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Kiren Rijiju, Shelar bat for restoration of railway concession for sportspersons




After Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju, former Maharashtra sports minister Ashish Shelar has also requested Union railways minister Piyush Goyal to restore the fare concessions for athletes travelling for various sports meets.

The concessions, across 38 categories which include sportspersons and senior citizens, were stopped by the railways ministry through its circular on March 19, 2020 in a move to discourage train journey and contain the spread of Covid-19.

With sporting activity resuming in the country now, a large number of sportspersons are heavily dependent on the railways for their travel and the fare concessions help state associations ease the financial burden of sending their athletes for various all India, state and national events.

Shelar, a former Mumbai Cricket Association president and BJP leader, wrote a letter to Goyal and spoke with him expressing his concern about the sportspersons. The 48-year-old, contesting for the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president’s post in their upcoming polls, feels he was duty-bound to address this issue.

“It is a genuine concern of our sportspersons, which I have taken up at the highest level. I am confident of a positive response soon,” he said in an official statement.

In his letter to Goyal, Shelar wrote: “As sporting activity resumes across the country, complying with all Covid-19 norms of course, sportspersons are looking to travel from one city to another, from one town to another, to compete in various tournaments and competitions. In addition, many youngsters, boys and girls, need to travel for training, coaching and attending camps.”

“May I bring to your attention the fact that due to withdrawal of travel concessions, there is a great financial burden on the sportspersons and their respective sports federations. I would appreciate if the railway ministry restores travel concession for all sportspersons to support their sporting endeavours,” he added.

On Thursday, Rijiju had also written to Goyal, requested him to restore the privileges.

In a letter to Goyal, Rijiju wrote: “Now, since the training and sports competitions have started, the sports persons are facing difficulties due to withdrawal of the concession in passenger fares while travelling to participate in all India, state and national level tournaments.”

Rijiju said during his interaction with sportspersons and sports administrators, he has been apprised of the difficulties being faced by them due to withdrawal of the Railway concession.

“The Indian Olympic Association has also submitted a representation in this regard. In view of the above, I shall be grateful if you could kindly get the concession restored for sportspersons in passenger fares in the best interest of sports and Indian sportspersons,” he added.


‘There must be a formula to pick WTC final winner in case of a draw’




Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar is clearly not happy with the way things are panning out in the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand here after two days were lost to rain.

The cricketer-turned-commentator wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to come up with a formula to determine the winner if the final ends in a draw.

The first and fourth days of the Test here were a washout. In reply to India’s first-innings total of 217, New Zealand are 101/2 in 49 overs.

The ICC, while announcing the playing conditions of the WTC final, had said that in the event of a draw or a tie, the trophy would be shared.

“There must be a formula to pick a winner in case of a drawn World Test Championship final. ICC’s cricket committee should think and then take a decision,” Gavaskar told a news channel.

A total of 141.1 overs have been possible in the WTC final so far and with just two days remaining, including the reserved day, it would be impossible to bowl the remaining 308.5 overs.

“It seems that the WTC final will end up as a draw and the trophy will be shared. This will be the first time that the trophy will be shared in a final. To complete three innings in two days would be really difficult. Yes, if both teams bat really badly, the three innings could be completed,” Gavaskar added.

He asked ICC to look at other sport, such as football or tennis, to find a way to decide the winner.

“In football, they have a penalty shootout or they have some other method to decide a winner. In tennis, there are five sets and there is a tie-breaker,” he said.

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Noida shooting range to be named after ‘Shooter Dadi’




The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to name the shooting range in Noida after the international shooter Chandro Tomar, popularly known as ‘Shooter Dadi’.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath gave instructions in this regard on Tuesday.

Chandro Tomar died at the age of 89 in April due to Covid.

Shooter Dadi had started professional shooting at the age of 60 and went on to win many national competitions. She is considered the oldest shooter in the world. Her sister-in-law, Prakashi Tomar, is also a shooter.

In 2019, a film based on her life, ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ was released.

Chandro Tomar lived with her family in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh.

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VVS Laxman advises Ajinkya Rahane to curb his instinct to play pull shot




Former India cricketer VVS Laxman is not impressed with Ajinkya Rahane’s obsession with the pull shot that led to the vice-captain being dismissed one short of a half-century on Day 3 of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand here.

Just when Rahane had started to look threatening, he was dismissed for 49 by Neil Wagner. He didn’t commit fully to the pull and ended up playing a short-arm jab, and spooned the catch to Tom Latham at square-leg, leaving India tottering on 182/6.

“I thought that Ajinkya Rahane was getting his eye in. He was batting much better. He looked more assured on the crease as compared to yesterday [Saturday]. But this is something that has become a pattern with Rahane’s batting. It was the same game plan that New Zealand used against him in Christchurch. This is something he requires to understand,” said Laxman.

“You talked about the planning between Neil Wagner and Kane Williamson. There was no fielder there on the fifth delivery, the one before he got out. And then a fielder was placed there and also near the backward short-leg. It forced Rahane to play the half-hearted pull short. There was no conviction in that pull short and this would be something Rahane will be disappointed with,” Laxman told STAR Sports.

Praising the “perfect execution” of the field by captain Williamson for Rahane, Laxman added that, sooner or later, the opposition understands the batsman’s favourite shot and works to negate it.

“[It’s] because if the opposition comes to know that you are a compulsive pull shot or hook shot player, they will bowl a barrage of bouncers at you and have the field set to make you play that shot. And it is always going to be a low percentage shot,” he added.

Laxman advised Rahane to be cautious when the ball is pitched in the “corridor of uncertainty”.

“Number one is you know where your off stump is, you know how to play the ball when it is pitched in the corridor of uncertainty. And you also should know how to leave or defend the bouncers.”

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