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Listen: Full script of Episode 176 of Spodcast where we discuss RR's victory over RCB, Pullela Gopichand's comments on age-fudging and more

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

In IPL news, Rajasthan Royals defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets on Tuesday, as Bangalore slumped to their fourth straight defeat.

Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal claimed three wickets, including those of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, and conceded just 12 runs in his four overs to set up an easy chase for the Royals. RCB’s batting floundered once again on Tuesday despite Virat Kohli playing an uncharacteristically cautious role, working the ball around. Parthiv Patel took on the role of aggressor, hitting three boundaries in Jofra Archer's first over as RCB finished the powerplay overs with 48 runs on the board. Immediately after that, Gopal was introduced into the attack and he soon bowled the Indian, and got rid of AB De Villiers with a wrong one that led to a caught-and-bowled. Patel fought on in the company of Marcus Stoinis scoring a belligerent 67 runs from 41 balls to help RCB get to a respectable 158/4.

Rajasthan’s chase was a lot smoother. Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Buttler scored 60 runs for the first wicket just over seven overs. Buttler then added 44 for the second wicket with Steve Smith, to ensure Rajasthan’s chase was on course for a decisive win. Smith went on to add 50 runs for the third wicket with Rahul Tripathi who finished the match with a six on the penultimate ball of the match.

RCB’s fielding was terrible on Tuesday and dropped catches hurt them further. Their bad form looks ominous - they now find themselves at the bottom of the pile, the only team to not score any points so far.

Former Indian women's cricket team head coach Tushar Arothe was arrested in Vadadora in connection with an IPL betting racket.

According to a Times of India report, Arothe was arrested by the crime branch along with 18 other people, including two of his business partners Hemang Patel and Nishcha Mitha. All 19 arrested were later released on bail. Arothe was granted bail as he was booked under a bailable offence.

Jaydeepsinh Jadeja, DCP (crime), said, “We had received a tip-off about the betting activities at the Cafe Stock Exchange in Alkapuri where a big screen was placed to relay IPL matches. We kept a watch there and conducted a raid on Monday night. Some persons sitting in a shed next to the café were in online betting on the IPL match.”

The police claimed Hemang Patel is in the business of cricket betting and would accept bets on various mobile apps.

After his release on bail, Arothe said, “I don't know why I was arrested. If some customers come to my cafe and bet on mobile apps, how would I know that? As far as Hemang is concerned, he is a partner in the cafe but he always sat with his friends. I have no idea that he was placing bets. I have not committed any illegal activity and I will fight it out for my honour.” Arothe coached the Indian women's team from April 2017 to June 2018 and led India to the World Cup final in England.

In a big relief for India, the Hockey Series Finals, the country's only route to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, will be held as per schedule in Bhubaneswar in June, despite the International Olympic Committee's ban on hosting global events.

After the Pulwama terror attack on February 14, India refused to grant visas to a three-member shooting contingent from Pakistan for the World Cup in New Delhi. That led to the IOC asking all the international federations not to award global events to India.

However, a top Indian Olympic Association official on Tuesday said the Hockey Series Finals would go ahead as scheduled from 6-16 June. He explained, “We (IOA and IOC) have reached an understanding on this issue and I can say it is almost confirmed that Hockey Series Finals will be held in June in Bhubaneswar.”

India had pulled out of the Hockey Pro League, and will have to compete in the Hockey Series Finals to qualify for the Olympics. The world over, there will be three Hockey Series Finals of eight teams each. The top two placed teams in each of Hockey Series Finals will qualify for the Olympic qualification events in October and November.

After the shooting World Cup fiasco, the IOC had said its stand against the country would remain until “written guarantees are obtained from the Indian government to ensure the entry of all participants in such events in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic charter.” After that statement, the junior Asian Championships in wrestling that was scheduled for July was shifted out of India by global body United World Wrestling.

The IOA official said, “It is not possible to approach the government now. The country is in the election mode. We will approach the government only after the general elections.”

Former badminton star and current chief national coach Pullela Gopichand believes the Badminton Association of India (or BAI) should ban players who indulge in age-fudging in order to set an "example".

Gopichand told PTI, “I think you need to have firm decisions and strong examples to ensure that age fudging which is a big menace should stop, so there should be a ban on the players.”

However, former India coach Vimal Kumar, who guided Saina Nehwal to the World No 1 position, said banning players would be unfair. He explained, “Banning a player for 2-3 years is not right because suspending them will kill a talent. If a player is found over-aged in U-15, U-17 or U-19, and you find ample evidence that they have done the manipulation, then the punishment could be that you make it clear that you can't play in any age category tournaments and only play in seniors.”

Age-fudging has been a persistent problem in Indian sports, with some associations such as the BCCI and Table Tennis Federation of India even handing out bans on players found guilty of such charges. Back in 2016, some badminton players had come under scrutiny after the Sports Integrity Unit of the Central Bureau of Investigation submitted a report to the BAI saying four junior players had altered their age records. In December 2018, a group of 37 parents of budding shuttlers moved the Karnataka High Court, asking for a directive to BAI to implement a policy for detecting and eliminating age fraud from the sport. BAI Secretary General Ajay Singhania said, “We have scrutinised the current list of players and those who were found to have two certificates have been issued fresh IDs after considering the higher age document...we have directed the players, who have not registered their birth certificate within a year of birth, to get tested in a government hospital and submit documents. They can't participate in any tournament till they furnish the documents.” He added, “We will be taking up this issue and deciding the punishment during the selection meeting for junior and senior. It is likely to be held after the election.” BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma is an active politician and will be busy with commitments for the BJP for the upcoming general elections.

Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.

Updated Date: Apr 03, 2019 13:19:09 IST

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