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‘Hockey has lost its brightest star’: Balbir Singh Sr passes away

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Balbir Singh Senior

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Hockey India has expressed condolences on the sad demise of legendary player Balbir Singh Sr who breathed his last on Monday morning in Mohali. The triple Olympic Champion and World Cup-winning team manager had been battling for life since May 8 when he was hospitalised.

“Today, we have not only lost our greatest hockey legend but we have also lost ‘our guiding light’. While his achievements in post-independent era have been well-documented, Balbir Sr remained the greatest fan of the sport and was always there when we needed his advice. Hockey has lost its brightest star and everyone at Hockey India is pained by this news,” said Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad.

He further said: “Balbir Singh Sr’s exemplary achievements, his passion for the sport, his life as an icon of the game will remain an example for generations to come. On behalf of the federation, I express my deepest condolences to his family.”

He was the most decorated athlete in Indian sports history with Olympic medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956 Summer Games. He coached the Indian team which won the bronze medal at the 1971 World Cup and was manager of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the 1975 World Cup.

He had scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Under his captaincy, India scored 38 goals and conceded none on its way to the gold medal in 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Beating England 4-0 in their own backyard during the final of the 1948 Olympic Games as an independent nation was Balbir Sr’s ‘greatest moment’.

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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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Boris Johnson

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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