Money over morals: Has La Liga hit rock bottom?

first_imgThe best thing one can say about La Liga’s decision to stage a game in the United States this season is that the game’s major powerbrokers are no longer even attempting to hide their disregard for the welfare of players or the interests of ‘smaller’ clubs and their supporters.That was made abundantly clear in an incredibly revealing interview ESPN conducted with Charlie Stillitano, Executive Chairman of Relevent Sports, the company which has signed a 15-year agreement with the Primera Division’s governing body.Asked about rumours that Miami will be the venue for the chosen Liga fixture, and that either Real Madrid or Barcelona will be involved, the American explained: “Obviously we want to have a recognisable team, you know? 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! “If this were two or three years from now, it becomes less important. But I think it’s critical that we have one of the top five or six teams that’s recognisable. “Obviously, everyone knows Barca and Real Madrid, but equally people know Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia. I think that it’s got to be one of the bigger teams.”After all, who cares about the likes of Betis, Real Sociedad, Athletic Club or Villarreal? Certainly not Relevent Sports or La Liga.Indeed, it is expected that Betis’ fixture with Barca will be relocated to Florida, thus depriving thousands of fans – Betis have approximately 50,000 season ticket holders, none of whom were warned in advance about this possible loss of a marquee match – of the opportunity to see Lionel Messi & Co. at the Benito Villamarin.Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Barcelona BetisMore importantly, it robs Betis of the one advantage they would hold over the reigning champions, as they would be forced to play at a neutral venue but before an undoubtedly partisan Barca crowd in Miami.It has been suggested that Betis would benefit financially but no details of the financial arrangements have been forthcoming. However, one can safely assume that the token opponents won’t make as much out of the enterprise as Barca or Real.Stillitano, though, insists that this is not all about money, at least, not yet.”It’s not really a big part of our deal at this point,” he told ESPN. “We have TV rights, we have games, we have sponsor rights – we’re doing a lot of things for the league over a 15-year period and the idea is to build the brand so that we can bring more money to the league.”But this specific game won’t be a huge money game. This would be more of a brand-building, promotional exercise.”Such honesty is actually refreshing and even La Liga president Javier Tebas admitted this initiative isn’t about anything other than advertising,a chance to open up new markets: “It’s important to develop our brand.”And if the NBA and the NFL play their games outside their countries, why wouldn’t La Liga do it?”But why stop there? If the NBA and the NFL can move clubs from one city to another in order to make more money, why wouldn’t La Liga do it? It would just be good business, after all.Javier Tebas Liga US game PSCredit to La Liga and Relevent Sports, though, they haven’t completely forgotten about the fans.They would like to compensate the ‘smaller’ clubs and their supporters for taking a home game away from them. Not that anyone has worked out exactly how to do that just yet.”Most likely [the US game] will be [taken from] a smaller team’s stadium; it’ll be a small team’s home match,” he confirmed. “We’ll figure out different ways to accommodate the fans. We haven’t decided yet.”The other part is that we want it to be so that there’s not a cup game in between so that there’s a little bit of rest for the players. We’re trying to respect the game. We’re trying to respect the players.”Ah, the actual players. Even they have been factored into the equation.Still, if they were hoping to show them some respect, La Liga and Relevent Sports have already failed spectacularly in that regard, with the Spanish Association of Footballers (AFE) announcing on Wednesday that they are even willing to strike over the proposed US game.”The players are outraged, very surprised, and are all against it. It’s unanimous,” AFE president David Aganzo told reporters.”The players don’t want to play overseas. Things have to be done in a more coherent way and with common sense.”A decision of this magnitude, that affects players, referees and fans, was taken unilaterally and is a lack of respect.”But then, that’s the least surprising part of this whole affair. We’ve learned nothing new. After all, Premier League executive Richard Scudamore touted the idea of a 39th game a decade ago.The only difference is that the broadcasters and elite clubs have been emboldened in the intervening years by the gradual erosion of the game’s core principles and are now far more transparent in their commitment to brand-building and money-making. Sadly, this is modern football and it will be coming to a ground near you very soon. Or taken away from one…last_img read more

Alexis latest Arsenal star struck by Wenger Curse

first_imgWhen Kieran Gibbs left Arsenal for West Brom after spending over 11 seasons at the club, he remarked that he would learn how to improve defensively at his new team. Arsene Wenger was asked about those comments shortly after and made an apt statement which has rung true of several players after they departed north London for pastures new.“Once someone takes the decision to leave I wish them well and focus on my squad, but just look at the performances of the players who left us and then come back to me about it,” he said in 2017.Goal takes a look at 10 Arsenal stars who never hit the same heights after leaving the Gunners.last_img read more

Sarri unsure if Hazard can start vs Palace

first_imgChelsea winger Eden Hazard is a doubt for the Premier League visit of Crystal Palace as he continues to be hindered by a back problem.The Belgium international has missed the last two games – the thrashing of Burnley and narrow Carabao Cup success against Derby – with the issue.Assistant coach Gianfranco Zola said in mid-week that Hazard’s fitness was improving and the 27-year-old did appear in training on Thursday. 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 manager Maurizio Sarri says it is unlikely that Hazard will start the game after suggesting he is unable to play for longer than 45 minutes this Sunday.”I don’t know,” he told the media ahead of the visit of Palace. “Eden yesterday had a large part of the training with the team. “Maybe he will not be ready to play 90 minutes because it was the first part of training for a few weeks. “He might be able to play for 40/45 minutes. So for us it is important. “I don’t know [if he can start] I want to speak with him first.”If Chelsea are indeed without Hazard, it could hinder their chances to extending their unbeaten run at the start of the new Premier League season to 11 games, and keeping the pressure on co-leaders Manchester City and Liverpool.Already the first Chelsea manager to remain unbeaten after his first 10 Premier League games, Sarri can add another record to his collection for the visit of the Eagles.Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2018-19If they remain undefeated after facing Roy Hodgson’s men the Italian will equal a 24-year Premier League record set by Frank Clark who avoided losing in his first 11 matches of his reign at Nottingham Forest.Sarri admits he has been surprised by his early success in England but is unconcerned by the prospect of equalling the feat.”I don’t want to think about the record, only to think about the match and to gain points,” he added.”The record is only a consequence of the match. “I have to send the message to my players that the match is the only thing that is important.”In every experience I had before I was in trouble in the first two months. “I thought it would be the same here, but I was lucky. “The players were able to win without a very good level of tactical organisation.”last_img read more

PIL moved in Madras HC for allowing cock, goat fight in TN

first_imgMadurai, Apr 17 (PTI) The Madras High Courts Bench here today sought the Tamil Nadu governments reply to a PIL for allowing cock and goat fight by amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act like it was done in the case of jallikattu (bull taming) sport.The bench comprising Justice A Selvam and Justice N Athinathan ordered the state government to file its counter affidavit by July 18 when the court will hear the matter.Petitioner Chinnan of Usilampatti in the district submitted that like jallikattu, cock fighting and goat fighting were also traditional sports of the state.When jallikattu had been allowed by an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, it was possible to permit cock fight as well by taking similar action, he contended.The state Assembly had amended the Act after a massive protest by public, largely students, at Marina Beach in Chennai and similar agitations in other places in January last, demanding the conduct of jallikattu. PTI SSN VS SRY SK SRYlast_img read more

Maria Sharapova on course for Wimbledon after opening win in Rome

first_imgMaria Sharapova guaranteed herself a spot in the Wimbledon qualifying tournament with a first-round victory against American Christina McHale at the Italian Open on Monday.The Russian former world number one, given a wildcard to compete in Rome after returning from a 15-month doping ban, dropped serve three times in a scrappy opening set, but won 6-4, 6-2 to reach round two.Sharapova faces a battle to raise her ranking enough to qualify for the grasscourt grand slam by right and spare organisers the dilemma of whether to award her a wildcard into the main draw of the tournament she won in 2004.Should the 30-year-old three-times Rome champion, ranked 211 in the world, reach the semi-finals, she would almost certainly earn an automatic Wimbledon main draw slot ahead of the May 22 rankings cut-off date.Her second-round opponent will be Croatian veteran Mirjana Luci-Baroni who she beat in the Madrid tournament last week before losing a grudge match against Eugenie Bouchard.Canadian Bouchard had called for five-times grand slam champion Sharapova to be banned for life after testing positive for heart drug meldonium at last year’s Australian Open, referring to the Russian as a “cheater”.Several other players have criticised the decision of tournament organisers to welcome Sharapova back so readily.If Sharapova fails to reach the semi-finals in Rome, the Wimbledon Championships wildcard committee, which meets on June 20, would have to decide whether to fast-track her into the main draw or let her take her chances in qualifying.The qualifying tournament is held the week before in the quaint surroundings of Roehampton — potentially creating a security headache if Sharapova plays.advertisementAt a recent news conference All England Club officials said this year’s qualifying tournament, previously free for the public, would be ticketed and restricted to 1,000 fans.There will also be video coverage and an improved players’ lounge, although All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis said the upgrades had nothing to do with Sharapova’s possible participation.”I know it does seem very convenient timing, but it is actually unrelated, genuinely unrelated, and we know that qualifying needs to continue to be improved, just like we improve facilities here at the Championships,” he said.Sharapova will find out on Tuesday whether she has been handed a wildcard to this month’s French Open.last_img read more

Salaam Cricket 2017: Pakistan should be wary of MS Dhoni, he is still a dangerous player, says Aamer Sohail

first_imgPakistan, who face off against India later this week in a Champions Trophy game, should be way of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Aamer Sohail said at Aaj Tak Salaam Cricket 2017.”The way Dhoni has been able to win matches with a team with limited resources is remarkable”, the former Pakistani opener said, adding, “Pakistan should definitely be scared of Dhoni, he is still a very dangerous player”.Harbhajan Singh who was part of the session where Sohail made the comments also said that even though Dhoni may not be handling captaincy, he brings a lot of experience to the team and is a terrific asset. “Dhoni can win you matches not just as a batsman but also as a wicketkeeper, as a leader,” the Indian off-spinner said. (Harbhajan Singh, Aamer Sohail agree: At times Bangladesh plays better cricket than Pakistan ).Bhajji noted that Dhoni as well as Yuvraj Singh are no longer the batsmen they were in their primes. “(Back then) they could start hitting from the word go. Now if they are willing to spend time in the middle and play out 20-25 balls then they can regain their touch,” Harbhajan added.Meanwhile, Aamer Sohail credited Dhoni with playing a huge role in building the current Indian side. “The team which Virat Kohli has inherited, Dhoni has a huge role to play in that. The way Dhoni has been able to win matches with a team with limited resources is remarkable,” Sohail said. (India much stronger than Pakistan now, say Mohammad Azharuddin and Aamer Sohail).advertisementlast_img read more

Aegon International: Simona Halep awarded wildcard at Eastbourne

first_imgFrench Open runner-up Simona Halep was awarded a wildcard entry to feature at the Aegon International in Eastbourne next week, organisers said on Thursday.Eastbourne will be Halep’s first grass court tournament ahead of Wimbledon after she pulled out of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham due to an ankle injury last week. Wimbledon starts on July 3.”I am very much looking forward to playing in Eastbourne,” the 25-year-old Romanian said in a statement.”The quality of the draw is very high so I’m hoping for some great matches to give me the best possible preparation ahead of Wimbledon.”World number two Halep will be joined by seven other players from the world’s top 10 at Devonshire Park including German Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, defending champion Dominica Cibulkova and Eastbourne resident Johanna Konta.Halep enjoyed a strong clay court season, claiming the Madrid title and reaching the final at Roland Garros and Rome.last_img read more

‘Players unhappy with ISL draft system’ for next season

first_imgMost of the Indian players do not want to be part of the Indian Super League (ISL) draft scheduled next month, but they have no choice, the Football Players’ Association of India (FPAI) has said.”The draft has two problems. One, they might be left poorer. Two, they don’t have the right to choose their own team or be part of any bargain,” FPAI General Manager Cyrus Confectioner told IANS.The ISL franchises will roughly have a budget of Rs 17-18 crore per team.At a meeting after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) awards night recently, AIFF President Praful Patel spoke against the draft system, Confectioner said.”But one week later, we get to hear that there will be a draft. If the president has no control over his statements, what can we say,” he rued.”Eighty-ninety percent of the players don’t want the draft. But it’s a Catch-22 situation. ISL clubs might anyway pay more than I-League clubs, barring East Bengal and Mohun Bagan maybe. And if the FSDL (Football Sports Development Limited, organisers of ISL) forces a draft on them, they have little option but to be part of it. They cannot forego a year’s pay.”India skipper Sunil Chhetri, former India and Mohun Bagan star Renedy Singh, and former India skipper and FPAI ex-President Bhaichung Bhutia are learnt to have opposed a draft system, and Reliance Sports CEO Sundar Raman responded that the matter would be looked into.But with the draft set to take place somewhere in the middle of July, that seems to be a foregone conclusion.advertisementThe FPAI’s efforts in reducing the number of foreign players from six to five in the starting XI of an ISL team has borne fruit. This year, the ISL teams will be allowed to field a maximum of only five foreigners.Kolkata clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal had also appealed to AIFF Secretary Kushal Das earlier this month to increase the quota of foreign players for the I-League clubs to five from the existing four.The issue will be up for discussion in the committee meeting scheduled for Thursday. At present, I-League clubs follow the guidelines laid down by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which allow clubs to take on a maximum of four foreign players, of whom at least one must from an Asian country.Confectioner is, however, hoping that the I-League turns down the demand to increase the number of imports.”I hope the AIFF does not commit that mistake. There has to be more Indian players playing,” he said.Confectioner said the FPAI has been pushing for a no-draft case since January, but to no avail.”The FSDL will anyway do as they please, as the ISL is a private tournament,” he said.last_img read more

Boris Becker tells Andy Murray to focus on fitness, not titles or ranking

first_imgAndy Murray should focus on regaining full fitness rather than rushing to be ready for the U.S. Open, Boris Becker said on Wednesday after the world number one was beaten in the Wimbledon quarter-finals by Sam Querrey.Murray’s hopes of becoming the first Briton to retain a grand slam title since Fred Perry in 1936 were shredded as he hobbled helplessly to a 3-6 6-4 6-7(4) 6-1 6-1 defeat.While Murray said his hip injury was not to blame for his exit, three-time Wimbledon champion Becker told the BBC the Briton’s movement was clearly affected.”He has got to think long term, not worry about making the U.S. Open – if he is moving there like he did at Wimbledon, then he won’t win it anyway,” the German said.”His ranking should not be a concern either. Again, he will not defend it if he is not healthy, so he should just forget it. He has been there and done it and he does not have to prove anything anymore that he is good enough to be number one.”Becker said he understood why Murray would have played at Wimbledon even if he was not 100 percent fit.”I understand why Andy played Wimbledon, because it is his number one tournament every year, and he was also the defending champion. He was desperate to make it work,” added Becker, who won six grand slam titles.”I was always the same. In hindsight, I should not have played some of my matches but, in the heat of the moment, I always wanted to play the next round or the next event… But you run the risk of doing yourself more serious damage if you play on.advertisementBecker said Murray should take some time to evaluate his fitness.”Andy is now at the point where he needs to be really honest with himself because if he can’t run, he can’t play.”I credit him for not wanting to use the hip injury as an excuse for his defeat but he needs to get a couple of opinions from doctors before he thinks about coming back.”The U.S. Open, the final grand slam of the year, begins on August 28.last_img read more

Privileged to have become the all-time leading run-scorer: Mithali Raj

first_imgIndia captain Mithali Raj on Wednesday went past England’s Charlotte Edwards’ record to become the all-time leading run-scorer in ODI cricket and became the first woman cricketer to score 6,000 runs in ODI history. India though lost a must-win clash in the Women’s World Cup against Australia by 8 wickets as they posted a total of 226/7 thanks to Poonam Raut’s 106 and Mithali’s 69.But Australia didn’t even break a sweat and reached the target in 45.1 overs losing just two wickets. Captain Meg Lanning starred with the bat scoring an unbeaten 76 while Ellyse Perry remained not out on 60.Mithali’s records however were the highlights of the match and the 34-year-old took to twitter to express her happiness.Privileged 2 have now become the all time leading run-scorer. Its been an incredible time scoring each & every run for @BCCIWomen #WWC17 pic.twitter.com/eVRjU8rdvP- Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) July 12, 2017″Privileged to have now become the all-time leading run-scorer. It’s been an incredible time scoring each & every run for the Indian team,” she tweeted.Mithali needed just 34 runs to surpass Edwards’ record of 5992 runs before the start of this match and she had to score another seven runs to reach the 6,000-run milestone. She is the only Asian cricketer to feature in the top-10 leading run-getters list.Mithali recently became the first woman to hit seven half-centuries in succession in ODIs. The first of the seven fifties came against Sri Lanka when she hit 70 not out at Colombo in February, 2017. Following that she scored an unbeaten 64 (South Africa), 73 (Bangladesh), 51* (South Africa), 54 (South Africa), 62* (South Africa), 71 (England).advertisementIn 183 ODI matches Mithali has amassed a record 6028 runs at an average of 51.52 with five hundreds and 49 half-centuries and a highest score of 114 not out.In 63 T20Is she has scored 1708 runs at 37.95 with 10 fifties and in 10 Test matches she has aggregated 663 runs at 51.00 with one century and four fifties with 214 being her highest score.The Australians have now 10 points in their kitty from six outings and sit on top of the table while India are fourth on the ladder with 8 points from six matches.The Indian eves now face a must-win situation in their final group tie against New Zealand on Saturday, to qualify for the last four stage of the tournament.last_img read more

Bangladesh drop Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque for first Test vs Australia

first_imgBangladesh all-rounder Nasir Hossain, who played his last Test for the national side in August 2015, has been recalled to the 14-man squad for the opening Test of the two-match series against Australia, beginning August 27 in Mirpur.Medium-pacer Shafiul Islam, who last played in October 2016, has also been named while Mominul Haque has been left out of the Test squad for the first time since his debut in March 2013.Meanwhile, senior batsman Mahmudullah also failed to make it to the national squad against the Steve Smith-led side,ESPNcricinfo reported.It should be noted that Mominul and Mahmudullah were part of Bangladesh’s squad during their last series in Sri Lanka, though they did not play the final Test in Colombo, which Bangladesh won by four wickets to finish the two-match series 1-1.Bangladesh have not played a single Test match against Australia since Ricky Ponting’s side toured the country in 2006, six years after they were granted Test status.The tour got its green signal following the resolution of the contracts dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association.Squad for the opening Test is as follows:Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mehedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mosaddek Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Shafiul Islam.last_img read more

India vs Sri Lanka: Charged up Virat Kohli and Co. look to wrap-up series against ailing hosts

first_imgIndia will fancy their chances of wrapping up the five-match series when they lock horns with a beleaguered Sri lanka in the third One-day International on Sunday.The visitors have a 2-0 lead in the series and can wrap up the contest with another win here before leaving for the last leg of the tour in Colombo.India recovered from a precarious 131 for seven to record only their second win at the Pallekele International Cricket ground.The Men in Blue haven’t played much ODI cricket here, and Thursday’s match was only their second at this venue, having played previously in 2012. It does reflect on their hundred percent record here then, and the short two-day gap between the second and third ODIs will help them take the winning momentum forward.The big question is if skipper Virat Kohli will continue with his bold approach when it comes to team strategy, if not team selection.Ahead of the second ODI, he had outlined the need to give ample opportunity to the youngsters in the side, particularly the bowlers. As such, it is only to be expected that Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal will continue to be front-line spinners then.However, the complication in the 231-run chase in the second ODI occurred due to a shuffle in the batting order. After a great start, Kohli sent in KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav ahead at number 3 and 4 respectively. The mini-experiment failed spectacularly, mostly because they couldn’t read Akila Dananjay’s googlies properly.Jadhav’s impulsive shot making during a three-ball stay also didn’t go unnoticed.advertisementAgain then, it is a wonder if Kohli will experiment again on Sunday. The Indian skipper might just revert to the original batting order and close out the series before ringing any changes in the last two ODIs in Colombo. In doing so though, he will be departing from his claims of ‘making unpredictable changes despite facing defeat’.All said and done, India’s collapse on Thursday has brought this additional (but welcome) interesting twist to the equation here.There is also the toss factor. Kohli won his fifth consecutive toss on this tour, and predictably chose to chase again. With Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan putting on a century stand, in a way, it was the catalyst for the shuffle in batting-order, as the Indian skipper probably didn’t want a second game without action in the middle for Rahul and others.Could this force Kohli to rethink his bat-first theory, if he manages to win the toss yet again?As concerns changes to the playing combination, Hardik Pandya is in focus. In the lead-up to the second ODI, the all-rounder wore a light strap on his left knee, though the team management assured his full fitness. Later in the game, he pulled up with issues on the same left leg.While it appeared to be a calf problem for him, due to which he left the field on three occasions, again the team management outlined it as a cramp issue and not a major worry.Pandya’s availability for the third ODI then remains a question mark at best. Even if cramped yet fully fit, will he be risked given the extended limited-overs’ schedule India have until December? If not, then Kuldeep Yadav or Shardul Thakur could come into the reckoning as the fifth bowler, unluckily again for Manish Pandey as India will need someone to bowl Pandya’s 10 overs.While India could yet field an unchanged combination, there are bound to be further changes for the Sri Lankan playing XI. Upul Tharanga has been handed a two-match suspension for slow over-rate for the second time since the Champions Trophy in June, and he will sit out the next two ODIs.It could be a blessing in disguise as the skipper was suffering from a poor run of form, and the attacking Dinesh Chandimal, included in the Lankan squad, is expected to slot into Tharanga’s no.4 spot.Surprisingly enough, the Test skipper will not be leading Sri Lanka here or in Colombo whilst Tharanga sits on the sidelines.Instead, Chamara Kapugedara will do the honours as he was given the responsibility of being the vice-captain in the first two matches. There will also be an additional change as Lahiru Thirimanne is expected to open with Niroshan Dickwella, after Danushka Gunathilaka injured his shoulder whilst fielding in the second ODI.Teams:India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.advertisementSri Lanka: Chamara Kapugedara (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanna, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando, Upul Tharanga (for fifth ODI).last_img read more

Supertech gets green nod for Rs 1,130cr Sports Village project

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI) Realty firm Supertech has received green nod for developing a sports-centric housing project in Greater Noida that would entail an investment of Rs 1,130 crore.The proposed residential project Sports Village will be launched during Diwali this year and will be completed in four years. The 62-acre project will be developed in Sector 27 of Greater Noida (west), known as Noida Extension.The Union Environment Ministry has given its clearance (EC) to the proposed Sports Village project after taking into account the recommendations of its expert panel, said the EC letter issued to the company.The approval is subject to compliance of certain conditions, the letter said.When contacted, Supertech Chairman R K Arora said, “We are coming up with 62.5 acre project in Greater Noida (west) to develop more than 4,000 flats and villas.”We will also construct sports and recreational facilities including nine-hole golf course in 25-acre area,” he added.The company has informed the ministry that it will develop the proposed project in a plot area of 2,51,371 square meter and will offer 4,228 flats and 400 villas with club and enough space for sports (golf) and recreational activities. The built up area would be 7,55,817.89 square meter.It also informed that it has “no court case pending against the project” and the cost is estimated to be Rs 1,130.46 crore.Besides golf, Arora of Supertech said that the project will have academies for other sports like badminton and shooting.In 2015, the company had tied up with sports personalities such as Sania Mirza, Shikhar Dhawan, Jyoti Randhawa, Pullela Gopichand and Gagan Narang for setting up training facilities in its projects. PTI LUX MJH MR SRKadvertisementlast_img read more

Domestic T20 league likely to replace Global T20 League in South Africa

first_imgSouth Africa’s T20 Global League is most likely to be replaced by the T20 Domestic League, which was postponed earlier this month.The six-team franchise competition, scheduled to commence in March 2018, could be started four months before if the South African cricket board approves for the same.The decision by the South African cricket board came after South Africa’s T20 Global League got postponed until next year.The CEOs of the franchise were called on the teleconference to discuss the feasibility of hosting the Domestic T20 in the given time by Cricket South Africa (CSA) reported Espncricinfo.There is no need to sign another partner for the league, as SuperSport already holds all rights of cricket played in South Africa.The Domestic T20 League will be a massive boost for the Proteas as every South African will be available to participate in the tournament. The players will have to miss out with NOCs to participate in other leagues, such as the Bangladesh Premier League, in that given period of time.”If there is an international tour in that time, only 12 or so guys will be playing. What about the rest of the players? They can’t sit around for six weeks and not do anything,” ESPNcricinfo quoted a source saying.Cricket South Africa (CSA) postponed the inaugural edition of the T20 Global League, which was due to start on November 3, to November 2018.The tournament had been facing multiple logistical challenges, including the inability to secure a broadcast deal or a title sponsor, which is resulting in hefty financial losses.advertisementLast week, acting CSA CEO Thabang Moroe had said that the board is preparing for a net loss of US $25 million (approx Rs. 342.58 million) from the inaugural edition of the tournament, an amount that accounts for more than half its current cash reserves, reports ESPNcricinfo.last_img read more

FIFA to look into changing nationality rules

first_imgFIFA is considering an overhaul of the rules which govern players’ eligibility for national teams, including a proposal which would allow them to switch allegiance in certain circumstances.Victor Montagliani, head of FIFA’s stakeholders’ committee, said there were issues regarding the rules, which are aimed at preventing players from switching between national teams or representing countries they have no connection with.”There are so many issues that have popped up over the years because the world is changing, immigration is changing,” said the Canadian, who is president of the North, Central America and Caribbean federation (CONCACAF).”There are nationality issues that pop up all over the world, in Africa, there are issues in Asia and CONCACAF, so its a good time to have a look at this and see if there are solutions, without hurting the integrity of the game.”At present, players who have played a competitive international for one team cannot switch to another national side even when they hold dual nationality.The Cape Verde football federation has proposed this rule be relaxed in cases where the player has played only one or two games for his original national side but has no realistic chance of a recall.Players are only allowed to represent a country with which they have no blood connection if they have lived and played there for five years, but Montagliani said his committee would look into changing that period and possibly increasing it.World soccer’s ruling body could also look into a compensation scheme in cases where a player goes through the training system of one country and represents it a youth level before switching to another.advertisementlast_img read more

PM Modi encourages India U-17 players to aim higher

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 10 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he saw “spark” in the footballers who represented India in their maiden FIFA World Cup and encouraged them to consider it as stepping stone to bigger things.The prime minister invited the players after they came back from Saudi Arabia following the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers.”I personally requested for this meeting as I saw some spark in all of you. Based on your performance people have started knowing you so there is a huge responsibility on your shoulders,” the PM said coach Luis Norton de Matos boys.He further added that they must stay together as a team and in a few years time should establish themselves as professional players.”Consider this U17WC as just a preparation for the future. I hope you stick together as a team and in 5-7 years time represent the country with great laurels,” Modi stated.Modi, a sports enthusiast, who has spoken about the significance of sports umpteenth times in Mann ki Baat, expressed that “there is no life without sports”.”There is no life without sports. Football is a very intense game. Hope you can inspire people to inculcate sports as part of their daily lives,” Modi said.The PM, who was present at the JLN Stadium in the capital during Indias FIFA U-17 World Cup opener against USA on October 6, said that Jeakson Singhs goal against Colombia in their second game was the “biggest reason for all of us to celebrate”.advertisement”When Jeakson scored the goal it gave the biggest reason for all of us to celebrate.” PTI AH CM CMlast_img read more

Ashes 2017, Boxing Day Test: David Warner hundred highlights Australian dominance on Day 1

first_imgAustralia once again gained an early advantage over England in the current Ashes series after David Warner’s splendid hundred saw the hosts reach 244 for 3 at stumps on Day 1 of the fourth Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.Warner’s 103 was followed up by an unbeaten half-century from captain Steve Smith (65*), while giving him company at the crease is Shaun Marsh on 31*.Having won the toss and opting to bat on a flat deck, Warner was up and running from the word go. He along with Cameron Bancroft scored 102 runs in the first session to make the most of the conditions on offer.The southpaw scored a breezy century, although he got a life when he was caught on 99 just before the drinks break but was reprieved when the TV replay showed debutant paceman Tom Curran had overstepped his mark to the delight of a bumper Boxing Day crowd at the MCG.Warner raised his hundred with a single on the next ball to add insult to England’s injury but he was unable to capitalise on the life, nicking James Anderson behind to be out for 103.It was Warner’s 21st Test ton as he also completed 6000 runs in the format in just his 70th Test match.Woakes provided his side with the first breakthrough as he got Cameron Bancroft (26) out leg-before after the openers added 122 runs in 34 overs.The visitors were right on the money in the middle session as they scalped two wickets, including that of Warner and Usman Khawaja (17) and dried up the runs completely, giving away just 43 in that period.advertisementCome the final session, all eyes were on the English bowlers who had their tails up but, as has been the case in the series, Smith arrived to the occasion to bail his side out of the stutter, scoring a fluent half century.Shaun Marsh, who could have gotten out on his very first ball, played a perfect foil to his skipper to keep the scoreboard moving. The duo stitched an unbeaten 84-run stand and made sure that there was no more hiccup.Just before the close of play, Root opted to take the second new ball and Anderson and Broad bowled exceedingly well sans any success. The new cherry is just 20 balls old and it would be interesting to see if England can come out on Wednesday morning and make it count, should they fail, the hosts will just run away with the game.They would be looking to bat once and bat big and with their skipper once again at it, the signs are ominous for England.Australia went into the match without left-handed fast bowler Mitchell Starc, the leading wicket-taker in the series. Starc was ruled out because of a bruised right foot and replaced by Jackson Bird, who hasn’t played a test for 12 months.England also made one change with Curran selected to make his test debut, replacing Craig Overton, who has a fractured rib.Curran, 22, has played a one-day international and three Twenty20 matches for England, and was only added to England’s Ashes squad when Steve Finn was ruled out at the start of the tour due to injury.Despite missing his chance to get Warner, Curran bowled 17 tidy overs and conceded 44 runs.last_img read more

Former NBA player Martin to visit India to promote the game

first_imgMumbai, Jan 11 (PTI) The United States-based National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced that former NBA player Kevin Martin will visit India as part of the league?s continued efforts to popularise basketball in the country.Martin will first visit Mumbai tomorrow where he will interact with Reliance Foundation Junior NBA participants at the Dhirubhai Ambani School, a media release issued here said today.He will then travel to Delhi on January 16 to attend another Reliance Foundation Junior NBA program at St. Paul School, Safdarjung, followed by a visit to the NBA Basketball School at Apeejay School, Sheikh Sarai on January 17.Finally, he will travel to Noida on January 18 where he will conduct a clinic for the nation?s top basketball prospects at the NBA Academy India, the release added.”I look forward to visiting India to promote the game of basketball. There?s a tremendous amount of momentum for the sport in the country, and I?m excited to do my part to help propel the game forward,” the release quoted him.Martin, a 6?7″ guard from Western Carolina University, was selected 26th overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2004 NBA Draft.He also had stints with the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs before announcing his retirement in 2016. PTI NRB BNM RYSlast_img read more

Virat Kohli celebrates homecoming to Delhi with 20th Test hundred

first_imgVirat Kohli made sure to entertain his home crowd in Delhi to the fullest as he notched up yet another hundred in the ongoing third Test against Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday.Kohli slammed his 20th Test ton with a single off off-spinner Dilruwan Perera as India reached 264/2 in the 62nd over after opting to bat first.Kohli is in the middle of a 186-run partnership with opener Murali Vijay, who also notched up his 11th Test hundred just a few minutes before his captain.This is Kohli’s third successive hundred and the fourth in six Tests against Sri Lanka this year. Vijay on the other hand, slammed his second consecutive hundred after the 128 he made in the last match in Nagpur.A while back Kohli also reached a major milestone as he breached the 5000-run barrier and became the fourth-quickest Indian to achieve the feat in his 105th innings.Indian batsmen fastest to 5000 runs in Tests (fewest inns)95 Sunil Gavaskar99 Virender Sehwag103 Sachin Tendulkar105 VIRAT KOHLI108 Rahul Dravid#INDvSL #INDvsSL- Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 2, 2017Before the start of the third Test, Kohli needed just 25 runs to achieve the feat and he got there with a splendid cover drive off Suranga Lakmal which went for a boundary.The 29-year-old is scoring hundreds for fun these days and this was his 11th hundred this year across formats which made him the most prolific captain, in terms of hundreds scored in a calendar year. He also has nine fifties across formats this year. He is also the first captain to score three consecutive hundreds in a three-match Test series.advertisementThird 100 in a row for Virat (104* at Kolkata & 213 at Nagpur). He is the only captain to score three consecutive 100s on TWO occasions. Virat had started his Test captaincy stint with scores of 115, 141 & 147 vs Australia.#INDvSL- Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 2, 2017In terms of the fastest batsmen to 20 Test hundreds, Kohli is placed in fifth place behind Don Bradman (55), Sunil Gavaskar (93), Matthew Hayden (95) and Steve Smith (99). Sachin Tendulkar (107) is placed just behind Kohli at sixth.Fastest to 20 Test hundreds (fewest innings)55 Don Bradman93 Sunil Gavaskar95 Matthew Hayden99 Steve Smith105 VIRAT KOHLI107 Sachin Tendulkar#IndvSL- Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 2, 2017He has also scored two double tons this year, the first came against Bangladesh in February and the next one he slammed against Sri Lanka in the second Test in Nagpur six days ago.Kohli has the best conversion rate among the 18 captain’s who have scored more than 10 Test hundreds. Out of the 17 times he has gone past 50 as the skipper, he has converted 13 of those into hundreds.Even the great Don Bradman is behind the Indian in terms of conversion rate as captain. Bradman went past the 50-run mark 21 times and converted 14 of those into hundreds.International hundred no. 52 for Virat Kohli – now only 48 short of Sachin. BTW Sachin had scored 60 hundreds at his age (at 7.20 innings/hundred). Virat has taken 6.73 innings for each hundred.#INDvSL #INDvsSL- Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 2, 2017Kohli is also the first player in the history of the game to smash four double hundreds in consecutive series against West Indies, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh.He had slammed his fifth double hundred in the previous match against Sri Lanka in Nagpur to equal Brian Lara’s record of five double tons by a captain in Test cricket. He joined former South Africa captain Graeme Smith and Rahul Dravid in 12th spot in the list of most double hundreds by batsmen.This year, Kohli also became the eighth batsman to score 50 international hundreds and if India manage to beat Sri Lanka in this match then Kohli will equal Ricky Ponting’s record of 9 successive series wins as captain.The run machine continues. Three consecutive 100s for @imVkohli #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/sevr4oLuid- BCCI (@BCCI) December 2, 2017last_img read more

The 76ers Lose 25th Straight

first_imgSAN ANTONIO — Brett Brown and the young Philadelphia 76ers are closing in on some dubious NBA history.Austin Daye had 22 points, Tim Duncan added 19 and the San Antonio Spurs earned their 14th straight win with a 113-91 victory on March 24 that sent the 76ers to their 25th consecutive loss.Philadelphia will face Houston on March 27 with the distinction of being a loss shy of tying the NBA single-season record for consecutive losses set by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010-11.Before the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he felt terrible for Brown, now the 76ers’ coach. But he added that he did not feel sorry for “one of my best friends,” because pity would upset his former assistant.“Obviously, it’s a rough season for them,” Duncan said. “It’s a rebuilding season for them. (Brown) knows that, they know that.“They have a lot of young guys. He’s just trying to get the system in place that has them playing the way he wants them playing. It’s a process. He knows that.”Philadelphia (15-56) hired Brown hoping he could replicate some of the structure that has made San Antonio so successful. The 76ers saw firsthand how far they have to go.The Spurs had nine players score at least five points and had 31 assists while shooting 44 for 79 from the field.“It’s tough,” Philadelphia point guard Michael Carter-Williams said. “They move the ball really well with the extra pass. They try to move the ball and almost tire you out on defense. You got to be able to rotate and play throughout the shot clock.”Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills scored 15 points each and Cory Joseph added 12 for San Antonio, which maintained the league’s best record at 54-16.The Spurs did not play starters Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter and Danny Green, but did not need them against the lowly 76ers.Philadelphia only had seven players score, and six of those were in double figures. The 76ers finished with just 22 assists while shooting 41 percent from the field.Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young each scored 19 points, Byron Mullens added 15 and Elliot Williams had 14 for Philadelphia. “It felt like they were running 100 miles per hour out there,” Young said.“You take one thing and they pick you apart with something else. You just have to pick your poison with a team like this. They have so many guys who can do different things and so many guys that can make plays.”How effective the Spurs’ system can be was evident by who led the team in scoring, Brown said.Daye, who was averaging 2.3 minutes while playing in only four games since being acquired from Toronto on Feb. 20, finished 6 for 10 on 3-pointers and had six rebounds in 29 minutes.It was familiar to Brown, who served as an assistant under Popovich for seven seasons.“He’s lucky,” Brown said, “and I’ve seen this over so many years — people can come into that system and shine. This system creates opportunities for everybody, and he took advantage of those. The attention you have to give others and the movement that they have in their structure allowed him to get freed up a lot.“He reaped the benefit of playing in that system.”The Sixers kept pace early against the Spurs, with Carter-Williams fearlessly driving into the paint for a series of short jumpers and Hollis Thompson hitting a pair of 3s.Popovich called timeout with 3:44 left in the first quarter after Williams dunked over Duncan to tie it at 19. Philadelphia’s early success awoke the Spurs and brought out the best in Daye. His athleticism and energy were just what San Antonio needed after a listless start.“He’s a skilled guy,” Popovich said. “Obviously he can shoot it. But he’s also a good passer. He knows how to play the game. It was good to be able to get him some time tonight.”San Antonio went on a 26-5 spurt bridging the first and second quarters, capped by a 19-0 run.Daye first ran down Carter-Williams, swatting his layup attempt from behind, leading to Leonard’s driving layup for a 23-19 lead with 3 minutes left in the opening quarter. Mullens’ 3-pointer snapped a 6½-minute drought, but the Spurs were up 45-27 with 6:35 left in the first half.Daye then stole an outlet pass on the run, driving directly at a backpedaling Mullens on a 3-on-1 break. Daye faked a behind-the-back pass to Duncan on the left and dished to Joseph on the right, who fed an open Duncan for a layup and a 47-27 lead.“In my opinion, that’s how you play the game,” Brown said. “So what you see is a system born out of many, many years of corporate knowledge where the winks and the blinks and the wrinkles and subtle nuances (allow them to) understand each other’s tendencies, and the offense shines.“It’s not just a byproduct of good players or a great coach. It’s a decade worth of corporate knowledge. That’s what you aspire to get to.”The lopsided victory did little to satiate the Spurs or Popovich, who are hoping to return to the NBA Finals after falling to Miami last season in a seven-game series.“We’re playing well through this stretch and winning some games,” Duncan said. “Pop is still not satisfied, obviously, with what we’re doing. We want to stay healthy. We want to stay moving in the right direction.“Hopefully we can ride this into the playoffs and feel good going into the playoffs.” It’s a bigger-picture mentality Brown has already instilled in the 76ers, if they are looking at it from a completely different perspective given their run of futility.“I’m not really worried about the streak and what people talk about it,” Carter-Williams said. “We’re just worried about getting better each and every day. Of course we want to go out there and win a ball game. But we just have to keep getting better and hopefully a win will come.”(Raul Dominguez)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more