QPlay: Maria Sharapova Banned, Race for India Head Coach and More

All the latest sports news in The Quint’s morning wrap.

4 min read
Maria Sharapova. (Photo: AP)

1. Maria Sharapova Receives 2-Year Suspension For Doping Violation

Maria Sharapova received a two-year suspension from tennis on Wednesday for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open, and immediately responded by saying she would appeal the decision to the sport’s highest court.

The ruling by an independent three-person panel appointed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said Sharapova did not intend to cheat, but that she bore “sole responsibility” and “very significant fault” for the positive test.

The tribunal, whose members were selected by the ITF, agreed that I did not do anything intentionally wrong, yet they seek to keep me from playing tennis for two years. I will immediately appeal the suspension portion of this ruling to CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Maria Sharapova

The five-time Grand Slam champion was provisionally suspended by the ITF in early March, when she announced at a news conference in Los Angeles that she failed a doping test in January.

Read the entire report here.

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

2. Sandhu, Prasad Apply For Indian Coaching Job

Former India medium pacer Balwinder Singh Sandhu was the latest Test player to apply for the job of the head coach of the national cricket team on Wednesday and expressed confidence that he would get the coveted post.

Yes, I have applied for the job. I did it last evening and I am quite confident, although I know that Ravi Shastri is the frontrunner.
Balwinder Singh Sandhu

‘Ballu’, as he is known in cricket circles, will be vying for the coveted job alongside his 1983 World Cup-winning team members Shastri, a former team director, current chief selector Sandeep Patil and former India seamer Venkatesh Prasad.

The BCCI has set 10 June as the deadline to receive applications for the coveted post and is expected to finalise the new coaching staff, including the head coach, to accompany Virat Kohli and his men on the July-August Test tour to the West Indies.

Also Read: Patil vs Shastri: Long-time Friends Face-Off For India Coach’s Job

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

3. Ban on PCI Lifted Till Paralympics, Indians Can Fly Tri-Colour

In a huge relief to several Indian para-athletes who have qualified for Rio Paralympics, the world governing body IPC has announced temporary lifting of suspension imposed on the national body last year. This means Indians can now take part under the tri-colour in the showpiece event.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC), on 31 May, decided to lift the ban on the Paralympic Committee of India with the sole purpose of allowing para-athletes of the country to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games under the tri-colour.

Till now, a record number of 20 Indian para-athletes have qualified for the Rio Paralympics to be held from 7-18 September.

The ban will be lifted only up to the end of Paralympics and it can be re-imposed after that if the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) fails to implement the reforms outlined by the world body.

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

4. Saina Enters Round Two; Sindhu Bows Out of Australian Open

Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal entered the second round of women’s singles with a comfortable victory but PV Sindhu suffered an upset in the opening round to crash out of the $750,000 Australian Open Super Series badminton tournament in Sydney on Wednesday.

In the men’s singles, India’s Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma made the second round with contrasting victories, but it was curtains down for qualifier RMV Gurusaidutt as he failed to cross the first round hurdle.

(Photo: AP)
(Photo: AP)

5. Portugal Rout Estonia 7-0

Mercurial forward Ricardo Quaresma scored twice and set up three more goals in a sparkling individual performance as Portugal demolished Estonia 7-0 in their final friendly before Euro 2016 on Wednesday.

The charismatic but erratic forward, given a chance to stake his place in the team for France when he replaced Nani in the starting line-up, even upstaged Cristiano Ronaldo who scored twice before being taken off at halftime.

Quaresma, whom critics say has failed to make the most of his talent in a career punctuated by tantrums, produced his full repertoire of tricks in one of the best international performances of his topsy-turvy career.

Danilo and Eder scored a goal each, while Karol Mets’ netted an own goal.

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

6. Australia, South Africa to Play Day-Night Test in November

Australia will clash against South Africa in a day-night Test match, the third of the series, at Adelaide in November, Cricket South Africa said on Wednesday.

Following careful consideration and engagement with all our Test players, and acknowledging the need to exploit the potential of playing day-night Test match cricket, I am pleased to announce that we have agreed with Cricket Australia to proceed with this fixture.
Haroon Lorgat, Chief Executive, Cricket South Africa

James Sutherland, the Chief Executive for Cricket Australia, welcomed the development.

Cricket fans will be delighted to hear the news that the third match of the Test series against South Africa will be played as a day-night match, particularly those planning to attend Adelaide Oval.

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