1st ODI: Ben Stokes, Jake Ball shine as England beat Bangladesh by 21 runs

first_imgFast bowler Jake Ball claimed 5/51 on debut as Bangladesh collapsed and England held on to win the first one-day international by 21 runs on Friday. (MATCH SCORECARD)Bangladesh, chasing 310 to win, were cruising towards a third consecutive victory over England at 271/4 with nine overs to go, but Ball and leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed five wickets between them from that point.Bangladesh lost their last six wickets for 17 runs and were all out for 288 in the 48th over. Rashid took 4/49.Earlier, a maiden century from Ben Stokes steered England to what looked like an imposing 309/8, but Bangladesh made it look easily catchable while the crease was occupied by Imrul Kayes, who hit a career-best 112, and Shakib Al Hasan, who made 79. Shakib’s dismissal by Ball sparked the collapse.With this win, England take a 1-0 lead in their 3-match ODI series.last_img read more

SPORT-BAD-PRAKASH 2 (SPB5)

first_imgAgreeing that the current one can be called the “golden Agreeing that the current one can be called the “golden phase of Indian badminton”, Prakash felt things can be even better with better planning to make it a “platinum phase.””Yes, definitely its the golden phase but probably it can get better as theres so much talent available and become the platinum phase,” he said with a smile.He said that more academies are the need of the hour and they should be spread in other zones than south which has his own academy in Bengaluru as well as national coach P Gopichands in Hyderabad.”There is no lack of talent, but ideally we should have academies in every state. Then we can compete with China. If not state academies there should be zonal centres so that not everyone needs to come to Bengaluru or Hyderabad,” he said.”They (opening academies) look easy on paper but committed coaches makes the difference. We have committed coaches but not the right centres and vice versa,” he pointed out.He also wanted the Badminton Association of India to spend some money on its own and promote the game which, he felt, is currently number two behind cricket in popularity in the country.”BAI can chip in a bit. They have enough funds. We should not be too dependent on government alone. They should spend funds in promotion of game. See BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), how they have promoted the game,” he remarked.advertisement”Badminton is probably the second-most followed sport in the country after cricket. If you dont encash on this and rest on your laurels (the blame lies on you). The federation (BAI) needs to be a little more proactive.”We have the raw material but we are not tapping the kind of talent we have. If players from other states are not doing well, its not because of lack of talent but because of lack of opportunities and facilities like Gopi has or we have,” he emphasised.He felt that the Indian women, other than Saina and Sindhu, needed to improve on their physique while the men needed to be more consistent which can be achieved by proper planning of their tournament schedule. (More) PTI SSR NRB PDS PDS BASlast_img read more

Pogba explains penalty discussion with Alexis

first_imgPaul Pogba claims Manchester United had no designated penalty taker against Leicester City and says he is prepared to let Alexis Sanchez take the club’s next one after winning an argument with the Chilean.Less than two minutes into the Red Devils’ opening game of the new Premier League season, Jose Mourinho’s side were awarded a spot kick after Daniel Amartey handled inside the box.Pogba, who was donning the captain’s armband, quickly grabbed the ball but was faced by resistance from club colleague Sanchez. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The Frenchman ultimately came out on top in the discussion and calmly stroked home after a stuttering run up .Quizzed about the conversation with Sanchez by Sky Sports after the 2-1 win, Pogba said: “We don’t really have one [a designated penalty taker]. The manager has names but after, it’s how we feel.”I decided to take it, I was one of the names and in the next game, I can leave it to Alexis, it’s not a problem. It is just the win that is the most important.”Pogba, in his first outing since winning the World Cup with France, completed 84 minutes against the Foxes before being replaced by Marouane Fellaini.The 25-year-old, who was linked with Barcelona and Juventus but with United unwilling to sell , is delighted to be back in domestic action and claims his hunger for trophies remains as fierce as ever .”I know it’s a great cup, it will stay in my mind, but I want to win all the trophies. I haven’t won the Premier League, I haven’t won the Champions League, I haven’t won the Euros so there are more to win.”That [the World Cup] is in the past, it is part of history. I am someone who likes challenges and wants to progress and you have to leave it behind now.”You have to keep it in mind, but you have to keep working to get better and better because I am still quite young. I want to progress and get better again and I want to win more trophies.”last_img read more

Monaco vs PSG team news: Cavani returns to XI

first_imgParis Saint-Germain head to Monaco’s Stade Louis II on Sunday eager to extend a ‘Big 5’ European-record 12-match winning streak at the beginning of a campaign.Domestically, Thomas Tuchel’s side had swept all their opponents aside until they were pushed close by Lille in a 2-1 victory at home last weekend, but have toiled in Europe, with a 1-1 draw against Napoli on Tuesday doing little to help their aspirations of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League.Monaco, by contrast, are enduring an entirely wretched campaign. They have not won in any competition since the opening Ligue 1 match of the season and were thumped 4-0 by Club Brugge in midweek, effectively eliminating them from Europe entirely. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Game Monaco vs Paris Saint-Germain Date Sunday, November 11 Time 8:00pm GMT / 3:00pm ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream N/A fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport 1 and livestreamed on BT Sport Live. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport 1 BT Sport Live Squads & Team News Position Monaco players Goalkeepers Subasic, Benaglio, Badiashile Defenders Barreca, Jemerson, Sidibe, Raggi, Glik, Toure, Henrichs, Serrano Midfielders Aholou, N’Doram, Rony Lopes, Tielemans, Ait-Bennasser, Golovin, Chadli, Grandsir, Diop, Traore Forwards Falcao, Jovetic, Mboula, Pellegri, Diop, Sylla Monaco coach Thierry Henry has extensive selection headaches before the weekend, particularly as Kamil Glik went off injured against Club Brugge. He has since been ruled out. Almamy Toure, Jean-Eudes Aholou and Almamy Toure have all been ruled out since the midweek match, taking the injury list to 12 long.Danijel Subasic, Kevin Ndoram, Aleksandr Golovin and Stevan Jovetic are all absent because of injuries. Rony Lopes, their star man in 2018, Pietro Pellegri and Willem Geubbels have all stepped up their training following various problems, but are still sidelined.Andrea Raggi and Youri Tielemans are all suspended, but Pele’s red card was overturned on appeal, so he, at least, can play.Monaco XI:  Benaglio; Sidibe, Badiashile, Jemerson, Henrichs; Grandsir, Pele, Ait-Bennasser, Chadli; Falcao, Diop Position PSG players Goalkeepers Buffon, Areola, Cibois Defenders Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Kehrer, Bernat, Kimpembe, Nsoki, Meunier, Dani Alves, Dagba, Kurzawa Midfielders Verratti, Draxler, Di Maria, Diarra, Nkunku, Rabiot Forwards Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar, Choupo-Moting, Diaby Paris Saint-Germain have few such headaches. Long-term absentees Dani Alves and Layvin Kurzawa are closing in on action but are not ready for play yet, while youngster Colin Dagba is missing.Edinson Cavani will be eager to start after being left on the bench in Napoli, where he made only a cameo against his former side. Additionally, Adrien Rabiot has nabbed a place in the starting XI after being benched of late.In goal, Tuchel has gone with Alphonse Areola over Gianluigi Buffon. PSG XI: Areola; Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe; Nkunku, Draxler, Rabiot, Bernat, Diaby; Neymar, Mbappe, CavaniBetting & Match Odds Bet365  have placed Monaco as huge 10/1 outsiders to win this match, with PSG rated as a 1/4 shot to continue their winning start to the season. A draw is priced at 11/2.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more .Match Preview Henry MonacoA cloud hovers over both Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain prior to Sunday’s encounter. Monaco have been faced with controversy surrounding owner and president Dmitry Rybolovlev, who has been placed under formal investigation in connection with a major fraud case. The club have denied that the Russian has been involved in any wrongdoing .It is a case that simply adds to their current woes. On the field, they have failed to respond to new coach Thierry Henry, though with a raft of starting players missing, it was always going to be a baptism of fire for the former striker, who has yet to score a win in any of his first five games in charge.”Yes and no,” Henry said after a thumping 4-0 loss to Brugge in midweek when asked if he thought his challenge would be so difficult. “You always try to have an impact straight after arriving. There are so many injuries. Two weeks is not a long time to make changes. We will try to be positive.“We need to find a solution to try to stop Paris. We need to keep moving forward.”PSG, who do not have their problems to seek in Europe either after a 1-1 draw with Napoli leaves them precariously poised in a tight group with Liverpool and Red Star, have been embroiled in a racism row involving the club’s youth academy .They have already confirmed that “forms with illegal content” were used by a recruitment section of their academy and have stressed their condemnation of “all forms of discrimination and racism”.At least things are going rather better for them on the park. They have 12 wins from 12 in Ligue 1 this term, and with 13 a lucky number in France, they are hopeful of continuing an unprecedented start to the campaign against opponents hapless in recent weeks.last_img read more

AIFF makes request to FIFA to allot India matches to New Delhi

first_imgNew Delhi, Apr 14 (PTI) On the advice of the Sports Ministry, the All India Football Federation has requested the world body, FIFA to allot Indias group matches of the Under- 17 World Cup to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here. The Under-17 World Cup will be held across six cities in the country from October 6-28. Usually, the host country of a FIFA tournament is placed in Group A but when the schedule of the Under-17 World Cup was announced in Kolkata on March 27 after an inspection visit by a FIFA team, Navi Mumbais D Y Patil Stadium was to host the Group A matches. New Delhi was to stage Group B matches, besides two Round of 16 games. If FIFA agrees to the AIFFs request to allot Indias matches to New Delhi, a reworking of group venues will be required. AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said that it has requested the FIFA that the matches involving India be staged in New Delhi. “On the advice of the government, the AIFF has made a request to the FIFA to see if the group matches involving India can be held in New Delhi,” Das told PTI today. Asked if he expects the FIFA to agree to AIFFs request, Das said, “I cannot say as of now with 100 per cent certainty that New Delhi will host the group matches involving India. We have made a request and it is for the FIFA to take a decision. Let us see what happens.” “Unfortunately, Delhi cannot have matches after October 15 due to high pollution level after Diwali. The government felt since Delhi is the National Capital we can request FIFA to hold the matches involving India here,” he added. The Union Government has spent a lot of money for the prestigious tournament, the first FIFA event to be held in India, and it has been learnt that the Sports Ministry is keen to host the group matches involving India in New Delhi. The officials of the Local Organising Committee have also talked earlier about the possible presence of the Prime Minister at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here during the tournament. The FIFA team that announced the schedule after its inspection visit last month has not allotted any marquee event in New Delhi due to concerns over high pollution level after the Diwali festival. The FIFA team had said that New Delhi can host matches only upto October 16. The draw of the tournament will be held on July 7. PTI PDS SSC SSCadvertisementlast_img read more

Ravindra Gaikwad has 5 duplicates, even Shatrughan Sinha mistook one for Shiv Sena MP

first_imgLok Sabha MP from Osmanabad in Maharashtra Ravindra Gaikwad, who was accused of assaulting an Air India Staffer last month, has been able to play hide and seek with media and people since March 23, when he allegedly assaulted an Air India staffer.Now, it has emerged that he did with the help of five supporters, who resemble him. These five people have similar appearance and look like Ravindra Gaikwad.They sport similar beard and dress the way this Member of Parliament does. Ravindra Gaikwad claims his look-alikes are so similar to him that even BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha mistook one of them for Shiv Sena MP and waved at him.India Today spotted Ravindra Gaikwad today at a Latur pan shop in Marathwada. Sitting next to the Lok Sabha MP was his driver, who looked liked him only.The India Today team followed Ravindra Gaikwad to the government circuit house. Another Gaikwad look-alike was spotted here walking along side the controversial MP. This man was Pradeep Madney, who is a teacher by profession. Madney resembles Ravindra Gaikwad so much that it is difficult to single the original MP out.LOOK-ALIKES ARE THERE BY CHOICETalking to India Today, Ravindra Gaikwad explained why he felt to have look-alikes with him.While heading back to Delhi after March 23-Air India controversy that Ravindra Gaikwad thought of using his duplicate to fool media-persons, who were trying every bit to locate him for an interview. However, Gaikwad used other trick like getting off the train before reaching Delhi to avoid persisting media-persons.advertisementGaikwad feels pride in using his look-alikes. This tactic was used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj while escaping from the Agra fort, Gaikwad says. He is happy that media could not get to him before he reached Parliament.SHATRUGHAN SINHA, RAJDHANI PASSENGERS GOT CONFUSEDRavindra Gaikwad explained how fellow passengers in the Mumbai Rajdhani Express took his look-alike Ratnakar Sagar as the real Osmanabad MP.Ravindra Gaikwad had his supporter Sagar travelling in his name. Passengers of the Rajdhani Express even clicked photographs and selfies with Sagar.Gaikwad claims that even BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha spoke to Ratnakar Sagar and waved at him thinking he was the Shiv Sena MP.’COMMITTED NO WRONG’Now after 23 days of March 23-incident, Ravindra Gaikwad is still firm on his stand that he has not done anything wrong with the Air India staffer.His latest narrative to India Today is this: He tried to hit the Ai India staffer but he was stopped by an Air Hostess. After some time, when the senior Air India staffer was getting down, he used abusive language. Following this, Ravindra Gaikwad went up to the door of the plane and caught the staffer with his collar. Gaikwad tried to push him but the other Air India staffers caught hold of MP Gaikwad and took him aside.Gaikwad maintains that putting him on the no-fly list by Air India was wrong. He said that without conducting an inquiry the Civil Aviation Ministry took the decision, which was wrong.Ravindra Gaikwad argued that there had been two prior incidents, when TDP legislators ransacked the Air India office, broke furniture and equipment at one of the airports, but the Civil Aviation Ministry did not take any action against them. Air India and Civil Aviation Ministry were biased in his case, Ravindra Gaikwad feels.ALSO READ | Why Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad is not travelling by Air India Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who beat up Air India staff is repeat offender  ALSO WATCH |last_img read more

Ben Stokes touched as Ashes rival Steve Smith helps him through IPL journey

first_imgEngland all-rounder Ben Stokes says batting tips from Australia captain and IPL team mate Steve Smith was key to helping him improve as a player following a hugely successful debut season in the lucrative Indian Twenty20 tournament.Stokes was named the league’s Most Valuable Player after the tournament ended on Sunday with his 12 wickets and 316 runs in 12 games helping the Rising Pune Supergiant to reach the final before he returned to England for international duty.”I felt like my game has got a lot better, from being able to work with the best players around the world and specialist coaches in that format,” Stokes told British media as he continues preparations for next month’s Champions Trophy.”My bowling has gone up another level, working with Eric Simons, from South Africa (Pune’s bowling coach). Being able to work on those skills for six weeks was a really good thing.”Stokes, however, singled out Pune captain Smith, who he will line up against in the Ashes later this year, for praise after the pair practiced together.”I remember doing a batting session with him, with some power-hitting towards the end,” Stokes said.”The guy I’ll actually be playing against in the Ashes was helping me, something you’d never fathom when we’re playing against each other. The IPL is probably the only place where you would get that.”Stokes did not play in the IPL final, which Pune lost to the Mumbai Indians by one run, as he was recalled to the England squad for a three-match one-day international series against South Africa starting on May 24.advertisementlast_img read more

Leander Paes-Scott Lipsky pair moves to second round of Geneva Open

first_imgLeander Paes and Scott Lipsky progressed to the second round of the ATP Geneva Open after battling past Tommy Robredo and David Marrero, here today.The Indo-American pair squandered many a chances in the opening set but re-grouped in time to tame the fighting Spaniards 6-7 (3) 7-6(3) 10-4 in the first round of the Euro 482,060 clay court event.Paes and Lipksy had two break chances in the sixth game but could not convert. They had a set point in the 10th game too but the Spaniards saved the chance on deciding point.Another set point went abegging in the 12th game when Robredo was serving to stay alive in the set as the Spanish team forced a tie-breaker.Paes and Lipsky opened up a 3-0 lead in the tie-breaker but lost seven straight points to surrender the opening set.In the second set, Robredo and Marrero got the early lead when they broke Paes and Lipsky in the fourth game on deciding point. The Indo-American team though broke back and saved break chances in the eighth game to make it 4-4.The set was pushed to a tie-breaker again and the Paes- Lipsky pair raced to a 4-0 lead. They converted their third of the five set points to make it one set apiece.In the deciding match tie-breaker, Paes and Lipsky opened up a 5-0 lead and easily closed the match in their favour.Meanwhile, at the ATP 250 event in Lyon, the wild card entrants Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Christopher Rungkat lost their opening round 3-6 6-3 5-10 to formidable Australian team of Nick Kyrgios and Matt Reid.advertisementlast_img read more

Rihanna gives perfect response to body-shamers

first_imgLos Angeles, Jun 6 (PTI) Rihanna gave a befitting reply to online trolls and a sports writer who called her “fat”.In an article titled Is Rihanna going to make being fat the hot new trend?, Barstool Sports writer Chris Spags took a jab at the Barbadian singer.A few people on social media also started commenting that the 29-year-old had gained some weight.In a perfect reply, the “Work” hitmaker took to Instagram where she shared a photo featuring a side-by-side meme of rapper Gucci Mane at different weights – one in 2007 and another in 2017.”If you cant handle me at my 2007 Gucci Mane, you dont deserve me at my 2017 Gucci Mane,” the meme read.The star simply added a tongue in cheek crying emoji to her post. PTI CORR SSNlast_img

Bengaluru face North Korean side in AFC Cup knock-out stage

first_imgNew Delhi, Jun 6 (PTI) Last years runners-up Bengaluru FC will face April 25 Sports Club of North Korea in their two-legged inter-zone semifinals play-off of the AFC Cup in August and September. Bengaluru will host the North Korean side in the first leg of their inter-zone play-off semi-final on August 23, before heading to Pyongyang for the second leg on September 13. This was announced at the draw of the knockout stages of the AFC Cup, the continents second tier club competition, in Kuala Lumpur. If Bengaluru win the tie, they will take on the winner of the other inter-zone semifinals play-off between FC Istiklol of Tajikistan and ASEAN Zonal champion in the inter-zone final. The winner of this inter-zone final will, in the grand finale, take on the winner of the west Asian zone final between reigning champions Air Force Club of Iraq and Al Wahda of Syria. The AFC completely changed the tournament rules regarding group and knockout stages this season. If Bengaluru can go all the way to the title round, the Karnataka capital will be the venue for the summit clash as the 2017 AFC Cup final will be hosted by the winner of the inter-zone play-off on November 4. Bengaluru had booked a knockout stage berth after finishing as Group E winners. PTI PDS AH AHlast_img read more

Roger Federer to face Alexander Zverev in his 11th Halle final

first_imgTop seed Roger Federer will challenge for a ninth Halle Open title against Alexander Zverev after reaching the Wimbledon warm-up event final with a 6-4 7-6(5) win over rising Russian talent Karen Khachanov on Saturday.The 18-times grand-slam champion, who captured the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami titles this year, skipped the entire claycourt season to improve his chances of winning a record eighth title at the All England Club.He will now face 20-year-old Zverev in a rematch of last year’s semi-final, which the German won. Zverev booked his second successive final spot when he beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 4-6 6-4 6-3.Gasquet, a two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist, grabbed the first set against Zverev with a break at 5-4.But he quickly fell behind in the second as Zverev, a finalist last year, who has already won three titles in 2017, charged to a 4-2 lead and held on to take the set.The world number 12 booked his final spot after breaking at 3-3 and finishing the Frenchman off with another break to set up the showdown with Federer.Despite a shock exit from Stuttgart on his comeback last week, Federer has improved in Halle and has not lost a set.”I thought it was extremely close, especially that second set,” Federer, who has never won a tournament nine times, told reporters.”I’m still just very happy how I was able to close it out in the (tie-)breaker,” said the 35-year-old.He and Khachanov, 21, traded breaks in the first two games but Federer grabbed a second one to restore his advantage and clinch the first set on his second set point.advertisementThe Swiss lured the youngster to the net on several occasions, including at 4-4 in the second set when the Russian dumped a forehand volley into the net to give Federer two break points.But instead of serving out the set, the top seed was broken again and the Russian even held two set points at 6-5 before the world number five recovered and forced a tiebreak.He converted his first match point to reach an 11th Halle final.last_img read more

Wimbledon 2017: Rafael Nadal thrashes Australia’s John Millman to advance to second round

first_imgBack at Wimbledon and still playing his best, Rafael Nadal advanced to the second round at the All England Club.The fourth-seeded Spaniard, who won his 10th French Open title last month, beat John Millman of Australia 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 on No. 1 Court.Nadal is a two-time champion at Wimbledon. From 2006 to 2011, he reached the final every year except 2009, when he skipped the grass-court major because of injury.Besides extending his championship record at the French Open, Nadal also reached the Australian Open this year, losing to Roger Federer.last_img

Shikhar Dhawan replaces injured Murali Vijay for Test series in Sri Lanka

first_imgShikhar Dhawan has been named as replacement for Murali Vijay in the squad for Test series in Sri Lanka starting July 26. The Virat Kohli-led Team India departs for a full-fledged tour consisting three Tests, five ODIs and a one-off T20 International on July 19.”The All-India Senior Selection Committee on Monday named Shikhar Dhawan as the replacement for injured Murali Vijay in the Test team, which is scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka for a three-match Test series,” a BCCI press release stated.Dhawan, who played his last Test in October against New Zealand, has been in top form of late and ended the ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales as the leading run-getter. Dhawan cracked 338 runs from five matches with the help of one century and two fifties at the elite tournament.UPDATE: @SDhawan25 to replace injured Murali Vijay for Indias tour of Sri Lanka, 2017 pic.twitter.com/OD07odsd3q- BCCI (@BCCI) July 17, 2017Dhawan had suffered a thumb injury in October and was ruled out of third and final Test against New Zealand. He was alo not considered for five-match Test series against England but made a comeback in the limited-overs series.The left-handed opener’s exile in Test cricket continued when he was left out of the one-off Test against Bangladesh and five-match series against Australia.Vijay had suffered a wrist injury during the Test series against Australia which India won 2-1. Following which he pulled out of the Indian Premier League.”Vijay, who had suffered a wrist injury during Australia’s tour of India, has complained of pain in his right wrist, while playing a preparatory match. The BCCI medical team has therefore advised that Vijay should continue his rehabilitation program,” it added.advertisementSQUAD:Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice captain), Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, W Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, M Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.last_img read more

Argentina ‘deserve’ to go to Russia, says Jorge Sampaoli

first_imgArgentina need a win in Ecuador on Tuesday to guarantee at least a playoff place for the World Cup finals but coach Jorge Sampaoli says his side fully deserve to be in Russia next year despite their underwhelming qualifying campaign.Argentina, who reached the final three years ago in Brazil, lie in sixth place in the 10-team South American group, currently outside the qualifying places for Russia.The top four qualify automatically and the fifth-placed side go into an intercontinental playoff against Oceania winners New Zealand.”Argentina has shown the personality to demonstrate what it is, superior to the rest,” Sampaoli said in Ecuador on Monday.”I hope we qualify because, looking beyond the numbers, Argentina deserves it.”Argentina, who have won the World Cup twice, have taken just three points in their last four games. A win would guarantee Argentina at least fifth place but a draw might be enough to take them into the top four depending on results elsewhere.Reuters Photo Brazil have qualified already and Uruguay are almost certain to join them. Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile are all fighting for the remaining spots.Sampaoli, who took over in June and has yet to record a competitive win, has not named his side for the match but Lionel Messi is sure to start.”If we are up to Messi’s standards in tomorrow’s game then we’ll be alright,” Sampaoli said.Argentina have beaten Ecuador only once in a World Cup qualifier in Quito, where the high altitude makes life difficult for visiting teams.advertisementlast_img read more

South Africa vs Zimbabwe four-day Test gets ICC approval

first_imgThe International Cricket Council on Friday approved four-day Tests on a trial basis, effectively giving green light to the Boxing Day Test between hosts South Africa and Zimbabwe from December 26-29.The ICC Board, after its meeting here, stated that members are free to organise bilateral four-day matches as an experiment till the 2019 World Cup.”Our priority was to develop an international cricket structure that gave context and meaning across international cricket and particularly in the Test arena. This has been delivered and every Test in the new League will be a five-day Test format,” said ICC chief executive Dave Richardson referring to the Test Championship that will be played from 2019.”However throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear that whilst context is crucial we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket. The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by Members.”Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top nine ranked teams,” he said further.The first-ever four-day Test, to be played between South Africa and Zimbabwe, will be played with the pink-ball and under lights.However, the experiment has attracted criticism from the likes of South African captain Faf du Plessis. He recently said that he remains a fan of five-day games.advertisement”I am a fan of five-day Test cricket,” du Plessis had said earlier in the month.”I believe the great Test matches have gone to the last hour of the last day on day five. That’s what is so special about Test cricket. In four-day cricket or first-class cricket, it does feel easier because there are only four days.”For five days you have to graft it out. Bowlers have to bowl a lot more and batters have to construct much bigger innings.”Meanwhile, the ICC Board also approved a revised draft of Player Eligibility Regulations “which will come into effect in due course”.”Eligibility on the basis of nationality (residency) has changed to the player needing to reside in country for a three-year period in both the men’s and women’s games,” said the ICC. Earlier, the played needed to reside in a country for four years to be eligible.last_img read more

Bernie Ecclestone moving to Switzerland after F1 exit

first_imgFormula One’s former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone is moving further away from the sport he ruled for decades by relocating to Switzerland.The Briton, who will be 87 this month, was ousted in January after U.S.-based Liberty Media took control and gave him an undefined role as emeritus chairman.”It’s something I had agreed to do 20 years ago, or more: To take Formula One (Management) to Switzerland,” Ecclestone, who has lived in London for most of his life, told Reuters on Monday.”Trouble is I couldn’t get all the guys to come and live there. I don’t blame them, they had kids and were settled very well in England.”I don’t have to do anything particular with the company now so I can more or less do what I want,” he said, denying the move was for tax reasons.Ecclestone owns a hotel in the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad, among other business interests, and has had residence for nearly 30 years.In London he had an apartment above the shop – Formula One’s offices in well-heeled Knightsbridge.”Instead of just popping over (to Switzerland) for a few days and keeping my eye on things it will be nice, I think, if I lived there and I can pop back to England when I want to,” he said.The sport remains headquartered in Britain, the staff now in new premises in central London and Ecclestone, while remaining a paid employee, has little involvement.”I’m so high up in the company now, I can’t see anything,” he commented wryly.advertisementEcclestone said Liberty was not keen for him to attend races and he could understand that.”I think this year for them it’s all new and I think it’s better that I’m not around because people know me,” he said.”It’d be difficult for them to get known properly and accepted if there’s somebody else there all the time that they think is stealing their glory.”A Formula One spokesman said that was not the case.”Bernie is always welcome at any grand prix he’d like to attend,” he said, although limited office space at some tracks meant prior notice was preferred.UNPREDICTABLE HAMILTONEcclestone was in Bahrain, Russia, Azerbaijan and Austria this season and will be back for the penultimate round in Brazil next month. His wife Fabiana is Brazilian and they own a farm there.He said champions Mercedes, whose non-executive team chairman is Ecclestone’s old friend Niki Lauda, and Red Bull had also made him welcome.Mercedes are set to win the constructors’ title for the fourth season in a row in Austin, Texas, this weekend while Lewis Hamilton also has a first chance to clinch his fourth championship with three races remaining.Ecclestone said Hamilton had taken the sport to new audiences and was always good for a headline.”If he suddenly decided to stop racing, I wouldn’t be surprised. He is unpredictable. That’s why he’s been fantastic for us,” he observed.Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, 59 points behind the Briton in the standings, has also done his bit by taking the fight to Mercedes and winning four races.The last three in Asia have seen Ferrari implode, however, with Vettel failing to score in two of them and having to fight back from last place to fourth in the other.”I’m a very close friend of Seb’s. But he’s more predictable in what he’s going to do and say,” Ecclestone said.”He’s come out a lot different this year. This year hasn’t been Seb. Unfortunately he’s been unpredictable in the wrong way.”last_img read more

Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag attend Ashish Nehra’s farewell party

first_imgAshish Nehra’s farewell celebrations continued even after India’s victory over New Zealand in the first T20 international at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Wednesday.Nehra retired from all forms of cricket on November 1 after helping India beat the Kiwis by 53 runs in the first T20I of the three-match series.The 38-year-old was later seen partying hard with India captain Virat Kohli and his former teammate Virender Sehwag in a video which has gone viral on social media.Judging from the video, the party seemed to have been held in Delhi itself as all three cricketers belong from the same state.#ViratKohli at Ashish Nehra’s farewell party. #ThankYouAshishNehra pic.twitter.com/AU3vgdWvsX- Captains (@dhonikohli_fc) 2 November 2017#ViratKohli at #AshishNehra’s farewell party. pic.twitter.com/kuchcYZtFQ- Captains (@dhonikohli_fc) 2 November 2017Nehra retired with 235 wickets across formats in international cricket. The 38-year-old bowled his full quota of four overs as the Kiwis attempted to chase down 203 but ended up with 149 for 8 in 20 overs.Nehra came close to picking up a wicket on two occasions in the match but two dropped catches from Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli meant he couldn’t add to his tally of international wickets in his final game.Nehra, who had a career which lasted a little over 18 years, had first played for India in a Test match against Sri Lanka back in 1999.He bows out as India’s third highest wicket-taker in T20Is behind R Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah with 34 wickets from 27 matches.last_img read more

Mohammad Azharuddin barred from entering Hyderabad Cricket Association meeting

first_imgThere was utter chaos and confusion outside the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad as former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin was barred from attending the Hyderabad Cricket Association meeting on Sunday.Azhar was made to wait for an hour outside the stadium and wasn’t allowed to attend the Special General Meeting.The SGM, convened to adopt the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Committee point by point, ended abruptly amid chaos even as the ruling group claimed that it had passed a resolution adopting all the recommendations.”I was made to wait for an hour and wasn’t allowed to attend the meeting. I captained India for 10 years for god’s sake. I will solve your problems, that’s why I have come here,” Azhar vented out his anger at the HCA members when he was finally let in.Azharuddin also questioned the legality of the meeting itself.”This is an illegal body with the president himself facing a conflict of interest by being Advisor to the State Government,” he said. “The irony is that this is the fourth meeting being convened by the ruling group to implement the Justice Lodha Committee recommendations,” he added.”I wonder according to which Lodha guidelines the office-bearers are still in power. The image of the HCA itself has taken a beating. Cricket is different from politics and it’s the cricketers who are suffering the most. My fight is not against any individual, but against the system riddled with flaws,” Azharuddin said.”I will meet the HCA ombudsman to talk about the murky affairs and seek his intervention to ensure justice,” he said. “I am grateful to all the members, including Shiv (N. Shivlal Yadav) bhai and VHR sir, who supported my cause today and saw to it that I eventually attended the meeting and made a point,” he said, adding that no one could question his loyalty to cricket and the HCA. “I am here to give back to the game,” he said.advertisementFormer MP V. Hanumantha Rao, representing the Amberpet Cricket Club, even resorted to a sit-in protest in front of the stage on receiving information that Azhar was not allowed to take part in the meet and that he was stopped at the main gate of the stadium.Rao also took potshots at the TRS government, of which the HCA president G. Vivekanand is an adviser and in the resultant heated exchange with him, threw the mike down before squatting.He refused to get up until Mr Azharuddin was allowed in. Later, the chair relented and Azhar walked into the hall to a rousing welcome from hooting, whistling members.last_img read more

Rohit Sharma funds stranded Sri Lankan fan’s ticket back home, Virat Kohli offers further help

first_imgRohit Sharma helped a travelling Sri Lankan fan return home early to attend his ailing father. Later, Virat Kohli, who tied the knot with Anushka Sharma in Italy, texted the fan to see if everything was okay.India and Sri Lanka have met each other on the cricket field for 15 internationals so far this year including the second ODI in Mohali. While the majority of Indian fans have been irked by the lack of challenge for Team India, Sri Lankan fans have found refuge with the Indian national team.According to a report in the mid-day, three Sri Lankan fans – Gayan Senananyaka, Pubudu and Mohamed Nilam – have been travelling with the Sri Lankan team throughout the Indian tour. Nilam’s father however was diagnosed with throat cancer, during the third and final Test in New Delhi. His father needed immediate surgery, but his return ticket was scheduled from Mumbai on December 26 after the final T20 Internationals. In stepped Rohit Sharma, so that Nilam could be with his father during his surgery.India’s superfan, Sudhir Gautam, informed the stand-in Indian skipper and Rohit arranged for Nilam’s return air ticket to Colombo from New Delhi On December 5.”Rohit called me to the team hotel and gave me the ticket. The surgery went well. I was disturbed when I heard about my father’s health, Rohit has a big heart and he immediately arranged for my return ticket. He is a gem of a person,” Nilam told mid-day. Rohit was also seen inquiring about Nilam’s father with one of the fans , Gayan Senananyaka, at the pre-match practise session before the second ODI in Mohali.advertisementVirat Kohli, who tied the knot with Anushka Sharma, in Tuscany, Italy also messaged Nilam to inquire about his father’s health.”When Virat bhai came to know about my father’s health, he too messaged me and asked if I needed any help. I congratulated Virat bhai on his wedding. I feel blessed and lucky to get so much love from Indian cricketers. They have always been very helpful in arranging match tickets whenever we come to watch them,” said Nilam to mid-day.Rohit, of course, has a special affinity for the Sri Lankan bowling attack. He made a successful comeback into the Test team, smashing a hundred in Nagpur and a half-century in Delhi.He might have tormented Sri Lankan bowlers but he is loved and adored in the Emerald Isles.In the Sri Lanka tour back in August-September, Rohit had smashed 302 runs including two centuries in the five-match series.Back in 2014, Rohit had hammered a  record-breaking 264 off 173 at the Eden Gardens for the highest individual score in one day international cricket.last_img read more

Yanks Upgrading Begins

first_imgNEW YORK – The Yankees, a mere handful of games behind the wild card slots, have begun their interleague wheeling and dealing. On July 22 they made a trade with the Padres for third baseman Chase Headley.The Yankees sent infielder Yangervis Solarte and right-handed pitching prospect Rafael De Paula to San Diego in the deal. New York also received $1 million, according to a source.“I’m not surprised,” Headley told MLB.com by phone on Tuesday. “You understand the circumstances … and you know there’s a good chance it can happen. But on the same token, and I’ve dealt with it in the past and nothing has happened, it’s weird. You never think this day is going to come.”The switch-hitting Headley, 30, batted .229 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs in 77 games with San Diego. His power sapped by back issues, Headley’s performance has improved since receiving treatment earlier this month.Since July 4, he is batting .339 (19-for-56) with four doubles, a triple, a home run and eight RBIs in 13 games. Headley projects to take over as the Yankees’ everyday third baseman, a position at which the team has been mixing and matching this season.“It’s bittersweet,” Headley said. “On one hand, there’s not many people in the game who get to play in one organization for as long as I did. I loved every second in San Diego, all positive memories. But on the same token, I’m excited to move on to a team in a race right now.”With Alex Rodriguez unavailable due to suspension, the 27-year-old Solarte made the team as a non-roster invitee this spring and held down the position early before slipping into an extended slump. He batted .254 with six home runs and 31 RBIs in 75 games overall.Solarte was sent down to the Minors earlier this month, and though he was recalled, Yankees manager Joe Girardi had recently been giving more playing time at third base to Kelly Johnson and Zelous Wheeler.Johnson and Wheeler have versatility at multiple positions; Johnson figures to continue seeing playing time as the starting first baseman with Mark Teixeira out until at least Thursday with a strained lat muscle.Headley can be a free agent after this season and is owed approximately $4 million for the remainder of the 2014 campaign. The Yanks will pay about $3 million of that figure, not including the $1 million sent to New York by San Diego.In 908 career games over parts of eight Major League seasons, all with the Padres, Headley batted .266 with 87 home runs and 401 RBIs, while appearing in games at third base (680), left field (196) and first base (two).De Paula, 23, was 6-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 20 games (17 starts) with Class A Tampa this season. Originally signed by the Yankees as a Minor League free agent on Nov. 18, 2010, he was ranked No. 15 among Yanks prospects.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more