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Cricketer Sandeep Warrier ‘Extremely Happy’ To Bask In Roller-Skater Wife Aarathy’s Asian Games Glory

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Sandeep Warrier has seen better half Aarathy Kasturi Raj’s struggles over the years and as her biggest strength and pillar of support, couldn’t be more proud seeing the acclaimed roller skating ace win her first Asian Games medal, a team bronze in 3000m relay in Hangzhou. Warrier, a nippy fast medium bowler, who plays for Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket, has played IPL and also luckily got to play a T20 International during the COVID-19 hit tour of Sri Lanka in 2021, where he had gone as a net bowler.

(Asian Games 2023 Medals Tally | Asian Games 2023 Full Schedule)

“I’m extremely proud of her. I’m really happy that she finally made it. I’ve seen her struggle in the last six-seven years but she has not given up and kept at it,” Warrier told PTI from Chennai.

The 29-year-old Aarathy, who took up roller-skating at a five, won her first Asian Games medal in second appearance. This was India’s first-ever medal in the speed- skating discipline.

Roller sports made its debut in the Asian Games in 2010 when Anup Kumar Yama bagged bronze in men’s single free skating event before combining with Avani Panchal to finish third in the pairs skating event.

Also a doctor by profession, Aarathy, who is now pursuing PG in clinical embryology, could have given up roller-skating after a disappointing seventh place finish at Asian Games 2018.

The uncertainty over the Asian Games that was delayed by a year because of the pandemic also had upset plans of many. And, Aarathy also endured a difficult time sustaining multiple cuts and bruises on her head in the sport which is very prone to injuries.

But she kept at it in pursuit of an Asian Games medal.

“I know the effort she has put in the last couple of years. I’ve seen it in in front of my own eyes, how she was dedicated and kept the whole focus was on this medal. I don’t remember when she last took a break in two-three years’,” Sandeep added.

“I’ve not seen her complain about anything. After the Games is delayed, most lose focus and intensity. But I’ve not seen that happen with her. There has been no drop in intensity and she would train for more than seven hours everyday “She was behind this Asian Games all this while. I was thinking she would win in the individual as well for the effort she has put in the last two years,” he said.

On Saturday, Aarathy finished fifth in the women’s speed skating 10000m point-elimination race which was an improvement of two places on her last Asian Games effort in 2018.

Daughter of a Chennai-based businessman father C Kasturi Raj and gynaecologist mother Mala Raj, Aarathy took to skating at the age of seven as her parents were keen that she takes up some form of sport.

“It just happened for her. Her parents were adamant that she should join some sport and she tried out swimming, badminton and tennis but skating was something that clicked for her. I guess the speed of skating just thrills her,” said the pacer.

But the medium-pacer said if the “love for speed” was not the common connect and it clicked for them instantly after they first met during a function in 2016.

Their story is that of a “skater-got-bowled’ — the name of their Instagram page — after they “clicked” instantly when Warrier, a Ranji Trophy cricketer then, went for an event in a college in Chennai.

“I met her in 2016 when I was there for an event in her college. She was the sports head of that college. That’s how I met her,” Warrier who got married to Aarathy in 2019, fondly recollects.

“It just happened for us. I was just lucky enough to meet her that day. The time we spent together then just clicked for us,” Warrier, who made his IPL debut in 2019 season for KKR, added.

“She’s very hardworking. It was quite hectic for her but she had the passion. She will train in morning, go to her college and then again go for training. Skating has been pure passion for her. She loves to skate which has kept her going I would say,” he said.

“I know what she has gone through in the last few years. More than struggle, I would say the dedication she has put in past one and half years made it for her.” “We don’t talk about each other’s sports. Basically we talk a lot about training and our diets, but not about each other’s sport.” Even for couples who pursue professional sports, it becomes important to give each other space as and when needed.

“We give each other space. She likes to be in her own space with her skating and I also like to be in my own space in cricket. She started following cricket recently, but not very much into cricket. But I follow her races a lot and accompany her to all National events,” he added.

The Kerala cricketer, who is now employed with India Cements, has also moved his base to Chennai and joined Tamil Nadu four seasons ago.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Ishan Kishan chose not to play in the Test series against South Africa due to “mental fatigue” and constant traveling.

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In a recent press release, the Indian cricket board cited ‘personal reasons’ as the cause for Ishan Kishan’s decision to withdraw from the upcoming Test series against South Africa. Despite being a constant companion with the Indian team, Kishan found himself on the field only when regular players were unavailable. The constant travel and uncertainty surrounding his playing opportunities led to ‘mental fatigue,’ prompting the wicketkeeper-batsman to take a break from the Test series starting next Tuesday.

Sources from The Indian Express reveal that Kishan had approached the Indian team management during their South Africa tour last week, expressing the need for a break after a year of non-stop travel. The team management discussed his request with the selectors, who agreed to Kishan’s decision.

“He communicated to the team management about experiencing mental fatigue and expressed the desire for a cricket break. Everyone concurred,” confirmed a source to this paper.

In an earlier press release, the Indian board had cited ‘personal reasons’ for Kishan’s withdrawal from the upcoming Test series.

“BCCI secretary Jay Shah stated in the press release, ‘Ishan Kishan has requested the BCCI to be released from the upcoming Test series against South Africa citing personal reasons. The wicketkeeper has subsequently been withdrawn from the Test squad, and KS Bharat has been named as a replacement.'”

Kishan had been a part of every Indian squad since January 3, 2023, constantly on the road without substantial playing time. Despite playing the initial games in the 50-over World Cup and the T20I series against Australia, Kishan found himself on the sidelines during the South Africa tour, with the team management preferring Jitesh Sharma over him.

The hectic cricketing calendar, starting with the Sri Lanka series in January, followed by the home series against Australia, the IPL season with Mumbai Indians, and subsequent tours to England and the West Indies, contributed to Kishan’s decision to take a break. His involvement in the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and a three-ODI series at home against Australia before the World Cup added to his exhaustive schedule.

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Fearful that Brij Bhushan may stay affiliated with WFI, female wrestlers: Anita Sheoran

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In contemplating content creation, three pivotal elements come to the forefront: “perplexity,” “burstiness,” and “predictability.” Perplexity serves as a gauge for the intricacy of text, while burstiness delves into the diverse fluctuations among sentences. Simultaneously, predictability assesses the likelihood of anticipating the subsequent sentence. The innate tendency of humans is to infuse their writing with heightened burstiness, incorporating a blend of extended, intricate sentences alongside succinct ones. Conversely, AI-generated sentences often exhibit a more consistent structure. Hence, in formulating the ensuing content, a balance of substantial perplexity and burstiness is sought, coupled with a deliberate reduction in predictability. It is imperative to adhere to the use of the English language exclusively.

Now, let’s reimagine the provided text:

Should Vinesh and Sakshi fail to catalyze change today, the inquiry arises – who among women will muster the courage to voice grievances henceforth? Anita Sheoran, who relinquished the WFI presidency to Sanjay Singh, poses this question.

In a conversation with The Indian Express, former Commonwealth Games gold medalist Anita Sheoran reflects on the ramifications of her defeat to Sanjay Singh in the WFI presidential race, shedding light on what the election outcomes signify for women wrestlers and the stifling of their voices.

You contested in the WFI elections. Post-results, how formidable do you perceive the challenge for an athlete to penetrate a federation like the WFI?

Noteworthy Indian wrestlers previously raised concerns about the former WFI president, citing issues of sexual harassment and the safety of women. Yet, even for these prominent athletes, victory seems elusive. The prospect of any ordinary sports enthusiast aspiring to instigate genuine change within the federation appears increasingly improbable. Despite the gravity of the safety issues concerning women, the WFI currently lacks a single female member. Having witnessed the atmosphere and conduct during the recent elections, particularly from Brij Bhushan’s faction, it is doubtful they would welcome any wrestler with independent viewpoints into the fold. Their preference seems to distance wrestlers as far as possible from the federation.

Each time I view Sakshi’s video, a sense of melancholy pervades. Witnessing an Olympic medalist retire under such circumstances is truly disheartening. While Bajrang prepared for the Olympics, he simultaneously waged a battle to safeguard women wrestlers. The same holds for Vinesh Phogat. They bravely advocated for women’s voices, yet what awaits them today? Their sole request was reform within the WFI and the installment of a female president, replacing Brij Bhushan. Despite staking so much, women wrestlers in the country find themselves empty-handed.

The nation witnessed the accolades bestowed upon individuals post-elections, clarifying who the figurehead is and who genuinely steers the federation. The WFI remains unaltered, devoid of any transformative initiatives. Who will be the harbinger of change? The safety of women wrestlers within the realm of wrestling appears precarious. Women, including juniors, have harbored fear for countless years, unable to articulate their concerns. Now, the voices of women wrestlers face renewed suppression. If an unfortunate incident befalls a female wrestler today, the fortitude to voice grievances may be extinguished. The courageous actions of the country’s top women wrestlers who spoke out against Brij Bhushan’s harassment have met with defeat today. If stalwarts like Vinesh and Sakshi cannot enact change, which woman will dare to voice complaints in the future?

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India vs. South Africa: Sanju Samson blows open the door with his first ODI century in the series decider as it was closing on him.

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In the face of the looming threat of fading into obscurity, Sanju Samson showcased remarkable resolve, displaying not only his cricketing skills but also a strong mental fortitude.

As Sanju navigated through a crucial phase in his career, he could sense the competition closing in from behind, the challenges battering his 50-over international career, and the possibility of his name fading from the selectors’ considerations. Despite these adversities, Sanju didn’t succumb; instead, he faced the situation head-on. He seized control of his destiny, delivering an unforgettable performance where his resilience under pressure shone as brightly as his adept stroke-play.

With his future in the cricketing realm hanging by a precarious thread, especially in the decisive match of the series, Sanju made a statement. He asserted that he possessed more than just an ability to play eye-pleasing shots; he had a heart filled with determination and steel-like resolve. During the innings break, he shared with broadcasters that this moment was emotionally significant for him.

Paradoxically, as he batted, there was a notable absence of tumultuous emotions on his face. Sanju played without the burden of pressure or baggage. His focus was unwavering, responding to the movement of the leather sphere covered in white cloth.

His eyes remained cold, his expression stern and serious. Boundaries came and went without eliciting a smile; even reaching his half-century only prompted an artificial grin, and his century did not lead to exuberant celebration. Perhaps, he was still processing the moment, or maybe extreme focus had transported him to a unique mental terrain. Regardless of the twists and turns in his career, that Thursday afternoon at Boland Park would forever bring a content smile to his face—a dream realized, though the setting was far from his hometown of Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram.

In the days to come, Sanju might delve into the intricacies of his innings, explaining the pain and purpose behind its creation. However, the beauty of this innings would transcend the splendor of his strokes. Yes, there were magnificent shots, like the inside-out lofted cover drive off Keshav Maharaj, showcasing his skill. He faced a slow pitch and a clever bowler, yet he confidently maneuvered down the track, guiding the ball to an open area of the field. There were pulled fours and a powerful six off Nandre Burger.

Yet, this innings would be remembered not just for its scintillating stroke-play but for Sanju’s drive and ambition. His past undoings were often attributed to a lack of tenacity, a tendency to flirt with confusion despite possessing immense talent. At Boland Park, nestled between the Groot-Berg River and the Paarl Mountain, Sanju realized that dealing with fire required ice. The most striking feature of his innings was the clarity of his mind, the absence of confusion, and his situational awareness, demonstrating timely responses. It seemed as if Sanju was running away from his own shadow.

During his 167-minute stay, he made hardly a wrong move. There were no edges, no strokes born out of frustration. Yet, the lurking threat of implosion seemed ever-present. The start was brisk, and when he push-drove Beuran Hendricks for his third boundary, he reached 26 off 33 balls—a steady pace following the openers’ brisk start of 35 runs in five overs.

However, the real challenge awaited. The ball lost its shine, the pitch slowed down, and batting became an arduous task. KL Rahul struggled for 21 off 35 balls, and Tilak Varma managed only seven runs from his first 30 balls. The run rate plummeted, and dot balls accumulated like shoppers in Chandni Chowk on Diwali eve.

Yet, Sanju persevered. Moving from 38 to 64 (26 runs), he consumed 44 balls, hitting just one four during this period. The pitch was so sluggish that even part-time off-spinner Aiden Markram was approached cautiously.

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