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ICC rejected India's request to isolate Pakistan

The Board of Control for Cricket in India was majorly embarrassed after its request to isolate Pakistan was turned down by the International Cricket Council.

The manner in which the BCCI went about its request at last week's ICC board meeting in Dubai has invited much criticism.

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri asked the ICC to urge member boards to boycott Pakistan in wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

Following a directive from the Committee of Administrators, who look after the BCCI's functioning, Johri wrote a letter to the ICC asking ICC members to sever ties with all nations from where terror emanates.

Strangely, Johri didn't name Pakistan in the BCCI letter!

'This communication is being addressed to voice the BCCI's concerns and sentiments that have emerged after the recent dastardly terrorist attack which was carried out on Indian soil by a terror outfit based out of Pakistan, which resulted in the death of Indian security personnel,' Johri wrote to the ICC.

'Most countries from which the members of the ICC hail (including the United Kingdom) have strongly condemned this terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with India. BCCI urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates,' Johri added in the letter to the ICC.

The Pulwama terror attack, that claimed the lives of 44 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, escalated tensions between India and Pakistan.

There is a demand from various quarters that India boycott its June 16 World Cup game against Pakistan.

ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar, a former BCCI president, was swift to turn down the Indian board's request.

"There was a written communication by the BCCI CEO with the ICC. There were two points in that communication -- the first point related to the security and well-being of the players and of the fans," the BCCI's Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary told the media at the board's Mumbai headquarters on Monday.

"The second matter related to suggesting that India and other members of the ICC take no part with teams which come from areas where certain phenomenon emanate," Choudhary added, "but the letter didn't mention which areas."

"To which the ICC chairman, after discussing with the board, which is the only policy-making body of the ICC, stated that it is not within the domain of the ICC to make a comment or make a decision," Choudhary explained.

Johri and the COA, it is learned, knew all along that the BCCI request would not be entertained as the ICC does not have the power to block out a particular nation.

The BCCI still went ahead and took a chance, a decision that is now being ridiculed in various quarters of Indian cricket.

The issue came up at the ICC board meeting in Dubai on Saturday, March 2, where the BCCI was represented by Choudhary, and the matter was stepped aside very quickly.

Asked if the BCCI had made a mistake by not naming Pakistan in its letter, Choudhary replied: "I have not written the letter."

"The chairman of the ICC has made a statement to address the issue and he has simply said that it is a matter which is beyond the ICC's domain," Choudhary added.

It is common knowledge that BCCI CEO Johri and CoA Chairman Vinod Rai don't get along with BCCI Acting Secretary Choudhary.

Choudhary was not consulted before Johri's letter was sent to the ICC even though he was to represent the BCCI at the March 2 meeting.

Among other matters, the ICC announced at the meeting was that the BCCI's non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency be taken up with urgency.

"The world body (WADA) has been in dialogue with the ICC for some time and the issue is that all participating nations in the ICC must align with the national testing authority," Choudhary said.

India has refused to accede to WADA's authority and wants an independent agency to conduct dope tests on its players. India's refusal to accept the anti-doping code could see the ICC being declared as 'non-compliant' by WADA.

The ICC wants to resolve this issue at the earliest else cricket could be excluded from the Olympics and Asian Games.

IPL 2019 schedule announced for first 2 weeks

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of IPL 2019 in Chennai on March 23. The schedule, which was announced on Tuesday (February 19), was only for the first two weeks of the tournament and "subject to the announcement of the Lok Sabha 2019 election dates."

The BCCI, which is awaiting details of the 2019 elections, stated that once the polling dates are decided it would "address any issues with the first two weeks and will also prepare a schedule for the remainder of the season working with the local authorities around the polling dates."

As per the current schedule, as many as 17 matches will be played from March 23 to April 5, with three double-header days on March 24, 30 and 31.

IPL 2019 schedule (March 23-April 5)

Date

Day

Time

Match

Venue

March 23 Saturday Evening CSK vs RCB Chennai
March 24 Sunday Afternoon KKR vs SRH Kolkata
    Evening MI vs DC Mumbai
March 25 Monday Evening RR vs KXIP Jaipur
March 26 Tuesday Evening DC vs CSK Delhi
March 27 Wednesday Evening KKR vs KXIP Kolkata
March 28 Thursday Evening RCB vs MI Bengaluru
March 29 Friday Evening SRH vs RR Hyderabad
March 30 Saturday Afternoon KXIP vs MI Mohali
    Evening DC vs KKR Delhi
March 31 Sunday Afternoon SRH vs RCB Hyderabad
    Evening CSK vs RR Chennai
April 1 Monday Evening KXIP vs DC Mohali
April 2 Tuesday Evening RR vs RCB Jaipur
April 3 Wednesday Evening MI vs CSK Mumbai
April 4 Thursday Evening DC vs SRH Delhi
April 5 Friday Evening RCB vs KKR Bengaluru

 

Saina, Kashyap and Saurabh in the semi-finals of the National Championship

Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap, and Saurabh Verma reached the semi-finals of 83rd Yonex Sunrise Senior National Badminton Championship.

Saina defeated Neha Pandit of Mumbai, who is India's number one player in a one-sided match. Two-time Commonwealth Games champion Saina will now face the qualifier Vaishnavi Bhal of Nagpur, which was in the Uber Cup team of India last year.

On the other hand, 2012 champion Kashyap defeated Bode Joshi 21-18, 21-16. Now they will face Sania in the semi-finals. Before this, Saurabh defeated B Sai Praneeth in the world's 30th number one player.

Saurabh had won super 100 titles at the Russian Open and Dutch Open last year. Now Saurabh will face qualifier skills from Dharmender. Olympian silver medalist PV Sindhu will face local player Ashmita Chaliha.

Mahesh Bhupathi stresses on singles players winning Davis Cup ties for India

Indian tennis legend Mahesh Bhupathi, who is the non-playing captain of the Davis Cup team to take on Italy in the World Group qualifiers, has high hopes from his singles' players Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan.

"We are not focused on the doubles. We obviously have to win three points to win the match. So singles are as important as the doubles for us," Bhupathi told IANS.

Both Prajnesh and Ramkumar have had a good 2018 and fancy their chances on grass, which was the principal reason Bhupathi chose to play here at the Calcutta South Club.

Against higher-ranked Italians, India is expected to bank heavily on the experienced Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan with the Jakarta Asian Games gold medal-winning Indian doubles pair also winning at the Pune ATP earlier this month.

But Bhupathi stressed if Prajnesh and Ramkumar can "believe in their ability" and rekindle the same form, anything is possible.

"Prajnesh and Ram(Kumar) were successful last year and hopefully they can believe in their ability to beat three players and play good matches on Friday," the 44-year-old multiple doubles' Grand Slam winner said.

Prajnesh, who started 2018 as world no. 243 and ended it as no. 104, won two ATP Challenger titles and also upset now world number 27 Denis Shapovalov on grass at Stuttgart Open last year. He also won men's singles bronze at the Jakarta Asian Games.

Ramkumar, on the other hand, became the first Indian men's singles player since Somdev Devvarman to reach the final of an ATP World Tour event. He eventually finished as the runner-up at ATP 250 Hall of Fame Open on the grass courts of Newport in July.

Bhupathi also spoke on his former partner Leander Paes with whom he does not share a great relationship now, saying the tennis ace has a "big possibility" to be in the mix for Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Paes, who is a 1996 Olympics bronze medallist, holds the record of being the only tennis player to feature in seven editions of the Games.

"I do believe he still has it in him. I believe that's (2020 Olympics) is a big possibility," Bhupathi said.

IWF removed ban on Commonwealth Gold Medalist Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu

Indian weightlifter Sanjeeeta Chanu, the gold medalist in Commonwealth Games, has received great relief. International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) removed sanjita restrictions on Wednesday The International Weightlifting Federation gave this information to the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) and Sanjita.

IWF lawyer Eva Nyirfa said in a letter: "In resolving the information received on the basis of information received, IWF has decided to remove the temporary suspension of the athlete (Sanjita Chanu)."

It is worth mentioning that Sanjita won a gold medal in 53 kg category of women in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. He was found positive in the 'Anabolic Steroids Testosterone' test. After this, he was temporarily suspended in May last year.

"IWF has decided that the temporary suspension imposed on the Sanjita can be withdrawn on January 22, 2019," IWF's lawyer told in an email sent to Sanjeeeta and the Indian Weightlifting Federation. It said, "The IWF hearing panel will decide on this in the coming time."

Sanjita was found guilty of using steroid testosterone. His Urine sample was taken in the United States before the World Championship in November 2017. They were temporarily banned on 15th May.

The panel of IWF will take a final call on this, but Sanjita said that her innocence has proved. He told the Press Trust, "I have received an international federation email and our national federation has given this information on the phone in the morning. I'm feeling relieved. I am innocent and I have never taken any prohibited substance in my career. '

He said, "I have suffered a lot of mental pain in the last eight-nine months due to the mistake of the international federation. Never be so with any player, because the credibility of the player is very precious. Sanjita said that the Indian Weightlifting Federation has asked him to join the National Camp.

He said, "The federation has asked me to write if I want to come to the national camp. I will do the same. I could not participate in the Asian Games and World Championship. I want to qualify for the Olympics 2020 by playing World Championship this year. "

Actually, IWF had accepted the issue of Sampling in Sanjita Chanu's failed dope test in July, after which the gold medalist of Commonwealth Games had demanded the probe.

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