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No Indo-Pak bilateral series until cross border tension resolves

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Just days before the Champions Trophy match to be played between India and Pakistan,Indian sports minister Vijay Goel ruled out the possibilities of a bilateral series to be played between the two countries.Terror and Cricket cannot go hand, Goel stated.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Monday echoed the government’s position on India-Pakistan bilateral cricket, stating that a series is not practical till terror emanating from across the border stops. Goel remarked that the BCCI must talk to the Indian government before proceeding with any proposal for the series. “The series will not be possible without approval from the government,” he added.

BCCI and PCB had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. The PCB had sent a notice of dispute to the Indian board, claiming losses for the BCCI’s refusal to tour in 2015.

“Pakistan is spreading terrorism in Kashmir, indulging in cross-border terrorism. In these circumstances we can’t have bilateral series with Pakistan,” Goel further added.

India is all set to play Pakistan in the forthcoming Champions Trophy on June 4  and the topic came into limelight after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said that India was not averse to playing a bilateral series against Pakistan.

India has not played any bilateral cricket with Pakistan since 2007. After 2013, Pakistan made a short goodwill tour to India that included three One Day Internationals and two Twenty-Twenty Internationals.

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Chechen strongman makes Egypt’s Salah honorary citizen

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Mo Salah

Moscow | After his team crashed out of the World Cup, Egypt’s star player Mohamed Salah has won a consolation prize in the form of honorary citizenship of Chechnya.

Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on Telegram that he had presented the Liverpool star with the honorary title while hosting a dinner for the Egypt team, whose World Cup training base is in the Chechen capital Grozny.

“Mohamed Salah is an honorary citizen of Chechnya! That’s right!” Kadyrov wrote late Friday.

“Tonight I signed a decree to grant the high honour to the great footballer who plays for Egypt and Liverpool.” Kadyrov, supported by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, rules Chechnya with an iron fist, drawing constant condemnation from human rights groups.

He is known as an ardent football fan and in 2013 took to the public address system during a match involving Chechen team Akhmat (formerly Terek) to publicly insult the referee.

Salah has been photographed smiling and clasping hands with Kadyrov during the tournament.

Egypt crashed out of the World Cup after losing to Russia 3-1 on Tuesday, with Salah returning to action for the first time in three weeks following a shoulder injury but unable to save his team. The Egyptians play their final match against Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Kadyrov said that at “a gala dinner that I gave for the Egypt team I presented Mohamed Salah with a copy of my decree and a lapel badge. This is a well-deserved honour!”

The Chechen leader has previously presented French actor Gerard Depardieu with the same honorary title.

He also said that he was confident that Akhmat would play a friendly with the Egyptian national team in Grozny at some future date.

Kadyrov said Salah had praised the “wonderfully warm and good welcome” the team received in Grozny.

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BCCI finally clears players” central contract payments

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New Delhi |  The central contracts of the Indian cricketers were finally cleared by the BCCI at the Special General Meeting (SGM) here on Friday, ending a period of uncertainty ahead of their long tour of the UK.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) had announced the revised players’ contracts on March 7 but BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary had refused to sign them saying it needed the General Body’s approval which came through in the meeting attended by representatives of 28 state associations.

Notably, Friday’s SGM did not have the required go ahead from the COA.

“Despite doubts, the SGM has taken place. All resolutions have been passed by the General Body unanimously,” said Choudhary.

One thing for certain is that players will finally be paid ahead of the UK tour, for which they leave tonight.

As per the revised contracts, the players in the A+ category will get Rs 7 crore, while ones in the A, B and C will get Rs 5 crore, Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore respectively.

The General Body also approved the proposed increase in the salary of domestic cricketers, including women.

On the upcoming domestic season, it was decided that new teams including the north eastern states and Bihar will be playing against each other in the plate division.

The top two teams from plate division will then face the bottom two sides across group A, B and C and the best two will advance to the elite division in the following season.

Recently, the COA had cleared Uttarakhand’s participation in the upcoming Ranji Trophy alongside Bihar and north eastern states but that did not get the nod of the General Body.

“Irrespective of any meeting, Uttarakhand will play in the Ranji trophy this season. The Supreme Court wanted us to look into the matter and we have only done that by creating a consensus committee in the state for a period of one year,” COA chief Vinod Rai told news agency PTI in response to the Board’s decision.

Another resolution passed was to resume the functioning of the various BCCI committees which have been inactive due to the administrative crisis in the Board.

“All decisions taken by the General Body are subject to the honourable Supreme Court’s approval,” said Choudhary.

Asked about the worsening relations between the COA and the BCCI officials, Choudhary said: “The dynamics between the elected BCCI officials and COA are governed only by laws. There is no role for emotions here. We will continue to work under COA’s supervision.”

The acting secretary has been constantly hauled up by the COA for his foreign travel. His recent trip to Bhutan attracted a showcause notice from the COA but he defended going there.

“It was three months ago a Bhutan delegation had visited BCCI headquarters and appealed for our support in promoting cricket in the country.

“That is why they wanted us to visit. We finally were able to go there on day two of the India-Afghanistan Test with AGM cricket operations and a regional curator,” said Choudhary.

Among other notable developments, representative from Puducherry was not allowed to attend the meeting despite the association having the Board’s associate membership.

The appointment of new anti-corruption unit chief Ajit Singh was passed by the house and it was decided that Neeraj Kumar will continue until the position is filled.

However, COA chief Rai dismissed the development.

“Mr. Ajit Singh joined the BCCI on April 1 and worked the entire IPL. Where is the question of keeping his appointment on hold? A due process was followed before he came on board,” said Rai.

Among many other issues, the BCCI officer-bearers think the ACU chief was appointed without consulting them.

On the validity of the SGM, Rai added: “They are free to hold meetings whenever they want to. As far as the players’ central contracts are concerned, we would have cleared it anyway if they did not do so today. The players’ interests have to be protected at all times.”

The meeting also saw Aditya Verma apologising to the General Body for filing the original petition in the IPL spot-fixing scam.

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All 22 CWG medallists from Haryana will be given full prize money: Anil Vij

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Haryana

Chandigarh | The Haryana government has decided that all the 22 sportspersons from the state who won medals in the Commonwealth Games-2018 would be given cash prizes without any deduction.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has given his nod for the same, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anij Vij said here on Friday.

Vij had on Wednesday proposed changes in the sports policy to ensure that no deduction is made from the prize money of the state’s international medal winners and had forwarded the proposal to chief minister for approval.

The Haryana government had earlier stirred up a controversy when it decided to reduce the prize money for those Commonwealth Games medal winners from the state who were employed with other departments or states.

The felicitation function planned for the prize money distribution on April 26 had to be cancelled indefinitely when the athletes threatened to boycott it.

Courting yet another controversy earlier this month, the Haryana government had asked sportspersons employed by it to deposit one-third of their earnings from commercial and professional commitments to the state sports council but put the notification on hold after drawing sharp criticism from elite athletes.

Vij on Friday said that the 22 sportspersons from the state had won medals in the Commonwealth Games held at Gold Coast, Australia, this year, and it was 33 per cent of the total medals won by the country.

Haryana players won nine gold, six silver and seven bronze medals in the Commonwealth Games, he added.

Vij said that as per the sports policy, the gold medallists from the state would be given class-A government job along with Rs 1.50 crore as award money.

The silver medal winners would be given class-B government job and an award money of Rs one crore and bronze medal winners would be given class-C government job and Rs 50 lakh as award money.

Each participating sportsperson would also be provided Rs 7.5 lakh as incentive money, he said.

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