Mohammad Shami becomes first Indian with two 5-wicket hauls in ODI World Cup history

News Network
October 22, 2023


Pacer Mohammad Shami became the first Indian bowler to pick two five-wicket hauls in ICC ODI World Cups when he removed Daryl Mitchell during Sunday’s match against New Zealand at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamsala.

He is now the ninth bowler overall to take two fifers in ODI World Cups.

This also becomes the seventh instance of an Indian bowler picking a fifer in ODI WCs. Shami himself in 2019, Ashish Nehra (2003), Venkatesh Prasad (1999), Robin Singh (1999), Yuvraj Singh (2011), and Kapil Dev (1983) have done it before.

Shami, featuring in his first CWC23 match after Hardik Pandya was ruled out of the game following an injury, struck with his first delivery to remove Kiwi opener Will Young.

Young’s wicket also meant Shami surpassed legendary spinner Anil Kumble’s tally of 31 wickets in ODI World Cups to move third on the all-time Indian World Cup wicket-takers’ list, behind Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan’s 44 wickets apiece. Shami has 36 wickets now.

Shami’s final figures after he also accounted for the wickets for Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, and Matt Henry - 5/54 - is his best showing at the men’s ODI World Cup. His overall best figures in the format is 5/51.

This is now the fifth time Shami has logged four-plus wickets in an innings in the tournament. Only Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc has done it more often—on six occasions.

Shami was India’s second-highest wicket-taker in the 2019 World Cup, with 14 scalps in just four matches. 


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News Network
December 4,2023


Results of assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana came out on Sunday. Of the four states that went to polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won with a comfortable majority in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The Congress, on the other hand, dethroned the K Chandrashekar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government in Telangana. 

Assembly elections 2023 results at a glance



Rajasthan: Vasundhara Raje, Mahant Balak Nath or Diya Kumari?

The buck of 'Who will become Rajasthan's next Chief Minister' is revolving around four names at present. Two-time CM Vasundhara Raje, controversial seer Mahant Balak Nath, Rajsamand MP Diya Kumari and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat are the top four names in fray for the top post in Rajasthan. 

The two-time Chief Minister bagged the Jhalrapatan seat by 53,193 votes ahead of Congress' Ramlal. Vasundhara Raje is hailed as the first woman CM of Rajasthan and has been the BJP's face in the state for more than two decades.

As per media reports, the BJP is not very keen on Raje having a third tenure as the Chief Minister. She, however, is still seen in Rajasthan as someone who challenged patriarchal norms and led a public and private life on her own terms.

Another name that can be considered for the top job in Rajasthan is that of Gayatri Devi's granddaughter and Rajsamand MP Diya Kumari. Previously, she was an MP from Sawai Madhopur. She is known for social work and was initially considered as an outsider in Sawai Madhopur.

Diya Kumari, however, gained popularity in the constituency due to developmental work. She hails from the Rajput community. If the BJP wants to go the Yogi Adityanath route in Rajasthan, then Baba Balak Nath stands a chance. Balak Nath is a Lok Sabha MP from Alwar but has contested from the Tijara seat instead.

He is also hailed as the 'Yogi of Rajasthan' and heads the Baba Mastnath Math in Rohtak. The Math runs a university, hospital, medical college and a school among other key institutions. Baba Balak Nath hails from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. 

Moving away from the firebrand options, the BJP can also appoint Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Shekhawat, who was elected as a Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur, is being seen as a strong contendor for the CM post. During the election campaign, Shekhawat was mired in a public spat with former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot over the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society Scam. 

Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Kailash Vijayvargiya or Jyotiraditya Scindia? 

The BJP won Madhya Pradesh on Sunday with a thumping majority but did not declare who will lead the state critical to ensuring victory in 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Among the probable names for the CM post being tossed around are Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Kailash Vijayvargiya and Jyotiraditya Scindia. 

Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the longest serving Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh as of now. Chouhan, also hailed as Mama by the electorate, contested the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2023 from Budhni, his stronghold since 2006.

The BJP's win in MP can be attributed to welfare schemes such as Ladli Behna and CM Kisan Nidhis initiated by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government.  But the clout held by Jyotiraditya Scindia in the state, especially in the Gwalior-Chambal belt, cannot be sidelined either.

Scindia has actively campaigned in the state. He, however, has maintained that he is not interested in the Chief Minister post. Kailash Vijayvargiya's name is also doing the rounds for Madhya Pradesh CM post. The six-time MP has never lost an assembly election and has been a state government cabinet for more than 12 years. 

He was in charge of BJP's Haryana election campaign in 2014 wherein the saffron party gained a majority in the assembly election. Soon after this feat, he was appointed as the BJP national general secretary by Amit Shah in 2015 and the new BJP leader in West Bengal. 

Chhattisgarh: Raman Singh or Arun Sao?

In Chhattisgarh, the BJP is stuck in a conundrum of whether to give Raman Singh his fourth term as Chhattisgarh CM or to make a change. The possibility of Raman Singh being given the fourth term as the CM cannot be ruled out as he is known for his organisational abilities and implementation of programmes aimed at improving the conditions of SCs and STs in Chhattisgarh.

Singh has been a member of the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly since 2004 and also served as a Minister of State in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government in 1999. He was also appointed the National Vice President of the BJP in 2018. 

If the BJP wants a change, it is also likely to pick state BJP chief Arun Sao for the top job. Sao can be considered if the BJP is looking for an OBC face to become the Chhattisgarh CM.

He has represented the Bilaspur Lok Sabha constituency for 3 consecutive terms so far and has strong influence among OBCs. Others who could be considered are Member of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh, former BJP state chief Vishnu Deo Sai and Ramvichar Netam. 

Telangana: Revanth Reddy or Uttam Kumar Reddy?

After defeating the KCR-led BRS comprehensively, the Congress is now faced with the dilemma of 'Who will become the Chief Minister of Telangana'. Three top Congress leaders are in the fray to win the top job in Telangana-- Revanth Reddy, Uttam Kumar Reddy, and Bhatti Vikramarka Mallu.
As the Telangana Congress chief, 54-year-old Revanth Reddy has been instrumental in leading his party to victory in the southern state. After being appointed as Telangana Congress chief, he was seen on ground leading protest on several issues against the BRS government.

Another candidate that the Congress could consider for the top job is former Telangana Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy. He was replaced by Revanth Reddy as the Telangana Congress chief. Despite this, Uttam Kumar Reddy is massively popular among party workers in the state.

Reddy is a former Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot and a Lok Sabha MP from the Nalgonda Constituency. He served as the MLA from Kodad between 1999 and 2009 and from Huzurnagar between 2009 and 2019. 


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News Network
November 21,2023

The Jubail unit of Hidayah Foundation and Epicentre Research and Collaboration are jointly organising HCL Hidayah Cricket League on November 22, 23 and 24 at Al Falah Ground Jubail.




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News Network
November 24,2023


Almost two months after it announced the shutting down of its operations, the Afghanistan embassy in New Delhi announced its permanent closure and asked the Indian government to allow the flag of the erstwhile Afghan republic to be hoisted on the premises.

“The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New Delhi regrets to announce the permanent closure of its diplomatic mission in New Delhi, effective from 23 November 2023, owing to persistent challenges from the Indian government,” a statement released by Afghanistan’s ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay, said.

“The decision follows the embassy’s earlier cessation of operations on September 30, a move made in the hope that the Indian government stance will favourably change to let the mission operate normally,” it said, adding, “Unfortunately, despite an eight-week wait, the objectives of visa extension for diplomats and a shift in the Indian government’s conduct were not realised.”

The statement added that given the “constant pressure from both the Taliban & the Indian government to relinquish control, the embassy faced a difficult choice”.

“India has been a steadfast strategic partner of the erstwhile Afghan Republic since 2001, & we acknowledge the limitations & concerns that govern the realm of realpolitik and the balancing act required at a difficult time in a geo-politically sensitive region,” it said.

“Therefore, we firmly believe that the decision to close the mission in India at this stage and to transfer the custodial authority of the mission to the host country is in the best interest of Afghanistan,” the statement released by Mamundzay said.

Currently, there are no diplomats from the Afghan Republic in India. Those who served in the national capital have safely reached third countries, the official statement said, adding that the only individuals present in India are diplomats affiliated with the Taliban, visibly attending their regular online meetings.

“The diplomats of the Afghan Republic have handed over the mission solely to the Indian government. It now rests upon the Indian government to decide the fate of the mission, whether to maintain its closure or consider alternatives, including the possibility of handing it over to Taliban diplomats. The responsibility of diplomats appointed by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has officially come to an end. The unfortunate end of the Republic mission marks the conclusion of the Afghan Republic in India,” it added.

The statement went on to implore the Indian government to consider certain requests “in this challenging time for Afghanistan, where millions suffer because of poverty and socio-economic and political exclusion”.

The first request was that the Indian government should take into custody the Afghan diplomatic mission properties, bank accounts and vehicles, and an amount of USD 500,000 in the embassy’s bank account. Secondly, the government should continue to hoist Afghanistan’s tricolour flag on the embassy premises. And thirdly, it should “ensure the safekeeping of the embassy’s property and assets with the understanding that they will be entrusted to a legitimate accountable government duly elected or chosen by the Afghan people in the future,” the statement said.

The embassy said it was “cognisant” that some may attempt to characterise this move as an internal conflict, allegedly involving diplomats who switched allegiance to the Taliban, adding “that this decision is a result of broader changes in policy and interests”.

“To the Afghan citizens in India, the Embassy extends its sincere gratitude for their understanding and support throughout our mission’s tenure,” it added.

Despite “limitations in resources and power”, the Afghan embassy said it has worked “tirelessly for their betterment and in the absence of a legitimate government in Kabul”.

Over the past two years and three months, the Afghan community in India has witnessed a significant decline, with Afghan refugees, students, and traders leaving the country, the embassy noted in its statement, adding that the number has nearly halved since August 2021, with very limited new visas being issued during this period.

“We assure the Afghan community that the mission operated with transparency, accountability, and a commitment to fair treatment based on the goodwill and interests of Afghanistan considering historic ties and bilateral relations with India,” it added.

“Unfortunately, efforts have been made to tarnish our image and hinder diplomatic efforts in order to justify the presence and work of Taliban-appointed and affiliated diplomats. In the face of these challenges, our committed team worked diligently in the most difficult circumstances, prioritizing the interests of the 40 million Afghans in every possible sphere from securing humanitarian aid and online education scholarships to facilitating ease in trade and advocating for the formation of a broad-based government,” the Afghan embassy stated further in its statement.

It added that the Afghan embassy “exerted diplomatic pressure in its power on those who defy the will of the Afghan people by failing to form an inclusive government and denying millions of girls the right to attend school”.

“We have considered the historic events and current circumstances carefully in arriving at this conclusion. We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of India for their support and assistance to Afghanistan over the past 22 years. We reiterate our commitment to serving the people of Afghanistan and will continue to explore avenues to support our nation in these challenging times,” the statement concluded.

Notably, the embassy had announced the closure of its operations on October 1, citing “lack of resources” and “failure to meet Afghanistan’s interests” by the Taliban regime.

The embassy also made an “unequivocal statement” stating that certain consulates that work on the instructions and funding from Kabul are not in consonance with the objectives of a legitimate or elected government but rather serve the interests of an “illegitimate regime”.


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