GS Lakshmi to Become First Woman Referee to Oversee Men's ODI

News Network
December 5,2019

Dec 5: India's G.S. Lakshmi will create history as the first female match referee to oversee a men's One-Day International in the opening match of the third series of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 in the United Arab Emirates.

As per an ICC release, Lakshmi will oversee the match taking place on December 8 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The competition which is on the Road to India 2023 looks to provide development opportunities for officials.

This is the second significant achievement for Lakshmi this year, following her appointment as the first woman onto the ICC International Panel of Match Referees in May. The 51-year old who first officiated as a match referee in domestic women's cricket in 2008-09, has now overseen three women's ODI matches, 16 men's T20 Internationals and seven women's T20 Internationals.

Lakshmi was thrilled of her achievement: "It feels great, having anything assigned 'first' to your name gives me a sense of pride. This being a big ICC event (ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2) it feels great to be officiating at this level."

Speaking of how she first got into cricket and her time as a player Lakshmi recounts how cricket secured her place at college. "I played cricket with my brothers and friends, when they (the college) saw my skills, I had a natural bowling action, they immediately accepted me to the college and I then played for my state in domestic cricket for 18 years."

Lakshmi is hopeful other women can follow in her footsteps of officiating in the game. "These qualification events provide a good platform to prepare officials and provide them opportunities to gain valuable experience. I hope my promotion to the ICC International Panel of Match Referees and records like this can inspire many females. This is definitely another career opportunity for women."

Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager -- Umpires and Referees: "Congratulations to GS Lakshmi on becoming the first women match referee to oversee a Men's One Day International. It is thoroughly deserved and highlights the wonderful opportunities there are for females in cricket officiating."

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I shopped and still managed to saved some: Bhuvneshwar Kumar discloses his first salary

News Network
July 14,2020

New Delhi, Jul 14: Indian bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who features in the list of A category players released by BCCI, has revealed his first-ever paycheck.

Bhuvneshwar was participating in a question and answer session on Twitter where he gave his take on fans' queries.

The 30-year-old bowler was asked about his first paycheck by a fan and Bhuvneshwar responded by saying, "It was for Rs 3000. I shopped and still managed to saved some."

During the question and answer session Bhuvneshwar picked Barcelona striker Lionel Messi over Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The right-arm bowler also revealed that football and badminton are his favourite sports other than cricket.

Earlier this year, Bhuvneshwar was named in the list A category of players. BCCI had released the list of centrally contracted players for the period from October 2019 to September 2020. Annually, A category players get Rs 5 crore.

The right-arm bowler would have been in action for Sunrisers Hyderabad if the Indian Premier League (IPL) had commenced from March 29. However, the tournament was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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'Your character stood out for me': Kohli to Mayank Agarwal

Agencies
July 28,2020

kohli_27.jpg

New Delhi, Jul 28: 'Your character stood out for me than the number of runs you scored," said India skipper Virat Kohli while explaining his decision to give opening Mayank Agarwal a Test debut in the 2018-19 Australia series.

Mayank Agarwal had made his Test debut against Australia in the third Test of the four-match series.

Playing the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Agarwal managed to register a half-century in his very first innings in the longest format.

"I had seen you play for RCB, even then you played international bowlers with conviction and you would take them on. You were performing in first-class matches in a dominating way. That is something always stood out with you, I would say your character stood out for me than the number of runs. I knew you would be fearless without having any baggage," Kohli told Mayank Agarwal in a video posted on the official website of BCCI.

In the longest format of the game, Agarwal has managed to score 974 runs from 11 matches at an average of 57.29 with three centuries as an opening batsman.

The Indian skipper also explained as to what makes him notice in a player and added that it is important that guys in the team look to face new challenges and emerge triumphantly.

"For me, the biggest marker is how a person approaches the game, so for example when you opened and we made Vihari open with you. The first opportunity we presented Vihari to open the batting, he said yes to it and that matters me to the most," Kohli said.

"I opened in my first series for India, I said yes to this opportunity and things worked out fine for me. So, a guy who wants to get into tough situations will come out either holding his head high or learning from his mistakes," he added.

Kohli and Mayank would soon be seen in action for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab respectively in the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting from September 19 in the UAE.

The comparisons between Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar keep on growing and many have picked the current Indian skipper to break the records set by Tendulkar.

Tendulkar called time on his career after registering 100 international centuries, while Kohli currently has 70 centuries across all formats.

At present, Kohli is ranked at the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings while he is in the second place in Tests rankings. Kohli has so far played 86 Tests, scoring 7,240 runs with 27 centuries at an average of 53.62.

His knock of 254 against South Africa at Pune in 2019 remains his highest Test score to date. When it comes to ODIs, the current Indian skipper has played 248 matches and has 43 centuries.

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Messi wins record 7th scoring title in Spanish league

Agencies
July 20,2020

Vitoria, Jul 20: Lionel Messi won a record seventh top scoring title in the Spanish league after netting twice in Barcelona's 5-0 rout of Alav s in the final round.

Messi ended with 25 goals, four more than Karim Benzema, who did not score in Real Madrid's 2-2 draw at Legan s.

Messi is the first player to finish as the league's top scorer in seven different seasons. He reached the milestone despite missing games because of an injury early in the season. The Argentine's 25 goals came in 33 matches.

Messi was tied with Telmo Zarra with six scoring titles. He has also now equaled Hugo Sanchez's feat of four straight top-scorer trophies.

"Individual achievements are always secondary," Messi said on Sunday.

"I wished it could have come along with the league title."

This is also the third successive season that Messi finished with the most assists 21 in the league.

Ansu Fati, Luis Su rez and Nelson Semedo also scored Sunday for Barcelona, which had already secured second place behind Madrid.

Fati opened the scoring in the 24th minute, Messi added to the lead 10 minutes later and Su rez closed the first-half scoring in the 44th. Semedo got on the board in the 57th and Messi in the 75th to help Barcelona rebound from a 2-1 home loss to Osasuna.

"Today things were different," Messi said.

"The team showed better attitude and commitment. It was an important step forward for us ahead of what's left in the season."

Barcelona now turns its focus to its Aug. 8 home game against Napoli in the round of 16 of the Champions League. The first leg, played before the break, ended 1-1.

Barcelona coach Quique Seti n finished under pressure after the team relinquished a two-point lead over Madrid when the league resumed following the pandemic break. It was four points back before Madrid's match at Legan s.

Barcelona defender Cl ment Lenglet had to be substituted early in the second half because of an apparent muscle injury.

Alav s, sitting in 15th, had already done enough to stay up.

BAR A "B" TEAM

American winger Konrad de la Fuente scored twice as Barcelona's "B" team beat Valladolid B to keep alive its hopes of reaching the second division next season. The victory put Barcelona in the second round of the promotion playoffs.

The 19-year-old De la Fuente, who recently had his contract with Barcelona extended through the 2021-22 season, scored in each half.

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