Kuldeep and I could play together until Pandya was around: Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal said that the reason for him and Kuldeep Yadav not featuring together in the Indian team in the last two years is because all-rounder Hardik Pandya is unable to bowl.
“When Kuldeep Yadav and I used to play, Hardik Pandya was also there and he would bowl. In 2018, Hardik Pandya got injured and Ravindra Jadeja made a comeback (in white-ball cricket) as an all-rounder, the one who could also bat at number 7. Unfortunately, he is a spinner. We could have played together if he was a medium pacer. It was the demand of the team,” Chahal told Sports Tak in an interview.
Pandya had to be stretchered off the field with a back injury in a match against Pakistan which was followed by a lengthy spell on the sidelines. He had only started bowling again after the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) last year and is yet to play a Test match since September 2018. Kuldeep and Chahal were developing as a lethal spin pair before the 2019 World Cup but they have hardly played a match together since the tournament, with the former’s appearances for the Indian team going on a nosedive.
“Kuldeep and I played 50-50 matches in any series. Sometimes, he would play 3 matches of a five-match series, sometimes I would get the chance. The team combination is needed, 11 players make a team and ‘Kul-cha’ was not making it. We were there till Hardik was there, we were also given chances. The need of the team was to have an all-rounder at No. 7 position. I am happy even if I am not playing but the team is winning,” Chahal added.
Will stand with wrestlers till justice is not delivered: Cong
Hours after Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur called the wrestlers for a meeting, the Congress on Wednesday took swipe at the BJP government for remaining silent on the harassment of the players, and said that the grand old party “will stand with the daughters till the time justice is not delivered”.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress leader Deepender Singh Hooda, when asked about the Union Sports Minister calling wrestlers for a meeting, said, “Congress will support the daughters till justice is not delivered to them. It is unfortunate that the government is treating the daughters with step motherly treatment as the wrestlers have to knock on the Supreme Court doors for registering an FIR.”
Hooda said that it’s been one and half months and the government and the Delhi Police have not made any arrest.
“Isn’t it the first case where the accused have not been arrested. In such an FIR with serious charges, it is the first example that no arrest has been done as one BJP MP is named as an accused. What kind of example the government is setting. What kind of standard they are laying?”
The Rajya Sabha MP said that the government remained silent when the wrestlers went to immerse their medals in the Ganga in Haridwar.
“Why was the sports Minister silent and no one from the government issued any statement urging them to stop their act of immersing their medals? And even selective leaks are being made in the media to harm their protest,” he said.
“Whatever stand our daughters take after the meeting we will listen to that and will ensure that we stand with them for justice,” he added.
His remarks came after Thakur on Wednesday invited the wrestlers for a meeting to have discussion.
Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia at Minister Anurag Thakur’s residence for talks
Protesting wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik arrived at the residence of Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Wednesday.
Sakshi came along with her husband Satyawart Kadian, an Arjuna awardee. Olympian Vinesh Phogat was missing though her husband Somveer Rathi was seen entering the minister’s residence.
The protesting wrestlers have been invited by the government for the second time days after they met Home Minister Amit Shah.
In January, too, the wrestlers met Anurag Thakur at his residence and called off their protest after a committee was formed. At that time, former wrestler and BJP leader Babita Phogat played the mediator’s role.
Earlier, talking to Wednesday, Sakshi Malik said, “We will keep everything open. We won’t take any decision behind closed doors. We will discuss the proposal given by the government with our seniors and supporters and only when everyone gives their consent that the proposal is fine, then will we agree.”
Protesting wrestlers to discard their medals in Ganga river today at 6pm, sit on hunger strike at India Gate
The protesting wrestlers demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh over sexual allegations have threatened to discard their coveted medals in Ganga river in Haridwar on Tuesday at 6 pm. Their announcement came as the Delhi Police cleared all the signs of the wrestlers’ month-long protest.
The likes of Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Poghat, and Satyawart Kadian have been protesting for over a month, asking for Brij Bhushan Singh’s arrest over sexual allegations of female athletes, including a minor. On May 28th, all the wrestlers suffered ill treatment from the police officials as they were dragged relentlessly, prompting an outrage among social media users over the behaviour towards the athletes.
On the same day, the police officials entered the wrestlers’ tents at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to destroy them. Sakshi Malik, an Olympic Bronze medalist and one of the protestors condemned it by posting a clip on Twitter. She wrote on Twitter, stating ‘After arresting all the wrestlers and old people, the cops have started to destroy our march. Our things have been started lifting. What kind of hooliganism is this?’
Hence, Malik, on Tuesday, issued a lengthy statement on Twitter in Hindi, announcing to dispose of their medals in Ganga river. ‘These medals are our lives, our souls. There would be no reason to live after throwing them in the Ganga today. So, we will stage a hunger strike until death at India Gate after that.’
While Malik has an Olympic bronze medal won in 2016, wrestler Vinesh Poghat has two commonwealth golds, one Asian Games gold medal. She was also crowned Asian Champion in 2021 and won the World Championships Bronze in 2021. Meanwhile, Bajrang Punia won a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. He also went on to win bronze in 2013, silver in 2018, and bronze in 2019.
Police officials blocked the wrestlers’ march towards the parliament on Sunday:
On the day of the new Parliament building’s opening, the protest produced devastating images as Delhi Police cracked down on them in the middle of their march.
Hundreds of police officers and paramilitary people obstructed the wrestlers’ protest march as they attempted to progress towards the new Parliament House. A violent altercation between wrestlers and police officers occurred as the demonstrators attempted to break through the security perimeter.
Leading members of the opposition, such as Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, and Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, have criticised the central government for staying mum over Brij Bhushan Singh.
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