Coronavirus: Australia Restricts Use Of Saliva, Sweat To Shine Ball Under COVID-19 Guidelines

According to ESPNcricinfo, Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in consultation with medical experts, sporting bodies and federal and state governments, has come up with guidelines, restricting the use of saliva and sweat to shine the ball.

The framework, which outlines a staged return to play, has three stages — Level A, Level B and Level C. Currently, restrictions on sport are outlined as being at “Level A”, which restricts all training except that of the individual kind.

But in little more than a week from now, restrictions will be moved to “Level B” which will allow the following: “Nets — batters facing bowlers. Limit bowlers per net. Fielding sessions — unrestricted. No warm up drills involving unnecessary person-person contact. No shining cricket ball with sweat/saliva during training.”

The third and final “Level C”, to be permitted later in the year, is outlined as: “Full training and competition. No ball shining with sweat/saliva in training.”

The framework also provides guideline for training and management of illness in elite sports.

“The approach to training should focus on ‘get in, train, get out’, minimising unnecessary contact in change rooms, bathrooms and communal areas. Prior to resumption, sporting organisations should have agreed protocols in place for management of illness in athletes and other personnel,” it said.

“Individuals should not return to sport if in the last 14 days they have been unwell or had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19.

“Any individual with respiratory symptoms (even if mild) should be considered a potential case and must immediately self-isolate, have COVID-19 excluded and be medically cleared by a doctor to return to the training environment.

“Athletes returning to sport after COVID-19 infection require special consideration prior to resumption of high intensity physical activity.”


Hardik Pandya “Nowhere Near” Kapil Dev And Imran Khan’s League As All-Rounder, Says Abdul Razzaq

Talking about Pandya, who has been battling fitness issues of late, Razzaq feels the 26-year-old doesn’t seem to be working hard enough. 

“Pandya is a good player but he can be a much better all-rounder. It is all about hard work. When you don’t give enough time to the game, it drifts away from you,” Razzaq told PTI. 

“He has to prepare better mentally as well as physically. As you have seen, he has been getting injured a lot of late (underwent back surgery last year). When you earn a lot of money, you tend to relax. For every player it is the same. Mohammad Amir did not work hard enough and his performance dipped.” 

Pandya, who made his India debut in 2016, has drawn comparisons with the great Kapil, but Razzaq said it is way too premature.

Kapil Dev and Imran Khan are the best all-rounders of all time. Hardik is nowhere near that league. Even I was an all-rounder but it doesn’t mean that I would compare myself with Imran bhai.” 

“Kapil paaji and Imran bhai were in a different league,” said Razzaq, who played 46 Tests, 265 ODIs and 32 T20 Internationals. 

Razzaq had courted controversy last year by calling Bumrah a “baby bowler” in comparison to the fast bowlers of his times. The Indian pacer has gone on to become one of the world’s leading bowlers across formats after making his debut in 2016. 

“I do not have anything personal against Bumrah. I was simply comparing him with the likes of Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Shoaib Akhtar. It would have been much tougher to face them. My comments were misconstrued.” 

“He is heading towards becoming a world-class bowler. But in our times, the bowlers were of much higher calibre. Not many can dispute that.” The standard of cricket has gone down, according to Razzaq.

“You don’t feel the same pressure facing the current crop of pacers. Overall, there is a bad patch in world cricket. We are not producing world class players the way we used to 10-15 years ago.” 

“You had Tendulkar, Zaheer, Sehwag, Ganguly in the same team. They would have walked into any team. May be too much T20 cricket is responsible for this decline,” he said. 

Pakistan were the stronger team in the 90s but India have enjoyed an upper hand over the arch-rivals in the last decade. India have also extended their unbeaten World Cup record against Pakistan to 7-0. 

“India will continue to maintain that record,” said Razzaq, who played in three Indo-Pak World Cup games (1999, 2003, 2011). 

“It is rare that India and Pakistan play each other in knock-out matches of ICC events. They most play in the league stage and India are favourites. Our players are not able to absorb the pressure that comes with this game.” 

“We used to win a lot against India in Sharjah, beat them in Canada twice. I remember the 1999 World Cup, people and media put pressure on the players before the game and we wilted. It has stayed like that unfortunately.” 

“The pressure builds on the players though it is like any other match. The players not are confident about beating India in World Cup,” he said, adding Pakistan had the best chance of beating India in the 2011 edition.


Rohit Sharma Greets Back To “Bro” Virat Kohli’s Birthday Wishes

Rohit Sharma Greets Back To "Bro" Kohlis Birthday Wishes

Rohit Sharma celebrated his birthday on Thursday. © AFP

Rohit Sharma celebrated his 33rd birthday on Thursday. The Indian opening batsman took time out after his birthday to respond to wishes that he received on Twitter. Rohit responded to many tweets including Indian captain Virat Kohli’s birthday wish for him. Virat Kohli had wished Sharma on Twitter saying, “Happy B’day Rohit @ImRo45. God bless you with good health and happiness and many more elegant innings. Stay safe stay healthy”. To this Rohit Sharma replied in a tweet and said, “Thanks a lot bro. Look forward to many more elegant partnerships too”.

WWF India’s official Twitter handle had also tweeted wishes for the batsman and said, “We are living in difficult times & it is important that we celebrate the joys along the way- we wish a very happy birthday to our rhino ambassador@ImRo45. Rohit Sharma has been an ambassador since 2018 – helping us raise awareness on the plight of rhinos”.  Rohit in response said, “Thank you it’s been a privilege”.

Rohit Sharma has been the vice-captain of the Indian team in the limited-overs format. Sharma has often urged citizens of the country to maintain social distancing and follow all the guidelines that have been laid out by the government. The right-handed batsman has been active on social media as the country battles against the coronavirus pandemic. 

Sharma is also the captain of the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. He was supposed to lead his side in the upcoming edition of the IPL. However, this year’s IPL has been postponed indefinitely and it is still not clear if the cash-rich league will take place this year at all.


Coronavirus: Rohit Sharma Trolls Yuvraj Singh For His Hairdo Amid Lockdown

Rohit Sharma, who turned 33 on Thursday, took to Twitter to take a cheeky dig at his former Mumbai Indians teammate Yuvraj Singh. Replying to a video message posted by the Mumbai-based franchise, Rohit Sharma thanked his Indian Premier League (IPL) teammates for their birthday wishes while trolling Yuvraj Singh for his hairstyle. “Thank you so much guys. @YUVSTRONG12 lockdown has seriously hit your hair the hardest,” Rohit Sharma tweeted on Friday.

Rohit has been very active on social media and has been keeping his fans entertained with Instagram live sessions with other cricketers while urging the people to stay indoors during the nationwide lockdown.

Rohit recently caught up with former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh and the duo talked about various things from coronavirus pandemic and also reflected on their respective cricket careers.

During the interaction, Rohit also went onto to reveal that Yuvraj was his cricket crush when he first walked into the Indian dressing room.

“When I came into the team, my cricket crush was Yuvraj Singh. I always wanted to talk to Yuvraj Singh, I always wanted to see how he prepares and what he does,” Rohit Sharma had said.

Rohit, who captains Mumbai Indians, is the most successful captain in the history of IPL. He has guided Mumbai to four titles.

The 33-year-old batsman would have been busy leading Mumbai Indians in the 13th edition of the lucrative league but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to postpone the tournament indefinitely on April 16.


Anushka Sharma Birthday: Yuvraj Singh’s Hilarious Wish Sends Twitter Into A Frenzy

Anushka Sharma, who is celebrating her birthday amid the nationwide lockdown imposed till May 3, received a hilarious birthday wish from former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh on Friday. Yuvraj Singh took to Twitter to extend his wishes to Anushka Sharma and called her “Rosie phabie”. “Happy birthday Rosie phabie sending wishes your way for success, happiness, health and everything you desire. Stay healthy, stay happy! @AnushkaSharma,” Yuvraj Singh tweeted. Yuvraj’s funny birthday wish sent fans on Twitter into a frenzy.

Indian badminton star, Saina Nehwal also posted a picture on Twitter to wish Anushka on her birthday.

“Wish u a very happy birthday @AnushkaSharma,” Saina tweeted.

Many fans also posted pictures and wrote heart-warming birthday messages for Anushka on her special day.

Anushka Sharma and husband Virat Kohli have been keeping fans occupied as they share videos created during the lockdown period on social media platforms.

Recently, Anushka posted a hilarious video on Instagram where she was seen teasing Virat Kohli.

The couple also posted a video message on social media on the menace of domestic violence amid the nationwide lockdown enforced to fight the spread of coronavirus.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the sporting events around the world to a complete halt and cricket is not an exception either.

With all the cricketing action, international or domestic, either cancelled or postponed, the players who spend majority of their time travelling from one city to the other, playing matches have got a rare break and they are utilising it wisely, spending quality time with their loved one.


Coronavirus: “Use The Pause To Look Within The Game,” Says Michael Holding

Looking to suck out every dollar available, cricket was suffering from an overkill and the coronavirus-forced break should be used to introspect whether the game is heading in the right direction, says West Indies fast bowling great Michael Holding. The 66-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator personally believes hitting the pause button for a while was necessary amid excessive commercialisation of the sport. “Just use the pause to look within the game, to look at what has been happening with the administrators, with the players, and think: Are we heading in the right direction? Is everything okay with our game? Personally, I don’t think so,” Holding told ESPNcricinfo.

“Everybody has just been head-over-heels charging down the hill, looking for every dollar available. But can we just pause a bit, hit a plateau for a bit and sit down and look and see if everything is fine? There is too much cricket being played, for one.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill with sporting events around the globe have been postponed or cancelled.

The hugely-popular Indian Premier League has been postponed indefinitely and the T20 World Cup, to be held later this year in Australia, is also under doubt.

The deadly disease has so far claimed around 2,18,000 lives with India accounting for more than 1000 deaths.

Holding, nicknamed ‘whispering death’ for his quiet approach, said sooner or later the administrators will have to resume cricketing action and if needed, behind the closed doors.

“A lot of administrations figure that they have to play some form of the game to satisfy their broadcasters. Because if the broadcasters don’t get what they pay for, they are going to demand their money back,” said the Jamaican, who is an avid fan of horse racing and is currently locked down at Cayman Island.

“So they have to try and play cricket behind closed doors, or whatever form they can get to play. I can’t fault them for trying to do that.”


Rohit Sharma Birthday: Virat Kohli Leads Wishes, BCCI Revists “Hitman Show”

Rohit Sharma turned 33 on Thursday with wishes pouring in from all parts of the globe for the only batsman in world to have three 200 plus scores in One-Day International (ODI) cricket. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) took to Twitter to post a video tribute, remembering Rohit Sharma’s debut knock in Test cricket. “Happy Birthday, Hitman On @ImRo45’s special day, here is a recap of The Hitman show in whites. This one was in one of his favourite hunting grounds – Kolkata #HappyBirthdayRohit,” the BCCI captioned the video. Indian captain Virat Kohli also took to Twitter to extend his wishes to Rohit on his 33rd birthday. 

“Happy birthday, Rohit! Wishing you and the family health and happiness in these dire times. Stay home, stay safe, bake a cake. @ImRo45 #HappyBirthdayRohit,” Suresh Raina tweeted.

“You are one of the nicest and most genuine people I know. Wish you a very happy birthday bro 

@ImRo45 #HappyBirthdayRohit #HappyBirthdayHitman,” Khaleel Ahmed tweeted.

“Happy Birthday, Sharmaaaa! Have a great year ahead. Here’s wishing you and your family health and happiness Hugging face- God Bless @ImRo45 #HappyBirthdayRohit #HitmanDay #HappyBirthdayHitman,” Ravi Shastri said.

Mayank Agarwal also wished Rohit and credited him for his maiden Test hundred

Rohit holds the record for the highest individual score in ODIs. He achieved this feat against Sri Lanka in Kolkata in 2014 when he smashed 264 runs. 

Rohit is also one of the three Indian batsmen who have scored a hundred in all three formats of the game. 

The Hitman, as he is so often referred to, has played 224 ODIs so far. He has 29 centuries and 43 half-centuries to his name.

Rohit has also been part of 108 Twenty20 Internationals. In the shortest format, the right-handed batsman has 2773 runs with the help of four hundreds.

In Test cricket, Rohit averages above 46 and has scored 2141 runs in 32 games.


Ross Taylor Wins New Zealand Cricket’s Top Award, Targets 2023 World Cup In India

Veteran batsman Ross Taylor won New Zealand Cricket’s top award for the third time on Friday and vowed to bat on until the 2023 World Cup in India. The 36-year-old was awarded the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal in a virtual ceremony held online because of COVID-19 restrictions. Ross Taylor was a key part of the Black Caps’ run to a second consecutive World Cup final last July, where they lost to England on the back of an obscure boundary countback rule. In the past 12 months, he also became New Zealand’s most prolific Test run-scorer and entered the record books as the first cricketer to play 100 internationals in all three formats.

“It’s been an amazing year, it’s been full of ups and downs,” he said.

After back-to-back defeats in World Cup deciders, Taylor is hoping it’s third time lucky as he targets the 2023 tournament to be held in India.

“The biggest thing, I think, is the hunger and the mental motivation to keep getting better, if that’s still there then age is just a number,” he told reporters.

Taylor said he would remain with the Black Caps as long as he felt he deserved his spot and was contributing to the team.

“I’ll see if I can get to (age) 38 or 39, which will be the next World Cup, and we’ll see from there,” he said.

Taylor made his international debut in 2006 and has since played 101 Tests, 232 one-dayers and 100 T20s.


ICC Shares Hilarious Picture Of Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds On Hair Appreciation Day

ICC Shares Hilarious Picture Of Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds On Hair Appreciation Day

Andrew Symonds and Brett Lee played alongside each other for Australia. © Instagram

ICC’s official Instagram account shared a hilarious throwback picture of former Australian cricketers Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds to mark hair appreciation day. In the picture, Brett Lee can be seen giving a haircut to his former teammate Andrew Symonds. ICC captioned the post and wrote, “#HairstyleAppreciationDay Who is styling your hair during isolation”. Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds are one of the very best to have played the game for their country. Andrew Symonds has been famous for sporting different hairstyles throughout his career.

Andrew Symonds made his debut for the Australian team back in 1998 against Pakistan in a One Day International game. During his career, Andrew Symonds went on to play 198 ODI games. The all-rounder made an impact with both bat and ball in white-ball cricket. Symonds scored 5,088 runs with an average of 39.44 and scalped 133 wickets with an economy rate of 5.01. He also played 26 Test matches and 14 T20 Internationals for his country.

On the other hand, Brett Lee was considered one of the most dangerous bowlers in the history of the game. Brett Lee made his debut back in 1999 against India in a Test match at Melbourne. The fast bowler went on to play 76 Test matches for his country and scalped 310 wickets with an economy rate of 3.46.

In One-day Internationals, Brett Lee featured in 221 matches for his country and took 380 wickets with an economy rate of 4.76. Brett Lee also played 25 T20I’s for Australia and managed to take 28 wickets as well. Brett Lee played his last international game for his country in 2012.


England And Wales Cricket Board Delays The Hundred Until 2021 Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

English cricket’s controversial new Hundred competition has been delayed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, cricket chiefs announced on Thursday. The new 100-balls-per-side format, to be played by eight franchises rather than the established 18 first-class counties, had been due to start in July. But with the English season delayed until at least July 1 and matches after that likely to be played behind closed doors, the England and Wales Cricket Board has decided to hold the Hundred over until next year.

“The situation we find ourselves in as a country means that delivery of the Hundred will not be possible this summer,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison in a statement.

“Whilst we are naturally disappointed that we won’t get to realise our ambitions this year, the Hundred will go ahead in 2021 when we are safely able to deliver everything we intended to help grow the game.”

The ECB’s statement said playing the Hundred behind closed doors was not an option because an event with no fans “directly contradicts the competition’s goal to attract a broader audience”.

Global travel restrictions also mean it was not possible for star players from other countries to take part.