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IPL 2021: CSK send special gift to England women’s team player Kate Cross

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IPL 2021: CSK send special gift to England women’s team player Kate Cross


While the BCCI suspended IPL 2021 indefinitely on Tuesday, England women’s cricket team star Kate Cross received a special gift from her favorite team Chennai Super Kings later in the day.

Kate Cross was disappointed after learning the news of IPL 2021’s suspension. However, she was overjoyed when she finally got her first CSK jersey.

The English cricketer posted two photos of her new CSK shirt on Twitter. The first was a selfie of herself in the yellow jersey, while the second photo was the back of the shirt, which had Kate Cross’s name and #16 printed on it.

“A HUGE thank you to @cskfansofficial and @chennaiipl for sending me my first CSK shirt. When it is safe to start the tournament again, I can #whistlefromhome,” Kate Cross captioned the post.

Kate Cross extended her gratitude to the Chennai Super Kings and the CSK Fans’ official Twitter account for sending her the shirt. While she would have worn it to support CSK against the Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday evening, it seems Cross will have to wait a little longer to watch her favorite IPL team in action.

Health comes before cricket: Kate Cross

Kate Cross has played 3 Tests, 28 ODIs and 13 T20Is in her career.
Kate Cross has played 3 Tests, 28 ODIs and 13 T20Is in her career.

Kate Cross is an English pace bowler who has represented her nation in all three formats of the game. Cross is a huge IPL fan and has developed a fan rivalry with her teammate Alexandra Hartley, who is a fan of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Unfortunately, Cross, Hartley, and millions of fans will miss the IPL this month. However, Kate pointed out in a tweet that health was more important than cricket right now.

“As disappointing as people will be to see this news, it’s the right decision. Health comes before cricket. All my thoughts are with everyone involved in the current COVID crisis in India,” Kate Cross tweeted after IPL 2021 got postponed.






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Avesh Khan, on top of his game after IPL 2021

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Avesh Khan, on top of his game after IPL 2021


Before every IPL, Avesh Khan pays a visit to the MRF Pace Foundation. Here, he hones his skill, trains hard and settles into a good bowling groove. 

This year was a breakout season for the 24-year-old Avesh in the Indian Premier League. Before the first game he remembers Delhi Capitals coach, the legendary Ricky Ponting, telling him, “This is your moment seize it.”

And after he produced a stellar performance, Ponting said, “Now that you have got off to a good start, continue in the same rhythm. We will back you fully.”

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Bowling with fire and hostility with the new ball and at the death, he finished with 14 wickets in eight matches at 7.70 (economy rate). Only Harshal Patel, with 17, grabbed more wickets. “When the shine was there, I was able to move the ball. Then I was able to send down yorkers.”

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There is a strong Australian connection to Avesh’s success. Ponting, impressed with Avesh’s potential, spoke to him regularly about the day’s play and the game-plan for the next encounter.

“Ponting is a very good motivator,” said Avesh. 

And Aussie pace bowling legend, Glenn McGrath, fine-tuned Avesh’s technique for longer duration matches, taught him the virtues of patience and made him bowl on the fourth stump at the MRF Pace Foundation.

Head coach M. Senthilnathan constantly interacted with Avesh.

One of the four ‘travelling’ standbyes for the tour of England, Avesh is looking at the future with optimism.  Someone with a semi side-on release and a high-arm action, Avesh has strong shoulders and a good seam position.

He said, “I can consistently bowl at over 140 kmph. And my slower delivery is around 120.”

His most memorable wickets in this year’s IPL? “Bowling both Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni. Kohli was beaten by movement. And Dhoni attempted a pull.”

Talking about his rapport with Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant, Avesh said, “We go back to our India under-19 days. He gave me complete freedom with my field placements. And we would discuss the day’s play.”

Avesh is on top of his game now. 



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Indian Wrestling Champion Arjan Bhullar, MMA Fighter Ritu Phogat To Feature In “ONE: DANGAL” From Singapore | Other Sports News

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Indian Wrestling Champion Arjan Bhullar, MMA Fighter Ritu Phogat To Feature In “ONE: DANGAL” From Singapore | Other Sports News





As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, Indian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes feel that having sporting events in these times helps recreate and rebuild the positive environment which is actually a key ingredient for people to stay positive in these testing times. Indian wrestling champion Arjan Bhullar, MMA fighter Ritu Phogat, Gurdarshan Mangat and Roshan Mainam will be featuring in the upcoming ONE: DANGAL a tape-delayed event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium that airs on Saturday.

In an interaction with ANI ahead of the fight, the MMA stars opened up about the challenges they faced last year, their training amid the pandemic and how sports gives people the option to look forward to something during the gloom.

“I think in a challenging time, people need hope they need something to be happy, they need heroes. Sports bring everyone together, sports makes people happy, it distracts from everyday routine. So I am always pro-sports especially in these trying times,” said Arjan.

“I have family and friends dealing with this, we are helping out as much as we can as family. Everyone must come together at these difficult time, help your neighbour out, help your community out. Our heart is with everyone dealing with COVID in India,” he added.

Commonwealth wrestling gold medalist Ritu admitted that the COVID situation has affected her but the MMA fighter is happy to bring a smile to the face of her fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Yes, the COVID situation does affect us but I am focusing on my fight. Overthinking about the pandemic can divert our concentration. So my whole focus is on my fight right now,” said Ritu.

“I know how the situation in India is right now, so I try to spread positivity on my social media amid these testing times,” Ritu said.

“Sports should go ahead in these testing times as it brings a lot of positivity among people. Also, it would be nice to see smiles on the face of our people during these times,” she opined.

Gurdarshan, who would be locking horns with compatriot Roshan Mainam, admitted that sports cannot solve the COVID problem but he knows it can help people develop an everlasting bond.

“If you could get something for a moment whether an hour or a couple of hours of escape, it would be nice and I guess that’s what sports does,” Gurdarshan, who is also known as Saint Lion, told ANI.

“It can bring a nation together for a moment, I am not saying it can solve COVID, it’s not gonna save lives but it could give moments where you can come together and celebrate something. We need sports,” Gurdarshan, said.

In the showpiece event, Ritu, who will square off against experienced veteran Bi Nguyen, will bank on her improved form over the last year.

“My opponent is very experienced and she has good standing game but I have confidence in my training and I am ready to take her on,” Ritu said.

“It would be interesting to see the toss-up between striking and wrestling. I learnt a lot of things during the lockdown and improved my striking. I used the time to hone my skills,” Ritu added.

Arjan will be challenging Filipino-American superstar Brandon Vera for the ONE Heavyweight World Title and the Indian athlete is looking to be “more dangerous” than his opponent to get over the line.

“This is a world championship fight, this the most important fight of my life so that’s enough to get the required motivation I need. I’ll be more dangerous than him,” said Arjan.

Talking about the upcoming fight, Gurdarshan said he was “shocked” to know that he has to face his friend Roshan Mainam in the showpiece event.

“Roshan is a friend of mine. He is somebody whom I speak to, he is somebody who I have mentored and given advice to. I have known him before the ONE Championship,” Gurdarshan said.

“I was kind of shocked to know that I would be fighting with him, not because I am afraid of him but because of the friendship we have,” Gurdarshan added.

Having contracted COVID in October last year, Gurdarshan revealed that he took up fasting to build on the endurance.

“I trained hard last year amid the pandemic. I am proud of the endurance I have built. I also fasted a lot more, I took up intermittent fasting and fasted more than 15 hours,” Gurdarshan told ANI.

Meanwhile, Roshan will be relying on submission techniques to dominate the game as he gears up for the fight on Saturday.

“Gary is more like my big brother and we’ve been supporting each other for years now. He is way more experienced than me and I’ve learnt a lot from him,” said Roshan.

“For this match especially, I’ll leverage my ground game and rely on submission techniques to finish at a dominant position. My grappling experience will enable me to withstand Gary’s power-packed striking and may the best man win,” Roshan added.

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Further talking about his training for the upcoming fight, Roshan said, “COVID has been a testing time for us athletes as well people in general. Yes, one has had to be a lot more cautious while training but where there is a will, there definitely will be a way.”

“So I have made sure that I’ve been on the ball with my training by exploring ways to socially distance myself and yet focus on the game. As they say, adversity breaks some and makes some break records, I am prepping up for the latter,” he signed off.

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Tokyo Games: How Coach Paramjeet Yadav Changed Olympic-Bound Seema Bisla’s Wrestling Career | Wrestling News

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Tokyo Games: How Coach Paramjeet Yadav Changed Olympic-Bound Seema Bisla’s Wrestling Career | Wrestling News





Qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics was an unimaginable dream realised for Seema Bisla, who did not even think of winning a national title until she bumped into a “guru” who believed in her talent more than anyone else. Disheartened and dejected at her repeated failures and lack of support from coaches, all Seema wanted was a job that would help her sustain in a tough sport. Competing at the Olympics never crossed her mind. Daughter of a cancer-stricken farmer father, she did not want to be a burden on the family.

With the help of Paramjeet Yadav she appeared in trials for a sports vacancy in the Indian Railways and landed a clerk’s job in 2017. Little did she know that a casual help taken from Paramjeet would change her life and goals forever.

She expressed her desire to train under him after getting the job and shifted base to his academy, first in Gurugram and then in Farrukh Nagar. Now she is only the fourth Indian woman to have made the cut for the Tokyo Games. She won the 50kg quota last week at the World Qualifiers in Sofia.

“Main to kabhi ye bhi nahi socha tha ki National jeetungi (I did not even think of winning the national championship). Abhi bhi Vishwas nahi ho raha hai maine Olympic ke liye qualify kar liya hai (It has not sunk in yet),” Seema told PTI in an exclusive interview.

Someone who had not even won a national title till 2017, earning the right to compete at the biggest stage was even beyond dreams. Paramjeet, himself a former wrestler, says that despite having fire in her belly, a decent technique and a big heart for fight, Seema did not have enough strength in her body.

“It’s the body with which you make moves. Your mind only strategises but execution has to be done by the body. She had everything but not strength. Lack of proper diet was the reason behind it,” Paramjeet said.

“She would just take milk and home made food. How she would have competed with stronger rivals. She came from a humble family, which could not afford the required, yet expensive, diet for this sport.

“Now that she had a job to support her, I suggested adding supplements, dry-fruits and multi-vitamins to her diet and her game started to change,” he shared.

Seema, 27, says it was the first time in her career that someone was taking interest in her game. She was dying to get some attention and guidance but got nothing when she trained at Chhotu Ram stadium in Rohtak.

“I wanted the coaches to train me hard like they did with other girls but my sessions would not last more than a few minutes. Most of my training was outside the mat. I would get irritated, lose focus easily but no one paid attention to me. I don’t know why.

“You can’t do anything if you do not have support of an able ‘guru’ (coach). And I found mine in Paramjeet sir. Diet is something which is basic but no one told me what I needed to do.

“The day when I had to take the mat for Olympic qualification in Sofia, sir called me that morning and said I just needed to execute what I do in practice and the quota is mine. He has so much confidence in my ability that it surprises me. And each time he has been proved right,” she said.

The turning point came Seema wrestled with Divya Kakran in a Mat-Dangal in 2017 and despite being severely underweight (Seema was 55kg and Divya 70kg) and under-skilled, she forced her experienced rival to use all her might to prevail against her. When Seema sent the clip of that bout to Paramjeet, she had something “strange” to hear from her coach.

“Coach sir told me that I will win the nationals with ease. I did not believe him. I thought he has gone crazy. But I actually won the title in Indore with ease and we have not looked back after that,” she said.

Paramjeet says what struck him about Seema in that bout was that she had no fear in her eyes. Divya was already an established name in Indian wrestling but Seema did not care for reputation. Seema also revealed that she had almost given up when WFI held trials in February for Asian Qualifiers but Paramjeet lifted her spirit.

“I could have lost the first round when I injured my left foot. I was not able to move. But sir told me, no wrestler in this world is 100 per cent fit. He asked me apply ice pack and get ready.”

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Where is she in terms of Olympic preparations?

“She needs to work more on technique. If she can repeat her performance of Yasar Dogu (Istanbul) and Sassari (Italy), winning an Olympic medal is no big deal,” said the 42-year-old coach. Seema, who has five international medals, does not have a contract with the WFI and is without any sponsorship deal but would not mind one now so that her coach is by her side when she competes at the biggest stage.

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