News Cricket

Arnab Goswami insults Sachin Tendulkar using hashtag #ShameOnAntiNationals

Staff Writer Updated: 23 February, 2019, 10:58 AM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Indo-Pak World Cup clash has become a hot potato. The Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred, has shaken the whole nation. India is in a state of shock and anger. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the cowardly attack. There have been calls to boycott Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup that commences on May 30 in England and Wales.

Famous TV journalist, Arnab Goswami targeted the god of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, who is also a Bharat Ratna (highest civilian honour in India). Tendulkar had stated that India should not boycott Pakistan in the World Cup and instead defeat them there.

“India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament,” said Tendulkar.

“Having said that, for me, India always comes first. So whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart,” he added.

Arnab Goswami apparently implied on his show that Sachin Tendulkar is an anti-national, which prompted panelists like Ashutosh and Sudheendra Kulkarni to walk out of the show.

“You are calling Sachin Tendulkar anti-national. You call Sunil Gavaskar anti-national. I am ashamed of you,” political analyst Sudheendra Kulkarni shouted before leaving the show.

Noted Sports Journalist, Vikrant Gupta took to Twitter to express his disappointment on the same.

 

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News Football

FIFA bans Chelsea from signing players through next season

AP Updated: 23 February, 2019, 11:25 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Chelsea was banned from signing players until after the 2019-20 season, the latest European power punished by FIFA for flouting rules protecting young talent from premature international moves.

FIFA punished the London club owned by Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich for violations of rules regarding the protection of minors that involve 29 players, Chelsea said. FIFA rules provide specific circumstances in which clubs may sign players under 18.

Like Barcelona in 2015 and Atletico Madrid throughout 2017, Chelsea was barred from signing new players for two transfer windows, covering this summer and January 2020. Chelsea already has announced plans to appeal the ban and a fine of 600,000 Swiss francs ($600,000).

The Football Association, which has oversight of transfers in England, was fined 510,000 Swiss francs ($510,000) by FIFA and given six months to "address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors in football," FIFA said.

In some cases, players under the age of 18 spent time on trial at Chelsea but were not registered with the football authorities, people with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss specifics of the case.

Part of the FIFA case focused on players exceeding what is considered a reasonable amount of time to be considered a trialist and making return trips to Chelsea, one of the people said.

The punishment is the latest blow for Chelsea, which has dropped to sixth in the Premier League and was knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United on Monday. Abramovich, who has transformed the London club since his 2003 takeover, has been unable to travel to Britain since his visa expired at the end of last April.

International transfers involving players under 18 are prohibited unless their families had already moved to the new country for non-soccer reasons or they are close to the border of another nation. There is an exception for clubs within the European Union and European Economic Community that allows the transfer of 16- to 18-year-old players provided conditions are met on education and living conditions.

It was first reported three years ago that Burkina Faso attacker Bertrand Traore played for Chelsea's under-18 team in 2011 while still 16. Traore made only 16 appearances for Chelsea's first team before being sold to Lyon in 2017.

FIFA did not detail the specifics of the case against Chelsea, but it said the club also entered into agreements that "allowed it to influence other clubs in transfer-related matters."

Chelsea said it was initially charged over 92 players but no breach was found by FIFA in relation to 63 of them.

"The club is extremely disappointed that FIFA has not accepted the club's submissions in relation to the remaining 29 players," Chelsea said in a statement. "Chelsea FC acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will shortly be submitting its appeal to FIFA."

The FA is challenging its fine and said it already had "raised some concerns with FIFA regarding its disciplinary processes."

"We will however continue to work with FIFA and Chelsea in a constructive manner to address the issues which are raised by this case," the FA said in a statement.

Both the FA and Chelsea could ultimately challenge any FIFA appeal ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. When Real Madrid received a similar ban in 2016, the sanction was reduced to one transfer window by CAS. But Atletico Madrid failed to cut its punishment covering two transfer windows.

Chelsea already finalized one transfer knowing the FIFA verdict was pending. Christian Pulisic was signed for 64 million euros ($73 million) in January and the 20-year-old winger from Hershey, Pennsylvania, was immediately loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for the rest of this season. The German club didn't have to pay a fee.

The transfer ban does not prevent Chelsea from selling players. Winger Eden Hazard, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, has indicated he could look for a transfer at the end of season but he is under contract at Stamford Bridge until the end of the 2019-20 season.

Although Chelsea has a strong academy, winning the FA Youth Cup for the last five years, players struggle to graduate to the first team. Chelsea currently has 42 players out on loan to other teams.

News Tennis

Hamilton still full of drive as he chases 6th F1 world title

AP Updated: 23 February, 2019, 11:21 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

At the age of 34 and with five world titles, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton is still showing no sign of waning motivation.

His competitive spirit was clear to see at an event for Mercedes' sponsors in Turin.

Taking part in a 'pit-stop challenge' with teammate Valtteri Bottas, where the pair had to help change a tire on an F1 car several times, Hamilton was eager to beat the Finnish driver on every occasion, despite it counting for little.

And it is that drive and determination he will take into the new season.

"I've just come off my break. I missed work. I'm a workaholic," Hamilton said at Petronas' $60 million research and technology center. "I love being at work, I like working with people. I feel that as soon as I get back to work I'm living my purpose.

"Ultimately I just love driving. I don't love testing. I just want to go racing. I don't struggle with the motivation for that."

Hamilton has won the title in four of the past five seasons and secured it by his biggest margin of 88 points last season after Sebastian Vettel's poor second half of the campaign.

However, this year could be one of the toughest yet for the British driver.

The first week of testing ended Thursday with Ferrari looking to be a step ahead of Mercedes. Vettel and Charles Leclerc — who replaced Kimi Raikkonen — were among the fastest drivers in the first week of testing in Spain, with Hamilton and Bottas unable to keep pace.

Max Verstappen is also expected to push for the title. The 21-year-old Red Bull driver finished fourth last season, above Bottas, and was only two points away from beating Raikkonen.

"I have no idea at the moment," Hamilton said when asked who would be his main rival. "I've not been looking at what they've been doing but I have to assume that they're all currently contenders, there's not just one of them and I'll find out when we get to the first couple of races.

"Probably the first four races you'll get an understanding of the true pace and the consistency of the cars and the drivers."

Verstappen and Leclerc — who is the same age — are tipped to follow Hamilton and Vettel as F1's next stars.

Leclerc earned a prestigious move to Ferrari following strong performances for unheralded Sauber in his debut F1 season and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he reminds him of Hamilton when he first came into F1 in 2007.

But while Hamilton admits certain aspects of racing are harder with age, he also believes nothing replaces experience.

"Each year, getting in shape, getting your mind into gear is still a massive challenge if not harder each year as you get older so once you get over that wall its pretty good after that," he said.

"When I first started I was just a kid, I was 22. I had all the talent that I needed, but I didn't have the experience. So it was all raw, wild adrenaline and ambition without really a particular strategy. Over the years you gain knowledge and experience and that helps solidify that foundation."

Testing will continue Tuesday-Friday at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, home to the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

The season-opening Australian Grand Prix is on March 17, where Hamilton will start his bid to become only the second driver to win more than five world championships — behind only seven-time winner Michael Schumacher.

"Each year hopefully the goal is always to get better," Hamilton said. "The more competition the better, you always want to be against the best at their best because when you beat them it's more painful for them and more enjoyable for you."

News Wrestling

Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chyna, Billy Gunn and others to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame

AP Updated: 23 February, 2019, 11:19 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

WWE announced that D-Generation X members Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chyna, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Saturday, April 6 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY as part of WrestleMania Week.

One of the most innovative and controversial factions in WWE history, D-Generation X was originally formed in 1997 and went on to become a pop culture phenomenon. Throughout the course of their respective careers, members of DX held nearly every major Championship in WWE and provided the WWE Universe with memorable moments both in and out of the ring.

“Being a part of DX remains one of the highlights of my career, and it is truly an honor to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame alongside my closest friends,” said Paul “Triple H” Levesque. “We now have just one question for the WWE Hall of Fame: Are You Ready!?”

Tickets for the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be available this Friday, February 22 at 12 Noon ET through all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees.

WrestleMania 35 takes place Sunday, April 7 from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and will stream live on WWE Network.

News Cricket

Sourav wants to run for elections or wants to become the chief minister, says Javed Miandad

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 11:08 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Javed Miandad has criticised BCCI for trying to forfeit the World Cup match against Pakistan and called them foolish and childish for trying to get his country out of the World Cup.

“ICC will not accept this foolish and childish move by BCCI. There is absolutely no chance of ICC listening to BCCI as its constitution allows members the right to participate in its events,” Miandad told APP.

Sourav Ganguly had called for stopping all kind of sporting relations with Pakistan.

“I think Sourav wants to run for elections in the coming days or wants to become the chief minister as it is just a publicity stunt to gain the attention of his country mates. We should not bother with India’s cowardly acts instead we must focus on improving ourselves. Pakistan has always offered India a peaceful resolution of the issues but Indians have always responded in negative.”

News Cricket

Sarfraz Ahmed expresses disappointment, says Pakistan never mixes sports with politics

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 11:05 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is not happy with the turn of events between Pakistan and India after Pulwama terror attack. He has expressed his disappointment and said the World Cup game should go ahead as millions are waiting to watch this game.

“The India and Pakistan match should be played as per schedule as there are millions of people who want to watch this game. I just don’t think cricket should be targeted for political gains,” Sarfraz told the CricketPakistan.com.pk website.

“It is disappointing to see cricket being targeted after the Pulwama incident. I don’t recall Pakistan ever mixing sports with politics,” he said.

“Sports should just be taken as sports,” Sarfraz added.

Earlier, Javed Miandad has criticized BCCI for trying to forfeit the World Cup match against Pakistan and called them foolish and childish for trying to get his country out of the World Cup.

News Cricket

No opening ceremony for IPL this year, allotted money will go to families of martyrs: Vinod RaI

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 11:03 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League will have no regular opening ceremony this year as the Committee of Administrators (CoA) has decided to donate the allotted money to the families of martyred jawans in the recent Pulwama attacks. “There will be no IPL opening ceremony. Instead, the money will be donated to Pulwama martyrs,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Next on Friday.

He also added that BCCI will be writing to the governing body of international cricket to inform them about the terror attack on CRPF security personnel and about their security demands for Team India during the World Cup.

"We'll write to ICC expressing our concerns about attacks that took place & that security of players, officials & everybody else must be taken care of. We're telling cricketing community that in future we must sever ties with nations from where terror emanates," Rai said.

News Cricket

God of cricket wants India to play against Pakistan in World Cup

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 9:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar has broken his silence on the issue of playing against Pakistan in the World Cup. Sachin stated he would “hate” to see India forfeit the encounter and concede two points.

“India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament,” said Tendulkar.

“Having said that, for me, India always comes first. So whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart,” he added.

Earlier, Sunil Gavaskar had expressed the same sentiments. “Who wins if India decide against playing Pakistan in the World Cup? And I am not even talking about the semis and the finals. Who wins? Pakistan wins because they get two points,” Gavaskar had told India Today.

“India have so far beaten Pakistan every time in a World Cup, so we are actually conceding two points when by beating Pakistan, we could make sure that they don’t advance in the competition,” he had said.

News Cricket

Sever ties with nations supporting terrorists: BCCI writes to ICC

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 9:51 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The governing body of Indian cricket wants cricketing nations to end tie with countries supporting terrorists. In his letter to the ICC, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has requested top body to ensure safety of the Indian players following attack on CRPF personnel, which took 42 lives.

"This communication is being addressed to voice the BCCI's concerns and sentiments that have emerged after the recent dastardly terrorist attack which was carried out on Indian soil by a terror outfit based out of Pakistan which resulted in the death of 44 (sic) Indian security personnel," Johri wrote in the letter, a copy of which is in possession of IANS.

"In view of the aforesaid terrorist attack, BCCI fears for the safety and security of players and match officials participating in upcoming ICC events including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019," he wrote.

"Most countries from which the members of the ICC hail (including United Kingdom) have strongly condemned this terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with India. BCCI urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates," he added.

The CEO also urged the ICC to provide full proof security cover to Indian players and officials.

"The BCCI also wishes to express its concerns over the safety and security of fans of Indian cricket at the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019."

"The BCCI trusts that the ICC and ECB will ensure that the most robust security is provided to players, match officials and fans of Indian cricket for the upcoming World Cup. The BCCI reserves all its rights and entitlements in this regard," he signed off.

News Cricket

India likely to lose the proposal of banning Pakistan from World Cup – ICC

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 9:48 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will follow government instructions on the matter of playing with Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup. India and Pakistan are scheduled to play in the marquee event on June 16.

According to a report in India Today, ICC has hinted that the governing body of Indian cricket will lose the proposal of keeping Pakistan out of the World Cup.

The officials of BCCI and members of COA met in New Delhi to decide on the issue but couldn’t come to one conclusion.

"16th June [India vs Pakistan match in World Cup] is very far away. We will take a call on that much later and in consultations with the government," COA chairman Vinod Rai said.

"We'll write to ICC expressing our concerns about attacks that took place & that security of players, officials & everybody else must be taken care of. We're telling cricketing community that in future we must sever ties with nations from where terror emanates," he added.

BCCI will also consult Indian players and then decide whether to play against Pakistan or not.

News Cricket

Men in Blue will boycott World Cup if government says - Ravi Shastri

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 4:35 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India head coach has given his statement on the subject of boycotting World Cup match against Pakistan. He stated that his team will go by what BCCI and government decide, even if it means foregoing the entire showpiece event in England and Wales.

Speaking to Mirror Now, he further added that BCCI and Indian government know what is happening and what should be done in this situation. They are the ones who will take the final call.

"It’s entirely left to the BCCI and the government. They know exactly what is happening and they will take a call. We will go by what they decide," said Shastri.

When asked if Men in Blue are ready to boycott the entire World Cup if the government decides so, he said: “If the government says it’s that sensitive you do not need to play the World Cup, I will go by my government.”

As a successful all-rounder, Shahid Afridi was respected for his consistent bowling that relies on change of pace rather than spin, but drew greater attention for his aggressive batting style. Afridi holds the distinction of hitting the most number of sixes in the history of ODI cricket. He is known for hitting long sixes, while his trademark shot is a cross-batted flick to the leg-side to a ball outside off stump.

“I like to eat Kebabs”– Shahid Afridi

Name – Shahid Afridi

Born - March 1, 1980

Place of Birth – Khyber Agency

Playing Role – All-rounder

Playing Style – Right-hand bat

Bowling Style – Legbreak Googly

First Love

Cricket

Favorite sport apart from cricket

Football

Favorite Food

Kebabs

Favorite Shot

Hit over mid-wicket

Like to play against

India

Nature on field

Aggressive

Favorite Color

White

Hobby

Driving

Favorite Batsman

Chris Gayle

Favorite Bowler

Wasim Akram

Favorite Actress

Kajol

Favorite Actor

Shah Rukh Khan

Favorite Car

Bentley Continental

Feature Cricket

A Two Team Strategy May Not Do the Trick

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 22 February, 2019, 2:17 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

It is not just India but also, other cricket teams around the world that are raising the critical issue of managing workload, particularly with the attention now squaring turning towards the ICC Cricket World Cup. But while some have suggested a two team policy to reduce the burden on cricketers, the issue is far more complicated than it seems on paper.

At the present time, there is no current Test playing nation that is composed entirely of Test cricketers alone. In fact, if anything, there has been the contention put forth by the most players themselves that they would not like to be branded as a one trick pony and therefore, relegated to any one format alone.

Even those that play Twenty20, sometimes accepting their fate as specialists in limited overs cricket or those looking at an easier route to retirement, often do prefer to play both formats, one day internationals as well as Twenty20, rather than be chosen for just the one. In such a scenario, there are very few players who have cut themselves off from playing Test cricket or even contemplate playing Test cricket in the future.

With the Indian captain most vociferously raising the issue of managing workloads, while some former cricketers have contended they spent longer time on tours, others are of the opinion that there has to be a method to the madness even in such a scenario. However the rotation of players has been a somewhat contentious issue because no player likes to be rested while in form given the competition for places in the lineup and also, given the proximity of major tournaments such as the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.

Unless a particular player enjoys the favour of the captain, it is not easy to see how players take to being given a break without a certain pattern given that very few have managed to cement places quite like the captain himself.

Besides even if a team fields two different teams at any one time, which is cutting off their talent pool, it is not an easy proposition on the fans either because of the level of competitiveness that is likely to take a beating when certain versatile players are cut off from the roster altogether. What could, also, precipitate with such a move is cricket boards, already looking to double and triple their pockets, may look to host tournaments simultaneously across formats, thereby reducing the weightage given to each platform and premier event and thereby also, reduce their overall cricket fan base.

There are already contentious issues of players playing far less cricket, particularly in the five day format and forgoing domestic cricket and four day games as a result of it and not being held accountable for the lack of match practice as well as for the fact that their experience could broaden the intensity base to strengthen domestic cricket. These are matters that must be taken into consideration before the powers that be can decide if cricket can exist as a cohesive whole if its world were to be divided into two clear divisive lines that players must now choose. While it puts the format with less commercial interest for cricket administrators in peril, it threatens to devalue the sport’s credibility overall, not to mention, depriving the sport of some of its greatest, most versatile champions.

News Cricket

Shoaib Akhtar condemns attack, says India have right to pull out of WC clash against Pakistan

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 1:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has condemned the Pulwama terror attack. He said India have a right to pull out of the World Cup clash against Pakistan as their country was attacked.

“Should sports stay political? Not at all. So these differences set in matters of circumstances. We strongly condemn the loss of lives,” Akhtar told a Pakistan news channel.

However, he backed Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had denied India’s claims that Pakistan was behind the attack.

“But when it comes to our country, we are one nation, united and we will stand by our Prime Minister’s statement without having a second thought. They have a right to pull out. Their country was attacked and hence the decision.”

He further added that the governing body of Indian cricket also wants to play against Pakistan considering the amount of money they would earn by hosting rival nation.

“BCCI wants to play with Pakistan, the government says no. Had they played with Pakistan, the broadcasters and BCCI would have earned the maximum revenue. The series would have a monetary value of 600 million dollars. Do you think they don’t? Of course, they want that,” the former Pakistan speedster said.

“The Pakistan board had mentioned that they want to play a bilateral series and you cannot deny it although the series can be held at a different venue altogether. But they (BCCI) have said that they have a board to run which falls under (the purview of) Supreme Court. That is their argument and that is logical.”

Videos Cricket

Watch: King Kohli CELEBRATES his security guard's birthday & gifts him expensive present

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 1:49 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian skipper Virat Kohli knows how to win hearts. Time after time, Virat has done generous acts for his fans and co-workers. Despite being busy, he took some time out of his schedule to celebrate the birthday of his security personnel Faizal Khan. He not only arranged the cake for the birthday boy but also gifted him an expensive present.

Here’s the video:

After his brief rest from international arena, Virat will be leading India in the T20 and ODI series against Australia.

Australia led by Aaron Finch have landed in India to play two T20 internationals and five ODI matches.

This is the last international assignment for Men in Blue before the World Cup in England and Wales.

Virat will also be seen leading RCB in the upcoming Indian Premier League season.

News Cricket

Boycotting WC match against Pakistan would be worse than surrender, says Shashi Tharoor

Staff Writer Updated: 22 February, 2019, 1:41 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former cricketers, fans and celebrities from different spheres of life are urging BCCI to boycott the World Cup match against Pakistan, which is scheduled to be played on June 16 at Manchester.

However, there are many, who are not in favor of forfeiting the upcoming game against arch rivals in the showpiece event. Former minister Shashi Tharoor took to twitter and batted in favour of the tie.

He stated that if India refuse to play with Pakistan, it would be worse than surrender.

His post read, “Reminder: at the height of the 1999 Kargil War, India played Pakistan in the cricket World Cup, & won. To forfeit the match this year would not just cost two points: it would be worse than surrender, since it would be defeat without a fight.”