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India hockey team are the comeback kings

Overturning deficit, Roelant Oltmans’ boys beat Pakistan to claim Asian Champions Trophy after five years.

“An India-Pakistan match is always special and this is a special victory,” India skipper PR Sreejesh, had gushed after India’s thrilling win over Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy final. But in a bigger sense, it was not just the triumph or beating the arch-rivals that made the occasion special. It was yet another reminder that under Roelant Oltmans, India are steadily progressing and no longer susceptible to big-match implosions.
On the team’s return late on Monday, coach Roelant Oltmans seemed pleased that things went according to plan . “After a good season we wanted to begin the new cycle on a winning note,” he said.
There was no doubt that India were favourites going into the Asian Champions Trophy, with Pakistan and South Korea not the force they once were and the other teams in fray, including hosts Malaysia, not having enough big guns to put it across Oltmans’s wards. But that doesn’t diminish India’s accomplishment a wee bit, and it was a continuation of the good work under the Dutch coach. Despite the 8th-place finish at the Rio Olympics, Indian hockey has been on an upward curve for the last few years. The team is the best in the continent, and on their day can topple better-ranked sides.

Kabaddi World Cup 2016: Victorious Indian players, coach to get cash rewards from government


Sports minister Vijay Goel made the announcement at a felicitation function organised at his residence and also said they will strive to make Kabaddi an Olympic discipline.

India had defeated Iran 38-29 in the summit clash to take its third World crown.

“All players will get Rs 10 lakh each and the coach will also be awarded. We will also strive that this game of ours is there in Olympics. It’s not just about cricket, we want football, hockey and other games to be promoted,” Goel said.

India captain Anup said the standards of the foreign players has improved after playing in Kabaddi Leagues in India and that has made the job tough for them.

“Competition is tough out there but advantage that we have is that it’s our rural game, we have played it since childhood and they have started playing it only recently,” Anup said.

The captain also said more the international teams are in World Cup, the better it would be for the campaign to have this game in Olympics.

Man-of the-tournament Ajay Thakur said it’s only a myth that Indian team faces no competition.

“We were trailing in the final. The competition is getting tough. They come here and learn,” Ajay said.

The minister also said the preparations for next Olympic Games in 2020 and 2024 and 2028 have to start now.

“We want to pick and train talented kids from the age of eight years. We are asking people to upload the CVs and videos of kids on a sports portal. The local SAI centres will decide which kids can be supported for world class training,” Goel said.

Officials from broadcaster Star Sports, the main sponsors of the Kabaddi World Cup, were also present on the occasion.

Fifa fines country’s football federation over chants

Iran have been fined by Fifa after fans were asked to sing religious chants and wear black at a World Cup qualifier played on a holy day in the country.

The 1-0 victory over South Korea at Tehran’s 100,000-seater Azadi Stadium was held on the first of two mourning days on the Shia Muslim calendar.

Fifa said the £37,000 fine relates to “several religious manifestations”.

World football’s governing body prohibits political, religious or commercial messages at matches.

Cricket game in inglorious uncertainty

The continuing impasse between the board and the Lodha panel has put the England series under a cloud.
Background: After the court had frozen the fund the board had disposed/allocated to its associates, secretary Ajay Shirke had sought directions from the committee whether they could ask ECB to make their payments as BCCI can’t carry out financial transactions. This was asked since the home board makes all the arrangements and payments for the visiting team during a bilateral series.

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