Darren Sammy States There is Racial Abuse In The IPL

Former West Indian captain Darren Sammy, who led the Windies to an ICC T20 World Cup Championships wins in 2012 and 2016, has not played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a number of years. Sammy has also not represented the West Indies for a number of years which has led many to believe that he has retired but that isn’t true.

Sammy recently caused a stir in the international cricket community when he alleged that he and some of his other mates who were black or dark skinned had been racially abused when they were playing in the IPL. Sammy claims that he and Sri Lankan team mate T Perera were subjected to racial abuse during their time with the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise.

Sammy took to Twitter to claim that in the past when his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates used to call him ‘Kalu’, he used to think that it meant they were referring to him as a strong stallion. He claims that this was the term he and T Perera were regularly labelled with and they took it in a positive sense thinking it was a compliment.

However, he recently found out that the real meaning for the word ‘Kalu’ is ‘black’. Sammy admitted that he was very upset when he found out the actual meaning of the word, and only then realized that he and T Perera were being subjected to racial abuse by teammates who he thought were complimenting him. Sammy played for the Sunrisers during 2013 and 2014.

Sammy Calls On ICC To Take More Steps To Stop Racial Abuse

The murder of African American George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota has recently caused widespread protests all across the United States as well as in other parts of the world. The 46 year old was killed by police brutality on the streets while it was filmed by locals who begged the police to not knee-choke Floyd to death.

Top professional athletes across multiple sporting leagues including the NBA, NFL and MMA communities condemned the killing of George Floyd and campaigned for ‘Black Lives Matter’.

While the global spotlight is now on the Black Lives Matter movement, Darren Sammy has felt that this is an appropriate time to highlight some of the injustices he and T Perera have suffered in the IPL. Sammy has stopped short of naming those players who used the alleged derogatory term towards him and T Perera.

Sammy tweeted “@ICC and all the other boards are you guys not seeing what’s happening to ppl like me? Are you not gonna speak against the social injustice against my kind. This is not only about America. This happens everyday #BlackLivesMatter now is not the time to be silent. I wanna hear u”

ICC and IPL Yet To Respond To Racial Abuse Remarks

The ICC and the IPL are yet to respond to the allegations made by Darren Sammy. Sammy has also called on the cricketing community to step up and show support towards the Black Lives Matter movement but there hasn’t been a great response. The main show of support came from Sammy’s fellow West Indian team mates such as all-rounder Andre Russell and Universe Boss Chris Gayle.

Gayle also tweeted claiming that he travels the world extensively to play cricket and was constantly subjected to racism because he is black. Gayle pointed out that racism wasn’t restricted to football but was also very evident in the world of cricket. He finished off by saying that because he was black, he often got the end of the stick. The IPL prides itself on the being the biggest and richest domestic T20 cricketing league in the world. Players from multiple countries come to the IPL every year and play alongside Indian players in a month and a half long tournament. As such, the IPL could play a role in educating players about cultural differences and ethical behaviour.

Icc New Chairman

Ganguly Is Best Suited For New ICC Chairman Role

Sourav Ganguly was elected as the new BCCI President in late 2019 and was given a term of just 9 months to in the leadership role. This was very little time for Ganguly to make a significant difference in Indian cricket but the ex-Indian captain shrugged of the limited time frame saying ‘whatever will happen will happen’.

The global coronavirus pandemic brought international cricket to a standstill in March 2020 and it appeared that Ganguly’s 9 month frame would become even more limited as there was very little the BCCI could do with the complete lockdown. However, what looked like a dull and dead period for Sourav Ganguly is blossoming into something that is a lot bigger and brighter.

There is now talk that Sourav Ganguly could very well be the next ICC Chairman as many stakeholders believe that he is the ideal man for the job. If and when Sourav Ganguly does take over this covetous position, it would not only bode well for the BCCI and Indian cricket but also take him to an even more lofty position within the international cricketing fraternity.

Shashank Manohar Decides To Step Down

Shashank Manohar, who is the current ICC Chairman has decided not to go in for a third term even though the ICC Constitution would allow him to keep his position. Manohar initially took on the role of ICC Chairman in 2016 and was the first ICC independent chairman. Prior to Manohar stepping into the position, it was occupied by the former BCCI President N Srinivasan who took on that position without being elected.

Shashank Manohar decided to stand for a second term in 2018 and remained unopposed as no other candidate filed a nomination to stand for ICC Chairman. His second term comes to an end in July and he will step down after the ICC annual conference. There were rumours floating around that the ICC would extend his term for a few months as international cricket continues to deal with the consequences of COVID-19. However, that will not happen as there are plans going on behind the scenes to get a new candidate elected as ICC Chairman.

Cricket South Africa Back Sourav Ganguly

Many believed that Colin Graves, the chairman of the English Cricket Board would end up replacing Shashank Manohar whenever he stepped down. That seems unlikely now as the BCCI decided to test the waters and check with Full Members whether they would back Sourav Ganguly for the new ICC Chairman role and the general consensus is that they have his back.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has been one of the Full Members who wasted no time in confirming they support for Sourav Ganguly. Top members of the BCCI including secretary Jay Shah, treasurer Arun Dhumal and Ganguly held discussions last week with CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith and acting CEO Jacques Faul.

Smith who played with Ganguly has backed him 100 percent for the ICC Chairman role and said that Ganguly has the credibility and the strong leadership skills to fill that role. CSA and the BCCI are currently in talks to reschedule their cancelled T20 and ODI series in March. The plan is to have South Africa tour India in August for a short tour of 3 T20 games. However, nothing is finalized as of now as both countries are still dealing with the coronavirus.

What Is The Process To Become ICC Chairman 

The ICC is yet to confirm what is the official process to become ICC Chairman. What we do know for now is that to be eligible for nomination, a candidate must have been an ICC Director or must currently be an ICC Director. An ICC Director is an individual who attends ICC Board meeting as representative of their country.

The ICC Board has a total of 15 directors and each director is allowed to nominate one candidate. Those candidates who end up getting two or more votes become eligible to contest the elections for ICC Chairman.

Given how powerful the BCCI is and how much sway it has with the other cricketing boards, be no surprise if the BCCI uses its long arm of influence to get the majority of ICC Directors if not all ICC directors to vote for Sourav Ganguly and make him the next ICC Chairman in July 2020.

Cricket Outdoors

Australia Dethrone India To Reclaim Top Position In ICC Test Ranking

The ICC updated their Test, ODI and T20 rankings and as a result there have been changes with all teams. India had occupied the number one test ranking for the last 42 months but are no longer on top as Australia have dethroned them and taken over the number one position. The Aussies now sit on the points table with a record of 26 matches, 3028 points and 116 on the rating.

New Zealand has taken the second place with 21 matches, 2406 points and 115 on their rating. India have dropped to third place after the new updates to the point table and now have a record of 27 matches, 3085 points and 114 on the ranking.

While Australia have taken over the number one spot on the ICC test ranking, India continue to hold the number one spot on the World Test Championship points table with 360 points. Australia are in second place with 296 points and the Kiwis are in third place with 180 points.

India’s Test Streak – Third Highest In History

A lot of Indian fans will be surprised to know that India now hold the record for the third highest streak in holding the number one test spot in cricketing history. The first highest streak goes to Australia who held it for 95 months during 2001 to 2009. This was a period when Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne were at the heights of their powers and Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting captained the Aussies. They were an unbeatable side and dominated just about every test series they played.

The second highest streak goes to the West Indies who held the number one spot for 89 months during the period of 1981 to 1988. This was a period when Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards shared the captaincy and the West Indies had a deadly line-up of fast bowlers which included Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and Michael Holding.

India comes in third on the list for holding on to the number one test spot for a period of 42 months from 2016 till 2020 under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. India have done well under Kohli because they have clicked as a team in both the bowling and batting departments.

Virat Kohli Will Be Disappointed Deep Down

One of the biggest accomplishments that Virat Kohli will treasure in his cricketing career is taking India to the number one position in the ICC Test Rankings. When MS Dhoni suddenly retired from test cricket in 2014, the responsibility was thrust on Kohli’s shoulders and he handled it like a champion.

India claimed the number one spot in test cricket because of their performance between May 2016 to April 2017. During this tenure, India ended up playing 17 tests and won 12 of them. They had 4 draws and only 1 loss during this time with earned them a lot of points and pushed them to the top of the ICC test rankings.

The number one ranking in test cricket was a feather in Kohli’s cap and also head coach Ravi Shastri. The Indian team took a lot of confidence from the ranking and Shastri often told the media that India will play like the number one test team in the world even when they were on tour overseas.

While some might play down the value of the ICC test ranking, Virat Kohli will be hurting deep down. India were whitewashed in a test series in New Zealand earlier this year and Virat Kohli failed with the bat and as a captain. The loss of the number one spot will light a fire under Kohli and also give Ravi Shastri another major goal to work towards.

Ravi Shastri Has Work To Do

Head coach Ravi Shastri has enjoyed enormous success with the Indian team during his tenure as team manager and now head coach. However, India hasn’t done very well in the test arena and Shastri now needs to chalk out a workable plan that can get India back to the top.

Shastri loves to talk a big game but with the 2019 ICC World Cup failure and the loss of the no 1 test ranking, the BCCI needs to review Shastri’s performance as the team has lost a lot of momentum during the last 6 months. If the BCCI believes that Shastri and Kohli can once again plot their way to the top, they should back the duo. However, if BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is not impressed, it is time for India to find a new head coach.


ICC Reports Match Fixers Are Targeting Cricketers During Downtime To Build New Relationships

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the cricketing world to a standstill as the last cricket match that was played was back on March 15. This was a game that took place in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and since them domestic and international cricketers from around the world have been quiet.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has sent out a warning stating that while the cricketers have been quiet, a number of known match fixers have been very active on social media. The ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) has been keeping a close watch on individuals who have a shady reputation for fixing matches and found that they are targeting cricketers who are active on social media during this time.

They are using this time to approach cricketers and try to build a relationship. This is the general modus-operandi of bookmakers as they never directly introduce themselves as a fixer. They build a relationship by establishing themselves as influential people who can help players get lucrative sponsorship deals and contracts with big brands. Players end up trusting these individuals and it is only then that an approach is made to spot fix or match fix!

No Cricket – No Money

ACU chief Alex Marshall said that this was a very tough time for cricketers, especially those involved in the domestic circuit as no cricket means they will be getting little to no money coming in. This made it a very opportunistic time for match fixers as it makes it easier for them to lure players with the promise of big money.

The ICC has been working hard to weed out corruption from cricket and educate players from all over the world about match fixers and the way they work. While the top international cricketers will not feel a pinch in their finances, the domestic cricketers and fringe players will be vulnerable to these match fixers who are looking to make the most of this opportunity.

The ICC remains confident that its efforts to combat match fixing and educate players over the consequences of match fixing will hold up during these tough times. The ICC is once again cautioning players to be aware of who is approaching them on social media. Cricket players have been told to immediately report any approaches made to spot fix or match fix. The ICC has not reported any new match or spot fixing approaching during this downtime.

Indian Cricket Tainted By Match Fixing

It is a known fact that match fixers pay special attention to the Indian cricket market as it is the most lucrative cricket market in the world. India is home to a population of over 1.3 billion people and the majority of them are avid cricket lovers.

Indian cricket has been tainted over the years as match fixers have managed to sway both players and team owners. Some of the players who have been targeted by match fixers include former captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manoj Prabhakar and Sreesanth.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) saw two of its popular franchises in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) suspended for two years after it came to light that the team owners had connections to known match fixers.

The Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) and the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) have also been tarnished with serious match fixing allegations going back to the last couple of seasons.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the BCCI ACU is also keeping a close watch on players and are confident that if any of the Indian players are approached, they will immediately report the same to the ACU.

Indian Players Very Active On Social Media

The top Indian cricket players are usually active on social media but with all the downtime they are now spending a lot more time on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Just to give you an idea of how popular the top Indian cricketers are on Instagram: Virat Kohli has 54.7 million followers; MS Dhoni has 22.4 million followers; Rohit Sharma has 13.1 million followers; KL Rahul has 5.6 million followers and H Pandya has 10.8 million followers.

Indian players have been told that match fixers will create fake social media handles and approach them in the disguise of fans, gain their confidence and then make them an offer to spot fix or match fix!