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Sports

For ‘senior’ Shafali, another World Cup opportunity

At 16, Shafali Verma was India’s highest run scorer in her first senior T20 World Cup in 2020. Seven months earlier, she had become the youngest to feature in a T20 International at the age of 15. And so when she was caught behind by Alyssa Healy, in the third ball of an unsuccessful chase, while trying to go for a boundary, it was just seen as an off day for one of the most promising young cricketers. Cut to three years later, watching her lead India in the maiden U19 Women’s T20 World Cup final shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, the journey since the 2020 World Cup hasn’t been as smooth as many believed it would be for Shafali. Sunday presents an opportunity for Shafali to create happy memories of an ICC event. With over 2,000 runs in 74 games, Shafali has had a mixed run with the...
Sports

Shakira set to release new song on her and Gerard Pique’s birthday: Report

Shakira will release a new track on her and now ex-partner Gerard Pique’s common birthday which falls on February 2, according to a report by Marca as per SPORTbible. Although there are rumours that Pique might be a topic again, it will be less direct and more subtle. The tune is with Karol G and the video was filmed in two days, according to the report. Shakira made a huge sum of money from an earlier song where she seemingly took a dig at Pique and his new girlfriend 23-year-old Clara Chia Marti. As per Marca, Telecinco’s morning show ‘El Programa de Ana Rosa’, Shakira has collected a whole lot of money from various streaming services for her most recent release. As per reports in Spanish media, Shakira is said to have made $512,000 from YouTube, $500,000 from Amazon Music, $360,000 ...
Sports

Pedri leads win at Girona in 100th game for Barcelona

Pedri marked his 100th Barcelona appearance by scoring to squeeze past Girona 1-0 and increase their lead of the Spanish league on Saturday. The 20-year-old Pedri started on the bench as Xavi rotated his lineup ahead of a busy week, but the playmaker replaced the injured Ousmane Dembélé in the 25th minute. Girona stymied the league front-runner until Pedri’s fellow substitute, Jordi Alba, found him with a low cross at close range in the 61st. Pedri, who won the 2021 Golden Boy for the continent’s most promising under-21 player, is considered one of the pillars of Barcelona’s post-Messi rebuild. The Spain midfielder has scored six times this season. FINAL #GironaBarça 0-1 ✨ ¡@Pedri 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲 el 𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗯𝗶! ✨#LaLigaSantander pic.twitter.com/ToIPu5ymQJ — LaLiga (@LaLiga) January 28, 2023 Xavi’s ...
Sports

Neeraj Chopra meets U-19 India women’s team before their final against England on Sunday

Olympic gold medal winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on Saturday met the Indian contingent on the eve of their U19 T20 Women’s World Cup final against England on Sunday, a post shared by the BCCI revealed. The post which was captioned, “A Gold-standard meeting! 👏👏 Javelin thrower & Olympic Gold medallist @Neeraj_chopra1 interacted with #TeamIndia ahead of the #U19T20WorldCup Final!” showed the superstar javelin thrower in various moods as he interacted with the U-19 team. On Sunday, India captain Shafali Verma will chase history when she leads India against England in the first-ever ICC U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup final. For all their success at the international stage, the Indian women’s cricket team has never won a World Cup at any level and the young batter, who has been part ...
Sports

Russia and Belarusian athletes at Asian Games: Asian athletes won’t lose medals, quotas says OCA acting president Randhir Singh

A ‘special quota system’ is currently being devised which will pave the way for athletes from Russia and Belarus to qualify for next year’s Paris Olympics – via Asia. Speaking to The Indian Express, acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Randhir Singh, said his organisation is in the process of designing a qualification pathway so that athletes from these two nations can vie for Olympic berths by competing in Asian tournaments without eating into the existing quotas meant for the continent’s athletes. The modalities, he added, are being worked on in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international sports federations. Earlier this week, the OCA invited Russian and Belarusian athletes – who have been exiled from many international sports follo...
Sports

Stefanos Tsitsipas tasked with Mission Impossible – stopping Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open

Novak Djokovic is 40 matches unbeaten in Australia. His 27-match-winning streak at the Australian Open is now an all-time record. He has not dropped more than eight games in each of his last three straight-sets wins. And now, as he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final, there is more than just a Grand Slam title at stake. The Serb is vying for a record-extending 10th singles title in Melbourne, which will equal Rafael Nadal’s all-time Major record of 22. Tsitsipas, after reaching the semifinal at three of the last four Australian Opens, is in his first Major final. The winner is also confirmed to usurp the World No. 1 spot from Carlos Alcaraz in the rankings. For Djokovic, though, this match is the culmination of a redemption arc following one of the most bizarre and polarising story...
Sports

Lack of tactical awareness, non-existent club culture behind India’s early exit: Oltmans

Former India men’s hockey head coach Roelant Oltmans has blamed the lack of tactical awareness and a non-existent club culture for India’s early exit in the ongoing edition of the FIH Men’s World Cup. India lost the crossover match to New Zealand and failed to make the quarter-finals after going down 4-5 in sudden death. India’s current head coach Graham Reid had also voiced concern about the lack of club culture after the Hockey India League (HIL) became defunct in 2017. “There is no club culture in India, that is for sure. And the players need to continue playing games, that this team is lacking,” Oltmans, who was at the helm of affairs of the Indian team from 2015 to 2017, told PTI in an interview. “These Indians are fantastic hockey players, no doubt about that. But you need to kno...
Sports

‘I’m quite tired, exhausted’: David Warner cites fatigue before India tour

Ahead of the upcoming Test series against India, veteran Australia opener David Warner said he feels “tired, exhausted” after an intense Australian summer season. In the home summer, Warner played in the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, New Zealand, and England and was a part of the five Tests against West Indies and South Africa. He also opened in T20 World Cup at home and, in addition to that, played half a dozen games for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League (BBL). “It’s been challenging. I’m quite tired and exhausted. A few guys have gone to the UAE League but aren’t attending the Cricket Australia awards. From my perspective, it would have been nice to have had another night at home. But it is what it is,” Warner was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “Hopefully, next year I c...
Sports

Ajax fires coach Alfred Schreuder after winless streak

Ajax coach Alfred Schreuder has been fired after only half a season at the Dutch powerhouse following a string of seven matches without a victory for the four-time European champions. Schreuder, who took over the team when Erik ten Hag left for Manchester United, was sacked after his team could only draw 1-1 with Volendam on Thursday night, with Ajax citing “disappointing results and lack of development within the team.” “It’s a painful but necessary decision,” said club director Edwin van der Sar. “We had faith in Alfred to change things. It became clear to us that he could not turn the tide.” Defending champion Ajax is fifth in the top flight Eredivisie, seven points behind league leader Feyenoord. No replacement for Schreuder was immediately announced. !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) {if(f...
Sports

Gabriel Martinelli agrees new contract with Arsenal: Report

Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli has agreed to sign a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Gunners, according to a report by the Athletic. The Brazilian’s previous contract ran until 2024, with the club holding an option of an extra two-years extension. In 26 games across all competitions, the 21-year-old has scored seven goals and looks to play an important part in the future as well as in the Gunners march towards their 1st Premier League title in 19 years. Martinelli was signed for a £6.4million from Brazilian club Ituano after having a trial with Manchester United. Along with Martinelli, the North London club are also keen to extend the contracts of defender William Saliba and forward Bukayo Saka. Arsenal will next face Manchester City in the fourth Round of the FA Cup on Friday night...
Sports

Inzaghi urges Inter to be more consistent

Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi has called on his side to be more consistent ahead of their Serie A game at Cremonese on Saturday, after they stumbled in their last outing against mid-table Empoli. A second-half goal by Empoli midfielder Tommaso Baldanzi earned them a surprise 1-0 win on Monday, ending Inter’s seven-match unbeaten streak in all competitions. Inter are fourth on 37 points, level with third-placed Lazio and AS Roma in fifth, and a point behind AC Milan, who were humbled 4-0 by Lazio on Tuesday. “Luckily, we’re straight back in action. I’m convinced that my team really want to bounce back after the match against Empoli,” Inzaghi told Inter TV on Friday. However, Inter cannot afford to slip up if they are to bridge the gap to runaway leaders Napoli. “More consistency is req...
Sports

The wicket surprised us: Pandya

India skipper Hardik Pandya said they were left “surprised” by the grip and turn the pitch offered but admitted the team paid the price for allowing New Zealand to walk away with too many runs. India suffered a 21-run loss in the opening T20I after New Zealand posted a challenging 176 for six with the last-over thrashing of Arshdeep Singh for 27 runs proving to be the game-changer. Chasing the total, India batters couldn’t negotiate the spinners as they managed 155 for 9. “No one thought this wicket would play like that, both teams got surprised but New Zealand played better cricket. The new ball was turning more than the old ball. The way it turned and bounced surprised us,” Pandya said during the post-match presentation. Suryakumar Yadav (47) and Hardik Pandya (21) had conjured up hop...
Sports

United States to host Copa America 2024 tournament including CONCACAF teams

The 2024 Copa America will be played in the United States, the CONCACAF and CONMEBOL confederations announced on Friday, as part of a new strategic partnership that will include a jointly organised club tournament. Next year’s Copa America, organised by the South American confederation (CONMEBOL), will also feature six invited teams from the CONCACAF (North, Central America and Caribbean) region. It will be the second time that South America’s most important national team tournament will be held in the U.S. after the special commemorative edition in 2016, which also featured six CONCACAF teams. On the women’s side, CONCACAF will invite four South American national teams to the 2024 W Gold Cup, a tournament that will have its first edition this year in the U.S.. CONMEBOL and CONCACAF als...
Sports

Lessons from first T20: India should think twice before preparing turning wickets this season

Turners are a rarity in T20 cricket. The unfamiliarity manifested in Ranchi, as spinners of both sides prospered; India’s trio of Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav and part-timer Deepak Hooda conceded only 56 runs for three wickets in 10 overs; New Zealand’s threesome of Mitchell Santner, Michael Bracewell and Ish Sodhi gave away 72 runs in eleven overs, but shared five wickets among themselves. It was a shootout of spinners that New Zealand emerged victorious—by 21 runs. This should rankle India even more, that they lost on a turner, their strongest suit, where they are expected to shrug off opponents with the ease of swatting a pesky fly aside. Except that, in every department, New Zealanders trumped the Indians, be it bowling spin, playing spin or chalking out a workable method to bat...
Sports

Mental battle key as power-hitters Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka meet in Australian Open final

To quite an extent, Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka are cut from the same cloth. Both are Eastern Europeans, with a 6 ft-tall frame and big wingspan, and both have similar playing styles – based around keeping rallies short by using their natural power and clean shot-making off both wings from the baseline. Yet, where they differ vastly is their mentality and approach. Rybakina is more methodical and stoic, not showing much emotion even when she’s down, and able to rally to come back from deficits. Her celebrations are muted and disappointment is barely visible. It is an approach that has been effective in the past. She is the reigning Wimbledon champion, a fact that most – including tournament organisers who have given her assignments on the outside courts as recently as the ongoing...
Sports

Penalty rules likely to change after Emiliano Martinez’s goalkeeping antics in World Cup: Report

The International FA Board is set to bring about new changes in its penalty rules in order to stop antics like that of Argentina shot stopper Emiliano Martinez in the World Cup final against France, the Sun reported. The IFAB is set to draft new regulations at the AGM in London in March before rewriting the laws which would look into the gamesmanships of the goalkeepers who sometimes “unfairly distract” the penalty taker through various tactics. Martinez was the one whose antics during the penalty shootouts in the World Cup grabbed limelight due to his aggressive approach. In the final against France, he made Kingsley Coman wait for a while as he talked to the referee, asking him to check the ball placement on the penalty spot. Martinez would also play mind games with Real Madrid’s Aure...
Politics

ICC announces all-women panel of match officials for Women’s T20 World Cup

Fourth Umpire Claire Polosak In a significant first for world cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on January 27 named an all-women panel of match officials, including the Indian trio of G.S. Lakshmi, Vrinda Rathi, and Janani Narayanan, for the upcoming Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa.Three match referees and 10 umpires make up the 13-woman team in what is a landmark moment, and is part of the ICC’s strategic ambition of advancing the involvement and visibility of women in cricket.The panel includes seven first-timers. The announcement comes after different sporting events have witnessed a constant rise in the number of women officiating tournaments.Ms. Rathi and Ms. Janani, who had earlier this month became the first women umpires to officiate in the prestigious Ranj...
Sports

Axar Patel ties knot: Ishant Sharma and Jaydev Unadkat attend wedding in Vadodara

Team India all-rounder Axar Patel tied the knot with long-time girlfriend Meha Patel in Vadodara on 26th January. The all-rounder skipped the ODI series against New Zealand this time owing to his wedding. Although he did not share any photos or videos, fellow cricketers who attended the wedding have shared pictures from the day on their social media accounts. Team India left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat also attended the wedding. He took to Instagram to share a picture with the newlyweds. He uploaded the picture with the caption: “Lots of love & good vibes to the newly weds! ❤️ Welcome to the club.. 😉🥂” Fan accounts of the cricketer also shared videos and photos from the wedding on Twitter: MR. & MRs. Axar Patel.#AxarPatel #weddingnight pic.twitter.com/LxDYLd8fGd — Meha Patel (@...
Sports

Watch: Lionel Messi ‘the best dribbler of all time’ video goes viral

Lionel Messi might well be the greatest dribbler that football world has ever seen. The Argentina captain who lifted the World Cup last year, is less about power and more about finesse and as a little kid growing up in Rosario, the little man nicknamed “The Flea” developed his skills playing with and against older and bigger boys. His ability to glide past defenders has helped him constructing his legacy leaving fans in awe, often dubbing it as – ‘Messi Magic’. Messi’s god gifted magical dribbling ability has often left defenders for dead, Croatia’s Josko Gvardiol was the latest one to be completely outfoxed in the recently concluded Qatar World Cup. In a latest video that has gone viral, a compilation created by @FutbolJan10 on Twitter titled, ‘Leo Messi • The best dribbler of all time...
Sports

FIFA beats former Nigeria coach’s U.S. appeal over match-fixing ban

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA prevailed in a U.S. appeals court over a former Nigeria national team coach seeking to overturn his lifetime ban, later reduced to five years, for fixing matches. In a 3-0 decision on Thursday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Samson Siasia did not show why a trial court in New York had jurisdiction over his case. FIFA had in 2019 imposed the lifetime ban, saying Siasia violated its code of ethics over a bribery scheme for Australian matches. The ban prevented Siasia from using his U.S. Soccer Federation coaching license. Siasia, an Atlanta resident and former Nigeria striker, sued FIFA in August 2021, saying the evidence was “grossly insufficient” and that the ban violated his due process rights under the U.S. Constitution. But ...