Firstpost Spodcast Episode 146: Indian boxers shine at Strandja Memorial, Harbhajan Singh call for Pakistan isolation and more
Welcome to Spodcast, where we cover the big sports headlines of the day. Today, we discuss Indian boxers' performance at Strandja Memorial boxing tournament, Harbhajan Singh's call to BCCI to boycott game against Pakistan in the 2019 ICC World Cup and other news stories.
Welcome to Spodcast. Boxing news to kickstart today's episode.
Asian Games gold-medallist Amit Panghal (49kg) and former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) were among the four Indian boxers who made it to the finals of the 70th Strandja Memorial tournament on Monday in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Zareen, a two-time national medallist, defeated Poland's Sandra Drabik 3-2 in an intense see-saw battle. Others who made the final stage in the women's competition were Manju Rani (48kg) and Meena Kumari Devi (54kg).
However, Pwilao Basumatari (64kg), Neeraj (60kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) settled for bronze medals after losing their semifinal bouts.
Cricket news now. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh doesn't want India to play Pakistan in the upcoming ODI World Cup in the aftermath of the ghastly terror attack in Pulwama. Harbhajan said India are strong enough to win the World Cup even if they decide to forfeit the match against Pakistan in Manchester on 16 June.
The ISSF Shooting World Cup too has been affected by the Pulwama blast. But Pakistan's shooters were on Monday granted visas to participate in the New Delhi World Cup, a top Indian shooting official told PTI, ending speculation about their presence in the event in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack.
The ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) event, which will offer 16 quota places for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, starts at the Dr Karni Singh Range on Thursday.
Back to cricket now, India opener Smriti Mandhana maintained her pole position while ODI skipper Mithali Raj remained fifth in the latest ICC ODI Players' Ranking issued on Monday. Mandhana is leading the pack with 774 rating points ahead of Australia pair of Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning.
Among bowlers, veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami is the best-placed Indian at the third spot behind Megan Schutt of Australia and Pakistan's Sana Mir, who is leading the pack.
Staying with cricket, Former Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed and two other men have been given a trial date after they were accused of conspiring to offer bribes to professional cricket players.
Jamshed, 32, Yousef Anwar, 35, and Mohammed Ijaz, 33, were arrested last February. The arrests were part of an investigation by the National Crime Agency into alleged spot-fixing in tournaments organised by national cricket boards from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Caster Semenya has said the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) breached confidentiality regulations ahead of her appeal hearing on Monday where she is fighting for her athletics future.
The South African 800-metres double Olympic champion is seeking to overturn a new set of IAAF regulations that are aimed at lowering the testosterone levels of hyperandrogenic athletes.
The appeal, being heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, could be a landmark case for the sport with wide-reaching consequences.
Semenya believes the IAAF breached confidentiality rules of the hearing after they released the names of five expert witnesses they will bring to the CAS to testify on their behalf.
ISSF World Cup: Saurabh Chaudhary wins bronze in men's 10m air pistol to open India’s account at Osijek
The 19-year-old Saurabh scored 220 in the final after qualifying with a score of 581. Compatriot Abhishek Verma finished fifth in the same event with a score of 179.3 after also shooting 581 in the qualifying.
Indian boxing's trailblazer Vijender Singh outgrows Olympic identity, says 'life is a new lesson everyday'
With COVID-19 casting a shadow on almost everything that was once normal in the world, Vijender's professional career is also on hold for now although he does hope to fight at least once later this year.
India women's team and the gripping Test match England showed the value they can bring to the cricketing world. If BCCI and other boards have got the message, we would soon see more Test matches for India and other international women's teams.