QPlay: BCCI Takes on Lodha Panel; Sharapova Ban Reduced & More

All the latest sports news in The Quint’s morning wrap.

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Sports
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Maria Sharapova’s doping ban has been reduced to 15 months (Photo: AP)

1. MPCA Going Ahead With Preparation for Third Test

Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) is going ahead with preparations for conducting the third and final India-New Zealand Test at its Holkar Stadium in Indore from October 8-12, a top official of the state body said on Tuesday.

"We have not received any intimation from the BCCI till now and are going ahead with our preparations," MPCA's honorary secretary, Milind Kanmadikar, told PTI from Indore.

Doubts had arisen over the conduct of the game after the Supreme Court-appointed Justice R M Lodha Committee had stopped disbursement of large sums of money to the various state units by the Indian cricket board after it decided on this course of action at the emergent working committee meeting here on September 30.

Reacting to the Lodha committee's instructions to its bankers BCCI president, Anurag Thakur, today said, "Most state units are unsure how they will be able to host games in this home season. They need to decide whether they can host the games or not, with or without money."

2. SC Reserves Order on Plea Against Ban on CSK

The Supreme Court reserved its order on a PIL by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy challenging the two-year ban imposed on IPL franchisee Chennai Super Kings (CSK) over the 2013 betting scam involving its top official Gurunath Meiyappan.

"We will pass the order," a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said when Swamy claimed that being a cricket lover, he has been deprived of watching the play of CSK whose players have not been accused of any mischief.

"The findings of the Committee have become final. We had referred the issue to the Lodha panel and they chose to impose a ban of two years on CSK and this has attained finality," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said. The court can look into this aspect if it is found that the punishment was "disproportionate" to the offence, it said.

(Photo: BCCI)
(Photo: BCCI)

3. Rohit, Saha Move up in Test Batsmen's Rankings

Wriddhiman Saha and Rohit Sharma climbed up the ladder in the latest ICC player rankings for Test batsmen, although none of the Indians figure in the top-10 list.

Saha has gained 18 slots to reach 56th place, while Rohit has moved up 14 spots to 38th position in the batsmen's list, which is headed by Australian captain Steve Smith. Cheteshwar Pujara is another India batsman to have climbed up a slot to 15th after scoring a total of 91 runs in the second Test, including a first innings knock of 87.

In the Test bowlers chart, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are the two Indians to figure in the top-10. While Ashwin has lost a position to be placed at 3rd spot, Jadeja has gained a place to be at 6th position with four wickets in the second Test at Kolkata.

4. Sharapova's Doping Ban Cut From 2 Years to 15 Months

Maria Sharapova's doping ban was reduced from two years to 15 months, meaning the Russian tennis star can return to action in April 2017.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport cut nine months off the suspension imposed on Sharapova, who tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January. Sharapova had appealed to CAS in June seeking to overturn or reduce the two-year suspension imposed by the International Tennis Federation.

The CAS panel found that Sharapova "bore some degree of fault" for the positive test, saying a 15-month sanction was "appropriate."

Britain’s Andy Murray raises his trophy after winning the final match over Spain’s Rafael Nadal at the Madrid Masters. (Photo: Reuters)
Britain’s Andy Murray raises his trophy after winning the final match over Spain’s Rafael Nadal at the Madrid Masters. (Photo: Reuters)

5. Murray Says he Was Stalked by a Hotel Maid

British tennis star Andy Murray said he was once stalked by a hotel maid who entered his room when he was sleeping and followed him to at least two other tournaments.

The double Olympic gold medallist and three time Grand Slam champion described waking up to find the woman sitting on his bed and stroking his arm.

"I had the 'do not disturb' sign up on the door and she came in and sat on my bed and started stroking my arm at about 7 in the morning when I was still sleeping," Murray said in an interview promoting the International Premier Tennis League on Monday.

The world number two said he then spotted her again at hotels in Rotterdam and Barcelona where he was staying while playing in other tournaments.

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