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Pietersen shines on rain-hit day
Kevin Pietersen hits a boundary during the first day of the second Test between India and England in Mohali on ThursdayMohali, March 9
Weather held a major sway on the proceedings throughout the day as more than one session was lost to it on the first day of the second Test against England at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium here today. Put in to bat first, England were 163 for the loss of four wickets when the day’s play was called off due to bad light.

Kevin Pietersen hits a boundary during the first day of the second Test between India and England in Mohali on Thursday.
— AFP photo

Security breach at PCA Stadium
Mohali, March 9
Despite the tight security arrangements made at the PCA Stadium here two unidentified persons managed to sneak into the corridor near the England dressing room today.

Bonanza for BCCI, players
Mohali, March 9
Imagine a Ranji Trophy player getting nearly Rs 40 lakh as annual fee or an Indian international cricketer getting a salary comparable with an NBA star or a top golf pro. All this is part of the grandiose plan unveiled by Mr I. S. Bindra and Mr Lalit Modi at the PCA Stadium here today.

We will fight stay order: Modi
Mohali, March 9
Not reading too much into the stay granted to the
charge-sheet issued by the BCCI to the former board president Jagmohan Dalmiya, Mr I S Bindra and Mr Lalit Modi did not rule out the possibility of a fresh petition against him.

Manhas, Sodhi help North annex
Deodhar Trophy

Jaipur, March 9
North Zone annexed the Deodhar Trophy title after twin tons by skipper Mithun Manhas and Reetinder Singh Sodhi propelled them to a 52-run win against East in their final league assignment here today.





Eleni Daniilidou of Greece returns the ball to Maria Elena Camerin of Italy during the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, on Wednesday
Eleni Daniilidou of Greece returns the ball to Maria Elena Camerin of Italy during the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, on Wednesday. — AFP

EARLIER STORIES

 

Indian eves beat Kiwis
New Delhi, March 9
Former skipper Anjum Chopra hit a superb half century as India pulled-off a three-wicket win to dash New Zealand’s hopes of clinching the five-match series in the third one-day international cricket match at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln today.

Windies stumble after Styris ton
Auckland, March 9
New Zealand showed the effects of an enforced diet of limited-overs cricket as it made 275 today behind a Scott Styris century on the first day of the first Test against the West Indies.

Tharanga’s ton lifts Lanka
Bogra (Bangladesh), March 9
Opener Upul Tharanga struck his maiden Test century as Sri Lanka reached 302 for eight at the close of play on the second day of the second and final Test against Bangladesh today.

Aishwarya RaiAishwarya to perform ballet at Melbourne
New Delhi, March 9
“Dilli Chalo” will be the leitmotif of the 15-minute cultural extravaganza, which will have dollops of colour and glamour with film diva Aishwarya Rai performing a ballet, at the closing ceremony of the 18th Commonwealth Games to be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 26. The focus at the closing ceremony will be on Delhi, which will be hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Tragedy strikes Ambassadors’ Cup
Patiala, March 9
It turned out to be a grim day for the organisers of the 55th Federation International Polo Ambassadors’ Cup polo tourney when a horse of the Presidential Bodyguards died following a heart attack even as the third contest of the inaugural day was underway at the Patiala Polo and Riding Club here today.

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Pietersen shines on rain-hit day
Gopal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 9
Weather held a major sway on the proceedings throughout the day as more than one session was lost to it on the first day of the second Test against England at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium here today. Put in to bat first, England were 163 for the loss of four wickets when the day’s play was called off due to bad light.

Match started 45 minutes late on account of light drizzle in the morning. A thick cover of clouds gathered overhead as the play had to be stopped much before the tea break. The play resumed at 3.30 pm only to stop again before the scheduled time.

Middle order batsman Kevin Pietersen played an impressive innings scoring 64 runs to save England from a possible difficult situation.

England did not make a confident start to the innings. As is his wont, swing bowler Irfan Pathan once against provided India with initial breakthroughs, but absence of an experienced seamer on the other end allowed England off the hook.

Debutant Munaf Patel was understandably tentative in the first spell but came out stronger in the second spell to claim the prized scalp of hard-hitting Kevin Pietersen.

England made a sedate start. Andrew Strauss looked like getting into his groove, but he was guilty of chasing a rank widish delivery of Pathan. Mahinder Singh Dhoni showed remarkable agility behind the stumps and caught the ball inches above the ground diving to his left to signal the end of Strauss.

Pathan struck again immediately thereafter to trap the last match’s centurion and left-handed opener Alastair Cook leg before plumb in front off a delivery which moved a shade out. With 36 for two, India could have made further inroads into the innings, but were thwarted by the lack of experience at the other end.

Pietersen and Bell batted cautiously to add 81 runs for the third wicket stand, before Kumble, four wickets short of reaching the 500-wicket mark, deceived the latter with a delivery that came in and disturbed the stumps. Bell scored 38, hitting six fours.

Patel, who made his Test debut in place of indisposed S. Sreesanth, bowled an ordinary first spell. When summoned later, he looked like coming into his own and generated some pace. Paul Collingwood just about survived a searing yorker from Patel which read 144.7 on the speed gun.

Lanky speedster struck in the next over, evicting dangerous Pietersen making him play and accepting a return catch. As long as he was on the crease, Pietersen looked assured an composed. He hit 10 fours and a huge six in his 108-ball knock.

As the light started to deteriorate the play was topped in the same over and the day’s play ended soon thereafter.

Earlier, the axe fell on hapless Mohammad Kaif, who scored 91 in the first Test at Nagpur as the team management decided to strengthen bowling, giving 17-year-old leg-spinner Piyush Chawla his first Test cap. Chawla got to bowl just five over in the day conceding 20 runs.

But a bad news for cricket lovers as the Meteorological Department has predicted more rain tomorrow.

Scoreboard

England (Ist innings)

Strauss c Dhoni b Pathan 18

Cook lbw Pathan 17

Bell b Kumble 38

Pietersen c and b Patel 64

Collingwood not out 19

Flintoff not out 4

Extras (lb-1, nb-2) 3

Total (4 wkts, 50.3 overs) 163

Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-36, 3- 117, 4-157.

Bowling: Pathan 12-2-42-2, Patel 11.3-1-44-1, Harbhajan 6-0-15-0, Chawla 5-1-20-0, Kumble 12-3-29-1.

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Security breach at PCA Stadium
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 9
Despite the tight security arrangements made at the PCA Stadium here two unidentified persons managed to sneak into the corridor near the England dressing room today. Access to the pavilion area, which is a high-security zone, is barred except for the players and a handful of selected officials. So it was surprising that the trespassers managed to reach the dressing room with a movie camera.

However, they could not enter the dressing room as they were intercepted by security persons. In the meantime PCA officials reached the spot.

After making some enquiries the authorities allowed the two to go but their camera was confiscated.

About the incident, Mr M. P. Pandove, Joint Secretary, BCCI and Honorary Secretary, PCA, said, “The persons claimed to be the mediapersons. After checking their credentials we allowed them to go after seizing their camera. The same will be returned only if we found nothing incriminating in the film.”

However, later he admitted that it was serious breach of security.

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Bonanza for BCCI, players
Gopal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 9
Imagine a Ranji Trophy player getting nearly Rs 40 lakh as annual fee or an Indian international cricketer getting a salary comparable with an NBA star or a top golf pro. All this is part of the grandiose plan unveiled by Mr I. S. Bindra and Mr Lalit Modi at the PCA Stadium here today.

The duo announced an ambitious plan concerning well-organised marketing rights of the Indian cricket with the aim of generating whopping 
revenue.

Mr Modi claimed that properties of the BCCI will be worth Rs 1500 crore by the end of the next year. “With cricketers getting huge money the stakes will be too high. Hence, the selection process will be made foolproof,” he announced.

“Twentysix per cent of the total revenue generated will be given to players, while a big chunk of it will go into developing infrastructure. We will ensure that the selectors also get the similar amount as is the case in a country like Australia," Mr Modi said.

The plan as announced earlier regarding the setting up of the TV channel was “not dead”, while the web portal will be operational in the next three or four weeks.

Also on the anvil is a novel five-year plan envisaging international matches between India and Pakistan at various venues outside India. The venues will be chosen keeping in view concentration of Indians in places like Toronto, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia and Sharjah.

Elaborating on the web portal, Mr Modi revealed that the portal would be operational, maybe, by the end of the one-day series against England. The portal will have comprehensive information regarding state associations, players’ stats, records of all games played in the past and “live scoreboards”. The “live scoreboard” will enable one to see the replay, the shot played or a wicket taken. All aspects of the game, including highlights, will be available on the website.

“Mobile companies are circulating information regarding Test matches and ODIs through SMS. If they are charging for the service, we should get our share,” said Mr Modi.

Regarding the proposed matches to be played between India and Pakistan, Mr Modi revealed that first edition of matches will be played at Abu Dhabi. “Government approval as been received.”

Asked who will be the organising authority, Mr Modi said the matches will be organised jointly by the BCCI and the PCB, while association of the staging country will also be there to provide whatever help needed. Scheduling of India A team will be better organised.

An infrastructure development committee headed by Mr Bindra has been constituted. It will strive to provide international-level cricketing facilities right up to the school level.

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We will fight stay order: Modi
Gopal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 9
Not reading too much into the stay granted to the charge-sheet issued by the BCCI to the former board president Jagmohan Dalmiya, Mr I S Bindra and Mr Lalit Modi did not rule out the possibility of a fresh petition against him.

In a scathing attack launched on Mr Dalmiya, Mr Modi said, “The chargesheet served was a very comprehensive document. The charges still stand. We will fight the stay order.” “There are a lot of grey areas (referring to the time when Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya was at the helm),” he asked.

“A sum of Rs 52 lakh was paid to someone for just writing a book on the history of Indian cricket. A sum of Rs 26 lakh was spent on entertainment in Holland when the Indian team played just three matches there in 2004 while a staggering sum of Rs 1.5 crore was paid for whitewash of the Eden Gardens," he disclosed.

Mr Modi dismissed any wrongdoing in the deal regarding the sale of telecast rights to Nimbus.

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Manhas, Sodhi help North annex Deodhar Trophy

Jaipur, March 9
North Zone annexed the Deodhar Trophy title after twin tons by skipper Mithun Manhas and Reetinder Singh Sodhi propelled them to a 52-run win against East in their final league assignment here today.

North’s triumph was made possible after West Zone, table-topper before today’s match, lost their match to South in another tie in Udaipur.

West Zone went into today’s match with 12 points while North had nine but after the match, North has 13, thus just about managing to pip West to the title.

Chasing a victory target of 285, East were 146 for six in 30.4 overs when drizzle forced the umpires to halt the play. They did wait for some times to improve the conditions before eventually applying the domestic VJD method and declared North Zone winners.

The highlight of the East Zone innings was an unbeaten 77 off 95 balls by Abhishek Jhunjhunwala while Jaipur proved to be unlucky for former India skipper Sourav Ganguly who failed with the bat again as he was out for a duck by Joginder Sharma and did not bowl in the match.

Medium pacer VRV Singh, who has been dropped from the Indian team for the ongoing second Test against England, bowled extremely well as he dismissed three East Zone batsmen for only 36. He first bowled opener Subhomoy Das for 17, then got Manoj Tiwari (6) caught behind before removing Rajiv Kumar (1).

While VRV Singh claimed three, Joginder Sharma, R S Sodhi and Amit Mishra claimed one wicket each.

Earlier, centuries by Manhas (105) and Sodhi (108 not out off 109 balls) helped North Zone pile up 284 for three in the reduced 49-overs-a-side match.

Manhas, who had scored a century against South Zone at Udaipur only two days back, displayed brilliant form today also he put on 155 off 179 balls for the third wicket with Sodhi who played almost a run-a-ball knock that included eight fours and three sixes.

The partnership was eventually broken by Ranadeb Bose who bowled Manhas for 105. The batsman faced 128 balls and hit eleven fours during his knock.

Despite losing opener Shikhar Dhawan (5) early, North never looked in trouble as Gautam Gambhir (39 off 29 balls) played a breezy knock that included six fours and a six before being castled by Shiv Shankar Paul.

Pankaj Dharmani (21) remained not out with Sodhi. — UNI

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Indian eves beat Kiwis

New Delhi, March 9
Former skipper Anjum Chopra hit a superb half century as India pulled-off a three-wicket win to dash New Zealand’s hopes of clinching the five-match series in the third one-day international cricket match at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln today.

After Chopra scored 60 off 97 balls, aided with six boundaries, Reema Malhotra and Jhulan Goswami kept the scoreboard ticking with their crucial 65-run stand to help the Indian eves chase a modest victory target of 185 for loss of seven wickets in 48.2 overs.

The Indians stuttered in the beginning losing both their openers for ducks. Chopra held on while wickets fell at regular intervals as the board read 115 for 6 at one stage.

When India were looking at their third defeat in a row, Malhotra (36 not out) and Goswami (25) took on the home side with their sixth wicket stand and sealed the game with 10 balls to spare.

Earlier, the New Zealanders also had a disastrous start to their innings after they won the toss and elected to bat but Emily Drumm stayed on to pile up an unbeaten 94 of 147 balls guiding the hosts to 184 for six in 50 overs.

After the home side was reduced to 13 for five, thanks to new-ball bowlers Goswami and Rumeli Dhar, Drumm partnered Nicola Browne (51). The duo put together 107 for 6 to pile a respectable total for the hosts. — PTI

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Windies stumble after Styris ton

Auckland, March 9
New Zealand showed the effects of an enforced diet of limited-overs cricket as it made 275 today behind a Scott Styris century on the first day of the first Test against the West Indies.

The West Indies were 51 for three in reply at stumps, losing two wickets to Styris’ gentle medium pace in the second-to-last over of the day at Eden Park.

New Zealand’s last 22 matches have been one-dayers and its batsmen, apart from Styris who batted three hours, 12 minutes for an unbeaten 103, struggled to shrug off one-day habits as they were sent in after the West Indies won the toss.

Even Nathan Astle, who made 51 to rally New Zealand which had been 70 for 4 at lunch, did so from 53 balls, with 10 fours and at a rollicking, one-day pace.

A middle-order anchor role such as Styris’, supported by a half century such as Astle's would usually have produced a larger total, but the West Indies were able to take wickets regularly in warm, overcast conditions.

Scoreboard

New Zealand (1st innings)

Marshall c Edwards b Taylor 11

How run out 11

Fulton c Ganga b Bradshaw 17

Fleming c Ramdin b Bradshaw 14

Astle c Ramdin b Smith 51

Styris not out 103

McCullum b Smith 19

Vettori c Gayle b Smith 6

Franklin c sub b Gayle 14

Bond b Gayle 3

Martin c Ramdin b Bradshaw 0

Extras (b-4, lb-2, nb-12, w-8) 26

Total (all out, 69.1 overs) 275

Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-31, 3-54, 4-69, 5-140, 6-170, 7-199, 8-240, 9-261, 10-275.

Bowling: Edwards 15-1-76-0, Bradshaw 23.1- 3 - 73-3, Taylor 8-2-39-1, Smith 18-2-71-3, Gayle 5-0-10-2.

West Indies (1st innings)

Gayle c McCullum b Styris 25

Ganga c How b Martin 20

Bradshaw c How b Styris 0

Sarwan not out 3

Lara not out 0

Extras (lb-1 nb-2) 3

Total (3 wkts, 17 overs) 51

Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-48, 3-49.

Bowling: Bond 6-1-17-0, Franklin 6-2-21-0, Martin 3-0-10-1, Styris 2-1-2-2. — AP

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Tharanga’s ton lifts Lanka

Upul Tharanga celebrates after scoring a ton during the second day of the second Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Bogra on Thursday
Upul Tharanga celebrates after scoring a ton during the second day of the second Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Bogra on Thursday. — AFP photo

Bogra (Bangladesh), March 9
Opener Upul Tharanga struck his maiden Test century as Sri Lanka reached 302 for eight at the close of play on the second day of the second and final Test against Bangladesh today.

Tharanga was unbeaten on 160 with Lasith Malinga 12 not out as Sri Lanka took a lead of 68 runs after the hosts had notched 234 in their first innings.

Tharanga hit two sixes and 19 fours from 297 deliveries. The opener helped spark a recovery after Sri Lanka, who resumed on 25 for 2, were reduced to 43 for four after two quick wickets in the opening session from Shahadat Hossein.

Tharanga, who needed 178 balls to reach three figures, then added 124 for the fifth wicket with skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who fell to Mohammad Ashraful one run short of his half-century.

The opener compiled 65 with Tillakaratne Dilshan (33), who was bowled by Rafique before Enamul Haque claimed two quick wickets late in the day to give Bangladesh a lift before stumps.

Scoreboard

Bangladesh (1st Innings) 234

Sri Lanka (1st Innings)

Vandort lbw Rasel 0

Tharanga not out 160

Bandara c Iqbal b Hossain 2

Samaraweera c Mashud b Hossain 20

Sangakkara lbw Hossain 0

Jayawardene c Rahim b Ashraful 49

Dilshan b Rafique 33

Maharoof c Mashud b Haque 7

Fernando lbw Haque 5

Malinga not out 12

Extras (b-5, lb-3, nb-4, w-2) 14

Total (8 wkts, 101 overs) 302

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-13, 3-43, 4-43, 5-167, 6-232, 7-251, 8-263.

Bowling: Rasel 19-8-42-1, Hossain 20-2-81-3, Rafique 32-9-84-1, Haque 26-3-71-2, Ashraful 4-1-16-1. — AP

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Aishwarya to perform ballet at Melbourne
M.S. Unnikrishnan

Shera, which is the mascot of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.New Delhi, March 9
“Dilli Chalo” will be the leitmotif of the 15-minute cultural extravaganza, which will have dollops of colour and glamour with film diva Aishwarya Rai performing a ballet, at the closing ceremony of the 18th Commonwealth Games to be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 26. The focus at the closing ceremony will be on Delhi, which will be hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“The Delhi 2010 cultural segment will be a celebration of India receiving the Commonwealth Games Federation flag in Melbourne,” said Indian Olympic Association president and chairman of the 2010 Games Organising Committee Suresh Kalmadi here today. He said over 1,000 artistes, drawn from all over India, will perform at Melbourne. Aishwarya Rai will lead the star cast, which will include Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Rani Mukherjee and Saif Ali Khan, and former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev.

Kalmadi said the cultural fiesta would begin with the “India showcase”, a short audio visual, which capsules the essence of “Incredible India”. Director Ken Ghosh and Ranjit Barot will make India sing a different tune at Melbourne.

The cultural show’s piece de resistance will be the ballet performance by Aishwarya. The cultural programme will be a fine blend of the traditional and the modern to showcase the interesting paradox of the “young and vibrant India”.

Isha Sharwani will display the nuances and science of yoga, Sukhwinder Singh and Gayatri wll sing to evoke “Delhi Dhamaal”, a bhangra performance set to tune by Vishal Shekhar to the lyrics of Javed Akhtar, and performed among others by Rani Mukherjee and Saif Ali Khan. “The Bhangra will represent the vibrancy, warmth and colour of Delhi,” added Kalmadi.

A short film titled “Welcome to Delhi 2010”, which captures the spirit of the people of Delhi, will also be shown. And then “Shera”, the friendly tiger, which is the mascot of the 2010 Games, will be ushered into the stadium on a float resembling a traditional Indian chariot, to give a glimpse of the things to unfold in Delhi. The tiger depicts the “qualities of courage, strength, peace and friendship”, and Shera’s grand entry in a procession will be heightened by the percussion performance of maestros Taufiq Qureshi and Sivamani.

Kalmadi said the celebrations will reach a crescendo with a performance by Shaimak Davar’s team, and the singing of the “theme-song of Delhi”, a fast-paced peppy track, written by Gulzar, composed by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy and sung by Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Davar, Shreya Ghoshal and Blaaze.

The cultural fiesta will unfold the colour, character and diversity of India, and what to expect when sportspersons and tourists from 71 countries of the Commonwealth assemble in Delhi for the 2010 Games. The parting message of the eye-catching spectacle would be: ‘See you in Delhi and see the difference’.

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Tragedy strikes Ambassadors’ Cup
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, March 9
It turned out to be a grim day for the organisers of the 55th Federation International Polo Ambassadors’ Cup polo tourney when a horse of the Presidential Bodyguards died following a heart attack even as the third contest of the inaugural day was underway at the Patiala Polo and Riding Club (PPRC) here today.

The match between South Delhi and President’s Bodyguards was being played on a cloudy day and towards the end of the fourth chukker of the evenly contested match a horse of the Bodyguard’s staggered to a halt with the horseman — an Australian ambassador — suddenly jumping off the animal.

Despite repeated requests from the announcer, the horse ambulance of the Army failed to reach the spot. A team of doctors finally made their way towards the beast which lay writhing in pain. However, they failed to resuscitate the horse. The match restarted with the South Delhi team being awarded a ‘undefended penalty’. Intriguingly, the ambulance arrived to ‘resuscitate’ the horse after the announcer had officially proclaimed it dead over the public address system.

However, the Deputy Commissioner, who is also the ex-officio Secretary of the PPRC, said the horse had died instantly and even if the ambulance had arrived it would not have survived.

Meanwhile, rain played spoilsport with the day’s proceedings forcing the locals to stay away from the venue. Capt Amarinder Singh watched all the matches played during the day.

For the record, 61st Cavalry swamped Indian Navy 10 - 1.1/5, Cavalry (Royal gems and arts) downed Royal Kashmir 7- 4.5 while the South Delhi versus the President's Bodyguards (RVC) match ended in a 5-5 tie and the contest will be decided through a penalty shootout tomorrow.

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Nayeemuddin, Banerjee sacked

New Delhi, March 9
Unhappy over India’s dismal performance in the first two qualifying matches of the Asian Cup Football Tournament, the AIFF today sacked the national team’s coach Syed Nayeemuddin, manager P.K. Banerjee, assistant coach Gabriel Joseph and goalkeeping coach Atanu Bhattacharya.

The federation will approach FIFA and Asian Football Confederation for a suitable foreign coach as replacement. — PTI

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Ambala girl for Asian championship

Ambala, March 9
Rama Saini, a student of MDSD Girls College, Ambala City, has been selected for the Asian Power Lifting Championship. College Principal Kiran Angra said Rama would be participating in the championship in Korea from May 1 to 5. — TNS

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 BRIEFLY


Haq, Dravid invited
Lahore:
Inzamam-ul-Haq and Rahul Dravid have been invited by the United Nations to rub shoulders with a galaxy of top sportsmen of the world at a special event to showcase promotion of sports for development and peace. The two captains have been invited for the April 3 event, to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York under the auspices of UN Office of Sport for Development and Peace, in recognition of the role played by cricket teams of the two countries in easing tensions in the subcontinent. — UNI

Broadcast rights
New Delhi:
After missing out on the first Test, All-India Radio (AIR) on Thursday clinched the broadcast rights for the rest of the India-England cricket series. The second Test underway at Mohali will be available at 65 mw and four FM Gold Channels of AIR on Friday. — PTI

Indian eves pound Bangladesh 10-0
New Delhi:
A draw would have been enough to book a berth for the main round of the AFC Under-19 Football Championship but Bala Devi and Lal Varmoi shared seven goals between them as India pounded a hapless Bangladesh 10-0 in the qualifier here on Thursday. India thus sailed into the final round of the tournament scheduled to be played in Malaysia in April. — UNI

Adampur in final
Jalandhar:
Adampur area and Bathinda area entered into the final of the Western Air Command Inter-area Badminton Championship on Thursday being played at Air Force Station, Adampur. Adampur thrashed Halwara in singles by 15-2, 15-1 and in doubles by 15-8, 7-15 and 15-11. In another semifinal, Bathinda beat Kasauli in singles by 15-5, 15-0 and in doubles by 15-5 and 15-6. — PTI
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