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Wednesday,27-January-2021

National

Kohli is like lion, his hunger is never ending, says Shreyas Iyer

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Indian batsman Shreyas Iyer has heaped praise on Virat Kohli, saying the skipper is like a “lion” in terms of his body language when he enters the ground.

“It’s a phenomenal feeling when Virat Kohli compliments you. He truly is a leader and a role model,” Iyer said during an Instagram chat hosted by his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals (DC) on Monday evening.

“His hunger is never ending, and he’s a relentless athlete. Each time he goes out on the field, it’s like he’s out there for his very first game. He’s like a lion, and there’s so much to learn from him,”

A regular in Team India’s limited overs squad, the past year saw Iyer put up a string of consistent performances that helped the Men in Blue finally end their search for the batsman at the much debated number four spot.

“If you’ve been playing for India for a year now at a certain position, I think you’ve sealed that spot, no more questions should be asked about it. There was so much debate going on about the No. 4 position for so long, so now it’s satisfying to have cemented my spot,” Iyer said.

“But every player must be flexible, and so am I, and I’m willing to bat at any position depending on what the match demands.

Iyer was picked up by Delhi Daredevils at the IPL auction in 2015. It was a breakout season for the youngster, who ended the tournament with 439 runs and the Emerging Player award, but not without a massive hurdle, which he spoke about on Monday.

“I had fractured my index finger after third game, and the doctor said I couldn’t play,” he said. “Gary Kirsten was coaching us then, and he said, you can hide somewhere in the field, but we need you to bat for us. I agreed, I could’ve done anything for the team.”

The Mumbai boy was handed over Delhi’s captaincy midway through the 2018 season, when he had to step into Gautam Gambhir’s shoes. Not one to shy away from a challenge, the move in fact brought out the best in Iyer.

“When I joined Delhi, somehow I knew, a situation like this would arise one day, and that’s why I was always prepared for it mentally,” he said. “When I smashed 93 vs KKR in my first game as captain, I knew I was ready. A lot of pundits had questioned the decision, but the results were there for everyone to see, and the team signed off on a high that season beating some big teams,” he added.

2018 was just a teaser of Iyer and Delhi’s potential, as the team, now rechristened to Delhi Capitals, became the talk of the tournament in 2019, finishing a phenomenal third.

“The aim was to make it to the playoffs, which we did. However, we failed at the last hurdle, but I believe winning the title is something that this team can definitely achieve in the future,” said the 25-year-old.

Having Australian legend Ricky Ponting at the helm of affairs in Delhi is a big reason behind the results coming in, Iyer admitted.

“It felt so good when I first worked with him in 2018. There’s so much you can learn just from his body language, which is all about positivity. You feel like he doesn’t judge players, and treats everyone equally, which is the sign of a good coach. Kudos to him for that approach he has, and I believe that has helped us a team, and me individually as well.”

Crime

Online Rummy: Kerala High Court notice to Virat Kohli

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The Kerala High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, actors Thammanna and Aju Vargheese on a petition seeking ban on online rummy after victims alleged brand ambassadors play a significant role in getting youth addicted.

Kohli, Thamanna and Varghese are brand ambassadors of online rummy and hence the notice.

The high court has also issued notices to the state government and called for its response on the same.

The petitioner had complained to the high court that several people have lost their lives in the country after losing huge amounts of money by playing the online game and that it should be banned.

Vineeth, 27, had committed suicide at Kuttichal in Thiruvananthapuram a fortnight ago. He had lost Rs 21 lakh.

Sajesh, 32, who had lost a huge amount playing online rummy told IANS: “The intervention of the honourable High court is welcome as I know that several people have lost huge amount of money playing this online game and I myself have lost more than Rs 6 lakh.

“The brand ambassador’s indeed play a big role in attracting the gullible youth in playing this game which soon turns into an addiction. I had to seek professional medical help to come out of this addiction and the court must ban this game in India.”

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National

IPL 2021 player auction on February 18 in Chennai

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The player auction ahead of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) edition will take place on February 18 in Chennai.

IPL confirmed the news on their official Twitter handle: “IPL 2021 Player Auction on 18th February. Venue: Chennai.”

As many as 139 players have been retained by the eight IPL franchises whereas 57 players have been released from their existing squads. Sunrisers Hyderabad have retained the most number of players — 22 — while Royal Challengers Bangalore have only 12 players in the squad.

Kings XI Punjab will enter the auction with the biggest possible purse of Rs 53.20 crore, followed by RCB (Rs 35.90 crore). Kolkata Knight Riders and SRH have the least amount of purse remaining – Rs 10.75 crore.

Rajasthan Royals, who have appointed Sanju Samson as they captain after releasing Steve Smith, will look to fill their three overseas slot sand have a purse remaining of Rs 34.85 crore.

Chennai Super Kings have Rs 22.90 crore, Delhi Capitals Rs 12.90 crore and Mumbai Indians Rs 15.35 crore in their purse.

The 2020 IPL edition was held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a bio-secure environment from September 19 to November 10 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Mumbai Indians had defeated Delhi Capitals in the summit clash in Dubai to win the title for a record fifth time.

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National

Sourav Ganguly hospitalised again with chest pain

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Indian cricket board president Sourav Ganguly was on Wednesday rushed to Apollo Hospital here after he complained uneasiness and chest pain the previous night.

The former India captain was admitted to the hospital under the supervision of state-run SSKM Hospital’s cardiology department head Saroj Mondal, sources said.

Ganguly, 48, had suffered a blackout while working out at his personal gym on January 2 and was taken to Kolkata’s Woodlands Hospital. He underwent angioplasty and other related tests there and was discharged from the hospital on January 7.

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