World Sports: Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan Excluded From BCCI Central Contracts; Chelsea Vs Leeds United In FA Cup 5th Round - As It Happened

In the Women's Premier League 2024, UP Warriorz finally registered a victory thanks to Kiran Navghire's blistering knock as they beat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets. Chelsea, days after their heart-breaking EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool, take on Leeds United in the FA Cup 5th round. Follow the highlights and results of world sports for February 28 here

Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan not given BCCI central contracts X/Cricketracker

And That's A Wrap!

What an eventful day it has been! The news of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan being excluded from the BCCI central contracts surely takes the headlines. In other sports, tennis star Andy Murray lost 6-2, 6-4 to fifth-seeded Ugo Humbert at the Dubai Championships. He has hinted that his retirement could be just around the corner. In F1, Christian Horner of Red Bull was given a clean chit of inappropriate behaviour following an internal investigation.


World Sports Blog Live Updates, February 28

We are set for an action-packed day replete with high-quality cricket. The only Test match between Afghanistan and Ireland will commence in Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Fortune Barishal and Rangpur Riders will battle it out in the knockout match for the Bangladesh Premier League 2024 qualifier 2. In the Women's Premier League 2024, Mumbai Indians Women will take on UP Warriorz Women in the evening. Pakistan Super League matches will also be played.

In the Nepal T20I tri-series, the hosts will clash with the Netherlands in Kathmandu. Other sports events feature football matches in the FA Cup, Serie A and Women's Nations League. Follow the live scores, updates and results of world sports for February 28 here. (Cricket News | Football News)


FA Cup Round-Up

In an early morning FA Cup duel, star striker Erling Haaland scored five goals to power Manchester City into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, courtesy a 6-2 win against Luton. It was his eighth hat-trick in a season-and-a-half with City and the second time he has scored five in a single game for the club.

Elsewhere, second-tier leaders Leicester City joined Pep Guardiola’s side in the quarter-finals as they beat Bournemouth 1-0 owing to Abdul Fatawu's extra-time goal. Newcastle United too marched into the last-eight stage via a tense penalty shootout victory following a 1-1 stalemate.

Paris Olympics Security Plans Stolen From Train

A bag that contained a computer and two USB memory sticks holding police security plans for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games 2024 has been stolen from a train at the French capital's Gare du Nord station, Agence France Press reports. The bag belonged to an engineer from Paris City Hall, the police said, adding that he had put the bag in the luggage compartment above his seat. As his train was delayed, the engineer chose to change trains, which is when he discovered the theft.


Mallorca Into Copa Del Rey Final

After an over two decade-long wait, Mallorca are back in the Copa del Rey final. The Spanish club partly owned by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and former NBA great Steve Nash has defeated Real Sociedad 5-4 in a penalty shootout to make it to the final 21 years after it won the competition for the only time, Associated Press reports.


NBA Update

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 112-95 on Wednesday morning for their sixth straight win, Associated Press reports. Jalen Williams had 24 points and Chet Holmgren added 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder, who held Houston to 38.9% shooting. Oklahoma City are tied with Minnesota for the best record in the Western Conference. Alperen Sengun had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Jabari Smith Jr. added 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who also lost to the Thunder earlier this week.


Mexican Open Tennis: Rune Advances

The second-seeded Holger Rune has eased past American Michael Mmoh 6-2, 6-3 and advanced to the second round of the Mexican Open. Rune, placed seventh in the ATP rankings, needed 92 minutes to dispatch Mmoh, who made his way into the main draw through the qualification tournament.

One-Off Test: AFG In Spot Of Bother 

Afghanistan have lost four early wickets after electing to bat first on Day 1 of the only Test against Ireland at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi. The scores currently reads 89/4 after 29.1 overs and the Afghans have lost captain Hashmatullah Shahidi too. Opener Ibrahim Zadran is fighting on, and stands unbeaten on 52 runs (off 78 balls) at the crease alongside Nasir Jamal, who is yet to trouble the scorers.

Tr-Nation T20Is: Netherlands Pip Nepal In Humdinger

In a match that went right down to the wire, Netherlands have just about edged out Nepal by two runs in Kirtipur. Chasing a competitive target of 185, Rohit Paudel's team kept losing wickets but stayed in the hunt and needed 15 runs to win in the last over.

Marauding middle-order batter Dipendra Singh Airee smashed a six and a four off veteran Roelof van der Merwe but then got out, and the hosts eventually required four runs to win off the last ball. They could only muster a leg-bye, and the Dutch team went up in jubilation.

Coming Up Later: PKL Semis

The Pro Kabaddi League is now into is home stretch, and will see the semi-finals being played tonight. The first game features Puneri Paltan up against Patna Pirates at 8pm IST, and the second one has Jaipur Pink Panthers taking on Haryana Steelers at 9pm.

The winners of the two matches will advance to the title clash, which will be played in the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Friday, March 1 at 8pm.

One-Off Test: IRE On Top Vs AFG

Ireland have shot Afghanistan out for a paltry total of 155 runs in the one-off Test in Abu Dhabi. Medium pacer Mark Adair bagged a splendid five-wicket haul (figures of 16.5-5-39-5) to dismantle the Afghan innings. The Irish team is now batting and the score reads 46/2 at the end of the 12th over. Hashmatullah Shahidi's team is eyeing a few more wickets before close of play on Day 1 to regain lost ground.

BCCI Announces Annual Player Contracts

The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) have announced the annual player contracts for 2023-24:

Grade A+ (4 Athletes)

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja.

Grade A (6 Athletes)

R Ashwin, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya.

Grade B (5 Athletes)

Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

Grade C (15 Athletes)

Rinku Singh, Tilak Verma, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Dube, Ravi Bishnoi, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, Mukesh Kumar, Sanju Samson, Arshdeep Singh, KS Bharat, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Rajat Patidar.

BCCI Contracts

To add to that, two high-profile names were not on the list - Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan.

"Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations," the BCCI mentioned on it's website.

F1: Lewis Hamilton Talks About His Decision To Leave Mercedes

"It was a difficult winter. A lot of deep thought throughout December. Now we're just working on rebuilding my own team and I have things I want to do.

"January, everything kind of turned upside down when the option came and a lot of time alone making sure you're doing your due dilligence.

Hamilton also added on Mercedes, "I know this team will win another championship."

Anju Bobby George Backs Parul Chaudhary To Shine In Paris 2024

Athletics Federation of India vice-president Anju Bobby George on Wednesday said Asian Games gold-winning steeplechase runner Parul Chaudhary is among the ones to watch out for at this year's Paris Olympics where she expecting more than one medal in javelin throw. "Then we have long jumpers, we have triple jumpers, steeplechase runner Parul Chaudhary is among the ones to watch out for but a lot cannot be predicted about the Olympics," she added. (PTI)

Zaheer Khan Was Someone I Used To Watch A Lot: James Anderson

"For me, Zaheer Khan was someone I used to watch a lot to try and learn from. How he used the reverse swing, how he covered the ball when he ran into bowl, that's something I tried to sort of develop on the back of playing against him quite a few times," Anderson told JioCinema. (PTI)

Ravi Shastri Backs Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan To Comeback

Former India coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday backed the duo of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan to come back stronger after they were excluded from the BCCI central contracts for ignoring the board's directive of playing in the Ranji Trophy. In the game of cricket, comebacks define the spirit. Chin-up, @ShreyasIyer15 and @ishankishan51! Dig deep, face challenges, and come back even stronger. Your past achievements speak volumes, and I have no doubt you'll conquer once again," Shastri tweeted. (PTI)

Former WWE Star Michael Jones Passes Away

Former WWE star Michael Jones, known to fans as Virgil, has reportedly died at the age of 61.

Pro Kabaddi League 2023-24

Puneri Paltan became the first finalist of Pro Kabaddi League Season 10 after an emphatic 37-21 victory over three-time winners Patna Pirates on Wednesday. Paltan's heroics were led by their skipper Aslam Inamdar who secured seven raid points. They will now face the winner of semi-final 2 in the summit clash on Friday.

WPL 2024, Mumbai Indians Vs UP Warriorz

Kiran Navghire starred with the bat as her blistering innings of 57 off 31 balls along with some support down order from Grace Harris and Deepti Sharma helped UP Warriorz register their first win of the tournament by beat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets.

Read the match report here

Chelsea vs Leeds, FA Cup 5th Round, Playing XIs

Chelsea Starting XI: Sanchez, Gilchrist, Disasi, Chalobah, Gusto, Fernandez, Caicedo, Mudryk, Sterling, Madueke, Jackson Subs: Petrovic, Colwill, Murray-Campbell, Samuels-Smith, Chilwell, Tauriainen, Gallagher, Harrison, Palmer.

Leeds United Starting XI: Meslier, Roberts, Rodon, Cooper, Firpo, Ampadu, Gray, James, Anthony, Piroe, Joseph Subs: Klaesson, Van den Heuvel, Cresswell, Bamford, Kamara, Summerville, Byram, Shackleton, Gnonto