Rio set for ‘coolest’ Olympic opening ceremony

first_imgRIO 2016 opening ceremony organisers have urged athletes to participate in the Olympic curtain-raiser today, promising them “the coolest party they have seen”.Some delegations, including Australia and Britain, have said that many of their athletes will miss the four-hour extravaganza at the Maracana stadium to concentrate on their events.“We call on athletes to come to what will be the coolest party they have seen,” the ceremony’s executive producer Marco Balich told a news conference yesterday. “We have created a big athletes’ parade and artistic parade with a surprise at the end.“The athletes are the centre of the show. We know that the Maracana stadium is a long way from (the Olympic village), but I encourage all athletes to participate because it will be a magnificent experience. And we know that the Brazilian audience will react in a beautiful way, as Brazilians always do.”Balich has previously been involved in 16 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies and Rio will be the third time he has been executive producer, after Torino 2006 and Sochi 2014.He said Brazil’s worst recession in decades had played a part in the show’s content, which will feature less high-tech effects than at previous Games.Some US$21M have been spent on the opening ceremony in Rio, about half London’s outlay four years ago.“The budget is irrelevant,” Balich said. “I think it’s right, given the situation the world and Brazil finds itself in, that we don’t have an opulent ceremony. We want to deliver a show with heart and passion.“Our repertoire will be very analog but it will be deployed with high values like peace and tolerance, which are needed in the world today. And we have conveyed the message of sustainability which has excited and motivated all of us.”Balich played down a decision by suspended president Dilma Rousseff to miss the ceremony as she faces an impeachment trial for allegedly breaking budget rules. Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has also declined an invitation.“It’s important that the Olympic ceremony stays in the collective mind forever,” Balich said. “You don’t remember who was the president at other Olympic Games. You remember Muhammad Ali lighting the torch in Atlanta and the archer in Barcelona. We have to celebrate humanity and celebrate Rio.”Another of the creative directors, Fernando Meirelles, said previous opening ceremonies, particularly the spectacle that kick-started the Beijing 2008 Games, had served as inspiration for Rio.“Beijing was amazing, it set a new standard,” Meirelles said. “If Beijing was powerful and London was smart, Rio will be cool.”last_img read more

Premier League clubs net transfer profit for first time

first_imgBy Alan BaldwinLONDON, England (Reuters) – Premier League clubs have made a transfer window profit for the first time, despite near-record spending in January, thanks largely to two big-money moves to China and France playmaker Dimitri Payet’s return home.Analysis by consultants Deloitte showed the clubs in English soccer’s top flight splashed out an estimated £215 million ($271.09 million) in the transfer window that closed on Tuesday but brought in £40 million more than they paid out.That took the clubs’ total spending for 2016/17 to almost £1.4 billion, breaking last season’s record of a combined one billion for the summer and January windows and confirming the Premier League as Europe’s biggest spenders.French Ligue 1 clubs spent a total of about £130 million in January, ahead of the Bundesliga on £85 million and Italy’s Serie A on £80 million.Spanish La Liga clubs spent about £20 million, although Real Madrid were banned from signing players.Deloitte said four players accounted for much of the Premier League’s net receipts.Chelsea sold Brazil midfielder Oscar to Shanghai SIPG for a reported 60 million euros ($64.74 million) while Watford’s Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo signed for Changchun Yatai for a reported £20 million on Tuesday.West Ham United also made a tidy profit on selling France forward Payet to Olympique de Marseille for £25 million after signing him from the same club in 2015 for a reported £10.7 million.Manchester United, meanwhile, sold Netherlands winger Memphis Depay to French side Olympique Lyonnais for 16 million euros.SURVIVAL SPENDINGPremier League clubs’ total spending in the January window was the second highest after January 2011’s £225 million.“As was the case last year, it is clubs in the bottom half of the table who have driven expenditure this January, investing in their squads in an attempt to secure survival,” said Deloitte partner Dan Jones.“This is no surprise given clubs’ reliance on the revenues generated from the Premier League’s broadcast deals.”The bottom six teams accounted for half of the total spent while none of the top six saw a need to dip into their pockets beyond Arsenal handing over £40 000 for left-back Cohen Bramall from non-league Hednesford Town.Crystal Palace, in the drop zone under ex-England manager Sam Allardyce, had a late flurry on Tuesday with Mamadou Sakho arriving on loan from Liverpool and Serbia midfielder Luka Milivojevic joining from Olympiakos Piraeus for an undisclosed fee.Bottom-side Hull City signed three players on deadline day, including Italian defender Andrea Ranocchia and Poland winger Kamil Grosicki.English Championship (second-tier) clubs spent a total of £80 million, up more than 125 percent on last year and a January record for the division.last_img read more

Sports News Sensible decisions key for Indian cricket team’s success in Australia: Maninder Singh

first_imgNew Delhi: In the series against England, Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team were stronger in both batting and bowling compared to the hosts. Despite being settled on both fronts, India lost the Test series 1-4. The key factor behind the losses was some strategic errors. In Edgbaston, India did not play two spinners. In Lord’s, playing Kuldeep Yadav on a green deck in place of a seamer proved costly. In Southampton, a half-fit Ravichandran Ashwin was picked ahead of Ravindra Jadeja. England’s lower order, notably Sam Curran, changed the course of the series twice with some great partnerships with the tail. All these factors, in addition to India’s woes in the top order resulted in the team’s overseas pain getting extended. Maninder Singh, former Indian cricket team spinner, said Kohli’s team must take clear decisions if they are to win a series in Australia for the first time. “India can only win if they take sensible and correct decisions. During the England series, the team was balanced on all fronts. When you compared it with the England team, they were better in all aspects and it seemed unlikely that they would lose. Some dodgy team selections, misreading the conditions dragged India down. If India can overcome this in Australia, then they have a golden chance of winning the series in Australia,” Maninder said in a chat with News Nation.Basic nature of Australia to sledgeIn the press conference before the team’s departure to Australia, Kohli said he had no problem playing in an environment where there is no hostility. Even the Australian team, under Tim Paine, have stated that the team could take a toned-down approach to sledging following the ball-tampering scandal which resulted in one-year bans for Steve Smith and David Warner. However, Maninder was sceptical that Australia will not sledge.“Australians will sledge. When they are frustrated, they will sledge. It is in their basic nature and in their personality. Maybe, with this current team, it might be a bit controlled. They might try to tone it down as they will be aware that it could be costly for them,” Maninder said.Watch the full interview with Maninder Singh: Recently, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis offered a tip to the Australians in which he said they should avoid a confrontation with Kohli. Maninder concurred with that view point. “Everyone knows the more you sledge Kohli, he performs better. We saw this in England. When India arrived, their former cricketers and present players like James Anderson continuously sledged Kohli about his failures on the 2014 tour and said only if he performs in England would he be considered a great cricketer. He responded with 593 runs. Australia know this very well for in the previous series, he smashed them all over the park,” Maninder said.Worry if Kohli failsManinder added that the major concern for India in this series would be a lack of a Plan B in case Kohli fails. “There is a bit of doubt. Cheteshwar Pujara is at No.3 but he has been inconsistent which does not give you too much confidence. No.5 is Ajinkya Rahane and his confidence level is down as he has not contributed. If Kohli fails, then India will struggle,” Maninder said. In the press conference, Kohli said lower order contributions, in addition to top-order partnerships, will be the key for India to achieve success against Australia. Maninder added that a clear plan from the likes of Ravi Shastri and the batting coach to the lower order will help them keep the motivation levels high.  “The lower order must be given the confidence and license to bat according to their natural style. In England, the batsmen were uncertain. The tail must be given a clear brief as to what their game should be and how they can make runs,” the former India spinner said. For all the Latest Sports News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Cricket News Shakib Al Hasan enters elite list after five-wicket haul in second Twenty20 against West Indies

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Shakib Al Hasan enhanced his reputation as one of the best all-rounders in cricket after he picked up his first five-wicket haul during the second Twenty20 International against West Indies in Mirpur. Liton Das’ aggressive 60, backed by Shakib’s 42 and a magnificent, unbeaten cameo of 43 off 21 balls from Mahmudullah helped Bangladesh reach 211/4, their second-highest total in Twenty20 Internationals. Shakib’s 5/20 helped Bangladesh beat the two-time World T20 champions by 36 runs to level the three-match series 1-1. The star Bangladesh all-rounder’s exploits with the ball put him in an elite list of players who have achieved a unique feat.Shakib became only the third bowler to have picked up a five-wicket haul in Twenty20 Internationals. Elias Sunny was the first Bangladesh bowler to take a five-wicket haul when he picked up 5/13 against Ireland in Belfast in 2012. Sunny’s haul remains the best by a Bangladesh bowler in this format. Mustafizur Rahman became the first Bangladesh bowler to take a five-wicket haul in the World T20 in 2016 when he took 5/22 against New Zealand at the Eden Gardens. Shakib’s haul of 5/20 is the second-best for a Bangladesh bowler.Read More | Steve Smith barred from participating in Bangladesh Premier LeagueHowever, with his five-wicket haul, the 31-year-old entered a unique list of bowlers who have taken a five-wicket haul in all three formats. Shakib has 20 five-wicket hauls in cricket, which is 18 in Tests and one each in ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals. He picked up his only ODI five-wicket haul in 2015 when he took 5/47 against Zimbabwe in Mirpur. Shakib leads the charts for Bangladesh bowlers in Tests, having taken a five-wicket haul against nine Test playing nations.Read More | What must Virat Kohli’s India do to win the Melbourne Test?Shakib joins Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umar Gul, Imran Tahir and Kuldeep Yadav as the other bowlers to have taken a five-wicket haul in all three formats. Southee was the first bowler to achieve this feat while Kuldeep became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul in all formats in the same calendar year. Tahir, on the other hand, is the oldest player to have achieved this feat. Bhuvneshwar became the first Indian player to achieve this feat while Mendis became the first spinner to achieve this feat.The final match of the series will be played on December 22 in Dhaka and Bangladesh would be aiming to achieve a series win in all three formats against the West Indies. last_img read more

Cricket News Virat Kohli named captain of ICC’s Test, ODI teams of the year

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Dubai: Indian skipper and batting mainstay Virat Kohli was Tuesday named captain of the International Cricket Council’s Test and ODI teams of the year, leading the country’s domination in both the line-ups. Three players each from India and New Zealand feature in the Test team, while four each from India and England are part of the ODI side of the year 2018. The ICC will announce the individual awards later Tuesday.“…Virat Kohli named captain of both sides following a remarkable 2018 as batsman and skipper,” the ICC said in a statement. The Test team features compatriots, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who is the only player apart from Kohli to feature in both the sides.The ODI team has opener Rohit Sharma, spinner Kuldeep Yadav and Bumrah from India along with Kohli, while England are represented by Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. The annual awards are selected by the ICC Voting Academy comprising former players, members of the media and broadcasters.Also Read | Kohli is greatest ODI batsman to have played the game: ClarkeKohli’s 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 with five centuries in 13 Tests and 1,202 runs at an astounding average of 133.55 with six hundreds in 14 ODIs saw him selected to both sides by every voting member of the Academy with the majority of them also opting to name him at the helm of each.Kohli also ended 2018 as the top-ranked Test and ODI batsman in the player rankings while his side finished the year as the top-ranked side in Tests and number two behind England in ODIs.India won six Tests and lost seven during the voting period that ran from January 1 to December 31, 2018. In ODIs, Kohli led India to nine victories, with four losses and one tied match.ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year (in batting order): Tom Latham (New Zealand), Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Virat Kohli (India) (capt), Henry Nicholls (New Zealand), Rishabh Pant (India) (wk), Jason Holder (Windies), Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Nathan Lyon (Australia), Jasprit Bumrah (India), Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan)ICC Men’s ODI team of the year (in batting order): Rohit Sharma (India), Jonny Bairstow (England), Virat Kohli (India) (capt), Joe Root (England), Ross Taylor (New Zealand), Jos Buttler (England) (wk), Ben Stokes (England), Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Kuldeep Yadav (India), Jasprit Bumrah (India). last_img read more

ICC World Cup Rohit Sharma blasts historic fifth ton in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, equals Sachin Tendulkar’s tally

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. highlights Rohit Sharma broke Kumar Sangakkara’s record of four tons in one edition.Rohit Sharma equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of six World Cup tons overall.Rohit Sharma has smashed six centuries in just 16 innings.center_img New Delhi: Rohit Sharma has demonstrated that he is a record-breaking freak in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. He has smashed records galore in this edition and he continued his magnificent run in India’s last league game against Sri Lanka in Leeds. Rohit smashed his 27th century but it was his fifth in this single edition of the World Cup. His fifth ton was a new world record and it broke the previous record held by Kumar Sangakkara in which he blasted four consecutive centuries. Rohit’s century took him past Shakib Al Hasan for most runs in the 2019 edition of the tournament and it also put him closer to Sachin Tendulkar’s overall tally of runs, which is 673 in the 2003 edition in South Africa.Rohit started the tournament with a bang by hammering 122 against South Africa in Southampton. After scoring a fifty against Australia, Rohit blasted a century against Pakistan to ensure India’s scoreline against their arch-rivals became 7-0. Despite a dip in some games, Rohit continued his magnificent forms by blasting centuries against England and Bangladesh. Against Sri Lanka, he blasted his sixth century against the 1996 champions. Rohit has a great record against Sri Lanka, having scored two out of his three double centuries against them, which includes the highest individual score in ODIs which is 264 at Eden Gardens in 2014.The right-hander’s century was his third consecutive in this edition and it also equalled Tendulkar’s tally of six centuries in World Cups. While Tendulkar took five editions to make six tons, Rohit has equalled the mark in just two editions. In 2015, Rohit had blasted a century in the quarterfinal against Bangladesh in Melbourne to knock them out of the tournament.Leading run-getter in 2019 World Cup, most centuries in one edition, equal number of centuries with the greatest batsman and India on the cusp of semi-final glory. Rohit has played a massive part in this journey and his numbers will make for some staggering reading once the tournament is done.last_img read more

Cricket News Cricket playing conditions will change from August 1 as ICC allows THESE new rules

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. “In World Test Championship matches, a team that is behind the required over rate at the end of a match will have two competition points deducted for each over it is behind.“Captains will no longer be suspended for repeated or serious over rate breaches. All players should be held equally responsible for slow over rates, and as such will be fined at the same level as the captain,” the ICC said.Meanwhile, the BCCI has also decided to use “limited DRS” during the Ranji Trophyknockout matches from this season in a bid to cut down on umpiring howlers that grabbed headlines during previous seasons. New Delhi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday approved concussion substitutes in men’s and women’s international cricket. The new rule, allowing a like-for-like replacement for injured player, will come into effect from August 1, 2019.”Decisions on replacements will continue to be made by the team medical representative and the player should be a like-for-like replacement who will need to be approved by the Match Referee,” the ICC said in a press release.Earlier in 2017, the ICC had approved a trial period for concussion substitutes during the Sheffield Shield – Australia’s domestic four-day tournament. In another development related to the playing conditions, the highest cricket body has also accepted the recommendation of ICC’s Cricket Committee on punishment for slow over rate. As of now captains are punished for the slow over rate.As per the new rule, ICC will now deduct “competition points” and fine the whole team instead of only punishing the captains in a bid to reduce the instances of slow over-rates.last_img read more

Cricket News Suresh Raina admits second knee surgery was a tough call to make

first_imghighlights Suresh Raina has not played for India since 2018 in England.Suresh Raina was not picked in the 2019 World Cup squad.Suresh Raina’s first knee surgery took place in 2007. New Delhi: Suresh Raina, who has not been part of the Indian cricket team ever since 2018, underwent a second knee surgery a couple of days ago. On the official Twitter account of the BCCI, a statement read, “Suresh Raina underwent a knee surgery where he had been facing discomfort for the last few months. The surgery has been successful and it will require him 4-6 week of rehab for recovery. We wish him a speedy recovery,” the statement read. The surgery is expected to keep the left-hander out of action for most of the 2019/20 domestic season but Raina said it was a tough call to make.”To be honest, a second knee surgery was a tough call to make because I knew it would put me off-action for a few months and I wasn’t ready for it until a few weeks ago when the pain had gotten a bit much and I knew there was only one way out of this. I hope I’m up on my feet, on the field and ready to give my best very soon again,” Raina wrote on his social media handle.Raina, who became the first Indian player to hit a century in all three formats, has not played for the Indian cricket team since the 2018 ODI in Leeds against England and he was not part of the Indian cricket team which was selected for the World Cup. The left-hander had played a pivotal role in India’s title triumph in 2011 and revealed the reason why he wanted to go under the knife.”The issue began way back. It was 2007 when I underwent my maiden knee surgery and later, I was back on the field, giving the game my 100%, all thanks to my trainers and doctors. However, a nagging discomfort returned last couple of years. During the episodes of niggling pain, to avoid any impact on my game, my trainers kept me going and helped me a lot in training my muscles well so that it would take the load off of the knee. I am out of surgery and healing steadily, for which I thank my doctors, family, friends, and everyone who has wished me good health & speedy recovery,” Raina said. center_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Elon faces Northeastern in CAA semis

first_imgElon faces Northeastern in CAA semis Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNo. 7 seed Elon (13-20, 9-11) vs. No. 6 seed Northeastern (16-15, 10-9)Colonial Conference Tourney Semifinals, Entertainment & Sports Arena, Washington; Monday, 7:30 p.m. EDTBOTTOM LINE: A spot in the CAA championship game is up for grabs as Elon and Northeastern are set to face off. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last played on Feb. 1, when the Phoenix shot 61.4 percent from the field while limiting Northeastern’s shooters to just 38.6 percent en route to the five-point victory. For more AP college basketball coverage: and was generated by Automated Insights,, using data from STATS LLC, Associated Press center_img March 9, 2020 SAVVY SENIORS: Northeastern has relied heavily on its seniors this year. Jordan Roland, Bolden Brace, Maxime Boursiquot and Shaquille Walters have collectively accounted for 67 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 73 percent of all Huskies points over the last five games.SHEFFIELD II CAN SHOOT: Marcus Sheffield II has connected on 40.6 percent of the 170 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 13 of 36 over the last five games. He’s also converted 81.8 percent of his foul shots this season.WINLESS WHEN: Elon is 0-7 when scoring fewer than 61 points and 13-13 when scoring at least 61.ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Huskies have recently created buckets via assists more often than the Phoenix. Northeastern has an assist on 48 of 84 field goals (57.1 percent) across its previous three games while Elon has assists on 44 of 78 field goals (56.4 percent) during its past three games.DID YOU KNOW: Elon as a collective unit has made 10.2 3-pointers per game this season, which is eighth-most among Division I teams. The Phoenix have averaged 11.7 3-pointers per game over their last three games.___last_img read more

Infantino calls unprecedented African summit meeting

first_imgBy Mark GleesonJOHANNESBURG,(Reuters)-FIFA President Gianni Infantino will meet more than 50 presidents of African football associations in an unprecedented summit in Johannesburg this week, officials said yesterday.Each of the continent’s 54 member countries has been invited to a day-long executive summit with Infantino, called to discuss general issues in the game and explain FIFA’s plans to expand the World Cup and changes to its development structures.The association presidents will be divided into two groups with some 25 meeting Infantino and other FIFA officials on Tuesday and the rest repeating the exercise the next day, organisers told Reuters.It is the first time such a summit has been held at which FIFA deals directly with all the leaders of African football.Infantino, however, did meet about 20 association presidents in Nigeria last July in a gathering that pointedly snubbed long-standing Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Issa Hayatou and members of his executive committee.Usually the only time all association presidents get together is for annual FIFA and CAF Congresses.The meetings, which are being held behind closed doors, will be followed by a trip by Infantino to Harare on Thursday to join birthday celebrations for the Zimbabwe Football Association President Philip Chiyangwa, a vocal critical of Hayatou who is backing his opponent in next month’s CAF president election.Hayatou, 70, is seeking to extend his tenure in office into a third decade but faces a strong challenge from Ahmad of Madagascar, a former government minister who uses just one name. The CAF elections are to be held in Addis Ababa on March 16.Chiyangwa has invited a wide array of African football administrators to travel from Johannesburg to Harare as he seeks to galvanise support for Ahmad.In an exchange of letters published by local media last week, Hayatou threatened Chiyangwa with sanctions if he went ahead with the meeting, saying he had no right to call such a gathering.But Chiyangwa, a wealthy businessman who has used his own money to fund the bankrupt Zimbabwe Football Association, responded by saying it was a celebration of his birthday and his election as President of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations, a regional body made up of 14 countries.Infantino’s presence in Harare is seen as a tacit sign of support for the anti-Hayatou camp.Hayatou and CAF last year formally endorsed the candidacy of Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa who Infantino beat in the FIFA presidential elections.last_img read more