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Mahendra Singh Dhoni finally calls it a day, retires from international cricket



Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has ended all the speculations around his retirement and called it a day in international cricket on Saturday.

Taking to his official Instagram handle, Dhoni posted a montage with several clips and moments from his international career. He captioned the post, “Thanks. Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. From 1929 hours consider me as Retired.”

Dhoni has been the most successful Indian captain ever and is the only international skipper who has led his team all the ICC glories. After the ICC World T20 victory in 2007, Dhoni-led India earned the ICC Test Mace in 2009 and followed it with the ICC World Cup win in 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy victory in 2013.

Dhoni has not been seen in the Indian blue since the nation team’s semifinal exit from the ICC World Cup 2019 against New Zealand. He had taken a sabbatical for two months, but no comeback plan was announced by him.

In this time, Rishabh Pant and later KL Rahul took his place as wicketkeeper of the Indian limited-overs side.

Meanwhile, speculations had grown wild that he would return to the cricket field with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and would make a case to be part of the Indian squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2020.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting normalcy, the IPL was postponed and this year’s T20 World Cup was also cancelled. While the IPL is set to take place in March, the next T20 World Cup is scheduled for 2021.

Other than that, the recent future of India’s next limited-overs cricket is also under doubt due to the pandemic. Given than Dhoni would be on the vicinity of turning 40 by the time India play any white-ball cricket, his decision emerges as a calculated step.

The 2011 World Cup-winning captain is yet to give details of the development as to whether he is retiring from the game entirely or if he is only bowing out from international cricket.

Dhoni is currently part of the CSK training camp at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai and is expected to lead the team in the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League which is set to start on September 19 in the UAE.

In 350 ODI appearances as a batsman, Dhoni has amassed 10,773 runs at an average of above 50 with 10 centuries. His T20I numbers included 1,617 runs at an average of 37 in 97 matches.

He had retired from Test cricket during India’s 2014-15 tour of Australia.



Kapil Dev undergoes angioplasty surgery after suffering heart attack



Former India captain Kapil Dev has suffered a heart attack and has subsequently undergone angioplasty surgery on Thursday at a hospital in New Delhi.

The 1983 world cup winning skipper, who had been active in his role as a pundit during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), was dealing with long-standing diabetes-related health issues.

The news of his illness broke out in Twitter when a journalist Teena Thaker tweeted about his condition.

Sadness has engulfed the social media feeds of cricket lovers ever since the Haryana Hurricane’s news came out. Wishes and prayers have poured in from a corners for his speedy recovery.

Kapil Dev, 61, is considered to be one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. He had played131 Tests, picking up 434 wickets and making 5248 runs. He also represented India in 225 ODIs, picking 253 wickets and scoring 3783 runs for India.

However, it’s his heroics in the 1983 World Cup which has made Kapil Dev an immortal in Indian cricket. The underdog team led by him– famously known as Kapil’s Devils – became source of inspiration to an entire generation of a third-world populace after they gave India their first ever cricket world cup.

However, such was the brilliance of the man that he never considered the Indian team of 83 underdog. India were not the underdogs who were overawed in the final and won the World Cup by a fluke, he had said.

“When you start playing cricket, you keep on moving in the same manner and you don’t really analyse it so much that yes we are going to play in the World Cup final for the first time that, too, against the West Indies at Lord’s. We didn’t think so much,” Kapil Dev had told The Statesman over a telephonic interview earlier this year.

“Honestly, I don’t remember what I thought initially after Holding got out. If I can remember that after 37 years, I should have been a genius. But, of course, I was happy,” Kapil Dev had said while describing how he felt after winning the World Cup.

“[Inside the dressing room] there was just celebration at that moment like a new baby was born in the house. We didn’t think or see anything… we were just so happy. And winning the World Cup… it was any cricketer’s dream. So we were just celebrating and did not speak much because our faces revealed everything,” he added.


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Sourav Ganguly has assured me that India will tour Australia: CA chairman



Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings has put doubts over India’s upcoming tour to Australia to rest, saying he has got assurance from his Indian counterpart Sourav Ganguly that Virat Kohli’s men would travel Down Under for a full-fledged series.

“I’m 100 per cent confident they are coming. Sourav Ganguly and I talk about it most days and we are already planning when we can catch up once he and the team get over here,” a report in The Australian quoted Eddings as saying.

As per the report, the tour will commence with a white-ball component before the four-Test series, which at this stage, begins in Adelaide on December 17-21. The other venues include Melbourne (December 26-30), Sydney (January 7-11) and Brisbane (January 15-19).

The report further said that the Indian team would land in Brisbane, instead of Perth or Adelaide, and will not face much strictness in terms of quarantine time despite the state of Queensland currently seeing severe restrictions.

Ganguly, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, is currently in the United Arab Emirates where the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League is taking place.

Team India, under Kohli’s leadership in 2018, had become the first Asian team to register a Test-series win Down Under when they won the four-match series 2-1.


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IPL 2020: Dominant Delhi Capitals at top after thrashing Rajasthan Royals by 46 runs



Delhi Capitals continue to enjoy their dream campaign as they defeated Rajasthan Royals by a humiliating margin of 46 runs on Friday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

With five wins from six matches so far, Shreyas Iyer’s men now stand at the top of the points table in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Steve Smith’s team is placed at seventh.

Even though Rajasthan had restricted their opponents at 184/8 on a track where any total less than 200 is considered moderate, the Delhi bowlers came all guns blazing and bundled the Royals for 138.

Kagiso Ragada was once again the shining star for Capitals with his figures of 3/35. Marcus Stoinis and Ravichandran Ashwin contributed to the cause as well with two scalps each, while Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje and Harshal Patel picked one wicket each.

Chasing a 185-run target, RR lost opener Jos Buttler (13) cheaply off an Ashwin delivery, with just 15 runs on the board.

Skipper Steve Smith (24) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (34) tried their best to rescue RR from the early damage with a brief 41-run stand. However, Nortje didn’t let the duo convert it into something big as he packed back the RR skipper in the ninth over.

The RR’s middle-order once again succumbed under pressure and lost seven wickets for just 100 runs.

Earlier, Jofra Archer’s (3/24) brilliant show with the leather saw DC being restricted at 184/8 in the allotted 20 overs.

Put into bat, DC received jolts at regular intervals, thanks to RR bowlers who didn’t let a partnership develop and which ultimately hurt the Shreyas Iyer-led side’s chances of posting a big total.

It was Shimron Hetmyer, who was the top-score for DC with his 24-ball 45, and Marcus Stoinis, who chipped in with a 30-ball 39 run, helping their side reach a respectable total.

Apart from Archer, Kartik Tyagi, debutant Andrew Tye and Rahul Tewatia picked a wicket apiece.

Brief scores:

DC: 184/8 wkts in 20 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 45, Marcus Stoinis 39; Jofra Archer 3/24) beat RR: 138 all out in 19.4 overs (Rahul Tewatia 38, YashasviJaiswal 34; Kagiso Rabada 3/35) by 46 runs


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