Fleming, Vettori honoured with New Zealand Order of Merit

Fleming now coaches Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League while Vettori captains Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The 38-year-old Fleming was New Zealand's youngest Test captain when he was appointed to the role at the age of 23. He went on to lead New Zealand in 80 Tests and in 218 ODIs, both national records, before retiring in 2008.

Vettori, 32, made his Test debut at the age of 18 and succeeded Fleming as captain in 2007 to continue at that role till now.

In many ways, the cricket careers of Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori were intertwined.
Vettori's on-field story is still being written, while Fleming retired in 2008 and moved on to a second life as a husband and father, coach, player manager and businessman.

It was while coaching Chennai in the IPL last month that Fleming found out he had been nominated for the royal honour.

"It feels pretty good. I always look very proudly at those who are named. I look forward to the announcements, so I had no hesitation (in accepting the nomination) and feel honoured to be part of it," Fleming said.

"I was very proud to represent New Zealand, especially when I was away from home, and that will never change. Having my achievements recognised in a formal sense, outside of the cricket setting, makes it more special," he said.

"You don't play the game for these accolades. You play to achieve certain goals within your sport. But to be recognised like this is very humbling, to be honest. It means a hell of a lot."

Among the younger shuttlers, rising talent RMV Guru Sai Dutt, who had defeated Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana and Belgium's Tan Yuhan to reach the quarterfinals in the Indian Open, will face Malaysian Kwong Beng Chan in the opening round tomorrow.

It will also be a test for Sourabh Verma, who had created a flutter with his giant-killing act in the Indian Open Super Series in April.

The young lad from Madhya Pradesh, who had beaten former Olympic bronze medallist Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Kenichi Tago of Japan at Siri Fort Stadium here, will take on Indonesian Andre Kurniawan Tedjono in his first round tomorrow.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will also hope to carry their form from the Sudirman Cup when they start in Bangkok tomorrow.
The eighth seed Indian pair will lock horns with Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse of Hong Kong in the first round.

Indian men's doubles pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas will face an uphill task when they take on fifth seeds Biao Chai and Zhendong Guo of China in their opener.
With V Diju still recovering from his back surgery, India will not be represented in the mixed doubles category.

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