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Tuesday,18-January-2022

National

ATK Mohun Bagan holds international potential, says Nita Ambani

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Nita Ambani, Founder & Chairperson, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), welcomed legendary Indian football club Mohun Bagan into the Indian Super League family on Friday.

The 130-year old football club on Friday completed the formalities of merging with three-time ISL champions ATK FC, thus scripting a new essay in Indian football named as – ‘ATK Mohun Bagan’.

“We are delighted on the merger of ATK and Mohun Bagan, the two powerhouses of Indian football. I whole-heartedly welcome Mohun Bagan, one of India’s oldest and most renowned club, to the Indian Super League and congratulate Sanjiv Goenka for embracing the I-League champions with open arms,” said Ambani.

The FSDL chairperson believes that the combined power of ATK and MB will further enable India to establish its stronghold in AFC competitions.

“The coming together of these two heavyweights marks a momentous chapter in the history of Indian sports. The new entity, ‘ATK Mohun Bagan FC’, holds vast potential for not just West Bengal or Indian football but internationally too, as we endeavour to establish Indian clubs as strong players in AFC competitions.”

A firm believer in investing in youth development, Nita Ambani is of the opinion that ATK Mohun Bagan will lead the way towards a more competitive platform for young Indian players, benefitting the overall football ecosystem in the country.

“Talent can only be realised when budding youngsters get the opportunity and exposure to play competitive football at the highest levels. I am confident that this partnership will benefit football in our country and help us realise our dream of making India a football superpower.

“I wish the management of ATK Mohun Bagan FC, the players and the staff all the very best for what promises to be an exciting journey ahead,” Ambani added.

The board of ATK-Mohun Bagan on Friday decided to retain the green and maroon jersey which has been synonymous with the legacy of iconic Mohun Bagan football club.

The name of the club will be changed to ATK Mohun Bagan while the logo will have the Mohun Bagan boat with addition of ‘ATK’ to it, a statement said.

ATK-Mohun Bagan also said it has plans to build a world-class football academy in Bengal and to refurbish the existing Mohun Bagan facility so that ISL and AFC home games are held there.

National

PKL 8: Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 38-26

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Raider Sachin scored 10 points as three-time champions Patna Pirates defeated Puneri Paltan 38-26 in Match 17 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, on Tuesday. Sachin scored a Super 10 (10 points) and was ably supported by Patna’s defensive trio of Sunil (4 points), Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (3 points), and Sajin C (3 points). The lack of a quality raider despite promising performances from youngsters will be a cause of concern for the Puneri Paltan who succumbed to their second loss in three matches.

All eyes were once again on Pune’s Rahul Chaudhari but the showman, despite starting the match, was substituted for young Mohit Goyat by coach Anup Kumar in the first half. The trio of raiders including Aslam Inamdar and Pankaj Mohite caused problems for the Patna defence while at the other end Prashant Kumar Rai and Sachin were equally effective.

Patna were facing the risk of an all-out with six minutes left to half-time, but their defender Sajin C completed a Super Tackle to turn the momentum. The three-time champions got lucky later when Monu Goyat entered the lobby without contact, in a do-or-die raid only to be followed by three Pune defenders who had been deceived by his actions. The first half ended 14-14 with Pune having just two men on the mat.

Pune coach Anup Kumar clearly expected from his set of raiders and brought in Shubham Shelke for Pankaj Mohite in the second half. But Patna kept fighting back, thanks to the largely confident tackles from the likes of Mohammadreza Chiyaneh and Sajin. With 10 minutes remaining, Patna had a four-point lead and that was extended a’ Pune’s plan to play on the Do-or-Die raid backfired. Sachin scored two points in the crucial raid for Patna to inspire another ALL OUT in the 13th minute and open a 10-point lead.

Patna maintained the momentum and though Sunil and Vishal Bharadwaj picked up yellow cards in the final minutes as the match became intense the three-time champions ensured there was no late comeback by Pune and clinched an important win.

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National

PKL 8: Bengal Warriors beat Gujarat Giants

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Bengal Warriors defeated Gujarat Giants 31-28 on Day 3 of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Friday. This was Bengal Warriors’ second win in as many matches while Gujarat Gaints have one win and one loss. The Warriors have 10 points the same as Dabang Delhi but are placed second on a lower points-difference while Gujarat have six points.

Bengal Warriors started well and established a slender lead (16-11) against Gujarat Giants at half-time. They maintained their advantage despite the valiant efforts of the Gujarat Giants, managed to register a narrow victory.

Maninder Singh was the top scorer for Bengal Warriors with eight points while Esmaeil Nabibakhsh contributed four points.

Bengal Warriors won 18 raid points as against 19 by Gujarat Giants. But it was in defence that they scored, claiming 10 points as against eight by their rivals. They bagged two all-outs as against none by the Giants.

Rakesh Narwal was the top scorer for Gujarat Giants with 12 points while Rakesh Sungroya contributed four points.

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Rishabh Pant appointed as Uttarakhand’s brand ambassador

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 Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday announced that Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the state.

Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said that Pant will encourage the youngsters to take up sports.

“One of the best cricket players of India, the idol of youth and son of Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant has been appointed as “State Brand Ambassador” by our government with the aim of encouraging the youth of the state towards sports and public health,” tweeted Dhami in Hindi, along with the video.

In the video, CM Dhami can be seen interacting with Rishabh and asking about his well-being.

The attacking batter also thanked the Chief Minister for the opportunity, saying that he will try his best to motivate people towards fitness.

“Thank you @pushkardhami sir for giving me the opportunity to be the Brand Ambassador of promoting Sports and General Health among the people of Uttarakhand. I’ll do my best to spread this message and feeling happy that you are taking these steps towards a fitter India,” tweeted Pant.

“Coming from a small town of Roorkee, I am confident that the people here have the ability to make the country proud in various fields of life,” he added.

The 24-year Pant, who was rested for the New Zealand Tests, is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Indian Team is all set to face Proteas in the three-match Test series, starting December 26.

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