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Tokyo Olympics chief Mori steps down over sexist remarks

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Tokyo [Japan], February 12 (ANI): Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organising committee head Yoshiro Mori announced his resignation on Friday over his remarks about women talking too much, which were branded “sexist” at home and abroad.
The 83-year-old former Prime Minister stepped down seven years after being appointed president of the organising body by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Mori made the announcement at a special meeting of its executive members.
Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto said at a press conference that she received a phone call from Mori on Thursday morning and was told of his planned resignation, Kyodo News reported.
“The government will make further efforts to restore trust and firmly disseminate the big concept of diversity and harmony, both domestically and internationally,” Hashimoto said.
On February 3, Mori complained about what he believes is women’s tendency to talk too much and to have “a strong sense of rivalry” when he was asked about increasing gender diversity among board members of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC).
However, a day later he issued an apology but insisted that he has no plan to step down.
“It was a careless remark and I want to express my apologies. I had no intention of discriminating against women,” Kyodo News had quoted Mori as saying.
He made the comments in a JOC meeting held online and open to the media. The JOC board has 25 members, of whom five are women.
The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Games are now scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 while the Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5. (ANI)

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Golfer Arjun Atwal will play for Dad and Tiger Woods as he joins Lahiri at Puerto Rico Open

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Puerto Rico, February 24 (ANI): India’s veteran star Arjun Atwal, who has been preoccupied with his father’s health issues, will see action for the first time in nearly four months when he tees up at the Puerto Rico Open starting on Thursday.
He will be joined by Anirban Lahiri, who last featured on the PGA Tour three weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open. The two last played at the same event in Bermuda, a holiday isle like Puerto Rico.
Atwal’s father, popularly called ‘Bindi’, has been a major influence in his golf career. The senior Atwal has rarely missed a big appearance by his son, including at the majors.
Now Atwal will be playing for him, as also his friend, Tiger Woods, who suffered a serious car crash on Tuesday and underwent surgery after suffering comminuted open fractures to the upper and lower sections of his right leg, along with significant trauma to his ankle.
Ahead of his first tournament of 2021, Atwal, who is India’s lone winner on the PGA Tour, said, “It’s obviously a lot of rest, but personally we’re going through some (difficult) stuff with my family. My dad’s been fighting two types of cancer.
“He’s getting his treatment back in India now. He was with us for the last five months in Orlando. He’s doing better. So I didn’t really touch my clubs for a couple of months, maybe three months after Bermuda, and just started practicing,” he added.
He is looking physically fit after changing his lifestyle and undertaking a new fitness regime last year. “I quit alcohol completely. It’s so good. I realized I’m going to be 48 next month and I was getting to the point where my nerves weren’t quite as good around the greens. And I had seen some of my friends maybe my age or slightly older struggle with the same thing, so I figured I would just try it. As a result, I lost weight and I started working out and just started to feel better.
“I’ve got this trainer, he’s like a physical therapist and a trainer. With all my aches and pains he gets me sorted, gets me going for the day. It’s not a lot of lifts, a lot of weight training, it’s a lot more with flexibility and strength with bands,” added Atwal, whose career has been blighted by back injuries.
Lahiri, who like Atwal is a former Asian No. 1, was unable to get a start in the Waste Management Phoenix Open after losing in a play-off in the Monday qualifiers and did not gain entry into last week’s The Genesis Invitational.
Soon after his last appearance at Torrey Pines, he said, “My game seems to be fine; I just need to get four good rounds and not drop those bogeys and doubles. Hopefully, it is ironed out.”
While Atwal last saw PGA TOUR action in October, Indo-Swede Daniel Chopra, a two-time winner on the TOUR and a popular figure in Indian golf, last teed up at the Corales Puntacana Championship in September 2020.
Lahiri is paired with Chopra and Branden Grace of South Africa in the morning, while Atwal plays with Scott Brown and Shawn Stefani in the afternoon wave.
This week’s Puerto Rico field includes a few established golfers including Englishmen Matt Wallace and Ian Poulter, who are ranked No. 55 and 59 respectively on the Official World Golf Ranking.
There are other young players on the rise including Will Gordon, Joohyung Kim, Davis Riley, Justin Suh, Kristoffer Ventura and Brandon Wu who join experienced stars including major champions Padraig Harrington and Lucas Glover.
Viktor Hovland won the tournament a year ago and broke the “curse” of Puerto Rico by winning a second TOUR tournament outside of Puerto Rico. This week, Hovland is playing the World Golf Championships-Workday Champions at The Concession.
Atwal, who won the 2010 Wyndham Championship, is treating the Puerto Rico Open with his full attention despite being the opposite of a World Golf Championships this week.
“I look at it as just as important as any other tournament on the PGA TOUR. The prize money might not be the same, but you still get a two-year exemption and I believe now you get in the Masters as well. So all the perks are the same. Even when I was playing in World Golf Championships back in the day, I considered all these tournaments the same, and I still do. I don’t think you could ask anybody here or anybody at the World Golf Championships, they all consider every tournament they play in just as important,” he said.
As he prepares to turn 48 next month, he is encouraged to see fellow veterans Stewart Cink and Brian Gay winning on TOUR this season.
“B.G. (Gay) is a member at my course, at Isleworth in Orlando, and I see him practically every day, and he’s older and he’s my inspiration right now because just for him to win Bermuda was so cool to watch. He’s such a good guy. And same for Stewart, he’s such a nice guy. And they’re all my age so it gives me kind of some encouragement. Hopefully, I can get my butt in gear and get going.” (ANI)

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ISL 7: Mumbai decimate Odisha to set up exciting League Shield clash against Bagan

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Bambolim (Goa) [India], February 24 (ANI): The equation for the Indian Super League (ISL) League Winners Shield is clear. A win for Mumbai City FC in their final game against ATK Mohun Bagan, and they take home the title and with it, a spot in next season’s AFC Champions League group stage.
Anything else and it will be Bagan celebrating. After the Kolkata side failed to grasp their chance to win the League Sheild against Hyderabad FC, Mumbai completed the other side of the equation at the GMC Stadium on Wednesday, with a dominant 6-1 victory over Odisha FC.
After Odisha had taken a shock early lead through Diego Mauricio (9′), Mumbai hit back hard through goals from Bartholomew Ogbeche (14′, 43′), Bipin Singh (38′, 47′, 86), and Cy Goddard (44′). The match was the highest-scoring game of the season and Mumbai had the biggest-winning margin yet. The timely return to form ended a three-game winless run for Sergio Lobera’s side.
Yet, when the match started, it appeared as if Mumbai would continue their wretched form. Early on, Odisha were awarded a penalty when Ahmed Jahouh fouled Mauricio in the box. The latter stepped up and ensured that Odisha had an unlikely lead, despite Amrinder getting a hand to the ball.
But Mumbai were not behind for long. Just five minutes later, Jahouh made amends for his mistake by finding Ogbeche off a freekick. The Nigerian made no mistake, heading it in and restoring parity.
Odisha put up quite a fight over the next twenty minutes as Mumbai struggled to convert their dominance into clear-cut chances. But once the goal came, the floodgates opened. Mumbai’s second had an element of luck to it. After Ogbeche’s shot was blocked, the ball fell kindly for Bipin, who made no mistake from his shot.
Then, just five minutes later, Mumbai struck again, putting the result of the match beyond doubt. Jahouh and Ogbeche once again combined with the latter finding the striker off yet another freekick. Once again, the big Nigerian made no mistake, heading it in.
If Odisha interim coach Steven Dias had a tough half-time talk on his hands, it was about to get a lot worse. With just seconds to go before the half-time whistle, Goddard found the net with a peach of a goal. After receiving the ball on the right, the youngster cut inside and fired in a shot that gave Odisha keeper Arshdeep Singh no chance.
Just in case, Odisha had any hopes of a comeback, Mumbai were quick to snuff them out. Just two minutes after the restart, Bipin found the net again, Ogbeche turning provider this time. The goal prompted Lobera to give his main stars a break, with the likes of Adam Le Fondre and Mourtada Fall being subbed off.
Ogbeche too joined them on the bench later. That took the edge off the game, but there was still time for Bipin to find his hattrick — the first of the season — with just minutes left for the final whistle. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng: Was prepared to bowl with pink ball but didn’t expect to take 6 wickets, says Axar

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 24 (ANI): India all-rounder Axar Patel, who spun a web over the visitors on Wednesday, was well prepared for the pink-ball challenge against England in the third Test.
Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped six wickets on the first day of the day-night Test. This was Axar’s second five-wicket haul in a row as he had scalped five in the second innings of the second Test as well.
And the all-rounder admitted that he was riding on the confidence from the second Test and focused on bowling a consistent line and length.
“I didn’t expect to take six wickets on the opening day because didn’t know whether we would be bowling or batting on the first day. But I was prepared as I had taken five wickets in the last too. And was bowling well so I was prepared to bowl with the pink ball as well. Didn’t know about what pink-ball brings to the table but had confidence in my line and length and it paid off,” said Axar while replying to a query from ANI in a virtual press conference.
Ishant Sharma playing the 100th Test provided India with the first breakthrough and after the first wicket, the spinners took over the mantle from the pacer. Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar spun a web over visitors to bundled out them for 112 in the first innings.
“When the fast bowlers were bowling they were facing trouble while landing during the run-up. So I was called on early to a bowl and I think the pink ball has a little glare due to which the ball was skidding. So I think the ball skid more than Chennai in Ahmedabad,” said Axar.
Even after playing in front of the home crowd, Axar didn’t feel that the hosts had any advantage on the opening day of the first Test.
“Home advantage was there but since I was playing after five years and that too on a new wicket not much advantage was felt. However, if you look at the Gujarati crowd we had, it gave me a sense of having the home advantage but if you keep that factor aside it was evenly poised for the two sides,” said Axar.
India ended the opening day of the pink-ball Test against England in the driver’s seat as Rohit hit fifty to take the hosts at 99/3. India is trailing by 13 runs in the first innings with seven wickets in the bag.
After surviving the five overs in the tricky twilight phase and then battling out for 14.5 overs and India lost their first wicket off the last ball of the 15th overs when Jofra Archer dismissed Shubman Gill for a 51-ball 11.
He skied an attempted pull to give Zak Crawley an easy catch. Minutes later, the hosts lost Cheteshwar Pujara as he was trapped in front by Jack Leach.
Meanwhile, Rohit continued his good form and completed his half-century. Rohit and Kohli also brought up the fifty runs partnership to steady the Indian ship after two quick wickets. But Leach struck again to break the 64-run stand for the third wicket as Kohli chopped the ball onto his stumps. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 3rd Test: Kohli departs but Rohit hits fifty as hosts maintain advantage

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 24 (ANI): Spinner Jack Leach dismissed Virat Kohli just before concluding minutes of the day’s play but Rohit Sharma hit fifty as India ended the opening day of the pink-ball Test against England in the driver’s seat at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday.
At stumps, India’s score reads 99/3 with Rohit and Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten on 57 and one runs respectively. The hosts are trailing by 13 runs in the first innings with seven wickets in the bag.
Ollie Pope put down a chance at gully as Jimmy Anderson nearly got rid of Kohli just before the concluding minutes of play and England could blame only themselves for not making any further inroads but Leach dismissed the Indian skipper to give the visitors some relief on the day one.
After surviving the five overs in the tricky twilight phase and then battling out for 14.5 overs and India lost their first wicket off the last ball of the 15th overs when Jofra Archer dismissed Shubman Gill for a 51-ball 11.
He skied an attempted pull to give Zak Crawley an easy catch. Minutes later, the hosts lost Cheteshwar Pujara as he was trapped in front by Jack Leach.
Meanwhile, Rohit continued his good form and completed his half-century. Rohit and Kohli also brought up the fifty runs partnership to steady the Indian ship after two quick wickets.
But Leach struck again to break the 64-run stand for the third wicket as Kohli chopped the ball onto his stumps.
Earlier, hometown boy Axar Patel and seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had a field day as India bundled out England for a paltry 112 in the first innings.
Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped six wickets while Ashwin returned with three wickets as the visitors were bowled out in just 48.4 overs. This was Axar’s second five-wicket haul in a row as he had scalped five in the second innings of the second Test as well.
Kohli might have lost the toss in the third Test, but his bowlers ensured that the hosts dominated the first session.
If the former England players were critical of the Chepauk wicket, the lack of application from the English batsmen in the first innings of the third Test can have no excuse.
Playing down the wrong line was the crux of the story and just like the top-order batsmen, Jofra Archer (11) too tried to cut a straight delivery and was clean bowled by Axar as the visitors were reduced to 93/7.
This was Axar’s fourth scalp in the innings. Jack Leach (3), Stuart Broad (3), and Ben Foakes (12) all failed to stay at the crease for long and as a result, the hosts have given themselves the best possible chance to make this contest a one-sided affair.
Brief Scores: England 112 (Zak Crawley 53; Axar Patel 6-38); India 99/3 (Rohit Sharma 57*, Virat Kohli 27; Jack Leach 2-27) (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 3rd Test: Umpire sanitises ball after Stokes accidentally applies saliva

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 24 (ANI): England all-rounder Ben Stokes mistakenly applied saliva on the ball after the completion of the 12th over of the India innings in the third session of the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday.
As a precautionary measure against coronavirus, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned using saliva to shine the cricket ball. However, the players are allowed to use sweat as an alternative to shine the ball. Stokes’ mistake saw the umpire sanitise the ball before the action resumed.
A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings for the use of saliva, but repeated use will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side, according to the ICC.
Meanwhile, after battling out for 14.5 overs, India lost their first wicket off the last ball of the 15th over when Jofra Archer dismissed Shubman Gill for a 51-ball 11. He skied an attempted pull to give Zak Crawley an easy catch. Minutes later, the hosts lost Cheteshwar Pujara as he was trapped in front by Jack Leach.
Earlier, hometown boy Axar Patel and seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had a field day as India bundled out England for a paltry 112 in the first innings.
Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped six wickets while Ashwin returned with three wickets as the visitors were bowled out in just 48.4 overs. This was Axar’s second five-wicket haul in a row as he had scalped five in the second innings of the second Test as well.
Skipper Virat Kohli might have lost the toss in the third Test, but his bowlers ensured that the hosts dominated the first session.
If the former England players were critical of the Chepauk wicket, the lack of application from the English batsmen in the first innings of the third Test can have no excuse.
Playing down the wrong line was the crux of the story and just like the top-order batsmen, Jofra Archer (11) too tried to cut a straight delivery and was clean bowled by Axar as the visitors were reduced to 93/7. This was Axar’s fourth scalp in the innings. Jack Leach (3), Stuart Broad (3), and Ben Foakes (12) all failed to stay at the crease for long and as a result, the hosts have given themselves the best possible chance to make this contest a one-sided affair. (ANI)

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Ashwin becomes fourth highest wicket-taker for India with 599 international wickets

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 24 (ANI): Seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Wednesday went past Zaheer Khan’s tally of 597 international wickets to climb to the fourth spot on the list of Indian bowlers with the most wickets in international cricket.
Ashwin dismissed Ollie Pope in the 28th over to overtake Zaheer’s tally at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday. Ashwin now has 599 wickets across formats and is only behind former skipper Anil Kumble (953), spinner Harbhajan Singh (707), and Kapil Dev (687). The off-spinner is also on the brink of becoming the fourth Indian bowler to take 400 Test wickets.
Ashwin is just three wickets away from the glorious milestone in the longest format of the game. In the ongoing pink-ball Test, Ashwin along with Axar Patel spun a web as India bundled out England for a paltry 112 in the first innings.
Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped six wickets while Ashwin returned with three wickets as the visitors were bowled out in just 48.4 overs. This was Axar’s second five-wicket haul in a row as he had scalped five in the second innings of the second Test as well.
Skipper Virat Kohli might have lost the toss in the third Test, but his bowlers ensured that the hosts dominated the first session.
If the former England players were critical of the Chepauk wicket, the lack of application from the English batsmen in the first innings of the third Test can have no excuse.
Playing down the wrong line was the crux of the story and just like the top-order batsmen, Jofra Archer (11) too tried to cut a straight delivery and was clean bowled by Axar as the visitors were reduced to 93/7. This was Axar’s fourth scalp in the innings.
Jack Leach (3), Stuart Broad (3), and Ben Foakes (12) all failed to stay at the crease for long and as a result, the hosts have given themselves the best possible chance to make this contest a one-sided affair.
Meanwhile, India openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill batted out five overs in the tricky twilight phase as the hosts went into the dinner break in the driver’s seat. (ANI)

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