India named an 18-member women’s hockey team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, with star striker Rani Rampal left out yet again for failing to regain full fitness after an injury. The CWG team is very similar to the one taking part in the World Cup next month. The side will be captained by goalkeeper Savita Punia while experienced defender Deep Grace Ekka will be her deputy in the Birmingham CWG, to be held from July 28 to August 8. The duo will also take the same roles in the World Cup, to be co-hosted by the Netherlands and Spain from July 1 to 17. India have been placed in pool A along with England, Canada, Wales and Ghana. They will begin their campaign against Ghana. SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Savita (c), Rajani Etimarpu. Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka (vc), Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita. Midfielders: Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Neha, Jyoti, Navjot Kaur, Salima Tete. Forwards: Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Sangita Kumari
HC bars IOA chief Batra
Veteran sports administrator Narinder Batra was ordered to stop functioning as Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president by the Delhi High Court “in a contempt proceeding”, a month after it asked him to relinquish the top job. A vacation bench of Justice Dinesh Sharma passed the order on a contempt petition filed by Olympian and hockey World Cup winner Aslam Sher Khan. “The court ordered that Narinder Batra should stop from functioning as IOA president with immediate effect,” advocate Vanshdeep Dalmia, who appeared on behalf of Khan, said. “It was a contempt proceeding as Batra was continuing to attend meeting as IOA president despite an earlier order of this court. “The court also said Anil Khanna, senior vice-president, will be the acting president of the IOA,” he added. On May 25, Batra was removed as IOA chief after the Delhi HC struck down the post of ‘life member’ in Hockey India.
Ashwin joins Indian squad
Indian off-spinner R Ashwin joined the Indian squad in Leicester ahead of the fifth, rescheduled Test match against England after recovering from Covid-19 and completing all necessary protocols. He was seen with the team before the start of their practice game against Leicestershire. Ashwin could not board the flight to England after testing positive. The off-spinner had come to Mumbai to travel with the Test team on June 16 but had to follow quarantine protocols
SL beat Aus to clinch series
Sri Lanka beat Australia by 4 runs in a tense One-day International that went down to the final ball to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. Put into bat, Sri Lanka’s top order failed to get going as they slumped to 34-3 but Charith Asalanka (110) and Dhananjaya de Silva (60) stitched together a 101-run partnership to give the hosts a respectable total of 258. Australia’s middle-order were unable to capitalise on starts but Pat Cummins threatened to help the visitors level the series with a knock of 35 but he was trapped lbw in the 49th over. Needing 19 off the 50th over, No. 10 batsman Matthew Kuhnemann smashed three boundaries but Dasun Shanaka kept his nerve on the final ball to have him caught at the covers and see Sri Lanka over the line.
WI launch new 60-ball event
Cricket’s bid to find another innovative short-form of the game got a boost with Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) announcement of a new 60-ball domestic competition. The 6ixty, which will take place in August, will see six men’s teams and three women’s teams compete in a new T10 tournament. CWI said it will “see brand new innovations”. The innovations include allowing each batting team just 6 wickets at which point they are all out, rather than the traditional 10. Each batting team has two powerplay overs but they can “unlock” a third by hitting two sixes in the first 12 balls. The first 30 balls of an innings will be bowled from one end as five separate overs before the action switches to the other end for the final 30 balls. And if teams do not bowl their overs within the allotted time a member of their team is removed from the field for the final six balls. The public can also lend a hand in the run-scoring with fans able to vote on the timing of a “Mystery Free Hit” where a batter cannot be dismissed by the bowler.
Rumeli Dhar retires from all forms of cricket
Former India women’s team captain Rumeli Dhar announced her retirement from all forms of the game. “A journey that started from Shyamnagar in West Bengal has finally come to an end as I announce my retirement from all formats of cricket,” Dhar said in an Instagram post. The 38-year-old played four women’s Tests, in which she scored 236 runs with one half-century. She picked up eight wickets. She also played 78 WODIs, scoring 961 runs and taking 63 wickets. She played her last ODI in 2012.