Tyson Fury’s troubled 11th month reign as world heavyweight champion came to an end on Thursday when the British boxer announced he would be vacating his WBO and WBA titles “to fully focus on his medical treatment and recovery”.The 28-year-old has not fought since beating Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko to win the titles in November 2015 and has since admitted taking cocaine to battle depression. (Tyson Fury says he took cocaine to deal with depression)Fury has twice called off a fight against Klitschko, in July because of an ankle injury and last month for an unspecified medical condition, and also briefly retired from the sport.”I feel that it is only fair and right and for the good of boxing to keep the titles active and allow the other contenders to fight for the vacant belts that I proudly won and held as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world …” Fury said in statement released by his promoter Mick Hennessy.”I won the titles in the ring and I believe that they should be lost in the ring, but I’m unable to defend at this time and I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured world titles”(I) wish the next in-line contenders all the very best as I now enter another big challenge in my life which I know, like against Klitschko, I will conquer.”Tyson’s points victory over Klitschko in Duesseldorf, Germany at the end of November last year was one of the biggest upsets in the long history of heavyweight boxing.advertisementIt was a first defeat for Klitschko in 11 years and the now 40-year-old Ukrainian immediately demanded a re-match.Klitschko expressed his frustration after Fury called off a fight for the second time last month and last week accused the Briton of “dragging boxing through the mud”.At the start of October, ESPN reported Fury had tested positive for cocaine, citing a leaked letter sent by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) which Reuters has been unable to verify.A couple of days later, Fury announced his retirement in an expletive-laden tweet, only to abruptly reverse the decision hours later, saying he planned to carry on fighting.In an interview with Rolling Stone published on Oct. 4, Fury admitted to drinking heavily and using cocaine to help him deal with depression, saying he had been diagnosed as “manic depressive”.In the interview, he denied ever taking banned substances before he fought and said his cocaine use had started only after he beat Klitschko.Fury has also been charged with an anti-doping rule violation by UK Anti-Doping after a urine sample from February 2015 – nine months before his victory over Klitschko – showed traces of the banned stimulant nandrolone. He denies any wrongdoing.Hennessy described the decision to vacate the titles as “heartbreaking” and Peter Fury, the boxer’s uncle and trainer, said he was convinced his nephew, who has a professional record of 25-0, would return to the ring.”Tyson will be back stronger from this and I will make sure, no matter what we have to deal with, Tyson not only comes back but will reclaim what’s rightfully his,” he said.
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Kerala Blasters on Friday defeated Pune City FC 2-1 to collect crucial three points in their push for the Indian Super League (ISL) football semi-final qualification.Kerala rode on goals from Duckens Nazon (7th minute) and Aaron Hughes (57th) to climb to the third spot in the standings. Anibal Zurdo managed to halve the deficit from a free-kick for Pune in the closing minutes of the match.It was Kerala’s fourth straight victory that put them level with second-placed Atletico de Kolkata on points but are behind on goal difference. Pune’s chances of qualifying for the semis now appear slim after their latest setback. (Also read: Kerala Blasters beat Chennaiyin FC 3-1)It was Kerala’s penultimate home match of the Indian Super League (ISL) season. And they were on the front foot right from the kick-off, keeping the Pune defence busy.Kerala Blasters coach Steve Coppell made several changes to the team that got clobbered in Mumbai with marquee player Aaron Hughes back into the squad, alongside Kervens Belfort, Duckens Nazon, Mohammed Rafi and goalkeeper Sandip Nandy.Pune made three changes to their side but, playing at home, Kerala started the match on the front foot.Kerala’s attacking front-men of C.K. Vineeth, Nazon, Mohammed Rafi and Kervens Belfort were interlinking well to cause trouble for Pune. (Also read: Kerala Blasters clinch dramatic win against Goa)They duly went ahead in the seventh minute. Nazon made a solo run after intercepting a ill-timed form Pune defender Dharmaraj Ravanan and duly converted stroking the ball into the net away from the clutches of Pune goalkeeper Edel Bete.advertisementPune tried to fight their way back but Kerala were always in control of the proceedings.A corner in the 57th minute was only partially cleared by Pune City and Vineeth chased it down on the left, sending a cross to the far post. The Pune defence shockingly stood still, allowing Aaron enough time to rush and head home from point blank range. (Also read: FC Pune City pip Delhi Dynamos in seven-goal thriller)The goal crippled Pune, who however managed to pull a goal back in stoppage time. A cleverly taken free-kick set up Anibal Zurdo, who blasted it on to the far post, past goalkeeper Sandip Nandy.The goal, however, came too late and there was no time for Pune City to get anything out of the match.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique’s mind has been put at ease by news his talisman forward Lionel Messi has begun contract negotiations with the La Liga champions, he said on Friday.The player’s father and agent Jorge Messi flew from Argentina to Barcelona on Thursday to begin discussions on a renewal of Messi’s currrent deal, which runs out in June 2018.Messi is Barca’s all-time top scorer and joint most decorated player along with Andres Iniesta, although there has been concern in the Catalan media about how long it has taken for the two parties to discuss a new contract.Messi’s strike partner Neymar had one year longer on his previous deal than the Argentine and penned a new contract in October while Luis Suarez, the other member of Barca’s feted ‘MSN’ attacking trident, is set to sign a new deal imminently.”I celebrate the fact that negotiations have begun. It makes me feel more relaxed,” Luis Enrique told a news conference on Friday ahead of Barca’s visit to Osasuna.”He will join other players who are going to renew their contracts soon. When it’s announced, if it is, we’ll all celebrate it. But at the moment I wouldn’t dare to make any prediction.”Osasuna are bottom of the standings with seven points but Barca have often struggled when playing the Navarrans away from home, winning only three of their last nine league visits to El Sadar.Luis Enrique said the game was even more important to his side than others after failing to beat Real Madrid in last week’s Clasico, preserving Zinedine Zidane’s side’s six-point lead at the top of the table.advertisement”Our need for the points means we will be very motivated. Our opponents need the points desperately and so do we because we’re six points behind the leaders. The three points are always important but this week they’re even more vital,” he said.Neymar is suspended for the trip to Pamplona and is likely to be replaced by Arda Turan, who scored a hat-trick in the 4-0 Champions League win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Tuesday.Luis Enrique hopes his side’s dominant display against the Germans will be a springboard to get back on track in the league.”It was a unique game because there was nothing to gain but our performance can lift everyone,” he said. “We hope it’s a turning point, because it’s obvious we need to improve in the league.”
He said this would lead to decrease in pollution andHe said this would lead to decrease in pollution and benefit every farmer by Rs 5000 per acre.Lambasting AAP Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Deputy Chief Minister said that first and foremost, the AAP leader should put a stop to his flip-flop over the SYL issue and spell out a clear stand on the matter.In her address on the occasion, the Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that ever since the NDA government has taken over, Bathinda has occupied prime importance in the scheme of things of the Union Government.She said the Central University, AIIMS and now the Bathinda airport would act as game changers for the region.She also expressed supreme confidence that top standard rail, road and air connectivity would make Bathinda an important trade and commercial centre.The Union Minister also batted for the need to make Bathinda an agricultural, cargo, medical, entertainment and sports hub so as to be a role model in terms of development at both national and international level.Castigating Congress, she said this party did nothing for either Bathinda or Punjab during its tenure and it was only under the SAD-BJP government that the state has witnessed prosperous days.Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla were also present on the occasion. PTI COR VJ GS ARK
Tim Sherwood says that Jose Mourinho has been picking fights with the wrong people while also calling on the manager to start winning at Manchester United.Mourinho has come under fire in recent weeks for the club’s struggles, with reports swirling that he could be on his way out of Old Trafford.Central to the controversy has been an ongoing feud with Paul Pogba, who Mourinho stripped of the vice-captaincy before engaging in a cold training ground conversation caught on camera that Andreas Pereira says was the result of an Instagram post. 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! This weekend’s opponent, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, came to Mourinho’s defense, stating that he believes the Portuguese is still “The Special One”. While Sherwood agrees with some of the Italian’s remarks, he also called for Mourinho to change how he handles himself.”I think sometimes you can create your own fires,” Sherwood said on Sky Sports.”You have enough problems putting them out, but if you’re creating them yourself and then putting them out, and I think at times he picks fights with the wrong people.”You can’t pick fights at Manchester United. It’s an institution, that football club, that’s bigger than any individual, so why should you pick a fight with them?”What are you trying to do? Turn the fans against the board and take the pressure off yourself?”Jose knows it has not been good enough. He’s a winner. He’s a serial winner. He wins everywhere he goes. Sarri said it in his interview. He needs great respect for that.”But what’s happened in the past is in the past and he needs to start winning things now. He needs to win the Premier League at a club of Manchester United’s stature.”Ahead of the upcoming match, Mourinho says it will be the team’s defending that will need to improve, rejecting the notion that the group needs to go on the attack. After facing Chelsea on Saturday, the Red Devils return to action against Juventus in the Champions League.
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New Delhi, May 10 (PTI) Under flak, the Customs today ordered an inquiry to find out lapses, if any, on its part in giving clearance to sports gears, including pistols and rifles, of some Indian shooting team members on their arrival at Delhi airport.In a statement, the Customs made it clear that it was a preventive measure especially in wake of a recent case registered by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) against a national-level shooter last month.The Customs said investigations by the DRI has alleged that some sportspersons were misusing schemes of importing firearms from Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport here.”Considering the grave security implications of such violations, scrutiny for Customs clearance of arms and ammunition imported at IGI airport has since been intensified,” the statement said.The Customs clearance of arms and ammunition through baggage is now being done after thorough verification of facts or documents with the relevant authorities or investigating agency, it said.The 16 sportsperson, who were returning from an international shooting tournament, had arrived in the wee hours of May 9 and in view of the intensified verification, they were given an option by the Customs officers of getting their weapons deposited in the warehouse for their subsequent clearance after due verification.”While five of them agreed for such a deposit of arms and ammunition, the others opted to wait at the airport for the clearance of their arms and ammunition,” the statement said, adding that during this time, due courtesies were extended to the sportspersons by the Customs officers and they were also offered refreshments.advertisementThe matter was taken up with the concerned authorities on priority for verification and clearance and the arms and ammunitions of the sportspersons were cleared, it said.While regretting inconvenience, if any caused to the sportsmen, the Customs said an enquiry has been initiated to ascertain whether there was an undue delay in Customs clearance in this case.It said the Customs department is committed to facilitate the passengers while performing its duties for enforcement of various laws of the country.Steps are being taken to streamline the process of Customs clearance of arms and ammunition imported through baggage, it said.Beijing Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra had yesterday lashed out at the National Rifles Association of India (NRAI) for not coming to the aid of shooters and had asked would this happen to the countrys cricket team.Bindra had said the official team manager left the athletes “to fend for themselves”.”They (shooters) are our countrys ambassadors and should not be treated like this. Would this ever happen to our cricket team?,” he had asked. PTI AKV SKL KIS
David Warner and Sunrisers Hyderabad have been struck by the curse of the Orange Cap. The SRH skipper finished IPL 2017 with 641 runs but he became the ninth Orange Cap holder in 10 editions to not win the IPL trophy despite a phenomenal performance.It is the history of the tournament that seemingly put Warner and Hyderabad into the unlucky situation. Barring the IPL 2014, no other season has seen the holder of the Orange Cap lift the coveted title.Last year, Virat Kohli was the Orange Cap holder with 973 runs and Warner stood second having scored 848 and when Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad battle in the IPL final, it was Warner’s Hyderabad that emerged victorious.Only once in the history of IPL has an Orange Cap holder being amongst the title winners as well. Kolkata Knight Riders fortunes in 2014 were unfazed by Robin Uthappa’s Orange Cap, having scored 660 runs.The case is not the same with the holder of the Purple Cap holder as Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals), RP Singh (Deccan Chargers) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Sunrisers Hyderabad) guided their teams to victory with most wickets in IPL 2008, 2009 and 2016 respectively.Even the legend of Sachin Tendulkar was unable to overturn this curious case of the Orange Cap when his tournament leading score of 618 runs in 2010 were not enough to take Mumbai Indians over the line and the Mumbai outfit lost to Chennai Super Kings in the final.Out of the three teams still in contention for the IPL trophy, only Kolkata Knight Riders’ Gautam Gambhir, having scored 486 runs, is anywhere close to Warner’s massive tally and it’s safe to say that Warner will end up with the Orange Cap.advertisementIn the battle for the Purple Cap, Rising Pune Supergiant’s Jaydev Unadkat (22 wickets) and Mumbai Indians’ Mitchell McClenaghan (19 wickets) are the only ones close to the current holder Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 26 wickets but it will be tough for them to overhaul Bhuvneshwar’s tally.Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders will take on each other in the Qualifier 2 on May 19 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru while Rising Pune Supergiant will face the winner of the Qualifier 2 in the final on May 21 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
South Africa have been buoyed by Monday’s one-day international win over England at Lord’s and the side will go into this week’s Champions Trophy with confidence, said coach Russell Domingo.South Africa, who lost the first two matches in the series but won the third by seven wickets, face Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy at the Oval on Saturday. “Every international game has importance,” said Domingo.”Whether we are 2-0 up or 2-0 down, we try to approach it with the same sort of intensity. There have been a lot of benefits and a lot of positives in the last two games that we can take through towards the Champions Trophy.”I’m happy with the way things have panned out for us.”Morne Morkel played his first ODI in more than a year and, while overshadowed by the bowling of Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell, now offers an added attacking option.”He has had a long injury and a long lay-off and the players who have played in his absence have done really well. I always felt it to be fair to them to give them first bite. Morne is a quality bowler and it is great to have him back in the mix.”To win this game will give us confidence and I feel the team goes into the Champions Trophy feeling strong. We have great names and if we play well we can win this.”One downside for the team is injury concerns over David Miller and Imran Tahir but officials expect them to recover by Saturday.advertisement
Only one player has beaten Rafa Nadal on his beloved claycourts this year and that man, Austria’s Dominic Thiem, blocks the Spaniard’s path to the French Open final.Not only that but sixth seed Thiem has not dropped a set en route to Friday’s semi-final and on Wednesday trounced defending champion Novak Djokovic 7-6, 6-3, 6-0.So, while many are already writing Nadal’s name on the trophy for an unprecedented 10th time, the fourth seed will have some doubts in the back of his mind as he takes on a man aiming to avoid a second successive semis-final exit.Nadal dropped 22 games in reaching the semi-finals — the lowest total in the professional era — but is unlikely to beat Bjorn Borg’s record of dropping a mere 27 on his way to the 1978 final at Roland Garros.Whether or not 23-year-old Thiem can win enough games to seriously worry Nadal will boil down to how much belief the Austrian can take on to the Philippe Chatrier court that Nadal has more or less owned since 2005.What will help is the win he enjoyed over Nadal in Rome after losing to the 31-year-old in Barcelona and Madrid.”It’s great for me to be in the semi-finals again,” Thiem said. “On Friday I’m playing the toughest opponent ever here in Roland Garros. The toughest match what you can imagine.”But there are no secrets.”While Nadal, trying to become the second man in the professional era to make 10 appearances in the final at one grand slam after Roger Federer (Wimbledon), will be favourite to beat Thiem, the other semi-final looks too close to call.advertisementMURRAY VS WAWRINKAIt is a repeat of last year’s semi-final when Andy Murray produced arguably his greatest match on clay to defeat reigning champion Stan Wawrinka.World number one Murray is the only one of the surviving quartet to have been seriously tested so far here, having dropped three sets.But after arriving in Paris at a low ebb after a poor run on clay, the arrival of coach Ivan Lendl to watch over his shoulder has flicked a switch and he looks menacing again.Murray, bidding to reach a 12th grand slam final, feels he has hit form at just the right time.”I feel like I’m sort of in autopilot a little bit, like I know what I should be doing,” Murray said after dispatching Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals in four sets.Wawrinka, champion in 2015, comes alive at the slams, especially in the latter stages and he has been in brutal form, steaming past the likes of Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils and Marin Cilic with nonchalant ease.He trails Murray 10-7 overall but has a full tank of gas.”There have been other tournaments where making it to the semi-finals was much more difficult with longer matches,” he said. “The fact is things have gone quite well. I feel physically and mentally ready. I feel fresh.”
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane will captain England against Scotland in their World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park on Saturday as manager Gareth Southgate seeks to build a new group of leaders.Southgate has so far declined to name a permanent captain of the team, breaking with a long-standing English tradition, but he believes Kane has the qualities for the role.”Harry Kane will captain the side tomorrow. I’ve shared the leadership around and that has been important for us as a team.”People have said that there is a lack of leaders in this team but I don’t think that is the case,” added Southgate.”I have felt it important to give people the opportunity to lead in different ways. Harry is one of a number of people I could have given that opportunity to, a few others have done it already and I wanted to give him that boost,” he said.The pressure put on the England captain in major tournaments may be one reason why Southgate is keen to share the duty around and he says there is no hurry to appoint an official skipper.”At some point it will be important to decide. But more importantly to me, we are developing a group of five or six who are leaders in the group,” he said.”I don’t feel any rush to do that. I think the most important thing, when we came in was to develop people, was to look at who can lead, who wants to lead, who can be encouraged more to lead and to take the pressure off if being the one person who has had all the expectation on, because I think that has been a problem for us in recent history,” he said.advertisementWayne Rooney was England’s captain when he held a regular place in the team and Chelsea defender Gary Cahill skippered the side for England’s March friendly against Germany in Dortmund.Southgate said the 23-year-old Kane was delighted with the appointment.”He was pretty chuffed. It is a great honour for any player and for their family, the significance of it wasn’t lost on him that’s for sure,” he said.Southgate said Kane had ended the season in great form but that he was constantly striving to improve himself.”It is a good moment for him as a player – he finished the season really well. We know his mentality, we have worked with him for a long time, we know he wants to be one of the best in the world,” added the England manager.Kane epitomises the spirit and attitude that Southgate says he wants to see from his young squad.”We have several, more than several, players, a team, who aren’t where they want to be individually but have got great potential and we are starting to tap in to that,” he said.”There is a long way to go… but it is exciting, there is hunger and desire.”
India’s star shuttler Kidambi Srikanth will take on world number 47 Kazumasa Sakai of Japan in a bid to clinch his first Indonesia Super Series title on Sunday in the final of the men’s singles event.No Indian player has ever won the Indonesia Open and Srikanth will be looking to break the barrier.Srikanth reached the final after a thrilling semi-final against world no.1 Son Wan Ho of Korea, which he won 21-15, 14-21, 24-22 in 73 minutes.Srikanth showed wonderful grit and determination against Wan Ho to put into practice his strategic attacking display but he earned the winning point with sheer instinctive defence.On the other hand, the unseeded Sakai put an end to HS Prannoy’s dream run in the tournament after he defeated the Indian 17-21, 28-26, 21-18 in an hour and 16 minutes to enter the summit showdown.HS Prannoy, on his way to the semi-final, had defeated Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei and Olympic champion Chen Long.This is Srikanth’s second consecutive Super Series final, after he reached the summit clash at Singapore Open where he lost to compatriot B Sai Praneeth.If the world no.22 manages to win today, it will be his third Super Series title after he had notched up victories at the 2014 China Open and the 2015 India Open.
West Indies have named an unchanged 13-man squad for the first two ODIs of the five-match series against India, beginning June 23 in Port of Spain.It is the same squad that featured in the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan in June which ended in a 1-1 draw.Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who missed the Afghanistan series due to an injury, will remain out of action as he continues his rehabilitating process.India would arrive in West Indies following their heart-wrenching 180-run defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan in the finals of the recently-concluded Champions Trophy at the Kennington Oval on Sunday.Meanwhile, West Indies, who are standing at the ninth spot in the ODI rankings, failed to gain any point from the drawn series against Afghanistan,ESPNcricinfo reported.The upcoming series against India would be their last realistic chance to try to get those ranking points up in a bid to qualify automatically for the 2019 World Cup-where only the top eight ranked teams are guaranteed qualification.The West Indies squad is as follows:Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammad, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell and Kesrick Williams.
Serena Williams has no interest in John McEnroe’s thoughts on what would happen if she tried to play on the men’s tennis tour.Williams responded Monday via Twitter to comments McEnroe made during a weekend interview with NPR to promote his latest book.Williams tells McEnroe, “I adore and respect you,” but asks him to “please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.”Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.- Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) June 26, 2017I’ve never played anyone ranked “there” nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir- Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) June 26, 2017McEnroe, a former player and now TV commentator, said Williams is the best women’s tennis player in history – “no question.” But when asked whether she was the sport’s best ever, regardless of gender, he made clear he didn’t think so.He said he thought Williams could beat some men, “but if she had to just play the circuit – the men’s circuit – that would be an entirely different story.” He said if she tried to be part of the men’s tour, “she’d be like 700 in the world.”In one of her tweets, Williams wrote : “I’ve never played anyone ranked ‘there’ nor do I have time.”She added: “Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir.”Williams is taking a break from the tennis tour because she is pregnant. She plans to return to competition in 2018.advertisementThe American has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, a record in the Open era, which began in 1968.McEnroe won seven major titles.
The surge in transfer spending could make the job of a Premier League manager increasingly difficult as it does not necessarily lead to an equivalent improvement in the squad, former England boss Sam Allardyce has said.According to a recent report, English top flight clubs have already spent over 850 million pounds ($1.11 billion) in the current transfer window and will likely top last year’s 1.165 billion pounds before the deadline on August 31.”The difficulty for managers is the amount of money that is being spent,” Allardyce told the BBC.”The actual increase in the team is probably less than 5 percent and that’s what you’re searching for now.”You’re searching for just a small percentage and having to pay millions and in some cases hundreds of millions for that little difference.”Allardyce, who stepped down as England manager after only one match in charge last September, said he could be tempted back into managing a national side.The former Sunderland and Newcastle United boss had previously ruled out a return to football management at the end of his five-month stint at Palace.”International football is completely different from Premier League football,” he told Sky Sports.”Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal aren’t going to come in for me so maybe international football would be a challenge I would be willing to take.”It would depend on the opportunity and how successful that international team can be.”In almost 20 years of managing in England’s top division, Allardyce never once experienced relegation.
Kolkata, Aug 4 (PTI) West Bengal minister Laxmi Ratan Shukla led a procession on Kishore Kumars 88th birthday today demanding that the legendary singer be posthumously conferred Bharat Ratna for his contribution to music.Shukla, the minister-of-state for sports and former cricketer, said, “We have already approached the Centre regarding this.”The Salkia Kishore Kumar Memorial Cultural Association took out the procession from Esplanade area in the metropolis to Salkia in Howrah town in the morning.Shukla is also the convenor of the association.Kishore Kumars evergreen Hindi and Bengali songs were played during the rally. PTI SUS SBN
Happy Birthday Greg Chappell.The former Australia captain is celebrating his 69th birthday. Chappell, who played 87 Tests scoring 7110 runs at 53.86, coached India for two years from 2005-2007, a stint which was marred by controversies involving some of the biggest names in Indian cricket.The Virat Kohli-Anil Kumble spat was not the first time coach and captain of the Indian team were at loggerheads. The fight between Sourav Ganguly and Chappell was the first such incident before the rift between Kumble and Kohli emerged.There was a big friction in 2005 when Australia great Chappell was appointed Team India coach after John Wright did not extend his contract. Chappell had a tumultuous two-year tenure which ended in 2007.Chappell pipped the likes of Dav Whatmore, Mohinder Amarnath, Graham Ford, Desmond Haynes, Tom Moody and John Emburey in a highly publicised selection process.Happy birthday to Aussie cricket legend Greg Chappell! To celebrate, sit back and enjoy a classic hundred.via @OptusSport pic.twitter.com/gvX6CL0kJx- cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) August 7, 2017It all began during India’s tour of Zimbabwe when out-of-form Ganguly was asked to step down as Team India captain by Chappell to focus on his batting. Before the first Test, Chappell stated that if left to him, he would pick both Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif ahead of Ganguly in the laying XI for the first Test. Irked by this, Ganguly decided to pack his bags and leave the tour. The team director Amitabh Chowdhary, along with Chappell and Dravid, insisted that he continue to play, as the captain leaving the team in the middle of the tour would be disastrous.advertisementChappell sent an email to BCCI, criticising Ganguly for being “mentally and physically unfit” to lead the team. He also stated that Ganguly’s “negative attitude” would hamper India’s development as a unit for the 2007 World Cup. The Aussie coach also accused Ganguly of faking an injury. Several members of the Indian team backed Ganguly during this time and were unhappy with the way the matters were handled by Chappell.However, Ganguly continued to be in and out of the team with Chappell favouring youth before experience. Chappell had alleged that he was a victim of a “racist attack” at the Bhubaneshwar Airport in January 2007.In his autobiography, ‘Playing It My Way’, Sachin Tendulkar criticised Chappell, calling him a “ringmaster”. Several other players like Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Laxman also criticised the Aussie. While Zaheer called Chappell a “control freak”, Laxman said Chappell took Indian cricket “backwards”.KOHLI-KUMBLE RIFTKumble was appointed by the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman in June 2016. He was given a one-year contract last June before India’s tour of the West Indies and it expired at the conclusion of the ICC Champions Trophy which Pakistan won after beating India.Kumble achieved great success in his tenure despite little previous first-class coaching experience. India’s highest wicket-taker led the team to the top of the Test rankings, after series wins over West Indies, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.India won 12 of 17 Tests and lost only one. They won eight of 13 ODIs, and had a shot at defending the Champions Trophy crown.With Kumble gone, there would be an inevitable tendency to compare the way Chappell left, having antagonised the stars of the team. But there is a massive difference: Chappell had infuriated the entire country and had little support from the cricket fraternity while Kumble stepped down with his honour intact.When Kumble joined as coach, many believed that his partnership with captain Kohli would take India to greater heights in coming years. Though the results were clearly visible as India recorded five Test series wins, two ODIs and a T20 International series triumphs. The only failure was India’s 1-0 defeat to West Indies in a two-match T20 series last year.However, captain and the team were not happy with Kumble’s style of coaching and the reports of rift between the duo emerged. Soon, BCCI advertised for the post of head coach but Kumble was in advantage of getting a contract extension.Kohli termed the reports of rift as rumours in a press conference ahead of India’s opening Champions Trophy game against Pakistan.The majority of players were in favour of Kumble being removed as most did not get along with him or his style of coaching. It was also learnt that following India’s defeat in the final, Kumble screamed at the players for about 30 minutes which did not do down well with the players in the dressing room.advertisement
The way cricketer Yuvraj Singh conquered cancer and then came back on the field with renewed vigour made him a role model for others, veteran cricketer VVS Laxman said.”One of the role models is my good friend Yuvraj Singh. It (his illness) was a shock to all of us. Because, I still remember, we were in England. This was in 2011. We could not believe that Yuvraj Singh, he played the World Cup with all the symptoms and he was the Man of the Series.”…Then he was detected with cancer and it came as a rude shock to all of us,” Laxman said, speaking at the launch of a book on cancer survivors.The 35-year-old all-rounder demonstrated great mental toughness to overcome the disease, the stylish Hyderabadi batsman said.”You are the most flamboyant, heart-throb of the country and you are detected with cancer. But, he showed example to others. That, if Yuvraj Singh, the international cricketer can fight cancer, come back and win matches for the country…(others can also do it),” he said.Short videos containing messages of Singh and Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala, another cancer survivor, were shown on the occasion.Laxman appreciated Vijay Anand Reddy, noted cancer specialist who authored the book, ‘I am a survivor’, for his work. The book chronicles the success stories of 108 cancer survivors.The book was released by TRS MP K Kavitha who recalled the work done by her in the health sector and vowed to continue it.G N Rao, founder and chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute, a reputed private eye care centre, and Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals, spoke on the occasion.advertisementSeveral cancer survivors, including some children, recounted their stories of victory against the deadly disease.
(Eds: Repeating after correcting year in para 2) New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) Former India opener Virender Sehwag feels cricket needs to played in more countries if the game has to make its way into the Olympics. The International Cricket Council (ICC) comprises 105 members but only 12 are full members. The world governing body is pushing for the games inclusion in the 2024 Games. The only time cricket was part of Olympics was way back in 1900. “I think it is ICCs call. They need more nations to play cricket, then it can be part of Olympics. Twelve teams (full members) are not enough,” said Sehwag on the launch of St. Moritz Ice Cricket here today. One way of spreading the game would be to take it to uncharted territories including Switzerland, where Sehwag will be playing in February alongside other former players such as Mahela Jayawardene, Shoaib Akhtar, Daniel Vettori, Mohammad Kaif and Graeme Smith. “It will be great if we can inspire somebody (to take up the game in Switzerland,” said Sehwag. Switzerland is not a member of the ICC but St. Mortiz, which has hosted Winter Olympics twice, will host Ice Cricket on February 8 and 9. The organisers claim that the event has been sanctioned by the ICC. PTI BS AT AT AT