first_imgMorgan insisted he did not expect other players in the Morgan insisted he did not expect other players in the side to follow his lead on Bangladesh because of his position as captain. “Absolutely not,” he said. “It is a completely individual thing. “The decision any individual makes within the side is the right one, and everybody will stand by whoever wants to go or not. I think that is very important.” Meanwhile Morgan is presiding over an impressive transformation in Englands limited overs form after their embarrassing first-round exit at last years 50-over World Cup. Victories in Cardiff and Manchester would see England complete a first unbeaten home season in white-ball cricket and Morgan said: “That will be a huge achievement. “The performances we have put in, particularly (in Leeds) when we were not at our best, have shown great character and depth within the side. “I think our best is good enough to beat most sides. It is just when we are off it is important other guys fall in behind — and (this win) proved that.” England slumped to 72 for four at Headingeley chasing 248 before fifties from Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow got them back on track. “If we were chasing 290 it might have been a different story,” said Morgan. “We might have had to press the button a little bit earlier but certainly Ben Stokess innings showed a lot of maturity. Ben is a hugely talented player but very aggressive too.” AFP KHS KHSlast_img read more

Lewis Hamilton needs a Suzuka hat-trick after Sepang blow

first_imgLewis Hamilton will have to dig deep to overcome the heartbreak of Malaysia as he heads into Sundays Formula One Japanese Grand Prix needing a third straight win at the Suzuka circuit to revive his flagging title prospects.The triple world champions hopes of claiming a fourth title were dealt a heavy blow on Sunday at the Sepang circuit when he was forced to retire with a blown engine while holding a comfortable lead with 16 laps remaining.That allowed Australian Daniel Ricciardo to score his first win of the year ahead of Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen in the teams first one-two finish since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix.Had Hamilton won, scoring a landmark 50th career victory, he would have vaulted back to the top of the overall standings ahead of Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg.Instead he heads to Japan needing to bridge a 23-point gap to the German, who finished third in Malaysia after being spun around and dropped to the back of the field by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the start.Vettel will drop three grid places in Japan as punishment for tipping Rosberg into the spin. (Malaysian GP: Daniel Ricciardo leads Red Bull one-two as Lewis Hamilton retires)”Its not how you fall, its how you get back up,” Hamilton told reporters.”If I can find strength from within to be able to come to these next races and perform like Ive performed this weekend then, providing the car holds together, good things will come.”advertisementSundays engine failure was the latest in a spate of reliability issues that have plagued Hamilton’s 2016 campaign and prompted the Briton to hint at a conspiracy. (Mercedes reaping rewards on and off the F1 track)”Someone doesn’t want me to win this year. My question is to Mercedes. We have so many engines made but mine are the only ones failing this year,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.”Someone needs to give me some answers because this is not acceptable. We are fighting for the championship and only my engines are failing. It does not sit right with me.”Hamilton turned a deficit of 43 points to Rosberg earlier in the season into a 19-point advantage over the German with a streak of six wins from seven races, but he is running out of time to mount another comeback with only five races left.Rosberg, whose Finnish father Keke took the 1982 title, is keeping his focus squarely on Japan.”Im quite liking my approach of just seeing it as a weekend-on-a-weekend basis so dont have such thoughts and just accepting the way it went today,?? he said.Next is Suzuka where I want to try and win again.??Mercedes can win the constructors’ championship on Sunday for the third year in a row.McLaren will also be hoping to put on a strong showing in engine supplier Hondas home race.The former champions and Japanese manufacturer, who own the Suzuka circuit, renewed their once-dominant partnership last season but endured a bruising year.Fernando Alonso criticised the engine as GP2 standard during last years race but the team have made steady progress this season and are optimistic about their chances of finishing in the points on home soil.last_img read more

Adelaide, adversity and not so ‘faff’

first_imgIs it Adelaide or is it adversity that brings the best out of Francois Du Plessis? Just two days ago, Faf was found guilty of ball tampering, he was fined his entire match fee from the second Test vs Australia, many labeled him as a cheat.When he walked in to bat at the Adelaide Oval, his team was struggling at 44 for 3 in their first ever day-night Test match. The partisan Adelaide crowd booed him as he made his way to the middle. (Faf du Plessis appeals ICC decision after being charged for ball-tampering)Du Plessis’ response to all of this was as vocal as his response to the ball tampering verdict. The right hander was a man on a mission – he took his guard, got the feel of the ball and then started to flourish. It seems with every boundary, he was smashing the allegations that were framed against him. Wickets kept falling at the other end but nothing bothered the 32-year-old as he completed his 6th Test ton. It was his 118 not out that took South Africa to a respectable total and then Faf decided to declare the innings at 259 for 9.This is not the first time that Adelaide Oval has witnessed this courageous side of Faf du Plessis. Four years back, at the same venue, du Plessis made a name for himself as he played a marathon knock of 110 not out in the second innings on his Test debut. Du Plessis’ 376-ball vigil which lasted nearly eight hours denied Australia a victory. Du Plessis batted out the entire final day and pulled off an improbable draw. The result was no less than a win.advertisementSo the man from Pretoria now has two unbeaten tons in as many matches at the Adelaide oval. Both these came in adverse conditions and was a real test of his character. Du Plessis’ team which stood in solidarity with his skipper during the mint-gate saga will now hope to deliver a win for their skipper. South Africa have already sealed the three-match Test series and if they win the third Test they will become the first team to whitewash Australia down under in a series of three or more Tests. For du Plessis it will be a special achievement as he will become the only captain to whitewash Australia 5-0 in ODIs and 3-0 in Tests.last_img read more

Benkovic reveals why he pushed for Celtic move

first_imgFilip Benkovic has revealed that he decided to join Celtic in search of regular minutes as he aims to eventually break through at Leicester City.Benkovic moved to the Foxes from Dinamo Zagreb in a reported £13 million ($17m) deal earlier this summer. However, the Croatia Under-21 international was told that he may not be a regular first-team player, with the likes of Harry Maguire, Jonny Evans and Wes Morgan ahead of him in the pecking order at King Power Stadium. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Benkovic thus told Claude Puel that he would like a short-term move away from the club, and he subsequently decided to join the Scottish champions despite interest from other clubs.Speaking to Goal , he revealed: “I was in Leicester for three weeks, everything was great, I really have no objections to anything. “Everyone worried about me, let me know how much they valued me, but, for me, the most important thing was to play. I didn’t want to be at Leicester to be on the bench.”I talked to the coach, told him how much I respect the club, but I want to go forward day-by-day, and that can only be with games. I’m young, I need minutes and the coach agrees with my decision.”Benkovic played 28 minutes for the Foxes in their 4-0 Carabao Cup win over Fleetwood Town, and he is aware that he will have to improve his game if he is to become a regular upon his return to Leicester.”I’m sure I’ve done well, I just want to play as much as possible, so a one-year loan has been agreed and Leicester has the option of me coming back in the winter,” he added.”There were other options for a loan, one Italian, one Spanish and one German club, but I just wanted to be at Celtic. That is why I think this will be the best preparation for my return to England and the Premier League, I’m so happy with this option.”My great career goal is to play as many games at the highest level, and that is for sure the English league. I’m aware of how much work I have to put into my game to make progress.”I want to return to Leicester as soon as possible, but to return with the Premier League standard.”Benkovic saw his new side beat Rangers 1-0 in the Old Firm derby on Sunday, and could make his debut against St Mirren after the international break.last_img read more

Mou: Smalling’s hair his only issue

first_imgManchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been impressed with Chris Smalling’s recent form, though he is not keen on the centre-back’s new haircut.Smalling scored what proved to be the winning goal in Saturday’s 2-1 triumph at Watford, ending the hosts’ 100 per cent start to the season, even if late pressure meant it was a close shave for United.Aside from the goal, the defender’s display was impressive, as he dealt with Troy Deeney particularly effectively at Vicarage Road, proving to be a cut above the opposition. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! But, after sporting a new ‘do’ which appeared to be a combination of cornrows and bantu knots, Smalling should not be expecting any style tips from Mourinho.”He was good, the only thing I don’t like from Chris at this moment is his haircut, but I am nobody to tell him that,” Mourinho joked in his post-match news conference.”But he’s playing really well, also Victor [Lindelof]. And I repeat, Marouane [Fellaini] is really important for them in two difficult matches, matches of two-against-two, because Burnley and Watford play two strikers, two powerful strikers.”They can hold the ball, they can make runs, they are good in the air, they are physical, clever, so I think these three guys [Smalling, Lindelof and Fellaini] were very important for us today again, and when a central defender can score a goal, even better.”Fellaini made his second start of the season on Saturday after impressing against Burnley last time out, and Mourinho is delighted with the Belgian’s form, while also crediting his “simple” style of play.”We made defensive mistakes against Brighton and against Tottenham,” Mourinho said. “Against Brighton we didn’t deserve to win that match, but against Tottenham I think we did deserve to win it.”But six goals and defensive mistakes, and then we go to two matches away – difficult matches, different stadiums, Burnley, Watford – and I felt that my central defenders they needed, especially in this moment of a bit of instability, they needed somebody to support and to give them the first wall; physicality.”But Marouane is giving us more than that. He is giving us that, but he’s giving us also quality and simplicity in his football. He’s playing simple.”He’s playing simple and well. So I’m really happy. I’m really happy with Marouane.”last_img read more

Liverpool vs Southampton: Firmino & Shaqiri start for Reds

first_imgLiverpool have registered five consecutive wins in the Premier League and will be looking for their sixth when they host Southampton at Anfield on Saturday.Jurgen Klopp’s side also come off the backs of an emphatic 3-2 win against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, with Roberto Firmino netting the winner deep into stoppage time after coming on as a second-half substitute.The Reds have not won six games in a row in the Premiership era, with only Chelsea matching their five-game winning streak. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Game Liverpool vs Southampton Date Saturday, September 22 Time 3pm BST / 10pm EST TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game will be shown on NBCSN and streamed online via the NBC Sports Live app. US TV channel Online stream NBCSN NBC Sports Live In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be televised. UK TV channel Online stream N/A N/A Squads & Team News Position Liverpool players Goalkeepers Alisson, Mignolet, Kelleher Defenders Clyne, Gomez, Van Dijk, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Klavan Midfielders Jones, Fabinho, Milner, Keita, Shaqiri, Wijnaldum, Markovic, Henderson Forwards Sturridge, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Solanke Roberto Firmino has made a full recovery from the eye injury sustained during the 2-1 win at Tottenham and comes into the starting XI for Daniel Sturridge. Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri replace Joel Matip and James Milner respectively.Dejan Loven still remains on the fringe of returning to training.Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains sidelined with a long-term injury.Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri; Mane, Firmino, Salah Position Southampton players Goalkeepers McCarthy, Gunn, Lewis, Forster Defenders Soares, Yoshida, Vestergaard, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand, Targett, Bednarek, Valery Midfielders Davis, Elyounoussi, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Lemina, Redmond, Hojbjerg,  Forwards Long, Austin, Gallagher, Gabbiadini Danny Ings will not be in the side to face his former club as a loanee, while Manolo Gabbiadini is still on the cusp of a return from a hamstring injury.Southampton XI: McCarthy; Cedric, Vestergaard, Hoedt, Targett; Lemina, Romeu; Redmond, Hojbjerg, Bertrand; LongBetting & Match Odds Liverpool are priced at odds of winning 2/9 according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 13/2. A win for the Saints is priced at 18/1.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.Match Preview James Milner Daniel Sturridge Liverpool 2018-19Klopp’s current side have received criticism for not putting goals away as clinically as they did last season, with accusations of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane not doing their best in the final third, but that hasn’t stopped the Reds from picking up five consecutive Premier League wins.Liverpool head into the home fixture against the Saints buoyed by two massive victories against the high-profile likes of Tottenham and PSG, with both matches won through narrow one-goal margins.A home fixture against 13th-placed Southampton may just be what Salah needs to regain momentum and form, though his two goals and two assists this season are the same as what he achieved this time last year.The Egyptian was undeniably frustrated to have been unable to score against Tottenham and PSG which left the likes of Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Giorginio Wijnaldum stepping up in his goal-scoring absence.Sturridge made his first ever Champions League start for Liverpool against PSG and scored, drafted in as first-choice forward ahead of Firmino who sat out the first half due to an eye injury.The former Chelsea man may be putting pressure on competition for the front-three, ahead of what could be several key clashes with Liverpool over the next few weeks– including Chelsea twice in the league and Carabao Cup, Manchester City and an away trip to Napoli. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Hazard: I want to work with Mourinho again

first_imgEden Hazard has revealed that he wants to work under Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho again.Hazard played for the Portuguese for two years at Chelsea, between 2013 and 2015, before Mourinho was sacked.Nevertheless, he won the Premier League title and the League Cup in his second spell at Stamford Bridge, with Hazard a key member of the title-winning side, scoring 14 league goals and providing 10 assists. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! A poor second season led to Mourinho’s sacking, however, with his Belgian star struggling for form – he scored just four goals in the league.Mourinho is again under the microscope, this time at Manchester United, with the club already seven points behind the Blues and Manchester City.Hazard, though, maintains that he regrets how their professional ties ended, and would like to play for him again.“The last season under Mourinho was not pleasant anymore. We didn’t win, we got into a sort of routine, training-training without having fun, it was better for all parties that the collaboration came to an end,” he told Belgian newspaper HLN.”If I’m now asked one coach with whom I want to work again, then I say: Mourinho.”Eden Hazard Jose MourinhoHazard admits that Mourinho can lash out at his players if results begin to slide, and he believes there is one easy way to get him on side: by winning.“If the results are poor, he starts criticising his players – you know that, but afterwards I’ve been able to accept that, it’s part of his character,” he added.“If you win, Mourinho is the best coach you can imagine. Then he is a friend of yours – you can do whatever you want. Want one day off? He gives you two. If everything goes well, Mourinho will experience football like me: with ease. Even his own image of an extremely defensive coach was not too bad. He is far from adventurous like [Pep] Guardiola, but the year in which we became champions, we scored a lot of goals and played good games.“I do not regret many things in my career, but that I have not been able to work with Mourinho at Chelsea anymore [is one]. We had a team to get a lot of prizes, but we just ended up in a negative spiral.”During Mourinho’s final months at Chelsea, Hazard’s form was held up as emblematic that he struggles to bring the best out of players who are creative, but the Belgian has taken responsibility for his own shortcomings.“In those twelve years of professional career, I have had one bad year – the last six months under Mourinho, and it was partly my own fault,” he said.”After the title, we had asked Mourinho for extra holidays. I was totally out of shape at the start of the season, I remembered that lesson this summer – four weeks after the World Cup I was back in training at Chelsea.”last_img read more

I’m happy now House of Cards has started! – Pochettino

first_imgTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has had to play politics on plenty of occasions since his arrival in north London, and it may be that he has been taking his inspiration from Netflix drama House of Cards.The Spurs manager has had to deal with plenty of ups and downs already this season, with his side on the verge of elimination from the Champions League while having also recorded their best ever start to a Premier League campaign.This all comes off the back of the club failing to sign any players during the summer transfer window while the backdrop of continued delays to the new White Hart Lane stadium continue to concern supporters. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Pochettino admitted ahead of his side’s defeat to Manchester City that he has never felt worse during his five years at Tottenham, and with the Real Madrid manager’s post still vacant, some observers believe he is laying the groundwork to depart the club despite having only signed a new five-year contract in June.But the Argentine’s mood does seem to have lifted following his team’s win over Wolves on Saturday, though the result at Molineux might not have as much to do with it as the return of Pochettino’s favourite White House-based series.Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s must-win clash with PSV, he said: “It’s a weird season because I’m so happy now because I’ve started the new series of House of Cards.”I watched three episodes. I learn a lot. It’s similar. It represents very well how we are. Sometimes football is so political.”It is not the first time Pochettino has looked to use external distractions in his press conferences this season, with the former Southampton boss notably more jovial with reporters than he had perhaps been previously.Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham 2018-19In September he likened his side’s experience of top-level European football to that of a cow watching a train ahead of their Champions League opener against Inter.Meanwhile on Friday he laughed off concerns regarding his side’s late kick-off against Wolves, instead suggesting that the only one who would be upset would be his dog, Sansa.He has also not been afraid to voice his own political opinions, claiming earlier this season that Brexit was turning into a “car crash” as the United Kingdom edged towards leaving the European Union.House of Cards has now entered its sixth and final season on Netflix – the first without Kevin Spacey following his sacking amid sexual misconduct allegations against the Hollywood star.Robin Wright has taken up the mantle of the lead in the Emmy and Golden Globe winning show in her role as Claire Underwood.last_img read more

Chelsea F.C. calm nerves and extend lead with win over Southampton

first_imgBuoyant Chelsea extended their Premier League lead and calmed nerves at Stamford Bridge with a 4-2 win over Southampton on Tuesday that moved them seven points clear of their nearest pursuers Tottenham Hotspur.Goals from Eden Hazard, captain Gary Cahill and two from a buzzing Diego Costa ensured Chelsea stayed on course for the double after they beat Tottenham by the same score in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.The victory pushed Chelsea on to 78 points after 33 games and exerted more pressure on second-placed Spurs, who must win a potentially awkward London derby at Crystal Palace on Wednesday to restore the gap to four points.”We had a really important psychological test and our answer was good,” manager Antonio Conte said. “We have reached the final of the FA Cup but the other competition is totally open. But we fight until the end.”Conte juggled his team again on Tuesday starting with Costa and Hazard, who came off the bench at Wembley, and his tactics were rewarded.It took them less than five minutes to open a lead when Costa controlled a pass from Cesc Fabregas, surged forward and cut the ball back for the advancing Hazard, who angled his shot into the bottom corner of Fraser Forster’s net.Claude Puel’s Southampton worked their way back into the game, keeping tidy possession in midfield and making surging runs with Sofiane Boufal, Ryan Bertrand and Manolo Gabbiadini looking dangerous.Their industry paid off in the 24th minute when former Chelsea midfielder Oriel Romeu forced home from close range after Gabbiadini’s shot clipped the leg of keeper Thibaut Courtois and fell into his path.advertisementChelsea’s lead in the Premier League has been chipped away in recent weeks by a resurgent Tottenham, but Saturday’s fiery Cup win had clearly boosted Conte’s side.They grabbed the lead again just before halftime when a Fabregas corner was cleared only as far as N’Golo Kante 30 metres out. The France midfielder curled the ball back into the area for captain Gary Cahill to head home.Costa, who has been misfiring of late, took his chance in the 53rd minute and powered in a header — his 50th Premier League goal — after a corner and one-two between Fabregas and Hazard.He added a well-worked second for good measure in the 89th after a one-two with Hazard.Southampton scored a stoppage-time consolation through another former Chelsea player Ryan Bertrand.Conte delighted fans by bringing on club captain John Terry, who announced his end-of-season departure from Chelsea last week after more than 18 years as a senior player, for the last five minutes of the game.The former Juventus and Italy coach has used 36-year-old former England captain Terry sparingly since arriving at Stamford Bridge last July.Conte, already a favourite at the ground where two seasons ago Jose Mourinho held sway, is aiming to emulate Chelsea predecessor and compatriot Carlo Ancelotti by winning the double in his first year in charge.last_img read more

Sports teacher arrested for sending obscene messages to girl

first_imgDatia (MP), May 18 (PTI) Cyber Crime Branch of Bhopal police today arrested a 35-year-old sports teacher here for allegedly sending obscene messages to a girl.Aditya Babele, who works with a private school, prepared a fake Facebook profile, and sent obscene messages to a Bhopal-based girl from that profile, Civil Lines police station in-charge Ajay Bhargava said.The girl had lodged a complaint with the Cyber Crime Branch which arrested Babele today.”Further investigation is underway,” Bhargava added. PTI Cor ADU MAS KRKlast_img read more

Mary Kom all set to return to action after 1-year hiatus

first_imgOut of competitive action for over a year, five-time world champion MC Mary Kom will return to the ring in an invitational tournament to be held in Mongolia next month.Mary Kom, an Olympic bronze-medallist, will compete in the 51kg category at the tournament scheduled from June 20 to 26.”I have returned to 48kg but in this tournament, I will fight in the 51kg category because I need some practice after year away from competition. However, I will be preparing myself in the 48kg category for the Asian Championships in November,” Mary Kom told PTI.The celebrated boxer decided to return to the light flyweight last year after the Commonwealth Games organisers decided to introduce the category in the 2018 Gold Coast edition.Mary Kom’s last world title, in the 2010 Barbados edition, had come in the 48kg category, while four others had been achieved in pinweight (46kg) prior to that.She had jumped to flyweight 51kg after it was included in the 2012 Olympic Games. The Manipuri went on to win the bronze medal in the Games, besides claiming a gold in the 2014 Asian Games where women’s boxing made its debut.”I have been training hard for the last six months and I decided to trial for this tournament because I wanted to test myself. Since 48kg was not a part of the schedule in Mongolia, I decided to compete in 51kg,” she said.”But it is 48kg which will be my focus once I am back from Mongolia,” she added.Mary Kom has not competed since last year’s World Championships, where she lost in the second round and missed qualification for the Rio Olympics.advertisementPriyanka Chaudhary (60kg) and Kalawanti (75kg) are the other members of the three-strong women’s team.A mixed Indian team will also be travelling for an invitational tournament in Kazakhstan in July. The team for Kazakhstan comprises four men and three women.The men’s team features national champion Deepak Singh (52kg), Devanshu (81kg) Gaurav Chauhan (91kg) and Parveen Kumar (+91kg).The women’s team includes, Nation’s Cup gold-medallist Neeraj (51kg), and new entrants Siwi Boora (60kg) and Lovelina (75kg).Siwi is the younger sister of former World Championships silver-medallist Saweety Boora.last_img read more

Lewis Hamilton on record pace in Austrian GP practice

first_imgLewis Hamilton, triple world champion, smashed his Red Bull Ring lap record twice in Austrian Grand Prix practice on Friday, with Ferrari’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel close behind his Mercedes rival.The two, separated at the top by 14 points after eight races, got back down to business after calming a ‘road rage’ controversy that has dominated Formula One since the previous race in Azerbaijan last month.Hamilton, the only driver on the current grid to have won in Austria following the retirement of 2016 champion and team mate Nico Rosberg, swiftly demolished the lap record he set last year.The Briton then lowered his morning time by another half second in the afternoon to end the day with a best time of one minute 05.483 seconds.In changeable conditions in the scenic Styrian hills, with bright sunshine mixed in with the occasional rain shower, four times world champion Vettel was second on the timesheets with a lap 0.147 slower than Hamilton’s.Red Bull’s Dutch teenager Max Verstappen had been second in the morning, when Vettel was only fourth and half a second off the pace.Mercedes have won every year since Austria returned to the calendar in 2014, after being absent for a decade, with Hamilton triumphant in 2016.The Briton and his Ferrari rival have been closely matched on race pace, with each winning three grands prix so far this season.Vettel will be happy to have the focus back on the racing after making a public apology to Hamilton for the Baku furore last month and his comments afterwards.advertisementThe German had driven into the back of Hamilton’s car, while the race leader was waiting for the safety car to pit, and had pulled alongside to remonstrate. He ultimately finished fourth, a place ahead of Hamilton. He then accused Hamilton of “brake-testing” him, words he retracted this week.Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas was third fastest in both sessions, with Verstappen dropping back to fourth in the afternoon after being sidelined early in the session with a brake problem.Red Bull’s Azerbaijan race winner Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen were fifth and sixth in both.Ricciardo injected some Australian humour into the build-up when he jokingly told Sky Sports television, while struggling to keep a straight face, that Baku had changed everything.”I always said I want to win five races and retire so I’m probably not going to compete this weekend,” he smiled. “I think I’m done. So it’s changed pretty dramatically my position in the sport.”He then reassured “people at home who don’t understand my silly sense of humour” not to worry.last_img read more

Atletico Madrid CEO reveals reason behind split with two-time ISL champions Atletico de Kolkata

first_imgSince the inception of the Indian Super League (ISL), the Kolkata franchise had a tie-up with La Liga club Atletico Madrid and hence, was named Atletico de Kolkata. With the split now, the abbreviation ‘ATK’ is said to be the brand.Atletico Madrid had 25 per cent shares in the ISL club and have sold them to ATK’s principal owner Sanjiv Goenka.Atletico Madrid CEO, Miguel Angel Gil Marin, said that club will “promote those franchises where Atletico had the majority of the capital.”Marin mentioned that majority stakehold “allows it to be able to develop the image of Atletico de Madrid through its academy and the work in professional football.”The CEO stated the same as the reason for the split with the ISL franchise — they were unable to develop the image of Atletico Madrid through their academy.”The majority holder of Atletico Kolkata does not allow the development of the image of Atletico de Madrid through our academy in India,” Marin said on the club’s official website.Marin added that India has great potential but they were unable to work much with the children and develop the game on the ground level.”India is an incredible country, with a great potential. Atletico has done a great job in Calcutta (Kolkata). We have managed to make Atletico de Madrid loved and recognised, but we need to develop it there, working, in addition to a professional team, with the children, through our academy. This is something that we cannot do with the majority shareholder of the franchise,” Marin added.advertisementMarin expressed that “we want to continue being close to all the fans of Calcutta (Kolkata) and of the whole of India.”The fourth season of the Indian Super League is likely to begin from November 19. The league will be of a longer duration this time and will have two debutants in Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC.last_img read more

Former Olympic gold medallist Samuel Sanchez fails doping test

first_imgSpain’s former Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez has been suspended with immediate effect after testing positive for banned growth hormones, cycling’s governing body said on Thursday.Sanchez, 39, won the 2008 Olympic road race in Beijing and five individual stages in the Vuelta a Espana between 2005 and 2007 as well as an individual stage on the 2011 Tour de France.He will now miss this year’s Vuelta, which begins on Saturday in Nimes, France.The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) said in a statement on its website that Sanchez had been notified of an “Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) of GHRP-2*” from an out-of-competition test on Aug. 9.”The rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample. In accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair,” the UCI said.GHRP-2 refers to GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs), which are classified as “Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics” on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2017 Prohibited List.Sanchez’s team BMC Racing immediately announced his suspension and said he would be replaced by Loic Vliegen in the Vuelta.”In accordance with BMC Racing Team’s zero tolerance policy and UCI regulation, Sanchez has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect,” BMC said in a statement.”Until the results of the B sample are provided, no further action will be taken. All riders and staff are held to the highest ethical standard and BMC Racing Team is extremely disappointed to share this news on the eve of the Vuelta a Espana.”advertisementlast_img read more

Nick Kyrgios sweeps away Rafael Nadal in Cincinnati Open quarter-final

first_imgThe excitable Nick Kyrgios made short work of top-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal in a dazzling 6-2 7-5 victory on Friday at the Cincinnati Open.In a highly-anticipated quarter-final matchup, Australian Kyrgios breezed past the 15-times grand slam champion Nadal in about one hour and 20 minutes.”He obviously is a tough match always,” Nadal told reporters. “Nick is a great player, but I played poorly.”I started the match well and then I played a very bad game in the second set when he broke me. I played some good points. He had some mistakes and I was able to be back in the match. And then I played a terrible game. So it was a bad match for me.”Despite the defeat, the 31-year-old Nadal will for the fourth time in his career be the world number one when the ATP rankings come out next week.The 22-year-old Kyrgios recorded 10 aces in a strong serving display, and moved to the semi-final to face David Ferrer, who produced another shocking result in dominating third-seed Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-3.Kyrgios, known as much for his temper as for his brilliant shot-making, was poised against Nadal.The young contender blew a chance to close the match while serving at 5-4 in the second set when Nadal broke him. But he promptly broke back before closing out the night.Earlier in the day, Kyrgios completed his match, that began on Thursday before it was held over due to rain, defeating hard-serving 6-foot 11-inch Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 4-6 7-6(6) 6-3.advertisementKyrgios did have an outburst in that match when he threw his racquet down in disgust after losing two straight service points in the tiebreak to even it up at 6-6.The outburst appeared to work as he won the next two points and then dominated a deflated Karlovic in the final set.Nadal was somewhat rusty in beating fellow countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6(1) 6-2 earlier in the day but few would have expected his result against Kyrgios.On the other side of the draw, red-hot American John Isner beat countryman Jared Donaldson 7-6(4) 7-5 to set up a semi-final against seventh-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who sailed past Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-2 6-1.last_img read more


first_imgJoshna, Dipika can break into worlds top 5: Indias foreign coach By Bharat Sharma Greater Noida, Aug 25 (PTI) Leading womens squash players, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, are very much capable of breaking into the top five of the world rankings, believes Indias Egyptian coach Achraf El Karagui. Both Chinappa and Pallikal have broken the top-10 barrier in the past (they remain the only two Indians to do so) but have been unable to cement their place in the elite club. They are currently ranked 14th and 22nd respectively. “They definitely have it in them to be in the top five. Joshna is playing better than ever, she is supremely fit. Dipika too is supremely talented and has been working hard of late to improve her fitness,” Karagui told PTI on the sidelines of the Senior Nationals here today. “I see both of them playing for the next five, six years. Dipika mind you is only 25 despite being on the pro tour for a long time. Joshna is 30 and in squash you tend to peak when you are in your 30s. She has been playing brilliant in the last 12 months or so,” said the foreign coach, who has been in India for over an year now. Results have too come too since Karagui took charge of the senior and junior teams in July last year. Most notable performances came from Chinappa, who made the top 10 for the first time before winning the prestigious Asian Championships earlier this year, and Velavan Senthilkumar, who won the coveted British Junior Open beating compatriot Abhay Singh inthe U-19 final. According to world number 27 and countrys number one male player, Saurav Ghosal, Indian squash is in the middle of a golden generation. However, Karagui feels a lot more needs to be done and achieved. “All the leading Indians including Saurav can be world beaters but they must know how to win close matches against the top players. And thats what I have been focusing on in the last 12 months. “They have all the strokes in the book but they need to get better at the tactical side of the game. Modern squash is fiercely competitive and you should be able to play in different ways depending on what the situation demands. Like when to attack and when to slow things down,” said Karagui, who is also a chemical engineer. Karagui, whose contract is extended till 2019, is primarily targeting a pool of 6-7 world class players. And he wants Indians to be worlds best and not just be satisfied with medals at Asian and Commonwealth Games. “When I came here, I could sense there was a lot of focus on doing well in Asian and Commonwealth Games. But with that approach, you cannot be world beaters. You have to aim to be the best. And that is where I want India to be,” said Karagui. The Alexandria-based coach cited the example of his own country Egypt in that respect. “1996 was the time when we changed the structure of squash back home. Our president Hosni Mubarak also played a big role in developing the sport which is now number two after football. “What changed in 96 was that we created a league structure which covered age groups from 11 to 23. So in every age group, we started grooming players. Initially it was tough but once cycle started running smooth, we began churning out players in a phased way,” he said. “I am in talks with the federation of creating a similar structure in India. But since it is a huge country, the task will be anything but easy,” Karagui added. PTI BS SSC AHadvertisementlast_img read more

Dera head has been receiving favours from Khattar govt

first_imgChandigarh, Aug 25 (PTI) Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted in a rape case today, has been receiving favours from the Manohar Lal Khattar government of Haryana earlier.Just three months back, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had announced tax exemption for six months on movie ?Jattu Engineer? featuring Ram Rahim Singh.Khattar had announced the tax exemption at an event in Karnal in May.Earlier, the chief minister had started a cleanliness drive along with the dera chief.Also, the states Health and Sports minister Anil Vij had donated Rs 50 lakh from his discretionary fund to the sect for promoting rural games. At a sporting event organised by the dera at Sirsa in the past, Vij had said, “Dera Sacha Sauda is already promoting sports for a long time and now BJP government will promote all sports related activities by making 20 Olympic Nurseries.”Vij had added, “He (Ram Rahim) is encouraging the games. Since the schools are also encouraging games here, I would like to donate Rs 50 lakh from my discretionary fund.” Notably, all the games played at the dera academy have been created by Gurmeet Ram Rahim himself and are not played at national or international level. Another Haryana Minister Manish Grover too had announced Rs 11 lakh to the dera sports village.Ahead of assembly polls in 2014 in Haryana, the dera chief had extended support to the BJP. After the special CBI court in Panchkula convicted the dera head in a 2002 rape case, Khattar appealed to the people of the state to maintain peace and harmony and not to allow themselves to be misled by rumours. In a statement issued here today, the chief minister said some anti-social elements mixed with the followers of the dera chief and resorted to violence and disrupted the peace. The court verdict against dera head triggered violence by his followers leaving 30 dead and over 200 injured. PTI VSD AKKadvertisementlast_img read more

U.S. Women Hold Off Finland, 3-1

first_imgSOCHI, Russia – The puck bounced off Kelli Stack’s chest, and before it could flutter back to the ice she bunted it out of the air, past Finland goalie Noora Raty and into the net.“An ‘oops’ goal,” Finnish coach Mika Pieniniemi called it.And it was just what the Americans needed.Hilary Knight scored 53 seconds into the game and assisted on Alex Carpenter’s second-period goal as the United States turned back third-seeded Finland 3-1 to open the women’s hockey tournament Feb. 8 at the Sochi Olympics. Jesse Vetter stopped 14 shots for the Americans, who play Switzerland on Feb. 10 for a chance to clinch a spot in the semifinals.Canada was scheduled to play Switzerland later in the day in the other opener for Group A, which includes all of the medal favorites. The Americans and Canadians are overwhelming favorites to reach the gold medal game, and Finland is expected to repeat for the bronze.That’s mostly thanks to Raty, a two-time NCAA champion who went 41-0 at Minnesota in her senior year and made 58 saves to upset the Americans in a tournament in Lake Placid, N.Y., in November. But the three-time Olympian was beaten on the first shot of the Sochi Olympics when a teammate gave the puck away at the blue line and Knight went in all alone.“I was like, ‘All right, here it is. We’re going to score here,’” said Knight, who lives in Sun Valley, Idaho, and played for the University of Wisconsin. “When you get a goal, especially in the first minute, it always deflates the other team,”Raty shut the Americans down for the next 27 minutes before Stack double-deflected a pass from Megan Bozek — Raty’s college roommate — to make it 2-0. With 4:01 left in the second period, the U.S. got another good bounce when Carpenter, the daughter of former NHL star Bobby Carpenter, backhanded the puck into the crease.It deflected off a defender and behind Raty, to make it 3-0. “They got pretty lucky,” Raty said. “But you have to earn your luck.”The Americans had said all week that they would need ugly goals to beat Raty, and U.S. coach Katey Stone made no apologies for how the puck went in.“We talk a lot about how there are no snapshots on the scorecard,” said Stone, who is on leave from Harvard to coach Team USA. “If it’s an ugly one, it’s an ugly one. And sometimes against a fantastic goaltender that’s how you have to get it done.”A crowd of more than 4,000 hadn’t even settled into its seats at the puck-shaped Olympic venue when Raty was beaten on the first shot. After a giveaway at the blue line, Knight took it in and shot over the goalie’s right shoulder.But Raty wouldn’t let the game turn into a blowout.“I always know that when you face the U.S. or Canada, it’s going to be 40 or 50 shots,” she said. “They are the huge favorites and we are the underdog.”(Jimmy Golen, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Heat Burn Spurs, Tie Series 1-1

first_imgSAN ANTONIO — No cramps, no problems for LeBron James.And with their superstar making it to the finish this time, the Miami Heat bounced back from a loss, just as they always do in the playoffs.“Obviously, having No. 6 in the game at the end was a plus for us,” Dwyane Wade said.James had 35 points and 10 rebounds in a powerful comeback from the cramps that knocked him out of the opener, as the Heat tied the NBA Finals with a 98-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 the night of June 8.Chris Bosh made the go-ahead 3-pointer on a pass from James with 1:18 remaining for the Heat, who have won 13 straight following a loss in the postseason. Just like last year, they rebounded after losing Game 1 to the Spurs.Bosh had 18 points for the Heat, who are headed home for Game 3 on June 10. James played more than 37 minutes, making 14 of 22 shots. He was 1 for 4 with three turnovers in a shaky first quarter, then made 11 of his next 13.After two days of enduring criticism for not finishing the game and getting suggestions on how to avoid cramps, James changed the subject.“What happened on Thursday was Thursday,” James said. “My whole focus was how I was going to try to help this team even this up and just try to make some plays.” He had a key strip of Tony Parker down the stretch, playing a dominant game on both ends as if he had something to prove.As usual, James found a way to silence his haters.He had 11 points in the second quarter, helping Miami erase an 11-point deficit early in the period. The game was played within a margin of a few points from there, and the Spurs missed a chance to seize control in the fourth quarter when Parker and Tim Duncan missed four straight free throws when they had a two-point lead.James then made a 3-pointer and two free throws to put Miami in position to win. Parker scored 21 points and Duncan had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs, who had won eight straight at home by at least 15 points.“Down the end there they executed really well,” Duncan said. “LeBron made some great passes and guys made open shots. We had the same result in the first game. They kind of flipped it in this one.”The game was played in comfortable conditions inside the AT&T Center, where an air conditioning failure in Game 1 sent temperatures soaring to about 90 degrees. The broken circuit breaker was fixed by June 6, and it was much cooler inside the arena.James had the toughest time with the heat on June 5, needing treatment midway through the fourth quarter before eventually having to leave for good. He had plenty of time to recover, with the two days off between Games 1 and 2.He changed only a little of his routine, taking an 8 a.m. yoga class on June 8 and switching to a shorter pair of tights. He personally erased a 62-56 San Antonio lead by scoring eight points in less than a minute, and his 14 points in the third quarter had Miami down only 78-77 heading to the fourth.“For me, once I get into a good groove, I feel like everything is going to go in,” James said. For a time, everything did. Then he switched to being a passer at the end, finding Bosh in the corner for the shot that made it 95-93.Wade and Rashard Lewis each scored 14 points for the Heat, who also dropped Game 1 of the NBA Finals against Oklahoma City two years ago. They have won five straight series after dropping the opening game.The Spurs were in good position, withstanding James’ assault long enough to lead by one with under 2 minutes to play. But they were shut out from there until Manu Ginobili’s 3-pointer as time expired.“LeBron with the ball did a pretty good job at his end and we had to be really perfect at the other end and we didn’t,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We didn’t take advantage of things. We made bad decisions.”And it didn’t help them that they had to deal with James at the end of this one. Ginobili finished with 19 points for the Spurs, whose 18 points in the fourth quarter were half the 36 they scored in the opener.“We have a very competitive group and you have two days to commiserate how that game went down,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It was frustrating, painful going through that for two days and now we have to manage the other emotion.”After their sensational finish to Game 1, the Spurs picked up right where they left off, making 10 of their first 15 shots. They opened an 11-point lead early in the second before James got going. He had three straight Miami baskets, and a follow shot later in the period gave the Heat their first lead at 34-33.(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more