Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Slovenia and Croatia secured the two European spots. China and Korea took the two Asian places. They were joined by Angola and Senegal from Africa and Mexico and Uruguay from the Americas.Olympics men’s basketball tournament (12 teams)Already qualified (8): Japan (hosts), Spain, France, USA, Argentina, Nigeria, Australia, IranIn final qualifying tournament (24): Angola, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, VenezuelaADVERTISEMENT DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers View comments MOST READ Gilas Pilipinas misses out on OQT slot as Korea finishes ahead in rankings LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical This jewelry designer is also an architect Becoming his own man Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? (FILES) In this file photo taken on September 17, 2017 Slovenia’s guard Luka Doncic (R) reacts during the FIBA Eurobasket 2017 men’s Final basketball match between Slovenia and Serbia at Sinan Erdem Sport Arena in Istanbul. – NBA rookie of the year Luka Doncic could still go to the 2020 Olympics after Slovenia on Thursday secured one of the final places in the qualifying tournaments scheduled for next June. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)NBA rookie of the year Luka Doncic could still go to the 2020 Olympics after Slovenia on Thursday secured one of the final places in the qualifying tournaments scheduled for next June.Doncic did not play in qualification for the 2019 World Cup and the 2017 European champions failed to make the tournament in China.ADVERTISEMENT Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Seven nations secured Olympic berths at the World Cup, joining hosts Japan.The four remaining places will be decided in a 24-team tournament scheduled for June 23-28 next year.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40Two-thirds of the qualifying tournament slots had already been allocated to the highest-ranked sides not already qualified for Tokyo.The final eight spots were allocated to the two highest-ranked nations in each of basketball’s four global regions when the governing body of world basketball (FIBA) announced its latest rankings on Thursday. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics
View comments MOST READ Yonhap said the Korea PGA, which runs the Korean Tour, does not disclose discipline against players but decided to make an exception to send a message to the players.After losing his PGA Tour card in 2011, Kim played what is now the Korn Ferry Tour in 2012 and 2013, and then again in 2018. He failed to keep his status each time.It was not immediately clear whether Kim would be eligible to play other tours around the world, including the PGA Tour-sanctioned circuits in China, Canada and Latin America, while serving his three-year Korea PGA suspension.The PGA Tour said he would not be eligible pending its own review to determine whether to restrict Kim’s access to its tournaments.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics FILE – This is a June 15, 2013, file photo showing Bio Kim, of South Korea, after putting on the 17th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa. Kim won the DGB Financial Group Volvik Daegu Gyeongbuk Open on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2019, and then lost his job. The Korea PGA suspended him Tuesday, Oct. 1 for three years for making an obscene gesture at the crowd on the 16th hole of the final round because of noise from a cellphone camera. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)SEOUL, South Korea — Bio Kim won the tournament and then lost his job. The Korea PGA suspended him Tuesday for three years for making an obscene gesture at the crowd on the 16th hole of the final round because of noise from a cellphone camera.Yonhap News Agency reports that Kim knelt before cameras and apologized to fans after his disciplinary hearing.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue This jewelry designer is also an architect LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Becoming his own man The suspension is effective immediately for Kim, who won the DGB Financial Group Volvik Daegu Gyeongbuk Open for his second Korean Tour victory this year. He leads the Order of Merit and points list for player of the year.Yonhap also reports that Kim was fined 10 million won ($8,350).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40Kim, who qualified for the PGA Tour in 2011 but failed to keep his card, had a one-shot lead Sunday when he teed off on the 16th hole and heard noise from a camera. He turned to his right, raised his middle finger toward the crowd and slammed his driver. The moment was shown on live television.Kim held on for the victory and apologized for losing his temper. He said he would accept whatever punishment came his way. Renowned track coach Salazar booted from worlds after receiving 4-year doping ban Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’
Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, left, of Serbia, keeps the ball at arm’s length from Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov 10, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)MINNEAPOLIS — One game after a team-record comeback, the Denver Nuggets allowed the Minnesota Timberwolves to nearly do the same. Nikola Jokic saved Denver each time.Jokic hit a fadeaway jumper with 2.4 seconds left to give the Nuggets a 100-98 overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View comments Going ‘nude’: UK supermarkets test plastic-free zones PLAY LIST 02:05Going ‘nude’: UK supermarkets test plastic-free zones03:00Manila mayor strikes again; Police precinct chief sacked over filthy Carriedo01:14Albayalde says no hand in 2013 Pampanga buy-bust02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue “At this point, you just sit back and watch it,” Denver forward Paul Millsap said. “I believe in the shots he’s making, and in those situations we’ve just got to give it to him.”Jokic was in a similar spot, hitting a winning jumper with 2.2 seconds left Friday night in a comeback victory at home against Philadelphia. He had 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists Sunday to help Denver win its fourth straight game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceWill Barton had 13 points, including a pair of 3s in overtime, and 12 rebounds. Millsap scored all 14 of his points during a big third-quarter run and had 10 rebounds.“They had really good momentum and we didn’t shoot well,” Jokic said of the late-game collapse. “They were really aggressive. But they sent it to overtime, which was good for us. It gave us options to win the game.” Priority legislation in the 18th Congress Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Rice industry paralysis Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Timberwolves: Point guards Jeff Teague (illness) and Shabazz Napier (right hamstring strain) each missed their third straight game. … Minnesota had one turnover in the first quarter. . The Wolves tied a season-high with 10 blocks, which they last accomplished Friday against Golden State. The last time they had double-digit blocks in back-to-back games was Nov. 14-16, 2012.UP NEXTNuggets: Host Atlanta on Tuesday night.Timberwolves: At Detroit on Monday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next What’s behind the display of Chinese flag in Boracay? KEEP SHOOTINGWith Saunders, Minnesota has placed an added emphasis on the 3 this year. The Wolves entered the game with the third-most attempts in the league at 40.5 per-game. But they were just 25th while hitting 31.8% of the shots.Minnesota was 0 for 10 from beyond the arc in the third as Denver took control, and 2 for 22 in the second half and overtime.The Wolves’ previous worst 3-point shooting performance was Friday night against Golden State when it was 9 of 36. They are 15 of 81 from 3 in the two games.“There was a lot of good looks,” said forward Robert Covington, who was 0 of 2 from 3. “Them shots are going to fall, it’s just, got to believe in them, that’s all.”MURRAY’S MIXComing off one of his best games of the season, Denver point guard Jamal Murray was clicking early, scoring 12 of the team’s first 19 points while making all five of his shots.Murray left the game just 41 seconds into the second half with left foot soreness but later returned. He scored all 15 of his points in the first half and was 0-of-8 shooting in the second half.TIP INSNuggets: Backup guard Malik Beasley left with an illness after playing five scoreless minutes. … The Nuggets are 22-9 at Target Center since 2004-05. MOST READ Duterte officials’ paranoia is ‘singularly myopic’ Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Rene Catalan sees long reign for ONE strawweight champ Joshua Pacio Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota. Towns pushed the game to overtime with a corner 3, but the Wolves shot a season-low 13.3% from 3-point range and 35.1% overall from the field.Andrew Wiggins added 25 points in Minnesota’s third loss in four games.“We understand we play tomorrow,” Wolves coach Ryan Saunders said. “We said with about six minutes left, we’re going to make one push here, give it about a minute and a half. We’re down 16. These guys came back, they fought. I give so much credit to our players.”Denver led by 16 in the fourth when Gary Harris hit a 3 with 6:41 left. The Nuggets went scoreless the remainder of regulation and Minnesota put together a 16-0 streak.“We have to better in terms of playing with the lead and closing games out,” Denver coach Mike Malone said. “But we never panicked. I thought Will Barton down the stretch was huge – he made some big plays for us. Poised, he was under control. Nikola makes another improbable shot. He just adds to the legend of Nikola Jokic.”ADVERTISEMENT
South African Judge Thokozile Masipa on Friday rejected an application by state prosecutors to appeal Oscar Pistorius’ six-year murder sentence, saying the petition had no reasonable prospects of success. (Also read: Oscar Pistorius jailed for six years for murdering Reeva Steenkamp)Masipa had sentenced the Paralympic gold medallist in July for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013, but the prosecution had said the decision was too lenient.
Jaitley said that during assembly elections, Jaitley said that during assembly elections, Parliamentarians are busy campaigning and hence the actual dates will be decided after consultations, depending on the calendar of the state assembly elections. If the Budget is to be presented on February 1, the Economic Survey would have to be tabled in Parliament a day or two before that, going by the current practice. To meet that deadline, mid-year review of expenditure by various ministries is proposed to be completed by November 15. Even after the separate railway budget is scrapped and its proposals clubbed in the general Budget, the railways will continue to maintain its distinct entity status as a departmentally-run commercial undertaking as at present. Also, the Railways would be allowed to retain its functional autonomy with delegation of financial power rules to continue as is the case now. After the merger, the Railways would not have to pay dividend to the central government and its capital at charge would stand to be wiped off. Like for other departments, the ministry of finance will provide gross budgetary support to the Railways for incurring its capital expenditure. According to the proposal presented to the Cabinet, to ensure better targeting of benefits, all concessional railway passes provided to various categories of concessionaires will be linked to Aadhar number. Also, the Railway Convention Committee, which reviews the rate of dividend payable by the railways to the government, will be disbanded. Currently, the panel also suggests the level of appropriation to various funds of the railways such as depreciation reserve funds, development fund and pension fund. Officials said advancing budget presentation by a month and completion of the related legislative business before March 31 will pave the way for ministries and departments to ensure better planning and execution of schemes from the beginning of the financial year, April 1. Accordingly, the budget calendar would be advanced by about 3 weeks from the current schedule of it starting from the last week of October. Pre-budget consultations with various stakeholders are proposed to be completed by December 25. Ministries and departments would be asked to present their detailed Demand for Grants to Parliament by February 7, 2017. With the rollout of Goods and Services Tax, the changes in excise and service tax, which are normally proposed in the general budget, will shift to the GST Council and hence there will be a less onerous Finance Bill for Parliament to debate, sources said. PTI JD KKS ANZ SAadvertisement
Indian Test captain Virat Kohli strongly condemned the Uri attack and said such incidents hurt deeply.Shortly after leading India to a massive 197-run victory over New Zealand in their 500th Test, Kohli paid his condolences to the families of 18 jawans, who were killed in a raid carried out by Pakistan-backed terrorists.Kohli, who is a brand ambassador of the Border Security Force, said such incidents hurt every Indian.”Obviously, if such incidents keep happening, you feel bad. We are feeling so devastated so imagine what the families of the jawans go through when something like this happens.(Also read: India’s journey from their 1st Test to 500th: Lost by 158 runs, won by 197 runs)”It is very disturbing. I cannot comment on the solution because am not operating at that level but I can pay condolences to the families of our jawans, who lost their lives in the attack.”An an Indian it hurts to hear of such incidents regularly,” Kohli said in the post-match press conference.There is palpable agnst against Pakistan following the dastardly attack by terrorists of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed. Many Indians took to Twitter and demanded Pakistan to be nuked out. (Also read: Ravindra Jadeja reveals why he and Ravichandran Ashwin are a dangerous pair)Meanwhile, BCCI president Anurag Thakur made it clear that there was no question of playing cricket with Pakistan when the Indian government wanted to expose Pakistan as sponsors of terrorism.Former India captain Sourav Ganguly also said that India could not play cricket with Pakistan under prevailing conditions. advertisement#TeamIndia skipper @imVkohli pays homage to the martyrs of #UriAttack and condolences to their families pic.twitter.com/ZiZ0YsW2KW BCCI (@BCCI) September 26, 2016
The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will pass an order on Friday that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will not disburse funds to its state affiliates if they refuse to carry out organisational reforms recommended by the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee and subsequently endorsed by it. (BCCI refuses to comply with Lodha reforms, Supreme Court to pass order tomorrow)The bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said it would pass an order to that effect on Friday after senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that it would be difficult for the BCCI to give an “unconditional undertaking” by that day. (BCCI faces Supreme Court intervention after resisting Lodha reforms)The court had asked the BCCI to give an “unconditional undertaking” that it would hold back the funding of its state affiliates who would resist organisational reforms. (Accounts freeze ruined BCCI reputation, says Anurag Thakur)As Sibal said “Tomorrow it (giving an unconditional undertaking) will be difficult”, Chief Justice Thakur said “Alright we will pass an order.”Just prior to this, Sibal asked the court: “Can we come back on the undertaking (aspect) on October 17,” but the bench said “You can make a statement by tomorrow.”The court will go into the Dussehra break from Saturday and reopen on October 17. (Apex Court to BCCI: Set Lodha panel’s reforms rolling or court will do so tomorrow)In an indication of the possible future course, the court in the course of the hearing indicated that it had two options — one to appoint a panel of administrators to oversee the transition in BCCI or ask the Lodha Committee to do it.advertisementThe bench said the Lodha Committee could give more time to the country’s apex cricketing body to carry out the recommendations or appoint a panel of administrators to effect the transition to new reformed order.Telling Sibal — who appeared for the BCCI — that the court has no problem in extending the time for carrying out the organisational reforms, Chief Justice Thakur said: “If an association (state affiliate of BCCI) is reluctant to reform, why are you giving them money? Why? Why? Your AGM is (read was) on September 30, you disburse money on September 29.”TIME RUNNING OUT FOR BCCIAs per the apex court’s June 18 judgement, the BCCI has time till November 18, extendable to January 18 to carry out organisational reforms recommended by the Lodha Committee.Telling the BCCI to give an unconditional undertaking stating that it would abide by all the directions of the Lodha Committee, the bench said: “We can’t be wasting our time when BCCI is not willing to abide by our directions.”The court’s strong observation came in the course of the hearing of an application by the Lodha Committee seeking some arrangement for the BCCI to transit from its existing order to one based on organisational reforms.Largely reiterating the Lodha Committee’s recommendations on the organisational reforms in BCCI, the apex court by its July 18 judgement had barred government Ministers, and serving civil servants from holding positions in the BCCI or its state affiliates, and recommended one state-one vote, limiting the age of office bearers to 70 years with a maximum term of nine years, and cooling off period between two terms, among others.There was also a stipulation that a person can’t be simultaneously an office bearer of the BCCI and the state cricketing associations — a provision that directly hits BCCI President Anurag Thakur.As Sibal tried to explain the BCCI’s dependence on its state affiliates saying “We survive because of them”, Chief Justice Thakur observed “They survive because of the money you give them”.Telling the BCCI that it was nobody’s money but that of the public and must be spent for “public causes”, the court reminded the country’s apex cricketing body, “You are discharging a public function. You must act in a transparent way”.At the outset of the hearing, senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, giving the sequence of developments including communications exchanged, told the court that the BCCI was finding every “way and means to subvert the judicial order” and described the acts of apex cricketing body as “criminal contempt”.Subramanium said that initially the BCCI was itself opposing the recommended organisational reforms but now it was pitch-forking its state affiliates to do so.
England clearly have their backs against the wall going into the fourth and penultimate Test in Mumbai on Thursday. The injury to their young opener Haseeb Hameed has only made matters worse at a time when the visitors can do with any kind of inspiration. (Wankhede pitch will be a slow turner, say groundsmen)Having lost the second and third Test in Vizag and Mohali, respectively, the Englishmen are clearly struggling in Indian conditions. (England recall Morgan, Hales for limited-overs series vs India)But is everything lost for the England? They were after all, expected to be a lot more competitive than New Zealand, who went down tamely in a three-match series.With the roll of the dice not going England’s way so far this series, they might want to take some solace in history. (Pitched battles: India may have learnt lessons from Mumbai 2012)For England, history will be their best motivational preacher. All is not lost for Alastair Cook’s tourists and they have reasons to believe it.Mumbai it is and Mumbai it has always been, at least in the recent past. The last time England toured India in 2012 for a four-Test series, not many gave them a chance to even draw the series, let alone win it.First Test in Ahmedabad and a nine-wicket win for India meant the script was exactly the way one had predicted. Off to Mumbai for the second Test and tables had turned. England spinners — Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann — forced the famed Indian batting line-up, that had the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni, among others, to surrender. The series was now level at 1-1 and with it, England had secured their confidence back. What happened next was something that many teams only aspired to do as England won a famous Test series on Indian soil.advertisementTheir captain Alastair Cook was the leader of that pack as well and can surely recount many happy memories from that victory at the Wankhede Stadium. Cook led from the front with a century in the first innings that allowed England to surpass India’s first innings score of 327. Next innings, the England captain was at the crease to see his team home with a 10-wicket win.In 2006, England were trailing the three-Test series 1-0 when they headed to Mumbai for the third and final Test. Andrew Flintoff was in-charge of that team and when England returned home after the series they held their heads high. The series ended in a draw after England bundled out India for just 100 in the second innings to script a 212-run win.In 1980, England made special arrangements while on their way back from Australia to play a one-off Test to mark the golden jubilee of the Indian cricket Board. As it happened, England won the match by 10 wickets with Ian Botham turning out to be the wrecker-in-chief.Not that England have not lost to India in Mumbai or Bombay, as it was formerly called, but lately, in the last one decade, they have found Wankhede as one venue where they like to revel against the odds.Once again, like on a few occasions in the past on their tours of India, England find themselves in a spot and after brief break in Dubai, they would surely hope for a turnaround in the series. And, what better place to do it than Mumbai!
Manuel Pellegrini has been warned by Sam Allardyce that he must start delivering results quickly or face the chop at West Ham.Pellegrini oversaw a summer of big changes at London Stadium, with The Irons having made 10 signings ahead of the 2018-19 season.Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere, Issa Diop and Ryan Fredericks were brought in, among others. Big things are expected of what, on paper at least, appeared a rejuvenated West Ham 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! Their Premier League opener did not go as planned, however, with Pellegrini’s side having fallen to a damaging 4-0 loss to a rampant Liverpool. And Allardyce, who himself managed The Hammers from 2011-15, feels that the club’s board will not waste time in wielding the axe if Pellegrini gets it wrong again.“West Ham going and attacking [Liverpool] like they did is never going to work when you’ve got those players,” Allardyce told Talksport.“It’s a little similar to watching Chelsea versus Huddersfield – Hudderfield having a go and Chelsea picking them off.“These players are that good, you leave them that space, they expose you. “Certainly West Ham left too much space between the midfield and the back four and Liverpool kept sliding in between the lines and punished them rightfully so.“You can’t expect too much sometimes from all those new players being involved in the team immediately. “They need time – and the only way you get time as a manager is by getting results. Nobody will be patient for you.“Seven players have been brought in, they spent heavily, they need to click almost immediately. That’s going to be a big test for Pellegrini.“He’s got a great reputation so hopefully he can do it for West Ham and give the players that have been bought the sort of football and results that they want.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti conducted a training session with Mexico on Monday and then gave a news conference decked out in Mexico gear, but said after that nothing has changed.His time leading El Tri is on a strictly interim basis.The Tigres coach will lead the national team for the rest of the year while the search for a replacement for Juan Carlos Osorio continues. Many decision-makers in Mexican football hope this interim stint will convince the 64-year-old to accept the job on a long-term basis. 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! But this week Ferretti reiterated the same thing he’s said for months now – that he has no interest in taking the job on a long-term basis. He did, however, shed light on his motivation, saying he has too much respect for the institution to leave a club like Tigres that has stuck with him for so long and signed him to a three-year extension prior to this season.”Anyone would want to be in my place right now and go through this cycle [with the national team], but at the same time maybe they don’t have what I have at a club like Tigres. Honestly, I sincerely think I’d be a traitor, stabbing them after all these years at this club that has supported me so much,” Ferretti said. “With the next three years I’ll have 11 years as the manager of a club. Do you remember this ever happening in Mexican football? So, this loyalty between us, this commitment, is really important.”Ferretti plans to stay loyal to Tigres, where he has won three league titles and a Copa MX, but said if the club decided his time there was up then he would consider chatting with the Mexican federation about working with the national team.”If Tigres tells me goodbye and the federation thinks I can be a useful element, maybe we’d sit down to chat, but that’s the only reason if I didn’t have a contract or a job with Tigres,” he said.The interim tag shouldn’t be any indication of his commitment to Mexico, Ferretti said. The manager is ready to use friendlies against Uruguay on Friday and the U.S. on Sept. 11, plus two more in October and another pair in November, to help bring through the next generation of Mexican talent.Guillermo Cantú and Ricardo Ferretti address the media to start off Training Camp ahead of our preparation matches against 🇺🇾 and 🇺🇸.You can follow LIVE here ➡️ https://t.co/AXGfj99uF2🗣: Spanish #PasiónyOrgullo 🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/Xt3JbeLv3o— Mexican National Team (@miseleccionmxEN) September 3, 2018″I’m coming to do my job 100 percent. This is a very talented group, a young group with a great future and it can be utilized in the short, medium or long term,” Ferretti said. “I hope they show that I’m not mistaken – that they prepare well, play against anyone and show they have the skills both individually and collectively.”It’s a roster that includes only five players based in Europe with plenty of big stars staying with their clubs for various reasons. West Ham United forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Real Betis midfielder Andres Guardado, Villarreal defender Andres Guardado and Porto midfielder Hector Herrera are among the players who took part in the 2018 World Cup who are not on this roster.”They’re great players and they’re always going to be welcome, depending on the need they can be taken into mind or not. We already know them really well,” Ferretti said of experienced players before speaking about his current group. “I have no doubt that this team will do really well. I love that it’s a tough opponent. They’ve got the chance to face the best and with this experience they’ll be much better in the future.”Don’t think about the result, but rather how these guys grow. If we don’t give them the chance, we’re stunting their growth. They’re the future of the national team, and you have to give them chances. If you’re talking about them all week, all day, they deserve to play these games. I’m open to running the risk of being criticized, but I have a lot of confidence in these guys.”
Argentina defeated Mexico 2-0 in Cordoba on Friday thanks to Ramiro Funes Mori’s header and a late Isaac Brizuela own goal. Mexico should have taken the lead in the second minute of the friendly as Raul Jimenez hit the bar with a diving header from Marco Fabian’s cross. Less than a minute later, Funes Mori’s slip allowed Alan Pulido to play Fabian through on goal, but his tame shot was saved by Agustin Marchesin.After surviving those early scares, Argentina settled into the contest and slowly began to threaten through Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez, although they remained vulnerable, with Leandro Parades’ inch-perfect sliding tackle inside the area denying Jimenez on the counterattack. 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 pressure continued to grow, Guillermo Ochoa making a smart save to keep out Martinez’s downward header from a Dybala free-kick in the 38th minute.And when the deadlock was eventually broken, it was another Dybala set-piece that did the damage, Funes Mori meeting his delivery from a free-kick unmarked to head home the opener. Dybala sent a well-weighted chip narrowly over the bar in one of few chances of note during a disjointed second half, substitute Brizuela putting through his own net in the 83rd minute to prevent the lurking Mauro Icardi from opening his senior Argentina account. #SelecciónMayor ¡Ganó Argentina! Con goles de @funesmoriofi25 y Brizuela en contra, la Albiceleste superó 2-0 a @miseleccionmx. pic.twitter.com/DMoXOnldlm— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) November 17, 2018What does it mean? Jury out on both coachesLionel Scaloni can rest slightly easier, at least for now, after a mixed start to his reign as Argentina coach, having overseen a narrow loss to Brazil, a draw with Colombia and unremarkable wins over Guatemala and Iraq. Mexico continue to search for Juan Carlos Osorio’s long-term replacement, interim boss Ricardo Ferretti having now orchestrated just one win over Costa Rica and four losses, to Uruguay, the United States, Chile and now Mexico.Funes Mori makes amendsA careless early error having gone unpunished, Villarreal defender Funes Mori atoned for his sins just before half-time, shrugging off the ineffectual attentions of the Mexico defence to finish confidently from close range, leaving Ochoa stranded. Dybala can’t find his shooting boots Dybala was by far Argentina’s brightest spark before being withdrawn in the 72nd minute, the Juventus forward supplying numerous chances for team-mates and testing Ochoa himself with an eye-catching combination of chest control and a scissor-kick volley. But the 25-year-old is yet to score for his country, and the pressure will continue to mount on his slender shoulders during the continuing absence of Lionel Messi. What’s next?The teams will sign off on 2018 when they meet again in another friendly in Mendoza on Tuesday. read more
Mumbai Indians defeated defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday by four wickets to register their second successive win in the Indian Premier League this season. Nitish Rana and Jasprit Bumrah starred with the bat and ball respectively but it was the Pandya brothers – Krunal and Hardik – who once again stole the show with their stellar all-rounder performances for the Mumbai Indians. (Scorecard)CLICK TO WATCH FULL VIDEOKrunal and Hardik are quickly becoming a force to reckon with and the brothers have shown their worth in the side by performing in each and every game for this season. (Pandya brothers, Hardik and Krunal, interview each other and relive magical Wankhede night)While Hardik was exceptional with the ball against Sunrisers, it was Krunal’s explosive batting which eventually helped MI overhaul the target of 159 with eight balls to spare. Hardik took the important wicket of Yuvraj Singh at a crucial stage in the first innings and gave away just 22 runs in his three overs. (IPL 2017: Nitish Rana, Pandya brothers shine as Mumbai Indians snap Sunrisers Hyderabad’s winning run)Krunal then bailed Mumbai out of trouble in the second innings and smashed 37 off just 20 balls and along with top-scorer Nitish Rana (45 off 36 balls), added 38 runs for the fifth-wicket which proved to be the decisive partnership for MI. (MI vs SRH, IPL 2017: Match Highlights)MI skipper Rohit Sharma revealed after the match that the Pandya brother have got the license to thrill from the team management. (Parthiv Patel reaches 2000 IPL runs, Mustafizur Rahman delivers his most expensive over in T20s)advertisement”You must have seen both of them on the ground. They (the Pandya brothers) are expressive, that’s just how they play. And we have given them the liberty to express themselves. It brings out the best from them and we also enjoy seeing that from the dressing room,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation.Rohit was also pleased with the all-round effort from the rest of the Mumbai players.”When they (bowlers) execute their plans, it becomes easy for a captain to manoeuvre his field. We know how Warner plays upfront as well as Shikhar. Lot of credit goes to the bowlers and the fielders. Parthiv behind the wicket makes it easier for me to adjust my field. Very good performance from the bowlers and well-finished by the batsmen as well. Still early days, just three games, but we would like to take a lot from the three games. I could not have asked for anything more from each of the 10 players. But now the big challenge, we go to Bangalore,” he added.Hardik has been outstanding in particular in the three matches for MI so far. He smashed an unbeaten 35 off 15 balls in the first game against Rising Pune Supergiant but his effort went in vain as Mumbai lost the match by 7 wickets thanks to a superb knock from Steve Smith.But he made his innings count in the next match and scored 29 off 11 balls to guide Mumbai to a four-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede. His elder brother Krunal took three wickets in the match as well.Hardik’s has been impressive with both bat and ball this season while Krunal’s contributions have been equally effective for Mumbai. The brothers complement each other really well on the field and have been the driving force behind MI’s successive wins in the last two matches.Mumbai will next face the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on April 14. RCB skipper Virat Kohli is expected to make his return in that match.
sparks rowSrinagar, Apr 14 (PTI) The man, who was seen tied to an army jeep in a shocking video shot during the poll-day violence in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 9, apparently as a shield against stone-pelting protesters, has been identified as Farooq Dar.Officials investigating the matter under instructions from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said Dar is a resident of Sitaharaan village in Khag tehsil of Budgam district in central Kashmir and the army unit involved is 53 Rashtriya Rifles.The video, which triggered a public outcry in the restive Kashmir valley, prompted the civil and army authorities to launch separate investigations.During the investigation, Dar was claimed to have said he was picked up when he was on way to his sisters house, where a bereavement had occurred, after casting his vote.He alleged he was picked up by an army contingent that wanted to enter Beerwah village with the polling staff and tied with ropes to the front of the vehicle, officials said.The video showed the thickset man sporting a beard strapped to the bonnet while seated on the stepney affixed to the bumper of the jeep. Dar claimed he was moved around 10-12 villages at the head of the convoy, which included vehicles with security personnel and polling staff, before being let off.Sources in the army claimed Dar was picked up from a “trouble spot” and was tied up for barely 100 metres before being released. PTI SKL AQS SK SK
Kajol CowedShe should have been trolled for eating lunch at a ‘pop-up’ restaurant, a grating, outworn trend. But this being ‘new India’, Kajol was trolled for eating beef. Or at least that’s how the chef, her “very sweet friend, Ryan”, described his dish-“beef pepper water with dry lentils and dry,Kajol CowedShe should have been trolled for eating lunch at a ‘pop-up’ restaurant, a grating, outworn trend. But this being ‘new India’, Kajol was trolled for eating beef. Or at least that’s how the chef, her “very sweet friend, Ryan”, described his dish-“beef pepper water with dry lentils and dry beef”. Kajol had an inkling that Ryan had done something very naughty because she promised to “cut his hands off after this”. Cue the inevitable trolling and the even more inevitable apology. It was buffalo, not beef, clarified Kajol, assuring everyone that it was not her intention to hurt religious sentiments. Someone should let the US government know. Its definition of beef includes Indian buffalo meat, helping India become, alongside Brazil, the world’s leading exporter of ‘beef’. Over 50 per cent of which comes from UP, led by Yogi Adityanath, whose cow-loving credentials need no blandishment. You say beef, I say buff. Beef, buff, buff, beef. Let’s call the whole thing off.Aiz-ole ole oleAizawl FC became champions after a nervy performance away at northeastern neighbours Shillong Lajong. They were lucky losers, relegated last season but given an opportunity after the big Goa clubs withdrew. Aizawl’s entire budget is apparently less than what runners-up Mohun Bagan pay their best player. A midfielder from war-ravaged Aleppo made Aizawl, whose team consists of mostly local players from Mizoram, even easier to support. The AIFF wants to turn the Indian Super League, a soulless retirement home for European and South American players, into the national first division. Fans of the game, rather than of TV spectacles, should tell the AIFF they want the real thing, footballing pride over ‘quality’, sport over staged exhibitions.advertisementYou’re Fyred!A luxury music festival in the Bahamas promoted by models mostly famous for being famous, like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, turned out to be peddling illusions. Let’s laugh at people stupid enough and rich enough to have fallen for the lies, but let’s also force Instagram celebrities to clarify what is product placement and what is ‘real’.
When it was said the Kurt Angle is going to return to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), people were really happy about the fact to the Hall of Famer could be back in the squared ring again. But, Angle returned to the company a month back during the superstar shake-up, where he was selected as the RAW General Manager.The Olympic Gold medalist, who left the company back in 2006 and joined Total NonStop Aaction (TNA) — now Impact Wrestling, where he plied his trade for 10 years — before leaving earlier in the year. But since his return to the company he has done a good job behind the scenes for Monday Night RAW.However, this week he was seen in a segment with the ‘Eater of Worlds’ — Bray Wyatt, where the latter introduced himself to Angle. He said that he wants certain favours from the GM to which Angle clearly indicated that the show is his and things work his way and soon it turned into a tense affair.If one has followed recent incidents, a match between AJ Styles and Shane McMahon – the head of SmackDown also materialised this way and after a recent interview with Wrestle Zone Radio, where Angle expressed his desire to wrestle again, something might be cooking up one might feel.The 48-year-old, who has had his fair share of drug issues, recently said that he thinks the company is “monitoring” his recovery from drug addiction before they allow him to make his in-ring return.advertisement”They see me working out at the gym. They see me every RAW doing what I have to do. They’re saying, ‘Prove to us that you are ok and we can give you what you want.’ I’m cool with that. I understand that. I understand they are going to drug test me continuously,” he said.”It’s one of those things where they are going to monitor me and see how I do. I don’t think it’s an issue of ‘if’ they are going to I think it’s ‘when’. That’s my opinion but I will be wrestling down the road at some point. It might not be this year, it might be next year, I don’t know. They haven’t said a word but my guess is I will wrestle again in WWE. I just don’t know when,” he added.Although earlier he had said that he would like to face Styles on his return but a possible feud with the eerie Bray Wyatt could be a very good idea for the company because both are good inside the squared ring and have great mike skills. And after the segment this week, something can well be built between one of the all-time greats and a star in the making.The #EaterOfWorlds @WWEBrayWyatt wanted to make a few things clear to #RAW GM @RealKurtAngle… pic.twitter.com/rux9aq6eV3- WWE (@WWE) May 3, 2017
Shikhar Dhawan’s love affair with England continued as he became the highest scorer in this year’s ICC Champions Trophy.Dhawan, whose selection ahead of Gautam Gambhir and others was questioned by many, answered the doubters in style with two fifties and a century so far in the tournament.He now has 271 runs from three matches this edition. Kane Williamson is second in the list with 244 runs from three games.In the last Champions Trophy back in 2013, India rode on Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s brilliant starts at the top to win the title. The Delhi batsman was named player of the tournament for scoring 363 runs from five matches, including two hundreds and one fifty.He continued the good work in this year’s tournament. Dhawan struck an impressive 40 in the first warm-up game against New Zealand at Edgbaston and followed it up with another good knock of 60 against Bangladesh in the second warm-up game.Dhawan’s impressive form continued as the tournament got underway. He slammed 68 against arch-rivals Pakistan as India thrashed Pakistan by 124 runs. He followed that up with 125 in the next match against Sri Lanka to help India post 321/6 from their 20 overs but a young Lanka side pulled off a great upset as they chased down the target with eight balls to spare.With India’s back against the wall in a must-win game against South Africa at The Oval to qualify for the semis, the 31-year-old stood up again. The Indian bowlers did a very good job to restrict the Proteas for a paltry 191 from 44.3 overs.advertisementBut, South Africa started off on a good note with Morne Morkel getting Rohit Sharma early. Virat Kohli walked in and was struggling to get going but Dhawan held one end and attacked the bowlers. He finally completed his fifty 61 balls tp take India closer towards the semis.He finally got out for 78 off 83 balls, while trying to up the ante and hit Imran Tahir for a six over Long-off.Dhawan also became the fourth batsman in the history of the Champions Trophy to get three consecutive scores over fifty. Before this Saeed Anwar (3) (2000-02), Marcus Trescothick (3) (2004) and Kane Williamson (4) (2013-17) have achieved the feat. He now averages more than 130 in the Champions Trophy.
Gianluigi Donnarumma — the man destined to succeed Gianluigi Buffon — just shocked Italy and one could say the world of football with a massive U-turn.”Everyone knows that my wish is to stay at Milan. I’m looking for a house in the city to live with my family. I’m calm, all the parties involved know the decision I’ve made. I’m very much tied to these colours,” said the 18-year-old, a week back.Fast forward a week and he decides to turn his back on the team that handed him a dream start to a promising career.The 6 ft 4 inches tall goalkeeper decided not to renew his contract that ends next year despite a strong proposal from the club.”We were taken by surprise, as we had hoped Donnarumma would be the goalkeeper taking Milan into the future. Naturally, the decision leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, but now we have to go forward,” AC Milan CEO Marco Fassone said in a statement.Club legend Enrico Albertosi slammed the 18-year-old for turning his back on the club.”He betrayed Milan, turning his back on a great club that put its faith in him and launched him in Serie A at the age of 17,” he said.PROMISING STARTThe lanky goalie rose to fame back in 2015 with some brilliant displays for the Rossoneri. He became the second youngest goalkeeper ever to debut in Serie A at the age of 16 years and 242 days. He went one step further and became the youngest ever goalkeeper to play for his country. He was aged 17 years and 189 days when he made his debut against Israel. advertisementHe started off as a third choice keeper behind Diego Lopez and Christian Abbiati after his promotion into the first team squad. He made his debut in an International Champions Cup match against Real Madrid, replacing Lopez in the 72nd minute. His next game against Sassuolo in the final of the TIM Trophy saw him save two penalties in the shootout to secure Milan’s victory.He made his Serie A debut against Sassuolo few months later and helped Milan earn a 2-1 victory. Donnarumma kept his first clean sheet in a 1-0 win against Chievo and he was making rapid progress in the club. And by the start of 2016, he had more or less replaced an experienced and able goalkeeper in Lopez as Milan’s No. 1 and was offered a new improved three-year contract.He was now the next big thing in Italy and Buffon had even asked Juventus to sign him up. That’s a big thing for an 18-year-old kid. He didn’t let the big man down as he helped lead Milan win the Supercoppa Italiana, saving Paulo Dybala’s penalty in a 4-3 shoot-out win following a 1-1 draw after extra time.Reuters PhotoHe became Milan’s key figure and a focal point of their ambitious plans to re-conquer Europe after their new Chinese owners started injecting money and signing big players. But June 15, 2017 — the world turned upside down for the club because his agent Mino Riola informed them that he has no intentions of sporting the Red and Black of Milan once his contract expires.So what next? ‘DOLLAR’-UMA?Well, it’s hard to turn down a club of Real Madrid’s stature for an 18-year-old. Ain’t it?Real are apparently interested in his services as their chase for Manchester United’s David De Gea has stalled again. And so are Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United — if they end up losing DDG to Real.But the player, according to reports, has set his sights on the sunny shores of the Spanish capital as he has no intentions of guiding Milan back to the top of Europe. THE ITALIAN DREAM?The dream remains because Gigi is in the twilight of his career and he is the young dashing guy coming through but what about the fans and the unconditional support he was destined for?That has taken a major hit because he has been termed as a backstabber already in Milan. Unlike Buffon, who stayed at Juventus through the club’s thick and thin and has tasted enormous success with the Old Lady — becoming a club legend and worldwide hero for his loyalty…Donnarumma’s decision has already left Italian’s questioning his move.Buffon signed for Juventus back in 2001 and has spent the last 16 years at Turin. He has won 10 Serie A titles and also the Serie B, when Juve were relegated to the second division for match-fixing allegations.While some players left — he didn’t. He stuck in there along with some others and guided his beloved team back to the top. Juventus have won the last six Serie A’s and is miles ahead of the rest in Italy.advertisementHe won the World Cup with Italy back in 2006 and also guided Italy to the 2012 Euro finals, where they lost to Spain.His list of individual honours with Juventus goes on and on and Donnarumma was expected to follow path after his ground breaking performances but that is highly unlikely now.Donnarumma’s shot at greatness in the future is not in any kind of doubt but his claim for being a cult figure has certainly taken a masive after he turned his back on his club.
It cost him five years of grand slam silverware, but Australian great Rod Laver says the decision to turn professional made him twice the player he was as an amateur.When Laver cleaned up all four grand slam titles in 1962 it seemed ludicrous to suggest he could get any better.But the man nicknamed Rocket was in for a shock when he joined the professional ranks a year later — a move that put his grand slam collection on hold until 1968 when tennis entered a new Open era.”When I look back, when I turned pro I was shellshocked,” Laver, who will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1967 Wimbledon Pro tournament at the All England Club next week, told Reuters.”I played Ken Rosewall and Lew Hoad and all these guys and I realised that my game was so bad against the pros that I almost had to re-learn so much of the tennis.”I could win in the amateurs and not really have to improve so much. When I turned pro I thought to myself I’m pretty good but I had a shock, I got beaten all the time.”I played Lew Hoad 12 or 13 times when I first turned pro and couldn’t beat him once.”Before 1968, tennis was split between amateurs, who were allowed to play in the grand slams, and professionals – like Rosewall, Pancho Gonzales, Hoad and Laver – who could not.They played instead on a professional circuit that included the World Professional Championships at Wembley.advertisementThe 1967 Wimbledon Pro event, which took place a few weeks after the actual Championships that year, paved the way for the decision to allow professionals to play in the slams.Laver, now 78, returned with a vengeance winning Wimbledon in 1968 before going on to win another calendar slam in 1969 — the only player to achieve the feat twice.”I improved 100 percent as a professional while I was unable to play in the majors,” Laver said.”I know that a lot of amateur officials and players thought that the pros couldn’t be very good because we just played against ourselves all the time… so I told them they shouldn’t believe that.”The pros were tough and fast and you needed a big first serve and good second serve. You had to play more of a percentage game that we see today. As an amateur you didn’t need to do that and you would still win.”We didn’t have to practise much either because we just played matches. I remember playing 28 days in a row in Europe.”While Laver says the brave move of Wimbledon to invite professionals helped transform tennis into the success story it now is, he says it would be wrong to discount the amateur era as any less important.”You can’t forget people like (Bill) Tilden, (Don) Budge and (Fred) Perry because they are the ones that made the game,” he said.
Wimbledon women’s champion Garbine Muguruza says she will savour her victory in order to prevent a similar slump in form to the one she suffered after winning the French Open in 2016.The Spaniard earned her first Grand Slam at Roland Garros, beating Serena Williams in the final, but then meekly capitulated at Wimbledon to Jana Cepelova in the second round, also experiencing early elimination at the Rio Olympics and the US Open.However, after defeating veteran American Venus Williams at the All England Club on Saturday to break a run of disappointing tournaments, the 23-year-old believes she knows how to handle victory better and will avoid the pitfalls of the last year.”I will try to learn from what I felt after winning at Roland Garros, taking it all more calmly and enjoying it,” Muguruza told Spanish newspaper Marca.”Digesting success is difficult. In Paris I won and the next day I was already playing again. I want to enjoy the moment a little more.”I always try to keep my feet on the ground and I repeat, this victory will not change my life. Everyone tells me that I will change and I say I will not.”I will have more pressure, more responsibility, but I will carry on the same.”The world number five emphatically dismantled Venus’ challenge with a 7-5, 6-0 victory for her maiden Wimbledon title, having lost to her opponent’s sister Serena in the 2015 final.Muguruza is the first player to beat both Williams sisters in Grand Slam finals, something which makes her feel particularly proud of her achievements.advertisement”It feels like a dream come true,” added Muguruza. “When you beat one of the Williams in the final, you feel like you’ve been the best player at the tournament.”
(EDS: Repeating after correction in Para 2) By Amanpreet Singh New Delhi, Aug 22 (PTI) Former recipients of the Arjuna award today lamented that its dignity has been lowered and the government is now “throwing” the honour away. Former India hockey captain Ashok Kumar, who is son of legendary Dhyanchand, legendary middle-distance runner Sriram Singh Shekhawat, who holds national record of 1:45.77 in 800m since 1976, and former India volleyball skipper Suresh Mishra all voiced the same sentiment. “The dignity has to be maintained. Why do you need to give Arjuna every year. Is it necessary? We are now throwing the awards away,” Ashok told PTI. “They (government) have set their own parameters. The value attached with the award should be increased. There should be a cap that only Asiad and Olympic medal winners should be selected for the Arjuna honour,” Ashok, member of 1975 World Cup winning Indian team, said. Ashok, himself a 1974 Arjuna awardee, also denounced the current procedure, where athletes have to send application to be considered for the honour. “You cant beg for award or demand it. Why should I blow my own trumpet that I have achieved something. When someone goes out for competition, it happens with the permission of the government. They know the achievements so it should be the government which should pick athletes rather than players sending applications,” he said. Indias ace squash player Saurav Ghosal also felt the same. “I think the concept of recommending or nominating someone for the awards is flawed. It just doesnt sound right that player needs to be recommended or needs to apply for the award. The committee should pick the winners on their own on the basis of performances. Applying for the awards is like asking for a grant,” the 2006 Arjuna awardee said. Asked if he feels any undeserving candidate has been selected, Ashok said, “I am not talking about any specific athlete but the system.” Shekhawat, who won gold medal in 1974 Tehran Asian Games and a silver at 1970 Bangkok Asian Games, shared how tough the fight used to be for Arjuna among achievers of that era. “When Arjuna awards were decided for year 1972, I was Asiad medallist but still did not get it. There was only one slot and the award was given to V S Chauhan. We both were national record holders but since he was senior to me, he was chosen,” Shekhawat, who was chosen for honour in 1973, recollected. “The selected athletes should be a medal winner at least at the Asian Games level,” he suggested. Suresh Mishra, who also coached Abu Dhabi police volleyball team for 15 years in 80s and 90s, said there should be only Arjuna award and the decision to make a Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna the highest honour was not correct. “Which name is bigger, Arjuna or Rajiv Gandhi. Its an insult to Arjuna award. It has been degraded,” he said. Arjuna award was instituted in 1961 and Khel Ratna in 1991-1992. Former India hockey captain Zafar Iqbal though chose to differ, saying giving awards was a way to encourage athletes. “The award is not only for the athletes but also for the masses who follow. It encourages everyone. It has been fair. I dont think its devalued,” the 1979 Arjuna awardee said. Former hockey defender M P Singh suggested that achievements at Commonwealth Games should not be considered. “The level of competition is not that high at CWG Games. And the government should make a policy for sports which do not figure in Asian Games and Olympics,” he said. Close to 20 Arjuna awardees had gathered at the launch of an NGO, Sports: A way of Life, founded by 25-year-old Kanishka Pandey and pledged support for its programme, Sports Literacy Mission. PTI AT BS BSadvertisement