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Tuesday,16-August-2022

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IPL 2022: Umran Malik is a great find, can bowl even quicker with some technical improvements, believes Brett Lee

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Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee on Monday heaped huge praise on Umran Malik, saying that the youngster is a great find and can bowl even more quicker if he works on the few technical areas of his bowling in the future.

Many young Indian bowlers impressed the experts and fans with their sheer pace in the recently concluded IPL 2022 but Malik was the standout performer. The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer had a breakout season as he picked 22 wickets in 14 matches and often clocked speeds in excess of 150 kmph. For his impressive performance in IPL 2022, Malik got the Emerging Player award.

“There have been many, who have been bowling some decent balls but I have been really impressed with Umran Mailk. I think he is a great find, a youngster hitting over 150 kph, so he has been very very impressive. And, I still believe he can go quicker, which is exciting not only for people like me but for many former cricketers who want to watch guys bowl fast, certainly for Indian cricket,” Lee told IANS at the sidelines of the Phoenix Business Advisory event in the national capital.

The Jammu and Kashmir pacer is still very young, raw and can improve a lot going further. The 45-year old Lee suggested a few key areas, where Malik can improve to become faster.

“There is something in his run-up that he can improve on, action, pulling down harder different parts of the wrist positions. But, the great thing is that one’s actions will never be perfect. My action was never perfect but I always tried to be the best version of me so up until the last ball I bowled before being retired, I was working on my action. So, one can keep improving every single day,” he said.

The Australian feels batters have taken their game to different levels in the last one decade or so and the bowlers are lagging behind. However, he is pleased to see guys hitting the 150 kmph mark in the IPL 2022.

“Over the last sort of fifteen years, I have noticed that batsmen are getting and hitting bigger shots, hitting bigger sixes more often and different kinds of shots have been developed and we have also seen pace being dropped and now we think that 140 kmph is fast. Now, what we have seen through this IPL, a few guys have hit the 150 kmph barrier, which is exciting and so I am up for it,” said Lee.

Asked about the advice for budding fast bowlers, the Australian said, “What makes a good fast bowler is a good sprinter. So, my advice to any young bowler, who wants to bowl on his bowling and become faster to become a good sprinter.”

Lee, who was recognised as one of the fastest bowlers in the world, also praised Hardik Pandya’s captaincy in the IPL, saying that the all-rounder led from the front. Skipper Hardik registered an impressive bowling figure of 3/17 with the ball and also played a crucial knock of 34 runs to guide Gujarat Titans to the IPL trophy in their debut season.

“I think he (Hardik) has been outstanding. His level of commitment to the team, I think with both bat and ball, has been brilliant and to see him take a couple of wickets last night to lead from the front was great,” the former Australian cricketer said.

“You know what you want from a great captain is leadership of course, respect, that someone that stands up and actually delivers, scores runs, takes wickets that’s what you want and Hardik has done. So, congratulations to him,” he added.

Lee, who is also the brand ambassador of Phoenix Business Advisory — a business visa immigration consultancy, also spoke about the company’s role in helping Indians increase their businesses in Australia.

“Phoenix Business Advisory is creating opportunities for high-net-worth individuals based here in India, to come out to Australia to further their business. I’ve been really lucky that every time I come to beautiful shows in India, I have been welcomed with open arms and we’re saying now, the opportunity to trade is open and a free trade agreement has been passed in Australia,” he said.

“There is a massive opportunity to invest and Phoenix just makes things so easy. It’s seamless, right from the time that you apply for that one visa to the end,” he concluded.

National

Ravi Shastri calls for reduction in number of T20Is played to counter scheduling issues

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Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has called for a reduction in the number of T20Is played to counter the raging issue of scheduling in international cricket. The month of July 2022 has seen the issue of hectic scheduling in cricket and prioritisation of franchise T20 leagues being reignited.

South Africa chose to pull out of a three-match ODI series against Australia in January 2023 to ensure their players would be available for the upcoming new domestic T20 competition in the country.

Earlier this week, England’s Test skipper and all-rounder Ben Stokes announced his retirement from ODI cricket after the first match against South Africa at the age of 31, citing the “unsustainable” workload by playing in all three formats.

With speculations coming that the upcoming Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the 2023-27 cycle will have more of T20I action, Shastri, currently in United Kingdom as a member of the Sky Sports commentary team, feels that bilateral T20Is should be reduced by a huge amount to free up the hectic international calendar.

“I would be a little careful of the number of bilateral splits, especially in T20 cricket. There’s a lot of franchise cricket which can be encouraged, whichever country it’s in – India, West Indies, or Pakistan. You play less bilaterals and then you get together for the World Cups. So, the emphasis on ICC World Cup events becomes paramount. Then people look forward to them,” said Shastri in an episode of the Vaughany and Tuffers podcast.

Shastri, a former India all-rounder and member of the 1983 Cricket World Cup winning team, further asked for creation of two divisions in Test cricket in a bid to safeguard the future of the longest format of the game.

“I think two tiers are needed, otherwise Test cricket will die in 10 years time. You need six teams at the top, and then six teams in the second and then you qualify. And those top six play against each other more often because of the corridor you open up by having less bilateral T20 cricket and just franchise cricket. That’s the way all formats of the game can survive.”

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Nation needs President who can protect constitution: Yashwant Sinha

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 Joint opposition candidate for Presidential poll, Yashwant Sinha on Friday said the nation needs a president who can protect the Constitution of the country.

Sinha was in Gujarat to seek support for himself. He appealed to the MLAs and MPs to vote for the candidate “who can protect the Constituency of India”.

He said the nation was passing through a serious constitutional and economic crises and at such a point of time the nation needs a president who does not toe the party line at the cost of national interest.

“There is an undeclared emergency in the country, even the media does not have the liberty to practice the profession freely when a check and balance is must for the country. So MLAs and MPs should vote in accordance with their conscience,” said sinha.

The former minister said he was confident of getting votes of the MLAs and MPs belonging to the Congress, BTP and NCP in the state.

He said he disagreed with the political theory that if a person is from a specific community and one holds a constitutional post it helps in uplifting the community. Citing the example of NDA presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu, he said,”They are projecting her as a tribal representative, she was the Governor of Jharkhand for six year, yet tribals’ conditions have not improved.”

“Though Ram Nath Kovind was president, see the condition of the community in his state. Nothing has changed, on the contrary they have suffered a lot,” said Sinha.

He, however, made it clear that he did not mean that a person should confront the central government.

He said, “Communalism is spreading because the state is backing it because communalism is consolidating the vote bank for them.”

Sinha said he was shocked to find that even today section 144 is implemented in Gujarat and questioned the state who it was afraid of. He said, “Even for social functions or events the people of Gujarat are asked to seek permission which is anti democracy.”

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I have seen glimpses of what this hockey team can achieve: Women’s coach Schopman

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India women’s hockey team chief coach Janneke Schopman has said she has “seen glimpses” of what her players can achieve following her side’s 3-4 loss in a hard-fought Pool B match of the FIH World Cup 2022 against New Zealand here late on Thursday.

Despite going down to the Kiwis, India are still in contention for a quarterfinal spot after finishing third in their pool. They will face Spain, who finished second in Pool C, in the crossover match on July 10 for a place in the last-eight.

Schopman also attributed the loss to New Zealand to defensive frailties and the rivals’ clinical finishes.

“I am proud of our fight as we worked really hard to stay in the game. Unfortunately, we made some defensive mistakes and New Zealand were very clinical in their finish,” said Schopman.

“There are a lot of things to learn from this game but I have seen glimpses of what we can do. Especially, our performance in the second half showed that we can play some good hockey,” she added.

For India, Vandana Katariya (4th munite), Lalremsiami (44th) and Gurjit Kaur (59th) were on target. The Indian team started the game aggressively and put pressure on their opponents in the opening minutes of the match.

But the Kiwis fought back after they earned a penalty corner and Olivia Merry didn’t miss out on the opportunity of slotting the ball into the goal in the 12th minute.

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