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Saturday,27-February-2021

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Suresh Raina to adopt 34 schools to ensure health & hygiene for over 10K kids

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Former India cricketer Suresh Raina, who will turn 34 this Friday, has pledged to build sanitation and drinking water facilities at 34 government schools across Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and the National Capital Region (NCR) to ensure health and hygiene for over 10,000 children studying in these schools.

The year-long initiative will be executed by his NGO, the Gracia Raina Foundation (GRF), in collaboration with Amitabh Shah’s ‘Yuva Unstoppable’. Apart from the hygiene and sanitation facilities, Raina’s endeavour will pay special emphasis to Right AGE, an adolescent reproductive and sexual health program which will be rolled out in all 34 schools.

The foundation will also establish better access to smart classes for the students in these schools, a release from the foundation stated.

“It brings me immense joy to celebrate my 34th birthday with this initiative. Every child deserves quality education and this includes their right to have access to safe and clean drinking water and toilet facilities in schools. I hope we can contribute to this with Gracia Raina Foundation collaborating with Yuva Unstoppable,” said Raina.

“It is truly humbling to see the upgraded facilities benefiting thousands of kids. This is an excellent start and we look forward to transforming many more schools in the future. There was no better way I could have celebrated my birthday, it was a truly heartwarming experience,” he added.

Through the foundation, Raina and his wife will spearhead the Right Age Program which is targeted at adolescent girls and will also impart scientific knowledge through reproductive health workshops. The couple will also work with the students in four schools in their hometown Muradnagar, including those which were attended by Priyanka and Suresh themselves.

The former Indian cricketer has been associated with the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and he was nominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 to be the Swachh Bharat Ambassador in Uttar Pradesh.

“We are looking forward to working with Gracia Raina Foundation to upgrade better wash and sanitation facilities in schools,” said Amitabh Shah.

National

SunRisers Hyderabad’s David Warner looking ahead to IPL 2021

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SunRisers Hyderabad’s David Warner is already looking forward to the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and leading the franchise again, even though the dates of the T20 tournament are yet to be announced.

“One of my things to do is lead this unbelievable franchise @sunrisershyd the entire team from fans, Owners, staff, players and ground staff. We have always had an amazing bunch of people be apart [sic] of the franchise and I am looking forward to the coming season. #orangearmy #cricket #india,” he wrote on Instagram.

Warner, 34, captained SunRisers to the IPL title in 2016, when his team defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight runs in the final played in Bengaluru.

A hard-hitting Australian opening batsman, Warner was laid low by a groin injury during the recent series against India in Australia. He is planning to return to action on March 4 in a domestic match.

“Just to clarify a comment I made on commentary last night, that “My Groin”will need on going treatment and will have an annoying pain for at least 6-9 months. I am returning to play for NSW on the 4th March 2021 [sic],” Warner tweeted on February 23.

Warner has played 86 Tests, 128 ODIs, and 81 T20 Internationals.

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Jasprit Bumrah released from Indian Test squad on his request: BCCI

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Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been released from the Indian team on his request, the Indian cricket board announced on Saturday.

“Bumrah made a request to BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] to be released from India’s squad ahead of the fourth Test owing to personal reasons. Accordingly, the fast bowler has been released and he will not be available for selection for the fourth Test [against England],” said a BCCI statement.

The fourth Test begins here on March 4.

“There will be no addition to India’s squad for the final Test,” the BCCI said.

The BCCI, however, did not mention the reason for Bumrah’s release.

On a Motera pitch that assisted spinners, Bumrah was asked to bowl only six overs in the first innings of third Test and he didn’t take any wicket. In the second innings, neither he nor Ishant Sharma, the other fast bowler, bowled a single over.

India won the match by 10 wickets, and now lead the four-Test match series 2-1.

Squad for 4th Test: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keepers), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav

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Surprisingly, Ravi Shastri indulges in ‘banter’ on social media

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The Indian cricket team’s landslide win over England in the third Test match seems to have allowed coach Ravi Shastri to indulge in humour on social media. In a rare reply to a tweet, Shastri on Saturday wrote “love the banter” on his handle.

The tweet has a reference to India’s 10-wicket win over England in the third Test in Ahmedabad, Gujarat – a ‘dry’ state where liquor is prohibited. The win was registered inside two days of the five-day match, allowing players three days to practice and indulge in other activities.

It all started with a meme on social media. It carried a smiling photo of Shastri with these words attributed to the former India captain: “you thought I’d stay in a dry state for 5 days?” The reference was to the prohibition in Gujarat.

But whoever made the meme probably forgot that the next Test match will also be played in Ahmedabad, starting on March 4, so Shastri would have to stay put in the bio bubble in the city.

Well-known writer and author Shobhaa De, 73, tweeted the meme, along with the word “smart!” and tagged former India captain Shastri.

Surprisingly, Shastri, 58, reacted. “Love the banter ! Feels good to bring some smiles in these tough times,” he tweeted in reply.

Shastri, a successful all-rounder, played 80 Tests and scored 3,830 runs and captured 151 wickets. In 150 One-day Internationals, the left-arm spinner bagged 129 wickets and scored 3,108 runs.

After retirement, Shastri switched to television commentary and has had a few stints as coach of the Indian team.

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