Ball-tampering row: Steve Smith may get a life ban; top 10 developments

Amid the ball-tampering controversy, IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, after getting a clarification from BCCI, might sack Steve Smith and instead appoint Ajinkya Rahane as its skippers for IPL 2018

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The Australian ball-tampering controversy has caught cricketers Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft, and David Warner on the wrong foot, and taken cricket fans by surprise, with Smith stepping down as Australia’s captain for the rest of the ongoing third Test match against South Africa. Smith was penalised by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which slapped the Australian with a one-match suspension and fined his entire match fee on Sunday.

Steve Smith’s deputy, David Warner, also stepped down as Australian cricket team’s vice-captain, while wicketkeeper Tim Paine was named to act as a stand-in captain at Newlands, with both Smith and Warner taking the field on Sunday. Meanwhile, days before IPL 2018 commences from April 7, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian Premier League (IPL) are playing the waiting game on Smith and Warner’s fate.

Steve Smith might also lose the captaincy of the Rajasthan Royals IPL franchise. In that case, Ajinkya Rahane would likely lead the IPL side. For now, the BCCI and Royals have reportedly heaved a sigh of relief after Smith escaped with a mild punishment.

Smith o Saturday admitted to masterminding a premeditated plan to indulge in ball-tampering, which, among others, prompted even Australia’s prime minister to react and a long-retired captain to mull a comeback. Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the incident a “shocking disappointment”, while Michael Clarke kept open the possibility of returning as the Australia cricket team’s captain.

On the third day of the Cape Town Test on Saturday, television footage showed Smith’s teammate Bancroft, 25, taking a yellow object (sandpaper to scruff up one side of the ball to aid reverse swing) out of his pocket while fielding in the post-lunch session and appearing to rub it on the ball before putting the material into his trousers in an attempt to hide it.

In more upsetting news for cricket fans down under, Australian cricket’s day of shame ended on Sunday in a crushing 322-run defeat by South Africa on the fourth day of the third Test match at Newlands, Cape Town.

Steve Smith and David Warner’s troubles might just be beginning, with the ball-tampering controversy hanging over their heads. Under Cricket Australia’s code of behaviour, Smith and Warner could face punishment ranging up to a life ban for cheating, reported ESPNcricinfo.

Here are the top 10 developments in the Steve Smith ball-tampering controversy that has taken Australian cricket and fans over the world by shock:

1) Steve Smith steps down: Caught up in the ball-tampering controversy, Steven Smith stepped down as the Australian cricket team’s captain for the remainder of the ongoing third Test against South Africa.

The actions of the Australian team’s leadership in the ball-tampering controversy would be investigated, said Cricket Australia. Subsequently, the Australian government asked the board to remove Smith as captain. Australian Prime Minister Turnbull called the incident a “shocking disappointment”.

2) Rahane may lead Royals: Ajinkya Rahane is likely to lead the IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals in case Steve Smith, under fire after admitting to ball tampering during the ongoing third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, loses his captaincy. India’s Test vice-captain Rahane is also saleable as a brand — a must for all IPL franchises. Rahane was one of the Royals’ premier performers before they were banned for two years in the wake of the 2013 spot-fixing scandal. Read More

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Nidahas Trophy final: Karthik’s last ball sixer helps India beat Bangladesh

A partisan Sri Lankan crowd, who were upset by Bangladesh’s behaviour did the now famous ‘Nagin Dance’ (Sbnake Dance’) along with Indian supporters leaving the Tigers distraught

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Dinesh Karthik did a Javed Miandad with a last-ball six as India pulled off an incredible chase beating Bangladesh by four wickets in the Nidahas T20 Tri-series final, in Colombo on Sunday night.

Needing five off the final delivery, Karthik smashed Soumya Sarkar over extra-cover as a second-string Indian side held its nerve in a tense situation to chase down a target of 167 in 20 overs. It would count as one of India’s famous last ball sixes — something that Pakistani legend did against India 32 years back in Sharjah.

“I have been practising these shots – having a strong base and then hitting from there,” Karthik said after the match.

“Happy to be where I’m and thanks to the support staff who have kept on supporting me for the last few months,” he added.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting president CK Khanna congratulated the Indian team for an “amazing” four-wicket victory in the final of the Nidahas Trophy.

Khanna told the media, “What an amazing win. Shows the strength of our good domestic cricket. I congratulate everyone for this victory as it shows the hard work done by every individual involved in BCCI.”

The BCCI acting president also applauded Dinesh Karthik’s cameo that helped India register a four-wicket win against Bangladesh.

“Dinesh Karthik played very well under pressure,” he said.

Karthik’s gem of a cameo got him 29 off 8 balls with two boundaries and three sixes — the last of them which will be forever be etched in the memory.

Skipper Rohit Sharma’s (56 off 42 balls) dismissal set India’s inexperienced middle-order in panic mode and Vijay Shankar’s four dot balls off the 18th over by Mustafizur Rahaman made it very difficult for India.

Karthik came at the start of the19th over and hit Rubel Hossain for 22 including two sixes and two fours to bring down the equation to 12 off the final over before finishing it off in style.

‘Nagin’ dance

A partisan Sri Lankan crowd, who were upset by Bangladesh’s behaviour did the now famous ‘Nagin Dance’ (Sbnake Dance’) along with Indian supporters leaving the Tigers distraught.

Read More On : Nidahas Trophy Final

FC Barcelona sues Neymar for $10m over PSG transfer

The club also demanded that Neymar pay back the sum he received

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Current Affairs : Catalan football giants FC Barcelona on Tuesday took legal action against their former star Neymar, demanding 8.5 million euros ($10 million) over what they called breach of contract.

The club also demanded that Neymar Transfer pay back the sum he received when he extended his contract last year, given that the Brazil forward has now paid his 222 million euros ($261 million) buy-out clause to join Paris Saint-Germain, reports Efe.

“The club demands from Neymar Jr the amount already paid for the renewal premium due to the breach of contract, in addition to 8.5 million euros in damages and an additional 10 per cent in arrears,” FC Barcelona said in a statement.

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Barcelona said they had sent the Royal Spanish Football Federation the lawsuit against Neymar that they submitted on August 11 to a court in Barcelona so it could pass it on “to the appropriate authorities in the French Football Federation and FIFA”, Barcelona said in a statement.

“The club also requests Paris Saint-Germain take on responsibility for the payment of these fees if the player cannot do so himself,” it said.

Barcelona continues to express their public disagreement after the player paid the buy-out clause to end the contract unilaterally.

Neymar said he was so sad with Barcelona’s officials, after four great years at the club.

Women’s Cricket: India beat Pak by 95 runs, avenge Champions Trophy loss

India scored 169/9 against Pakistan in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup

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India beat Pakistan by 95 runs in their ICC Women’s World Cup match on Sunday.

Current Affairs : People across the nation on Sunday celebrated the outstanding victory of the Indian women cricket team in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 against Pakistan.

Elated Indians burnt crackers and raised slogans for the women team after the historic win against its arch-rival Pakistan.

“India’s daughter has made the nation proud and has defeated Pakistan with such a big margin. The Indian women team took the revenge from Pakistan of the Champions Cup Trophy,” said a local.

Another local added that the thumping victory of the team gives a message that nowadays women are not just being cornered in on four walls, but are rather coming up with lot of aims and exposures.

“People should motivate Indian Women cricket team and should welcome them like they do it with the men’s team,” another local added.

Spinner Ekta Bisht wreaked havoc as India thrashed arch-rival Pakistan by 95 runs in their ICC Women’s World Cup encounter at United Kingdom’s Derby.

Defending a lowly target of 170 runs, the Indian eves were spectacular with the ball as they didn’t allow their arch-rival to claim a historic win and bowled out Pakistan for just 74 runs in 38.1 overs.

Brief Scores:

India: 169 for 9 in 50 overs

  • (Punam Raut 42, Sushma Verma 33)
  • (Nashra Sandhu 4/26, Sadia Yousuf 2/30).

Pakistan: 74 all out in 38.1 overs

  • (Sana Mir 29, Nahida Khan 23)
  • ( Ekta Bisht 5/18, Mansi Joshi 2/9).

Click here → Full Scorecard

India crush SA; to face Bangladesh in Champions Trophy semi-final

Man of the Match Jasprit Bumrah (2/28 in 8 overs) was on target with his blockhole deliveries

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Defending champions India VS South Africa in all departments of the game to enter the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory in London on Sunday.

India will meet Bangladesh in the semi-finals in Birmingham on Thursday.

The Proteas lived up to their ‘Perennial Chokers’ tag in a virtual quarter-final clash that turned out to be a thoroughly one-sided encounter.

Shikhar Dhawan (78 off 83 balls) and skipper Virat Kohli (76 off 101 balls) made it look like a walk in the park as India chased down a target of 192 in only 38 overs.

Current Affairs : It was Dhawan’s third 50-plus score in the competition, while skipper Kohli made amends for a rare failure against Sri Lanka in style, notching up his 41st ODI half-century.

On a day when it mattered the most, India brought their A-game to the fore while AB de Villiers’ men wilted under pressure, as it has been with them in high-stakes games.

The Indian bowling was disciplined, the fielding exceptional with three run-outs, and then there was a professional batting performance.

If it’s the Champions Trophy 2017 , Dhawan can hardly put a foot wrong as he hit 12 fours and a flicked six off Morne Morkel over deep square leg.

If Dhawan muscled the ball through the off-side cordon, Kohli caressed it with care, hitting seven fours and a six as the duo added 128 runs for the second wicket.

A rhythm player to the core, Dhawan has made the best use of the second lease of life that he has got in this Champions Trophy. The ferocity with which he drove was a treat to watch. A lot of his shots were in the arc between cover and mid-off. When Imran Tahir bowled short, he pulled him with disdain.

Skipper Kohli also made merry with no pressure. He saw off Morkel’s first spell before teeing off with a cover driven six off rookie pacer Andile Phehlykwayo.

He later used the extra pace of Morkel to hit him down the ground, whip him through mid-wicket and slash the pacer over the off-side cordon.

By the time India’s total touched 100, the match was as good as over. It was Yuvraj Singh, who finished the match with a pulled six off JP Duminy. ReadMore >>>

IPL 2017: RCB beats Gujarat by 21 runs; Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal shine

Chris Gayle also completed his 10,000 runs in twenty20 cricket

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Swashbuckling West Indies opener Chris Gayle smashed a blistering half-century before Yuzvendra Chahal returned with a three-wicket haul as Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Gujarat Lions by 21 runs in their IPL 2017 encounter here today.

Gayle slammed a 38-ball 77-run innings, while skipper Virat Kohli produced a superb 50-ball 64 to guide RCB to a massive 213-2 after Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina won the toss and elected to field.

Opener Brendon McCullum then played a superb 72-run off 44-ball innings, studded with two fours and seven sixes but he didn’t get the support from the other end as RCB restricted the Lions to 192-7 to snap their three-game losing streak.

Yuzvendra Chahal (3/31) was the pick of the bowlers for RCB as he picked up three crucial wickets — Dwayne Smith (1), Suresh Raina (23) and McCullum — in his four overs to derail Gujarat’s runchase.

Chasing 214 to win, Gujarat lost their opening batsman Smith early when he was caught at the boundary line by Mandeep Singh off Chahal’s bowling at deep square-leg.

Skipper Raina then slammed a quick-fire 8-ball 23 which included two fours and two sixes before becoming the second wicket of Chahal.

Coming down the pitch, Raina tried to play a sweep shot which went straight to Shane Watson at short fine leg.

McCullum (72) and Aaron Finch (19) then stitched a 66-run innings off 34 balls for the third wicket to take Gujarat across the 100-mark in 10th over.

McCullum also added 31 off 22 balls with Ravindra Jadeja (23) before becoming the third victim of Chahal in the 15th over as Lions looked down the barrel.

Jadeja then was run-out after a mix-up with new batsman Ishan Kishan in the 18th over. Kishan then hit a 16-ball 39, laced with four sixes and two four but it was too late in the end.(readmore)

Hardik Pandya’s fireworks take Mumbai Indians to 184/8 vs RPS

Rising Pune Supergiants bowler Imran Tahir celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians batsman Parthiv Patel during the IPL T20 match played in Pune

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All-rounder Hardik Pandya’s last-over heroics helped Mumbai Indians recover from a mediocre position to post a healthy 184/8 against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the second game of the IPL 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday.

Bengal medium pacer Ashoke Dinda was the culprit for the home side conceding 30 runs in the final over when Hardik (35 not out) hammered the right-armer for four sixes (including three consecutive) and a four to change the course of the game.

Earlier, South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who went unsold in the auctions and was a late addition to the Pune squad, brought the hosts back into the game with three quick wickets after the Mumbai opening duo of Jos Buttler (38) and Parthiv Patel (19) added 45 runs for the opening wicket.

Also Read : Pune beats Mumbai by seven wickets; Smith, Rahane seal win

Introduced in the fifth over, Tahir struck in his second ball when he bowled Parthiv round his legs before packing Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma (3) and Buttler in his next over to reduce Mumbai to 62/3.

Rohit, who has been out of action for almost five months, was slow on his feet and it was enough for Tahir to break through his defence. One ball later, Tahir trapped the dangerous Buttler in front although television replays later showed that the Englishman had got a thick inside edge.

Before his dismissal, Buttler lived up to his billing, milking his English teammate and IPL-10’s costliest buy Ben Stokes (Rs 14.5 crore) for two consecutive sixes and then dispatching rookie Rajasthan medium-pacer Deepak Chahar for a four and a six off back-to-back deliveries. His 19-ball knock was laced with three hits to the fence and as many maximums. ReadMore

Rising Pune Supergiants batsman Ajinkya Rahane plays a shot during the IPL T20 match

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Rising Pune Supergiants batsman M S Dhoni plays a shot during the IPL T20 match

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