Category: Off the field

Football Balloon installed in Delhi

New Delhi, May 19: Sports Minister, Shri Vijay Goel and the Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri N. Biren Singh at the installation of a big size Football Balloon in the park of Inner Circle of Connaught Place, to promote the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri Biren Singh, was the chief guest at the event. The Manipur Chief Minister expressed happiness at India hosting the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. Shri Biren Singh has been a national level football player himself and has promoted the cause of football in the country.

The objective behind the event is to popularise football in the country, in view of FIFA Under-17 World Cup being hosted in India from October 6 to October 28, 2017. The event is a step towards restoring Indian football to its past glory of 1950s and marks another step forward in the direction of Prime Minister’s vision, as outlined in “Mann Ki Baat” programme, to take football to every village in the country.

BFI recommends Saweety, Sonia and Sarjubala for Arjuna awards

New Delhi, May 4: The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has recommended the women’s trio of World Championship silver-medallists — Saweety Boora (81kg), Sonia Lather (57kg), and Sarjubala Devi (51kg) — for this year’s Arjuna awards.

All the three boxers have been consistently performing well for India and are regulars in the national team.

Saweety’s world silver medal came in the 2014 edition, the same edition Sarjubala got her silver. Sonia, on the other hand, was India’s lone medalist at the 2016 edition of the big event with her silver.

Both Saweety and Sonia are silver-medallists at the Asian Championships as well. While Saweety won in the 2015 edition, Sonia had claimed it back in 2012.

Sarjubala is a former youth world champion and won a silver medal at the season-opening Nation’s Cup in Serbia early this year.

It is learnt that Commonwealth Games and Asian Championships silver-medallist L Devendro Singh (52kg) is among the male boxers to have been recommended for the Arjuna award. But his recommendation has not gone through BFI.

Athletes can be recommended by individuals and entities other than the national federation as well.

Sindhu, Saina lose a place in BWF ranking

New Delhi, May 4: Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu and former World No. 1 Saina Nehwal slipped a place each to be at the fourth and ninth spots respectively in the latest BWF World ranking released today.

Both Sindhu and Saina last played at the Asian Badminton Championship in China with the former losing in the quarterfinals, while the latter bowed out in the first round.

In men’s singles, Ajay Jayaram continues to be the best- ranked Indian at the 13th spot, while Singapore Super Series champion Sai Praneeth gained a place to reach 22nd.

Former World No. 3 K Srikanth, who also reached the finals at Singapore, is at the 26th spot followed by Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold winner Sameer Verma, who gained a place to be at 27th.

H S Prannoy lost a place to be at 30th position, while Sourabh Verma was at the 39th spot.

Fast-rising new women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and R Sikki Reddy improved two places to be at the 28th spot.

Men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy is at the 25th position, while mixed doubles combination of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy are placed at the 16th place.

Garry Calvert resigns as Indian coach

New Delhi, May 4: Garry Calvert has resigned as National Javelin Coach of India, citing professional reasons. He has accepted a role in China as National Javelin Coach.

During Garry Calvert’s tenure, Indian Javelin reached to new heights as Neeraj Chopra won the World Junior Championships with a world record throw in Poland. At the National Championships in Lucknow, Ravinder Singh Khaira and Shivpal Singh finishing at first and second place with both going past the meet record.

Earlier this year in April, Neeraj Chopra qualified for the World Championships in London with a throw of 83.32 meters it the second leg of the Asia Grand Prix.

In order to ensure that Indian Athletics is given every opportunity to develop and progress, Garry Calvert suggested, “to structurally set up a High Performance Department with a professional High Performance Director and 6 supporting staff to manage the overall program, elite athlete delivery, national teams, overseas camps and coach development. This High Performance Department would take over from the current format and would address the individual athlete requirements and the delivery of a professional coaching staff.” He believes that India has enormous talent in all events and wished them every success in the future.

This is not the time to wonder what India would have been able to achieve under the guidance of Garry Calvert, but to enjoy and appreciate the successes that Indian Javelin Throwers were able to achieve during his tenure. Athletics Federation of India will hopefully soon appoint a coach who would build on the good work done by Garry Calvert.

HI announces Women’s team for New Zealand tour

New Delhi, Apr 4: Hockey India on Thursday announced the 20-member Indian Senior Women’s team who will tour New Zealand for a Five-Match Test Series to be played at Midlands starting May 14.

The team will be captained by striker Rani while Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, who is making a comeback after nearly eight months of rehabilitation due to an injury, will shoulder the duties of vice-captain.

The team includes a mix of experienced and the young with the defence line formed by Deep Grace Ekka, Udita, Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam and Gurjit Kaur who also doubles up as the team’s only drag flicker. The goal will be kept by Savita who had a fantastic outing at the Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 where she was adjudged the goal keeper of the tournament. Rajani Etimarpu will travel as the second goal keeper in the team.

The midfield will be formed by the experienced Ritu Rani, Lilima Minz, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Renuka Yadav, Nikki Pradhan and Reena Khokar. The forwardline features Rani, Vandana Katariya, Preeti Dubey, Sonika and Anupa Barla.

The Indian Senior Women’s team have had a great start to the new season with some remarkable wins. They kicked off the year with an emphatic Five-Match Test Series win against Belarus. The team returned victorious from the Women’s Hockey World League Round 2 beating Chile in the final and securing their berth for the World League Semi Final in June. Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne, the newly-appointed chief coach for the Indian women’s team hoped that the New Zealand tour will help the team gain the required exposure ahead of important tournament lined up in June.

The team has been put through the grind in a 21-day camp at SAI, Bengaluru where the team trains three session a day. During the camp, the emphasis was on fitness and improving individual technique as well as developing defensive structure of the team.

Indian Squad:
Goalkeepers: Rajani Etimarpu, Savita
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Udita, Sunita Lakra, Gurjit Kaur, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam (VC), Namita Toppo
Midfielders: Ritu Rani, Lilima Minz, Navjot Kaur, Monika, Renuka Yadav, Nikki Pradhan, Reena Khokar
Forwards: Rani (C), Vandana Katariya, Preeti Dubey, Sonika, Anupa Barla

(with inputs from HI)

Indian Football Team breaks into top 100

New Delhi, May 4: Indian Football Team ranked has climbed a spot and are ranked 100th with a total of 331 points, alongside Nicaragua, Lithuania and Estonia, breaks into top 100 for first time in 21 years.

The last time India had been in the top 100 of the rankings was way back in 1996, with the 94th spot in February 1996 being the country’s best ever FIFA ranking.

India’s rise in the rankings has been due to triumphs over Cambodia and Myanmar, both away wins. India will next face Lebanon in an international friendly on June 7, ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying tournament.

Aizawl FC – Well done!!!

Aizawl FC winning the Hero I-League has unleashed a new era in the history of Indian football. These guys had proved that hard work, dedication, true spirit, passion and will force is the last word for success.

Aizawl Football Club, a small team from Mizoram (India) defied all expectation and won the I-League 2017, the top division football league in India in just their second appearance in the league.

Last year despite not being the last placed team they were relegated, though being recalled by AIFF to play in the topmost tier of Indian football. This year you showed purpose from the very beginning of the I-League. More creditable, they remained undefeated in their home ground.

Justice for Aizawl Football Club, India’s national champion

A team with a total budget of only 4.12 crores, a team comprising of 8 (eight) players from the academy, you really showed the true way to the ultimate glory, rising to the epitome of the Indian football.

They had done what Leicester City did in English football, Deportivo La Coruna did in Spanish football. Really, North East is the growing future of Indian football.

Congratulations to Aizawl FC, congrats Khalid Jamil and their support staff, congrats all the players of Aizawl FC, congrats to all the officials.

(article by Diptashis Dasgupta)

Hockey India recommends Sardar Singh for Khel Ratna

New Delhi, May 2: Hockey India (HI) has recommended senior player and former captain Sardar Singh for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting honour on Monday.

Sardar made his debut for India in the junior team during India’s tour to Poland in 2003–04.

In 2006, he graduated to the senior side making debut against Pakistan. Known for his high fitness levels not only in India but worldwide, Sardar was included in the 18-men FIH All Star team in 2010 and 2011.

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He was the youngest player to captain the Indian team when he led the side at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He has also received the Arjuna Award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2015.

Other players SV Sunil, Dharamvir Singh and Deepika have been recommended for the Arjuna Award while RP Singh and Sumrai Tete have been recommended for the Dhyan Chand Award.

Coaches Sandeep Sangwan and Romesh Pathania have been recommended for the Dronacharya Award.

Meanwhile, the BCCI has nominated prolific run scorer Cheteshwar Pujara for the prestigious Arjuna award, acknowledging his stupendous show during the last Test season for India.

Along with Pujara, Indian woman’s cricket team member Harmanpreet Kaur has also been nominated by the Board for the award. However there has been no nomination from BCCI for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.

Pujara has been the cornerstone of India’s batting this season having scored 1316 runs, highest ever aggregate of runs by an Indian batsman in a single Test season.

The 30-year-old has scored 3798 runs in 48 Tests at an average of 51 plus. He has so far hit 11 hundreds in Tests along with 14 half-centuries.

In case of Harmanpreet, it was an even easier choice as she has been the best batswoman for India in limited overs format.

She played a significant role in India’s T20 series victory against Australia Down Under and also played a role in Women’s Asia Cup triumph.

She also represented Sydney Thunders in the Woman’s Big Bash League (WBBL), where she had some great performances.

A committee, formed by the Sports Ministry, will decide on the recommendations made by respective sports federations. (with inputs from PTI)

Four Indians to take part in NBL Draft combine

Bengaluru, Apr 15: Four senior members of the Indian basketball team (Amjyot Singh Gill, Amritpal Singh, Yadwinder Singh, and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi) have been invited by the National Basketball League (NBL), the professional basketball league of Australia, to participate in the NBL Draft combine.

A total of 80 players are expected to participate in the combine that will take place on 17th and 18th of April at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

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As standard practice, players participating in the NBL Draft Combine must pay an entry fee of AUD $250. However, this fee has been waived off for all the four invited Indian players.

Under the new rules of the NBL, the players belonging to the countries of the FIBA Asia zone would be given a separate spot that would not take up any of the three spots reserved for the foreign players.

This move has been made to attract the top Asian talents and ensure that they consider the NBL as a serious destination to ply their trade.

India-Australia launch Sports Partnership

Mumbai, Apr 12: India and Australia today launched Sports partnership in Mumbai aimed at increasing  cooperation in sports.  The Partnership, which was launched by the Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports Mr. Vijay Goel and the visiting Australian Prime Minister Mr. Malcolm Turnbull, in the presence of cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, will advance India – Australia cooperation in four areas – athlete and coach training and development, sport science, sport governance and integrity, and grassroots participation.”

Speaking on the occasion, Sports Minister Vijay Goel said “we have a lot to learn and share with Australia in the field of sports. The India-Australia Sports Partnership would facilitate exchange of athletes, coaches, technical officials, sports scientists between two countries.”

He said India has started taking sports as a very important component of public health management as well as education. “We have launched a major grassroots programme – Khelo India for developing a sporting culture at grass-roots level.  We are planning to introduce sports as a compulsory subject in schools” he said.

The Minister said that the National Sports Talent Identification and Development Portal would be launched shortly.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said under the new partnership Victoria University and the University of Canberra would work with India to assist in the establishment of a National Sports University similar to the Australian Institute of Sport.