LISTEN: Full script of Episode 121 where we discuss Bengaluru Raptors' first PBL title win, replacements for Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and more

Welcome to Spodcast, where we look at the big sports headlines of the day.

Bengaluru Raptors have won the fourth season of the Premier Badminton League. They defeated Mumbai Rockets 4-3 to win their first PBL title.

Bengaluru captain, and India star, Kidambi Srikanth continued his good form, defeating Anders Antonsen 15-7, 15-10 to lead the way. He took a 10-4 lead in the first game, and never allowed Antonsen back into it. In the second game, the Danish player made it 5-5 only to have Srikanth wrest the game away 15-10. The win in the final was Srikanth's eighth consecutive win this season.

In the doubles match, former world champions Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan defeated Lee Yong Dae and Kim Gi Jung 15-13, 15-10 to give Bengaluru the advantage before a boisterous home crowd. The trump match for the Raptors was Vietnamese player Vu Thi Trang taking on Shreyanshi Pardeshi. Trang dominated most of the match and beat Shreyanshi 15-8, 15-9. Meanwhile, Mumbai's trump match was the doubles tie between Pia Zebadiah and Kim Gi Jung and Bengaluru's Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith. Mumbai won that thrilling match 15-8, 15-14, even saving a game point in the second game. Ellis and Smith have now lost eight consecutive matches. Mumbai's Sameer Verma avenged his league stage loss to Sai Praneeth by defeating him 7-15, 15-12, 15-3.

In the end, Bengaluru had more points and they went on to win their first PBL title.

All-rounder Vijay Shankar and 19-year-old batsman Shubman Gill will replace Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul in the Australia and New Zealand tour. Pandya and Rahul were axed from the team before India's first ODI against Australia on Saturday.

The BCCI announced yesterday, "Vijay Shankar will join the team before the start of the 2nd ODI in Adelaide. He will be a part of the squad for the ODI series in Australia and the tour to New Zealand. Shubman Gill has been picked for the ODI and Twenty20 series in New Zealand."

Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul will face an investigation into comments they had made on a TV show. Pandya had bragged about his success with women and made other sexual remarks on an Indian celebrity chat show broadcast last week. Rahul also appeared in the programme that sparked outrage on social media. Worse, it also drew condemnation from skipper Virat Kohli who said their comments on the show did not reflect the culture within the squad. Despite offering apologies, both players have been suspended by the cricket board "from playing any form of cricket" pending an inquiry into misconduct and indiscipline.
Meanwhile, Indian cricketer Ambati Rayudu was reported by match officials for suspect bowling action during the first ODI between India and Australia that was played on Saturday. Rayudu had bowled two overs of off-spin and conceded 13 runs

An ICC press statement said match officials had raised an issue over the legitimacy of his bowling action and this was carried in the report that was submitted to Indian team management. Rayudu's bowling action will be assessed further under ICC rules relating to suspect bowling action. The statement added, "He is required to undergo testing within 14 days, and, during this period, Rayudu is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known."

Some news from the AFC Asian Cup now. Japan sneaked past a stiff challenge from Oman 1-0 while Qatar thrashed North Korea 6-0.

Four-time champions Japan won their game against Oman thanks to a controversial penalty call. 28 minutes into the match, there appeared to be some contact, probably minimal, between Genki Haraguchi and Oman captain Ahmed Al-Mahaijri. Haraguchi went down and Japan received a penalty. Haraguchi converted that penalty to score the only goal of the match.

Oman had reason to feel hard done by when their penalty claims close to half time were dismissed - Yuto Nagatomo looked to have handled a Salaah Al-Yahyaei drive. Oman coach Pim Verbeek was not impressed. He said, "We were unlucky with the handball. I just saw it again on the television and for me it was 100 percent a penalty. Against a team like Japan, you need a little bit of luck and we didn't get it. Now we have to pick ourselves up for the last game and make Oman proud."

Japan's win takes them to the round of 16.

Qatar defeated North Korea 6-0 in one of the most one-sided matches in this edition of the Asia Cup. The match stood out for the lack of Qatari spectators in the stadium. Qatar in being blockaded by its Gulf neighbours who accuse it of supporting terrorism. This prohibits Qataris from entering the UAE. Qatar coach Felix Sanchez was circumspect about it. He said, "The players know this is the scenario and they deal with it. We don't have our supporters here but we know that they're supporting from Qatar." That didn't stop the 2022 World Cup hosts from thrashing a hapless North Korea. Almoez Ali scored four of Qatar's six goals to take his personal tally in the tournament to five.

Football legend Diego Maradona has been discharged from a Buenos Aires clinic after surgery for a gastric haemorrhage, and is recovering from the procedure at home. The Argentinian superstar, now 58, was diagnosed with minor stomach bleeding last week.

Maradona's lawyer Matias Morla tweeted on Sunday, "Diego Maradona is out of hospital and will continue his recovery at home."

Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986 and Napoli to Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990, currently coaches Mexican second division club Dorados.

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Updated Date: Jan 14, 2019 15:16:41 IST

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