India’s grandmaster Priyanka Nutakki was expelled from the World Junior Chess Championship being held in Italy currently for having a pair of ear buds in her jacket pocket, according to the world chess federation (FIDE). The 20-year-old Priyanka (ELO rating 2326) was found to have a pair of ear buds -a banned item in chess tournaments - in her jacket during a routine check. “While there is no indication of foul play on her part, earbuds are forbidden at the playing hall. Carrying these devices during a game is a violation of fair-play policies, and it is penalised with expulsion from the tournament,” FIDE said.
MSD’s curve bat a hit with Indian players
T20 cricket has changed a lot of things about how the game is played. While strategies, shots and deliveries have evolved rapidly, some Indian players are reworking the shape of their bats. Looking closely at the bats used particularly by Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, one can notice they have pronounced curves at the bottom. This happens to be MS Dhoni ’s brainchild and the adjustment is done to aid power-hitting. Dhoni, who has been a mentor for Pandya and Pant, had suggested them to try round-bottomed bats to improve their T20 game. “It was Dhoni who had first started using this kind of bat before the 2019 World Cup. And now these Indian players have started asking for this kind of bat,” Paras Anand, managing director of leading sports equipment manufacturer Sanspareils Greenlands (SG), said.
Greco Roman wrestler Sajan wins medal
Sajan Bhanwala became the first Indian Greco Roman wrestler to win a medal at the Under-23 World Championship when he edged past Ukraine’s Dmytro Vasetskyi on ‘criteria’ to emerge winner in the bronze play-off. It was the Ukrainian who pulled off a four-pointer on the edge of the circle for a solid start but Bhanwala bounced back immediately with a strong move that got him into a position from where he could p in his rival. Though he could not pin his rival, it was good enough to earn four points. Bhanwala lost two more points and got into defensive mode. For staying passive, Bhanwala put on ‘Par Terre’ position, something Indians are very poor at defending and the Ukrainian pulled off another four-pointer from the ground position for a handsome 10-4 lead. Bhanwala scored two points with a take-down move and with 35 seconds left in the bout, managed to push his rival on the back to level the scores. The bout ended at 10-10 but since the Indian had scored the last point he was declared winner on criteria.
Female referees set for WC football history
The approaching men’s World Cup will be the first to feature female referees, with three women set to make history in Qatar while hoping that the focus remains on their job rather than their gender. France’s Stephanie Frappart, Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita were included in the list of 36 referees selected by FIFA, while three more women will head to Qatar as assistant referees. The trio of referees, as well as assistants Neuza Back of Brazil, Mexico’s Karen Diaz Medina and Kathryn Nesbitt of the United States, will go to Qatar having already established themselves as officials in the men’s game. On announcing the appointments, Pierluigi Collina, the head of FIFA’s Referees Committee, insisted that “we clearly emphasise that it is quality that counts for us and not gender”. For the 38-year-old Frappart, being selected for the World Cup seemed like a logical next step after a rapid rise to refereeing at the top level in Europe.