Nice coach Patrick Vieira was “disappointed” with Mario Balotelli. “It’s really difficult for him to understand that football is about teamwork.” The Italy international has never hit the heights his potential warranted and is now also struggling at hometown club Brescia. “It was a real pleasure to work with Mario,” the Nice coach told beIN Sports at an event. “It was I think at a time where it was really difficult for him to understand that football is about teamwork, the team effort, and it’s something that is difficult for Mario to understand. “It has nothing to do with talent of the player, because he is a really special talent, but it’s disappointing that I was unable to get the best out of him, but he needs to understand as well that for him to play at this level, he needs to be part of the team. “I hope he understands that really soon, because there is still time for him to do so and he can go back to scoring goals. He’s got the talent to be the leader of the team, but the leader of the team has to put his talent at the service of the team.” 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: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
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A move to confer an honorary doctorate on world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand was on Tuesday embroiled in a raging controversy over his citizenship, forcing him to decline the honour at least for now.After the Union Human Resource Development Ministry raised doubts over the nationality of Anand, who holds an Indian passport but lives in Spain, the University of Hyderabad had to delay the function to confer the honour on him.With his ministry’s name figuring in the controversy, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal spoke to Anand and is understood to have urged him to accept the award.But after media reported the delay, the University of Hyderabad decided to confer the doctorate to Anand at a function on Tuesday night.”We are ready to award the honorary doctorate to Anand. The doctorate has only been delayed and not denied as the HRD Ministry has raised doubts over the chess champion’s nationality,” Head of Mathematics Department in the University Rajat Tandon told PTI.”We learnt somewhere in July this year that the HRD Ministry is suspecting Anand’s nationality. We sent several clarifications to them but still they have not cleared the file related to the award of honorary doctorate,” he said.Coinciding with the International Conference on Maths currently on here, the University was planning to honour Anand along with Harvard University mathematician David Mumford.In the wake of the controversy, Tandon said the university planned to hold a function tonight to honour Anand but the champion declined to accept it in view of the controversy.advertisementStating that they were left “extremely embarrassed” over the entire issue, Tandon, also the organizing secretary of the ongoing International Congress of Mathematicians, apologised to Anand over this.
On the third day of the third cricket Test in Perth, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni , 30, kept the door of his $200-a-day Hyatt Regency hotel room open for more than two hours. It was Team India ‘s third straight loss in the four-Test series. Two teammates stepped in,On the third day of the third cricket Test in Perth, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni , 30, kept the door of his $200-a-day Hyatt Regency hotel room open for more than two hours. It was Team India ‘s third straight loss in the four-Test series. Two teammates stepped in to ask if he was expecting any visitors. “I am expecting all of you. May we discuss why we are in this mess?” he said. No one dropped in.Perhaps the cricketers, having already lost the Test series 0-3, were thinking of the auction for the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), scheduled in Bangalore on February 4. In the T20 capital of the world, ipl earnings have become critical for top players since the cash-rich league started in 2008. What began as a frivolity has become the primary interest of cricketers tempted by wealth rather than motivated by national pride. The brand value of ipl in 2011 was $3.67 billion (Rs 18,350 crore), according to a Brand Finance report. The sideshow appears to be taking over the main event.In 2011, Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, 38, earned Rs 9 crore each from playing the fourth edition of IPL for Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians respectively, while Gautam Gambhir, 30, who captained Kolkata Knight Riders, earned the highest last year, Rs 11 crore. This was almost five times the amount they would have earned from playing Tests, one-day internationals (ODI) and T20s in 2011. Top Indian players in Grade A get an annual retainership of Rs 1 crore and earn Rs 7 lakh per Test, Rs 4 lakh per odi and Rs 2 lakh per T20 match. In 2011, some cricketers played, on an average, 15 Tests and 30 odis, earning a maximum of Rs 2.25 crore in match fees.advertisementMahendra Singh DhoniIn this new commercial culture of the game, there is little incentive for good players to raise their game and become members of the elite club, Team India. Take Yusuf Pathan, 29, who is yet to play a Test but earned Rs 10 crore by playing ipl for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011. Or Robin Uthappa, 26, uncapped in Tests and who played his last odi game in 2008. He earned Rs 10 crore from Pune Warriors. Contrast ipl earnings with what cricket boards hand out to their players. Cricket Australia’s highest paid player gets around Rs 7 crore. The maximum annual contract fee paid by the England and Wales Cricket Board is Rs 3 crore. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav, 24, is a classic example of divided loyalties bred by divided royalties. He is a Grade C player in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) contract system and gets Rs 25 lakh a year. In 2011, he earned Rs 3 crore by playing for Delhi Daredevils. His ipl value in 2012 will multiply after his impressive showing in Australia. At its best, IPL can be a force multiplier for a young cricketer with promise. At its worst, it can be a deterrent to performance for a player who is avaricious and lazy.Cricketers alone are not attracted to IPL lucre. So is their governing board, the BCCI. In 2010-11, BCCI earned Rs 1,667 crore in revenue-Rs 973 crore came from ipl. Sixty per cent of BCCI revenues come from TV and TV loves the Indian Paisa League. IPL-4 had an average TRP of 3.91, the lowest for any season. Even that was better than the depressing TRP figures for the first three Tests between India and Australia-0.89, 0.7 and 0.6. Set Max earned Rs 900 crore from IPL-4 from about 60 days of the intense cricket circus, with ad rates of Rs 1.5 lakh for 10 seconds. The India-England series, billed as a fiery face-off, earned Rs 100 crore for the broadcaster ESPN Star Sports, over 24 days of cricket at Rs 80,000 for every 10-second ad spot.”Even selectors know that the players want to earn the maximum as quickly as possible. No one is worried about Test losses,” says former Indian coach Aunshuman Gaekwad. “Everyone wants a slice of IPL,” adds former Indian bowler Manoj Prabhakar. “IPL brings loads of money, Tests only get you the contract money and match fee.”A sullen Team India after losing the last Test against Australia in Adelaide.IPL often breeds greed and it has led to angry debates when players appeared to have chosen club over country. Take Gambhir, who sustained a shoulder injury during the World Cup. He went on to play all 15 matches in IPL-4 despite knowing he was not fit. He then dropped out of the West Indies tour where he was to captain the ODI side and eventually had to return home after two Tests in England when the injury flared up.As if that was not enough in the deadly mix that is killing the soul of Indian cricket, there is ego. And it begins at the top, with the man who scripted India’s success at the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, icc World Cup in 2011 and helped India become the No. 1 Test team in the world. After eight successive defeats in Tests (India lost 0-4 in England in 2011 immediately after the World Cup win and 0-4 in Australia), he is looking like a loser, and a sore one at that. Minutes after Australia pulverised India by an innings and 37 runs to wrap up the series in Perth, Dhoni refused to lead the team to the ground for the prize distribution ceremony. He had to be persuaded by coach Duncan Fletcher.advertisementClick here to EnlargeDefeat has turned the A-team of Alpha Males into a B-team of Bored Passengers. There is little camaraderie on the field, at the nets, or in the hotel. It hasn’t helped that some in Team India have openly aligned with vice-captain Virender Sehwag, 33, thinking he will soon be made skipper of the Test side. There have been several rumours to this effect but Dhoni has made no effort to tell bcci President N. Srinivasan that he is troubled by them. His attitude during defeats has also been distant. Once known for his morale-boosting SMSs to players, he has remained confined to his hotel room with wife Sakshi. Srinivasan is aware of the heightened talk about a rift. “I have heard of some ego issues in the dressing room. These two (Dhoni and Sehwag) are competent enough to iron out their differences, if any,” Srinivasan told India Today.But Dhoni’s unhappiness runs deeper. In private conversations with friends, the India captain has repeatedly expressed his frustration with the selectors led by former skipper K. Srikkanth. “I have often told him he should voice his concerns but doubt he will talk,” says Arun Pandey, Dhoni’s partner in Rhiti Sports Management, which handles his endorsements. “I wonder whether he can put things across bluntly. No one speaks his mind in the Indian cricket team,” argues Santosh Lal, longtime friend and member of the Jharkhand Ranji team.Dhoni has dropped broad hints. On the first day of the first Test against England in June last year, he unstrapped the wicket-keeping pads and started bowling after Zaheer Khan, 33, picked up a hamstring strain. Khan’s injury had left India with three specialist bowlers for the rest of the match. “It was risky to have an injury-prone Zaheer in a team that has four specialist bowlers,” says former India captain Kapil Dev. “Why can’t he speak to the selectors?”Click here to EnlargePerhaps because they don’t listen. Consider the England fiasco in August-September 2011. Despite his warnings not to include injury-prone cricketers, the selectors name Khan, Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, 31, and Harbhajan Singh, 31, in the squad. They were declared fit when their names were included. But trouble started almost immediately. Khan was the first to go after the hamstring injury, followed by Gambhir two Tests later. Sehwag, who batted with buds in his ears, was eventually diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss. More exits followed-Yuvraj, out with a fractured thumb, and Harbhajan, who picked up a hamstring injury. “Selectors must be answerable to the board,” says Gaekwad.In England, the Indian cricketers, having won the World Cup and having played the fourth edition of IPL, seemed complacent. Suddenly, Test cricket was not important for the cricketers. “England was one big party, it was not cricket,” says ESPN commentator Harsha Bhogle. The Indian team for the four-Test series Down Under was chosen on November 26 in Mumbai. Dhoni tried hard to push Tamil Nadu batsman Abhinav Mukund, 22, and Harbhajan, but both requests were turned down, as also his demand for a vote in the selection process. The five selectors-Mohinder Amarnath, Raja Venkat, Narendra Hirwani, Surendra Bhave and chief selector Srikkanth-were reluctant to remove “creaking gladiators” V.V.S. Laxman, 37, and Rahul Dravid, 39, from the side. Tendulkar was considered an automatic inclusion. Retaining all three is not mere sentiment. bcci knows television viewers tune in to watch familiar faces.advertisementDhoni’s leadership has suffered. Gone is the game-changer who, as former Australian skipper Ian Chappell puts it, “took bold decisions”. In its place is tentative experimentation. Dhoni went with an all-pace attack in the Perth Test, dropping off-spinner R. Ashwin, 25, to include debutant pacer Vinay Kumar, 27, who was pasted all over the ground. “Dhoni was definitely not in command in Australia,” former Indian coach Gary Kirsten told India Today from Cape Town.A frontline spinner, if included in the side, could have saved the day for the team at Perth. Much of the blame should be shared by the new bowling coach, South African Eric Simons. Head coach Fletcher has not helped with his stoic silence. Paddy Upton, the team’s motivational speaker, left with Kirsten. The fielding has been dodgy but no one questioned the role of fitness trainer Ramji Srinivasan. The team skipped practice as many as four times during the Test series. Pictures of them relaxing on the beachfront in Melbourne instead of sweating it out in training solidified the sense of drift.The message to the cricket fan is clear: wealth breeds indifference. Ironically, money may well be the imperative that wakes BCCI and persuades it to act before the slide becomes a swamp. The BCCI cannot make money out of a defeat-prone team. The BCCI working committee is meeting on February 12 and at the top of the agenda should be a list of fix-its. Sourav Ganguly, chairman of the BCCI technical committee and a commentator, has been asked to attend the meeting for a larger role in shaping national selection.Perhaps Dhoni sees in adversity an opportunity to ensure that BCCI splits the captaincy so that he can focus on the shorter versions of the game. That appears to be his plan, as evident from his comment on January 31: “Captaincy is just a position I hold. If there’s a better replacement, he can come in.” He had earlier hinted at retiring from Tests on January 12 to focus on the 2015 World Cup. There may be pressure from family. His father, Paan Singh, says in Ranchi that “my son will not cling to anything. I will ask him to quit. We have enough”. Also, as his first coach in Ranchi, Keshav Ranjan Banerjee, says, Dhoni has told him he has little patience for Test cricket. He certainly doesn’t want to keep wickets in Tests, says long-time friend in Ranchi, Shabbir Hussain. In fact, the BCCI annual general meeting in Kolkata on October 26, 2011, discussed the issue of split captaincy but did not come to any conclusion. There is talk though that Dhoni’s no-Test agenda has Srinivasan’s complete backing.So, will IPL kill Test cricket in India? It will definitely tire the players. Since the World Cup campaign ended on April 2, 2011, India have played 10 Tests, 20 ODIs, and three T20s. Australia, in contrast, have played seven Tests, 11 ODIs and two T20s. Don’t forget many of them have not had the distraction of attractive cheerleaders who are “walking porn”, glamorous after-parties and team owners determined to milk their investments. No wonder the champions of 2011 are looking like the hapless losers of 2012.-With Kaushik Deka
Man and the machine: Guido Bothe with the HammerWhat does the Hindi word “chinkara” have in common with German’s “schnell”? Everything, to 47-year-old German expatriate Guido Bothe.Resident of Alibag and the mastermind of Chinkara Motors, run in partnership with wife Shama, Bothe produces hand-made adventure vehicles. His most famous is,Man and the machine: Guido Bothe with the HammerWhat does the Hindi word “chinkara” have in common with German’s “schnell”? Everything, to 47-year-old German expatriate Guido Bothe.Resident of Alibag and the mastermind of Chinkara Motors, run in partnership with wife Shama, Bothe produces hand-made adventure vehicles. His most famous is modelled after the smallest Asiatic gazelle, “sleek, graceful, nimble and very quick”.The Chinkara 1.8 S Roadster – the S stands for schnell, or “fast” in German – made its debut at the Mumbai Auto Show 2003, receiving much acclaim as India’s first indigenous sports car. The vehicle comes customised and takes three-and-a-half months to complete.Bothe’s most recent creation is the Hammer, which made its first appearance at Delhi’s DefExpo ’06 in February. The vehicle looks like a 1960s Corvette Stingray, with a machine-gun mount on the back and armoured in hand-fitted layers of Kevlar and ceramic. It weighs 1,100 kg and is equipped with a 130 hp engine.Bothe predicts that the Hammer has a “huge” potential market among border patrols, special task forces, forest departments and antipoaching squads. “Like a hammer, you get in, hit your target fast, then get out fast,” he explains.It is not a high turnover business. Bothe and his 11-man team of welders, moulders, mechanics and fitters have custom-built 11 of the Chinkara Roadsters since 2003; it will take at least 50 of them to be sold for the company to even break even on its investment.Each Chinkara Roadster costs between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 7 lakh and Bothe admits his consumer base isn’t large. But he isn’t worried. “Success in numbers is minuscule,” he says, insisting that Chinkara is in business for the long haul to “look at the fun-factor of vehicles”, especially since a growing number of people consider cars as “not just a means of transport”.advertisementShama handles the administrative responsibilities-besides, being an Indian she technically owns the company- while Bothe attends to the workshop, re-engineering and finishing auto parts into the works of his imagination. Since the company’s inception, Chinkara has expanded its product line to include all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and speedboats.In his youth, Bothe had travelled the world, experimenting with extreme sports and at 36, he took a holiday in Maharashtra where he met Shama while sailing with her cousin. “When I went back (to Germany), it was like being in the wrong movie,” he says.”People were white and grey. I had such a good time in India, I decided to move here and stay with the good times.”
It has been a thoroughly deserving win for the Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Score | PhotosKKR were menacing with the bat, clobbered the Royal Challengers to all corners. They were led by Gambhir who scored a brilliant 93. Kohli, Dilshan and AB de Villiers failed with the bat and 191 looked taller than Mount Everest. Gayle gave some entertainment to the packed crowd towards the end, he now holds the Orange Cap. Kolkata move to the 2nd spot in the points table with 11 points. Stay tuned for the presentation.IPL 2012: KKR vs RCB Live: KKR win by 47 runsMan of the Match: Gautam GambhirChris Gayle: We are disappointed. 191 was tough and we didn’t start well. We have a long way to go, hopefully we shall pick ourselves up. The new ball was coming onto the bat nicely but in the middle overs the ball was stopping and coming. Their spinners were brilliant. I wanted to hit Billy (says jokingly), no offence but glad it didn’t hit the umpire. We have two home games now, hopefully we can win both.KKR 190/4 in 20 overs beat RCB 143/6 in 20 overs (Gayle 86)11:26 pm | 19.6 overs: Shukla to Vinay Kumar, no run, that completes a big win! Good slower bouncer, Vinay Kumar drops his wrists and lets it go, Kolkata win by 47 runs! And it’s all over for RCB and they go down by a massive 47-run margin.11:25 pm | 19.5 overs: WICKET! Lone wager Gayle departs and that’s the end for RCB…just one ball left. Shukla to Gayle, out Caught by Brendon McCullum!! That’s the end of Gayle, he was the lone warrior for the Royal Challengers, sucker ball from Shukla, Gayle went after it, gets an outside edge, McCullum dives to his left and takes a good catch. Gayle c Brendon McCullum b Shukla 86(58) [4s-7 6s-6] (RCB 143/6 in 19.5 overs)advertisement11:20 pm | 19 overs: Good over there for RCB. 23 runs off that over.18.6 overs: Bhatia to Gayle, SIX, poor bowling again! Full toss outside the off stump, Gayle smacks it over long off, sheer power from Gayle, moves into the eighties, monstrous hitting this, Gayle has scored 332 runs now, he is the holder of the Orange Cap now 18.5 overs: Bhatia to Gayle, SIX, MASSIVE! Gayle clears his front leg and swings through the line, the ball goes miles up in the air and clears long on with ease, don’t tell me he is eyeing for a hundred! 18.4 overs: Bhatia to Gayle, FOUR, low full toss, Gayle leans and drives it to sweeper cover, in the gap and he collects a boundary 18.3 overs: Bhatia to Gayle, SIX, is that the biggest one handed six ever? My word! It was a short ball, Gayle goes full monty, the bottom hand came off the bat as he heaved it over deep mid wicket, lands 15-20 rows behind in the stands, top shot! Daniel Vettori, left handed bat, comes to the crease 11:15 pm | 17.2 overs: Narine to Agarwal, out Bowled!! Castled! This little man has certainly been a terrific find for Kolkata. Superb delivery that, off cutter, Agarwal was looking to whip it across, but Narine bowled it a lot quicker, cleaned up. A well deserved wicket that, he has been superb today with the ball. Agarwal b Narine 10(13) [4s-1] (RCB 112/5 in 17.2 overs) Mayank Agarwal, right handed bat, comes to the crease 10:50 pm | 12.5 overs: WICKET! Now what an over that. After being hit for two big sixes by both batsmen, Bhatia gets rid of Tiwary. Bhatia to Saurabh Tiwary, out Caught by Gambhir!! Ok, the six was just a flash in the pan. Saurabh Tiwary looks to go over long off again, gets a thick outside edge as the ball turns away, the fielder at backward point goes backwards and takes a shoulder height catch. FYI, 1.6 million dollars was what the Royal Challengers paid for Saurabh Tiwary. Saurabh Tiwary c Gambhir b Bhatia 19(22) [4s-1 6s-1] (RCB 77/4 in 12.5 overs)12.4 Bhatia to Saurabh Tiwary, SIX, Saurabh Tiwary joins the party, it was overpitched, Saurabh Tiwary lofts it handsomely over long off, for a moment it looked like he might get holed out, but he’s hit that cleanly 12.3 Bhatia to Gayle, 1 run, width on offer, Gayle slaps it to sweeper cover 12.2 Bhatia to Gayle, SIX, Gayle breaks loose! Short ball, stand and deliver stuff from Gayle, goes back and muscles it over the long on boundary, even the cameraman missed it, proper hit, long on was just a spectatorAyaz Memon tweets: law of averages caught up with de Villiers…can Gayle defy it?advertisement10:30 pm | 7.3 overs: Kallis to Saurabh Tiwary, leg byes, 2 runs, loud appeal for LBW, not given! That one pitched outside leg and jagged across, trapped on the pad, the ball goes towards third man as Kallis continues to appeal, they take two runs.Saurabh Tiwary, left handed bat, comes to the crease10:22 pm | 5.3 overs: WICKET! De Villiers falls and RCB in deep trouble. Kallis to de Villiers, out Caught by Shukla!! The crowd erupt and Kolkata are all over Bangalore here. Not the shot you would expect from someone like de Villiers. First ball he faces, goes for a pull as Kallis bangs it hard, gets a top edge and the ball goes high up in the air, Shukla has got his judgement right this time around, settles right under it and takes it close to his chest, Kallis is having a great outing today. de Villiers c Shukla b Kallis 0(1) (RCB 34/3 in 5.3 overs)AB de Villiers, right handed bat, comes to the crease 10:20 pm | 5.2 oves: WICKET! Kohli goes down. Kallis to Virat Kohli, out Lbw!! Virat Kohli wasn’t looking too comfortable out there, the ball jags back in and traps Virat Kohli on the pad as he was looking to whip it across, he bent down suggesting that the ball stayed a tad low, that was convincing enough for the umpire to lift the finger, he was struck just above the knee roll. Virat Kohli lbw b Kallis 18(19) [4s-3] (RCB 34/2 in 5.2 overs)Shane Warne tweets on Yuvraj: Hey buddy how are you? What’s your thoughts on the IPL? Missing your big 6’s for sure!!!! What team do you fancy? Royals?Ayaz Memon tweets: kkr have thrown the gauntlet at RCB. Response of in form Gayle, de Villiers coukd make for a heady contestLalit Modi tweets: That drop might cost you big time kkr!!Brett Lee, right-arm fast, comes into the attack 10:05 pm | 0.6 overs: WICKET! Early dismissal and KKR’s on top already. Yusuf Pathan to Dilshan, out Caught by Bhatia!! Yusuf Pathan is over the moon, it is as if he has won the World Cup for his team. Well, to be fair to him, that’s a big wicket. Dilshan has been in good form, came down the wicket looking to go over the top, the face of the bat turned as he played at it, didn’t get enough power, mid off back pedals and takes it with fingers pointing up, big blow first up for the Challengers. Dilshan c Bhatia b Yusuf Pathan 1(3) (RCB 2/1 in 0.6 overs)10:00 pm | Dilshan and Gayle are at the crease. Dilshan is on strike. Yusuf Pathan will open the attackROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Target 191 in 20 overs KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: 190/4 in 20 overs (Gambhir 93, McCullum 43, Kallis 41)Gambhir’s 93 came off just 51 balls and was puntuated with 9 fours and 5 sixes.9:40 pm | 19.6 overs: WICKET! Vinay Kumar to Yusuf Pathan, out Caught by Dilshan!! High full toss by Vinay, just below the waists though, Yusuf Pathan mistimes a shovel towards mid-wicket and finds Dilshan in the deep. Two wickets for Vinay in the final over but KKR end up with a massive 190 on the board. Yusuf Pathan c Dilshan b Vinay Kumar 7(4) [6s-1] And KKR post a massive 190/4 against RCB. It will be tought for RCB despite the presence of RCBadvertisementManoj Tiwary, right handed bat, comes to the crease 9:35 pm | 19.2 overs: WICKET! With Gambhir gone, Kallis too falls, but KKR are in complete control here. Vinay Kumar to Kallis, out Caught by Harshal Patel!! Good catch from Harshal. This was a low full toss on the middle, Kallis gets across his stumps as he looks to paddle, does not get enough bat on that, Patel runs back from short fine and completes a fine catch. Kallis c Harshal Patel b Vinay Kumar 41(27) [4s-1 6s-3] (KKR 182/3 in 19.2 overs)Yusuf Pathan, right handed bat, comes to the crease 9:30 pm | 18.4 overs: WICKET! And captain Gambhir falls agonisingly short of his ton. Zaheer to Gambhir, out Caught by Appanna!! Wonderful innings from Gambhir comes to an end. This was full and outside off, Gambhir looks to go inside out over cover and ends up hitting it straight to Appanna at long off, the end of a majestic innings, his best in the IPL. Gambhir c Appanna b Zaheer 93(51) [4s-9 6s-5] (KKR 175/2 in 18.4 overs)9:17 pm | 16 overs: Kolkata are 144/1 at the stage with skipper Gautam Gambhir batting on 82 and Jacques Kallis on 16. The current run rate is 9 runs an over – solid.9:00 pm | 12.4 overs: Dilshan to Gambhir, FOUR, another life for Gambhir , this was tossed up outside off, Gambhir looks to play the slog swipe, top-edges it wide of Vinay at long on. He dives but can’t get to the ball, bounces away past the ropes8:55 pm | 11.2 overs: FIFTY up for Gambhir. Appanna to Gambhir, 2 runs, FIFTY for Gambhir, dabs a well flighted delivery to the left of Kohli at mid-wicket. He lets rip a wild throw back at AB, a better throw would have had Kallis struggling, instead they get an overthrowJacques Kallis, right handed bat, comes to the crease 8:50 pm | 10.3 overs: WICKET! Finally a wicket for RCB. And it’s skipper Vettori who does the job. Vettori to Brendon McCullum, out Bowled!! Vettori finally has a say over his countryman. This was short and skidded on quickly, Brendon McCullum was making room outside leg as he looked to cut, misses it completely and has his stumps castled. Ends a super partnership. Brendon McCullum b Vettori 43(37) [4s-8] (RCB 95/1 in 10.3 overs)8:24 pm | 5 overs: Kolkata are 20/0 at the stage with skipper Gautam Gambhir (27) and Brendon McCullum (10) in the middle. The CRR is a good 8 an over.8:05 pm | 0.6 over: Zaheer to Gambhir, FOUR, Zaheer shortens his length outside off, Gambhir stays back and cuts it hard behind point for a boundary, top shot that from Gambhir. KKR 11/0 post the first over. Great start for them at home.8:00 pm | Brendon McCullum and Gambhir are at the crease. Brendon McCullum is on strike. Zaheer will open the attackTeams Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Brendon McCullum(w), Gautam Gambhir(c), Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Debabrata Das, Rajat Bhatia, Laxmi Shukla, Sunil Narine, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla Royal Challengers Bangalore (Playing XI): Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers(w), Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Daniel Vettori(c), Zaheer Khan, Vinay Kumar, Harshal Patel, KP Appanna7:40 pm | Toss – Kolkata Knight Riders win toss and elect to bat
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting replaces John Wright as the new head coach of MumbaiMumbai Indians Wednesdayannounced the appointment of former Australia captain Ricky Ponting astheir head coach ahead of the eighth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).Ponting was earlier the captain of the team in IPL 6. Hereplaces former India coach John Wright who moved to a new role ofevaluating and establishing a youth development organisation and will be working closely with the management on talent scouting for the team.”We are delighted to have Ricky back with us and look forward to hiscontribution based on his experience and expertise,” former Indiacaptain, Anil Kumble, part of the Mumbai Indians think-tank said.”John Wright will continue his association with MI and will look after talent scouting and youth development, which is one of the areas that we would like to build a stronger base in years to come”.
Over 2,000 Test matches from 1880-2014 were analysed for the studyBatsmen who were close to reaching personal milestones were likely to alter their strategy in a way which, at first sight, seems detrimental to the team, new research suggests.”We found clear evidence that the behaviour of batsmen is affected by their personal rewards in the game,” said Professor Lionel Page from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) who collected data on more than 3,500 one-day matches between 1971 and 2014.Professor Page and researcher Romain Gauriot from QUT business school examined the behaviour of batsmen reaching landmark scores in ODI matches.The research found that players were likely to bat more conservatively as they approached a half-century or century to maximise their chances of reaching it.”We found players react to individual-specific incentives in ways which can be detrimental to the team as a whole. For example, if a batsman is close to making 50 or 100, he will play more conservatively and hence score at a slower rate,” Page added.This increases his chances of reaching the landmark score, but at the cost of the team’s winning chances.”That is because in ODIs, batsmen should adopt a relatively high strike rate, taking the risk of losing their wicket to score more quickly,” Page pointed out.Contrary to the belief when batsmen reach the “nervous nineties” – the idea they are more likely to be dismissed as they approach a century – the researchers found adopting a conservative style at that stage reduced their chances of dismissal.advertisement”We observed that while batsmen are conservative on their way to a milestone, they switch to a more aggressive strategy straight after reaching it, possibly to catch up with lost time,” the authors noted.The data showed the batsmen’s strike rate jumped more than 40 percent after reaching a century compared to the period leading up to it.”This leads to a sharp increase in the rate of dismissals,” they wrote.Analysing more than 2,000 Test matches from 1880-2014, professor Page found captains were far more likely to declare an innings when a batsman had reached a landmark rather than when he was just below one.”One of the most interesting finding from this study shows that team captains also react to individual-specific incentives by accommodating them,” he said.The evidence suggests that team captains are willing to trade a cost to the team in favour of a substantial reward to a particular player – for example eating up valuable time and delaying a declaration so a batsman can reach his individual milestone.The research is forthcoming in the journal American Economic Review.
Panasonic has just launched a range of camcorders in the Indian market. The devices, which are part of its 4K Ultra HD lineup, are the HC-WX970 and the HC-VX870. The camcorders were first announced during CES in the month of January. While the HC-WX970 is priced at Rs 84,990, the HC-VX870 is priced at Rs 74,990. One of the only difference among the two gadgets is the integrated camera attached to the flip screen on the HC-WX970. Using this, one can shoot picture-in-picture recording of footage. Although both variants will feature Twin Camera functions, the feature can be used on the HC-VX870 on connecting a smartphone to it using Wi-Fi. The devices also include a rotatable sub camera, which can be used to take two different shots at different angles.The cameras run on a Crystal Engine 4K processor and hybrid 5-axis OIS system. Also the mic on the devices are capable of recording 5.1 channel surround sound. Both devices also sport 3-inch LCD screens and are powered by a 3.6V battery. The cameras also support 4K and high speed HD images. Both cameras support AVCHD and also come with an MOS image sensor, with more pixels for HD images and High-speed readout as well as reduced Rolling Shutter distortion. Other features on the camcorders include wind shield zoom microphone, night mode, Wi-Fi with NFC and narration mode to name a few.
A former executive committee member of football’s global governing body FIFA told a US judge in November 2013 that he and other officials took bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, among other major tournaments.Chuck Blazer, a US citizen, secretly pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts in New York as part of an agreement with US prosecutors, according to a partially blacked out transcript of the hearing released on Wednesday.According to US officials, Blazer’s cooperation helped build a sprawling corruption case that has led to charges against top FIFA figures and prompted the resignation on Tuesday of longtime president Sepp Blatter.Blazer served as an executive committee member of FIFA from 1997 to 2013 and was the general secretary of CONCACAF, soccer’s governing body in North and Central America and the Caribbean, from 1990 to 2011.”Among other things, I agreed with other persons in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup,” Blazer told US District Judge Raymond Dearie during a closed-door proceeding in Brooklyn federal court on the morning of November 25, 2013, according to the transcript.Though France won the bidding to host the tournament, separate court documents claim Morocco paid the bribe in connection with the 1998 World Cup.Blazer added that from 2004 to 2011, “I and others on the FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup.”U.S. authorities have said South Africa paid a $10 million bribe while bidding to be the 2010 World Cup host. The country has confirmed the payment but said it was a donation to support soccer development in the Caribbean, not a bribe.advertisementBlazer also admitted to taking kickbacks related to five different editions of CONCACAF’s premier event, the Gold Cup, between 1996 and 2003.”I knew my actions were wrong at the time,” he said.A lawyer for Blazer declined to comment.Many of the details were revealed in documents released by US authorities last week, when they announced indictments for 14 people, including nine FIFA officials.Blazer, 70, is one of four defendants in the case who pleaded guilty in secret and agreed to assist US investigators.During his plea, he said he suffered from health problems. Friends of Blazer say he is currently hospitalized and unable to speak due to a breathing tube.