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Bridge At Asian Games 2023: Indian Men Beat China To Enter Final; Assure Silver

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Indian men’s team showed spectacular skill and unwavering determination to outwit China 2-1 and reach the finals of the bridge competition, assuring the country of at least a silver medal at the Asian Games on Wednesday. Indian men, represented by Jaggy Shivdasani, Sandeep Thakral, Sumit Mukherjee, Rajeshwar Tiwari, Raju Tolani and Ajay Khare, will face Hong Kong in the gold medal match on Friday. India had clinched a bronze medal in Jakarta Games 2018. After a riveting 96-board match that spanned two gruelling days and 15 hours of intense play, India garnered 155.60 points in total, while the host nation settled for 135 points.

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

In the other semifinals, Hong Kong, 153 points, defeated Japan, 118 points.

However, India began the day with a below par effort, conceding the first session to China 16-36.

But the Indian players staged a fine comeback in the second session at noon defeating China 37-24.

In the decisive third and final session in the evening, Indian team upped its game to go past China 35-25 to earn their spot in the summit clash.

The dynamic pair of Rajeshwar, an illustrious IIT alumni holding a leadership position at HCL Technologies, and Sumit, who is from Indian Railways, delivered a flawless execution, while Jaggy and his partner Sandeep also played an outstanding game to contribute to the triumph.

Ajay Khare, a member of the Indian Bridge Team, also showed his mental fortitude as he decided to stay back despite learning the devastating news of his mother’s death on September 30th.

Indian women’s and mixed teams earlier could not reach the semifinals.

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

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“2 Overpaid Guys Playing IPL Final”: Mitchell Starc Reveals Hilarious Chat With Pat Cummins

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After SRH paid Rs 20.5 crore for Pat Cummins, KKR splashed Rs 24.75 crore on Mitchell Starc.© BCCI




Records tumbled during the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction last year as the Rs 20 crore mark was breached not once, but twice. After SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) signed Australia captain Pat Cummins for Rs 20.5 crore, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) broke the record once again, splashing Rs 24.75 crore on Mitchell Starc. The bidding sequence received some mixed response from fans and experts. While some justified the price, there were some who were left wondering about whether the duo deserved such high a bid.

While Starc was pretty expensive during the group stage of IPL 2024, he came when it mattered the most, delivering match-winning performances in Qualifier 1 and the final.

Cummins, on the other hand, thrived on his leadership role at SRH, and was instrumental in taking his team to the final, where the 2016 champions lost to Starc’s KKR.

During a recent interaction, Starc has now admitted that both him and Cummins were a bit overpaid, and also revealed that the two had laugh about it. 

“Did Laugh. Pat & I got paid a fair bit. We played the first game & nine weeks later we play again in finals. Suddenly it goes from 2 overpaid guys to these 2 are playing the final,” Starc said on Willow Talk Cricket Podcast.

Recently, former Australia pacer Brett Lee ignored his compatriots while naming the best bowler across formats currently. He described India’s Jasprit Bumrah as the best bowler in the world.

“He is the best bowler in all formats right now and leads the attack. Bumrah can keep up an amazing pace while shaping the new ball away. His tournament performance demonstrated his leadership abilities, taking about 15 wickets with remarkable economy. He is absolutely exceptional, and India is deserving of praise for their accomplishments,” added the former Aussie pacer.

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PCB Retain Muhammad Yusuf, Asad Shafiq In Revamped Selection Panel

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File image of Muhammad Yusuf© X (Twitter)




The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has retained former players Muhammad Yousuf and Asad Shafiq in the revamped selection committee which will pick the teams for the home Test series against Bangladesh next month. Yousuf and Shafiq were members of the previous selection committee which picked the T20 World Cup squad. The PCB sacked members Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq after the team failed to go beyond the first round in the mega event but surprisingly has retained Yousuf and Shafiq.

Yousuf was also the batting coach of the Pakistan team while Wahab also served as senior team manager on the tours to Ireland, England and in the World Cup.

The new committee will also include the captains and head coaches of the red and white-ball teams. All the members including Yousuf and Shafiq will hold voting rights and have decision-making authority.

In a new development, the board has also nominated assistant team coach Azhar Mahmood and four of its board members/employees as the non-voting members of the committee.

These include the advisor to PCB Chairman Bilal Afzal, Manager of Analytics and Team Strategy Hassan Cheema, Director of High-Performance Nadeem Khan, and Director of International Cricket Usman Wahla.

The restructured committee will be responsible for selecting the squad for the two-Test series against Bangladesh, which is part of the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 cycle.

Bangladesh will face Pakistan in two Tests, with matches scheduled in Rawalpindi from August 21-25 and in Karachi from August 30-September 3.

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

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First-Ever Olympic Esports Games To Take Place In 2025 In Saudi Arabia

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In a historic move, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that the inaugural Olympic Esports Games will take place in Saudi Arabia in 2025. This decision follows the recent proposal by the IOC’s Executive Board and will be presented at the IOC Session ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The IOC has entered a 12-year partnership with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Saudi Arabia to host the Olympic Esports Games. As per the official announcement, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee remarked, “The world is invited to join us in 2025 and celebrate this moment together.”

Indian esports, already on the rise, stands to gain significantly from this development. Following a bronze medal win in DOTA 2 at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and competing in five titles at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, India’s esports scene is on track for further growth.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the groundbreaking development, Akshat Rathee, Co-founder and MD of NODWIN Gaming, said, “NODWIN Gaming is thrilled that esports has earned its place in the Olympics with its own standalone event, akin to the Summer, Winter, and Paralympics. This recognition allows countries to develop independent esports programs. Together with our partners in the GEF and the EWC, NODWIN Gaming is eager to build esports in our core growth markets, seizing this opportunity for hope and glory.”

The IOC launched its first esports pilot, the Olympic Virtual Series, in 2021 followed by the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June 2023. This event brought together over 130 players from around the world, competing in 10 mixed-gender categories, attracting over 500,000 unique participants and six million views, with 75% of the audience aged 13 to 34.

“The IOC’s embrace of the Olympic Esports Games honours the dedication and skill of millions of gamers worldwide. It goes beyond just competition; it elevates esports to a global platform, encouraging international collaboration and potentially ushering in a new generation of athletes. This initiative truly is a landmark moment for esports, bringing it the global recognition it has long earned. The inclusion of esports in the Olympic movement demonstrates its growing influence and cements its place in the future of sports,” commented Roby John, CEO and Co-founder at SuperGaming.

The introduction of the Olympic Esports Games is set to further enhance the credibility of esports in India, establishing it as a viable sport and career option.

“This recognition will further legitimize esports as a career option, more parents will now support their children in pursuing careers in this field, elevating the professional landscape of competitive gaming. We are proud to support the growth of esports in India, giving our players the chance to shine on this prestigious international platform,” further.

With the official announcement of the Olympic Esports Games, work will now begin on selecting the host city and venue, determining the event’s timing, selecting titles, and establishing the qualification process for players. The IOC has emphasized collaboration with International Federations already engaged in e-sports and National Olympic Committees that include esports in their activities.

While the titles for the Olympic Esports Games have not been officially announced, the potential inclusion of games across diverse platforms is expected to stimulate growth in India’s gaming industry. This could lead to a rise in PC and console gaming, diversifying India’s predominantly mobile gaming market as players aim to represent their nation at the largest international multi-sport event.

“We are absolutely elated by the announcement of the Olympic Esports Games which is being hosted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This marks a monumental step for the industry and all its stakeholders. The Indian esports sector is on an upward trajectory and this will further empower it. Esports being integrated under the banner of the pinnacle of sports events in the world will bring further legitimacy to this form of sport and encourage a new generation of esports talent to rise from the country. We’re excited and look forward to extending our support to the esports community of India so they make a mark at the global event!” said Vishal Parekh, COO, CyberPowerPC India.

Additionally, the IOC will establish a dedicated structure for the Olympic Esports Games, distinct from the traditional Olympic Games model, to address the unique aspects of esports financing and organization.

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

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