Tuesday, January 31, 2023


I know that my mother is looking from the sky and feeling proud of me: Sumati Kumari

"Football has the power to change people's lives," an oft-quoted phrase that not many take too seriously sometimes. But Sumati Kumari and Amisha Baxla, the two Jharkhand girls in the current India U-20 Women's National Team camp in Chennai, refuse to fall into this category.

New Zealand were one ball away from a series victory: Tim Southee

New Zealand captain Tim Southee rued the drawn finish in the second Test against Pakistan at Karachi, saying the visitors' were just one ball away from getting a series win.On Friday, New Zealand were countered by Sarfaraz Ahmed's counter attacking 118, but bounced back to be a wicket away from victory while Pakistan needed 15 runs for the same, before bad light forced a draw."You play to win Test matches and we got ourselves in, probably, positions to win both of them. It was pretty tough going but the guys toiled away and we were one ball away from a series victory."

Carlos Alcaraz withdraws from 2023 Australian Open

World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to a right leg injury. The 19-year-old Spaniard, who last year became the youngest player to finish year-end No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, would have held the top seed at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career.

The Test season has not gone according to expectations: Babar Azam

Pakistan captain Babar Azam admitted that his team's home season hasn't panned out as per the expectations of people in the country. Pakistan's share of Test matches in their home season ended without a single win, with the latest being a thrilling drawn second Test against New Zealand at Karachi on Friday.The result meant Pakistan's two-match series against New Zealand at home ended in a 0-0 affair, after suffering a 3-0 thrashing in home conditions at the hands of England in December 2022.

SCG Chairman open to hosting pink ball Test for future in traditional new year slot

SCG Trust Chairman Tony Shepherd said he is open to considering hosting a pink ball Test in their traditional new year slot to deal with light issues that have plagued the early part of the ongoing third Test between Australia and South Africa, which is heading for a draw.Six of the seven recent Tests played at the SCG have been interrupted by rain, with four of those matches ending in drawn affairs. A stat by ABC statistician Ric Finlay has shown 25 days of play have been lost to the weather at SCG Tests, more than every other Test venue in Australia combined.

National Car Racing C'ship: Over 60 entries received for second round as 4W racing resumes

Salem lad Sai Sanjay and Bengaluru's Chirag Ghorapde will continue their battle for the top spot in the F2000 category as the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 resumes this weekend after a three-month breakThe second round of the competition is scheduled for January 6-8 at the Madras International Circuit.

ICC announces highest number of female match officials for inaugural U19 Women's T20 World Cup

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced that nine out of 15 match officials will be present for the warm-up matches and group stage of the inaugural Under 19 Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa.It makes the tournament, starting from January 14, have the highest number of female match officials to be appointed for an ICC event. In all, 12 umpires and three match referees will officiate in the tournament, which will be played across four venues in the two host cities: Benoni and Potchefstroom.

Nick Kyrgios pulls out of Australian Open warm-up event at Adelaide

Top-ranked Australian male tennis player Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the Adelaide International as he races to recover from an ankle injury before the Australian Open.Organisers in Adelaide on Thursday announced that Kyrgios will not compete in week two of the tournament, which is named "Adelaide International 2", due to start on January 9.It comes days after the world No. 22 withdrew from Australia's team for the United Cup due to an ankle injury.

Leeds United sign Austrian international defender Max Wober

Leeds United has confirmed the signing of Austrian international defender Max Wober for an 'undisclosed' fee which is thought to be in the region of around 15 million euros.Wober joins Leeds from Red Bull Salzburg on a four-and-a-half-year contract until the end of June 2027.

3rd Test: Renshaw named in Australia XI despite testing positive for Covid-19

Australian batter Matthew Renshaw's Test recall got off to a bad start after testing positive for Covid-19 on the morning of the series finale against South Africa but he will continue to take part in the game at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), here on Wednesday.Playing his first Test since 2018, Renshaw, who returned a positive rapid antigen test after feeling unwell before play for the SCG Test, was named in the playing XI anyway, listed to bat at number six. The left-handed batter stood separately from team-mates during the anthems and was then seen sitting away from the dugout on the boundary edge.

PCB chief backs Shahid Afridi, says he can take 'bold decisions'

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has extended his support towards newly appointed national team's interim chief selector Shahid Afridi and said that the former skipper can take "bold decisions".Afridi was appointed as the selection committee's interim chair after Mohammad Wasim was sacked by the new PCB management after Pakistan suffered a humiliating first-ever 0-3 home series whitewash at the hands of England last month.

National Beach Soccer Championship from Jan 26 in Gujarat

After starting a revamped and rejuvenated format of the Santosh Trophy at the end of last year and the second edition of the Futsal Championship set to follow, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) continues to expand football's frontiers.In the presence of Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran, the federation announced the groups and fixtures for the inaugural Hero National Beach Soccer Championship at the Football House, here on Monday.

Premier League: Brentford up to seventh with historic win over Liverpool

Brentford moved up to within six points of the top four with a 3-1 win against Liverpool, their first victory over the Reds since 1938.Thomas Frank's side, missing top scorer Ivan Toney, broke the deadlock on 19 minutes when Bryan Mbeumo's corner bounced off Ibrahima Konate's leg and over the line.Brentford had two goals ruled out for offside before they doubled their lead three minutes before the break when Yoane Wissa's downward header from Mathias Jensen's delivery beat Alisson.

National Championship: Speedskater Anoli Shah bags multiple bronze medals

International speedskater Anoli Shah bagged three bronze medals at the 60th National Roller Skating Championship, here.She won one bronze in track point to point + elimination race, one in track elimination race, and one bronze in mixed relay race in the Championship.

FIH World Cup: Indian dressing room is brimming with anticipation and excitement in equal measure, says Harmanpreet

With just ten days left for the start of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023, the captain of the Indian Men's Hockey Team expressed the mood in the dressing room at the stellar Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium.As hosts, India is fancied to finish on the podium and the expectations are far greater this time particularly after the team's stupendous performance at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 where they ended a 41-year long wait to stand on the podium again by bagging the Bronze Medal.

His fitness is crucial: Irfan Pathan warns selectors regarding Hardik's captaincy call

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan is impressed with Hardik Pandya's captaincy approach and issued a warning to team management to focus on the all-rounder's fitness "if they are going to look at him as a long-time captain".Pandya will be handling the captaincy duties in a 3-match T20I series against Sri Lanka from January 3. Moreover, he will also be Rohit Sharma's deputy in a 3-match ODI series against Sri Lanka later in the month.Speaking to Star Sports ahead of the 1st T20I, Pathan said: "I think from what I have seen with Hardik Pandya's captaincy for Gujarat Titans or India last year, I can see he has been communicating well."

Pele, soccer legend, passes away at 82 due to Cancer

The former World Cup winner was suffering from cancer and was not doing well. Reports say that the soccer legend was admitted for over a month because of his cancer getting worse. He was also the former minister of sports of Brazil. He died after having a very long battle against colon cancer.

Indian Women's hockey team receives warm welcome on return from victorious FIH Nations Cup 2022 campaign

 Having won the inaugural edition of the FIH Women's Nations Cup 2022 in Valencia in grand style, the Indian hockey team arrived here on Monday morning, and were greeted with rapturous applause.The title for the Indian team means that they have also secured promotion to the 2023-24 FIH Hockey Women's Pro League."As a Captain, I am very proud and delighted with my teammates. Everyone gave their 100 per cent during the FIH Women's Nations Cup 2022, and we maintained our focus right from the start, on and off the field, and it really feels great to be part of such a team," captain Savita said.Savita also added that the Indian Women's Hockey Team are not taking their foot off the pedal, and have their eyes on the next year's calendar."We have had a good year in 2022 and going forward we will continue to aim for more wins and titles. We have the Asian Games 2022 coming up next year, and we will definitely try to come back with a good result," Savita said.

Mark Chapman earns first NZC central contract, fills in for Martin Guptill

 Left-handed batter Mark Chapman on Monday was awarded his first New Zealand Cricket (NZC) central contract, filling in vacancy left by veteran opener Martin Guptill's departure in November.Chapman has played 22 T20Is and five ODIs for New Zealand since making his debut in 2018, making 381 runs and 111 runs respectively. He has also been a member of the New Zealand team in last two ICC Men's T20 World Cup campaigns.Before this, he had played 21 matches for Hong Kong. He has also played 128 matches for his domestic team Auckland. A powerful and inventive left-hand batsman, Chapman offers an option with his left-arm orthodox spin bowling and is a highly rated fielder in the New Zealand cricket circuit."We're delighted to have Mark join the central contract list after being there or thereabouts for a while. He's a fine player and we like the versatility and innovation he brings to his batting. He's a guy with a lot of talent and we see him being a big part of future BLACKCAPS squads," said head coach Gary Stead.On Sunday, Chapman was included in New Zealand's tour of India comprising three ODIs and as many T20Is, running from January 18 to February 1, with the side continuing to manage the workloads of their players and support staff.

Marnus Labuschagne admits pitch at The Gabba was not up to Test cricket standard

Australia batter batsman Marnus Labuschagne has admitted the pitch at The Gabba was not up to the standard for a match in Test cricket after despite the hosts' defeating South Africa in the first Test of the three-game series.The first Test between Australia and South Africa was over in just two days after 34 wickets fell with the hosts' romping to a six-wicket victory on a green pitch which had the same green colour as the outfield."No. I think everyone understands that this is not what we want, that's not the ideal scenario," he said  on being asked if the pitch was fit for the match to be played."We love the pace of the wicket, we love the bounce, we love two fast bowling attacks going at it, but if we're going to finish in under two days it's obviously not ideal for Test cricket. But the reality is we've played on probably two of those in the last two years," he added.Labuschagne, who plays majorly at The Gabba due to it being the home ground of his state team Queensland, noted that with the quality of bowling attacks on both sides, a better-quality pitch should have been made for the first Test in Brisbane.

1st Test, Day 4: Kuldeep, Umesh, Axar strike as Bangladesh reach 176/3 at Tea, need 337 runs to win

Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav and Axar Patel picked up a wicket apiece in the second session as India were able to keep a lid on the scoring rate, with Bangladesh reaching 176/3 at Tea and needing 337 more runs on day four of first Test at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, here on Saturday.
In the second session, there was some sharp turn from the pitch for India, who finally got some breakthroughs though debutant Bangladesh opener Zakir Hasan is still rock-solid at 82 not out.After four quiet overs at the start, India finally ended the 124-opening partnership when Najmul Hossain Shanto poked at one outside off-stump against Umesh. Virat Kohli fumbled at slip but Rishabh Pant showed quick presence of mind to take the catch on rebound at second attempt.Three overs later, Axar Patel took another wicket for India when a length ball drew Yasir Ali forward and got to spin past the outer edge to crash into the stumps. The visitors' could have got another wicket when Umesh went past Litton Das' outside edge, which was heard by none. Later, UltraEdge showed there was a spike.

Mirabai Chanu on a five months break due to inuries

Star Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who recently won the silver medal at World Championships, will undergo a five-month rehabilitation programme at NIS Patiala to nurse her shoulder and back injuries.The Tokyo Olympic silver medallist enjoyed a successful 2022 season with a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in August and then a silver medal at the world championships in December. However, there were also a few injury concerns for her.Mirabai was rested for the Asian championships in October due to back pain and a wrist injury she suffered during a training session in September.During her stay at the NIS Patiala, the 28-year-old from Manipur and her support staff will work on strengthening her shoulder and the rotator cuff before resolving the back issue.

France sends Morocco home and advances to the finals

 Reigning world champions France scored once in each half to overcome a spirited challenge of Morocco on Wednesday night at Al Bayt Stadium to set up a FIFA World Cup final showdown with Argentina on Sunday.The Les Bleus took the lead through Theo Hernandez's scrambled fifth minute goal. Randal Kolo Muani wrapped up matters in the 79th, less than a minute after coming on, after a fine solo from Kylian Mbappe.France ended the fairytale run of the Atlas Lions in the tournament, with Dider Deschamps side bidding to become the first team in 60 years to win back-to-back titles. Only Italy in 1938 and Brazil in 1962 have clinched back-to-back titles.France is the sixth nation to reach successive World Cup finals, the others being Italy (1934, 1938), Brazil (twice: 1958, 1962 and 1994, 1998, 2002), the Netherlands (1974, 1978), West Germany (1982, 1986, 1990) and Argentina (1986, 1990).Should France win, Didier Deschamps - who was a player when France won their first title in 1998 - will join Italy's Vittorio Pozzo as the only coach to win two World Cups in a row.

'Argentina will be really hard in the World Cup final' || French Goalkeeper

 France goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris said he expect a difficult World Cup final when his side takes on Argentina on Sunday.While Lionel Messi is looking to lift his first World Cup, France are looking to retain the title they won in 2018 in what promises to be a tough game for both sides."Argentina are a really great team. They have shown how competitive they are, and they have this player (Messi) who has left his mark on the sport," said Lloris after Wednesday's 2-0 semifinal win over Morocco."There is everything in place for it to be a great game, but we will try to turn things our way," he was quoted as saying by the news agency.The keeper reflected on a tough semifinal in which France were forced to defend for long periods after Theo Hernandez's fifth-minute opener and were even deep in their box after Kolo Muani netted a second goal in the 79th minute."We really suffered, and we are tired but satisfied because we have given ourselves a golden opportunity to make history for France. A second final in four years, so even everything wasn't perfect, from tomorrow we have to start our recovery," Lloris said.

France beats morocco by 2-0 || France advances to the Finals


France beats morocco by 2-0. France advances to the Finals with a historical victory against morocco, scoring 2 goals.

First goal was recorded at the 5th minute by T. Hernández followed by R. Kolo Muani goal at the 79th minute assisted by none other than K. Mbappe.

IND v BAN, 1st Test: Pujara, Iyer smash fifties, carry India to 278/6 despite Taijul three-fer (Ld)

Cheteshwar Pujara and Shreyas Iyer smashed half-centuries to lead India's recovery from 48/3 to 278/6 at stumps on day one of first Test against Bangladesh at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, here on Wednesday.In the first session, Bangladesh had taken out Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli to reduce India to 48/3 in 19.3 overs. Pujara and Rishabh Pant (46) led the initial recovery for India through a counter-attacking 64-run stand.But once Pant fell in the second session, Pujara joined hands with Iyer to lead another rescue act for India through a solid 149-run stand for the fifth wicket. While Pujara was firm as a rock, Iyer was aggressive after a tentative start and had plenty of luck on his side.Though Pujara would fall ten runs short of his century as left-arm spinner Taijul Islam took him out to complete his three-wicket haul after beating him several times in the day, Iyer remained unbeaten on 82 off 169 balls on an absorbing day of Test cricket.Bangladesh, despite getting six wickets and Taijul being their standout bowler, would be wondering how the day would have been if they hadn't dropped Pujara and Iyer on 12 and 67 respectively.

Perth Scorchers' Tymal Mills pulls out of BBL due to a family emergency

 England pacer Tymal Mills, a white-ball expert, will not be available to play for Perth Scorchers in the 2022-23 Big Bash League (BBL) season that started on Tuesday due to a family emergency.The 30-year-old left-handed fast bowler was recruited by Perth in the inaugural BBL|12 Draft after playing an important role during the Scorchers' title-winning BBL|11 campaign."The Club fully supports Mills' decision, and sends its thoughts and best wishes to his family during this time," the Perth Scorchers said in a statement on Wednesday.Perth Scorchers are exploring their options to recruit a replacement international player, the club said in the statement.

IND v BAN, 1st Test: India win toss, elect to bat first; include three spinners with two pacers

 India's stand-in captain K.L. Rahul has won the toss and elected to bat first in the Test series opener against Bangladesh at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here on Wednesday.After winning the toss for the first time on this tour, Rahul said India are playing three spinners -- Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav -- along with two fast bowlers in Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj."Looks like a good wicket and we'll put the runs on the board and use the footmarks later on to get wickets. They've been a few injuries but that gives an opportunity to the other guys," he said.Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan stated if he had won the toss, he would also have opted to bat first. "But we'll try to get some early wickets. If you got into the history (of this ground), more wickets have fallen on the opening day (than on the final). We will try to get early wickets and put them under pressure," he said.

Richa Ghosh can't wait to emulate MS Dhoni-like heroics for India against Australia

India wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh, one of the stars in the thrilling second T20I victory decided via Super Oval at the D.Y. Patil Stadium here, is itching to emulate MS Dhoni-like heroics as a crucial third T20I comes up against Australia at Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday evening.While revealing in the pre-match presser that she idolized Dhoni in her growing-up years and saw him script great finishes for India, Richa also expressed her desire to meet him in the future."Since childhood, I've followed Dhoni and how he used to finish the game. I haven't had the opportunity to meet him yet. There have been times when he would leave just before we were in for a camp or a match at a venue. Hopefully, I'll meet him someday."Richa also credited her father for teaching her cricket and backing her dream of playing for India. "The rest I have learned from my dad. My family and father helped me a lot and he would always accompany me to my games. He could not play for long, so he backed me to chase my dreams."

Argentina makes it to Finals of FIFA World Cup 2022

Two goals from Julian Alvarez and one from Lionel Messi guided Argentina to a 3-0 win over Croatia in the first semi-final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Lusail Stadium on Wednesday. With this win, the Lionel

France goes into the WC semifinals against Morocco

France go into their World Cup semifinals against Morocco as the favourites to repeat their place in the final from 2018, when they also won the title.The French also reached the final of the 2016 European Championship, where they ended up as runners-up, so Didier Deschamps's men have the semifinal experience they need to go into Wednesday's match at Al Bayt with confidence.Not only do the French have a great record in the semifinals, but this World Cup has seen four players set records to highlight the challenge they pose to rivals.The first of those is striker Olivier Giroud: The AC Milan forward, who is a clear candidate for this year's Golden Boot, scored twice against Australia to go level with Thierry Henry's record of 51 goals for France. He then broke the record with the opening goal against Poland and extended it to 53, with the winner against England last Saturday.Kylian Mbappe has also broken a record at this World Cup, with the two wonderful goals he netted against Poland taking him to nine goals in World Cups. That makes him the first 24-year-old to reach that total, passing the great Pele's seven goals by that age.

Mirabai Chanu grabs silver in weightlifting championship regardless of wrist injury

Star Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu battled wrist pain to clinch a silver medal in the women's 49kg division at the World Weightlifting Championships 2022, here.Mirabai lifted a total weight of 200kg (87kg snatch + 113kg clean and jerk) on Tuesday night for her second world championships medal. She won the gold in 2017 and finished fourth in the 2019 edition.Jiang Huihua of China won her third world championships gold medal with a combined lift of 206 kg (93kg+113kg) while Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Hou Zhihui of China settled for bronze for 198kg (89kg+109kg).The 28-year-old Indian hurt her wrist during training in September. She then competed at the National Games the following month despite the injury."It's an emotionally proud moment for me to bring another world championship medal back home after five long years. The competition at the world championship is always intense with the best Olympian competing at the highest level," said Mirabai after winning the medal.

Virat behaves the way he wants to behave; rest of the cricket world bows down to him: Cullinan

Former South African cricketing great Daryll Cullinan and India's Sanjay Manjrekar lambasted Virat Kohli for his on-field behaviour on Thursday, wherein the Test captain walked up to the stumps mic and insinuated that the South African broadcasters had not given a fair DRS review, because of which Dean Elgar's LBW decision got overturned. Kohli and a few other Indian players fumed at South African broadcaster, SuperSport, after Elgar got an LBW reprieve following the DRS review. The India captain walked up to 

SA v IND, 3rd Test: South Africa on the verge of victory after Petersen's sublime 82

A sublime 82 from Keegan Petersen and some gorgeous shots from Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma meant South Africa are on the verge of winning the third Test and series against India at Newlands Cricket Ground on Friday. At lunch on day four, South Africa are 171/3 in 55 overs and need just 41 runs to win the match and series.

Djokovic to defend Australian Open title after exemption from vaccination

World number one Novak Djokovic on Tuesday said that he would defend his Australian Open title later this month after receiving a medical exemption from having a COVID-19 vaccination. Djokovic has never spoken publicly about his vaccination status but he criticised mandates ruling that players must be double-jabbed. He previously had said that he was unsure whether he would compete at the Grand Slam due to concerns over Australia's quarantine rules. "I've spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I'm heading Down Under with an exemption permission," Djokovic said in a tweet along with a picture of him in an airport.

Morne Morkel, Irfan Pathan hail Bumrah's impeccable fast bowling

Former India and South Africa cricketers Irfan Pathan and Morne Morkel lavished praise on fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, terming him as a 'vital cog' in India's pace attack. Morne Morkel, who was part of the Proteas team when Bumrah made his Test debut in South Africa in 2018, praised the 28-year-old Indian, saying his ability to bowl in different conditions will make him a great bowler in the coming days.

2nd Test, Day 2: Shardul bags three wickets, reduces South Africa to 102-4 at lunch

A sensational bowling performance by Shardul Thakur (3/8) helped India reduce South Africa 102/4 at lunch on Day 2 of the second Test at The Wanderers Stadium, here on Tuesday. Resuming the day at 35/1, South Africa added 67 runs and lost three key wickets in the morning session, still trailing India by 100 runs. It was a contrasting start for Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen against the visitors. Petersen began the day with a confident backfoot punch through cover for three runs off Bumrah and a four to fine leg but Elgar, at the other end wasn't too comfortable against the Indian pacers.

COVID UPDATE: Four Zimbabwe cricketers for Under-19 World Cup test positive

Four Zimbabwe youth cricketers, who are part of the country's squad for the ICC Under-19 Men's World Cup 2022 in the West Indies commencing on January 14, have tested positive for COVID-19. The four took part in a four-match youth one-day series against the Ireland Under-19 side in Barbados that ended on January 2.

Netizens react to Kohli's absence in second Test against South Africa

Test skipper Virat Kohli was ruled out of the second Test against South Africa due to an upper-back spasm with KL Rahul taking the charge. The decision to make Rahul captain attracted mixed reactions from cricketers and fans. While some rued the absence of Kohli in the crucial Test, others lauded the Indian management for their bold decision.

SA v IND, 2nd Test: Kohli ruled out of Johannesburg Test due to upper back spasm

India captain Virat Kohli had been ruled out just before the start of the second Test against South Africa at the Wanderers due to an upper back spasm. With India leading 1-0 in the three-match series, vice-captain KL Rahul has stepped in to lead the team in Kohli's absence. Rahul has now become the 34th cricketer to captain India in Test cricket.