Zero tolerance policy applies only to me: Kaneria criticises PCB after Umar Akmal's ban reduced to 18 months

Agencies
July 30, 2020

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New Delhi Jul 30: After Pakistan cricketer Umar Akmal's ban was reduced to 18 months, Danish Kaneria criticised Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) policies and said that the 'zero tolerance policy' applies only to him.

"Zero Tolerance policy only apply on Danish Kaneria not on others, can anybody answer the reason why I get life ban not others, Are policy applies only on cast, colour, and powerful background. I am Hindu and proud of it that's my background and my dharma," Kaneria tweeted.

Earlier on Wednesday, Akmal's three-year suspension was reduced to 18 months by an independent adjudicator, former Pakistan Supreme Court judge, Faqir Mohammad Khokhar.

On April 27, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Panel, Justice (retd) Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan, had banned the wicketkeeper-batsman for three years after finding him guilty of breaching the PCB's Anti-Corruption Code in two separate incidents.

Akmal, on May 19, filed an appeal against the three-year ban imposed on him, seeking a reduction in the duration of the sanction. He will remain suspended effectively from February 2020 till August 2021.

The batsman said he might appeal again to get the ban "reduced further".

"I am thankful to the judge for listening to my lawyers properly. I will decide about the remaining sentence and try to get it reduced further. For now I am not satisfied and will consult my lawyers and family how to take this ahead," ESPNcricinfo had quoted Akmal as saying.

"There are many players before me who made mistakes and just look at what they got and what I got. So all I say right now is thank you very much," he had added.

On the other hand, Kaneria was found guilty of spot-fixing while playing for English club Essex and was banned from the sport.

Earlier this month, Pakistan's cricket governing body 'advised' Kaneria to approach England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) if he wants to play domestic cricket after the cricketer had appealed to the PCB, seeking permission to play domestic cricket. 

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Agencies
September 19,2020

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Mumbai, Sept 19: Ahead of the much-anticipated clash against Chennai Super Kings in the opening game of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be played on Saturday evening at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma has said that he enjoys playing against the MS Dhoni-led side but is never "overawed" by them.

The two most successful teams in the IPL have faced each other 28 times with MI holding an edge over CSK as they have won 17 games and lost 11.

"Playing against CSK is always fun, we enjoy that battle. But when we play the game, it is just another opposition for us and that is how we want to move forward and not get overawed by the opposition," Rohit said in a video posted by Mumbai Indians on their official Twitter handle.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya feels it is a clash between the two most loved teams of the tournament.

"It has become a game which people look forward to. MI and CSK are the two franchises that are most loved by the fans and that's how it (clash) has become special," said Hardik.

"I don't now, we all will get our A-game out when we are playing against CSK and I wish we always do that," he added.

In their last meeting in the 2019 IPL final, Mumbai Indians had won the match by one run to clinch the title for a record fourth time.

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News Network
September 11,2020

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Buenos Aires, Sept 11: Lionel Messi can play in Argentina's opening World Cup qualifier next month because the statute of limitations has run out on the ban he was given during last year's Copa America, the president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said on Thursday.

Messi was banned for one game after being sent off in the Copa America third-place playoff against Chile and for levelling accusations of "corruption" at South American soccer chiefs.

Messi had been expected to serve the ban by missing Argentina's qualifier against Ecuador that is scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires on October 8.

However, Claudio Tapia said he had consulted with the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) President Alejandro Dominguez, who "confirmed the statute of limitations had expired and that he (Messi) is able to play," the AFA twitter said.

The Barcelona forward was shown the red card after clashing with Gary Medel and afterwards he alleged the tournament had been fixed in favour of the hosts Brazil, who beat Argentina in a controversial semi-final on their way to claiming the title.

Argentina, who last won the World Cup in 1986, kick off their qualifying campaign with a double header at home to Ecuador and away to Bolivia.

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News Network
September 19,2020

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Dubai, Sept 19: Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting believes that senior batsman Ajinkya Rahane's inclusion adds "more depth" to the side but there will be a healthy competition for middle-order slots during this IPL season.

The Capitals, which finished third last year, will start their campaign against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday and both Ponting and skipper Shreyas Iyer agreed that R Ashwin and Rahane have been great additions to the young side with their experience they brought in.

While the coach didn't give away much but there is a possibility that India's Test vice-captain may have to wait for his chance in the playing XI considering the explosive top five (Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer) that DC possesses. There is in-form Alex Carey also in the mix.

"We really have a balanced side. There is a lot of competition for middle-order slots. Rahane gives us more depth to our batting," the Australian legend said on Saturday during his team's pre-season virtual media conference sitting, alongside skipper Iyer.

"Shikhar had as good a last season as anybody. Prithvi has been training very well. Shreyas has had his best 12 months for the Indian team. We have Pant, Hetmyer and Alex Carey (both left-handers), which gives us a good mix of left-right combination. We have our bases covered," Ponting said, giving a subtle hint about Rahane's immediate future.

Iyer, on his part, said that Ashwin and Rahane have mixed well within the group and never gave a sense that they are senior players.

"They give that extra sense of confidence. You don't feel that they are seniors and are willing to help every individual," said Iyer, who believes that Ashwin will be beneficial for the team, given his idea of the KXIP core team (Chris Gayle, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal) and the slowish nature of the Dubai track.

Ponting also felt that wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been shaping up well since last week and he is expecting another good season from the burly southpaw.

"Pant, during the last week, has really turned the corner well and I would expect him to perform as well as he did last year.

"In DC, we as a coaching group don't put added pressure on the players. We like to take as much as possible pressure off them. We never expect any such thing from them which they don't expect from themselves," the coach said.

With Dubai hosting 24 games out of the 60, Ponting is sure that the tracks will get slower in the second half of the tournament and spin will become more important factor.

"Conditions might change through the tournament. They have four tracks in Dubai that will host 24 games. I saw a lot of green grass cover on the track and before the game, some of it will be off. I don't see a lot of spin now but it might become a factor during later part of the tournament," the three-time ODI World Cup winner said.

Considering the nature of the track, Ponting is confident that replacement left-arm seamer Daniel Sams can be very effective with his slower off-cutters and a pace of 135 to 140 kmph.

"I have watched Daniel Sams for the last three to four years. He has been one of the highest wicket-takers in BBL. He could be effective during the back end of the tournament when pitches will get slower. He has variations and bowls lot of off-cutters. He gives us left-arm option," Ponting said.

About celebrations, Iyer said that the players are restricting it to "fist bumps", something they had been doing during practice games.

While concluding, Ponting said that the "ban on saliva" at least in white ball cricket and that too in T20 won't be that big deal compared to red ball cricket.

"But it's about habit. We need to be careful as if you do it multiple times, you can cop hefty fines," he said.

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