New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) The following are the top sports stories at 1700 hours: STORIES ON THE WIRE: SPO-JUDO-IND-LD VIRUS Indian judo team withdraws from Olympic qualifiers after two players test COVID-19 positive (Eds: Recasts to say two Judokas have tested COVID-19 positive, updates throughout) New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) A 12-member Indian judo team was forced to withdraw from the ongoing Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifiers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan after two judokas -- Ajay Yadav and Ritu -- tested positive for COVID-19 just before the start of the tournament.
SPO-CRI-ICC-LD ALLARDICE We have backup plans for T20 World Cup in India but proceeding as planned now: ICC interim CEO (Eds: Adding more quotes) New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) ICC's interim CEO Geoff Allardice on Wednesday said the body has backup plans in place for the T20 World Cup in India later this year but is currently not entertaining any thoughts of moving it out of the country despite a surge in COVID-19 cases.
SPO-CRI-IPL-SWOT-RR Will Samson-Sangakkara partnership work for Rajasthan Royals? By Aparajita Upadhyay New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) A restructured Rajasthan Royals will aim to build a new legacy but a weak Indian contingent and overdependence on foreign recruits could hurt the inaugural edition winners' chance for glory in the upcoming IPL.
SPO-CRI-IPL-VIRUS-2NDLD RCB Virus shadow on IPL: RCB's Daniel Sams latest to test positive for COVID-19, Padikkal recovers (Eds: Recasting with fresh inputs) Chennai, Apr 7 (PTI) Royal Challengers Bangalore's Australian all-rounder Daniel Sams on Wednesday tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the IPL starting on April 9 here, but opener Devdutt Padikkal recovered from the dreaded infection to join the side.
SPO-ARCHERY-VACCINATION Olympic-bound Indian archers first to get fully vaccinated Pune, Apr 7 (PTI) The Olympic-bound Indian archers on Wednesday took their second shots of COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first fully vaccinated lot of athletes from the country ahead of the Tokyo Games.
SPO-CRI-IPL-VIRUS-RCB-PADIKKAL Padikkal joins RCB team after recovery from COVID-19 Chennai, Apr 7 (PTI) IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday said their young batsman Devdutt Padikkal has joined the team's bio-bubble here after recovering from COVID-19.
SPO-CRI-IPL-MAXWELL You get stuck into this never-ending nightmare: Maxwell talks about bio-bubble challenges Chennai, Apr 7 (PTI) Big-hitting Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell says being continuously confined to bio-bubbles can become a 'nightmare' and cricketers are leading a 'difficult lifestyle' right now to ensure that they continue to do their job.
SPO-FOOT-VIRUS-BFC Bengaluru FC confirms 3 COVID-19 cases ahead of AFC Qualifiers Panaji, Apr 7 (PTI) Indian football club Bengaluru FC on Wednesday said three COVID-19 cases have been detected among its players and staff after the side assembled for training here ahead of its AFC Qualifiers (Preliminary Stage Two) match on April 14.
SPO-HOCK-LD IND India beat Argentina 4-3 for winning start to tour (Eds: Updating with India coach Graham Reid's quotes) Buenos Aires, Apr 7 (PTI) The Indian men's hockey team made a positive start to its tour of Argentina, beating the reigning Olympic champions 4-3 in the first practice match here.
SPO-ATH-IND-SABLE-MINISTRY Tokyo-bound Avinash Sable to train in Uganda from Apr 10 New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) Olympic-bound Indian steeplechaser Avinash Sable is set to train in Uganda from April 10 to July 20 after getting a go ahead from the Sports Ministry, which approved a proposal sent by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
SPO-CRI-IND-HARDIK Realized importance of mental health while playing for India: Hardik Chennai, Apr 7 (PTI) India and Mumbai Indians hard-hitting all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Wednesday said he realized the importance of mental health while playing international cricket and credited his family for keeping him in the 'right space'.
SPO-CRI-ICC-RANKINGS Zaman climbs seven places to be 12th in ODI rankings Dubai, Apr 7 (PTI) Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman has moved seven places to be 12th in the latest ICC ODI batsmen rankings, following his 193 against South Africa in the second ODI in Johannesburg.
SPO-TENNIS-SANIA-TOPS Olympic-bound tennis ace Sania included in TOPS after gap of four years New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) Indian tennis star Sania Mirza was on Wednesday included in the government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), four years after she opted out of the programme.
SPO-CRI-IPL-KKR-KARTHIK Veteran Harbhajan floors KKR teammate Karthik with his work ethic Mumbai, Apr 7 (PTI) Harbhajan Singh's childlike enthusiasm at 40-plus has floored Kolkata Knight Riders vice-captain Dinesh Karthik, who said the veteran off-spinner's dedication and interest at this stage of his career is a testament to his character.
SPO-CRI-IPL-NATARAJAN-DHONI Dhoni asked me to bowl slow bouncers, cutters and it's been useful: Natarajan New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) Left-arm yorker specialist T Natarajan says former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's advice to bowl slow bouncers and cutters during his breakout IPL season last year helped him get better at his craft. PTI AH AH AH