Corini confident over Dessena

first_imgDaniele Dessena left Brescia’s 0-0 draw with Fiorentina on a stretcher and in tears, but Coach Eugenio Corini is hopeful “nothing’s broken”. Dessena risks suffering a similar injury to the double leg break that cost him the majority of his 2015-16 campaign, his right leg again caught in a collision with Erick Pulgar, but Corini was remaining upbeat. “There was some heavy bruising,” he told Sky Sport Italia after the game. “The lad got scared, given it was the leg he hurt a few years ago. “We’ll wait for the results of the tests, but the hope is that nothing’s broken.” The result, meanwhile, saw the Rondinelle halt a run of back-to-back defeats. “Fiorentina are a great team, we battled and we kept an important point at home, with less clarity and quality than we’d have liked but with character and the right spirit. “Dessena’s injury had an emotional impact on the team. We executed our game plan well, especially in the first half. “We also scored a goal, which was then disallowed. There were some potential openings for us, where we could’ve been more incisive. “We need to improve in our next few games. Our fixture list has been complicated so far, but my team have done well despite that. “We’ve dropped a few too many points away from home, the game against Bologna in particular. “The League will be difficult for all the teams fighting relegation, but we’ve shown that we can take our fight all the way to achieve our objective.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Percassi: ‘Atalanta can’t afford Zlatan’

first_imgPresident Antonio Percassi said Atalanta are too “poor” to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Bergamo, but claimed they are “expecting to qualify” for the next phase of the Champions League. La Dea have rocketed to the top of Italian football these last few years, but the President said they are still “grounded” and yet ambition, despite picking up one point from the first four Champions League games. “We expect to advance in the Champions League,” Percassi told news agency ANSA at the inauguration of the Mino Favini Academy. “The second half against Manchester City was amazing, that’s why we believe in it.” The news about Ibrahimovic leaving MLS has sparked an interest from a host of Italian clubs, linking Napoli, Milan and Bologna to the player. Percassi won’t entertain any rumours of the Swedish star moving to Bergamo, though. “Ibrahimovic is a great player, but we can’t afford him,” the 66-year-old added. “We are mere paupers… “We don’t have the revenue of the big clubs, although miraculously we get the results and remain a provincial reality keeping our feet on the ground. “We can’t compete with certain figures. We’ve got clear ideas regarding the stadium and have to complete the Zingonia training centre. We still need some millions and we have already spent €4m on the Bortolotti Center.” He might free up some spending money if he decides to sell Dejan Kulusevski, who has been attracting interest after his performances at Parma this season, but the President doesn’t seem to be in a rush. “We will evaluate at the end of the season, and we will do it on our own terms.” Before facing Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, Atalanta must prepare to face Juventus in Serie A when they are back in action after the international break. “They will be two great matches, since they are two great teams,” he said. “It’s important to have [Duvan] Zapata back, we have missed him.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Irfan Pathan and Balaji will bowl till they drop: John Wright

first_imgRIGHT PLACEMENT: John Wright directs his teamJohn Wright who has coached the Indian team for over three years spoke to Senior Editor Sharda Ugra in Islamabad after the series win. Q. Take away history and politics. Was this India’s best performance since you took over as coach? A. We played,RIGHT PLACEMENT: John Wright directs his teamJohn Wright who has coached the Indian team for over three years spoke to Senior Editor Sharda Ugra in Islamabad after the series win.Q. Take away history and politics. Was this India’s best performance since you took over as coach? A. We played well under the pressure of the Pakistan-India mystique especially in the deciding games in both the series. But we have played some pretty good cricket before, like against Australia which is a big side.Q. Sourav Ganguly says India is the best team in the world after Australia. Do you agree? The ranking doesn’t say so. A. The rankings don’t make much sense to me. I don’t care if we are No.7 or 8.We got to the finals of the World Cup and the ICC Trophy – those are big events. I just wish we had won them. Then maybe we would have been ranked sixth! I think Australia are out there. To be No. 1, you have to get players who can produce consistently. It is when you win over a period that it counts. But Sourav is right. On our day we can beat anyone.Q. Was the fear of losing a factor you accounted for in Pakistan? A. No, I don’t think the fear of losing was a factor. What we as backup staff tried to do was to take the mystique out of the series. We thought if we could be organised and had simple targets, it would help us.Q. How did Irfan Pathan and L. Balaji improve at a rate faster than other bowlers recently? A. They are physically very fit, they work hard at their strengths and have great attitudes. They will bowl till they drop. Selection is about picking people like this.Q. How does the team keep its feet on the ground now? A. You are only as good as your last game. Our challenge is to keep winning consistently. As for keeping the feet on the ground, it is like that line: treat those two impostors, triumph and disaster, just the same.Q. Is this win, a ‘take that everyone’ to those who snipe at you? A. I don’t have that attitude, you never win with that approach. If I lost the job I would go home, sit on my porch and get over it. I work very hard, there are some personal sacrifices made by my children and myself because we are apart. But I have always thought it would be great if I, along with the players, could make Indians on the street feel proud of their team. Because I believe that a team that is united and fights… that seems to mean something in India.advertisementlast_img read more

How BCCI didn’t plan for future

first_imgVirtually every aspect of India’s massive defeats Down Under has been dissected. In less than 48 hours, the Adelaide Test begins and there are no signs of VVS Laxman being ready to back off at this stage despite a string of failures.Back home, the Board of Control for Cricket in India maintains its usual silence. None of its office-bearers or selectors is having sleepless nights, though the same cannot be said about the discerning fan who still loves to wake up at odd hours to catch the live action.Sports View by S . Kannan.Mahendra Singh Dhoni will sit out of the Adelaide Test as he has been penalised by the ICC for a slow-over rate. And it’s even more chilling to note that the man who is now going to lead – Virender Sehwag – is perhaps in the middle of a huge crisis vis-a-vis his own batting.Some of the statistics which were brought to my notice have been nothing short of a revelation. Of the 274 cricketers to have played Tests for India, Dhoni happened to be the 251st.He made his debut in 2005-06, so that means 23 players have played for India after him. The most surprising aspect is how in the last six years, out of these only three have been middleorder batsmen – S Badrinath, Suresh Raina and Cheteshwar Pujara. Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund got brief stints as openers but the rest of those earning India caps were bowlers.Raina did not do too badly with a century on debut and six half tons, but in 15 Tests he averaged less than 30. Once the verdict was passed that Raina was suspect against the short- pitched stuff, he was out of the Test reckoning.advertisementAt a time when calls for the heads of Dravid and Laxman have reached a crescendo, it is clear the Indian board has just not worked on a succession plan. While the Indian cricket fan is passionate and can put his stars on a pedestal one day, the next day he can run them down mercilessly.Yet, AS far as the Board officials are concerned, it is not a matter of concern. To be sure, if one looks at the ODI side, from the time Greg Chappell was the coach of the Indian team, he had discussed a succession plan with the then chairman of the selection committee, Kiran More.However, as far as the Indian Test side is concerned, it is clear we kept persisting with the golden oldies and never thought of grooming batsmen, especially in the middle order. As it were, after Sourav Ganguly retired, the No. 6 slot has been shaky.We keep talking of how the Aussies have been unbeatable over the years, but if one goes back to the eighties when Dennis Lillee, Rodney Marsh and Greg Chappell retired, there was a crisis. However, Chappell came back as a selector and, with Bob Simpson, worked on building a team for the future.Similarly, in 2007, when Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Shane Warne retired, the Aussies faced a crisis. It worsened once Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden also called it a day. The Aussies lost the Ashes at home and took time to find their feet.So to say that the Aussies were always unbeatable is untrue. They also made mistakes and then learnt.Sadly in India, the fringe players are never given confidence. If it is captaincy, quite often we find that there has been no succession plan. If today it is Dhoni, tomorrow it could be Sehwag.But a closer look at the Indian Test team is quite scary. The ideal situation would have been to phase out Laxman and at the same time ensure there were a couple of batsmen who could fill in his boots.Obviously in the twilight of his career, we don’t expect Dravid to continue too for long and this will be his last tour to Australia. So can one imagine what goes through Mr Sachin Tendulkar’s head when he is going to be without his two senior colleagues.We keep talking of all the ills but nobody has worked on a succession plan. From the Indian board to the selectors and also the Indian captain and the coach, everyone should have put their heads together.Sadly, that has not been the case and planning has been done only on a series- to- series basis. There is already talk as to how in 2012 the biggest events ahead are the Indian Premier League and the ICC World T20 plus the Asia Cup.advertisementWe know that at home and on the lifeless wickets we can still win Tests, whatever be the opposition. It’s already too late that nothing has been done on grooming middle-order batsmen who can replace Laxman and Dravid.This is a bit like other sporting disciplines as well in India where we keep relying on the golden oldies. At 38-plus, Leander Paes happens to be a medal chance at the London Olympics and so does Mahesh Bhupathi, a year younger. In tennis, we know for sure the cupboard is bare.But in Indian cricket, there is no dearth of talent. The problem lies in the lack of planning and how those who at the helm have suffered from acute myopia. To borrow an ophthalmic term, a correction is needed. It’s just that we seem to have nobody with the [email protected]last_img read more

Aussie bowlers playing with our patience, says Sehwag

first_imgHe has a reputation of treating opposition bowlers with disdain but India’s stand-in skipper and dashing opener Virender Sehwag on Monday said the current Australian attack is the best he has faced as it has tested his patience like none before.Sehwag, who is India’s captain for the fourth and final Test starting in Adelaide on Tuesday after Mahendra Singh Dhoni was banned for the team’s slow over-rate, has endured a poor run in the series which his side has lost 0-3 already.”This is the best bowling attack I have seen, especially Australia. They are not giving easy balls to hit boundaries, they are playing with your patience,” conceded Sehwag.Sehwag has scored just 118 runs at 19.67 with one fifty from the series and he is still searching for those boundary-balls from the Australians.”I think they are bowling in good areas. They are not giving easy balls to hit boundaries. Generally, when I played in the past, I will get a couple of balls in early overs to hit boundaries but against this attack, I hardly get balls to hit,” he said.Peter Siddle (17 at 19.58) and Ben Hilfenhaus (23 at 16.00) have invariably got the better of Sehwag in the series and the Indian opener is now inclined to rely on patience to get himself back in the groove.”I think I have to show some patience. If I show patience, I will get some balls to hit for boundaries. It’s a challenge, it’s a great bowling attack and everyone is looking forward to do well against them.advertisement”I am looking forward to do well for whenever you do well against Australia, everyone praises and appreciates your performance,” said Sehwag.As an opener, Sehwag, along with his partner Gautam Gambhir, hasn’t given India any start better than 24 in this series.”It’s not only the opening. All the batsmen didn’t score runs. When you go abroad and score 300-400 runs, your bowlers come in the game and try to get the other team out,” Sehwag said.”It’s everyone’s responsibility to score runs, especially outside India. Unfortunately, on the last two tours, the batsmen didn’t score runs.””Yes, it’s important for openers to give good start but sometimes they don’t. It’s the responsibility of others batsmen to go and score. As a batting unit, we haven’t done well. Hopefully, we would do it here,” he added.Sehwag said he could consider going back into the middle order once there is a vacancy in the future.”Not (in the middle order) in this game. We have a very good middle order. It’s only when they retire, then I would think about it. It also depends on what’s the combination and who’s the captain and who’s going to retire. That’s also important.”Sehwag supported the under-fire VVS Laxman and termed any decision to retire completely in the hands of the seniors.”It’s their decision. They would take the call. Nobody is discussing it in the dressing room. As for VVS Laxman, he’s looking forward to it, he’s up for it. He’s concentrating hard, practising hard and also extra (nets).”I am sure the player that he is, he would perform well in Adelaide. Australia is his favourite team and he has scored a lot of hundreds against them. I am sure he would do well.”Though Sehwag began as a middle-order bat in India’s Test line-up in 2001, majority of his 8098 runs have come as an opener — 7719 runs to be precise.But for his debut century at number six against South Africa in Bloemfontein in 2001, the rest of his 22 hundreds have come as an opener.last_img read more

Mary Kom lands a counter punch on detractors

first_imgBefore leaving for Mongolia for the Women’s Asian Championships, the much talked-about topic in India was whether five-time world champion Mary Kom will cope with the challenge from the Chinese boxers.Mary Kom’s toughest rival has been China’s two-time world 51kg champion Ren Cancan, who defeated her in the semi-finals of the 2010 Asian Games. But not only did Mary Kom avenge her defeat, beating Cancan at the Asian Championships in Mongolia, her victory was also a fitting reply to her detractors who had doubted her ability to perform consistently at the top level. “People used to say I am ageing, I am short and I can’t play up to the rising standard of the women’s boxing. But I always believe in hard work, so I remained silent and worked hard on my weaknesses. This victory is a reply to all those who doubted my ability,” Mary Kom, who has won her all three Asian titles in the 46kg category, told Mail Today. “People have blamed me for killing youngsters’ chances in the camp. But I am a supporter of fair competition and I say it again that if anyone can prove she is better than me, she has to first beat me in the ring,” she said.The standard of women’s boxing, which will make its debut at the Olympics this year, is on the rise. Like a champion, who realises the changes quickly, Mary Kom understood the importance of improvement after her defeat at an Olympic test event in London last year. She changed her base from Patiala to Pune to focus harder on individual training. The mother of two worked on her defence and learned the technique of landing punches in bunches.advertisementShe said the training played a major role in her success at the Asian stage. “The decision to shift to Pune helped me the most. Since I trained alone in Pune, I could focus on my defence in a better way. Since I am short, I sparred against tall boxers in order to cope with the height problems. These two aspects help me put up an improved performance in Mongolia,” she said.With the medal, she also boosted her chances at May’s World Championships – the solitary qualifying competition for the London Olympics. “The main thing about my victory is that I achieved it in the 51kg which is an Olympic category, and beating a two-time world champion has also boosted my confidence. I want to cash in on the momentum at the World Championships since playing and winning at the Olympics is my ultimate goal,” she said.last_img read more

PGTI event to be held in Sri Lanka

first_imgAfter conducting successful events in Bangladesh and Nepal over the years, the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) has found another international venue as Sri Lanka, where a Rs 27 lakh tournament will be played at the Royal Colombo Golf Club from August 20-26.On Tuesday, PGTI announced its calendar for the second half of the year and introduced two new events. Other than the Colombo tournament, the PGTI will also hold the highest prize money (Rs 1.25 crore) tournament in its history – the McLeod Russel. It will be the year-end event and will be held at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club between November19-25.So far, the Crompton Greaves Open, BILT Open and DLF Masters are the other big-ticket events on the tour as each of them offer Rs 1 crore as prize money. While a Rs 1.25 crore Louis Philippe Cup is a higher prize money event, it doesn’t count in the PGTI Order of Merit.In the second half of the season, a total of 15 tournaments will be played with a total prize purse of Rs 7 crore, and a couple of new venues have been added. Other than Colombo, the Prestige Golfshire Club in Bangalore will be the latest venue where the PGTI Players Championship is scheduled to be held from August 7-10.The second half will also witness six qualifiers and the national final of the Volvo World Golf Challenge, one of the world’s premier corporate golf tournaments.At the halfway stage of the tour, Anirban Lahiri leads the Order of Merit with the earnings of Rs 13.65 lakh.advertisementlast_img read more

Cavs owner gets ‘vile’ voicemails after LeBron’s ‘bum’ tweet

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim FEU rolls to 3rd straight win, routs UP FILE – In this July 26, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert answer questions during an NBA basketball news conference at the team’s training facility in Independence, Ohio. Gilbert says he received “vile, disgusting” voicemails after LeBron James called President Donald Trump “a bum” on Twitter. (AP Photo/Phil Long, File)CLEVELAND — Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert received “vile, disgusting” voicemails after LeBron James called President Donald Trump a “bum” on Twitter.Gilbert said he was flooded with phone messages when the NBA’s most celebrated player criticized Trump for rescinding a White House invitation to Golden State’s Stephen Curry to honor the team’s NBA championship.ADVERTISEMENT Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Our interests are in the policies at the federal level, and not the politics surrounding the elections,” he said. “We have often supported both political parties in the same election so that we have the ability to impact positive change, regardless of who occupies the offices.“Our focus with any office-holder or politician is about the communication of the still substantial needs of our former rust-belt cities that are now finally beginning the road to recovery and growth that other parts of America have been experiencing for a long period of time.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel planscenter_img Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups MOST READ This week, James said he did not regret his comment about Trump.“Me and my friends call me that all the time,” James said during a news conference on media day. “I’m not his friend, though. He’s not my friend. No, when I woke up and saw what he said about Steph Curry. First of all, it’s so funny because it’s like you inviting me to your party, right? As a matter of fact, it’s not like you invited me.“It’s almost, like, ’Hey, I’m not going to be able to make it. I’m not coming and then you would be like, ‘LeBron, guess what? You’re not invited.’ I wasn’t coming anyways, so that was funny to me when I woke up and saw that. So, my first initial response was, you bum.”James also commended NFL players for protesting after Trump said owners should fire any players who kneel during the national anthem.Gilbert has ties to Trump, from his Quicken Loans mortgage lending company donating $750,000 to the president’s inauguration party. But Gilbert said in a statement this week that he supports both political parties.ADVERTISEMENT “I received voicemails after LeBron tweeted that were some of the most vile, disgusting, racist,” Gilbert said on Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”“There’s an element of racism that I didn’t even realize existed in this country this much.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingGilbert said he had not told James about the voicemails. He called the comments unnerving.“And you could hear it in their voice — the racism,” Gilbert said. “It wasn’t even really about the issue, and that’s what really got me, because they went to who they really are, some of them.” No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Lopetegui wants focus on soccer after Pique jeered by fans

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ “We all have the obligation to create the best atmosphere possible ahead of this game against Albania (on Friday),” Lopetegui said. “And I mean all of us. We are playing to make it to the World Cup. After a year and a half we have the chance to finish the job and we obviously need to focus on this game, which is the only important thing for us this week. We all have to contribute to create this good atmosphere, there is no doubt.”Pique was in tears on Sunday as he criticized the Spanish police after violent clashes erupted during the independence referendum that the Spanish government said was unconstitutional. Officials said more than 890 civilians and about 430 members of the police force were injured across the northeastern region.“I see Pique with the same enthusiasm as before,” Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara said. “He is as happyas he has always been inside our locker room.”Pique continued to criticize authorities on social media on Monday, including just before reporting to the national team.Fans in Madrid chanted and held cards against Pique, including some that said “Spain is your nation” and “Out Pique.”ADVERTISEMENT Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Lopetegui said in a radio interview with local radio station COPE on Monday night that the central defender remained “motivated” despite the abuse from fans. He said he talked to Pique and didn’t think he was affected by it.He said Pique’s “behavior with the national team has always been very good” and there was no reason not to have him on the team. He said the player was well liked by his teammates.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“We don’t analyze the player’s political opinion,” Lopetegui said. “Gerard is an extraordinary central defender and he has been playing with the national team since he was 16. His commitment is tremendous. I don’t see why I shouldn’t bring him to the team. He is available and he wants to play. I know it’s not an easy situation, but I am a soccer coach and I have to prioritize.”The coach said players have the right to express their opinions privately, but have to try to avoid adding to the “unpleasant situation” generated by Catalonia’s bid for independence. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The national team’s practice on Tuesday was closed to the fans.“We are soccer players and coaches, we have to be focused on our main goal, which is to qualify for the World Cup,” Lopetegui said. “We can’t get distracted by anything. I know that this is an unpleasant situation, but I ask for some reasoning and tranquility so we can all play a great match against Albania.”Spain is three points ahead of Italy in Group G. It has a much better goal difference than the Italians, so it can close in a World Cup spot with a victory against Albania or at Israel on Monday.Only the group winner automatically qualifies for next year’s tournament in Russia.On Tuesday, Barcelona and the two other Catalan clubs in the Spanish league — Girona and Espanyol — joined a strike to protest the Spanish government’s actions in Catalonia. Barcelona said none of its professional or youth teams practiced and its headquarters was closed. The club played in an empty Camp Nou on Sunday to show its discontentment with the government’s actions during the referendum.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claimscenter_img ‘Very happy’ Nadal survives Beijing scare MOST READ View comments Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim FILE – In this Monday, Sept 4, 2017 file photo, Spain’s Gerard Pique takes part in a training session a day prior to the World Cup Group G qualifying soccer match between Liechtenstein and Spain at the Rheinpark stadium in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has defended Gerard Pique from critics who question his loyalty to the national team because of his support for a disputed referendum on Catalan independence. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP, FIle)MADRID — Spain coach Julen Lopetegui praised Gerard Pique’s commitment to the national team and called on the squad to be focused only on soccer despite the crisis involving Catalonia’s push for independence.Pique, the outspoken Barcelona defender highly supportive of Catalans, was harassed by fans Monday when he reported to the national team’s training camp in Madrid ahead of upcoming World Cup qualifiers.ADVERTISEMENT Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups LATEST STORIESlast_img read more