Sports en Sat Nov 06 11:06:36 IST 2021 hardik-fires-titans-to-emphatic-win-over-royals <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Skipper Hardik Pandya enhanced his reputation as a number four batter with an unbeaten 87 off 52 balls as Gujarat Titans trounced Rajasthan Royals by 37 runs in the Indian Premier League here on Thursday.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>Hardik, whose strike rate and approach has been questioned at his new position, played responsibly when it was needed before displaying the power he is known for to lead Titans to 192 for four after being sent into bat.</p> <p>The in form Jos Buttler (54 off 24) provided another flying start to Royals but the rest of the batting unit did not deliver as the innings ended at 155 for nine in 20 overs. Young left-arm pacer Yash Dayal (3/40) impressed on IPL debut while Lockie Ferguson (3/23) got the important wicket of Buttler, who was deceived by the New Zealander's slow yorker after a series of quick deliveries.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ferguson also dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin in the same over after the senior India spinner was promoted to bat at number three.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The other notable contribution to Royals' innings came from Shimron Hetmyer (29 off 17). From 56 for one, Royals slipped to 90 for five and could not recover from there on.</p> <p>Hardik, who has been bowling regularly this season, also picked up a wicket but he took himself off the attack in the 18th over after feeling a little discomfort in the groin area.&nbsp;</p> <p>With their fourth win in five games, Titans displaced Royals from the top of the points table. It was Royals' second loss in five games.</p> <p>Earlier, Hardik&nbsp; found an able ally in Abhinav Manohar (43 off 28) before he exploded in the company of David Miller (31 not out off 14) to power the IPL debutants to their highest score of the tournament.</p> <p>Hardik and Manohar shared an 86-run stand for the fourth wicket before the skipper and Miller blasted 53 off 25 balls to end the innings in style.</p> <p>After being put in to bat, Gujarat found themselves reeling at 53 for three.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>While Hardik's 52-ball knock was studded with eight fours and four sixes, Manohar struck four fours and two maximums.&nbsp;</p> <p>Miller, who overall hit five boundaries and a six, fetched 21 runs in the penultimate over off Kuldeep Sen (1/51).</p> <p>To start with, Hardik was aggressive on pacer Kuldeep as he hammered him for three successive boundaries in the fifth over.&nbsp;</p> <p>He then fetched his first maximum in the seventh over, when he clobbered Riyan Parag over his head.</p> <p>The duo upped the ante when Manohar launched into inform Yuzvendra Chahal, hammering him for a four and maximum, a lofted inside-out drive over cover.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>The two then took on Kuldeep, hammering him for three boundaries in the 14th over, where Hardik also notched up his fifty, with a cut towards backward point fence.</p> <p>And in the next over, Hardik clobbered two successive maximums off seasoned spinner Ashwin, who leaked 16 runs in the over.&nbsp;</p> <p>With Titans reaching 130 for three in 15 overs, the stage was set for a big total.</p> <p>After Manohar departed, Miller ably supported the skipper.</p> <p>Titans lost opener Matthew Wade (12) cheaply, courtesy a direct hit by Rassie Van Der Dussen from cover.</p> <p>Titans slipped to 15/2, as Vijay Shakar (2) also perished cheaply and then a rusty looking Shubman Gill (13) became Parag's first victim, after he was caught by Shimron Hetymyer at the long-on fence.&nbsp;</p> <p>Royals missed the services of lead pacer Trent Boult who was ruled out of the game due to a niggle.&nbsp;<br> </p> Fri Apr 15 11:53:09 IST 2022 ioa-terms-exclusion-of-shooting-wrestling-from-2026-cwg-injustice <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Indian Olympic Association on Thursday termed the exclusion of shooting, wrestling and archery from the initial programme of 2026 Commonwealth Games as "grave injustice" to the country and said it will protest against the decision after consulting with the sports ministry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said the Olympic body will write a letter to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in a day or two to protest against the decision.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"It is a grave injustice to India, leaving out shooting, wrestling and archery. Shooting and wrestling are our major sports in CWG. We protest against the decision and will write a letter to the CGF in a day or two," Mehta told PTI.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Will discuss the matter with the IOA president and then with the sports ministry regarding the future course of action."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Without shooting and wrestling, India's CWG medal tally is likely to be reduced drastically.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Shooting has been India's strongest sport in the Commonwealth Games with 135 medals (63 gold, 44 silver and 28 bronze) till now. Wrestling is in third spot with 102 (43 gold, 37 silver and 22 bronze) medals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the last CWG in Gold Coast (Australia) in 2018, shooting and wrestling had together accounted for 28 medals out of the country's total tally of 66.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Shooting gave 16 medals (7 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze) while wrestling contributed 12 (5 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On Tuesday, Victoria was announced as host of the 2026 Commonwealth Games with the Australian state's regional centres organising the majority of events in a break from the traditional single host city model.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An initial list of 16 sports, including T20 cricket, have been put forward for the Games, with further sports to be added later this year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If the Australian organisers want to exclude shooting, wrestling and archery from the Games, it will be difficult to reverse such a decision as the CGF General Assembly had approved in October last year a new 'strategic roadmap' under which athletics and swimming will be the only compulsory sports from the 2026 edition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The host cities have been given greater freedom to include disciplines of their choice from a proposed core list of 22 sports. The core list includes shooting, wrestling and archery, besides T20 cricket, beach volleyball and 3x3 basketball.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2019, the IOA had threatened to boycott the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games to be held from July 28 to August 8 this year after shooting's exclusion from the programme.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The threat was withdrawn after the CGF agreed to stage a separate Commonwealth Shooting Championship (as well as Commonwealth Archery Championship) in India with the medals from the event to be counted in the final standings of the Birmingham Games.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The shooting (as well as archery) championship was to be held in Chandigarh in January this year but cancelled due to the "uncertainty" posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>- PTI</p> Thu Apr 14 21:53:27 IST 2022 seems-like-bai-is-happy-to-put-me-out-of-cwg-asiad-saina <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Saina Nehwal on Thursday questioned the timing of selection trials and slammed the Badminton Association of India for "putting" her out the two mega sporting events later this year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The governing body had called for selection trials on April 2 to pick the Indian team for big-ticket events including the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the Asian Games in Hangzhou and Thomas Cup and Uber Cup in Bangkok from May 8 to 15.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Saina, a former world no 1, said she had informed BAI about her decision to skip the trials which begins at the IG stadium on Friday but it did not mean that she was not eager to participate at the major events including the Commonwealth Games and Asiad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Surprised to see all the articles stating that I don't want to defend my CWG title and my Asiad medal. I'm just not participating in the trials because I just got back from 3 weeks of Europe events and according to the schedule there's Asian Championships," Saina tweeted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"In 2 weeks time, as a senior player to participate in back to back events nonstop is impossible and it's risking injuries, such short notice is not possible. I've conveyed this to BAI but there has been no response from them. It seems like they're happy to put me out of CWG n Asiad."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>BAI has exempted players inside the top 15 in the BWF rankings from the trials but said shuttlers ranked between 16 to 50 in the latest world rankings, released on March 29, will have to participate in the trials to be selected for the team.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Saina, 32, however, questioned the logic of having trials at this juncture.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"I wish we had better understanding about how to manage a schedule and not announce events with 10 days notice. I'm world no.23 currently and I almost beat the world no.1 Akane in All England. One loss at India open and BAI tries to pull me down. Shocking."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Saina, a London Olympics bronze medallist, had participated at the German Open (March 8-13), All England Championships (March 16-20) and Swiss Open (March 22-27) before pulling out of the Korean Open (April 5-10).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Saina has been battling injuries and poor form for the past couple of years, which saw her ranking slip to 23rd but she did show signs of returning to form when she played a three-game match against Akane Yamaguchi at this year's All England Championships.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Among the current crop of women's singles players, Malvika Bansod, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha and Anupama Upadhyaya have been in good form but none of them have beaten top international stars in the world stage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Saina had returned to the circuit after recovering from a groin and knee injury this year but she didn't have the desired results as her India Open campaign ended in the second round.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After a gap of few weeks, she played three events last month - German Open, All England and Swiss Open - where she failed to cross the second round.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu Apr 14 20:41:38 IST 2022 joe-root-quits-as-england-captain <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>Star batsman Joe Root stepped down from the post of captain of England's Test team on Friday. He had taken over from Alastair Cook in 2017.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to <i><a href="">ESPN Cricinfo</a></i>, Root had “overseen more games (64), wins (27) and defeats (26) than any other England captain”. There had been speculation that Root would have to make way after defeats in the Ashes and tour of the West Indies. In his last 17 Tests as captain, England had only won one match.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Root had led England to a number of memorable victories. These wins include “a 4-1 home series win over India in 2018 and a 3-1 triumph away to South Africa in 2020. In 2018, he became the first England Men's Captain to win a Test series in Sri Lanka since 2001, a feat he went on to repeat with a 2-0 victory in Sri Lanka in 2021,” according to the England and Wales Cricket Board.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Root had scored more runs, 5,295, as England Test captain than any of his predecessors, making him fifth in the all-time list of captains with most runs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a statement shared by the ECB, Root said “After returning from the Caribbean tour and having time to reflect, I have decided to step down as England Men’s Test captain. It has been the most challenging decision I have had to make in my career... I have loved leading my country, but recently it's hit home how much of a toll it has taken on me and the impact it has had on me away from the game.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Root declared he intended to continue playing for England and looked forward to “helping the next captain”.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ECB CEO Tom Harrison describe Root as an “exceptional role model during his tenure, balancing the demands of Test captaincy whilst continuing to shine brilliantly through his own personal performances.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to <i>ESPN Cricinfo</i>, Ben Stokes is the favourite to replace Cook, while Rory Burns, Stuart Broad and Jos Buttler are also contenders.</p> Fri Apr 15 14:22:47 IST 2022 pujara--rizwan-make-sussex-debut-in-county-cricket0 <a href=""><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="" /> <p>India's Cheteshwar Pujara and Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan on Thursday made their Sussex debut for the game against hosts Derbyshire in the County Championships Division 2 in Derby (England).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While Pujara has played first-class cricket in England in the past, it is the first outing for Pakistan wicketkeeper batter.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Both were named in the Sussex playing eleven which is captained by Tom Daines. With Derbyshire opting to bat, Pujara and Rizwan are expected to bat on day two.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Both the players stand at the opposite end of their international careers. While Pujara will be aiming to score a bagful of runs to make a Test comeback after being dropped following the tour of South Africa, Rizwan has been one of the best wicket-keeper batters in international cricket over the last couple of years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With Sussex having lost their opening game, head coach Ian Salisbury included both overseas stars for the contest against Derbyshire.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;I am extremely excited to be able to bring in players of Rizwan and Pujara's quality into the side. Not only are they absolute world-class cricketers that will boost our performances on the pitch, but to have them around the boys and in the dressing room can only be a positive,&quot; said the head coach in a team statement.</p> Thu Apr 14 16:31:15 IST 2022