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Friday,14-May-2021

International

Team has good chance to go a long way in Tokyo Olympics, says Jarmanpreet

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Jarmanpreet

Defender Jarmanpreet Singh, who has been one of the shining stars for the Indian men’s hockey team in the past two years, is currently focussed on maintaining consistency in order to find a place in the side which will travel to Tokyo next year for the Olympic Games.

“I think everyone is really excited for what is to come for Indian hockey in the next few years. I want to make sure that I am part of the team when we go out there and win medals,” said Jarmanpreet.

“I believe that Hockey India has done an exceptional job to provide a platform to players like myself, and I want to repay their support by giving my best on the field. I also think that we have a very good chance to go a long way at the Tokyo Olympics, but before that, just like the rest of the sporting world, I am also hopeful that the mega-event goes ahead as planned,” he added.

The Tokyo Olympics were slated to be held in July-August this year but had to be postponed to next summer following the coronavirus outbreak.

“I was delighted with the way the FIH Hockey Pro League campaign was going for me before the pandemic struck. I felt I had decent outings against the World Champions, and I was really looking forward to the next few games, but now it is just about taking it day-by-day here at the national camp,” said the 24-year-old.

“I feel now our focus has had to shift to maintaining our rhythm and our fitness. But the best thing is that we have also managed to get together, brainstorm and build a clear path towards what we want to achieve in the next few years as a team,” he added.

Jarmanpreet came into the senior team set-up in 2018, and in his debut tournament, wore a silver medal around his neck as India finished second behind Australia at the Champions Trophy 2018 held in The Netherlands.

He then went on to win a gold medal with the senior team in only his second tournament at the senior level as India were jointly crowned the Champions of the Asian Champions Trophy 2018 in Muscat, Oman.

Speaking on his early days with the Indian team, Jarmanpreet said, “I think playing for India in itself was a dream come true for me, but to have won back-to-back medals in my first two tournaments is a story I can tell my grandkids one day (laughs).”

“I have had the privilege of representing my country at the highest level, and have also won medals, so it gives me real joy. My aim always is to try to do my best for the team, and to make sure that I am following what my coaches are asking me to do – because I know if I am able to do those things, we will be really successful as a team,” he added.

International

Pollard was stunned by 1st contract offered by MI: Dwayne Bravo

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Kieron-Pollard

Dwayne Bravo revealed the role he played in Mumbai Indians (MI) signing Kieron Pollard in 2010. Bravo played for MI between 2008 and 2010 and the team was searching for a replacement after the Trinidadian left for Chennai Super Kings.

“When Mumbai Indians needed a replacement for me, I gave them Kieron Pollard’s name. When they tried contacting him, he was playing for a club, so I recommended Dwayne Smith and he became my replacement,” Bravo told Cricbuzz.

“The following year, when it was the Champions League, I called Rahul (Sanghvi) and said, ‘Pollard, he’s here. Come and sign him now before the tournament starts.’ Rahul and Robin Singh left Mumbai and came to Hyderabad, I’ll never forget they came with a contract which at that time was 200,000 USD. I called Pollard, who came downstairs and met them both in the lobby. He saw the contract. Now for someone coming from Trinidad, as a 19-year-old, that was wow. He said, ‘Dwayne are you serious?” said Bravo.

Pollard has turned out to be one of the most important signings in MI’s history, playing an integral role in the team’s five Indian Premier League (IPL) victories. He has scored 3,191 runs for MI at a strike rate of 150.87 and taken 63 wickets as well.

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India retain top spot in ICC Test rankings

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Indian-team

India have retained the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) annual update of the Test rankings. India are on 121 rating points while second-placed New Zealand are on 120.

England overtook Australia to take third place with 109 rating points. Australia currently have 108. The West Indies, who beat Bangladesh 2-0 and drew 0-0 with Sri Lanka in series played this year, have moved from eighth to sixth with 84 points, their best position since 2013.

The ICC said that the latest update eliminates the results of 2017/18. It rates all matches played since May 2020 at 100 per cent and those of the previous two years at 50 per cent

“India’s 2-1 win over Australia and 3-1 win over England over the past year and New Zealand’s 2-0 series wins over the West Indies and Pakistan have helped them keep ahead of the pack,” said the ICC.

Pakistan have gained three points but remain in fifth position.

South Africa are in seventh position, equaling their lowest in Test ranking history, while Sri Lanka are next on the list. Bangladesh have lost five points but remain in ninth position while Zimbabwe have gained eight points but are still nine points behind Bangladesh.

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Warner took news of being axed as SRH captain with class: Brad Haddin

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SunRisers-Hyderabad

Batsman David Warner took the news of him being axed as SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) “with class”, said the team’s assistant coach Brad Haddin.

“He took it with class. It was a bit of a shock to everyone when the management decided to go in a different direction to try and spark something in the team. We weren’t playing at the standard we needed to but with Davey, the way he handled it, it was all class. He just got back on with the job,” Haddin said on Fox Cricket.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson replaced Warner as captain. SRH ended up playing only one match under Williamson as the season got postponed after that due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Warner was dropped in that game.

Haddin, the former Australia wicketkeeper who was also Warner’s team mate in the Australian team, said that the latter just got on with his job and had no qualms in bringing out drinks for the players.

“I dare say he would come back in the contention in the next few games. He’s one of the best in the world in that form of the game. You had to look at the way he reacted when he came on to the bench. He was around everyone; he was running the drinks out. He was really focussed on the meetings so he handled it with a lot of class in a difficult situation,” Haddin said.

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