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Satisfied with the talent we have for Women’s World Cup campaign: Mithali Raj

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India women’s cricket team skipper Mithali Raj is satisfied with the talent she has at her disposal going into the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup here from March 4, adding that most of them “have the ability to play at this level”.

This will be Mithali’s record sixth appearance in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and the veteran cricketer hoped that the tough five-match ODI series against the hosts would have prepared her side for the showpiece tournament.

While India lost the series 1-4, they stood up to the challenge in most games, and only some individual brilliance from the White Ferns players helped the hosts take the series.

“The talent that we’ve got in the last year, we’ve tried some young talent in the squad, and most of them have shown that they have the ability to play at this level like Richa (Ghosh), Shafali (Verma), we have Meghna Singh in the seamers, Pooja Vastrakar. They all have been given good game time and those series have really helped them and me as a captain to find out where they fit in into the composition of the team,” said Mithali at a captains’ interaction organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday.

Mithali said she was satisfied with her form and would like to keep scoring during the course of the tournament. India play their opening game against arch-rivals Pakistan on March 6.

“As far as me personally, I am happy with the way that I’ve been scoring runs, and I would love to continue the form into the World Cup.”

With her vast experience at World Cups, the India captain has also been passing on her knowledge to those set to make their debut.

“The young talent in the side today, I tell them that you don’t have the experience of the past World Cups, so it’s a clean slate for you, all you have to do is enjoy the big stage,” she said.

“I did have a word with Yastika (Bhatia) the other day, I took her out for a coffee and we’ve spoken quite a bit, she’s a chatty kid and asked me a lot of questions.

“The only advice I would tell the young players is enjoy the big stage because if you pile up the pressure you may not be playing the best that the team and you would want to do in the World Cup.”

Mithali’s rival captain in the opening World Cup game, Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof, said she has her eyes on a top-four spot; perhaps something bigger. With Pakistan taking on India in their opening game, Maroof knows the impact the match will have.

“I think this World Cup is very important to us and we really want to make it count. I hope this World Cup will provide further boost for the women’s game. I hope we will have some great matches. India-Pakistan is the most followed match around the world, and we definitely want the girls to be inspired and I hope this match is an interesting one. The girls who are looking up to us will be inspired,” Maroof said.

“Coming into this World Cup, we have set a goal — to reach the semifinals. If you’re not aiming for that then there is no point of playing. The girls are in good shape and they know what the expectations for them are and hopefully we can do well as a team.”

Maroof is making her World Cup return after having her daughter.

“I think we have a bright future, the mindset has changed in Pakistan and the girls want to play cricket, they want to play professional cricket. That mindset has changed, and I hope we can inspire a lot of girls in Pakistan after this World Cup by putting on a good show.”

International

₹136 Crore Per Year To Luxury Suite At Training Ground: All About Kylian Mbappe’s Bumper Deal At Real Madrid

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In a move that has captivated football enthusiasts worldwide, Kylian Mbappe has officially transferred from Paris Saint-Germain to Real Madrid as of Tuesday.

This long-anticipated switch concludes months of speculation and excitement among fans.

Real Madrid’s Exciting Acquisition

Real Madrid announced on Monday that they had secured a deal with the French superstar for the next five seasons, merging one of football’s brightest talents with its most illustrious club.

This deal follows years of interest from Madrid, eager to bring in the player seen as the heir to Lionel Messi’s throne in the sport.

Financial Details of Mbappe’s Move

The 25-year-old Parisian will reportedly earn 15 million Euros net per season at Real Madrid, translating to over ₹136 crores annually. This figure breaks down to an impressive ₹2.6 crore per week.

While this is a significant reduction from the €75 million net per year he received at PSG, the shortfall will be offset by a massive signing bonus. The bonus, around €150 million, will be disbursed over the course of his contract.

Perks and Anticipated Debuts

Aside from his substantial salary, Mbappe will enjoy a private luxury suite at Real Madrid’s training facility and will sport the iconic No.9 jersey, previously worn by legendary striker Karim Benzema.

His anticipated debut for Real Madrid will occur during the preseason, with their first friendly against AC Milan at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 31.

His competitive debut is expected in the UEFA Super Cup, where Real Madrid will take on Europa League winners Atalanta in Warsaw, Poland, on August 14.

Mbappe’s Stellar PSG Legacy

Mbappe joined PSG from Monaco in 2017 for €180 million and has since become the club’s all-time leading scorer.

Throughout his seven-year tenure in Paris, he consistently demonstrated his scoring prowess, netting at least 30 goals in six of those seasons. His move to Real Madrid marks the next chapter in an already illustrious career, as he aims to further his legacy at one of the world’s most storied football clubs.

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ENG vs ESP, Euro 2024 Final: Spain Become The 1st Four-Time Champions Of Europe After Beating England 2-1 In Berlin

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Match Result:

Spain triumphed over England with a 2-1 victory in the Euro 2024 final, held in Berlin, becoming the first team to win the championship four times.

The match saw a tense first half ending goalless, but Spain took the lead shortly after the break. Williams Jr. netted the opener in the 47th minute, capitalizing on a defensive lapse by England.

England fought back, with Palmer leveling the score in the 73rd minute, igniting hopes for the Three Lions. However, Spain maintained their pressure, and in the 86th minute, Oyarzabal clinched the winner with a decisive strike.

This historic win cements Spain’s status as Europe’s most successful team, while England’s wait for a major international trophy continues. The final was a showcase of high-quality football and strategic mastery, ultimately seeing Spain emerge as deserved champions.

This historic win cements Spain’s status as Europe’s most successful team, while England’s wait for a major international trophy continues. The final was a showcase of high-quality football and strategic mastery, ultimately seeing Spain emerge as deserved champions.

Preview of Euro 2024 Cup final:

A strong Spanish outfit will meet a pesky England side in the final of Euro 2024 final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Spain battled France and defeated them by 2-1 in the semi-final, while England overcame the Netherlands by the same margin.

However, it wasn’t without a contentious penalty call that went in England’s favour. Despite not starting the contest as favourites, England’s ability to hang in there could work against Spain, who are seeking a 4th Euro title. By contrast, England are yet to lift the trophy.

A crucial stat which is in favour of England is the head to head battle, which the former lead by 13-10 against Spain in 27 outings.

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International

Violent Clash Erupts Between Rival Supporters During Argentina vs Brazil 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers has been marred in controversy as the match between Brazil and Argentina saw violent clashes between rival supporters before the start of it. The high-profile fixture had to be delayed by 30 minutes as the Marcana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro witnessed ugly scenes, with disturbing visuals emerging on social media.

With the Brazilian and Argentinian players lining up for national anthems, the camera turned towards the stands as a section of rival fans exchanged blows. The local police officials could be seen beating up a section of Argentinian fans with batons and it did not go well with the tourists. By pointing at the violent scenes, Messi and co. decided to walk off the pitch.

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