Mohammed Shami could be reinstated with central BCCI contract soon

Sudhir Gupta 18/03/2018
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Shami could also be cleared to play in the IPL.

India pacer Mohammed Shami could find himself back in the list of centrally contracted players if the BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) absolve him of any wrongdoing in its report.

The fast bowler has been in the news recently after his wife filed a police complaint against him, alleging domestic violence and harassment while also claiming the 28-year-old had several extra-marital affairs.

According to a report published by the PTI (Press Trust of India), ACU chief Neeraj Kumar’s inquiry into the matter is only limited to the allegations of financial wrong doings on Shami’s part. The board’s stance is reportedly to let the police take care of the other, more personal allegations against the Indian cricketer.

One of the allegations against Shami is that he received money from a Pakistani woman named Alishba on behalf of a businessman named Mohammad in Dubai last year. That is the only aspect being investigated by the ACU.

“The brief is pretty clear. The BCCI’s handbook has an ‘Ethics Code’ for cricketers with a specific clause regarding financial transactions. The ACU is only investigating Shami’s dealings with Mohammed Bhai and Alishba and the alleged monetary exchange his wife is talking about. If Kumar’s report absolves Shami of any wrongdoing, he will be immediately handed back his Central Contract,” the report quoted a senior BCCI official as saying.

Shami's name has been withheld from the contracted players' list.

Shami’s name has been withheld from the contracted players’ list.

“Yes, there are specific allegations levelled against him by his wife. But the Kolkata Police is doing its job and it’s completely their domain. In BCCI, we can’t sit back on judgment on personal life and take away his livelihood. Also board doesn’t have the powers to do so,” the official added.

The 28-year-old’s name had been withheld from the list of centrally contracted players by the BCCI when it was announced a few days ago. He is also contracted by the Delhi Daredevils to participate in the upcoming IPL. The franchise is also waiting for the ACU report before making a call on playing the pacer.

“We have decided that we will go by the report submitted by ACU chief Neeraj Kumar. Based on recommendations, a final decision will be taken. We have nothing to do with anybody’s private life. If he gets a clean chit, then he can play. If he doesn’t, then he won’t. This is what we have decided. The report will come in next four to five days, till then we will wait for the report,” IPL Governing Council Chairman Rajiv Shukla said on Saturday.

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India captain Rohit Sharma keeps his promise by visiting Sri Lankan fan's home in Colombo

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Rohit with his fan Mohamed Nilam. Image courtesy: Mohamed Nilam/Facebook

Remember Mohamed Nilam, the Sri Lankan cricket fan who was in the news when the Sri Lankans toured India in December last year?

The super fan, who is a long time admirer of Rohit Sharma, had travelled to India to support his side but then had to rush back to his homeland after finding out that his father had been diagnosed with cancer.

The emergency had caught Nilam unawares and the Sri Lanka fan did not have money to buy a flight ticket home at the time. Rohit had come to his rescue, taking care if all expenses.

Along with the financial help, the Indian batsman had also promised Nilam that he would pay him and his family a visit the next time he was in the island nation.

The Mumbai-based batsman is currently leading the Men in Blue in Nidahas T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka where his side will meet Bangladesh in the final on Sunday.

True to his word, the stand-in skipper paid Nilam and his folks a visit on Friday.

“I know him (Nilam) for many years now. He has cheered for me for so long now. I still remember he was crying a day after the Test in India, telling me how his father was not feeling well,” Rohit told Indian Express after the visit.

“These are the people who make who we are today. They are the ones who pray for you, they stand beside you in your bad times. I had told him in December that if I come to Sri Lanka this March for series, I will come to his house to see his father. Today, I could feel the happiness they got seeing me,” he added.

“Rohit is clean-hearted guy. I still remember the day when I got a call from my family that my father is not feeling well,” Nilam was quoted as saying.

“Frankly, I didn’t have any money then (December) and didn’t know anyone else also in India. The last moment flights are expensive, so Rohit got to know from Sudhir Gautam (Sachin Tendulkar fan) and he called me to the hotel. He handed me the tickets and money. Who will do this in today’s time?

“It’s not that only Rohit knows me in the Indian team, I know everyone but everybody knows that my loyalty towards Rohit is more than other players. If Sudhir is known as Tendulkar fan, I am known as Rohit’s number one fan.”

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India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik wary of Bangladesh prowess in subcontinent conditions ahead of T20 tri-series final

Sudhir Gupta 17/03/2018
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Karthik is aware of the threat Sunday's opponents pose.

India take on Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas T20I tri-series on Sunday at Colombo and India wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik says pressure will be on his team to deliver as fans back home expect victory against the Tigers irrespective of form or squad strength.

“Let’s be fair to India as a cricketing nation – whether we play the second string or the first-string team it’s always the case (expected to win),” he said at the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

“When we play Bangladesh and we win it’s like: ‘Ok, you’ve won against Bangladesh’. But if we lose it’s like: ‘Dude, you’ve lost to Bangladesh. What are you doing?’ I’m sure that’s going to be there. With Rohit (Sharma), the first thing that he said was that although we have a few of our other players missing, we’re looking to play exactly the sort of cricket that we’ve played in the past one year,” he added.

Having rested big guns like Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, a Rohit Sharma led India made it to the final with three straight wins after losing to hosts Sri Lanka in the tournament opener.

Between the trophy and them lies Bangladesh, who have never beaten India in seven previous T20I meetings between the two sides. Karthik however, is not taking Shakib Al Hasan’s men lightly.

India are unbeaten in all T20 meetings with Bangladesh so far.

India are unbeaten in all T20 meetings with Bangladesh so far.

“But especially in subcontinent conditions, Bangladesh are a very good team. They are known for their tenacity. They really try hard. They are team that achieved Test status not many years ago, and from there on they have propelled in all formats of the game and done well for themselves,” Karthik said.

Five of the six games in the tournament so far have been won by the chasing side and Karthik believes dew will be crucial factor on Sunday.

“Chasing is not necessarily easy. I don’t know much about the wicket, but if the dew settles it’s much easier for the team that bats second. If there’s no dew then it’s going to be a great game. If the wicket is sow and it’s going to turn, it will be a challenge. The team that bowls better has a better chance to win the final,” he said.

The middle-order batsman has been around in international cricket for some time now but has failed to cement a place in the India setup. Asked if there was pressure on him to perform or perish, Karthik replied: “From where I sit, every tournament is important. One bad tournament and I will be on the way out. So, in every tournament I need to be at the top of my game and try to do as well as I can.”

Bangladesh had on Friday defeated the hosts in a virtual shootout for the final. Shakib’s men won by two-wickets in a dramatic finish which was marred by ugly altercations between players on both sides.

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