AIFF Appoints Luis Norton De Matos As Head Coach Of India U-17 World Cup Team
- NEW DELHI : The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday appointed Portugal's Luis Norton de Matos as the head coach of the India U-17 World Cup team for the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017. Matos who met the AIFF Advisory Committee including representatives from Sports Authority of India, and had a chat with Injeti Srinivas, the Director General, SAI on Monday evening, flew to Mumbai to meet with the AIFF President Praful Patel on Tuesday.
- Welcoming Matos, the AIFF President Patel said: "It's nice to have Matos on board. His experience of handling youth Teams will come in handy for the U-17 boys as we wish to leave no stone unturned to field a competitive team in the U-17 World Cup. I expect him to guide our boys to put up a strong performance in the World Cup." The 63-year old coach "thanked" AIFF for making him a "part of the project."
- "My role will be to orchestrate everything wherein the players will be playing their part," he told the AIFF Committee. "I admire AIFF's vision and the U-17 World Cup will act as a base for development of football in India. The players need to believe in themselves to do something special for the country," he stated. "I do have an Indian connection as my great grandfather was born in Goa," he informed. "I will retain the positives of the last two years as we move forward," he maintained.
Jitu Rai Wins Gold, Amanpreet Settles For Silver In ISSF World Cup
- NEW DELHI : Jitu Rai clinched the gold medal with yet another stirring comeback while compatriot Amanpreet Singh bagged the silver in men's 50m pistol event as India secured its first yellow metal in the ongoing ISSF World Cup on Wednesday. Entering the event a day after claiming the 10m pistol bronze, Rai upped the ante as the final closed in on the elimination rounds. The unassuming Army man shot a total of 230.1, a world record, to finish on top of the podium, while Amanpreet, who was leading for a major part of the final, had to be satisfied with the silver medal after aggregating 226.9. Iran's Vahid Golkhandan took away the bronze with a score of 208.0 at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.
- The 29-year-old Rai was placed sixth at the end of the first two competition series of five shots each with 93.8. At that point Amanpreet was leading the eight-man field with 98.9. The Punjabi shooter then extended his domination with a series of high scores, even as Rai tried to make his way back into contention. A stunning 10.8 in one of the elimination rounds proved to be crucial for Rai, who jumped from sixth to the third position, and knocked out Kazakhstan's renowned marksman Vladimir Issachenk with a 10.5. Rai kept up the tempo with a 10.4 and 10.0, while Amanpreet, after a fine start in his career's first World Cup final, had a meltdown.
- After upstaging Golkhandan, Rai comfortably got the better of Amanpreet in the gold medal round, finishing the event with an excellent 10.5 to lay his claim on the top prize. "It's amazing to win this gold medal here during the first combined World Cup held here in India, in front of my supporters. It's a great honour and a true emotion to see the Indian flag flying high," said Rai. "I didn't have a perfect start today, but I guess that's the fun of the sport.
- I like it that way, uncertainty is part of the game, otherwise there is no excitement. I climbed into the lead shot after shot and I think it was a nice match," he said. "I closed the 2016 season with a World Cup Final silver, and I always dreamt about starting 2017 in the best way here in India. I wanted our flag to fly high. "I am planning to compete in all World Cup stages this year. We have ISSF World Cup in Munich ahead of us, and I will work to correct a few things before flying there. I am looking forward to the rest of the season," Rai signed off.
Central Govt To Hire 2.8 Lakh More Staff, Police, I-T & Customs To Get Lion’s Share
- NEW DELHI : The Centre in its Budget has provided for the recruitment of around 2.80 lakh more staff. The income tax department, the agency involved in the drive against black money post-demonetisation, is set to expand from the existing strength of 46,000 to 80,000 by March 2018. Similarly, customs and excise department, which will implement the ambitious goods and services tax regime, will get additional manpower of over 41,000. The current strength of 50,600 for customs and excise staff is to go up to 91,700.
- A review of the "estimated strength of establishment" in the Budget annexures indicates no change in the manpower of railways, the single largest employer (13.31 lakh) other than defence, in the three years till 2018. Departments of space, atomic energy, cabinet secretariat and the ministries of information and broadcasting and external affairs are some others where sanctioned strength has gone up significantly.The government had projected to increase its manpower in 2016 by 1.88 lakh but failed to make fresh recruitments in I-T, customs and central excise departments.
- This led to an erosion in the employee base by at least 21,000 over the strength in 2015. People superannuating far exceeded new employees. PM Naredndra Modi's interest in foreign policy has translated into a significant jump in the strength of the foreign ministry where the government has decided to add over 2,000 employees — up from 9,294 in 2016 to 11,403 in 2018. The I&B ministry, too, has increased its sanctioned strength from 4,012 two years ago to 6,258 in 2018. The cabinet secretariat has been strengthened with manpower to go up from 921 to 1,218 by next year.
Bangalore Test: India Get Down To Team Bonding
- BENGALURU : There were no sullen faces or downcast eyes. The defeat against Australia has hurt, but Virat Kohli and his men appear to have absorbed the blow and are preparing to land one right back in their next challenge - the second Test here on Saturday. As Australia turned out in full force for an optional training session in the afternoon, the Indian team sweated it out for over three hours at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in a marathon session that began in the morning on Wednesday. The emphasis was on close-in fielding drills and batting sessions.
- Understandably, there were also long inspections of the grass-laced pitch. With Australia wrapping up the opening Test with two days to spare in Pune, the Indians had time on hand which they spent by trekking near Pune. An Indian defeat has been so rare in recent times that the loss in Pune has been a bit of a shock. But it is not the first time Kohli & Co have ended on the losing side in the opening Test - they lost the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in August 2015. The 63-run loss was followed by thumping wins in the next two Tests as India wrapped up the series 2-1. When asked if there was any similarity between the two situations, opener Murali Vijay pointed out, "Definitely. We have to think about our game and put it in the open in the team meetings. That's what we have done in the last couple of games.
- Hopefully we can start with a positive frame of mind from ball one." The Chennai player added that the team activity earlier this week, which included a trek, was a refreshing break for the Men in Blue. "Team bonding activities gets you closer as a team. We have been on the road for a while now so obviously such activities help any team. We wanted to get out of the normal things we do and go out there and get some fresh air. It was fun." On ironing out the rough edges in their game, especially fielding after a string of dropped catches in Pune, Vijay said: "We had a chat about it and we are working on areas where we could do much better. We are looking forward to this game and hopefully we can pull of those catches."
- The batsman also admitted the team gave away more runs than they expected to in the first innings. "We gave away more than what we had expected. From there on it was always going to be tough for us to get into the game. We had the opportunities and had we grabbed those we could have put pressure on the Australians. Unfortunately it didn't and we have got to take it on the chin and move forward." Asked if the momentum had shifted towards Australia, Vijay replied in the negative. "Not really. We are eager to start fresh and put the pressure back on the Australians. It is a good test of character and it is going to be a good challenge for us. That's what we are playing cricket for. Hopefully we can play the way we have to and have played before. That's going to help us."