Firstpost Spodcast Epiosde 147: IPL 2019 begins with CSK vs RCB, Pakistan's omission from ISSF Shooting World Cup and more

Welcome to Spodcast.

The Indian Premier League announced the schedule for the first two weeks of the 12th edition of the tournament on Tuesday. The IPL will begin on 23 March in Chennai with a match between old rivals CSK and RCB. Defending champions Chennai Super Kings, who were crowned champions on their return to the IPL after a two-year suspension, face three-time runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore in the tournament opener. The rivalry between the two southern Indian teams is popularly dubbed as 'Kauvery Derby'.

That opening game will be followed by the first double-header of the season - Kolkata Knight Riders hosting Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens, and Mumbai Indians facing the revamped Delhi Capitals at Wankhede Stadium.

CSK had a fairytale return last year. They lifted the title for the third time under MS Dhoni's captaincy, defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in the final. Rajasthan Royals, the other team returning from a two-year suspension, managed to reach the playoffs under Ajinkya Rahane.

With growing speculation that the India-Pakistan World Cup match could be in trouble following the Pulwama terror attack, the International Cricket Council yesterday announced it does not foresee any change in the schedule of the mega event.

We reported yesterday that former India player Harbhajan Singh had hoped India would call off their 16 June match against Pakistan in Manchester.

But ICC's CEO David Richardson clarified that there is no indication as of now that the match will be cancelled. He said, "Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this terrible incident and we will be monitoring the situation with our Members. There is no indication that any matches at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup will not go ahead as planned."

Pakistan will not participate in the ISSF Shooting World Cup in New Delhi after a top official of their national federation confirmed that its marksmen had not been issued visas by the Indian High Commission.

Pakistan's National Rifle Shooting Federation President Razi Ahmed told PTI, "We were supposed to fly out by Wednesday morning as the championship begins from Thursday but we were not issued visas today so the visit is as good as off...I was a bit worried about getting the visas after the Pulwama incident and our fears have come true. It is disappointing that our shooters will not get a chance to try to qualify for the Olympic Games."

Naomi Osaka crashed out of her first match since the Australian Open. The World No 1 committed 25 unforced errors that resulted in her exit from the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.

Dubai-based Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic defeated Osaka 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round. She took barely an hour to beat Osaka, breaking her serve as many as seven times. She said, "This is my home tournament, I live here. It's great to get a win like this in front of a big crowd. Beating the number one is always special."

Caster Semenya appeared on Monday at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland at the start of a landmark hearing to challenge the rules proposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The double Olympic 800 metres champion said on Tuesday that proposed rules that would oblige her to lower her testosterone levels "do not empower anyone".

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Feb 20, 2019 13:22:06 IST

Also See