Sergio Perez tests positive for coronavirus, to miss British Grand Prix

Agencies
July 31, 2020

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Northamptonshire, Jul 31: Mexican Formula One driver Sergio Perez has tested positive for coronavirus, and as a result, he will miss the British Grand Prix.

The Racing Point driver was absent from the circuit on Thursday after self-isolating following what his team called an "inconclusive" test. Perez then re-tested later in the day and it returned positive.

Formula 1 is following a strict testing regime as part of the safety protocols put in place when racing resumed earlier this month, and this is the first time a driver has tested positive.

"Perez has entered self-quarantine in accordance with the instructions of the relevant public health authorities, and will continue to follow the procedure mandated by those authorities," Formula 1 and the FIA said in a statement.

"With the assistance of the local organiser of the British Grand Prix, local health authorities and the FIA COVID-19 delegate, a full track and trace initiative has been undertaken and all close contacts have been quarantined," the statement added.

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News Network
September 21,2020

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Dubai, Sept 21: India and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli on Monday changed his Twitter handle name to Simranjeet Singh to honour the work done by the "Covid Hero" amid the pandemic.

Through the IPL, the RCB players will be honouring a bunch of good samaritans who are helping needy people amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The players wore jerseys sporting "My Covid Heroes" to pay their tribute to the "Real Challengers" in RCB's opening game Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Monday.

Simranjeet Singh is one such "Real Challenger" from Chandigarh, hearing impaired, but that did not stop him from serving his community and supporting the helpless to overcome the struggles of this pandemic by providing the needy with bare necessities and food to survive.

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News Network
September 16,2020

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South African star AB de Villiers believes the biggest challenge for all teams in the upcoming Indian Premier League will be adjusting to the prevailing hot and humid conditions in the UAE.

Most games will be played in the night but the conditions would still be challenging.

"I am not really used to these kind of conditions to be honest. It' very hot, it reminds me of a Test match we played in July in Chennai once where Viru (Virender Sehwag) scored 300. It was one the hottest weather conditions I have experience in my life," he said in a an interview posted on RCB's twitter handle.

"The humidity is similar to that, even at 10 at night. When I arrived here I checked the weather conditions of a few months and it seems to be getting better. It is definitely going to play a part and you have to make sure you have the energy for the backend of the innings or last 5 overs of your bowling spell."

De Villiers said he would also miss playing in front of packed crowds in India with the event to be played behind closed doors in UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think obviously all are are used to playing in front of crowds in big stage, there is certainly an amount of adrenaline that pumped into you when it gets really loud, especially in Chinnaswany when the RCB crowd gets going, its difficult to stop the RCB team. So, well miss that there is no doubt about it.

"But I won't say I am not used to it, I have played a lot of cricket in empty stadiums. I grew up like that. It's only in my international career that I have played in front of crowd," he said.

The 36-year-old dashing cricketer, regarded as one of the destructive batsman of world cricket, said not just him, every player is just happy to be back on the field after international cricket came to a halt in mid-March because of the pandemic.

De Villiers' first foray into the cricket field amid the pandemic was the inaugural 3TC Solidarity Cup organised by Cricket South Africa in July.

Asked whether there will be a drop in the game's standard with players coming from a long break, he replied: "Not at all. In the 3TC I have faced some off thee best bowling in the last 3 to 5 years, the bowlers were landing yorkers, they showed some great skills with pace, variations.

"They are very hungry, the desire is there, the motivation. It's not just copy and paste, now the guys are really coming out with rediscovered energy, so I think we are going to see some fireworks."

De Villiers said young Australian wicketkeeper batsman Joshua Philippe is an exciting cricketer and he would love share his knowledge with the Australian opener in RCB dressing room.

"I have always enjoyed watching Finch play but now I know him quite well. Another guy I am excited to watch is Joshua, he is a young wicketkeeper from Australia.

"I have watched him play for Sydney Sixers in BBL. He is very exciting to watch, he takes on the new ball, a very talented player with all the shots in the book," he said.

"As a 36-year-old who have played international cricket for ages now, I am looking foward to give back if he wishes what I have learnt over the years."

Virat Kohli-led RCB will open their IPL campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on September 21.

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News Network
September 23,2020

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Sharjah, Sept 23: Sanju Samson's effortless six-hitting exhibition along with Jofra Archer's magnificent all-round show formed the cornerstone of Rajasthan Royals' comfortable 16-run victory over Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match here on Tuesday.

Rated as the weakest among eight teams, Royals without a Ben Stokes or a Jos Buttler in their playing XI did most things right under skipper Steve Smith.

On a placid Sharjah track, Royals amassed 216 for 7 largely due to Samson's 74 off 32 balls that had nine maximums apart from a solitary boundary.

He found an able ally in skipper Steve Smith, who opened in T20 cricket for the first time in his career and scored 69 off 47 balls without much fuss while making a comeback to competitive cricket after a concussion break.

But it was Archer's four sixes off Lungi Ngidi in the final over that tilted the scales decisively with 30 runs coming off it.

Even going by the easy nature of the track, scoreboard pressure was always there and CSK still managed 200 for 6 with Archer (1/26 off 4 overs) swinging it in favour of Royals with a decisive 19th over.

Rahul Tewatia (3/37 in 4 overs) also needs to be credited for his wickets at the top of the order.

It was always a catch-up game for CSK and one imagined that their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would at least try and come up with the order but he came at No 7 when the match was as good as over.

The night belonged to Samson, a man-rated for his talent but criticised for his lack of consistency. He always has one or two incredible IPL days every year. Tuesday was one such day when he was at his brilliant best.

Piyush Chawla after a dream start to his IPL career was hit for three sixes in one over by Samson, all clean hits that landed several rows behind. His skipper also joined the six hitting competition hitting four himself adding 121 for the second wicket in just 9.2 overs.

What stood out was the minimum effort he used in lofting the straight sixes as the bat looked like a mere extension of his hands.

Chawla (1/55) and Ravindra Jadeja (0/40 in 4 overs) were targeted keeping short boundaries in mind and 95 runs came off those 8 overs from slow bowlers.

Just when it looked that century was there for taking, Samson was holed out at deep extra cover trying to hit Ngidi for a six.

Once Smith was out in the 18th over, a total of 200 that looked so imminent after first 10, started looking distant. Till Archer decided to use his bat like a sword and scythed through a hapless Ngidi, who lost nerve and length simultaneously. Four sixes and 30 runs finally proved to be decisive.

CSK did try at one stage with Faf du Plessis (72 off 37 balls) launching into Jaydev Unadkat (0/44 in 4 overs)'s final over hitting him for three sixes and seven in all.

However Archer bowled a lethal short ball that grew big on Du Plessis to close in the match with Dhoni's (29 off 17 balls) three sixes in final over were in a lost cause.

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