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The ICC can be expected to approach CSA for clarification over the board and executive being instructed to step aside by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on Thursday. That’s the opinion of David Becker, former head of legal for the ICC, who was involved in the drafting of the regulation on outside interference in Member Bodies.

Article 2.4 of the ICC’s Constitution states that: “The Member must manage it affairs autonomously and ensure that there is not government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance, regulation and/or administration of Cricket in its Cricket Playing Country (including in operational matters, in the selection and management of teams, and in the appointment of coaches or support personnel,” and though SASCOC is not a government institution, it is a public body which oversees high-performance sport. ESPNcricinfo understands that the ICC is monitoring the situation, as Becker suggested.

While Becker, who now works as a sports lawyer in South Africa, said the ICC would be “cautious” when deciding whether SASCOC’s decision to appoint a task team to conduct an investigation into CSA’s administrative and financial affairs constitutes a breach of its constitution, he pointed to the wording of one of SASCOC’s reasons for stepping in as potentially “worrying” to the game’s global governing body.

“As regards to ICC intervention, ICC will certainly be concerned by the reference in SASCOC’s letter to SASCOC having received a ‘directive by the Minister of Sport and Recreation for SASCOC to intervene into the affairs of CSA’,” Becker told ESPNcricinfo. “ICC will be loath to intervene and suspend CSA, but they will be perturbed by it and will certainly actively seek a coherent explanation from CSA. They are required to, as the international governing body.”

CSA, meanwhile, is seeking legal advice on whether SASCOC had the authority to intervene in the manner it did, which CSA disagrees with. In an overnight statement CSA said it had not been given the opportunity to engage with SASCOC (although the parties have held two meetings recently) and a spokesperson said the organisation is continuing with “business as usual”, with the board and members’ council set to meet this weekend to chart the way forward. Becker does not believe CSA will be able to prevent SASCOC’s task team from being formed and beginning its work, and explained that SASCOC has acted within its remit.

“SASCOC’s powers under its own constitution, and under the National Sports and Recreation Act, are very broad. They have the ability to convene an investigation, and if necessary intervene. We all know urgent action is needed in view of the dire circumstances at CSA,” Becker said.

“The question is whether SASCOC have acted prematurely. They have consulted with CSA, but has the task team been appointed? Who is on the task team and is it ready and able to do its work? Still, CSA would be hard-pressed to obtain an interdict from the High Court in response to SASCOC’s actions. Given SASCOC’s broad powers, and the circumstances at CSA, CSA need to be seen to be co-operative here.”

CSA has been embroiled in a governance crisis since December last year, when former CEO Thabang Moroe was suspended. Moroe was dismissed last month after a forensic audit revealed acts of serious misconduct but the audit has not been made fully available to SASCOC, the sports ministry or the public, forcing SASCOC to use its step-in rights to look into CSA.

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WBC creates ‘frontline’ championship belt for Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr., will also handle fight scoring

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Despite being an exhibition bout, there will be a championship belt on the line when Mike Tyson returns to the ring to battle fellow former champion Roy Jones Jr. The WBC has created a “Frontline championship” that will be awarded to the winner of the fight, which has been titled the “Frontline Battle.”

Tyson, 54, and Jones, 51, are set to meet on Nov. 28 on pay-per-view. While the fight will be overseen by the California State Athletic Commission, the bout will be scored by a panel of three champions using the WBC’s remote scoring program, according to a press release.

CSAC executive director Andy Foster has insisted that the fight will be stopped if either man suffers a cut and that both Tyson and Jones should not be looking to score a knockout.

“I wanted to have their assurances that they understand, ‘I don’t care if they spar. I don’t care if they work.’ They are world-class athletes, even still,” Foster told BoxingScene.com in July. “They have a right to earn, and all these types of things. They’re about the same age. We can’t mislead the public as to this is some kind of real fight. They can get into it a little bit, but I don’t want people to get hurt. They know the deal.

“It’s an exhibition. They can exhibit their boxing skills, but I don’t want them using their best efforts to hurt each other. They’re going to spar hard, but they shouldn’t be going for a knockout. This isn’t a record-book type of fight. This is not world-championship boxing right now. It’s not what this is. People shouldn’t be getting knocked out. The public can see what kind of shape Roy and Mike are still in.”

YouTube star Jake Paul will fight former NBA player Nate Robinson in the night’s other featured bout, with former world champion Badou Jack also taking on Blake McKernan on the pay-per-view main card. 

A press conference will be held for the event at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 29.



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Rishabh Pant omitted from India’s white-ball squads, Varun Chakravarthy in T20I squad

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been omitted from India’s ODI and T20I squads for the upcoming Australia tour. Rohit Sharma, India’s white-ball vice-captain, who is currently nursing a hamstring injury in the IPL in the UAE, isn’t part of both the squads as well.

Tamil Nadu and Kolkata Knight Riders mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy earned his maiden national call-up on the back of his stellar performances in the ongoing IPL. Varun is the only player with a five-wicket haul so far this season, and in all he is the highest wicket-taker for the Knight Riders with 12 strikes at an excellent economy rate of 7.05.

India’s premier allrounder Hardik Pandya is set to play his first limited-overs international since September 2019. Pandya has undergone a back surgery surge and he returned to action in the IPL though he hasn’t bowled yet this season. According to Zaheer Khan, Mumbai Indians’ director of cricket operations, Pandya was “very keen” to bowl, but the team management has adopted a cautious approach, using him as a specialist batsman.

In the absence of Sharma, KL Rahul, who is captaining Kings XI Punjab, has been named Virat Kohli’s deputy in both the white-ball squads. Rahul is the only wicketkeeper in the ODI squad while India have another wicketkeeping option in Sanju Samson for the T20Is.

Varun, who had turned 29 just before IPL 2020 just August, played only 11 T20s before Monday. However, he has seven variations in his repertoire, and his victims in the IPL include David Warner, MS Dhoni, Pant, and Shreyas Iyer. Varun had also been the second-highest wicket-taker in the 2018-19 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy, with 22 scalps in nine matches at an economy rate of 4.23. However, a finger injury, sustained during his maiden IPL stint with the Kings XI Punjab in 2019, forced him out of action for more than a year.

Despite not playing any competitive cricket for a year, Dinesh Karthik, the former Knight Riders captain and the current Tamil Nadu white-ball captain, punted on him, with the Knight Riders shelling out INR 4 crore (USD 563,000 approx.) to get him on board. Varun has rewarded their faith, stepping up when Sunil Narine was placed on the IPL warning list, before his action was subsequently cleared. Varun’s Knight Riders team-mate Kuldeep Yadav was left out of the T20I squad, but was part of the ODI squad.

Ravindra Jadeja, who was the Chennai Super Kings’ finisher with the bat but struggled with the ball, was picked in both the white-ball squads over Axar Patel. Axar’s economy rate of 5.78 is the third best among bowlers who have bowled at least 25 overs this IPL. Under this condition, only Rashid Khan and Washington Sundar, who features in the T20I squad, have better economy rates.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will lead the seam attacks in both ODIs and T20Is. Fast bowler Navdeep Saini, who had suffered a split webbing in his bowling hand in the fixture against the Super Kings on Sunday, has been named in both squads well. Deepak Chahar is the fourth seamer in the T20I squad, with his Super Kings team-mate taking that spot in the ODI squad.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is currently nursing a thigh injury, will have to wait further for his international comeback. Kumar, who hasn’t played international cricket since December 2019, was set to make that comeback in the home ODI series against South Africa earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic struck and forced that series to be called off.

Karnataka and Kings XI’s Mayank Agarwal, who found a place in both sides, could be the back-up opener behind Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. Punjab and Knight Riders’ Shubman Gill wasn’t selected in the T20I squad, but could be another opening option for the ODIs.

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Frank Thomas breaks down how Clayton Kershaw worked out of a fourth inning jam during World Series Game 5 using Samsung Galaxy 5G View app

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