Sports Diary

AB De Villiers Smashes Sourav Ganguly’s ODI Record

South Africa’s AB de Villiers overtook former India captain Sourav Ganguly to become the fastest cricketer to score 9,000 runs in one-day internationals (ODI) during the third ODI against New Zealand in Wellington on February 25th. De Villiers is the 18th player and second South African behind Jacques Kallis to reach the 9,000 mark. The South African batsman reached the landmark with a pull shot for four from Lockie Ferguson shortly after arriving at the crease.

The 33-year-old Proteas knocked off former India captain Sourav Ganguly’s record of 228 innings, getting to the milestone in 205 innings — a stunning 23 innings fewer than Ganguly. India’s Virat Kohli has a ODI run-tally of 7,755 from 171 innings, needing 245 runs in his next 10 innings to break the current 8,000 run mark of 182 innings – held by AB de Villiers.

Premier League Champions Leicester City Sacks Manager Ranieri

Leicester City sacked their manager Claudio Ranieri on February 23rd, just months after leading the club to a remarkable Premier League title triumph, the Midlands side announced. The Italian’s position has come under intense scrutiny this season during a slump that has left the Foxes just a point above the relegation zone. That follows their startling title triumph, with Leicester 5,000/1 no-hopers before the start of the 2015/16 season.

“Leicester City Football Club has tonight (February 23rd) parted company with its first-team manager, Claudio Ranieri,” said the statement. “Claudio, appointed City manager in July 2015, led the Foxes to the greatest triumph in the club’s 133-year history last season, as we were crowned champions of England for the first time. His status as the most successful Leicester City manager of all time is without question.”

Roger Federer Wants Rafael Nadal As Laver Cup Doubles Partner

Roger Federer revealed on February 20th that he wants to join forces in doubles with arch rival Rafael Nadal at the inaugural Laver Cup this year. The Swiss tennis great made the confession at the unveiling of the new tournament scheduled for Prague in September which will pit a Bjorn Borg-captained European team against John McEnroe’s rest of the world.

Federer, who beat Nadal in an epic five-set Australian Open final last month, admitted on Monday: “I’ve always wanted to play with Rafa… just because our rivalry has been so special. “I’ve seen his wicked forehand go past me too often!” The new addition to the tennis calendar is named after Rod Laver, the last man to achieve the calendar Grand Slam in 1969. Federer, the world number nine, is due to figure with sixth-ranked Nadal at the September 22-24 event.

PV Sindhu Breaks Into Top 5 In World Badminton Rankings

India’s star badminton player PV Sindhu achieved her career-best Badminton World Federation (BWF) women’s singles ranking as she jumped to number five in the world. The Rio Olympics silver medallist, who previously held the sixth spot, edged ahead of Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the latest rankings. Sindhu, who has 9399 points, has never before been part of world badminton’s top five. Saina Nehwal, at No. 9, is the only other Indian in the top 10.

Tai Tzu Ying of the Chinese Taipei tops the rankings, while Spaniard Carolina Marin, the only non-Asian in the top 10, was second. Saina and Sindhu recently pulled out of India’s campaign in the inaugural edition of the Asia Mixed Championship in view of a heavy schedule for them in the near future, including the All-England Championship next month.

Vijender Singh’s Chinese Opponent Zulpikar Maimaitiali Pulls Out of Bout

Indian boxing star Vijender Singh will face a different rival for his super middleweight bout on April 1, after his scheduled opponent, China’s Zulpikar Maimaitiali, pulled out of the bout on the scheduled day. While Maimaitiali didn’t specify reasons for his withdrawal from the fight, Vijender’s promoters IOS Boxing Promotions have assured that the event will go ahead as planned on April 1 in Mumbai, with a new opponent to be named for the Indian boxer in the coming days.

The Vijender-Zulpikar super middleweight contest was to be a double Asian title fight. The Indian’s WBO Asia-Pacific belt and the Chinese boxer’s WBO Oriental title were to be on the line in a winner-takes-all bout. Vijender’s promoters said Zulpikar has refused to specify his reasons for pulling out, merely telling them he would prefer to fight Vijender later in the year.

Pooja Ghatkar Captures 10m Air Rifle Bronze In ISSF World Cup

Indian shooter Pooja Ghatkar claimed a bronze in the 10-metre Air Rifle event of the ISSF Shooting World Cup in New Delhi. Pune girl aggregated 228.8 points, to be third behind the Chinese duo of China’s Mengyao Shi and Dong Lijie, who finished second with 248.9. This is the best performance by the 28-year old at this level. She has not finished better than 4th in any World Cup before this.

China’s Mengyao Shi won the gold medal with a score of 252.1, setting a new world record in the event. Mengyao’s compatriot Dong Lijie bagged the silver with a score of 248.9 on day one of the competitions. Ghatkar, who had missed out on a Rio Olympic Games quota place by a whisker last year, said she was looking ahead having buried that chapter.