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“Players Get Scared”: Pakistan Great’s Confession Ahead Of India Clash In World Cup

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File photo of India vs Pakistan match.© AFP

The Pakistan cricket team is already in India, gearing up for the Cricket World Cup 2023. The mega event will kick off on October 5 with the final match set to be played on November 19. The Babar Azam-led side will be starting its Cricket World Cup campaign with a match against the Netherlands on October 6. Meanwhile, its much-awaited game against arch-rivals India will take place on October 14. Ahead of the crucial match against the number one ranked ODI team, Pakistan great Moin Khan has said that the players get scared while playing against India.

“I saw this 100%. The players looked scared, they were hesitant in even giving suggestions to Babar, whether it was Rizwan, Shadab or Shaheen. It was visible that the team wasn’t gelled up. There were no discussions, and even if there were suggestions those were not being followed. And even if Babar was following them, they weren’t working,” Moin told Cricket Pakistan while analysing the performance of Babar and the company at the Asia Cup 2023.

“Another thing is that against India players get scared. And those who really are scared that their suggestions won’t work… that’s fear. As a cricketer, you have to play on your potential and you should contribute 100%. It’s okay if your suggestions go wrong, it happens. But your body language shows whether you want to win, and that wasn’t visible. And I’m pretty sure there were some issues in the dressing room. And I know, in a professional environment, there are differences but you have to end them to perform better. You have to move on,” Moin added.

Kane Williamson showed his class in his first competitive outing in six months while Rachin Ravindra sizzled at the top of the order as New Zealand gunned down a 346-run target in their opening World Cup warm-up game against Pakistan in Hyderabad on Friday.

Barring the openers, Pakistan batters including Mohammad Rizwan (103 retired hurt off 91), Babar Azam (80 off 84), and Saud Shaukeel (75 off 53) had a good hit in the middle, helping their team post a daunting 345 for five in 50 overs.

Pakistan will take on Australia on October 3 in their second and final warm-up game.

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Mohammad Nabi Not Thinking About Retirement, Hopes To Play 2026 T20 World Cup

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Veteran Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi is not thinking about hanging up his international boots soon and hopes to continue playing for the country till the 2026 T20 World Cup, scheduled to be hosted jointly by India and Sri Lanka. Nabi, who is leading Dambulla Sixers in the ongoing Lanka Premier League (LPL), wants to prolong his international career in the T20Is. The 39-year-old has planned to take a call on his ODI future after the Champions Trophy, adding that he wants to bid adieu the international cricket following the next T20 World Cup.

“For how long do I want to continue my cricket? Still, my body is working and I am running fast. I am fielding in the boundary taking catches well and doing bowling well. Still, I am doing well and I am trying to keep myself (fit) for as long as possible,” Cricbuzz quoted Nabi as saying on Friday.

“Afghanistan team needs me as well at this stage but still may be Champions Trophy will be my last Champions Trophy in 50-over (format) and after that maybe one year and that’s it,” he said adding that he is keen to end his career with the next edition of ICC T20 World Cup.

“Hope so (about playing in the next T20 World Cup). If I am selected I will have to play,” he said.

Nabi, who has been regarded as one of the strong pillars of the Afghanistan cricket team since making his debut in 2009, acknowledged the fact of getting old and highlighted his commitment to staying fit by sticking to a clean diet.

“I am not young as I am 40 years old man. Still, I try my best to train hard and do my recovery as quickly as possible and it all depends on your food and how you eat. How you eat clean and good food as it makes you more fit,” said the veteran.

The 39-year-old added that franchise cricket exposure to Afghanistan players helped them a lot in the recent historic semi-final finish in the T20 World Cup.

“It gives us a lot of experience and also brings that experience to the national team and we share it with the youngsters. Afghanistan’s T20 performance (in the World Cup) was really good. We beat big teams in the tournament.

“Yeah, first time in the semifinal and the tough four and that was a great achievement in my cricket life and hopefully more to come. As a team, we played and performed in the World Cup and everyone contributed a lot in this World Cup,” he concluded.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Debutants Jaipur Patriots Draft Sreeja Akula As First pick Ahead Of UTT 2024

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The Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) franchises put their thinking caps on and found a way to pick the best possible squads for UTT 2024 at the Player Draft on Wednesday. The upcoming season of the league is scheduled to be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai from August 22 to September 7 and will feature eight teams for the first time and a total of 48 players, including 16 foreigners. Newcomers Jaipur Patriots, who got the first pick in Round 1, went for in-form India star and current World No. 25 Sreeja Akula, who recently became the first Indian to clinch a WTT Contender singles title.

Puneri Paltan Table Tennis, who chose not to retain a player, picked Ayhika Mukherjee to kick off proceedings. Ahmedabad SG Pipers, the other franchise to make their UTT debut, went for Manush Shah as their first choice and then bagged the services of women’s World No.10 Bernadette Szocs of Romania in the second round.

The franchise-based league is promoted by Niraj Bajaj and Vita Dani under the auspices of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI). “Today’s Player Draft is a testimony to the fact that some of the best players in the world now want to come and play in the UTT. We are very excited for UTT 2024. This is the first time we have eight teams, and we want to make this even bigger and better. We wish all the teams the best of luck for the upcoming season,” said UTT promoters Vita Dani and Niraj Bajaj.

A total of 48 players, including 16 foreigners, will be in action as teams finalised their six-member squads after the Player Draft.

“More or less, what we had discussed and strategised we got what we wanted. We wanted Sreeja and we got her in the first pick. We have a strong squad and we are confident that we can go all the way,” said Jaipur Patriots COO Imran Shaikh.

“SG Sports prides itself in getting a balanced team with excellent support staff, and we hope to create an environment of camaraderie and togetherness in the team. We’ve enjoyed success in other leagues and other sports with this same formula, so just looking to continue the same thing,” said Kartikeya Rao of Ahmedabad SG Pipers.

U Mumba TT went with the tried and tested formula by once again picking Nigerian star paddler and World No.19 Aruna Quadri. They also picked Asian Games bronze medallist Sutirtha Mukherjee. “Really glad about the way the draft went for us at U Mumba. There are no gaping holes in our squad. We were a bit worried about certain areas before the draft, but things worked out quite well and overall, I am very happy with the balance we have got,” said U Mumba CEO Suhail Chandhok.

PBG Bengaluru Smashers will have Alvaro Robles of Spain and Lily Zhang of the USA to support their retained star, Manika Batra.

“I am extremely happy with the squad we have got. Having retained Manika Batra, we have managed to pick the experienced duo of Alvaro Robles and Lily Zhang as foreign internationals, with Anthony Amalraj and Jeet Chandra as the perfect support cast for Indian men’s paddlers. Talented young paddler Taneesha Kotecha also comes as a great addition, and we are confident that this team will present a strong challenge,” said PBG Bengaluru Smashers owner Punit Balan.

Defending champions Goa Challengers, who had retained India star Harmeet Desai ahead of the draft, have a completely new look. They picked Yangzi Liu of Australia alongside young Indian paddlers Yashaswini Ghorpade and Sayali Wani. Mihai Bobocica of Italy, who had competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, will be their foreign men’s paddler.

“The drafting process is always very exciting, although we were a tad unlucky with pick number five during the drafting process. We had the same pick last year and we won the trophy. Hoping to replicate the same this year,” commented Vivek Bhargava, the owner of Goa Challengers.

Last edition’s runners-up Chennai Lions also went for a fresh look, with Japan’s Sakura Mori, Frenchman Jules Rolland, and local stars Poymantee Baisya, Mouma Das, and Abhinandh P.B. joining Indian table tennis legend Achanta Sharath Kamal, who was retained by the team. “We have a very mature team, some youngsters as well, but generally a very mature team. I’m quite happy with the picks that we’ve got considering the spot,” said G.S Ravi, owner of Chennai Lions.

Dabang Delhi will rely on Sathiyan G. along with Andreas Levenko of Austria. They also added young Indian paddlers Diya Chitale, Lakshita Narang, and Yashansh Malik to their squad.

“The draft was good for us. We anticipated we had an auction strategy in place, and for us, it has worked out well. The majority of the players that we had anticipated as part of the strategy we’ve got there,” said Durganath Wagle, CEO, Dabang Delhi TTC.

Squads:

Ahmedabad SG Pipers: Manush Shah, Bernadette Szocs (Romania), Lilian Bardet (France), Reeth Tennison, Pritha Vartikar, Jash Modi

Chennai Lions: Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sakura Mori (Japan), Jules Rolland (France), Poymantee Baisya, Mouma Das, Abhinandh PB

Dabang Delhi TTC: Sathiyan G, Orawan Paranang (Thailand), Diya Chitale, Andreas Levenko (Austria), Yashansh Malik, Lakshita Narang

Goa Challengers: Harmeet Desai, Yangzi Liu (Australia), Yashaswini Ghorpade, Sudhanshu Grover, Sayali Wani, Mihai Bobocica (Italy)

Jaipur Patriots: Sreeja Akula, Cho Seungmin (South Korea), Suthasini Sawettabut (Thailand), Snehit SFR, Ronit Bhanja, Moumita Dutta

PBG Bengaluru Smashers: Manika Batra, Alvaro Robles (Spain), Lily Zhang (USA), Jeet Chandra, Taneesha Kotecha, Amalraj Anthony

Puneri Paltan Table Tennis: Ayhika Mukherjee, Nina Mittelham (Germany), Joao Monteiro (Portugal), Ankur Bhattacharjee, Anirban Ghosh, Yashini Sivashankar

U Mumba TT: Manav Thakkar, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Aruna Quadri (Nigeria), Akash Pal, Kavyasree Baskar, Maria Xiao (Spain)

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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“2 Overpaid Guys Playing IPL Final”: Mitchell Starc Reveals Hilarious Chat With Pat Cummins

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After SRH paid Rs 20.5 crore for Pat Cummins, KKR splashed Rs 24.75 crore on Mitchell Starc.© BCCI




Records tumbled during the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction last year as the Rs 20 crore mark was breached not once, but twice. After SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) signed Australia captain Pat Cummins for Rs 20.5 crore, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) broke the record once again, splashing Rs 24.75 crore on Mitchell Starc. The bidding sequence received some mixed response from fans and experts. While some justified the price, there were some who were left wondering about whether the duo deserved such high a bid.

While Starc was pretty expensive during the group stage of IPL 2024, he came when it mattered the most, delivering match-winning performances in Qualifier 1 and the final.

Cummins, on the other hand, thrived on his leadership role at SRH, and was instrumental in taking his team to the final, where the 2016 champions lost to Starc’s KKR.

During a recent interaction, Starc has now admitted that both him and Cummins were a bit overpaid, and also revealed that the two had laugh about it. 

“Did Laugh. Pat & I got paid a fair bit. We played the first game & nine weeks later we play again in finals. Suddenly it goes from 2 overpaid guys to these 2 are playing the final,” Starc said on Willow Talk Cricket Podcast.

Recently, former Australia pacer Brett Lee ignored his compatriots while naming the best bowler across formats currently. He described India’s Jasprit Bumrah as the best bowler in the world.

“He is the best bowler in all formats right now and leads the attack. Bumrah can keep up an amazing pace while shaping the new ball away. His tournament performance demonstrated his leadership abilities, taking about 15 wickets with remarkable economy. He is absolutely exceptional, and India is deserving of praise for their accomplishments,” added the former Aussie pacer.

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