CSK win not an offshoot of captaincy change; Jadeja was perhaps over-thinking: Dhoni
Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who found himself back in the hot seat after Ravindra Jadeja relinquished the post, attributed the good start and sublime performances from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway with the bat on Sunday night against SRH to just “one of those coincidence”, adding that change in captaincy doesn’t alter the dynamics of the dressing room.
Following a string of poor performances in IPL 2022, Jadeja who was entrusted the task of leading the side, stepped down for Dhoni to be back at the helm marshalling his Boys in Yellow. CSK gave one of its most assertive performances with the bat and ball as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 13 runs at the MCA Stadium, with Gaikwad smashing 99 and New Zealand’s Conway hitting an unbeaten 85 to lay the platform for a 200-plus score.
Dhnoi said the team didn’t do anything different on the day, adding that the start given by the openers did the trick.
“I think it was a good score to start. Nothing different. When you’re in the same dressing room, you keep saying the same thing. It’s not like when you change the captain a lot of things change. It’s one of those coincidences where we got off to a good start and forced the bowlers to bowl the areas where we wanted to hit. The kind of target we got was a very good one.
“After that you needed very good bowling because a bit of dew makes it slightly difficult. The phase that really worked for us was where the spinners were bowling after six overs. It started holding a bit. I knew it wouldn’t be there for a very long period so it was important to get the spinners off and build the required run rate. We were able to do that and later on we had surplus runs that we could defend. With the dew, if the opposition get off to a good start, they chase 200,” averred Dhoni.
Dhoni confirmed that Jadeja knew last season itself that he would be leading the side in IPL 2022 and got enough time to prepare. The veteran cricketer added that for the first couple of games, he was guiding Jadeja but later one the all-rounder was taking decisions.
“Right from the very start, between me and Jadeja, he knew last season itself that he will be given a chance to captain this year. He knew and got enough time to prepare, what is important is you want him to lead the side and I wanted that transition to happen. In the first two games there was information going in towards Jaddu (Jadeja). But after that I left it to him to decide which angle… because at the end of the five games or the end of the season, you don’t want him to feel as if the captaincy was done by someone else and I’m just going for a toss. So it was a gradual transition where I said okay this is what I’ll do, I’ll take care of the fielding angles and everything for the first two games. After that if it comes to me, no, you have to decide on your own because that’s the only way you’ll learn what captaincy is.
“Spoon-feeding doesn’t really help captain, on the field you have to take those crucial decisions and you have to take responsibility for those decisions,” opined Dhoni.
Dhoni added that the task entrusted to Jadeja had started taking a tool on him, where he was probably over-thinking about preparations and trying to contribute more.
“Once you become the captain, we have to take care of a lot many things and that also includes your own game. With him, his mind was working a lot. It’s not easy to control your mind, it’s the strongest feature. Once your mind starts working, it wants to contribute more. Ok what’s the combination I can play with, who can bowl at what point of time, it doesn’t really stop. What happens is, the individual is not able to relax. Even when he closes his eyes and wants to sleep, the mind is still working.
“What I felt was it was having an effect on his game, when he was going in to bat or his preparation. Because I would love to have Jadeja as a bowler, batter and a fielder. Even if you relieve captainship and if you are at your best and that’s what we want,” added Dhoni.
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.
Al Hilal swoop in with bumper €400 million per year salary deal amid reports of Lionel Messi leaving PSG
Paris Saint Germain forward Lionel Messi is reportedly planning to cut short his time at FC Barcelona and eventually join Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. This comes after Messi was suspended for two weeks for travelling to the Kingdom without PSG’s Qatari owners’ permission.
End of Project Messi
Messi had hoped to stay at PSG beyond the end of the current season. However, with recent events, the situation has changed drastically. Given his incredible record with FC Barcelona and PSG, Messi’s potential move to Al-Hilal would undoubtedly shake the football world.
While Messi’s priority remains to play in Europe, transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano reported that Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal has offered the Argentine superstar a bumper contract with a record-breaking salary worth €400 million per year. The potential deal will lead to Messi surpassing his eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns €223 million per year at Al Nassr.
Hindrance to Messi’s Barcelona return
There is strong speculation that Messi may return to his former club, FC Barcelona. However, the club is facing difficulties in shedding the €200 million ($220 million) required from their wage bill to make the deal viable. Despite this challenge, Barcelona is trying to convince La Liga that they have a workable plan to make the numbers work for a potential deal with Messi.
Consequences of Messi’s Suspension
Messi’s suspension was imposed because he went to fulfill his duties as a tourism ambassador. The Argentine will also be docked two weeks’ pay, which Forbes’ recently-published list of the World’s 10 Highest-Paid Athletes 2023 estimated to be around $2.5 million. As a result, Messi will miss games against Troyes and Ajaccio.
In addition, PSG has reportedly cancelled a contract renewal offer to Messi, whose current agreement at the Parc des Princes expires on June 30. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will be free to negotiate with other clubs starting in January 2023.
Saudi Arabia to host FIFA Club World Cup 2023
Saudi Arabia has been named the host of the FIFA Club World Cup 2023, scheduled to take place from December 12-22.
“In relation to the FIFA Club World Cup 2023�, which is due to be played under the current format with seven clubs, the FIFA Council unanimously appointed the Saudi Arabian Football Federation as tournament hosts from 12 to 22 December 2023,” the FIFA said in a statement on Tuesday night.
The unanimous decision was made at a FIFA Council meeting and came only a few days after Real Madrid lifted the trophy in Morocco, following a thrilling 5-3 win over Al-Hilal, the first Saudi club to reach the final of the tournament.
Saudi Arabia will be only the sixth host of the competition since its inception in 2000.
The Gulf nation, earlier this month, was awarded the hosting rights of the men’s Asian Cup 2027 and is also bidding to host the Women’s Asian Cup for the first time in 2026.
The FIFA Council also confirmed a change in the format of the tournament from June 2025 — to expand the FIFA Club World Cup from 24 to 32 teams — with 12 teams from Europe involved along six from CONMEBOL, while CONCACAF, CAF and the AFC will each have four, with one place for the OFC and another for the hosts.
In addition, the Council also confirmed that the hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2026, namely Canada, Mexico and the USA, will qualify automatically as the joint hosts of the tournament, with their slots, therefore, being deducted from the overall allocation of six assigned to Concacaf.
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