Maxtalent Global Sports' cricketers impress on their Muscat tour

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Maxtalent Global Sports travelled to Muscat for their tour and they didn’t disappoint with a number of impressive and individual displays over the five days.

The Dubai-based academy fielded three age groups – Under-11, Under-13 and Under-16s as they tested themselves against promising players from Muscat in the Maxtalent MCCC Challenge Cup.

Among those to shine were under-11 skipper Ashmith Shetty, who led from the front scoring 165 runs from four matches with his highest score of 60. He also took four wickets in four matches.

For their Under-13s, Mayank Hinduja  gave a superb all-round display, scoring  98 runs  as well as taking four wickets with his leg spin. Other key performers were Ishan Nair, who scored 66 runs in 39 deliveries.

In Under-16s, Krish Bandivedkar, Chris Sequeira, Yash Hegde were among those to impress. Bandivedkar scored an unbeaten 88, while Hegde shined with the bat with an unbeaten 38 runs in the first match. Sequeira also impressed with the bat and ball as they won two of their four matches.

Head coach Sudhakar Shetty, said: “The tour was a memorable and different kind of tour for us. We saw some brilliant individual efforts from all the boys and teams and although we could not get through to the finals, it was a great learning experience.

“A lot of them got to play in a tournament where they were playing in a tight situation as well as quickly adopting to new schedules within a short span of time.”

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How MS Dhoni's well-wishers congratulated him on winning Padma Bhushan award

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MS Dhoni received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award on Monday from the President of India Ram Nath Kovind, exactly seven years after he won India the 2011 World Cup with a six.

The wicketkeeper-batsman became the 11th Indian cricketer to receive the award, after having earned the Padma Shri in 2009.

The 36-year old sent out a message expressing his gratitude on being honoured with the award, while his well-wishers didn’t stay far behind in congratulating one of India’s most successful captains.

Here we take a look at how cricket stars congratulated Dhoni on his moment of pride.

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Gary Ballance will give Yorkshire priority to earn England call-up

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Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance will put county before country this summer in his bid to win an England recall.

Ballance was in England’s squad but overlooked for Australia‘s Ashes tour last winter and left out altogether for the following Test series in New Zealand.

But the 28-year-old Zimbabwe-born batsman is determined to add to his 23 Test appearances for his adopted country and insists he will improve his chances by getting his priorities right.

“I obviously want to play for England again,” Ballance said. “But there have been times when I’ve been focusing too much on trying to get back in the England team and not focused on trying to score runs for Yorkshire.

“So long as I do that, focus on getting runs for Yorkshire in the County Championship, then the other stuff will take care of itself.”

Ballance has twice been recalled after being dropped by England before, while his latest comeback was ended by a bouncer from Morne Morkel last summer, which broke his index finger during the second Test against South Africa.

For now, Ballance has his hands full with Yorkshire as he embarks on his second season as skipper, having been appointed in December 2016.

Yorkshire – back-to-back County Championship winners in 2014 and 2015 – ensured their Division One status in the final game of last season, but made a group-stage exit in the T20 Blast and were knocked out of the One-Day Cup in the quarter-finals.

“Last year was tough,” Ballance said. “It was a definite learning curve for me and definitely a challenge, but I enjoy that.

“We could have had a better year last year, but as a group we all know that and we’ve worked hard in the winter to try and improve. I think we can put that right this year. We want to be winning trophies, but there’s a lot of hard work that goes in to do that.

“You can’t focus too far ahead, you have to focus on the job in hand and as a group, if we can be a bit more consistent this year, we will be challenging for those trophies.

“We’ve definitely got the talent. All our batters have scored big runs before. They know they can do it. It’s just trying to put it together as a team and being a bit more consistent as a team.”

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