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Boxer Nikhat Zareen wants trial, BFI says Mary Kom assured of spot

Speaking to IANS, Nikhat said: “Even I got to know yesterday night only that she is not fighting. I was ready. It was a good opportunity for me. Now I will face her in the trials only.

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New Delhi, Dec 17 : After Nikhat Zareen on Tuesday demanded a fair selection trial for the Olympics and asked the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) to telecast it live, the governing body said that they will pick the fourth boxer in each weight category on December 21.

Nikhat had said that she is not willing to let all the talk regarding her showdown with Mary Kom affect her preparations for the all-important trial for the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers on December 27 and 28.

On Tuesday, six-time world champion Mary Kom was supposed to take on Nikhat in the ongoing Big Bout Indian Boxing League, which is a tournament sanctioned by the BFI. But the London Olympics bronze medallist pulled out in the last hour due to a back injury.

“The selection committee, including the coaches, is scheduled to meet on December 21 to decide the fourth participant in all the five weight categories for women’s boxing in which trials are slated to take place for the Olympic qualifiers on December 27 and 28,” the BFI said in a statement.

“The last released ranking of the camp players for the month of September and the tournaments thereafter will be taken into consideration for the same,” it added.

Speaking to IANS, Nikhat said: “Even I got to know yesterday night only that she is not fighting. I was ready. It was a good opportunity for me. Now I will face her in the trials only.

“If she is not willing to fight, I can’t force her. It’s her choice. My bad that now she is not playing. Now I have to focus on the trials only,” she said.

Later at a press conference here, the 23-year-old Telangana boxer added: “I wanted to play the league just because everyone would have seen the bout on TV and know me. Now I have to prepare for the trails, but I want the trials to be telecast live on TV and not behind close doors so that people can know what happened in the bout.”

“BFI wanted me to play the league so I didn’t play the nationals and that’s why I am right now the fourth choice boxer for the trails in 51kg. I was told by the BFI to play the league,” said Nikhat.

“I got a mail from BFI stating that mine and Mary Kom’s trial will happen. Then they said that Nikhat will have to fight and win against Mary Kom in the league to get the fourth spot in the trials.

“This of course affects my preparations. I just want the authorities to show me a clear path. If they say that your trails will be on that day, then I can focus on that. But in between you say that you have to perform well in IBL, then only we will think about whether to give you the fourth spot in the trails which is not fair,” she said.

At the trial scheduled for December 27 and 28 here, each weight category will have four contenders. Three places are already secured in the 51kg women’s division after Jyoti Gulia and Ritu Grewal won the gold and silver in the women’s nationals in Kannur while Mary Kom is assured of a spot after she won the bronze at the women’s World Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia, in October.

The fight is between Nikhat and Pinki Rani for the fourth spot now.

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British PM rules out return of club cricket in wake of COVID-19 crisis

Following the conclusion of West Indies series, England will lock horns against Pakistan in three Tests and as many T20Is in August and September.

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London, July 3 : After referring to cricket ball as a natural vector of disease last month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes ‘teas’ and ‘changing rooms’ are some of the reasons why club cricket can’t return in the country.

Pubs and cafes are set to open in the country from July 4 but recreational cricket and club cricket in England haven”t recieved permission to go ahead yet.

“You made the same point about hairdressers and nail bars and it”s a valid point,” Johnson told LBC”s Nick Ferrari as per ESPNcricinfo. “There are reasons. You sound like Socrates there. These debates have gone round and round. There are various other considerations.

“The long answer, which I think probably Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer) would give if he were here about cricket, the risk is not so much the ball though that may be a factor, it”s the teas, the changing rooms and so on and so forth.

“There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis. You”ve taken me into a rabbit hole of detail when really what people understand is that this is a battle against a pandemic which we have fought so far with the use of social distancing measures and we are very largely winning,” he said.

International cricket, however, is set to return in the country with England taking on West Indies in a three-match Test series starting July 8 at the Ageas Bowl.

Following the conclusion of West Indies series, England will lock horns against Pakistan in three Tests and as many T20Is in August and September.

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TSJC felicitates sports personalities on World Sports Journalists Day

The TSJC also felicitated Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Manoj Kanti Deb, Sports Director Sharadindu Chowdhury and Sports Council Secretary Amit Rakshit.

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Agartala, July 3 : The Tripura Sports Journalists Club (TSJC) on Thursday felicitated 10 sports personalities on the occasion of the World Sports Journalists Day.

TSJC President Saraju Chakraborty said that in view of the Covid-19 restrictions, the club functionaries felicitated the 10 sports personalities separately at their homes.

Those felicitated included ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar, all-India school chess champion Arshiya Das, Dronacharya awardee coach Bisweswar Nandi and , promising gymnasts Priyanka Dasgupta and Asmita Paul, international kick-boxer Mukta Debnath and yoga practitioner Puja Saha.

The TSJC also felicitated Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Manoj Kanti Deb, Sports Director Sharadindu Chowdhury and Sports Council Secretary Amit Rakshit.

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ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar steps down

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Dubai, July 1 : ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar has stepped down from the post after two, two-year tenures at its helm, the International Cricket Council has announced.

In a media release, the sport”s governing body said that the ICC Board met on Wednesday and agreed that Deputy Chairman Imran Khwaja will assume the responsibilities of the chairperson until a successor is elected.

The process for the chairperson election is expected to be approved by the ICC Board within the next week.

“On behalf of the ICC Board and staff and the whole cricket family, I would like to thank Shashank for his leadership and everything he has done for the sport as ICC Chairman. We wish him and his family all the very best for the future,” ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said.

“Everyone on the ICC Board extends their wholehearted thanks to Shashank for the commitment he has shown to our sport. There is no doubt that cricket owes Shashank a debt of gratitude for all he has done for the sport. He has left cricket and the ICC in a better place than he found it,” Khawaja said.

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