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Friday,27-November-2020

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MS Dhoni becomes first to play 200 IPL matches

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Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni became the first cricketer to play 200 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches when his side took the field against Rajasthan Royals here on Monday.

Asked about the feat at the toss, Dhoni said that he was unaware until the commentator pointed it out.

“You spoke about it and that’s how I got to know. It feels good but at the same time it’s just a number. I feel fortunate to play for such a long time without many injuries,” he said.

The former India captain, who has led the Chennai franchise to three IPL titles and eight appearances in finals and had also played a few games for Rising Pune Supergiant, has been struggling to revive his team this season.

Ahead of the Chennai Super Kings’ game against Rajasthan Royals, Dhoni had 4568 runs in the league, which put him at No. 7 in the top run-getters’ list and he leads the wicketkeepers’ list with 145 dismissals, including 106 catches and 39 matches.

Despite losing the majority of the matches this season, Dhoni still remains the only captain with over 100 IPL wins.

Sanjay Bangar, the former India batting coach, praised Dhoni’s leadership in a TV show ahead of Monday’s match.

“He is always there to help the youngsters. His door is open to everyone. He doesn’t force anything on anyone. He knows how to handle the youngsters,” said Bangar.

Dhoni though averages just 27.2 this season with the bat, which is the lowest except in 2017. He is yet to score a half-century.

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Kiren Rijiju to deliver inaugural address at FICCI TURF 2020

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Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju will deliver the inaugural address at the 10th Global Sports Summit – TURF 2020, to be organised by FICCI on December 8 and 9. The summit will comprise of India’s first virtual global sports and fitness exhibition, along with the international conference on business of sports, and the India Sports Awards.

The summit will feature the India Sports Awards, the International Conference on Business of Sports and a virtual Global Sports and Fitness Exhibition.

“Along with an insightful conference and the India Sports Awards, TURF 2020 will host India’s 1st virtual Global Sports and Fitness Exhibition. FICCI is committed to finding innovative and effective ways to promote the development of sports and sports business in the country. We hope this platform will facilitate further industry participation in developing grassroots sports and finding solutions to convert current challenges into opportunities,” said FICCI secretary general Dilip Chenoy.

“Turf will bring together multi-disciplinary experts from the world of sports with innovative ideas and exclusive insights into issues and growth opportunities of sports and fitness in India. In addition to the conference, this year we are also organizing India’s 1st Virtual – Global Sports & Fitness Exhibition,” said Shabnam Panjwani, Co-chairperson, Sports & Youth Affairs Committee, FICCI.

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Working hard to get into senior Indian hockey team, says Manpreet Kaur

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Defender Manpreet Kaur, who is currently a part of the senior core probables group of the Indian women’s hockey team, is focussing on doing the basic rights in order to find a place in the national side.

Over the past few years, there has been no dearth of talent when it comes to the Indian eves. The world number nine side has a huge pool of players who are yet to play for the senior team, but have already gained useful experience and exposure representing the junior team around the world.

“I am so happy and proud to be a part of the senior core probables group, and to have this opportunity to play and work with the best players from India. My ambition has always been to represent my country at the highest level, and having done so at the junior level, my next milestone is to represent the senior team soon,” said Kaur.

“It is obviously something that is not in my hands, but I want to focus on everything that is in my hands. I want to put my 100 per cent effort and hard work into getting myself ready for the time when I get the chance. I am really happy that we’ve had such great support and planning from Hockey India and SAI with regards to the exposure that I’ve been able to get at the junior level, even without having played for the senior team yet,” the talented defender from Haryana added.

Winner of the bronze medal at the 4th Girls U18 Asia Cup 2016 held in Bangkok, Thailand, the 22-year-old recalled it as her most memorable tournament.

“I was really young back then, only 17 and it was such a big occasion for us to be representing the country at the continent’s most important tournament at the junior level. I remember how amazingly everyone in the team performed and I thought we were unfortunate to not make it to the final, but the 3-0 victory in the bronze medal match against Republic of Korea made it worth it,” said Kaur.

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Varney Kallon looks forward to a ‘fresh’ start in I-League 2020-21

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Neroca FC captain Varney Kallon is looking forward to a fresh start in I-League 2020-21 leaving the hiccups from the last season behind.

“It’s true that we had a tough season in I-League (2018-19). Some results went against us although we tried to give everything on the field. But, this is going to be a fresh start and we’ll leave no stone unturned to put Neroca where they used to be,” Kallon told www.i-league.org.

Neroca caught everyone’s imagination in their debut season (2017-18) itself when they had a shot at the silverware till the final day of the league until Minerva Punjab clinched it at Ludhiana.

The Orange outfit, thanks to their nine wins and five draws, finished the campaign with 32 points, 3 shy of the champions.

But, I-League 2019-20 turned to be a roller-coaster ride for the Manipuri team as they had to swallow a hard-fought loss to cross-city debutants TRAU FC in the first-ever Imphal Derby in I-League. They were tottering in the eleventh spot with 18 points from 16 outings before the league got suspended owing to Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s (Neroca) like my second home away from home. That’s the reason I wanted to stay here for a longer period and take Neroca to greater heights,” the Liberian central defender continued. “I love the people and their passion for football. They chant for you, and they sing for you when you perform. They will even cry with you when the team is going through a tough phase.”

The 27-year-old mentioned another strong connection of himself which makes him stay closer to Neroca – head coach Gift Raikhan, who is nothing short of an “elder brother” to the seasoned defender.

“Working with Gift (Raikhan) is indeed a gift for me. He is that sort of a coach who knows how to bring out the best in a player. He’s one of the prime reasons why I love to play in India. He’s nothing less than my elder brother to me. I owe him everything,” Kallon said.

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