Mohammed Siraj has set new standard for calling out racist abuse, feels Nathan Lyon

Agencies
January 13, 2021

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Sydney, Jan 13: Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj has set a new standard for calling out poor crowd behaviour, Australia's top off-spinner Nathan Lyon said on Wednesday, describing cricket as a sport for all with no room for racism or abuse of any form.

The Indian team had lodged an official complaint with the ICC after a group of spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground racially abused pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj on the third and fourth day of the third Test.

"There is no room for any racial sledges or any abuse in any type. People think they are being funny, but it can affect people in different ways. For me, cricket is the sport for all and there is no room for it at all," Lyon said during a virtual press conference.

"If the time is right to call in match officials you do it. We have got a lot of security around the ground these days and if there is anyone doing it then they can be removed, as there is absolutely no place for it. It well may set precedence to report issues to officials."

While fielding at the square-leg boundary, Siraj was allegedly called "monkey" and "brown dog" over two days by some spectators, who were removed by security guards after the matter was reported to the on-field umpires.

"I think it's quite disgusting to be honest. Yes, I've been on the other end of it, coping abuse, whether that's England, New Zealand, South Africa or wherever it may be. But there's no room for it. As a player you've got to try your best to block it out," Lyon said.

He feels that players would now have the option of stopping play and call out their abusers in the stands.

"It well may do (set a precedence to report issues to officials). It will be up to that player and how they have been affected.

"I just really hope in a whole world society, we can get over it and people can come to watch us play cricket, with players not going to work and not be worried about being abused or racially abused," the country's experienced spinner said.

The Australian players had supported their Indian counterparts after the incidents with skipper Tim Paine even joining the visiting team huddle after Siraj's complaints on the fourth day of the drawn match.

The four-match series is currently tied 1-1 with the fourth Test scheduled to be held here from Friday.

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Agencies
January 18,2021

Lionel Messi sees 1st red card in Barcelona career as Catalan giants lose  Spanish Super Cup to Athletic Bilbao - Sports News

Seville, Jan 18: Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann scored a brace but it was not enough for the club to win the Supercopa de Espana final as Athletic Club clinched the title with a 3-2 win here on Monday.

Moreover, Lionel Messi was sent off for the first time in his Barcelona career during the match. The red card was shown to Messi for violent conduct on Asier Villalibre, an incident that was spotted by the VAR, near the end of the clash.

Griezmann scored the opening goal of the match, putting Barcelona ahead in the 40th minute. However, the lead lasted for just two minutes as Oscar de Marcos netted an equaliser.

Griezmann then found the back of the net in the 70th minute with Barcelona again taking the lead. Athletic Club's Asier Villalibre levelled the scores in the 90th minute before Inaki Williams scored the winning goal three minutes later.

Barcelona will now take on Cornella in the Copa del Rey on Friday. 

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Agencies
January 12,2021

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Sydney, Jan 12: The injury-ravaged Indian team was dealt another telling blow on Tuesday as pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out of the fourth Test against Australia due to an abdominal strain.

If that wasn't enough, Mayank Agarwal -- tipped to be Hanuma Vihari's replacement in the playing XI in Brisbane -- has sustained a knock on the hands and it could be a hairline fracture.

To make matters worse, Ravichandran Ashwin's back spasms have aggravated after battling for three hours on the final day, leaving little options for India on the bench.

Bumrah, key to India's attack, sustained the strain during the drawn third Test in Sydney.

It has been learnt that Bumrah's scan reports showed a strain and the Indian team management does not want him to aggravate the injury, keeping in mind the upcoming four-Test series against England.

"Jasprit Bumrah suffered an abdominal strain while fielding in Sydney. He is going to sit out of the Brisbane Test but is expected to be available against England," a BCCI source told PTI.

While the Indian team management is heaving a sigh of relief that Bumrah hasn't sustained a tear but wants to be on the side of caution as playing in Brisbane and breaking down in the middle of the Test match could have an even more adverse effect on the team.

"If we take the risk of him playing at 50 percent, what if the injury aggravates and he breaks down in the middle of the match and then ruled out for better part of England series?

"England is the last series which will decide the qualification for World Test Championship final and we are in contention and would require a fit Bumrah," the senior BCCI source added.

It is now expected that two-Test old Mohammed Siraj will be leading the Indian attack and will be joined by Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan in the Brisbane Test, starting January 15.

Unless, Bumrah is fielded at 30 percent fitness, risking the entire England series, T Natarajan will make his debut.

The problem with Indian team is after injured KL Rahul's departure and Hanuma Vihari's grade 2 tear, there are no back-up middle-order batsman left in the reserves.

The only two available batsmen are two out of form openers in Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal.

It remains to be seen if India, knowing their depleted strength and long tail, decide to take the conservative route of playing four bowlers and six batsmen with Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper.

If Agarwal's scans reveal that it's a bruise and not a fracture, then it could well be Prithvi Shaw batting at number three followed by Cheteshwar Pujara , Ajhinkya Rahane and Agarwal himself at number six.

If they go with five bowlers, then collective experience of pace attack will be three Test matches and 10 balls (Siraj-2, Saini -1, Shardul -10 balls on debut, Natarajan-yet to play).

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Agencies
January 18,2021

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New Delhi, Jan 18: On this day five years back, South Africa batsman AB de Villiers registered the fastest century in the 50-over format.

He achieved the feat against West Indies in the second ODI of the five-match series at Johannesburg. AB de Villiers registered the fastest 50 and 100 in the same match and the records stand to date.

The batsman brought up his century off just 31 balls and he surpassed New Zealand's Corey Anderson (36) to bring up the fastest century in ODIs. ABD was finally dismissed for 149 off just 44 deliveries in the match.

Taking to Twitter International Cricket Council (ICC) also shared the record and termed it as "insane innings".

These heroics from 'Mr.360' enabled South Africa to post 439/2 in the allotted overs and they went on to defeat West Indies by 148 runs. Later in 2015, De Villiers recorded the fastest 150 in ODI cricket against West Indies during the 2015 ICC World Cup in just 64 balls.

Recently, De Villiers was named in both the ODI and T20I Teams of the Decade. 

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