Firstpost Spodcast Episode 129: BCCI lifts suspension on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, search for footballer Emiliano Sala called off and more

The BCCI on Thursday lifted the suspension of cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul with immediate effect. Sources indicated that Hardik Pandya would join India's ODI team in New Zealand while Rahul will either join the India A squad for the home series against England Lions or play in the domestic circuit.

The Committee of Administrators, after consulting new amicus curiae PS Narsimha, decided to lift the suspension pending an inquiry, for which an ombudsman will be appointed by the Supreme Court. The court will likely hear the matter on 5 February.

The statement by the CoA read, "Since the adjudication of all allegations of misconduct against any cricketer registered with, inter alia, the BCCI is required to be undertaken by the BCCI Ombudsman, whose appointment is pending directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, the CoA is the of the view that the interim suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 should be presently lifted with immediate effect."

The Indian women's team defeated New Zealand by nine wickets in the first ODI played in Napier yesterday. Smriti Mandhana top scored with 105 while 18-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues scored 81 as India chased down 193 in just 33 overs. The women's team is touring New Zealand at the same time as the men's team - their first series after the furor that followed their T20 World Cup exit last year. Mandhana, who was named ICC women's cricketer of the year for 2018, slammed her fourth ODI hundred in just 104 balls while Rodrigues brought up her maiden international half-century.

An Australian Open update now. Rafael Nadal continued his blistering form to reach the final while Naomi Osaka won a thrilling semifinal to make it to her second straight Grand Slam final.
Nadal, who has been in red-hot form in the tournament, dismantled Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 in the semifinal. Tsitsipas has had a dream run at the Open, including defeating Roger Federer. However, he faltered against a ruthless Nadal, who has not dropped a set all tournament. Nadal also hasn't dropped his serve for 63 consecutive games! The Spaniard wrapped up the match in 1 hour 46 minutes.

Osaka will face off against eighth seed Petra Kvitova in the final. If Osaka wins the final, she will also become the new world number one, replacing Simona Halep at the top. Kvitova defeated unheralded Danielle Collins 7-6, 6-0 to win her semifinal without too much difficulty. The Two-time Wimbledon champion will play Naomi Osaka in her first Australian Open final. She struggled during the first set, but after an interruption during which the roof of the Rod Laver Arena was closed, she found her form again

Some sad news from Europe for football fans. Police on Thursday called off the search for Argentinian player Emiliano Sala, saying the chances of finding him alive three days after his plane went missing over the English Channel were "extremely remote." Sala, who was to move from French club Nantes to English club Cardiff City, was traveling in a small plane that disappeared around 20 kilometres north of Guernsey, located off the northern coast of France, on Monday night. The police said teams from the Channel Islands, the United Kingdom and France searched an area of approximately 4,400 square kilometres, "with a significant amount of this searched more than once".

A badminton update now. PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, and Kidambi Srikanth qualified for the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Masters' with straight-game victories on Thursday.
Sindhu, who is seeded second, defeated Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 23-21 21-7 in 37 minutes to it to the quarterfinals of her first tournament this year. She will most likely face off against her old nemesis Carolina Marin in her next match.

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Updated Date: Jan 25, 2019 11:50:35 IST

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