Tendulkar’s most famous fan Sudhir Gautam to receive Global Fan Award in Manchester

Agencies
April 10,2019

In a first, a historic award function has been launched in order to recognise and honour die-hard fans of cricket at the 2019 ICC World Cup. An initiative of Indian Sports Fan (ISF), the glittering ceremony will take place at the Eccles Town Hall in Manchester with Sachin Tendulkar's iconic fan Sudhir Kumar Gautam being the first recipient of the award along with four other fans.

Expressing happiness on receiving first ever Global Sports Fan Awards, Sudhir said: "After 18 years, 319 ODI's, 66 Test,73 T20's, 68 IPL and three Ranji Trophy matches, I can confirm being a sports fan is solitary, arduous and yet a rewarding task. Gratified that I have inspired many on the path of fandom and Global Sports Fan Awards is a big recognition at global level. I dedicate this medal to my God, inspiration and my reason for my global recognition, Sir Sachin Tendulkar."

Speaking on the global initiative, UK-based Indian Sports Fan representative, Kuldeep Ahlawat added: "Indian Sports Fan has emerged out of passion connecting all fans from across the world. Revering fans is our greatest endeavour and Global Sports Fan Awards is the reflection of it. For the first time ever, we have come out with a concept to honour the biggest and greatest fans which in itself is a historic moment. With the aim of promoting sports worldwide, we carried a unique photo exhibition in the UK during the 2018 Hockey World Cup, honouring Indian women in Hockey.

"Soon after that we were blessed to have the support of ace boxer Manoj Kumar in launching ISF in Britain. With the Global Sports Fan Awards we are sure of clubbing more than 25,000 fans under one roof witnessing the greatness of fans on the occasion of World Cup. Our journey will thrive to continue with stronger footsteps for fans in the near future carving more fan centric events."

The historic award function is in recognition of individual contribution of fans who have spent over a decade in serving their favourite teams. The award will host five jury awards including three upcoming fan categories, all pertaining to individual efforts in fandom.

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Don't know why people compared me with Warne, says Anil Kumble

News Network
July 25,2020

New Delhi, Jul 25: Former India spinner Anil Kumble said that he has never understood why people compared him with Australia's Shane Warne.

Kumble was doing an Instagram live session with former Zimbabwe pacer Pommie Mbangwa and it was then that the spinner also talked about being the third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.

"It feels really wonderful to finish with these many wickets. I never bothered about statistics or what my average should be, I wanted to bowl the whole day and be the one to take wickets. To finish as the third-highest wicket-taker in Tests alongside Murali and Warne is very special. All three of us played in the same era, there were a lot of comparisons, I do not know why people compared me with Warne. Warne was someone really different and he was on a different plane," Kumble told Mbangwa during the interaction.
"These two guys could spin the ball on any surface so it became really difficult for me when they started comparing me with Warne and Murali. I learnt a lot by watching them both bowl," he added.

The Indian spinner announced his retirement from international cricket in 2008. He finished with 619 wickets in the longest format of the game.

He has the third-highest number of wickets in Tests, only behind Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Australia's Shane Warne (708).

Kumble is the second bowler in the history of international cricket after England's Jim Laker to take all ten wickets in an innings of a Test match.

He had achieved the feat against Pakistan in 1999 at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi. Kumble had bowling figures of 10-74 from 26.3 overs in the second innings of the Test match.
Kumble will be coaching Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

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ICC postpones Men’s T20 World Cup 2020

News Network
July 20,2020

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

At today’s meeting of the IBC Board (the commercial subsidiary of the ICC), windows for the next three ICC men’s events were also agreed to bring clarity to the calendar and give the sport the best possible opportunity over the next three years to recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19.

The windows for the Men’s events are:

1. ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held October – November 2021 with the final on 14 November 2021

2. ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be held October – November 2022 with the final on 13 November 2022

3. ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India October – November 2023 with the final on 26 November 2023

The IBC Board agreed to continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and assess all the information available in order to make a considered decision on future hosts to ensure the sport is able to stage safe and successful global events in 2021 and 2022.

The IBC Board will also continue to evaluate the situation in relation to being able to stage the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand in February next year. In the meantime, planning for this event continues as scheduled.

The Board will also continue to evaluate the situation in relation to being able to stage the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021.

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: “We have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport.

“The decision to postpone the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world.

“Our Members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket. Moving the Men’s Cricket World Cup to a later window is a critical element of this and gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process. This additional time will be used to reschedule games that might be lost because of the pandemic ensuring qualification can be decided on the field of play.

“Throughout this process we have worked closely with our key stakeholders including governments, Members, broadcasters, partners and medical experts to enable us to reach a collective decision for the good of the game and our fans. I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment to a safe return to cricket.”

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Women's T20 Challenge not necessarily the best product without top overseas players: Lisa Sthalekar

News Network
August 15,2020

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Melbourne, Aug 15: Former Australia all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar believes that the upcoming Women's T20 Challenge in the UAE might not necessarily be the best product without the top overseas players involved in it.

The Women's T20 Challenge will be played in the UAE in the playoff week of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the tournament is set to clash with the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL).

With both tournaments clashing against each other, the availability of the overseas players for the Indian competition is a big reason to worry.

"The unfortunate part is there's already a WBBL competition taking place. They could have done two things: they could have gone with what they're doing or the second thing is they could have bit the bullet and tried to find six or eight teams and hold it in December after the WBBL, potentially flying over the internationals," ESPNCricinfo quoted Sthalekar as saying.

"The issue for me is it the T20 Challenge is not necessarily the best product because you're going to miss out on Australian players and potentially some international players from other countries, so the product won't be as good as it could be," she added.

However, the cricketer turned commentator said that the Indian competition would be able to give their domestic players the opportunity to spend some time in the middle.

"But selfishly, from an Indian domestic point of view, it's giving those players a chance to play more cricket and potentially opening up a few more nodes for players on the fringe, who might get a chance. And that will, hopefully, allow the BCCI to see there is enough depth for the board to have a full-fledged women's IPL-style competition next year and then everyone can join in at the proper time, in April-May," Sthalekar said.

The Women's T20 Challenge was played for the very first time in 2018 and in a one-off match, the Supernovas were able to outclass the TrailBlazers.

Then, in 2019, the BCCI organised a three-team tournament instead of a one-off match, featuring a new team called Velocity along with Trailblazers and Supernovas.

"Having been part of and covered the T20 Challenge, the first game was two years ago, and it was played at 2 pm in the Mumbai heat. Nobody watched it, no one came, no one was thinking about it - it was a one-off game," Sthalekar said.

"They got things right last year when they held it during the finals (the playoffs of the IPL); viewers of the IPL in India get habituated turning the TV on at 7 pm, so when there was a break during the playoffs, they put the women's games on. The viewership was high as was the crowd attendance because it wasn't in the heat of the day, so we got around 15,000 people attending in Jaipur," she added.

This year, the Women's T20 Challenge will be played with three teams and it will go ahead in the playoffs week of the IPL.

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