'Utter nonsense': Vaughan slams Boris Johnson for not resuming recreational cricket

News Network
June 24, 2020

New Delhi, Jun 24: Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has slammed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for not allowing recreational cricket to resume.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had described the cricket ball as a 'natural vector of disease' and ruled out recreational cricket's return in the country.

Hearing Johnson's argument, Vaughan tweeted: "Hand sanitiser in every players pocket. Use every time you touch the ball ... SIMPLE ... Recreational Cricket should just play from July 4th ... utter nonsense it's not being allowed back ... #Cricket."

Johnson was responding to a question from Conservative MP Greg Clark in the House of Commons, and it was then that Johnson said that it is too soon to lift current restrictions to allow the return of recreational cricket.

"The problem with cricket as everybody understands is that the ball is a natural vector of disease, potentially at any rate. We've been around it many times with our scientific friends," ESPNCricinfo had quoted Johnson as saying.

"At the moment, we're still working on ways to make cricket more COVID-secure but we can't change the guidance yet," he added.

Johnson had announced various relaxations on Tuesday, but the return of recreational cricket was not a part of them.

However, this statement given by Johnson will have no impact on the Test series between England and West Indies, scheduled to begin from July 8.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said that it is looking to resume recreational cricket in the country around July 4.

The board has also said that cricket is a low-risk sport as it is a non-contact sport.

"We believe that cricket is a non-contact sport, with very low risks of exposure, and that it can be played as safely as many other activities being currently permitted," the ECB said in an official statement.

"It is our strong desire to work with Government to see the return of recreational cricket on or around 4th July, as they continue to lift other restrictions more broadly across society," it added.

All international cricket has also been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, it is set to resume to from July 8 as England and West Indies will lock horns in the three-Test series.

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News Network
July 23,2021

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The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics began on Friday in a nearly empty stadium after a year-long pandemic postponement and a build-up marred by scandal and controversy.

A video showing athletes training at home during the coronavirus pandemic started the show, with pink fireworks bursting into the air after a countdown.

The ceremony in the 68,000-capacity stadium is taking place before just a few hundred officials and dignitaries, including Japan's Emperor Naruhito, French President Emmanuel Macron and US First Lady Jill Biden.

The emperor will officially declare the Games open.

The Olympics have faced opposition in Japan over fears the global gathering of 11,000 athletes could trigger a super-spreader event.

Organisers have put strict virus measures in place, banning overseas fans for the first time ever, and keeping domestic spectators out of all but a handful of venues.

Athletes, support staff and media are subject to strict Covid-19 protocols, including regular testing and daily health checks.

Polls have consistently found a majority of Japanese are against the Games, with opinion ranging from weary indifference to outright hostility.

But there was plenty of enthusiasm outside the Olympic Stadium in the hours before the ceremony, as hundreds of people gathered hoping to soak up the atmosphere and watch the fireworks expected during the extravaganza.

Mako Fukuhara arrived six hours before the ceremony to grab a spot.

"Until now it didn't feel like the Olympics, but now we are by the stadium, it feels like the Olympics," she told AFP as people snapped selfies nearby.

'Determined'

Traditionally a highlight of any Summer Games, featuring the parade of nations and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, Tokyo's opening ceremony has been drastically pared back.

Fewer than 1,000 dignitaries and officials are present at the stadium, and in a sign of how divisive the Games remain, several top sponsors including Toyota and Panasonic are not attending.

A few hundred protestors demonstrated against the Games outside the stadium as the ceremony began.

Tokyo is battling a surge in virus cases, and is under emergency measures that means restaurants must shut by 8:00 pm and cannot sell alcohol.

Dogged by controversy

But Olympic officials have put a brave face on the unusual circumstances, with IOC chief Thomas Bach insisting cancellation was never on the table.

"Over the past 15 months we had to take many decisions on very uncertain grounds," he said this week. "We had doubts every day. There were sleepless nights.

"We can finally see at the end of the dark tunnel. Cancellation was never an option for us. The IOC never abandons the athletes... we did it for the athletes."

There are also hefty financial incentives in play. Insiders estimate the IOC would have been on the hook for around $1.5 billion in lost broadcasting revenues if the Games had been cancelled.

The pandemic has not been the only hiccup in preparations though, with scandals ranging from corruption during the bidding process to plagiarism allegations over the design of the Tokyo 2020 logo.

The controversies kept coming right up to the eve of the Games, with the opening ceremony's director sacked on Thursday for making a joke referencing the Holocaust in a video from 1998.

Back in the sporting arenas, a new generation of Olympic stars are looking to shine after a decade dominated by the likes of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps.

US swimmer Caeleb Dressel could target seven gold medals, and in track and field, 400 metre hurdlers Karsten Warholm of Norway and the USA's Sydney McLaughlin are among those hoping to emerge as household names.

Gymnastics meanwhile will see Simone Biles attempt to crown her dazzling career by equalling Larisa Latynina's record of nine Olympic gold medals.

New Olympic sports will also be on display in Tokyo, with surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and karate all making their debut.

Olympics.jpg

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News Network
July 16,2021

Bengaluru, July 15: Karnataka will host the second edition of Khelo India University Games (KIUG) in silicon city from March 5, 2022.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by deputy chief minister Dr Ashwath Narayanand sports and youths services here at Vidhana Soudha.

Speaking to newsmen, Narayanand said that it was decided the meeting to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration of the mega event, which will held at Kanteerava stadium.

He said that as many as 158 universities with 3182 sports persons besides technical officials, assistants, about 6000 persons are expected to participate in the event.

Stating that the event will be held for 12 days with 18 categories have been lined up.

He said the facilities like accommodation, transportation, sports equipments will be looked after by the host city Bengaluru while providing food to all the persons participating in the event will be looked after by the state government and Host University.

He said the expected budget of Rs 40 cores required for the second edition of Khelo India in which state government share its part of Rs 20 cores.

The minister mentioned that for the purpose of holding events, a high level committee will be formed.

Meanwhile, for the finance approval the committee will be headed by Chief Minister B S Yeddiyurappa.

An executive committee will also be formed with headed by Karnataka sports and youth services minister Dr Narayna Gowda and other various committees will be formed later.

It was the first meeting and more such meetings will be done in future for the update details and information on the holding the event.

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News Network
July 24,2021

Silver.jpg

Mirabai Chanu bagged a silver medal in Weightlifting Women's 49 kg category at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. This is India's first medal at the Tokyo Games 2020. Details awaited 

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