McCullum, Stokes have taken the fear of failure away from England: Hussain
Former England captain Nasser Hussain on Wednesday hailed the captain-coach combination of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum in the side winning the second Test at Trent Bridge by five wickets, saying that McCullum and Stokes have taken the fear of failure away from the team in their new era in the longest format of the game.
Chasing a target of 299 from 72 overs to win the second Test on its final day against New Zealand, England romped to the total in 50 overs, thanks to a sensational onslaught from Jonny Bairstow striking 136 off 92 balls, laced with 14 fours and seven sixes. He also shared a 179-run stand with Stokes (75 not out) in just 20.1 overs, to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
“McCullum and Stokes have taken the fear of failure away from this England team. There has been so much doom and gloom around them. The players lost, admittedly largely because of Covid, that love and enjoyment of playing for England. As Jonny Bairstow rightly pointed out on Tuesday night, the previous management were dealt a very difficult hand but that spark, energy and fun are back,” wrote Hussain in his Daily Mail column.
Hussain further mentioned that McCullum and Stokes were justifying their talk of making fans enjoy Test cricket again after England lost 4-0 in the Ashes in Australia and 1-0 to West Indies. “You can talk the talk, as Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have done since coming together, but it is quite another thing to walk the walk. How England walked it here. They have talked about promoting Test cricket and making people enjoy it.
“Well, if you have not enjoyed the five days of this second Test then cricket really is not for you. To chase down New Zealand’s first innings 553 with a constant positive, attacking mindset was truly phenomenal and once England got close to parity then the third innings of the Test became so difficult for New Zealand. England just took it away from them.”
Showering praise on Stokes, Hussain pointed out how the all-rounder’s impact on England has been a driving force in their reset run in Test cricket starting on a bright note. “Stokes was certainly here at Trent Bridge on Tuesday and you can see the impact of his mentality. He is a very smart cricketer, not just a hit it out of the ground one. Every time he is there in a big moment – such as Headingley 2019, the World Cup final and now here – he is present at the end.
“He completes the job time and again. Remember, Stokes put New Zealand in before they made that mammoth total. I have been there as England captain and you think, ‘What is happening here?’. But for Ben it seemed to be, ‘Fine, they’ve scored 553, let’s go and do the same and do it quickly’.”
Hussain signed off by saying McCullum’s appointment as Test coach is proving to be a master-stroke. “I said at the time Rob Key was the right choice as England managing director and that Stokes was the right choice as captain. Key then went left-field to appoint McCullum when nobody thought of him as a potential Test coach and that is already proving to be a success.”
‘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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