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BCCI Announces Team India for Zimbabwe Tour; Dhoni-Kohli Rested

BCCI announced the Indian cricket squad for Zimbabwe tour yesterday after a meeting of the selection committee. The tour will be led by Ajinkya Rahane as the selection committee has decided to rest ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Test skipper Virat Kohli, and Ravichandran Ashwin. Other members of Team India to tour Zimbabwe include Manoj Tiwary, Ambati Rayudu, M Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, Kedar Jadhav, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni, Karn Sharma, and Axar Patel. While making the announcement Chief selector Sandeep Patil said that there is no rift in the team and this is the time to move ahead of the Bangladesh tour, where India’s performance was not satisfying. Team director Ravi Shastri will not accompany Team India to Zimbabwe. However, R Sridhar, Bharat Arun, and Sanjay Bangar will accompany the team.

Ashwini Ponnappa-Jwala Gutta Pair wins Canada Open Women's Doubles Title

The ace Indian shuttler duo Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta won the Canada Open 2015 convincingly by defeating Eefge Muskens-Selena Piek pair from Netherlands in straight sets 21-19, 21-16. The first game started on a tensed mode as the pair from Netherlands kept on the fight till the end but lost the game as Ponnappa-Gutta pair were successful in keeping their nerves. In the second game the Indian shuttlers put up an early lead of 5-0 and increased it further to 15-6. However, Eefge Muskens-Selena Piek duo bounced back well and won 9 consecutive points to tie the game at 15-15. This is when the Indian duo got hold of the match and conceded just one point to win the game 21-16. Ashwini Ponnappa told media that this win is a great boost for them, especially before the world championship.

ICC Acknowledges Receiving Lalit Modi's mail on International Players who received Rs 60 crore Gifts

ICC (International Cricket Council) has confirmed that David Richardson, chief of ICC, received a letter back in June 2013 from ex-IPL chief Lalit Modi where the latter claimed that three international cricketers (among which two are Indians) received lavish gifts, amounting to Rs. 60 crore from a Mumbai-based builder. The response comes just days after Lalit Modi claimed through a Twitter post that Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dwayne Bravo are in close contact with HDIL’s Baba Diwan, a real estate business tycoon. He went on say that his reliable sources have informed him that Diwan paid these three international cricketers Rs 20 crore each, either in terms of cash or kind (i.e. flats). ICC spokesperson told media that the confidential mail sent by LaMo in June 2013 has been forwarded to ACSU and they in turn handled it as per standard operating procedures.

BCCI Confirms Selection Committee Meeting Tomorrow to pick Indian Squad for Zimbabwe Tour

BCCI has given a clear hint that they are going to carry on their Zimbabwe tour, inspite of the previous cancellation announcement, by confirming that they are all set to hold on a crucial meeting tomorrow to pick-up the cricket squad for Zimbabwe tour. Reports say that BCCI’s All-India Senior Selection Committee meeting will take place at Delhi’s Hotel ITC Maurya on June 29 at 11am IST for cricket team selection. The Zimbabwe tour will start on July 10, 2015 and will have three ODIs followed by two T20 Internationals. During tomorrow’s meeting, the selection committee will also finalise India 'A' team for the tri-series (to be held in Chennai and Wayanad, starting from July 19) to be played against Australia 'A' and South Africa 'A'. Selected team will be announced by BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur and Sandeep Patil (Chairman of Selectors) after tomorrow’s meeting.  

Basketball Player Satnam Singh becomes First Indian to make it to NBA

Indian basketball fraternity got a boost when Satnam Singh, a basketball player from remote Balloke village near Ludhiana in Punjab, became the first Indian basketball player to be drafted in the renowned National Basketball League (NBA) of USA. It was back in 2011 when NBA champions Dallas Maverick picked him up in New York and put him under training for five years in Florida’s IMG Academy. He will now be playing in NBA matches besides the likes of Amar'e Stoudemire and Dirk Nowitzki in the Dallas Maverick team. Reports say that Satnam’s inclusion in the NBA team will help popularise basketball in India, just like how basketball sensation Yao Ming’s inclusion in NBA helped popularise the game in China. 7 feet and 2 inches tall Satnam Singh, who is just 19 years old, will now play in the summer league of NBA followed by development league.                   

Ex-ICC President Mustafa Kamal alleges N Srinivasan of 'Scripting' India's Win at 2015 World Cup Quarter-Final

Mustafa Kamal, former President of ICC, has specifically raised finger against ICC Chairman N Srinivasan for ‘scripting’ win of India over Bangladesh in the quarter final match of International Cricket World Cup 2015, played during March. He also went on to narrate the way in which Srinivasan staged the proceedings on that day and said that it is only Srinivasan who is capable of doing this thing in Australia’s Melbourne, just like the way he has been doing in India. Mustafa Kamal, who had to resign from ICC President’s position after the controversy over Bangladesh’s loss in the WC quarters broke out, has categorically opined that the disrespected, disputed, and defamed N Srinivasan should not head International Cricket Council. Kamal also mentioned that Srini has defamed the game of cricket.

Team India wins final ODI by 77 Runs

Indian cricket team dodged the humiliation of 3-ODI Banglawash as they won the third and last match of the ODI series in Bangladesh by 77 runs. The game was played in Dhaka, Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. India batted first and piled up a commendable score of 317 runs at the loss of 6 wickets. However, chasing a target of 318 runs, Bangladesh crumbled and were all out at just 240 runs in 47 overs. Most successful Indian bowler was Suresh Raina who took 3 wickets by giving 45 runs. The other bowlers who bowled well are Dhawal Kulkarni (2 for 34 runs) and R Ashwin (2 for 35 runs). Suresh Raina was Man of the Match and Mustafizur Rahman Man of the Series.

Indian Hockey Team Humiliates Poland at Hockey World League Semis by Winning 3-0

Indian Hockey team played a good game against Poland to secure a comfortable 3-0 win in the semi final match of Hockey World League. The three goals were scored by Yuvraj Walmiki at 23rd minute, captain Sardar Singh at 41st minute, and Devinder Walmiki at 52nd minute of the game at KHC Dragons Stadium in Belgium’s Antwerp. Yesterday India played a far better game than the last one on opening day against France, where India won the match 3-2. It is interesting to note that just before Yuvraj’s opened for India on 23rd minute, Poland received the first penalty corner at 22nd minute but failed to convert it to a goal, thanks to a great save by Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. With penalty corner specialist Rupinder Singh missing the game, India failed to convert them too.        

Team India's Zimbabwe Tour Cancelled

BCCI has decided to call off Team India’s proposed Zimbabwe tour, which was scheduled to start from 10 July. Zimbabwe series was cancelled because of unresolved issues between the Indian board and Ten Sports. A press release by Zimbabwe Cricket said that their broadcasting partner has threatened “the forthcoming India tour to Zimbabwe” and the series may be pushed to next year if it takes too long to resolve the issues. Reports say that BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya has serious issues with Subhash Chandra, the owner of Zee Telefilms and Ten Sports. Sources say that the fallout between the two was due to Chandra’s effort of launching a breakaway cricket league. Problem erupted between Chandra and BCCI back in 2004 when the latter cancelled bidding process where Chandra’s Zee Telefilms was the highest bidder for broadcasting cricket matches that were played during 2004-2008.       

Team India Loses ODI Series to Bangladesh Tigers

Bangladesh cricket team thrashed Team India at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday by clinching a 6-wicket victory, thereby winning the ODI series by 2-0. Brilliant performance by left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman (with a spell of 6-43) humiliated Indian batsmen and restricted the visitors to 200 runs in 47 overs. It took the Bangla Tigers to score 200 runs in just 38 overs in a rain soaked match, leading to 2nd ODI (by Duckworth Lewis method) win with élan. Shakib al Hasan was the highest scorer, scoring a knock of 51 runs not out in just 62 balls. Indian skipper, at the wake of embarrassing loss to the minnows, offered to step down from captaincy. However, Bangladesh’s emphatic win was marred by famous Indian cricket fan Sudhir Gautam’s claim that he was mobbed and physically harassed by Bangladeshi fans outside the stadium after end of yesterday’s match.

Rohan Bopanna-Florin Mergea Duo end Runners Up

India’s ace tennis player Rohan Bopanna and his Romanian partner were unable to clinch the doubles title at Gerry Weber Open and had to remain satisfied with runners up title. The 2nd seeded Indo-Romanian pair lost to the unseeded American-South African duo Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram in straight sets 6-7(5) 2-6. It took Raven-Ram combination one hour and twelve minutes to clinch the Gerry Weber Open men’s doubles title from the second seed. Rohan Bopanna-Florin Mergea pair are going through a great phase as this is their second great showing after winning Stuttgart’s Mercedes Cup last week. By winning the runners up title in this ATP tournament, they not only shared 50,880 as prize money but also bagged 300 ranking points. Indo-Romanian partner started the game well and also broke service but lost momentum as the opposition increased their grip on the game.   

Sports Minister Confident about India winning More Than 10 Medals at Rio Olympics

Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, has shown confidence on Indian sports team, which is preparing to represent India in the upcoming Rio Olympics. He told media persons that India is confident of securing more than 10 medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics, which is scheduled to start on August 5, 2016. India bagged 6 medals during London Olympics, held in UK in the year 2012. He said this when a reporter asked him whether the medal count will increase this year. Sonowal went on to add that he is vouching for it because of the success expected from Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme, launched by Sports Ministry. He also said that the scheme was launched in order to help the “medal prospect athletes” in all possible manners so that they can achieve the coveted goals of securing medals in accordance with their merit.

India starts Hockey World League Campaign with a Win against France

Indian hockey team started with a emphatic win over France at FIH Hockey World League semifinal’s opening match, played at Belgium’s Antwerp. Though France took lead by scoring in the first 3 minutes of the game, India bounced back quickly and netted two goals in the following 2 minutes to take a 2-1 lead. While the first goal on behalf of France was scored by Olivier Sanhez, the first two goals on behalf of India was done by Manpreet Singh and Devindar Walmiki. France dominated first two quarters of the game through better penetration of Indian defence and were duly rewarded in the third quarter of the game when Simon Marin scored the second goal for France, leveling the score 2-2. However, India clinched the match at penultimate minute when Sardar Singh netted the third goal for India and secured an emphatic win.    

Indian Snooker Team enters Quarter Final Match at Snooker World Cup

Indian team of snookers, including Aditya Mehta and Pankaj Advani, has entered the quarter final match of Snooker World Cup, played in Wuxi, China. In the final round robin match, Indian team beat Singapore 4-1 and secured their place in the quarters. In the Group A of the round robin, India finished second, coming after China, the defending champion. India could have topped Group A if they didn’t lose to China 2-3 on the very first day of the Snooker World Cup. Indian snooker team first defeated Austria as well as Norway with identical outcome 5-0. However, India had to battle it out with Malta to win the tie. The final score against Malta is 3-2. In the quarter final match, India will have face off with Belgium team. In another knockout quarterfinal match, China will face Scotland.   

Bangladesh Tigers humiliate Team India by Winning First ODI by 79 Runs

Team India was humiliated yesterday by Bangladesh Cricket team in the first one day international match during Indian cricket team’s ongoing tour of Bangladesh. In the match played yesterday at Dhaka’s Sher’e Bangla National Stadium, Bangladesh batted first and put up a score of 307 runs on board with brilliant batting from Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, and Tamim Iqbal. Chasing a target of 308 runs to win the match, India crumbled to 228 runs all out with 4 overs to spare. Mustafizur Rahman’s 5-wicket haul surprised Indian batsmen. Though Indian openers started well, bringing up 50 runs partnership in just 7.4 overs, they couldn’t continue the momentum for long. Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rohit, and Ajinkya Rahane were bundled out in quick succession and the 95/0 quickly became 115/4. Though Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja tried to consolidate partnership but couldn’t continue the momentum.

AIBA Forms Ad Hoc Committee; Boxing India Claims Ignorance

International Boxing Association (AIBA) has constituted an ad-hoc committee of five members, whose main responsibility will be to find out a group who will be entrusted with the responsibility to organise as well as administer boxing in India. The concerned ad-hoc committee will be chaired by AIBA Representative Kishen Narsi. The other noted names in the concerned committee are Injeti Srinivas (SAI DG), Manisha Malhotra (ex-tennis player), and Jay Kowli (ousted Secretary General of Boxing India). The fifth person of the committee will be a national coach, whose appointment will be finalised only with AIBA approval. Ching-Kuo Wu, President of AIBA, has informed Kishen Narsi, through a letter, about forming the ad-hoc committee, and also said that Randhir Singh will act as advisor of the concerned committee. State units affiliated to Boxing India claimed they are ignorant about any such decision.

Pakistan Table Tennis Squad issued Indian Visa for Participating in South Asian Cadet and Junior Table Tennis Championship

Reports say that junior table tennis squad of Pakistan has been issued Indian Visa so that they can participate in South Asian Cadet and Junior Table Tennis Championship. Table Tennis Federation of India’s Secretary General, Dhanraj Choudhary, said that four countries including Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka confirmed participation in the tournament. Sources say that the junior Pakistani paddlers have reached the game arena and they came by road through the Wagah border. He went o to add that Bangladeshi table tennis players are yet to receive their visa but Choudhury hoped that they will receive them by today and will also reach India the same day. Sports diplomatic channels believe granting Indian Visa to Paskitani paddlers is a big move especially after blame game erupted between the two neighbours regarding the non-issuance of visa to Pakistani wrestlers for Cadet Asian Wrestling Championship.

Rohan Bopanna-Florin Mergea duo enters Gerry Weber Open's Doubles Quarter-Finals for Men

India’s ace tennis player Rohan Bopanna along with his Romanian partner Florin Mergea has yet again put up a good show in the doubles tournament for men at Gerry Weber Open after triumphing at Stuttgart Open, just a few days back. The Indo-Romanian duo entered quarter finals after defeating Ukrainian - Czech pair Sergiy Stakhovsky and Luka Rosol by 2-6 6-3 10-8. Bopanna-Mergea duo was no-match in the very first set of the match as the Ukrainian-Czech were off with a flying start. They won a couple of break points and rested the first set at 6-2. However, Rohan Bopanna and his partner bounced back well and clinched the second set rather easily from Stakhovsky-Rasol pair 6-3. Though they made a few double faults at crucial juncture, they were successful in winning the second set. In the third set, Indo-Romanian played a good match to win 10-8.

Kohli slips to 11th Position as Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan Achieve Career Best Ranks at ICC Rankings

Recently published ICC Rankings of cricketers shows that Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli has slipped out of the top 10 list and his current ranking is 11. While Murali Vijay achieved his career best ranking of 20th position by moving three positions ahead, the greatest gainer is Shikhar Dhawan who jumped fifteen positions ahead to 45th rank. Ajinkya Rahane also moved up to the career best 22nd rank by moving four places up. Ravichandran Ashwin, Team India’s ace off-spinner, gained one position to reach 16th rank. Number 1 position in the ICC Ranking chart is held by 26-years-old Steven Smith of Australia, who surpassed Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara. Smith becomes the second youngest batsman, after cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, to achieve first spot in ICC Ranking for Test batsmen. Another South Asian player, Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, has achieved 12th rank.   

Rohan Bopanna with Romanian Partner wins Euro 574,965 Stuttgart Open Title

India’s promising tennis player Rohan Bopanna along with his Romanian partner Florin Mergea clinched the Euro 574,965 Stuttgart Open Title yesterday at Tennis Club Weissenhof’s grass court in the men's doubles segment. The Indo-Romanian duo beat the Alexander Peya (Austrian) and Bruno Soares (Brazilian) pair in the final match of the tournament 5-7, 6-2, 10-7. With this win, Bopanna wins four titles this year. However, this is his second title win this year with Romanian Florin Mergea. Last month, they won the Madrid Open clay court championship in the men’s doubles segment. In the match Indo-Romanian pair won 64 points out of 120 points. The match started on an even pace but the Austrian-Brazilian duo broke serve and won the first game 7-5. However, Bopanna- Mergea pair fought back well and didn’t give a single break point chance to the opponent throughout rest of the game.