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Majid Haq hits out at Scotland players for not reacting to racism report: Deafening silence speaks volumes

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Majid Haq scorned the failure of Scotland players to speak out following the publication of a report on racism in Cricket Scotland.

Majid Haq calls out Scotland players for 'deafening silence' after racism report (Reuters Photo)

Majid Haq calls out Scotland players for ‘deafening silence’ after racism report (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Majid Haq calls out Scotland players for ‘deafening silence’ after racism report
  • The board of Cricket Scotland apologised and resigned on Sunday
  • Scotland face New Zealand at the Grange in Edinburgh on Wednesday

Majid Haq has slammed the Scotland players for their “deafening silence” after the publication of a report which found the governing body institutionally racist. The revelations made by Haq and Sheikh led to a review of Scotland Cricket.

Earlier, Rafiq, Scotland’s all-time leading wicket-taker, and Sheikh mentioned that they were treated with racist behavior because of the colour of their skin.

The review, backed by SportScotland, was published on Monday, July 25. The report, published on Monday, found the governance and leadership practices of Cricket Scotland to be “institutionally racist”.

On Tuesday, their lawyer Aamer Anwar questioned the point of Scotland’s players taking a knee before games to protest racism at the Twenty20 World Cup last year when “no white team member has chosen to say anything much or at all over the last few days.”

In response, Haq tweeted, “Looks like it was nothing other than a bit of virtue signaling (and) tick box exercise because the deafening silence from a lot of them speaks volumes.

“They might feel uncomfortable but their privilege is never having to think you’ll not make the team because of racism.”

The board of Cricket Scotland apologised and resigned on Sunday, a day before the report was published, and interim CEO Gordon Arthur issued a “heartfelt apology” to all victims of racism and discrimination on Monday.

Scotland face New Zealand at the Grange in Edinburgh on Wednesday in a T20 encounter, the first of a three-game series against the tourists.

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Ousmane Dembele is special: Barcelona manager Xavi ‘very happy’ with rejuvenated French forward

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Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said forward Ousmane Dembele is a player reborn after the France international scored twice in the La Liga club’s pre-season game.

Dembele has the ability to make a difference in the world of football: Xavi (Reuters Photo)

Dembele has the ability to make a difference in the world of football: Xavi (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xavi said forward Ousmane Dembele is a player reborn
  • Dembele scored twice in the LaLiga club’s 2-2 pre-season draw
  • Dembele has signed a new two-year deal with LaLiga side

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez lavished praise on the 25-year-old Ousmane Dembele, saying the French striker has shown a marked improvement in the eight months since he took charge in November last year.

Notably, Dembele scored twice in the LaLiga club’s 2-2 pre-season draw with Serie A side Juventus on Tuesday at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, Texas. Dembele opened the scoring in the 34th minute with a fine solo effort, dribbling past Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro before drilling a fierce shot past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Dembele has signed a new two-year deal with LaLiga side Barcelona after his previous contract expired at the end of June. Earlier, Dembele joined Barca, aged 20, from Dortmund, in the summer of 2017, for more than 120 million.

“He has shown what he is capable of. He is different, special. There are not many of this type,” Xavi told reporters on Tuesday. “He gives us a lot with the way we play.

“Not everyone has the ability to make a difference in the world of soccer and he does. He is involved and he shows it. I don’t know the Dembele from before November, I don’t know him. I am very happy with this one.”

Dembele was dropped by manager Xavi Hernandez amid his contract standoff with Barcelona before he returned to the team in February and finished the campaign with 32 appearances in all competitions.

Barcelona, who finished second in La Liga last season, kick off their league campaign at home to Rayo Vallecano on August 13.

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Adam Gilchrist warns about IPL franchises’ dominance in global T20 leagues: Getting a little bit dangerous

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Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist has issued a warning about the rising dominance of the Indian Premier League (IPL) teams in the global T20 leagues, saying that the current monopolization of the BCCI-backed IPL is becoming dangerous.

Gilchrist’s comments have come on the backdrop of reports stating that Australian batter David Warner might opt out of the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) this season and sign up for a more lucrative United Arab Emirates T20 league.

Interestingly, three IPL franchises — Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals — have all invested in teams in the UAE T20 league.

“They can’t force David Warner to play in BBL, I understand that, but to let him then go off or another player, let’s not single out Warner because there will be other players on the radar it’s all part of this global dominance that these IPL franchises are starting to create given they own a number of teams in Caribbean Premier League,” Gilchrist told SEN’s Whateley radio show.

“It’s getting a little bit dangerous the grip that it’s having to monopolise that ownership and the ownership of the players and their talents and where they can and can’t play,” he added.

The three-time World Cup winner Australian suggested his country’s cricket board take cognizance of the matter as more cricketers could take Warner’s path sooner than later.

“If he (Warner) rides off into the sunset and says, ‘Sorry Australian cricket, I’m going to become a gun for hire for my Indian franchise team in various tournaments’ you can’t question him on that, that’s his prerogative and he’s done everything he needs to get the profile and get that market value,” Gilchrist said.

“It’s the new younger player coming in that starts to make those noises where it’ll be really challenging,” he added.

Gilchrist, who represented Australia in 96 Tests, 287 ODIs, and 13 T20Is, had earlier played for IPL franchises such as the now-defunct Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab, now renamed as Punjab Kings. He led the Deccan Chargers to their maiden IPL title in 2009.

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No one could have foreseen a double podium for Mercedes at French GP: Former F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg

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Former World Champion Nico Rosberg admitted that he was pleasantly surprised by Mercedes’ double podium at the French GP.

Hamilton and Russell secured their first double podium finish of the season at French GP (Courtesy: Reuters)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Russell and Hamilton secured their first double podium finish of the season at French GP
  • Mercedes have been on the rise in the past few games
  • Rosberg feels Mercedes need to improve their qualifying performances

Former World Champion Nico Rosberg was impressed by Mercedes’s double podium at the French Grand Prix and said that no one could have foreseen such a result at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

After a not so impressive performance in the qualifying session last Saturday, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ensured that Silver Arrows finished second and third in the race, just behind Max Verstappen.

Hamilton, in particular, has rebounded well from his initial struggles in the season and has finished on the podium consecutively in the past four races. Russell is also one of the most consistent drivers on the grid this year.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Rosberg admitted that he was pleasantly surprised by his former team’s performance in France as no one could have foreseen the result.

“What an incredible comeback for Mercedes after the slap in the face in qualifying, no one could have foreseen a double podium and also with the pace that they showed.”

They were close to the pace of the Ferraris and the Red Bulls, especially if you look at the first stint. Lewis dropped about six seconds early on and then was pretty consistent there and even closed the gap a little bit.

“That was really a big positive now for Mercedes again,” said Rosberg.

However, the former World Champion believes that qualifying is still hurting Mercedes and said that they need to improve their outings in qualifying to go back to the top of the pile.

“It seems that maybe it’s that qualifying pace, which is that big, big issue which they need to get on top of.”

“In race pace, they have confirmed that they’ve been making progress, so that’s a big positive today for them,”

“If they continue to have such bad Saturdays, it’s going to be difficult for them to make enough progress to really challenge for that win. So, it all comes down to that,” said Rosberg.

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Manchester United new signing Christian Eriksen says talks with Erik ten Hag convinced him about move

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Manchester United’s new signing Christian Eriksen has revealed that manager Erik ten Hag played a big role in convincing him to make the switch to the Premier League giants after his move was announced on Tuesday.

Eriksen, who has had stints with Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford in the Premier League, became United’s second signing of the summer window after agreeing a free transfer to the club.

The Denmark international, who has worked with Ten Hag’s reserves at Ajax Amsterdam, pointed out how influential the Dutch tactician was in convincing him to join Manchester United.

While speaking to the club’s official website, Eriksen was asked why he decided to make the switch to Old Trafford. The Danish midfielder said that after the conversations he had with Ten Hag, he could see himself playing in Manchester.

“First of all, the football.”

“I mean, I’m a guy who wants to play football and I think, with the idea of the manager coming in and the ideas he had, and also with my conversations with him, I mean I could see myself playing football in Manchester.

“And, at the same time, it’s a very, very big club if not the biggest. If you pronounce it anywhere, they know where it’s from, they know where the locals come from.

“It has a big history and it’s a nice feeling to be part of something that is that big in history,” said Eriksen.

When further asked about the Dutch tactician’s influence in making him choose United, the 30-year-old said their conversations were great and ideal.

“Very. I want to come here to play football, I don’t come here just for the logo itself, I want to come here and play.”

“Obviously, to speak with the manager and hear his ideas and have conversations with him on the football terms, was great and ideal for me to get the decision and the possibility of coming to Manchester United,” said Eriksen.

Eriksen is also keen on fitting into Ten Hag’s plans at Manchester United and feels that the Dutchman’s style of play suits him.

“I think my style of play hopefully fits in with his ideas and, hopefully, it’s something that will connect in a good and positive way,” he added.

“So, of course, his style of football, I think it suits me,” said Eriksen.

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West Indies vs India | Shubman Gill unhappy with himself for throwing away good starts : I am angry

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India’s Shubman Gill has admitted that he is frustrated with himself for throwing away two good starts in the first two ODIs against West Indies in the ongoing three-match series.

Gill got off to strong starts in the first two matches against West Indies (Courtesy: AP)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gill was unable to convert his good starts into a big score in the first two ODIs
  • The 22-year-old hopes he can score a big one in the final ODI
  • Gill said that batting alongside Dhawan up top is a great experience

Indian batter Shubman Gill has claimed that he is angry with himself for failing to convert the good starts he got in the first two ODIs against West Indies into a hundred.

Gill opened the innings with Shikhar Dhawan in both games and looked set to reach the three-figure mark with relative ease. However, poor decision making cost him as he ended up throwing his wickets away.

Ahead of the third match, as quoted by News 18, the right-handed batter said that he is aware of the fact that he could have converted one or both of those innings into a big score and was frustrated with himself for giving away his wicket cheaply.

“After getting those starts, unfortunately, I couldn’t convert them into a hundred and I am angry with myself for that,” said Gill.

Gill, however, went on to say that the two innings against West Indies were a great confidence booster for him and hopefully he will go big in the third match on Wednesday.

“They were a huge confidence booster. West Indies are a good team and we posted two good totals, one while batting first and the other while chasing. Hopefully, I will go big in the third match. The kind of starts I have been getting, I will aim to convert those into big innings,” said Gill.

The 22-year-old also said that being asked to open the innings gave him a lot of confidence. He also said that batting alongside Shikhar Dhawan is a great experience and the right-handed batter is looking to learn from his opening partner.

“(Asking to open) gave me a lot of confidence. To be given to play a game for India, especially at the international level, feels good. It was important for me to pay that trust back and I was happy to contribute to the team’s cause. Opening the batting alongside Shikhar has been great. He has so much experience, has played all over the world and I get to learn a lot,” said Gill.

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Commonwealth Games 2022: Lovlina Borgohain thanks authorities after coach gets accreditation for CWG

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Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain has issued a statement thanking the authorities for their quick action as her coach Sandhya Gurung got accreditation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2022.

Borgohain shocked the sporting fraternity on Monday, 25th July, when she expressed her frustrations on Twitter, explaining how certain factors have affected her preparation for the event in Birmingham.

The 24-year-old alleged mental harassment, hindrance in her training and how her coaches were being mistreated due to internal politics.

Borgohain’s personal coach, Gurung, was denied entry into the Games Village as she didn’t have accreditation. This forced the Indian boxer to issue the statement on social media. The authorities quickly sprung into action and the issue was resolved as Gurung confirmed to ANI on Tuesday that she had got the accreditation for the event.

“I have received the accreditation for Commonwealth Games 2022,” said Gurung.

The Indian boxer has now expressed her gratitude on Twitter and praised the authorities for their swift action. The Olympic Bronze medallist thanked the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs and the Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the prompt and rapid action to include her coach’s name for Commonwealth Games accreditation.

The Indian boxer also had special praise reserved for SAI and said that she is grateful for their constant support her training since her youth days.

The 24-year-old ended her statement by thanking everyone who helped her and extended their support for her during this tough period.

“truly thank @ianuragthakur sir and @IndiaSports, and @Media_SAI for the prompt and rapid action to Include my Coach Sandhya Gurung’s name in CWG acred. Also grateful for SAl for constant support for my training since my youth. Thank you once again to all who have truly helped me,” said Borgohain.

The Indian boxer will now be shifting her attention towards the games and will be hoping that the shocking ordeal will not have an effect on her performance.

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Neeraj Chopra issues message after pulling out of CWG 2022: Hurt about not being able to defend my title

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Olympic Gold medallist Neeraj Chopra has issued a message, saying that he is hurt about not being able to defend his crown at the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2022.

On Tuesday, news broke that Chopra will be pulling out of the upcoming event due to an injury, Considered by many to be a medal favorite at CWG, the 24-year-old was also supposed to be India’s flagbearer at the opening ceremony of the event.

In a lengthy statement issued on Twitter, the Indian star opened up on the reason why he will be missing the event in Birmingham and also pinpointed when he sustained the injury.

The 24-year-old said that he had been feeling uncomfortable after the pull he felt in his groin after his fourth throw at the World Championships and after further investigation in the US, it was found that he had sustained a minor strain.

Chopra said that after further discussions with his support staff and the Indian Olympic Association, Athletics Federation Of India and Sports Authority Of India, it was decided that it would be best if he skips the CWG to avoid risking an aggravation of the injury.

The Olympic Gold Medallist went on to say that he is hurt at not being able to defend his crown at the event and disappointed at missing out on the chance to become India’s flagbearer during the opening ceremony.

Chopra went on to say that he will be focusing on his rehabilitation and thanked the entire country for the support he has received. He went on to urge his fans to join him in cheering his fellow Indian athletes at the games.

“Hello everyone, I’m extremely disappointed to inform you all that I will not be able to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. I had been feeling uncomfortable after the pull I felt in my groin during my fourth throw at the World Championships. On having it investigated medically yesterday by a group of doctors here in the US, a minor strain was discovered and I have been advised to undergo rehabilitation and give it rest for the next few weeks.”

“I have discussed this with my support team and the IOA, AFI, and SAI’s CAIMS, and we’ve collectively decided that keeping my long-term goals in mind, it would be best for me to skip the CWG in order to avoid risking any further aggravation of the injury. Needless to say, I am hurt about not being able to defend my title and missing out on another opportunity to represent the nation. I am especially disappointed about losing out on the opportunity to be Team India’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, an honour I was looking forward to having in a few days’ time.”

For now, I will focus on my rehabilitation and hope to be back in action very soon. I would like to thank the entire country for all the love and support I’ve received over the past few days, and urge you all to join me in cheering on my fellow Team India athletes in Birmingham over the coming weeks,” said Chopra.

Recently, Chopra created history at the World Athletics Championships by becoming the second Indian to secure a medal at the event. With a throw of 88.13 metres, the 24-year-old bagged Silver.

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England’s women reach Euro 2022 final with stunning win over Sweden

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It didn’t all go host England’s way, however, as Sarina Wiegman’s side had to weather some serious first-half pressure from a world class Sweden side.

But Lauren Hemp’s smart turn and finish after the half-hour mark settled England’s obvious nerves and from then on there only looked like being one winner.

Lucy Bronze’s header from a corner early in the second half and then a stunning back-heeled goal from substitute Alessia Russo sent the 28,624 fans inside Bramall Lane into rapture, before Fran Kirby’s lob added gloss to an already remarkable scoreline.

Sweden, after all, has reached the final at the two previous World Cups and is currently ranked second in the world, with England only previously recording three wins over Sweden in its entire history.

In what has already been a record-breaking tournament for attendances and viewing figures, Tuesday’s game set a new record attendance for a Euros semifinal.

After defeats in the semifinals at the 2019 World Cup, Euro 2017, England will now finally against either Germany or France at Wembley Stadium on July 31.

England striker Beth Mead celebrates after scoring her team's first goal against Sweden.
“I think they have shown a couple of times they are very resilient,” Wiegman told the BBC. “We didn’t start well, we had a hard time.

“We found a way. The players in the game found a way to get out of their pressure. I’m so incredibly proud of them.”

Slow starters

The nerves that were evident for much of the quarterfinal against Spain were again on display in the early stages against Sweden.

England goalkeeper Mary Earps was called into action inside the opening minute, blocking Sofia Jakobsson’s effort after Georgia Stanway had been caught in possession in midfield.

Another smart save from Earps once again kept the scores level just minutes later, this time palming Stina Blackstenius’ bobbled effort around the post. From the resulting corner, Sweden had its best chance yet as Blackstenius this time beat Earps to the ball, but her header could only find the crossbar.

With England looking to dominate possession, Sweden was posing a real threat on the counter. The attacking trio of Blackstenius, Kosovare Asllani and Fridolina Rolfo in particular were giving England’s defenders nightmares, pulling them this way and that with their interchanging runs.

By the half hour mark, England had barely registered a chance worth mentioning. In fact, the highlight of the Lionesses’ opening 30 minutes was a stunning sliding tackle from Kirby, who had tracked back the length of the pitch to deny Sweden a clear goalscoring chance.

Fran Kirby put the icing on the cake with a fourth goal late on.

England manager Wiegman once again named the same starting XI she had for the first four games of Euro 2022, unperturbed by the somewhat toothless display for much of the quarterfinal against Spain.

Wiegman needed all of her tactical nous to turn that game around with substitutions, but her trusty top scorer Mead made sure that wouldn’t be necessary this time.

With 10 minutes left to play in the first half, England found the breakthrough seemingly out of nowhere. After Lauren Hemp’s cross into the box missed Ellen White’s boot by an inch, Bronze did well to keep the ball in play and put it back into the penalty area.

Mead took one touch, swiveled and drilled the ball into the far corner to send Bramall Lane crowd into delirium. It was a wonderful goal, perhaps her best of the tournament so far, and put her into outright first place in the race for the Golden Boot with six goals.

It also equaled the most goals scored at a single European Championship, matching Inka Grings’ tally from Finland 2009.

More importantly, however, it finally settled England’s nerves and for the first time in the match Wiegman’s team began to dominate. Chances came for Kirby and Stanway, but neither were able to test Rut Hedvig Lindahl in the Sweden goal from distance.

When the half-time whistle came, it was Sweden that was relieved to hear it and England was now just 45 minutes minutes away from the final.

Mary Earps kept England level with some brilliant early saves.

Relentless Lionesses

The second half began in identical fashion and England immediately had its opponent on the back foot once more.

It was again Hemp down the left causing Sweden all sorts of problems and the Manchester City winger’s cross into Mead was blocked behind by a Swedish boot. However, a towering header from Lucy Bronze from the resulting corner sneaked its way in past the far post and put England in complete control of this semifinal.

Russo has been England’s supersub in this tournament, registering three goals off the bench so far. When she was brought on before the hour mark against Sweden, her impact was immediate as a driving run and low cross found Hemp at the far post.

But with the goal gaping, the winger could only divert an effort onto the crossbar.

Sweden did have a wonderful chance to half the deficit, but Earps’ full-stretch fingertip save denied Blackstenius a goal.

Alessia Russo's wonderful improvision made it 3-0 to England.

However, with just over 20 minutes left to play, the match was ended as a contest by a moment of genius from Russo. After her initial effort — which she should have scored — was blocked by Lindahl, Russo improvised with a cheeky backheel that caught the Swedish keeper completely off guard as it squeezed through her legs.

It was a piece of magic that encapsulated the very best of this England team as it began to dismantle one of the best teams in the world.

Kirby soon added the icing on the cake with just over 15 minutes left to play, lobbing the ball from range over Lindahl. The Swedish keeper really should have done better, but let the ball squirm through her hands, capping off a night she will want to forget in a hurry.

The victory continues Wiegman’s remarkable personal record of never having lost a game at a Euros. Everyone in England will be hoping that run continues for just one more match.

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An MS Dhoni cameo as Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav get together on Instagram live

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MS Dhoni made a special appearance on Rishabh Pant’s Instagram Live on Tuesday, July 26. Dhoni last played for CSK in IPL 2022.

MS Dhoni of India. Courtesy: Reuters

MS Dhoni of India. Courtesy: Reuters

HIGHLIGHTS

  • On Tuesday, Rishabh Pant conducted an Instagram Live
  • Dhoni made a short appearance in Pant’s live
  • Dhoni last played for CSK in the 2022 IPL

Team India wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, on Tuesday, July 26, conducted an Instagram Live where a few of his teammates showed up. The left-handed Pant was seen having fun with Rohit Sharma, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishant Sharma and many others.

During this while, MS Dhoni, the former Indian skipper, also made a special appearance on Pant’s Insta Live. The 41-year-old was seen waving his hands for a short while before logging off. Yadav, Rohit and Pant were over the moon after seeing their former skipper.

Dhoni was last seen on the field during the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) where he played for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The veteran relinquished the captaincy at the start of the season and handed the duties to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

However, after the Super Kings failed to perform, Dhoni took back the captaincy from Jadeja. But it didn’t make much of a difference as the four-time IPL champions failed to qualify for the playoffs after losing a string of matches to start with.

Apart from helping his team win four IPL titles, Dhoni also guided the Super Kings to wins in two Champions League T20 seasons. Dhoni last played for Team India in the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand at Old Trafford in Manchester.

Dhoni scored a fifty in that game, but failed to take his team over the finish line. One year later, the veteran announced his retirement from international cricket. He remains one of the greatest captains India have ever produced.

Dhoni also led India to victory in the T20 World Cup in 2007, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the 2013 Champions Trophy.

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