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Conversation with Wriddhiman Saha came from respect for him: Dravid



India head coach Rahul Dravid explained that his conversation with Wriddhiman Saha came out of respect for the contributions and achievements of the wicketkeeper-batter to Indian cricket. He also added that Saha deserved ‘honesty and clarity’ and was not hurt by the contents of the conversation coming into public domain.

On Saturday, Saha along with Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma were excluded from the squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka in March. In the virtual press conference, Sharma had said that the team was looking at the younger options for the Test side.

In some interviews after being left out, Saha had said that Dravid had indicated to him to think about any other decision, with the team management inclined towards a younger back-up keeper to first-choice Rishabh Pant.

Dravid began on a light note in the virtual press conference after India won 3-0 against the West Indies in T20Is.

“Thank you for congratulating us on winning the T20 series. I’m not hurt at all. I have a deep respect for Wriddhiman Saha and his achievements and contributions to Indian cricket. My conversation with him actually came from that place, from my respect for him. He deserved honesty and clarity. I didn’t want him to hear about it from the media.”

Dravid further explained about the importance of having tough conversations with players in the side. “These are conversations I constantly have with players. I’m not hurt about it at all because I don’t expect players to always like all the messages or agree with everything I have to say about them. That’s not how it works.

“When you have difficult conversations with people, sometimes you have to have them with players, you don’t always expect them to agree with you or like you. But that doesn’t mean you brush it under the carpet and don’t have the conversations. I truly believe in having those conversations.”

Dravid then elucidated on how he and skipper Rohit Sharma speak to the players in the eleven and to those players who don’t make it to the eleven. “Before every playing XI is picked, even now, either me or Rohit (Sharma) will speak to the guys not playing and are open to answer questions on why they are not playing and what are the reasons a particular XI might play.

“It’s natural for players at times to get upset and to feel hurt. But I just feel that because of the respect I have for them, my team deserved just clarity and honesty, and that’s all I was trying to convey.”

Saha last played a Test match against New Zealand at Kanpur last year when Pant was rested from the series. Saha battled a neck spasm to make a fighting 61 in the second innings. But in the same Test, substitute keeper KS Bharat won praise for his superlative keeping skills.

Though Saha retained his place for the Tests against South Africa, Bharat was drafted in the Test squad against Sri Lanka. After the Tests against Sri Lanka, India have the postponed fifth Test of 2021 against England at Edgbaston followed by two Tests against Bangladesh later in the year.

“We have only three Tests this year and with Rishabh Pant having established himself as our number one choice wicketkeeper, we were looking to groom a younger wicketkeeper. That was it. This doesn’t change my feelings or respect for Wriddhi (Saha) or his contribution.

“Like I said, the easiest thing for me is to not have these conversations or not speak to players about it, but that’s not who I am or what I am going to do. I don’t expect them to like it, but at some stage I hope they will respect the fact that I was at least able to front up and have these conversations with them.”


‘I’m happy here’: Cristiano Ronaldo pledges to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Pro League




Portugese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia despite walking away empty handed in this season. The 38-year-old has earmarked the tournament to be among the top five in the world.

Ronaldo, who signed a two and a half year contract with Al Nassr, scored 14 goals in 16 games in the season, with his side standing second behind Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro league. However, there were speculations about how long will he stay as reports of swap deal with Saudi-owned Newcastle United emerged, who have now qualified for next season’s Champions league.

In an official Saudi Pro League interview, the star footballer revealed:

“I’m happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world. I expected to win something this year, but we didn’t, but next year I’m really positive, but next year I’m really positive and confident that things will change and we go in a better way.”

Cristiano Ronaldo suggests he is still adjusting to strange training timings in Saudi Arabia:

Ronaldo also revealed how contrasting the training timings in Europe and Saudi Arabia are, elaborating:

“In Europe, we train more in the morning, but here we train in the afternoon or evening and in Ramadan, we train at 10 at night. So this is strange but as I tell you, these situations are part of an experience, memories. I like to live these moments because you learn with these things.”

With 837 goals in 512 games, Ronaldo is the combined highest goal scorer in history.

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Lionel Messi to leave PSG at the end of the season, confirms club manager Christophe Galtier




Paris Saint Germain superstar Lionel Messi will leave the club at the end of the current season, manager Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday. Messi made 74 appearances for PSG in which he scored 32 goals and made 35 assists. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain has played 37 matches out of which they have won 27, lost six and drew four.

PSG had acquired Messi’s services two years ago in a record transfer deal after he left FC Barcelona in 2021.

Messi, who’s contract with PSG ends this season, is now being linked with with a move to Saudi Arabia while talk of a return to the Nou Camp has picked up in Spain in recent weeks.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will play his final match for PSG against Clermont Foot on Saturday.

“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football,” Galtier said on Thursday. “This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”

Messi’s envious record

In the Spanish La Liga football competition, Lionel Messi has scored 474 goals in 520 matches. In the French Ligue 1, Messi has scored 22 goals in 57 matches.

The 35-year-old while playing for Football Club Barcelona has scored 672 goals in 778 games. While playing for Paris Saint-Germain he has scored 32 goals in 74 matches.

No plan to bring Messi back: Barca president

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently said that the club has re-established good relationships with Argentine legend Lionel Messi, but it would not pay any price to bring him back to the Camp Nou Stadium.

“I have spoken with Leo to somehow redirect the situation that occurred when I had to put the institution ahead of everything, including him, the best player in the world,” said Laporta in a Monday morning TV show.

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Mark Zuckerberg strikes gold against jiu jitsu fighters, posts pictures on Instagram




In the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared helpless in front of the US Congress where he has been slapped by fines, and fired 11,000 vulnerable employees after being hit by falling revenues. But outside the business arena where Meta is facing tough competition from TikTok and other rivals, Zuckerberg is a huge mixed martial arts fan.

Contrary to setbacks in the tech sector, the Facebook founder has tasted victory in jiu jitsu.

Striking gold, but in a different arena

  • The billionaire who has trained with UFC fighters, posted pictures after winning jiu jitsu matches for the first time.
  • The billionaire who tried his hand at martial arts, revealed that he won a gold medal in the Gi categroy and a silver medal in the No-GI category.
  • His post on Instagram received comments from UFC featherweight and bantamweight category champions, as well as jiu jitsu hall of fame member Bernardo Faria.

Competitive or short tempered?

  • The entrepreneur turned sportsperson, who also enjoys surfing, was seen getting into a heated argument after losing a contest during the tournament in California as well.
  • On the work front, Zuckerberg’s firm Meta also surprised the markets by bouncing back with strong earnings, after struggling with loss of ad revenue.
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