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BCCI Announces Test and ODI Squads for Bangladesh Tour

BCCI has announced squads for one test match and three one-dayers to be played in Bangladesh from 10 June to 14 June and 18 June to 24 June respectively. Keeping in mind the good performance of Bangladesh cricket team during the World Cup, India has chosen strong teams for both ODIs and test matches. While the ODI team will be led by skipper MS Dhoni, the Test squad will be led by Virat Kohli. Announcement of the teams was done by selector Sandeep Patil and Anurag Thakur, the newly elected BCCI secretary. One of the highlights of the test squad is the comeback of 34-year old ‘turbanator’ Harbhajan Singh, one of the most reliable off spinners who last played test series back in March 2013 against Australia. Indian pacer Mohammad Shami missed out due to knee injury.    

Sports Ministry Issues Guidelines to SAI

The Sports Ministry has directed Sports Authority of India (SAI) to empanel counseling psychologists for one-to-one as well as group counseling of the players and athletes in its centres present all across India. This directive comes after four trainee athletes in SAI’s Alappuzha centre in Kerala tried to commit suicide a few days back. In a press release, Sports Ministry has vouched for setting up a 24x7 helpline where athletes and trainees can report ragging and sexual harassment cases. For emotional wellbeing and holistic development the ministry has emphasized on introducing Yoga in all SAI centres as compulsory activity.  While the ministry has emphasised on bringing all eligible SAI trainees under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, they have vowed to increase security of the SAI hostels.

IPC gives Permission to India's Para Athletes to Participate in International Competitions inspite of Ban on National Body

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has lifted the morale of Indian para-athletes as it allowed them to participate at international competitions under IPC flag licensed through Sport Data Management System. This permission comes as a relief for the para-athletes because their national body, the Paralympic Committee of India, was suspended on 17 April due to internal feud. In fact, government also derecognised the body for treating para-athletes shabbily during Ghaziabad’s National Para-Athletics Championships, held in March. IPC has also appreciated suggestion of the Sports Ministry where the latter asked the former of setting up ad-hoc committee for running paralympic affairs in India. IPC also asked the government for details of persons to be included in this ad hoc committee.  

BCCI Secretary says Final Decision on Fate of Proposed Indo-Pak Series to be taken after June 15

Anurag Thakur, newly elected BCCI Secretary, has said that the final call on the proposed cricket series between India and Pakistan, to be played in Dubai in the coming December, will be taken after June 15. He went on to add that some necessary issues between Pakistan Cricket Board and BCCI need to be looked into before taking the final decision. It is believed that both the boards are talking on the neutral Dubai venue to hold the series. The reaction comes after Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal put his weight behind the series for improving relation between the two countries. Anurag Thakur also said that Union government will take the final call after BCCI gives its nod.

Sunil Gavaskar wants Sourav Ganguly to get Associated with Indian Cricket Team in any Capacity

India’s cricket legend, Sunil Gavaskar, while weighing his support in favour of former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, said that Ganguly should get involved with coaching Team India, if he has time to do so. He went on to say that no matter what the role be, whether it is of High Performance Coach, Team Director, or Head Coach, Sourav can be valuable to Team India in any of the mentioned roles. Gavaskar is also of the view that this is the best time to coach India as most of its upcoming matches and tournaments are scheduled in India. In fact, he went on to say that Indian team will need no more coaches if Saurav becomes Team India coach.

Union Sports Minister lends Support to Proposed Indo-Pak Series

Giving a major push to the proposed bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan, Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that for promoting friendship between the two neighbours, he is in favour of the series being played in UAE in December 2015. However, he acknowledged the fact that there are wide array of issues that need to be addressed before formally giving a go ahead. At the sidelines of a function, Sonowal also said that currently his ministry is concentrating on providing all kinds of support to the “possible medal prospective” players for increasing tally in the Rio Olympics.   

Rajasthan Royals beat Kolkata Knight Riders

Rajasthan Royals defeated defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium on Saturday. As per media reports, Shane Watson’s magnificent century helped RR to secure a place in the IPL playoffs. In an earlier match during the day, Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab. With this, CSK has ensured that they end the league stages as table-toppers. They have 18 points from 14 matches.

Rahul Dravid: Nobody Spoke to Me about Coaching Team India

Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid said that he was never approached to take up the job to coach the Indian cricket team. He also said that he will think about this position once he will get an offer for the same from the Indian cricket board. Rahul also said that a coach for the Indian team should not be decided on the basis of his nationality, whether he is an Indian or a foreigner. There were speculations that the board is seeking an Indian cricketer this time to be the coach of the Indian cricket team.

No Decision Yet on Indo-Pakistan Bilateral Cricket Series

MoS for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, told media that the Ministry of Home Affairs has not yet taken any formal decision on the proposed India-Pakistan bilateral cricket tournament to be played in UAE. Sources say that government is not interested in mixing sports with politics and is likely to give the official nod in the coming months. PCB President Shahryar Khan told media that he had fruitful discussions with Arun Jaitley, Arunag Thakur and Jagmohan Dalmiya on the proposed tournament but the government has not yet given the final official go ahead. He also went on to appreciate PM Narendra Modi’s statement during a parliamentary party meeting expressing his eagerness to play cricket with Pakistan.

PCB Chief Invites BCCI Officials to Watch Pakistan-Zimbabwe Match in Pakistan

Shaharyar Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in an attempt to improve relation between the cricket boards of India and Pakistan, has invited key BCCI officials as well as some government functionaries to attend a match in the upcoming series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. A source reportedly said that the PCB officials are expecting either Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley or BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur to be present in Lahore as special guest for witnessing one match in the upcoming Pakistan-Zimbabwe limited over series, to start on May 19. PCB chief had met Anurag Thakur as well as an important BJP leader in Delhi yesterday, for improving bonhomie between the two boards, before December 2015 Indo-Pak series.

AITA Hearing Rescheduled

The All India Tennis Association has been granted a different date of hearing by the Government of India on the issue related to its 2012 election. The concerned hearing was earlier scheduled to be held yesterday. However, the tennis association requested for changing the schedule from May 13 to anywhere between May 27 and 29, 2015. Sports ministry communicated to Bharat Oza, Secretary General of All India Tennis Association, that their request to reschedule hearing date “has been agreed to”. The meeting with Onkar Kedia - joint secretary (sports) – will take place on 27 May. The communiqué also mentioned that the sports ministry will not entertain any further extension of hearing schedule.

India-Pak Series Faces Hurdles

The resumption of cricket diplomacy between India and Pakistan seems to be in rough weather as Zee Entertainment Enterprises’ owned TEN Sports (host broadcaster of Pakistan Cricket Board) is found to have an uneasy relation with BCCI. The trouble between Zee and BCCI started eight years back on non-payment of Rs. 145 crore. The problem has accentuated now as Zee is planning to organise a worldwide cricket event, directly challenging ICC organised cricket. PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan is all set to take up the matter with Finance Minister of India and cricket enthusiast Arun Jaitley today in Delhi. Jaitley’s opinion will be decisive as he has enough clout in the BCCI management. Broadcasting problem is the second glitch the series is facing after BJP MP, RK Singh, questioned the move in Lok Sabha.

India goes down against Malaysia 2-3 in the Knockout Match for Sudirman Cup's Qualifier

India lost to Malaysia by 2-3 in the qualifier of Sudirman Cup’s knockouts of the World Mixed Team Badminton Championships yesterday, despite the wins registered by ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal and successful women’s duo Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa. Men’s doubles pair of India, B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri, went down against Malaysian pair Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V. Shem in straight sets (15-21, 16-21). India got a major setback when India’s ace shuttler and World No. 4 Kidambi Srikanth went down to Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei by 16-21, 15-21. Malaysia got ahead of India when Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon defeated India’s mixed doubles duo Arun Vishnu and N. Sikki Reddy by 21-14, 21-18. India will play their final Group 1D match tomorrow against South Korea.

PCB Chief Announces Resuming Cricket Series between India and Pakistan

PCB chief Shaharyar Khan yesterday said that India and Pakistan are going to resume bonhomie between the two countries through their shared passion of cricket. Both the cricket boards of India and Pakistan have agreed to host a cricket series in UAE that will include three test matches, five one dayers, and two T20 matches. The statement was given by PCB chief after he met Jagmohan Dalmiya, incumbent BCCI President. While thanking Dalmiya for hosting the meeting and proactively trying to resume the friendly cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan, he said that five series will be played between the two sides over eight year span, as per the MoU signed back in 2014.

Royal Challengers Bangalore wins the IPL against Mumbai Indians by 39 runs

Royal Challengers Bangalore won the IPL match against Mumbai Indians by 39 runs in Mumbai. Though Keiron Pollard (49) and Lendl Simmons (68) played really well but could help the team to win. Royal Challengers Bangalore lost Chris Gayle early but did not lose their game momentum. AB De Villiers and Virat Kohli remained not out and showed a great game. Royal Challengers Bangalore scored a huge score of 235 for 1. AB De villiers made 133 off 59 balls with 19 fours and 4 sixes. Virat Kohl made 82 off just 50 balls with six fours and four sixes.

Kolkata Knight Riders at the top of IPL table

Andre Russell slammed five fours and four sixes in his 21-ball, scored the fastest fifty (51) and helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). KKR won by one-wicket and now at the top of the IPL table.

India Wins Third Match against Japan by 2-1 in Four-match Hockey Test Series

In the third match of the four-match Hockey Test series, India beat Japan by 2 goals to 1, thereby taking an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series. VR Raghunath and Akashdeep Singh scored for India and Hirotaka Wakari scored for Japan. First quarter of the game was owned by Japan as the players resorted to long passes to put pressure on the Indian team. However, India soon recovered and put up a counter attack with short passes among team mates. While India’s VR Raghunath scored at the 30th minute and Akashdeep Singh at 36th, Japan’s Hirotaka Wakari scored at the 44th minute.  

Four Athletes Attempt Suicide in Kerala, One Dies

One of the four woman athletes, who attempted suicide by consuming poisonous fruit named 'Othalanga', in Sports Authority of India’s hostel after alleged harassment by a trainer in Kerala died today. It is learnt that the three other athletes are also in a critical condition. A report says that the four athletes were finding it hard to tolerate the humiliation from a trainer, who was humiliating them after finding them in inebriated condition some days back. It is also alleged that some of the seniors even physically and mentally tortured relatives of the athletes. Hostel warden, however, denied allegations of torture. Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has promised strict action against the guilty.

India beats Japan in Second Match of Hockey Test Series

India managed to beat Japan by 2-0 during the second match of the four match hockey test series. India scored their first goal at the 27th minute of play. The goal, which was scored by SK Uthappa was followed by a 48th minute goal by Dharamvir Singh. The game started in an interesting manner as both the teams started playing fast paced attacking game. The first quarter of the game was goalless and the first half ended with India leading by one goal to nil, despite the fact that India lost a couple of goal-making opportunities. With strong defence in place Indian hockey team intensified its attack with Pradeep Mor making multiple scoring attempts in the second half, with second and final success coming at 48th minute.     

ATP Rankings: Yuki Bhambri improves; Somdev drops four positions

Rankings released by ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) shows that Somdev Devvarman has dropped four positions and his current ranking is 173. However, another ace Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri’s ATP ranking has improved by thirty positions, helping him enter the top 200 ranking. His current ATP rank is 186. Bhambri’s current jump in position was possible because for his good performance in the Taipei Challenger, where he entered the semi-final. In the women’s doubles ATP ranking, Sania Mirza held her World No. 1 ranking. In the men’s doubles ATP ranking list, Leander Paes is ranked 23rd followed by Rohan Bopanna at 24th spot.