Sourav Ganguly joins cricketers in coming to the aid of ex-India batsman Jacob Martin

Sudhir Gupta 21/01/2019
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Jacob Martin (r) is currently battling for his life.

Following an appeal for financial help from Jacob Martin’s family, several ex-players have come to the aid of the former India batsman.

Martins has been battling for his life ever since he met with a road accident on December 28 and is currently on a life support system at a Vadodara hospital. Following the misfortune, Jacob’s family had appealed to the BCCI for financial support to aid his recovery.

The cricketing body has already pledged financial assistance to the former batsman along with the Baroda Cricket Association.

Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has now become the latest figure to voice his support for Martin and his family.

“Martin and I have been teammates and I remember him as a quiet, introvert-type of person. While praying for Martin’s speedy recovery, I’d like his family to know that they don’t stand alone,” Ganguly told The Telegraph.

Ganguly is the latest to come to Martin's aid.

Ganguly is the latest to come to Martin’s aid.

Ganguly was skipper of India when Martin made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 1999. The Baroda batsman would go on to play a total of 10 ODIs for India with his last international appearance coming in 2001.

While Ganguly is the latest to come to Martin’s aid, India coach Ravi Shastri and former internationals Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and Yusuf Pathan have all pledged their support in recent days.

“It’s overwhelming that Zaheer Khan, Yusuf and Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Sourav and Ravi, among others, have come forward to extend a helping hand in this time of distress for Martin’s family,” former BCCI and Baroda Cricket Association secretary Sanjay Patel had told the Indian Express.

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Young Prithvi Shaw aiming to be fit in time for 2019 IPL campaign with Delhi Capitals

Sudhir Gupta 21/01/2019
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Prithvi Shaw is on the road to recovery.

Budding India batsman Prithvi Shaw is expecting to be fit in time for the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he continues to recuperate from his ankle injury.

The youngster has been out of action ever since he suffered a freak injury during India’s warm-up clash against a Cricket Australia XI during India’s recently concluded tour of Australia.

The opening batsman was expected to be a key part of India’s plan in the four-match Test series against the Aussies after he had enjoyed a promising start to his senior international career with a ton on his debut.

However, the injury suffered in the warm-up game at Sydney ahead of the Test series put paid to those hopes with Shaw being ruled out for the remainder of the tour.

Now, the 19-year-old is hoping to make a complete recovery from the injury before the IPL gets underway towards the end of March this year.

“I will be fit before the Indian Premier League and I am trying hard to reach full fitness. I am working on my ankle as well as on my upper body,” Shaw told India Today.

Shaw suffered the injury in the tour game held at Sydney.

Shaw suffered the injury in the tour game held at Sydney.

The promising teenager lamented missing out on his first tour of Australia but was delighted with India’s maiden Test series win Down Under.

“It was an unfortunate incident and you can’t really do anything about that. It was my wish to play in the challenging conditions in Australia. I love the bounce there. But unfortunately, I suffered a leg injury. But that’s okay, I am very happy that India won the Test series. It can’t get better than this,” Shaw stated.

“I got full support of the team at that time because I was very disappointed with the injury. I had practised hard for the tour and had many things in my mind that I thought I would do there. So, it was disheartening. But yeah, now I am happy that we won the series,” he added.

Shaw will undertake his second season with the Delhi Capitals in the IPL this year after impressing on his debut campaign in 2018.

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Windies coach Pybus insists appointment row won't be a distraction

Rory Dollard 20/01/2019
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West Indies coach Richard Pybus.

Richard Pybus claims the row over his appointment as interim coach of the West Indies will not prove a distraction ahead of the Test series against England.

The decision to put Pybus in charge of team affairs on a nine-month deal was met with dismay by former captain Daren Sammy, who went as far as posting a 15-point critique of the 54-year-old’s credentials on Twitter.

Pybus worked as the Windies’ director of cricket between 2013-2016, a period that concluded with twin successes in the men’s and women’s World T20s as well as the Under-19 World Cup. Sammy has nevertheless been a vocal detractor, claiming the team succeeded “in spite of all the challenges faced or brought on by (him)”.

A West Indies board director last week objected to his installation but an internal review has ratified the decision and referred the director to its ethics committee.

That adds up to a messy build-up ahead of Wednesday’s first Test in Barbados, but Pybus is sure both he and his players will be able to focus on the task at hand.

“Daren is entitled to his opinion. You’ll have to ask him about that. Criticism is part of the game, part of the tapestry and the drama around sport,” he said.

“If there’s any criticism I can learn from, then great. There’s been some issues in the past with players and the board, but I’m focused on the series. I don’t really want to unpack the past.

“We’ve got a Test series to win. The guys are focused on the series coming up, there’s no issues. I don’t want to sound too ‘Zen’ but I’m really focused on the first day coming up and making sure we’re ready for it.”

Pybus has enjoyed a nomadic career in coaching and administration, with stints in South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even a brief stopover at Middlesex on his CV. He has some perspective, then, when addressing the challenge of bringing the West Indies together in common cause.

“It’s the Caribbean, you’ve got 16 countries. It’s not like England, Australia or South Africa. With the internal politics there’s always discussion,” he said.

“It really is a unique part of the world. Unless you’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the region it’s difficult to understand quite how challenging it is. It’s very much a work in progress. Nobody involved in cricket in the Caribbean can say we’re where we want to be, the region has been playing catch-up.”

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