ISL 7: Want to give as much as I can to Indian football, says Chennaiyin coach - The Daily Guardian
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ISL 7: Want to give as much as I can to Indian football, says Chennaiyin coach

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Bambolim (Goa) [India], February 22 (ANI): Chennaiyin FC might have ended their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign on a sad note but head coach Csaba Laszlo wants to continue his stint with the club as he wishes to enrich Indian football with his experience.
Kerala Blasters spoiled Chennaiyin FC’s desires of finishing the season on a high after holding them to a thrilling 1-1 draw at GMC Stadium, Bambolim on Sunday.
“We have to talk about it (on his future with the club). I talked with my wife and said I don’t want to go back as I already miss India. Lovely people, many friends, even in the bubble we grow together. I respect the club’s decision and I want to stay in India,” said Laszlo at the post-match press conference.
“I am 57 now, I had in my career big clubs, I have played Champions League, Europa League qualification, European Championship. Now I want to give as much as I can to Indian football,” he added.
During the game, both goals came in the first half. Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev opened the scoring for the Marina Machans before Gary Hooper equalised from the spot for the Blasters.
Laszlo feels the draw was the fair result looking at how well Chennai defended despite being reduced to 10 men.
“It was a fair result because in the last 20 minutes, we played with 10 men and the team defended very well. So generally, it was a fair result. I think this was the first draw [this season] that we deserved,” he said.
Laszlo regretted that the two-time champions couldn’t make the semis and promised the fans of improved performance in the next ISL’s season.
“I know the fans are disappointed because we were not able to make the top four and that was our target. I think we played enjoyable football but we were unlucky. Hopefully, the next season, you [the fans] are with us and we can have a better run, especially if you are in the stadium,” Laszlo signed off. (ANI)

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Road Safety World Series: Kevin Pietersen to lead England Legends

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 26 (ANI): Former skipper Kevin Pietersen will lead England Legends in the upcoming Road Safety World Series scheduled to start at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Raipur from March 5.
Bangladesh Legends, who have been included as a replacement for the Australian Legends, will see former skipper Khaled Mahmud leading the side in the showpiece event.
Matthew Hoggard, Owais Shah, Monty Panesar, Nick Crompton are some of the other key members of the England Legends squad.
Bangladesh Legends have Nafees Iqbal, Abdur Razzaq, and Mohd Rafique among others in their ranks.
The England team is scheduled to land in Raipur from London via Delhi on Friday whereas the Bangladesh team is scheduled to reach Raipur from Dhaka via Kolkata on Saturday.
Indian legends will take on their Bangladesh counterparts in the first match of the tournament on March 5. England legends will open their account against Bangladesh on March 7.
England Legends: Kevin Pietersen, Owais Shah, Philip Mustard, Monty Panesar, Nick Crompton, Kabir Al, Sajid Mahmood, James Tredwell, Chris Schofield, Jonathan Trott, Ryan Sidebottom, Usman Afzaal, Matthew Hoggard, James Tindall.
Bangladesh Legends: Khaled Mahmud, Nafees Iqbal, Mohd Rafique, Abdur Razzaq, Khalid Mashud, Hanan Sarkar, Javed Omar, Rajin Saleh, Mehrab Hossain, Aftab Ahmed, Alamgir Kabir. MD.Sharif Mushfiqur Rahman, Mamoon Rashid.
An array of stars including Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Brian Lara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Muttiah Muralitharan, and many more legends of six cricket playing nations — England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh and host India — will be back on the field to recreate the magic of old in the annual T20 cricket tournament, organised to create awareness towards road safety in the country.
The newly-built 65,000 capacity stadium in Raipur will be open for 50 per cent attendance as per the SOP issued by the Central Government. Earlier, Australia legends pulled out of the tournament citing inability to travel due to strict COVID-19 restrictions Down Under.
The Road Safety World Series is an initiative by the Road Safety Cell of Maharashtra in association with Professional Management Group (PMG) spearheaded by Sunil Gavaskar as the Commissioner of the Series and Sachin Tendulkar is the brand ambassador of the league.
Education technology platform Unacademy is the title sponsor and Viacom18 is the broadcast partner of the league.
The first edition of the series had to be called off after four games on March 11 last year due to the Covid-19 situation worldwide. (ANI)

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Former US Olympics gymnastics coach John Geddert found dead after human trafficking charges

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Washington [US], February 26 (ANI): Former US Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert was found dead on Thursday after he was charged with human trafficking and criminal sexual conduct, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has said.
According to a release from the Nessel office, the women’s gymnastics coach was facing charges in connection with the sexual abuse of young athletes. The 63-year-old was expected to appear before the court on Thursday afternoon.
“My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved,” CNN quoted Nessel as saying in a statement.
According to CNN, the gymnastics coach previously owned Michigan’s famed Twistars Gymnastics Club. Geddert had ties with disgraced former gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
“It is alleged that John Geddert used force, fraud, and coercion against the young athletes that came to him for gymnastics training, for financial benefit to him,” CNN quoted Nessel as saying.
“The victims suffer from disordered eating including bulimia and anorexia, suicide attempts and self-harm, excessive physical conditioning, repeatedly being forced to perform even when injured, extreme emotional abuse and physical abuse including sexual assault,” he added.
Geddert, who was head coach of the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team, faced charges with 24 serious crimes including sexually assaulting a teenage girl. (ANI)

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ISL 7: Coyle happy with the way Jamshedpur FC ended their season

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Vasco (Goa) [India], February 26 (ANI): Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle was delighted to end the ongoing seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) on a winning note.
Jamshedpur FC secured a 3-2 win over Bengaluru FC in the ISL at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Thursday.
Goals from Stephen Eze (16′), Seiminlen Doungel (34′), and David Grande (41′) put JFC up at the break before Bengaluru responded through goals from Francisco Gonzalez (62′) and Sunil Chhetri (71′).
“The important thing is to win the three points. This is a tough league to win games as every match shows. We finished the season with four wins out of [last] six. We showed our qualities with three goals. We could have added more. That being said, Bengaluru FC are a good team with good players and they came fighting back,” said Coyle at the post-match press conference.
Jamshedpur had failed to qualify for the playoffs and ended the season at sixth position and Coyle shared some positives things his side can take from their stint in the ISL 7.
Jamshedpur was all over Bengaluru in the opening half. They constantly caused problems for Bengaluru’s inexperienced defence and raced to a 3-0 lead at the break — their first-ever in ISL history.
“We can take some positives from this season, but there are also areas that we need to get better at. I know where we need to improve and what we need to do,” Coyle said.
“We have improved a lot. When you look at the quality of the games that we have played [compared to the last season], there is no doubt that the improvement is there for everyone to see,” he added. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng: Special feeling to play in front of my home crowd, says Axar

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 26 (ANI): India all-rounder Axar Patel relished the feeling of playing in front of the home crowd when he helped hosts register a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday.
Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped five wickets on the second day of the day-night Test. This was Axar’s third five-wicket haul in a row as he had scalped six in the first essay and had picked five wickets in the second innings of the second Test as well.
The all-rounder was happy with his performance on the home turf and has now set sights on the fourth and final Test against England.
“I feel very happy as it was my second Test match and first in Motera and to perform in front of a home crowd in both innings felt good. Felt very good after performing in front of the crowd. And when local crowd cheer for you, your joy just multiply as my family had also come to watch me,” Axar told Hardik in a video posted on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) website.
“I have played in front of the same crowd and my coaches were also there and it’s a special feeling to perform in front of them. The goal will be to take another fifer, but I will not say anything until I scalp five wickets in the next match,” he added.
Axar wants the wicket to remain the same for the fourth and final Test of the series.
“When it happens, it feels so easy. I am not thinking much. I want to continue this form. I am happy that if I am not contributing with the bat, I am doing it with the ball. My strength is to bowl wicket-to-wicket and not give batsmen room. I would want this wicket to remain the same for the final Test as well as I am picking up wickets,” Axar said after the match on Thursday.
Meanwhile, England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match series, are out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points. New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points.
India needs to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who are in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)

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Gulmarg will be an international destination for Winter Sports: Kiren Rijiju

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Gulmarg (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 26 (ANI): Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju on Friday said that Gulmarg will be an international destination for Winter Games in the future.
Ahead of the inaugural address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the second Khelo India National Winter Games at around 11:50 AM, via video conferencing, Sports Minister Rijiju said the players have prepared well for the upcoming Winter Games and the showpiece event will be organised with great fervour.
“Today is the inauguration of Khelo India Winter Games 2021. We are ready to celebrate the Khelo India Winter Games. Sports ministry in collaboration with Jammu and Kashmir sports council is going organise Winter Games with great fervour,” said Rijiju in a video posted on Twitter.
“The players have prepared well for the Winter Games. And we want that in Gulmarg and around the Himalayan area which has the potential to host games should have the facility of Winter Sports. And Gulmarg will be an international destination for Winter Sports and we are preparing well for that,” he added.
The event has been organised by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council and the Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir.
The sports activities will include alpine skiing, nordic ski, snowboarding, ski mountaineering, ice hockey, ice skating, ice stock, etc Twenty-seven states, union territories and boards are sending their teams to participate in the games. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng: Axar Patel credits close friends, family for helping him tackle ‘tough phase’

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 26 (ANI): India all-rounder Axar Patel, who picked 11 wickets in the pink-ball Test against England, has credited his family and friends including Hardik Pandya for supporting him during the tough times.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar and Ravichandran Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday.
Axar had made his international debut in 2014 but played his first match in the longest format of the game when India locked horns with England in the second Test. The all-rounder last played a T20I in 2018 and have been out of the white ball set up since then.
“When I was out of Team India for three years, I used to think about how can I work on my game to improve my bowling and batting. Many friends continued to ask why I wasn’t in the team when I was performing consistently in the IPL and for India A, so these questions were in my mind,” Axar told Hardik in a video posted on Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) website.
“But I knew that I need to wait for the right time and give my 100 per cent whenever I get a chance. My friends and family have helped me a lot in the past 2-3 years, and you (Hardik) are also one of them. I learned a lot on how to tackle the tough phase, so I credit them for supporting them during my tough time,” he added.
All-rounder Hardik also praised Axar for the hard work and patience he has shown while he was out of the side.
“For Axar we have been waiting for his debut for a long time and the way he has made it we feel very proud of him. He has done a lot of hard work,” said Hardik.
Axar had a dream debut in the second Test where he picked a five-wicket haul. The all-rounder then scalped six and five wickets respectively in the first and second innings of the day-night Test
“Everyone has me that is Test cricket easy but when you even miss a full toss you get to that playing Test cricket isn’t that easy. I think it’s all about confidence,” said Axar.
Meanwhile, England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match series, are out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points. New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points.
India needs to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who are in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)

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