JAFFER FEELS SAD FOR KULDEEP, ASKS HIM NOT TO LOSE HOPE - The Daily Guardian
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JAFFER FEELS SAD FOR KULDEEP, ASKS HIM NOT TO LOSE HOPE

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Former batsman Wasim Jaffer on Sunday said he feels “sad” for spinner Kuldeep Yadav who was not included in the India XI for the first Test against England being played here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Kuldeep has not played Test cricket for India since 2019. In fact, he was the only player in the Indian squad to have not played a single game in the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar series—which India won 2-1—despite being fit. His last Test appearance came at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in the 2018-19 India tour Down Under when he took a five-wicket haul in the fourth and final Test against Australia.

“Can’t help but feel sad for Kuldeep Yadav. Since August he’s been travelling from one bio-bubble to another but hasn’t really got a chance to showcase his talent,” Jaffer tweeted on Sunday.

“But don’t lose hope Kuldeep. You have done it before and I’m sure given an opportunity you will do it again,” he added.

The 26-year-old player from Kanpur has taken 24 wickets in six Tests he has played so far.

Before the start of the first Test against England, Kuldeep had told ESPNcricinfo that he was looking forward to play the match to build confidence.’

“When you play regular cricket, the confidence comes automatically. If I play the first match, I will be in a better position to play the next game. Mentally I have kept myself very relaxed. Accordingly, my confidence level will be peaking,” Kuldeep had said.

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Real Madrid will fight until the end for LaLiga title: Zidane

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Madrid [Spain], March 8 (ANI): After playing out a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has not given up on the LaLiga title hopes, saying that the side would “fight until the end”.
Karim Benzema struck late in the second half to cancel out Luis Suarez’s early opener, ensuring the spoils were shared in El Derbi at Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday.
“The objective is this, to continue. We know there is a lot left [but] we are going to fight until the end. Everything can always change. We are doing things well, we can improve. It is what we are going to do,” Goal.com quoted Zidane as saying.
“I am very proud of all my players. We are in the same boat and we are going to fight to the end,” he added.
Madrid were perhaps unlucky to not pull level earlier after they were turned down for a penalty call against Felipe, with the Atletico man appearing to handle the ball with his forearm and elbow.
Zidane, however, declined to criticise the decision in his post-match press conference, stating: “I don’t mess around [with the referee], his job is difficult. He made that decision to watch the play and not whistle, and we respect him. That’s it. We know it’s complicated. We can’t get into that. We have to respect that. It will not change.”
Real Madrid are at the third spot with 54 points in 26 games, five points shy from front-runner Atletico Madrid, who have played one game less. (ANI)

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Marcus Rashford to undergo scans on ankle after win at City

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Manchester [UK], March 8 (ANI): Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that striker Marcus Rashford will have a scan on his injured ankle after he was forced off during a derby win against Manchester City in their recent clash in the Premier League.
Solskjaer confirmed after their 2-0 win on Sunday that Rashford had picked up an ankle knock after sprinting back to make a vital tackle as City broke forward, as per the official United website.
The forward had to leave the field after 73 minutes and was replaced by Mason Greenwood midway through the second half.
“It is one of them. It was a great recovery run, a recovery sprint, he saved maybe a goal, so he sacrificed himself for the team,” Solskjaer told club media.
“It is something with his ankle I think. I am not a doctor but hopefully, it is not too bad. We will have to scan him in the morning,” he added.
The Reds were already without Edinson Cavani, who had to come off during United’s final training session before the derby on Saturday.
With 54 points, United are placed at the second spot in the Premier League standings and will next take on AC Milan in the first leg of the Round of 16 clash in the Europa League. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng: Visitors sweating over Archer’s availability in T20I series

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 8 (ANI): England pacer Jofra Archer is a doubtful starter for the T20I series against India after suffering a recurrence of an elbow problem.
Archer had missed the fourth and final Test against India in Ahmedabad due to an elbow problem. England head coach Chris Silverwood has now said that the side’s medical team will monitor the situation and a decision would be taken accordingly.
“Jofra’s elbow did flare up a little bit and the medical staff are managing that at the moment. Obviously, we’ll monitor his progress. The medical staff are talking about how we deal with this long term,” Silverwood said during a virtual press conference.
“He’s trained today (Sunday) with the white-ball squad. We’ll be monitoring his situation but he got through training today,” he added.
Archer had also missed the second Test of the four-match series against India due to the same elbow issue.
When asked about the workload management of Archer, Silverwood replied: “I’ll be guided by the medics. We’ll see where we end up with him. I want Jofra to be fit for all forms of cricket. I want him to have a long, successful Test career. Could we limit the number of overs he bowls? It’s not something I would go out and predict but we’ll find out in the course of time.”
“The important thing for me at the moment is that Jofra gets every resource we can provide to make sure he does have a long and successful Test career. I’m not sure surgery has come up yet. I’ll be guided by the medics on that. I wouldn’t say I’m concerned, no,” he added.
India and England would be locking in the five-match T20I series, beginning Friday. The Virat Kohli-led India qualified for the World Test Championship (WTC) final after winning the Test series against England.
India won the fourth Test by an innings and 25 runs to win the four-match series 3-1. (ANI)

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Kane, Bale shine as Tottenham Hotspur thrash Crystal Palace

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London [UK], March 8 (ANI): Harry Kane and Gareth Bale scored two goals each to register a fourth straight win as Tottenham Hotspur defeated Crystal Palace 4-1 on Sunday (local time).
Bale put Tottenham in front before the visitors equalised through Christian Benteke on the stroke of half-time, but Spurs quickly opened up a 3-1 lead early in the second period through Bale and Kane. Kane also assisted both of Bale’s goals.
Spurs were on the front foot right from the start and deservedly went ahead in the 25th minute. Lucas Moura did superbly well to win the ball from Luka Milivojevic 30 yards from the Palace goal and find Kane down the left who rolled the ball across the six-yard box for Bale to tap home at the far post.
It was a commanding first-half display although the Eagles had a spell of pressure late in the half and looked to have seen out the danger only for the visitors to score with 10 seconds of the period remaining when Benteke powered a header past Hugo Lloris. It was their first attempt on target and only the second touch in the box during the first period.
Tottenham made a great start to the second half with two goals inside the opening seven minutes. Bale put the side back in front on 49 minutes, beating Cheikhou Kouyate in the air to head past Guaita for his sixth goal in six games. And it got even better three minutes later with a fabulous Kane goal, hitting Matt Doherty’s pass with a first-time right-foot curler from 25 yards to the right of the area which dipped over the Palace goalkeeper and into the top corner.
The visitors almost reduced the deficit in the 69th minute when Wilfried Zaha struck the post with a low 20-yard drive but the home side wrapped up the points six minutes later when Heung-Min Son squared for Kane to nod into an empty net.
It was a significant goal as it marked the 14th time the two players have combined for a Premier League goal this campaign, a new record for a single season in the competition.
Tottenham sits at sixth place with 45 points and will next take on Arsenal in the Premier League on March 14. (ANI)

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PSL: Non-playing member left bubble even after testing positive for Covid-19

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Karachi [Pakistan], March 8 (ANI): The scrutiny around Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) bio-secure protocols is increasing by the minute as it has now surfaced that a non-playing member of one of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises who tested positive for Covid-19 was allowed to exit the bubble and fly back to Lahore.
As per rules and regulations, if someone tests positive for Covid-19 within the bubble, then that person has to quarantine himself until he returns two negative tests.
However, as per a report in ESPNcricinfo, the non-playing member of the PSL franchise returned a positive test near the start of the season and left for Karachi from Lahore on the second day after that result.
The official had joined up with his franchise before the tournament began. He returned with a positive Covid-19 test on the day the tournament began and he was then put in isolation in the hotel for the following day.
The decision to let him leave appears to have been the result of a communication gap between the medical team and the security team who is in charge of the tournament, reported ESPNcricinfo.
PCB on Sunday had named an independent fact-finding panel that will review the bio-secure protocols that were put in place during the PSL 6.
PCB on Thursday had announced that the PSL season 6 will be postponed with immediate effect following a string of positive COVID-19 cases. PCB had said the decision was made after seven cases were reported in the competition, which had started on February 20.
“Distinguished infectious disease experts Dr Syed Faisal Mahmood and Dr Salma Muhammad Abbas have been appointed as independent members of the two-person fact-finding panel that will review the bio-secure protocols as well as the bylaws that were put in place during the Pakistan Super League 6,” PCB said in a statement. (ANI)

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Laporta sees signs that Messi wants to stay at Barcelona

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Barcelona [Spain], March 8 (ANI): After being elected as the new Barcelona president, Joan Laporta said that he is seeing signs indicating that Argentine striker Lionel Messi wants to stay at the club.
Laporta was elected as president by the club members in the elections for the Presidency and Board of Directors held on Sunday. It was an exemplary election day, and for the first time, it was held in six different electoral venues and incorporated the vote-by-mail results.
“Seeing Lionel Messi coming to vote, seeing him taking part, that is very telling. Twenty years ago he made his debut with Barca’s youth team. Seeing the best player in the world come out to vote today is a clear sign of what we keep saying. Leo loves Barca,” Goal.com quoted Laporta as saying.
“The best player in the world loves Barca and I hope that is a sign that he will stay at Barcelona, which is what we all want,” he added.
Messi’s contract with Barcelona is set to end this stummer and Laporta would now be tasked with asking the Argentine striker to re-commit to Barcelona.
A total of 55,611 members exercised their right to vote and by a large majority, they chose Joan Laporta with a total of 30,184 votes. Before the start of election day, 20,663 members had already exercised their right to vote by mail, which for the first time was incorporated in elections to the presidency, and 87,479 members could vote in person in any of the six territorial headquarters, FC Barcelona had said in its official statement.
Laporta was previously elected president of FC Barcelona after winning the elections held in June 2003, and in the summer of 2006, he was re-elected as president of the club.
During the seven years of his presidency, the first team achieved two Champions Leagues, four league championships, a Copa del Rey, a Club World Cup, a European Super Cup, three Spanish Super Cups, and three Spanish Cups.
It should be noted that the four professional sections of the club (football, basketball, handball, and roller hockey) managed to proclaim themselves European champions under his presidency too. (ANI)

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