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Harmony between BCCI, NADA essential for Indian cricket’s development

Makarand Waingankar

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The National Anti-Doping Agency have succeeded in bringing the BCCI under its ambit.

Mumbai: For the past one week a lot have been written on Prithvi Shaw’s back-dated eight-month ban for doping.

The poor kid ought to have known or asked before consuming cough syrup, which had terbutaline, a banned substance under BCCI’s anti-doping regulations.

Before passing a judgement on Shaw, please take due notice that he is only 19. And he is not the first nor going to be the last to consume cough syrup to get instant relief.

The education level of sportspersons is so low that they commit these ridiculous errors. But Shaw’s curious case begs certain questions to be asked.

The incident apparently occurred on February 21 in Indore where Mumbai were camped for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

He went to the physio and complained of cough and cold. The physio had apparently advised Shaw to take rest, rather than taking him to a doctor.

Physios are not trained to prescribe medicines and in Shaw’s case didn’t carry out his primary duty of reporting the India player’s discomfort to a doctor.

His mistake was he first of a series of events culminating to Shaw’s retrospective ban.

Had the physio informed the manager, he would have been mentioned it in his report, preventing all hue and cry over the whole issue.

BCCI’s anti-doping official Dr. Abhijit Salve told me that physios of BCCI’s member associations routinely calls him up to inquire about medicines which are safe for prescription to players.

The list of prohibited substances gets updated routinely. Hence even a lot of doctors are sometimes caught on the wrong foot while prescribing medicines to players.

Maria Sharapova’s 15-month doping ban is a classic example of oversight, failing to report intake of meldonium, an anti-ischemic drug usually prescribed for heart conditions that was added to the prohibited list on January 1, 2016. The Russian tennis star failed a drugs test during the Australian Open, which was held from January 18-31.

Had the physio taken the little trouble of consulting Dr Salve, all of this could have been avoided.

The BCCI have conducted around 2,500 tests in the past 7-8 years. During that period only six have tested positive for banned substances.

If compared with all other sports in India, stats show that the BCCI has done a commendable job.

Unlike the BCCI, other sports federations doesn’t have a robust system in place to tackle the menace. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has expressed satisfaction at the way BCCI has handled its affairs.

But yet the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) have succeeded in bringing the BCCI under its ambit, a move borne out of greed and power, according to former hockey Olympian Dr Vece Paes, BCCI’s first anti-doping consultant and Salvi’s predecessor.

The Shaw episode forced BCCI to come under the ambit of NADA, having vehemently resisted the move earlier.

It is still unclear if the COA, the Supreme Court-appointed committee running Indian cricket, were consulted before this NADA issue.

Now that NADA has taken over all anti-doping activities in cricket, how will they go about it?

The BCCI raised issues of the quality of the dope testing kits, competence of pathologists, sample collection and the ‘Whereabouts Clause’ with regards to Out of Competition Testing, regarded as invasion of privacy and potential threat to security by top India cricketers.

Kit and pathologists are essential in doping cases. It would be very hectic for NADA as the Indian cricketers are accustomed to living a life out of their suitcases. No other sports team travel nowhere close to the cricketers.

Unless the BCCI forces its states units to appoint medicine doctors for teams, it would be difficult to drive out the menace completely in junior cricket or domestic cricket. A more robust education programme is required to tackle the issue head on at the primitive stage.

In case of Shaw, he went by the book in communicating his discomfort to the Mumbai team physio, who erred in taking matters in his own hands.

Prithvi Shaw’s doping issue should be a case study for budding Indian cricketers.

The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) has undertaken an extensive programme of educating the parents of budding talents. Unless the parents are aware of how serious the issue is, how could we expect a teenager to know?

In India, as far as doping in India is concerned, education is at a discount. It has to go deep down, from state to district to the club level.

The concept of doping is not amply clear in Indian sports. It is not diet measurement as many believe.

Shaw’s case is a perfect case study for players, parents as well as teams. The BCCI should ensure that all state associations publish notices regarding banned substances in regional languages.

Unless that is achieved it would always be NADA vs BCCI, which would always be an uphill battle for the Board.

The players would suffer because of it and many budding talent would lose precious development time. Once any dope convict is free to play again, he would have to start from scratch.

The BCCI and NADA should work towards maintaining a harmonious existence and work in a matured way to lift the game of cricket to greater heights.

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Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja among 19 sportspersons nominated for Arjuna Award

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Jadeja has played 156 ODIs, 42 T20Is and 41 Tests for India

New Delhi: Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja has been nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award by the award selection committee on Saturday. The list includes 19 other sportspersons like Poonam Yadav, track and field stars Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, Mohammed Anas and Swapna Barman, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, hockey player Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and shooter Anjum Moudgil.

Earlier, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had recommended fast bowlers Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and women’s team leg-spinner Poonam Yadav for the Arjuna Award. Ravindra Jadeja showcased a spectacular show with a 59-ball 79 innings against New Zealand in the semi-final during World Cup 2019.

The Arjuna Awards are given to honour excellence in sports by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India. In 2018, Indian woman cricketer Smriti Mandhana was the only cricketer to receive the prestigious award.

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Russel Domingo appointed Bangladesh cricket team head coach

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Russel Domingo has coached South Africa national team from 2013 to 2017.

New Delhi: Russell Domingo has been appointed Bangladesh cricket team head coach on Saturday.

The 44-year-old South African has agreed on a two-year term with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and is expected to arrive in Dhaka on 21 August to take charge of the national team.

Announcing the appointment  BCB president Nazmul Hassan, said, Domingo’s vision for Bangladesh made him the ideal candidate for the role, “He has a wealth of experience and we have been very impressed with his passion and coaching philosophy. He has a clear idea of what is required to take the team forward.”

Domingo said he was eagerly looking ahead to his new challenge, “It is a massive honour to be appointed the Head Coach of the Bangladesh National Cricket Team. I have followed Bangladesh’s progress with keen interest and I am extremely excited to assist the team in reaching the goals that they are capable of.

“I look forward to continuing the ongoing development of current players whilst also looking towards the future and developing some new bright stars from within the talent pool of Bangladesh cricket,” he added.

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Ashes: Rain truncates play as England reduce Australia to 80/4 on Day 3

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Play abandoned due to the weather, Australia will resume today on 80/4

New Delhi: Not a single ball could be bowled after lunch as England made the most of the seam-friendly conditions to dent Australia’s top-order and leave them stuttering at 80/4 before showers forced a break to be taken early on Day 3 of the rain-affected second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Friday.

It rained heavily post-lunch as played seemed unlikely as time progressed. It was called off after a final inspection at 5:20 p.m. local time with two days left for a result to the game.

The Aussies won the first rubber by a handsome margin. Steve Smith, whose twin tons helped the Aussies script the memorable 251-run victory in the first rubber at Edgbaston, remained at the crease on 13 off 40 balls (2×4) as other batsmen fell around him.

For England, pace spearhead Stuart Broad picked up two wickets with debutant Jofra Archer and in-form Chris Woakes scalping one each. England rode Rory Burns and Jonny Bairstow’s fifties on Day 2 to post 258 after the first day’s play was washed out.

Resuming from overnight score of 30/1, the tourists lost Cameron Bancroft (13) who was trapped in front by Archer. Bancroft reviewed the decision but replays showed the ball nipping back nicely off the seam and hitting the pads in line.

Archer celebrated his first Test wicket to rousing applause from the packed crowd as Smith walked in to bat.

Usman Khawaja looked good for his 36 from 56 deliveries, before Woakes found his outside edge with a good length delivery outside off stump. Khawaja pushed at the ball to give Bairstow a regulation catch behind the stumps.

Travis Head (7) could not dig in for long as he was out plumb in front to Broad who was first turned down by umpire Aleem Dar with a review showing the ball hitting the middle stump with no inside edge.

At 71/4, the Aussies were in all sorts of trouble but Smith looked in a league of his own, once again trying to save his side from a collapse. Matthew Wade joined him at the other end and defended 19 balls without scoring when lunch was taken as it started drizzling.

Brief scores: 1st innings: England 258 all out (Rory Burns 53, Jonny Bairstow 52; Josh Hazlewood 3/58, Pat Cummins 3/61, Nathan Lyon 3/68) Australia 80/4 (Usman Khawaja 36, Steve Smith 13 batting; Stuart Broad 2/26) at lunch.

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