Firstpost Spodcast Episode 46: India's injury woes at Asia Cup, Bajrang Punia's Khel Ratna snub and more on our daily podcast
India's injury woes at Asia Cup, Bajrang Punia's threat to approach the court over Khel Ratna snub, Russia's reprieve from WADA — all this and more on today's episode of Spodcast, Firstpost's daily sports podcast
Welcome to Spodcast, where we take a look at the main sports headlines of the day.
In this episode, we discuss India's injury woes at the ongoing Asia Cup, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth's China Open performances, wrestler Bajrang Punia's threat to go to court over Khel Ratna snub and more.
We start with cricket where India’s list of injured players has just gotten longer. In addition to Hardik Pandya’s back injury, Indian bowlers Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur also sustained injuries, and have been ruled out of the Asia Cup as well. While Deepak Chahar replaced Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja will take Axar Patel’s place. Siddarth Kaul will be flown in to replace Shardul Thakur. Axar injured his left index finger while fielding against Pakistan. Thakur experienced soreness in his right hip and groin after the match against Hong Kong.
This growing list of injured players is said to have raised some questions in the BCCI regarding injury management.
Elsewhere in badminton, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth overcame stiff challenges in their singles matches to qualify for the quarters of the China Open.
In her second round match against Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan, Sindhu lost a closely-contested first game but bounced back to win the match 21-23, 21-13, 21-18.
In the men’s singles draw, the seventh-seeded Srikanth fought off a challenge from Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand to win his second round match 21-12, 15-21, 24-22. Srikanth won the first game fairly comfortably, but the Thai player drew level in the second game. The deciding game went down to the wire, with Srikanth prevailing 24-22.
We also discuss the drama around the sports awards this year. Wrestler Bajrang Punia, who won a gold at the 2018 Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games earlier in the year in the 65kg category, has expressed disappointment at being ignored by the government for the Khel Ratna award. The wrestler threatened legal action against the government for not considering him for India’s highest sporting honour.
Bajrang was nominated for the award by the Wrestling Federation of India following his gold medals at this year's Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. But the government named cricketer Virat Kohli and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu as recipients of the highest award this year.
The wrestler said, “I'm really disappointed and shocked. I'm meeting (the) Sports Minister tomorrow...I just want to know why I was being ignored...I want to know whether I am deserving or not. If I deserve it, then only give me the award.”
When asked if was considering taking the legal route, he said, “It would be the last option. I feel I deserve the award this year and that's why I have applied for it.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency has reinstated Russia after almost three-years, following a suspension due to state-sponsored doping. The body said its 12-member executive committee voted to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency "subject to strict conditions."
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