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Huge embarrassment as no Indian in ICC’s Most Valuable Team of Women’s World Cup



No Indian cricketer figures in the 12-member “Most Valuable Team” (MVT) of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, revealed by the International Cricket Council on Monday.

The MVT, which is captained by Australian skipper Meg Lanning, has three other Southern Stars in the ranks, besides three English players, three South Africans, a West Indies player and a Bangladeshi cricketer.

However, the likes of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Jhulan Goswami are missing from the list because of their patchy performance in the tournament. 2017 World Cup runners-up India bowed out of the tournament in the league phase, winning just three games out of seven in the eight-team tournament.

Lanning has been named captain of the MVT as she guided Australia to its seventh Women’s World Cup title, defeating England by 71 runs at Hagley Oval on Sunday, and also scoring 394 runs in the tournament.

Besides Lanning, ‘Player of the Tournament’, wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy, too is in the MVT. The 32-year-old Healy made two centuries in the knockout stages, including 170 in the final.

The team was chosen by a panel comprising ICC’s Chris Tetley, Lisa Sthalekar and Nasser Hussain, among others.

Lanning’s vice-captain Rachael Haynes was selected after ending as the second-highest run-getter on 497, with 130 of those coming in their opening league game against England. Haynes is carded to bat at four with her usual opening partner Healy joined by South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt at the top.

The 22-year-old Wolvaardt cracked five half-centuries as the Proteas reached the semifinals, and is one of three South Africans selected. All-rounder Nat Sciver has been named at five after finishing as England’s leading run-scorer with 436, including 148 not out in the final, and contributing four wickets.

Australian batter Beth Mooney is chosen at six after ending with an average of 110.00, as she smashed 330 runs in the middle order and took two breath-taking catches.

Hayley Matthews is the only West Indies player named in the side after an all-round excellent World Cup. She top-scored for the West Indies with 260 runs and also led their wicket-taking column with 10.

Another starring all-rounder, South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp delivered two player-of-the-match performances in a row on her way to 12 wickets and 203 runs. England’s Sophie Ecclestone was the best bowler with 21 wickets, while her six for 36 in the semifinal against South Africa was the best bowling performance of the World Cup.

South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail is the fastest bowler in the team at No.10 and she ended the tournament with the second-most wickets, with 14. Bangladesh’s Salma Khatun rounds out the XI. The off-spinner earned the honour with 10 wickets as Bangladesh made their debut in the 50-over event.

England’s Charlie Dean has been selected as the 12th player after bursting onto the scene in her debut World Cup, taking 11 wickets and contributing to a 65-run partnership with Sciver in the final.

Most Valuable Team: Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa); Alyssa Healy (wk) (Australia); Meg Lanning (capt) (Australia); Rachael Haynes (Australia); Nat Sciver (England); Beth Mooney (Australia); Hayley Matthews (West Indies); Marizanne Kapp (South Africa); Sophie Ecclestone (England); Shabnim Ismail (South Africa); Salma Khatun (Bangladesh); Charlie Dean (England).


‘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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