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Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy cleared to play Thailand Open, will play first round matches on Wednesday | Badminton News

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HYDERABAD: In an interesting twist, it is learnt that Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy will play their first round matches in the Thailand Open on Wednesday.
Sources told TOI, that the organisers informed the Indian management that Saina and Prannoy are cleared and their matches will be held on Wednesday.

Earlier, on Tuesday these three players were withdrawn from the tournament after Saina and Prannoy tested positive and Kashyap being the first contact of Saina. These three players contracted the virus last month during their friend and international shuttler RMV Gurusaidutt’s wedding.

They served the quarantine period and on arrival in Bangkok they tested negative in two tests. But in the third round of testing, the rest of which was announced on Tuesday, Saina and Prannoy tested positive while Kashyap was negative. All three were barred from competing in the tournament.
But by evening it was learnt that a high level Thai medical committee examined their report and gave a green signal to them. “When you contract the virus and later test negative, the dead protein of the virus will remain in the body and that’s why you may test positive though the virus is dead. The same happened in Saina and Prannoy case. Thankfully, they were cleared without much damage. We are yet to get the details but were told that they would be allowed to play,” said a source in the Indian team.


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Three cases linked to Australia Open carry highly virulent COVID-19 variant | Tennis News

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MELBOURNE: Three people in hotel quarantine associated with the Australian Open tennis tournament have tested positive for the highly transmissible coronavirus variant linked to the United Kingdom, officials said on Saturday.
The three quarantined in Melbourne are not players, said the state agency responsible for quarantining overseas travellers. All have been in hard lockdown since their Jan. 15 arrival.
“Three quarantine residents associated with the Australian Open who tested positive for coronavirus have been found to have the UK variant of the virus,” COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria said in a statement.
Victoria, Australia’s second most-populous state, recorded its 17th day without any new local infections on Saturday as officials focus on keeping the community separated from staff and players here for the Grand Slam tournament.
As many as 72 players have been confined to their hotel rooms for two weeks upon arrival and unable to train for the Feb. 8-21 event after passengers on three charter flights tested positive.
The lockdown has led to complaints from some frustrated tennis players, although others have urged their fellow competitors to show more respect for the efforts by Victoria state, when the Australian Open is to be held. It went through one of the world’s strictest and longest lockdowns last year to stamp out the virus.
Spain’s Paula Badosa on Friday became the first player to confirm a positive test for COVID-19 while in quarantine in Melbourne. On Saturday, Spain’s tennis federation apologised to Tennis Australia after complaining about the treatment of two Spanish players in quarantine.
The Victoria quarantine agency said there were 10 active positive cases linked to the tennis in quarantine.
Three cases were recorded among international arrivals in hotel quarantine in Victoria on Saturday, the state’s health department said. One of those was associated with the Australian Open, the quarantine agency said.
Australia has fared better than most other developed economies in the pandemic through swift border closures, lockdowns, strict hotel quarantine for travellers and widespread testing and social distancing.
On Saturday, it logged a sixth straight day of zero coronavirus cases in the community nationwide. It has had 28,700 cases in total, the overwhelming majority in Victoria, and 909 deaths.


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India vs Australia: Anand Mahindra to gift SUVs to Natarajan, Siraj, Thakur, Sundar, Gill, Saini | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: Automobile giant Anand Mahindra on Saturday announced that he will be gifting the THAR-SUV to Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan, Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini for their heroics in the just-concluded Test series in Australia.
On Tuesday, Australia’s fortress, The Gabba, was finally breached. It took 32 years and two months, but the unthinkable was achieved as an injury-ravaged young Indian team beat Australia by three wickets against all the odds in the final Test to take the series 2-1.
“Six young men made their debuts in the recent historic series #INDvAUS (Shardul’s 1 earlier appearance was short-lived due to injury) They’ve made it possible for future generations of youth in India to dream & Explore the Impossible,” tweeted Mahindra.

Record-breaking India clinch Australia Test series in Gabba thriller

Record-breaking India clinch Australia Test series in Gabba thriller

“Theirs are true ‘Rise’ stories; overcoming daunting odds in the pursuit of excellence. They serve as an inspiration in all arenas of life. It gives me great personal pleasure to gift each of these debutants an All-New THAR SUV on my own account–at no expense to the company,” he said in another tweet.
Sundar and Natarajan had made their debuts in the fourth Test in Brisbane, and both went on to produce crucial performances. Shardul Thakur had played his first Test in 2018, but he had then walked off the park after bowling just 10 balls due to injury.

Cricketer Mohammed Siraj visits his father's grave after returning from Australia

Cricketer Mohammed Siraj visits his father’s grave after returning from Australia

Siraj had lost his father before the series against Australia started, but he decided to stay back to fulfill the dream of his father.
“The reason for this gift is to exhort young people to believe in themselves & ‘Take the road less traveled.’ Bravo Mohammed, Shardul, Shubhman, Natarajan, Navdeep & Washington! I now plead with @Mahindra_Auto to get them their THARS on priority,” Mahindra wrote in his last tweet.

Mohammed Siraj was the leading wicket-taker for India in the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Apart from Natarajan and Saini, all the other four players will be seen in action in the upcoming Test series against England.



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Rishabh Pant: Rishabh Pant should replace Shreyas Iyer or Sanju Samson in India’s ODI, T20I squads: Brad Hogg | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: Former Australia all-rounder Brad Hogg has called on the Indian selectors to include Rishabh Pant in India’s limited-overs squads saying that the batsman’s ability to play unconventional shots makes him difficult to bowl to.
“I would be putting him there right now because he has got the confidence and the belief. He has proven himself with two match-winning knocks in this (just concluded) Test series (in Australia),” Hogg said on his YouTube channel.
“You can’t get better than that playing for India on Australian soil. I would put him in place of (Shreyas) Iyer. Keep your all-round options there for batting and bowling depth. He will be there for either Iyer or Sanju Samson.”

“He is hard to bowl to because he plays a variety of shots that are different to any other batsman. Get him in there,” added Hogg.
Pant scored 97 on the fifth day of the Sydney Test, helping India escape with a draw. He then made an unbeaten 89 on the fifth day of the Brisbane Test to help India win the match by three wickets and seal the series.

Record-breaking India clinch Australia Test series in Gabba thriller

Record-breaking India clinch Australia Test series in Gabba thriller

The former Chinaman bowler and left-handed batsman, however, backed Virat Kohli to continue as India skipper, saying that any change in captaincy at the moment can affect India’s balance.
He said that removing Kohli from captaincy can affect his batting.
“He (Virat Kohli) bats better when he is the captain. I think if you change it, it would destroy the culture of that Indian team. It might affect Kohli’s batting. He wouldn’t want it to happen, but it will happen,” Hogg said.

“Yes, Ajinkya Rahane has done a fantastic job in the last three Tests in Australia. He is cool, calm and collected. He is quite decisive, and he doesn’t get agitated. He is a fantastic leader. But I will leave him as vice-captain because I think Virat Kohli leads from the front,” added Hogg.


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