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Odisha Sports minister highlights role of innovation in reviving sports ecosystem



Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera

Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera on Tuesday laid emphasis on the significant role that innovation, collaboration and technology can play in reviving the sports ecosystem during a videoconference with Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, and sports ministers and senior officials of other states and union territories.

He shared the initiatives that Odisha government had undertaken to resume sports in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the possible way forward for its authorities and stakeholders to adopt.

“Today, owing to the unprecedented coronavirus crisis, sports fraternities across the nation are in a constant dilemma regarding the uncertain future,” Behera said in statement.

“However, the recent relaxation by the central government and guidelines laid down by the Sports Authority of India has brought in some positivity for all stakeholders. The sports sector has to treat this as an opportunity to innovate, to rethink policies and to reassess priorities.

“Best practices from across the world are being considered to chart a course ahead,” he added.

Behera also spoke about the initiatives adopted by the state to facilitate a partial but safe resumption of sporting activities. He also gave an insight into the detailed SOP as per the guidelines of the central government across their sports facilities.

With athletes resuming training at the Kalinga Stadium, Behera explained how they are accomodating the them inside the complex in a phased manner.

With the state also set to host big-ticket events like FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in February-March 2021, he also spoke about the need of working closely with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the tournament and implement strictest of safety norms.

“The way ahead is unclear and it is going to be the administrators, policy makers, sports federations and other stakeholders who have to deliberate, step up and take a lead to usher in a new era in Sports,” Behera said.

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K.L. Rahul wants Hardik’s son to become fast bowling all-rounder




India batsman K.L. Rahul has suggested that his teammate Hardik Pandya’s newborn son should become a fast bowling all-rounder like his father. Hardik’s brother and fellow all-rounder Krunal Pandya posted a boomerang of him holding the baby on his Instagram handle.

Rahul wrote in the comments: “Please tell him to become a fast bowling all rounder (folded hands)”.

Hardik and Natasa Stankovic, who had got engaged earlier this year, were blessed with a baby boy in late July.

Hardik announced the news in a Twitter post which read: “We are blessed with our baby boy.” It was posted with the picture of the baby’s hand. The delivery happened in Vadodara.

The duo had earlier announced in May that they were expecting a third member in their family. Fast forward a couple of months and they shared the good news with their fans and followers on social media, with the photo of their newly-born child.

Wishes poured in from all quarters for the couple with the likes of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and others from the cricketing fraternity expressing their best wishes. “Many congratulations to the proud new parents! May the little one tiptoe with love into your hearts & stay there forever!” wrote Tendulkar on his Twitter handle.

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National Hockey Camp: Skipper Manpreet, 4 others test COVID-19 positive



India’s men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Jaskaran Singh, Varun Kumar and Krishan Pathak have tested COVID-19 positive after reporting to the national hockey camp in Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Bengaluru along with the team.

All four tested negative in the rapid test, SAI said but Manpreet and Surender began to display some COVID-19 symptoms later because of which they along with other ten athletes who had travelled together were given the Quantitative RT-PCR test on Thursday.

SAI made it mandatory for all athletes, who reported back to the camp to take a rapid COVID-19 test upon arrival.

SAI also said that the test results have still not been handed over to them and it is the state government that has informed them about it. “Test results to the SAI authorities and few test results are still awaited,” it said.

All athletes, including Manpreet, who reported to camp were undergoing quarantine as per the Health Ministry Guidelines and as a precautionary measure were kept in isolation.

The quarantined athletes did not interact with other athletes who were already present at the camp. The SOP of the state government and of SAI is being followed strictly across the campus.

“I am self quarantined on the SAI campus and I am very happy with the way SAI authorities have handled the situation,” said Manpreet. “I am very happy that they made the testing of athletes mandatory. That proactive step helped in identifying the problem right in time. I am doing fine and hope to recover very soon.”

SAI had previously stated that the men’s and women’s national hockey camp were to restart at the Bengaluru campus on August 4.

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It’s almost time: Jasprit Bumrah shares excitement ahead of IPL 13




Jasprit Bumrah cannot wait for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to kickstart, and the Indian ace pacer took to social media on Thursday to share his excitement.

The BCCI will be organising the IPL at three UAE venues — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah — from September 19 to November 10 after it was postponed from March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s almost time,” said Bumrah in a tweet with a photo of him celebrating after taking a wicket in a Mumbai Indians jersey. Bumrah had played a crucial role in Mumbai’s record fourth title win in IPL last season.

On Wednesday, India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane had also expressed his excitement for IPL 2020.

Rahane was traded by Rajasthan Royals to Delhi Capitals in November last year. “New beginnings for me in the @ipl this year. Looking forward to the season,” Rahane said in an Instagram post along with a photo of him batting.

Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend the partnership with title sponsors Vivo for IPL 13. This development came after the IPL Governing Council had on Sunday decided to retain the company as title sponsors.

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