Dragon’s long shadow over Indian sports - The Daily Guardian
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Dragon’s long shadow over Indian sports

Our sports and sportspersons—from Virat Kohli to P.V. Sindhu—are too dependent on Chinese sponsorships and products. In such a situation, are we really in a position to boycott Chinese products?

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Virat Kohli is the Brand Ambassador of China’s smartphone company iQOO (I Quest On and On), badminton star P.V. Sindhu gets about Rs 48 crore from another Chinese brand LiNing. The agreement is for four years, with an amount of Rs 5 crore for equipment separately. Kidambi Srikanth, who has been World No. 1 in badminton, gets Rs 35 crore from the same company, while other badminton players P. Kashyap, Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy get Rs 8 crore for two years. Not only this, the huge sponsorship of Chinese companies to the Indian sports world and dependence on China for sporting goods also is not hidden from anyone.

In such a situation, are we in a position to boycott Chinese products? Does the government not earn a substantial income in the form of taxes from the hefty Chinese sponsorship amount? Will the Indian companies be able to make sports equipment without depending on China to a large extent? Also, the question here is whether any Indian company would like to pay Rs 50 crore to Sindhu and Rs 35 crore to Srikanth?

Cricket is not played in China but the Chinese brand Vivo gets IPL title sponsorship and invests Rs 480 crore annually. In the previous years, Pepsi and DLF were the title sponsors of IPL but paid less than half of this amount. Vivo is also a title sponsor of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). IPL gets Rs 2,199 crore for five years from Vivo, while PKL gets Rs 275-300 crore. Similarly, BCCI also has an agreement with the online tutorial firm Byju’s, which is funded by Chinese company Tencent. Similarly, Tencent has also invested in the BCCI’s online fantasy league platform Dream 11, a sort of gamble.

Title sponsorship of international matches in India is with Paytm, which gives BCCI an income of Rs 326.8 crore. The company spends Rs 3.8 crore per match. Chinese company Alibaba has 37.15% stake in this company. In this way, Swiggy is an associate sponsor of IPL, which is financed by the Chinese company Tencent Finance. Its share in Swiggy is 5.27%.

Until a few years ago, more than half of the equipment of Indian players came from China. India’s dependence on the United States and Germany has decreased considerably over the years. India has also been a pioneer in the manufacture of sports goods, where India exported nearly 8% more in 2018-19 than in 2017-18. India’s imports also reached $33.26 million in the same period.

Today, from shuttlecocks to table tennis balls, tennis and badminton rackets, boxing headgears and gym equipment, all these mostly come from China. The table tennis ball is manufactured by a Chinese company called Double Happiness (DHS). Even the raw material for sports products manufactured in India is imported from China.

It is also a fact that the raw material of the football, basketball and volleyball, which is exported from India to America and European countries, is imported from China itself. At the same time, Indian companies make a large number of cricket bats, balls, hockey sticks and hockey balls and boxing-related items.

We will suffer more from boycotting Chinese goods. A large number of Chinese products are cheaper than their Indian counterparts due to which they are in high demand. If the Indian sentiments are to be respected, the government’s formula of being “vocal for the local” should be respected.

For this, a complete boycott of Chinese companies at one go will not be a practical move. The process of becoming self-sufficient can be started slowly.

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ICC Player of the Month: Warner, Southee, Abid Ali nominated for November

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Openers David Warner of Australia and Abid Ali of Pakistan have been shortlisted in the men’s category for the ICC Player of the Month awards along with New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee.

Left-arm spinners Anam Amin of Pakistan and Nahida Akter of Bangladesh are in the running to scoop the women’s award alongside West Indies all-rounder Haley Matthews who is nominated for the second time. The nominations for the month of November were announced on Tuesday, based on performances across formats and including matches from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 held in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

ICC Men’s Player of the Month Nominees for November:

Abid Ali (Pakistan) :Pakistan opener Abid Ali was named Player of the Match after scores of 133 and 91 in the first match of their ICC World Test Championship (WTC) series against Bangladesh in Chittagong. He played a pivotal role in laying the platform for an eight-wicket victory, thanks to two-century opening stands in both innings with partner Abdullah Shafique.

Tim Southee (NZ) :New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee took eight wickets in the drawn opening Test of the WTC series against India in Kanpur, soon after excelling in the shortest format. He had seized seven wickets during his November matches at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, helping guide his team to the final spectacle in Dubai. In between these two milestones, he took three more T20I wickets against India in Ranchi.

David Warner (Australia) :Warner, who was Player of the Tournament at the T20 World Cup, had standout performances of 49 in the semifinal against Pakistan and 53 in the final against New Zealand. In four T20Is during the period, he aggregated 209 runs at an average of 69.66 and a strike rate of 151.44, proving to be a crucial figure as his team secured their first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy.

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SOUTHAMPTON SIGN FORMER CHELSEA GOALKEEPER WILLY CABALLERO

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Southampton Football Club on Monday completed the signing of experienced goalkeeper Willy Caballero on a short-term contract.

Caballero, 40, arrives as a free agent on a deal that runs until January 5, following the injuries suffered by Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster. The former Manchester City and Chelsea keeper completed a medical on Monday and will now link up with his new teammates ahead of Saturday’s visit to Arsenal, which is followed by a trip to Crystal Palace and a home meeting with Brentford in the following week.

Caballero, who has been capped five times by Argentina, left Chelsea in the summer after four years at Stamford Bridge, where he made 38 appearances, having previously been with City, where he played 48 times between 2014 and 2017.

Prior to that, he spent the bulk of his career in Spain, playing for both Elche and Malaga, having initially been with Boca Juniors in his home country. Since becoming a free agent, Caballero has been training with AFC Wimbledon to retain his sharpness, and will now begin work at Staplewood Campus ahead of the festive fixture schedule.

Caballero, has been capped five times by Argentina. He left Chelsea in the summer after four years at Stamford Bridge, where he made 38 appearances, having previously been with City, where he played 48 times.

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‘Consistency’ key for Hyderabad FC as Bengaluru attempts resurgence

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Southern rivals Hyderabad FC and Bengaluru FC will both look to get back to winning ways when they lock horns in the 2021-22 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Wednesday.

The Manolo Marquez-coached side is placed seventh in the points table with four points from three matches. Marquez was unhappy with his team’s first-half show against The Men of Steel and would want his charges to improve when they take on Bengaluru. The Blues, meanwhile, lost 1-3 to table-toppers Mumbai City FC in their last game, leaving them with just one win from four matches. But coach Marco Pezzaiuoli said after the game that he was happy with how the team responded through Cleiton Silva after conceding a goal inside the first ten minutes.Both teams have shown promise with Hyderabad getting the better of Mumbai in their second match of the season.

Bengaluru got off to a winning start after they downed NorthEast United FC 4-2 but have since then found it difficult to remain consistent. The two teams will look to steady their ship and it is a lapse of concentration in crucial moments that has hurt them so far.

Marquez said, “What we need is consistency. All teams are strong in this league. Hence, the results have fluctuated the way it has. I assume that the final standings will be decided only in the final stages of the season”

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ATP CUP GROUPS ANNOUNCED, DJOKOVIC TO LEAD GROUP A

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The 16 countries set to compete in the third edition of the ATP Cup, which will feature 18 of the top 20 players in the ATP Rankings, were assigned to four groups at the official tournament draw on Tuesday in Australia.

“The team event will take place in Sydney from 1-9 January 2022. Top seed Serbia, headlined by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, will lead Group A, which will also feature Norway, Chile and Spain. Two years ago, Serbia lifted the trophy at the inaugural ATP Cup by defeating Spain in the championship match,” stated an official release. Second seed Russia, the defending champion, is in Group B, which includes Italy, Austria and home nation Australia. World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and World No. 5 Andrey Rublev will be their country’s top two singles players for the second consecutive year.

Germany, led by reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev, headlines Group C along with Canada, Great Britain and the United States. Fourth seed Greece, with Stefanos Tsitsipas atop the lineup, will be in Group D, which also consists of Poland, Argentina and Georgia.

ATP Chief Tour Officer Ross Hutchins in an official release said: “There’s no better place for us to launch the 2022 season than with the ATP Cup in Sydney. The players have loved competing at this event in recent years and the 2022 player field speaks for itself. We’re delighted that fans will be able to see so many of the world’s best representing their countries in the opening week of the season and we look forward to a fantastic event.”

This year’s nine-day event will be played in Sydney at Ken Rosewall Arena and Qudos Bank Arena. Following the group stage, the four group winners will advance to the knock-out semi-finals to compete for the trophy. Alongside the event in Week One, there will be ATP 250 events in Adelaide and Melbourne.

Each country at the 2022 ATP Cup will field a team of up to five players, with each tie comprising two singles matches and one doubles match. The No. 2 singles players compete against each other before the No. 1 singles, followed by doubles.

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ANDERSON NOT INJURED, PLAN IS TO GET HIM READY FOR 2ND TEST: ECB

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The England team management on Tuesday issued a clarification saying pacer James Anderson is fully fit and he has just been rested from the upcoming first Ashes Test against Australia.

This clarification came hours after several media reports stated Anderson was ruled out of the first Test due to a calf strain. “Jimmy is fit to play, and is not carrying an injury. With five Tests in six weeks, the plan was to get him ready for the second Test in Adelaide. With the limited build-up we have had so far on the tour, both him and the management didn’t want to take the risk of him playing after what had happened in 2019 at Edgbaston when he broke down on the first morning,” stated an ECB statement, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

“He bowled at full capacity yesterday for just short of an hour and was in a good place physically. He will do the same again today at practice. He will stay with the Test group this week and work with the coaches at the Gabba rather than playing for the Lions,” it added.

Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday had confirmed that the fifth men’s Ashes Test match will be relocated from Perth Stadium due to Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions.

CA and Western Australian Cricket (WA Cricket) have worked closely and constructively with the Western Australia Government and Perth Stadium over several months, with the shared goals of prioritising the health and well-being of the WA community, while providing the best possible environment for the players, their families, match officials, staff and broadcast partners.

Discussions about a replacement venue for the fifth Test match are underway.

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Sajid Khan bamboozles hosts after visitors declare early on Day 4

After a rain-hit Day 3, Bangladesh lost seven wickets in quick time and were in deep trouble, reduced to 76/7 at Stumps on Day 4.

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Pakistan’s hopes of collecting maximum World Test Championship (WTC) points from a rain-marred second Test got a real impetus from off-spinner Sajid Khan as Bangladesh were left wobbling at 76 for seven and requiring another 24 runs to avoid a follow-on at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday.

After only 63.2 overs were bowled in the first two days and the third day was completely rained-off, Pakistan declared their first innings at 300 for four after resuming at 188 for two. In the 26 overs Bangladesh played on Tuesday, Sajid Khan returned figures of 12-3-35-6 to put Pakistan in sight of a possible victory that looked unlikely and unexpected when play commenced on the fourth day.

This was Sajid Khan’s best figures in a four-Test career after his first three Tests had yielded six wickets. His best performance in a 43 first-class matches career is also 6-35, which he is expected to improve on Wednesday, of course, weather permitting.

While Sajid mesmerised all the top-order batters, only Nazmul Hossain (30) and Shakib Al Hasan (23 not out) offered some resistance to keep Bangladesh’s slim hopes alive in the Test.

Earlier, Pakistan batted for just over 35 overs in which they added 112 runs and lost the wickets of overnight batters Babar Azam (76) and Azhar Ali (56) to declare at 300 for four.

However, Mohammad Rizwan and Fawad Alam put together an unbroken 103-run fifth-wicket stand to put Pakistan in a position where they could afford to declare and try to make a match out of it.

Rizwan returned unbeaten on a 94-ball 53 that included four fours and a six, while Fawad’s 50 not out came off 96 balls and was laced with seven fours.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 300/4d (Babar Azam 76, Azhar Ali 56; Taijul Islam 2-73) vs Bangladesh 76/7 (Najmul Hossain 30, Shakib Al Hasan 23*; Sajid Khan 6-35)

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