STEVE SMITH EXCITED TO JOIN CAPITALS, SET SIGHTS ON IPL TITLE - The Daily Guardian
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STEVE SMITH EXCITED TO JOIN CAPITALS, SET SIGHTS ON IPL TITLE

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Australia batsman Steve Smith said he is looking forward to creating some “amazing memories” with Delhi Capitals and is hoping to help the franchise lift its maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title.

In the 2020 edition of the league, Delhi Capitals was beaten by Mumbai Indians in the final at the Dubai Cricket Stadium. “Hey there Delhi Capitals fans, just wanted to say that I am really excited about joining the team this year. I think it is a great squad of players and a great coach. I look forward to getting over there and creating some amazing memories and hopefully helping the team go one better than last year,” Smith said in a video shared by Delhi Capitals on Twitter.

During the IPL 2021 Player Auction last week, the runner-up of the previous season acquired the services of experienced players such as Smith and Tom Curran along with four talented domestic players in Lukman Meriwala, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod and Manimaran Siddharth.

Earlier, Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer had said that the new players who have joined the side bring a lot of experience to the squad.

“We had maintained our core unit from the last season and the new players that have come in bring a lot of experience to the squad. Along with international players such as Steve Smith and Tom Curran coming in, we have a few domestic players who have joined the squad as well. Lukman Meriwala has done tremendously well in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. It’s going to be a great experience for the other youngsters, who have come in,” Iyer had said in a statement issued by the franchise.

Even though the Delhi Capitals have covered all their bases, the skipper had stressed on the fact that IPL 2021 will be testing for his side. “It’s going to be challenging because if you look at the other teams, they have also framed their teams in a pretty unique way and obviously the core and strength have been pretty much similar for all the teams. I feel this season is going to be more exciting,” he had said.

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Wijnaldum says win over Sheffield United has lifted Liverpool’s confidence

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Sheffield [UK], March 1 (ANI): After ending the four-match losing run in the Premier League, Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum said that the victory over Sheffield United will put the team in a positive mindset and will also lift their confidence ahead of the next game.
Liverpool secured a 2-0 win over Sheffield United in the Premier League here on Monday.
“I think it’s a good thing if you win a lot in a row, but I think this is a good one to stop the losses that we have had before. I think this is really good for the team and it gives a good feeling again [ahead of] the next game and also [lifts] our confidence,” Wijnaldum told Liverpoolfc.com.
During the match, the heroics of Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had frustrated Liverpool as he made five first-half saves, including two in as many minutes to deny Mohamed Salah and Wijnaldum.
Liverpool eventually found a way past Ramsdale in the 48th minute when Curtis Jones scored a goal. Kean Bryan then scored an own goal as Liverpool secured three points from the game.
Wijnaldum said that his team will have to keep the momentum going and give everything to win the games.
“Yes, and that’s what we have to do if we want to finish in the top four. We have to put a run together and just hope the teams above us slip. We can only control our own performances so we have to look at it game by game, give everything and try to win the games,” he said.
Sitting on the sixth spot, Liverpool now have 43 points and will next play against Chelsea on March 5. (ANI)

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Marcus Trescothick named England’s batting coach

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London [UK], March 1 (ANI): Former opener Marcus Trescothick has been appointed as England’s new elite batting coach, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Monday. In the bowling department, Jon Lewis and Jeetan Patel have been named as England’s pace and spin bowling coaches respectively.
Trescothick will take up the new role in the middle of March. He will step down from his role as assistant coach at Somerset County Cricket Club.
Current Young Lions head coach Lewis has been promoted to the role of Elite Pace Bowling Coach. The former England seamer has held numerous roles within the pathway set up after a successful playing career primarily with Gloucestershire but also including stints at Surrey and Sussex.
In addition, Jeetan has been appointed as a permanent elite spin bowling coach. Jeetan, the former New Zealand and Warwickshire spinner, joins the group permanently after several short-term spells working with the men’s team.
“Following an extensive recruitment process, I’m really excited about the calibre of the individuals that we’ve appointed into these specialist roles. Marcus, Jon and Jeetan have demonstrated their ability at the highest level and also show huge potential for the future. Working alongside Carl Hopkinson, our current Elite Fielding Coach, we have the makings of a strong specialist coaching team, possessing a diverse range of experience,” said England Wales and Cricket Board’s (ECB) Performance Director Mo Bobat in an official statement.
“Working in conjunction with counties, they will have responsibility for developing and preparing current and next-in-line England players whilst also adding value to our England and Lions environments. In addition, they will support the development of our best Under 19 players through our Young Lions programme,” he added.
The three roles attracted a high calibre of applicants and were subject to a rigorous recruitment process. As part of the move, Lewis will vacate his role as Young Lions head coach, and this role will be reconfigured into an Elite Pathway Coach role.
Given the strength of candidates shortlisted for the three elite roles, the Elite Pathway Coach role has also been filled through this process, with Richard Dawson being appointed.
Dawson takes up the new role in mid-April, having previously been Head Coach at Gloucestershire CCC. ECB would like to thank Gloucestershire for their support in releasing Richard to take up the role.
“Jon has done a fantastic job leading our Young Lions programme and England U19 team over the last couple of years. His change of role has provided the opportunity to look at that position with fresh eyes,” said Bobat.
“Given the strength of applicants that we’ve had through the recruitment process, and the need for us to have an adaptable coaching workforce, I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to appoint Richard Dawson as our Elite Pathway Coach,” he added. (ANI)

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Jharkhand all-set to host 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): The wait for Indian players to sizzle on their home turf is nearly over with just ten days left before the start of the 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2021 which will kick-start an action-packed domestic hockey calendar.
Hockey Jharkhand has left no stone unturned to ensure the smooth function of the championship, which will be held in Simdega between March 10 to 18. The tournament will provide Indian youngsters the platform to showcase their talent and impress selectors, who will be present at the National Championships.
Twenty-one teams, with over 350 players as well as coaching and support staff, will arrive in Simdega for the 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship. As a part of Hockey India’s drive in spreading the game to every pocket of the country, Simdega, a district that has produced several hockey stars, has been given the nod to host the event. This is the first time Simdega, Jharkhand will be hosting a Hockey India National Championship. After five days of pool matches, the quarter-finals will be played on March 15, the semi-finals will be held on March 17 whereas the summit event is scheduled for March 18.
Hockey Jharkhand’s Organising Secretary Bijay Shankar Singh said: “We are very happy that Hockey India has given us the opportunity to host the 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2021. This the first event in the national championship calendar after the pandemic brought an abrupt halt to all sporting events last year. When we took up the onus of hosting this tournament, we knew the challenges as we are still battling the pandemic but what has really helped us go about our preparations confidently is the great support received from the Government of Jharkhand and the SOPs provided by Hockey India. It gives us a clear understanding of what needs to be done as organisers.”
He further emphasised that all safety measures will be in place for the tournament. “Apart from Hockey India SOPs, we will be adhering to guidelines by the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as the Government of Jharkhand. We look forward to hosting a successful event,” he said.
Apart from several SOPs laid out by Hockey India, all athletes and officials need to have the Aaroya Setu app on their devices. They must also follow physical distancing measures at all locations, except athletes on the field. A Covid-19 task force will also be constituted by the organising committee to ensure the implementation of the protocols issued by the MHA and the respective state government.
Hockey Jharkhand has also appointed doctors Vivek Kishore and Pankaj Kumar as Hygiene Officers who will be present at the venue for participants’ well-being. (ANI)

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Vijender set for March 19 return to boxing ring, bout to take place on ship

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Undefeated professional boxing star Vijender Singh is set to make his return to the ring on March 19 and this time he will be exchanging fists in Vegas-style boxing on the Majestic Pride Casino Ship in Goa.
The first-of-its-kind fight will be held on the rooftop deck of the Majestic Pride Casino Ship — who have been roped in as the venue partner. The Majestic Pride is docked in the Mandovi River in Panaji, Goa.
The bout goes beyond the traditional norms of a regular professional match and offers viewers the glitz and glamour of Vegas-style boxing event. The announcement of Vijender’s opponent will be made soon.
Commenting on his fight Vijender said: “I am really excited to return to the ring. It excites me more to have my fight set-up on a ship. It is something that has never happened before in India and I am glad to be part of this unique professional match. I am pumped up and eager as ever to enter the ring again and have been training hard to keep myself fit for the bout.”
IOS has been instrumental in bringing professional boxing in India and has successfully conducted four fights, including two in New Delhi, one in Mumbai and another one in Jaipur. Now, Neerav Tomar, promoter IOS Boxing Promotions, plans to deliver a unique sporting event for boxing fans in the country.
On Vijender’s upcoming bout, Neerav said, “This will be a great opportunity for Indian fans to witness a unique sporting event organised locally. This whole year gave us ample time to invest our thoughts on doing something different this time and increasing the level of professional boxing in India. A boxing match on a ship is the perfect amalgamation of the intensity of boxing and razzmatazz of the entertaining casino. We hope all the fans watching or present at the venue will thoroughly enjoy the event.” (ANI)

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Aguero important for us, want to help him: Guardiola

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Manchester [UK], March 1 (ANI): Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said that striker Sergio Aguero will have to earn his place in the starting XI despite being the club’s highest goal-scorer.
A combination of injuries and COVID-19 has restricted Aguero to 11 appearances in all competitions this season.
The 32-year-old made his first start in four months in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win over West Ham United, which marked City’s 20th straight victory in all competitions.
“He knows it. He knows it from day one, the guys who play deserve to play. From day one all my message is: ‘What we did two hours ago is over.’ It’s not just for Sergio — it’s for everyone. I try to make fair decisions. Fair for one player is unfair for another one,” Goal.com quoted Guardiola as saying.
“Today was a real tough game for the three players upfront. It’s good news he played 60 minutes and then the next game we need him, let’s go. Sergio is so important for us. He scored the most important goal in this club’s history. We want to help him — he will do it,” he added.
City is at the top of the Premier League standings with 62 points after 26 games, 12 points above rivals Manchester United. (ANI)

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T20 WC: Mani’s comments on visa assurance for Pak players surprising, says BCCI official

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ehsan Mani’s demand for visa assurance for Pakistan players, media and fans for the T20 World Cup to be held in India between October-November has surprised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Speaking to ANI, a board official said the comments are ‘immature’ and also pointed that the Indian government has already made its policy clear when it comes to handing visas to players for international sporting events.
“It was surprising to read Ehsan Mani’s comments, especially in the background of the wonderful working relationship that he shares with Sourav Ganguly (BCCI President) at the ICC. He is a gentleman and had in fact been a guide for Sourav during the pandemic along with Shashank (Manohar). One can’t help but think that it is very immature of Mani to give a statement like this,” the official said.
“It is almost as if he is either desperately looking for a way out of his team playing in the tournament or he is grandstanding for some constituency back home. If they want to make it a political issue, it is of course their own wish. They do know that a cricket board of a country has absolutely no locus standi to give any assurance on an issue, which is not in their purview and is firmly in the decision-making sphere of the government,” he added.
“What’s the next logical step? Will the ICC play a UN kind of role? Will Pakistan’s participation in tournaments depend upon an assurance that no acts of terror would originate on their soil?” the official enquired.
“Moreover, the government has already made their position crystal clear on the issue of visas and an informed person would be aware of it. Mani should be making efforts to try and normalise cricket relations between the two countries rather than making efforts to widen the gulf between them,” he asserted.
The issue of visas was laid to rest last year itself when the Indian government had written to the Presidents of the IOA (Indian Olympic Association) and the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
Then Sports Secretary Radhe Shyam Julaniya, in his letter on June 18, 2019, clearly stated that the country of origin of athletes would not be a barrier for them to get visas to come and compete in international sporting events in India. This after a couple of Pakistan shooters were denied visa to compete in the ISSF World Shooting championship in the national capital. The visa issue had led to the IOC reconsidering the decision to hand India international sports events.
Mani on Sunday said the PCB has sent a letter addressed to the International Cricket Council (ICC) in order to get details about the issuance of visas from India for the T20 World Cup.
“India is set to host T20 World Cup in October-November this year. I have told the board that we want written confirmation from India that our fans, journalists, and players will get visas. I have a meeting with ICC and I will raise this point once again,” said Mani.
Mani also said if India fails to provide assurance then the T20 World Cup needs to be shifted somewhere else. (ANI)

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