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Privileged to be part of historic Test: Sarfraz

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DUBLIN: Paki­stan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said it is a privilege for him and his side to be part of a historic debut Test match for Ireland which kicks off in Dublin from Friday.

“All of us are really looking forward to it. Ireland, who have a great tradition of cricket, are playing at home and I wish them all the best at this big moment,” he was quoted as saying in an ICC press release.

“Ireland players feature prominently in the ICC ODI and T20 player rankings, and I am confident that in due course they will also make their mark in the Test rankings,” added Sarfraz.

 

Pakistan will gain one point if they win and reach 87 points while a draw will see them slip to 84 and a loss to 81 points.

The table is led by India at 125 points with South Africa placed second at 112. Australia (106) and New Zealand (102) are placed third and fourth.

The match will be Ireland’s first step towards being ranked in the ICC Test team rankings while providing their players with the opportunity to make an entry into the individual rankings with strong performances against the seventh-ranked side.

Ireland captain William Porterfield said it is a massive occasion for everyone involved in Irish cricket and everyone has been looking forward to this big occasion.


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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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