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Tuesday,20-October-2020

National

Green brought in for Sunil Narine, also has history of suspect action

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Sunil Narine.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)’s desperation to find a spinner in their ranks to replace the experienced Sunil Narine, who was reported and warned on October 10, seems to have taken them to a bowler who too was warned for a similar offence earlier this year.

Chris Green, who represented KKR against Mumbai Indians in his IPL debut on Friday night, was suspended from bowling for 90 days in Cricket Australia-sanctioned competitions after being reported by umpires for an illegal action during a Big Bash League match in January this year.

The South Africa-born Aussie then went to Australia’s National Cricket Centre for testing. The results from the test on January 5 showed Green had an illegal action, following which he was suspended.

Green had been bought by KKR for Rs 20 lakh during the auction in December, 2019.

KKR are the only side in the league to boast of two bowlers who could bowl mystery spin. Apart from Narine, they also have Varun Chakravarthy.

Narine was, however, reported and warned for suspect action in the game against Kings XI Punjab on October 10. Since then he’s had to sit out two games, against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), and Mumbai Indians (MI) on Friday paving the way for Green to make his league debut.

While KKR went in with only one spinner, Chakravarthy, in the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, they played Green against MI, whose bowling coach Shane Bond incidentally is also the coach at Sydney Thunder for whom the Aussie spinner plays.

Green was made to open the bowling on Friday and some of his early deliveries swung instead of spinning. He was hit for a four by Rohit off the first delivery that moved away but came back to give just seven runs in his first over. He could have also had a wicket if Chakravarthy had not dropped a catch off his bowling later in the game.

National

Replacing Karthik with Morgan as KKR captain not a right move: Ajit Agarkar

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Ajit-Agarkar

Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar feels replacing Dinesh Karthik with Eoin Morgan as captain of Kolkata Knight Riders was a very strange and wrong move.

Ahead of their match against Mumbai Indians on October 16 in the ongoing IPL, Karthik stepped down as KKR skipper and handed over the reigns to World Cup-winning England captain Morgan. Karthik had taken the decision with a “view to focus on his batting and contributing more to the team’s cause”.

“I don’t think replacing Dinesh Karthik after seven games when you’re sitting fourth in the table is the right move in my opinion. It does add to the disruption of the team and you could see the way they performed against Mumbai Indians, even though it was a tough game,” said Agarkar while speaking on Star Sports’ show ‘Fanweek’.

KKR lost the match against the defending champions as the Rohit Sharma-led side rode on an unbeaten 78 from Quinton de Kock to chase down 149 with eight wickets in hand.

“I don’t think it was a right move. You make plans with a certain captain through the course of the year and in spite of sitting fourth on the table, it was a very strange move for me,” Agarkar added.

However, KKR came back with an improved performance in their next match against SunRisers Hyderabad, winning the nail-biting encounter in the Super Over last Sunday.

The team is currently sitting at the fourth spot with 10 points from nine matches and is slated to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.

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Judo is a priority sport, will enhance capacity: Kiren Rijiju

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Kiren-Rijiju

Indian Judo team will be participating in the Budapest Grand Slam — which contributes to the Olympic qualification — between October 23 and October 25. This will be the first tournament that the Indian judokas will be playing since the nationwide lockdown was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the departure for Hungary, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday met the contingent which comprises five judokas — Tulika Mann, Avtar Singh, Vijay Yadav, Jasleen Singh Saini and Sushila Devi — and coach Jiwan Sharma.

The Sports Minister wished the contingent luck for the tournament and said preparations are in place to ensure that a strong talent pool emerges for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

“The team is leaving for Hungary today and I am hopeful that some of the athletes will qualify. Judo is a priority sport for us and we will enhance capacity both in terms of training facilities and coaches,” said Rijiju.

“The idea is to extend full support to the elite athletes while building up a talent pool of young athletes who can compete in the Olympics of 2024 and 2028. We will discuss a more exhaustive roadmap with the federation and plan ahead,” he added.

Jasleen, world number 56 and a good prospect to qualify for next year’s Olympics, said, “This will be the first tournament we will be played after the Covid-19 lockdown.”

“We used to play every month earlier, so it is really good to be playing again. From the entire Judo fraternity, would like to thank the Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India and the Judo Federation of India for organising this for us,” he added.

Around 645 competitors from around 81 countries will be participating in this tournament and the contingent is enthusiastic to be back in action in competitive sport after such a long break.

Sushila, the highest ranked women’s judoka in the contingent — ranked 41 in the world and an Olympic hopeful — said, “This is the first time we have met the Sports Minister and he is really doing a lot for sports in India so with his encouragement, we are feeling very motivated. It is good to play once again after the lockdown and would like to thank SAI for the support in getting this international exposure organised for us. We will try to give our best.”

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What spark did you see in Jadhav, Chawla: Kris Srikkanth asks Dhoni

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Kris-Srikkanth

Former Indian cricketer Kris Srikkanth slammed ace skipper MS Dhoni’s mantra on selection following Chennai Super Kings’ seventh defeat in 10 matches in the ongoing IPL and termed the latter’s selections throughout the season as “ridiculous”.

“What is Dhoni’s deal? He says N. Jagadeesan doesn’t have spark, but does ‘scooter’ (Kedar) Jadhav have that spark? This is ridiculous. I will not accept this answer today. All this talk of process and Chennai’s tournament itself is over,” Srikkanth told Star Sports Tamil.

“I will never accept what Dhoni is saying about this process,” said Srikkanth. “This process he keeps talking about is meaningless. You keep talking about process, process… but the process of selection itself is wrong.”

Srikkanth’s outburst came after CSK suffered a seven-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals on Monday evening. After the game, Dhoni told official broadcaster Star Sports that the youngsters in the team had not showed him the kind of “spark” that would have warranted their inclusion in the side.

Jagadeesan’s case was singled out as he featured in just one game in the CSK XI against RCB when he scored 33.

“Dhoni now says that since the pressure is off, he’ll give the youngsters a chance. Come on yaar. I don’t understand this rubbish about the process at all. What spark didn’t he see in Jagadeesan? What spark did he see in Jadhav and Piyush Chawla?

“Karn Sharma at least took wickets. Chawla simply goes through the motions of bowling, coming on when the game is already lost. Dhoni may be a pistha (big shot) and there is no doubt he is great, but I cannot agree with him or accept this,” said the former Indian opener.

The three-time champions have six points from 10 games and are currently placed at the bottom of the points table. They next play Mumbai Indians on Friday.

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