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Beating China tough but not impossible: Anas

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Anas Edathodika

Shuzhou (China) Oct 11 : Indian football team defender Anas Edathodika feels upsetting China in front of their home crowd is “a tremendously tough job but not an impossible one.”

“It’ll be a tremendously tough job for us against China, that too at an away match. But winning isn’t impossible. We had a 13-match unbeaten streak including 9 wins recently and that is a perfect testament to the team’s hard work,” Anas told www.the-aiff.com.

“Coach (Stephen Constantine) has backed the younger guys and they have also repaid it equally. There’s a feel-good factor in Indian Football at this moment and it provides us with a positive vibe,” he commented.

India will take on China in an international friendly on Saturday as part of their preparations for next year’s Asian Cup.

Having won 12 out of the 17 encounters between the two countries so far the Chinese have always enjoyed an upper hand over their Indian counterparts but Anas shared that “both teams have to start afresh on 13th.”

“Indian Football has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 3-4 years. Younger players have put in terrific effort along with the seniors which has eventually helped the team gain more success up front. We can’t deny the history but both teams have to start afresh on 13th. Both teams will start from ground zero,” the 31-year-old defender stressed.

“Chhetri bhai, Gurpreet, Jeje, Sandesh, etc, have been there for a significant time and they never shy away from sharing a bit or two with the youngsters.”

Being a defender, Anas is aware of the uphill task of keeping the rivals at bay.

“Every single game is a tough test for the defenders. But, we have to work cohesively as a unit. Everyone including the attackers, midfielders, defenders have to play their due part to get the job done. It’s a no-brainer that the match will be a gruelling one for us,” he said.

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CCI covers Imran’s portrait following Pulwama attack

The portrait is displayed in the restaurant of the CCI, sources said.

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Imran Khan

Mumbai, Feb 17 (IANS) The Cricket Club of India (CCI) has covered a portrait of former cricketer and current Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at its premises following the terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

The portrait is displayed in the restaurant of the CCI, sources said.

The CCI’s gesture follows mass outrage and anger across the country after one of the worst ever terrorist attacks on Indian security forces led to the martyrdom of 49 CRPF troopers. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

CCI President Premal Udani, however, refused to say whether the portrait will be pulled down.

The iconic CCI is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and is home to the Brabourne Stadium.

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Virat Kohli postpones sports awards for Pulwama martyrs

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Virat Kohli

New Delhi, Feb 16: The Virat Kohli Foundation announced on Saturday that the India skipper has decided to postpone the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours in honour of the 49 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers who were martyred in a terrorist attack in Kashmir recently.

“Virat Kohli annually rewards excellence in sports and nurtures promising athletes through the Virat Kohli foundation. The RP-SG Indian Sports Honours that was supposed to happen tomorrow night has been postponed by Virat as a mark of respect to the CRPF jawans who were martyred at Pulwama by a tragic terror attack,” the foundation said in a statement.

Virat had also tweeted the about same on Friday.

The attack, one of the worst ever in the history of the terrorism in Kashmir, took place on February 14 when a suicide bomber ‘Adil Ahmad Dar’ rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into a bus full of CRPF personnel.

“The who’s who of entertainment and sports industry were supposed to be present for the award ceremony. Every partner and all the sport stars and delegates associated with this award have been informed and communicated with stating that hosting an event was unacceptable at this moment when India is mourning the death of its jawans,” the statement added.

“The Virat Kohli Foundation, an organisation dedicated to assisting the underprivileged sections of society, provides scholarships to promising young athletes, as well as individuals and initiatives that have promoted sport at the grassroot level.”

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IND vs AUS: Kohli returns as BCCI announces squad for ODI, T20 series

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Virat Kohli will lead India in the T20I and ODI series against Australia.

New Delhi, Feb 15: Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) on Friday announced the Indian squad for the upcoming series against Australia starting February 24.

Rookie leg-spinner Mayank Markande was opicked for the two-T20I series against Australia even as skipper Virat Kohli returned to lead the side following a break.

Kohli had sat out the final two ODIs and the three T20Is against New Zealand, but is back to lead the team in the entire series against the Kangaroos.

Keeping in mind the preparations for the upcoming ICC World Cup, the BCCI selectors named two different squads for the subsequent five-ODI series against the Australians.

The only difference between the squads is seasoned pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar returning to the 15-man squad for the final three matches, replacing Siddharth Kaul, who was included for the two T20Is and the first two 50-over games.

Wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, who was part of the ODI squad in Australia and New Zealand, has not been included in the squad with Rishabh Pant getting a call-up.

The T20Is will be played on February 24 and February 27 in Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru, respectively, followed by the ODI series starting in Hyderabad on March 2.

Nagpur will host the second match on March 5, while Ranchi and Mohali will host the third and fourth games on March 8 and March 10, respectively. The final match will be played at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on March 13.

Squads:

For 1st and 2nd ODI: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohamed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Siddharth Kaul, KL Rahul.

For remaining 3 ODIs: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant.

For T20I series: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande.

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