ICC Rankings: Rohit attains career-best ranking, moves to eighth spot

Agencies
February 28, 2021

ICC Test Rankings: Rohit Sharma reaches career-best No. 8 spot, R Ashwin  moves up to No. 3 in bowling chart - Sports News

Dubai, Feb 28: India opener Rohit Sharma has progressed six places to a career-best eighth position in the ICC Men's Test Player Rankings after a fine performance in the low-scoring third Test against England in Ahmedabad that the home side won by 10 wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.

Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin have also made rapid strides while England's Joe Root and Jack Leach too have moved up after shining with the ball in Ahmedabad.

Rohit top-scored in the first innings with 66 and remained unbeaten on 25 in the second to move ahead of compatriot Cheteshwar Pujara among others. His rating points aggregate is 742, 20 more than his best of 722 in October 2019 when he was ranked 10th.

Player of the match Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin have also made solid gains after helping carve out a crucial win that helped India remain in contention for the ICC World Test Championship final.

In bowling rankings, Ashwin has moved four spots and he now sits at the third spot in the Test rankings.

Left-arm spinner Patel's 11-wicket match haul has helped him gain 30 slots to reach 38th position while off-spinner Ashwin's seven wickets have lifted him four places to third position.

England spinner Jack Leach has entered the top 30 for the first time, moving up three places to 28th after taking four wickets. Captain Joe Root's maiden five-wicket haul has lifted him 16 places to 72nd among bowlers while he is now joint-13th among all-rounders. Opener Zak Crawley's knock of 53 in the first innings has helped him advance 15 places to 46th in what was the only notable gain for any of their batsmen.

Kane Williamson is currently ranked as the number one Test batsmen while Pat Cummins is the number one rated bowler in the rankings. Virat Kohli is at the fifth spot in batting rankings, while Cheteshwar Pujara has slipped to the tenth spot.

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News Network
April 7,2021

Mumbai, Apr 7: The Indian Premier League is not only one of the world's most lucrative annual sporting properties but also among the most durable, with not even the lengthening shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic apparently able to stop the Twenty20 juggernaut.

Last year's delayed tournament was shifted to the United Arab Emirates but the 14th edition returns to India, where the coronavirus situation has worsened significantly in recent weeks.

The surge in new cases could yet scupper plans to host the tournament in bio-secure bubbles at six venues across the country, starting on Friday in Chennai and climaxing at the world's largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on May 30.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI), however, is bullish about the chances of pulling it off.

"We did it successfully in Dubai last year. We are confident we are going to do it again this time," BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly told the press.

Champions Mumbai Indians, captained by Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore get the eight-team tournament going at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.

Both teams have already been hit by Covid-19 cases in their camps, however, raising questions over the effectiveness of the health protections afforded to the cricketers by the bubble.

Players will be well compensated for their stint in India as, even without ticket sales, the IPL was still worth $6.19 billion last year, according to financial consultancy firm Duff & Phelps. That was down from $6.78 billion in 2019.

The BCCI would have been left with a $542 million hole in its coffers if it had cancelled its flagship event last year but ended up with record TV and digital viewership.

With curfews currently in force in many Indian states, the IPL can be expected to surpass last year's viewership numbers with cricket fans in the world's second most populous nation set to be glued to TV sets and electronic devices.

Bhairav Shanth, the managing director of global sport consulting firm ITW, said interest among advertisers has been high this year and predicted a windfall for broadcasters because of the "tremendous" pull of the IPL.

"For a tournament that is having another edition barely six months removed from the last one, the appetite has been fantastic," Shanth told Reuters. "In 2020, there was a slight dip in deal volume and sizes.

"But now as we see this edition occupy the prime summer slot with nothing else significant on TV to compete against, we have already seen new partners come on board in the league at a premium of 30-40 per cent from what it was last year."

Even the recent spike in the number of Covid-19 cases has not deterred the cream of world cricket from heading to India, where the T20 World Cup will also be held later this year.

Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes has been delighted to see so many of his England colleagues plying their trade in recent editions of the IPL.

"Being constantly exposed to that is a huge benefit to us as a team, especially with the T20 World Cup coming up at the end of the year in India," he told Sky Sports.

"It's a great chance for the English guys to get more experience in these conditions." 

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News Network
April 14,2021

shah.jpg

The Kolkata Knight Riders managed to lose their bearings in an astonishing fashion as the Mumbai Indians spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya fashioned an improbable 10-run victory in an IPL encounter on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 153, KKR were on course reaching 122 for 4 in the 15th over, before the last five fetched only 20 runs as they stunningly fell short giving defending champions their first win.  

Bollywood superstar and co-owner of the KKR franchise, Shah Rukh Khan was disappointed by the bewildering defeat and tweeted an apology to the fans. He said, "Disappointing performance. to say the least @KKRiders apologies to all the fans!" 

Krunal Pandya (1/13 in 4 overs) and Rahul Chahar (4/27 in 4 overs) were brilliant in checking the run-flow after a 72 run opening stand between Nitish Rana (57 off 47 balls) and Shubman Gill (33 off 24 balls).

But it was Jasprit Bumrah (0/28) and Trent Boult (2/27), who were magnificent at the death keeping Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik under check in a game that will be talked about for years to come especially how KKR capitulated.

Required to show some sensible approach, the KKR batting unit adopted a strange approach as they were restricted to 142/7 to continue their miserable record with MI. They now have 22 losses against six wins over MI.

Krunal bowled an exceptional 18th over giving away just three runs, as the duo of Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell struggled to get going before Bumrah applied more pressure in the penultimate over.

Needing 15 from the last over, it was a tough ask for KKR and Trent Boult dismissed Russell and Pat Cummins in successive balls to seal the issue.

KKR off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also tweeted "Gutted" after the loss. He walked in to bat when KKR needed 13 runs to win from two deliveries.

KKR is currently placed in the fifth position on the IPL points table.

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News Network
April 12,2021

Bengaluru: Depressed over being unemployed since the pandemic lockdown, a 41-year-old former athlete, who brought laurels to the country in diving, allegedly ended her life at her residence in Bengaluru's Jayanagar.

Shilpa Balaraj was found hanging in her room on Saturday morning. An Ekalavya award winner, Shilpa had won several medals at the national and international levels. Her husband was out of station and on Friday night, she reportedly told him that she was doing fine.

Her younger brother Sharath Balaraj said her suicide note stated she was depressed as she did not have a job for more than a year.

She recently approached organisers of a summer camp and was expecting to resume work. But the spike in Covid cases changed things as the government imposed severa restrictions related to functioning of swimming pools.

Sharath said: “We lost our mother two months ago and it affected all of us mentally. Shilpa had never shared her financial problems despite she and her husband not having a job for months.”
Her father Balaraj was a swimming and diving coach.

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