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Tokyo Olympics chief Mori to step down over sexist remarks

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Tokyo [Japan], February 11 (ANI): Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organising committee head Yoshiro Mori will resign over his remarks about women talking too much, which were branded “sexist” at home and abroad, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday, Kyodo News reported.
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.
Earlier, Mori had said that the Olympic games will go ahead no matter how the coronavirus pandemic situation evolves.
“We will make sure the Games will be held no matter how the COVID-19 situation will be. We go beyond the discussion of whether we hold (the Games) or not hold. We are to come up with ‘new’ Olympics,” CNN had quoted Mori as saying in a news conference.
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.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach had put all speculations to rest, asserting that they are “fully concentrated on and committed” to stage the Tokyo Olympics.
“We are fully concentrated on and committed to the successful and safe delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, starting on July 23 with the Olympic Games and August 24 with the Paralympic Games,” IOC’s official website had quoted Bach as saying. (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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Starc, Smith withdraw from Sheffield Shield clash against Victoria

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Melbourne [Australia], February 24 (ANI): Australia pacer Mitchell Starc and batting mainstay Steve Smith have pulled out from the New South Wales squad for the game against Victoria on Thursday.
Australia’s premier fast bowler will miss the clash after his father passed away from cancer on Tuesday. Starc’s wife Alyssa Healy will also miss the NSW Breakers’ WNCL match against Tasmania.
“Obviously it’s very sad, sad news. All our thoughts and prayers are going out to Mitch and his family,” cricket.com.au quoted teammate Nathan Lyon as saying.
“It’s obviously never great losing someone like that. It’s a tough time but he knows he’s got all our love and all our support from not just me but everyone here at NSW cricket and the cricket community as well,” he added.
Meanwhile, Smith has withdrawn due to an elbow issue he picked during the Test series against India in January.
“I have had some pain in my elbow that’s gradually worsened since the Test against India at the SCG and it requires some rest and rehab,” Smith said.
“I am hoping I will be right to travel with the Blues to Adelaide for our games down there next week but we will have to see how it responds to treatment,” he added.
Moreover, with the cancellation of the Test series against South Africa, Australian pacer Pat Cummins and wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey will return to Sheffield Shield cricket to play their first match of the season after being included in the New South Wales and South Australia squads respectively.
Cummins comes into the squad in place of fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, who has been rested. The Australia pace spearhead Cummins had captained New South Wales in the Marsh Cup last week.
New South Wales coach Phil Jacques said that change was necessary to manage the defending champions’ pace battery. (ANI)

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