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Manchester City creates record with 15th consecutive victory

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Manchester [UK], February 11 (ANI): Manchester City has created a new record with their 15th consecutive victory across all competitions, and this is a feat that no other English top-flight side has managed to achieve.
Manchester City defeated Swansea in the FA Cup to progress to the quarterfinals and with this victory, the side also registered their 15th consecutive victory across all competitions in the 2020-21 season.
City defeated Swansea 3-1 and with this, Guardiola also achieved his 200th victory as the manager of Manchester City.
“It shows how special these players are and we’re thinking about the next one. Now [the record] belongs to us and this record will be broken for sure because the sport is like this,” Goal.com quoted Guardiola as saying.
“But it means a lot, in this period, the toughest period – the Christmas time, the wintertime, to do what we have done so far is quite remarkable. But the important thing is the way we’re still playing and our consistency. Now thinking of the next ones. We have an incredibly tough week ahead of us and we’re going to approach it game by game,” he added.
December 15 was the last time when City managed to loss a game, and since then, the side has changed their fortunes around and now it finds itself at the top of the Premier League 2020-21 standings.
Since December 15, Manchester City has won 10 consecutive Premier League matches to move to the top of the table. The side will now clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. (ANI)

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WI vs SL: Can bat at any position, I’ll still be the best, says Gayle

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St John’s [Antigua], March 2 (ANI): West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has said that he is ready to bat at any position in the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka and he added that no matter where he bats, he will try to be the best at that position.
Gayle had batted at the number three spot for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in IPL 2020 as regular openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal were in great form.
“It seems like I’m the number three specialist now. It was a role that the coach, Anil Kumble, asked me to play. He did mention it before the IPL actually started, which I had no problem with, and then eventually, when I actually got the chance, they wanted my experience at number three because Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul were going great guns at the time,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Gayle as saying.
“It’s not a problem. I’m good at playing spin, I’m as good at playing fast bowlers as anyone as I’m an opener. But with West Indies cricket, whatever role they want me to play, I’m willing to play that particular role. We haven’t fully discussed it but I’ll get a bit of a heads up and work out what to look forward to in this particular series and down into the World Cup. If it’s opening, I’m ready, number three, number five- I’m pretty much flexible. I will still be the best number five in the world, best number three in the world,” he added.
This is the first time that Gayle has been included in the West Indies since the 2019 World Cup. The left-handed batsman also admitted that he had considered walking away from international cricket and that he had planned to focus on franchise cricket.
“I thought about actually walking away from the game and then people said: No, don’t do it, don’t do it. Stay and play as long as possible. So I decided I’m actually going to continue playing. I wasn’t actually thinking down this road. I was like, I’m going to play franchise cricket, entertaining people as much as possible, and whatever is left to offer within the game from Chris Gayle, I want to exploit around the world,” said Gayle.
“When I got the call and they asked if I’m willing and interested, I said: Yes, I want to play for West Indies’. That’s where my heart is. I’m never going to turn down anything pertaining to West Indies cricket at this particular time. So I came back from Pakistan to be a part of the set-up leading into the World Cup so we can have unity within the group, and then hopefully we can win this T20 trophy,” he added.
Gayle also said that he wants to win the T20 World Cup slated to be held this year in India. Gayle is one of eight men who won both the 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cup for the West Indies.
“I know being back, it might be a little bit of attention, but I don’t want it to go in that regard, to be honest with you. We’re looking at things from a team point of view. Pollard is a very strong captain and we have a lot of very, very good-quality players within the team. I want to win the series. I want to get off to a good start. It’s really good to be back. Hopefully, I can perform, help the team, and put the team in a winning position,” said Gayle.
“I want to accomplish, starting off by winning the series, but the bigger picture is actually to get three T20 titles under my belt. That’s actually the goal I’m setting in my head by winning the T20 World Cup. We have quite a few series coming up and we have a lot of cricket leading up to that. We’ll try and take as much as possible out of these series coming up,” he added. (ANI)

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Trescothick trying to accept touring life after England appointment

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London [UK], March 2 (ANI): Former England batsman Marcus Trescothick has confirmed that he would be ready to jump back to travelling life but he added that is still trying to accept the long trips usually undertaken by England players and support staff.
This remark of Trescothick came as he was named as England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) elite batting coach. This job profile would ask the former England batsman to be on tour with various England teams as well as working with players.
“It’s an ongoing process for me. I think I’ve learned to adapt and progress where I’ve gone. I’ve gradually built it from a couple of days in Spain, to then going to Spain for a week. Then I did two weeks in Abu Dhabi,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Trescothick as saying.
“I’m gradually cutting my teeth on it just to get more confident. Every trip that I do, the more I realise how much I enjoyed the touring life. But that’s not to say I’m ready to jump back in and do six weeks or two months or three months away. That’s not what I’m ready for yet. And we’ve discussed that,” he added.
Trescothick’s international career had come to an early end due to his issues with anxiety and depression. This issues appeared to be exacerbated by periods away from home, the former England batsman had revealed earlier.
“Do I know how much touring I will do? Not exactly. We have discussed it and I’m ready to jump back on and do bits and pieces. Do I want to do three months in a row? No, I don’t. I’m building up to that sort of point. The little journeys I’ve done for a couple of weeks here or a month there: that works really well,” said Trescothick.
“I said I would do three, four, five weeks, I’m open to all that. It’s gradually getting easier for me. My kids are growing up and are less dependent on me and I’ve grown more and more confident to deal with it,” he added.
As part of his new role, Trescothick is also expected to work with players at U19 and Lions level as well. Trescothick was due to arrive in India last week with the England limited-overs party, he pulled out due to a family bereavement. (ANI)

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WI vs SL: Hetmyer, Chase fit to be available for Tests

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St John’s [Antigua], March 2 (ANI): Batsman Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Roston Chase will be available for the West Indies for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka after the duo met the minimum fitness requirement standard of the Cricket West Indies (CWI).
Hetmyer and Chase are among the four players who were deemed unavailable for the upcoming T20I and ODI series against Sri Lanka, along with fast bowlers Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas.
Jimmy Adams, CWI’s director of cricket has now confirmed that Chase and Hetmyer have met the fitness standard and they would be available for selection for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.
“Two of those four players have since met the minimum standard: Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer. They would be now available for the next selection meeting before the Test matches coming up later in March,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Adams as saying.
On Sunday, Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel had named 26 players to participate in a “Best v Best” four-day practice match in preparation for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.
The match will be held on March 8-11 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) ahead of the two-Test matches which will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, in Antigua.
Several members of the West Indies Test team which beat Bangladesh in the recent series have been named for the match, while other recent Test squad players are participating in the three-match ODI series from March 10-14.
“The ‘Best v Best’ game is firstly part of our preparation for the Test series against Sri Lanka. It gives the players who performed well in the last West Indies Championship an opportunity to showcase their skills, playing against each other, which we expect to be very competitive and put forward a case for themselves.
Squad A: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Derval Green, Keon Harding, Shimron Hetmyer, Kavem Hodge, Paul Palmer Jr, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Preston McSween, Jayden Seales.
Squad B: Roston Chase (captain), Sunil Ambris, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, John Campbell, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Imran Khan, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Nial Smith, Jomel Warrican.
Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel have been rested for this match due to their workload management. The Test series between West Indies and Sri Lanka will begin on March 21.
Before the Test series, West Indies and Sri Lanka will be locking horns in three T20Is, beginning March 3. (ANI)

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Warner named in NSW squad for match against South Australia

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Sydney [Australia], March 2 (ANI): Opening batsman David Warner on Tuesday was named in New South Wales’ (NSW) squad for the upcoming Marsh ODI Cup match against South Australia.
Warner will be returning to cricket for the NSW Blues on Thursday after six weeks recovering from a groin injury.
The left-handed batsman will be taking the place of Daniel Hughes, who has a shoulder complaint, while Nick Larkin comes in for Steve Smith, who is still rehabbing his elbow injury.
Pat Cummins will again captain the One Day Cup squad that won their season opener against Victoria at North Sydney Oval last month by 59 runs. Blues head coach Phil Jaques said it was pleasing to see Warner back after some time off the park.
“We all know Davey’s quality as a player in all formats and it’s great to see him back for the Blues for this game. He has worked really hard on his rehab and has been great around the group when he’s been at training,” said Jacques in an official release.
“It will be fantastic to have his experience around the team over the coming weeks,” he added.
Warner had played the last two Tests against India while still being hampered by the groin injury he sustained in the ODI series at the end of November 2020.
Speaking on commentary during the first T20I between New Zealand-Australia, Warner said that how he expects to feel the effects of the injury for up to nine months.
NSW’s team for the next round of the Marsh Sheffield Shield, scheduled to start in Adelaide on Saturday will be named later this week.
NSW Blues Marsh One-Day Cup squad, Round 2 v. South Australia, Adelaide Oval, Thursday March 4 (D/N):
New South Wales squad Pat Cummins (capt), Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Oliver Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Liam Hatcher, Matthew Gilkes, Moises Henriques, Nick Larkin, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, David Warner. (ANI)

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Harmeet Desai, Manika Batra off to winning start as Indian paddlers return to action with WTT Contender Doha

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Doha [Qatar], March 1 (ANI): Indian table tennis icons Manika Batra and Harmeet Desai started the 2021 season on a winning note as they earned straight-set victories in their respective qualifying round-2 matches at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Doha on Monday.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Batra registered a 12-10, 14-12, 11-8 victory against her Spanish opponent Sofia-Xuan Zhang in the women’s singles while World No. 73 Desai notched up an easy 11-5, 12-10, 11-6 win against compatriot Anthony Amalraj to progress into the third round of men’s singles qualifiers.
Meanwhile, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Mudit Dani and Diya Chitale suffered defeats in their respective singles qualifying round matches.
Two-time national champion Mukherjee failed to get the better of Ukraine’s Tetyana Bilenko 5-11, 3-11, 12-10, 9-11 while Dani, who is ranked 200, was up against World No. 85 Olah Benedek. He grabbed one game against his relatively higher-ranked Finnish opponent before going down 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11.
Chitale started off well against Romania’s Irina Ciobanu with a game lead. However she couldn’t capitalize on the momentum and lost the match 11-8, 9-11, 3-11, 8-11 against the World No. 98.
Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran have received direct entries into the men’s singles main draw while 10 other Indians are playing in the qualifiers at the WTT Contender Doha.
The tournament, which kicks off the 2021 season, is also the first international tournament Indian players are participating in after the lockdown. (ANI)

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Virat Kohli becomes first cricketer to hit 100 million followers on Instagram

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Indian skipper Virat Kohli has added another feather to his illustrious cap as he became the first cricketer to hit 100 million followers on photo and video sharing social networking platform Instagram on Monday.
The Indian skipper has joined Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Argentine forward Lionel Messi, Hollywood actor and former pro-wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, American singer-songwriter Beyonce, and Ariana Grande in the 100 million club.
Kohli is also the fourth most followed sportsperson on Instagram. Ronaldo tops the list (sportsperson) with 266 million followers while Messi is second on the list with 187 million followers on the Facebook-owned platform.
Kohli, who holds the top spot in ICC’s ODI batting rankings, made his debut in the format in August 2008. The Indian skipper has scored 12,040 runs in 251 ODIs at an average of 59.31.
Kohli has represented India in 90 Tests, scoring 7,490 runs with the highest of 254*. In T20I cricket, he has played 85 matches, piling 2,928 runs at a strike rate of 138.43.
The Indian skipper is currently gearing up for the fourth and final Test against England which gets underway on Thursday. The hosts are leaving no stone unturned to prepare for the upcoming fixture at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday shared a video on Twitter to give a glimpse of players sweating it out in the nets. In the video, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane can be seen batting in the nets while Rohit Sharm can be seen having a chat with head coach Ravi Shastri.
The players also worked on their fielding skills, making sure the team is well-prepared in all the departments when they face the English side in the final game of the series.
In the ongoing series, Rohit, Axar Patel, and Ravichandran Ashwin have been the standout performers and now in the fourth Test, skipper Kohli would look to come to the party and end his century-drought.
Kohli had last scored a century way back in 2019 in a day-night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens.
If India manage to win or draw the final Test against England, then the side will qualify for the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC) and the side would take on New Zealand in the summit clash. (ANI)

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