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All That Has Happened In Sports In the Last 24 Hours

All That Has Happened In Sports In the Last 24 Hours

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19 June 2019

Former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested during the corruption probe into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar

Confirming a report by online news publication Mediapart, the official said Platini was taken into custody on Tuesday as part of the investigation into the awarding of the tournament. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Platini, a former France soccer great, was being detained at the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police outside Paris.

England beat Afghanistan by 150 runs at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester

With this win, the hosts have moved up to the top of the points table, with 8 points from five matches. Afghanistan remain stuck at the bottom of the table, with 0 points from five matches.

Morgan’s six-hitting spree in his career-best 148 set the tone for England’s team total of 25 sixes, which was also a new ODI innings record.

The Dubliner’s innings, which featured 118 runs in boundaries, was all the more impressive as Morgan had been doubtful for this match with a back spasm suffered in England’s win over the West Indies, in which he could not bat.

Ex-Australia Rudgy player says that “the devil” is influencing the transgender debate

Sacked Australia full-back Israel Folau says “the devil” is trying to influence the debate over transgender rights.

Folau, 30, is taking legal action after having his Rugby Australia contract terminated over a social media post saying “hell awaits” gay people.

In a church sermon on Sunday, he again criticised homosexuality.

Folau also said “kids in primary school” were being allowed to “change their gender” because the government was taking away input from parents.

In April, Tasmania became the first state in Australia to make it legally optional to list gender on birth certificates.

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18 June 2019

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has shot down rumours that the national cricket team had violated their curfew the day before the match against India

After the sad but expected loss, many were quick to criticise the team for its lack of fitness and the apparent flouting of the curfew to fix blame for its lacklustre performance, especially after a series of photos and videos showing certain members of the team allegedly socialising past curfew went viral online.

“The cricketers did not violate their curfew,” a PCB spokesperson told the media. “The videos and photographs that went viral [on social media] are from two days before the match,” the spokesperson said. “The day before the match against India, all the players were in their hotel rooms by curfew time,” he added.

The KP government has allocated Rs20 billion budget for sports, tourism, archaeology, culture and youth affairs in fiscal budget

An official source in finance department revealed that the amount would be spent on 43 ongoing and 32 new schemes. The ongoing schemes included multi-purpose gigantic sports projects from Chitral to Dera Ismail Khan, tourism projects and projects for youth affairs, he said adding

Rs 2090.240 million would be earmarked for 32 new schemes. The government has allocated Rs5.5bn for the merged tribal districts for development of sports infrastructure construction of 1000 grounds at Tehsil and district levels.

Shoaib Akhtar has criticized Sarfaraz Ahmed’s game plan against India at the ICC World Cup

While speaking in a video on his Youtube channel, Akhtar questioned Sarfaraz’s decision to bowl first against India, despite playing five regular bowlers.

“The mistakes committed by the Indian team during the Champions Trophy 2017 final were repeated by Pakistan today,” said Akhtar. “I can’t understand how Sarfaraz can be so brainless. How could he forget that we don’t chase very well. Knowing our strength, which is bowling, is important. Toss was very crucial and even if Pakistan had made 260, with their bowling, they could have defended it.”

He added: “It’s a very saddening and disheartening performance from the Pakistan team captain. I wanted to see shades of Imran Khan in him but it’s too late for him now.”

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16 June 2019

South Africa beats Afghanistan by 9 wickets at the Cricket World Cup 2019

South Africa kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the World Cup semi-finals, crushing Afghanistan by nine wickets on Saturday to record their first victory at the tournament.

Faf du Plessis’s side endured a torrid start to their campaign, losing their first three matches before a no result against the West Indies.

But the outcome never looked in doubt in Cardiff, with man-of-the-match Imran Tahir taking four wickets as South Africa bundled out their opponents for a meagre 125 after two rain delays cut the match to 48 overs per side.

Srindhar says that India is keen to make it’s fielding better count against Pakistan

Pakistan looked sloppy in their defeat by Australia in Taunton, where Sarfraz Ahmed’s team dropped catches, one by the skipper himself, in a display plagued by misfields including over-throws. In contrast, India out-fielded Australia in their victory at The Oval last Sunday.

“Fielding, I’d say, is vital in every match,” Sridhar told reporters at Trent Bridge after India’s match against New Zealand was washed out. “We saw that at The Oval on Sunday when we played Australia. Although we had a big total on the board, we had to field out of our skins to defend the total.

The chairman of Prime Minister Task Force on Sports Ehsan Mani has said that there is no need to issue any grant to any national sports federation

In a media talk the other day, Mani was reminded that none of the sports federations have received annual grants from the Pakistan Sports Board (PCB) this year. His reply was: “The grants should not be given until the time these federations assure the government about their business plan. At least the government has the right to ask from the beneficiary of the grant what it will achieve and what their targets are? How much the funds will help you and there will also be accountability.”

When Mani was told about the upcoming South Asian Games, to be held in Nepal in December this year, and the government must release funds to ensure that proper training camps are set up to field a strong Pakistan contingent, he said: “Why Pakistan should participate in these games when it has to come last.”

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15 June 2019

Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar has filed a civil lawsuit against an Australian bat manufacturer, accusing it of using his name and image to promote products and then failing to pay him $2 million in royalties

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar celebrates after scoring a century during the second One Day International (ODI) cricket match at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior on February 24, 2010. India are currently 198 runs for the loss of one wicket after thirty overs after electing to bat first. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA

In Federal Court papers filed this month and reviewed by Reuters, Tendulkar said Sydney-based Spartan Sports International agreed in 2016 to pay him at least $1 million a year to use his image, logo and promotional services to sell “Sachin by Spartan” sporting goods and clothing.

The retired star batsman soon went to work promoting the products, and appeared at a range of promotional events in places such as London and the Indian financial hub of Mumbai, the documents showed.

Joe Root led England to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over West Indies

Chasing a modest 213 for victory, Root and Jonny Bairstow shared an opening partnership of 95. After Bairstow fell for 45, Root and Chris Woakes added 104 for the second wicket.

Woakes, promoted up the order due to injuries, departed for 40 but Root and Ben Stokes took the hosts and tournament favourites to their target with more than 16 overs to spare. England’s third victory in four matches lifted them to second in the 10-team standings while West Indies are sixth following their second loss.

Lionel Messi back again for another shot at Copa glory

TOPSHOT – Argentina’s forward Lionel Messi reacts during an international friendly football match between Argentina and Venezuela at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on March 22, 2019 in preparation for the Copa America to be held in Brazil in June and July 2019. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP) (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi was fed up and hurting three years ago, on the losing side once again at the Copa America. “For me, the national team is over. I’ve done all I can,” Messi said after Argentina’s penalty-shootout loss to Chile at the 2016 edition in the United States.

Three years later, the five-time world player of the year is back at South America’s biggest tournament, the guy Argentina is relying on once again to end their trophy drought in international football.

Now 31, Messi is still among the best players in the world. He is coming off another prolific season for Barcelona 51 goals in 50 matches in all competitions where he led the Spanish team to a fourth league title in five years.

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14 June 2019

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani that international cricket will return to Pakistan later this year

The country will be hosting matches for the Asian test championship against Sri Lanka in September and Bangladesh in January/February next year.

“This is very good news for Pakistan cricket and it will herald the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan,” he said while taking to media at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. Mani said the ICC test championship is spanned over two years and will end in the year 2021.

Imamul Haq expects ‘huge-pressure game’ against India

Wednesday’s 41-run loss to the reigning champions in Taunton left Pakistan eighth in the 10-team table and with plenty to do if they are to qualify for the top four, who will contest the semi-finals.

Asked if the reverse at Somerset’s headquarters meant Sunday’s match at Old Trafford was now one Pakistan simply had to win, Imam replied: “Yes, we’ve had one game rained off, which was very important for us — every game now is very important for us, so yes you can say that.”

Tears as badminton star Lee quits after cancer battle

Cancer-hit badminton star Lee Chong Wei announced his retirement on Thursday, ending a brilliant career in which he collected a swathe of honours but never won a world or Olympic title.

Lee, who spent a total of 348 weeks as world number one but lost six world and Olympic finals, wept as he called it quits months after fighting off nose cancer. “My decision to retire is a heavy one. I really love this sport. But it is a demanding sport. I thank all Malaysians for the past 19 years,” Lee, 36, told a news conference.

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13 June 2019

Australia’s Hazlewood finds the World Cup too painful to watch after being left out of the national team

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 03: Josh Hazelwood speaks before an Australian nets session at Adelaide Oval on December 3, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/Getty Images)

The 27-year-old was overlooked after being out of action since January with a back injury, as selectors preferred him to focus on getting ready for the Ashes Test series in England, which begins in August.

Hazlewood is currently in camp at Brisbane with the Australia A squads — along with the likes of Peter Handscomb, Travis Head and Marcus Harris — ahead of their departure for England on Friday for a seven-week tour.

Now fully fit, he said he was trying to avoid the World Cup and direct his energies elsewhere.

The ICC has defended it’s no-reserve-day decision, blames unseasonable weather instead

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday defended not scheduling reserve days for group matches at the rain-marred World Cup and blamed the disruptions on ‘extremely unseasonable weather’.

A record three matches have already been either abandoned or called off in the weather-hit tournament and the forecast is for further washouts this week.

The organisers have been criticised for not allotting reserve days in the group stage and outgoing ICC chief executive David Richardson said it was not a feasible idea.

Pakistan’s FIFA World Cup qualification at risk with loss to Cambodia

A 2-1 loss to Cambodia on Tuesday means they will now have to wait another four years to end their unenviable record of not having won any of their 32 qualifying matches for world football’s showpiece tournament in a run stretching back to 1989.

The 4-1 defeat on aggregate meant Pakistan went out at the first round of the joint-qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China. For the next four years, they will have to make do without competitive matches until the next qualifying cycle begins. Pakistan, whose football scene has been burdened by politics, corruption and incompetence for years, just made it to the qualifiers.

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12 June 2019

Cricket fans lash out at the ICC, as the rain keeps interfering with the World Cup

Cricket – ICC Cricket World Cup – Bangladesh v Sri Lanka – The County Ground, Bristol, Britain – June 11, 2019 Groundstaff work on the field before play Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

The rain has started to make its presence felt in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match at Bristol was the first casualty of rain as it was abandoned without a ball being bowled. On Monday, South Africa vs West Indies was abandoned after only 7.3 overs of play was possible in Southampton. And on Tuesday, the rain yet again washed out the Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka match in Bristol.

To make things worse, the weather forecast is not good for the upcoming games as well. There are chances of Pakistan’s second match being washed-out as well as they face Australia on Wednesday at Taunton. Not only this, the weather for India vs New Zealand clash at Trent Bridge in Nottinghamshire doesn’t look good and the game could be washed-out as well.

Faf Du Plessis says that De Villiers would have helped South Africa’s chances at the World Cup, but it was too late

South Africa really could have used A.B. de Villiers’ experience at the ongoing World Cup. Even more, it could have used his runs, according to their captain Faf du Plessis.

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

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

Mohammad Shahzad threatens to quit cricket after being declared unfit  for the remainder of the World Cup by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB)

The opening batsman and wicket-keeper played in Afghanistan’s the first two matches but the ACB cut him from the squad last Thursday, saying his knee injury would not allow him to play any further part in the tournament.

The 32-year-old, who picked up seven runs over the losses to Australia and Sri Lanka, said medical advice he had received said he would have been fit to play in a few of days after having his knee drained.

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11 June 2019

South Africa’s Cricket World Cup chances appear to have been washed out, just like their match against the West Indies

South Africa’s Faf du Plessis (L) reacts with teammates Farhaan Behardien (C) and David Miller after their loss in the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland on March 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

The ‘no result’ has given them a first point of the competition from four matches, but they likely needed double that in order to compete for the knockout phase. West Indies now have three points from three games.

It is more bad luck for the South Africans, who have endured injuries to key bowlers Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi, and lost their opening three matches to England, Bangladesh and India. Rain had been predicted in Southampton, with the match the second of the tournament to be washed out after Sri Lanka versus Pakistan was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Bristol.

Imam-ul-Haq can’t wait to go up against Australia’s Mitchell Starc on Wednesday’s match of the Cricket World Cup

The 23-year-old, a nephew of Pakistan great Inzamam-ul-Haq, said the confidence he had gained from facing England quicks Jofra Archer and Mark Wood would help him tame the Australia attack.

“Starc isn’t a threat,” said Imam. “In fact I am excited over the prospect of facing him. Same was said about Archer and Wood but we played them with confidence.” Imam scored a solid 44 in an 82-run opening stand against England in Nottingham, setting up Pakistan’s second-highest total ever in a World Cup of 348 for eight in a match they won by 14 runs.

That came after he could only muster two runs in Pakistan’s seven-wicket defeat against the West Indies in their opening game, when they were bowled for a paltry 105. “I have played (Kagiso) Rabada and Dale Steyn in more difficult conditions in South Africa,” said Imam, referring to Pakistan’s tour of South Africa earlier this year.

Yuvraj Singh has retired from international cricket with immediate effect, although he will look to play on in Twenty20 leagues around the world

The 37-year-old all-rounder, accompanied by his wife and mother, told reporters of his decision at a city hotel close to the Wankhede Stadium where India lifted their last 50-overs World Cup title in 2011. “After almost 17 years of international cricket on and off, I have decided to move on,” he said after being reduced to tears by a video of the highlights of his career.

Yuvraj, who played the last of his 304 one-day internationals two years ago, was a key cog in India’s World T20 triumph in 2007 and was player-of-the-tournament at the World Cup four years later.

In his heyday, Yuvraj was one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in the game — as Englands Stuart Broad discovered when he was bludgeoned for six sixes in one over during the 2007 World T20.

Aaron Finch says that Adam Zampa may have been using hand warmers, in response to a flood of ball-tampering accusations on social media

Video footage showed Zampa putting his hand into his pocket before rubbing the ball prior to bowling the 24th over.

Zampa’s teammates Steve Smith and David Warner have just returned to the national setup after serving 12-month ban for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa early last year.

“I haven’t seen the photos, but I know that he has hand warmers in his pocket,” Finch told reporters. “He has them every single game he plays”

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10 June 2019

India beats Australia by 36 runs at yesterday’s match of the Cricket World Cup 2019

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan hit a sparkling century to help India post 352 for five. The opening batsman led the Indian charge after captain Virat Kohli won the toss and batted — a decision he said was a “no-brainer” given the sunny conditions in south London.

Kohli also came out all guns blazing to smash 82 and combine with Hardik Pandya for a 81-run third-wicket stand that saw the pair pummel world champions Australia’s bowlers. The left-handed Dhawan made 117 off 109 balls and shared an opening stand of 127 with Rohit Sharma (57) that set the tone for the innings.

Rafael Nadal wins his historic 12th Roland Garros title and 18th Grand Slam crown after beating Austria’s Dominic Thiem

The 33-year-old Spaniard becomes the first player, man or woman, to win the same Slam 12 times after seeing off a brave challenge from a weary Thiem in a repeat of the 2018 final. Nadal is now just two behind Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 majors and three ahead of Novak Djokovic who was knocked out by Thiem in the semi-finals.

The world number two also took his Paris record to an astonishing 93 wins and just two losses having previously won the title in 2005-2008, 2010-2014, 2017 and 2018.

Barbara Bonansea helps Italy win over Australia, claiming a 2-1 Group C victory in the Women’s World Cup

Juventus’ Bonansea pounced on a dreadful first touch from Clare Polkinghorne to race through and level for the Italians 11 minutes after the break after hotshot striker Sam Kerr had rammed home the opener for the Matildas on the rebound from her own 22nd-minute penalty.

Daniela Sabatino thought she had won it for Italy with nine minutes remaining when she finished well after hitting the post, only for her goal to be ruled out for offside.

But Bonansea scored from a free-kick five minutes into added time to see the Italians home on their return to the World Cup after a 20-year absence.

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9 June 2019

Wahab Riaz revealed in a press conference how Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis inspired him

Wahab led the Pakistan attack with 3-82 in his team’s surprise 14-run win over tournament favourites England on Monday and immediately gave the credit to Wasim and Waqar. “I met Wasim and Waqar last week and they told me not to fear anyone. Wasim told me that I looked great and those words inspired me a lot,” he said.

Wahab admitted he needed words of encouragement after his disappointing form in recent years. “When you are not in the team then you need encouragement and the two great bowlers helped me get back to my full confidence.” After a dismal opening match defeat against the West Indies, Pakistan kick-started their World Cup campaign at England’s expense on Monday.

Ashleigh Barty has ended Australia´s 46-year wait for the French Open title

Ashleigh Barty ended Australia´s 46-year wait for a French Open singles title on Saturday by thrashing nervous Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in a one-sided women´s final.

Eighth seed Barty got off to a strong start and never looked back, winning 6-1, 6-3 after only 70 minutes to claim her maiden Grand Slam title.

The 23-year-old will rise to second in the world behind only Naomi Osaka when the latest rankings are released next week, after becoming the first Australian winner at Roland Garros since Margaret Court won the last of her five trophies in 1973.

Bristol match against Sri Lanka has left Pakistan Cricket team captain Sarfraz Ahmed frustrated

It was a blow to Pakistan’s bid to reach the semi-finals and Sarfraz said: “As a team we really wanted to play this match, especially after gaining momentum with the win against England. It is unfortunate that we were not able to play.”

Sri Lanka’s next game is against Bangladesh here on Tuesday. Pakistan play defending champions Australia in Taunton on Wednesday.

“Our next match is against Australia. Like other teams in the tournament they are also tough opponents and they also have momentum as they have won their first two matches.”

Australia’s Adam Zampa has been reprimanded for using abusive language during the World Cup match against West Indies

Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa has received an official reprimand and one demerit point for breaching the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s code of conduct during the World Cup match against West Indies. Zampa was charged by the ICC for using an “audible obscenity” at the end of the 29th over of the West Indies innings at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

“Zampa admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Jeff Crowe of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing,” the ICC said. Four demerit points within a two-year period incurs a ban from one-test or two ODIs or two T20Is, whatever comes first for the player.

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8 June 2019

Rain washes out Pakistan-Sri Lanka World Cup match at Bristol

The World Cup match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball being bowled on Friday after persistent rain in Bristol.

The game was scheduled to begin at 10:30am local time (0930 GMT) but was eventually called off in the afternoon, with both teams being awarded a point. It is the first match at the World Cup in England and Wales to be abandoned without a result. Both teams now have three points, with one win and a loss apiece. The call-off upset fans who had travelled to watch the game.

“We came from Lahore to watch this match and it proved a damp squib,” said Farhan Malik. “We lost a crucial point because we were sure of beating Sri Lanka.” The decision to call off the game was announced shortly after 3:45pm local time (1445 GMT) following persistent rain throughout the morning at Bristol’s County Ground.

No clear favourite at World Cup so far: Allan Border

No clear favourite has emerged to win the World Cup this year because the first few games have shown that all 10 teams are capable of beating each other at the tournament, former Australia skipper Allan Border has said.

Only New Zealand, Australia and India have not been beaten yet, with the latter two set to meet at the Oval on Sunday.

“There’s no obvious runaway-looking team at the moment,” Border wrote in a column for the International Cricket Council.

“All the sides are basically showing they can beat each other. That’s the main thing that’s come out of these early games.

West Indies batsmen must take responsibility: Holder

West Indies captain Jason Holder said his batsmen need to take more responsibility after they lost to Australia by 15 runs in the Cricket World Cup on Thursday.

Chasing 289 for victory, West Indies made a poor start before Shai Hope (68) and Nicholas Pooran (40) rebuilt the innings, but the Mitchell Starc-led Australian attack restricted them to 273-9.

“Guys just need to learn from the mistakes that they make,” Holder told reporters.

“Take a little bit more responsibility, and chasing especially, you just need to take responsibility, and it’s important that one of the top four batters be there at the very, very end.”

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7 June 2019

Woman who has accused Neymar of rape appears in a Brazil TV interview

A woman has appeared on Brazilian TV to go public with accusations that she was raped by star footballer Neymar. Najila Trindade, who filed a rape allegation last Friday, told SBT Brasil the incident in a Paris hotel on 15 May was “an assault together with rape”.

Neymar has denied the accusations, posting a WhatsApp message exchange to try to prove his innocence. Ms Trindade says she was attracted to the Paris St-Germain and Brazil forward and wanted to have sex with him.

She said she was flown to Paris and put up in a hotel at Neymar’s expense. Ms Trindade said she was an “ordinary person – a model and a student of interior design” and a “daughter and mother”.

The interviewer asked Ms Trindade whether what happened was an assault or rape, and Ms Trindade replied that it was “an assault together with rape”. She said that when she met Neymar, he was “aggressive, totally different than the boy that I got to know through the messages”.

Ms Trindade said she was initially prepared for consensual sex but demanded the use of a condom. She alleged that Neymar refused, became aggressive again and raped her. She said she told him to stop but he refused.

ICC has asked the BCCI to remove Indian army insignia from Dhoni’s gloves

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for removal of an Indian army insignia from Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s gloves, according to media reports on Thursday.

The “Balidaan Badge” or the army insignia was spotted on Dhoni’s gloves during India’s opening game on Wednesday in the ongoing World Cup, Hindustan Times reported. Claire Furlong, ICC’s general manager of Strategic Communications, said that the BCCI has been asked to get the symbol removed from Dhoni’s gloves. “We have requested the BCCI to get it removed,” she was quoted as saying by NDTV.

According to Hindustan Times, Balidaan is a distinct insignia of India’s special forces, which form part of the Parachute Regiment. It has a commando dagger pointed downwards, with upward-extending wings extending from the blade and a scroll superimposed on the blade with “Balidaan” inscribed in Devanagari, said the publication, adding only paramilitary commandos are allowed to wear the badge.

Fifa vice president Ahmad has been questioned by French authorities

Fifa vice president Ahmad was detained and questioned by French authorities on Thursday in the latest criminal investigation to hit the governing body of world soccer, a day before the start of the Women’s World Cup.

Ahmad is “being questioned by the French authorities in relation to allegations related to his mandate” as president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Fifa said in a statement.

“Fifa is unaware of the details surrounding this investigation and is therefore not in a position to make any comment on it specifically,” the governing body said. “Fifa is asking the French authorities for any information that might be relevant to investigations taking place within its ethics committee.”

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6 June 2019

New Zealand cricket team beats Bangladesh by two wickets

New Zealand on Wednesday edged out a plucky Bangladesh side by two wickets in their 2019 World Cup clash at the Oval to make it two wins out of two in the event. Chasing 245 to win, the Kiwis had their trouble thanks to some tight bowling by the Tigers but they reached the target in the end with two wickets and 17 balls to spare. Ross Taylor’s 82-run knock was pivotal to the successful run chase.

Earlier, paceman Matt Henry grabbed four wickets as New Zealand bowled Bangladesh out for 244. Henry finished with figures of 4-47 to follow his three wickets against Sri Lanka as Bangladesh — sent in to bat — lost their last six wickets for just 65 runs.

England team says they will bounce back from Pakistan defeat

England’s narrow defeat by Pakistan in their second World Cup match was by no means a “car crash” and the hosts are determined to bounce back quickly from the disappointment, fast bowler Chris Woakes has said.

England thumped South Africa in their World Cup opener but fell 14 runs short of Pakistan in their second game of the tournament at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Woakes, who took three wickets against Pakistan but also conceded 71 runs in his eight overs, added that England were probably better off for getting their first defeat of the tournament out of the way early.

Nadal and Federer are set up to play each other at French Open semi-final

French Open fans will be treated to the semi-final they had always hoped for as great rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal advanced in contrasting fashion on Tuesday to set up a last-four encounter at Roland Garros.

While 11-times champion Nadal demolished Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1, 6-3, 20-times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer had a tougher task in despatching fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

“The next opponent is ok. He knows how to play on clay, unfortunately,” Federer, back at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, joked.

“Thinking back, what a pleasure to be back at Roland Garros. If I came back on clay, it’s also perhaps to play Rafa. Here it is. I have the match.”

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5 June 2019

Pradeep and Malinga strike as Sri Lanka recover to beat Afghanistan

Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga starred with the ball as Sri Lanka fought back to crush Afghanistan’s hopes of a memorable World Cup victory on Tuesday.

Afghanistan, bidding for just their second win in a World Cup match and their first over a Test nation were in command halfway through a gloomy day in Cardiff after dismissing Sri Lanka for 201.

But faced with a rain-revised target of 187 in 41 overs, their batting let them down again as they were bowled out for 152.

‘Harsh words’ are in store for the South African cricket team, warns teammate du Plessis

Faf du Plessis warned his South Africa flops to expect “harsh words” as the skipper fights to save his country’s spluttering World Cup challenge.

Du Plessis’ side are already in danger of blowing their World Cup bid after two defeats in the first four days of the tournament left their campaign in turmoil.

Thrashed by 104 runs against hosts England on Thursday, South Africa struggled again when they returned to The Oval to face Bangladesh on Sunday.

‘Don’t panic’ Root tells England after Pakistan defeat

Joe Root urged England to keep calm and carry on after a surprise 14-run defeat by Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Monday checked their progress at the World Cup.

Both Root and Jos Buttler scored hundreds but Pakistan still managed to end a run of 11 straight losses in completed One-Day Internationals — including a 4-0 series defeat by England — with a well-deserved win.

But with all 10 teams playing each other in the round-robin group stage, one defeat is by no means the end of England’s latest bid to win the men’s World Cup for the first time.

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4 June 2019

AFP photographer becomes World Cup star with stunning crowd catch

An AFP photographer found himself being acclaimed by a capacity crowd at the Oval on Sunday after he held a stunning catch during a World Cup match between Bangladesh and South Africa.

Ian Kington was stationed at the Pavilion End of the ground, near the steps leading up to the players’ dressing rooms, when South Africa captain Faf du Plessis went to a fifty with a soaring straight six off spinner Mosaddek Hossain.

As the ball hurtled towards him and some of his fellow photographers behind long-off, Kington — keeping hold of a large telephoto lens with his left hand, calmly caught the ball with his right and then, grinning broadly, turned to show the crowd he had held onto the ball.

Australia planning to give West Indies taste of own medicine

West Indies used plenty of short-pitched deliveries to dismantle Pakistan in their World Cup opener but the Caribbean batsmen will get a taste of their own medicine when they face champions Australia, fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile has said.

A blistering Oshane Thomas-led pace attack swept Pakistan away for a dismal 105 in under 22 overs on Friday as West Indies wrapped up an easy seven-wicket victory at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

Aaron Finch-led Australia also notched up a convincing seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Bristol on Saturday and will next face the exciting West Indies.

Afghanistan pledge to learn from Australia drubbing

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib said his side would learn from their seven-wicket humbling by Australia on Saturday as they seek to regroup for the rest of their World Cup campaign.

The rank outsiders at the tournament in England and Wales had a terrible start against the defending champions in Bristol, slumping to five for two, with both openers out for nought.

They fought back bravely, with 43 from Rahmat Shah and 51 from Najibullah Zadran, but were still dismissed for 207 with more than 11 overs to spare.

Australia romped to victory in the 35th over of their innings, David Warner top-scoring with 89 not out.

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3 June 2019

Mashrafe wants respect as Bangladesh beat South Africa by 21 runs at World Cup

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 18: Mashrafe Bin Mortaza of Bangladesh celebrates taking the wicket of Ashar Stanekzai of Afghanistan during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between Bangladesh and Afghanistan at Manuka Oval on February 18, 2015 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Mashrafe Mortaza hopes Bangladesh have earned respect with their impressive 21-run win over beleaguered South Africa in their World Cup opener on Sunday.

Mashrafe’s side posted 330 for six as Mushfiqur Rahim (78) and Shakib Al Hasan (75) laid the foundations of their impressive display at the Oval.

Mahmudullah’s boisterous 46 not out from 33 balls pushed Bangladesh past their previous highest one-day international total of 329 for six against Pakistan in 2015.

Attempting to become the first team to successfully chase more than 330 to win a World Cup match, South Africa fell short at 309 for eight.

Neymar denies he raped woman after allegations

Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar on Sunday denied raping a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her at a Paris hotel, with his father claiming he is the victim of blackmail.

According to a complaint filed with Sao Paulo police and reported by the UOL and GloboEsporte websites, the world’s most expensive footballer is accused of “using violence to have sex with the victim without her consent”.

“I am accused of rape, it’s a big word, it’s very strong, but that is what has happened,” Neymar said in a seven-minute video posted on Instagram.

In monster upset, underdog Andy Ruiz shocks Anthony Joshua for three heavyweight world titles

Anthony Joshua’s bid to make a splash in his US debut ended in misery for the three-belt heavyweight world champion with a stunning loss to underdog Andy Ruiz at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Ruiz recorded a monster upset, by knocking down Britain’s Joshua four times to take the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization titles.

The 29-year-old Ruiz came into the fight as a massive 32-1 underdog. But he won it by TKO in the middle of the seventh when the referee stopped it at 1:26 of the round after the fourth knockdown.

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2 June 2019

England batsmen aiming to ‘let go’ against Pakistan at CWC

One-day cricket’s most destructive batting lineup is playing on a world-record batting strip against a team seemingly in disarray.

There’s only one winner when top-ranked England plays Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup at Trent Bridge, right? England batting coach Graham Thorpe tried to keep a lid on expectations ahead of Monday’s game, but it must have been difficult.

It sums up the aura around England’s batting lineup that scoring 311-8 against South Africa in the World Cup opener at The Oval was regarded as slightly underwhelming.

Expect a bigger total if the English bat first against Pakistan at a ground where they have made a world-record total twice since the last World Cup against Pakistan in 2016 and when hitting 481 against Australia last year.

“We didn’t quite unlock the door in terms of our batting at The Oval,” Thorpe said Saturday on a sunny afternoon at Trent Bridge, explaining that England wasn’t able “to really let go because we kept losing wickets at crucial times”.

José Antonio Reyes, Formerplayer for Arsenal and Sevilla dies in car accident

Spanish footballer Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic accident, aged 35, his former club Sevilla said on Saturday.

“We couldn’t be announcing any worse news. Our beloved former youth player Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic accident. Rest in peace,” said a statement on Sevilla’s official Twitter account. Reyes last played for Spanish second tier side Extremadura. He also played for Arsenal, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid among other sides and the Spain national team.

Serena Williams loses to Sofia Kenin in third round

Three-time champion Serena Williams was stunned in the French Open third round by unseeded American Sofia Kenin. Williams, 37, was seeded 10th but lost 6-2 7-5 to her 20-year-old compatriot, who was at times booed by the crowd. The defeat means Williams’ quest to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles continues. “I’m so happy with this win – obviously you can tell with these emotions,” a crying Kenin told the crowd on Philippe Chatrier.

“Playing against Serena, you have to fight for every point.”

Williams’ defeat followed the shock exit by world number one Naomi Osaka a few hours earlier and leaves only three top-10 players in the women’s draw.

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1 June 2019

Chacha Cricket rallies Pakistan fans at World Cup

Pakistan super-fan “Chacha Cricket” on Friday celebrated 50 years of watching his favourite sport by offering his team noisy support despite a World Cup thumping by West Indies.

Chacha Sufi Jalil, 69, is on his 12th trip to Britain, having flown over for the 1999 World Cup, a number of bilateral series, the 2009 World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy in 2013 and 2017.

“I am a fan for 50 years today,” Jalil told AFP as he entered Trent Bridge stadium to support Pakistan. The match itself was a damp squib for Pakistan´s large number of fans as their team were dismissed for a paltry 105 before West Indies romped to victory by seven wickets in just 13.4 overs.

Federer, Nadal reach French Open fourth round, Pliskova out

Roger Federer became the oldest man to reach the French Open fourth round in 47 years on Friday by winning his record 400th Grand Slam match, while Rafael Nadal won in four sets as women´s second seed Karolina Pliskova was dumped out.

The 37-year-old Federer, playing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, saw off the 63rd-ranked Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (10/8) on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

It is the 14th time the 20-time Grand Slam champion has reached the second week in Paris, and he will face Argentina´s world number 68 Leonardo Mayer for a quarter-final spot.

Smith, Warner hungry as Australia launch World Cup campaign against Afghanistan

Steve Smith and David Warner will seek redemption on the biggest stage as they re-launch their one-day international careers for Australia against Afghanistan at the World Cup on Saturday.

The star batsmen were both banned for a year for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal but they have found form on their return to the international set-up.

Warner was the top runscorer in the recent Indian Premier League while Smith struck a hundred in a warm-up victory against England last weekend.

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31 May 2019

Mohammad Amir fit for World Cup debut: Sarfaraz

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 07: Mohammad Amir of Pakistan at The Kia Oval on May 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Pace spearhead Mohammad Amir is fit and available for selection for Pakistan’s opening World Cup match against the West Indies on Friday, captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said.

There was speculation that the 27-year-old, who missed the last four matches of the one-day international series against England earlier this month, might not be able to make his World Cup debut at Trent Bridge.

England start 2019 World Cup campaign with 104-run win over South Africa

England inflicted a heavy 104-run defeat over South Africa on Thursday in the opening match of the 2019 World Cup at Kennington Oval in London.

Chasing a 308-run target, South Africa were dealt an early blow when opener Hashim Amla had to retire hurt after copping a Jofra Archer bouncer.

Quinton de Kock (68) top scored for the visitors and Rassie van der Dussen chipped in with a 50 but no other batsmen did enough for the Africans to pose a serious threat to the hosts.

Chelsea win Europa League amid uncertainty over Hazard future

Eden Hazard helped make it a night to celebrate for Chelsea in Baku, but the Belgian’s confirmation that it was almost certainly his last game for the club opened the way to a summer of uncertainty at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard scored twice, including a penalty, and set up another goal for Pedro Rodriguez after Olivier Giroud had set Chelsea on their way to an emphatic 4-1 win over London rivals Arsenal in the Europa League final in Azerbaijan.

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30 May 2019

2019 Cricket World Cup’s ‘opening party’ takes place in London

The opening ceremony of the 2019 Cricket World Cup took place on Wednesday at The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace in London.

Before the ceremony dubbed the “opening party”, the captains of all 10 participating teams got to meet Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom, at the palace.Prior to the trophy unveiling, a round of two-a-side street cricket match was also played where Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai and former ODI captain Azhar Ali represented Pakistan.

South Africa captain Du Plessis says no need to play like ‘Superman’

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis tried to ease the pressure on his team on the eve of the World Cup by insisting they did not have to play like “Superman” to enjoy success at the tournament.

The Proteas will launch the World Cup against hosts and favourites England at the Oval on Thursday as they begin their latest bid to put decades of disappointment at the event behind them.

South Africa have won only one of seven World Cup knockout matches, against Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals in 2015, since making their tournament debut in 1992.

Hasan Ali does not fear flat pitches at World Cup

Seamer Hasan Ali says he is not worried about the prospect of flat pitches that are likely to favour batsmen during the World Cup in England and Wales.

The 24-year-old was Pakistan’s star performer in the Champions Trophy win in England two years ago, taking 13 wickets to finish as player of the tournament.

But his recent form has been a worry for Pakistan, coinciding with 10 straight ODI losses leading into their opening World Cup match against the West Indies in Nottingham on Friday. Hasan said he knows how to bowl on flat pitches.

“The way modern cricket is going, every bowler needs to know that taking wickets is the key,” Hasan said. “You take wickets and you win matches.”

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29 May 2019

PCB makes contact with Sri Lanka with a view to moving Test series to Pakistan

Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Managing Director Wasim Khan has made contact with Sri Lankan cricket board’s officials in a bid to convince them to move their end-of-the-year Test series from the UAE to Pakistan.

The PCB MD, according to well informed sources within the board, has asked Sri Lankan officials to send to Pakistan its delegation which can then be briefed regarding security plans and arrangements.

Steyn ruled out of South Africa World Cup opener

HOBART, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 11: Dale Steyn of South Africa celebrates after taking the wicket of Alex Carey of Australia during game three of the One Day International series between Australia and South Africa at Blundstone Arena on November 11, 2018 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Dale Steyn has been ruled out of South Africa’s World Cup opener against England on Thursday, with Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson confirming the paceman has failed to shrug off a shoulder injury.

The 35-year-old suffered the injury during the Indian Premier League and will not be risked at the Oval but South Africa hope to have him back in time to face Bangladesh in their second match on Sunday.

Steyn’s fellow fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was declared fit after a back injury, leaving Gibson with just one seamer spot to fill alongside the 24-year-old and Lungi Ngidi.

Archer dismantles Afghanistan in final warm-up

England cruised to a nine-wicket win over Afghanistan in their final World Cup warm-up at The Oval on Monday after a Jofra Archer-led bowling attack restricted the underdogs to 160.

Opener Jason Roy smashed an unbeaten 46-ball 89, studded with 11 fours and four sixes, and Joe Root finished on 29 not out as England chased down the total with 32.3 overs to spare.

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28 May 2019

Fakhar Zaman: Pakistan’s World Cup weapon

Fakhar Zaman was still establishing himself in the Pakistan team when Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball in the Champions Trophy final triggered his unlikely rise from navy sailor to World Cup talisman.

India appeared to have made the perfect start in the 2017 Champions Trophy showpiece when Zaman edged to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni off Bumrah.

However, the Indian fast bowler had overstepped the crease and Zaman, who had scored just three at the time, was given a reprieve that he made the most of, reaching his first one-day international century.

West Indies perfect opportunity to test death bowling: NZ coach

A power-hitting West Indian side will provide the perfect opportunity to test bowling tactics in the final ‘death’ overs ahead of the Cricket World Cup, New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen has said.

While New Zealand’s bowlers produced a superb performance at the top of the innings in Saturday’s six-wicket win over India, Jurgensen said the warmup match against Jason Holder’s side on Tuesday should give them the chance to work on finishing off an innings as well.

“They’ll put us under pressure and I think that will be key for us, especially for the bowlers,” Jurgensen said.

Bajwa’s return to PHF raises several questions

Still awaiting the nod from the General Council, former Olympian Asif Bajwa, who has succeeded Shahbaz Ahmed Sr as Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary at the behest of PHF chief retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, has started deliberations with former stalwarts of the game to get their opinions for rescuing the game.

In the first step, he met strong critic and 1984 Los Angeles Olympic gold medal winning team captain Manzoor Hussain Jr and another ex- Olympian Khawaja Junaid in Lahore the other day. In the next stage he has arrived in Karachi on Thursday evening to carry forward his mission. Bajwa called on former Olympian Hanif Khan at his residence on Friday to seek his support at the national and local level. Secretary KHA Syed Haider Hussain was also present in the meeting. It a move that seems aimed at gaining favour.

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27 May 2019

Kohli sees positives in lower order despite NZ drubbing

India skipper Virat Kohli preferred to highlight the positives from their six-wicket defeat to New Zealand in a Cricket World Cup warm-up on Saturday and was particularly pleased with the performance of the lower order.

Twice-champions India slumped to 39-4 in the 11th over before all-rounders Hardik Pandya (30) and Ravindra Jadeja (54) offered some resistance.

All out for 179 in the 40th over, India were then unable to contain New Zealand’s batsmen and a 114-run stand from skipper Kane Williamson (67) and Ross Taylor (71) helped them to victory with nearly 13 overs to spare.

Old warhorse Malinga keeps Sri Lanka dreaming

Lasith Malinga will be one of the World Cup’s oldest players but the Sri Lanka paceman shows no signs of slowing down as he bids to prove his critics wrong.

Malinga was stripped of the Sri Lanka one-day international captaincy in April after losing all eight matches in a troubled reign that lasted just four months.

Sri Lanka’s selectors, led by former fast bowler Ashantha de Mel, said Malinga was unable to unite the team, while he was also accused of falling out with other senior players.

Pakistan-Bangladesh warm-up game abandoned as rain plays spoilsport

The World Cup warm-up match between Pakistan and Bangladesh in Cardiff on Sunday was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain.

Bangladesh play one more warm-up game against India on Tuesday while Pakistan have no more warm-up matches to play, kicking off their World Cup campaign against West Indies on Friday at Trent Bridge.

Last Friday, Afghanistan had launched their World Cup campaign with a superb performance against Pakistan, winning by three wickets in a tight warm-up at the Bristol County Ground.

Panesar eyes cricket return after conquering mental woes

Former England spinner Monty Panesar says he wants to return to cricket having been cured of the “paranoia/schizophrenia” which bedevilled him over the past few years.

The 37-year-old — who became a bit of a cult hero at his peak taking 167 wickets in 50 Tests — told the Daily Mail he had been helped enormously by former England captain Mike Brearley, who is a respected psychoanalyst.

His career has declined since being unceremoniously let go by Sussex in 2013 — the same year he made the last of his Test appearances — which came after he urinated on a nightclub bouncer.

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26 May 2019

Boult strikes as New Zealand thrash India in World Cup warm-up

Trent Boult starred with the ball as New Zealand thrashed India in a World Cup warm-up match at the Oval on Saturday. The left-arm seamer exploited overcast conditions and a pitch with plenty of grass cover to finish with four for 33 as India were skittled out for just 179 in 39.2 overs.

Ross Taylor (71) and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (67) both spent useful time in the middle as the Black Caps won with almost 13 overs to spare. Earlier, Boult removed openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan for two apiece to leave India 10 for two. Ravindra Jadeja (54) and Hardik Pandya (30) were the only India batsmen to make it past 19.

Players allowed to stay with wives after India match

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has allowed all members of the national squad, who want to stay with their wives during the World Cup, but not before the June 16 blockbuster against arch-rivals India to be held at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Earlier, this permission had only been granted to two players — Haris Sohail and Asif Ali — under specific circumstances. Asif, who is to leave for Cardiff on Saturday to rejoin the Pakistan team there after attending the funeral of his two-year-old daughter who died of cancer, was allowed to accompany wife at this tragic time. Similarly, left-handed batsman Haris was also permitted to be with wife due to a family-related problem.

Uncertainty over Serena fitness, Osaka form at Roland Garros

Serena Williams heads into this year’s French Open as an outsider for a Grand Slam title for possibly the first time in 20 years, with questions surrounding her fitness after a poor start to the season, while Naomi Osaka looks to solidify her position at the top of the women’s game with a third straight major crown.

The 37-year-old Williams is still waiting for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam triumph, with her last victory coming at the 2017 Australian Open shortly before taking a break from the sport due to pregnancy.

Federer, Nadal threaten Djokovic bid for historic Slam

Novak Djokovic can become only the second man in history to have twice held all four Grand Slam titles at the same time with victory at the French Open. However, a returning Roger Federer and rejuvenated Rafael Nadal will once again stand in his way. World number one Djokovic completed his first private stranglehold of all four Slams with victory at Roland Garros in  2016.

Having clinched the 2018 Wimbledon and US Open titles and then a seventh Australian Open crown in January this year, the Serb is tantalisingly close to another ‘Djoko Slam’.

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25 May 2019

Babar Azam primed to thrive under World Cup spotlight

Comparisons with Virat Kohli have been a stumbling block for many batsmen in world cricket but Pakistan’s Babar Azam has embraced the challenge wholeheartedly and will carry his country’s hopes at the upcoming World Cup.

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur first mentioned Azam, the world’s top-ranked Twenty20 international batsman, in the same breath as Indian skipper Kohli early last year, based on the 24-year-old’s potential across formats.

Azam’s international career is just over 100 matches old, but his prowess with the bat has already broken several records.

ICC warns off ‘corruptors’ from Cricket World Cup

The head of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption unit said on Friday he had been in direct contact with around 12 “corruptors” to warn them off the World Cup. Match fixing or spot fixing, where gamblers try to influence specific incidents in a game, remains one of the biggest problems facing cricket, particularly in countries such as India, the sport’s financial powerhouse, where betting is unregulated.

An education video urging players to “recognise, reject and report” any corrupt approaches has been shown to all 10 competing World Cup teams.

Pakistan bowling attack falls flat as Afghanistan win warm-up game by 3 wickets

Afghanistan emerged victorious as they chased a moderate target of 263 runs with three wickets in hand in a warm-up match against Pakistan on Friday ahead of the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

Hashmatullah Shahidi (72) was Afghanistan’s top scorer who remained on the crease till the end.

Earlier, Babar Azam had managed to resuscitate a crumbling Pakistani side with a 112 off 108 balls after the top order fell apart. However, his peers failed to build up on Azam’s innings and post a higher target.

Pakistan to play home leg of football World Cup qualifier against Cambodia in Doha

Qatar will get the first action of the FIFA World Cup it hosts in about three-and-half years’ time on June 11 after it was announced that Pakistan will play the home leg of its first-round qualifier for the 2022 showpiece against Cambodia in Doha.

The announcement came in the early hours of Thursday by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) faction that is recognised by global football body FIFA.

“We can confirm the venue for the match has been approved by FIFA,” a FIFA spokesperson told Dawn on Thursday, referring to the Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium — the 12,000-seat venue that is home to Qatari clubs Al-Ahli and Al-Sailiya. The venue is not among the eight venues for the 2022 World Cup, which FIFA said on Wednesday will remain a 32-team event.

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24 May 2019

Mashrafe urges caution on World Cup hopes

Bangladesh’s cricket captain Mashrafe Mortaza catches a ball during the first T20 international cricket match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on April 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ishara S. KODIKARA

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has poured cold water on fan hopes for this month’s World Cup, warning that the seventh-ranked team was facing an uphill battle in the group stage.

Supporters were jubilant after a tri-nation series win against Ireland and West Indies on the weekend handed Bangladesh its first ever multi-team tournament trophy.

But Mashrafe’s side start the Cup race with a bracing fixture against South Africa, New Zealand and top-ranked hosts England in their first three matches.

Shahzad helps Afghanistan draw ODI series

Mohammad Shahzad smashed a blistering 101 as Afghanistan fine-tuned their World Cup preparations with a 126-run thrashing of Ireland to draw the ODI series on Tuesday.

Afghanistan were put in to bat by the hosts in Belfast and Shahzad made them pay with his 87-ball century. Together with Rahmat Shah, Shahzad put on 150 for the second wicket to help the visitors take control.

Najibullah Zadran added a rapid-fire 60 not out from 33 balls as Afghanistan amassed 305-7 in their 50 overs, a total that set a record for ODIs at Stormont’s Civil Service Cricket Club.

Maxwell hopes for bowling show at World Cup

The bowling side of Glenn Maxwell’s status as an all-rounder is often forgotten amid the fireworks of his power hitting but the mercurial Australian hopes his off-spin can tie a few batsmen in knots at the World Cup.

Although used sparingly during Australia’s 2015 triumph on the pace-friendly pitches of home, Maxwell chipped in with six handy wickets to go with his 324 runs in a fine all-round tournament.

Spin is expected to play a far bigger role in England, particularly with warm weather forecast for the early summer, so Maxwell can see himself playing a bigger role behind specialist spinners Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa.

Europa win would complete wonderful season, says Sarri

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said victory over Arsenal in next week’s Europa League final would complete a wonderful season for the club, despite speculation about his future.

The Italian came in for fierce criticism from the Stamford Bridge fans during his first campaign but ended up steering Chelsea to a third-place finish in the Premier League.

They also reached the League Cup final and former Napoli boss Sarri said the club deserve some silverware.

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23 May 2019

Nida Dar smashed the second-fastest fifty of Women’s T20I cricket, while team lose 4th T20I

Nida Dar smashed the second-fastest fifty of Women’s T20I cricket on Wednesday but it went in vain as South Africa Women chased down the tourists’ seemingly sizable 173-run target in the fourth of the five-match series in Benoni on Wednesday.

After being put in to bat first, Pakistan Women suffered a less-than-ideal start, going two-down at the score of 10. With the openers failing, the middle-order, not for the first time in the series, held firm.

After World Cup selection dream comes true, Wahab vows to give his best

A last-minute call-up to Pakistan’s World Cup squad has given paceman Wahab Riaz fresh impetus to give his best. Out of the team’s plans since its Champions Trophy triumph in 2017, the left-armer was picked on Tuesday as Pakistan announced their final squad for the cricketing showpiece in England.

It came as a surprise to many. Wahab wasn’t even in the 23-member probables’ list for the recently-concluded series against England and the World Cup. But he was dreaming of it all along.

Virat Kohli predicts high-scoring World Cup

Cricket fans should expect a run bonanza at the ICC World Cup in England and Wales starting this month, India captain Virat Kohli said on Tuesday.

Ahead of India’s departure for the tournament, Kohli said local seaming conditions would likely favour batsmen.

“In ICC tournaments the pitches are going to be very good and it’s summer in the UK. We expect high-scoring games,” Kohli told a press conference in Mumbai.

England’s team pick Archer, recall Dawson for World Cup

England selection chief Ed Smith hailed fast bowler Jofra Archer as an ‘outstanding’ talent after including him in the tournament favourites’ World Cup squad on Tuesday.

Barbados-born quick Archer only qualified for England in March and has played just three one-day internationals for the host nation of the showpiece event. But he has now made it into the 15-man World Cup squad that Smith unveiled at Lord’s.

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22 May 2019

India feels confident before ‘most challenging’ World Cup

India are very confident about their form, captain Virat Kohli said on Tuesday before his squad depart for the 10-nation World Cup in England and Wales starting next week.

“Personally, I think this is probably the most challenging World Cup of all the three that I’ve been part of, because of the format,” the 30-year-old Kohli told reporters in Mumbai ahead of the team’s departure.

The World Cup will use a revised format to decide the semi-finalists, with the teams all playing each other in the round-robin stage.

Mercurial Pakistan pin World Cup hopes on rising generation

Pakistan are pinning their hopes for World Cup glory on a crop of youngsters who have the talent to beat anybody but could also pay for their lack of experience. The side have only won the showpiece 50-over tournament once — under the captaincy of current Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in 1992.

Khan pledged to give youth a chance while campaigning for election last year and the squad, with an average age of just 27, reflects the demographics of the country, where around two-thirds of the population are under the age of 30.

Prosecutors want ex-IAAF boss to stand trial

French prosecutors have recommended that the former head of athletics’ governing body IAAF, Lamine Diack, and his son stand trial for allegedly delaying doping sanctions against Russia in return for payment.

Prosecutors have recommended that Diack, who was president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015, be tried for corruption and money laundering.

The prosecutors want five other people, including Diack’s son Papa Massata Diack, a former marketing consultant to the IAAF, to stand trial.

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21 May 2019

Niki Lauda, Austrian Formula 1 legend, has died at 70

Three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his family says, nine months after undergoing a lung transplant. The legendary Austrian took the title for Ferrari in 1975 and 1977 and McLaren in 1984.

For many, he will be remembered for his remarkable recovery and return to racing after being badly burned in a crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix. “[He was] a role model and a benchmark for all of us,” his family said.

‘Gagged’ Junaid Khan shares cryptic photo after being axed from World Cup squad

After he was axed from the World Cup 2019 squad, fast bowler Junaid Khan on Monday shared a cryptic photo of himself with his mouth sealed shut with black tape.

Junaid, Abid Ali and Faheem Ashraf formed the trio that lost their spots on the 15-man roster when Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq announced the final squad today for the big tournament.

Graham Potter appointed new Brighton manager after leaving Swansea

Brighton have appointed Graham Potter as their new manager on a four-year deal.

Potter, 44, leaves Championship side Swansea and replaces Chris Hughton, who was sacked last week after the Seagulls finished 17th in the Premier League.

Potter joined the Welsh side from Swedish side Ostersunds FK in June 2018 and guided them to a 10th-place finish.

“We believe that Graham is an excellent fit for our club,” said Brighton chairman Tony Bloom.

Rivals wary of India’s all-surface attack, says Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Batting has traditionally been India’s strength but their World Cup rivals will also be wary of their all-surface pace attack, swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has said.

The 29-year-old is a key member of the twice world champions’ three-pronged pace attack, which also includes Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.

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20 May 2019

Sana Mir’s final-over heroics seal victory for Pakistan Women over South Africa

Responsible batting under pressure by the middle-order and Sana Mir’s late heroics helped Pakistan Women edge out their South African counterparts by four wickets in the third T20I in Pietermaritzburg.

Chasing 139, Pakistan Women had a horrible start to their innings, losing three wickets for as many runs. With the top order wrecked and out of the way, the hosts were hoping to make quick work of the entire line-up.

Five-star Woakes pushed England to victory against Pakistan

Chris Woakes took five wickets as England beat Pakistan by 54 runs to win the fifth one-day international at Headingley on Sunday. Victory, in their final match before the World Cup hosts and favourites name their tournament squad on Tuesday, saw England to a 4-0 series win after the first match was washed out.

Griezmann whistled as Atletico come back to draw with Levante

Antoine Griezmann was jeered during his last game for Atletico Madrid and Rodrigo might have scored his final goal for the club as they came from behind to draw 2-2 against Levante in La Liga.

Griezmann received whistles at the City of Valencia Stadium from the visiting fans, who were also heard chanting “out, out, out” before goals from Sergio Camello and Rodrigo ensured Atletico at least ended the season with a draw.

“We had to highlight the work of the gladiators who are leaving,” Simeone said afterwards.

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18 May 2019

Pakistan wrap up innings at 340-7 as Imam survives injury scare

Pakistan failed to capitalise on Babar Azam’s century as they were held to a total of 340 for seven by World Cup hosts England in the fourth one-day international at Trent Bridge on Friday.

With tournament favourites England naming their final 15-man World Cup squad on Tuesday, Surrey paceman Tom Curran did his selection prospects no harm with four wickets for 75 runs in a maximum 10 overs.

England, seeking a win that would seal the five-match series at 3-0 up with one to play, were looking at a stiff chase when Pakistan were 178 for one off 30 overs.

The World Cup 2019 winners will be awarded $4 million prize money

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday announced a $4 million prize for the winner of the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2019.

“The total prize pot of $10 million will see the runners-up assured of $2 million and the losing semifinalists $ 800,000 each at the end of the 46-day tournament being played across 11 venues from 30 May,” an ICC press release said on Friday. This is the highest amount ever designated to the tournament.

The council also said that there will be prizes for each league match won as well.

Yaya Toure in talks with second-tier Chinese club

Former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is in talks about a move to Qingdao Huanghai, the second-tier Chinese club. The 36-year-old has been without a team since December after an unsuccessful three-month spell at Olympiakos in Greece.

There were suggestions that the former Ivory Coast international had retired, but he denied that earlier this week and said he wanted to keep playing “for a few more years”.

Chelsea’s Loftus-Cheek will miss the Europa finals due to surgery

Chelsea and England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has had surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles, his club said on Thursday, almost certainly ruling him out of this month’s Europa League final against London rivals Arsenal.

“Ruben Loftus-Cheek has seen a specialist today and will have surgery on his ruptured Achilles’ tendon this evening,” the Premier League side said in a statement on their website.

The 23-year-old was injured in Wednesday’s friendly against the New England Revolution in Boston, a fund-raiser for the club’s campaign against anti-semitism and racism, and has little hope of being fit for the Europa League final in Baku on May 29.

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17 May 2019

Imad proud of Pakistan’s efforts against England

All-rounder Imad Wasim believes Pakistan have gained much from their one-day international series against World Cup hosts England despite having yet to win a match.

England head into Friday’s fourth ODI in Nottingham 2-0 up with two to play after a no result washout at The Oval was followed by 12-run and six-wicket wins at Southampton and Bristol respectively.

Pakistan, however, have made England work hard for those wins, with all four completed innings in the series so far topping 350 runs.

Rivals wary of India’s all-surface attack, says Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Batting has traditionally been India’s strength but their World Cup rivals will also be wary of their all-surface pace attack, swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has said.

The 29-year-old is a key member of the twice world champions’ three-pronged pace attack, which also includes Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.

Kumar’s ability to move the ball offsets his lack of pace and like any other swing bowler, he is looking forward to making the most of the English conditions that encourage his craft.

Pakistan hockey team’s participation in 2020 Tokyo Olympics is in jeopardy

The Pakistan Hockey Federation is busy appointing new people on new posts or appointing old faces on new posts everyday, while country’s hockey team has now been kicked out of even the qualifiers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The International Hockey Federation, in a recent unveiling, did not include Pakistan in the pre-qualifying round for the Olympics.

The event will kick-off on June 15 in France and has low-ranked teams such as Ireland, Egypt, Scotland, Singapore, France, South Korea, Ukraine and Chilli even, but not Pakistan.

Liverpool, Spurs fans call on sponsors to hand over Champions League tickets

Liverpool and Tottenham fans are calling on sponsors to return a portion of their Champions League ticket allocations so more supporters can attend next month’s all-English final in Madrid.

Both clubs have received around 16,600 tickets apiece for the June 1 meeting at the Wanda Metropolitano, which has a capacity of 63,500 for the final, meaning demand will far outweigh supply.

About 22,300 tickets have been made available to the local organizing committee, UEFA and national associations, commercial partners and broadcasters, and to serve the corporate hospitality programme.

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16 May 2019

Would the Juventus have won the Champions League if Cristiano Ronaldo had been the coach?

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis, who is well-known for his no-nonsense comments, believes Ronaldo has replaced Massimiliano Allegri as the coach in the team.

 “Cristiano Ronaldo’s strong because he’s replaced his coach with his presence. What’s [Allegri] had to do this season?” De Laurentiis said during an interview with Corriere dello Sport.

De Laurentiis continued by calling the Portuguese star the real ‘motivator’ in the Juventus team.

Mo Salah made one request from Liverpool fans before Champions League final

Liverpool striker Mo Salah might not have won as many awards and plaudits as he did last year, but he shared the Premier League golden boot with two other African players this season.

However, one thing that stands out for the Egyptian is the chance to be crowned, with his team Liverpool, the kings in Europe as they face Tottenham Hotspurs in the final of the Champions League on June 1.

Salah would be praying for a lot of things to go his and his team’s way during the final in Madrid, Spain, but one thing he has asked for is specifically from the Reds’ fans.

Chelsea star, John Obi Mikel, has been selected to head Nigeria’s Africa Cup squad

Nigeria have included former Chelsea star John Obi Mikel in their  25-man provisional squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Midfielder Mikel, now with Middlesborough, last played for the country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and missed the qualifying series for the 2019 Africa Cup.

Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Villarreal youngster Samuel Chukwueze are also in the squad with the latter opting for the African tournament rather than the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland.

Nepalese man completed his record breaking 23rd Everest summit climb

For the hardy few, climbing Everest is a bucket-list feat of endurance, danger and wonder. But Kami Rita Sherpa’s 23rd record summit of the world’s highest peak on Wednesday was just another day at work.

Sherpa, 49, reached the summit Wednesday morning, breaking his own record that he set last year, his expedition company confirmed.

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15 May 2019

Shadab Khan has been declared fit for the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup

After being treated for a virus infection, all-rounder Shadab Khan is really for the world cup. The 20-year-old leg-spinner will fly to England on May 16 and consult Dr Patrick Kennedy before joining the team on May 20. Yasir Shah, who was included in the team after Khan was sidelined, will return to Pakistan, sources within the PCB said.

However, his participation in the pre-World Cup warm up matches against Afghanistan and Bangladesh — scheduled to take place on May 24 and 26 respectively — is subject to his fitness and team management’s decision, the press statement read.

England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to field against Pakistan

World Cup hosts England, who had said they would rotate their side in what is their final full series ahead of the global showpiece, made two changes from the team that won the second ODI at Southampton by 12 runs on Saturday to go 1-0 up in a five-match contest following an opening washout.

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann expects Steve Smith and David Warner to play a big role at the World Cup

After being accused and punished for ball tampering, Steve Smith and David Warner are expected to play a big role in the world cup, at least according to former coach Darren Lehmann. The top order duo made impressive return from elbow surgeries for their respective franchises at the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament and Lehmann was convinced they will shine at the World Cup in England and Wales.

Mohammad Amir’s ICC World Cup dream may be over sooner than expected

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 07: Mohammad Amir of Pakistan at The Kia Oval on May 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Pakistan pacer missed the second ODI against England in Southampton because of chickenpox. The 27-year-old Amir, who was not named in Pakistan’s 15-man World Cup squad, was included in the side to face England in the ODI series which was a gateway to make a case for himself for World Cup selection. How long it will take him to recover is not clear at the moment, but even if it is a week from when he originally fell ill, Amir is left with a herculean task to break into the 15-man squad.

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14 May 2019

The French football league has set up an action plan to tackle homophobia in its stadiums

Often heard at French league matches, homophobic chants have been tolerated for a long time by many club officials, and football authorities have struggled to find the appropriate ways of tackling the issue.

But under the plan unveiled on Monday by French football league president Nathalie Boy de la Tour, abusive fans should be worried. Starting next season, in cooperation with the International League against Racism and anti-Semitism (LICRA) and a group fighting violence and discrimination against LGBT people, the French league will distribute forms allowing spectators to report the sexist, homophobic or racist incident they witness.

Sachin Tendulkar labels Jasprit Bumrah the “best bowler in the world”

After the Mumbai Indians paceman played a key role in his team’s fourth Indian Premier League title win, Sachin Tendulkar called Jsprit Bumrah the ‘best bowler in the world.’

The 25-year-old took 2-14 in Sunday’s IPL final as Mumbai edged Chennai Super Kings by one run in the thrilling finale in Hyderabad. “Without any doubt, let me go on record and say that he is the best bowler in the world at this stage,” said Tendulkar, an advisor to the Mumbai team. “The best is yet to come.”

Serena Williams won against Swedish qualifier Rebecca Petersen

After suffering from a knee injury at the Miami Championship, Serena Williams wins her first match in Rome to advance to the second round. She won her match against Swedish qualifier Rebecca Petersen. She will play either her older sister Venus, who received a wild card entry to the tournament she won in 1999, or Belgian Elise Mertens in the second round.

Brighton has sacked manager Chris Hughton

What chairman Tony Bloom described as “one of the most difficult decisions” he had ever had to make. Brighton sacked manager Chris Hughton yesterday. Hughton leaves despite guiding Brighton to the FA Cup semi-finals and retaining their Premier League status for a second successive season.

The decision may well have come as a shock to 60-year-old Hughton, who had spoken of his desire for players to bounce back from the final day 4-1 defeat by Manchester City on Sunday and other disappointing spells during the campaign.

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13 May 2019

Bayern Munich missed the chance to win the Bundesliga 

Bayern, who would have secured a seventh straight title with a win, blew the first of what coach Niko Kovac called “two match balls” as it allowed Dortmund to close the gap to two points before the final round next weekend

The Inter­national Cricket Council (ICC) charged a Sri Lankan team adviser with trying to bribe the country’s sports minister

Sanath Jayasundara, a performance analyst for the national team, has been charged with bribery. This comes after minister Harin Fernando said in January that a Sri Lanka Cricket employee had offered him inducements to change the national squad.

“Recently someone tried to bribe me as well,” Fernando said, without naming who approached him. “I was offered a bribe to get some players into the team. I reported the incident to the ICC.”

Pakistan army sports directorate has embarked upon a talent hunt programme

This came to fore when director sports of army, Brig Zaheer Akhtar for the first time paid a visit to the Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) Olympian Hanif Khan and Dr. Junaid Ali Shah Hockey Stadium the other day and watched young boys and girls in action.

Serena Williams returns from injury with plans to win in Rome next week

After being forced out of the Miami Championship due to a knee injury, Serena Williams is all set to return to the court. The 37-year-old American — now ranked 11th — has completed just seven matches this year, also withdrawing from Indian Wells in March with illness.

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12 May 2019

Pakistan falls 12 runs short, ends up loses to England

 Pakistan fell 12 runs short of securing a memorable win over England in the second ODI in Southampton on Saturday, mustering 361 runs in response to the hosts’ 374-run target.

The tourists needed 19 runs off the final over but managed just six, thanks to some excellent death bowling by an otherwise expensive Chris Woakes (72-1 in 9 overs) as the pairing of captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Hassan Ali failed to get their side over the line.

Afridi gives advice to World cup team; stay positive and play aggressive

Former captain of the Pakistan cricket team Shahid Afridi says he is hopeful of a good show by the Pakistani cricket team in the upcoming World Cup in England. Speaking to Geo.tv, Afridi said he was confident that Pakistan could reach the final four stage of the tournament.

“I have no doubts that this team can be among top four teams of the World Cup if boys play according to their potential,” Afridi said. “My advice to the boys is to play positive and aggressive cricket,” he added.

Sana Mir hits landmark in career, while team loses match

Sana Mir took the 146th wicket of her ODI career to join Anisa Mohammed and Lisa Sthalekar on the top of the most-wickets list for spinners in women’s ODI cricket as South Africa beat Pakistan by eight wickets in the second ICC Women’s Championship match played at the Senwes Park on Thursday.

Wrestler Inam Butt wins against Turkey’s Murat Ozkan in the first round of Rio de Janeiro Beach Wrestling World Series

One of Pakistan’s most celebrated wrestlers, Inam Butt overpoweredTurkey’s Murat Ozkan. According to results Inam — one of Pakistan’s most celebrated wrestlers — overpowered Ozkan by VFA 3-0. He will next take on Brazil’s Wanderson Messias in his third group bout.

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11 May 2019

Neymar has been banned for three matches for lashing out at a fan

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) striker Neymar was banned for three matches yesterday along with a further two-match ban suspended for lashing out at a fan. This all occurred after the club’s shock defeat in the French Cup final. The ban will go into effect from May 13, allowing Neymar to appear for the French champions against Angers in Ligue 1 today.

Neymar swung at an abusive opposing fan while climbing the steps to receive his French Cup final losers’ medal following the shock defeat to Rennes on penalties last month.

Jurgen Klopp ready for final this Sunday

After a suprising victory for Liverpool, manager Jurgen Klopp is ready for the final on Sunday. He hopes to have Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson fit for Sunday’s Premier League finale against Wolves as the Reds aim to end a 29-year wait to win the title.

Klopp’s men trail Manchester City by one point at the top of the table and need the champions’ 13-game winning run to come to an end at Brighton if they are to win the league.

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended a second Sri Lankan coach for corruption

Avishka Gunawardene was charged with breaching two counts relating to the T10 League in the United Arab Emirates in December 2017. The charges against Gunawardene, the coach of Sri Lanka in the league, include failing to disclose any corrupt conduct to the anti-corruption unit (ACU)

Sebastian Vettel saddened by the move of the Brazilian Grand Prix

The Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo is no longer the home for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The three-time winner of the race in the rolling suburbs of the sprawling city said he felt like a fan losing an important part of the sport’s history when he heard the news.

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10 May 2019

Shoaib Akhtar agrees with Shahid Afridi’s claims of senior players’ harsh behavior

The former fast bowler gave his opinion on the controversy surrounding Shahid Afridi’s autobiography Game Changer. Not only did he endorse claims regarding senior players’ “harsh behaviour” but took it a step further by adding that the “reality was much more than that”.

Hours later, Afridi thanked the former fast-bowler in a tweet, and said that he had “followed [Akhtar’s] footsteps and wrote a book”. Akhtar himself had released his autobiography Controversially Yours in 2011.

Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham Hotspur find themselves through to the finals!

Thought to be down and out of the Champions League back in October, now Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham Hotspur find themselves, improbably, through to the final.

“No pain, no gain” was the phrase an emotional Pochettino used after Wednesday’s stirring comeback to beat Ajax 3-2 in the second leg of their semi-final in Amsterdam, a Lucas Moura hat-trick taking Spurs through on away goals.

Rafael Nadal wins first match in the Madrid Open title

Rafael Nadal believes he is finding his rhythm again after beginning his bid for a sixth Madrid Open title on Wednesday by beating Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets. The victory also came hours before Nadal’s fellow Spaniard David Ferrer played the final match of his career, losing 6-4, 6-1 to Alexander Zverev in his last tournament before retirement.

Nadal has had a bad few weeks after enduring two surprise defeats in Monte Carlo and Barcelona last month. The got hit by a stomach bug on Sunday.

David Beckham can’t drive for six months after caught using his phone while behind the wheel.

Former English footballer star David Beckham was banned from driving for six months after using his phone while behind the wheel. The 44-year-old had previously admitted the offence after being spotted by a member of the public as he drove his Bentley in London on November 21.

At Bromley Magistrates Court, south of London, Beckham was given six penalty points on his licence, fined £750 and ordered to pay £100 to prosecution costs and a £75 surcharge fee.

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9 May 2019

Liverpool staged one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history

Liverpool one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history as they stormed to a 4-0 second leg victory that clinched a 4-3 aggregate success at a jubilant Anfield. Liverpool’s victory was clinched by a clever corner from Trent Alexander-Arnold, who appeared to fake leaving a corner before quickly taking it and catching Barca flat-footed as Origi fired home.

Younis fails to reach deal with PCB

Former Test captain Younis Khan did not come to a consensus with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over potentially taking up the role as coach and chief selector of the national junior team.

They were in negotiations over the former batsman taking up the two roles but some speculate that he may be demanding a hefty remuneration and extraordinary powers, which the PCB were not willing to give.

Jofra Archer continued his bid to earn a place in England’s World Cup

With a hostile opening against Pakistan, Jofra Archer is doing his best to get his spot on the England World team. However, his time was cut short, as rain stopped play in the first one-day international at The Oval on Wednesday.

Pakistan were 71 for two in a when a fresh downpour saw the umpires takes the players off the field in the 17th over.Earlier rain, which delayed the scheduled start, had already seen the match reduced to 47 overs per side, Barbados-born Archer was not included in tournament hosts’ England’s preliminary squad for the World Cup but has a chance to force his way into their final 15.

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje will miss the Cricket World Cup because of a broken right thumb

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje will have to miss the Cricket World Cup because of a broken right thumb, Nortje will be replaced by fast bowling all-rounder Chris Morris, who has not played in a One-day International since February 2018.

Key fast bowler Kagiso Rabada is another concern for South Africa. Team manager and doctor Mohammed Moosajee said Rabada would need two or three weeks to recover from a back strain which cut short his participation in the Indian Premier League.

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