Lyon player Ada Hegerberg told CNN she didn’t “feel harassed” but was surprised not to be asked about her football as she won the first women’s Ballon D’or
Published: September 9, 2018 1:26:18 am
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a Special Leave Petition challenging the validity of the election process and the results of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Four members of the DDCA had approached the SC challenging the order of the Delhi High Court, which had asked the DDCA to conduct elections. The results of the elections were declared on June 30 and a panel headed by India TV editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma took charge.
“The Honorable Supreme Court was pleased to dismiss the Special Leave Petition at the admission stage itself and refused to interfere in any manner whatsoever,” DDCA panel counsel Saurabh Chadda said. “Another matter which was earlier filed challenging the election process and was listed before the same Court on 07.09.2018 was also withdrawn, thus giving finality to the elections in its entirety. This is a boost for the newly-elected officials,” Chadda added.
The DDCA was run by a court-appointed administrator justice Vikramajit Sen for over a year after an audit report found several cases of embezzlement and illegal transfer of funds by Delhi’s long-standing office-bearers. Justice Sen handed over the charge of the DDCA to the newly elected panel on the day the results were announced.
All 12 members of the Rajat Sharma-led panel had won the elections. After his landslide win in June, Sharma spoke about bringing transparency and honesty to DDCA. “We want a transparent system and our panel has decided to work honestly. We want to give respect to cricketers. They have helped the game grow, they have given to the country whatever they can. Now, it’s our turn to pay them back,” the 61-year-old mediaman turned cricket administrator said.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court approved the draft constitution of the BCCI, which all state units are to follow and register. The DDCA is set to adopt the new constitution later this month.
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Updated: August 5, 2018 1:44:09 am
The only thing more spectacular in sport than just winning, is a glorious comeback. 12-19 down against Akane Yamaguchi at Nanjing’s World Championships semifinals in the second set with the Japanese threatening to push the match in the decider, PV Sindhu dictated such an audacious resurgence to pick 7 straight points, that her gait topped 6 feet adding almost inches of confidence to her 5’11 frame as she strutted into the final.
This 21-16, 24-22 victory was a commanding entry into the summit clash where she plays Olympic champion Carolina Marin, not looking like a mere contender sniffing an outside chance, but an equal claimant to the World throne, breathing red fire. A repeat of the Olympic final this may well be, but this won’t be the same Indian that the Spaniard faces. Fortified by back-to-back matches against the Japanese where she beat the game’s two strongest retrievers in two days coming from behind – Sindhu has found inside herself the confidence to rebound from every trailing position. Against Okuhara in the quarters, she trailed 3-7 in the first set, 3-9 in the second. Against Yamaguchi, she started 0-5 down and stared at a 12-19 lead just as the Japanese was beginning to assert her game, and push Sindhu into the familiar throes of deceiving after flattering. But she refused to slump her shoulders, mixed her strokes sensibly, countered Yamaguchi’s deception on the backhand, and lunged with such assurance that coach Gopichand was left impressed and hardly sported worry lines at the break where she trailed 7-11. “The way she played yesterday , the lead wasn’t much. All she needed to do was keep it simple, firm, and solid and avoid Yamaguchi’s backhand on which she was getting some good variations at the net,” he said of the 7-point rally that snuffed out Yamaguchi’s desperate bid to drag this into a decider.
A crosscourt smash in the finishing stages was a statement of intent at 20-all, but Sindhu’s sheer audacity in looking the 12-19 difference in the eye, threw Yamaguchi off as the Indian coolly went about slashing at the lead. A nod of the head to the coach behind her that said ‘don’t worry’ and Sindhu was off. This comeback was the Kolkata Test of 2001, or more in the realm of string-racquet weapons, Roger Federer’s summoning of the back-hand shot that was the game-changer against Nadal in the 2017 Australian Open. Hitting it early, on the rise, at 1-3 down in the fifth set, Federer had oozed confidence and broken Nadal’s resolve. Yamaguchi looked equally broken.
Up for the challenge
In athletics terms, PV Sindhu was ready for the marathon, but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t sprint the 100 metres. If being denied a gold medal in 2017 can push you to train for the whole gamut – bolster your defense, sharpen the strokes, then Sindhu can thank Okuhara for making her a complete player. One of the first things that Sindhu’s team did immediately after the Glasgow epic loss, was prepare her to run badminton’s equivalent of a marathon.
“Her strategy all this time had been to use her endurance for her style of play – her strategy used to be to wear down the opponent, and rely on them tiring to get her win. But this World Championship, I see her taking the initiative,” Aparna Popat says.
It’s age-old in badminton to preserve energy in the second for the decider. But this World’s, Sindhu knew she could last in the third, and had trained so devastatingly hard, that she pushed herself in the second set knowing she’d still have enough fuel in the tank for an equally rigorous third. “In terms of tactics, I still had hope when I was down in the second set till the last point that it wasn’t over from my side. Even though she was leading 19-13, I still thought let me try and I kept on trying. Finally I finished it off in two sets,” she said triumphantly.
“She’s taking the initiative. The last two years she wasn’t going for her shots and landing them with the intent of closing out. But this week, she’s moving better,” she added. A steeplechaser, willing to jump high over every hurdle. “Her confidence is so high and it’s down to some solid training she’s put in,” Aravind Bhat said. “I’d say she has a slight edge in the final just based on that confidence.”
This confidence reflected in many ways – she handled all the pressure points much better than the Japanese, even when down 20-21. Sindhu had cut down on mistakes in the crunch, but more importantly her winners far out-numbered Yamaguchi’s errors. “Brilliant win, and Sindhu deserves a lot of credit,” Vimal Kumar said, adding, “she never got frustrated.”
When confident, the tall Sindhu looks even more taller. Her deep back clears on Saturday at Nanjing were the biggest sign of her confidence. She struck such a perfect length that for two straight days now the Japanese have struggled to get under the shuttle, and have always looked a second too late to react on the overhead.
There was coincidence to go with this confidence. In the 2012 Asian Junior Championships, PV Sindhu had defeated Okuhara and Yamaguchi in back to back wins for the title, just as India was readying for its first Olympic medal. At Gimcheon in South Korea, a young callow Sindhu had stunned fellow teen Yamaguchi. The score then too was Sindhu 12-19 down. The confidence is back, and so is Sindhu in badminton’s biggest final.
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