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Jammu likely to host international cricket matches soon




Jammu : Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a lot of initiatives in sports in recent time and now, in another major development, Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu is likely to host international cricket matches soon.

The stadium, situated in the heart of the city, is being upgraded according to the International Cricket Council (ICC) norms to make it eligible to host global-level matches.

Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council’s Secretary Naseem Javaid Chowdhary, said that an ICC-compliant stadium is being constructed, which would have all the modern day facilities. When finished, the stadium will have a well-established pavilion, gymnasium, conference hall, open VIP area, media and player zones, and galleries according to the ICC standards.


“Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu, which is the main stadium, was primarily used for state and district level matches. It did not match the standards of international level cricket. This prompted us to upgrade the stadium and provide all the modern facilities as per ICC norms,” Chowdhary told ANI.

Hoping to host international matches soon, the secretary said that the stadium will be prepared by the end of March and afterwards, it will be fully available to conduct Indian Premier League matches. The board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) can also conduct matches here, he added.

“International matches will be played as this is ICC compliant stadium. We can conduct IPL, ODI and Test matches. The stadium will be prepared by March end. Earlier, we made football stadium in Kashmir and conducted I-League matches there. So we are hopeful that international cricket matches will also be played here. BCCI can also conduct international matches here,” he said.

Local players have expressed delight over the development saying that it will raise the standard of the game in the state.

One of the players, Ishan Bali, said, “Sports Council did a good work. They are making international-level ground. Foreign coaches will come, players will come. We will get a lot to learn. This is a very good step by the sports council. Earlier, people used to go outside to watch matches. Now, we will play them here only.”

Young cricketer Ritvik is happy because he thinks that now there will be more participation of state cricketers at national and international level.

“Earlier, we used to play in Dharamshala. Now, we will have an international stadium in our state. More and more players from Jammu will now participate at national and international level. Not many players from Jammu have represented India. But this will change now,” Ritvik said.



Chahal registers best ODI bowling figures by a spinner Down Under




Mumbai :Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in an ODI clash in Australia, during the series-decider against the Aussies in Melbourne.

Chahal picked six wickets while conceding just 42 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), registering a dominant performance against the hosts, in a crucial clash. He also became the first spinner to pick six wickets in an ODI in Australia.

The bowler’s excellent performance certainly played a key role in India restricting Australia to a total of just 230.


The 28-year-old cricketer further equalled the best-ever ODI figures registered by any bowler in an ODI clash in Australia, alongside former Indian fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar.

Agarkar had accumulated the same tally as recorded by Chahal, against the hosts at the same venue, back in 2004.

Australian paceman Mitchell Starc enjoys a bowling tally, which trails the figures registered by the duo by a single run, having picked six wickets for 43 runs against India at the MCG, back in 2015.

English fast-bowler Chris Woakes is the fourth name on the list, after accumulating figures of 6/45 against Australia in Brisbane, 2011.

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Phogat becomes first Indian nominated for Laureus Awards




Mumbai: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monica on 18 February.

The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.

The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.


Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.

The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.

Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

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All foreign stars will play PSL ties in Pakistan, says Mani




LAHORE: All star cricketers will come to Pakistan to play in the eight matches of the fourth Pakistan Super League (PSL) scheduled for Karachi and Lahore, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani said.

The PSL matches will be staged from Feb 14 to March 17 at three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — in the United Arab Emirates before the remaining fixtures move to Pakistan with Karachi staging five games, including the final, and Lahore three.

Talking to media on sidelines of a friendly cricket match between the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) and the UK-based Pakistani journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said a good number of star cricketers had signed up in the six PSL franchises.


However, because of security concerns, prominent overseas players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. But with the passage of time, the number of prominent cricketers willing to visit Pakistan has risen. In the recent development the ex-South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers has already pledged to play two matches of Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on March 9 and 10.

To a query, Mani said the talks with Cricket Australia are still on to convince them to send their national side to Pakistan for two games of the five-match One-day International series in the UAE in March despite reports of Australia’s expressing their reluctance regarding playing here.

The PCB chief declared that he has persuaded CA to send a security delegation to assess the current situation in Pakistan before taking a final decision, which is expected to be taken before the PSL begins in the second week of February.

Mani further said that talks were on with the cricket boards of South Africa and England to send different age-group teams to Pakistan.

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