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Wednesday,16-June-2021

International

Indian players were racially abused at SCG, confirms Cricket Australia

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Cricket Australia on Wednesday confirmed that Indian players were subjected to racial abuse by a section of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) crowd during the third drawn Test of the recently-concluded Border Gavaskar series.

The Indian team had apprised match referee David Boon of racial abuse of players — Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj — by a section of the SCG crowd at the end of the third day’s play during the Sydney Test. The incident again took place on the next day following which six people were evicted from the stand just before Tea during Australia’s second innings on Day Four of the Test match.

Following that incident, Cricket Australia had launched an investigation and the International Cricket Council (ICC) had also asked the Australian cricket board to submit its report.

“Cricket Australia has submitted its report into crowd behaviour at the SCG during the third Test against India to the International Cricket Council,” Sean Carroll, CA’s Head of Integrity & Security, said in a statement.

“CA confirms that members of the Indian cricket team were subjected to racial abuse. CA’s own investigation into the matter remains open, with CCTV footage, ticketing data and interviews with spectators still being analysed in an attempt to locate those responsible. Spectators who are found to have breached CA’s Anti-Harassment Code face lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police.

“CA’s investigation concluded that the spectators filmed and/or photographed by media in the Brewongle Stand concourse at the conclusion of the 86th over on Day Three of the Test did not engage in racist behaviour,” he added.

Cricket Australia further said that it is now awaiting confirmation from New South Wales Police that it has completed its investigation into the matter and “will not offer further comment until it is received”.

Siraj, who played a crucial role in helping India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, had revealed that the umpires in Sydney had told India skipper Ajinkya Rahane that the team can walk off the park.

“The case (on racial abuse) is going on. Let us see if we get justice or not. I told my captain that some audience are abusing me. The umpire said you can leave the ground but the captain said we will not go as we respect the game of cricket and you may send them out,” Siraj had said upon his arrival in Hyderabad.

Cricket Australia, on its part as well as Australian players including David Warner and head coach Justin Langer, had condemned the incident.

International

Test rankings: Steve Smith new No.1 batsman, Virat Kohli moves up to 4th

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Ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday moved up one spot, to fourth, in the ICC Test batting rankings while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson lost his top spot to Australian Steve Smith.

With 891 points, former Australia skipper Smith is the world No.1 Test batsman while Williamson is now second with 886 points. Kohli, with 814 points displaced England captain Joe Root, who is now fifth with 797 points.

Two more Indians featuring in the top-10 – wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma with 747 points each – are joint sixth.

Williamson lost his top spot in the rankings due to his omission from the playing XI in the second Test against England, while Root slipped to fifth after a forgettable outing in the two-Test series against New Zealand, which the hosts lost 0-1.

In the Test bowling rankings, Ravichandran Ashwin is the lone Indian in the top-10 — at No.2 with 850 points. Australia’s Pat Cummins is leading the pack with 908 points.

In the Test all-rounders rankings, Ravindra Jadeja (386 points) and Ashwin (353 points) are holding on to their second and fourth positions respectively. West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder, with 412 points, is leading the rankings.

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Virat Kohli gets a taste of pace, bounce at Southampton

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India skipper Virat Kohli got a glimpse of pace and bounce, that groundsman Simon Lee wants in the World Test Championship (WTC) final pitch, during a nets session at the Hampshire Bowl here.

Kohli was felled by a fast bouncer from one of India’s throwdown specialists in a video posted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday as he prepared for the WTC final that gets underway from June 18.

Lee was on Monday quoted as saying, “For me personally, I just want to get something out that has some pace, bounce and carry in the pitch.”

The 32-year-old, who is India’s No. 4 in Test batting line-up, was also seen blocking a yorker, playing drives and reaching out for a delivery.

The video also showed India pace bowlers Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami as well as spinner Ravindra Jadeja bowling to other batsmen with Rishabh Pant smashing a six.

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane also seemed to be getting a hang of things as he played a flick shot that was acknowledged by teammates including bowler Ishant.

India had reached Southampton on June 3 and underwent quarantine for 10 days during which they also played an intra-squad simulation match.

They came out of quarantine on Monday.

The Indian Test squad is staying in United Kingdom for three-and-a-half months during which they will also play a five-Test series against England in August-September.

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Indian cricketers loving the taste of England

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Mohammed-Shami

Scrambled eggs, baked beans, brown toast, and sausages seem to be the favourite breakfast of Indian cricketers while they are in England for the World Test Championship (WTC) final and a five-match Test series against the hosts.

Pacers Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin say their favourite English breakfast was scrambled eggs, baked beans and toast, while India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane added sausages to the menu.

In a video posted by bcci.tv on Tuesday, the fifth player, Cheteshwar Pujara, said he preferred brown toast, potato roasties and beans, as he was a vegetarian.

While fielding a ‘Rapid fire Challenge'”, all the cricketers were in agreement that Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) was one of their favourite films shot in England.

The other movies shot in England that they could immediately think of were: Namaste London, Kal Ho Na Ho, and Houseful.

All the cricketers agreed that the balmy England weather was the biggest attraction to tour the country.

Shami said he liked England because of the weather and the plenty of opportunities it provided for shopping.

Ashwin said that “the greatest blessing of coming to England is to walk on those big streets especially in the London mainstream…you can grab a coffee by the road, sit around and calmly have a chat with whoever you’re going with”.

Rahane made it clear that though he liked walking around parks and going to cafes with his family, his immediate task was to play competitive cricket against New Zealand in the WTC final in Southampton from Friday and the Test series against England in August-September.

“Playing cricket here is what I really enjoy,” said the vice-captain. And as an afterthought he said that “walking around the parks and going to cafes with your families, especially now that my daughter is here, are what I like a lot”.

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