Friday, September 30, 2011

New cricket rules start this weekend

Two new balls will be used by a fielding side from each end in one-day cricket when revised rules for the international game come into force on Saturday.

The changes were approved by the International Cricket Council's Executive Board in May, following proposals from its Cricket Committee.

Besides two new balls, to be used in alternate overs, there will also be a change in powerplays in ODIs.

The total number of powerplay overs will remain at 20 per innings with the first block of 10 being at the start of the innings.

"The remaining second and third block of (five) powerplay overs may not be taken so as to commence earlier than the 16th over nor be completed later than the 40th over," the ICC said Thursday in a statement.

The restrictions will not apply for reduced innings of a scheduled duration of less than 40 overs.

A runner will not be allowed for an injured player during Test, ODI or Twenty20. However, the injured or ill batsman will have the option of retiring hurt and returning to bat at the fall of ninth wicket.

In another development, if an umpire feels that a batsman, while running between the wickets, has significantly changed his direction and obstructed a fielder's attempt to run him out, the batsman should be given out for obstructing the field.

"It shall not be relevant whether the run out would have been affected or not," the ICC said, adding that "the on-field umpires are entitled to consult the third umpire in deciding whether the obstruction was willful or not."

Other changes provide extra time to complete a Test match and affect a bowler's attempt to run out a non-striker before delivery.

Umpires can decide to play 15 minutes - a minimum of four overs - of extra time at a scheduled lunch or tea interval if requested by a captain and if, "in the umpires' opinion, it would bring about a definite result in that session," the amended rule states.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

KKR hope to leave Redbacks red-faced

Is the South Australian Redbacks' ploy of playing three specialist spinners in the Champions League backfiring on them? The strategy may have worked well from them in the Big Bash competition where the matches were played on bigger grounds. But here the smaller grounds make it more difficult for the bowlers as even a mishit may go for a six.

On Sunday, against a rampaging Jon-Jon Smuts, the Redbacks were at the receiving end of his willow as the Warriors tore the spin attack to shreds. Skipper Michael Klinger and coach Darren Berry will have to give a rethink on their strategy as they take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Group B match at the RJIC Stadium, on Tuesday night.

The way Yusuf Pathan smashed four consecutive sixes off part-time spinner Arul Suppiah will undoubtedly play on the mind of the Redbacks. The Knight Riders have a strong batting line-up and containing them will not be that easy.

Klinger admitted that his side didn't bowl well. "We gave loose deliveries too often," he said. "We normally execute very well with the kind of deliveries we want to bowl, but today they were hitting them," he said after his side suffered an embarrassing 50-run loss to the Warriors.

He, however, did not lay the entire blame on the bowlers. "They played better than us. There are no excuses. We did not execute our basic skills well and lost wickets regularly. The run rate was high and they did well to contain us," Klinger said.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

IPL franchise caught short

Dubai: It was a day of dramatic events and intrigue at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday. The BCCI's annual general body meeting in Mumbai on Monday decided to terminate the contract of the Kerala franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over non-payment of bank guarantees.

The Kochi Tuskers team which had never quite overcome a controversial start in the lucrative league is said to have defaulted on Rs1.56 billion (Dh117.96 million) in annual payments. The franchise had repeatedly ignored reminders from IPL authorities.

Incidentally the franchise had been bought for Rs15.50 billion and was supposed to make annual payments over a ten-year period.

New office-bearers of the BCCI were also elected during the meeting, with N. Srinivasan formally taking over as the new BCCI president after Sashank Manohar served out two terms.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Kochi Tuskers threaten BCCI with legal action

Kochi Tuskers have threatened legal action after the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise's contract was terminated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at its Annual General Meeting here on Monday.

The BCCI terminated Kochi Tuskers' contract after the franchise, despite repeated reminders, defaulted on a Rs. 156 crore annual payment it was to make as bank guarantee.

"Because of the irremedial breach committed by the Kochi franchise, the BCCI has decided to encash the bank guarantee in their possession and also terminate the franchise. We have terminated the franchise because the breach is not capable of being remedied," said new BCCI president N.Srinivasan in Mumbai.

But Kochi Tuskers director Mukesh Patel told IANS that they don't have any dues outstanding and in fact the BCCI owes them Rs. 12-15 crore next month as a share in the central revenue.

"We don't have any outstanding dues with the BCCI. The termination is illegal. We will take them (BCCI) to court. In fact, the BCCI will be paying us Rs. 12-15 crore next month as a part of our central revenue," said Patel.

The franchise was bought by a consortium, comprising some Gujarat-based businessmen, last year for a whopping Rs. 1,550 crore. According to rules, franchises have to pay the amount in 10 equal instalments.

It has been in the news right from the start due to rift between the owners, who also wanted to shift the team's base to Ahmedabad.

The BCCI in the past had also turned down Kochi Tuskers' request to cut down their franchise fees. Kochi owners were promised 18 games in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document but it was cut down to 14 as the fourth edition was reduced to a 74-game tournament.

The IPL was earlier planned to be a 94-match tournament but due to hectic international calendar it was cut down to 74 matches.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

India vs England: Statistical highlights, fifth ODI

The Statistical highlights from the fifth and final ODI between England and India in Cardiff.

# England's 3-0 series triumph is their biggest in a bilateral series against India without losing a single game.

# England have won 33 and lost 38 out of the 76 matches contested against India - winning % 46.57 (NR 3 and Tied 2).

# India (304/6) have recorded their fifth total of 300 or more against England in England in ODIs.

# India have registered their highest total in international games against England in 2011, eclipsing their 300 in The Oval Test.

# Alastair Cook became the first England skipper to win all five tosses in a bilateral series and the second English captain overall. Alec Stewart had won all five tosses as England skipper in the 1999 World Cup.

# Virat Kohli (107) has become the second Indian player to register a hundred against England in England.

# Kohli's innings is the highest by an Indian batsman against England in England, bettering Sachin Tendulkar's 105 not out off 108 balls at Chester-le-Street on July 4, 2002.

# Kohli has become the sixth Indian after Sachin Tendulkar (three), Rahul Dravid (twice), Sourav Ganguly, Ajay Jadeja and Kapil Dev to register a hundred in ODIs in England.

# Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli were involved in a stand of 170 - India's highest against England in England for the third wicket, oovertaking the 104 between Dravid and Sourav Ganguly at Birmingham on August 27, 2007.

# The aforesaid partnership is India's second highest for the third wicket against England, next only to the 175 between Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mohammad Azharuddin at Gwalior on March 4, 1993.

# The above stand is the highest for any wicket at Sophia Gardens, surpassing the 154 for the first wicket between Herschelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith for South Africa against Zimbabwe on July 5, 2003.

# The 170-run stand is the highest put on by Dravid against England for any wicket, obliterating the 169-run partnership for the fourth wicket at Chester-le-Street on July 4, 2002.

# Virat Kohli (107) has posted his highest innings against England, obliterating the 55 at Chester-le-Street on September 3, 2011.

# Kohli's aforesaid innings is his (highest away from home) joint second highest in ODIs - his highest being 118 against Australia at Visakhapatnam on October 20, 2010.

# Kohli has registered six centuries in ODIs - two against Bangladesh and one each against England, New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka.

# Kohli has recorded three hundreds each in India and away from home.

# Kohli's strike rate of 115.05 is his second highest amongst his centuries in ODIs, next only to the 100 not out off 83 balls (SR 120.48) against Bangladesh at Dhaka on February 19, 2011.

# Rahul Dravid (648 at an average of 38.11 in 20 matches) has become the leading Indian run-getter against England in England, overtaking Sachin Tendulkar's tally of 639 at an average of 39.93 in 17 matches.

# Mahendra Singh Dhoni (236 at an average of 78.66 in five matches) has equalled an Indian record as captain in a bilateral series against England. Sourav Ganguly had the same tally - 236 in five matches at an average of 47.20 in 2001-02.

# Dhoni has recorded three fifties in succession for the first time against England - 69 at The Oval, 78 not out at Lord's and 50 not out at Cardiff.

# Dhoni has recorded a strike rate of 192.30 while posting a fifty - 50 not out off 26 balls - the highest by an Indian against England in ODIs (minimum 50), surpassing Yuvraj Singh's 176.92 at Rajkot on November 14, 2008 during his innings of 138 not out off 78 balls.

# Ravindra Jadeja has recorded his fourth duck in ODIs - his first against England.

# Virat Kohli is the leading run-scorer for India in ODIs in 2011 - 868 at an average of 39.45 in 24 matches.

# Kohli's 107 is the highest individual innings at Cardiff, obliterating the 100 by Mohammad Ashraful against Australia on June 18, 2005.

# Dhoni's sixth fifty against England is his 41st in ODIs.

# Among the captains with 1500 runs or more as captain in ODIs, Dhoni's average of 53.63 (3808 runs in 107 matches) is the highest.

# Rahul Dravid has signed off his ODI career with an excellent innings - 69 off 79 balls.

# Dravid's 83rd fifty in ODIs is his eleventh against England.

# Dravid has completed his 1,000 runs against England in ODIs - 1012 (ave.38.92) in 30 matches. He has become the fourth Indian to do so against England, joining Tendulkar (1455), Yuvraj (1187) and Virender Sehwag (1008).


Friday, September 16, 2011

IPL to get new chairman at BCCI AGM

The BCCI is set to elect a new chairman for the cash-rich Indian Premier League at its 82nd Annual General Meeting scheduled here on September 19.

The need to elect a new person to head the IPL arose after incumbent Chirayu Amin expressed his desire to step down from the post.

"Chirayu Amin wants to step down from the chairmanship of IPL because of his commitments. So a new chairman would have to be elected at the AGM. This is one of the items listed on the agenda of the meeting," sources said.

Amin took over the reins when the IPL was rocked by the Lalit Modi fracas that saw the then prime mover of the league being sacked at the end of the third season in 2010.

The indications are that Rajiv Shukla, currently vice president from the Central Zone, would become the new chief of this important sub-committee of the BCCI.

Sources, however, said that the appointment of a CEO, as speculated in the media, to run the Board's affairs is not a listed item on the agenda of the meeting which would pass the annual accounts and annual report of the secretary.

President-elect N Srinivasan, who would complete his term as the Secretary of the Board, is poised to take over as the new chief from incumbent Shashank Manohar who would step down after the completion of his term at the helm.

The appointment of the new selection committees including the senior panel, is also one of the important items on the agenda of the meeting along with the election of various office bearers.

Among the senior panel members, North Zone's Yashpal Sharma has completed his tenure and would be replaced but it is still not clear whether there would be other changes, including that of the Chairman -- a post currently occupied by Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

The selectors were under fire from various quarters outside the Board for the poor display of the Indian team in England so soon after winning the coveted World Cup on April 2.

The team was whitewashed 0-4 in the Test rubber, clearly outplayed in all departments and beset by a spate of injuries to several key players, to lose its top ranking in the most important format of the game.

Later it was beaten in the ODI series too by hosts England who are not among the top teams in the 50-over format for quite some time.

There are also clear indications Orissa Cricket Association Chief, Ranjib Biswal could become the new secretary as he, apparently, has the backing of both Manohar and Srinivasan.

Former Joint Secretary and incumbent treasurer M P Pandove's name is also doing the rounds.

But it remains to be seen whether he has sufficient support among the members as he is the secretary of the Punjab Cricket Association headed by I S Bindra who is close to the Board's persona non grata, Modi.

Things would become clear on September 18 evening when the nominations for the various posts are filed and the withdrawals too, if necessary, are gone through on the same day.

Friday, September 09, 2011

More trouble heading BCCI's way

Major trouble seems to be heading the Board of Cricket Control in India's way with the Parliament Standing Committee slamming the cricketing body. Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken is sure to use the revelations from the Standing Committee to push for greater government control over cricket.

The committee had said, "Cricket & IPL's economic & financial wrong-doings must be examined. The game's image must not be tarnished due to off-field events."

The Parliament Standing Committee investigating the tax exemptions given to the BCCI also stated that the Indian board needs to get its house in order.

The report also adds that BCCI President elect N Srinivasan admitted that the board cannot shift all blame on the exiled Former Chairman Lalit Modi.

The Committee has noted that the Board had been enjoying questionable tax benefits having got exemption to the tune of Rs 225 cr before 2007 & having submitted only Rs 92 crore out of the Rs 118 crore that was demanded in 2007.

Moreover out of the Rs 375 crore Tax that that was demanded in 2 years from 2007 to 09, the BCCI has paid only Rs 249 crore.

The Committee said it's astonished that the Income Tax Department could not finalise the assessment of income of BCCI for the last three years.

The IPL finances have been severely critised. The BCCI & IPL have paid only Rs 5 crore as service tax out of the demanded Rs 160 crore payable from franchisee fees & sale of advertisement space etc.

With the tax evasion net now exposed, the committee maintains that current BCCI bosses cannot pass the buck on one person.

Committee would like the investigating agencies to look into all matters relating to breach of law and identify and punish all those persons responsible for the same without further loss of time.

Parliamentary committee has now asked the investigating agencies to look into matters relating to breach of law, & punish those responsible, without any further loss of time.

The investigations are to be completed in 6 months and top BCCI bosses seem to have a tough road ahead.