Akash Madhwal to replace Suryakumar Yadav in MI squad for last 2 games
Mumbai, May 16 (Cricket News) Mumbai Indians have roped in Uttarakhand pacer Akash Madhwal as a replacement for batter Suryakumar Yadav, who was ruled out of the IPL owing to a left forearm muscle injury.
Madhwal is a 28-year old medium-pacer, who has played 15 T20s and taken 15 wickets at an average of 26.60. He will join MI at the price of INR 20 Lakh.
"Madhwal has been with the MI as part of the support team. He was chosen at the MI preseason camp to join the support team and has over the months demonstrated his ability with the ball, earning him the opportunity to join the season squad," a press release stated.
Also Read : Punjab Kings win toss, opt to bowl against Delhi Capitals
News Source : PTI
Punjab Kings win toss, opt to bowl against Delhi Capitals
Navi Mumbai, May 16 (Cricket News) Punjab Kings captain Mayank Agarwal won the toss and opted to bowl in their Indian Premier League match against Delhi Capitals here on Monday.
Delhi Capitals made two changes with Khaleel Ahmed and Sarfaraz Khan coming in place of Chetan Sakariya and KS Bharat.
Punjab Kings fielded an unchanged side.
The Teams: Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (c/w), David Warner, Sarfaraz Khan, Mitchell Marsh, Lalit Yadav, Rovman Powell, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Khaleel Ahmed.
Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal (c), Jonny Bairstow, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (w), Harpreet Brar, Rishi Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh.
Also Read : Felt that season didn't really start for us till the first win: David
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Boxing World C'ships: Nikhat Zareen secures India's first medal in Istanbul
New Delhi, May 16 (Boxing News) Asian Championships bronze medallist Nikhat Zareen (52kg) secured India its first medal at the IBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Istanbul on Monday by advancing to the semifinals with a superb win.
Continuing her stellar run from the prestigious Strandja Memorial tournament where she won the gold earlier this year, Nikhat out-punched England’s Charley-Sian Davison 5-0.
The 25-year-old Telangana boxer was all pumped up in her highly physical bout against Davison. Both boxers went attacking ferociously against each other in the first round.
However, the second round was a one way street as Nikhat pounded her opponent with terrific body shots to tire her out while also landing clean and sharp punches.
With the two rounds in the bag, Nikhat then displayed her defensive skills as she no longer felt the need to be on the offensive in the final few minutes of her quarterfinal bout.
However, Nitu (48kg) ended her campaign with a 2-3 split verdict quarterfinal loss to reigning Asian champion Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan.
The 21-year-old from Haryana, who is a two-time youth world champion, started the bout cautiously, enticing her opponent to come at her but struggled to land punches herself.
The Indian tried hard to break Balkibekova's defences as the Kazakh boxer moved around swiftly. Nitu managed to up the ante in the final round but it was too late as the judges ruled in her opponent's favour.
Later in the day, Manisha (57kg), Parveen (63kg), Pooka Rani (81kg), Anamika (50kg) Jaisimine (60kg) and Nadini (+81kg) will compete in their quarterfinals bouts.
Also Read : IBA elects new President and Board of Directors in Istanbul
News Source : PTI
NBA: The Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks make the Conference finals
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics knocked out the defending Champions as they beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the final game 7 decider 109-81. For the Celtics, Grant Williams scored a career-high 27 points and hit seven 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum added 23 and Boston set a Game 7 record with 22 3-pointers as Jaylen Brown scored 19 points and Marcus Smart added 11 crucial points. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists but he was just 3 of 11 in the paint in the second half, including 1 for 6 the fourth quarter as Jrue Holiday added 21 points and eight assists while Brook Lopez finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. With this result, the Celtics will face top-seeded Miami beginning Tuesday in a rematch of the 2020 East finals. The Heat beat the Celtics in six games in that series at Walt Disney World.
''As much as it hurt to lose Game 5, I was looking forward to that challenge,'' Tatum said. ''I believe in myself, I believe in this team. I expected to play the way I did and for us to respond the way we did.''
''For me it was like, they're encouraging it, I might as well take advantage,'' Williams said. ''Each one as time went on got more comfortable.''
''Shots that I usually make weren't going in. That's basketball. That's sports,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. There's a winner. There's a loser. You've just got to live with it.'
''This is what we played for, why we played the season out, to have home-court advantage in a Game 7,'' Udoka said. ''If you believe in the basketball gods, those things matter.''
Brown said their coach has been the catalyst to put them in this position. ''We didn't want it to be over. We didn't overcome all the stuff we did during the regular season for that to be it. .. At the end of the day, we wanted to come out, leave it all out there. I think we did.''
The Dallas Mavericks produced the upset of the season when they beat the best team in the NBA in game 7 as they took the series 4-3 with a 123-90 blowout victory over the Phoenix Suns. For the Mavericks, Doncic scored 35 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 30 as both of them were the first teammates to have at least 20 points in a half in Game 7 since Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston did it for the Knicks in 1997. Doncic finished 12 of 19 from the field, including 6 of 11 on 3s. He also got some help in Dinwiddie who had 21 points in the first half with 7-of-10 shooting, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range. For the Suns, Booker finished with 11 points and shot 3 of 14 while Paul had 10 points and four assists as they shot just 37.9% from the field. With this result the Dallas Mavericks are going to face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
''A lot of people said it would be a blowout,'' Mavs coach Jason Kidd said with a grin. ''They were right.''
''We played all season to be in this situation,'' Suns guard Chris Paul said. ''It didn't work out for us.''
''I can't get this smile off my face,'' Doncic said. ''I'm just really happy. Honestly, I think we deserved this.''
''It's still kind of shocking,'' Dinwiddie said
''That group has a lot of character and integrity and I know how bad they wanted it,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''We just could not execute tonight. Couldn't make a shot early, that messed with us a little bit and Dallas played their tails of from start to finish.''
''You could see some of the pressure was on them early,'' Kidd said. ''They missed some shots they normally make.''
Felt that season didn't really start for us till the first win: David
Mumbai, May 16 (Cricket News) Explosive Mumbai Indians batter Tim David on Monday said that he felt that their season only started once they won their first game in the IPL after eight straight defeats.
MI are still last among 10 teams but David has contributed in all three wins so far with his lusty hitting at the back-end.
"Kind of felt like the season didn't really start for us till we got that first win. Since then, we have played some really good cricket," David said on the eve of the team's penultimate league game against Sunrisers Hyderabad to be played at the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday.
"We have won three of our last four games and there has been a good feeling in the team," David added.
On personal front, picking his skipper Rohit Sharma's brains was helpful.
"Obviously, Rohit's played a lot of cricket, so it is about trying to gain some of his experiences, staying calm, things that work in Indian conditions, and how we want to play as a team together.
"It's been a good experience to share the dressing room with him and hopefully, it can continue," maintained David, who has 106 runs from six IPL games.
Six hitting at the death is a specific skill and the Singapore man of Australian origin spends hours honing his big-hitting skills.
"I spend a lot of my time in the nets trying to hit sixes. I think it's about putting pressure on the bowler and recognizing the right situations when you can try that in a game.
"There might be different pitches, or grounds that suit power-hitting off particular bowlers. You have got to pick those moments, and also you have got to be aware that it's not going to come off all the time, and batting in the middle-order can be risky," reckoned the 26-year-old.
According to David, it was all about going into the games with a clear mind.
"And then once, it is all mental. I think it is the same for all batters. You have got to go in with a clear mind. If you don't, if you are carrying things into the game, you can get a patchy performance.
"So it is about trying to get into that state where you can try and be as consistent as possible mentally.
"And then if you trust your process, and stick to it, then that will most often bring the best results," he signed off.
Also Read : India White win Divyang Wheelchair Premier League 2022
News Source : PTI
Vinesh, Sakshi book CWG berths after emerging victorious in trials
Lucknow, May 16 (Sports News) Sakshi Malik finally found a way to defeat nemesis Sonam Malik and sealed her place in the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games while Vinesh Phogat did just enough against Antim to emerge winner in the 53kg category trials here on Monday.
Sonam, who recovered from a left leg injury, had made it a habit of beating the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist at the WFI trials but the day belonged to Sakshi, who beat the young wrestler 8-1.
Later in the final, Sakshi outplayed Manisha 7-1 to ensure that she will be on the plane to Birmingham, where the Games will begin from July 28.
Manisha had ousted Sangeeta Phogat, wife of Bajrang Punia, 7-5 in the semifinals.
Vinesh, another star who has been struggling right from the Tokyo Games, began well as she did not concede a point till the final.
In the final against Antim, she was trailing 0-3 but found a two-point scoring move to reduce deficit. Antim got a bit defensive and tried to maintain distance. In this attempt, she fleed the mat and Vinesh challenged referee's decision of not awarding a point.
She won the challenge and since hers was the last scoring point, she won the trials.
It wil be a first big-ticket event after her Tokyo Games debacle, where she made an early exit after entering the event as the favourite. What followed her was a harrowing time where she was suspended by WFI for indiscipline during the Games.
After WFI lifted the suspension, Vinesh found the going tough due to mental health issues. She pulled out of the World Championship trials in August last year and has not competed since.
Expectedly, Anshu Malik (57kg), Divya Kakran (68kg) won their trials.
In the final between two World Championship medallists, Anshu beat formidable Sarita Mor 2-1 while Divya won by technical superiority against Nisha Dahiya.
Pooja Gehlot (50kg) and Pooja Sihag (76kg) claimed the other berths in the Indian team.
The men's trials will be held on Tuesday.
Also Read : India White win Divyang Wheelchair Premier League 2022
News Source : PTI
AC Milan inch closer to the title as Inter keep their title hopes alive
(Football news) AC Milan inched closer to the title after they won 2-0 against Atalanta at the San Siro. Now the distant dream is becoming a reality for the Rossoneri as they are aiming to win their first title since 2011. Stefano Pioli’s team started off the match very nervy and devoid of ideas in the first half, failing to create a clear-cut chance in the first 45 minutes. The quality eventually came through in the second half, from a fine finish from Rafeal Leao and a superb solo goal from full-back Hernandez saw Milan take all three points, much to the relief of a full house San Siro. Inter did manage to beat Cagliari later in the day which meant that the title race is going to the final day of the season, but Milan know a draw against Sassuolo in the final will see the Scudetto return to the red half of the city.
Yesterday’s win was Milan's fifth league win in a row and they stretched their unbeaten Serie A run to 15 matches. Substitute Junior Messias came on and brought the much needed freshness in the side as he supplied a fine pass into Leao’s path, who took a touch before scoring his 11th league goal of the season in the 56th minute. Eighth-placed Atalanta, who still had a slim chance of qualifying for Europe next season, rarely threatened an equaliser. Hernandez then put the final nail in the coffin when he produced a stunning solo effort that could be a goal-of-the-season contender. Theo Hernandez picked the ball up in his own half and then ran the entire field, bypassing several challenges before drilling into the net to seal a crucial victory in Milan's final home game as the scudetto inches closer to them.
"I had to say goodbye to the fans, it's a year that excites me," Pioli said after the match. "It's not over yet, we must be determined and calm.
"I am very satisfied, because we played against a strong team that created difficulties for us. We did well in the attacking phase and we found solutions. We never lost our clarity and we always believed in it, so the victory is a well-deserved reward.
"I'm living very normal weeks, because I see the positive attitude of my players. We have an important background, derived from two years together. The boys make me proud."
Inter Milan kept the title race alive as they beat relegation-threatened Caligari 3-1 and ensured the Serie A title race will go to the final weekend. Inter had to win in order to keep the title race alive as they went in front in the 25th minute through Matteo Darmian. Martinez added a second six minutes after the break for Inter, this was his 20th goal of the season as he became the sixth player in Inter's history to score 20 goals in a single Serie A season before turning 25. They appeared on course for their ninth win in 10 matches in all competitions, before Charalampos Lykogiannis produced a screamer out of nowhere to get Cagliari back in it. Inter suffered some nervy moments in the dying moments of the match before Martinez's quality shone ensured the three points, as his classy finish six minutes from time finally ended Cagliari's hopes of a comeback and probably relegated them to Serie B. The victory ensured Inter remained two points behind Milan going into the final match day weekend.
"It wasn't easy after Milan's win, but the team played really well against an opponent who is problematic on their own ground," Inter coach Simone Inzaghi said. "I congratulate my team, because this was by no means to be taken for granted, especially after playing 120 minutes on Wednesday [in the Coppa Italia final].
"Naturally, we are behind, so we need a victory and for them [Milan] to lose. It's happened before, I won with Lazio when we were two points behind and Juventus lost to Perugia [in 2000], so it can happen again."
India White win Divyang Wheelchair Premier League 2022
(Cricket news) India White won the Divyang Wheelchair Premier League 2022 organized by the Telangana Wheelchair Cricket Association under the aegis of the Divyang Cricket Control Board of India at Lal Bahadur Shastri International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad.
India Orange captain Farooq Ahmed elected to bat first after winning the toss and set India White a target of 125 runs in 20 overs. Batter Koteshwar Ramawat scored 77 runs in 55 balls with the help of 14 fours for India Orange. However, India White captain Ramesh Sartape cleaned him up and sent him back to the pavilion. After his wicket fell, none of the other batters managed to score significant runs for India Orange. In response, Parshuram Desale played an innings of 59 not out in 47 balls with the help of 11 fours to lead his side to victory with a four off the first ball of the 18th over.
The trophy was distributed by the Sports Minister of Telangana, Srinivas Goud. Mr Gaud was surprised after seeing players playing on a wheelchair. He appreciated the Divyang Cricket Control Board of India and all the Divyang-jan players. Haroon Rasheed, General Secretary, Divyang Cricket Control Board of India and CEO Ghazal Khan congratulated all the players and wished them a bright future. Koteshwar Ramawat got the player of the Series and Best Bowler title. Parshuram Desale got the title of Best Batsman and player of the Match in the final.
I want to make India proud with my achievements: Varun Pradip Dave
Having recently accomplished four new world records at the Powerlifting World Cup in Russia, Indian powerlifter Varun Pradip Dave has the world at his feet. He is also the youngest world record holder at the AWPC Men's Junior Single Ply category, the first Indian powerlifter to get an international excellence award and to receive an honorary doctorate in Field Powerlifting and Strength Athletics.
In this exclusive interview, Varun Pradip Dave speaks about his journey, accomplishing world records, delivering a TEDx speech, special achievements in his career, importance of mental health, overcoming challenges and future goals.
Q 1) When did you first start powerlifting and what made you pursue it professionally?
I have always been a sports enthusiast and my dream was to play for Team India in any sport. I started going to the gym during my vacation and that’s where my journey began. I won four gold medals at the state level and three at the national level which led me to represent India at the age of 15. I was the youngest athlete of the team and had the opportunity to represent India at the World Cup. That’s when I decided to pursue a career in powerlifting and give my 100% to make India proud with my achievements.
Q 2) You recently made four new world records at the Powerlifting World Cup in Russia. Tell us about those achievements and how much it means to you.
I recently achieved four new world records at the World Cup and before the tournament, I was extremely confident of my ability to make a mark at the event. However, just a week before the tournament, I met with an accident and had to undergo 30 stitches on my leg. The doctor advised me to not go to Russia but I didn’t listen and hid my injury from the judges at the tournament. Despite my injury, I managed to get four world records which still feels like a dream to me. I have worked very hard in the last five years to make this a reality and the journey has been difficult because I don’t come from a sports background. Looking back, despite all the difficulties, the view at the top makes it all worth it.
Q 3) You were also the first Indian powerlifter to deliver a TEDx speech. How was that experience?
Delivering a TEDx speech was one of the best experiences in my life so far as I received the opportunity at a low time in my career but it taught me a valuable lesson to not underestimate myself. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to be the face of Indian powerlifting on a global platform.
Also read: Aman Kadyan creates history by qualifying for World Taekwondo Grand Prix
Q 4) What is the most special achievement of your career and why?
The most special achievement of my life was winning the title of the strongest man of Gujarat at the age of 17. The achievement was unprecedented as nobody from Gujarat had been given this title in the open category at such a young age and what makes it even more memorable is that it came at a time when I had lost back-to-back tournaments after which I received a lot of criticism. It’s very special for me because nobody believed that I could accomplish what I did.
Q 5) How important is mental health in becoming a champion powerlifter?
I believe that mental health is important, not just in powerlifting but in any sport or field because without a stable mind it’s very difficult to perform to the best of your abilities. Training your mind is very important to achieve your goals and I’ve realised the importance of mental health after going through difficult times. I always make myself available for those who are suffering from mental health issues as I can empathise with the difficulties they are facing.
Q 6) What are some of the challenges you have faced in your journey as a powerlifter? How did you overcome them?
As a vegetarian, it’s always difficult to get the required protein intake from my diet. Earlier, due to my small stature, I was not allowed to consume protein shakes which made it even more difficult to get the required nutrition for being a powerlifter. I’m also an engineering student so balancing my studies and powerlifting has been very difficult, but over time, I’ve learnt to balance the two without compromising on either.
Q 7) What are your future goals? How do you plan to achieve them?
I consider myself a dreamer and I have multiple passions in my life. I want to pursue acting, singing and powerlifting. I pursue anything that my heart tells me to and believe that anything can be achieved if you have that spark or fire inside you. I am also writing a book and have worked on 2 to 3 regional web series as an actor in Gujarat. My motto is “You are stronger than you think” so my plan is to continue working hard to achieve my dreams.
Aman Kadyan creates history by qualifying for World Taekwondo Grand Prix
History was created when Aman Kadyan became the first Indian to qualify for the World Taekwondo Grand Prix. The 22 year old will compete in Rome between June 3rd to 5th and will look to not just make his mark amongst the best Taekwondo athletes in the world but also aim to win the tournament.
In this exclusive interview, Aman Kadyan shares his thoughts about the achievement, his expectations from the tournament, how much it would mean for him to win and the role his support system has played in making this dream a reality.
Q 1) You have become the first Indian to qualify for the World Taekwondo Grand Prix, tell us your thoughts about this tremendous achievement?
It was like a dream come true for me. When I used to watch Taekwondo videos, I would dream of representing India. When I started playing professionally I realised that it is possible but it will take a lot of effort. When the moment actually happened it was very shocking for me because I got an email out of the blue. I was standing with my coach after training and I was so excited to show him the email. I went up to him and said that we finally did it. He gave me a tight hug and then my teammates came in and they were very ecstatic. That moment will always be etched in my memory because it came out of nowhere. At first, it was difficult for me to digest it. I also had to check with myself a lot of times whether it was real or not because I thought that this time it will be difficult but somehow it happened.
Q 2) What are your expectations from the tournament which will be held in Rome? Do you believe that you can go all the way to win?
Taekwondo has just got some new rules which make it tough and interesting at the same time. At Rome there will be big names and Olympic champions, it will be a very tough competition as only 32 athletes have qualified for it. I never think that I lack any quality or that I'm any less than the others. I always think that the athletes against me are also just like me. I will try my best to win and I will give my all until the very last second, no matter what the result. I will not be thinking about medals but I will aim to make my country proud by putting in all my effort.
Also read: Everything that I have achieved is largely because of people who supported me - Aman Kadyan, Taekwondo athlete
Q 3) You have previously won medals at the WT President Cup in the Oceania Region in 2019, a gold at the Indian Open International 2019, and a bronze each at the WT President Cup Asian Region 2018 and Israel Open 2018. Will a victory at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix be the most special of your career?
Yes, Taekwondo Grand Prix is a major series and no Indian has gone to this stage earlier, so when this event takes place the whole world tends to take notice of it. If I win a medal then I will get recognised at the world stage and it will also be a stepping stone in my career.
Q 4) How has Peace Taekwondo Academy helped you qualify for the World Taekwondo Grand Prix?
I think that Peace Taekwondo Academy has helped me out a lot but I think in my career two people have been instrumental in my career, Vinay sir and my coach Hassan sir. I think no one has given me as much support as they did. They have always been there for me emotionally, preparing me mentally for various competitions and all. My family also has been a big inspiration for me, supporting me in all matter and mostly encouraging me to perform better.
Chemin Esports is looking to expand into the global industry: Ishan Verma
With esports becoming a medal event at the upcoming 2022 Asian Games, it has never been more important for aspiring esports players to have a pathway to become professionals, especially in India. In this exclusive interview, Ishan Verma, Founder and Director of Chemin Esports speaks about forming a talent incubator, the origins of the name, overcoming challenges, issues plaguing the esports industry in India, selection process for the Asian Games and long term goals.
Q 1) As Founder and Director of Chemin Esports, what motivated you to form a talent incubator and help esports athletes and content creators in the field of gaming? Since your background is in civil engineering, what made you switch to the esports industry?
It all started in the year 2020 during the Covid Pandemic. During the lockdown, I started following the Esports structure around the world. At that time, I would say the Indian Esports Industry was at a growing stage as compared to the global esports industry. Seeing a future potential in the Indian Esports Industry, I decided to invest into this and that’s when Chemin Esports was founded.
With the help of right guidance and training, I am sure we will have Indian Players competing at the Global Stage. I would say I have not switched from my Civil Engineering background as my core business is still into infrastructure. Being a passion and the untapped opportunity in the Indian Esports Industry has led to me investing into this as well.
Q 2) Why is it called ‘Chemin’ Esports? How does the name align with the company’s mission?
“Chemin” is a french word and it stands for “path”. We try to construct the right paths for esports athletes to have a successful career. Our goal is to act as a talent incubator for the upcoming esports athletes and help them to achieve their maximum potential and thus building a career into Esports.
Q 3) What are the challenges that you have faced as Founder and Director of Chemin Esports? How did you overcome them?
While the Indian Esports Industry is relatively new as compared to the Global Industry, this has seen a rapid rise in the pandemic period. With no esports policy framework and an Indian Esports Association, the industry is still unorganised. Before investing into this industry I had to do a lot of research. I studied about the Global Esports Industry and how they are functioning. I was still confused about Indian Esports but that’s when my business partner Mr. Diptanshu helped me a lot. We founded Chemin Esports together and in a short period of time we have grown to become one of the leading Esports Organisation currently active in India.
Also read: Our aim is to give opportunities to aspiring players: Sidhhant Agarwal
Q 4) According to you, what are some of the things that the esports industry in India lacks? How can they be rectified?
The Industry is still unorganised as there is no Esports Policy Framework and Indian Esports Association to guide the growth of Esports in India. The announcement of the formation of AVGC (Animation, Visual Effects, gaming and Comic) Task Force is a turning point for this industry. It will look at ways to build domestic capacity and also to serve the global demand in this sector.
With the inclusion of Esports in the upcoming Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, I am sure the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports under the guidance of Shri Anurag Thakur Ji will work towards the betterment of Indian Esports as well.
Q 5) According to you, what is the right process for the selection of the best talent in India to represent the country in the Asian Games as esports is a medal event?
For selection of the best talent, I feel there needs to be multiple tournaments in order to have in place a proper ranking of players. One Qualifier Tournament is not the right way to decide who the top player is. I am sure we will have such multiple tournaments in the lead up to the Asian Games before deciding who is the one going to represent India at the Global Stage.
Q 6) What are your long term goals with Chemin Esports? How do you plan to accomplish them?
Chemin Esports is definitely looking to expand into other Mobile as well as PC Games. Our focus as of now will be on the 8 Medal Events in the Asian Games like Hearthstone, Dota 2 & FIFA. The Indian Valorant scene is also on the rise and we are keeping an eye on the upcoming players and teams as well. We are waiting for the right opportunity. We are also looking at various opportunities to expand into the Global Esports Scene. We are exploring the various game titles available and the right team to invest into.
22 yards to Diamond: A rewarding transition - Vamsi Kondreddy
(Sports news) With a fan following in billions running globally, Cricket has surely found its foot in the hearts of sports lovers, however, it outweighs the majority of Indian sports in terms of economic value and has surely turned out to be an X-factor in the Indian sports ecosystem, but the same cannot sustain as the sole wealth and opportunity generator for sports persons with immense bat-and-ball sports talent. Notable to state that at the end of the day, with approximately 10 million actively playing cricketers in India, not even 1/20th of this huge pool of talent are able to make a living out of it. With fresh talents pouring in every year, it is impossible for the stakeholders of Indian cricket to create opportunities to cater to this huge supply. So, do we let this talent pool get wasted and unutilized? No, right? So what’s the solution?
Well, rather than looking for a solution per se, we need to look for existing ecosystems and utilise the talent to meet the talent demand for a sport that not only requires the same set of skills but above all is globally played, recognized and is highly rewarding. This all is prevalent, when it comes to the Sports of Baseball. To most Indians, a mere mention of baseball gives them an impression about a game similar to cricket which is being played in the United States of America. Played with a round bat, unlike flat willows in cricket, the sport of baseball has a few takers in a cricket-crazy like ours. Baseball and Cricket are two well-known members of the "bat and ball" family of games. While the basic principle is the same, the two games differ in their rules, terminology, playing equipment, number of players, field size etc. Apart from the fact that both cricket and baseball are bat-and-ball games, a lot more similarities as well as differences exist between the two. Both sports can be absorbing and exciting – and both require skills that are essentially similar and to compare two games and how easy it would be to adapt from one to the other one has to analyse the key aspects of the game which are highly similar.
Now, given the similarity of skills required and plethora of international sports, it is high time that Indian sportspersons, and more importantly aspiring cricketers, (failing to get quality opportunities), look beyond the 22 yard pitch and walk into the diamond, to not only utilise and put into use their valuable talent and skills to their benefit as well as to advancement of the entire Indian ecosystem. The best part of this transition would be that they do not learn new skills, rather only tune their existing skills to a certain extent. Although Cricket has come up with new leagues in recent years to improve opportunities, it is still under-rewarding given the mass of talent. Baseball not only has ample opportunities, but also has an all year around global playing calendar, which ensures a high amount of opportunities to present the skill on the field.
Interestingly, in recent years, the Indian sports growth has included sports other than cricket, which have gained significant traction and much-needed push from all parties concerned. The recent success of India in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 has demonstrated that India has a desire to consume sports other than cricket, which are not only played globally but are not yet popular or recognised in India. It is pertinent to state that unlike Cricket, Baseball is indeed an Olympic sport. With India’s exemplary performance in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, addition of another team at the upcoming Olympics with quality and quantity of India bat-and-ball-sports players, it would be only sensible for a sportsperson to make this much awarding transition from Cricket to Baseball.
Also read: Cricket crazy country India can also excel at baseball - Vamsi Kondreddy, Managing Director of Dream Olympic Sports