Feature Tennis

Analysis: Nadal, and everyone else, should stop doubting him

AP Updated: 11 June, 2019, 11:25 AM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

This time, about a month out, even Rafael Nadal had his doubts about what his chances were going to be for yet another French Open title.

He wasn't alone. But that part was nothing new: Folks have been questioning him for years, wondering when his body would break down for good, when his impossible-to-believe run of success at Roland Garros would stop, when someone new would come along with the skill, strength and stamina to knock the crown off the King of Clay's head.

This time, it was Nadal who was filled with real worry. He entered May without a title, the first season since 2004 that happened to him. He missed the end of last season with a bad right knee, needed offseason ankle surgery, then pulled out of a match in March because the knee flared up again. The health concerns, which long had cropped up, were now piling up.

"Too many issues the last 18 months. So that's makes these last few weeks very, very special," Nadal was able to say Sunday night.

"Mentally, I was down. Physically and mentally," he said, rapping his right fingers on his temple. "But for me, I always put more attention on the mental side."

All of that angst he spoke about seemed so irrelevant to anyone watching Nadal as he took a tight final against Dominic Thiem and tore it open, quickly as can be, taking 11 straight points to open the third set and 12 of the last 14 games for a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory.

That gave Nadal a 12th trophy at Roland Garros and 18 major championships in all, just two behind Roger Federer's record for men.

But here might be the biggest lesson for Nadal himself, and for those who follow, and talk about, tennis: Stop thinking Nadal can't keep coming back and can't keep adding to his resume.

Because he will do whatever it takes to not only stay where he is, but also to get better.

Just one example: Nadal has long been thought of as the ultimate baseliner, someone who will get to every ball back there and wallop it back over the net. Yet there he was in Court Philippe Chatrier, showing off a less-appreciated aspect of his game, by volleying impeccably and winning 23 of 27 points when he moved forward.

He's constantly putting the work to adjust a stroke or element of strategy.

"He improves and develops his game," Thiem said. "I mean, if he wouldn't do that, for sure he wouldn't have that success every year in this tournament."

As down as Nadal might have felt, he was not going to give up.

"He had an unbelievable attitude in those bad moments, and that's what took him here today," said Nadal's coach, Carlos Moya, the 1998 French Open champion. "Hats off to what he's done this month and a half, because it's easy to play well when all the things are working well. But what he's been through these last couple of months is showing what a competitor he is and mentally that he's a genius."

Nadal's next tournament will be Wimbledon, where play begins in three weeks. He won't enter a grass-court tuneup event, figuring that time off to rest is what he needs more than anything else.

Inevitably, a reporter brought up the topic of chasing Federer, now that he's so close behind.

And just as inevitably, Nadal played down such talk.

Did it charmingly, too.

"I never tried to think about, 'Well, I'm going to catch Roger' or not. Being honest, I am not very worried about this stuff, no?" Nadal said. "You can't be frustrated all the time because the neighbor has a bigger house than you or a bigger TV or better garden. That's not the way that I see the life, you know."

A moment later, he went on: "If, at the end of my career, I am able to win a couple of more Grand Slams and be closer to Roger, (it) will be unbelievable. If not, for me, still unbelievable, no?"

Nadal said Federer's record was the last thing on his mind before he was asked about it.

What was he thinking about, then?

"Here I am, at the age of 33, enjoying, playing good tennis," Nadal said, "and let's see for how long I am able to manage and to continue this."

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News Cricket

Big News! Shikhar Dhawan ruled out of World Cup for three weeks

Harshit Anand Updated: 11 June, 2019, 1:56 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

In what comes as a huge blow for India, opener Shikhar Dhawan, who sustained a fracture on his thumb in the game against Australia, has been ruled out of the World Cup for three weeks. It means Dhawan won't be able to play all the fixtures that will take place in the month of June.

The southpaw, who made a terrific ton against Australia was hit on his left thumb during India’s match against Australia at The Oval on June 6. In his absence, KL Rahul is likely to open the batting alongside Rohit Sharma. Dhawan will not be part of India's games against New Zealand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, West Indies, and England. According to sources, Rishabh Pant is likely to replace Shikhar Dhawan.

(More to follow)

News Cricket

Hazel Keech tells how India's kit made Yuvraj Singh emotional in 2016

Harshit Anand Updated: 11 June, 2019, 12:51 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Yuvraj Singh has to be one of the greatest ODI cricketers to have played for India. His game in white-ball cricket was second to none. The flamboyant player was a sheer match-winner. The southpaw was central to India's 2007 WT20 and 2011 World Cup wins. His wife, Hazel Keech revealed that in 2016 when Yuvraj Singh received his India kit, he was so overpowered by emotions that he couldn't hold back his tears.

“As a wife, it is not my place to tell him what to do. He has my full support on the retirement decision. I did not watch cricket before meeting Yuvi. When Yuvi’s cricketing kit arrived in 2016, I saw him crying. I didn’t understand the emotion at that point. I guess only cricketers can understand how it is to get picked for the national team,” Keech was quoted as saying in India Today.

Yuvraj announced his retirement from international cricket yesterday. Ever since his form faded from ODI cricket, India have not been able to find his replacement at no.4, which goes on to tell how big a player he was for India during his heydays.

News Cricket

"Aggressive player, benevolent man — so easy to love”, Anushka Sharma on Kohli's sportsmanship act

Harshit Anand Updated: 11 June, 2019, 12:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli is generally known for his hostile nature towards opponent players. But the Indian skipper did something contrary to his usual nature when he prevented the Indian fans from calling Steven Smith "cheater" during the match between India and Australia on June 9 at the Oval.

Anushka Sharma, who is a famous actress and Kohli's wife praised her hubby's act of sportsmanship and wrote a special message for him on Instagram. She wrote, "Aggressive player, benevolent man — so easy to love”

Virat Kohli's act of sportsmanship was appreciated by one and all. He had disclosed the reason behind stopping fans from booing Steven Smith after India's victory over the Australians.

“He’s just playing cricket, he’s just standing there. I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me and I apologised, I accepted it and I came back and still I got booed, I wouldn’t like it either. I just felt for him and I told him I’m sorry on behalf of the crowd because I’ve seen that happen in a few earlier games as well and in my opinion, that is not acceptable,” said Kohli, who made 82 runs in the game.

News Cricket

Nick Compton slams Virat Kohli for stopping fans from booing Steve Smith

Harshit Anand Updated: 11 June, 2019, 12:35 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former England opener Nick Compton has slammed Virat Kohli for stopping Indian fans from booing former Australian skipper, Steven Smith at the Oval during the clash between India and Australia. Virat Kohli was praised for his sportsmanship spirit but Compton didn't like the act one bit and he made it quite clear in his video on the same.

He said, "I don’t think Virat Kohli had any right to tell fans to stop booing at Warner and Smith but rather clap them.. found it rather condescending if truth be told!"

Virat Kohli had revealed why he didn't like the act of booing by Indian fans. He had said, “There are so many Indian fans here, I just didn’t want them to set a bad example, to be honest. He didn’t do anything to be booed, in my opinion. He’s just playing cricket. I mean he’s just standing there and I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me and I’d apologised and accepted it and I came back and still I get booed, I wouldn’t like it either.

“So I just felt for him and told him ‘sorry for… on behalf of the crowd’. We’ve seen that happen in a few earlier games as well. In my opinion that’s not acceptable,” he added.

News F1

Sign of the times: Vettel furious as Hamilton wins in Canada

AP Updated: 11 June, 2019, 11:30 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was red with rage at being stripped of a much-needed win at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.

So the four-time Formula One world champion took matters into his own hands — literally.

After getting out of his car with his helmet still on and stomping back to his garage, Vettel then made his way to the post-race grid.

The Montreal crowd watched in amazement as Vettel theatrically grabbed the big No. 1 sign parked in front of race winner Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes car and moved it to where his Ferrari should have been in the empty No. 2 slot.

Then Vettel did the opposite with the No. 2 sign, hauling it over and dramatically plonking it in front of Hamilton's car.

The crowd cheered, as if witnessing a moral victory.

"Obviously I'm angry, as you can imagine," Vettel said. "I gave everything I had today and more."

Vettel had started from pole position and crossed the finish line narrowly ahead of Hamilton.

But Vettel had been given a five-second time penalty for an incident which happened with a little more than 20 laps to go. Despite Vettel taking the checkered flag, that penalty gave the five-time F1 champion Hamilton his fifth win in seven races and 78th overall.

Vettel, meanwhile, has not won in 15 races — a dismal run at the most storied team in F1.

His mistake was basic, unfair time penalty or not.

He went into the grass with Hamilton pressuring behind him, and then swerved back onto the track, forcing Hamilton to brake suddenly to avoid crashing into the barriers to the right of the track.

But amid the anger Vettel did have a point.

F1 carved its reputation in decades of daredevil acts and used to be famed for such high-speed drama but here it was deemed preferable to fine Vettel for an unsafe re-entry back onto the track.

Vettel took a swipe — or rather a full-blown lunge — at governing body FIA, saying the reasoning of the stewards went against the spirit of motor racing.

"It is not making our sport popular. People want to see us race, and it was racing. Just a shame when we have these funny decisions," Vettel said. "I just wish I could be as good as I am ... but in the old drivers' time. We should be able to say what we think, but we can't. I disagree with where the sport is now. It's not the one I fell in love with."

Strong words from Vettel, who finished ahead of his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas in fourth place and taking a bonus point for the fastest lap.

In the standings, Hamilton is 29 points clear of Bottas and already 62 ahead of Vettel heading into the French GP in two weeks' time.

An exasperated Vettel said on team radio "they're stealing this race from us" — and the stewards' decision clearly festered for the remaining laps — but it was another Vettel blunder following multiple mistakes in losing the past two championships to Hamilton.

Vettel's barren streak dates back to the Belgian GP last August, while his longtime rival Hamilton is well poised in his bid for a sixth F1 title to move within one of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.

Hamilton and Schumacher have both won the Canadian GP a record seven times.

Hamilton showed a touch of class on the podium, grabbing Vettel's arm and pulling the German alongside him on the top step. Hamilton was asked for his view and some of the crowd jeered when he said "all I can say is I didn't make the decision."

Vettel intervened quickly and told the crowd not to boo Hamilton, but to jeer the stewards' decision itself.

"We have very great respect for each other," Vettel said. "I heard some fans booing when Lewis got his trophy. I will defend Lewis 100 percent here because it wasn't him."

Mercedes has now clinched seven straight wins this season — and nine in the past 10 races overall — and Ferrari has not won since former driver Kimi Raikkonen's victory at the United States GP in October last year.

Once again, Vettel seemed to have the race under control only to lose his composure.

It is the third straight season he is making panicky errors.

He span his car with Hamilton behind him in Bahrain earlier this season, went into the barriers when leading the rain-soaked German GP by nearly 10 seconds last July; and crashed from pole at the Singapore GP two years ago.

This time, the mistake was made on a bone-dry track and in perfect weather conditions.

The excuses are running out fast for Vettel, unfair decisions or not.

News Tennis

Sharapova to return at Mallorca Open after shoulder injury

AP Updated: 11 June, 2019, 11:23 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Maria Sharapova will return to tennis at next week's Mallorca Open after being sidelined with a right shoulder injury since January.

The Mallorca Open says the former No. 1 has accepted a wild-card invitation.

The 32-year-old Sharapova hasn't played since her ailing shoulder forced her to withdraw from the St. Petersburg Open in January. In February, she underwent what she called a "small procedure" in hopes of dealing with the issue that had been causing her pain since last year.

Sharapova will be joined by 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova, who eliminated defending champion Simona Halep at the French Open and reached the semifinals.

The Mallorca Open is run by Toni Nadal, uncle and former coach of Rafael Nadal.

Feature Cricket

Yuvraj Singh: A valiant warrior that battled will flair

CT Contributors Updated: 11 June, 2019, 10:31 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The first thing that comes to the mind surrounding Yuvraj Singh is his courage and valiant outlook. The former Indian cricketer provided fans with defining match winning moments. He had a career with stupendous highs and there were major brutal blows along the way. Yuvi announced his decision to retire from the game on Monday. After two decades of service to cricket, the Punjab southpaw finally is all set to look forward to a new direction in life.

Yuvraj gave us many fond memories over the years and that in itself will be forever remembered. Winner of the 2007 World T20 and the ICC World Cup 2011, Yuvraj made his presence felt in these marquee events. He was a winner in every sense and played a major role in shaping India's success over the years. The veteran star made his India debut in 2000 against Kenya in the ICC Champions Trophy. The young kid made a lasting impression with his pure athleticism and energy.

From a younger age he was stupendous on the field and led by example alongside Mohammad Kaif. India weren't a nation to be known for their fielding, but Yuvraj brought that culture in Sourav Ganguly's side. He was a sharp catcher and a powerful young athlete that bossed that off-side region. That lifted the side.

Yuvi's best moment was in the 2002 NatWest Trophy against England. The Indian team made an improbable chase of 326 come alive. Thanks to Yuvi, who scored a match-winning fifty alongside Kaif. In 2007, it was Yuvi's six sixes against Stuart Broad that will forever be inscribed in the memories of fans for generations to come. And then in the 2011 World Cup, Yuvi was the star of the tournament with his all-round skills. These major moments defined Yuvi's playing career.

He battled with a lung cancer in 2012 and that almost threatened his career. But the champion fighter overcame the toughest period to stand tall. He got selected in the side in 2013 and battled with poor form. The big-hitter got his next chance in 2017 and played that wonderful innings against England in Cuttack. Post that, Yuvraj was left out and never made a return. But Yuvi kept playing in domestic cricket and the IPL.

Off the field, Yuvi is dedicated towards charity and that's a big achievement. Once a warrior, always a warrior is the tag that suits this champion. We wish Yuvi all the best for life ahead!

News Cricket

Mashrafe: Bangladesh need to get back on CWC winning track

AP Updated: 11 June, 2019, 10:26 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Bangladesh will start as the favorite for the first time in this Cricket World Cup.

It makes no difference to captain Mashrafe Mortaza.

"We expect to win," Mashrafe said on Monday, a day before his team plays its fourth match of the tournament, against Sri Lanka in Bristol. "Even the New Zealand match, even the England match. Even Sri Lanka. Pressure will be there in every match.

"We have to cope with that, make sure we deliver. A few things will go against us, but at the end of the day we have to make sure we're on the winning side. From the first ball, that's our target."

Bangladesh, a first-time quarterfinalist four years ago, is aiming to reach the semifinals for the first time.

The effort is powered by Mashrafe, allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim, and opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, who all appeared in the 2007 World Cup. The all-rounder Mahmudullah, who also made his debut in 2007, rounds out their nation's top five players with the most ODI appearances, almost 1,000 in total.

They came to England quietly confident that this was their best chance yet of going far.

After an impressive opening win over South Africa, however, Bangladesh fell short against New Zealand by two wickets and was hammered by England by 106 runs. With a 1-2 record, Bangladesh need to get back on track quickly. And Sri Lanka is ripe for plucking.

The 1996 champions have been unconvincing so far in losing to New Zealand and beating Afghanistan. Sri Lanka got a point from a washout against Pakistan in Bristol last Friday.

"If we had won against New Zealand or England, it would be a lot easier (to consider the semifinals)," Mashrafe said. "The calculation now is a lot more difficult. It's still very much possible. We have to make sure we get back on the winning track."

He also downplayed his own contribution so far. The medium-pacer has taken 1-149 in 21 overs over three matches, the least wickets among the team's six bowlers.

Mashrafe said the pitches have been slow, and he's been focused on being captain, and trying to capitalize on whichever bowler is hot. Mosaddek Hossain was playing better in the first two matches, and Mashrafe said he bowled better last time out against England. "I was doing my job," he said.

His job looks set to be weather watcher on Tuesday. The forecast in Bristol is for rain showers all day.

News Cricket

De Villiers would have helped SA, but offer was too late

AP Updated: 11 June, 2019, 10:23 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

South Africa really could have used AB de Villiers' experience at the Cricket World Cup. Even more, it could have used his runs.

The revelation last week that the star batsman made a last-minute offer to come out of international retirement for the World Cup reportedly unsettled a squad that had already lost its first three games.

It was South Africa's worst-ever start to a World Cup, and none of the batters have really clicked.

De Villiers' long-time friend and current captain, Faf du Plessis, has batted away speculation about tension within the squad.

He told a news conference after South Africa picked up its first point of the tournament on Monday — albeit from a washed out game against West Indies — that de Villiers phoned him the night before the 15-man squad was due to be officially announced.

"He didn't come to me. It was just a conversation," du Plessis said. "It was just a 'This is what I'm feeling.' I said to him, 'I think it's too late but I will check in with the coach and the selectors to get their opinion.'

"When I spoke to the coach and the selectors the next day, they all agreed that it was way, way too late to change the team on 99.99."

De Villiers is among the most naturally talented cricketers of his generation, a gifted batsman and fielder. He played 228 one-day international for South Africa, scoring 25 centuries and amassing almost 9,577 runs at an average of 53.50.

He's still playing the Twenty20 format in the Indian Premier League, but hadn't played a one-day international since February 2018.

Du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson took the idea of de Villiers returning to the selection committee, but head selector Linda Zondi said it was rejected in fairness to the players who'd already been picked.

The squad took the news in its stride last week, du Plessis said, and just decided to get on with things.

"We do feel like the news came in and like went through the team. It didn't have a huge impact," he said. "There was just a discussion on clarity and on making sure everyone knows what's going on and then it was moving on.

"The team was happy to get on with business."

After the losses to England, Bangladesh and India, and the injury-enforced absence of Dale Steyn, South Africa finally got its campaign going in England with the points split from the wash out against the West Indies.

The South Africans will play No. 10-ranked Afghanistan on Saturday in Cardiff and need to start a five-game winning roll there. They haven't given up on making the semifinals.

"If we can get our performance sorted out, our skills, our confidence back up where it needs to be and you can start getting on a roll of two or three games, you can only really look at those things when it comes to the last week of the tournament," du Plessis said.

News Cricket

West Indies ready and raring to take on Archer's England

AP Updated: 11 June, 2019, 10:08 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The size and pace of the fast bowlers from the Caribbean has cricket watchers excited about a potential West Indies renaissance at the World Cup.

The fact one of them is playing for England makes it more intriguing.

Barbados-born Jofra Archer was a late inclusion in England's squad after qualifying on residency in March.

West Indies coach Floyd Reifer said Archer "made his choice." Now he's going to have to live with it.

The 24-year-old Archer is set to lead the England attack against the West Indies on Friday, a showdown that will be in the spotlight.

Archer was the toast of London after taking three wickets against South Africa in England's tournament-opening win, and has six wickets so far at the World Cup.

The West Indies have had plenty of choice in the pace department, with skipper Jason Holder working with Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas and Carlos Brathwaite to bounce out Pakistan for 105 and then cause defending champion Australia all kinds of trouble early before slipping to a 15-run loss.

Cottrell took two early wickets to have South Africa reeling at 29-2 on Monday before rain washed out the group game at Hampshire's Rose Bowl. The Windies will take a 1-1-1 record back to Hampshire on Friday to face England, which has two wins and a loss.

While Archer has been a revelation to occasional cricket fans in England, he has long been on the watch list for selectors because of his English-born father. He was well known in the Caribbean as a Barbados Under-19 representative before deciding to see if his British passport was a way to reach the international level.

"To be honest, we knew Jofra for a long time. He is from Barbados," said Reifer, who played cricket against a younger Archer in Barbados. "Yes, he's bowling quickly, but there's nothing that we are not accustomed to."

England have never won the Cricket World Cup, but is the No. 1-ranked team and was pre-tournament favorite to win on home soil.

The West Indies were the original kings of one-day cricket, winning the first two World Cups and reaching the final in 1983. They haven't been back to the final since.

Reifer noted that Archer had some injuries as a young, developing pace man learning the craft but always showed he had the talent to play international cricket.

"Definitely. He obviously had the pace. He had a few injuries as a young guy. But I'm guessing though he's fully over those injuries and he is bowling very well for England," Reifer said. "I'm sure Jofra will be chomping at the bit to come at us, and we will be ready for him.

"Jofra is a tremendous talent, we all know that. Like I said, we are looking forward to the game on Friday."

Feature Cricket

Virat Kohli’s Smith Gesture Confusion

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 10 June, 2019, 5:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Even as India walked away with a commanding victory over Australia in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match, there was a moment in the game that drew both, applause as well as eyebrows. Virat Kohli’s gesture towards Steve Smith is both, commendable and confusing, as difficult as it is to fathom both in the same breath.

Even as India were on their way to a dominating score – although there was only an inkling at the time that Australia were set to chase a huge total, the Indian captain made an uncharacteristic move. Chiding the Indian fans on the boundary lines for booing at the former Australian captain, Steve Smith, and calling him a “cheater”, he gestured instead that they should applaud the Australian batsman.

The fans have been vocal about their opinion of the misgivings of the Australian team last year, caught on tape tampering the ball with sandpaper in the Cape Town Test. The one year bans for Steve Smith and David Warner, who lost their leadership roles, ended right before the commencement of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, allowing the two players to experience their first taste of actual fan perspective of Australia’s disgraceful and disrespectful act.

Kohli, usually aggressive and not prone to giving any quarters to the opposition, was magnanimous enough to exhort the Indians fans although it had been fans from every part of the world who were giving the Australian team a taste of what to expect when the Ashes series gets underway at the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Kohli seemed conciliatory rather than conceitful about his act on the field. Talking about feeling bad for the player and former captain who had apologized for his part of being a silent spectator and therefore, accomplice to the act, Kohli though made a couple of statements that stood out. While his gesture was appreciated, there were question marks about the way he put it.

“He didn’t do anything to be booed in my opinion,” was how Virat Kohli put it in the press conference after the match, when speaking about Steve Smith. However, public opinion has been skewed against the Australians ever since the team was caught on tape. The fall out thereafter saw Cricket Australia impose hasty measures that could be argued were carried out in rather confusing fashion wherein the players were not allowed to play in their own backyard but free to play their trade in other countries’ Twenty20 ventures.

To say he did not do anything would be erroneous because as the captain of the team, Smith did not seem to take responsibility at the press conference but rather threw an unknown number of people under the bus when he stated the ‘leadership group’ was responsible. Ever since the team and the support staff have been on the radar with Australia’s own greats raising questions even recently about there being more to the truth that what was revealed.

While it might seem that the Australians are serving out punishment longer than was mandated, the public, particularly the paying public, do have a right to express their opinion when they think they have been indeed cheated and duped while paying good money to watch these players in action. With the only outlet being at the venues themselves, it is hard to see how else fans would have their say, perhaps trolling online?

Furthermore, as forgiving as Kohli might have appeared and his legions of fans thereafter, it has to be remembered that the Australian cricketers themselves are not known for holding back their often acerbic tongues against fellow players, and have often set the example for their boorish fans to then provide the intimating backdrop as players from other countries have often revealed or been exposed to.

Would Kohli have done it if he thought Australia had a fair chance of victory? Would he have done it for any other player other than Smith? Or was this merely a premeditated PR exercise? It is not hard to be skeptical even as the Indian captain sets a rare good example of behavior on the field.

News Cricket

Tributes pour in for Yuvraj Singh after he announces retirement

Staff Writer Updated: 10 June, 2019, 5:25 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who was the player of the tournament at the Cricket World Cup in 2011, has retired from the sport.

The BCCI, Indian cricket's governing body, announced Yuvraj's retirement on its Twitter account.

Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and had nearly a year off cricket. He last played for India in a one-day international against the West Indies in 2017.

The highlight of his career was starring for India in its World Cup-winning campaign on home soil in 2011. The 37-year-old Yuvraj played 304 ODIs, 58 Twenty20 internationals and 40 test matches.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli called Yuvraj Singh an absolute champion.

“Congratulations on a wonderful career playing for the country paji. You gave us so many memories and victories and I wish you the best for life and everything ahead. Absolute champion,” he said.

“After 25 years, I have decided to move on. Cricket has given me everything and is the reason why I stand here today,” the 37-year-old Yuvraj said addressing the media at an event in Mumbai. “I was extremely lucky to play 400 games for India. I could have never imagined it when I first started playing cricket,” he added.

“Cricket has given me everything and that’s the reason why I am standing here today. It’s been a love-hate relationship with the sport in retrospect,” he further said.

News Cricket

"I think all 10 teams are beatable": Mohammad Hafeez

Harshit Anand Updated: 10 June, 2019, 4:18 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Pakistan will take on Australia in their next game on June 12. Pakistan have beaten England, who are considered as favorites to win the Cricket World Cup. Pakistan will lock horns with India on June 16, which is one of the most awaited clashes of the tourney. Senior Pakistan batsman, Mohammad Hafeez feels Pakistan can beat any team in the event.

“I think all 10 teams are beatable,” Hafeez said. “If you look at England they were playing top cricket and people were thinking it would be hard to beat them.”

“But all teams are beatable … if you talk of our next opponent (Australia) they are also playing very good cricket but they too can be defeated.”

“Yes, we don’t have a very good record against Australia because they play tough cricket but every day is a new day,” said Hafeez. “This is a World Cup and we now have momentum after our win over England.”

“Yes, that was frustrating but you cannot do much about the weather and now we have moved on. But I am sure when we play again we will put up the same game that we played against England,” Hafeez promised.

News Cricket

I had decided last year that this IPL would be my last – Yuvraj Singh

Staff Writer Updated: 10 June, 2019, 3:16 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Yuvraj Singh will no longer play in the Indian Premier League. The left hand batsman announced his retirement from all formats of cricket in Mumbai and also confirmed that 2019 edition of the IPL was his last as a player.

He played four matches for Mumbai Indians, scoring 98 runs at an average of 24.50 including a half-century. After a string of poor performances, he was dropped from the playing XI.

"My career started in 2000 and it has been 19 years. I was confused with my career and how I would end it. I would have been satisfied if I could have played more games in IPL 2019 would have been happy to leave the sport with that. But you don’t get everything in life. I had decided last year that this IPL would be my last and I’ll give it my best shot," Yuvraj Singh said in the press conference.

He would like to try his hands at other T20 leagues across the globe if he gets the permission from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

"I want to play T20 cricket. At this age I can manage to play some kind of fun cricket. I want to go and enjoy my life. It’s been too stressful just thinking about my international career, performing and big tournaments like the IPL. Now I would like to enjoy myself. With BCCI’s permission I would like to go and play. Just have fun for this year and maybe next year, whatever is left in me. It’s been a very long and hard journey and I think I deserve that,” he added.