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Travelling to Pakistan for 2023 Asia Cup in the plans for BCCI

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India’s visit to Pakistan for the Asia Cup in 2023 will, of course, be subject to the clearance of the government of the time, but right now, it is certainly on the agenda of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). A BCCI note, circulated among the state associations on Thursday ahead of the October 18 Annual General Meeting (AGM), lists out India’s engagements in next year’s multilateral events:Pakistan are scheduled to host the 50-over Asia Cup in the second half of 2023 following which the World Cup will take place in India. And going by the AGM note, the BCCI seems to be open to travelling to Pakistan which has been a no-go area since 2008, when India had taken part in an Asia Cup.

When contacted, the BCCI officials were reluctant to take a position but what is of significance is the fact that Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, is the president of Asian Cricket Council (ACC). “It will be subject to the clearance of the Government of India as always,” said a BCCI official maintaining the oft-repeated position. There is always this alternative of hosting the event in the UAE, like this year’s Asia Cup, but the BCCI note seems to be indicating otherwise.

Meanwhile, another AGM note has confirmed a Cricbuzz report about Government of India’s decision to increase the tax outlay on the World Cup. “The ICC has now received a 20% (excluding surcharges) tax order for its broadcast revenue for the 2023 event from the tax authorities in India. The BCCI is currently working with the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and have represented against this 20% (excluding surcharges) tax order at the very highest level and are hopeful that a 10% (excluding surcharges) tax order would be forthcoming shortly,” the note points out. Cricbuzz reported about this on July 9.

The BCCI further states that the increased tax outlay means higher loss of income for the board as the cost will have to be borne by the BCCI. “It is to be noted that any tax cost incurred by the ICC for the 2023 event in India will be adjusted with the BCCI’s share of revenue from the ICC,” the note says, illustrating the point that “The Impact on BCCI’s revenue from the ICC, if a 21.84 % withholding tax order is received by ICC is USD 116.47 million.” The total cost of the 2023 World Cup is USD 533.29 million.

The previous tax order was for 10.29 %, levied on the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup which India hosted and the liability, to the tune of USD 23.5 million, was adjusted in India’s share of the ICC revenue. The note confirms, “The ICC’s broadcast partner was allowed a lower withholding tax of 10.92% for the 2016 event by the relevant department in the Government of India. This 10.92% amounted to nearly USD 23.5 million. This amount of USD 23.5 million was subsequently deducted from BCCI’s share of ICC revenues. This deduction is being legally contested by the BCCI since then.”

India also hosted the 2021 World Cup but the laws did not apply as it was staged in the UAE. “The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 was scheduled to be held in India but was shifted to UAE & Oman in the middle of this year due to Covid 19 pandemic related reasons. The BCCI hosted this event with the Emirates Cricket Board and Oman Cricket. Since the event was held outside of India, the same was not subject to any withholding tax by the Indian tax authorities,” the note says.

(Cricbuzz)



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Himasha’s ban extended to six years

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Himasha’s doping violation

by Reemus Fernando

The Appeals Committee of the Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency that heard sprinter Himasha Eshan’s appeal against his suspension, has decided to extend the ban against the former national 100 metres champion to six years.

SLADA has informed the athlete that the Appeals Committee had decided to extend the ban to six years after the appeal hearing conducted on November 3.

According to the letter sent by SLADA, Himasha will now be banned till 25th October 2027 which effectively closes the former national 100 metres record holder’s chances of competing for Sri Lanka again.

The 28-year-old was tested positive for a banned substance during a random test conducted by SLADA on October 26, 2021. The Disciplinary Committee of SLADA first banned him for four years from October 26, 2021 to October 25, 2025. That ban has now been extended by two years.It was the second time that the South Asian Games medallist has been found positive for a banned substance and he is also the only Sri Lankan athlete to be tested positive twice.

He was first found positive for a banned substances when he was 17 years old. He was slapped with a two year ban which was reduced considering his young age. The World Anti-Doping Agency introduced four years bans for first time offences in 2013. According to Anti Doping authorities any reduced terms are added to the suspension when an athlete is found positive for the second time.

This time Himasha was tested positive during a random test conducted by SLADA on October 26, 2021. The Anti-Doping authorities collected Himasha’s urine samples at the Army quarters at Narahenpita. He was involved in several impressive performances including a wind assisted 10.29 seconds feat to win the men’s 100 metres during the Army Athletics Championships which was held around that time.

Once the fastest man in the South Asian region, Himasha was coached by Chaminda Perera. He won the gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games and set a South Asian regional record of 10.22 seconds in 2019. He was also part of Sri Lanka’s 4×100 metres team that established the current national record in the 4×100 metres relay.

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nassr knocked out of Saudi Super Cup

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr were knocked of the Saudi Super Cup on Thursday after a 3-1 semifinal loss to Al Ittihad in Riyadh.The 37-year-old Portugal international, five-times Ballon D’Or winner, had a couple of chances to score but was well shackled by the Al Ittihad defence for most of the match.

Anderson Talisca’s goal for Al Nassr in the 67th minute was not enough to turn around the deficit from two first-half goals for Al Ittihad from Romarinho and Abderrazak Hamdallah.

Muhannad Al-Shanqeeti added the third three minutes into stoppage time.Al Nassr next travel to Al Fateh in the Saudi Pro League on Feb. 3.

(ESPN)

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Karen Khachanov to reach final of Australian Open 2023

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Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas has another chance to land his first Grand Slam title after reaching the Australian Open final by beating Russian Karen Khachanov in the Melbourne last four.Third seed Tsitsipas, 24, won 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 against Khachanov, who was going for a maiden major final.Tsitsipas lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2021 French Open final and might have the chance to avenge that loss.

Serbia’s Djokovic plays American Tommy Paul in Friday’s other semi-final.Tsitsipas, who will become the world number one if he wins the title, eventually booked his place after recovering from Khachanov saving two match points in the third-set tie-break.

Another tight forehand saw a third chance disappear in what proved to be the final game, before he regained his composure to convert his fourth when a first serve was batted long by the 18th seed. Asked what he was thinking when the match went into a fourth set, Tsitsipas said: “I thought about how hard I’ve worked to get to this position.

“But if you stick around, dedicate yourself even more, and concentrate even more in the important moments it pays off.”

Nine-time champion Djokovic is the favourite to face Tsitsipas and takes on the unseeded Paul, who is competing in his first major semi-final, at 08:30 GMT on Friday.

The 35-year-old former world number one has won in Melbourne every time he has reached the last four and is aiming for a record-extending 10th title which would equal Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 major men’s titles. At a tournament with a hard-court surface on which he thrives, and in a city where he is warmly backed by its large Greek population, Tsitsipas has long appeared destined for success at the Australian Open.

The towering youngster announced his arrival there with a famous 2019 win over defending champion Roger Federer in the fourth round, only for a captivating run to be ended when he was crushed by Rafael Nadal in his first semi-final appearance.

Long-time rival Daniil Medvedev ended his dreams at the last-four stage in both 2021 and 2022, with another Russian – this time, the powerful Khachanov – standing in his way this time.

Backed by a vocal crowd who waved Greek flags after virtually all of his winning points, Tsitsipas started confidently against a player who he had beaten in all of their five previous encounters.

Khachanov could not cope with Tsitsipas’ pounding ground-strokes and dynamic athleticism as the world number four moved two sets ahead.

When Tsitsipas broke early in the third set and moved into a 5-4 lead which left him serving for the match, few on Rod Laver Arena expected anything other than a straight-set win.However, nerves kicked in for Tsitsipas, who suddenly looked unsure with his ground-strokes, and Khachanov cut loose to extend the contest.

After a bathroom break before the fourth set, Tsitsipas returned free of the weight of expectation and broke Khachanov’s serve at the first opportunity.Dominant service games from that point ensured there would be no repeat of the previous set as he finally reached the final of what he calls his “home” Grand Slam event.

“I feel blessed for the fact I’m able to play tennis at this level and for many years I’ve wanted to put Greek tennis on the map – Maria [Sakkari] and I have done that, I think,” Tsitsipas said.

“Coming from a small country like Greece I feel so grateful I get support like this.

“I never thought I would be treated so well here so I’m extremely happy I’m in the final now – let’s see what happens.”

(BBC Sports)

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