Ronaldo: ‘I’d only play Champions League’

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo admits he is driven by the “important games” and would only play “for the national team and in the Champions League” with Juventus if he could. The 34-year-old has won most of what’s on offer at club level and is motivated by the games where he can feel the “pressure”. “I’ll tell you, if it were up to me, I would only play some important games,” the Portuguese international said in an interview with France Football. “Those of the national team and in the Champions League. “It’s these kinds of games that emerge, those with something at stake, with a difficult environment, with pressure.” But he concedes that he always gives his all when he enters the pitch, whilst he doesn’t care too much about the reactions from the outside world. “You have to be a professional and perform well every day, to honour your family and the club you represent, the ones who pay you. For the rest, I do not give much importance to the reactions I get from the public,” he added. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Inter or Fiorentina for Florenzi?

first_imgAlessandro Florenzi could reportedly leave Roma in January, leaving Inter, Fiorentina, Olympique Lyonnais and Shanghai Shenhua on red alert. Florenzi, who is a Roma youth graduate, has been in the first team since 2011, making over 250 appearances for the Giallorossi and taking over their captaincy after Daniele De Rossi’s exit. However, he has been used increasingly sparingly under Paulo Fonseca, who has gone with Leonardo Spinazzola as his starting right-back this season. Sunday’s match with Parma was the sixth in succession he started on the bench, and Sport Mediaset is now claiming he may seek a move away this winter to be sure of his place in Italy’s Euro 2020 squad. As per the broadcaster, Inter and Fiorentina have both kept tabs on the 28-year old for some time, while Lyon boss Rudi Garcia is an admirer from his time working with him at the Olimpico. There could also be a reunion with ex-Roma teammate Stephan El Shaarawy at Shanghai Shenhua in China. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Pioli brushes off phone controversy

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: Stefano Pioli understands the reaction from the outside but claimed he would be the “first to get angry” if Milan players were on their phones during a tactical meeting. Video footage of Milan trio Franck Kessie, Ante Rebic and Lucas Biglia using their phones in the dressing room caused unease among the fans and Stefano Pioli understands the reaction.  “I understand that certain images might arouse a reaction,” he told Corriere della Sera. “But I would be the first one to get angry if I thought the players were calling or sending messages before a major game. “Now, I don’t want this to become any bigger than it is,” he added and explained that his players can enter an application on their smartphones to study the opponent. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport he already used this app when he was in charge of Fiorentina, where the players get the chance to review the game plan and are updated with videos concerning the opponent of the day. “The use of mobile phones is allowed in the locker room before the game, because each player has his own playlist of music and they need to relax before stepping on to the pitch,” he said. “Above all, it’s allowed to consult the app which we continuously update with videos of the opponent we are facing. This is a useful tool, where they can review movements and phases of play. It’s another way to prepare for the game.” The 1-1 draw against Napoli leaves them on a winless run of three games in Serie A and they are still on the bottom half of the table – 12th in the League after 13 games. “We take into account the complaints and now I hope the results will arrive soon.” Milan are preparing to face Parma at the Ennio Tardini on Sunday.last_img read more

Playing Tests in India will require adjustment, says Ponting

first_imgAustralia captain Ricky Ponting feels playing a Test series in India just ahead of the Ashes at home will require major adjustments in the squad.”It’s obviously vastly different, if you look at the squad that we could probably put out for the first Test in Brisbane compared with the squad you’d think about playing on a spinning wicket in India, they’re probably two completely different squads,” Ponting was quoted as saying by ‘The Age’.”It’d be nice to get some match hardness into the guys, having not played a lot of Test cricket at that stage, but we’ll come home then and be back into one day cricket in Australia anyway so we’ll just have to manage that as well as we can,” he added.Australia’s tour of India later this year was supposed to be a seven-match ODI affair but after India became the world number one Test side, the BCCI requested Cricket Australia to include five-day matches during the tour.CA is yet to respond but there is a possibility that it would not have any problem in accommodating the Indian Board’s request.The Aussies are busy gearing up for the Ashes, aiming to beat old rivals England in the historic series at the end of the year.”We won’t be underdone, there’s no doubt about that, we’ll make sure that hopefully every player will get at least two Sheffield Shield games under their belt leading into that first Test, which I think would be really good preparation,” Ponting said.advertisementlast_img read more

The farm fix

first_imgOrganic. That word has increasingly been jumping out at us as the city wakes up to the world of organic living. Caring for the earth is the hottest new thing, and suddenly everyone is scouting for everything organic. Simply Mumbai decided to do some figuring out so that next time,Organic. That word has increasingly been jumping out at us as the city wakes up to the world of organic living. Caring for the earth is the hottest new thing, and suddenly everyone is scouting for everything organic. Simply Mumbai decided to do some figuring out so that next time we spot something organic, it means more than another fancy word.As funky as it gets-IndigreenPure passion translates into some of the city’s funkiest T-shirts, or to be more specific ‘the Indian luxury T-shirt brand’ with elaborate hand-painted poster art adorning them. The icing on the cake is that it’s completely organic, right from the material to the labels.Nidhi Singh, 31, began researching on the Green Revolution and experimenting with possibilities of creating 100 per cent eco-friendly collections. Prior to that she has worked both in the media and fashion industry for almost 11 years and even had her own luxury pret label, ‘Nidhi Singh’.It was in 2008, when she volunteered for The Climate Project, India, that she met Gaurav Gupta, co-founder of the organisation that he helped found with Al Gore. With a bachelors from Oxford and a masters from Yale, Gupta, 32, is an ecopreneur with his fingers in multiple projects that promote sustainable development. Together, they launched Indigreen and did a test run of their t-shirts at the Kala Ghoda festival last year.While all the material used is certified organic and sourced from places that ensure fair trade, the Bollywood theme posters incorporate social messages in their design-their latest line has an anti-terrorism theme, with tees sporting messages like ‘Terrorists Are Ugly’. The artwork is done by former Bollywood poster painters who have been out of work. The care extends to the dyes and paints as well, which are either organic or eco friendly.What: Luxury organic tees, organic accessories, khadi bags, belts, and home decor.Where: Tribal Route, Bilss, Dhoop-Crafts of Asia, Bombay Electric, Melange.Visit: Sweetest thing-Under the mango treeEvery store worth its organic salt stocks jars of honey from Under The Mango Tree. Started by MIT graduate Vijaya Pastala, the brand helps farmers market everything from organic certified cereals to oils, herbs, spice and beeswax. But what is most important to them is the Apis Cerena, or the Indian honey bee. Why? Because almost everything we consume comes from cross pollinated plants (must be pollinated to bear fruit) and the cerena is one of the best pollinators.She has worked towards sustainable development with the Aga Khan Foundation, DFID, India and the World Bank. She promotes community-based beekeeping through ‘The Hive’. It helps indigenous organic farmers install bee boxes on their farms and the results have been stupendous. The yield increased by 50 per cent and their income rose 40 per cent through the sale of honey. That is a lot of food for thought the next time you reach out for that jar of honey.What: Annual honey subscription; gives you a range of gourmet honey delivered every month.Cost: Rs1,700 for 200 gm and Rs3,000 for 500 gm.Contact: 9833154478 or email browsing through produce at the Farmers Market in BandraEverything green-Farmers marketThis is probably the best place to grab your greens straight from the growers themselves. The market is held on Sunday mornings at the Nilgiri Gardens in Bandra. Stalls selling everything, from fruits and vegetables to cloth and candy floss, dot the garden where it is held.Brainchild of Kavita Mukhi, founder of the Conscious Food brand, this is the only farmers’ market in the country where everything is organic. This was something Mukhi had wanted to do for years, “For me it was a dream.”? Her interest in the organic way of life began years ago when her son was born and she started looking for healthy food.Farmers get a free spot to sell their produce while the others are either paid for or sponsored stalls. In both cases, costs of middlemen and high rentals is eliminated. Mukhi says, “The response has been fantastic, but the scale is still relatively small for a city like Mumbai.”?At the organic cafe, every item served is at least 80 per cent organic. Not surprisingly, plastic is not welcome here-the grains are held in sacks and sold in paper bags. The market is closed now, but will be back in October.What: A huge variety of organic foods and products and eco-friendly options for just about everything.Where: Nilgiri Gardens. Coming up in Cuffe Parade.Contact: 9821142700, 9820089378.Reetha Balsavar and Lata Sharma of Navdanya, the store that stocks every kind of grain you can think ofFinal pit stop-NavdanyaThe store is a tiny organic haven in an Andheri by-lane, with shelves neatly lined with most grains than you can think of, and many that you can’t. Fret not, the caretakers Reetha Balsavar and Lata Sharma will come to your rescue the second they sense hesitation. Their offerings come packed in plastic bags, but they encourage you to get your own jar or recycle old plastic bags.It is this personal touch that has seen sales pick up 200 per cent since the store opened three years ago. Mumbai’s only Navdanya store is part of a nation-wide organic movement launched 23-years ago by renowned scientist and environmentalist Dr Vandana Shiva. For Balsavar and Sharma the association goes back six years.The movement started as seed banks across the country and has now established itself as a cooperative that helps farmers from 16 states market their produce. Navdanya means nine crops that represent India’s collective source of food security. All their produce is certified organic and sourced directly from their cooperative.What: A wide range of dals, rices, spices, flour, oil, pickles, papads, snacks, etc.Where: No 10, Mayfair Housing Society, Andheri (W).Contact: 99204 18027, 66790081.What is Organic?Produce grown naturally, without using chemical pesticides or fertilizers or even genetically modified seeds. Organic meats and dairy products come from animals that have not been reared with antibiotics and growth hormones.What’s the fuss about?Since organic food and products are grown the natural way, without the use of chemicals, they are good for the body. The added advantage is that they are also good for the environment as they do not contaminate the soil and the water. Organic cultivation is cheaper for the farmer who doesn’t have to invest in pesticides and fertilisers. Organic food is considered to be healthier and more nutritious than conventional food.DownsideLow shelf life, wastage, expensiveWhy is it expensive?Good quality, labour intensive, they spoil faster, leading to higher wastage; usually grown on small farms without economy of scale.How to care for organic foodsRub organic castor oil into grainsUse neem leaves in containers or ash from agnihotra puja to ward off pestsTry to buy in smaller quantitiesRefrigerate your stocks New products Amore Gelato has two new organic gelatos – Organic Gulkand & Cashew, and Organic Figs Gelato.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Performing and winning is of utmost importance: Dilip Vengsarkar

first_imgThe ascension of Dilip Vengsarkar to the chairmanship of the BCCI’s selection committee was marked by a change of temperature. Call it turning up of the heat or the onset of early frost, the 50-year-old was determined to demonstrate his clear points of difference from his predecessors. He did so,The ascension of Dilip Vengsarkar to the chairmanship of the BCCI’s selection committee was marked by a change of temperature. Call it turning up of the heat or the onset of early frost, the 50-year-old was determined to demonstrate his clear points of difference from his predecessors. He did so in a manner that the Indian team’s now not-so-new regime would recognise from its own early days in charge last season.Vengsarkar’s first few weeks in the job featured forceful talk in his first meeting, the demand to know why the players’ individual games had fallen away inside a year and finally, the maverick rabbits pulled out of the hat during the selection for the tour of South Africa. Vengsarkar’s comment on India’s bench strength-“Frankly, there’s no exceptional talent I’ve seen”-has set the rumbles going across Indian cricket.One of the top four Indian batsmen in Test history, a former captain, and one of the few modern cricketers of lofty stature involved in hands-on administration, Dilip Vengsarkar is in the limelight again. He spoke to Deputy Editor SHARDA UGRA in Mumbai. Excerpts from the interview:Q. What are your expectations from the team for South Africa? What result are you looking for? A. I want them to win, there’s no question about that. I hope they win. It is difficult to predict a result, so I hope the tour turns out to be a good experience for everyone. It is a tough tour and those who have not been there before will, I think, gain quite a lot.Q. Going by their Champions Trophy form, where do you think the South Africans stand as opposition? A. They have good fast bowlers who can exploit the conditions and I expect the wickets to definitely be made to suit them. On the other hand, I hope our fast bowlers-we have a good pack-can also make use of the same conditions.Q. India’s batting overseas has fallen away from a few years ago. What is going wrong? A. It is important to adapt to different wicket conditions quickly to be successful. We have batsmen with great potential and records too.Q. Why do you think ODI results have not gone India’s way recently? A. We had a bad match against the West Indies. It was a crucial game. Had we won, we would have been in the semi-finals. And semis onwards, it could have been anyone’s game. Some of our key players were out of form, our batting was not in great shape. Same with the bowling too? we had great hopes from Irfan Pathan-but it is really not correct to pin hopes on one or two persons, everyone has to contribute. That is what a team game is all about.Q. The impression given by the last committee was that its accent was on youth. With the return of Anil Kumble and Zaheer Khan, has your committee sent out a message that the door is not closed on anyone? A. Who are we to close doors on anyone? We have an open mind. Those who do well will surely be there in the running. We are not there to close doors on anyone? God is there-He closes the doors!Q. With Yuvraj injured and the middle order lacking experience, what is your take on V.V.S. Laxman in ODIs? He was surprised by your comments on his fitness? do you need to re-examine his fitness? A. Laxman is a fantastic player who has an excellent record at the highest level, but I think his fitness is a key issue. He has a bad knee and for the last couple of years or so he has not been in the best of physical fitness. In the conventional sense, he looks fit and in shape but in ODIs you have to be 100 per cent fit. I think he falls short on that count. It’s not that we have to go and check his fitness? You can see a cricketer’s movements when he plays on the field.Q. The bowling line-up still looks unsettled-shouldn’t we have established our core bowling group? A. I think we’re in a good state. We have a group of six-seven fast bowlers present whom we would like to play with all the time and also with the spinners. Q. Given that there is no senior pace bowler in the Indian team set-up, do you think that the side needs a specialist bowling coach? A. I have always advocated for a bowling coach. We had the services of former international bowlers in the past when John Wright was the coach. It will definitely be of great help.Q. Are your hands tied when it comes to dropping players when they are not performing because the World Cup is so close? A. Not really. Form and fitness are very important. In cricket, nobody is indispensible even though experience at a mega-event definitely helps.”Sehwag has a great record, knows how to adapt to all conditions but he needs to be more consistent.”Q. What is your advice to a key player like Virender Sehwag? A. I think he knows how best he should play. He may play his own game with his own technique. At this level, your technique is perfect for you. Sehwag has a fantastic record at the highest level and he knows how to adapt. The important factor is that he should be more consistent. At this level, consistency is most important.Q. The previous selection committee was said to be too close to the team. Should selectors be close colleagues of the team or their critics? A. It depends on individuals, on how they really gel with the management. I am not the one to go too close to the team management and prefer to give them their space. Sure, it’s important to be on the same wavelength with the management and not force one’s views on them. But there must be a healthy discussion.Q. What should the team do for long-term development of players with the everyday need to keep performing and winning matches? A. Performing and winning is of utmost importance. One has to strike the right balance between experienced players and young, quality players. No complacency must creep in. If a young player is selected, he must be given enough opportunity to show his worth. And for his part, potential must be backed by performance as well.Q. Recently, we have seen a lot of young, untried players being pitched into the Indian team without a good foundation in first-class cricket. Is that the way to go now? A. It is very important for players to have a solid base of first-class matches. Throwing them into the deep sea could be detrimental to their future. But India’s first-class standard is not that high enough to test the players’ calibre, technique or temperament. That’s why I feel there is a strong need for India A tours abroad.Q. Your comment that there is no pool of talent in Indian domestic cricket has worried a lot of people. A. What I meant when I said that was that there is a lot of talent in the country but there is no exceptional talent which could be inducted straightaway into the Indian team. Our structure is possibly one of the best in the world, but the wickets we play on have no bounce and that’s a big worry. The NCA (National Cricket Academy) could be of great benefit if it runs it 12 months a year. Not all states have great infrastructure and players spotted by TRDOs (Talent Resource Development Officers) have been groomed in NCA. The NCA has produced a lot of good cricketers. If it is turned into an year-round academy, through the year it can have more batches and become a place where umpires, trainers, physios can be coached-not only Indians but other Asians too. It is also important to have jobs created for all first-class players by having a corporate tournament on an all-India basis.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Pranab links fall of rupee to euro-zone crisis; asks for austerity measures

first_imgAs the Indian rupee hit all-time low and the BSE Sensex fell over 300 points, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the country needed to put prime focus on measures to protect against the ongoing euro-zone crisis. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha during a debate on the Finance Bill, the finance minister said the government was not passing the buck, but it was time to wake up to the reality. Mukherjee attributed the rupee hitting an all-time low of 54.46 to a US dollar and the sharp slide in Sensex to the crisis in Greece that has kept the euro-zone on the edge. With no let-up in global crisis, the finance minister said the challenge for India was to generate domestic demand and ensure growth in the rural sector. The minister called it a complex economic situation and said fresh austerity measures were required to tackle the crisis. He said even the growing global oil prices were a cause of concern.last_img read more

Back to the front

first_imgThe seeds of future successes are often sown by failures and disappointments. For Indian hockey, not making the grade for the 2008 Beijing Olympics was the blow that forced the powersthat-be presiding over the fate of the national game to wake up and smell the astro turf.With eight Olympic gold medals, six of them in succession between 1928 and 1956, India had developed the bad habit to rest on past laurels, even as the rest of the world raced by. Be it Pakistan, the European heavyweights or Australia, they all first caught up with the erstwhile powerhouse and then left it far behind.But never did India fear that it will lose its seat at the high table. We believed that a spot in the Olympics will always be there for us. That is why the 2008 debacle at the qualifiers in Santiago, Chile, came as such a shock to the system.”We realised that we cannot continue to make the same mistakes,” forward Tushar Khandker, who was part of that team and will make his first Olympic appearance next month, said at the Pune camp. “The disappointment of Chile made us more determined to turn the corner.”One major point of view that needed to be changed was that pure skill and stickwork were enough to beat the top sides in the modern game. First under Spanish coach Jose Brasa and now with Aussie Michael Nobbs, much more emphasis was laid on the physical aspect of the game and technological inputs such as video analysis. “Just skill was never enough. The rest of the world realised that long ago. We are just catching up now,” Nobbs said in between warmups in Pune.advertisementOf course, a floundering India was not good news for the world game, so FIH, the international hockey federation, also did its bit by arranging for its master coaches to work in India and bringing major events to the country. The latter initiative not only maintained the enthusiasm for the game despite poor results, but also swelled the world body’s coffers.A look at the present bunch of players shows that they have bulked up considerably over the last 12 months. That is the demand of the modern game which lays great emphasis on power, speed, fitness and endurance. “It has become a power game now. Apart from working on the skills, one needs to spend quality time at the gym as well,” coach Clarence Lobo said.Devices such as the hypoxic chamber, which simulate conditions likely to be faced during matches in the laboratory, are a relatively new addition to the training regime. The team thus was well prepared for the high altitude and rarefied atmosphere when it went for the Champions Challenge I in Johannesburg last December.The players went through the chamber once again recently in an effort to have an edge in endurance at the Olympics, which will be held in much cooler conditions. “Previously, we used to concede late goals because of lack of fitness. But now we have turned the tables and regularly score in the final few minutes,” forward Danish Mujtaba said.One factor that has also worked in India’s favour is the relatively settled look to the side. Players such as Sandeep Singh, Sardar Singh, Khandker, Bharat Chetri, Shivendra Singh, Ignace Tirkey and Gurbaj Singh have been together for a long time. Some of them have matured with experience and are now at their peak while others are keen to give their best at what could be their last shot at the Olympics. Only Sandeep and Ignace have prior Olympic experience.Add to the lot, talented youngsters like S.K. Uthappa, Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra and goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh, and one has a pretty formidable line-up.Though Nobbs and his coaching staff believe that a top-six finish will be a very good achievement, several of the players have made no secret of the fact that they are eyeing a spot in the semi-finals and a podium finish.The authorities have also stepped up and provided the necessary support. Frequent exposure to top teams has boosted the team’s confidence and the Sports Authority of India has provided all the facilities asked for. It must be said that most of the equipment was available, but was not used due to lack of technical know-how. “The hypoxic chamber costs crores of rupees and was there for a long time, but was not used till three or four years ago,” Nobbs said.Financial security has been a major concern for the players, and this is where Hockey India has stepped up to the plate. After the top players refused to turn up for the rival Indian Hockey Federation’s league, Hockey India has announced retainerships and annual contracts for the players. A similar system is on the anvil for the juniors. Also, it is starting its own league next year, promising higher earnings than those in the Federation’s league.advertisementIt has taken a sustained effort from all stakeholders to get the national game back on track. After the ignominy four years ago, the entire nation is hoping that its heroes will ensure that the Tricolour gets its moment of glory in London.last_img read more

Selectors want Yuvraj Singh back in Indian squad for World T20 in Sri Lanka

first_imgYuvraj Singh is back to training after recuperating from a rare germ cell cancer and selection committee chairman Kris Srikkanth said he wants the attacking left-handed batsman back in the side for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. The squad for the mega event in September will be announced later this month.”Yuvraj has started practice, which is a very good thing.A guy who has won the World Cup should come back. We are all hoping for that. We want Yuvraj back for T20 WC ,” Srikkanth said after the selectors picked the Indian team for Sri Lanka’s July-August tour.”We still have time. The squad will be picked later this month,” he added.Srikkanth said the side is picked after due consideration with national coach Duncan Fletcher.”One good thing is that Duncan Fletcher is with us. We have discussions over phone. They are healthy discussions,” he said.Yuvraj, who recently started practice , is undergoing a rehabilitation programme at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.He was diagnosed with a malignant tumor between his lungs and underwent chemotherapy in the US earlier this year.He was man-of-the-tournament in India’s 50-over World Cup glory last year and was brilliant in the inaugural World T20 which India won in 2007 in South Africa.He had smashed England’s Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over in that edition of the event.This year, the World T20 tournament starts on September 18.last_img read more

Nadal to play Kooyong exhibition ahead of Australian Open

first_imgDo we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Tournament director Peter Johnston on Sunday said negotiations with Nadal accelerated after the 16-time major winner withdrew from the Brisbane International.“Rafa was looking for match play and of course we were more than happy to oblige,” Johnston said. “The addition of both Novak and Rafa changes our schedule and the way we will run the four days but that’s what Kooyong is all about, we are here to help the players get ready for the Open.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingNadal, who lost last year’s Australian final to Roger Federer and went on to win the French and U.S. Open titles, has been struggling with a right knee problem and withdrew from the ATP tournament in Brisbane to give himself longer for recovery. He is scheduled to play Tuesday at Kooyong, which regularly hosted the Australian Open on grass before the tournament moved to hard courts at Melbourne Park.Djokovic is returning from a right elbow injury that has kept him off the tour since July. Last week he said he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play at the Australian Open, and wouldn’t confirm until after the two exhibition events. LATEST STORIES Drummond, Harden sit as Pistons beat Rockets Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims FILE – Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after scoring a point against Lucas Pouille of France during men’s singles match in the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)MELBOURNE, Australia — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will make his return from injury at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament to prepare for the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 15.Nadal joins former No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, a six-time Australian Open champion, in using the Kooyong event to warm up for the year’s first Grand Slam tournament.ADVERTISEMENT BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives View commentslast_img read more

Violinists and cheering squads: North Korea’s Olympic lineup

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ THE ATHLETESWho, how many, and maybe even if there will be any at all — those are still open questions at this point. There has been some speculation about the attendance of high-ranking officials from the North. Kim Jong Un sent three of his top lieutenants to the South for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon — one of whom hasn’t been seen lately, sparking rumors last month of a purge.If a similarly senior bunch were to go, that would be big news.THE CHEERING SQUADSThe real crowd pleasers at North Korean sporting events are often in the stands.North Korea is known for the highly trained, ultra-serious and usually all-female cheering groups wearing bright outfits that it sends to motivate its athletes — and grab media attention — at important competitions abroad. North Korea intends to send 230 of them to Pyeongchang, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry.It’s widely believed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s wife, Ri Sol Ju, is an “Army of Beauty” alumna, having traveled to Incheon in 2005 as part of a cheering squad at the Asian Athletics Championships.The women are chosen not only for their cheering skills but also for their youth and good looks.The mere prospect of seeing the women in action has already touched off quite a stir on South Korean and Japanese television shows.If nothing else, they will be ratings gold.… AND THE DIVAS THAT GOT AWAYIn talks earlier this week, North Korea sent the leader of its most popular girl band to negotiate, raising hopes the band would be coming to the games. In this Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, photo, pictures of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are seen on a sign during a rally for a peaceful Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. North Korea plans to send a spotlight-stealing delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics in the South Korean county of Pyeongchang. The letters read “Peace bobsleigh.” (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)TOKYO — North Korea won’t be dominating any medal counts when the Winter Olympics come to Pyeongchang in South Korea next month. But it’s hoping to grab as much of the spotlight as it can with what might be an Olympic first in ice hockey and a flamboyantly crowd-pleasing all-female cheering section to liven up the stands.Negotiators from the two Koreas, fighting against the clock ahead of the games’ Feb. 9 start date, announced some of the key details of North Korea’s plans after a day of talks Wednesday in the Demilitarized Zone that divides them.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais LATEST STORIES PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusivescenter_img ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte That had the potential to be huge. Super Bowl halftime huge.Hand-picked by Kim himself, the Moranbong Band serves as the “soft” public face of the regime. Its members alternate between miniskirts and military uniforms on stage and are often called up to do concerts marking major political events, frequently with missiles or photos of the leader covering the big screens looming behind them.The presence of bandleader Hyon Song Wol in itself was sensational. South Korean media reports in 2013 claimed she had been executed by firing squad for her role in a salacious scandal. She put that speculation to rest by appearing on TV about a year later and is now an alternate member of the ruling party’s central committee.In the end, North Korea announced its 140-member Samjiyon band — an orchestra with dancers and vocalists — will make the trip.Maybe that’s for the best.The Moranbong Band was supposed to make its international debut in Beijing in 2015, but that fell through mysteriously at the last minute. Considering the more delicate North-South situation, concerns had been raised over what the band would perform in Pyeongchang — its repertoire includes such hits as “We Can’t Live Without His Care,” ”The Song of the Hwasong Artillerymen,” and “My Country is the Best.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims View comments Officials from North and South will take the plan to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland this weekend for approval.Here’s a quick look at who might be coming. And a note on who conspicuously isn’t.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. South Korea’s media are reporting maybe 10 or so athletes will come.The North and South agreed to create a unified women’s hockey team, which would mark a first in the Olympics. The plan has gotten some criticism from the South because of concerns that South Korean athletes who made the national team might be bumped off to make room for the North’s players.South Korea’s president said fielding a joint ice hockey team would be a historic event that would move the hearts of people around the world. He also expressed support for athletes from the Koreas marching together under a blue-and-white “unification” flag. The plans still must be approved by the IOC.Two North Korean figure skaters qualified for the games, but the North failed to register them in time and they lost their slot in the pairs competition. Whether a special effort is being made to get them back into the games, or to bring in athletes for any other events, isn’t clear.No medals are involved, but the North will unleash a taekwondo squad on Pyeongchang. They’ll demonstrate the North’s version of the traditional Korean martial art, which is an official Summer Olympic event.ADVERTISEMENT Louie Alas rues ‘passive’ showing from Phoenixlast_img read more

James has triple-double in Cavs win over Grizzlies

first_imgCleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James dunks during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)MEMPHIS, Tenn. — LeBron James had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in his 11th triple-double of the season, and the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled away after a slow start to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 112-89 on Friday night.George Hill also scored 18 points, while Larry Nance Jr. finished with 15 and Jordan Clarkson had 14 as the newcomers had good nights in the Cavaliers’ fifth win in the last six games.ADVERTISEMENT Tyreke Evans and JaMychal Green each had 15 points for Memphis, with Evans also dishing out 10 assists and Green grabbing 10 rebounds. Marc Gasol had 14 points and nine rebounds.Cleveland trailed by double digits early, but outscored Memphis 58-40 in the second half, sending the Grizzlies to their eighth straight loss.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingJames was already under triple-double watch at halftime with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Hill had 13 points as the Cavaliers erased a 13-point lead in the first half to carry a 54-49 lead into the break.James reached his triple-double with about 4 minutes left in the third, leading to a 3-pointer by Cedi Osman. That was part of Cleveland outscoring Memphis 31-22 in a foul-filled third quarter, building the lead to double digits and holding an 85-71 advantage into the fourth. ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Judiciary Committee set to take over Trump impeachment probe ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Memphis never threatened the rest of the way.TIP-INSCavaliers: Clarkson was cut under his right eye in the second quarter, but returned in the fourth. . James has played in all 58 Cleveland games this season … Played their only road game out of the first seven following the All-Star break. . Cavs are 4-1 since reshaping their roster at the trade deadline, adding Hill, Rodney Hood, Clarkson and Nance. . James, who played 36 minutes in Thursday’s loss to Washington, played just under 37 minutes Friday night.Grizzlies: Evans left the game near the midway point of the fourth with a right rib injury and did not return. . Memphis is winless in February. Its last victory was Jan. 29 over Phoenix. . Evans was 3 for 7 from outside the arc, marking his 28th straight game with at least one 3-pointer, breaking the franchise record of 27 previously held by Mike Miller.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Former NFL player detained by police after Instagram post LATEST STORIES View comments MOST READlast_img read more

UAE website selling overpriced Indian Premier League tickets

first_imgPL tickets worth 80 Dirhams(Rs 1,308) are being sold for as much as 1,500 Dirhams(Rs 24,527) IPL tickets for the first leg of the tournament to be held in the United Arab Emirates are being black marketed with a website cashing in on its popularity by selling the tickets at overpriced rates, according to media reports.Tickets with a value of 80 Dirhams(Rs 1,308) are being sold for as much as 1,500 Dirhams(Rs 24,527) through a website in the UAE.The tickets are selling like hotcakes with the seventh edition of the IPL scheduled to commence from April 16. But an official from the Department of Economic Development(DED) has warned that scalping of the tickets is illegal.”As it is anywhere in the world, buying tickets in bulk and selling them at three or four times higher than the original price is illegal. It is illegal to buy a large quantity of tickets online, so people tend to use false names,” said the official.A ‘Gulf News’ report claimed that a Platinum ticket priced at 250 Dirhams(Rs 4085) for the double-header on the April 19 in Dubai (Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Mumbai Indians followed by Kolkata Knight Riders versus Delhi Daredevils) was sold at 750 Dirhams(Rs 12,255).Meanwhile, the 1,00,000th ticket for the UAE games was sold on Tuesday, according to a BCCI press release.The first part of the seventh edition of the IPL has been shifted to the UAE in the wake of General Elections in India. The UAE leg will host the first 20 matches from April 16 to 30, while the remaining 40 will be hosted by India from May 2. The final will be played on June 1.advertisementlast_img read more

BCCI to claim losses from WICB for calling off tour

first_imgA livid BCCI has said it has suffered huge losses and that it will claim all the damages following the West Indies cricket team’s unprecedented move to pull out of the remainder of India tour in the wake of an acrimonious unresolved pay dispute with its Board back home.The aggrieved Caribbean players, who were persuaded to take the field for the fourth ODI in Dharamsala yesterday, conveyed their decision to call off the remaining part of tour to the BCCI, which is now contemplating legal action against the visitors.”We have suffered huge losses due to the decision of the West Indies to pull out of the tour. We are going to claim all the damages and pursue the matter with ICC. We have convened an emergent working committee meeting to discuss the issue as well as the visit, at short notice, by Sri Lanka,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel told PTI from Baroda.The Cricket Board has convened an emergent meeting of its all-powerful working committee in Hyderabad on October 21 to discuss the aftermath of the controversial pull-out.”The working committee members will have dialogue on this and after that we may consider to not pursue further FTP programmes with West Indies.”Patel said he was busy from morning till midnight yesterday in view of the sudden “unprecedented” move by the West Indies to abandon the tour after playing, with reluctance, the fourth and penultimate ODI in Dharamsala.”I had a very hectic time and this was an unprecedented decision. We will discuss all these at the working committee.advertisementThere will be a governing council meeting of IPL preceding the WC meeting,” he added.Patel had said in a statement yesterday: “The BCCI would like to clarify that despite all its efforts, the Micromax Cup India vs West Indies ODI series has been curtailed because of the ongoing issue between WICB and its players, and the withdrawal of the WI team from the ongoing tour of India.”Patel had also provided a timeline of the controversy-hit tour from the time the West Indies reached Kochi to play the first ODI till yesterday when the BCCI received a communication from team manger Richie Richardson informing the former that the visitors will not play any more scheduled matches on the tour after yesterday’s ODI.Patel also said that the Sri Lanka will play the ODIs between November 1 and 14 and that England and Wales Cricket Board was also willing to send its team.”We had already contacted the Sri Lanka board who had accepted the invitation on short notice. But they have to go back home for their next series against England,” said Patel.last_img read more

Justice VR Krishna Iyer: The Conscience Keeper

first_imgJustice VR Krishna IyerThe perception of justice lies at the heart of every democracy. The trust and faith of the people imposes a prodigious responsibility on those who are charged with dispensing justice. Notwithstanding their political, economic or even social orientation, if there is one critical trait that judges must,Justice VR Krishna IyerThe perception of justice lies at the heart of every democracy. The trust and faith of the people imposes a prodigious responsibility on those who are charged with dispensing justice. Notwithstanding their political, economic or even social orientation, if there is one critical trait that judges must have in the discharge of this onerous duty, it is compassion. Empathy for the last man in the last row- and Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer had that in plenty. He marshalled both these traits and deployed them in the service of the disempowered, ostracised and the impecunious elements of our social milieu.It was perhaps an active involvement in public affairs early on in his life that imbued him with a deep insight into the yearning of an ordinary person to be treated in a humane and just manner. For the ordinary Indian still perceives the state as an aggressor whenever it interfaces with him or her. Rarely in the hallowed portals of the Indian judiciary has a person who is active in public life ascended to high judicial office; Justice Iyer was one of those rare exceptions. In the extremely polarised paradigm of Indian political life where suspicion is the norm and scepticism at best the exception, it is perhaps the most eloquent tribute to his integrity and rectitude that he was able to surmount this chasm and command the respect of not only the widest cross-section of society but also his critics. Tragically something that is not even in the realm of possibility today for good people on all sides of the great Indian political abyss.advertisementHe was appointed to the Supreme Court in the wake of the supersession of three judges. It was a moment in India’s national journey when progressive politics and judicial institutions were unfortunately on a collision course. Given his left-of-centre ideological disposition, it was perceived that he would be in sync with the philosophical predilection of the government of the day. However, Justice Iyer knew what is expected of a judge and his conduct exemplified the objectivity and neutrality that must be intrinsic to judicial office.Justice Iyer was a pioneer in improving the plight of undertrials and jail convicts. His verdict in the matter of Sunil Batra vs Delhi Administration would go down in history as the trigger for prison reform. He proscribed the manacling and abuse of prisoners and laid down the maxim ‘bail, not jail’ for undertrials. A dictum turned on its head over the years. Though he was always circumspect about capital punishment, in the later years of his life he became all the more convinced about its amorality. Similarly he displayed the courage of conviction in ensuring that due process is read down into the interpretation of Article 21 (on protection of life and personal liberty), especially when courts at that point in time were diffident in doing so. He considered Article 14 (on equality before the law) both as a sword and shield against the arbitrary conduct of state institutions. This credence was responsible for unleashing a tempest of innovative jurisprudence.Justice Iyer believed in the doctrine of separation of powers and the intricate construction of the constitutional balance. He saw the legislative and judicial institutions not as adversarial entities but as establishments that should mutually reinforce each other with their collective and crystallised wisdom. In turn they would enrich the great democratic experiment by making it more refined, sensitive and nuanced in its character. In his seven years at the Supreme Court he left an indelible imprint on a vast judicial canvas that was perhaps uncharted landscape before he traversed it. Even after retirement he continued to write in a prolific manner commenting on issues in the public domain and espousing various causes. Generations of lawyers and public activists not only benefited from his scholarship but also internalised the mastery he had over the English language that could make any litterateur turn green with envy. He was passionate about a variety of public causes that ranged from the plight of street children to devoting his time and energy into a people’s enquiry into the communal violence that convulsed Gujarat in 2002.Born in 1915 at Thalassery in Kerala, he was witness to perhaps the most momentous century since the dawn of human civilisation. For any individual to be able to absorb the Teutonic changes of the past 100 years and still stay on the cutting edge of the ideational paradigm is perhaps the most articulate testimony of his intellectual capacity. In the hundredth year of his life he has moved over to a world beyond. Mourn we must the passing away of a true visionary, but celebrate also a life truly well lived.advertisement- Manish Tewari is a lawyer and a former Union minister. The views expressed are personal.last_img read more

World Cup: Vettori joins 300 club as Kiwis hunt down Afghanistan

first_imgNew Zealand have won all of their five matches in the ongoing World Cup so farDaniel Vettori passed 300 wickets in one-day internationals as New Zealand cruised to a six-wicket win over Afghanistan in their ICC World Cup match on Sunday.Afghanistan was bowled out for 186 – the fourth time in five matches that New Zealand has kept an opponent under 200 runs – and the hosts passed that total with 13.5 overs to spare.The 36-year-old left-arm spinner Vettori needed two wickets to reach 300 and started ideally by bowling Usman Ghani with his first delivery.Vettori (4-18) reached the milestone when he bowled Nawroz Mangal for 27. He then dismissed Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi (6) and wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai (0) with consecutive deliveries as Afghanistan slumped to 59-6.Trent Boult supported Vettori, taking 3-34 and joining teammate Tim Southee as the leading wicket-taker at this World Cup with 13 dismissals. Vettori is third with 12 as New Zealand bowlers occupy the first three placings on the wicket-taking list.Afghanistan was playing its third match in a week in which it has traveled almost 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) – from Dunedin to Perth and then to Napier – and was coming off a 275-run loss to Australia.The frayed confidence from that game was evident as it lost opener Javed Ahmadi, lbw to Boult, to only the ninth ball of its innings and Ghani five balls later which it was 6-2. Boult then dismissed Asghar Stanikzai (9) and Vettori’s quick three wickets put Afghanistan at strong risk of a sub-100 score.advertisementBut Samiullah Shenwari, Afghanistan’s most consistent batsman, combined in an 86-run partnership with the eighth man in, Najibullah Zadran, to halt the decline.Shenwari played the disciplined sheet-anchor role as Najibullah went for his shots, lacing seven fours and two sixes. He was finally out for 56 off as many balls.Corey Anderson hit Shenwari in the back of the helmet which a bouncer. He was momentarily stunned and later called for medical assistance but continued undeterred. His was the ninth wicket to fall, having made 54 off 110 balls.New Zealand’s batting lineup made what is becoming a trademark barnstorming start. Brendon McCullum made 42 from just 19 balls in a 53-run opening partnership with Martin Guptill, who top-scored with 57.McCullum hit six fours and a six off Mohammad Nabi, but was bowled next ball.Guptill and Kane Williamson (33) put on 58 for the second wicket before Williamson was caught by Shenwari from the bowling of Shapoor Zadran. Guptill went on to his first half century at the tournament from 69 balls before being run out by Shenwari’s throw.Grant Elliott (19) was also run out but Ross Taylor (24) and Corey Anderson (7) steered New Zealand to 188-4.last_img read more

Apple employees to get 50 per cent discount on Apple Watch

first_imgAhead of the Apple Watch’s retail kickoff on this Friday, the company CEO Tim Cook has come up with a good news for all the employees of the company. Cook has announced major discounts on Apple Watch for all its employees as a goodwill gesture.The Apple CEO has reportedly sent a memo to all the employees congratulating them for working hard for years to help this product reach their customers.It would be a great delight for the Apple employees as they will get 50 per cent off on the aluminum sport and stainless models and $550 off on the gold edition variations.It has been said that the special pricing for employees lasts for 90 days, starting on Friday, the day when general Apple Watch pre-orders start.Cook has told employees that “we want you to share in that experience right alongside.”More than one thousand apps were submitted in just four days last week when the App Store started accepting them, and the rate of submissions has only been climbing since then,” he said.According to 9to5Here is the full memo from Cook to the employees:Team,The day we’ve all been waiting for is almost here: Apple Watch is ready to ship.Our retail stores are training for a whole new way to engage customers and help them experience Apple’s most personal product yet. On Friday, in over four hundred stores across four continents, we’ll open our doors to people who want to try on Apple Watch for the first time and start deciding which one is right for them.advertisementTens of millions of people have seen our keynotes and demonstration videos about the watch, and there’s much more to come. Some of the most innovative developers in the world are working on new experiences designed specifically for Apple Watch. More than one thousand apps were submitted in just four days last week when the App Store started accepting them, and the rate of submissions has only been climbing since then.I know that many of you have been looking forward to choosing an Apple Watch for yourselves, and we want to make it easy for you. Starting Friday, in countries where the watch is available for pre-order, a special Employee Purchase Plan will offer a 50% discount on any Apple Watch or Apple Watch Sport for your personal use.As we introduce the watch in more countries, the special pricing for employees will be offered in those countries as well. Discounts will begin at pre-order and last for 90 days after availability. AppleWeb has more details, so I invite you to check it out.Our products enrich people’s lives like no others, and we think Apple Watch is going to delight our customers in ways people can’t yet imagine. We want you to share in that experience right alongside them.Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard for years to help this product reach our customers. And thanks in advance to the thousands of retail employees around the world who will start placing it on people’s wrists starting Friday.last_img read more

India-New Zealand Test series: National selectors set to finalize Indian line-up

first_imgMadan La1 square driving Shivalkar to the fenceWith the first cricket test against New Zealand starting in Bombay on November 10, interest in cricket circles is now riveted on the Indian line-up. The national selectors will be waiting for the Duleep Trophy final, commencing in Madras on November 4, before,Madan La1 square driving Shivalkar to the fenceWith the first cricket test against New Zealand starting in Bombay on November 10, interest in cricket circles is now riveted on the Indian line-up. The national selectors will be waiting for the Duleep Trophy final, commencing in Madras on November 4, before finalizing the Indian team.Nobody is likely to grudge Bishen Singh Bedi’s appointment as captain for the first two tests. He may not have proved himself a great captain so far, but in terms of seniority, experience, shrewdness and accomplishment as a player he appears to be the best choice for the post at present. That he has yet to gain full confidence of the selectors is reflected in his appointment for the first two tests only. While it is hoped that his generalship will grow in stature, he should guard against his penchant for faux pas. The selectors are not likely to have forgotten how he gave up the Sabrina Park test against the West Indies by declaring at 97 for 5 when the rivals needed only 13 runs for victory! The Vivian Richards incident in the Port of Spain test, when the “black Bradman” was not allowed by Bedi to resume his batting early after he had got hurt, also generated controversy, although, to be fair, it is matter of debate whether the Indian skipper was right in exercising his prerogative under the cricket law.We will again be dependent on spin attack for the simple reason that there are just no fast bowlers on the scene. Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal are not even medium pace; more like slow-medium. Both are good enough only to take the shine off the ball and sometimes keep the runs down if the spinners lose their rhythm. Frankly, both of them are in the side not because of their penetration as bowlers but because of their additional utility as batsmen.advertisementThe spinning department will be led by Bedi, who, with his smooth and easy left-arm bowling action, is functioning with his usual efficiency, as could be seen in the Irani Trophy match. It is tough luck for the competent Shivalkar that he has had to remain on the sidelines because he bowls the same stuff as the Indian skipper. The off-spinner’s job should go to Venkatraghvan, who can also lend some support to the batting. Prasanna, not getting any younger or fitter, seems to be past his prime but could be recalled if his sharply-turning spinners are needed on a helpful wicket.As for leg-spinning, Chandreshekhar will take top honours. But he pushes the ball through at almost slow-medium pace and cannot be regarded as a genuine wristy leg-spinner of the Subash Gupta vintage. Because of his polio-affected hand, he has the natural advantage of an occasional, undecipherable turn, and can, therefore, prove a trump card. But when out of his element, as happens not uneaten, he can be a miserable performer because of his inability to command the nuances of flight and spin.The batting side will be led by Gavaskar and Vishwanath. Although some believe that the Indian opener is the best batsman in the country, I am inclined to give the pride of place to Vishwanath, who is cast in the same mould as technically superior batsmen of the past like Vijay Hazare, Vijay Manjrekar and Chandu Borde. The other two specialist batsmen are likely to be Anshuman Gaekwad and Brijesh Patel. There would be one more place for a specialist batsmen and the four likely contenders are Ashok Mankad, Vengsarkar, Surinder Amarnath and Parthsarathy Sharma. I would plump for Vengsarkar. In his knock of 90-odd runs for Bombay in the Irani Trophy match Mankad did not show much self-assurance. If Mankad and Vengsarkar were to be considered on par as regards their batting ability, Vengsarkar is the younger man. Sharma should be left out because of his poor fielding, although he is one of the best strikers of the ball in the country off the front foot. Surinder Amarnath has not done much after his century in New Zealand as his batting continues to lack anchorage.The wicket-keeping job is Kirmani’s, unless Farookh Engineer makes a last-minute appearance. In that case, Kirmani will have to be sidelined again as Engineer, his advancing years notwithstanding, continues to be the best in the country, apart from his forceful batting. Thus the Indian team for the first test against New Zealand in batting order could be: Gavaskar, Vengsarkar, A. Gaekwad, Vishwanath, Brijesh Patel, Mohinder Amarnath, Madan Lal, Venkatraghvan, Kirmani, Bedi, Chandreshekhar. 12th man Surinder Amarnath. It is necessary to emphasize that nobody should be selected who is a poor fielder and all the above-mentioned players are fairly good in the field with the possible exception of Chandreshekhar.advertisementWhile the game of cricket has a pronounced element of chance, it may not be out of place to make a prognostication on the basis of some indicators. The most probable outcome of the series would be a draw. India cannot be rated a very strong side in world cricket today. Even Pakistan, with their superior batting and pace bowling, are a stronger side. New Zealand has never been a front-ranking side in international cricket and the present team is regarded as somewhat depleted. Over the years India-New Zealand confrontations show that neither has been able to establish supremacy over the other. Some may feel that India, playing on her home ground, may just scrape home the winner. On the other hand, New Zealand has the advantage of pace bowling. India, being totally dependent on spin attack, is to that extent at a disadvantage. Spin bowling has severe limitations in terms of penetration. If a batsman decides to just stick to the crease and not take any initiative, it is rather difficult for a spin bowler to dislodge him. But pace bowling can shatter an obdurate batman’s defence by sheer speed and hostility.Roy Gilchrist of the West Indies, who annihilated our batsmen in the 1958-59 West Indies-India series, is reportedly keen to come to India for coaching. He is presently working in a rubber factory in Manchester. But Gilchrist is mentioned as just an example and we could spread our net far and wide and look for other speed merchants.last_img read more

Aamir to Salman: Today is Eid, Bajrangi Bhaijaan toh banti hai

first_imgSalman Khan has invited Aamir Khan and his family to watch his latest release Bajrangi Bhaijaan on the occasion of Eid. When asked about his Eid plans, Aamir told reporters at his residence, “Salman has arranged a special screening of Bajrangi Bhaijaan for my family tonight at 9pm; and today is Eid, so film toh banti hai (it calls for a film). After all, Salman has personally texted me for the screening of his film.”RELATED: Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan together again? The two most influential Khans have worked together in Andaaz Apna Apna (1994). And though after that the duo was not seen together on the silver screen, Salman and Aamir have remained close friends all these years. The two never miss out on any chance to praise each other. A few days ago, Aamir took to Twitter to express his wish to watch Bajrangi Bhaijaan.Can’t wait to watch Bajrangi Bhaijan!!! Aamir Khan (@aamir_khan) July 16, 2015RELATED: Pumped up Aamir Khan learning wrestling, Haryanvi for DangalThis Eid, Aamir chose to begin his celebrations with the media. His wife Kiran Rao and son Azad, too, were present to greet fans. The father-son duo sported crisp white kurta-pyjamas. The PK star, while sharing his childhood memories associated with celebration of Eid, said, “When we were young, we used to wish Salaam and Eid Mubarak to each and everyone to get maximum Eidi from the elders. Then, with that small amount of money, we used to buy kites and manja.”advertisement Aamir Khan is currently shooting for his upcoming film Dangal. The film is based on the real life story of famous wrestler Mahavir Singh and his daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat, and the relationship between them. The release date of Dangal hasn’t been announced yet.last_img read more

EPL: Chelsea manager Joese Mourinho compares Pedro to Diego Maradona

first_imgChelsea manager Jose Mourinho compared the club’s new signing Pedro Rodriguez to Argentine legend Diego Maradona after the Spaniard played a key role in the English Premier League (EPL) giant’s first win of the season on Sunday.Pedro scored a goal and set up Diego Costa for the second as Chelsea defeated West Bromwich Albion 3-2. He was put straight into Mourinho’s starting XI following his 21 million euro move to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona on Thursday.Also read: Barcelona open with win; Chelsea rebounds  “He (Pedro) wasn’t quite Maradona but he was close. He’s a very good player. There is always a question mark because of how many top players come to England and don’t perform immediately,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by Chelsea TV on Sunday.Mourinho admitted that he was concerned over how quickly Pedro would adapt to Premier League football, having spent his entire professional career at the Nou Camp, but never doubted the 28-year-old’s ability.”We have examples in our club and there are lots of examples at other clubs, so it’s very nice for him to come and straight away perform the way he did,” the manager said.Also read: Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho loves Pedro’s ambition “I expected him to perform like that because he had a good pre-season, and he played three competitive matches. He came with minutes, with intensity, so it was not a question of intensity and condition, it was a question of understanding,” Mourinho concluded.Pedro labelled his first game in the Premier League as a “dream” and also thanked the club’s fans for their support.advertisement”Dream debut, win and goal. Thank you all,” the Spaniard tweeted alongside a picture of him celebrating his 20th-minute goal.last_img read more