LISTEN: Full script of Episode 91 of Spodcast where we discuss Mithali Raj's rift with Ramesh Powar, NorthEast United's win and more
Welcome to Spodcast, the daily sports update on Firstpost. Today we discuss Mithali Raj's rift with coach Ramesh Powar, runner Nirmala Sheoran's suspension after failing dope test, NorthEast United's win and more.
Back on this day back in 1999, In an all-American final, Pete Sampras had defeated Andre Agassi 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 to win his 5th and final ATP Tour World Championship tennis title in Hanover, Germany. Welcome to Spodcast, your sports update on Firstpost.
Politics galore in women's cricket, as Mithali Raj accuses coach Ramesh Powar of bias after exclusion from World T20 semi-final in a letter to BCCI. She expressed her anger over the 'humiliation' she faced moments before she was dropped from the playing XI of the World T20 semi-final against England. She stated that Powar humiliated her during the course of the tournament. Raj's personal coach RSR Murthy was quoted as saying in The Sportstar that she was told during the warm-up session on the morning of the semi-final that she was not going to feature in the playing XI.
Raj also wrote that she has felt depressed and deflated for the first time in her career. She wrote, "For the first time in a 20-year long career, I felt deflated, depressed and let down. I am forced to think if my services to my country are of any value to a few people in power who are out to destroy me and break my confidence."
BCCI gets tough with age norms and announces that any cricketer guilty of age fraud will be banned from all BCCI tournaments for a period of 2 years. In a press statement to convey the latest development, they said: "The BCCI has a zero-tolerance policy for age fraud in sport and has taken strict action against cricketers found guilty of manipulating their date of birth certificates while registering for BCCI tournaments.
"As conveyed to state associations at the start of the season, BCCI wishes to reiterate that from the 2018-19 season, any cricketer who is found guilty of tampering his/her date of birth will be disqualified and barred from participating in any BCCI tournament for a period of 2 years i.e. 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons."
Former captain Rahul Dravid, in a 2015 MAK Pataudi lecture, had said that impact of age-fraud was as noxious as match-fixing and corruption.
In Indian Athletics, Asian champion quarter-miler Nirmala Sheoran and five others fail dope test. Sheoran, who came fourth in the women's 400m event of the Jakarta Asian Games earlier this year, has been provisionally suspended after tests conducted in the WADA's Montreal laboratory. This came after the same samples returned negative results in tests conducted by the National Dope Testing Laboratory. Sheoran won her Asian Championships gold last year in Bhubaneswar.
Along with Sheoran, middle-distance runners Sanjivani Yadav, Jhuma Khatun, discus thrower Sandeep Kumari, shot putter Naveen have all tested positive for banned substances in tests conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Apart from the five track-and-field athletes, weightlifter Poonam Dalal has also failed the dope test. Dalal tested positive for Stanzolol, popularly known as the Ben Johnson drug.
Not exactly coming as a surprise, Athletics Federation of India President Adille Sumariwala said that she was kept out of the Asian Games relay events owing to her dubious whereabouts record.
Lastly, in Indian Football news, NorthEast United FC beat FC Pune City 2-0 in an Indian Super League clash at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Tuesday.
Bartholomew Ogbeche and Juan Mascia scored a goal each to seal three points for the visitors, who have continued their unbeaten run away from home and climbed to the second spot on the league table with 17 points from eight matches.
Ogbeche has equalled FC Goa's Ferran Corominas' tally of eight goals in the race for the Golden Boot.
FC Pune City, who started the match with four foreign players, created plenty of chances to score but failed to beat NorthEast United custodian Pawan Kumar. NorthEast United then broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute when Federico Gallego's flat corner-kick reached Ogbeche at the far post. The striker chested it down and placed the ball into the net to score his eighth goal of the season.
Pune soon stepped up their efforts and were almost rewarded in the 41st minute when Marcelinho's free-kick from the left found Matt Mills inside the box. The defender rose highest and was denied by Pawan, who pulled off an outstanding save.
Pune started the second half strongly and pressed for an equaliser but a resilient NorthEast United backline stood firm to keep the scores level. Juan Mascia dribbled into the box from the right and was brought down for a penalty, which the forward stepped up and converted from 12 yards to seal the win for NorthEast United.
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