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Harmanpreet, Mandhana tell BCCI to keep Ramesh Powar after Mithali Raj row

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New Delhi: Reacting to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI’s) advertisement for the post of India women’s team coach, T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana on Monday have written to the board and Committee of Administrators (CoA) appealing that Ramesh Powar should be allowed to continue as the head coach.

“I as the Twenty-20 captain and One-Day vice-captain is appealing before you to allow Ramesh Powar to further continue as our team coach. There are hardly 15 months for the next T20 World Cup and a month to go for the New Zealand tour. The way he has transformed us as a team, I feel no reason to replace him with any better at this point in time when the team is coordinating well with him and amongst each other. It takes a while to understand and select combinations and equate a coach’s temperament,” Harmanpreet said in a letter addressed to the BCCI.

Meanwhile, Smriti said: “His guidance and inputs will be helpful for the team to perform well for the upcoming New Zealand tour and next T20 World Cup in Australia.”

 

Talking about the ongoing controversy between Powar and ODI captain Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet said, “Another change of coach will affect our growth and we will have to start from scratch. And whatever may be the reason for Ramesh Powar’s and Mithali Raj’s conflicts, they should solve it across the table like a family and call it a truce. This will provide more sense and security to them and the entire team.”

“Our defeat in the semi-finals was very disheartening and it brings us all to feel more miserable, to see how the controversies (post world cup) has stained our image and questioned the entire cricket fraternity,” Harmanpreet added on India’s semi-final clash against England, where India lost by 8 wickets.

“Ramesh Powar was not single-handedly responsible. The decision was entirely based on the cricketing logic and observations from the past. Keeping in mind the need of the hour where me, Smriti, the selector (Sudha Shah) and the coach together in the presence of our manager felt that we should go ahead with the winning combination. And I believe it should have come to your understanding that the intent was not personal but entirely based on the welfare of the team,” Harmanpreet said on the decision to keep Mithali out of the playing XI.

On the other hand, Smriti said: “It is important for Indian cricket’s growth that everybody is on the same page and I believe that any differences can be amicably resolved via discussions.”

Discussing the improvement in the team under Powar, Harmanpreet said: “Our team has gone under positive changes in the past few months and has set a benchmark in the world top teams.”

“Since the introduction of our new coach Ramesh Powar, he along with the support of the staff has boosted our confidence as a team which helped us win 14 consecutive T20 matches before semi-finals. Ramesh Powar has changed the intent of players and given everyone confidence to express their selves on the field to their fullest. His one to one connects with each player has led to clarity in roles for all players and made everyone believe that they are match-winner in his short tenure with the team,” Smriti added.


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Yadav, Dhawan help India beat Kiwis by 8 wickets

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Napier:After Kuldeep Yadav bagged a four-wicket haul, opener Shikhar Dhawan struck a blistering unbeaten knock of 75 runs as India thrashed New Zealand by eight wickets in the first ODI of the five-match series at the McLean Park in Napier.

Chasing a lowly target of revised target of 156 runs to win after sun outrage delayed the play, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan made a positive start to India chase as th duo shared a crucial 41-run stand for the first wicket before the former was dismissed for 24 runs.

Dhawan then joined forces with Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the Indian opener not only struck his 26th ODI fifty off 69 balls but also shared a good 91-run partnership to bring India on verge of victory.

 

After Kohli (45) fell just five runs short of his half-century, Dhawan and Rayudu helped India cross the mark in 34.5 overs.

Earlier, New Zealand had won the toss and opted to bat first.

Kuldeep Yadav tore apart the hosts’ batting order, finishing with brilliant figures of four for 39. Mohammed Shami also took three wickets while Yuzvendra Chahal and Kedar Jadhav chipped in with two and a wicket, respectively as India bundled out New Zealand for 157 runs.

India, who have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, will now play their second ODI against New Zealand on January 26 at Bay Oval.

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On-field taunt could land Sarfraz Ahmed in the dock

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London: Sarfraz Ahmed could be in serious trouble after he was caught on the broadcast stump mics making what seemed to be a racist comment against Andile Phehlukwayo.

Halfway through the 37th over of South Africa’s tense chase in the second ODI in Durban, Phehlukwayo inside-edged a Shaheen Afridi delivery to deep fine leg for a single. He was on 50 at the time and as he ran off to the non-striker’s end, Sarfraz was caught clearly on the stump mics saying, in Urdu: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”.

Translated literally that is: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”

 

On commentary, Mike Haysman asked Ramiz Raja, “What’s he saying there Ramiz?”

“Difficult really to translate that,” Ramiz replied. “It’s a big long sentence.”

Phehlukwayo had enjoyed considerable fortune through the innings, not least when successfully reviewing an on-field lbw dismissal and a dropped catch in the over before this incident. Pakistan’s players had come hard at him early on, though in the post-match presentation he said, “it was good chat”.

Any disciplinary action can be instigated by the match officials. Potentially, if action is to be taken, it will be up to the match officials to decide whether they view Sarfraz’s comments under the ICC code of conduct for player behaviour or the ICC’s anti-racism code. Article 2.13 of the regular code covers the use of insulting or obscene and offensive language used by players against another in the regular code of conduct. But it says: “This offence is not intended to cover any use of language that is likely to offend another person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.

“Such conduct is prohibited under the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein.”

In the Anti-Racism code, in place since October 2012, an offence is described as “any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any reasonable person in the position of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee, Umpire Support Personnel or any other person (including a spectator) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.”

Phehlukwayo had a memorable day in any case, his unbeaten 69 part of an unbroken 127-run stand that steered South Africa home after they had wobbled to 80 for 5. And earlier in the day his 4 for 22, including the crucial wicket of Sarfraz, helped bowl Pakistan out for 203.

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I told East Bengal they will not win the league: Aucho

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Mumbai:Churchill Brothers midfielder Khalid Aucho had spent two months with East Bengal in a short stint last season. However, he feels that his former side does not have a squad that has the capability to win the I-League.

“I told East Bengal they will not win the league because you (they) change the team every time. To win a league, you must build a team with 11 to 15 players in the same team for at least two years,” he expressed in a chat with Goal.

The Ugandan, who earned himself a fair bit of recognition among the Red and Golds’ faithful, was roped in as a late signing by East Bengal ahead of the 2018 Super Cup and only played four matches in the competition with the team failing at the final hurdle against Bengaluru FC.

 

He had fared well in defensive midfield, which was a troublesome position for the Kolkata giants last season. But he did not sign for the Red and Golds this season and explained why.

“They (East Bengal) were offering me the same salary. So I said ‘No, I am not the same person if you want to give me that money.’ I told them that I will play somewhere else because I believe in my ability,” Aucho revealed as East Bengal turned towards Kassim Aidara.

The 25-year-old has since joined Churchill Brothers in the current season wherein he has clocked 990 minutes in the I-League from his 11 starts and scored twice.

“(This season) we (Churchill Brothers) want to win the league, Chennai City wants to win the league, Real Kashmir wants to win the league. If they (East Bengal) win, congrats to them, but I don’t think they can win this league. They must first start keeping the players. If they have that team, they have to continue with it for next season,” Aucho stated.

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