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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News Network
September 23,2020

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Sharjah, Sept 23: Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir has slammed Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper, MS Dhoni, for coming to bat at number seven when the side was chasing 217 against Rajasthan Royals.

His remarks came after CSK's 16-run loss against Rajasthan Royals by 16 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Dhoni came out to bat in the 14th over of the innings with CSK at 114/5. The side still needed 103 runs for the win at that time and many pundits and experts have said that Dhoni should have come in earlier. Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad had come in front of Dhoni to bat against Rajasthan.

"I was a bit surprised, to be honest. MS Dhoni batting at No. 7? And sending Gaikwad before him, Sam Curran before him. Makes no sense to me. In fact, you should be leading from the front. And this is not what you call leading from the front. Batting at number seven when you're chasing what 217? The game was over. Faf was probably the lone warrior," ESPNCricinfo quoted Gambhir as saying.

"Yes, you can talk about MS Dhoni's last over when he hit three sixes, but it was of no use, to be honest. It was just all personal runs. See, if someone else would have done this, some other captain had batted number seven, he would have got a lot of flak. It is MS Dhoni - probably why people don't talk about it. When you don't have Suresh Raina, you're making people believe that Sam Curran is better than you. You're making people believe that Ruturaj Gaikwad, Curran, Kedar Jadhav, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, all these guys, are better than you," he added.

Dhoni found going a little tough initially as he was able to score just nine runs off his first twelve balls, but in the final over as CSK needed 38 to win, Dhoni was able to smash 20 runs, including three sixes.

"There is nothing wrong if you end up getting out early, at least start leading from the front, trying to inspire the team as well. What you did in the last over, probably if you'd done that coming in at No. 4 or 5, alongside Faf, you could have made a game out of it. But probably there was no such intent to make a game out of it," said Gambhir.

"I thought that after the first six overs, they had literally given up on the game. And probably MS was trying to get back into that match rhythm of batting till the end and get some runs under his belt so he can actually play these kind of innings in the coming games. You've got to be in the present, try and win each game possible. I thought there was no intent to win the game and they were never there in the chase. You can talk about Faf's innings, but Faf initially was struggling big time. So I thought it was an absolute miscalculation, probably not the right captaincy as well. This is not how you ask someone like MS to lead the side," he added.

For CSK, Faf du Plessis top-scored after playing a knock of 72 from just 37 balls. The MS Dhoni-led side posted 200 in the end, but they still lost the match by 16 runs.

Earlier, Sanju Samson had played a knock of 74 runs from just 32 balls to take Rajasthan Royals' total to 216/7 in the allotted twenty overs. Skipper Steve Smith also registered 69 runs.

The game-changing moment had come in the final over of Rajasthan's innings as Jofra Archer smashed CSK's Lungi Ngidi for 30 runs.

CSK will next take on Delhi Capitals on September 25 while Rajasthan will face Kings XI Punjab on September 27.

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News Network
September 28,2020

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Sharjah, Sept 28: Kings XI Punjab's (KXIP) fielding coach Jonty Rhodes on Monday hailed Nicholas Pooran's fielding effort at the boundary rope to save a six with his acrobatic skills.

Even former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar had praised Pooran on Sunday, and replying to the tweet of the Master Blaster, Rhodes tweeted: "When the #godofcricket @sachin_rt says it is, then there really is NO question about it being THE best save, EVER. Fantastic work by @nicholas_47 who inspired the rest of the @lionsdenkxip fielders to put on 1 of the best defensive fielding displays I have ever seen #proudcoach."

In the eighth over, Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson had played a pull shot off Murugan Ashwin and it was then that Pooran, at deep mid-wicket, dived full length over the rope to catch the ball.

He was stretching to the maximum possible and then he caught the ball with his left hand. And, a millisecond before falling onto the ground, he flicked the ball back into play and Rajasthan had to settle for just two runs.

Rajasthan Royals chased down a total of 224 to defeat KXIP by four wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday. For the Royals, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, and Rahul Tewatia all scored 50+ scores to give the side a victory by four wickets. Tewatia came out to bat at number four and he was struggling at one stage as he had scored just 13 runs from his first 19 balls.

However, in the 18th over bowled by Sheldon Cottrell, Tewatia hit five sixes to turn the side. The left-handed batsman played a knock of 53 as Rajasthan gained an improbable victory.

Sanju Samson had played a knock of 74 runs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and he followed it up with an 85-run knock against Kings XI Punjab. Skipper Smith registered an innings of 50 against Punjab as well.

For KXIP, Mayank Agarwal had scored a ton and this was his first hundred in the IPL. The right-handed Mayank played a knock of 106 runs from 50 balls with the help of 10 fours and 7 sixes to take the side's total to 223/2.

Rajasthan has now won their opening two matches in the ongoing edition of the IPL. The side will next lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders on September 30 while Kings XI Punjab will face Mumbai Indians on October 1.

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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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