Experienced midfielder Namita Toppo, a veteran of more than 150 matches, has decided to call her time with the Indian Women’s Hockey Team today.
The 27-year-old Namita, a product of the Sports Hostel, Panposhi first represented her state team in 2007. Toppo’s hard work and dedication in the National Camps and consistent performances in the domestic circuit saw her getting selected to represent the Senior team in 2012 when she participated in the FIH Champions Challenge I in Dublin.
The following year, she was part of the Indian Junior Women’s Hockey team which won the Bronze Medal at the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup Women 2013 held in Mönchengladbach, Germany.
There was no looking back for Namita since as she took part in major tournaments like FIH Women’s World League Round 2 in 2013 where India won the Gold Medal, 3rd Women’s Asian Champions Trophy in 2013 where India won the Silver Medal, 8th Women’s Asia Cup 2013, 20th Commonwealth Games 2014, 17th Asian Games 2014 where India won the Bronze Medal, 2016 Rio Olympics, the team’s Silver medal victory at the 9th Women’s Asia Cup 2017 and the 18th Asian Games 2018 where the national team clinched the Silver Medal.
“The last 10 years have definitely been the best years of my life. I had a dream to play for my country at the biggest stages and I am so happy that I have been able to achieve my dreams. I hope I have made a huge impact and I am very thrilled to see the way the Indian Women’s Hockey Team has progressed in the last decade. I will keep cheering and supporting the team while I move on to a new chapter in my life. I could not have achieved this without the support of my teammates, and the Odisha State Government who have backed us unconditionally,” Toppo said while announcing her retirement.
“They have recognised our achievements every step of the way. I thank the Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik sir and the Departments of Sports and Youth Services. I also thank Hockey India, SAI and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for their unparalleled support for Women’s Hockey. I also thank all the coaches I have trained under,” Toppo added.
Meanwhile, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, “Namita has made a humungous contribution to Indian hockey. Apart from giving everything on the field, Namita has also been a perfect role-model for the youngsters in the team. Not many players get a chance to play 168 matches for their national teams and Namita has earned each one of those caps. Apart from being a great hockey player Toppo is one of the kindest people I know. She is very thoughtful and she always puts the team first.”
“I would like to wish her all the best,” she added.
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St. Patrick’s, Gumla become winners of 61st Subroto Cup Girls U-17 champions
St. Patrick’s, Gumla, Jharkhand won the 61st Subroto Cup International Football Tournament Girls U-17 title defeating Wangoi Higher Secondary School, Imphal, Manipur 3 – 1 in the final here at the Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Stadium. Both teams played some entertaining football with the crowd behind them. St. Patrick’s, Jharkhand took the lead early in the 5th minute through Anita Dungdung who finished brilliantly in the top corner. Wangoi Higher Secondary School equalized in the second half through TH Remi in the 52nd minute. The match was stretched to extra time where the Jharkhand school found the extra leg to find the net twice. Both goals were scored by Alpha Kandulna in the 69th and 71st minutes.
The winners received their trophies from Chief Guest Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Vice Chief of Air Staff, Indian Air Force. Sakshi Malik, Olympic bronze and Commonwealth Gold medallist was present as Guest of Honour providing encouragement to the young girls.
Australia recalls Warner, Starc, Marsh, Stoinis for series against West Indies
Australia has recalled four of their stars for the upcoming series at home against West Indies consisting of two T20Is, as they prepare to boost their preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, which they will be defending in home conditions.
Both the T20I matches will take place on October 5 and October 7. The series will be extremely crucial for the Aussies and they will be looking forward to get every box ticked ahead of the World Cup, especially after a 2-1 series loss to India recently.
Opener David Warner, pacer Mitchell Starc, and all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis have returned to the squad after missing the series against Men in Blue. Starc, Marsh and Stoinis were out due to injuries while Warner was rested against India.
Young all-rounder Cameron Green has also been included in the squad, after an impressive series against India, where he topped the batting charts with 118 runs in three matches, including two quickfire half-centuries.
Though he is still not included in the 15-player squad for T20 World Cup, consistent performances can help Green earn his place there.
Right-arm pacer Kane Richardson and spinner Ashton Agar have been given a rest while Aaron Finch will continue leading the side.
The former Australian batter and National Selection Panel chairperson George Bailey said that the series will provide some vital match practice ahead of World Cup at home.
“We have and are taking a cautious approach with the World Cup on the near horizon. To have four key players return gives us the ability to take a conservative path with any minor issues and resolve those well in time for the World Cup. As such we anticipate Kane and Ashton will return for the following series against England,” ICC quoted Bailey as saying.
Australia will begin their ICC T20 World Cup title defence on October 22 against New Zealand. They have been placed in Group one along with the likes of Afghanistan, England and New Zealand.
Australia squad for WI series: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Australia’s T20 World Cup squad: Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Tim David, Aaron Finch (c), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Playing against Spain in FIH Pro League will allow us to understand them better
India will host Spain in the FIH Hockey Pro League next month and Indian skipper Manpreet Singh feels that it will provide them a perfect opportunity to understand the European giant’s game better and be prepared for them during the Hockey World Cup early next year.
After the Pro League, India will face Spain again in their opening Pool D of the showpiece event on January 13th in Odisha.
“It is great that we will get a chance to play against Spain now in the Pro League matches. It will give us an understanding of their game and what we need to improve upon before we meet them again in the first match of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar-Rourkela 2023. In all, these are exciting times for hockey and I hope fans from all over the world will come to Rourkela and Bhubaneswar to support our campaign,” Manpreet said in a release.
The 2022 CWG silver medallists will face England on January 15th in their second match in the group stage in Rourkela followed by their final league stage match against Wales on January 17th at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar.
Expressing his excitement after FIH released the World Cup draw, Manpreet said, “Now that we know where we will begin our campaign and against whom, there is certainly a lot of excitement in the team.”
“We have all experienced how electrifying the atmosphere can be in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Hockey Stadium and from what I have heard from my teammates who are from Sundergarh, the fans from this region are all looking to turn up in huge numbers for all the matches to be played in Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. I can already feel the goosebumps thinking of the turnout for the opening game,” he further added.
“It is the fans who make the experience of playing in Odisha doubly special and we are all eagerly awaiting to showcase our best in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar-Rourkela 2023,” he said.
The Indian Men’s Team is currently on a short week-long break till 2nd October, and they will return to SAI, Bengaluru for the National Camp ahead of the FIH Hockey Pro League matches against New Zealand and Spain to be played in Odisha.
Elavenil Valarivan wants to showcase consistency on National Games Debut
Elavenil Valarivan will be one of those watched with more than normal interest when she lines up in the Shooting competition in the National Games. Not just because she is a home favourite but also because she wants to give home fans an indication of the consistency that has made her one of India’s top Air Rifle competitors.
“My National Games debut will happen in my place and there is a lot of excitement. I think Shooting in front of the home crowd will have a different feeling. I must play a big role in motivating local shooters in the National Games,” the Olympian said. “I would like to be in a good frame of mind for the coming World Championship with a good show here.”
A product of Gagan Narang’s Gun for Glory Academy in Sakshardham, Elavenil feels the recent renovation of the shooting range here would help shooters. “I think more and more youngsters will take to the sport. The range looks beautiful. I would get the opportunity to shoot here frequently and, hopefully, there will be more big competitions here,” she said.
Ela, as 2012 Olympic medallist Gagan Narang calls her, is grateful to her mentor. “He is a role model. I have been inspired by his achievements. What I like about him is his cool demeanor. That Is important for any shooter,” the 23-year-old said. “He would simply say be cool. Mental toughness is important, particularly in tight situations. Over the years, I have learnt from my mistakes. Self-belief is another key factor.”
Elavenil showed promise when she joined Gun for Glory in 2014. She announced her arrival on the world stage when won the silver medal in the 2018 World junior Championships. Her big moment came when she won gold in ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, becoming only the fifth Indian woman to have won a World Cup gold in 33 years.
Though she disappointed in the Tokyo Olympics, Elavenil feels the next few years would be very crucial. “My immediate priority is the coming World Championship in Cairo, Egypt, from October 12, 2022. I have been training hard. I am looking at consistency and that is important to the run up the Asian Games and Paris Olympics,” she said.
Elavenil said the competition in India Is very good. “We have some of the best shooters. And events like the National Championships and the National Games are good competition. These help us grow and help us find good form before international events,” she said.
Suryakumar Yadav moves to second spot on ICC T20 batting charts
Indian batter Suryakumar Yadav has gained a spot to move to the second position on the ICC T20 batting rankings, following his match-winning knock of 69 off 26 deliveries against Australia in third T20I in Hyderabad.
Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan who is going through a scintillating form in their home series against England has retained the top spot, while his compatriot and skipper Babar Azam has dropped a place to be placed third.
India’s captain Rohit Sharma has moved up one place to 13th position after scores of 46 not out and 17 while Matthew Wade (up six places to 62nd), Cameron Green (up 31 places to 67th) and Tim David (up 202 places to 109th) are the Australia players to move up the rankings. Green and David had notched half-centuries in the final match of the series.
England batter Harry Brook’s scores of 31, 81 not out and 34 in Pakistan have lifted him 118 places to 29th position while Ben Duckett has soared 1,070 places to 32nd position after scoring 43, 70 not out and 33 in those three matches.
India spinners Axar Patel who was named player of the series for bowling performance against Australia made a massive movement towards and jumped to 18th from 33rd spot, while Yuzvendra Chahal gained two spots to be at 28th position. Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood continues to lead the table.
Reece Topley is up 14 places to 23rd and is the third third-highest ranked England bowler after Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan while Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf is up seven places to 14th position after taking five wickets in the last three matches. Mark Wood (up 29 places to 40th) and Sam Curran (up five places to 47th) have also progressed.
Arshdeep’s three-wicket, Suryakumar’s unbeaten 50 help India defeat SA by 8-wickets
Arshdeep Singh’s three-wicket haul followed by Suryakumar Yadav’s 50* and KL Rahul’s unbeaten knock of 51 helped India defeat South Africa by eight wickets in the first match of the three-match T20I series here at Greenfield International Stadium on Wednesday.
For India Suryakumar played a knock of unbeaten 50 while KL Rahul smashed 51 not out. For South Africa, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje bagged one wicket each. Chasing a target of 107, India got off to a bad start as they lost their opening batter Rohit Sharma on two ball duck in Kagiso Rabada’s over.
Skipper wicket invited right-handed batter Virat Kohli to the crease. However, the stylish batter could not do much and went back to the pavilion after scoring just three runs in the over of Anrich Nortje.
New batter Suryakumar Yadav hammered Nortje for back-to-back two sixes in the 7th over innings. After 10 over India’s score read 47/2. Suryakumar along with KL Rahul played a sensible knock while gathering boundaries at regular intervals. India needed six runs in 24 balls, and Suryakumar brought up his half-century in 33 deliveries. With a help of a six on the fourth delivery of the 17th over KL Rahul also brought up his fifty and took his side home with an eight wickets victory over Proteas.
Earlier, Arshdeep Singh’s three and Deepak Chahar’s two-wicket haul followed by Harshal Patel’s late blows helped India restrict South Africa to 106/8. For South Africa, Keshav Maharaj scored the highest 41 runs while Aiden Markram played a knock of 25 runs. For India Arshdeep Singh bagged three, Deepak Chahar scalped two while Harshal Patel’s late two wickets haul helped India restrict Proteas to a low total.
Opted for field first, India got off to a flying start as Chahar and Arshdeep rocked South Africa’s top order. Chahar got the ball rolling for India with the wicket of the Proteas captain Temba Bavuma in the final ball of the opening over.
In the very next over it did not take long for Arshdeep to send Quinton de Kock and David Miller packing for one and zero runs respectively. At this point, South Africa was struggling to find a place on the Indian bowler as they were tottering at 8-4.
Chahar delivered another blow to the Proteas’ top order as he dismissed Tristan Stubbs, who was caught by Arshdeep Singh. This was the third golden duck in the space of five balls. Wayne Parnell then came out to bat.
Arshdeep took 3 wickets in an over and Chahar struck twice as South Africa was five down in powerplay. Aiden Markram looked in great form but could not do much as he was sent packing by Harshal Patel after scoring 25 runs in 24 balls.
Markram helped South Africa build a bit with 25, his dismissal left Proteas tottering at 42-6 after 10 overs.
Keshav Maharaj then tried to form a much-needed partnership with Wayne Parnell.
Parnell then tried to play a big shot but handed an easy catch to Suryakumar Yadav on the delivery of Axar Patel. Parnell went back to the pavilion after scoring 24 runs in 37 balls.
In the second last over, Keshav Maharaj smashed 17 runs in the spell of Ashdeep. Maharaj’s fighting 41 kept a small hope alive for South Africa, however, he failed to continue his form in the last over as he was bowled out by Harshal Patel after scoring 41 runs in 35 balls.
In the last over Patel bounded Proteas batters, never letting them score any run and restricted them to a total of 106/8.
Brief score: South Africa 106/8 (Keshav Maharaj 41, Aiden Markram 25; Arshdeep Singh 3-32) vs India 110/2 (KL Rahul 51, Suryakumar Yadav 50; Kagiso Rabada 1-16)
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