The Brazilian town of Chapeco, its buildings draped in the green colors of its devastated soccer club, prepared on Saturday to receive the bodies of victims of an air disaster in Colombia that killed 71 people and wiped out the team.The crash on Monday night shocked soccer fans the world over and plunged Brazil, South America’s biggest nation, into mourning. The BAe146 regional airliner operated by Bolivian charter company LAMIA had radioed that it was running out of fuel before smashing into a hillside outside the Colombian city of Medellin. (Also read: Rivals rule out final league game against Chapecoense)Only six people survived, including just three members of the soccer side Chapecoense en route to the Copa Sudamericana final, the biggest game in its history.Reports in Brazilian media that the plane, which circled outside Medellin for 16 minutes while another aircraft made an emergency landing, had barely enough fuel for the flight from Bolivia have outraged relatives of the victims.Bolivian President Evo Morales pledged to take “drastic measures” to determine what caused the crash. Bolivia has suspended LAMIA’s operating license and replaced the national aviation authority’s management.In Chapeco, a small agricultural town in southern Brazil, dozens of fans kept vigil at Chapecoense’s stadium, where an impromptu shrine swelled with fresh flowers and handmade posters. Green and black cloth was draped from fences, store fronts and construction sites. (Also read: Dozens of hearses to take Colombia crash victims toward final flight home)Sidnei de Oliveira Dias, a 25-year-old fan, said an open air wake due to be held on Saturday at the stadium would provide a moment of closure for a town whose excitement at Wednesday night’s cup final had turned to anguish.advertisementSome 100,000 fans, about half the city’s population, were expected to attend, as was Gianni Infantino, president of world soccer governing body FIFA. Temporary structures in the stadium will shelter the coffins of players, staff and journalists during the wake.”We’re still waiting for our heroes to return,” Dias said. “We still can’t believe it. Though now we know they’re never coming back.”The coffins were scheduled to arrive from Colombia aboard an Air Force transport plane at around 7:00 a.m. (0900 GMT) on Saturday. (Also read: Brazilian clubs offer to loan players to Chapecoense after plane crash)Brazilian President Michel Temer will preside over a brief ceremony at the airport, where he was due to posthumously decorate the victims and offer condolences to their families.However, he will not attend the wake in the stadium, amid concerns over possible political protests, his advisers said.A BANNER OF THANKSIn response to outpourings of support from soccer fans and clubs around the globe, Chapecoense hung a huge black banner from the outer wall of its stadium.”We looked for one word to thank all the kindness and we found many,” it read, followed by the words “thank you” in more than a dozen languages.Workers laid out giant banners on the field, decorated with white flowers, carrying the logos of Chapecoense and Atltico Nacional, the Colombian team that held a memorial ceremony on Wednesday instead of hosting the Cup final.Cleusa Eichner, 52, said she would come to the stadium on Saturday – as she had done so many times for games – but was wary about seeing the players caskets.”I can still see those players entering with their kids in their arms. I’d rather keep that image in my head, hold on to that happiness, than replace it with nothing.”Brazilian media, citing an internal document, reported that an official at Bolivia’s aviation agency raised concerns about LAMIA’s flight plan.The official urged the airline to come up with an alternative route because the journey of 4 hours and 22 minutes was the same length as the plane’s maximum flight range.A Colombian civil aviation document seen by Reuters confirmed the flight time was set to be 4 hours and 22 minutes.LAMIA Chief Executive Officer Gustavo Vargas on Wednesday said the plane had been correctly inspected before departure and should have had enough fuel for about 4-1/2 hours. He said it was the pilot’s responsibility to decide whether to stop to refuel.The pilot’s father-in-law, Roger Pinto Molina, who lives in Brazil, apologized to the Brazilian people in an interview with GloboNews.”We want to say to millions of Brazilians, especially the families, sons, parents and brothers in Chapeco that we are very sorry,” Molina said.
By Kushan Sarkar New Delhi, Dec 13 (PTI) West Indies are two-time World T20 champions but the flamboyant Chris Gayle feels “it will be difficult” for the Caribbean islands to regain their glory days in Test cricket in the near future. One of the most dashing batsmen of his time, Gayle has two triple hundreds in the longest format with 7214 runs in 103 games. His RCB jersey no, 333, is his highest Test score. West Indies have lost their last two Test series against India (at home) and Pakistan (away). “It will be difficult for West Indies to go back where they were in Test cricket,” Gayle told PTI during an interaction arranged as a part of USL Diageo Road to Safety initiative. Gayle terms lack of “concentration” and “consistency” as hurdles in attaining success in Test cricket. “The structure of modern day cricket is such that it will be difficult to regain those days of glory because of the advent of the shorter format and the interest that it has generated among the youngsters. In longer formats, you need to concentrate more and have that game discipline in order to achieve consistency,” Gayle said. “If you look at our T20 success it is because of the short duration that helps one play their attacking game. So if you ask me about a turnaround, it seems difficult as of now,” Gayle was straightforward in his assessment. He also felt that youngsters in the West Indies could always be lured by lucrative private T20 leagues across the globe. “You cannot rule out that possibility that Gen Next in the Caribbean will be more inclined to play T20 leagues. If you are a professional cricketer, you would want to have a good career. With so many leagues across the globe, one needs to accept it as a reality today. If a guy is a good enough player and can remain fit, one can play in T20 leagues even above 40 (Brad Hogg is a case in point),” Gayle made his point. “At the end of the day, sport is entertainment and one cant deny that T20 gets you good TV coverage for the duration of the game and the entertainment associated.” The Jamaican dasher believes that for upliftment of West Indies cricket, the players as well as West Indies Cricket Board will have to join hands as it is “everyones responsibility”. Did he speak to WICB president Dave Cameron on the issues leading to sour relations in the recent past between players and board, he replied: “No, I have not spoken to anybody. I believe we have a designated players body and they represent us. If the players need to voice any concern they tell it to the association. “But yes, everyone has some sort of responsibility to take West Indies cricket forward. You dont want a situation like Dwayne Bravo was in. Every player wants to play for the West Indies but there are issues that need to be addressed.” On a personal front, Gayle is currently recuperating from injury and will not be playing in the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia. “I am not playing in the Big Bash as I am spending time with my family and recuperating from an injury. I am eyeing a comeback during Pakistan Super League (PSL) and then the Indian Premier League,” said Gayle. He is also hopeful that he will be donning the West Indies jersey again having last played in the ICC World T20 in India. “If I am fit and in form, I would still like to play for the West Indies not only in T20 but in ODIs as well. If you ask me, I would like to play till the 2019 World Cup in England. Thats a target I have set for myself,” he concluded. PTI KHS AH KHSadvertisement
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has warned his players of the burning desire that Cristiano Ronaldo will have to secure a victory over them at Old Trafford with Juventus.The ex-Red Devils winger will make his return to the venue where he first became a global superstar, scoring 118 goals in 292 outings with the club, on Tuesday on Champions League duty with the Italian side.It is not, however, the first time he has been back since departing for Real Madrid in 2009, turning out for Los Blancos at the Theatre of Dreams under the stewardship of Mourinho in 2013. 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! On that occasion, he found the net and the Portuguese manager believes that the 33-year-old’s desire to do so again will remain enormous.“He came back with me in Real Madrid,” Mourinho told United’s official website. “I know how much he loves Manchester United. I know that, but I also know how much he wanted to win here and score against Manchester United and win against Manchester United, because he did that with Real. “He scored and they won. So, it will be more of the same on Tuesday. “The fans will show the respect he deserves. He will show that to the fans, too. I know that he really loves the club but when the ball starts rolling, he wants to score and he wants to win.”Despite the presence of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in Juve’s ranks, Mourinho remains optimistic that United can pick up maximum points.“Nobody can stop us going into the game and thinking we can win,” he said, explaining how much he is enjoying this period of the season after facing Chelsea and drawing 2-2 at the weekend.“It’s opponents of this level of football that you want. You cannot be in the Champions League and expect not to play and not to enjoy these opponents. “I think they are always a candidate to win the trophy and, this season, they are more than a candidate. So, it’s fantastic for us. “I said before the Chelsea game that Chelsea-Juventus in three days, for some, is a nightmare. For me, it’s not a nightmare, it’s just where I want to be and I thought I was quite successful in giving this feeling to the boys before the Chelsea match. “I think it’s easier now to give the same feeling for this match and we have to enjoy it. Nobody can kill our desire to play that game and try to win.”Mourinho’s men have four points from their two matches to date, having won 3-0 at Young Boys before being held scoreless by Valencia at Old Trafford earlier this month.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has a potential conundrum on his hands after influential midfielder Jorginho was rendered impotent for the first time this season by Everton’s Marco Silva.The £57 million signing from Napoli is pivotal to everything Chelsea do in, and out of, possession, elegantly moving around the pitch to dictate the tempo of his team’s play with one or two-touch passing.But, in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Everton at Stamford Bridge, he was frustrated by Silva’s tactics. Though Everton were unable to claim a first win at Chelsea since 1993, Silva’s plans restricted Jorginho to such an extent that he recorded his lowest number of passes – 50 – since moving to the Premier League in the summer. 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! Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison were diligent in nullifying his talents which led to so much frustration for Jorginho that he was lucky not to be sent off for a reckless tackle on the Icelandic midfielder in the first half.Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gueye completed Jorginho’s cage as a concerted effort ensured that the go-to option of finding the Italy international was not available to Chelsea.And, when asked about whether stopping Eden Hazard was key to his side earning a point at Stamford Bridge, Silva turned the focus to the midfield metronome.Jorginho passes in the PL:Huddersfield – 66Arsenal – 99Newcastle – 173B’mouth – 79Cardiff – 92West Ham – 180Liverpool – 73S’hampton – 91Man Utd – 74Burnley – 102Palace – 107Everton – 50#CFC— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) 11 November 2018“To be honest with you, if you come here just to stop Hazard, it would be the first mistake you make,” Silva said at Stamford Bridge. “We came here not just to stop Hazard, we came to stop Chelsea as a team.”I understand the question as you are talking about, in my opinion, the best Premier League player so far. But we showed this shape, we blocked one player and that’s Jorginho. We blocked well Jorginho and, in my opinion, he is one of the key players in Chelsea this season.”Of course, Hazard can create problems in each moment of the match. In some moments, we blocked him and in other moments he created problems for us. It is normal for a fantastic player like him. “It was one of the keys to block Jorginho. It was fantastic work from Sigurdsson and Richarlison in the first moments and then with Gomes and Gueye. My opinion he is one of the keys in Maurizio’s system and model this season.”He controls all the match with and without the ball for Chelsea.”Jorginho’s unique skillset often leads him to be described as a regista, a player who you run your entire game through. In the 0-0 draw at West Ham in September, Jorginho broke the Premier League record for both touches and passes in the game.He will continue to be key and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was the first man to target the central midfielder when facing Chelsea. Everton mastered it more than their rivals and Jorginho was hauled off in the 66th minute for his deputy Cesc Fabregas as Chelsea chased the win.Stopping Jorginho was a priority for Serie A sides who faced Napoli, where he was equally central to his team’s style of play but this match at Stamford Bridge was his first sub-par performance for Chelsea.Usually, Jorginho ghosts away from any marking effort, with his ability to find space even when targeted showcasing his football brain. Perhaps he was tired after a midweek display in Belarus against BATE, with Fabregas missing that match after being taken ill.There are also questions remain over whether N’Golo Kante is best suited in a more attacking role on the right of midfield, with huge competition for places as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley, Fabregas and Mateo Kovacic figure among Sarri’s options.Silva has created a worry now for Sarri, with a blueprint for other managers to face the tactically consistent Chelsea. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
The Indian Premier League’s first centurion Brendon McCullum was all praise for Sanju Samson, who hammered the first century of this year’s IPL.McCullum hammered 158* off 73 balls for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the first ever match of the IPL back in 2008 versus the Royal Challengers Bangalore. His innings included 10 fours and 13 sixes as he lit up the Chinnaswamy on the first ever day of the IPL.India’s star off-spinner and the injured Ravichandran Ashwin was also all praise for the young boy from Kerala.Joining McCullum and Ashwin in praise of Samson was Harsha Bhogle, who praised the innings and his talent. His former employers and the now suspended Rajasthan Royals and the owner of the suspended team Raj Kundra also tweeted about the brillaint knock by the 22-year-old.Samson hammered his century off just 62 balls before falling to a Adam Zampa flipper for 102. With this he became the second youngest Indian to slam a ton in the IPL, first being Manish Pandey, who hammered a ton back in 2009 in South Africa at the age of 19.Coming in at no. 3, he steadied the ship for the Delhi Daredevils after Deepak Chahar picked up Aditya Tare early in the innings.He started his innings showing some great timing and hitting a flurry of boundaries. Samson settled in and took 41 balls to reach his fifty but continued the good work before finally bringing his hundred up with a big six off Zampa in the 19th over. He hit eight fours and five sixes in his knock of 102.advertisementHere’s how twitter reacted to Samson’s maiden IPL hundred:I love watching Sanju Samson play cricket! Hes some talent!- Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) April 11, 2017Sanju’s indifferent year just took a big UU turn. Special Innings. #IPL2017 #RPSvDD- Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) April 11, 2017Delighted to see Sanju Samson playing a key innings. Fine talent. Needs an arm round his shoulder.- Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 11, 2017Brilliant, just brilliant! #SanjuSamson scores 102 from 63 balls. Congratulations! #RPSvDD- Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) April 11, 2017So proud of our boy #SanjuSamson a beautiful knock @rajasthanroyals we know how to find players!- Raj Kundra (@TheRajKundra) April 11, 2017Take a bow Sanju Samson! First centurion in the #VIVOIPL 2017! #PlayBold #RPSvDD- Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) April 11, 2017That was a #SanjuSamson special we just witnessed. C’mon boys! #DDTweets #RPSvDD #DilDilliHai- Delhi Daredevils (@DelhiDaredevils) April 11, 2017
Ranbir Kapoor has stepped into the shoes of Bollywood’s popular Khalnayak. The 34-year-old, who is busy bringing Sanjay Dutt’s life on 70mm, was spotted shooting for the biopic in Mumbai. But this time around in a new avatar. Known to play versatile roles, Ranbir has taken up the challenge of bringing Dutt’s life alive on screen. Receding hair line and a moustache, Ranbir looks almost unrecognisable this new avatar. Going by the look, it seems Ranbir is shooting for a portion from Sanjay’s later part of life.If reports are to be believed, Ranbir will be seen sporting six, totally different looks in Dutt that will highlight different phases in Sanjay Dutt’s life. Tentatively titled Dutt, the film will focus on Sanjay’s formative years, his relation with his father Sunil Dutt, his struggles coping up with the loss of his mother, his many affairs, etc.Paresh Rawal is playing the role of Sunil Dutt while Manisha Koirala, Sanjay’s co-star in many film, is starring as Nargis, Sanju baba’s mom. Anushka Sharma, Dia Mirza, Sonam Kapoor, Jim Sarbh and Vicky Kaushal play pivotal roles in the film.(Photos: Yogen Shah) ALSO READ: Ranbir Kapoor to sport six different looks for Sanjay Dutt biopic? ALSO READ: 10 events from Sanjay Dutt’s life that should be in his biopic ALSO WATCH: Amitabh Bachchan tells Ranbir Kapoor the importance of film writers
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Thiruvananthapuram, May 20 (PTI) Kerala will request the central government to take back sacked Indian footballer C K Vineeth, whose service was terminated by Kerala Accountant Generals office here due to lack of attendance. If the centre is reluctant, then the state government would offer him a job, Sports and Industries Minister A C Moideen told reporters. Moideen and opposition leader in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala had earlier written to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to reconsider the decision to terminate his service. Kerala government would once again write to the centre in this regard, he said. Sports Minister Vijay Goel has also come out in support of Vineeth. “A player has to play continuously and hence is unable to meet the mandatory guideline. I will speak to Kerala Chief Minister and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) office in New Delhi to seek their intervention to accommodate this player and change the rules”, the minister had said in Delhi yesterday. Vineeth joined the Accountant Generals office in 2012 through sports quota. His service was terminated for lack of adequate attendance. The footballer has played both in the I-League and Indian Super League. PTI UD RC AH AH
New Delhi, May 23 (PTI) AIFF and its marketing partners, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), have shared the national teams yearly fixtures beginning March 2017 wherein it will play 15 competitive games including eight in India. All the international fixtures will be broadcast live on Star Sports and its digital platform, Hotstar. Having successfully broadcast many international footballing events and leagues, the Star Network is now set to wow Indias sports fans with a live television experience of its national team. Speaking on the development, a Star India Spokesperson said, “This is a huge step forward for us. Broadcasting the national fixtures is a significant addition to our line-up of football properties and validates our network as the premier destination for football fans. “We are pleased to showcase Indias international matches which will provide a special experience to fans to follow the India national team during primetime on our on-air and digital platforms.” The team has already played and won two games beginning March 2017 – friendly against Cambodia and AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Myanmar. With a clear focus to increase home games, AIFF recently launched the annual multi-country Champions Cup to be played by 4 countries including India in August 2017. The competition will be held from August 18-27, 2017 where the team will play 4 games provided they reach the finals. The team play their next friendly against Nepal in India on June 6, 2017, before taking on Kyrgyzstan in the Home leg onJune 13, 2017, in their bid to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in UAE. Followed by the Champions Cup in August, the team returns to its AFC Asian Cup qualifier campaign as they play the last team in the group, Macau in the away leg on September 5, 2017. The national team will take part in two training camps between October 2017 to November 2017 where they also play the home games of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers against Macau (October 10, 2017) and Myanmar (November 14, 2017). The team will also come together for additional friendly games at Home on October 4, 2017, November 8, 2017, and March 22, 2018, against teams yet to be confirmed. The last match of the AFC Asian Cup qualifier will be played in an away leg against Kyrgyzstan on March 27, 2018. PTI AH AHadvertisement
New teams have expressed an interest in entering Formula One and two slots could be available, International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt said on Wednesday.Formula One currently has 10 teams, down from 11 in 2016, following the demise of tail-enders Manor after the end of last season.Since then the sport has been taken over by U.S.-based Liberty Media, who have adopted a more fan-friendly approach and have said they want to see a situation where teams can be competitive and stable.”When we feel it is time, we will be able to make a tender. At the moment we have 10 teams and the idea is to have up to 12,” Todt told reporters at the FIA Sport Conference in Geneva.”So we have an opportunity, if we have one or two strong newcomers it could be possible. There are always rumours, but we have had some interest from some teams.”Todt said it would be foolish to think anything could be done in time for 2018, however.U.S.-owned Haas are the last all-new team to enter Formula One, making their debut last season and finishing eighth overall.Three new teams that entered in 2010 — HRT, Lotus Racing (later Team Lotus and then Caterham) and Virgin Racing (later Marussia and then Manor) — have all disappeared.
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin applauded Kusal Mendis for his spirited century in Sri Lanka’s second innings on the third day of the second Test here on Saturday.Mendis played a masterful knock to score 110 runs off 135 balls. His innings was laced with 17 boundaries. He also produced a 191-run stand with opener Dimuth Karunaratne (92 batting) after Upul Tharanga was dismissed in the early stages of the hosts’ second innings.”I think it was, it had a venom in the morning first session as the ball got old and we bowled the second time around it’s kind of fizzling out and edges out, carries to the fielder. I thought Mendis batted beautifully, he put Jaddu(Jadeja) off his line very quickly, kept on sweeping him and he was lucky he got away with it but credit to him he batted beautifully,” Ashwin told reporters.The 30-year-old confessed India gave away plenty of runs in the second innings which they should have ideally stopped.”I just think Test teams are allowed to bat well in few sessions but they did bat well as I told you we beat the bat pretty often. I thought they batted really well.”Karunaratne really complemented Mendis. He defended beautifully and Mendis played few extra. It came off well credit to them, they batted really really well and I don’t think we did too much wrong, we tried reverse swing, we bowled cutter in the end, Pandya got a wicket to the cutters and we did beat the bat,” the Tamil Nadu spinner said.advertisementAlthough Sri Lanka will resume the fourth day on Sunday trailing by 230 runs, Ashwin felt it will be an uphill task for India bowlers to pick wickets considering the wicket will get slower as the day progresses.”The wicket will get slower and slower it’s not going to be an easy work for us tomorrow for sure, we will have to be disciplined we gave a few more runs than we should have ideally given today, probably tomorrow we can squeeze them up we can try and get few wickets early, but it’s not going to be easy. It’s slowing down,” Ashwin explained.The Madras-born player revealed the follow-on was enforced on the hosts keeping in mind the condition of the team bowlers.”Most often we based it on how tired or fresh the bowlers are I thought we did get them all out under two sessions so we thought it is the right time to enforce the follow-on and I think the wicket will keep on slowing down. It’s not going to be easy as the game gets deeper into the fourth or fifth day,” Ashwin concluded.Ashwin failed to pick up a single wicket in the second innings after clinching 5/69 in the first innings.
Wriddhiman Saha is finally starting to get his due in international cricket after patiently waiting to break into the Indian team. MS Dhoni’s retirement from the longest format opened the doors for Saha and he latched on to the opportunity with both hands.Such has been Saha’s growth over the years that captain Virat Kohli called him the best Test wicketkeeper in the world after India beat Sri Lanka in the second Test in Colombo.”Four byes on that sort of pitch speaks volumes of the kind of ability he (Saha) has.He’s right up there in world cricket among the very best. He’s the best keeper in this format right now, I’d say,” Kohli said after the second Test.Keeping wickets against Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in spin-friendly conditions is extremely tough and a wicketkeeper with a poor technique would have struggled big time. But Saha has been nothing short of extraordinary in the last couple of seasons.pic.twitter.com/uwyvo8dC5P- wriddhiman saha (@Wriddhipops) April 3, 2017The Colombo Test was a prime example of how safe Saha’s gloves are behind the stumps. The SSC pitch was like a minefield and Saha had to keep against two of the best spinners in the world right now with the pitch exploding on numerous occasions.But Saha was like Superman behind the stumps, latching on to each and every ball, even the ones which took off from a good length. He was so good in that match that he conceded just four runs as byes during the whole game.advertisement”I enjoy wicket-keeping on turning tracks because on such wickets more balls are coming towards you and as a result, as a wicketkeeper you have to remain focused all the time. I really enjoy wicket-keeping against Ashwin and Jadeja,” said Saha.The 32-year-old also insisted that it was important for a wicketkeeper to keep his concentration and focus all the time, especially on a turning wicket.pic.twitter.com/LMuBT82unZ- wriddhiman saha (@Wriddhipops) April 3, 2017Saha had to wait for long to prove his mettle as a wicket-keeper as Dhoni ran the show for the Indian Team.But after Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2014, the opportunity provided itself before Saha to establish himself as India’s first choice wicketkeeper in the longer version of the game.And in just over two and a half years, the 32-year-old has gone on to become one of India’s most prized assets.Dhoni was always a better batsman than Saha, but when it comes to wicketkeeping, the diminutive Bengal cricketer is probably a step ahead of the former India captain.Dhoni has the fastest hands in world cricket behind the stumps and some of the things that he does while keeping seem impossible at times. He has always been a street-smart cricketer and that reflects in his keeping as well.Watch the Mahi magic on loop #INDvNZ https://t.co/btMoJF0xC3- BCCI (@BCCI) 26 October 2016But technically Saha is almost flawless and his athleticism and agility is what makes him better than the rest. Having kept wickets all his life at the Eden Gardens and against quality spinners in first class cricket, Saha has evolved into a wicketkeeper who is a cut above the rest.And with the bat, he averages over 33 in 27 Test matches with three hundreds and five half-centuries. In comparison, Dhoni played 90 Tests and averaged 38.09, amassing 4876 runs with six centuries. At No. 6, 7 or 8, Saha mostly bats with the tail-enders but still manages to attack and defend according to the situation of the game.While Saha possesses none of his predecessor’s flamboyance or big-hitting ability with the bat, his dexterity behind the stumps, to go with his determination in front of them, has meant that Dhoni, who now plays only limited-overs cricket, has not really been missed in the longest format.But it’s still an open question: Behind the stumps in the longest format, who has the safer pair of hands? We leave this point open to debate.
The Indian men’s hockey team suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of hosts Belgium, their second consecutive defeat in the Tour of Europe, to lose the series 2-0 in Boom last evening.While Tom Boon scored a 60th minute goal to take home the winning points in the first match which otherwise was headed to a goalless draw, the Belgian squad ranked No.5 in the world beat India in the second match to wrap up the series.Though India which comprised of a young brigade that included as many as nine players from the 2016 Junior World Cup winning team put up a resilient show with quality defence in both the games, the team fell short in terms of posing a real threat with their attack.In the first match against Belgium, six Indian players Varun Kumar, Gurjant Singh, Armaan Qureshi, Dipsan Tirkey, Nilakanta Sharma and Suraj Karkera made their international debut and ensured they put up a commendable performance.The team led by midfielder Manpreet Singh pushed Belgium to the limits with strong defence that saw Varun Kumar, Dipsan Tirkey, Gurinder Singh and Amit Rohidas hold fort along with the experienced Kothajit Singh. They rallied together and set a pattern that one would see repeated over the course of the game. Though it was the Belgians who started strong with opportunities being created in the striking circle, Akash Chikte was up to the task right from the first hooter as he denied Belgian attackers from scoring.But a small error in the striking circle saw India concede a crucial PC in the dying minute of the match. Experienced drag flicker Tom Boon ensured the opportunity didn’t go amiss as he successfully beat rookie goalkeeper Karkera who had replaced Chikte in the final quarter to seal the match for Belgium. The first match ended 1-0 in favour of Belgium.advertisementThe second match on Thursday began under overcast weather conditions with India setting the momentum of the match with a head start. While Karkera made a brilliant save in the initial minutes of the first quarter, forward Armaan Qureshi drew first blood with a well-struck field goal in the 4th minute that earned India a 1-0 lead. Though India won an opportunity to double the lead soon after with a penalty corner, the chance went amiss.The following minutes saw India keep Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch busy. India’s goal scorer Qureshi took two back-to-back shots on goal but Vanasch was up to the challenge as he denied any further lead. The first quarter however ended with Belgium equalizing the score with Amaury Keusters converting a field goal in the 9th minute.Though India rallied together to gain better ball possession and circle entries, Belgium pushed India back with strong goalkeeping. The second quarter saw both teams trade penalty corners, while Belgium found success through Loick Luypaert converting in the 21st minute, India’s attempt was brilliantly saved by the Belgian goalkeeper. In the 30th minute Cedric Charlier took Belgium’s lead to a strong 3-1 with a field goal.The third quarter saw India come close to converting a field goal but Sumit narrowly missed a deflection off Mandeep. While the final quarter saw India press hard in the midfield which stalled Belgium from entering the attacking zone, Indian attackers Mandeep Singh, Qureshi and Ramandeep Singh’s attempts paid no dividends as the Belgian goalkeeping continued to be valiant ensuring Belgium prevailed in the second match 3-1.The Indian Men’s Hockey team will now take on World No.4 The Netherlands on August 13 in Waalwijk, Netherlands.
So much about Maria Sharapova was the same as it ever was during her first Grand Slam match since a 15-month doping suspension: the shot-punctuating shrieks, the aggressive baseline style, the terrific returning, the sometimes-shaky serving.Another familiar sight: The five-time major champion gutted out a victory.Sharapova recovered after faltering midway through the match and emerged to beat No. 2-seeded Simona Halep 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 at the U.S. Open on Monday night to reach the second round.”This girl has a lot of grit and she’s not going anywhere,” Sharapova told the crowd in an on-court interview.After leading by a set and 4-1 in the second, Sharapova showed some fatigue and rust, dropping five games in a row. But in the third, Sharapova regained control by going ahead 3-0, using her power to keep two-time French Open runner-up Halep under pressure.An extremely emotional @MariaSharapova ends a three-set marathon vs second seed Halep 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. #USOpen @MBUSA pic.twitter.com/0SLN8Zrrwx- US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 29, 2017Sharapova had not played at a Grand Slam tournament since January 2016, when she tested positive for the newly banned heart drug meldonium during the Australian Open. It was as if every one of Sharapova’s winners – and she compiled 60, 45 more than Halep – was her way of declaring, “I’m back!”When a Halep shot sailed long to end the match after more than 2 and a half hours, Sharapova dropped to her knees on court, then covered her face as her eyes welled with tears.advertisement”I just thought that was another day, another opportunity, another match,” Sharapova said. “But this was so much more. I tried not to think about it.””This girl has a lot of grit and she’s not going anywhere,” @MariaSharapova after her win over (2) Halep tonight.#USOpen pic.twitter.com/UAyA9hyBoi- US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 29, 2017The 30-year-old Russian was allowed back on the tour this April, but she was denied a wild-card invitation for the French Open the next month. The U.S. Tennis Association did grant a wild card to Sharapova, who was once ranked No. 1 but is currently 146th.That is 144 spots below Halep, who is among eight women that entered the U.S. Open with a chance to top the WTA rankings by tournament’s end. The draw at Flushing Meadows randomly paired the two players, providing a buzz-generating matchup that managed to live up to the hype on Day 1 at the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.It was a tremendously entertaining and high-quality contest, more befitting a final than a first-rounder.These two women have, indeed, faced off with a Grand Slam title at stake: Sharapova beat Halep in the 2014 French Open final, part of what is now her 7-0 head-to-head record in the matchup.On Monday, they traded stinging shots, often with Sharapova – dressed in all black, from her visor to her dress that sparkled under the lights, to her socks and shoes – aiming to end exchanges and Halep hustling into place to extend them.Points would last 10 or 12 strokes, or more, repeatedly leaving a sellout crowd of 23,771 in Arthur Ashe Stadium clapping and yelling and high-fiving, no matter which player won them. The chair umpire repeatedly admonished spectators to hush.Halep blinked at the end of the hour-long first set, double-faulting to face a break point, then watching Sharapova punish a 71 mph second serve with a forehand return winner. That was Sharapova’s sixth return winner; she would finish with 14, more than enough to counter her seven double-faults.It was quickly 4-1 for Sharapova in the second set and she held a break point there to allow her to go up 5-1 and serve for the victory. But she couldn’t convert it. Then, only then, did Sharapova struggle for a bit. Her footwork was a bit off. Her forehand lost its way. She would end up losing that game and the next four, too, as Halep managed to force a third set.2017 is the 20th anniversary of both Arthur Ashe Stadium & @ShaniaTwain’s hit album Come On Over. https://t.co/dr83PLodQK #USOpen pic.twitter.com/FlXh0FKHlD- US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 28, 2017But with the outcome in the balance, Sharapova once again looked as if she had never been away. She raced ahead 3-0 in the third, then 5-2. And this time, she did not let Halep back in, improving to 11-0 in first-round matches in New York.This was by far the day’s most significant match, no matter happened later in the men’s encounter in Ashe between No. 4 Alexander Zverev and qualifier Darian King of Barbados.advertisementEarlier Monday, seven-time major champion Venus Williams picked up a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory against Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia, a 19-year-old qualifier who is ranked 135th, joining past Wimbledon winners Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova in the second round.But No. 7 seed Johanna Konta, a Wimbledon semifinalist just last month, was bounced by 78th-ranked Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.”I don’t take anything for granted,” Konta said. “I think it would be quite obnoxious of me to come in here expecting I have a right to be in second week.”Biggest upset so far!@KrunicAlex stuns (7) Konta 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on the Grandstand.#USOpenhttps://t.co/Xw2YnHH6aw pic.twitter.com/EszoC1SLMj- US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 28, 2017And in another surprise, 13th-seeded Jack Sock of the United States was eliminated 6-2, 7-6 (12), 1-6, 5-7, 6-4 by 73rd-ranked Jordan Thompson of Australia.
Bangladesh spun their way to a first Test victory over Australia on Wednesday, with Shakib Al Hasan’s second five-wicket haul of the match securing a memorable 20-run win inside four days at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.Overnight batsman David Warner struck a belligerent 112 and added 130 runs with skipper Steve Smith but their efforts were in vain as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.Chasing 265 to win , Australia lost five wickets in an eventful morning session, and whatever hopes they had were snuffed out when Shakib bowled Glenn Maxwell with the first delivery after the lunch break.Pat Cummins scored an unbeaten 33 down the order to inject some drama but it was not enough in the end as Australia were all out for 244.10th Test win for Bangladesh ????5 vs Zim2 vs WI1 vs Eng/SL/Aus#BanvAus- Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) August 30, 2017Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim was delighted to record the country’s first victory over Australia.”Obviously a great feeling, beating Australia,” he said at the presentation ceremony. (Well done Bangladesh! Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Clarke hail Bangla Tigers after historic Test win)”A great effort by the boys, especially Shakib and Tamim (Iqbal) were outstanding,” he said of the duo, who featured in a 155-run partnership to rescue Bangladesh from a top order collapse in their first innings.Shakib (5/85) celebrated his 50th Test appearance by scoring 84 in the first innings and finishing with a 10-wicket match haul, a performance worthy of his status as the world’s top-ranked Test all-rounder.advertisementHe was the obvious choice for Man of the Match.Resuming on 109/2, Warner batted with calculated aggression, while Smith was content to play second fiddle as they continued the good work they had started on Tuesday evening with some generous assistance from Lady Luck.(AP Photo)Warner survived a review before the southpaw brought up his 19th Test century, a second in Asia. Then, when the opener was on 106, he pulled a Shakib delivery and the ball flew past leg-slip before the fielder could put his hands together.David Warner..19th Test 1001st vs & in Bangladesh1st in the subcontinent2nd in Asia5th away 1002nd in 20172nd in 4th inns#BanvAus- Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) August 30, 2017Smith was on 28 when Tamim spilled him at mid-on but Shakib was lurking round the corner with his left-arm spin to change the complexion of the match.Shakib first trapped Warner leg-before for 112 and, four overs later, had Smith caught behind for 37 to pile the pressure back on Australia.On a turning track where their frontline batsmen have struggled against Bangladesh’s three-pronged spin attack, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade and Ashton Agar all fell in quick succession prior to lunch.Cummins hit a couple of sixes in his aggressive innings but ran out of partners after Taijul Islam trapped Josh Hazlewood leg-before.Smith said failing to pile up runs in the first innings had made their job tougher.”It was a great test match, credit to Bangladesh the way they played,” he added.”We probably let ourselves down in the first innings with the bat, probably should have made a few more there. It was pretty difficult batting here in the second innings and I thought we did pretty well to get 240 in the end.”Australia will slip one place to fifth in the Test rankings even if they level the series by winning the second Test in Chittagong from Monday. A second defeat would see them lose another place.Australia in Asia since October 2008….Tests: 23, Won 2, Lost 16, Drawn 5 (win% 8.70)Lost:10 in India3 in SL2 in UAE1 in Ban#BanvAus- Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) August 30, 2017Australia in Tests in Asia in last 5 years:L L L L L L L L L W L D L L12 Losses1 Win1 Draw#BANvAUS- Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) August 30, 2017
All-rounder Thisara Perera has been named to lead Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI series against India, beginning December 10 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPA) Stadium, Dharamsala.The 28-year-old will take over the captaincy from opener Upul Tharanga, whose captaincy saw Lanka slump to three 5-0 whitewashes this year.Perera, who was in charge of a depleted T20I side that played against Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore last month, will lead the side in the 50-over international cricket for the first time.It seems that the national selectors might have handed the top role to Perera in the wake of his impressive handling of a young outfit when several first-choice players expressed their reluctance to visit to Lahore for third T20I against Pakistan.Perera, who made his debut in December 2009, has appeared in a total of 125 ODIs for Lanka, with a formidable strike-rate of 109.As a bowler, he has bagged a total of 133 wickets at an average of 32.62 apiece.However, his form has come under scrutiny in the recent times, scoring only 91 runs and bagging just four wickets in the five-match ODI series against Pakistan. He followed that with only 19 runs and three wickets across three T20Is.It should be noted that Lanka’s limited-overs side has undergone plenty of changes in the recent times.When Angelo Mathews stepped down from captaincy in July this year, the role was split and Tharanga was asked to lead the ODI side while Dinesh Chandimal was given the Test mantle.advertisementUnder Tharanga’s watch, Lanka were whitewashed 5-0 at home by India and 5-0 away by Pakistan before the team was beaten 5-0 in South Africa as well.As a result, Thisara became the seventh player to captain Sri Lanka in 2017, following Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath, Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera who all have borne the responsibility in one format or the other.
NEW YORK — Two nights after the best game of his NBA career, Dennis Schroder had one that was even better.While the second-year guard appears to be figuring things out, it’s clear the New York Knicks can’t yet say the same.Paul Millsap scored 19 points, Schroder extended his best stretch in the NBA with two big baskets in the final 2 minutes, and the Atlanta Hawks sent the Knicks to their fifth straight loss with a 91-85 victory on Nov. 10.Kyle Korver added 17 points as Atlanta finished a home-and-home sweep, including a 103-96 win Nov. 8 at home.Schroder, from Germany, scored a career-high 14 points, two nights after setting his previous best with 11. With the Hawks clinging to a three-point lead, he knocked down a jumper with 1:55 to play, then scored on a drive to the basket that gave Atlanta an 81-74 advantage with 59 seconds remaining.“I thought Dennis was playing well all night,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He gave us a big boost in the first half. Second half he gave us a big boost. Defensively he had a presence on the ball and was getting in the paint and creating problems, either finishing for himself or creating open shots. That’s why you have a bench and you have depth.”Carmelo Anthony had 25 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Knicks, who came in averaging 92 points, tied for worst in the NBA, and barely surpassed their previous low of 80 in their season-opening loss to Chicago.“Although you do look at the big picture, if you’re dealing with the now, it can be kind of frustrating,” Anthony said. “You’re losing basketball games, things not going the way you want it to go or should go, but at the same time we’ve just got to stay with it. Just stay positive, just stay focused, as a team, as a unit, because the ship easily can sink early.”The Knicks scored 61 points in the first half Saturday but faded to just 13 in the third quarter and 35 after halftime. They managed only 38 more in the first half of this one.Schroder made four free throws after his consecutive baskets to help Atlanta finish it off. The Hawks went with him down the stretch instead of starting point guard Jeff Teague, who missed all four shots and finished with three points.“When I get on the court, I try to help my teammates and try to play defense first and try to create open shots for my teammates,” Schroder said. “Nobody helped on the pick-and-roll, so I tried to go to the basket and score.”Iman Shumpert had 18 points for the Knicks. Coach Derek Fisher told them after the game he wished he could give them a victory for the effort they were giving on defense.“But if they keep doing those things, instead of losing four or five in a row, we’ll start to win four or five in a row,” Fisher said.(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Today is Thursday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2015. There are 364 days left in the year.Today’s Highlight in History:On Jan. 1, 1975, a jury in Washington found Nixon administration officials John N. Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman and Robert C. Mardian guilty of charges related to the Watergate cover-up; a fifth defendant, Kenneth Parkinson, was acquitted, and Mardian’s conviction for conspiracy was later overturned on appeal.On this date:In 1515, Louis XII, King of France, died; he was succeeded by Francis I.In 1660, Englishman Samuel Pepys (peeps) began keeping his famous diary.In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states shall be “forever free.”In 1913, the U.S. Parcel Post system went into operation.In 1935, The Associated Press inaugurated Wirephoto, the first successful service for transmitting photographs by wire to member newspapers.In 1945, France was admitted to the United Nations.In 1953, country singer Hank Williams Sr., 29, was discovered dead in the back seat of his car during a stop in Oak Hill, West Virginia, while he was being driven to a concert date in Canton, Ohio.In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic.In 1979, the United States and China held celebrations in Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.In 1984, the breakup of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.In 1985, the music cable channel VH-1 made its debut with a video of Marvin Gaye performing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”In 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) came into being, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Sweden, Finland and Austria joined the European Union. Fernando Henrique Cardoso took office as Brazil’s president.Ten years ago: Desperate, homeless villagers on the tsunami-ravaged island of Sumatra mobbed American helicopters carrying aid as the U.S. military launched its largest operation in the region since the Vietnam War. Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, died near Daytona Beach, Florida, at age 80. California Congressman Robert T. Matsui (mat-SOO’-ee) died in Bethesda, Maryland, at age 63. No. 6 Texas managed a wild 38-37 win over No. 13 Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Fifth-ranked Utah dominated 19th-ranked Pittsburgh 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl.Five years ago: A suicide bomber detonated a truckload of explosives on a volleyball field in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 97 people. Fifth-ranked Florida overwhelmed No. 4 Cincinnati 51-24 in the Sugar Bowl. In the Rose Bowl, No. 8 Ohio State defeated No. 7 Oregon 26-17.One year ago: The nation’s first legal recreational pot shops opened in Colorado at 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. Actress Juanita Moore, 99, died in Los Angeles. No. 4 Michigan State romped to a 24-20 victory over No. 5 Stanford in the 100th Rose Bowl. No. 15 Central Florida pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the bowl season by outlasting No. 6 Baylor 52-42 in the Fiesta Bowl.Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., is 93. Actor Ty Hardin is 85. Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 85. Actor Frank Langella is 77. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 73. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 72. Actor Rick Hurst is 69. Country singer Steve Ripley (The Tractors) is 65. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is 61. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is 59. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 57. Actress Ren Woods is 57. Actress Dedee Pfeiffer is 51. Actress Embeth Davidtz is 49. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 49. Actor Morris Chestnut is 46. Actor Verne Troyer is 46. Elin Nordegren is 35. Actor Jonas Armstrong (Film: “Walking With the Enemy”; “Edge of Tomorrow”; TV: “Robin Hood”) is 34. Actress Eden Riegel is 34. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Meryl Davis is 28.Thought for Today: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Greek basketball powers Olympiacos and Panathinaikos took impressive wins over two top Spanish teams in Euroleague play on Jan. 8 to advance their chances.Olympiacos got even by beating Laboral Kutxa in Spain, 82-76 to insure the Reds will finish in the top four in their group and make the playoffs. Vassilis Spanoulis led the scoring for Olympiacos with 19 points, while Othello Hunter added 17.Panathinaikos, playing in Athens, took down Unicaja Malaga, 68-66 after losing a nine-point lead it had taken in the third period.A three-point basket by James Feldeine, who played at Cardinal Hayes High School in New York City, saved the game for the Greens. He had missed four previous three-point attempts. Dimitris Diamantidis was the top scorer with 17 points for Panathinaikos.TweetPinShare0 Shares
MADRID, SPAIN – Tennis great Rafael Nadal is set to open a tennis center in Greece in April, Marca, the Spanish sports newspaper, reported. The Rafa Nadal Tennis Center will be located at the five-star Sani Resort in Halkidiki and will feature eight clay courts “available to players of all ages and abilities” Marca reported adding that “the objective of the new center is to offer high quality tennis coaching for guests and residents of the area.”Nadal and his coaching team created and developed the programs available at the center and all staff members are required to spend two months in Manacor, Mallorca, Spain, Nadal’s hometown, to train in the methodology at the Rafa Nadal Academy.The Sani Resort, about an hour from Thessaloniki, is a top tourist destination set in an impressive landscape. The personalized tennis programs will undoubtedly add a whole new element for vacationers to enjoy, providing a unique chance to train, play, and have a lot of fun together. Besides polishing up their tennis skills, the more competitive participants will have the opportunity to battle it out on the courts in thrilling tennis tournaments running throughout the season, according to the Sani Resort website. Nadal is pleased with the new project, noting that “it consolidates the growth of the Academy around the world. I am grateful to Sani Resort for the trust that they have had in my team to deliver the new Center and I am sure that we are going to have a very fruitful and productive working relationship, especially for all of the tennis lovers out there,” Marca reported.The first series of centers opened at Costa Mujeres in Cancun, Mexico in December with TRS Coral Hotel and Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort and Spa featuring the tennis facilities and program of the current No. 2 player in the world, Marca reported.TweetPinShare0 Shares