Football Players in Saudi

Top Footballers who will be playing in Saudi Arabia

With a view to hosting the 2030 FIFA World Cup, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is leaving no stone unturned. The Public Investment Funds are continuing to make waves in world football. Firstly, the PIF consortium took over an ailing Newcastle United to give them a surge back to Champions League football within two years. Now, they are taking the football world by storm with many of the Saudi clubs snapping up superstars and making the Saudi Pro League lucrative and amongst the most-talked-about football leagues in recent months.

Saudi Pro League is making waves in the world of international football. After snapping one of the greatest footballers of all time Cristiano Ronaldo, the Saudi clubs are looking to bring in more superstars and make their league one of the most watched in the football world.

In this article, we will be looking at the top footballers who will be plying their trade in Saudi Arabian clubs this season.

Who is joining the Saudi football league?

8. Edouard Mendy (Chelsea to Al Ahli)

Report: Chelsea now looking to sign 25-year-old goalkeeper to replace Edouard Mendy

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Chelsea’s 2021-22 saviour Edouard Mendy is set to depart from the club. After spending over 2 years at The Blues, Mendy wants a new challenge. Also, it is reported that Chelsea has finally agreed to a £16m deal with Al Ahli for the Senegal international.

Mendy, who arrived at Chelsea in September 2020 quickly became their number-one shot-stopper with the Senegal international helping The Blues to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy. At Chelsea, Mendy played a key role in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League win, which saw him crowned The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper in Europe that year.

With Mendy not getting enough playtime, it was widely expected the Senegalese international is looking for a club which gets him regular playing time.

7. Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wolves to Al Hilal)

GW24 Differentials: Ruben Neves

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This was a shocking move. Ruben Neves, one of the best midfielders in world football currently has announced that he will be playing for Al Hilal this season.

The Wolves captain leaves the club after six seasons for a “record fee” reported to be around £55m. Surely, this is the most expensive signing made by any of the Saudi clubs. The Portuguese midfielder is set to pocket almost €18.36 million per year, a significant rise from his €57,632 per week salary at Molineux.

Neves was the backbone of the Wolves’ midfield as the Portuguese appeared for 219 games and scored 27 goals. His magic in the midfield will be of prime importance at Al Hilal.

6. Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea to Al Nassr)

Championship midfielder now claims he is better technically than Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech

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Ziyech wants out of Chelsea. It is a well-known fact. Well, Chelsea’s negotiation saga with Paris St. Germain last season was quite infamous. Now, as the Saudi Pro League is bringing a lot of superstars, it is widely reported that Hakim Ziyech is also en route to Saudi Arabia.

Ziyech, who was quite magical during his time at Ajax, didn’t quite live up to his expectations at Chelsea. The winger played a total of 60 games in three seasons at The Blues. If everything goes well, Ziyech will be teaming up with his Chelsea teammate Kalidou Koulibaly and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

5. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea to Al Ittihad)

Chelsea star N'Golo Kante on his way to Saudi outfit Al-Ittihad

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Another Chelsea player bites the dust. Chelsea’s defensive wall N’Golo Kante has decided to part ways with The Blues. The 32-year-old is out of contract this summer and is being reported to have extensive talks with the Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad.

Regarded as one of the finest central midfielders of the modern era, Kante played a significant role in helping Leicester City achieve the impossible in 2015/16, when they won the Premier League title, before replicating that success at Chelsea 12 months later.

Kante also played significant roles in Chelsea’s Europa League and Champions League successes in 2018/19 and 2020/21, while he has appeared in nine other cup finals for the club.

4. Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea to Al Hilal)

Report: Club are now hoping Chelsea could try and sign their 'world class' player after selling

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Seems like Chelsea is off-lading players in bulk. After heavy spending last season, the club is looking to balance their tally sheets by letting go of some players who don’t fit their future plans.

Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly, who joined Chelsea from Napoli just last year has announced of leaving the club. The centre-back has announced a move to the Saudi club Al Hilal.

Koulibaly, widely regarded as one of the most talented centre-backs was a flop at Chelsea. During his time at Chelsea, he was plagued with injuries and couldn’t quite gather enough game time to have momentum on his side.

Kalidou Koulibaly will be joined by a list of footballers including Marco Verratti, Demarai Gray and Ruben Neves.

3. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool to Al Ahli)

Al Ahli in talks with Liverpool forward Firmino over Saudi move - Football Today

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Liverpool’s out-of-favour attacking man Roberto Firmino aka Bobby Firmino is widely tipped to join Saudi club Al Ahli. Firmino, who spent eight seasons at Anfield, saw his form fluctuating quite often during his time at the club.

The forward signed from 1899 Hoffenheim arrived at Anfield with quite a fanfare. However, he couldn’t repeat his heroics at Hoffenheim. In a total of 256 games, the forward cum attacking midfielder scored 82 goals.

Now with Liverpool looking for better-attacking options in the market seems like Firmino’s time at Liverpool is over.

Saudi Pro League is bringing big superstars to their league, ensuring it gets as many eyeballs as possible. And it’s not just the players they are targeting. The Saudi clubs are also targeting the biggest managers from the world of football. As per a report, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has received an offer to take charge of either Al Nassr or Al Hilal. Similarly, an offer has been made to Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui and Fulham boss Marco Silva.

2. Neymar Jr. ( PSG to Al Hilal)

Neymar apologizes to girlfriend Bruna Biancardi on Instagram

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Paris St. Germain is rubbing their star players the wrong way. After Lionel Messi departed for Major League Soccer club Inter Miami, it is expected that Neymar Jr., their star signing from 2018 is set to leave the French club.

The 31-year-old superstar has been injured for most of the season, and reports say that Brazil international could be on a move away from Paris this summer, with Saudi’s Al Hilal one of the sides interested in securing the sensation.

Overall, Neymar has played 112 games for Paris St. Germain amassing 82 goals in those matches. He has been a vital cog in PSG’s attack for the last five seasons.

1. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid to Al Ittihad)

Karim Benzema is the most important Real Madrid icon since Raul

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The current Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema has successfully completed his move from Real Madrid to Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad. The French striker signed a three-year deal worth $107 million a year.

Benzema has been iconic for Real Madrid. After living in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadows for the majority of his professional career, Benzema came into his own after Ronaldo departed for Juventus. He reached his peak during the 2021-22 season, being adjudged as the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for that campaign and also won the 2022 Ballon d’Or. He is also second in Real Madrid’s all-time scoring list with 350 goals.

Overall, Benzema won four La Liga titles with Real Madrid, along with five UEFA Champions League titles. During the 2021-22 UCL season, he was talismanic for his side as they claimed the trophy in a dramatic manner. He also won three Copa del Reys, three Supercopa de Espana titles, four UEFA Super Cup trophies and five FIFA Club World Cups.

balancing Fairness with Inclusivity written in image

Transgender Athletes in Women’s sports: Are we balancing fairness with inclusivity?

On 24th March 2023, World Athletics banned Transgenders from playing sports under the women category. The debate has been going around about whether to let trans women play under the women category as biologically born males would obviously have an advantage. 

The approach is to let the Transgender community have a separate category but banning them is not the ultimate solution as they have the talent that they possess. In these evolving times of inclusivity, this is a topic to be spoken about. The broader perspective is to include them and create a space where there will be equal competition and fair judgement. It’s not about pronouns, it’s about hormones. 

Renee Richards formerly known as Richard Raskind was a well-known Tennis player who after transitioning in 1975 went further to play in the women’s category. From 1975-1977 she faced and sued court cases as she was questioned to play as a woman and also because she refused to take the Barr body test. Finally, in 1977, Judge Alfred M. Ascione found in Richards’s favour. He ruled: “This person is now a female” and that requiring Richards to pass the Barr body test was “grossly unfair, discriminatory and inequitable, and a violation of her rights. She continued playing professionally from 1977-1981 in the women’s category till she retired.

A policy recited by WA also ruled that to compete as a woman, athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD), who have congenital conditions that cause atypical sex development, must have a testosterone level below 2.5 nanomoles per litre (nmol/L) for at least 24 months before an international competition.

Concerns and Opposition

Physical Advantages and Competitive Fairness: Critics of transgender women’s participation in women’s sports raise concerns about potential physical advantages resulting from biological differences, such as bone density, muscle mass, and lung capacity. They argue that these inherent physiological attributes may create an unfair advantage for trans women athletes, compromising the integrity of the competition.

Safety and Injury Risks: Opponents argue that the physical differences between cisgender women and transwomen athletes could pose safety risks, particularly in contact sports. Concerns are raised about the potential for increased injury rates among cisgender female athletes due to perceived strength or size discrepancies.

Maintaining Separate Categories: Some argue for the creation of separate categories or divisions in sports, where transgender women can compete among themselves. This approach aims to ensure fair competition while recognizing the unique experiences and challenges faced by transgender athletes.

Is it a question for Human rights?

In July 2022, on “ The Daily Show ” hosted by Trevor Noah was seen interviewing Veronica Ivy who is a track cycling world champion and Transgender activist. In the interview, she stated her perspective on Transgender women playing women’s sports.

When asked about women raising concerns about being transitioned women has their advantages and it’s unfair to compete against biologically born females she responded.

“This idea that trans women are suddenly gonna take over women’s sport is an irrational fear of trans women, which is the dictionary definition of transphobia.”

The host continued with asking about “ What if” a cisgender woman asks you that my entire existence has been being a woman and I feel that transitioning from male to female has an advantage. So if you wait till the sports world finds a middle ground where the competition is equal to compete with me. To which Veronica Ivy responded.

“Because that’s not how human rights work. So the way human rights work is that the default is inclusion, and the burden of proof is on the people seeking to exclude, not the people seeking to include.”

Caitlyn Jenner is an Olympic Gold winner in the decathlon (1974) and also a media personality. Caitlyn is a biologically born boy and was identified as William Bruce Jenner previously, In April 2015 she came out as a trans woman and went through the transition.

After Lia Thomas became the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming title by beating her competitor Emma Weyant by 38 seconds. Netizens speculated the win to be “unfair”.

In April 2022, Caitlyn Jenner in an interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored commented about the latter news when Piers asked 

 “I stand with it that I don’t want biological boys to compete against women and girls in sports it’s just not fair now obviously. Lia Thomas at the University of Pennsylvania had been on the boys team just a few years earlier. I do not blame her she played within the rules but she dominated she had gone through male puberty her lungs are bigger, her back is  bigger, and her hands are bigger, and she just has a tremendous advantage in swimming in the pool against the women and she proved that so I don’t have a problem with her.”

I have a problem with the NCAA  that we have to change the rules, we have to do a better job because the bottom line is we have to keep it fair. 

I don’t want to ruin women’s sports or discourage women from getting into sports because they think they’re going to have to compete against a bunch of guys. I totally agree it’s not fair.

Netizens globally are commenting on online platforms with #savewomensports and #flippingexhausted. The debate hasn’t ended yet, people are demanding to create a separate category for transgenders so that they can participate with integrity. To conclude the debate there are many views on this topic but most commonly are two. First is acceptance that, Men who went through male puberty and later transitioned into women have an unfair biological advantage and must be excluded from the former category. The second is to create an inclusive category where the transitioned individuals can pick their choice of competition.

Tennis Rackets

Ace Your Game with These Top 5 Tennis Rackets of 2023

Tennis is a sport loved by millions around the world. One of the most crucial aspects of the game is selecting the right tennis racket. A high-quality racket can significantly enhance a player’s performance, providing better control, power, and manoeuvrability. In 2023, several tennis racket brands have introduced innovative designs and technologies to elevate the game of tennis. This essay explores the five best tennis rackets of 2023, taking into account factors such as performance, design, and user feedback. 

Selecting the right tennis racket is essential for players looking to improve their game. In 2023, the Yonex EZONE 98, Babolat Pure Aero 2023, Wilson Pro Staff RF97, Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro, and Dunlop CX 200 Tour 18×20 stand out as the best tennis rackets available. Each racket offers unique features and technologies that cater to different playing styles and price points.

Game, Set & Match: The 5 Best Tennis Rackets of 2023

Babolat Pure Aero 2023

Babolat Pure Aero 2023 Tennis Racket of Black & Yellow Colure with White background

The Babolat Pure Aero tennis racket has gained significant popularity among tennis players due to its exceptional power and spin capabilities. It is particularly favoured by players who rely on aggressive baseline play and look to generate heavy topspin shots. One of the key features of the Babolat Pure Aero is its aerodynamic frame design. The racket’s frame is shaped to reduce drag, allowing players to swing through the air more efficiently and generate greater racket head speed. This increased speed translates into added power and pace on the ball, enabling players to hit explosive shots from the baseline. 

The Pure Aero also incorporates a unique string pattern known as the “Spin Effect” technology. This string pattern consists of wider spacing between the strings, allowing the ball to bite into the strings and create increased spin upon contact. With the Babolat Pure Aero, players can produce shots with substantial topspin, causing the ball to dip and bounce higher, making it more challenging for opponents to handle. 

In addition to its performance-enhancing features, the Babolat Pure Aero utilizes Cortex Pure Feel technology. This technology dampens vibrations upon ball impact, providing a more comfortable and controlled feel. It allows players to maintain better touch and accuracy, even during intense rallies or when hitting shots off-centre. 

Pure Aero is available in various weight options to suit different player preferences. The lighter versions offer increased manoeuvrability, making them ideal for players who prefer quick swings and speedy shot execution. On the other hand, the heavier versions provide additional stability and power, catering to players who rely on their strength and aggression. 

The Babolat Pure Aero has gained recognition and endorsement from numerous professional players, including Rafael Nadal, who is known for his aggressive style and powerful topspin shots. Nadal’s successful utilization of the Pure Aero has further solidified its reputation as a top-tier racket for players seeking maximum power and spin potential. It is worth noting that while the Babolat Pure Aero excels in power and spin, it may require some adjustment for players who prioritize control and precision. The racket’s lightweight and stiff frame may result in reduced feel and touch for players who prefer a more delicate playing style. However, for those seeking a racket that can generate explosive shots with exceptional spin, the Pure Aero remains an excellent choice. 

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro Tennis Racket

The Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro racket is a high-performance tennis racket designed for advanced and professional players. It is part of Head’s Speed series, which is known for its combination of power and control. Here are some details about the racket:

Graphene 360+ Technology: The racket incorporates Graphene 360+ technology, which refers to the use of Graphene 360 in the frame construction. Graphene, a strong yet lightweight material, is strategically placed in the frame to enhance stability, power, and control. The “+” in Graphene 360+ signifies additional spiral fibres in the lower part of the racket for improved flex and a more comfortable feel.

The Speed Pro model features a slightly heavier weight compared to other rackets in the Speed series, making it suitable for players who prefer a more substantial and stable frame. The racket typically weighs around 315 grams (unstrung), providing added power and stability for aggressive shots. The head size of the Speed Pro racket is 100 square inches, offering a balance between power and control. It provides a comfortable sweet spot for hitting powerful shots while maintaining good manoeuvrability. The racket features an 18×20 string pattern, which results in tighter string spacing for enhanced control and feels.

The beam width of the Speed Pro is 23mm, providing a blend of power and control. The racket has a relatively thin beam, allowing for better manoeuvrability and responsiveness. In terms of stiffness, it falls in the medium to stiff range, offering a good balance between power and comfort. The Speed Pro racket is available in various grip sizes, typically ranging from 1 to 5. The grip size determines the circumference of the handle and is a personal preference based on the player’s hand size and comfort.

The Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro is designed for advanced and professional players who have developed a full and fast swing. Its weight, balance, and string pattern cater to players who generate their power and are looking for a racket that offers excellent control, precision, and stability.

Wilson Pro Staff RF97

The Wilson Pro Staff RF97 is a tennis racket that has been designed in collaboration with the legendary tennis player Roger Federer. This racket is renowned for its ability to deliver a perfect blend of power, control, and precision on the tennis court. One notable feature of the Pro Staff RF97 is its sleek black design, which draws inspiration from Roger Federer’s own style and preferences. This design element adds to the aesthetic appeal of the racket and resonates with fans of Federer. 

The Pro Staff RF97 boasts a larger head size compared to many other rackets, providing players with a more generous sweet spot. The larger sweet spot increases the margin for error and allows players to make more consistent contact with the ball, resulting in improved power and accuracy. 

The construction of the Pro Staff RF97 utilizes braided graphite technology, which enhances the racket’s stability and feels. The braided graphite construction provides a solid and controlled response, allowing players to have better command over their shots. This feature is especially valuable for aggressive baseliners who rely on powerful groundstrokes and want to maintain control while generating significant power. 

The weight and balance of the Pro Staff RF97 are also noteworthy aspects. With a slightly heavier weight compared to other rackets, the RF97 offers added stability and plough-through, enabling players to generate more power behind their shots. The racket’s headlight balance further enhances manoeuvrability, allowing for quick swings and precise shot placement. 

The Pro Staff RF97 has received high praise from professionals and amateurs alike, and its association with Roger Federer further solidifies its reputation. Federer’s exceptional skill and precision on the court have made the Pro Staff RF97 an iconic racket among fans and players seeking to emulate his style. 

It is important to note that the Pro Staff RF97’s weight and smaller head size may require some adjustment for players who are used to lighter or larger racket frames. The slightly heavier weight might demand more strength and technique from players, while the smaller head size may require improved timing and precision. However, for those who can adapt to its characteristics, the Pro Staff RF97 offers a unique combination of power and control. 

Yonex EZONE 98

The Yonex EZONE 98 is a highly regarded tennis racket that showcases Yonex’s commitment to excellence in design and technology. Known for its exceptional performance, this racket has earned a reputation as a top choice among both professional and recreational players. One notable feature of the Yonex EZONE 98 is its sleek and modern design, which adds to its appeal on the tennis court. The racket’s aesthetic appeal complements its outstanding performance capabilities, making it a popular choice among players who value both style and substance. 

The EZONE 98 incorporates an isometric head shape, which is a hallmark feature of Yonex rackets. This design innovation creates a larger sweet spot on the strings, resulting in improved power and accuracy. With a larger sweet spot, players can generate greater ball speed and maintain control over their shots even when they don’t hit the ball dead centre. 

Another key technology featured in the Yonex EZONE 98 is the “Namd” graphite technology. This technology utilizes a unique graphite material infused with carbon nanotubes, enhancing the racket’s responsiveness and stability. The Namd technology allows the racket to flex and snap back quickly upon ball impact, providing players with added power and a more dynamic feel. The enhanced stability ensures that players have a solid and controlled response, even during aggressive shots. 

The Yonex EZONE 98 is known for its versatility, catering to players of all skill levels. Its combination of power, accuracy, and responsiveness makes it suitable for a wide range of playing styles. Whether you are a baseline player looking to generate power from the back of the court or a net player seeking precise volleys and touch shots, the EZONE 98 offers a well-rounded performance that adapts to different playing preferences. 

Furthermore, the Yonex EZONE 98 is available in various weight options, allowing players to choose the racket that suits their specific needs. Lighter versions of the racket offer increased manoeuvrability and swing speed, while heavier versions provide additional stability and power. This flexibility in weight selection ensures that players can find the optimal balance for their playing style and physical abilities. 

Dunlop CX 200 Tour 18×20

The Dunlop CX 200 Tour 18×20 is a highly regarded tennis racket that stands out in Dunlop’s impressive range of high-quality rackets. This particular model is specifically designed to offer exceptional control and precision, making it a preferred choice among advanced players. 

One key feature of the CX 200 Tour 18×20 is its dense string pattern. The 18×20 string pattern refers to the number of main and cross strings on the racket’s string bed. This dense pattern provides players with a more controlled response and a greater ability to shape their shots with precision. The smaller gaps between the strings result in improved accuracy and a heightened level of feel, enabling players to place the ball exactly where they intend. 

The CX 200 Tour 18×20 also boasts a smaller head size compared to some other rackets on the market. The reduced head size further enhances control by minimizing the racket’s margin for error. With a smaller sweet spot, players are encouraged to focus on clean and accurate ball contact, promoting consistent and precise shot-making. 

Incorporating Sonic Core technology, the CX 200 Tour 18×20 reduces unwanted vibrations upon ball impact. This technology is integrated into the racket’s frame, effectively dampening vibrations and providing a more comfortable playing experience. By minimizing vibrations, players can maintain better control and feel, allowing for enhanced shot execution. 

The CX 200 Tour 18×20 is specifically designed for players who prioritize control and demand a high level of performance. Its characteristics make it well-suited for players with advanced skills who value the ability to dictate the outcome of rallies through precise shot placement. It allows players to maintain a high level of consistency and accuracy in their game. 

While the focus of the CX 200 Tour 18×20 is on control, it is worth noting that it may require players to generate their own power. Compared to rackets with larger head sizes and more open string patterns, the CX 200 Tour 18×20 may not provide as much inherent power. However, for players who possess the technique and strength to generate their own power, this racket rewards them with exceptional control and precision.

indian cricketers

Uncovering the Origins of Indian Cricket Player Nicknames

Cricket is not just a sport in India; it’s an emotion that runs deep in the veins of millions of passionate fans. Over the years, Indian cricketers have not only achieved great success on the field but have also garnered a wide range of interesting and unique nicknames. Indian cricketers’ nicknames have become a part of their identity, reflecting their personality, playing style, or even some memorable incidents. Let’s delve into the world of Indian cricketer nicknames and explore the history behind the nicknames of cricketers.

These nicknames of Indian Cricketers not only reflect the players’ skills and achievements but also evoke a sense of camaraderie and affection among fans. Indian cricketers’ nicknames become an integral part of the players’ legacy and are fondly remembered by cricket enthusiasts across the country. The nicknames of Indian cricketers hold a special place in the hearts of fans. Indian Cricketers’ nicknames not only represent the players’ distinct personalities and playing styles but also serve as a testament to their impact on the sport. These nicknames have become a part of cricketing folklore and continue to be cherished by cricket enthusiasts as they celebrate the incredible talent and achievements of Indian cricketers.

SS Ton Cricket Bat

Indian Cricket Player Nicknames & Their History 

Sachin Tendulkar – The Little Master, Master Blaster, God of Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar – Top ODI innings

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Sachin Tendulkar, widely regarded as one of the greatest cricketers to have graced the game, earned multiple nicknames throughout his illustrious career. Each of Sachin Tendulkar’s nicknames encapsulates different aspects of his playing style, personality, and the impact he had on the sport.

The Little Master: 

“The Little Master” is a nickname that has become synonymous with Sachin Tendulkar. It not only acknowledges his relatively short stature but also emphasizes his immense skills and mastery of the game. Despite his small frame, Tendulkar possessed incredible hand-eye coordination, impeccable technique, and an unmatched ability to read the game. He defied the odds and consistently performed at the highest level, proving that size was no barrier to greatness.

Master Blaster: 

Another nickname associated with Tendulkar is “Master Blaster.” This moniker perfectly captures his explosive batting style and the sheer power with which he struck the cricket ball. Tendulkar had a wide array of shots in his arsenal and could effortlessly dismantle even the most formidable bowling attacks. He was known for his impeccable timing, exquisite stroke play, and ability to score runs at a brisk pace, earning him the reputation of a batting maestro.

God of Cricket: 

However, it is the nickname “God of Cricket” that truly showcases the reverence and adoration Tendulkar commanded from fans and experts alike. This title speaks volumes about his exceptional talent, longevity, and numerous records that he set and broke during his career. Tendulkar’s achievements, which include scoring the most runs in international cricket and notching up 100 international centuries, elevated him to divine status in the eyes of his fans. His humility, dedication, and the joy he brought to millions of cricket enthusiasts further solidified his status as a cricketing deity.

Sachin Tendulkar’s nicknames reflect the awe-inspiring impact he had on the game of cricket. He was not just a player but an icon, an inspiration for generations to come. Even after his retirement, his nicknames continue to be used to pay homage to his immense contributions and serve as a reminder of his extraordinary talent and the indelible mark he left on Indian and world cricket.

Virat Kohli – King Kohli, Chiku

It's been an honour," Virat Kohli shares a special video on completing 14 years in international cricket

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King Kohli:

Virat Kohli, arguably the greatest modern-day batter, has garnered several fascinating nicknames over the course of his career. One of the most prominent Virat Kohli nicknames is “King Kohli” and Chiku. Virat Kohli’s nickname “King Kohli” reflects his dominance and remarkable consistency across all formats of the game. Kohli’s exceptional batting prowess, hunger for runs, and ability to chase down targets with utmost composure have earned him this regal nickname. He has often been hailed as the king of modern cricket, leading his team from the front and setting new records with his batting feats.


Another intriguing nickname associated with Kohli is “Chiku.” This playful moniker originated during his early days in domestic cricket. His teammates, noticing his resemblance to a popular comic character named Chiku, started calling him by that name. The association stuck and eventually became widely recognized among his fans and supporters. The nickname adds a touch of affection and camaraderie, showcasing the lighter side of Kohli’s personality.

What makes Kohli’s nicknames particularly significant is the way they reflect different aspects of his persona. “King Kohli” exemplifies his majestic presence on the field, his authoritative batting style, and his ability to take charge of any situation. On the other hand, “Chiku” represents a more playful and relatable side of Kohli, showing that beneath his fierce competitive spirit, he also possesses a sense of humor and an ability to connect with people.

These nicknames have become an integral part of Kohli’s brand and have been embraced by his fans worldwide. They are often chanted in stadiums, displayed on banners, and used on social media platforms as a way of expressing admiration and support for the talented cricketer.

Virat Kohli’s nicknames not only showcase his immense talent and achievements but also reveal the deep connection he shares with his fans. They serve as a reminder of his impact on the game, his larger-than-life persona, and the love and adulation he receives from cricket enthusiasts around the globe.

MS Dhoni – Captain Cool, Mahi, Thala, MSD 

MS Dhoni: The man with Golden Touch

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 24: MS Dhoni, Mentor of India looks on ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Dubai International Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Captain Cool: 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the iconic wicket-keeper batsman and former captain of the Indian cricket team, earned the nickname “Captain Cool” for his calm and composed demeanour, even in the most high-pressure situations. His ability to make astute decisions under immense pressure and lead the team to victory further solidified this nickname.


Additionally, Dhoni is affectionately called “Mahi” by his teammates and fans alike, adding a touch of warmth to his persona. Apart from the popular nickname “Captain Cool” and the endearing moniker “Mahi,” Mahendra Singh Dhoni has also been associated with a few other interesting nicknames.


Mahendra Singh Dhoni earned the nickname “Thala,” which means “leader” or “boss” in Tamil, during his stint with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). This nickname reflects his influential leadership, immense popularity, and the deep bond he shares with the CSK franchise and its fans.


“MSD” is an acronym derived from Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s initials. This shortened version of his name has become a widely recognized and frequently used nickname for him. It is concise, easy to remember, and often used as a sign of respect and admiration for the former captain.


In a play on words, Dhoni has also been referred to as “Mahi-Ratna,” combining his name with the Hindi word “Ratna,” meaning “gem” or “jewel.” This nickname highlights his exceptional talent, valuable contributions to Indian cricket, and his status as a precious gem of the sport.

Helicopter Shot Specialist: 

Although not a traditional nickname, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became synonymous with the “helicopter shot” due to his proficiency in executing this unique stroke. The helicopter shot involves a powerful flick of the wrists, generating tremendous bat speed and launching the ball into the stands. Dhoni’s ability to master this shot made him a specialist in this unconventional stroke.

These nicknames collectively represent the different facets of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s personality, leadership, and playing style. They not only reflect his on-field exploits but also demonstrate the affection and admiration he has garnered throughout his career. From his composed captaincy to his innovative batting techniques, Dhoni’s nicknames have become an integral part of his cricketing legacy and continue to resonate with fans who celebrate his remarkable contributions to Indian cricket.

Rohit Sharma – Hitman, Ro-Hit, Ro, The Hitman Show 

Rohit Sharma is Likely To captain India For The West Indies Test Series

Creator: Gareth Copley-ICC | Credit: ICC via Getty Images Copyright: 2023 ICC

Rohit Sharma, the explosive opening batsman and captain of the Indian limited-overs teams, is widely known as the “Hitman.” This nickname reflects his ability to score big hundreds and hit massive sixes. Additionally, his name “Ro-Hit” is often used in wordplay to highlight his prowess as a batsman.


“Ro” is a shortened version of Rohit’s first name and is a popular nickname used by his teammates and fans. It is simple, catchy, and serves as an endearing way to refer to him.

The Hitman Show: 

“The Hitman Show” is a descriptive nickname often used to emphasize Rohit’s ability to entertain crowds with his explosive batting displays. It captures the excitement and anticipation that surrounds his innings, as he unleashes his array of strokes and dominates the opposition bowlers.

The Sultan of Sixes: 

Rohit Sharma’s prowess in hitting sixes has earned him the nickname “The Sultan of Sixes.” This title highlights his ability to clear the boundary ropes effortlessly and his tendency to accumulate a large number of sixes in his innings. It showcases his remarkable power-hitting skills and the impact he can have on the game through his big hits.

Sharma Ji Ka Beta: 

“Sharma Ji Ka Beta,” which translates to “Mr. Sharma’s Son,” is a nickname often used humorously to tease Rohit. The nickname alludes to the stereotypical expectation of high achievements associated with being the son of a respected and successful individual. It adds a playful element to his persona and shows how his performances have elevated him to a position of admiration and expectations.

Rahul Dravid – The Wall, Jammy, Mr. Dependable 

Rahul Dravid tests positive for COVID-19

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The Wall: 

Known for his impeccable technique and solid defence, Rahul Dravid earned the moniker “The Wall” during his illustrious career. This nickname perfectly encapsulates his ability to withstand the opposition’s bowling attack and hold the fort for his team. Dravid’s resolute batting style and his reputation as a dependable batsman made him an essential pillar of the Indian cricket team.


“Jammy” is a nickname often used to refer to Rahul Dravid. This nickname is derived from the popular Indian biscuit brand “Jammy,” which shares a similar pronunciation with his last name. It adds a touch of familiarity and affection to his persona, highlighting his approachable nature and endearing qualities.

Mr. Dependable: 

Rahul Dravid was often hailed as “Mr. Dependable” due to his consistent performance and ability to rescue the team from challenging situations. Whether it was battling it out in tough conditions or playing long innings to save matches, Dravid was the epitome of reliability and dependability. This nickname underscores his unwavering commitment to the team’s cause and his reliability as a batsman.

Virender Sehwag – Viru, Nawab of Najafgarh, Sultan of Multan Viru

10 interesting stories and records about Virender Sehwag

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Virender Sehwag, the explosive opening batsman, is often called “Viru” by his teammates and fans due to his aggressive style of play. His fearless approach and ability to dominate the opposition bowling made him a crowd favourite.

Nawab of Najafgarh: 

Sehwag is also known as the “Nawab of Najafgarh,” which refers to his hometown in Delhi. This nickname symbolizes his roots and the pride he holds for his birthplace.

Sultan of Multan: 

The nickname “Sultan of Multan” originated from Sehwag’s exceptional innings against Pakistan in Multan in 2004, where he scored a scintillating triple century. This inning showcased his aggressive batting style and his ability to dominate even the most formidable bowling attacks. The nickname “Sultan of Multan” pays tribute to that historic inning and the impact it had on his reputation.

Zen Master of Modern Cricket: 

Virender Sehwag has also been hailed as the “Zen Master of Modern Cricket” due to his ability to maintain a calm and composed demeanour while unleashing aggressive strokes. This nickname reflects his unique approach of combining aggression with a serene mindset, allowing him to approach the game with remarkable clarity and poise.

Sourav Ganguly – Dada, Bengal Tiger, Prince of Kolkata 

Stats: List of Records Sourav Ganguly holds in International Cricket

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Sourav Ganguly, fondly known as “Dada” or “Dada Da” by his fans, holds a significant place in the history of Indian cricket. This nickname, which translates to “elder brother” or “father figure” in Bengali, was bestowed upon him by his teammates as a mark of respect and admiration. Ganguly’s leadership qualities and his role in shaping the Indian cricket team during a crucial phase of its development earned him this endearing nickname.


The nickname “Dada” also reflects Ganguly’s role as a mentor and guiding figure to his teammates. He provided valuable guidance and support, nurturing young talents and instilling a sense of self-belief in them. Ganguly’s captaincy was marked by his willingness to empower and trust his players, allowing them to express themselves freely on the field. His approach created a cohesive team environment and played a pivotal role in shaping the careers of several young cricketers.

Bengal Tiger: 

Another prominent nickname associated with Sourav Ganguly is the “Bengal Tiger.” This nickname represents his ferocious and dominant presence on the field. Ganguly’s aggressive batting style, characterized by his elegant strokeplay and powerful drives, evoked the image of a fearless tiger in action. He displayed a strong determination to succeed and an unwavering spirit, which earned him this title.

Prince of Kolkata: 

Sourav Ganguly is often referred to as the “Prince of Kolkata.” This nickname of the charismatic Indian cricketer pays homage to his Kolkata roots and his immense popularity in the city. Ganguly’s contributions to cricket and his charismatic leadership made him a beloved figure among the cricket fans of Kolkata, earning him this regal title.

God of the Off-Side: 

Sourav Ganguly’s elegant and powerful strokeplay on the off-side earned him the nickname “God of the Off-Side.” His ability to effortlessly drive and cut the ball through the off-side was a sight to behold. This nickname celebrates his technical proficiency and dominance in scoring runs in that region of the field.

Lord Snooty: 

The nickname “Lord Snooty” was given to the Indian great by the British media back in 2003. It is a playful reference to Ganguly’s confident and sometimes assertive demeanour on and off the field. It adds a touch of humour and light-heartedness to his persona, showcasing his self-assured attitude and his ability to command respect among his peers.

Anil Kumble – Jumbo

Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman in contention for Team India's next head coach: Report

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Anil Kumble, the legendary Indian spinner, is lovingly referred to as “Jumbo” by cricket enthusiasts. This nickname was inspired by his tall stature and the impact he had on the game. Kumble’s consistent performance, unyielding determination, and his ability to extract bounce and turn from any pitch earned him this unique and fitting moniker.

Harbhajan Singh – Bhajji, Turbanator

Harbhajan Singh announces retirement from all forms of cricket

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Harbhajan Singh, the turban-wearing off-spinner, is commonly known as “Bhajji” among his teammates and fans. This nickname is derived from the last part of his name and has become synonymous with his jovial and friendly personality. Moreover, Harbhajan is also called the “Turbanator” due to his exceptional skills in spinning the ball and bamboozling batsmen with his variations.

Yuvraj Singh – Yuvi, Sixer King

After retiring from cricket, now Yuvraj Singh told his future plan - क्रिकेट से संन्यास लेने के बाद अब युवराज सिंह ने बताया अपने भविष्य का प्लान - India TV Hindi

Creator: Simon Hofmann | Credit: Getty Images for Laureus Copyright: 2018 Getty Images

Yuvraj Singh, the swashbuckling left-handed batsman and a hero of Indian cricket, is often called “Yuvi” by his fans. This nickname is an endearing way of addressing him and has become widely popular. Additionally, Yuvraj gained the title of “Sixer King” for his remarkable ability to hit sixes effortlessly, especially during the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, where he played pivotal roles in India’s victories.

Ravindra Jadeja – Sir Jadeja, Jaddu

Jadeja out of T20Is following concussion

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Ravindra Jadeja, the talented all-rounder, has earned the nickname “Sir Jadeja” due to his exceptional fielding skills and his consistent performances with both bat and ball. This nickname gained popularity through social media and has become an endearing way of referring to him. Moreover, his teammates often call him “Jaddu,” which is a shortened and affectionate version of his last name.

Kapil Dev – Haryana Hurricane

Kapil Dev stable after angioplasty; Virat Kohli, other cricketers wish speedy recovery | Cricket News – India TV

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Kapil Dev, the legendary all-rounder and captain of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, earned the nickname “Haryana Hurricane” due to his explosive batting style and the immense impact he had on the game. His aggressive approach and ability to change the course of a match single-handedly made him a force to be reckoned with.

Gautam Gambhir – Gauti

Time running out for out-of-form Gautam Gambhir -

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Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian opening batsman, is often called “Gauti” by his teammates and fans. This nickname is derived from the first part of his name and has become synonymous with his gritty and determined playing style. Gambhir was known for his focus, concentration, and ability to deliver in crucial moments.

Ajinkya Rahane – Jinks

Indian Cricketer Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane signed by Leicestershire for 2023 county season Creator: Visionhaus | Credit: Visionhaus/Getty Images Copyright: 2021 Visionhaus

Ajinkya Rahane, the dependable middle-order batsman and vice-captain of the Indian Test team, is commonly referred to as “Jinks” by his teammates. This nickname is an affectionate way of addressing him and has gained popularity due to his calm and composed approach to the game. Rahane is known for his ability to anchor the innings and play crucial match-saving knocks.

Jasprit Bumrah – Boom Boom, Jassi

Indian Cricketer Jasprit Bumrah

IND v AUS 2023: Jasprit Bumrah bowls at the nets in NCA; might return to action for last two Tests – Report Creator: Visionhaus | Credit: Visionhaus/Getty Images Copyright: 2022 Visionhaus

Jasprit Bumrah, the talented fast bowler known for his unique bowling action and accuracy, is called “Boom Boom” by his fans due to his ability to generate pace and pick crucial wickets. His deceptive variations and yorkers have earned him a reputation as one of the best death bowlers in the world. Moreover, his teammates affectionately call him “Jassi.”

Ravichandran Ashwin – Ash, Ashwinator, Anna

Indian Cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin

WATCH | ‘Scientist’ Ravichandran Ashwin ‘reviews the review’ in TNPL 2023 Creator: Alex Davidson-ICC | Credit: ICC via Getty Images Copyright: 2023 ICC

Ravichandran Ashwin, the skilled off-spinner and a key member of the Indian Test team, is often referred to as “Ash” by his teammates. This nickname is a shortened version of his last name and is commonly used to address him. Additionally, he is also known as the “Ashwinator” due to his ability to dismantle batting line-ups with his spin and guile

Shikhar Dhawan – Gabbar

Indian Cricketer Shikhar Dhavan

Shikhar Dhawan Not Selected in Team India For SA Series Questions Raised on Chief Selector Chetan Sharma Seeing IPL Record शिखर धवन को क्यों बार-बार किया जा रहा नजरअंदाज, IPL के आंकड़े Creator: Mark Kolbe | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2020 Getty Images

Shikhar Dhawan, the flamboyant left-handed opening batsman, earned the nickname “Gabbar” inspired by the iconic Bollywood character played by Amjad Khan in the movie “Sholay.” Dhawan’s aggressive batting style, accompanied by his moustache reminiscent of the character, led to the adoption of this nickname.


In conclusion, the world of Indian cricket is not only adorned with incredible talent but also with an array of fascinating and endearing nicknames. These Indian cricketers’ nicknames have become an integral part of the players’ identity, creating a sense of camaraderie and adding an element of charm to the sport.

As the legacy continues to unfold, we eagerly await the birth of new nicknames of Indian cricketers that will further enliven the spirit of Indian cricket and forever remain in the hearts of fans.

Kyle Philip

USA’s Kyle Philip suspended from bowling in international cricket

Kyle Philip, United States of America’s pace express has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect. The match officials found his bowling action illegal after USA’s World Cup Qualifier game against West Indies was completed.

Having reviewed footage of Phillip’s action, the event panel concluded it was illegal, and suspended him in accordance with Article 6.7 of the ICC’s regulations for the review of suspect bowling actions. Phillip’s suspension will remain in place until he submits to a reassessment of his action and gets it cleared.

Kyle Philips, who is one of the USA’s vital players returned with figures of 3 for 56 in USA’s defeat against West Indies. Philip also played in the USA’s next game against Nepal but did not feature in the game against the Netherlands.

With the current development, Kyle Philip, who is drafted into MI New York as a domestic player will make him uncertain in the Major League Cricket.

Kyle Phillip has played five ODIs for the USA, taking six wickets at an average of 40.83 and an economy rate of 6.04.

right cricket shoes

Choosing the Right Cricket Shoes: A Complete Guide

Cricket, being a sport that demands agility, balance, and precise footwork, requires players to have the right footwear. Cricket shoes play a crucial role in providing stability, grip, and support on the field. Choosing the appropriate cricket shoes can enhance a player’s performance while also minimizing the risk of injury. With a plethora of options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to select the right pair. This article aims to guide aspiring cricketers and enthusiasts on how to choose the perfect cricket shoes, considering factors such as playing style, playing surface, shoe construction, and individual preferences. 

Choosing the right cricket shoes is essential for optimizing performance and minimizing the risk of injuries on the field. By considering factors such as playing style, playing surface, shoe construction, and individual preferences, players can select shoes that provide the necessary stability, grip, and support. Understanding one’s playing style and specific requirements will guide the selection process. Additionally, considering the playing surface and opting for appropriate sole patterns or studs ensures optimal traction. The construction, materials, and fit of the shoes contribute to comfort, durability, and overall performance. It is advisable to try on different brands and sizes to find the perfect fit for your feet. By investing in the right cricket shoes, players can enhance their game and focus on delivering their best performance. 

SS Ton Cricket Bat

When it comes to selecting cricket shoes, batsmen should ideally opt for ones with rubber or metal spikes, as they offer excellent grip on the pitch and facilitate faster running. On the other hand, bowlers should prioritize shoes with studs, as they aid in achieving the correct landing position during their delivery stride. 

Ensuring the right shoe size is equally important, as ill-fitting shoes can negatively impact performance. Tight shoes can restrict movement and cause discomfort in the toes and heels, while excessively large sizes may hinder the player’s ability to form a stable stride. For cricket, it is advisable to leave some breathing space for the toes in the front and allow room on the sides, particularly for individuals with broader feet. 

By considering these factors, cricketers can make informed decisions when choosing cricket shoes that enhance their grip, speed, stability, and overall performance while ensuring optimal comfort and fit. 

Here are the essential tips to choose the right pair of cricket shoes for YOU.

Understanding the Playing Style 

Cricket encompasses various playing styles, and it is vital to select shoes that align with individual preferences and requirements. Selecting the appropriate pair of cricket shoes involves considering the player’s role on the field. Batters, for instance, need to assess their hitting preferences, focusing on whether they predominantly hit on the leg side or offside. This information is crucial for choosing the right shoes that cater to their specific needs. 

If a batter tends to hit more on the leg side, they should opt for cricket shoes that offer balance, additional cushioning, and effective shock absorption. Since the pressure exerted on the feet is greater during leg-side shots, these features help mitigate the impact and provide enhanced support.

By understanding their playing style and shot selection, batsmen can make an informed decision when it comes to selecting cricket shoes that optimize their performance and provide the necessary support and comfort during intense matches or training sessions. 

Here are a few factors to consider: 

a) Batsmen: 

Batsmen require shoes that provide excellent grip and support during quick sprints, while also facilitating swift movement between the creases. Lightweight shoes with responsive cushioning and a snug fit are ideal for batsmen. Look for shoes with reinforced toe protection to guard against impact. 

b) Bowlers: 

Bowlers need shoes that offer stability, traction, and support for sudden and forceful movements during their run-up and delivery stride. Bowling shoes should have a sturdy sole with ample grip to prevent slippage during the release. Opt for shoes with added ankle support to reduce the risk of twisting or spraining. 

c) All-rounders: 

All-rounders perform both batting and bowling roles, necessitating versatile shoes. They require a balance between stability, comfort, and agility. Look for shoes that offer a combination of features from both batsmen and bowlers’ shoes, providing adequate cushioning, support, and traction. 

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Considering the Playing Surface 

Different cricket pitches and playing surfaces call for specific shoe features. When you step out to play cricket, whether it’s a fast-paced match or training in the nets for an upcoming game, having a reliable pair of cricket shoes is essential. These shoes not only provide much-needed support to your feet but also enhance your performance on the pitch. They offer stability and protection, reducing the risk of injuries. 

For batsmen, a well-fitting pair of cricket shoes ensures the correct posture and stance when facing the incoming ball, contributing to better shot execution. Bowlers benefit from the right cricket shoes by aiding them in landing accurately and maintaining stability during the overarm delivery. Fielders can rely on the appropriate shoes to enhance their speed and agility while maintaining balance on the field. Consider the following factors: 

a) Turf/Grass Pitches: 

For traditional turf or grass pitches, cricket shoes with spikes or studs are recommended. Metal spikes provide superior grip on soft and moist surfaces, while rubber or plastic studs offer better traction on dry surfaces. Removable spikes allow customization based on ground conditions.

b) Artificial Pitches: 

Artificial pitches, commonly found in modern cricket facilities, require shoes with non-marking rubber soles or specialized sole patterns. These shoes provide excellent grip without damaging the pitch surface. Look for shoes with multidirectional sole patterns to aid in quick changes of direction. 

c) Indoor/Net Practice: 

Indoor cricket facilities or net practice sessions usually involve hard surfaces such as concrete or wooden floors. For such surfaces, shoes with non-marking rubber soles or gum soles are appropriate. These shoes offer cushioning and grip while minimizing the risk of slipping or marking the surface. 

Shoe Construction and Materials 

Before purchasing cricket shoes, players need to assess the material used in their construction. Typically, cricket shoes are crafted from synthetic leather called polyurethane (PU). This material is chosen for its softness and flexibility, allowing for unrestricted movement of the feet during play. The selected material should prioritize comfort, breathability, and adequate space for the legs. 

Furthermore, the midsole cushioning is a vital consideration, as it protects the feet and toes, reducing the risk of potential injuries. Adequate cushioning ensures a comfortable and secure fit, enhancing the player’s overall performance on the field. By taking into account the material composition and cushioning of the cricket shoes, players can make an informed decision and select footwear that offers comfort, flexibility, and sufficient support during cricket matches and training sessions. 

When buying cricket shoes, it’s important to consider your skill level, whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or professional player. Additionally, take into account the duration of your training and practice sessions. If you engage in long and exhaustive sessions, opting for highly durable shoes is recommended. 

Another crucial aspect to assess is the type of outsole. Cricket shoes are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Full-spike shoe soles typically feature metal spikes that can be removed. These shoes are suitable for bowlers and fielders who need to run on grassy fields, as the spikes offer enhanced traction. 

On the other hand, stud shoe soles have rubber studs that are soft and durable. These shoes provide reliable grip and are suitable for various playing conditions. By evaluating your game level, and practice duration, and considering the appropriate outsole type, you can make a well-informed choice when purchasing cricket shoes that align with your specific needs and offer the necessary durability and traction for optimal performance on the field. 

man in white baseball jersey holding baseball bat

Consider the following aspects:

a) Upper Construction: 

The upper part of the shoe should provide a comfortable fit and excellent breathability. Look for shoes with mesh or synthetic uppers that offer ventilation and reduce moisture buildup. Reinforcements in high-stress areas, such as the toe and heel, enhance durability. 

b) Cushioning and Support: 

Adequate cushioning is crucial to absorb shock and reduce the risk of injuries, especially during long hours of play. Look for shoes with responsive midsole cushioning, such as EVA or Phylon, which provide a balance of comfort and support. Additionally, shoes with ankle support features can help prevent sprains. 

c) Outsole and Traction: 

The outsole of cricket shoes should provide reliable traction and grip. Look for shoes with a durable rubber outsole that offers multidirectional traction. The pattern on the outsole should be designed to provide maximum grip on the specific playing surface. Additionally, the outsole should be flexible enough to allow natural movement while providing stability during quick changes in direction. 

d) Ankle Support: 

Cricket involves dynamic movements that put a strain on the ankles. Shoes with proper ankle support can help reduce the risk of ankle sprains and provide stability during lateral movements. Look for shoes with padded collars or ankle straps that offer additional support and protection. 

e) Fit and Comfort: 

The fit of cricket shoes is crucial for overall comfort and performance. Ill-fitting shoes can cause discomfort, and blisters, and affect mobility on the field. Ensure that the shoes provide a snug fit without being too tight or too loose. Consider trying on multiple brands and sizes to find the right fit for your foot shape. 

f) Durability: 

Cricket shoes undergo considerable wear and tear due to the nature of the sport. Look for shoes made from high-quality materials that can withstand the demands of the game. Reinforcements in high-stress areas, such as the toe and heel, can enhance durability and prolong the shoes’ lifespan. 

g) Brand and Reviews: 

Consider reputable brands that specialize in cricket footwear. Research customer reviews and feedback to gauge the performance, durability, and comfort of the shoes. Personal recommendations from fellow cricketers or coaches can also be valuable in making an informed decision. 

Important aspects to consider before buying shoes

When buying cricket shoes, it’s important to consider your skill level, whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or professional player. Additionally, take into account the duration of your training and practice sessions. If you engage in long and exhaustive sessions, opting for highly durable shoes is recommended. 

Another crucial aspect to assess is the type of outsole. Cricket shoes are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Full-spike shoe soles typically feature metal spikes that can be removed. These shoes are suitable for bowlers and fielders who need to run on grassy fields, as the spikes offer enhanced traction. 

On the other hand, stud shoe soles have rubber studs that are soft and durable. These shoes provide reliable grip and are suitable for various playing conditions. 

By evaluating your game level, and practice duration, and considering the appropriate outsole type, you can make a well-informed choice when purchasing cricket shoes that align with your specific needs and offer the necessary durability and traction for optimal performance on the field.

badminton shuttlecock

Serve, smash, score: Learn the rules of badminton like a pro

Badminton, an indoor sport, originated in the early 16th century. Its history dates back to the mid-1800s in British India, where it was initially played under the name Poon. Known as the fastest racket sport in the world, badminton is an effortless game with simple rules. All you need to play is a net, a shuttlecock, a racket, and a few rules to follow. This minimal equipment is essential for the game. The objective is to serve the shuttlecock to the opponent’s court and engage in a rally as they return the shot. Over time, badminton has evolved from its humble beginnings to become an Olympic event and a popular sport played in various parts of the world. 

Badminton is a fast-paced and exciting racquet sport that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the rules of badminton is essential to play the game effectively and enjoyably. In this article, we will explore the key rules of the badminton game, covering everything from scoring to serving and faults. By familiarizing yourself with these rules, you can enhance your gameplay and compete with confidence. 

Mastering the rules of badminton games is crucial for players of all levels, from recreational enthusiasts to professional athletes. By understanding the regulations surrounding serving, scoring, gameplay, and faults, you can participate in the sport with confidence and enjoy the competitive spirit it offers. Remember, badminton is not just about power and speed; it requires precision, strategy, and good sportsmanship. 

best Yonex Racquet

best Yonex Racquet

Important Rules Of Badminton Game Everyone Must Know

Court and Equipment: 

A standard badminton court is rectangular, measuring 13.4 meters in length and 6.1 meters in width for doubles matches, with a net dividing the court into two halves. For singles matches, the court width is reduced to 5.18 meters. The net should be 1.55 meters high at the edges and 1.524 meters high at the center. 

Players use lightweight rackets to hit a shuttlecock, also known as a birdie or shuttle, across the net. The shuttlecock has a conical shape with a cork base covered by feathers or made of synthetic materials. 


The serve is the starting shot of each rally. The server must stand within their service court, diagonally opposite to the receiver. The serve must be hit below the server’s waist and diagonally to the opponent’s service court. The server must ensure that their racket contacts the shuttlecock below their waist. 

In doubles, the server serves from the right service court when their team’s score is even, and from the left service court when it is odd. The receiver’s partner must also stand within their respective service court, and the receiver should try to return the serve. 

Person serving the shuttlecock in badminton game


Badminton matches are typically played in a best-of-three games format. In each game, players or pairs aim to reach 21 points. However, if the score becomes tied at 20-20, the game continues until one side gains a two-point lead (e.g., 22-20). The first server is determined by a coin toss, and players switch sides after every game. The winner of each game is the first player or pair to reach 21 points or the player or pair with the highest score when the game time limit is reached. 

Rules of scoring: 

  1. A match consists of the best of three games, with each game played to 21 points. 
  2. Players or pairs score a point when they win a rally. 
  3. If the score reaches 20-all, the player or pair must gain a 2-point lead to win the game. 
  4. If the score reaches 29-all, the side scoring the 30th point wins the game.
  5. The winner of a game serves first in the next game. 
  6. A badminton match must be played indoors on an official court with the correct dimensions. 
  7. Points are scored when the shuttlecock lands inside the opponent’s court, or if a returned shuttlecock hits the net or lands outside the court. 
  8. At the start of a rally, the server and receiver stand in diagonally opposite service courts. 
  9. A legal serve must be hit diagonally over the net and across the court.
  10. The serve must be underarm and below the server’s waist height, with the racquet shaft pointing downwards. The shuttlecock should be below 1.15 meters from the surface of the court when struck by the server. Bouncing the shuttlecock is not allowed. 
  11. After winning a point, players move to the opposite serving stations for the next point. 
  12. Second serves are not allowed in badminton. 
  13. During a point, a player can return the shuttlecock from inside or outside the court. 
  14. Players are not allowed to touch the net with any part of their body or racket. 
  15. Deliberately distracting an opponent is not allowed. 
  16. A player cannot hit the shuttlecock twice in a row. 
  17. The referee may call a ‘let’ if an unforeseen or accidental issue arises. 
  18. Each game must include two rest periods: a 90-second rest after the first game and a 5-minute rest after the second game. 

Rally and Gameplay: 

After the serve, the game proceeds as a rally. The shuttle must be hit over the net and into the opponent’s court, aiming to make it land within the boundaries of the court. Players must alternate hitting the shuttle, allowing it to cross the net before being struck. The objective of the game is to make the shuttle hit the ground on the opponent’s side, force an error from the opponent, or create an opportunity for a winning shot. Players can score points when the opponent commits a fault or if the shuttlecock lands outside the boundaries of the court. 

Faults and Let:

A fault occurs when a player violates the rules of the badminton game, resulting in the loss of a rally or point. Some common faults in badminton include: 

white bird flying during daytime

Faults in Badminton: 

Illegal Service: 

  • The shuttle, at the moment of being hit, is higher than the server’s waist. 
  • The head of the racket is higher than the server’s racket hand during the serve. 

Incorrect Service: 

  • The shuttle does not land within the correct service court. 
  • The server’s feet are not positioned inside the service court. 
  • The receiver’s feet are not positioned diagonally opposite the server.

Foot Fault: 

  • The server’s or receiver’s feet are outside the boundaries of the service court during the serve. 

Balking or Feinting: 

  • Any player deliberately distracting or deceiving their opponent before or during the serve. 
  • Out-of-Bounds Shots: 
  • A serve or shot that lands outside the court boundaries. 
  • The shuttle passes under or through the net. 
  • The shuttle touches any obstructions, a player’s body, or clothing. 
  • However, shots that land on the boundary lines or service lines are considered in play. 

Early Contact: 

  • The shuttle is struck by a player before it crosses the net to their side.
  • It is permissible to follow through over the net after making contact with the shuttle. 

Net Fault: 

  • A player touches the net or its supports with their body or racket while the shuttle is in play. 
  • However, touching the net outside of the playing area is allowed. 

Double Hit: 

  • A player hits the shuttle twice in succession.
  • This can occur when a player’s racket makes contact with the shuttle twice during a single stroke or when a player hits the shuttle and it rebounds off their body or racket and is hit again. 

A let is called when the rally is interrupted by external factors, such as the shuttle getting stuck in the net or a player being hindered by outside interference. In such cases, the rally is replayed without any points being awarded. 

man in white t-shirt and black shorts hitting the shuttlecock

More rules of Badminton Game: 

No. of players 

  1. A badminton match can be played with either two players (singles) or four players (doubles) on the court at a given time. 
  2. In doubles matches, after a service is returned, both players on the receiving team are allowed to hit the shuttlecock and are not required to take turns. 
  3. Recreational games may feature women playing against men in singles matches, and wheelchair formats are also available for all types of competitive badminton matches. 
  4. Competitive badminton games consist of five different types of matches/events: 
  5. Men’s singles 
  6. Women’s singles 
  7. Men’s doubles 
  8. Women’s doubles 
  9. Mixed doubles, where each team is composed of one man and one woman.

Service Over and Change of Ends: 

If the server commits a fault, such as serving into the wrong service court or not hitting the shuttle below the waist, it results in service over. The serve then passes to the opponent, and they become the new server. After the first game, players or pairs must change the ends of the court. This ensures that no player has a significant advantage due to factors like lighting or wind conditions. 

Doubles-Specific Rules of badminton game: 

In doubles matches, there are additional rules of badminton game to ensure fair play and effective teamwork. These rules include: 

  1. In a serve, the receiver’s partner must not touch the shuttle until it has crossed the net.
  2. Players must take turns hitting the shuttle, with no more than one stroke per side. 
  3. Players can switch positions during the rally, but they must not obstruct the opponent or change the configuration of the court.

Umpires and Officials: 

In official matches, there are umpires and line judges to enforce the rules of badminton games and ensure fair play. The umpire makes decisions on faults, lets, and scoring disputes. Line judges assist in determining whether the shuttle landed inside or outside the boundaries of the court. In high-level tournaments, there is also the use of instant replay technology to review close calls and make accurate decisions.

Tennis Serve

Ace Your Serve: Techniques and Tips to Improve Your Tennis Game

Have you ever lost your cool during a game because your serve in tennis just wouldn’t connect? There are definitely a few minor errors in your form and serving technique, but we can correct them with a few straightforward actions. The serve is frequently more of a liability than an advantage when the serve technique is incorrect. Simple serving instructions won’t help you master the proper tennis serving technique.

Tennis serves must be consistently practised both on and off the court to be hit perfectly. To speak the truth, the serve is the trickiest and most crucial stroke in tennis. You must thus master every single technical component of this stroke.

You may get additional free points by improving your tennis serve. Additionally, it will give you the ability to attack with the first ball, overpower your rivals, and win more games.

four men playing double tennis during daytime

You can hit the finest tennis serve of your life by following these 11 steps.

Step 1: The Grip

Many tennis players use a forehand grip, which is a typical error that reduces the effectiveness of their tennis serve. As a result, the spin and speed that may be created are impacted since they are unable to swing the racquet along the proper swing path.

The best way to improve your tennis serve is to use a continental grip. Make sure your hand is inclined and that your index finger is somewhat spread on the racquet to get this grip. You’ll be able to feel your hand relaxing during the swing thanks to this, which will also help you gain control and feel.

Depending on the serve you wish to hit, there are now small variances. On the forehand side, for instance, you may shift your hand just a little to the right. With what is referred to as a firm continental grip, you may hit a flatter tennis serve and produce greater pronation.

Alternatively, you might slide your hand across to the backhand side. You can simply add extra topspin and slice to your tennis serve by using this grip. However, in order to get started and lay a strong foundation, getting a conventional continental grip is highly advised.

Step 2: Start

You want to have a strong base in the beginning position with your feet positioned properly on the ground. You should stand with your back to the side fence and your body facing it. Additionally, you’ll be looking at your target from behind yourself with your head and eyes.

Many players start off quickly and raise their racquet too early, which affects their timing and rhythm. Additionally, they are holding their hands and arms with too much stress. So before entering the swing’s acceleration phase, you start the action at a modest pace.

Likewise, when you become conscious of how firmly you’re gripping the racquet, make sure to maintain a comfortable posture with your shoulders back and arms at your sides. Creating a dependable pre-serve routine you may, for instance, inhale deeply before starting your action and bounce the ball a certain number of times before each serve.

Step 3: The Stance

Your feet should be positioned such that your front foot is towards the right nett post (for right-handed players) and your rear foot is parallel to the baseline. This is the appropriate tennis serve posture.

In order to remain steady after you start and complete your entire service motion, the toes of the rear foot are also generally aligned with the heel of the front foot.

This is a fundamental viewpoint that you may change based on who you’re serving.

The platform stance and the pin-point stance are the two different kinds of stances used as techniques in a tennis serve. When using the platform serve posture, the feet stay still throughout the whole serving action. You just coil and angle your body while bending your knees, then push off upward into the serve.

In contrast, the pin-point serve stance requires that you begin the serve from a platform stance, pull the back foot closer to the front foot as you toss the ball up, and then push off upwards towards the ball.

Both serve techniques in tennis are appropriate, although often more explosive players choose the platform stance, and taller players who aren’t seeking as much explosive force off the ground use the pin-point stance.

Utilising a platform stance when serving in tennis is advised. It is believed to assist you in developing your concealment, shoulder turn, leg drive, and contact point. Additionally, you’ll be able to serve with more topspin and use the arm appropriately.

In reality, platform stances are used by some of the greatest and fastest servers of all time, like Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. However, there have also been exceptional serves in tennis made with a precise posture, such as those of the Bryan Brothers and Goran Ivanisevic.

Step 4: First Move

One of the most crucial aspects of the tennis serve is the first motion. Most tennis players don’t have the right shoulder turn, which is essential for simple, effective serving. Natural, effortless power is hard to come by when the upper body isn’t functioning correctly. It is also not possible to acquire an extra disguise in order to confuse the adversary.

Feel your body, in particular your shoulder, begin to turn slightly to execute a strong first motion. Your serving arm should follow your throwing arm as you throw. To put it another way, the serving arm must trail or wait behind the hurling arm.

In order to prepare to release the ball, keep your throwing arm straight and lift it smoothly. During this stage, your serving arm may be bent or straight. As the racquet goes towards the pendulum position, you may concentrate on maintaining its closed posture.

man playing tennis

Step 5: Toss

Even the fastest server, Roger Federer, acknowledged the value of the coin toss. Tennis players sometimes lament that their throws are unpredictable. It’s crucial to master a consistent throw by figuring out where to find the ball.

As you release the ball, keep your wrist in a neutral position and concentrate on gripping the ball with your fingertips. When the time comes to release the ball, keep your throwing arm straight and extend your fingers. Additionally, make sure your body is steady and that you are throwing the ball from your shoulder.

Understand how far the toss is out in front of you and how far it moves to the left or right if you want to hit a superb tennis serve. You must know how high or low to toss your tennis serve since the toss height is very crucial.

Step 6: Offhand and arm

While transitioning from the initial move to the racquet drop position, the throwing arm remains straight but is not quite locked. The throwing arm will be completely stretched up towards the sky before swinging up to the ball.

Before bursting up to the ball, try to maintain the palm of your throwing hand facing the side fence. This will enable you to maintain the shoulder rotation until the very last second. To obtain a maximal extension, place your offhand in a neutral position with your fingers slightly apart.

Step 7: The Trophy Position

One of the most important aspects of mastering your tennis serve is the trophy position. Lift your serving arm up to the sky while maintaining your throwing arm bent at about a 90-degree angle to get the perfect trophy stance.

Before the racquet drop phase, the racquet face is building momentum while remaining closed (it can go vertical at this stage). The knees are bent, the shoulders are turned, and the body is poised to leap into the ball.

Instead of bending your lower back, keep your wrists neutral and slightly push out your hips. It is advisable to continuously practise the trophy position at least three times each week to grasp this crucial serve component.

Step 8: Legs

Many athletes attempt to increase their power by using their legs, but they frequently do so incorrectly. Their tennis serve becomes less effective as a result. To develop rhythm, keep your legs straight at the beginning of the action. Then, while your elbow is bending, bend your legs.

You may jump with more force from the ground up if your knees are bent sufficiently. Don’t “squat” as you bend your knees during the serve; instead, make sure your leg drive is explosive.

Push off the ground with equal force with both feet if you are in a platform posture. Feel your front leg pushing off if you have a precise stance. To make your body lift and go towards the ball, slightly tilt your front hip towards the net. As soon as the serve is received, hop onto the baseline with your front foot.

a person standing on a tennis court holding a tennis racket

Step 9: Racquet Drop

You don’t want to concentrate too much on this when practising your tennis serve. You must first adopt the proper grip, posture, initial action, and trophy pose. This will naturally cause the racquet to drop. Avoid scratching your back, and keep the racquet away from your head and back.

Maintain a relaxed arm and hand as you leap upward with your legs. When you move up to make contact with the ball, get the elbow to lead. If the step preceding it is perfect and in rhythm, this racquet drop will happen.

Additionally, a flexible shoulder is beneficial. The racket’s butt cap will be facing up, and the elbow will be hanging behind as it starts to lead up to the ball. You can easily produce power with this motion.

Step 10: Contact Point

With your arm straight above your body, make contact with the ball. You’re most likely to make contact with the ball on a first serve over the dominant shoulder. You should make contact with the ball above your head for a second serve.

Depending on the kind of serve being hit, the contact and toss locations might change, but the arm should always be fully extended. You may either let the ball fall slightly or make contact with the ball when it reaches its highest point.

Avoid looking at contact and maintain a more slanted posture. Additionally, maintain head contact and try to extend your entire body as you make contact with the ball.

In order to improve your serve consistency, it’s crucial that you establish the proper serve pace. As was previously said in Step 3, starting slowly is essential. You can accelerate all the way to the point of contact.

That racquet needs to be very fast in order for the ball to fly off the strings. This begins with a slower, more fluid, and smoother pace. The momentum continues to grow gradually after that until the swing’s subsequent acceleration. As a consequence, easy power may be produced along with maximum impact at the point of contact.

Step 11: Finish

One of the most underrated areas of the serve is the finish. It’s true that having a solid tennis serve technique might lead to the finish occurring spontaneously. You can concentrate on the finish by ensuring that your hand reaches the opposing pocket at the conclusion of the swing. In addition, you may finish the swing by bending your arm and placing your hand in front of your belly button.

At the conclusion of the swing, slightly curl the wrist so that the palm is facing up. As a result, you may provide the serve spin and control. After making contact with the ball, several players are able to leap onto the court and land inside the baseline. After the serve is made, other players must walk onto the court since they are unable to jump.

When jumping, be sure to touch down on the court with your front leg. Then, to attain ideal balance on your serve, kick up your rear leg from behind. In any case, you want to enter the court with some upward and forward velocity. To hit excellent tennis serves, get your body moving up and forwards.


Top 5 highest run scorers of all-time in Ashes

The Ashes is considered as one of the fiercest cricket battles. As we have India vs Pakistan for the cricket teams in the sub-continent, the battle between Australia and England is on the same lines. One of the oldest rivalries in the history of the sport, England squaring off against Australia always makes for headline news, and when the two sides meet in Tests, the stakes can’t get any higher.

The Ashes is of prime importance for both teams. It is on par with the Cricket World Cup for both teams. After winning the Ashes in 2020, Australia will be looking to retain the trophy. Their batting and bowling; both seem to be in tremendous form.

While England who are revolutionizing Test cricket with “Bazball” will be looking to snatch the trophy from the opposition’s hands. Who will prevail in this historic Test series between two of the oldest Test nations?

Many pundits have predicted the results of the ongoing Ashes series. Australian legend Glenn McGrath has predicted a 5-0 whitewash in the favour of the Australians. And he has predicted Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne to do good in the series.

Many legendary cricketers have displayed moments of brilliance in this historic Test series. From Sir Donald Bradman’s historic season in the 1930 season to Sir Alastair Cook’s remarkable 2010-11 season, the Ashes has witnessed several remarkable moments. In this article, we have a look at the Top 5 highest run-getters of all time in Ashes.

Top 5 highest run scorers of all-time in Ashes

#5 Steve Smith (3060 runs in 33 games)

Steve Smith

Steve Smith named Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade | Cricket NSW Creator: Michael Dodge Copyright: 2017 Getty Images

Steve Smith has been an amazing player for Australia with the right-hander displaying his craft at the Ashes. The former Australian skipper is one of the very cricketers to feature in the top 10 run-getters of Ashes of all time.

Smith has scored 8,947 runs in 97 Tests at an average of 60.04. Out of the 8947 runs, over 3000 runs have come against England, which is 34.02% runs of his Test career. Also, Smith has scored more than 500 runs in successive Ashes series – 687 in 2017-18 and 774 in 2019.

Smith, who was banned from international cricket, made a return to Test cricket in 2019. The 2020 Ashes saw a very different Smith. He was absolutely sensational with the bat, making runs at an average of 110.57. With Smith smashing a wonderful century in the World Test Championship final, Smith will be looking to build on his amazing form.

#4 Steve Waugh (3173 runs in 45 games)

Top six players didn't wear helmets”, Steve Waugh opens up on Australia's bold tactic during 1989 Ashes tour

Creator: Ben Radford | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2003 Getty Images

Steve Waugh was one of the most prolific leaders in Australian cricket. Waugh has the highest win percentage 66, across all formats and is one of cricket’s greatest captains in history. Not only his leadership skills were excellent, but also his batting would envy any top-order batter.

The gritty right-hander is the third player to cross the landmark of 10,000 Test runs. Waugh has accumulated 3,173 runs against England in 45 Tests played from 1986 to 2003. Of the 32 Test centuries he notched, 10 were against England. He was more dominant against England in England, averaging 74.22 in 22 Tests.

His biggest Ashes season came in 1989 when he scored 506 runs at a staggering average of 126.50. His magnificent batting coupled with great bowling from the Aussies helped them win the Ashes 4-0.

#3 Alan Border (3222 runs in 42 games)

Alan Border - highest run-getters of Ashes

When part-time spinner Allan Border did full-time damage to West Indies | On this Day Creator: Adrian Murrell | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2006 Getty Images

Alan Border loved playing against England. The left-hander averaged 56.31 against the Poms in 42 Tests with 3222 runs with the assistance of 21 fifties and eight centuries.

His best came when Australia won three consecutive Ashes in 1989 (4-0), 1990-91 (3-0) and 1993 (4-1). During these series, Border’s leadership skills were as sharp as his batting skills. Did you know Border captained Australia in a record-breaking 28 Ashes Tests and won 13 of them? That makes him the most successful captain of the Ashes.

During the 1985 Ashes, Border played one of the most vital knocks of his career. During the Oval Test of 1985, Border played a valiant knock of 146* to salvage Australia’s chances to draw the Test. Also, his unbeaten knock of 200 at the Headingley Test from the 1993 Ashes series will forever be etched in every cricket fan’s memory.

#2 Jack Hobbs (3636 runs in 41 games)

Jack Hobbs - highest run-getters of Ashes

235 Jack Hobbs Cricket Photos and Premium High Res Pictures – Getty Images Creator: Central Press | Credit: Getty Images

The only player who made it to the Top 5 highest run-getters of all time in Ashes; Jack Hobbs was a pivotal player for England who helped the Poms win many important clashes. He was called ‘The Master’ and scored even after he went past 50 years of age.

Hobbs made 61,760 runs in first-class cricket and 199 centuries. Hobbs made 5410 runs in 61 Tests from 1908 to 1930. Out of the 61 Tests, 41 were a part of the Ashes. In the Ashes, he scored 3636 runs in 71 Test innings against England at 54.26, including 12 centuries.

#1 Sir Donald Bradman (5028 runs in 37 games)

Sir Donald Bradman - highest run-getters of Ashes

Furious debate rages after Don Bradman letter to former Australian PM Malcolm Fraser emerges: ‘Right-wing nutjob’ | 7NEWS Creator: Fox Photos | Credit: Getty Images

The top spot is obviously occupied by none other than; the maestro himself, Sir Donald Bradman. In the 52 Tests that he has played, Bradman has scored 6996 runs at an unbelievable average of 99.98.

He is the only player to score more than 5,000 Test runs in the Ashes. He has hit 19 of his 29 Test centuries against England and averaged 89.78 against them. Bradman’s record of 974 runs in the 1930 Ashes is the most runs scored in a Test series. The record is yet to be broken even after 93 years.

Bradman has played many unforgettable innings during his career. One such came inning came during the third Test at the Headingley in Leeds where he slammed his career-best of 334 runs.

Remembering the forgotten legends of Indian Sports

Remembering the forgotten legends of Indian Sports

Athletes compete, passion ablaze,

Fields and courts, where legends amaze,

Graceful movements, battles unfurled,

Sports, a symphony that stirs the world.

Sports. A spirit that lies within us and an activity that holds a special place in every Indian’s heart. Be it hockey the national sport of  India or cricket- the soul of every sports enthusiast Indians look forward to these events. 

Indians are mad and passionate about sports. Be it cricket or football or hockey, every Indian wears his/her passion on their sleeve to support their favourite athlete.

Did you know India houses the world’s oldest stadium with terraced stands located in Dholavira, Gujarat? Such is the rich history of our country which has produced many sporting legends who have done miraculous tasks on the field to inspire future generations.

In such a sportingly rich country, it is a shame that we have some of our sporting heroes who aren’t being credited as much. Their dedication, sacrifices and bravery deserve wide recognition and appreciation from us.

In this article, we have a look at some of the forgotten legends of India’s sports history. 

The Forgotten Legends of India’s Sports History

Jimmy George- The Flying Indian

Jimmy George- The Flying Indian

Jimmy George, the renowned Indian volleyball player and former captain of the Indian national volleyball team, is widely recognized as one of the greatest volleyball players in history. Often referred to as the “God of Indian volleyball,” he achieved remarkable heights in his career. An important aspect of volleyball is the net, which stands at a height of 2.43 metres. Jimmy’s exceptional attack reach extended to 3.44 metres, nearly one metre more than the net height.

Jimmy George initially played as an amateur for both Kerala and the Indian national team. However, he went on to make history by becoming the first Indian to transition into a professional volleyball player. He competed for professional clubs overseas, most notably in Italy. Jimmy’s skills and talent were widely acknowledged, and he gained significant recognition during his time playing in Italy.

Yet, tragedy struck when the world least expected it. At the tender age of 32, Jimmy’s life was cut short in a devastating road accident in Italy. The news shattered hearts and dimmed the light of Indian volleyball. A void was left, an emptiness that could never be filled.

But even in his untimely departure, George’s legacy remains indelible. His name will forever be whispered with reverence, his memory cherished by those who witnessed his greatness. He will forever be remembered as the youngest volleyball player to receive the prestigious Arjuna Award, a testament to his exceptional contributions to Indian sports.

Nirmal Kaur Saini

Nirmal Kaur Saini

Legends have said, “Behind every successful man is a woman”. We all know Milkha Singh- The Flying Sikh, the track and field sprinter who made India proud by winning various prestigious trophies and medals around the world.  

Nirmal Kaur Saini was the wife of Milkha Singh and the mother of their son Jeev Milkha Singh but very few people know that she was an Indian volleyball player and captain of the India women’s national volleyball team. She was a member of the Punjab volleyball team and has consequently won tournaments while playing with the team. She was the captain of the Indian Volleyball team in the Indo-Ceylon tour held in Sri Lanka.  

Sally Joseph 

Sally Joseph 

Sally Joseph, a Kerala native, was a remarkable and highly skilled volleyball player who left a lasting impact on the sport. Her exceptional abilities on the court set her apart and made her a standout figure among the volleyball players from Kerala. Known for her mesmerising playstyle, she possessed a unique skill set that often overshadowed even male players. Sally Joseph was particularly renowned for her captivating counter-attacking skills, displaying beautiful action and delivering thunderous spikes.

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to Indian volleyball, Sally Joseph was honoured with the prestigious “Arjuna Award” in 1984. This esteemed award is granted to athletes who have exhibited exceptional performances and achieved remarkable milestones in their respective sports.

Sally Joseph’s legacy as a highly talented volleyball player from Kerala continues to inspire aspiring athletes. Her extraordinary skills, combined with the recognition of receiving the Arjuna Award, solidify her place among the noteworthy volleyball players in the history of Indian sports.

Nandu Natekar

Nandu Natekar

Nandu M. Natekar was the recipient of the first Arjuna Award instituted in 1961. He was the first Indian badminton player to play and win an international title back in 1956. He has won over 100 international and national titles. Nandu M. Natekar has participated in a number of matches, of which he won 12 out of the 16 singles matches and 8 out of 16 in doubles as part of the Indian team at the Thomas Cup held between 1951 and 1963.

During his playing career, Nandu Natekar represented India in numerous international tournaments and brought home several accolades. He won the National Badminton Championships of India for seven consecutive years from 1953 to 1959, showcasing his dominance and consistency in the sport. He also led the country in the tournament in 1959, 1961 and 1963. He also entered the quarterfinals of the coveted All England Championships in 1954 when he was just 21. 

MJ Gopalan

MJ Gopalan - Indian Sports Legend

Morappakam Josyam Gopalan, fondly called MJ Gopalan was a prominent figure in the field of Indian cricket. He played a significant role as an all-rounder and was associated with the Madras (now Chennai) cricket team.

Gopalan was an exceptional right-arm fast-medium bowler, known for his ability to swing the ball effectively. He represented the Madras cricket team in various tournaments and played a crucial part in their successes.

Gopalan’s cricketing career spanned from the late 1930s to the early 1950s, during which he showcased his skills in both domestic and international matches. His dedication and talent led him to earn the prestigious Madras Presidency cap, a symbol of recognition for exceptional cricketers in the region.

He was more successful in first-class cricket, taking 194 wickets as a fast bowler as well as scoring 2916 runs in 78 matches. Gopalan was a double international, who also represented India at hockey as a centre-half. In 1936, he was faced with a difficult choice when he was picked for both the cricket tour of England and for the hockey team at the Berlin Olympics. Gopalan bowled the first delivery in the Ranji Trophy, against Mysore at Madras in November 1934. 

Raj Singh Dungarpur

Raj Singh Dungarpur - Indian Sports Legend

Raj Singh Dungarpur held the position of president at the Board of Control for Cricket in India. In his role as the chairman of the selection committee, Dungarpur played a pivotal role in introducing Sachin Tendulkar to the international cricket scene. Tendulkar was handpicked by Dungarpur and included in India’s 1989 tour of Pakistan when he was a mere 16 years old. Dungarpur is also acknowledged for his efforts in establishing the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

During his cricketing career, Dungarpur represented the Rajasthan cricket team as well as the Central Zone cricket team. He participated in 86 first-class cricket matches spanning from 1955 to 1971, showcasing his skills as a medium-pace bowler and claiming a total of 206 wickets. Among his notable performances, his standout figures of 7 for 88 and 5 for 55 came during Rajasthan’s triumph over Vidarbha in the 1967-68 season. Moreover, Dungarpur assumed the role of Manager for the Indian Cricket team on multiple occasions, contributing to the team’s management and coordination.

Neville D’souza

Neville D’souza - Indian Sports Legend

Neville D’souza played hockey during his academics and represented the Bombay State hockey team in the National Hockey Championship from 1953 to 1955. He began his football career after playing for football clubs in Goa. He scored 4 goals in the 1956 Summer Olympics and was known as one of the finest strikers back in his time.

S. Narayan a former Indian international who played with Neville at the 1956 Summer Olympics said about Neville D’Souza.

Whenever I think about Indian football, his name comes to my mind. After we won, I remember the Australians calling our victory a “fluke” and demanding a rematch at Sydney after the Games ended. They were so stunned at the Olympic loss despite the home advantage that they were adamant about playing us again. We won the re-match with Neville scoring twice. Television was not around when Neville was playing for India at the Olympics and nor were video recordings possible, so people have no way of knowing how good he was in the goalmouth.”

The Mumbai Football Association began organising U-17 Neville D’Souza Trophy for teenagers from seventeen districts in Maharashtra.

Shanti Mullick

Shanti Mullick Indian Legend Of Sports

Shanti Mullick is an Indian former women’s footballer who played as a forward for the India women’s national football team. Mullick is the first Indian women’s footballer to receive the Arjuna Award, the second-highest Indian sports award.

Mullick was born in Kalighat, Kolkata, West Bengal and her father was also a footballer who served in the military.

Mullick represented India at the AFC Women’s Championships where the team reached the finals twice and finished as runners-up in the 1980 and 1983 editions. She played for the national team managed by legendary Sushil Bhattacharya. Her team also finished in third place in the 1981 edition. She captained the Indian team between 1981 and 1983. Mullick was the first women’s footballer to score a hat-trick for India in a 5–0 victory over Singapore in the 1981 AFC Women’s Championship.

Yolanda D’Souza

Yolanda D'Souza Indian Sports Legend

Yolanda D’Souza Kammermeier, known as ‘The Hat-Trick Queen,’ holds the distinction of being the first woman to achieve an international hat-trick for India. Although she grew up in Calangute, young Yolanda never anticipated that she would become a pivotal figure in the history of Indian women’s football during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Yolanda’s career in football was truly remarkable, garnering her numerous accolades. In 1979, she was honoured with the prestigious Bakshi Bahaddar Jivba Dada Kerkar Award by the Government of Goa. Recognizing her exceptional talent and contributions to the sport, Yolanda was later bestowed with the esteemed title of “Player of the Decade” by the Women’s Football Federation of India (WFFI) in 1980.

One of Yolanda’s significant achievements was being the first female player to score an international hat trick for India. She accomplished this remarkable feat against the Swedish club BET in 1976, etching her name in the annals of Indian football history.

Nirupama Mankad

Nirupama Mankad - Legend of indian sports

Nirupama Mankad is a former Indian tennis player and also the daughter of Tennis legend G. Vasant. Mankad won the Asian women’s tennis championship in 1965 at the age of 17. She introduced Tennis to India before it became mainstream. She was active from 1964 to 1979 and contested 25 finals and won 18 singles titles.

Nirupama Mankad achieved several notable milestones throughout her career. In 1987, she became the first Indian woman to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament when she qualified for the Wimbledon Championships. Her perseverance and skill earned her recognition as a trailblazer for Indian women in tennis.

During her professional tennis career, Mankad participated in both singles and doubles competitions. She was known for her strong baseline game, versatility, and mental toughness on the court. Mankad’s dedication and hard work led to her achieving a career-high singles ranking of 134 in the world.

Nirupama Mankad also represented India in the Fed Cup, the premier international team competition in women’s tennis. Her commitment to the sport and her country helped raise the profile of Indian women’s tennis on the global stage.

After retiring from professional tennis, Mankad continued to contribute to the sport as a coach and mentor. She has been actively involved in nurturing young tennis talents in India and promoting the growth of the game at the grassroots level.

Nirupama Mankad’s achievements and her pioneering role in Indian women’s tennis have left a lasting impact on the sport in the country. She remains an inspiration for aspiring tennis players and a symbol of excellence in Indian tennis history.

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