LISTEN: Full script of Episode 118 of Spodcast where we discuss upcoming IPL 2019, Bengaluru Raptors' win in PBL and other results

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

We begin with cricket today. The BCCI announced on Tuesday that the 2019 edition of the IPL will be played entirely at home in India. There was some speculation in December, around the time of the auction, that a part of the tournament might be moved out of India to avoid a clash with the 2019 general elections.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) met in Delhi yesterday to discuss the dates and venues. They decided that the IPL will stay in India but will begin almost weeks before the usual date. The IPL generally begins in early April and continues till the end of May. This year, it will begin on 23 March.

The board's press release said, "Based on the preliminary discussions with the appropriate central and state agencies/authorities, it was decided that the 12th edition of the world's most popular and competitive T20 tournament will be scheduled to be played in India. It is proposed that the VIVO IPL 2019 will commence on March 23, 2019. The detailed schedule will be finalised in consultation with the appropriate authorities."

There were two occasions when the IPL was moved out of India to avoid clashing with elections – in 2009 to South Africa, and then partly in 2014 to UAE.

The final schedule is yet to be confirmed. The cricket board said, "The detailed schedule will be finalised in consultation with the appropriate authorities. The COA will then have detailed discussion with all the Stakeholders before releasing the...schedule."

Jasprit Bumrah, India's stand out bowler in the Test series in Australia, has been rested for the limited overs series against Australia as well India's limited overs tour of New Zealand. The BCCI said it wants Bumrah, who bowled more than 150 overs in the four Tests and claimed 21 wickets, to be well rested for the home series against Australia which begins February 24. That series features 5 ODIs and 2 T20 matches.

The board announced, "Keeping in mind the workload of the bowler, it was best felt to give him adequate rest ahead of the home series against Australia."

Mohammed Siraj has been drafted into the side for the ODI series while Siddharth Kaul has been included for the T20 matches that will be played in New Zealand. Siraj, who has played three T20s for India, is set to make his ODI debut as India play a 3-match ODI series in Australia followed by 5 ODIs and 3 T20s in New Zealand.

Badminton news now from the PBL. India star Kidambi Srikanth led from the front as his team Bengaluru Raptors defeated Mumbai Rockets to stay in contention for the semifinals.

Srikanth, the captain of the Bengaluru team, played a thrilling match against World No 18 Anders Antonsen, eventually winning 15-14, 15-13. The world no. 8 employed his trademark smashes that saw him take an 8-5 lead in the first game, only for the Danish player to fight back and draw level at 13-13. Antonsen then made it 14-13, earning a game point but Srikanth scored two successive points to win the game 15-14. The second game was every bit as competitive, with the two drawing level at 13-13 once more. Yet again, Srikanth scored two points to win the game and match.

In the women's singles match, World No 59 Vu Thi Trang, who is part of the Raptors, defeated Mumbai's 202nd ranked Shreyanshi Pardeshi 15-4, 11-15, 15-7. Trang breezed through the first game but Pardeshi raised her game in the second to win it 15-11, stunning the Vietnamese player. Trang, the Raptors' Trump for the night, shrugged off the loss in the second game to win the third easily 15-7.

Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan won the men's doubles match 15-11, 15-11 for Bengaluru against the Mumbai doubles team of Lee Yong Dae and Kim Gi Jung.

Bengaluru needed four points to move into the top 4 in the points table. With this victory, they have knocked out the Pune 7 Aces.

Football news now. First, the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Iraq defeated Vietnam 3-2 in a thrilling match on Tuesday that included a last-minute free kick by Ali Adnan that helped the 2007 champions prevail after an intense contest. Iraq are ranked 88 in the world while Vietnam are ranked 100.

The Group D match started off contrary to expectations with Vietnam's first goal coming in the 24th minute, handing them the lead. Iraqi defender Ali Faez panicked under pressure from Nguyen Cong Phuong and clumsily back-heeled the ball past Iraq's goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachim. Iraq equalized 10 minutes later thanks to striker Mohanad Ali who capitalized on an error to send the ball into the goal from the edge of the box.

However, Vietnam took the lead in the 42nd minute. Nguyen Trong Huang's shot was parried by the goalkeeper Hachim, and Cong Phuong shot the ball in from close range to make it 2-1.

In the second half, Vietnam's defence was disastrous and Humam Tareq scored Iraq's second goal in the 60th-minute mark. Then, with a minute left in the game, a lazy foul on the edge of the penalty area presented Iraq with a free kick. Ali Adnan had a chance to score three points for his team and he did not disappoint. His curling left-foot shot landed home, making it 3-2 for Iraq.

In I-League action, East Bengal beat Indian Arrows 2-1 on Tuesday in a hard-fought match to remain in contention for the title.

East Bengal's Laldanmawia scored off a penalty in the 26th minute and Jobby Justin scored in the 64th minute. For Indian Arrows, Ninthoinganba Meetei was the lone scorer for, converting a penalty in the 90th minute. The first half saw most of the action confined to the midfield. Arrows had a couple of opportunities but failed to convert them. Those misses would come back to haunt them as East Bengal made fewer mistakes in converting their chances.

While the Arrows defence kept them in the game, East Bengal made repeated attempts at the Arrows' goal eventually breaking through in the 64th minute. A foul on Ashish Rai by East Bengal's Manoj saw the Indian Arrows receive a penalty, which Ninthoinganba converted successfully. East Bengal then thwarted all attempts by the Arrows to equalize and won the game 2-1.

After the win, East Bengal are in fourth place with 19 points from 10 matches while Indian Arrows are in ninth place with 10 points.

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Updated Date: Jan 09, 2019 12:45:13 IST

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