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Express Sports

Express Sports

Author: The Indian Express

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Express Sports is your one-stop shop for everything that is significant in sports. Tune in for freewheeling interviews of athletes and sharp analyses by our experienced sports reporters.
94 Episodes
During the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday, a mistake made by the umpire Nitin Menon, in a way, contributed to Kings XI Punjab losing to Delhi Capitals. After the match, Menon received a lot of flak especially from the Kings XI's fans. Umpires have faced similar outrage over their mistakes in the past as well. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir talk about why such outrage is unjustified and why it is unreasonable to expect umpires not to make mistakes. Additional links: - Should technology replace umpires? ( - China Watching: How big data is used to keep tabs on the world (
After being postponed, having its title sponsor replaced and its venue being changed (all of this pandemic related), the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to begin in the United Arab Emirates today. The tournament, like most others, will be taking place under a bio-bubble for the safety of the player. In this episode, Gaurav Bhatt is joined by Nihal Koshie to discuss why this season will come with additional pressures for the player and whether the organizers will manage to pull this off without anyone getting infected.
Last week, as India-China tensions flared up along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, the Indian government banned 118 apps with Chinese links, citing concerns over threats to India’s safety and sovereignty. This included India’s most popular video game PUBG Mobile, whose publisher Tencent is a Chinese conglomerate. In this episode, hosts Mihir Vasavda and Gaurav Bhatt, along with producer Shashank Bhargava, talk about this decision’s impact on India’s esports community, what it takes to make it big in the field, the difference between esports and traditional ones, the announcement of the new Indian game FAU-G, and more.
The annual National Sports Awards ceremony was held last week and a record number of sports personalities were awarded during it – a total of 74, including five Khel Ratnas and 27 Arjuna awardees. This is in sharp contrast with how many medals India has won in the last two years. In this episode, Mihir Vasavda is joined by Nihal Koshie to talk about why such a ridiculously long list of awardees is a problem, how it devalues the entire point of awards, and the shortcomings of the selection committee.
The US open seems to be all set to start from 31st August (Monday). The fact that it is happening in the country that has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, and whose current administration’s handling of the pandemic is severely under question, has not escaped anyone. So in this episode, Gaurav and Mihir ask - is it too risky to have it this soon? Is it selfish? It is really possible to have the tournament without spreading the virus further? And what precautions can be taken so that it doesn’t turn into Djokovic’s Adria Tournament? Listen as they try to answer these questions and reveal why they are skeptical.
Last week the former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, through an Instagram post, announced his retirement. In this episode, Gaurav is joined by Indian Express’ National Sports Editor, Sandeep Dwivedi to take a look back at his 16-year-long storied career. They discuss what made him one of the greatest India has ever seen, what made him stand out from so many others, his influence on young cricketers, his calmness on the field, the legacy he leaves behind and much more.
Earlier this week, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said that six India players had tested positive for Covid-19 upon reaching the training camp of the men’s hockey team in Bengaluru. Later, SAI also announced that training camp for archery will resume from this month. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir, discuss whether or not India should hold off on starting training camps, how contracting the virus can affect the athlete’s performances, and how quarantining itself can cost them.
Amidst India-China border tensions, Vivo, the Chinese smartphone maker, is all set to pull out of IPL as its title sponsor; at least for the 2020 edition starting next month in the UAE. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir discuss the controversy, how this will affect the T20 tournament, how the Chinese boycott affects the Indian sports industry, Women’s T20 controversy, PubG and more. Additional links: - Gaurav's PUBG piece ( - Shivani Naik's piece on Women's T20 challenge (
After speculations about it being postponed to next year, like other a major sporting events, the world's richest T20 cricket tournament is now scheduled  to take place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and subject to government approvals will take place in UAE between September 19 to November 8. In this episode Gaurav and Mihir talk about why the BCCI could not afford to postpone it, why UAE has been picked as the destination, and what its logistics would look like. Additional link - Shamik's IPL piece (
Today (25th July, 2020) would have been the first day of the Tokyo Olympics, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that was not to be. In this episode, Mihir and Gaurav discuss what this postponement has meant for Indian athletes that had been preparing for it and what India’s chances would have been this time.
International cricket made a comeback amidst the pandemic with the test series between England and West Indies. The series took place under a 'biosecure bubble’ and turned out to be a fascinating affair with West Indies recording an emphatic four-wicket win over England in the first Test of the three-match series. The event, like so many others, took place without a live audience. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir talk about West Indies’ win, the conditions under which the match took place and whether a live audience ends up helping or hurting the player's performance and the viewing experience.
Last week on Saturday, Lin Dan, five time world champion, two time Olympics gold medallist, and arguably one of the best Badminton players, announced his retirement. During his career, Dan (also called 'Super Dan') had amassed 666 career wins and 66 titles. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir are joined by arguably one of the best Badminton writers in the country, Shivani Naik, to talk about him. Together they look back at Dan's career, talk about what made him a Badminton giant and his rivalry with Chong Wei. Additional link - Shivani's piece on Lin Dan (
Late last month, the once-influential and wildly popular Hindi magazine ‘Cricket Samrat’ announced it was shutting down after 42 years. In this episode, Daksh Panwar, the co-founder of this podcast, joins Gaurav from Canada to talk about why the magazine was like ‘ESPNCricinfo, Sports Illustrated and Star Sports in one package’ and how it made cricket accessible to a whole generation from the Hindi heartland before TV and the internet. Daksh also shares a fascinating tale of a writer who (supposedly) wrote for the magazine, who played a role in inspiring him to pursue journalism, and what he found out about him much later.
In the middle of the pandemic, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic organised a tennis tournament for charity called the Adria tour in Serbia and Croatia. After taking part in it, at least four players including Djokovic have now tested positive for COVID-19.  This also includes Serbian player Viktor Troicki and his pregnant wife. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir talk about why this was a disaster that everyone saw coming, why Djokovic is to blame and how his bizarre beliefs seem to have now proved dangerous for everyone else.
In an effort get sports fans to continue watching matches being held in empty stadiums, broadcasters are now attempting to enhance their viewing experience with the help of virtual reality. From zoom videoconferences and piped-in video game audio, to CGI overlays and augmented reality viewing, the sports industry is trying to reinvent itself post the pandemic. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir talk about whether these innovations will appeal to fans and help recover the industry's mounting losses.
The Black Life Matter protests in the US still continue in the aftermath of the killing of George Flyod. The incident has also led to protests in other countries and has once again sparked conversations about racial discrimination. During this time, Indian cricketers (the IPL Sunrisers Hyderabad team) have also been accused of using racist comments against the former West Indies skipper Darren Sammy. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir talk about how athletes have spoken out about such issues in the past and the problems that have arisen when they have done so. Gaurav also speaks to the former Chicago Bulls star, Craig Hodges, who was run out of the league for being politically outspoken, about this matter. Additional link - Before Colin Kaepernick, there was Craig Hodges (
Balbir Singh Senior, the triple Olympic gold medallist and the legend of Indian Hockey, passed away in Mohali last week. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir talk about what made him India’s most-decorated athlete. Mihir also talks to former Hockey Olympian Aslam Sher Khan about his relationship with Singh, how he was as a manager, and his legacy.
In this episode of Game Time, Gaurav and Mihir talk about how and when is cricket planning to restart. They discuss what different countries are planning, what is happening with IPL, and the losses that organisations like BCCI are likely to face.
Over the past couple of weeks, sporting events around the world have started to resume. This includes the start of Bundesliga, Germany's primary football competition. But the COVID-19 pandemic has required them to maintain social distancing norms and so these events have had to take place without live spectators. In this episode, Gaurav and Mihir discuss what the absence of a live audience means for sports - for both the players and the fans. They also talk about the latest regulations by sports federations, and the German man who, as a sign of protest, has printed thousands of cardboard cut-outs of people and placed them inside a Bundesliga venue. Additional links: - Gaurav's story about the Bundesliga fan ( - Mihir's story on SFI forwarding USA guidelines ( - ICC’s spit ban (
Recently, in the space of just 40 days, India lost two of its greatest football legends. First, PK Banerjee on March 20 and then Chuni Goswami on April 30. In this episode, Mihir Vasada talks to football historian and author Novy Kapadia about these two giants and how they came to define Indian football.
Comments (1)

PrasunJW ★[BLUE]

No mention of Virat Kohli 😳. Which universe have I woken up in

May 18th
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