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Sunday,20-June-2021

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

Andhra Pradesh CM condoles Milkha Singh’s demise

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday expressed his grief over the demise of Milkha Singh, former Indian track and field sprinter.

“Milkha Singh has been an inspiration to many young athletes and will continue to remain so,” said Reddy about Singh, who was popularly known as the ‘Flying Sikh’.

The Chief Minister recalled that Singh took India to Olympic glory with his achievements as a track and field star.

Reddy conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family members.

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Bollywood

Farhan Akhtar mourns Milkha Singh’s death: You represented a dream

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Actor Farhan Akhtar, who played Milkha Singh in the film “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, has mourned the death of the legendary Indian athlete, who passed away aged 91 after a long battle with Covid-19.

Farhan posted a picture on Instagram posing with Milkha, who was popularly known as the ‘Flying Sikh’.

The actor penned a note saying that he refuses to accept that Milkha Singh is no more.

Farhan wrote: “Dearest Milkha ji, A part of me is still refusing to accept that you are no more. Maybe it’s the stubborn side I inherited from you.. the side that when it sets it’s mind on something, just never gives up.

“And the truth is that you will always be alive. Because you were more than a large hearted, loving, warm, down to earth man. You represented an idea. You represented a dream. You represented (to use your own words) how hard work, honesty and determination can lift a person off his knees and get him to touch the sky. “

Farhan said that the legendary athlete touched everyone’s lives.

“For those who knew you as a father and a friend, it was a blessing. For those who didn’t, your story was a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of humility in success. I love you with all my heart,” he concluded.

Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, biographical sports drama is based on the life of Milkha Singh.

Milkha Singh passed away in a local hospital in Chandigarh at 11.30 p.m. on Friday, read a statement from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), where he was being treated for Covid-related complications.

He is survived by a son, ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, and three daughters.

Six days ago, on June 13, Milkha’s wife Nirmal passed away.

A former India volleyball captain, she was 85, and she, too, was affected by Covid and related complications.

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National

India should have had a fast-bowling all-rounder in playing XI: Amit Mishra

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Veteran leg-spinner and a member of the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Delhi Capitals, Amit Mishra feels that while the India playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand “looks great”, a fast-bowling all-rounder could have further strengthened the side.

The first day of the WTC final at Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Friday was washed out because of rain and players would be hoping to get back to action later on Saturday.

“The playing XI looks great. We have Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, two excellent spinners who can also contribute with the bat. Ashwin and Jadeja’s batting skills will help India a lot. I think India could have named a fast-bowling all-rounder in the playing XI, someone who could have bowled six-seven overs when the regular pacers are tired and the ball is swinging,” Mishra told JK 24×7 news.

Noting that the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand had an advantage in this department, Mishra, who has played 22 Tests and taken 76 wickets, said, “I think it would have been better if India included a fast-bowling all-rounder. New Zealand have a fast-bowling all-rounder in their squad, so this is the one advantage that the Blackcaps have.”

Indian are fielding two spinners — Ashwin and Jadeja — and the pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah in the WTC final.

Mishra also said that India’s batting was stronger than its bowling.

“I think India’s batting line-up is stronger than the bowling unit. If you consider the all-rounders, we bat very deep. Only the three fast bowlers do not bat. So, I feel the batting is stronger.”

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