Latest National and International Sports News Today Transcript at 1:30 PM on 12 February 2024
In cricket, England suffered a setback ahead of the third Test in Rajkot as left-arm Spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the series due to a knee injury. The English Cricket Board said in a statement, “England and Somerset spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the rest of England Men’s Test tour of India with a left knee injury. Leach will work closely with the England and Somerset medical teams in respect of his rehabilitation. England will not be calling up a replacement.” In Leach’s absence, the collective experience of England will be six spinners. England will bank on the young trio of Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir for the rest of the series.
Glenn Maxwell equalled India skipper Rohit Sharma’s record for the most number of centuries in the T20I format with his 120 runs on Sunday, February 11th. West Indies had to chase the total but even with a spirited 63 from captain Rovman Powell, they lost the match by 34 runs. During the mid-innings break, the player said, “It was good fun, that’s for sure. Always good batting here, we saw in the Big Bash how good the wickets were during the tournament. The wicket was nice and true. I have always rely on my hand speed, worked for me today. Give myself the best chance always. My parents are here In Adelaide as well. Nice to play a positive knock.”
After India announced the squad for the remaining of the three-match Test series, Umesh Yadav took to Instagram on Saturday, February 10th, to share a post directed towards him not being picked again despite doing well in the Ranji Trophy. The 36-year-old, who last played a Test match in 2022 has been given a cold shoulder by the selectors. The story said, “If there is dust on the book, it doesn’t mean the story is over.” Umesh Yadav is playing for Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy and has picked 19 wickets in four matches. In-home matches, Umesh Yadav has taken 101 wickets in 32 Test matches at an average of 25.88 with a better record in Indian conditions.
Raj Limbani’s in-swing bowling caught everyone’s attention at the U-19 World Cup on Sunday, February 11th. Limbani cleaned up Sam Konstas through the gate, before pinning Ryan Hicks and Charlie Anderson with nip-backers. In the final, the right-arm quick was India’s best bowler, picking up three for 38, though it wasn’t enough to get the desired result. Most of his 11 wickets in the tournament came courtesy deliveries that came into the batsmen. In a chat with The Indian Express, Limbani’s long-time coach Digvijay Singh Rathwa shared, “His strength has always been the outswinger. Irfan (Pathan) was really impressed with his pace but he wanted him to work on his inswing as well to be more unpredictable.”
In boxing, Nikhat Zareen won against her Bulgarian opponent to reach the final at the 75th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia on Saturday, February 10th, leading the way as five other Indians followed suit. The two-time world champion was taking her time at the start against Zlatislava Chukanova, with the home fans in good voice. They cheered on every punch that Nikhat landed. The opening round was tough, going 3-2 in favour of the Indian. But she grew in confidence and timed her punches to perfection largely in the second and third rounds to emerge with a 5-0. win. The other Indians to reach the finals in their categories were Amit Panghal, Arundhati Choudhary, Barun Singh Shagolshem, Sachin, and Rajat.
In hockey, India scored four goals and won against Spain at the FIH Pro League match on Saturday, February 10th. Harmanpreet Singh, the captain, found his range and scored from two virtually unstoppable shots, one a penalty corner in the 7th minute and a stroke in the 20th. The goalkeepers, Krishan Pathak and PR Sreejesh were brilliant. The penalty corner defence was watertight. Former captain Manpreet Singh was in a defensive role, forming a partnership with Harmanpreet. Jugraj was there to clean up whatever mess his teammates left inside the ‘D’ and the home team had enough bodies at the back to choke them for space. The only goal India conceded came from a penalty stroke following a defensive error.
In football, after Chelsea’s defeat to Wolves, Mauricio Pochettino shed light on the importance of maintaining focus amid distractions. He stressed football’s importance over distractions, likening his calm demeanour to players’ need for focus. Chelsea’s ownership transition from Roman Abramovich to Todd Boehly has brought about further instability, with managerial changes and shifting strategies adding to the club’s woes. While Pochettino was initially seen as a promising appointment due to his track record of developing young talent, the team’s struggles persist, highlighting the enormity of the task ahead. Despite his job security for now, Pochettino faces a significant challenge in reshaping Chelsea’s fortunes. With the team currently struggling to perform as a unit, pochettino’s task is undoubtedly a tough one
Lastly, with the backlash over Lionel Messi not playing for Inter Miami in a match in Hong Kong simmers, an international friendly featuring the Argentina national team in China was cancelled. The Hangzhou Sports Bureau announced on its official social media account that they cancelled the match against Nigeria by stating, “Because of the reasons known to all, we’ve learned from supervising authorities that the conditions are immature for the match to go forward. Now it’s been decided that the match will be cancelled.” A week ago, Messi and owner Beckham were booed mercilessly in Hong Kong when the Argentine did not come off the bench due to an injury in a match against a local side.