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PK Banerjee, The Last Of The Golden Generation, Dies



KOLKATA (West Bengal): A glorious chapter of Indian football came to an end with the passing of legend Pradip Kumar Banerjee, fondly called PK, on Friday, 20 March. The 83-year-old breathed his last at a private hospital in Kolkata, according to his family sources.

Since January 2020, the former India football captain and coach was suffering due to a number of ailments. He made several trips to the hospital since the start of the year before he was put on life support earlier this month. He breathed his last at 12:40 pm.

He is survived by daughters Paula and Purna, who are renowned academicians, and younger brother Prasun Banerjee, a sitting Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament.

Born on June 23, 1936, in Moynaguri on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri in Bengal, Banerjee’s family relocated to his uncle’s place in Jamshedpur before partition.

The 1962 Asian Games gold medallist’s best days as a player coincided with Indian football’s golden era.

He scored 65 international goals in 84 appearances for the national team.

His contribution was duly recognised by football international governing body (FIFA), which rated him as India’s greatest player of the 20th century, bestowing him with the Centennial Order of Merit in 2004.

Barring one year, when he joined Aryan Football Club, PK played for Eastern Railways from 1955 to 1967. It was during his stay; the club reached their pinnacle winning the Calcutta Football League (CFL) in 1958. At that time, it was one of the most prestigious trophies to get your hands on, along with the IFA Shield, the Durand Cup and DCM Trophy.

Teen Debutant:

From his debut for Bihar in the Santosh Trophy as a 16-year-old in 1952 to a stint as Mohammedan Sporting coach 51 years later, Banerjee takes leave as one of India’s greatest. A member of the holy trinity that included Chuni Goswami and Tulsidas Balaram, Banerjee was the last surviving scorer of the 1962 Asiad gold-winning team. Another one his bright moments with the national team was a fourth-place finish at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, during which India beat Australia 4-1.

In the final of the 1962 Asiad, India prevailed in front of a hostile crowd that had been angered by Indian chef-de-mission Guru Dutt Sondhi’s remark that it was ‘Jakarta Games’, after countries like Taiwan and Israel were barred. Banerjee scored the opener in that game. He was the captain of the Indian team that last played the Olympics in Rome 1960. He retired as a player in 1967 after being laid low by recurring injuries.

However, he went on to accumulate a staggering 54 trophies as a coach. Banerjee pulled off a heist as the Mohun Bagan coach when they famously held New York Cosmos 2-2 in an exhibition match starring Pele in 1977.

Sporting Icons React:

I had played under Pradip da in the Indian team also. He was a true leader. I have not played under such a great coach, great human being and someone who always used to bring the best out of you. I am Shyam Thapa because I had Pradip Kumar Banerjee to guide me. He was my godfather. — Shyam Thapa, Former India striker

He taught us what no one ever could. As a player and coach, Pradip da’s contribution to Indian football can never be matched and I don’t need to say this. — Subrata Bhattacharya, Former India defender

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Hockey Legend Balbir Singh Sr Passes Away At 95

His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics is still unbeaten. 



MOHALI (Punjab): Balbir Singh Senior, the three-time Olympic gold medal-winning hockey legend died in a private hospital at Mohali, Punjab today morning. He was 95 and is survived by his daughter Sushbir and three sons Kanwalbir, Karanbir, Gurbir.

Director of Fortis Hospital at Mohali, Abhijit Singh said that he breathed his last at 6.30 AM

He was admitted to this hospital on May 8 and was in a semi-comatose state since May 18 and had developed a blood clot in his brain after being first admitted to the hospital for bronchial pneumonia with a high fever.

One of the country’s greatest athletes, Balbir Senior was the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history.

His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics is still unbeaten.

A key member of the Indian side at the Olympics from 1948-1956, Balbir Singh was also the captain and is considered one of the best centre-forwards of all times.

He was also the manager of the only World Cup-winning Indian side in 1975, the first sportsperson to be awarded the Padma Shri (1957) and the lone Indian and hockey player to be included in the IOC’s ‘Olympic Icons”, a select group of 16 all-time Olympic greats honoured during the London Olympics.

A state funeral will be held for Balbir Singh Sr in his hometown Chandigarh at 5:30 pm on Monday at the sector 25 electric crematorium.

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2,749 Khelo India Athletes Given Rs 30,000 Each

Athletes from 35 states and union territories have been given the allowances in 21 sporting disciplines.



NEW DELHI: The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has deposited 30,000 rupees each as out of pocket allowance in accounts of 2,749 Khelo India athletes. The amount added up to 8.25 crore rupees in all.

Reacting to the disbursement of the Khelo India allowances, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju said that the athletes are our priority and will receive full support at all times.

In a press release, SAI said that the money has been transferred to the bank accounts of the athletes.

A total of 2,893 athletes will be given the pocket allowance with the funds for the remaining 144 athletes to be transferred by the end of this month. The allowance is for the first quarter of 2020-21.

Athletes from 35 states and union territories have been given the allowances in 21 sporting disciplines with the maximum number of them from Maharashtra (386), Haryana (381), Delhi (225), Punjab (202) and Tamil Nadu (165).

The out of pocket allowance is 1.20 lakh rupees annually and is a part of the Khelo India scholarship of 6.28 lakh rupees that is given to each athlete selected under the scheme.

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ICC Issues Guidelines For Resumption Of Cricket

The upcoming T20 World Cup is under threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



DUBAI (United Arab Emirates): The International Cricket Council (ICC) has issued a set of comprehensive guidelines for the resumption of cricket across the world.

The guidelines include a list of various dos and don’ts for cricket at the international, domestic and community level, while at the same time ensuring maintenance of the highest safety protocols.

The ICC has recommended the appointment of Chief Medical Officer or Biosafety Official and a 14-day pre-match isolation in training camps in its guidelines for the resumption of international cricket post-COVID-19 lockdown.

The Chief Medical Officer will have to overlook the implementation of government regulations and the biosafety plan to enable the resumption of training and competition.

The ICC has also recommended developing an appropriate testing plan during training and competition.

Here is the list of ICC Guidelines for resumption of cricket: 

• The ICC has suggested teams to exercise caution over bowlers’ workloads to avoid a serious injury like a stress fracture of the spine, as bowlers are particularly at high risk of injury after returning to play after a period of enforced time-out.

• The ICC has recommended bowlers would need minimum training periods ranging from 5-12 weeks to build the workload necessary for peak performance.

• The ICC guidelines lay emphasis on the age and physical preparedness of the bowlers, as it will influence the risk and length of time required to develop appropriate bowling loads to enable safe and effective return to international cricket.

• The ICC has advised teams to travel with “larger” squads to compensate for the absence of net bowlers provided by the host country and to offset any injuries to the first-choice bowlers.

 • According to ICC’s suggestions, a bowler returning to T20Is will need at least 5-6 weeks of preparation with bowling at match intensity in the last three weeks.

• In the case of ODIs, the recommended preparation period is a minimum of six weeks with the last three weeks involving bowling at match intensity.

• In the case of tests, the ICC has recommended the longest preparation period of about 8-12 weeks with the final 4-5 of those devoted to bowling at match intensity.

• The ICC noted that the preparation period will depend on the physical activities that the bowler has been able to undertake during the lockdown such as regular running and bowling drills. It also depends on multiple assessment factors including the age of the bowler, injury history, bowling technique and speed.

Apart from the above list, the ICC cricket committee has recommended banning the use of saliva to shine the cricket ball as a temporary measure amid coronavirus pandemic, which spread through saliva.

The ICC panel led by Kumble had recommended the ban to minimise the risk of infection.

All cricket activities were suspended following the deadly outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. Many major sports competitions, scheduled for this year have been postponed including the Tokyo Olympics. Though no decision has yet been taken regarding the upcoming T20 World Cup, the tournament could be under threat if the coronavirus crisis refuses to scale down.

In India, the Union Home Ministry has allowed the re-opening of sports complexes and stadiums. However strict social distancing measures will have to be followed and no spectators will be allowed inside the stadiums. So, if cricket does get a go-ahead, live audience may not be allowed.

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