Arsenal were ‘too scared’ to bring Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Azerbaijan to face 60,000 local fans, according to FK Qarabag coach Gurban Gurbanov.Speaking ahead of the sides’ Europa League meeting in Baku on Thursday, the Qarabag number one suggested that the decision to leave out the Armenian was down to the reception he would likely have received from a hostile crowd in the Azerbaijan capital.Mkhitaryan was left out of Borussia Dortmund’s squad to face Azeri side Qabala in 2015 owing to ongoing tensions between the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh mountains, from where Qarabag originally hail. 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! “I didn’t want politics to interrupt the sport but we could not do anything on this issue,” said Gurbanov, who also manages the Azerbaijan national team. “Arsenal tried to save this player but it is not a matter for us if he is coming or not.“If Henrikh Mkhitaryan would come to Azerbaijan it is not the first time and until now a lot of Armenian sportsman came to Azerbaijan but it is the choice of Arsenal that they didn’t send.“Arsenal may be afraid that in front of 60,000 Azerbaijani fans, Mkhitaryan has some pressure and that is why they didn’t send Mkhitaryan.”Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a state of war since 1988, though fighting has largely stopped since a 1994 ceasefire. Azerbaijan forbids citizens of Armenia from entering the country, although special dispensation is often provided. UEFA had confirmed that Mkhitaryan would have been granted a visa if necessary, but Arsenal chose to leave the player behind in London.Arsenal boss Unai Emery has overseen a winning start to the club’s Europa League campaign as he seeks to restore the Gunners’ reputation in Europe, dispatching Vorskla of Ukraine 4-2 in their opening game.“My work is football,” he said of the diplomatic stand-off regarding Mkhitaryan. “I respect each person, I respect each people, I respect each culture, I respect each country.”But I don’t know each situation in every country. For me, he cannot play tomorrow. There is respect for Mkhi and respect for you. Today we are here with the opportunity to play well.”
Marcelo has admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo’s summer move away from Real Madrid came as “a surprise” to everyone, but he is eager to point out that “the club is bigger than any player”.The Portuguese had hinted on the back of capturing a fifth Champions League crown of his career, and his fourth with the Blancos, that a new challenge could be on the cards.It did, however, come as a shock when he called time on a record-breaking stint at Santiago Bernabeu and made his way to Serie A champions Juventus. 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! Real have struggled in his absence, but Marcelo remains adamant that a club of such stature will recover from the departure of an iconic figure, as they have done on several occasions in the past.The Brazil international told his official YouTube channel: “Ending our holidays and coming back to the routine of Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo was a surprise for us, we thought he wouldn’t go.”Real Madrid is a huge club, Cristiano Ronaldo is huge too, but the club is bigger than any player.”The history of Real Madrid is impressive and Cristiano Ronaldo added a piece more to the history of this club, but Real Madrid can’t stop.”The player changes club, stops playing, retires and Real Madrid will still be here.”The Blancos, who have slipped to seventh in the Liga standings on the back of a sorry slump, are currently preparing for a first Clasico clash with Barcelona since Ronaldo headed for the exits.That contest at Camp Nou will also see Lionel Messi missing from the grandest of Spanish stages, as he nurses a broken arm, but Marcelo is aware that a tough test awaits Madrid.He said: “Playing at Camp Nou and representing the badge is very beautiful, the feeling is beautiful when all of the fans are against you, it motivates you,” he told the La Liga website.”It’s a game where whoever makes fewer mistakes wins.”We have to be focused, as we know Barcelona’s quality and of the important players they have in attack.”When I came to Real Madrid one of my aims was to play in a Clasico and win it, I’ve played many and it’s always a joy to play against Barcelona.”The world stops to watch this game, whether it’s the start of the season or a final.”Every player wants to be there playing and I’ve had the privilege to be able to play in a few.”Another disappointing result in Catalunya would pile pressure on Madrid and could spell the end for under-fire boss Julen Lopetegui, with a man only handed the managerial reins over the summer already believed to be on borrowed time.”We will try to turn the situation on its head, as we aren’t very bad but we want to improve,” said Marcelo.”Lopetegui is trying to do everything possible to take Real Madrid as high as possible, where we have to be.”
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The OnePlus 5, OnePlus’ next flagship phone, is coming this summer. The Chinese smartphone vendor has reportedly confirmed the summer launch of the OnePlus 5 to The Verge. Company CEO Lau Pete had previously confirmed the OnePlus 3 successor’s existence, but he did not confirm that it would be called the OnePlus 5. OnePlus has now reportedly confirmed that it would be called the OnePlus 5 after all.Update: OnePlus has confirmed the launch time frame and the name. in a statement the company says: OnePlus, a global startup challenging conventional concepts of technology, confirms that the next flagship smartphone will arrive this summer and it will be called OnePlus 5. The OnePlus 5 will be the successor to the OnePlus 3 and 3T. The name OnePlus 5 has been inspired by former NBA player Robert Horry, who has a huge fan-following among OnePlus staff members. OnePlus’s Shenzhen office sports two Robert Horry’s paintings and his number five jersey inspired the smartphone’s name. OnePlus announced the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T last year. Both the phones, with no doubt gained wide popularity worldwide. After these, the company was expected to launch a device called – OnePlus 4, but that’s not what’s happening. OnePlus is reportedly skipping the OnePlus 4, instead announcing the OnePlus 5. India Today Tech had already confirmed the name to be the OnePlus 5.Update: OnePlus has started teasing its upcoming flagship — OnePlus 5 on Weibo. The company earlier in the day shared a post via its official Weibo post which reads as follows: “Hey Summer! Give me five!” Along with the post, OnePlus also added an image which says: Hello 5.advertisementWell, the question that arises here is why is the smartphone manufacturer skipping the OnePlus 4? As per a media report and other speculations, the number 4 is considered to be an unlucky number in China. Hence, with this superstitious belief in mind, OnePlus has decided to skip the OnePlus 4 and directly move on to the OnePlus 5.Also Read: OnePlus 5 ahead of launch: 8GB RAM, dual camera and everything else rumoured so farCommenting on the conception of the name, OnePlus 5 gives two reasons on why it named it OnePlus 5 and not any other. One, the upcoming flagship is the fifth phone by the company. This is an important factor based on naming the device – OnePlus 5Stating the second reason, the company says that several OnePlus employees are fans of the former NBA player Robert Horry whose jersey number was – ‘5’. This is also an important reason on why the company has decided to name the upcoming flagship – OnePlus 5.Recently, OnePlus CEO Lau Pete confirmed that the company was already working OnePlus 5, and also has a lot of expectation from the device. OnePlus 5 is the successor of the previously announced OnePlus 3T and the OnePlus 3 which were the phones of the year in 2016. This year that title — the phone of the year — could belong to the OnePlus 5. Be it camera, hardware, or processor both OnePlus 3 and 3T proved to be the best and the same is expected from the upcoming OnePlus 5.Lau Pete on his Weibo post mentions that the company is working really hard on the upcoming flagship. He posts, “Indulge in labour without a break, just to make a big surprise (initial post in Chinese, hence the exact translation).” This clearly indicates that the OnePlus has really high expectation from the OnePlus 5.OnePlus 5 is expected to be the best from almost all aspects. The smartphone will sport a much bigger battery as compared to the previously announced OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. Also, the smartphone is expected to come in two variants one with 6G RAM and the second one with 8GB of RAM. OnePlus 5 is also tipped to come with two storage variants – 64GB and 128GB internal storage.Also Read: OnePlus CEO teases OnePlus 5 with a photo, what all it revealsIndia Today Tech earlier confirmed that the phone will have dual camera set-up for OnePlus 5. On the front, the phone is likely to come packed with the 16-megapixel shooter that OnePlus 3T sports. Furthermore, one of the key highlights of the device will be its processor. OnePlus is expected to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor. This same chip is also used in the global variants of the recently-launched Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. Even Xiaomi Mi 6 uses the same processor and we are hearing that the same processor will be used in the upcoming HTC U11. Here are everything we know about OnePlus 5 so far. The specs, for the time being, are just rumours and should be taken with a pinch of salt. However, the one thing that India Today Tech can confirm is that the flagship phone will be launched in India at the same time when the phone goes on sale globally. As per the pricing, the upcoming OnePlus 5 was recently spotted listed on OppoMart at a price tag of $449 which is roughly around Rs 28,800. However, the company is yet to confirm the pricing details as of now.advertisementErstwhile, the OnePlus has been allegedly leaked in the form of sketches seemingly confirming the dual camera system on the rear. The sketches, in fact, go on and tip that the OnePlus 5 would come with a dual camera system on the front as well.
Mumbai, May 23 (PTI) The Indian national football team is set to play 15 internationals – including eight at home – in a 13-month period, including some which have already been held, the All India Football Federation announced today.”All India Football Federation (AIFF) and its marketing partners, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), have shared the national football team?s yearly fixtures beginning March 2017 wherein the India National Team will play 15 competitive games including 8 matches in India (March 2017-March 2018),” AIFF stated today.”All the international fixtures will be broadcast live on Star Sports and its digital platform, Hotstar,” it said.Indias next international is a friendly against Nepal here at the Andheri Sports Complex on June 6 followed exactly seven days later by the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifier game against Kyrgyzstan at Bengaluru.”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,” AIFF said.”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).”India National 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,” the AIFF said.”The national team played a total of 6 games that included 4 home games in the same duration last year,” it added.advertisementIndia have already played and won 2 games in March – the 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,” AIFF said further. PTI SSR NRB BAS
Rafa Nadal’s unprecedented 10th French Open title on Sunday drew praise from across the tennis and sporting community:Here is a selection of what was said:Three-times French Open champion Mats Wilander”Four games he dropped at most — in any set in any match. That’s incredible. There are so many improvements to his game that he’s a better player now than he was when he won Wimbledon two times before (in 2008 and 2010).”Today’s Rafa would beat the Rafa of 2005 who won his first French Open and wouldn’t drop more than three games a set.”Former French favourite Fabrice Santoro”You have someone over the other side of the net who is so strong physically, who hits the ball that hard, and plays every single point like a match point. We are not talking about winning a match, set or a game (against him). Winning one point is difficult.”Germany’s former world number two Tommy Haas:”I don’t think many can put it into words and I don’t think many understand this accomplishment, truly incredible.”Former world number one, Andy Roddick:”He lost 35 games in the entire tournament… I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my car keys 35 times this year.”10…10…10 you can say it as much as you want. It’s so not normal. Huge respect for Rafa”Nine-times Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova”An amazing 10th title at Roland Garros for Rafael Nadal – that will never happen again. Congratulations to a true champion on and off the court.”18-times grand slam champion Roger Federeradvertisement”Simply incredible Rafa”Masters champion golfer Sergio Garcia”INCREDIBLE!! So impressive that it almost doesn’t seem real. Congrats my friend!”Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash”I’m totally shocked to see him do it. I didn’t think I’d see him come back to win another slam, let alone emphatically.”
Captain Virat Kohli will look to put to rest, all the off-field controversies regarding Anil Kumble’s controversial exit , as India gear up for the first ODI against a second string West Indies, here on Friday.Ironically, it was the Caribbean Islands, where Anil Kumble’s journey as the chief national coach started but within a year, the team is back without its coach.Skipper Kohli, whose much publicised difference of opinion with coach Anil Kumble, has grabbed the headlines more than team’s performance in the Champions Trophy, couldn’t have asked for a more convenient opposition than the West Indies, which even struggled against minnows Afghanistan.A cluster of big wins in the five-match ODI series and single T20 will help Kohli divert the unnecessary attention pinned on him with many ready to make him the ‘fall guy’ in the entire Kumble episode.This will also be an occasion when Kohli will have complete freedom in team selection as batting coach Sanjay Bangar is not known for giving any tangible inputs save giving throwdowns to the senior players of the side.With Jason Holder’s men just about managing to draw the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan 1-1, there is no doubt that the current Indian team are a few notches ahead in terms of quality.Even Kohli knows that well and with BCCI top brass backing him on the Kumble issue, the margin for error is very little for the Indian captain.A 5-0 whitewash is something that is expected against a side that has a cumulative ODI experience of 213 matches between 13 players with skipper Holder as the most-capped player with 58 matches to his name.advertisementCompare it to a whopping 776 matches collectively between Yuvraj Singh (301), MS Dhoni (291) and Virat Kohli (184), the stark contrast between the two sides is so very distinct.For India, this series is also an ideal platform to test the team’s bench strength.With Jasprit Bumrah being rested for the series, it will be an ideal opportunity for the captain to check out Mohammed Shami, who did not get a game during the Champions Trophy.The pacer has not played any official ODI since the 2015 World Cup semi-final post which he had multiple surgeries and played a few Test matches only.Shami will be keen to regain his place in the ODI XI and West Indies gives him a proper chance to do so.With Rohit Sharma also cooling his heels for this series, Kohli may be tempted to bring back Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order. Rahane has not been in great form in limited overs of late but as a reserve opener, he might get a go.The other option is to try out young Rishabh Pant, who has had the experience of opening for Delhi in domestic cricket.Pant is an explosive player and can make good use of the first Powerplay when only two fielders are outside the 30-yard circle.Also with the Indian selectors planning to groom him as Dhoni’s successor, one might see him being given adequate chances.The other youngster in the squad, chinaman Kuldeep Yadav may also fancy his chances after West Indies failed to read conventional leg-break bowler Rashid Khan.Kuldeep may be tried in place of either Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja — both of whom have been ordinary during the ICC Champions Trophy.SquadsIndia: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav.West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Jonathan Carter, Miguel Cummins, Alzarri Joseph, Jason Mohammed, Kieran Powell, Kesrick Williams, Devendra Bishoo, Roston Chase, Shai Hope (wk), Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell.Match Starts: 6:30 pm IST.
Australian skipper Steve Smith has reiterated that the players will not back down from their demand to retain the revenue sharing model, which has been a reason for pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association for quite some time now.Smith said that the cricketers of the men’s and women’s national teams – including David Warner, Meg Lanning and Alex Blackwell – are unanimous in fighting for the longstanding revenue-sharing pay deal, which is directly linked to the game’s overall financial fortunes.The 28-year-old, however, said that the players are ready to make important changes to modernise the existing model for the good of the game.”I’ll say what we as players have been saying for some time now: we are not giving up the revenue sharing model for all players. But, through the ACA we are willing to make important changes to modernise the existing model for the good of the game. We are and have always been willing to make those changes,” Smith wrote on Instagram.”Changes for how the model can be adapted for the even greater benefit of grass roots cricket, which is after all where we all started. We are determined to keep revenue sharing for all because we must take care of domestic players in Australia. As leaders that’s what David [Warner], Meg [Lanning], Alex [Blackwell] and I have been fighting for: a fair share for state players who are also partners in cricket,” he added.Meanwhile, Smith also spoke in favour of Australia women’s cricket, saying that the female cricketers should earn the same chance and incentives to grow the game as their male counterparts.advertisement”Also as Women’s cricket gets bigger and bigger in Australia women players must also be able to share in what they will be earning. They must have the same chances and incentives to grow the game as the men have had since revenue sharing started,” he said.”And I know I speak for all of the men that we want women cricketers in the one deal with the men as well. It’s time to get a deal done. It should be and can be an exciting time for the game,” the skipper added.
Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini was at the receiving end of memes Tuesday night during the UEFA Super Cup clash against Real Madrid and decided to have a good laugh about it.European Champions Real Madrid beat United 2-1 to retain the European trophy, becoming the first club since AC Milan in 1990 to do so.During the match, a photograph of Fellaini went viral in which the United star’s face was contorted into a weird expression. In the 56th minute of the match, Fellaini’s face was hit hard by the ball when he competed for a header with Dani Carvajal and hence came the expression.While the memes made sure to draw comparisons with Phil Jones, who sported a similar expression in another game, Fellaini posted the picture on his Twitter and was all laughs about it.Fellani wrote “thank you everyone who posted and sent me this”, adding a stream of laughter emoticons with it.Thank you to everyone who posted & sent me this ?????????????????? pic.twitter.com/O7tmOSYR38- Marouane Fellaini (@Fellaini) August 8, 2017Fellaini was praised by manager Jose Mourinho after the match for his toughness and spirit.”The group is fantastic and Marouane is just an example of that group, of that spirit we have,” Mourinho said after the game.Manchester United will start their Premier League campaign against West Brom on August 13.
Hardik Pandya walked in to bat at No.8 and clobbered an outstanding hundred in only his third Test to pick up his first man-of-the-match award in this format as India completed a 3-0 sweep over Sri Lanka on Monday.Incidentally, Pandya had not made any hundred in official cricket before his sizzling knock on Sunday which included 26 runs off a single over – the first Indian to do so.Skipper Virat Kohli and the rest of the cricket community are obviously bowled over by Pandya’s breathtaking innings but the man of the hour is grounded and wants to focus on bigger things ahead.Pandya was brought in to restore the balance in the lower middle-order. India have gone in with only five specialist batsmen in Test cricket under Kohli and Pandya’s talent with the bat has lent more stability down the line-up.”I was glad I got my first hundred. I did not have a first-class hundred and what could be a better place to get it. I was always looking to get some target in my mind – I wanted to score a few runs,” Pandya said after India’s inning and 171-run victory.Couldn’t have asked for a better start in whites! Cheers to the whole team ????????????? pic.twitter.com/ifPGs4S5Sz- hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) August 14, 2017Pandya may not have got too many long spells with the ball and he has batted pretty low down the order in the series but he is not complaining. The quintessential team man, he wants to keep building on a great start and said he was happy to do whatever the team wants him to do.advertisement”I have been bowling as well. Test cricket is not easy – it takes a lot to come back (after playing a long innings) and bowl.”I will bat wherever the team wants me to bat – this is an amazing team and the support staff are also amazing,” Pandya said.Pandya has got off to a dream start in his Test career with 178 runs and four wickets in his maiden series. The challenge will only grow stiffer from hereon with Kohli expecting him to what Ben Stokes does for England in all three formats.
Top-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal defeated fellow countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets on Friday to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final against Australian Nick Kyrgios.Nadal made a flurry of uncharacteristic errors in the first set but settled down in the second and ultimately cruised to a 7-6(1) 6-2 victory on a humid, gusty day at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati.”It was very warm and the ball was flying a lot. It was difficult to control,” a sweat-covered Nadal said during a television interview after the centre court battle.”Probably during the night it will be slower conditions.”The match was one of several postponed on Thursday due to rain, forcing players that advanced during Friday’s daytime matches to return for an encore in the evening.Nadal dug himself out of a 0-40 hole early in the second set by reeling off five straight points including two aces, putting himself up 3-2.The 31-year-old Spaniard, who will for the fourth time in his career be the world number one when the ATP rankings come out next week, never looked back from there.With the win Nadal improved to 4-0 against Ramos-Vinolas and he has still never dropped a set to the 29-year-old lefty.Earlier, the 22-year-old Kyrgios, whose match began on Thursday before it was held over due to rain, defeated hard-serving 6-foot 11-inch Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 4-6 7-6(6) 6-3.Kyrgios, known as much for his temper as for his brilliant shot-making, threw his racquet down in disgust after losing two straight service points in the tiebreak to even it up at 6-6.advertisementThe outburst appeared to work as he won the next two points and then dominated a deflated Karlovic in the final set.Elsewhere, seventh-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov sailed past Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-2 6-1.Dimitrov will play the winner of the all-American battle between 14th seed John Isner and Jared Donaldson.
Jeep will finally be starting the deliveries of the prolonged petrol-powered Compass around Diwali, a week from now. The SUV was launched on July 31 and deliveries for the diesel powered twin had started on August 6, while deliveries of the petrol models were kept on hold. Now according to a report from Autocar India, the company is slated to start deliveries of the Compass petrol automatic first, and then followed by the manual-gearbox variant at a later date. This is because the Compass petrol automatic is more in demand as compared to its manual counterpart and hence receives delivery priority. The Jeep Compass petrol comes under three variants – Sport, Limited, and Limited (O) and is powered by a 1.6-litre MultiAir turbo-petrol engine pushing out 162bhp, all of these mated to a seven-speed auto, or a six-speed manual transmission.The diesel Compass however, gets a 2.0-litre MultiJet engine which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The company is in talks of launching a diesel automatic version in India in the near future. The Jeep Compass is built at the FCA’s Ranjangaon plant for India and also for the export markets. The rising demand saw the number of bookings cross the 10,000 mark last month. In order to keep up with the rising demand, Jeep has ramped up production at its Ranjangaon plant.
New Delhi, Oct 27 (PTI) The Supreme Court today junked a PIL challenging a resolution passed by the Gujarat government allotting land for the construction of a sports complex in Ahmedabad.A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra dismissed the plea filed by a former minister seeking quashing and setting aside of the resolution, which had earmarked a 4,02,294 square feet plot to a private firm for sports stadium.While dismissing the plea, the bench said “you are a political personality. Why didnt you challenge it when the work order for construction of stadium was given.”The bench considered the fact that the stadium has already been built and said the delay in challenging such actions of the state cannot be condoned in PIL jurisdiction.The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Congress leader and former minister Babubhai Meghaji Shah who had moved against the Gujarat High Court order. The High Court had rejected his PIL on the ground of unexplained delay of over six years in approaching the court.Shah, in his plea through advocate Anjana Chandrashekhar, had opposed the construction of the sports complex on the land where Abad Dairy existed near Kankaria Lake in the city.He had alleged Rs 1,000 crore scam in the deal of the prime land which was handed over to a company on lease to develop the sports complex at a “throw away” price.Shah had also alleged that the government had handed over the land, valued at Rs 144.5 crore in 2011, without following proper procedure to the company on a token rent of one rupee per square foot for the next 35 years. PTI PKS ABA MNL SJK RKS ARCadvertisement
“If you can, then sprint. If not, then run. Can’t run? Then jog. Won’t jog? Then at least walk! Can’t walk? Then crawl but just keep on moving,” says Ashish Nehra as he gets ready to bid adieu to the game that has given him everything in all these years.A total of 163 international matches across three formats in 20 years is not the greatest piece of statistic but the straight-talking Nehra will remain an enigma for what he could have achieved had he not gone under knife 12 times.”Trust me, I have had an eventful 20 years. I am not a very emotional person. The next 20 years is what I am looking forward to. Hopefully, it will be as eventful as it has been since I started playing for Delhi in 1997,” Nehra told PTI during a free-wheeling chat at his academy in Noida, ahead of his final competitive match against New Zealand on November 1. Reuters Photo”It’s been a great journey. May be one regret. If I could change anything in these 20 years, that afternoon in Johannesburg during the 2003 World Cup final. But nothing else as it’s all about destiny,” he said with his customary nonchalance.Talk about the journey that started at Delhi’s famous Sonnet Club in early ’90s, he is thoroughly old school with loads of anecdotes.”During my first Ranji Trophy game at Kotla, Delhi team had late Raman Lamba, Ajay Sharma, Atul Wassan and Robin Singh junior. Raman bhaiya and Ajay bhaiya, I have grown up bowling to them at Sonnet nets. Difficult to forget Raman Lamba. Dada player thaa (cricketing lingo for dominating batsman),” he reminisces.advertisement”And Ajay Sharma, well I can tell you about his cricket.With no disrespect to all the current top spinners in our country — Ajay bhaiya would have murdered them even on rank turners. He was that good at the domestic level,” he recollected in an authoritative tone.Reuters Photo “I remember bowling one-change in my debut Ranji game as Robin Junior and Wassan (his last first-class match) were bowling with new ball. I got Ajay Jadeja for a duck in both innings. Another man is Ajay Jadeja. I have huge respect for his cricketing acumen.”For me, Ajay Jadeja and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are the two shrewdest cricketing brains I have ever interacted with,” he lets one know his favourites and tells that it’s purely his choice.He has seen the quiet resurgence under John Wright, been through the tumultuous phase under Greg Chappell, had a second coming under Gary Kirsten and the final flourish under Ravi Shastri.”I didn’t play much under Greg Chappell save two series in 2005 (in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe). Mujhe pahle series se hi maloom thaa yeh biryani, khichdi bannewali hain Greg ke under (I knew biryani would turn into Khichdi under Greg). “That’s where Gary (Kirsten) was such a superb coach. He discussed strategies with MS (Dhoni) but on field, he never interfered with MS’ style of functioning. But I still believe Chappell could have been a terrific coach for juniors,” Nehra observed.Talk about Virat Kohli and Nehra would say that Ravi Shastri is the ideal foil for Kohli.Reuters Photo “Look Virat’s career and captaincy are on auto-pilot mode right now. He knows what he is doing and leads by example. He doesn’t need gyaan (sermons) but support which Ravi gives him in abundance,” he said.”You know the best part about Ravi. If a player is going through a rough patch, he is the man. Even if the player is not able to middle a single ball in the nets, Ravi would make him believe that he is as good as Brain Lara! Now that might sound ludicrous to an outsider but those who understand cricket know that this is man-management,” he said.He did not speak a word about Anil Kumble but had a subtle take on what is an ideal coach-captain relationship.”If a coach, suppose is 50 years old and the captain is 28, it is the duty of the coach to understand the psyche of a 28-year-old and not the other way round. It doesn’t work the other way. Not in cricket at least.”Will he become the bowling coach of the Indian team if offered the role?”No such plans as of now. Yes, I will do a bit of coaching and commentary but if you talking about Indian team, no such thoughts till 2019 World Cup. After that, let’s see what happens.”People remember him for his 6/23 against England in Durban where he hardly put a foot wrong. But can just one night’s performance describe him?advertisement”Sports is nothing but moments. People remember that night. I would like them to remember me as an honest trier. Ek aisa shaqs jisne seekh ke khela nahin par khelke ke seekha (a person, who didn’t learn and play but played and learnt),” he replied.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has no doubt that striker Alexis Sanchez will give his best against Manchester City in Sunday’s Premier League clash as he believes the Chilean has a “social contract” with his team mates to get victories.Sanchez, who has been among Arsenal’s top scorers for the past three seasons, failed to complete a move to Pep Guardiola’s side in August and is yet to hit his stride this campaign, scoring just twice in nine appearances across all competitions.The Chilean’s lone league goal came in the 5-2 win over Everton earlier this month but Sanchez failed to make an impact in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Swansea City.”I have no concerns because I’m not suspicious about performances or the desire to win of a football player,” Wenger told British media.”When you are a football player you have a social contract with the rest of the team and I never question that. Once you don’t respect that, it is difficult to say that you play football.”Wenger said the 28-year-old, who has provided three assists this season, was improving and would get back to his best soon.”I’m not worried about it, he works hard and it will come back. You never try too hard. I think at the moment he is marked well but he still creates many dangerous situations and he just has to not worry too much,” Wenger said.”You say that to all the strikers and they still worry but over longer periods he has always scored goals so that will come back.”advertisementCity have a five-point lead at the top of the table and are unbeaten in the league so far while Arsenal are fifth, level on points with champions Chelsea and a point behind third-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Mumbai, Nov 14 (PTI) The Karnataka Sporting Association (KSA) has launched the KSA-Ambitious Football Academy to scout the local talent and provide them training.The announcement was made here at a press briefing by KSA President Dr P V Shetty and former India football player Steven Dias.Dias will don the coachs hat and will train the children under various age-groups, including Under-8, Under-13 and Under 15, it was announced.Dias, who will be assisted by Vijith Shetty and Santosh Koli, said the kids initially will be trained thrice a a week.”I started my career at this KSA ground and KSA has always supported me. So I wanted to scout some good talent and help them make a career. We will work on their basics,” said the 33-year-old Dias who played for Mumbai FC in the I-League.He said after the camp 20 kids from the three age groups would be selected for the Academy.The player also said the successful conduct of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India has helped in increasing the popularity of the sport.”Now after the World Cup, where ever I go parents bring their kid, and are taking interest in football. After the World Cup, everyone has started knowing that there is football in India and Mumbai. People have started taking interest in football which is a good thing,” Dias told reporters.”I have recently done my (coaching) licence. I always wanted to get into coaching and be with football,” he added.Dias said he had not announced his decision to retire, adding “may be I will announce soon.” PTI NRB SSR NRB BASadvertisement
Zinedine Zidane insisted that Real Madrid does not need any new signings in the January transfer window, despite trailing rivals and La Liga leaders Barcelona by 16 points.Real Madrid, who have been drawn against Paris St. Germain in the Champions League last-16, are fourth in the league and enduring a disappointing domestic campaign.WATCH VIDEOBarcelona sealed a 160 million euro ($190 million) deal with Liverpool for playmaker Philippe Coutinho on Monday, breaking their transfer record, but Zidane wants to persevere with his current squad. “I don’t need anybody (to sign) and that’s that. I don’t want anybody, I don’t want anything,” Zidane told a news conference on Tuesday.”We have a squad, I believe in my squad. There are moments in the season that are difficult, but everything is in front of us and we will see what happens between now and the end of the season.”Madrid were beaten 3-0 by Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu in December, with Spanish media saying the reigning Spanish and European champions are in crisis.ï¿½??? Â¡AsÃ ha contestado #Zidane a la primera pregunta de la rueda de prensa previa al partido de Copa contra el @cdnumancia!#RMTV | #RMCopa pic.twitter.com/uE0v9masgr- Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) January 9, 2018The coach was more than an hour-and-a-half late for his news conference after holding a long talk with his players before training.”I’m not going to tell you what we talked about but these are talks that could happen with any team,” added Zidane.advertisement”You can analyse it however you like and say we are in a time of crisis. But what we want to do is find solutions, talk about it and try to do things better.”We talked a little longer than usual but it was nothing out of the ordinary.”
Sushil Kumar on his his return to competitive wrestling won the gold medal in the final of the men’s 74 kilogram freestyle category, beating South African favourite Johannes Petrus in the final of the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship on Sunday.Sushil dominated his South African opponent, giving him no chance to make any sort of headway in the wrestling bout, and won 8-0 quite easily. With the win he clinched his fifth title at the Commonwealth level.”It’s a very proud and emotional moment for me as I have returned to the mat on international level after a gap of 3 years. I want to dedicate this Gold medal won in #Commonwealthwrestlingchampionship at #SouthAfrica to my guru and to my Nation. JaiHind,” Sushil, the double Olympic medallist, later wrote on his official Twitter handle along with a photo of the national flag.Its a very proud and emotional moment for me as I have returned to the mat on international level after a gap of 3years. I want to dedicate this Gold medal won in #Commonwealthwrestlingchampionship at #SouthAfrica to my guru and to my Nation. JaiHind????- Sushil Kumar (@WrestlerSushil) December 17, 20171st hurdle cleared with the blessing and best wishes of my fellow brothers and sisters. Defeated my #SouthAfrican counterpart. JAI HIND ???? pic.twitter.com/pN5Q6L9FYZ- Sushil Kumar (@WrestlerSushil) December 17, 2017
NEW YORK — Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said all along that New York would win the championship if it wins all its home games.The top-seed in the East will host its second decisive Game 3 of the playoffs when it plays Indiana on the night of Sept. 29.“We played all year long to have the home-court advantage, that’s what we play for, and here we are,” Laimbeer said on Sept. 28.“It’s not unexpected, we would have liked it to have closed out, but it is what it is. In our building, going to be a big crowd, a lot of fun and go play our good style of basketball.”New York was up 15 points at the half on Indiana in Game 2 before the Fever rallied behind Tamika Catchings to force Game 3.“The second half, we came out with new intensity, new urgency,” Fever coach Stephanie White said. “Obviously, Tamika did everything Tamika does to get her teammates to rise to the occasion.”Now, just as they did in the semifinals, Indiana will have to find a way to beat a team on its homecourt to advance to the next round.“We were here for Game 3 when New York beat Washington,” White said. “That was an awesome atmosphere. We can utilize it, too. Players love to play in this type of environment. Watching it, this is what it’s all about. While they are cheering against you, you can use this electricity to get yourself excited.”Madison Square Garden should be rocking. The Liberty had 9,600 fans for their Game 3 victory over Washington lon Sept. 22.“I’m looking forward to it, I think New York City’s looking forward to it,” Liberty center Tina Charles said. “I know we’re going to have a great crowd to come out and support us so it should be a good night.”(DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
In an unconvincing display against the joint-lowest FIFA-ranked country in the world, Cyprus managed a 3-1 win over Gibraltar to claim their first three points in 2018 World Cup qualifying.What most expected to be a walk in the park for Cyprus almost ended up being an embarrassing evening for the hosts, with the visiting minnows arguably creating the better opportunities.It could, and perhaps should have been, a different story had Pieros Sotiriou converted his one-on-one-chance within the first three minutes but the Apoel striker instead snuffed at the effort and was easily denied.From then on, it was Gibraltar who had the better of the first half. On 21 minutes, Cabrera was picked out at the back post but the forward headed the ball into the ground over the bar.Another excellent left-footed cross, this time from Walker from a set piece found Chipolina at the back post who headed the ball beyond Panayi, only to see his fine finish correctly ruled out for offside.But just when Gibraltar were experiencing the best spell of the game, Cyprus earned a free-kick of the game on the counter-attack. Christofi’s strike deflected kindly into the path of Laifis who calmly poked the ball home for 1-0, against the run of play.In a bizarre incident, Cyprus also had a goal ruled out when Christofi’s prodded cross into the box bounced slowly over the Gibraltar keeper but it was chalked off as Sotiriou made an intent to attack the ball.A similar trend of the first half continued at the start of second as Liam Walker’s excellent left-footed deliveries wreaked havoc in the Cypriot defence, and this time it would prove costly.A whipped cross to the far post found Ryan Casciaro at the far stick whose header was poorly flapped at by Panayi, and Lee Casciaro was there to head the ball over the line from close range.Straight up the other end, Jason Demetriou hit a rasping effort from around 30 yards which was saved onto the crossbar, and headed in on the rebound by veteran defender Elias Charalambous only for the linesman’s flag to deny Cyprus once again, with another correct call.Gibraltar, to their credit, never showed signs of settling for just a point and continued to threaten. Just before the hour-mark, they should have been ahead when another fine Walker delivery from a corner found Chipolina unmarked at the far post but, despite making clean connection with the volley, Panayi stooped low to deny.Against the run of play, it took Cyprus until the 67th minute to restore their lead – Christofi’s low cross found Sotiriou, who then turned his defender well to make a yard of space for himself before finishing beyond Ibrahim for his first ever international goal at the 19th attempt.It could have been game-over ten minutes later when Kastanos cut the ball back to the penalty spot for Sotiriou but his effort was denied by a combination of the keeper’s hand and the help of Ryan Casciaro on the line.Eventually the game was put beyond any reasonable doubt with three minutes to go when Sielis rose well to powerfully head home from a corner to give Cyprus their first points of the campaign.Cyprus’ next international game is on 25 March when they host Estonia at the GSP Stadium, where a much-improved performance will be necessary to get a result.Source: cyprus-mail.comTweetPinShare0 Shares