New Indian boss mulls bid for 2032 Olympics

Olympic rings (AFP)
Updated 15 December 2017
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New Indian boss mulls bid for 2032 Olympics

NEW DELHI: India’s new Olympics chief Narinder Batra has vowed to make bids to stage the 2032 Olympics, 2030 Asian Games or 2026 Commonwealth Games, saying the country must “think big.”
Batra, who is also the International Hockey Federation (FIH) president, said after winning the Indian Olympic Association vote late Thursday that an approach would be made to the Indian government for financial backing.
“Once I settle down, the IOA will take a proposal to the government to host the 2032 Olympics, 2030 Asiad and 2026 CWG. We should think big but hosting these Games depends on the government as they will sanction the funds,” he said.
“I have always dreamed big and this is my personal view that India should host these big events.”
When New Delhi staged the 2010 Commonwealth Games, they were marked by construction delays, failing infrastructure and accusations of financial mismanagement.
But India is now one of the world’s fastest growing major economies, and international sporting chiefs say it must be a contender to hold major events.
India’s sporting relations with arch-rival neighbor Pakistan could prove a sticking point, however.
Batra said he opposed any bilateral contests against Pakistan. The two dispute Kashmir territory, while India accuses Pakistan of supporting “terrorism.”
“As far as multilateral events organized by the international federations are concerned, we have to play Pakistan. But I think it is not possible to play them in bilateral events unless relations between the two countries are improved.
“Moreover their behavior at the border will have to improve. Everybody in India is an Indian first.”
As India’s hockey chief, Batra suspended matches against Pakistan after a 2014 Champions Trophy semifinal which Pakistan won. India accused the Pakistani players of making obscene gestures to the Indian crowd.
Batra overwhelmingly won the contest for the IOA presidency, but a Delhi court is still to review the vote.


Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

Updated 10 December 2018
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Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

  • India's last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA in Perth in 2008
  • Kohli confident win sets tourists up for a series win.

ADELAIDE: Virat Kohli said it was “very special” to captain India to their first Test win in Australia for a decade and gave his side crucial momentum in their bid for a maiden series victory.
The visitors won a tightly-contested opening Test in Adelaide by 31 runs on the fifth day after setting Australia a target of 323, which would have been a record run chase at the ground.
It was a big breakthrough for Kohli’s men, with their last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008. In Adelaide, their sole previous win was in 2003.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling. We’ve never taken a lead in a series in Australia, something that for us is a huge boost,” he said.
“And it’s given us the right momentum that we needed to play a big series like this and it’s something that we’ve had to work hard for.
“Any Test victory is special because you work hard over five days, and then the physical and the mental toil and the emotion of it all comes together in a result is a very special feeling.”
Kohli, who has long led India’s batting charge with admirable consistency across all three formats but failed to fire in Adelaide, said he believed his team collectively were better than Australia and deserved to win.
The victory was built on Cheteshwar Pujara’s first innings 123 and his second innings 71, while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant took a world record-equalling 11 catches.
“It was priceless from Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day one. His grit and determination brought us back in it,” said Kohli.
“We always knew that runs on the board would make the home side tentative. Any lead was gold and we got 15. In the second innings again, he and Rahane batted well.”
Asked if thought 323 would be enough to win, Kohli said his middle and lower order could have done better after a five for 25 collapse at the end of the second innings.
“We could have added another 30-35 runs more which could have taken the game totally beyond Australia,” he said.
“So these are things that we have to think about going to Perth, but if someone had told me before the series that I would be 1-0 up as soon we started the series, I would have taken it with both hands.”
The second Test starts on Friday in Perth, with Melbourne and Sydney to follow.