Team India’s tour of Australia was no less than a roller-coaster ride, youngster heroics helping the visitors to an unfathomable triumph. In Adelaide, under captain Virat Kohli’s leadership, India was pulverised for 36 runs and the Test match was easily clinched by the hosts. Later, Rahane-led India embarked upon an ingenious turnaround, sealing the Test series as the team laden with young guns exhibited a brilliant all-round performance on the Australian soil.
Playing against one of the best teams, India’s road to victory was tough and fraught with difficulties that were off the field. Spending time in a Bio-Bubble is of course emotionally excruciating. Star performer Mohammed Siraj while spending the time in a quarantine bubble in Australia, lost his father and decided not to attend the funeral. T Natarajan refused the paternity leave to welcome his first child. Despite all these difficulties, the Indian side faced a cascading spade of racist slurs on the field. However, the team rose to the occasion with the fullest of their spirit and played their game as well as they could.
“This is young India,” remarked Harsha Bhogle, “give them a stage and move out.”
Confident, and high on adrenaline, India returned home with an unprecedented victory and scribed a new page in the history of Indian cricket. After showing the might on Australian soil, India’s performance in Chennai came as a shocker.
England, with the luck on their side, won the toss and opted to bat on a flat and batting-friendly surface. With Joe Root’s double ton, the English ship steered to the humongous total of 578— the total which won England half of the battle. Virat Kohli, on the other side of the English siege, used 6 bowlers, as in the first innings the pitch was slow. Trailing behind a sturdy figure, English spinners—important to note that they were under-experienced—spun the web around Indian batsmen and seized the day. India lost their fortress way too early when they could only score 337 runs, for ten down.
I must not hesitate to conclude, when you are in your Homeland you start feeling Homely, one wishes to take it easy and lie on the lap of the motherland for all the pampering. But it’s not that kind of attitude that works. Winning should be followed by sustainability and high spirits. Work harder with correct dynamics.
Author is a sports columnist and an executive member of the Anti-Corruption Academy (ACA). Views expressed are his own.
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Delhi Capitals share four inspiring stories to celebrate International Women’s Day
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals shared four inspirational stories of women from the capital city, who broke stereotypes and gender roles.
From rally racer Baani Yadav to detective Bhavna Paliwal to transgender model Nitasha Biswas to bouncer Mehrunnisha Shokat Ali, the Delhi Capitals as part of their #MainHoonNayiDilli campaign brought forward stories of these incredible women, who showed a never-say-die attitude and overcame every obstacle that came their way to achieve their dreams.
When Baani Yadav first got a taste of racing at the French Grand Prix at the age of 11, she was certain that she wanted to take up racing as a career. However, before even getting near a car, she was told by her father, “racing wasn’t an option in India, and even less so for a girl.”
Baani wasn’t going to give up on her dreams easily and years later after getting married and having two children, she decided to put her full focus on her goal of becoming a rally racer.
“At the age of 43, I participated in my very first race. I was met with a lot of ridicule, I struggled to find any sponsors and fellow racers didn’t take me seriously. They all expected me to participate in a couple of races and then move on as they didn’t think I had the ability or time for racing, being a woman and a mother,” the Delhi Capitals’ website quoted Baani as saying.
“But I kept turning up to the track, race after race, determined to prove them wrong. My turning point was in 2016, when I stood 2nd in the challenging Rally De North, something no woman had done before. That is when I felt I had finally arrived. It also forced the male racers to sit up and see me in a different light,” she added.
Since her childhood, Bhavna Paliwal always wanted to take the road not taken. After realizing that a career in journalism wasn’t going to satisfy her desire to pursue an unexplored path, Bhavna took the bold step of becoming a detective.
“When I came across an advertisement for private detectives and I decided to turn up for the interview. As soon as I wrapped up my first case, I knew that I had found my calling,” said Bhavna.
Growing up in an extremely conservative family, Mehrunnisha Shokat Ali’s entire life was mapped out on the day she was born. Mehrunnisha’s family expected her to do the household chores, get married young and stick to the path that had been followed by all the women in her family for generations.
But Mehrunnisha wasn’t going to budge. A career wherein she could protect others really appealed to her, therefore she went on to become a policewoman, but she was discouraged by her father. A few years later, Mehrunnisha had found her calling and this time, nobody could stop her.
“When I was 16, I came to Delhi with my little brother for his audition at a singing reality show. There, I saw bouncers for the first time, handling the crowd and keeping everyone safe. I realised this could be the way for me to finally live a part of my dream,” said Mehrunnisha.
As a child, Nitasha Biswas always felt that she was a woman trapped inside a man’s body and therefore she decided to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to convert her body to that of a female.
Without any support from her family and friends, Nitasha underwent HRT and achieved her dream of becoming a professional model.
“I decided to leave behind everything I knew and moved to New Delhi with one goal — to live the life I always dreamt of. I started my HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) treatment, I met new people who gave me love and respect, and I even had a book written about my journey,” said Nitasha.
“Then, I came across an online ad about India’s first transgender beauty pageant. I decided to enter on whim, not expecting anything, and with no knowledge of how my life was about to change forever,” the model further said.
Each year on March 8, International Women’s Day is observed in order to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day commemorates women, who despite various challenges posed by society have proven their mettle in every sphere across the world. (ANI)
Legacy activities for FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 restarts on International Women’s Day
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Local Organising Committee of FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 with support from FIFA, kicked off its Coach Education Scholarship Programme at Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai to further develop women’s football.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF), in a statement, said that 21 aspiring coaches from different parts of the city took part in the E-license course and were trained in both theoretical and practical elements of the game with all safety practices in place.
“This event signifies the start of the Coach Education Programme that will be carried forward to other districts of Maharashtra, including Pune, Thane, Nagpur and Kolhapur with Government of Maharashtra and the Western India Football Association (WIFA),” AIFF said.
Speaking at the event, Tournament Director of the LOC of FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 and AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, Roma Khanna said, “We’re extremely pleased to restart activities for the U-17 Women’s World Cup. It is important to us that the community benefits from hosting the tournament and today’s event signifies a new start. Having more female coaches at grassroot level is vital to having more young girls and women taking up the sport.”
“It is really encouraging to see so many female coaches in each category now, more so than the previous years. I am sure this will only increase in the future,” said Maymol Rocky, head coach of the Indian women’s national team.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said: “Starting the Coach Education Programme in Maharashtra with FIFA’s support is a wonderful milestone for us. Having increased capacity building courses will help women’s football and broaden its base.”
Chairperson of the Women’s Committee for WIFA, Madhurima Raje was also present at the event. FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will take place in India in 2022. (ANI)
Man City win shows what a great team we are: Lindelof
Manchester [UK], March 8 (ANI): Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof said the victory over Manchester City shows “what a great team we are” and wants his side to keep working hard.
Goals from Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw gave Manchester United a 2-0 victory against Manchester City on Sunday which ended the leaders’ 15-match winning run in the Premier League.
“We are always confident going into every game. We know we can beat every team. It’s a very tough away game to play against a really good team. It shows what a great team we are and what we can do on the pitch. We need to keep working hard and hopefully, we can get some more wins,” the club’s official website quoted Lindelof as saying.
During the match, Manchester United got off to a flying start and took the lead thanks to a second-minute penalty from Fernandes, awarded after Gabriel Jesus had fouled Anthony Martial. Manchester City threatened after the break but Manchester United defended well to maintain their lead.
Shaw doubled Manchester United’s lead in the 50th minute and with this, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side sealed a 2-0 win in the match.
Praising the team’s performance, Lindelof said it was a “deserved” win for the team.
“Yeah obviously we are so pleased with the performance. We defended really well as a team, not just the back four. I think we defended well, right down from Anto [Anthony Martial] to Deano [Dean Henderson]. Everyone put in the effort that was needed and we got a clean sheet and three points, so everyone was happy,” he said.
“They didn’t create a lot of chances. We defended really good and you always have to stay focused because you know they can create chances from anything. Like I said, I’m very happy and it’s a very deserved win for us,” Lindelof added.
Manchester City remains at the top of the Premier League table with 65 points while Manchester United are now second on the table with 54 points. (ANI)
Australia pacer Billy Stanlake keen to develop red-ball game after signing for Derbyshire
Derbyshire [UK], March 8 (ANI): Australia pacer Billy Stanlake is keen on honing his skills in the longest format of the game after being roped in by Derbyshire.
Derbyshire on Monday announced the signing of Stanlake for the entire 2021 season, subject to final approvals.
Stanlake, who has represented Australia 26 times, will link up with Dave Houghton’s side between April and September, with the 26-year-old available for all formats, having been a long-term target for the club.
The Australian fast bowler wants to work on his red-ball game, having featured in only eight first-class games since his first match in 2015.
“I can’t wait to get started with Derbyshire and show the supporters what I’m all about, it’s a really exciting time for me,” the Derbyshire CCC website quoted Stanlake as saying.
“I’m keen to develop my red ball game, and this move gives me the opportunity to hopefully help Derbyshire to build on their form across the competitions. The club is ambitious, they want to win trophies and hopefully I can be a part of that success,” he added.
Since making his debut for Queensland in 2015, Stanlake has taken 136 wickets in 113 games across all formats, with his List A and Big Bash performances earning him international recognition.
The fast bowler has seen most of his success come in T20 cricket, where he has taken 81 wickets at an average of 26.53, including best figures of 4-8 for Australia against Pakistan in 2018, while he took 13 wickets for Melbourne Stars during their Big Bash campaign, the second-most for the side.
Head of Cricket, Dave Houghton, said: “Billy is a player we’ve been watching for some time, there’s not too many players of his quality available for all formats, so it’s really pleasing to get him in. He’s tall and he bowls at a high pace with a good level of bounce and variation.
“He’s someone who has made his name with the white ball, but he’s determined to show what he can do in first-class cricket as well. That hunger will be huge for us, and he’s a great addition to our bowling attack.” (ANI)
Harmanpreet Kaur turns 32, cricket fraternity extends wishes
New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Harmanpreet Kaur on Monday turned 32 and the cricket fraternity extended their birthday wishes for the ace batswoman.
Kaur on Sunday became the fifth Indian women cricketer to play 100 ODIs for India. She achieved the feat against South Africa in the first ODI which the hosts lost by eight wickets in Lucknow.
The vice-captain joined Mithali Raj (210), Jhulan Goswami (183), Anjum Chopra (127) and Amita Sharma (116) in the elite list of players who have played 100 or more ODIs.
In 100 ODIs, she has scored 2,412 runs with the help of three hundreds and 11 half-centuries. In the shortest format of the game, Kaur has represented India in 114 matches, scoring 2,186 runs.
Highlighting the player’s achievements, the Board of Control for Cricket in India extended wishes to Kaur.
“216 intl. games. 4,624 intl. runs & 61 wickets. Highest score by an Indian batter in Women’s ODI World Cup. Wishing #TeamIndia T20I skipper @ImHarmanpreet a very happy birthday,” BCCI Women tweeted.
Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh tweeted: “Oh kudi jedi lambey-lambey shikhey mardi hai. here’s wishing a very Happy Birthday to @ImHarmanpreet. May you continue to scale new heights of success! My best wishes.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and England cricketer Kate Cross also wished Kaur on her birthday.
The second ODI of the five-match series between India and South Africa will be played on Tuesday. (ANI)
Hope Axar, Ashwin have left some wickets for IPL: Ponting
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 8 (ANI): Former Australian skipper and Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting on Monday teased all-rounder Axar Patel and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who starred for India in the recent Test series against England.
Axar and Ashwin together picked 59 wickets against England in the four-match Test series which India won 3-1. While Axar became the joint highest wicket-taker in a debut Test series for India, Ashwin finished with 32 scalps, the most by any bowlers in the series.
Ponting is hoping that the spin duo has some wickets left to take in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
If Axar and Ashwin — who both play for the Delhi Capitals — starred with the ball, wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant smashed a match-winning hundred in the fourth and final Test against England which India won on Saturday in Ahmedabad.
The Delhi Capitals head coach wishes to see Pant replicating his heroics in the cash-rich league slated to begin from April 9.
“Can’t wait to get over to @delhicapitals and get to work. Hope @akshar2026 and @ashwinravi99 have some wickets left after taking all of them in the last month, and @rishabhpant17 has more runs to make!” Ponting tweeted.
The IPL Governing Council on Sunday announced the schedule for IPL 14 to be held in India across six venues from April 9.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Chennai in the tournament opener.
Each team is set to play at four venues during the league stage. Out of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru will host 10 matches each while Ahmedabad and Delhi will host 8 matches each.
One of the highlights of this edition of the IPL will be the fact that all matches will be played at neutral venues, no team will play at their home venue. All teams will play at four out of six venues during the league stage. (ANI)
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