Blazers beat Timberwolves for fifth straight win

first_imgMinnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague, center, shoots in front of Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, and center Jusuf Nurkic, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, March 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard wasn’t concerned. He knew his shots would eventually fall.Lillard finished with 35 points after a slow start and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-99 on Thursday night for their season-high fifth straight win.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH After struggling in the first half, Portland mounted a comeback in the second and pulled ahead 84-82 on Shabazz Napier’s running jump shot with 8:07 left.Al-Farouq Aminu and McCollum hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Portland a 92-86 lead with 3:48 left. Lillard’s 3 extended it and the Timberwolves couldn’t catch up.The teams split the season series 2-2.“It’s tough not to come out of here with a win — we would have loved it,” Towns said. “Now we have to go out and get the next game. Learn from our mistakes.”The Timberwolves were playing their third game without Jimmy Butler, who had surgery on Sunday to repair a meniscal injury in his right knee. It isn’t clear when he’ll be able to return. Butler is the team’s top scorer, averaging 22.2 points.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Read Next Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Scoreboard: 76ers showcase talent for LeBron with 108-97 win Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lillard missed all seven shots from the field in the opening quarter.“I was just missing. I was missing a lot of shots short, kept hitting the front of the rim. When it was leaving my hands it felt good. I just knew I had to shoot the ball it a little bit higher,” he said. “I really wasn’t worried about it, honestly.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCJ McCollum had 19 points and Jusuf Nurkic added 16 for Portland, which improved to 36-26. It was the first time Portland was 10 games over .500 since the end of the 2014-15 season.Karl-Anthony Towns had 34 points and 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who lost their fourth straight in the Moda Center. Portland shot just 25 percent in the first quarter (6 for 24). McCollum went 1 for 5, and the Blazers trailed 24-19.Lillard had been hot going into the game, averaging 31.4 points in February, the highest scoring average for a Blazer in a single month in team history.Towns hit a 3-pointer that put Minnesota in front 47-36, but Lillard answered with his first basket from the field, a jumper, then added a driving layup and a free throw. The Blazers cut the lead to 49-44 at the break.Towns had 21 points in the half, including 19 in the second quarter alone.Portland opened the second half on a 7-0 run to go up 51-49 for a short-lived lead. Andrew Wiggins’ jumper extended Minnesota’s lead to 74-64 late in the quarter.Lillard’s 3-pointer and rebound basket from Davis got Portland within 78-75 going into the fourth quarter.“He started hitting some long 3s — he made some superstar shots. That happens with Dame,” Towns said.Blazers starter Maurice Harkless left the game in the first half with a left knee injury. He did not return.Wiggins added 21 points for the Timberwolves. Towns has had a double-double in a league-high 55 games this season.TIP-INSTimberwolves: The Timberwolves waived forward Shabazz Muhammad before the game. “He wasn’t playing as much as he would have liked and we told him we’d try to do the right thing for him,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. Muhammad averaged 3.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 32 games this season. … The Timberwolves arrived in Portland early and Thibodeau was able to attend Portland’s 116-99 victory over Sacramento on Tuesday. Trail Blazers: Portland went 0 for 13 from 3-point range in the first half. .. Lillard has made a 3-pointer in 44 straight games, tying the franchise record set by Nic Batum. … Napier hit a halfcourt shot late in the game but it didn’t count because he’d been fouled.GROWTHBoth coach Terry Stotts and Lillard said the Blazers wouldn’t have won the game a few months ago.“They have a lot of confidence and they understand we may not have won this game earlier in the season. We were able to fight through and hang with it defensively when things weren’t going our way offensively, and then having the belief that it was going to break at some point,” Stotts said.INJURY UPDATEHarkless had a patella tendon strain and said after the game that if it was the playoffs, he would have tried to keep playing. Minnesota’s Taj Gibson, who left the game in the third quarter, has a right hip bruise.UP NEXTTimberwolves: Visit the Utah Jazz on Friday night in the second of a back-to-back.Trail Blazers: Host Oklahoma City on Saturday. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View commentslast_img read more

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‘He’s human’: Cavs coach defends LeBron after ‘weird’ loss

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next READ: James, Love help Cavs rout Celtics in Game 1 James accepted responsibility afterward, saying simply “I didn’t have it” during a postgame news conference that was preceded by a run-in with a heckling fan in the hallway.If James’ play wasn’t stunning enough, Cavs forward J.R. Smith said his celebrated teammate lacked confidence.What’s that? A three-time champion, four-time MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist, global icon, billion-dollar-business-in-sneakers, wasn’t confident?READ: Cavs crush Celtics, take 2-0 series lead“He’s got to be aggressive, get downhill, play like he’s been playing, play confident,” Smith said. “That’s what I always think, when people of his stature or people like him, you’ve got to play confident the whole night and play aggressive. It’s the Eastern Conference finals. It’s not enough for him. For what he does, what he brings, it’s not enough.“He knows that. We know that. Just expect him to be better in Game 4.”The series resumes Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena before returning to Boston on Thursday for a Game 5 that didn’t appear necessary until the Celtics stormed back from 21 down and won when Avery Bradley’s 3-pointer danced an Irish jig on the rim before falling with 0.01 seconds left.READ: LeBron struggles, exchanges words with fanIt was Boston’s first outing since star guard Isaiah Thomas was shut down with a hip injury, and the Celtics showed they’re capable counter-punchers. Man who told immigrant to go back to country asked to write essay Lillard, Anthony lead Blazers over Thunder Hornets beat Pistons for 8th straight time 250 enrolled at phony school arrested in immigration scam Russia facing ban from Paralympics for 2018 Games And it was an uncharacteristically passive performance by James, who had scored at least 30 in eight straight playoff games and imposed his will on the overmatched Celtics in the series’ first two games.READ: Bradley hits last-second shot, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3But James wasn’t himself Sunday night, not by a long stretch. He passed up shots and made mental and physical mistakes normally reserved for others.For a superstar who regularly seizes the biggest moments and makes them his own, it was strange to see James basically look like one of Cleveland’s reserves. He took just three shots and didn’t attempt a free throw in the fourth quarter.Incredibly, he went scoreless over the final 16 minutes.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: PH beats Indonesia, enters gold medal round in polo Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletescenter_img LATEST STORIES Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. James did not address the media Monday, hours after one of the worst postseason games of his career, an 11-point, six-turnover, head-scratching atrocity in a 111-108 loss to the Boston Celtics that – for the time being – has made the Eastern Conference finals interesting.READ: NBA: No blame for LeBron after Celtics no-show, says LueFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingAs is always the case with Cleveland’s superstar, the poor performance prompted the usual speculation and suspicion: Is he hurt? Was he sending a message to his teammates? What in the name of Red Auerbach happened?“It was a weird game,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “A weird-feeling game.” “You obviously hear people saying that it’s all about how you respond, and we don’t feel like people believed in us and counted us out,” Bradley said. “But that just put another chip on our shoulder, which I think is good. I hope we can continue to play with that chip on our shoulder and come out the same way next game.”Thomas didn’t travel with the club to Cleveland, but he was part of the postgame fun.“We called him on FaceTime, so he got to celebrate with us a little bit,” Bradley said. “We wish he was here with us, and we just want him to get better.”Boston’s comeback was fueled by Thomas’ replacement, Marcus Smart, who made 7 of 10 3-pointers and scored 27 points. The Cavs chose to go under screens, giving Smart room to shoot and he burned them badly.“Marcus Smart made 15 out of 77 off-the-dribble threes this year,” Lue said, defending his defensive plan on Smart. “He made some last night.”As Lue spoke to a large group of reporters and some Cavs players got in extra shots following practice, James was noticeably absent from the floor. Usually, he hangs around to work on his game, but on this day No. 23 wasn’t visible.Lue said James was “in good spirits” and that no one was pinning the loss on him.“No blame. We’re all to blame,” Lue said. “We lost; it happens. For a guy who played great for five straight months, he’s got to have a bad game sooner or later. He’s human. He didn’t shoot the ball well. It wasn’t his ordinary game. But Kevin (Love) and Kyrie (Irving) had it going early and they played well, so it kind of got him out of rhythm a little bit in that first half.“That’s no excuse. They played well, but we’ve just got to play better, be more physical.” LOOK: Vhong Navarro’s romantic posts spark speculations he’s marrying longtime GF CLEVELAND, OH – MAY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts against the Boston Celtics during Game Three of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on May 21, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFPINDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James was nowhere to be seen, staying behind the scenes, keeping a low profile.Just as he did in Game 3.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READlast_img read more

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Meralco eyes q’final bonus

first_imgMeralco looks to punch its twice-to-beat ticket in the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup as early as possible and hopes it can do so Friday against GlobalPort at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims The top four teams of the tournament at the end of the elimination round will have twice-to-beat boosts in the quarterfinals. And although the Bolts have a lofty slot, defending champion San Miguel Beer, NLEX, and TNT all have 7-3 records, and can bump off Meralco from its perch.In a conference where a win or a loss can drop a team several spots down the standings, Black knows he has his work cut out for him against GlobalPort, which is hoping to exit the season with a win.In the other matchup, Star will look to bounce back after losing to TNT, 104-99, on Sept. 17 as the 5-4 Hotshots look to add another loss to Kia’s 0-10 slate.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games So, Ding go through tiebreaks Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim And with the top four seeds still up for grabs, Bolts head coach Norman Black knows they’ll have to make the most of having their fate still in their hands.“I think you need at least eight wins to get the twice-to-beat advantage and we still have two games left and there’s a lot of teams fighting so this is the time of the conference when you need to win games,” said Black.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingMeralco owns a 7-2 record and will look to book that eighth win today in the duel against the Batang Pier, who are already out of the quarterfinals picture after slipping to a 3-7 record.“That’s really the goal this conference, to try to get that twice-to-beat advantage because that’s the incentive,” said Black, whose team sits at second spot behind Ginebra’s 8-2 record. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges View commentslast_img read more

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Pak start with confident win

first_imgAfter finishing as wooden spooners in the World Cup earlier this year, the road to redemption for Pakistan hockey starts at the same venue where they suffered their worst nightmare.The team from across the border had a relatively easy time beating Scotland 3-0 in their first match of the Commonwealth Games, but with Malaysia, world champions Australia and arch rivals India in the same pool, tougher tests await.Shakeel Abbasi (20th minute), Rehan Butt (25th) and Muhammad Imran (43rd, penalty corner) were on target as the Scots rarely threatened Pakistan, who had won the silver medal in Melbourne four years ago.The erstwhile Asian giants had to wait a while to open the scoring, mostly due to the alert goalkeeping of Alister McGregor.But once Abbasi found the net with a reverse hit, the team settled and played some fluent hockey at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.Multiple-time world and Olympic champions Pakistan had a forgettable outing at the 2010 World Cup, when they finished last among the 12 participating teams.However, captain Zeeshan Ashraf said the team was hoping for a better performance this time. “Our performance at the World Cup was very poor but we hope to do well here,” he tolds Mail Today.We have a new coach (Dutchman Michel van den Heuvel) and a changed side with several youngsters, who have a lot of confidence.”After the World Cup debacle, the Pakistan team had retired en masse, but several of them are back again.”We cannot turn our back to the country. We answered the call of the federation. Playing for Pakistan is a matter of great pride,” Ashraf said.advertisement”We have worked hard in the preparation for this tournament and need to carry forward the momentum from this performance as we will be facing better teams and all will be here to win.”He added that the team still needs to improve its finishing and defence. Senior forward Rehan Butt said the team was looking forward to give a better performance.”What happened in this stadium at the World Cup is in the past and we want to forget it.”last_img read more

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CWG: See you in Glasgow

first_imgThe next Commonwealth Games will be held in Glasgow, Scottland in 2014. Here are the scenes from closing ceremony 2010:Wobbling alongThe martial arts showcase wobbled like the guru-shishya segment of the opening ceremony. It’s problem was that it tried to fit in too much into one act.The segment had something from almost every region of the country.Kalaripayattu, Nihangand Naga warriors, dhanpattaand talwar raascompeted for attention in a fantastically illuminated performance. No one managed to get the drift of it, especially because of the haphazard formations the performers had to make.Talented TaraThe discovery of the evening, though, was Tara Venkatesan, the 15-year-old granddaughter of former President R. Venkataraman who re-established her credentials as a brilliant budding soprano.The little-known singer, who has performed with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, sung for Heads of State and is training for Broadway, wowed the crowd with an act that defied categorisation.Tara’s high-pitched notes belonged to opera, but elements of gospel music were very much evident, and the lyrics were interspersed with Sanskrit shlokas. Resplendent in a fuchsia lehenga, Tara finally found her moment in the sun.Very able starsThe stars of the warmup segment of the closing ceremony turned out to be children with learning and physical disabilities from Amar Jyoti. The children in wheelchairs put up a perfectly synchronised bhangraperformance that brimmed over with electric energy.Next in line were 100 performers from the NGO, Akshay Pratishthan, which works for disabled children. The little ones, clad in pink and violet tutus, danced to the tune of an A.R. Rahman hit.advertisementThe new DelhizenIf there’s anything we’re going to miss after the Games are over, apart from the hiss and crackle of tangible energy in the city, it will be the exemplary good behaviour that Delhizens have been on, especially during the opening and closing ceremonies.We were sporting enough to be a part of the countdowns. We had the customary lump in our throats when children with disabilities put up a performance.Not only did we stand up for the National Anthem without being goaded to do so, we even stood up respectfully when the Kenyan anthem was played (twice) during the distribution of medals to the winners of the marathon.last_img read more

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Yes, you can run

first_imgIt’s one of the fastest ways to slim and tone and a natural next step for walkers. Our 6-week walk-to-run programme will have you clocking kilometres in no time!Running is only for the very fit? Hardly! For decades, scientists have been gathering research that proves running does more good than harm. It doesn’t damage knees and actually increases your chances of staying active as you get older. It’s also effective for weight loss, strong bones and mental sharpness-at any age! In fact, a new study shows it provides an extra 70% reduction in risk of c-on top of the improvement you’d get from walking for exercise. Try our easy plan to safely get you up to speed and running 3 miles straight at any fitness level.Keep it pain-freeYou need running shoes. “Also, make sure that your muscles are adequately strong and flexible. Weak and tight muscles lead to injuries,” says sports physiotherapist Dr Anand Gangwal, HOD, Physiotherapy, Sancheti Institute, Pune. “So you need to focus on strength training and stretches while working out,” he adds.* Run 3x/weekRun the given distance, taking walking breaks as needed. If you can run only 15 to 30 seconds at a time to start with, that’s okay. Stop before you’re out of breath, walk until you’ve recovered and then return to running. Gradually you’ll be able to go longer, until, after 6 weeks, you can cover a full 5 km without walking. (You don’t have to be able to run the entire distance to progress each week).* Cross-train 1x/weekIncorporating different types of workouts helps beat boredom and prevents injury by exercising different muscles. Try yoga to stretch and relax your muscles or cycling to give your legs a break from impact.* Walk 1x/weekThis is your easy exercise day, designed to get your blood flowing and loosen up your muscles. Walk at a pace that allows you to chat with a friend.We’re Running Converts!Still sceptical about taking up running? They didn’t think it was for them-until they tried it and were wowed by the incredible results.* “Emotionally, I am calmer now” Dr Vaneeta Kapur, Radiologist, 54, Delhi As a child, I was overweight, so I began walking and swimming at a very early age. About 15 months ago, I took to running in the IIT Delhi campus. It was Anita Bhargava of Running and Living who encouraged me. Initially, I would be out of breath after having covered just 500 metres. Now, I run for 6 kilometres at a stretch five days a week. I conclude my run with stretches. Last year, I completed the Delhi Half Marathon and surprised myself.My advice Make sure you choose soft ground for running and remember, you can take it up at any age. Stretch your limits a little at a time and you will be surprised when you look back to see just how far you have come.* “Running keeps my weight in check”Dr Divya Parashar, mental health expert, 35, Delhi Three years ago I overcame a battle with the bulge; having lost 34 kgs I wanted to test my fitness level by engaging in an active sport. I took to running and have taken to it for life. I’ve run in different places around the world and recently finished my sixth half marathon. Psychologically, long distance running is like life itself in so many ways-it’s all about your attitude, your pain, your fatigue and how you deal with obstacles on your way and about coping with pain. Physically, it has helped me keep my weight in check and allowed me to focus more keenly on what I do.My advice Buy good running shoes and gear, watch your posture and keep yourself hydrated while running. Also, you need to work on strengthening your upper and lower body muscles. Eat a balanced meal. -Interviews by Benita Sen10 fast fixes for every excuseMy knees hurt Fix #1 Shorten your stride No matter how cushioned the heel of your shoe is, your body isn’t designed to land on it when running, experts say. Shorter strides help you land on the middle of your foot, activating your body’s natural shock absorbers.Fix #2 Strengthen your hips and thighs One of the most common causes of knee pain is weakness in the thighs and hips, which absorb impact, says runner Alexis Chiang Colvin, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Go to prevention.com/knees for targeted toning exercises to keep you pain free.I keep getting blistersFix #3 Check your shoe size”Your feet increase as much as a size to a size-and-a-half when you run,” says coach Hal Higdon. “Especially for new runners, fluids can pool in your extremities, making them swell.”Fix #4 Invest in fancy socks Yes, good socks make a difference. Fabrics that ‘wick sweat,’ including synthetics and lightweight wool, limit friction-causing moisture.Fix #5 Reduce rubbing Apply a lubricant such as petroleum jelly to hot spots before putting your socks on.It feels too hardFix #6 Talk to yourself Exercisers who repeated an inspiring phrase (such as I am strong and beautiful!) aloud at least three times before running a mile went faster and felt better than when they did the same run without the mantra, according to research from the University of Nevada.Fix #7 Partner up Not only is exercising with a friend more fun than going solo, but the company also may make your workout feel easier, according to a recent British study. Researchers believe the camaraderie may heighten levels of mood-boosting hormones.I ‘m constantly windedFix #8 Slow down As you become fitter, your body will become more efficient at converting oxygen into energy. Then you’ll be able to go faster without getting breathless.Fix #9 Breathe through your nose and mouth Forget the old wives’ tale that air through your nose is better for you. Quite simply, you need more oxygen to support running or fast walking, and using both your nose and mouth is the most efficient way to get it, says Higdon.Fix #10 Practise belly breathing Allowing your chest and belly to expand as you take a breath relaxes your body so it can get oxygen to your muscles more efficiently during exercise, says Susan Joy, MD, director of Women’s Sports Health at Cleveland Clinic. Practise it while you’re on hold or waiting in line at the grocery store, then try it while you run.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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KKR roped in best available talent: Vijay Dahiya

first_imgWith three home-grown Delhi Daredevils players signing up for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League, it is very clear that regional sentiments no longer hold any place in this day and age.Gautam GambhirAlthough Gautam Gambhir was picked up for a whopping Rs 11.04 crore during the auction in Bangalore, Rajat Bhatia and Pradeep Sangwan’s move to KKR has strongly been linked to the fact that former Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya is the assistant coach of KKR. Speaking to MAIL TODAY, Dahiya made it clear that although all three are vital buys and will play a pivotal role in KKR’s journey in the fourth edition of the cash- rich league, he had no personal role in the Kolkata based franchisee roping them in.”In the modern era and with the advent of IPL, there is nothing called roping in someone from somewhere. It is all about who is good, talented and available. When a team gets good talent and the guy is interested to play for you, you just sign him without taking into account where he hails from.”While Gambhir was picked up in the auction itself – definitely a very important buy, the other two were available and ready to play for KKR. At the end of the day, if the guys are not willing to move even if they know you, that doesn’t help. All I can say is that my presence might have assured them that they have someone who knows them well. That is where the familiarity ends,” he said.advertisementCommenting on Gambhir’s presence in the team, Dahiya said: “We had our eyes on him from the word go. He is definitely the most consistent Indian cricketer at present. He has been performing in all three formats and even his tactical acumen can’t be ignored. His presence in the side will also help the youngsters learn the traits of the game.” As far as signing Delhi’s ‘Man- Friday’ Rajat Bhatia is concerned, Dahiya feels the team needs utility players like him who have had experience in the shortest format of the game.”The T20 format requires players who can contribute in all disciplines. He might not be the most talented player around but he definitely gives his 100 per cent. Over that, we needed utility players like him who revel under pressure. The fact that he has played in the earlier editions and also won a few Man of the Match award was only an icing on the cake,” he said.Dahiya, who was the coach of the Delhi team when Sangwan shot into the limelight taking 33 wickets in the 2007- 08 season, feels the left- arm pacer will learn a lot from sharing the dressing room with someone like Wasim Akram – KKR’s bowling coach.”I have always had high hopes from Sangwan and I feel he will gain a lot from training under Wasimbhai. Sangwan is a very hardworking cricketer and if he can take as much knowledge as possible from Wasimbhai, it will definitely augur well for the future of Indian cricket.”I had seen Jaydev Unadkat gain a lot of knowledge from sessions with Wasim bhai and the result is there for everyone as he has already gone ahead to play a Test match for India – against South Africa,” he said.One Delhi lad who was on the radar but has missed out due to injury concerns is Parwinder Awana.”We wanted him but having had a talk with Delhi physiotherapist Badrinath, I came to know that he will still need another four to five weeks to get fit so we couldn’t sign him. But he was definitely in our scheme of things,” Dahiya revealed.Commenting on the overall composition of the team, Dahiya said: ” Every team had plans before going into the auctions.While some plans were implemented, others weren’t. As of now we are happy with what we have and barring one or two teams, each of the 10 teams will be starting afresh. So we hope to do well and bring some smiles on the face of the KKR fans.”last_img read more

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CAG: Cricketers are given incorrect income deduction benefit

first_imgSachin TendulkarThe woes of Indian cricket and its stars never seem to end. After their ungainly ouster from the World Cup, now it’s Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar who have been bowled a bouncer by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for being given an incorrect benefit of income deduction,Sachin TendulkarThe woes of Indian cricket and its stars never seem to end. After their ungainly ouster from the World Cup, now it’s Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar who have been bowled a bouncer by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for being given an incorrect benefit of income deduction as sportsmen. The tax department feels shortchanged by Rs 4.42 crore.The CAG report, tabled in Parliament on May 14, put the blame squarely on the I-T Department for giving incorrect allowance of deduction of income to both the players for their earnings from endorsements and from cricket commentaries. Tendulkar was allowed an aggregate deduction of Rs 8.89 crore on income from endorsements and publicity activities on the grounds that this was in foreign exchange. Sudha Krishnan, principal director-audit, CAG, says, “They said he is an artist but we say he is a model.”BCCI, the richest sporting body in India, has been passing itself off as a charitable organisation to avoid paying taxes. But according to the I-T Department, Tendulkar may have to cough up about Rs 3.5 crore in tax arrears while Gavaskar may be poorer by Rs 80 lakh. Both the players may appeal to the third umpire-the Central Board for Direct Taxes- but the chances of reprieve are slim.Tendulkar’s first brush with the taxmen came in 2002 when Fiat gifted him a Ferrari-360 Modena through Formula 1 ace Michael Schumacher. The master blaster was given tax exemption for importing the car, which created a furore. Fiat finally payed the dues to end the controversy.advertisementBCCI chief Sharad Pawar has also come down strongly on endorsements by cricketers, saying, “The system needs to be strengthened. I’ve asked players to submit their copies of old contracts.” Clearly, there seem to be taxing times ahead.last_img read more

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PMO recommends CBI, ED probe in CWG contracts

first_imgTaking a serious view of Shunglu committee findings, the Prime Minister’s Office has suggested to Sports Ministry a probe by CBI and Enforcement Directorate based on the panel’s report into alleged irregularities in the contracts executed by CWG Organising Committee.In its letter, the PMO has asked for probe by the agencies specifically in works carried out by Event Knowledge Services (EKS), an international private consultant, and other irregularities pointed out by the Committee.EKS was given three contracts of over Rs 70 crore by the organising committee to extend consultancy services for the venue development and management, games workforce, and games planning and project management services.The PMO has directed “expeditious action” on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s order in the matter and sought the reply of Sports Ministry within a month on the fifth report of the high-level committee appointed by him.The financial loss suffered by the Government due to favouritism for workforce contract aggregated to Rs 18.36 crore, the report said.”Department of Sports may forward, to the CBI/ED, for action as appropriate, relevant extracts of the report pertaining to the matter of EKS, and the clear cases of forgery, falsification, record creation etc., mentioned in case of other highlighted irregularities,” the letter written to the Sports Ministry said.The Prime Minister had on October 25 last year appointed the high-level committee under the chairmanship of former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu to investigate and report all irregularities in executing various projects by several government agencies during the Games held here between October 3-14 last year.advertisementThe committee, in its report submitted to the PMO on March 28, found several discrepancies in the projects executed by the company and “collusion” among sacked OC Chief Suresh Kalmadi, Chief Executive Officer of CWG Federation Mike Hooper and other senior functionaries of the Games body.”The contract was awarded on a single source basis on the recommendation/statement of Mike Hooper, CEO of CGF that EKS was much better informed regarding Delhi venues status than any other International Consultant. This was both a biased and misleading statement,” the report said.”CEO, CGF made every effort to ensure award of these contracts to EKS. The CEO not only personally testified the credentials of this firm but also justified the reasonableness of rates and maydays utilisation and also attended the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) meetings,” it said.The panel found indication of “personal interest” by Kalmadi, currently lodged in Tihar Jail, in giving the contract to EKS.”The fabrication of the minutes of two meetings (to decide on contracts) purportedly held on January 30, 2008 and March 10, 2008 was strongly suggestive of collusion between OC top management, CGF functionary and EKS for accomplishing its pre-meditated objective,” the report said.Interestingly, the Games Planning and Project Management Contract permitted EKS to assign the same to a sister concern.EKS incorporated a new company in November, 2008 in Mauritius by the name Event Knowledge Services Pvt Ltd.The entire contract was assigned to the new company in June 2009, thus, making a mockery of Quality Based Selection System (QBS), it said.”This is a fit case for reference to the CBI and the ED.They would have to investigate the ownership of EKS Private Limited, Mauritius and trace the flow of funds from the OC to EKS private limited and onwards to other recipients.”The aspects of fraud involved in this case would also need to be investigated and suitable criminal action taken against the guilty,” the findings read.The committee’s fifth report has scrutinised all projects like sponsorship, ticketing, overlays, ceremonies, technology contracts and catering among others executed by the Games OC.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

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BCCI pays Rs 7 crore to five stars for injuries

first_imgThe Indian cricket Board has made some touching gestures recently, like the one-time benefit purse to select retired Test and first-class players, including their widows, who were moved to tears on hearing the news.Now, in another praiseworthy gesture, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to compensate five players who had to forego part of their 2011 Indian Premier League (IPL) and Champions League T20 fees due to injuries sustained while representing India.The BCCI has decided to pay around Rs 7 crore as compensation to Sachin Tendulkar, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Rohit Sharma and Zaheer Khan for having missed matches in either IPL or Champions League T20 last year.The Board decided to pay compensation as it failed to insure the contracted players due to time constraint, despite promising them at a meeting in Mumbai before the February-April World Cup.The BCCI has, however, insured the 37 contracted players this year and is paying a premium of about Rs 4 crore.The then BCCI president and secretary, Shashank Manohar and N Srinivasan, respectively, had assured a group of senior players at the meeting that all the contracted players would be insured.”A few senior players – Sachin, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, and Ashish Nehra etc. – had met Manohar and Srinivasan before the World Cup to discuss a few issues like that of the physios and players’ insurance,” a top BCCI official aware of the developments told Mail Today.”At the meeting, the players were assured that if any of the contracted players got injured while playing for India, he would get compensation for the money he would thus lose for missing matches for his IPL franchise either in the 2011 IPL or the Champions League T20,” he said.advertisementThe BCCI, however, could not get the insurance done because, as the official said, the two contracts – one between players and the Board and another between players and their franchises – were signed very late, leaving no time for the Board to complete the insurance formalities. “It so happened that Nehra got injured during the World Cup semifinals against Pakistan in Mohali and the other four players either got injured or aggravated their injuries on the tour of England, following the trip to the West Indies immediately after the World Cup,” said the official.Tendulkar missed the entire CLT20 due to a toe injury that he aggravated during the forgettable tour of England and missed the five-match ODI series after playing in the Test series.Middle order batsman Rohit was struck on the finger by a Stuart Broad delivery during the first ODI in Chester-le-Street on September 3.Munaf suffered an ankle injury when he fell on the ground while chasing the ball during the fifth ODI in Cardiff on September 16.Pace spearhead Zaheer was the biggest disappointment as he suffered a strained right hamstring on the very first day of first Test at Lord’s, London, on July 21.Left-arm pacer Nehra fractured his finger while attempting to take a catch of Shahid Afridi during the World Cup semi-finals against Pakistan and missed the entire 2011 IPL season for Pune Warriors India. He hasn’t played for India since.”Since the top BCCI official had given their word to the players, now Srinivasan, with due approval of the working committee, has decided to pay the compensation to the five players,” the official informed.”And, the Board has insured all the contracted players this year and is paying Rs 4 crore as premium.”last_img read more

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