Team India will tour Sri Lanka this month for a full-fledged series. Ahead of the tour, BCCI appointed Ravi Shastri as head coach while naming Zaheer Khan as the bowling consultant while Rahul Dravid as batting consultant for overseas tours.In his first exclusive interview since his appointment as India’s head coach, Shastri said he was honoured to get the top job left vacant following Anil Kumble’s resignation last month.”Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid will be invaluable in the team. I had spoken to both of them in 2014 to spend some time with the boys. Some fresh input coming in is always helpful,” Shastri told India Today in an exclusive chat from London.WATCH FULL INTERVIEW HEREIndia already have a full-time batting coach in Sanjay Bangar, and with the addition of Dravid and Zaheer along with Shastri, the team now has a dream team in its support staff.Dravid was a legendary batsman during his playing days but he is also an accomplished coach and has had a lot of success while coaching the India A and U-19 teams in the last two years.In his first assignment as coach, India A won the Tri-series in Australia which also involved South Africa. He repeated that success with the Under-19 team, guiding them to the final of the 2016 World Cup in Bangladesh, where they lost to West Indies.Dravid will continue to coach the junior teams after accepting a two-year contract recently.Dravid and Zaheer worked together at Delhi Daredevils for two seasons where the former was the team mentor-cum-coach and the latter is the captain and the most senior player in the squad.advertisementIn the final stages of his career, Zaheer played the role of a mentor for young India pacers like Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami. He was the leader of the attack for quite a few years before his retirement and was instrumental in shaping the careers of the junior bowlers.
Months ago, sometime around May, Google confirmed that LG’s next flagship phone, which will most probably called – the LG V30 (company hasn’t confirmed yet) will come with Daydream support out-of-the-box and an OLED screen. LG V30 is going to be the successor of the previously announced LG V20. Some rumours further suggest that LG could launch the V30 in September. LG V30 has already been subjected to several rumous, and now some more renders of the upcoming flagship phone by LG leaks online, revealing almost every key details of the device.Onleaks posted some images of a smartphone, which is supposedly of the LG V30. The renders show only the rear panel of the smartphone in glossy black colour. The renders reveal that the upcoming flagship phone by LG – the LG V30 is going to sport dual cameras on the back, which is already seen on several LG phones already. The two camares at the back sits horizontally, below which is the fingerprint sensor.Picture Courtesy: OnleaksLooking at the renders, it can be assumed that the LG V30 could possible come with a display screen of 6-inchs. The images further show the phone lock button at the right panel, which indicates that the volume rockers will sit on the left edges. The smartphone looks pretty much sleek in design, and fits a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top edge of the handset.Also Read: LG V30 may come with a secondary slide-out display: ReportThe alleged LG V30 is also rumoured to come with wireless charging support and OLED display, suggests some previously leaked rumours. A recent report from Korea citing industry sources states, “Most OLED screens produced at LG Display’s Gumi E5 plant in the second half will be used for its sister firm LG Electronics’ smartphones, starting with the V30.”While some other rumours suggest that LG V30 may not come with its signature secondary display, which was seen on the V20. Furthermore, the purported LG V30 is expected to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor. The same processor powers most of the flagship phones of the year like the Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC U11, and OnePlus 5.advertisementApart from the LG V30, the company is reportedly working hard on the successor of this year’s LG G6. The LG G7. Rumours are that Qualcomm and LG are in talks to incorporate the latest Snapdragon 845 processor in the LG G7. According to Aju Business Daily an industry official says, “The adoption of the Snapdragon 845 for LG’s next flagship phone seems inevitable, considering the emerging virtual reality and augmented reality solutions require more powerful data processing capability.”
India’s NatWest Series victory in 2002 is best remembered for two reasons. One, the emergence of youngsters Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif and two, for Sourav Ganguly’s wild shirtless celebration at the Lord’s balcony.Fifteen years ago on this day, India were staring at defeat in the NatWest series final against England at Lord’s but the new kids on the block – Yuvraj and Kaif – proved their mettle and turned the tables to hand India a glorious victory.Batting first, England rode on captain Nasser Hussain (115), Marcus Trescothick (109) centuries and a quickfire 40 off 32 balls from Andrew Flintoff to post a challenging 325 for five in 50 overs.July 13, 2002 – #TeamIndia won the NatWest series final #ThisDayThatYear @MohammadKaif @ImZaheer @YUVSTRONG12 @SGanguly99 pic.twitter.com/jKeFXEmCgk- BCCI (@BCCI) 13 July 2017In reply, India had a solid start with Virender Sehwag (45) and Sourav Ganguly (60) adding 106 for the opening wicket. But quick wickets dented India’s chase and the visitors were reduced to 146/5 in 24 overs.While victory looked like a distant dream, Kaif joined Yuvraj in the middle. The young duo played some fabulous shots and also hit a few out of the park to keep India’s hopes alive.Today in 2002 at Lord’s: India chasing England’s 325, won by 2 wkts to win the Natwest Trophy, thanks to Mohd Kaif 87* & Yuvraj Singh 69 pic.twitter.com/oTbcbO772w- Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) 13 July 2017Yuvraj and Kaif recorded a 121-run solid partnership for the sixth wicket in just 17.4 overs to tilt the match in India’s favour. However, Yuvraj fell for 69 off 63 balls with India on 267/6 in 41.4 overs, still requiring another 59 runs.advertisementWith the Indian tail to follow after Yuvraj’s wicket, surely England were back in the game. But Kaif had other ideas.He kept the scoreboard ticking and had a fiery 47-run stand with Harbhajan Singh (15 off 13 balls) in just 5.5 overs to put India on top.But wickets of Harbhajan and Anil Kumble in the space of three deliveries put every cricket fan on the edge of their seats. Kaif held his nerves before Zaheer Khan hit the winning runs to give India a two-wicket win.What followed was wild celebrations. An elated Ganguly, took his shirt off and celebrated the win from the iconic Lord’s balcony, something that remains fresh in the memories of cricket fans even today.15 years ago #OnThisDay , I lived a dream, a dream of a lifetime. We won the Natwest series Finals against England chasing 326 #87NotOut pic.twitter.com/KDXN5WwrLJ- Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) 13 July 2017Please see carefully. Rahul Dravid Bhai, as always coming to the rescue , this time for me 🙂 https://t.co/DtpkFwaS7Q- Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) 13 July 2017
PV Sindhu will go into the Badminton World Championships starting August 21 in Glasgow as the highest seeded Indian shuttler.Rio 2016 silver medalist is seeded fourth in the Women’s singles category just below her arch-rival and Rio gold medalist — Carolina Marin. Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi is the top seed, followed by Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun.Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal has been seeded 12th for the tournament.Yamaguchi, who is currently the world number two, has been handed the top seed following world number one Tai Tzu Ying’s withdrawal.SRIKKANTH SEEDED 8THAP PhotoOn the other hand, in-form Kidambi Srikanth is seeded eighth in the Men’s singles category, just a place below two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China.Srikanth has been in terrific form this season. He won two straight Superseries titles — Indonesia Open and Australian Open.The 24-year-old will fancy his chances in the Glasgow meet as he will come back fresh from the break he took after winning the Australian Open in June.His fellow male shuttlers Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram are seeded 15th and 13th respectively. While Praneeth won the Singapore Open recently, Jayaram will look to bounce back from his shock first round defeat to a relatively unknown opponent — Chia Hung Lu of China at the New Zealand Open. Sameer Verma who is ranked 28, will start as an unseeded player.Korea’s Son Wan Ho is the top seed in Men’s singles with Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei following him at second.In the mixed doubles, India’s Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy are seeded second-last at 15th.advertisement
France’s Brice Leverdez stunned Malaysia’s second seed Lee Chong Wei 21-19, 22-24, 21-17 in the first round of the BWF World Championships in Glasgow on Tuesday.Leverdez, the world number 31, scored only his second win over Lee in nine matches and said playing without fear helped him in the 75-minute contest at the Emirates Arena.”I know I am the underdog when I play Lee and usually I would have put pressure on myself. This time I wanted to play my game, joke on court with myself,” the 31-year-old said.Leverdez failed to convert two match points in the second game but kept his composure against a nervy Lee in the decider to grind out the result.Defeat ended the 34-year-old Lee’s hunt for an elusive first title in a competition in which he has been runner-up three times.Photo Credit: Reuters “Brice played so well today… he had the lead for a lot of the second game and he was very lucky,” Lee said after the match.Defending champion Chen Long started his campaign with a convincing win over Georges Julien Paul from Mauritius. The Chinese fifth seed downed his opponent 21-7, 21-9 in 29 minutes.Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen survived a scare from England’s Toby Penty before winning in three games while Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus lost to Chinese 10th seed Tian Houwei.In the women’s draw, Japanese top seed Akane Yamaguchi beat Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt 21-6, 21-13 in 30 minutes.China’s Sun Yu, seeded fifth, powered past unseeded Indonesian Lyanny Alessandra Mainaky 21-13, 21-9 in 47 minutes. She was joined in the second round by compatriot Chen Yufei.advertisementThailand’s Ratchanok Intanon overcame Malaysia’s Rui Chen Yap 21-12, 21-7 while China’s Chen Xiaoxin defeated Canada’s Michelle Li 21-13, 27-25.
Retorting to the order of Kerala High Court restoring life time ban on him, cricketer S. Sreesanth on Tuesday asserted that it was the worst decision ever.”I will keep fighting and make sure I don’t give up. This is the worst decision ever, a special rule for me?” said Sreesanth.The Bench on Tuesday has restored the life time ban imposed by the BCCI on Sreesanth in connection with the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal.Allowing the appeal filed by BCCI, Division Bench headed by Chief Justice held that there is no violation of natural justice against the cricketer.Questioning the ruling of the court Sreesanth said, “what about the accused 13 names in Lodha report? “What about real culprits? What about Chennai Super Kings? And what about Rajasthan? No one wants to know about it? I will keep fighting for my right. God is great.” Sreesanth said.”Thanks a lot for all the support and encouragement given so far. I assure you all that I’m not giving up. I will Keep at it,” he added.Earlier the BCCI had appealed to the Division Bench of Kerala High Court against lifting the life-time ban on the tainted pacer.Sreesanth was banned for life by the BCCI for his alleged role in the IPL spot-fixing in 2013.A single judge bench of the Kerala High Court had earlier passed an order that the bowler’s life-ban be lifted.The court had also dropped all the charges against Sreesanth after he filed a plea challenging the life ban imposed on him.advertisementThe game’s governing body had, however, maintained its stance and did not allow Sreesanth to make an immediate comeback and also filed a counter-affidavit in response to cricketer’s plea
There have been a few rumours and leaked images in the past that suggest Razer is working on its first smartphone that may be unveiled in November. The phone is largely touted to pack jacked up hardware aimed to please hardcore gamers. Now, the alleged Razer Phone has been spotted online with a few specs detailed, giving us a glimpse of what to expect.The Razer Phone was spotted on a UK-based e-commerce site 3G alongside some specifications. Now, the image shown on the site is unlikely the Razer Phone as it looks like a photoshopped version of the Nextbit Robin. However, the image could be meant as an approximation as the Razer Phone may have some Robin-like design elements since Razer acquired the startup earlier this year.Moving on to the specs, the website shows the Razer Phone will sport a 5.72-inch IGZO display. Razer has been known to use IGZO displays for its gaming laptops like the Razer Blade as they are known to improve video response, provide higher resolution and lowers battery consumption, so the Razer Phone getting an IGZO display makes perfect sense. The spec further highlights 120Hz refresh rate and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), something that is rarely seen for a smartphone display as most flagships today are locked to 60Hz refresh rate. Notably Sharp has incorporated 120Hz refresh rate in its Aquos series while Apple brought 120Hz to its iPad Pro tablet.Also Read: Razer smartphone with dual rear camera setup leaked in live imageadvertisementEssentially, 120Hz refresh rate means you’ll see super smooth animation and movements on the screen, which again makes it a likely specification for the gaming-focussed Razer Phone. Of course, to back serious gaming performance the phone will need to go big on RAM, and if the listing is true then the Razer Phone could see a whopping 8GB of RAM. Additional specs mentioned include dual front-facing speakers with Dolby ATMOS sound that should provide adequate immersive experience. The phone could also sport a dual rear camera setup comprising one 12-megapixel sensor with f/1.75 wide angle and one 13-megapixel sensor with f/2.6 zoom along with autofocus. The smartphone is expected to support 4G and will pack a 4000mAh battery, as per the website.A few of the specs mentioned here are in line with past rumours. A GFXBench listing earlier this month revealed the Razer Phone will sport a Snapdragon 835 SoC with Adreno 540 GPU. The smartphone could also be offered with 64GB of internal storage. Razer is expected to unveil the gaming-focussed smartphone on November 1.
Antonio Conte’s return to Italian football on Tuesday proved such a chastening experience as he watched his Chelsea side dismantled by AS Roma in the Champions League that he worries they could be set for a “very difficult” season.A downbeat Conte said he and his players all had to take responsibility for the 3-0 capitulation in Group C, which equalled the biggest he has suffered in his Chelsea reign, and needed to rediscover their hunger for battle quickly.Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, whose second-half saves kept the score down, was also baffled by how the Premier League champions lost their “fighting spirit” after halftime as they became the first English side to lose in the Champions League this season.Two first-half goals from Stephan El Shaarawy seemed to break Chelsea’s spirit to such an extent that after the break they were both so disorganised at the back and careless with their distribution that they bore no resemblance to the efficient outfit who were so hard to breach last season.After Diego Perotti made it 3-0, Conte told BT Sport: “Roma showed more will to fight and more desire to win the game. For this performance, we all have to take responsibility.”When you concede three goals, you must be worried. It means something doesn’t work.”Talking to Sky Sports, he added: “This season will be very difficult if we don’t understand quickly the right way that we have to go.”Last season we showed great hunger, great will to do something of importance. If we think that only because our name is Chelsea and the opponent has fear (of) the name Chelsea, I think this is not the right way.advertisement”We must find the hunger that we showed in all last season and in this season sometimes. We have to try to find the strength to understand and to use this loss in the right way.”RESTLESS FIGUREConte has cut a restless figure all season with Chelsea’s Premier League title defence having been so underwhelming as they lie nine points off the leaders Manchester City.Increasing media speculation about Conte being replaced at Stamford Bridge by compatriot Carlo Ancelotti also left him uncharacteristically irritable at a news conference last week.Yet he seems even more exasperated with what he is seeing on the field, Chelsea’s woeful defending in the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday making him wish aloud that such a performance was for “one night only”.The evidence, though, is that a lack of confidence is infecting his previously mean rearguard, as shown in particular by the lack of communication between Antonio Rudiger and his fellow defenders which led to El Shaarawy’s second goal.”I don’t know why in the second half we dropped our fighting spirit and our mentality,” Courtois told BT Sport. “We have to fight back on Sunday (in the Premier League clash with Manchester United) and show the fans this was an off-day.”The only good news for Chelsea was that Atletico Madrid’s shock home draw against Qarabag in the other Group C fixture meant the lndon side only need one win from their final two games to ensure qualification for the knockout stages.
Shimla, Dec 23 (PTI) The state Tourism and Civil Aviation Department was conducting frequent inspection of hotels and implementing provisions of the HP Tourism Development and Registration Act, 2002, to provide better facilities to tourists, an official spokesperson said.The department registered 2880 hotels and carriedï¿½out 3748 inspections this year to ensure quality services, the official said, adding that a sum of Rs 23,37,775 was collected as penalties from erring units.”All out efforts are to promote tourism and allied activities and provide best possible facilities to tourists visiting the state,” the spokesman said.Nearly 153.52 lakh tourists visited the state between January and September, including 150.05 lakh domestic and 3.77 lakh foreign tourists, he added.Tourism contributed 6.8 per cent to the Gross State Domestic Product and constant efforts were being made to increase it, the official said.The department had earlier urged entrepreneurs to register their hotels, guest houses, restaurants, travel agencies, home stay units, adventure sports, out-door photographers, trekking and tourist guides by fulfilling all formalities. PTI PCL IJT
An angry Sri Lanka interim coach Nic Pothas today said that his players should be embarrassed of their innings and 239-run defeat at the hands of India in the second Test.Pothas made it clear that there is bound to be repercussions as plans have not been executed and some senior players like Angelo Mathews need to do some soul searching.”It is hugely disappointing because of the amount of work ethics that goes in behind the scenes. It is embarrassing (defeat). Players should be embarrassed with their own performances. Net practice means nothing if you don’t get out and put runs on the board,” Pothas answer was in reference to Sri Lanka’s scores of 205 and 166 in both innings of the match.”You can talk all that you want to and plan a lot but at the end of the day you’ve got to execute plans. As a player, your currency is runs, wickets and catches. You can do all you like but if you are not producing them, obviously there will be repercussions. That’s the world of professional sport.”Pothas urged senior pro Angelo Mathews to do some soul searching as he can only come up with solutions to his wretched form as Sri Lanka lost fourth time to India inside three and half days in the last five Test matches.Mathews, who was expected to shoulder the burden of national team post Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara’s departure, has scored a meagre 537 runs in 20 innings in his last 10 Tests at an average of 26.85.advertisement”I have been only in place for six months and Angie hasn’t played a lot of Test match cricket prior to one of these games. But you can count on numbers over a period of time.”Your numbers will tell you a pretty good story about where you stand. You can look at yourself and ask what have I done,” Pothas reply made it clear that there are concerns about the veteran all-rounders form.Pothas hoped that Mathews would be able to sort out his technical issues after sessions with batting coach Thilan Samaraweera.”It is tough when you are not playing continuously, especially to try and strike a rhythm when you do make a comeback. We have got Thilan Samaraweera as our batting coach with a good track record.”I am sure he will sit down with Angelo and work things out. Angelo is a quality international cricketer and he is hurting at the moment because he takes immense amount of pride in his game.”I have no doubt that with his ability he will come up with some answers. As coaches, we need to provide him with the best environment as possible in order for him to make the best chance.”
___TweetPinShare0 Shares Isiah Thomas is back in New York, this time running the WNBA’s Liberty.Seven years after Thomas’ unsuccessful stint as Knicks president ended, Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan has hired him again. Liberty general manager Kristin Bernert said after Tuesday’s announcement that she was “comfortable” with the company’s answers to her questions about past sexual harassment allegations against Thomas.Thomas will serve as the team’s president, with responsibility for basketball and business operations.“Over the last couple of months Jim and I talked,” Thomas told The Associated Press by phone. “We talked about the ideas and the way that there was a growth opportunity for the New York Liberty. Women’s basketball is an exciting opportunity. It’s something I wanted to be a part of.”Thomas also will have an ownership interest in the franchise if that is approved by the WNBA Board of Governors. WNBA President Laurel J. Richie said in a statement that “the process hasn’t begun yet.”The Knicks didn’t win a single playoff game during Thomas’ stint as team president from December 2003 to April 2008 despite regularly owning the NBA’s highest payroll. Thomas also went 56-108 in two seasons as their coach before being fired. He will have no involvement with the Knicks in his new role.“I’m familiar with everybody’s bad taste in their mouth about him,” said Liberty star Tina Charles, who grew up in New York and is a lifelong Knicks fan. “I don’t hold anybody to their past.”Charles said she would definitely rib Thomas about “those really bad years.”Thomas, who started working with the Liberty in January, said he had no qualms about coming back to New York.“I look forward to the challenge as opposed to having any trepidation about it,” Thomas said. “For me, I love basketball and having the opportunity to be president of a team and be part of a team is a great experience and I’m excited about it.”After being fired as coach, he remained with the Knicks in an unspecified role, even after a lawsuit brought by former team employee Anucha Browne Sanders that cost MSG $11.6 million. Sanders alleged she was sexually harassed by Thomas, who maintained his innocence and was never found personally liable.“I asked questions about what happened and am comfortable with MSG’s position on the trial,” said Bernert, who is also the Liberty’s senior vice president of business operations and was hired in 2011.“I tend to take people for who they are now and my personal dealings with them.”Madison Square Garden issued a statement later Tuesday backing Thomas’ hiring.“We did not believe the allegations then, and we don’t believe them now,” said the statement. “We feel strongly that the jury improperly and unfairly held Isiah Thomas responsible for sordid allegations that were completely unrelated to him, and for which MSG bore responsibility.“In fact, when given the opportunity, the jury did not find Isiah liable for punitive damages, confirming he did not act maliciously or in bad faith. We believe Isiah belongs in basketball, and are grateful that he has committed his considerable talent to help the Liberty succeed.”Over the WNBA offseason, Thomas oversaw the rehiring of former Pistons teammate Bill Laimbeer as coach and a blockbuster trade for Epiphanny Prince. Dolan called Thomas an “excellent judge of talent” in a statement Tuesday.Laimbeer was excited to be reunited with Thomas and wasn’t concerned about those previous failures in New York.“None at all. We are the Liberty and we are our own people,” Laimbeer said. “He has a tremendous basketball mind, and he’s made it very clear that we’ll be driving the bus. He’ll make some suggestions from time to time.”A Hall of Fame, championship-winning point guard in Detroit, Thomas has failed to match that success in his post-playing career. He tried college coaching after leaving the Knicks but was fired by Florida International in 2012 after going 26-65 in three seasons.While Thomas was with FIU, Dolan tried to hire him as a consultant in 2010, but that plan was scrapped because it violated NBA rules.Thomas said he’s always been a fan of the WNBA since its inception 19 years ago.“My love for the game is not gender-based,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed watching people play basketball, men or women, young or old. Whether it’s a high school game or a game in the park, I stop and watch.”DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer
LOS ANGELES — Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs on July 16 while urging acceptance for others who are transgender.She received a standing ovation from some of the sporting world’s biggest stars after her 10-minute speech during the annual awards honoring the year’s top athletes and moments.“This transition has been harder on me than anything I can imagine,” said Jenner, who revealed she was in the process of becoming a woman in a televised interview with Diane Sawyer in April on ABC.From the stage, Jenner thanked Sawyer, whom she called a friend.Noting her powerful celebrity platform, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion and current reality TV star vowed “to do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how transgender people are viewed and treated.”Abby Wambach of the U.S. soccer team that won the Women’s World Cup presented the trophy to Jenner, whose voice broke as she thanked members of her famous family, including stepdaughters Kim and Khloe Kardashian. Tears welled in the eyes of Jenner’s younger daughter, Kylie, whose sister, Kendall, wiped a tear from her eye.“I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all my family and my kids,” said Jenner, wiping her eye. She admitted that until earlier this year she had never met another transgender person.The 65-year-old told the audience about trans teenagers who are bullied, beaten up, murdered or kill themselves. Jenner mentioned two people by name whose deaths particularly touched her.“Trans people deserve something vital, they deserve your respect,” she said. “From that respect comes a more compassionate community.”Jenner urged the crowd that included football, basketball, baseball and hockey superstars to remember what they say and do is “absorbed and observed by millions of people, especially young people.”“My plea for you tonight is one join me in making this one of your issues as well,” she said. Many in the crowd watched intently as Jenner spoke with little reaction on their faces.“If you want to call me names, make jokes and doubt my intentions, go ahead because the reality is I can take it,” she said. “But for thousands of kids out there coming to terms with the reality of who they are they shouldn’t have to take it.”A video narrated by Mad Men actor Jon Hamm traced Jenner’s life from the time when she was known as Bruce Jenner to her current transition. She mentioned she once considered ending her own life with a gun she owned.She was shown applying makeup, buttoning her blouse in her closet and fastening the strap on her heeled shoes.With her trembling hands clasped in front of her, Jenner joked with the audience about her struggle to select the cream gown she wore.“OK girls, I get it,” she said, as the audience laughed. “You’ve got to get the shoes, the hair, the makeup, it was exhausting. And the fashion police, please be kind on me. I’m new at this.”Jenner didn’t walk the red carpet outside the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, and she didn’t appear backstage to talk with reporters, as most of the previous Ashe award recipients have done. ESPN said Jenner wanted her onstage comments to stand.Reaction among Jenner’s sporting peers on the red carpet was mixed.Little League baseball pitcher Mo’ne Davis called Jenner “brave.”“She’s really brave to have the courage to get through a lot of those things,” said the 14-year-old who won best breakthrough athlete. “I know a lot of people give her a hard time about it, but just for her family to give her that support is amazing.”Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield said, “I just know that’s Bruce Jenner and I’ll leave it at that.”RadarOnline.com reported that Jenner’s representatives approached ESPN suggesting the network give her the Ashe award in exchange for plugs on her upcoming E! docuseries. ESPN and ABC are owned by Disney.“That rumor is completely false,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said. “The Arthur Ashe Courage Award and ABC interview were never connected.”Jenner’s publicist Alan Nierob called the report “utterly false” and had no further comment.Jenner’s selection to receive the Ashe award named for the late tennis player who died in 1993 after contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion generated strong debate online.“I met Arthur Ashe a few times. I know how important education was to him,” Jenner said. “Learn as much as you can about another person to understand them as well as you can.”Online critics said college basketball player Lauren Hill, who died of brain cancer in April, was deserving of the Ashe honor.But Hill’s mother, Lisa, attended the show and said her daughter would not have welcomed the controversy and made no judgment of others.Jenner’s series called I Am Cait debuts July 26.___By Beth Harris, AP Sports Writer. AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson contributedTweetPinShare0 Shares
ATLANTA — The death of a longtime Braves season-ticket holder raises questions about the height of guard rails at the team’s new stadium that is to open in 2017.The Braves say they had safety in mind when planning SunTrust Park even before Gregory Murrey’s death Saturday night.Team officials Monday would not release plans for railing heights at the new stadium. The railings at Turner Field meet industry requirements, but the team could exceed those heights at their new building.The International Building Code, the accepted industry standard, has a minimum height requirement of 42 inches for guard rails that act as protective barriers in open-sided areas such as walkways or smoking platforms. Railings in front of seated areas must be 26 inches.Braves President John Schuerholz didn’t address specifics Sunday about guard rails at the new stadium, though he said the weekend death wouldn’t influence construction plans.“We’re not going to tie that into how you design a facility,” Schuerholz said. “It was a sad, tragic event. We obviously abide by industry regulations and we’ll continue to do that. That’s what we’ll do.“We made our plans long before this event occurred. Every facility that’s getting built, there’s a great deal of communication with architects and engineers and the league in terms of abiding by league standards for the industry. We certainly will do that.”The Braves released a statement Monday mourning the loss of Murrey and also addressing safety at the new stadium.“Finally, as we look to the future, we are working with our architects to ensure that SunTrust Park has effective safety protocols in place at the time of opening,” the team said. “This process began during the design phase of SunTrust Park many months ago and will continue every day.“We are fortunate to have an architecture firm that has designed many ballparks — and other sports facilities — so we can draw upon their experience as industry leaders in creating the safest and best sports and entertainment experience. Ensuring the safety of our fans while in the ballpark has always been and will always be a priority for our organization.”There is precedent for a team raising its stadium rails following a fan death.At the Texas Rangers’ ballpark in Arlington, Texas, higher railings were installed in 2012. That was done one year after Shannon Stone, a firefighter attending a game with his 6-year-old son, fell about 20 feet after reaching for a foul ball tossed into the stands. The Rangers raised those railings from 33 inches to 42 inches, at a cost of $1.1 million.The minimum height standards rails have raised questions on whether they are sufficient, especially for taller fans. A 26-inch rail at the bottom of a section of upper-level seats would not reach the waist of a fan taller than 6 feet.It seems highly unlikely similar changes would be considered for Turner Field, which has only one more year as the team’s home. But there would be time to adjust plans, for the new park.Murrey’s death was the third in eight years at Turner Field. In 2013, a fan’s death was ruled a suicide. In 2008, police cited alcohol as a factor after a man died.Murrey, 60, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital following his fall in the seventh inning of the Braves-Yankees game.The Fulton County medical examiner Monday ruled the death an accident caused by blunt-force injuries to his head and torso. Toxicology results will not be available for several weeks.Murrey’s family on Monday asked for privacy.“He dearly loved his family, Atlanta, and the Atlanta Braves,” the family said in a statement. Murrey held season tickets for 23 years. “The night Greg passed away, he was doing one of his favorite things — watching the Braves.”Schuerholz said Sunday his focus was on Murrey’s family and players’ families and friends who were seated in the lower-level seats where he fell to his death. Schuerholz said fan safety is always a priority.“It’s something every major league team thinks about at all times. … Not to dismiss the importance of all those (stadium) issues, but there will be another time and another moment to focus on this,” he said.CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK— Derek Fisher was fired as New York Knicks coach Monday, with his team having lost five straight and nine of 10 to fall well back in the Eastern Conference playoff race.Associate head coach Kurt Rambis was promoted to interim head coach. He went 56-145 in two seasons as Minnesota’s coach.Rambis full name is reportedly Kyriakos Rambidis. He was drafted by the Knicks as the 58th pick in the 1980 NBA draft and went to Greece to play for AEK Athens.Fisher was midway through his second season. The Knicks are 23-31 and went 40-96 under Fisher. Team President Phil Jackson hired his former player in June 2014 shortly after Fisher ended his playing career.Fisher thanked Jackson, Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan, along with his players and staff.“This is a very talented team with strong character and I am confident they will succeed,” Fisher said in a statement. “Obviously, I’m disappointed, but have learned an immense amount from this experience and hope to grow from it.”The Knicks went 17-65 last season but upgraded their roster during the summer with the drafting of Kristaps Porzingis and the signing of veterans Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez.They had the look of a playoff team most of the season but are stumbling into the All-Star break, and fans loudly booed when they fell behind by 19 points Sunday during a 101-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets.Fisher accepted some of the blame for the team’s recent slow starts after the game, though All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony said that was the responsibility of the players.Fisher was a five-time champion playing under Jackson with the Lakers and known as one of the league’s smartest players. Jackson turned to him as his second choice after Steve Kerr chose to take the Golden State Warriors’ job after he was on the verge of accepting theKnicks‘ offer.BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer.TweetPinShare0 Shares
LONDON (AP) — The 2017 edition of Wimbledon is set to start under a cloudy sky and with a chill in the air.Defending champion and No. 1-seeded Andy Murray will play in the first match at Centre Court on Monday, facing Alexander Bublik.First up on No. 1 Court will be Venus Williams, a five-time champion who faces Elise Mertens.This is Williams’ first match since she was involved in a car accident in Florida on June. The American is being sued by the estate of a man who died about two weeks after the crash that police say Williams caused.Other major title winners on the Day 1 schedule include Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Petra Kvitova.The temperature is in the 60s (teens Celsius) about an hour before play begins.TweetPinShare0 Shares
\R Colombo, Jun 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka has launched a joint effort with Australia’s anti-doping agency to tackle drug cheats, including athletes using traditional medicines to hide banned substances, officials said today. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) will give technical expertise and eventually carry out joint research into doping, officials said. “It is critical that we develop our capacities together, we learn from each other and we join forces in the fight against doping,” ASADA chief David Sharp told reporters in Colombo. Sri Lankan sports authorities are particularly interested in traditional Ayurveda preparations used by some athletes in the island of 21 million. In 2010 Sri Lankan boxer Manju Wanniarachchi blamed an Ayurveda mixture after he tested positive for a banned steroid and was stripped of his Commonwealth gold medal. Sri Lankan authorities rejected his explanation. Sri Lanka’s anti-doping chief Arjuna de Silva said on the sidelines of a two-day Asia-Pacific doping summit in Colombo that many athletes took Ayurveda substances without knowing what was in them. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief Craig Reedie said the agency was improving its drug detection armoury but still struggled to keep up with dopers. “I would like to think that with improvements in science and with the improvements in our laboratory systems… we are better at it (detections) year on year,” Reedie said. WADA director general Olivier Niggli said some athletes mask doping through advanced substances not yet available on the open market. “What we do to counter that is to have agreements with the pharma industry so that we get access to those products, the new molecules, a few years in advance before they are on the market,” Niggli said. (AFP) AHAHadvertisement
Russia are all but through to the knockouts of the FIFA World Cup 2018 after recording their second consecutive win to top Group A.On Tuesday, Russia thrashed Egypt 3-1 at St Petersburg to virtually book their place in the round of 16.Russia made a massive turnaround in the World Cup as they had a disastrous run coming into the tournament. They had last won a match in a friendly in October last year but have left that miserable run behind them in the first two matches of the World Cup.Russian fans erupted in celebration on Tuesday as the World Cup hosts cruised past Egypt in their second game.FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FULL COVERAGERussia is the lowest FIFA ranked side at the event, but two games in they are top of their group with six points and are poised to qualify for the next stage. State television broadcast footage of fans chanting “Russia” ecstatically, waving flags at locations around the country and celebrating the victory in St Petersburg.FIXTURES | POINTS TABLE”The game was just crazy, (Egypt talisman Mohamed) Salah couldn’t do anything,” said Alexander, 36, who was with his wife in a packed fan zone in St Petersburg and said he had travelled to the game from Bryansk after winning tickets in a lottery.Russian players bask in the glory of dream run at home”This is my first time at a football game, and I loved the atmosphere, but our players really showed how the game should be played,” said Andrei, who was wrapped in a Russia flag.advertisement The win followed Russia’s 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia in the first game of the tournament.It is an unexpectedly positive situation for a Russian side that came into this tournament amidst scepticism and pessimism at home.World Cup 2018: Russia in sight of knockouts after crushing EgyptIn Moscow, cars tooted their horns and crowds in the centre of the capital danced in the street.”Everyone else is lagging behind us,” Alexei Zaikev, 36, said, sitting in a Moscow bar and talking over the sound of crowds singing Russian patriotic folk song “Katyusha”.Russia on brink of last 16, joy for Africa, history for SalahSome fans said they thought the World Cup party atmosphere would show visitors Russia is a welcoming country, despite ties with the West being at post-Cold War lows.”In the West they’re trying to paint it as if everything’s bad here, but then we show them that it’s not, and foreigners come and they like it here, and that’s great,” Zaikev said. “We’re the youth, and patriotism is only just starting to blossom here, and now our country is winning,” Zukhra Nudarava, 25, said.”Even foreigners are cheering for Russia!” she added, before drinking a shot of tequila and introducing a Peruvian fan, on whose cheeks she had drawn two Russian flags.(With inputs from Reuters)
(Eds: Combining related reports) Patna/Kolkata, Jun 21 (PTI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a key BJP ally, today stayed away from the International Yoga Day event in Patna, which was a low-key affair in West Bengal where his counterpart Mamata Banerjee also gave it a miss, in moves marked by possible political overtones. As millions of yoga enthusiasts stretched and twisted their bodies, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said yoga should not be seen as part of any religious practice. Speaking at the state-level celebrations in Thiruvananthapuram, Vijayan, a CPI-M veteran, however lauded the greatness and benefits of yoga. In Bihar, Nitish Kumar did not participate in the main Yoga Day event in Patna which set tongues wagging. The event was inaugurated by Governor Satya Pal Malik and attended by top BJP leaders including union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. However, both the ruling allies–JD(U) and BJP– sought to downplay Kumar’s absence. The JD(U) said Kumar has been practising yoga daily even before it was declared as an International Day by the United Nations in 2015 and “it would be wrong to attach any political meaning to personal decisions.” When asked about Kumar’s absence at the event, both Prasad and Modi insisted that what was important was that people practised yoga regularly, wherever they chose, and that the presence or absence of a public figure must not be politicized. Nitish Kumar, who himself is a regular yoga practitioner and is said to have learnt the ancient practice from noted exponents at the renowned Bihar School of Yoga at Munger, has been critical of the mass yoga drill organized on June 21 every year since 2015.advertisement Speculation was rife that Kumar might take part in the celebrations this year following his return to the BJP-led NDA in August last which he had left in 2013. But, he was conspicuous by his absence at the mega event held at Patliputra sports complex. We know that Nitish Kumar is a yoga enthusiast. And that is what is important. Please do not politicize the issue, Union Law minister Ravishankar Prasad, who had arrived from New Delhi to attend the celebrations, told reporters in Patna. Sushil Modi on his part asked, “why do you want to make an issue out of Nitish Kumar’s absence?” “There are many BJP leaders who could not make it to the function. There may be many leaders, not just in JD(U) but even in opposition parties like the RJD, who practice yoga regularly. Would you try to derive a political meaning out of that? JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said the party leaders including Nitish Kumar begin their day with yoga. “We did so today also. We have been practicing yoga since much before the International Yoga Day came into being…There is no party stand, as such, with regard to taking part in the celebrations. Hence, it would be wrong to attach any political meaning to personal decisions. Opposition RJD latched on to Kumar’s absence to take a dig at him. In a statement, RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwary said it was “part of the old strategy of Nitish to appear different from his allies and then make a volte face.” Tiwary is a former associate of the chief minister. In West Bengal, neither Chief Minister Banerjee nor any of her ministers participated in any yoga session anywhere in the state. Union minister Mahesh Sharma and other BJP leaders performed yoga asanas in public in Kolkata. When contacted, Trinamool Congress (TMC) secretary general and state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said the party observed the International Yoga Day every year and this year was no exception. “International Yoga Day was observed in Moulali today. In the districts also, it was observed in schools. Last year, we had observed the International Yoga Day in Kolkata,” he said. BJP national secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya when asked by newsmen if there is lack of enthusiasm in celebrating the Yoga day in West Bengal said it was a matter of regret that the Mamata Banerjee government was finding politics in everything. “Yoga Day is also being celebrated in Islamic countries of the world, but the West Bengal government is politicising everything,” he said. In Kerala, Vijayan said Yoga can be practised by all, irrespective of caste and religion, adding it should be done with a ‘free and secular’ mind. He said the LDF government has taken steps to set up a yoga and naturopathy centre of international standards in the state.advertisement Stating that yoga was an exercise and not part of any ritual, Vijayan lamented that attempts were being made by some groups to “hijack” it in the name of religion. “This kind of false propaganda will only keep common people away from yoga and reduce its popularity,” he said. Terming yoga as a ‘good exercise’ for the body and mind, the chief minister said, “though there may be many other forms of exercises in the world, there is nothing as good as yoga especially for the mental health and well-being.”PTI NAC SUS PNT SNS LGK JRK GSN GSNGSN
New Delhi, Jul 25 (PTI) BJP chief Amit Shah today asked political parties to rise above politics and connect with society, saying it would help them represent social ethos well.A political party and its different units should harmonise with society and at the same it should also try to involve different organs of the society, Shah said.”I believe until a political party rise above the politics and connects with society, it cannot represent the ethos of the society,” Shah said at the concluding session of the party’s youth wing BJYM’s ‘Khelo India’ programme.He also lauded the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha’s (BJYM) initiative. The programme was held across 27 states and 733 districts in the country and reached out to more than one lakh players through it.Emphasising on the importance of sports, the BJP president said it teaches how to accept defeat and at the same time develops the spirit to win also.Lauding the selection of games for ‘Khelo India’ event by the BJYM, Shah said Kabbadi, Wrestling, Kho-Kho are indigenous sports and participating in them will further strengthen the players’ association with the mother land.Asking the BJYM workers to further increase contribution in national-building, Shah said,”Building a new India by 2022, a target given by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, should be the purpose of your life.”He also told the party’s youth wing workers to get ready for the 2019 elections and reach out to every booth in the country, to ensure the party’s victory. PTI JTR TIR TIRadvertisement
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