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Friday,23-April-2021

International

Bangladesh’s Saif Hassan tests Covid-19 positive for 2nd time

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Bangladesh batsman Saif Hassan has tested positive in his second coronavirus test. A Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) source confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Hassan’s second sample was taken exactly seven days after he first tested positive.

Hassan’s name has not been included in Bangladesh’s list of 27 cricketers considered for the preliminary squad for the Test series in Sri Lanka scheduled to be played in late October. However, the tour is in doubt after the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) informed BCB last week that the Bangladesh players would need to be in quarantine for one week upon landing in the island, before being able to train.

BCB President Nazmul Hassan has said that “terms and conditions are nowhere near” that were discussed.

“We cannot play World Test Championships with these terms and conditions. Until their letter yesterday, both boards were having discussions along the lines of a seven-day quarantine,” ESPNcricinfo had quoted Nazmul as saying.

“But now their terms and conditions are nowhere near those discussions, and neither are they anything close to what other countries hosting cricket in the pandemic are doing. There are three or seven-day quarantines in those places where the players can either train among themselves or use the gym,” he had added.

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Eoin Morgan fined Rs 12 lakh for KKR’s slow over-rate

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Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan has been fined Rs 12 lakh for maintaining a slow over-rate during their IPL match against Chennai Super Kings here at the Wankhede Stadium.

“As it was his team’s first offence of the season under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to minimum over-rate offences, Morgan was fined Rs 12 lakh,” said the IPL.

KKR’s lower order put up a brave fight but could not get their team past the finishing line on Wednesday, as CSK beat them by 18 runs in a high-scoring encounter.

With KKR reeling at 31/5 in 5.2 overs while chasing an imposing 221 for victory, it looked like CSK would win the match with ease.

However, Andre Russell (54 off 22 balls; 3×4, 6×6), Pat Cummins (66 not out off 34 balls; 4×4, 6×6) and Dinesh Karthik (40 off 24 balls; 4×4, 2×6) staged a remarkable fight back to take KKR to 201/9 in 19 overs. With 20 needed off the last over, last man Prasidh Krishna was run out off the first delivery as Cummins tried to steal a double to retain strike, thus confirming an 18-run win for CSK.

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Karim Benzema brace takes Real to top of the table

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Karim Benzema struck twice to earn Real Madrid a comfortable 3-0 victory over Cadiz to take them provisionally back top of La Liga.

They are level with Atletico Madrid on 70 points but have a better head-to-head record than Diego Simeone’s side, who face Huesca on Thursday, DPA reported.

Benzema netted his 20th league goal of the season from the penalty spot after Vinicius Junior was fouled, after an even start to the game.

Three minutes later Alvaro Odriozola doubled the lead from Benzema’s cross, and the Frenchman netted again in the 40th minute from close range, heading home a Casemiro ball.

“I’m happy for the team because it’s not easy to play away from home and we had to pick up three points,” said Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane. “We are happy for the win.”

“When you score a goal it’s easier but we scored three. We have to continue, rest now because we have a game on Saturday [against Real Betis].

“How Benzema is playing makes me happy, we know how important he is. He’s crucial for our game. We enjoy him and I hope that Real Madrid keep doing that for a long time.”

Zidane’s squad is heavily depleted due to injuries and the coronavirus, with the coach starting in midfield 20-year-old Antonio Blanco, who made his debut as a substitute last Sunday in the 0-0 draw with Getafe.

Blanco was impressive and helped Madrid control the game, although Iza Carcelen’s clumsy foul on Vinicius was the moment that put Madrid in the driving seat.

Cadiz, 13th, made several changes at the break and substitute Anthony Lozano was lively in attack but they failed to trouble Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Earlier, Youssef En-Nesyri struck in the 53rd minute to hand Sevilla a 1-0 win at Levante, to take them provisionally third before Barcelona host Getafe on Thursday.

Alaves earned an important 2-1 win over Villarreal to move 16th and three points clear of the relegation zone, while Elche and Real Valladolid, 19th and 17th respectively, drew 1-1.

Elsewhere Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao drew 0-0 and Osasuna earned a 3-1 win over Valencia.

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South Africa captains fear suspension due to administrative crisis

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South Africa’s Test captain Dean Elgar, limited overs captain Temba Bavuma and women’s captain Dane van Niekerk signed a statement by the country’s cricketers in which they apologised to stakeholders due to the administrative crisis in Cricket South Africa (CSA).

They also expressed fear that government intervention in the administration of the sport could lead to the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspending the team with just months left for the men’s T20 World Cup this year.

The statement has been written on behalf of the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and signed by its president Khaya Zondo.

“The governance crisis that has engulfed cricket for over 18 months has now escalated to the point where the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture has formally noted his intent to intervene in the sport. We respect the fact that the Minister has shown great patience in dealing with the governance crisis, and the events as they unfolded at the Special General Meeting of 17 April 2021, were in bad faith and disrespectful not only to his office, but to all cricketers and the public,” said the cricketers in the statement.

“Government intervention in the sport will have dire consequences, the full extent of which we do not yet know. The right to represent South Africa may be withdrawn and the ICC may suspend Cricket South Africa. These outcomes will in turn impact touring, broadcast rights and sponsorship deals. Ultimately the financial viability of the game will suffer and cricket at all levels will be severely prejudiced,” they said.

The players said that they recognise the importance of the support of sponsors in their own careers.

“As players, we wish to speak directly to the many sponsors of our beloved game – such as SAB, Betway, Momentum, KFC – we recognise and acknowledge that your involvement in the game supports our careers and provides funding for the development of the game throughout South Africa. We apologise for the actions of our Administrators who have undermined and betrayed your commitment to the sport. We are aware that many of you have engaged SACA directly over the past 12 months, confirming your support for us, the players, and for that we thank you,” they said.

“And finally, to the most important stakeholder in the game – the public – we ask that you continue to support cricket. It is the most wonderful game, and we are immensely proud to represent you on the field. We implore the Members’ Council, Interim Board, Ministry and SASCOC to resolve this impasse so as to ensure that we can continue to do so,” said the statement.

They also expressed concern over the development of the women’s game, especially considering the success the national team has enjoyed recently.

“The Momentum Proteas Women’s team has enjoyed unparalleled success over the past 14 months, and the women’s game in South Africa is on the verge of significant expansion. The development of the game is now under serious threat, and at a time when we should be enthusiastic about the future, we have to be concerned about its future,” it said.

“The Proteas Men’s team has an ICC World T20 Event in November. Preparation has already started for this event, and the current state of cricket administration undermines our work in this regard. It may even lead to our suspension from this event should the ICC decide to suspend South Africa,” said the statement.

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