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Afghanistan wants Indian players for T20 league, BCCI unlikely to allow






Mumbai :The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) launched its very own franchise-based T20 league, to be held in the UAE in October, but the BCCI is expected to maintain its current stand of not allowing Indian players to turn freelancers.

The ACB claims that 40 overseas cricketers have shown interest in the league to be staged in Sharjah from 5-24 October.

While the top officials of Afghanistan board wanted BCCI to allow at least its non-contracted players to take part in the inaugural edition, India won’t make exceptions for one particular private league, even though it is a venture of a long-time ally.


The BCCI has not allowed its cricketers to play in any T20 league outside the IPL and it is unlikely to change its stance for the Afghanistan Premier League (APL).

“I am not talking about the current Indian cricketers here but it will be great if the other Indian players can come and play in our league,” ACB CEO Shafiqullah Stanikzai told PTI.

“I will speak to the BCCI officials on the subject but honestly it looks tough at the moment,” he added.

India has contributed significantly to the rapid growth of Afghanistan cricket. The Afghanistan team trains in India and has home grounds in Greater Noida and now Dehradun. India will also be hosting Afghanistan’s inaugural Test in June in Bengaluru.

“India has always lent a helping hand to its friend Afghanistan and will continue to do so. The ACB officials have not so far come to us on participation of our players in their league. Honestly speaking, it will be tough to allow the players at this stage. If we allow one, we have to give clearance to everyone,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.

In a first, the BCCI had issued a NOC to Yusuf Pathan to play in a Hong Kong league last year but revoked it later.

Talking more about the APL, Stanikzai said the league will be a five-team affair initially and will comprise 24 games in a home and away format.

“Most probably we will have a draft system to pick the players, not the auction. The interest from investors have been encouraging so far and there are some Indian franchisees too who have shown interest,” said Stanikzai.

The ACB already organises Shpageeza Cricket League at home but it is mainly a domestic event.

“With the APL, we aim to give exposure to our players to rub shoulders against the best in the world. It will also help the economy of our cricket. We see APL becoming one of the top-three leagues in the world,” Stanikzai added.

Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai said the league will further fuel the game’s growth in the country.

“The league will help us produce more world-class players and at a much faster pace as compared to now,” he told PTI.



Messi the best in history : Puyol




London: Barca defeated Manchester United comprehensively in the Champions League quarter-finals with Messi scoring twice in the second leg at Camp Nou. He is top scorer in the competition this season with 10 goals and also tops the scoring charts in La Liga, where Barca are virtually assured of a second consecutive title.

Puyol, the ex-Barca captain who won three Champions League titles, praises Messi as a true leader in Ernesto Valverde’s side.

“He is playing at an incredible level,” Puyol told Goal at the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Presented by Heineken in Lagos, Nigeria.


“For me, he is the best ever player in the history of the game.

“He has shown that season after season and you can see how his game has evolved, all the things he now does. And you can see he’s improving every year with new attributes he has brought to his game.

“He has improved in every way and he is taking a step forward on a personal level. He has always been a leader on the field but now, you can see that he is a leader on and off the pitch.

“He is an introverted person but now you can see that he is leading from the front as the captain of Barcelona.”

Messi has scored an incredible 45 goals in 42 games in all competitions for Barca this season, and has added another 21 assists. They are nine points clear of Atletico Madrid in the league, with only 18 left to play for, and are now favourites to add another Champions League to their collection with a double header against Liverpool in the semi-finals to come.

“It’s been very good in the Champions League and also in all the other competitions,” said Puyol.

“They’re playing really good football and they have the chance of winning everything. Right now it’s great because the best is yet to come this season.

“Barcelona are one of the favourites for the Champions League because there are only four teams left.

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PCB decides not to allow cricketers to take their families along during the WC




Islamabad: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to not allow the national team’s players to bring their families along on the upcoming 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales starting on May 30.

The decision has been taken keeping in mind the pressure of the tournament, the board said while adding that the focus of the payers should be on their game during the World Cup.

The board, has mentioned that players’ families can travel to England on their own expense.


Additionally, the board clarified that the players could keep their families along with them during the series against England prior to the World Cup, a private news channel reported.

The cricket team will travel to England on April 23 to participate in the two and a half month long tour including the series against England and the World Cup.

Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq announced Pakistan’s 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup squad which left out experienced fast bowler Mohammad Amir.

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Pandya, KL Rahul fined Rs 20 lakh each by BCCI Ombudsman




Mumbai: Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were on Saturday handed a fine of Rs 20 lakh each by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Ombudsman Justice (Retd) D K Jain for their sexist remarks in a television chat show “Koffee with Karan”.

The BCCI Ombudsman directed the duo to pay Rs 1,00,000 each to the families of 10 constables in para-military forces who have lost their lives while on duty through ‘Bharat Ke Veer App”.

Pandya and Rahul have also been directed to pay Rs 10 lakh each in the fund created by Cricket Association for the Blind (CAB) and for promotion of game for the blind.


All payments need to be made within a month from the date of the order, the BCCI Ombudsman further said.

Jain also instructed that in case the duo fails to deposit the fine within the deadline, the amounts would be deducted from Pandya and Rahul’s match fees by the BCCI.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court-appointed BCCI Ombudsman had summoned Pandya and Rahul for deposition over their controversial remarks on the celebrity chat show.

The two players were earlier in January provisionally suspended by the apex court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) for their loose talk on the show.

However, Pandya and Rahul tendered unconditional apologies and the ban on the duo was provisionally lifted pending an inquiry by the BCCI Ombudsman.

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