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Men's hockey team included in TOPS

new delhi: In a departure from the norm, the Mission Olympic Cell on Wednesday included the entire Indian hockey team in the TOP scheme, rewarding the players for their Silver medal-winning performance at the Champions Trophy. Athletes from different sports have been included in Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) individually but it is first instance that an entire team has been made beneficiary of the financial assistance scheme. Each of the 18 members of the hockey team will now get a monthly allowance of Rs  50,000. The men's hockey team, under new coach Harendra Singh, ended runner-up at the Breda event after losing the final to Australia in a thrilling penalty shootout. Sports Authority of India (SAI) said that the women's hockey team's inclusion in the TOPS would depend on the review of its performance in the upcoming World Cup and the Asian Games.

Acosta to play for East Bengal

kolkata: East Bengal on Wednesday announced the signing of Costa Rican defender Johnny Acosta Zamora, who was part of his national team's campaign in the ongoing World Cup in Russia. "East Bengal are one of the biggest clubs of India with a very rich heritage. I want to deliver my best for my new club and be part of Indian football," said the 34-year-old footballer. "My aim is to encourage the other Indian footballers and guide them and at the same time win silverware for Quess EastBengal FC," added Acosta, who played in all their three group matches in Russia. Acosta has 69 international caps to his name and has scored two goals as his signing for the upcoming season will give the red-and-gold a big boost. At the World Cup, he had eight clearances and recovered the ball 11 times. He made his debut for Costa Rica in a March 2011 friendly against Argentina at the age of 29.

Faf backs Steyn to roar back in SL Tests

galle: South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis on Wednesday backed "dangerous" paceman Dale Steyn and the rest of his bowlers to wreak havoc in Sri Lanka on the eve of the first Test. Steyn "gets one wicket and he is up there with the most dangerous bowlers in the world because he is so skilful. I am hoping to see Dale bowl really quick again," du Plessis said. "In our bowling attack that we have, we have the ability to get 20 wickets on whatever the surfaces. I think this series will be won where the batters need to stand up for both teams," he said. Steyn, who is returning from an injury and last played a Test in January, is expected to be a part of South Africa's potent pace attack in the first of two Tests starting in Galle on Thursday. The 35-year-old speedster needs three wickets to surpass retired quick Shaun Pollock (421) to become South Africa's leading wicket-taker in the five-day format.

Nayar to coach at KKR Academy

MUMBAI: Seasoned Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar has been appointed as the lead coach and mentor of the KKR Academy by Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders. The KKR on Wednesday announced the launch of 'KKR Academy', which is an initiative to provide off-season training facilities and coaching to the players in the squad. KKR CEO and MD Venky Mysore announced Nayar's appointment through a media release. "Abhishek's credentials as a cricketer and his deep desire and passion to help cricketers become better is very well known. We felt that he's ideally suited to lead this initiative," he said. 

 
 
 
 
 

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