well, it's crucial in this tournament where momentum is important. Few things for us to learn from this game, we did make few mistakes. Hopefully we'll rectify those and come out smarter in the next game."

Rohit said his team needs to adapt to the conditions better.

"We need to adapt to the pitches, it got better with the dew coming. You need to hit the gaps and focus on that part of the game. The opposition can tie you down, it's all about understanding what we need to do," he said.

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News Network
September 20,2020

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Prolific Australia opener David Warner wants to see "at least 25 per cent crowds" inside the stadiums when they host Virat Kohli's India in a high-profile tour later this year. Warner said he was looking forward to the big-ticket assignment against one of their biggest rivals. "Well, I am looking forward to the tour which will be a great battle between two very highly competitive teams. And, I hope at least 25 per cent crowds will be allowed as was the case with some football matches. That will be fantastic," Warner said during a virtual media interaction.

Earlier this week, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said his government is negotiating with Cricket Australia and Tennis Australia to have crowd attendance for the city's iconic sports events -- Boxing Day Test and the Australian Open.

Warner is currently bracing up to lead SunRisers Hyderabad in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE.

Talking about the challenges of playing the IPL in a bio-secure bubble and without crowd, he acknowledged that it is a very different and difficult job.

The ongoing IPL is being played under strict health safety guidelines and protocols, with players and support staff set to be tested every five days throughout the tournament.

"It is difficult for some to be away from their families for such a long time. But, I do believe once the event starts, the players will be more focussed on the game. I think the BCCI and the hosts here have done a fantastic job to get the IPL going.

"All the players have to do is to be smart, look after their mental aspect well by doing small things to be fresh for any challenges," said Warner, one of the tournament's leading scorers in recent years.

"You play the game as the rest of things are being taken care off in these testing times during the pandemic. With no crowds at the ground which any team would miss, everyone will stay in a competitive frame of mind once the event gets along."

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