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Test cricket is not going anywhere, says Virat Kohli

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Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli called Test cricket ‘the most beautiful format of the game’ and said that it should not be tinkered with. He added that he does not see the format going anywhere in the near future.
In a recent interview to Wisden, Kohli said, “I cannot explain to you the job satisfaction that you get when you do well in Test cricket, because you know how demanding it is. It’s the most beautiful format of the game. I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. I don’t even see it getting compressed to four days.”
Asked his opinion on the Test matches getting compressed to four days, Kohli, one of the highest run-getters in Test cricket said, “Definitely (a backward step). It should not be tinkered with. In a few countries, yes. It all depends on the awareness of people who watch the game. If you take a country like South Africa or Australia or England, they have big crowds for Test matches because people understand the sport.”
“It’s literally living life over five days. There are so many ups and downs and even when you’ve done well you’ve got to keep coming back and doing it all over again. I think that if you really understand the sport, if you really love the sport, you understand Test cricket and you understand how exciting it is. I cannot explain to you the job satisfaction that you get when you do well in Test cricket, because you know how demanding it is.”
Talking about his passion for Test cricket and the ICC’s plan of introducing a nine-team two-year Test world championship in 2019, he said, “I think that is going to give a huge push to Test cricket. It makes every series more competitive, and there’s going to be ups and downs throughout the Championship, which I really look forward to. The teams that love playing Test cricket are always going to be passionate about it.”
“And it also depends on the system you have back home as well. If you’re not going to give more importance to first-class cricket, then people are going to lose motivation to play the longest format of the game. And with the T20 format coming in I think there’s far greater responsibility on all the cricket boards across the world to treat first-class cricket really well, because if the facilities and the standard goes up, then the motivation always stays,” he added.
Picking up aspects of leadership from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the talismanic batsman said, “Not really anyone before MS. I was always someone who kept talking to him about the game so even when I was really young, before I was made vice-captain, I would give him my suggestions.”
“I love thinking about the game and that’s why I enjoy captaincy so much and I enjoy chasing totals so much – I love using my brain to figure out what needs to be done during the game. I’ve learned the most from MS, standing so close to him at slip so many times and just observing him at close quarters,” he said on his love for captaincy.


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Miandad advises cricketers to avoid voicing opinions on political issues

Afridi’s Kashmir remark

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Karachi : “I would say what Afridi said was not suitable and should have been avoided,” Miandad told the media in Karachi.

Pakistan’s former captain Javed Miandad has advised his fellow cricketers to avoid voicing opinions on political and other sensitive issues to avoid controversies.
His advice came in the wake of comments made by all-rounder Shahid Afridi on the Kashmir issue.

“I would say what Afridi said was not suitable and should have been avoided,” Miandad told the media in Karachi.

“It is best for cricketers to avoid giving statements on political and sensitive issues. Better they focus on cricket until they retire and decide to start a new career,” Miandad, a veteran of 120 Tests, said.

Afridi’s comments on Kashmir can be heard in a video that went viral on Wednesday.

“My comments are being misconstrued by Indian media! I’m passionate about my country and greatly value the struggles of Kashmiris. Humanity must prevail and they should get their rights,” Afridi tweeted on his account.

He added that the clip is incomplete and has been taken out of context.

Afridi said said that: “Kashmir is unresolved dispute and under brutal Indian occupation. It must be resolved as per UN resolution. Myself along with every Pakistani support Kashmiri freedom struggle. Kashmir belongs to Pakistan.”

It is not the first time Afridi has got himself into a controversy because of his comments.

Some months back he upset Miandad when he made some comments on the fixing issue and took a snipe at the former great.

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No more chopping and changing, says Shastri

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India coach Ravi Shastri said that there won’t be any more ‘chopping and changing’ with the One-day Internationals side with just 13 matches remaining before the opening World Cup game against South Africa on June 5.

Shastri indicated that from now on, they will be playing around those 15 players, who are going to board the UK bound flight.

“We will try to play (those) 15, who will go to the World Cup. Chopping and changing is over now.The grace period is over now,” Shastri made it clear during the pre-departure press conference ahead of the Australian tour.

“Now it is the time to really get focussed and play as a unit and then hopefully not have too many injuries, so that we don’t have to look elsewhere and take it from there.

“We don’t have too many games now. We have 13 games, so we will look to play the best team at all times,” he added.

The 13 games include three-match away series against Australia followed by five-match series against New Zealand and then a return five-match series against Australia at home early next year.

India will play a four-match Test series beginning on December 6 at Adelaide and Shastri said that the visitors will have to learn from their experience in South Africa and England to challenge Australia.

“I see a lot of progress across all formats and I say that in spite of the (series) scoreline in England. When you look at actual performances in conditions that are foreign to us, we are more than happy,” he said.

The coach is hopeful that players have learnt from their mistakes of previous tours.

“It is a learning process. If we learn from the mistakes that we made in South Africa and England, it will hold us in good stead in Australia.

“Test cricket obviously is different, it is the last series that we play before the World Cup. So the focus will be entirely on the series.”

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Contracts of 130 players extended, KXIP let go of Yuvraj before IPL 2019 auction

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Mumbai : Yuvraj Singh was dropped by Kings XI Punjab ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction next month. Singh was earlier bought by KXIP in June 2017 at his base price of Rs 2 crore.

Rajasthan Royals let go left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat after paying a whopping Rs 11.5 crore for his services earlier this year.

Chris Gayle, who too was lapped up by KXIP at his base price of Rs 2 crore, has been expectedly retained after a productive run in the 2018 edition.

The deadline to retain players ended. According to a media advisory released by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), 130 players, including 44 overseas players have been retained by eight IPL franchises.

Royals released Unadkat but retained their another million dollar buy Ben Stokes. The had paid a whopping Rs 12.5 crore for the premier England all-rounder. Senior Australian batsman Steve Smith has been retained after missing the 2018 IPL due to the suspension.

Apart from Unadkat, the other players released by Royals are Anureet Singh, Ankit Sharma and Jatin Saxena.

Sunrisers Hyderabad has dumped injured Wriddhiman Saha along with West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite.

Apart from Gambhir, Delhi also released Jason Roy, Junior Dala, Liam Plunkett, Mohammed Shami, Sayan Ghosh, Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Naman Ojha.

The retained Delhi players include captain Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Amit Mishra and teen sensation Prithvi Shaw, who made his IPL debut in the previous edition.

Mumbai Indians have retained 18 players but released some top international stars like JP Duminy and fast bowling duo of Pat Cummins and Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman.

The franchise has also released 10 players which include one capped, five uncapped and four international cricketers.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Markande, Aditya Tare, Ishan Kisan, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy and Suryakumar Yadav have been retained by the three-time champions.

To maintain the mix of experience and youth, the franchise has also retained Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, destructive opener Evin Lewis and Kiwi pair of Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne.

The management has also backed Australia’s T20 specialist Jason Behrendorff after the left-arm quick was recalled to the national side to face the Proteas.

Rohit — the most successful captain in IPL — will continue to lead the team next season.

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