MUMBAI, India (AP): India’s limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina will play for new franchises Pune and Rajkot for the coming two seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Pune and Rajkot are temporary replacements for Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who are suspended for two years over corruption and spot-fixing in 2013. Players from Chennai and Rajasthan were made available in a draft yesterday for the two teams to pick five players each at the salary they were getting with their old teams. Dhoni was earning $2 million per season at Chennai, while Raina used to get $1.5 million. Australian captain Steven Smith, South African batsman Faf du Plessis and Indians Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin were also selected by Pune. Rajkot picked India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, flamboyant New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum, Australian all-rounder James Faulkner and West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo. The remaining players from Chennai and Rajasthan will be available to Pune and Rajkot in an auction to be conducted in February. Last week, New Rising Consortium-owned Pune and mobile phone manufacturer Intex-owned Rajkot were selected as the replacement franchises following a reverse-bidding process in which bidders were asked to discount their annual revenue share of $6 million. New Rising gave up that revenue entirely and also committed to pay $2.4 million per year to the BCCI. Intex will pay $1.5 million per year.
Brazil, Uruguay qualifier still on in Recife MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) Uruguay will go ahead with a World Cup qualifier scheduled next month in Recife, the Brazilian city at the centre of an outbreak of the Zika virus. “For the moment, we have no qualms about the location,” Eduardo Belza, the national team’s sports director, told The Associated Press. “But it’s a fluid situation, and we’re very aware of what health officials in Brazil and Uruguay are saying.” The match will be played in the northeastern city on March 24. Belza said players have been told to use mosquito repellents, bring long-sleeve shirts and avoid being out in the early morning or evening when mosquitoes are more prevalent. Belza said he’s already been to Recife and has chosen a hotel with tightly sealed windows and a ventilation system that keeps insects out of the building. Neymar urged to come clean MADRID (AP) The Brazilian company that says it hasn’t been properly compensated for Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona wants him to come clean and put an end to his judicial problems in Spain and Brazil. The co-founder of Grupo Sonda, which invested in Neymar early in his career, issued a public message to the player in a news conference yesterday in Madrid, saying he risks having his career tainted by a crime. “You are an exceptional player and I wouldn’t like to see you going down in history marked by a crime,” Delcir Sonda said. “Hopefully, you will show the same maturity that you have on the field and will put an end to your judicial problems in Brazil and Spain. No one deserves this.” DIS, the investment group that belongs to Sonda, has claimed in court that it was financially damaged because Barcelona, Neymar, and Brazilian club Santos withheld the real amount of the player’s transfer fee in 2013. DIS was entitled to 40 per cent of the total transfer amount. Neymar and his father appeared before a judge in Madrid on Tuesday to testify in an investigation into the transfer. Former and current Barcelona presidents also were questioned by a judge this week, as well as representatives of Santos. They have all denied wrongdoing. The Brazilian club claims it also has been hurt in the transfer.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua:In a press release after yesterday’s final, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron had high praises for the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the BCCI (host organisation) for a most memorable 2016 ICC World Twenty20 tournament.Cameron said he thought that the “tournament was of the highest quality and the Indian fans and others from around the world came out in full support of cricket”.Obviously overjoyed that the West Indies teams took the double, Cameron noted that the tournament was “an all-round success”.INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTSThe release further stated: “The President would like to, however, apologise for what could be deemed inappropriate, comments made by the West Indies’ male captain, Darren Sammy, in a post-match interview and would like to apologise on behalf of the WICB to the millions of fans who witnessed.”The president has pledged to enquire the reason and will have the matter addressed.”The release added: “Coming up in May this year, the board will host its annual review (retreat) with the players, WIPA, selectors and the technical team to review player, management and technical plans. This will be done after the Indian Premier League.The president said further: “There are players who are currently committed to playing in the T20 cricket leagues around the world and we are aware of that schedule, hence the plan to meet at that time.”We want to see how we can find common ground in ensuring that the best players in the region are available for selection for West Indies teams. We are fully aware of the financial rewards on offer in the lucrative international T20 leagues, but we believe deeply in the importance of cricket to the people of the region and of West Indies cricket’s place in world cricket. It is, therefore, a priority to have all of our players competing and available for selection.”We will also engage the ICC on this so that we protect not only the rich heritage and legacy of West Indies cricket, but also its future.”