We let the game slip away after dominating three days, says Bumrah
Birmingham, Jul 5 (Cricket News) India stand-in captain Jasprit Bumrah on Tuesday blamed his side's defeat to England in the rescheduled fifth Test here to the batting failure in the second innings, saying they let the match slip away from their hands after dominating major part of it.
England rode on Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow's majestic centuries to thump India by seven wickets and register their highest-ever successful run chase in Test cricket.
England overhauled the 378-run target in the morning session of the fifth and final day with Root and Bairstow remaining unbeaten on 142 and 114 respectively.
"That's the beauty of Test cricket, even if you have three good days. We fell short with the bat yesterday and that is where we let the opposition in to let the match slip away from us," Bumrah said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"Ifs and buts can always be there. If you go back, if there was no rain in the first match, we could have won the series. But England played really well." England's win meant that the five-match Test series, which spilled over to this year due to COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp last year, ended in 2-2 draw.
"We have drawn the series and both teams played very good cricket and it was a fair result," Bumrah said.
Bumrah lauded Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja for their tons in India's first innings.
"Pant takes his chances. He and Jaddu got us back into the game with their counter-attack. We were ahead in the game. He takes his chances, backs himself and very happy for him," he said.
Bumrah said he thoroughly enjoyed the captaincy responsibility and it was a pleasure to lead the national team.
"The captaincy is not what I decide. I like responsibility. It was a good challenge, a new challenge. It was an honour to lead the team and a great experience." England skipper Ben Stokes said his team was trying to rewrite the way Test cricket is being played in the country with its new-found attacking brand of the game.
"When the lads play like this, it makes my job easier. When you have clarity like we have in the dressing room, it makes chasing totals like this easier. 378 would have been scary five weeks ago, but now it's all good.
"We are trying to rewrite how Test cricket is played in England. All our plans from the last four-five weeks is what we want to take ahead. Bowling on the top of off isn't important, it is all about taking ten wicket," he said.
"We want to give some new life to Test cricket. Inspiring the next generation is what we want to do. We want to bring in new fans and want to leave a mark on Test cricket," he added.
Stokes was all praise of his batters for pulling off the historic run chase for England.
"Jonny and Root will get all the credit, but the precedent was set up by the way the openers played against Bumrah and Shami with the new ball." Man-of-the-match Jonny Bairstow, who smashed centuries in both the innings, said he was never afraid of failure and just wanted to put the pressure back on the opposition.
"It is great fun at the moment. I am stripping it back to the basics. The last few years have been tough on me but the last few months have been fantastic.
"Day five was over in 90 minutes. I just have an enjoyment factor now. I am not afraid of failing and just want to put the pressure on the opposition. We are going to lose games with the approach we have, but it is a positive fun brand of cricket to play," he said.
He said England were always in control of the chase.
"India have some world class bowlers and you just have to soak the pressure. They try to intimidate, they have some fantastic players and it was about trying to shift the pressure on them.
"There was a period when it started reversing as well. And this morning was a different morning. Root and me are just two lads from Yorkshire. We have grown up playing together and spent a lot of time together from the Yorkshire academy days to the Test team now. Special to play with him," Bairstow said.
England's man-of-the-series Joe Root said they were always confident of chasing down the target set by India.
"It's as simple as that. The environment has been great and the guys are having fun in the last four weeks. There is absolute clarity that we were chasing it down and there was total belief," he said.
Asked about his own form, Root said: "It's something you are constantly searching for and something you rarely find. You want to keep it as fun as possible. Watching Jonny bat is great, I just wanted to give him strike.
"We have been riding a brilliant wave of confidence after brilliant performances against NZ. The start the two openers got us off to was superb and they put the pressure back on."
Also Read : Root, Bairstow script England's sensational win against India in 5th Test
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Root, Bairstow script England's sensational win against India in 5th Test
Birmingham, Jul 5 (Cricket News) Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow scored majestic centuries as England pulled off their highest-ever successful run chase in the longest format for a convincing seven-wicket win over India in the rescheduled fifth Test here on Tuesday.
England overhauled the 378-run target in the morning session of the fifth and final day with Root and Bairstow remaining unbeaten on 142 and 114 respectively.
England's win meant that the five-match Test series, which spilled over to this year due to COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp last year, ended in 2-2 draw.
This was the fourth time England chased down a target of over 250 in the fourth innings, the earlier three being against New Zealand -- 277, 299, 296 -- in their 3-0 home Test series win last month. Resuming the day at 259 for 3, England hit the required 119 runs in 19.4 overs.
Root's 173-ball innings was decorated with 19 fours and one six while Bairstow struck 15 boundaries and hit once over the ropes in his 145 ball innings.
It was Bairstow's second ton of the match as he had made 106 off 140 balls in the England first innings.
The Indian bowlers toiled the whole of the morning session without success, Captain Jasprit Bumrah (2/74) was the only Indian bowler to take wicket in the England second innings. He ended the match with five wickets. Mohammed Siraj had taken four wickets in the England first innings. Brief Scores: England: 284 & 378/3 in 76.4 overs (Joe Root 142 not out, Jonny Bairstow 114 not out, Alex Lees 56; Jasprit Bumrah 2/74) beat India 416 & 245 by seven wickets.
Also Read : Women's ODI rankings: Mandhana jumps to 8th; Deepti, Shafali also gain
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England opt to bowl as India prefer Shardul over Ashwin
Birmingham, Jul 1 (Cricket News) England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bowl against India in the rescheduled fifth Test, starting here on Friday.
With skipper Rohit Sharma ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19, Jasprit Bumrah will be India's 36th Test captain. Shubman Gill is the only specialist opener while Shardul Thakur as seamer all-rounder has been preferred over veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Teams India: Jasprit Bumrah (captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, England: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (captain), Sam Billings, Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson.
Also Read : Important calls in India's ODI squad for England series
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Important calls in India's ODI squad for England series
(Cricket news) India have announced their 17 man squad that will take on England in 3 ODIs. The matches will be played at the Oval, Lord's and Old Trafford respectively. India whitewashed West Indies in their last ODI series and they come into this series in good form. England convincingly whitewashed Netherlands and are on fire in the whiteball format. There has been a change as long term whiteball captain Eoin Morgan has retired with Jos Buttler set to lead the side for the first time in the ODI format for the India series. The series will be an important step in the preparation for the World Cup next year.
India's ODI squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh
India have chosen a full strength squad as expected. Apart from a few players who are injured this should pretty much be the squad for the World Cup even though there is a long time left for it. KL Rahul, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar and Kuldeep Yadav who were part of the last squad miss out because of injuries. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi and Avesh Khan have been dropped. Gaikwad didn't get to play a single game but is presumably dropped for inconsistent performances in the T20I format.
Deepak Hooda being dropped is likely to do with the return of Hardik Pandya and the conditions. Playing a batting all-rounder who bowls spin doesn't really make sense in English conditions especially when Ravindra Jadeja is in the side. The reason to drop Ravi Bishnoi will also be the same as Yuzvendra Chahal is the established wrist spinner. It is surprising that the selectors have chosen not to keep a direct replacement for Chahal in the squad. Avesh Khan is clearly dropped because of the return of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami even though he didn't get a single game to prove himself.
Arshdeep Singh gets his maiden ODI call-up which is a little unexpected because he has been dropped from the T20I squad. His selection might have to do with the fact that he is the only left arm seamer available. Ishan Kishan was a late COVID-19 replacement in the ODI series against West Indies but his impressive T20I form has earned him a place in the ODI format which was always going to happen eventually. Hardik Pandya's return to the squad was imminent as he has shown good quality since his return to cricket.
Pandya's importance to the ODI squad is immense and his presence is something India has been missing. Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja were injured during the West Indies series but they have been called back immediately as expected. Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are back in the ODI squad. Bumrah was a part of the South Africa series and was later rested for the West Indies series. Shami on the other hand hasn't played an ODI game since 2020 against Australia.
Rohit available from 1st T20; Kohli, Pant, Bumrah to join from 2nd game
Birmingham, Jun 30 (Cricket News) Skipper Rohit Sharma, who has been ruled out of the rescheduled Test match against England after testing positive for COVID-19, will be available to lead the side in the white-ball series as he was named in squads for T20Is and ODIs by the BCCI on Thursday.
The three-match T20 series will begin on July 7 in Southampton.
Rohit was already supposed to play from the second T20I but since he missed out on the Test match, he is available from the first game.
Five players, including Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer will join the team from the second game in Edgbaston on July 9.
One notable omission in the T20 squad is Mohammed Shami, who hasn't been picked in shortest format since last T20 World Cup as he isn't scheme of things for Australia World Cup.
Shami, oldest player in the current set up, Shikhar Dhawan (37) and Mohammed Siraj are part of the ODI squad which will be played from 15 to 20th of July.
The players who will return home after first T20I are Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Tripathi to name a few.
It is understood these players are not first choice going into the T20 World Cup.
India’s squad for 1st T20I: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik India's squad for 2nd and 3rd T20I: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik India's squad for 3 ODIs: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, J Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Shami, Mohd Siraj, Arshdeep Singh.
Also Read : Bumrah drawing inspiration from Dhoni ahead of captaincy debut
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Bumrah drawing inspiration from Dhoni ahead of captaincy debut
Birmingham, Jun 30 (Cricket News) Accidental India captain Jasprit Bumrah feels leading the Indian team is the biggest achievement of his career and he would go into the rescheduled fifth Test remembering the wise words of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had no captaincy experience but went on to achieve phenomenal success as leader.
Bumrah only got to know that he will be captaining the Indian team on Thursday morning after Rohit Sharma returned another positive test for COVID-19, ruling him out of the game.
Taking on an in-form England side will be a big challenge but Bumrah is up for it.
"The taste of success feels good when there is pressure. I am always up for responsibilities and I love to be in tough challenges. As a cricketer, you always want to test yourself in deep waters. I have spoken to many cricketers. Everybody improves and keep getting better," he said on the eve of the game.
"I remember speaking to MS (Dhoni), and he told me that he never captained any side before he led India for the first time. Now, he is remembered as one of the most successful captains of all time.
"So, I am focusing on how I can help the team and not focusing on what I have done before or how the cricketing conventions or the rules have been set." It is rare for a fast bowler to lead the Indian team and Bumrah said it was a massive honour and responsibility. The pacer has experienced meteoric rise in international cricket, including the five-day version in which he is only four seasons old, having made his Test debut in January 2018.
"Representing India in Tests was always a dream for me and this opportunity to lead the side is the biggest achievement of my career. I'm very happy that I've been given this opportunity. I have had immense faith in myself.
"In every scenario, I have trusted my instincts that have taken me to this level in cricket and I will keep doing that, going forward. Nothing changes for me, especially my role. That's what I am going to do as the captain of the side," Bumrah said.
"I only came to know that I would be leading the side after Rohit Sharma tested COVID positive once again on Thursday. I first broke the news to my family when I came to know that I would be leading the side." Bumrah said the visitors are up for the challenge.
"We are completely focused on the game and we are fully prepared, given we already played a practice match against Leicestershire, where the wicket was a bit different from this one," said the 28-year-old. He has already had long conversations with former captain Virat Kohli and Rohit on the job at hand.
"Their roles have been very important. Virat's inputs will be crucial when I am bowling or when I am making (some) changes. Virat's suggestions are going to be invaluable and always important for us," said Bumrah.
The team has decided on the openers for the game in Rohit's absence but Bumrah was not ready to reveal that a day before the match.
"I had a look at the wicket and had discussions with our coach (Rahul Dravid) and have a fair idea on how this wicket might behave. We have decided on the openers against England as well but won't reveal anything now.
"Rohit is a very important player and we will miss him in this game. It's unfortunate that someone like Rohit is missing out," he said.
Also Read : Unfinished Business: Bumrah's India ready to face England 2.0
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Unfinished Business: Bumrah's India ready to face England 2.0
Birmingham, Jun 30 (Cricket News) Never before has he navigated the choppy waters of leadership but Jasprit Bumrah will certainly like to showcase his captaincy acumen while leading a slightly under-prepared India against a vastly improved England in the rescheduled fifth Test, starting here on Friday.
India were leading the five-match series 2-1 when multiple COVID-19 cases in their camp led to the postponement of the final game which was a part of the World Test Championship.
Nine months have passed since and a lot of water has flown through the Thames with the then captain Virat Kohli relinquishing Test captaincy. His successor, Rohit Sharma, is missing out on this game after testing positive for COVID-19.
Worse, Rohit's designated deputy KL Rahul is also out after having undergone a surgery for sports hernia.
In this backdrop of musical chair of Indian captaincy, the gauntlet has been thrown at Bumrah, arguably one of the finest fast bowlers in the history of Indian cricket and now set to be the 36th man to lead the national Test team.
He has been acknowledged widely as the undisputed leader of the fast bowling group but come Friday, the challenge against Ben Stokes' side will be very different when he walks out for the toss at the Edgbaston.
Fast bowlers in Indian context have never been considered worthy of leadership contention and Kapil Dev, the world class all-rounder, was more of a fast medium bowler in his prime and later a medium-fast as time progressed.
Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan, two fine exponents of fast bowling, were never even considered for vice-captaincy during their heydays. And hence,it took 35 years for India to have another pacer captain.
But leadership is an instinctive thing -- some are blessed with that sixth sense and intuition, some are born gamblers and some become better as they grow on the job.
While this arrangement is a stop-gap one, Indian cricket establishment might have an idea of what can be expected of Bumrah when the time comes for the next change in baton.
New England, new template ------------------------------- The 3-0 demolition of New Zealand with three tricky chases completed in style has shown that England, under new coach Brendon McCullum, have de-constructed their style-sheet as far as Test matches are concerned.
Their batters are plundering opposition attack while there are lesser number of five-wicket hauls from the pacers if one goes by the statistics of the New Zealand series. It was Jack Leach, who had two five-wicket hauls and neither James Anderson nor Stuart Broad got their names on the various 'Honours' Board'.
The pitches have become a tad flatter, which is helping the batters and thus Bumrah, along with Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj will have an onerous task of tackling a batting line-up bubbling with confidence.
Joe Root, after relinquishing captaincy, has found the touch that had deserted him and Jonny Bairstow, with the confidence of IPL, has scored nearly 400 runs at a strike-rate of 120 plus, unheard of in Test matches.
"England have done well as they won a couple of Test matches from positions where they could have potentially lost the games," Indian coach Rahul Dravid told the mediapersons on Wednesday.
"We will like to focus on what our strengths are rather than thinking about opposition's strength," the head coach said, reminding one and all that India are still third in World Test Championship table (58.33 percentage points) behind Australia (75 percentage points) and South Africa (71.43% pts).
Team combination a worry for India --------------------------------------- India will have to bat well and in absence of regular opening pair of Rohit and Rahul, who were fantastic during the four Tests played last year.
Coach Rahul Dravid expects a match-winning performance if not a hundred from Virat Kohli, who looked good in the practice game but the Test match will be a different beast altogether.
The practice game against Leicestershire was more of an extended net session and Indian teams, since Mahendra Singh Dhoni took over as captain, has hardly played official first-class games as a pre-cursor to the Test matches.
James Anderson might be a month short of his 40th birthday but those magical wrists can still make the ball dart around and it will be a different experience for Shubman Gill or Shreyas Iyer.
Cheteshwar Pujara has scored a bagful of county runs but that psychological disadvantage of facing the very first ball of an innings, if he is asked to open, could clutter his mind.
Hanuma Vihari is a solid player but would need support from the other end, considering he has a defensive game.
It remains to be seen who will be India's bowling all-rounder. Will it be Ravichandran Ashwin, who isn't an automatic choice in overseas conditions or Shardul Thakur, who hasn't done his chances any harm with some big-hearted efforts in SENA countries.
Edgbaston hasn't exactly been a happy hunting ground for India where they have lost most of their Test matches but as it often happens with new beginnings, a new captain can always try to buck the trend.
Teams India squad: Jasprit Bumrah (captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk, vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Prasidh Krishna, Kona Srikar Bharat (wk), Mayank Agarwal, Umesh Yadav England XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (captain), Sam Billings (wicketkeeper), Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson.
Match Starts: 3 pm IST.
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Women's Hockey WC: Netherlands start as firm favourites, India aim for a first
Terrassa (Spain), Jun 30 (Hockey News) The crème de la crème of women's hockey will be in action when top 16 sides of the world will fight for the coveted FIH World Cup crown with record eight-time winners Netherlands eyeing a hat-trick of titles and India aiming for a first.
Defending champions Netherlands, who would be co-hosting the tournament along with Spain from July 1 to 17, are the most dominant outfit in women's hockey, having won the world title eight times while finishing runner-up on four occasions. The Dutch women also have four Olympic gold, two silver and three bronze in their kitty, making them favourites to defend the title.
Argentina, Australia and Germany are a distant second, having won the tournament twice each.
The tournament, however, will kick start with a Pool C game between hosts Spain and Canada in Pool C, whose best finish was a second spot in the 1983 edition in Kuala Lumpur.
The 16 teams in the tournament are divided in four pools of four teams each.The top four sides from each pool will directly qualify for the quarterfinals, while the second and third placed teams will feature in the crossovers.
In the crossovers, the second placed team of Pool A will play against third of Pool D and vice versa, while second of Pool B will face third of Pool C and vice versa for the remaining four quarterfinal spots.
Pool A consists of Germany, Chile, last edition's runners-up Ireland and Netherlands, Pool B has India, China, England and New Zealand. Pool C comprises Argentina, Canada, Korea and Spain and Pool D is made up of Australia, Belgium, Japan and South Africa.
Going into the tournament, Netherlands would be brimming with confidence after winning the FIH Pro League, where Belgium finished second and India ended a creditable third in their debut season.
Even though India's best performance in the tournament was a fourth place finish at the inaugural edition in 1974, they will be no pushovers in this edition of the event as they have been on a rise after achieving a historic fourth in last year's Tokyo Olympics.
Indian women's team achieved its best-ever sixth position in the world rankings in May this year and gave some top teams of the world a run for their money in the FIH Pro League to finish on the podium ahead of sides like Argentina, Australia and England.
And the Janneke Schopman-coached Indian side would be dreaming of registering its name in the record books by finishing on the top four in this tournament, which is definitely not impossible. India will start their campaign against England on Sunday.
While the Netherlands leg of the tournament will be hosted by Amstelveen, the semifinal and final of the tournament are scheduled to be played here.
Also Read : COVID-19 hits men's hockey team, striker Gurjant, coach Graham Reid test positive
News Source : PTI
COVID-19 hits men's hockey team, striker Gurjant, coach Graham Reid test positive
Bengaluru, Jun 30 (Hockey News) The Indian men's hockey team's preparation camp for the Commonwealth Games was on Thursday been hit by a COVID-19 outbreak as five people, including striker Gurjant Singh and head coach Graham Reid, have tested positive for the virus and placed under isolation, here.
The RT-PCR tests were conducted on Wednesday morning. The infected are suffering from mild symptoms.
"Two players and three members of the Support Staff of the Indian Men's Hockey team, currently preparing for the Commonwealth Games 2022 have tested positive for Covid-19," Hockey India said in the media release without naming anyone.
However, a team source told PTI," Gurjant and Graham Reid have contracted the infection. The video analyst of side has also tested positive." The RT-PCR tests were conducted on Wednesday morning.
PR Sreejesh, Manpreet Singh, Pawan, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumara and Amit Rohidas are among the 31 players training in the camp being held at the SAI campus here.
The players had assembled for the camp after competing at the FIH Hockey Pro League double-headers against Belgium and the Netherlands.
The camp is set to conclude on July 23 ahead of the team's departure for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Also Read : Options in drag-flick hands India advantage over others in world hockey: Sandeep
News Source : PTI
National Games will be held in Gujarat in Sept-Oct this year: IOA
New Delhi, Jun 29 (Sports News) Postponed several times due to different reasons, the National Games will be held in multiple cities in Gujarat in September-October this year, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Secretary General Rajiv Mehta told PTI on Wednesday.
The IOA took the decision after Gujarat Olympic Association and the state government jointly expressed their interest to host the Games.
"The Gujarat government wrote to us that it backs the expression of interest of the state Olympic Association to host the Games and we are happy to accept their proposal," Mehta told PTI.
"The Games will be held in five or six cities in Gujarat, including Ahmedabad in September-October. The exact dates will be announced after a few days. We are happy that the Games will be held after a lot of delay," he added.
Mehta said the IOA top brass took the decision in "quick time" because it wanted to stage the Games this year after multiple delays.
"The top brass has the power to take the decision and take approval of general house of the IOA later. In any case, we have taken approval of many NSFs and state bodies via email.
"We are also going to call a General Body Meeting to ratify some important decisions as well as the hosting of National Games. We are going to approach Delhi High Court and Supreme Court (where cases involving IOA are pending) to allow us to call a GBM," Mehta said. The last National Games were held in Kerala in 2015 and Goa was to host the 36th edition in November 2016. After two delays in 2018 and 2019 due to the state’s inability to create adequate infrastructure, the Games were further postponed to 2020.
COVID-19 then forced the postponement of the National Games and the Goa government was still not certain whether it will be able to host them this year.
"Goa has told IOA that they are not going to be able to host the National Games this year. So, let Gujarat hosts the Games, that is good for everybody. We feel Gujarat has the capability as the state government has backed the proposal.
"We can then host the National Games one after the other, like in Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya." He said Gujarat can provide the required infrastructure to host the National Games in such a short time as the state already has top facilities in various sports.
"Gujarat already has top facilities and we are certain that the state can host the Games. The strong backing by the state government clinched the issue. Of course, teams from IOA will inspect the facilities."
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News Source : PTI
I want match-winning contributions from Virat even if it's not three figure mark: Dravid
Birmingham, Jun 29 (Cricket News) Virat Kohli has set an altogether different bench-mark with his 70 international hundreds but Rahul Dravid, from a coach's perspective, wants his best batter to make "match-winning contributions" even if it is not a three-figure one like it has happened over the years.
Kohli has not scored an international hundred since November 2019 but Dravid dismissed notions that the owner of 27 Test hundreds is "lacking in motivation".
"As players, you go through these phases and I don't think you need motivation to be very honest with you and I think in Virat's case it is nothing to do with lack of motivation or desire," Dravid said ahead of India's rescheduled fifth Test against England starting here on Friday.
"It's not always focussing on those three figures like even a 70-odd (79) in a difficult situation in Cape Town (vs SA) was a good innings. Didn't convert into a three-figure, but it was a good score.
"Obviously, the standards that he has set, people only see hundreds as a success but for me, from a coaches' perspective, we want contributions from him -- match-winning contributions, whether it is a 50 or a 60," the coach explained.
For Dravid, Kohli, who is nearing 34, isn't on the wrong side of 30 as many would like to believe.
"In my opinion, he is on right side of 30 and he is an incredibly fit guy. He is one of the most hardworking guys that I have come across and his desire and hunger and whole attitude of looking after himself,' he said.
"And his preparation, even the way he batted at Leicester, batting in those conditions and scoring the 50s and 60s, keen on playing against our bowlers, batting against Bumrah and all these guys. He is ticking all right boxes and doing everything he needs to do to come out of it," Dravid said in a reassuring tone.
Six captains in 7 months not something I envisaged -------------------------------------------------------- Since Dravid first took the team to Sri Lanka, he had Shikhar Dhawan as captain and then also had Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and now in all likelihood Jasprit Bumrah as a captain.
So six captains across three formats in a space of seven months since he took over isn't an ideal situation.
"It is what it is. When I took this job, even I couldn't have predicted that we will have so many captains in six or seven months but that can happen in times we are living in, COVID-19, unfortunate injuries to people, what happened to Rahul (groin injury) and now to Rohit in last 3 weeks," Dravid said emphatically.
"Sometimes, we have had to balance out the workload and just have to react to that, its not something I wanted when I started off, not something you envisage when you start off but when they arise, you react and deal with them.
"...in spite of number of captains we have had, we have played pretty good cricket, over last six to eight months. We have got our contingency plans in place and communications are clear and within the group everyone knows what we are going to do if some situation arises,' he said.
Hints that Pujara could open ------------------------------ Dravid didn't want to give it away but said that if situation arises, number three can be asked to open which means that Cheteshwar Pujara might be seen opening the batting with Shubman Gill.
"Any such decision is taken in consultation with the player. As a player not every situation is as expected and it can happen at times that number three will have to open," he said.
Also Read : Rohit ruled out of fifth Test after testing Covid positive again, Bumrah to lead India
News Source : PTI
Rohit ruled out of fifth Test after testing Covid positive again, Bumrah to lead India
New Delhi, Jun 29 (Cricket News) Jasprit Bumrah is set to become first fast bowler in 35 years to lead Indian Test team in the rescheduled 'fifth Test' against England as regular captain Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the game after testing positive for COVID-19 for the second time on Wednesday.
The last pacer-captain that India had was the great Kapil Dev, who was removed from captaincy in 1987. Since then India has never had a speed merchant leading the team in traditional cricket.
"Rohit is out of this Test match, starting July 1, as his RT-PCR test has come positive again. He is still in isolation. Jasprit Bumrah, who is one of the vice-captains in absence of KL Rahul, will lead the team," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Bumrah will be the 36th cricketer to lead India in the longest-format since the country first played in 1932. The Gujarat pacer, who has 123 wickets in 29 Tests, has grown into world's best fast bowlers.
The Chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma had already said that he is being groomed as a future leader.
Fast bowlers have not been traditionally given the job in India unlike in Pakistan where their greatest skipper was Imran Khan. Legends like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis also led national side.
In West Indies, Courtney Walsh led the side for a considerable amount of time and world number one Pat Cummins now leading Australia in longest format.
Cheteshwar Pujara or Hanuma Vihari to open with Shubman Gill --------------------------------------------------------------------- With the experienced Rohit out of the playing eleven, seasoned Cheteshwar Pujara has a good chance of opening the batting with young Shubman Gill.
The soure said that Mayank Agarwal has just been brought as "cover" and is not in the scheme of things as far featuring in the playing eleven is concerned.
"Mayank is here just as cover. It is likely to be Pujara-Gill combination that is going to open the batting. There is an outside chance for Hanuma Vihari to open as he has done the job in a stop-gap arrangement in Australia during the 2018 series. But chances of Pujara opening are way more," he said.
It is understood that the specialist batters in the set-up will be Pujara, Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Vihari and Rishabh Pant.
The only other debatable matter is whether to play a fourth fast bowling all-rounder in Shardul Thakur or a second spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin alongside Ravindra Jadeja.
Along with Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami select themselves automatically.
Squad for Ireland series will play first T20I vs England ------------------------------------------------------------- With the first Test scheduled to finish on July 5 and the first T20I scheduled for July 7 in Southampton, the selection committee has decided that the star players will be given a three-day recovery period before they are picked from the second game.
India are scheduled to clash with England three T20Is and as many ODIs.
"The squad that played T20I series in Ireland will remain in the first T20I and then from second T20I, all the stars (Rohit, if fit, Kohli, Bumrah, Pant, Jadeja) will make a comeback," the source added.
"Once, they are well rested, all of them will be a part of the regular white ball side but most of the players in Ireland will remain till the end of T20I series."
Also Read : Babar Azam surpasses Kohli as world no 1 T20 batter for longest period
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Rafael Nadal defeats Francisco Cerundolo to reach Wimbledon second round
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal continued his quest for a calendar Grand Slam after progressing into the second round of Wimbledon with a 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4 win over Francisco Cerundolo. The Spaniard won the first two sets but his Argentinian opponent took the third. With momentum on his side, Cerundolo broke early in the fourth set but Nadal fought back to secure the victory on Centre Court.
Speaking after the match, Nadal said “All the credit to Fran, he started to play great, he was a very tough opponent. For me it was obvious I hadn't been here for three years on this amazing surface and it is amazing to be back. It is not a surface we play very often and I had not put a foot on a grass court in the past three years." The Spaniard’s involvement at Wimbledon was doubtful after being forced to use anaesthetic injections at Roland Garros. The 36 year old has since undergone radiofrequency ablation treatment in order to be match ready for Wimbledon.
In other news, Italy's Matteo Berrettini was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after contracting COVID-19 while Canadian sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was defeated 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (11-9) 7-6 (7-5) to American world number 45 Maxime Cressy. Stefanos Tsitsipas secured a -6 (7-1) 6-3 5-7 6-4 over Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard while Denis Shapovalov fought back to defeat Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-1.
Would like to see Siraj, Thakur as third and fourth pacers for England Test: Agarkar
Mumbai, Jun 28 (Cricket News) Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar said he would prefer Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur as the team’s third and the fourth pacers respectively when India take on England in the rescheduled fifth and final Test beginning in Edgbaston on Friday.
With Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami a certainty in the playing XI, India has other pace options in Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav to choose form.
“Siraj had a really good series last year when India played those four Tests (against England) and he is one of most improved bowlers around at the moment. So I don’t see any reason why Siraj would miss out,” Agarkar said during an interaction, organised by Sony Sports, the official broadcaster of the rescheduled test match.
Agarkar felt that Shardul’s ability with the bat could give him an edge in earning a place in the final eleven.
“Shardul offers a bit more with the bat at number eight and if there is likely help for the seamers, then he becomes even more effective. There is some swing and seam on offer," Agarkar said.
“So, I would think that's the way they go. Otherwise, the tail becomes too long, if at eight, you look at someone like Umesh (Yadav) or even Prasidh Krisna is part of the squad. But I think, Shardul will probably make (the cut) if they go with four seamers,” added the 44-year-old, who represented India in 26 Tests.
Agarkar also backed Siraj in saying that while the latter did have a forgettable performance in the IPL, that, however, would not affect his chances of being a part of the Indian side.
“I don't think Siraj necessarily bowled badly and I don't think you need to equate IPL to test cricket in England. So, you just see his form in test cricket in the last 12 months. Even when India played New Zealand at home, he (Siraj) was really good.
“And he can do the tough work for you. When the ball is little bit older can bowl long spells and bowl quick. I would be very surprised if he (Siraj) is not the third seamer,” reasoned Agarkar. The fifth and final Test is from last year's incomplete series against England which got rescheduled due to outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian camp.
Agarkar also praised the veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara hit four centuries, including two double centuries for Sussex in Division Two County Championships to make a comeback in the Indian team. He reckoned that Pujara's current form would be an advantage for India in the final test.
Pujara, who was left out of India's home Test series against Sri Lanka earlier this year, amassed 720 runs in just 5 matches with an outstanding average of 120 for Sussex.
“It is a good thing for the Indian team that he (Pujara) was there and playing in those conditions. Also, he has the experience, 90-odd tests. No doubt it has come at the right time, also because it is one-off test and not many other Indian batters are playing in these conditions, so certainly it (Pujara played county) will be an advantage,” said Agarkar.
Also Read : Kapp and Cross star to keep game in balance on day one at Taunton
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England start Stokes-McCullum era with a whitewash over New Zealand
(Cricket news) New look England have started the Stokes-McCullum era with a 3-0 whitewash against World Test Champions New Zealand. It was almost a perfect series for England as they completely outplayed the visitors. Joe Root and Daryl Mitchell were named players of the series. Root scored 396 runs in what was his first series since stepping down as captain. Daryl Mitchell had an incredible tour as he scored 538 runs but unfortunately for him all for losing cause. Trent Boult picked up 16 wickets while Matty Potts in his first international series got 14 scalps.
England's batting line-up is looking so much more settled now. There were some doubts of Ollie Pope's promotion to number 3 but the batter played really well. Johnny Bairstow had a brilliant tournament as he scored 394 runs with an unbelievable strike rate of 120.12. He scored 2 hundreds and a fifty in 6 innings. James Anderson and Stuart Broad returned to the side and picked up right where they left off with solid performances. Jack Leech after a few tours of underwhelming performances did a decent job as the sole spinner in the side.
The main takeaway from the series was England's approach which was aggressive and always with a win in mind. England's next red ball game will be the postponed last Test against India. The home side are trailing 2-1 and could tie it 2-2 with a win. Both sides will have a different side and a different captain then the last time. It will be a very interesting encounter between two ruthless and aggressive Test teams. India do have a few injury and COVID-19 issues which could give England a slight advantage but India will definitely come all guns blazing.
England will come out with same mindset against India: Ben Stokes
Leeds, Jun 28 (Cricket News) Relentless in their 3-0 sweep of New Zealand, England captain Ben Stokes said there will be no let-up in intensity against India in the upcoming rescheduled fifth Test.
Under the leadership of Stokes and new coach Brendon McCullum, England recorded a phenomenal 3-0 win in the Test series against reigning WTC champions New Zealand, capping it off with a seven-wicket victory in the third and final match at Headingley.
The one-off Test against India, a part of last year's five-match series, which was abandoned due to a COVID-19 outbreak, will begin at Edgbaston on Friday.
"Trust me when I say this. We'll be coming out with exactly the same (aggressive) mindset, even though it's a different opposition," Stokes said on Monday.
"Obviously, it's going to be a completely different... different opposition, with their attack and players as well.
"We'll be concentrating on what we've done well over these last three games and look to continue that against India on Friday." The visitors are leading the five-match series 2-1 but will face a revitalised England, which comprise only four members -- Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Bairstow and James Anderson -- from last year's fourth Test against the Indians.
Stokes himself was not available for the series last year as he had taken a break to focus on his mental health.
England endured a tough time in the last few months, winning just once in 17 Tests before the New Zealand series.
Praising his teammates for turning things around, Stokes said: "To walk away with a 3-0 series win over the best team in the world is a pretty special start." "I've got to show a huge amount of testament to the team over these three games. They've been absolutely phenomenal." Stokes took over the captaincy after Root relinquished the position following England's 0-1 series defeat to the West Indies in April.
"When I took over this job, it was more than results for me. It was about changing the mindset of the lads towards Test cricket, about having fun, and enjoying the fact that you're out there representing your country, and the results look after itself.
"But to say that we've done it so quickly is just unbelievable. I can only do so much, so I've got to show a huge amount of credit to Brendon, in the way that he's come in and influenced this group."
Also Read : India aim series sweep against Ireland amidst doubts over rain
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England slight favourites against India, feels Graeme Swann
Mumbai, Jun 27 (Cricket News) England will be playing India on the back of the three-Test series against New Zealand and former off-spinner Graeme Swann believes it would make the hosts slight favourites going into the rescheduled fifth Test starting in Birmingham on Friday.
England on Monday completed a 3-0 series whitewash against New Zealand after wining the third and final Test by seven wickets.
"England are in a very good position and I would say they are slight favourites because of that series (against New Zealand)," Swann said in a virtual interaction, facilitated by Sony Sports, official broadcasters of India-England series.
"And the fact that India just had one (warm-up) game in England, so they are coming in cold (for) the Test match, which is a bit of disadvantage. They (England) have got the three Test matches under their belt, so that makes them pre-game favourites." Swann hailed the aggressive brand of cricket played by England under new captain Ben Stokes and new head coach Brandon McCullum and said this was a "bad time" to face England.
"It is a real bad time to play England because they just played these three games against New Zealand.
"You are going to face an England team where Joe Root is back to his absolute best, where Olive Pope is playing his best-ever for England. Ben Stokes has amalgamated the team and got playing in an ultra-positive and rock and roll fashion.
"There are chinks in the armour - the opening batting slot is still very weak. But nearly all the other spots had excellent (returns). Even the spinner Jack Leach, who is under a lot of pressure, has got 10 wickets in a match," explained Swann.
The fifth Test is from last year's incomplete series against England which got rescheduled due to outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian camp.
Swann picks Root, Stokes as key players for England -------------------------------------------------------- The 43-year-old, who has taken 255 wickets in 60 Tests, picked Root and Stokes as key players for England.
"It is quite simple for England, it will be Joe Root and Ben Stokes, if they continue their form, their sort of ethos, England will do well. Stokes is leading from the front and he is a natural leader. Joe Root is thriving and batting at his absolute best," he said.
Talking about India, he said: "I think Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli (key players). If Kohli plays with the same freedom that Joe Root is playing now, we are all in for a treat.
"Virat is a wonderful player and if Jasprit get his line and length with that Dukes ball, he is unplayable," he added.
Pujara's county experience will benefit him: Swann ------------------------------------------------------ Cheteshwar Pujara hit four centuries, including two double centuries for Sussex in Division Two County Championships to force his way back in the Indian team and Swann felt that it would hold him in good stead in the one-off Test.
"He (Pujara) was phenomenal for Sussex, so that is massive bonus for India. Having a player who is in England at the start of the season, when the ball swings around, scoring so heavily, that gives him leg up the ladder, when he goes into the Test match," he said.
Pujara, who was left out of India's home Test series against Sri Lanka earlier this year, amassed 720 runs in just 5 matches with an outstanding average of 120 for Sussex.
Also Read : Didn't want to risk playing Gaikwad as he had a calf niggle: Pandya
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Mayank Agarwal to join Indian Test squad in England as cover for Rohit Sharma
New Delhi, Jun 27 (Cricket News) Opener Mayank Agarwal has been called up to join the Indian squad in the UK as cover for skipper Rohit Sharma, who has been rendered doubtful for the Edgbaston Test against England after testing positive for COVID-19.
Rohit competed on the first day of the drawn warm-up game against Leicestershire before being placed under isolation. He had tested positive in a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
The 31-year-old Agarwal had missed out on making the 15-man squad for the game, starting July 1, but an opportunity has come his way as KL Rahul got injured just ahead of the South Africa series and now Rohit has contracted infection.
"Mayank is flying today as a cover for Rohit and if need be will be available for the Test match as UK Covid protocols don't require any quarantine period on landing if RT PCR test is negative," a BCCI source told PTI.
The fifth Test against England is from last year's incomplete series which got spilled to this season due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian camp.
India are leading the series 2-1.
Agarwal has featured in 21 Tests so far, scoring 1488 runs at an average of 41.33. He last played five-day format against Sri Lanka in March at home.
In the two-Test series, he managed just 59 runs (33, 4, 22) in three innings.
He also fared poorly while leading Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League, scoring 196 runs in 13 games. His team finished sixth in the 10-team League.
Also Read : India beat Ireland by seven wickets in rain-hit 1st T20I
News Source : PTI
India women eye series sweep against Sri Lanka (Final women's T20 International)
Dambulla, Jun 26, (Cricket News) The series already in their pocket, a confident India will look to complete a whitewash when they take on hosts Sri Lanka in the third and final women's T20 International here on Monday.
The Harmanpreet Kaur-led outfit had thrashed the home team by 34 runs in the opening T20 and then followed it up with a dominating five-wicket win in the second game to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
More importantly, the wins will be a morale booster for India ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham starting next month, where women's T20 cricket is set to make its debut.
India seem to have found the winning momentum, but they won't be entirely pleased with their performance in the series so far.
While the bowlers have done a stellar job in the two games, India's batting has left a lot to be desired.
Additionally, the Indians have been sloppy on the field.
The bowling unit has been on the mark for India. The spinners have been sensational, making full use of the slow nature of the pitch. They had comfortably defended 138 in the opening game.
Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu (43) and opener Vishmi Gunaratne (45) presented the Indian bowling unit with a challenge as the duo put up a 87-run stand in the second game.
But the Indian bowlers made a strong comeback as they gave just 14 runs in the last 3.1 overs while claiming six wickets to restrict Sri Lanka to a below-par 125.
But the visitors were made to work hard for what should have been a comfortable chase.
Shafali Verma (17), Sabbhineni Meghana (17) and Yastika Bhatia (13) were unable to convert their starts.
The team's top scorer in the previous game Jemimah Rodrigues (3) also perished cheaply and will aim for consistency.
After stuttering in the first game, prolific opener Smriti Mandhana roared back to form, her 39 off 34 balls helped the tourists win the match and the series.
Mandhana was complemented by Harmanpreet (31 not out), who is now India's leading T20I run scorer. The all-rounder played a captain's knock guiding her side over the line while also pitching in with the ball.
Sri Lanka will be desperately hoping to avoid a second consecutive whitewash, having gone down to Pakistan 0-3 in a T20 series recently.
The hosts will seek to perform as a cohesive unit and grab a consolation win, which will lift their spirits heading into the three-match ODI series, starting Friday.
For that they need more contributions with the bat while their bowlers will also need to support the spin duo of Inoka Ranaweera and Oshadi Ranasinghe, who have done most of the the task with the ball for the side till now.
Teams (from): India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana, Simran Bahadur, Yastika Bhatia, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Richa Ghosh (WK), Sabbhineni Meghana, Meghna Singh, Poonam Yadav, Renuka Singh, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav.
Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu (C), Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Hansima Karunaratne, Achini Kulasuriya, Sugandika Kumari, Harshitha Madavi, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Inoka Ranaweera, Sathya Sandeepani, Anushka Sanjeewani, Malsha Shehani, Tharika Sewwandi.
Match starts at 2:00PM.
Also Read : Rohit Sharma tests positive for COVID-19: Board of Control for Cricket in India
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Rohit Sharma tests positive for COVID-19: Board of Control for Cricket in India
Birmingham, Jun 26 (Cricket News) India skipper Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19 in a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and placed in isolation ahead of 'fifth' Test against England, the BCCI said on Sunday. The Test match is scheduled to begin from July 1 in Birmingham and if Rohit remains in six-day isolation, either pacer Jasprit Bumrah or wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant could be asked to lead the team.
"Team India captain Mr Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19 following a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) conducted on Saturday," BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said in a media release.
"He is currently in isolation at the team hotel and is under the care of the BCCI Medical Team. An RT-PCR test will be conducted on Sunday to ascertain his CT value," the release added.
Rohit had batted on first day of the ongoing warm-up game against Leicestershire but didn't take field on the second day. He did not bat in the second Indian innings.
The 35-year-old Indian skipper is expected to open the innings alongside Shubman Gill in the Test match and his participation would now depend on result of his RT-PCR test and recovery.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had also joined the squad in England late since he had also tested positive for COVID-19 before the team left for the UK tour.
The matches are not played under a bio-bubble in the UK now. India too hosted South Africa recently without a bio-bubble.
Also Read : Umran Malik should be in T20 World Cup team, feels Vengsarkar
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Will compete in both Asian Games and World Championships if enough gap between two: Bajrang
New Delhi, Jun 25 (Wrestling News) Elite Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia on Saturday said he would compete in both, the postponed Asian Games and the World Championships next year, if there is a gap of at least one month between the two competitions.
The 2022 Asian Games were postponed due to rising COVID-19 cases in China and the organisers are yet to announce new dates for the prestigious Continental event.
The World Championship, set to be held in Russia in September 2023, will be an Olympic qualifying event.
"The 2023 is an important year. The focus is on qualifying for the Paris Games through the World Championships. We don't know as yet what is going to be the gap between Asian Games and the Worlds.
"But if we have one or one-and-a-half-month cushion between the two, I would compete in both," Bajrang said during a virtual interaction, facilitated by SAI.
The 28-year-old Bajrang, who won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics Games, finds no merit in harping and fretting over past mistakes. Instead he would learn from them and move forward with better goals -- an Olympic gold at the 2024 Paris Games.
"I was injured and was in rehab for about 8 months after Olympics. Olympics is the most important event for any athlete. That was a setback but still I won a bronze. 65 is toughest category in world.
"I have not changed a bit after winning an Olympic medal. The endeavour would be to do better in 2024. I have been training again. In the last four Olympics, India have got medals through wrestling. Bronze and silver are there but not gold. That's the target for Paris Games.
"We have to forget mistakes, learn from them and move forward. Victory and defeats are part of an athlete's life, we have to accept both," he said.
Bajrang is set to leave for USA on Sunday for a training-stint ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
The multiple-time world medallist said he gets better sparring partner when he trains outside.
"I will be training at the Michigan University. Many top wrestlers train there. Like, I will be training with the world number one in 70kg (Ernazar Akmataliev, Kyrgyzstan). The 86kg Olympic medallist will also be there. That's why I prefer to train there." "Also, we are saved from usual distractions when we train in India. No one disturbs us abroad." He asserted that no wrestler, from any nation, tries to injure others deliberately during these training stints.
"We may be fierce competitors on the mat but off-mat we are all friends. There is no such fear in my mind that I will get injured, never thought like that. I have trained in Russia, Europe, USA and Asian nations but nothing like that has ever happened," he assured.
The Commonwealth Games, considering the low competition level, will be a test event for Bajrang, who though does not want to take things lightly.
"Remember I had finished second there in 2014," he said.
Also Read : Indian freestyle wrestlers claim Asian team title in U-17 category
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Gareth Delany excited to take on 'Best team in the world' India
(Cricket news) Ireland’s Men are set to take on India in the two-match LevelUp11 India Tour of Ireland T20 Series 2022 at Malahide, starting on Sunday afternoon. With crowds in Ireland starved of attending top-class cricket due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fans have snapped up the tickets well in advance as the games have sold-out.
Facing India at home is quite a daunting prospect at the best of times. For many of the Irish players involved it will be a career highlight, none more so than for Gareth Delany. The 25 year-old is looking forward to the games but knows how difficult the task will be against the world’s best T20I side:
“It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity to go against the world’s best as we start off our international summer of fixtures. It’ll be a very stiff challenge against some of the best players in this format but it’s very exciting all the same. Hopefully, we’ll be able to put in two strong performances.”
Given its population size, top-class cricket talent is always plentiful in India, and they arrive with a hugely talented squad, all looking to make a name for themselves during these two matches. Delany picks out a few who he’s especially hoping to face over the next few days:
“It’d be really cool to bowl to Suryakumar Yadav. He’s an incredibly talented batter who can play 360 degrees and mix it up between power and finesse. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also one of the world’s best new ball bowlers in T20 and has a very low economy rate for T20 cricket, so it would be a good challenge to go against someone of his calibre.”
Ireland has looked to reset its T20 game after the departure from the 2021 T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, something Delany says was difficult to take at the time:
“Not qualifying for the Super 12 stage was an incredibly disappointing experience for us as a squad. We’ve a lot of young guys in our squad at the moment so that experience will stand to us and the fixtures that we have this summer will hopefully benefit us going forward.”
Despite that setback he’s confident that the team will bounce back with improved performances:
“If we can play to our best, then I’d be pretty confident that we’ll show progress, but it’ll be a very difficult and pressurising few games. We’ve identified areas that we can improve on from that last T20 World Cup to hopefully go one step further later this year in Australia.”
As Ireland build up to the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year, with further T20 fixtures against New Zealand, South Africa and Afghanistan to come in the next couple of months, Delany and his team-mates will be hoping to put their best feet forward and show head coach Heinrich Malan what they’re capable of:
“We’ve a packed summer schedule against some of the best T20 sides in the world so it’ll be a good chance to find out where we are as a team and identify areas we need to work on to be as best prepared for that first game in Australia as possible.”
Ireland squad: Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Conor Olphert, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
India squad: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.
The fixtures are:
Sunday 26 June: Ireland v India, 1st T20I (Malahide, start 4.30pm).
Tuesday 28 June: Ireland v India, 2nd T20I (Malahide, start 4.30pm).
Also read: Jemimah and Deepti lead India to win in 1st T20I against Sri Lanka
Srikar Bharat impresses, top-order fails in warm-up match against Leicestershire
Leicester, Jun 23 (Cricket News) Wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat impressed with an unbeaten 70, even as India's top-order failed to get batting practice on the first day of their warm-up match against Leicestershire here on Thursday.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, India's top guns failed to fire as the visitors slipped to 81 for five, before reaching 246 for eight at the close of play.
Bharat shone during his 158-minute stay in the middle before rain brought an early end to the day's proceedings at Grace Road.
In all, the 28-year-old batter from Andhra hit eight fours and a six while facing 111 balls. At stumps, Mohammed Shami was giving Bharat company on 18.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (21) got out after getting starts. The opening duo, which is set to begin India's innings in the one-off 'fifth Test', added 35 runs for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed by fast-medium bowler Will Davis.
India's first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who was representing the English county side alongside Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna, held on to the catch of Gill, who found the fence four times while lasting 38 minutes.
For the addition of another 15 runs, India lost the wicket of Rohit, who hit three fours during his 64-minute stay in the middle. Rohit's departure paved the way for Virat Kohli's arrival, and the former India captain looked to take the onus upon himself to prop up India.
In between, Hanuma Vihari (3) came on to bat at number three but departed cheaply off the bowling of Roman Walker.
Shreyas Iyer failed to open his account and walked back to the dressing room after facing 11 balls, having nicked Prasidh to the waiting hands of Pant.
Interestingly Prasidh, who got the ball to swing prodigiously, got some tips from Kohli right before Iyer's dismissal.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja too failed to make an impact as he was adjudged lbw off the bowling of Roman Walker, who finished the day with impressive figures of 5/24.
With five of their batters back in the hut, Kohli and wicketkeeper Bharat got together and added 57 runs to steady the ship.
However, Kohli, having struck four boundaries and a six, fell to Walker. The 21-year-old seamer then dismissed Shardul Thakur (6) to complete his five-wicket-haul and reduce India to 148 for seven.
Fast bolwer Umesh Yadav chipped in with 23 off 32 balls, hitting four boundaries in the process.
The Test match, rescheduled after it was abandoned owing to a COVID-19 outbreak last year, starts on July 1.
Also Read : India eye improved top-order show in 2nd T20I against Sri Lanka
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Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwinjoins team in Leicester
New Delhi, Jun 23 (Cricket News) Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who did not travel to the United Kingdom along with his India team-mates for the one-off 'fifth Test' after testing positive for COVID-19, has joined the side in Leicester, according to sources.
Ashwin, who is in quarantine, joined his team-mates at Leicester where India is playing a warm-up match.
The Indian team had left for the UK on June 16.
"Yes, Ashwin has joined the team but he is still recovering. He is not fit to play the warm-up game," a source told PTI on condition of anonymity.
The team management is hopeful that he will recover in time for the Test against England, which starts on July 1.
After the IPL, Ashwin had played a Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) league red-ball match where he had bowled 20 overs to get some long-form game time.
Also Read : Blessed to have spoken to Rohit and Pant after being dropped: Jemimah
News Source : PTi
Karthik jumps 108 places, Ishan Kishan breaks into top 10 in ICC T20 rankings
Dubai, Jun 22 (Cricket News) On the back of his recent exploits, veteran Dinesh Karthik jumped a massive 108 spots to 87th on the latest ICC T20 rankings for batters, even as young opener Ishan Kishan broke into the top 10.
Kishan finished the series with two half centuries against South Africa and was the leading run scorer with 206 runs at an average of 41. That form catapulted the left-hander up one spot to sixth on the latest T20 rankings for batters.
Karthik has been in excellent form since the IPL-15 and had a few blazing knocks in the T20 series against South Africa.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam still holds the top spot on the T20 batting rankings and Kishan is the only Indian player rated inside the top 10.
Yuzvendra Chahal was the biggest mover on the T20 rankings for bowlers with the India spinner jumping three places to 23rd following his six wickets during the South Africa series.
Josh Hazlewood maintains his position as the top ranked T20 bowler, with Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan (joint third) and Sri Lanka tweaker Wanindu Hasaranga (sixth) both moving up a place inside the top 10.
Ravindra Jadeja maintains his top position in the Test all-rounders' list with 385 rating points. He is currently in the UK for India's upcoming Test against England, a spill over of last year's five-match series, which could not be completed owing to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Bangladesh captain Shakib al Hasan moved up to second position with 346 rating points, though he has a long way to go if he wants to overtake Jadeja at the top of list.
Former India captain Virat Kohli (742) maintained his 10th position in the Test batting chart, while seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (850) and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah (830) occupied the second and third positions in bowling respectively.
West Indies quick Kemar Roach also made his move on the updated list for bowlers, with the veteran right-armer jumping four spots to eighth following an impressive display against Bangladesh.
Australian quick Pat Cummins leads the Test bowlers' list with 901 rating points.
Also Read : Cricket Australia introduces draft system to pick overseas players in BBL-12
News Source : PTI
Ranji Trophy Final: Mumbai's might meets MP's desire
Bengaluru, Jun 21 (Cricket News) There's a common adage in sport. "You never win a silver. You always lose a gold." Mumbai cricket has followed this old concrete jungle saying to the 'T' as its team now chases an unprecedented 42nd Ranji Trophy title. It now finds a bunch of bravehearts from Madhya Pradesh standing in its way with tricks of trade learnt from a Mumbaikar.
MP head coach Chandrakant Pandit won't let his team settle for anything less than a championship but Amol Muzumdar's men have dominated the proceedings since the start of the business end of the season.
On paper, the Mumbai team is overwhelming favourite in the final match starting on Wednesday with the best Gen-Next talent in its repertoire.
Sarfaraz Khan, after a few indifferent seasons, has raised his game to an altogether different level with 800-plus runs in just five games.
Yashasvi Jaiswal is one youngster who is as passionate about his red ball performance as he is about donning the garish pink jersey of Rajasthan Royals. Three hundreds in four innings of quarterfinal and semi-final showed his voracious appetite for runs.
Prithvi Shaw isn't the typical Mumbai khadoos (stubborn) batter but more of Virender Sehwag mould with penchant for butchering any attack.
Arman Jaffer is a chip of old block and it will be good for him if he could achieve even 50 per cent of what his illustrious uncle Wasim did.
Add to it the likes of Suved Parkar or Hardik Tamore, who knew the opportunity of wearing the Lion's crest on the white flannels come at a premium.
Mumbai have always had formidable batting line-ups that can scare the opposition team but this time the two under-rated performers have been left-arm spinner Shams Mulani (37 wickets and 292 runs) and off-spinner Tanush Kotian (18 wickets and 236 runs).
Mulani or Kotian are by farthest stretch of imagination not India prospects or even India 'A' contenders but they are a rare breed of domestic performers who know how to win crunch games as they did against Goa in a do-or-die situation.
However, MP is one of the most improved teams in recent times and under Pandit inculcated the discipline that's needed to reach the summit clash in a tournament like Ranji Trophy.
Missing Venkatesh Iyer in batting and pace spearhead Avesh Khan in bowling didn't do them any good but unheralded Kumar Kartikeya, with his stamina to bowl for hours, has done the job for his team.
The Himanshu Mantris and Akshat Raghuvanshis have all executed their assigned roles to perfection.
In this team, there is only one player who is true blue talent and that's Rajat Patidar.
For Mumbai, it will be imperative to ensure that Patidar doesn't walk away with the game in one session with his wide array of strokes.
MP, with its two spinners in Kartikeya and Saransh Jain, will like to play the waiting game, something that Pandit as a coach has injected in his wards across the states.
It would be a game of chess played on 22 yards but enticing enough for all those who get to watch it.
Also Read : Ashwin has not travelled to England after testing positive for COVID-19: BCCI source
News Source : PTI
Ashwin has not travelled to England after testing positive for COVID-19: BCCI source
Bengaluru, Jun 20 (Cricket News) Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has not travelled to the United Kingdom along with his India team-mates for the one-off 'fifth Test' after testing positive for COVID-19, a BCCI source told PTI.
Ashwin is currently in quarantine and will only join the squad after meeting all protocols requirements.
The Indian team had left for UK on June 16.
"Ashwin hasn't travelled with the squad to UK as he has tested positive for COVID-19 before departure. But we are hopeful that he will recover well in time before the Test match starts on July 1," the BCCI source said on conditions of anonymity.
"However, he might miss the practice game against Leicestershire," the source added.
After the IPL, Ashwin had played a Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) League red-ball match where he had bowled 20 overs to get some long form game time.
The rest of the Indian squad is already in Leicester and started training under the supervision of bowling coach Paras Mhambrey and batting coach Vikram Rathour.
Rahul Dravid, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer have reached London after finishing the T20I assignment against South Africa and will travel to Leicester on Tuesday.
The Ireland-bound squad under VVS Laxman will leave for Dublin on either June 23 or 24 as the team members have been given a three-day rest.
Also Read : India women's ideal playing XI for the T20Is against Sri Lanka
News Source : PTI
Rohit Sharma, Gill have nets at Leicestershire County Ground
Leicester, Jun 20 (Cricket News) Indian cricketers, including skipper Rohit Sharma and opener Shubman Gill, on Monday hit the nets here ahead of the rescheduled fifth and final Test against England, starting in Birmingham on July 1.
Rohit and Gill are likely to open the innings for India in the Test and the duo got into the groove as they looked to sharpen their skills during the practice session at the Leicestershire County Ground.
Rohit, who was rested for the T20I series against South Africa at home, defended few deliveries on the front foot, while also playing the pull shots against the short balls. Gill, too, looked to work on his game during the batting session.
India will be based here for a week and play Leicestershire in a four-day warm-up match from June 24.
The duo of Rohit and KL Rahul had played a pivotal role in India securing a 2-1 lead in the Test series in Engand last year before the final match was abandoned owing to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Rahul, however, will miss the tour this time because of a groin injury, which had also ruled him out of the series against South Africa. His absence opened the door for Gill to open for India.
Rohit had amassed 368 runs in 4 Tests, including a hundred and two fifties, while Rahul racked up 315 runs, comprising a hundred and a half-century.
Gill had played a crucial role in India's historic Test series win on Australian soil in 2020-21 and will be keen to make a mark in the UK after returning to the squad following last year's series against New Zealand.
It will also be the first time that Rohit will be leading the team in Test cricket overseas.
England, led by Ben Stokes, have been in sensational form, having recently won 2-0 against reigning World Test Championship winners New Zealand.
India's tour of England also comprises three T20Is and as many ODIs, and the visitors will play two warm-up matches against Derbyshire and Northamptonshire before the white-ball series.
Indian players such as Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jedaja, who were not part of the South Africa series, had their first training session in England last week.
Also Read : Karthik opens up lot of options going into World T20: Dravid
News Source : PTI
India name full-strength men's squad for CWG, Manpreet returns as captain
New Delhi, Jun 20 (Hockey News) India on Monday named a full-strength 18-member senior men's hockey squad for the Commonwealth Games with Manpreet Singh returning as captain and dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh as his deputy.
Hockey India (HI) had initially decided to send a second-string team to the CWG due to the short turnaround time between the Birmingham event and the Hangzhou Asian Games, which is a qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
However, with the Asian Games now postponed to next year owing to the COVID-19 situation in China, HI decided to pick a strong team for the prestigious event, scheduled to begin from July 28.
The Indian team has been grouped in pool B along with England, Canada, Wales and Ghana.
The two-time former silver medallists will begin their campaign on July 31 against Ghana.
Manpreet had led the Indian team to a historic bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year and he will take over the reins from Amit Rohidas, who was the captain for the FIH Pro League tour of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Harmanpreet, who has been named the deputy, emerged as the highest goal scorer of the FIH Hockey Pro League.
"We have gone with a tried-and-tested team for the Commonwealth Games. These players have the experience of playing top teams in high pressure games in the FIH Pro League which was a good exposure for us ahead of the prestigious quadrennial event," chief coach Graham Reid said in a release.
"After a brief break when we return home from Netherlands, we will resume camp in SAI, Bengaluru where we will analyze our performance against Belgium and Netherlands.
"While there are many takeaways from this outing in FIH Pro League, there surely are a few areas that we can improve upon ahead of the Commonwealth Games." The squad includes experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and Krishan B Pathak, who returns to the team after a brief injury break. Defenders Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh have been named in the team.
The midfield comprises Manpreet, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Nilakanta Sharma.
Seasoned strikers Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh and Abhishek will lead the charge in attack.
Goalkeeper Suraj Karkera and forwards Shilanand Lakra and Sukhjeet Singh, who were part of the FIH Pro League, are missing from the squad.
India had finished fourth at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
Team: GOALKEPERS: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak DEFENDERS: Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh (VC), Amit Rohidas, Jugraj Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh.
MIDFIELDERS: Manpreet Singh (C), Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Nilakanta Sharma FORWARDS: Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Abhishek.
Also Read : The Indian junior women's hockey team beat Ireland 4-1
News Source : PTI
Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon due to achilles injury
(Tennis news) Former world number 1 Naomi Osaka has announced her withdrawal from Wimbledon due to an achilles injury. The four time Grand Slam winner picked up the injury at the Madrid Open and will miss out on the prestigious grass court even for the third consecutive year, having chosen not to participate last year due to mental health reasons while the tournament was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The 24 year old last played in the first round of the French Open and had already announced that her participation at Wimbledon was doubtful since the tournament was stripped off its ranking points in 2022. In a statement released on Twitter, Osaka said “My Achilles still isn't right so I'll see you next time. After the storm comes the calm. This is a saying that I'm actively trying to master.
"I feel like life keeps dealing cards and you're never gonna be used to them but it's how you adapt to uncomfortable situations that really says stuff about your character. I've been repeating mantras in my head a lot recently. I don't know if it's to subconsciously help myself through stressful times or to ease my mind into realising that everything will work out fine as long as I put the work in. Cause what more can you do?"
In other news, Eugenie Bouchard has also opted to not participate at Wimbledon due to the tournament having no ranking points. The 28 year old’s ranking dropped due to a shoulder injury but was still allowed to participate at the grass court event. The 2014 runner-up said in a statement: "As much as I love Wimbledon, and skipping it makes me sad, using a PR [priority ranking] entry at a tournament with no ranking points doesn't make sense. I must choose wisely and use my PR entries at tournaments that will help me get back to where I want to be. I will now use my two Grand Slam PR entries for the US Open and Australian Open."
Karthik opens up lot of options going into World T20: Dravid
Bengaluru, Jun 20 (Cricket News) Dinesh Karthik as an "enforcer" opens up a lot of options going into the T20 World Cup, says India head coach Rahul Dravid, who wants to identify a core group of 18-20 players by the end of England series.
For Dravid, to be a part of the World T20 set-up, it won't be enough to just the "knock the door". Anyone who wants to stake a claim in that squad of 15 will need to "bang it down".
"It was really nice to see Karthik come off and do what he has been picked to do. That was good and it opens up a lot more options for us, going forward," Dravid said after the five-match series against South Africa ended in a 2-2 draw.
The last game was abandoned due to rain.
"He was picked for what he has been doing exceptionally well for the last two or three years (in IPL) and kind of indicated in the sense that it almost came together in the game at Rajkot," Dravid spoke about the Tamil Nadu dasher's 27-ball-55 that was crucial in India restoring parity in the series.
For Dravid, Karthik and Hardik Pandya are the two “enforcers” in the death overs.
"We needed that big performance in last five overs to make a par score and he and Hardik batted beautifully. Both of them are enforcers for us at the end," Dravid spelt out what role the team management has in mind for Karthik.
The coach had no hesitation in admitting that Karthik has made a good case for himself going into the T20 World Cup.
"I was telling guys that you have to start banging the door down and not just knocking the door down and innings like that (Rajkot fifty) means he is knocking very hard." Want to get hang of core as quickly as possible ============================= Dravid doesn't want to put a time line but by the end of the England T20Is, he wants to have a fair idea about the 18 to 20-odd players he would be looking at ahead of World Cup in Australia.
India and England will clash in six white-ball games (July 7-17) after one-off Test.
"As you come closer and closer to the event, you want to firm up your final squad or if not, obviously you want to have some contingencies in the kind of world we live in today. Obviously you want to take only 15 to the WC but (need to identify) top 18 to 20 players," he replied to a query on where he stands on his core team.
"Obviously, there could be odd changes due to injury and things that are beyond your control but we are going to start looking to firm up that squad as quickly as possible.
"Whether that will happen in next series (Ireland) or series after that (England) is hard to tell but we are certainly looking to do that as quickly as possible," he revealed.
Coach defends under-fire Gaikwad and Iyer =========================== If there were two people who have ideally blown away their chances to be a part of World T20 core squad, they are Ruturaj Gaikwad (96 runs in 5 games) and Shreyas Iyer (94 runs in 5 games). Gaikwad is looking completely out of place in international cricket and Iyer's struggle against quality pace bowling is now well-documented.
The head coach however chose to be a bit more empathetic towards the duo even though one will not play against Ireland (Iyer is in Test team) and other unlikely to get any more starts.
"We are not going to make knee-jerk reactions on people just like that. I don’t like judging people after one series or one game," Dravid said.
"Shreyas on a couple of tricky wickets showed a lot of intent, played really positively for us. Ruturaj in one innings showed what he has got. We are not disappointed with anyone," Dravid once again showed the dogged defence of his playing days.
Attacking brand of cricket. ================= "As a group, we wanted to play a certain brand of cricket and we were trying to play a slightly more positive and attacking brand of cricket right from beginning and we knew when you try and do that, it is not always going to come off. But we are certainly clear about the kind of cricket we want to play," he said.
Even Big Bash stats needs to be looked at before World T20 ===================================== Dravid is known to rely a lot on data analysis and he would love to gather information on playing conditions and oppositions before the tournament-proper.
"Lot of our boys have played in Australia and we certainly will be having conversations with them on what kind of tactics and strategies work," he said.
"In terms of data and analysis, we will look at all games being played in Australia and obviously they are international games, there is Big Bash and I mean we will do all our research and background things that happens in terms of analysis.
"And of course, we don't have a series against them (Australia in Australia), so we can't change that. I guess we have to make do with two weeks we have in the lead up to the World Cup and make best use of it." This will be a different England Test side ========================= Rahul Dravid loved playing Test cricket in England and loves coaching a Test team. He reckons that the one-off 'fifth Test' against the hosts will be a different proposition from last year when the team under Virat Kohli led 2-1 before Covid-19 cases in India camp forced the cancellation of the final game.
"England are playing well at the moment and it is going to be a bit different from last year when England were probably a little bit on backfoot. They have played some good games and we have a pretty good side as well," Dravid said, referring to Ben Stokes' side's series win against New Zealand.
"Loved playing Test cricket, love watching it and love coaching in Test cricket and so you know, looking forward to it," he concluded.
Also Read : Bhuvneshwar was special through the series: Mark Boucher
News Source : PTI
Bhuvneshwar was special through the series: Mark Boucher
Bengaluru, Jun 20 (Cricket News) South Africa head coach Mark Boucher termed India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s performance in the series as “special” while ruing the absence of Aiden Markram, who he feels could have made a lot of difference for the Proteas over the course of the five T20Is.
Bhuvneshwar, who now only plays white-ball cricket, got six wickets in four completed games and gave away only 85 runs in 14 overs at an economy rate which was just a shade above six runs per over.
"Bhuvi was special in this whole series as we came up against some quality bowling. He put us under pressure in Powerplays and barring one game (Delhi), where we got off to a good start, they have dominated us with both ball and bat in Powerplays," Boucher said after the series ended in 2-2 despite Proteas going 2-0 up at the onset.
However, losing Markram due to COVID-19 at the start of the series had a huge impact, felt the former glovesman.
"It was tough losing Aiden Markram even before we started the first game. We wanted to play six batters with Aiden being our sixth option and we couldn’t do that,” Boucher added.
The long IPL did make the players tired and that also had an effect on the final outcome, he said.
"We didn’t play our best cricket and it was quite tough on our IPL players to stay throughout the whole IPL and then come to India back-to-back as well," he explained.
"Guys are little bit tired as well. So they will all enjoy the break and (having learnt a) lot of lessons in World Cup year. And see, if we can plug a few gaps going into Australia albeit in different conditions." While stars like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah were rested for the series, Boucher lauded the depth of the Indian cricket system created by the IPL.
“I know there weren’t a lot of top (India) players over here but the depth that Indian cricket has at the moment largely due to the IPL, they can take lot of confidence as well." "You just cant walk up in India and expect to win a series as well. So, we played a couple of good games and two bad games and there are a couple of reasons for that, but you can’t get too much into it," he added.
However in Australian conditions, South Africa will have a different gameplan.
"Plans will change in Australia and we are aware of that. We tried a few options in these conditions and saw if they worked or not.
"And I think, we asked a few questions and we got some good answers." Boucher made no bones about the fact that South Africa need to improve upon their Powerplay batting.
"We struggled to get going in few of the games and we speak about it after every game and may be see how we can change our mindset and intent, specially after third game, when we went after with the intent we needed," he said.
"And our bowling at certain stages was very good and at certain stages, we looked rusty and sort of understand that couple of guys coming into the series after IPL and may be a bit tired," he signed off.
Also Read : Takeaways from the epic tied between India and South Africa
News Source : PTI
Six captains in eight months wasn't planned but we have created more leaders: Dravid
Bengaluru, Jun 19 (Cricket News) Six captains leading Indian teams across formats in a span of eight months isn't something that head coach Rahul Dravid had planned but he isn't complaining as it provides an opportunity to create more leaders within the group.
Since Dravid took over in November after the T20 World Cup, India have had Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya (set to lead in Ireland) as national captains due to the COVID-19 related bubble breaks, simultaneous series held in countries, and injury-induced breaks.
"It's been challenging as well, we have got six captains in the last eight months, which actually wasn't the plan when I started, but it's the nature of the number of games we are playing," Dravid told Star Sports before the start of the fifth match.
The 'Wall' accepted that that the times are such that one has to accept the situation.
"It's the nature of COVID, so I have had to work with quite a few people. It has been great fun. A lot of other guys have got an opportunity to lead, we have got opportunities to create more leaders in the group," he looked at the positive side of the things.
The endeavour has been to get better in every aspect although losing the Test and ODI series in South Africa was disappointing.
"We have constantly strived to get better, we have tried a lot of different people. In the last eight months, touring South Africa was a bit of a disappointment in terms of Test cricket," he said.
Dravid is happy with the bowling talent that has emerged thanks to the IPL.
"Our white ball cricket has been good though, shows the character of the team. It was incredible to see the fast bowling talent we have (during the IPL), especially with few of the bowlers clocking such speed.
"A lot of youngsters got an opportunity to showcase their skills, and a lot of them came good, those are really good signs for Indian cricket, exciting times ahead," he sounded confident.
Also Read : South Africa opt to field against India in series decider
Nadal set to compete at Wimbledon after recovering from foot injury
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he will be competing at Wimbledon after the pain in his injured foot has eased. The Spaniard suffers from a rare degenerative condition called Muller-Weiss syndrome which affects the bones in his feet and will travel to London to the The Hurlingham Club in order to prepare for the prestigious grass court event which will begin on Monday, June 27.
In an interview, Nadal said “I'm happy, I haven't been limping for a week. I have noticed changes with the treatment, I still have strange sensations, sometimes I can't feel my foot, but the pain that did not allow me to support my weight on my foot has subsided. My intention is to play Wimbledon, but it will all depend on what happens with my body next week. I'm without pain for a week and have been practising, so it tells me there may be a chance to play in the tournament."
Nadal was forced to take pain-killers in every match at the Roland Garros but won his 14th French Open and 22nd Grand Slam title in Paris. The Spaniard has not played at Wimbledon since 2019, having missed the 2021 edition due to injury while it was cancelled the year before that due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 36 year old appears to be in the form of his life and will look to go all the way at Wimbledon, having failed to reach the finals since 11 years where he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic.
Nadal said “I haven't played on grass for three years and I have to adapt, every day I have been recovering sensations and feeling better. I have a week left before playing and I have to test myself little by little. Advancing in the first rounds is crucial. If you advance, you pick up the pace to reach the end. You have to survive no matter what."
The Spaniard also confirmed that his wife Mery Perello is pregnant with their first child. "If everything goes well, I'm going to be a father. I'm not used to talking about my private life. We live more peacefully with a lower profile. I don't expect that my life will change much with it," he said. "At the moment all has worked well for me and I am not a friend of changing what works well. My intention is to play Wimbledon, rest, then Canada and then be ready for the US Open."
Chess helped me become what I am, it's time for me to give back: Viswanathan Anand
New Delhi, Jun 18 (Chess News) It's time to give back to the sport, says the legendary Viswanathan Anand, who is seeking to enter global chess administration with an aim to make it professionally more enticing for the youth.
Anand, whose moves on the board still leave opponents grasping at straws, wants to fully commit himself as "someone" who can work towards the betterment of the sport.
In an exclusive interview with PTI, the five-time world champion charted out his future plans, days after the All India Chess Federation (AICF) unanimously decided to endorse his candidature for the deputy president's post in the forthcoming FIDE election.
"Compared to three or four years back, I have cut down on my time as a active chess player. I have long aspired to come into the chess administration and this opportunity as the deputy president will be a huge learning curve for me," Anand remarked.
"The game of chess helped me become what I am today. It's time for me to give back. The idea is to encourage more youth to take up the sport seriously and make it a profession. I will communicate my ideas and vision once I am elected to the new panel," he added.
While Anand will be part of incumbent Arkady Dvorkovich's panel, among other candidates is the seasoned administrator and former deputy president of the international chess federation, Bachar Kouatly.
However, Anand believes the Dvorkovich administration will have a clear advantage over the others because of the work done by them to make the sport immensely popular, especially at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The current administration has done some outstanding work to give the game a facelift especially when every sport was sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, I readily agreed to be a part this panel when I was nominated for the position," Anand said, speaking about his decision to take part in the elections.
The year was 1987 when India got its first grandmaster in Anand. As many as 35 years down the line, India has 74 of them, with the latest being the 19-year-old Rahul Srivatshav Peddi from Hyderabad.
"I always had a firm belief that we deserve to have many grandmasters in Chess. During the first time ten years of my career, there were only Pravin Thipsey, Dibyendu Barua, and I. But the current figures make me immensely happy because of the fact that we have progressed so much in chess by leaps and bounds," Anand said.
It is unbeknownst to many that there is a serious cost factor involved when it comes to making a child an age-group world champions or a Grandmaster. Unlike other sports like cricket, football, badminton, or even hockey, where talented athletes are offered scholarships, chess doesn't seem to have many.
Anand, however, mentions that once he gets into administration, his prime focus would be to help those athletes who are talented enough to make the country proud.
"The (Viswanathan) Anand academy already nurtures many talented youngsters through the fellowship programmes who can make big in the coming years. Besides, the FIDE has many ongoing projects for such talented athletes, especially in a country like India, where there is no dearth of talent.
"If and when I involve myself as an administrator, my main focus would to guide the top talent who can make India immensely proud." Following his spectacular show at the recently-concluded Norway Chess event, where he beat his arch-rival and current world champion Magnus Carlsen, the 52-year-old Anand is back in the top 10 of the world chess rankings after a long hiatus of 32 months.
During the discussion, Anand also brushed aside retirement plans said that even if he makes a foray as an active administrator, he will not bid adieu to the sport as a player anytime soon.
"I will go on as long as I can. I have informed my team as well that I want to continue playing even if I win the FIDE elections. The goal is to not stop playing chess anytime soon," Anand signed off with his trademark smile.
Also Read : Immensely proud that we now have Chess Olympiad Torch Relay: Anand
News Source : PTI
Stimac one of the best managers I played under: Chhetri
Kolkata, Jun 16 (Football News) Indian football icon Sunil Chhetri on Thursday said head coach Igor Stimac is one of the best tacticians he has played under and the team is "very comfortable" playing under the Croatian whose contract is expiring in September.
The 54-year-old Stimac guided India to a historic Asian Cup berth when the Sunil Chhetri-led side made the cut as Group D toppers with three wins on the trot.
This was for the first time India made the continental showpiece for a second time in a row.
Often criticised for his defensive approach, the Croatian won many hearts after they signed off their campaign with an emphatic 4-0 win over Hong Kong.
"He (Stimac) is one of the best managers that we have played under. The boys are very comfortable. He's very approachable, talks to everyone, treats everyone well. A very warm guy," Chhetri told reporters during an interaction at the new secretariat here.
"He played at the top level, so understands the players' psyche. He understands the dressing room and the boys, knows well what to say and what not to say, how to encourage them... it's something he's really good at." A former defender in the Croatian team that reached the World Cup semifinals in 1998, Stimac came on board on a two-year contract in 2019, replacing Englishman Stephen Constantine, who quit following India's group stage exit from the Asia Cup.
Stimac's contract was recently renewed keeping in mind the Asian Cup qualifiers and now it remains to be seen whether the AIFF run by the Committee of Administrators renews his contract.
Before Stimac, Bob Houghton enjoyed a similar backing from his players ahead of the 2011 Asian Cup.
"He (Houghton) had a more stable team, there were a lot of senior boys with him. With Stimac, he's a lot more of young side, a lot of youngsters coming in. That's the slight difference," Chhetri said.
The venue and dates of the Asian Cup, which was earlier scheduled in China in 2023, is yet to be decided after the original hosts pulled out due to COVID-19 related issues.
Asked about the areas of improvement in the team, Chhetri said: "Everything... We need a lot of games, a longer camp. The kind of opponents that we play, everything needs to be planned well.
"So, the calendar is really important now, right from the Durand, the ISL and the Super Cup, we have to make sure we give them enough time to come together and work hard.
"Now we are going to face teams like Korea, Japan, UAE, Qatar (in Asian Cup), it's going to be a different ball game. As prepared as we can be, it's going to be better for us." The 37-year-old scored his 84th goal for India in their rout of Hong Kong in their final match of the Asian Cup qualifier.
Chhetri is now level with Hungarian Ferenc Puskas in the all-time top-scorers list. He is only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the list of top-scoring active international players.
Asked who he thinks is the next 'Sunil Chhetri', he said: "I think we will not be satisfied with only one 'Sunil Chhetri'.
"To reach the top, only one 'Sunil Chhetri' will not suffice. We need quite a few players. but don't worry we have a lot of players coming up. We are really a talented bunch, we need to give them time. You will get a lot of superstars from here," he signed off.
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News Source : PTI
ICC retains Menon in Elite Panel, set for maiden neutral umpire appearance in Sri Lanka
Rajkot, Jun 16 (Cricket News) India's Nitin Menon has retained his place in the ICC Elite Panel and is set to make his maiden appearance as a neutral umpire in Sri Lanka later this month.
A BCCI official told PTI that Menon has got a one-year extension from the International Cricket Council.
The 38-year-old from Indore remains the only Indian in the 11-member Elite Panel of Umpires.
“The ICC recently gave a one-year extension to Menon who has been our leading umpire over the last three to four years. You will also see him making his debut as a neutral umpire later this month,” the official told PTI.
Menon was promoted to the Elite Panel at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, becoming the third Indian to enter the club after S Venkataraghavan and S Ravi.
However, Menon was limited to officiating international matches only within India with the ICC allowing local umpires due to the travel restrictions in place.
With COVID-19 on the wane, the governing body has resumed normal service with Australian Paul Reiffel currently performing duties in England’s home series against New Zealand.
After completing his duties in the ongoing five-match T20 series between India and South Africa, Menon is set to travel to Sri Lanka for the home team’s two-Test series against Australia, beginning June 29 in Galle.
There is no change in the Elite Panel and besides Menon, it includes Aleem Dar from Pakistan, Chris Gaffaney from New Zealand, Kumara Dharmasena from Sri Lanka, Marais Erasmus from South Africa, Michael Gough, Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough (all three from England), Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker from Australia and Joel Wilson from the West Indies.
The BCCI takes the call on who to include in the ICC International Panel of Umpires. Currently, four Indians are in the lower tier including Anil Chaudhary, Virender Sharma, J Madanagopal and K N Ananthapadmanabhan.
Also Read : Takeaways from India's squad for T20I series against Ireland
News Source : PTI
Would be great to play Asian Cup at home, I'm hitting my peak: Chhetri
Kolkata, Jun 15 (Football News) Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri says the side would love to play the AFC Asian Cup on home soil with the star forward confessing to "hitting my peak" at 37.
A near-capacity crowd at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata witnessed the Indian national football team qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup finals in style, beating Hong Kong 4-0 on Tuesday night.
Impressed by the huge turnout for their last qualifying game despite heavy rains, Chhetri expressed his desire to play the finals in India.
"The kind of form we are in, we would have loved to play at home. The way the fans are coming up and supporting us in numbers, it would be great to play here," said Chhetri after India secured a second straight qualification to the Asian Cup for the first time in history.
China, where the Asian Cup finals were scheduled next year, had withdrawn as hosts keeping the fluid COVID-19 situation in the country.
India defeated Cambodia and Afghanistan before securing a convincing win over Hong Kong in Group D of the third round of the Asian Cup qualifiers.
All matches were played at the Salt Lake Stadium, where India were playing for the first time in over two years.
Chhetri praised the rise of youngsters in the national team over the course of the three-match campaign.
"The kids are just amazing, They'll probably kill me for calling kids, the boys are fantastic. We have the right mix of senior and junior players in the dressing room.
"You’ve also got Liston (Colaco) and Suresh (Wangjam) along with Akash (Mishra) and Roshan (Singh) who have been brilliant." "So yes, a lot of youngsters coming up, and also Ishan (Pandita) has been outstanding in training too, and look what he did today. Ishan and Sahal (Abdul Samad) are two players who deserve nights like this," said Chhetri, who scored the second goal of the night while Anwar Ali, Manvir Singh, and Ishan Pandita got their names on the scoresheet.
Chhetri is set to play in his third Asian Cup tournament finals after previous appearances in 2011 and 2019.
Despite being 37 years old, the striker feels he is at his peak now.
"Now I am hitting my peak. The last Asian Cup is already past. We really want to work hard. It does not matter in the next big tournaments I am there or anyone else gets the nod, India should be there at the Asian Cup, I have already said this.
"It is paramount for us as a nation to keep being at the Asian Cup so that we can rub our shoulders with the best in India, which is not very often. This gives us a chance to play friendlies with better-ranked opponents leading up to the tournament," said the talismanic striker.
Having scored his 84th goal in national colours against Hong Kong, Chhetri levelled with Hungary legend Ferenc Puskas in the list of all-time international goal scorers, where he currently sits joint-fifth.
However, the Bengaluru FC man reiterated that he does not pay too much heed to records.
"Feels good, but you have to carry on. I genuinely do not think too much about the records. I know considering the number of matches I’ve played for the country, I don’t have that many left. I want to go out there and enjoy every game.
"I want to slide, I want to run and I want to do each and everything I can because I know it isn’t going to last a really long time. It’s absolutely the best thing to happen to my life — playing for my country. It’s an absolute honour, every bit of it," concluded Chhetri.
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News Source : PTI
IPL to have a two-and-a-half month window in ICC's next FTP cycle: Jay Shah
New Delhi, Jun 13 (Cricket News) Attracting astronomical bids that eventually translated into mind-boggling revenue of Rs 48,390 crore for a five year period through IPL's media rights has not surprised BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who asserted that cricket's most talked about T20 league has potential to deliver way more.
In an exclusive interview with PTI, the 33-year-old Shah spoke on a range of subjects related to Indian cricket, IPL's place in the global cricket calendar, running the cricket establishment in times of COVID-19 and the road ahead for both Indian cricket and IPL.
Excerpts: Q: Were you surprised by the intense bidding for IPL media rights or it was on expected lines?
A: I am really happy with the kind of numbers that we have achieved. This shows the phenomenal growth potential of Indian cricket. The auction was always going to be exciting for every stakeholder. We have been able to realise the true value and the numbers in-front of you, is a testimony to that.
These numbers show the potential of the Indian economy and the faith of investors in new India. The digital India push has changed the way cricket is watched in India. So the bid outcome of digital rights bears testimony to that.
Q: Were there any apprehensions in the BCCI when it was decided to scale up the cumulative base price of media rights in excess of Rs 32,500 crore when the winning bid during the last media rights auction was almost half (16,347.50 crore) of it ?
A: No, the BCCI never felt that the base price was too high. You need to understand that in 2018, it was for 60 games. For the next cycle, we will have 410 games, with 74 games each in the first two seasons and then 84 games in the next and finally 94 in the 2027 edition.
You also need to check the digital numbers -- there were approximately 560 million digital viewers in 2017 and 665 million in 2021. You expect it to grow even more in the coming years.
We have agencies conducting research for us. By 2024, there will be 900 million internet users in India as we would be providers of second-cheapest data in the world. Obviously linear viewership (TV) will remain but there is a transition towards digital viewership and that's how you realise the value.
Q: You are talking about having 94 matches in the future. How do you plan to manage the window and various international teams having their own FTP commitments?
A: That is an aspect we have worked upon. Let me inform you that from the next ICC FTP calendar, IPL will have an official two-and-a-half month window so that all the top international cricketers can participate. We have had discussions with various boards as well as the ICC.
Q: When Amazon pulled out, there were talks that they were not happy with Package C which offered only 18 games per season for non-exclusive digital rights?
A: BCCI's aim was simple. Our motto was maximum participation, maximum value and better price discovery. So if someone is winning A and B, they need to shell out more for buying Package C. It is as simple as that.
This is called better price discovery. I think the manner in which we pulled off the e-auction was the most transparent one.
Q: There is speculation that IPL may be held in two phases. Where does the BCCI stand on that aspect and how do you plan to implement that?
A: We are having discussions with various stake-holders. There are also multiple proposals for all the IPL franchises of playing friendlies overseas. That idea is being seriously contemplated but for that we also need to speak to other boards as we would need to know the schedule of international players.
Q: There are reports that IPL's viewership has dropped by 30 percent this time. The viewers fatigue due to too many matches is also being discussed. Also, the the recall value of games has been talked about this year. Your views?
A: I don't agree that there has been a viewership dip. You have to factor in pre-COVID and post-COVID numbers. The 2020 and 2021 IPL viewership numbers skyrocketed because cricket was the only source of live sporting entertainment for the Indian public. People were unable to venture out due to COVID-19. So the figures saw a sharp rise.
Now in 2022, the same public after the return of a certain amount of normalcy is venturing out. People are socialising, going out for dinners, taking vacations which they didn't do in the last two years. Also, when you calculate viewership, this year, during evening games, you would have hundreds watching it on TV while sitting in a pub or a restaurant.
So there are hundreds of fans watching an IPL match on one DTH (Direct To Home) connection. Therefore, if you calculate viewership numbers, I would want you to calculate on the basis of 2019 viewership numbers vis-a-vis 2022.
Q: Let's discuss a bit about international cricket. Will India's bilateral calendar take a hit if IPL enjoys a bigger window?
A: Indian cricket will remain strong as long as world cricket remains strong. Let me assure you of this. The BCCI is committed to international cricket. And it's not just about India versus Australia or India versus England marquee series, we are committed to playing even the smaller nations. All bilateral international commitments across all formats will be honoured. We are playing Ireland in two T20 Internationals this month only. We want a strong robust international circuit and want to help the smaller cricketing nations by playing against them.
Q: BCCI also needs to factor in players workload management in a crunched calendar. How do you tackle the physical fatigue issues?
A: I have had discussions with NCA head VVS Laxman and we will always have 50 players in our roster. In future, you will have a scenario, where the Indian Test team will be playing a series in one country and the white-ball team will be engaged in a series in a different country. We are going in that direction where we will have two national teams ready at the same time.
Q: Let's turn our focus on women's cricket. You have already said that the Women's IPL will start from 2023. Can you give us an idea about what the scale will be and how you plan to hold it?
A: This is a project which is very close to my heart. We will start with either five or six teams in the first edition. I am thrilled at the kind of response we have got from stakeholders. Multiple existing IPL teams have enquired and expressed serious interest in owning WIPL franchises.
Not to forget interest from outside. We are in discussions with other Boards about the possible window when all top cricketers will be available. I can promise that the valuation of the league, franchises and media rights will stun one and all.
Q: You took over as BCCI secretary in 2019 and if one asks you to look back at your time so far, what is it that you value most?
A: Being able to conduct games despite operational difficulties during COVID-19 times was very satisfying. There were challenges and we had to stop the IPL during the second wave last year because we didn't want to compromise on health, safety and security. I would like to thank Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) for helping us with logistical arrangements in 2020 and also the second phase of 2021.
We had Indian women team playing two Test matches after eight years, which is huge achievement. We conducted more than 30,000 RT-PCR tests and had one of the safest bio-bubbles across three editions with minimum number of cases. When Omicron cases were rising in South Africa, the BCCI sent its full-fledged team for Test and ODI series. We sent our team to Australia during the pandemic and also hosted England successfully with not a single case detected.
Also Read : BCCI hits Jackpot: IPL Media Rights deal fetches Rs 48,390 crore revenue; Viacom18 ends Disney Star's monopoly
News Source : PTI
Since you are born, you will have to achieve something: Aishwarya Babu
Chennai, Jun 14 (Sports News) "Since you are born, you will have to achieve something," says Aishwarya Babu matter-of-factly.
Living by that maxim, she smashed the triple jump national record with a stunning effort of 14.14m at the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships here on Monday, reflecting her determination to reach the top.
This, after trying her luck in 100m and 200m sprints and overcoming an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, a dreaded word in sporting circles.
The 24-year-old Aishwarya bettered Mayookha Johny's national record of 14.11m set in 2011.
A day earlier, Aishwarya became the second best Indian woman long jumper after the legendary Anju Bobby George, with an effort of 6.73m. Anju Bobby George holds the national long jump record of 6.83m.
She started with 100m and 200m sprints before switching to long jump and triple jump, which is her main event.
"I started at the age of eight and I was initially doing 100m and 200m. But later, switched to jumps. I was interested in sports and my uncle was a decathlete," she said.
Asked why she took up sports, she said, "I need to achieve. Since you are born, you will have to achieve something." Aishwarya's 14.14m effort in the 'hope, step and jump' event has put her in joint 14th in the season's top list in the world and third among long jumpers from Commonwealth countries.
"I was expecting to break the national record (in triple jump). I had prepared very well for that, with a lot of hard work," said Aishwarya whose husband works at the Governor's office in Bengaluru.
"In September last year, I did 13.55m (while winning gold) in the National Open Championships. I have improved nearly 60cm since then. My target is 14.35m." Daughter of a government employee father and homemaker mother, Aishwarya's USP is her speed.
She was spotted by 2010 Asian Games heptathlon bronze medallist Pramila Aiyappa, who is currently a state sports officer.
"Pramila spotted her, she (Pramila) is a sports officer and in charge of South West Railways. So she took Aishwarya to a Railways trial. Then she started training her, it was before the COVID-19 pandemic," said BP Aiyappa, the current coach of Aishwarya and husband of Pramila.
"When Aishwarya came to me, she was having ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear and you can imagine an athlete who had ACL tear and now breaking triple jump national record." Aiyappa said Aishwarya also has an "unbelievable explosiveness", which makes her stand out.
"For her short stature, her speed and explosiveness is unbelievable, world class. I will not be surprised if she touches 7m in long jump." "All this strength comes from curd rice (laughs). Wherever she goes and sits in a restaurant, she will always order curd rice," added Aiyappa, who is with Aishwarya for two and half years.
Aiyappa said his focus is to build Aishwarya's strength.
"I am focussed on her strength building. I am more of a believer in building strength. The Europeans, Jamaicans and Americans are really strong and it's difficult to compare with them in strength, so I want to build strength. That is my mantra." Aiyappa said Ashwarya is a bit weak in 'step' part of the triple jump and her performance can be further be improved if she gets better in that.
"You need to be perfect in all the three parts -- hope, step and jump. She is a bit weak in 'step'. We can improve on that." Even the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the coach-ward duo from continuing with training. The Kanteerava Stadium, where they were based, was shut down and they had to travel outside Bangalore for training.
"We had struggled a lot, going to Vidyanagar everyday except for Saturday, it is nearly 35km from Bangalore. It was tough. We had to take special passes but the state government, JSW, AFI and SAI had supported us a lot."
Also Read : Long jump sensation Jeswin Aldrin aims to become the best in the world
News Source : PTI
Football lawmakers exploring the possibility of kick ins
(Football news) In the latest meeting of football’s lawmaking body, the International Football Association Board (Ifab) in Doha, there were talks about introducing ‘kick ins’ in the sport. The idea is amongst the several proposals that were introduced last year with the aim of making the game faster and more entertaining for the audiences. Speaking about kick ins, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said “Proposals were made to test kick-ins. While we may be a bit sceptical on some of these measures... if some proposals are there to help the game, we will not know it before we look into it, so we will look into these proposals as well."
Kick ins are meant to replace throw ins, which were introduced to football in the 1860’s. According to former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, throw-ins and free-kicks were the "two big time-wasters at the moment.The target is to make the game more spectacular and quicker, and maybe with throw-ins you could play with your feet, in a limit of five seconds for example but it has to be tested and then has to be accepted by the Ifab."
In other reforms, semi-automated video assistant referee (VAR) technology could be used for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. FIFA President Gianni Infantino has claimed that the decision to implement the technology will be taken before the tournament begins in November while Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the governing body's referees committee said "I'm confident it can go ahead." The new technology will use automated ball detection to highlight offsides within seconds while the use of five substitutes has also been introduced as a permanent feature after initially being trialled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karnataka's Aishwarya Babu smashes triple jump NR with stunning performance
Chennai, Jun 13 (Sports News) Wonder woman Aishwarya Babu of Karnataka smashed the triple jump national record with a stunning effort of 14.14m to emerge the undisputed star of the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships here on Monday.
The 24-year-old from Bengaluru bettered Mayookha Johny's earlier national record of 14.11m set in 2011. She touched the national mark in her third attempt on the penultimate day of the championships. She had a foul in her fourth attempt and then did not take the final two jumps.
Renu of Haryana was a distant second with an effort of 13.43m, while Karthika Gothandapani was third with 13.25m.
On Sunday only, Aishwarya had become the Indian woman to have the second longest personal best jump with an effort of 6.73m. The legendary Anju Bobby George holds the national long jump record of 6.83m. Anju had jumped better than 6.73m on three other occasions also.
Aishwarya will compete in the long jump final on Tuesday.
"I was confident that I would break the national triple jump record. I had prepared for it. I hope to break the long jump record tomorrow also," she said after the stunning win.
"Triple jump is my main event and I don't train much for long jump. But I can compete in both long jump and triple jump in the Commonwealth Games. Hopefully, I do well and win medals in the CWG," she added.
The triple jump gold winner in the 2018 CWG had produced 14.64m, while the silver and bronze medallists had efforts of 14.52m and 13.92m respectively.
In long jump, the gold winner in the 2018 CWG had produced 6.84m, while the silver and bronze medallists had efforts of 6.77m and 6.75m respectively.
Daughter of a government employee father and homemaker mother, Aishwarya said her USP is the speed and explosive ability and she also revealed that she is fond of curd rice.
Her coach Aiyappa BP, who is the husband of 2010 Asian Games heptathlon bronze medallist Pramila Aiyappa, said she would always look for curd rice wherever she went.
"Considering her height and built, she has so much of explosive power and speed and that makes her stand out. All these, due to curd rice (laughs). She would look for curd rice wherever she goes," said Aiyappa who has been with Aishwarya for two and half years.
"She was not spotted by me, she was spotted by my wife during a Railways event. When she came to me, she was having ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear and you can imagine an athlete who had ACL tear and now breaking triple jump national record." Aishwarya said she and her coach had to travel to Vidyanagar, some 40km from Bangalore, during the COVID-19 pandemic as Kanteerava Stadium, where she used to train, was closed.
"We had struggled a lot, going to Vidyanagar everyday. We had to take special passes but the state government and SAI had supported us a lot." In other events, India A team's Amoj Jacob pulled his hamstring while running the last leg of the mixed 4x400m relay. He pulled up near the top of the final 100m stretch. The mixed 4x400m relay will be held in the Birmingham CWG (July 28 to August 8) for the first time.
In men's discus throw, Kirpal Singh of Punjab clinched the gold with a meet record performance of 60.31m, while the corresponding women's event was won by Navjeet Kaur Dhillon with a distance of 55.67m.
Gracena Merly of Tamil Nadu won the women's high jump with an effort of 1.82m.
In men's 800m, Krishan Kumar of Haryana took the gold with a time of 1:48.79, while the women's corresponding event was won by Chanda of Delhi (2:01.67).
The India B team, comprising Mohammed Ajmal, Rupal Chaudhary, Rajesh Ramesh and Dandi Jyothika Sri, won the 4x400m mixed relay in 3:18.84 after India A's anchor Jacob hobbled off the track after gaining the lead for his team with about 110m left in the race.
The other members of the India A team were Noah Nirmal Tom, Kiran Pahal and Aishwarya Mishra.
Also Read : World billiards champion Sourav Kothari becomes 2022 Pacific International snooker champ
News Source : PTI
World billiards champion Sourav Kothari becomes 2022 Pacific International snooker champ
Melbourne, Jun 13 (Sports News) World billiards champion Sourav Kothari on Monday won the 2022 Lance Pannell-Pacific International Snooker Championship.
In the final, Kothari thrashed top-ranked Australian cueist Johl Younger 4-0 in the best of seven frames, with a high break of 93 in the third frame.
After topping his league, Kothari defeated Australian Cale Barrett 3-1 in the quarters and the talented Charlie Chafe 3-1 in the semifinals respectively.
He last had won the title in 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Kothari will now be participating in the 2022 Pacific International Billiards beginning here on Tuesday.
Also Read : Weightlifter Gurunaidu Sanapathi becomes IWF Youth World Champion
News Source : PTI
USA's Devon Allen produces third quickest 110m hurdles in history
(Sports news) The New York Grand Prix saw Devon Allen produce the third quickest 110m hurdle in the sport’s history on Sunday. The 27 year old won in 12.84 seconds, behind Aries Merritt (12.80) and world champion Grant Holloway (12.81). Allen will be playing for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL after getting a contract from the team in April. The two time Olympian will be hoping to compete at next month's World Championships in Eugene, Oregon before joining the Eagles.
Speaking after the New York Grand Prix, Allen said “I thought I was going to break the world record today so we'll have to wait for another race.” The 27 year old finished fifth in the 2016 Olympics and fourth at last year’s Tokyo Olympics. This summer, the Eagles invited Allen to visit their training facilities after which he signed a three year contract as an undrafted rookie with the NFL team. He was expected to join the Eagles earlier but tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in his participation at the New York Grand Prix.
In other results, Christian Coleman went under 10 seconds, running 9.92secs in the men's 100 metres, beating Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake (9.95) in the men's 100 metres while American Marvin Bracy was third (10.03). In other events, US 100m champion Sha'Carri Richardson was beaten in the 100m event, finishing second behind Aleia Hobbs who got the time of 10.83secs while Richardson was just behind at 10.85 while Olympic finalist Teahna Daniels was third in 10.99. However, Richardson bounced back to win the 200m in 22.38secs ahead of Tamara Clark (22.62) and the Bahamas' Tynia Gaither (22.66).
Running individual 400m is not yet over for Hima, hints at doing that again in postponed Asian Games
Chennai, Jun 12 (Sports News) Star sprinter Hima Das is not ruling out a return to 400m, an event which shot her to fame in 2018, and is hoping to make a comeback to the quartermile in the now-postponed Asian Games, which is likely to be held next year.
The 22-year-old 'Dhing Express' last ran a major 400m race during the Asian Championships in Doha in April 2019. She pulled out of that race midway due to a lower back injury.
She later ran two 400m races in low-grade events in Czech Republic in 2019, but since then, has not featured in the one-lap race. She also missed the World Championships in the later part of 2019 due to the back injury.
Hima, who became the first Indian to win a global track event title by clinching gold in the World Junior Championships in 2018, first suffered the injury during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta where she won an individual 400m silver and gold medals in the 4x400m and mixed 4x400m relays.
After returning from the injury lay-off, Hima has been running 100m and 200m. She holds the national record of 50.79 seconds in 400m.
"I have not cut (off) running the 400m. It (recovery from injury) is a long process. During my injury time, I was not being able to run 400m because a lot of pressure developed on the right side of my back," Hima said after winning the 100m gold in the National Inter-Sate Championships here with her personal best time of 10.43s.
"My L4 and L5 (two lowest vertebrae in the lumbar spine) were broken and was in a different position. Whenever I run it affects me. Then I did my physiotherapy and ran 30m, 40m, 50m, 100m and then 200m gradually. Till 300m, I am fine. I ran 300m in Europe sometime earlier.
"You need to pick up speed in the last 100m (of 400m) and when I did that once I had to be taken to the hospital (during a training stint in Poland in 2019)," said the sprinter from Assam.
Asked when she can start running 400m, she said, "Not at this point in time, but will surely do it (in near future).
"It may happen at the end of this year, otherwise I may prepare 400m for the postponed Asian Games because I will get time to prepare (for Asian Games)." Hima had also suffered a hamstring injury during the National Inter-State Championships last year in Patiala. She was forced to pull out of the 100m and 4x100m relay finals due to the injury. She ran in the 200m final but finished fifth to miss out on the Tokyo Olympics.
The Asian Games, earlier scheduled to be held in September this year, have been postponed due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in host country China. The Games are likely to be held next year.
When asked if 400m coach Galina Bukharina will recommend her to run it, Hima said, "Galina madam and the federation will take the decision what is to be done for me. I will do whatever the AFI says.
"Galina madam is not only my coach but she is also like my mother. I even told my mother at home in Assam not to get tense thinking about me because I have a mother there (national camp) also." Hima was earlier training at the NIS Patiala before shifting base temporarily to Thiruvananthapuram. She was part of the Indian team that underwent a training-cum-competition tour in Turkey. The team returned home earlier this month.
Asked about the experience of running 100m in the last few years, Hima said, "When I started athletics, I was doing 100m and long jump. It was not going together, so I ran 100m and 200m.
"After I was called for national camp (in 2017 after winning 200m gold in National Open in Chennai), I was doing 200m and 400m. Now again, I am doing 100m and 200m. This is a process.
"You need to be strong to be a sprinter and I had coped with injury since 2018 (Asian Games). It was tough to get over my injury and come back to track. But I learnt a lot during this period. Now it is the best point in my life.
"Sachin (Tendular) sir said that a sportsperson and injury are like friends. How to face that (injury) and move ahead and give result is the challenge you have to overcome. His words inspire me." Hima suffered COVID-19 infection in October last year. Asked about it, she said, "I was about to do die (laughs). It was a severe and dangerous COVID infection."
Also Read : Anahat Singh seals berth for World Junior Squash C'ship after topping selection trials
News Source : PTI
South Africa win toss, opt to field against India in first T20I
New Delhi, Jun 9 (Cricket News) South Africa captain Temba Bavuma won the toss and elected to field against India in the first T20 international of the five-match series here on Thursday.
India have fielded three pacers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel, while Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal are the two spinners in the playing eleven. Veteran Dinesh Karthik has also been included in the XI. For South Africa, Aiden Markram missed out after testing positive for COVID-19. Teams: India: Rishabh Pant (C), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
Also Read : Kumar Kartikeya's 6-for dooms Punjab as MP cruise into Ranji Trophy semifinals
News Source : PTI
Tim Macdonald leaves England Women coaching role
(Cricket news) England Women’s Senior Assistant Coach Tim Macdonald will leave his role in order to return to Australia and take up a job with Perth Scorchers and Western Australia men’s teams. Macdonald, who played first-class cricket for his native Western Australia, as well as Tasmania, will move on after the Commonwealth Games in August to take up the role of Senior Assistant Coach – Bowling across the BBL and State competitions.
Macdonald said: "I've loved every minute of working with such an amazing group of players and staff. I’ve learned a great deal and made some life-long friends, but I couldn't turn down this amazing opportunity to return home to Perth and be closer to my family.
"With my family living in Australia, and the ability to travel being heavily impacted by COVID-19, it has been a challenging yet rewarding time to be in this job, but in that time I believe I've seen our team improve and our pool of talent get deeper. Had the rain not intervened at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup we could easily have made two global finals in that time. The future is very bright for the England Women’s team.
"The stars have aligned for me, and I'm so excited to return home to my new role with WA and the Perth Scorchers and I absolutely can't wait to get going following our quest for Commonwealth games Gold. I'd like to thank everyone at the ECB for the opportunity. I've loved being a part of the England Women's team and I wish them every success for the future.”
Jonathan Finch, Director England Women's Cricket, said: “Tim has played a vital role in continuing to improve the England Women’s team over the last two years, and will continue to do so as we prepare for the summer match programme.
"Tim’s departure coincides with the start of the ICC Women’s Championship and there is no doubt his positive influence will be felt over the coming years. We wish Tim all the best in his new role and thank him for the commitment and passion he has given to England Women’s cricket.”
Also read: India eye world record in 1st T20I against South Africa
No regrets if I don't win another individual title, I've Thomas Cup gold: Prannoy
New Delhi, Jun 9 (Badminton News) Hoping to break his individual title drought that has stretched to five years, HS Prannoy says he will have no regrets even if it doesn't come his way since he has a Thomas Cup gold in his trophy cabinet now.
The giant-killer's tag has stayed for far too long for Prannoy, who scripted some of the most headline-grabbing victories over top stars such as Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan, Chen Long and Viktor Axelsen.
However, he could not weave the big wins together in a week's time and even though he rose to a career-best ranking of world number 8 in 2018, the Indian's last individual title win came way back in 2017, at the US Open Grand Prix Gold.
"See there will be some extraordinary players, who go on to win continuously. But there are others who have the potential and have big wins against big players but never been able to win something really big. I come in that category," Prannoy told PTI during an interview.
"I know I haven't won something really big, may be something is on the cards, it will come when it has to but even if it doesn't, it's okay because you know you are putting in the effort. I think I have been blessed to be in that Thomas Cup squad." The Kerala shuttler had come close to winning a title after reaching the Swiss Open Super 300 final in March this year.
Though Prannoy, currently ranked 23, couldn't go the distance, his performance earned him a place in the Thomas Cup squad and he went on to play a pivotal role in India's epic triumph by winning the decisive third singles against Malaysia and Denmark in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively.
It was his win over Jun Hao Leung which helped India stun Malaysia, a five-time champions, and secure a first-ever medal in the Thomas Cup in 43 years.
"Being part of this squad, I could be part of that moment, could be part of that podium. I am lucky enough to get that feeling which no one else in the world can feel." While injuries are part of an athlete's life, the 29-year-old's progress in international badminton has also been affected by severe health issues.
When things were looking up on court in 2018, Prannoy was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease during the World Championships, which affected his training and performance.
Once he recovered from it, he tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020, the after-affects of which forced him to seek alternative treatment.
"Last few years I have learnt that things will be tough for you as a sportsperson. At times, in these years, I was comparing myself to others but then I realised that we need to acknowledge the times when you have done something good," he said.
"I have been introspecting on all that and it really helped me to achieve that happiness. There are a lot of things which go behind the things we do. I have been able to do that process happily in the last 3-4 years." Prannoy was also part of the Indian team that claimed its maiden gold in mixed event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"CWG was different because we knew it will start really from the semifinals. We knew there would be two big matches. Malaysia was looking strong, so we had to really focus on that match. So when we reached the semifinal we knew the world was watching," he said.
"In Thomas Cup, nobody really kept us on the sidelines that these guys could also go on to win. The entire badminton world would have thought that they can create a few upsets but can never win the gold.
"So this win is important for the ecosystem of the sport. It is for the next generation of players to believe that it is possible. We need such big wins in constant gaps." Prannoy is not part of the 10-member Commonwealth Games squad with Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth making the cut due to their higher world ranking.
Asked if the Thomas Cup win will rub on to the players as they gear up for the Birmingham event, he replied in the positive.
"Yeah, from now on people will feel that we have a chance. In CWG, we are the defending champions and this time all are saying we are the favourites. But unless we go on to win it we won't get the respect," he signed off.
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News Source : PTI
The story behind Ferrari's re emergence as Formula 1 title contenders
(Motorsport) The fact that Formula 1’s most successful team has not won a Drivers or Constructors Championship since over a decade has always been a head scratching statistic. Ferrari have had the drivers, resources and the fan following throughout the ‘lean’ years, yet the Italian team simply trailed behind both Mercedes and Red Bull throughout the hybrid era. Sure, there was the occasional podium finish and glimpses of their past glory, however, it's clear as day that the team were a shadow of their former selves and seemed to have no idea how to get out of the rut.
Fast forward to this season and it’s a completely different story. Ferrari have arguably been the fastest car on the grid, only to be let down by poor strategy, individual mistakes and bad luck. By all intents and purposes, it’s a genuine wonder why they aren't at the top of both the Drivers and Constructors Championships. Charles Leclerc has consistently outperformed world champion Max Verstappen in qualifying in most of the races so far, but circumstances have resulted in Red Bull having the last laugh in the race itself. One thing cannot be ignored is that Ferrari are now closer to being genuine title contenders than ever before (at least in the last decade) and there are plenty of underlying reasons for it.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Mattia Binotto, Principal of Scuderia Ferrari was asked for the reason behind Ferrari’s performance this season. The 52 year old said “It's an interesting question but also a difficult one. The right reasons do not come [down] to the technical aspect, that we changed the [engine] combustion, [and] we improved our aerodynamics. That's [only] the consequence. It is about building a team. The effort put in since 2017 has been step by step to build the right team. And with the right team, you can achieve the goals and targets. It's all about the team."
The situation Ferrari find themselves in is eerily similar to five years ago when the Italian manufacturer was considered title contenders as well. Just like this time, Formula 1 was entering into a new era of regulations and Ferrari’s technical team developed a car that could seriously rival Mercedes in the title race. Four time World Champion Sebastian Vettel dominated two thirds of the season, only to be outperformed by Lewis Hamilton in the final few races. The pattern continued the following year, resulting in the then team boss Maurizio Arrivabene being replaced by Mattia Binotto.
Reflecting on Ferrari’s past mistakes, Binotto said “As a team, we had already proved we had a good level of creativity and were capable of interpreting new rules and the car we made was a good one - the baseline, in terms of concept and idea. As a matter of fact, in the following years, the other teams copied our solutions. When I jumped into the role of team principal, I said it was a very young team. It was not that we were young in terms of age - I was 50 at the time.
“But we were young in our roles. We needed to build the experience. What we lacked in 2017, 2018 and 2019 [was that] we were not capable of developing the car. In 2017, we had reliability issues. We had our drivers crashing into each other, but we also had a team not strong enough in terms of culture and mentality. And on top of that, we didn't have the right tools simply because we brought in developments that were not working as expected. We were good in terms of potential but green in terms of experience and tools."
It was clear as day that the issue was not just with the drivers but also the facilities at Maranello. The end of the 2018 season saw Kimi Raikkonen depart after five underwhelming seasons and Ferrari gambled on young Charles Leclerc, who only had one season under his belt in Formula 1 after racing for Sauber. The faith in Leclerc was shown largely by Ferrari's former chairman and chief executive Sergio Marchionne who was unconvinced by Sebastian Vettel and wanted a driver who, while inexperienced, had the raw talent which could be harnessed to develop a future world champion.
The gamble paid off and Leclerc began outperforming Vettel, finishing on pole in Bahrain in only his second race for Ferrari but lost out on the race due to an engine problem in his car. Eventually, Ferrari and Leclerc proved to be a formidable partnership, with the pair taking seven pole positions and drawing the attention of their rivals. What followed was an enquiry by the FIA at Red Bull’s request about the fuel flow and the two parties reached a “private settlement” after which Ferrari’s performances dipped significantly. Speaking about the controversy, Binotto said “That's in the past; I prefer not to talk about it any more. However, what we were doing at the time was pushing the line of interpretations. As a matter of fact, it wasn't illegal, or we would have been disqualified."
What followed was Ferrari’s worst season in 40 years and with the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity to develop the car further was virtually impossible. Such was the disappointment at Ferrari that it led to a huge cultural change. Binotto said “At the time our CEO was Louis Camilleri and he had the vision to understand that what was most important was to give stability to the team. He understood that we had already started a process of building. We worked a lot on that (the culture . It is taking the error more as an opportunity to learn a lesson, rather than blaming and pointing fingers. It is all about being brave enough to hear, to listen and to do something which is really open-minded. It is about working as a team, a single individual understanding the common responsibility."
One of the biggest reasons for Ferrari’s success in the 2022 season has been the delay in the implementation of the new aerodynamic rules, which was originally supposed to be for the 2021 season. Binotto said that the delay “gave us more time to prepare ourselves, less distraction from the priority". One of their strongest features in the F1-75 has been the power unit and Binotto gave credit to the team for its development. Moreover, Leclerc has finally reached a stage of maturity where he can truly capitalise on the car’s power and take the fight to Red Bull this time around.
"We knew Charles had very high potential," Binotto says. "When we put him in our car in 2019, he proved in the first season to be very strong and talented. The way he was attacking, defending and driving proved what he could do. We knew he had to improve in terms of maturity, leadership and tyre management, and I think, as the seasons passed, it gave us the confidence he could do that and would become a fantastic driver. We had the confidence he could be a driver who can win world championships and become a very strong leader for the team."
The biggest challenge for Ferrari now would be maintaining their title charge. With the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on the horizon, it’s imperative that Ferrari make up for the lost ground as Leclerc, who had a 46 point lead, is now 9 points behind Max Verstappen in the Drivers Standings. Speaking about the objectives of the 2022 season, Binotto said “We set our objectives to be back competitive in 2022. So our objective is to be competitive, not to win the championship, and it would be completely wrong to turn that into: 'Let's try to win the championship because we are so competitive.'
"Being competitive is one fact; becoming world champion is another level of task. [Saying] that is maybe to take off some pressure from the team, but also I think it would be wrong as management to change objectives from the ones we gave them. No doubt what we intend to do is to try to open a cycle - become world champion, and not only once; try to stay there. But I think it will take time. Our internal mindset is still that we need to improve as a team to be capable of winning a championship. It doesn't mean we will not do it.
“Maybe we will do it as soon as possible, but we are conscious of the fact that it is more than only being competitive. The ambition is there. Each single person working for Ferrari has the ambition. I don't think I need to remind them. More important is to let them focus on our process of continuous improvement, so each race is an opportunity for lesson-learned review and to build to do something better. And it is important to stay focused on each single race. We are not looking at the classifications."
Long jump sensation Jeswin Aldrin aims to become the best in the world
As with many inspiring stories, 20 year old Indian long jump athlete Jeswin Aldrin’s journey started from humble beginnings. Hailing from a village in the Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu, Jeswin’s sheer determination to make a mark in the world of athletics has seen him win the gold medal at the Federation Cup and securing a spot in the Indian team World Championships in Oregon. He’s setting his sights higher now to become one of the world’s best and bring medals for India.
In this exclusive interview, Jeswin Aldrin speaks about his journey so far, special achievements, earning a spot with the Indian team, training with Yoandri Betanzos, overcoming challenges, the role of Inspire Institute of Sport in his career and his future goals.
Q 1) From someone who comes from Mudalur, a quiet village in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu, how and when were you introduced to long jump? What made you pursue the sport professionally?
It all started when my school PE teacher asked me to come and participate in long jump when I was in the 6th grade. However, we didn’t have a proper track or facilities in the school, despite that, I managed to win national level competitions and started my professional training in 2019 when I came to IIS.
Q 2) You recently won the gold medal at the Federation Cup. Is that the most special achievement of your career? Which are some of your other accomplishments that stand out?
Yes, winning the gold medal at the Federation Cup is a special achievement for me as well as breaking the national record at the U-20. Both of them stand out in my career so far.
Q 3) How special was it to earn a spot in the Indian team for the World Championships in Oregon?
I had never played for the Indian team before and when I got selected for the U-20 World Championship, my gratification was delayed as it was postponed due to COVID-19. It will be the first time I’ll be wearing an Indian kit in a competition which will be very special for me.
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Q 4) How was the experience of training with two-time World Championship medallist from Cuba, Yoandri Betanzos? What did you learn from him and how did it influence your results?
It was a great experience to train with Yoandri Betanzos. I learnt a lot from him, especially about how to develop the right mindset to give your 100% in a competition.
Q 5) What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced in your journey as an athlete? How did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges that I faced was the lack of facilities in my village and school when I began my long jump journey but after I joined IIS, I could train like a professional which helped me achieve what I have today.
Q 6) What role does the Inspire Institute of Sport play in your training? How is your training experience under the IIS coaches?
I am really thankful to the Inspire Institute of Sport for providing world class facilities to me and exposure to participating in foreign tournaments. The coaching at IIS is also excellent and it has helped me tremendously in my achievements.
Q 7) What are your future goals and aspirations? How do you plan to achieve them?
My future goal is to become one of the best long jumpers in the world and win more medals for India. My plan to achieve my goals is through consistent training and hardwork and I really believe that I can achieve it all one day.
Shame that Delhi Capitals couldn't make it to IPL final: Mitchell Marsh
Colombo, Jun 4 (Cricket News) Delhi Capitals all-rounder Mitchell Marsh feels that it's a "shame" that his team couldn't make it to the IPL final after losing final league encounter to wooden spooners Mumbai Indians.
DC's five-wicket defeat enabled Royal Challengers Bangalore to make it despite an inferior net run-rate throughout the tournament.
"It was a shame we couldn’t get into the (IPL) finals," the 30-year-old said here ahead of the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, beginning on June 7.
Australia will meet Sri Lanka in a five-match ODI series.
Marsh overcame a bout of COVID-19 in the first-half of the tournament and formed the backbone of Delhi top-order with his Australian teammate David Warner.
Coach Ricky Ponting entrusted him with batting at No 3 as he scored 251 runs at a strike-rate of 132.80.
"Everyone speaks about him (Ponting) so much and what he's achieved in the game. But I got a real sense of how much he cares for his players – I guess that's probably what he was like as a captain and a leader of a team," he said.
"I got the real sense for how he (head coach Ricky Ponting) cares for his players and that was probably how he was as a captain and a leader of a team -- it's the way he makes you feel. He made me feel like a really important player for Delhi," he added.
On overcoming COVID-19, he said: "After my first couple of weeks, there I thought that I was cursed in India," he said.
"I got through my initial injury – which was very minor – but then to play one game and get COVID, it was a bit of a shaky start but once I got going it was nice to put a few consistent performances on the board. I absolutely loved my time there." He further said he would like to continue batting at No 3.
"I have loved batting at number three, and I’ve been there a bit over 12 months now. I certainly feel like that's my best positioning in T20 cricket, and I've loved batting in the power play, I've batted a lot with David Warner and had some great partnerships with him — it’s been really enjoyable." "Hopefully, I can keep being as consistent as I possibly can at number three and stay up there. International cricket is really hard, but you've got to believe that you belong here and I think over the last 12 months.
"I have really gained the belief that my best can match up with anyone in the world," Marsh added.
Also Read : Cricket Ireland appoint new Head of Facilities and Operations
News Source : PTI
Lahiri misses cut by one shot, Smith leads at Memorial Tournament
Dublin (US), Jun 4 (Golf News) India's ace golfer Anirban Lahiri carded a disappointing one-over 73 to miss the cut by one shot at the Memorial Tournament here.
Lahiri, who shot 74 on the first day, finished at three-over 147 and missed the cut on Friday at Muirfield Village.
Two missed par putts from inside five feet on fifth and 12th saw Lahiri miss the cut for the second start in a row. He had earlier missed the weekend action at the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
Lahiri's will most likely next play at the Travelers Championship.
Cameron Smith, playing some of his best golf, moved into the lead. His highlight was a hole out with a downhill chip from beyond the green on the par-3 12th that carried him to three-under 69.
Smith was one shot ahead of Denny McCarthy and KH Lee at the end of the 36 holes.
In six previous appearances, Smith only made the cut twice and on both occasion finished outside the top 60. His best round was a 71.
But Smith, now a winner of THE PLAYERS Championship and the Sentry Tournament of Champions, is in a different frame of mind and in some superb form. His rounds of 67-69 gave him a total of eight-under 136.
Billy Horschel had a birdie chance at almost every hole but ended with four-under 68 that left him in the group two shots behind with Torrey Pines winner Luke List, PGA TOUR rookies Cameron Young and Davis Riley, and Jhonattan Vegas.
Rory McIlroy, with a 69, was three shots behind defending champion Patrick Cantlay, who closed in with two big par putts for a 69 and was at three-under 141.
The cut fell at two-over 146.
Among those missing out on the weekend action were Bryson DeChambeau and Harris English, both of whom were coming back from injuries.
Jon Rahm, winner here in 2020, had a 70 and was at two-under 142, six shots behind. He was six shots ahead after three rounds last year until his positive COVID-19 test forced his withdrawal.
Korea's Lee stayed on Smith's heels. Lee traded four birdies, which included a 40-foot monster putt, against two bogeys for a two-day total of seven-under 137 as World No. 3 Smith stepped up his bid for a third victory of the season.
Another Korean, Sungjae Im kept himself in contention with a second successive 70 to lie four back.
Also Read : Shubhankar tied 87th in European Open, likely to miss cut
News Source : PTI
I'm playing my last games, so FIFA ban on India will be catastrophic: Chhetri
Kolkata, Jun 3 (Football News) Talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri on Friday dropped yet another hint that his retirement is not far away, saying a FIFA ban on India in the aftermath of Supreme Court's ruling to oust Praful Patel as AIFF president would be catastrophic as he is playing his "last games".
The 37-year-old Chhetri's retirement has been a matter of speculation for some time now and he has said on many occasions that his illustrious career will come to an end soon.
"No matter what is happening on that front, I hope it is under control and the country does not get a ban," the iconic India captain said during a media interaction ahead of the Asian Cup qualifiers final round beginning here on June 8.
"Because, that will be catastrophic, not just for the whole country but for me, because I'm 37. I'm playing my last games. You never know when there's a last game for you.
"So yes... I was scared when the headlines came, it affects you. But with my limited knowledge, when you go into it, you understand that it is not that dangerous and things will subside," he added.
Patel was thrown out of office by the Supreme Court in a May 18 ruling as he has exceeded his tenure as All India Football Federation President. His third term in office was to end in December 2020 but he clung on to a SC case, which remained pending since 2017, to extend his executive committee's term while refusing to hold elections till the issue of a new constitution was settled by the top court.
There were fears in some quarters that the SC ruling could lead to FIFA imposing a ban on India and stripping the country off the hosting rights of Under-17 Women’s World Cup in October. A joint team from FIFA and AFC is slated to visit India to "understand the current situation".
Chhetri made his international comeback after more than six months of injury lay-off during India's 0-2 defeat against Jordan in Doha on May 29, their last preparatory outing ahead of the Asian Cup Qualifiers.
'Can't give you a number about my retirement' ============================ Every time he takes the pitch, there's speculation about his retirement and the Indian captain happily responds with a smile that "I don't know yet".
"Same question was asked before the last Asia Cup (2019) that 'what next' and I said the same thing. Five years have passed. It's the same now. I was 32 then, now I'm 37-38. I don't know, maybe.
"Right now, I'm enjoying it. I enjoy sprinting with Udanta (Singh), enjoying headers with (Sandesh) Jhingan, and scoring against Gurpreet. The day I don't (enjoy), I'll be done, I can't give you a number when.
"It's not easy to get up at 6 o'clock everyday or do a 30-minute yoga session before everyone wakes up. It's a very, very strict life that I live. It's not easy to do it for 21 years." Whether the Asia Cup will be held in 2023 or 2024 is not yet clear after China pulled out of hosting it next year, citing spike in COVID-19 cases, something that may further complicate matters for Chhetri.
"I want to qualify. If I'm not there, my country will be there. If we don't qualify, then no matter who, none of us will be there. We want to be there." Clubbed with lower-ranked opponents in Hong Kong (147), Afghanistan (150) and Cambodia (171), world number 106 India are favourites to make the cut from group D.
After kicking off their campaign against Cambodia on June 8, India take on Afghanistan (June 11) and Hong Kong (June 14) in the round-robin league.
Chhetri said India's opening game against an "unknown" Cambodia would be the toughest match of the qualifiers.
"If we don't do well against Cambodia, you have lost half your battle.
"As of now, we are just thinking about Cambodia. Once we are done with them, we will think about Afghanistan. No doubt, Afghanistan are strong." Chhetri said the inconsistency of the team's performance bothers him a lot.
"The sad part of our team is that in the last four years, we had a very crazy graph which is what bothers me. We had a couple of performances, where we thought wow," he said, referring to India's 1-2 loss to Oman and a goalless draw to Qatar in the World Cup qualifiers.
"Then you come and play against Bangladesh, Afghanistan, the two first games in SAFF. That's what bothers us as a team," he said about the drawn matches against lowly ranked Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
"The onus is on us. We have to fix first individually then as a team, there's something wrong with us."
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News Source : PTI
Tvesa among five Indians to tee up at Ladies Italian Open
Fubine (Italy), Jun 1 (Golf News) Tvesa Malik, who is still seeking her first top-10 finish of the year on the Ladies European Tour, will lead the Indian contingent at the 26th edition of the Ladies Italian Open at the Margara Golf Club here.
The field of 126 players, include five Indians and has players from 28 countries.
Tvesa recorded a best finish of T-26 at the Aramco Series-Bangkok individual event and last week she was T-45 at Jabra Ladies Open.
In 2021, Tvesa had a series of top-10 and top-15 finishes and also came close to winning her maiden title by finishing second in Belgium.
She finished 19th in the Order of Merit.
The other Indians in the field, include Vani Kapoor, who has played in South Africa, Australia, Thailand and Europe this week, Amandeep Drall, Ridhima Dilawari and Neha Tripathi.
Last year's tournament was played behind closed doors due to COVID-19 pandemic and the winner was the French golfer Lucie Malchirand.
Malchirand will be joined by strong names, including Lee-Anne Pace and Caroline Hedwall.
Malchirand will try to become the first player since Laura Davies (1987-1988) to win back-to-back titles here.
Six of the current 10 best players on the Race to Costa del Sol will also be in the field -- Johanna Gustavsson from Sweden (ranked second), Tiia Koivisto from Finland (ranked fifth, who won last week's Jabra Ladies Open), South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace (sixth), England's Meghan MacLaren (eighth), Spain's Ana Pelaez (ninth and who recently won the Comunidad de Madrid Ladies Open) and Scotland's Michele Thomson (10th).
They will be joined by Spain's Carmen Alonso and Nuria Iturrioz, England's Alice Hewson, Gabriella Cowley, Annabel Dimmock and Lily May Humphreys and Finland's Ursula Wikstrom (runner up in 2021), as well as Sweden's Caroline Hedwall and Linnea Strom.
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News Source : PTI
Neeraj Pandey's unveils series ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum’ on India’s win against Australia
Mumbai, Jun 1 (Fandom News) Filmmaker Neeraj Pandey and Voot Select on Wednesday announced web series "Bandon Mein Tha Dum", which will chronicle India cricket team's historic test series win against Australia in 2021.
The non-fiction docu-based show will shed light on the trials and tribulations that the Indian cricket team had to navigate ahead of their victory against Australia at their home ground of Gabba.
With their win at Gabba cricket ground in Brisbane, the Indian team had clinched the test 2-1 and retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Pandey, best known for thriller movies like “A Wednesday”, “Baby”, “Naam Shabana” and sports biopic “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story”, has directed the series.
The show will feature behind-the-scenes footage, candid narratives from cricketers Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammad Siraj, Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari, the coaches and journalists, who covered the India-Australia series.
Pandey said the Indian team's victory brought tremendous joy to the cricketing and wider sporting community, at a time when people were grappling and coming to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The human stories in this cricketing fairy tale elevated the series beyond a cricketing audience and created huge euphoria across all segments of the Indian society. The nation was gripped and it was therefore befitting for us to bring the story to the people of India of one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports and cricket,” Pandey said in a statement.
"Nothing excited me more than retelling this story which went beyond high-quality cricket, hard work, perseverance, determination , commitment, sportsmanship and decoding the x-factor through the mind of the players which repeated the David Vs.Goliath story," he added.
Gourav Rakshit, Chief Operating Officer, Viacom18 Digital Ventures, said the company's strategy is to entertain viewers with high quality and binge worthy content.
"Our robustly curated content mix and our success with digital-first is a testament to our commitment to provide viewers with game-changing experiences. 'Bandon Mein Tha Dum' is the first of the many such narratives and we will continue to explore new genres and avenues that are in sync with our audience's core values,” Rakshit said.
"Bandon Mein Tha Dum" will premiere soon exclusively on Voot Select.
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News Source : PTI
I am past the phase of assessing my performance after every game: Ashwin
New Delhi, June 1 (Cricket News) Ravichandran Ashwin, one of the sharpest thinkers in world cricket, feels that he has reached a stage in his career where he is not bothered about assessment of his own performance after every game.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on a lot of people, the wily off-spinner feels, that the last two years has been kind to him with continued success in Tests at home and a productive tour of Australia, where India made history by winning back to back series. The 35-year-old, who has taken 442 wickets in 86 Tests, also made a white-ball comeback after four years and featured in last year's T20 World Cup in the UAE.
However, he has been rested from the T20 home series against South Africa later this month and will link up with the squad in the UK for the 'fifth' Test of the last series against England.
"If you want a realistic answer, I am not assessing my performance at all. I am not in that phase of my life where I am thinking about what happened there and what happened here. Like I told you, I am living it by the day.
"The last two years have been hard on a lot of people but it has been very very kind and good to me. So just enjoying my game. I don't know if it is evident enough on the ground or not. I am in totally in a very good space of mind," Ashwin told PTI at the launch of Voot Select's 'Bandon Mein Tha Dum'.
Ashwin, who has just got done with the two-month long IPL, will next be seen during India's tour of England in June-July when the rescheduled fifth Test will be completed with the visitors leading 2-1.
The champion spinner though is looking forward towards spending his much-needed break at home after having lived out of suitcases for five months .
"Honestly, I am pretty blank right now. We have had a long international season so not even thinking about all that in my head. I have been in bubbles forever, have got back home only after five months. It is about time I put the pause button on and live everyday and take it as it comes." With COVID-19 on the wane, cricket boards around the world are heading towards staging series without mentally taxing bio bubbles. Ashwin can only be happy about that.
"Absolutely. More than anything else, we need to look at the larger picture. If we are able to get over the pandemic and things are getting back to normal, we all should be happy." En route to the historic triumph in Australia in January 2021, Ashwin contributed both with bat and ball. Having suffered severe back spasms on day four of the Sydney Test, Ashwin turned up on day five and batted alongside Hanuma Vihari as they both consumed 128 balls each to pull off a draw that felt like a win.
Ashwin recalled that partnership with a lot of fondness. He was ruled out of the final Test as injury-ravaged India struggled to field an eleven for the game.
"The other game I played the game injured was in Southampton (2018) and it did not go on the right side of the coin for us. Again in Sydney, day four day of the game I had a severe back spasm I was not sure if I could really get through the game but somehow wanted to.
"I prayed for a bit of of luck, that I had lesser pain the next morning, that the painkillers worked and all of that, I was praying quietly.
"Somehow I got through day four, took a couple of wickets, bowled non-stop spells even though it was hard. Harder than what Southampton (2018 England Test) was but I think a lot of it was destiny as well.
"One of the those series where there was a lot of effort and that one percent luck for every single individual," the eloquent spinner said.
Having made his Test debut way back in 2011, Ashwin said it would be hard to what the team was able to achieve Down Under.
"Easily one of the best series, I have been part of. Even now, when you talk about it that feeling comes back, all those good memories, all those difficult phases we faced, the euphoria after the victory, everything stands tall even till now," he added.
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News Source : PTI
No one remembers bilateral T20 series, play shortest format in just World Cup: Shastri
New Delhi, Jun 1 (Cricket News) Former India coach Ravi Shastri reckons that T20 format is not meant for bilateral series between international teams and the slam-bang style of cricket should be restricted to just World Cup.
Shastri, one of the most successful India coaches, also feels that franchise cricket together with a biennial T20 World Cup is best way forward when it comes to shortest format, considering fans' appetite for it.
Shastri's comments have come, days before India's five-mach T20 series against South Africa.
"...there's too much of bilateral stuff going on in T20 cricket. I've said that (before), even when I was the coach of India, I could see it happening in front of my eyes," Shastri told ESPNcricinfo.
"It should go the football way, where, in T20 cricket, you just play the World Cup. Bilateral tournaments - no one remembers." Shastri, whose tenure as India coach ended last year, said he doesn't "remember a single (T20) game in the last six-seven years as coach of India, barring the World Cup." "A team wins the World Cup, they will remember it. Unfortunately, we didn't, so I don't remember that either.
"Where I am coming from is: you play franchise cricket around the globe; each country is allowed to have their franchise cricket, which is their domestic cricket, and then, every two years, you come and play a World Cup." The IPL media and broadcasting rights for the next five-year cycle are going to go up for sale in June.
Discussing the future of IPL, former India opener Akash Chopra said: "I actually foresee there might be two editions of the IPL in every calendar year. And that's not too far away." Shastri agreed with Chopra.
"That's the future," he said.
"It could be tomorrow - 140 games, split 70-70. In two seasons. You never know. That's the way it's going to go. That's the way it's developed as a beast of a property. And you cannot hide away from that.
"You might think that's overdose, but nothing is overdose in India. I have been sitting outside the bubble, I have been watching people, how they have seen, how they have reviewed these last few months, especially [after coming] out of Covid. And they are loving every bit of it, and they are almost having withdrawal symptoms." The 2022 season of IPL ended on Sunday with newcomers Gujarat Titans lifting the trophy.
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News Source : PTI
More than 100 speed skaters took part in XVII National Speed Skating Championship
Gurugram, May 31 (Sports News) More than 100 speed skaters from across the country displayed their skills in the XVII National Speed Skating Championship that concluded this morning at ISKATE, an all weather indoor ice skating arena located at Ambience Mall here.
The speed skaters were divided in the age categories -- Novice (below 10 years), Junior D (10-13 years), Junior C (13-15 years), Junior B (15-17 years), Junior A (17-19 years) and Senior (above 19 years).
During the national speed skating camp, athletes were trained by expert national coaches AvduthTawade, SubodhPatil, Ravi Dhillon, Rahul Pandekar, Gitesh Vaidya and Md Abbas.
Speaking at the event, J S Sahney, secretary general, Ice Skating Association of India said, "I am elated to see such talented kids perform in the championship. Our country is making progress in ice skating, speed skating and figure skating because of ISKATE, the only ice skating rink in India that is functional throughout the year." The winner in every category was awarded a cash prize of Rs 20,000, and the first and second runner-ups were awarded with Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.
The National Speed Skating Championship is being conducted after a gap of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Speed Skating Camp was organised from May 27 to May 29 followed by two days of National Speed Skating Championship on May 30 and 31.
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News Source : PTI
Manchester United appoint Andy O’Boyle as Deputy Football Director
(Football news) Manchester United have appointed Andy O’Boyle as the Deputy Football Director. He will be leaving his post as Head of Elite Performance at the Premier League to join the club and will support John Murtough, Football Director in order to drive the club’s strategy across the first team, Academy and women’s team. O’Boyle will be returning to Manchester United after 16 years, having previously worked in the Academy, working with players like Marcus Rashford.
Speaking about the appointment, Football Director John Murtough said “We are delighted to welcome Andy back to Manchester United to take up this important role in the club’s leadership. Andy has experience across all technical areas of football, from fitness and sports science to scouting and recruitment. This will make him a valuable addition to my team at Carrington as we continue to strengthen leadership and strategic planning across all our football activities.”
O’Boyle said “I am thrilled to be rejoining Manchester United at such an exciting time for the club, as the first team prepares for a fresh start under Erik ten Hag, and the Academy and women’s teams go from strength to strength. Whilst it has been a privilege to serve the Premier League for the past five years, I can’t wait to get started at United and play my part in creating the right environment for football success.” O’Boyle is set to complete his UEFA Pro Licence this summer and is also working on his doctorate in Sports Science.
His role in the Premier League involved advising clubs on talent identification and recruitment, performance analysis, sports science and medicine, psychology, and loan management. O’Boyle was also responsible for the league’s response on COVID-19, coordinating with the government and clubs on the protocols. He has played for Manchester United Centre of Excellence in Northern Ireland before switching to coaching and sports science and is a lifelong fan of the club. He has also held roles at Liverpool, England Under-21s, Coventry City and Wrexham FC.
Indian team to assemble in Delhi on June 5, South Africa squad arrives on June 2
New Delhi, May 31 (Cricket News) The Indian cricket team will assemble here on June 5 ahead of the five-match T20 series against South Africa.
The first match of the series begins here on June 9 and South Africa will arrive here on June 2.
There will be no crowd restrictions and there will be no bio-bubble for the series though players will be tested regularly for COVID-19.
The other venues are Cuttack (June 12), Visakhapatnam (June 14), Rajkot (June 17) and Bengaluru (June 19).
"The Indian team will assemble here on June 5 while the South Africans land in Delhi on June 2," DDCA joint secretary Rajan Manchanda told PTI.
The Indian cricketers are in the middle of a much needed break post a two-month long IPL.
K L Rahul will lead the Indian team in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma who has been rested for the series alongside other all format players, including Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah.
News Source : PTI
Hope to have more Bengal players in KKR: CAB president
Kolkata, May 30 (Cricket News) Cricket Association of Bengal on Monday urged city's IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders to have more players from the state.
In the past many from Bengal, including the former India captain Sourav Ganguly, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami and Mohammed Shami played in the purple colours.
But it's been a long time since a player from Bengal represented the two-time former champions in the IPL.
"We would love to see more Bengal players in KKR. I had raised the issue of reviving the catchment area concept in IPL in BCCI," Avishek said on the sidelines of the inter-school KMC Mayor's Cup final at Eden Gardens.
St James School defeated Nava Nalanda High School by eight wickets to win the tournament involving 32 school teams.
"We are giving utmost importance to this meet because we want more players to come through the ranks and sons of soil to make up for the Bengal team. The Cricket Talent Search Committee will also look into these young talents." The tournament returned after a two-year gap following the COVID-19 pandemic.
KKR are one of the sponsors of the meet and Avishek said: "We can hope to see junior knights from these players. The money given by them will be utilised for the development of budding cricketers." Jagmohan Dalmiya remembered ========================= The final of the tournament coincided with former ICC and BCCI president late Jagmohan Dalmiya's 82nd birth anniversary.
Remembering the talent search programme initiated by Dalmiya during his tenure as the BCCI president, Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim said: "This was his initiative and he's responsible for bringing out so many great cricketers today.
"We fondly remember him on his birthday today and show our deepest respect towards him.
"He had given his entire life to the game of cricket and transformed the game on its head. He brought meaningful changes to cricket structurally, administratively and in its outlook both at the national level as BCCI chief and at international level as ICC Chairman." CAB president Avishek Dalmiya, vice-president Naresh Ojha, mayor Hakim, CAB secretary Snehashis Ganguly, assistant secretary Debabrata Das among others paid floral tributes to Dalmiya on his birthday.
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News Source : PTI
Indian women's team to host Australia for T20 series in December
Melbourne, May 30 (Cricket News) The Indian women's team is set to host World Champions Australia for a five-match T20I series in December later this year.
The dates and the venue of the series, which was announced by Cricket Australia on Monday as part of its men's and women's schedule for the season, remain unconfirmed.
The Indian women's team, which last appeared in the ODI World Cup in March, will next compete at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July before taking on hosts England in a white-ball series comprising three ODIs and as many T20Is in September.
"It is the start of an exciting eight months for the team that also includes a tour to India, home series against Pakistan, the opportunity to play in the Hundred and our own extended domestic season, before the T20 World Cup," Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said.
In addition, the Australian men's team will also visit India for a three-match T20 series in September as reported earlier.
The series will serve as preparation for the T20 World Cup scheduled to held Down Under from October 17 to November 14 this year.
However, the exact dates are also yet to be finalised. Though it is expected to be during the latter half of September as Australia are schedule to host New Zealand for an ODI series from 6 to 11.
Both the Australian men's side and women's team are the reigning T20 champions. While Aaron Finch and Co. won the title last year and will aim to defend their crown at home, their female counter-parts had been crowned champions in 2020, after they beat India in the final.
The Australian men's team was slated to travel to India for a full series, including four Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is later this year but with the T20 World Cup being pushed back due to COVID-19, the red-ball games will now be staged next year in February and March.
Indian men's team's next assignment is a five-match T20 series against South Africa at home from June 9 to 19, followed by a tour of Ireland for two T20Is.
The Rohit Sharma-led side then takes on England in the rescheduled fifth and final Test, which was postponed last year due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp, on July 1.
The 'Men in Blue' are then scheduled to play a white-ball series including three T20s and as many ODIs against England.
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News Source : PTI
Asian Games postponement give us more time to improve: Savita
Bengaluru, May 27 (Hockey News) Indian women's hockey team captain Savita is confident of a good show at the Asian Games as the postponement of the continental event in Hangzhou provides the side with more training time and improve just like it did when Tokyo Olympics was deferred by a year.
Having already dealt with the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games which was rescheduled for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian team is yet again faced with the same situation where the Asian Games have been postponed indefinitely.
"We will once again deal with this postponement as an opportunity to train and be better prepared for the Asian Games," Savita said on the Hockey India podcast 'Hockey Te Charcha'.
"The one-year postponement for the Olympics gave us significant time to improve and personally for me, I got to work closely with Janneke (Schopman), who has had a great impact on my improvement as a goalkeeper," she added.
One of the most successful goalkeepers in recent times, Savita will lead the Indian team in the FIH Pro League matches in Europe ahead of the FIH Women's World Cup which begins in July "Having finished fourth in Tokyo, everyone took notice of us. Earlier, there were expectations from the men's team only. But now, people expect the women also to finish in top three in any tournament we play and that is good for the sport," "No one expected we will go beyond the quarterfinals in the Olympic Games. Many of our supporters thought we would reach upto the quarterfinals at the outset, but I don't think anyone believed we could win the quarter finals.
"This zeal to win and not to give up till the last second of the match was inculcated by our coaching staff. We had to, and we knew we would change the script of Tokyo," added the experienced goalkeeper who .
Speaking about the team's preparations here in SAI, Bengaluru, for the Pro League and World Cup Savita said the side is hoping for a top four finish.
"There is a lot of excitement ahead of the Pro League matches in Europe as well as the Women's World Cup. Last time, we exited in the quarter-finals but this time we will do our best to finish in the top 4."
Also Read : Confident India eye revenge against Japan in Super 4 match of Asia Cup Hockey
News Source : PTI
Gokulam Kerala and Sethu FC all set for showdown to decide IWL winners
Bhubaneswar, May 25 (Football News) Gokulam Kerala would look to clinch their second successive Indian Women's League title when they lock horns with Sethu FC in a virtual final at the Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday.
A win on Thursday will also make Gokulam Kerala the only Indian club in history to win two successive national league titles by their men's and women's teams.
Gokulam Kerala will also become the only club in India to win both the I-League and IWL titles in the same season. Earlier this month, Gokulam Kerala (men's team) won their second I-League title in a row, beating Mohammedan Sporting Club 2-1 in the final league game of the 2021-22 season.
Gokulam had won the IWL title in 2019-20 season while the the tournament was cancelled in 2020-21 due to COVID-19 pandemic. They had represented the country at the AFC Women's Club Championship last year and finished third.
Gokulam and Sethu have rubbed shoulders with each other throughout the season and are level on points.
Defending champions Gokulam Kerala have an edge at the top of the points table with a superior goal difference. Thus, the game on Thursday will be a do-or-die clash for both the sides and promises to be an absolute thriller.
Crispin Chettri, head coach of Sethu FC, shed light on the season so far and their approach for the ultimate clash.
"This season has been very good for Hero IWL. Gokulam Kerala are an experienced side, but we too have experienced players in our team," Chettri said.
"We also have the advantage of youth; players who will be eager to go into this kind of a match. It's an opportunity for them to show their potential and character.
"This match is all about my players. They need to have the belief that they are the best. If they do that, I think they can bring home the trophy," he stated.
Sethu FC captain Sandhiya Ranganathan said she is ready to inspire her side to victory on the final day.
"It's been a long journey and we are well-prepared and confident for the final game. We are ready to bring the trophy back home," said the captain of the Tamil Nadu-based side.
Sethu are a side that has a number of local players from Tamil Nadu in their side and their policy of promoting the players from the state has done wonders for women's football.
Gokulam Kerala head coach Anthony Andrews also opened up on his side's preparations for the final game of the season.
"It's an amazing feeling. The players are pumped up and everybody is looking forward to the match on the 26th. We are going to play the same way we've been playing in the last 10 games and stick to our plans." Skipper Aditi Chauhan, who has been a wall in the Malabarians' goal throughout the season, also expressed her thoughts going into the game.
"It's been an incredible tournament. I’m glad that the title will be decided on the final day of the league, which is very exciting and the players are looking forward to it." "Sethu are a good team with a good mix of local as well as national team players. It's going to be a tough job for us. We'll have to be at our 100 percent and go all out to win the league trophy this time," she added.
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News Source : PTI
County stint will keep me in good stead when we face England: Pujara
New Delhi, May 23 (Cricket News) Back in national team for the Edgbaston Test after scoring a bagful of runs in County cricket, Cheteshwar Pujara said his stint for Surrey will hold him in good stead when India takes on England in the one-off red ball fixture in July.
The 34-year-old Pujara scored 720 runs, including two double hundreds and two centuries, in five Division two games for Sussex, which forced the selection committee to give him a call-up for the rescheduled 'fifth' Test of the last series.
"I am glad to have been selected for the England Test, and happy that my recent county performances were recognized," Pujara told PTI.
"Having spent some time in the middle during the county games, I do believe it will keep me in good stead as we get ready for the game against England.
"As always, looking forward to preparing and training well ahead of the tour, and do hope to continue contributing to the Indian team," he added.
The fifth Test, which was postponed last year due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp, is scheduled from July 1 to 5 in Birmingham.
Going through a poor run of form, Pujara had been left out of India's home Test series against Sri Lanka earlier this year but he made a return to the squad after producing a scintillating performance for Surrey.
Pujara amassed an unbeaten 201 against Derbyshire, before scoring 109 against Worcestershire. He also smashed 203 and 170 not out against Durham and Middlesex.
Playing for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy, Pujara had also hit 91 against Mumbai and 64 not out against Goa.
Pujara has scored 6713 runs at 43.87 in 95 Tests for India.
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News Source : PTI
Going home after Olympic selection trial healed me, worked hard on my weaknesses after that: Nikhat
New Delhi, May 22 (Boxing News) Whatever happens, happens for a good reason.
Those were the words Nikhat Zareen kept telling herself after she lost the trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers three years ago, following which she went home to "heal." Zareen had famously written to then Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju demanding a fair selection trial after the Boxing Federation of India decided to send the legendary MC Mary Kom directly for the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers in 2019.
"After the trial, I went home to relax my mind. Then (COVID-19) lockdown also happened, so I got to spend the whole of 2020 with my family," the newly-crowned world champion told PTI.
"I was able to heal myself during that lockdown and get out of that zone. I enjoyed spending time with my niece, eating food made by my mom. I kept believing whatever happens, happens for a good reason." The trial had turned into a messy affair with a furious Mary Kom asking “Who Nikhat Zareen?” Zareen eventually lost 1-9 to the veteran boxer during the trial, who refused to even shake hands with her young opponent.
“When things opened up, I went back to the camp, started training, beat the world champion which gave me confidence,” she added.
Turns out a little time away from the camp to be with her family was all Zareen needed to reignite her passion to win medals for the country.
Post the lockdown, Zareen has enjoyed a purple patch.
She defeated world champions Paltceva Ekaterina of Russia and Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan to bag a bronze at the Bosphorus boxing tournament in Istanbul last March, which was followed by gold medals at the Nationals, the prestigious Strandja Memorial and the World Championships, where she beat Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the flyweight (52kg) summit clash on Thursday.
The 25-year-old is reaping the benefits of the hard work she has put in the past couple of years.
"New Nikhat has a lot of maturity and confidence and the hunger to win medals and fulfil her dream of winning medal at the Olympics.
“In the past couple of years, I have worked on my fitness. On my combination of punches. How to punch from a distance, attack, defend and re-attack.” And it was a mix of some beautiful combination of punches that helped her outclass Jutamas.
Zareen feels the injury she sustained early in her career taught her a lot and also changed her approach to boxing. “The injury played a major role in my career, I got to learn so many things. I became more alert and careful about being injury free. Since then I’ve avoided certain punches, so I don't get injured again," she said.
“After that I also worked on my strength. It was the first ever injury of my life and I had to undergo surgery. I was not ready for it. I wasn't prepared. I would worry and get tensed as to what will happen.” Taunted by naysayers at every stage of her life, Zareen says outside noise doesn't affect her.
Coming from a conservative locality of Nizamabad, a young Zareen was taunted by her community members for taking up boxing and wearing shorts and a vest.
A few years later, when she injured her shoulder she was told "tujhse nahi hoga, chod de, itne competition jeet liye sport quota mei job mil jaega (Leave it, you can'd do it. You have won enough competitions to get a job in sports quota)".
Zareen was also brutally trolled on social media for her fair trial appeal.
"It spurs me on (people criticising her). I take critique in a positive way and I always want to give everyone a proper answer that whatever they think can't always be right.
"My career, life depends on me, I decide what to do. The same people now call my parents and say they are proud of me, ask when I'm coming back we want to meet her and take a picture.
"I don't focus on the outside noise. What matters to me is my performance. It doesn't affect me I am only working to fulfil my goal.” Going ahead, Zareen will have to cut her weight down for the Commonwealth Games, where she plans to compete in 50kg, which is the same weight class in which she won her junior world championship.
"CWG only 50kg is there so no other options. So I will take part in that only and if my body is working well then I will continue. If not I'll try to shift to 54kg." The 2019 Asian Championship bronze medallist is confident that 50kg will suit her as she will have the height advantage.
“It should not be difficult for me in 50kg because my natural weight is 51kg, I would have to lose only 1-1.5kg to come down. For me, it will also be advantage because I'll have a good height and I'll get short boxers.” However, she has kept the 54kg, which is the next Olympic weight class, option open.
“In 54kg, I'll get tall boxers and I'll be at a disadvantage. So I prefer 50kg but let’s see,” she said.
Also Read : IBC mulls increased 'regional cooperation' for Pro Boxing
News Source : PTI
I'm trying to play more shots, working on T20 game: Mandhana
Pune, May 22 (Cricket News) Star India opener Smriti Mandhana on Sunday said she has been working on her T20 game and looking to play more strokes, keeping in mind the number of shortest format matches scheduled in the next 12 months.
"Personally I have been working on my T20 cricket since we have lot of T20s to play this year. So, trying to play little bit more shots then I used to playing," she said.
Mandhana will be leading the defending champions Trailblazers at the Women's T20 Challenge, scheduled to be held from May 23 to 28 at the MCA Stadium here.
"We had a good T20 domestic season, so just looking to continue with this tournament. I'm not thinking about how I will be going about it but I will just try to enjoy as much as I can," she said.
Talking about her side's opening match against Supernovas on Monday, Mandhana said the spin duo of Sophie Ecclestone and Alana King will pose a challenge but they have their own plans in place.
"...we have our strategies ready, they have a good bowling unit especially the spin line up with Sophie (Ecclestone) and (Alana) King." Asked if there is any pressure going into the tournament as the defending champions, Mandhana said: "Not really, it is a pretty short tournament. You always get a new team, so definitely not thinking about it and putting unnecessary pressure on ourself, but yeah it would be good to defend the title." Mandhana also was effusive in her praise for Maharashtra's unheralded pacer Shraddha Pokharkar, who is one of the new talents in her squad. "I think three or four years back I saw Shradda (Pokharkar), I always thought she has good potential and now when I saw her one month back, she was brilliant in nets.
"She hits good length and she has a good height, so it is not easy to hit her length. She has a great slower one which is a really big weapon when you play T20, so looking forward to see how she progresses further." Good platform for Mansi to get back to India team: Harmanpreet ======================================= Supernovas captain Harmanpreet Kaur feels the Women's T20 Challenge will serve as a good platform for seamer Manshi Joshi to prove herself and earn her place back in the Indian team.
The 28-year-old Joshi from Punjab, who had missed the 2020 edition of the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19, has last played for India in March last year.
Joshi played three WODIs against South Africa at home but didn't find a place in the series against England and Australia and also missed out of a spot in India's World Cup squad.
"Last time, unfortunately, she didn't get a chance to play but this time she did well in domestic season and now in the net sessions also she was looking really nice. It is a great opportunity for her," Harmanpreet said during a virtual press-conference.
"For a long time she was not part of Indian side and now if she gets a chance, it is a great platform where you can perform and gates are open for Indian team.
"I am actually very positive the way she is bowling at the net, I hope she will get a chance to play and prove herself." Harmanpreet said Supernovas have a very "balanced" side.
"We do have a few new faces in our side and we try our best to bond and though giving opportunities to all is not possible but still we will try to give as much as possible.
"We have a good team and I am really looking forward to a positive season." Australian spinner of Anglo-Indian descent, Alan King will be part of the Supernovas and Harmanpreet said she has discussed with her about her plans in the tournament.
"I did discuss with her about her bowling plans, where she is comfortable in bowling. She is someone who has done well during the world cup and even before that.
"It is a great positive for us having someone like her and I am very happy that she is open to ideas. She is ready to bowl before and after the powerplay, so it gave me a lot of confidence. I can use her where ever the team requires her."
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News Source : PTI
I have worked on power-hitting and inside out shots, says Velocity skipper Deepti Sharma
Pune, May 21 (Cricket News) India all-rounder Deepti Sharma on Saturday said she is ready for the challenge as captain of Velocity side in the Women's T20 Challenge beginning on Monday and has worked on her power-hitting and inside-out shots.
Sharma will lead Velocity in this year's tournament, held after a year's gap due to COVID-19 pandemic, in place of Mithali Raj, who was dropped for the T20 domestic tournament, along with veteran fast bowler Jhulan Goswami.
"I love leadership, I have captained at domestic level. Whatever opportunities I get I am ready to take it," Sharma said at a virtual press conference.
Asked about the areas of her game which she had worked upon after the Women's World Cup in March-April this year, the left-handed batter said: "I have worked on power-hitting. I have also worked extensively on my inside out shots with coach." Sharma hinted that she might open the innings for Velocity in the tournament.
"I am always ready to bat anywhere according to the demand of the team. "Hopefully, I will open (in Women's T20 Challenge). I had opened in domestic cricket. I love batting at the top-order because you get enough time to build your innings and you also get powerplay overs." She said she would like to enjoy her game and the responsibility entrusted on her in her endeavour to take Velocity into the final.
"I would like to gain and enjoy the T20 format. I hope to do my best in all three departments and take the team to the final," Sharma said.
Sharma, who also bowls right-arm off-spin, lauded the BCCI for organising the fourth edition of the tournament.
"BCCI taking good initiative for women's cricket. In future, six teams may be there because in India there is a lot of talent and if the tournament is expanded they will get to show their talent.
"It is a very good opportunity for new players because foreign players will be there along side senior India players. They can share the dressing room and gain valuable experience. The women players will also get to play matches which is important." The event will open with a match between defending champions Trailblazers and Supernovas on Monday, followed by a game between Supernovas and Velocity (Tuesday) and Velocity and Trailblazers on May 26. The top two teams will feature in the final on May 28.
Also Read : Mumbai Indians win toss, elect to bowl against Delhi Capitals
News Source : PTI
Surfing Federation of India announces 3rd edition of Indian Open Surfing
Mangalore, May 19 (Sports News) The Surfing Federation of India on Thursday announced the third edition of the Indian Open Surfing.
The premier surfing competition is recognised by the international surfing association and will be hosted by the Mantra Surf Club at the Panambur Beach here from May 27-29.
The three-day competition will see participation from all the top surfers of India as per their rankings and will be a part of the Karnataka Surfing Festival.
Karnataka Tourism has come on board with the Indian Open Surfing as the title partners, while Chennai based TT Group are the associate partners.
The competition will have participation in three categories -- men, women and U- 16.
Also Read : Hangzhou Asian Para Games postponed due to concerns over COVID-19 in China
News Source : PTI
Amid Thomas Cup triumph celebrations, Deaflympics shuttler Jerlin Anika quietly achieves rare feat
New Delhi, May 18 (Badminton News) While the country is rejoicing its badminton team's historic Thomas Cup triumph in Bangkok, J Jerlin Anika is another Indian shuttler who has been making waves with her unprecedented gold-medal winning feat in Deaflympics in Brazil.
The 18-year-old hearing-impaired shuttler from Madurai also achieved something unique -- three gold medals at the 24th Summer Deaflympics at Caxias do Sul in Brazil, just a few days before the Indian men's team dethroned Indonesia to become the Thomas Cup champions.
Anika secured a gold each in women's singles, mixed doubles and mixed team event.
Three gold medals is a huge achievement in any sport or tournament but not for Jerlin as she rued missing out of a fourth gold on offer.
"She is not happy as she missed out on the women's doubles gold. She hates losing and when we were leaving Brazil, she asked me why people are congratulating me, I could not return with all the four golds," J Jeya Ratchagen, Anika's father, told PTI during an interaction.
Anika beat Australia's K Neudolt for the singles gold medal, while in the mixed doubles event, she and Abhinav Sharma clinched the yellow metal by getting the better of Malaysia's Edmund Seng Keong Teo and Wei Ying Boon.
She also played a crucial role in India beating Japan 3-1 to win the mixed team gold medal.
The road to success wasn't an easy one for Anika and it was her dotting father who ensured that she has a normal childhood after he realised that she can't hear or speak.
Badminton opened up doors as she started showing interest in the sport after Jeya Ratchagen used to take her with him to a local club where he used to play along with his friends.
"She started training under coach P Saravanan at Bose academy in Madurai as an 8-year-old. He used to train with the normal kids but after seeing her, he started learning ways to communicate with her," Jeya Ratchagan, who is into small scale business, said.
Anika's mother is just a house wife.
While Olympics and Paralympics are quite popular, Jeya Ratchagen wasn't aware of Deaflympics and it was during a local tournament in 2017 that an official from Madurai district administration told him about it and that's how her journey towards glory started.
Soon, Anika, as a 13-year-old, secured fifth place as the youngest player in her maiden appearance at 2017 Deaflympics in Turkey and went on to win two silver and a bronze at Asia Pacific Badminton Championship in 2018 in Malaysia.
A year later, she returned with a gold, two silver and a bronze from the World Deaf Badminton Championship in China.
However, for Jeya Ratchagan, who comes from a humble background, it was a struggle to provide her with proper nutrition and sports accessories due to lack of fund. In 2019, Anika's prowess in badminton was recognised by HCL Foundation's 'Sports for Change' initiative and she was enrolled as a sports scholar under the Power of One (PO1) My Scholar Project.
She received a scholarship, which helped her to take care of her kits, nutritional and other logistic requirements.
"She received a scholarship of Rs 3.25 lakh and we also supported the travel of her coach and father to accompany her for the Deaflympics. We are just happy to play a small role in her success," said HCL Foundation Director Nidhi Pundhir.
The Foundation also stepped in when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020 to ensure that her training doesn't get affected.
Soon, virtual sessions were conducted, special permission for her on-court training was sought and all these helped her as she emerged as one of the decorated athletes at the Deaflympics last week.
Anika, who has no other interests apart from the racquet sport, has now set her eyes on the world championships in 2023 in Brazil.
However, her next big hurdle is the class 12 board examination.
"She hates studies but she will have to sit for her class 12 board exams in 15 days time, so she is bit nervous," Jeya Ratchagen signs off.
Also Read : Kidambi Srikanth enters second round of Thailand Open
News Source : PTI
Hangzhou Asian Para Games postponed due to concerns over COVID-19 in China
Beijing, May 17 (Sports News) The Asian Para Games, which were scheduled to take place from October 9 to 15 in Hangzhou, China have been postponed due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers officially announced on Tuesday.
"The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games organising committee (HAPGOC) and the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) today announced the postponement of the 2022 Asian Para Games, originally scheduled to take place from 9-15 October 2022," Asian Paralympic Committee said in a statement.
The decision, though inevitable, comes less than a fortnight after the Hangzhou Asian Games, which were scheduled to be held from September 10 to 25, were postponed indefinitely on May 6 amid surge in COVID-19 cases in China.
"A taskforce comprising of the APC, the Chinese Paralympic Committee and HAPGOC will now work on rescheduling the Games to take place in 2023. A further announcement on this is expected in the near future," the statement said.
The emblem, slogan and year of the Games will remain unchanged.
More than 4,000 athletes were expected to compete in 616 medal events in 22 sports during the tournament. "The Games preparations have been going very well and HAPGOC was ready to deliver an outstanding games," APC President Majid Rashed said.
"This was not an easy decision to make but we have taken it now to give a level of certainty to the IFs, NPCs and athletes who were planning to attend the Games.
"We will now work with the organising committee on securing a new date that works for the para-sport calendar."
Also Read : Vinesh, Sakshi book CWG berths after emerging victorious in trials
News Source : PTI
FIDE president nominates Indian chess legend Anand as part of team to fight elections
Chennai, May 13 (Chess News) Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand would become the deputy president of the world chess federation (FIDE) if the incumbent Arkady Dvorkovich is re-elected as the president in the elections scheduled during the 44th chess Olympiad here in July-August this year.
Anand, a five-time world champion, has been nominated by Dvorkovich as part of his team to fight the forthcoming elections.
"Hope to be part of a brighter and better future for Chess. #SayChess #DvorkovichTeam2022," Anand tweeted after the announcement of Dvorkovich's presidential team.
Making the announcement about his team, Dvorkovich said, "Dear Colleagues and Chess Friends, On the way to FIDE Presidential elections, I am happy to present my team: Arkady Dvorkovich - President; Viswanathan Anand- Deputy President; Zhu Chen - Treasurer; Joran Aulin-Jansson - Vice President; Mahir Mammedov - Vice President." During a media interaction in New Delhi last month, Anand had said that he would be actively supporting Dvorkovich's re-election bid. He had also indicated that he would be working closely with Dvorkovich's team.
Anand, who has opted out of playing the forthcoming Olympiad in his home city and instead would be mentoring the Indian teams, will be taking part in the Grand Chess Tour event in Warsaw from May 17 to 24.
Alongside the chess Olympiad, the 94th FIDE Congress would be organised in Chennai as would the FIDE elections.
News Source :PTI
Asian Games 2022 postponed after COVID-19 wave in China
(Sports news) The Asian Games 2022, originally set to be held from September 10 to 25th in Hangzhou, China will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of now, no alternative date has been announced. The country is currently in the midst of their biggest COVID-19 outbreak and Shanghai has been in lockdown for more than a month. The organisers had initially planned to go ahead with the tournament as scheduled with the implementation of strict bio bubbles but the decision to postpone the games came after a meeting with the OCA’s executive committee.
In a statement released by the OCA, they said “The new dates of the 19th Asian Games will be agreed between the OCA, the COC and the HAGOC and announced in the near future. HAGOC (Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee) has been very well prepared to deliver the Games on time despite global challenges. However, the above decision was taken by all the stakeholders after carefully considering the pandemic situation and the size of the Games. The name and the emblem of the 19th Asian Games will remain unchanged, and the OCA believes that the Games will achieve complete success through the joint efforts of all parties.”
The decision to postpone the tournament has had a mixed reception from Indian athletes, who have traditionally found more success in the Asiad and Commonwealth Games rather than the Olympics. The indefinite postponement is being looked at as a blessing and a curse, as it gives athletes more time to prepare for the tournament but also leaves them in the dark with regards to their training regime in order to be at their ‘peak’ heading into the Asian Games. The Asian Games is also a qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympics so it’s fair to say that the importance of the event cannot be underestimated.
Hockey India had originally planned to send its second string team to the Commonwealth Games, while the main squad would participate in the Asiad due to concerns about the team playing at their peak for two demanding tournaments within a space of a few months. However, with the indefinite postponement of the Asian Games, the governing body can now send its strongest team to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games. As for other sports, athletes will have to face a myriad of complications with regards to their training as 2023 is already a packed year in terms of sporting events and accommodating a tournament as big as the Asian Games could be a monumental task.
Marsh's all-round heroics power DC to eight-wicket win over RR
Navi Mumbai, May 11 (Cricket News) Riding on Mitchell Marsh's all-round heroics, Delhi Capitals got their act together in the nick of time to upstage Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets and keep their IPL playoffs hopes alive here on Wednesday.
After their bowlers restricted RR to 160 for six, Marsh's 62-ball 89 and David Warner's unbeaten 52 off 41 balls helped the Capitals complete the task with 11 balls to spare for their sixth win of the season that saw the team suffer setbacks both on and off the field, including multiple COVID-19 cases in its camp.
With the ball, Marsh had picked up the two important wickets of Yashasvi Jaiswal (19) and Ravichandran Ashwin (50). Then, he smashed seven sixes and five fours to emerge as the night's hero.
DC lost Srikar Bharat in only the second ball of their innings to Trent Boult, who conceded just one run in the first over. That was followed by a maiden over by Prasidh Krishna and then the Kiwi speedster bowled another economical over as DC struggled to force the pace early on, reaching five for one in three overs.
The introduction of Ashwin saw Marsh launching the off-spinner over long-off for a six. Marsh did the same to Prasidh, hitting him for a maximum over fine-leg to give the much-needed impetus to the DC innings.
There was more to come from the willow of Marsh as he smashed Kuldeep Sen for two sixes and a similar treatment was given to Ashwin as the ball, despite Jos Buttler's effort in the deep, sailed over long-on for a maximum, bringing up the Australian all-rounder's fifty.
By the time the 143-run stand was broken by Yuzvendra Chahal with the wicket of Marsh, the match was almost in DC's bag.
Earlier, striking at better than most of the top batters, premier off-spinner Ashwin recorded his first half-century in T20 cricket. Ashwin made a 38-ball 50, while Devdutt Padikkal struck 48 in 30 deliveries after RR were asked to bat first.
The Capitals were off to fine start as left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya (2/23), playing the must-win game in place of Khaleel Ahmed, dismissed RR's top batter Jos Buttler (7) cheaply in the third over.
Looking to play it over the infield, Buttler hit a fairly full-length delivery straight to Shardul Thakur.
With Buttler gone early, DC were on top and looked to assert their dominance at the DY Patel Sports Complex. They gave very little away and kept RR to 43 for one in the six power play overs.
This was after DC skipper Rishabh Pant decided against a review despite a strong appeal by Sakariya for a caught behind in the first over. Replays confirmed that Pant was right in not opting for a review.
Coming off his blazing half-century in the previous game, Yashasvi Jaiswal produced a lovely on-drive off Anrich Nortje (2/39) and then smashed the South African pacer for a six over third man.
Jaiswal (19) impressed again, but not for long as Mitchell Marsh (2/25) cramped him up for room with a bouncer, paving the way for the left-handed Devdutt Padikkal to join Ashwin in the middle.
Looking confident after having hitting a few boundaries, including two maximums and a ramp shot over keeper Pant, Ashwin went along nicely and brought up his half-century in 38 balls.
However, the premier off-spinner got out soon after reaching the landmark with Marsh coming back into the attack to give DC the breakthrough.
Meanwhile, Padikkal smashed Axar Patel for two sixes -- one over deep backyard point and another over long-on -- as RR looked to force the pace.
Padikkal then scored two successive fours off Marsh, even as Nortje had RR skipper Sanju Samson (6) caught by Shardul Thakur at mid-wicket. As the DC players rejoiced, Kuldeep Yadav was seen walking off the ground holding his left shoulder, having hurt himself while going for a catch in the previous over.
Riyan Parag hit Nortje for a massive six before Sakariya cut short his brief stay in the middle, and Padikkal too followed suit, thanks to brilliant catch running by substitute fielder Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
Also Read : Nothing wrong in losing but everything wrong in giving up: Gambhir tells LSG players after 82 all-out
News Source : PTI
Emma Raducanu forced to retire from Italian Open due to back injury
(Tennis news) Emma Raducanu was forced to retire during her first-round match against Bianca Andreescu in the Italian Open due to a back injury. The 19 year old was trailing 6-2 2-1 at the time of her withdrawal and was seen clutching her back when she took a medical timeout but returned just minutes later, after which her Canadian opponent took the opening set. At the start of the second set, Raducanu looked uncomfortable yet again and took the decision to retire when the score was 2-1, claiming that she couldn’t move.
The World Number 12 has failed to replicate her form that saw Raducanu win the US Open last year but did manage to reach the quarter-finals in Stuttgart and the last 16 at the Madrid Open, where she faced back issues as well. Raducanu is currently without a full time coach after splitting with Torben Beltz last month. She will be aiming to return to full fitness ahead of the Roland Garros in two weeks time.
In the men’s results, Novak Djokovic defeated Aslan Karatsev 6-3 6-2 in the second round. The World Number 1 is on his way to win his sixth Italian Open title and needs to at least reach the semi-finals to maintain his ranking after missing out on a number of tournaments due to not being vaccinated against COVID-19. The Serbian made only 10 unforced errors compared to Karatsev’s 36 and will now face either Stan Wawrinka or Laslo Djere in the next round. British number 1 Cameron Norrie also won his second round match against Luca Nardi 6-4 6-4 and will now face Marin Cilic in the next round.
India to play 3 T20s at home against Australia in September
Melbourne, May 10 (Cricket News) India will gear up for the ICC T20 World Cup with a home series against Australia featuring three T20 internationals in September later this year.
According to a report in foxsports.com.au, "Australia will play a number of white ball series with home games against Zimbabwe, New Zealand, West Indies and England coming either side of three T20s in India in September." The series will serve as a preparation for the showpiece event to be held in Australia in October and November this year.
Next year, Australia is also set to tour India for a four-Test tour in February and March.
India's next assignment is a five-match T20 series against South Africa at home from June 9 to 19, followed by a tour of Ireland for two T20Is.
The Rohit Sharma-led side then takes on England in the rescheduled fifth and final Test, which was postponed last year due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp, on July 1.
The 'Men in Blue' are then scheduled to play a white-ball series including three T20s and as many ODIs against England.
Also Read : Kolkata Knight Riders remain in competition with big win over Mumbai Indians
News Source : PTI
I fully back every decision Pant takes on field: Ricky Ponting
Navi Mumbai, May 9 (Cricket News) Rishabh Pant's on-field decisions as Delhi Capitals captain in the ongoing IPL might have come under the scanner of former players but the wicketkeeper has got the "full backing" of head coach Ricky Ponting, who says "it's easy to make judgment from outside".
Under Pant, DC have won just five of the 11 matches they have played so far, including the 91-run thrashing at the hands of Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
Pant's bowling changes and selection of bowlers to bowl at crucial periods of matches have been criticised by former players like Virender Sehwag.
But Ponting, a former Australia and Mumbai Indians captain, said he fully backs every decision Pant takes on the field.
"I fully back every decision he (Pant) takes on the field. I being a T20 captain before, I know you don't have a lot of time to think about especially under extreme pressure," Ponting said at the post-match press conference after DC's 91-run loss to CSK.
"It is easy to make judgments from outside but trust me when you are in the middle it is not an easy thing to do." Elaborating on the decision-making process of a captain, the legendary batter said, "A captain makes decisions in a very short time and the decision he takes he thinks is the best for the team at that given time of the match.
"He takes things like boundary size and batsmen at the crease into account when he takes those decisions." He, however, admitted that his side fared poorly in all departments of the game in the loss against CSK.
"Our bowling was not up to the mark, similarly our batting was very very poor. There were not many positives to take from the match. The only positive was Khaleel Ahmed, he was outstanding with the ball again," Ponting said.
"To lose by 91 runs, it will put a huge dent in our net run-rate. It means we need to bounce back really strongly in our next game.” Ponting said DC can still make the play-offs with wins in all the remaining three matches.
"We would think we can make the play-offs with three wins. Eight wins might be enough to get in and one big win might help our net run rate. Who knows we can be in the final.
"That is what we can think of, what happened has happened and we would want to look to the future and look for a rebound from a bad performance." DC have been facing issues related to COVID-19 with a net bowler testing positive for the virus just before the CSK match on Sunday. Some of their players and support staff, as well as Ponting's family member, had also contracted the virus last month.
"That's not an excuse for us. It's not the first time that we've had to deal with it on game day. In one of the earlier games against Punjab Kings we had to deal with the same thing and ended up winning that game really comfortably,” he said.
"We are going to make excuses and we are going to find solutions for the problems we are facing. Although it wasn't ideal preparation, we should have played better cricket. At the end of the day, we let ourselves down."
Also Read : Moody backs pace sensation Umran Malik to come back stronger
News Source : PTI
If we make play-offs great but if we don't it's not end of world: Dhoni
Navi Mumbai, May 8 (Cricket News) Chennai Super Kings might have had a "perfect game" against Delhi Capitals but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni doesn't want to lose his sleep over play-off qualifications as he feels that even if they fail in that pursuit, it won't be "end of the world".
CSK beat Delhi Capitals by 91 runs and moved to the eighth position in the league table and will now need to win three games and depend on other results to make it as fourth place entrants in the play-offs.
"If we make the playoffs, great. But even if we don't it's not the end of the world," a pragmatic Dhoni said after completing a 'Capitals Demolition'.
"I am not a big fan of maths. Even in school, I wasn't good at it. Thinking of the net run-rate doesn't help. You just want to enjoy the IPL. When two other teams are playing, you don't want to be under pressure and thinking. You just have to think about what to do in the next game," he said.
However, he did admit that the cricket they are playing now could have been played a few game earlier.
"It would have been better if we would have had a win like this somewhere early. It was a perfect game." We were outplayed in each department: Pant ============================ Rishabh Pant had no hesitation in admitting that his team was outplayed in every department of the game but it was good to get such a one-sided defeat out of the way.
"I think they outplayed us in all departments. As Delhi Capitals, we have played a lot of close games, there had to be a game where there is a massive difference between the two sides and unfortunately we are on the receiving end," he said.
Pant said that the equation is simple for DC from hereon as they must win three games and not depend on any other result to qualify.
"The only thing we can look forward to is the next three matches, if we win them then we will qualify." With a net bowler being found COVID-19 positive and opener Prithvi Shaw in the hospital, Pant agreed that a lot of off-the-field incidents were happening but at the same time wouldn't like to use them as an excuse.
"There is a fair bit going on amongst us, especially COVID-19 and we had few stomach infections, but we are not making an excuse and we just want to keep improving.
"Right now, we can be more positive and that's what we are going to be talking about to the boys, let's be more proactive and let's be in a good frame of mind to make good decisions in the next few matches," he concluded.
Also Read : Struggling KKR take on already out of the playoffs MI in match no 56
News Source : PTI
Olympian T Gopi hopeful of taking part in Stockholm Marathon, Commonwealth Games this year
Bengaluru, May 6 (Sports News) Asian Marathon Champion T Gopi on Friday said he is now preparing for the Stockholm Marathon in Sweden next month, after recovering from a meniscus injury.
The athlete unveiled the ASICS marathon 'Finisher Tee' for the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) World 10K Marathon, scheduled to be held in the city on May 15.
"I last participated in 2019 in a competition. After that, I had a surgery in March 2020; it was a meniscus tear. I am now preparing for a competition. Next month, it is in Sweden. I am trying to enter it...and the Commonwealth Games later this year," Gopi said.
Speaking to reporters after the event, the Olympian said COVID-19 restrictions had hampered proper rehabilitation after his injury and the Sweden competition would be his first since 2020.
"I am 90 per cent fit now after my injury. Because there was a long gap in the middle, there were no competitions. Now, when I run in this competition, I will know what to focus on. My workout is at the same level as before," he added.
Gopi, who has served in the Indian Army, was the gold medalist at the Asian Marathon Championship 2017 and also won the Tata Mumbai Marathon in 2018.
Procam International, a sports management company, part of the TCS World 10K Marathon said the race would star reigning 5,000m World Champions Muktar Edris from Ethiopia and Hellen Obiri from Kenya.
Former 100m Olympic champion Justin Gatlin from the US is the official ambassador of the race.
The registrations for the 10K event will close very soon and all other race categories, namely, the Open 10K, Majja Run (5K), Senior Citizens' Run, and Champions with Disability are also part of the marathon, the organisers said.
Also Read : 6 para athletes included in TOPS core list, MOC approves Jhajharia's proposal to train abroad
News Source : PTI
Aim to turn India into a top sporting nation by 2047: Union Minister Amit Shah
Bengaluru, May 3 (Sports News) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the Central government intends to turn India into a sporting nation to see to it that it ranks among the top five countries in terms of sports by 2047 when the country celebrates its centenary year of independence.
He also said initiatives like Khelo India and Fit India were aimed at achieving the goal of India becoming a top sports nation.
"We want India to be among the top five countries in terms of sports by 2047 when we celebrate 100 years of our independence," Shah said at the closing ceremony of the Khelo India University Games here which saw the participation of 3,900 athletes from 208 universities from across India.
“We are moving towards making India a sports nation. Along with it we are building sports infrastructure, sports science centres, community coaching facilities, arranging international level coaches and organising annual sports events,” Shah explained.
He said the country never fared well in sports other than cricket, which made Prime Minister Narendra Modi to work on this issue in a planned manner with an aim to make India a top sporting nation by 2047.
The efforts made in this direction resulted in India winning many medals in the Olympics and Paralympics, which had never happened in the past, the Home Minister pointed out.
Speaking about KIUG-2021, which was supposed to happen last year but was held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shah said in 2020, the KIUG was held in Odisha, where 3,100 athletes from 138 universities participated but in KIUG-2021 the number increased to 3,900 athletes from 208 universities, which shows the popularity of the games among universities.
Hailing the Jain Deemed To Be University, which was one of the key organisers of the games and won maximum medals this year, Shah called upon its chancellor Chenraj Jain for a tie-up with the largest stadium in the world in Gujarat Narendra Modi Stadium to use the facility for promoting sports.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Sports Anurag Thakur hailed the Karnataka government and Jain University for organising the event, which he felt was on par with international level university games.
A cultural event along with an impressive yoga performance marked the valedictory of KIUG-2021.
Also Read : Jain University clinches Khelo India University Games crown
News Source : PTI
Training sessions with Mohd Shami during lockdown helped 'Gentle Giant' Mohsin Khan
New Delhi, May 2 (Cricket News) When Imran Khan, a young aspiring first-class cricketer took his younger brother Mohsin to Badruddin Siddiqui for guidance, the coach didn't know what to make of the short and slight player from Moradabad's Sambhal area.
With eight wickets from four games, Mohsin is the latest among the group of rookie pacers, who have started making waves in this year's IPL.
Badruddin is one of the well-known grassroots level coaches in UP, having groomed the versatile Mohammed Shami during his initial years.
"It was more than a decade back when Mohsin's elder brother Imran used to come to my academy. By then Shami had moved to Kolkata and was playing Ranji Trophy.
"It was Imran who told me that his younger Mohsin is interested and if he could bring him for training," Badruddin recollected after his ward took 4/16, including wickets of David Warner, Rishabh Pant and Rovman Powell to win it for Lucknow Super Giants.
Badruddin remembers that initially Mohsin was like any other 13-year-old, who would at times be a tad inattentive.
"Kids of that age would be like that. Suddenly, he is bowling and next moment I see him padded up and taking guard. He would get scolded by me but if I am honest, 10 years back, I never felt seeing his physique that he could become a potent fast bowler," the coach said.
"However, his height shot up in a year and he became six feet tall. His game went to a different level and he started working hard with full focus," the coach said.
Multan Khan, a retired cop with UP Police had full faith in Badruddin since he was Shami's coach and left it entirely on him to guide his son.
"Imran unfortunately couldn't continue and later cleared state government exam and is now employed. But their father left all cricketing decisions with me. Once he got selected in the Vijay Merchant Trophy (U-16 Nationals), I knew he would come up the ranks," he said.
In fact, just like Shami left for Kolkata to face the bump and grind of tough club cricket, Badruddin also sent Mohsin to Kolkata based coach Abdul Monayem so that he could arrange a first division club for him.
Lot of youngsters from Meerut ply their trade as professionals in Kolkata but as luck would have it, Mohsin had to come back as he was selected for U-19 UP side.
"I remember Mohsin as he played in some practice matches between club teams that we had arranged pre-season. He attracted a lot of attention with his 6 feet 3 inch frame and would release the ball from around 10 feet after jump. He was a fine talent but he had to go back," Monayem recollected.
Training with Shami at his private ground --------------------------------------------- While he has been primarily a white-ball bowler, in 2020 during first lockdown post COVID-19, Mohsin got a rare chance to train with Shami at his residential ground in Amroha.
Shami owns a proper private ground at his native place where he has developed turf pitches and along with Badruddin, his younger brother Mohammed Kaif and Mohsin trained there during lockdown.
"It was a very small group and I had called Mohsin so that he could train and learn watching Shami. I also wated Shami to have a look at him and give his feedback as to how he was shaping up.
"What I felt was that Shami was impressed and gave him a lot of tips. He has often enquired about Mohsin's progress. And trust me you have seen his bowling but he is an equally capable had-hitting batter," Badruddin said.
UP's most potent T20 bowler of late ---------------------------------------- Lucknow is not the first team for Mohsin as he was picked by Mumbai Indians some years back after attending trials. It was learnt a senior BCCI official's right-hand man back then had really helped Mohsin get a first foothold but MI then had a set team and he didn't get chance to play.
Before Vijay Dahiya joined Lucknow Super Giants as an assistant coach this season, he already had worked as the senior UP team's head coach and already had a first hand knowledge about Mohsin's talent which came in handy at the auction.
Dahiya, perhaps, one of the best talent spotters in the country, had preferred playing Mohsin in one of the games ahead of the seasoned Ankit Rajpoot.
"Apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, we had three premier pacers --Yash (Dayal), Ankit and Mohsin. In one of the T20 games, we gave Ankit a break and played Mohsin.
"The extra bounce that he gets due to his height will always be an advantage. He is humble, gentle and hardworking, the attributes one always likes," Dahiya said.
Setting a player of Pant's calibre with short balls and then a dipping fuller delivery showed how he can be a 'Director's Actor', in this case a captain's perfect executor, but the tougher journey will start now.
"The challenge now is to remain grounded and the real test of temperament will happen in this tournament itself. Not all days will be same.
"A game will be round the corner where batters will go hell for leather against him. How he comes back will tell us how he will be doing in future. In the end, we all have our future in our own hands," Dahiya concluded.
Also Read : Cheteshwar has got his 'flow' back with better match practice, says father cum coach
News Source : PTI
Cheteshwar has got his 'flow' back with better match practice, says father cum coach
New Delhi, May 2 (Cricket News) Regular match practice, something Cheteshwar Pujara was not able to get due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the reason for the India batter's consistent run in the ongoing County Championship, reckons his father and coach Arvind Pujara.
Pujara, a veteran of 95 Tests, found himself out of the Indian team after the series loss in South Africa alongside Ajinkya Rahane.
The consistency that has made him play close to 100 Tests was not there over past three seasons when he averaged less than 30, forcing the selectors to look beyond him for the home series against Sri Lanka.
But with two double centuries and a hundred in three games for Sussex this season, Pujara is doing what is in his control as he looks to make a comeback for the one-off Test in England in July.
"I feel the lack of game time was a big reason why he could not be consistent over the past three seasons," his father Arvind, who remains his only personal coach till date, told PTI.
The pandemic struck, Ranji Trophy was not happening and Cheteshwar being a one format player, found himself playing series to series with no warm up games too, sometimes with long gaps in between (when India played white-ball cricket).
"When you play the likes of Australia and England, you have to be on the top of your game as you don't get loose balls that you may get at the domestic level.
"There were not enough games for him to play at the domestic level to be ready for bigger battles. That I feel impacted his consistency at the highest level." "Now that he is getting to play regularly, you can see the consistency is back in his game," said the father cum coach.
The 34-year-old did play three Ranji Trophy games this season as the premier domestic event made its return after two years.
After Saurashtra failed to qualify for the knock-outs, Pujara headed to UK for a full-fledged County season.
Pujara's technique was questioned after being dismissed while defending on the front foot on multiple occasions over the last two years.
Without getting into the technical side his son's game, Arvind said when one doesn't play enough games, the ability to "concentrate in the middle for long periods is affected".
His father said Cheteshwar was understandably disappointed after being left out of the Indian team but the setback made him hungrier for runs.
"Selection is in the hands of selectors. I just told him that you need to keeping working hard, keep putting in the effort day in and day out and rest will follow.
"It is every cricketer's dream to play for India and no different for Cheteshwar but you also play for the love of the game. The fact he is playing County Cricket at the moment shows that just wants to be out in the middle." On his selection for the one off Test in England couple of months down the line, "That is for the selectors to decide. I feel especially in overseas conditions, you need your experience players in the team to deal with tough situations and also guide the youngsters. He just needs to keep scoring," Arvind added.
Also Read : Captaincy pressure burdened Jadeja's preparations and performance: Dhoni
News Source : PTI
Delhi Capitals win toss, opt to bowl against Kolkata Knight Riders
Mumbai, Apr 28 (Cricket News) Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant won the toss and opted to bowl first against Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.
DC made two changes, bringing in Mitchell Marsh and Chetan Sakariya in place of Khaleel Ahmed and Sarfaraz Khan. Marsh is out of quarantine after recovering from COVID-19 and Khaleel pulled his hamstring in the last match.
Aaron Finch, Harshit Rana, and Baba Indrajith were included in the KKR playing XI, and making way for them were Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi and Sam Billings.
Indrajith is making his IPL debut.
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders: Aaron Finch, Sunil Narine, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iyer, Baba Indrajith (wk), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Harshit Rana.
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Rishabh Pant (wk/c), Lalit Yadav, Rovman Powell, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya.
Also Read : Bengaluru to host Ranji Trophy knock-out matches (BCCI)
News Source : PTI
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.
Take Umran Malik to England for one-off Test, limited-overs series: Gavaksar
Mumbai, Apr 28 (Cricket News) The legendary Sunil Gavaskar has pitched for young pace sensation Umran Malik's inclusion in the Indian team for the upcoming England tour following his stunning five-wicket haul against Gujarat Titans in the IPL here.
The 22-year-old Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer from Jammu produced one of the most fiery spells of fast bowling in the IPL history, snapping five wickets for 25 runs on Wednesday night.
But his breathtaking effort went in vain as Rashid Khan (31 not out off 11 balls) and Rahul Tewatia (40 not out in 21 balls) scored 56 from the last four overs, including 22 from the final six deliveries, to take the Titans home in a last-ball thriller.
"The next for him, I think is the Indian team," former India skipper Gavaskar said during his commentary after the game.
"He might not play in the XI because India have got Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav. So, he might not play.
"But just travelling with the group, travelling with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, sharing the dressing room with them... just look what is going to happen to him!" The young pace sensation has been clocking in excess of 150 kph consistently throughout the season and has picked up 15 wickets in eight matches at 15.93 average.
Introduced into the attack as late as the eighth over, Malik bowled devastatingly quick deliveries to scythe through the Gujarat Titans top-order, becoming the first IPL bowler to pick up all the first five wickets of an innings.
He rattled Shubman Gill's off stump for his first wicket, before removing Hardik Pandya with a combination of pace and bounce.
Next, he produced a perfect 153 kmph thunderbolt yorker to smash the wickets of Wriddhiman Saha, before cleaning up both David Miller and Abhinav Manohar to sign off with a five-for.
India's tour of England starts in June with the visitors playing the final Test of the five-match series, which was abandoned last year due to COVID-19, from July 1 to 5, before embarking on a three-match T20 series and playing as many ODIs.
India will begin the UK tour with two T20Is against Ireland in Dublin, starting June 26.
Also Read : Rashid and Tewatia power GT's stunning win, SRH lose despite Umran heroics
News Source : PTI
Djokovic and other unvaccinated players to feature at Wimbledon
(Tennis news) Wimbledon organisers have confirmed that players unvaccinated against COVID-19 will be permitted to participate in this year’s tournament. This means that World Number 1 Novak Djokovic will be competing in the tournament and attempt to defend his title, after defeating Italy's Matteo Berrettini in last year's final to win the Wimbledon title for the sixth time.
Chief executive of the All England Club, Sally Bolton, said: "The requirements set out by the government to enter the UK do not include mandatory vaccination, therefore whilst of course it is encouraged, it will not be a condition of entry to compete at the Championships this year." Earlier this year, the Serbian was deported from Australia due to his vaccination status and couldn’t compete at the Australian Open as well as enter the United States for any tournament.
"We are planning to return to a normal Championship this year. And so we don't intend to implement any of the Covid-19 measures that we saw last year in any substantial fashion. But we are, of course, keeping it on our radar in case we need to take further action when we continue to engage with DCMS, public health officials and with other sports. But this means that players will be able to return to their own choice of accommodation. We will see full capacity crowds for the whole event. And we're absolutely thrilled to welcome back the wider tennis family to Wimbledon this year."
Despite the lack of competitive action so far, Djokovic will undoubtedly be one of the favourites to win his seventh Wimbledon title. With most countries relaxing their COVID-19 regulations, the Serbian can now expect an almost full calendar in the clay and grass events. The Wimbledon Championship will begin from 27 June to 10 July.
No bio-bubble for India's home series against Proteas: BCCI sources
New Delhi, Apr 25 (Cricket News) The BCCI in all likelihood will do away with bio-bubbles from the upcoming five-match T20 series against South Africa, keeping in mind the mental well-being of cricketers.
Bio-bubbles became a part of the lives of cricketers with almost all the series (home and away) played in strict bio-secure environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The T20 series will be played across five venues -- Delhi, Cuttack, Vizag, Rajkot, Bengaluru -- between June 9 and 19.
The IPL, which is also being played in a bio-bubble for the safety of the players and the officials, will end on May 29 and the BCCI does not want its players to move to another confined stay just after the conclusion of the league.
"If all goes well and things remain in control like it is right now, there will be no bio-bubbles and hard quarantine during the home series against South Africa," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"Then we are going to Ireland and England and there won't be any bio-bubble in those countries too." The board is aware that bubble life is not sustainable for long period as staying confined to restricted areas can severely affect the players' mental health.
"Some players have got periodic breaks but if you look at the bigger picture, living in bio-bubble one series after another and now two months of IPL is simply exhausting for the players," he said.
In UK, there are no bio-bubbles as of now for any sporting activity and hence the Indian team is expected to have a free environment in the country where they would play one Test and six white-ball games in a space of three weeks.
However it is understood that the players will be tested at regular intervals to ensure there are no positive cases within the group.
Workload management post IPL ---------------------------------- An effective workload management program is being prepared so that all the stars including skipper Rohit Sharma, senior batters Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, keeper Rishabh Pant, pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami , spinner Ravindra Jadeja get adequate rest before jetting off to UK.
"There are five T20 Internationals between June 9 to 19 in five cities. Obviously, all the players won't be playing all the games. Some might be given total rest and some might play a few games.
"If these guys aren't given systemic breaks, it will only harm them. But obviously, the duration of break will be decided by selectors after talking to head coach (Rahul Dravid)," the source added.
It will be interesting to see if Hardik Pandya -- whose comeback is just a matter of time -- will picked for the Proteas series at home just after a gruelling IPL season or directly fielded in the T20I series in Ireland.
Also Read : Rahul hits second IPL ton to guide LSG to 36-run win over MI
News Source : PTI
Badminton Asia Championships: Sen, Sindhu eye medals; Prannoy pull out due to injury
Manila (Philippines), Apr 25 (Badminton News) Focus will be on two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu and world championships bronze winner Lakshya Sen when they lead India's challenge at the Badminton Asia Championships, beginning here on Tuesday.
A lot of hope will ride on Sen and Sindhu as the duo has been in good form in the run-up to the continent championships, which is returning after a gap of two years due to COVID-19.
The prestigious event will, however, lose a bit of sheen with the withdrawal of an injured HS Prannoy, who had claimed a bronze at the 2018 Wuhan edition and is in good form.
While Prannoy will miss out due to a "small injury" sustained on way to his Swiss Open final finish, it will be a great opportunity for All England silver medallist Sen.
The 20-year-old from Almora has been on a stellar run with title wins at the India Open Super 500 and final appearance at the German Open and All England Championships.
Sen had also won a bronze at the 2020 Asia team Championships, besides bagging a gold and bronze at the 2018 and 2016 Asian Junior Championships.
The fifth seeded Indian will be eagar to win a medal from the senior tournament but it will be easier said than done as he faces 22-year-old China's Li Shi Feng, a two-time world junior championships gold medallist, in his opening round.
All eyes will also be on former world champion fourth seed Sindhu, who had scooped a bronze from the 2014 Gimcheon edition and is coming into the event after securing two Super 300 titles at Syed Modi International and Swiss Open.
The World No. 7 Indian will be eagar to pocket another medal when she begins her campaign against Chinese Taipei's Pai Yu Po.
Sindhu is likely to come across fifth seeded Chinese He Bing Jiao in the quarterfinals if she can cross the initial rounds.
World championships silver winner Kidambi Srikanth too has been in good touch though he has been guilty of not able to close out some tight matches.
The seventh seeded Indian, who won two bronze in 2016 and 2020 Asia Team Championships but failed to secure an individual medal, will aim to grab the opportunity this time when he opens against Malaysia's NG Tze Yong.
Tokyo Olympian B Sai Praneeth too will eye a good show when he opens against fourth seeded Jonatan Christie.
Focus will also be on London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal as she looks to claim her fourth medal at the Badminton Asia Championships.
Saina has been on a comeback trial after recovering from some nagging injuries and had skipped the selection trials for the upcoming major events such as Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Uber Cup.
The former world number one will look to silence her critics when she begins campaign against Korea's Sim Yujin.
Among others, Aakarshi Kashyap, who was picked for all the three major events after she emerged as winner in the trials, will face top seed Akane Yamaguchi, while Malvika Bansod, who missed out of a berth, will cross swords with Singapore's Yeo Jia Min.
World number 7 and third seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will open against Thailand pair of Apiluk Gaterahong and Natchanon Tulamok.
MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, who recently made it to the Asian Games and Thomas Cup teams after finishing on top at the selection trials in New Delhi, will also be in action.
The unseeded Indian pair will be up against fourth seeded Indonesian combination of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in its opening round. Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala, who had reached the quarters at Odisha Open Super 100 and German Open Super 300 besides finishing runners-up at Syed Modi International Super 300, will look to give a good account of themselves.
In women's doubles, India will lack the punch following the withdrawls of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, and Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand.
While Sikki got injured during the recently-concluded selection trials in New Delhi, Treesa and Gayatri also pulled out at the last minute following an injury to the latter.
Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam, and young pairing of Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker will be in the fray in women's doubles for India.
In the mixed doubles, Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan, and Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto will look to go deep in the draw.
Also Read : Prannoy, Treesa-Gayatri pull out of Badminton Asia Championships
News Source : PTI
Prannoy, Treesa-Gayatri pull out of Badminton Asia Championships
Manila (Philippines), Apr 25 (Badminton News) India's H S Prannoy has pulled out of the Badminton Asia Championships beginning here on Tuesday due to a "small injury" that he sustained during his final finish at the Swiss Open in March.
Prannoy, who was handed a direct entry to the Asian Games and Thomas Cup due to his good show in the last few international events, is looking to return to action at the Thomas Cup starting in Bangkok, Thailand on May 8.
"Had to withdraw from Asian Badminton Championships this week because of a small injury which happened in Swiss Open!," Prannoy, who has a bronze medal from the 2018 Wuhan edition, wrote on his twitter handle.
"I think the best decision was to focus on training and focus on next set of events! Can't wait to join the rest of the squad for Thomas cup Finals," he added.
A former top 10 player, Prannoy had been battling a gastroesophageal reflux disease (a digestive ailment in which stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipe lining) and after affects of COVID-19 to see his performance slip and ranking drop at the world stage.
However, Prannoy showed signs of returning to form when he finished at the quarterfinal stage at the World Championships last year, before signing off at the last eight stage at the India Open Super 500, Syed Modi Super 300 and German Open Super 300.
At the Swiss Open, he had reached the finals before losing to Indonesian Jonatan Christie.
Young women's doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, who emerged as winners at the selection trials to make it to the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Uber Cup, also pulled out of the tournament due to an injury suffered by the latter.
Also Read : Want to win medals at CWG, crack world's top 10 & qualify for 2024 Olympics: Treesa Jolly
News Source : PTI
Want to win medals at CWG, crack world's top 10 & qualify for 2024 Olympics: Treesa Jolly
New Delhi, Apr 23 (Badminton News) Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand's dream run continued with the young duo making it to the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Uber Cup following its stellar display at the recently-concluded selection trials.
And the young pair is now focussing on returning with a medal from the upcoming major events, cracking the world's top 10 and qualifying for the Paris Olympics in two years time.
It has just been a little over 15 months that the two paired up but the duo has been like a house on fire, becoming the first women's pair to reach the All England semifinals, winning the Odisha Open Super 100 and reaching the finals of Syed Modi Super 300.
"Now the target is the CWG, Asian Games and Uber Cup and we also want to work hard and qualify for the 2024 Olympics," Treesa told PTI.
"Main thing is the Paris Olympics, so our aim is to be in top 10 by next year. That is the target." All of 18, Treesa hails from Cherupuzha, Kerala where the seeds of badminton were first sowed in her by her father Jolly Mathew, who is a physical education teacher.
"My father is a physical education teacher, so he wanted his kids also to play the sport. My elder sister (Maria) was my partner in under-15, under-17 in state events but I was performing better so my father motivated me to continue," Treesa said.
"When I started playing badminton, I realised that it gives me a lot of happiness. I remember watching Saina (Nehwal) at the Olympics, since then she has been my inspiration." Treesa, who started playing the sport as a six year old, said she joined the Gopichand academy just two months before the COVID-19 lockdowns were announced in 2020.
"I used to play singles and doubles but when I shifted to Gopichand academy in January 2020, Gayatri too had started playing doubles, so something clicked and we started playing together.
"But with lockdown, it was difficult as I had to go back home and we did the online sessions. In fact, Sudirman Cup and Uber Cup trials was the time when we played together and the first international event was at Poland." The duo had reached the finals of Polish International, won the Infosys Foundation International Challenge, before finishing second best at Welsh International.
But it was 2022 that the duo made a massive breakthrough with a runners-up finish at Lucknow and a top finish at Odisha.
However, the icing on the cake was their performance at the All England Championships.
"We were playing All England for the first time and there was no pressure, we were just playing freely and so we could give our best. It was such a great moment, as there was no expectations," Treesa said.
The Kerela shuttler knows expectations will be high from here on and she says it will be all about "adjusting to the pressure" and finding a way to "give our best".
The duo's court work has also been neatly divided with Treesa mending the back court as Gayatri manages the net.
"I am a attacking player, I am confident of attacking and to play at the back court with my smashes, Gayatri plays both, but she is good at net.
"It is different, when you play against the foreign players like the Chinese or Europeans. You need to be fitter and have more patience.
"The Japanese play 40-50 strokes in a rally, so we have to be of the same level. We need to be more patient to be in the rallies and also working mentally on the game.
"We have to adjust to the different style of games. I think we are comfortable with fast paced games and we need to work on playing the rally game," she signed off.
Also Read : BAI trials: Aakarshi, Priyanshu emerge winners in singles; Ashwini-Sumeeth win mixed doubles
News Source : PTI
When you win, everything seems positive even if you commit mistakes: Lalit
Mumbai, Apr 21 (Cricket News) All-rounder Lalit Yadav, one of the blue-eyed boys of Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting, feels that a victory always creates a positive vibe despite the mistakes committed on the job.
The COVID-hit DC crushed Punjab Kings by nine wickets with 57 balls to spare. Lalit with figures of 2/11, which included the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan, contributed in the victory.
"It was a different vibe altogether. You know, when we win, everything seems to look positive, no matter how many mistakes we commit," Lalit said ahead of Capitals' next match against Rajasthan Royals on Friday.
"That's a really great thing for the team, especially when the next match is in two days. The momentum we've gained is really important, and we will go into the next game with confidence." With six positive COVID-19 cases in the DC camp, there was an element of uncertainty but Lalit said that players were all focussed on the game.
"We just discussed to enjoy the game and give our 100%. We were just focusing on the match. We also had one training session the other day, so it's not that we didn't have any practice at all.
"It's just that we didn't know whether the match will happen or not, but overall, we were confident about our abilities," he said.
Speaking about the next match, the all-rounder said, "They (RR) have been one of the most consistent teams in the tournament so far, and have been playing quality cricket. However, we will focus on ourselves, we will go with our plans and try to execute them." Having lost to RCB the other night, a comprehensive win was necessary to get the campaign back on track and that is precisely what happened against PBKS.
"We were looking for a momentum since the start, we've played good cricket so far but we were not consistent. In this game, we were consistent in all three departments, and that's what we were looking for. It has created a good atmosphere in the camp," he added.
Also Read : Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit among Wisden's five 'Cricketers of the Year'
News Source : PTI
Delhi Capitals vs Rajasthan Royals: It's Chahal versus Kuldeep in battle of spinners
Mumbai, Apr 21 (Cricket News) Yuzvendra Chahal's bagful of tricks will meet its perfect match in Kuldeep Yadav's guile as the two wrist spinners are expected to dictate the narrative when Rajasthan Royals clash with Delhi Capitals in an IPL match, on Friday.
With current 'Orange Cap' holder in Jos Buttler (375 runs) and 'Purple Cap' holder Chahal (17 wickets) in their ranks, Royals are a team that is looking pretty formidable at the moment even with a dysfunctional middle-order, save Shimron Hetmyer.
On the other hand, resurgent Capitals are battling the agony that comes with a mini COVID-19 outbreak in the camp but are still trying to put their best foot forward to stay afloat.
In this backdrop, the two wrist-spinners, who are currently dominating the bowling charts will be itching to show their wares with Kuldeep (13 wickets at No. 2) expected to pose some questions for in-form Buttler in case there is a match-up.
For Delhi, Kuldeep along with Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav would like to stem the run-flow but stopping Buttler will be on top of their agenda on a Wankhede track that is expected to be good for batting.
For Chahal, how he varies the pace against a rampaging David Warner or the ever-attacking Prithvi Shaw and skipper Rishabh Pant will be a delight for the fans.
In the past five years, life has come to a full circle for 'Kul-Cha' who were the 'taste' of the nation between 2017 and 2019 when wrist spinners were in vogue during the Ravi Shastri-Virat Kohli era.
While Chahal got a body blow after being dropped from the last T20 World Cup squad and was sporadically picked in white ball formats, Kuldeep also lost his way.
He got very little support from either erstwhile national team management or his previous IPL team (KKR) and also endured a career-threatening knee injury.
But now the smile is back and so is the guile. The left-arm wrist spinner's googly -- the one that turns away from right-hander -- is back and so is the conventional left-arm leg-break which comes into the right-hander.
However in these kind of games, the support cast becomes more important as they can create those little game-changing moments that impact the final outcome of the game.
Mustafizur Rahaman's cutters and Khaleel Ahmed's clever change of pace could also trouble the likes of Sanju Samson and Riyan Parag.
Similarly, if Trent Boult gets one to tail in first-up, Shaw's response and technique will be tested in earnest.
But Royals have now got a calm death bowler in West Indies' Obed McCoy, who was brilliant while bowling the final over against KKR.
McCoy, who made his IPL debut in the last game, is tall and looked like using his height to a good advantage to create awkward angles and length for the Delhi batters.
If middle-order non-performance is an issue for Royals, the DC doesn't seem to have found the second Indian batter in that middle-order slot apart from skipper Pant, who can take the bowling apart.
Mandeep Singh was a massive failure against genuine quick bowling but Sarfaraz Khan is trying to play himself in.
Rovman Powell till now has failed to show his destructive self and these are the players, who need to push the envelope when it comes to maintaining the momentum.
Teams (From): Rajasthan Royals: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Riyan Parag, Shubham Garwal, Dhruv Jurel, Kuldip Yadav, Kuldeep Sen, Tejas Baroka, Anunay Singh, KC Kariappa, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Rassie Van der Dussen, Nathan Coulter Nile, Jimmy Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Karun Nair, Obed McCoy, Navdeep Saini, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Prasidh Krishna and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (Captain), Ashwin Hebbar, David Warner, Mandeep Singh, Prithvi Shaw, Rovman Powell, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, Pravin Dubey, Ripal Patel, Sarfaraz Khan, Vicky Ostwal, Yash Dhull and KS Bharat.
Match Starts at 7:30pm.
Also Read : Struggling MI take on defending Champions CSK in match no 33
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Delhi Capitals elect to field against Punjab Kings (Indian Premier Leauge)
Mumbai, Apr 20 (Cricket News) A COVID-hit Delhi Capitals won the toss and elected to field against Punjab Kings in an IPL game here on Wednesday.
DC made one change, replacing COVID-hit Mitchell Marsh for Sarfaraz Khan while Punjab brought in Nathan Ellis for Odean Smith and skipper Mayank Agarwal returned in place of Prabhsimran Singh.
Teams: Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma(wk), Shahrukh Khan, Kagiso Rabada, Nathan Ellis, Rahul Chahar, Vaibhav Arora, Arshdeep Singh.
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, David Warner, Rishabh Pant(wk/c), Rovman Powell, Lalit Yadav, Sarfaraz Khan, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mustafizur Rahman, Khaleel Ahmed.
Also Read : Tim Seifert tests positive for COVID-19, tonight's game against Punjab under doubt
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Tim Seifert tests positive for COVID-19, tonight's game against Punjab under doubt
Mumbai, Apr 20 (Cricket News) The IPL game between Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings on Wednesday evening has been put under serious doubt after wicket-keeper batter Tim Seifert tested positive for COVID-19.
The New Zealand player is second overseas cricketer in the Capitals team after Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh to get the infection, taking the overall count of positive cases to six.
The positive case emerged after a fresh round of testing conducted on Wednesday morning, according to a BCCI source.
"As far as we know, Tim Seifert of New Zealand has tested positive," said a BCCI source.
"We were tested in the morning and we will be tested again shortly. We continue to be isolated," said a player on the condition of anonymity.
The BCCI was on Tuesday forced to shift the game to Mumbai from Pune following a COVID outbreak in the Delhi camp.
News Source : PTI
Virat Kohli is overcooked, needs a break: Ravi Shastri
Mumbai, Apr 20 (Cricket News) Batting stalwart Virat Kohli is mentally "overcooked" and needs to take a break from cricket in order to serve the country for at least another six-seven years, feels ex-India coach Ravi Shastri.
Kohli has been going through a lean patch with just two 40-plus scores to show in last seven innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the current IPL season.
The 33-year-old from Delhi, who hasn't scored a century in the last 100 matches across formats, had stepped down from T20 captaincy both for India and RCB and also quit Test leadership, while he was removed from ODI skipper's role.
Shastri feels the likes of Kohli needs to be handled with care and empathy amid the COVID-19 restrictions which has confined players inside bio-bubbles.
"I am going straight to the main guy here. Virat Kohli is overcooked. If anyone needs a break, it's him," Shastri told Star Sports.
"Whether it's 2 months or a month-and-a-half, whether it's after England or before England. He needs a break because he has got 6-7 years of cricket left in him and you don't want to lose that with a fried brain." Kohli was out for a duck on Tuesday night as RCB rode on Faf du Plessis' 96 to claim a 18-run win over Lucknow Super Giants.
"When I was coach at the time when this first started, the first thing I said is 'you have to show empathy to the guys'.
"If you're going to be forceful, there is a very thin line there, from a guy losing the plot as opposed to him hanging in there and giving his best. So you have to be extremely careful." Shastri said there might be one or two players in world cricket going through the same problem which needs to be addressed upfront.
Echoing the same sentiment, former England captain Kevin Pietersen said Kohli should take time away from the game as well as social media to rejuvenate himself.
"...the guy has had so much to deal with, from marriage to baby to media scrutiny and all on his personal life. He is the biggest star on show," he said.
"Virat Kohli needs to say 'cricket boots, for six months, I will see you later'. Turn off social media, go and get re-energised.
"When the stadiums are full again, you guarantee him a spot in that side for the next 12, 24 or 36 months. Tell him 'you're our guy, we know you'll deliver for us'." Pietersen said Kohli "is going to find it very hard to continue delivering now as his brain is completely fried".
Also Read : Skipper Faf du Plessis guides RCB to 181/6 against LSG
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ESFI’s Asian games Esports qualifiers kicks off today
(Esports news) New Delhi, April 18, 2022: The much-awaited National Esports Championships 2022 (NESC ’22) is all set to kickstart today as the Esports Federation of India (ESFI) will be selecting the Indian contingent for the upcoming 2022 Asian Games. The nationals are being conducted for League of Legends, DOTA 2, Hearthstone, FIFA and Street Fighter V.
Under the ‘AESF Road to Asian Games’ program, the NESC ’22 will be conducted for five popular Esports titles—DOTA 2, Hearthstone, FIFA22, Street Fighter V, and League of Legends. More than 200 top esports athletes registered from all over India and the tournament will go on till April 24. Esports has been added as a medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games for the first time as the best performers of the NESC ’22 will get the opportunity to represent the country at the prestigious multi-nation event.
“The overwhelming response and the excitement we see among our esports players to be part of the Asian Games, gives us the confidence that they are aiming for something really big. They want to take national pride, give a tough challenge to the world and make the country proud. With their unmatched skills, Indian esports is expected to reach new heights. I wish the best for all the players for the upcoming tournament” said Mr Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India & Director, Olympic Council of Asia – NOC & International Relations.
The NESC ’22 will be conducted online, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the top athletes from across the country competing and showcasing their skills and strategies.
“We will now proceed with the tournaments witnessing 200 top esports athletes giving cut throat challenge in different categories to make it successfully to the Asian Games. It will be a gruelling event as the players will have to showcase their best strategy, skills and presence of mind, upon with the pressure to make the cut to be part of the Indian contingent for Asian Games. It will be an action packed and edge of the seat thrilling tournament for sure.” added Mr. Lokesh Suji, Director ESFI & VP-Asian Esports Federation.
DOTA 2 and League of Legends will see participation of 13 and four teams respectively with veteran athletes like Jeet Rajesh Kundra, Moin Ejaz and Samarth Trivedi will be seen competing. On the other hand, single-player titles
Hearthstone, FIFA22, Street Fighter V has will witness participation of 13, 60 and 16 athletes respectively as top stars including Tirth Mehta (Hearthstone), Siddh Chandarana and Lokmanyu (FIFA22) and Aditya Verma (SFV) will look to seal themselves Asian Games berth.
“I am really excited for the NESC ’22. I know all of us have been practicing and preparing at our best, and I am sure that whoever goes on to represent India at the Asian Games will aim for a podium finish this time” said Tirth Mehta, who had clinched bronze medal at 2018 Asian Games, where Esports was played as a demonstration event.
“Its great opportunity provided by ESFI to all athletes to give their best and earn a chance to represent India at Asian Games 2022. Being a professional FIFA player myself, it’s my dream like many others to win medal for the country and I’m looking forward to NESC ’22,” added popular Fifa athlete Lokmanyu
Aditya Mehta aka TheDarklord from Street Fighter V expressed his excitement and said "This is the biggest and the most important qualifier in the history of the Indian Fighting Game Community for SFV, it's about time to give it all! Shout out to ESFI for giving us this incredible opportunity"
ESFI continued its partnership with Artsmith- Concepts & Visions which will extend its support as the communication partner. The National Esports Championships will be streamed live from quarterfinal onwards on ESFI’s official YouTube as well as on the Facebook page.
Further details around national qualifiers are available on ESFI Discord server:
Also read: My goal is to represent India internationally: Tejas “Rexy” Kotian
Should Umran Malik be fast tracked into international cricket?
(Cricket news) The festival of cricket i.e the IPL is going in full flow. A lot of players are in the form of their lives while a lot of new names are becoming household names and one such name is Umran Malik. Just last year the speedster from Jammu was selected as a net bowler for Sunrisers Hyderabad on recommendation from his teammate Abdul Samad. After T Natarajan tested positive for Covid-19, Malik was selected as a replacement and his life completely changed. Even though Sunrisers Hyderabad didn't make it to the playoffs the fast bowler caught the eyes of cricketing fans. The same year he was selected as a net bowler for the 2021 T20 World Cup by team India.
Umran Malik was then retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the likes of T Natarajan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 4 Cr. He later went onto play for India A in 4 day games against South Africa A. This year he has picked 9 wickets in 6 games and has bowled some amazing spells. His performances have attracted a lot of attention with experts and fans calling for him to be selected in the Indian team immediately. No Indian bowler comes close to him when it comes to raw pace which is why he can add something unique to the Indian attack. The only problem is that if he is fast tracked and thrown into international cricket it could easily backfire.
The speedster is just playing his first full IPL season and is only 21 years old. Malik definitely needs more experience playing domestic cricket. An international call up is a big thing for any cricketer but an immediate set back could be devastating as well. BCCI selectors may want to wait for another year or so before giving an international debut to Umran Malik. A few first class tours with India A will definitely do him a world of good just like it did for Mohammed Siraj who is a regular member of the Test side now. If the selectors do go with the flow and call up Umran Malik straight away for the South Africa series then it will be a big Test for the seamer who will have to develop accuracy and a few variations as well. Everything else will come later but right now he needs to continue doing the same things that he has been doing for the rest of the tournament.
Also read: Rajasthan Royals edge Kolkata Knight Riders in all time IPL classic
Bhubaneswar, Goa, Navi Mumbai to host FIFA U-17 Women's WC; draw on June 24
Mumbai, Apr 13 (Football News) World football body, FIFA on Wednesday named Bhubaneswar, Goa and Navi Mumbai as the host cities for the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup to be held in October later this year.
FIFA also announced that the draw for the marquee tournament will take place in Zurich on June 24.
Following the cancellation of the 2020 edition of the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) confirmed the host cities after undertaking a comprehensive review and consultation process.
"In order to ensure the safety of the players involved and the other participants in the tournament, Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium, Goa's Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Navi Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium have been announced as the three venues that will welcome some of the brightest emerging talents and future stars of women's football," the LOC said in a media release.
Sarai Bareman, FIFA Chief Wome's Football Officer, said: "Following the recent FIFA visit to India, this is an important step forward and marks the start of the final countdown towards the tournament." Praful Patel, the LOC chairman, AIFF President and FIFA Council member, added: "Following FIFA's recent successful visit to India, remaining cognisant of the evolving COVID-19 situation, the new footprint for the tournament was decided upon.
"While Goa and Navi Mumbai have already displayed considerable expertise in hosting international tournaments, Bhubaneswar, an upcoming sporting powerhouse, perfectly aligns with the values of growth and development of this youth tournament." Apart from hosts India, six countries -- Brazil, Chile, China PR, Colombia, Japan and New Zealand -- have confirmed their participation so far and are sure to feature in the draw on June 24.
With 16 teams set to compete in the tournament, spots are still up for grabs.
The tournament is set to be played from October 11 to 30.
Also Read : AFC Champions League: Confident Mumbai City eye another win
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SA replaces two COVID infected players in 2nd Test against Bangla, first time in international cricket
Gqeberha, Apr 11 (Cricket News) In a first instance of COVID-19 substitution in international cricket, South Africa's Sarel Erwee and Wiaan Mulder were replaced by Khaya Zondo and Glenton Stuurman in the playing eleven of the second Test against Bangladesh after testing positive for the virus on Monday.
Erwee and Mulder were tested on Monday morning, the fourth day of the Test, and returned positive results.
"Khaya Zondo will make his Test debut on Day 4 of the 2nd #BetwayTest against Bangladesh after Sarel Erwee and Wiaan Mulder tested positive for Covid-19," a Cricket South Africa tweet said.
"The pair replaced with Zondo and Glenton Stuurman." South Africa won the second Test by 332 runs on the fourth day itself to clinch the two-match series 2-0.
"This is an unfortunate situation, but not unexpected after the decision was made to have this tour under the Managed Event Environment (MEE) protocol, rather than the strict Bio-safe Environment (BSE) Protocol as was previously the case," CSA chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra said.
"This is in line with the country's policy in revoking the Disaster Management Act with reference to the pandemic, as well the huge mental strain that a bubble environment induces." The series is being played in a managed environment, not in a bio-bubble. Players are not limited to their hotel rooms and are allowed to go out -- with the advice that they should stick to open air restaurants and the outdoors -- and mingle with other people.
This is the first instance of the COVID substitution protocol being used in international cricket.
COVID replacement incidents had happened earlier in the Plunket Shield and County Championship but not in international cricket.
It is also just the second instance of two substitutes for a team in the same match in international cricket -- Bangladesh had two concussion subs against India in 2019.
According to ESPNcricinfo, Bangladesh's coach Russell Domingo has not been able to attend the Test after contracting COVID-19 last week while South Africa's bowling coach Charl Langeveldt and security officer Zunaid Wadee were also not at the match venue after testing positive on Friday.
All COVID-related restrictions, apart from mask-wearing in indoor spaces and limitations on the number of people at gatherings, have been lifted in South Africa.
Also Read : Hetmyer, Chahal star as RR defeat LSG in last over thriller
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India to play warm-up games against Derbyshire, Northamptonshire ahead of England limited overs series
New Delhi, Apr 8 (Cricket News) India will take on Derbyshire and Northamptonshire in two T20 warm-up fixtures ahead of their white-ball series against England in July.
The two matches will be played against on July 1 and 3 respectively.
However, both the games will clash with the postponed fifth and final Test between India and England, which was suspended due to a COVID-19 outbreak last year.
The Test, which was called off after COVID-19 cases were reported in the Indian contingent, will be held from July 1-5 at Edgbaston, Birmingham. India lead the series 2-1.
"India will travel to The Incora County Ground to face Derbyshire in a Twenty20 Tour Fixture on Friday 1 July (7pm start). The number-one ranked T20 side in the world will continue their ICC Twenty20 World Cup preparations against a Derbyshire side," Derbyshire announced on its website.
"Northamptonshire will welcome India to Wantage Road this summer for a one-off T20 tour match," Northamptonshire wrote.
The first practice match is slated to be played at the Incora County Ground in Derby, while the second game will be held at the County Ground in Northampton.
India and England are scheduled to play three T20Is, starting July 7, before taking on each other in as many ODIs from July 12.
India are also slated to play Ireland in two T20Is, on June 26 and 28, respectively.
Also Read : Gujarat Titans win toss and opt to field against Punjab Kings
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India to give match time to new players in women's football friendly against Jordan
Zarqa (Jordan), Apr 7 (Football News) Indian women's football team head coach Thomas Dennerby is set to give match time to more players in the second international friendly against hosts Jordan here on Friday.
The Indian team beat Egypt 1-0 on Tuesday and will now follow it up with a match against Jordan.
“We are trying to build for the longer term. We need to start giving match time to the younger players. The focus is not so much on the results, though we do want to win,” said head coach Thomas Dennerby.
“The main focus is on performance and giving opportunities to young players.” One youngster who certainly shone for the Blue Tigresses on a match that was her senior international debut was midfielder Priyangka Devi, who scored the winner against Egypt.
“It was a memorable night for me against Egypt. It was my first match for the senior team, and I also managed to score the goal for my country, which makes it all the more special,” said Priyangka.
“I hope to continue in this form and do greater things for my nation,” she added.
Dennerby further highlighted the importance of using the FIFA windows to play international matches.
“It’s a good way to start playing games again. A small three-nation tournament – there is no special reason behind it other than to build for the future,” said Dennerby.
“The aim should be to play games in every open FIFA window, and add some extra games before competitions. That is normally enough.” On the basis of FIFA rankings, Jordan is a much better team at 63rd as against 59th of India. On the other hand, Egypt, which India beat 1-0 on Tuesday, is ranked 95th.
The match against Egypt was the first one for India since it was forced to withdraw from the group stage of the AFC Asian Cup in January after it failed to field a team due to a COVID-19 outbreak inside its bio-bubble in Mumbai.
Also Read : Barca take on Frankfurt as West Ham look to make history against Lyon
News Source : PTI
In-form India to start favourite against Korea in Women WC quarterfinal
Potchefstroom, Apr 7 (Hockey News) Unbeaten so far in the tournament, a confident India team is expected to steamroll lower-ranked Korea and seal the semifinal spot in the Junior Women Hockey World Cup, here on Friday.
The Indians finished on top of Pool D with maximum nine points from three victories. After humbling Wales (5-1), Germany (2-1) and Malaysia (4-0), India go into the quarterfinals with a superior 11-2 record.
On the contrary, with just three points in their kitty, Korea finished second in Pool C on account of a better goal difference.
Korea's pool was headed by Argentina with maximum nine points while Uruguay and Austria lost out on a quarterfinal berth on goal difference after finishing with same points as their Asian rival.
With three Olympians in the squad in skipper Salima Tete and strikers Sharmila Devi and Lalremsiami, the Indians looked a completely dominant side, rich with big match experience.
Salima has led the side from the front with her superlative runs from the flanks, creating chances for the forward line, while Sharmila and Lalremsiami too lived up to their expectations with their attacking game upfront.
But the star of India's performance so far in the tournament has been young striker Mumtaz Khan, who has scored five goals so far, including a hat-trick against Malaysia on Wednesday.
Besides Mumtaz, Lalremsiami and Lalrindiki scored two goals each in three matches, while Sangita Kumari and dragflicker Deepika scored once each.
India captain Salima Tete, however, is no mood to take Korea lightly.
"We have speedy players. We want to beat them but Korea is a good team and we need to fight as a team," Tete said.
India vice-captain Ishika Chaudhary summed up the team's goals in a more articulate manner.
"Our first challenge was to top the league stages and our next focus is on quarterfinals. We are going step by step. We are going match by match so we are taking the quarterfinal as just another match," she said.
"We need to focus on that match only, not on the outcome and future. We are focussing on what we have and what we can do in that match," Chaudhary added.
In other quarterfinals of the day, Netherlands will take on South Africa, England will face United States and Argentina will be up against Germany.
The quadrennial tournament, which was originally scheduled for last December, was postponed due to the threat posed by the omicron variant of COVID-19 in South Africa.
India, who have appeared in four editions of the junior global event, claimed their best finish in 2013 with a bronze. The team did not qualify for the previous edition.
Also Read : Chandigarh, Jharkhand, Bengal, Puducherry emerge winners on first day of national men's hockey
News Source : PTI
Real Madrid set out for revenge at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea
(Football news) Real Madrid and Chelsea will replay the semi final of last season's Champions League in the quarter finals of this season. Chelsea won 3-1 on aggregate last season but this season is a little different as there is no away goals rule and the first leg is at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are the defending champions and are looking to become only the 2nd team to win back to back UCLs. Ironically, the only team that has done that is Real Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti who was out with COVID-19 has now tested negative and will be on the touchline after missing the last game against Celta Vigo.
Los Blancos have a hefty lead at the top of the La Liga table but their performance has dropped in the past month or so. They comfortably finished top of their group in the UCL before getting an emphatic win over PSG in the Round of 16 despite being 2-0 down with just 45 minutes left to play. Chelsea on the other hand finished 2nd in their group behind Juventus. They defeated Lille 4-1 on aggregate in the Round of 16. Chelsea are currently 3rd on the Premier League table with the title out of reach.
Real Madrid will be without Eden Hazard, Isco and Luka Jovic while Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odio are unavailable for Chelsea. Real Madrid's midfield have the ability to control the game but as seen last season, they can find it difficult to keep up with Chelsea's tempo which is why Ancelotti may start Fede Valverde to get some extra energy and fuel the pressing. Another big decision would be the right wing position which is the only place that does not have a guaranteed starter. The choice is between Rodrygo, Marco Asensio and Fede Valverde. Mateo Kovacic could be the key for Chelsea given his spell at Real Madrid. It will also be interesting to see what system Thomas Tuchel goes with and whether he starts Romelu Lukaku and/or Timo Werner up front. It goes without saying that Karim Benzema will be the main man for Real Madrid and he will need support from Vinicius Jr who has had a few underwhelming games in what has been a fantastic season.
Real Madrid are not in the best of form as they lost 4-0 at home to Barcelona and needed 3 penalties to defeat Celta Vigo on the weekend. After winning 12 out of 13 games in all competitions, Chelsea lost 4-1 away against Brentford in what was a disastrous performance. The match will be Real Madrid's class and experience against Chelsea's tempo and energy. The last round was another example of what Real Madrid are capable of at big UCL nights at the Bernabéu, hence Chelsea would be very keen to go to Madrid with a lead.
Indian Player Priyangka Devi strike hands India victory against Egypt
Zarqa (Jordan), Apr 6 (Football News) Priyangka Devi scored the solitary goal as the Indian women's football team registered a 1-0 win over lower-ranked Egypt in the first friendly at the Prince Mohammed Stadium here on Wednesday.
It was Priyangka's first-ever goal for the Blue Tigresses against 95th ranked Egypt.
The first half began with the Indian side pressing hard to seize the initiative. Captain Ashalata Devi tried to earn an early lead in the 18th minute via her shot from distance but Anju, who latched on to the ball, missed the chance.
Couple of minutes later, Manisha almost scored the first for the night through Dalima's pass from the right but was collected by the Egyptian custodian.
Before the opposition could settle into the game, a sudden strike by Priyangka in the 30th minute gave India the early lead, and remained the only goal of the match.
Dalima managed to pass the ball to Priyangka after Manisha essayed a brilliant cross from the left and eventually, the young midfielder found the back of the net. The half time score therefore read 1-0 in favour of India.
The second half was played out on similar lines with India creating more chances, as head coach Thomas Dennerby made his first change at the restart, replacing forward Renu with Pyari Xaxa.
Ten minutes after the resumption, Pyari came close to scoring in the 53rd minute as she got on the end of a cross from Manisha with an excellent run, but the shot was saved by the keeper.
Couple of more substitutions followed as Sandhiya came on in place of Anju Tamang, and Soumya and Ratanbala were introduced in place of Grace and Priyangka Devi respectively.
The prolific captain Engy Ahmed Sayed tried her luck from close range before the hour-mark, but Sowmiya stood tall to deny her confidently.
Hayam Abdellatif had the final effort for Egypt in the dying minutes of the game but her effort landed safely into Sowmiya's gloves.
The last change was made by Dennerby at the final minutes of the regulation time when Manisha was replaced by Mariyammal.
The match soon came to an end as India earned their first victory in Jordan.
This is the first match since the national team was forced to withdraw from the group stage of the AFC Asian Cup, which India hosted in January-February, after it failed to field a team due to a COVID-19 outbreak inside its bio-bubble in Mumbai.
Also Read : Bayern take on Villarreal in the Champions League quarter finals
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Orleans Masters: Indian shuttler Mithun Manjunath loses in final
Orleans (France), Apr 4 (Badminton News) Indian shuttler Mithun Manjunath's splendid run at the Orleans Masters ended with a straight game loss to local favourite Toma Junior Popov in the summit clash of the Super 100 tournament here.
The 23-year-old Manjunath went down 21-11 21-19 to world number 32 and fourth seed Frenchman in 50 minutes late on Sunday night.
It was Majunath's maiden Super 100 final. He is a product of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy.
The unseeded Indian had been impressive throughout the tournament, stunning world No. 22 Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark in the quarterfinals.
The world number 79 has won four All-India ranking titles, including the All India Senior Ranking Badminton tournament in December last year.
The shuttler from Bengaluru was rated highly during his junior days and he also had one or two odd performances in the circuit like reaching the quarters at 2018 Czech Open and back-to-back semi-finals finishes at Vietnam Open and Russian Open in 2018.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he decided to work hard on his fitness, something which has helped him to stay longer in the rallies and outlast his opponents in the three-game contests.
He had reached the semifinals of Infosys foundation India International in October last year.
He was one of the players who had withdrawn from the India Open Super 500 event ahead of his second round match against India's H S Prannoy after testing positive for COVID-19.
However, he made a good comeback, reaching the last four at Lucknow and the quarters in Odisha in January.
He was also part of the Indian team which competed at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Malaysia.
Also Read : Shuttler Mithun enters final at Orleans Masters Super 100
News Source : PTI
Hockey Jr Women's WC: India stun Germany 2-1 to seal quarterfinal berth
Potchefstroom, Apr 3 (Hockey News) The Indian women's hockey team stunned formidable Germany 2-1 to register its second consecutive win in pool stages and assure its place in the quarterfinals of the FIH Junior World Cup here on Sunday.
India, who thrashed a lowly Wales 5-1 in its opening Pool D match on Saturday, scored through two penalty corner conversions by Lalremsiami (2nd minute) and Mumtaz Khan (25th) to emerge winners.
Germany's lone goal was scored by Jule Bleuel in the 57th minute.
The Indian will finish off their pool engagements against Malaysia on April 5 before the quarterfinal round which starts on April 8.
The Indians are currently atop Pool D with two wins from as many games ahead of second-placed Germany. Two teams each from pools will qualify for the knock-out rounds.
Against Germany, the Indians took the lead as early as in the second minute when Lalremsiami scored from a rebound after Deepika's dragflick from a penalty corner was saved by German goalkeeper Mali Wichmann.
Thereafter, Germany proceedings and earned a handful of penalty corners by putting relentless pressure on the Indian defence, which stood firm.
India goalkeeper Bichu Devi Karibam had an excellent match as she not only denied the Germans from penalty corners on number of occasions but also pulled off a brilliant save to keep out a penalty stroke by Jette Fleschutz in the second quarter.
The Indians mostly relied on counter attacks and from one such move secured back-to-back penalty corners, the second of which was deflected in by Mumtaz in the 25th minute.
The Germans were the attacking side for major part of the first half but have been wasteful in converting penalty corners as they wasted as many as six set pieces.
The Indians, on other hand, scored from two of the three penalty corners they managed in the first two quarters.
Down by two goals, the Germans continued to attack after the change of ends but as has been the case they failed to find the back of the Indian net despite creating numerous chances.
The Indians also upped their game a bit in the fourth and final quarter, making inroads into German circle on quite a few occasions but to no avail.
Germany livened up the game three minutes from the final hooter through a reverse hit field goal by Bleuel.
But the Indian defence did enough in the remaining minutes of the game to pocket full points from the game.
The quadrennial tournament, which was originally scheduled for last December, was postponed due to the threat posed by the omicron variant of COVID-19 in South Africa.
India, who have appeared in four editions of the junior global event, claimed their best finish in 2013 with a bronze. The team did not qualify for the previous edition.
Also Read : FIH Pro League: India beat England 3-2 in marathon shoot-out to climb to top of table
News Source : PTI
Shuttler Mithun enters final at Orleans Masters Super 100
Orleans (France), Apr 3 (Badminton News) India's Mithun Manjunath made it to his maiden Super 100 final with a straight-game win over Indonesia's Christian Adinata at the Orleans Masters badminton tournament here.
The 23-year-old, a product of the Prakash Padukone Badminton academy, Manjunath prevailed 21-18 21-14 over Adinata in a 47-minute showdown at the Palais des Sports here late on Saturday night.
The world No. 79, who had reached the semi-finals of Syed Modi International Super 300 event and quarterfinals of Odisha Super 100 in January, will next face fourth seeded local hope Toma Junior Popov, who is ranked world No. 32, in the summit clash.
It was a tight battle with Manjunath and Adinata moving neck and neck initially before the Indian managed to go three-points up at the interval. However, the Indonesian came back to level the scores at 16-16.
Manjunath then stepped up his game and grabbed five points on the trot to earn the bragging rights.
The second game also started on an equal footing but Manjunath managed to lead 11-9 at the break and then kept his nose ahead to eventually seal the contest in 47 minutes.
In other results, women's doubles pair of Ashwini Bhat K. and Shikha Gautam put up a gallant fight before going down 16-21, 21-18, 22-24 to Germany's Stine Kuspert and Emma Moszczynski in the semifinals.
Manjunath has been impressive throughout the tournament as he stunned world No. 22 Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark in the quarterfinals to keep the Indian flag fluttering following the early exit of top seed B Sai Praneeth.
Manjunath claimed four All-India ranking titles, including the All India Senior Ranking Badminton tournament in December last year.
The shuttler from Bengaluru was rated highly during his junior days and he also had one or two odd performances in the circuit like reaching the quarters at 2018 Czech Open and back-to-back semi-finals finishes at Vietnam Open and Russian Open in 2018.
However, it was during the COVID-19 pandemic that he decided to work hard on his fitness, something which has helped him to stay longer in the rallies and outlast his opponents in the three-game contests.
He had reached the semi-finals of Infosys foundation India International in October last year.
However, COVID-19 disrupted his plans as he was one of the players who was withdrawn from the India Open Super 500 event ahead of his second round match against India's H S Prannoy after testing positive for the virus.
He, however, reached the last four at Lucknow and the quarters in Odisha in January. He was also part of the Indian team which competed at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Malaysia.
Also Read : BAI announces selection trials for CWG, Asian Games, Thomas & Uber Cup
News Source : PTI
India start Jr Hockey WC campaign on bright note, thrash Wales 5-1
Potchefstroom, Apr 2 (Hockey News) The Indian women's hockey team started its campaign in the FIH Junior World Cup on a resounding note, thrashing a lowly Wales 5-1 in its opening pool match here on Saturday.
The Indians scored through field efforts from Lalremsiami (4th minute), Lalrindiki (32nd) and Mumtaz Khan (41st) before Lalrindiki (57th) and Deepika (58th) converted two late penalty corners for the winners.
Wales' lone goal was scored by Millie Holme in the 26th minute from a field strike.
The Indians started on a bright note and secured an early penalty corner but Deepika's drag-flick was saved by the Welsh goalkeeper.
But India were not to be denied for long as they took the lead in the fourth minute when Lalremsiami deflected in Sangita Kumari's shot towards the goal.
Wales also tested the Indian defence early on but failed to get past agile custodian Bichu Devi.
Wales drew parity in the second quarter through Holme as both the teams went into the halfway break at 1-1.
Wales started aggressively after the change of ends but it was India who restored their lead two minutes into the third quarter through a field goal by Lalrindiki.
The Indians kept up the pressure and extended their lead in the 41st minute through another field strike from Mumtaz.
From there on the Indians completely dominated the proceedings as the Wales defence found it difficult to stop their rivals' consistent forays.
India skipper Salima Tete was brilliant in creating chances for her side with her dribbling skills and sideways runs.
Tete secured a few penalty corners for India in the fourth quarter but the opportunities went in vain.
With three minutes left on the clock, Deepika earned a penalty corner and Larindiki was at the right place to score from a rebound and make it 4-1 in favour of India.
A minute later, it was Larindiki's turn to secure another penalty corner for India and Deepika executed her job perfectly to place her dragflcik to the left of the Wales custodian.
India will play formidable Germany on Sunday in their second Pool D match.
The Indians will then take on Malaysia in the final pool match before the quarterfinal round which starts on April 8.
The quadrennial tournament, which was originally scheduled for last December, was postponed due to the threat posed by the omicron variant of COVID-19 in South Africa.
India, who have appeared in four editions of the junior global event, claimed their best finish in 2013 with a bronze. The team did not qualify for the last edition of the tournament.
Also Read : FIH Pro League: India to play rescheduled double header against Germany on April 14-15
News Source : PTI
Liverpool and Man City hope to keep momentum in the Premier League
(Football news) Liverpool will be facing Watford at Anfield today after a lengthy international break. Despite 16 places and 47 points separating the two sides, three points are not guaranteed for the hosts as Roy Hodgson’s team are currently fighting for survival while Jurgen Klopp’s team need to keep pace with Manchester City.
In team news, Trent Alexander-Arnold is currently recovering from a hamstring injury and remains doubtful for the fixture alongside Naby Keita. James Milner and Andy Robertson are available for selection after recovering from COVID-19 while Klopp may keep Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane due to their involvement in the World Cup qualifiers.
As for Watford, Jeremy Ngakia is available for selection while Nicolas Nkoulou could also find a place in the squad. Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis will join Hernandez in the final third while Ismaila Sarr could also force his way into the starting XI. Liverpool should be able to secure the three points from this fixture and apply pressure on Manchester City at the top of the table.
Meanwhile, reigning champions and league leaders Manchester City will take on relegation-threatened Burnley at the Turf Moor. The Clarets will be missing Nathan Collins due to suspension while Ben Mee is still injured which means Kevin Long could get his first Premier League appearance.
As for Manchester City, they are without the services of Ruben Dias and Cole Palmer while Benjamin Mendy remains suspended. Ederson has recovered from illness while John Stones and Raheem Sterling could also start the match. Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Sterling could feature in the front three while Jack Grealish could be dropped on the bench. Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are expected to feature in midfield.
FIH Pro League: India to play rescheduled double header against Germany on April 14-15
New Delhi, Apr 2 (Hockey News) The FIH Hockey Men's Pro League double header between India and Germany, which was postponed after a COVID-19 outbreak in the visitors' camp last month, was on Saturday rescheduled to April 14 and 15.
The announcement comes a day after Hockey India received a confirmation from the International Hockey Federation.
The matches will be played at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
The last time the two teams met was during the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympic Games where India prevailed 5-4 in a thrilling match to earn a historic podium after a gap of 41 years.
The Indian men's team and Germany were originally scheduled to play on March 12 and 13, but the matches had to be postponed after several members of the German squad tested positive for COVID-19.
Welcoming the German team's decision to travel to India for the matches in April, Hockey India president Gyanendro Ningombam said, "No doubt, there is a lot of excitement among the Indian hockey fans to watch these two teams who played the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020." The German men's team has so far played eight matches out of which they have won five, while India, who are placed second in the pool standings behind Germany by only a point, have also played eight games, winning five and loosing two in regulation time and one in shootout.
Also Read : India eye wins against England to climb to top spot in FIH Pro League standings
News Source : PTI
Federation Cup: Kamalpreet, Anas miss out as Hima, Dutee are star attractions
Kozhikode, Apr 1 (Sports News) Ace long jumper M Sreeshankar, shot putter Tajinder Pal Singh Toor along with sprinters Hima Das and Dutee Chand will seek to grab the spotlight in the Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships which begins here on Saturday.
As expected, Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will not take part in the championships as he seeks to train abroad and prepare for top events like the Diamond League Meetings in search for a medal in the World Championships in Eugene, USA, in July.
More than 500 athletes, including 158 women, will vie for top honours in the five-day event, the season's first major domestic championships with the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Asian Games lining up later in the season.
Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur, who finished sixth in the Tokyo Olympics last year, has also decided to skip the championships as the knee problem she had even during the Tokyo Olympics has "aggravated" while winning gold at the Indian Grand Prix II in Thiruvananthapuram on March 23.
"The knee injury which I had during the Tokyo Olympics has not healed completely. I think it aggravated when I took part and won gold in Indian GP II. So I am not taking part in the Federation Cup," Kaur told PTI from her training base at NIS Patiala.
"Let us see when I can return. I should be fine soon and I am sure I will take part in the National Inter-State Championships in June." Men's 3000m steeplechaser Avinash Sable, who recently broke his own national record, will not be taking part in his pet event, but will be running in the 5000m race. He has already qualified for the World Championships 3000m steeplechase.
National record holders Toor and Sreeshankar will be hoping to produce better performances than their efforts in the World Athletics Indoor Championships last month.
Sreeshankar had come up with a decent show, finishing seventh with 7.92m but Toor flopped as all his three attempts were fouls to record a 'No Mark' against himself.
National record holder in men's 400m, Muhammed Anas Yahiya is not taking part in the event as he is yet to fully recover from an injury he sustained last year.
In good news, national record holder and 2018 Asian Games 1500m gold medallist Jinson Johnson will return to action after a long injury and COVID-related lay-off.
The National Open Throws Meet in Patiala, the National Open Jumps meet as well as two Indian Grands Prix in Thiruvananthapuram have served as ideal beginning to the season but the Federation Cup will give the athletes and their coaches the opportunity to assess their form and work towards peaking in this year's three international meets, including the World Championships.
The AFI has laid down qualifying standards for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in Hangzhou. And some of those who have not already attained them will be straining their every sinew to achieve these standards. This will make the Federation Cup an interesting meet to track.
Rising sprinter Amlan Borgohain will seek to establish his credentials in the men's 200m while veteran Arpinder Singh has also entered in the fray in men's triple jump.
The women's 100m race will be one of the events to look out for with national record holder Dutee up aginst Hima Das.
But surprisingly, Tamil Nadu's S Dhanalakshmi, who has beaten Dutee in 100m and Hima in 200m recently, is missing. Dutee has also entered her name only in 100m dash while Hima will compete in both 100m and 200m.
Up and coming Priya Mohan has also decided to compete only in 200m and not in 400m in which she had won gold in both the Indian GP I and II last month.
Harmilans Bains, who set a national record in women's 1500m race during the National Open Championships last year, is also missing.
Rising long jumper Shaili Singh, who won a silver in the U-20 World Championships last year, is also skipping the event as she is yet to hit top form after COVID-19 infection in January.
There are three gold medals on offer on the opening day on Saturday. Besides the 10000m events for both men and women in the morning, the women’s pole vault will be contested in the afternoon.
The men's 25-lapper event could see an intense contest. Kartik Kumar, Abhishek Pal, Dharmender, Murli Kumar Gavit and Narendra Pratap Singh will look to top the 26-runner field.
Sanjivani Babur Jadhav, who posted a victory in the National Inter-State Championships in Warangal last year, will battle with Kavita Yadav for honours in the women's race.
The women’s pole vault competition promises a keen contest, despite the absence of V Pavithra, who earlier this year became only the fourth Indian woman to clear 4.00m when winning the Inter-University Championships in Bhubaneshwar.
Pooja, who fell short of that mark by 5cm, P Rosy Meena and Baranica Elangovan can draw attention to the Pole Vault pit.
There will be much interest in the men and women's 100m, 1500m heats as well as men's long jump qualifying round where Sreeshankhar and Muhammed Anees Yahiya can be expected to be joined by Jeswin Aldrin in leading the list of those making it to the final.
Also Read : SAI's Shilaroo centre to host long training camp for junior athletes
News Source : PTI
Bundesliga: Bayern look to extend their lead as Dortmund play catch up
(Football news) Bayern face a tough away test against Freiburg as they look to extend their lead and win their record 10th consecutive Bundesliga crown. The two teams with the best defensive records this season will lock horns as Bayern have conceded only 28 goals so far, on the other hand Freiburg have let in 29 and both sides have also kept an equal number of clean sheets in the league with nine. Freiburg's hopes of making their first-ever Champions League appearance are still alive, despite playing out a goalless draw with bottom club Furth.
A comfortable 4-0 success against Union Berlin was their 20th league victory of the season as star striker Robert Lewandowski netted a brace in that game to take his Bundesliga tally to 31 goals from just 27 matches. While Bayern will have one eye on next week's Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash against Villarreal, they will have to now turn their attention to Freiburg, a side against whom they have an impressive goalscoring record, as they have scored in each of their previous 17 meetings, scoring at least twice in the last 12 matches.
For Bayern Munich, Niklas Sule (hamstring) and Alphonso Davies (heart condition) have both returned to light training but won’t be ready for Freiburg. Leon Goretzka (knee) and Benjamin Pavard (COVID-19) have also and will be assessed ahead of kickoff to see if they are fit to play. For Freiburg, Nicolas Hofler, Philipp Lienhart and Jeong Woo-yeong are all doubtful after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.
Dortmund take on high flying RB Leipzig knowing that anything less than a victory would mean that their title challenge will be all but over. BVB have won four of their last five league games on home soil and scored 17 goals in the process, while Leipzig are on a golden run, having won each of their last three away matches in the league and also finding the net 13 times during this run. Dortmund have recently lacked a clinical edge in front of the goal as they have scored only four goals in as many matches and only managed to get narrow 1-0 victories. To put matters into context, the last time that BVB failed to score more than once in four successive league fixtures was back in 2014
The return of star striker Erling Braut Haaland to full fitness should act as a massive boost because he will provide Marco Rose's men with a much-needed attacking threat in the final third. The Norway international has scored more goals for Dortmund against RB Leipzig (six) across all competitions than against any other team, in the last three matches against Leipzig, he has scored a brace. Last week's point against Freiburg helped Domenico Tedesco's side extend their unbeaten run across all competitions to nine matches and has also kept them in the hunt for the last Champions league spot as Frieburg are ahead just on goal difference.
Leipzig's impressive form has seen them get 23 league points since the turn of the year, more than any other team in the Bundesliga this season. They were seemingly at risk of failing to qualify for Europe after their rocky start to the season, but since the arrival of Tedesco, they are now in a strong position to finish in the top 4. For Dortmund, Thomas Meunier (hamstring), Felix Passlack (muscle) and Mateu Morey (ACL) are all ruled out with injuries. Nico Schulz (muscle), Youssoufa Moukoko (hamstring), Steffen Tigges (ankle) and Marcel Schmelzer (ACL) are also sidelined due to injury, though Mahmoud Dahoud is available. For Leipzig, they will be without forward Yussuf Poulsen, who is suffering with a groin injury, while defender Lukas Klostermann (muscle) and backup goalkeeper Philipp Tschauner (illness) are also sidelined.
The other fixtures are:
- Union Berlin vs FC Koln
- Arminia vs VFB Stuttgart
- Hoffenheim vs VFL Bochum
- Leverkusen vs Hertha
- Frankfurt vs Furth
- Augsburg vs Wolfsburg
- Monchengladbach vs Mainz
Premier League to introduce five substitutions per match next season
(Football news) The Premier League has confirmed that five substitutions will be permitted per match next season while the summer transfer window dates have also been revealed. At a shareholder meeting on Thursday, top flight clubs voted in favor of the substitution rule change which was originally introduced in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the rule was reverted back to three substitutions from the 2020/21 campaign onwards.
The Premier League has also confirmed that the summer transfer window will open on Friday June 10 and will close at 11pm on Thursday September 1 and has said that only symptomatic patients will be tested for COVID-19 from Monday onwards. A statement released by the Premier League said “Premier League Shareholders met today and discussed a range of matters. Clubs agreed to change the rules relating to substitute players. From next season, clubs will be permitted to use five substitutions, to be made on three occasions during a match, with an additional opportunity at half-time. A total of nine substitutes can be named on the team sheet.
"In addition, the Premier League has today updated its remaining COVID-19 measures. From 4 April, the League will remove twice-weekly COVID-19 testing of players and staff and move to symptomatic testing only. Other key updates include the removal of the requirement for clinical passports to access previously restricted areas at training grounds and on match days as the Premier League returns to business-as-usual operations. The wellbeing of players and staff remains a priority and the Premier League will continue to monitor the national COVID-19 situation and adapt League-wide protocols as required, in line with the latest guidance from public health authorities and medical experts."
In an interview, Maheta Molango, chief executive of the PFA reiterated that the decision to reintroduce five substitutions was to tackle player fatigue. "When meeting our members, the most common issue they want to discuss is the impact of fixture congestion," Molango said. "It's clear to me that the number of games being played is directly affecting players' health and wellbeing. The adoption of this rule is a welcome step forward in what needs to be an ongoing effort to address issues with player fatigue, making sure they have the opportunity to perform at their best and to maintain the competitive edge that makes English football the best in the world."
Barcelona Femení defeat Real Madrid in the Women’s Champions League
(Football news) The Barcelona Women’s team overcame bitter rivals Real Madrid 5-2 at the Camp Nou with 91,553 fans in attendance as the Blaugrana progressed to the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League with an 8-3 aggregate win. Having led the first leg 3-1, the reigning champions put up a five star performance in the second leg and will face either Arsenal or Wolfsburg in the next round.
It was by far the highest turnout for a women’s club game, the previous record being a 2019 clash between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano. The previous Champions League record was 50,212 in a game involving Lyon and Frankfurt in Munich, 2012. Such was the interest in this fixture that it even surpassed the 80,203 fans who witnessed the United States win the Olympic gold medal after defeating Japan 2-1 at the Wembley Stadium in London, 2012.
The Barcelona Women’s team played a match in front of a packed Camp Nou for the first time, having previously played in an empty stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team usually plays at the 6,000 capacity Johan Cruyff Stadium. However, judging by the interest in the fixture, it was the right call to move the venue to the iconic stadium as a number of fans managed to witness this iconic clash.
Real Madrid were in the driving seat thanks to a penalty by Olga Carmona and a fine strike by Claudia Zornoza as the Los Blancos got a 2-1 lead after Mapi Leon scored the opening goal. However, second half goals from Aitana Bonmati, Claudia Pina, Alexia Putellas and Caroline Hansen were enough to secure a comfortable win in the end and the team have now won all seven meetings against their rivals. The team will know who they will face in the semi finals depending on the result between Arsenal and Wolfsburg, as things stand, the tie is currently 1-1 and the Gunners will travel to the Volkswagen Arena for the second leg.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain eliminated Bayern Munich 4-3 on aggregate after a goal from Ramona Bachmann’s strike in extra time sent the hosts to the semi finals. The teams couldn’t be separated for 120 minutes at the Parc des Princes until Bachmann fired a winning goal from the bench. PSG’s Sandy Baltimore scored the opening goal of the night after 17 minutes but Bayern defender Saki Kumagai equalised less than two minutes later. Klara Bühl then proceeded to give Bayern Munich the lead but neither side managed to find the winner in normal time.
Sai Praneeth, Anupama, Ira win in Orleans Masters Super 100 badminton tournament
Orleans (France), Mar 30 (Badminton News) Top seed B Sai Praneeth advanced to the men's singles third round with a straight game win over Czech Republic's Jan Louda at the Orleans Masters Super 100 badminton tournament here on Wednesday.
Praneeth, who was down with COVID-19 in January, saw off Louda 21-19 21-12 to set up a clash with France's Christo Popov.
In women's singles, Anupama Upadhyaya and Ira Sharma also advanced to the second round with straight game victories over their respective opponents.
While Anupama beat Switzerland's Jenjira Stadelmann 21-12 21-18, Ira stunned seventh seed Qi Xuefei of France 21-14 21-17 in another match.
Mixed doubles pairing of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto, seeded seventh, beat fellow Indians Ashith Surya and Swetaparna Panda 21-8 21-10 to also reach the second round.
However, it was curtains for Rituparna Das, Ashmita Chaliha, Priyanshu Rajawat and Keyura Mopati.
Also Read : Prannoy gains three spots to be world number 23 in latest BWF ranking
News Source : PTI
Haryana dominate national pistol trials as Naveen wins men's 10m competition
Bhopal, Mar 30 (Shooting News) Haryana stamped their dominance in pistol shooting as Naveen beat Punjab's Arjun Singh Cheema 16-12 to win gold in the men's 10m air pistol competition on the concluding day of national trials here on Wednesday.
The Indian teams for the upcoming World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan and Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany will be selected on the basis of performances in these trials.
Naveen just about made it to the final stages of the competition, finishing seventh in qualifying with a score of 581 at the M.P. Shooting Academy range.
The youngster was tied with three others including Olympian and world number one Saurabh Chaudhary on the same score, but made it through on account of higher inner 10s as the latter crashed out in ninth place.
Naveen made it to the medal round finishing behind Army's Dharmendra Singh Gaharwar in the first semi-final and then topped it with a score of 44 to set up the gold medal match with Arjun, who was second in the medal round with 41.5.
Among the eight Olympic pistol disciplines, Haryana shooters picked up four of the golds on offer besides winning several other medals.
Haryana's pistol shooters led by Rhythm Sangwan, who had a very good outing, and others like Naveen, Sameer and Suruchi, came to the fore in the trials.
Also, many established names who were part of the Indian teams in recent years were upstaged by new talent.
Over 3300 shooters, including the top names of the country, participated in the year's first national trials.
The trials were postponed from January this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also Read : India finish on ninth spot in Nicosia Shotgun World Cup with one silver
News Source : PTI
West Indies spinner Fletcher tests positive for COVID, to miss Women's World Cup semifinal
Christchurch, Mar 29 (Cricket News) Veteran West Indies spinner Afy Fletcher has been ruled out of the Women's ODI World Cup semifinal against Australia after testing positive for COVID-19, the ICC said on Tuesday.
Fletcher, who has played 58 ODIs, is a vital cog in the Caribbean side and her absence will reduce West Indies' bowling options against the powerful Australia line-up.
Mandy Mangru, who is in New Zealand as a travelling reserve, has been drafted into the squad as Fletcher's replacement and is in contention to play her first game of the tournament on Wednesday.
Fletcher has picked up four wickets from three matches at the showpiece, with her best haul coming against Bangladesh when she collected 3/29 from 10 overs in Mount Maunganui.
Mangru has played just one ODI for the West Indies and that came in the lead-up to the World Cup when she earned a debut against South Africa in Johannesburg last month.
The 22-year-old scored 15 runs batting at number six on that occasion and registered bowling figures of 0/15 from three overs with her handy off-spin.
Mangru is a temporary replacement for Fletcher.
A COVID replacement can be temporary, which means once the affected player has recovered, he or she would be eligible to return to the squad in place of the travelling reserve.
Any replacement in the squad requires the approval of the Event Technical Committee before the player can be officially added to the squad.
Also Read : Women's CWC: Every qualified teams’ best player from the group stage
News Source : PTI
Southgate expected to make changes for England's match vs Ivory Coast
(Football news) England are set to face Ivory Coast in a friendly and the fixture will help Gareth Southgate tinker with his squad and tactics ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. In their last fixture, the Three Lions came from behind to defeat Switzerland 2-1 at the Wembley Stadium on Saturday with Marc Guehi, Kyle Walker-Peters and Tyrick Mitchell receiving their debuts.
In the press conference ahead of the match against Ivory Coast, Southgate said “We'll make changes. We think that's the right thing to do. We want to keep all of the squad involved. I think that has been a strength for us. Players who come in perform well at the level and the team march on." Along with the obvious change in personnel, Southgate could also experiment with a different system with a back four instead of a back three, a system he employed against Switzerland when his team were winning.
Harry Maguire is expected to start in the match with Tyrone Mings also a possible contender. John Stones is unavailable due to an injury and has returned to the Manchester City camp while Declan Rice could start in midfield after an impressive performance as a substitute against Switzerland. Southgate has been so impressed by Rice that he has claimed the 23 year old could be a potential captain one day. "He is right among that despite his age," Southgate said of Rice. "What I've seen this season is the confidence that he's gained from his experience last summer.
"He had a huge impact on the game when he came on," he added. "A really mature performance, strong, breaks the game up so well, but now has more confidence to drive with the ball and bring it forward as well. Without a doubt, he has all the attributes to be a captain. There will be others, but we are gaining the rewards of the opportunities we had to blood him so young."
Meanwhile, Harry Kane’s penalty against Switzerland means that the 28 year old is now on 49 international goals, going past Gary Linekar and now joint-second with Sir Bobby Charlton in the England’s all time top scorer chart. To say that Kane has been prolific in front of goal would be an understatement, the Spurs striker has scored 49 goals in 68 appearances for his country and can easily surpass Wayne Rooney’s record with just four more goals.
Tammy Abraham could have been a potential candidate to start the match but the AS Roma striker is currently injured. Southgate’s attacking options are only Kane and Ollie Watkins, who would be keen to make his mark after coming on as an 88th minute substitute against Switzerland. Southgate said about Watkins “There is never a camp where he looks like he doesn't want to play. That mentality spreads through the rest of the group."
Emile Smith Rowe could also feature against Ivory Coast after recuperating from a minor injury that kept him sidelined against Switzerland. Since receiving his first call-up in November, Smith Rowe scored his first international goal in England’s 10-0 win over San Marino. However, competition is tough in the middle of the park with Southgate having Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling at his disposal. Unfortunately, Saka will be unavailable for the match after getting COVID-19.
Ireland Women to tour Pakistan for the first time ever
(Cricket news) The Ireland Women’s team will become the first senior Irish side to tour Pakistan in history when they play a six-match white-ball series in November 2022. The series was confirmed jointly by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket Ireland and the announcement comes days after the Pakistan Women’s team made public their tour to Ireland in July (for a T20I Tri-Series between Ireland, Pakistan and Australia to be played at Bready Cricket Club).
Ireland and Pakistan have a 60 year old history of international cricket but this is the first time a senior men’s or women’s side will be playing in Pakistan. The Women’s team first met at the 1997 Women’s World Cup where the Irish team won by 182 runs. The two sides then met in a Test match in 2000 in Dublin and have played each other in 33 matches across all formats with Pakistan winning 24 and Ireland 9. The last match between the two teams was at the Women’s T20 World Cup 2018.
6 November 2022: Pakistan Women v Ireland Women – 1st ODI (venue TBC; 10am start local time)*
8 November 2022: Pakistan Women v Ireland Women – 2nd ODI (venue TBC; 10am start local time)*
11 November 2022: Pakistan Women v Ireland Women – 3rd ODI (venue TBC; 10am start local time)*
14 November 2022: Pakistan Women v Ireland Women – 1st T20I (venue TBC; 10am start local time)
16 November 2022: Pakistan Women v Ireland Women – 2nd T20I (venue TBC; 10am start local time)
18 November 2022: Pakistan Women v Ireland Women – 3rd T20I (venue TBC; 10am start local time)
* The ODIs are part of the ICC Women’s Championship
Laura Delany, Captain of Ireland Women, said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2022, following the announcement of full time contracts. We have a busy summer ahead and are greatly looking forward to the prospect of playing Pakistan in an away series.
“As a squad we haven’t travelled to Pakistan before, but now having qualified for the ICC Women’s Championship we have been presented with this opportunity, one that no doubt will be a good challenge towards the end of the year. Having not played in Asian conditions for a few years now due to COVID-19, with a young squad this will be an invaluable opportunity as we are set to play more regularly in this part of the world over coming years.”
Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director at Cricket Ireland, said: “We are delighted to confirm this historic tour to Pakistan and appreciate the support of the Pakistan Cricket Board in arranging the tour. This year will be 25 years since the two women’s sides first met on the field, and will be the first time in five years an Ireland Women’s side has played in Asia. Ireland and Pakistan have a deep cricket bond in both women’s and men’s cricket – and we will be as delighted to welcome them to Ireland in July as we will be to visit Pakistan in November.”
Chelsea Women score nine past Leicester to go on top of WSL table
(Football news) The Chelsea Women’s team overtook Arsenal at the top of the Women’s Super League table with a 9-0 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. Arsenal’s fixture against arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur was postponed due to COVID-19 and the Blues had the opportunity to claim the top spot with a win and it’s fair to say that they did it emphatically. It was Chelsea Women’s biggest win of the season as Guro Reiten, Beth England and Sam Kerr scored two goals each while Aniek Nouwen, Lauren James and Jessie Fleming scored a goal each.
The result meant that Emma Hayes’ side moved onto 41 points from their 17 league games, one above Arsenal while Leicester remained second last on the Women’s Super League table. With just three minutes on the clock, Guro Reiten opened the scoring with a brilliant freekick, which pretty much set the tone for the rest of the match. Sam Kerr doubled the advantage by converting her second opportunity after her initial shot was blocked by goalkeeper Demi Lambourne. With just seven minutes gone, Chelsea scored their third goal when Kerr's square ball was found by Beth England who put the ball into the back of the net and the fourth goal was scored by Aniek Nouwen soon afterwards.
Chelsea’s tempo dropped after a brilliant start to the match and Leicester found an opening when the Blues gave away possession but Freya Gregory couldn’t find the target. Having already scored a goal, Reiten created Chelsea’s fifth with a perfect ball to the far post which was headed home by Beth England. Reiten then went on to double her tally in first-half stoppage time when a mis-hit cross went over the line. Sam Kerr scored Chelsea’s seventh in the bottom right corner in the second half while Lauren James scored her first goal for the Blues from a Niamh Charles pull-back and Jessie Fleming scored the ninth and final goal in stoppage time to wrap up a successful evening.
Speaking after the match, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said “I could see this result coming for us. I've seen the way we trained the last three days and I feel like we're in the final stretch of the season. We know what this is about and I want to keep improving on performances. We were doing some different things in training to create overloads and I saw it done in abundance today. The team just has so much flexibility and I can do so many different things with them because they are intelligent and they know how to win games with the same relentlessness that I demand.
"We're used to being in this position, however, everybody knows the type of games we've got coming up. I just personally enjoy good performances; I'm not really bothered about the result, in the first instance. Of course it is about winning, but I want to see us improving, that's what motivates me as a coach. The team was incredible today. It wasn't just about having fun, we were so clinical and so ruthless. But you see the difference with our squad depth now; with so many players back it's driving the standards at training and that's where the magic happens."
Also read: Fernandes set to sign a new five year contract with Manchester United
Swiss Open: Sindhu clinches women's singles title, Prannoy finishes runner-up in men's singles
Basel, Mar 27 (Badminton News) Ace Indian shuttler P V Sindhu clinched her second women's singles title of the season with a straight game win over Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan but HS Prannoy went down fighting in the men's singles final at the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament here on Sunday.
Playing her second successive final in the tournament, Sindhu, a double Olympic medallist, took 49 minutes to get the better of the fourth seeded Busanan 21-16 21-8 at the St. Jakobshalle here.
However, Prannoy suffered a 12-21 18-21 defeat against Asian Games gold medallist and fourth seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in a 48-minute summit clash to finish runner-up.
For Sindhu, it was a moment of glory as she finally lifted the trophy after losing to Rio Olympics gold medallist Carolina Marin of Spain in the final of last edition. The 26-year-old from Hyderabad has happy memories of this venue as she had also claimed the World Championships gold in 2019.
On Sunday, Sindhu registered her 16th win over Busanan in 17 meetings, having lost to the Thai only once -- at the 2019 Hong Kong Open, to claim the Super 300 crown, the second lowest tier of BWF Tour events.
Sindhu had won the Syed Modi International Super 300 in Lucknow in January this year.
Sindhu rode on her attack to open up a 3-0 lead but Busanan started to stay in the rallies and produced some good quality shots to make it 7-7.
Busanan tried to keep Sindhu away from the net initially, making her move across the court but the Thai was erratic in her finishing, allowing the Indian to go into the break with a narrow two-point lead.
Busanan used her deceptions and drop shots to dictate the rallies but Sindhu relied on her retrieval skills to stay ahead.
A precise return at the backline gave Sindhu four game points and she sealed the first game when Busanan went wide.
Busanan struggled with her length after the change of sides to concede a 0-5 lead early on in the second game. Sindhu looked more aggressive as she troubled the Thai with her acute angle shots to dictate terms.
In full flow, the Indian soon cruised to a decisive nine-point advantage at the interval. She kept a firm grip on the match to gallop to 18-4, riding on her alert front court play and precise returns.
Busanan continued to hit wide and long to eventually hand over 16 match points to the Indian, who pocketed the game and the match comfortably.
Prannoy, a former world number 8, finished a creditable second best after making his first final in the last five years.
The 29-year-old from Thiruvananthapuram has been grappling with multiple health issues after being diagnosed with a gastroesophageal reflux disease in 2018 and COVID-19 infection in 2019.
On Sunday, Prannoy couldn't match the accuracy and power of Jonatan, who looked in complete control of the final.
The Indian looked competitive in the early part of the opening game as he quickly erased the early 1-4 deficit and moved to 5-5 but Jonatan pulled away from 8-8 to take a three-point cushion at the breather.
Prannoy was erratic while Jonatan looked rock solid in his defence as the Indonesian created a huge gap with a seven-point burst to grab seven game points. The Indian saved two before conceding the opening game.
The second game was a close affair as the duo moved together till 7-7 before Jonatan again opened up a 11-7 lead at the interval.
Prannoy was not able to sustain the pressure in the rallies, while Jonatan was composed and was rewarded more often for his cross court smashes and fine front-court play.
The Indian did well to claw his way back to 13-13 but a reversal slice helped Jonatan break the run of points.
The momentum shifted again as Jonatan led 19-14 with Prannoy committing a slew of errors. Another winner gave the Indonesian five championship point. Prannoy saved three before hitting the net.
Also Read : P V Sindhu, HS Prannoy enter Swiss Open final; Srikanth loses
News Source : PTI
P V Sindhu, HS Prannoy enter Swiss Open final; Srikanth loses
Basel, Mar 26 (Badminton News) Double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu and HS Prannoy dished out scintillating performances to make their way to the women's and men's singles finals respectively at the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament here on Saturday.
World No. 7 Sindhu prevailed 21-18 15-21 21-19 over Thailand's Supanida Katethong in a 79-minute women's singles semifinal to make her second successive final after Prannoy eked out a hard-fought 21-19 19-21 21-18 win over Indonesia's world number 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting for his first summit clash in five years.
Sindhu, seeded second, will face another Thai player and fourth seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the summit clash, while Prannoy, who had last won the US Open in 2017, will take on Indonesia's Jonatan Christie in the men's singles final, on Sunday.
Kidambi Srikanth, the World Championships silver medallist, squandered an opening game advantage to go down 21-18 7-21 13-21 to Asian Games champion Christie of Indonesia in the other semifinals.
In the final, Prannoy will fancy his chances as he has beaten Christie thrice while losing four times in the last seven meetings. On the other hand, Sindhu will start as favourite against Busanan, whom she has defeated an overwhelming 15 times in 16 meetings so far.
Sindhu and world number 29 Supanida had shared the spoils in the two meetings this year and the Indian showed great nerves against the fighting Thai to come out unscathed in the semifinals.
In the opening game, Sindhu, who had won the Syed Modi International in January, used the court well, producing her smashes and follow up shots to gather points. Supanida tried to stay in the rallies but she couldn't finish them.
At the first break, Sindhu had a three-point advantage and she swelled it to 15-7 with a run of four points. The left-handed Thai tried to attack and dominate the rallies to narrow the deficit to 13-18.
However, she was not consistent enough as Sindhu grabbed five game points when the Thai went long.
The Indian found the net next, while Supanida grabbed two more points before smashing one at the nets to allow the Indian take the opening game.
Supanida continued her momentum after the change of sides, running up a 16-7 lead with Sindhu struggling against the deceptions of the Thai player, who eventually roared back into the contest when Sindhu went to the nets.
The Hyderabadi shuttler came back strongly in the decider, gaining a 4-1 lead but Supanida once again clawed her way to draw parity at 7-7 with a smash.
Both the shuttlers tried to take control of the front court with Sindhu managing to take a one-point lead in the final interval.
Sindhu stepped up the pace in the rallies to move to 16-13 but Supanida reeled off five straight points to surpass the Indian. It was soon 18-18 with Supanida going wide.
A lucky net chord helped Sindhu move to 19-19 as she held the match point with a smash and she sealed it with another powerful smash.
Earlier, former world number 8 Prannoy, who has been battling health issues after being diagnosed with a gastroesophageal reflux disease in 2018 and COVID-19 in 2019, showed great resilience against Ginting.
Prannoy, currently ranked 26th, grabbed the initiative early and held a 6-3 lead which was quickly erased by Ginting to move to a 12-19 advantage at one stage.
A five-point burst gave Prannoy a slender two-point lead and he maintained it till 18-16 before a net error and a service fault helped his rival to level par.
Ginting, however, went to net twice himself to hand over Prannoy a game point and the Indian sealed it with a precise return on his rival's front court.
After a tight battle in the second game, it was Ginting who grabbed a three-point lead at the interval following a couple of errors from the Indian at the net and front court.
The Indian fought his way back to 18-19 but a judgement error at the backline gave one game point to Ginting, who squandered one with a net error before Prannoy smashed out to allow his rival to make a comeback.
In the decider, Prannoy took a 8-5 lead and increased it to 14-8 but he stumbled to a series of errors to allow Ginting make it 15-19. The Indian eventually unleashed a smash to grab four match points. He squandered two before entering the finals with another precise return. "Yessssss ! Finals of the Swiss Open ! Quite a tough one against Ginting tonight! Happy to get that win today. One more to go, Let's get it," Prannoy tweeted after the match.
Also Read : P V Sindhu, H S Prannoy enter Swiss Open semifinals
News Source : PTI
IPL 2022: Erudite Pratham looking to dazzle in KKR colours
New Delhi, Mar 26 (Cricket News) Left-handed batter Pratham Singh boasts of a solid academic background having completed his engineering and cracked India's top business school, ISB, but all he is really passionate about is cricket.
The 29-year-old from Delhi has been a consistent performer for Railways in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and even though he was picked up by now-defunct IPL franchise Gujarat Lions in 2017, he didn't get any game time.
A five-year long wait followed, which finally ended when he was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders at the last mega auction.
Singh is now eager to prove his mettle at the Indian Premier League, a stage where many dreams have been realised over the years.
"It is a very good opportunity for any domestic cricketer and I have been doing well for Railways. In IPL, even one innings can change your life. If you can do well, you have an opportunity to play for the country," Singh told PTI.
"I have been with the team for the past two weeks and I am learning a lot from Brendon McCullum and Abhishek Nayar sir. I am looking forward to growing as a cricketer and making an impact." In his maiden appearance at the 2019-20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Singh had amassed 438 runs in 10 matches at an average of 54.75 and strike-rate of 136.02 to help Railways top the group in the league stage.
In the 2020-21 season, he smashed 299 runs at an average of 74.75 with the help of a hundred and two fifties.
"I was the second highest scorer in Syed Mushtaq Ali in my debut season and we qualified. We had defeated Mumbai and I have been the top scorer in white ball for Railways in last 3 years, so I was expecting a call every year," said Singh, who had smashed four successive fifties in the 2019 edition.
"The struggle was there for last five years as I was not getting picked up. But better late then never. I am grateful and happy that I was picked up by KKR and I am looking forward to making the most of the opportunities that come my way." This year, Singh missed two matches at the Ranji Trophy after testing positive for COVID-19, but he returned to score a 75 in the first innings in Railways' nine-wicket win over Jammu and Kashmir.
"We missed out on the qualification this year in Ranji Trophy just by one point. I was down with COVID just a day before my first Ranji game. There were only three games, so it was frustrating to miss out on two games due to COVID. I scored 75 in the last game," he said.
"We have lot of youngsters. The team is at a building stage. Batting is our strength. We are looking forward to a great campaign next year. We will be there competing against the giants next year." With sports coming to a standstill due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, it has been a difficult time for the domestic cricketers, and Singh was no exception. But he decided to utilise the time in pursuing his education.
"I have done my engineering in electronics and communication and also got admission in Indian School of Business in Hyderabad but I am planning to pursue it once I am done with cricket.
"During first lockdown when everything was shut, we had nothing to do. So I had prepared for it then. Lot of things was going on in my mind. I was 27 and there was no cricket going on and I was not in any IPL team.
"But it was a blessing in disguise. So I thought of pursing my education as there was no clarity and then I cracked ISB, Hyderabad. But when cricket resumed, I wanted to play cricket as much as possible as it is my passion," he signed off.
Also Read : Confident India opener Shafali Verma eager to face South African pacers
News Source : PTI
Argentina win over Venezuela as Messi scores in his return to the side
(Football news) Already qualified for the World Cup, Argentina turned on the style as they beat Venezuela 3-0 in the CONMEBOL qualifiers. Argentina scored twice in three minutes late in the second half, including a curiously mis-hit effort from Lionel Messi, to help cement their second spot in the table and also help gather some momentum before facing Brazil in the next fixture.
Argentina had already qualified for World Cup in Qatar before their late scheduled game and were on top throughout the game against the last-placed side in the South American qualifying group and Venezuela are the only South American side to never to reach the World Cup ever in their history. Argentina broke the deadlock with their pressure just 10 minutes before half-time when Nicolas Gonzalez knocked home Rodrigo De Paul's low cross..
Then in the second half, substitute Angel Di Maria scored a lovely second goal in the 79th minute when he ran on to a beautifully waited pass from De Paul and then exquisitely chipped the ball over three Venezuelan defenders from outside the box. Messi then went on to put the final touches to a convincing performance as he got himself on scoresheet when he chested down a Di Maria pass before scuffing the ball past a helpless keeper.The result meant that it was Venezuela's 10th defeat in their last 12 games and it also extended Argentina's unbeaten run to 30 matches dating back to July 2019.
Argentina were without four players suspended because of breaching the COVID-19 quarantine rules ahead of their suspended game against Brazil. They kept their record intact of never losing to Venezuela in eight home qualifiers.The two-times world champion and current Copa America winners will be joined by Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay, while Peru, Colombia and Chile will battle it out for the for the elusive fifth place on Tuesday and a playoff spot against a team from the Asian confederation.
Tuesday’s fixtures are:
- Peru vs Paraguay
- Ecuador vs Argentina
- Venezuela vs Colombia
- Chile vs Uruguay
- Bolivia vs Brazil
Ireland Men’s team to visit Spain for batting camp next week
(Cricket news) Gary Wilson, Ireland Men’s newly appointed batting coach will be taking a 12 player squad to Desert Springs in Spain next week for an intensive four day batting camp as part of the pre-season preparations ahead of a busy schedule.
The squad players are: Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, William Porterfield, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker.
Coaching and support staff: Gary Wilson, Simon Johnston, Darren Nicol
Speaking from home today, Gary Wilson, said: “It’s just a great opportunity to get out on grass and what we’ve heard is a great facility – there are two nets and a centre-wicket that we’ll be utilising for four days next week, and we’re thoroughly looking forward to that. To get the guys back outdoors after 3 or 4 weeks purely indoors will help them hit the ground running when we get back to Ireland and start the season.”
“We’ll wait and see what the surfaces are like when we get out there to know how we want to approach training – there might be some spin-friendly surfaces there, which will allow us to work on our spin game. But we will be going out there looking to develop all aspects of our batters’ game – it’s just an excellent opportunity to get out on grass ahead of the season.
“Whilst the camp is primarily for our contracted players, we have added Ross Adair, as unfortunately he missed out on the Wolves tour to Namibia with Covid-19, but has now recovered.”
Srikanth, Kashyap enter quarterfinals; Satwik-Chirag lose at Swiss Open
Basel, Mar 24 (Badminton News) Four Indian shuttlers, including double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu and World Championships silver winner Kidambi Srikanth, progressed to the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open badminton tournament here on Thursday.
While Sindhu, a former world champion, eased into the last 8 with a 21-19 21-14 win over Neslihan Yigit of Turkey, Srikanth staved off a spirited challenge from France's Christo Popov, ranked 60th, with a fighting 13-21 25-23 21-11 win in the Super 300 tournament.
Second seed Sindhu will square off against either fifth seed Canada's Michelle Li or Denmark's Line Christophersen.
Seventh seeded Srikanth, who had missed India leg of the BWF tour in January after testing positive for COVID-19, will face second seeded Dane Anders Antonsen next.
Former top 10 player HS Prannoy also struggled past Finland's Kalle Kolionen 19-21 21-13 21-9 to find a place in the quarters as did former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap after top seed and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen gave a walkover.
In other results, third seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost 19-21 20-22 to Indonesian pairing of Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan in the men's doubles.
In the women's singles, Ashmita Chaliha put up a tough fight before going down 18-21 20-22 to eighth seeded Scot Kirsty Gilmour in the second round.
On Wednesday night, Sindhu had entered the second round with a 21-14 21-12 win over Denmark's Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt here.
Sindhu, also a former world champion, will face Neslihan Yigit of Turkey late in the day.
Also progressing was the women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, who got the better of local pair Aline Muller and Jenjira Stadelmann 21-15 21-16 in straight games.
Also Read : Srikanth makes winning start at Swiss Open, Chirag-Satwiksairaj pair stuns All England champions
News Source : PTI
Srikanth makes winning start at Swiss Open, Chirag-Satwiksairaj pair stuns All England champions
Basel, Mar 23 (Badminton News) Seventh seed Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal made a winning start in the singles competition while Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy battled past All England champions Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana to progress in the Swiss Open here on Wednesday.
Srikanth defeated Mads Christophersen in straight games in the men's singles opening round. The Indian beat the Danish player 21-16, 21-17 in a match lasting 32 minutes.
Parupalli Kashyap too cruised to a 21-17, 21-9 win over France's Enogat Roy to enter the second round. In an all-India contest, H S Prannoy pipped B Sai Praneeth 25-23, 21-16 in a tight match lasting 48 minutes.
Third seeds Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy got past Indonesia's Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana after losing the first game in the men's doubles opening round. The final scoreline read 17-21, 21-11, 21-18.
The Indonesian duo had won the All England title last week.
In the women's singles, Ashmita Chaliha scripted a come-from-behind win over France's LéOnice Huet, prevailing 19-21, 21-10, 21-11.
Later in the day, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina outplayed Yaelle Hoyaux 21-8, 21-13 in her opening round fixture.
The mixed doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sumeeth Reddy lost their first round match and so did the women's doubles combine of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand.
Star shuttler P V Sindhu will play her opening round later tonight.
The Chinese badminton team pulled out of the Super 300 tournament which began on Tuesday due to multiple COVID-19 cases and injuries to its players.
Also Read : Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponappa pair move to Swiss Open qualification 2nd round
News Source : PTI
CII’s ‘Scorecard 2022’ to be held on March 25 & 26
(Sports news) Top leaders from the global sporting world will be sharing their views at the seventh edition of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)’s global sports summit ‘Scorecard 2022’, which begins here on Friday.
A two-day annual flagship conclave for the business of sports in India, under the aegis of the National Committee of Sports of the CII, will be conducted virtually on Friday and Saturday with the theme being ‘Priorities and Potential for a New World for Sport’. The inaugural session will witness eminent speakers, including Anna Iwarsson, Vice Chairperson of Swedish Sports Confederation and Tanmaya Lal, Ambassador of India to Latvia and Sweden.
“We are delighted to announce the seventh edition of CII’s annual global sports summit Scorecard. We have witnessed some highly meaningful and enlightening discussions in the past editions and the tradition will continue this year too as we have top influential names from the global sporting world gracing the event. Owing to the pandemic, unfortunately this year, too, the summit will be held virtually as we look forward to yet another successful edition,” said Mr Anupam Goswami, Chairman, CÍI National Committee of Sports.
With Covid-19 pandemic hitting sports globally and the industry is yet to recover fully from the recent third way of the deadly virus, sports also witnessed emergence of new modes of consumer and fan engagement, technologies, data analytics and other developments that are creating a new world of sports globally and in India too in the last couple of years.
“Indian sporting Industry has been continuously growing with each passing day and there are several factors that are causing this flourish. CII’s global sports summit Scorecard, provides you an opportunity to understand the various aspects of the business of sports with great details direct from the industry leaders and experts,” said Vivek Singh, Sr Vice President Sportscom Industry Confederation and Jt Managing Director, Procam International.
La Liga India’s Managing Director Jose Antonio Cachaza, Mrinalini Sharma, CMO, Co-Founder of Premier Handball League and Achyuta Samanta, President of Volleyball Federation of India will talk about the league system on the second day of the event.
Among other leading names from the sports world, who will be part of the summit will be Adille Sumariwalla, President of Athletics Federation of India and Raninder Singh, President of National Rifle Association of India. The industry leaders will shed light on several other topics such as state of sports, resumption of sports in states and in schools, rise of esports and employment opportunity in Indian sporting industry.
Also read: European Champions Italy face North Macedonia in World Cup qualifier
Injury hit Portugal host Turkey to keep World Cup dream alive
(Football news) Portugal have had the worst possible luck in the World Cup qualifiers. It all started one year ago when Portugal's qualifier game against Serbia was tied at 2-2. Ronaldo scored the winner in stoppage time where the ball had clearly crossed the line but the linesmen didn't spot it and in the absence of goal-line technology, the goal wasn't given.
Portugal then won all their matches until the penultimate one against Ireland which ended in a goalless draw. In the last game against Serbia, Portugal needed a draw to achieve direct qualification but Alexander Mitrovic scored a last minute winner. Portugal now have a tough challenge of the playoffs where they have to beat Turkey first and if they manage to do that they have to play one of Italy and North Macedonia for a spot in the Qatar World Cup. Turkey on the other hand narrowly edged Norway to finish behind Netherlands in their group.
Qatar 2022 was touted to be Cristiano Ronaldo's last World Cup campaign but as things stand his country may not even qualify for it. Portugal will be without Nelson Semedo, Renato Sanchez, Ruben Neves and Ruben Diaz who are injured while Pepe is out due to COVID-19 and Joao Cancelo is suspended for the game against Turkey but will be available if Portugal qualify for the next one. Portugal are very understaffed as their two first choice center backs and right backs along with two midfielders are unavailable. Turkey have all their players available but will have a difficult task of playing in away conditions.
Portugal Possible Starting XI:
Rui Patrício; Rafael Guerreiro, José Fonte, Gonçalo Inácio, Diogo Dalot; Danilo Pereira, Bruno Fernandes, João Moutinho; Bernardo Silva, Diogo Jota, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Turkey Possible Playing XI:
Uğurcan Çakır; Zeki Celik, Merih Demiral, Caglar Soyuncu, Ridvan Yilmaz; Abdülkadir Ömür, Hakan Calhanoglu, Dorukhan Toköz, Kerem Aktürkoğlu; Burak Yilmaz, Cengiz Ünder
All England has given me self-belief to beat big players: Lakshya Sen
New Delhi, Mar 22 (Badminton News) Making the All England Championships final has given him the self-belief to beat top players but Indian shutter Lakshya Sen on Tuesday said he will need to maintain his fitness going into the upcoming big-ticket events.
The 20-year-old from Uttarakhand has been sensational en route to the men's singles final at Birmingham, and he attributed his transformation to the experience of playing in Indonesia and the World Championships last year.
He also said the hard work he put in to improve his fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic, helped.
"I had a lot of time in pandemic where I could improve my fitness to next level. As a junior player I would go on attack and play smashes all the time but, in big venues, you have to play a patient game and build on those winners and then go for attack," he said.
"I played a lot of tournaments after the pandemic, especially in Indonesia and World championships and it gave me the self-belief and realisation that I can't go for attack all the time and have to play a patient game and the transformation happened there.
"Those matches against Viktor (Axelsen), Kento Momota and Kenta Tsukamoto also gave me the confidence to play. A lot has changed since I played Viktor in 2020. There is a difference in my approach and now I have the self-belief to go out there and beat the big players." Sen achieved a career-best ranking of world number 9 and he said it will help him to qualify for big events and also get a good draw in world tour events.
"I have to keep the ranking in mind because it will help me to qualify for big events like the Olympics and I also have to keep myself fit going into big events.
"This world number 9 ranking will also help me with the draw and I will not have to play any top player till quarters, so I am focussed on winning tournaments." Sen said he is enjoying all the attention that he has been getting and remains confident that his strong team will be there to guide him as opponents will now scrutinise his game.
"Yes, definitely. Last six months when people are talking about me and at the same time when you are playing in the circuit, players look out for you and they will read my game and I think I am happy that all these things are happening.
"There has been a lot of changes, I have a strong team around me and lot of people I can talk to and people to guide me. I am always learning." Sen said at international level one "needs to have an overall game and depending on conditions have to adept".
"One has to have everything in your tool bag to use it when required. It depends on players and court conditions." Lakshya said the semifinal win over defending champion Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia at All England, where he attacked in the last few points, is the most memorable match of his career.
"The All England semifinal is the most memorable match that I pulled out with crowd supporting both of us and I would say in Indonesia, I played Momota and Viktor 2-2 time each, I was losing very closely and it was frustrating but it was big learning," he said.
"When you are few points behind, you need to try different thing at those moment. Against Lee Zii Jia, I changed my pace and played attacking. My strategy is to go on the offence for one or two points, not give that upper hand to opponents." Talking about the All England final, Sen said: "The atmosphere and everything made me nervous before the match and starting from the toss, where he chose the perfect end and could take control from the beginning that was an important.
"Toss made a big difference. I could have taken more control in the beginning but the lead was too much and so it was hard for me. I played well in second, I got rhythm and if I could have taken it then I could have had a chance." Asked if he could sleep after that loss, Sen said: "There are two different things. When you go on to court and give everything and you lose, you are not really sad about it, then you have to give credit to opponent and move on from those losses." His father and coach DK Sen, who was also present during the interaction, revealed that "Lakshya would cry if he is losing but he would keep playing".
"There would be tears in his eyes but it wouldn't have any effect in his strategy or game. People used to think we were putting pressure on him, so we would ask him why he cries and he said that he couldn't help it. So we realised it was his strength."
Also Read : Lakshya will be scrutinised now, need to work on his variations: Vimal
News Source : PTI
Indian para club thrower Dharambir sets new Asian record, wins silver in Dubai
Dubai, Mar 22 (Sports News) Indian para athlete Dharambir set a new Asian record in the men's F32/51 club throw event en-route winning a silver on the opening day of the 13th Fazza International Para Athletics Championships here.
India won three medals on the opening day with Devendra Singh also clinching a silver in the F44 men’s discus throw event, while Jyoti Behera claimed a bronze in 400m women’s final T37/38/47 final.
In the club throw F32/51 men's final, Dharambir, the 2018 Asian Para Games silver medallist, threw the club to a distance of 31.09m in his second attempt to finish second behind Algeria’s Walid Ferhah (37.42m) on Monday.
In the process, Dharambir also set a new Asian record.
Great Britain’s Stephen Miller took the bronze with an effort of 29.28m.
Later, Devendra clinched the silver in men’s discus throw F44 after hurling the disc to a distance of 50.36m in combined F42/43/44 category.
Kuwait’s Faisal Sorour, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic bronze medallist, took the F42 gold with a throw of 47.61.m, which was also a new Asian record, while France’s Badr Touzi claimed the bronze in F42 with a 39.16m throw.
“I am very happy with the result here. Few months back I wasn’t sure if I was competing in the Fazza event due to health reasons. I was down with Covid-19 and hardly trained for the past few months. We have important events in the year ahead, so it was good to start the year with a medal,” said the 28-year-old Devendra.
The championships kicked off the World Para Athletics’ Grand Prix season with around 500 para-athletes from 43 nations in action at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds.
The event holds significance as athletes will aim to achieve Minimum Qualification Standard for this July’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and Asian Para Games in Hangzhou this October.
Also Read : Devendra Jhajharia receives Padma Bhushan, first para athlete to do so
News Source : PTI
Rajasthan Royals have fantastic pace attack: fast bowling coach Malinga
Mumbai, Mar 22 (Cricket News) Newly-appointed fast bowling coach Lasith Malinga feels Rajasthan Royals have a fantastic pace attack with a good mix of experienced international players, genuine Indian quicks and youngsters.
Malinga, who took 546 wickets in 340 international matches across three formats for Sri Lanka and also led the country to the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup triumph, has been roped in by the Royals as their new fast bowling coach ahead of IPL-15.
"I think we have a fantastic pace attack. You've got experienced overseas players like Boult and Coulter-Nile, with whom I've worked before," Malinga was quoted as saying in a media release.
"Then we've got genuine Indian fast bowlers in Prasidh (Krishna) and (Navdeep) Saini, who have proven themselves at the highest level, and some new faces in Anunay Singh, Kuldeep Sen and Kuldip Yadav.
"In T20 cricket, I think little margins really matter, and I'm here to guide them to deliver their best in all situations," he added.
Talking about joining the new franchise, the 38-year-old, who is also IPL's highest wicket-taker, said he's enjoying his new role.
"It is certainly a new thing for me to get into coaching and pass on my experience to the younger players. I have played this role before with Mumbai, and now I'm delighted to be working with Rajasthan Royals. It is a new place for me, but I'm enjoying my role so far working with such a talented group of bowlers." Having been associated with Mumbai Indians for 13 seasons, he also recalled how the move to Royals came about.
"It was actually last year that Kumar (Sangakkara) asked me if I was interested. But with COVID and all the bubble restrictions, I didn't want to stay away from my family.
"But this year, having also worked with the Sri Lankan team, I felt I could use my experience and give back to the game that I love, by working with this group of players." Sharing his thoughts on what's the most important thing for a fast bowler, Malinga said, "I think most of the times teams focus on analyzing the opposition and looking at their weaknesses.
"But in my experience, I think what works best is when you work on your strengths and bowl according to them. In T20, you only have to bowl 24 balls, which works in our favour but it's also important to trust your instincts as to which variations can work in which situations." "On the field, you only have a right hander and a left hander to prepare against, so when a bowler trains, it's important to just train according to that – to think there are just two batters – it doesn't matter what the name of the batsman is," he added.
Having won the IPL four times with Mumbai, the veteran also commented on what he thinks is the most important thing to do when going after a title.
"I think every team is equally strong and everyone in the team is equally valued. But the most crucial thing is how we understand the game, and the situations within a game.
"So, what I want to get out of our bowlers is to improve their thinking pattern, and help them understand the situations better," he expressed.
Also Read : Bhatia, Rana power India to 110-run win over Bangladesh, keep SF hopes alive
News Source : PTI
Grandmasters Arjun, Abhijeet start as favourites in Delhi International open chess
New Delhi, Mar 21 (Chess News) Grandmasters Arjun Erigaise and Abhijeet Gupta will start as favourites when the 19th edition of the Delhi International open chess tournament gets underway here on Tuesday.
Arjun starts as the top seed, while defending champion and five-time Commonwealth champion Abhijeet will be the third seed. Russian Pavel Ponkratov has been seeded second.
The tournament, which returns after a COVID-induced break, will have a single event with Rs 25 lakh as prize purse.
The event will be played over 10 rounds and approximately 300 players have already registered for it. This includes players from 12 countries, apart from India, and a total of 21 Grandmasters, three Women Grandmasters, 26 International Masters and six Women International Masters.
"The past two years have not been the kind for off line chess tournaments but suddenly we have a flurry of International events now," said All India Chess Federation Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan.
This is the second event in a row after the Guwahati International that ended on Sunday.
After this event, the caravan will move to Ahmedabad for the final instalment of the triple GM International events in India.
India has also won the bid for the Chess Olympiad to be played later this year in Chennai.
Also Read : Rupan Debnath, Tamali Basu crowned winners of Kolkata Full Marathon
News Source : PTI
Lakshya will be scrutinised now, need to work on his variations: Vimal
New Delhi, Mar 21 (Badminton News) Lakshya Sen will be scrutinised and studied more after his sensational run at the All England Championship and the young shuttler would need variations in his game from the back of the court to stay ahead, reckons his mentor and former India coach Vimal Kumar.
A product of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) in Bengaluru, Sen has been in incredible form in the last six months.
He claimed a maiden bronze at the World Championships, secured the India Open title in January before finishing second best at both the German Open and All England Championships.
"I am happy with his tactical acumen, there is considerable improvement. He is calm and dealing with tough situations better. I also see a remarkable improvement in his defence, especially after how he has tackled the attack of Viktor (Axelsen) and Anders (Antonsen)," Vimal told PTI.
"He will now be scrutinised and studied and he will have to cope with all that. Overall, he is going in the right direction but he can attack more from back of court and bring in more variations." The 20-year-old from Almora had raised hopes of an Indian winning the All England Championship when he stormed into the finals but his dream run at Birmingham ended after he went down in straight games to world number one and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen on Sunday.
"He is disappointed but he has that spirit. He is very realistic and he knows why he lost. He knows what he needs to improve if he has to beat someone like Axelsen. He understands that he can't feel too bad or be disheartened," said Vimal, who is a head coach at the PPBA in Bengaluru.
Sen was going hammer and tongs in 2019, winning five titles but the COVID-19 pandemic threw spanner in his work. When he returned last year following the break due to second wave of the virus, he was desperate to prove his worth at the international stage.
The Thomas Cup snub where he failed to make it to the Indian team after losing just one match in the trials fuelled his ambition further.
Following the disappointment, he left for a two-week sparring stint with Olympic champion Axelsen.
"It did a world of good to his game. He picked up things from Axelsen and went on his own without a coach to the European circuit and it made him tougher as he managed things on his own," said the 59-year-old, a former two-time national champion.
"One thing about Lakshya is that he is very good in taking instructions and implementing them in the game. We generally give an overall idea but he picks up things and knows what needs to be done." Sen also had European training stint in October where he trained with the Danish national team, played for Danish club Aarhus and trained at the Peter Gade Academy.
Lakshya had also spent a lot of time picking the brains of Danish former world No. 1 Martin Frost in the last two years when he used to visit Bengaluru. All these time spent with the legends helped him to evolve his game.
A hectic season now awaits him with big-ticket events such as Commonwealth Games and Asian Games lined-up this year apart from the regular BWF World Tour events, including the World Championships and World Tour Finals.
"He shouldn't get obsessed about anything, just plan and play well and don't think much too ahead." Vimal believes the freedom to choose how, when and where one wants to train will be important for further growth of Sen.
"I don't believe in the thought that one shouldn't train with other top players as they will know your secrets, because there are no secrets," he said.
"And going forward, I would like him to have all the freedom to go and train wherever he wants, whether it is Indonesia, Thailand or Denmark, because that's what elite sports is all about," he signed off.
Also Read : Lakshya Sen's impressive run ends in agony at All England final
News Source : PTI
Rupan Debnath, Tamali Basu crowned winners of Kolkata Full Marathon
Kolkata, Mar 20 (Sports News) Ace long-distance runner Rupan Debnath added another feather to his crown by clinching the Ageas Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Full Marathon 2022 here on Sunday.
Debnath recorded an impressive time of 2:42.39 on a hot morning on way to the title. Dulu Sarkar (2:46.31) and Nimesh Chettri (3:05.48) claimed the first and second runner-up positions.
The women’s full marathon was taken by local girl Tamali Basu (4:01.12) followed by Shruti Agarwal (4:39.15) and Prema Rajaram (5:07.27).
The half marathon witnessed an intense battle, with over 2,000 runners lining up for a shot at the laurels. In the end, Sahinur Molla (1:14.02) emerged victorious. Rishikesh Chakraborty (1:15.58) and Prasant Ropal (1:16.01) followed close on his heels to take the other two positions on the podium.
Among women, the 2020 winner, Sabina Khatun (1:42.03) grabbed the title again while Anita Das claimed the first runner-up position with 1:49.04. Priyanka Gupta (1:50.38) finished as second runner-up.
In the 10K, Sayan Das (0:34.42), Suprobhat Mohapatra (0:36.29) and Minita Birman (0:37.15) grabbed the top three places among the men. Among women, Shipra Sarkar (0:40.32), Claire Jones (0:42.48) and Sneha Neogi (0:47.09) were the winners.
Over 6000 runners participated in the tournament after a long hiatus of 13 months, following the disruptions caused by multiple waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted that we could organise an optimum marathon after a long time. The response has been overwhelming. We thank everybody for coming out in huge numbers,” Karthik Raman, CMO, Ageas Federal Life Insurance, said.
The Run, organised by NEB Sports, following all COVID-19 protocols, started at the beautiful Salt Lake Stadium, passed through the Biswa Bangla Gate and Scenic WetLands before returning to end at the Salt Lake Stadium.
The winners were felicitated by Sujit Bose, Minister of State in the Ministry of Fire and Emergency Services (Independent Charge) of West Bengal, along with Dr. Rupali Basu, Managing Director, Woodlands Hospital, Nagaraj Adiga, CMD, NEB Sports and Karthik Raman, CMO, Ageas Federal Life Insurance.
Results: Marathon: (Men:1. Rupan Debnath 2:42.39; 2. Dulu Sarkar 2:46.31; 3. Nimesh Chettri 3:05.48) (Women- 1. Tamali Basu 4:01.12; 2. Shruti Agarwal 4:39.15; 3. Prema Rajaram 5:07.27) Half Marathon (Men- 1. Sahinur Molla 1:14.02; 2. Rishikesh Chakraborty 1:15.58; 3. Prasant Ropal 1:16.01) (Women- 1. Sabina Khatun 1:42.03; 2. Anita Das 1:49.04; 3. Priyanka Gupta 1:50.38) 10k (Men:1. Sayan Das 0:34.42; 2. Suprobhat Mohapatra 0:36.29; 3. Minita Birman 0:37.15) (Women: 1. Shipra Sarkar 0:40.32; 2. Claire Jones Jala Kharbhih 0:42.48; 3. Sneha Neogi 0:47.09.)
Also Read : Indian cuiest Pankaj Advani enters Asian Billiards Championship final
News Source : PTI
NESC2022 to determine Indian contingent for 2022 Asian Games
(Esports news) The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) will be conducting the National Esports Championships 2022 (NESC2022), under the "AESF Road to Asian Games" program, beginning from April 4 to select the Indian esports contingent for the upcoming Asian Games.
With esports included as the medal event for the first time ever at the 2022 Asian Games, to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10-25, the registrations are now open for the NESC 2022. The last date for the registration will be April 1. Popular games DOTA 2, Hearthstone, FIFA22, Street Fighter V and League of Legends will be part of the national championships as professional esports athletes as well as enthusiasts from across the country can register themselves and it is open for all with no restriction on gender. The tournament will be conducted over a period of 15 to 20 days.
Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the national qualifiers will be held virtually with top athletes from across the country competing and showcasing their skills and strategies. For titles like AOV (Asian Games Version) and PUBG Mobile (Asian Games Version), ESFI is waiting for clarity/permissions from the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as both titles are banned in India as well as in many other Asian countries.
Talking about the announcement, Mr Vinod Tiwari, President, Esports Federation of India & Director, Olympic Council of Asia – NOC & International Relations said “Finally the time has come for which the whole Indian esports ecosystem was waiting for. We are extremely thrilled and excited to announce NESC 2022 i.e. the national qualifiers to select the Indian esports contingent for the upcoming Asian Games 2022. It is a matter of pride for our esports athletes to not only showcase their talent and skills but also make the country proud by winning the laurels for the nation.”
“We urge all esports athletes to participate in large numbers and become a part of this historical event where esports is making its debut as a medal event in Asian Games. As esports is now included in Commonwealth Championships, IESF World Championships and expected to be included in Olympics in the near future, we are committed to develop, support and grow the esports ecosystem in India,” added Mr. Lokesh Suji, Director ESFI & VP-Asian Esports Federation.
The winners of NESC ’22 will participate in the AESF’s Road to Asian Games – Regional Qualifiers (June-July, 2022), which are being held for seeding at the main event in China. Irrespective of the outcome of the Regional Qualifiers, all players will compete at the Main event at Asian Games, China.
Mr. Sebastian Lau, Director General, Asian Esports Federation also extended his best wishes for the Indian esports talents: “I would like to share my sincere congratulations to ESFI team on the launch of their Registration Program for the AESF RDAG - National Team Selection Program the NESC 2022 today. This is an incredible beginning and milestone for India’s esports program and I look forward to seeing the best Indian esports talents in our RDAG Regionals and Final in Hangzhou this September. I wish the best of luck to all participants."
In the last Asian Games held in 2018 when Esports was included as a demonstration event, India’s Tirth Mehta clinched the bronze medal in Hearthstone.
The National Esports Championships will be streamed live from the quarterfinals on ESFI’s official YouTube & Twitch channel as well as on the Facebook page. Also, ESFI is in talks with other streaming partners which will be announced once it is finalized.
Link and other details for registration are available on ESFI Discord server: https://discord.gg/esfi
Sri Lanka to host Asia Cup T20 tournament from Aug 27 to Sept 11
Colombo, Mar 19 (Cricket News) Sri Lanka will host the Asia Cup T20 tournament from August 27 to September 11, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced on Saturday after its annual general meeting here.
All five Test teams of the continent -- India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and hosts Sri Lanka -- will feature in the tournament, along with one more Asian side that will be decided after a qualifier tournament which will be held from August 20.
"The Asia Cup 2022 (T20 Format) will be held in Sri Lanka from 27 August - 11 September later this year. The Qualifiers for the same will be played 20 August 2022 onwards," the ACC tweeted after its AGM.
The tournament, that usually alternates between ODI and T20I formats, was last played in 2018 and won by India. The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the postponement of the 2020 edition.
Sri Lanka were supposed to host the 2020 edition, but the pandemic first pushed the event to 2021 before finally being moved to 2022. Pakistan, who were originally supposed to host the 2022 Asia Cup, now have the hosting rights for 2023.
The sixth team to join the tournament will be one of UAE, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong. UAE and Kuwait had made it to the qualifiers after finishing first and second in the ACC Western region event in 2020 while Singapore and Hong Kong did the same from the eastern region.
Also Read : Ashes continues at International Cricket Inclusion Series
News Source : PTI
First time winners guaranteed as Kerala take on first timers Hyderabad
Fatorda, Mar 19 (Football News) The Indian Super League will have a new winner after Kerala Blasters go up against a resurgent Hyderabad FC in the final here on Sunday.
While it would be Hyderabad’s maiden final appearance, Kerala Blasters will be competing in the final for the third time. In 2014 and 2016, Kerala Blasters had made it to the finals, but on both occasions, they had lost to erstwhile ATK, and thus their dream of winning the coveted ISL Trophy remained unfulfilled.
Hyderabad FC qualified after a 3-2 win on aggregate over ATK Mohun Bagan despite losing the second leg of the semi-final 0-1. Hyderabad had won the first leg 3-1 through goals from Bartholomew Ogbeche, Yasir Mohammad, and Javier Siverio.
On the other hand, Kerala Blasters FC entered the ISL final for the first time since 2016 after playing out a 1-1 draw with Jamshedpur FC and pipped the League Shield winners 2-1 on aggregate over double leg semi-finals. In the first leg, Sahal Abdul Samad scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for Kerala.
For Hyderabad, a lot would depend on how their star striker Bartholomew Ogbeche fares against the Kerala defence.
The 37-year-old Nigerian forward, who is the season's leading goal-scorer with 18 goals to his name from 19 matches, and is the highest goal-scorer in ISL history with 53 goals.
However, Ogbeche would need support from other strikers Javier Siverio, who has netted seven times this season and Joel Chianese (4 goals).
Also the role of midfielder Joao Victor, the captain, who has five goals to his name would also be crucial.
Victor could serve as a key link between strikers and defence and with his prowess can turn the game on its head.
Hyderabad also possess an array of good mid-fielders including Aniket Jadhav, experienced Halicharan Narzary, Souvik Chakrabarti and they will have to play to perfection.
Hyderabad custodian Laxmikant Kattimani would be aiming to keep a clean-sheet.
Hyderabad also have 46 goals this season, the highest for any team, 10 more than their opponents Kerala Blasters and thus going into the final, they could have a slight upper hand.
Meanwhile, for Kerala their top goalscorer this season has been their star striker Jorge Pereyra Diaz (8 goals). And for them, the 31-year-old Argentine will have to be at his best and need to fire on all cylinders.
Also, Diaz coupled with Alvaro Vazquez form a lethal pair and the Hyderabad defence would indeed be vary of them.
In what comes as a major blow, Kerala are certain to miss the services of mid-fielder Sahal Abdul Samad through a thigh injury.
A lot will depend on mid-field duo Lalthathanga Khawlhring and Ayush Adhikari, ably supported by Marko Leskovic and defensive partner Hormipam Ruivah, fresh off a national team call-up.
Also, this would be the first occasion since the outbreak of COVID-19, the fans would be in the stands cheering for favorite teams and a 100 per cent crowd has been allowed, so a ‘sea of yellow’ is expected to turn up at the venue.
Also, Indian football legend IM Vijayan, chief national coach Igor Stimac would be in attendance for the summit clash.
Match starts at 7.30 PM IST.
Also Read : Will Eden Hazard be a good signing for Arsenal?
News Source : PTI
FIH Pro League: Indian women's team to host Netherlands on April 8 and 9
New Delhi, Mar 17 (Hockey News) The Indian women's team will take on Olympic champions The Netherlands in a double-header of the FIH Pro League on April 8 and 9 in Bhubaneswar, Hockey India said on Thursday.
India and the defending champions Netherlands were originally scheduled to play on February 19 and 20 but the matches had to be postponed following the visiting team's concern over rise in COVID-19 cases in their country, especially the highly contagious omicron variant of the infection.
"As hosts, we are happy to welcome the Dutch National Women's Team to participate in the FIH Pro League matches here in India in April. No doubt, there is a lot of excitement among the Indian team players as they will be playing the World No.1 squad at home for the first time," Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said in a release.
India have played six matches so far in the FIH Pro League. They beat China 7-1 and 2-1 in Muscat, followed by a 2-1 win and a 3-4 loss against Spain in February.
They recently beat Germany 1-1 (3-0 SO) after the visitors gained an extra point having won the shootout 1-1 (2-1 SO) in the first match.
India had previously played the Netherlands at the Olympic Games in their group stage match where they lost 1-5. Netherlands went on to win the Olympic Gold medal.
The Netherlands, World no.1, have so far played four matches in tournament. They beat Belgium 2-0 and 3-1 in October and November last year followed by back-to-back 1-0 and 2-2 (3-2 SO) wins against Spain in February this year.
In February, the matches were postponed following the Netherland's concern over "negative intercontinental travel advice received from KNHB (Royal Dutch Hockey Association) Medical Committee and the NOC medical staff."
Also Read : FIH Pro League: Indian women beat Germany 3-0 in shoot-out, avenge first leg defeat
News Source : PTI
N Gaayathri and Simranpreet Kaur win in National Shooting trials
Bhopal, Mar 16 (Shooting News) Tamil Nadu's N Gaayathri and Punjab's Simranpreet Kaur Brar won the women's 50m rifle 3 positions T1 and women's 25m pistol T2 events respectively in the National Shooting trials here on Wednesday.
Gaayathri beat Sift Kaur Samra of Punjab 16-10 in the 3P final while Simranpreet upset Maharashtra's Rahi Sarnobat 18-14 in the sport pistol gold medal match-up on the ninth day of the trials for rifle and pistol events.
However, Sift Kaur did win a gold on the day, pocketing the junior women's 3P T1 trials 16-14 over Ashi Chouksey of Madhya Pradesh, while Haryana's Rhythm Sangwan "avenged" her T1 loss to state-mate Manu Bhaker with a 23-19 win in the T2 junior women's 25m pistol final.
Over 3300 shooters are participating in the year's first National trials, after they had to be postponed from January because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indian teams for the upcoming World Cup in Baku and Junior World Cup in Suhl are to be selected on the basis of these trials.
Also Read : Rahi Sarnobat, Manu Bhaker win at National Shooting Trials
News Source : PTI
Suryakumar Yadav unlikely to be available for MI's IPL opener vs DC on Mar 27
New Delhi, Mar 15 (Cricket News) Star batter Suryakumar Yadav might have to sit out of the Mumbai Indians' IPL opener against Delhi Capitals on March 27 as he is unlikely to fully recover from a hairline fracture on his thumb.
Yadav, one of the four players retained by Mumbai Indians, sustained the injury during the T20 series against the West Indies and subsequently missed the assignment against Sri Lanka.
"Surya is currently at the NCA doing his rehabilitation. He is well on his way to recovery but there is a possibility that his participation in the opening game will be a real touch and go affair," a senior BCCI source privy to developments told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"So there could be a possibility that he might be advised by the board's medical team to not risk playing the opener," he added.
For MI, Yadav is the most important batter apart from skipper Rohit Sharma and their Rs 15.25 crore 'buy-back' Ishan Kishan. Hence, there is no way that even the MI team management would take any risk as they have a larger picture to look at.
MI have a five-day gap after their first game and they next play Rajasthan Royals on April 2. It is believed that the 360 degree power-hitter will be good to go by then.
"I think by the second MI game, he would be 100 per cent match fit. It is likely to be more of a precautionary measure if he doesn't play the first game," the source added.
Yadav was in fantastic form during the T20 series against the West Indies where he won the 'Player of the Series' award.
Two DRS referrals per team, MCC rules applicable ================================ The BCCI has communicated the Playing Conditions to all the franchises and one of the welcome additions is the provision of two Decision Review System (DRS) referrals per team.
Also, all new rules recommended by the MCC will also be applicable, which means saliva won't be allowed to shine the ball, a restriction that came into effect due to COVID-19 but has been codified as a permanent change by the custodian of cricket laws.
The new MCC code has also moved run-outs at non-striker's end, popularly called 'Mankading', out of the law relating to "unfair play".
The dismissal, which often triggers debates on the 'spirit of the game', is now categorised as just a run out.
In international cricket, the new MCC rules will come into effect in October.
Rohit, Bumrah link up with MI squad ======================== India and MI captain Rohit Sharma entered the team bio-bubble with his family and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah in a bubble to bubble transfer. The two completed their national team assignment against Sri Lanka on Monday.
The MI twitter handle uploaded the photographs of its skipper and premier pacer entering the team hotel in Mumbai.
Since it has been a bubble to bubble transfer for the national team duo, they would not need to undergo a three-day hard quarantine (confined to hotel rooms) as per rules.
The rule is applicable to all players joining their franchises in a bubble to bubble transfer.
Also Read : Australia's dominant show continues in Women's WC, defeat WI by 7 wickets to remain unbeaten
News Source : PTI
Punjab Kings get power-hitting coach Julian Ross Wood on board ahead of IPL
New Delhi, Mar 14 (Cricket News) Punjab Kings have hired former England first-class cricketer Julian Ross Wood as their batting consultant, with emphasis on power-hitting, ahead of the Indian Premier League beginning March 26.
Wood is considered a pioneer in power-hitting coaching having worked with players across IPL, the Big Bash League and other T20 leagues.
He has individually worked with the likes of Ben Stokes, Prithvi Shaw, Sam Billings and Carlos Brathwaite on the science of staying still and hitting the ball out of the park.
The 53-year-old will work on the Punjab batters alongside assistant coach Jonty Rhodes, who has been given the additional responsibility this season besides the fielding department.
"We are jubilant to announce Julian Ross Wood as our new batting consultant for #TATAIPL2022," the team wrote on social media.
The franchise had a fairly successful auction as they roped in the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada and Shahrukh Khan.
Punjab had Wood on their radar for the last two years but were finally able to secure his services last week.
Wood had been approached by other IPL teams in the past but the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to his late arrival in the world's biggest T20 league.
"We wanted him earlier as well but it did not materialise. We were tracking his work for the past two years and he teaches a must have skill to the batters," a Punjab Kings team source told PTI.
"We too have a bunch of power-hitters in the squad and they can also pick the brain of someone like Wood. It was Jonty who first spotted him and we are happy to have him on board," added the team source.
Punjab badly need a turnaround in their fortunes, having finished 6th out of 8 teams in the past three seasons. Their only final appearance came in 2014.
Also Read : Iyer had big shoes to fill but he has done well: Rohit Sharma
News Source : PTI
Bundesliga: Dortmund close in on Bayern after they drop points again
(Football news) Dortmund managed to get a narrow 1-0 victory over VFL Bochum and they have an advantage with a game in hand. Borussia Dortmund had top striker Erling Haaland making a comeback from injury as they cut the gap to Bundesliga leaders to seven points with a game in hand. Marius Wolf early on tapped in a Thorgan Hazard cutback for the winner in the 21st minute with Donyell Malen coming close twice hitting the woodwork. Either way it was a largely one-sided game and Dortmund comfortably defended their slender lead.
After last week's draw with Augsburg and followed by their disappointing Europa League exit, the win was much-needed for under pressure coach Marco Rose. Dortmund moved to 53 points, with Bayern on 60. Dortmund can further cut the gap to 4 points on Wednesday when they meet Mainz 05 in a match postponed from last week because of COVID-19 cases in the Mainz team.
Bayern, coming off a 7-1 victory over RB Salzburg in the Champions League round of 16 were expected to easily beat Hoffenhiem but were surprised with a 1-1 draw. The Bavarians, chasing a record-extending 10th consecutive league crown had drawn with Bayer Leverkusen last week and had only won two of their last five league matches were hoping to carry the same confidence into the game but It was the hosts who took the lead through Christoph Baumgartner's volley at the far post in the 32nd minute.
Bayern responded strongly as Thomas Muller twice put the ball in the net only to be deemed offside but his side had to wait until first half stoppage time to bag the equaliser. Robert Lewandowski smartly headed in a Joshua Kimmich’s corner on the stroke of half time for his 29th goal of the season. In the second half, the reigning champions made a lot of chances but couldn’t get past the brilliant Oliver Baumann. Bayern are on 60 points from 26 matches, with second placed Borussia Dortmund, on 53 from 25 and have a chance to reduce the gap to 4 points if they win against Mainz on Wednesday
"In the end it is a bit disappointing not to go home with the three points, For the neutral fan sitting on the couch it was a really nice game to watch. Luck was not always on our side with offside decisions when we did put the ball in the net" Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer said.
The other results were:
- SC Freiburg 3 (Grifo x2, Schlotterbeck) - 2 Wolfsburg (Kruse, Arnold)
- Union Berlin 1 (Awoniyi) - 1 VFB Stuttgart (Kalajdzic)
- Monchengladbach 2 (Plea, Ginter) - 0 Hertha
- Leverkusen 0 - 1 FC Koln (Schindler)
- Furth 1 (Leweling) - 6 RB Leipzig (Silva, Forsberg, Laimer, Henrichs, Simakan, Nkunku)
World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen loses in German Open final
Muelheim An Der Ruhr (Germany), Mar 12 (Badminton News) World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen's giant-killing run ended with a straight-game loss to Thailand's rising star Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the summit clash of German Open Super 300 badminton tournament here on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Sen, who had claimed his maiden Super 500 title at India Open in January, lost 18-21 15-21 in 57 minutes to the three-time world junior champion Vitidsarn in the final match.
World number 12 Sen came into the match with a 3-3 head-to-head record against Vitidsarn, ranked 20th, having beaten the Thai in their last meeting at Hylo Open last year.
In a battle of equals, Sen and Vitidsarn matched each other in speed in the rallies to move 4-4 before the Thai rode on his variations and deception to grab a comfortabe 11-6 lead at the break.
Sen worked up his pace and took control of the net to make it 15-16 but an alert Vitidsarn managed to grab two game points with a overhead cross-court drop. Sen needed medical attention for a blister on his foot even as the Thai came up with a cross court smash to pocket the opening game.
The gruelling semifinal against Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen seemed to have taken a toll on Sen as Vitidsarn jumped to a 7-3 lead in the second game before moving to a 11-5 advantage after the change of sides.
The Indian needed the doctor's attention again as he fought his way back with four straight points but Vitidsarn managed to move to 19-15 and then took five match points before sealing the second game and the match in the first chance.
Sen had won two Super 100 titles -- Dutch Open and SaarLorLux Open -- besides three international challenge at Belgium, Scotland and Bangladesh in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic came in the way of his progress.
Last year, the youngster made it to the semifinals at Hylo, reached the knockout stage at World Tour Finals on debut before sizzling at the World Championships with a bronze.
Also Read : Lakshya Sen stuns Olympic champion Axelsen, enters German Open final
News Source : PTI
Mehuli Ghosh wins women's 10m air rifle gold in National T2 trials
Bhopal, Mar 13 (Shooting News) Mehuli Ghosh of West Bengal beat Karnataka's Tilottama Sen 17-9 to win gold in the women’s 10m air rifle National T2 trials here on Sunday.
Mehuli, a Youth Olympics silver medallist, had finished second in the T1 trials on Friday.
Tilottama, however, won the junior women's 10m air rifle T2 trial. She also finished second in the youth T2 competition, for a profitable three-medal day.
Mehuli had shot 630.1 on Saturday to qualify for the top-eight stage in sixth position. Gujarat’s Elavenil Valarivan had topped the field with 632.1.
From the two semi-finals on Sunday, Mehuli, Tilottama and Elavenil were joined in the medal match by Haryana’s Ramita. Elavenil settled for bronze with 37 points while Mehuli (48) and Tilottama made it to the title round.
In the junior women’s final, Tilottama clashed with Arya Rajesh Borse of Maharashtra, who had won the T1 junior trials on Friday.
This time, however, Tilottama got the better of Arya, winning 17-5 in the end. She had to settle for silver again in the all-Karnataka youth final, where Yukthi Rajendra bear her 17-9.
The men's 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) T1 and T2 trials were also completed on Saturday. Niraj Kumar of the Indian Navy got the better of Madhya Pradesh's Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar by a margin of 17-5 in the T1 gold medal match-up, while the seasoned Army marksman Chain Singh beat the Railways' Swapnil Suresh Kusale 17-9 to win the T2 trials.
Over 3300 shooters are participating in the year's first National trials after they were postponed from January, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indian teams for the upcoming World Cup in Baku and Junior World Cup in Suhl will be selected on the basis of these trials.
Also Read : Meghana Sajjanar beats Mehuli to win women’s 10m air rifle trials
News Source : PTI
Chelsea and Arsenal look to secure wins in the Premier League
(Football news) Despite the innumerable off-field issues, Chelsea will look to make it five consecutive Premier League wins in a row when they welcome Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. The Blues recently defeated Norwich City 3-1 while the Magpies are the in-form team at the moment and defeated Southampton 2-1 in their last match.
It's fair to say that there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment at Chelsea due to the sanctions placed at the club and it remains to be seen how it will affect their form in the weeks ahead. Thomas Tuchel’s team will be missing Ben Chilwell and Reece James due to injuries while Christian Pulisic, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso are also doubtful due to illness. Andreas Christensen could feature at right back while Malang Sarr is expected to play left back if Alonso doesn’t recover in time.
The likes of N'Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger and Hakim Ziyech should be back in the starting lineup as well as Mason Mount and Kai Havertz although Romelu Lukaku is expected to be benched for the fixture. As for Newcastle, Jamal Lewis, Callum Wilson, Kieran Trippier and Isaac Hayden are injured but Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton are expected to feature.
Eddie Howe could also select Federico Fernandez and Emil Krafth while Fabian Schar has overcome the groin injury and could also potentially start the match. Javi Manquillo could start at right back if Krafth fails his fitness test. Despite the off-field distractions, Chelsea are expected to secure the three points in this fixture but Newcastle won’t make it easy for the hosts.
Arsenal will hope to strengthen their top four place with a win over Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. The Gunners had a narrow 3-2 win over Watford in their last match while Leicester overcame Rennes in the UEFA Conference League. In team news, Emile Smith Rowe is expected to return to the squad after recovering from COVID-19 but Takehiro Tomiyasu remains doubtful and will be replaced by Cedric Soares. Alexandre Lacazette is expected to be picked over Eddie Nketiah for the number 9 spot.
As for Leicester City, Jamie Vardy, Jonny Evans, Ryan Bertrand and Timothy Castagne are out injured while Ricardo Pereira faces a race against time to be fit in the match. Wesley Fofana will be unavailable for selection after a positive COVID-19 test but he is expected to feature in the 2nd leg of the match against Rennes. Despite the quality between the two sides, Arsenal are expected to secure the three points and consolidate their place in the top four of the Premier League.
Also read: Man Utd face tough test against Spurs while Liverpool take on Brighton
Lakshya Sen enters semifinals, Srikanth bows out of German Open
Muelheim An Der Ruhr (Germany), Mar 11 (Badminton News) World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen progressed to the semifinals but fellow Indian Kidambi Srikanth suffered a straight-game loss to Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen to bow out of the German Open Super 300 tournament here on Friday.
The 20-year-old Sen, who had claimed his maiden Super 500 title at the India Open in January, continued his rich vein of form as he saw off former top 10 player HS Prannoy 21-15 21-16 in an all-Indian quarterfinals that lasted 39 minutes.
The world number 14 had defeated Prannoy, currently ranked 24th, at the quarterfinals of India Open as well.
Sen will now face top seed and former world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the semifinals on Saturday.
World number 1 Axelsen proved a tough customer for Srikanth as he went down 10-21 21-23 in 35 minutes.
It was the Indian's sixth defeat on the trot to Axelsen, whom he had beaten thrice in the past, including en route to his 2017 Denmark Open title in Odense.
Srikanth, who was playing his first event since recovering from COVID-19 that forced him out of the India Open, looked clueless against Axelsen in the initial moments of the match as the Dane galloped to a 17-4 lead.
Srikanth reeled off four points on the trot, before reaching double figures with two more points but it was not enough to stop a marauding Axelsen to pocket the opening game.
Srikanth produced a better display after the change of sides, opening up a 3-0 lead but in a jiffy it was 4-4.
The duo continued to fight it out, moving to 12-12. Srikanth then grabbed a three-point advantage only to squander it as Axelsen nosed ahead at the final moments.
India's hopes now rests on the young shoulders of Sen, who had stunned fourth seeded Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-7 21-9 in a second-round match on Thursday and carried his momentum in the quarterfinals against Prannoy.
On a comeback trail, Prannoy made a positive start, opening up a 4-0 lead early on but Sen caught up with him at 10-10 and zoomed ahead after the interval to take a 1-0 lead in the tie.
The second game was a tight affair initially as the duo moved neck and neck with Sen managing a slender 11-10 lead at the break. But, just like in the first game, Sen produced a five-point burst to eventually seal the contest comfortably.
Also Read : Para shuttler Sukant Kadam leapfrogs to world no 2 spot in SL 4 category
News Source : PTI
Meghana Sajjanar beats Mehuli to win women’s 10m air rifle trials
Bhopal, Mar 11 (Shooting News) Meghana Sajjanar, representing Railways, beat West Bengal’s Mehuli Ghosh 16-10 to claim the top spot in the T1 women’s 10m air rifle trials here on Friday.
Meghana, a former India international, had finished sixth in the first qualification round with a score of 628.8 after 60 shots, as the top eight moved to the final stages.
Olympian and former world number one Elavenil Valarivan had topped qualifications with 631.1, while Mehuli finished second with 630.9.
Thereafter, the trio met again in the medal match along with Mehak Jatana of Punjab. The quartet had finished top-two in the two semi-finals.
Mehuli topped the medal match with a score of 44.5 and Meghana followed her to the gold medal match with 42.5. Mahek won bronze with 35.5 while Elavenil bowed out in fourth with 22.5 points.
In other results, Arya Rajesh Borse of Maharashtra overcame Kiran Nandana of Karnataka 16-8 to clinch the junior women’s 10m air rifle T1 trials.
Karnataka bagged a double gold when Tilottama Sen defeated Mridvika Bhardwaj 17-9 in the youth women’s decider.
National Shooting T1 and T2 Rifle/Pistol trials are being conducted by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) at Bhopal's M P State Shooting Academy ranges.
Over 3300 shooters are participating in this year’s first national trials in Bhopal, after they had to be postponed from January because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indian teams for the upcoming World Cup in Baku and Junior World Cup in Suhl are to be selected on the basis of these trials.
Also Read : Rhythm and Anish win 25m rapid fire pistol mixed team gold as India top medal tally
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic set to participate at the Monte Carlo ATP Masters
(Tennis news) Serbian tennis star and World Number 2 Novak Djokovic has confirmed his participation at the Monte Carlo ATP Masters as he looks to defend his French Open title. The 20 time Grand Slam winner couldn’t defend his Australian Open title due to the COVID-19 vaccination requirements in Australia and recently withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells as well as the Miami Open.
Djokovic is a resident of Monaco and the country allows international travellers with a proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the last six months. The Serbian had recently recovered from COVID-19 in December for the second time. A post on Djokovic’s website said “Novak will open his 2022 clay court season in Monte Carlo, where he won the Masters 1000 title twice, in 2013 and 2015.
The Monte Carlo Masters will take place from April 10th to 17th and will be the second tournament Djokovic will participate in during the 2022 season so far. The Serbian was recently eliminated from the quarter finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last month and will hope to regain his rank 1 in the foreseeable future.
FIH Pro League: Indian women look to return to winning ways against Germany
Bhubaneswar, Mar 11 (Hockey News) Their campaign off to a decent start, the Indian women's hockey team would look to return to winning ways against a higher-ranked but out-of-touch Germany in the two-legged tie of the FIH Pro League, starting with the first match here on Saturday.
Playing their debut season in the Pro League, the Indian women made a fine start to their campaign, beating China 7-1 and 2-1 in their opening two games in Muscat.
The Indians, ranked ninth in the world, then defeated world number 6 Spain 2-1 at home before slumping to a 3-4 defeat in the return leg last month.
But despite the loss, the Indian women are well placed in the FIH Pro League standings as they are currently at the third position with nine points from four games, which includes three wins and a loss.
And come Saturday, India skipper Savita, who is leading the side in place of an injured Rani Rampal, would be hoping for an improved show from her team at the Kalinga Stadium.
Having registered three consecutive wins, the Indian women were on course to continue their unbeaten run before they conceded a late goal to lose to Spain in their last FIH Pro League match.
Going by momentum, India will have an edge over world number 5 Germany on Saturday.
The Germans will be a bit rusty coming into the tie against India after making a return to the FIH Pro League after October last year.
Germany have played only two games in the competition so far but lost both the contests against Belgium 0-1 and 1-3.
However, Indian women's hockey team chief coach Janneke Schopman very well knows what the Germans are capable of despite returning to the competition after a break.
"Germany is a very consistent team with probably the best basic skills around the world. They defend very well and are quick to attack," Schopman had said.
The hosts have included two new faces -- defender Akshata Abaso Dhekale and striker Deepika Jr -- in the 22-member squad which will take on Germany over the weekend.
The second match of the tie will be played on Sunday. The FIH Pro League matches between the Indian men's hockey team and Germany, to be held simultaneously with the women's games, have been postponed following an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the visitors' camp.
Also Read : Edgar Mascarenhas appointed as coach of Odisha hockey teams
News Source : PTI
Man Utd face tough test against Spurs while Liverpool take on Brighton
(Football news) Brighton & Hove Albion will welcome Liverpool to the Amex Stadium on Saturday, hoping to end their four game losing streak. The Seagulls lost their last match against Newcastle 2-1 while Liverpool progressed into the quarter finals of the Champions League despite losing 1-0 to Inter Milan at Anfield.
In team news, Graham Potter has reiterated that Adam Webster will be unavailable for selection due to injury while Enock Mwepu and Jeremy Sarmiento are expected to be in contention for a place in the starting lineup. Adam Lallana and Yves Bissouma could feature in midfield against their former sides while Neal Maupay could be selected over Danny Welbeck up front.
As for Liverpool, Roberto Firmino is expected to feature in the team after missing out on the match against Inter Milan but Ibrahima Konate remains doubtful after suffering a knock. Jurgen Klopp is expected to make changes in the starting lineup with Jordan Henderson and Luis Diaz featuring in the team while Thiago Alcantara might be rested after recently recovering from a hamstring issue. Anything less than a win would be a disappointing result for the Reds if they intend to keep pace with league leaders Manchester City.
Two top four rivals will face each other in an exciting clash at Old Trafford when Manchester United welcome Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. The Red Devils will look to get back to winning ways after a humiliating 4-1 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium while Tottenham swept aside Everton 5-0. Harry Kane surpassed Thierry Henry’s record in the all-time Premier League goalscoring charts with his 175th and 176th goals in the competition.
In team news, Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani remain doubts due to injuries while Raphael Varane is back in training after recovering from COVID-19. Luke Shaw is currently recovering from an illness and it remains to be seen if he will be available. Marcus Rashford could feature in the starting lineup due to the limited attacking options while Diogo Dalot could be re-introduced to the lineup in place of Aaron Wan Bissaka.
For Spurs, Ryan Sessegnon is unavailable due to a muscular problem while Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga are also injured. Matt Doherty is expected to keep Emerson Royal out of the starting lineup while Sergio Reguilon is expected to feature after scoring a goal in the last match. Both teams are expected to adopt a cautious approach and a draw seems like the most likely outcome of the fixture.
Also read: Chelsea defeat Norwich City despite off-field problems
Novak Djokovic withdraws from Indian Wells and Miami Open
(Tennis news) Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and Miami Open due to the COVID-19 restrictions in the United States. The World Number 2 remains unvaccinated and is not permitted to enter the US to compete in the tournaments.
In a statement released on social media, Djokovic said “While I was automatically listed in the @bnpparibasopen and @miamiopen draw, I knew, given the entry requirements to the US, it would be unlikely I'd be able to travel there. But as international COVID regulations are always being amended, I wanted to wait and see if anything would change. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) confirmed today that regulations are not changing which means I will not be playing in the US."
Having been recently deported from Australia, the 20 time Grand Slam winner saw his visa cancelled twice after arriving in the country with a medical exemption. Since then, Djokovic has reiterated that he is willing to miss tournaments due to his vaccination status and his withdrawal from the tournaments means that Grigor Dimitrov will take the Serbian’s place in the draw while a qualifier will get Dimitrov’s place after it’s completed.
Djokovic last appeared at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and was defeated by Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic in the quarter finals, resulting in the Serbian conceding his number 1 status to Daniil Medvedev.
Tendulkar welcomes move to remove run-out at non-striker's end from unfair play laws; unfair says Broad
New Delhi, Mar 9 (Cricket News) Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday hailed the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) decision to remove run-out at non-striker's end from unfair play laws even as veteran England pacer Stuart Broad termed the move as "unfair".
Custodian of cricket laws, the MCC has decided to move the law relating to run-outs at non-striker's end from its "unfair play" section.
It relates to run-outs at non-striker's end when batters back up too far and have often triggered heated debates on spirit of the game. Several players like India's premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin have advocated for it as a fair mode of dismissal.
Tendulkar said he was always averse to the term used for this dismissal as "Mankaded".
"New rules have been introduced in cricket by MCC committee and I am quite supportive of couple of them. The first one being Mankading dismissal. I was always uncomfortable with that particular dismissal being called Mankaded," Tendulkar said in a video message. "I am really happy that it's been changed to run out. It always should have been run out according to me. So this is one good news for all of us. I was not comfortable with it all, but that won't be the case anymore." However, Broad termed as "unfair" the MCC's decision to legitimise 'Mankading', a run out dismissal at the non-striker's end, saying it requires "zero skill".
"So the Mankad is no longer unfair & is now a legitimate dismissal. Hasn't it always been a legitimate dismissal & whether it is unfair is subjective? I think it is unfair & wouldn't consider it, as IMO, dismissing a batter is about skill & the Mankad requires zero skill," Broad tweeted.
The other change in cricket rules which Tendulkar liked was related to a new batter taking the strike in case of a catch dismissal.
"And the second one where the batter is dismissed, being caught, the new batter has to come and face the ball. The new batter takes the strike.
"It's absolutely fair because if a bowler has been successful in picking a wicket it's only fair that a bowler gets a chance to bowl to a new batter. This new rule is a good one and well done on that," he said.
Beside, the MCC also said that using saliva to shine the ball would be treated as an unfair practice.
Saliva application was barred by the ICC in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and MCC said its research found that applying saliva had no impact on the ball's movement.
The amendments will not come into force until October.
Also Read : BCB rests Shakib from all forms of cricket till April 8, to miss SA series
News Source : PTI
Nigel Smith is changing India's cycling culture one step at a time
The culture of cycling in India is still in its nascent stages but there has undoubtedly been a global boom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s for leisure or competitive events, the benefits of cycling are undeniable and with fuel prices on a high, not only is it the economical option but also environment friendly.
In this exclusive interview, Nigel Smith, British Cycling Level 3 Coach speaks about the potential for cycling in India, changing the culture of cycling, growing popularity, mental health benefits, helping trainees fulfil their potential and his future short/long term goals.
Q 1) Being a British Cycling Level 3 coach, what brings you to India and how much potential do you see for cycling in the country?
I came to India in 2015 with my wife to support her career move. She works in retail for one of the Tata companies. The potential for cycling in India is huge. What is lacking is an administrative structure that can bring together all the regions and create a generic development programme across the whole country so that whether you live in Kochi or Kashmir, the type of learning activities, coaching, talent ID, competition and attitudes to the bicycle as a mode of transport as well as a fitness tool are the same.
Q 2) What are your views on cycling being the next big thing in fitness in India? Do you feel you can change the culture of cycling in India?
As a fitness activity, sports will always be in competition with each other to be the next big thing, but certainly the number of people I see riding for leisure and fitness has increased in the past 6 years. My impact on the culture of cycling is limited to each individual or small group I’m privileged to work with. The culture is relatively very nascent, and I see and hear the cycling community’s thirst for more products, information, coverage etc. Whenever I find myself in a discussion with a cyclist, I just try and help broaden their horizons. It could be helping them decide which bike or brand they should buy, or maybe it’s just suggesting a nice route for a ride.
Q 3) Do you believe the cycling boom has been a COVID-19 fad or do you think it is here to stay?
Cycling has certainly seen a global boom due to COVID-19. I think the echo of that boom will be heard for many years to come. What’s frustrating, particularly for Indian cyclists, is the paucity of products available. To my knowledge, there are only two bike brands with a direct presence in India, Scott Sports being one of them. Everything else has to be imported via agents & distributors with very aggressive import duties on everything ranging from a pair of shoes right up to a bike. This restricts what the consumer can choose and afford.
Q 4) Apart from the obvious physical benefits, how does cycling benefit mental health?
By exercising, we’re not only getting fitter, but also feeling better as well. The endorphins released during exercise leave us with a sense of positivity. Being healthier means we reduce the risk of illness, creating a desire to continue these habits. The sense of accomplishment, regardless of the scale of the task, felt after we’ve exercised can help massively with reducing anxiety and depression. Even if it’s just getting off the sofa to go for a short pedal outside, the sense of achievement and knowledge that you can do more next time is a fantastic motivator.
Also, the camaraderie of group rides means riding with friends we can talk and engage with others. Being outdoors is a wonderful enabler for the relaxation of the mind and a stimulation for communication. Finally, the skills developed whilst riding a bike all require a mental engagement: balance, technique, being open to the sounds and sights of your surroundings whilst being mindful of others around you and your own ‘state’ (breathing & posture). You can be completely detached from the stresses of the world, yet totally engaged in the activity of riding a bike.
Q 5) What are some of the lessons that you learnt at the British Cycling Academy that you are looking to pass to your trainees so that they can fulfil their potential?
I coach riders from all corners of the performance spectrum – some are in their 40’s and venturing outside on a bike for the first time, others use the bike for improved fitness, and some aspire to National and International glory. Whoever I’m coaching, and at whatever level, the thing that’s stuck with me from all the coaching courses at British Cycling is:- decide what you want to achieve, create a process of multiple small steps that culminates in that achievement, agree milestones and how the difficulty will progress, then follow the process. I only ask riders to progress when we’ve agreed they’ve mastered a particular skill or effort level. Sometimes we have to repeat a step more times than we originally planned, but that’s ok. One of my mantras is we ‘learn through failure’ – identifying what went wrong, what we can do better. In that respect, every session can be a success.
Q 6) What are your short and long-term goals? How do you plan to achieve them?
I’m blessed to have a core group of very supportive clients, some of whom I’ve been working with for over 5 years. In the short term, my goals are to retain and hopefully grow this core group, helping them achieve on the bike all that they desire. I can only do this by avoiding complacency and trying to stimulate maximum client engagement through better sessions, better communication, and better feedback. I try (but don’t always succeed) to self-appraise after each session and seek feedback from the clients.
Longer term, it’s three-fold. I’m already working with a handful of riders who will be competing at state and national level. With the help of Scott Sports India, I’d like to grow this group & create something where riders can spend more time training and learning about the sport together. There are too many silos with not enough horizontal integration. The bigger the groups, the greater the knowledge sharing, helping the sport to grow faster. Building on that group learning, I’d love it if some of the companies that support riders via free products in exchange for being an ‘ambassador’, thought a little more laterally. What if they all gave away 20% less product and pooled together to create a fund to send a handful of deserving riders abroad for more experience?
Secondly, I’ve recently led a 4-day curated cycle tour of Nashik for the more leisure-fitness rider. I see this as a massive opportunity to offer riders an incredible few days with wonderful cuisine, accommodation and on-the-bike coaching during rides so that on & off the bike they are taken care of at all times. I’d love to grow this little niche area of cycling through the groups I already work with and trying to engage more with bike riders through social media.
Finally, I’d just love the number of people using a bicycle for leisure or sport to keep growing and so whenever the opportunity arises, I’ll keep engaging with the cycling communities and spreading the bike benefits of freedom, fun and fitness!
Djokovic entered into Indian Wells draw despite vaccination uncertainty
(Tennis news) World number 2 Novak Djokovic has been added to the Indian Wells draw by the tournament’s organisers but there remains uncertainty about whether the Serbian will be eligible to enter the United States. The 20 time Grand Slam winner has refused to take the COVID-19 vaccination and is prepared to miss tournaments as a consequence of his decision. Djokovic was deported from Australia due to his vaccination status after two visa cancellations, two court challenges and five nights at an immigration detention hotel.
In a statement by the Indian Wells organisers on Tuesday, they said on Twitter “Novak Djokovic is on the tournament entry list, and therefore is placed into the draw today. We are currently in communication with his team. However, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting CDC (US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) approval to enter the country."
As things stand, the CDC website says that non-US citizens who are not immigrants must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. The California based tournament is often regarded as the “fifth major” in the tennis calendar and was previously cancelled in 2020 and moved to October last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Djokovic recently competed at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships where he lost the quarter finals to Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic.
Bala Devi advises young girls to ignore negative comments from people, rather focus on themselves
New Delhi, Mar 8 (Football News) Star India woman footballer Bala Devi on Tuesday advised youngsters to ignore negative comments like "why are girls playing" and rather focus on their sport if they want to achieve success in their career.
Bala, who joined Rangers Women FC of Scotland to become the first Indian woman to sign a professional contract with a European club, said family support is crucial in this regard.
"My family supported me throughout but pressure from society was always there. They used to ask 'why are girls playing? What is the benefit of that?'" she said on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
"My parents and I had to hear this a lot but we never answered back. When I went to play in the U-19 National Championship in 2002, Manipur became the champions and I received the best scorer award, and that is when people stopped asking questions and started supporting me,” she said.
Bala missed out on the AFC Women's Asian Cup hosted by the country in January-February as she was recuperating from a surgery.
Indian women's team captain Ashalata Devi said women are not less than men in any way.
"We are no less than any men and we are multi-talented. So anyone looks down upon you or says wrong, you just have to work hard. You need to focus on your dream by putting in a lot of hard work and dedication and keep on moving forward," she said.
"We, the women are built different, but we can very much achieve what men can, and maybe more. In order to move forward, we need to be one and respect each other." Goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan felt the young generation should take inspiration from the like of badminton ace P V Sindhu and the women's hockey team which finished fourth in the Olympics for the first time after 41 years.
“We’ve seen in the Olympics how incredibly our women’s team (hockey) have performed. Obviously, we’ve got P.V. Sindhu as well who’s leading from the front and she set new heights, and is a leading example of how much or how far women can achieve at the International level," Chauhan said.
India were forced out of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup after a dozen COVID-19 cases among their players led to the cancellation of a group match against Chinese Taipei minutes before kickoff.
Also Read : Rajasthan United down 9-man Aizawl FC, Punjab FC thrash Kenkre
News Source : PTI
Sania, Ankita, Karman named in Indian Billie Jean King Cup team for upcoming competition
New Delhi, Mar 8 (Tennis News) Veteran Sania Mirza and singles players Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi were on Tuesday named in the five-member Indian Billie Jean King Cup team for the Asia/Oceania Group I competition, beginning April 12 in Antalya, Turkey.
Rutuja Bhosale also kept her place in the side while Riya Bhatia replaced Zeel Desai in the squad.
India had lost 1-3 to Latvia in the play-offs in April last year to get back to the zonal competition.
India will compete with China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea Republic and New Zealand in round-robin format, where the top two nations will get a chance to compete in the play-offs.
Captain Vishal Uppal said the team will have to work hard to make it to the next stage.
"The selection committee felt that Riya being the higher-ranked deserves opportunity. She had missed out the last time due to COVID-19. It is a tough qualification zone. China and Japan will be the biggest threat," Uppal told PTI.
Uppal said ideally the players should have a preparatory camp since the matches will be on clay courts.
"We will see if we can get together and practice. The tournament is on clay. Our players are experienced on playing on European clay, they are familiar with the surface but homework is needed on matching up with these countries," he added.
Shalini Thakur will be the coach of the squad.
Also Read : Bopanna-Sharan pair keeps India in World Group I after saving three match points
News Source : PTI
Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix to remain on Formula 1 calendar until 2025
(Motorsport) Formula 1 has confirmed that the emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will remain on the calendar until 2025. The track returned to F1 in 2020 for the first time since 2006 as a way to fill the gaps due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ended up retaining its place in the 2021 and 2022 seasons with this season’s race scheduled for April 24th. This means that two races will be held in Italy for the foreseeable future, one being at Monza which is called the Italian Grand Prix while the Imola Grand Prix is named after its surrounding Emilia-Romagna region.
Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali was born in the Emilia-Romagna region and said this in a statement “I am delighted that we will be continuing our excellent partnership with Imola for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix until 2025. The circuit is iconic and has been part of the history of our sport and they have done an incredible job of hosting two races during the pandemic. It is a proud moment for our Italian fans to host two races and for all our fans around the world to see this fantastic circuit on the calendar for the future."
“I want to thank everyone involved in making this happen and the work of the Emilia-Romagna Region, in particular the President of the Automobile Club of Italy, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, President of Emilia-Romagna, Stefano Bonaccini, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the City of Imola. We are all looking forward to being back in Imola in April to thrill our fans.”
President of the Automobile Club of Italy, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, said: “Today's agreement ratifies the presence of the Formula 1 Rolex Grand Prix of Made in Italy and Emilia Romagna at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit in Imola until 2025. Imola, it's great history and the strong tie of its territory to the world of engines deserved this recognition. This is not only a great success for sport in Italy but also a great enrichment for the top international motorsport series that has confirmed in its calendar for several years one of the most difficult races, but also the greatest, and the one that's mostly loved by both drivers and teams.
“Of course, the long negotiations carried out by the Automobile Club of Italy managed to achieve the desired goal thanks to the important support received from various local authorities. Among all, I would like to underline the enthusiastic work of the Emilia Romagna Region and its President Stefano Bonaccini."
President of Emilia Romagna, Stefano Bonaccini, said: “It's an extraordinary result for the Emilia-Romagna region and for the Motor Valley. The confirmation that the Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna Formula 1 Grand Prix that will be held at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari Autodrome in Imola until 2025 is a reward to an important team effort that involved the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ice (i.d. the Italian Trade Agency), the City of Imola, ACI, CON.AMI and Formula 1, of course.
“After two successfully organized editions, a unique event of great international appeal and absolute prestige was confirmed in the long run along the Via Emilia despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic and while preparations are already underway for the 2022 edition.
“The event will allow us to turn the spotlight on both a region which is home to great champions and world-famous motorsport brands and Italy, a country rich in unique, internationally renowned excellence in all fields, starting from the automotive industry. For us, this is a great source of pride and a precious opportunity to discuss values, knowledge and professionalism that translate first and foremost into work, innovation and the ability to do business together and with great passion.”
Previously known as the San Marino GP, the Imola track hosted the first Italian GP in 1980 and became the San Marino Grand Prix venue from 1981 to 2006. The track is also infamous for being the venue where legendary Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna met with a fatal crash in 1994. The race on 24th April at the Enzo e Dino Ferrari International Circuit will be the fourth in the 2022 season’s 24 race calendar while the Italian GP race will take place in September and will be the 16th race of the season.
Sindhu, Srikanth & Lakshya lead India's campaign at German Open
Muelheim An Der Ruhr (Germany), Mar 7 (Badminton News) Two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu and world championship medal-winners Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen will be the top Indian contenders at the German Open Super 300 badminton tournament starting here on Tuesday.
While Sindhu eased to a title win at Syed Modi International and Lakshya grabbed his maiden Super 500 trophy at Indian Open in January, Srikanth saw the momentum of the World Championships fizzle out a bit after withdrew from the Delhi due to COVID-19 infection.
The Lucknow title was Sindhu's first since the World Championship gold in 2019 and it must have eased the pressure a bit but the Indian is well aware that she will have to hit top gear during the European leg in a hectic year which also has big-ticket events such as the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
Sindhu, seeded seventh, will open her campaign against Thailand's world no 11 Busanan Ongbamrungphan this week.
A win will bring her face-to-face with Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt and another possible victory can see her clash with top seed and Olympic silver-medallist Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
World silver-medallist Lakshya too has been in fine form, making good use of the opportunities that came his way as he first claimed the bronze at Huelva, Spain, and then lifted the India Open title in January. He was also the only bright spot during India's campaign at Asia Team Championships In Malaysia last month.
Lakshya will start his campaign against Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen. If the 20-year-old from Almora puts it past the Thai, he is likely to meet fourth seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia.
Srikanth, on the other hand, endured a frustrating phase after being forced out of the events in India due to COVID-19. The 29-year-old, however, started training as soon as he recovered and is eager to find his rhythm.
"This is an important year and I just want to train well and play to the best of my ability," Srikanth said.
The eighth-seeded Indian will face France's Brice Leverdez in his campaign opener.
A win is likely to pit him against China's Lu Guang Zu in the second round and if Srikanth can cross the hurdle, he is expected to take on top seed and reigning Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.
It is an important year for HS Prannoy as well as he continues his comeback after recovering from lingering side-effects of COVID-19.
A former top 10 player, Prannoy reached three back-to-back quarterfinals -- the World Championship, India Open, and Syed Modi International -- and would look to carry the momentum when he faces seventh-seeded Ng Ka Long Angus in his opening round here.
London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal, who has been troubled by injuries and illness, will also be in action after losing early at India Open and pulling out of the Lucknow event in January.
The two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist will open against Singapore's Yeo Jia Min.
Having regained fitness after laying low due to a calf injury, former commonwealth games champion Parupalli Kashyap too will be back in action, taking on Thailand's young sensation Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
Commonwealth Games silver-medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who notched up their maiden Super 500 title at India Open, will open against China's Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi, while Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun will clash with sixth seeds Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi from Singapore.
In women's doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will square off against fifth seeds Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida of Japan, while Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela will take on Netherlands' Debora Jille and Cheryl Seinen.
In mixed doubles, India will be represented by the pairings of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto, and Sai Pratheek K and N Sikki Reddy.
Also Read : Spanish Para badminton International: Bhagat wins 3 golds, Kadam claims gold and silver
News Source : PTI
Axar Patel replaces Kuldeep Yadav for India's 2nd Test against SL
Bengaluru, Mar 7 (Cricket News) Fit-again all-rounder Axar Patel has replaced left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav for India's second Test against Sri Lanka, beginning here on Saturday.
The Indian team management has released Kuldeep from the squad.
Axar had been recovering from a shin injury that had forced him to miss the South Africa tour and the T20 series against West India. He had also tested positive for COVID-19 recently.
"Axar was the first choice but had to undergo recovery and hence Kuldeep was a back up," a BCCI source told PTI.
"Now Axar is fit and back so Kuldeep has been released," the source added.
At the time of announcing the squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, the BCCI had said Axar was expected to be fit for the second game.
Kuldeep last played a Test in February 2021.
India won the first Test against Sri Lanka by an innings and 222 runs.
Also Read : Indian women need to be much better despite huge win over Pakistan
News Source : PTI
Bayern face Leverkusen while Dortmund vs Mainz gets cancelled
(Football News) Bayern face a difficult test against Bayer Leverkusen who are going into the match in top form. The German champions are well on track to record their 10th consecutive league title after extending their lead at the top of the table. With BVB's fixture at Mainz 05 on Sunday being postponed, Bayern have a chance to further extend their advantage to 11 points by the end of the week. Not only will the result have pleased Nagelsmann though, a first clean sheet in six games will have also been by the boss after a relatively wobbly period for his defence during the absence of their captain Manuel Neuer in recent weeks.
Despite facing a tough opponent on Saturday, Bayern will still be expected to make it three wins in a row when Leverkusen come to the Allianz Arena, especially when the recent results against Bayern haven’t gone their way at all. The last time they met, they were on the end of 5-1 hammering against their opponents back at the BayArena in October which was a statement victory for Bayern and was a wake up call for Leverkusen in their early-season title challenge at the time. Since then both sides seemed to have their ups and downs in the season as they have picked up 16 from a possible 21 to begin the year meaning that the Die Werkself find themselves in third place ahead of this crucial encounter. For Bayern, Alphonso Davies remains unavailable for the foreseeable future as Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso are also ruled out due to knee and hamstring injuries.
The Bundesliga game between Mainz and Borussia Dortmund has been pushed to March 16 as both the teams had multiple COVID-19 cases in its squad. The German league rules state that a match can be postponed if a team has fewer than 16 players available, one of whom must be a goalkeeper. Subsequently, nineteen members of the first-team set-up have tested positive, including 13 players and head coach Bo Svensson.
Dortmund team manager Sebastian Kehl said the decision to postpone the game was "understandable" and that the health rules in place allowed for "a fair competition".
RB Leipzig take on Freiburg which is a crucial encounter for the last Champions League position in the league. Leipzig's transformation under Domenico Tedesco has been tremendous as they won two further matches over the past week, in what has been an excellent start to 2022 anyways. With participation in both the DFB-Pokal and the Europa League still ongoing, Die Roten Bullen prepare for already their 12th fixture of the year already when they face Freiburg
The fixture congestion has done little to halt Leipzig's progression, as they are into the round of 16 in the Europa League followed by their qualification into the DFB-Pokal semi-finals after the comfortable 4-0 victory over Hannover. Christopher Nkunku has been instrumental this season as the Frenchman netted his 24th and 25th goals of the season against lower-league opposition. For Freiburg, they made it three straight wins in a row after they won against Bochum in the DFB-Pokal and will be looking to continue this form.
The other fixtures are:
- Wolfsburg vs Union Berlin
- VFL Bochum vs Furth
- Hertha vs Frankfurt
- VFB Stuttgart vs Monchengladbach
- Koln vs Hoffenheim
As long as I am playing well, not bothered about scores: Kohli
Mohali, Mar 4 (Cricket News) Virat Kohli had "butterflies" in his stomach and "felt nervous" like a debutant when he walked out to bat in his 100th Test but he is not bothered by lack of hundreds as he feels he is batting well.
Kohli scored 45 and looked set before being bowled by Lasith Embuldeniya on the opening day of India's first Test against Sri Lanka here on Friday.
"I am preparing as I have always prepared. As long as I am batting well, I am not bothered. We are somehow crazy about milestones and materialistic achievements," Kohli told mediapersons when asked if he wants to revisit his process since big runs have dried up.
"It felt like I am making my debut. Had butterflies in my stomach, did feel very nervous," he said.
However, he admitted that he needs to convert his starts.
"Obviously disappointed as I got a good start. I was batting well. You obviously feel disappointed as a batsman. Endeavour is always to make sure to play a big innings for the team and put the team in a strong position," he said.
One of the pertinent points that he raised was that in a post COVID-19 world, there is very little time left for course correction when one needs to do it.
"It's not an easy environment to get away from game and work on things you need to finetune," Kohli added.
"It's been tough playing three formats and IPL for so long. Proud of how I have handled my physique, my body."
Also Read : Cricket Ireland brings in positive changes to contract system
News Source : PTI
We aim to leverage our Customer Data Platform, Organon: Chiraag Paul
Based in Singapore, Proem Sports aims to influence Asia’s sport, entertainment and live event industries by helping them understand their fans better. Co-founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Chiraag Paul, Pareekshith Shetty and Sugato Ray, the goal of the organisation has always been to ensure that fans are at the core of decision making. The company is a one-stop destination for off-field analytics, data capture, fan intelligence and marketing automation.
In this exclusive interview, Proem Sports’ Co-founder and CEO Chiraag Paul speaks about creating a sports software-technology company, using Customer Data Platform to drive personalised fan engagement, future trends, the importance of emerging technologies in fan experience, overcoming challenges and future goals.
Q 1) As a co-founder of Proem Sports, what motivated you to create a sports software-technology company?
Sport has always been an integral part of our lives as founders. I began my journey as a footballer for clubs like East Bengal in India, Guarani FC in Brazil, and Birmingham City in the UK. This experience gave me the unique opportunity to compete in top leagues across three continents. Through my experience on the field, I noticed that sport organisations often made important business and marketing decisions without considering one of their most important stakeholders - their fans. Over the years, we witnessed a significant gap in the industry - the absence of actionable data to help organisations better understand their fanbase.
On the other hand, Pareekshith grew up playing cricket and football for college and recreational clubs. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science, he worked as a data scientist at Flutura, an AI platform and solutions company. During his time here, he was responsible for making core contributions to IP generation and service delivery for Fortune 500 clients. This experience strengthened his understanding of analytics and data products.
In 2017, we combined our passion for sports and analytics to co-found Proem Sports, along with Sugato Ray, as a one-stop destination for all matters related to off-field management - be it data capture, fan intelligence, or marketing analytics. Together, we observed a growing need for sports organisations to interact better with their fans. This led us to build a sports-tech product, Organon - a state-of-the-art Customer Data Platform (CDP) to help organisations increase visibility and forge deeper connections with their fanbase.
Q 2) How is Proem Sports’ Customer Data Platform driving personalised fan engagement? Why is CDP important?
Proem Sports’ Customer Data Platform (CDP), Organon, is designed to understand and activate fan relationships. It helps organisations capture and manage data, discover fan analytics, and rewire their decisions to improve business performance. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, Organon is built to address, solve, and enhance sports sponsorship, fan retention, and omni-channel marketing. The product also provides strategic foresight into potential opportunities that can be capitalised on and empowers organisations to make informed and strategic decisions, provide more personalised content, and drive better fan engagement.
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) play a vital role in ensuring that customers lie at the core of all commercial decision making. The global CDP market is predicted to reach USD 10.2 billion by 2028, and research indicates that 60% of customers now have higher expectations of their digital experience than before COVID-19. Thus, it has become increasingly important for organisations to tap into data to curate personalised experiences for their fans. In fact, 73% of companies report that a CDP will be critical to their customer experience efforts and 47% of companies aim to increase CDP budgets by more than 25% in the next 5 years. If there's one thing today's consumers seek, it's personalisation, and that's exactly where CDPs come in.
Q 3) When comparing mass market vs. personalization, what would you consider to be the future?
We are living in a digital age where data takes centre stage when deciding how customers want to be engaged with any form of content. This has become increasingly prevalent through the COVID-19 pandemic, where mass content marketing struggled to penetrate engagement habits of a user as businesses were unable to showcase their products tangibly and only via a screen. Thus, personalisation has taken a dominant role in the plans of marketing teams across industries, especially in sport.
This is where a CDP like Organon plays a crucial role in identifying customer segments and buyer traits, and creating tailormade personalised marketing experiences for the end customers or fans in the sports ecosystem. The numbers speak for themselves – research has shown that leading brands equipped with personalisation have found proven ways to drive a 5-15% increase in revenue and 10-30% increase in marketing spend efficiency. Hence, we believe the present and future revolves around personalisation that leads to both retention and acquisition of a client base.
Also read: My goal is to solidify the organisation's fundings: Shahirul Sjahrial
Q 4) Please share some insights on how emerging technologies are crucial to fan experience?
Technology forms an integral part of how sports is being consumed today, with nearly 70% of fans stating that emerging technologies like VR and AI have enhanced their overall viewing experience, both inside and outside the stadium. The sports industry is transforming every day and, with organisations working to bring together the best of both the physical and virtual worlds, the use of VR and AR is ever-increasing. In fact, studies show that fans from Asian countries like India, Hong Kong, and Singapore are spearheading the adoption and acceptance of emerging technologies in sports.
Digitising sport and the overall fan experience will help organisations strengthen engagement and create value for their fans. Reports also show that fans who enjoyed their tech-enabled experiences are likely to attend more matches in stadiums and increase their spend on merchandise, food, and beverages.
Q 5) What are some of the challenges that you have faced as founders of Proem Sports? How did you overcome them?
All founders have their own unique journey whilst establishing their thoughts from an idea to a business. We have been on such a journey too where challenges have been, and still continue to be, a part of our day-to-day life.
One aspect that we constantly work on is the need to popularise the concept and idea behind using a Customer Data Platform. As a product company, it is paramount that we are successful in guiding clients and the industry in understanding the importance of being data-centric when it comes to decision making. A part of this stems from the useability and stickiness of the product, but also from how we position ourselves to the industry and investors. This is often a challenging aspect as we deal with perceptions and behaviours that take time to change.
Another challenge we faced early on was the fragmentation of data in the industry. Though data existed, it existed in silos and it was a challenge to put it together.
Q 6) What are your short and long term goals for Proem Sports? How do you plan to achieve them?
Our focus for the next couple of quarters is to leverage the use of our Customer Data Platform, Organon, for live event organisers, sport clubs, leagues and sponsors. We would like Organon to be used regularly by them to understand their fan base better by being aware of fan behaviour patterns and engaging with them accordingly.
Our forecast this year is to penetrate the larger Asian market, as we see growth in personalised marketing through data in a variety of regions across the continent. Our plans to achieve these targets are quite clear as our focus is based on key parameters that include the internal development of our product, team, and marketing.
We relish working at the intersection of marketing and technology and aim to leverage Customer Data Platforms to democratise data for sport and live event organisations. Our vision is to influence the industry by changing how organisations currently function, ensuring fans remain at the core of all decision-making.
Churchill Brothers look to bounce back from first round defeat, Kenkre FC to make debut
Naihati (West Bengal), Mar 3 (Football News) Churchill Brothers would look to bounce back from their first round defeat when they take on Punjab FC in an I-League match here on Friday.
Churchill had lost to Gokulam Kerala 0-1 in their opening match played before the I-League was disrupted for two months due to multiple COVID-19 cases in the bio-bubble and the Goan side would fancy their chances against Punjab.
Churchill assistant coach Mathias Costa wants to forget the first match and focus on the game at hand.
"Of course, we played a good first match. However, we didn't get our result due to lack of finishing. So, we want to create more chances and score goals," he said.
"The boys are raring to go after the restart. It is always important to get something out of the game. We want to forget the last match and focus on the next to get all three points." On the strength of their opponents, Costa said, "They have many experienced players and made very good signings. Of course, it will be a tough match. If we can convert our chances, we can get all three points." Punjab coach Ashley Westwood is also upbeat about the prospects of his side.
"We went for a four weeks break and assembled as early as possible. Before coming here, we had a 2-week preparation period and luckily, all the players are fit to play. We are looking forward to the important match against Churchill Brothers who are one of the contenders to win the title," Westwood said.
In the other matches on Friday, newly-promoted Kenkre FC will make their much awaited I-League debut by taking on Real Kashmir at Kalyani Stadium while Sudeva Delhi FC face Indian Arrows here.
Kenkre head coach Akhil Kothari is proud to lead the club in their first venture on the big stage.
"This has been a huge dream for all of us at Kenkre FC. The excitement of performing well motivates the entire club. We are ready for tomorrow's game," he said.
The Mumbai club had less than a month to prepare for the I-League in December last, but the break in competition due to COVID-19 cases has worked in their favour.
"After the outbreak in January, we regrouped in Mumbai as cases were on the decline there. The break has been advantageous for us. We had a camp to focus on team-building and prepare mentally for the bio-bubble environment. I'm sure time will show for our hard work in Mumbai," said Kothari.
Real Kashmir had got their campaign underway with a 3-2 win over Aizawl in the first match before the disruption hit I-League.
Head coach David Robertson hopes to build on that after returning from the break.
"We're all excited to be back. We continued to train in Kashmir. Everybody is ready to go again."
Also Read : Jamshedpur FC aim to consolidate lead at top with win over Odisha
News Source : PTI
Women's World Cup: India eye first ICC title, Australia favourites to reach 'Magnificent Seven'
Mount Maunganui, Mar 3 (Cricket News) Mithali Raj will be eager to get her hands on a maiden title in what would be her last hurrah for India at the world stage, Heather Knight will hope to defend it while Meg Lanning seems primed to lead Australia to a 'Magnificent Seventh' when the ICC Women's World Cup gets underway here on Friday.
The tournament, which was postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be played across six venues with the ICC deciding that teams will stay in a 'managed environment' instead of stringent bio-bubbles.
The marquee event will be played in the league format, where all eight teams will face each other once with the top four sides qualifying for the semifinals.
India, who were runners-up in the last edition and in 2005, open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan, while hosts New Zealand, who won the title in 2000, will take on West Indies in the tournament opener.
Australia, the most successful side with six titles, will meet defending champions England, who have been crowned champions four times.
The month-long event will see young stars and veterans come together. While the likes of Mithali, Jhulan Goswami, Suzie Bates and Megan Schutt will look to add to their already glittering legacies, teenagers including Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, Fran Jones and Darcie Brown will be eager to make one.
Here's a look at the eight contenders: Australia ====== Hurt by the shock semifinal loss to India in 2017, six-time champions Australia have left no stone unturned in their quest for an unprecedented seventh title.
Such has been Australia’s dominance in the past four years in the 50-over format that the Southern stars have lost just one ODI in their last 30 games.
Labelled favourites, Australia head to the World Cup on the back of a dominating 3-0 ODI series victory against arch-rivals England in the Ashes.
Ellyse Perry, who has dominated with bat and ball at World Cups since 2009, has recaptured her best form with a commanding all-round display recently.
In Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Perry and Beth Mooney, Australia have plenty of experience at the top while the likes of Ashleigh Gardner and Jess Jonassen will be tasked to play the big shot towards the end, making for a strong batting unit.
India ==== Runners up in the last edition, India will be keen to go one step ahead and claim the title that has eluded them, specially skipper Mithali and veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami, who will be playing their last World Cup.
India were staring at a demoralising 5-0 whitewash at the hands of New Zealand but have been able to turn things around by winning the final match of the series while also emerging victorious in their warm-up games.
While Mithali and Goswami continue to play pivotal roles in the team, young Richa Ghosh has shone in recent series. Star opener Smriti Mandhana is also in good nick while the talismanic Harmanpreet Kaur, considered a big-event player, has also found her groove and is expected to set the stage ablaze.
England ====== The defending champions and the second most successful team in the history of the tournament, England will be eager to retain their crown.
Despite the recent Ashes white-wash, England has been one of the most successful sides in women's ODIs since the end of the last World Cup.
Kate Cross will be making her much-awaited debut. She has picked up the most wickets for England since 2019 at an average of 17.24 and an economy rate just above four runs per over. A lot will be expected of the seamer.
Another key player for England will be Tammy Beaumont, who was the Player of the tournament in the last edition. The opener has continued her rich vein of form.
New Zealand ========= Last time the tournament was held in New Zealand 22 years ago, the White Ferns won their maiden and only title. The hosts will look to repeat the feat and they have had the perfect lead up to the tournament.
Sophie Devine and her side registered a 4-1 series defeat over India while notching up a mammoth nine-wicket win over Australia in the warm-up game.
The Kiwis are performing as a well-oiled unit. Their top batters have been impressive. Amelia Kerr, who was promoted to No 3 form No 5, has taken to the spot like a duck to water.
The all-rounder was the leading run-scorer of the series. She has also delivered with the ball alongside sister Jess Kerr.
Suzie Bates heads to the marquee event with a hundred as does skipper Sophie Devine, who blasted an unbeaten 161 against Australia in the warm-up game, while Amy Satterthwaite has also been among runs.
South Africa ========= Riding high on confidence owing to series victories over West Indies, Pakistan and India, South Africa will aim to ride the momentum in search of their maiden World Cup title.
Sune Luus and Co. have played the most ODIs among all teams since the 2017 World Cup and have enough depth and talent in their squad to go all the way.
Widely regarded as the fastest women's bowler in the world, expectations will be high from pacer Shabnim Ismail.
Laura Wolvaardt and Luus have also been in good touch and will be banked on to collect the runs for the team.
West Indies ======== West Indies qualified for the tournament owing to their ODI rankings after the Qualifiers was cancelled mid-way last year due to COVID-19. The runners-up finish in 2013 was their best ever performance.
They have a blend of youth and experience in their side.
Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed will be making a fifth appearance in the World Cup. She has plenty of experience to offer.
Skipper Stafanie Taylor is a proven match-winner with the bat and is just as effective with her off-spin and is definitely one to look out for.
Big-hitting Deandra Dottin is another player to keep an eye on. She recently smashed her ODI-best of 150 not out against South Africa.
Pakistan ====== Pakistan have competed in four World Cups, finishing at the bottom in three of them. Their best result was a fifth place finish in the 2009 edition.
Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof, who returns from maternity break, hopes to lead her side to the semifinals.
Left-arm seamer Nashra Sundhu, who is the team’s most reliable performer with the ball and has an impressive average of just over 28, will be the one to watch.
Bangladesh ======= Bangladesh will play in the tournament for the first time, having qualified on the basis of their ODI rankings. They will hope to leave an impression in their maiden tournament.
Captaining the side is Nigar Sultana, who will be expected to deliver with the bat and behind the stumps.
Also Read : A 'Testy Treat': Rohit's Team India ready to dish out stellar show in King Kohli's 100th Test
News Source : PTI
Denied visa, SAI steps in to help race walker Amit travel to Oman for World C'ship
New Delhi, Mar 2 (Sports News) The Sports Authority of India has intervened to enable U-20 World silver medallist Amit Khatri travel to Muscat for the World Athletics Race Walking Championships after he was denied visa by Omani authorities for failing to meet their COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
Amit, who is a part of the Indian team, is set to compete in the 10km race walk event of the championships, to be held on March 4 and 5. He was unable to travel to Oman because of COVID vaccination guidelines of that country.
But then, SAI sprung into action and with the help of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), resolved the issue.
"I got vaccinated just a few days before the competition and thus was not able to get permission to travel and participate in the World Championship. Due to which I had lost all hope, and thought I would not be able to compete," Amit said in a statement.
Officers in the MEA also reached out to the Ministry of Health of Oman and other authorities through the Indian Embassy in Muscat and facilitated his travel after he had completed his vaccination.
The MEA also appointed a liaison officer at the Muscat Airport for immigration support.
"I am very thankful to the MEA, SAI, TOPS, and AFI for helping me out of this situation. Their timely intervention has helped me reach the competition in time and now I am more determined to give my best in the competition so I not only make the country but everyone who helped me out proud of my performance," Amit added.
Amit, who is an athlete of SAI's Target Olympic Podium Scheme, had created history last year when he became the first race walker from India to win a medal at the U-20 World Championships.
Also Read : Four time Olympic medallist Valerie Adams announces retirement
News Source : PTI
Sreenidi Deccan aim for first-ever points in I-League against TRAU FC
Kolkata, Mar 2 (Football News) The I-League will resume here on Thursday with newcomers Sreenidi Deccan FC looking for their first-ever point in the tournament when they take on last season's third-place team TRAU FC. On January 3, the I-League was suspended for at least six weeks by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) after a fresh COVID-19 outbreak hit the participating teams inside the bio-bubble in Kolkata.
Sreenidi Deccan are targeting their first-ever points in the I-League after they were beaten 2-3 by Neroca FC on the opening day of the league.
"During the break, we signed two more foreign players (Kheir and Ogana), which is good for the team. We couldn't win our first game, but the break gave us more time to correct our mistakes," said coach Fernando Santiago Varela.
Girik Khosla scored Sreenidi's first-ever Hero I-League goal against Neroca and coach Varela was all praise for him.
"Girik has the quality to play in any tournament in the country. He is hungry to learn new things. He is very versatile and is an important player for us." Sreenidi have assembled a solid backline with the pairing of Hamza Kheir and Mohamed Awal in defence.
"For me, Hamza and Awal were the two best centre-backs in the Hero I-League last year. Both will contribute a lot with their experience," claimed Varela.
Awal said that the I-League is a tough challenge.
"We can win, lose or draw. Whatever happens, we move on because there are more games ahead. We don't dwell on the past, we think about the next game. Most importantly, we need our first win in the league." The Ghanaian added that the team doesn't solely depend on foreigners.
"Once we sign for the league, we are professionals. I don't understand the difference between foreigners and local players because we're all football players and stay as a family." TRAU FC got their first taste of life without last season's top-scorer Bidyashagar Singh as they were held goalless by a resolute Indian Arrows defence on match day one in December.
"We were pretty disappointed with the result against Arrows as we couldn't score. Against Sreenidi, we have to get all three points. We watched their last match and analysed them," said assistant coach Surmani Singh.
TRAU added two new Brazilian players to the squad during the break -- Douglas Santana and Fernandinho.
Gerard Williams also returned to the team after two years.
"We have a lot of expectations from all the new players. We know about Williams' quality as he was with us previously," he added.
TRAU have also signed promising defender Buanthanglun Samte, who is hoping to make his Hero I-League debut.
"The break was beneficial for me as I was injured during December and now I've come back stronger," said the youngster.
Also Read : Azpilicueta and Christensen on the verge of joining Barcelona
News Source : PTI
Mumbai teen attempts record for batting longest, stays at crease for over 72 hours
Mumbai, Mar 1 (Cricket News) Eyeing a new world record for batting the longest, Mumbai teen Siddarth Mohite stayed at the crease for a whopping 72 hours and five minutes during a marathon net session and is now waiting for the Guinness Book of World Record to recognise the feat.
The 19-year-old Mohite passed compatriot Virag Mane’s 50-hour record, created in 2015, before batting for 72 hours and five minutes over the weekend.
“I am very happy that I completed what I was trying. This was one way I wanted to show people that I have something extra in me," Mohite said in a media release.
“Due to the COVID lockdown I lost two good cricketing years which was a big loss. So, I thought of doing something different and randomly this thought came to me and then I contacted many academies and coaches," he added.
Mohite was supported in his endeavour by his mentor Jwala Singh, who has also coached young opener Yashasvi Jaiswal.
“Every one said no to me. Then I contacted Jwala Sir and he said why not? He supported me all the way and provided whatever was required,” added Mohite.
A group of bowlers stayed with Mohite to support him throughout his session.
As per the rule, a batter can take a break for five minutes in one hour. Mohite's recording and required papers will now be sent to the Guinness World Record books, Singh said in statement.
"Mohite was part of the MCC Pro-40 league before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 and then during the pandemic, his mom contacted me for his cricket.
"But due to the lockdown everything was closed. Then one day he called me and asked to attempt this feat. To be very honest, I was not very keen for this but I was very much aware that many young cricketers have lost some good years," Singh said "So I thought 'if someone wanted to do something different why not?' And hence, I agreed to support,” added Singh.
Also Read : Indian women thrash WI by 81 runs in final World Cup warm-up game
News Source : PTI
Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf contracts COVID, doubtful to make his Test debut against Australia
Karachi, Mar 1 (Cricket News) Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf has tested positive for COVID-19, rendering him doubtful to make his Test debut against Australia in the opening match of the three-game series, starting in Rawalpindi on March 4.
Rauf is currently placed under isolation.
Rauf was tipped to make his Test debut since the national selectors had only kept three pacers in the Pakistan squad for the first match, including Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Wasim junior, who is also yet to play a Test for Pakistan.
"Haris has tested positive and has gone into isolation and with the Test just three days away it seems highly unlikely he will be available for the first Test starting March 4," a team official said.
With Rauf a doubtful starter, indications are that the team management might call up young fast bowler Naseem Shah, who is among the two travelling reserves with the squad. Wicketkeeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed is the other reserve.
The touring Australian squad had its first practice session at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Tuesday amidst extremely tight security measures with roads surrounding the ground closed for public.
A full house is expected on day one of the first Test after the government on Tuesday allowed 100 per cent capacity for the three Tests to be held in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore.
The National Command and Control Centre for COVID-19 announced that all vaccinated persons, including children aged from 12 above can attend the matches while children under 12 will be allowed unvaccinated.
The government had recently also allowed 100 per cent attendance for the final stages of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore.
Also Read : Virat Kohli's 100th Test match will be played in front of spectators: BCCI.
News Source : PTI
Virat Kohli's 100th Test match will be played in front of spectators: BCCI
Mohali, Mar 1 (Cricket News) The first Test between India and Sri Lanka, which will be superstar batter Virat Kohli's landmark 100th match, beginning here on Friday will be played in front of spectators, reversing an earlier decision to play the game behind closed doors.
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said in a statement on Tuesday that cricket fans will be able to witness the historic moment of Kohli playing his 100th Test match.
"The first Test between India and Sri Lanka to be played at the Punjab Cricket Stadium in Mohali will not be held behind closed doors," Shah said in the statement.
"The decision to allow spectators into the ground is one taken by State Cricketing Associations and in present circumstances, is based on various factors. I have spoken with the PCA office bearers and they have confirmed that cricket fans will be able to witness the historic moment of Virat Kohli playing his 100th Test match." The BCCI Secretary said though the recent white-ball series against the West Indies was played behind closed doors, the dip in COVID-19 cases across the country allowed the hosting associations to permit crowds.
"Based on the advisories by the state health authorities, fans were able to witness the games in Kolkata and Dharamsala while UPCA had Lucknow T20I without crowds owing to polling a day before the match.
"I am really looking forward to Virat Kohli's 100th Test and wish our champion cricketer the very best. This is an occasion for our fans to savour. May he continue to represent the country in many more matches to come." The PCA also confirmed that spectators would be permitted in the Test match.
"The BCCI has told us to go ahead with 50 per cent crowd during the upcoming Test match. BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal had called us and informed that 50 per cent crowd will be allowed and we are now making necessary arrangements," PCA treasurer RP Singla told PTI on Tuesday.
Earlier, it was decided that Kohli's landmark Test would be held behind closed doors. It led to widespread criticism with many accusing the BCCI of not doing enough to celebrate the reigning superstar of Indian cricket.
Singla had said last week that spectators would not be allowed as per the directive of BCCI as there were still fresh COVID-19 cases emerging in and around Mohali.
The PCA had also decided to felicitate Kohli on his landmark achievement of playing 100 Tests. Kohli has scored 7962 runs from 99 Tests at an average of 50.39.
Also Read : Ashwin is shaping up well, looking comfortable in training: Bumrah.
News Source : PTI
Bundesliga: Bayern go away to Frankfurt and Dortmund take on Augsburg
(Football news) Bayern take on Eintracht Frankfurt in what could be a tricky fixture for the defending champions. Bayern bounced back from a disappointing week in which they had suffered a shock defeat to VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga and then drew with Red Bull Salzburg 1-1 in their Champions League round-of-16 tie. With Borussia Dortmund also winning, Bayern remained at six points following matchday 23 but having increased their advantage to nine points over the last couple of months.
Nagelsmann will be frustrated that his side haven’t asserted their usual dominance and wrapped up their 10th Bundeliga title by now but even after the slip ups they remain firmly in the driving seat. For Bayern, Thomas Muller will sit out of the trip after testing positive for COVID-19 this week as key players like Alphonso Davies, Leon Goretzka, Kingsley Coman and Manuel Neuer are all out of this fixture.
Dortmund will be looking to brush off their disappointment after bowing out of the Europa League on Thursday against Rangers as they face Augsburg in the league in a bid to keep up with Bayern. Dortmund's thumping 6-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga last week ensured that the six-point gap between Bayern Munich at the summit was not extended further. Marco Reus had scored twice and assisted three goals against his former club, which also saw manager Marco Rose win against his former employers in a comfortable Borussen derby victory.
The result did maintain BVB's fine domestic start to the season since New Year as Sunday's victory ensured that they won five of their six Bundesliga outings since returning from the winter break. However, it is the inconsistency in the performance that is affecting Marco Rose’s side, they scored six past Gladbach on Sunday but then conceded two silly goals against Rangers which led to their exit from the competition. It looks like Dortmund’s trophy drought will further extend after going from DFB Pokal cup and the Europa league. For Dortmund, Erling Haaland faces a race against time to be fit for the trip to Augsburg as Thomas Meunier and Gio Reyna look like long term absentees.
The other fixtures are:
- Furth vs Koln
- SC Freiburg vs Hertha
- Leverkusen vs Arminia
- Mönchengladbach vs Wolfsburg
- Union Berlin vs Mainz
- VFL Bochum vs RB Leipzig
IPL Governing Council announces format for TATA IPL 2022 Season
(Cricket news) The IPL Governing Council made certain key decisions about the TATA IPL 2022 Season. The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League will be held in a bio-secure environment at a single hub to restrict as much as air travel which is considered as a major threat for the spread of COVID-19 infection.
The tournament will begin from 26th March, 2022 and the final will be played on 29th May, 2022. A total of 70 league matches will be played in four international standard venues in Mumbai and Pune. The venue for the playoff matches shall be decided later.
Below is the breakdown of matches as per the venues:
Number of Matches
Mumbai - Wankhede Stadium
Mumbai - Brabourne Stadium (CCI)
Mumbai - DY Patil Stadium
Pune - MCA International Stadium
All teams will play:
4 matches each at Wankhede Stadium and DY Patil Stadium.
3 matches each at Brabourne Stadium (CCI) and MCA International Stadium, Pune.
The 10 teams will play 14 league matches in total (7 home matches and 7 away matches) totalling to 70 league matches, followed by the 4 playoff matches. Each team will play 5 teams twice and the remaining 4 teams only once (2 only home and 2 only away).
To decide on the above, teams have been assigned in two virtual groups based on the number of IPL Championships won followed by the number of final matches played by the respective teams.
The details of the teams having won the IPL Championships and number of times each of them has played a final match is listed below:
The virtual groups are mentioned below:
Each team will play twice with the teams in their group and with the team in the same row in the second group. With the rest of the teams in the second group they will play only once during the season.
For Example: In Group A, MI will play 2 matches each against KKR, RR, DC, LSG. MI will also play 2 matches against CSK and 1 match each against other teams in Group B.
Similarly, in Group B, RCB will play 2 matches against CSK, SRH, PBKS and GT. RCB will also play 2 matches against RR and 1 match each against other teams in Group A.
The schedule matrix of the TATA IPL 2022 is listed below:
↓Opponent | Season ->
IESF World Esports Championships to have record prize money this season
(Esports news) The International Esports Federation (IESF) has announced a total prize pool of $500,000 to be awarded at the upcoming 14th WE Championships Finals, taking place in Bali, Indonesia from 27 November to 9 December. The WE Championships prize pool has seen an unreal increase in just one year, from $55,000 in 2021 to $500,000 this year.
IESF President Vlad Marinescu said: “We are very excited for this momentous growth of the 2022 WE Championships Finals prize pool to $500,000, which is representative of the growing popularity and credibility of our flagship event. We are on track to hold the biggest and most inclusive WE Championships yet. We look forward to further increasing access to professional Esports opportunities and providing athletes with the ultimate environment to perform at their full potential.”
IESF had announced the six game titles which will be included at the competition. CS:GO, Dota 2, Tekken 7 and eFootball will return to this year’s WE Championships and mobile games PUBG mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang will be making their debut. Registration for National Federations opened on 20 February and over 120 countries across six continents are expected to compete in the regional and national qualifiers.
The WE Championships remains the only international Esports event where athletes compete by representing their nations. Bali was awarded hosting rights in September 2021 and was given the hosting duties during a special ceremony following the 2021 WE Championships Finals in Eilat, Israel, which brought together the World Esports Family for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
7 hour daily train journey as teenager, former Indian Air force man Saurabh ready for 'India Test'
New Delhi, Feb 20 (Cricket News) Seven years back, the then 21-year-old Saurabh Kumar faced a common career dilemma --- pursue his passion or secure a safe future.
Employed with Indian Air Force on sports quota, Saurabh was at the crossroads. He had a secure central government job with all the perks but his heart pushed him to play professional cricket and earn that coveted India jersey.
"There comes a moment in life when you have to take a decision. Jo bhi ho lena padhta hai," the 28-year-old orthodox left-arm spinner and newest entrant to the Indian Test squad told PTI in an interview.
"It was a tough decision to quit playing Ranji Trophy for the Services. I loved being an Indian Air Force man and part of Indian defence but there was a part of me that felt that I have it in me to work hard and play for India," the cricketer, who hails from UP's Baghpat District said.
"I was posted in Delhi. I played for Services in the Ranji Trophy for one year (2014-15 season) when Rajat Palliwal was our captain.
"Since I was a sports quota entry, I didn't have to do any duty apart from play for Services. If I had quit cricket, then I would have had to do full-time duty," he recollected the old days.
Hailing from a middle-class family, his father worked as a JE (Junior Engineer) at the All India Radio. His parents were firmly supportive of his decision to trade profession with passion.
"It is amazing that when I told my parents that I am leaving Air-force job, they didn't for once asked me to reconsider. Both were very supportive of my choice.
"It was my decision to leave IAF but when I saw that parents were supportive, I got a lot of confidence to independently pursue my dream," Saurabh said.
Left-arm spinner's doggedness =================== There is something about left-arm spinners that make them special and one of the character traits is the doggedness which Saurabh believes that he had in abundance.
"Now, we stay in Ghaziabad but during those early days of playing cricket in Delhi, it was a big ordeal. In my town Baraut in Baghpat district, we didn't have great coaching facilities. So I had to take a daily train to come to Delhi for my training at National Stadium," he said.
For the uninitiated, Saurabh's coach is Sunita Sharma, the only female cricket Droancharya in India, whose other notable disciple is former keeper Deep Dasgupta.
"If I had a 2:00pm afternoon nets. I left home at 10 am in the morning. It would be a three and half hour train journey and another half an hour to reach the stadium. And same while coming back. It was tough but that's what helped me when I look back," said the man, who had 95 wickets in last two first-class seasons (2018-19, 2019-20).
"When you are 15 or 16 year old, you don't realise. Aap mein junoon itna hota hai, ki kuch bhi aapko mushkil nahi agta hai sir (When you have so much passion, nothing looks difficult)." Being tracked by Bishan Singh Bedi ====================== One of the turning points for Saurabh as a young cricketer was coming under legendary Bishan Singh Bedi's tutelage. Back in the day, Bedi used to organise Summer Camps and a lot of youngsters practiced over there.
"Bedi sir liked what he saw in my bowling. He introduced me to the world of nuance about little things on grip and stuff. No major changes as he liked my action and loved the areas I bowled into.
"One thing that happened during those Summer Camps was I got a chance to bowl hundreds of overs. Bedi sir had one mantra "Mehnat mein kaami nahi honi chhaiye". There should be no short cut to success," he added.
Once he entered the UP age-group teams, it was former state keeper Manoj Mudgal, who backed him a lot and the result is 196 wickets and 1572 runs from 46 first-class games.
Unlucky to miss Irani Cup ================ Saurabh during his two seasons of 51 and 44 wickets had once got a call-up for Irani Cup which had to be called off due to COVID-19 in 2020.
"When I was picked for Rest of India, I knew that I am now on the radar of selectors. I had been bowing pretty well and was confident but then it didn't happen and I lost my chance to showcase my talent in Irani Cup." But he continued working hard.
"Main kisi bhi cheez mein laga reh sakta hoon. I can work hard for long hours without any fuss." Life was about to change as he finally got an India A call-up to go to South Africa and played two A Tests in Bloemfontein. He must have impressed the coaches as the senior team then kept him as a stand by bowler for the Test series.
"It was a dream come true as I got a chance to bowl to the senior India players like Virat Kohli, KL Rahul. It was a massive learning curve for me. They gave valuable tips that will help me improve as a bowler." No IPL bids, no regrets =============== Saurabh was once picked for Rs 10 lakh by Rising Pune Supergiants back in 2017 but this time, days before his maiden India call-up, he went unsold at the IPL auctions. But he has no regrets.
"Not even one percent regret sir. This is life. Zindagi mein upar neeche toh hota rahega. Zaroorat hai toh lage rehne ka (There will be ups and down in life. All you need is to hang on.). I am doing just that," he signed off.
Also Read : Kartikeya's fifer helps Madhya Pradesh rout Gujarat by 106 runs
News Source : PTI
West Indies name 15-member squad under Stafanie Taylor for women's World Cup
St John's, Feb 20 (Cricket News) West Indies named a 15-member squad, to be led by star all-rounder Stafanie Taylor, for the women's World Cup to be played in New Zealand between March 4 and April 3.
Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, who will be playing in her fifth World Cup, has been named vice-captain.
Anisa, who is one wicket shy of 300 international scalps across formats, had led the side in the final match of the ODI series in South Africa earlier this month after Taylor sustained a concussion.
Experienced leg-spinner Afy Fletcher is also in the squad as she made her comeback after maternity leave.
The squad includes five young players who could be making their debuts at the marquee event -- spinner Karishma Ramharack, pacer Aaliyah Alleyne, seamer Cherry Ann Fraser, all-rounder Chinelle Henry and opening batter Rashada Williams.
West Indies have also named three travelling reserves as part of the tournament's COVID-19 protocols -- Kaysia Schultz, Mandy Mangru and Jannillea Glasgow.
"The squad selected shows a blend of youth and experience. We have Anisa Mohammed who's playing in her fifth World Cup and will help guide the younger ones selected. We have five players who have had their maiden Cricket World Cup selection," selector Ann Browne-John said in a statement.
"The team just completed a series against South Africa where the players got good preparation before the tournament. There were some relatively good showings with a few players having outstanding performances and it's expected they would raise their levels even further during the competition.
"Afy Fletcher's return strengthens the bowling department as she continues to be a world class leg-spinner." The players have travelled to New Zealand from South Africa and have now completed managed isolation.
West Indies play hosts New Zealand at Bay Oval in Tauranga on March 4.
The Squad: Stafanie Taylor (captain), Anisa Mohammed, Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Rashada Williams.
Travelling reserves: Kaysia Schultz, Mandy Mangru, Jannillea Glasgow.
Also Read : Faulkner leaves PSL after accusing PCB of not honouring his contract, Board bans him for life
News Source : PTI
Bundesliga: Bayern look to bounce back and Dortmund face Monchengladbach
(Football news) Bayern Munich will look to bounce back after their embarrassing defeat to VFL Bochum last week. Bayern face bottom side Fruth in what has become a must win game for them especially after they had a pretty ordinary week as they drew 1-1 against Red Bull Salzburg in the round of 16 in the Champions League. Bayern’s season had got to the point where they were in cruise control as the Bavarian giants had extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to nine points over Dortmund, ahead of a simple round-of-16 tie on paper in the Champions League against Red Bull Salzburg, but fast forward a week, and the champions are rather stuck in rare sticky patch in their otherwise what has been a fantastic season for them. Julian Nagelsmann will hope that his side can bounce back and get their season back on track.
For Bayern, Serge Gnabry is a potential absentee due to a muscle knock but Jamal Musiala could be back in action following the end of his COVID-19 isolation and also Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka are ruled out due to heart and knee problems.
Dortmund will also be looking to bounce back after their thrashing to Rangers in the Europa League playoffs as the reigning Scottish champions steam rolled past them at the Signal Iduna Park. After seeing that their title challenge with Bayern Munich ended on a couple of occasions this season, Dortmund were handed an unexpected lifeline when Bayern got defeated by VfL Bochum on Saturday which subsequently opened the door for Dortmund to cut the gap at the top of the table but the season that Dortmund are having they lost 4-2 to Rangers which has caused major doubts over Rose's position as manager and a crisis meeting was held immediately after the defeat, so he will be looking to silence the critics when he welcomes his former team Borussia Monchengladbach to Signal Iduna Park whilst looking to keep the pressure on Bayern in the process.
For Dortmund, Manuel Akanji picked up a calf injury against Rangers midweek as Thomas Meunier continues to struggle with a muscular problem. The major positive for Marco Rose would be that Erling Haaland has recovered from his injury and may be in contention to start the match. For Gladbach, Captain Lars Stindl is the only confirmed absentee due to his knee injury as the rest of the squad looks fit and firing.
The other fixtures are:
- Augsburg vs SC Freiburg
- Wolfsburg vs Hoffenheim
- Arminia vs Union Berlin
- VFB Stuttgart vs VFL Bochum
- FC Koln vs Frankfurt
- Hertha vs RB Leipzig
Coach Powar 'not concerned' about series defeat, blames extended mandatory for bowling flop show
Queenstown, Feb 18 (Cricket News) The Indian women's team has lost all the four matches so far in its ongoing tour of New Zealand but coach Ramesh Powar is "not concerned at all" as he attributed the poor performance to lack of game time due to COVID-19 and quarantine-related issues.
India suffered an 18-run defeat in the lone T20I before losing the three ODIs on the trot to concede the five-match series to New Zealand. The visiting team has not won a match so far.
"We had only three days of practice sessions ahead of tour. You cannot get into a competitive series like against New Zealand in such less time. So, there will be some rustiness in the players' approach," Powar said at the post-match conference after India lost by three wickets in the third ODI here on Friday.
"There is no concern at all, I'm not concerned about anything. After Australia, we did not play any game as a team. We came straight to NZ. When you want to address few issues about batting, fielding and bowling, you need to play as a group before a series which did not happen." Powar admitted that batting has clicked on this tour but there has been "inconsistencies" in bowling department but expected that things will be sorted out before the World Cup starts next month.
"Batting has clicked. From England tour to where we are now. We have scored 270, 280. In Australia also, we have scored 260, 270 so batting unit has done its job," said Powar, adding that opening batter Smriti Mandhana will be available from the next game after coming out of quarantine on Tuesday.
"It is now the bowling unit to get into rhythm. There were restrictions on doing practice, other limitations. So, I have to give (benefit of doubt) to the bowlers, they will come back hard when the World Cup begins." India put up 270-plus targets to New Zealand in the second and third ODIs but the bowlers failed to defend on both the occasions.
"We have missed our genuine fast bowlers, we just played with Jhulan, Simran, Renuka (and Pooja) because of unavailability," he said.
"Now Meghana will be available (from next game). We can go a little ahead with our bowling which did well in Australia. Three seam bowlers in every game." India played with just two pacers in all the three ODIs so far.
Pacers Meghana Singh and Renuka Singh were in an extended quarantine, along with Mandhana. Renuka, who came out of quarantine earlier, played in the third ODI on Friday but Meghana and Mandhana missed again as they came out of MIQ only on Tuesday.
"There were inconsistencies, agreed. In bowling we are trying to address middle-over performance where we can pick up wickets because there were a couple of 100-run partnerships (by NZ). We are trying to break that chink.
"We want to take wickets in middle overs. They have tried their best but with limited practice and Covid situation and quarantine, I don't blame my players for (lack of) consistency because they are short of practice, match simulation and proper matches, that is hurting us." Asked about vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur's wretched form as she scored 10, 10 and 13 in the three ODIs, Powar said, "I will stick to my statement (in India) that it is up to Harman to get back to form because it is the player's mind which works in pressure situations.
"We can create those (situations) in nets or otherwise. But it is up to that particular player to come out of that zone and do well." Powar said the management has been trying out different team combinations to deal with different situations which may arise against different opponents in the upcoming World Cup.
"We want to give game time to all the 18 players. In the whole four games, we tried different bowling attacks with the limitation of unavailability of fast bowlers," he said.
"We are trying to get the bowlers in the zone when they can bowl anytime, during power play, middle overs or the death. We are trying to have a lot of combinations, there is no final combination yet." He said the idea was to have many match-winners in the team so that one or two can do the job on a particular day.
"In the World Cup you cannot just have one combination like five bowlers or six bowlers or may be six all-rounders in the team, every opponent is different. It will be match-by-match." "They have the skill-sets to face the pressure and they well rise against that pressure. They will do well in the Wold Cup."
Also Read : India look to seal the T20I series against West Indies at the Eden Gardens
News Source : PTI
Premier League’s top clubs look to secure wins in race for top four
(Football news) Arsenal will be looking to boost their chances of a top four finish by securing three points against Brentford at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners ended their five match winless streak after defeating Wolves 1-0 but find themselves without Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf) and Bernd Leno (COVID-19) for the upcoming match. Emile Smith Rowe or Nicolas Pepe are set to feature in the starting lineup due to Gabriel Martinelli’s suspension alongside Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette.
As for Brentford, Christian Eriksen remains unlikely to feature, especially in the starting lineup while Tarique Fosu-Henry, Julian Jeanvier and Mathias Jorgensen are injured. Thomas Frank could name an unchanged lineup but it’s also possible that Ivan Toney could start ahead of Yoane Wissa, while Shandon Baptiste and Frank Onyenka will hope to force their way into the starting lineup at the expense of Mathias Jensen and Vitaly Janelt. Arsenal are expected to secure all three points in the fixture but it’s far from a straightforward fixture for the Gunners.
In-form Liverpool are set to face relegation-threatened Norwich City at Anfield, looking to close the gap on league leaders Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp’s team will be without Diogo Jota as the Portuguese international has a swollen ankle. Luiz Diaz, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip are expected to feature in the starting lineup while Norwich City will be without Tim Krul, Jacob Sorensen and Andrew Omobamidele. Adam Idah, Lukas Rupp and Ozan Kabak are expected to be available for Dean Smith’s team but anything less than three points would be a massive upset for Liverpool and will end their title ambitions.
Also read: Manchester United defeat 10 man Brighton to move into fourth place
Having been crowned champions of the world recently, Chelsea shift their focus back on the Premier League as they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday. For Tuchel’s team, Reece James is still recovering from a hamstring injury and is expected to be unavailable for the fixture. Ben Chilwell is another long term absentee for the Blues while Mason Mount remains doubtful due to an ankle ligament injury. However, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is expected to feature in the squad alongside Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.
As for Crystal Palace, their top scorer Conor Gallagher is ineligible to play against his parent club while Nathan Ferguson is a long-term absentee. Cheikhou Kouyate should be available for selection after his involvement in the AFCON alongside Marc Guehi and Michael Olise. Chelsea are expected to get their ninth successive win over Palace at Selhurst Park and remain in sight of league leaders Manchester City.
Reigning champions Manchester City will look to consolidate their lead on top of the table by defeating Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s team are currently nine points ahead of second place Liverpool while Spurs are eighth and are aiming for a top four finish at the end of the season. Kyle Walker is expected to be back for the Citizens alongside Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus while Ilkay Gundogan may also be involved in the starting lineup.
As for Spurs, Eric Dier is expected to feature in the starting lineup but Japhet Tanganga is unavailable and Oliver Skipp remains doubtful. Antonio Conte is expected to feature Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon as wing backs while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min and Kane are expected to start. City have a good record against Tottenham, having won six of their last seven games against the London based side and the reigning champions are expected to secure all three points in this fixture as well.
A lot of effort has gone behind the scenes, says Shah as Ranji Trophy resumes
New Delhi, Feb 17 (Cricket News) Ranji Trophy is back after a one-year hiatus and on the first day of the tournament, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said it took a lot of effort to get the premier domestic red-ball meet back on track amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ranji Trophy started on Thursday in venues across the country.
"Have been eagerly waiting for this day as India Cricket's premier domestic tournament, the #RanjiTrophy returns. A lot of effort has gone behind the scenes to get our first class cricket back on track, and it is now time to let red-ball take centre stage. Good luck, everyone," Shah tweeted.
The Ranji Trophy, which was not held last year due to the pandemic, was scheduled to begin on January 13 but was postponed owing to a third wave of infections across the country.
It will now be held in two phases, with the first one beginning on Thursday till March 15 across various venues in the country.
The premier domestic event then takes a break during the IPL and resumes from May 30 to June 26.
The tournament has been divided into eight elite groups and one plate group, and players will be staying in bio-secure bubbles.
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News Source : PTI
Liverpool rally past Inter to take a 2 goal advantage to Anfield
(Football news) Liverpool took a big step towards qualifying for the quarter finals as they scrapped through a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah scored in the second half as Liverpool took a big advantage in the Champions League round-of-16. Inter had the better of the first-half chances, with Hakan Calhanoglu firing against the crossbar when afforded too much time in the penalty area as they were being rallied by the San Siro crowd but ultimately couldn’t get past Van Dijik and Konate in the defence.
Liverpool struggled to create any clear cut opportunities as they didn’t have shots on target till the first goal as the match was being dominated by Inter. Jurgen Klopp saw his side struggle and made changes in the second half, and one of those substitutes came up clutch as Roberto Firmino beautifully flicked home from an Andy Robertson perfect corner to break the deadlock in the 75th minute. Salah then put the icing on the cake when he added a second on 83 minutes after he picked up the loose ball in the penalty area and scored very smartly after Inter failed to clear a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross. The Egyptian has now scored eight goals in seven Champions League starts this season and scored his 24th goal of the season. James Milner made history as he came on as a substitute to make his 800th career appearance.
Inter were back in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in a decade and started off brightly in front of a San Siro crowd which was not quite full capacity as they were unhindered by COVID-19 restrictions. Inter and Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez shot wide early on from distance, before Calhanoglu went even close and hit the crossbar as Liverpool had plenty of efforts at goal in the first half but struggled to get the hold of the game. Sadio Mane in the first half was the closest to score after he tried an overhead kick which just went wide of the target. Ivan Perisic was causing havoc down the left flank but Inter couldn’t capitalize on the good work he was doing, Trent was having a torrid time defending him initially but once they went ahead he finally got the grips over Perisic.
Inter played really well without creating many clear-cut opportunities to score from as they will need to produce a miracle performance at Anfield to stand any chance of qualification. Even with the away goals rule no longer in play, the victory puts the 6 time Champions League winners in a commanding position ahead of the return leg on March 8. Liverpool now have won all seven of their Champions League matches this season, extending their longest ever winning run in the Champions League.
"We expected to be under pressure because this is the Champions League. One of the messages before the game was that we needed to be ready to suffer. It was a very good performance and a clean sheet." Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk after the match said
"It is still dangerous, It is only half-time. We don't feel like we are halfway through and can cruise. We will have to be ready for them again. Inter are a good side. I didn't say 'job done, put your feet on the table' in the past so why should I think differently about it now? They are a very physical team. They played real smart balls. They have this deep last line and in the beginning we did very well. I was not surprised - they are good. We know that. We have to be ready for the second half." Klopp said after the match
Rahul remains 4th, Kohli static on 10th in T20 rankings; Iyer, Suryakumar, Pant rise in ODI chart
Dubai, Feb 16 (Cricket News) India opener KL Rahul and teammate Virat Kohli continued to occupy the fourth and 10th spot respectively in the latest ICC men's T20 batting rankings released on Wednesday.
No Indian featured in the top 10 of the bowlers and all-rounders' list.
The recent run of form from Australia pacer Josh Hazelwood has been rewarded as he rose to a career-high second place in the bowling rankings.
The right-armer jumps four spots on the latest rankings, ahead of Adil Rashid, Rashid Khan and teammate Adam Zampa and is only behind South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi at the top of the charts.
The unlucky bowler is Wanindu Hasaranga, who drops from first to third after sitting out Sri Lanka's six-wicket loss to Australia on Tuesday night after testing positive for COVID-19.
Australia captain Aaron Finch drops one spot to seventh in the batting rankings, with New Zealand batter Devon Conway rising one spot to sixth.
Kohli static on 2nd, Rohit 3rd in ODI rankings ============================== There was little movement on the latest ODI rankings, with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma holding on to their second and third place, respectively.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam continued to hold on to the top spot.
The Indian pair of Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav have made strides up the table.
Yadav scored 64 in the second ODI against the West Indies whilst Iyer made an 80 in the third to help the home side complete a 3-0 series win.
Their teammate Rishabh Pant added a half-century in the third match to move to a career best of 469 points at the 71st place.
Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah also remained static on seventh while fellow fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, who was the leading wicket-taker across both sides with nine wickets at just 7.55, gained 50 places from 94th to 44th in the ODI bowlers list.
West Indies' Alzarri Joseph took two wickets in each of the three matches to earn himself a place in the top 20 bowler’s list.
New Zealand's Trent Boult remains the top ranked ODI bowler, while Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan is the highest rated all-rounder.
Also Read : Indo-Pak WC match will inspire girls across the border to take up cricket: Bismah
News Source : PTI
Indian cricket's 'backbone' Ranji Trophy returns after two years in bio-secure bubbles
Ahmedabad, Feb 16 (Cricket News) Indian cricket's 'backbone', the Ranji Trophy, will make a much-anticipated return after two years amid the easing COVID-19 situation in the country, providing host of domestic cricketers an opportunity to make their name in red-ball cricket while giving veterans like Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara a final shot at resurrecting their Test careers.
A third wave of COVID-19 had threatened the premier domestic event for the second year in a row but the drop in infections has allowed the BCCI to conduct the 38-team event, a massive logistical task in the new normal of bio-secure environments.
All eyes will be on the opening fixture between defending champions Saurashtra and record 41-time champions Mumbai here with Rahane and Pujara on either side, aiming to make the big scores that have deserted them at the Test level for a while.
Both veterans have been working hard in the nets and their coaches feel a big knock is around the corner. Rahane and Pujara will need to make instant impact with the Test squad of Sri Lanka series expected to be announced soon.
Nine bio-bubbles have been created across nine venues in the country and the players had to quarantine for five days, leaving them only two days of training for the first round beginning on Thursday.
The players, however, are in no mood to complain. They are just happy that they are finally getting to test themselves in the toughest form of the game after two seasons of white-ball cricket.
The batters had almost forgotten the art of leaving the ball and bowlers the relentlessness of long spells. Both the departments are up for the challenge but their bodies might take longer to get used to the hard grind of red-ball cricket.
"It is great that red ball cricket is starting. Players have suffered and lost a lot in the last two years both financially and skill-wise. They all are looking forward to the challenge," said Delhi coach Raj Kumar Sharma after the team's first training session on Monday, echoing the views of all teams.
It is also set to be the shortest first-class season for most teams with sides only getting three league games, impacting their match fees and leaving them with little room for error.
Eight groups of four teams each have been formed at the elite level while six teams will fight it out in the plate group. The knockouts, barring the sole pre-quarterfinal, will be held in the post IPL phase starting May 30.
It will also be a high pressure game as it will potentially decide the only quarterfinalist from the group.
The national selectors will also finally get to see the upcoming talent in action.
Only one India A tour has taken place over the past 24 months, the selectors have had to refer to part performances with no first-class cricket played in the country.
Focus will also be on fringe India players including Priyank Panchal, Abhimanyu Easwaran and Hanuma Vihari, who had been controversially dropped for the home series against New Zealand before making the team for the away series in South Africa.
Among the India U-19 stars, skipper Yash Dhull and Raj Angad Bawa are expected to make their first-class debut soon after landing IPL contracts. Dhull will be in Guwahati playing for Delhi against Tamil Nadu.
Teams have been advised to keep two COVID-19 reserves in the squad. There is a good chance of a COVID outbreak midway into the game but the match will go on provided a team has a minimum of nine fit players.
Both teams will be awarded a point each if first innings is not completed.
The games will be played across Rajkot, Cuttack, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, Haryana, Guwahati and Kolkata.
First-Round Fixtures: ============= Karnataka vs Railways, Elite Group C (Chennai).
Hyderabad vs Chandigarh, Elite Group B (Bhubaneswar) Bengal vs Baroda, Elite Group B (Cuttack) Kerala vs Meghalaya, Elite Group A (Rajkot) Gujarat vs Madhya Pradesh, Elite Group A (Rajkot) Manipur vs Arunachal Pradesh, Plate (Kolkata) Jammu and Kashmir vs Puducherry, Elite Group C (Chennai) Saurashtra vs Mumbai, Elite Group D (Ahmedabad) Odisha vs Goa, Elite Group D (Ahmedabad) Nagaland vs Sikkim, Plate (Kolkata) Bihar vs Mizoram, Plate (Kolkata) Jharkhand vs Chhattisgarh, Elite Group H (Guwahati) Delhi vs Tamil Nadu, Elite Group H (Guwahati) Maharashtra vs Assam, Elite Group G (Rohtak) Vidarbha vs Uttar Pradesh, Elite Group G (Gurugram) Haryana vs Tripura, Elite Group F (Delhi) Punjab vs Himachal Pradesh, Elite Group F (Delhi) Services vs Uttarakhand, Elite Group E (Thiruvananthapuram) Andhra vs Rajasthan, Elite Group E (Thiruvananthapuram)
Also Read : Maxell set to miss Pakistan tour, start of IPL
News Source : PTI
Liverpool take on reigning Serie A champions Inter and Bayern face Salzburg
(Football news) Liverpool face Inter Milan in what is a crucial encounter for both sides to decide the outcome of their season. The Reds were one of three teams in the Champions League who completed the group stage with a 100% record, while Inter finished second behind Real Madrid in the group stage. For the first time in a decade, Inter Milan will be competing in the knockout rounds of the Champions League and their progression into the next stage will be a difficult task especially when they have to overcome one of the tournament favourites Liverpool over two legs.
Inter head into the contest not in great form as they have lost their lead in the Serie A title after dropping points against their title challengers. Since the 2003-04 campaign, Inter have been eliminated thrice and all of them were against English opposition subsequently all three of these have been in the last 16, suffering defeat against Liverpool in 2007-08, Manchester United in 2008-09 and finally losing to Chelsea in 2009-10. One thing going in favour for Inter is that they have lost only three of their 30 competitive matches at the San Siro across all competitions since the beginning of 2021.
Liverpool extended their winning run across all competitions to six matches with a slender 1-0 win against relegation-threatened Burnley and the Redsl now turn their attention to the Champions League, hoping to improve on their last two knockout performances in the competition. Since winning their 6th Champions League in 2018-19, Liverpool have been eliminated in the last 16 by Atletico Madrid in 2019-20 and then losing to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals last season.
This year, Klopp's side have been in rampant form, scoring 17 goals and winning all six of their group stage matches, which included victories against Inter's rivals AC Milan. For Liverpool, there will be welcome returns for Salah and Mane into the playing XI as Diogo Jota should be in contention to start despite beginning on the bench against Burnley. Inter will be without Joaquin Correa and Robin Gosens as they continue to recover from thigh injuries, while Nicolo Barella is suspended for the game following his dismissal against Real Madrid.
Bayern take on RB Salzburg away from home as the club from Munich start off as the favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. RB Salzburg became the first Austrian side in Champions League history to reach the knockout rounds after they finished second in Group D with 10 points from their six matches. They will take much confidence after Bayern suffered a shock defeat to VFL Bochum as going into the match Salzburg are in top form having extended their lead at the top of the Austrian league to 14 points.
Bayern were at their rampant best in the group stage, having won all their matches and scored 22 goals and conceded just three. Bayern Munich face an Austrian team in the knockout stages of a European competition for the fourth time in their history as each of their last three two-legged ties, they progressed to the next round, beating Rapid Wien, Austria Wien in successive European Cup campaigns. However, one thing going against them is that Bayern have failed to win any of their three away games against their Austrian counterparts, and relied on their home form to get them over the line.
For Bayern, Leon Goretzka (knee) and Jamal Musiala (COVID-19) are ruled out as long term absentee Alphonso Davis is on the road to recovery from myocarditis, but the Canadian remains sidelined. Salzburg will be without forward Benjamin Sesko due to a muscle injury and the joins the likes of Zlatko Junuzovic (heel), Albert Vallci (Achilles), Bryan Okoh, Bernardo, Sekou Koita and Ousmane Diakite (all knee) who are all out of this fixture.
National camps for youth and junior boxers resume ahead of Asian championships
New Delhi, Feb 16 (Boxing News) The country's youth and junior boxers have resumed training at national camps in Rohtak and Bhopal, as they gear up for the Asian Championships scheduled to take place in Amman, Jordan from February 27 to March 15.
The national camps for all four categories, youth men and women as well as junior boys and girls, are being conducted for a period of 21 days, and began on February 8.
The camps were halted for several months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, there are 98 boxers in the camps right now, the Boxing Federation of India said in a statement.
The national camp for junior girls and boys as well as for youth women is taking place at SAI National Centre of Excellence in Rohtak.
The junior camp consists of 25 male and 24 female boxers, while the youth women's camp features 24 boxers.
For the youth men's camp, 25 selected boxers are training at the SAI National Centre of Excellence in Bhopal.
During the last edition of the Asian Youth and Junior Boxing championships in 2021, the Indian contingent concluded its campaign with 39 medals including 14 gold.
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News Source : PTI
Maxell set to miss Pakistan tour, start of IPL
Melbourne, Feb 16 (Cricket News) Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is set to miss the tour of Pakistan and the initial few games of Indian Premier League due to his wedding next month.
Maxwell told 'Fox Sports' that the clash was unavoidable due to changes in the schedule. He is one of the retained players by Royal Challengers Bangalore alongside Virat Kohli and Mohammad Siraj.
"Originally when I organised the dates with CA there was a two-week gap where I could potentially have it," Maxwell said after the third T20 against Sri Lanka in Canberra.
"So when I sorted that out I was pretty happy that I wasn't going to be missing in any series. And then I came to the [CA] contract meeting midway through last year and they said well this is [when] the Pakistan series [is on] and I thought well obviously that's changed since the last conversation we had." The IPL is expected to start in last week of March and Pakistan limited overs tour is scheduled from March 29.
Richardson feels leaving IPL early last season contributed to him and Zampa being unsold at the auction ============================================== The Australian duo of pacer Kane Richardson and spinner Adam Zampa had left India due to the devastating COVID-19 wave before the IPL was eventually suspended last year.
Both bowlers had no takers in the IPL mega auctions held last week.
Richardson was more surprised about Zampa going unsold.
"I was definitely more shocked for him. To be brutally honest, when we left last year, in the circumstances early, I remember having a conversation with him.
"I said to him, look, this may come back and bite us, and at that time it wasn't a priority for us to be there. We wanted to get back to Australia." "So I think there'd be some kind of buyers that'd be pretty wary of picking us up thinking that we wouldn't come again. I definitely think that's a factor," Richardson said.
The right-arm pacer had missed the 2020 IPL due to the birth of his child. He said he understood why the IPL teams did not bid for him but he has not spoken to any of them.
"I'm just speaking on what I think would be a factor in it. I don't know. I've never had a dialogue with a franchise or a person that says that's what would be the case. But I think I didn't go the year before as well with the birth of my boy.
"So my reputation probably is that in the last couple of years I haven't gone so it's obviously not something that I am.
"I try and play as much cricket as I can. But I think the circumstances in the last couple of IPLs have made me not go. But it's not a reputation I want," he added.
Also Read : IPL auction is done and dusted, it's about giving best for West Indies now: Pollard
News Source : PTI
Pro League will be about fine tuning our game play: Schopman
New Delhi, Feb 15 (Hockey News) Pro League will help the Indian women hockey team fine-tune its gameplan ahead of major tournaments this year, says chief coach Janneke Schopman, who also hinted at some experimentation during the event.
The Indian team has a packed calendar ahead with several big-ticket tournaments like the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games scheduled.
"I want our team to perform and to be able to be at our best in a tournament like the World Cup or Asian Games. The players needs to be at the level that they get the experience they need," Schopman said during a virtual media interaction arranged by Hockey India.
"And with COVID happening, our players didn't have that much experience in the last two, two and a half years of playing actual games. So, the Pro League will be a lot about how people are preserving their sport, making sure that they can play and then also fine tuning our gameplay." "You'll see changes in our lineup, but I'm not going to bring in 10-15 new players or something," she said.
Despite not getting the desired result in the Asian Hockey Cup last month, Schopman is happy with the team's progress.
The India team failed to defend its title at the Asian Hockey Cup last month in Muscat, finishing third. However, they began their Pro League campaign with a bang, drubbing China 7-1.
"The girls did really well. Of course we didn't get the results we wanted in terms of scoreline but I was actually quite happy to see the progress throughout the tournament into the Pro League," Schopman said.
"I'm really trying to focus on the way we want to play and how do we want to attack and how do we want to look as a team and I think we made big steps there. So overall, it was a wasn't a good experience not great in terms of outcomes, but good in terms of progress." The Indian team is now slated to meet Spain on February 26 and 27 in the Pro League.
The matches against Netherlands have been postponed after the Dutch women's team pulled out of its back-to-back FIH Pro League matches that were scheduled to be played in Bhubaneswar on February 19 and 20 due to rise in COVID-19 cases in the European country.
Talking about the preparations Schopman, said "It's just like changing gears. Netherlands played Spain a week ago. So we had those games and instead of looking at the Netherlands, you look at Spain now.
"Spain is a very good team, a very skilful team they'd like to move the ball well and create a technical opportunities." Schopman took over from Sjored Marijne, who left after a successful Olympic campaign, and the new coach has already implemented some changes according to her philosophy.
"Now is the time for India to make the next step and next step is playing these teams, and maybe winning to becoming a more dominant team. If we want to be more dominant, we have to go more if we won the ball more.
"We have to train a little bit different. We have to create more opportunities. So yes, slowly but surely you build off of the foundation. You change small things.
"I like attacking. At the same time, I like a very strong defense that plays a little bit higher on the field. And sometimes we make mistakes and that's costly, of course, but it's going the way I see our team develop." Asked if India could field two different teams for different tournaments, Schopman said that is a possibility.
"India is having discussions about that. I don't know yet what the plan will be. We are right now really focusing on the World Cup. And of course, the Asian Games is the most important tournament this year where we want to qualify directly for the Olympics. "We're currently under construction. We're looking at what will be the best way for us to prepare."
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News Source : PTI
Manchester United take on Brighton in what is a must win fixture
(Football news) Manchester United take on Brighton Hove Albion in what has become a must win match for the Red Devils. United remained fifth in the table, one point off the top four and entered the contest off the back of a 1-1 draw against Southampton, while ninth-placed Brighton recorded a 2-0 victory over struggling Watford.
The result against Southampton was a blow for United’s Champions League aspirations as it was the second league match in a row where they had taken the lead before conceding a sloopy early goal in the second half. Ragnick’s side sit fifth in the table which is one point behind fourth-placed West Ham and subsequently Arsenal are only a point behind Man United with two games in hand. For United, if they are to make the Champions League next season then they desperately need to start putting victories on the board for a top four finish at least as last they couldn’t take advantage of Tottenham dropping points.
The only thing going Ragnick’s way is that they have only lost one league match since his appointment as interim manager, but on the contrary they registered only two wins out of their last six matches in the league. Another worry for the United fans is that Cristiano Ronaldo has not registered a goal since the 3-1 victory over Burnley at the end of December. Man United are entering a critical part of the season as this string of important and difficult fixtures will most likely decide their season's fate. United will first face Leeds and then will travel to Madrid to face Atletico Madrid for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League game on February 23, while their month of March will begin with the Manchester derby.
Graham Potter's side have exceeded everyone's expectation this season, having won seven, drawn 12 and lost four of their 23 league games this season and only the top three, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have lost fewer matches this season. Brighton are only three points behind eighth-placed Tottenham and six ahead of 11th-placed Aston Villa, so most likely they are in a strong position to secure a top-half finish, which would be a remarkable achievement for a team that was battling to stay up in the top flight since being promoted to the Premier League in the 2017-18 season. Brighton will certainly cause United’s fragile defence a massive problem as Maupay will look to add to his 9 goals he has already scored this season. Brighton have lost each of their last six matches against Man United in all competitions but they have one of the best away records this season and have already put up gritty performances against the top 6.
For United Fred is available for selection after testing positive for COVID-19 but Nemanja Matic is struggling with a shin complaint and is a doubt, Edinson Cavani will also be out due to a groin complaint while Mason Greenwood and Eric Bailly are definitely out. United might revert back to Victor Lindelof at the back after Harry Maguire struggled in the last two encounters. For Brighton, Jeremy Sarmiento and Enock Mwepu remain unavailable through injury as Yves Bissouma might just start after he came back from international duty.
Mandhana out of MIQ, to join team for remainder of ODI series
Christchurch, Feb 15 (Cricket News) Star batter Smriti Mandhana on Tuesday completed her extended stay in quarantine here and left for Queenstown to join the Indian women's cricket team for the remainder of the five-match ODI series against New Zealand.
Mandhana had missed the one-off T20 International and the two ODIs against New Zealand as she was in extended Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) along with two other players -- pacers Meghana Singh and Renuka Singh.
Renuka is already out of quarantine but there is no word on Meghana yet.
"Finally out of quarantine!! Can't wait to get back with the team," the 25-year-old Mandhana wrote on her Instagram handle, along with a picture of her with her luggage.
In her absence, India had lost the one-off T20 International and the first two ODIs. The second ODI was played on Tuesday while the third will be held here on Friday.
Earlier, after the one-off T20I, batter Yastika Bhatia had informed about the stay in MIQ of Mandhana, Meghana Singh and Renuka Singh.
The Indian team had undergone a 10-day MIQ in Christchurch after its arrival in New Zealand.
The team had undergone a week of hard quarantine in Mumbai before its departure on January 24.
To reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, New Zealand Cricket had moved all of India's fixtures, including a T20I and five ODIs, to Queenstown.
The bilateral series is a key assignment for India ahead of the 50-over World Cup in March-April in New Zealand.
Also Read : Indian women suffer 3-wicket loss to NZ in second ODI
News Source : PTI
Washington Sundar ruled out of WI T20Is after suffering hamstring strain
Kolkata, Feb 14 (Cricket News) Off-spinner Washington Sundar was on Monday ruled out of the three-match T20 International series against the West Indies due to a hamstring injury, adding to his never-ending woes.
Washington recently made an impressive comeback in the preceding three-match ODI series against the West Indies, and he was looking to build on his steady all-round show in the one-dayers, starting here on Wednesday.
"Washington has suffered a hamstring strain and hence didn't practice on the day. It seems there is a possibility that he would miss the entire series with three T20 matches in just five days," a veteran BCCI official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
The Chennai-based Washington came back to competitive cricket in the Vijay Hazare Trophy after a long layoff due to a hand injury sustained during the England tour.
He was selected for the South Africa one-dayers but then tested COVID positive and couldn't play in the series.
Jayant Yadav was then added to the squad.
With Axar Patel already out of the squad due to an injury and now Washington also ruled out, the Indian team is left with only Yuzvendra Chahal as its frontline spinner.
Punjab left-arm orthodox spinner Harpreet Brar is a likely replacement as he is travelling with the squad.
Washington will join Axar and KL Rahul at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for rehabilitation.
Also Read : Virat Kohli sharpens batting skills at India practice
News Source : PTI
Young Indian shuttlers look for glory at Badminton Asia Team championships
Shah Alam (Malaysia), Feb 14 (Badminton News) India's young badminton brigade, led by world championship bronze medallist Lakshya Sen and in-form Malvika Bansod, will aim to put up a good show in the Badminton Asia Team championships starting here on Tuesday.
The Indian men's and women's teams will be keen to make a winning start when they take on Korea and hosts Malaysia in group A and group Y respectively on the opening day of the continental championship.
With the seniors skipping the event, the onus will be on India Open winner Sen to lead the men's team. Kiran George and Mithun Manjunath are also likely to play pivotal roles in the tournament where the men's team has been clubbed with three-time defending champions Indonesia and Hong Kong, apart from Korea.
Kiran had won his maiden world tour crown when he claimed the Odisha Super 100 title, while Manjunath had reached semifinals of Syed Modi Super 300. Raghu Mariswamy is the fourth singles players.
In doubles, Ravikhrisna PS and Sankar Prasad Udayakumar, finalists at Odisha last month, and Manjit Singh Khwairakpam and Dingku Singh Konthoujam, who reached semifinal at Bahrain international challenge last year, will hope for a good outing.
Korea also doesn't boast of any big name and the team will be led by Jeon Hyeok Jin, who was part of the team that claimed the gold at the 2014 Asian Games and reached the quarterfinals at Thomas Cup last year.
In women's event, the Indian team, comprising Syed Modi International finalist Malvika, Aakarshi Kashyap and Ashmita Chaliha, will fancy its chances when it faces Malaysia and defending champion Japan in group B during the continental event.
For Malaysia, world number 64 Kisona Selvaduray is their top singles player, while world number 15 pair of Tan Pearly and Thinaah Muralitharan will carry the responsibility of getting the team wins in the doubles matches.
Teams finishing at the top two positions in each group of both the men's and women's events will make it to the last four and also qualify for the Thomas Cup finals in Bangkok on May 17-22.
The Indian men's team had won two bronze but the women's side had never returned with a medal from the tournament.
Lakshya was part of the team which had claimed a bronze in the 2020 edition after losing to Indonesia in the semifinals.
Dinesh Khanna remains the only Indian player to have won the gold medal at the Asian Badminton Championship in 1965.
In the individual event, India also won 11 bronze medals.
The championships lost some sheen with the withdrawal of Thailand, Chinese Taipei and China due to concerns over rising cases of COVID-19.
Also Read : Tasnim Mir wins Iran Fajr International Challenge.
News Source : PTI
Dortmund look to bounce back against Union Berlin and Bayern face Bochum
(Football news) The week started with RB Leipzig winning 3-1 against FC Koln. Dortmund on the other hand will look to bounce back after their embarrassing loss against Bayer Leverkusen whilst the hosts Union Berlin who have an outside chance of remaining inside the Champions League places despite losing their form over the last few weeks. Dortmund’s catastrophic 5-2 defeat at home to Bayer Leverkusen at Signal Iduna Park last Sunday all but ended their hopes of catching Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga. Along with Bayern's 3-2 victory over RB Leipzig last week saw Marco Rose's side fall nine points off the pace. The absence of Erling Braut Haaland from the side was not ideal but Rose’s side would have expected a much better performance from his side considering his team even without Haaland still looked strong and also the importance of the fixture should have inspired his side to play well.
Rose has a big task as he must somehow raise the spirits of his players ahead of a difficult trip to Union , it is the same venue where they have lost on their two competitive visits across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 campaigns. With Bayern who most likely look to extend their lead at the top to 12 points in their trip to against the relegation-threatened VfL Bochum. Dortmund's focus must now switch to maintaining their hold on a top-two finish when the leagues are over, with third-placed Leverkusen now only five points behind, and fifth-placed Freiburg within 10 points of Dortmund. For Dortmund only long-term absentee duo of Mateu Morey and Marcel Schmelzer will be missing.
Bayern will look to assert their position in the league, they are already 9 points clear of Dortmund with only 13 matches in the campaign as they will face VFL Bochum. Julian Nagelsmann sealed the double over his former team, after the Bavarians defeated RB Leipzig 3-2 at the Allianz Arena .Bayern were certainly made to work hard for the three points, but they just about performed well enough to seal the three points and extend their lead at the Bundesliga summit to nine points, following Borussia Dortmunds humiliating 5-2 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen a day later.
With only 13 games remaining in the season they will begin with the trip to Bochum on Saturday, now it looks like Bayern are going to cruise to their 10th straight title again as is the case in Bavaria, there will be no signs of panic in their camp over the coming weeks. Lewandowski and co will be keen and confident in adding to their staggering 68 league goals already netted in the opening 21 games. For Bayern first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is set for a spell on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury that required surgery and Jamal Musiala is in COVID-19 isolation so he will miss the trip, as will Leon Goretzka, Alphonso Davies and Josip Stanisic
The other fixtures are:
- SC Freiburg vs Mainz
- Furth vs Hertha
- Monchengladbach vs Augsburg
- Frankfurt vs Wolfsburg
- Leverkusen vs VFB Stuttgart
- Hoffenheim vs Arminia
Atleti host Getafe while Real Madrid and Barcelona travel away
(Football news) Real Madrid extended their lead at the top to 6 points last matchday and now are 3 points ahead after Sevilla won their home fixture against Elche. Barcelona defeated Atletico Madrid to enter the top after a long hard time.
Real Madrid play Villarreal away from home without Karim Benzema. The Frenchman is not fit to be in the squad but Ancelotti is hopeful that he along with Ferland Mendy will be available in the crucial UCL match away at PSG. Ancelotti will be hoping that he can take a 1 or 2 goal lead in the first half itself to try and rest his players for Paris. Villarreal by no means would be an easy opponent as they themselves are 6th on the table. Unai Emery sets his team up in a low block which will make it difficult for Real Madrid to break down especially without Benzema.
After a disappointing loss against Barcelona, Atletico Madrid will host Getafe. The Rojiblancos find themselves 5th on the table after a string of inconsistent and poor performances. Getafe is always a tough away fixture for any La Liga team and Atleti will have to work hard to take something from the game. Antoine Griezmann and Geoffrey Kondogbia are still not fit while Daniel Wass is also out after the injury he suffered against Barcelona. Jose Gimenez will also be unavailable after testing positive for COVID-19. Atletico need some momentum before their UCL clash against Manchester United next week and a victory against Getafe would be a great way to start.
Barcelona travel to Espanyol after their incredible win against Atletico Madrid last week. The Blaugrana have just entered the top 4 and will be keen to keep their place. This season the Catalan side realistically have only the Europa League and a top 4 spot to play. Ansu Fati, Clement Lenglet, Memphis Depay, Samuel Umtiti and Sergi Roberto remain unavailable for selection. Dani Alves is suspended after his red card against Atletico which gives Sergino Dest an opportunity to try and get back in the side. Xavi will also have one eye at the Europa League fixture against Napoli on Thursday which is their only hope of a trophy this season.
Rahul, Axar ruled out of T20 series against West Indies
New Delhi, Feb 11 (Cricket News) India vice-captain KL Rahul and all-rounder Axar Patel were on Friday ruled out of the three-match T20I series against the West Indies beginning in Kolkata from February 16 due to injuries with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Hooda replacing them in the squad.
While Rahul has suffered a hamstring injury while fielding in the second ODI on February 9, Axar has not fully recovered from his shin injury that also forced him to miss the South Africa tour. The spinner had also recently tested positive for COVID, said BCCI.
"Rahul sustained an upper left hamstring strain during fielding in the 2nd ODI on 9th February 2022 while Axar has resumed the final stage of his rehabilitation after recently recovering from Covid-19. They will now head to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for further management of their injury," said the BCCI in a statement.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Hooda as replacements," it added.
Both Gaikwad and Hooda are also part of the squad picked for the ongoing ODI series against the Caribbean side in Ahmedabad.
Rahul and Axar's fitness issues have also raised questions over their availability for the home series against Sri Lanka starting February 25.
Rahul had missed the first ODI to personal commitments before returning for the second game.
India's T20I squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda.
Also Read : Shreyas, Pant steer India to 265 after top-order collapse
News Source : PTI
Bhullar starts with 2-under 70 in Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah, Feb 10 (Golf News) Gaganjeet Bhullar got off to a modest start of 2-under 70 including a birdie-birdie finish in the opening round of the Ras Al Khaimah Classic.
Playing his first event on the European Tour after four months and also after recovering from Covid last month, Bhullar had three birdies against one bogey.
Ryan Fox carded the best round of his DP World Tour career to storm into the lead at the Ras Al Khaimah Classic. His nine-under 63 gave him a two-stroke lead in the Tour's second successive event at Al Hamra Golf Club.
Bhullar had a birdie on fifth, but gave that shot away on seventh. He parred the next nine holes before he birdied both 17 and 18. Pleased with the finish, he said, "Those two birdies at the end, gave me a lot of positivity towards the end and I think that will definitely boost my confidence for the next round.
"Overall I started off really well, hit a lot of fairways gave myself actually a lot of birdie opportunities today. Overall an okay start to the tournament. I guess the goal is to build up momentum on top of it." He however admitted he struggled while reading the lines.
On his return from Covid,"Well, right now health wise, I'm perfectly fine. I am 100% right now. But yes, it's been a while. I think the last international tournament I played was last year in November in Spain.
"But after that, yes, I had to miss out a few tournaments and then of course with this COVID situation. So it was it was a little different. This morning I was the first off in a European tour event after a gap of four months.
"But I guess you have to you have to get used to this. There are no excuses. Just get used to with the conditions as soon as possible and put up your best." Portugal's Ricardo Gouveia sits in outright second place after a seven under 65, while nine players share third place on six under, including Scot Robert MacIntyre and in-form Englishman Richard Bland.
Also Read : Indian players led by Shiv Kapur excited about the DGC Open
News Source : PTI
Have set myself an 18-month target to play for Sr India: U-19 World Champion skipper Yash Dhull
New Delhi, Feb 10 (Cricket News) Yash Dhull has lost count of the number of flights he has taken in the past 48 hours.
He had spent the previous day in Ahmedabad where the entire team was felicitated following a tiring journey in which the squad had to take as many as four flights to reach India from the Caribbean.
Having lived out of suitcase for the past two months, which could potentially be life-changing, when Dhull finally met his parents, it was just a mere 30 minutes of reunion for the sleep-deprived captain of the World Cup winning India U-19 team.
Dhull arrived in Delhi early morning and went straight to his alma mater Bal Bhavan in West Delhi to meet the people who played a big role in him becoming the cricketer he has become.
Two hours later, he had a flight to catch and next destination was Guwahati, where he is set to make his Ranji debut for Delhi next week. So between the school visit and ride back to the airport, Dhull got just enough time to go home for a shower.
He has no time to rest as the real journey into the men's world started with the flight that he took to Guwahati to join the Delhi Ranji Trophy squad. Having hardly slept since lifting that trophy in Antigua last week, Dhull has no complaints though. He knows it is only the start of his life as a professional cricketer.
"I have hardly slept the last few days but it is not something I can complain about. What I have done till now is done, I need to focus on what lies in the immediate future," Dhull told PTI referring to his Ranji Trophy call-up. Most of the World Cup winning squad members won't go on and play for India but Dhull showed in the Caribbean that he could move up the ladder and play at the highest level. He has set himself an 18-month target to play for India.
"That is my target but If I am not able to do that in the 18 month time frame, I will keep working hard till I attain my goal," said the soft-spoken cricketer.
The 19-year-old is third captain from Delhi to win the title after Virat Kohli and Unmukt Chand, who both had contrasting career graphs post their exploits in the U-19 Word Cup. He is inspired by Kohli and his achievements but there is also the story of Chand, who succumbed to pressure of expectations he set with his performance in the 2012 edition.
Does Dhull have fear of failure after a high he just experienced in the Caribbean? "The names you have taken (Kohli and Chand), I am not thinking on those lines. I want to remain humble and not think about the future too much.
"Virat bhai shared his experience with me on what happened with him post the U19 World Cup (in 2008).
"I got to know a lot from approaching my career from here on, the chat with him has helped me understand things I need to focus on going forward and things I need to avoid," he said referring to the conversation with Kohli on the eve of the World Cup final on Saturday.
Kohli had already played first-class cricket before he captained India to the World Cup title 14 years ago but Dhull has not even played red ball cricket at U-19 level as he was selected for the white ball assignments.
The switch from U-19 to first-class is a big one but Dhull believes it is something he can handle. "I will have to change my mindset for the red ball game, preparation will be different. I don't think it will be a lot different and tougher than white ball. The red ball does a bit early on but and if you can see that initial period batting becomes easier.
"It is all about the mindset from here on. Physically how fit you are. It is not one specific area, I will have to work on all my shots to become a better player," said Dhull when asked about areas of improvement.
The skipper impressed many with his range of strokes, strike rotation and the tempo of his innings in the Caribbean where he overcame COVID-19 to take his team past the finishing line. The highlight of his campaign was the hundred against Australia in the semifinal when he produced a sublime knock under pressure.
He had just about managed to play the quarters after missing two league games along with his deputy Shaik Rasheed due to the infection.
It was frustrating for Dhull in the seven-day isolation period but wise words from NCA head VVS Laxman helped him maintain focus. He just had a day of nets before the quarterfinal but it was enough for him. "The first two days were tough especially.. But after that I started training in the room for the games to come. Mentally, I was prepared already . I had trained myself for this event for the last few years.
"If you don't practice for a week, you won't forget you game. I had confidence in my game and my abilities." Short on time on all fronts, Dhull and his parents have not had the time to think about what they plan to do with Rs 40 lakh cash reward given by the BCCI.
"By the grace of god, we already have enough to lead a normal life. Yash has his own back account and the money will go into that. We will figure out soon what do with it but we first we would like to spend some time with him," said his father Vijay Dhull, who was also present at the school function here.
Also Read : India batter Ruturaj Gaikwad recovers, out of isolation
News Source : PTI
Indian players led by Shiv Kapur excited about the DGC Open
New Delhi, Feb 10 (Golf News) Leading Indian golfers like Shiv Kapur and Gaurav Ghei are excited about taking part in the inaugural the DGC Ope