New Delhi [India], February 8 (ANI): Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju is happy with the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President Raninder Singh’s announcement about persuading the General Body of the National Federation to stay the recent decision taken by the Governing Body to ban certain shooters from the next Nationals for disciplinary reasons.
Rijiju also said that it is a decision made in the best interest of everyone concerned.
“Happy to note that @OfficialNRAI President @RaninderSingh has assured shooters and their parents that he would persuade the NRAI General Body to not implement the ban imposed on the athletes by it’s Governing Body. It’s a decision made in the best interest of everyone concerned,” Rijiju tweeted.
Earlier in the day, NRAI President announced that he would be persuading the General Body of the National Federation, scheduled to meet on March 5.
Invoking powers vested on him as President, Raninder, in a statement, said: “It has always been our endeavor to act in the best interests of our Sport and our Shooters. As such, no one is as pained as us when at times severe action is needed to be taken on anyone belonging to the Shooting fraternity, most of all, on our dear shooters.”
“I received several requests from the parents and the affected Shooters themselves on the recent decision taken by the Governing Body. As such I have decided to refer the decision to the General Body, scheduled to meet early next month, and persuade them to not implement the said decision. However, this will certainly be a one-off, and any such disciplinary breach, will not be tolerated in the future,” he added.
In a meeting held last week, the Governing Body of the NRAI had banned as many as 15 Shooters from taking part in the next Nationals, for breach of discipline.
They were: Sriharsha R. Devaraddi, Keshav Sharma, Vikram Singh Bhati, Imroz Ahmed, Pratyush Aman Barik, Yashaswini Singh Deswal, Tarun Kumar Dahiya, Meenal Yadav, Tejpreet Kaur Oberoi, Dilpreet Singh, Rajeev Ranjan, Visnu Shivraj Pandian, Krishan Kumar, Jyothi H Sannakki, and Ishank Ahuja. (ANI)
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Premier League: No room for complacency as Guardiola issues warning to players
Manchester [UK], March 2 (ANI): Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has issued a stern warning to his players, saying if they think the Premier League title has been secured, then they won’t be playing as he wants no room for complacency.
City is currently 12 points clear at the top of Premier League standings and the side can extend their lead to 15 points if they beat Wolves later on Tuesday in the Premier League.
On Saturday, City defeated West Ham 2-1 to record their 20th consecutive win across all competitions this season.
“We cannot relax for one second. Always we can do better… that is the target. As much as we win and as much as we get results, we have to demand and be over the players and say we can do better. This is the moment and when I feel that every player is thinking the job is done or how good it is, these guys are not going to play,” Guardiola told Manchester City’s official website.
“I am so intuitive. I know exactly when the guys are not ready to continue what we need to do. I said before the champions are Liverpool so to do it we still have eight, nine, or 10 games and it’s a lot. They are an incredible team that struggled for four or five games to win games. It happened to us too. It happened last season and the beginning of this season and we were unable to win three games in the first two months (of this season) so still, I want more,” he added.
After the fixture against Wolves, City will square off against Manchester United this weekend. United is currently at the second spot in the standings.
Last year’s defending champions Liverpool is languishing at the sixth spot. (ANI)
Boxam Tournament: Mary Kom, Amit Panghal among 12 Indians in quarter-finals
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Mary Kom and Amit Panghal are part of 12 Indian boxers who would need just one win to secure a medal at the Boxam International Tournament in Spain after they drew themselves in the quarter-finals.
The draw for the event was unveiled on Tuesday and it would see six-time world champion Mary Kom clash against Italy’s Giordana Sorrentino in the 51kg category of the tournament.
Panghal who would be in action in the 52kg category will face Spain’s Gabriel Escobar in the quarter-final clash.
Vikas Krishnan who would be contesting in the 69kg category saw himself getting a bye and now he would face Italy’s Vincenzo Mangiacapre in the quarter-finals.
In terms of women boxers, Jasmine and Manisha are also through to the quarters after getting byes and they would be contesting in the 57kg weight category.
The Boxam International Tournament would see all of India’s nine Olympic-bound boxers in action.
The official draw of the 35th edition of the Boxam Elite International Boxing Tournament was held in the Hotel Golf del Playa in Castellon de la Plana, Spain. Altogether 127 boxers from 17 different countries are attending the Boxam Tournament this week and 15 champions will be crowned following the finals.
The following nations are attending the Boxam Tournament: Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, France, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Monaco, Morocco, Panama, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Spain, and the United States of America.
Spain’s European Games winner Gabriel Escobar is one of the favourites of the men’s flyweight (52kg) but he will have a strong opponent at first in India’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist and Asian Games champion Amit Panghal. (ANI)
Chhetri, Thapa part of probables named for friendlies against Oman, UAE
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Indian men’s football coach Igor Stimac on Tuesday named 10 new faces in the 35-member list of probables for the forthcoming back-to-back international friendlies against Oman and UAE, which will be held in Dubai on March 25 and 29 respectively.
The final list of 28 players will be announced after the Indian Super League (ISL) final, which is slated to take place on March 13. The Blue Tigers will assemble in a preparatory camp in Dubai from March 15 onwards.
“We have kept 35 players in the list as a cushion in case any player picks up an injury during the HISL playoffs,” head coach Igor Stimac said.
Speaking about the new faces, Stimac said: “It’s been a difficult year for all of us and finally, we are all getting together. It will be great to meet some new young guns and to check how bright our future is with them. The two matches against Oman and UAE mean a lot to Indian football. It’s been a while since we last played and this is a great opportunity to check where we stand at the moment.
“I know the season was a tough one and players might be overloaded. But, we have enough time to refresh their legs and brains. However, many of them will have a break of two weeks without any organised training sessions prior to joining the camp. Hopefully, they will execute their individual working plans,” he added.
The coach also mentioned that Brandon Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Sahal Abdul Samad, and Asish Rai do not feature in the list as they are nursing injuries at the moment.
The Blue Tigers last played at the international level in November 2019 in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.
The 35-member list of probables is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Dheeraj Singh, Vishal Kaith.
Defenders: Seriton Fernandes, Ashutosh Mehta, Akash Mishra, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Chinglensana Singh, Sarthak Golui, Adil Khan, Mandar Rao Dessai, Prabir Das, Mashoor Shereef.
Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Rowllin Borges, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Raynier Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Bipin Singh, Yasir Mohammad, Suresh Singh, Liston Colaco, Halicharan Narzary, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Ashique Kuruniyan, Rahul KP, Hitesh Sharma, Farukh Choudhary.
Forwards: Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Ishan Pandita. (ANI)
New Zealand head coach hopeful of Ferguson return for Bangladesh T20Is
Wellington [New Zealand], March 2 (ANI): New Zealand head coach Gary Stead is hopeful that right-arm fast bowler Lockie Ferguson would be available for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Bangladesh.
Ferguson has been out of action since December last year, when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture following the T20I series against West Indies.
During the series against Windies, Ferguson had claimed his career-best figures of 5 for 21.
“At this stage, he (Ferguson) will meet up with the team around the time of the one-day series to put finishes touches on things and make sure the intensity is where we want it to be then if all goes well he’ll be available for the Bangladesh T20 series,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Stead as saying.
“You never know how people react to it [the injury], but in Lockie’s advantage, he’s strong, he’s fit and he works very hard at that S and C [strength and conditioning] area. Hopefully, all those things will have helped him in a quick recovery,” he added.
New Zealand is currently involved in a five-match T20I series against Australia which ends on March 7.
After that, the Black Caps will first play three ODIs against Bangladesh [from March 20 to 26] and then three T20Is from March 28 to April 1. (ANI)
‘Intelligent ‘Ashwin always reinventing himself, says Laxman
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): Former India batsman VVS Laxman has praised Ravichandran Ashwin, saying the seasoned off-spinner is reinventing himself and is always looking to improve.
Ashwin had gone past the 400 wickets milestone in the third Test against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium which India won by 10 wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. Courtesy his performance, Ashwin is now ranked number three in the ICC Test bowler rankings.
“I think he (Ashwin) is a very intelligent person. When you are playing at the highest level, then it’s not only about your skill, it’s about your preparation, your planning and execution is so critical. So, he works out what are the weaknesses of the batsman. He plans those dismissals and that’s why I think he is reinventing himself,” Laxman said while speaking on Star Sports’ show ‘Cricket Connected’.
“We saw recently in the Australia series how he troubled, someone as great as Steve Smith, and that’s another thing that makes Ashwin or any champion player special, that he wants to be the best and compete against the best,” he added.
Ashwin was a standout performer in India’s remarkable 2-1 Test series win over Australia and his resilience was on show in the third Test in Sydney where he battled it out alongside Hanuma Vihari to help India walk away with a famous draw.
“78 Test matches for 400 Test wicket. Let the naysayers be! He’s been absolutely phenomenal with the craft that he has displayed over a period of time and as he’s growing as a bowler he’s picking a lot of wickets. So, that question mark is also getting answered quite nicely,” said former India batsman Aakash Chopra while praising Ashwin.
“I feel that he’s an absolute rockstar. He’s one of the biggest match-winner, that India has ever produced. Of course, Anil Kumble will still remain at number one,” he added.
Earlier, when Ashwin was asked about possibly going past Kumble’s tally of 619 wickets, the 34-year-old said that he just wants to stay in the moment and not look too far ahead.
“I stopped thinking about all the landmarks a long time ago. It has been about how I can get better and what more I can offer to the team. I am looking to get better as an individual and cricketer every single day. I am not looking forward to what lies ahead and probably this is the reason why I am really enjoying my game right now. I would like to be in this space,” said Ashwin during a virtual press conference last Saturday.
India currently has a 2-1 lead in the ongoing four-match series against England and if the hosts manage to win or draw the final Test, they would secure their berth in the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) where they will be facing New Zealand at the Lord’s, London from June 18-22. (ANI)
Ravi Shastri gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Ahmedabad, [India], March 2 (ANI): Team India head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday morning received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Shastri, 58, got the jab at the Apollo Hospital here.
“Got the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you to the amazing medical professionals & scientists for empowering India against the pandemic,” Shastri tweeted along with a picture of him receiving the jab.
“Extremely impressed with the professionalism shown by Kantaben & her team at Apollo, Ahmedabad in dealing with COVID-19 vaccination,” he added.
The second phase of Covid-19 vaccination — for those above 60 years of age, and people between 45 and 59 years of age with specific comorbidities — began on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with other political leaders, got vaccinated on the first day.
Shastri is currently with the Indian cricket team participating in a four-match Test series against England.
Virat Kohli’s men are 2-1 up in the series, having won the third Test, played with the pink ball, by 10 wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium here last week.
The fourth and final Test of the series is slated to begin on Thursday.
India require only a draw in that game in order to seal their berth in the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, scheduled to be played at the Lord’s, London from June 18-22. New Zealand have already secured their spot in the WTC final. (ANI)
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