Melbourne: Former Australian batsman and current national selector Mark Waugh has lashed out at Cricket Australia’s decision to force an early selection of the squad for the first cricket Test against India, believing that the move was prompted by “marketing purposes”.
The first Test against India starts December 4, at the Gabba in Brisbane.
“Ideally, you would like to see the second round of Sheffield Shield matches but that’s not a decision the selectors have made. Cricket Australia have made that. It’s for marketing purposes,” Waugh was quoted as saying in a report published in ‘foxsports.com.au’.
Waugh, who only joined the national selection panel in May as part of a reshuffle that saw Rod Marsh take the reigns as chief selector, was asked why he couldn’t plead with Cricket Australia for more time before making a final call on the Test squad.
Waugh Junior was livid that the selection committee would have to announce the squad a day before the second round of Sheffield Shield matches where the Test hopefuls like Phil Hughes, Shaun Marsh and Peter Siddle will be in action.
“We’re sitting down on Saturday to pick the first Test team,” Waugh told fellow former Test stars Glenn McGrath, Allan Border and Brendon Julian.
“It doesn’t actually allow us to look at the second (next) round of Shield matches,” said Waugh, one of the most elegant batsman of the 90′s. (PTI)
NONGPOH: Toughening their stand against the enrollment of doubtful voters in the State Electoral Roll, the Confederation of Ri Bhoi People (CORP) on Thursday lambasted the Dorbar Shnong of all villages in Ri Bhoi District for issuing residential certificate to non tribals without proper verification of their permanent addresses.
The CORP, led by its working president Bandari Ryntathiang, along with the members inspected the Election hearing held at Mawpun Kshaid and Nongsder falling under Umroi Constituency in Ri Bhoi District and detected many doubtful voters who were in the process of being enrolled in the electoral roll.
Ryntathiang stressed that influx in the State had been increasing and if no proper verification of doubtful voters was done, such people would be enrolled in the electoral roll.
Meanwhile, CORP has accused one EAC, P. Sangma, who was posted by the District Administration for the hearing at Nongsder, of misbehaving with the leaders of the organization and also media personnel who had approached her for clarification over the enrollment of doubtful voters.
The CORP leader stated that the organization will meet the Deputy Commissioner on the issue and also raise the matter of highhandedness of the official.
JOWAI: The JSU has warned the people, particularly the educated unemployed youths, not to fall prey to a fake Gramin Shiksha and Gram Vikas Pariyojna which is claiming to be a rural public service organization.
According to the JSU, several headmen have received a letter from the Director of the Gramin Shiksha and Gram Vikas Pariyojna asking them to send five unemployed educated youth for employment.
The letter was received along with an application form asking each candidate to send a demand draft of Rs.750 in favour of Panther Sales payable at Delhi.
The letter was address to the Gram Pradhan (headman) with a subject – Ministry of Development to provide employment to literate unemployed villagers to get success by Gramin Vikas Pariyojna.
The JSU, after learning of the matter, met Acting Deputy Commissioner D.P. Wahlang to enquire if he had any knowledge of the scheme.
Wahlang, however, clarified that there was no such scheme by thia name.
TURA, Nov 20: In a major find that may help the police thwart the series of bomb blasts taking place in the Garo Hills region, the South West Garo Hills (SWGH) police arrested seven militants allegedly belonging to the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) with a huge cache of bomb making equipment.
The police apprehended the seven at about 5 am on Thursday morning and recovered 6 kgs of RDX, one 9mm pistol with 5 rounds of ammunition, detonators, mobile phones, timers, dry cells, all indicative of a plan to carry out bombings within the Garo Hills region.
SHILLONG, Nov 20: The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), on Thursday said that the Meghalaya Government should have its own established policy to solve the insurgency problem through ‘political dialogue’, even as it demanded the immediate announcement of the name of the interlocutor to start the peace process.
“The existing problem of the HNLC and the Meghalaya Government could not be solved through military action and a solution will come only through political dialogue,” HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said in a press communiqué issued on Thursday.
SHILLONG, Nov 20: More than a hundred Home Guard personnel coming all the way from different districts of Garo Hills region were picked up on Thursday morning before they could begin their indefinite hunger strike in Shillong.
Around 130 home guards decided to launch an indefinite hunger strike in protest against the sudden termination of their services by State Forest Department. They had been deputed in the eight forest ranges located in the different districts of Garo Hills region.
The home guards were picked up from parking lot near the Additional Secretariat and were taken to Sadar Police station where they continued with their hunger strike.
SHILLONG, Nov 20: The Maitshaphrang Movement on Thursday informed that it has decided not to serve any ultimatum to the Meghalaya government on its delay to implement the Meghalaya Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act, but will soon announce its ‘indefinite hunger strike’.
“We will not serve any ultimatum to the state government but we will announce our indefinite hunger strike at any time,” the Convenor of the Movement, Michael Syiem said at a news conference held on Thursday.
TURA, Nov 20: The ambush blast that killed 2 policemen near Rewak in South Garo Hills (SGH) put the focus back on the poor road conditions within the district, something that the militants used to the hilt. The militants waited for the police convoy to hit a bad stretch of road where they planned their blast and killing. The irony is that they did not have to look far as almost the whole stretch of NH62 is in a deplorable state!
It is common knowledge that a fast moving target is harder to hit. However for those poor policemen, travelling beyond 20 kms an hour on the same road may have well been suicide.
Hong Kong: Continuing his giant-killing spree, Kidambi Srikanth stunned World No.7 Chou Tien Chen to advance to the second round of the $350,000 Hong Kong Open Super Series along with leading women shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu at the Hong Kong Coliseum here Wednesday.
Srikanth, fresh from defeating two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan in the final of the China Open, lost the first game 18-21 but managed to win the next two games 22-20, 21-16 against Chinese Taipei’s Chou in a marathon encounter that lasted an hour and six minutes while Saina registered a facile 21-17, 21-11 win over World No.52 Jamie Subandhi of the United States.
In the second round, Olympic bronze medallist Saina will face the winner between US’ Beiwan Zhang and Russian Ksenia Polikarpova.
In the other match, two-time World Championships bronze medallist Sindhu beat Thai World No.20 Busanan Ongbumrungpan 21-15, 16-21, 21-19 in 52 minutes.
With this win, the 19-year-old Hyderabadi took a 4-0 lead in career meetings. In her next match, Sindhu will meet Japanese Akane Yamaguchi, who lost to Saina in the final of the China Open.
Akane defeated Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu Po 21-12, 21-19 Wednesday.
However, the Indian women’s and men’s doubles pairs failed to clear the first round hurdles.
While the men’s pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy lost 15-21, 17-21 in 31 minutes to World No.3 Indonesian pair of Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad AAhsan, the women’s 2011 World Championships bronze medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa went down 21-16, 14-21, 21-23 to Malaysian pair of Lim Loon Yin and Lee Yean Meng.
In the men’s singles competitions, Ajay Jayaram and R.M.V Gurusaidutt lost their matches.
While Jayaram was thrashed 13-21, 7-21 by reigning world champion Chen Long, Gurusaidutt lost 15-21, 21-15, 20-22 to Japan’s Sho Sasaki. (IANS)
Chennai: Chennaiyin FC produced a crushing performance to beat Pune City FC 3-1 as they pipped Atletico de Kolkata to the top spot in the points table of the Indian Super League, here on Wednesday.
Courtesy strikes from Stiven Mendoza Valencia (62 nd minute), Bruno Pelissari (70th min) and India international Jeje Lalpekhlua (90th min), Chennayin moved right on top of the table with 16 points.
The Abhishek Bachchan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni co-owned team are on top having scored more goals than ATK, who are on second position, with same number of points.
For Pune, it was an unfortunate own goal by Chennaiyin’s Cameroonian mideo Eric Djemba Djemba, that had given them some hope before the final burst from ‘Blues’ buried them.
The hero of the match undoubtedly was young Balwant Singh, whose assist was key to two of the three goals scored by Chennai and he repeatedly switched flanks to keep the Pune players at bay.
During the first half, it was Chennaiyin, who dominated the proceedings with better ball possession.
In fact, it was Pune custodian Arindam Bhattacharya, who pulled off a stunning save in the 10th minute which was pure reflex work.
It was Chennaiyin’s best player Elano taking a perfect corner that fell into the melee and Jeje was quick to execute a backheel.
The big-bodied Arindam was moving towards his left but arched his body back and stretched his right hand to avert the danger.
Elano, who did not look fully fit was taken off by coach Marco Materazzi along with Gourmangi Singh, who sustained a groin injury.
It was Mohun Bagan forward Balwant, who was pressed into action and the Chennayin had a lot of mibility upfront.
Chennayin’s first goal in the 62nd minute was a combination of a four-touch finish. It was Mendoza, who received the ball on the left side of the central midfield. He quickly passed it onto Djemba Djemba and went on the overlap.
The former Manchester United player’s first touch was for Balwant, who essayed a killer through pass that found Mendoza in the open.
While Arindam left his charge to narrow the angle, the Colombian placed it in with a deft chip.
In the 69th minute, Pune equalized against the run of play as Jermaine Pennant passed one to David Colomba, whose low shot saw Djemba Djemba deflect it into his own goal with goalkeeper Gennaro Bracigliano complete caught off-guard.
However Pune’s joy was shortlived as Chennayin again surged ahead in the very next minute much to the delight of the partisan capacity crowd.
It was the two Brunos from either side — Pelissari and Cirillo involved in the goal.
Chennayin Bruno Pellisari marched towards opposition goal before unleashing a powerful left-footer which deflected off Bruno Cirillo’s body to change direction and there was very little that Arindam could have done in this occasion.
The third and final goal was solely created by Balwant, who was a livewire down wide right as opposition defender Anupam Sarkar could only pull his jersey or shorts in a bid to stop the fleet-footed striker. It was at end of the regulation time that Balwant received a ball at the edge of the 18-yard box.
With a nice body feint, he set it up for Jeje, who sprinted from the blind side as the Pune defence was caught napping.
Jeje finished with a powerful angular right footer that beat Arindam all ends up. (PTI)
London: Goalkeeper and manager of Kerala Blasters FC David James’ football memorabilia has been auctioned off for thousands of pounds after the former England goalkeeper went bankrupt.
James, 44, who played for Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth, and now plying his trade in the ISL, was declared bankrupt in May despite earning around 20 million pounds.
Signed shirts, shorts and balls were amongst the items sold by auctioneer Hilco at a sale registered in Kent Tuesday.
An England shirt the player wore in the Three Lions’ 1-0 World Cup win over Argentina in 2002 fetched 672 pounds. A Liverpool FC goalkeeper’s jersey worn during the teams’ 1995/96 season sold for more than 160 pounds while a Portsmouth No. 1 jersey James wore in 2008 went for 480 pounds. Hilco’s Spencer Chapman said there had been “interest from around the world with more than 1,000 registrants across the 10-day sales period”. (IANS)
SHILLONG: The Shillong Lajong juggernaut rolls on in the Super Division of the Shillong Premier League. With just two losses, 3 draws & an incredible 9 wins, the team is firmly on top of the division.
After 14 games, Shillong Lajong Junior Team have 30 points, with Langsning in the second place with 27 points, Royal Wahingdoh & Rangdajied in the third & fourth place with 25 points apiece.
What is more remarkable, is that while other teams in the league send out their strongest 11, Shillong Lajong has a firm eye towards the future and players only from the Academy, which inherently means the junior team, are played in every game.
Good combination play, high work rate & team work have been a highlight in Lajong’s campaign this year.
Strikers Rupert Nongrum & Lalrammuana alongside defenders, Nim Dorjee Tamang & Sandeep Singh have proven to be the standout performers for the Reds at the back, with both defenders getting on the score sheets on occasions.
The custodian, Vishal Kaith, from Himachal has proven to be a revelation this season. The defence has more than lived up to expectations, with just 7 goals conceded in 14 games.
The strikeforce Rupert Nongrum & Lalrammuana have worked well together, reaping in 11 goals in the process, with the former scoring 6 & Lalrammuana getting on the score sheet 5 times, over the course of the tournament.
Next up for the Boys in Red are the second placed Langsning on Thursday, the 20th of November in the semifinal.
The losing team will face the winners of the second semifinal, between Royal Wahingdoh & Rangdajied FC in a playoff game.
Nice: Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi has come out of artificial coma and is breathing unaided, his family said Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Marussia driver suffered severe head injuries in a horrific accident at the Japanese Grand Prix Oct 5.
The Frenchman has been flown from hospital in Yokkaichi, Japan, to intensive care in Nice, France.
However, his condition is still said to be “critical” and he remains unconscious.
“Jules is no longer in the artificial coma in which he was placed shortly after the accident. However, he is still unconscious. He is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable, but his condition is still classified as ‘critical’. His treatment now enters a new phase concerned with the improvement of his brain function,” his family said in a statement.
“Jules’ neurological condition remains stable. Although the situation continues to be serious, and may remain so, it was decided that Jules was sufficiently stable to be repatriated to his native France.”
Bianchi’s family added they were thankful that, after his initial treatment in Japan, the next phase of his recovery would take place near his home.
“We are thankful that the next phase of Jules’ treatment can continue close to home, where he can be surrounded and supported by his wider family and friends,” the statement said.
‘Wheelchair-bound Schumacher paralysed, speechless’
Meanwhile, legendary Formula 1 Michael Schumacher is paralysed and in a wheelchair, who cannot speak and has memory problems, former racing driver Philippe Streiff said Wednesday.
“He is getting better but everything is relative. It’s very difficult. He can’t speak. Like me, he is in a wheelchair paralysed. He has memory problems and speech problems,” Streiff, a good friend of Schumacher, was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
Streiff is himself wheelchair-bound after suffering a crash in Brazil during pre-season tests in 1989.
The 45-year-old Schumacher suffered a ski accident in the French Alps Dec 29 last year, which left him brain damaged and fighting for his life.
The seven-time champion was transferred to Lausanne Hospital, Switzerland, in June this year and he is now being cared for at his home on the shores of Lake Geneva. (IANS)
New Delhi: With less than hundred days to go for cricket’s greatest extravaganza -World Cup 2015- to be jointly staged by Australia and New Zealand, senior batsman Yuvraj Singh, who has been out of the selector’s radar for close to a year, is keen to don the national colors again.
The 32-year-old Yuvraj, who last played for India against South Africa in December of 2013, said talks of him giving up hope were false and that he was still determined to play for the national side.
“My words were twisted and were made to sound like I don’t want to play. (But) Anything is possible in life and I am looking forward to playing for India again,” the veteran left-hander was quoted as saying by a news channel.
The Punjab southpaw has featured in 293 ODIs was the Man-of-the-series in the last World Cup in 2011.
While he admits that getting picked is the prerogative of the selectors, Yuvraj said he was determined to perform well in the domestic circuit.
“Selection is not in my hands. I’ve got a few domestic tournaments coming up (and) I look forward to playing in that. If they (selectors) think I can still deliver I think I’ll get picked. I just look forward to playing cricket,” said he.
Yuvraj’s comeback to the national team has been a talking point for many, including the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, but the all-rounder is aware of the tough road ahead.
“The youngsters are doing pretty well. It’s going to be hard to find a place in the top XI. But the World Cup is going to be a squad of more than 16, so let’s see what happens,” he said.
Asked about India’s chances in the 2015 World Cup, Yuvraj said India have a good chance of defending the title.
“We have a couple of match winners – Virat (Kohli), Rohit (Sharma) and MS (Dhoni) will be the main batsmen in the team right now. (But) I would say our bowling is a bit inexperienced,” he said.
“Hopefully the bowlers should deliver. Wickets might help the bowlers over there with the bounce,” added Yuvraj.
With India’s long tour of Australia starting later this month, Yuvraj also said the team should focus on building momentum ahead of the World Cup. This especially as the tracks in Australia and New Zealand are different from ones back home.
“Tracks are going to be bouncier and move a bit more so. You can only assess once you get there and how your World Cup starts. It’s very important to get a good momentum going in the World Cup which we had in 2011,” he said. (UNI)
Madrid: Injured World No. 3 Rafael Nadal said Wednesday that it is his goal to be fully fit for the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament and competitive enough to challenge for a 15th Grand Slam title.
Nadal missed the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour Finals in London after undergoing surgery to remove his appendix.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic won the prestigious event to become the first player to win three straight season finale titles since Ivan Lendl won from 1985-87 when World No. 2 Roger Federer withdrew from the final due to a back injury.
The 28-year-old Nadal has also battled knee, wrist and back problems, with doctors confirming his rehabilitation included stem cell treatment.
“I have a month before Australia to get to my best level,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC Wednesday.
“I hope to be healthy enough to work as much as I need and want, and if that happens I really feel confident I can come back strong.”
Nadal won the the French Open title in June for the ninth time in 10 years. He will begin his comeback in an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi Jan 1 and then plans to play in the Jan 3-10 Qatar Open, where he is the defending champion.
The Australian Open begins Jan 19. (IANS)
Sochi: Facing a point deficit with just four games to go, five times world champion Viswanathan Anand is in a now-or-never situation in the World Chess Championship match against Magnus Carlsen.
With the scores favouring Carlsen 4.5-3.5 after eight games in the 12-game match, Anand is now under serious pressure to score at least one victory, and if that does not happen in the next two games, it might be already too late.
Ahead of the ninth game tomorrow, it is not only the match situation which is a worrying factor for Anand but also Carlsen’s preparation.
The Indian ace had come up with a fine new idea to win the third game but since then Carlsen seems to have caught the ‘preparation bug’ too.
The Norwegian is blitzing out the opening moves in quick time as well as producing new ideas, something that was considered Anand’s forte.
Game eight was a typical reminder for Anand that he needs to do far better. Carlsen came up with a new idea in the Queen’s gambit declined and played pretty quickly with black pieces, while Anand used a lot of time.
When the time came for him to think, the danger had already passed and the draw was on the cards.
The fact that Carlsen is just four draws away from retaining the crown is also something that requires immediate action.
With his ability to carry the game without making many mistakes, Carlsen brings out his best while closing in on title victories.
For Anand, it would be best to go for the kill at the earliest.
The time to think about being white or black should not matter anymore and all the Indian ace should be thinking about is to complicate the position as soon as possible. (PTI)
Chandigarh: There seems to be no end to Punjab Marshalls woes in the inaugural Champions Tennis League (CTL) as Greg Rusedski has also pulled out of their side due to a foot injury.
David Ferrer had also pulled out from the Punjab team before the start of the league while Philipp Kohlschreiber was replaced by Cyprus star Marcos Baghdatis in the Pune team.
Leander Paes will have to play the legends singles match for Punjab apart from the mixed doubles and men’s doubles. “I haven’t played a singles match in a long time. But being a serve and volley player, playing on faster courts is going to help me. Hopefully I can support my team and help them win a few sets,” the 41-year-old legend said.
India’s top singles player Somdev Devvarman hoped things will change for the better in the next two days. (PTI)
Bengaluru: Many tennis-lovers around the world are all well versed with the multiple Grand Slam winner Venus Williams’ powerful baseline smashes, but many wouldn’t know about her love for Indian food.
It won’t be a stretch to say that Venus does harbour a penchant for food after she revealed to tennis enthusiast that Bhindi Masala is her favourite Indian food.
“It has (the diet has changed after arriving in India), but I cheat a lot and don’t feel bad about it. I eat a lot of Indian food. I think my favourite, probably, is Bhindi Masala,” she told in an interaction organised by 94.3 FM Radio-One here on Wednesday ahead of the Champions Tennis League (CTL) match against Pune to be played at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association Stadium.
Talking about Bengaluru, Venus, a former World Number One and is ranked World Number 18 in singles at present, said she had some great memories here and is her favourite city.
“I love Bangalore (Bengaluru). It definitely is my favourite city. I have great memories playing in the city. Now I am playing a professional here. I am playing with the (Bangalore) Raptors and can’t imagine we can lose. We have to bring two wins tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday,” she said.
Thomas Enqvist, who was compared to Stefan Edberg and Bjorn Borg, showered encomiums over beautiful Indian women who haven’t yet disappointed him.
“We haven’t been disappointed at all,” Enquist said when he was asked to comment on beautiful Indian women.
However, he sheepishly revealed Indian tennis player Ramkumar Ramanathan’s penchant for beautiful women and calling him an expert on the issue.
“We have a women’s specialist in our side- it’s Ram,” he chuckled.
The Spaniard tennis star Feliciano Lopez delighted the gathering by speaking Spanish.
Later, Ramanathan, along with the entire Raptors’ team, delighted the crowd by dancing to the racy Bollywood and English numbers. (PTI)
TURA, Nov 19: Unidentified militants lobbed a grenade near the Rongram outpost at around 8:40 on Wednesday evening, though there were no casualties. The outpost in Rongram is about 15 kms from the town of Tura and falls under the district of West Garo Hills (WGH).
According to sources, a grenade was lobbed about 15 metres from the outpost near the road with the miscreants escaping before they could be identified. No group has as yet claimed responsibility for the incident.
SHILLONG, Nov 19: Members of the Jaintia Students’ Union (JSU) on Wednesday uncovered a scam which was being run under the name of the Gramin Shiksha and Gram Vikas Pariyojna in several villages of Jaintia Hills.
The people behind this scam had sent letters to numerous villages offering 5 unemployed youths from each village a job on payment of Rs. 750 by Demand Draft in the name of Penther Sales Delhi. Also attached to these letters were forms for the said posts which were sent through the post office.