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Manohar becomes new BCCI boss, pledges transparency

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Mumbai:  Shashank Manohar took over the reins of the Board of Control for Cricket in India at a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the board on Sunday. Assuming office, he pledged to cleanse corruption, ensure transparency and restore the board’s lost reputation.

The BCCI chief’s post was lying vacant since incumbent Jagmohan Dalmiya died in Kolkata on September 20, and the SGM was called to choose the new president. As per the BCCI constitution, a SGM to nominate a successor has to be convened within 15 days of the incumbent chief’s death.

Manohar, a lawyer by profession, earlier held the top post from 2008 to 2011. The 58-year-old was elected for a full two-year term as all the six East Zone cricket units unanimously proposed his candidature for the board president’s post.

It was East Zone’s turn this time around to pick the president, and all six associations of the zone proposed Manohar’s name. As he was the lone candidate in the fray, Manohar was elected for the second tenure.

Among the six proposers of Manohar’s name was Dalmiya’s son Avishek, who was representing the National Cricket Club (NCC) in the SGM.

The others backing Manohar for the board chief’s post were Sourav Ganguly from Bengal, Sourav Dasgupta from Tripura, Gautam Roy from Assam, Ashirbad Behera of Odisha, and Sanjay Singh of the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA).

“We have to work on a couple of issues regarding the board and bring back the reputation back as early as possible. I need two months’ time, in which I will look into all the aspects,” Manohar told reporters at a press conference after being elected the president.”

“I will continue to work on the issues Dalmiya had started working on. I will look to do my duty as best as possible,” he added.

“The first thing would be as functions of the interest issue of the BCCI. The board will frame regulations with regard to function of interest of administrators and their staffs that would be done within a month’s time.”

“The board would also appoint an imbursement, for an ethics officer, who would be independent of their post and who would look into the complaints as regard to the conflicts of the administrator, players and their staffs,” he said.

The newly elected president stressed that his second aim would be to wipe away and prevent corruption from the game.

“Secondly, the board would lay down the norms and would take measures to prevent and wipe away corruption in the game. For this, the board will make programmes to educate the players.”

Manohar said, “Also with the help of secretary Thakur, who is a member of parliament, we would like to meet the government officials to see and work out if we can get any investigating agency, as we did not have investigative powers, our hands were tied.”

His third item on the agenda in the upcoming months would be to keep a track of the state associations and appoint an independent auditor from the board who would look into their works.

“Thirdly, there is a huge debate that the state associations are being paid a huge amount of money and nobody knows what happens to the money, if it is spent on cricketing activities or something else,” he said.”

“Now the accounts of all the associations are audited by their auditors. However, we will build a system by which the accounts of the associations will be audited by an independent auditor appointed by the board. The board will have the right to take action against the associations if the board finds the money given is not being used in proper was,” Manohar said.

The BCCI chief also said that the board will put up its rules and regulations along with details of its expenditure on its website in order to ensure transparency.

“There is another debate that arises… that the board is not transparent and everything is kept under the wrap. This problem could be sorted out by putting on the website of the board, the constitution of the board, all rules of board, all expenses made by the board above Rs.25 lakh, so that people are aware what and where BCCI is spending the money,” he mentioned.

“At the end of the year, we can put the balance sheet of the board on the website, so it is available to the entire public. There is no wrong done in the board,” he said.

Speaking on National Cricket Academy (NCA) and women’s cricket in India, he said, “we will make sure National Cricket Academy works round the year and helps bring out good players and spinners. We will also focus on women’s cricket and develop it, and we will enter into contracts with women cricketers also.”

Manohar has had his fair share of differences with former board chief N. Srinivasan, but made it clear that he holds the Tamil Nadu strongman’s administrative abilities in high esteem.

“If Srinivasan attends the Annual General Meeting, he will come in as a member. As far Srinivasan is concerned, he was an excellent secretary, better than most of the other secretaries. He can be said as the best secretary after Dalmiya,” he said.

Speaking on renewal of India-Pakistan cricket, the new BCCI president said the final decision rests with the governments of the two countries and not just their cricket boards.

“Decision on India-Pakistan cricket renewal cannot be just taken by both the boards. It is a decision which has to be taken by both the governments primarily,” Manohar said.

Speaking on the World Twenty20 in 2016 which India is to host, Manohar said, “the World Twenty20 is coming up in next year. Our priority will be to conduct that event in best possible and clean manner and we all function in a transparent manner.”

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur congratulated Manohar on becoming the new board president.

“After the demise of Dalmiya, we had to elect a president. And all six associations of the East Zone proposed the name of Manohar and he was elected unanimously,” Thakur said.

“We have seen in his last tenure how well he has worked and how well his work was appreciated, specially his stewardship. With him as president, cricket in India will grow with every passing day,” the BCCI secretary added.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Will the exciting lineup of new IPL Players get to play in the 2019 Cricket World Cup?

The bench strength looks impressive, but it has to be tested sooner than later.

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When will the exciting IPL stars get a chance if others are allowed to consolidate their positions playing at home? Pixabay

-by Veturi Srivatsa

New Delhi, October 23, 2017 :
 So much of cricket is being played around the world — Tests, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20s. The so-called pecking order is going for a toss with each passing series.

India, who got to the No. 1 position in the One-Day Internationals after beating Australia, vacated it for South Africa who went up beating Bangladesh.

Bangladesh are still playing in South Africa, Sri Lanka in the Gulf, home of Pakistan, and New Zealand are in India for a series each in the two shorter formats. Australia are getting ready for the Ashes and the South Africans will be looking forward to settling a score with India.

Every international side is seriously looking to the 2019 World Cup, building their core component, or is it rebuilding with less than two years for the mega event. Some top cricketers around the world are happy playing in the shorter formats to prolong their careers and with an eye on the pay packages.

There was a time good Test cricketers used to move into the One-Day format on the strength of their technique and fitness. Players now look to get into the Test squad on the weight of their performance in the ODIs. Both the players and the selectors are striking a blance between the long duration domestic cricket and the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL).

India are going through a peculiar renaissance of sorts. Players who are thought to be indispensable not long ago are being rested, rotated and dropped whichever way one wants to take the selectors’ and team management’s perspective.

Not one or two players, practically the entire Test attack is banished to domestic cricket. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajay Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav are playing in the ongoing Ranji Trophy just to keep them in the loop. Jadeja is, with a vengeance, scoring hundreds and taking wickets.

The captain and chief coach Ravi Shastri seem to be calling the shots. Virat Kohli, like his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is slowly seeing the back of senior cricketers who he feels are slow coaches in the field, Jadeja being the exception. Both Jadeja and Ashwin had to go out for their inability to take wickets in the middle-overs on a regular basis.

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal are providing the variety in the attack and importantly they are taking wickets bowling at any stage of the match. Axar Patel is doing the backup job. If Ashwin and Jadeja are in consideration for 2019, then they should also get to bowl a lot of overs before their fate is decided once and for all.

If there are four players good enough to open the innings, none of them is being considered for a middle-order position. Actually, Lokesh Rahul is the man the team management wants to keep him in the squad. He also prefers to open the innings and he just couldn’t adjust at No.4 behind Kohli. Hardik Pandya was tried at four and looked good in one match and then he became a floater, pushing Dhoni up and down.

Ajinkya Rahane continues to be a stop-gap opener, getting an opportunity whenever Rohit Sharma or Shikhar Dhawan are out through injuries. Strangely, he is not seen as a middle-order bat after an impression was created that he cannot rotate the strike, though it was during his early years in international cricket.

The other middle-order slots are now with Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey, both have good performances and the powers that be think the two should to be nursed, particularly Jadhav who is not only a handy bowler but also a decent wicket-keeper in an emergency. Rahul is another who keen keep wickets. Amazingly, the squad to play New Zealand has a regular wicket-keeper, Dinesh Karthik as a batsman. He is also seen as a contender for the No.4 position.

Kohli continues to be the man to hold both the top order and in the middle, more so while chasing. His record is amazing going into his 200th match on Sunday against New Zealand in Mumbai. He has 12 hundreds more than Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly who had 18 each at the very stage of their careers.

Kohli’s faith in Dhoni as his onfield consultant gives a totally different connotation to captaincy. None of the Fab Four or Five ever looked demonstrably carrying the side as Dhoni looks today. The arrangement is working out perfectly fine. The two are pulling the the youngsters in the side with them to give them confidence.

When will the exciting IPL stars get a chance if others are allowed to consolidate their positions playing at home? When will Rishab Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana or someone like all-rounder Washington Sundar and fast bowler Mohammad Siraj get a look in?

The bench strength looks impressive, but it has to be tested sooner than later.

(Editorial note : This article has been written by Veturi Srivatsa, a senior journalist and was first published at IANS. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at sveturi@gmail.com)

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Sourav Ganguly receives Death threat in a Letter warning him against attending Vidyasagar University’s Cricket meet in Midnapore

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Sourabh Ganguly, Twitter

January 10, 2017: Former captain of India, Sourav Ganguly, revealed that he has received a death threat through an anonymous letter on 7th January warning him against attending the Vidyasagar University’s inter-college cricket meet in Midnapore on 19th January.

Local sources in Midnapore told PTI that a person named Z Alam wrote the letter to Nirupa, Ganguly’s mother, and warned him against attending the program where he is invited as chief guest.

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The letter said, “Your son is hereby warned not to attend the programme. If he dares to come here, you will not see him again.” The motive behind this death threat is still unknown.

Ganguly confirmed the threat and told PTI, “Yes I’ve received the letter on January 7 and I’ve informed this to the police and the organizers.”

The tournament is jointly organized by Vidyasagar University and the District Sports Association. Sourav Ganguly was invited as the chief guest in the final match of the Inter-College Cricket tournament on January 19.

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However, the CAB president said that they have not yet ruled him out in attending the program.

The District SP of West Midnapore, Bharati Ghosh, said that she is unaware of any such development. They have not been informed about this.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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2016 in Retrospect: With stupendous performances, 2016 has been a year of fireworks for Indian Cricket

India not only whitewashed the Kiwis 3-0 but also grabbed their spot back on top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings

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Indian Cricket Team. Facebook

New Delhi, December 25, 2016: It has been a year of fireworks for Indian cricket. The players have unfurled stupendous performances to close the year as the top ranked Test team, while off the field, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) top brass have been at the receiving end of the Supreme Court’s ire for defying the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee’s recommendations.

The year started with India reclaiming the lost glory in the T20 format in which they were the inaugural champions in 2007, and eventually ended with the team completing a 4-0 humiliation of England to consolidate the numero uno spot in the longest format.

While Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team lost out to eventual champions West Indies in the World Twenty20 semi-finals, Virat Kohli ensured that 2016 ended with India extending their winning streak to 18 Tests — the longest since March 1987.

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Here is a look at India’s overall performance throughout the year:

With the focus on T20s, India started the year with the limited overs tour Down Under where the Men-In-Blue flunked miserably in the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series to go down 1-4. However, India bounced back well in the shortest format, completing a 3-0 whitewash of the Kangaroos in their own den.

Back home, India had to pass the Sri Lankan test before proceeding to Bangladesh for the Asia Cup T20. The hosts were off to a shocking loss to the young Sri Lankan side in the first match, but Dhoni’s army soon rediscovered their mojo to win the next two matches and win the series.

After the 2-1 drubbing of Sri Lanka, India headed to Bangladesh for the Asia Cup, which was clipped to a T20 tournament for the first time ever. The Indians defeated the hosts in their first outing before convincingly outclassing their arch-rivals Pakistan, and went on to beat Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In the rain-marred final, India were up against the home side, but Dhoni’s men had no trouble in lifting the title. The Asia Cup title put India in good stead to reclaim the World T20 crown, which has been evading them since the inaugural edition in 2007.

Hosted for the first time in India, the home side went into the tournament as the hot favourites but Dhoni’s men were off to a nightmarish start, losing to New Zealand in their opening match.

The hosts, however, recovered from the early jolt as they beat Pakistan in their next outing before winning a nail-biting tie against Bangladesh and then needed a Virat Kohli-special to tame Australia in a must-win tie.

Despite getting their campaign back on track with three hard-fought wins, India went down to eventual champions, the West Indies, in the semi-final played at the Wankhede Stadium — to be deprived of the title once again.

A week after the World T20, the Indian Premier League (IPL) started and it mostly centred on a marauding Virat Kohli, who took T20 batting to a completely new level, slamming four centuries to end as the highest run-getter with 973 runs.

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Despite his glorious run with the willow, Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) once again failed to lift the title, as they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the final.

The IPL followed the brief tour to Zimbabwe, where a second string Indian side was enough to dish out a 3-0 whitewash to the hosts. But the African minnows salvaged some pride in the first T20 before India managed to find their feet and clinch the remaining two games to pocket the series 2-1.

India then headed off to the West Indies to kick off their long Test season ahead. Kohli led the team from the front in the first Test with his maiden double ton to comprehensively beat the hosts by an innings and 92 runs before drawing the remaining two matches as India got back to the No.1 ranking again, albeit for a short while.

After the Tests, both the sides headed to Florida in the United States, where they faced off in two T20 Internationals.

India suffered a nail-biting one-run defeat in the first T20I before incessant rain disrupted the next match midway after the West Indies’ innings.

Back in their own den, Kohli’s boys after losing their No.1 rank to Pakistan had nothing but one thing on mind — to reclaim their number one spot in the three-Test rubber against New Zealand.

India not only whitewashed the Kiwis 3-0 but also grabbed their spot back on top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings.

Thereafter, the Blackcaps gave a good fight in the five-match ODI series, where fortunes fluctuated after each game to make it 2-2, the final game in Visakhapatnam becoming the decider. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra’s heroics (5/18) helped India romp home comfortably to take the series 3-2.

After barely a week’s rest, Kohli’s brigade was up for the English challenge, involving five Tests against a side to whom they had lost their last three series drastically.

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After drawing the first Test at Rajkot, Kohli and Co. took the challenge hands down as India handed Alastair Cook’s men a 4-0 drubbing to end the year at the zenith of the Test rankings with 120 points.

In the limited-overs formats, India finished the year at No.3 in ODIs and at No.2 in T20Is.

Off the field, it was the tussle between the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee and the BCCI that created the headlines.

Despite repeated warnings from the apex court, including possible charges of perjury against the incumbent BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke, to adhere to the Lodha panel’s recommendations for cleansing the mess within the cricket board, an adament BCCI is still to toe the Supreme Court’s line. (IANS)