Ajit Agarkar enjoying his new role, says leading Mumbai a huge responsibility

When Mumbai take on Baroda in their opening fixture at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday, Ajit Agarkar will not only be spearheading Mumbai’s pace attack, he will have the added responsibility of shepherding and bringing out the best from his 14-member squad and the all-rounder is relishing it for the time being, writes The Times Of India.

“It sure is a huge responsibility,” Agarkar said. “But it is a good one. It will be challenging to perform and get the others to perform as well. So yeah, I am looking forward to the responsibility,” the 34-year-old added.

Not his performance over the last decade and a half, not his dedication and commitment, not even his seniority could earn him Mumbai’s captaincy. Eventually, a rebellious step paved the way for former India speedster Ajit Agarkar to be named captain of Mumbai’s one-day team, which opens its campaign in the Vijay Hazare Trophy from Wednesday, says TOI.

Coming to ICC U-10 World Cup, former champion India was on Monday handed a relatively easy draw and will open its campaign against the West Indies on August 12. India has been clubbed with Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea and the West Indies in Group ‘C', and will play its first match at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, Queensland. India has reached the zenith of glory at this tournament twice — Mohammad Kaif put his hands on the glittering trophy in Sri Lanka in 2000 and then Virat Kohli led the team to a well-deserved triumph in Malaysia in 2008. India will play its second match against Zimbabwe on August 14 at the same venue, two days before taking on Papua New Guinea at Endeavour Park 1.

Meanwhile adding to Sachin’s critics, former cricket captain Kapil Dev feels Sachin Tendulkar should retire from one-dayers, saying the champion batsman's time is finally up after over two decades at the international level, says a report in The Indian Express. "From what we have seen in the last three months, he should have announced his retirement before the World Cup. It's important to know that every cricketer has his time," Kapil told to a news channel. "Having served India for 22-23 years, there surely is no greater cricketer than him. But he should have announced his decision to retire from the shorter format soon after the World Cup," he said.

Other news: (TOI, HT, The Tribune, The Hindu)

It’s a matter of playing through pain’: Written off a fortnight ago due to a broken toe, express bowler Brett Lee now insists he will play through the pain barrier as he approaches Glenn McGrath's record as Australia's top one-day wicket-taker. The toe injury had ruled him out for almost two months, but Lee surprised everyone by making a stunning comeback, which included figures of three for 49 in the tri-series match against Australia at the Gabba. “I'm not keen to rest, period. I've had enough rest in my life (due to injuries) and I'll rest when I finally hang the boots up. I think that with my toe, it's very painful but you find a way to play through it and I think I'm past the worst of it. It's going to get better as each game goes on,” Lee was quoted as saying.

Harbhajan goes wicketless:
Harbhajan Singh went wicketless on his return to competitive cricket but led his team to a comfortable four-wicket win over Ranji Trophy semifinalists Haryana in the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Services Ground in Palam in New Delhi. Opting to bat first, Haryana scored 243-6 and Punjab successfully chased the target in 46.4 overs, losing only six wickets.

Razzaq says he didn't mislead officials:
Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has told PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf that he did not mislead officials regarding his fitness. “I didn't mislead anyone. I met the PCB chairman before the BPL started and I made it crystal clear that I cannot bowl 10 overs in an ODI because of a shoulder injury,” he said.