Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Christian Standhardinger also missed the bronze medal game as he rested due to lingering pains in his left knee.This left bench players Von Pessumal, Paul Zamar, Kelly Nabong, and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser to fill in the void.Austria, who’s known to use an eight or nine-man rotation in the PBA, said he was proud of how his support players played in the tournament despite having little to no playing time in the PBA.“That’s what they’ve been waiting for and I told them that even though you’re not getting minutes you have to be in game shape,” said Austria.Zamar appeared in five elimination games in the Commissioner’s Cup, averaging 3.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in around 10 minutes a game but he was thrust as the Beermen’s sparkplug against the Golden Kings and he repaid Austria’s trust with nine points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in 19 minutes of play.Nabong, meanwhile, was the surprise in the bronze medal game when he had 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from deep.Ross added that the time for reckoning in the Governors’ Cup is still in January of 2020 but he said that San Miguel has to use its experience in Macau in helping build momentum in the team’s Grand Slam chase.“Hopefully we’ll hit the ground running and we’re not trying to sweep the eliminations or peak early, we’re just trying to figure out the right time, trying to make it through the eliminations, and play our best ball,” said Ross. This jewelry designer is also an architect View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ LATEST STORIES Gilas Pilipinas Women lose big to Australia in Fiba Asia Cup opener Bato: You can shoot me if I’m corrupt at BuCor PLAY LIST 01:16Bato: You can shoot me if I’m corrupt at BuCor05:38San Miguel, Ginebra expect long, gruelling PBA Finals series03:02From UAAP to PBA, Austria and Racela renew coaching battle in finals02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue MOST READ “It’s a chance to represent the Philippines with my team and like I said there’s this great competition from all over Asia—the CBA, Japan’s [B.League], and Korea’s KBL,” said Ross.The Beermen had a great start in the preliminaries sweeping Group B with wins over the CBA’s Shenzhen Aviators, 90-76, and the B.League’s Ryukyu Golden Knights, 101-92.Despite the strong start, San Miguel fell to the eventual champions Liaoning Flying Leopards and MVP Lance Stephenson111-89 in the semifinals.San Miguel could not turn things around in the bronze medal game losing to the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, who plays in the CBA with Liaoning, 91-89.The Beermen, though, didn’t have five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and national team wingman Marcio Lassiter in the four games while point guard Alex Cabagnot only played in the final two.ADVERTISEMENT P11-B loan for SEA Games hosting not an issue — Cayetano A couple of years on, the Beermen are once again at the cusp of that elusive prize but unlike the 2017 heartbreak they now have valuable international experience to bring to the PBA Governors’ Cup.San Miguel finished fourth in the East Asia Super League: The Terrific 12 in Macau, an invitational tournament where teams from the PBA, CBA, B.League, and KBL competed in a week-long tournament.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40“This could be a good preparation for us going into the third conference,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria. “We’re so lucky to have been invited in this tournament because we gained knowledge and experience and we’re able to see players from the CBA, KBL, and B.League.”Point guard Chris Ross said competing in the Terrific 12 isn’t just about carrying San Miguel’s banner but also the Philippines’ flag as well since the Beermen, together with TNT and Blackwater are the Philippine representatives in the continental meet. Becoming his own man DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical San Miguel Beermen Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—It’s been nearly two years since San Miguel attempted to complete an elusive Grand Slam when it missed out on the opportunity in the 2016-2017 season.That loss did tarnish the Beermen’s somewhat impenetrable dominance as PBA’s winningest franchise, taking three of the possible five championships in the next two seasons.ADVERTISEMENT
India gets toughAugust 29, 2016Modi’s remark on Balochistan shows Pakistan the perils of tit-for-tat diplomacy. What’s Good for the GanderThough Pakistan demands that the principle of self- determination be complied with in Kashmir, it conveniently ignores such a demand for Balochistan (India’s New Rules of Engagement). Moreover, the Chinese presence,India gets toughAugust 29, 2016Modi’s remark on Balochistan shows Pakistan the perils of tit-for-tat diplomacy.What’s Good for the GanderThough Pakistan demands that the principle of self- determination be complied with in Kashmir, it conveniently ignores such a demand for Balochistan (India’s New Rules of Engagement). Moreover, the Chinese presence in Balochistan, with control over Gwadar port-and the proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) line cutting through the disputed territories of Gilgit-Baltistan-can only encourage Pakistan to follow policies similar to the Han presence in Xinjiang and Tibet in changing the area’s demographics. It is no surprise, therefore, that Balochistan is progressively turning into a festering wound for Pakistan, since the locals have no stakes in its administration and gain no benefits from its vast resources. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as part of his Independence Day address has drawn the world’s attention to this contested area, which Pakistan is obviously not eager to discuss in public.H.N. Ramakrishna, BengaluruBy making a reference to Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan in his I-Day speech, Prime Minister Modi has, within two years, moved from one extreme to the other as far as relations with neighbours are concerned-from ‘neighbours first’ to ‘divide thy neighbour’. However, as the United States rightly pointed out, we must not read too much into this “rhetoric diplomacy”. While a weak prime minister like Nawaz Sharif may be forced to indulge in such tactics because he is politically hostage to the Pakistan army, even a relatively strong prime minister like Modi has domestic compulsions, such as elections to win and adversaries to overcome in Kashmir.Krishna Balraj Sahay, PatnaadvertisementAfter Prime Minister Modi’s reference to Balochistan in his I-Day speech, the trials of the Balochis could well acquire an international dimension. Like Nelson Mandela, who thanked India for its support in the freedom struggle in South Africa, Baloch leaders too thanked Modi for highlighting the Balochistan issue. Many people in Balochistan live below the poverty line and lack basic amenities like water, electricity, roads and healthcare. Modi can’t be faulted if he lends moral and diplomatic support to Balochistan’s freedom struggle even as Pakistan had once supported the Khalistan separatist movement in India. Sitting in Delhi, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit shows no compunction in dedicating Pakistan’s independence day to ‘azad Kashmir’ and inviting hardline Hurriyat leaders to Iftar. India should not only ease visa restrictions for Baloch separatist leaders who wish to visit India, but also raise the Baloch issue in the United Nations General Assembly.Kangayam R. Narasimhan, ChennaiThe plight of the Baloch people is turning from bad to worse day by day. It is ultimately the common people who are bearing the brunt of the tussle for supremacy in the region. The pictures we see on news channels and on social media every single day-of murdered infant and adult Balochis-make our hearts cry out in despair. Why are international organisations so helpless that they have become mute spectators to this ghastly violation of human rights and dignity?Hena Prasun , MumbaiFighting to CompeteP.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik’s achievements convey to other sportspeople that hard work and passion help you attain your goals. It can also inspire women to participate and contribute more in the field of sports. All those who competed and lost should take heart from these victories. Even if they didn’t win a medal themselves, the hard work and effort they have already put in do deserve every appreciation.Mahesh Kumar, via e-mailP.V. Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar have displayed a great deal of grit, determination, fortitude and focused energy to achieve what mattered to them and to get where they are today. Recognising these wonderwomen and overcoming the ‘analysis paralysis’ will open the door to the other budding sporting talents in our country.Praveena Thimmaiah, BengaluruIt was heartening to see top politicians welcoming the Olympic medal winners home. They have been showered with money and awards; but what about those who participated but lost? Those who did not win medals should be felicitated too, so they continue their quest for medals. Honouring winners alone will not give sportspersons the encouragement they need.Anshu Mathur, AhmedabadP.V. Sindhu’s silver at the Rio Games represents an epic human struggle. Against gender bias. Against politics that mars competition and kills competence. Against a state that can do no better than pay lip service to the pursuit of excellence. Sindhu’s feat is a triumph of the audacity of hope in a country that offers no support to sportspersons who are not proven stars. Chandan Das, via e-mailadvertisement
Filipino boxer and Senator Manny Pacquiao said he would carry on fighting next year after unveiling a new boxing gym in downtown Tokyo on Friday. (Latest Sports stories)The 37-year-old southpaw returned to the ring after a seven month retirement to claim the WBO welterweight title by beating Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas earlier this month.”I think about it, I can still fight and my body is still okay so I decided to come back and I’m here, my journey is continued,” Pacquiao said in the Japanese capital.The southpaw has a 59-6-2 win-loss-draw record and is the winner of world titles in eight different weight divisions and the first sitting Senator to win a world boxing title.The new ‘Pacquiao Gym’, a collaboration with Japanese business man Yoshihiro Agata, will open in the new year and the Filipino said it was an opportunity to pass on his experience.”(I opened this gym) to help the people to do exercise and also…to discover a good boxer,” Pacquiao said.”I can share my knowledge about boxing and my talents. I can teach them.”
Anandpur Sahib (Pb), Nov 25 (PTI) In this holy town, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today advocated the need for imbibing the teachings of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh who preached unity, peace and harmony.Modi paid obeisance at Gurdawara Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib as part of 350th Parkash Utsav of tenth Guru Gobind Singh here.Sporting the traditional kesri headgear, Modi emphasized the need for inspiring coming generations to learn messages and sacrifices of the great Guru Gobind Singh.Modi began his address in chaste Punjabi by welcoming the gathering on this occasion with the holy chant of “Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh.” He concluded his speech with the same chant.He said the Centre has decided to celebrate the 350th Parkash Utsav of Guru Gobind Singh throughout the country in order to spread his message nook and corner.”In coming days, there shall be a huge gathering at Patna Sahib (one of the revered seats of Sikh religion) to mark 350th Parkash Utsav. For this purpose, the government has also decided to make rail service arrangement for those who wish to go to Patna Sahib,” he said.He talked about the sacrifices and messages of Guru Gobind Singh, saying that the tenth Guru was committed for the unity of all.He said the Guru launched protest against inequality, discrimination in the society.”On one side there was cruelty, crime, atrocities in the society on Guru Gobinds path. But Guru Gobind Singh chose the path of bravery. He tried to imbibe bravery among people. He gave the message of fighting against cruelty with bravery,” said Modi.advertisement”We should follow this Gurus mantra and also new generation should be inspired to take lessons from his messages,” he said.”There is no dearth of those who believe in division but the power of those who believe in unity is much more,” he said.Recalling his old days when he stayed in Punjab as BJPs in-charge of party affairs in the state, Modi said, “It is my fortune that I got an opportunity to work in Punjab for several years and because of it, I used to get opportunity on regular basis to pay obeisance at Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur.”He added, “It was also my fortune that when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee came here, I also got an opportunity to be part of the gathering here. After becoming Prime Minister, today I got an opportunity to pay obeisance at the sacred land for the first time.”This is the land where for 28 years, Guru Gobind Singh tried to raise a society by virtue of his sacrifice, bravery and austerity,” the Prime Minister said.”I always say that I have blood relation with this holy land. It is because I was born in Gujarat, worked here (Punjab) and one of the Panj Pyaras (five beloved ones) of Guru Gobind Singh belonged to Gujarat. “Therefore, unity among people of the country was the priorty of Guru Gobind Singh. Panj Pyaras (the chosen five devotees of the Sikh God) were also from all directions of the country and one of them was from Gujarat. Therefore I feel that I have blood relation with this land,” he said.On this occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal honoured him by presenting robe of honour, replica of the Golden Temple and a sword. PTI SUN CHS VJ AKA AKK
New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) The BCCI has released pending payments to various stakeholders which include Test match centres, state bodies, match fee of India players besides salary of coaches and commentators. Also the IPL franchises were paid one installment of their share from the “Net Central Rights”. The boards website has uploaded all the payments and specific heads under which the invoices have been created from January to March. According to payments made in March, the cash-strapped Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) have been paid approx Rs 1.69 crore under the head: “Advance against amount due to association”. The amount has been released on March 22 and will go a long way to help the staff, who have not been paid salaries for months. The BCCI has also paid Rs 1.45 crore and Rs 5.54 crore (approx) on two separate counts — property tax and service tax — on behalf of DDCA. The payments to various Test centres have also been made. Accordingly, Himachal Pradesh and Hyderabad have received approximately Rs 2.82 crore each while Maharashtra and Andhra were paid Rs 4.52 crore respectively. Among the IPL franchises — promoters of KKR and Sunrisers received Rs 21 crore each, while Kings XI Punjab received Rs 22.5 crore. The promoters of Mumbai Indians — Indiawin Sports Private Limited and Delhi Daredevils owner GMR Sports received Rs 23 crore each. All the top Indian players received their match fees plus retainership fees for various tours during the last international season. Chief coach Anil Kumble has received “professional fees” of approx Rs 48.75 lakh each for December and January while Rahul Dravid, currently coach Delhi Daredevils, has received two separate amounts of Rs 41.44 lakh and Rs 1.89 crore (approx) during the 2016 season for coaching India U-19 and A sides. The top Indian commentators have also been paid their fees for various broadcasting assignments. Both Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri have been paid approx Rs 56.93 lakh each for the England series. Likewise, L Sivaramakrishnan and Sanjay Manjrekar were paid Rs 26.25 lakh and Rs 42 lakh respectively for the England series. PTI KHS BS KHSadvertisement
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cause: Abbas aideFrom Harinder MishraRamallah, May 9 (PTI) India has the right to build relations with Israel but it should not come at the “expense” of New Delhis firm support for the Palestinian cause, a close aide of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said today.Ahead of Abbas visit to India next week, Dr Majdi Khaldi, a senior Palestinian official, described Indias relations with Palestine as “historic” and “steady” and asserted that the Palestinians want to strengthen their ties with India and seek support for their “struggle”.”India has the right to have relations with Israel and any other country but what we care about is that it should not be at the expense of its relations with Palestine and its principled stand supporting the Palestinian cause that we should have our state within the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Khaldi, a senior diplomatic adviser of Abbas, told PTI in an interview.Responding to a question about Prime Minister Narendra Modi only visiting Israel later this year, skipping Palestine, Khaldi said, “it is his decision”.”It is up to the Indian Prime Minister to decide when and where to visit. It is his decision. The President (Abbas) was invited by the Prime Minister (Modi) to visit India which he is doing,” the aide to the Palestinian president said.Several MoUs will be signed between India and Palestine during Abbas visit to New Delhi from May 14 to 17 with special emphasis on cooperation in the fields of health, agriculture, sports and youth affairs, the official said.advertisement”We are looking forward to the exchange between our president and the Indian president and also with Prime Minister Modi. The president met Prime Minister Modi in New York and Paris. This is an important visit which will help relations to flourish in many areas and also renew relations in several others”, the senior diplomatic advisor said.”We are interested in strengthening our relations with India and to continue getting its political support for our cause and this is the most important thing for us, irrespective of Indias relations with Israel. The most important thing is that it should not be at the expense of our relations, the good relations between India and Palestine,” he asserted.Khaldi stressed that the “excellent” relations between Palestine and India were based on shared values and would grow irrespective of “who governs India”.”Palestine and India have historic relations that do not stand only on bilateral visits. We have excellent relations with all parties, no matter who governs India. The reason is the deep relations between the two people and also the establishment in the two countries,” Khaldi said.Despite concerns raised in the past over Indias vote at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which some in the Israeli media interpreted as a change in Indias thinking under the new government, the Palestinian Authority seems to have accepted New Delhis position.”We see India supporting Palestine in most of the international forums. Some of the votes have been explained to us as technical votes. We see the political support of India as steady. This is how we feel,” Khaldi emphasised.Appreciating Indias assistance in capacity building in Palestine and support to the local population through several projects, the Palestinian official said that the relations between the two sides was “going in a new direction”.Palestinians now seek New Delhis help in acquiring new technologies, he said.”We have developed bilateral committees lately so that we can renew most of the agreements to strengthen the relations between our two countries and some of these are going to improve economic exchange between Palestine and India”, the official said.”We found that the area of technologies is one area where we can cooperate, which is a new area. You know India is very successful in this field and we have already developed some capacity in this field. India is helping us in developing a technology park. We call it Palestine-India techno park,” Khaldi added.”We are going to expand cooperation between the businessmen and the two governments. This project is going to trigger much wider relations between the two nations,” he asserted.Abbas will be visiting India following his recent meetings in Cairo, Amman and with US President Donald Trump in Washington. He is likely to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow from where he would fly out to New Delhi.”The president is going to talk to the (Indian) prime minister about the latest developments from his visit to the United States and the importance of the engagement of President Trump in this conflict which is very vital,” Khaldi said.advertisement”He (Trump) is convinced that he can do something different, something important to solve this conflict and can help reach an ultimate deal and we are going to be fully cooperative,” he said.The Palestinian president will also brief the Indian political leadership on different regional developments, especially the crisis in Syria, Yemen, Libya and certain other parts of the region.Abbas forthcoming visit would be his fifth to New Delhi in the last 12 years and the third state visit underlining the importance of bilateral relations, Khaldi said. PTI HM ASK PMS
International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson has revealed that Champions Trophy could be scrapped to make way for the World T20 every two years.India slumped to a crushing 180-run defeat at the hands of their arch-rivals Pakistan at the Kennington Oval on Sunday, with an estimated viewing audience in hundreds of millions.However, some officials argued that the recently-concluded eight-team marquee event is too similar to the World Cup, which the ICC has decided will be contested with just 10 teams from 2019 in England.And Richardson admitted that there should be some differentiation in global events and, therefore, the 2021 Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in India, is not guaranteed to go ahead, the Dawn reported.”What we want to do is differentiate our global events from each other so that they can be standalone and create maximum interest every time the event happens,” Richardson told reporters via telephonic conversation on the eve of the ICC’s annual conference in London.”At this stage, the next Champions Trophy is still scheduled for India in 2021. Whether that gets changed, the consideration has been given to changing to two T20s in a four-year cycle which would mean swapping the Champions Trophy for a World T20,” he added.Richardson believes that World T20s attract a lot more attention than ODI tournaments and also generate significant revenue for the television companies.He further insisted that the idea is to give opportunities to more teams, hinting at the possibility of 20 teams featuring in World T20s in future.advertisement”The fact is that World T20s do attract a lot of interest, they generate significant revenue for the television companies, but most importantly from our point of view they provide us with an opportunity to give more opportunities to more teams,” Richardson said.”A 16-team World T20 – even a 20-team World T20 – down the line is something that we would like to look at. With a 10-team World Cup we’re hoping to increase the competitiveness of matches and the standard of the tournament as a whole. It might not be necessary to continue with two 50-over tournaments going forward,” he added.The ICC will hold its annual conference in London today to discuss whether a Test status should be granted to Ireland and Afghanistan, with an announcement expected to be made on Thursday.
Srinagar, July 30 (PTI) An inter-departmental team of senior central government officers headed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi arrived here today to review the progress of the projects under Prime Ministers developmental package (PMDP) for Jammu and Kashmir.The Centre has so far released around Rs 36,000 crore out of the total developmental package of Rs 80,000 crore which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2015.The central team includes officers from the Union ministries of Home Affairs, Health, Human Resource Development, Youth Affairs and Sports, Agriculture, Tourism, Urban Development, Defence, Finance, Power etc as well as the NITI Aayog, an official statement said.The team will be holding extensive deliberations with the senior state officials led by Chief Secretary B B Vyas here tomorrow to review the progress of projects under PMDP and other flagship developmental projects, the statement said.It will also discuss the bottlenecks impeding the execution of these projects and how to expedite the work, the statement added. PTI MIJ ADS
The gradual decline of West Indian cricket is hardly a new phenomenon but the latest capitulation of a once-dominant Test match power has brought genuine expressions of sadness throughout the sport.The defeat by an innings and 209 runs in the first day-night Test in England at Edgbaston at the weekend left both Caribbean legends and old international foes alike bemoaning what they saw as Windies cricket crashing to rock bottom.With a callow visiting team looking helpless in the absence of their best players and losing 19 wickets in one woeful day on Saturday, the overwhelming feeling was summed up by former England captain Michael Vaughan, who worries about yet more humiliation for the visitors.”I really fear that this series could be one of the saddest for Test cricket,” Vaughan told the BBC, before the second Test that starts in Leeds on Friday.According to another former captain Geoff Boycott in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, there could be no room for English gloating because the Windies surrender at Edgbaston had been so “painful to watch.””This West Indies lot are the worst Test match team I have seen in more than 50 years of watching, playing and commentating on cricket,” Boycott wrote.”They can’t bat and can’t bowl. I take no pleasure out of saying this as I played against some of the greaTest players the world has ever seen wearing the maroon cap of the West Indies.”It is a cricketing tragedy to see the West Indies like this… It is just sad to see a once-proud cricket Test team lower than any I have ever seen before.”advertisementThe sadness was felt much closer to home, too, with the great Antiguan fast bowler Curtly Ambrose telling the Daily Mail newspaper: “It does hurt. And it has reached a point where it is very embarrassing.”For now, I’m just hoping West Indies can compete at Headingley and Lord’s (in the third Test) because what we have seen so far has been pathetic.”INTERNAL PROBLEMSIt is now 17 years since a West Indies side won a Test in England and, as Vaughan suggested, “every time they have arrived here, they seem to have got worse.”The halcyon days of those thrilling 1980s and early 1990s teams, when Ambrose and his fellow pace demons inspired fear and batting blasters like Viv Richards looked so imperious on English tours, have never felt more like pre-history.The problems that have beset the sport in the Caribbean for so long were highlighted brutally in the Edgbaston debacle.The West Indies may be the Twenty20 world champions but the mainstays of that triumph – like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy – now play lucrative T20 tournaments around the world rather than representing the West Indies after constant pay disputes with Cricket West Indies.The world T20 win and the under-19 team’s world championship victory last year tell of talent and potential that can still be harnessed in the Caribbean game.Yet at Test level, the internal conflicts have led to serial under-performing with the Windies having not won a Test series away from home, other than against the ‘minnows’ Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, for 22 years.Without senior players to guide them, it was the way the young team folded so meekly at Edgbaston that upset Ambrose.”I talked with Sir Viv Richards and Sir Andy Roberts at length before and during the Test about how we used to dominate world cricket, about our pride and passion. That’s what’s lacking,” wrote Ambrose.”What concerns me is that I do not think these players know what West Indies cricket means to West Indians and followers of the global game. People feel sad for us and that’s just not right.Ambrose was desperate to see an improvement at Headingley. “Come back with aggression, confidence and commitment,” he commanded the class of 2017. “Our history and the pride we once had in our cricket demands it.”
Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik said he was proud and privileged to be part of the present India team led by Virat Kohli, which has been doing very well and felt was set to leave a legacy in the next few years as one of the greatest (Indian teams) ever.”The present team is very good. Bowlers (like Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar) are bowling fantasic”.”I am proud to be part of a team that is going to leave a legacy in the next few years as one of the greatest teams India has ever seen in terms of the players that have represented the country, which is led by a fantastic leader and has some seriously good senior players”.”The great thing is that the bowlers are able to bat, which adds death to the side. I am honoured and privileged just to be part of this team,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Tamil Nadu’s Group “C’ Ranji Trophy match against Tripura here.He sang praise of Kohli and said the captain was “very vibrant and very positive. He is always looking to win”.Karthik, who is making a return to the 50-overs side for the ODIs against New Zealand after having last played in the series against West Indies in the Caribbean a few months ago, said he was happy to be back and hoped to do well if he got the opportunity.”I feel very positive to be back in the side. I feel very confident and will try to give my best. The team set-up is very vibrant and there are good vibes in the dressing room. If I get the chance I have to make the most of it,” he said.advertisementOn what he felt was the best batting position for him in the Indian line-up, Karthik, who has played 73 ODIs and 10 T20 internationals so far, said No 4 was the best one from him and he was confident of doing well.”Obviously No 4 is a great best position for me to bat. I have been batting at No 4 for Tamil Nadu in white ball cricket. I am confident that I can do well.””I am confident of fielding anywhere. It is part of my repertoire. Now that I am back-up for M S Dhoni, it is important that I keep practising and whenever given theopportunity do the best I can,” he said when asked he could adpat to fielding as he was basically a ‘keeper.On his interaction with the team’s head coach Ravi Shastri, Karthik said “He (Shastri) is fantastic. He had a chat with me and told me how he sees me in future. He told me what I must do. Sanjay Bangar, B Arun and R Sridhar make a formidable support staff along with Shastri,” Karthik said.
Just a few days are left before we ring in the new year which is why it is the perfect time to take a look back at the year gone by in the world of cricket.2017 was filled with records, runs, wickets and also had its fair share of controversies to go with it. Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli once again lit up the year with the plethora of records he broke while Australian skipper Steve Smith wasn’t too far behind.Kohli capped off yet another brilliant year on the field by marrying Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma after four years of dating. Smith will end 2017 as the latest Australian captain to hold the Ashes urn after his team decimated England in the third Test at Perth to take an unbeatable 3-0 series lead.But for once, let’s forget about the on-field stats, records and shift our focus towards the biggest controversies that took place on and off the cricket field this year.STEVE SMITH’S ‘DRS BRAIN FADE’ IN BENGALURUAustralia captain Steve Smith was involved in a big controversy on Day 4 of the second Test match against India in Bengaluru and he later tried to justify his actions and went on to concede that he shouldn’t have done what he did on the field.DRS – Dressing room review system? Smith tries to get some suggestions from the dressing room for a review https://t.co/2V488WaKEp #INDvAUS- BCCI (@BCCI) March 7, 2017Smith was wrapped on the pads by an Umesh Yadav delivery and umpire Nigel Llong gave him out LBW. Smith then consulted his partner at the other end, Peter Handscomb, before turning back to look at the dressing room for help with the DRS. Umpire Llong spotted that and immediately asked Smith to leave the field and denied him a review as it is against the laws of the game to consult anybody off the field for a DRS referral.advertisementSmith later said it was a brain fade on his part and he shouldn’t have done that. The incident made India captain Virat Kohli furious and he went on to say that he won’t be friends with some of the Australian players after the intensely-fought Border-Gavaskar series.ANIL KUMBLE-VIRAT KOHLI FEUDKumble quit as India coach two days after the conclusion of ICC Champions Trophy, which Pakistan won in England in June. The legendary bowler resigned after his partnership with captain Kohli became untenable.The inspirational leader was appointed the coach of the Indian cricket team in June 2016 and during his one-year term, Kohli-led India won five consecutive Test series from June 2016-March 2017. Under Kumble’s guidance, India also registered ODI series win against New Zealand, England and reached the ICC Champions Trophy final.But shortly before the Champions Trophy got underway in England earlier this year, murmurs of a rift between Kohli and Kumble first appeared in the media. In the subsequent days and weeks, what unfolded was a messy sequence of events.There had been a total breakdown of communication between Kohli and Kumble. The players were far from happy with the coach’s headmasterly behaviour and there was absolutely no way the Cricket Advisory Committee, Committee of Administrators or the BCCI could have salvaged the situation. After what seemed like an eternity, Kumble stepped down as coach following a Champions Trophy final defeat to Pakistan.In his resignation letter to the BCCI, Kumble wrote that the “captain had reservations” with his style of coaching.CRICKET AUSTRALIA PAY DISPUTEAustralian national team players and the country’s governing body, Cricket Australia, were involved in a pay dispute which raged on for nine months and grew increasingly bitter as both sides took to airing their grievances publicly.At the heart of the disagreement was CA’s insistence that a two-decade-old model, under which players receive a fixed percentage of revenue, should be jettisoned.The governing body said the model was outdated and claimed it was starving grass-roots cricket of funding, while the players’ union countered that it had underpinned the game’s growth and prosperity over the past 20 years. CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) finally announced they had agreed a new pay deal “in principle” in August this year ending an acrimonious dispute that had threatened a tour of Bangladesh and the Ashes series.Australian skipper Steve Smith was at the helm of a successful negotiation as the players celebrated the solidarity of the 230 or so male and female professionals who went unpaid for a month until the conclusion of the dispute.advertisementBEN STOKES PUB BRAWL & SUSPENSIONJust a couple of months before the Ashes series, England suspended Ben Stokes and Alex Hales pending investigations into their involvement in an incident on a night out in Bristol.The ECB made its decision after video footage was published by British newspaper The Sun, purportedly showing Stokes – England’s Test vice-captain – throwing punches in a street fight.Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm outside a pub. Hales, an opening batsman for England, was out with Stokes that night. News that Stokes had flown to New Zealand, his country of birth, later fanned speculation he could be set for a recall, despite England’s cricket board saying the trip was “private” and not Ashes-related.Australian media, however, suspected that it could be part of a plan to parachute him into the team for the ongoing Ashes series if the result of the police investigation comes out beforehand.JONNY BAIRSTOW’S HEADBUTTEngland wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow was also embroiled in a controversy after the Ashes series got underway for allegedly “headbutting” Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft during a night out in Perth in November.According to The Independent, the incident occurred between Bairstow and Bancroft outside The Avenue Hotel in Perth, when England were playing a warm-up match against Western Australia Cricket XI even before the Ashes series commenced.It is claimed that the incident went no further, and that police were not involved in the matter.The ECB later confirmed it had asked Bairstow for an explanation. Bancroft also said that Bairstow had given him a ‘friendly headbutt’ and both men played down the row.England’s disciplinary issues with its players didn’t just end with the Bairstow incident as a month later Ben Duckett was suspended from playing in the remainder of the team’s training camp in Australia and warned about his conduct after a bar incident in December.England’s Ashes tour was further plunged into crisis after batsman Duckett was suspended for pouring a drink on a senior England player reported to be paceman James Anderson after an argument in a Perth bar. The 23-year-old Duckett, who was stood down from an Ashes tour game, was also fined the “maximum allowable amount” for a Lions player.
Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh on Saturday maintained his unbeaten record as he defeated Ernest Amuzu from Ghana by unanimous decision in the Rajasthan Rumble fight in front of a packed Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur.Vijender, who didn’t have the ideal preparation coming into this bout, didn’t need to go all out throughout the fight as Amuzu proved to be no match in front of the Haryana boxer’s power and reach.This was Vijender’s second fight against an African boxer. He faced Francis Cheka from Tanzania last year in December and won the bout through technical knockout in the third round.The 31-year-old obviously had the advantage of a longer reach over Amuzu and he used it to full effect.Vijender usually takes the first couple of rounds to size up his opponent and he did exactly that against Amuzu and till about the fourth round kept landing punches to stay ahead in the judges scorecards.But it was from the fifth round that Vijender started his onslaught on Amuzu landing one blow after another on the Ghana boxer’s face and body with equal affect.(IOS Boxing Photo)Amuzu, who has never been knocked out in his career, started to wobble by the sixth round but somehow managed to stay on his feet and lasted the next four rounds but by then everybody knew what the outcome of the fight is going to be.Amuzu was then just trying to delay the inevitable as Vijender kept on landing heavy blows.advertisementIn the final round it seemed like Vijender had pulled up a muscle as he held back on his attack and just concentrated on his defense because he knew that he was way ahead in the scoresheets.As the bell rang in the final round Vijender shook hands with his opponent, raised his hands and went back to his corner.(IOS Boxing Photo)Moments later the presenter read out the scores as all three judges ruled in favour of Vijender with Amuzu recording his third career defeat.Four fights took place before Vijender’s main bout against Amuzu. Dharmendra Grewal beats Harsh Nagar by Technical Knockout (TKO) in the first bout in cruiserweight category.Kuldeep Dhanda then defeated Fateh Singh by unanimous decision in the lightweight bout.Dharmender Grewal wins his bout via TKO, beating his opponent Harsh Nagar in the 2nd round.#IndiaBullsRajasthanRumble pic.twitter.com/X78aFqiBBd- IOS Boxing (@IOSBoxing) December 23, 2017It was followed by the bantamweight fight between Amandeep Singh and Manoj Kumar in which the former won on points.Kuldeep Dhanda won his bout via Unanimous Decision against Fateh Singh.#IndiaBullsRajasthanRumble pic.twitter.com/5NPezYRzex- IOS Boxing (@IOSBoxing) December 23, 2017Amandeep Singh won his bout against Manoj Kumar in a very tight contest via Unanimous Decision.#IndiaBullsRajasthanRumble pic.twitter.com/KEe6abNfGH- IOS Boxing (@IOSBoxing) December 23, 2017And finally, Pardeep Kharera outpunched Nikhil Sharma by unanimous decision.Paredeep Kharera won his bout against Nikhil Sharma through the Unanimous Decision!#IndiaBullsRajasthanRumble pic.twitter.com/lnVrVgxG05- IOS Boxing (@IOSBoxing) December 23, 2017
Maroune Fellaini’s future remains a cause of concern for Manchester United as the Belgian said that he is uncertain about extending his contract with the Red Devils.Fellaini was under extreme scrutiny and often received flak for his inconsistent performances after signing for United in 2013. However, he has evolved as a player and is now an integral part of Jose Mourinho’s midfield.United triggered a one-year extension in the 30-year-old’s contract at the start of the year, but agreeing a deal beyond the end of the current campaign is proving difficult.Talking about his stay at the club he indicated that he doesn’t want to rush into making any decisions.”They made a proposal, probably another will follow. Whether I will accept it, I do not know. We will see. You cannot arrange something like that in a jiffy,” Fellaini told Belgian website HUMO.”If Manchester did not want me anymore, they would have said that for a long time.”Fellaini can begin talks with clubs when the January transfer window opens on Monday and could leave for nothing when his current contract expires at the end of the season.The Belgian international has discussed his situation with Mourinho but does not expect it to affect his relationship with the manager.”We talked about it. The coach is someone who respects the decisions of his players,” he said.Fellaini, who has played nine league games and scored three goals this season, is currently sidelined with a knee injury.(With inputs from Reuters)advertisement
Pakistan’s ace spinner Saeed Ajmal has brought the curtains down on his cricket career with a “heavy heart”, criticising the ICC’s protocol to assess bowling actions on his way out.After a successful but controversial career, off-spinner Ajmal finished with 178 wickets in 35 Tests, the last of which was at Galle in Sri Lanka in 2014, where his bowling action was reported for a second time.His action was first reported during an ODI series against Australia in the UAE in 2009.His time in the limelight cut short following a temporary ban for chucking, Ajmal returned to the sport in 2015 with a re-modelled action but without much success.”I am retiring today and at 40 years of age I thought it is now time for me to make way for younger players. I got this feeling I was being considered extra baggage even in domestic teams and I didn’t want to go out losing my respect,” Ajmal told PTI.”I am retiring with a heavy heart because firstly I think the ICC’s protocol is too harsh and if all bowlers today playing international cricket are tested I am sure at least 90 percent will fail to clear this protocol,” Ajmal said.He felt that if the Pakistan Cricket Board had fought his case more vociferously at the ICC, he would have left a satisfied man.”The board did support me after my bowling action was declared illegal but I think they could have done more at least using my case to challenge this protocol at the ICC level,” he added.advertisementAsked what issues he had with the ICC protocol, Ajmal said it didn’t take into account the fact that some bowlers had natural medical issues with their arm while some may have developed problems after some accident.”To be honest if you talk about the current extension of the elbow allowed I don’t think many of the current bowlers meet the ICC standards all the time. Some relaxation has to be allowed on medical grounds.”Ajmal has always claimed that a road accident caused his arm to bend to some extent.Ajmal, who called it quits after leading Faisalabad in the National T20 Championship, said he wished his last match was at the international arena.”I always enjoyed the challenge of international cricket and it would have been ideal to retire with a match for Pakistan.”The spinner called on the PCB to devise a programme to save spinners in Pakistan from extinction.”This ICC rule threatens the careers of spinners and in Pakistan the board needs to do extensive work on helping and assisting bowlers with any problems. I am willing to offer my services if they ask me to do something.””We are struggling to find off-spinners in Pakistan and that is because since 2014 even in our domestic cricket our authorities have just panicked and reported and banned bowlers by dozens.”Some of these bowlers had potential to become great bowlers but no one has bothered to even see where they are and some of them have even left cricket.”Ajmal said that while the Pakistan Super League was a great project, the PCB must not ignore domestic cricket.”We must never forget that eventually our players will come from domestic cricket not PSL. The board needs to give more importance to domestic cricket.”Ajmal said he had completed level two coaching and would remain in touch with the sport by coaching youngsters.
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — This one was for Sarah.Braid spinning in the chilly mountain air, Maddie Bowman of the U.S. soared to the first-ever gold in women’s Olympic halfpipe skiing, edging Marie Martinod of France in the final on a night the sport paid tribute to late Canadian freestyle skiing icon Sarah Burke.Burke, a leading advocate to have several events — including halfpipe — added to the Olympic program, died following a training accident in 2012. Her parents, Gordon Burke and Jan Phelan, watched as Bowman made history.The 20-year-old from South Lake Tahoe, Calif., put together a pair of athletic runs in the finals. Stringing along dizzying series of spins and grabs, Bowman performed the two highest-scoring runs of the finals.Her first one, an 85.80, put pressure on Martinod, who led qualifying. Bowman’s second run was even better. She clasped the side of her helmet in disbelief then sat and waited to see if Martinod or American teammate Brita Sigourney could top her.Nope.Sigourney, who washed out in her first finals run, appeared ready to threaten Bowman before her backside skimmed the snow with only one jump off the 22-foot halfpipe left.That left Martinod, who retired in 2007 but returned to the sport in 2012 at the urging of Burke. The 29-year-old Frenchwoman was one of the oldest performers in the 23-skier field and her introduction included a series of outtakes with her young daughter.Martinod was clean but not spectacular. Her 85.40 earned silver but didn’t really come close to bumping Bowman from the top of the medal stand.There were several hard crashes during qualifying, the worst coming when Anais Caradeux slammed into the ice during her second run. The 23-year-old Frenchwoman lay motionless for several seconds before being tended to by medics.Caradeux sustained lacerations on her face but managed to ski down the halfpipe to the medical tent. She qualified ninth but didn’t compete in the finals. Caradeux said afterward she blacked out for “10-15 seconds” and sustained some short-term memory loss.Then again, Caradeux was hardly alone on a sometimes bruising night. Sigourney took a rough fall during her first finals run, with Bowman sprinting up the halfpipe to help her up. She recovered in time to take a second trip down the slope but it wasn’t nearly good enough.Sigourney blinked back tears of disappointment, though they were soon cast aside during an event that served as a celebration of Burke’s legacy.“A lot of girls were really pushing themselves,” said Rosalind Groenewoud of Canada, who finished seventh. “I wish (Sarah) could have won tonight if it wasn’t me.”(Will Grave, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
TweetPinShare0 Shares SAO PAULO (AP) — The World Cup’s second semifinal was supposed to put the silky skills of Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben in the spotlight. Instead, a goalkeeper and two rock-solid defenses stole the show.Argentina goalie Sergio Romero saved two penalties Wednesday to send Argentina into the World Cup final with a 4-2 shootout win over the Netherlands after tough defending and a lack of creative spark from either team consigned the match to a 0-0 stalemate.In a twist of fate, Romero credited Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal with helping launch his career when he arrived as an inexperienced youngster at AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch league.“I will be forever grateful to the coach for helping me out in a country that is so different from ours,” Romero said.A day after Germany lit up the World Cup with its clinical 7-1 destruction of host Brazil, the Dutch and Argentines could not manage a goal between them in 120 minutes before the shootout.Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, will have to do play far better in Sunday’s final at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium if he is to engineer a win over the powerful German team. The Barcelona star was muted throughout the match and extra time, rarely managing to shake off his markers.At the Itaquerao Stadium, he was overshadowed by his goalkeeper and the man he replaced as Argentina captain, Javier Mascherano, who bossed the midfield for his team the way surprise starter Nigel de Jong did for the Dutch.When Robben looked like deciding the match in stoppage time, Mascherano’s perfectly timed sliding tackle blocked his shot at the near post.“I would say that he is an outstanding player,” Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said. “He is an emblem within our national squad, on the field as well as off it.”Romero — thought to be a weak link for Argentina and not even a starter for his Monaco club most of last season — had almost nothing to do during the match, but blocked penalties by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder in the shootout. For Argentina, Messi, Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez all converted their spot kicks.“It’s luck, that’s the truth. You can dive (the right way) and not make it, like happened to their goalkeeper,” Romero said. “I had confidence, thank God things turned out well.”A Germany-Argentina final means an extra bitter end to the tournament for Brazilians, who will have to watch their fiercest rivals play for the world title in their most hallowed stadium against a team that humiliated their nation in the semifinals.“We have a final to play, but with one day less rest and against Germany,” Sabella said. “We’ll do everything possible to make it all the way to the top.”It was the second straight penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw for the Dutch. Against Costa Rica in the quarterfinals, Van Gaal brought on substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul in the last seconds of extra time to replace Jasper Cillessen and Krul saved two spot kicks.This time, Van Gaal had used up all three substitutions by the end of extra time and Cillessen had to face the shootout.The young Ajax goalkeeper collapsed onto his knees and sank onto his back when Rodriguez’s powerful strike ended the shootout. Krul walked across the pitch to console him.Van Gaal also said he had a hand in Romero’s heroics from their time together at AZ Alkmaar.“Penalties are always a matter of luck,” he said. “And I taught Romero how to stop penalties so that hurts.”Many of Argentina’s players stripped off their shirts in the rain at the Itaquerao Stadium and danced in front of their fans.Argentina reached its fifth final, and its first in 24 years. It won the title in 1978 — beating the Dutch — and in 1986. It lost the championship matches in 1930 and 1990. It played West Germany in both the ’86 and ’90 finals.The Netherlands, which has never won the World Cup, was seeking to reach its fourth final.After scoring 10 goals in three group matches, the Dutch scoring dried up in the knockout rounds. The team managed two late strikes against Mexico but failed to find the net before eliminating Costa Rica in the quarterfinal shootout.“The issue in a championship like this one is that you score one more goal than your opponent, which we didn’t do,” Van Gaal said, “We didn’t create very much.”
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Like a lot of New York Mets fans, Manager Terry Collins is tired of waiting for a playoff run.“We’ve been sitting around for four years asking everybody to be patient and even the players,” Collins said Feb. 21 after the first workout for pitchers and catchers.“Well, it’s time,” he said. “We’ve got guys now that have been in the big leagues for four and five years. It’s time for them to step up and play the game the way everybody expects it to be played.”A day earlier, Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said five years was enough to turn around a franchise, regardless of payroll constraints.The Mets have not made the playoffs since 2006 and have not finished above .500 since 2008. The Alderson-Collins regime is heading into its fifth year.New York was 79-83 and finished third in the NL East in 2014 while ace Matt Harvey and closer Bobby Parnell were out with injuries and star third baseman David Wright was ailing.“What we accomplished last year with the fact that we didn’t have our No. 1 starter, we didn’t have our closer, our third baseman played hurt most of the season,” Collins said.“There were a lot of positives going into the offseason and I say, Hey, it’s time,’” he said.The Mets were relatively quiet this offseason. They signed right fielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal and brought in John Mayberry Jr. to bolster the bench.But the team expects to have Harvey and Wright healthy for a full year and hope to have Parnell back between mid-April and early-May.“We should match up against a lot of teams, now we just have to go play,” Collins said. “It’s all about execution. … There’s no reason why, if we can’t play up to expectations and what we think the caliber of players we have, we’ll be playing in October.”TweetPinShare0 Shares
CANASTOTA, N.Y. — The late Hector “Macho” Camacho, a three-division champion, flamboyant showman and one of boxing’s most colorful characters, has been elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.Also selected were Lupe Pintor of Mexico and Hilario Zapata of Panama, each a two-division champion.Picked in the non-participant and observer categories were: Harold Lederman, a judge for over 30 years; sports columnist Jerry Izenberg of the Newark Star-Ledger; Marc Ratner, Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission for 14 years; and Col. Bob Sheridan, an international television broadcaster since 1973.Camacho died in November 2012 at age 50 after being shot in his native Puerto Rico.Inductees were selected by the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians.(JOHN KEKIS, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares