Sports Diary

Glenn Maxwell To Lead Kings XI Punjab, Replaces Murli Vijay

Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has been named skipper of Kings XI Punjab for the upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL) season 10 starting April 5, the franchise announced on its official Twitter handle. The mercurial Aussie player has replaced Indian batsman Murali Vijay, who was appointed captain midway last season. Vijay had taken over the captain’s role last season after David Miller was sacked as skipper for the team’s dismal performance. However, that did not change the team’s fortune as it finished last for the second successive season.

The management has preferred Maxwell over the likes of Eoin Morgan and Darren Sammy, who led the West Indies to two World T20 titles. Maxwell, who is currently in India with the Australian Test squad, had been relatively quiet in last two editions of the IPL, scoring 324 runs in 22 games.

Donald Trump’s Ban Could Hit USA’s World Cup Bid: FIFA Chief

American President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban could make it impossible for his country to host the 2026 World Cup, FIFA president Gianni Infantino warned on March 9th. The United States is the favourite to stage the expanded 48-team tournament in 2026, either on its own or as part of a joint-bid with neighbours Mexico and Canada. But with Trump seeking to ban nationals from several Muslim-majority countries, Infantino says the US may not even be in a position to submit a bid.

“Mr Trump is the president of the United States of America and as such of course (I have) huge respect for what he does,” Infantino told reporters at London’s Heathrow airport adding, “He’s in charge, together with his government, to take decisions that are best for his country. That’s why he has been elected.”

Kimi Raikkonen Fastest As Mercedes Pile On Miles

Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen showed promising signs for Ferrari’s 2017 Formula One season by outpacing Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona. Radical rules changes for the new season mean F1 cars are wider and more powerful than their predecessors. And that showed when Raikkonen posted a best time of 1min 20.960sec for a lap at the Circuit de Catalunya circuit since 2013. Even more encouragingly for Ferrari, Raikkonen’s time came on a slower soft tyre compound to the supersofts Hamilton used in posting his best effort of 1min 20.983sec.

Hamilton handed over the reins of the Mercedes W08 to new teammate Valtteri Bottas for the afternoon session. The Finn didn’t trouble the top of the timesheets with only the seventh fastest lap, but did log an impressive 102 laps in just a few hours.

Paes Keeps Place In Indian Davis Cup Team For Uzbekistan

Veteran tennis star Leander Paes was on March 6th retained in the India’s Davis Cup team for next month’s Asia/Oceania Zone tie against Uzbekistan. The tie, which will be India’s first with Mahesh Bhupathi as the non-playing captain, will also witness the return of Rohan Bopanna. Bopanna was not included for last month’s tie against New Zealand that Indian won 4-1.

Bopanna did extremely well at the just-concluded Dubai ATP 500 event, where he reached the final with partner Marcin Matkowski. En route the summit clash, he also got the better of Paes and his partner Gracia Gulliermo-Lopez in the semifinals. India will go in with two specialist singles players in Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramnathan. The AITA selection committee, led by SP Misra, named four singles players — Ramkumar Ramanathan, Yuki Bhambri, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and N Sriram Balaji — and two doubles players — Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes — in the six-member squad.

Kalinga Lancers Clinch Maiden Hockey India League Title

Kalinga Lancers came out with a stupendous performance to defeat Dabang Mumbai 4-1 and clinch their maiden Hockey India League (HIL) title in Chandigarh. The Lancers, who finished runner-up last season, went one better to clinch the 2017 crown. Australian forward Glenn Turner helped the Bhubaneswar-based team to take a 2-0 lead with his 18th minute field goal while German great and Lancers captain Moritz Fuerste scored in the 30th minute to extend the lead to 3-0.

India international Affan Yousuf pulled one back in the third quarter for Dabang Mumbai, via a penalty corner in the 33rd minute, but it was not enough as minutes from finish Fuerste put the final nail in the coffin to convert another penalty corner and make the score line 4-1. Dabang Mumbai and Kalinga Lancers had finished first and second respectively in the league phase of the tournament.

Olympian Sakshi Malik Unhappy With Haryana Government

Sakshi Malik became the darling of the country after winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Not only was it India’s first medal of the Rio Games but she also became the first woman wrestler to win an Olympic medal. Sakshi received a hero’s welcome when she returned to the country. A grand state welcome was also accorded by the Haryana government and many promises were made. However, the Olympic medallist has now claimed that she is yet to receive the incentives promised to her by the Haryana government.

“Medal ka vada maine pura kiya, Haryana sarkar apna vada kab pura karegi? (I fulfilled my promise of winning an Olympic medal, when will Haryana government fulfill its promise?),” tweeted Sakshi. “Announcements made by Haryana Government after my OLYMPIC MEDAL win were for MEDIA ONLY?,” she added further.