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Shardul Thakur becomes first India cricketer to resume outdoor training

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Pacer Shardul Thakur on Saturday became the first India cricketer to resume outdoor training after a two-month coronavirus-forced break.

Thakur, who has featured in one Test, 11 ODIs and 15 T20s, hit a local ground at Boisar in Maharashtra’s Palghar district along with some domestic players.

The Maharashtra government has allowed the opening of stadiums for individual training in green and orange zones without spectators. This was after the home ministry offered relaxation in restrictions for the fourth phase of the lockdown till May 31.

“Yes, we practised today. It was good and definitely pleasing to practice after two months,” Thakur told PTI.

An official said that that the Palghar Dahanu Taluka Sports Association started the net sessions at Boisar, which is around 110 kms away from Mumbai.

Strict safety protocols were followed, with each bowler getting his own set of disinfected balls.

“All the safety measures were followed. The bowlers got their own balls which were disinfected and temperatures of the players who came for practise were also checked,” the official said.

Mumbai batsman Hardik Tamore, who made his Ranji debut for the domestic giants last season, was also seen training at the same ground.

“Once the guidelines from the Palghar District collector (state government) was issued concerning sports, it was always the aim to begin training process,” Mumbai Cricket Association, Council member Ajinkya Naik said.

“Due to our fantastic facility in Palghar district, we were able to facilitate much-needed training program to our esteemed players while adhering to social distancing norms and hygiene,” he added.

All sporting action in the country has been halted since March 25, when the first nationwide lockdown, to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, was announced by the central government.

Top cricketers like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who have resorted to home workouts to keep themselves fit during the lockdown, are still waiting to resume individual training.

Only India pacer Mohammed Shami has been able to train outside, in his own farm land.

On Thursday, England’s Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes became the first set of cricketers to return to individual training at their local county grounds.

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Indian Olympic Association chief urges country to celebrate Olympic Day

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Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra has encouraged the nation to celebrate Olympic Day on 23 June. He stated that there is a need to participate in such events to make India into an active sports participation nation.

Olympic Day is celebrated every year on 23 June since 1948 to mark the beginning of the modern-day Olympic Games.

“One way of making India embark on a journey from a sports-watching nation to a more active sports-participating nation is to commemorate such milestones in such a manner that people around the Olympic community would be inspired to play any sport of their choice,” he was quoted as saying by the Olympic Channel on their official website.

“There are countless ways in which we can do this, even with the social-distancing restrictions in place. It could be some form of physical activity that each of us undertakes. It could even be a way of encouragement to Olympic sport.”

“I urge India’s Olympic medallists and Olympians to lead the celebrations. It would be delightful to see our educational institutions get the student community involved,” he added.

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Tokyo 2020 CEO says 80% of venues secured for Olympics

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Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto stated on Friday has stated that 80 per cent of the competition venues have been secured for the rescheduled Olympic Games in 2021.

Muto told reporters that the secured events for the biggest sporting festival on the planet include the new National Stadium and that there ongoing talks to secure other facilities. The same has been confirmed in a report by Xinhua news agency. (via IANS)

“We will hopefully try to use the same venues,” he said. “The adjustment still remains but we are able to use 80 per cent of the facilities we were originally supposed to use.”

Muto warned that there was no guarantee that the Games would be able to take place in the summer of 2021, but he also stated that all measures would be taken to host the Games with the highest standard of safety, in case it happens.

“I don’t think there is anyone that can really promise that the Olympics and Paralympics will be held in 2021 for sure, 100 per cent in any circumstance,” he said.

“But we need to show the commitment that we will be opening the Games next year.”

“As long as we have sufficient measures against COVID-19, we will make sure the Games are held in 2021.”

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India loses hosting rights for 2021 boxing World Championships

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New Delhi on Tuesday lost hosting rights for the 2021 men’s boxing World Championships after the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) failed to pay the host fee. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) said that additionally, the BFI will now have to pay a cancellation fee of $500.

“After New Delhi didn’t fulfill its obligations to pay host fee as mentioned in the Host City Agreement terms, AIBA has terminated the contract. Therefore, India would have to pay a cancellation penalty of 500.000 USD,” said the AIBA in its statement.

The tournament has now been awarded to Belgrade, Serbia and AIBA Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane said that it will hold the World Championships after the postponed Tokyo Olympics next year.

“Because of rescheduling of the Olympic 2020, AIBA Executive Committee will discuss with the host country possible dates to adjust. We believe that we will keep the planned timeframe and conduct World Championships in 2021 after the Games if the pandemic situation is under control. As soon as it is fixed, this will help our boxers to plan preparation for next year properly,” said Moustahsane.

India was awarded the hosting rights in July 2017. However, it has since run into troubled waters with the AIBA with the latter first saying that it will “re-open the bidding process for the 2021 men’s World boxing championships due to take place in India” in November 2018 after Kosovo boxer Donjeta Sadiku was excluded from the 2018 women’s World boxing championships that was held in the country due to visa issues.

In February 2020, it was reported that the AIBA had sent a legal notice to the BFI for not paying boxers who participated in the 2019 Indian Open and a reminder for the BFI to pay its hosting fees for the 2021 World Championships.

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