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1st Test Match - India Vs...
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India gets WTA event afte...
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07-26-2017 12:50 PM
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Which Test Umpire & Match...
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07-26-2017 12:43 PM
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In a historic move, India...
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07-26-2017 09:13 AM
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HS Prannoy defeats Parupa...
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07-26-2017 09:09 AM
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  India gets WTA event after 5 years, 'Mumbai Open' in November
Posted by: nairrk - 07-26-2017 12:50 PM - No Replies

New Delhi: India will host its first WTA tournament in five years when the city of Mumbai stages a USD 125,000 event in November, giving home players an opportunity to compete with the world's top-50.

Yet again, it is Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) which has come forward to bring the much- needed tournament to the country.

MSLTA had recently bagged the hosting rights of India's ATP World Tour event, Chennai Open and it was re-branded as Maharashtra Open, to be held in Pune.

"It's time that our players such as Ankita Raina, Karman Kaur Thandi, Rutuja Bhosale and others get to play at a better level and try to move up the rankings ladder. For the players' interest we have brought this event to Mumbai," MSLTA Secretary General Sunder Iyer told PTI.

The last time India hosted a WTA event -- Royal Indian Open -- was in 2012 in Pune when current world number five Elina Svitolina had won the singles title by beating veteran Japanese Kimiko Date-Krumm.

There will be four wild cards each on offer in main draw and the Qualifiers of the Mumbai Open. Top players in the country at that time are likely to get those wild card entries.

India's best singles players, save for Ankita Raina (262), can't get direct entry into the main draws of WTA 125K level events with their current rankings. Karman Kaur Tahndi (349) and national champion Riya Bhatia (519) follow Raina in the ladder.

"It will be an opportunity for players to get some crucial points ahead of the Australian Open. Also, players who are to return from injuries and niggles, this event will serve their purpose. Players ranked between 11 and 50 will compete and it's good for our girls to get that exposure," Iyer said.

So far, India has hosted only two USD 15,000 events -- one in Gwalior and the other in Aurangabad.

"I am very much looking forward to the WTA event at home. It will be a great exposure and experience for all of us since it's quite tough to enter a WTA event. I would like to request AITA to host more of these tournaments," Ankita Raina told PTI from Prague.

Thandi said, "It will be great for women's tennis with that kind of event happening in India."

MSLTA has lined up three more USD 25000 events which will be held in Pune and Navi Mumbai and one USD 15000 tournament in Solapur.

Together with a USD 50,000 Challenger with all these women's events, lined up in November in Pune, MSLTA would spend close to USD 300,000 in organising these tournaments.

This is when other state associations, including DLTA, are struggling to generate funds for a single tournament.

Prashant Sutar, MSLTA Director (Development Committee), said if a proposal is put before corporates and the government with the "right vision", it's not difficult to raise money.

"We have KPTI as dedicated sponsors for men's challenger and a dedicated local mill as sponsors for Solapur. We have understood that proposal should be presented in a particular manner to get sponsorship," Sutar, who will be Tournament Director for both WTA and ATP World event in January, said.

Sutar is hoping that Raina will be able to get a direct entry and Rutuja will be a strong contender for the singles wild card since she is a player from Maharashtra.

"For international players, we will see, during the US Open which players are interested in coming to India. We have the option of offering wild cards to them," Sutar said.

Thandi said if India can host such tournaments on a regular basis, nothing can be better.

"With a ranking of 349, I would be in the main draw of 60k and qualifying of 100k and 125k. Having a training base in France, I have to spend two weeks at a time for visa to countries like Japan, China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and most of Asian countries by skipping training.

"If India were to host 60k and above tournaments, it will be good financially and I will get time in India for my next tournament visa," Thandi said.

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  Which Test Umpire & Match Referee Is Lucky For India?
Posted by: nairrk - 07-26-2017 12:43 PM - No Replies

So who’s Team India’s lucky umpire in Tests? Based on the current list of ICC Elite Panel of Umpires and data from all matches they officiated in (featuring India) we've tried to work out who’s been our lucky charm at the bowler’s end (or square leg).

Drum roll. And the umpire under whom India boasts of a 100% Test win record — Richard Illingworth.

[Image: Illingworth-slide.jpg]

However, the sample size, with regards to the Englishman, is just the lone Test—India’s series-levelling win versus Australia at Bengaluru, in March this year.

But what about the other ICC Elite Panel umpires? We run the rule here:

[Image: UMPIRE-2.jpg]

[Image: UMPIRE-3.jpg]

[Image: UMPIRE-4.jpg]

[Image: UMPIRE-5.jpg]

[Image: UMPIRE-6.jpg]

[Image: UMPIRE-7.jpg]

[Image: UMPIRE-8.jpg]

[Image: UMPIRE-9.jpg]

[Image: UMPIRE-11.jpg]

[Image: UMPIRE-12.jpg]

Fair to say, the Sri Lanka-India Test series could still be favourable for Team India considering that Australians Bruce Oxenford and Rod Tucker, alongside Illingworth, will be on umpiring duty for the three-Test series beginning June 26, 2017.

Moving on, are match referees also a lucky charm? We crunched the numbers with regard to the current list of ICC match referees, and here are the results:

[Image: Match-referee-1.jpg]

[Image: Match-referee-2.jpg]

[Image: Match-referee-3.jpg]

[Image: Match-referee-4.jpg]

[Image: Match-referee-5.jpg]

[Image: Match-referee-6.jpg]

The ICC match referee for the Sri Lanka-India Test series is West Indian Richie Richardson.

Note: Indian match officials—ICC Elite Panel umpire Sundaram Ravi and ICC match referee Javagal Srinath—not included for obvious reasons.

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  In a historic move, India to host World Boxing Championship for the 1st time in 2021
Posted by: nairrk - 07-26-2017 09:13 AM - No Replies

[Image: 611687-shiva-thapa-boxing-pti.jpg]

New Delhi: In a historic first for Indian boxing, the country will host the men's World Championship for the first time in 2021 besides next year's women's World Championship, shaking off the last remnants of administrative turmoil that once plagued the sport.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) made the announcement at the end of its two-day executive committee meeting in Moscow.

"... We are delighted to have the AIBA Men's World Championships 2019 confirmed for Sochi, and equally excited to announce New Delhi as host city in 2021 as the Boxing Federation of India continues to show its commitment to developing the sport," AIBA President Dr Ching Kuo Wu said in a statement.

"Following the presentation of the Turkish Boxing Federation, I know that Trabzon will also meet the demands of hosting the world's biggest women's boxing tournament in 2019," he added.

India has never conducted the men's World Championship but has played host to the 2006 women's mega-event. The major men's boxing events hosted by India have been the 1990 World Cup in Mumbai and the 2010 Commonwealth Championships in New Delhi.

"It is the first time ever that a country has been awarded two major Championships, that too back to back. The presentation made by us was adjudged the best by AIBA President," Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh told PTI.

"AIBA expects India to be a major powerhouse for boxing and getting these Championships is a giant leap in that direction," he added.

The development is quite significant given that India had a federation in place only last year after serving suspension and termination between 2012 and 2016 owing to administrative wrangling.

"Great news all boxing fans and players!" tweeted Sports Minister Vijay Goel.

After analysing the presentations, the AIBA Executive Committee unanimously awarded the 2019 women's World Championships to Trabzon, Turkey. The AIBA 2018 Congress was awarded to the Russian capital city of Moscow.

"The strength of all of the bids we have seen today is the clearest indication yet of AIBA's successful efforts to amplify the prestige of its World Championships even further," Dr Wu stated.

The announcement expectedly led to elation in the Indian boxing fraternity

India's men's team coach Santiago Nieva, who is currently in France with this year's World Championships-bound squad on a training-cum-competition trip, said getting the twin events' hosting rights is nothing short of historic.

"This is amazing for Indian boxing and definitely historic. It shows the power and resolve of the federation. Getting these Championships will be very important for Indian boxing for many years to come. It will make the boxers work hard," he told PTI over phone.

Women's chief coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu also expressed his delight.

"I told the girls this morning and they were over the moon. The Boxing Federation of India has managed to get something really big for India and now it is upto the boxers to live up to the expectations," Sandhu said.

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  HS Prannoy defeats Parupalli Kashyap 21-15 20-22 21-12 to win US Open
Posted by: nairrk - 07-26-2017 09:09 AM - No Replies

[Image: 611611-hs-prannoy-ians.jpg]

Anaheim (California): HS Prannoy notched up a thrilling three-game win over Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap in an all-Indian final to clinch the USD 120,000 US Open Grand Prix Gold here.

Prannoy, who lost a fair amount of his time to nagging injuries in his career, dished out a gritty performance to defeat Kashyap 21-15 20-22 21-12 in the summit clash which lasted an hour and five minutes. “It was a good match, pretty intense match, a high quality match by both me and Kashyap. I think after losing the second game narrowly, I was calm and patient enough and it worked for me,” Prannoy told PTI.

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  No Hockey India League in 2018..
Posted by: nairrk - 07-26-2017 09:05 AM - No Replies

No Hockey India League in 2018; HI blames 'conflict in dates' for temporary discontinuation

[Image: 611833-hockey-india-league-pti.jpg]

New Delhi: The confusion surrounding the future of Hockey India League (HIL) finally ended with Hockey India (HI) announcing on Tuesday that the world's premier franchise-based tournament will only return in 2019, meaning there will be no competition next year.

Started in 2013, the HIL is considered as one of the best managed Indian leagues, besides the very popular Indian Premier League, Indian Super League and Pro Kabaddi League. But after five successful seasons, the league seemed to have hit a roadblock with reports of unhappy franchises reportedly threatening with disassociation.

"After five years of successfully organizing the Hockey India League, we felt that it is time to review the League, evaluate its success and comeback with a fresh outlook that will benefit the development of the sport," said Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, Chairman Hockey India League and Secretary General, Hockey India.

However, the HI today cited "conflict in dates" as the sole reason for the temporary discontinuation. In fact, it even allocated the January-February window for the 2019 tournament to assuage any fear of completely shelving the league.

"Due to a conflict in dates of the schedule of Hockey India League 2018 and a major international tournament which was likely to restrict the participation of international players, it was decided that the best solution was to postpone the conduct of the sixth season of the League," Ahmad said.

It's pertinent to mention that Bhuvneswhar will host Men's World Cup next year.

It's also learned that HIL Governing Committee's decision was backed by other stakeholders.

"This decision was made after consultation with all our commercial partners and meeting the contractual obligations of all parties involved," he added.

"I want to emphasize that we want to resume the League in 2019 albeit with greater prospects to make it more viable financially not only for the stakeholders but also for the players," he added.

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