Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Sports

Steps Toward Gender Equality Through The Olympic Games

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Source - https://www.forbesindia.com/article/news-by-numbers/the-olympic-journey-towards-gender-equality/66919/1

by Amaara Bhupathi Chadda

Steps Toward Gender Equality Through The Olympic Games

Among the various causes for gender discrimination over the ages, one that remains and we need to consistently recognise and alter is our societal mindset. A big contributor to the change in this collective mindset is Sport. 

The world connects through sport in different ways – starting from our playgrounds as children, to having it be recreational as adults, some even choosing to take it up professionally as a career, or just enjoying and connecting through watching our favourite sports players or teams battle it out in various tournaments or events.

The Olympic Games is the biggest and most connecting platform in Sport, bringing together almost all nations of the World to a single venue to play for honour and glory for their countries. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was born in 1894 and the first Olympics was held in 1896, with no women participants!

Women were first invited to participate in 1900 in Women’s only events in Tennis and Golf, and some women participating in the Croquet, Equestrian and Sailing events. The total representation of women was 2.2% with just 22 ladies in 1900. We’ve come a long way from there having had 45% representation with 5,059 women having participated in 145 Women’s Events (which is 47.4% of the total 306 events) in 2016 Games at Rio. Getting even closer to the Olympic Movement’s target of 50% women participation, we can expect to see 48.8% representation from women athletes at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. There are 5 new sports introduced at the Tokyo Olympics – Baseball/Softball, Karate, Skateboarding, Sports Climbing, Surfing – all of which include men and women participation, and contributing to the bringing about a completely gender-equal participation at the Olympics!

In addition to the positive trends in participation of women in Sport, the Olympic Movement also has consistently laid focus on women representation in decision-making positions in governing bodies. In 1981, the first two women were hired to be part of the IOC. The first woman on the IOC executive board was elected as recently as 1990. Progress through the years with women’s participation in decision making saw 3 IOC women Vice-Presidents, and all leading up to a stronger representation on the board today with four women members at 26.7% of the total.

A target of 30% women’s representation by 2020 had been achieved with 36 women out of a 100 active committee members contributing to the growth of the Olympic Games, as of January 2020.

In the latest big move to bring in gender equality across countries that may not have sent women athletes to the Olympics in the past, in March 2020 the Committee’s Executive Board put in place two key requirements for the Olympics starting with Tokyo this year – one of which is mandatory representation by at least one female and one male athlete at all Olympic Games henceforth, and the second which is a guideline change to include one female and one male representative to jointly bear their country’s flag at the Opening Ceremony. 

The commitment of the Olympic Movement towards gender equality is instrumental in worldwide progress on the cause, and also in encouraging separate Sporting committees to take up the cause at the level of their sport, all the way down to the grassroots level of participation of girls in sport at a very young age. We can do our bit to encourage women in sport by learning and participating ourselves, including our mothers, sisters and wives in the fun and excitement of sport, and also by watching the women at the Olympics with as much appreciation as we do the men!

Sources:

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participation_of_women_in_the_Olympics
Factsheet: Women in the Olympic Movement – https://stillmed.olympic.org/media/Document%20Library/OlympicOrg/Factsheets-Reference-Documents/Women-in-the-Olympic-Movement/Factsheet-Women-in-the-Olympic-Movement.pdf

TENNIS RIVALRIES THAT HAVE MADE HISTORY!

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Source - https://www.sportskeeda.com/tennis/5-greatest-tennis-rivalries-of-all-time-sstl

by Ira Gandhi

From Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi all the way to Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, tennis rivalries have been one of the most interesting parts of tennis and its history. In addition, rivalries have helped tennis maintain its position as one of the most popular sports in the world. With this in mind, let’s dive deep into the history of tennis and look at the top 5 tennis rivalries of all time! ( In a random order)

Laver – 11 Grand Slams

Rosewall – 8 Grand Slams

One of  the very first and biggest rivalries of tennis history from 1963 to 1977 were Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, both of whom were from Australia and grew up playing on grass. They went head to head 164 times but sadly most of those matches were before the open era began. Furthermore, out of those 164 matches Laver won 89 while Rosewall, only 75. In 1956 both of them toured in the amateur circuit but didn’t face each other.  They were known as two of the greatest tennis players of all time.

Grand slams

McEnroe -7 Grand Slams

 Connors -8 Grand Slams

Secondly we have John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors who before Sampras and Agassi were the top tennis duo. They were very alike with their hot tempers, love for the spotlight, ability to amaze the crowd, and never say never attitudes. However even though they were very alike they detested one another on court. Connors was on the upper hand in their rivalry until he lost 11 matches in a row to McEnroe between 1983 and 1986! Many say their fiercest battle was in the 1984 US Open semi-final which turned out to be their last match in a grand slam men’s singles tournament.

Grand slams

Sampras -14 Grand Slams

Agassi- 8 Grand Slams

Our third tennis duo is the great Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi who got to the scene just as McEnroe and Connors were fading and just in time to re-establish USAs role in men’s tennis. Their different styles of play, combinations and personalities is a big part of  what makes them great rivals and  catches the audience’s eye. Sampras had the upper hand in this rivalry. He had the better head-to-head record overall as well as in Slams (6-3). As mentioned before their personalities were one of the main things that made them different. Agassi was the wild one, with crazy hair, earrings and flashy outfits. Sampras was the simple and stoic one who rarely made the news.

Grand slams

Nadal – 20-Grand Slams

Federer – 30 – Grand Slams

Coming to the present day  we have the Federer – Nadal rivalry which has many parts but is mostly due to how different they are as people similar to Sampras and Agassi. Fedrer is calm and collected on court and mostly keeps a poker face while Nadal on the other hand is like a nearsighted rhino. He changed the game by showing such a kind of power and athleticism it hadn’t seen before. Another aspect of their rivalry is that Nadal is a lefty and Federer a righty making the leftys shots mirror images of the rightys. Overall their rivalry is definitely considered to be one of the greatest and is a tennis gamechanger.

Grand slams

Djokovic- 19 -Grand Slams

 Federer- 20 – Grand Slams

Lastly we have Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer who are two of the greatest hard court players of all time, and have made some of the most fascinating matches in tennis history. While Federer was off, defeating others like Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian, it was Djokovic who climbed up the ranks and placed himself on top. As far as scores go federer was alway just a little higher up until 2010 when in the coming 5 years djokovic evened things up by winning 16 of their 25 meets. By far Federer has only beaten Djokovic once, and has been ageing, giving the latter more opportunities for the future.

Tennis would be incomplete without the rivalries that went into it. It’s safe to say that the new generation and talent has a lot to bring so all we have to do is sit back and watch. 

For more information on these rivalries visitthis link.

Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets – The Series Recap

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Source - https://crowdwisdom.live/2021/04/boston-celtics-vs-brooklyn-nets-nba-odds-and-predictions/

by Tara Hebbar

The NBA playoffs. Weeks of excitement and entertainment, injuries and successes, celebrations and disappointments. In a time where the entirety of the world was in desperate need of hope, the playoffs laid it at our doorsteps. The cogs and workings of an NBA playoffs are simple. There are two conferences, the Eastern and Western, each comprising 15 teams. Out of these, 8 teams qualify for the playoffs, by winning more games than those below them. The team on top plays the team in the bottom, second plays seventh, third plays sixth and fourth and fifth battle it out. In order to “win” their series in each round, the team must win four out of 7 possible games. 

One of the 4 eastern conference matchups was the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn nets, by virtue of them being 7th and 2nd on the points table respectively. The Celtics had recently secured this position as they beat the Washington wizards in the Play ins. A more contemporary NBA concept, which provides teams in the 9th and 10th place a chance into the playoffs.  For those unaware of its functioning, 7th and 8th play for the 7th place. The loser plays the winner of the 9th and 10th, with the winner of that securing themselves the 8th and last playoff position. The Celtics, being 7th, cemented their place by taming Russel Westbrook and beating the Wizards, 118 – 110 as Jason Tatum dropped 50 points.

As the first game (Celtics vs Nets), played on the 22nd of May, approached, the Cetlics were the clear underdogs. Analysts, players and commentators among others, wrote them off before the series even began, with many even going far enough to assure them being swept (losing in 4 games; 4 – 0). This first game was to be played at Barclays Centre, home court of the Nets. Some things to note-

  • This was one of the first games where the big 3 were playing together for the Nets. Them being, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden. Therefore, the big question was regarding their ability to work together.
  • Jaylen Brown, Celtics All Star, was out for the rest of the season, with a wrist injury, a huge loss for the Celtics.

As the jump ball marked the beginning of the game, it was clear that the Celtics were in it to win it. They controlled much of the first half, and managed to control the big 3 with their quick paced offense and efficient defense, things were looking positive for the Celtics. Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Kemba Walker and Jason Tatum were all looking ready to score some big points for the team. The second half, however, saw the mojo of the Nets return, as they stole the momentum from the Celtics who always have struggled in clutch. Durant and Irving played several shots from downtown, the paint and finished the game on top, winning 104 – 93. KD (Kevin Durant) scored 32 and had 12 rebounds by the end of the game, and James Harden’s role became clear. He was going to score, but was going to be more of a playmaker. His assists were a big part of the game and allowed KD and Irving to work their magic. “I think once your energy is focused on the defensive side of the ball, it will start to turn for you,” Durant said. ”So you saw that for us in the second half.” On the other side of the court, Jason Tatum finished the night with 22 points, and Robert Williams with 9 blocks and rebounds. However, they were unable to match the basketball put up by the Nets in the second half. The Celtics just managed to score 40 points in the second half, with a meger 37% scoring percentage. There were also some records set in the game, Brooklyn had it’s 39th different starting line up, a franchise record. KD also moved into 9th place with playoff points (4, 075), moving above Tony Parker (4, 045). It was 1 – 0 to the Nets after Game 1. 

The second game began with as much aplomb, this time from the Nets. This game took place at the Barclays centre as well. This game, in addition to the Big 3, Joe Harris showed he belonged, with 7 three pointers and 25 points, tying the franchise record and giving him a playoff career high. Although the Celtics tried to keep the Big 3 under check, they had no answer for the most accurate 3 point shooter in the league. This time, the Celtics barely stood a chance, they were routed through and through. It showed, as their star player, Jason Tatum left the game 21 minutes in, with a poked eye, with only 9 points, and a 3 for 12 shooting. The most points was scored by Marcus Smart (19) for the Celtics, followed by Walker’s 17. For the Nets, Durant had 26 points and Irving 15. Regarding the game, Celtics coach, Brad Stevens, had this to say, “”We’ve got to be way better, they exposed that because they were really good, but I was disappointed in how we played versus the other night.” As of game 2, it was 2 -0 to the Nets, and things were beginning to look dim for the Boston Celtics.

Game 2 must have served as a wake up call for the Celtics, as both their level of basketball and attitude took a turn in Game 3. This was the first game at TD Garden, home court of the Celtics and the tension between Irving (ex Cetlic) and Boston Fans was almost tangible, with fans booing at him and chanting his name when he made mistakes. In this game, the Nets looked to charge ahead, while the Celtics looked to eat into the lead of the Nets and trim the deficit. This game there was one star that shone brighter than the others. Jason Tatum used the home game to show off his array of skills, drives, jumpers, 3’s and step backs and finish by dropping a 50 bomb on the Big 3 and the Nets. By the time he had finished, the Celtics were 125 to the Nets 119, with him having one of the best playoff games in franchise history and the Nets sweeping dreams tossed out the window. He joined several Celtics legends in the playoff 50’s club, some being Ray Allen, Isaiah Thomas and Bob Cousy. James Harden also had a good game, with 41 points, however, it wasn’t enough to contain Tatum and the Celtics that night. Compared to their 39.7% shooting in the past two games, this game’s 50.6% was the answer to their victory. Smart contributed 23, with Tristan Thompson also uplifting the team with his 19 points and 13 rebounds. Kemba Walker was one of few Celtics to have a rough time that night. Thus, after Game 3, it was 2 – 1, leaving the Celtics with a ray of hope.

Game 4 was also at TD Garden, and expectations were high on the Celtics, who had come off a spectacular game a couple nights previously. Things didn’t look good for the Cetlics before the game began, with both Robert Williams and Kemba Walker out for health concerns. This just mirrored the Celtics luck for the rest of that game. The Big 3 went off, and Jason Tatums 40 points wasn’t enough to put a lid on it, losing the Celtics the game, 141 – 126. Kyries 39 and Durants 42 wasn’t the biggest news in that game, however. The animosity between Celtics Fans and Irving was on display in this game. Apart from the swears and jeers, Irving was almost hit by a bottle thrown by a fan on his way out of the arena. The man (wearing a Kevin Garnett jersey) was immediately taken out of the arena in handcuffs by the police. Kevin Durant had something to say about this, “’Fans have got to grow up at some point,’ I know that being in the house for a year and a half with the pandemic has got a lot of people on edge, has got a lot of people stressed out. But when you come to these games you’ve got to realize: These men are human. We’re not animals. We’re not in the circus. Marcus Smart also made a comment, “One bad seed doesn’t mean that the whole fruit is poisoned, our fans have been great. We just had a knucklehead do something knucklehead-ish and it got taken care of, so we’re happy for that.” Game 4 left the Nets racing ahead, 3 -1. Going back to Brooklyn, things looked grim for Boston.

Game 5, a do or die game for the Boston Celtics and a chance to clinch the series for the Nets. Each game, someone new stepped up. This time, it was James Harden for the Nets. He had 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, a triple double, leading the Nets into the victory for the series, winning the game 123 – 109. Although the game and lead was largely the Nets, the Celtics hung on, however, they were never able to pull themselves up. Although Fournier and Tatum tried to pull it together for the Celtics, the absence of Walker and Wlliams and the Big 3 proved to be too big of a hurdle for them to overcome. Nets 51% FG% (Field Goal Percentage) vs the Cetlcis mere 43% was one of many reasons that led to the domination of the Nets and the downfall of the Cetlcis through the series. This 5th and last game of the series for the Nets and last of the season for Cetlcis was over at 4 – 1.

No-one can deny the fact that the Celtics fought hard for their place in the playoffs and series, and had their fair share of bad luck and injuries, however, the Nets were too strong for the Celtics this time. The question is, what’s next for both teams? The Nets will move onto the second round to play the Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the Miami Heat to make it there. This series will be an intriguing one, with the match up of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant. ”We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Durant said. ”I mean, he’s a two-time MVP, Defensive Player of the Year for a reason, so we’re looking forward to the challenge.” For the Celitcs, there have been some big changes. President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge has retired, and Brad Stevens is now the new president. This means, the Celtics are in the market for a new head coach. In addition to this, the Celtics will need to make some trade decisions in order to better suit their bench to compliment stars Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who will make a comeback next season. With a young team and eager bench, all Celtics need is a couple of smart trades, to make them a championship team. Meanwhile, all Celtics players will be watching to see where their defeated the Nets make it this postseason.

Greatest Moments of 2020 F1 Season

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Source - https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/articles/e-sports/f1-2020-game-first-look

by Arav Barmecha

The 2020, Formula One (F1) season had its ups and downs, like every other year. This season started with the pre – season testing in Barcelona, Spain. Pre – season testing is the first time it can be seen if what has been designing all winter works on the track. It lasts 3 days and that is the only time the driver has, to get to grips with the car. Sometimes the car works perfectly but that only rarely happens. In pre – season testing there were a number of problems for teams like Ferrari, Mercedes, HAAS, and even Williams. 

On the second day of testing we discovered that there was something unusual going on inside the Mercedes Silver Bullet. Later realising it was the DAS, (Dual Axis Steering). This allows you to change the toe or the angle of the wheels when the driver pushes or pulls the wheel. This is a very clever way to give Mercedes extra speed on the straight roads and to bring temperature to the tires. This allows you to increase your grip and have accurate braking. The DAS is a very controversial topic, which is why Red Bull, a team from F1 went to the FIA(Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). To this instance they replied, “This isn’t news to the FIA, it’s something we’ve been talking to them for some time. The rules are pretty clear about what’s permitted on steering systems and we’re pretty confident that it matches those requirements.”  

When Racing Point, another F1 team showed their car , there were very noticeable similarities between their car and a previous Mercedes car. Some people called it a carbon copy of the Mercedes W11 car just painted in pink. Racing Point did not argue with this because they used Mercedes gearboxes, engine, and even the same suspension. The Racing point team was put under scrutiny because Renult, another F1 team asked the FIA to take a look at Racing Point’s car design and listed parts to see if the origin of the parts were from the team itself. In the end there was a problem with the brake ducts of the car and Racing Point was deducted 15 points and fined $470,00 but they were allowed to keep using it. Renault were not happy with this but they had to settle with it. 

The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop F1.The race continued in Melbourne. However, nobody was wearing a mask and nobody was socially distancing.  Later, we found out that 2 mechanics in Mclaren, a F1 team, had symptoms of the virus and 1 of them tested positive. A joint statement from the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation said, “There will be no racing in Melbourne, Australia due to COVID 19”. All the fans were forced to go back and the crowd started jeering at the announcer. After that they did not have a race for 217 days,The longest time F1 had gone without a race. 

Christian Horner said, “Nobody could have predicted the damage this virus could have and has done in the past 10 weeks.” The next time the drivers got to drive a car was in Spielberg, Austria. During the qualifying rounds, Valteri Bottas, a Mercedes F1 driver, was forced onto the gravel that resulted in a yellow flag which means an incident is up ahead, and to slow down. Lewis Hamilton, another Mercedes F1 driver was on a very fast lap when he neared the flag indicator. He crossed it without slowing down but instead accelerating. He said that he could not see it in the dust and that is why he did not slow down. This resulted in a 3 place penalty for Lewis Hamilton in the race. 

Another memorable incident during the race was Lando Norris, a McLaren driver winning his first podium. This was possible because of Alex Albon and Lewis Hamilton. Alex Albon was trying to overtake Lewis Hamilton for first place. However in the heat of the moment, Hamilton’s front tire collided with Albon’s back tire and he spun onto the gravel. This act was classified as Hamilton’s fault and he got a 5 second penalty that would add on at the end. Later in the race Hamilton was third and Lando Norris was fourth and 6.5 second behind Hamilton. If Lando Norris could earn 1.5 second in two laps he would earn his very first podium!

Norris drove like his life depended on it and the gap to Lewis was now 4.8 seconds. Given that Lewis had a 5 second penalty and in the last lap of the race Lando Norris won a DHL fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:07.475. Not only did he earn a podium but he got the fastest lap of the entire race.

In conclusion, this season of F1 was rounded off despite all of the penalties, Lewis Hamilton followed by Valtteri Bottas. In the constructors championship Mercedes came first followed by Red bull. These were the greatest moments in 2020 formula one.

The Disappearance of Jack Ma

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Source - https://fortune.com/2021/01/27/in-jack-ma-vs-the-chinese-government-china-wins/

by Arjun Mehrotra

Jack Ma, or Ma Yun, a Chinese business tycoon best known for co-founding Alibaba, is missing. The billionaire was last seen in October, when he made comments criticizing the communist party in China. He has been absent from social media and the public after that speech. He also did not appear as a judge for his show “Africa’s Business Heroes” where African entrepreneurs compete for 1.5 million USD. 

After his speech calling out the communist bankers “pawnshop mentality”, the chinese government launched an antitrust investigation into Alibaba and suspended Ant groups $37 Billion IPO. The investigation has cost shares of Alibaba and wiped over $10 billion in stocks. The Asia Times quoted the Communist party saying that Jack Ma is “embracing supervision” which could mean anything from house arrest to jail. 

Ma started out as an English teacher and was part of the communist party. After co-founding Alibaba with 17 friends however, he started to travel the world and meet with American entrepreneurs. As a billionaire nypost.com says “He acted more like an American billionaire than Jeff Bezos” As he dressed up as musicians and cracked jokes in front of thousands of employees. 

Many sites say that Xi Jinping is putting him under surveillance to “teach him a lesson”. Who knows when we shall see Jack Ma again?

IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE:

As of editing this article, Jack Ma has resurfaced and is doing well. 

Further References

News 18

MSN

Economic times

Business today

The Women’s T20 challenge – The Women Will Win!

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The Ascent Claims no Ownership Over This Image

By Tara Hebbar

In the third year of the Women’s T20 Challenge, the Trailblazers, led by Smriti Mandhana, stopped Harmanpreet Kaur and her Supernovas from their three- peat. The Women’s T20 Challenge, is the alternate for the IPL, in women’s cricket. Held in Dubai, due to the pandemic. It shares similar rules, such as teams can have a limit of  4 foreign players. The competition consisted of  four games, all held at the Sharjah cricket stadium after the teams went through the necessary quarantine precautions, including quarantine. Though most of the players hadn’t played cricket in months following the T20 world cup, they didn’t allow this to stop them from putting up some splendid performances with both the bat and ball, even in the field. We were witness to some astonishing shots, unhittable balls and impeccable catches and saves just in a matter of 4 games.

“The first one-two months of the lockdown was good to spend time with the family. But I think in the last three-four months we got time to go out and start hitting some balls. It was a good time for all of us to go back and work on ourselves which we don’t get usually,” said Smriti Mandhana in her speech after winning, regarding the break period.

The format of the challenge goes like this; each team plays twice (against the other two), excluding the final, and the teams with the most points, battle it out in the final. In the case of a tie with the points, such as this year,  the NRR (Net Run Rate) is taken into account. With Mithali Raj’s Velocity vs Harmanpreet’s Supernovas opening the series to the exciting final between the Supernovas and Trailblazers, the games didn’t fail to excite. After the devastating loss of Velocity, due to the Trailblazers phenomenal bowling (all out at 47) ,  the fate of themselves and Velocity was in the hands of the Supernovas, who beat the Trailblazers to make it into the final.

This season was no exception to the exciting matches with some leading performances by Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Ecclestone, Jhulan Goswami, Suneé Luus, Ekta Bisht, Jahanara Alam, Leigh Kasperek, Chamari Atapattu, Salma Khatun, Taniya Bhatia, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shashikala Siriwardene and the list goes on. Radha Yadav was named player of the series, taking 8 wickets in just 3 matches  and overwhelming the Trailblazers with her 5 wickets in the finals. 

After their loss, the two time champions Supernovas captain Harmanpreet Kaur  said, “Unfortunately, we couldn’t do it this time. But it’s a part and parcel of the game. It wasn’t that difficult a total to chase but we failed to get two big partnerships. Sitting at home was really difficult, but we have to respect the things that are going on and be safe. Yes definitely, women’s cricket is back.” And she’s right, women’s cricket is back with a bang!

With the IPL going on simultaneously, women’s cricket never gets the attention that it ought to, this might be due to several causes, may it be the lack of games, lack of money and advertisement or the lack of acknowledgment. Although the field has come a long way since it was 10 years ago, where it was considered a joke in the face of the men’s leagues, now it holds a level of respect. There are so many talented players that deserve a platform like all the men do. Fingers cannot be pointed at anyone, but hopefully with time, it will gain the traction that IPL has. Like Smriti Mandana very rightly says – “I no longer see myself as a woman cricket, but simply as a cricketer. Why should there be labels when none are required.” 

In the end, sport is sport, cricket is cricket, the ball or the bat doesn’t care who holds it, so why should we?

Before this year, the challenge was run by BCCI, but this year, Jio was its title sponsor. This is a big achievement, as it represents the increased interest in the tournament. After yet another successful edition of the Jio Women’s T20 challenge, we look forward to seeing the girls again, the Trailblazers, Velocity and the Supernovas as strong as ever.

V.A.R. controversy

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Source - https://www.marca.com/en/football/international-football/2019/12/29/5e09256a268e3e2c318b4581.html

by Shreyan Gorantala

VAR, or Video Assistant Referee, made in 2017, was made to make refereeing easier and help them make better decisions, but in the past week matchdays it has not. This has cost many games and even players for that matter. It also ruins the quality of the game and some even say that it is a riot and some say it supports a few teams. A few even say they don’t have the right technology. Regardless, VAR has disturbed the beautiful game of football.

This season in the premier league, managers, and players are irritated, making them lose points and putting them on a spot they should not be in.

 A few incidents happened like the game went to Manchester United when they faced Brighton at home from a tie game. The full-time whistle blew and then a handball was called by the Manchester United players awarded them a penalty, though they should not have and was scored by the Portugese captain Bruno Fernandes. Another incident happened on Saturday, the 17th of October 2020, when Virgil Van Dijk was fouled and was severely injured by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford. It was an offside and could not be a penalty, but there was a possible action for a red card towards Everton’s keeper, but was not considered. In the same match, Liverpool got a disallowed goal by just a slight margin and many to be considered a goal. VAR robbed Liverpool with a goal and a penalty and a definite red card. Not only that, the star defender for Liverpool, who played 90+ matches in a row will now lose almost the whole season. After the match, former referee Dermot Gallagher (1992-2007) understands the mind of the on field referee Micheal Oliver and what even the VAR referee David Coupe thought. This also occurred in another Manchectser United match, where one of the defenders, Harry Maguire choked Azpelicueta (A player for Chelsea) and when reviewed it was not given a clear penalty. The players objected, but the result was still not a penalty. The match ended up being a goalless match which made Chelsea get 1 point instead of 3. 

VAR  has been affecting many games and will affect many more, but we hope not. Let’s all hope that the beautiful game becomes beautiful again.

The Contest between the 2 Champions

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by Shreyan Gorantala

Match day one started with the battle of the champions of both division’s. Taking place on 12th September, Former Premier League Champions Liverpool, facing the Champions of League 2 Leeds United, at home. The match would be fantastic everyone thought, and it was.

Liverpool and Leeds United have only played 1 game before this game for the past three years. In that game, Liverpool had an easy win, dominating the plays and won 2-0. Liverpool were also the favourites to win. They thought this because Liverpool have won 8 games and lst to Leeds United all the way back to April 1st of 2001. Although, Leeds United have got a lot of signings from then and are looking in great form. Partick Bamford and Jack Harrison, helped the white’s (Leeds United) win the English Football League (EFL). Liverpool the men in red playing, Leeds. A tough contest was awaiting for these two champions. 

It started with a kick-off from Liverpool home ground, Anfield. Liverpool had first possession and kept going for attacks, building up beautifully. Going on to the match, an early penalty was awarded to Liverpool. This was because the handball was inside the box, and the referee did not hesitate to point at the penalty spot. It was converted by Mohammed Salah making him the second person in football to score a goal or more in the opening match 4 seasons in a row. Liverpool had control, but a simple miscommunication made Liverpool lose possession and Jack Harrison, a winger who is als one of the star players of Leeds United who was in form capitalized that by hitting a rocket behind the box, smashing the top corner. Alisson Becker was hopeless with that shot and could not save it. Harrison made the white’s get level in the contest. Right after that, Liverpool went on with another attack which was finished by Sadio Mane, the winger for Lverpool,  a cross from Scottish player, Andrew Roberston. Except it was disallowed as the Scottish was off-side and the game continued with the score still 1-1. Eight minutes after Harrison’s rocket, a corner got awarded to Liverpool from a great save by the keeper, after a shot from distance by Roberto firmino. Andrew Roberston, took the corner and whipped the ball in which was headed to the back of the net by Virgil Van Dijk. This time it was a goal. 10 minutes later, Leeds’ star and new signing last year, Patrick Bamford made the game tied again with a howler from defender Virgil Van Dijk. On the 33rd minute, Mohammed Salah scored his second hitting, a beauty, and made Liverpool lead for the third time this game. The half-time whistle blew as the game was very close with Liverpol leading by a goal.

When the second half started, minutes after Liverpool led 3-2, to opposing side Leeds. Soon, after 33 minutes of goalless play, Matuesz Klich, Leed’s midfielder,  had scored to tie the game 3 a piece. The match could go to either side, putting pressure on Liverpool. As if a life saver had come to Liverpool’s aid, in 2 minutes, before full-time as they were awarded another penalty. Leed’s players had asked for off-side and  was checked by Video Assistant Referee (VAR. After further checking it was confirmed a penalty. Salah scored his second penalty and got his hat-trick in the first game making him back in form. The game ended in a score of 4-3 with Liverpool edging past the champions of League 2, Leeds United F.C. making the premier League interesting right from Matchday 1. 

IPL’s Power Play!

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Source - https://matchday.in/ipl-2020-schedule-announced/

by Tara Hebbar and Tanvi Mittal

Since the IPL started in 2008, it’s touched and changed many people’s lives. We’ve grown to love the teams and players for their extraordinary talent and remarkable skill. We think of all the older, advanced cricket players but a new generation of cricketers have arisen shocking us with their incredible flair for the sport. Many of these players are so young, yet they look like professionals on the field with a tremendous amount of talent and knack for the game. These players have extraordinary backgrounds and come from all around the world!

Ravi Bishnoi, the 20-year-old who has proved that where there is a will, there is most definitely a way! His father being the headmaster of a school, it wasn’t easy to convince him on a sports career. Moreover, his town didn’t offer a cricket facility, but this didn’t stop Ravi from following his dreams. One of his friends and he started their own academy, he says

Our ground used to be just a patch of barren land filled with rocks. We cleared those rocks ourselves because back then we couldn’t afford a JCB truck. Then, we planted the grass on the ground ourselves, the special red mud needed for the wicket was also ordered by us, and we leveled the playing surface as well.

He showed his talent off at the under -19 world cup where he took 17 wickets and now he continues to flair his talent in his maiden IPL with the team KXII Punjab!

Devdutt Padikkal, RCB player who has been nothing short of impressive during his maiden IPL this year. Though his shots have been power-packed and diverse, and his fielding has been impeccable, he admits to being nervous prior to playing his first match against SRH, where he scored a dazzling 50. He says to Chahal following the game, “I was very nervous upon hearing the news of making my debut. But when I came to bat I settled down after playing a few balls.” He went on to talk about the inspiration he has derived from the captain of the team, saying “The last one month that we practiced, I learnt a lot from Virat bhaiya. I kept asking him questions whenever I was around him. Even today, when I was playing with Finch, he showed a lot of confidence in me.” This shows the role a captain plays in encouraging young minds and cricketers and being a pillar of support for them.

We follow with Shubhman Gill, the run machine who owes his splendid career to his father. “Shubman was interested in the sport from a very young age. He started wielding a bat at the age of three. He never liked any other toys. He would play with a bat and a ball even before going to bed,” says his father, Lakhwinder Singh. His father had a lifelong dream of playing professional cricket but unfortunately never got to, and hence installed it into his son, who made his life long, and power six. His father even moved his family to Mohali so that Shubham could have access to the best facilities. This IPL Shubhman Gill has proved to be an integral part of the KKR’s team and a player who has a bright and successful future ahead of himself. 

We observe yet another inspiring cricket story in the likes of Priyam Garg, match finisher for team SRH, this year. His father had severe financial difficulties and though he did recognize his son’s cricket talent, having 5 kids he had no money to buy a bat, forget coaching. After realizing his true potential Priyams father borrowed money to find a coach for Priyam and enrolled him under the coaching of  Sanjay Rastogi, who had recognized cricketers such as Bhuvi. Though Priyam first wanted to become a fast bowler, Rastogi encouraged him to focus on his batting. In 2011, after the death of his mother, Priyam contemplated quitting cricket to assist his father in running the household but this was not allowed to do this after his father encouraged him to continue. He then succeeded in the Under – 19 world cup, and again in this IPL. This highlights how vital parental support can help children.

Prithvi Shaw is a 20-year-old star with an inspiring story that started at the young age of three. After playing throughout his childhood, Prithvi continued to play in and lead his team in many big tournaments including being the captain for the U-19 Indian team in the U-19 ICC 2018 where they won against West Indies when he was just 18 years old. However, this all changed in late 2019 when Shaw failed a dope test. Scroll.in mentioned in their article that “A release from the Board said Shaw had ‘inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups’.” Shaw then faced a 16-month suspension for his actions. Soon after former star and cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar talked to Shaw as he often does with younger players. Tendulkar said during an interview, “It’s true. I have had a number of interactions over the years with Prithvi. He is a very talented player and I am happy to help him. I spoke to him about cricket and also life beyond the cricket field,” he said. Prithvi’s back on track playing for the Delhi Capitals and is an excellent cricketer and leader and has been playing cricket like never before. 

Sam Curran, a 22-year-old left-handed batsman tells a bold story with his bat and the ball. This young, especially talented cricketer is as effortless with his batting, as he is as a left-handed medium-paced bowler. Over the course of an India Series in 2018, Curran took eleven wickets and has scored crucial runs for his teams. He continued to have an amazing performance, but where did it start? He was born and raised in Newhampton, England. His dad was a Zimbabwean all-rounder and Curran learned from him, his love of cricket started there. He and his brother Tom who now plays for the Rajasthan Royals started playing at Surrey, a club in England. Surrey knew that Tom was a gem right away. And they were right as Curran’s time in the IPL playing first for Kings 11 Punjab and now Chennai Super Kings has been nothing short of impressive. 

25-year-old Sanju Samson is making runs like it’s a breeze. This year in the IPL it’s Rajasthan Royals player Samson’s true time to shine. On multiple occasions he has made an extraordinary score, blowing everyone’s minds. But just last year things were different for him. In an interview for the Hindustan Times, he said, “I was really fed up of myself last year. I had been trying very hard but things were not happening. Then I really went back to myself, did a bit of soul-searching and I really asked myself lots of different questions. Like, ‘What do I want to achieve in my life?’ and ‘Where do I want to reach until my cricket career finishes?’’ After this, Samson came back stronger than ever for the 2020 IPL. For his first two, consecutive matches Sanju was made Man of the Match after his excellent performance. This shows how with dedication and the spirit to win, your willpower can bring you up to stronger than ever. 

All these different examples just show how youngsters of IPL have been picked from the most unusual of places and how they all have a story to tell and people to thank. But most of all it’s their respective teams that can thank them for the “power plays” of IPL have proved to be nothing but impressive this season, each one contributing to their team’s victories in one way or another. 

Far too many coincidences — How the IPL is rigged?

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source - https://www.indiatvnews.com/sports/cricket/franchises-urge-bcci-to-announce-ipl-2020-schedule-645958

By Pritha Nag

For the last 12 years, Indians have been given arguably the most corrupt league in the whole world, the Indian Premier League of Cricket (The IPL). The IPL first started out in 2008, and it has amassed global attention, raking in players from all over the world. The IPL is a huge franchise that is worth about $6.7 billion. Playing one season in the IPL can guarantee comfort for the rest of your life. But after watching many IPL matches, I have seen that there are far too many coincidences that occur, that can be considered as match-fixing. But what proof is there? 

After watching matches for a couple of years, you can start to realise far too many coincidences. The Mumbai Indians managing to win the IPL every two years– 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 even being known as the “Odd Glitch” to some, as they manage to win every other year. Out of those four matches, two have been such a close call (2017 and 2019), that the Mumbai Indians have won by one run. It could have gone either way. But it conveniently happened to go the way of the Mumbai Indians each time?

On April 22nd, 2018, Sunrisers Hyderabad hosted Chennai Super Kings, and Rajasthan Royals hosted Mumbai Indians. Chennai won the game by a close 4 runs, and Ambati Rayudu was crowned Man of the match. Later that evening, Rajasthan defeated Mumbai by three wickets, and player Rohit Sharma was run out on the first ball. This same formula was repeated in the season, with the exact same teams. On Sunday 13th May, Chennai hosted Hyderabad (previously it was Hyderbad had hosted Chennai) in Pune while Mumbai hosted Rajasthan (previously it was Rajasthan had hosted Mumbai) at the Wankhede stadium. Chennai Super Kicks won the match by eight wickets, and Ambati Rayudu won the Man of the Match award once again. Hours later, Rajasthan defeated Mumbai in the evening and then Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma was out on the first ball of the match, just as the previous match against Rajasthan. Exact same formula– same teams, same man of the match, and same person out on the first ball. 

A bookie (a  person that accepts and pays off bets on sporting and other events at agreed-upon odds) has also come out and talked about how the IPL games are fixed, and how they have mastered subtle signals that we as viewers never notice. For example, he had said– “In the IPL five t-shirts will be the full size, five will be half sleeves. A player bowls the over in full t-shirt, that is the signal.”  This tells us what type of t-shirt a player is wearing, can signal to the rest of the players what to and what not to do. He went on to say that– “A wide a running in and stopping without bowling are all signals.”  A single wide ball (a wide ball is a ball that the batsment are unable to reach) can indicate to the players to score a six for the next bowl, or for a wicket to be taken. It’s all so carefully executed that we as the viewers fail to notice these small signs. 

On October 11th, 2020, Delhi Capitals and the Mumbai Indians played together in a match. Seeing that there is less fan interaction due to the current pandemic, teams have been trying to interact with fans more via social media. What was so peculiar about this match, is that the official Mumbai Indians Twitter page had tweeted out only a few minutes at the start of the match– “Pattinson is sharing the new ball with Boult!” This sounds perfectly fine until you read a little below. At the bottom of the tweet, the Mumbai Indians had tweeted out “DC – 163/5 (19.5)”. To decipher this tweet, DC stands for the Delhi capitals, so it is saying that the Delhi Capitals were going to have a score of 163/5 in 19.5 overs. This tweet was tweeted only a few minutes into the match, which is what makes it so interesting because the match had barely started. To thicken the plot the Delhi Capitals ended the match with almost exactly that score– 162/4 in 20 overs. Moreover, the official Mumbai Indians page took down the tweet, dut to getting questioned about it by the IPL supper fans.  They are yet to address it as of the 15/10/20, but this is more than coincidence. Almost the exact score tweeted, at the beginning of the match! How could anyone ever be able to guess what the score was even before it started. 

What makes the IPL so thrilling is how down to the wire it is. It is argued that far too many IPL matches have been won by a narrow margin of one run. In the 2019 season, it was reported one in every ten matches had ended in a win by just one run, including the final!. This occurs very rarely in One Day Cricket, Test Cricket, and International Cricket. 

It is also valid to mention that the IPL had no anti-corruption coverage from the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) specialist unit until it’s third edition. The anit corruption coverage works towards making sure that there is no corruption in sports. The tournament’s first commissioner, Lalit Modi, had admitted it was a mistake on his part, but the milk had already been split. 

This may pose the question as to why do some of the world’s best cricket players come to the IPL, that is allegedly rigged? No other domestic league has managed to boast players, cheerleaders, or thrills as the IPL has. Some of the world’s biggest players come to earn millions and millions of dollars. Through watching the IPL you will see many familiar ads pop up over the course of the season, in between breaks, wickets, time outs, and so on. For a small ten-second ad to be televised during the IPL it is $17,705. Star sports is said to have amassed $40,858,470 from ad revenues alone. The money earned is the simple answer to the question. The average salary of an IPL player that he earns during one season is $109,929. For some of the most well-known players, they earn higher figures of about $23,189,92. The average salary most people make in a year is about so in comparison to what a single IPL player makes in three months. 

All in all, many could argue if or if not they think that the IPL is fixed. Many could say that if you put your mind to think there is an error in the IPL, your mind will be fixed on over-analysing every small thing that happens. Although there is no solid proof of match-fixing in the IPL, it is important to consider all the “coincidences” and corruption behind the scenes. The IPL has managed to give many new cricketers a chance to shine and fulfil their childhood passions and dreams, the way other leagues have not been able to. Many of the teams have also donated millions and millions of dollars to good causes, such as India’s fight towards Covid-19. That being said when the IPL trophy gets lifted on November 10th, a lot of corruption and scheming would have been behind that trophy. So the next time you are watching an IPL match, notice the minor coincidences, the small signs, and hidden signals and ask yourself– is the IPL rigged?

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