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Pakistan Cricket Board Asks ICC To Take Action Against India For Wearing Army Caps

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take "strong action" against India for wearing special camouflage caps as the mark of tribute to the soldiers killed in the Pulwama terrorist attack last month. The Indian cricket team wore the army caps, bearing the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) logo, during the third One-day International (ODI) against Australia in Ranchi on Friday.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, asked the ICC to take "strong action" against India, saying "we believe that cricket and sports should not be used for politics". "Their (India) credibility in the cricketing world has gone down very badly," Ehsan Mani said in Karachi late on Sunday.

Mani said the ICC had in the past acted against England all-rounder Moeen Ali and South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir for breaching ICC clothing and equipment regulations to make political statements.

"The ICC had taken strong action against them and we have sought similar action against India," he added. "The permission they took was for a different purpose but they acted differently.

"We have been in touch with ICC from day one, sent one letter already and another is being followed up in next 12 hours. There should not be any ambiguity as we are taking this very strongly."

According to reports, the move to wear the caps was proposed by former India captain MS Dhoni, an honorary lieutenant-colonel with the Territorial Army, who distributed them to the team before the start of the match.

Reports in the Indian media also said that the BCCI had already sought permission from the world governing body before Friday's match. The reports also said the ICC had confirmed the caps were allowed as part of a charity fundraising effort.

Speaking about India's decision to wear the army caps, India captain Virat Kohli had said: "This is a special cap, it's a tribute to the armed forces".

"We're all donating our match fees of this game to the families of the martyrs. I urge everyone in the country to do the same and stick to the families of our armed forces."

Vijender Singh’s US debut set for April 12, starts training under Hall of Famer Freddie Roach

India's star boxer Vijender Singh will make his debut in the American Professional Circuit on April 12 and he has started training under the guidance of Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach.

Vijender's opponent's announcement has not yet been made. Freddie has also trained the legendary boxers like Manny Pacquiao and Mike Tyson.

Vijender has been invincible in his career of 10 professional competitions till now and he will make a debut at the Staples Center at The Wesley Lomochhenko-Anthony Crowley Undercard. It will be an eight round match and their opponent will be announced later.

Vijender's Indian promoter IOS boxing said in a press release that Vijender, 33, has recently shifted his training base to Las Angeles, where he is training under Freddie's guidance.

Freddie has 32 years of experience as a trainer and he has been a mentor of 36 world champions. Vijender will be broadcast live in the US on April 12.

ICC rejected India's request to isolate Pakistan

The Board of Control for Cricket in India was majorly embarrassed after its request to isolate Pakistan was turned down by the International Cricket Council.

The manner in which the BCCI went about its request at last week's ICC board meeting in Dubai has invited much criticism.

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri asked the ICC to urge member boards to boycott Pakistan in wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

Following a directive from the Committee of Administrators, who look after the BCCI's functioning, Johri wrote a letter to the ICC asking ICC members to sever ties with all nations from where terror emanates.

Strangely, Johri didn't name Pakistan in the BCCI letter!

'This communication is being addressed to voice the BCCI's concerns and sentiments that have emerged after the recent dastardly terrorist attack which was carried out on Indian soil by a terror outfit based out of Pakistan, which resulted in the death of Indian security personnel,' Johri wrote to the ICC.

'Most countries from which the members of the ICC hail (including the United Kingdom) have strongly condemned this terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with India. BCCI urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates,' Johri added in the letter to the ICC.

The Pulwama terror attack, that claimed the lives of 44 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, escalated tensions between India and Pakistan.

There is a demand from various quarters that India boycott its June 16 World Cup game against Pakistan.

ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar, a former BCCI president, was swift to turn down the Indian board's request.

"There was a written communication by the BCCI CEO with the ICC. There were two points in that communication -- the first point related to the security and well-being of the players and of the fans," the BCCI's Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary told the media at the board's Mumbai headquarters on Monday.

"The second matter related to suggesting that India and other members of the ICC take no part with teams which come from areas where certain phenomenon emanate," Choudhary added, "but the letter didn't mention which areas."

"To which the ICC chairman, after discussing with the board, which is the only policy-making body of the ICC, stated that it is not within the domain of the ICC to make a comment or make a decision," Choudhary explained.

Johri and the COA, it is learned, knew all along that the BCCI request would not be entertained as the ICC does not have the power to block out a particular nation.

The BCCI still went ahead and took a chance, a decision that is now being ridiculed in various quarters of Indian cricket.

The issue came up at the ICC board meeting in Dubai on Saturday, March 2, where the BCCI was represented by Choudhary, and the matter was stepped aside very quickly.

Asked if the BCCI had made a mistake by not naming Pakistan in its letter, Choudhary replied: "I have not written the letter."

"The chairman of the ICC has made a statement to address the issue and he has simply said that it is a matter which is beyond the ICC's domain," Choudhary added.

It is common knowledge that BCCI CEO Johri and CoA Chairman Vinod Rai don't get along with BCCI Acting Secretary Choudhary.

Choudhary was not consulted before Johri's letter was sent to the ICC even though he was to represent the BCCI at the March 2 meeting.

Among other matters, the ICC announced at the meeting was that the BCCI's non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency be taken up with urgency.

"The world body (WADA) has been in dialogue with the ICC for some time and the issue is that all participating nations in the ICC must align with the national testing authority," Choudhary said.

India has refused to accede to WADA's authority and wants an independent agency to conduct dope tests on its players. India's refusal to accept the anti-doping code could see the ICC being declared as 'non-compliant' by WADA.

The ICC wants to resolve this issue at the earliest else cricket could be excluded from the Olympics and Asian Games.

IPL 2019 schedule announced for first 2 weeks

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of IPL 2019 in Chennai on March 23. The schedule, which was announced on Tuesday (February 19), was only for the first two weeks of the tournament and "subject to the announcement of the Lok Sabha 2019 election dates."

The BCCI, which is awaiting details of the 2019 elections, stated that once the polling dates are decided it would "address any issues with the first two weeks and will also prepare a schedule for the remainder of the season working with the local authorities around the polling dates."

As per the current schedule, as many as 17 matches will be played from March 23 to April 5, with three double-header days on March 24, 30 and 31.

IPL 2019 schedule (March 23-April 5)






March 23 Saturday Evening CSK vs RCB Chennai
March 24 Sunday Afternoon KKR vs SRH Kolkata
    Evening MI vs DC Mumbai
March 25 Monday Evening RR vs KXIP Jaipur
March 26 Tuesday Evening DC vs CSK Delhi
March 27 Wednesday Evening KKR vs KXIP Kolkata
March 28 Thursday Evening RCB vs MI Bengaluru
March 29 Friday Evening SRH vs RR Hyderabad
March 30 Saturday Afternoon KXIP vs MI Mohali
    Evening DC vs KKR Delhi
March 31 Sunday Afternoon SRH vs RCB Hyderabad
    Evening CSK vs RR Chennai
April 1 Monday Evening KXIP vs DC Mohali
April 2 Tuesday Evening RR vs RCB Jaipur
April 3 Wednesday Evening MI vs CSK Mumbai
April 4 Thursday Evening DC vs SRH Delhi
April 5 Friday Evening RCB vs KKR Bengaluru


Saina, Kashyap and Saurabh in the semi-finals of the National Championship

Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap, and Saurabh Verma reached the semi-finals of 83rd Yonex Sunrise Senior National Badminton Championship.

Saina defeated Neha Pandit of Mumbai, who is India's number one player in a one-sided match. Two-time Commonwealth Games champion Saina will now face the qualifier Vaishnavi Bhal of Nagpur, which was in the Uber Cup team of India last year.

On the other hand, 2012 champion Kashyap defeated Bode Joshi 21-18, 21-16. Now they will face Sania in the semi-finals. Before this, Saurabh defeated B Sai Praneeth in the world's 30th number one player.

Saurabh had won super 100 titles at the Russian Open and Dutch Open last year. Now Saurabh will face qualifier skills from Dharmender. Olympian silver medalist PV Sindhu will face local player Ashmita Chaliha.


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