FIFA thanks Mamata for successful U-17 World Cup

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
04.11.2017

Kolkata, Nov 3 (PTI) FIFA president Gianni Infantino has thanked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for successfully organising the matches at various stages and the final of the Under-17 World Cup last month.

In a letter from FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Infantino also praised Banerjee for the way the tournament was hosted at the Salt Lake Stadium including the final.

“I would like to congratulate your government on its role in your country’s successful hosting of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. I would also like to thank you on behalf of the entire FIFA delegation for affording us such a cordial welcome and warm hospitality,” he wrote to Banerjee.

The FIFA president also praised Banerjee’s vision about the game in breaking down the cultural and social barriers and making the game accessible to all.

He also thanked the West Bengal government for the development of football and promoting the values of the game in India.

Promising all assistance from FIFA in developing the game in the region, Infantino lauded Banerjee for deciding on providing 15-acre of land to the AIFF for the National Centre of Excellence for Football near here.

The Salt Lake Stadium here had hosted 11 matches of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, including the final. Kolkata co-hosted the mega event along with New Delhi, Guwahati, Navi Mumbai, Kochi and Margao.

Mithali rises to top spot in ICC batswomen ranking

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
31.10.2017

Dubai, Oct 30 (PTI) Indian women cricket team captain Mithali Raj on Monday moved up one place to occupy the number one spot in the latest ICC ODI rankings for batswomen.

Ellyse Perry of Australia and Amy Satterthwaite of New Zealand also jumped one place each to be at second and third spots while Meg Lanning of Australia has dropped from first to fourth after missing the series against England due to injury.

Mithali has 753 points, while Perry and Satterthwaite are on 725 and 720 points respectively.

Among women bowlers, Jhulan Goswami remained on second spot with 652 rating points, behind Marizanne Kapp (656) of South Africa.

Meanwhile, defending champion Australia’s 2-1 victory over England in the ICC Women’s Championship series has not only helped them garner four useful points but also regain the top spot in the women’s team rankings.

England had displaced Australia from the top spot for the first time after the annual update earlier this month,

Starting the series ahead on decimal points with both teams on 128 points, Australia made the most of the home conditions to prevail despite the absence of first-choice captain and leading batter Meg Lanning, going up to 129 points and ensuring a two-point lead in the process.

Teams get two points for each win, one point for a tie or no-result and no points for a loss in the ICC Women’s Championship, which will see ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 hosts New Zealand and the three other top teams gain direct qualification to the pinnacle women’s 50-over event.

The remaining four sides will get a second chance through the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier event. India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are the other sides in the ICC Women’s Championship, which runs till 2020.

Federer routs Tiafoe in Basel opener

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
25.10.2017

Basel (Switzerland), Oct 25 (AFP) Roger Federer thrashed American teenager Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-3 as the top seed began his week at the Swiss Indoors with a resounding first- round victory.

Federer, who won in a stroll over Rafael Nadal just over a week ago in the Shanghai final, continued his top form in front of the local crowd at an event he has won seven times.

The 36-year-old Swiss, who has competed in a dozen Basel finals, made quick work of his 19-year-old opponent, who had taken him to five sets in this year’s US Open first round.

Federer will next face France’s Benoit Paire, a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) winner over American Steve Johnson.

“I felt good throughout. The short match didn’t matter too much because I have a day off tomorrow. Even if it had been three sets, it would have been OK,” Federer said.

“As long as I’m winning, it’s all good. I’m just happy to win the first match. Frances was tough in the US Open.

“The next round with Paire will be tough, he’s a dangerous player indoors. I’m happy I’ve found my rhythm early in Basel.”

Defending champion and second seed Marin Cilic advanced in just 30 minutes after German Florian Mayer quit when trailing 6-3.

Third seed David Goffin defeated German Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 7-5 and fifth seed Jack Sock of the US rallied past Canadian Vasek Pospisil 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-5.

Argentine Leonardo Mayer knocked out number eight seed Mischa Zverev 7-5, 7-5.

Against Tiafoe, whom he also defeated last March in Miami, Federer wasted no time in establishing domination of the young gun.

The Swiss quickly rolled 4-0 ahead, with Tiafoe finally earning a game after 21 minutes of play.

Federer then produced a love game and closed out the set in 29 minutes on his first set point.

Tiafoe’s resistance stiffened slightly in the second set, with Federer achieving the break in the eighth game for 5-3 before wrapping up victory in 61 minutes.

BCCI set to pay huge compensation to Kochi Tuskers

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
25.10.2017

New Delhi, Oct 24 (PTI) The BCCI is set to pay a huge compensation of more than Rs 800 crore to disbanded IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala for terminating their contract in 2011.

“Kochi Tuskers has demanded Rs 850 crore as compensation. Today we discussed the matter at IPL GC meeting and we will now place the matter before general body. Let them take a call but obviously some negotiations are needed,” IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said after the meeting.

Kochi Tuskers owners in 2015 had won an arbitration challenging BCCI decision to encash bank guarantee citing breach of contractual agreement.

The RC Lahoti headed panel had directed BCCI to pay Rs 550 crore as compensation with 18 percent annual penalty on failing to do so.

For the past two years, BCCI was adamant in neither paying compensation nor taking back the franchise in the IPL.

“We have to pay Kochi compensation. All legal options have been exhausted. Normally when arbitration decision goes against you, it will be stupid to move Supreme Court appealing against it. We have no option but question is how much,” an influential IPL GC member told PTI after coming out of the meeting.

The decision to terminate Kochi contract was taken by then BCCI President Shashank Manohar citing breach of franchise agreement, something majority of BCCI officials were against.

“It was one man’s obstinacy that is now costing us a bomb. Had Shashank not taken that decision, we could have worked our way out.

“In fact, before Kochi went to arbitration, they had asked for a compensation of Rs 300 crore. Even then our officials showed arrogance and now we will be forced to shell out more than double,” the angry official further added.

The BCCI will be trying to negotiate and bring down the compensation to an optimum level.

“Even then we will not be able to bring down to less than Rs 600 crore, I feel,” said the official, who had been associated with the case.

Meanwhile in another development, the BCCI will be earning a token amount of Rs 5 lakh from Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as a part of 5 percent earnings from total valuation of a franchise that transfers its ownership.

Chennai Super Kings is now under the wings of Chennai Super Kings Company Limited (CSKCL) with India Cements transferring its shares to the newly formed limited company.

Lehmann says he may ditch limited-overs role

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
24.10.2017

Sydney, Oct 24 (AFP) Australia coach Darren Lehmann Tuesday said an increasingly punishing cricket calendar may leave him with “no choice” but to hand over responsibility for the country’s one-day and Twenty20 sides, leaving him to focus solely on Tests.

Health issues and a heavy workload has seen the 47- year-old miss several one-day and Twenty20 series in recent years, including the just-ended limited-overs tour of India.

He returns to lead Australia in the upcoming Ashes series against England, but sees a time when there is one coach for Tests and another for ODIs and T20s.

“I think it will get to a stage where I’ll probably have to look at changing that set-up,” he told cricket.com.au.

“I know speaking to (former England coach) Andy Flower for example… he didn’t like it so much, but I think the way that the game is going, you’ve got no choice now.”

Under Flower, England experimented with having a separate limited-overs coach, but the roles have since been combined again under Trevor Bayliss.

Lehmann, who has coached Australia since 2013, said he would favour splitting duties between Tests and limited-overs, rather than having three coaches for the game’s different formats.

“You can’t split them three ways — Tests, one-dayers and T20,” Lehmann said.

“Some of the time there’s no point another coach coming in, it’s just logistical nightmares, so I think you’d probably go white ball, red ball.”

Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Jason Gillespie and David Saker are seen as potential candidates should Cricket Australia opt to divide the head coach roles.

The path is already well trodden by players, with many specialising in either Tests or ODI/T20s, although plenty still excel in both.

Lehmann said he could envisage the day when there were entirely separate XIs for each format.

“Cricket is really getting specialised. You can see a time when down the track… I don’t know how many years but there’ll be really significant changes and the XIs will be separate for each format or in red-ball and white-ball cricket,” he said.

“And that’s happening now anyway, just because it’s the only way you can keep the players on the park.”

He acknowledged such a system could also problems, but insisted it was feasible.

“You’ve got big tournaments which are really important to win and your best side has to be available,” he said.

Ronaldo joins Messi as five-time winner of FIFA player award

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
24.10.2017

London, Oct 24 (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo has caught up with Lionel Messi to become a five-time winner of FIFA’s best player award.

The Real Madrid forward was crowned player of the year on yesterday at the FIFA Best ceremony at the London Palladium theater attended by runner-up Messi and third-placed Neymar.

A second successive honor for Ronaldo was expected after a season in which the Portuguese eclipsed his award counterparts in the trophy stakes.

As well as Spanish league and Spanish Super Cup success, Ronaldo scored twice in the Champions League final against Juventus to win European soccer’s elite competition for the third time in four seasons.

Ronaldo’s coach at Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, was crowned coach of the year.

FIFA has shifted its award ceremony from its usual January slot to October so players are judged across a season based on the typical European schedule rather than the calendar year.

The women’s award honored the Netherlands’ success at the European Championship in August. Lieke Martens, who scored in the final win over Denmark, won the player’s award and Sarina Wiegman collected the coaching accolade.

The Puskas Award for best goal went to Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud for a scorpion-style kick. The Puskas Award- winning goal from an overhead back-heeled strike came on New Year’s Day in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League.

Sindhu, Srikanth carry India’s hopes at Denmark Open

title contender PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will give up early disappointment at the early start of the Japanese Open and open the super series premier (starting from here) at $ 750,000 in Denmark to start the campaign active tomorrow The

Rio de Janeiro and World Championship silver medalist Sindh, respectively, in the Indian Open and the South Korean Open were packaged two championships, this season has been in a rampant state.

After a tough week in Seoul last month, Japan’s Japanese Open in Tokyo’s Japan Open, she was unable to maintain strength and suffered from Okuhara Nozomi Okuhara (recently a fierce opponent) The second round defeats.

However, the second sowed Indians will be fresh after three weeks of training and will be in the world championship in August to beat the world’s tenth China Chen Yufei’s campaign opponents intend to make adjustments.

China’s No. 7 seed He Bingjiao is likely to stand in the semi-finals of Xindu Lake. Even if the Indians were beaten in the South Korean Open, the left-wingers also played 5-4 games against Lake Sindo.

Saina Nehwal slowly found his foot after a career injury last year and she will find her first super series in 16 months.

Last year in June, she won the Australian Open, because the knee injury led to the Rio Olympic dream.

The World No. 12 World Championships packed a bronze medal, but in the second round she lost to Marin in Carolina, and the Indian team will face the fifth at the opening of the week. The seed of the Spanish retaliation.

The two were locked 4-4 in the head of the first number, but last time, Saina beat Marin in Dubai World Championship 2015 in 2015. In the past two meetings, the Indian team lost to Marin in two consecutive games, twice, she will need a firm effort to meet the Singapore Japanese Open champion.

In the men’s singles, Srikanth in three back-to-back finals in the popular, he won two championships in Indonesia and Australia.

The world’s eighth-ranked Glasgow World Championship and the Japan Open won two quarter-finals of credibility, and after opening the game, will find another title.

If Srikanth can pass the first two rounds, the world champions and the familiar enemies in the local most popular Viktor Axelsen may wait for him in the dormitory.

Among other Indians, B Sai Praneeth and H S Prannoy said they did not have an impact after the season’s performance was good.

Praneeth seized his teenage super league title in Singapore’s beat Srikanth final, Prannoy broke the US Open Grand Prix gold medal after breaking the important Malaysian Li Zhongwei and the Indonesian Open China’s Chen Long.

Prannoy and Praneeth will show the best footsteps when they were opened in Denmark’s Emil Hallstown and Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, respectively.

Sameer Verma, who won Syed Modi Grad Prix Gold, will accept the qualifier and is expected to clash with Axelsen in the second round.

Indian men’s doubles Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are also running.

Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy’s women’s doubles will also look for a good outing while Satwiksairaj and Ashwini will continue to perform well in the doubles semi-final at the Open Grand Prix last week.

Tomorrow, the Commonwealth Games champion Pashashap will be in the US Open final into Denmark Victor Svendsen, and Subhankar Dey in another local shuttle Kim Bruun to participate in the men’s singles qualifier.

In the women’s singles, Anura Prabhudesai will lock the corner with Irina Amalie Andersen of Denmark.

In mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will face Sam Magee and Chloe Magee in Ireland tomorrow’s main lineup.

India eye improvement in series-decider

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
12.10.2017

Hyderabad, Oct 12 (PTI) India will be itching to bounce back from the thrashing they received in Guwahati when they take on an edgy but resilient Australia in the series-deciding third and final T20 International here on Friday.

India, who dominated Australia in the preceding ODI series, won the opening T20 comfortably before getting a rude shock in the second game.

Despite the recent success India have had over Australia, Virat Kohli has maintained that the team from Down Under is always tough to beat.

And with the thumping eight-wicket win over the hosts on Tuesday, Australia go into series-decider with some serious momentum.

India had a forgettable day at the Baraspara Stadium in all departments after they lost the all-important toss.

The highly-rated batsmen were found wanting against the swinging ball with rookie Australian pacer Jason Behrendorff doing the bulk of the damage.

Captain Kohli was out for a rare duck and he, along with the rest of the batting line-up, would be eager to make amends.

India’s new ball bowlers did alright in Guwahati but wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were taken to the cleaners by Moises Henriques and Travis Head, who shared a match-winning partnership of 109.

Yadav especially bowled either too short or too full and the set batsmen did not have any difficulty in punishing the loose balls.

However, the dew proved to be a factor with the ball not turning much in the Australian innings.

Despite the hammering the spinners received, it is unlikely that Kohli will make a change and bring in Axar Patel.

Similar is the case in the pace department which means veteran Ashish Nehra, who is set to announce his retirement in the next series, will sit out again.

Australia did pull one back in the ODI series before eventually losing it 1-4. But the way they played on Tuesday, the same resolve and purpose was missing from their body language in the earlier games.

David Warner has done well in the absence of regular captain Steve Smith, making optimum use of the resources at his disposal.

Behrendorff made his job easier with a spectacular spell of swing bowling before Henriques rose to the occasion after being promoted to number three in the batting order.

Leggie Adam Zampa too played his part well with a twin strike in the middle overs and he would be expected to do the same tomorrow.

While Warner has led effectively, he would surely love to be back among the runs after failing in the earlier two games.

The pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium is usually good for batting and fans will be expecting a run feast after the low-scoring affair on a damp pitch in Guwahati.

Though it has been a regular venue in the IPL, it will be the first time that a T20 International will be played here.

There are chances of rain as well with the weathermen expecting the ongoing spell to last till October 20.

Messi, Messi, Messi; his 3 goals lift Argentina to World Cup

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
11.10.2017

9:45 HRS IST
Quito (Ecuador), Oct 11 (AP) When it really mattered and when the pressure was most intense, Lionel Messi delivered for Argentina.

On the brink of being eliminated from World Cup qualifying for the first time in almost five decades, Messi scored all three goals in Argentina’s comeback 3-1 victory Tuesday at Ecuador overcoming the thin air in the Andes.

“It would’ve been crazy if Argentina didn’t play the World Cup,” said Messi, adding that the team “will change, will grow a lot, will be stronger after this.”

But there’s still work to do for Argentina, the two-time champions, who lost the final three years ago to Germany 1-0.

Messi has yet to hoist a major trophy for his country of birth, a contrast to the laurels he’s brought Barcelona.

He’ll turn 31 during the World Cup in Russia, so this may be his last chance.

“Messi does not owe Argentina a World Cup, but rather football owes him a World Cup,” Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli said.

The top four teams in South America get automatic spots at next year’s tournament in Russia.

Brazil has 41 points and clinched months ago. The other three advancing Tuesday went in this order: Uruguay (31), Argentina (28) and Colombia (27).

Uruguay beat Bolivia 4-2, Argentina won 3-1, Colombia drew 1-1 with Peru and last-place Venezuela beat Paraguay 1-0.

Peru (26) placed fifth and will keep alive its bid for a first World Cup appearance since 1982 after edging Chile for the South American spot in the inter-continental playoff next month against Oceania representative New Zealand.

On a dramatic last day of continental qualifying tournaments, six South American teams separated by only four points over 17 matches had shots at the World Cup entering play.

Chile, after a 3-0 loss to Brazil, and Paraguay missed out. Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador were already out of contention.

There was a major shock further north in the Americas with the US slipping from third spot to fifth in CONCACAF qualifying for teams in North and Central America and the Caribbean with a loss in Trinidad and missing out on the World Cup.

Panama secured the third automatic direct entry behind Mexico and Costa Rica, and Honduras finished fourth and secured a spot in a playoff against Australia.

3 TIMES MESSI

It looked easy for Argentina. But it wasn’t, particularly after Romario Ibarra gave Ecuador a 1-0 lead in the first minute at 2,850 meters (9,350 feet) in Ecuador’s capital.

“Even with a goal against us you could see the certainty of a team that knew how to play the game,” Sampaoli said.

Messi for sure, and running mate Angel di Maria. Messi scored off a pass from Di Maria in the 12th, left-footing home from close range. In the 20th, Di Maria slipped a pass through to Messi, who drove the ball into the top corner from 15 yards.

Messi got his third in the 62nd, weighting a perfect 18- yard shot that went in just over the fingers of Ecuador keeper Maximo Banguera.

Argentina had scored only one goal in its last four qualifying games, and only 16 in 17 qualifiers entering the final.

“I won’t make any promises,” said Sampaoli, the third coach in this qualifying cycle for Argentina. The Argentine was successful as Chile’s coach, and at Spanish club Sevilla.

He also knows he had a little edge a short guy named Messi, or “La Pulga” in Spanish the flea.

“The nationality of the best player in the world is luckily Argentine,” he said.

ICC to approve Test championship, report says

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
09.10.2017

Wellington, Oct 9 (AFP) The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to approve plans for its long-awaited World Test Championship at a meeting in New Zealand this week, it was reported today.

The sport’s governing body has argued for years that a Test championship is needed to boost the five-day format’s popularity as crowds and television viewers flock to the big- hitting Twenty20 version of the game.

But squabbling over formats and fears that some nations will be disadvantaged have twice stymied efforts to launch a league structure since 2010.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that plans for a nine-nation Test championship were now well advanced and the ICC was set to give the concept a green light on Friday at a meeting in Auckland.

It said the first edition of the competition would run over a two-year cycle beginning in 2019, culminating in a final between the top two teams at Lord’s.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the league competition would give Test series a broader international “context”, making them more than stand-alone bilateral contests.

“You’re also creating structure in such a way that you no longer have games without meaning. They are all part of a league championship,” he told the Herald.

Purists view Test cricket as the pinnacle of the sport but it has struggled, particularly in Asia, as lucrative T20 competitions such as the Indian Premier League have caught the public’s imagination.

A recent innovation designed to reverse the trend is the introduction of day-night Test matches, which moves playing sessions to more spectator-friendly hours.

The idea of four-day Test matches has also been floated, although traditionalists oppose the move.

The Herald reported that the ICC will also look at a major shake-up of one-day international fixtures at the Auckland meeting.

It said a 13-nation ODI league was being considered, which would operate on a three-year cycle with results affecting World Cup qualification.

Under the plans, the number of ODIs in a series would be capped at three, ending the lengthy five-match series that are currently part of the international fixture list.