Sri Lankan cricketer Kusal Mendis arrested for causing car accident that kills elderly man

News Network
July 5,2020

Colombo, Jul 5: Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Mendis was on Sunday arrested for knocking down a pedestrian while driving, police said.

Mendis hit a 74-year-old man, killing him in the wee hours, in the Colombo suburb of Panadura.

He is to be produced before a magistrate later today, police said.

The 25-year-old wicket-keeper batsman has represented Sri Lanka in 44 Tests and 76 ODIs. Mendis was part of the national squad which had resumed training after the Covid-19 lockdown.

Sri Lanka's international assignments, including a tour by India, have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

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CSK's success due to Dhoni's instincts, behind-the-scenes work, feel Dravid and Srinivasan

Agencies
August 2,2020

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New Delhi, Aug 2: Batting great Rahul Dravid has attributed Chennai Super Kings' consistent run in the IPL to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's instincts, game-smarts and the incredible amount of work that goes behind the scenes.

N Srinivasan, the former BCCI president and head of India Cements, which owns the CSK franchise, agreed that Dhoni is a man of instinct who doesn't believe in attending team meetings and going over data.

Both were speaking at a webinar organised by the Great Lakes Institute of Management.

"If you look at the success CSK has had, they've got really good access to data and they've got really good access to people behind the scenes and they've run cricket teams at the junior level," Dravid said at the webinar according to ESPNcricinfo.

The former India captain added, "They understand talent and they've obviously got a good scouting process in place. But, what they also have is a captain who really understands instincts.

"So, I mean, look, I know Dhoni quite well and I hope he hasn't changed, but I know Dhoni is probably not one to look at reams of data and statistics."

The Super Kings have won the lucrative tournament three times -- one less than Mumbai Indians -- and reached the knockouts in each of the 10 seasons they have been a part of.

Srinivasan also spoke about how Dhoni's instinct and judgement contributed to his team's success at a time when a lot of emphases is placed on data.

"We're awash with data just now. To give you an example, there are bowling coaches and in a T20 game, they play videos of every batsman whom they're going to come against and they see how he got out, what's his strength, what's his weakness etc.

"So, MS Dhoni doesn't attend this, he's a pure instinct man. The bowling coach, (head coach Stephen) Fleming will be there and everybody will be there, everyone is giving opinions, (but) he'll get up and go.

"In the context of instinct, he feels that okay he can assess a batsman or player on the field, that's his judgement. On the other hand, there is so much of data that is available to help a person also analyse. It's a very difficult line to draw (between data and instinct)."

Srinivasan also recalled how Dhoni once refused to take "one outstanding player" suggested by the franchise boss as that could have broken the team's cohesion.

"There was one outstanding player that we suggested to MS, he said: 'no sir, he will spoil the team'. The cohesion within the team is important and see in America, franchise-based sport has been there for such a long time," he said.

"In India, we're just starting and we're new to it. But we at India Cements have had a lot of experience running teams at junior levels."

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IPL set to start on September 19, final on November 8 in UAE

News Network
July 24,2020

Dubai, Jul 24: The eagerly-awaited Indian Premier League will start on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the final slated on November 8, IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel told PTI on Friday.

While the event's Governing Council will meet next week to chalk out the final details and approve the schedule, it is understood that the BCCI has informally intimated the franchises about the plan.

"The GC will meet shortly but we have finalised the schedule. It will run from September 19 to November 8. We expect the government approval to come through. It is a full 51-day IPL," Patel confirmed the development after PTI reported the dates on Thursday.

The IPL has been made possible by the ICC's decision to postpone the October-November T20 World Cup in Australia owing to the COVID-19 pandemic due to which the host country expressed its inability to conduct the event.

Patel said that the Standard Operating Procedure to combat the COVID-19 threat is being prepared and the BCCI will formally write to the Emirates Cricket Board.

"We are making the SOP and it will be ready in a few days. To allow crowd or not depends on the UAE government. Anyway social distancing has to be maintained. We have left it for their government to decide on that. Will also be writing to the UAE board formally," Patel said.

There are three grounds available in the UAE -- Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah ground.

It is learnt that the BCCI will be renting the grounds of the ICC Academy for training of the teams.

The ICC Academy has two full-sized cricket grounds along with 38 turf pitches, 6 indoor pitches, a 5700 square foot outdoor conditioning area along with physiotherapy and medicine centre.

As per the current health protocol in Dubai, there is no need to be in quarantine if people are carrying a negative COVID-19 test report, but if they are not, they will have to undergo a test.

While there was speculation that the IPL will start from September 26, the BCCI decided to advance it by a week in order to ensure that the Indian team's tour of Australia is not jeopardised.

"The Indian team will have a mandatory quarantine of 14 days as per the Australian government rules. A delay would have sent the plans haywire," a BCCI official said on conditions of anonymity.

"The best part is that 51 days is not at all a curtailed period and broadcasters will be happy with full seven-week window," he added.

While the original schedule had five double-headers, Patel said the new one will feature around 12 double-headers which means two matches each on both Saturdays and Sundays.

The Indians are set to play a four-match Test series against Australia starting December 3 in Brisbane after the IPL.

It is expected that with each and every team needing at least a month's time to train, the IPL franchises will be leaving base by August 20 which gives them exactly four weeks time to prepare.

The cash-rich event was originally scheduled to start at the end of March but the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions that were put in place to contain the virus, led to an indefinite postponement.

However, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had always maintained that the event will be held some time this year.

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India-China standoff | Vivo not to be title sponsor of IPL-2020

Agencies
August 6,2020

New Delhi, Aug 6: The BCCI on Thursday suspended the IPL title sponsorship deal with Chinese mobile phone company Vivo for the event's upcoming edition amid heightened tensions in Sino-India diplomatic ties.

The BCCI sent out a one-line statement, without giving details, saying that Vivo would not be associated with the IPL this year. "The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and vivo Mobile India Pvt Ltd have decided to suspend their partnership for Indian Premier League in 2020," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Vivo released its own statement saying that the two entities "have mutually decided to pause their partnership for the 2020 season".

Vivo won the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years from 2018 to 2022 for a reported sum of Rs 2,190 crore, approximately Rs 440 crore per annum.

The two parties are now working out a plan in which Vivo might come back for a fresh three-year period starting 2021 on revised terms.

However, a top BCCI official offered a different view. "Here we are talking about diplomatic tensions and you expect that after November, when IPL ends and before the next IPL starts in April 2021, there would be no anti-China sentiment? Are we serious?" a veteran BCCI official said on conditions of anonymity.

The anti-China sentiment in the country peaked after the violent face-off between the Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh. India lost 20 soldiers in the clash, while China also acknowledged unspecified casualties.

The stand-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) caused outrage across India with several calls for boycotts of Chinese companies and products.

The BCCI is now likely to float a tender for new IPL title sponsors as mandated by its constitution. The glitzy T20 league starts on Sept. 19 in the UAE, forced out of India due to the rising COVID-19 cases.

The new development is in stark contrast to what came out of Sunday's IPL's Governing Council meeting, where it was decided that Vivo, along with all the other sponsors, will remain on board.

This was after the BCCI had announced in June that all sponsorship deals pertaining to IPL will be reviewed in the aftermath of the clash in the Galwan Valley.

However, after Sunday's meeting, there was a huge backlash on social media about the BCCI holding on to Vivo.

Both parties then began thrashing out an amicable separation plan, at least for this season.

However, the end of this deal could spell losses for the franchises as they get a substantial share from the sponsorship pool. Half of the annual Vivo sponsorship money is distributed equally among eight franchises, which comes to Rs 27.5 crore.

"As of now, it will be very difficult for the BCCI to match the sponsorship amount at such short notice. Therefore, both BCCI and the franchises should be prepared to lose out on some money -- BCCI more but each franchise from Vivo's exit will potentially lose 15 crore," the official said.

"This year will be difficult for everyone but the show must go on," the official said.

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