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Pressures of leading IPL team, young family could be behind Virat’s call: Steyn

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Dubai, Sep 20: The pressure that comes with leading an Indian Premier League (IPL) team and the fact that he has a young family could have played a big role in Virat Kohli deciding to quit as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) after the completion of this year’s edition of the lucrative tournament in Dubai, feels former South African pace spearhead Dale Steyn.

RCB announced late on Sunday that Kohli will step down as the captain of the team after the end of IPL 2021 season. The announcement was made through a video posted by the franchise on social media, three days after Kohli said that he will be quitting as India’s T20I captain after the men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE next month. Kohli will continue to be a part of the RCB squad.

“He’s been with RCB from the very beginning. I don’t know, as life goes on you start to prioritise things. He’s (Virat) got a young family right now and captaincy can weigh heavily on the brain, and your personal life can also heavily weigh on you,” said Steyn to T20 Time Out on espncricinfo on Monday.

Steyn, who retired from all forms of cricket late last month, added that, “Maybe, relinquishing a little bit of that responsibility (captaincy) and just being able to focus on his batting is a good decision at this time of his career.”

The former pace bowler said that nobody doubted Kohli’s captaincy, adding that he was a fantastic player and that his decision should be respected.

“We don’t doubt his captaincy. He is a fantastic leader and his personal achievements speak for themselves. So it’s really up to him as to what he wants to do so. Maybe it’s a good decision as the (T20) World Cup is round the corner. We could see the best of Virtat coming out in the remaining of the IPL (games) and the World Cup.”

Steyn also hinted that Kohli could have taken the decision on captaincy to pre-empt criticism if he doesn’t perform in the IPL.

“He may be trying to put out or extinguish some fires before they actually happen. Relinquishing the Indian captaincy, if he has 2-3 bad scores in the next couple of games in IPL, people might start questioning him whether he should give up the RCB captaincy. Before that comes into question, he may have decided ‘before we go down that road then you should say this is also part of my thinking’,” added Steyn.

On his statement declaring his commitment to RCB that he will continue to be their IPL player till he plays T20, Steyn said, “Doesn’t matter how good a player you are, you could see yourself walking (it’s the franchise owner’s call). I mean I’ve seen Chris Gayle leave the team but he’s not an Indian legend. We have also seen David Beckham leave Man United after playing for an entire lifespan and go and play for other teams. Cristiano Ronaldo recently returned to Man United, so you don’t know…you have these famous people play for club teams for a long time. And, who knows Virat, who is originally from Delhi, might end up finishing with the Delhi franchise.

“But it’s nice to know he has committed himself to the club (RCB) and wants to be there to see the IPL trophy come to them. He has given so many years of effort… I think that could be at the back of his mind, that he is not going to leave there until he wins an IPL trophy.”

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You will see me in yellow but not sure as player, says Dhoni on playing for CSK in 2022

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Dubai, Oct 7: Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni on Thursday said that fans will see him in ‘yellow in IPL 2022, but he doesn’t know if he will be part of the franchise as a player or in some other role.

Dhoni, who has been CSK’s captain since the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, highlighted that there is a ‘lot of uncertainty’ because of the two new teams coming in and the mega auction, next year.

“Well, you can see me in yellow next year. But whether I will be playing for CSK? There are a lot of uncertainties around it for a simple reason that we have two new teams coming up. We don’t know the retention policy. We don’t know how many foreigners, Indian players we can retain, the money cap that every player will be cutting from the kitty,” said 40-year-old at the toss ahead of CSK’s match against Punjab Kings in Dubai.

“So there are a lot of uncertainties. Unless the rules are in place you can’t really decide that. So we will wait for it to happen and hopefully it will be good for everyone,” he added.

The former India captain also mentioned that it has been difficult to maintain fitness this season due to back to back matches in the UAE leg of the 2021 IPL.

“It’s tough to maintain fitness. Once the IPL was postponed, it meant there will be back-to-back games (whenever the tournament resumes). We had that sort of a stretch but, looks good, no concern with fitness,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni, who has led CSK to three IPL titles, earlier indicated that he will be playing his farewell game in Chennai.

The 40-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman in an event celebrating 75 years of India Cements, earlier had said that he hopes to play his last IPL match in Chennai.

“When it comes to farewell, you can still come and see me play for CSK and that can be my farewell game. So, you will still get that opportunity to bid me farewell. Hopefully, we will come to Chennai and play my last game over there and we can meet the fans there,” Dhoni said while interacting with fans during the virtual event on Tuesday.

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Du Plessis’ fifty takes CSK to 134/6 against Punjab Kings

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Dubai, Oct 7: A hard-earned fifty by Faf du Plessis (76 off 55) took Chennai Super Kings to 134/6 against Punjab Kings in the 53rd match of the IPL 2021 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, here on Thursday.

Put in to bat first, CSK were off to a poor start as they lost the wickets of Ruturaj Gaikwad (12) and Moeen Ali (0) inside the powerplay.

Arshdeep Singh provided Punjab Kings the first breakthrough as he dismissed Gaikwad. The in-form opener tried to take on the short-pitch delivery bowled by Arshdeep but got a top edge and Shahrukh Khan completed the catch. Faf du Plessis was then joined by Moeen Ali, who didn’t trouble scorers and was dismissed for a duck.

Du Plessis looked in fine touch and hit back-to-back boundaries. But, he didn’t get the required support from the other end as Robin Uthappa (2), Ambati Rayudu (4) got out cheaply. Both Uthappa and Rayudu were dismissed by Chris Jordan, who is playing this game in place of Nicholas Pooran.

MS Dhoni, who came to bat next, hit a few boundaries before getting playing-on to his stumps a googly bowled by Ravi Bishnoi, leaving CSK struggling at 61-5 after 11.6 overs. From there on, Du Plessis and Ravindra Jadeja batted sensibly and rebuilt the CSK innings.

The Proteas cricketer took calculated risks and completed his fifth fifty of IPL 2021 in 46 balls and kept Chennai Super Kings alive in the match. Jadeja, on the other hand, gave him the much-needed support by rotating the strike regularly.

In the final overs, Du Plessis batted freely and hit a few lusty boundaries to give impetus to CSK innings. His fine innings came to an end for 76 in the last over of the innings and he added 67 runs for the sixth wicket with Jadeja.

In the last few balls, Dwayne Bravo hit a four and helped CSK post a total of 134-6 in 20 overs.

Brief scores:
Chennai Super Kings Innings – 134-6 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis (76 off 55, Chris Jordan 2/20, Arshdeep Singh 2/35) against Punjab Kings

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Sports gears of Olympians in highest demand in auctioning

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New Delhi: Sports gears of Olympians have received the highest bids with just one day left for the e-auction of the Prime Minister’s mementos to end, historical items and religious artefacts seem to have drawn more interest. The javelin used by Neeraj Chopra, which brought him the gold medal, received the highest bid of Rs 10 crore on the opening day, it was later cancelled on the suspicion that it could be a fake bid.

The auction opened on September 17 and since then all eyes are focusing on the sporting gear of Olympians and Paralympians. Weeks later, a javelin used by a Paralympic gold medallist remains at the top with a bid of Rs 1,00,50,000. However, till now it has received only two bids, according to the latest bid details on the PM”s memento’s site https://pmmementos.gov.in/.

In comparison, a metal mace whose base price was Rs 2,500 has received 54 bids, with the highest at Rs 5 lakh. The javelin used by Paralympic gold medallist Sumit Antil, with a base price of Rs 1 crore, received a bid of Rs 1,00,05,000 from one bidder, while a wooden model of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya saw 24 bids come in. The mandir’s base value was Rs 2,50,000.

A badminton racquet autographed by Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games gold medallist Krishna Nagar received a highest bid of Rs 80.15 lakh but there were only three bidders who showed interest in it. On the other hand, a small metallic figurine showing Lord Rama, Hanuman, Laxman and Goddess Sita, titled Bhagwan Ram Parivar, received 44 bids,

With the highest being Rs 1.35 lakh. Its base price was only Rs 10,000. Apart from religious items, a large-scale three-dimensional replica model of a DRDO tank placed inside a glass box has received 23 bids, with the highest being Rs 5 lakh. Its base price was Rs 75,000.

Another item, a memento of the Pune metro line with a sculpture of Chattrapati Shivajji on a horse and the metro line within the cityscape, received 24 bids, with the highest being Rs 43,000, while its base price was only Rs 3,000.

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