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LISTEN: Full script of Episode 151 of Spodcast where we discuss Indian women's cricket team's victory, Chelsea fine goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and more

  • ICC will look to clarify India's doubts regarding security at the upcoming World Cup but is not likely to discuss a possible boycott of Pakistan.

  • The Indian women’s cricket team defeated England in the second ODI to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

  • Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been fined a week's wages by the club after defying manager Maurizio Sarri

The International Cricket Council will look to clarify India's "doubts" regarding security at the upcoming World Cup but is not likely to discuss a possible boycott of Pakistan when its Chief Executives Committee meets in Dubai on Wednesday.

After the death of more than 40 CRPF personnel in the Pulwama terror attack, there have been widespread demands for India to boycott its match against Pakistan game in the World Cup that is to be played in Manchester on 16 June. The BCCI had also expressed concern about the safety of the players and officials during the World Cup.

A senior BCCI official told PTI, “The ICC will provide all the details of the security arrangements made for the World Cup. It will be same for all the participating nations and England and Wales Cricket Board have always provided top notch arrangements...since there has been an apprehension, the doubts will be cleared.”

However, the ICC is unlikely to discuss the possibility of boycotting Pakistan, as it is not a "feasible option". The official said, “The ICC is in no position to ask any cricket board to sever ties with another member nation. It doesn't have right to do so. This is a diplomatic issue which is dealt with at the government level. A member board can always discuss the issue if they want but one can be rest assured that nothing will happen.”

The Indian women’s cricket team defeated England in the second ODI to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

A great performance by pacers Shikha Pandey, who took 4/18, and Jhulan Goswami, who took with 4/30 in just 8.3 overs, saw the hosts bundle out the England for a paltry 161 in 43.3 overs. The England batting card was a sorry sight, with only three players reaching double figures. The bulk of the scoring was done by Natalie Sciver who made 85 of the 161 runs.

Chasing an easy target of 162, India cantered home in 41.1 overs, losing just three wickets. A 73-run stand between Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Raut for the second wicket set the foundation and the 66 runs for the third wicket clinched the issue in favour of 'Women In Blue'. Mandhana top scored with 63 while skipper Mithali Raj was unbeaten on 47 at the end.

Mithali said after the match. “The first half is very important even if you choose to bat. Later on, the wicket eases out because the pitches here are well rolled. I was a bit disappointed with the 10th-wicket partnership England got, but I guess, 150-odd, I knew we were always there.”
The third match of the series will be played on 28 February.

A news update on Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala’s death in a plane crash. British investigators said on Monday that the plane transporting Sala did not have a commercial licence, but the journey would have been allowed as a "private" flight in which costs are shared between pilot and passenger.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said, “The basis on which the passenger was being carried on N264DB has not yet been established but, previously, the pilot had carried passengers on the basis of cost sharing.”

Pilot David Ibbotson was flying Sala to his new Premier League club Cardiff City from his previous side in Nantes in France on 21 January when the accident occurred. Football agents Willie and Mark McKay, a father-and-son duo, were hired by Nantes to secure the transfer. Speaking to The Times, Willie said Mark arranged the flight, just as he had organised several flights for brokers of the deal in previous weeks.

Investigators also said that since the pilot's logbook and licence were not recovered, it was unclear whether Ibbotson was authorised to fly at night. The report said the plane took off at 7.15 pm, and at 8.02 pm the pilot requested clearance to descend near Jersey. At 8.12 pm, Ibbotson request another descent. The plane then descended twice and ascended twice before disappearing from the radar. The wreckage was found on the seabed at a depth of approximately 68 metres. The report said, “...the main body of the aircraft was in three parts held together by electrical and flying control cables...The engine had disconnected from the cockpit areas, and the rear section of the fuselage had broken away from the forward section adjacent to the trailing edge of the wing.”
The aircraft was not fitted with black box data and voice recorders and was not required to be. Sala's body was recovered from the submerged wreckage on 7 February.

Football news now, from the Carabao Cup. Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who sparked off some controversy after refusing to be replaced in the end stages of his side's League Cup final loss to Manchester City on penalties, insisted he has full respect for manager Maurizio Sarri.

The coach repeatedly gestured at Kepa to come off, and then began to storm down the tunnel in rage before returning to the touchline for the final minutes of extra-time and penalties. He later claimed his anger was the result of a "misunderstanding".

In an attempt to clear the air, Kepa tweeted, “At no time has it been my intention to disobey the coach or any of his decisions...I think everything has been misunderstood in the heat of the final part of the match for a title. The coach thought I was not in a position to play and my intention was to express that I was in good condition to continue helping the team, while the docs that had treated me arrived at the bench to give the message...I feel the image that has been portrayed was not my intention. I have full respect for the coach and his authority.”

During the match, Kepa saved Leroy Sane's penalty in the shootout, but let Sergio Aguero's kick that slip under his body as City retained the trophy 4-3 on penalties.

Sarri said, “I understood there was a problem and we needed a change. I did not find out until the doctor arrived to the bench after a few minutes...It was a big misunderstanding. I understood the goalkeeper had cramp and for me he was unable to go to penalties but the problem was not cramp so he was able to go to penalties.”

Unfortunately for Sarri, there have been several reports that Chelsea's players have lost faith in his methods, and Kepa's behaviour has only added to that perception.

An Indian football update now from the I-League. Real Kashmir FC's upcoming home leg I-League fixture against East Bengal has been shifted to New Delhi in view of the prevailing "uncertainty" in Srinagar. The East Bengal-Real Kashmir match was scheduled to take place on 28 February in the Jammu and Kashmir capital. The venue has been changed but the date of the clash remains unchanged.

The AIFF’s statement said, “...RKFC informed in writing that in view of the current uncertainty prevailing in Kashmir due to Article 35A, they want to play their forthcoming I-League match against Quess East Bengal on 28 February 2019 in a neutral venue like New Delhi. Accordingly, the Committee decided to shift the match to Delhi.”

Article 35A provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of the state, something that has triggered a fierce political debate right now.

Another issue confronting the committee is defending champions Minerva's pullout from their match in Srinagar. Justifying the withdrawal, the club had stated it was not provided written security assurances. However, it refused to give up on points. An AIFF official said, “A decision on the Real Kashmir - Minerva game that did not take place after Minerva Punjab refused to travel to Srinagar in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack will be made as soon as possible, before the league concludes.”

The dates of the matches for the final round of the tournament will be confirmed once the schedule of the AFC Cup is finalised.

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Updated Date: Feb 26, 2019 17:33:40 IST