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Kagiso Rabada: South Africa want to whitewash India





New Delhi :Five days before the final Test on a pitch that bore an excessively green tinge, pacer Kagiso Rabada said South Africa are gunning for a whitewash of India, having trampled the visitors in the first two matches.
The hosts have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead with convincing wins in the first two Tests, with Rabada producing a match-winning spell at the Newlands.
“Obviously we know how to play fast bowling and we’ve got respect for their attack. Every game you go into, you want to win. So obviously we want to get a whitewash against India.”
Rabada said that India are too reliant on skipper Virat Kohli, who scored his 21st Test hundred at Centurion.
“I think they do rely on him. But it is just like we rely on a couple of players too. I’m not saying India don’t have any quality players, they do. But it’s just a fact – Kohli scores most of their runs.
“It is really enjoyable bowling to the likes of him. He was named ICC Player of the Year (sic), so it’s quite cool to go up against the best.”
When asked about India’s lack of preparation going into the series, he said, “I don’t know what’s going on in their preparation. That’s not something we want to look at really.
“We’ve got no concern with their preparation. We’re concerned with how we want to get them out and how we want to win against them. I’m not going to diagnose their problems.”
The young pacer though feels that the Indian attack has given a good account in the two Tests.
“The fast bowlers are excited to bowl at the Wanderers. We always are as it has pace, bounce and swing. Bumrah is a very good bowler, he’s already opening the bowling now. He’s done very well with the one-day stuff and now he’s doing very well in the Test matches too.
“Mohammed Shami is very experienced and got some pace. Umesh Yadav, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who caused a lot of trouble in Cape Town, they’ve got good fast bowlers.”
His team 2-0 up, he is not thinking about cricket now. “I haven’t seen the pitch yet. Cricket is off my mind now and the hard work starts again on Monday. Then we’ll have a look at the pitch. We know how the conditions behave here.
“India played really well the last time they were here, Kohli got a hundred. Wanderers is a good wicket, it’s normally a moving wicket. It’s a pitch where if you bat well you can score some runs, and if you bowl well you’ll take wickets.”
Rabada said playing India is a challenge though there is a difference between their overseas record since 2011, and their record during their dream run in the 2015-17 period.
“Playing against the Indians is extremely challenging. They are known for their great batsmen and they’ve got really good bowlers as well. So they are very competitive, they’re throwing everything they have at us, and their batsmen want to make a statement.
“They’ve made a statement everywhere else in the world, and they wanted to come here and really beat us. So things are going to get a bit messy out there. But that’s just the nature of it, with two quality sides coming against each other. Off the field, we’re friends,” he added.
The Proteas won the second Test by 135 runs to clinch the series and Rabada said that their team effort helped them to beat India.
“It’s nice to see youngsters step up like Lungi Ngidi, he stepped up. Aiden Markram stepped up in the first innings. It was also nice to see Hashim Amla get some runs, AB de Villiers came in and played a very crucial knock in the second innings.
“He’s just got the ability to speed the game up and not get out at the same time. So he played very well, I thought that was a very key moment. And also the way Dean Elgar hung with him.”
He said South Africa wanted to bat as long as possible in the second innings at Centurion.
“In the second innings, we just wanted to bat time, see how long we could go because we knew the pitch was only getting harder to bat on. There was a bit of variable bounce. The wicket was squatting a bit and some balls were bouncing, a bit more misbehaving.



FC Pune City financial troubles come to the fore: Report




Mumbai: Indian Super League has failed to live up to expectations and deliver to the stakeholders to strive and thrive in the competitive world of professional sports. While the ISL clubs are struggling to even come closer to break even, Pune City FC has reportedly become the first club to land in trouble due to heavy deficit accumulated over the five seasons.

The club, reportedly in an estimated deficit of ? 150 crore, is looking for a bailout. According to national daily Times of India the talks about the club being disbanded, transferred to another ownership or moved to a new location next season are gaining momentum.

Pune City FC has been engulfed with uncertainties and confusion over ownership right from its inception in 2014. First Salman Khan was named to be a co-promoter of the club. Then Hrithik Roshan was introduced as a stake holder, but the association lasted for less than two seasons before another Hindi film celebrity Arjun Kapoor came on board as a co-owner.


Salman had gone on record to say that he never owned a stake in the Pune-based ISL franchisee.

The efforts are on to bring in a new ownership or form a joint venture to keep Pune City FC afloat, TOI has reported attributing the information to “informed sources”.
“It is almost certain that things are going to change at FC Pune City next season. They were in talks with the Mumbai-City-FC for a merger but apparently that did not work out. Efforts are now on to find a buyer, so it remains to be seen whether the club will remain in the city. At the moment that looks highly unlikely,” the paper has reported.

A Pune City source has confirmed to that “it’s true that the Pune City and Mumbai City ownerships have had preliminary discussions. But they could not agree to move ahead together. But, the talks about financial crunch and non-payment to the players or other associates are just baseless”. also tried to reach out to the Pune City FC management, but calls went unanswered. “Like many other clubs in ISL, we are also looking at strategic investors and this has been on for the last few years. At present, we don’t have any offers, so we can’t say whether the club will remain in Pune or not. We hope the club will (stay),” the paper has quoted a club official as saying.

This is true that even after five seasons, the ISL has not been able to deliver a financial model to assure its franchisees of a fixed revenue with a time frame to break even. Indian Premier League is an exception. Pro Kabaddi League comes closer. With the other leagues, problems still prevail.

Ironically, ISL’s graph itself has failed to move up. But for a few teams and matches, the stands have more often than not been empty. TV ratings have been on a decline, resulting in dissuading potential sponsors. Each franchisee is spending between ? 30-35 crore to maintain and run the team, but revenues remain limited from ? 15-20 crore.

Delhi Dynamos are reportedly considering to shift their base out of the Capital or to move to a smaller stadium in the NCR. The media response to the cash-rich league has been poorer when compared to the “All-India Football Federation’s official league” – I-League.

Even though the ISL has been I-League’s envy in terms of the AIFF support and facilities, the latter has grabbed more headlines in media than the fancied premier professional football rival. ISL have few clubs like the surprise element and strong local fan base Real Kashmir and defending champions Shillong Lajong FC.

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Mohun Bagan write to AFC, requests clarity on Indian football




Kolkota: I-League side Mohun Bagan have written to the continent’s governing body, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), seeking clarification on the future of Indian football.

Club director Debashis Dutta sent a letter to Dato’ Windsor John, the General Secretary of the AFC, requesting the governing body’s swift action in clarifying the issues regarding the roadmap of Indian football.

The club has referenced the meetings held in 2017 with the representatives of Indian football stakeholders and then later with the delegates from FIFA and AFC which had the roadmap of Indian football on the agenda and writes that they have received no further information from any of the involved parties ever since.


Bagan has stated that AIFF, despite several requests, has not provided them with any solution or clarity on the matter. The Kolkata-based club has requested for AFC’s help in getting a faster resolution, with the future of the current top-tier football league, I-League, uncertain.

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No note, no way BCCI can block Pakistan from World Cup

Press Trust of India



New Delhi:The Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the BCCI have not prepared any note seeking a ban on Pakistan at the upcoming World Cup and even if such a move is made, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is bound to reject it.

The Pulwama attack, that claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF personnel, has escalated the diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan, the reverberations of which are also being felt in the sporting arena.

Already, Pakistani shooters couldn’t make the World Cup in Delhi, starting Saturday, after not getting visas.


And there is a demand for India to boycott its June 16 World Cup clash against the neighbours and the matter is likely to come up on the sidelines of the ICC meetings between February 27 to March 2 in Dubai.

“There is absolutely no constitutional or contractual way this could happen. the ICC constitution allows members the right to participate in ICC events as long as they’ve qualified,” a BCCI official told PTI.

Amid the spiralling speculation, the CoA, comprising Chairman Vinod Rai and former women’s captain Diana Edulji, will be meeting in Delhi on Friday to discuss the issue of multiple bodies claiming representation of Uttarakhand.

But the Pakistan conundrum is likely to cast a shadow on what was to be a routine meet. “We will discuss all possible options tomorrow and do what is best for the country,” Edulji told PTI.

A top BCCI source said even if a note is sent and the ICC agrees to put it out in front of member boards for a vote, India is unlikely to find any support from other nations.

“In case India writes to ICC for Pakistan’s removal, then we have to build consensus first to move a resolution at it’s Annual Board Meeting in April.

We no longer enjoy majority in the ICC board right now. If this goes for floor Test we are certain to lose,” he said.

“Not only that, serious doubts will emerge on our chances to host 2021 Champions Trophy and 2023 World Cup,” he added.

The call to boycott Pakistan has been made by some prominent voices such as senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and former captain and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President Sourav Ganguly.

Among the current players, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and pacer Mohammed Shami have called for decisive action to deal with attacks carried out by militant groups.

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