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Firstpost Spodcast Episode 95: Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana back Ramesh Powar as coach, Luka Modric wins Ballon d'Or

Let’s take a quick look at the sporting headlines making the rounds right here on Spodcast, your sports update on Firstpost.

The Indian women’s cricket team has seen some turmoil of late on account of disagreements between Mithali Raj and coach Ramesh Powar. With the Powar’s tenure as coach coming to an end on 30th November, more differences in the team have come out in the open. Powar’s role as coach ended a week after India lost to England in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. Mithali was dropped for that match, a move that led to the ex-captain accusing Powar and CoA member Diana Edulji of trying to “destroy” her and being biased against her. Powar accused Mithali of threatening to retire midway during the tournament after she was denied the opener’s slot.

Now, captain Harmanpreet Kaur and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana have said they’re in favour of Powar continuing as coach till 2021. Meanwhile, PTI has reported that Ekta Bisht, Mansi Joshi and Mithali Raj are opposed to the idea.

In football news, Croatian player Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d'Or on Monday, breaking the 10-year stranglehold that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi had on the sporting honour.
Modric won the award despite strong competition from French players who were part of the 2018 World Cup winning squad. Speaking at the ceremony in Paris, 33-year-old Modric said, “As a kid we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club and win important trophies. The Ballon d'Or was more than just a dream for me and it is really an honour and a privilege to hold this trophy.”
In a big step for women’s football, a women's Ballon d'Or was awarded for the first time. Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg, who plays for Lyon, was the winner of the prestigious award. The prolific Hegerberg, Lyon's top scorer with 15 goals in the Champion's League last season, helped the French club win a third successive Champions League title. She edged past Danish player

The Indian cricket team’s tour of Australia is gathering steam. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has suggested that the current Australian team should not be bullied by Virat Kohli.

Asked if he thinks Kohli will bait Australia during the Test series, Ponting replied, “Well, he might…with someone like him who likes to score freely, he has obviously got a big ego, there are other things you can do. Don't let him score boundaries early on. Try and bowl tight consistent stuff.”
Ponting said, “I don't necessarily believe that he is someone you shouldn't try to get under his skin. I have seen him rattled. Mitchell Johnson definitely rattled him a few times with some good hostile bowling and some good hostile body language around him. So, I would not sit back and let anyone bully.”

Veteran Indian table tennis player Sharath Kamal has broken into the top 30 of ITTF rankings while G Sathiyan achieved a career-best 31st rank on Monday.
Kamal was ranked 31 in October and November, and finally broke into the top 30 this month. Sharath won a men's team bronze at the 2018 Asian Games with Sathiyan and also won a bronze with Manika Batra in the mixed doubles competition.

An update on the IPL now. The BCCI announced on Monday that the player auction for the 2019 season will be held on 18th December.
This time around, the auction, which moves from Bangalore to Jaipur, will be conducted in just one day. The roster is smaller this time - just 50 Indian cricketers and 20 foreign players will go under the hammer.

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Updated Date: Dec 04, 2018 13:32:56 IST