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  President congratulates CWG medallists
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 06:55 PM - No Replies

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New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee Friday congratulated Indian weightlifters and judoka for winning medals on the opening day of the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

"President Mukherjee has congratulated the Indian weightlifters and judoka who won medals on the opening day of the 20th Commonwealth Games," the official Twitter handle of the President said.

Weightlifters Sanjita Khumukcham and Mirabai Saikhom Chanu won gold and silver respectively in women`s 48-kg category while judoka Sushila Likmabam bagged a silver in the women`s 48-kg category on the opening day of the games.


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  Blatter meets with Qatar's emir to discuss improvement of labour rights
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 06:50 PM - No Replies

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter reportedly had a meeting with Qatar`s emir to discuss the improvement of the rights of migrant workers in the 2022 World Cup host nation.

FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday that they discussed ongoing reforms of labour rights during a one-hour meeting.

Campaigns have been held by unions and rights groups to highlight unsafe conditions in Qatar, unpaid salaries and contracts tying workers to employers, Gulf News reported.

Blatter`s visit, which was not announced in advance, had originally been planned for May before the FIFA Congress in Brazil. However, the governing body`s president praised Qatar`s commitment to use the 2022 FIFA World Cup to achieve positive social change.

FIFA said that the two leaders reviewed the achievements accomplished on projects related to the World Cup.

FIFA and Qatar would likely agree to reduce the original 12-stadium plan later this year, the report added.


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  Won't let anyone to question my Indian roots, says Sania Mirza
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 06:31 PM - No Replies

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New Delhi: Apparently upset with a controversy over Telangana government`s decision to appoint her as the brand Ambassador of the newly-created state, ace Indian tennis star Sania Mirza on Friday said that it is unfair that she has to keep asserting her Indian-ness.

Speaking to a leading news channel, Sania nearly broke down and said that she won`t allow anyone to question her Indian-ness. Mirza also condemned the comments of a Telangana BJP leader, who stirred a national outrage by describing her as "Pakistan`s daughter-in-law".

During the interview, Sania emphasized, "I am Indian, I will always remain one. I am not going to let anyone question my roots"

Sania also added that the controversy over her appointment as the Brand Ambassador of Telangana is pretty much done by now.

"As far as the controversy is concerned I think its pretty much done," she added.

Expressing what she felt about the controversy, Sania said, “Really sad, I don’t know if it happens in any other country.” She stressed that she got medals for India even after her marriage and it is unfair on part of politicians to question her Indian roots.

Sania also hit back at the country`s political class and said that there are more pivotal issues to be addressed.

"There are many other bigger issues in this country. I think people should just leave this petty issue aside," Sania said.

Meanwhile, reacting to Saina Nehwal`s tweet where the former had reminded the state goverment of the cash reward which she was promised after winning the bronze medal at 2012 London Olympics, Sania said, "I spoke to Mr KTR (TRS) today and he said that he has already replied to her (Nehwal)."

Bhartiya Janata Party leader K Laxman had criticised Telangana govt for appointing Mirza as its brand ambassador and giving her a grant, saying she is a non-local and "daughter-in-law" of Pakistan.

Reacting to the comment, the tennis star had said though she is married to Shoaib Malik, who is from Pakistan, yet she is an Indian and will remain an Indian until the end of her life.

Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal had on Thursday congratulated Sania but at the same time reminded the state goverment of her cash reward which was promised to her by the Andhra Pradesh government.


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  'I just try to spin the ball' - Ravi Patel
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 06:22 PM - No Replies

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English cricket's hunt for new spin talent has plucked out another name. Ravi Patel, the 22-year-old Middlesex left-arm spinner, has earned a place in the England Lions squad for next month's triangular series involving Sri Lanka A and New Zealand A despite just three List A matches in his career.

However, his selection has not come without some form behind it even if the structure of the English game means it is in a different format. He is Middlesex's leading wicket-taker in the NatWest T20 Blast with 15 wickets at 20.00 from 13 games with a notable economy rate of 6.12. On Thursday evening, in front of a record Lord's crowd and faced with the power-packed Surrey batting order, he returned the thrifty figures of 2 for 15.

Still, his call-up for national honours - to a squad that has even greater significance given the proximity of the World Cup - took some time to sink in for Patel who has played for Middlesex since Under-9s level. He was told by Angus Fraser, the Middlesex managing director and England selector, following a lengthy journey back to London after the recent Championship match against Yorkshire at Scarborough.

"I was about to go to bed and I got a call from Gus [Fraser]. I was a bit surprised, excited for sure - a lot of different feelings but overriding joy that I'd been picked," he told ESPNcricinfo. "I was aware that I was in with a shout but, yeah, I'm slightly surprised."

In an era when the volume of one-day cricket can drag spinners into bowling flatter and quicker - or at least with a defensive mindset - Patel, who works extensively alongside Min Patel, the former Kent and England slow left-armer, has a straightforward and refreshing outlook to his art.

"I'd like to think I'm quite an attacking spinner, I can change my pace quite a lot - especially in one-day cricket - and I think that's vital to not let the batsman settle and I just try to spin the ball. Obviously you need wickets that help you, but I like to think I give it a decent rip out of the hand and vary my pace."

That method was on display at Lord's yesterday when he was confronted by Jason Roy - a fellow Lions selection - who was intent on dispatching Patel into the stands but instead was comfortably stumped. "If someone is going hard at you then I feel I'm always in the game because it only takes one ball to do a little bit and I've got a chance to get the wicket," Patel said.

Patel's three games of longer one-day cricket have been spread over three years, starting with his debut against the Australians in 2010 followed by two Yorkshire Bank 40 outings last year. However, he is confident that he can take his Twenty20 form into the 50-over format over the next few weeks for both the Lions and Middlesex.

"I'm quite inexperienced in terms of longer one-day cricket but I've built a good run of matches in Twenty20 and in terms of bowling spin you need similar skills, I believe," he said. "I've gained a lot of confidence from doing relatively well in the T20s and if I play for the Lions I just want to bring those skills into the 50-over game and see where it takes me."

And he also views the current state of spin in the country with a glass half-full rather than glass half-empty mentality. "I think it's a great time and opportunity for all young spinners. Graeme Swann was such a great spinner and his retirement has left a big hole, and I won't be the only one saying that - I speak for all young spinners. Any opportunities we get given it's up to us to try and take them."

England Cricket News: 'I just try to spin the ball' - Ravi Patel | ESPN Cricinfo

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  Exclusive: Sourav Ganguly's five tips for MS Dhoni to win
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 05:57 PM - No Replies

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MS Dhoni has been positive in England and must ensure the players remain hungry.

There are a five things that MS Dhoni needs to do to keep the consistency going in the third Test match.

Number one, he needs to do is to keep his players hungry. Indian teams in the past have been in this situation and got carried away the euphoria of a win, the accolades and slipped from there. The most important thing for Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher is to keep everyone on their toes. I hope they're practicing and training in Southampton. I know they needed a three-day break, which is absolutely fine; get your bodies fresh and come back hungry for the Southampton Test match. That's the first and foremost criteria for India at the moment.

Secondly, the pitch will be a very important one. I've always said that India have done well on pitches that help the bowlers. If you look at the wins around the world - in Perth, Durban, Headingley and Nottingham - those pitches were green and that made our bowlers capable of picking 20 Test wickets. I think England will have no other choice but to prepare green pitches in Southampton and the next two Test matches. The reasons are, firstly, that they don't have a spinner.

Although Moeen Ali has done a good job, they know that the only way they can pick 20 wickets is to prepare pitches that will help their seamers. That's a good thing for India. For MS Dhoni, its important to assess the pitch. I know that Dhoni over the years has stuck to his XI and I don't see him changing the team. Its the right way to go. Its a policy that helps players develop and flourish and be safe and pressure-free and perform in an environment in which they know that the captain backs them. Its important that Dhoni continues with the same side. Yes, there are questions about Stuart Binny, but looking at how Dhoni goes about his job I don't think see any change in the side.

Number three: I don't consider this as something Dhoni must do, but something he can ponder. On flat pitches, Dhoni at No 6 is fine, but on pitches that are green he may just get the feeling that he's a bit higher up. So is there a case for Rohit Sharma? Make him bat at No 6 because Stuart Binny hasn't bowled enough in this Test series. Bring in Rohit Sharma at No 6, bat Dhoni at No 7 and then play four bowlers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja. You've got Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan to bowl a few overs.

When you look at this English top order, other than Ian Bell who is struggling for form, none of the batsmen, whether is [Alastair] Cook, [Gary] Ballance, or [Sam] Robson, will take the game away from you. They are accumulators, people who bat, bat and bat to get runs in Test cricket. There's no [Kevin] Pietersen, no [Marcus] Trescothick, no [Andrew] Flintoff who can take the game away from you in a session. So Dhoni as a captain will always have control of the game. From that point of view, he can always considering bringing in Rohit Sharma to bat at No 6. India need to get ahead of this Test match, to get 450 in one of their innings.

Fourth, which is very important for MS Dhoni, is to make sure he gets Mohammed Shami back on track. Ishant Sharma has been splendid and Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been a revelation on this tour. His attitude has made the dressing room a lot stronger, gutsier. Its a very infectious thing in the dressing room, that if the players start to believe that 'if he can do it, I can too' and that helps players get better. More than Bhuvneshwar Kumar's bowling, its his batting that has made the players believe that if he at No 7 or 8 can bat against the new ball, then we can as well. And that's a big boost for the Indian batting line-up.

The last and most important thing is that Dhoni should have learnt from the Lord's Test. If you look at the Test in Johannesburg when Dhoni went out and batted first, India almost won. Here, India were forced to bat first but they would have probably bowled first on that surface, because they lost the toss. Here is a lesson for Dhoni in overseas conditions: if you take pressure early on, it goes back on the opposition when they bat fourth. So even if its a 50-50 or a doubtful pitch where you feel that it may seam or bounce or be a bit more helpful for the bowlers - bat. That's the only way you can win Test matches. Its a risk you have to take early on, but it can bare fruits on day four or five. As it did at Lord's.

England vs India 2014 - Sourav Ganguly's five tips for MS Dhoni in Southampton Test | gocricket.com

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