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Thursday,01-October-2020

National

Absolutely love the IPL, has a different atmosphere: Virat Kohli

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Virat-Kohli

The camaraderie that players share during the Indian Premier League (IPL) is what makes the tournament special for India and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli. Kohli would have been leading RCB in the 2020 edition of the T20 league had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic forcing its postponement.

“You do play all your tournaments, which is one team versus another, ICC tournaments come every now and then, but even in ICC tournaments, you don’t really interact with the other team players or you see the other teams so often every now and then,” Kohli said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected.

“But in the IPL, you are just probably meeting another team every second or third day and that’s the beauty of the IPL, you are playing in a different atmosphere.”

RCB may not have enjoyed too much success in the IPL thus far, but Kohli has shared the dressing room with some of the biggest names in the sport such as AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle.

Kohli also said that the connection that the franchises are able to make with fans of their cities also makes the tournament special.

“I absolutely love that tournament and also for the camaraderie which you share with so many new players that you play with, so many players that you have known for a long time now, not from your own country, those who you don’t see often, and there is one reason why everyone loves the IPL too, there is a connect, of players and fans and of viewers,” he said.

National

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju launches SAI’s new logo

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Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday launched the Sports Authority of Indias (SAI) new logo at Delhis Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

The event was attended by Sports Secretary Ravi Mittal, Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra and Director General SAI Sandip Pradhan, at the stadium, while many eminent athletes, coaches and other sports enthusiasts joined in from across the country through video conference.

“SAI has been the leader in the sports ecosystem and the primary agent of promoting sporting excellence,” said Rijiju. “It has given athletes necessary support so that they have their sporting careers take-off smoothly and they can fly towards a life of achievements and sporting glory – that is what the flying figure indicates — the freedom an athlete gets to leapfrog his/her career in SAI.

“The word SAI itself gives the identity to the organisation among various stakeholders being the acronym of Sports Authority of India. The Indian Tricolour and blue colour of chakra adds the national fervour as SAI has nurtured some of the biggest names in the sports fraternity, who represent India at the world stage.”

The SAI says that the logo signifies its “journey of metamorphosis from identifying and nurturing grassroot level sporting talent to creating sporting excellence in the country”.

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Was training with my coach, so didn’t fall far behind in lockdown: Amit Panghal

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India's-Amit-Panghal

Amit Panghal still awaits an update on his coach Anil Kumar Dhankar joining him at the boxing national camp currently underway at the National Institute of Sport (NIS) in Patiala, Punjab. Amit has been training at the Patiala facility since July and says that the amount of training he used to do during lockdown under Dhankar was more effective than what he does now at NIS.

“The latest update I have is that the file has been sent to the (Sports) ministry. For now nothing is confirmed,” Amit told IANS.

The 24-year-old boxer, who became the first Indian to win silver at the men’s World Championships in 2019, had first put forward the request for Dhankar to be with him at the national camp in December. In the past, he has credited Dhankar numerous times for shaping his career and even pleaded for a Dronacharya award for the coach.

“I can do all my basic training and fitness stuff with him very well. I would train with him before and after competitions and that always helps me. So if he is with me all the time, it will be very good for me,” said Amit, the world no.1 in the 52kg category.

“In my opinion I didn’t fall too far behind because I was training with my coach at home all along. The way I train with him, I don’t think I can match up to that even here. That is why I requested SAI (Sports Authority of India) and BFI (Boxing Federation of India) that I need him for the Olympics.”

SAI’s Standard Operating Procedure for restart of training amid the Covid-19 pandemic prohibits physical contact which means that the boxers at the camp have been unable to spar during training. Amit said that the restrictions on movement inevitably brings on boredom but the camp has been good for the boxers to work on their weaknesses and places where they fell behind during the lockdown.

“Yes it has been boring because we cannot go outside anywhere, we have not been home for the past three months. But it has been great for training. I could see that my power had reduced a lot in the beginning and that is what we are working on among other things,” he said.

Among the things discussed at the recent Special General Meeting held at the BFI was restarting sparring in Patiala and a possible European tour for the boxers next month with the first stop being Italy.

“It is time to restart sparring,” said Amit. “It has been three months that we have all been here and none of us have got any sort of sickness. If we are allowed to train with partners it will be great. Maybe we will start doing that next month after we go to Italy.”

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Not thinking about India berth, focussed on RR: Sanju Samson

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Rajasthan Royals’ Sanju Samson has taken the 2020 season of the IPL by storm. He is one of the six players to have scored two half-centuries so far this season and one of two players — apart from his captain Steve Smith — to have scored half-centuries in both matches he has played in thus far. His strike rate of 214.86 is also the highest thus far.

Samson’s performances have led to increasing calls for him to be the first choice wicket-keeper for India in shorter format but the 25-year-old Kerala batsman said that he was focussed only on playing as well he could for the Royals. “I may or may not be inducted in team India, but what I am confident upon is the fact that I am playing well for my team,” he said during a virtual press conference.

“The only thing I am sure of is that I am in good form and am winning matches for my team. I want to win matches for my team and keep my focus on IPL.”

Samson scored 75 off 32 balls in the RR’s opening match, helping them score 216/7 and in the second, he scored 85 off 42 balls and helped his side chase down a target of 224 runs. It was the highest successful run chase in the history of the IPL.

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