Former Indian cricketer and Delhi and District Cricket Association chairman of senior selection committee Amit Bhandari was attacked with iron rods and hockey sticks in New Delhi's St Stephen's Ground, where the trials of the Under-23 team were going on. The attackers were suspected to be U-23 aspirants who reportedly weren't selected in the team. Bhandari is reportedly admitted in a hospital after receiving injuries on his head and legs. The goons fled the spot before the police could arrive. “Around 1 pm, two-three players came to him (Bhandari) and started hitting him with a bat on his head. He was bleeding and was rushed to hospital," a DDCA official said. One rejected player came to him and questioned why he was not selected. Then he started beating him (Bhandari). First he used his hands, then a stick to attack," DCP Nupur Prasad told reporters. "Let us wait what doctors have to say. We have not got any statement. Once we get it, we will be clear on the facts," Prasad added.
Lanka cricket captain dropped from test squad
Sri Lanka Cricket dropped out-of-form skipper Dinesh Chandimal from the Test squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa. Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was named the stand-in captain for the two-test series, starting on February 13. Stumper Niroshan Dickwella will be Karunaratne's deputy. Chandimal's axing came after the right-hander scored 5, 0, 15 and 4 in their recent 0-2 Test series defeat to Australia. Lanka selectors wanted Chandimal to return to form by playing domestic cricket as they named three uncapped players in the squad against the Proteas. Batsman Oshada Fernando, seam bowler Mohmed Shiraz and left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya were the fresh faces in the squad while all-rounder Milinda Siriwardana has been recalled for the first time in nearly three years. The first Test will start from February 13 in Durban, followed by the second at Port Elizabeth from February 21.
Australian bowler Mitchell Starc to miss India ODI tour
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc will miss Australia's limited-overs tour of India with a torn left pectoral muscle in the final test match against Sri Lanka in Canberra. National selector Trevor Hohns said Starc hopes to return to the one-day matches against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in March. Australia will play two Twenty20s beginning Feb 24 and five one-dayers against India, an important buildup to its World Cup title defense in England beginning in June. Fellow paceman Josh Hazlewood is already out of action with a back injury. Former captain Steve Smith and David Warner, suspended over the ball-tampering scandal, are still unavailable for selection. D'Arcy Short was recalled to the 16-man squad with Shaun Marsh set to miss the first half of the India series. Marsh will remain in Perth for the birth of his second child but is expected to be available for the third of five ODIs.
Lankan cricketer scores double centuries in first class game
Sri Lankan cricketer Angelo Perera has become the second player in history to smash two double centuries in the same first class match. The 28-year-old achieved the feat while playing for Nondescripts Cricket Club against Sinhalese Sports Club in Premier League tournament Tier A. Before Perera, the only cricketer to score two double centuries in a single game was Kent’s Arthur Fagg who did it in a county match against Essex, 80 years ago. In the first innings, Perera hit 201 off 203 balls while in the second innings, he scored 231 off 268 balls.
Ricky Ponting named assistant Australia coach
Former cricket captain Ricky Ponting has been appointed as an assistant coach for Australia's defense of its World Cup in England beginning in late May. Ponting will work with Australia's limited-overs batsmen, with regular batting coach Graeme Hick to focus on batting preparations for the following Ashes test series against England, which Australia is also defending. Australia coach Justin Langer said: "Ricky knows what's required to win World Cups and I know he will be a valuable mentor to not just the batting group, but the broader squad." Ponting played in five World Cup tournaments for Australia, winning as captain in 2003 and 2007.
Sarfraz to captain Pak at World Cup
Sarfraz Ahmed will continue as Pakistan captain at the World Cup in May despite serving a suspension for breaching the anti-racism code, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani said. Sarfraz was suspended for four matches by the ICC when an on-field taunt aimed at South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo was caught by stump microphones. Sarfraz admitted the offence and apoligised for his conduct. “Sarfraz will remain Pakistan captain until the World Cup, I was always clear in my mind that Sarfraz would be the captain,” Mani told reporters. “He will remain so until any other decision is taken,” Mani added, saying Sarfraz’s performance as captain would be evaluated only after the World Cup.
West Indies cricket board chief slams ICC
Internationa Cricket Council (ICC) should modify its policy for slow over rates, Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron said. Speaking in the wake of the suspension of captain Jason Holder from the third Test against England, Cameron questioned whether the player’s absence was good for cricket. “We will, of course, abide by the ICC ruling, but we have to wonder if such punitive action at a pivotal stage of the series is good for cricket,” Cameron said in a statement. “What a shame if the series is remembered not for the sparkling play of the reinvigorated West Indies players but for a crippling decision made by a rule that ought to be modified.”