India to open 2019 World Cup campaign against South Africa, will face Pakistan in Manchester

Sudhir Gupta 25/04/2018
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The schedule for the World Cup will be released on Thursday.

The Indian cricket team will open its 2019 ICC World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5.

The official and complete schedule for the 10-team competition to be held in England will be released on Thursday by the ICC.

All eyes will of course be on the India-Pakistan clash with the arch-rivals currently limited to playing each other only in multi-team tournaments due to ongoing political tensions between the two countries.

That match has been scheduled to take place on June 16 at Old Trafford in Manchester according to a senior BCCI official.

Interestingly, the India-Pakistan clash has usually been the opening fixture for both teams when it comes to ICC events but that will not be the case in the 2019 edition of the World Cup.

India and Pakistan will square-off at Manchester on June 16.

India and Pakistan will square-off at Manchester on June 16.

The ICC’s Chief Executives (CEC) meeting is currently ongoing in Kolkata and will come to a conclusion on Friday. India were earlier slated to open their World Cup campaign on June 2 but this has date has now been altered due to the Lodha Committee’s recommendations that a 15-day gap be maintained between the IPL and India’s international assignments.

“The 2019 IPL will be played between March 29 and May 19. But we need to maintain a 15-day gap and World Cup starts on May 30. Therefore as per a 15-day gap, we could have only played on June 5. Earlier, we were scheduled to start on June 2 but we couldn’t have played on that day,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by the PTI (Press Trust of India) on the condition of anonymity.

“South Africa are our first opponents. The CEC agreed and the matter has been referred to the ICC board,” the official went on to add.

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Cricket Australia's tweet causes uproar on Sachin Tendulkar's birthday

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CA's tweet has not gone down too well with Tendulkar fans.

Fans of Sachin Tendulkar were left fuming on Tuesday after Cricket Australia poked fun at the “little master” – revered as a quasi-god in India – on his 45th birthday.

The board posted a video of retired Australian paceman Damien Fleming – who shares a birthday with Tendulkar – bowling the Indian great with a quick delivery.

“Some @bowlologist gold from the man himself – happy birthday, Damien Fleming!” Cricket Australia quipped in its tongue-in-cheek message.

But the humour was lost on Tendulkar’s millions of fans on the subcontinent, who seemed to either miss the joke or balk at the perceived slight on such a hallowed day.

“No matter how many bans, Australians will never change,” wrote Shashank, a Tendulkar fan, dredging up the recent bans handed to top Australian players over a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

“Hi, could you please check the full footage of that match to know that @bowlologist got swing because of any sandpaper or sugar ?????” wrote Arjun, another fan, also alluding to the affair that saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft suspended.

Tendulkar – who is followed by almost 26 million fans on Twitter and worshipped by many more in India – has not commented on the video.

His birthday was celebrated across the country, with many of his ardent followers cutting cakes in rituals given airtime on Indian television.

Tendulkar, the highest run-scorer of all time in both Test matches and one-day internationals, retired after playing in 200 Tests in which he scored 15,921 runs.

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Nottinghamshire wicket-keeper Tom Moores has a fan in Man United's David de Gea

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Moore's reflexes have caught the idea of David de Gea.

Nottinghamshire wicket-keeper Tom Moores is developing quite the reputation in the English County Division One Championship.

The 21-year-old’s stunning catching behind the stumps in Nottinghamshire’s clash with Yorkshire has found himself a fan in Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea.

Although Yorkshire won the match ultimately by a margin of 164 runs, Moore’s acrobatics behind the stumps managed to grab eyeballs.

The official Twitter account of the County Championship had posted a video on Sunday showing two exceptional reflex catches by the young wicket-keeper.

The post had compared Moore’s reflexes to that of the Manchester United shot-stopper.

The post caught the attention of the Spanish No.1 who applauded Moore’s heroics on Tuesday.

The Sussex-born youngster has represented England at the U-19 level before signing a two-year professional deal with Nottinghamshire in 2016. He has played nine first-class matches so far in his young and fledging career.

Judging by the video, Moore’s could very well go on to become a future England international.

Within minutes of De Gea commenting on the video, the Spaniard’s social media had been inundated with queries about whether he would consider a career in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after he hangs up his football boots.

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