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Need time to get back to full fitness: Nehwal

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Mumbai : Recovering from an ankle injury, star shuttler Saina Nehwal said she will look to get back to full fitness during the three weeks break after the India Open next month.

“I had this ankle injury before this tournament, so I am playing a match after three weeks, there was this ankle inflammation. In the morning when I was practising there was some pain. Ankle injury is tough because the lunges depend on the ankles,” Saina said.

“I will get more time, two-three weeks after the India Ppen. After the World Championship there was not enough time when I joined Gopi sir, there were too many tournaments and after that I had this injury. It is still not up to the mark. There is a lot of speed still required, I need to be in best shape to play against the best,” she added.

 

The 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist shuttler said she was doing the training part but would need to strengthen herself while playing.

“You need to play with this, you can’t rest and heal it. So, I’ll need more time to get full training and play against top players,” she said after defeating Michelle Li in a Premier Badminton League match at Siri Fort Sports Complex in the capital on Sunday night.

Asked about the injury, Saina said, “I got it in September end or October start. It is an overuse injury, I was close to qualifying for Dubai Supers Series.

“It was not that I couldn’t play. But there comes a time when the muscle stops taking the load and it goes to the joint and I was feeling the pain. I felt a lot of pain in November end. I was not able to give rest, so I need time.” She said she would want to be fully fit before setting targets.

“Fitness and stamina are important and game comes only after that. I don’t want to keep any targets, keep body fit and rest will follow.”

Saina feels the new Badminton World Federation calendar will end the domination of one player and there will be more new champions in this crammed schedule.

“You will not have one player dominating in this new schedule. It will be like every tournament a new player winning, there won’t be one champion like we saw in the past like Lin Dan,” Saina said.

“More tournaments also means more injuries. After the World Championship, there is just two weeks gap for the Asian Games, so you’ll be mentally and physically tired. So it’s too much back to back tournament, may be they could have opened it more.”

While Saina and Carolina Marin have hit out at the 2018 BWF calendar, Sindhu chose not to dwell too much on the issue and said she will pick and choose her tournaments in order to be in the best possible shape.


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Chahal registers best ODI bowling figures by a spinner Down Under

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Mumbai :Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in an ODI clash in Australia, during the series-decider against the Aussies in Melbourne.

Chahal picked six wickets while conceding just 42 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), registering a dominant performance against the hosts, in a crucial clash. He also became the first spinner to pick six wickets in an ODI in Australia.

The bowler’s excellent performance certainly played a key role in India restricting Australia to a total of just 230.

 

The 28-year-old cricketer further equalled the best-ever ODI figures registered by any bowler in an ODI clash in Australia, alongside former Indian fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar.

Agarkar had accumulated the same tally as recorded by Chahal, against the hosts at the same venue, back in 2004.

Australian paceman Mitchell Starc enjoys a bowling tally, which trails the figures registered by the duo by a single run, having picked six wickets for 43 runs against India at the MCG, back in 2015.

English fast-bowler Chris Woakes is the fourth name on the list, after accumulating figures of 6/45 against Australia in Brisbane, 2011.

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Phogat becomes first Indian nominated for Laureus Awards

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Mumbai: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monica on 18 February.

The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.

The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.

 

Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.

The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.

Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

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All foreign stars will play PSL ties in Pakistan, says Mani

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LAHORE: All star cricketers will come to Pakistan to play in the eight matches of the fourth Pakistan Super League (PSL) scheduled for Karachi and Lahore, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani said.

The PSL matches will be staged from Feb 14 to March 17 at three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — in the United Arab Emirates before the remaining fixtures move to Pakistan with Karachi staging five games, including the final, and Lahore three.

Talking to media on sidelines of a friendly cricket match between the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) and the UK-based Pakistani journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said a good number of star cricketers had signed up in the six PSL franchises.

 

However, because of security concerns, prominent overseas players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. But with the passage of time, the number of prominent cricketers willing to visit Pakistan has risen. In the recent development the ex-South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers has already pledged to play two matches of Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on March 9 and 10.

To a query, Mani said the talks with Cricket Australia are still on to convince them to send their national side to Pakistan for two games of the five-match One-day International series in the UAE in March despite reports of Australia’s expressing their reluctance regarding playing here.

The PCB chief declared that he has persuaded CA to send a security delegation to assess the current situation in Pakistan before taking a final decision, which is expected to be taken before the PSL begins in the second week of February.

Mani further said that talks were on with the cricket boards of South Africa and England to send different age-group teams to Pakistan.

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