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Azzurri: Verratti out, Tonali in

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Italy have called up Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali to the senior squad after Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti pulled out through injury, reports ANSA. Tonali had been called up to the Italy U-21 squad to face Iceland and Armenia next week, but has now been pushed to the first team for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Armenia instead. PSG star Verratti picked up a knock to his calf yesterday in the 2-1 win over Brest in Ligue 1 and has had to pull out of the squad. This follows Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi also withdrawing after his injury during Friday’s win over Bologna. Tonali, who made his debut for the Azzurri last month, has only played for the U-21s five times, and had been expected to start for Paolo Nicolato’s team. The Brescia man will now be replaced by Chievo’s Salvatore Esposito in the Azzurrini squad.last_img read more

Rivaldo: ‘Paqueta can’t be Brazil 10’

first_imgBrazil hero Rivaldo launched a surprising attack on Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta, claiming it is “disrespectful” to give him the Number 10 jersey. Paqueta wore the iconic Number 10 during yesterday’s 1-0 friendly defeat to Argentina. “I watched Brazil-Argentina and am sad to see the Number 10 shirt was given to Paqueta,” wrote Rivaldo on Instagram. “That jersey is known and respected all over the world, so cannot be given to someone who ought to be on the bench or play only half the game. That is disrespectful. “It is famous because it was worn by the likes of Pele, Rivelino, Zico, Rivaldo, Kaka, Ronaldinho and Neymar. I don’t blame Paqueta at all, but Tite and his staff ought to know how much weight that jersey puts on your shoulders. “They mustn’t ‘burn up’ a 22-year-old like Paqueta, who can have a great future ahead of him. He ought to be protected, the same way Rodrygo was at Real Madrid.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/last_img read more

Juve handed Alex Sandro boost

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Juventus confirm Alex Sandro has made “significant improvement” from a thigh injury ahead of Saturday’s Serie A clash with Atalanta. Alex Sandro injured his left thigh during Brazil’s 1-0 defeat to Argentina last week, fuelling fears he could be sidelined for Juve. However, the club announced in a medical report this afternoon that he had made “significant improvement” and would be assessed daily. It now remains to be seen whether the left-back will be fit enough for the trip to Atalanta in three days’ time.last_img

Conte ‘very happy’ with Lukaku

first_imgInter coach Antonio Conte insists he is “very happy” with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez as he prepares to face an old foe in Torino’s Walter Mazzarri. The former Manchester United hitman has been scoring regularly in Serie A this season but has struggled to perform in Europe. Nonetheless, Conte underlined he was pleased with his contribution so far, as he was with Martinez. “He is an important player for us, the same goes for Lautaro,” the former Juventus boss said at a press conference for tomorrow’s Serie A match at Torino. “They are both doing very well and there is little else to say. I am very happy, and I hope they will continue like this.” The 50-year-old was previously not on the best of terms with Mazzarri, but he stressed they had an ”excellent“ rapport. “My relationship with Walter is excellent, we have also met in England and we have shared our experiences with each other. “But when we play each other, we are opponents. I try to prepare my business and he will do the same, but the relationship will remain respectful.” Conte confirmed Stefano Sensi, Matteo Politano, Roberto Gagliardini and Alexis Sanchez were all still out but had better news regarding Danilo D’Ambrosio, who has recovered from a broken toe. “We regrouped yesterday, it’s always difficult after an international break. This time the weather is bad too, but we have to use today to prepare for tomorrow’s match. “Sensi, Politano, Gagliardini and Sanchez are still unavailable. Sensi missed last month, he had a few problems and we are trying to get him back in his best condition and help him stay with the group once he is back. “We have had two muscular injuries, with Gagliardini and Sensi. It might cause some problems to have more injuries in certain areas, as we are not covered. “Now D’Ambrosio has recovered, he must get back to his best condition. He is a very versatile player, a joker in the pack that can be used in both the centre and out wide. It’s very important to have players like him to count on.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/last_img read more

Netherlands beat Japan 1-0, reach second round

first_imgWesley Sneijder’s 53rd minute goal saw Netherlands through to the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2010. Netherlands defeated Japan by a solitary goal in the Group E match played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Full coverage: World Cup 2010Japan could hardly match the pace of the Dutch but a solid defence prevented Netherlands from scoring any goals in the first-half of the game. Watch match picsThe Dutch came back strongly in the second round and went all out against the tired Japanese. Sneijder’s shot at the goal from just outside the penalty area had so much pace in it that Japan’s custodian E Kawashima could not stop it. Kawashima got a touch at the ball but could only deflect it to far side of the goal post.Japan vs CameroonNetherlands vs DenmarkSneijder was also named the man of the match.With this win, Netherlands have two wins from two matches and are sitting pretty at the top of Group E with six points followed by Japan with three points.Denmark and Cameroon are the other two teams in the group.The loss means that Japan will have to beat Denmark in their next match and silently hope that Netherlands beat Cameroon if Cameroon is able to pull off a win against Denmark when they meet later tonight.last_img read more

Gaming industry to touch Rs 3,100 crore by 2014

first_imgThe Indian gaming industry is expected to grow 32 per cent at Rs 3,100 crore by 2014, a top industry official said.”Indian gaming industry is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32 per cent to Rs 3,100 crore by 2014 with factors such as a young population, rising disposable incomes, increasing wireless users and proliferation of developers and publishers,” Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) Business Head Kumar Warrier told PTI.MAAC is a leading player in high-end 3D animation in India.The size of the Indian gaming industry was estimated at around Rs 790 crore in 2009, compared to Rs 650 crore in 2008, implying a growth of 22 per cent during the period.While addressing a special seminar for students and professionals seeking a career in the gaming industry here, Matthey Jaffery of Electronic Arts, UK, said, “the increasing telecom bases and the expected roll-out of 3G services are likely to provide efficient high-speed data networks to mobile gamers. The telecom subscriber base is expected to increase to 725 million by 2013 with a mobile penetration of 60 per cent.”The console gaming industry in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19 per cent from Rs 580 crore in 2009 to Rs 1,160 crore by 2014 on the back of increasing disposable income and favourable demographics, India’s largest Gaming company Gameshastra’s Vijaya Raghavan, said.According to various industry estimates, there are about 3,00,000 handheld consoles in India and the segment is witnessing a year-on-year growth of around 35 per cent.The focus is now on developing a talent pool and leveraging cost-competitiveness. India already offers a significant cost advantage in animation and game development, as compared to other outsourcing destinations such as Taiwan and South Korea.advertisementA key factor restricting the growth of animation and gaming in India is the scarcity of skilled professionals.An increased focus on the needs of the segment by key stakeholders can help address these areas and lead to significant growth, Vijaya Raghavan said.According to an estimate, the typical Indian gamer is a male from the top eight metros, has an average age of 26 and belongs to the affluent section. The average gamer has been playing on an average since 18 months now. The average person plays games three times a week and his usual gaming sessions last an hour in length. He also spends less than Rs 150 per month on gaming, Warrier said.The top four metros, especially account for 59 per cent of these gamers, which indicates that availability of games and reach to target audience is still limited. The proportion of college-going students gaming on any platform has increased from 20 to 32 per cent. Online and off-line mobile games will constitute about 24 per cent of the gaming market this year and racing, sports games and shooting games make up for the top three genres for gaming in India, he said.last_img read more

Bald and beautiful: Women take the bold cut

first_imgIt has been called the richest ornament of women. In some Indian cultures, it still is a decisive factor while pinning down on a bride. So when a woman decides to get rid of her tresses and go bald, it’s not just heads that turn, what also takes a 180 degree turn are society’s deep-rooted perceptions about beauty.While most would think of it as the end of their dating life or as the beginning of a body image issue, there are a few who would happily chop off their long locks to make a statement or just to get rid of the weight off their head.Take for instance 29-year-old Sumati Jain. Five years ago while she was pursuing her masters, the Bangalore-based homemaker plotted her hair assassination after her parents started dropping hints of marriage.”My hairline was also receding and I also wanted to do something for kicks. It was this crazy, daring, wild phase of my life,” she says with a chuckle.She exposed her shiny scalp to the world after three stages of relentless, heartless mane chopping.The first visit to the parlour left her with a bob cut, then followed a shorter crew cut and she finally visited a men’s saloon on a quiet Sunday for the finale.”My mom didn’t speak to me for a week. But my dad and grandfather, who’s also bald, were really cool,” Sumati told IANS.”I got extreme reactions…Some thought it was really cool, some laughed behind my back, some even thought I’d turned into a monk,” she adds.advertisementBut the ironical part was that Sumati got engaged while her hair was just a few inches long. “My husband was fine with it. He thought I looked cute,” she adds with more chuckles.But not all men hold similar notions of beauty. “I would like to wait for a year,” says 25-year-old Saurabh Dabbas, when asked if he would date a bald woman.The barren look is not for all women, cautions hairstylist Sylvie.”It suits those with oval heads and good skin. It’s a complete no-no for those with lots of wrinkles; it makes you look more aged,” said Sylvie who runs a saloon in Delhi.Ananya Bose, a Delhi-based journalist, went bald just after delivering a baby.”I had such long, lustrous hair. I remember when the parlour woman chopped them, the one standing next to her freaked out and asked her what the hell she was doing.”But it was such a weight off my head. I felt so, so free and light. You feel as if you get rid of all the troubles,” she says.However, in Indian society women with shaven heads have much deeper connotations.”In many Indian cultures, widows’ heads were shaved. It’s also associated with sadhvis or monks. It’s a sign of celibacy,” says social scientist C.P. Bhambri.However, these connotations don’t deter those tempted to take the plunge.”I think it would feel real good and free to have no hair to take care of. Though I like my tresses, they are very frizzy and at times unmanageable,” says Shikha Arora, a professional.”Going bald will be hassle-free. I would definitely love to do it in the hot Delhi summers,” she added.But being bald comes with strings attached, says Sylvie.”It requires a lot of maintenance. You have to moisturise your scalp regularly. People usually call a barber home every month to clean the growth,” she adds.Also, there comes a stage while you are growing back your hair when it’s neither here nor there — just plain clumsy.”Though growing it back is a good idea as you get a new crop of hair, the stage when your hair is 10-18 months old is very difficult,” says Sylvie.Adds Ananya: “A strand would come out from one side, another from the other. It can get really messy.”It took Sumati three years to grow back her hair to what she describes as a “respectable length”.Internationally, pop star Britney Spears and actress Natalie Portman have famously sported the bald look. Back home, actresses Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Antara Mali, Lisa Ray and model Diandra Soares have tread the same path.However, all said and done, there are many sceptics of the unadorned look.”It completely baffles me why any woman would voluntarily want to go bald. A woman would like to look like a normal woman. There’s the whole cosmetic industry which runs into trillions to make you look good,” says Bhambri.advertisementlast_img read more

Ateneo not done, wants more titles

first_imgMRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Go’s statements, weren’t thrown to the wind though with head coach Tab Baldwin giving a more detailed, although metaphorical, answer.“We managed to climb the mountain and now we stand on the plateau,” said Baldwin. “When we look up we see another peak and that’s where we’re headed.”Of Atenoe’s roster, only Chibueze Ikeh, Kris Porter, and captain Vince Tolentino will be graduating.And the Blue Eagles’ Season 80 triumph was the parting gift Baldwin and the remaining Blue Eagles gave the trio in their farewell.“We want to enjoy this plateau, enjoy the view here, look at one another in the eye, and have that knowledge that each and every one of us played a great part in this,” said Baldwin.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Malditas save PH from shutout Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWinning a championship brings forth one of the biggest responsibilities in all sports, and that is defending that all-important piece of hardware.For Ateneo, though, defending its UAAP championship is just a mere piece of the puzzle.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ “This season’s been one hell of a ride for this band of brothers, we feel we accomplished something, but we’re not satisfied with that,” said Ateneo Isaac Go, who emerged as one of the team’s go-to guys down the stretch in Season 80, Saturday.Go hit the title-clinching 3-pointer that put Ateneo up 85-80 with 24.7 seconds left in Game 3 of the Season 80 Finals against La Salle.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingAteneo eventually closed the game out, 88-86, to claim its ninth seniors’ basketball title, its first since winning five straight from 2008 until 2012.“We want another one next year and hopefully we can start, or top, the five-peat.” ONE: Filipino fighter Catalan loses in 1st round to Thai foe Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View commentslast_img read more

NBA: New York Knicks ace Porzingis eases injury fears

first_imgPorzingis, who left Thursday’s win over the Nets in the third quarter, is listed as questionable to face the Thunder on Saturday.Porzingis told reporters on Thursday he had left the game after his knee began to feel unstable.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting“I felt my knee buckle a little bit, and I felt a little pain there, so it’s more about being cautious,” Porzingis said.“I had a little shock pain there, and that’s it.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis, center, celebrates with team mates during the first half of a NBA basketball game against Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden in New York. APNEW YORK — New York Knicks ace Kristaps Porzingis escaped a serious knee injury when he limped off against the Brooklyn Nets but remains doubtful for this weekend’s clash against Oklahoma City, the team said Friday.An MRI scan revealed no structural damage, with the towering forward diagnosed with a twisted left knee.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 View commentscenter_img Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Malditas save PH from shutout Porzingis has averaged 25.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots this season.Michael Beasley is expected to start if the 7ft 4in (2.23m) Latvian is ruled out.Porzingis meanwhile said he believes fans will give former Knicks star Carmelo Anthony a generous reception when he returns to Madison Square Garden with the Thunder on Saturday for the first time since leaving earlier this year.“I think he was as professional as he can be in his time here in New York, so I don’t see why they would not receive him with love,” Porzingis said.ADVERTISEMENT ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Petron, F2 duel one last time After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breadslast_img read more

Kane leads Spurs’ recovery in 2-2 draw at Juventus

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Allegri went for an attacking lineup, with Federico Bernardeschi, Douglas Costa and Mario Mandzukic supporting Higuain.And that paid off right from the start in a terrible opening 10 minutes for Spurs.Mousa Dembele fouled Miralem Pjanic, 30 yards (meters) from goal, inside the first minute. Pjanic himself took the free kick and picked out Higuain, who beat the offside trap to volley into the far corner.Matters swiftly went from bad to worse for Spurs as Ben Davies tripped Bernardeschi inside the area and referee Felix Brych pointed instantly to the spot.Higuain stepped up and placed a precise penalty into the bottom left corner for his second goal of the match and his eighth in his last five matches.Tottenham had a mountain to climb against a side which had reached the Champions League final in two of the past three seasons. Juventus had not let in a goal in 2018 and had only conceded one in its past 16 matches.However, with Juventus content to sit back, Spurs began to dominate possession and almost got one back in the 26th but goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon pulled off a great save to keep out Kane’s header from point-blank range.Higuain almost got his hat trick after a swift counterattack and some lovely interplay with Pjanic, but he fired narrowly wide of the left upright.Buffon did well to tip another Kane effort round the post but Spurs were getting closer and did get back into the match 10 minutes from halftime.Kane ran onto Dele Alli’s through ball, took it round the onrushing Buffon and calmly deposited into an empty net. PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bucks’ G-League affiliate picks up Brandon Jennings BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives “We are a young team in this competition. To show that performance is to be proud and to congratulate the players because they were fantastic.”Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri reacted strongly afterward when it was suggested his team, which is going for a seventh successive Serie A title, should have beaten Spurs, which is fifth in the Premier League.“I think people have lost a bit of objectivity,” said a clearly annoyed Allegri. “Juve plays to win but it’s not favorite. You can’t go to the final every year. I think the lads are having a great season, but it’s a long leap from there to think they’re going to win a last-16 match 3-0.“That drives me nuts, because people don’t have an idea about the other teams. I can’t accept that people are getting depressed over a 2-2 draw, it seems like we lost 8-0.”It was also an exciting first half in Basel, with Manchester City scoring three goals before going on to win 4-0 to leave it with one foot in the quarterfinals.ADVERTISEMENT Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, 2nd left, celebrates with teammate Erik Lamela and Harry Kane, right, after scoring his side’s second goal during the Champions League, round of 16, first-leg soccer match between Juventus and Tottenham Hotspurs, at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)TURIN, Italy — At a crucial moment in its Champions League last-16 match on Tuesday, Tottenham survived against Juventus simply by standing still.Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris chose not to dive in either direction as Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain approached to strike his second penalty of the game. With no big gaps appearing, Higuain smashed the ball straight down the middle and saw it cannon off the crossbar.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims It was the first goal Juventus had conceded in 696 minutesSpurs pushed for the equalizer but Juventus almost extended its lead on the stroke of halftime when Serge Aurier brought down Douglas Costa in the area. Higuain stepped up again but failed to complete his hat trick, firing onto the crossbar.He had another good chance to grab a third, shortly before the hour, but he headed a corner straight at Lloris, who had done well to tip Bernardeschi’s effort round his post moments earlier.Juventus was made to pay for its missed opportunities as Buffon was caught out by a low Eriksen free kick into the bottom left corner.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto A goal would have given Juventus a commanding 3-1 lead at halftime. Instead, Spurs managed to recover from a terrible start and level in the second period to finish at 2-2, ahead of the second leg at Wembley on March 7.Lloris had dived low to his right against Higuain’s successful first spot kick, getting a hand to the well-placed penalty.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingHarry Kane and Christian Eriksen scored in each half after Higuain had netted twice inside the opening nine minutes“I feel so proud,” Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino said. “We showed great character against a team that played two finals in three years, with amazing experience on the pitch. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gameslast_img read more

Sonakshi Sinha to make movies with brothers

first_imgActress Sonakshi Sinha is ready to produce films with her older twin brothers Luv and Kussh.She earlier said she will directly or indirectly be a part of the family production house and now Kussh has shared the name of the company.”Sonakshi, Luv and I are happy to announce the formation of our production company – Kratos Entertainment,” he tweeted Tuesday.Sonakshi Sinha is ready to produce films with her older twin brothers Luv and Kussh.Born to Bollywood family, the trio are children of veteran actors Shatrughan and Poonam Sinha.With this decision, Sonakshi joins the list of young actors-cum producers like Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor.Her forthcoming acting projects are “Action Jackson”, “Tevar” and “Lingaa”.last_img

Samsung Galaxy S6 might come with 4GB RAM

first_imgReports in Korean media have indicated that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 will come with 4GB RAM. These reports have been based on statements from analysts working in the financial sector of Korea. Till now, it had been speculated that the devices would come with 3GB of RAM. Also, almost confirmed is an Edge variation of the handset which will probably sport curved displays on both sides of the phone. The next flagship from the stable of Samsung is being anticipated for a launch during the MWC, Barcelona event.  Some other rumored specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone are as follows-1. Snapdragon 810 Exynos 7420 chipset2. 5.5 inch QHD 1440 x 2560 pixels display3. 20 MP main camera, 5MP front cameralast_img

ICC World Cup 2015: Key Players from South Africa

first_imgThe Proteas, currently ranked third in the ODIs, will be led by none other than the top One-Day Internationals batsman AB de Villiers. The team boasts eight players with previous World Cup experience in De Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Wayne Parnell, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir.Here’s a look at the key players from South Africa in the World Cup:AB de VilliersPlaying role: Wicket-keeper batsmanThe 30-year-old Pretoria player is arguably the most complete batsmen in the era of modern day cricket. Known for his prolific skills and the temperament  required to back up his creative intent, de Villiers is more than capable of putting some of the most fearsome bowlers in cricket to shame.De Villiers dominated the top of the ICC Test batting rankings in 2014, along with Kumar Sangakkara. As of January 2015, he is ranked 2nd in the ICC Test  and 1st in the ODI batting rankings. The right-hander, who has amassed over 7600 runs in Tests, still holds the record for most innings without registering a  duck(78) in the longer version of the game.In 2015, De Villiers smashed the fastest century in ODI history, breaking New Zealand’s Corey Anderson’s record, reaching 100 off just 31 balls and going  on to score 149 runs off just 44 balls against the West Indies. The South African skipper will undoubtedly be one of kep players to watch out for in the  upcoming World Cup.Dale SteynPlaying role: Fast bowlerOne of most fearsome and lethal pace bowlers in cricket today, the 31-year-old speedgun is one of the bowling mainstays of South Africa. The right-hand  seamer is known for his ferocious speed which is bolstered by pin-point accuracy. His ability to move the ball away from right-handers has seen him get the  better of some of the most respected batsmen in cricket.advertisementIn 2008, Steyn became the fastest South African, and the 15th fastest overall, to reach 100 Test wickets. In the same year, Steyn was named ICC Test  Player of the Year after taking 86 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 18.10. Dale currently has the best bowling strike rate of all time in Test match  cricket(amongst bowlers who have bowled a minimum of 10,000 deliveries).He dominated the number one spot in the ICC Test rankings for several years between 2008 and 2014. He is currently the number one ranked Test bowler in  the world and also holds the third spot in the list of ICC ODI bowlers. Alongside Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, Steyn forms one of the most deadliest  bowling attacks in the world of cricket.David MillerPlaying role: Middle-order batsmanThe 25-year-old player has already established himself as one of the finest strikers of the ball in cricket. Grace and elegance have little place in his technique,  which is to hit the ball with such power that it stays hit.Miller’s ability to hit the ball cleanly and finding the gaps with ease make him one of the ideal players, especially in the Powerplay overs. He enjoys the  freedom to play a range of strokes, both off the front and back foot. In 2013, Miller hit the 3rd fastest IPL century(38-ball 101) against Royal Challengers  Bangalore. His maiden ODI hundred came in 2015 when he slammed an unbeaten 130 against West Indies.With eight fifties and a hundred in 62 ODIs, Miller will be a vital cog in the middle-order for South Africa who are chasing their maiden World Cup title.Hashim AmlaPlaying role: Opening batsmanThe 31-year-old Durban player, whose grandparents migrated from Gujarat, is the first South African of Indian descent to reach the national squad. An  elegant strokeplayer with the temperament to make the most of his talent, Amla is currently ranked third in both the ICC Tests and ODIs ranking.In 2011, Amla became the fastest batsman to reach 2,000 runs in ODIs in his 40th inning. Amla became the first South African to score a Test match triple  century when he scored an unbeaten 311 against England in 2012. In the 57th innings of his ODI career, Amla became the fastest batsman to score 3,000  ODI runs, requiring 12 innings fewer than Sir Vivian Richards. Also in 2013, he became the fastest batsman to score 4,000 ODI runs, requiring 8 innings  fewer than Sir Vivian Richards.The year 2015 saw Amla becoming the fastest batsman to notch up 5000 ODI runs in 101 innings, well ahead of the previous record of 114 jointly held by  West Indies great Viv Richards and Indian batsman Virat Kohli. With 27 fifties and 18 hundreds in 106 ODIs, Amla will set the tone for South Africa’s  onslaught in the upcoming World Cup.advertisementMorne MorkelPlaying role: Fast bowlerThe 30-year-old player is an out-and-out fast bowler who has the pace and height to trouble the best batsmen in the world of cricket. His ability to extract  bounce and bowl genuinely fast makes him a nightmare for the opposition batsmen.Morkel was selected in the South African squad for the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa, and went on to become one of the stars of  the tournament. Morkel bowled with consistent pace and accuracy, finishing with 9 wickets at 13.33 and an economy rate of 6.00, considered excellent in this  form of the game.With 152 wickets at 24.69 and an economy rate of 4.95 in 91 ODIs, Morkel is considered one of the best pace bowlers South Africa has ever produced.Squad: AB de Villiers(c), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock(wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steynlast_img read more

11th World Cup soccer tournament: All eyes are on Argentina

first_imgIf this is June 1978, there must be football in the air. From the coffee fields of Brazil to oil-rich Iran, from industralized Germany to Third World’s Tunisia, from Europe, Asia and America all eyes are on Argentina, the scene of the eleventh World Cup soccer tournament. Fifteen nations from,If this is June 1978, there must be football in the air. From the coffee fields of Brazil to oil-rich Iran, from industralized Germany to Third World’s Tunisia, from Europe, Asia and America all eyes are on Argentina, the scene of the eleventh World Cup soccer tournament. Fifteen nations from across the globe, “armies” bristling with zealous optimism are battling for honours in the four-yearly soccer jamboree that grips the world for nearly a month.Can ageing West Germany retain the cup that their superstar captain Franz Beckenbauer won for them at Munich in 1974? Can the Brazilians aspire to new levels of soccer magic? Will home advantage see the hosts through? Right from its inception in 1930 the game has set new levels of Latin American fanaticism.The Uruguayans, the hosts, in that inaugural year were celebrating a century of independence. Their opponents in the final were Argentina, old rivals from across the turgid, churning waters of the River Plate. Ten steamers were chartered to take the Argentinian fans across to Montevideo. People were packed abroad like cattle, but thousands were left behind.Brazil’s captain Rivelino (left) leaves Kasperczak of Polland behind on the way to goalThere were protest marches in the streets of Buenos Aires as they demanded more boats. Then, as the steamers left, thousands of fans lined the quayside chanting “Victory or Death”.Uruguay won 4-2, their last goal being scored by a one-armed reserve called Castro, and the country went delirious with joy. The brooding Argentinian supporters stormed the Uruguayan Consulate back in Buenos Aires, complaining of brutality and unfair refereeing, and police had to fire to disperse them. The World Cup had been launched….advertisementSince then it has been a kaleidoscope of contrasting styles and skills – a confrontation between the artists of Latin America and the methodical men of Europe, whose style and form can match the best blend of individual flair the Latin Americans can produce.In Argentina ’78, the odds are loaded against the iron men from West Germany, the holders. They are without superstars Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Mueller and Wolfgang Overath. Training matches and their first outing in the tournament – a goalless draw against Poland – indicate that the holders have slender chance of emulating Brazil, who have won the cup thrice.Can Argentina, playing at home in front of frenzied crowds vociferously rooting for them, pull it off? On six occasions out of ten World Cup championships held so far, the host nation has reached the final, and, of these, four have won. The Argentinians are temperamental players.They can be brilliant on a day and totally devoid of their basic skills on the next. The other temperamental team, the Italians, star-studded as they usually are, suffer from the big handicap of their top men not being able to play the same game on two successive days.This World Cup may lack the dynamism and artistry of Pele, Cruyff and Beckenbauer, but clearly, it is not devoid of soccer talent. Among other, Holland’s Rob Rensenbrink has risen as one of the outstanding wingers in the world.Brazil has never lacked the ability to produce brilliant footballers. Along with the 1970 World Cup veteran Roberto Rivehno, the Brazilian team boasts of a powerful forward-line with Reinaldo and Zico. The presence of Cerezo and Nelinho in the midfield and defense provides a balance which may once again win the championship for Brazil.The West Germans, though depleted without Beckenbauer, Mueller and Overath, still have Rainer Bonhof, the man who changed West Germany’s fortunes in 1974 and Sepp Maier, whose experiences in the 1970 and 1974 World Cup tournaments will surely be useful.The Argentina attack is again led by 23-year-old Mario Kempe. Four years ago, when he played for his country in West Germany, he provided entertaining football, making good use of his physique and speed. Since then, he has matured into a prolific goal-scorer which makes him fearsome to defenders and goalkeepers alike.THE JUNTA: WARNING WHISTLEArgentina’s military junta holds a veritable threat for soccer fans in the country.Two years ago, Gen Videla, after a successful coup, launched a crusade against terrorists by killing those persons who did not conform to the ethics of civilization. In the process, many people ‘disappeared’, and ‘why’ was a question, which no one dared to ask.Now, this malaise is spreading into the realm of sports. Only a few day before the start of the World Cup, the junta warned that soccer fans in Argentina are “likely to be shot on sight” if they fail to respond to army orders.advertisementIt appears, that the rulers in Argentina, not unmindful of the “Munich massacre” and recent bursts of terrorism in West Germany and Italy, are determined to have the tournament completed without any awkward incidents.The monteneros, the country’s urban guerillas have promised peace during the competition, but this has scarcely reassured the junta. The omnipresence of troops, with fixed bayonets, is evidence that the military rulers of Argentina have certain ideas about security, which may not be relaxed before the championship is over.last_img read more

InFocus M330 review: Lost in the crowd

first_imgUS-based InFocus is very ambitious. You’ve got to give it that. The Indian smartphone market, particularly the budget segment could be very taxing, especially for a new-comer. But InFocus seems all focussed at succeeding.Its first phone, launched recently, wasn’t bad at all. The phone called M2 had potential. But the mind-boggling influx of some really good quality affordable handsets in the Indian market lately means it’s a rough ride ahead for the M2. That said the M2 could still get away with it since InFocus has priced it very aggressively. At Rs 4,999 the M2 is a decent buy for the set of specifications it brings to the table.The same cannot be said about the M330, the company’s latest phone in India. InFocus’s second device in the Indian market has been priced higher at Rs 9,999: a segment that is full of some good phones from the likes of Xiaomi, Micromax’s Yu and Lenovo.Unlike the M2, the M3330 fails to excite: one due to its price point, and two due to lack of any compelling feature. We take a closer look…Design and build The InFocus M330 is a fairly decent looking handset at its price point. It’s no design marvel, but it’s certainly better looking than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G even though it falls slightly short of the Micromax Yu Yureka in this department.It’s nice to see InFocus trying to maintain its individuality with this one to some extent. While the front would remind you of the Redmi Note to some extent, the back is a different story.advertisementIt’s still a candy bar design that you get, but the back panel is certainly a breath of fresh air in this price bracket. The back panel consists of removable plastic that has a slight matte finish to it — less than the Yu Yureka, but certainly way better than the Redmi Note’s glossy plastic – making it easy to hold and grip handset.The edges curve gently to improve your grip and end in a strip of brushed metal that extends all through the device. The metal finish gives the M330 a bit of premium feel over counterparts in this price range.The square camera on the rear with an LED flash, both enclosed within a black rectangular space, give the M330 some hint of sophistication. The speaker vent is located on the lower end of the back, which is not the best of placements but we can live with that.The back houses a removable battery, two regular SIM card slots and a micro-SD card slot.The front panel houses three backlit capacitive touchscreen buttons on the lower end that offer decent tactile feedback. Meanwhile, the left edge has the volume rocker and the right edge contains the power buttons, both of which seem firmly etched but are easy to press.On the downside, the M330 is huge and chunky. At 153.4mmx78.1mmx9.3mm and 170g, it is way heavier than counterparts in this price bracket. We don’t expect a 5.5-inch handset to be paper thin, but we’ve seen Lenovo achieving a 140g with the A7000. Single handed operability will be a problem for many with this one, especially for those having smaller hands.Display The InFocus M330 features a 5.5-inch HD IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display with a 1280×720 pixels resolution. These are pretty standard specifications in this price range. All the ‘good’ devices in this price range (Yureka, Redmi Note, Honor 4X, A7000) have the exact specs.Keeping numbers aside, we were pretty impressed with the display output of the M330. The display was bright with really crisp viewing angles, at this price point. Colours looked sharp and neutral on most counts, and icons and animations did their job of popping out pretty well.But again, there’s not much difference from what you can already get in the Yureka or Xiaomi’s offering, although the display seemed better than the one on the Honor 4X. We see the Lenovo A7000 having an upper hand in this one.On the plus side, the display is not much of a fingerprint/smudge magnet unless you have very greasy fingers. Outdoor visibility is therefore pretty nice on this one.Software The InFocus M330 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out-of-the-box with the company’s InLife UI on top, the exact OS that runs the company’s ultra-affordable M2.As explained in our review of the M2, the InLife UI follows the same pattern that many Chinese UIs that have mushroomed up lately, use. The skinning is on the heavier side, with majority of apps and icons having a distinct look and functioning. The stock camera app would give you the KitKat feel to some extent, but overall the UI seems like any other Chinese UI.advertisementIt still looks like a work in progress though, and is miles away from being a certain MIUI, but it gets the job done. Folks back at InFocus haven’t touched the UI much, and have simply resized the apps and icons to fit the larger phablet form factor. Again, the InLife UI is not as polished as Xiaomi’s MIUI. It is also devoid of the many customization options we get on the Yureka, courtesy CyanogenMod.The one plus side is that the InLife UI is low on the eye-popping icons and glossy animations, so if you like it plain and simple, then the M330 could work well for you.Performance The InFocus M330 is powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 CPU with Mali-450 GPU and 2GB RAM (1,968MB available).We have always maintained that the Yureka is the most sought after handset in terms of performance in the under Rs 10,000 price bracket. And the arrival of the M330 doesn’t change much of that.The M330 is certainly an upgrade over the M2 spec wise, but it’s still not much of an upgrade when you look at counterparts in this price range.Still, the processor on-board the M330 is a fairly capable one for its price, unless you’re pushing it. It can handle your everyday basic tasks well, and the 2GB RAM ensures multi-tasking is not much of a problem on this one.The processor upgrade means the M330 is significantly better than the M2 in terms of performance. Unlike in the M2, closing and opening of apps is not much of a problem in the M330. There was minor lag observed when we had too many apps opened (to the tune of 15) but that’s like way too many intended for the purpose of testing. We are sure most users won’t have that many apps opened at the same time and if you do, you now know the outcome.The device can run graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 5: Blackout lag-free at lower graphics settings but the lag is a problem when you select higher graphics settings.Basic games like Candy Crush Saga and Temple Run, however, run lag-free on this one.The InFocus M330 comes with 16GB of internal storage of which about 12.6GB is available for use which is pretty standard. The device supports expandable storage of up to 64GB via micro-SD card.The speaker vent on the M330 is located on the back lower end. Output wise, we were pretty pleased with the M330’s speaker. It was pretty loud and clear, although the bass could have been better, but it is still a decent speaker device at it price.There is an Audio Effect feature that lets you play around with your bass and treble settings, although the effect of these is only minute on sound quality and is barely noticeable.advertisementAlso, sound quality may suffer depending upon the kind of surface you place the phone.Phone calls made with the InFocus M330 are of acceptable quality and we did not see any major call drops with our review device. The device supports 3G on both SIMs, however, at this price range we are getting 4G handsets, so the M330 is not doing anything out of the ordinary, to say the least.Camera The cameras on-board the M2 really surprised us, therefore, that was the first thing we started testing when we received the M330 for review. After all, we were sure InFocus wouldn’t screw up, at least in this department. And boy, were we wrong!While InFocus has managed to (up)grade almost every department in the M330, the camera seems to have had a (down)grade. We feel it’s an opportunity lost for InFocus since this could be one parameter that could have helped propel the company to newer heights.We are not saying the M330 is a bad camera phone, it’s just that the M2 was so good at it price on this front that we expected heck of a lot more from the M330.The M330 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash along with an 8MP front-facing snapper.Images clicked in outdoor ambient lighting conditions have decent amount of detail on most counts; however, we found metering issues with many of these images. Most of the images clicked in such situations were under-exposed so even though there was detail, the images looked paler than they actually were.Although the images were true to their colours on most counts, they did not seem all that bright and punchy.The level of detail in case of indoor well-lit conditions was fairly decent depending upon our accuracy and hand stillness. Surprisingly, we liked the images clicked in such situations better than the output in outdoor environment. There’s a very capable HDR mode on-board.The level of noise increases as the intensity of light decreased, which is fairly common for a camera phone in this price range.Overall,  we feel the phone has a decent camera but it has some metering issues in well-lit conditions. While it’s still not as good as the M2, we still feel that InFocus as a company is the one to look out for in future as far as decent budget camera phones are concerned.The front camera chalks out a decent selfie experience (with little noise even in well lit conditions), with standard properties like photo enhancer and smile auto selfie. Still there’s nothing we haven’t already seen before.Both cameras can shoot full-HD videos at 30fps.Check the following image samples to get an idea of InFocus M330 Camera performance: Sample 1 , Sample 2 , Sample 3 , Sample 4 , Sample 5 , Sample 6 , Sample 7 , Sample 8 , Sample 9 , Sample 10 . Battery The InFocus M330 uses a removable battery with a capacity of 3,100mAh, which is rated to deliver up to 550 minutes of 3G talk time and 30 hours on stand-by.We subjected the device to some real extremes and the result was not very encouraging even though the M330 has a sizeable battery (same as the Redmi Note).In our battery benchmark, we subjected the device to almost an hour of gaming (graphics intensive), three hours of 1080p video playback, web browsing (desktop mode), music on speakers (max volume) and phone calls every now and then (to the tune of an hour) and we got close to five and a half hours with the device.Toning down a bit will ensure you reach 12-13 hours. The power saver mode does help in churning out an hour or so out of the device.There’s another downside to the M330: it heats up very quickly. Mere 15-20 minutes of graphics intensive gaming heated up the device significantly, which is not a good sign.Should you buy it? While the M2 held its head high in the crowded budget smartphone market, sadly the M330 somehow doesn’t fit it.It’s still a very decent smartphone, with a big and bright display; decent cameras and lag-free multi-tasking experience. The problem is competition and in the current scenario, there’s abundance of it. The M330 seems to be a little out of place in such a situation.Companies like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Micromax and Huawei have really stepped up their game in the recent times, and companies like InFocus have to do the same. While the M2 may still get away with its aggressive pricing, unfortunately the M330 gets lost in the crowd.Also Read: Our full review of the InFocus M2last_img read more

Ranji players unpaid for last 3 seasons, DDCA president clueless

first_imgEven as Delhi cricketers sweat it out in their endeavour to win titles, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) hasn’t paid its Ranji Trophy players for the last three seasons. If that isn’t sad enough – considering that some of India’s best cricketers in the last decade have been produced by Delhi – current president S.P. Bansal isn’t even aware of their plight.When confronted, Bansal said this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was postponed and that resulted in considerable delay in sending this year’s accounts details to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and that ultimately led to the overall delay. But when told that it wasn’t a one-off situation and this has been happening over three seasons, he said he wasn’t aware of the fact.”I am not aware of the last three seasons. I am not the concerned person. But yes, as for this year, the holdup was due to the postponement of the AGM which ultimately led to a delay in sending the financial documents to the BCCI. But that should be sorted in a month’s time,” he told Mail Today.Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that the players have raised the issue. During the Ranji season itself, the players had made their concern known and then acting president Chetan Chauhan had promised to resolve the issue at the earliest.”I came to know about the matter only after you spoke to me about it. But I have spoken to those concerned. The documents for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons have already been sent to the BCCI and I have asked them to also prepare the documents for the 2013-14 season at the earliest. I will take up the matter with the BCCI and ensure that the players are paid as soon as possible. Nobody can deprive them of their hard-earned money,” Chauhan had earlier told Mail Today.advertisementBut on Wednesday, Chauhan once again assured action. “Give me time till June 1 and the problem shall be solved,” he said.One of the players said that it was highly unprofessional and if needed, the DDCA should look at paying in intervals like in case of some Indian Premier League franchises rather than holding the full payment.”In the IPL also, we are not always paid at one go. Sometimes, we are paid half the amount say in April and the other half at a later stage. We all love playing for Delhi and it is no secret that we are what we are because of the opportunity we got here. But then, we also need to be rewarded.”In fact, more than anything, what hurts is the fact that they have time and again promised to come forward and pay, but the end result hasn’t really changed,” he said.Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya too echoed his sentiments. “I am not threatening or trying to raise chaos. All I am doing is requesting for the DDCA to act on the commitment they have made to the whole team,” he said.last_img read more

IPL Spot Fixing: BCCI suspends Mumbai Ranji player Hiken Shah who approached Pravin Tambe

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to act against players who created a flutter before the Indian Premier League (IPL) championship began this year with a Rajasthan Royals player accusing Mumbai Ranji player Hiken Shah of approaching him to fix games.On the basis of the complaint by Rajasthan Royals player Pravin Tambe, the BCCI has suspended the Mumbai Ranji player Hiken Shah.Media Alert: Mumbai cricketer Hiken Shah suspended. BCCI’s statement: http://t.co/gTGAJRlMO5 BCCI (@BCCI) July 13, 2015 “BCCI has zero tolerance for corruption in the game of cricket. We have and we will take swift action against such incidents to set a precedent and control the menace of corruption in the game,” BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya was quoted as saying in a BCCI press release. “While placing the player under suspension, I have referred the matter to the disciplinary committee of the BCCI to take further action against the player involved.The revealing of the names has come a day before the Justice Lodha Committee probing the IPL scam is set to table its report.Honorary Secretary of BCCI Anurag Thakur said the incident demonstrated that BCCI’s education policy against corruption was showing results. He added that BCCI was committed to keep cricket corruption-free.Pravin Tambe had earlier reported that that he was approached by his Ranji teammate. Tambe said he had declined the offer and had reported the incident to BCCI anti-corruption unit before this year’s tournament. The board had been investigating the offer.advertisementHiken Shah has been a consistent performer for Mumbai and last played against Uttar Pradesh at Kanpur in December 2014.last_img read more