Listen: Full script of Episode 51 of our daily Spodcast where we talk about Asia Cup final between India and Bangladesh, Saina Nehwal's progress to Korea Open quarters and more

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

The final of the 2018 Asia Cup will be played this evening in Dubai. Bangladesh, fresh from a famous win over Pakistan, will take on India in the final. However, there is some bad news for the Bangladesh team. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will not play the final due to injury, the same injury that saw him miss the match against Pakistan as well.

Shakib had hurt his the little finger on his left hand during the ODI series against Sri Lanka in January. He skipped the subsequent Test and T20 series. Shakib returned for the Nidahas Trophy that was played in March in Sri Lanka. Reports indicated he wanted to undergo surgery before the Asia Cup to allow complete recovery from the injury, but the cricket board insisted that he participate in the tournament.

Team manager Khaled Mahmud said, “The condition of his finger really turned bad. It got swollen. He was even unable to hold the bat. We felt he immediately needs a surgery. He will soon travel to the USA to visit a doctor.”

A badminton update from the ongoing Korea Open. Saina Nehwal made it to quarterfinals of the Korea Open after defeating Kim Ga Eun of South Korea yesterday. The former world number one took just 37 minutes to win 21-18 21-18 in the pre-quarterfinals.

Saina took a 10-2 lead in the first game but Kim fought back to narrow the gap down to 8-11 at the break. Once again, Saina took a lead to go 16-10, only for Kim to bring it back to 18-18. Saina eventually closed out the game 21-18. In the second game, the roles were reversed. Kim took an 8-1 lead, and Saina fought back to make it 10-13. She then scored seven consecutive points to get to 17-13. She eventually won the second game 21-18.

Saina’s next match will be a challenging one. She goes up against 2017 world champion Nozomi Okuhara. While she has a 6-3 lead in head-to-head matches against Okuhara, she lost to the third-seeded Japanese in their last two matches.

In football, the Indian under-16 football team has qualified for the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championship being held in Malaysia after their goalless draw against Indonesia. This is the first time in 16 years that India have made it to the quarterfinals of the U-16 Championship.

Indonesia dominated ball possession in the first half but failed to score thanks to the spirited Indian defenders. India had scoring opportunities in the 63rd minute, as well as in the 72nd minute, but failed to capitalize on their chances.

India, who are in group C in the tournament, ended the stage with 5 points from three matches. That puts them in second place in their group. India may face South Korea in their next match.

Head coach Bibiano Fernandes called it a special moment for Indian football fans. He said, “We have worked really hard to get where we are and we are very happy with our performance in the group stages. The boys gave their cent percent on the field and we played according to our plan.”

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin announced Germany as the host of the 2024 European Championship.

UEFA backed Germany as a safer bet following concerns over human rights and other politics that affected Turkey’s rival proposal. German Football Association president Reinhard Grindel said, “I'd like to thank the UEFA Executive for their incredible confidence and I feel the responsibility — we will do our utmost to live up to expectations.” Former Germany captain Philipp Lahm said, “We want to put on a huge football festival and show the world how hospitable we are.” The governing body of European football also said it wants to make as much money as possible from the 2024 tournament, and it looks like Germany proved their safest financial bet.

Turkey had been desperate to host its first major sporting event. However, its bid was weakened by concerns over its faltering economy and weaker transport network. Perhaps most importantly, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his record over human rights cast a shadow over the campaign. UEFA noted in its report that Turkey’s “lack of action plan in the area of human rights is a matter of concern.” Some quarters view this decision as a personal rebuke to Erdogan.

Some disappointing news for fans of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star was handed a one-game ban yesterday following an investigation into an on-field altercation that saw him red carded during a match between Juventus and Valencia. Ronaldo was sent off during the first half of Juve's 2-0 away win over Valencia last week. He was red carded after a clash with Jeison Murillo.

33-year-old Ronaldo will have to sit out Juventus’ home game against Swiss champions Young Boys next week. However, he will be allowed to get back on the pitch to face his old club Manchester United at Old Trafford on 23 October.

Ronaldo moved to Juventus this year after spending nine years with Real Madrid.


Updated Date: Sep 28, 2018 11:41 AM

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