Firstpost Spodcast Episode 256: Mike Hesson set to apply for Indian team's coaching role, Dabang Delhi beat Telugu Titans and more

In today's episode, we discuss former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson's application for Team India role, MS Dhoni joins Indian Army’s Parachute Regiment, results from Pro Kabaddi League and Ultimate Table Tennis and more.

FP Sports July 26, 2019 13:37:25 IST
Firstpost Spodcast Episode 256: Mike Hesson set to apply for Indian team's coaching role, Dabang Delhi beat Telugu Titans and more

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is set to apply for the role of the Indian cricket team's head coach. A CricketNext report yesterday claimed Hesson was interested in applying for the job, the last date for which is 30 July.

Hesson was the coach of the New Zealand side between 2012 and 2018. During his tenure, the Black Caps reached the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015, which they lost to Australia.
The CricketNext report quoted a source as saying, “Hesson is very much interested in applying for the head coach’s position...He has spent a couple of months in India already working with Kings XI in IPL as well as doing television work with the hosts' broadcasters. He’ll love to work with a high-profile team like India after a highly successful stint with New Zealand.”

The 44-year-old Hesson coached the IPL side Kings XI Punjab earlier this year. That could mean Hesson might need to provide an affidavit to clear him from potential 'conflict of interest'.

Earlier this year, former India coach Gary Kirsten had applied for the same post in the women's team, while he was associated with Royal Challengers Bangalore. IN that instance, according to senior BCCI official, Kirsten “...had to furnish an affidavit to the BCCI stating...he would give up his position with the IPL franchise if he was selected for the job. Although Kirsten was the first choice of the ad-hoc Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), he couldn’t accept the position because he was not able to fulfill the terms of the affidavit.”

Current India head coach Ravi Shastri, who took over from Anil Kumble in 2017, received a 45-day extension in his contract following the conclusion of the ICC Cricket World Cup. Virat Kohli’s team lost in the semi-finals to New Zealand.

India's former cricket captain MS Dhoni on Thursday joined the Indian Army’s Parachute Regiment in Bengaluru. Dhoni is an honorary Lieutenant Colonel with the Parachute Regiment. He was given the honorary rank in 2011.

Earlier this month, amid mounting speculation around his international retirement after India's semi-final exit from the 2019 World Cup, Dhoni informed the BCCI that he will take a two-month sabbatical from the game to serve his paramilitary regiment.

He is expected to begin his two-month training with the special forces regiment from 31 July to 15 August and is going to be patrolling the Kashmir valley. In 2015, Dhoni became a qualified paratrooper after having completed five parachute training in Agra training camp.

Dabang Delhi beat Tamil Thalaivas 30-29 after an uncharacteristic error from Manjeet Chhillar in the Pro Kabaddi League on Thursday.

Naveen Kumar stole the show in a match that was packed with exciting moments and unforced errors as Tamil Thalaivas' losing streak against Dabang Delhi continued.
Both teams came into the match after winning their opening encounters but it was Dabang Delhi who held their nerve in a close encounter. Manjeet Chhillar attained a High 5 for Thalaivas while Rahul Chaudhari scored 7 raid points.

By pairing Chaudhari with Ajay Thakur, Tamil Thalaivas have increased the potency of their attack. Having Thakur by his side gave Chaudhari new-found freedom as he got a raid point to give Tamil Thalaivas a 3-1 lead in the second minute. But Delhi’s Ravinder Pahal and Joginder Narwal forced a super tackle in the sixth minute to level the match 5-5. However, at the end of the first half, Tamil Thalaivas led 18-11. Chhillar put in a strong tackle on young Naveen Kumar in the 32nd minute as Tamil Thalaivas led 26-19.

Then, Naveen Kumar turned the match on its head as his one raid led to three points for Dabang Delhi. He forced two Thalaivas defenders off the court and got a touch point in the 37th minute.
Delhi inflicted an all out to trail by just one point with less than three minutes to go. If the Thalaivas hadn't asked for a review in the very last minute, the match would have ended in a tie.

The third season of Ultimate Table Tennis got underway on Thursday with debutants Puneri Paltan overcoming Dabang Delhi 8-7 in a close and exciting encounter.
India's top-ranked player G Sathiyan produced a stellar performance, beating Harmeet Desai in the men's singles and then pairing up with Bernadette Szocs to win two matches and clinch five points for Delhi.

Puneri Paltan returned the favour, winning both the women's singles and the second men's Singles. Ayhika Mukherjee, fresh from her victory in the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship, held her nerve to win a close match. She started Puneri Paltan's campaign on a positive note, comfortably beating Krittwika Sinha Roy, picking up the three points on offer in the first women's singles.

Going into the last match of the day with the overall scores tied at 6-6, Germany's Sabine Winter showed no signs of nerves as she overcame Romania's Bernadette Szocs 2-1 to clinch that crucial extra point for Puneri Paltan.

The Indian football team slipped two places to 103 in the FIFA rankings released on Thursday.

India has 1214 ranking points, down by five points from the previous chart issued last month. India lost two matches and drew one in the Intercontinental Cup earlier this month in Ahmedabad. India lost 2-4 to Tajikistan and 2-5 against eventual winners DPR Korea before playing out a 1-1 draw against Syria.

The Indian team now lies at 18th among Asian countries. Iran, at 23rd, is at the top among Asian countries, followed by Japan at 33, Korea at 37, Australia at 46 and Qatar at 62.

Belgium leads the rankings, followed by Brazil, France, England and Uruguay. Copa America winners Brazil have leapfrogged World Champions France, climbing to second place in the latest rankings. Algeria are the biggest movers, climbing 28 places to number 40 following their famous victory over Senegal in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Indian cricketers will wear a new brand name on their official jerseys from September with Chinese mobile manufacturer Oppo transferring the sponsorship rights to online tutorial firm Byju's, the BCCI announced on Thursday.

The cricket board’s press release said, “The BCCI is pleased to welcome India's leading education and learning app BYJU'S as the official Team India sponsor from 5th September, 2019 until 31st March, 2022.”

In March 2017, Oppo won the Indian team jersey rights for a five-year period after outbidding Vivo mobiles' Rs 768 crore bid. The deal between the BCCI and Oppo, which was inked in 2017 for a five-year period, was reportedly worth Rs 1079 crore. As per the deal, Oppo was paying BCCI Rs 4.61 crore per bilateral match and Rs 1.56 crore for an ICC event game.

A source told PTI that the transfer is a "tripartite agreement" between Oppo, Bengaluru-based Byju's and the BCCI. A BCCI official said, “The BCCI has a clause which allows transfer of sponsorship. Since there is a secrecy clause, the financial dealings can't be spoken about.”

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