Sports en Mon Jan 21 13:12:56 IST 2019 icc-world-cup-final-kumar-dharmasena-admits-umpiring-error <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena, who signalled six runs off the fourth ball in England’s last over of their World Cup final run chase, has finally spoken out about the <a href="" target="_blank">incident which may have cost New Zealand the world title</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dharmasena, speaking to Sri Lankan newspaper, the <i>Sunday Times</i>, accepted the mistake but refused to the regret the decision.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“It’s easy for people to comment after seeing TV replays,” Dharmasena told the <i>Sunday Times</i>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I agree that there was a judgmental error when I see it on TV replays now. But we did not have the luxury of TV replays at the ground and I will never regret the decision I made. Beside the ICC praised me for the decision I made at that time,” he added.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Read More:&nbsp;</b><a href="" target="_blank">Were umpires the villains of 2019 ICC World Cup?</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier, former umpire <a href="" target="_blank">Simon Taufel had confirmed</a> to <i></i> that the on-field umpires made a “clear mistake” in awarding six runs to England for the overthrow when it should have been only five.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">ICC</a>'s laws, Law 19.8 pertaining to ‘Overthrow or wilful act of fielder’ states that, “If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side, and the allowance for the boundary, and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The last part is what kicked up the row. The footage of the incident clearly shows that when Guptill released the ball, Stokes and Rashid had not crossed over for the second run. Even when the ball hit Stokes's bat, Rashid was far away from the crease.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Which means they had effectively completed only one run and so, they should have been awarded five and not six runs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Also, as Taufel pointed out, then Rashid, and not <a href="" target="_blank">Stokes</a>, would have been on strike with three runs needed to win off two balls for England.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dharmasena, who was standing as head umpire, consulted with Marais Erasmus, the leg umpire, and the rest of the umpires and match referee. He decided to award six runs–two scored by Stokes and four for the overthrows. Chasing 242 for victory, England needed nine from the final three balls. This changed to three off two balls with the six runs awarded.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dharmasena said that there was no provision in the law to refer this to the third umpire as maintained by some.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“There is no provision in the law to refer this to the third umpire as no dismissal was involved,” he told the <i>Sunday Times</i>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The winner of five consecutive ICC Umpire of the Year awards, Taufel, also defended the on-field umpires. “In the heat of what was going on, they (umpires) thought there was a good chance the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the throw,” he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Obviously, TV replays showed otherwise. The difficulty you have here is you (umpires) have to watch batsmen completing runs, then change focus and then watch for the release [of the throw]. You also have to watch where the batsmen are at that exact moment.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Though Taufel admitted the umpires' call “<a href="" target="_blank">influenced the game</a>”, he said it would be unfair on both the teams and the umpires to say it decided the outcome of the match.</p> Sun Jul 21 19:51:04 IST 2019 india-squad-for-west-indies-tour-announced-fit-again-dhawan-saha-back <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Senior opener <a title="Shikhar Dhawan" href="">Shikhar Dhawan</a> made a comeback to India's limited overs squad after recovering from a thumb fracture while rookie leg-spinner Rahul Chahar is the only new face across three formats for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, announced in Mumbai on Sunday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Skipper <a title="Virat Kohli" href="">Virat Kohli</a> will lead India in all three formats while <a title="Mahendra Singh Dhoni" href="">Mahendra Singh Dhoni</a> has taken a <a title="Dhoni chooses his regiment over team; makes himself unavailable for WI tour" href="/content/week/news/sports/2019/07/20/Dhoni-chooses-his-regiment-over-team-makes-himself-unavailable-for-WI-tour.html#col_leftparaside_articletopheader">break for two months to serve his paramilitary regiment</a> in the Indian army.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another notable inclusion was veteran keeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, who is back in the Test squad after undergoing a shoulder surgery to recover from an injury sustained during the 2018 IPL.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Saha last played a Test match in South Africa back in January 2018.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rajasthan leg-spinner Chahar has been rewarded for his consistent show in the IPL and domestic cricket with a berth in the Twenty20 squad. He is younger cousin of seamer Deepak, who is also in the T20 squad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From the World Cup squad, the prominent player to be dropped is Dinesh Karhik while Hardik Pandya and <a title="Jasprit Bumrah" href="">Jasprit Bumrah</a> have been rested as a part of workload management programme.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bumrah though is part of the Test squad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>India's squad for 3 T20Is:</b> Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice captain), Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>ODIs:</b> Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice captain), Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Tests:</b> Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice captain), Mayank Agarwal, K.L. Rahul, C. Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk) Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.&nbsp;</p> Sun Jul 21 15:48:15 IST 2019 sindhu-loses-to-yamaguchi-in-indonesia-open-final <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p><a title="P.V. Sindhu" href="">P.V. Sindhu</a>'s hopes of breaking a seven-month title drought came crashing down as the Indian lost in straight games to Akane Yamaguchi in the finals of Indonesia Open BWF Tour Super 1000 tournament in Jakarta on Sunday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Seven months after becoming the first Indian to win the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals in December, Olympic silver medallist Sindhu had an opportunity to finally lay her hands on another crown only to squander, losing 15-21 16-21 to the Japanese in a lop-sided summit clash that lasted 51 minutes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Playing her first final of the season, Sindhu looked a bit anxious and failed to match the brilliance of the 22-year-old Yamaguchi, whom she had beaten in the last four meetings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This was Sindhu's fifth loss to Yamaguchi in 15 meetings. The last time the Indian lost to the Japanese was at the semifinals of the All England Championship last year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The defeat added to Sindhu's list of runners-up finishes, which include silvers at the World Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Thailand Open and India Open last year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was Yamaguchi's third title of the season after claiming crowns at German Open and Asian Championship.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Prior to this in 2019, Sindhu reached the semifinals of Singapore Open and India Open.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sindhu had a forgettable start in the opening game as she lagged 0-3 but soon the Indian controlled the proceedings, making Yamaguchi run across the court and finishing with her precise returns to take a 5-4 lead.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Yamaguchi took the lead at 7-7 when Sindhu went wide. But the Indian managed to grab a three-point advantage at the break after the Japanese went wide twice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Yamaguchi then displayed good retrieval skills and grabbed three straight points when Sindhu miscued her strokes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A delicate net short took Yamaguchi to 12-13 but she again missed the line. The Japanese levelled par at 14-14 when the Indian went long.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Yamaguchi attacked Sindhu's long backhand corner and soon eked out a 16-14 lead. An attacking game helped the Japanese to widen the gap as Sindhu once again sent a shuttle wide.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A lapse in backhand defence and then one shot going long from Sindhu gave Yamaguchi six game points. The Indian saved one before a smash to a return of serve helped the Japanese to seal the opening game.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the second game, Yamaguchi made a good start again, moving to a 4-1 lead before stretching it to 8-5 with Sindhu struggling to control the shuttle. The Indian won a few points because of unforced errors by Yamaguchi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Japanese sent one at Sindhu's body during a flat exchange before entering the interval with a 11-8 advantage, when the Indian hit out.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sindhu unleashed a cross court smash and pushed one at the backcourt to leave Yamaguchi off balance, but the Japanese rode on the Indian's unforced errors to move to a 15-10 lead.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At 15-11, the duo played a 51-shot rally that ended with Sindhu making a judgment error.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Two unforced errors by Yamaguchi took Sindhu to 13-16 before she moved to 15-18. After a treatment on her right knee, Yamaguchi was back on the court and produced a smash to make it 19-15.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Japanese held four match points when Sindhu went long and she sealed it with another smash to claim the biggest title of her career.&nbsp;</p> Sun Jul 21 16:12:14 IST 2019 indian-cricketer-in-hot-water-for-flouting-family-clause-during-world-cup <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>A senior member of the India men's cricket team has been found to have flouted the ‘family clause’ as per the Board of Control for Cricket in India during the World Cup, and the Board is reportedly upset with the player.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The BCCI's family clause adheres to a cap on the number of days a team member's family can accompany him during tournaments. The player had requested for his wife to stay with him for more than the permissible period of 15 days.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Committee of Administrators (CoA), in a meeting on May 3, had discussed the matter highlighting the player's request and turned it down. However, it has been revealed that the player's wife joined him before the tournament and stayed with him for the entire duration of the World Cup without the permission of the Board, the captain or the coach.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Item 6 sub clause G of the minutes of the CoA meeting read:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>Request from a player</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>1. The COA discussed that one of the players from the Men's Senior Team had made a request for permission for his wife to accompany him to the World Cup tour earlier than is otherwise permissible.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>2. The CoA was informed that the matter is being discussed with the concerned player and that it may not be advisable to grant the request.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>3. After some discussion, the CoA decided that it will not accede to the above request from the concerned player.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As per minutes of CoA meeting on May 21 (Sec 1 (B) (1) ), the Family Clause stated: “The issue of whether the authority to approve any visits from visitors outside the 'visitor period' should vest with the team captain and coach or with the BCCI management was discussed. It was noted that the BCCI management has traditionally decided these matters. It was also noted that the BCCI constitution requires cricketing and non-cricketing matters are to be kept separate.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Skipper Virat Kohli and former head coach Ravi Shastri had sought to revise the family clause to not allow family members to travel with the team during the first 20 days of tournaments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The CoA will decide to revise the player contracts and let the captain and the coach to take a call on the family clause.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>(With inputs from PTI)</i></p> Sun Jul 21 14:52:48 IST 2019 hima-wins-5th-gold-this-month-in-400m-run-record-season-best-time <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Indian sprinter <a title="Hima Das" href="">Hima Das</a> extended her sensational run by claiming her fifth gold of the month as she returned to her pet 400m competition with a season-best time of 52.09s, in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic on Saturday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The timing is slower than her personal best of 50.79 seconds, which she managed at the Jakarta Asian Games and she also narrowly missed out on the World Championships qualifying mark of 51.80.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, it was better than the timing of 52.88 seconds, which she managed earlier in the season.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was Hima's fifth gold medal since July 2 when she ran her first competitive race in Europe.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In her first competitive 200m race of the year, she clocked 23.65 seconds on her way to gold at the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix in Poland on July 2.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After that, she won her second 200m gold at the Kutno Athletics Meet, also in Poland, on July 7 with a time of 23.97 seconds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On July 13, she won her third 200m gold at the Kladno Athletics Meet in Czech Republic with a time of 23.43 while her <a title="Hima Das wins fourth gold in 15 days, Anas on top spot at Tabor Meet" href="/content/week/news/sports/2019/07/18/hima-das-wins-fourth-gold-in-15-days-anas-on-top-spot-at-tabor-meet.html#col_leftparaside_articletopheader">fourth gold came at the Tabor Athletics Meet</a> in the same country on Wednesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was first competition in 400m for the 19-year-old from Assam, fondly called the 'Dhing Express', in the 400m event since she struggled to finish the Asian Athletics Championship in April this year because of a back issue.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, M.P. Jabir also won a gold in the 400-metre hurdles race, clocking 49.66 seconds but Mohammad Anas settled for a third-place finish in the 200m with a timing of 20.95 seconds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Winning a silver was Nirmal Noah Tom in the 200m event with a timing of 46.05s.&nbsp;</p> Sun Jul 21 17:30:16 IST 2019 badminton-sindhu-seals-first-final-spot-of-season-at-indonesia-open <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Olympic silver medallist <a title="P.V. Sindhu" href="">P.V. Sindhu</a> enjoyed one of her finest hours of the season as she entered the finals of the Indonesia Open BWF Tour Super 1000 tournament with a straight-game win over All England Champion Chen Yufei of China in Jakarta on Saturday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sindhu, who has been struggling a bit this season, showed her brilliance once again as she saw off World no 3 Chen 21-19 21-10 to enter her first final of the season.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The World no 5 Indian, who reached the semifinals at Singapore and India Open this year, thus set up a summit clash with Japan's fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sindhu holds a 10-4 advantage over Yamaguchi, whom she has beaten in the last four meetings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chen, who won at Australia, Swiss and All England this year, has been the most prolific player this season and looked good in the first game but a fighting Sindhu held her own in the opening game and then completely dominated the second to seal the final spot.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The match started with a long rally but soon Sindhu fell behind at 4-7. The Indian then reeled off five straight points with Chen playing two bad shots. But a body smash helped the Chinese to span the run of points as she grabbed a slight 11-10 advantage at the break.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But even after the break, the Indian kept breathing down Chen's neck and grabbed seven of the last eight points that mattered to pocket the opening game.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chen moved to 15-12 with a few good-looking smashes. But Sindhu fought back and produced a precise return, and then Chen went wide before finding the net as the Indian erased the deficit and made it 18-18.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sindhu caught the shuttle early and produced an acute angled return near the nets to grab a one point lead.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But she went wide next and it was 19-19.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another rally ended with Chen failing to clear the net and it was advantage Sindhu.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Chinese then left one at the backcourt, which landed in, to hand Sindhu the bragging rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the second game, Chen zoomed to 4-0 lead early on but Sindhu again clawed back with the Chinese going long twice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sindhu smashed hard and followed it with another one to put pressure on the Chinese, who again went long and Sindhu continued to gather points.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After seven straight points, Chen managed to push one at the back court to break the rhythm.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A whopping smash to Chen's serve gave another point to Sindhu. After a couple of missed opportunities, Sindhu managed to grab a three-point advantage at the interval with a precise net return, which kissed the tape on the way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Chen then crumbled under constant pressure from Sindhu.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Chinese found the net and went wide to allow the Indian double her lead to 16-8.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A fired up Sindhu dominated the proceedings after that even as Chen suddenly looked clueless.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another smash took Sindhu closer and she sealed 11 match points when Chen misjudged a shuttle.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A cross court smash helped Chen to save one but Sindhu wrapped up the contest with another accurate shot, even as the Chinese's video referral went in vain.&nbsp;</p> Sun Jul 21 11:38:19 IST 2019 Dhoni-chooses-his-regiment-over-team-makes-himself-unavailable-for-WI-tour <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Former Team India captain M.S. Dhoni has made himself unavailable for the team's upcoming tour to West Indies.</p> <p>The news comes a day before the scheduled selection committee meeting in Mumbai to pick the squad for the series. An honorary lieutenant colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army, it is learnt that Dhoni will be spending the better part of the next two months with his regiment.</p> <p>The star wicket keeper was <a title="Dhoni has no immediate plans to retire says longtime friend Arun Pandey" href="">expected to be at the centre of discussions</a> during the selection process in the wake of his seemingly reduced skills with the bat during the recently concluded World Cup. Dhoni, who was dropped from the squad for the T-20 series against West Indies and Australia last October, stood at the risk of being ignored for the upcoming tour as well. The decision of the selection committee regarding him would also have been an indication of the team’s future.</p> <p>The news of Dhoni’s withdrawal comes <a title="Selectors should inform Dhoni if they have decided to move forward Sehwag" href="">amidst the rumours of his retirement</a>. However, his manager, Arun Pandey, had recently ruled the possibility of Dhoni retiring in the immediate future.</p> <p>"We would like to clarify three things. M.S. Dhoni is not retiring from cricket right now, He is taking a two-month sabbatical to serve his paramilitary regiment which he had committed much earlier. We have now intimated his decision to captain Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors M.S.K. Prasad” a senior BCCI official told the PTI on Saturday.</p> <p>The full-fledged West Indies tour from August 3 to September 3 will have India playing three T-20 Internationals, three One Day Internationals and two Test matches. With Dhoni now out of the series, Rishab Pant is likely to be behind the wicket.<br> </p> <p>Dhoni had also been in the news during the World Cup for having an insignia printed on his glove during the India-South Africa group stage match. Having the regimental dagger insignia of the Indian Para Forces on his glove had violated the ICC regulations.</p> <p>(<i>With PTI inputs</i>)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat Jul 20 21:45:18 IST 2019 intercontinental-cup-north-korea-beat-tajikistan-to-win-title <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>North Korea triumphed in the second edition of the Intercontinental Cup football tournament, beating Tajikistan by a solitary goal in the final at Ahmedabad on Friday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The North Koreans grabbed the lead in the 71st minute through Pak Hyon Il, who found the net just after coming on as a substitute at the EKA Arena by TransStadia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Both finalists were the two lowest-ranked teams of the four-nation tournament, the other participants being hosts India and Syria. At half-time, it was goalless, with North Korea coming closest to scoring in the 20th minute through Jong Il Gwan.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Having pipped hosts <a title="Intercontinental Cup: India hold Syria 1-1 in inconsequential match" href="">India (world no. 101) and Syria (85)</a> in the league stage to seal their places in the final, both Tajikistan (120) and North Korea (122) entered the game on a confident note.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On form, North Korea held a slight advantage as they beat Tajikistan 1-0 in the league stages. And they repeated it in the final to emerge victorious.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The champions got richer by $50,000 while the runners-up received $25,000.</p> Sat Jul 20 10:32:26 IST 2019 Captains-wont-be-suspended-for-slow-over-rates-anymore-ICC <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>International cricket captains will no longer run the risk of being suspended for slow over-rates with the ICC deciding to instead dock points and fine the entire side for any such violations, starting with the upcoming World Test Championship.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The recommendations of the ICC Cricket Committee were approved by its board in order to curb the menace of slow over-rates. The World Test championship, which runs from 2019 to 2021, gets underway with the Ashes, starting August 1.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"In World Test Championship matches a team that is behind the required over rate at the end of a match will have two competition points deducted for each over it is behind," the ICC said in statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b><a title="ICC suspends Zimbabwe Cricket with immediate effect" href="">ALSO READ:&nbsp;ICC suspends Zimbabwe Cricket with immediate effect</a></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The big development is, however, abolition of suspension of captains for slow over-rates.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Captains will no longer be suspended for repeated or serious over rate breaches. All players should be held equally responsible for slow over rates, and as such will be fined at the same level as the captain," it stated.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As per the previous rule, two instances of slow over-rate in one year would lead to a suspension on the side's captain.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ICC also endorsed the Cricket Committee recommendation that there should be further exploration of the use of replays to call no balls, and trials will be conducted over the coming months.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ICC has also approved like-for-like concussion player replacements in all formats of men's and women's international cricket and first-class cricket.</p> Fri Jul 19 21:55:51 IST 2019 Dhoni-has-no-immediate-plans-to-retire-friend-arun-pandey <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Mahendra Singh Dhoni has no immediate plans to retire despite the intense speculation surrounding his future, his long-time friend and business partner Arun Pandey said on Friday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speculations over Dhoni's future intensified ever since India lost their big-ticket World Cup semifinal against New Zealand earlier this month.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"He has no immediate plans to retire. The constant speculation over the future of a great player like him is unfortunate," Pandey said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pandey's comments came ahead of <a title="Team India selection for WI tour: Focus on Dhoni's future, Kohli's availability" href="">Sunday's team selection for the West Indies tour</a>. The picture on Dhoni's plans will be clearer once the squad is picked for the tour beginning August 3.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>BCCI officials are expected to speak to the two-time World Cup-winning captain.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pandey has been associated with Dhoni for a long time and also handles his business interest besides heading Rhiti Sports, a sports management company.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With the selectors looking at the future following the World Cup, the 38-year-old may not be an automatic pick in the team, especially with his waning batting abilities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b><a title="World Cup dream over, time for Team India to rebuild" href="">ALSO READ:&nbsp;World Cup dream over, time for Team India to rebuild</a></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dhoni has captained India to titles in all major ICC events—World Cup, World T20 and Champions Trophy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His last international innings of 50 off 72 balls ended in heartbreak for the entire nation as he was run out with a brilliant direct hit from the deep by New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, effectively ending India's hopes in the knockout game.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ravindra Jadeja, with support from Dhoni, had brought back India into the game with a 116-run stand after they were reeling at 24 for four chasing 240.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dhoni has represented India in 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20 Internationals. He has amassed 10,773 ODI runs at an average of over 50 while in Test cricket, Dhoni accumulated 4,876 runs at 38.09.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>—PTI</p> Fri Jul 19 20:53:58 IST 2019