387

Historic India-Afghanistan Test From June 14 In Bengaluru

New Delhi: India will host Afghanistan's maiden Test match from June 14 to 18 in Bengaluru, giving a major boost to the war-ravaged country's cricketing profile.

The decision was taken in a meeting of officials from the BCCI and the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said Bengaluru emerged as the best-possible venue for the historic match.

"Bengaluru because at that time of the year, there will be rains almost everywhere and where it will not be raining, there will be such heat that cricket will be practically impossible during day time. Considering all the factors Bengaluru was the finest choice," said Choudhary.

358

Government To Provide Cash Incentives To Grassroots Level Coaches

New Delhi:Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathoresaid the cash incentives will not be restricted to just medal-winning athletes and coaches attached with them as the government has decided to extend the monetary benefits to the grassroots level coaches.

Rathoremade the announcement during the launch of the official anthem and mascot of Khelo India School Games, beginning January 31.

"Now when an athlete wins a medal at Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics, the coach gets incentive. We will be changing that. Now 20 per cent of the total money will also go to the coaches who worked on them at the grass-root level and 30 per cent will be given to the developmental coaches," Rathore said.

320

Hyderabad Hunters Thrash Bengaluru Blasters To Win PBL Title

New Delhi: Hyderabad Hunters have defeated Bengaluru Blasters to become the champions of the third Premier Badminton League at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad.

India's SatwiksairajRankireddy and Indonesia's PiaZebadiahBernadeth put up a dominant display in the last encounter of the clash, the Mixed Doubles, to clinch the title and the winners' prize purse for the Hunters.

Cheered on by a packed house and a vociferous team, they beat Kim Sa Rang (Korea) and N Sikki Reddy (India) 15-11, 15-12. The tall Satwiksairaj unleashed an array of powerful strokes to set up a well-deserved victory for the home side.

284

FafDu Plessis Surprised By Brown Pitch ForIndia Vs South Africa, 2nd Test

New Delhi: South African captain Faf du Plessis has expressed his surprise over brown grass on the pitch that will be used for the second Test against India, starting at SuperSport Park on Saturday.

But there were no surprises for Indian captain ViratKohli. "It looks a really lively pitch," Kohli said at his pre-Test press conference. 

"We expected it and we wanted it to be that way. Both teams are into the contest and will have to play some good cricket."

Kohli made it clear he would welcome another no-holds-barred battle in conditions as tough as they were in Cape Town, where South Africa won the first Test by 72 runs.

256

Centurion will be similar to Newlands if not extreme: Markram

New Delh: South African opener Aiden Markram has said  that the pitch at Supersport Park, although aiding more pace and bounce, will also be good for batsmen. The second Test begins on Saturday with the hosts leading 1-0 in the three-match series.

"Generally, it's a good batting wicket here although I am not sure how they have prepared it this time. But there have been a lot of high scores here. I would like to think it will be a good wicket. I am pretty sure it will be similar to last week (Cape Town), maybe not as extreme," Markram said today.