Chelsea team news vs Huddersfield

first_imgChelsea are scheduled to kick off their Premier League season against Huddersfield Town on Saturday under new management, as they bid to improve upon last season’s disappointing fifth-placed finish.Maurizio Sarri has taken over from Antonio Conte, who left the club having won the Premier League and FA Cup, but also falling short in the league standings last season.Huddersfield were tipped to be relegated last season, but survived off the back of a draw at Stamford Bridge, which had the extra effect of being a huge factor in seeing Chelsea end up in the Europa League this season. 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! Chelsea injuries Thibaut Courtois has left Chelsea for Real Madrid in a £35 million ($45m) deal ahead of the new 2018-19 season. Tiemoue Bakayoko is expected to join AC Milan, with Mateo Kovacic coming into the midfield from Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal.Kepa Arrizabalaga has replaced Courtois in a £71 million ($91m) deal from Athletic Club, with Thursday’s transfer deadline having disrupted preparations for the opening game.Cesc Fabregas is a minor doubt, as he works through a small knee injury and he was last seen with bandages on his leg after the Community Shield.PSV loan star Marco van Ginkel is back at Chelsea, but he has torn his anterior cruciate ligament and is unlikely to play any part this season. Chelsea don’t have any further injury concerns but Eden Hazard, Olivier Giroud, N’Golo Kante, Gary Cahill and Michy Batshuayi have only trained for a week under Sarri.Therefore, Sarri hinted that he may not start this group of players after they played less than 45 minutes from the bench in Chelsea’s final friendly against Lyon on Tuesday.Chelsea suspensions Chelsea have no suspensions to contend with carried over from last season.Chelsea potential starting line-up Chelsea will likely play in a 4-3-3 system as the new head coach implements his own brand of football that has been dubbed ‘Sarriball’ by some. The system involves defending with a high line and pressing opponents to win the ball high up the pitch.It also typically includes Sarri’s teams moving the ball quickly between the lines, often seeing players taking no more than one or two touches at times.Alvaro Morata looks likely to continue leading the line, despite having only scored three goals in the entirety of 2018, so far. This ranges in all competitions and includes his pre-season friendlies, where he failed to net even once.Pedro has been in good form this pre-season and looks to have earned himself a starting role, while Jorginho looks set to continue in midfield. Record signing Kepa will likely be in goal for the FA Cup winners and make his debut, but Sarri will also probably opt for the same back four that faced Man City.Sarri will likely assess whether Hazard and Kante can start, having only returned to training on Monday.Chelsea possible line-up vs HuddersfieldHuddersfield team news Huddersfield have only one absentee from their opening game, with Danny Williams being unfit to play due to his ankle injury.TV channel & kick-off time The game kicks off at 3pm BST (10am ET) on Saturday , but it won’t be televised in the United Kingdom.Best Opta match facts Huddersfield are without a win in their last eight league meetings with Chelsea, (D3 L5), with their last league victory over the Blues coming in March 1963, via a 2-1 away win in the old Division Two. At home, Huddersfield have lost each of their last four league clashes with Chelsea; they’ve never lost five in a row on home soil in the league against a single opponent. Three of the last five red cards shown in opening weekend fixtures in the Premier League have been shown to Chelsea players (Thibaut Courtois vs Swansea in 2015-16 and Gary Cahill & Cesc Fabregas vs Burnley last season). Willian was involved in all three of Chelsea’s goals as they won 3-1 in this fixture last season, scoring one and assisting the other two. No side has lost more Premier League games (10) or earned fewer Premier League points (13) in 2018 than Huddersfield. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

SEE PICS: Kareena-Saif make for a picture-perfect couple at Babita’s birthday bash

first_imgKapoor khandaan knows how to party, and the entire family came together for Babita’s 69th birthday bash. From Rishi Kapoor to Randhir Kapoor to Karisma Kapoor, every one made their way to Babita’s house to celebrate her special day.But it was Bollywood’s royal couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan who stole the show at Babita’s birthday bash. Clad in a grey see-through gown, Kareena looked stunning, and her Nawab looked dapper in a half-jacket and denims. The couple made a royal entry sans their son Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi. Sporting her popular pout, Kareena posed for the shutterbugs along with husband Saif.Karisma, too, waved at the paprazzi as she made her way to the bash. She teamed up a black skirt with a black top. However, her beau Sandeep Toshniwal was nowhere to be seen. However, Ranbir Kapoor could not make it to the bash as he is currently busy shooting for Dutt biopic.(Photos: Viral Bhayani) ALSO READ: Kareena says Saif and she are like Ki and Ka, he changes Taimur’s diapers ALSO READ: Kareena Kapoor Khan opens up on Taimur, motherhood ALSO WATCH: Saif and Kareena become proud parents to a baby boy, Taimur Ali Khan Pataudilast_img read more

Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem to win 10th title in Barcelona

first_imgRafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1 to win his 10th Barcelona Open title on Sunday.It was the second consecutive week that Nadal had won a tournament for the 10th time. He had become the first men’s tennis player in the Open era to win the same title 10 times at the Monte Carlo Masters last Sunday.”It means a lot to me to win 10 titles here in Barcelona as well,” Nadal said. “To win in Barcelona and Monte Carlo gives me a dream start to the clay season.”It was Nadal’s second title of the season and 71st of his career. The fifth-ranked Spaniard had lost his previous three finals, including to Roger Federer in the Australian Open.Next month he will try to win a 10th French Open title. The last of his 14 Grand Slams was three years ago in Roland Garros.Nadal broke the ninth-ranked Austrian late in the first set and early in the second, then cruised to close out the match for his 51st career title on clay. He saved the only break point he conceded to Thiem at the “Rafa Nadal” center court. He was only broken twice in 47 service games throughout the week.”It was vital for me to win the first set,” Nadal said. “It was difficult. I had a few more chances than him, but it was very even.”The 30-year-old Nadal has won 10 consecutive matches and is 21-1 in his past 22 sets.Thiem, who had upset top-ranked Andy Murray in the semifinals on Saturday, was trying to win his second title of the season. He won in Rio de Janeiro in February.advertisementNadal won five straight titles in Barcelona from 2005-09, then three consecutive from 2011-13, and now two in a row in 2016 and this year. He has a 10-0 record in finals in Barcelona, losing only one set.Nadal improved to 53-3 at the ATP World Tour 500 event.last_img read more

Taapsee Pannu is a miracle in pink, and this is not about the movie

first_imgIf you’re having a bad day, you need to look at this spell-casting combination of Taapsee Pannu and pink–no, we’re not talking about the movie Pink here, although it is no less a wonder.The beautiful Naam Shabana actor donned a lustrous, cotton dress, which she styled with a chic white shirt, and redefined the term fusion dressing for us.Taapsee looked absolutely gorgeous in the hot pink, one-shoulder dress, and we’ve learnt a thing or two about mix-matching clothes like a genius!Picture courtesy: Instagram/urvashisoneja The cotton textile attire was absolutely bewitching owing to that magnificent shimmer, while the white, circular pattern added an edge to the Urvashi Soneja number.Also Read: Ranveer Singh is back in black, so let’s just breathe nowThe sensuality of the hot pink dress, and the class that came with the white shirt, blend so well that we’d never be able to look at a white shirt without wanting to style it like Taapsee.The flared sleeves of the dress contrasted enigmatically with the buttoned sleeves of the shirt, and created a fusion of drama and poise in the ensemble. And, that’s how you get the best of both worlds.Picture courtesy: Instagram/urvashisoneja Taapsee, who was every bit of a stunner in this enthralling attire kept her hair tied in a low bun, keeping it classy and chic.Also Read: Let Twinkle Khanna teach you how to dress sexy for the summerThe lovely actor teamed up her super-stylish outfit with a pair of open-toe black stilettos, and sported minimal makeup.advertisementTaapsee totally rocked this fusion look, and it’s time we give her an award already.last_img read more

Khandu expresses interest in cooperation with UK

first_imgItanagar, Jun 09 (PTI) Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu today expressed keen interest of joining hands with the United Kingdom to hone the talent of youths in the state in the fields of education, music, culture and sports.Such cooperation will prepare Arunachali youths for 21st century skills and improve their employability, Khandu said while talking to a British Council delegation led by its Director Alan Gemmell, a CMO communique said. He inquired on support structure and nature of courses offered in the UK through British Council scholarship programmes and asked the delegation to come up with training programmes for school students in subjects like English, Maths and Computer Science. Gemmell said that as the Council?s priority area was teaching English it has developed a new methodology to teach the language at primary and middle level schools, which would improve soft skills of students and give them the edge for employability.The chief minister said that the state government would work out ways to avail programmes being launched by the British Council through the DONER Ministry, the communique added. PTI UPL KK KKlast_img read more

Cricket’s masala mix

first_imgFirst matchThe first official T20 matches were played on June 13, 2003 between the English counties in the Twenty20 Cup, soon becoming a success; Surrey Lions beat Warwickshire Bears to win the trophy  First internationalThe first T20 international match was held on Aug  5, 2004 between the England & New Zealand women’s teams with New Zealand winning by 9 runs; on Feb 17, 2005 Australia defeated New Zealand in the first men’s T20 match  Reuters Photo Becoming mainstreamTo date, 20 nations have played the format, including all Test playing nations; the first ICC World Twenty20 was held in 2007, when India beat Pakistan in the final  IPL Photo Birth of IPLThe brainchild of Lalit Modi, the most-attended cricket league in the world was born in 2007; currently consisting of 8 competing teams, Mumbai Indians won the 2017 tournament  Fitter playersT20 cricket is claimed to have resulted in a more athletic & “explosive” form of cricket, demanding higher levels of strength, speed, agility & reaction time from all players    Changing the game “One of the big things about T20 is not having the fear of getting out,” said Brendon McCullum, emphasising the impact of a format that is 410 overs shorter than Test cricket & 60 overs shorter than ODI cricket  Biggest marginThe largest margin of victory (by runs) in T20 internationals is 172 runs; a strong Sri Lankan team beat Kenya when they met at the ICC World T20 in 2007  Reuters Photo Gayle stormChris Gayle became the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in T20 cricket, a record he is likely to maintain for a while, as no other batsman has ever crossed 8,000 runsadvertisementlast_img read more

Garbine Muguruza expects tough Wimbledon despite absences of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova

first_imgWimbledon 2015 runner-up Garbine Muguruza believes there are plenty of players who could make an impact at next week’s championships despite the absence of last year’s winner Serena Williams and former champion Maria Sharapova.Williams, who confirmed in April that she was expecting a baby, is on maternity leave for the remainder of 2017, while 2004 Wimbledon champion Sharapova has pulled out of the grass court season with a thigh injury.Asked whether it would be a different championship without the two former champions, Muguruza said: “Not really, I think Serena is going to make a bigger impact because, you know, she has been in the final for I don’t know how many years.”But there are a lot of players who are taking that spot and it is going to be just another tough tournament, even though maybe the major names are not here this year.”Ahead of her return to SW19, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has said it is only the beginning of her “second career” after recovering from injuries to her playing hand sustained during a knife attack in her home last December.”I am calling this a second career,” the 27-year-old Czech said at the WTA players’ party in London.”And I do see things differently, not only tennis, but moments in the life when I realised it is much more nicer than I saw it before. So I am really grateful that I am still here and to live the moment.”Kvitova is the 11th seed at Wimbledon which starts on Monday.advertisementlast_img read more

My daughter told me come back, its too much now: Manpreet

first_img(PTI7_9_2017_000019A) (PTI7_9_2017_000020B)(PTI7_9_2017_000021A) By Philem Dipak Singh Bhubaneswar, Jul 9 (PTI) Training at a national camp away from her small child is tough for any mother but newly-crowned Asian shot put champion Manpreet Kaur is facing an additional pressure — her five-year-old daughter has told her “enough is enough” and she should now come back to her. Manpreet, who on Thursday clinched a gold medal in womens shot put at the Asian Athletics Championships, trains at the NIS Patiala with her husband-coach Karamjit Singh while her daughter, Jasnoor, has been staying with her paternal grandmother for the past couple of years. Jasnoor stays at the same city — Patiala — with her grandmother but Manpreet rarely goes to meet her due to hectic training at the NIS and most of the time, she is being told about her daughters well being by her mother-in-law. Now that Jasnoor is old enough to feel her mothers absence, she has been telling Manpreet to spend more time with her. “Jasnoor will be six years in a few months and my mother-in-law looked after my baby from the very beginning when I started training when she (Jasnoor) was 10 months old. I would keep speaking to my mother-in-law daily on phone to ask about Jasnoor,” Manpreet told PTI in an interview. “She has started knowing things now, what is happening around etc. She knows my competition (at Asian Championships) is over but I am still staying back. She told me why I am not coming back. Come back, it is too much now, she told me over phone,” said Manpreet when asked she was coping with her child being left out alone at home. “Both me and my husband are not with her and so she feels it even though she is with her grandmother, that is natural. What do I do, I have to do for the country also. I feel satisfied that I am doing something at least for the country. It is worth the sacrifice,” said Manpreet, who turned 27 on the day she won the gold to open Indias medal account. Manpreet, who sent the iron ball soaring at 18.28m, her second best throw of her career after a national record of 18.86m, represented the country at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 and then took a break of three years following her marriage and birth of her daughter. She returned to the competitive arena early last year and qualified for the Rio Olympics where she failed to qualify for the final round. “It was a difficult period after the birth of Jasnoor. I have to start training slowly, step by step, because I have to be careful not to hurt myself which would result stopping training altogether. If there is family support you can do anything. I got the support from my family. That is why I am here today. If family is together it feels very good,” she said with her husband by her side. She has a hectic training schedule at the NIS Patiala under Karamjit, also a former shot putter. “If I have wight training today, I will have throw tomorrow. Power work (weight training etc.) is more in shot put. In a week, there will be at least three sessions of weight training. “If I have to do morning and evening training both in a day, then a session will have maximum of two hours. If I have to do just one session in a day, then it is of three to three-and-a half hours duration.” she explained. For a practitioner of a power sport, Manpreet is basically a vegetarian and she eats non-vegetable rarely, mostly while she is abroad for training or competition. “Most of the time, I dont eat non-vegetarian. But when I go outside India I dont get vegetarian food, so I have to take non-vegetarian there. But I try to be a vegetarian as much as possible. It is not that a shot putter will have to eat non-vegetarian. It is nothing like that,” she asserted firmly. Born at a village near Patiala, Manpreet understands the womens plight in this country but she said the situation has improved now from the time she was a child. “After I passed 12th class, I got a job at Indian Railways and after that I did my bachelors degree. I would urge women to take up to up sport. It makes you strong physically. There has been a change to a certain extent in the system and thinking of the people. “People have started showing interest in sports and parents are putting their children to sports. It was not like this earlier. For men, it was all right earlier also. The situation was different for women, why women should take up sport and like this. But now it is changing slowly. A lot of women are doing well in sports. In fact, I feel in India, women are getting more medal,” said the national record holder. But she is hurt that the private sector has not come to support her in a big way. “Before the Olympics, I got sponsors from two companies. But after the Olympics I have no sponsors and no support from any private sector company. We are now training from our pocket only and it is hard. We have to look after our home as well as train also,” she rued. “Private sector involvement is poor, especially in North India. In South India, it is better and athletes from there are getting sponsors. It will be good for an athlete to get a sponsor or get financial support from business houses or private sector companies. If I want to do good but is having financial problem, then we experience setback and have to pull back. “If there is no financial issues, our minds are free and can do better. If there is financial support, the athletes will have freedom mentally and can do better.” She also felt that the doping menace in athletics could be tackled if proper awareness is given to them. “In India, proper guidance is required. If athletes lack awareness, at least the coaches should be aware about doping. There is a need to tell the athletes which supplement is right and free of banned substances. Athletes do not know which substance or food supplement they should take or not take. This is the main issue. “By seeing the label, athletes would think it (food supplement) was not contaminated and so they take it, but what is there or not you dont know. When I went to Poland for training before Rio Olympics (with other Indian athletes), the food supplements came after testing at their official laboratories, certifying that they are dope free. They would say it is dope free and you can take it. The athletes will then have a free mind to take it,” she said. By winning the Asian Championships title, she has got an automatic berth for the World Championships in London next month, but Manpreet has no plans to train or compete abroad before the big event. “I will take part in the National Inter-state Championships (beginning next week in Guntur) and then will go to London with the Indian team. There is not much international meets and we are not going to train abroad. There is not much time for foreign training. My event at World Championships is on August 12,” she said. “In the World Championships, I will compete against the best in the world and I will learn things and that will be very useful for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. I want to do the country proud in the CWG and Asian Games and then the 2020 Olympics,” she signs off. PTI PDS AH AHadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

FC Barcelona edge out Real Madrid C.F. in thrilling Clasico

first_imgBarcelona drew first blood against Real Madrid ahead of the new season with a 3-2 victory in a pulsating Clasico friendly on Saturday in Miami.The historic rivals will meet again twice in August in the Spanish Super Cup and this International Champions Cup match set the entertainment bar high, with Gerard Pique’s strike settling a fiercely contested clash.Madrid were missing Cristiano Ronaldo, still on holiday, but both teams were close to full strength. Ernesto Valverde, getting a taste of Clasico drama early in his career as Barcelona manager, selected Neymar despite speculation swirling over the Brazilian’s future at the club.However, it was stalwart Lionel Messi who opened the scoring after just three minutes, beating Luka Modric and firing home, with his strike deflecting off Raphael Varane and beating Keylor Navas.Barcelona were dominant and Ivan Rakitic doubled their lead with a powerful drive when Suarez helped force Neymar’s low cross to the Croatian midfielder on the edge of the box.The sell-out crowd at the Hard Rock Stadium were in for a thrilling night and Madrid fought their way back into the game with Mateo Kovacic drilling expertly past Jasper Cillessen from the edge of the area.Marco Asensio, starting on the left of Real Madrid’s attack in place of Ronaldo, then started and finished a lightning break to tie the game in the 36th minute.After a prolonged halftime break with music, lights and fireworks shows more akin to the Super Bowl, the game restarted at the same hectic pace.advertisementPique sent Barcelona ahead again in the 50th minute by flicking home Neymar’s curling free-kick, before the Brazilian missed from close range. Luis Suarez was denied by Navas and Samuel Umtiti had a strike cleared off the line.Barcelona were dominant and determined not to let their lead slip, with Rakitic even squaring up to referee Jair Marrufo as he protested a decision, showing the stakes were much higher than for a regular friendly.It was the first time the teams met in a friendly since 1991 and only the second time outside of Spain. Given its success, the spectacle is likely to be repeated.last_img read more

Life sentences for Three Musketeer terrorists in UK

first_imgBy Aditi KhannaLondon, Aug 3 (PTI) Four British Muslims believed to be of Pakistani origin, including a trio who called themselves the “Three Musketeers”, were today jailed for life by a UK court for plotting a terrorist attack on a military or police target.Mohibur Rahman, Khobaib Hussain and Naweed Ali were part of a terror cell which was busted after British spies bugged Alis car and found a pipe bomb and meat cleaver hidden in a sports bag in Englands West Midlands region in August 2016.The fourth member of the gang was 38-year-old Tahir Aziz.The four, aged between 25 and 38, were convicted after a 23-week trial at the Old Bailey court in London yesterday.Sentencing the four men, Justice Globe said the men had been gripped by a “long-standing, radical, violent ideology”.He agreed with prosecution lawyer that the defendants may have planned to use their cars as weapons after being influenced by Islamic States Nice attack last year that left 86 victims dead.”These attacks demonstrate in stark form the carnage that can be created by different types of terrorist attack that can be carried out with a vehicle, explosives and loaded weapons.”The gang were poised to strike police and military targets in the UK using a pipe bomb and meat cleaver inscribed with an Arabic word meaning “disbeliever”.Hussain and Ali had been convicted of terrorist offences after they pleaded guilty to going to terror training camps in Pakistan in 2012. They had met Rahman in jail in 2013, where they were all serving time for offences linked to supporting al-Qaeda.advertisementThe trio refused to leave the high-security Belmarsh Prison in London to attend the sentencing hearing today.The judge handed down the trio a minimum term of 20 years for their “significant role” in the planned attack.Aziz, who became involved in the plot at a later stage, was ordered to serve a minimum term of 15 years.The men were arrested in August 2016 following an intensive undercover operation by West Midlands Police and Britains MI5 security service.The suspects had claimed in court that the evidence was planted by an undercover officer, but they were unanimously found guilty by a jury yesterday. PTI AK ABH AKJ ABHlast_img read more

Credit of reviving handlooms goes to young designers: Anavila

first_imgBy Shubha DubeyMumbai, Aug 18 (PTI) Handlooms are the new cool, and designer Anavila Mishra believes the interest young designers have shown in the looms is responsible for making it the biggest fashion trend in the country.The designer, who got inspired to make handloom the base of her brand after a short meeting with Panja dhurrie weavers, says the way young labels have modernised the concept of wearing handloom has brought Indian textiles in mainstream.In an interview with PTI, Anavila says, “When a young designer joins the industry and starts working with handlooms in a contemporary way, it makes a lot of difference. The credit for sure goes to them for reviving the looms. Earlier there was fatigue with handloom, young girls didnt want to wear it, but now it has become the definition of comfort clothing.”The designer adds, “The fact that Indian labels are now owning their textiles and taking it to international market makes me really happy.”From creating looms with artisans to working on the designs, Anavila has closely observed the textiles and insists that young minds should not join the movement just because it is popular.”Young designers should not work with handloom only because there is a lot of buzz about it. It is important to understand the whole process and then make a difference to it. If someone is able to do that then even if it is a small line, it will surely become popular.”Anavila is known for her comfortable linen sarees, which are often sported by several Bollywood celebrities, and the designer says her aim has always been to make something which is easy to wear and low maintenance.advertisement”Comfort is the most luxurious thing for me. If you are wearing pure and organic material your body automatically starts feeling more comfortable. The USP of the brand is comfort and it will always be there in my range.”The designer showcased her collection last night at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017.Titled “Blur”, the collection is Anavilas effort to shift her focus from looms to designs.”With this collection I have taken a jump forward from what we are known for, the handloom textile and sarees. We have tried to focus more on design and forms. We have done a lot of silhouettes which are ready to wear plus sarees which are more international,” she says.The collection includes a wide range of Anavilas signature sarees, but in a whole new colour palette having shades of black, wine, indigo and brown.The line also has a varied range of trench coats, jackets, pleated trousers and trouser suits. Delicate floral patchwork, khatwa and hand-blockprinting are used to give an extra feminine touch. PTI SHD JCHlast_img read more

Football beats Taliban: Afghan teenagers defy death threats from extremists for the love of game

first_imgThree teenage players of a local football club in Kabul were on their way from Bamyan when the Taliban captured them. They were slated to play in the Afghan Premier League. Three days later, the three returned, heavily bruised and barely able to stand.”They were captured by the Taliban for absolutely no reason. They were tortured and beaten continuously for three days before being released. Luckily, the terrorists didn’t kill them and they were able to participate in the tournament,” says Khalid Bilawar, manager of the team currently touring India, playing in the 58th Subroto Cup. For an outsider, it is almost impossible to imagine what the life of a sportsperson in war-torn Afghanistan could be like.Astaqlal, a high school based in main Kabul in Afghanistan, have sent their best 16 players for the Subroto Cup being played in Delhi. Such opportunities don’t come quick and thick in that part of the world. And the team has not disappointed so far.In the under-14 category, the Afghan boys have won both their matches – 3-1 against Maharani School, Assam, and a 4-0 thumping of Reliance Foundation, Mumbai.For these children of Kabul, playing football is a matter of life or death. “They are kids eager to put on their shoes and play all day, given the opportunity. Football in Kabul is as popular as in India. But, as you know, playing football has different consequences there. We have around 400 children training in this school under a constant threat to life. We never know when a bomb will strike us or when the terrorists barge in and start shooting. Fortunately, none of us has been killed so far. But the situation is worse than ever,” says Bilawar, an Afghan international footballer himself.advertisementHe says the constant war between the government and the Taliban has taken a toll on the parents who are reluctant to send their kids for practice, fearing for their life. “Yahan talent ki kami nahi hai (there is no shortage of talent),” he says. “Often we hear a bomb go off close to where these kids are practising. There have been cases of open firing at the mosque when hundreds were praying. All of this has terrified the parents. We try to convince them but it is really tough.”The fear is real. The kids don’t even want to talk about it. Eagerly taking in the view of the city from the team bus speeding down the Gurgaon-Delhi highway, the players seemed to enjoy every moment of the freedom. After much hesitation, one of them agreed to speak.Abdullah Ali is a 13-year-old midfielder from Kabul. He started playing at the age of 10 and soon became a mainstay in his team. “I followed my footballer father and got interested in the game. I believe if all this (terrorism) is taken away and we are allowed proper training, we could reach heights,” says Abdullah, who dreams of wearing the national jersey some day.”I don’t know why all this happens and I frankly don’t have the permission to talk about it. Being an athlete in Afghanistan, we can only talk about sports.” For these children, the struggle is not limited to the terror around them. Lack of encouragement, poor nutrition and minimal infrastructure limit their careers as well.”We held talks over promoting sports – not just football – but the government is least bothered. They are only worried about the war and how to deal with it and we are clearly not the priority,” says one of the coaches, requesting anonymity. “Another big worry is nutrition. These kids don’t have the money to buy proper food and follow a strict diet. We are lenient in training so that they are not injured but this has hampered their skills as well as strength. The only thing we can give to these kids is hope that they may one day play for a big club in Europe.”Playing the Subroto Cup is a step in that direction for these children. When the smoke and dust settle, they just want to make their nation and families proud.Also Read:Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills two US soldiers in NATO convoy Taliban dismisses Trump’s policy change, says will turn Afghanistan into graveyard for American troopslast_img read more

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Fans should be very proud of what India has done, says England coach

first_imgEngland coach Steve Cooper on Friday lauded hosts India’s performance in their maiden FIFA U-17 World Cup, stating that the fans can be mighty pleased with the way their team played.India, playing in a World Cup at any level for the first time, lost all their three matches crashing out of Group A but gave a good account of themselves especially against Colombia. (India’s future in safe hands as Dheeraj Singh shines bright at FIFA U-17 World Cup)Luis Norton de Matos’ colts lost 1-2 but levelled in spectacular fashion through Jeakson Singh in the second half and came close to eking out a point in the final stages of the game.Against the USA, they lost 0-3 but were impressive while a much superior Ghana thrashed them 4-0..@IndianFootball team lost d match but won hearts for their sheer spirit & determination.Well played! We are proud of u.#FIFAU17WC #SAI?????? SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) October 13, 2017The U17 @IndianFootball team inspired millions of aspiring young footballers across nation wid it’s indomitable spirit. #FIFAU17WC #SAI?????? SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) October 13, 2017″I did and we made a real point with the players of watching them, certainly the opening game for two reasons. One we respect the home nation. What a wonderful experience the boys had in representing the country in a home tournament like this,” coach Cooper told reporters on the eve of their game against Iraq in Group F.England have already booked their place in the knockouts riding two wins in two matches.advertisementCooper said coach Matos created a good identity for the team and the supporters can be very proud with the way the hosts approached all three matches.”The results haven’t gone India’s way but they must be very proud of the performances. Congratulations to the coach, he has created a real good identity. He was really clear as to how he wants the team to play. I personally think the fans should be very proud of what India has done.”Cooper said he spent some time with India counterpart Stephen Constantine during their pre-tournament camp in Mumbai and learnt more about India’s football.”I have spent some time with Stephen Constantine in the build-up in Mumbai. He spoke very well of how they develop footballers here.”Memorable moments of great sportsman spirit at the #FIFAU17WC, conveys the essence of true sportsman.#IndiavGhana @IndianFootball #SAI ?????? SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) October 13, 2017last_img read more

Advani wins 17th world title

first_imgDoha, Nov 12 (PTI) Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani today clinched his 17th world title after he thrashed his arch-rival Mike Russell of England in the IBSF World Billiards Championship here.Advani beat Russell 6-2 (0-155, 150-128, 92-151, 151-0, 151-6, 151-0, 150-58, 150-21) to defend the 150-up format title he had won in Bengaluru last year.The Indian did not have an ideal start to the best-of-11 summit clash as Russell drew first blood with a well-crafted break of 155.Advani drew parity in the next frame but still seemed to be looking for his best to arrive. The Englishman bounced back with breaks of 84 and 67 to win what was going to be the last frame to his name in the final.From the fourth frame, the Indian was a transformed player.Advani, winner of maximum number of world titles in any sport by an Indian, increased his total by one more as he dominated the remainder of the final. He clinically constructed lethal breaks of 151, 151, 151, 145 and 110 to completely dismantle his longstanding rival.Earlier in the tournament, Advani had overcome fellow Indian Rupesh Shah in the semifinals 5-2, while Russell got the better of Singapores Peter Gilchrist 5-1.Advani will be eyeing a Grand Double as the lengthier format (long-up) of the IBSF World Billiards Championship 2017 commences tomorrow at the same venue here. PTI PDS CM CMlast_img read more

Laxman demands developing quality coaches in the country s

first_imgMumbai, Nov 29 (PTI) Lamenting the lack of recognition to formative coaches, former India batsman VVS Laxman today said that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) has urged the BCCI to shift its focus from infrastructure to developing a quality pool of coaches.”We never ever gave importance to Desh Prem Azad, who identified and nurtured Kapil Dev till he played for Haryana. After that once you play at the highest level or you play first class cricket, you become mature,” Laxman, who is a part of three-member CAC that also includes Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, said.Stressing that mentors are more important in a players career than infrastructure, Laxman cited the example of Tendulkars coach Ramakant Achrekar, saying that the iconic batsman was developed by his coach and not by Shivaji Park, the ground where he practised.”I believe that more than infrastructure, a lot of importance should be given to develop quality coaches and that is something, which we have recommended to the BCCI also,” the 43-year-old said while addressing the inaugural session of the CII — Sports Summit 207 in suburban Andheri here.Laxman said that he was fortunate that his maternal uncle identified talent in him when he was young.”My uncle was my mentor. My maternal uncle identified the spark, talent in me and convinced my parents that I got a good chance of playing at the highest level. How many kids have access or an opportunity of having such a guide. I was very fortunate that I had wonderful coaches in the academy where I went to,” Laxman, always remembered for his unbeaten 281 against Australia in Kolkata in 2001, said.advertisement”All the players who you talk to, who have achieved excellence they will tell that there was a mentor or a coach, who was like an elder brother or a father. Sachin was not because of Shivaji Park (a ground in Dadar), Sachin was because of Achrekar Sir. I think the important message there is to invest money in developing those quality coaches,” the stylish batsman explained.The cricketer-turned-commentator also rued the fact that parents in India are still not open about their kids taking up sports as a career option. PTI NRB CM CMlast_img read more

I can dissolve SLC to resurrect Lankas fortune: Jayasekera

first_imgColombo, Dec 6 (PTI) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera today said he would go to the extent of dissolving the present Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) administration to resurrect the national teams fortune.Sri Lanka is going through a difficult transition phase and the current administration has been blamed for the teams poor run in international cricket.Referring to the poor show by Sri Lankan cricket team, Jayasekera said: “Give me a little time to resurrect things. I will not hesitate even to dissolve the cricket board if it takes to that.”Jayasekera said through SLC constitutional reforms he would take action to reduce the number of votes at SLC election.”I want to see it reduced to 75 from the present 140,” said Jayasekera, who had stopped nine players from Sri Lankas ODI squad from travelling to India yesterday because he was unhappy with the team choice.It has been alleged that the present voting system has promoted vote buying at SLC elections by the islands top businessmen who want to enjoy the plum of heading the islands most prestigious governing body.”I cant politically interfere and appoint interim committees. But I am keen to see improvement in the local set up,” he said, adding that his ministry was currently talking to SLC authorities in re-organizing the domestic cricket competitions.”The current Tier 1 and 2 will be amalgamated in a new provincial cricket set up,” Jayasekera said.Sri Lanka, which is currently playing a bilateral series in India, has seen a drastic drop in its international standings with team suffering losses in all three formats. PTI Cor ATK ATKadvertisementlast_img read more

With El Clasico, Christmas comes early for football fans

first_imgMumbai, Dec 14 (PTI) The broadcaster of El Clasico has launched a Christmas Comes Early campaign as a build-up to the marquee clash between Spanish giants Barcelona FC and Real Madrid.Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) launched its campaign with less than 10 days left for Christmas. The match is scheduled for December 23 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.SPSNs promotional campaign delivers the message that the biggest game in football, for the first time ever, will be telecast at 4.30pm India time.The on-air campaign comprises two 30 second films that amplify the essence of El Clasico being telecast at a suitable viewing time for football fans in India. Since the match takes place just two days before Christmas, the films showcase young children making a wish to Santa Claus. PTI AH AHlast_img read more

ISL: Mumbai City FC spoil Kerala’s party, Chennaiyin edge FC Pune City

first_imgKerala Blasters’ winless streak continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw in their third home match of the Indian Super League season four in Kochi on Sunday.The Blasters’ striker Mark Sifneos may have ended 194 goal-less minutes for his side this season but Rene Muelensteen’s team is still winless after Mumbai City forward Balwant Singh got an equaliser in the 77th minute.Sifneos swept in Rino Anto’s cross to give the home side the lead in the 14th minute. It was Dimitar Berbatov, stellar on the night with his incisive passing from midfield, who threaded a pass through to Anto.The right back did not make any mistake in picking out Sifneos, who steered the ball past Mumbai City goalkeeper Amrinder Singh in front of a delirious Kochi crowd.And just when it seemed that Blasters had done enough to record their first win of the season after two 0-0 draws in a row, Balwant thumped in a low cross from Everton Santos in the 77th minute..@KeralaBlasters and @MumbaiCityFC ended the night sharing the spoils after an entertaining draw in Kochi!More videos: #ISLRecap #KERMUM #LetsFootball Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 3, 2017It was a game of missed chances and drama in front of goal as Santos’ shot was brilliantly saved by Paul Rachubka onto the woodwork and Blasters striker C K Vineeth was sent off in the dying minutes after a second yellow card for diving.A second yellow card for CK Vineeth reduces @KeralaBlasters down to 10 men! Deserved?advertisementWatch it LIVE on @hotstartweets: JioTV users can watch it LIVE on the app. #ISLMoments #KERMUM #LetsFootball Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 3, 2017The Blasters had made their intentions clear from the start when Courage Pekuson dragged his shot wide from outside the box in just the fourth minute. Within the next 60 seconds, Kerala sent in a series of crosses from both sides, but Mumbai somehow saw off the storm.Jackichand Singh found Vineeth with a long ball but the forward’s brilliant turn and shot was saved. Jackichand was at the receiving end in the 43rd minute when Berbatov found him with an inch-perfect lobbed through ball but the Indian winger shot it over despite having options in the middle of the six- yard box.Dimitar Berbatov released Jackichand Singh who scuffed his effort and left Rene Meulensteen bewildered.Watch it LIVE on Hotstar: JioTV users can watch it LIVE on the app. #ISLMoments #KERMUM #LetsFootball Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 3, 2017Squeezed between these two chances was Mumbai City’s only meaningful attempt on goal when Rafa Jorda headed Abinash Ruidas’ cross straight to the keeper.Berbatov, who had done most of the passing for the Blasters, had his own attempt when his header from a corner flew straight to Amrinder at the stroke of half-time.The home team started the second half just like the first when Pekuson blasted his shot over from a tight angle and so did Vineeth when Lalruatthara’s cross found him at the far post.Balwant had another chance as the game opened up in the last 10 minutes, but his first-time shot from a clever flick in the box was scuffed and petered out of play.The Blasters, despite being down to 10 men, pushed bodies forward but Mumbai City held on to a draw with Berbatov shooting over the bar with virtually the last kick of the match.HENRIQUE SERENO BECOMES CHENNAIYIN’S HEROChennaiyin FC got the better of FC Pune City by a solitary goal in the Indian Super League season four clash to move to the second spot at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Sunday.A 82nd minute goal from captain Henrique Sereno was enough for the former ISL champions to win their second match on the trot after the disastrous opening day loss against FC Goa.Head it low and hard is what they say, and it worked for Sereno! #LetsFootball #PUNCHE Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 3, 2017After a cagey opening 15 minutes, Pune took control but couldn’t create any clear-cut goal scoring chances. Some of their best chances of the half came from set plays.Marcos Tebar’s free-kick in the 19th minute was headed down by a Pune player to Alfaro, who in turn passed it on to Rafael Lopez. But the Spanish defender’s side-footed shot went inches wide of the Chennaiyin goal.advertisementChennaiyin FC’s best chance of the first half fell to Gregory Nelson in the 40th minute. After stringing together a few passes in midfield, Inigo Calderon sent in a delightful cross into the box for Nelson to meet.The Dutchman’s diving header, however, was cleared well off the line by Rafael.Both sides started the second half much like the first — unable to create chances going forward. In the 60th minute, Pune goalkeeper Vishal Kaith almost gifted a goal to John Gregory’s side.The goalkeeper came out of his box to collect a harmless-looking cross from Jerry Lalrinzuala but could only palm it in the path of midfielder Francisco Fernandes.Rafael, however, was again in the right place at the right time to make another goal-line clearance.Rafa Lopez makes another heroic clearance off the line!Watch it LIVE on @hotstartweets: JioTV users can watch it LIVE on the app. #ISLMoments #PUNCHE #LetsFootball Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 3, 2017At the other end, Alfaro should have given Pune the lead in the 77th minute. After finding himself clear on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat, the Uruguayan slashed the ball over the crossbar.It looked like both sides would settle for a point each but there was a twist in the tale.With just eight minutes left for the final whistle, Sereno gave Chennaiyin FC the lead. The defender rose above everyone to thump Gavilan Martinez’s corner past the FC Pune City goalkeeper.last_img read more

Anderson’s Slope Gold U.S. Double

first_imgKRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – There was a lot of ugliness out on that supersized Olympic slopestyle course on Feb. 9 – crashes, splashes, face plants, even a cracked helmet.As she so often does, Jamie Anderson made things look beautiful again.The world’s most consistent rider came through big under a huge amount of pressure — “I was freaking out,” she said — riding clean on the rails and stomping down three high-flying jumps on her second, and make-or-break, trip down the mountain. She scored a 95.25 on that run to make America 2 for 2 in slopestyle’s colorful and treacherous debut on the Olympic stage.“It’s kind of a big deal,” said the gold medalist, who earlier this winter had conceded she was heading to Russia with some reservations about what the Olympics really stand for. “This is The Event.”Enni Rukajarvi of Finland won silver and Jenny Jones took bronze to give Britain its first Olympic medal on the snow.A heady piece of history for Jones, the 33-year-old, one-time ski resort housekeeper from Bristol, who was unapologetic in revealing she prepared for the big day by watching Downton Abbey back at her place in the athletes village.Jones calls Anderson a “hippie,” and it’s true, the 23-year-old from South Lake Tahoe, Calif., likes yoga and meditation — and granola every now and then.“I think it’s fair to say Jamie marches to the beat of her own drummer,” American coach Mike Jankowski said. “She likes to do things her way out here.”Much as she wanted to relax while getting ready for her final run, she said it was, indeed, a little disconcerting standing at the top of the mountain, watching rider after rider take a fall. Of the 24 runs in finals, no fewer than 17 of them included a hand drag, a fall or worse — and that wasn’t counting Austrian Anna Gasser’s failed climb back up the first embankment after she was given the ‘go’ sign a second too soon.Isabel Derungs of Switzerland fell off a rail and face planted into the snow.Silje Norendal, the Norwegian who handed Anderson one of her few losses two weeks ago at the Winter X Games, fell off the first rail, bobbled on the second, then washed out completely on her second jump.Worst of all, Sarka Pancochova of the Czech Republic lost it on the first jump of her second run, the back of her head slamming against the snow. Her body skittered down the hill, flipping side to side, with her legs flopping like a rag doll.Somehow, she got up and rode down the hill under her own power. When she got there, she showed off a pencil-wide crack that ran the length of her helmet.“Well, it seems broken, but that’s what they are for, right?” said Pancochova, who was not seriously injured, according to team officials.Against that backdrop, and overcast skies, Anderson, who lost her balance and nearly fell on the final jump of her opening run, reached the starting gate for the second.“I was just visualizing, like, seeing myself already landing and coming down here,” she said. “Just trying to believe.”She made a mini-Usain Bolt pose, as if getting ready to arch an arrow, pounded on her snow pants, then took off.On a course thought by some to be too tough for women, where even Anderson fell and hurt her back during training, she was almost flawless.She executed her half-rotating jumps on and off the rails — the most technical part of these runs — without problem, then set up for the show: Cab 720 jump with a grab, switchback 540 with a grab, frontside 720.That’s three jumps with a total of 5½ rotations and two fancy grabs of the snowboard. The landings: All perfect. Everyone knew it, including Anderson, who spread-eagled her arms as she crossed the finish line. Safe.“Jamie is a lot of things,” said 19-year-old Karly Shorr, who finished sixth. “Jamie is a leader. She’s an awesome person. She’s a good friend. She thinks about other people and, honestly, she’s a good competitor. She does whatever she has to do to win. She never cracks under pressure. She uses it. She lands every time.”Jankowski said the United States came into slopestyle’s debut hoping for a pair of medals. Shaun White pulled out, which may have dimmed those chances, but Sage Kotsenburg came up with the ride of his life to win the men’s contest.Anderson had something different riding on this outcome.“Jamie has been the face of women’s slopestyle for quite a few years now,” Jankowski said of the four-time X Games champion who routed the competition in four of five Olympic qualifying contests this winter.“That’s all very important, but when you’re at the Olympics, you have to land your run at the right time to cement your legacy.”Anderson will celebrate with five of her sisters, a brother, a niece and her 80-something Bavarian neighbor, Gabriela, who she calls her “spirit grandmother.”Her mom, Lauren, was there, too, holding a red-and-yellow scarf that read “Team Every1.”“She’s tough. She’s a go-getter. She knows how to stay calm when the tension is on, somehow,” Lauren said of a daughter who turned pro when she was 13.Must be all that Zen-like peace she gets from yoga and meditation, right? “No,” Mom said. “Chutzpah. She’s got that chutzpah thing.”(EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more