Split captaincy in Indian cricket: Hope the changing room doesn’t get divided, says Hogg
Former Australian left-arm spinner Brad Hogg feels split captaincy in the Indian cricket team setup is a good move and hoped that when the team tours South Africa for a Test and ODI series, the changing room doesn’t get divided because of the division of roles between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gave the complete white-ball captaincy to Rohit Sharma, who successfully led India to a 3-0 win over New Zealand in the T20I series at home recently, while Kohli will remain captain of the Test side.
Days before the start of the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE, Kohli had announced that he would step down as India’s T20 captain after the showpiece tournament, but said he would like to continue as the ODI and Test skipper.
But ahead of the Test and ODI series against South Africa beginning on December 26, the BCCI announced that Sharma will also lead the ODI side, with experts saying the move will not go down well with Kohli.
However, Hogg, who played seven Tests and 123 ODIs for Australia, said on his YouTube channel on Saturday that the two skippers should take it as a “blessing in disguise”.
“I just think this is a good move; Kohli should embrace it and relax about the whole situation because it will help him to concentrate on leading the Test team. And you have a white-ball captain… so Rohit Sharma would be concentrating on the team he wants in white-ball and Kohli can relax about the whole situation and concentrate on Test cricket,” said Hogg.
“I just hope that when they go on their next tour (South Africa) then the change room is not separated by this little slight division between these particular two players in the leadership role. Both of them are going to embrace it, get into the change room and jell and move forward and take Indian cricket forward,” opined the former spinner.
The former Australian cricketer said that it will take a lot of pressure off Kohli’s shoulders and help him relax.
“It takes a lot of pressure off, the media hype off the field all of a sudden that relaxes Kohli; he’s only got to be worried about the Test environment and Rohit just got to concentrate on white-ball environment. Plus all the sponsorship commitments and all the other commitments off the field. I think it’s going to be better for Kohi; it’s gonna improve his performances which have slightly dropped off in the last couple of years when he has been under pressure captaining all three teams. So, I think it’s a blessing in disguise.”
Hogg also said that with the kind of depth India has in batting and bowling, it won’t be surprising if they dominate world cricket for at least five years.
“Indian cricket, with the depth they’ve got in their batting and bowling, should dominate world cricket over the next five years at least. It’s only going to be a little bit of disruption (split captaincy) between a couple of players that unsettles the network between the group, (but) that will turn things around,” felt Hogg.
Mark Zuckerberg strikes gold against jiu jitsu fighters, posts pictures on Instagram
In the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared helpless in front of the US Congress where he has been slapped by fines, and fired 11,000 vulnerable employees after being hit by falling revenues. But outside the business arena where Meta is facing tough competition from TikTok and other rivals, Zuckerberg is a huge mixed martial arts fan.
Contrary to setbacks in the tech sector, the Facebook founder has tasted victory in jiu jitsu.
Striking gold, but in a different arena
- The billionaire who has trained with UFC fighters, posted pictures after winning jiu jitsu matches for the first time.
- The billionaire who tried his hand at martial arts, revealed that he won a gold medal in the Gi categroy and a silver medal in the No-GI category.
- His post on Instagram received comments from UFC featherweight and bantamweight category champions, as well as jiu jitsu hall of fame member Bernardo Faria.
Competitive or short tempered?
- The entrepreneur turned sportsperson, who also enjoys surfing, was seen getting into a heated argument after losing a contest during the tournament in California as well.
- On the work front, Zuckerberg’s firm Meta also surprised the markets by bouncing back with strong earnings, after struggling with loss of ad revenue.
Al Hilal swoop in with bumper €400 million per year salary deal amid reports of Lionel Messi leaving PSG
Paris Saint Germain forward Lionel Messi is reportedly planning to cut short his time at FC Barcelona and eventually join Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. This comes after Messi was suspended for two weeks for travelling to the Kingdom without PSG’s Qatari owners’ permission.
End of Project Messi
Messi had hoped to stay at PSG beyond the end of the current season. However, with recent events, the situation has changed drastically. Given his incredible record with FC Barcelona and PSG, Messi’s potential move to Al-Hilal would undoubtedly shake the football world.
While Messi’s priority remains to play in Europe, transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano reported that Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal has offered the Argentine superstar a bumper contract with a record-breaking salary worth €400 million per year. The potential deal will lead to Messi surpassing his eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns €223 million per year at Al Nassr.
Hindrance to Messi’s Barcelona return
There is strong speculation that Messi may return to his former club, FC Barcelona. However, the club is facing difficulties in shedding the €200 million ($220 million) required from their wage bill to make the deal viable. Despite this challenge, Barcelona is trying to convince La Liga that they have a workable plan to make the numbers work for a potential deal with Messi.
Consequences of Messi’s Suspension
Messi’s suspension was imposed because he went to fulfill his duties as a tourism ambassador. The Argentine will also be docked two weeks’ pay, which Forbes’ recently-published list of the World’s 10 Highest-Paid Athletes 2023 estimated to be around $2.5 million. As a result, Messi will miss games against Troyes and Ajaccio.
In addition, PSG has reportedly cancelled a contract renewal offer to Messi, whose current agreement at the Parc des Princes expires on June 30. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will be free to negotiate with other clubs starting in January 2023.
Saudi Arabia to host FIFA Club World Cup 2023
Saudi Arabia has been named the host of the FIFA Club World Cup 2023, scheduled to take place from December 12-22.
“In relation to the FIFA Club World Cup 2023�, which is due to be played under the current format with seven clubs, the FIFA Council unanimously appointed the Saudi Arabian Football Federation as tournament hosts from 12 to 22 December 2023,” the FIFA said in a statement on Tuesday night.
The unanimous decision was made at a FIFA Council meeting and came only a few days after Real Madrid lifted the trophy in Morocco, following a thrilling 5-3 win over Al-Hilal, the first Saudi club to reach the final of the tournament.
Saudi Arabia will be only the sixth host of the competition since its inception in 2000.
The Gulf nation, earlier this month, was awarded the hosting rights of the men’s Asian Cup 2027 and is also bidding to host the Women’s Asian Cup for the first time in 2026.
The FIFA Council also confirmed a change in the format of the tournament from June 2025 — to expand the FIFA Club World Cup from 24 to 32 teams — with 12 teams from Europe involved along six from CONMEBOL, while CONCACAF, CAF and the AFC will each have four, with one place for the OFC and another for the hosts.
In addition, the Council also confirmed that the hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2026, namely Canada, Mexico and the USA, will qualify automatically as the joint hosts of the tournament, with their slots, therefore, being deducted from the overall allocation of six assigned to Concacaf.
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