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Stokes’s status reads ‘conditions apply’






Melbourne: Amid uncertainty over England cricketer Ben Stokes’s participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) following the legal proceeding in charges of affray against him, the IPL governing body has assured a replacement for the allrounder if needed. However, no replacement would be provided for the former England vice-captain if he misses the league in between.
Stokes has to be present in the court on February 13 after being charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in connection with a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub last year.
Stokes’s name has featured into the marquee set, with the highest base price of Rs 2 crore in the IPL auction that is to be held on January 27 and 28 in Bangalore.
He had missed the Ashes against Australia after being suspended indefinitely by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pending the outcome of a police investigation into the Bristol incident.
Stokes has not played any competitive cricket since his arrest in the Bristol incident on September 25 last year, apart from the domestic cricket for Canterbury in New Zealand in December.
The ECB has, however, made Stokes available for England selection despite the affray charges.



Mary Kom targeting boxing gold as she prepares for 2020 Olympics




New Delhi: It is said that champions are made and not born. The struggle, effort and the determination to keep trying till you succeed is what makes a champion stand out and none would know this better than champion boxer MC Mary Kom.

The only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the seven world championships, there is no stopping her.

Even though the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is more than 15 months away, Mary Kom is already planning for the biggest event in sporting history.


Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of a shoot with sports brand Puma, Mary Kom said that 2019 held special significance for her as this was the qualification year for the Tokyo Olympics and she must ensure that she plans the road ahead with precision.

“2020 is very close. This is one of the most important year for me as I look to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. We have already figured out the plan ahead. Without a plan or strategy you cannot move forward. The most important thing is to stay injury-free as that will help me give it my all as I prepare for 2020,” she said.

Having recently competed in Germany and won all her fights, one would expect her to be happy with the start to the season. But Mary Kom is already looking at areas she needs to improve on just like a true champion athlete.

“I have already tested my body as the fight in Germany was my first in the 51 kg category and that was a great experience. I think I have to improve a bit in certain areas like strength, power and stamina and I noted that and will figure these things out with my trainer,” she explained.

At the training trip in Germany, Mary Kom defeated Ukraines Daria Sierhieieva, Germanys Ursula Gottlob and Norway`s Veronica Losvik.

Even though her victories were unanimous 5-0 verdicts, Mary Kom wants to keep working hard and plan for different situations that may challenge her as she dreams of gold in the 2020 Games.

“I have already been planning on ways to tackle opponents in the 51 kg category and I have had a bit of an experience on competing in this category in the past year. I now have some idea of the opponents and that helps me to plan the moves to get better,” she said.

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Everything will change after Mosque shootings: BCB President




Christchurch: Bangladesh`s cricket team left New Zealand on Saturday, less than 24 hours after narrowly avoiding being involved in the worst mass shooting in the country, which now had to accept that sporting events were likely to have been changed forever.

A lone gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 during Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch in the country`s worst mass shooting which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as “a terrorist attack”.

The Bangladesh team were on a bus that was approaching the Al Noor mosque, where 41 people died, on the eve of the third test at the nearby Hagley Oval when the shooting began.


The test match, which had been scheduled to start on Saturday, was cancelled after the shooting and Bangladesh`s tour abandoned.

Violent crime is extremely rare in New Zealand and the Bangladesh Cricket Board said that the attacks had now changed their perception about team security on tours.

“We`ll demand proper security wherever our team goes in the future,” BCB President Nazmul Hassan told reporters in Dhaka on Friday. “If a country provides proper security as per our demand, then we will go otherwise not.”

“I can say that everything will change after this incident.”

Pakistan`s Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari also suggested that the world governing body, the International Cricket Council, should possibly take a harder line against hosting matches in New Zealand.

“ICC should take note & perhaps suspend int cricket in NZ after this act of terrorism?” Mazari said on Twitter.

Pakistan has been unable to host matches at home since 2009 when gunmen attacked the bus carrying the Sri Lankan team to a match in Lahore. Six of the players from the visiting team were wounded and eight locals killed.

New Zealand have not toured Pakistan since 2002 following a suicide bombing outside their hotel in Karachi and instead played their games in the United Arab Emirates.

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India to host Under-17 women’s World Cup in 2020




Mumbai: India will host the Under-17 women’s World Cup in 2020, FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced.

“We are delighted to announce that India has been confirmed as the host of the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020,” Infantino said after the FIFA Council meeting in Miami.

This will be the second FIFA tournament India will be hosting, after the Under-17 men’s World Cup in 2017.


Confirming the development, All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das said: “We are thankful to FIFA for giving the right to host the Under-17 Women’s World Cup. This will raise the profile of women’s football in the country.

“We have been giving a lot of emphasis on the development of women’s football in the country. So we bid for the Under-17 Women’s World Cup and now we have got it.”

The bidding process for the tournament started last year. France had also expressed interest to host the tournament.

Das said the venues to host the mega event will be decided soon.

“We have four-five venues in mind and we will finalise them soon.”

As the host country, India automatically qualifies for the 16-team showpiece event. The six continental qualifying tournaments are yet to begin.

Besides the Under-17 Women’s WC, India had also expressed interest in hosting the Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

The Under-17 women’s tournament began in 2008, when New Zealand hosted it. Spain are the current champions and they had beaten Mexico 2-1 in the final in Uruguay last year. The tournament in India will be the seventh edition.

Asian teams are the most successful teams in the tournament, with North Korea (2008 and 2016) having won it twice while Japan (2014) and South Korea (2010) had won it once each.

France (2012) and Spain (2018) are the only non-Asian teams to have won the tournament.

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