Yuvraj Singh feels India didn’t plan well for 2019 World Cup
Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh feels that the team was unable to plan well for the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup in England.
Citing the swap between Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant for the number four position, Yuvraj pointed out that India could have done better in the tournament if they had an experienced batter at that spot in the batting order.
In the run-up to the mega event, India’s lack of stability in the middle order, especially at number four slot, was highlighted as one of the major concern areas with experienced batter Ambati Rayudu dropped from the 15-member squad.
In the tournament, KL Rahul began batting at number four before Shikhar Dhawan’s thumb injury happened against Australia and was subsequently ruled out of the tournament.
With Rahul filling in as an opener, Shankar was then brought into the eleven and slotted at four till he got a toe injury and was out of World Cup. Pant, who had played just four ODIs till then and arrived in the tournament as Dhawan’s replacement, batted at four till India lost in the semi-finals to New Zealand by 18 runs at Old Trafford, Manchester.
“When we won the World Cup (2011), we all had a set position to bat. I felt 2019 World Cup; they didn’t plan it well. They got Vijay Shankar to bat at 4 with just 5-7 ODIs, then they replaced him with Rishabh Pant, who had played 4 ODIs. When we played the 2003 World Cup, Mohd. Kaif, (Dinesh) Mongia and I had already played 50-odd ODIs,” said Yuvraj in an interview to Sanjay Manjrekar on ‘Home of Heroes’ show on Sports18 to be aired on May 7.
Yuvraj, who won the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award when India won 2011 World Cup on home soil, highlighted that India’s middle-order problem is present even in T20I format, pointing towards the early exit in Men’s T20 World Cup last year in the UAE. “Our middle-order (batsmen) in T20 bats higher in franchise cricket. That is where we lacked in the last T20 World Cup.”
Yuvraj then revealed his thoughts on future of cricket, saying that the popularity of T20 cricket in present times has forced players to rethink about their priorities. “Test cricket is dying. People want to watch T20 cricket; people want to play T20 cricket. Why would someone play five-day cricket and get five lakh rupees and today play T20 cricket and get 50 lakh? Players who have not made it to international cricket are getting 7-10 crores.”
Yuvraj signed off by saying that 50-over cricket will struggle for popularity due to T20 cricket being the dominant format of the game. “You watch a T20 game and then watch a 50-over game – it looks like a Test match now. After 20 overs, they are like, ‘There are 30 overs to bat!’. So, definitely T20 is taking over everything.”
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.
Protesting wrestlers to discard their medals in Ganga river today at 6pm, sit on hunger strike at India Gate
The protesting wrestlers demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh over sexual allegations have threatened to discard their coveted medals in Ganga river in Haridwar on Tuesday at 6 pm. Their announcement came as the Delhi Police cleared all the signs of the wrestlers’ month-long protest.
The likes of Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Poghat, and Satyawart Kadian have been protesting for over a month, asking for Brij Bhushan Singh’s arrest over sexual allegations of female athletes, including a minor. On May 28th, all the wrestlers suffered ill treatment from the police officials as they were dragged relentlessly, prompting an outrage among social media users over the behaviour towards the athletes.
On the same day, the police officials entered the wrestlers’ tents at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to destroy them. Sakshi Malik, an Olympic Bronze medalist and one of the protestors condemned it by posting a clip on Twitter. She wrote on Twitter, stating ‘After arresting all the wrestlers and old people, the cops have started to destroy our march. Our things have been started lifting. What kind of hooliganism is this?’
Hence, Malik, on Tuesday, issued a lengthy statement on Twitter in Hindi, announcing to dispose of their medals in Ganga river. ‘These medals are our lives, our souls. There would be no reason to live after throwing them in the Ganga today. So, we will stage a hunger strike until death at India Gate after that.’
While Malik has an Olympic bronze medal won in 2016, wrestler Vinesh Poghat has two commonwealth golds, one Asian Games gold medal. She was also crowned Asian Champion in 2021 and won the World Championships Bronze in 2021. Meanwhile, Bajrang Punia won a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. He also went on to win bronze in 2013, silver in 2018, and bronze in 2019.
Police officials blocked the wrestlers’ march towards the parliament on Sunday:
On the day of the new Parliament building’s opening, the protest produced devastating images as Delhi Police cracked down on them in the middle of their march.
Hundreds of police officers and paramilitary people obstructed the wrestlers’ protest march as they attempted to progress towards the new Parliament House. A violent altercation between wrestlers and police officers occurred as the demonstrators attempted to break through the security perimeter.
Leading members of the opposition, such as Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, and Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, have criticised the central government for staying mum over Brij Bhushan Singh.
BIG UPDATE! MS Dhoni hints at returning to IPL next year after leading CSK to a record fifth title
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni has hinted at playing another IPL season after leading the franchise to another title in the final with a five-wicket win over the Gujarat Titans on Monday in Ahmedabad. The keeper-batter opined that the amount of admiration received for the fans prompts him to return for another edition.
Dhoni’s IPL future has been a point of speculation even before the start of the 2023 edition, given his age and fitness issues. The 41-year-old has also provided mixed hints throughout the season and notably said how he had 8-9 months to decide following the Qualifier 1 against the Gujarat Titans.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Dhoni admitted that it’s easy to retire and walk away, but suggested he is willing to continue for the fans.
“If you circumstantially see, it’s the best time to announce the retirement. The easy thing for me to say is thank you and retire. But the hard thing to do is to work hard for nine months and try to play one more IPL season. The body has to hold up. But the amount of love I have received from CSK fans, it would be a gift for them to play one more season. The way they’ve shown their love and emotion, it’s something I need to do for them. It’s the last part of my career. It started over here and the full house was chanting my name. It was my same thing in Chennai, but it will be good to come back and play whatever I can.”
MS Dhoni recalls playing alongside Ambati Rayudu for India :
Dhoni also praised how well Ajinkya Rahane and the other seniors have mentored the youngsters. With Ambati Rayudu now retired, the 41-year-old conceded that he had a special ability of playing all types of bowling well.
“When it comes to the crunch, you need to have your individuals ready. The amount of pressure every individual can deal with is different. We tried to do that. Ajinkya is experienced, but if the youngsters are confused, we chat with them. The special thing about Rayudu if he’s on the field he always gives his 100%. We played for India A together – he played spin and fast bowlers equally well. I felt always he will do something special. He’s also like me who doesn’t use a phone a lot.”
Devon Conway, who scored 47 off 32 balls, in a rain-curtailed run-chase, earned the Player of the Match award.
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