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India international archers denied participation in Olympic selection trials for failure to produce Covid-19 negative report | More sports News

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NEW DELHI: The first day of archery selection trials in Jamshedpur on Tuesday had its fair share of drama when five international archers, all from Assam, were stopped from appearing for trials after they failed to produce a Covid-19 negative RT-PCR report to the organisers, which was a mandatory requirement to participate in the event.
Archers Sanjay Boro, Dhaniram Basumatary, Mukesh Boro, Promila Daimary and Sonali Basumatary weren’t allowed to take the field for trials in the absence of RT-PCR report.
The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), as spelt out by the Archery Association of India (AAI) before the trials, required all participants to undergo mandatory Covid-19 testing at their respective home cities and carry the negative report obtained not more than 48 hours before arriving in Jamshedpur.
Since these men and women recurve archers arrived straight for the trials on Tuesday morning without the Covid-19 negative report, the organisers refused them entry to the field and told them to leave.
Similarly, the organisers had booked a nearby hotel for the participants to stay, but there was no provision for them to get tested for Covid-19. The organisers had allowed participants to check-in at the hotel from Monday onwards, but surprisingly only the temperature checks were done and no arrangements were made for the testing at the hotel itself.
The three-day trials from November 24-26 at the JRD Tata Sports Complex will see four men and four women recurve archers being picked for the ongoing Tokyo Olympic preparatory national camp at the ASI Pune.
The AAI had released the list of 40 men and 18 women archers who were eligible to take part in the trials. The trials are being conducted by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
The selected archers will join the core group of eight men and eight women archers, who are already part of the ongoing camp in Pune. Some of the leading archers like Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar, Deepika Kumari and L. Bombayla Devi, among others, are part of the camp.


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Afridi asks former Pakistan greats to follow Dravid’s footsteps in grooming young talents | Cricket News

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KARACHI: In awe of the work being done by Rahul Dravid in grooming talented Indian players, former captain Shahid Afridi has called on Pakistan greats to take a cue and nurture the young cricketers of the country.
Speaking at a function in Lahore, Afridi urged former cricketing stalwarts of the country to follow in the footsteps of Dravid, who served as head coach for the India under-19 and India A teams from 2016 to 2019.
Afridi noted that Dravid, who is currently heading the National Cricket Academy (NCA), had done a lot of hard work with the young Indian players at the under-19 level.
“I think as it is we are facing a shortage of quality talent so what is coming through needs to be groomed properly by our former greats. They can do a lot with these young players,” he said.
He noted that greats like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan and Muhammad Yousuf can do a lot in shaping and polishing the young cricketing talent of Pakistan.
Deliberating on the Muhammad Amir issue and his refusal to play under the coaching of Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis, Afridi said this was an old problem in Pakistan cricket.
“Even in my time bowlers had problems with the coaches. My issues with Waqar are well documented. I think this can only be prevented when the board (PCB) opens up and listens and talks to disgruntled players,” he said.
Amir, who retired from international cricket recently, had said that he will not take back his decision until the present management of the Pakistan team is in place.
Afridi urged the PCB to speak to Amir and resolve the issue as the left-arm pacer still has a lot to offer to the country.
Afridi also took a dig at Pakistan head coach Misbah, insisting that he had learnt as an international cricketer that one can’t survive and perform with a chicken heart at the top level.
“Players need to be encouraged to be aggressive and play with a big heart, then only results will come,” he said.


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Moeen Ali back in England bubble after clearing COVID test | Cricket News

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GALLE: England all-rounder Moeen Ali on Saturday entered the team’s bio-secure bubble here after clearing two COVID-19 tests, thus joining his mates after spending 13 days in quarantine.
Ali, 33, tested positive for COVID-19 with mild symptoms upon arrival in Sri Lanka and was isolated from the rest of the touring party.
He was originally expected to be in quarantine for 10 days, which was later extended by three days following the Sri Lankan government’s reservations over the new UK strain of the deadly virus.
“It’s great to have Mo (Ali) back,” said Sam Curran after stumps on Day 3 of the ongoing opening Test.
“When we walked into the changing room (at tea) we saw Mo and there were smiles on everyone’s faces. He’s obviously had a really tough couple of weeks and no one wants to get into the situation he was in.
Thankfully he got through that OK. We’re all really excited to have him back in the group to play cricket again, because we all know what an awesome player he is, and to be around.
“The guys are really happy. Hopefully it doesn’t happen to anyone else, because no one wants to have players leaving the group and isolating for a couple of weeks,” he added.


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Andreescu coach says he tested positive on Australian Open’s Abu Dhabi flight | Tennis News

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PARIS: Sylvain Bruneau, the coach of 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, said Saturday he tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving for the Australian Open, a result which sent 23 players into a two-week hotel lockdown.
In all, 47 players have been barred from practising in Melbourne after it was revealed that passengers on two charter flights — one from Abu Dhabi and one from Los Angeles — tested positive.
“I am deeply sorry to share that I have just tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival after travelling from Abu Dhabi,” Bruneau wrote in a media statement.

“I am extremely saddened and sorry for the consequences now on everyone’s shoulders sharing my flight.
“The rest of my team is negative and I sincerely hope that any further disruption is kept to a minimum.”
Bruneau said that he had tested negative within 72 hours of the flight’s departure from the Gulf and “felt perfectly fine when I boarded.”
He insisted he had followed all the protocols while in the Middle East.
“I have no idea how I might have contracted this virus.”
The 47 players will not now be allowed out to practise and train for the five hours each day agreed to as part of their build-up to the opening major of the year, Tennis Australia said.
The Australian Open is due to start on February 8 after being moved from its usual January slot.


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