Author: Abhishek Shukla

India named team for World Junior Squash Championship

Chennai: The Indian juniors are ready for their next big challenge, the World junior men’s and women’s individual championship (July 30 to August 4) followed by the World junior women’s team championship(August 5 to 9) both to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In all 11 players will be participating from India in these championships. The junior women’s team comprises Sanya Vats, Yoshna Singh, Aishwarya Khubchandani and Ananya Dabke. All these four players will be joined by Amira Singh and Megha Bhatia in the Individual competitions, that precedes. The team event is held once in two years. At the 2017 edition held in Tauranga, New Zealand, the girls had finished 6th.

The boys who will be taking part in the junior men’s individual championship are Tushar Shahani, Veer Chotrani, Arnaav Sareen, Rahul Bhaita and Yash Fadte.

The squad will be accompanied by the following officials: Coaches: Bhuvneshwari Kumari, Abhinav Sinha and Cyrus Poncha. M. Dimple will be the physiotherapist.

Kush Maini wins rookie category at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Kush Maini backed by JK Racing and driving for M2 Competition won the Rookie Category on the last Lap of an exciting Race in Belgium in Race 1 of the Formula Renault Eurocup Series . Having Started 11th on the Grid he had to avoid going into the back of Leonard Lorandi’s car which was very slow of the start. Moving up Positions as the race progressed, Kush made his way upto 6thPlace  when the Safety Car was called out. This helped Bunch up all the Drivers for the last few laps of the Race.

Kush Maini wrested the  Trophy from the hands of Patrik Pasma in the last corner. Rookies Petr Ptáček and Caio Collet (R-ace GP), finished seventh and eighth, while Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) and Xavier Lloveras claimed the final points on offer. Kush who finally finished in 5th position overall was extremely happy with the result.

“I started eleventh, so I knew that I would have to fight to move up the order. I was pretty confident, because I simply didn’t carry over my pace from practice to qualifying. I was able to preserve my tyres in the race while also passing my rivals. This allowed me to be extremely fast on the last lap and I pressured Patrik Pasma into a mistake when he missed his final braking point and I was able to win the rookie category. It is a reinforcing result, because it justifies our potential.”

The Series will break for Summer and will return with the Race in Nurburgring at the end of August .

Haryana Steelers take on Dabang Delhi K.C at Mumbai

Mumbai, 27 July 2019: The Haryana Steelers will be looking to continue their good form when they face Dabang Delhi K.C in their second match of Pro Kabaddi League season 7 in Mumbai on Sunday, 28 July 2019. Naveen, who scored 14 total points, helped Haryana get off to a great start in the tournament with a 34-24 victory over Puneri Paltan in Hyderabad on Monday. 
Haryana Captain Dharmaraj Cheralathan said that an excellent start to the competition makes a big difference to the team’s campaign.
“A good start makes a big difference to the team. Our key players (Vikash Kandola and Prashanth Kumar Rai) were rested for the first match, and if they return to  the team, we will play even better in the upcoming matches,” said Cheralathan.
The Haryana Steelers got the better of Dabang Delhi K.C two out of three times in the last season. Haryana won the first and third Zone A matches against Delhi with scores of 34-31 and 34-27 respectively. The Cheralathan-led team will be hoping to hold the upper hand against Dabang Delhi K.C in this season as well.
However, the Steelers will have to be wary of Meraj Sheykh. The Iranian is one of the best all-rounder in the Pro Kabaddi League and he could pose a serious threat for the Haryana team. The Steelers defense was in top form against Puneri Paltan and they will need to maintain their performance when they face the quick Chandran Ranjit from the Delhi team.
Cheralathan expressed that the Haryana Steelers have their strategies in place for Dabang Delhi K.C.

“All players are good in Dabang Delhi, they have played two matches and won both, but we have our strategies in place to play against them,” said Cheralathan.

Hockey India names 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event

New Delhi, 26 July 2019: Hockey India on Friday named the 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey team for the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan from 17th – 21st August 2019. The Indian team will be Captained by Rani and Vice-Captained by Savita.

Under Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne, the composition of the team has remained similar to the one which participated at the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019, with the Dutchman having opted for only two changes in the 18-member team selected for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event. Youngsters Sharmila Devi and Reena Khokhar have come into the team, with Sunita Lakra and Jyoti giving way. Khokhar had been sidelined due to injury but makes a comeback into the side after recovering successfully, while Sharmila Devi will be expecting to make her debut for the national side.

The Indian team, currently ranked No. 10 in the FIH Rankings, will be facing tough challenges as they will be up against the likes of World No. 2 Australia, World No. 11 China and hosts Japan who are currently ranked 14th in the FIH Rankings.

The team consists of experienced Goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu, who will look to guard India’s goalpost, while Defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete, and Nisha have also been included in the 18-member team. Midfielders Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal will look to command the midfield. Rani, Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Sharmila Devi are the Forwards who have been picked in the team.

“We are looking forward to playing three top countries at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event as I rate them all highly. We have selected a squad of 18 players where only 16 players will be allowed to play in accordance to the Olympic standards. I will be very interested to see how we fare against these countries, and what we need to improve for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers because everything that we do, will be focused on that. We will be learning good lessons in this tour regardless of whatever happens,” said Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne looking ahead to the event.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team:

1. Savita (GK) – (Vice Captain)

2. Rajani Etimarpu (GK)

3. Deep Grace Ekka

4. Reena Khokhar

5. Gurjit Kaur

6. Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam

7. Salima Tete

8. Nisha

9. Nikki Pradhan

10. Monika

11. Lilima Minz

12. Neha Goyal

13. Rani – (Captain)

14. Navneet Kaur

15. Vandana Katariya

16. Lalremsiami

17. Navjot Kaur

18. Sharmila Devi

Hockey India names 18-member Indian Men’s team for Olympic Test Event

New Delhi, 25 July 2019: Hockey India on Thursday named 18 players for the Indian Men’s team for the Olympic Test Event which is set to be played between 17-21 August 2019 in Japan. 

The team management has decided to rest senior players such as Captain Manpreet Singh, PR Sreejesh and Surender Kumar. The Indian team Chief Coach Graham Reid said that the break will help the players shake off any niggling injuries and get fresh ahead of the Olympic qualifying matches in November.

“We are resting some senior players including Manpreet Singh some of whom have had a very rigorous last 12 months of hockey and will give them a chance to shake off any niggling injuries and get fresh for the next three months of preparation for the November qualifying matches,” said Reid.

In the absence of the senior players, Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh have been named the Captain and Vice Captain respectively and two players – Ashis Topno and Shamsher Singh have earned their debut spots in the Indian national team. However, experienced striker SV Sunil has returned to the national team after a gap of nine months.

Reid expressed that the Olympic Test Event will give a few players a chance to show their mettle at the international stage.

“With no world ranking points at risk, the Tokyo test event gives us an ideal opportunity to not only get a first hand look at how Tokyo is shaping up for next year’s Olympics, we will also see some players who have not had a chance to show us what they can do on the international stage,” said Reid.

Indian Men’s Team List:

1. Krishan Bahadur Pathak

2. Gurinder Singh

3. Harmanpreet Singh (Captain)

4. Kothajit Singh Khadangbam

5. Hardik Singh

6. Nilakanta Sharma

7. Vivek Sagar Prasad

8. Jaskaran Singh

9. Mandeep Singh (Vice Captain)

10. Gursahibjit Singh

11. Nilam Sanjeep Xess

12. Jarmanpreet Singh

13. Varun Kumar

14. Ashis Topno

15. SV Sunil

16. Gurjant Singh

17. Shamsher Singh

18. Suraj Karkera

Indian Jr Boys and Girls to take part in Jr. NBA Global Championship

NEW YORK, July 24, 2019 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced the roster of 32 youth teamsthat will participate in the second Jr. NBA Global Championship, a youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world, as well as the lineup of talent who will support the event onsite.  The competition will take place Tuesday, Aug. 6 – Sunday, Aug. 11 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. and will air on the FOX Sports family of networks.

Three-time NBA Champion and Jr. NBA Global Championship Ambassador Dwyane Wade, Utah Jazz guard and 2019 NBA Sportsmanship and Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award recipient Mike Conley, 2018 WNBA MVP and WNBA Champion Breanna Stewart, New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development and former WNBA All-Star Swin Cash and Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle will attend the event to watch the competition, interact with the youth teams and participate in leadership development programs.

FOX Sports will air 16 games throughout the week, totaling 24 hours of programming across FOX, FS1 and FS2, including the girls and boys Global Championship games on Aug. 11 at 3:00 p.m. ET and 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX, respectively.  All games will be telecast live and simulcast on FOXSports.com as well as the FOX Sports app. 

Eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, YES Network’s lead Brooklyn Nets game analyst Sarah Kustok and college basketball analyst Donny Marshall will provide commentary for FOX for the second consecutive year.  Play-by-play announcer Mark Followill returns courtside along with the addition of versatile broadcaster Brian Custer, while Noah Eagle will serve as a reporter and Charissa Thompson will once again anchor a pregame show live from Orlando, Fla.

Supported by long-time league partners FIBA and USA Basketball, the event will bring together the top 32 boys and girls teams (16 U.S. and 16 international) that advanced from regional competitions earlier this year that collectively reached more than 15,000 youth from 75 countries.  The 16 international teams (eight boys and eight girls teams) represent Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe & Middle East, India, Latin America and Mexico.  The following 16 U.S. teams won Jr. NBA Global Championship regional tournaments to advance to Orlando:

U.S. Boys Division:

Central (Drive5 Power Elite; Overland Park, Kan.)*

Mid-Atlantic (Quality Warriors; Upper Marlboro, Md.)

Midwest (The Family; Detroit, Mich.)*

Northeast (K/S Elite All Stars; New York, N.Y.)

Northwest (Dynasty Red; Portland, Ore.)

South (Drive Nation; Dallas, Texas)

Southeast (TSF Mack; Atlanta, Ga.)*

West (City Ballers; Los Angeles, Calif.)

U.S Girls Division:

Central (Missouri Phenom; Kansas City, Mo.)

Mid-Atlantic (Maryland Belles; Odenton, Md.)

Midwest (All Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio)

Northeast (Empire State Basketball Club; Westchester, N.Y.)*

Northwest (Evolution Greyhounds; Seattle, Wash.)

South (Cy Fair Elite; Austin, Texas)

Southeast (FBC United The Family; Metro Atlanta, Ga.)

West (San Diego Waves; San Diego, Calif.)

*Team that participated in the inaugural Jr. NBA Global Championship in 2018

Current and former NBA and WNBA players who are alumni of the U.S. teams include Ariel Atkins (South; Girls), Brooke McCarty (South; Girls), Candice Wiggins (West; Girls), Chiney Ogwumike (South; Girls), Draymond Green (Midwest; Boys), Kelsey Mitchell (Midwest; Girls), Kelsey Plum (West; Girls), Nneka Ogwumike (South; Girls) and Miles Bridges (Midwest; Boys).  There are also several players who have ties to the U.S. programs, including Bol Bol (Central; Boys), Danny Green (Northeast; Boys), Jerami Grant (Mid-Atlantic; Boys), Jerian Grant (Mid-Atlantic; Boys), Jermaine O’Neal (South; Boys), Josh Hart (Mid-Atlantic; Boys), Kevin Durant (Mid-Atlantic; Boys), Kyrie Irving (Northeast; Boys), Rod Strickland (Northeast; Boys), Shelvin Mack (Southeast; Boys) and Victor Oladipo (Mid-Atlantic; Boys).

The Jr. NBA Global Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, separated into U.S. and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-elimination competition.  The competition, which aligns with the NBA and USA Basketball Youth Guidelines promoting player health and wellness, will culminate with the winners of the U.S. and international brackets playing in the Global Championship games on Aug. 11.  On Aug. 8, the teams will take a break from gameplay to participate in an NBA Cares community service project during the day and a skills competition in the evening that will feature a three-point shooting competition and a dunk exhibition.

During the weeklong event, all 32 teams will participate in activities designed to reinforce the Jr. NBA’s core values and provide the players with development opportunities and memorable experiences.  In the inaugural Jr. NBA Global Championship, the Central girls (Kansas City, Mo.) defeated the Europe girls team 68-38, while the Central boys (Overland Park, Kan.) defeated the Africa & Middle East boys team 60-50 in the Global Championship games. Sixteen players who participated in the inaugural event will be returning to play in the second Jr. NBA Global Championship. 

CFL 2019/20: Sadhna News to broadcast 33 matches live this season

KOLKATA: The Indian Football Association (IFA) has circulated the fixtures of the 2019/20 Calcutta Football League Premier Division ‘A’ till August 14, 2019 on Wednesday.

This season a total number of 12 teams in Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting Club, BSS Sporting Club, East Bengal, Rainbow Athletic Club, Calcutta Customs, Southern Samity, Kalighat Milan Sangha, Bhawanipore FC, George Telegraph, Aryan Club and Peerless Sports Club will battle to crown champions in Kolkata’s top football competition.

Two teams who would finish at the bottom of the table will exchange their positions with top two teams of Calcutta Football League Premier Division ‘B’ in the next season. The champion team will get Rs. 25 lacs and the runners Up team will get Rs. 20 lacs as prize money, while best coach will be awarded Amal Dutta Memorial Trophy.

The matches of 2019/20 CFL Premier Division ‘A’ will be played primarily at Saltlake Stadium, East Bengal Ground, Mohun Bagan Ground and Mohammedan Sporting Ground besides Barasat Stadium, Gayeshpur Stadium, Howrah Stadium, and Kalyani Stadium.

Defending champions Mohun Bagan will take on Peerless Club in the opener on July 26, 2019 at Mohun Bagan Ground, while other two Kolkata heavyweights Mohammedan Sporting Club and East Bengal will take on Aryan Club and Gerore Telegraph respectively on July 29, 2019 and July 31, 2019 at their own backyard.

Bengali satellite news channel Sadhana News is the official broadcasters for CFL Premier Division ‘A’ this year and a total of 33 matches will be televised.

Countdown to 2020 Tokyo Olympics: Working towards being part of Indian contingent, says Indian Men and Women’s Team Captains

Bengaluru, 24 July 2019: With exactly one year for the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled from 24 July 2020 to 9 August 2020 with Hockey preliminary round events for men and women starting from 25 July 2020, the Indian Men and Women’s team are working towards ensuring they are part of the Indian contingent. 

“We have a count down chart and we frequently remind ourselves in team meetings about how many days are left for the qualifying and how many days before the first hockey match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, we are on our toes to qualify,” said Manpreet Singh, Captain of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team. 

This constant reminder also provides a boost for players to improve upon their individual game and ensure they are doing everything they can to contribute to the team’s goals. “It’s not just us players but the Coaching staff too remind us about days left for 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the goals we need to achieve ahead of this milestone event. We have set short timelines to work on our grey areas. We have set short-term goals which includes areas to work on in training, how we intend to play against a particular team at the upcoming event such as Olympic Test event, Belgium Tour and what implications this would have on the Qualifying event in November. We have mapped out every detail to ensure we do better than our previous best,” he said. 

Another most important aspect is to take care of ourselves and avoid any kind of injuries. In this Olympic cycle we have had key players out of action for nearly 8-10 months and this is something we definitely want to avoid in this crucial year ahead,” added the midfielder who led the team to a win at the FIH Series Finals in Bhubaneswar in June. 

Meanwhile, Indian Women’s Team Captain Rani said, “We have all made personal sacrifices to ensure the team is put ahead of everything else and we are working towards one goal which is to qualify for the Olympics. It’s very important for us to reinstate that qualifying for Rio Olympics was not a one-off incident and that hockey fans can expect the women’s team to create good results at major competitions.” 

She further added that the recent success of fellow Indian women in other disciplines is an inspiration for her team to exceed expectations. “The recent performances of Hima Das and Dutee Chand proves that Indian women are rising to the occasion and are working towards making India a dominant contingent at the world level. Their performances inspires us too and these are athletes we are in touch with and we often end up sharing notes on our training and competitions. Its important to have such positive results in the build up to our qualification event and we are really hoping to play in front of a home crowd in November as the last time we played in India was in 2012 Olympic Qualifier in New Delhi,” Rani added. 

AU Rajasthan FC launches Residential Academy

Since the last one year, AU Rajasthan Football Club has slowly been catching the sports fraternity’s attention in India (specially in Rajasthan). After a year’s hard work and success, AU Rajasthan FC, in collaboration with Poornima University, has launched a premier football residential academy in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The players for this academy were carefully handpicked by the AU Rajasthan FC team through trials in all major cities in India.

In this new set up, the players from across the country would be staying in a residential facility with top notch facilities like an international size professional football field, fully functional gym, mess, medical room with a 24×7 physiotherapist, library and all other basic needs in terms of training, nutrition, academic, and accommodation. A total package like this is surely going to motivate the youth and the nation as a whole, to take football to new heights in our country.

The event was held at the mesmerizing Poornima campus and was attended by a lot of football enthusiast from the city including players, coaches and parents. Also attending the event were Mr. Sanjay Agarwal, CEO AU small finance bank and Rahul Singhvi, Director Poornima University, who motivated the players with their encouraging words.

On the occasion of the launch, the CEO of the club, Mr. Sohil Bhansali, expressed his gratitude towards Poornima University for sharing the club’s vision of becoming the leading professional club in the country. According to Sohil, the club is attracting talent from all across the country, especially from football friendly states like Assam, Mizoram, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa etc. coming all the way to Jaipur to train with AU Rajasthan Football Club.

Mr. Sanjay Agarwal on the occasion of this historic event, expressed his all out support towards the development of the sport in the state and how his dream of having a player from our state and club to become part of the national team is taking shape in the right direction. Mr. Agarwal focused how AU Small Finance Bank shall leave no stone unturned to provide the best of the infrastructure the young bloods and how only their dedication & determination will help them reach the peak in the footballing world.

Apart from the launch of the residential academy, the club also unveiled its new jersey dedicated  to the induction of Jaipur as an UNSECO world heritage site.  The new jersey in blue proudly shows Jaipur’s most prized possession, The Hawa Mahal on it’s front. This great gesture was loved by everyone present at the event. Mr. Shubham Garg (Director, Spordy Ventures Pvt. Ltd) explained the intention behind this i.e. giving back to the city, by taking this achievement where ever the club goes.

Mr. Garg also spoke about the companies vision for AU Rajasthan FC. The main focus is to develop football in Rajasthan not only as a sport, but as a discipline. There is a lot of talent in remote parts of Rajasthan which with proper support, both technically and otherwise, can boost their growth. The company is currently organising district outreach in which the club will conduct free camps in various districts in Rajasthan to motivate the youth. They are paying close attention on grass root level by training kids under the age of 10 as well, so that they have exposure to sports at an early age. The club is also breaking stereotypes by focusing majorly on women’s team, as a team of 15 girls is being trained regularly at their women’s facility. Mr. Garg also focused on how gradually they aim to host more and more players from all over the country and make an everlasting name for the club in the field of football.

To further add to the celebration, U-13 team of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) were invited to Jaipur to play an exhibition match with AU Rajasthan FC U-13 squad. Players from both the teams showed exceptional zest and skills which the dignitaries, parents and others attending enjoyed.

The other dignitaries present on the occasion of the launch were, Dr.Manish Gupta (Pro Chancellor, Poornima University), Mr. Suresh Chandra (Vice Chancellor, Poornima University) & Mr. Shubham Garg (Director, Spordy Ventures Pvt. Ltd).

Naveen shines as Haryana Steelers beat Puneri Paltan 34-24

Hyderabad, 22 July 2019: The Haryana Steelers got their campaign off to a great start with a 34-24 victory over Puneri Paltan at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Monday, 22 July. Naveen was the star of the match for Haryana with 14 total points in the match.
The match began with a tough competition between the sides. Manjeet effected a raid point and Amit Kumar pulled off a tackle point to help Puneri Paltan take the lead before Naveen pulled things back for Haryana with two successful raids. The Haryana Steelers took a big lead at 11-7 after Naveen carried out an all out by removing Paltan’s Jadhav Shahaji and Surjeet Singh during a single raid. Selvamani K widened the gap between Haryana and Puneri by pulling off a fantastic super raid. 

The Haryana Steelers dominated the scoreline when Puneri Paltan were all out once again in the first half. Paltan’s Amit Kumar missed out on a do-or-die raid as the Haryana Steelers led 22-10 at the end of the first half.
Naveen continued his form and got Haryana off to a great start in the second half with two successful raids. Pawan Kadian carried out a few raids for Puneri Paltan, but the Haryana Steelers kept extending their lead with some smart moves. The Haryana defense performed exceedingly well throughout the match to keep the Puneri Paltan players from scoring raid points. Naveen effected another raid in the 43rd minute and picked up a Super 10 in the match.
Kadian scored a few raid points in the dying minutes of the match and recorded a Super 10, but the Haryana Steelers managed to maintain their lead. Manjeet pulled off a super tackle in the final minute as the Haryana Steelers clinched their first victory of the season.