Pujara, Jadeja, Vijay Promoted To Grade 'A' By Indian Cricket Board, Salary Hike For
Players


Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja and Murali Vijay were on Wednesday promoted by the
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to Grade A after the Committee of Administrators
(CoA) finalised the annual players contracts for the period starting from October 2016. Pujara and
Vijay were in Grade B last year, while Jadeja was demoted to Grade C in 2015-16 after his poor
run in the international cricket. The match fees for Tests, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and
Twenty20 Internationals were also hiked.

The CoA also hiked the annual retainer amounts for all the categories. Grade A players will now be
paid Rs 2 crore per annum, Grade B will be paid Rs 1 crore per annum and the Grade C players
will get Rs 50 lakhs per annum, which is double the amounts paid in the earlier years, a BCCI
release said.

KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha, who were in Grade C last year, have been promoted to Grade
B, while top-order batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been demoted to Grade C following his poor
form in international cricket.

The match fee enhancements will be effective from Oct 1, 2016. Tests will have fees of Rs. 15 lakh
per match, while the fees for ODIs and T20 Internationals will be Rs. 6 lakh per ODI and Rs. 3
lakh respectively.

While seniors like Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra have found place in Grade B and C respectively,
the biggest name missing is Suresh Raina, who till recently was a permanent member of the limited
overs fixtures.

Young Rishabh Pant is a part of Grade C contract. Raina had in fact played after October 1, 2016
but is not there in the 32-member list.

Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir are not in the list as they have played before the said date,
from which the contracts are to come into effect.

The decision was taken in consultation with the national selection committee.

Grade A: Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra
Jadeja, Murali Vijay.

Grade B: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma,
Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuvraj Singh.
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Roger Federer wins record-tying fifth Indian Wells title

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Forget the comeback talk. Roger Federer is back.

He defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to win a record-tying fifth BNP Paribas Open title in an all-
Swiss final Sunday to go with his record 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January
after missing most of last year with various injuries.

"For me, the dream run continues," he said.

Federer kept reminding everyone during the ATP Masters 1000 event that he was "on the
comeback" and, wanting to see how he felt, hadn't planned beyond the first three months of year.

He might want to think bigger now.

"This was not part of the plan, to win Australia and Indian Wells. The goal was to be top-eight by
after Wimbledon, so I'm there much, much faster," he said. "I will make the plan for the remainder
of the season, especially for the clay, after Miami, and then see also what the goals are because the
goals are clearly changing after this dream start."

Federer tied the tourney record of Novak Djokovic, who lost in the fourth round, while winning his
90th career title, keeping him third behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl on the all-time list in the
Open era.

At 35 years, 7 months, Federer became the oldest champion in the desert tournament's history,
surpassing Connors, who was 31 years, 5 months when he won in 1981.

"It's an absolute huge start to the year for me," he said. "Last year didn't win any titles. The change
is dramatic and it feels great."

His twin daughters cheered and jumped up and down in a box above the court when Federer put
away a high forehand volley while keeping Wawrinka pinned deep behind the baseline on match
point.
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South Africa won 2nd Test against Black Caps by 8 wickets

After making a draw in the first long format match between South Africa and New Zealand, both
were too serious in the following next match which started in 16th March, 2017. The 2nd match
was staged at Wellington where New Zealand got packet by scoring just 268 runs in their first
innings and in return, Proteas scored 359 runs by losing all wickets. But finally, Black Caps once
again failed and faced batting collapsed in the second innings which made the victory very easy to
the Proteas. So, five days match ended up so early before the end of 3rd day and South Africa got
victory by eight wickets. So, through the win, Proteas is now leading the Test series by 1 – 0. They
have just one matches left and if South Africa could manage another victory or draw, then Proteas
win the Test series also.

However, in second match, New Zealand came to bat by losing the toss but lost three wickets
within 21 runs. It seemed their top orders again failed. But, Nicholls who stood strong in front of
Proteas bowlers and made a century which helped the team to score 268 runs in their first innings.
Proteas captain Plessis used total five bowlers to end Black Caps innings where excluding
Philander, rest for bowlers took at least two wickets but Duminy took highest four wickets for the
team. Came to chase 268 runs, Proteas also stumbled at the beginning of the innings and in 12 runs,
lost two wickets and the 3rd wicket was gone in 26 runs. Their top order batsmen also failed in
that day but middle orders played quite well where Bavuma scored 89 runs and de Kock scored
highest 91 runs for the team. Finally, with the help of lower orders, they managed to score 359 runs.

Facing less than 100 runs lead, New Zealand started their second innings but again faced
disappointment. No players could last long only for Raval scored highest 80 runs. SO, they ended
up their second innings with 171 runs and presented just 81 runs target in front of Proteas
monsters. Proteas took easy victory over them though they lost two wickets named Cook and
Elgar. Maharaj was announced as the player of the match due to his brilliant bowling spell in
second innings where he took six Black Caps wickets.
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Afridi demands life ban for those found guilty

KARACHI (Dunya News) – Former Pakistan team captain Shahid Afridi has demanded of the
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to take stern action and impose life ban if the players allegedly
involved in the recent match-fixing scandal in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) are found guilty.

The star all-rounder further said that PCB’s decision to remove Azhar Ali from captaincy and not
selecting him for the ODI series against West Indies was wrong.

Another former captain and star batsman Javed Miandad said that cricket structure in Pakistan
needed an overhaul in order to curb the menace of match fixing. Miandad said that he will even
favour death penalty for match-fixers.

It is pertinent here to mention that Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad
Irfan have already been conditionally suspended from all formats of the game due to alleged spot-
fixing in second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL), and Umar Amin and Zulfiqar Babar might
be summoned by PCB soon as their names are also revolving in the fixing scandal.
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Afghanistan's Mohammad Shahzad Surpasses Virat Kohli In T20Is

Afghanistan's explosive batsman Mohammad Shahzad surpassed India skipper Virat Kohli in the
list of most runs in Twenty20
Internationals.

Afghanistan's swashbuckling batsman Mohammad Shahzad on Sunday surpassed India captain
Virat Kohli to become the fourth most
run-getter in Twenty20 Internationals. In 58 matches, the Afghanistan cricketer has scored 1779
runs, 70 more than fifth-
placed Kohli, who has 1709 runs in 48 matches. Shahzad is also ranked seventh in the ICC
rankings for the batsmen in T20Is.
Kohli, however, has played 10 less matches than the Afghan opener and is way ahead in the batting
average too.

Shahzad was 31 runs short of Kohli's tally of 1709 runs when he came in to bat in the third and
final T20I against Ireland in
Greater Noida, which Afghanistan managed to win by 28 runs to whitewash the series 3-0.

The 29-year-old, who scored 123 runs in three matches against Ireland, ended up as the second
highest run-getter of the
series after Mohammad Nabi (124).

Afghanistan had defeated Ireland by 91 runs in the 2nd T20I and had won by six wickets in the first
match of the Twenty20
series.

Earlier, the Afghanistan cricket team extended their record of the longest winning streak in T20Is
after they got the better
of Ireland on Friday in the second T20I, also at Greater Noida.

This was their tenth consecutive win in T20Is from March 2016, going past England and Ireland --
both of whom had won eight
consecutive matches in a row.

Afghanistan's winning streak started with a victory over the West Indies. In the run up to their tenth
win, they had defeated
United Arab Emirates, Ireland and Oman.
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England sweeps series

England’s Alex Hales (110 from 107 balls) and Joe Root (101 from 108 balls) struck centuries as
the tourist cruised to a
series sweep with a massive 186-run victory over West Indies in the third and final One-Day
International at the Kensington
Oval on Thursday.

England, sent in to bat, amassed 328 in exactly 50 overs before restricting the West Indies to 142
in 39.2 overs for its
biggest ever win by runs over the Caribbean side.

Opener Hales and Root put on 192 for the second wicket, a record for England against West
Indies, on an uneven pitch.

That laid the platform for the visiting side’s huge total, but it needed some power-hitting from Ben
Stokes (34 from 20
balls) to ensure it made it past 300.

Seamer Alzarri Joseph, playing in just his third ODI, was the pick of the home bowlers with four
for 76, including the
wickets of Hales and Root plus Moeen Ali for a first ball duck.

Root was dropped off Joseph when he had one as Evin Lewis failed to hold on to a chance at
square leg that should have been
taken and might have changed the complexion of the game.

England seamers exploited the conditions superbly and decimated the West Indies top order,
reducing the host to 45 for six as
Chris Woakes (three for 16 in eight overs) started the collapse and Liam Plunkett (three for 27
from eight) joined in later
on.
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After successful PSL final, ICC to send World XI to Pakistan for four-match T20 series

There is a good news in store for Pakistan cricket fans. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) successfully
conducted the final of
Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017 in Lahore on Sunday and that might pave way for return of
International cricket. But for
now, International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World XI is expected to play a T20 series in Lahore.

According to a report by The Guardian, ICC is planning to send the team to play a four-match
series in Lahore this September.
The report states, the four-match series to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium will be called The
Independence Cup to mark the
70th anniversary of partition.

Giles Clarke, the president of the England and Wales Cricket Board, who also heads the ICC’s
special Task Force on Pakistan
believes Pakistani fans deserve a chance to seem top-notch cricket. “The desire is to give the
cricket-starved Pakistani
supporters the chance to see some of the world’s finest players in live action,” Clarke said.

“The world of cricket needs to help Pakistan, who cannot continue to play their home fixtures
overseas. The youth need
inspiring, and the national teams need far more cricket played in familiar terrain. Furthermore, the
terrorists cannot win
and cricket must not give up on Pakistan.”

Giles Clarke, the president of the England and Wales Cricket Board, who also heads the ICC’s
special Task Force on Pakistan
believes Pakistani fans deserve a chance to seem top-notch cricket. “The desire is to give the
cricket-starved Pakistani
supporters the chance to see some of the world’s finest players in live action,” Clarke said.
“The world of cricket needs to help Pakistan, who cannot continue to play their home fixtures
overseas. The youth need
inspiring, and the national teams need far more cricket played in familiar terrain. Furthermore, the
terrorists cannot win
and cricket must not give up on Pakistan.
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South Africa retain No.1 ODI spot after winning series against New Zealand

Auckland, March 4: South Africa retained their number one spot in the International Cricket
Council (ICC) One-day International (ODI) rankings after thrashing New Zealand by six wickets in
the fifth and final 50-over game, to clinch the series 3-2, here on Saturday (March 4).

The Proteas remained on their pre-series tally of 119 points, one point ahead of Australia while the
Kiwis too remained at 113 points in third position, with India on fourth at 112 points.

Had South Africa lost the match and the series, it would have been edged by Australia on decimal
points with both teams on 118 points in such a scenario.

In the final ODI, the visitors made light work of the home batsmen by bowling them out for a paltry
149 before Test skipper Faf du Plessis's patient unbeaten 51, helped them overhaul the target with
more than 17 overs to spare.

Pacer Kasigo Rabada scalped three wickets while leg-spinner Imran Tahir and medium pacer
Andile Phehlukwayo took two wickets each as New Zealand found the going tough after being sent
in to bat at the Eden Park.

Colin de Grandhomme top-scored with 32 runs while opener Dean Brownlie, James Neesham and
Mitchell Santner scored an identical 24 each to help the hosts to the meagre target.

In reply, the Proteas were off to a poor start before du Plessis and skipper AB de Villiers (23)
forged a 40-run fourth wicket stand to take the side near the three-figure mark.

Once de Villiers was packed back after his 21-ball knock consisting of two fours and as many
sixes, David Miller (45 not out) joined du Plessis to ensure that the Proteas reached the target
without any more hiccups. Miller's flamboyant knock included six boundaries and two sixes.
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Shahid Afridi wants to play farewell match in Lahore

KARACHI, PAKISTAN: Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi, who recently announced his
retirement from international cricket, has expressed desire to play his farewell match in Lahore.

Afridi is representing Peshawar Zalmi in the ongoing second edition of the Pakistan Super League
(PSL) and is looking focused on winning a play-off match against Quetta and securing a place in
the final which will be played at the headquarters of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Earlier, Afridi was in constant touch with the PCB for a rousing send-off, but the matter did not
materialize. The flamboyant all-rounder also hailed the decision to host the PSL's final in Lahore,
saying that it was a well thought out decision of the country's cricket board and the Punjab
Government.

"Decision to hold PSL final in Lahore is massive and I am really looking forward to it," the Dawn
quoted Afridi as saying.

Afridi, however, refrained from commenting on the statement by former great and Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, who opposed the hosting of PSL final in Lahore.

Afridi said he "is not at same stage [as] Imran Khan", adding all must contribute to the success of
the PSL final in his opinion since the decision has been taken now.

On Monday, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah confirmed that the final match of the PSL will be
held in Lahore on March 5 as scheduled.

The doubts over whether the PCB should hold the PSL final in Lahore rose following the February
13 suicide bombing in which 13 people were killed.

It should be noted that Pakistan have not hosted any international cricket tournaments since the
terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009,when six Pakistani policemen were
killed and some of the visiting players were injured.
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Black Caps crushed by Proteas in third ODI

AB de Villiers had called on his batsmen to take responsibility for an innings and he showed the
way in Wellington as South Africa surged to a crushing 159-run victory. De Villiers' controlled 85,
during which he became the fastest player to 9000 ODI runs, turned the tables after a middle-order
slide, then the pace bowlers combined with unnerving accuracy to dismantle New Zealand for 112
in the 33rd over.

Kagiso Rabada, back in the side after missing Christchurch, set the tone with an exemplary new-
ball spell. He was followed by Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius who removed the cream
of New Zealand's batting by nabbing Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor in the space of five
deliveries. The pair bowled nine overs between them in their first spells, returning figures of 4 for
16, in the sort of seam-friendly conditions that could be on show in the Champions Trophy.
Pretorius finished with 3 for 5 from 5.2 overs.

New Zealand had entered this match buoyed by their batting performance at Hagley Oval, but this
display will raise a few concerns as they fell in a heap in a manner not often seen. Tom Latham
collected his third duck in four ODI innings and there was another failure for Neil Broom.

They had made one change, replacing legspinner Ish Sodhi with the pace of Lockie Ferguson and
may ponder if that was correct after he went for 71 in his 10 overs - the most expensive bowling
performance of the day.

Quinton de Kock, with his fifth 50-plus ODI score in a row, and Faf du Plessis led South Africa to
114 for 1 in the 23rd over but then followed a collapse of 5 for 66. Colin de Grandhomme gave
New Zealand the control they strived for, claiming two wickets in four deliveries and bowling his 10
overs straight through, while Mitchell Santner produced another impressive performance of left-arm
spin.

De Grandhomme removed du Plessis who riffled a drive low to mid-off, then in what is becoming a
habit on this tour, de Kock picked out the leg-side field having set himself for a century. He hung
his head and could barely drag himself off.

De Villiers was greeted by a hostile delivery from Ferguson which rammed into his gloves but
quickly ticked off the five runs he needed to jump past Sourav Ganguly to top the 9000 list.
However, senior batsmen came and went. JP Duminy, who had struggled for fluency, was run out
by a direct hit from Tim Southee at backward point and David Miller chipped a low catch to
midwicket which was upheld by the third umpire.
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Australia pick up T20I consolation win

The scorecard: Australia 6-187 (Klinger 62, Finch 53, Shanaka 2-27) beat Sri Lanka 146
(Munaweera 37, Faulkner 3-18, Zampa
3-21) by 41 runs at Adelaide Oval The match in a tweet: Australia hit back in Adelaide! Finch and
Klinger lead the way with
the bat before Zampa puts Sri Lanka in a spin to seal consolation win The series: Australia’s victory
in the dead rubber
sees them finish on a high note, but Sri Lanka go home with a 2-1 series victory and a new piece of
silverware. The
drought-breaker: Before Wednesday, it had been 837 days since Australia last won a T20I on
home soil.

That last win came on November 9, 2014, when Australia defeated South Africa by two wickets at
the SCG.

The scorecard: Australia 6-187 (Klinger 62, Finch 53, Shanaka 2-27) beat Sri Lanka 146
(Munaweera 37, Faulkner 3-18, Zampa 3-21) by 41 runs at Adelaide Oval The match in a tweet:
Australia hit back in Adelaide! Finch and Klinger lead the way with
the bat before Zampa puts Sri Lanka in a spin to seal consolation win The series: Australia’s victory
in the dead rubber sees them finish on a high note, but Sri Lanka go home with a 2-1 series victory
and a new piece of silverware. The drought-breaker: Before Wednesday, it had been 837 days
since Australia last won a T20I on home soil. That last win came on
November 9, 2014, when Australia defeated South Africa by two wickets at the SCG
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