Ball-tampering: Smith apologises, says ‘it was mistake on my part’; updates

The Magellan Financial Group Ltd cancelled naming rights worth $24 million sponsorship deal with Cricket Australia

Ball tampering case

Steve Smith ball-tampering row: Disgraced Australian captain Steve Smith broke down during the press conference in Sydney. Steve Smith could not control his emotions during the interview and said, “If any good is to come from this it can be a lesson for others and I hope I can be a force for change.”

Apologising for his mistake in the ball-tampering scandal, Smith said, “I don’t blame anyone. I’m the captain of the Australian team. It’s on my watch and I take responsibility for what happened last Saturday.” Earlier, Australian batsman David Warner apologised for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. The left-handed batsman has recently been banned for a year by Cricket Australia (CA) after his ball-tampering plans came into limelight during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Warner took to Twitter to apologise to his fans saying he understood the distress that was caused due to the scandal.

He wrote: To cricket fans in Australia and all over the world: I’m currently on my way back to Sydney. Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket. I apologise for my part and take responsibility for it. I understand the distress this has caused the sport and its fans. It’s a stain on the game we all love and I’ve loved since I was a boy. I need to take a deep breath and spend time with my family, friends and trusted advisers. You will hear from me in a few days.

ALSO READ: Ball tampering row: BCCI bars Steve Smith, David Warner out of IPL 2018

After the slapping of a 12-month international and domestic ban on (now former) Australian cricket team captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, the Magellan Financial Group Ltd has cancelled its $24-million sponsorship deal with Cricket Australia.

Many other sponsors like Sanitarium, LG and Asics also dumped Steve Smith and David Warner from their sponsorship deals after the incident that rocked the sport in the country. However, the decision by Magellan suggests the financial impact of the episode will go to the core of Australia’s cricket team.

ALSO READ: Lehmann apologises, calls for change of Aussie’s playing style

1. Cricket Australia loses major sponsor Magellan: Magellan terminated its contract with the governing body over the ball-tampering scandal. The major sponsor had inked a three-year partnership in August 2017 for Australia’s domestic Tests in a deal estimated at the time to be worth Australian dollar 20 million. It began with the recent Ashes series against England.

2. Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland defends team coach Lehmann: James Sutherland came in defence of team’s coach Darren Lehmann. According to Reuters, Sutherland said that Lehmann was as surprised as spectators watched images on big screens showing Bancroft shamelessly cheating.

“In Darren’s defence, I do want to clarify that matter,” Sutherland told reporters in response to a question about what Lehmann told 12th man Peter Handscomb via walky-talky before he ran on the field to pass the coach’s message onto Bancroft.”

Reuters reported that Lehmann had sent a message to say: ‘What the hell is going on?’ He didn’t use ‘hell’, he used another word. Darren wasn’t involved and didn’t know of the plan.” had no knowledge of a ball-tampering plot by his two most senior players and allegations that he then led a cover-up are false, Cricket Australia said on Wednesday.

3. The right decision has been taken, says Sachin Tendulkar: Amid the ball-tampering controversy, Sachin Tendulkar believes that the right decision has been taken. Winning is important but the way you win is more important, he said in a tweet. It is important to uphold the integrity of the game, Sachin explains.

West Bengal man arrested for stalking Sachin Tendulkar’s daughter Sara

He called Sara several times and expressed his desire to marry her

Photo: Twitter

A 27-year-old man from East Midnapore district in West Bengal was on Sunday arrested for allegedly harassing cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s daughter, Sara, over the phone, police said. | Today’s Paper

Deb Kumar Maiti, a resident of Debkundu village near Geonkhali under Mahisadal Police Station, had gone to Mumbai sometime back to visit his elder brother when he somehow got hold of her number, they said.

He then called Sara several times and expressed his desire to marry her, they added.

A case was filed in this regard by the Tendulkar family in Mumbai, but the entire matter was kept secret by the Cyber Cell of the Mumbai Police.

A team of the Mumbai Police early today arrested Maiti near Andulia and later produced him before a court in Haldia, which allowed them to take him to Mumbai on a three-day transit remand, a senior officer of West Bengal police said in Haldia.

The police claimed that during interrogation the man admitted to calling her and also showed them a tattoo bearing Sara’s name on his arm.

Maiti’s neighbours, however, said he was suffering from mental issues from 2007.

Click here to read → Stalking Sara Tendulkar

Champions Trophy 2017: Shikhar Dhawan breaks Sachin Tendulkar’s record

Becomes the fastest Indian to reach the 1,000 run landmark in ICC matches


Today’s Paper : India’s victory against South Africa at the Oval on Sunday was special, not only for the team and its billions of fans but also for opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan. Clearly, in the middle of a purple patch, the left-hander has continued his love affair with Champions Trophy. As he smashed yet another half-century, scoring 78 in India’s chase of 192 runs, Dhawan broke the enviable record of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and became the fastest batsman to score 1,000 runs in ICC one-day international matches.

While Tendulkar had taken 18 innings to reach the milestone, Dhawan did so in just 16. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who took 20 innings for 1,000 runs, is the third on the list.

While Dhawan has evidently raised his game in the present series, his relationship with ICC tournaments had begun way back in 2004, when he had scored 505 runs with three centuries in seven innings in the Under-19 World Cup.

His next world tournament was the 2013 Champions Trophy in England, where he averaged 90.75 at a strike rate of 101, with two hundreds in five innings. The leading run-getter in the tournament, he also won the Man-of-the-Series award. Then came the 2015 World Cup in Australia, where Dhawan scored 412 at an average of 51.50 and a strike rate of almost 92. His eight innings in the tournament included 73 against Pakistan and 137 against South Africa. He was India’s highest run-getter in the tournament, and fifth overall.

Does he raise his game for big events?

Dhawan’s performance in World T20s has been quite ordinary – he averages 10.57. In ODIs, his overall average of 44.36 looks pale when compared with the brilliant 69.14 at which he has scored in big tournaments of 50-over games. Clearly, he doesn’t perform above par in all big tournaments across formats.

Also, his form coming in the last two Champions Trophy competitions has been very good. He was the third-highest run-scorer in IPL 2017. Similarly, in 2013, he had played Champions Trophy after an impressive IPL show and a century on debut in Tests. So, for him, it seems more like continuing productive patches than lifting the performance. Before the 2015 World Cup, though, he had had a poor Test and ODI series in Australia. But he managed to improve dramatically during the World Cup, played under similar conditions. | READMORE…



Smartron A fine deal if you are a die-hard Sachin Tendulkar fan

Domestic information technology (IT) start-up Smartron, which counts Indian cricket legend Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and former Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Sanjay Jha among its investors, recently launched the smartphone, “inspired by the dependable traits of Tendulkar”.
At the launch of, the company claimed that the smartphone used the best antennas and other security features that made it an all-rounder. Indeed, Smartron has pleased investors with its manoeuvres to deliver solutions ranging from internet of things (IoT) to smartphones built specifically for Indian consumers. But how does the fare against the claims of dependability and the inspiration it apparently draws from one of the tallest role models for India in recent times? Read More

Sachin: A Billion Dreams: A glorified account of an over-glorified celeb

Like his book, Tendulkar’s biopic is a nostalgic cruise through his career


As I walked out of the cinema hall after watching Sachin: A Billion Dreams, I wondered: Would I have thought differently of this biopic had I not known anything about the person it is based on? James Erskine’s documentary on one of the most celebrated cricketers in the world – one who has achieved a near-deific status in India – went along expected lines.

But was that because I, like many Indians and cricket followers around the world, already knew so much about Sachin Tendulkar? How would someone living under a rock for the last quarter of a century, and did not know who Tendulkar was, have liked it?

Sachin: A Billion Dreams starts off rather nicely, showing us a naughty curly-haired boy of seven or eight years living in Mumbai’s Bandra suburb, getting up to the usual seven-or-eight-year-old boy things like annoying his neighbours with pranks. The boy then receives a cricket bat as a gift from his elder sister, and this is where the story that most Indians and cricket followers already know begins.

The same old path

Sachin: A Billion Dreams goes down the same path as the two other biopics on Indian cricketers that were released in the last year – MS Dhoni: An Untold Story, and Azhar. The only difference is that Sachin is a documentary which features the cricketer himself – he is not played by actors. Obviously backed by Tendulkar, just like the two other biopics were supported by the cricketers they were based on, Sachin: A Billion Dreams is a glorified account of an already over-glorified celebrity.

All in all, this biopic is a celluloid version of Tendulkar’s autobiography, Playing It My Way. What was one of the most awaited sports autobiographies of all time, the book turned out to be a damp squib. It just about managed to tell you a few stories you did not already know about India’s most popular cricketer, it briefly touched upon his personal relationships with his family and friends, but otherwise read like a recital of scorecards of the matches he played, and refrained from going too deep into controversial subjects.

Politically correct

Tendulkar has been so overtly politically correct throughout his public life that is was quite surprising to see him criticise the Indian cricket board in the movie for the way it handled his captaincy. “You can take my captaincy away, but you can’t take cricket away from me,” he says, adding to the many fluffy quotes dished out throughout the movie, not just by him but also some others who have been interviewed. Among the sappiest was commentator Harsha Bhogle saying something along the lines of: Sunil Gavaskar came from a fixed-deposit generation, but Sachin’s generation believed in investing in equity.

The two individuals who have been singled out for some criticism in the movie are former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin, and Greg Chappell, who had a rather forgettable tenure as India coach. But then, Tendulkar had always made his views on Chappell clear much before the movie was released. Azharuddin, on the other hand, was criticised not for his embroilment in the match-fixing scandal, but because Tendulkar felt the Hyderabadi did not take his being appointed captain too well. |READMORE…