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LISTEN: Full script of Episode 105 of Spodcast where we discuss WV Raman's appointment, NBA pre-season games in India and more

Former Indian cricketer WV Raman was appointed the head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team on Thursday. The 53-year-old Raman played for India between 1988 and 1997, mostly as an opening batsman. He is now a batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

The BCCI was keen on Gary Kirsten for the job but a conflict of interest, given his role as coach of the IPL team RCB, came in the way. A BCCI official said, “Kirsten was the top choice for the BCCI ad-hoc selection committee but Raman got the job as the South African was not keen on giving up his plum job with IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.”

The selection committee comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy recommended three names – Kirsten, Raman and Venkatesh Prasad – to the Board, a source told the Press Trust of India. The BCCI picked Raman for the job because, as per the press release, “Mr Kirsten was unable to take up this assignment due to his ongoing contract with an Indian Premier League franchise, which would have entailed Conflict of Interest as per the BCCI constitution. In view of this, the BCCI appointed Mr Raman as the Head Coach of the Indian Women's Cricket team.”

The selection was completed despite disagreement within the Committee of Administrators (COA), with one member, former cricketer Diana Edulji, asking chairman Vinod Rai to put the selection process on hold. BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry had also questioned the process as it had only Rai's approval but not Edulji's. Former coach Ramesh Powar, who had the backing of Edulji and captain Harmanpreet Kaur, also appeared for an interview but, as expected, was not selected.

The NBA, which has been trying to get a foothold in India for a few years now, announced that the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings will play two pre-season games in Mumbai in October 2019. Those will be the first matches of the popular US-based league stages in India.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco said the NBA India Games 2019 would take place on 4 and 5 October next year at the NSCI Dome in Worli. In addition to the games, the league and its partners will conduct interactive fan activities, Jr NBA youth basketball programming and NBA Cares community outreach events.

The Sacramento Kings is under the leadership of the NBA’s first Indian-born majority owner, Mumbai native Vivek Ranadive. He said, “The Sacramento Kings are proud to be playing in the first NBA games ever held in India. As an Indian-American, it is an honour to help bring this historic moment to the country where I was raised.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “Our inaugural NBA India Games will help further untap the enormous basketball potential in a country with a thriving sports culture and a growing, young and engaged population. We thank the Kings and Pacers organisations for participating in this historic event.”

Bangladesh defeated the West Indies in the second T20I match at Dhaka to win the three-match series. Veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan scored 42 runs from 26 balls and then dismissed half the West Indian side to help his side win by 36 runs.

Put in to bat by the West Indies, Bangladesh got off to a brisk start. Liton Das scored a quick 60 from 34 balls, and together with Shakib’s 42, ensured Bangladesh reached 211/4 in their 20 overs. They were particularly severe on bowler Keemo Paul, taking 54 runs off his four overs.

In reply, the Windies were all out for 175 in 19.2 overs. Opener Evin Lewis fell for just one but Shai Hope gave West Indies a fantastic start, pummeling 24 runs from one over by Mustafizur Rahman. But none of the batsmen, save for Shai Hope and Rovman Powell, contributed much to the score. Hope made 36 from 19 balls while Powell scored a fighting half-century. His 50 from 34 balls included 5 fours and one maximum.

Bowler Keemo Paul scored 29 from 16 balls towards the end, including two sixes, but that just wasn’t enough as Shakib’s five wickets, including that of Shimron Hetmyer and captain Carlos Brathwaite, broke the back of the Windies chase.

An update from the Pro Kabaddi League. The Dabang Delhi versus Jaipur Pink Panthers match ended in a thrilling 37-37 tie on Thursday.

The Pink Panthers’ raider Selvamani's four-point raid was the brave moment of the match, while Sandeep Dhull showed impressive strength and fitness levels to score 6 tackle points.
Delhi made a strong start and led 5-0 after four minutes as they picked up a couple of raid and tackle points. A great tackle in the 5th minute saw the Pink Panthers open their account. They stayed alive in the match because of their defence, as they forced another super tackle in the 8th minute to level the match 6-6.

Both sides kept up with each other. Deepak Hooda scored 8 points for Jaipur while Chandran Ranjit scored 11 points and Pawan Kadian scored 9 points for Delhi.

Delhi inflicted an all-out on Jaipur in the 11th minute to lead 11-7 but Selvamani's super raid in the 13th minute brought Jaipur back into the match once again.

In the 38th minute, Jaipur inflicted an all-out as they trailed 35-36 and Deepak Hooda levelled the match in the next minute with a successful raid.

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2018 13:49:18 IST

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