Welcome to our Cricket News Today segment. In our compilation of all top news of the day, we take a look at Babar Azam's opinion on comparisons with Virat Kohli and try to decipher chairman of selectors MSK Prasad's views regarding Ajinkya Rahane's World Cup chances.
Former India pacer Amit Bhandari has been taken to the hospital after getting beaten by a mob of assailants in Delhi. Meanwhile, the latest ICC T20I Player Rankings have been released.
Here are all of today's top news from the cricket world.
Amit Bhandari hospitalised after getting assaulted in Delhi
Former India pacer Amit Bhandari was assaulted by a group of unidentified men wielding hockey sticks and iron rods in Delhi. The 40-year-old, who is the current chairman of selectors for Delhi's senior and U-23 teams, suffered injuries to his head and ears. He was taken to the Sant Parmanand Hospital by colleague Sukhvinder Singh.
DDCA President Rajat Sharma revealed, "We are trying to procure all details of the incident. As far as I have come to know, it is regarding one disgruntled player, who didn't make it to the probables list for the National Under-23 tournament. The SHO from the local police station has reached the ground, and I have personally spoken to the Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. The guilty will not go unpunished. I promise exemplary action against whoever is found involved in this misdeed. We will register an FIR."
The incident happened during a practice match at the St Stephen's Cricket Ground. Former India cricketers from Delhi, Gautam Gambhir and Bishen Singh Bedi, have called for strictest punishment for the accused.
Bhandari played two ODIs for India in 2000 and 2004. The right-arm pacer picked five wickets from those matches.
Disgusted to see this happen right in the heart of the Capital. This can’t slip under the carpet and I will personally ensure it doesn’t. To begin with I am calling for a life ban from all cricket for the player who orchestrated this attack post his non-selection. https://t.co/RpS6fzTcNl— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) February 11, 2019
Absolutely unpardonable..these hooligans must be brought to book ASAP to bring sanity in Selection Proceedings..no violence cn be tolerated to push fr selection no matter how deserving..DDCA wake up & ACT kindly..Crkt Fraternity demands swift official stand..!!— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) February 11, 2019
Babar Azam plays down comparison with 'very big player' Virat Kohli
Pakistan batsman Babar Azam has played down any comparison between himself and India skipper Virat Kohli. Terming the 30-year-old batting icon as a 'very big player', the promising right-hander has opined that comparisons with the India captain can only be made after he achieves similar performances over a long period of time.
During a media interaction for Karachi Kings, Babar said, "Whenever you hear, people compare me with Virat Kohli. I think he is a very big player, I am not even close to him. I have just started while he has achieved a lot. I have to achieve and if I perform like that you can compare but not now."
While Babar is currently ranked fifth in ODIs, Kohli occupies the number one spot. However, the Pakistan batsman is on top of the table in the T20I rankings.
Kuldeep Yadav surges to second spot in ICC T20I Rankings
India wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has risen to a career-best second spot in the latest ICC rankings for T20I bowlers. Despite missing the first two matches of the series against New Zealand, his spell of 2/26 at Hamilton helped him move ahead of Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan.
With 793 rating points, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan leads the charts for T20I bowlers. Kuldeep trails him by as many as 65 points. Shadab rounds off the top three with 720 points.
Among batsmen, Babar Azam leads the list while Colin Munro and Aaron Finch complete the top three. For all-rounders, Australia's Glenn Maxwell continues to occupy the top spot. Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Nabi are second and third respectively.
Rahane still part of India's World Cup plans, insists MSK Prasad
Batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who is currently out of the ODI setup, has received strong support from MSK Prasad. The chairman of selectors believes that the right-hander is still a part of India's World Cup plans.
In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Prasad affirmed, "I was a bit concerned during the England Test series, but he (Rahane) did well in Australia. Even in domestic cricket, he has been in form. He is very much in contention for the World Cup. What I mean to say is, he has not been ruled out. We want to see how he does in the near future."
Rahane's last ODI appearance came during February 2018 when India won the series 5-1 in South Africa. Since then, he has found himself out of the white-ball setup owing to doubts surrounding his strike-rate.
After returning from Australia, Rahane played three 50-over matches for India A against England Lions. He registered scores of 59, 91 and 0.