Ronaldo & De Ligt to face Milan?

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Juventus are increasingly confident that Cristiano Ronaldo and Matthijs de Ligt will both be fit to play Milan on Sunday. Ronaldo was replaced for the final 10 minutes of Juve’s 2-1 win against Lokomotiv Moscow midweek, which coach Maurizio Sarri put down to prevention. De Ligt, meanwhile, missed the trip to Russia with a sprained ankle, picked up in the Derby della Mole with Torino last weekend. Goal.com’s Romeo Agresti writes the pair trained separately from the squad on Friday but that optimism they will face Milan is “filtering”. At this stage, the Portuguese seems likelier to start than the defender, who may only be named as a substitute.last_img read more

Liverani: Lecce need to be ‘carefree’

first_imgFabio Liverani believes Lecce must be “carefree” in their approach if they are to spring a surprise against Juventus tomorrow. Juve are heavy favourites to beat Lecce, given they are at home and remain the dominant force in Serie A, but Liverani – who must serve a touchline ban on Saturday – is upbeat about his side’s chances. “I won’t be on the field but I’m not bitter about it, even I certainly won’t like not being there,” the Coach said at a Press conference. “I accept the ban that I received after the match against Milan, even if I don’t agree with it. “As for whether Juve will rotate, everyone looks at their own first. The Bianconeri have a squad that can manage any game because they have valid options in every position. “Above all, those who have played less could give something more. Whether Ronaldo is there or not doesn’t change anything. “We’ll certainly enter the field with that bit of carefreeness, which you need in games like these. “We’re only thinking about our guarantees and the collective because we know we can’t match them individually. “We mustn’t think about who we’ll be facing, only that we’ll continue on our way. The group can push us beyond this obstacle. My players can stick together even more when they face difficulties.” The Salentini have yet to win at home this season, so is the ex-Lazio midfielder concerned? “Points count, not where we get them: I don’t look at these things. “I have plenty of forward options and I’ll make my considerations.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/last_img read more

Micciche resigns as Serie A chief

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Gaetano Micciche has surprisingly decided to step down from his role as President of Lega Serie A. The resignation comes after Genoa owner Enrico Preziosi alleged there were irregularities with how Micciche was elected President in March 2018. That prompted FIGC prosecutors to open an investigation into the manner in which the banker was voted in. “I wish to announce, with this declaration, my immediate resignation as President of Lega Serie A,” he said in a Press release. “The rumours in today’s newspapers, relating to the closure of the investigation into my appointment 20 months ago and its possible outcome, are unacceptable and required me to make this decision. “I’ve worked in recent months on the transformation of Italian football, adding to competitive and sporting values those of corporate, economic and prospective credibility. “This is essential and preparatory for the arrival of new and serious investors, new and big companies as sponsors, plus new credibility in financial markets. “It’s a transformation that also has the crucial objective of bringing families and fans closer to the world of football and sport in general. “I thank all those who have worked with me, as well as the journalists who have followed my reign with professionalism.” Lega Serie A, which runs the Italian top flight, went without a President for a year before the 69-year-old filled the position.last_img read more

Kean: ‘Did talking on the pitch’

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Everton striker Moise Kean believes he has “responded on the pitch” to critics after scoring twice for Italy Under-21s against Armenia on Tuesday. The former Juventus youngster vented on social media last weekend, in response to recent criticism of his performances, which have yielded no goals in four Everton appearances and speculation about a return to Serie A. However, he scored twice in a 6-0 victory over Armenia, playing the full 90 minutes as Italy continued their fight to win Group 1 and automatically qualify for the European Under-21 Championship in 2021. “I responded on the pitch, there’s no other way,” he said after the final whistle. “We have proven to be superior, playing some excellent football.” The 19-year-old received praise from CT Paolo Nicolato, having immediately bounced back from being dropped by the senior squad in September for tardiness. Now he harbours hopes of getting back in Roberto Mancini’s good books ahead of Euro 2020 next summer. “The compliments from the coach make me happy. He’s a coach who works a lot. We are a great team and we have to work to get through this group. “Obviously, I hope to get there [back in the Italy squad], that’s everyone’s dream. I want to dedicate this brace to my family, who have always supported me.”last_img read more

Juve go for Eriksen in January?

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Juventus could make an approach for Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen in January, with new boss Jose Mourinho not standing in his way. Eriksen’s contract is expiring next June, and Corriere dello Sport suggests Juve – who were thought to be interested in signing the midfielder over the summer – could make formal contact with the Dane this winter over a transfer. It is thought Mourinho has already taken the stance that he won’t stand in his way over a move away from North London. The Italian champions could attempt to sign the 28-year-old outright in January or wait until next summer and sign him on a free transfer. However, the newspaper warns both Real Madrid and Manchester United are also interested in Eriksen, who has been with Spurs since 2013.last_img read more

Saarc home ministers discuss ways to strengthen police co-op

first_imgHome ministers from Saarc nations on Saturday discussed ways to strengthen police cooperation and other means to combat terrorism that has afflicted the region.The Saarc Interior Ministers’ Conference, attended by Home Minister P. Chidambaram, also discussed proposals like maritime security and anti-piracy operations under the Saarc charter. The maritime security proposal has been mooted by Sri Lanka and Maldives.The conference also discussed issues related to Saarc visas in the backdrop of proposals for expanding this category of travel documents. At present MPs, judges, 100 identified business leaders, sports persons and 150 journalists are availing Saarc visa facility.The police networking was on top of the agenda at the meeting. A mechanism for police cooperation is already in place for the last two years but it has not really taken off, the sources said, adding India will underscore the need for making it an effective tool to fight the menace of terrorism afflicting south Asia.India wants visible cooperation as it believes that if any country is serious about fighting terrorism, its cooperation should be visible in terms of information-sharing and other aspects.The conference also discussed ways to strengthen the Colombo-based SAARC Terror Offences Monitoring Desk and Drug Offences Monitoring Desk, which are the nodal agencies for fight against these scourge.The meeting was also attended by home ministers of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.At the meeting, Chidambaram is expected to press for early ratification by Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal of the SAARC Mutual Legal Assistance agreement on criminal matters to ensure that terrorism is combated effectively.advertisementThe agreement was reached at the Saarc Summit in Colombo in 2008.last_img read more

World Boxing Championships: Suranjoy and Akhil storm into Round 2

first_imgM Suranjoy Singh and Akhil Kumar continued India’s winning run at the World Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, as they won their respectively bouts convincingly on Tuesday.Commonwealth champion Suranjoy (52kg) gave India its first victory of the day, beating his Hungarian opponent Dobradi Zsolt 24-8 in the morning session.Akhil brought more good news in the evening session, pounding Filip Barak of Slovakia 16-8 in another lopsided bout.With his victory over Zsolt, Suranjoy has set up a clash with ninth-seeded Mongolian Nyambayar Tugstsogt, a silver medallist in the previous edition of the event, in the second round on Sunday. Akhil will be up against World No. 4 John Nevin of Ireland in the second round on Monday.Suranjoy, nicknamed ‘Chhota Tyson’, fought an aggressive bout and led from start to finish. The Manipuri started off well and was leading 6-3 after the first round.Once he settled in the ring, Suranjoy took Zsolt by storm and unleashed a flurry of punches to score 11 points in the second round. For some time, his rival was a mere spectator as he could score just one point during this period.Suranjoy entered the third round with a handy 17-4 lead and allowed Zsolt to score four points. However, Suranjoy earned seven points in the final round to complete an easy victory.”Suranjoy applied his mind and countered aggression with left uppercuts and hooks,” national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said. “His rival made him run around a lot but Suranjoy’s fitness and guts helped him win. It is a very good win and will actually help him get into rhythm for the upcoming rounds,” Sandhu added.advertisementWhen he locks horns with Tugstsogt on Sunday, revenge will be on Suranjoy’s mind as his campaign was ended by the Mongolian in the opening round of the previous edition of the World Championships.Veteran Akhil (56kg), who is playing his first major tournament after the 2010 Commonwealth Games, cashed in on his vast experience and exhibited his skill and talent for an easy victory against Barak.Akhil, who remained out of action for a major part of the last two years due to several injuries, surged to a 6- 3 lead after the first round.He cashed in on the good start and landed crisp punches to score four points in the second against Barak’s two.Despite a five-point lead, Akhil kept on attacking in the final round, and with six points, stormed into the second round.The 30-year-old Indian, however, will have an uphill task on Monday against Nevin, who is a bronze medallist at the World Championships.Tuesday’s victory has a special significance for Akhil, who had crashed out in the first round of the 2009 World Championships in Milan after sustaining a wrist injury.On Wednesday, Dinesh Kumar (81kg) will be the only Indian in action. The 12th seed Asian Games silver medallist faces a potentially easy fight against Deepak Maharjan of Nepal in the afternoon session.last_img read more

Adelaide Test Day 3 blog: Kohli stands out with his ton in Adelaide

first_imgWelcome to India Today Online’s coverage of the fourth and the final Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from Adelaide. Score | Report | PhotosIt’s 26th January – the India celebrates its Republic Day is also the Australia Day. India started on the backfoot with 61/2 in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 604/7, but ended on a slightly brighter note.Virat Kohli scored his maiden Test ton even as the top-order fell apart to some incisive Aussie bowling. At close on Day 3 Australia were 50/3 after the Indians were bowled out on 272. The match is still very much alive. Do join us tomorrow?..Adelaide Test Day 35:35 pm – STUMPS – Australia are 50/3 in their second innings with Ricky Ponting (1) and skipper Michael Clarke (9) at the crease against India A ton by Virat Kohli followed by quick wickets at death. Is the match heading India’s way – Not yet. It all depends on how India bats in the second innings.Aussies Captain Michael Clarke comes in to bat. 5:22 pm: WICKET – 11.4 overs Ashwin to Ed Cowan, out Lbw!! Ashwin has accounted for both the openers. This one dipped in a bit and hit Ed Cowan on the pads as he looks to flick after shuffling to the off stump. He is hit plumb in front. Ed Cowan lbw b Ashwin 10 (Aus 40/3) Ricky Ponting steps in 5:20 pm: WICKET – 10.6 overs Zaheer to Shaun Marsh, out Lbw!! Marsh gone. Fuller length delivery swinging in sharply, it hits Shaun Marsh on the pads as he looks to flick. Umpire Dharmasena had a good, hard look at it and rules in favor of the bowler. Zak has done it once again, gets another left hander out. Marsh’s dreadful run continues. Shaun Marsh lbw b Zaheer 0 (Aus 40/2)advertisementShaun Marsh comes in 5:14 pm: WICKET – Unfortunately the Aussie plan fails as Warner falls. 9.6 over Ashwin to Warner, out Caught & Bowled!! First wicket for Ashwin in the second innings. Tossed up delivery on the pads, Warner hits it straight back in the direction of Ed Cowan, Ashwin comes across and takes a good low catch. Soft dismissal really. Warner c and b Ashwin 28 (Aus 39/1) 5:00 pm: With a few overs left for the day Aussie openers Warner and Cowan are going steady. The Aussies would be hoping to start fresh tomorrow with all their wickets in place. 4:45 pm: Aussie openers Ed Cowan and David Warner are at the crease.Australia have not enforced the follow on. For some this might be the first moral victory for India, but the Aussie skipper Michael Clarke is thinking on a different track. He wants to give his players the much-needed rest and considering that Wednesday was the second day in the row the Indians had to endure the Adelaide sun. Today will be the third – so in a way Team India have been fielding consecutively for three days – too tough a sunny day and that too on a batting wicket. Australia 2nd inningsInnings break (India all out for 272) – Virat Kohli scored a ton in the face of the Aussie attack led by pace spearhead Peter Siddle, who claimed five wickets in the innings. A good day for the Aussies on Australia Day. India trail by 332 runs at the end of their first essay.4:28 pm: WICKET – Kohli falls and that’s the end of the innings for India. 95.1 over – Hilfenhaus to Virat Kohli, out Lbw!! Low full toss on the leg stump, Virat Kohli looks to slog across the line and misses it. He is hit right in front of the stumps, Aleem Dar’s finger went up in a jiffy. But what a knock from Kohli. Hilfenhaus, Hussey and Warner congratulate him as he makes his way back. Virat Kohli lbw b Hilfenhaus 116 (India all out for 272) Umesh Yadav comes in4:20 pm WICKET – 93.6 overs Hilfenhaus to Ishant, out Bowled!! It is Hilfy’s turn to smile, but he isn’t smiling. Fuller length delivery on the off stump, Ishant looks to defend, plays inside the line and misses. The ball crashes into the off stump. Ishant must have been expecting another short ball, but got a fuller one instead. He has played a sweet little cameo. Aus set to take a huge lead. Ishant b Hilfenhaus 16 (Ind 263/9)4:15 pm: Ryan Harris to Ishant, FOUR, good length delivery on the off stump, Ishant drives it uppishly through the point region for a boundary. Wow! Ishant is all charge up. No wonder both Delhi-mates are in the middle.Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring his ton. Photo: AP4:05 pm: CENTURY for Virat Kohli – 91.1 Siddle to Virat Kohli, 2 runs, drives a good length delivery outside off and gets to his hundred. Punches the air, lets out a flurry of expletives. He is the first batsman from this India squad to get to the three figure mark. That’s Kohli’s maiden Test hundred and the first one for an Indian player in this series. What better way to do it when the chips are down.4:00 pm: Some verbals between Virat and an Aussie fielder during the changeover, Ricky Ponting steps in to calm things down.advertisementOff Twitter: BeefyBotham (Ian Botham) – @warne888 (Shane Warne) how did you end up the other night…??? Enjoy Aussie day sure you will..!!!3:56 pm: Siddle to Ishant Sharma. Off Twitter: Siddle hat-trick ball 151.2kmh. Salute Sharma: he kept it out.Ishant Sharma comes in  3:53 pm WICKET – Another one for Siddle. Siddle to Zaheer, out Caught by Haddin!! Five wicket haul for Siddle. Dreadful shot from Zak. Brain-explosion. Length delivery outside off, Zaheer clears his front leg and went for a swing. He gets an outside edge which is lapped up by Haddin. Siddle is on a hat-trick. Zaheer c Haddin b Siddle 0 (Ind 230/8)Zaheer Khan steps in3:50 pm WICKET – Oops! The Kohli-Ashwin partnership falls even before it could take off.  87.1 overs – Siddle to Ashwin, out Lbw!! The umpire and the bowler change, this time the batsman is given out LBW. Looks to be going down the leg stump. Fuller and angled on the pads, Ashwin looks to flick it, is struck on the pads. Loud appeal from the Aussies and Aleem Dar’s finger went up in a jiffy. India lose two quick wickets, Ashwin was looking composed at the crease. Ashwin lbw b Siddle 5 (Ind 230/7)3:35 pm – Second session – Ravichandran Ashwin comes in and he has the ability to bat. His maiden Test ton against the West Indies at the Wankhede is a reminder. This should be a good partnership for India. Meanwhile Kohli is just nine runs short of his 100. And if he does it it would be his maiden Test ton. 3:25 pm: TEA – India are 225/6 with Virat Kohli (91) in the middle. India still 180 away from avoiding the follow-on though.Kudos to Saha for his superlative effort. Maybe MS Dhoni takes a leaf out of his book when it comes to batting.3:14 pm: WICKET – The Kohli-Saha partnership on 114 runs finally breaks. 84.4 over Ryan Harris to Saha, out Bowled! Oh dear. Complete misjudgment from Saha. Hold on. Is it a no ball? Not at all. Full delivery pitches just outside off, Saha shoulders arms but the ball nips in a touch to hit off stump. That was surely not pitching too wide to be left alone. Harris strikes just before Tea, and India’s search for a wicketless session continues. Saha b Ryan Harris 35 (Ind 225/6) and it’s TEA3:00 pm: Kohli continues to bat on and his partnership with Saha is becoming rather tough one to break for the Aussies. So this wicket is a batting wicket afterall.  advertisementBack home in New Delhi, PM Manmohan Singh along with the three services chiefs pays homage at the Amar Jawan Jyoti… WATCH LIVE (9:45 am IST)2:40 pm: 72.2 Lyon to Virat Kohli, FOUR, more positive batting. This pair continues to take on the spinners. Given air and width outside off, Kohli stretches and leans into the cover drive and plays it wide of the fielder there, was a bit uppish but in the gap. 200 up for India as the two youngsters battle on in Adelaide. Off twitter: Before the series someone tipped Kohli to be India’s highest run scorer in the series. He still has 60 to go before he catches Sachin!2:10 pm: 62.5 overs Lyon to Saha, 3 runs, nicely played, goes deep in the crease, allows the ball to turn in and then late-cuts it to third man, partnership: 51. Nice! Off twitter: A century by Virat Kohli can send Laxman packing. Also a century by Saha would make MS Dhoni nervy.Virat Kohli raises his bat post his half-century in Adelaide on Thursday. Photo: AP2:00 pm: 61.5 overs Hilfenhaus to Virat Kohli, FOUR, what a shot to bring up his FIFTY! Second consecutive half century for this wonderful talent. Full and straight ball, he gets half forward and flicks it right between mid wicket and mid on, the fielder near the ropes gives chase but he had no chance. Superb shot, one of the very few positives of this disaster of a tour for India. solid resilience there.1:45 pm: Kohli and Saha continue to thwart the Australia attack. It’s high time the seniors learn something from the juniors.1:30 pm: Virat Kohli and Wriddhiman Saha continue to bat at the Adelaide Oval. If the two continue the way they are and put on a good total on board, it should Definitely be an eye-opener for India’s top-order batsmen.    1:10 pm: Second session – The post lunch session should follow the familiar script. So you can expect what is going to happen. If it doesn’t, then India would have done well. And they say it’s a flat wicket!12:40 pm: LUNCH – India are 122/5 with Virat Kohli (21) and Wriddhiman Saha (5) at the crease.Shane Warne tweets: A good thought for the day & true… “Many people spend their life trying to make it better, unfortunately they forget to live it” enjoy xWriddhiman Saha, right handed bat, comes to the crease 12:16 pm: WICKET – 46.1 Lyon to Laxman, out Caught by Haddin!! End of Laxman. Well deserved wicket for Lyon. Ordinary shot from VVS. Extra bounce for Lyon, ripped this off break, it pitched and bounced outside off, Laxman tried to run it down and the faint edge was well taken by the keeper. Laxman c Haddin b Lyon 18 (Ind 111/5).Virat Kohli steps in11:30 am: WICKET – Another one and this time it is Gautam Gambhir He was looking tentative. 33.5 overs – Siddle to Gambhir, out Caught by Michael Hussey at gully!! Brute! Fab catch from Hussey diving forward as well. Where did that come from? On such a flat wicket to produce a snorter like that tells volumes about Siddle’s character. Short one into the chest area of Gambhir, who didn’t expect it at all. He was in no position to play that, offered his bat as a shield and it went off the handle. It seemed to be falling short, but Hussey ran in and then dived forward to cup it just as the ball was about to kiss the turf. Gambhir c Michael Hussey b Siddle 34 (87/4).VVS Laxman walks in11:15 am: WICKET – Oh ho! The Master Blaster has gone and it’s Siddle, who does the job for Australia. 31.2 overs – Siddle to Tendulkar, out Caught by Ponting!! Is Tendulkar out? They are checking for the no-ball and the catch. Both are clean. Tendulkar has to go. Loud cheers from the crowd after it is confirmed that Sachin is out. Good ball from Siddle, drew Tendulkar into the forward defence, Tendulkar made the mistake of playing with an open face and the low edge was scooped up at 2nd slip. No doubts about the catch – straight in and well held by Ponting. Reward for persistent bowling from Sid. Tendulkar c Ponting b Siddle 25 (Ind 78/3).11:00 am: Australian trying as hard as possible on this flat Adelaide track. Amazing how their pace spearhead Peter Siddle just got the ball to rise and it went past Gautam Gambhir. They call it the ‘throat ball’. The Aussie pacer usually trouble the tail-ender with that ball, but today they seem to be using it against India’s top-order batsmen. 10:45 am: Sachin Tendulkar rotates the strikes even as Gambhir tries hard to get his rhythm going. A little adjustment of his crouch by Tendulkar and there a good one towards the deep and a few more runs on board. Let’s not forget the Master Blaster is still chasing his elusive 100th international ton.10:30 am: Happy Republic Day to all back home and let’s wish the same for Team India in Adelaide. The Motto for the day for India: The Motto of the Day for India: Stay on the middle as long as possible. Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar are at the crease. Gambhir, a little tentative, Tendulkar, in better state.last_img read more

Fatigue will not be a real factor, says M S Dhoni

first_imgThere schedule may be chock-a-block but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni does not believe fatigue will be a real factor for Indian players who are to play South Africa in a one-off T20 match followed by the seven-week long upcoming IPL.Dhoni says he and his team-mates are “happy” to have travelled to South Africa even though it is for a one-off match, and coming after their failure to make the Asia Cup final and the disastrous tour of Australia.”All happy. I don’t think fatigue will be a real factor. We all enjoy playing the IPL…that’s one format where you are not representing your country, and the span of the tournament is slightly longer so you play quite a few games.”It’s a different exposure. I always felt the platform was good for youngsters because they get to play with some of the best international cricketers. It helps you get a bit fitter also,” Dhoni said after he arrived here with his team for the match, scheduled to be held on Friday.Dhoni lauded South Africa for their hospitality and the ability to make visiting teams feel comfortable.”In South Africa the sports are managed really well. When a team comes everything is in place and in order. In the same way, when it comes to India, the management, the airlines and the hotels, they go out of their way to make the players comfortable.”last_img read more

IPL 2012: Rajasthan Royals look to build on good start against Kolkata Knight Riders

first_imgIt will take a few more matches for teams to strike the right balance as the Indian Premier League gathers pace.The sooner they do it, the better it would be.Often it has been seen in this format that a bad stretch could be just around the corner. A team like Rajasthan Royals, who made a promising start against Kings XI Punjab, will be eager to build momentum while a combination like Kolkata Knight Riders, who suffered a loss in their inaugural match against Delhi Daredevils, will be desperate to log their first points.Knight Riders, one of the fancied teams in the competition, did reasonably well under Gautam Gambhir in the previous season.However, it was not the kind of start they were looking for at home. As Gambhir pointed out, their batsmen faltered in not being able to build partnerships. The top order collapsed in the face of some fine seam bowling by South African speedster Morne Morkel.They could manage 97/ 9 in 12 overs which Daredevils easily overhauled.A line up that has Brendon McCullum, Jacques Kallis, Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan has enough firepower in its batting ranks.If the first match at Sawai Man Singh Stadium is any indication, the pitch looks a batting paradise where Kolkata can prosper on its batting prowess. The 4pm match means there will be no dew factor and fans can hope for a scorcher of a game.”It is very difficult to set a target in a rain-curtailed match. Our top three batsmen were out early against Delhi. We are looking forward to a good game tomorrow,” Laxmi Ratan Shukla said on the eve of the match.advertisementAs Kolkata prepare to take on the Rajasthan Royals, they would take heart from the fact that they won both their matches against them last season. The team hit the nets in the afternoon and had a long practice session. Bowling coach Wasim Akram spent a lot of time in action. Gambhir, in particular, batted against different bowlers.Rajasthan looked in great touch against Kings XI Punjab and new captain Rahul Dravid marshalled his resources well.Dravid, who is also the mentor of the team, has pointed out that he is there to guide the young talent and that’s what he looked to do while opening the batting with Ajinkya Rahane.The Mumbai opener was a treat to watch in the opening match and flourished in the company of the veteran.”Rahane was very impressive against Kings XI Punjab. He is a good player and we will do everything possible to stop him from giving Rajasthan an explosive start,” Shukla added.The Royals bowling, too, looked good. Kevon Cooper, their new recruit, took four wickets on his IPL debut.Cooper, an unsung all-rounder from Trinidad, impressed with his controlled bowling. He will have to do it consistently to become a match-winner in the big league.last_img read more

Percept D’Mark offers Ganguly Rs 45 crore for five-year contract

first_imgMONEY TALKS: Sourav GangulyMUMBAI Sourav Ganguly knows what he wants. And how to get it. Even before his three-year contract with celebrity management company Percept D’Mark ended in September, the Indian skipper was scouting for a better deal than the Rs 30 crore on offer for the next five years.,MONEY TALKS: Sourav GangulyMUMBAI Sourav Ganguly knows what he wants. And how to get it. Even before his three-year contract with celebrity management company Percept D’Mark ended in September, the Indian skipper was scouting for a better deal than the Rs 30 crore on offer for the next five years. When news of negotiations with World Sports Nimbus made the headlines, Percept D’Mark moved court declaring that it held the “right to match” any offer from another agency. And match they did.Percept is reportedly offering Ganguly Rs 45 crore for a five-year contract with them – a mighty Rs 15 crore hike from the original offer. Also the rather ambiguous promise to create “global opportunities” for the Indian captain. “We have renewed our marriage,” says Joint MD Shailendra Singh dryly.With marriage comes commitment and Ganguly must commit at least 100 days a year to Percept if they are to make him the kind of money he wants. All this provided he’s still playing for India till 2008.last_img read more

Police thrillers: Khaki is the newest hue in Bollywood

first_imgGANGAAJAL: In Prakash Jha’s film, Ajay Devgan dons the uniform and plays an honest officer who takes on the baddiesViolence reverberates through the grimy, paan-stained corridors of Mumbai’s Directorate of Technical Education. Its majestic Indo-Saracenic central hall doubling as a post office after working hours is littered with broken furniture,GANGAAJAL: In Prakash Jha’s film, Ajay Devgan dons the uniform and plays an honest officer who takes on the baddiesViolence reverberates through the grimy, paan-stained corridors of Mumbai’s Directorate of Technical Education. Its majestic Indo-Saracenic central hall doubling as a post office after working hours is littered with broken furniture because Akshay Kumar in police uniform is trading filmi punches with Ajay Devgan.A biff and a bang later, director Rajkumar Santoshi yells “cut”, ending the pantomime on the sets of one of Bollywood’s biggest blockbusters, Khakee. The days Santoshi spent as chief assistant director to Govind Nihalani, tramping through the city’s police stations to recreate the filthy rooms and the rough police speak in the classic Ardh Satya, have stood him in good stead. The star-spangled Khakee, he promises, will be Bollywood’s closest look at the men in the force. Amitabh Bachchan is the honest IPS officer, Devgan the bad guy, Akshay is crooked and comic, and Tusshar Kapoor is the rookie. Trouble is there are a dozen films waiting in the wings, each promising to do just that. Not all of them have Khakee’s stellar line-up, but they collectively have more than Rs 100 crore riding on their back and a range of actors – from the Union shipping minister to a superbrat – in dust brown fabric packing a pistol. From Sunny Deol who grew a beard to play a rustic Sikh constable dispatched to New York in Jo Bole So Nihal to Nana Patekar playing a hardened encounter specialist in the Ram Gopal Varma factory’s Ab Tak Chappan. The call of duty has attracted even bad boy Salman Khan who, sample this for sheer irony, marched straight to the sets in starched uniform after being jailed for nearly a fortnight for mowing down a pavement dweller. Producer Sunil Mehta hasn’t decided what to call the Rs 25 crore film-Satyameva Jayate or Garv- but swears it is “Salman’s best performance till date”. Actors, evidently, are in short supply for such heavy duty acting. advertisementSATYAMEVA JAYATE Or may be Garv. The Khan brothers Salman Khan (right) and Arbaaz Khan team up as policemenShool’s steely officer Manoj Bajpai reprises the role in two films-Pankuj Parashar’s Inteqam and Mehul Kumar’s Jaago, based on the true story of a rape in a Mumbai local train. Three Khakee stars are doing double-shifts as law enforcers in other films-Devgan has just played Gangaajal’s upright officer while Bachchan hops sets to play policeman in Dev, Santoshi’s one-time mentor Govind Nihalani’s film. Akshay Kumar, who plays a conscientious officer in the Madhur Bhandarkar-directed Aan, sits in crisp uniform amid Khakee’s chaos and confesses with the frankness of a child in a candy store, “I read both scripts at around the same time, both were exciting.” The film’s other hero, Union Minister for Shipping Shatrughan Sinha, had to seek prime ministerial approval, no less, to don greasepaint and khaki. But producer Firoz A. Nadiadwala believes his Weapon of Mass Distraction will be Paresh Rawal who sparked off laugh riots in Hera Pheri. His barbs as the bribe-taking constable are specially penned by Neeraj Vora. Bollywood, used to herd-mentality, is dumb founded by the khaki deluge. “This hasn’t happened in the industry before, but it is no trend,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra. “Santoshi, Varma and Nihalani are serious film-makers, not proposal makers.” Varma wanted to make a film on the encounter specialists in the Mumbai Police. “They get a strange sense of achievement in numbers,” he says, explaining his film’s title, Ab Tak Chappan. “But each statistic represents a dead criminal. It is macabre.” After the superlative Ardh Satya and Drohkaal comes Dev where Nihalani realises his “ambition to work with Bachchan”. He won’t call it the last of his police trilogy but a “story of two friends who happen to be policemen”. DEV: In his third police film, Govind Nihalani (centre) fulfils his dream of working with Amitabh Bachchan (left) and casts him opposite the peerless Om PuriAs an after thought, he says it may be “the Ardh Satya for the new millennium”. Anurag Kashyap, scriptwriter of Shool and Satya, who is to direct Black Friday, a police procedural film on the 1993 Bombay blasts, and Allwyn Kalicharan on a corrupt policeman, Anil Kapoor, in a dystopic Delhi of 2015, explains the police obsession: “It is a fascination for the cop- and crime-genre and people who have the power to do the unthinkable and change lives.”Mumbai policemen are a richly mined vein- encounter specialist sub-inspector Daya Nayak inspires characters in Aan, Ab Tak Chappan and Kagaar while Kay Kay plays Additional Commissioner Rakesh Maria in Black Friday. In these all-male films, women are adornments-recruited for oomph, as Lara Dutta is in Aan, or to play a suffering wife like Gracy Singh in Gangaajal. Unless, of course, it is a policewoman played by Sushmita Sen in Samay, a serial-killer flick. “She is the woman in control,” says director Robby Grewal. The khaki wave even promises to do the unthinkable-be authentic. Former police commissioner M.N. Singh, who had a hitlist of films that showed his department in poor light, had to eat his words when he mistook Akshay Kumar-sporting a close crop and in a uniform stitched by the Mumbai Police’s official tailor-for one of his men at the mahurat of Aan. Designer Anna Singh saw her home deluged with bales of brown fabric when she agreed to design uniforms, over a 1,000 of them, for Santoshi’s film. “He is a perfectionist and wanted all the policemen dressed in the same shade of khaki,” says Singh. Bachchan’s IPS uniform had to be aged by 10 years by washing it every day for two months. Onscreen, however, khaki is the newest hue.advertisementlast_img read more

Doctor sentenced to 40 to 175 years in jail for sexually assaulting gymnasts

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Cliff Hodge return a shot in the arm for Meralco Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said Nassar’s “decision to assault was precise, calculated, manipulative, devious, despicable.”“It is my honor and privilege to sentence you. You do not deserve to walk outside a prison ever again. You have done nothing to control those urges and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingNassar found competitive gymnastics to be a “perfect place” for his crimes because victims saw him as a “god” in the sport, a prosecutor said Wednesday, shortly before the former doctor was to be sentenced for years of molesting Olympic gymnasts and other young women.“It takes some kind of sick perversion to not only assault a child but to do so with her parent in the room,” prosecutor Angela Povilaitis said. “To do so while a lineup of eager young gymnasts waited.”center_img View comments MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ She described the “breadth and ripple” of Nassar’s sexual abuse as “nearly infinite.”“What does it say about our society that victims of sexual abuse have to hide their pain for years when they did nothing wrong? What does it say about our society when victims do come forward … and are treated as liars until proven true?” Povilaitis said.Nassar turned to the courtroom gallery to make a brief statement, saying that the accounts of more than 150 victims had “shaken me to my core.” He said “no words” can describe how sorry he is for his crimes.“I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days” he said as many of his accusers wept.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Larry Nassar is brought into court Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Lansing, Mich. Nassar, 54, has admitted sexually assaulting athletes under the guise of medical treatment when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which as the sport’s national governing organization trains Olympians. He already has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography. Under a plea bargain, he faces a minimum of 25 to 40 years behind bars in the molestation case. (Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal via AP)LANSING, Mich. — The former sports doctor who admitted molesting some of the nation’s top gymnasts for years was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison as the judge declared: “I just signed your death warrant.”The sentence capped a remarkable seven-day hearing in which scores of Larry Nassar’s victims were able to confront him face to face in a Michigan courtroom.ADVERTISEMENT PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power gridlast_img read more

Gilas Pilipinas falls to Iran anew, goes 0-2 at home

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netGilas Pilipinas faltered when it mattered most and dropped a 70-78 decision to Iran in the fifth window of the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers Monday night before a stunned crowd at Mall of Asia Arena.The Filipinos took an eight point lead in the fourth quarter but it only set up a spirited comeback from the Iranians led by their prolific swingman Mohammad Jamshidi.ADVERTISEMENT Another case filed vs Cardema SEA Games: PH dancesport looking to sweep golds But the Iranians, who beat the Philippines, 81-73, in Tehran three months ago, kept their composure and ended the game on a 9-0 run. Hotel management clarifies SEA Games footballers’ kikiam breakfast controversy LATEST STORIES Read Next SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Fossil launches its newest generation smartwatch: The Gen 5center_img Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Judiciary Committee set to take over Trump impeachment probe MOST READ Torres eyes bounce back win vs tough Yamaguchi in ONE: Destiny of Champions Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It was a heartbreaking and costly loss for the Philippines, which slipped to fourth place in Group F after going 0-2 at home following a stunning loss to Kazakhstan last Friday.Jayson Castro led Gilas Pilipinas with 19 points in just his first game back after serving a three-game suspension for his involvement in the brawl with Australia last July while Christian Standhardinger added 17 points and eight rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefJamshidi, who is no stranger to playing in Manila after playing for the Meralco Bolts as an import back in 2016, led all scorers with 26 points, most of which coming after Iran trailed, 52-60.Gilas, which blew a golden opportunity to force a three-way tie with Iran and Japan in second place, was up, 70-69, after June Mar Fajardo followed up a miss by Castro with 1:05 remaining. View commentslast_img read more

Time for Indian skippers to pull up their socks

first_imgCricket rates have been jacked up for the Indian Premier League matches at home but ardent T20 fans may not mind it.This is peak summer in India and as the temperature rises, it is time for the intensity of cricket to also go up. After the first fortnight in the UAE went off well, one almost did not notice how the cricket caravan slipped into home training grounds.Enough has been written about the woes of defending champions Mumbai Indians but on Saturday they would have heaved a sigh of relief as they snapped the winning streak of Kings XI Punjab.It is hard to fathom what went wrong with the Mumbai team in the desert, but I have not been able to understand the logic of getting on board so many “expert advisors.”John Wright is the head coach, Jonty Rhodes the fielding coach, and in addition they have Anil Kumble, Robin Singh, Sachin Tendulkar and now Ricky Ponting. It’s nice to have a star support cast for a team which has no dearth of funds but what value they bring to the team we will know in coming weeks.The famous saying of too many cooks spoiling the broth may sound cliched but for Mumbai all the collective thinking was needed when they left the UAE. To have finally won their first match in front of a sea of blue in the stands at the Wankhede on Saturday was very important. Given the long drawn format of the tournament, no team can be written off, though Chennai Super Kings as usual have done extremely well under the guidance of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. We all know how shrewd a captain Dhoni is and this season he has been well served by Ravindra Jadeja and Brendon McCullum in particular.advertisementThe same, however, cannot be said about the other Indians who are leading their respective franchises. Watching Gautam Gambhir struggle with the bat, it is clear his poor run has a lot to do with trying too hard. Any professional sportsperson has to enjoy whatever he does on the field. In Gambhir’s case, it does appear he is trying too much and it shows on his face. To have scored just 52 runs in six matches with a highest of 45 at a strike rate of 76.47 is a cause for worry.When Kolkata Knight Riders were crowned IPL champions in 2012, Gambhir was the superstar. He talked of how Kolkata was his home away from home and the Bengali community lapped it up with glee.If Gambhir has to connect again with the Kolkatans and turn the fortunes of his team around, he needs to be more relaxed. Where does that leave Gambhir’s Delhi Ranji teammate Virat Kohli? The rockstar of Indian cricket, who has done so well in the ODIs and the recent ICC World T20, is looking subdued in the IPL.Nobody is expecting him to slam a 100 in this format often but given the fluctuating fortunes of Royal Challengers Bangalore, fans would love to see Kohli changes gears fast. For sheer star value, the Bangalore side is loaded with heavyweights. With Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle for company, Kohli would do well to show his current run is just an aberration.It is unfair to expect he will score each time he steps out to bat though 105 runs in five matches this season with a highest of 49 seems meagre. Let’s take a look at Sunrisers Hyderabad. For a side which has a good bowling line-up with Dale Steyn looking impressive, skipper Shikhar Dhawan has not been inspirational at all.This is Dhawan’s first season as captain and whether it is that pressure or a poor run with the bat we will know soon. Till now, in five matches, Dhawan has scored 85 runs with the highest being 38. Surely for a side which needs to win more matches, it is very important Dhawan bounces back to form.And what about Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma? Consistency has never been his forte. There are days when he looks outstanding and there are patches when he just does not score in international cricket. The IPL is a demanding tournament and each player has to be firing on all cylinders. Rohit has scored 123 runs in six matches with a 50 to boot. His 39 on Saturday was valuable and he would have realised how important it is for him to score runs and motivate the side.This is a great chance for Rohit to show leadership skills in addition to his own batting. He has a galaxy of past stars to seek advice from and that should be real education.advertisements.kannan@mailtoday.inlast_img read more

BCCI suspends Rajasthan Cricket Association to prevent Lalit Modi’s return

first_imgLalit ModiThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday suspended Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) soon after controversial cricket administrator Lalit Modi was declared elected as its president.The decision was taken by BCCI interim president Shivlal Yadav in the light of a provision in the Supreme Court order that allowed the world’s richest cricket board take action against the RCA.The BCCI has also decided to issue a show cause notice to the RCA over the contentious election held in December last year. It would now appoint an ad hoc committee to take care of Rajasthan cricket affairs until a full-fledged state body takes charge.Earlier in the day, Modi was declared the winner of the president’s election held on December 19. An SC bench had on April 30 directed the election officer of RCA elections to declare the results on Tuesday. However, it had allowed the BCCI to challenge the controversial Rajasthan Sports Act, 2005 that enabled Modi to contest for the RCA president’s post for a second time.last_img read more

ISL 2014: Kolkata remain on top after 0-0 draw against Chennai

first_imgBoth teams are tied at 12 points and today’s winner will take the top spot in ISL standingsAtletico de Kolkata played out a goalless draw against Chennaiyin FC in a high-intensity Hero Indian Super League fixture to maintain their top spot on Friday.Record-breaking Chennai | Koke Heroics | Atletico’s Riot | Delhi’s Struggle Watched by a starry Bollywood gathering of Bachchan father-son duo and Deepika Padukone, the match had all the ingredients of an eventful contest, including a 11-minute interruption thanks to a familiar power outage at the Salt Lake stadium.But a goal eluded both the teams as ATK would consider themselves unlucky after their star striker Fikru Teferra fluffing an easy chance while their marquee player and captain Luis Garcia’s shot hit the crosspiece.Even Chennaiyin FC very nearly went one-up in the 80th minute when Balwant Singh scored using a Jean-Eudes Maurice cross. But the Indian striker’s deflection of his hands was quick to be spotted by referee Pratap Singh who disallowed the goal.Chennaiyin’s star Brazilian forward Elano Blumer also had a lacklustre day, missing some easy opportunities while his clinical freekicks too eluded him a goal.Both teams refused to play second fiddle in the top of the table clash but it was ATK who had the best opportunity with Fikru firing it wide of the post.In a 21st minute move, a full charged-up ATK dished out some amazing interplay between Garcia, Nato and Fikru who found himself in front of an open goal. But the Ethiopian let the team down firing it wide of the post in the best chance of the first-half.advertisementIf Fikru’s shot broke the hearts of the 45,000-odd crowd in the first-half, former Liverpool star Luis Garcia hit the crossbar after a powerful curling left-footer on the edge of the box in the 62nd minute.The Spaniard sent the ball curling towards the right top corner but the framework denied him as ATK had to settle for one point to retain their lead over the Chennai side on top of the league table by virtue of goal difference.ATK made a couple of changes to their line up as their influential playmaker Jofre, who was suspended for their last match, returned in place of Kingshuk Debnath while Lester Fernandez replaced Cavin Lobo.In their battle for the top spot, Chennaiyin FC also made two changes, bringing in Eric Djemba-Djemba and Dane Pereira for Bojan Djordjic and Denson Devdas.Starting XI(from):Atletico de Kolkata: Subhasish Chowdhury(gk); Baljit Sahni, Arnab Mondal, Josemi, Biswajit Saha; Ofentse Nato, Borja Fernandez; Lester Fernandez, Luis Garcia(c), Jofre; Fikru Teferra Chennaiyin FC: Gennaro Bracigliano(gk); Dane Pereira, Gouramangi Singh, Mikael Silvestre, Dhanachandra Singh; Harmanjot Khabra, Marco Materazzi, Eric Djemba-Djemba; Elano Blumer(c); Balwant Singh, Stiven mendoza Valencialast_img read more

East Bengal players make a beeline for Mohammedan Sporting Club

first_imgCalcutta’s superstars in action: large-scale desertionsMass defection is no longer a monopoly of politicians. Last months, Calcutta’s East Bengal Club, second best in national football after Mohun Bagan Club, lost its star players as fast as a tree shedding autumn leaves. The East Bengal players were making a beeline for,Calcutta’s superstars in action: large-scale desertionsMass defection is no longer a monopoly of politicians. Last months, Calcutta’s East Bengal Club, second best in national football after Mohun Bagan Club, lost its star players as fast as a tree shedding autumn leaves. The East Bengal players were making a beeline for Mohammedan Sporting Club which, despite a glorious past, had been relegated to the number three position since a decade ago. The desertions sent a shock wave down the ranks of East Bengal’s millions of supporters, most of whom have emotional roots in the eastern parts of undivided Bengal.The man who turned out to be the Calcutta maidan’s (the complex of playgrounds in the heart of the city) Pied Piper of Hamelin this year is lean and wiry Surajit Sengupta, 27, the football equivalent of Amitabh Bachchan who was East Bengal’s ace forward till last year.Stung by criticism in his former club that he was off-colour last season, and hired by big money apparently offered by former smuggling-king Haji Mastan, the Mohammedan club’s newest patron. Surajit led altogether nine A-class players, five of whom are superstars, to don this season the Mohammedan club’s blue-and-white jersey. To give the deal a final Ian Fleming touch, it was signed in the cool shade by the swimming pool of Singapore’s Sea Lion Hotel.Salvage Operation: The players who have deserted East Bengal to join Mohammedan club are, apart from Surajit, Bhaskar Ganguly, 22, custodian and international player, stocky stopper-back Manoranjan Bhattacharya, wily striker Shabbir Ali, standby stopper Shyamal Ghosh, full-back Chinmoy Chatterjee, linkman and last year’s captain Prasanto Banerjee, powerful Nigerian striker David Williams and flank-man Mir Sajjad Ali. Remarked an East Bengal supporter: ‘”They’ve taken away the kernel and left the skin.”East Bengal’s stars sign a new contract: more moneyEast Bengal Club, who won the coveted Indian Football Association (IFA) Shield 15 times, had goose-pimples as it saw its cream crossing over. The club’s salvage operation began on a melodramatic note. It sent its 1980 captain, Satyajit Mitra, to Madras to intercept Manoranjan Bhattacharya on his return journey from Singapore. Mitra was accompanied by Bhattacharya’s father. The 70-year-old man wept, but still could not prevail on his son.Anticipating the transfer-spree a few months earlier. East Bengal had hired the Mohun Bagan coach and former international player P. K. Bannerjee to take the charge of their team, or whatever was left of it. The money involved in the deal here was reported to be astronomical.No Amateurs: Barring Bannerjee, Mohun retained more or less the same team as in 1979. It was even reinforced with the induction of Francis D’Souza, an international forward from Goa. With a few small changes here and there, it is the same team that has, over the past four years, won almost all the major tournaments in the country.East Bengal, who retained only the crumbs, was labouring to recruit second-liners and the erstwhile greats who had peaked out. But this is not likely to alter the new pattern of football rivalry that is bound to emerge in India. It looks certain now that Mohun Bagan will have to take on Mohammedan Sporting Club rather than East Bengal in its contest for supremacy.The Mohammedan Sporting Club deal exposes the hypocrisy involved in the smug assertion that football in India is an amateur game. The fact is, the game is now played for money and big money-just as it is played in Brazil or Argentina.Under the facade of amateurism, players get paid under the head of “facilities and perquisites”. And the colour of the money, needless to say, is a deep-hued black. With a dearth of world class players, the price for the player’s allegiance to a club rises. The player who got Rs 25,000 for a season in the “70s now demands and gets – Rs 50,000 plus many other facilities.Haji Mastan: a game of high stakesBig Money: The modus operandi is like this: the club officials rope in moneybags to finance players’ recruitment. The budget for an individual club has risen from Rs 5 lakh a few years ago to Rs 14 lakh this year. Haji Mastan, who made repeated hurricane trips to Calcutta recently, is this year’s sponsor for Mohammedan club.The football business in Calcutta, which involves a gate collection of Rs 2.5 crore every season, is wrapped up in a make-belief cloak of amateur football.With the kind of money invested this year, there is no reason why limited companies cannot be floated, in line with Manchester United of the UK, to sponsor official professional footballers.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Portugal beat Argentina in friendly with Ronaldo vs Messi a sideshow

first_imgRaphael Guerrero of Portugal (left) celebrates with Ricardo Quaresma after scoring the only goal against Argentina. (AP Photo)’Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi’ got top billing at a packed Old Trafford but it was a lesser light who scored as Portugal scraped a 1-0 friendly win over Argentina on Tuesday.Raphael Guerreiro headed the winner in added time after a second half riddled with substitutions and missing the excitement factor provided by the game’s two biggest players who did not reappear after halftime.With Messi and Ronaldo on the field, Argentina showed what coach Gerardo Martino is looking for from his team, a quick-passing possession game with fast thrusts forward.They dominated the opening half-hour in which they could have scored at least twice, the first chance a shot from Angel Di Maria, playing at the home of his club Manchester United, that skimmed the outside of the post after he was set up by Messi.Argentina’s closest effort was in the 11th minute when Messi beat the offside trap to reach a through ball on the right and came in at a tight angle, his low shot from the edge of the six-yard box beating Beto but glancing off the post and back into play.As the half-hour approached, Messi crossed, Javier Pastore headed and Beto dived to save before Ronaldo raised the decibels in the stadium when he backheeled a neat pass to Bosingwa then raced into the box to take the right back’s cross but his shot after two dummies went over the bar.advertisementIt was the signal for Portugal to come out of their shell for the last 15 minutes of the half and put the Argentine defence under pressure but Martino’s side managed to play their way out of trouble.After a lukewarm start to the second half, Di Maria had a shot from outside the box saved by Beto before Carlos Tevez came on for Gonzalo Higuain to boos from fans of his former team Manchester United but he did not make an impact.The game failed to pick up its first half rhythm and quality, despite an end-to-end flow, thanks to the high number of substitutions as every player in the two squads appeared to be getting a chance to play.Portugal looked like they wanted it more towards the end and a lucky bounce set up Ricardo Quaresma to cross from the right and give substitute Raphael Guerreiro a free header for the only billing at the goal.last_img read more