Indian sports News- November 14th

November 14, 2019

Lawn Tennis, Badminton, Cricket, Athletics, Football, Shooting, BoxingKidambi Srikanth

Bytes: Premiere Badminton League, INDvsBAN 1st Test, Test returns to Pak, Davis cup- Indian team announced, ATP Cup, Bryan Bros to retire 2020, IPL, D-sports to broadcast I-League, ChilevsPeru political unrest, Hong Kong Open, Asian Youth Championship, World Para Athletic Championship, CWG 2022, Jyoti Randhh

YoGems makes sure that you won’t miss a thing in the field of sports, so here is a quick recap to all the happenings from the last 24 hours:

Davis Cup- India picked an unprecedented eight-member Davis Cup squad for the tie against Pakistan, rewarding players who agreed to travel to Islamabad when top players had refused. Leander Paes returned to the Indian team after a gap of a year alongwith top players Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Sasi Kumar Mukund and Rohan Bopanna, who had reservations on travelling to Pakistan due to security concerns. In the squad announced by the All India Tennis Association selection committee, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, Saketh Myneni and Siddharth Rawat also found places in the team. AITA usually names five-member squad apart from one or two reserve players. While the International Tennis Federation is still deliberating upon Pakistan Tennis Federation’s appeal to shift the November 29-30 tie out of Islamabad, AITA went ahead with the team selection. In the absence of the top player Prajnesh Gunneswaran, India’s singles challenge will be led by in-form Nagal and Ramkumar. Mukund and Myneni will be back up singles players. Perhaps for the first time, the squad has three doubles specialists in Bopanna, Paes and Nedunchezhiyan. Left-handed Nedunchezhiyan has been waiting in the wings for long and has been rewarded for his consistent performance in the past two years. Nagal was not part of the five-member squad, which was announced earlier when the tie was to be held on September 14-15. Nagal had cited an injury at that time for opting out.

ATP Cup- A Grigor Dimitrov-led Bulgaria was among the final six teams announced on Thursday for the ATP Cup in Australia – the new world tennis team event. Chile, Poland, Uruguay, Moldova and Norway were the other countries to make the grade, based on the ranking of their No 1 singles player at the second entry deadline of November 13. The rest of the 24-nation field was announced in September, although Switzerland later pulled out after Roger Federer opted to skip the tournament. The field will be split into six groups across Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. As the highest-qualifying country at the second deadline, Bulgaria replace the Swiss and join Belgium and the Andy Murray-led Great Britain in Group C in Sydney. The championship takes place from January 3 to 12 in the lead-up to the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open in Melbourne. World No 2 Novak Djokovic will begin his 2020 season representing Serbia with Dusan Lajovic in Brisbane, against France, South Africa and Chile. Spain’s Rafael Nadal will kick off his campaign in Perth alongside Roberto Bautista Agut facing Japan, Georgia and Uruguay.

Bryan bros retirement- United States of America’s premier men’s doubles duo Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan said Wednesday they will retire from tennis at the end of the 2020 season, bringing the curtain down on one of the most successful pairings in the sport’s history. The 41-year-old twins said in a statement they planned to hang up their racquets after taking part in next year’s US Open, where they made their Major championship debut in 1995. Since that first Slam appearance, the Bryans have racked up a record 118 trophies including 16 Major doubles titles. They also won Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games. Bob Bryan said the duo had opted to end their 2019 season after the US Open in order to remain fresh for next year.

INDvsBAN- Mohammed Shami’s prodigious reverse swing and Ravichandran Ashwin’s guile broke the backbone of the Bangladesh batting, reducing the visitors to 140/7 at tea on day one of the first Test in Indore on Thursday. Shami (3/27 in 11 overs) once again showed his mastery with the old ball, removing Bangladesh’s best bet Mushfiqur Rahim (43 off 105 balls) with a sharp in-cutter followed by a similar delivery that got rid of Mehidy Hasan Miraj (0) off the next ball. Shami set up Mushfiqur with conventional outswingers and then got a 53 plus over old ball to jag back sharply, leaving the batsmen in a daze. This was after a luckless Ravichandran Ashwin (2/43 in 16 overs) more than made up for butter-fingered’ colleague Ajinkya Rahane by breaching through defences of opposition batsmen. India’s slip fielding was below-par on the day with Ashwin paying the price for Rahane’s twin bloopers in the slip cordon that gave Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad (10) reprieve. This was after Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque (36) was let off by skipper Virat Kohli off Umesh Yadav in the first session. However none of it proved too costly because of the superlative performance of the bowling unit. The pace unit, which has been on the top of its game over the last 22 months, bowled a probing line during the first spell and the disconcerting extra bounce made life difficult for the Bangladeshi batsmen.

IPL- India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is likely to be traded to Delhi Capitals from Rajasthan Royals before the Indian Premier League players’ transfer window expires on Thursday. “Talks are still going on. A decision has to be made before the end of the day and it will be made,” said a Board of Control for Cricket in India official. Rahane, who has been trying to get back into India’s limited overs set up, established his T20 credentials as an opener after moving to Royals from Mumbai Indians in 2011. He has scored two IPL hundreds in 140 games, averaging 32.93 with a strike rate of 121.92. In 2012, he was Royals’ highest run-getter. The deal could also be a swap between Royals’ Rahane, who has a price tag of Rs 4 crore, and Capitals’ Prithvi Shaw, whose doping ban ends on Friday. Rahane, who was removed as captain in the middle of the 2019 season with Steve Smith taking over the leadership, did reasonably well last year, scoring 393 runs in 14 games at 32.75, including an unbeaten 105.

Test in Pak- Test cricket will return to Pakistan after more than a decade with Sri Lanka on Thursday agreeing to a two-match series in December, which will be a part of the traditional format’s ongoing ICC World Championship. Sri Lanka played a bilateral ODI and T20 International series in Pakistan in September-October earlier this year despite 10 of its top players, including ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Twenty20 skipper Lasith Malinga, opting out due to security concerns. The upcoming series’ first Test will be played in Rawalpindi from December 11-15, while the second Test will be held in Karachi from December 19-23. Khan said the confirmation will contribute in the PCB’s efforts towards ensuring a regular resumption of international cricket in the country. Incidentally, Sri Lanka was also the last team to play Test cricket in Pakistan, back in 2009. The island nation’s team was attacked by terrorists in Lahore during that tour, leading to a freeze in international cricket in Pakistan.

I-league broadcaster- The next three seasons of the I-League will be broadcast on DSport, the All India Football Federation announced on Thursday. The AIFF has signed a three-year deal with Lex Sportel Vision Pvt. Ltd. to broadcast the I-League on DSport, starting 2019-20 season. The upcoming season of the I-League, which will be the 13th edition of the football tournament, will begin on November 30 and will have 11 teams competing across a total of 110 matches. The AIFF have also signed a three-year deal with Instat Limited – an Ireland based company – to produce feed of the live audio-visual coverage for the broadcast on DSport. The company will produce all 100 games of the I-League with an eight-camera setup. AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das in his statement said: “I need to thank Lex Sportel Vision for penning a three-year deal with AIFF. It has enabled us to bank on Instat Limited’s expertise in producing live telecast of I-League matches on DSport. The eight camera set-up for all matches will surely add to enhanced viewing for the fans. I also need to thank FSDL for negotiating and facilitating the deal.’”

ChilevsPeru- Chile’s footballers have refused to play in next week’s friendly against Peru due to the weeks-long crisis in their country, the football association said in a statement on Wednesday. Coach Reinaldo Rueda has released all his players back to their clubs. Chile were due to play neighbors Peru, who beat them in the Copa America semi-finals in Brazil in July, in a friendly in the Peruvian capital Lima on Tuesday. The decision was taken following “a team meeting” on Wednesday morning at Chile’s training center on the outskirts of the capital Santiago, ANFP said. ANFP said it had informed its Peruvian counterparts of the decision. Upon arriving in Lima from their clubs earlier this week, some players expressed a reluctance to play the match. Several players have expressed support for the protest movement against President Sebastian Pinera that descended into violence on October 18 and has since left 21 people dead.

Hong Kong Open- Kidambi Srikanth made the quarterfinals for the first time in seven months but it was curtains for fellow Indian HS Prannoy at the USD 400,000 Hong Kong Open here on Thursday. Former world no.1 Srikanth, who slipped to the 13th spot in the latest BWF rankings this week, notched up a 21-11 15-21 21-19 win over compatriot Sourabh Verma in the men’s singles second round. Srikanth had last reached the quarterfinals at the Singapore Open in April. The Guntur shuttler, who received a first-round bye from world no.1 Kento Momota of Japan, will face Olympic champion Chen Long of China next. Earlier, H S Prannoy suffered a 12-21 19-21 loss to sixth seed Indonesian Jonatan Christie in the second round. World champion P V Sindhu will take on Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan, while Parupalli Kashyap will fight it out against second seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei later in the day.

Premier Badminton League- Some of the top shuttlers including World Champion PV Sindhu will be expected to be in action when the fifth edition of the Premier Badminton League gets underway on January 20, 2020. The upcoming season, which concludes on February 9, will be staged this time in Chennai, Delhi, Lucknow, and Bangalore. The league owned by the Badminton Association of India and organized by Sportzlive, offers a total purse of Rs 6 crore with the winner taking home a cheque of Rs 3 crore. While the Kidambi Srikanth-led Bengaluru Raptors had lifted the trophy in the last edition, Hyderabad Hunters, Chennai Smashers, Delhi Dashers, and Hyderabad Hotshots are the other winners of the franchise-based league. The 21-day event will be streamed live by Hotstar with Star Sports being the official broadcaster. With the 2020 Tokyo Games scheduled to be held in July-August and shuttlers focussed on sealing their Olympic spots, it will be interesting to see how they manage their workload and ensure participation in the tournament that is popular on the circuit internationally for the prize money on offer.

World Para Athletics championship- Indian para athlete Nishad Kumar recorded a personal best of two metres to claim the bronze medal in the men’s high jump T47 final at the World Para Athletics Championships. With the medal, Kumar also secured a quota, India’s ninth, in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. This was India’s third bronze and sixth medal overall, one better than 2017 London World Championships. India had won five medals in the 2017 edition. Nishad led the pack from the start clearing the bar first at 1.75 m to 1.97 m men’s high jump before China’s Hongjie Chen pushed him with a two metres jump. But the USA’s Rio Paralympic champion and world record holder Roderick Townsend-Roberts cleared the bar just once at 2.03 metres to take the gold. Chen settled for silver. India coach Satyanarayana, who trained Mariyappan Thangavelu to Rio 2016 gold, said Nishad has a lot of potential and will be one of the strongest prospects for India at Tokyo 2020.

CWG 2022- Shooting is unlikely to be added to the roster of the 2022 Birmingham Games despite the threat of boycott from Indian Olympic Association, a Commonwealth Games Federation official said on Thursday, ahead of a crucial meeting between the two sports bodies. CGF chief Louise Martin and CEO David Gevemberg will meet IOA chief Narinder Batra and Secretary General Rajeev Mehta on Friday. “Regarding shooting, at this stage following the General Assembly there is no real chance of adding shooting to the 2022 CWG but there will be discussion on shooting,” CGF Media and Communications Director Tom Degun told PTI. The IOA will once again try to convince the CGF to reconsider its decision on shooting, given India’s excellent medal count in the sport. Degun, though, indicated that the meeting may discuss on how shooting can be brought to the CWG core sports programme, making the sport a compulsory feature in the future Games.

Asian Youth Championship- India were assured of a bagful of medals at the Asian Youth Boxing Championships after six of the country’s pugilists advanced to the semi-finals with dominating victories in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on Wednesday. Soy Selay (49kg), Aman (+91kg), Ankit Narwal (60kg), Naorem Chanu (51kg), Jasmine (57kg) and Vinka (64kg) made the last four stage. Selay defeated Philippines’ Flint Jara 5-0, while Aman (+91kg) out-punched Taiwan’s Kai-Hsung Wang in a bout that didn’t go the full distance. Narwal was also up against a Taiwanese in Yu Lin and the Indian prevailed 5-0. In the women’s draw, Chanu claimed a 5-0 triumph over Korea’s Eunsu Sun. Jasmine and Vinka were both rewarded for domination with early closure. While Jasmine got the better of Japan’s Kimura Mona, Vinka sailed past Taiwan’s Hsueh-Tzu Tsui.

Randhawa- Indian golfer Jyoti Randhawa will make his 300th appearance on the Asian Tour when he tees off at the USD 400,000 Panasonic Open India in Gurugram on Thursday. Randhawa, who turned professional in 1994, has since gone on to win eight titles on the Asian Tour including five at home. “It doesn’t seem that long. I remember my first tournament and 300 feels a long time. I’m just feeling great and having played so many events, it’s surprising to me also. I didn’t realize it,” Randhawa said on the eve of the tournament. The 47-year-old said spoke fondly about his wins at home. One of Randhawa’s finest season came in 2002 when he topped the Asian Tour Order of Merit to be crowned Asia’s number one then. While Randhawa’s last Asian Tour victory dates back almost a decade ago, the 47-year-old is still feeling the fire in his belly and holds the belief that he can return to the winner’s circle again.

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