Jos Buttler hails depth in England squad, backs Eoin Morgan as ODI captain after Dutch series sweep
England stand-in skipper Jos Buttler has hailed the ‘great depth’ in the squad after leading England to an ODI series sweep against the Netherlands but backed regular ODI captain Eoin Morgan to return to take charge despite his lean run with the bat.
England rode on an unbeaten hundred by Jason Roy and an unfinished 86 by Buttler to beat the Netherlands by eight wickets as Morgan, who scored two ducks in the previous two matches, sat out the match with a groin injury.
The win took England to the top of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League Standings with 125 points. Before the start of the series, England were third on the table with 95 points, but their flawless victory means they have leapfrogged Afghanistan and Bangladesh to the summit.
Chasing 245 for the win, the England openers once again got their side off to a fiery start. Roy set the tone with consecutive boundaries off van Beek in the second over. It got worse for the Dutch bowler as Phil Salt got in on the act and plundered him for four boundaries in a single over.
“Great victory, picked up wickets at crucial times. In good form, keep going when you’re in good form. There’s a lot of cricket coming up in a short space of time, more guys standing up on this trip,” said Buttler after winning the series.
“(David) Payne threatening on debut, Brydon’s exciting, a deep pool of players. And we’re incredibly fortunate to have the Barmy Army, Amsterdam away is a pretty good trip,” he added.
Though Morgan has been in poor form, scoring 103 runs in five ODI innings with a highest of 75 not out while in 43 T20 matches, he scored 643 runs with a top score of 47 not out.
However, Buttler defended Morgan and said the batter will soon return to form as his ability with the bat “doesn’t just go away overnight”.
“There’s certainly no questioning of his position from within the camp,” Buttler was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo in a report on Wednesday. “I can’t put into words what he’s achieved. Everyone always talks about his captaincy but you forget what a brilliant batsman he’s been for England in over 200 ODIs, that doesn’t just go away overnight. Everyone in the team is backing him.”
Ben Stokes, England’s Test captain, had earlier defended Morgan’s position while speaking at Headingley ahead of his side’s third Test against New Zealand. “Well, he’s only had two low scores, so I wouldn’t say he’s going through a hard time at the moment,” Stokes was quoted as saying in the report.
‘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.
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.
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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