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No word from Dhoni on retirement, says Kohli

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MS Dhoni's run out proved to be a turning point in the match.

Manchester: Questions surrounding whether M.S. Dhoni will retire refuse to die. And it was no different on Wednesday after India lost to New Zealand in the semifinal of the World Cup to crash out of the showpiece event.

When skipper Virat Kohli was addressing the media after the match, he was asked if the team had any information on Dhoni’s future plans or if the former India skipper had communicated anything to the team. Kohli kept it short and sweet. “No, he hasn’t,” he said.

Asked why Dhoni came in after Hardik Pandya, rather than stepping up to the challenge after India lost four top order batsmen inside 10 overs, Kohli said: “Well, he’s been given that role after the first few games of being in a situation where he can, if the situation’s bad, control one end like he did today or if there is a scenario where there are six or seven overs left and he can go and strike.”

While questions regarding Dhoni’s strike rate has dominated headlines, Kohli said that on Wednesday he was required to hold an end up as Ravindra Jadeja was playing really well and someone needed to hold fort at the other end.

“Look, it’s always a safer option to look at it from outside and say, ‘maybe this could have happened,’ but I think today he was batting with Jadeja and there was only Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) to follow. So he had to hold one end together in my opinion, because Jadeja was playing so well.

“You needed a solid partnership and to get a 100-run partnership from that situation, I think it had to be the right balance of one guy holding an end and Jadeja playing the way he did, his knock was outstanding.

“So as I said, when you don’t win in hindsight, a lot of things can reflect in different manners. But you have to understand how the game panned out and till what stage did the game go. And you would obviously expect New Zealand to fight back at some stage because the target was steep after losing five or six wickets. But the way they batted together, I think it was the perfect tempo for that situation,” he pointed out.

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Sourav Ganguly set to take over as 39th BCCI president, end 33-month COA reign

Press Trust of India

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Sourav Ganguly

Mumbai: One of India’s most decorated captains Sourav Ganguly will be taking over as the 39th president of the BCCI on Wednesday at its AGM, ending a tumultuous 33-month reign of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators.

Ganguly is the unanimous nomination for the post of BCCI president along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay as the secretary. Mahim Verma of Uttarakhand is the new vice-president.

Former BCCI president and current MoS finance Anurag Thakur’s younger brother Arun Dhumal is the treasurer while Kerala’s Jayesh George is the joint secretary.

However Ganguly will have a curtailed tenure of around nine months as he would need to demit office by the end of July, next year as per the provisions of new constitutions, which makes ‘Cooling Off’ period mandatory after six years in office.

Easily one of the most high profile names to assume office, Ganguly will make use of his experience gained as the secretary and later president of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), which will come in handy.

He has set a few goals — primary being restructuring of first-class cricket as well as getting the administration back in shape along with getting India’s position of reverence back in the corridors of International Cricket Council.

With Conflict of Interest rules being an impediment, Ganguly will also face the challenge of having quality cricketers on board as far as the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) and national selection committee are concerned.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to do something good,” the former India captain, who will have to demit office in July, due to compulsory cooling off period, had said last week.

The 10-month is a short period and it also needs to be seen how the former India captain handles the disqualified old guards like N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah, whose children are now officially part of the BCCI.

Ganguly’s relation with IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, a Srinivasan loyalist will also be of interest.

Last but certainly not the least, his take on cricketing policies — Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s international future, Day/Night Test cricket, permanent Test centres will also be dissected.

For CoA, it was an eventful 33-month tenure that comes to an end.

CoA chief Vinod Rai informed the process that will be followed during the AGM.

“First the accounts will be passed for the past three years. Then the electoral officer will announce the election results as everyone is unopposed.

“Today we discussed some of the winding up issues and some minutes of the meetings were to be approved. We finalised tomorrow’s schedule in consideration with Sourav,” Rai told reporters after speaking to Ganguly.

Rai said that he was happy with the Supreme Court order on the day.

“Everything that the Supreme Court has done (orders), I have been very happy with it. We had asked for the directions as we could not have resigned. Since the Supreme Court appointed us, we had to be discharged from our duty from the court.

“Every decision was court mandated. We haven’t changed the constitution. Whatever was given to us, we have worked in that [framework].”

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South African cricket weakened by Kolpak, Brexit could improve situation: Du Plessis

Press Trust of India

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Team SA
Faf Du Plessis.

Ranchi: South African skipper Faf du Plessis on Tuesday rued loss of their players to county cricket under the Kolpak deal and hoped the situation would favour the Proteas post Brexit.

In the aftermath of the 0-3 series loss to India, Du Plessis pointed out that they were missing out on their best players due to the Kolpak deal.

“It’s sad for South African cricket not to have the option of their best players. Simon Harmer has had an unbelievable season. And it would be great for South Africa to be in a position where they could go, ‘He’s done well overseas. Let’s bring him on tour with us’,” Du Plessis said of the off-spinner who has done well for the Essex in the past two years.

“You are missing out on all your best players and your talent pool is all of a sudden a lot smaller. So that’s something that we’ve tried to identify to stop. But it’s been very difficult to stop.”

Harmer is one among the 60-odd players from countries around the world to have taken advantage of the European Union residency rules so that they could join county teams without being considered “overseas players” as per Kolpak accord.

But Kolpak deal also prevents them to represent their respective countries, leaving Cricket South Africa without the services of Harmer alongside pacers Duanne Olivier and Kyle Abbott who also opted to play in England.

In fact, recently retired South Africa great Hashim Amla is also set to sign for English county club Surrey with a Kolpak registration and Du Plessis saw it as a loss-loss scenario. Pacer Morne Morkel, who retired last year, is also playing county cricket.

“Even the guys going there post international cricket, like Hashim Amla, those guys, they won’t be playing domestic cricket back home. So you lose all of that experience, which would have helped the young guys so much.

“Playing with Hashim Amla is the greatest learning curve that you can get. Playing with Dale Steyn, playing with AB de Villiers, all those guys… so it’s about making sure that you can bridge that gap and finding ways to do it.”

“So that’s the situation where we need to get to. Because at the moment we don’t get the option of all the best players, you know. So that will always be a concern for us.”

“Obviously, from a financial point of view, the Pound is stronger than the Rand… But the lesser of those things that there are for players to go overseas, obviously, that that will be much beneficial for cricket in South Africa, because at the moment, we’re losing our experience in international cricket.”

But the no-deal Brexit could mean “Kolpak” cricketers are gone from the English county circuit by 2021, according to updated guidance from the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Post-Brexit, the Kolpak deals would likely to cease at the end of the 2020 season as the ECB has issued an email to the 18 first-class counties noting a series of potential implications.

“So maybe, post-Brexit, guys will still go and play there, but you can still pick them for your country. Brexit will be one thing that will stop obviously the Kolpak players. So yes that would benefit SA cricket tremendous amounts,” du Plessis said.

The skipper however still believed that the counties may still find a loophole around by saying they have another overseas player.

“It will still mean that players will go and play there and will just be under a different name tag. Because opportunities are there for players in the domestic circuit in England,” he feared.

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Edulji reflects on CoA tenure, differences with Vinod Rai

Press Trust of India

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Edulji and; Vinod Rai

Mumbai: COA member Diana Edulji on Tuesday said there were serious differences within the Vinod Rai-led panel like there would be in a democratic organisation but there was nothing personal in any of their public showdowns.

COA, which ran Indian cricket for 33 months, will demit office on Wednesday with former India captain Sourav Ganguly taking over as the BCCI president.

“It was a good experience and a long journey, didn’t think that the journey would last so song, but I am happy with the end result that elections and office-bearers are coming back and BCCI will be run by them now,” Edulji, a former India captain, told reporters here after the final COA meeting.

Edulji and former CAG Rai often disagreed publicly on key issues, most notably over the appointment of national coaches, both men and women.

Edulji said she had no regrets.

“We have (had) our differences, and we have aired it also openly.. in any organisation that works. I have been always batted on the front foot but nothing personal, it was just (on) principals those stands were taken and that’s it.

“I have always called spade a spade and don’t hold back. It was a great learning experience handling BCCI and I hope I can do something more after I finish my cooling period,” she said..

She said that Ganguly becoming president is a welcome development

“It is good that a player (has become a president), he knows in and out what requires, when he was a player what he expected from BCCI, and now when he is sitting on that seat (what is needed). I wish him all the best.”

COA was put in place to oversee the running of the Board and implement Lodha reforms but was often accused of going beyond its brief.

Asked whether she was happy with the current state of the BCCI, Edulji said: “I would not want to run down the people before, I wouldn’t say that we have done a better job than them. Whatever role we had, we tried to complete our duties, let’s hope it goes forward and they will take in right spirit whatever we have done and move on life has to move on.”

She stressed on the importance of looking after first class players, something Ganguly has already spoken in favour of.

Lt (Gen) Retd Ravi Thodge, who was part of the COA for the past nine months, said it was a great learning experience for him.

“It’s been a great learning process, coming into the administration of cricket. We learnt a lot and I think we contributed to the best of our ability.”

All COA members will be paid Rs 10 lakh per month for the period of 2017, Rs 11 lakh and 12 lakh respectively for 2018 and 2019 respectively.

“The amount was finalised after discussions with Amicus Curiae PS Narsimha,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.

While Edulji and Rai are expected to be richer by Rs 3.5 crore each, Vikram Limaye, Ramachandra Guha and Ravi Thodge will be paid on pro-rata basis as per their tenure.

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