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  1. In what sadly turned out to be a one-sided affair, the Pakistani cricket team failed to negate Team India's challenge in the much-anticipated clash at Old Trafford at the ongoing ICC World Cup. Overshadowed in almost all facets of the game, Sarfaraz Ahmed's men extended their dismal run against India at the ICC event, following their 89-run loss (D/L) on 16th June. From being wayward in their bowling to paying dearly for their batting collapse, the Pakistani cricket team attracted a lot of criticism from their fans for failing to put up a fight against Virat Kohli's men. While some used Sarfaraz's infamous picture from the game - where he was seen yawning behind the stumps - to highlight their batting woes, others slammed the Pakistani cricketers for their poor fitness. The way he said "criticise the team but within the boundaries of respect" has won my respect. The guy has a true spirit and sportsmanship♥ï¸@mominsaqib pic.twitter.com/1Wc9PTI1Uz — Shumiið­ (@oye_shumii) June 17, 2019 After the match, a Pakistani journalist even asked Rohit Sharma at the press conference if he has any advice for Pakistani batsmen to get better. While India's vice-captain left everyone in splits with his cheeky response, boxing star Amir Khan has offered a helping hand to the Pakistani cricketers. Would love to help Pakistan cricket team with some advise on how to stay fit and strong. How to be disciplined on food, diet and training. The team has talent but need to improve on Strength & conditioning and focus @TheRealPCB pic.twitter.com/GEUplrqdpP — Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) June 17, 2019 Troubled by his team's loss, Amir took to Twitter and offered to help Pakistani cricketers get fitter. "Would love to help Pakistan cricket team with some advise on how to stay fit and strong. How to be disciplined on food, diet and training. The team has talent but need to improve on Strength & conditioning and focus @TheRealPCB," he tweeted. Nailed it pic.twitter.com/hpb0w0QdRi — GAZALI (@heavenrose45) June 16, 2019 While it was undoubtedly a great gesture on Amir's part to come to the aid of the Pakistani stars, cricket fans felt that it was not going to work. After the first session... pic.twitter.com/qpgIIOMnZw — Jack (@J_C_8_7) June 17, 2019 They cant stay fit. They cant eat healthy. They'll have cheat day everyday. You cant change their attitude, body language. Shambles. — Raza Rizwan (@Rsquare26) June 17, 2019 They never giving up roti salan so i wouldn't even go there stay in your own lane ð — HU55819 (@MUIIDDY) June 17, 2019 It's cricket mate not boxing ð — Holmezy (@allancooper007) June 17, 2019 Most definitely they should just leave from world cup match and start from scratch .Desperately needed . — faiza Buttð (@buttproudmother) June 17, 2019
  2. The world of entertainment and sports have found their way to each other far too often to ignore. From Bollywood beauties getting married to sportsmen or wards of sportsmen getting into the entertainment industry, their fates have been intertwined since time immemorial. But, did you know that there are a few celebs who could have been professional cricket players but chose to be a part of Bollywood instead? Read about 5 such Bollywood stars here: 1. Suniel Shetty © Instagram A self-confessed sports lover, Suniel Shetty actively played cricket before switching gears to acting. Suniel Shetty has even teamed up with Zaheer Khan to launch India's first nationwide cricket league for amateur cricketers named Ferit Cricket Bash (FCB). 2. Angad Bedi © Instagram Son of renowned cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi, Angad has played for Delhi in Under-16 and Under-19 level. However, Angad was always more interested in acting. 3. Saqib Saleem © Instagram Saqib was an ardent follower of cricket and even represented his state Jammu and Kashmir while he played! The actor even shared that he used to play cricket with Virat Kohli during his childhood. 4. Aparshakti Khurrana © Instagram We have heard Aparshakti confess that he wanted to be a cricketer for the longest time, and what's more, the actor even captained the Haryana Under-19 cricket team at one point in time. 5. Harrdy Sandhu © Instagram Punjabi rockstar Harddy Sandhu began his career as a cricketer but an elbow injury broke his cricket dreams. The singer-cum-actor has played with the top cricketers of India, including Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara.
  3. The Indian cricket team is surely one of the leading contenders for the ICC World Cup 2019 with a great roster, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had a tough time limiting to a 15-man squad just because of the kind of talent that was available at their disposal. While the selectors had to drop great players like Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu, who, any other team would give anything to have, here's a list of five key players who would lead to the success of the Men in Blue this World Cup: 1. Virat Kohli © Reuters Even if Virat Kohli was not the leader of the squad, he would have been India's most valuable asset. After having the greatest year cricket in 2018, the batsman in Kohli continues to stay atop ICC World rankings in Test and ODI formats of the game. Having featured in 227 ODIs in the Indian kit, the skipper has already scored 10,843 runs and has a batting average of 54 in England, where the World Cup will take place. 2019 has been kind to the cricketer who notched 3 centuries in 11 matches this year. 2. MS Dhoni © Reuters Considered as the incognito captain of the team, Dhoni's skills as a middle-order batsman and still, a top-notch wicket-keeper give Team India the edge they need to become the world champs. Having played under pressure in and World Cup final and winning the trophy with a bang only adds to his already impressive resume. In 341 ODI matches throughout his career, Dhoni has scored 10,500 runs till date. Despite a nagging back injury, Dhoni took his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings to the final while scoring 314 runs in 10 matches. In 2019, Dhoni has played 8 innings in which he has put up a total of 327 runs. 3. Jasprit Bumrah © Reuters The bowling attack of Team India will be spearheaded by 25-year-old Jasprit Bumrah who has been in tremendous form for the whole of 2018 and 2019 which not only helped his side restrict their opponents to small totals but also provided the pacer with the top rank in ICC World rankings in ODIs. Bumrah has played in 49 ODI games in his professional cricketing career and collated 85 wickets, 28 of which came in 2018 alone, with an impressive economy rate of 4.51. 4. Hardik Pandya © Reuters Hardik Pandya is a classic example of hard work paying off. Ever since making his ODI debut against New Zealand in 2016, he has quickly become an integral part of the national cricket squad as a talented all-rounder and is extremely useful as a death over bowler and a middle order batsman. In 45 one-dayers played by the all-rounder in the Bleed Blue jersey, Pandya has scored 731 runs with a scary strike rate of 116.59 while also scalping 44 wickets at a 5.54 rate of economy. 5. Kuldeep Yadav © Reuters Kuldeep Yadav just had an abysmal season of the Indian Premier League with Kolkata Knight Riders and was benched midway through the month and a half long event for the same. Nonetheless, the Chinaman has enough tricks up his sleeves to stun opponents with the ball and might as well be that x-factor of the team. In 44 ODIs, Yadav has already dismissed 87 batsmen off the crease at the economy rate of 4.94, which is extraordinary for a spinner. In 2019, while the lefty has been a little more expensive than his career average, he has taken 20 wickets ahead of the World Cup.
  4. With the final movie of phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 'Avengers: Endgame', releasing worldwide tomorrow, and the ICC World Cup 2019 around the corner, the craze for both the movie and the sport is at an all-time high right now. However, there exists some uncanny resemblance in the characteristics of the 'Earth's mightiest heroes' and the leading international cricketers in the modern era. Take a look: 1. Captain America - Mahendra Singh Dhoni: © Marvel, Reuters Calm, professional and well-behaved (well, most of the times). Built on the principles of the older, more classier times, Steve Rogers comes from humble beginnings and knows how it feels fighting an uphill battle. With his talents and skills, Rogers realises the responsibility that lies on his shoulders and stands for his beliefs. He is also the mind behind every move that the Avengers make while dealing with their enemies. Popularly known as 'Captain Cool,' there is no other cricket whose personality fits that of Captain Rogers like a glove. The 'never give up' attitude and the passion that allows him to fight through his pain literally makes him the Captain America of cricket. Dhoni's unique strategies from behind the wicket helps his bowlers like exactly with what goes on in Rogers' head when the Avengers are on the offence against the Chitauri army or Ultron's evil bots. 2. Tony Stark - Virat Kohli © Marvel, Reuters Tony Stark knows what he is doing even though the people around him think that he is losing his 'touch'. Habitual of being great ever since he wore the Iron Man suit, Stark has made a name for himself as a fearless warrior with millions of fans going crazy about his charm. Even though the millionaire is the king of trash talk, he has his achievements to back it up. The current captain of the Indian cricket team is probably the closest of a character to that of Tony Stark. Barking abuses at his opponents while batting or even as a fielder, Kohli too has the tendency of getting under the skin of his opponents. Even then, his brilliance as the world's best Test and ODI batsman, people from all over the world have become his fans. 3. The Hulk - Chris Gayle © Marvel, Reuters Although the Hulk suffered a huge defeat at the hands of Thanos during 'Infinity War' and is now working on his confidence inside of Bruce Banner, he is never the one to shy away from smashing his enemies left, right and centre. On a good day, he looks forward to a battle and if the beast sets his eyes on a target, he is going in for the kill. His brute strength and imposing physique make him an integral part of the Avengers. On the other hand, the big hitter from Jamaica was struggling with his form, especially in One-Day International, so much so that he announced to retire from the game altogether. However, during the ODI series against England and the on-going IPL season, Gayle found his mojo back and has now been selected for the Windies roster for ICC World Cup 2019. 4. Thor - Andre Russell © Marvel, Reuters The mighty 'God of Thunder', Thor Odinson is confident, strong and enigmatic. Having his hammer destroyed, Mjolnir, he left powerless and weak. It was only after wielding himself a new weapon, the Stormbreaker, did he return to the main stage to take on the 'Mad Titan'. Sure, he should have gone for Thanos' head, there still may be time for him to redeem himself in 'Endgame'. A hilarious yet emotional Andre Russell suffered a similar fate as Thor when he suffered from knee injuries and bad form in 2017 and 2018 and was dropped from the West Indies side after they lost to Bangladesh in an ODI last year. For him, the 'Stormbreaker' came in the form of the ongoing IPL season with Kolkata Knight Riders. Finding his form back at the 11th hour allowed him a ticket for the 15-man squad for ICC World Cup starting next month. Russell will be looking forward to the tournament in England and Wales to prove his worth. 5. Rocket Raccoon - Sarfraz Ahmed © Marvel, Reuters One of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket is infamous for his loud mouth and often gets himself into all sorts of trouble for speaking without a thought. Having said that, the smallest of all the Avengers (other than a shrunken Ant-Man) probably has the biggest heart and is not afraid of a challenge when he sees one. The captain of Team Pakistan, Sarfraz Ahmed is exactly the same. The wicket-keeper batsman got himself in hot waters and got banned for five international games after making racist comments towards South African cricketer Andile Phehlukwayo. Nonetheless, the leader of an average Pakistan team is second to none in terms of confidence as he believes his side has an upper hand over Kohli's team heading into the World Cup.
  5. Cricket is not just a sport in India, it's almost like a religion. Right from Kapil Dev to Sachin Tendulkar, or MS Dhoni to Virat Kohli, the men in cricket have been recognized and cheered all along. But what about the women? Of course, the conscious efforts by cricket authorities have brought many women cricketers in the limelight, but there is still room for reforms and improvement. In fact, Royal Challenge Sports Drink's newest campaign is challenging the status quo in cricket with India's first mixed-gender T20 match. But before we dig deeper into this campaign, here is a list of 5 inspiring women cricketers who changed the name of the game. 1. Diana Edulji A recipient of the Arjuna Award in 1983 and the Padma Shri in 2002, Diana Fram Edulji is a former women's Test cricketer. During her career, she took 63 wickets in 20 Test matches and 46 wickets in 34 ODIs. In Tests, she is third on the all-time list across all countries. But there is more to Edulji. She's fearless and has been an active advocate for the empowerment of women's cricket in India over the years. In fact, when she was refused entry to the Lord's Pavillion, she commented that the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) should change its name to MCP (male chauvinist pig). 2. Mithali Raj Mithali Dorai Raj is the captain of the Indian Women's National Cricket Team. She is currently the all-time leading run-scorer for India in all formats - Tests, ODIs and T20Is.When she made her ODI debut at the age of 16, she scored 114, and became the youngest cricketer to score a hundred in women's ODIs. Additionally, she was the first cricketer to cross the 6,000-run threshold in Women's ODIs. What's more? In 2002, she broke Karen Rolton's record for the highest individual score in Test cricket. She shattered a record of 209 runs by scoring 214 against England at County Ground. Raj's record was broken by Pakistani cricketer, Kiran Baluch in 2004 although it still remains one of the great knocks in women's Tests. 3. Jhulan Goswami One of the most celebrated former captains of the Indian Women's Cricket Team, Jhulan Nishit Goswami is an all-round cricketer who has excelled with both bat and ball. She is also the highest wicket-taker in the history of women's ODI, and one of the top five fastest female bowlers in the world. Along with @RCGameforLife, it's time to challenge the status quo that exists in cricket. Let us show our support for the first-ever T20 mixed-gender match in India, by saying #ChallengeAccepted and voting here: https://t.co/BLgTOa4ZZR pic.twitter.com/9zzXgO899N — Jhulan Goswami (@JhulanG10) April 15, 2019 An Arjuna Award and Padma Shri recipient, Goswami played a key role in taking the Indian team to their first victory against England in the 2006-07 Test series, with impressive figures of 13-4-33-5 and 36.2-21-45-5. Post this, she became the ODI captain from 2008 to 2011. 4. Shikha Pandey Inspirational, confident and a go-getter, Shikha Pandey, who is a right-arm pacer for India's National Women's Cricket Team, is also an IAF officer. Most of us dream of being able to do just one of these, but she has managed both. An incredible feat! Pandey's cricketing career started at the age of 17, when she was selected to play for Goa's Women Senior State Side. Post that, there was no looking back for Pandey. She is the first cricketer affiliated with the Goa Cricket Association who has represented the country in an international level. In fact, she played a vital role in India's win against South Africa in 2014, where she scored 59 runs and took three wickets. 5. Ravi Kalpana 22-year-old Ravi Venkateswarlu Kalpana is a right-handed batswoman in the Indian women's national cricket team. Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Kalpana's journey as a promising cricketer hasn't been the easiest. From financial constraints to fighting against an early marriage, she has seen and battled it all. In 2015, she was selected for the Indian Women's Cricket Team and made her international debut where she played against New Zealand. While we celebrate Indian cricketers, it's also time to take Indian cricket to the next level. With #ChallengeAccepted, Royal Challenge Sports Drink aims to break the many stereotypes that exist. It's also a step towards equality in cricket and sports, and India's first mixed gender T20 match is a step towards that. We are all supportive of this, and look forward to watching men and women play on the same team and on the same field. Like us, if you too believe in this movement, vote here now.
  6. One of the leading ladies of international cricket and Kiwi superstar Hayley Jensen and her fellow athlete from Down Under, Nicola Hancock decided to make their cricketing partnership last a lifetime, as the couple tie the knot last weekend. Having been teammates for two straight seasons for Australia's Big Bash League franchise, Melbourne Stars, the couple saw a lot of individual success in the T20 league. While Jensen, an all-rounder, won the prestigious Una Paisley medal for being Victoria Women's Premier Cricket league's best player of the 2017-18 season, Hancock finished the latest season of the BBL as her squad's second-highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps in 14 games with an average of 19.92. The official news of the wedding was broken online by Hancock's team last evening: From #TeamGreen, congratulations to Stars bowler Nicola Hancock who married her partner Hayley Jensen last weekend! ðpic.twitter.com/QvWb7Ue0Qx — Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) April 18, 2019 "From #TeamGreen, congratulations to Stars bowler Nicola Hancock who married her partner Hayley Jensen last weekend!" the picture was captioned. Australia legalised same-*** marriage in December 2017 while New Zealand granted it the royal assent way back in 2013. However, as soon as the wedding pictures were available online, homophobia took over with the blink of an eye and flooded the team's twitter handle with slurs demeaning same-*** marriage: It isn't ryt — NITESH KUMAR (@nkojha9060) April 19, 2019 Challenge to Natural law — Kapil Kumar (@KapilKu03594795) April 19, 2019 Oh no It is unnatural marrige I think human is very beg animals — बà¥à¤°à¥à¤à¤à¤¾à¤° मà¥à¥à¤®à¥à¤®à¤¿à¤² फारà¥à¤à¥ (@MuzzammilFar) April 19, 2019 What a great indecent choice this sodomy women make to defile themselves — Joshua (@Joshua3059) April 18, 2019 If all girls will marry to each other then what will happen with boys or u can say who will marry with boys. I think this is unnatural. — kmljee (@kmljee) April 18, 2019 Pls stop these kind of activities this is uncertain and not good for the society — JSP Tarak (@TDPTARAK) April 19, 2019 Cricket is meant to be a gentleman's game,, what happened to the world??????? — Samiullah Saifi (@Samiull91563821) April 18, 2019 One common response to such homophobia is that it is the part of the society and that homosexual people have to be mentally strong enough to make such a decision and face the society with their heads held high, but why? Maybe that is the question that needs to be answered now. With the LGBTQ community being welcomed into society with open arms, why is it that marriage, a gesture to celebrate love, needs for the people involved to “prepare themselves”? Do straight couples need to worry about the kind of criticism that they might face from society after they get married? Sure, homosexuality has become a part of the world that we live in and sure people now have the right to identify themselves as “gay”, but normalising it, in our mundane lives, is something that continues to be our "to-do” list
  7. To quote one of the most questioned players to make it to the final Indian roster for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 in Dinesh Karthik, “There will always be someone who will miss out. That's the nature of the game…”, and surely enough, with the total number of slots at 15 and over 25 supremely talented players competing for them, it is bound to happen that some players would miss out on the opportunity to represent their country in the biggest cricketing tournament there is. One of the best (or worst?) examples of such a case is that of the 21-year-old wicket-keeper-batsman, Rishabh Pant, who missed out on the opportunity to a veteran like Karthik, who's considered to bring greater stability and consistency to the already talent-laden squad. On the other hand is the curious case of the 33-year-old Ambati Rayudu who initially was brought up to the team as a batting all-rounder who'd fit perfectly in the two-down spot for the Men in Blue. However, with his questionable bowling action being rejected by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and he batting form spiralling, the Guntur born had to be removed from the final team ahead of the World Cup. Unable to take the news like a good sportsman that he is, Rayudu took a sly shot at the selectors and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by tweeting this: Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup ðð.. — Ambati Rayudu (@RayuduAmbati) April 16, 2019 Losing his spot to Vijay Shankar, who made his ODI debut just a couple of months ago in January, Rayudu said that he's just ordered a pair of 3-D glasses to watch the World Cup. This was in reference to team selector MSK Prasad, who'd called Shankar a three-dimensional player. Responding to the tweet in support was yet another Indian cricketer who was put on the spot by the ICC for an objectionable bowling action and had to revamp the very essential part of his game, Pragyan Ojha. Curious case of some Hyderabadi cricketers... been in a similar situation... understand the winkâð¼ https://t.co/zLtAQIMvYn — Pragyan Prayas Ojha (@pragyanojha) April 16, 2019 “Curious case of some Hyderabadi cricketers... been in a similar situation... understand the wink”, tweeted the former Indian cricketer. Taking his own example after having missed out on the opportunity to play for his country in the 2015 World Cup, Ojha pointed out that being dropped from the team ahead of crucial games is evident for “some Hyderabadi cricketers”. However, his dig at the selectors did not sit well with the fans of Indian cricket: Isn't that why u were supporting him the day before selections? I hAvE gRoWn Up WiTh HiM. Pot calling Kettle black. Instead of whining over selections & talking nonsense filth to divide fans, support the ones who are selected, doesn't matter from which part of India they are from — Saurabh (@imsgshinde2) April 16, 2019 Aur ye Pragyan behati Ganga me haath dhote huye. — Ghenchebaaz (@MVBisht) April 16, 2019 Don't bring state into play.... He was given enough opportunity to perform. Though feel bad for him, but the call was justified on the back of past performance. — Gareeb Joker (@badoombaa) April 16, 2019 You wer dropd frm d team whn ther wer better spinners in d country. If it's a case of Hyderabadi cricketer, thn Laxman and Azruddin wouldnt hav played around 100 tests. Skill matters bhai which many others hav more than u guys. Raydu doesn't deserve a place in India A team also. — dryogeshpatel (@dryogiap) April 17, 2019 Hey Mr. Ojha, don't pull cricket into regional colors! — à¤à¥à¤à¥à¤¦à¤¾à¤° Aciditic Indian ð®ð³ ð®ð³ (@Aciditic_Indian) April 16, 2019
  8. Bollywood's Rishi Kapoor is one of the most respected actors of the film industry and is loved by millions from all around the country. He is known for his versatility on the big screen and also the fact that he is the head of one of the most popular families of Indian cinema adds to his fame. Having said that, ever since Twitter fever took over us Indians, the legend has made a name for himself as the ultimate troll who does not back down from roasting the biggest names from any profession, field or area. The latest prey to Kapoor's comical expedition are the 15 of India's ace cricketers who have been selected to represent the nation at the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup in England and Wales starting 30th May 2019. In an astute observation made by the actor, Kapoor took to Twitter to through out a question on the internet about the obsession with growing a beard or donning a stubble seen in the Men in Blue. To make his case stronger, the intrigued actor also shared a picture of what seems like a newspaper clipping showing the faces the Indian roster for the World Cup. Don't take this picture as a reference point but why do most of our cricket players sport full facial hair(beards)? All Samson's?(remember he had his strength in his hair) Surely they look smart and dashing without it. Just an observation! pic.twitter.com/QMLuQ0zikw — Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) April 16, 2019 “Don't take this picture as a reference point but why do most of our cricket players sport full facial hair(beards)? All Samson's?(remember he had his strength in his hair) Surely they look smart and dashing without it. Just an observation,” tweeted the actor. In his defence, other than the former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, literally every other member of the squad have a beard or at least a stubble on their faces and it does make a very good case for him. As expected, the tweet became viral and responses and reactions from all over the nation started to pour in: Pretty sure that negotiations with Gillette to sponsor the team mustn't have worked out — atul kasbekar (@atulkasbekar) April 16, 2019 'Wow, that clean shaven guy looks super manly'. Said no one ever. — Guv Bassi (@GurvinderBassi) April 16, 2019 Beard is like Kapoors in bollywood.. they are everywhere in Bollywood.. I am big fan of Ranbir Kapoor and Nitu Singh.. :D Hope you are doing well sir... Wishing you good health and recovery... — Neeraj Raiya (@neerajraiya) April 16, 2019 Personal choice I guess! Beards make a man look...er...manly—-that's my personal view — Live and let live (@realslimshadee) April 16, 2019 I know! What is this recent trend of beards and all the young men in the real world also following it! Wierd not bring able to see real FACES behind the hair! ð — Jyoti Kapur Das (@jkd18) April 16, 2019
  9. The festival of colours is upon us. According to Hindu mythology, Holi symbolizes the victory of good and the end of evil. Celebrated with 'rang and bhang', there is a hint of craziness in the air around which all is forgiven and new friends are made. We love to keep our smartphones at home for once, get out into the streets with packs of colourful power (herbal, hopefully) in our pockets, and paint each others' faces with different shades. It seems as if the fondness for the festival has grown beyond Indian borders as international cricketers have been found to be enjoying looking like a rainbow, plastered with vibrant Holi colours. In 2017, former Australian cricketers-turned-commentators Brett Lee and Mathew Hayden were visiting India for a Test series between the two top teams of the game at that time when Hayden tweeted this photo of him and his former teammate, completely drenched and dipped in colours. Messed up and loving it!!! #HappyHoli @BrettLee_58 pic.twitter.com/N4pEtyIDl2 — Matthew Hayden AM (@HaydosTweets) March 13, 2017 Righty batsman, Michael Clarke too was in the country back then and had decided to spend the day with some of the local families. Dressed in the perfect costume for the occasion, Clarke posed for this shot in a white kurta. Happy holi!! Enjoying celebrating with some local families. ðð»ð pic.twitter.com/qlYS83pnb9 — Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) March 13, 2017 Windies wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin also seems to be a big fan of the festival. He decided to show his affection for the tradition in a mild manner with his family. Playing holi today with the family pic.twitter.com/H6GPAa6cah — Denesh Ramdin (@shotta8080) March 13, 2017 Aussie allrounder Glenn Maxwell was also unable to control his temptation and joined in on the celebration with his Kings XI Punjab teammates during the 2016 Holi at his hotel. Turns out Maxwell is also a seasoned 'Bhangra' dancer. Happy #Holi! A special edition of Maxi's Blog coming soon! pic.twitter.com/K6xgRhQkS0 — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) March 24, 2016 Holi seemed to be really popular amongst the Kiwis as well, all the way back in 2011 when the entire New Zealand roster threw the festive colours at each other in the stands during a practice session.
  10. One of the biggest roles for the officials who are responsible for maintaining security during a live match inside a stadium is to ensure the safety of the players playing in the field. The fear of someone invading the ground without proper documentation keeps all of them on their feet throughout the game, with eyes and ears on high alert, scouring the seats for the slightest hints of suspicious movement. Even then, there are some opportunistic 'fans' of the game who manage to dodge the security, get inside the field and do their best to interact with the athletes. 1. Fan Runs To Dhoni With The Indian Flag During the third and final T20I against New Zealand, one of Mahi's millions of fans was able to surpass the stadium security while darting for his idol's feet in love and respect whilst carrying the Indian national flag. You can buy fame, but not patriotism.#Dhoni flag#Dhoni #INDvsNZt20 pic.twitter.com/aRWD0CZHwU — always somewhere (@amitvikram108) February 11, 2019 As soon as the 'Thala' fan dove to his feet, he dropped the flag on the ground which Dhoni instantly picked up, preventing the disrespect it would have meant. Dhoni also got the fan up on his feet, greeted him nicely and before he ran away clearly overflowing with joy as the security guard followed him in pursuit. 2. Tendulkar's Disciple Touches His Feet The man used to get letters written in blood during his prime. However, in 2013, during the Ranji season, as Sachin Tendulkar scored a ton, a fan entered the field and fell at the master blaster's feet, calling the batsman his god. Fan takes blessing from his cricket God, touches Sachin Tendulkar's feet. Mumbai vs Baroda #Ranji game. #sachin (PIC) pic.twitter.com/leML0XB4 — CricIndian (@CricIndian) January 7, 2013 Tendulkar had expressed his discomfort with the whole incident as well. He said: “It feels strange when a fan comes and touches your feet and says you are God. I don't feel comfortable with it, but it is the way they feel about you…” 3. A Viratian Tries To Kiss King Kohli In October last year, during the second Test match between India and West Indies, an over-enthusiastic fan found the opportunity to race down the field and get his hands on the Indian captain, quite literally so. Fan tries to kiss Virat Kohli after invading field in 2nd test, day 1 ! ð®#viratkohli #fan #tried #kiss #invaded #india #westindies #testmatch #cricketuniverse #ipl2018 #ipl #cricketnews #ipl11 pic.twitter.com/UlEKsXQTNO — Cricket Universe (@CricUniverse) October 12, 2018 With a couple of moments away from planting a big one on the Indian skipper's face before Kohli caught him mid-way and security was able to overpower him and escorted him out of the stadium. Yikes. 4. Dhoni Plays 'Hide and Seek' With Fan We had to save the best for last. After India were done with their batting innings during the second ODI against Australia in Nagpur recently, one of the invaders managed to run past the security and straight towards the former Indian captain who decided play a little game of hide and seek with the fan. Absolutely Adorable moment! Mahi plays hide and seek with fan. That's y Mahi is Maahhiiii. Dhoni is Dhoniiii pic.twitter.com/NWJ9KTYeiZ — Priyadharshini (@PriyamozhiA) March 5, 2019 After going around the field for a couple of minutes, Dhoni finally hugged the surprised fan before asking him politely to leave the field as his team was getting ready to bowl against Aaron Finch's men.
  11. Every year, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) revises the salary structure of the Men in Blue and every year the rest of the Indian population shows their jealousy and gets awestruck by the massive cheques that get delivered to Virat Kohli and the rest of the Indian cricket team. This year is no different, as the BCCI just disclosed how much King Kohli and his men will be earning in the next financial year and the numbers are truly enormous. According to the on-going system, the Indian cricket board has divided their pay scale into four major categories and have placed the various members of the roster under them according to their form and performance during the previous year. A+ Category: There exist three positions in the topmost level or the A+ Category and the selected candidates for them are all no-brainers. Skipper Virat Kohli (World ODI and Test Rank 1 in batting) is accompanied by Jasprit Bumrah (World ODI Rank 1 in bowling) and Indian opener Rohit Sharma. The three megastars will earn a cheque of Rs. 7 cr. during the next year. A Category: Belonging to the second highest level, the players in the A Category go on to earn an annual package worth Rs. 5 cr. This category consists of the major lot of the national cricket team and includes Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav. After a year flooded with bad performances, Shikhar Dhawan was downgraded from the A+ to A Category. On the other hand, after a successful Test series in Australia, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was inducted to this pay grade. B Category: KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya make this level, each of whom will go on to earn Rs. 3 cr. in the coming financial year. C Category: The bottom level of the pay scale, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, H Vihari, Khaleel Ahmed and Wriddhiman Saha will go on to earn Rs. 1 cr each. While the categoric division of the majority of the players feels to be justified, one case in particular of the second wall of India, Cheteshwar Pujara not being upgraded to the A+ Category after his astonishing innings in Australia in January and during the Ranji season seems to be a bit questionable. We have to mention the fact that these are the annual salaries that these cricketers stand to earn just from BCCI. Players like Virat Kohli also earn a crazy amount of money from the deals they sign with their numerous sponsors, some of which go beyond their annual salaries with the board. Case in point: Virat Kohli's 8-year Rs. 100 Cr. deal with the sportswear giant Puma that pays the athlete an outrageous Rs. 12.5 Cr. every year.
  12. In a prime example of why and how politics adversely affects sports, the Pakistan blind cricket team found themselves stranded in Sri Lanka after they swept the ODI series clean (3-0) on their tour to the island nation. Blind Cricket Series: #Pakistan beat #SriLanka by 8 wicketshttps://t.co/4rclv6qZDa ððð — Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) February 21, 2019 Due to the ongoing political and military tension between India and Pakistan, the Sri Lankan Airlines cancelled all flights going to the city of Lahore. As a result, the blind cricketers of the country are unable to go back home and are involuntarily bearing added expenditure due to the extended stay. “They have been forced to stay longer and also have to pay additional expenditure,” Chaminda Pushpakumara, the manager of the blind cricket team said. Even though the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council has requested the Sri Lankan government for assistance, the financial toll of the athletes, who earn a fraction of what the visually-able cricketers make, has been immense. As admitted by Pushpakumara himself, the visiting athletes had already paid for their flight tickets to Sri Lanka. On the other hand, the escalating border tensions have also led to the Pakistani government shutting down their entire airspace and cancelling all domestic and international flights, as a result of which players are finding it extremely difficult to travel to different cities for the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Every PSL match that was scheduled to take place in Lahore too, has been moved to Karachi. This is why even the notion of war is always a bad idea. While the militaries are at each other's throats, it is the common and the unprivileged people who lose their lives or livelihood and are branded under “collateral damage”. If the people halted in Sri Lanka belonged to the country's national team, it still would not have been that concerning keeping in mind the fact that they are well paid and can afford additional expenditures, but our hearts go out to the these athletes who have been stranded on their own in a foreign land, without any information of what is going on in their nation where they have family.
  13. Last November, the Indian cricket team embarked on a long journey away from home that included gruelling tours of Australia and New Zealand. During that time, India drew the Twenty20 International (T20I) series before winning the Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against Australia. And then, they travelled to New Zealand where they demolished the hosts in ODIs before stuttering in the T20Is. While their overseas tour has come to an end, India, now, await their next challenge which, once again, involves the Australian brigade. With revenge on their mind, the Aussie team will travel to India for two T20Is and five ODIs, slated to begin from 24th February. But, after spending three months on the road, the Indian cricketers finally had a breather as the T20I series against Australia is still more than a week away. Several Indian cricketers were seen making the most of their time at home after they shared pictures and videos on the social media. From Rohit Sharma to Virat Kohli, here's how Indian cricketers are unwinding following their long overseas tour: Rohit Sharma How happily he is playing with his daughterâ¤ð­! Rohit Sharma and his daughter Samairað!@ImRo45 @ritssajdeh pic.twitter.com/wpyDBDwvv9 — Niyati (@niyati_45) February 12, 2019 The Indian opener didn't really have a great time as stand-in captain in the T20Is against New Zealand, losing the series 2-1. But, the 'Hitman' did find a reason to cheer for as he became the leading run-getter in the shortest format following a brilliant fifty in the second T20I in Auckland. Upon his return to India, Rohit was elated to spend time with his daughter 'Samaira'. A video of Rohit playing with his daughter was also shared on the social media. Kuldeep Yadav After a long and gruelling tour, time to head back home with loads of happy memories to cherishð®ð³ðð»âð» pic.twitter.com/tvMUL1hZfO — Kuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) February 11, 2019 One of India's premier spinners, Kuldeep had a decent outing in both, Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to his exploits, the wrist-spinner recently notched up a career-best second position in the ICC's T20I rankings for bowlers. Clearly, the young spinner was happy to be home as he shared a photograph of himself in the company of his Team India mates Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Yuzvendra Chahal. Shikhar Dhawan It is time to knuckle up! #knuckleup #workout #hardwork #life #tuesdaythoughts #keepgoingðª pic.twitter.com/CSeSbaur3L — Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) February 12, 2019 The marauding Indian opener had a mixed outing in Australia and New Zealand. While he did get a lot of starts, Dhawan just couldn't capitalise and convert them into big individual scores. With the Aussies coming to India this month, Dhawan will be eager to make his presence felt in a bid to win over the fans. And, that's exactly what might have been on his mind when he shared a brief video where the left-hander can be seen doing push-up on his knuckles. Virat Kohli Instagram After helping his side in gaining an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series, Kohli was rested from the last two 50-over contests and the three T20Is against New Zealand. While his team stuttered to a narrow 2-1 loss in the T20Is, Kohli was seen exploring the scenic beauty of New Zealand with wife Anushka Sharma. Early on Tuesday, the couple returned home and as soon as they landed at the Mumbai airport, the Indian captain shared a selfie of their arrival with the cricket fans on the social media. Dinesh Karthik Instagram The Indian middle-order batsman was recently slammed for his antics during India's four-run loss against New Zealand in the deciding T20I. His decision to deny Krunal Pandya a crucial single in the final over didn't go down well with the fans. Karthik did manage to hit a six off the last ball, but it wasn't good enough to take India home. But, that is now a thing of the past. The T20I series is done and dusted. And, Karthik is just happy to be back home and dig in to south Indian delicacies. MS Dhoni .@msdhoni back in bay after New Zealand & Australia tour!ð®ð³ð@seemantlohani @mihir_diwakar #Dhoni #MSDhoni #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/vOiDlbdMrP — MS Dhoni Fans Official (@msdfansofficial) February 12, 2019 For someone who desperately needed to prove his mettle, MS Dhoni made the most of time during India's tour of Australia and New Zealand. The former Indian captain shut his critics with his 'Player of the Series' performance in the ODIs against Australia and then continued to play a crucial role in the middle-order against the Kiwis. On the back of some sublime performances, Dhoni has not only won over fans, but has also impressed the selectors who'll surely take note of his exploits before announcing the Indian squad for the ICC World Cup in England and Wales. But, for now, Dhoni seemed really happy to return home.
  14. When you reach the level at which cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are right now, you are allowed to have expensive hobbies like collecting extremely luxurious and limited edition rides. These cricketers not only have the craving for some of the finest cars in the world by also the money to fulfil their dreams. Here are some of the fanciest rides owned by star Indian cricketers: 1. MS Dhoni © Ferrari Mahendra Singh Dhoni's love for superbikes is unparalleled. But the cricketer is also a sucker for SUVs, American Muscle and Italian stallions. Having owned Hummer H2 and the GMC Sierra 3500HD, Dhoni's car collection is massive. But the ride he really fawns over is the extremely powerful Ferrari 599 GTO with a top speed of 335 kph and a V12 engine roaring under the hood. What's unique about Dhoni's GTO is that the car may be a gift for the skipper who led the team to the 2011 World Cup victory. There were only 599 pieces of the Italian beauty that were made by Ferrari and Dhoni's was even more special as it had the Indian tricolour painted in the front. Price In India: N/A 2. Sachin Tendulkar © Reuters Truly passionate about his rides, Sachin Tendulkar's garage has been home to almost all the iconic rides, be it a Maruti or the Nissan GT-R. However, the fanciest ride owned by the God of cricket has to be equally divine. We are talking about the 1499cc beast you might have seen in the Tom Cruise starrer 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol'. The BMW i8 is Sachin's favourite ride and we can see why. In an interview with Hormazd Sorabjee, Tendulkar says that he loves to drive the car, especially early in the morning when there aren't a lot of people on the road because the car is a “traffic stopper”. Price In India: Rs. 2.25 - 3.3 Cr* 3. Virat Kohli View this post on Instagram The new audi R8 . Its a BEAUTY. Iam blown away. What a brilliant machine. And so stunning as well. ðððð»#audi#beauty#beast. A post shared by Virat Kohli (@virat.kohli) on Feb 3, 2016 at 4:46am PST Ever since his childhood, Indian captain Virat Kohli has shown a lot of interest and passion towards Audi, the German automobile manufacturing company. With an already vast collection of extremely (extremely) expensive cars, Kohli boasts an 'all-Audi' collection which includes SUVs like Audi Q7, Audi S6, Audi A8L W12 Quattro and Audi R8 V10. However, the ride that Kohli would claim to be his show-stopper is the Audi R8 LMX which the star bought in 2015. With a top speed of 320 kph and 570 horsepower and torque of 398 lb-ft. Price In India: Rs. 2.97 Cr. Onwards 4. Suresh Raina © Instagram/Suresh Raina From small cars like Mini Coopers to literal giants like Range Rovers, Suresh Raina is a man of many tastes. Like an ideal son, Raina also gifted a blue Mercedes-Benz GLE 350D for his parents in November 2017. Having said that, Raina has admitted that the Porsche Boxster Limited Edition that he bought in 2013, on the occasion of his father's birthday, is the car he is most fond of. The got the car painted yellow as it represented his IPL team, Chennai Super Kings. The Porsche Boxster is a two-seater which consists of a 3436cc engine with maximum power noted at 315bhp@6700rpm. Price In India: Rs. 1.1 Cr.* 5. Yuvraj Singh © Bentley Nothing short of going nuclear on the field, Yuvraj Singh has been an absolute beast when it came to hitting the ball out of the park during his prime. His love for automobiles has been well documented and he has, on numerous occasions, said that collecting expensive cars has been his true passion. The fact that his mother has forbidden him from riding bikes made him focus only on cars. Not specific to a particular brand, Singh owns a BMW X6 M, a BMW M3 Convertible, an Audi Q5 and a Land Rover Discovery Sport for casual outings to the beach or maybe even the barbershop. But when Yuvi is really feeling it, the big guns come out. Reported to have bought a Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640-4, powered by a 6.5-litre V12 petrol engine and 640 horsepower. For more classier times, Singh brings out his Bentley Continental Flying Spur, the epitome of luxury. With a shiny black exterior and blood-red interiors, Singh's Bentley is nothing short of royalty in its own and is the most expensive car in his backyard. It is believed that former Indian opener Virender Sehwag also owns the same ride. Price In India: Rs. 3.22 - 3.8 Cr*
  15. Every now and then, we come across images from our childhood and we immediately fall into this weird limbo, comparing how we have grown to look so different with time. Even then, there is something really special about these pictures which allow us to reminisce about the good old days. Here are the childhood pictures of some of India's finest cricketers: 1. Virat Kohli © Instagram - Virat kohli Known for his excellent batting skills and being one of the most successful captains of the Indian Cricket team, Virat Kohli has come to be a real gem for a nation of the craziest fans of the sport. But, before he was a record-breaking machine, Kohli was a momma's boy with his hair tied back in a ponytail, who'd easily get distracted with the smallest of things and clearly had no interest in getting pictures clicked. 2. Sachin Tendulkar © Instagram - Sachin Tendulkar Probably the best India has ever produced, Sachin Tendulkar has been felicitated with a lot of awards and medals but we can best describe him as the 'God of Cricket'. Alternatively, we could also describe him as this chubby kid who loved his long hair and was probably the most fashionable bloke in the block. 3. Rohit Sharma © Instagram - rohit sharma Breaking records both, individually and as a member of potentially the best Indian side ever, Rohit Sharma has proved his critics wrong time and again. His records for the most number of 150s in the history of ODI cricket along while outscoring the entire opposition twice, makes the Indian opener a scary force to reckon with. But after looking at this image, the batsman doesn't seem so frightening, does he? With a black tika on his forehead and the typical goodie good boy hairstyle, nobody could have possibly guessed he would be such a beast on the pitch. 4. Shikhar Dhawan © Instagram - shikhar dhawan The big, bad Gabbar of cricket, Shikhar Dhawan is fierce (when he is in form, anyway). One of the most entertaining of the lot, Dhawan can hit it big when given the opportunity. He also took his IPL team, Hyderabad Sunrisers to the final last year. You can see the pure determination in the eyes of the left-handed batsman. Even when he was a kid, he was better than all the others around him and was the lead-scorer during the 2000-01 Vijay Merchant trophy when he was 15. 5. Rishabh Pant © Instagram - Rishabh Pant Probably the leader of the next generation of great Indian cricketers, Rishabh Pant has made a mark on international cricket with his performance during the Test series between India and Australia where he scored a massive 159*. Come to think of it, Pant's childhood picture does give you a hint that he would one day become a sledger so great, that even the Australian Prime Minister would remember your words. 6. Prithvi Shaw © Instagram - Prithvi Shaw/Twitter Following Pant's leader is another miracle just waiting to happen. The 19-year-old Prithvi Shaw is considered to be the 'next big thing' who' take India's millennial team to great heights. Born to be a cricketer, Shaw began to train for greatness at an extremely early age. It seems like all the hard work is finally coming to fruition as the teenage made an excellent debut against the Windies last year, in which he even scored a century. 7. VVS Laxman © Instagram - VVS Laxman Before MS Dhoni, there was VVS Laxman who'd come out to bat mostly in the lower-middle order and make big plays to win or save games for the team. His fearless aggression against the world's most worrying bowlers like Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie won him the name 'Very Very Special' Laxman. But in his childhood, it seems as if our VVS Laxman was Very Very Sanskari Laxman. With big glowing eyes and buttoned up shirt, baby Laxman exuded discipline and maturity. 8. Harbhajan Singh © Instagram - Harbhajan Singh The one who doesn't need any introduction, Harbhajan Singh was the most accomplished spinner in his time with the team. Playing with all-time greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, Bhajji was a lot of fun to watch. Who would have thought that this innocent, little child would one day become the bane of Andrew Symonds' life? 9. Yuzvendra Chahal © Instagram - Yuzvendra Chahal Yuzi Chahal was the X-factor who replaced Kuldeep Yadav in the final ODI against Australia and boy did he impress everyone. Notching the best numbers of his ODI career to become the 'Man of the Match' and win the series, Chahal is having the best run as a member of the Indian cricket team right now. Go ahead, baby Yuzi, with the win you brought us the other day, you can pose however you like. 10. Jasprit Bumrah © Instagram- Jasprit Bumrah The right-hand pacer was an integral part of India's Test cricket roster which that beat the Aussies on their own soil earlier this month. During the third match of the series, Bumrah completed his third 5-wicket-haul and became the only Asian bowler to take five wickets against Australia, England and South Africa each, in the same calendar year. One glance at his childhood image and you'd realise that he knew that he was born to be great. Winking right back at you, Bumrah!
  16. We are living in very interesting times where literally anything and everything is capable of stopping a game or a match. From a naked dude streaking across the field to elements in nature, no one can expect where the next obstacle in a match can come from. A few days ago, the 2nd ODI between India and New Zealand went on a halt because of sun outrage. And yesterday, another old mate came back onto the field to halt yet another match, none other than our beloved bees. © PTI Over the years we have seen many 'bee attacks', the most memorable one was witnessed in South Africa two years ago, when the host were playing against Sri Lanka. Something similar happened yesterday during the fourth one day match between India A and England Lions in Trivandrum, where the play came to a standstill for 15 minutes when a swarm of bees attacked the spectators at the stadium. An unexpected and painful turn of events took place at the Green Field International Stadium, as the match was just in its 28th over when the bees began to charge at the audience and left a lot of spectators in the stadium injured. All of this was captured in a video which went viral after the incident. Fortunately, none of the players at the stadium were seriously injured at the scene, as the bees did not enter the field. But the India A coach, Rahul Dravid, who was around the stadium at that time, had to run for his safety. A few spectators were taken to the hospital immediately because of the bee attack and the crowd at the stadium was shifted from the west side of the stadium to the east. The Chief Operating Officer of Sports Facilities Ltd told The Indian Express: "It was an unfortunate incident. We had ensured that the gallery where the spectators who sit for watching the match was cleaned ahead of the match. But it were some spectators who went upstairs where they were not supposed to go in the normal circumstances and stirred the hive unknowingly or mischievously." Though India won comfortably by 6 wickets, in which the recently named ICC Emerging player of the year, Rishabh Pant scored a blistering knock of 73 of 76 balls, and with Shardul Thakur assisting in the bowling department, team India safely secured the fourth straight win in the series.
  17. Cricket needs no introduction to a country like India. In this part of the world, the gentleman's game is cherished as a religion and cricketers are worshipped as demigods. It further explains why Indian cricketers end up garnering such popularity and limelight when compared with foreign players. Another valid example is the Indian Premier League (IPL) whose immense success highlights the country's obsession with cricket. While cricket continues to bring India together, it also offers lucrative business prospects to those interested. The star-status of the cricketers also make them a marketer's dream, paving way for endorsement deals and brand associations. In fact, the coexistence of endorsements and cricket has reached such a level that the smart cricketers, using their popularity, have started promoting their own brands. There are a billion eyeballs constantly chasing every move that the cricketers make, on and off the field. They are idolised by their fellow countrymen and cherished as role models for the youth. And, this is what makes them the perfect mechanism to bolster the sales of a product or service. A smile is the best way to unwind. ð pic.twitter.com/w8RoT6udd3 — Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 21, 2019 The likes of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are a prime example. Arguably amongst the most popular sportspersons in the country, the duo enjoys the unmatched spotlight and rank high up in terms of brand value. There is so much, and more when it comes to the commercial interests of the cricketers. And, there is nothing wrong with it, albeit their on-field performances aren't getting affected. But, while it might seem like an incentive of being a cricketer in the modern era of the sport, there exists a rare breed that still values the unadulterated side of cricket. Imagine, playing far away from the spotlight for a major part of the year, in domestic competitions that no one really cares about. And then, you're recalled into national team to play in hostile conditions where, in those limited games, you have to prove your mettle, else you find yourself facing immense criticism. That's the cricketing life of Cheteshwar Pujara. The batting of this Saurashtra cricketer is a throwback to eras gone by. The man doesn't tire of scoring runs, no matter the opposition or venue. And, his fitness is more about what is required for batting for long periods as opposed to bulging biceps with tattoos on them. For a man who pays his bills through Test cricket, Pujara is undeniably the perfect face of the longest format that is striving for the limelight in the age of T20s. © Reuters Pujara's perseverance and resilience were in full display during India's historic Test series triumph in Australia. The middle-order batsman smashed three hundreds and a fifty, emerging as India's leading run-scorer - with 521 runs to his name - in the five-match series. But, as always, Pujara's efforts often get overshadowed by more glamorous teammates like captain Kohli. While his teammates travelled to New Zealand for their next big challenge, Pujara quietly returned to the playing domestic cricket for Saurashtra. But, more importantly, the fact that he only features in the longer version of the game further translates into less or no endorsement deals. In a list of India's top 20 valuable celebrity brands published by advisory firm Duff & Phelps earlier this month, it wasn't surprising to see Kohli topping the list but Pujara not featuring anywhere highlighted the cruel side of cricket. But, the 30-year-old is unfazed by the lack of endorsement deals. “Being a (specialist) Test cricketer, I accept that there haven't been many endorsements. I am someone who doesn't go after endorsements. For me, the true thing is the love of this game. My father has taught me that I don't just play for myself but for the entire country,” he was quoted as saying by the Indian Express. © Reuters In the world where a sportsperson is measured by his brand value, Pujara is just happy to contribute to his team in the predefined role by the management. For him, endorsement deals aren't really important, what he truly cherishes and strives for is the appreciation for his hard work. “In my life, I am a simple man…if it (endorsements) comes, I will take it; if it doesn't, I am not bothered about it. If I keep playing well and performing for the Indian cricket team, what I like is the appreciation from this country and from (the) cricketing fraternity, which is more than any endorsement I might get in my life,” Pujara added. For someone who notched up the 'Man of the Series' award for his exploits Down Under after keeping the opposition bowlers at bay with his stubborn batting - facing 1,258 deliveries (more than any other Indian in a Test series), Pujara, just like his artistry with the willow, has made a valid point - something young and budding cricketers can learn from. Endorsements are a byproduct of cricket and shouldn't overshadow a cricketer's performance on the field. If it wasn't for cricket or a player's performance, nothing would come by, let alone endorsement.
  18. It sure is a scary thought, but it's inevitable. Most of our favourite cricketers are going to hang their boots one day and we will watch them go with a heavy heart. Here below we discuss 5 legendary cricketers who could possibly retire after the 2019 ICC World Cup: 1. MS Dhoni © Reuters A lot has been said about the decision to include Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian squad for the World Cup. With Rishabh Pant showing his worth both as a batsman and a wicket-keeper during the Border-Gavaskar Test series in Australia, the idea of Dhoni playing in the biggest tournament this year has been challenged by many. But his performance in the ODI series against the Aussies has cleared all doubts that he's not only still got it but continues to be one of the elite batsmen out there. The batsman has shown interest in playing the 2019 World Cup ever since he gave up his captaincy. "It's been a long cherished dream of Dhoni - since he gave up the captaincy in white ball cricket - to play in the World Cup next year where he would be more as a mentor to the team,” Dhoni's Manager, Arun Pandey told Gulf News in 2018. He's had a wonderful career ever since he became a part of Team India. Probably the most loved captain ever, he is also the most accomplished. The best way to say goodbye to the sport for Dhoni would be to play this World Cup, or better yet, win it. A final token of love for the country, one final medal on his wall. 2. Chris Gayle © Reuters Considered to be on a declining career roller-coaster, this may be Chris Gayle's last big show as an active batsman for the West Indies. 2018 was probably one of the worst years for the big hitter who was absent from the Windies squad for long. Despite that, Windies chief selector, Courtney Browne is certain that Gayle will play a crucial role during the team's World Cup run. A part of his national team for four World Cups, Gayle is known for his big innings and making unbelievable records including a massive 215 double century against Zimbabwe during the 2015 World Cup With injuries keeping the former captain away from the pitch for long, the World Cup would be the perfect opportunity for the fans to witness one last 'Gayle Storm'. 3. Ross Taylor © Reuters Making his ODI debut all the way back in 2006, this Kiwi is still playing like a 20-year-old fresher with strong legs and back to support his game. In what has turned out to be a great 2018 for the former New Zealand captain, Taylor scored 639 runs in just 11 ODIs which included two centuries and four half-centuries. "It's a World Cup year, and I've put a big focus on the tournament and on one-day cricket," Taylor said in a post-match press event after the second one-day international against Sri Lanka on Saturday, 5 January. "There are still a few things I want to work on, but I can hopefully continue the form over the summer." Despite the recent run of success Taylor is enjoying, his inconsistency along with his age are hinting his separation from the game. Under the leadership of Kane Williamson and Taylor, New Zealand are looking like real title contenders. 4. Dale Steyn © Reuters The South African pacer was last seen playing in the 50 over format all the way back in 2016 when they were hosting Australia for a five-game series which the Proteas won with a 5-0 clean sweep. "It's so bloody long ago I can't even remember it," Dale Steyn said in an interview with ICC. "What I do remember is that we won 5-0. And it's a team game. And that's all that matters." Since then, Steyn, who's distanced himself from ODIs, has often shown interest in participating in the 2019 World Cup and has also mentioned how he wants his country to lift the championship a lot more. Finding his fitness once more, the bowler played a big role in the Hampshire County Cricket Club England and Wales' domestic first-class cricket circuit and can capitalise it on it during the World Cup in June. 5. Hashim Amla © Reuters Known for his quiet demeanour and a strong presence on the pitch, South African cricketer and Dale Steyn's former teammate, Hashim Amla as a performer, is deteriorating with every single day. Once a proud opener for the Proteas with a powerful and prestigious career of his glory days behind him, the 36-year-old is currently struggling with his pace in all formats of the game. Although the team has other options should Amla not get his touch back, there is still a lot of time for 'the mighty Hash' to get there. What is probably a bit more worrying is his bad luck dealing with injuries. If this is going to be Amla's big exit from the cricketing world, he will most certainly try his best to perform with how much ever fuel he has left in his tank.
  19. With Pakistani cricketer Haris Sohail's rant about being under the spell of black magic during the Test series against South Africa, and blaming an incantation for his knee injury and the poor performance making the headlines, we got the idea to list down some of the weirdest superstitions that have influenced some of the greatest cricketers of India for years during their impressive careers. 1. Virat Kohli's Uncanny Obsession With Handwear: © Reuters In his 10 years of playing for the Indian cricket team, the skipper has had a good number of records tallied under his name. While the entire nation and the rest of the world are in awe of the man's expertise at the pitch, Kohli credits something a lot more strange for his success i.e; his favourite pair of gloves. During his early stint of success with the Men in Blue, Kohli used to wear the same pair of gloves in every match. But, that's a thing of the past. Kohli is now completely over his fallacious superstition. Now, he only obsesses over wearing a black wristband every time he comes down to bat. 2. Sachin Tendulkar's 'Left Pad First' Rule: © Reuters Imagine doing the same things; following the same routine every day for 24 years. During his active years with Team India, our very own Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar had an extremely peculiar pre-game routine that bothered his teammates for a really long time. Be it a mere practice session or the World Cup final, Tendulkar always began to suit up for the event by padding up his left foot first. Apparently, this unusual practice helped him calm his nerves before going in front of the large audience that came to see him and helped him “win matches.” 3. Virender Sehwag's Numberless Jersey: © Reuters Ever wondered if the Indian cricket team's staff was playing a prank on Sehwag by not printing a number on his jersey? When Sehwag began his cricketing career, he used to proudly wear a jersey with number 04 printed on his back. As the rumour goes, Viru changed his number several times before a numerologist guru, whom Sehwag and his family really had faith in, declared that the former opener must wear a numberless jersey in order to find his lost glory. Sehwag's beliefs were so strong that despite the International Cricket Council (ICC) showing their displeasure with the numberless jersey, he continued to wear them. Ballsy move. 4. Anil Kumble's 'Sorcery' With Sachin Tendulkar: © Reuters In a short two-game Test series between India and Pakistan in 1999, Anil Kumble became only the second player to bag all 10 wickets in a single innings after England's Jim Laker did the same in 1956. While there's no second-guessing Kumble's ability to create magic with the ball, we are certain that a higher power was at work behind Jumbo's unbelievable feat. After the match, word got out that every time Kumble passed his sweater and cap to Sachin Tendulkar, before heading over to bowl, he'd score a wicket and Kumble has agreed to this on numerous occasions. In an interview with The Times of India, Kumble believed that he was superstitious by nature. “I think all of us are (superstitious). At least the cricketers are. It gives you comfort. At times it helps you perform better,” the former skipper had. Superstitions are extremely common in sports and we are nobody to judge one's personal beliefs but when it begins to come in the way of the players' performance, maybe it's time to get a reality check?
  20. Former World Twenty20 champion and cricketer, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, is convinced that if his ban from playing cricket is lifted and he gets to play even for a period as short as six months, he is going to give the new generation “a run for their money.” The Bigg Boss season 12's runner-up believes that the last 105 days inside the reality show's house was crucial for him to return to his original self that he had lost touch with when the 35-year-old was accused of spot-fixing and was sentenced a lifetime ban from playing the sport by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The fast-medium-pace bowler was arrested on being found guilty of corruption and spot-fixing in an internal inquiry held by BCCI's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit led by Ravi Sawani, back in 2013 during the sixth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The then Rajasthan Royals player had confessed of the crime but later in a letter to the Board expressed that his confession to the police was under duress. “Under the threat of arrest of my close relatives a statement was forcibly taken in the manner directed by the police,” he wrote in the letter. “There is no confession recorded by me willingly to the police. The police have mentally and physically harassed me and obtained signed statements.” View this post on Instagram #ThrowBackThursday #Mentor #Senior #Guru #SachinTendulkar ! A post shared by Sree Santh (@sreesanthnair36) on Jun 29, 2017 at 4:35am PDT Sreesanth had filed a petition early in 2018, seeking response from the authorities as he moved to the Supreme Court to challenge the Kerala High Court's verdict to stay the ban. BCCI authorities stuck to their former stance and replied that they will not compromise with corruption. In 2017, Videos of Sreesanth converting his newly constructed house into a practice arena went viral. “I totally deserve a chance to play club cricket, so that I at least get to prove my fitness levels and play for the Kerala cricket team,” he said in an interview with The Times of India. “People who are guilty and are proven so, are playing international cricket. And here I am telling my sad story, which hurts.” Last year, Sreesanth's advocate to the Supreme Court, Salman Khurshid told the judiciary that his client has multiple offers from various cricket clubs of the United Kingdom but will not be able to play if the ban was not lifted. “Life sentence for a criminal is for 14 years, but unfortunately in cricket, the life ban given to me is till my last breath and it really hurts,” Sreesanth told TOI.
  21. As the year 2018 comes to a close, the wedding season is currently at its peak in India. From Ranveer Singh tying the nuptial knot with Deepika Padukone to Priyanka Chopra exchanging vows with Nick Jonas, we've already seen prominent celebrities in glittery avatars at their big fat wedding ceremonies. On 12th December, another starry wedding caught the attention of general public. Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal got married in a star-studded ceremony hosted by Mukesh Ambani at their lavish residence - Antilia. Their pre-wedding celebrations started a week before that had superstars - including Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan amongst others - in attendance. Thus, when the all-important day came calling, there was no surprise to see prominent celebrities gracing the event with their presence. While some heavyweights including president Pranab Mukherjee, Ratan Tata and Hillary Clinton were seen at the event, there were also a lot of faces from the cricket fraternity. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Arjun Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, and Anil Kumble among others sportsmen hogged the limelight as they arrived at the event. Anil Kumble © Instagram Harbhajan Singh View this post on Instagram #Repost @harbhajan3 with @get_repost ã»ã»ã» Mr & Mrs Singh â¤ï¸ðâ¤ï¸ð @geetabasra A post shared by Geeta Basra (@geetabasra) on Dec 12, 2018 at 4:52am PST Yuvraj Singh View this post on Instagram Thanks for making me look like a princess with the best looking arm candy @yuvisofficial @leepakshiellawadi clothes @dollyjstudio jewellery @raniwalajewellers hair and make @apenigeorge @samanthassalon A post shared by Hazel Keech Singh (@hazelkeechofficial) on Dec 12, 2018 at 10:06am PST Sachin Tendulkar View this post on Instagram Always great catching up with my favourites and these two legends ðð@sachintendulkar @amitabhbachchan @geetabasra @arjuntendulkar24 #anjalibhabi #ishanandwedding #ishaambani A post shared by Harbhajan Turbanator Singh (@harbhajan3) on Dec 12, 2018 at 9:32am PST
  22. Even though the gentlemen's game started off with a basic all-white outfit in the field to begin with, glamour has finally caught up with the sport, and now it's perhaps more fashionable than any other sport. Indian cricketers, at the moment, are giving Bollywood actors a run for their money when it comes to being stylish, and brands are using that to their benefit, rightfully so. 2018 has witnessed a plethora of such instances, because cricketers in India now are more fashionable than ever. Here, we have compiled a list of 6 Indian cricketers who hit some huge fashion boundaries throughout the year. 1. Virat Kohli Virat Kohli got married last year, and his wedding outfit legit haunted Ranveer Singh - even after a year. If that doesn't say a lot about the man and his fashion sense, we don't know what else does. Virat's fashion game is as strong as his prowess on the field, and he has been proving it time and time again. © Instagram/viratkohli © Times Now © Instagram/viratkohli © Manyavar 2. Hardik Pandya Hardik Pandya is the poster boy of all things 'bling' in Indian cricket, and he clearly intends to take things far. Be it his statement outfits or funky jewellery, Hardik sure knows how to play it cool. © Instagram/hardikpandya93 © Instagram/hardikpandya93 © Instagram/hardikpandya93 © Instagram/hardikpandya93 3. KL Rahul When it comes to new talent in the Indian cricket team, KL Rahul is among the most promising faces. His fashion sense is also as intense as his boundaries on the field. © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP 4. Manish Pandey Manish Pandey is one of the most promising faces when it comes to potential in terms of being a kickass middle-order batsman. His style game is also as promising. © Instagram/manishpandeyinsta © Instagram/manishpandeyinsta © Instagram/manishpandeyinsta © Instagram/manishpandeyinsta 5. Shikhar Dhawan Shikhar Dhawan's raw, edgy style statement is something every man looks forward to emulating in their daily lives. © Instagram/shikhardofficial © Instagram/shikhardofficial © Instagram/shikhardofficial © Instagram/shikhardofficial 6. MS Dhoni Captain Cool is not one to experiment a lot with his aesthetic, but his natural disposition in terms of classic style is something that works every time. © Instagram/mahi7781 © Instagram/mahi7781 © Instagram/mahi7781
  23. After blanking their opponents 3-0 in the T20 International (T20I) series, the Pakistan cricket team was busy giving New Zealand a run for their money in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Trailing 0-1 in the ODI series, Pakistan made a comeback to level the proceedings 1-1 before rain spoiled their chances in the third and final game. What awaited next was a stern test of their character, as Sarfraz Ahmed's men geared up for the three-match Test series against the Kiwis. And, the fact that Pakistan bowled New Zealand out for a mere 153 runs in the first innings, showed that they meant business. While Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq looked good with the willow in the first innings, the bowling masterclass of Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah ensured Pakistan needed just 176 runs to win the Test and take a 1-0 lead. © Twitter/@TheRealPCB Needing 139 runs with ten wickets in hand at the start of Day 4, Pakistan and their fans would have surely felt at ease against the Kiwis, who were probably ruled out of the game. But, neither the two playing sides nor any cricket pundit could have possibly anticipated what eventually unfolded during the day's play at the Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi. The fourth day's play was an apt reminder of the many run-chases Pakistan have barbecued over the years. Despite losing three wickets early on, Sarfraz's side rarely looked in trouble - courtesy a gritty 82-run partnership between Azhar Ali and Shafiq. But, some mediocre batting and a maiden five-wicket haul of debuting left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel handed New Zealand a thrilling, even unexpected, four-run win. With Pakistan botching away a run-chase yet again, the mood in their camp was understandably damp. But, at the same time, New Zealand's dressing room was buzzing with celebratory noise. For the Kiwis, it was undoubtedly a special win which called for an equally special celebration. New Zealand players celebrating the win in Abu Dhabi with a bit of bhangra #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/UJNN0FRnH7 — Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) 19 November 2018 After their emphatic triumph brought jubilation on the field, the celebrations continued in the dressing room where the Kiwis were spotted unveiling their Bhangra moves to the tunes of hit Punjabi track "Mundian To Bach Ke". While the New Zealand cricket fans were happy to see their national team's celebrations, the Pakistani fans opined that the dance video further rubbed salt to the wound. Yr why r u showing this. U know this will hurt Pakistanis. Badly..... — Subhan Khan (@subhankhank690) 20 November 2018 Yar ye tweet delete kro bhai .dil dukta hey dhek k — Farooq Afridi (@FaryAfridi1) 19 November 2018 ð¢ð nahi dekna bhangra ð­ð­ — Zarahðµð° (@Zarahdogar) 20 November 2018 Nhi yr dil pay khanjar chal rahy hein — Farooq Afridi (@FaryAfridi1) 20 November 2018
  24. Seems like Virat Kohli cannot stop being in the news . Whether its his airport look, a fabulous inning, his selfie with Anushka or his birthday, the cricketer always finds his way in the trending zone of social media. Currently he is facing the ire of many people on social media after certain remarks he made while reading comments on his recently launched app. Virat Kohli's video of asking fans to not live in India if they like foreign batsmen is going viral and many do not like it at all. Is #Kohli asking his non-Indian fans to leave their country and come to Indiað¤ð¤.. Or to sort their priorities? #WTF pic.twitter.com/tRAX4QbuZI — H (@Hramblings) November 6, 2018 Leave India if you like foreign batsmen more than Indians - Virat Kohli to a fan. You made truckloads of money by playing not an Indian game, Kohli, but an Englishman's game. And that's ok?#ViratKohli — à®à®¾à®©à¯ (@Janu_Bhaskar_) November 7, 2018 People are questioning his own words now and wonder if he is anti-national. U anti-national, if Roger Federer is ur idol then u better leave India and stay in his country... shame on you #ViratKohli #Kohli — kzc (@kzc940) November 7, 2018 His Favourite cricketer is South Africa's Gibs. ðð and he did his marriage out of India . #ViratKohli pic.twitter.com/tqMU1nbyE8 — ðð®ð¤ðð¬ð¡ ðð¨ð­ð¥ð ð (@OfficialSukesh) November 7, 2018 Someone digged out an old clip of Kohli claiming his favourite cricketer is Gibbs. I'm @imVkohli and my favourite cricketer is Harsal Gibs! [2008] Did anyone asked you to leave your country ? #ViratKohli pic.twitter.com/Mpn2jrWVg9 — Abdul (@GuruJiPolitical) November 7, 2018 Also people aren't cool about the fact that his own choice of wedding venue was in fact not his own country. His remarks might be light and jocular in nature but cricket fans have found it to be absolutely unsavoury in nature. I'm @imVkohli and my favourite cricketer is Harsal Gibs! [2008] Did anyone asked you to leave your country ? #ViratKohli pic.twitter.com/Mpn2jrWVg9 — Abdul (@GuruJiPolitical) November 7, 2018 If you don't like India Cars, “I think you should leave the country” ð#ViratKohli https://t.co/6cdJxZ6XnB — Tuglaq (@anonymousindia4) November 7, 2018 Well, never underestimate the power of a true patriotic Indian.