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Chess Olympiad: Crucial duel for India against Russia on Sunday

On the other hand, the Indian team will be chosen from former World Champion V. Anand, P. Harikrishna, Vidit Santhosh Gujrathi, B.Adhiban and K.Sasikiran.

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Chess Olympiad

Chennai, Sep 29 : After a day of rest on Saturday, a crucial sixth round duel is waiting to happen on Sunday between the fifth seeded Indian open team and the second seeded Russia at the 43rd World Chess Olympiad underway at Georgia.

“Everyone (all players) has rested well and preparing well for the big match with Russia tomorrow,” Indian team captain and coach R.B. Ramesh told IANS.

The Sunday fight against Russia will be second important tie for India after it lost to the top seeded USA in the fourth round.

About the medal prospects as the Olympiad is nearly halfway now Ramesh said: “Medal prospects will be clear only in last two rounds or so. It is too early to discuss about that now.”

He said Iran, Poland, France and Czech Republic are the other teams that are to be watched apart from the top five seeded teams — USA, Russia, China, Azerbaijan and India.

Ironically, Russia lost to 11th seeded Poland in the fourth round.

Both India and Russia have eight points each – a round win gets two points, draw one point and zero points in case of a loss.

The Russian team will be from Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Nikita Vitiugov.

On the other hand, the Indian team will be chosen from former World Champion V. Anand, P. Harikrishna, Vidit Santhosh Gujrathi, B.Adhiban and K.Sasikiran.

About the quick draw by Sasikiran and Gujrathi in their games against the US Ramesh said: “Sasikiran felt he didn’t get much out of the opening. Vidit drew in an equal position after a tough fight against a strong opponent, which is very good.”

“Players have to play according to the position on the board and they did that. It is easy to pass critical comments without understanding what is going on and sadly any do that,” Ramesh added.

In the women’s section fifth seeded India will be fighting it out against 10th seeded USA on the first table.

It will be interesting to see whether the Indian eves would avenge the defeat of Indian open team by the USA.

Sports

IPL : Delhi Capitals defeated Chennai Super Kings by 44 runs

Match 7 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 edition saw Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi Capitals (DC) easily emerging on top of MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

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MS Dhoni CSK

Match 7 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 edition saw a young Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi Capitals (DC) take on experienced campaigners in the form of MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday evening (September 25) in Dubai.

While many expected the Dhoni-led camp to bounce back after defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals (RR), the Yellow Army failed to stand tall and lost by 44 runs.

Opting to bowl first, Dhoni defended his decision despite the recent norm of chasing side losing games with each passing day. He stated at the toss, “I think we need to respect the conditions and the fact that dew will play a part. Maybe the teams batting second so far in the tournament have made mistakes to not win. It looks better to bat second on TV. Some of the wickets might slow down as the tournament progresses. But given the number of strips out here and the amount of grass, it won’t become a low scoring tournament.”

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‘Where am I being sexist in this?’: Sunil Gavaskar responds after receiving flak for ‘inappropriate’ comments regarding Anushka Sharma

IPL 2020: Sunil Gavaskar expressed his side of the story, explaining how his comments related to Anushka Sharma were ‘twisted’ and taken the wrong way.

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Sunil Gavaskar

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has cleared the air surrounding his comments on Virat Kohli and wife Anushka Sharma, saying his statements have been received the wrong way and that he never intended on being a ‘sexist’. Gavaskar stirred controversy when on air, he made a comment involving Kohli’s actor wife Anushka. This was after Kohli had dropped two catches and looked scratchy while batting.

This is what Gavaskar had said: “Ab jo lockdown tha toh unhone sirf Anushka ke saath bowling ki practice ki hai, usse toh kuch bhi nahi banna (During the lockdown, he has only practiced against Anushka’s bowling. Nothing was to come out of it.).”

It led to a Twitter meltdown with users slamming Gavaskar for crossing a line. Anushka herself took to social media and expressed her disappointment with the remarks through a post on Instagram.

Gavaskar, on Friday, expressed his side of the story, explaining how his comments were ‘twisted’ and whatever he said regarding Kohli stemmed from the fact that none of the senior India players were finding it easy to bat in the IPL due to lack of match practice.

“As you hear from the commentary, Aakash and I were doing commentary for the Hindi channel. And Aakash was talking about the fact that there has been very little chance for proper practice for everybody. That has actually shown in the rustiness of some of the players in their first matches. Rohit didn’t strike the ball well in his first match, MSD didn’t strike the ball well, Virat also didn’t strike the ball. Most of the batsmen have because of the lack of practice,” Gavaskar told India Today.

“That was the point that was being made. Virat also had no practice and the only practice that they had when they were seen them playing in their building compound and Anushka was bowling to him. That’s what I said. That’s the only bowling, I have not used any other word. She was bowling to him, that’s all. Where am I blaming her? Where am I being sexist in this? I am just stating what was seen in the video which was maybe recorded by somebody in the neighbouring buildings and then put up. That’s the only thing I am doing.”

It is not the first time Anushka has been blamed for Kohli’s failure with the bat. In 2015, when India were eliminated from the 2015 World Cup in the semifinal with Kohli scoring 1, his performances were linked to Anushka. Later on, in October of last, a comment made by former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer, which claimed that “One of the selectors was serving tea to Anushka Sharma during the 2019 World Cup” triggered a storm.

Gavaskar said his comments weren’t aimed to blame the actor and that it was just a mere reference. “The point I am trying to make is that there was no practice for anybody, including Virat in the lockdown. I am not being sexist. If somebody, has interpreted it, what can I do?” he said.

“I would like to say it again. Where am I blaming her? I am not blaming her. I am only saying that the video said that she was bowling to Virat. Virat has played only that bowling during the lockdown period. It’s a tennis ball, a fun game that people have to pass time during the lockdown. That’s all. Where am I blaming her for Virat’s failures?”

Gavaskar even said he would never cross the line as he himself has been a believer of cricketers’ wives travelling with them on tours.

“You know me, I am the one who has always batted for wives going with husbands on tour. I am the one that a normal guy going to the office for a 9-5 job, when he comes back home, he comes back to his wife. Similarly, cricketers, when they go out for a tour or even when they are playing at home, why can’t they have their wives with them?” Gavaskar added.

“Because after their working hours are over, they have to get back to their wives like every other common man does. So, I am not blaming her.”

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Obituary – Ex-Aus batsman Dean Jones had a love affair with India

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Dean Jones

For some strange reason, a 51-second video clip of Dean Jones being bowled neck and crop for a duck by the legendary Kapil Dev in a Test against Australia went viral on Wednesday, with a commentator uttering the words “that’s the end of Dean Jones”. And, on Thursday Jones died of a cardiac arrest, aged 59 years and 184 days, in Mumbai.

Jones, who was in India to honour his contract with a broadcaster for the IPL, was close to many Indian players, like Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar, and was a regular visitor to India for cricket-related work.

A top order batsman, Jones, who was part of the second Tied Test in which he scored his maiden double century in 1986 in Madras, played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs between 1984 and 1994. He was a gutsy batsman and wasn’t scared of stepping out to play speedsters. His running between the wickets was very brisk. Jones is perhaps best known for his 210 in the Tied Test, his maiden double century at that level — an innings after which he was taken to a hospital and was put on a saline drip after he was dehydrated during his eight-and-a-half hours at the crease in hot and humid Madras, as Chennai was then called.”

A day that changed my life forever,” Jones tweeted on September 19, on the 34th anniversary of the Tied Test. Another tweet of his that day read:

“This Test was the Renaissance for Australian cricket. It was our Mt Everest moment. Under AB [Border] we started to believe that we can compete against the best. Great friendships started with the Indians. Our Journey had just begun!” Indeed, Jones’s friendship with Indians had well and truly begun in 1987, and some of his friends, like Kapil Dev, were in the team that played at Chepauk. India proved lucky for Jones as he was part of Allan Border’s team that won Australia their first ever World Cup, in 1987 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. After retirement, Jones started getting TV work in India and was nicknamed ‘Professor Deano’. He even named his twitter handle @ProfDeano. Jones’s love affair with India continued both on and off the field. In Test cricket, although he played only three matches on Indian soil, his average here — 92.

75 — was the highest of the six countries he had played in. He played 18 ODIs in India and tallied 719 runs at 44.

94. The Aussie once also played alongside Indians in unofficial cricket. When a World XI gathered in England to celebrate the bicentenary of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1987, former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar partnered Jones in a game against Gloucestershire in Bristol.”

He was a very nice, jovial person. I was shocked when I heard this news today. I was absolutely devastated. Of course, we played against each other, representing India and Australia. We also played together once. It was one of the three matches played before the main five-day game between the MCC and Rest of the World XI at Lord’s in London. Dean and I had a 200-odd-run partnership. I scored 171 and he scored 70-odd in that match,” Vengsarkar told IANS. “Of course, I knew him very well. When he used to come to Mumbai for commentary etc, sometimes we used to meet. He was a good friend. And he used to play golf also. So, I was surprised that he collapsed and died today. It’s absolutely shocking,” he said. In mid-2000s, Jones also applied for the India coach’s job. Although he didn’t get the job, he became coach of the Islamabad franchise in the maiden Pakistan Super League in 2016 and guided the team to the title.

Jones played a prominent role in the revival of Australian cricket in late 1980s, especially during the 1987 World Cup and the 1989 Ashes Test series.

He went on to captain Victoria and Derbyshire. At times, Jones was too outspoken. As a commentator, he slipped a couple of times. In 2006, he called South Africa cricketer Hashim Amla a “terrorist”, a comment for which he had to pay a penalty. But he was accepted back into the commentary box while Amla forgave him. On Thursday morning, Jones reportedly greeted everyone when he was at the breakfast table in the hotel where he was staying in Mumbai. “When he went for breakfast, he was jovial and said ‘good morning boys, hope everything is fine’ to people present there,” a hotel source told IANS.

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali

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