Sunday, August 31, 2008
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Friday, August 29, 2008
Real Madrid are adamant the Brazil forward will be staying in Spain even though the player is understood to be keen to move to the Barclays Premier League.
And Scolari said: "I don't know about Robinho because it is not my job to enter into talks about players. I said something to Peter (Kenyon) a month ago and they tried to bring Robinho here but my job is on the pitch."
He added: "If they can bring him here it will be down to board meetings and I have to think about Tottenham not about whether players have come or have not come.
"I don't know anything because I have not spoken to Peter for the last two days."
Scolari has so far signed only one player - Deco - since succeeding Avram Grant in the summer but had always been keen on acquiring Robinho as well.
He said of his countryman: "He is a very good player but it is not only me that wants him, all the coaches in the world do too.
"But at the moment what is happening on the pitch is the only important thing for me. For my players to play well against Tottenham is what matters."
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Broad claimed five for 23 in a 10-over new-ball spell to help dismiss South Africa for a lowly 83 and secure England's emphatic triumph by 5.35pm in a match billed as a day-night international.
Those figures were the best of his own career, the fifth best by an England player and completely humiliated a South African side who were briefly rated as the best side in the world earlier this year by dismissing them for the second lowest total in their history.
His performance capped another impressive display by an England side galvanised by the appointment of Kevin Pietersen as captain, who is yet to taste defeat since his unveiling after winning the final Test and the opening game of this five-match series at Headingley on Friday.
South Africa's challenge was undermined from the start with Broad given the new ball from the Pavilion End and removed South Africa's leading three batsmen inside the first three overs to set the tone for the remainder of the innings.
Sensing an emphatic triumph, Pietersen went for the kill and brought all-rounder Andrew Flintoff into the attack, who accelerated South Africa's demise by winning an lbw appeal against AB de Villiers with a ball which jagged back into his pads.
Flintoff's hostility also accounted for Mark Boucher, who became the latest of many South African batsmen to edge behind, while Broad followed up by claiming his final wicket in his last over.
Steve Harmison replaced him from the Pavilion End and quickly wrapped up the tail with two wickets in his only over to leave England facing a modest target in reply.
Propelled by Matt Prior's aggressive approach they raced to their target in just 14.1 overs with England's wicketkeeper accelerating to an unbeaten 45 off only 36 balls, including six fours and a six.
He completed the triumph with a pull for four off Andre Nel to complete only England's third 10-wicket victory in 495 one-day international matches to put them firmly in control of the five-match series.
Monday, August 25, 2008
India had a poor day in the field as they let got as many as four chances during the Lankan chase, which made the defence of a modest 237-run total difficult.
"Since Sri Lanka had a colourful crowd it becomes difficult to spot the ball in the night specially after it (ball) becomes a bit dirty," Dhoni said after India won by 33 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Dhoni admitted that Indian team felt the heat when Mahela Jaywardene and Thilan Thushara were cruising towards the victory target.
"Indian team was worried when Jayawrdene and Thushara were scoring runs," he said.
On being asked about India's strategy to go with four bowlers, he said, "Having a fifth bowler is a luxury. We have to make do with four bowlers but we have bowlers like Yuvraj, Raina and Virat, who can bowl. We needed one extra batsman".
Dhoni, who rescued India with a brilliant 76-run knock, also admitted that he has changed his batting style.
"Earlier, India had batsmen who could play till the end and I could go for big shots early. I am however happy that I still have strike rate of 90 thougu I would have been happier to have a strike rate of over hundred."
Rival skipper Jayawardene, who hit an incredible 94-run knock to lift his team from pits and almost took it to victory, said they did not "deserve to win". When asked if opener Kumar Sangakkara was not performing due to pressure of opening the innings, he shot back, "When you are scoring centuries you don't ask these questions. Every batsman has highs and lows. The idea of playing Sangakkara as opener is to have some senior batsman to get more balls to play".
Jayawardene confidently said that his knew what his team was doing but said it is difficult to live up to the expectations before the home crowd.
"Tough position to be in. It is a challenging situation playing at home do not want to lose series. We know where we are going wrong," he said.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Cuban Emilio Correa Bayeaux simply outsmarted the Indian 8-5 to win the 75kg category semifinal in a comprehensive manner and the outcome meant Vijender had to be content with the bronze, which he was already assured of.
The Cuban negated Vijender's height and reach advantages by playing from a distance. He simply did not allow Vijender land a single blow in the first, third and fourth rounds.
Even two penalty points in the final round could not make any difference for the Cuban had tilted the game in his favour a long away.
Surprisingly, barring the second round, Vijender held himself back throughout the bout and mostly sprayed his punches.
Emilio, son of 1972 Munich Games gold medallist Emilio Correa Vaillant, was precise with his blows. He did not resort to wild arm swinging or uppercuts but relied mostly on straight punches, which paid him rich dividends.
Clearly the faster of the two, Emilio led 3-0 early in the second round and though a desperate Vijender managed to reduce the gap to 4-3 by the end of the round, the Cuban proved his superiority again in the lop-sided third round that virtually sealed the fate of the bout.
"Once he went 3-0 ahead, a comeback was always difficult. I tried my best and reduced the gap in the second round but could not really pull it off," a dejected Vijender said after the bout.
"I'm very upset and want to say sorry to all for I could not win the bout. But I promise to come back in 2012 Olympics and beat this guy and win gold," Vijender added.
"I had prepared well for his right punches but his left proved equally strong and I often had no answer to that," Vijender said of his opponent, whose tactical superiority was evident as he hit the Indian before backpedaling fast.
Vijender could not score any point in the first and third rounds and even in the final phase, he got two penalty points after the Cuban had pushed him.
The Haryana lad was still happy to have won India's first boxing medal and said, "I believe, boxing will see better days in India. We made good progress in the sport and it showed here."
Coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu was not too unhappy either.
"I'm happy that at least we finished with an Olympic medal, it was a breakthrough for us. For the first time, three Indian boxers reached the quarterfinals. We have shown what we are capable of and the whole world is now watching us," Sandhu added.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
According to English newspaper, the Daily Express, United and Tottenham Hotspur are currently haggling over the US$6 million required to allow Berbatov to complete his dream move to Old Trafford.
Nevertheless, despite the current impasse, the softening of Spurs' stance over the sale of their star forward still marks as considerable progress after the London club refused to do business with the Red Devils over allegations of the latter tapping up Berbatov.
Despite lodging a complaint to the Premier League over United's conduct during their pursuit of Berbatov, agreeing a fee for the Bulgarian is now a matter of when rather than if, with only the details of payment yet to be finalized.
Sir Alex Ferguson's outfit have increased their bid to US$50 million while their counterparts have now agreed to lower their asking price to US$56 million, a considerable drop from their initial US$70 demands.
Despite Spurs' change of heart, the North Londoners will not drop their valuation any lower as they are desperate to milk the champions for all they are worth in order to fund a bid themselves for Russian star Andrei Arshavin, whose club Zenit St Petersburg are holding out for a staggering US$42 million.
A compromise though may be thrashed out between Spurs and United via the inclusion of performance-based extras, similar to the additional £1.3million included onto Robbie Keane's recent transfer to Liverpool.
Ferguson though, will be hoping that he can welcome Berbatov into his squad in time for his side's Premier League curtain raiser against Newcastle United this weekend.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The American Repsol Honda rider damaged his heel during the Supermoto at last week's X Games in Los Angeles, but should be fit to return at San Marino later this month.
He said: "As hard as it is, I think I'm better off staying at home doing rehab then come back fit at Misano and try to finish the season strongly."
Next year’s season will once again see another new track making its debut in the form in the Delhi Grand Prix as India join the F1 fray.
BMW's Heidfeld feels that the essence of F1 should be more about racing than the testing done before the big events.
"I'm looking forward to having more races as is planned for the future," he told the team's website.
"Though I wouldn't mind missing one or two tests. Actually the tests have been reduced quite a lot over the last two or three years, but I hope we have more races because there is not one that I don't like."
He added: "I'm looking forward to going to India and the other interesting new places currently being discussed."
The 31-year-old also admitted that he would like to see the Indianapolis Motor Speedway return to the F1 calendar in the future.
"I think it's a pity because for me Formula 1, being a world championship, should race everywhere in the world. But I think there's a good chance we will go to the States in the future," he said.
Kovalainen’s win in Hungary came just three days on the back of Mclaren’s decision to extend Kovalainen contract for a further year, finally squashing rumours of his future.
Despite the fervent speculation that McLaren would part company with the Finn, the man himself had no qualms about potentially not being offered a new deal.
"It doesn't change anything for me," he told Setanta Ireland. "I've always known the situation with my contract.
"There was obviously a lot of talk going around but I'm very happy with this team.
"When I began (with McLaren), the target was to extend this contract, and I'm very happy to stay here."
Kovalainen though, kept mum when asked if he was happy during his year at Renault, which saw him publicly lambasted by his team boss Flavio Briatore on more than one occasion,
"I have no regrets with my previous team and I have nothing to say on that, it has all passed," he said.
"I learned a lot - we had good times, we had bad times - but at the moment I am very happy with McLaren. The atmosphere here is very good.
"Now we can just focus on racing and getting good results, we don't need to talk about contracts.
"The bottom line is that we are targeting a long-term relationship. We're both very happy with each other and the focus is now to get the results I think we deserve."
Although Williams have often stated that Rosberg is not for sale, the German has been tipped to switch allegiance to either BMW or McLaren in the future.
That move, though, won't be happening at the end of this year as the 23-year-old has confirmed he is contracted to Williams for the 2009 season. However, he admits that campaign could be his last with the Grove outfit.
"The future is here. Well, next year. Then we'll see," Rosberg told GPWeek.
"I feel very comfortable at the team. Of course I feel good. I've been with the team a long time, I get on with everybody so it's very nice. Just the car isn't fast enough."
And a faster car is what Rosberg will need if he hopes to follow in his father Keke's footsteps by winning a Drivers' Championship title.
Asked whether he believed Williams could provide him with what he needs to win a title, the German said: "I don't really want to answer that at the moment.
"We have other things to worry about and we need to get back in the right direction."
Rosberg is currently 13th in the Drivers' Championship having bagged eight points, including a podium finish in the season-opening Australian GP.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Dhoni's statement of confidence will come as a shot in the arm for the experienced players who drew flak for their lacklustre show in the just lost Test series against Sri Lanka.
MSD, who gave the Test series a miss but is returning to lead the team in the shorter version matches, disagreed that experienced players should be more accountable than other members of the team in the Tests.
"You cannot ask a Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman or Anil Kumble to prove their credentials," Dhoni told PTI in an e-mail interview.
Indian middle order batsmen were specially underfire as they failed to put on enough runs on board in the entire Test series against Sri Lanka which India lost to 1-2.
Asked if he was ready to lead in the Tests as well, Dhoni said "I think you should ask the selectors and the BCCI this question. I am happy with whatever they have in mind."
The Khel Ratna awardee wicketkeeper-batsman, however, agreed that it was high time India improved to consistently win matches and reach the top of the world rankings.
"I think it is just with time we should start winning in ODIs consistently. We are a great team and we start doing well pretty soon.
"Australia as a team is still far ahead. Yes, we can beat Australia and we have proved that. But to do it consistently we have to improve a lot. I think once we become more consistent we can think of being number one," he said.
Dhoni said as far as one-day games were concerned not only bowlers but all department needed to improve. "Everyone has to improve. We have got good bowlers in the side and they are doing their best," he said.
The Jharkhand player refused there was a need of separate sets of cricketers for Tests and the 50-50 or 20-20 matches.
"Not at all. A player can be good in ODIs and Tests and 20-20 as well. Look at Virender Sehwag or Gautam Gambhir." Asked about his man-management skills, Dhoni said he just treated every member as his family.
"Well, I am a person who goes and thinks by my heart. I do whatever my heart tells me to do. I am not sure what man management is. The team is like my own family. I treat them the way a person will treat his own family.
"I think my team members were obviously there behind me. Other than that my family and friends are always behind me," he added.
Dhoni denied that he was robbed off his swashbuckling batting ways in a bid to adapt himself to bat at any slot according to the situation.
"I will play the way the team requires me to play. And I will come onto bat whenever the team requires me to do so. It is not an experiment," he said.
Asked if he was still on the look out for an all-rounder to win matches, Dhoni said "There is Irfan Pathan who is doing quite well. I am sure players like Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla and others will come off age. Virender Sehwag is bowling really well."
Dhoni also said he was satisfied with the bench strength India had. "We have a good 11. And our bench strength is also not that bad. In fact, we have to leave out world class bowlers like R P Singh or Piyush Chawla from a team. Also batsmen like Robin Uthappa, Manoj Tiwary do not find a place in the 11. This certainly shows that we have a good amount of support players."
Asked if friendly pitches were a vital factor and we should have similar wickets in all venues in India, he said "I feel we should play according to our strengths. Neither has Australia or England or South Africa changed their pitches for us. So I don't see any reason why should we change our pitches".
On plan for winning the 2011 World Cup at home, Dhoni said he would try team did not wilt under pressure of playing before the home crowd.
"We as a team will try not to wilt under pressure. World Cup is long time away. And I am sure if you see the combination can only be fixed some months before the World Cup. So as of now I am not thinking about the World Cup but thinking about getting the right combination so that we can win more consistently," he said.
The new event, which is being run by Canterbury Cricket, will see twelve high-school teams compete in Christchurch over September 20- 21 for the trophy.
Twenty20 cricket has proved to be immensely popular among players and fans around the world, and both Lincoln University and Canterbury Cricket see a lot of potential for the event’s growth in future years.
The competition builds upon the strong sporting partnership already present between Lincoln University and Canterbury Cricket through Lincoln’s Sports Scholarship Programme.
The programme has brought top sports performers to Lincoln, where they combine academic study with the extension and development of their athletic and sporting abilities through a focused training programme and access to top-flight facilities and staff.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
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Coloccini's club, Depor, revealed on Thursday they had agreed a deal to sell the 26-year-old to Newcastle for US$20 million.
On the same day Coloccini gave a press conference confirming his departure for England.
However, the transfer has not been agreed by the Magpies, and while Keegan admitted Coloccini had been at St James Park to watch Newcastle's 2-1 win over Valencia he failed to reveal if the transfer had been completed.
"I can't tell you anything at the moment," he said.
"He was here, that's for sure. I like his hair, it's like mine in the seventies, but I can't tell you any more than that."
There were promising signs for Newcastle supporters as Damien Duff and James Milner were both on target as the Magpies came from a goal down against the Copa del Rey winners to win 2-1.
Keegan was more forthcoming on his club's plans for the future.
Despite being content with his side's performance against one of the top side's in Europe, the former England boss admits he is looking to add new faces to the squad before the Premier League kicks off next week.
"I'd like to think that once (the Coloccini deal) is completed then two more players will arrive, and then we'll see what happens," he said.
"I think there'll be a lot of comings and goings late on as clubs try to re-balance and somebody will come available who will be of interest.
"I think we'll be in there pitching just like everybody else."
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Phelps, who won six golds and two bronze medals in Athens four years ago, broke his own Olympic record in the heats to cruise through to Sunday's final.
The 23-year-old American was inside his own world-record pace after the opening butterfly leg and just 0.02 seconds outside it after the second backstroke leg.
And although he dropped off record pace after the breaststroke, he still recorded a record time of four minutes 7.82 seconds, 2.57secs outside his world record set earlier this year.
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Gillett and Hicks have declined to come up with the US$36 million Benitez needs for Gareth Barry.
The deal was off as of Friday night, with the Villa captain more or less forced to reconsidering his future at Villa Park. Benitez has admitted that the deal was not on, but insisted the deal was "not a question of money."
Liverpool's American ownership have vetoed Benitez's proposal for a short-term loan to complete the Barry transfer, despite meeting the US$36 million fee earlier, but missing Villa's transfer deadline by a few minutes.
Gillett's and Hick's behaviour in Liverpool's quest to bring Barry to Anfield has raised doubts about the resources available to build a new stadium for the Reds, but it has been doubts of Barry's playing ability, not the lack of financial muscle, that has stalled the deal and strained their relationship with their manager.
Rafa had expected the deal to be signed, sealed and delivered earlier in the week after the player's agent, Alex Black, had stopped short of handing in a transfer request, demanding the deal to be made. Villa manager Martin O'Neill had also given Liverpool "all the time in the world" to come up with the alleged US$36 million that Liverpool board had signed off on last month.
The Americans have since sent their feedback to Benitez, casting doubt on whether Barry is value-for-money, the high depreciation value of the player (he is going to be 31 at the end of his proposed four-year deal) and the need to bolster the midfield, especially with Xabi Alonso still at Merseyside.
The Kop have added to the spectacle as well, in Friday's 1-0 friendly win over Lazio, chanting Alonso's name and mocking Barry's, but Benitez is still adamant about bringing in the England international.
"We have not been able to bring in Barry but it is not a question of money, I don't know what it is," the Liverpool manager said.
"We need to improve if we can and I think we need another player, because clearly we have problems on the left. I have sold [John Arne] Riise, [Harry] Kewell has gone, [Fabio] Aurelio is injured and [Sebastián] Leto didn't get a work permit, so we need another left-sided player."
"I cannot say now who that will be but Barry can fill that position and play in others, too. The rules will say we need four English and four associated players and Barry is English, who can play in three different positions, but I cannot say any more. All I can say is I will try my best but I don't know too much why we haven't signed Barry."
Meanwhile, Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry is said to be fed up with the progress of the deal, and wants his future to be in black and white by the start of the new Premier League campaign. The versatile midfielder has been publically chastised by the Villa fans for pressing for the move, and is now prepared to mend the fences with O'Neill if the deal falls through.
Friday, August 8, 2008
One of the heroes of Istanbul three years ago, Alonso was treated to a display of affection and support that the Liverpool manager could not have failed to understand.
Songs outlining what the Anfield faithful felt about a deal for Aston Villa midfielder Barry were frankly unrepeatable - but the message was clear.
Liverpool fans chanted Alonso's name constantly during the friendly against a competitive Italian side, and the Spaniard responded with a fine all-action display of passing and running.
Liverpool were crisp and assertive, with Alonso pulling the strings in front of a 43,062 crowd.
They made it eight pre-season games unbeaten, the winner coming in injury-time when Andriy Voronin volleyed home from Jay Spearing's pass.
Speaking to a TV channel after the day's play, Prasad said: "I was nervous in the first three overs when I got hit for a bit. But I was confident I would be able to get (Virender) Sehwag. I had got him in the practice match and I knew I could get him again."
Sehwag, who made a run a ball 21 before perishing to Prasad got stuck into the debutant. However, the well built fast bowler persisted and had his revenge.
"I kept thinking that I want his wicket and worked towards it. And I got it. I bowled well and I got my reward"
Prasad had a sensational start to his career when he also bagged the prized wickets of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar soon after dismissing Sehwag.
The young bowler said dismissing Sachin Tendulkar was a huge moment in his career: "They (India) have a very good batting line up. Actually one of the greatest batsmen is Tendulkar. It was really big moment for me when I got that wicket. I am really happy," he said at the end of the day's play.
Former Pakistani fast bowler Waqar Younis said he was impressed with the way Prasad bowled: "He was outstanding. Once he got the first wicket, he was on fire."
"Prasad is a strong boy and he troubled Dravid with his pace. He was hitting Dravid's bat hard and you could see the great man was clearly rattled by the pace."
Waqar also felt Prasad has the potential to master the art of reverse swing, given the kind of action he has.
Former Australian wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh said: "Prasad did a brilliant job. He got three crucial wickets on day one on a good batting surface after India decided to bat first."
India were already in hot soup, thanks to Ajantha Mendis. Now they have another young gun to deal with in the pacey Prasad.
The fast bowler missed the Test series because of a leg injury but has been declared fit for the start of the ODI series, which begins in Dambulla on August 18.
Bowler Farveez Maharoof has also been named in the Champions Trophy line-up providing he can prove his fitness following a side strain.
Lasith Malinga is still battling a knee injury though and has not been included despite being handed a place in the provisional squad.
The Champions Trophy will be held in Pakistan between September 11 and 28.
Squad for India series: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Kapugedera, Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas, Kaushal Weeraratne, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Mahela Udawatte, Dilhara Fernando.
Squad for Champions Trophy: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Kapugedera, Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas, Farveez Maharoof, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Mahela Udawatte, Dilhara Fernando, Jehan Mubarak.