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BCCI set for another big payday as e-auction for Indian cricket rights heats up



The bidding for the television and digital rights to broadcast Indian cricket from 2018 to 2023 has already passed the winning bid for the previous cycle by over 15%, and the e-auction has spilled into a second day to resume at 11am on Wednesday.

The top bid in the e-auction stands at INR 4442 crores (USD 680 million approx.) in the Global Consolidated Rights (GCR) category, which comprises the worldwide television and digital rights to international cricket hosted by the BCCI in India.

Once the bidding began at 2pm IST on Tuesday, the BCCI tweeted an update with an initial top bid of INR 4176 crore for the GCR category; subsequent higher bids were INR 4201.20 cr, INR 4244 cr, INR 4303 cr, INR 4328.25 cr and INR 4442 cr.

After every bid, participants got an hour to raise, which made the e-auction a two-day affair because proceedings could not go beyond 6pm IST on Tuesday. The bidding process will continue until the participants notify that they do not wish to bid higher.

The bidders were narrowed down from six to three – Sony Pictures Network India, Star India and Reliance – after the BCCI’s legal team carried out technical and feasibility checks before the e-auction began on Tuesday.

There were three categories of rights on sale: the Indian television rights and rest of the world digital rights (GTVRD), digital rights for the Indian subcontinent alone (ID), and the global consolidated rights (GCR) comprising worldwide TV and digital rights.

The successful bidder will get to telecast 102 men’s international matches over the five-year period compared to 96 in the previous six-year cycle from 2012 to 2018. The 102 matches will be split among the home seasons as follows: 18 in 2018-19, 26 in 2019-20, 14 in 2020-21, 23 in 2021-22 and 21 in 2022-23. The rights will also include men’s domestic matches as well as the India women’s international matches.

As per the latest break-up of the season-wise bid released by the BCCI, the third bid amount of the day of INR 4244 saw the highest per match bid of INR 43 cr for the 2018-19 season, followed by INR 42.50 cr each for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, and INR 40 cr each for the remaining two seasons, 2019-20 and 2020-21. According to a BCCI official, the figures for the last two seasons of the cycle – 2021-22 and 2022-23 – for the final bid of the day could have reached close to INR 47 cr per match to keep the inflation factor in mind.

For the last bid made on Tuesday, of INR 4442 cr for 102 matches across five seasons, the average figure per match amounts to INR 43.5 cr which is 8.5% above the previous cycle’s per match average of INR 40.1 cr. The BCCI official expected this per match average to go up to around INR 60-65 cr by the time the bid ends, which would take the total bid amount into the range of INR 6100-6600 cr. That would mean a rise of at least 13% for the per match average and at least 58% when compared with the total amount of INR 3851 cr for the previous cycle.

In 2012, Star TV, then owned by Rupert Murdoch, had won the rights to broadcast Indian cricket until 2018. That deal, which also included internet and mobile rights, was valued at INR 3851 cr (approximately USD 750 million at the time). The other bidder that year – at INR 3700 cr (USD 727 million at the time) – was Multi-Screen Media (Sony).

The sale of these rights will mean a second huge payday for the BCCI in less than a year. In September 2017, the BCCI had sold the worldwide IPL television and digital rights for the period 2018-22 for INR 16,347.5 cr (US$ 2.55 billion) to Star India.

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Recent Match Report – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Capitals 11th Match 2020



Sunrisers Hyderabad 162 for 4 (Bairstow 53, Warner 45, Williamson 41, Rabada 2-21, Mishra 2-35) beat Delhi Capitals 147 for 7 (Dhawan 34, Pant 32, Bhuvneshwar 2-25, Rashid 3-14) by 15 runs

Kane Williamson‘s brilliant finishing touch and yet another T20 masterclass by Rashid Khan took the Sunrisers Hyderabad to a 15-run victory against Delhi Capitals, to ensure that inside the first fortnight of IPL 2020, every single team had points on the board.

Before this match, the Sunrisers were the bottom-placed team and the Capitals were on top of the table. While the table positions don’t mean that much so early into the tournament, the result showed how open this season is shaping up to be, with every team capable of beating every other.

The Sunrisers found a pitch suited to their style at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, and their bowling attack – for so long a strength but rendered slightly ineffective early in this IPL – came to the fore. Khan has long been one of T20 cricket’s best bowlers, but with teams largely opting to play him out carefully, his wickets count had dipped somewhat, though his economy rate has remained exceptional. Thanks to tight bowling upfront led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar though, the Capitals felt they had to attack Khan too. In the event they neither managed to get runs off him, nor preserve their wickets. He took out Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, the heart of the Capitals’ top order, returning figures of 4-0-14-3.

Kumar, who had been wicketless in the two previous games, found seam movement and zip with the new ball, and ended with 2 for 25.

Warner and Bairstow start unlike Warner and Bairstow

When David Warner and Jonny Bairstow bat together, you expect fireworks more often than not. In this game, with the Sunrisers having beefed up their middle order by adding Williamson, the openers had greater freedom to attack. However, the Capitals’ seamers bowled tight lines, denying the batsmen any room, and both Warner and Bairstow played more conservatively as a result. The powerplay brought only 38 runs, the second fewest for this pair.

Bairstow didn’t achieve the fluency he is usually known for, but Warner adjusted to the pace of the pitch – stopping on occasion and slower – soon after the powerplay and began finding more power and placement.

Williamson’s finishing kick

He had been brought in to beef up the middle order. He was supposed to provide stability in case the openers couldn’t take off. They didn’t exactly take off, but they did bat into the tenth over, which rendered Williamson’s original role slightly moot. However, he adjusted to that in the famously unfussed manner that he seems to approach most things in life – a chase, a tied World Cup final, a volcano eruption probably – and turned into the finisher that the Sunrisers lacked.

Without trying to muscle the ball away, Williamson played to his strengths: timing, placement, and wrists like steel. He manoeuvred the ball into gaps, he moved around in his crease to create angles, and he even drag-flicked a cover drive off Amit Mishra. The legspinner had been chiefly responsible for reining Sunrisers in during the middle period with the wickets of Warner and Manish Pandey.

Williamson finished on 41 off 26, out in the final over, far and away the best innings for Sunrisers on the night. IPL debutant Abdul Samad did his prospects no harm either with a cameo at the end that included a six over long-on.

For the Capitals, Kagiso Rabada continued to be sensational, taking 2 for 21 in four overs, which included three overs at the death.

Seamers, and yorkers

Kumar had a quiet start to the IPL, while Natarajan was still searching for his standout performance in the IPL after creating a stir at the 2017 auction. Both men led the way for the Sunrisers seamers, hitting the right lengths. Natarajan’s nailing of the yorkers was particularly impressive, and in his third over – the 14th of the innings – he speared five yorkers.

Kumar had earlier given the Sunrisers the ideal start with the wicket of Prithvi Shaw in the first over. Brought back in the 16th over to counter a free-swinging Shimron Hetmyer, he got the West Indies left-hander too, keeping the ball wide and out of his reach to force an off-balance shot that spooned to long-off.

Natarajan also had a wicket to show for his excellent bowling, which on another day might have fetched him a bunch of them, when he trapped Marcus Stoinis lbw with his last ball.

Rashid to the fore

Most teams look to play out Khan when they face him, because trying to hit him dials up the risk factor considerably. But thanks to the excellent bowling upfront by the seamers, when Khan first came on to bowl, the asking rate had already crossed nine. He struck with his second ball, getting Iyer to mistime a lofted cover drive, having started by ripping a legbreak past the Capitals’ captain forward-defensive.

The Capitals batsmen couldn’t afford to attack him, but neither could they afford to let him dictate terms completely. The result was a bit of a jumbled approach where they played him carefully for a bit and then tried to go for a release shot. Dhawan was beaten on the sweep, getting a faint snick through, and by the time Khan came on for his final over, the Capitals needed 49 off 24. Pant decided he had to go for it, but couldn’t connect cleanly enough to clear the long boundary at backward square leg. That wicket effectively signalled the end of the Capitals’ hopes.

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Mitchell Marsh in ‘weird situation’ as ankle scans don’t reach Australia board after IPL 2020



Since returning to Australia with a right-ankle injury that cut short his IPL 2020 campaign for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mitchell Marsh still doesn’t know the extent of his injury because he and Cricket Australia have not yet received his injury report from the UAE.

Speaking at a virtual press conference from Perth on Tuesday, where he is serving out his quarantine, Marsh called the situation “weird.” He has, however, found a silver lining in that he may feature in the Sheffield Shield, where he captains Western Australia.

“We don’t really know what happened with the scans over in the UAE,” Marsh said. “Cricket Australia haven’t been able to get their hands on them so it’s bit of a weird situation.

“It’s really frustrating and a little unlucky. I’ve tried to dive for the ball like that probably a thousand times in my career,” he said of the way he picked up the injury against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, his only IPL game this time in which he bowled just four balls. “My spikes just got caught in the wicket… it’s just one of those really frustrating injuries. Hopefully, I can get back for the last [Shield] game or the maybe even last two games [before the Big Bash break] if things go really well.”

Marsh is no stranger to injuries. In 2017, a side strain had cut short his IPL campaign with Rising Pune Supergiant. And over the past four years, he has had surgeries on his right shoulder in 2017 and his left ankle in 2018. In last year’s Australian summer, Marsh had also broken his right hand after punching a wall after being dismissed in the Sheffield Shield. However, for his current injury, Marsh is confident he won’t need another surgery.

ALSO READ: Injury, illness, selection: the ups and downs of Mitchell Marsh

“I was really looking forward to playing in the IPL, having not played there for a few years but obviously it wasn’t meant to be this year,” Marsh said. “Hopefully I’ll go for another scan this week if I can get clearance [from the Western Australian government] and then we’ll be a lot clearer on what we’re dealing with. At this stage, I’m hoping I can get back for at least one Shield game.

“I’ve been through a few [injuries] now and think I know how I deal with it. I moaned and groaned for about 48 hours while I was in the UAE – I was really disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to play in the UAE again. But now I’m getting stuck into my rehab and doing everything I can to be fully fit, whenever that is.”

If Marsh recovers for the Sheffield Shield, he could also be in contention for a place in the national team for when Australia host India for four Tests starting December 3. He had come to the UAE for the IPL after a successful outing in England, where he produced a Man-of-the-Match performance in the third T20I. He had also struck a match-winning 73 in the first ODI of the three-match series which Australia won 2-1.

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IPL 2020 – Who is Abdul Samad, the new boy in the Sunrisers Hyderabad XI?



Abdul Samad, the 18-year-old with a reputation for big hitting, earned his IPL debut with Sunrisers Hyderabad in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. In case you don’t know much about him, here’s a quick check.

Who is Abdul Samad?

A big-hitting batsman who can also bowl quickish legspin, Samad was one of the breakout stars of the 2019-20 Indian domestic season. Nobody struck more sixes than his 36 for Jammu & Kashmir in the Ranji Trophy, and in all he hit 592 runs in 17 innings at an eye-popping strike rate of nearly 113.

Mentored by Irfan Pathan, the J&K player-cum-mentor, and endorsed by Milap Mewada, the coach, Samad became the fourth player from J&K to break into the IPL after Parvez Rasool, Mansoor Dar and Rasikh Salam, when Sunrisers snapped him up for his base price of INR 20 lakh in the December 2019 auction.

What about Pathan’s role in his development?

Pathan and Mewada first spotted Samad as a 16-year-old in 2018, at a trial in Jammu. His driving on the up against quicks bowling from 18 yards out had Pathan digging up Samad’s scores in districts cricket.

ALSO READ: Will big-hitting Abdul Samad make it to the big time?

“He was effortlessly hitting the ball,” Pathan told ESPNcricinfo during the most recent domestic season. “But when I looked through his numbers, he didn’t have one 50-plus score. I took him aside and told him he would be put in the probables, but he needed to work on preserving his wicket. It’s not about six-hitting.

What is his USP?

Hitting sixes. It was on display in the Ranji Trophy. It was also on display in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy when he smacked four sixes off Piyush Chawla in Jaipur. He was also at it in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, making rapid runs in the middle order on tough, spin-friendly pitches in Surat. His cameos – 29 off 10 balls against Odisha, 28* off 13 against Nagaland, and 32* off 24 balls against Saurashtra – all contributed to victories for J&K.

When VVS Laxman, Sunrisers’ mentor, was looking for a middle-order finisher for his franchise, Mewada, who was Laxman’s Under-19 team-mate many moons ago, recommended Samad for the role.

Does he have the ability to build an innings too?

Samad has showed signs of it in the Ranji Trophy. When J&K were reduced to 131 for 4 in their second innings against Maharashtra on a green track in Pune, he absorbed the pressure and averted a collapse, scoring 78 off 89 balls. His contribution was central to J&K stretching their lead to 363 and eventually winning the game. Samad also stepped up against a quality Karnataka attack, making 43 off 50 balls in the Ranji quarter-final at home, but J&K narrowly fell short of the first-innings lead and eventually lost the game.

In a slightly iffy Sunrisers middle order, he may have to play the dual role of building an innings as well as finishing depending on the game-scenario and conditions in IPL 2020.

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