ICC Cricket World Cup, 2014/15 news from ESPN

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BCCI tells foreign players to sue Kochi Tuskers

NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board has asked all international Kochi Tuskers cricketers to register a case against the defunct IPL team to recover their pending money. 

Since the players' contracts are between them and the franchisees, the BCCI has asked the cricketers to move against the team. As for Indian cricketers who played for Kochi, they have got 65 per cent of their salaries. 

International cricketers who played for Kochi included Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Brendon McCullum and Steven Smith. Earlier, these players were given verbal commitment from the IPL that the BCCI would protect the players' right, but things have turned out to be different. 

"We have been told by the BCCI to file a case against the Kochi franchisee, which doesn't exist. We are unable to understand what are we supposed to do from here," a top international cricketer who played for Kochi last IPL, told TOI. 

BCCI terminated Kochi's contract during its September AGM for breaching terms of agreement. The board also encashed the team's bank guarantee worth Rs 156 crore. 

Kerala hopes to host 2-3 IPL matches this season

KOCHI: Despite not having an IPL team this season, Kerala hopes to host at least two or three Indian Premier League matches, Kerala Cricket Association secretary TC Mathew said on Tuesday.

A positive signal in this regard was given to Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy by IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla during their recent meeting at New Delhi, he told reporters.

Sports minister K Babu had informed him in this regard, Mathew said.

At least two or three IPL matches are likely to be given to Kochi, he said, quoting Babu.

BCCI had terminated the KTK franchise last year for breaching the terms of agreement after the franchise was unable to furnish a new bank guarantee.

Mathew said he would meet the IPL chairman at Delhi on January 11 to inform him about Kochi's preparedness to host the matches.

KCA has also requested BCCI president N Srinivasan to give Kochi two matches of Chennai Super Kings, he said adding no positive or negative response has been received so far.

KCA is in the cluster of CSK, he said. The association is yet to receive about Rs 90 lakh from Kochi Tuskers Kerala, he said.

ED puts BCCI in dock for Rs 1,650cr forex violations

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued show-cause notices to the Indian cricket board for foreign exchange contraventions amounting to Rs 1,650 crore. The violations under FEMA relate to the conduct of the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in South Africa in 2009.

BCCI conducted the tournament in South Africa purportedly because the government could not provide security cover owing to the general elections. The BCCI entered into an agreement with Cricket South Africa (CSA) and hosted the tournament there over a period of 37 days.

For that purpose, a foreign bank account was operated by the BCCI without disclosing or seeking approval of the Reserve Bank of India as required under the FEMA (1999) legislation. Other banks were also not informed.

The BCCI illegally transferred Rs 250 crore to this foreign bank account through the CSA and spent it on IPL 2, evading scrutiny by the RBI and other banks, the ED said.

It said the BCCI had failed to repatriate the revenues earned in South Africa. The ED also found that the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) had failed to discharge its responsibilities in regulating and monitoring these transactions.

Lalit Modi, former chairman of IPL, was mainly responsible for the conduct of IPL 2 and has been issued a show-cause notice by the directorate. Besides SBT and its officials, other officials of the BCCI, including former president Shashank Manohar and current president N Srinivasan, have also been issued a show-cause notices.

The BCCI officials - Manohar, Srinivasan and Modi (now suspended and facing an internal inquiry) - had worked together in taking IPL 2 to South Africa after they were convinced that hosting the tournament in India with adequate safety measures was not possible.

The tournament in South Africa was a huge success but not without its share of controversies. CSA also underwent an independent probe in 2010-11 after financial irregularities were reported in the South African media.

It was alleged by some members of CSA that approximately 68 million rand had gone missing from its coffers and that some officials had been paid close to 4.8 million rand in bonuses for the successful conduct of the IPL in South Africa in 2009.

Monday, January 30, 2012

IPL to get more exciting

NEW DELHI: As the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) draws closer, innovative plans are afoot to make the Twenty20 extravaganza bigger and better than before. 

The league's new commissioner, Rajeev Shukla, has a few surprises up his sleeve, like a contest between Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and Sachin Tendulkar, F1 drivers Jenson Button andLewis Hamilton playing a 'Super Over' and a team owners' tournament. 

"We've witnessed an increase in IPL spectator numbers. Last season, 160 million people watched the event and 200 countries watched IPL on There were 72 millions hits on the TOI website, an increase of 79 per cent," said Shukla, during an interaction with TOI. 

The IPL and franchise owners are collaborating to ensure that all facets of this year's tournament, from technical issues influencing the quality of cricket to entertainment and glamour quotient, keep the fans glued to the growing format. 

"We are factoring in elements we hope will make IPL more exciting for viewers. There is a proposal to start an owners' league - 10 overs a side contest. Watching Shah Rukh Khan bowl to Vijay Mallya would be interesting," remarked Shukla. 

A Super Over for celebrities from India and abroad, is also under consideration. 

"We're trying to involve top stars from other sports, like Usain Bolt. A Super Over between Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter protagonist) and his idol Sachin Tendulkar is something many Indians will find riveting viewing. We'd love to stage a Button vs Hamilton Super Over match too." 

Having said that, Shukla emphasized that IPL isn't only about glamour; the matches will be the main eye-ball grabber. 

"We have planned the opening ceremony of the IPL a day before the first match. We don't want the match to be affected by the ceremony," he explained. "There won't be official night parties from the IPL side. If teams wish to stage parties, it's their call. But they'll have to keep in mind the schedule of their players and certain guidelines," he added. 

To make the game more thrilling, arrangements are being made to create high-scoring pitches. "We are expecting on an average over 150 runs in 20 overs. Each IPL venue will have three earmarked pitches. The BCCI ground and pitch committee will monitor the event closely. The best curator will be given an award of Rs 50 lakh," said Shukla. 

"I am of the opinion that everything should be planned. I have told franchisees that we should all avoid leaving anything for the 11th hour," Shukla said.

Bayliss to take over as KKR coach

MUMBAI: Former Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss will replace Dav Whatmore as the new chief coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders. Whatmore stepped down from his position on Monday after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gave him charge of their national team.

Bayliss, 49, is now the third coach to be in charge of the Knight Riders after John Buchanan and Whatmore.

Prior to this new assignment, he had worked with the Sri Lankan national team for four years and resigned after their defeat in the World Cup final to India.

"I have followed the IPL and KKR's performance and I am honored to become part of this team which has already built a reputation as a very popular and professional franchise," Bayliss said after the appointment.

Bayliss also has a reputation of sorts in coaching in the Twenty20 format.

It was under him that Sri Lanka also reached the final of the 2009 World Twenty20 in the West Indies.

Kochi Tuskers players could be paraded in fresh IPL auction

MUMBAI: Cricketers belonging to the sacked Kochi Tuskers franchise may finally see light at the end of the tunnel when the Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council meets early next month.

A player auction is on the cards and the governing council is working on allowing franchisees an added purse to spend on Kochi cricketers, who will be put on sale once again.

Franchise officials recently met in Mumbai and discussed the idea of an added purse and the amount that should be allowed for spending when cricketers like Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravindra Jadeja, S Sreesanth and others are brought up for auction again.

These players are yet to receive a small amount of their payments from the sacked Kochi franchise, while the majority of it was already compensated.

It is likely that there will be no further remuneration for these cricketers but instead the BCCI gave them an opportunity in the auction to earn their price.

The players who do not get sold in the auction will be compensated by the board from the money received through encashment of Kochi's bank guarantee.

The amount for the added purse has not been finalised yet. Franchise officials who met recently came up with various budget caps ranging from $750,000 to $1 million and more but the final call will be taken only after the GC meet next month.

The franchises are also waiting for the GC to schedule the trading window as early as possible. Further, IPL's 2012 and 2013 editions may see only nine teams participating and if the board feels the necessity to add a 10th team (replacing Kochi), it will happen only in 2014 or later.

One of the primary reasons for not having a 10th team in place is that the new team, if and when the auction happens, should be allowed a level-playing field as far as buying players are concerned.

No reason to disclose IPL bonus: Former CSA head

JOHANNESBURG: Former Cricket South Africa chief operating officer Don McIntosh has told an inquiry committee that there was no need to disclose the huge bonuses that he, CEO Gerald Majola and other CSA officials got for hosting IPL's second season in South Africa two years ago. 

McIntosh told this to the Nicholson inquiry into the financial affairs of CSA. He received 1.4 million rands for his role in the second IPL which was hosted in South Africa due to security concerns arising out of general elections in India at that time. 

The former official also told the inquiry, instituted by sports minister Fikile Mbalula, that the remuneration committee of CSA was inefficient. 

"(The committee) has not been vigorous," McIntosh said. "They arrange rushed meetings and then go on to assess staff performances. That, to me, is not satisfactory. I did not tell (the remuneration committee) about the IPL bonus. I dealt with Gerald (Majola) as my superior. I disclosed everything to him," McIntosh said. 

"With me, the buck stops with Majola. As long as he knew, that was fine." 

Majola, who awarded the bonus to McIntosh, also pocketed an IPL bonus of 1.8 million rands himself, but did not tell the remuneration committee about this, which subsequently led to calls for an independent inquiry by former CSA president Mtutuzeli Nyoka. Nyoka was ousted in absentia and the inquiry converted to an internal one which largely cleared Majola. 

Reinstated to his position after court action, Nyoka got an audit firm to do an independent inquiry which found Majola to be in breach of the Companies Act. But CSA again did not take strong action against Majola. 

With mounting dissatisfaction for CSA among cricket fans and sponsors shying away, Mbalula decided to establish the three-man inquiry headed by retired judge Chris Nicholson. 

Majola is expected to testify at the commission next week.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mumbai Indians hope to get Zaheer again

NEW DELHI: Mumbai Indians are keen to bring Zaheer Khan back into the fold for IPL 5. The Mukesh Ambani-owned MI team even made an offer to Royal Challengers Bangalore recently for the pacer, but it was rejected on the grounds that Zaheer is the spearhead of the RCB attack. 

Sources, however, say there is still a possibility MI may get their wish. RCB are also being pursued by some other teams for Zaheer. 

Zaheer played for RCB in the first season, but was subsequently traded to MI, where he played two seasons before being sold to RCB again in the 2011 auctions. Chris Gayle's signing with RCB, however, is still in limbo, though negotiations are on between the player and team owners. 

India woes leave Dhoni feeling the heat

NEW DELHI: Less than a year after being hailed as India's greatest cricket captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni finds his head on the block after another woeful Test series abroad.

The 30-year-old could do no wrong when he led India to World Cup glory at home in April last year, his second big success as skipper after winning the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007.

He now presides over a disintegrating Test team that has lost seven consecutive Tests on foreign soil, four of them by an innings and the rest by margins of 196, 319 and 122 runs.

After 67 Tests and 3,509 runs, some say Dhoni barely merits a place in the team any more.

"The need is to find a new captain from beneath the wreckage. Dhoni is no longer the answer in Test cricket," former Australian skipper Ian Chappell wrote in a newspaper on Tuesday.

"He has failed dismally to rally the troops in two disastrous overseas campaigns and his own form, not just with the gloves but also with the bat, no longer warrants a guaranteed place in the Test side."

Dhoni made 220 runs in four Tests in England last year at an average of 31.40 and has managed just 102 runs in three matches in Australia at 20.40.

India, ranked the world's top Test side until they were blanked 4-0 in England, will slip to fourth place if they lose the fourth and final Test against Australia in Adelaide next week in another series whitewash.

Current form suggests they will lose, and lose heavily.

Dhoni won't be playing, having been banned by the International Cricket Council for one match for slow over-rates during the third Test in Perth, his second offence in the last 12 months.

Ex-captains Kapil Dev and Sourav Ganguly have gone on record to say they feel Dhoni needs a quick turnaround to secure his place as Test skipper, while stressing his position at the helm in one-day cricket is not in doubt.

Batting great Sunil Gavaskar supports Dhoni's retention as Test captain -- but only because there is no suitable replacement.

"The team won't miss him as a batsman," Gavaskar said, reacting to Dhoni's ban from the Adelaide Test. "But as a leader he will be missed despite the fact that his record is not good.

"At the moment, I can't think of anyone who is good enough to take over from Dhoni," Gavaskar said.

Dhoni enjoyed a dream run as captain before the current crisis came along.

He was named skipper in 2007 when senior players such as then-captain Rahul Dravid, Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar declined to play in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa.

Dhoni marshalled his inexperienced side to beat great rivals Pakistan in the final in Johannesburg, sparking a Twenty20 revolution in India that led to the creation of the lucrative Indian Premier League a year later.

He was unbeaten in his first 11 Tests as captain, winning eight with three draws. He has now led India in 37 Tests with a creditable record of 17 wins, 10 losses and as many draws.

Unfortunately for him, and India, seven of the 10 defeats have come in succession in England and Australia as the once-mighty batting line-up faltered repeatedly.

Dhoni, true to character, said after defeat in Perth: "I need to blame myself as I am the leader of this side. Of course, I am the main culprit."

His leadership -- and his batting skills -- will again be put on the line when he leads the World Cup champions in a one-day tri-series against Australia and Sri Lanka from February 5.

He knows more defeats over the next 12 months, and a poor run with the bat, could not only cost him the captaincy, but also his Test career.

He is already the most over-worked player in the country, leading India in all three formats of the game and captaining the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and Champions League.

Dhoni, who will be 34 by the time the next World Cup is played in Australia and New Zealand in 2015, has said he will rethink his future in the game by the end of next year.

SLC keen to hold IPL games to raise funds

COLOMBO: Cash-starved Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has approached the BCCI, showing their interest to hold some Indian Premier League matches in the island country to raise some additional revenue.

SLC's revenue got a beating when the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) was postponed last year after the BCCI refused to release Indian cricketers for the tournament.

SLC also has been hit hard because of the construction of new stadiums in Pallekele and Hambantota and the renovation of the Premadasa Stadium for last year's World Cup.

"I feel it (a T20 league) is a needed thing. But I don't think it is the right time with India having the IPL," the newly-appointed SLC president Upali Dharmadasa told Espncricinfo.

"With most of our players going and playing there and the countries being so close, I would request the Indian board, and we have already started talking, why not play a couple of (IPL) matches in Sri Lanka?"

Pointing out that logistical issue won't be a problem in hosting IPL matches in Sri Lanka, Dharmadasa said, "Make it a venture.

"On the whole, they (the BCCI) will help Sri Lanka as a tourist attraction and see that Sri Lanka Cricket comes up."

India were supposed to play a full tour -- three Tests, five ODIs and a T20 game -- in Sri Lanka, but severe shortage of funds have forced the SLC to rejig the proposed series.

India's tour of Sri Lanka later this year will now comprise three ODIs and as many T20 games and no Test matches.

"I am talking to the TV rights owners, Ten Sports. I am hopeful of raising almost $ 12.5 million," Dharmadasa said.

He said that he was trying to arrange a fourth ODI. "From a revenue point of view, I would love India to tour Sri Lanka three times a year.

"Unfortunately, it is not possible. But whenever possible (we would like them to tour)," Dharmadasa said.

The SLPL, scheduled to be held in July last year, had been postponed to August this year because of numerous problems.

Dravid named new Rajasthan Royals captain

JAIPUR: Veteran Indian batsman Rahul Dravid was on Saturday named captain of the Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals, filling up a post left vacant by retired Australian spin legend Shane Warne earlier this year.

The 38-year-old Dravid was bought by the Royals for $500,000 in the players' auction this year after playing three seasons with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Dravid, who is being bestowed with the 'Polly Umrigar Award for India's best cricketer of 2010-11' by the BCCI, has had a great year in which he has scored 1,258 runs in 15 Tests, including six centuries.

"I am honoured to lead the Rajasthan Royals. I hope to live up to the confidence shown in me by the franchise and give our fans an exciting season of cricket. I look forward to the valuable inputs from my team mates who are already leading their national sides and clubs," Dravid said after the announcement.

"My aim will be to get the best out of a very talented squad and invoke the same team spirit that won the franchise the first IPL and has been a hallmark of the Rajasthan Royals ever since. I am confident that by doing so we will have a great chance of doing well in the tournament," he added.

Dravid was congratulated by outgoing captain Shane Warne on his appointment.

"I would like to congratulate Rahul Dravid on his appointment as the captain of the Royals. He is not only one of the world's best batsmen, but a leader par excellence.

"The Royals Squad is a bunch of extremely energetic and talented players who know their roles perfectly well and I am sure they will thrive under Dravid's inspiring leadership. I will be keenly following the Royals and Dravid and would like to wish them the best," he said.

Rajasthan Royals co-owner, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, hoped that Dravid's appointment would give a fillip to the side which lifted the IPL trophy in its inaugural season in 2008.

"...gotta make another huge announcement, The New Captain fr Rajasthan Royals..Proud 2 have RAHUL DRAVID head the Team this season. Yipee," Shetty had tweeted.

"So its Official now! The "WALL" it is;)Congratulations Rahul, am sure u will make us all very proud at RR..Go Royals," she added.

The fifth edition of the Twenty20 league will be played from April 4 to May 27 next year.

Rajasthan were without a captain after Warne announced his retirement from the IPL in May this year.

The 42-year-old Warne, who coached and captained Royals since the first edition in 2008, is currently playing in the Australian Big Bash Twenty20 Tournament for the Melbourne team.

Dravid was reasonably successful in his debut season for the Royals this year, scoring 343 runs at an average of 31 in 12 matches.

Will seek Warne's advice, says new Rajasthan Royals skipper Dravid

JAIPUR: The captain's armband wasn't quite right. In fact, it was upside down! Rahul Dravid, though, didn't seem to have noticed. Named captain of the Rajasthan Royals for IPL 5 at a formal announcement on Saturday, Dravid was his usual intense self.

"It's a great responsibility. Shane Warne has left behind a great team and I'm looking forward to carrying on from there. It was an excellent experience playing under Warnie and I'll be seeking his advice if required. He is just a phone call away."

Australian legend Warne is yet to decide whether he wants to have any role with Rajasthan Royals, though he did send a congratulatory message to Dravid.

"I would like to congratulate him on his appointment as the captain of the Royals. He is not only one of the world's best batsmen, but a leader par excellence. The Royals squad is a bunch of extremely energetic and talented players who know their role perfectly well. I'm sure they will thrive under Dravid's inspiring leadership."

With Warne no longer there, the Royals will also need a coach, since the leg-spinner was doing double duty as coach and captain. "We haven't really decided on that," CEO Raghu Iyer said.

Warne's assistants in the setup will have a greater role to play. The Royals management also expect Dravid to play a bigger role as a mentor to the younger players. Iyer told TOI the franchise would be interested in buying Kochi Tuskers Kerala players if they are put up for auction.

Dravid had been picked up by Rajasthan Royals during last year's auctions for a relatively low amount. He had been fairly successful in IPL 4. Being the senior-most and the most experienced player in the squad, Dravid was an obvious choice in a squad which has national-side skippers like Ross Taylor and Johan Botha.

Dravid has been in exceptional form in the past few months, even making an ODI comeback against England before retiring from the format. He was one of the brighter spots in an otherwise dismal show in England. With another overseas tour beckoning India, Dravid hopes to make amends in Australia. "We are going to Australia with some cricket behind us."

Parthiv gets notice to pay service tax for IPL earnings

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat cricketers Parthiv Patel and Siddharth Trivedi have been issued showcause notices by the service central excise department asking them to pay service tax on their earnings from the last three seasons of the Indian Premier League

Patel has been asked to pay Rs 42.84 lakh and Trivedi Rs 6.59 lakh as tax calculated on the money they received from their respective IPL franchises. Officials said the players were asked to furnish details on income from sponsorships and earnings from match fees.

"Since the break-up of income streams was not forthcoming, the tax demand was raised," said an official.

The notices say that the players offered 'business support services' to their franchises. While Patel was picked by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 1.3 crore per season, Trivedi played for Rajasthan Royals for Rs 20 lakh per season.

Sources said Trivedi also received Rs 12 lakh as performance bonus for 2008-09, but that was included to calculate tax liability.

Earlier, the department had sent such notices to four players of Kings XI Punjab, including Yuvraj Singh. Patel's chartered accountant Hemal Desai said the 'business support service' category under which tax demand had been raised did not fit cricketing events.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mumbai Indians buy Karthik from Kings XI Punjab, give Sathish

CHENNAI: Former India 'keeper and Tamil Nadu mainstay Dinesh Karthik has joined the Mumbai Indians from Kings XI Punjab in the first significant transfer before IPL 5. 

He was bought by Mumbai for an undisclosed sum but according to sources, "it was easily the highest sum paid to buy a domestic player from another team in the history of the IPL". MI swapped former TN all-rounder Rajagopal Sathish with Karthik. 

"It's a big opportunity for me and I'm looking forward to have a great time with the Mumbai Indians in the forthcoming season," Karthik told TOI on Thursday. 

Though Karthik didn't want to go into the financial details of the deal, it was learnt that the right-hander was offered somewhere between Rs 11-13 crore. 

"MI are a very good side and I'll be fortunate if I can add value to the team," Karthik added.

Indian advertisers keep faith with struggling cricketers

MUMBAI: The Indian Test side's continued freefall in Australia has infuriated the media and angered fans back home but advertisers and broadcasters are refusing to give up on cricket, given a lack of alternatives and the fickleness of local supporters.

Since the euphoria of a 2011 World Cup victory on home soil in April, nothing has gone right for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team, who lost the number one Test ranking to England after a 4-0 series whitewash on a tour there a few months later.

A similar humiliation looms in Australia, where they have been thoroughly outplayed in the first three matches of a four-Test series but media planners insist cricket remains a hot property.

"Overall, there won't be much of a difference. Cricket as a property is still hot and advertisers will look to get on board," Sanjay Chakraborty of ZenithOptimedia said.

The humiliation in Australia, however, would give more bargaining power to advertisers buying slots for the one-day international tri-series that followed the Tests from February 5, he added.

ESPN-STAR Sports India are broadcasting the series and the company's senior director of corporate development, Rathindra Basu, believes the side only needed one good tournament to win back fans who may have turned their back on cricket.

"All it takes is one big win or one big hundred and you will find that all the negativity will disappear," Basu said.

Cricket drew more than a quarter of the country's total advertising revenue of $2.41 billion last year and it is likely to remain the same this year with big-ticket events like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka lined up.

"Cricket gets Indians together like nothing else. Also, events like the IPL are a mix of entertainment and cricket and they appeal to the youth and female audiences, which is a boon for advertisers," said Rohit Gupta, president of Multi Screen Media, who own telecast rights for the lucrative Twenty20 event.

In India's uni-sport culture, cricket dominates sports advertising revenue and Dhoni is one of the prime beneficiaries, having signed a two-year deal with a talent management company for two trillion rupees ($39.70 million) in 2010.

The previous highest by an Indian cricketer was Sachin Tendulkar's three-year deal with another firm for $35.8 million.

None of them stood to lose in terms of brand value, said television commercial maker Prahlad Kakkar.

"People like Dhoni and Sachin are sought after because they are icons. As of now, I don't see anything affecting their brand value," Kakkar said.

Hero MotoCorp, which has batsman Virender Sehwag and bowler Ishant Sharma as brand ambassadors, is another major sponsor staying loyal to cricket.

"Our commitment to the promotion of the game does not change on the basis of the fluctuating fortunes of the national team," Hero MotoCorp senior vice-president (marketing & sales) Anil Dua said.

"Our commitment is for the long-term promotion of cricket and cricketers in the country," Dua added.

No IPL matches in Sri Lanka

CHENNAI: The Indian Premier League released its 2012 tournament schedule on Friday, confirming that no matches will be played in Sri Lanka despite a request from the island's cricket authorities.

Upali Dharmadasa, the new president of Sri Lanka Cricket, said earlier this week that he had asked the Indian board to hold some IPL matches on the island to raise money for his financially strapped organisation.

But no Sri Lankan city features in the 76-match schedule of this year's Twenty20 event, which will run from April 4 to May 27 at 11 venues.

The venues for 72 league matches will be Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, Bangalore, Vishakapatnam, Pune, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mohali and Dharamshala.

Cuttack has been named a stand-by ground.

The league phase will be followed by play-offs among the top four sides in Bangalore and Chennai, with the final in Chennai on May 27.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, which owns the IPL, did not say why Sri Lanka's request was rejected.

Sri Lanka Cricket has debts of around $70 million after building two new stadiums in Pallekele and Hambantota and renovating the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo for the World Cup last year.

Majola, McIntosh pocketed more than two thirds of IPL bonus

JOHANNESBURG: Former Cricket South Africa official Colin Beggs has alleged that CEO Gerald Majola and former COO Don McIntosh pocketed more than two thirds of the controversial IPL bonuses while staffers down the hierarchy, such as grounds men, got nothing.

Beggs, a former board member, in his deposition to the inquiry committee on the financial affairs of CSA, instituted at the behest of sports minister Fikile Mbalula, said, "I don't know who had the authority to decide that was an appropriate split for these two executives to get the majority (of the IPL bonus)."

The IPL 2 was played in South Africa because of security concerns around elections in India at the time.

Beggs was the first person to have raised the flag about Majola not having declared the IPL bonus to the CSA board.

He was subsequently ousted after a call for an independent inquiry, as was CSA president Mtutuzeli Nyoka, who did the same.

After being reinstated following court action, Nyoka got auditors KPMG to conduct an independent inquiry, which found Majola to be in breach of his fiduciary duties.

Beggs said it was incumbent on Majola to have declared the bonuses.

"It is virtually the first item, after apologies (at any meeting) to declare any interests one has," Beggs said, adding that Majola had many opportunities to do that, but he did not.

I didn't disclose IPL bonus according to Companies Act: Majola

PRETORIA: Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola has admitted to the Nicholson inquiry looking into the financial affairs of the board that he did not disclose a huge bonus paid to him by the organisers of the IPL according to the requirements of the Companies Act.

An independent inquiry by auditors KPMG, established by sports minister Fikile Mbalula, cited Majola as being in breach of the Companies Act, but this is the first time that he has made the disclosure.

The IPL 2 was played in South Africa in 2009 because of security concerns around elections in India at that time.

Majola said that he had disclosed the bonuses to a members' forum meeting and advised the CSA board, even though former board members, including some who served on the remunerations committee, earlier testified to the inquiry that Majola had not advised them of the bonuses.

"I was totally convinced at that time, as it was common practice to do it this way, that I had disclosed properly when I did," Majola said as he candidly explained he was only later advised that detailed disclosure was a requirement of the Companies Act.

"I had absolutely no idea of the format set out in that Act and I am the first one to admit that I did not disclose this as the Act required me to," he said.

Majola informed the inquiry that he had disclosed at a members' meeting and also at a board meeting that he was going to receive a bonus and this was documented.

He also said that former chief operating officer Don McIntosh determined all bonuses that were paid to CSA staff.

Friday, January 27, 2012

IPL 5 to get underway from April 4

MUMBAI: Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Mumbai Indians in the inaugural match of the fifth edition of Indian Premier League at Chennai's MA Chidambaram stadium on April 4, the BCCI announced on Friday. 

The tournament is scheduled to feature nine franchisee teams and a total of 76 matches will be played across the 12 venues in the run to the finals on May 27. 

The league stage of the 54-day-long event will comprise of 72 matches with each team playing the other eight in a home-and-away format. 

The play offs would be hosted by Bangalore and Chennai, the two finalists from the previous edition. 

While Bangalore will host Qualifier 1 - the table toppers from the league stage versus the second team on that list (1 vs 2) - and the Eliminator - the contest between the third and fourth placed teams (3 vs 4) - on May 22 and 23 respectively, Chennai will be the venue for Qualifier 2 to be played on May 25. 

The city will also host the final on May 27. The new stadium in Pune, subject to the final completion, will make its debut as an IPL venue, by staging all eight 'home' games of the Pune Warriors India. Dharamsala, Cuttack and Vizag will host two games each. 

Kochi Tuskers Kerala, which made its debut in 2011, will not figure in the fifth season as the franchise was terminated by the BCCI last September for breaching its terms of agreement. 

Does India's selection policy need urgent upgrade?

Is former Australia captain Ian Chappell right in saying that "India's selectors are now getting their due"?

Chappell said: "The selection committee should be sacked first. They (the selectors) have taken a very short-sighted policy for a few years now." Does Indian cricket indeed need a revamp of the scope and powers of its national selection committee, much like Cricket Australia did recently?

The Argus report which followed Australia's 2010-11 Ashes debacle recommended a total overhaul of the selection committee and advised "immediate changes" in the structure of Australian cricket.

Citing "confusing selections" as the main reason for Australia's decline following the retirement of some once-in-a-generation players, the report argued that the captain and coach form part of a five-man committee headed by a full-time chairman. India's seventh successive away Test disaster and the obvious decline of its batting giants means the country's cricket now finds itself at a similar crossroads.

The consensus is that the problems have been festering for long but were being glossed over due to victories at home. Though India's five-member selection committee is now a professional unit and the members have credibility, did a lack of will to enforce their presence at critical times - as Chappell has suggested - play a part in the team's travails?

Is it time for the Indian board (BCCI) to widen the powers of the selectors or make them more accountable? TOI looks at possible areas where selectors may have slipped up...


India's 0-4 drubbing in England should have sent alarm bells ringing in the selection committee. Yet nothing was done to prevent impending disaster in Australia and nearly the same batting unit was selected again. Did the selectors fail to read the writing on the wall? Perhaps because it was so much easier to treat the failure in England as an aberration brought on by injuries? Or did they think the return of a regular opening pair would smoothen the bumps?

The dismal show Down Under means what began as a blip became a full-blown disaster. There was no plan in place, and now Indian cricket might have to deal with all senior players departing in rapid succession. Chairman Srikkanth's recent comment - "We picked the best team. We picked players who have scored 8000-10,000 runs in Test cricket and all of a sudden the top six are failing together" - reflects this confusion. Was it really "all of a sudden"?


Questions about a transition plan - following the impending retirement of some great players - have been doing the rounds since 2008-09, when the likes of Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble called it quits. Yet, every time a selector or any BCCI official was asked about the issue, the quick answer was that India had its replacements ready, and there were a lot of promising youngsters just waiting to shine at the Test level. As it turned out, the opposite was true: No special care was taken to groom Test specialists. The new breed of replacement batsmen remains largely untested against quality opposition away from home. There seems to be no urgency or concern to rehabilitate the injured Cheteshwar Pujara and bring him back at the earliest. The Saurashtra batsman is the frontline replacement for Rahul Dravid at No. 3. Uncertainty looms at every corner on the pace front too, with only Umesh Yadav offering a glimmer of hope.


Some selections for the Australia series, both Tests and ODIs, have raised debate...

(a) The pace department:

Why was swing bowler Vinay Kumar, who has 14 wickets from his last 13 ODIs at 32.78 and an economy rate of 5.47, picked over the speedier Ashok Dinda in Tests? Vinay didn't look like he was Test material in Perth. Dinda, in contrast, hits the deck hard and picked up 37 wickets from 6 Ranji Trophy matches this season, with two 10-wicket hauls. Dinda's performance even led former captain Sourav Ganguly to declare that "Dinda is the best pacer in the country". Seeing how Kumar bowled at speeds almost matched by Michael Hussey, wouldn't Dinda have been a better bet? Similarly some are inclined to feel comeback man Irfan Pathan - 21 wickets from 5 Ranji games with three 5-wicket hauls, and man of the match in India's Perth Test win in 2008 - would have been a better bet than passenger Abhimanyu Mithun.

(b) Persisting with Parthiv Patel:

Why is Parthiv, who averages 24.55 from his last 21 ODIs, in the ODI squad despite his poor batting form?

(c) No Plan B for Sehwag:

The selectors, and the team, became so reliant on Sehwag for success they couldn't get past the problem of the opener not firing. Sehwag averages 29.53 from his last 7 Tests. Since December 2010, India's opening pair has averaged just 17.79 from 24 innings. This is also a reflection of the famed middle order's waning powers: they have been unable to pick up the slack.


Rajasthan, who have made the Ranji Trophy final twice in a row, have no representatives in the national squad. It seems domestic performances of proven but out-of-form players on the comeback trail are okay with the selectors. But they don't acknowledge fresh talent until they have seen the player themselves. Is this an acknowledgment that the gulf between India's domestic cricket and the international arena is too vast to merit new selection? If so, how do the selectors and BCCI hope to solve this problem?


Why do the selectors have no say when it comes to India's injured stars representing their clubs in the IPL? Case in point: Virender Sehwag, who played 11 games for Delhi Daredevils even though he needed surgery on his shoulder immediately after the World Cup. The result? He missed the start of the England series, was brought back as emergency replacement when clearly still in recovery, and subsequently lost his form. Sehwag's was probably the worst case of injury management in international cricket in 2011. Why did the selectors, in the interests of the national team, not have the mandate to prevent Sehwag playing in the IPL?

Schedule of IPL matches

April 4 Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians 

April 5 Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils 

April 6 Mumbai Indians vs Pune Warriors India, Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab 

April 7 Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils, Deccan Chargers vs Chennai Super Kings 

April 8 Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Pune Warriors India vs Kings XI Punjab 

April 9 Deccan Chargers vs Mumbai Indians 

April 10 Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils Chennai Super Kings 

April 11 Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals 

April 12 Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab vs Pune Warriors India 

April 13 Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals 

April 14 Delhi Daredevils vs Deccan Chargers, Pune Warriors India vs Chennai Super Kings 

April 15 Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals 

April 16 Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Daredevils 

April 17 Rajasthan Royals vs Deccan Chargers, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Pune Warriors India 

April 18 Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders 

April 19 Deccan Chargers vs Delhi Daredevils, Chennai Super Kings vs Pune Warriors India 

April 20 Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 

April 21 Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils vs Pune Warriors India. 

April 22 Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers vs Kolkata Knight Riders 

April 23 Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 

April 24 Pune Warriors India vs Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Deccan Chargers 

April 25 Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings 

April 26 Pune Warriors vs India Deccan Chargers 

April 27 Delhi Daredevils vs Mumbai Indians 

April 28 Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 

April 29 Delhi Daredevils vs Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians vs Deccan Chargers 

April 30 Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders 

May 1 Deccan Chargers vs Pune Warriors India, Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Daredevils 

May 2 Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab 

May 3 Pune Warriors vs India Mumbai Indians 

May 4 Chennai Super Kings vs Deccan Chargers 

May 5 Kolkata Knight Riders vs Pune Warriors India, Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals 

May 6 Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Deccan Chargers 

May 7 Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders 

May 8 Pune Warriors India vs Rajasthan Royals, Deccan Chargers vs Kings XI Punjab 

May 9 Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 

May 10 Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings 

May 11 Pune Warriors India vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 

May 12 Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils 

May 13 Rajasthan Royals vs Pune Warriors India, Kings XI Punjab vs Deccan Chargers 

May 14 Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings 

May 15 Delhi Daredevils vs Kings XI Punjab 

May 16 Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders 

May 17 Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 

May 18 Deccan Chargers vs Rajasthan Royals 

May 19 Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors India vs Kolkata Knight Riders 

May 20 Deccan Chargers vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians

Play offs: 

May 22 Qualifier 1: First Placed Team vs Second Placed Team 

May 23 Eliminator: Third Placed Team vs Fourth Placed Team 

May 25 Qualifier 2: Winner of Eliminator vs Loser of Qualifier1 

May 27 Final: Winner of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Qualifier 2.