Jasprit Bumrah set to receive Polly Umrigar Award: BCCI

News Network
January 12,2020

Mumbai, Jan 12: India's pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah will receive the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award for his exploits in international cricket in the 2018-19 season, the BCCI announced on Sunday.

The world's leading pacer will be honoured during the BCCI Annual Awards here on Sunday.

The world's No. 1 ODI bowler made his Test debut during India's tour of South Africa in January 2018 and has not looked back since. He picked up a five-wicket haul in South Africa, England, Australia and the West Indies becoming the first and only Asian bowler to achieve the feat.

He played a stellar role in the historic 2-1 Test series win in Australia, India's first Down Under and which helped them retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy. While Bumrah nets the biggest prize in the men's category, Poonam Yadav will claim the top prize in women's section and will be awarded the best international cricketer.

The award will be another feather in the leg-spinner's cap who recently received the Arjuna Award. Former India captains Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Anjum Chopra will be presented with the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award and the BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for women respectively.

A member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, Srikkanth took on the fearsome West Indies fast bowlers and scored an attacking 38, the top individual score in the low-scoring final at the Lord's. He also captained India and post-retirement served as the chief selector and it was during his tenure that the 2011 World Cup squad was picked.

Anjum is one of the finest batswomen and the first Indian to play 100 ODIs. In a career spanning 17 years, Anjum represented India in four 50-over World Cups and two T20 World Cup (played in one).

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said, "The BCCI Awards is our way of recognising the finest on-field performances right from the age group to senior level and also honour our legends.

"It will be a special evening in Mumbai as we will also have the 7th MAK Pataudi lecture and I am delighted to inform that it will be Virender Sehwag, who will address the gathering."

Board secretary Jay Shah said, "The BCCI Awards are an important feature in India's cricketing calendar, a melange of aspiration and inspiration. "We wanted to make Naman bigger and better and have introduced four new categories – highest run-getter and wicket-takers in WODIs and best international debut men and women – from this year. A total of 25 awards will be presented."

Arun Singh Dhumal, the board's treasurer, said, "Right from domestic to international level, Indian Cricket has had a memorable 2018-19 season. We have started the year on the right note with Team India completing a convincing series win against Sri Lanka and they will be in attendance. The U-19 team is in South Africa for the World Cup and all eyes will be on the stars of tomorrow. It will be a special evening and I congratulate the award winners".

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BCCI thinking of women's cricket, just needs to be more specific in communication: Anjum Chopra

Agencies
August 4,2020

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New Delhi, Aug 4: Former India women's team captain Anjum Chopra firmly believes that the BCCI has a plan for women's cricket but she wants the Board to communicate its ideas more specifically.

Speaking to news agency, Chopra, who is now a successful broadcaster, said the BCCI is thinking in earnest about the progress of women's cricket.

"It's not that the BCCI is not thinking about women's cricket. I only think they need to be more specific in communication about women's cricket," Chopra said.

"I firmly believe that they must be thinking about women's cricket but the communication all this while has been very specific to men's cricket."

The latest trigger for criticism of BCCI was India's withdrawal from a tour of England in September owing to logistical issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chopra concedes it was "not nice" but Indian players' participation in the women's IPL, in November, will still be useful preparation for next year's ODI World Cup.

"It is heartening to see women's cricket making headlines. They should have been a part of that England tour and it did not feel nice initially but the women's IPL, irrespective of the format, will be helpful for World Cup preparations. Any form of cricket is good preparation," Chopra said.

"Missing out on a tournament is not nice, but logistically there may have been issues. And you can't send an under-prepared team."

"If you see in isolation we may have missed out on an opportunity to play in England. The more the girls play the better it is, before playing a tournament of the stature of World Cup. The assurance from the president is a very good thing."

Chopra welcomed the Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI's decision to hold the women's event in the UAE alongside the IPL, which will run from September 19 to November 10. The women's IPL will coincide with the business end of the men's league.

"I am definitely happy, it's always nice to be part of any cricket anywhere across the world.

"They should have been nearing the final stages of the preparation for the World Cup by now, but because of the pandemic things did not go as planned," she added.

Chopra had a successful international career spanning over 17 years, during which she represented India in a record six World Cups and became the first woman cricketer to appear in 100 One-day Internationals.

She also felt that the pandemic would not have much impact on the women's game that has gained momentum in recent times.

"...Cricket was on pause button...Once cricket resumes and players are back on the park, everything is going to get picked up. It might take some time to get started as everything starts from zero...

"The awareness the women's game has created, I hope it stays. They will just restart, not start after the pandemic."

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Will Ramdev’s Patanjali bid for IPL title sponsorship after Vivo's exit?

News Network
August 10,2020

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Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved is considering bidding for the 2020 IPL edition following the sudden exit of Chinese smartphone maker Vivo, according to a report by media. 

"We are considering the IPL title sponsorship for this year, since we want to give the Patanjali brand a global marketing platform" Patanjali spokesperson S K Tijarawala told the publication.

According to the report, names of several high-profile companies like Jio, Amazon, Tata Group and Adani have been doing the rounds as potential candidates for the IPL sponsorship, which is expected to draw in big advertising numbers despite playing outside India owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vivo made a sudden exit from the 2020 IPL edition following an intense call to boycott Chinese products and strained Sino-India relations after the clash in Galwan Valley in East Ladakh, but may return in 2021 for a three-year period.

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IPL set to start on September 19, final on November 8 in UAE

News Network
July 24,2020

Dubai, Jul 24: The eagerly-awaited Indian Premier League will start on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the final slated on November 8, IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel told PTI on Friday.

While the event's Governing Council will meet next week to chalk out the final details and approve the schedule, it is understood that the BCCI has informally intimated the franchises about the plan.

"The GC will meet shortly but we have finalised the schedule. It will run from September 19 to November 8. We expect the government approval to come through. It is a full 51-day IPL," Patel confirmed the development after PTI reported the dates on Thursday.

The IPL has been made possible by the ICC's decision to postpone the October-November T20 World Cup in Australia owing to the COVID-19 pandemic due to which the host country expressed its inability to conduct the event.

Patel said that the Standard Operating Procedure to combat the COVID-19 threat is being prepared and the BCCI will formally write to the Emirates Cricket Board.

"We are making the SOP and it will be ready in a few days. To allow crowd or not depends on the UAE government. Anyway social distancing has to be maintained. We have left it for their government to decide on that. Will also be writing to the UAE board formally," Patel said.

There are three grounds available in the UAE -- Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah ground.

It is learnt that the BCCI will be renting the grounds of the ICC Academy for training of the teams.

The ICC Academy has two full-sized cricket grounds along with 38 turf pitches, 6 indoor pitches, a 5700 square foot outdoor conditioning area along with physiotherapy and medicine centre.

As per the current health protocol in Dubai, there is no need to be in quarantine if people are carrying a negative COVID-19 test report, but if they are not, they will have to undergo a test.

While there was speculation that the IPL will start from September 26, the BCCI decided to advance it by a week in order to ensure that the Indian team's tour of Australia is not jeopardised.

"The Indian team will have a mandatory quarantine of 14 days as per the Australian government rules. A delay would have sent the plans haywire," a BCCI official said on conditions of anonymity.

"The best part is that 51 days is not at all a curtailed period and broadcasters will be happy with full seven-week window," he added.

While the original schedule had five double-headers, Patel said the new one will feature around 12 double-headers which means two matches each on both Saturdays and Sundays.

The Indians are set to play a four-match Test series against Australia starting December 3 in Brisbane after the IPL.

It is expected that with each and every team needing at least a month's time to train, the IPL franchises will be leaving base by August 20 which gives them exactly four weeks time to prepare.

The cash-rich event was originally scheduled to start at the end of March but the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions that were put in place to contain the virus, led to an indefinite postponement.

However, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had always maintained that the event will be held some time this year.

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