India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has thanked Harbhajan Singh for inspiring him to bowl off-spin, saying that he picked up the ball only after seeing Bhajji’s “wonderful spell” against Australia in 2001.
Ashwin on Monday moved past Harbhajan’s tally of 417 wickets, becoming India’s third-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket at 419 on the final day of the opening Test against New Zealand at the Green Park here, which ended in a thrilling draw.
The 35-year-old had equalled Harbhajan’s tally of 417 wickets on November 28 after he dismissed Will Young on Day 4. Ashwin dismissed Tom Latham in the second innings of New Zealand to go past Harbhajan’s tally of 417 wickets in Tests.
“It’s a wonderful milestone. Harbhajan Singh, when he was bowling that wonderful spell against Australia in 2001, I never thought I would even be an off-spinner on that particular day. But inspired by him, I picked up the ball to bowl off-spin and here I am. Thank you for inspiring me Bhajji pa,” Ashwin said in a video shared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday.
Ashwin is now behind Anil Kumble (619) and Kapil Dev (434) in India’s all-time list of highest Test wicket-takers.
Ashwin is the fourth Indian bowler to take more than 400 wickets. Monday’s achievement made him the 13th highest wicket-taker in Tests of all time, moving past Pakistan’s Wasim Akram (414). He is the third-highest wicket-taker in Tests among active cricketers, after English pace duo Stuart Broad and James Anderson, who have 524 and 632 wickets respectively.
Ashwin, who made his Test debut in November 2011 against the West Indies in New Delhi, has claimed his wickets at a strike rate of 52.4 and an average of 24.5.
Recollecting an incident during the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Shreyas Iyer who lit up Green Park with the bat, scoring a century and half century on debut, said that Ashwin had approached him at Wankhede then seeking his advice on the wind direction.
“In the second year of the IPL, I was the ball boy and Ashwin came to me asking ‘arre ek minute idhar aana, yeh hawa kaun se direction se aate hai, zara bata do (please come here for a minute and guide me in which direction the wind is blowing)’. So, I was very confident. I had played too many matches at the Wankhede at that point in time. I told him, ‘idhar se aata hai, idhar se… the sea is in this direction (The wind will flow in this direction as the sea is in this direction)’. So, the wind will come from that direction only,” recalled Iyer.
Ashwin also congratulated Iyer for becoming the first Indian to score a century and half-century on Test debut, saying, “Congratulation to you (Iyer) for becoming the first Indian to score a hundred and a half-century on Test debut. Looking forward to (you) scoring a hundred and taking the honours as well (in the second Test).”
Despite the achievement, Iyer is not a sure-shot selection for the second Test, given that Virat Kohli will return as skipper in Mumbai.
England beat Germany after extra time to win UEFA women’s Euro
England beat Germany 2-1 after extra time in a packed Wembley Stadium in London, bringing home the trophy of the UEFA women’s Euro for the first time.
Germany suffered a heavy blow minutes ahead of the final on Sunday evening as their captain Alex Popp had to pull out after picking up an injury during the warm-up.
The 31-year-old forward had scored in all five previous matches in this tournament and scored twice in Germany’s 2-1 win against France in Wednesday’s semifinal, reports Xinhua. England, reaching the Euro’s final for the third time, couldn’t break the deadlock until Ella Toone came off the bench to score the opener in the 62nd minute.
But midfielder Lina Magull helped Germany equalise in the 79th minute.
The 1-1 scoreline was held until the 110th minute while substitute Chloe Kelly prodded in her first goal for the England team.
“What we’ve done is incredible. I knew we had England behind us- we saw that coming to the stadium,” said England head coach Sarina Wiegman in front of 87,192 fans in Wembley.
“But the whole tournament we’ve had so much support from our fans. I’m so proud of the team.”
The 52-year-old Dutchwoman, who also guided the Netherlands to win the women’s Euro trophy in 2017, is the first coach to lead two different teams to the title.
Pakistan Cricket Board wants ICC to form strategy on growth of franchise T20 leagues
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Saturday that it has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to form a strategy on controlling the growth of lucrative franchise T20 leagues with rising concerns about its impact on the international cricket calendar.
Earlier this week, South Africa pulled out of a three-match bilateral ODI against Australia in January as it clashes with their new domestic T20 competition, the third time they will be attempting to have a successful franchise T20 League.
The next cycle of the Future Tours Programme (FTP), for 2024-31, which shows the schedule of teams playing bilateral series against each other and at what venues, is set to be confirmed in the upcoming week during the annual conference of the ICC at Birmingham.
“Growth of franchise cricket is impacting the already crammed international cricket calendar. The PCB is concerned about this development and wants the ICC to formulate a strategy on this issue,” said PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain in a statement.
“We have sent a proposal to the ICC, which they have added to their meeting agenda. Two other boards have also conveyed their apprehensions to the ICC on this matter and urged the ICC to create a working group to debate on the expansion of franchise-based T20 leagues,” added Hasnain.
Talking about the confirmation of the FTP, in the context of Pakistan recently starting to host international cricket at home, Hasnain remarked, “Finalising the Future Tours Programme (FTP) is very important for us.
“This will give us certainty about which teams will be visiting us and which countries we will be touring. 80 per cent of the FTP has already been agreed upon and the remaining 20 per cent will be completed in the upcoming meeting.”
The upcoming ICC Annual Conference in Birmingham also marks the first time the meeting will happen after a Covid-19 pandemic caused a stoppage. “The annual conference presents a unique opportunity for networking with representatives of the world cricket.
“We are planning several initiatives that involve fellow members and meetings have already been set up on the sidelines with other boards to collectively enhance our common interest,” concluded Hasnain.
T20 World Cup could be a swansong for several Australian cricketers, indicates Finch
Australia white-ball skipper Aaron Finch has no doubt in his mind that he will be leading an “ageing side” in the ICC T20 World Cup at home later this year, and indicated that the tournament could be a swansong for several cricketers, especially batters.
As Australia prepare to defend the title they won in the UAE in 2021, Finch added that lifting the trophy in front of a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground in November would be a dream come true for him.
“It might be a full stop on everything (several players retiring from T20Is, including him) if it goes to plan like that. Fairy tales can happen in sport,” Finch, 35, was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au during the 100-day countdown celebration to the mega event on Friday.
While Finch has indicated that this could be the last T20 World Cup for him, it could also be opener David Warner and wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade’s last mega T20 event, given that both are in their mid-30s.
Wade has already said the 2022 T20 World Cup will be his international swansong, while Warner has also indicated that he might retire from T20Is to prolong his Test and ODI career. Finch will also probably turn his attention to the 50-over World Cup in India in 2023 to finally call it a day from international cricket.
Asked about his white-ball future post the T20 World Cup, Finch said, “Good question… It obviously shifts to a 50-over World Cup focus… after the (T20) World Cup, so I don’t think there’s too many T20 games in the next 12 months (after the World Cup) anyway. So I don’t know.
“I think just naturally when guys get to their mid-30s, it’s going to be that way. Davey (Warner) just keeps going; he could play for another 10 years, I think, with how fit he is and how much he loves the competition and continuing to challenge himself.
“(Matthew) Wadey has gone through a few phases (and) he’s now become so important to the structure of our team, batting at seven there and being so dynamic. But it’s an ageing side, isn’t it? Especially in that batting group,” said Finch.
Finch added that the World Cup in Australia would be “incredibly tough” after what he saw in the UAE last year where South Africa, in spite of winning four out of their five games, missed out on net run rate.
“Iit’s going to be an incredibly tough competition. We saw how brutal the format is with South Africa winning four out of their five games at the last World Cup and still not qualifying on net run rate. It’s just so brutal that you do need a bit of luck along the way. So let’s see.”
Suspicious speed-boat found in Raigad, ATS to probe
Dahi-Handi politics: BJP pokes Shiv Sena in Aditya Thackeray’s bastion
LIC Mutual Fund’s large & mid cap funds offer 12.49% CAGR since inception
Shiv Sena MP wants Centre to bring back Netaji’s remains
India logs 12,608 new Covid cases, 72 deaths
Sufi conference in J&K’s Bandipora hosts a sizeable gathering
Balasaheb Thackeray’s grandson Nihar joins Eknath Shinde group
Gold, cash worth Rs 390 cr seized in week-long I-T raid in Maharashtra’s Jalna
Health Ministry notifies new specified warnings for tobacco products
Bank of Baroda to raise Rs 1,000 cr via infrastructure & affordable housing bonds
Crime2 years ago
Class 10 student shoots dead classmate in Uttar Pradesh school
Maharashtra1 year ago
Mumbai Mayor hits the streets, orders people to wear masks
Crime4 months ago
‘You must stop this’, SC expresses concern on hate speeches made at Dharam Sansads
Maharashtra12 months ago
Corona third wave knocked in Maharashtra!
National News11 months ago
IAF aircraft carrying Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari lands at NH in Rajasthan
Entertainment1 year ago
Targeted in Sandalwood drugs case for being a woman: Actress Ragini Dwivedi
Bollywood3 months ago
Anushka Sharma starts shooting for her ‘Chakda Xpress’
Business1 month ago
IT department finds pharma group gave freebies worth Rs 1000 cr to health professionals