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Indian officials allege Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj racially abused: Report




Indian cricket officials have apparently alleged that fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were racially abused by the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the stadium security officials were involved in a long discussion with Bumrah, Siraj and members of the Indian team management after the end of the third day’s play at the SCG.

Ajinkya Rahane, the India skipper, was also seen having a discussion with the security officials.

A report in Australian newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, stated, “It’s understood Indian officials say the pair have been abused by members of the public for the past two days, and believe the abuse has been racist in nature… amid suggestions a crowd member at the Randwick end of the ground abused Siraj who was fielding at fine leg at the time.”

“In another instance while the match was still continuing, Indian staff walked around behind where Bumrah was standing in the outfield and spoke to the star quick,” the report added.

India had previously been involved in a racism controversy on their tour of Australia in 2008 although in that case, Andrew Symonds had alleged that Harbhajan Singh had called him a monkey which the Indian player and the team denied.


Swiss Open: Kidambi Srikanth through to quarter-finals




India’s Kidambi Srikanth on Thursday beat France’s Thomas Rouxel in three games to enter the quarter-finals of the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament. Srikanth beat Rouxel 21-10, 14-21, 21-14 in 52 minutes.

He will now face either Thai sixth seed Kantaphon Wangcharoen or the Netherlands’ Mark Caljouw, who had earlier beaten H.S. Prannoy.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also eased into the quarter-finals in the mixed doubles category on Day 3 after beating Indonesia’s Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Mentari 21-18, 21-16. Rankireddy and Ponnappa had earlier stunned Indonesian second seeds Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja in their first round tie on the first day of the tournament on Wednesday.

Sourabh Verma’s campaign in Basel came to an end as he lost 17-21, 14-21 to Thai eighth seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

Reigning world champion P.V. Sindhu faces USA’s Iris Wang later in the day while second seeded men’s doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty face Indonesia’s Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan.

Rankireddy and Shetty secured a hard fought 21-18, 19-21, 21-16 win over Scotland’s Christopher and Matthew Grimley.

World championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth takes on Spain’s Pablo Abian.

Earlier, Sindhu, seeded second in the tournament, beat Turkish world no. 29 Neslihan Yigit 21-16, 21-19. Saina Nehwal, on other other hand, lost 16-21, 21-17, 21-23 to Thailand’s Phittayapom Chaiwan on Wednesday.

Praneeth, meanwhile beat Israel’s Misha Zilberman 21-11, 21-14 to ease into the second round while Lakshya Sen, who had pulled out of the Thailand tournaments in January due to injury, lost 16-21, 12-21 to Switzerland’s Victor Svendsen.

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Pitch for 4th Test has better binding, likely to hold for longer




Thanks to a bit of grass, the pitch for the fourth and final Test is likely to hold up for a bit longer than the surfaces did in the preceding two Tests which had led to a lot of debate.

The first day’s play in the fourth Test here showed that batting was a bit easier and puffs of dust did not emanate as much as they had done in the preceding Tests early on.

The ongoing fourth Test is being played on a red soil pitch just like the previous Test which was played on the centre-strip, the sixth strip on the 11-pitch square. The current match’s surface is the seventh pitch from the Adani End – the pavilion end – and is just to the right of the centre strip.

“There is grass binding. It won’t play that bad. Green tinge is there, the root (of the grass) is holding the soil so it will not play funny like it did in the last match. Because the grip of the grass with the soil is there, cracks will also not develop so much. There is no crack at the start. It won’t become dusty,” an official in the know of pitch preparation told IANS.

Some puffs of dust though were evident right after tea even on the first day but it didn’t seem bad.

However, the pitch will continue to help spinners more as the match progresses making it difficult for batsmen.

Despite a better pitch, spinners had a dominant presence on the first day’s play of this Test.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel was brought in as early as the sixth over of the day and he managed a wicket in his first over again. The first session saw spinners bowling almost 50 per cent of the overs – 12 out of 25.

The three spinners – Patel, R. Ashwin and Washington Sundar – bowled 70.6 per cent of overs in England’s first innings that ended just after tea. The trio combined to pick eight of the 10 wickets.

The newly-built stadium at Motera, that has been renamed as the Narendra Modi Stadium, has 11 strips with six of them red soil and five black soil.

There had been criticism from former players and experts of the pitches dished out for the first second and third Tests that saw the ball spinning from the first session onwards.

The players from the two sides had, however, refrained from lashing out at the pitches.

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Indian spinners bag 8 wkts, England all out for 205




In-form left-arm spinner Axar Patel bagged four wickets and off-spinner R. Ashwin three as Indian spinners accounted bundled England out for 205 runs in their first innings in the fourth and final Test here on Thursday.

Washington Sundar was the other spinner to bag a wicket to make it eight for the three slow bowlers. Pacer Mohammed Siraj, who was preferred to Umesh Yadav for this Test, took the other two wickets. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma went wicketless.

Ben Stokes was the top scorer for England for 55 and Daniel Lawrence made 46, after openers Zak Crawley and Dominic Sibley failed to provide a solid start. England were reduced to 15 for two and later 74 for four, before Stokes and Ollie Pope (29) steadied the ship somewhat.

India lead the four-match Test series 2-1.

Earlier, England captain Joe Root won the toss and chose to bat, at the same venue where the visitors lost the third Test by 10 wickets.

England went for lunch at 74 for three and took tea at 144 for five wickets, as Stokes and Pope led the England resistance.

England started the second session on 74/3 with Stokes in the middle along with Jonny Bairstow. While the pair had done well to prop up the England innings after they lost three early wickets, including that of captain Root, Bairstow did not survive long in the second session.

Siraj struck for the second time in the day by trapping Bairstow in his crease. The ball hit Bairstow’s pad and the umpire raised his fingers.

Stokes and Pope then put up 43 for the fifth wicket with the former getting to his 24th Test half century and his second of the series. It looked like the pair would see England through to the end of the post-lunch session but Stokes was done in by an arm ball from Sundar. He was given out LBW and walked after a brief conference with Pope.

Brief scores: England: 205 all out (Ben Stokes 55, Daniel Lawrence 46, Ollie Pope 29, Axar Patel 4/68, R. Ashwin 3/47, Mohammed Siraj 2/45)

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