IPL Extras: Sachin Tendulkar named Mumbai Indians 'ICON'
Defending champions Mumbai Indians have named batting great Sachin Tendulkar as their "ICON" ahead of the seventh Indian Premier League beginning in the UAE on April 16.
"We are very happy to have Sachin as the Mumbai Indians ICON. I am sure the youngsters in the team will be delighted to have him around for guidance, and so would be the Mumbai Indians fans," team owner Nita Ambani said in a statement.
Tendulkar was icon player of the Mumbai Indians since the first edition in 2008 before he went on to win the title in his last IPL in 2013.
"Sachin has been an integral part of Mumbai Indians and a source of inspiration for the team ever since the inception. It was a fitting finale to Sachin last season, when we dedicated the IPL as well as CLT20 trophies as tribute to the legend," Ambani added.
The feeling is no different for the batting great too.
"I have been a part of the Mumbai Indians team since its inception and am delighted to continue my association. This season with Mumbai Indians will be a different experience for me and I look forward to closely interacting with the experienced support staff and sharing my learnings with
the exciting youngsters in the team," said Tendulkar.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Irfan eyes IPL route for sealing 2015 WC berth
It will be a tall order to claw his way back into the Indian side in limited-overs cricket but Irfan Pathan will be aiming to make full use of the chances he will get while representing Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming seventh edition of the Indian Premier League.
In his bit to get back that elusive seamer all-rounder's slot, Irfan is expecting that Sunrisers' think-tank will make him bat up the order.
"Obviously, the aim is to play the 2015 World Cup. But there will be lot of matches before that and it is the ultimate goal to win my place in national side back. I hope with VVS Laxman's guidance, it will be a good journey for Sunrisers Hyderabad. One of my expectation is to get a chance
to bat higher up the order," Irfan said.
The 29-year-old swing bowler has played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20 Internationals for India in the last 10 years in which he has had his fair share of injuries.
"There was a point of time when I did not listen to rigours and demands of my body. I would want to train hard and do everything at one go. I paid the price for that.
"After so many injury setbacks, I have started to value my recover sessions even more," Irfan, who has had decent returns from
five List A and four domestic T20 matches, said.
Image: Irfan Pathan
'Yuvraj did not deserve this'
Once labelled a 'pie-chucker' by Kevin Pietersen, beleaguered Yuvraj Singh has found support from the maverick batsman, who says the India left-hander is at the receiving end of "unwarranted criticism" following his scratchy knock in the World T20 final.
Standing behind Yuvraj, who is now a friend, Pietersen said: "I haven't read the newspapers here but what I have seen on twitter is that he has got a bit of stick. I think that it was unwarranted and he did not deserve this."
UAE website selling overpriced match tickets
Meanwhile, IPL tickets for the first leg of the tournament to be held in the United Arab Emirates are being black marketed with a website cashing in on its popularity by selling the tickets at overpriced rates, according to media reports.
Tickets with a value of Dh80 (Rs 1308) are being sold for as much as Dh1,500 (Rs 24,527) through a website in the UAE. The tickets are selling like hotcakes with the seventh edition of the IPL scheduled to commence from April 16. But an official from the Department of Economic Development (DED) has warned that scalping of the tickets is illegal.
"As it is anywhere in the world, buying tickets in bulk and selling them at three or four times higher than the original price is illegal. It is illegal to buy a large quantity of tickets online, so people tend to use false names," said the official.
A Gulf News report claimed that a Platinum ticket priced at Dh250 (Rs 4085) for the double-header on the April 19 in Dubai (Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Mumbai Indians followed by Kolkata Knight Riders versus Delhi Daredevils) was sold at Dh750 (12,255).
Image: Yuvraj Singh
KKR rope in adventurer Mike Horn
Renowned adventurer and explorer, Mike Horn has been roped in by Kolkata Knight Riders for a short stint ahead of the upcoming seventh season of IPL.
Mike, who has earlier worked with the Indian cricket team in 2011 and South African team, will now be sharing his life experiences with the players of KKR in UAE.
"Our objective right now with Mike Horn is that he helps out with the integration of the team, since we have a fairly new team this time. The team building exercises, team bonding and of course the motivational side of it. Though he is coming for a very short burst, partly because of his availability. So we will have him for four five days leading up to the first game," said Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR.
"The bigger motivation of getting Mike Horn this season was that he has done a lot of work with athletes in general and sports teams, not just cricket. He is very familiar with this zone. And I also got very good endorsement on him from some of the players. It was very encouraging to look at
someone like him for our team. I am quite excited with what he can do for KKR," added Mysore.
The KKR team gathered in UAE yesterday, instead of assembling in India.
Image: KKR players celebrate a wicket