Citizens' Issues
Milestones and controversies ruled Indian sports
New Delhi : Sports in India recorded several milestones in 2015 - from boxer Vijender Singh's explosive professional debut to Sania Mirza's superb run and Saina Nehwal's exploits to wrestling joining the burgeoning bandwagon of leagues.
 
Indian cricket, however, was hit by a plethora of controversies which threatened to overshadow on-field events.
 
Sania personified Indian tennis with a stupendous rise that catapulted her to the tip of women's doubles rankings.
 
Her association with Swiss great Martina Hingis formed the basis of an unstoppable juggernaut as they complimented each other perfectly to win an astonishing nine titles, a fairy tale journey adorned with prestigious victories at Wimbledon and US Open.
 
They teamed up in 16 events and enjoyed an overwhelming 55-7 win-loss ratio with a 22-match unbeaten streak.
 
The Indo-Swiss collaboration capped off a memorable year with a triumph at the season-ending Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Finals in Singapore, also winning at Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Charleston, Miami and Indian Wells.
 
Sania-Martina made the top spot in world rankings their own and were named the Women's Doubles World Champions by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
 
But while all was shining on the doubles front, India's struggle in singles was again highlighted when their top-ranked player Yuki Bhambri (93) lost both his Davis Cup matches against Czech Republic at home.
 
India lost the World Group Playoff 1-3 to condemn them to spend another year at the Asia/Oceania Group 1 phase.
 
Away from tennis, Vijender grabbed headlines with his exploits in the ring. The Haryana man started his journey in the professional circuit on an explosive note with three back-to-back knockout and technical knockout (TKO) wins.
 
He registered a TKO win over English Sony Whiting on his debut before knocking out another British pugilist Dean Gillen in the opening round of his second fight.
 
His third bout, against the more experienced Samet Hyuseinov of Bulgaria was a six-round contest. But despite all his tall talk before the fight, the Bulgarian was clubbed into submission early in the second round as Vijender clinched a TKO verdict.
 
Wrestlers also saw a momentous year. Although the performance at Worlds wasn't impressive, Narsingh Pancham Yadav (men's 74 kg) bagged the lone medal to secure a quota place for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
 
The long-term future of the sport got a leg-up with the launch of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL).
 
The inaugural edition was quite successful with crowds thronging the venues and world class action on the mat. The six wrestling teams in the fray boasted several World and Olympic medallists. Budding Indians like Bajrang Punia, Amit Dahiya, Rahul Aware, Amit Dhankar and Rajneesh also grabbed the limelight alongside more established stars like Yogeshwar Dutt.
 
All was not well with Indian cricket as the sport went through a disheartening year, both on-and-off the field.
 
India, who had won the World Cup after 28 years in 2011 under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, failed to defend their title in March 2015, as they went down to hosts Australia in the semifinals by a big margin. Co-hosts Australia went on to clinch their fifth World title beating New Zealand.
 
More than the World Cup loss was when the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw a new low with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) being suspended for two years. Both franchise's officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra were found guilty of betting and were suspended for life from all cricketing activity.
 
Following the suspension, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had to bring in two new teams (Pune and Rajkot) for the tournament.
 
Newly-appointed Test captain Virat Kohli enjoyed some amount of success as India toured Sri Lanka for a three-match series where the visitors came out victorious 2-1. It was followed by over a two-month-long South Africa tour of India which started on a disappointing note as the hosts lost both the Twenty20 International and one-day series.
 
The longest format of the game was left to restore some pride and the four-match series saw India make the best use of home conditions, by producing rank turners to outplay the Proteas 3-0.
 
The pitch in Nagpur was the centre of controversies as critics hit back at India for producing such unplayable conditions.
 
The game saw plenty of controversies off the field as well with the acrimonious relationship between India and Pakistan resulting in the proposed bilateral series being cancelled.
 
Allegations of corruption within the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) also created a storm with the Delhi government launching a probe into the body's financial affairs.
 
Former DDCA president Arun Jaitley was accused of overseeing massive financial irregularities during his 13-year tenure which ended in 2013 and there is a demand for his resignation as Union Finance Minister.
 
The three-member probe panel constituted by the Delhi government also urged the BCCI to suspend DDCA due to the large number of complaints.
 
In badminton, it was, as expected, Saina Nehwal who was the country's flagbearer.
 
Saina started the year on a brilliant note by winning the India Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow, beating reigning World Champion Carolina Marin in the final. She backed it up with her lone Superseries title in March -- India Open -- which she won here, defeating former World Champion Ratchanok Intanon in the summit clash.
 
The 25-year-old became the first Indian since Pullela Gopichand to reach the All-England final which the chief national coach had won way back in 2001. The Hyderabadi also became the first Indian to reach the final of the Worlds in August.
 
The Hisar-born also became the first Indian woman shuttler to become World No.1.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article. 

User

MP bans commercial vehicles older than 15 years
Bhopal : The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to disallow commercial vehicles older than 15 years to run on roads in the state.
 
Transport minister Bhupender Singh told reporters on Tuesday that the decision was taken in view of the rising pollution. Such old vehicles would neither be issued new permits nor given fitness certificates. Police and transport department would launch search operation as well. 
 
The minister also said the government is pondering over reducing the age limit for getting licence from 18 to 16.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article. 

User

COMMENTS

M Muralidharan

11 months ago

Will AK do it in Delhi?

When global retailers knocked at India's fashion doors
New Delhi : India's burgeoning appetite for foreign brands attracted a string of international brands to establish their presence in the country this year. US apparel retailer GAP, Swedish multinational retail-clothing company H&M, British fashion brands TOPSHOP and TOPMAN and more, available at brick-and-mortar stores or online mediums, are already a hit.
 
The summer arrival of GAP, which has made inroads into India through a franchise agreement with textile and retail major Arvind Lifetsyle Brands Limited, was much talked about.
 
Spread over a 10,000 sq ft south Delhi mall, the first flagship store offers Gap for men and women, GapKids, and babyGap. The plans are big as officials hope to open about 40 stores in the next five years and Arvind Lifetsyle Brands Limited expects Rs. 1,000 crore worth of business opportunity from the venture.
 
"I think our clothes are perfect for Indian summer. It's very easy to wear with a whole lot of linen feel to it," Oliver Kaye, CEO - Gap Business, told IANS.
 
Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited also brought American youth brand Aéropostale to India, with a store at a south Delhi mall in November.
 
Swedish multinational retail clothing company H&M, which is known globally for offering fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way, also opened shop in the country, again at a south Delhi mall.
 
And then, call it the successful feedback of the first store that within a gap of a month, the brand opened its second store - its largest in the country - at another south Delhi shopping destination.
 
Expansion plans for the brand include another store in capital suburb Gurgaon, to be followed by outlets in Mumbai and tier-II and tier-III cities.
 
India is one of the most exciting markets in the world right now, with so much potential within retail, said Janne Einola, country manager, H&M Hennes & Mauritz Retail Private Limited.
 
"The response to H&M has been fabulous! We are happy that the Indian customers are pleased with our business concept of fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way.
 
"We see a great potential for further expansion in India, the number and time frame will be determined by real-estate opportunities and retail market development.
 
"Our expansion strategy is to always open at the best business location. We have proposed to invest up to euro 100 million ($110 million) in the SBRT (Single Brand Retail Trade) application," Einola told IANS.
 
It was not only through offline stores that many international brands made its India entry this year as many of them chose to be part of the Rs.720 crore worth Indian fashion industry through online mediums.
 
Handbags from French label Anna Luchini are now available in the Indian market via e-commerce platform Fashionara.com, which has also introduced watches for women from another French label, Christian Lacroix.
 
Jabong, a leading fashion online retailer in India, has clearly established its dominance in bringing well-curated collections of international fashion labels such as Buggati Shoes, Tom Tailor, NEXT, Misguided, TOPSHOP, TOPMAN, et al in its portfolio this year.
 
Nils Chrestin, Interim CEO at Jabong and Group CFO of Global Fashion Group, feels that many international brands today are seeking an online presence to explore the diverse Indian market.
 
"In the last two years, Jabong has facilitated a lot of deals and, as a result, has been able to successfully build an International portfolio," Chrestin told IANS.
 
Officials of TOPSHOP and TOPMAN had been eyeing India as a feasible market for quite some time before partnering with Jabong. They feel that the country's market demonstrates great opportunity for fashion brands and the Indian customer is very fashion-savvy.
 
As of now, they are happy with the response from the customers.
 
"TOPSHOP and TOPMAN are very new to India and after an impactful launch on Jabong in September earlier this year have continued to experience high levels of traffic as well as meeting sales targets.
 
"Both brands are growing at a rate of 25 percent month on month and contribute substantially to Jabong's international business portfolio. There's a huge appetite for fashion in India which is why so many brands continue to enter the market," the brands' spokesperson told IANS.
 
Also, six leading South Korean cosmetic companies made their debut in India this year with an array of cosmetic and wellness products. The companies signed a joint venture agreement with an Indian firm for marketing their products first and will eventually make them in India under the 'Make in India' campaign.
 
The companies are PLK International, Coson Company Limited, Outin Futures Corporation, BCL Cosmetics Company Limited, Kell Cosmetics Company Limited, and Esthetic House Company.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article. 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)