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Kohli keen on county stint ahead of England tour

NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli says he is keen to play county cricket to get used to conditions on English soil ahead of India´s tour of the country later this year. The Indian skipper — the second-ranked Test batsman in the world and the best in one-day internationals — had an uncharacteristically ordinary spell during the England tour in 2014. The …

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Sharapova to make grasscourt return in Birmingham

Former world number one Maria Sharapova will compete at the Birmingham Classic grasscourt event in the lead-up to Wimbledon, Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announced on Wednesday. The June 18-24 tournament is set to be the Russian’s first on grass since she reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2015. Sharapova, who won the Birmingham title in 2004 and 2005, was granted …

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AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli: Cricket’s Federer and Nadal?

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) coach Trent Woodhill has likened AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli to cricket’s Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in their skills and approach. Hailing the fitness and training of the top two ODI batsmen in the world, Australia’s Woodhill, who has worked with both in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said Kohli’s strength is his fitness …

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Different world: West African cricket teams start small but aim big

LAGOS: The Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval in Lagos, Nigeria, is a world away from the Melbourne Cricket Ground and other leading venues in the sport. But in theory at least, one could lead to the other, as top teams from West Africa gathered this week to begin qualifying for the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in two years´ time. Realistically …

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Shahzad has been fined after he was caught playing for a Pakistani cricket club without permission.

KABUL (AFP) – Trouble-prone Afghanistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad has been fined after he was caught playing for a Pakistani cricket club without permission, an Afghan official said Monday. Shahzad has been ordered to pay 300,000 Afghanis (about $4,400) and return to Afghanistan after taking part in a local tournament in Peshawar, a Pakistani city near the Afghan border. The 30-year-old …

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Australia ball-tampering was shocking, says South Africa’s Markram

(AFP) – Aiden Markram says South Africa were stunned when they discovered Australia had tampered with the ball during their recent Test series. Australia skipper Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft were all banned for the roles they played in the scandal during the third Test in Cape Town. South Africa batsman Markram, speaking after being unveiled …

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Pothas quits as Sri Lanka fielding coach

COLOMBO (AFP) – South African Nic Pothas has ended his coaching contract with Sri Lanka to spend time with his young family, the island nation s cricket board said Tuesday. The 44-year-old joined Sri Lanka in 2016 as fielding coach but was unexpectedly elevated to the top job after Graham Ford s abrupt exit in June last year. Under his …

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Indian police crack down on IPL betting racket

(AFP) – Indian police have arrested three men suspected of placing illegal bets on Indian Premier League matches as authorities crack down on gambling rackets that emerge around the billion-dollar franchise every year. The trio were accused of running an online betting syndicate from a residence in New Delhi. Nearly all gambling is illegal in India but is still a …

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FIFA probes Russia over racist chants

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against World Cup hosts Russia over monkey chants heard during a friendly international against France, a spokesman told AFP on Tuesday. Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele were allegedly targeted by racist chanting during the match in Saint Petersburg last month. “We have no further comment at this stage,” the FIFA …

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Five-star Harris Lord’s it over Northants

LONDON (AFP) – James Harris took a remarkable five wickets for nine runs as Middlesex skittled out Northamptonshire for just 71 on the second day of their Second Division County Championship match at Lord s on Saturday. The Wales-born paceman was well-supported by Ireland internaional Tim Murtagh, who took his 700th first-class wicket on the way to a return of …

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