Newly-elected International Hockey Federation (FIH) president DrNarinder Batra said the world body will not force India to play Pakistan in any bilateral series. Speaking to India Today, Batra also added that a medal for India in the next Olympics & the World Cup is thetarget.It took almost a century, but after 92 years for thefirst time an Indian will govern World Hockey and Narinder Batra saysthe effort & hard work he put in Hockey India will bear fruit at the game’s biggest stage. (Priority for world hockey body is to expand base: Narinder Batra)India Today caught up with the new FIHchief & the outgoing Hockey India president as he outlines hisvision for Indian hockey, India vs Pakistan & growth of the sport in the world. Here are the excerpts.India Today: Indian Hockeysaw a rise under your tenure in terms of ranking & titles. What isyour goal, when can we get our hands on that elusive Olympic medal?Narinder Batra: According to our planning, I think we are looking for a podium forIndia in both 2018 World Cup (in India) & 2020 Olympics (in Tokyo).The discussion I have had with the team is that the men’s team at theAsian level should be always in the finals and in the FIH tournamentsthey should always reach in the semi finals, if you are in the top-4, on a good day you can always reach the final else you would be playing for 3rd.advertisementIndia Today: While you opposed Indo-Pak hockey series as Hockey India chief, what is your stand on it as FIH President?Narinder Batra: In bilateral issues FIH can only request and it cannot do much, if that wasn’t the case then the issues between Indo-Pak would have beenresolved 2 years ago. There have always been positive vibrations comingfrom FIH. These were issues between the two countries and when we met in Dubai (before FIH elections), we did not meet before that till now, weboth met and it took two days but I feel all issues were resolved tosatisfaction of both (Ind & Pak federations).India Today: For the Junior World Cup & senior World Cup two years down the line do you see Pakistani teams & players coming to play in India?Narinder Batra: As far as the information I have as FIH President, yes Pakistan hasconfirmed they are coming so I see no reason why they would not come.Till the Junior World Cup I would be wearing both the hats (in HI &FIH) so the dates of arrival or the hotel where they will stay, we willhave a look at it and we will have to see that adequate security isprovided not only to the Pakistani team but all teams that are coming.India Today: Would you say it remains up to Hockey India & PakistanFederation to decide whether or not to play any bilateral series?Narinder Batra: Absolutely.However Narinder Batra did express reservations about Pakistani players participating in the Hockey India league just yet.”Hockey India (HI) puts it on website so players can apply to play in theleague and then they are picked up. Providing security to Pakistaniplayers in a private event which is not a FIH event, I mean a domesticleague with international players, their security (Pak players) can bean issue sometime so we will see how the political situation remains and then only such commitments can be made. Like in other sports until theclimate improves the current situation will continue.”Havingseen a revival of Indian hockey under his tenure Narinder Batra now has a larger role to fulfil. Rubbishing rumours about Hockey’s spot inOlympics being in jeopardy, Batra says his goal is to take hockey to all corners of the globe.India Today: What does your election in FIH mean for Indian Hockey? Will Indian hockey continue to grow?Narinder Batra: India is always very important in the FIH scheme of things and thatwill continue to remain. I don’t see any reason why Hockey in Indiashould not continue to grow at the pace at which it has been growing.Besides me Hockey in India is being run by a professional staff, youhave a CEO and the entire office staff, they will be handling it. Restof the board is equally competent so I am confident that graph of Indian Hockey will go up.advertisementIndia Today: What will your role & responsibilities be in the FIH?Narinder Batra: I don’t see my involvement in day-to-day functioning of FIH as theyhave a competent staff with whom I have been dealing with for past 5-6years. I would focus on expanding the base of hockey to many morecountries and how to increase the revenues in FIH so that we can support & assist the other member countries, make the game moreprofessional so people see that they can make a career out of hockey.India Today: So does this signal an end to your stint in Hockey India?Narinder Batra: Yes, I will have to quit my posts as Hockey India President, Chairmanof Hockey India league, Chairman of J&K hockey and my post in AsianHockey Federation.India Today: So how do you rate your tenure as Hockey India President?Narinder Batra: I am satisfied to quite an extent but I would have been much happierhad we won a medal in Olympics or World Cup. One regret I would go outwith is that I could not start a league for women.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is concerned over the heavy workload his players are experiencing competing across all competitions and international play.Spurs return from the international break to face off against Chelsea on Saturday, followed by a midweek Champions League clash with Inter and a visit to Arsenal the following weekend.The heavy fixture list next week is a precursor to what is to follow over the next month, as Spurs play midweek and each weekend through January 1. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! And while the international breaks are done until March, Pochettino has to contend with players who have had little rest between the international matches this fall and a short respite following the 2018 World Cup.The situation leaves Pochettino concerned his players have a real risk of breaking down physically over the course of the season, only to be pushed further by the Nations League finals in June.“Today the technology, sports science and the medical staff are fantastic,” Pochettino said.“But we’re pushing players to the limit. The line between getting injured and staying fit is so thin. We don’t realise that we’re playing with the health of the players.“They’re human, they are young, they need to enjoy life, too. They need to spend energy with their families, kids, girlfriends – and the guys that are not with girlfriends need to try to find one!“We need to be careful. I know the business is crazy today and it’s not easy to understand.“Yes, of course I am concerned.“We’re going to finish in the league on May 12 and we hope to be in the FA Cup or Champions League final.”Pochettino believes the international breaks make life increasingly difficult for the club, as it adds yet another strain on the players. While Pochettino says he and his staff aim to manage the players’ fitness, the reality of heavy fixture lists requiring players to feature often limits the staff’s ability navigate the situation. “We can only control what we’re doing here.“But they leave again when the September internationals arrive and again in October and November – it’s 15 days you lose control of the players.“They then arrive back here and they’re excited to train, but they need to relax.“We put a lot of emphasis on looking after them but, in the end, when the competition arrives, the competition does not wait for you. And who pays? The club.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic has ended speculation over a January transfer by confirming he intends to stay at the club until at least the end of the season.The 29-year-old Austria international had been the subject of a £35 million ($46m) offer from an unnamed Chinese club this month.However, West Ham were reluctant to let the forward leave during the winter window and were ready to resist any interest. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Arnautovic was reportedly unhappy at not being able to move, but has now sought to bring an end to the matter by confirming his intention to remain at the London Stadium for now.“I guess it’s no secret that there has been an offer for me and I have to admit that the offer was a very tempting one for me and my family,” he wrote on Instagram.“I’ve given 100 per cent to my club duties but I have also needed some time to talk to my club, my wife and the rest of my family.“I have now decided to put a stop to all the writings and speculation. I’m a professional footballer and the only thing I know in life is to play football.“It’s clear that London and West Ham United feels like home for me and I hope the West Ham fans have always seen that.“The club has pointed my career in the right direction since I joined and therefore I want to put the offers aside, help the club to climb as high as possible in the table and try to win the cup.“Let’s focus on the rest of this season together and let them bubbles fly. COYI.”Arnautovic’s situation draws parallels with another former Hammer, Dimitri Payet, who ultimately went on strike to force through a move back to Marseille in January 2017.However, despite the transfer speculation, Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini insisted he had no issues with Arnautovic and the former Stoke man was continuing to work hard in training.Arnautovic missed West Ham’s defeat at Bournemouth last weekend but is expected to return to the side for Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against League One side Wimbledon.
Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has been spotted at an airport in Brussels ahead of a proposed £10m ($13m) transfer to China on deadline day.As confirmed by Goal, United had been in discussions with a Chinese Super League club over a deal for Fellaini, with the 31-year-old having now reportedly agreed on personal terms over a three-year deal with Shandong Luneng.Former United boss Jose Mourinho insisted he wanted him to stay at the club while he was in charge last year, as he became the focal point of the Portuguese manager’s side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! However, Fellaini has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford after the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker boss in December and has yet to appear from the start under the Norwegian, with a calf injury having also held him back.The Red Devils have won eight of Solskjaer’s first nine matches in charge to re-emerge as contenders for a top-four Premier League finish, but Fellaini has only played a bit-part role.The Belgium international was left out of the matchday squad for United’s 2-2 home draw against Burnley on Tuesday, with his departure already sanctioned by the club.And Fellaini posted an image on his Instagram story at an airport in the Belgian capital on Thursday, with the caption ‘Let’s go’, suggesting he’s on his way to complete his move away from Old Trafford.According to reports, the veteran midfielder will put pen to paper on a lucrative £200,000 per week contract with Shandong Luneng, having already passed a medical.During his time at United, he split opinion amongst fans and experts with his unique physical style which saw him often labelled as a one-dimensional player.Fellaini will finish his time Old Trafford with 177 appearances to his name, with the former Everton midfielder having scored 22 goals for the club.He signed from Everton back in 2013 for a £27m ($35m) fee and went on to win the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup with the Red Devils.
Mumbai, Dec 23 (PTI) Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has unseated his actor-friend Shah Rukh Khan to become the top earning celebrity of 2016 in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 List with an estimated income of Rs 270.33 crore.The other leading names in the list include skipper Virat Kohli, actor Akshay Kumar and M S Dhoni chronologically.However, the 50-year-old Salman is ranked at No 2 in terms of fame, which is topped by ace cricketer Kohli.In the fifth rich 100 celeb list released by Forbes India, the ranking is based on two parameters: estimates of entertainment-related earnings and estimates of fame during the period October 2015 to September 2016.The magazine attributed the rise of Salman to his box office hits– the Sooraj Barjatya-directed Prem Ratan Dhan Payo in late 2015 and then Sultan in 2016.The magazine further said Salmans estimated total earnings constitutes 9.84 per cent of the total wealth of the top 100 celebs at Rs 2,745 crore for the year.SRK at No 2, has reportedly earned Rs 221.75 crore and also comes at No 3 in terms of fame. He lost his perch at the top in what was a mixed year for him both in terms of box office success and brands endorsed.When it comes to fame ranking, Test cricket captain Virat Kohli is the most popular celebrity and this has improved his earnings rank to No 3 with a reported Rs 134.44 crore earnings. In 2015, Kohli was ranked No 7.With an estimated earnings of Rs 203.03 crore and the fame rank of 11, Akshay Kumar has also moved up to No 4 on the list, driven by the successes of his flicks Airlift, Rustom and Housefull 3, apart from growing endorsements.advertisementThough Mahendra Singh Dhoni with an estimated earnings of Rs 122.48 crore and fame ranking of four, retired from Test cricket in December 2014, his fame quotient has shot up this year because of the biopic on him, fetching him the fifth position overall in this years list.The magazine chief executvie Joy Chakraborthy said the fifth list is based on the evaluaton of the talent across the entire entertainment world including idols from Bollywood to sports world thereby creating a truly holistic list.Magazine Editor Sourav Majumdar said, “movies and sports are very big businesses and this years list is also ample evidence of the enormous influence of Bollywood and cricket in the country.” (MORE) PTI BEN DK DK SDM
Mahendra Singh Dhoni today became the first Indian batsman to hit 200 sixes in one-day internationals.Dhoni, who relinquished the limited-overs captaincy earlier this month, also slammed his 10th ODI century in the second match of the ongoing series against England in Cuttack. (Dhoni joins Sachin Tendulkar in elite list)Dhoni was on 93 when he pulled Chris Woakes towards deep square leg on the second ball of the 43rd over. But the umpire signaled a dead ball as the ball dropped down after hitting the spider cam. (Dhoni may no longer be India captain but he’s still a leader)However, the 35-year-old wicketkeeper batsman was unfazed as he launched the next ball miles over long on to move to 99 and complete the milestone. Dhoni finally perished on 134, blasting 6 sixes and 10 fours.Dhoni is now the -fourth leading batsman in the world with most sixes in ODI cricket after Shahid Afridi (351), Sanath Jayasuriya (270), Chris Gayle (238). (Virat Kohli lauds MS Dhoni’s smart decision-making)The other Indians on the list are Sachin Tendulkar (195) and former captain Sourav Ganguly (190).
International Olympic Committee (IOC) board member Gian Franco Kasper apologized on Thursday for comparing a ban on Russia from the 2018 Olympics to persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.”It was an inappropriate and insensitive comment,” Kasper, the long-time International Ski Federation president, said in a statement.The 73-year-old Swiss official had been speaking on the sidelines of an IOC board meeting in 2018 host city Pyeongchang. Kasper compared a potential Olympic ban for Russia – as punishment for state-backed doping and cheating at the 2014 Sochi Games – with indiscriminate persecution by the Nazis.”I apologize unreservedly for any offence I have caused. I am truly sorry,” Kasper said in the statement released by the IOC.The IOC has set up two commissions to verify evidence – detailed in investigations appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency – of Russia’s doping program before deciding on the country’s Olympic participation.Last July, the IOC board declined to impose a blanket ban on Russian teams and athletes competing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Instead, the decision was left with the sports federations in a chaotic two weeks of legal debate and hearings before the games.Kasper was not a board member at the time. He has since been promoted to represent winter sports on the IOC’s policy-making committee.The two IOC commissions, investigating claims of a Russian doping conspiracy and prosecuting disciplinary cases against individual athletes, are expected to work for several more months.
Mumbai, Apr 2 (PTI) Industrialist Sajjan Jindals JSW Group is re-looking to acquire an existing franchisee of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T-20 cricket tournament.”We are looking at IPL as a big opportunity. There are a couple of franchises, which we know, are looking to exit. So, we are actively looking at that,” Sajjan Jindals son Parth Jindal told reporters at a group function in Jaigad recently.He, however, did not divulge which these two franchises are.JSW Steel Chairman Sajjan Jindal had in 2015 said that his group was planning to acquire an IPL side. At that time, there was speculation that the group could acquire Royal Challengers Bangalore owned by Vijay Mallya.However, the USD 11 billion steel and power conglomerate had later put on hold its plans to acquire an IPL cricket team in the wake of betting scandal hitting the star-studded cricketing league.Parth said there is a surge in interest in IPL of late that is reflected in the recent deals, like the one signed by Chinese mobile handset maker Oppo.He further said there is also a talk of a soon-to-be sealed TV deal being signed at three times the earlier size.”The IPL will be a profit-making venture. I think all IPL teams will make money,” he said.Parth said the diversified JSW Group otherwise looks at sports initiatives from a brand-building perspective and as a commitment towards the country, but cricket will be a commercial venture.”Cricket does not need any investing, (it) has enough money already,” he said.advertisementThe 10-year-old IPL held during the summer holidays attracts a good viewership. Some of the IPL teams are owned by prominent industrial groups. PTI AA BEN ARS GK
New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) Germany-based health and well being firm Beurer GMBH today announced its foray into the Indian market with the launch of a variety of products, including blood pressure monitors and nebulisers. The company, which has operations in more than 100 countries, has tied up with various retail outlets for distribution of its products and has appointed HW International LLC Dubai as its distributor. “Our target is to first of all get recognised as a brand because so far nobody knows us in India. This will be our first step now to get recognised by our customers,” Beurer GMBH Export Director Bernd Lindner told PTI.Initially, Beurer GMBH plans to launch around 75 products out of its range of 400 items. “The target is to market all the Buerer products in India eventually but as of now we have shortlisted 60-75 products out of the 400 products,” he said. The company has started its marketing operations in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Delhi and plans to expand further. When asked about investment in India, Linder said, “It is too early to comment about it as it depends on the supply chain”. The company is into manufacturing of blood pressure monitors, electric blankets, nebulisers, air purifiers, baby care and sports products, among others. On distribution of Beurer products in India, HW International LLC Dubai Director Sales Marketing Salil VS said the focus is to offer high quality products. “We have been analysing the Indian market for the last 8-9 years and found that many of the low quality items are coming from China without any quality check and has already penetrated this market,” he said. Salil further said: “We have to overcome the situation and introduce the quality products”. PTI PRJ RKL MRadvertisement
The nonprofit world is hearing a lot about mobile giving these days. Mobile giving is more than just a buzzword. It’s a tool that fundraisers can use to boost the performance of their fundraising campaigns, generating more revenue for their organizations.Mobile giving is even more powerful when it’s integrated into broader campaigns that include both offline elements (such as mailings) and wider digital elements (such as retargeted ads). In this article, we’ll share why mobile giving works so well, the trends you should take advantage of, and some ideas for integrating mobile giving into your campaigns.What is Mobile Giving?But first, what is mobile giving? And how is it different from online giving? Online giving refers to any type of giving that’s done via the internet. It’s a broad category that comprises many tactics and forms of giving.Mobile giving is a subcategory of online giving. Its defining characteristic is the use of a smartphone or mobile device. Each time a donor uses a mobile device to make a donation, it’s considered mobile giving. This form of online giving is a fairly broad category in and of itself, encompassing several tactics. Mobile giving includes:Gifts made by text (text-to-give)Gifts sent via email on a mobile device (mobile email)Gifts sent through mobile-responsive donation pagesGifts sent via mobile appsWhy Mobile Giving WorksNetwork for Good has found that mobile giving is responsible for 33% of all gifts on our customers’ donation pages. There are several reasons why mobile giving is growing. Consider these statistics from Nonprofits Source:25% of donors complete their donations on mobile devices.54% of nonprofit emails are read on a mobile device.51% of people who visit a nonprofit’s website do so on a mobile device.1 in 4 donors uses mobile devices to discover nonprofits they were previously unaware of.Modern life is fast-paced. As people juggle responsibilities, they’re on the go, and they’re taking the internet with them. Not only do a vast majority of Americans (77% of U.S. adults) own a smartphone, one in five American adults is a “smartphone-only” internet user—they own a smartphone instead of traditional home internet service.As reliance on mobile devices grows, new trends in giving have developed. If nonprofits are going to make the most of this fact, they need to focus on making it easier and faster for donors to engage with the organization and give on their mobile devices.Mobile Giving TrendsThe statistics speak powerfully about the wave of opportunity available with mobile giving. Let’s look at three specific trends that further demonstrate why a mobile giving strategy is so important for today’s nonprofits.Smartphones are everywhere.Smartphone use has skyrocketed in recent years and continues to rise. In 2011, only 35% of Americans owned a smartphone. Just six years later, that percentage jumped to 77%.Millennials give through their smartphones.Millennials are more tuned in to nonprofit work than previous generations have been at the same age. A whopping 98% of Millennials own a smartphone, and 37% have used a smartphone to donate.Mobile giving performance continues to improve.That mobile giving is a fast-growing trend is obvious when you look at mobile giving growth year over year. Today, 25% of donors complete their donations on mobile devices, up from 14% in 2015.Integrate Mobile Giving into All CampaignsWhile you can run mobile-only campaigns that are focused on the four forms of mobile giving described above, mobile giving is even more effective when it becomes a part of other campaigns. Easy ways to integrate mobile giving into your existing campaigns include:Add your mobile donation page URL or a QR code to email appeals, directing donors to your mobile-responsive donation page.Include your mobile donation page URL in your direct mail appeals, in case donors want to immediately check out your page on the way back from the mailbox.Advertise your mobile-giving app in publications and wherever you place ads.Include a text-to-give number on event swag.The potential for mobile giving to increase your fundraising revenue is significant. And since it’s growing so rapidly, nonprofits are smart to explore ways to integrate it into their campaigns. Simultaneously make the donation process easier and faster for your donors, while increasing the number of donations you receive.Download Network for Good’s eGuide, “The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Giving,” to learn how to launch your mobile giving initiative today.
Harry Kane admits those of a Tottenham persuasion will be nailing their colours to a Manchester City mast during the Blues’ heavyweight Premier League clash with Liverpool.A fixture which could go some way towards determining the destination of the top-flight crown is set to be staged at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.Reigning champions City are set to play host to Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten table-toppers sat seven points off the pace. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Spurs are currently the closest challengers to the Reds but will drop back into third if Pep Guardiola’s side claims a draw or better on home soil in midweek.Kane claims those in north London would settle for that if it meant their own claims to the title being enhanced.The England international told reporters: “We’d probably like City to win to make it a little bit closer, but that’s not in our control.”All we can do is look after ourselves and win our games. Over the last few years we have been in this position with Leicester, and then Chelsea the year after.”We just have to concentrate on ourselves and winning games is all we can do.”We will see what happens with Liverpool and City. We can’t think too much about other teams if I’m honest.”Tottenham have forced their way into title contention over recent seasons, but have failed to sustain a challenge once established within the chasing pack.A shock defeat at Wolves in their final outing of 2018 put a dent in their challenge for the current campaign, but they responded positively to that reversal last time out.Having seen off Cardiff 3-0 on Tuesday, Mauricio Pochettino’s side remain just six points adrift of Liverpool.They are, however, about to enter an important phase of their season, with their January schedule set to see them take in a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final date with Chelsea as well as a Premier League clash with rejuvenated Manchester United. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Wolves piled further pressure on under-fire Everton boss Marco Silva with an entertaining 3-1 win at Goodison Park on Saturday.The Toffees’ patchy results this season have seen the Portuguese’s position come under intense scrutiny and he will not be sitting any more comfortably after Wolves picked up a third straight Premier League victory to cement their place just outside the top six.Ruben Neves’ early penalty had Nuno Espirito Santo’s side ahead but Everton were level midway through the first half thanks to Andre Gomes’ thumping first goal for the club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! However, slack marking from a free-kick allowed Raul Jimenez to head home on the stroke of half-time and Leander Dendoncker smashed in a volley midway through the second period to secure Wolves’ first win at Goodison in 40 years..@Raul_Jimenez9 = deadly. pic.twitter.com/FFMc8QIyFJ— Wolves (@Wolves) February 2, 2019Everton had taken the lead inside three minutes of their win at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday but it was their turn to fall behind early on here as Leighton Baines felled Matt Doherty and Neves calmly converted the spot-kick.The hosts almost gifted Wolves a second in the 20th minute when Tom Davies lost the ball and Jimenez fed Dendoncker, who was denied by Jordan Pickford at close quarters.Rui Patricio surged out to thwart Theo Walcott as Everton sought a response, which duly arrived in the 27th minute thanks to Gomes’ rasping drive into the roof of the net from 18 yards. | What a way to score your first goal for the Blues, @aftgomes! #EFCmatchday pic.twitter.com/E6YYQMQHE9— Everton (@Everton) February 2, 2019But Wolves restored their advantage as Jimenez rose unchallenged to head Joao Moutinho’s delivery into the bottom-left corner.And the visitors earned some breathing space as the rebound from Diogo Jota’s blocked attempt fell straight to Dendoncker to lash home from eight yards – capping an impressive day for Wolves and a torrid one for Silva and Everton. What does it mean? Wolves the best of the restWins over Leicester City, West Ham and now Everton have seen Wolves rise to seventh in the table. The usual suspects make up the top six, which has proven almost impossible to break into, but there can be no doubt that Nuno’s men offer a tough test for anyone in this division.A cat-astrophic day for Everton, Wolves ‘feline’ goodAmid a miserable afternoon for Everton fans, there was some light relief in the aftermath of Wolves’ third goal as a black cat strayed onto the pitch and delayed proceedings for a couple of minutes before the intruder was eventually chased away by a steward.Toffees come unstuck at the back once moreEverton’s shaky defence has been cause for concern for most of the season and they contributed to their own downfall again as Baines’ clumsy foul led to the first goal and no one picked up Jimenez for the second.Key Opta Facts- Wolves have won 11 Premier League games this season – their joint-highest tally in a single Premier League campaign, alongside the 2010-11 season.- Wolves have scored 3-plus goals in three consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since March 1980.- Everton have lost three of their last four Premier League games at Goodison Park, as many as they had lost in their previous 23.- Jimenez has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other Wolves player this season (9 goals, 5 assists).What’s next?It does not get any easier for Everton, who host champions Manchester City on Wednesday. Wolves have an FA Cup fourth-round replay at home to Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday before returning to league action against Newcastle United a week on Monday. read more
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are “firing blanks” for Liverpool, says Steve Nicol, with “every single thing going wrong” for a once potent attacking unit.The Reds have failed to find the target in their last two outings, with a goalless Champions League draw with Bayern Munich followed by another in the Premier League against Manchester United.Jurgen Klopp’s side failed to offer much of a threat during a crunch clash at Old Trafford on Sunday, with Firmino hobbling off, Salah replaced before the end and Mane looking out of sorts. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The latter has netted in three of his last five outings, but Liverpool’s fearsome frontline last hit the net in the same game back on January 19 against Crystal Palace.Former Reds defender Nicol believes an untimely dip in form is impacting a title bid, telling ESPN FC: “Unfortunately going forward the front three are firing blanks.“I can’t remember them ever being, the three of them, so poor at the same time. “Salah’s had spells when he didn’t score at the start of the year and Firmino sometimes hasn’t knitted it together as well. “But every single thing is going wrong for the three of them now, including Mane.“The front three have got to find form. If you’re not scoring goals, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against.“There’s no goals coming from the middle of the park. Fabinho, as great a job as he does, is not going to score you goals, [Jordan] Henderson’s not going to score you goals, [Gini] Wijnaldum may get you the odd goal. It’s basically the front three.“If they’re not scoring, which right now the three of them are out of form, it’s going to be a little worrying.“It’s so hit and miss [with Salah] right now. Unfortunately the guy on the other side, Mane, is a little bit the same as well.“Right now you see [Manchester] City winning more games than Liverpool.”Liverpool have seen the contribution from their front three after 34 games dip from 61 goals and 25 assists in 2017-18 to 56 and 12 in the current campaign.Nicol believes that is because opponents are now better prepared to counter the threat they pose, adding: “What you need to add to that, teams were defending a bit higher, giving a little bit more space in behind to the three of them so they had more time, more space. “They don’t have that.“You ally that to the fact that the three of them are out of form, then you end up with the draws that Liverpool are beginning to pile up.”The Reds have been held in four of their last five games across all competitions, but will have the chance to get back to winning ways on Wednesday when they play host to Watford. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Turns out monkeys don’t like to get paid unequally, either.We’re sure this resonates with most freelancers, who don’t get the same protections as traditional workers when they’re not paid. It’s like not getting a cucumber OR a grape (a reference that will make sense in a minute).Check out what happens at 1:35.From a TED talk by Frans de Waal, a professor of primate behavior at Emory University. Found on Upworthy.
Rohit Sharma came to the Eden Gardens with happy memories. The last time he had played an ODI on the hallowed Kolkata turf, he had blazed away to a record-shattering 264, the highest individual ODI score.On November 13, 2014, Rohit had taken Sri Lanka’s attack to the cleaners and produced one of the greatest batting spectacles in the modern era.The stylish Mumbai opener was on a comeback trail, having last played for India in August that year. He had gone without a hundred in 16 innings between his two double hundreds and there was pressure on him to score big and seal his spot ahead of the World Cup. Rohit has come a long way since and is now the vice-captain of the Indian team and an automatic choice for the limited-overs sides. He sat out of international cricket for seven months to nurse an injury he suffered last year but has been in sensational form since, having smashed three hundreds this year.However, he has had a tough time against Australia so far. Rohit scored 28 in Chennai and managed only 7 today at the Eden Gardens, the very venue where he had muscled his way to that record score nearly three years ago.Incidentally, Rohit fell to Nathan Coulter-Nile, who turns up for the Kolkata Knight Riders and enjoyed a fairly successful season in 2017. There was stunned silence at the ground as the crowd watched their talisman walk off without creating a flutter.Rohit has been in good form this year with 641 runs from 12 ODIs but he would have loved to get some runs under his belt in Kolkata, where he incidentally made a hundred on Test debut, a year before chasing the Sri Lankan attack on a white leather hunt.advertisement
Novak Djokovic is recovering from a “significant” elbow injury and is keen to get back on the tour again, the 12-times grand slam champion’s new physiotherapist Ulises Badio has said.A prolonged dip in form before the injury earlier this year forced Djokovic to curtail his season after retiring against Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in July.The former number one, who retained Andre Agassi as his head coach, added Argentine Badio and Italian fitness coach Marco Panichi to his team and is expected to return early next year.”Novak had a significant injury and we are bringing it under control,” Badio told Argentine daily La Nacion, adding that the Serb’s decision to take time off had helped.”Time was required to improve it. The decision he took allowed us to have a time table and not go back and forth about treatment. He has a lot of eagerness to return,” Badio added.Badio, a kinesiologist (concerning body movement) and physiotherapist specialising in acupuncture and Chinese therapy, said he also looked forward to working with American Agassi.”I read his book, which I found emotional. Now I’ve met him, and he seems a captivating person.”
Everton’s poor start to the season continued as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Burnley on Sunday with Irish midfielder Jeff Hendrick grabbing a 21st minute winner.Burnely are unbeaten away from home this season and move up to sixth in the league while Everton languish in 16th place with just two wins in this campaign so far.Burnley’s goal came at the end of a 24-pass move with Hendrick skipping away from his marker and firing past Jordan Pickford.Ronald Koeman’s Everton looked short of confidence and ideas and struggled to turn possession into chances even after the introduction of Wayne Rooney as a second-half substitute.KOEMAN DEFENDS PLAYERS”I can’t complain from my players today. They did everything. There are situations in our ball possession that maybe we can create more but it is not so easy against Burnley,” said Koeman.Photo Credit: Reuters “They are a defensive minded team but well organised, physical. You need to be lucky in second balls, maybe everything. The commitment and spirit of the players was really positive.”I am disappointed about the result. Not disappointed about the commitment and belief of the players because I think it was totally different. These circumstances you need to score a goal.”The response from the crowd at the end of the game however, with boos ringing out across Goodison Park, suggested that not everyone shared the manager’s generous assessment of the performance.After a close-season in which the club invested almost 140 million pounds ($187.5 million) and brought back Wayne Rooney to his boyhood team from Manchester United, more was expected and some are already questioning whether Koeman is the right man to lead Everton forward.advertisementBut the former Barcelona player, who had a spell as manager of Southampton before moving to Merseyside, said he was unconcerned about speculation.”I have experience and I know if you win your life on a daily basis it is different from if you lose.”It is not nice to get two weeks an international break if you lose. We will continue and I will try to do my best for the job. All the stuff and the questions is not in my hands,” he said.
Sri Lanka speedster Lasith Malinga has hinted at possible retirement, saying that he is mentally done with international cricket, now that his eventful IPL career is over.Malinga, who went unsold at the IPL 2018 auctions after the Mumbai Indians decided not to retain him, was appointed as bowling mentor of Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.The Sri Lankan has been the core of Mumbai Indians winning combination in the last decade. He has donned the prestigious Mumbai Indians jersey in 110 matches of the 157 games the franchise has played so far.”Mentally I am over with playing cricket. I don’t think I will play anymore international cricket. I am planning to announce my retirement soon,” Malinga told PTI during an exclusive interaction on the sidelines of the St Moritz Ice Cricket Challenge.He is BACK! ??Lasith Malinga will continue his journey with Mumbai Indians as our bowling mentor. Read more https://t.co/zZTHg8SIFJ#CricketMeriJaan pic.twitter.com/0eGqmhO7meMumbai Indians (@mipaltan) February 7, 2018″I have not spoken to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) but once I go back I will have to again go through domestic grind, see how my body responds. But now as my IPL career is also over and I am starting a new chapter with Mumbai Indians, I might not play again,” he added.Malinga knows it would be tough not to play in front of a capacity Wankhede Stadium crowd wearing the Mumbai Indians blue jersey but admitted that in his heart he knew that his time was up.advertisement”Everyone gets that signal. Even the great Wasim Akram knew when his time was up,” he said.”I was not surprised at their decision not to have retained me. I had 10 very good years with Mumbai Indians and I achieved a lot. But this year, the owners spoke to me and told me about their vision going forward. They wanted to create a good team for the next three years. I also understand that my time in competitive cricket is over now.”The Sri Lankan slinger said he is looking forward to the new chapter of his life as a mentor.”I am 34-years-old and not getting any younger. And I feel this is the right time to make a career move. Mumbai Indians had the mentorship role in mind and I am happy to start a new innings,” said Malinga, who has a record 331 T20 wickets across 248 games (international plus franchise).”My job as a mentor will now give me an opportunity to guide the next crop of fast bowlers. I will pass on my knowledge to them and also it will be an opportunity to assess myself in the coaching arena,” he further added.Malinga acknowledged the emergence of Jasprit Bumrah in Mumbai Indians outfit and said he is a fine prospect in the shortest format.”Bumrah has emerged as a great death bowler. He has the skill sets which I also had — bowling at the death overs under pressure. For that you need a different temperament as IPL is a high-pressure tournament,” he said.”What makes me even more proud is the fact that he has transformed his IPL success into international cricket. I was so happy to see him perform so well in South Africa. His biggest quality is the ability to be consistent.(Source: PTI)
Virat Kohli’s rampaging run in the South Africa series cemented his place as one of the best players of the modern era, not just in one-day cricket but across all formats.India’s tour of South Africa was going to be Kohli’s biggest challenge till now as captain and as a batsman and he passed both those tests with flying colours.WATCH FULL INTERVIEWKohli amassed 871 runs on the tour and finished as the highest run-getter in the Test and ODI series with 286 and 558 runs respectively.His outstanding form with the bat helped India beat South Africa in the third Test at Johannesburg and then clinch the six-match ODI series 5-1 and the T20I series 2-1.India head coach Ravi Shastri attributes the captain’s phenomenal success to his mental toughness as a cricketer.”Virat Kohli leads from the front. He is a tough guy in the mind and that makes a huge difference because it spreads amongst his teammates as well. And we knew even after losing 2 Tests that we weren’t far behind. People might say anything, they might write anything but we give two hoots,” Shastri told India Today. Virat Kohli led India to it’s first bilateral ODI series win in South Africa. (Photo: BCCI)”The captain not for one minute didn’t believe India wouldn’t win (the Johannesburg Test). That was the difference. Even at 120 for 1 he believed that India could win. Even when they came in at tea time he was very clear that “we are winning this Test match”. They (South Africa) were three down at that time.advertisement”When you have that kind of self-belief, as I said it’s like a disease which spreads among the other players,” he added.The former India all-rounder also felt that Kohli learnt a lot as captain on this tour.”As captain he would have learnt heck of a lot because this was a tough tour, make no mistake about it. I’ve been going to South Africa since 1992, you tell me one South African team which is not a strong team? And when you look at their attack now, it’s as good as any in the world specially in those conditions.”Kohli was the only batsman from either side to score a hundred in the Test series and he followed that up with three tons in the ODIs where he averaged a mind boggling 186 from six games.Shastri feels the hundred he scored in the second Test at Centurion was the turning point for Kohli on the tour.”Once he got that 150 in Centurion there was no looking back. Even the two innings that he played next he might have just got 40-50 but it was top class. By the time the one-day series was over he showed why he’s the best batsman in the world. There is no question that he is the best batsman. Virat Kohli was the only batsman from either India or South Africa to score a hundred in the Test series. (Photo: Reuters)”Across all formats to have that kind of consistency, to have that ability to finish a game. To first know that there is a chance here and then to go out and dominate and then to have that level of consistency. Close to 870 runs on a tour of South Africa is unreal,” the 55-year-old said.Kohli has 56 international hundreds already and is the fastest batsman to amass 17,000 international runs. He is second on the list of most hundreds scored by batsmen in the 50-over format with 35 centuries behind only the great Sachin Tendulkar (49).Therefore, it is but natural that comparisons do take place between the Master Blaster and the India’s run-machine.”Just the fact that Virat Kohli has been brought on the same page as Sachin Tendulkar, I don’t have to say anything more.”He’s unbelievable and he challenges himself. He says, ‘I’m up against the best attack in the world, the conditions are suiting the opposition, if I’m worth my salt let me get runs here’. And he goes out and does it. And the manner in which he gets runs is something that sets him apart. He dominates. He’s a dominating player and you don’t see too many,” Shastri concluded.