The Indian men's team, led by the seasoned Saurav Ghosal, clinched its first-ever gold at the Asian Squash Team Championships with a 2-0 win over Kuwait in the final at Cheongju (South Korea). Star player Ghosal sealed the victory after Ramit Tandon had given India the lead with a fluent straight games win over Ali Aramezi (11-5, 11-7, 11-4). Ghosal then made short work of Ammar Altamimi 11-9, 11-2, 11-3 to give the team an unassailable lead. The third match between Abhay Singh and Falah Mohammad was not played as the tie had been decided following wins for Tandon and Ghosal. Having finished with the silver medal on two previous occasions, the Indian men, seeded one, justified its billing and emerged victorious with a dominant performance. They topped Pool A with an all-win record, recording victories over Qatar, Pakistan, Kuwait, South Korea, and Chinese Taipei 3-0 before edging out Malaysia 2-1 in the semifinal.
Praggu, Nandhidhaa win titles
Top-seeded Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa and compatriot P V Nandhidhaa won the titles in the Open and women’s sections respectively in the Asian Continental Chess championship in New Delhi. Praggnanandhaa drew with compatriot B Adhiban in a 63-move game in the ninth and final round to emerge clear winner with seven points. The 17-year-old Chennai player had gone into the final round with half a point lead over the rest of the field. He held off the challenge from the experienced Adhiban and shared honours to win the top prize. The triumph also earned Praggnanandhaa a ticket to the next FIDE World Cup. In the women’s event, WGM Nandhidhaa drew her ninth round match against Divya Deshmukh to finish with 7. 5 points.
Jadeja may stay back with CSK
Ravindra Jadeja’s fall-out with the Chennai Super Kings management was one of the most discussed topics of the last IPL. It’s been six months since and after speculations about the all-rounder’s transfer to other franchises, it seems Jadeja will stay back with CSK after all. Jadeja was miffed after he was unceremoniously removed from captaincy and consequently, he left the team’s camp in Mumbai after he was diagnosed with a rib injury. He deleted all CSK-related posts on his social media accounts which sparked furious speculation.
With November 15, the deadline day of trading approaching, there have been approaches for transfer from other teams, but it seems MS Dhoni is hell-bent about keeping the Saurashtra left-hander with CSK.
Indians start with wins at Asian boxing meet
Sparsh Kumar kickstarted India’s campaign on a rousing note in the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships, registering a dominating win in the men’s 51kg in Amman last week. Sparsh (51kg) was up against Kyrgyzstan’s Diushebaev Nurzhigit in the round of the 32 bout, and the Punjab boxer displayed sharp foot movement and precise punches to notch a comfortable 5-0 win. The southpaw dictated the pace of the bout from the beginning and didn’t allow his opponent to settle down. Sparsh will face Olympic bronze medallist and reigning world champion Saken Bibossinov in the pre-quarterfinal. Five-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63. 5kg) as well as seven other Indian male pugilists -Ananta (54kg), Hussamuddin (57kg), Etash Khan (60kg), Amit Kumar (67kg), Sachin (71kg), Lakshya (80kg) and Kapil (86kg) -will begin their campaign in the pre-quarter finals.
Gujarat shooter qualifies for pistol nationals
Gujarat pistol shooter Niraj Mulani has qualified for the nationals of air pistol championship in the senior open category to be held in Bhopal this month. At the 31st All India G V Mavalankar shooting championship held in Thiruvananthapuram last month, Mulani, who picked up professional shooting only last year, finished a creditable 11th with a score of 373/400 in the 10m men’s individual air pistol. The performance enabled him qualification for the nationals in Bhopal.
Nabi quits as Afghan captain
All-rounder Mohammad Nabi quit as captain of Afghanistan’s T20 team last week, barely an hour after their winless World Cup campaign ended with a loss to Australia. Nabi, 37, will continue as a player but said he and the selectors were not “on the same page”. “From the last one year our team preparation was not to a level that a captain would want it or needed for a big tournament,” he said in a statement on Twitter. “Moreover, in some of the last tours, the team manager, selection committee and I were not on the same page which had implications on the team balance. Therefore, with due respect, effective immediately, I announce to step down as a captain and will continue to play for my country when the management and team need me.” Nabi took over as captain before the 2021 World Cup when Rashid Khan stepped down citing similar reasons immediately after the squad was announced.
Iranians want their own country banned from WC!
A group of current and former Iranian sportspeople say they have no choice but to turn on their own country. The group, containing former champions in sports such as karate, judo and wrestling, including those living in exile and based in their homeland, sent a letter to FIFA demanding their own country be withdrawn from the World Cup. “Iran is different to any other country,” former wrestling world junior champion and national team coach Sardar Pashaei said. “A football federation should be independent but in Iran it’s a joke. Everything is controlled by the Revolutionary Guards which was recognised as a terrorist group by the US.”