India football captain Sunil Chhetri hopes that the team will make the most out of the friendlies against Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
India return to international football after a gap of more than a year when they face UAE on March 25 in Dubai. They then play Oman on March 29. UAE and Oman are placed 74th and 81st respectively on the FIFA rankings, higher than India’s 104th.
“To lose out on international football for an entire year was such a big disappointment. But these are unprecedented times and they aren’t in our control. So, we have little to complain about. That said — I am both excited and grateful about the two friendlies which the Blue Tigers will play this month — and against some quality opposition which only betters the anticipation. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be a part of it,” Chhetri told AIFF.com.
Chhetri is not part of the 27-man squad currently in the national camp in Dubai training for the matches as he tested positive for Covid-19.
He said that it is good that India are playing higher-ranked opposition. “I’ve always been saying that we need to better ourselves in Asia and that can happen only when we come up against top opponents.Oman and UAE most certainly fit that bill,” said Chhetri.
“When I first heard of the possible opponents, I was extremely excited even though it was just a possibility. I hope we, as a team, make the most of this chance, give a good account of ourselves and most importantly, learn from the experience,” he further said.
Eighth season of Pro Kabaddi League to begin from December 22 in Bengaluru
The organisers of the Pro Kabaddi League announced on Wednesday that the eighth edition of the league will be held here from December 22. It also said that the entire season will be conducted without the presence of spectators for the matches.
Mashal Sports, the organisers of the league, have scheduled triple headers on the first four days. The season will kick-start with U Mumba facing Bengaluru Bulls. The second match will be the league’s ‘Southern Derby’ as Telugu Titans lock horns with Tamil Thalaivas while UP Yoddha will be squaring off against the defending champions Bengal Warriors in the last match of the opening day.
The triple-headers will be only-Saturday affairs throughout the whole duration of the league, starting at 7:30pm, 8:30pm and 9:30pm respectively. The schedule of the first half of season 8 has come while the organisers say that the second half of the league’s schedule will come in mid-January next year.
Keeping the health and safety of players in mind amid COVID times, the organisers have converted the entire venue at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre into an integrated and secure bio-bubble.
All 12 teams will be staying and playing at the same venue in order to follow and adhering to the safety protocols set by the authorities.
Laxman finally agrees to head NCA: Sources
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has managed to convince former cricketer VVS Laxman to head the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, sources said.
After Rahul Dravid took over the post of Indian team’s head coach, there were reports that Laxman might be appointed as a new head of NCA.
However, later it was said that the former batter “is uninterested”. But now he is ready to take the charge after the BCCI officials held a meeting with him in Dubai.
“There were some issues and it has been sorted out. The board wanted him to take the reponsibility and he is the right man to come in place of Dravid,” sources said.
It is also learnt that Laxman has also agreed to leave the lucrative commentary career for the NCA.
“Laxman is currently mentor of IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad, apart from being a commentator and cricket analyst. And he will leave it all for NCA now.”
Everyone had written us off; we are here to rectify that: Finch
Australian captain Aaron Finch has conceded that not winning the ICC T20 World Cup title so far has been a sore point with the Kangaroos and the final against New Zealand later on Sunday is the “best opportunity to rectify that”.
The closest Australia came to winning the T20 World Cup was during the 2010 edition held in the West Indies, where they lost to England by seven wickets.
“It’s one that’s eluded us in the past, and the fact that we are here in the final gives us the best opportunity to rectify that. Yeah, I think it will be a great game against New Zealand. They are a great side and they have been in all the finals over the last six years. Looking forward to it,” said Finch ahead of the title clash.
Finch added that despite critics writing his team off, the way the players had gone about their business was heartening.
“Everyone had written us off but we had a lot of confidence within. We’re really confident the way that we were preparing, the way that our strategy was coming together. Yeah, I think it hasn’t defied expectation. I think we came here with a really clear plan to win the tournament, and we still feel as though we’ve got the squad to do that.
“Well, I think the spirit among the team… and that’s been really impressive the way we’ve gone about our business. Everyone has prepared really well. Everyone has had a really defining match or match-defining performance at some point. The guys are really up and about for the final,” said Finch.
Finch added that batting stalwart Steve Smith’s form wasn’t a concern despite the fact that the former skipper has been unimpressive so far in the tournament, and the team management has drawn flak for persisting with him.
“No, not concerned one bit about his (Smith) form. He’s a world-class player and he’s someone in big games has showed how valuable he is. He’s been hitting the ball as well as I’ve seen for a long time, so no, no concerns there whatsoever.”
Centre clarifies on 3rd wave possibility after Omicron detection
Punjabi singer Moosewala joins Congress
IND v NZ, 2nd Test: India reach 111/3 at tea on Day 1
ATP backs WTA, asks China to come clean on tennis player Peng Shuai’s wellbeing
Trouble looms for Balakrishnan as Mumbai HC to hear son’s DNA case
Omicron concerns: Mumbai, Pune, Nashik postpone schools’ reopening
Sameer Wankhede deboarded from cruise ship case probe
Big Tech now a quarter of S&P 500 combined market cap
Surgery on Thackeray successful, to go home in a day or two
Bollywood’s day out at Padma Awards: Kangana, Adnan Sami, Ekta Kapoor honoured
Business1 year ago
STPI-registered IT cos log Rs 4.21 lakh cr of exports in FY20
Maharashtra2 years ago
CM Uddhav Thackeray to decide on suspending Mumbai local trains
Business2 years ago
Bank of India Q2 profit Rs 266 crore as bad loan provisions fall
Maharashtra1 year ago
Allow Bakri-Eid with restrictions: Maharashtra Congress to CM
Business1 year ago
Amazon starts selling car, bike insurance in India
Business1 year ago
Target to make India a manufacturing hub of construction equipment: Nitin Gadkari
Business1 year ago
PSB loan disbursal picks up pace, rise to Rs 12K cr under ECLGS
General2 years ago
Not satisfied, Sunni Waqf board lawyer Zafaryab Jilani on Ayodhya verdict