New Delhi: Nearly half the Indian cricket team has been left in the lurch without a bat advertiser, as the world's largest sportswear firm Nike has pulled out of sponsorship for them. It has been learnt that the Oregon-based sportswear firm has not renewed contracts with Indian cricketers such as Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Most of its other bat assets — including Manish Pandey, Axar Patel and Umesh Yadav — were seen using plain bats during the ODI series against New Zealand. The bat of Kedar Jadhav, another Nike protege, was sporting the manufacturer's label. Sponsoring cricket bats is an expensive marketing exercise in India. Companies cough up Rs 7-10 crore per year to put their logos on willows of top players, such as Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. And, Nike India has been struggling with losses that have accumulated to over Rs 500 crore in 2014-15. A Nike India spokesperson did not reply to an e-mailed questionnaire sent by TOI, while sources in the cricket equipment manufacturing fraternity said it has been around two years since any of the top bat makers in Meerut have got orders from Nike for new bats. While Nike remains one of the biggest spenders in cricket, paying around Rs 60 crore a year to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to sponsor the Indian cricket team's official kit, it has shut around 30% of its stores in the country to cut cost.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India on Friday froze all of BCCI’s financial transactions. The Supreme Court said that no money is to be provided by the BCCI to the state associations, even for match purposes, unless the Cricket Board decides to agree on implementing the Lodha reforms. The Supreme Court decided to freeze all transactions between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and all the state boards across the country. The Apex Court also asked the Lodha panel to appoint an independent auditor to verify the BCCI’s accounts. It has also directed to limit the amount of any financial transaction by the BCCI. The Supreme Court asked BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary to comply with the decision and file an affidavit within a period of 2 weeks regarding the implementation of the Lodha panel. Representing the BCCI, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal in the Supreme Court, had previously alleged the panel lead by Justice RM Lodha of trying to control and run the cricketing board. Sibal also said that there had been issues on one state-one vote policy and were also against taking away the votes from the founder clubs. The senior lawyer has also complained that the Lodha panel, in an attempt to run the cricketing body had issued order beyond the purview of the apex court’s judgement. Countering BCCI, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium said that by breaching the implementation of Lodha panel’s recommendations, the cricketing board has made itself liable of civil and criminal contempt action.
Dubai: Despite a fighting hundred by Darren Bravo, Pakistan pulled off a tension-packed 56-run victory against West Indies in the first day-night Test here on Monday. Bravo kept Pakistan's victory bid on hold during his resistance-filled 410-minute long 116 and it needed leg-spinner Yasir Shah to make a stunning two-handed catch to end his innings. West Indies were finally bowled for 289 with just 12 over left in the match. Bravo lingered on his haunches at the crease for a minute before trudging back to the pavilion, disappointed at his dismissal after bringing so close a draw or an upset win. Bravo's eighth Test hundred spiced with ten boundaries and a six had brought West Indies within 83 runs of victory and 27 overs to bat for a draw after they were set a daunting 346 runs to win. Left-armer Mohammad Nawaz trapped Devendra Bishoo while Miguel Cummins and last man Shannon Gabriel were run out to spark a celebration amongst Pakistan players. Paceman Mohammad Amir finished with 3-63 and Shah took 2-113. The match was a good advertisement for Test cricket as it had a triple hundred (302 not out) by Azhar Ali, 8-49 by leg-spinner Bishoo and two fighting knocks by Bravo. This was Test cricket's second ever day-night Test played with a pink ball after Australia and New Zealand featured in the first at Adelaide in November last year. The win is more memorable for Pakistan as the match marked their 400th Test since they began the five-day format in 1952. Bravo first added 77 for the fifth wicket with Roston Chase (35) and then another 69 for the seventh with skipper Jason Holder who made 40 not out. Pakistan had taken the second new ball with West Indies 224-6 and Bravo needing four for hundred. Bravo smashed an uppish drive off Amir's first ball to backward point boundary to complete his magnificent hundred after 329-minutes of defiance. Bravo and Holder took the West Indies within 100 of victory in 41 overs after they reached dinner at 232-6. Chase, famous for his 137 not out at Jamaica which helped West Indies draw a Test against India in July this year, gave full support to Bravo as the duo frustrated Pakistan. Pakistan's hopes rested on Shah who was not at his best despite the good turn on offer. He finally got his first wicket when he bowled Chase from across his feet. Paceman Wahab Riaz then dismissed Shane Dowrich for nought to leave West Indies at 194-6. West Indies had resumed at 95-2 and were instantly in trouble when Amir had Samuels caught behind for four with the first ball of the day. Jermaine Blackwood (15) helped Bravo take the total to 116 when left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz trapped him leg-before, a decision Pakistan only got on referral. Pakistan did not get what was expected from Shah in the first session as he bowled faster rather than giving flight to the ball. The remaining two Tests will be played in Abu Dhabi (October 21-25) and Sharjah (October 30-November 3).
Indore: Ravichandran Ashwin claimed six New Zealand wickets in the first innings of the 3rd Test here on Monday giving yet another example of why he is rated as the best off-spinner in the world currently. By the time the third day ended, Ashwin had completed his 20th five-wicket haul to finish with 6/81 as New Zealand crumbled to 299 all-out, handing India a big 258-run first innings lead. When the stumps were drawn, India had added 18/0, extending their lead to 276 runs although they lost opener Gautam Gambhir who retired after injuring his right shoulder. Ashwin extended Ross Taylor's (0) wretched run of the tour. Playing for the turn, he ended up playing inside the line to edge a catch towards the first slip. Much was expected from Martin Guptill and he was delivering but was unlucky to be run out backing up after BJ Watling's straight drive deflected towards the stumps at the non-strikers end as Ashwin just about managed to get his fingers onto the ball. He scored 72. Luke Ronchi edged was also caught by Rahane at first slip off Ashwin for a duck. From 118/0, the Kiwi ship had sunk to 148/5. James Neesham and Watling attempted a resurrection and succeeded in pushing the score past 200 runs but then Ravindra Jadeja got into the act, ending the latter's 48-ball resistance. Neesham though went on to complete his fourth Test fifty but was a victim of a dubious lbw decision that ended his fluent 71-run knock which gave Ashwin his another five-wicket haul in Tests. And then he polished off the tail with the run out of Patel, in a similar manner to Guptill's and finally added the sixth with the scalp of Trent Boult with India deciding against enforcing the follow-on. Brief scores: India 18/0 and 557/5d lead New Zealand 299 (Guptill 72, Neehsam 71; Ashwin 6/81) by 276 runs.
Indore: India took strong hold of the third Test here against New Zealand after declaring their first innings at 557/5. India captain Virat Kohli scored a double century, his second in Tests and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane scored 188 runs to help India reach the massive total in the first innings. Kohli became the first India captain to score two double centuries in Test cricket. The two batsmen shared a 365-run stand for the fourth wicket, which is the fifth highest for any wicket for India. Kohli was finally dismissed when Jeetan Patel trapped him in front of the wickets for 211. Rahane was caught behind off Boult. Rohit Sharma scored his fifth half-century of the series before Kohli decided to declare. New Zealand survived the nine overs and were 28/0 at stumps.
Kolkata: New Zealand batting imploded in the final one hour of play on the fourth day of the second Test against India at Eden Gardens here to give India a comfortable 178-run win and in turn an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three Test series. The spin of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin, in combination with the reverse swing of Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took out the last six New Zealand wickets for a meager 56 runs. The win is India's ninth series win over New Zealand on home soil and it puts India back on top as the No. 1 ICC Test team. The only fight shown was by Tom Latham (74), and once he went, it was just a matter of time before India winded things up. With this victory, India have reclaimed the No 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings. Points gained from victories in the Kanpur and Kolkata Tests saw Virat Kohli's team move past Pakistan and back to the top spot, which it had briefly held onto in August. India will hold onto the numero uno spot when the ICC announces its updated ratings, irrespective of how the Indore Test pans out. India had moved back to No 1 during the Test matches in the West Indies, but slipped down to second following the conclusion of the drawn Pakistan v England series. Going into the India v New Zealand series, Kohli's team was one point behind Pakistan. By beating New Zealand in their 500th Test match, India moved to Kolkata needing to win to reclaim the top spot in the ICC rankings. Pakistan are now at second place, followed by Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Over the next month, each Test team is involved in a series. Pakistan host West Indies for three Tests in the UAE starting October 13; England play two matches in Bangladesh this month; Sri Lanka play two in Zimbabwe, also in October; and the three-Test Australia v South Africa series starts November 7. After New Zealand leave, England arrive in India for a series featuring five Test matches starting November 9. The third India v New Zealand Test match starts on Friday in Indore. Brief scores: India (316 and 263) beat New Zealand (204 and 197) by 178 runs.
Kanpur: A six wicket haul by R Ashwin propelled India to a massive win in its 500th Test on Monday, giving the host team a 1-0 leg up in the three Test series against New Zealand. New Zealand had six wickets in hand when they started out on the final day of the test, needing 341 runs to close the deal. After reducing the Kiwis to 205-7 at lunch, India claimed the three remaining wickets to clinch the opening Test on the fifth day here. Ravindra Jadeja is the Man of the Match, while Ashwin bagged a total of 10 wickets in both innings, becoming the fastest Indian to scalp 200 wickets. Earlier, paceman Mohammed Shami struck twice after Luke Ronchi gifted away his wicket, reducing New Zealand to 205 for seven at lunch on the fifth day, on Monday. Overnight Kiwi batsmen Ronchi (80) and Mitchell Santner (71) frustrated the Indian bowlers for about 20 overs, adding 65 runs to their overnight total of 93-4 before India struck thrice to position themselves for a massive win in their 500th cricket Test. It was Ronchi, who handed India the opening when he went for a sweep slog against Jadeja and handed a top-edge to Aswhin. The mistake ended his 102-run stand with Santner, who scored his maiden Test fifty. Santner remained solid from one end and defied the Indian bowlers for the next 10 overs with BJ Watling. Together they were involved in a 36-run stand, which was broken by Shami when he trapped the wicket-keeper batsman. In his next over, Shami breached the defence of Mark Craig, who has been ruled out of the series due to a side strain. The two wickets in successive overs, pegged New Zealand back.
Kanpur: In his short Test career, Ravichandran Ashwin has impressed one and all with both bat and ball. On Sunday, the off-spinner achieved yet another milestone when he dismissed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson for his 200th Test wicket - the second fastest ever and the quickest Indian to do so. Ashwin is the second fastest in the world behind Australian Clarrie Grimmett (36 matches). Chasing a daunting 434 to win the first Test that's underway in Kanpur on Day 4, Ashwin got rid of both the New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham in one over. And then just when it looked the visitors were on the road to recovery, the 30-year-old gave them a body blow, trapping their talismanic skipper Williamson for 25 which left them reeling at 43/3. Ashwin is the ninth Indian bowler to record 200 in Tests and also the ninth highest wicket-taker for the country in a list led by current coach Anil Kumble (619). New Zealand were 93/4 at stumps in their second innings on day four after India declared their second innings at 377 for five. New Zealand need another 341 runs with six wickets remaining.
Kanpur: The spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin exploited a turning track to the fullest to bundle out New Zealand for 262 as India took firm control of the first cricket Test by extending their overall lead to 215 here on Saturday. Jadeja (5/73) dismissed three batsmen in one over for a five-wicket haul while R Ashwin (4/93) grabbed four wickets as the Indians spun out New Zealand early into the second session. At draw of stumps, India were 159/1 in their second innings which gave them an overall lead of 215. India lost KL Rahul (38) before Murali Vijay (64) and Cheteshwar Pujara (50) scored briskly to put the hosts in command. New Zealand had started the day at a strong 152 for one but lost four wickets in the morning session. Their last five batsmen were dismissed for just 24 runs in the second session as Indian spinners ruled the roost. While the Kiwis struggled to negotiate spin on a deteriorating track, the Indians were hardly troubled in their second innings with Pujara and Vijay going for their shots. The Kiwi bowlers toiled without success post tea as Vijay and Pujara raised an unbeaten 107-run stand for the second wicket, scoring all these runs in the last session.
Galle: Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera bagged six wickets to fashion Sri Lanka's historic series win over Australia on Saturday as the world number one side suffered a humiliating 229-run loss inside three days in the second Test in Galle. Australia, chasing a challenging 413 for victory, were bundled out for 183 after lunch as Sri Lanka, who won their last series against the visitors in 1999, took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber. Veteran spinner Rangana Herath set up the win for the hosts with his maiden Test hat-trick which helped dismiss Australia for a record low of 106 in their first innings. Australia faltered in their second outing as well after Perera, who registered his career-best figures of 6-70, sent the visitors packing in just 50.1 overs as the Sri Lankan players went into a celebratory huddle. Overnight batsmen David Warner and skipper Steven Smith offered some resistance with their 51-run fourth wicket partnership but both of them fell to Perera's guile. Warner, who tried to counter attack during his 31-ball 41, was trapped lbw off a straighter Perera delivery that hit the batsman on the front pad. Smith (30), who used his feet well against the spinners during his 58-ball stay, was the next to go as he gave away a catch at backward short leg. Perera, who also took two wickets on Friday, then bowled Adam Voges for 28 to register his fourth five-wicket haul in 11 Test matches. But it was Herath's left-arm spin that did the early damage in a match dominated by Sri Lankan slow bowlers. Herath and Perera shared four wickets between them on a chaotic second day which saw the fall of 21 wickets and put the match on the fast track. Australia's pace spearhead Mitchell Starc though made his presence felt on a track that offered little help to the fast bowlers with his career-best match figures of 11-94. Sri Lanka won the first Test at Pallekele by 106 runs.