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Keeping Saina Nehwal’s Secret

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Keeping Saina Nehwal’s Secret

By Dilip Bobb

Here’s my #metoo moment. No, nothing to do with rape or sexual exploitation but a secret affair that I was asked to keep under wraps.

The affair, love affair I must emphasise, was the one between two of India’s top badminton players Saina Nehwal  and Parupalli Kashyap.  This was some four years ago when I was with the Indian Express group and one of my responsibilities was looking after the then Sunday magazine, Eye.

Saina was then riding high, having just become World Number One, and we planned to put her on the cover. She was then training in Bangalore, so we sent our photographer and a reporter to the training venue since we wanted some action shots rather than a glam celebrity photo shoot.

The Express team arrived at the venue to find her and her practice partner, Kashyap, sitting in a corner. The reporter sensed that there was more between them than practicing partners, and asked them to pose together across the net. They did so without creating a fuss, assuming that the story was on Saina and that Kashyap would not figure in the final selection of photos for the cover.

When the team returned, we were looking for the ideal cover shot and the one with the two of them was easily the best of the lot.

We were going ahead with the final selection when there was a call from Saina’s father. He seemed quite agitated, demanding to know what photos we were using and insisting that none of the ones featuring his daughter and Kashyap together should appear. He gave no explanation but it was obvious to us that there was something going on between the two players but her parents wanted it kept under wraps.

Now that the duo have announced they will graduate from practicing partners to actual partners in marriage — the date is set for December 16 — it has now been revealed that the two were in a relationship for almost a decade, managing to keep it hushed up before going public last fortnight. All thanks to her protective father.

However, the photograph that was abandoned – the two of them together – is now a collector’s item in the Express photo archives.

Cricket news

Greatest of all time: Virat Kohli shares special video message for Roger Federer, Swiss Tennis legend appreciates former skipper for his heartfelt message

Swiss Tennis legend Roger Federer had announced his retirement from tennis on September 15 and played his final match in the Laver Cup 2022

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Former team India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday shared a heartwarming video from his social media handle for Tennis legend Roger Federer, following his farewell to the sport last week.

The Swiss Tennis legend responded to Kohli’s video message with a thank you note.

Reacting to Kohli’s heartwarming Instagram post, Federer took to Instagram and said that he looks forward to coming to India soon. Thanks, Virat Kohli and hope to make it to India soon, he wrote in his Instagram story.

In his message for Federer, Kohli called the former tennis star the greatest of all time. The team India batting legend also paid tribute to his immense contribution to the sport.

Hello Roger, it’s a great honour for him to be able to send this video across and congratulate him on a phenomenal career that has given us so many beautiful moments and memories, Kohli had said in an official video message posted by ATP.

Federer had announced his retirement from tennis on September 15 and played his final match in the Laver Cup 2022 – a doubles game alongside long-time Rafael Nadal.

Former Indian skipper Virat Kohli had earlier shared an emotional Instagram post for Swiss maestro Rafael Nadal shedding tears for Rodger Federer on his last game in Laver Cup 2022.

When your companions cry for you, you know what you’ve been able to do with your god-given talent. Nothing but respect for these 2, Virat Kohli wrote on his Instagram post.

Federer won 103 ATP singles titles and overall 1,251 matches throughout his career. The Swiss legend finishes his career with 20 Grand Slam singles titles, third all-time among men behind rivals Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21).

The 41 years old was struggling with a knee problem for the last three years. It led him to take retirement.

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Cricket news

Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of T20 World Cup due to back stress fracture, BCCI pays price for pacer’s return in T20I series vs Australia

Jasprit Bumrah’s rushed return into playing XI in the second T20I against Australia at Nagpur has now turned into a nightmare for Team India.

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Team India star pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s rushed return into playing XI in the second T20I against Australia at Nagpur has now turned into a nightmare for Team India.

Team India’s premier pacer has been ruled out of the upcoming T20 World Cup due to a back stress fracture, PTI reported on Thursday citing BCCI sources. While, an official confirmation from the BCCI is awaited.

Reports said Bumrah has been ruled out of T20 World Cup following his rushed return in the second T20I in Nagpur.

Bumrah had complained of back pain during practice and was immediately withdrawn from all training routines but the damage was already done. After this damage, he could be rested for 4 to 6 months with the back injury even if he doesn’t require surgery.

Jasprit Bumrah complained of back pain during India’s practice session on Tuesday. The BCCI Medical Team assessed him. He is ruled out of the first T20I, BCCI had tweeted just minutes before the toss for first India vs South Africa T20I.

Bumrah will undergo extensive rehabilitation and will report to the NCA in the next few weeks.

However, the sign has not been great as Bumrah pulled out of India’s series opener against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. He is the second team India star player to be ruled out of the T20 World Cup after Ravindra Jadeja, the all-rounder underwent knee surgery.

Mohammed Shami, who had been ruled out of the home T20I series against South Africa, and Deepak Chahar, who had played the first T20I of the three-match series, are in the T20 Cup World Cup squad’s standby list. One of them could be placed into the main squad.

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Cricket news

IND vs SA: Checkout time, venue, squad, broadcasting of the first T20I

The squad will be highlighted by Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep’s returns, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who keeps leaking runs in the end, will be sidelined for the series.

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Team India is all set to host South Africa for a three-match T20I series ahead of the three-match ODI series. Today both the teams will play the first T20 match at the Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram.

With the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup scheduled in Australia next month onwards, India will be leaving no stone unturned to play with their best combinations and lineups. After defeating Australia by 2-1, Men in blue will be aiming to defeat South Africa and give a perfect end top their World Cup preparations.

But it won’t be easy this time as South Africa will be looking to win another T20I series against Team India in hopes to get some momentum before the World Cup and repeat what they did back at their home ground. For the unversed, India was clean swiped by Proteas when India played guest in 2021.

However, the Indian team management and captain Rohit Sharma has got the right combination that has been producing results and bagging titles. With the return of Jasprit Bumrah the Indian bowling attack has become more solid but Bhuvi, Harshal Patel and Yuzi Chahl form will be a focus.

The squad will be highlighted by Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh’s returns, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who keeps leaking runs in the end, will be sidelined for the series.

India vs South Africa 1st T20I

Venue: Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram

Date & Time: Wednesday, September 28 at 7:00 PM (IST)

IND vs SA T20 Squads

India squad for T20Is: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (VC), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Mohd. Shami, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah.

South Africa squad for T20Is: Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton De Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Bjorn Fortuin, Marco Jansen, Andile Phehlukwayo

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