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Richardson feels Australia failed to execute plans properly after defeat against New Zealand

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Christchurch [New Zealand], February 23 (ANI): Australia’s Jhye Richardson said that his team was satisfied with how they went about their planning and the decisions they made but failed to execute them properly which led to the defeat against New Zealand in the first T20I.
New Zealand thrashed Australia by 53 runs on Monday in the first T20I to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match T20I series.
“I think from a personal point of view I certainly missed my length. I think they batted really well. The outfield was exceptionally fast. It got a little bit dewy at the end so we found the ball was probably skidding on a little bit more at the end as to the start of the innings which probably helped them a little bit, just in terms of slower balls not sticking into the wicket as much as they were earlier,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Richardson as saying.
“If we missed our length we got punished. I think the planning and everything from that aspect were fine. We were all satisfied with how we went about our planning and the decisions made out there. It just comes down to an execution thing,” he added.
Australia had reduced New Zealand to 19/3 before Conway unleashed the beast within himself to score an unbeaten 99 off 59 balls and guided the hosts to 184/5.
The visitors never looked comfortable in the chase as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and got dismissed for 131 runs. For New Zealand, Sodhi picked four while Boult and Southee scalped two wickets each.
Praising Boult and Southee, Richardson said: “[Boult and Southee are] two-class bowlers and we saw them keep it really simple while the ball was swinging, just bowling a really nice line and length and making us make mistakes.”
The second T20I between both teams will be played on Thursday. (ANI)

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Pedri pulled muscle in his left leg, to be monitored: Barcelona

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Barcelona [UK], February 28 (ANI): Spanish club Barcelona FC on Sunday provided an injury update on Pedri after the midfielder was seen arriving at the club’s hotel on crutches.
Pedri had gone off the field with an injury to his left leg during Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Sevilla in La Liga on Saturday, reported Goal.com.
“The medical evaluation and tests carried out this morning have shown that the first team player Pedri has a pulled muscle in his left leg. His recovery will be monitored,” Barcelona said in its official statement.
Barcelona will now take on Sevilla on Wednesday in the second-leg of the Copa Del Rey semi-final.
Ronald Koeman’s side trails 0-2 from the first-leg. The side is now back in La Liga title race and the club trails Atletico Madrid by just two points.
La Liga is the best chance for Barcelona to win a title as the side trails Paris Saint-Germain 1-4 in the Champions League after the first-leg debacle.
The second leg for the round-of-16 match will take place on March 10. (ANI)

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Narine not ready to return to international cricket: Roger Harper

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St John’s [Antigua], February 28 (ANI): West Indies chief selector Roger Harper has said that spinner Sunil Narine has indicated that he is still not ready to return to international cricket.
Narine has not been included in West Indies’ squad for three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka. The spinner had played four games for Trinidad and Tobago in the Super50 Cup but he missed Saturday’s final through injury.
“Sunil Narine had indicated earlier that he is not ready to return to international cricket. He is still fine-tuning his game and getting himself ready. From that perspective, he was not considered for this series,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Roger Harper, Cricket West Indies’ lead selector as saying.
Narine has not played for West Indies in any format since August 2019. He was also placed on a ‘warning list’ amid suspicions of an illegal bowling action during last year’s IPL.
Later on IPL 2020, Narine was cleared to bowl but has since been cleared to bowl. In Narine’s absence, Akeal Hosein, Kevin Sinclair and Fabian Allen will be West Indies’ main spin options in the upcoming T20I matches against Sri Lanka.
West Indies also named Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo in their T20 squad for the series against Sri Lanka.
The T20 World Cup is set to be played later this year in India in October-November and the duo is likely to have that tournament as their swansong before retiring. (ANI)

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Indian skeet mixed teams disappoint in Cairo Shotgun World Cup

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New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): The two Indian pairs in the Skeet Mixed Team competition at the ongoing International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Shotgun stage, in Cairo, Egypt, missed out on a chance to compete for medals, eventually finishing seventh and 10th respectively.
Parinaaz Dhaliwal and Mairaj Ahmad Khan finished with a combined effort of 137 out of 150 in qualification. Russia team one and the Czech Republic made it to the bronze medal match with scores of 138.
The second Indian pair of Ganemat Sekhon and Angad Bajwa, shot 134 to finish in the 10th spot. Russia team two won the Gold in the event beating Poland team two 35-31 in the final.
Russian teams thereby swept all the three golds in the Skeet team competitions, helping it top the medals tally. India has picked up one bronze medal in the Men’s Team event, from the Skeet discipline, which concluded on Saturday.
In all, 10 nations including India have won medals so far. After a day’s break, Monday will see the start of the Trap competitions. (ANI)

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Indian Women’s League 2020-21 to be hosted in Odisha

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New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Sunday confirmed Odisha as the venue for the forthcoming Indian Women’s League (IWL) 2020-21 edition.
The dates for the tournament will be announced soon. AIFF appreciated Odisha Government’s longstanding partnership with Indian Football wherein the latter have been providing its stadia and state of the art training facilities to national teams across various age groups and genders – all in an effort to take Indian Football forward together.
Praful Patel, President, AIFF in his statement said: “The Government of Odisha has been a great supporter of Indian Football. We are very thankful to Naveen Patnaik, Vishal Kumar Dev, Vineel Krishna, and the entire Sports Department of Odisha for extending all the support & help to organise the Hero Indian Women’s League. Over the years, the tournament has provided the platform for a lot of budding women footballers to showcase their talent and provide them the option of taking up football as a career.”
The AIFF stays committed to the development of women’s football in the country. India is scheduled to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2022 which will be followed by the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022. The 2020-21 Hero IWL, will hence, provide an opportunity for scouts to look at, and unearth new talent for the Women’s National Team.
Tushar Kanti Behera, Minister of State, Sports and Youth Services, Odisha, in his message, said: “Holistic development of sports in India, and Indian football, in particular, is Odisha Sports’ vision. Odisha has been synonymous with women’s football in India for a long. I am an ardent supporter of women’s empowerment, and the hosting of the Indian Women’s League in Odisha allows us the opportunity to contribute to the development of women’s football in the country along with the All India Football Federation. Women sportspersons in India have been bringing huge laurels for the country and I am confident our women footballers will garner more glory in the near future.”
Since the pandemic, Indian Football has been leading it from the front to bring back sporting action in India. It all started with the Hero I-League Qualifiers which were followed by the ongoing Hero Indian Super League and the Hero I-League.
Indian women’s football has also had its fair exposure at the International stage in recent times with the senior women’s team assembling for a two-month training camp on December 1, 2020, in Goa which was followed by three matches in Turkey, against Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine. (ANI)

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Surreal feeling to be playing tournaments again: Paddler Mudit

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 28 (ANI): Paddler Mudit Dani is all set to take on Finland’s Olah Benedek in the men’s singles qualifying round one as the international table tennis tournaments kick-off for the 2021 season with the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Doha later today.
While a long lay off away from the sport due to pandemic, the Doha tournament will be a different experience for all the players as they resume playing on the international circuit.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to restart over here. I feel the same butterflies in my stomach when I played my first ever senior tournament. Though this time I’m more prepared. And it’s a surreal feeling to be back here where I played the tournament [Qatar Open] just before the pandemic hit the world,” Mudit said in an official release.
Mudit revealed that during the Covid-19 induced lockdown, the 20-year-old worked on his technique and fitness.
“The break gave me an opportunity to work a lot on strength training, technique, body movements, and physical aspects. I also worked on my third-ball technique and service receive. That is something I look forward to seeing how it works out in the game,” Mudit, who clinched his first senior international media in US Open last year, said.
The third-ball attack is a trick players use to gain points while serving through utilising the return ball. Achanta Sharath Kamal, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee are among the 13 Indians who will be seen in action at the WTT Contender Doha. (ANI)

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Para-athlete Nishad Kumar tests positive for COVID-19

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New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Nishad Kumar, a gold medalist at the Fazza World Para Athletics Grand Prix that was held in Dubai, has tested positive for coronavirus, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said on Sunday.
“Nishad had arrived at the SAI Bengaluru campus on 23rd/24th February along with three fellow national campers (2 athletes and 1 support staff) and went for mandatory 7-day quarantine upon arrival. As per SAI SOP, an RT PCR test was done on the 6th day of quarantine, where he came COVID positive,” SAI said in a statement.
SAI said Nishad, a gold medalist in the men’s high jump T46/47 event that took place at the Fazza Grand Prix, has been moved to SS Sparsh Multi-speciality hospital as a precautionary measure.
“Quarantine of all other national campers in SAI, Bengaluru has been extended for 7 more days,” SAI said.
Also, Satyanarayana, Para-Athletics coach who tested positive for COVID-19 last week and was in the same hospital, has now been discharged and is under seven days quarantine. (ANI)

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