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WPL Auction: Top 5 High-Priced Signings Featuring Smriti Mandhana and Nat Sciver

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WPL Auction: Top 5 High-Priced Signings Featuring Smriti Mandhana and Nat Sciver
Smriti Mandhana: (File Photo)

Smriti Mandhana, the Indian cricket team opener, was one of the big names in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction. The 25-year-old player was signed by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for a staggering Rs 3.4 crore. With her stylish shots through the off-side and a considerable amount of experience, Mandhana can be a solid option for captaincy.

The WPL auction also saw another big-money buy in the form of all-rounder Deepti Sharma, who was signed by UP Warriorz for Rs 2.6 crore. The Indian skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur, was picked for Rs 1.8 crore by Mumbai Indians. The two young stars of the Indian cricket team, Jemimah Rodrigues and Shafali Verma, were both signed by Delhi Capitals for amounts over Rs 2 crore.

One of the top foreign players in the auction was Ashleigh Gardner, who was signed by Gujarat Giants for Rs 3.2 crore. Gardner, who is a two-time T20 World Cup winner, is known for her all-round skills and her incredible fielding. Another foreign talent in the auction was the English all-rounder Nat Sciver, who was signed by Mumbai Indians for Rs 3.2 crore after a bidding war with Delhi Capitals and UP Warriorz.

All-rounders are an essential part of a T20 team’s success, and Deepti Sharma is one of the best in this category. She was a top pick for UP Warriorz, who paid a huge amount for her services. On the other hand, Jemimah Rodrigues, who is known for her ability to play a finisher’s knock, was one of the most lucrative Indian players in the auction. She became the biggest buy for Delhi Capitals.

In conclusion, the WPL auction was a successful event, with a number of big-money buys, including Smriti Mandhana, Ashleigh Gardner, Nat Sciver, Deepti Sharma, and Jemimah Rodrigues. These players bring a wealth of experience and talent to their respective teams and are sure to make an impact in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League.

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Virat Kohli Clinches Fourth ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year

Kohli wins ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer 2023 (4th time). Cummins named Cricketer of the Year, leading Australia to Test and ODI victories.

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Virat Kohli Clinches Fourth ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year
(Virat Kohli Indian cricketer: Photo FB )

On Thursday, Virat Kohli, the prolific Indian batsman, was declared the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year 2023 in recognition of his outstanding performances in the format throughout the previous year. Kohli, who secured his fourth such award, emerged as the second-highest run-scorer in ODIs in 2023, trailing his compatriot Shubman Gill.

The former Indian skipper concluded the year with an impressive tally of 1,377 runs, featuring six centuries and eight half-centuries. Notably, 2023 marked a historic moment as Kohli surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s long-standing record for ODI centuries, etching his name in cricket history.

Kohli’s exceptional year included leading India to the World Cup final, where he not only played a pivotal role but also secured the Player of the Tournament award for his record-breaking 765 runs in 11 matches. This latest accolade adds to Kohli’s illustrious collection of seven individual ICC awards, with four specifically in the ODI category (2012, 2017, 2018, and 2023).

Competing against compatriots Shubman Gill and Mohammed Shami, along with New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell, Kohli claimed the ODI Cricketer of the Year award, although he narrowly missed out on the overall Cricketer of the Year honor, which was clinched by Australian captain Pat Cummins.

Cummins, who had a stellar year, not only secured the Cricketer of the Year award but also the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. Additionally, Australian batter Usman Khawaja was named the Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year, and Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu made history by becoming the first female cricketer from her country to win the Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award.

The awards ceremony also recognized England umpire Richard Illingworth with the David Shepherd Trophy for Umpire of the Year for the third time. Zimbabwe received the Spirit of Cricket Award for their sportsmanship during the World Cup Qualifier match against West Indies.

Cummins expressed his gratitude for the honor, citing the team’s success and his individual achievements during the remarkable year. With outstanding performances in both Test and ODI formats, Cummins played a crucial role in Australia’s victories in the World Test Championship and the World Cup, capping off an extraordinary year for the Australian cricket team.

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MS Dhoni files criminal case against former business partners

Dhoni claims Rs 15 crore loss, stating company breached 2017 agreement terms in his complaint.

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Dhoni Files Rs 15 Crore Cheating Case Against Former Partners
File Photo:Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has taken legal action against his former business associates, Mihir Diwakar and Soma Das of Arka Sports and Management Limited, by filing a criminal case at the Ranchi Civil Court. Dhoni alleges that he was cheated of Rs 15 crore due to the company’s failure to adhere to the conditions outlined in a 2017 agreement.

According to Dhoni’s complaint, the agreement stipulated that Arka Sports and Management Private Limited, represented by Mihir Diwakar and Soma Das, would establish cricket academies in Dhoni’s name and pay the associated franchisee fees. Dhoni granted the company authorization through a letter. Initially, the company made payments, but eventually ceased both payments and updates on the progress of the new cricket academies, leading to a loss of Rs 15 crore for Dhoni.

Advocate Dayanand Singh, representing Dhoni, stated that Dhoni revoked the authority granted to the company on August 15, 2021. The advocate further alleged that the company continued to open cricket academies globally, exploiting Dhoni’s name without his knowledge, and collecting funds from individuals.

“After sending a legal notice to the company in 2022, they persisted, causing Dhoni a financial loss exceeding Rs 15 crore,” explained the advocate. Subsequently, a criminal case was filed in the civil court in Ranchi by advocate Simant Lohani. The case, filed under Sections 406, 420, 468, 471, and 120B of the Indian Penal Code, had its first hearing on Friday, with the next hearing scheduled for January 20.

The academies were closed following the termination of the agreement in 2021. Mihir Diwakar, a longtime acquaintance of Dhoni, is implicated in the case.

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England’s World Cup Hopes Diminished by Sri Lankan Victory

England’s defeat has severely dented their semifinal prospects. Opting to bat first, they managed only 156 runs in 33.2 overs, diminishing their chances.

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England's World Cup Hopes Diminished by Sri Lankan Victory
(Photo:X@ESPNcricinfo)

In a stunning turn of events, England’s reign as the 50-over World Cup champion has been cast into serious doubt after a resolute performance by Sri Lanka. On Thursday, Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama’s fifty-run partnerships, coupled with exceptional bowling, led Sri Lanka to an emphatic eight-wicket victory.

A Struggling England

England, choosing to bat first, suffered a bewildering batting collapse, being dismissed for a meager 156 runs. The primary culprits were the comeback man Angelo Mathews, who claimed 2 wickets for 14 runs, and the impressive Lahiru Kumara, who took 3 wickets for 35 runs.

A Sri Lankan Triumph

Despite losing a couple of early wickets, Sri Lanka confidently chased down the target. Pathum Nissanka, who scored 77 runs off 83 balls, and Sadeera Samarawickrama, with his 65 off 54 balls, played a pivotal role in this victory with an unbroken 137-run partnership for the third wicket.

England’s World Cup Hopes Dwindling

With just two points from five matches, England now retains only a theoretical chance of making it to the semifinals. In contrast, Sri Lanka, with four points, has a stronger foothold in the competition.

A Glimpse of Hope

England managed to dismiss opener Kusal Perera and Lankan captain Kusal Mendis early on, reducing their opponents to 23 for 2. However, Nissanka and Samarawickrama, two of SL’s best ODI batters this year, combined to produce a solid partnership to ease Lanka’s nerves.

A Battle of Determination

The right-handers displayed moments of elegance but prioritized compactness to secure their partnership. Occasionally, they unleashed their natural batting prowess, with Samarawickrama’s exquisite drives and Nissanka’s daring six over long-on.

A Day of Lacking Determination

Unfortunately, England’s performance lacked determination. While Ben Stokes (43) and Dawid Malan (28) made noteworthy contributions, they were the only ones who showed any intention to bat with purpose in this must-win match.

Batsmen’s Struggles

Joe Root got run out attempting a non-existent single, Jos Buttler’s aggressive drive ended in a catch behind, Jonny Bairstow mistimed a pull, and Liam Livingstone fell prey to an LBW. These were expected to be the leading figures of England’s batting charge, but they failed to deliver.

Stokes’ Brave Effort

Stokes did try to carry the weight on his shoulders, but a tough chance dropped by Samarawickrama off Kumara when Stokes was on 12 didn’t change the course of the game. His dismissal marked the end of England’s chances of posting a challenging total.

The Comedy of Errors

Rashid’s comical run-out symbolized England’s struggles with the bat. The inept batting display shouldn’t overshadow the remarkable performance of the Lankan bowlers, particularly Lahiru Kumara.

Conclusion

In a surprising turn of events, England’s World Cup campaign is teetering on the edge. Their inconsistent batting and a formidable Sri Lankan side have put their title defense in jeopardy. They will need to regroup and come back stronger to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.

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