Apr 182014

Clinical approach by the overseas players on a very hot summer day, ensured a thrilling play between the two teams. However, only two out of the four best performers of the day, namely Glenn Maxwell and David Miller, could be in the winning side.

Match Review Indian Premiere League – Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab. 18th April 2014 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

When MS Dhoni won the toss – as usual – he chose to utilize CSK’s batting talent. Boasting a side where the batting order went down till the 7th guy, CSK seemed pretty much in control. At least in the beginning.

Dwayne Smith (66 off 43) and Brendon McCullum (67 off 45) did a phenomenal job as an opening pair. A 115 – run partnership, which established the innings in CSK’s favor.  The two batsmen took on KXIP bowlers with raw power. They managed to get their team to a 50 in a mere 27 balls. Next 50 came in another 30 balls.

CSK managed to score 70 runs in the Power-Play without loosing any wickets. When the opening pair was sent back by Lakshmipathy Balaji and Akshar Patel, Suresh Raina paired with MS Dhoni to add some much needed fervor to the score. They managed to bring up the score to a 205 runs – enough, in their opinion, to defend.

Where normal 200+ run-chases in Twenty20 format involve a lot of high-end shots and strategic play, KXIP’s Glen Maxwell and David Miller did it differently.

When the not-so-surprising failure of openers Cheteshwar Pujara and Virendre Sehwag brought KXIP to a stage where they were down three wickets in the first 5 overs, Maxwell had his mind set to win. And he found a fitting partner in Miller to do so.

Maxwell and Miller brought their team back into play by rotating strike as often as allowed and taking more boundaries than CSK bowlers wanted. Maxwell took on Ashwin in the very first over. And moved on from bowler to bowler. He found the gaps, reverse-swatted away, textbook drives and perfectly timed pushes at short-cover.

Pawan Negi suffered the most when the 13th over went for 22 runs. 14th over brought bad-luck to CSK when Dwayne Bravo injured his shoulder in a bid to catch Maxwell’s reverse-pull.

With one death – bowler short, things were made tougher for Dhoni when Ravindre Jadeja was pulled for two sixes by Miller in the 17th over. One and half over later, Kings XI Punjab had won. Maxwell and Miller outshone Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum.


Chennai Super Kings: 05 for 4 (McCullum 67, Smith 66)Kings XI Punjab: 206 for 4 (Maxwell 95, Miller 54*)

Player of the day: Glen MaxwellDisappointment of the day: Ravindre JadejaUmpires: RK Illingworth (England) and C Shamshuddin (India)

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Apr 182014
Maxwell Sets Up Stunning Chase
Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell hit 95 in just 43 balls as the Kings XI Punjab chased down 206

© REUTERS / Action Images

Kings XI Punjab 206-4 (Maxwell 95) beat
Chennai Super Kings 205-4 by six wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Abu Dhabi

Glenn Maxwell blasted 95 in 43 balls as the Kings XI Punjab chased a target of 206 to beat the Chennai Super Kings with seven balls to spare in both sides’ opening game of the Indian Premier League 2014.

The runs flowed right from the start in Abu Dhabi, where half-centuries from Brendon McCullum (67) and Dwayne Smith (66) saw Chenna post 205 for four.

However, with Maxwell and David Miller (54 not out in 37 balls) in fine form, that score was not enough.

This was the second time that Kings XI have chased down more than 200 to beat the Super Kings and they remain the only team to do so in IPL history.

Batting first, McCullum and Smith took advantage of a belter of a track at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium to hammer the Kings XI bowling to all parts.

The former struck four fours and five sixes in 45 balls and the latter six fours and three sixes in 43 balls and added 123 together in 12.4 overs.

After they were removed by Akshar Patel and Lakshmipathy Balaji, more quick runs were added by Suresh Raina, who celebrated his 100th IPL match with 24 in 19 balls and MS Dhoni, who scored 26 in 11 deliveries.

Dwayne Bravo was unbeaten on eight in three balls when Dhoni fell to Balaji (2-43) from the final ball of the innings.

Bravo would later head to hospital with a shoulder injury, although Dhoni revealed afterwards that he was playing the match as a specialist batsman, and was not offering excuses for his side’s failure to defend their score.

Much like the Delhi Daredevils in their opening match, the Super Kings were sloppy in the field and uncharacteristically so.

Samuel Badree, Ravindra Jadeja, Ashish Nehra and Faf du Plessis all dropped catches, with Nehra’s allowing Maxwell to continue when on 37.

It was a crucial moment because Kings XI had been 52 for three with Virender Sehwag (19), Cheteshwar Pujara (13) and Patel (2) already dismissed.

There was little opportunity for Maxwell and Miller to consolidate, and they quickly found their range just as McCullum and Smith had done so earlier.

Maxwell led the way, scoring shots all round the ground with drives, pulls, sweeps and reverse sweeps.

He hit 15 fours and two sixes in all before falling with a century in sight when a perfect yorker from Smith got through his defences, breaking the partnership worth 115.

Miller, who up until that point had scored at a fraction more than a run per ball, then stepped up to hit 54 in 37 balls with three fours and three sixes.

From needing 59 to win in six overs, Maxwell, Miller and then George Bailey got the target down to just 16 needed in two overs.

That proved to be no obstacle and Bailey, unbeaten on 17 in 10 balls, finished off the job with a brace of boundaries in the 19th over of Mohit Sharma to ensure the Kings XI were off the mark at the earliest opportunity.

Ravichandran Ashwin finished with two for 41, Smith one for 25 and Nehra one for 24.

© Cricket World 2014

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Apr 162014
Video - Kohli Excited Ahead Of IPL 2014
Wednesday 16 April 2014 

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli says he is ‘really excited’ ahead of the seventh season of Indian Premier League, which is now underway.

The tournament begins this year in the United Arab Emirates to avoid a clash with the Indian general election and there are plenty of changes as the Bangalore side chase their first title.

Former captain Daniel Vettori now coaches the side and Kohli has taken over as full-time captain.

“I am just really excited, looking forward to the IPL,” Kohli said before the tournament got underway.

“We have a great bunch of guys looking to do well, we do well every year and excite a lot of people in the IPL, and a lot of people love our team and the way we play, so hopefully we will entertain all you guys this time around as well.

“This time around we hope to go a few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy, we have added a bit of quality players to the side and I’m sure they will come out with flying colours.”

Bangalore have twice reached the final – in 2009 and 2011 – losing out to the Deccan Chargers and Chennai Super Kings respectively.

Video provided by SNTV will be available until 30th April 2014, after which time the player above will display the latest available content.

© Cricket World 2014

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Apr 032014
Why Jaipur, Raipur and Dharamsala missed out
James Faulkner celebrates a wicket with his Rajasthan Royals team-mates, Perth Scorchers v Rajasthan Royals, Group A, Champions League 2013, Jaipur, September 29, 2013

James Faulkner and his Rajasthan Royals team-mates won’t be playing at Jaipur because of a lack of state government clearances © BCCI

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The major talking points of the schedule of the India leg of the IPL were the omission of Raipur and Jaipur from the list of host cities, and Ranchi having been preferred over Kochi as Chennai Super Kings’ second home. The IPL authorities have said that the changes were made due to lack of security assurances from some of the state governments.

Jaipur missed out because of the inability of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) to acquire requisite state government clearances. “We have not got the No-Objection Certification (NOC) from them,” IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal said. It has been understood that the court-appointed BCCI-IPL president Sunil Gavaskar has extended the deadline for all the shortlisted IPL venues to provide NOC from their respective police authorities by Wednesday (April 2).

While RCA officiating secretary KK Sharma was unavailable for a comment, a RCA insider revealed it was a win-win situation for all stakeholders. “The state association is in a mess. Election results are held by the court. The BCCI is against the RCA. And even the team owners were not so keen on Jaipur as their first choice, so everyone is happy,” said the insider. This will be the second time Ahmedabad will feature as the home venue for Rajasthan Royals, after hosting four Royals home matches in 2010.

Although no one from Royals was available for an on-record comment, it is understood that the franchise was not interested in Jaipur due to the various on-going controversies in the RCA. Even last year the franchise was kept on edge till a last-minute turnaround by the Rajasthan Sports Council allowed the Royals to play at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur which had been locked out earlier. “Ahmedabad has three-times bigger capacity, has three times less hassles and more sponsors are available for the franchise,” a former RCA official said.

There had been few problems in Raipur last year, when two of Delhi Daredevils’ home games were held at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium. ESPNcricinfo understands that the franchise had requested to host two more matches this year, following the overwhelming response for both matches. Biswal said Raipur missed out since it was “not necessary to have so many venues” this season.

Like Raipur, Dharamsala, the picturesque venue in Himachal Pradesh that had emerged as Punjab’s second home venue over the years, does not find a slot in this season’s schedule. The reason is the same as Jaipur’s. “Despite writing to the relevant police authorities twice and a HPCA representative meeting them in person for providing the requisite security cover for IPL games, they just didn’t even bother to respond – either in affirmative or negative,” said Vishal Marwaha, secretary of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association. “This just shows that the state government just didn’t want IPL matches to be played in Himachal.”

As a result, Kings XI will play two of their home games in Cuttack, the home city of IPL chairman Biswal. According to Mohit Burman, a co-owner at Kings XI Punjab, the franchise had asked for Ahmedabad as the first alternative. “They had consulted us and even if Cuttack was not our preference we are happy,” Burman said.

The Chennai Super Kings will also play two of their home games outside the city they are based in, hosting them in Ranchi – the hometown of India and Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni. Super Kings had received tremendous response for their 2013 Champions League Twenty20 games in Ranchi. As a result, despite Kerala Cricket Association TC Mathew having announced that Kochi was set to host “a couple of CSK home matches”, Ranchi got the nod of the IPL authorities.

It is understood that during their meeting with the IPL officials in Chennai in February had been asked to submit their shortlist of alternate venues other than their home grounds. And the BCCI insiders said they have done their best to accommodate most of their requests.

“It’s extremely impossible to adhere to each and everyone’s preference,” an official said. “Without going into the specifics of an individual venue, I would say that considering the logistical challenges and the operational considerations, we have drawn a schedule that would suit virtually everyone. We have to factor in kit and crew movements, also the fact that every team has to get at least one game in a weekend double header.”

The IPL starts on April 16 in the UAE, where 20 matches will be played, and shifts to India on May 2 with the final scheduled for June 1 in Mumbai.

Feb 202014
Tamil Nadu police officer seeks umbrella IPL probe
Alleged suspects in the IPL spot-fixing case are brought to a court in Delhi, IPL 2013, Delhi, May 16, 2013

According to G Sampath Kumar, the Delhi Police FIR had mentioned match-fixing but the charges were not probed properly © AFP

An investigating officer in the IPL spot-fixing scandal who had deposed before the Mudgal Committee has called for the entire case to be handled by one nodal force, like the National Investigation Agency, instead of several independent units as is currently the situation. G Sampath Kumar, a Tamil Nadu-based police officer who had appeared before the Justice Mudgal Committee, said the fixing charges were not being properly investigated because of the diffused nature of the process.

“The main thing that I wanted to stress before the Mudgal Committee too… I asked for an investigation by an agency like the NIA along with a joint investigation team. I had a feeling that this investigation was not [moving] on the right lines because the very FIR [filed by the Delhi police at the time of arresting Sreesanth and two other cricketers] mentions match-fixing. It’s in the FIR itself but it was not probed properly,” Kumar told the TV channel Headlines Today.

Various strands of alleged corruption in the IPL are being independently investigated by different state police units. While the Delhi Police focuses on the players’ involvement, which led to the arrests of three Rajasthan Royals cricketers, the Mumbai Police case is against Gurunath Meiyappan and his connection with alleged actor-bookie Vindoo Dara Singh. Police teams from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan have also chipped in at various points, focusing on the money trail and betting transactions between the high-profile bookies.

Kumar was a superintendent of police with the Crime Branch CID (internal security) in Chennai, working on a case involving fake passports when he came across information relating to betting. He said he had sought a more detailed investigation of this angle but was taken off the investigating team and posted to the Railway police in Trichy, a provincial town 300 km south of Chennai.

Kumar told the channel he believed he was being framed: “They wanted me not to probe further on this. My point is that when we in Q branch [the internal security unit] crack down so many things, why haven’t they done that? That’s my question.”

He appeared before the Mudgal Committee, whose report to the Supreme Court said the charges against Gurunath, the son-in-law of BCCI president N Srinivasan, of being involved in betting and passing on information on IPL games stand proved.

While investigating the fake passport racket, Kumar had interrogated Uttam Jain, alias Kitty, a bookie who claimed to have knowledge about fixing of IPL games, especially the league match between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals on May 12, 2013. According to Kumar’s deposition before the Mudgal Committee, Kitty had revealed how Vikram Agarwal, a Chennai hotelier who was arrested on the charge of being a bookie, knew Gurunath along with a few top cricketers.

Kumar also said that Kitty had revealed that the May 12 IPL match was fixed. The Mudgal report said there “seems to be enough information available on record to indicate that a further investigation is required in respect of the match.”

“It was stated that Vikram Agarwal told him (Kitty) that there was negotiation for match-fixing between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings and Meiyappan has to communicate to Chennai Super Kings (players) for finalisation. Later Kitty came to know that they were planning to fix the match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings scheduled on 12.05.2013. Again on 27.04.2013 also after the dinner party, negotiation was on and Vikram Agarwal informed to Kitty some deal was worked out. Later, after a dinner party Meiyappan informed that Chennai Super Kings has agreed to play as per plan and his team will score 140 runs and this was communicated to somebody (Sanjay) in Jaipur over phone by Vikram Agarwal when Kitty was nearby,” Kumar said in his signed report. Kumar said that other officers connected to both cases were also transferred within a short time and the file of their investigations was not given to the probe panel, a fact confirmed by Nilay Dutta, in his report to the Supreme Court.

In his interview to Headlines Today, Kumar wondered why, when Kitty gave up so much information in four hours’ questioning in the Q -branch office, was he not taken into custody for a longer period.

Feb 132014
Big bids for R Dhawan and Karn Sharma
Karn Sharma exults after Sunrisers' win, Trinidad & Tobago v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Group B, Champions League 2013, Mohali, September 24, 2013

Karn Sharma was the most expensive buy of the morning session and will play for Sunrisers Hyderabad again © BCCI

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Players/Officials: Karn Sharma | Rishi Dhawan
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League

Railways legspinner Karn Sharma was and Himachal Pradesh allrounder Rishi Dhawan became the two most expensive uncapped players on the second day of the IPL player auction. Karn, who played for Sunrisers Hyderabad last season, was bought back by his previous employer for a startling Rs 3.75 crores (US $625,000) while Dhawan was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 3 crores ($500,000). It’s been few months for Karn as this payday comes on the back of his being named the under-25 Indian player of the year for 2012-13.

The second day of the auction saw most franchises contest fiercely for the lesser-known Indian domestic players to build their squads after they had bought the core of the team on Monday. Maharashtra batsman Kedar Jadhav (Delhi Daredevils, Rs 2 crores), South Africa and Cape Cobras fast bowler Beuran Hendricks ( Kings XI Punjab, Rs 1.8 crores) Delhi allrounder Rajat Bhatia (Royals, 1.7 crores), Karnataka opening batsman Mayank Agarwal (Daredevils, 1.6 crores), UP and India fast bowler Ishwar Pandey (Chennai Super Kings, 1.5 cores), Punjab batsman Gurkeerat Singh (Kings XI, 1.3 crores), Gujarat fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians, 1.2 crores), Mumbai seamer Dhawal Kulkarni (Royals, 1.1 crores) and Karnataka opener KL Rahul (1 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad) were the biggest earners in the morning.

This is was the first time uncapped players were brought into the auction – a move welcomed by all franchises who said it provided a level-playing field for everyone in the wake of the controversies in the past seasons when teams would lure players with under-the-table deals and offers.

Karn was the last name to come out of the first set of uncapped spinners. Last year he had picked 11 wickets at an economy rate of 6.60 and had listed his base price Rs 30 lakh. Super Kings and Daredevils were the first in queue but the latter opted out once the bid reached Rs 70 lakh. Super Kings followed suit after Kings XI entered the bidding at Rs 75 lakhs. Sunrisers then joined the bidding and raised it to 1 crore which was doubled in less than a minute as both franchises refused to budge. Despite having assembled a good squad, Kings XI did not have any spinners in their line-up and were desperate.

Sunrisers wanted Karn back at any cost as they raised the bid to 3 crores. Kings XI made that 3.5 crores, which ended up as their last offering. A visibly satisfied Sunrises table heaved a sigh as they had Sharma for Rs 3.75 cores.

It was the second-most eventuful bid of the morning after Dhawan’s. He nearly went unsold as the auctioneer received no bids before a late entry by Sunrisers. Mumbai took the bid to Rs 40 lakh before they quit. Daredevils jumped in but quit at Rs 70 lakh. It was now time for Kings XI’s entry. The bidding crossed the crore-mark before Sunrisers decided to quit.

If Kings XI appeared happy and convinced they had Dhawan, the most successful bowler this Ranji season with 49 wickets, they were in for a surprise as Rahul Dravid, Royals’ coach, raised the paddle when the bid was at Rs 1.2 cores. As it crossed the 2-crore mark , both teams started to negotiate before deciding to raise the bid. Finally Dravid signaled Royals were out once Kings XI had raised the bid to 3 crores.

There were two overseas players also sold this morning. Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate, was bought back by his former IPL employer Kolkata Knight Riders for the base price of Rs 1 crore and West Indies fast bowler Kevon Cooper went back to the Royals for a base price of Rs 30 lakh.

Insiders had indicated that the right-to-match card option available to them would be utilised to buy back the Indian domestic players and it proved true: Dardevils flashed the card twice to get Jadhav and Jharkhand left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, Kings XI co-owner Preity Zinta raised the card to retain Mandeep while Royals got their X-man of the last year, the 41-year-old legspinner Praveen Tambe for his base price of Rs 10 lakhs and Royal Challengers exercised their card to retain Haryana seamer Harshal Patel.

Jan 292014
IPL 2014: Chennai Super Kings retain Dhoni, Raina, Ashwin, Jadeja & Bravo

Chennai Super Kings have retained MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo ahead of the IPL 2014 auction. The tournament rules allows for retaining five players, of whom only four can be capped India players. This will leave the franchise with one right-to-match card at the auction on February 12.

Super Kings have been the most successful of the IPL franchises, making into the final five times out of six, and winning on two occasions – in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, they did the double of winning the IPL and the Champions League T20. They have also been one of the most settled franchises, with the core of the team remaining the same over the many seasons. So they was no surprise that they have retained as many players as possible here.

Among the players staying with Super Kings, captain Dhoni, batsman Raina and offspinner Ashwin have never played for another IPL franchise. Dhoni, India’s captain and arguably the best finisher in limited-overs cricket, was the most expensive buy of the inaugural IPL auction back in 2008. Raina, the tournament’s leading run-getter overall, is yet to miss a single match for Super Kings.

January 10 was the deadline for the IPL franchises to announce their list of retained players, ahead of the auction on February 12. Except Delhi DareDevils every team retained atleast a player. Aside from retained players, franchises can buy back additional members of their squads at the auction via right-to-match cards. The number of right-to-match cards available to each franchise will depend on the number of players already retained. Since Super Kings have retained five players, they will have one right-to-match card at the auction and can’t buy any Indian with it as they crossed limit of four Indians.

A fixed amount will be deducted from Super Kings’ auction purse of Rs 600 million (approx. US$ 9.6 million, at the current exchange rate) for each player retained: Rs 125 million for player one, Rs 95 million for player two, Rs 75 million for player three, Rs 55 million for player four and Rs 40 million for player five. This will leave the franchise with Rs 210 million to spend at the auction. This season, each squad must include no less than 16 and no more than 27 players, with a maximum of nine overseas players.

The amount deducted from the auction amount is not necessarily the IPL fee agreed to between the franchise and the retained player.

In 2011, apart from Dhoni and Raina, Super Kings had retained India batsman M Vijay and South Africa allrounder Albie Morkel. The pair missed out this time, along with former Australia batsman Michael Hussey, who was IPL 2013’s leading run-getter.

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