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MS Dhoni to retire after World Cup 2019? Chief selector MSK?Prasad has his say

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The importance of MS Dhoni to this Indian team which gets ready for the World Cup is not a hidden secret anymore and everyone from the head coach, to the captain and the players, have spoken about the role of Dhoni in the side.

There are also speculations being made that the 2019 edition could be Dhoni’s last in India colours as the former captain could call it quits after the tournament. However, chief selector MSK Prasad has said that any discussions on these lines have not taken place so far.

“We have definitely not discussed this. Because prior to such a big tournament, I do not think it is wise to get distracted, since all energies are geared towards preparing well for the World Cup,” he said in a conversation with ESPNCricinfo.

Speaking about his form, Prasad said that Dhoni’s productivity with the bat will only increase with the number of matches he plays and hence, the IPL is a great opportunity for him to find the groove yet again.

“Importantly, before India head to the World Cup, he will be playing the IPL. So he will be playing in 14-16 matches – all high-intensity games. That will only help him extend that form he has caught on the Australia and New Zealand tours. I am very happy with his batting,” he further added.

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Renowned cricketer Suresh Raina comes forward to support blood cancer patients

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After representing India for over 13 years, former cricketer Suresh Raina known for his aggressive batting and excellent fielding skills has come forward to raise awareness about the growing burden of blood cancer in India.

He has joined hands with DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and other blood disorders such as Thalassemia and Aplastic Anemia.

India ranks third highest in reported cases of hematological cancers in the world with over 70 thousand people deaths per year and over 1 lakh people are diagnosed with a form of blood cancer or blood disorders. But these patients can get a second chance at life through a stem cell transplant.

After renowned celebrities like Vidya Balan, Rahul Dravid, and Sonu Sood, renowned cricketer Suresh Raina has shared a video appeal to raise awareness about the cause

In his video appeal, Suresh Raina has emphasized on the blood cancer burden in India that every 5 minutes someone is diagnosed with the condition. And most of the patients are young patients or children who fight these life-threatening diseases. Giving example of his personal experience Suresh Raina has talked about how he has learned to face challenges however, there is no greater challenge that one a family has to face when their loved one is diagnosed with a form of blood cancer.

Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS-BMST said, “a true sportsperson never hesitates to come forward and help others, this has been proved by Mr. Suresh Raina, his sportsmanship is commendable. Many patients suffering from blood cancer and other blood disorders need a blood stem cell transplant to survive. Unfortunately, majority of patients are unable to receive a transplant due to the unavailability of a matching blood stem cell donor.”

This situation can only be changed when more and more people from different ethnicities in India are a part of the donor registry maintained by NGOs like DKMS-BMST. This can be done with a simple step of registering as a blood stem cell donor and give these patients a second chance at life.

Only about 30 per cent of the patients in need of a blood stem cell transplant can find a sibling match. The rest 70 per cent depend on finding a matching unrelated donor. Due to the lack of awareness about the treatment possibilities in India, it becomes difficult for Indian patients to find a matching blood stem cell donor.

Cricketer appealed to all Indians to register as potential blood stem cell donor via a video appeal:

The registration process:

If you’re between the age-group of 18 – 50 and in general good health, take the first step to register as a blood stem cell donor by ordering your home swab kit at www.dkms-bmst.org/register.

All it takes is five minutes of your time and a simple 3 step process:

Step 1: Visit the site, fill up an online form and you will receive a DIY swab kit at home.

Step 2: Once you receive the swab kit, fill out the consent form and take a tissue sample from the inside of your cheeks with 3 cotton swabs provided in the kit.

Step 3: Send back your swab sample in the pre-paid envelope provided.

DKMS laboratory will then analyze your tissue type and your details will be available in the global search for blood stem cell donors. If you do come up as a suitable donor, DKMS-BMST will get in touch with you straight away. Once you come up as a match, blood stem cells will be obtained from the bloodstream using a procedure called Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collection, which is similar to a blood donation wherein only your stem cells are taken. This is a safe, non-surgical outpatient procedure.

source: The Statesman

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Athens to host 138th IOC Session in 2025

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced Athens as the host of its 138th Session in 2025 after the Greek capital could not stage the current meeting due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IOC Session unanimously approved the proposal at its virtual meeting on Thursday, said a statement.

The 2025 Session will see the election of a new IOC President when Thomas Bach’s second and final term ends. Bach was re-elected on Wednesday.

The next IOC Session is also scheduled ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

The 67-year-old Bach, who clinched gold with the West German foil fencing team at the Olympic Games Montreal in 1976, was elected as IOC President at the IOC Session in 2013 in Buenos Aires for a first eight-year term.

This term will finish on the closing day of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 8 this year, as decided by the IOC Executive Board.

source: The Statesman

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India end Day 1 of 4th Test at 24/1 after bowling England out for 205

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England got a 200-plus total for the first time after five innings of sub-200 scores but the 205 they could muster on Thursday still kept them on the backfoot against India on the first day of the fourth and final Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday. India were 24 for one at stumps.

Against India’s spin trio that bowled 70 per cent of the overs and took 80 per cent of the wickets, England’s batting heavy line-up faltered again after winning the toss and electing to bat as Axar Patel (4/68), R. Ashwin (3/47) and Washington Sundar (1/14) ran riot.

Only Ben Stokes (55) and Dan Lawrence (46) could put up some resistance of note as the visiting batsmen showed lack of patience on a wicket that was spin-friendly but not as much as during the preceding two Tests.

England’s innings on Thursday lasted for 75.5 overs, which was quite close to the 79.2 overs it lasted across two innings combined in the third Test.

Left-arm spinner Patel, who has taken a hat-trick of fifers, once again took a wicket in his first over of the innings like he had done in the third Test. He removed Dom Sibley, having him bowled with an armer.

In his second over, he got rid of the other opener Zak Crawley who tried to hit out against him. Soon Joe Root (5) was back, dismissed leg-before by a Mohammed Siraj delivery that came back in.

A 48-run partnership brought England to safety but Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal gave India a chance to repeat their act from the third Test when they dismissed England for just over a 100.

However, Stokes’ half-century and contributions from Ollie Pope (29) and Lawrence took them to a total which kept them alive.

India lost an early wicket, of Shubman Gill (0), off the bowling of James Anderson during the 12 overs they had to face towards the end of the day’s play.

Rohit Sharma was unbeaten on eight and Cheteshwar Pujara was not out on 15.

England had packed their line-up with batsmen, leaving out Jofra Archer, who had a niggle in his elbow, as well as Stuart Broad.

Lawrence and off-spinner Dom Bess replaced the two English bowlers.

Brief scores: England 205 all out in 75.5 overs (B Stokes 55, D Lawrence 46, O Pope 29, A Patel 4/68, R Ashwin 3/47, W Sundar 1/15) vs India 24/1 in 12 overs (R Sharma batting 8, C Pujara batting 15, D Bess 1/4)

source: The Statesman

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