Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Atwal success fuels India’s major ambitions

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Arjun Atwal’s PGA Tour triumph shone as a beacon on an otherwise dark Sunday for Indian sports, fuelling the world’s second most populous country’s hopes of celebrating a maiden major victory in the not too distant future, writes Amlan Chakraborty.

The Florida-based 37-year-old is often world number one Tiger Woods’ practice partner and keeping such company helped him become the first Indian to win a PGA Tour title with his one-stroke victory at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday

Atwal’s achievement came on a day when monsoon rains impeded Delhi’s Commonwealth Games preparations and the cricket-crazy nation slumped into depression after the one-day side were hammered by hosts Sri Lanka in the tri-series at Dambulla.

Celebrating the triumph almost as much as the player himself, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) director Padamjit Singh Sandhu believes a major win for an Indian was now a distinct possibility.

England v Australia, Twenty20 final — live

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We’re blogging from the final of the World Twenty-20 cricket in the West Indies, with the clash between England and Australia building towards a climax.

England are doing surprisingly well, but who would write off Australia after their semi-final comeback against Pakistan? Stay tuned … and remember, comments are extremely welcome…

from India Insight:

Mind your pees & queues for the Delhi Games

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With just six months to go before India hosts the Commonwealth Games, some are already wondering whether New Delhi is loo-ready for the sporting extravaganza.

File photo of an Oxford Circus lavatory cubicle in London.The capital is preparing to host more than 100,000 foreign visitors for the October Games, seen as an opportunity to show off the city as a major global destination.

Will India as No.1 team prove the tonic for test cricket?

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India’s crushing 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka to become the number one ranked test team for the first time has triggered huge celebrations across the cricket-crazy nation.

The hosts, ranked number three, leapfrogged leaders South Africa and the second-ranked Sri Lanka to become the first team other than Australia or the Proteas to head the list.

from Photographers' Blog:

Straight off the bat

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It certainly is the best seat in the house, but sitting close to the boundary of a cricket field does not necessarily ensure you would have a good time watching the match. Cricket is like a religion in India. An unusual game, that goes on all day even through lunch and tea. Naturally then, covering this game in India is like covering it nowhere else in the world.

At least four hours before a match, photographers start out for the stadium, winding through noisy, mile-long lines. The lines of spectators are so long that one wonders if the last man actually gets to see the full match.

India caught short by England in Twenty20 World Cup

India's Yusuf Pathan gets ready for the final over of the match against England in the ICC World Twenty20 cricket super eight match in London

In the end, few would have missed the irony. England, their feeble limited overs credentials torn apart after their opening defeat against Netherlands, knocking out holders India from the World Twenty20 with a brilliant execution of strategy.

India were pipped by three runs as England handed them their second defeat in the Super Eights on Sunday, eliminating them from the race for a semi-final berth.

Sehwag injury drama distracts India World Twenty20 defence

Now that India’s explosive batsman Virender Sehwag has been ruled out of the World Twenty20 with a shoulder injury, at least the media have one less thing to obsess about.

The journalists travelling with the team in England had been trying to find out why Sehwag did not play, and more importantly did not open the batting, in the warm-up games or the first group fixture against Bangladesh.

India fears Davis Cup decision may spark other no shows

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Indian officials will be keeping their fingers crossed that Australia’s decision to boycott next month’s zonal Davis Cup tie in Chennai over security fears will turn out to be an isolated case and not one which will set a precedent for other sporting events.

India has ambitions of becoming a global sporting destination and over the next two years, the Commonwealth Games, cricket World Cup, a Formula One race, hockey World Cup and badminton world championships are all scheduled to take place in the country. However, the ambush of the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore last month triggered fears that sport could become a target for more attacks in South Asia.

Indian cricket fans are surely the world’s most demanding

India have just won their first test series on New Zealand soil in 41 years after rain spoilt their chances of winning the third and final test at the Basin Reserve.

The victory was their third successive test series win since defeating top-ranked Australia in November.

Is Sehwag the world’s most destructive batsman?

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India’s explosive opener Virender Sehwag is probably the best batsman in the world at present.

The 30-year-old has been amassing runs with ridiculous ease since his comeback in January last year, setting up several wins.

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