Category Archives: Media

Pakistan’s wrestler Ali Asad stripped of CWG medal after testing positive for banned drugs

Pakistan’s grappler Ali Asad, who had recently bagged the bronze medal for the country in the 57kg category of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, has been was stripped of his medal after testing positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs.

In Birmingham CWG, Ali had got the better off New Zealand’s Suraj Singh in 55 seconds to settle for the bronze medal in the men’s freestyle 57kg wrestling event.

Before leaving his nation for the showpiece event, Ali had undergone a test for detection of banned performance-enhancing drugs, which returned positive and it emerged on Thursday.

“He has used banned drugs to enhance performance and thus has been stripped of the medal. The organisers, however, have given him the option to go for the B Samples testing,” a source was quoted as saying by ‘The News’.

According to a report in ‘The New’ a thorough investigation, however, revealed further details in Ali’s case as it has been learnt that the tests conducted by the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and the results of which were revealed just recently also declared him positive.

“We had some information on his being declared positive. That is why we have held his amount of Rs one million that otherwise would have been his for winning bronze at the Games,” a PSB official quoted as saying by The News.

“I have never deliberately used any performance-enhancing drugs. I am surprised at how I have been declared positive. I would prefer going for the B samples tests,” The News had quoted Ali Asad as saying when asked about his initial test results.

“Yes, I have come to know about it. Let me consult with my associates and other officials. I cannot say anything more on it at the moment,” he added.

Notably, Pakistan had finished the showpiece event with five medals — two silvers and three bronze.

Former India skipper Dilip Tirkey elected Hockey India president

Former India hockey captain and a member of the 1998 Asian Games gold medal-winning side, Dilip Tirkey, was on Friday elected as the Hockey India (HI) president.

Tirkey was elected as the unopposed president after two others, who had filed nominations for the post, withdrew before the elections.

The HI elections process was scheduled to be completed by October 9, as per the deadline set by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in August. Before Tirkey was appointed for the top post, HI was under the jurisdiction of the COA on the orders of the Delhi High Court due to an alleged violation of the National Sports Code.

After the development, Tirkey thanked the COA and its members following him becoming the president of the national sports federation and tweeted: “Thanks @DrSYQuraishi (COA member) & @FIH_Hockey for conducting smooth elections of @TheHockeyIndia. I will ensure that Indian hockey reaches to new heights.”

Meanhiwle, the FIH also congratulated the new HI chief in its letter from Lausanne on Friday. “At the outset, the FIH would like to thank the members of the Committee of Administrators for adhering and ensuring that the election process of Hockey India has been conducted smoothly. The FIH has been monitoring the election process through the Hockey India website and media reports in India,” the FIH said.

“…we are pleased to observe that the Executive Board of Hockey India stands elected as has been put on the website of Hockey India from today, and that the posts election was unanimous for all posts. We are delighted that the election process has been completed and a democratically body is now in place. We extend our congratulations to Dr. Dilip Tirkey, Mr. Bhola Nath Singh (secretary-general) and Mr. Sekar J. Manoharan (treasurer) and look forward to working with them closely,” it added.

It fuerther said: “We have appreciated the effective efforts of the CoA over the past couple of months to restore the democratically elected body in Hockey India,” adding: “With effect from today, 23 September 2022, we note that the CoA has concluded its mandate, and the FIH will now communicate directly with the newly-elected Executive Board for matters pertaining to Hockey in India. We again thank you for your efforts and hope you will all be our guests for the upcoming Hockey Pro League matches which are scheduled to commence from 28 October 2022 and the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023, which is scheduled to commence from 13 January 2023.”

Notably, Tikey, one of the most capped player, played a record 412 international matches in his career spanning more than 15 years as defender. Tirkey, 44, represented India at the 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

HI office-bearers:

President – Dilip Tirkey (Hockey Association of Odisha); Vice-president (female) – Asima Ali (Hockey Jammu & Kashmir); Vice-president (male) – S.V.S. Subramanya (Hockey Karnataka); Secretary-General – Bhola Nath Singh (Hockey Jharkhand); Treasurer – Sekar J Manoharan (Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu); Joint secretary (female) – Ms Arti Singh (Hockey Rajasthan); Joint secretary (male) – Sunil Malik (Hockey Haryana).

Executive Board Members:

Arun Kumar Saraswat (Hockey Rajasthan); Asrita Lakra (Hockey Jharkhand); Gurpreet Kaur (Hockey Delhi); V Sunil Kumar (Kerala Hockey); Tapan Kumar Das (Assam Hockey).

IPL 2023 auction likely to be on December 16: Report

The Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for the 2023 season would reportedly take place in mid-December of this year, with December 16 being the most likely date.

After receiving the hint from the BCCI and the IPL governing council about the preliminary schedule, the 10 IPL franchises had reportedly spoken informally recently.

Although the location has not yet been finalised, it is understandable that it will be a mini-auction and also as the league’s exact dates are still unknown, it is anticipated to resume its home-and-away structure in the fourth week of March.

Reports further suggested that each of the franchise will begin the auction with resources of at least Rs 5 crore as the salary cap has been increased to Rs 95 crore, which is Rs 5 crore more what than it was last year and if a franchise trades or releases its players, the purse balance may grow even more.

As per a report in Cricbuzz, it was revealed that the auctions for the next edition of the IPL will be held in December, and that the franchises had been made aware of it. It also said that the decision has been taken only after a go ahead from the 10 franchises. As before the 2022 season, there was already a mega-auction due to the addition of two new teams – Lucknow and Gujarat, the upcoming will be a mini-auction.

Earlier on September 22, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had revealed that the upcoming sixteenth edition of the cash-rich league will be played in the regular home-away format, which would mean that the games would be played across 10 locations this time, instead of what had been eight before the COVID-19 pandemic, and just three venues for the 2022 edition for the league stage.

Meanwhile, Ganguly had also said that the board is mulling to host the much awaited Women’s IPL in 2023 and it is exprected that the inaugural edition would be held in January, next year.

FIFA World Cup 2022: Players to access individual data & insights through app

In line with the FIFA President’s Vision 2020-2023 to harness technology to further improve football, players at the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar will be able to get insights into their on-field performance through the FIFA Player App, FIFA announced on Friday.

FIFA has developed the FIFA Player App, based on input from professional players, in collaboration with FIFPRO, the global representative of professional footballers. The FIFA Player App will be used for the first time at a FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The survey and interviews conducted show that players are very interested in their performance data and want to have easy access to this information.

The FIFA Player App will provide the opportunity for each player to access their individual player-performance data shortly after each match. The data collected includes the following:

Enhanced football data metrics – calculated from enhanced event data, captured by a team of highly trained FIFA football performance analysts, combined with tracking data. Examples include whether a player made an offer or movement to receive, whether their distribution action broke opposition lines, and the pressure they applied to an opponent in possession of the ball. All metrics are captured against the FIFA Football Language definitions.

Physical performance metrics – collected through a highly accurate in-stadium tracking system consisting of multiple cameras located around the pitch for maximum player coverage. Metrics include distance covered at various speed thresholds, number of actions above 25km/h, and maximum speed, all displayed on positional heat maps.

Enhanced football intelligence metrics  – created by the FIFA Football Performance Analysis & Insights team through the development of a series of algorithms and models that operate live to integrate event and tracking data. The new metrics provide innovative and exciting ways to analyse the game, including the phase of play, line-breaking events, receiving locations, and pressure being applied to the player in possession of the ball.

This data is then synchronised with match footage to enable players to watch all key moments of their own performance in detail, using different camera angles.

The globaly soccer body said that additionally, multiple action photographs taken during key moments of each FIFA World Cup match will be made available to each individual player. It further said that players will be able to save or share the photos on social media, together with their favourite match statistics, directly from the app.

Players will be able to access the FIFA Player App when they arrive in Qatar for the FIFA World Cup.

The FIFA Player App was successfully trialled with players from different teams at the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 and was presented to the FIFA World Cup participating teams during the recent Team Workshop in Doha.

Commenting on the development, Johannes Holzmüller, FIFA Director of Football Technology & Innovation, said: “For the first time at a FIFA World Cup, not only the participating teams but also all players will have the opportunity to get direct access to their own performance data and the related video clips after each match. This player-centric development is based on direct feedback from the players and is another great example of how FIFA is using technology to the best of its potential by improving the football experience for the key actors on the pitch.”

This innovation is a first visible outcome of the collaboration between FIFA and FIFPRO on the development of standards and best practices for the collection, protection and use of personal player-performance data. Both organisations have been working closely together to define a Charter of Player Data Rights with the goal of developing these standards whilst transparently informing football players about their privacy rights according to existing legislation such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Simon Colosimo, FIFPRO Deputy General Secretary, said: “Players have clearly articulated to us that they want more access and benefit from the collection of their data. In combination with the Charter of Player Data Rights announced earlier this week, the FIFA Player App is a positive outcome that will activate personal data rights and provide a new resource for players at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. We expect the joint work between FIFA and FIFPRO on player data to continue unlocking benefits for men and women players across a wide range of areas, including health and performance, in-game technology and matchday experience.”

Stokes unhappy with ECB’s proposal of reducing number of county matches: Report

England Test skipper Ben Stokes and county side Kent are reportedly not in favour of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) proposals to reduce the number of County Championship matches by up to four per county.

According to a report in mirror.co.uk, the ECB has completed a “high performance review” under former captain Andrew Strauss and published the final report with 17 recommendations. Of the 17 recommendations, one says that the County Championship should be a three-division competition, with a six-team top division and two secondary conferences where the winners face each other for one promotion spot each year.

Under the proposed format, the 18 counties will also play fewer matches, with each side “set to play four less T20 Blast matches and up to four less Championship games”, the reports said.

Stokes is reportedly not happy with the reduction in the number of Championship matches as responding to a report in The Cricketer magazine, which highlighted the overwhelming opposition to the reduction in the number of county matches, he tweeted, “Ab so bloody lutley” along with two clapping hands emojis.

Meanwhile, county side Kent, reportedly hit back at the at ECB’s proposal, saying, “We will not be rendered irrelevant.”

Kent chair Simon Philip was quoted as saying, “The Strauss Review is a wide-ranging and comprehensive document. However, it should be remembered that it has been prepared through the prism of High Performance only. The two key areas for our Club — domestic structure and scheduling — remain within the discretion of the 18 First Class Counties. Within this group, we will now consider issues such as the needs of all our Members, supporters, players and stakeholders, the financial impact, the unintended consequences and the possibly irrevocable change to the essential nature of County Cricket.

“Kent Cricket is a fundamental part of our community, committed to supporting the growth of the Men’s and Women’s game at all levels. We continue to deliver success on the field, produce players for England and support one of the largest recreational and schools cricket populations in the country. We will not allow our Club to be rendered irrelevant,” Philip was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the proposals have also reportedly not gone down well with Middlesex.

“We strenuously wish to underline our position on being opposed to any reduction in the volume of first-class cricket played across the season and most importantly the County Championship, and we firmly stand behind our belief that this should remain at 14 games over the season,” said a statement from the county side.

Federer to team with Nadal for his last professional match

Former world no. 1 Roger Federer will team with longtime rival and friend Rafael Nadal on Friday at the Laver Cup, which will be his final tour-level match.

Following the conclusion of Andy Murray’s match against Alex de Minaur, the Swiss and Spaniard will take to court against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at The 02 in London.

During Team Europe’s post-tournament press conference on Thursday, Federer said: “I am not sure if I will be able to handle it all but I will try. I’ve had some tough moments in the past, being horribly nervous. All these years. This match feels a whole lot different. Playing with Rafa feels really different.”

On the other hand, Nadal said: “To be part of this historic moment is amazing and unforgettable for me. I am super excited and I hope I can play at a good level. Hopefully, together we can create a good moment and hopefully win a match.”

Last week, the former world no. 1 and 103 tour-level titlist Federer had announced that the Laver Cup, the three-day event which will begin from Friday, will be the final tournament of his career.

Notably, the Laver Cup will see Team Europe face Team World in a series of singles and doubles matches.

Apart from the duo, the Team Europe will be represented by Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Matteo Berrettin and alternate Cameron Norrie at The O2, with captain Bjorn Borg leading the side. On the other side, captain John McEnroe will be leading the Team World and would aim to register its first victory against Team Europe.

Team World will be represented by Felix Auger-Aliassime, Taylor Fritz, Diego Schwartzman, Alex de Minaur, Tiafoe, Sock and alternate Tommy Paul.

BCCI to hold Annual General Meeting on October 18

The 91st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will be held in Mumbai on October 18.

On Thursday (September 22) evening, BCCI secretary Jay Shah notified the state units that the elections for the position of the office-bearers – the president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer – will be held on that day.

Recently, the latest Supreme Court ruling had allowed the current BCCI office-bearers to continue for another term however, suspense loom over whether the board chief Sourav Ganguly will continue as the president for another term. As per reports, there are speculations that BCCI secretary Shah could emerge as the front-runner for the role, while Ganguly might move to the International Cricket Council (ICC), however, there hasn’t been any official comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, the upcoming AGM will also appoint the board’s representative to the ICC. As of now, both president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah are the nominated representatives to the ICC.

Among other agendas of the AGM, appointment of Ombudsman and Ethics officer, appointment of Cricket Committee and Standing Committee and appointment of Umpires Committee are to be ratified.

IPL 2023 to be played in home & away format, announces Ganguly

In what sounds to be a great news for the Indian Premier League (IPL) fans, the 2023 season of the cash-rich league will return to its original format, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly confirmed in a letter addressed to the state associations.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2022, the tournament has been either held outside India or in limited venues in the country for the last three editions due to the restrictions. However, with the pandemic situation improving with each passing day in the nation and things “going back to normalcy”, the league will return to its old format in which each team plays one home and one away match.

“The next season of men’s IPL will also go back to the home and away format with all ten teams playing their home matches at their designated venues,” Ganguly wrote in the letter to state units.

Meanwhile, the letter by Ganguly also gave information about the ongoing domestic season. “I am happy to share with you that we are going back to normalcy. You must be aware that this year we will be having the as-usual full-fledged domestic season for all age groups and the games will be hosted all over the country,” the letter further read.

“It is really heartening to see the support that the BCCI has received from all its members over the past few years. I am sure the pandemic is behind us, and we all now look forward to a more certain future,” it added.

Notably, the Hardik Pandya-led Gujrat Titans had lifted the IPL 2022 trophy. The last edition was also their debut season of the cash-rich league.

Defending champions Deccan Gladiators retain five, including Russell, for Abu Dhabi season 6

Defending champions Deccan Gladiators have retained five seasoned campaigners in West Indies’ all-rounders Andre Russell and Odean Smith, England’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Emirati-Pakistani cricketer Zahoor Khan, and Namibia all-rounder David Wiese, ahead of the upcoming season six of Abu Dhabi T10 league, scheduled to be held from November 23 to December 4.

Being a star campaigner across formats, Russell pulled a terrific unbeaten 90 off 32 for Deccan Gladiators in the final against Delhi Bulls in the fifth season of the league. He was backed by Kohler-Cadmore with an unbeaten 59 off 28 to script the highest partnership and the highest total (159/0) in the season.

Kohler-Cadmore had the best batting figures last season with a strike rate of 200. Both are expected to carry on with their power-hitting partnerships this year as well.

Commenting on hi retention, Russell said: “I am thrilled to be back with the Deccan Gladiators family for another exciting season. Our goal would be to continue the momentum and play strategically. Looking forward to playing with a carefully-curated team in one of the shortest and most thrilling formats of the game.”

The Smith-Wiese pair produced fireworks as they sailed the team through to the finals last year by knocking 62 off 24 against Delhi Bulls in the penultimate match. The Jamaican all-rounder can touch 140kmph and is a coveted wicket-taker for the team with 11 wickets in 12 matches.

Wiese, on the other hand, is known for his all-round performance in ensuring clinical wins across formats. Zahoor, the local lad, would lead the team’s bowling line-up to trouble the opposition batsmen with his toe-crushers and deceiving slower deliveries.

The Gladiators are aiming to continue the winning streak with renewed zeal and a revitalized team line-up. The draft for the 10 over-a-side competition will be held over a duration of 90 minutes, set to take place on September 26.

“We are extremely delighted to retain Andre, Kohler-Cadmore, Zahoor, Odean, and Wiese into the squad for another season. They are experienced players and know the team philosophy well. They have been vital contributors in our endeavour for our maiden title. We are confident that this time also we will build a power-packed team to lead our campaign,” said Gaurav Grover, Owner of Deccan Gladiators

The sixth edition of Abu DhabiT10, started from 2017, will be played at Sheikh Zayed Cricket stadium, Abu Dhabi. Eight teams are in the fray in the world’s only 10-over cricket tournament sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and licensed by the Emirates Cricket Board for ten years.

Sony Sports Network to broadcast Roger Federer’s final match at Laver Cup 2022

Sony Sports Network is all set to broadcast the much-anticipated Laver Cup 2022 from between September 23 and 25, which will be very special for tennis fans across the country, as one of the greatest tennis players of this era, Roger Federer, is slated to play his last game during it.

The fan-expectations around the competition are at an all-time high as it will be the last time tennis greats like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray will play together. All the matches of the Laver Cup 2022 will be broadcast LIVE on Sony Ten 1 channels as well as live-streamed on its on-demand OTT platform SonyLIV.

The Laver Cup 2022, a three-day event, will see two teams: Team World & Team Europe featuring some of the biggest names in men’s tennis, going head-to-head. Each team will feature six players competing for the prestigious Laver Cup at London’s O2 Arena. Team Europe will feature Bjorn Borg (captain), Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Matteo Berrettini (alternate). Team World will feature names like John McEnroe (captain), Taylor Fritz, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Diego Schwartzman, Frances Tiafoe, Alex de Minaur, Jack Sock and Tommy Paul (alternate).

Starting 23rd September, all eyes will be on the undefeatable champions, Team World, as they try to get their hands on the fifth Laver Cup in a row.

Earlier on September 15, Federer broke millions of hearts across the world as he announced his retirement from international tennis. The 20-time Grand Slam title holder will bid adieu to world tennis after representing Team Europe at the Laver Cup 2022.

The 41-year-old Swiss player was last seen at Wimbledon 2021, where he suffered a quarter-final defeat by Hubert Hurkacz. In his 24-year career, Federer has played 1526 games, out of which he has won 1251. He has also won 103 ATP Singles titles and an Olympic Gold for his country in 2008, along with his compatriot Stan Wawrinka.

As a sign of respect and admiration for the ace-tennis player, Roger Federer; Sony Sports Network has also announced the live telecast their studio show for Tennis – Extraaa Serve for the event. The episode hosted by anchor Arpit Sharma will feature Somdev Devvarman as a special guest and will be a tribute to the tennis superstar, as he prepares to play his final match.

The episode will be aired on 23rd September at 4:00 pm IST ahead of the first day of the event.