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Rohan Jaitley elected DDCA president unopposed




Advocate Rohan Jaitley, son of late Union Minister Arun Jaitley, was on Saturday unanimously elected president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) after the only other candidate for the post withdrew, as expected. However, an official announcement to this effect will be made on November 9.

The final list of candidates was declared by the Returning Officer Navin B. Chawla, after the deadline for withdrawal of candidature expired on Saturday afternoon.

Elections will be held for the posts of treasurer and four directors, between November 5 and 8. The counting of votes will take place on November 9 and the results will be declared the same day.

Advocate Sunil Kumar Goel, who had filed his nomination for the president’s post, withdrew his candidature a few days ago.

For the treasurer’s post, it is a straight contest between advocate Pawan Gulati, a maternal uncle of former India captain Gautam Gambhir, and Shashi Khanna, wife of CK Khanna, a former acting BCCI president and ex-vice-president of DDCA.

A contest became imminent when talks for compromise between various factions within the DDCA failed.

Nine candidates are in the fray for the posts of four directors. Out of these, four belong to a combine of various factions, and they are Ashok Sharma ‘Mama’, Dinesh Kumar Sharma, Karnail Singh, and Pradeep Aggarwal. Those owing allegiance to the CK Khanna group are Harish Singla, Harsh Gupta, Manjit Singh, and Sudhir Kumar Aggarwal.

And the most interesting name is the ninth one, of Pardeep Kumar Arora, about whom little is known, said several old DDCA members.

Gulati, an advocate, said that if he won he would try and ensure that DDCA again becomes known for sporting activities.

“I will fight a good fight. Post the elections we will sit down as a team together and take up whatever issues are necessary. DDCA is a sporting club, so it should be known for sports than anything else — that’s my primary objective. I wish her [Shashi Khanna] luck as well,” Gulati told IANS.

Shashi Khanna’s husband hoped for a corruption-free DDCA under Jaitley. “I am confident that the new team under the leadership of Rohan will create the best cricketing atmosphere in DDCA where the entire team works together to ensure a clean corruption free and transparent functioning which will help DDCA bring back the lost glory,” said CK Khanna.

Veteran DDCA member Ashok Sharma ‘Mama’, who is contesting for a director’s post, wants DDCA members to be provided more facilities.

“We’ve high hopes from Rohan and pray that he pays attention to Delhi’s grassroots cricket, which has been ignored for long. The academies that former president Rajat Sharma promised in 2018 didn’t open. Also, Rohan should spend money on welfare of cricket and cricketers, and not on other activities. He should also improve facilities for DDCA members to bring the club at least at par with other leading clubs in Delhi,” said Sharma.

Jaitley, 31, has no experience of cricket administration, but he says “it’s not going be tough”.

“The financial aspect of the DDCA needs to be cleansed. It should be done in a transparent manner; it should be very open. There should not be any grey areas. It should all be in the public domain and also on the DDCA website. There should be no questions being asked,” Jaitley had told IANS after filing his nomination papers.

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Judo is a priority sport, will enhance capacity: Kiren Rijiju




Indian Judo team will be participating in the Budapest Grand Slam — which contributes to the Olympic qualification — between October 23 and October 25. This will be the first tournament that the Indian judokas will be playing since the nationwide lockdown was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the departure for Hungary, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday met the contingent which comprises five judokas — Tulika Mann, Avtar Singh, Vijay Yadav, Jasleen Singh Saini and Sushila Devi — and coach Jiwan Sharma.

The Sports Minister wished the contingent luck for the tournament and said preparations are in place to ensure that a strong talent pool emerges for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

“The team is leaving for Hungary today and I am hopeful that some of the athletes will qualify. Judo is a priority sport for us and we will enhance capacity both in terms of training facilities and coaches,” said Rijiju.

“The idea is to extend full support to the elite athletes while building up a talent pool of young athletes who can compete in the Olympics of 2024 and 2028. We will discuss a more exhaustive roadmap with the federation and plan ahead,” he added.

Jasleen, world number 56 and a good prospect to qualify for next year’s Olympics, said, “This will be the first tournament we will be played after the Covid-19 lockdown.”

“We used to play every month earlier, so it is really good to be playing again. From the entire Judo fraternity, would like to thank the Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India and the Judo Federation of India for organising this for us,” he added.

Around 645 competitors from around 81 countries will be participating in this tournament and the contingent is enthusiastic to be back in action in competitive sport after such a long break.

Sushila, the highest ranked women’s judoka in the contingent — ranked 41 in the world and an Olympic hopeful — said, “This is the first time we have met the Sports Minister and he is really doing a lot for sports in India so with his encouragement, we are feeling very motivated. It is good to play once again after the lockdown and would like to thank SAI for the support in getting this international exposure organised for us. We will try to give our best.”

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What spark did you see in Jadhav, Chawla: Kris Srikkanth asks Dhoni




Former Indian cricketer Kris Srikkanth slammed ace skipper MS Dhoni’s mantra on selection following Chennai Super Kings’ seventh defeat in 10 matches in the ongoing IPL and termed the latter’s selections throughout the season as “ridiculous”.

“What is Dhoni’s deal? He says N. Jagadeesan doesn’t have spark, but does ‘scooter’ (Kedar) Jadhav have that spark? This is ridiculous. I will not accept this answer today. All this talk of process and Chennai’s tournament itself is over,” Srikkanth told Star Sports Tamil.

“I will never accept what Dhoni is saying about this process,” said Srikkanth. “This process he keeps talking about is meaningless. You keep talking about process, process… but the process of selection itself is wrong.”

Srikkanth’s outburst came after CSK suffered a seven-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals on Monday evening. After the game, Dhoni told official broadcaster Star Sports that the youngsters in the team had not showed him the kind of “spark” that would have warranted their inclusion in the side.

Jagadeesan’s case was singled out as he featured in just one game in the CSK XI against RCB when he scored 33.

“Dhoni now says that since the pressure is off, he’ll give the youngsters a chance. Come on yaar. I don’t understand this rubbish about the process at all. What spark didn’t he see in Jagadeesan? What spark did he see in Jadhav and Piyush Chawla?

“Karn Sharma at least took wickets. Chawla simply goes through the motions of bowling, coming on when the game is already lost. Dhoni may be a pistha (big shot) and there is no doubt he is great, but I cannot agree with him or accept this,” said the former Indian opener.

The three-time champions have six points from 10 games and are currently placed at the bottom of the points table. They next play Mumbai Indians on Friday.

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MS Dhoni becomes first to play 200 IPL matches




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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