NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT MY FUTURE AT BARCELONA: COACH - The Daily Guardian
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NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT MY FUTURE AT BARCELONA: COACH

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LONDON: Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said that he is not going to talk about his future with the club after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Granada.

Barcelona trailed for 88 minutes in the game, and it was down to Ronald Araujo to help the side get an equaliser in the match. “I’m not going to talk about my future anymore. Today’s Barca is not the Barca of eight years ago. We played Barca’s way, but we don’t have the speed on the break because Philippe Coutinho goes inside, Yusuf Demir doesn’t go too deep and that’s the way it is. With Ansu Fati or Ousmane Dembele, it’s different, you have more speed, but you have to look for alternatives,” Goal.com quoted Koeman as saying.

“Before the game, you think about winning, especially at home, but our bad start made the game difficult for us. We didn’t come in strong, it was our fault. We improved during the game. We changed and we played with crosses from the wings. We put energy into scoring. We wanted more, but one point is better than nothing. We deserved the draw,” he added.

Barcelona is currently in seventh place in La Liga standings with eight points from four games.

The side will next square off against Cadiz in La Liga on Thursday.

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SYED MUSHTAQ ALI TROPHY: 4 PLAYERS IN MUMBAI SQUAD TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

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Four players of the Mumbai squad have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.

Sources within the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) confirmed this development to ANI on Wednesday. “Yes, Shams Mulani, Sairaj Patil, Sarfaraz Khan and Prashant Solanki have tested positive for COVID-19. They will now miss the league stage of the tournament, rest of the players have departed for Guwahati to take part in the tournament,” the source said.

India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will be leading Mumbai in the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.

Prithvi Shaw has been named as vice-captain while Yashasvi Jaiswal has also been named in the 20-member squad.

The Senior Selection Committee of Mumbai Cricket Association consisting of Salil Ankola (Chairman), Gulam Parkar, Sunil More, Prasad Desai and Anand Yalvigi had selected the following players to represent Mumbai in Syed Mushtaq All T20 Trophy to be played from November 4 in Guwahati.

Mumbai will square off against Karnataka in their first match of the tournament on November 4.

Mumbai squad: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Prithvi Shaw, Aditya Tare, Shivam Dube, Tushar Deshpande, Sarfaraz Khan, Prashant Solanki, Shams Mulani, Atharva Ankolekar, Dhaval Kulkarni, Hardik Tamore, Mohit Awasthi, Siddhesh Lad, Sairaj Patil, Aman Khan, Arman Jaffer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tanush Kotian, Deepak Shetty, Roystan Dias.

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Ganguly to step down from Mohun Bagan role post RPSG IPL re-entry

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Sourav Ganguly.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly will step down from the board of ATK-Mohun Bagan after RPSG Ventures won the bid for the Lucknow franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a record INR 7,090 crores.

As per ESPNcricinfo, Ganguly has initiated the process of standing down from his role at Mohun Bagan, which is one of the most popular football clubs in India and is currently part of the Indian Super League (ISL). In addition to being one of the directors on the Mohun Bagan board, Ganguly is also a shareholder.

The issue of the conflict surfaced after RPSG vice-chairman Sanjiv Goenka, the owner of Mohun Bagan as well as the as-yet-unnamed Lucknow IPL franchise, told CNBC-TV 18 on Monday that Ganguly was on the verge of stepping down. “Well, I think he is going to step down from Mohun Bagan completely… I think today,” Goenka told the business television network, as per ESPNcricinfo. “It is for Sourav to make the announcement. I mean, sorry. I think I pre-empted it.”

If Ganguly carried on occupying the positions both at the BCCI and Mohun Bagan, he would fall foul of the ‘direct or indirect interest’ conflict rule under the BCCI constitution.

Apart from RPSG who won the bid for the Lucknow franchise, the Irelia Company Pte Ltd (CVC Capital Partners) won the bid for the Ahmedabad franchise (for INR 5,625 crores).

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NEERAJ, RAVI AND MITHALI RAJ TO GET KHEL RATNA

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Indian athletes Neeraj Chopra, Ravi Dahiya and Lovlina Borgohain are set to be awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award.

Sources in the known of developments told ANI that the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award will be awarded to Neeraj Chopra, Ravi Dahiya, Lovlina Borgohain, PR Sreejesh, Avani Lekhara, Sumit Antil, Pramod Bhagat, Krishna Nagar, Manish Narwal, Mithali Raj, and Sunil Chhetri. Apart from this, 35 players will be awarded the Arjuna Award. Among them are Yogesh Kathuniya, Nishad Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Suhas Yathiraj, Singhraj Adhana, Bhavina Patel, Harvinder Singh, and Sharad Kumar.

All men’s Hockey India team who has won the historic bronze medal in Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been awarded Arjun Award with the exceptions of PR Sreejesh and Manpreet Singh.

Arjuna Award winners from the hockey team are: Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, and Mandeep Singh.

Dronacharya Award has been awarded to Radhakrishna Nair, TP Ouseph, Sandeep Sangwan among others.

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Sindhu, Sen advance; Saina retires with injury in French Open

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India’s ace shuttler PV Sindhu defeated Denmark’s Julie Jakobsen in straight sets to advance into the second round of the women’s singles event at the French Open 2021 on Wednesday.

Battling it out at the Court 2 of Stade Pierre de Coubertin, the two-times Olympic medallist and reigning world champion, Sindhu defeated Jakobsen by 21-15, 21-18 in 35 minutes to reach the round of 16. She will next face Line Christophersen of Denmark.

Elsewhere, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was forced to retire from her opening round match with an injury. Saina Nehwal was trailing 21-11, 9-2 against Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi in her women’s singles clash when she decided to concede.

Earlier, Lakshya Sen stormed into the men’s singles round of 16. The 20-year-old defeated Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen 21-10, 21-16 in 45 minutes.

Sourabh Verma also went into the men’s singles round of 32. He defeated Brazil’s Ygor Coelho 22-20, 21-19.

In another men’s singles round of 32, Parupalli Kashyap took local favourite Brice Leverdez the distance but the French shuttler prevailed in 64 minutes by 21-17, 17-21, 21-11.

HS Prannoy was overwhelmed 11-21, 14-21 in his men’s singles round of 32 match against Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei.

In men’s doubles round of 32 clash, Indian fifth seeds Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy come from a game down to beat Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-huei and Yang Po-hsuan 18-21, 21-17, 21-13.

MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila also won their men’s doubles round of 32 match against Joshua Magee and Paul Reynolds from Ireland in just 31 minutes.

Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth bowed out in the first round match of the ongoing French Open on Wednesday.

Srikanth gave his absolute best before going down fighting to World No 1 Kento Momota 18-21, 22-20, 19-21 in French Open. It is the 11th consecutive defeat for Srikanth against Momota. Earlier in the day, mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won their match against Denmark’s Mathias Thyrri and Mai Surrow 21-19, 21-15, here at Court 1.

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Nishant Dev cruises into 2nd round

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India’s Nishant Dev put up a brilliant performance to progress into the second round of the 71kg category at the 2021 AIBA Men’s Boxing Championships in Belgrade on Wednesday.

Making his debut at the world’s prestigious event, the Karnataka boxer looked in good touch against Laszlo Kozak as he hit the aggressive mode from the word go. The 20-year-old reigning national champion dominated his opponent from Hungary with fluent attack and sharp punches before winning the bout comprehensively by unanimous margin. In the Last-32 stage, Nishant will be up against Mauritian pugilist Merven Clair, who finished in the quarter-finals at the Tokyo Olympics, on Friday.

Later tonight, three more Indian boxers will begin their challenge at the event, which has been witnessing strong competition in presence of 650 top boxers from more than 100 countries playing across 13 weight categories.

While Varinder Singh will take on Karen Tonakanyan of Armenia in the 60kg bout, Lakshya Chahar (86kg) will fight against Kim Hyeongkyu of Korea. Govind Sahani (48kg) is the other Indian pugilist to start the campaign tonight as he will play Ortiz Arias of Ecuador.

Earlier in the matches played late on Tuesday, Deepak Bhoria, Sumit and Narender started their campaign with commanding victories. Up against one of the strong contenders for the title, Azat Usenaliev of Kyrgyzstan, Deepak produced a flawless show in the 51kg opening round match. Despite some resistance from the Asian champion Usenaliev, the 24-year-old Indian managed to secure victory by a unanimous margin.

Sumit too was equally dominant during his 75kg opening round match against Jamaican boxer O’Neill Damon as he notched up an easy 5-0 win. On the other hand, Narender faced some stiff challenge from his Polish opponent Oskar Safaryan in the +92kg bout, however, he recorded a 4-1 win.

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NAMIBIA HOLD NERVE TO BEAT SCOTLAND BY 4 WICKETS

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Namibia kicked off their Super 12 campaign with a victory against Scotland by 4 wickets in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Namibia faced certain difficulties but the team was able to chase the modest target of 110 with five balls to spare. With this win, Namibia went to 3rd spot in Group 2 behind Pakistan and Afghanistan. Chasing 110, Namibia prefered to go with caution over aggression as it wasn’t until the fifth over of the innings that Namibia scored their first boundary off the bat. Opener Michael van Lingen was removed in the last over of powerplay as their score read 29/1.

Zane Green and Craig Williams tried to up the ante but the former fell at the stroke of drinks. At the halfway stage, Namibia needed 54 from the remaining 10 to win the contest. Gerhard Erasmus stay at the pitch was cut short in the 12th over.

Craig Williams soon followed Erasmus into the dressing room in the next over. With the team under the pressure, JJ Smit and David Wiese steadied the ship for the chasing team. Wiese was removed in the 18th over and Jan Frylinck in the penultimate over but until then it was just too late for Scotland. JJ Smit smashed six on the first ball of the last over as Namibia put their first points on board.

Earlier, Namibia bowled splendidly at either end of the innings to restrict Scotland to a below-par total of 109/8. Scotland suffered an early setback as Ruben Trumpelmann’s triple-strike in the first over pegged them back.

Only Matthew Cross, Michael Leask and Chris Greaves reached double-digits for Scotland, with Leask leading the way in the middle-overs with a 27-ball 44.

Brief Scores: Scotland 109/8 (Michael Leask 44, Chris Greaves 25; Ruben Trumpelmann 3-17, Jan Frylinck 2-10) vs Namibia 115/6 (Craig Williams 23, JJ Smit 32*; Michael Leask 2-12, Brad Wheal 1-14)

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