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Selection rally for boys as sports cadets in wrestling discipline from March 1

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New Delhi [India], February 10 (ANI): Boys Sports Company will conduct a selection rally for induction of raw and proven players as Sports Cadets at the JAT Regimental Centre from March 1 to 6 in Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh).
The selection trial, physical and technical skill test in wrestling discipline will be held under the Sports Authority of India (SAI) coaches and Board of Officers. Boys will be selected for wrestling discipline into Boys Sports Company, the JAT Regimental Centre, Bareilly (UP).
According to official release, candidates born between March 1, 2007, to February 28, 2013, with a minimum fourth standard pass with adequate knowledge of English and Hindi are eligible.
The medical fitness will be ascertained by the medical officer of the JAT Regimental Centre and specialist of Army Sports Medicine Centre.
“Candidates are required to appear in the selection rally at their own expenses. During the period of screening, candidates and persons accompanying them should make their own arrangement for their stay and transportation at Bareilly. No ladies will be permitted to accompany the candidates during the whole process of induction rally,” read the release.
Further after selection, candidates will be provided academic training free of cost in English medium in Boys Sports Company, the JAT Regimental Centre, Bareilly (UP) besides intensive coaching in all disciplines will also be provided by Sports Authority of India (SAI) coaches/Army Coaches.
On passing class X exam, the candidates will be put up through the selection process as applicable for enrolment into the Army. On completion of X standard and attaining the age of 17 and a half years is mandatory for the sports cadets to undergo the selection process for enrolment into the Army and get enrolled. (ANI)

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Pietersen wants England batsmen to acknowledge their ‘dreadful’ performance

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 26 (ANI): England’s defeat in the pink-ball Test inside two days might have raised questions on the quality of pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium by former cricketers, but Kevin Pietersen has indirectly rubbished all the criticism and wants the English batsmen to realise from their mistakes.
England were 74/2 at one stage in the day-night Test after winning the toss but Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin spun a web over hosts in both essays to hand India a comprehensive 10 wicket win. Former skipper Pietersen wants England batsmen to acknowledge the poor display with the bat rather than questioning the quality of the wicket.
After the win, India skipper Virat Kohli and batsman Rohit Sharma had said that most batsmen from both teams got out off straight balls and it was not a case of pitch misbehaving a lot. Pietersen on Friday cited Rohit and Kohli’s example and called out on England batsmen to be at least honest with themselves and not to blame anyone else for the defeat.
“I hope there are some England batters waking up this morning and being honest with themselves at least, by acknowledging their batting was dreadful on that wicket?! I’ve heard Virat & Rohit say theirs was!” Pietersen tweeted.
Speaking after the game, Rohit said: “Pitch didn’t do anything, honestly speaking, if I can recollect, most of the batsmen got out on straighter deliveries. We also as a batting unit, made a lot of mistakes while batting. We also did not bat well in the first innings, the pitch did not have demons, there is nothing like that,” Rohit said during the virtual press conference on Thursday.
Even skipper Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams. Kohli said the quality of batting was to be blamed as most of the batsmen got out to balls that didn’t turn.
Meanwhile, England is out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points. New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points.
India need to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who is in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)

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We merited to still be in the competition, says Arsenal coach after progressing in Europa League

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Piraeus [Greece], February 26 (ANI): After progressing to the last-16 of the Europa League, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is really pleased with the character that his team showed against Benfica and said his side “merited to still be in the competition”.
Arsenal secured a place in the last-16 of the Europa League in dramatic fashion after a late winner from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang guided them to a 3-2 win in the second leg on Thursday. The first-leg match between Arsenal and Benfica had ended in a 1-1 draw.
“I think again we made it really difficult for ourselves. Over the two legs we have given them two goals, and when that’s the case you going to put the tie in a really difficult position,” Arteta told Arsenal.com.
“At the same time I’m really pleased with the character, the courage and the personality that team showed. And the willingness to win the tie, until the end, we threw everything at them and at the end we got rewarded because I think we merited to still be in the competition,” he added.
Aubameyang scored the opening goal of the match in the 21st minute but Benfica managed to equalise in the 43rd minute. Benfica then went ahead in the 61st minute with the help of Rafa Silva’s strike but Kieran Tierney fired in an equaliser six minutes later.
The manager was also relieved for Dani Ceballos after Arsenal’s victory. The Spain midfielder gave away a free kick for Benfica’s equaliser, then made a defensive error for their second — but Aubameyang’s late goal ensured Arsenal’s win.
“I’m especially happy for Dani because he’s a player that lives his professional life as the most important thing in his life and I know that if we had lost that tie, for him it would have meant the world,” Arteta said.
“So that’s when you need somebody like Auba to come and step in and score the goals and make him much happier than he would have been,” he added. (ANI)

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CAS reduces Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal’s ban by six months

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Karachi [Pakistan], February 26 (ANI): Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Umar Akmal’s 18-month suspension has been reduced by six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
Umar who was suspended on February 20 last year, will now be eligible to reintegrate into competitive cricket subject to deposits of a fine of PKR 4,250,000 and undergoing the program of rehabilitation under the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Anti-Corruption Code.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has announced its decision on the Appeals filed by PCB and Umar Akmal against the Order of the Independent Adjudicator,” the PCB said in an official statement.
“CAS through a consolidated Order on both Appeals has been pleased to impose on Umar Akmal a sanction of a 12-month ban and a fine of PKR 4.25million on one count of breaching Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code,” he added.
According to PCB, CAS has also refused the request of Umar seeking return of his two mobile phones, which are in PCB’s custody for some different investigation, and held that under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code it has the power to do so.
On April 27, 2020, the Chairman Disciplinary Panel had found Umar guilty on two charges of separate breaches of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents and handed a three-year suspension with periods of ineligibility to run concurrently.
The wicket-keeper batsman exercised his right of appeal and on July 29 last year and the Independent Adjudicator had then modified the sentence and reduced the ineligibility period to 18 months.
Against this Order, PCB and Umar Akmal both approached CAS. PCB’s appeal had been filed focusing on a point of law in regard with cumulative operation of the sanctions for the two charges upheld by the Independent Adjudicator whereas the batsman had sought a finding that he was not guilty for both charges. (ANI)

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Slavia Prague showed more quality when it was required: Rodgers

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Leicester [UK], February 26 (ANI): After suffering a shock exit from the Europa League, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said their opponents, Slavia Prague, showed more quality when it was required.
The first-leg match between the two teams had ended in a goalless draw. However, Lukas Provod and Abdallah Sima scored one goal each in the second leg on Friday to send the Czech outfit into the Round of 16.
“I think the best team won over the course of the evening. If you assess the two legs, we didn’t create enough opportunities and then we didn’t defend well enough, with enough intensity in the games,” Rodgers told LCFC TV.
“I felt that they defended with more aggression than us and they showed more quality when it was required to score the goals, so unfortunately, we lose the game and go out,” he added.
Slavia Prague scored both goals in the second half as the first half of the game witnessed a good competition between the two teams. Rodgers said his team started the match well but lacked precision with their pass.
“We started the game well, got into some good areas, but we lacked that precision with our pass or that bit of quality when we arrived in,” he said.
“We’ve gone to sleep just after half-time and conceded but still, even at 1-0, I fancy us with the players we could bring in to get back into the game, but we never did. Over the course of the two legs, we didn’t quite create enough opportunities,” Rodgers added. (ANI)

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Germany tour will add value to our Olympics preparations: Indian Hockey team skipper Rani

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Dusseldorf [Germany], February 26 (ANI): The Indian Women’s Hockey Team is all geared up for their second assignment of 2021 as they take on Germany in what would be the first of the four-match series in Dusseldorf on Saturday, which is a part of their preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
The 18-member Indian team’s Germany tour comes on the back of their seven-match outing in Argentina earlier in January.
Speaking about getting back-to-back assignments in a month’s time, India Women’s Captain Rani expressed, “Argentina tour helped us gain confidence, and we are really boosted up for our next assignment. These back-to-back tours in a short span are like golden opportunities for us. We are just months away from the Tokyo Olympics, and these matches against top teams will help us finding loopholes and gain momentum before the Games. I would like to thank SAI and Hockey India for making this happen despite tough situations, we are looking forward to making the most out of the tour.”
With an aim to cover all the bases before going into the marquee event Tokyo Olympics, the Rani-led Indian team will put their skills to the test against World No. 3 Germany.
“It is going to be a totally different experience than the Argentina tour. From our skills to fitness level, everything will be tested, and that’s what we as a team want. It will be a challenging tour for us, considering we will be playing back-to-back matches, but I feel we are up for any kind of challenges thrown at us. To be honest, there’s no extra pressure as such. Our priority, for now, is to get into that competitive frame of mind. You know, the experience of playing against a top team like Germany will really add value to our preparations for the Olympic Games,” said the skipper, on the prospect of playing against one of the strongest teams.
To ensure the safety of the players and the support staff, a bio-secure bubble has been put in place. Asked if living in a bio-bubble is a challenge, the 26-year-old commented that the team has become used to it.
“Bio-bubble isn’t a fuss for us anymore. We are now prepared to live under such circumstances because that’s the only way in order to keep the action going. When we step on to the field, I don’t think it plays in our mind. The only thing which is in our minds right now is the Olympics,” concluded Rani.
Indian Women’s Hockey Team will kickstart the proceedings on Saturday. The eves will play their second match of the tour on February 28 and after a day’s break, they will play two back-to-back games on March 2 and 3, respectively. (ANI)

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ISL 7: Been a good season, we are where we set out to be, says Hyderabad FC co-owner

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By Vishesh Roy
New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Hyderabad FC had finished at the bottom of the points table in the Indian Super League (ISL) last season, but the side has managed to change their fortunes around this season as they are in with a chance to qualify for the semi-finals in the ongoing seventh season.
The side will clash against FC Goa on Sunday and this match is crucial for Hyderabad to qualify for the playoffs. Manuel Marquez’s side is currently at the fifth spot with 28 points from 19 games and a win against Goa will take them to 31 points.
Ahead of the crucial encounter, Hyderabad FC co-owner Varun Tripuraneni interacted with ANI on how he views the ISL season 7 for his team and how he keeps his team upbeat in crucial stages.
“I think it has been a great season, we did not have a good season in our first outing last year. To turn things around, it needed a massive effort from not just the players and coaches, but from the backend staff as well. I think we have had a great season on and off the pitch, going into the last game against FC Goa, we know what we need to do, we need to win and that will take us through to the semi-finals,” Tripuraneni said.
“When we were planning our targets for the season, we wanted to be in contention till the very end and that’s where we are. From that point, it has been a satisfying season. While results have been positive, another important aspect is how the younger players have come through the ranks. Manuel Marquez’s contribution has been remarkable, overall a positive season for us,” he added.
Talking about Hyderabad’s final group-stage match against FC Goa, Tripuraneni said: “I think one thing which is good in a way is that we know what we do in the last game. There could have been a situation where we needed a point or a win, so that confusion is not there. We need three points. Couple of ways we were down, but we fought back like in the game against Bengaluru. Same with East Bengal as well. Even though youngsters are there, I know the pressure will be a factor, but the way we have fought back, I am confident we will do the job again.”
Tripuraneni also shed light on how a bio-bubble can take its toll on the players and he explained what all his management did in order to ensure good mental space of Hyderabad players and support staff.
“At the start of the season, we were also trying to get on terms and understand the bio-bubble better. While planning for the season, the IPL was on at the same time in the Middle East. We were trying to get as many inputs as possible from the people who were involved in the IPL. One thing which we put a lot of effort into was communicating with our players and give them enough information on what they can expect when they come to Goa for ISL,” said Tripuraneni.
“There could have been a scenario when the players could have come to Goa and they did not know what to expect. We communicated very well and we set the expectations right. We prepared the players well. Unlike IPL, we knew we had to be in a bubble for five-six months which was completely different. We prepared players well and once they came to Goa, all of them familiarised themselves with the conditions. Our coach Marquez has always said that the strength of the team has always been the unity in the group and the characters in the squad,” he added.
A lot of debate kickstarted in the ongoing season of the ISL regarding referring calls and how the league needs to get Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in place. However, Tripuraneni spoke about how the VAR is not full proof and he even said that referring will get better once the match officials are given more and more exposure.
“I think, in terms of VAR, there are a lot of factors that the league will need to consider because it is not a very straight-forward system and there is a massive financial implication as well. As a fan, when I watch European football, VAR is not something I particularly like as time is lost during a game and it is not full-proof as well. I am not sure we will be implementing VAR in the immediate future,” said Tripuraneni.
“Good and bad decisions are part of the game, unfortunately only the bad decisions get highlighted and are talked about more. When a decision doesn’t go your way, the other team benefits, but no one talks about that. I just feel, the quality of the league has gone up tremendously from 2014 and I am sure with the right effort and training with referees, the quality of referring will also improve,” he added. (ANI)

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