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Steve Smith Steps Down as Rajasthan Royals Captain, Rahane named Captain

Australian Steve Smith has stepped down from his position of the captain of the Rajasthan Royals team in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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Australian Steve Smith has stepped down from his position of the captain of the Rajasthan Royals team in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He will be replaced by Indian opener Ajinkya Rahane.

The IPL franchise, which is making a comeback in the league after serving a two-year ban on corruption issue, confirmed the news in a statement on Monday.

The development has taken place a couple of days after Smith and teammate Cameron Bancroft sensationally admitted to having tampered the ball on Day 3 of the third Test against South Africa.

Rajasthan Royals’ Head of Cricket, Zubin Bharucha said, “The incident in Cape Town has certainly disturbed the cricketing world. We have been in constant touch with the BCCI and taken their counsel. Furthermore, we have been in regular contact with Steve.”

Steve believes given the current circumstances “it’s in the best interest of the Rajasthan Royals that he steps down as captain so the team can get ready for the start of the IPL without the ongoing distractions.” He would like to extend his gratitude to the BCCI officials and all the fans in India for their constant support.

Speaking at the announcement of the new captain, Bharucha added, “Ajinkya Rahane has been an integral part of the Royals family for a long time now and he understands the culture and values of our team. We have absolutely no doubt that he will be a great leader of the Rajasthan Royals.”

“Rajasthan Royals will do everything possible to protect the values and the integrity of the game. We agree with Steve’s decision to step down as captain, and we are fortunate to have such a capable successor with Ajinkya Rahane. It is important that all cricket fans retain a balanced perspective on the situation. What happened in South Africa was clearly wrong, especially given that it appears to have been pre-meditated. That said, this will be a difficult time for Steve as well, given how much he cares about the game,” the franchise’s co-owner, Manoj Badale, stated in a press release on Monday.

Rajasthan Royals will launch their season with an away fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday, April 9th followed by their first home game in Jaipur on Wednesday, April 11th where they will host Delhi Daredevils at Sawai Mansingh stadium.

Welcoming Rahane as the Captain of the team, Ranjit Barthakur, Executive Chairman, Rajasthan Royals, said, “Ajinkya Rahane has stepped up as a leader whenever he has been given the opportunity, be it for Team India or at Rajasthan Royals. We consider him the right candidate to lead the side this crucial season when the team is coming back to the IPL after two years. We wish him all the best.”

At Cape Town, Australia lost the Test by 322 runs, but the match itself was overshadowed by the incident on Saturday, with Bancroft caught on cameras using sandpaper in an attempt to shine the ball.

Smith subsequently stepped down from the captain’s role for the remainder of the Test in Cape Town.

Smith was also handed a one-match ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his role in the ball-tampering incident, making him unavailable for the final Test of the series.

Earlier:

Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals are waiting for instructions from the Indian cricket board (BCCI) before deciding on the future of their captain Steve Smith, officials from the team said on Sunday.

Smith was suspended for one test by the International Cricket Council after admitting a team plot to tamper with the ball in the on-going third test against South Africa at Newlands.

He was due to captain Royals in this year’s IPL but that is now in doubt with executive chairman Ranjit Barthakur saying the team had a “zero tolerance policy” against actions that bring the game into disrepute.

Smith re-joined Royals for this year’s competition having previously played for them between 2014-15, with the side having paid $1.07 million for his services.

Smith confessed on Saturday that he and the “leadership group” of the Australian test team had hatched a plan at lunchtime on the third day of the test at Newlands to alter the condition of the ball.

The admission has plunged Australian cricket into crisis.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

Jhulan Goswami Honoured with Commemorative Stamp for 200 ODI Wkts

Jhulan remains to be one of the pillars of the Indian women’s cricket team, despite having her ODI debut in 2002.

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KOLKATA (West Bengal): A postage stamp, featuring Goswami’s mugshot in India colours next to an image of Kolkata’s iconic Victoria Memorial, has been issued in honour of her claiming a record 200 wickets in women’s ODIs.

The unveiling of the stamp took place on Friday at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club, in the presence of former India men’s captain Sourav Ganguly.

Adjudged the ICC Women’s Player of Year award in 2007, Goswami, 35, recently became the first female player to pick up 200 ODI wickets when she had Laura Wolvaardt caught behind in the third ODI during India’s tour of South Africa in February.

In May 2017, Goswami found her 181st ODI wicket in South Africa’s Raisibe Ntozakhe, during the Quadrangular series, and surpassed Australia’s Cathryn Fitzpatrick as the leading wicket-taker in the format. During the same tour, Goswami pipped Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway to the honour of the most catches by a non-wicketkeeper in women’s ODIs.

The recognition was lauded by fellow professionals from across the world. Former Australian woman cricketer Lisa Sthalekar was one of the first ones to react on Twitter:

Jhulan remains to be one of the pillars of the Indian women’s cricket team, despite having her ODI debut in 2002.

Interestingly, former Indian skipper Kapil Dev was the first cricketer ever to claim 200 ODI wickets. Even Kapil Dev took 166 matches to achieve the feat.

She had joined the Indian women’s cricket team back in 2002 against England, almost a week before her Test debut against the same team. In 2007, she was announced as a part of the Asia squad in the Afro-Asia tournament in India. A year later, Jhulan was named the captain of India for the then tour of Australia. Her captaincy stint lasted for just 25 games.

In 2010 she received the Arjuna Award. Two years hence, the 35-year-old was honoured with the Padam Shri.

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SPORT-ENTERTAINMENT

Indian Women Win All 7 Golds at 8th South Asian Judo Championship in Lalitpur, Nepal

In the men’s section, India won three gold medals.

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LALITPUR (Nepal): In a glittering performance Indian women made a clean sweep at 8th South Asian Judo Championship in Lalitpur, Nepal. India won all 7 Gold Medals in women’s section.

India’s Garima Chaudhary won gold in 70 kg. She defeated Farina Khanam of Bangladesh in the final.

In 78 kg category, Jina Devi won gold by beating Punam Shrestha of Nepal.

Tulika Maan won 7th gold for the country. She defeated Milani Silva of Sri Lanka in 78+ kg.

In the men’s section, India won 3 gold medals.

Divesh won the first gold for the country. He defeated Sanjay Maharajan of Nepal in the final of -81 kg.

Vijay Kumar Yadav won gold in -60 kg beating Milinda Senevirathne of Sri Lanka in the final.

The last gold for India was won by Ajay Yadav in -73 kg. He defeated Sanjit Dongol of Nepal in the final. Indian men also got one bronze medal today.

Indian women had won 4 gold while men bagged two bronze the first day of the championship on yesterday. The team events will be held tomorrow.

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SPORT-ENTERTAINMENT

Madhya Pradesh Wins the Most ‘Film Friendly State’ Award

Uttarakhand gets a ‘Special Mention Certificate’ while the jury lauded continuing efforts of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat towards creating a film-friendly ecosystem.

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MUMBAI (Maharashtra): The Most Film Friendly State Award was announced today by the Chairman of the Jury Ramesh Sippy. The Most Film Friendly State Awards would be presented by Hon’ble President of India on May 3, 2018, during the presentation of the National Film Awards.

State of Madhya Pradesh won the award for the Most Film Friendly State for its efforts towards easing filming in the State by creating a well-structured website, film-friendly infrastructure, offering incentives, maintaining databases, undertaking marketing and promotional initiatives, unanimously by the Jury from among the 16 States that participated.

Madhya Pradesh also received positive feedback from established filmmakers who have shot there. The efforts taken by the State to present their case for the Awards were also appreciated.

The state of Uttarakhand is given a Special Mention Certificate to recognize the efforts made by the State of Uttarakhand towards creating a film-friendly environment.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Ramesh Sippy Chairman of the Jury said “The Jury members laud the continuing efforts of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat towards creating a film-friendly ecosystem in their States and hope that they keep up the good work.

Akshay Kumar starrer superhit film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha was shot extensively in Hoshangabad of Madhya Pradesh (File Photo)

This year Madhya Pradesh, where a lot of filmmakers have shot over the years, has won the award due to the ease of filming that the State offers along with excellent on ground support and filming infrastructure, an informative website and incentives for filmmaking.

The Madhya Pradesh entry was also presented beautifully with all required documents given in a very comprehensive manner.

In addition, the jury would like to acknowledge the sincere efforts made by Uttarakhand in this direction, despite it being a relatively new State with a difficult terrain and hence has been given the Special Mention.”

The jury for selecting the Most Film Friendly State Award 2017 was chaired by acclaimed filmmaker Ramesh Sippy and comprising of renowned filmmakers, Nagraj Manjule, Raja Krishna Menon, Vivek Agnihotri, and Uday Singh, MD, Motion Picture Distributors Association.

Names of the States that Participated in the ‘Most Film Friendly State Award 2017’:

  1. Andaman and Nicobar
  2. Delhi
  3. Gujarat
  4. Karnataka
  5. Kerala
  6. Madhya Pradesh
  7. Maharashtra
  8. Mizoram
  9. Odisha
  10. Punjab
  11. Rajasthan
  12. Sikkim
  13. Telangana
  14. Tripura
  15. Uttarakhand
  16. Uttar Pradesh
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