BCCI clears Mohammed Shami of match-fixing charges and renews his contract

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India pacer Mohammed Shami

India’s cricket board said Thursday that it will renew the contract of fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who has been accused of corruption, after it was initially put on hold.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had withheld Shami’s contract pending a review into a series of allegations made by his wife, including corruption and even attempted murder.

An anti-graft committee, which looks into the BCCI’s matters, was appointed to investigate a corruption charge that Shami accepted money sent to him by a UK businessman through a Pakistani woman in Dubai.

On Thursday, the cricket board said that “no further actions/ proceedings under the BCCI anti-corruption code are warranted in the matter”.

“For this reason, the BCCI shall proceed with offering a Grade ‘B’ annual retainership contract to Mohd. Shami,” it said in a statement late Thursday.

A grade “B” contract means he will receive an annual salary of 30 million rupees ($460,200), and he will be able to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for his Delhi Daredevils team that starts April 7.

The BCCI had dropped Shami from a list of contracted players unveiled earlier this month, which saw skipper Virat Kohli and other top Test players awarded salaries just over $1 million.

The cricketer’s wife Hasin Jahan, a former model, also accused him of having numerous affairs and went public in early March with a series of messages that Shami allegedly sent to women during their four-year marriage.

The 27-year-old has dismissed the accusations of infidelity as a campaign to defame him. Indian police are investigating the allegation of attempted murder.

BCCI had stated earlier that it would be looking only into particular allegations within its code of conduct and not all of them.

“We are only concerned with what the Anti Corruption Unit is investigating, not his personal life,” Rajiv Shukla, IPL chairman, had said on Wednesday.

Provided by AFP Sport 

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Dinesh Karthik rejects MS Dhoni comparisons following his Colombo heroics

Sudhir Gupta 20/03/2018
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Karthik feels he has a long way to go to emulate Dhoni.

Dinesh Karthik is currently the darling of Indian cricket fans, and probably Sri Lankan as well, following his last-ball six to win the Nidahas T20I tri-series against Bangladesh.

The wicket-keeper batsman blasted 29 off just eight balls in one of the best T20 innings ever to rescue the match for India from the jaws of defeat. Some have even compared Karthik’s finishing prowess to that of MS Dhoni.

However, the Tamil Nadu batsman was quick to reject those comparisons, saying he has a long way to go.

“When it comes to Dhoni, I am studying in the university in which he is the topper,” he said. “So, it is unfair for me to be compared with him. I have started my journey. With time let’s see how I go. His journey has been totally different. I am happy with where I am,” Karthik said during an interaction upon his return to hometown Chennai on Tuesday.

While Dhoni remains India’s main wicket-keeper in the limited-overs format, Karthik says he has no problems playing purely as a batsman.

“I have always enjoyed playing as a batsman. I think fielding comes naturally to me and I enjoy doing it. Whenever I get a chance to field, I get excited. With keeping you are standing at one place and moving,” he stated at the press conference.

The 32-year-old has been on the international scene for 14 years now without cementing his place in the Indian team. Karthik feels long years of hard work have finally paid off.

“It is probably karma I guess. For all the good things I have done all through my years and cricketing career it probably helped me hit that six. If it had been a four, it would have been a Super Over and it would have been a different scenario. That two mm extra it went, was a great thing for me. Probably all the good things you do over the years come to fruition,” Karthik said.

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Sachin Tendulkar joins campaign to save football turf in Kerala from cricket

Sudhir Gupta 20/03/2018
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Sachin is co-owner of ISL team Kerala Blasters.

Batting legend and Indian Super League football club Kerala Blasters co-owner Sachin Tendulkar has joined a campaign to stop the Indian cricket board from hosting an ODI in Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Kerala Blasters play at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, which is one of the few FIFA approved football turfs in India. However, the Kerala Cricket Association is looking to host the India-West Indies ODI in November in Kochi, which will need the field to be dug up for a cricket pitch, despite having a brand new cricket stadium nearby in Trivandrum.

Tendulkar gave his support to the campaign #SaveKochiTurf, asking the Kerala cricket body to hold the match at The Sports Hub Stadium in Trivandrum.

“Worried about the potential damage to the FIFA approved world class football turf in Kochi. Urge the KCA to take the right decision where cricket (Thiruvananthapuram) and football (Kochi) can happily coexist,” Sachin stated in a tweet.

In another tweet, Sachin urged BCCI chief administrator Vindo Rai to look into the matter.

“Urged Vinod Rai who has promised to look into the matter. Hoping that neither the cricket nor the football fans are disappointed,” Sachin tweeted.

His tweets followed a major social media campaign by football players and supporters in India who are worried about the potential damage to a pristine football venue.

“We football fans in India have small joys and reasons to be happy about. A proper football pitch is one of them. Let’s not snatch that away, even if it’s for a little while,” national football team captain Sunil Chhetri tweeted.

The issue gained momentum after former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor called the move ‘suspect’.

Tharoor, who represents Trivandrum in the Parliament, said he has already spoken to Vinod Rai about KCA’s “bizarre” move to hold the match in Kochi, which was one of the venues for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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