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Smith ‘feeds off’ criticism warns Paine ahead of Gabba showdown | Cricket News

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BRISBANE: Skipper Tim Paine warned Thursday that Steve Smith “feeds off” criticism and was fired up for the high-stakes fourth Test against India, which Australia will start without injured opener Will Pucovski.
Smith has faced accusations he had been trying to cheat by scuffing up batsman Rishabh Pant‘s guard at the crease during the tense drawn third Test at Sydney, which left the series locked at 1-1.

He strongly denied it and said he was shocked by the reaction, claiming he was simply shadow batting.
Paine, himself slammed for an ugly sledging incident during the match, said his teammate was mentally strong and determined to build on his man-of-the-match performance in Sydney, where he made 131 and 81.
“Steve is in a good frame of mind,” Paine said ahead of the clash at the Gabba starting Friday, a ground where Australia are unbeaten since 1988.
“I think we’ve seen through what he’s been through in the last three years… he’s mentally very strong, very tough. He knows sometimes he’s going to be criticised and he’s handled that supremely well.
“If anything, I think he feeds off it. His statistics speak for themselves and we’ll see the best of Steve Smith again this week.”
Australia will go into the series-deciding clash without Pucovski, who dislocated his shoulder while fielding in Sydney, where he made an impressive first innings’ 62 on debut.
It was another cruel setback for the highly-rated 22-year-old, who missed the first two Tests with concussion.
Marcus Harris, who has played nine Tests, but not since Australia retained the Ashes in England last year, will open instead alongside David Warner.
“He’ll come in and open the batting and looking forward to seeing what he can do,” said Paine. “He’s a no fuss, very good player.”
Barring late mishaps, it will likely be the only change to the team that played the third Test.
Earlier this week, wicketkeeper Paine apologised for his own behaviour in Sydney, where he launched a verbal tirade at India’s Ravi Ashwin, was fined for dissent and dropped three catches on the final day as Australia failed to bowl India out.
“I let it get under the skin, no doubt about that, I’ve admitted that, so for me it’s about rising above it and concentrating on what I’m doing and concentrating on leading my team,” he said.
“We’ve spoken a lot this game about controlling what we can control and focusing more inwardly on ourselves. If we do that, then we’ll be in a good position.”


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SAI facilities: Ministry decides to name all new, upgraded SAI facilities after sportspersons

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New Delhi: The Sports Ministry on Sunday said it has decided to name all the upcoming and upgraded facilities of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) after renowned athletes who have brought accolades for the country. The initiative is meant to honour sporting heroes of the country, the SAI said in a press release.

In the first leg, the newly built air-conditioned wrestling hall and the learners swimming pool in the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Lucknow, the 100-bedded hostel in NCOE (National Centre of Excellence) Bhopal, the multipurpose hall and Girls’ hostel in NCOE Sonepat, as well as the new SAI Training Centre in Guwahati, which has a hostel, multipurpose hall and staff quarters, will be named after local star sportspersons.

Speaking about the decision, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, “To build a sports culture in the country, it is important that our sportspersons get the honour that they deserve, because only then will the younger generations be enthused to take up sport as a career.

The ministry, however, did not give away names of the athletes, who would be honoured after this decision.

“The government is already providing all support to present and even past athletes to ensure that they have a life of comfort and dignity,” Rijiju said.

“Acknowledging their contribution to sports by naming sporting facilities after them is yet another endeavour of the Government to strengthen its commitment to sportspersons.”

Very few of the country’s sports facilities, including venues hosting events and training centres, are named after former sportspersons and this has often led to a debate on whether enough is being done to keep their achievements in public consciousness.



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Sports Ministry decides to name all new, upgraded SAI facilities after sportspersons | More sports News

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NEW DELHI: The Sports Ministry on Sunday said it has decided to name all the upcoming and upgraded facilities of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) after renowned athletes who have brought accolades for the country.
The initiative is meant to honour sporting heroes of the country, the SAI said in a press release.
In the first leg, the newly built air-conditioned wrestling hall and the learners swimming pool in the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in Lucknow, the 100-bedded hostel in NCOE (National Centre of Excellence) Bhopal, the multipurpose hall and Girls’ hostel in NCOE Sonepat, as well as the new SAI Training Centre in Guwahati, which has a hostel, multipurpose hall and staff quarters, will be named after local star sportspersons.
Speaking about the decision, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, “To build a sports culture in the country, it is important that our sportspersons get the honour that they deserve, because only then will the younger generations be enthused to take up sport as a career.

The ministry, however, did not give away names of the athletes, who would be honoured after this decision.
“The government is already providing all support to present and even past athletes to ensure that they have a life of comfort and dignity,” Rijiju said.
“Acknowledging their contribution to sports by naming sporting facilities after them is yet another endeavour of the Government to strengthen its commitment to sportspersons.”
Very few of the country’s sports facilities, including venues hosting events and training centres, are named after former sportspersons and this has often led to a debate on whether enough is being done to keep their achievements in public consciousness.



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Former IOC vice president says UN could rule on Tokyo Games | Tokyo Olympics News

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SYDNEY: Kevan Gosper, a former International Olympic Committee vice president, is suggesting the United Nations might be the place to decide the fate of the postponed Tokyo Olympics.
The Olympics are to open on July 23 but face mounting opposition at home as COVID-19 cases surge in Tokyo, across Japan and across the globe.
Tokyo and other parts of Japan are under emergency orders with about 4,200 deaths in the country attributed to COVID-19.
Gosper, still an honorary IOC member, made the suggestion to Australia’s national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“If you were looking for a third party that recognizes that this has gone beyond being an issue just related to sport, or just related to national interest, by virtue of the global COVID (pandemic) and its impact then their could be a case to go the United Nations and seek their involvement in arbitrating whether the games go ahead or not,” Gosper told the ABC’s ‘The Ticket’ program.
The IOC and local organizers have said the Olympics cannot be postponed again. They will be canceled this time if they can’t be held.
“We’ve done this before in the IOC, we’ve gone to the United Nations to give us assistance,” Gosper said. “Because we are talking about something that potentially is going to involve representatives from 205 countries.”
Gosper did not indicate he had contacted the United Nations, and it’s not clear the body would enter into what is an intense political issue in Japan.
Japan has invested a reported $25 billion to organize the Olympics, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has repeated that the games will take place.
National pride is also at stake, with China set to hold the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, six month after the Summer Games in Tokyo are to close.
The IOC has seen its income flow stalled by the postponement. The Switzerland-based sports body gets 73% of its income from TV rights, and another 18% from sponsors.
Tokyo organizers say they have many ‘countermeasures’ to fight COVID-19 and hold the Olympics, but they have offered no concrete plans. They have promised more details in the northern hemisphere spring.
About 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes will have to enter Japan, along with tens of thousands of officials, judges, VIPs, media and broadcasters.
It is unclear if fans from abroad will be allowed, or if Japan-based fans will be permitted to attend events.
One key date will be March 25 when the torch relay is to start in Japan. It will involve 10,000 runners across the country. Many see this as a deadline for deciding to go forward or to cancel.


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