Indian sports News- October 18th

October 18, 2019

Badminton, Cricket, Hockey, Boxing, Kabaddi, Lawn Tennis, Footballboxing

Bytes: El Clasico Postponed, PV Sindhu crashes out of Denmark Open, COA-ICC, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Ranchi 3rd Test, Manoj Prabhkar, Kerala Cricket Association, Ankita Raina cruises, Hockey WC 2023, Pro Kabaddi League, Change of rules, Nikhat fair chance.

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:

Denmark Open- Reigning World Champion PV Sindhu suffered another early exit as South Korea’s teenage sensation An Se Young defeated the Indian in the round of 16 at the Denmark Open Super 750 tournament in Odense on Thursday. Soon after, B Sai Praneeth also lost in the second round as he was outplayed yet again by the two-time World Champion Kento Momota. Sameer Verma’s campaign also came to an end, at the hands of China’s Chen Long. It was a stunning result for the Korean youngster against Sindhu in what was the first meeting between the two shuttlers in the BWF World Tour. Young won 21-14, 21-17 in just 40 minutes. Sindhu, seeded fifth, was off to an error-prone start in the opening game as Young opened up a 7-2 lead to put the Indian under early pressure. Sindhu fought back briefly but it was the Korean who had a 11-7 lead in the mid-game interval where coach Pullela Gopichand was heard saying “relax, relax” to her ward. The last Indian pair left in fray, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy went down fighting against fourth seeds Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh 24-26, 21-13, 11-21. The mixed doubles second round match lasted 58 minutes. With the mixed doubles defeat, India’s campaign came to an end in Odense.

Vijay Hazare Trophy- Medium pacer Ashith Rajiv returned with a four-wicket haul as Puducherry sailed past Assam by five wickets to seal a quarterfinal spot in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, India’s domestic 50-over tournament, in Shimoga on Thursday. Electing to field, Puducherry bowlers set the tone by reducing Assam to 92/5 in 27 overs before Rajiv (4/17) rattled the lower order to bundle them out for a paltry 115 runs in 36.1 overs. In reply, Puducherry cantered home in 22 overs after overcoming some minor hiccups up front as they topped the table with 32 points to grab the solitary spot up for grabs from the Plate Group. Six points behind, Chandigarh and Uttarkhand finished second and third on net run-rate. On a day veteran all-rounder Vinay Kumar looked offcolour after being smashed for 30 runs from his six overs, off-spinner Suresh Kumar (2/19 from four overs) put the brakes by dismissing Assam opener Pallavkumar Das (27) and Parvez Aziz (two) in successive overs. Captain Shibsankar Roy (24) and Gokul Sharma (19) tried to forge a partnership but their 43-run stand was broken by left-arm spinner Sagar Udeshi (2/20). The skipper too followed suit in a space of seven balls after which Ashith wreaked havoc with his four-wicket burst to trigger Assam collapse.

KCA- It has been only a few days since the nominations for BCCI elections were filed but there seems to already be a controversy brewing. The newly-proposed office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, to be confirmed in the elections later this month, will mark the end of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators’ reign in the board for the past 33 months. Jayesh George from the Kerala Cricket Association, who is set to be the joint secretary, has been accused of large-scale financial corruption by former players and former members of KCA. The group, called ‘We for Clean Cricket Movement’ alleged that George committed several financial irregularities during his tenure with the state cricket unit, according to a report by The Times of India. They have alleged that George was involved in laundering about Rs 2.5 crore from KCA when he was the treasurer, joint-secretary or secretary. They also accused George and his team of using the order of the ombudsman to remove the former president TC Mathew from the primary membership of KCA.

Ranchi Stadium- Test cricket is the format that brings out the best in cricketers but it certainly isn’t managing to bring people to stadiums in India. The recent Ashes series between England and Australia witnessed houseful stands but in India, Test cricket is going the Ranji Trophy way – with empty stands greeting the players more often than not. The third Test of the India-South Africa series will be played in Ranchi from October 19 but the Jharkhand State Cricket Association already knows that not too many people will be turning up to watch the game. Till Thursday, according to a report in The Indian Express, JSCA had managed to sell just 1500 tickets for the game, which will be played at Ranchi’s 39000-capacity stadium. The low sales have come despite the association trying to keep ticket prices affordable with Rs 250 per day being the lowest. The new JSCA president, Nafis Khan said: “Next time, maybe we have to think twice before hosting a Test match. At the same time, we can’t say no also. If the state associations start rejecting Test cricket, the purest form of the game would die. It’s very sad to see empty stands. We have to make certain changes to the Test format.”

COA-ICC- The Committee of Administrators has conveyed to the International Cricket Council that the Board of Control for Cricket in India will not be bound by decisions taken during world governing body’s Board meeting in Dubai since Amitabh Choudhary was not India’s authorised representative. Choudhary was barred by the CoA from attending ICC meeting but participated in the policy-decision voting on the invitation of Shashank Manohar-led global body. The ICC Board gave its consent to an extra global tournament (six-nation 50-over format) apart from two T20 World Cups and two 50-over World Cup in the next eight-year cycle. However, the proposal to have an ODI World Cup after every three years, was rejected by the members. “The COA doesn’t recognise the participation of Amitabh Choudhary as a representative of the BCCI to the ICC. Accordingly, no decisions or commitments (if any) undertaken by him, on behalf of BCCI, will be binding on the BCCI,” the CoA, which will demit office on October 23, wrote in a strongly-worded mail to ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney.

Manoj Prabhakar- The Delhi Police registered a case of cheating and trespassing against former cricketer Manoj Prabhakar, his wife, son and two others on Thursday, officials said. A senior police officer said that they had received a compliant from a woman, identified as Sandhya Sharma Pandit, who lives in London. In her complaint, the woman claimed that she owns a flat on the second floor of an apartment in Sarvapriya Vihar in south Delhi. Prabhakar lives with his family on the first floor of the building. She alleged that Prabhakar broke into her house and illegally lodged his friend there. In her compliant, the woman mentioned that the flat was purchased from a builder in 1995 by her husband Laxmi Chand Pandit. The couple lived in the flat till 2006 before they shifted to London. Later, the flat was used by some of her relatives. In 2018, her relatives vacated the flat and it had been locked since then. According to the police, the woman said that she was informed by neighbours that someone is staying in her flat. In September, she came to Delhi and when tried to enter the flat, however, the occupant denied entry to her.

Nikhat Zareen- Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday steered clear of the controversy triggered by boxer Nikhat Zareen’s demand for a trial bout against the celebrated MC Mary Kom, saying he can only ask the Boxing Federation of India to decide what is best for the nation and athletes. Zareen had written a letter to Rijiju on Thursday, demanding that she be given a trial bout against Mary Kom before the Indian squad for next year’s Olympic qualifiers in China is decided. This was after the BFI stated that it intends to pick six-time world champion Mary Kom (51kg) for the event in China on the back of her recent bronze medal at the world championships in Russia. Mary Kom has maintained that she would go by the decision taken by the BFI, which had earlier stated that only the gold and silver-winners from the world event would be given direct selection for the Olympic qualifiers. Zareen had been refused a trial bout before the world championship as well after the federation decided to pick Mary Kom on the basis of her gold-winning performances in the India Open and the President’s Cup. Trial bouts, a norm earlier, are being conducted only in those weight categories in which the coaches and selectors find the competition to be exceptionally close.

Rule- The Pro Kabaddi League has definitely changed the sport in more ways than one. But the most telling alterations were the subtle tweaks to the rules that made the game faster and appealing to the viewers. Reducing the raid duration to 30 seconds, addition of the bonus line, do-or-die raids, and super tackles helped the game to be more eventful, at the same time offering teams more chances to get back into the contest and maintain the balance of the game. While most rules have made a positive impact on the game, few rules have left the fans scratching their heads. One such rule is penalising the defenders that follow the raider into the lobbies without a struggle or a touch. Lobbies are the yellow strips on the sides of a Pro Kabaddi playing area that only come into play once a touch has been initiated. A player is deemed out of bounds if he steps into that area before a raider initiates the touch. The lobbies are meant to give the raiders extra space to maneuver after making a touch while escaping back to the midline. However, teams have started using loopholes in the rule to their advantage. In difficult situations when raiders find it hard to score points, they have often drifted into the lobby without a touch when they see defence moving for a tackle.
Currently, internation al matches in kabaddi are few and far between. India haven’t played since their semi-final defeat to Iran in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. Similarly, other overseas countries like Kenya and Argentina that have shown the potential to do well in the sport get little exposure and are reduced to only a handful of matches they play in big tournaments like the World Cup. Plans are being made to change that.

WC 2023- India is among the three nations who have presented their bids to host the next edition of the men’s World cup, the International Hockey Federation said on Thursday. India, who have hosted the men’s World Cup thrice, wants to conduct the event in the January 13 to 29, 2023 window. Belgium and Malaysia are the other two nations who have also sent their bidding dossier to conduct the men’s event but they prefer to host the event in the July 1 to 17, 2022 window. For the Women’s World Cup, five countries have presented their bids, the FIH said in a release. While Germany, Spain and the Netherlands want to host the event in the July 1 to 17, 2022 window, Malaysia and New Zealand are keen to conduct the tournament in the January 13 to 29, 2023 window.

Qualifiers- Chief Coach Graham Reid is impressed with Indian hockey team’s all-round growth and wants his players to play at the highest level while tackling Russia in the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers. The Indian team won the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar in June and followed that with victory in the Tokyo Olympics test event in August. The team also remained unbeaten on its recent Belgium tour, where it won all five matches. Three were against against the world champions hosts and two against world No 8 Spain. Reid said he had a lot “good takeaways” from the Belgium tour.

ITF- India’s top ranked women’s singles player Ankita Raina had a mixed day in office at the $100k ITF event in Suzhou, China as she lost in the singles quarter-finals but reached the doubles final. Prajnesh Gunneswaran was also knocked-out of the Ningbo Challenger in the men’s quarter-finals. Raina, who went down 4-6, 4-6 to Zhu Lin in the singles quarter-finals, then teamed up with Dutchwoman Rosalie Van Der Hoek to defeat the Serbian pair of Jovana Jaksic and Natalija Kostic 4-6, 7-5, 10-8 to reach the final. Raina and her partner will now face China’s Qianhui Tang and Xinyu Jiang in the final on Saturday. In Ningbo, Prajnesh’s run came to an end after going down 3-6, 4-6 against Steve Diez of Canada. After receiving a bye in the opening round, the 29-year-old Indian had defeated Max Purcell and Tsung-hua Yang in straight sets in the round of 32 and the pre-quarterfinals respectively. But he couldn’t keep up his form in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

El Clasico- The Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid has been postponed due to protests in Catalonia, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said. The clubs have until 10:00 am (13:30 pm IST) on Monday to find a new date, which will be decided by the RFEF if the clubs cannot reach an agreement. The original fixture was due to take place at Barca’s Camp Nou on October 26. “FC Barcelona and Real Madrid must agree on the new date of the meeting before October 21,” an RFEF statement read. “In case of not reaching an agreement, the Competition Committee will be responsible for determining the date of the meeting.” The Spanish football league (LFP) on Wednesday said it had asked the RFEF to move the fixture from Barcelona to Madrid after three days of large-scale demonstrations, which have turned increasingly violent.

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