A record 1.25 million fans attended matches during the 13th edition of the World Cup, which concluded recently with Australia beating hosts India for their sixth title, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said. A total of 1,250,307 fans watched the Oct 5-Nov 19 showpiece event from the stands, surpassing the previous mark of 1.016 million set at the 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand. While the early matches not involving runners-up India had plenty of empty seats in venues, overall spectator figures had already surpassed the one million mark with six games to go. ICC head of events Chris Tetley said the ODI tournament had been a "great success."
Root, Stokes to skip IPL
Joe Root has opted out of next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), his franchise said, following his England team mate Ben Stokes, who made himself unavailable for the T20 league, citing workload. Root played just three matches for Rajasthan Royals in his IPL debut. Rob Key, managing director of England’s men’s cricket had said the 32-year-old “needs a break” after the 50-overs World Cup in India. “During our retention conversations, Joe informed us of his decision to not take part in IPL 2024,” Kumar Sangakkara, Rajasthan’s director of cricket said in a statement. The franchise thanked Root for guiding the likes of Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag and Yashasvi Jaiswal at Rajasthan. Stokes had joined CSK ahead of IPL 2023 but played in only two matches as he was managing a troublesome knee injury throughout the course of the two-month long tournament.
Wimbledon's expansion plans rejected
Wimbledon's ambitious expansion plans for 39 new courts, including an 8,000-seater show court, have suffered a blow after being unanimously rejected by Wandsworth Council. The £200 million overhaul by the All England Club was previously approved by Merton Council, but their Wandsworth counterparts rejected the plans by seven votes to nil at a planning committee meeting. The boundaries cover both councils and, although the majority of the plot lies in Merton Council territory, the plans need the approval of both councils. The Wandsworth rejection means the project will now be referred to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the Greater London Authority. It could then be sent to Government level.
Ex-Windies star Samuels banned for 6 years
Former West Indies star Marlon Samuels has been banned from all cricket for six years for breaching an anti-corruption code, the sport’s world body said. The charges relate to the 42-year-old’s stint in a T10 league in the United Arab Emirates in 2019. He has since retired from all forms of cricket. The former top-order batsman was found by an independent tribunal to have made four breaches of the Emirates Cricket Board’s Anti-Corruption Code. “Though he is retired now, Samuels was a participant when the offences were committed,” said Alex Marshall, general manager of the International Cricket Council (ICC). “The ban of six years will act as a strong deterrent to any participant who intends to break the rules.”