ISL 7: Not thinking about playoffs, focusing on winning next match, says Baxter - The Daily Guardian
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ISL 7: Not thinking about playoffs, focusing on winning next match, says Baxter

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Panaji (Goa) [India], January 31 (ANI): Ahead of the Indian Super League (ISL) match against Jamshedpur FC, Odisha FC coach Stuart Baxter on Sunday said that his side is not focusing on the playoffs, rather their goal is to win the next match.
Odisha FC is currently at the last position in the ISL standings with 8 points from 13 matches while Jamshedpur is at the eighth position with 15 points from 14 matches.
“We are not talking about the play-offs till about two to three weeks. We are talking about getting to the next game. And hopefully we will get a victory – that is what we have been trying to do since the season started,” Goal.com quoted Baxter as saying.
“When you talk about play-offs, even five or weeks ago is wrong because we have to look at the pathway rather than the destination. So at the moment, we need to start those good performances that ended in a draw to good performances that result in a win,” he added.
Odisha FC currently has the worst goal difference (-7), but Baxter feels that their defending has not been as bad as the stats say.
“On paper, we have played a more attacking formation. People always write about the defensive performance by how many goals you concede. So I think the whole team has taken part in the defense in a better way, even though we have defended higher up the field sometimes by taking the risk of leaving a lot of spaces behind us,” said Baxter.
“I think we have been defending better than people have said all year. Now we have to know the way to defend better and that is just showing,” he added.
Odisha and Jamshedpur will take on each other in the ISL on Monday. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: Sundar left stranded on 96 as hosts take 160-run lead

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 6 (ANI): Bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar on Saturday missed out on what would have been a well-deserved maiden hundred, remaining unbeaten on 96 while he saw his batting partners fall at the other end as India was bowled out for 365 in their first innings on Day Three of the fourth Test against England here at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
With the efforts of Sundar and Rishabh Pant (101), India has managed to take a lead of 160 runs and England would now be looking to provide rear-guard action in order to delay the inevitable.
Resuming Day Three at 294/7, overnight batters Sundar and Axar Patel saw off the first hour with ease and the duo scored runs at a brisk pace, piling on further misery on the tired England bowlers. The first hour saw India scoring 50 runs.
Both the batters extended their partnership to 106 runs, but with seven runs from his maiden half-century, Axar (43) was dismissed via a run-out in the 114th over of the innings. In the very next over, Ishant Sharma (0) was out lbw by Ben Stokes and India was reduced to 365/9 with Sundar still four runs away from his maiden ton.
In the same over, Stokes clean bowled Mohammed Siraj (0), thus bringing an end to India’s first innings.
Apart from Pant and Sundar, Rohit Sharma also contributed with valuable 49 runs.
England, after winning the toss, had scored 205 runs in their first innings before they were bundled out in the third session of Day One of the final Test.
Brief Scores: England 205; India 365 (Rishabh Pant 101, Washington Sundar 96*, Ben Stokes 4-89). (ANI)

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Sports education gets major boost in India as XEBS launches new program

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Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], March 6 (ANI): India’s first IndoFrench business, Xavier Emlyon Business School (XEBS) has launched its Dual Degree Master’s Program in Sports Industry Management to further enhance sports education.
The program was unveiled on Friday in presence of the Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain; Principal Secretary, Sports, and Youth Services, Government of Odisha, Vishal Dev; Consul General, Consulate General of France in Calcutta, Virginie Corteval; Chairman, Odisha State Hockey Promotion Council, and former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey; Attache for academic and scientific cooperation Emilia Cartier; XEBS board members, faculty and students were also present for the launch ceremony.
“Strengthening sports education in #Odisha, Dual Masters Programme in Sports Industry Management has been launched in @XEBSINDIA. It will further strengthen the sports ecosystem in the state,” CMO Odisha tweeted on Saturday.
The Indo-French dual degree program, being launched under the aegis of the XEBS Ahluwalia Centre of Excellence in Sports Management (XEBS CESM), is expected to be a gamechanger in the field of sports industry management with an MBA degree from Xavier University, Bhubaneswar, and an MSc degree from Emlyon business school, France.
One of the high-performance centres of excellence of the Odisha Government which was formed with support from KJS Ahluwalia Group in 2019, XEBS CESM has earlier launched two certificate programs in sports management.
Speaking on the occasion, the Ambassador said: “I am happy to be a part of the launch of this Indo-French Dual Degree program of XEBS Ahluwalia Centre of Excellence in Sports Management, that too in a state like Odisha that is being called the sports capital of India. I am also excited to know that the Centre of Excellence has signed Letters of Intent with Tony Parker Adequat Academy and Decathlon India, which will provide great opportunities to students. I had the chance to meet and interact with some of the sportspersons from the state including Chess player Padmini Rout at an event hosted by the Tourism Department of Odisha and am looking forward to exploring the vibrant sports ecosystem of Odisha.”
The program offering multi-campus experience across Bhubaneswar (XUB campus) and Paris (Emlyon business school campus) will be a full-time two-year residential program and bring in the best of faculty from Emlyon business school and Xavier University besides industry experts from both the countries.
On the occasion of the launch of the program, XEBS Ahluwalia Centre of Excellence in Sports Management also signed letters of intent with Tony Parker Adequat Academy, Lyon, and Decathlon, India to collaborate and work in the field of sports, education, and innovation in the larger interest of students.
Through video messages, legendary basketball player Tony Parker stressed how XEBS CESM and his academy share common goals of innovation, inclusion, and entrepreneurship and that he was looking forward to this association while Steve Dykes, CEO, Decathlon India, spoke about the firm commitment of Decathlon, India’s second-largest single brand retailer, to work together with XEBS CESM on sports education, internships and events.
Speaking on the launch of the dual degree Master’s program, Minister for Sports & Youth Services, Government of Odisha, Tusharkanti Behera said, “Our shared vision for sports and imparting quality education has been one of the key drivers for this initiative. The launch of a dual degree Master’s program, today, is yet another milestone in our sporting journey and this collaborative endeavour will go a long way in boosting our rich and vibrant sports ecosystem and further the existing educational ties between the two countries.” (ANI)

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Always tried to be like Gavaskar, that has never changed: Tendulkar

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): As former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar celebrates the 50th anniversary of his Test debut, Sachin Tendulkar thanked the batting great, saying Gavaskar showed the light to every young cricketer.
Gavaskar made his Test debut on March 6, 1971, against West Indies at the Port of Spain, Trinidad. Over his career, Gavaskar went on to break many batting records and established himself as one of the finest batsmen to ever play the game.
“50 years ago on this day, he took the cricketing world by storm. He scored 774 runs in his debut series and each one of us growing up had a hero to look up to. India won the series in the West Indies and then In England and all of a sudden the sport in India had a new meaning,” Tendulkar wrote in a Twitter post.
“As a young boy, I knew I had someone to look up to and try and be like him. That has never changed. He remains my hero. Wish you a happy 50th in international cricket, Mr. Gavaskar. To every one of the 1971 team a happy 50th Anniversary. You all made us proud and showed us the light,” he added.
India toured the West Indies during the 1970-71 cricket season for a five-Test series. The series turned out to be one of the most memorable ones as India won its first-ever Test series against the West Indies.
India, led by Ajit Wadekar, emerged victorious 1-0 in the five-match series and Gavaskar finished as the leading run-scorer, registering four centuries including one double ton.
In his career, Gavaskar played 125 Tests and 108 ODIs for India. He was also a part of the 1983 World Cup win and 1985 World Championship of Cricket.
Gavaskar scored 10,122 runs in the longest format of the game and he held the record for scoring most centuries in Test cricket till 2005. Sachin Tendulkar ended up breaking this record in 2005.
In 108 ODIs, Gavaskar scored 3,092 runs with his highest score being 103 not out. (ANI)

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Arsenal’s position in Premier League standings ‘not acceptable’, says Arteta

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London [UK], March 6 (ANI): Stating that Arsenal’s position in the Premier League standings is not acceptable, manager Mikel Arteta has asked the Gunners to improve their game in the upcoming matches.
Arsenal is currently placed at the 10th spot in Premier League standings with 37 points from 26 matches. They are slated to take on Burnley later on Saturday.
“There’s still a lot to improve, a lot of quality to add. We need to be much more efficient in decision-making, much quicker to open situations up when advantages are there, many more situations to feel when advantages are obtained,” Goal.com quoted Arteta as saying.
“More control of games, more defensive actions in the opponent’s half, fewer giveaways in our own half, more clean sheets. There’s a lot to do – more goals to score, more creativity. (There’s) a lot to do. When you look at the league table, it is not acceptable. We are Arsenal football club and we should be nowhere near here. If somebody is happy with that he is in the wrong place,” he added.
Arsenal has enjoyed a good spell since Christmas as the side has emerged triumphant on seven of their last 12 Premier League games, including a 3-1 win against Leicester City last weekend. (ANI)

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Really pumped up to play in Doha Open, says Federer

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Basel [Switzerland], March 6 (ANI): Swiss tennis player Roger Federer on Friday said that he is really pumped up to participate in the upcoming Doha Open.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner has not played in any tournament since Australian Open 2020. Since then, Federer has undergone two knee surgeries.
“So here we are, about to take off to fly to Doha. It has been a year since my last event. I can tell I am very excited. I want to thank all the people involved, it’s been a long and hard road,” said Federer in a video posted on his official Twitter account.
“I know I’m not at the finish line yet but it’s good, I feel I’m in a good place, I’ve been practising very well and I just feel really pumped up,” he added.
In December last year, Federer was named among the entries for the Australian Open 2021. But eventually, the Swiss tennis maestro ended up withdrawing from the Grand Slam.
Doha Open is set to start on Monday. Federer had last won a Grand Slam way back in 2018 as he emerged triumphant in the Australian Open. (ANI)

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Leading Proteas in Test cricket is going to be tough, says Elgar

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Cape Town [South Africa], March 6 (ANI): South Africa Test captain Dean Elgar has said that leading the side in the longest format would be a tough job, but he ensured that he will be putting his best foot forward.
On Thursday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) appointed Elgar as the Test captain while Temba Bavuma was appointed as the white-ball skipper.
“It’s going to be tough, and something that you have to be willing to do. Otherwise, I don’t think you should be put in this position. I am fortunate to be put in this position and that the hard work I have put in behind the scenes has been noticed,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Elgar as saying.
“I’ve played a few more games since then and learnt a lot more about what Test cricket and how a team operates behind the scenes. I have been part of the leadership group for a couple of seasons now. Then, I was a young guy just sitting there. Deer in the headlights. I’d like to think I have established experience since then,” he added.
Elgar has so far played 67 Tests in his career and this makes me the most experienced player in the current Proteas group. The left-handed batsman has scored 4,260 runs at an average of 39.81.
“It’s going to be a serious challenge, but it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to. I feel if we get a few things in place we can definitely take the Proteas brand back to where we were a few years ago. That will be my biggest goal. We owe it to the game to carry on moving it forward. We’ve got a long line of young, exciting players who’ve been breaking down doors in domestic cricket to try and get a foot in this squad,” said Elgar.
“It’s good to have fresh blood around. We aren’t at the level of experience we were a couple of years ago, but we do have a couple of experienced players in the squad. I’m going to rely on them to help me through this journey,” he added. (ANI)

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