Category Archives: Sports

ENG vs SL: Jos Buttler, England’s MVP, fires again

Before Jos Buttler, England had 3 other centurions in T20Is. But this innings was special, from a special player who on Monday, became the first England cricketer to score hundreds in all 3 formats.

In the end, England’s winning mentality came to the fore. With the game on an even keel and a specialist bowler, Tymal Mills, back in the dressing-room after suffering an injury, Eoin Morgan had to turn to Liam Livingstone to bowl the 17th over.

Sri Lanka needed 41 runs off 24 balls, and Wanindu Hasaranga and Dasun Shanaka were in the middle of an exciting partnership. But Morgan’s field placements were superb and substitute Sam Billings pulled off a stunner in the deep via a Jason Roy assist to dismiss the dangerous-looking Hasaranga. Sri Lanka fizzled quickly to lose by 26 runs. England made it four on the spin, this time after being stretched and losing the toss. They are the team to beat at this T20 World Cup.

Before Jos Buttler, England had three other centurions in T20Is – Alex Hales, Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone. But this innings was special, from a special player who on Monday in Sharjah became the first England cricketer to score hundreds in all three formats. Buttler was resplendent in his judiciousness followed by cultured destruction of the Sri Lankan bowlers.

Batting first on a sluggish Sharjah pitch wasn’t easy. Sri Lanka, Hasaranga (3/21) to be precise, bowled beautifully upfront to create pressure. But England eventually got to 163/4, Buttler scoring 101 of those runs in 67 balls.

Beyond India and Pakistan, and to some extent Afghanistan, cricket doesn’t woo fans in this part of the world. Sharjah was noisy but half-empty. Those who cared to turn up were privileged to witness Buttler’s batting.

Very few batsman in white-ball cricket has his range. Mahela Jayawardene saw it at a pretty developing stage of Buttler’s career and promoted him to open the innings for Mumbai Indians. The player is now a lot more cerebral, with the ability to outthink the bowlers for fun. For such a smart cricketer with such exhilarating shot-making range, why has he failed to crack the Test code, consistency-wise, remains a mystery. But at the moment, it’s about a World Cup and Buttler has been at the forefront of his team’s forward march. No team has won the 50-over and the T20 World titles in the same cycle yet. England would be disappointed not to achieve the special feat.

Scoop is one of Buttler’s signature shots and he plays it so well because of his ability to pre-empt. Sample this: Dushmantha Chameera bowled a full-toss on off, the England opener shimmied his left leg towards leg-side, completely opened his stance and scooped it over the wicketkeeper’s head for a four. On air, Michael Atherton drew a goalkeeping analogy, the way a goalkeeper studies a penalty-taker from the line.

Against Australia in the last game, he was quick to hit top gear, first through a six off Ashton Agar followed by the complete dismantling of Mitchell Starc. The Sharjah pitch demanded more circumspection, more so because England lost three early wickets. Buttler had to anchor the innings. For an explosive batting line-up like England, 61/3 after 12 overs was pretty slow going. Morgan’s decision to not promote Moeen Ali ahead of him at No. 5 looked to be hurting his side. But his team was playing to a plan. They had a target on mind and acceleration started from the 13th over onwards. By then, Hasaranga’s first spell was done and mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana had finished his quota.

From 13 to 16 overs, England scored 49 runs without losing a wicket. That’s where the game changed. As for Morgan, a place in the semifinals already secured, the skipper took the opportunity to spend time in the middle and return to form. It was a crawl initially and serious discomfort against spin – just nine runs off 19 balls from the bowlers of that variety. But gradually Morgan got better, scoring 40 off 36 balls. More importantly, during the fallow phase he didn’t throw his wicket away, resorting to poor shot selection. The fourth wicket partnership stitched 112 runs.

Coming back to Buttler, he copped flak during the home Test series against India this summer. Skipped a Test, when his wife was expecting their second child. Opted out of the second phase of the IPL and came to the T20 World Cup after recharging his batteries. So far, he has scored 214 runs from four games at a strike-rate of 153.95.

England have been ticking the other boxes as well. Their spinners, Moeen and Adil Rashid, returned with figures of 2/15 and 2/19 respectively, braving the evening dew. A handful of England fans, who came to the ground, returned home carrying real optimism.

Indians at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics: All the Athletes who qualified for Summer Para Games

The Tokyo Paralympic Games, postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will start on August 24 and run till September 5.

India will field their biggest contingent at the Paralympics with 54 athletes to compete in nine disciplines at the Tokyo Paralympics. Only 19 Indians competed in the Paralympics at Rio 2016.

Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia and high jump ace Mariyappan Thangavelu are the two Paralympic champions in the current Indian contingent.

Jhajharia broke the world record with his gold medal effort at Rio 2016. Thangavelu also struck gold at Rio. He was the first Indian Paralympian to win gold since 2004.

Badminton and taekwondo, meanwhile, are set to make their Paralympics debut in Tokyo. India’s challenge in badminton will be led by two-time world champion Pramod Bhagat and the world No. 3 Suhas Yathiraj, while in taekwondo, the onus will be on Aruna Tanwar.

Harvinder Singh and Vivek Chikara are the first men archers from the country to qualify for the Games.

Prachi Yadav is set to become India’s first paracanoe at the Tokyo Para Games while Avani Lekhera will be the first Indian woman para shooter to compete at the Paralympics.

Indian athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

  1. Harvinder Singh, archery, recurve men’s open individual
  2. Vivek Chikara, archery, recurve men’s open individual
  3. Rakesh Kumar, archery, compound men’s open individual/ mixed
  4. Shyam Sundar Swami, archery, compound, men’s open individual/ mixed
  5. Jyoti Baliyan, archery, compound women’s open individual/ mixed
  6. Amit Kumar Saroha, athletics, men’s club throw F51
  7. Dharambir Nain, athletics, men’s club throw F51
  8. Vinod Kumar, athletics, men’s discus throw F52
  9. Yogesh Kathuniya, athletics, men’s discus throw F56
  10. Nishad Kumar, athletics, men’s high jump T47
  11. Ram Pal, athletics, men’s high jump T47
  12. Mariyappan Thangavelu, athletics, men’s high jump T63
  13. Sharad Kumar, athletics, men’s high jump T63
  14. Varun Singh Bhati, athletics, men’s high jump T63
  15. Praveen Kumar, athletics, men’s high jump T64
  16. Navdeep Singh, athletics, men’s javelin throw F41
  17. Sudar Singh Gurjar, athletics, men’s javelin throw F46
  18. Ajeet Singh, athletics, men’s javelin throw F46
  19. Devendra Jhajharia, athletics, men’s javelin throw F46
  20. Tek Chand, athletics, men’s javelin throw F54
  21. Ranjeet Bhati, athletics, men’s javelin throw F57
  22. Sandeep Choudhary, athletics, men’s javelin throw F64
  23. Sumit Antil, athletics, men’s javelin throw F64
  24. Arvind Malik, athletics, men’s shot put F35
  25. Soman Rana, athletics, men’s shot put F57
  26. Simran Sharma, athletics, women’s 100m T13
  27. Kashish Lakra, athletics, women’s club throw F51
  28. Ekta Bhyan, athletics, women’s club throw F51
  29. Bhagyashri Jadhav, athletics, women’s shot put F34
  30. Pramod Bhagat, badminton, men’s singles SL3 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5
  31. Manoj Sarkar, badminton, men’s singles SL3
  32. Tarun Dhillon, badminton, men’s singles SL4
  33. Suhas Yathiraj, badminton, men’s singles SL4
  34. Krishna Nagar, badminton, men’s singles SL4
  35. Parul Parmar, badminton, women’s singles SL4
  36. Palak Kohli, badminton, women’s singles, SU5 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5
  37. Prachi Yadav, para canoeing, women’s 200m VL2
  38. Jaideep Deswal, powerlifting, men’s 65kg
  39. Sakina Khatun, powerlifting, women’s 50kg
  40. Akash, shooting, men’s 25m pistol (P3) and 50m pistol (P4)
  41. Manish Narwal, shooting, men’s 10m air pistol (P1) and men’s 50m pistol (P4)
  42. Deepender Singh, shooting, men’s 10m air pistol (P1)
  43. Rahul Jakhar, shooting, men’s 25m pistol mixed (P3)
  44. Singhraj, shooting, men’s P1 – 10m air pistol (P1) and men’s 50m Pistol (P4)
  45. Sidhartha Babu, shooting, 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3) and 50m rifle prone mixed (R6).
  46. Swaroop Unhalkar, shooting, men’s 10m air rifle standing (R1)
  47. Deepak Saini, shooting, men’s 10m air rifle standing (R1), 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3), 50m rifle prone mixed (R6) and 50m rifle 3P (R7).
  48. Rubina Francis, shooting, women’s 10m air pistol (P2)
  49. Avani Lekhara, shooting, women’s 10m air rifle standing (R2), 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3), 50m rifle prone mixed (R6) and 50m rifle 3-P (R8).
  50. Niranjan Mukundan, swimming, men’s 50m butterfly S7
  51. Suyash Jadhav, swimming, men’s 50m butterfly S7 and 200m individual medley SM7.
  52. Sonalben Patel, table tennis, women’s singles – Class 3
  53. Bhavina Patel, table tennis, women’s singles – Class 4
  54. Aruna Tanwar, taekwondo, women’s K44-49 kg.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Neeraj Chopra wins Gold in Javelin, India’s first-ever win in athletics

India’s javelin ace Neeraj Chopra has scripted history in Tokyo Olympics 2020. The 23-year-old has become the second Indian, after Abhinav Bindra, to win an individual gold medal for India.

His monstrous throw in the second round proved too good for other javelin throwers. His biggest rival, Johannes Vetter, was out in the first round of the finals. 

Neeraj Chopra finished on top with a throw that went 87.58m. Czech Republic’s Vadlejch (86.67m) and Vítězslav Veselý (85.44m) won silver and bronze respectively. 

With this medal, India goes past their previous best and have 7 medals in their tally with four bronze, two silver and one gold. 

Twitteratis were overjoyed with the win. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and wrote: “History has been scripted at Tokyo! What @Neeraj_chopra1 has achieved today will be remembered forever. The young Neeraj has done exceptionally well. He played with remarkable passion and showed unparalleled grit. Congratulations to him for winning the Gold. #Tokyo2020.”

Neeraj Chopra’s father also reacted after his win and said: “I am so happy that the country’s dream has been fulfilled through the efforts of my son. After seeing the level of his training, we were sure of this medal.” 

Tokyo Olympics 2021 Day 12 Live Updates: Neeraj into javelin finals; Ravi, Deepak into wrestling semis

Tokyo Olympics 2021 India Events Schedule, Day 12: Neeraj Chopra qualifies for men’s javelin throw finals; Lovlina Borgohain to be in semi-final action, India faces Argentina in women’s hockey semis.

Tokyo Olympics 2021 India, Day 12: After the disappointments on Day 11, it is a big day on Wednesday as India’s Lovlina Borgohain, who is already assured of a medal, will take on reigning world champion Busenaz Sürmeneli in semis (69kg) for a place in the final. This is the first time that a sportsperson from Assam is all set to win a medal at the Olympic Games.

The boxer, hailing from Baramukhia village in Assam’s Golaghat district, defeated Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen to reach the women’s welterweight semi-finals. On the other hand, India faces Argentina in the women’s hockey semi-finals later in the afternoon. In their third-ever Olympics, it will be their first-ever last-four appearance. Neeraj Chopra qualified for the men’s javelin throw finals by topping the Group A qualification with a throw of 86.65m, but Shivpal Singh failed to do so in Group B. In wrestling, both Ravi Dahiya (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) won their opening two bouts and made their way into the respective semi-finals. Anshu Malik, who lost her opening bout in women’s 57kg, will compete in repechage round next.

EVENT SCHEDULE // BOXING: Lovlina Borgohain vs Busenaz Surmeneli (Turkey) in Women’s 69kg Semi-Final, 11 AM IST | WRESTLING: Ravi Dahiya vs Nurislam Sanayev (Kazakhstan) in Men’s Freestyle 57kg Semi-Final, 2:45 PM IST | Deepak Punia vs David Taylor (USA) in Men’s Freestyle 86kg Semi-Final, 3 PM IST | HOCKEY: India vs Argentina in Women’s Semi-Final: 3:30 PM IST.

India beat Australia 1-0, reach historic hockey women’s semifinals

Tokyo Olympics 2021 Day 10 Live Updates: The Indian women hockey team made history on Monday, the 10th day of Tokyo Olympics as they beat Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals. With that, India sealed their spot in the semifinals for the first time in their Olympic history. Meanwhile, starting the day for India, Dutee Chand clocked her season best timing of 23.85 seconds in the women’s 200 m race but finished last in the heat, failing to qualify for semifinal.

After a carnage-filled Day 9 that saw PV Sindhu added to India’s medal tally with a bronze, India will now pin hopes on Kamalpreet Kaur as she will be throwing the 1kg disc in hope of a medal. Indian shooters have had a disappointing campaign in the Games so far.  Sanjeev Rajput and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar will be looking to change that in 50m Rifle 3 positions qualifiers which will be followed by finals if the duo qualify.

Remaining India’s matches on Day 10: SHOOTING: Sanjeev Rajput and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar in Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions Final: 1:20 PM (subject to qualification) | EQUESTRIAN: Fouaad Mirza in Eventing Jumping Individual Qualifier: 1:30 PM | ATHLETICS: Kamalpreet Kaur in Women’s Discus Throw Final: 4:30 PM | EQUESTRIAN: Eventing Individual Jumping Final: 5:15 PM (subject to qualification) |

Babar Azam slammed with accusations from a lady

The same lady once had to once apologise to Babar after her previous accusations were unproven.

In a startling revelation, a young lady has brought severe accusations against Babar Azam, who’s the captain of Pakistan in all three formats. The 26-year-old Babar is being deemed as one of the best in the business and is arguably the most consistent batter for his country across formats. In the meantime, the accuser lashed out at Babar for doing injustice to her over the time period.

As per the woman, Babar proposed her in 2010 and then promised to tie the knots with her. But going by reports, the situation worsened from there on. The young lady stated that the Lahore-born Babar resorted to physical violence, delivered threats and even got her pregnant.

“The person, who’s been doing the wrong with me is none other than Babar Azam, the captain of the Pakistan cricket team. I am related to Babar from the time when he wasn’t a known person in the cricket world,” the lady told to 24NewsHD.

Babar Azam promised me of court marriage, says the criticiser

“I and Babar grew up in the same society, we used to stay together and we were school friends. In 2010, he proposed to me at my place and I accepted it.”

“As time went along, my understanding with him deepened and we even had plans of getting married. But our families were against it. So, we decided for court marriage. In 2011, he helped me flee from my place, and promising me of court marriage, he used to keep me in rented places. I requested Babar to get married, but he kept delaying it,” she stated.

“He promised to marry me, he got me pregnant, he beat me up, he threatened me and he used me,” the lady added. For the time being, it remains to be seen whether or not Babar reacts to the scathing accusations or not.

Babar, at the present point in time, is in New Zealand for the international matches, which gets underway in the second half of December. The Pakistan team is already in a tricky situation after seven of their members tested positive for COVID-19.

As per PCB CEO Wasim Khan, Pakistan have gotten their ‘final warning’ from New Zealand surrounding breach of protocols. The tour consists of three T20Is and a couple of Tests.


Paytm App removed from the Google Play Store – big blow to Paytm First Games ahead of the IPL starting tomorrow

Google has taken down the Paytm app from the Play Store while other apps like Paytm for Business, Paytm mall, Paytm Money, and a few more are still available.

Google has taken down the Paytm app from the Play Store while other apps like Paytm for Business, Paytm mall, Paytm Money, and a few more are still available for download. Paytm declined to comment and said the company will issue a statement after investigating the matter. The application is available for download on the Apple App Store.

Google hasn’t specifically revealed the reason behind taking down the app downloaded by millions of users in India but in a blog posted today the tech giant cites policy on gambling.

In the blog, Google’s Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy stated, “We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. This includes if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes, it is a violation of our policies.”

Frey noted, “We have these policies to protect users from potential harm. When an app violates these policies, we notify the developer of the violation and remove the app from Google Play until the developer brings the app into compliance.”

“And in the case where there are repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts. Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently,” Frey further stated.

Redirecting users from one application to another is not permitted on the Playstore. This is the reason ‘Remove China Apps’ was permanently pulled down. Even Mobikwik found itself in a similar situation when they flashed Aarogya Setu ad banner on their app.

IPL 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders Give Sneak Peek Into Team Room In Abu Dhabi

Kolkata Knight Riders gave their fans a sneak peek into their team room in Abu Dhabi ahead of IPL 2020.

Kolkata Knight Riders took to Twitter on Sunday to give their fans a sneak peek into their team room in Abu Dhabi. The two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions landed in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday to participate in the 13th edition of the cash-rich league. 

The IPL 2020 was moved out of India due to the rising coronavirus cases in the country. All the eight franchises have arrived in the UAE for the upcoming IPL. “New city, New #HomeOfTheKnights Sneak-peek into the #KKR Team Room in Abu Dhabi.

This year’s IPL will begin on September 19 and the final of the tournament will be played on November 10. 

KKR finished on the fifth spot last year, failing to qualify for the play-offs. 

Despite having Andre Russell, the purple cap winner, in their team, the Kolkata-based franchise lost too many close games last season.

As the IPL 2020 is nearing, Russell is gearing up well for the tournament as he smashed a quick-fire half-century off just 38 deliveries in a knock that included five maximums in a Caribbean Premier League game on Saturday.

KKR have roped in Brendon McCullum as their head coach for this season as they look to turn things around in the UAE. 

Three venues; Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will host 60 games in 53 days, starting next month. 

This is not the first time that the IPL will be played in the UAE. In 2014, UAE had hosted the T20 league partially due to the general elections in India.

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Why sports will never be the same after coronavirus?

As the sporting world grapples with the COVID-19 shutdown, we take a look at a number of ways in which our favourite sports might be affected after resumption.

First, there were denials. Secondly, sports administrators over the world started taking notice. Soon postponements followed with a promise to resume live-action soon. But as one after another, countries across the globe went into lockdown, hopes of seeing our favourite athletes on the field started diminishing further. Perhaps the most telling blow came when the Tokyo Olympics were postponed to the following year with no fixed date in sight. Coronavirus’ domination over the wide world of sports was complete. With no clarity as to when this crisis will be over, one thing is for certain: sports (including day-to-day life) will never be the same if and when the pandemic subsides.

With close to 4 million people being affected to date, the world stands at a crossroads, faced with the decision of jumpstarting the economy, while living under the fear of the novel Covid-19. Sports administrators are also increasingly grappling with questions regarding the future of various events and leagues across the world. There has been some good news recently in the form of the German Bundesliga declaring a May 16 restart while the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) planning to host West Indies for a full tour starting in July.

But even the most optimistic of sports fans would understand that unless and until a vaccine for the coronavirus is invented and is available for the masses, when and how sports will return to their pre-Covid-19 status is anybody’s guess. In this piece, we try to present a few key areas regarding popular sports which are set to undergo massive changes as they try to get back on track.

Stadium experience

Playing in front of empty stadiums is an idea that has been mooted by many since the onset of the pandemic and it seems the only logical way to restart play while ‘living with the virus’. With the risk of a contagion set to rule daily lives in the near future, most die-hard fans will also be a bit apprehensive about filling the stadiums. While it will certainly be a weird experience for the players and also for those watching on TV, there doesn’t seem to be a way out of this unless governments are able to strictly impose social distancing norms in big stadiums. A curious example, in this case, has arisen out of Taiwan a couple of days ago.

Recently, sports officials in Taiwan started to adjust to the new age by filling the stands with fake spectators instead of real ones, stocking locker rooms with bottles of sanitizer, and urging players and coaches to keep a distance.

Even if a handful of spectators are allowed inside the stadiums, it might lead to a reduction in prices of tickets, online subscription fees, and other services on offer as the sporting bodies would certainly want to win back their fans whichever way they can. Entry/exit protocols in and out of the stadiums might also see a drastic change in the form of biometrics as people would prefer a fast and seamless experience rather than security guards checking each ticket in person.

Fan engagement

With the lack of any live-action at the moment, there is no doubt that fans are currently hungry for more. But if the period under lockdown is anything to go by, players and teams all over the world have started finding new ways to keep their fans engaged. The sudden spike in Instagram Live sessions with athletes across sports is already a signal that more such ways of personalized fan-engagement are set to become the norm. While earlier fans had to be mostly dependent on news outlets to get a sneak-peek into their sports stars’ lives, the lockdown has ensured that almost every day some or the other player is coming closer to his followers by interacting with them directly – either via a Q&A session, online challenges, etc.

Innovations and rule changes

Necessity is the mother of invention and in the case of cricket, the fear of Covid-19 has already started a debate regarding whether it’s still appropriate to continue using saliva on the ball. For a game already grappling with fall in attendance figures, cricket could also see more innovations on the lines of T10 leagues or The Hundred. Similarly in other sports, multiple rule changes to avoid contact between players and keeping the fans sitting at home glued to their screens, are sure to bring much more innovation at a faster pace. Sevens Rugby is another example of such an innovation and more investors would come in and try to create more futuristic sports leagues to attract the public.

Player training

With athletes being consigned to their homes due to the lockdown, there is an increasing concern regarding whether they will be fit to perform when asked to. In this scenario, we might see a shift in the training approaches as they will have to be remotely monitored. Thus, training might become much more personalized and player-centric.

In the same vein, teams and sporting bodies would do well to remember the mental toll a pandemic could take on a player. Physios and mental conditioning coaches might have to be on their toes, more actively than before and design regimens that cater to the needs of each player.

Restart yes! But when?

As of May 5, more than 150 sports events have been either postponed/cancelled since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. While there was no choice for the sports federations to do so, one of the biggest questions facing them is that of when these events will be held eventually. A number of World Championships and global events like Olympics have been postponed till further notice but there is bound to be a clash between the dates of most of these proposed events.

Scheduling is going to be under focus also as the qualifying rounds for the above events are also set to be compromised with there being no sunset date in sight as far as the Covid-19 is concerned. How sports administrators are going to deal with these issues is a factor that is going to define the future course of sports all over the world.

This is not an exclusive list of the upcoming changes as there is a lot of information that needs to be processed over the next few months before some of these tweaks see the daylight. Until then, we can go back to our Zoom calls and Insta Lives trying to make sense of a situation that doesn’t seem to be making any sense at all.

How 26 Indian Women made Rugby History

India is glued to the cricket World Cup

The likes of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are trending on social media. Most TV screens in the country come on at 3 pm every day, after English breakfasts in the west are over. But far away from the euphoria of the cricket, in the Philippines, on Saturday, 26 Indian girls did something never done before by any Indian women’s rugby team — winning their first ever international 15s rugby match. Some left kids at home for grandparents to baby-sit, some had even left their jobs to do what they love. India beat Singapore 21-19 to finish third in the four-team Asia Women’s Division 1 Rugby XVs Championship.

The news was buried somewhere on Twitter. Rugby India had posted: “Our Indian Women’s Rugby Team creates HISTORY!!!” The word in all caps demanded instant attention. “India pull off a stunner against top ranked Singapore to register their first ever test match victory! We tip our hats to you ladies. Go INDIA.”

The tweet was hashtagged #JoinTheJourney. But it took a while before people really started understanding the enormity of the achievement.

A video posted by Rugby Asia, which showed one inconsolable player not being able to stop her tears after the win, showed just what this win meant for the team.

Shikhar Dhawan ruled out of World Cup 2019, Rishabh Pant in as replacement

Team India’s World Cup campaign suffered a major jolt on Wednesday as opener Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the tournament due to a thumb injury. Rishabh Pant has been brought in as a replacement of Shikhar Dhawan. The opener suffered a hairline fracture during his match-winning 117-run knock against Australia at The Oval on June 9.

“Shikhar Dhawan has a fracture at the base of the first metacarpal of his left hand. He will remain in cast until mid-July which rules him out of ICC World Cup. We have requested Rishab Pant as the replacement,” said Team India Manager Sunil Subramaniam.

In the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul had opened India’s innings with Rohit Sharma against Pakistan. Rahul was impressive in that match scoring 57 and sharing a record 136-run stand for the 1st wicket.

India has had a great start to their World Cup campaign. They have won against South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan while the game against New Zealand was washed out. India faces Afghanistan next on June 22 before they take on West Indies, hosts England, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

With six centuries, Shikhar Dhawan is one of India’s most prized assets in ICC tournament. He has scored three tons each in Champions Trophy and in World Cup. Along with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, Dhawan forms a formidable top-3.

What perhaps prompted the team management to finally make an announce Dhawan’s injury was the fact that even Bhuvneshwar Kumar sustained an injury during the Pakistan match.

India would have had only 13 players to choose from against Afghanistan if Pant was not brought in as a replacement. Bhuvneshwar is out of three matches with a hamstring niggle.

“Bhuvneshwar is being assessed by team physio Patrick Farhart,” team’s trainer Shankar Basu said.

Rishabh Pant approved as a replacement player.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that the Event Technical Committee of the Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 has approved Rishabh Pant as a replacement player for Shikhar Dhawan in India’s squad for the remainder of the tournament, a statement from the global body said.