While you were asleep: Pujara, Pant, Bumrah to play for Leicestershire, Koepka set to join LIV Golf series as PGA Tour plans to raise cash prizes

The Indian team will play a four-day tour match against Leicestershire from Thursday at Uptonsteel County Ground. However, four cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna will all team up with the Leicestershire side, led by fly-half Sam Evans.

“LCCC, BCCI and the ECB have all agreed to allow the four players from the visiting camp to be part of the Running Foxes team, in order to allow all members of the traveling group to participate in the match (subject to physical condition ),” the county club said in a statement.

The match will be played with 13 players per side to provide more flexibility and help manage bowling workloads.

India arrived in Leicestershire on Sunday, before embarking on their first training and net session at Uptonsteel County Ground on Monday morning.

The Indian squad have been training for three days ahead of tomorrow’s four-day game against the Running Foxes, which carries out the rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston in early July.

Teams

India squad: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav , Prasidh Krishna.

Leicestershire CCC team: Sam Evans (Capt), Rehan Ahmed, Sam Bates (wk), Nat Bowley, Will Davis, Joey Evison, Louis Kimber, Abi Sakande, Roman Walker.

Koepka set to join LIV Golf series

Brooks Koepka. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports/FILE)

After Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson, four-time winner Brooks Koepka, former world number one, has become the latest big name to join the lucrative LIV Series.

The US-based PGA Tour has been the toughest, most prestigious and lucrative golf tour in the world, with most aspiring players aspiring to it as if it were the Holy Grail. Together with the DP World Tour (formerly called European Tour), it has dominated the golf scene for decades.

Now a Saudi-funded company with extremely deep pockets has threatened the status quo, tempting the world’s best players with lucrative contracts and guaranteed prize money to play in their LIV Golf events.

The LIV Series will play its first U.S. event in Portland, Oregon, June 30-July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, going head-to-head with the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic.

Funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), LIV Golf staged its first event in London this month, won by South African Charl Schwartzel, who pocketed the $4 million prize – the biggest check in golf history.

The PGA Tour is looking to revamp its schedule

To counter the Saud-backed LIV Golf series, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced a sweeping overhaul of the tour on Wednesday.

The sweeping reforms include a return to a calendar year season from 2024 and the creation of three international events at the end of the season. Additionally, eight designated touring events will see their prize money increase significantly with average purses of approximately $20 million.

The moves are the PGA Tour’s most significant response to the rise of LIV Golf, which launched earlier this month and has signed eight of the world’s top 50 players, including big winners Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Brooks. Koepka.

“I am not naive. If this is an arms race and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA TOUR cannot compete,” Monahan told reporters.

“The PGA TOUR, an American institution, cannot compete with a foreign monarchy spending billions of dollars trying to buy the game of golf.

“We welcome good and healthy competition. The LIV Saudi Golf League is not that.

“It’s an irrational threat; one that is not concerned with ROI or the true growth of the game.”

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