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Friday,30-July-2021

International

Former West Indies skipper Daren Sammy becomes CWI board member

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Former West Indies skipper, Daren Sammy has become a member of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Board of Directors, following his appointment as an independent non-member director by the CWI Board.

With over 14 years of international cricket experience, Sammy led the West Indies to back-to-back ICC T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016.

The 37-year-old is the first international cricketer from his native Saint Lucia where the national stadium has been named in his honour.

Sammy is an awardee of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II, and a Goodwill Ambassador for St. Lucia. He is also the current head coach of Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League and a Cricket Consultant for the St. Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

“Sammy’s appointment to the CWI Board of Directors is in keeping with two of the fundamental principles which have guided CWI’s improvement strategy for the past two years — increased utilisation of regional technical expertise and the implementation of a Cricket First Policy. It is expected that Mr. Sammy’s appointment will add a fresh and more youthful perspective, as well as a high level of updated cricket know-how to enhance the existing expertise in the CWI Board room,” said a CWI statement on Tuesday.

“It is an honour to be appointed as a CWI director; this is another great opportunity for me to give my best to West Indies cricket in a new way, off the field. All my local, regional and international experiences have prepared me to make a significant ongoing impact in West Indies cricket. I am excited and thankful for the chance to serve and look forward to giving back to the sport and region that I love so much,” said Sammy.

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Olympics: Mary Kom says was made to change ring dress minute before PQF bout

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Boxer MC Mary Kom on Friday continued to question her defeat to Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia in a closely-contested pre-quarterfinal bout at the Tokyo Olympics, alleging that she was asked to change her ring dress a minute before her bout.

“Surprising…can anyone explain what will be a ring dress. I was ask (sic) to change my ring dress just a minute before my pre qtr bout can anyone explain,” she claimed in a Tweet, tagging the office of Indian Prime Minister (@PMOIndia), Sports Minister Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) and his predecessor Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through their Twitter handle @iocmedia and @Olympics.

Mary Kom had raised doubts about the judging in her bout against Ingrit claiming that she could not believe that she had lost the match to a girl she has defeated twice.

On Friday, she took the matter a step further claiming that she was made to change her ring dress just before the bout to not only disturb her but also confuse the judges.

On Thursday, though she managed to keep her emotions in check in the ring as she congratulated her opponent, the reality of the end of an Olympic career sank in only after she had reached the doping centre.

“When I reached the doping centre, I could not believe that I have lost,” Mary Kom told the India Today channel.

The coach consoled her saying that she fought well and should have been the winner of the close bout which she had lost 2-3.

“My coach explained to me that you have won. And then I saw social media (where people praised her and said she should have won the bout), and I was in shock and was upset. In my fight, such [close] decisions do take place. What do I say? I can’t protest,” she had said.

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2nd T20I: Depleted India go down to Sri Lanka by 4 wickets

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A below-strength India, who were forced to make seven changes in the XI after nine players were ruled out due to Covid-related issues, stretched Sri Lanka before losing by four wickets in the last over of the second T20 International here on Wednesday night.

India, who were asked to bat, had made 132/5 wickets at the R Premadasa Stadium as the batting line-up, which included only four specialist batsmen and wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, couldn’t set a total in excess of 150 which they had managed in the first T20I (164).

Sri Lanka, riding on Dhananjaya de Silva’s 40 off 34 balls, won with two balls to spare after a few hiccups.

India skipper Shikhar Dhawan grafted 40 off 42 deliveries with five fours on a pitch that was difficult to bat on and shared an opening stand of 49 in seven overs with Ruturaj Gaikwad (21 off 18 balls). Debutant Devdutt Padikkal grafted 29 off 21 deliveries.

India were coasting at 81/1 after 12 overs before Dhawan fell. Soon Padikkal and Samson were bowled while trying to increase the scoring rate, with the former missing the line during a sweep and the latter letting the ball sneak past bat and pad and on to the stumps.

From then on, India lost track and could not make use of the last few overs.

The Sri Lankans, in reply, got off to a decent start, making 36/1 in the powerplay phase. However, a few wickets brought India back.

Over the seven overs after powerplay, India conceded only 36 runs and picked three wickets. But 15 runs off Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav’s (2/30) fourth over brought the Sri Lankans back. Kuldeep had earlier picked two wickets to peg the home side back.

With 46 required off 36 balls and six wickets in hand, the odds were in Sri Lanka’s favour. India picked a couple of more wickets but de Silva and Chamika Karunaratne (12 off 6), who hit a six off Bhuvneshwar, saw the host through.

Due to nine players in isolation, India were forced to hand T20 International debut to four players — Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, and Chetan Sakariya. Padikkal and Gaikwad made their international debuts.

The Covid-affected Krunal Pandya was among those who missed the match.

Earlier, before the match started, the Board of Control for Cricket in India had drafted the five net bowlers – Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, R Sai Kishore and Simarjeet Singh – into the squad for T20Is on Wednesday and Thursday.

None of these reserve players, however, played the second game on Wednesday.

Brief scores:

India 132/5 in 20 overs (S Dhawan 40, D Padikkal 29, A Dananjaya 2/29, R Gaikwad 21) lost to Sri Lanka 133/6 in 19.4 overs (D de Silva 40 not out, M Bhanuka 36, K Yadav 2/30) by four wickets.

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Olympics: PV Sindhu storms into women’s singles quarterfinals

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Midway through the first game against Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, coach Park Tae-sang told India’s PV Sindhu that she was rushing with her defence and should be more patient.

Sindhu, silver medallist at the Rio Olympics five years ago, changed her tactics and scored points at will as she has reached the women’s singles quarterfinals, beating her Danish opponent 21-15, 21-13 at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.

Playing aggressive and deceptive shots that kept her opponent on the run throughout the match, Sindhu outplayed Mia in just 41 minutes.

“I started off well. In the first game, I was rushing in defence a bit but my coach told me that I was playing the wrong way and I was able to change how I played. And then in the second game I think it was fine, I maintained the lead and was under control,” said Sindhu after the match.

Mia, who was ranked 11th in the world a couple of years back, had sent Sindhu packing from the Thailand Open in January this year though the Indian had won their last encounter, found the Indian star, gunning for gold here, too strong on Thursday and could not play her usual game as Sindhu took control from the start.

Sindhu will next play the winner of the match between Kim Gaeun of South Korea and Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.

Sindhu, playing solid and steady throughout the match, came into her own in the middle of the first game as she opened up a handy lead and went out to win it 25-15.

She was more dominant in the second game as she surged ahead to a 7-2 lead. Playing with the stadium drift behind her, the Indian could unleash her smashes and mixed them with deceptive drop shots that had Mia shaking her head in frustration.

Though Mia tried to fight back, Sindhu built on her five-point advantage to reach 20-11 and had nine match points, capitalising on some unforced errors by her opponent.

Mia saved two match points but Sindhu could not be denied on Thursday and sealed a well-deserved victory.

Sindhu has always done well in the big tournaments, which is evident in the silver medal she won in Rio de Janeiro five years back and her performance in the World Championships, in which she had a full set of medals, having won gold in 2019; silver in 2017 and �18, and bronze medals in 2013 and 2014.

The 26-year-old said she does not think of the importance of the tournament when playing and takes it match-by-match.

“A lot of people have told me that. I will take that as a compliment. But for me each and every game is important. It’s important to focus on every point, and not the match,” Sindhu told the BWF, the sport’s world governing body, after the match.

When the draw was made, everyone thought that the match against Mia would be the first big challenge for Sindhu in the knoclout stages. But the way she played on Thursday, it appears she is very focused and it will take a lot of effort to stop her.

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