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Pakistan advised not play World T20 match against India in Dharamsala

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DHARAMSALA, India (Diya TV) — Former International Cricket Council chief Ehsan Mani has advised the Pakistani Cricket Board to skip their World Twenty20 match against India in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh on March 19. Mani’s advice was provided in response to what he believes are recent threats from state authorities.

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“I would advise the PCB to take these threats seriously. Because it involves the security of our players, officials, people and media who will go to India for the event,” Mani said.

Shashank Manohar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, reached out to Mani with assurances that only top-notch security would be provided for Pakistan’s players during the tournament. Not convinced, Mani further opined that had any other country been involved in the same situation, he’s sure they would have pulled their appearance from the tournament by now.

“If this match had involved the Australian team I am sure by now they would have pulled out of the match,” he said, adding, “They made their position on security for their players clear when they pulled out of the ICC Youth World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year.”

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Manohar and the BCCI have already called into consideration the absence of security provided in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh for the World T20 tie. Citing a January attack on an Indian military base, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said on Sunday that the venue of the match should be moved out of respect for the “martyrs” killed in the assault by militants on the base. Sources speaking on the terms of anonymity have confirmed conversations took place regarding the match possibly being relocated to Mohali and Kolkata, but no final decisions have been made.

Mani said Pakistan has worked vigorously to preserve its cricketing relationship with India, but that hostile environment for his players and their guests in the rival country remains fairly obvious.

“The Pakistan government has also shown it believes in having cricketing relations with India but I would think playing in Dharamsala in this environment would be risky for the Pakistan team,” he said.

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Jignesh Pandya to spend $2.4 billion on 8 U.S. cricket stadiums

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Jignesh Pandya (Courtesy of Twitter)

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian-American cricket enthusiast and businessman Jignesh Pandya announced he plans to build eight cricket stadiums across the U.S., which will cost an estimated $2.4 billion, to help professionalize the sport in the states.

The Gujarat-born real estate developer wants to see stadiums go up in New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Georgia, Florida, Texas, Illinois and California. Construction of the stadiums will create nearly 20,000 jobs, Pandya, chairman of Global Sports Ventures, said.

Each venue will seat 26,000, he added. The Pennsylvania-based Global Sports Ventures will also sign a $70 million licensing agreement with the United States of American Cricket Association (USACA), the body’s first step in growing and popularizing the sport in the U.S.

Pandya has been spanning the globe with his two sons, the trio have spent countless hours seeking out the world’s best live cricket matches. During their travels, Pandya said he noticed most of the spectators to be either Indian or American. This has led him to believe there is more of a desire for the sports in the states than meets the eye.

“So there is a great market and readymade audience for cricket in the U.S.,” he told The Press Trust of India. 

The stadiums, Pandya said, will be built into complexes that already include high-rise condominiums, shopping and entertainment centers as well as commercial office space. His ultimate goal, however, is to create and foster a professional cricket league that allows athletes to compete at the highest levels of the sport.

“This will be a strong foundation when the International Cricket Council hosts any tournaments in line with its strategic framework for USA cricket, potentially hosting the ICC World Twenty 20 in 2024,” he said.

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Ravichandran Ashwin seals series win for India over England

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — England subsided to an innings-and-36-run defeat on the final day of the fourth Test in Mumbai as India swiftly sealed a series victory, thanks in large part to the efforts of batsman Ravichandran Ashwin.

India resumed play with a hefty scoreline of 182-6, but England’s final four wickets fell in 48 balls, with Ashwin taking 6-55 for match figures of 12-167.

It is the third time a Test side have made 400 or more in the first innings of the match and lost by an innings. India now lead the series 3-0 with one match to play, and have now won five consecutive series. Ranked No. 1 in the world, India are now unbeaten in 18 matches on their home pitch, winning 15 of those in a run that dates back to England’s 2-1 series win in 2012.

For England manager Alastair Cook, it equals his fourth defeat in five matches and his side’s seventh loss of the year. Having already lost seven, England could match their 12-month worst of eight losses in the fifth and final Test match, which begins in Chennai on Friday.

While it was batting collapses that cost England during defeats in the second and third Tests, the most recent match was a pure display of being outclassed by the other side, something that was further enhanced by Cook’s poor squad selection.

Of the traveling squad, off-spinner Gareth Batty had a poor third Test, left-arm spinner Liam Dawson was uncapped and batsmen Gary Ballance and Ben Duckett were out of form. England’s selection problems became compiled with on-field errors — after winning the toss, England found themselves 220-2 but lost their last eight wickets for 180 runs.

With chosen spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali disappointing, England failed to capitalize on chances off Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay and Jayant Yadav, who made a double century and two hundreds between them as India racked up a massive 631.

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Watch what happens when Liam Thomas looses his prosthetic leg on the cricket field

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) — English cricketer Liam Thomas made definition of remaining calm and collected after losing his prosthetic leg while playing in the final of a tournament for people with physical disability in Dubai last week.

The 22-year-old played for the England Physical Disabilities team in a match against Pakistan back on Oct. 24 when his leg got loose and began flying across the pitch.

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“It just happened, really. I was sprinting for the ball, put my hand out, hit the deck hard and the next thing I know I stood up and had no leg,” Thomas said. “I didn’t know whether to grab the leg or get the ball in. I decided to go for the ball.”

He would later blame the smothering Dubai heat for the occurrence, saying it caused the socket to expand, ultimately causing it to loosen.

Thomas, who was born with a disability, said his teammates would later thank him for his gregarious play and enjoyed his effort. “Having a disability, we all take the fun out of each other a little bit, we all have each others’ backs, so we are all trying to give each other grief when something like that happens,” he said.

Despite his fight and gregarious play, England would lose the match by three wickets. Thomas said he hopes the attention his performance is receiving helps raise the profile of the sport.

The England and Wales Cricket Board supports a multitude of teams, including the Physical Disabilities team, teams for people who are visually impaired, for people with learning disabilities, and for people who are deaf.

Thomas, who works for the local water service near his home in Bradford, England, urges disabled people to get involved in sports. “Don’t be afraid, no matter what sport it is,” he said.

“Never in a million years would I have thought I would be touring Dubai, playing cricket, doing something I love. It’s just not something you think a disabled person would do, but being involved in disabled sport allows you access to do stuff like that.”

Information from CNN contributed to this report.

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