Former Australian skipper Mike Hussey believes South African ODI skipper AB de Villiers is ‘desperate’ to win a big trophy for his country, saying he is “highly motivated, personally and for the team” ahead of next month’s ICC Champions Trophy.Although de Villiers hasn’t quit Test cricket so far, he has more than once expressed his desire to focus on 50-over cricket, with the glory of 2019 World Cup is something which is driving him in his cricket career.Hussey, who revealed he met de Villiers while commentating during the ongoing tenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), said that the South African skipper is extremely motivated to guide his side to silverware at the moment, something which can prove to be pretty dangerous for the opposition.”I caught up with him while I was in India (commentating the IPL) and he’s desperate to win a tournament with South Africa in one-day cricket. He thinks they can win a World Cup, so this is like a mini-World Cup and it’s what’s driving him in his cricket career at the moment,” Hussey told cricket.com.au.”When you’ve got such a quality player that’s highly motivated, personally and for the team, then that’s a pretty dangerous combination for the opposition,” he added.The 33-year-old made his first-class and List A debuts in 2003, five years after South Africa won the ICC tournament in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1998, when it was known as the ICC Knock-Out.That remains South Africa’s only silverware at a major multi-nation event, with heart-breaking losses – including three World Cup semi-final defeats and a crushing rain-affected tie on home soil in 2003 – is something motivating de Villiers to break his nation’s reputation as ‘chokers’ by winning South Africa’s first piece international career comes to an end.advertisementLast August, de Villiers took time off to get a number of injuries treated, and then suffered an elbow injury that ruled him out of the home Test series win against New Zealand the Test tour of South Africa.While he returned to limited-overs cricket for South Africa in February, he opted out of the Test series in New Zealand in March – an absence he has since extended to the four-Test tour of England in July-August and the succeeding two Tests against Bangladesh.And Hussey believes that he would be “surprised” if de Villiers plays Test cricket again due to the toll the longest-format of the game takes on your body.”If I’m being honest I’d be surprised if he keeps playing (Tests) due to the toll Test cricket takes on your body. Body-wise he has back problems plus he’s had this elbow injury that kept him out for a long time.I think he’ll really try and focus on the shorter formats of the game,” Hussey said.De Villiers is currently the top-ranked ODI batsman in the world. He also owns the fastest one-day century (31 balls against the Windies in 2015) and has reached 9,000 runs in fewer innings than any other batsman in the game.
Former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has called for current coach Mickey Arthur’s sacking post the humiliating defeat against arch-rivals India in their Champions Trophy encounter on Sunday.The highly anticipated match at Edgbaston proved anti-climactic as Pakistan were thrashed by 124 runs (D/L method), extending their winless streak against India to three years. (Also read: Imran Khan pained after Pakistan crash to huge defeat against India)Yousuf said Arthur has not been able to make any positive influence on Pakistan players and thus, the time has come that the country should finally admit why the Men in Green slipped down to number eight in ICC one-day internationals rankings.The 42-year-old said that Pakistan’s bowling order was not chosen correctly for the high octane match against India and was just ridiculous to declare Junaid Khan and Hasan Ali bowlers of same style, as one is a left-arm bowler and the other is right-arm pacer, and both share no similarities, reports DunyaNews.The former Test batsman further said that it was just shameful and unacceptable for Pakistan to such a heavy defeat from India whom they have beaten on numerous occasions in the past.
Troubled Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya has dismissed speculation of a possible sale of his team to Australian David Brabham or Formula One’s former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.In an interview with talkSPORT radio broadcast on Friday, the flamboyant liquor and aviation tycoon said he remained in for the long haul despite his legal problems with the Indian government.”There have been no conversations with Brabham, I haven’t even met them,” he said.”Bernie and me are good friends, will always continue to be good friends and there is absolutely no talk whatsoever on a sale of this team.”Ecclestone owned the now-defunct Brabham team, founded by Australia’s late triple world champion Jack Brabham, in the 1970s and 1980s.Britain’s Autocar magazine reported last month that the champion’s son David, an ex-Formula One driver, could buy Force India as part of a project to bring Brabham back to the sport for the first time since 1992.Other reports suggested that 86-year-old billionaire Ecclestone was involved in the bid.Mallya, being pursued by Indian authorities over unpaid loans tied to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, was arrested in London in April and is due in court next week for an extradition hearing.India had asked Britain to extradite Mallya to face trial after he fled there last March following a move by banks to recover about 1.4 billion US dollars that Indian authorities say Kingfisher owes.Mallya, who has not left the country in more than a year and was able to attend only the British Grand Prix last season, has repeatedly dismissed the charges against him and defended himself in messages on Twitter.advertisement”These extradition proceedings are based on various allegations made by the government of India and now the matter (is) before a UK judge, I am not going to comment further,” he told talkSPORT.”As far as the ownership of Force India is concerned, whether I continue to live in the UK or am sent back to India, the ownership structure of the team does not change at all.”These extradition proceedings have nothing to do with either the ownership or the management of the team.”Mercedes-powered Force India are currently fourth in the championship after six of 20 races.
Mumbai, Jun 21 (PTI) Mexican Navy Ship ARM Cuauhtemoc began its five-day Mumbai visit from today, with its chief thanking the Indian Navy for launching search and rescue operations recently to find a Mexican naval cadet who fell overboard around 550 nautical miles off the Goa coast.The visit will conclude on June 26, a Defence spokesperson said.The ship is commanded by Captain Rafael Antonio Lagunes Arteaga and has a complement of 184 personnel, including 40 officers, 13 Petty Officers and 131 sailors.”The ship was received with traditional fanfare and in accordance with Naval customs.”The Commanding Officer thanked the Indian Navy for the extended search by Naval Aircraft P8I and warships INS Teg and INS Mysore, for the missing cadet who had fallen over board,” the spokesperson said.Captain Arteaga is scheduled to call on Rear Admiral R B Pandit, NM, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet. The crew of the ARM Cuauhtemoc will also visit Indian Naval Ship INS Mumbai. Professional sports and social events are being organised for the crew of the ARM Cuauhtemoc during her stay at Mumbai.The ship last visited Mumbai in July 2002, the spokesperson said. PTI VT NRB
It is very rare to come across spin bowling variations in women’s cricket, but all-rounder Deepti Sharma, fresh from her brilliant performance in the just concluded ICC Women’s World Cup, is now focussed on developing a ‘carrom’ ball, mostly used by the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis.In a tell-all interview to IANS, the 19-year-old revealed about her brief cricketing journey from the smaller grounds in Agra to playing a World Cup final in front of a jampacked Lord’s — the Mecca of cricket.”I used to accompany my brother to his academy in Agra. One day I was sitting on the stairs watching his match and suddenly the ball came to me. I threw back the ball and it directly hit the stumps.”There were a few girls practising on the ground and among them was (veteran India batswoman) Hemlata Kala, who enquired about me.”She immediately asked my brother to bring me along to the ground everyday, saying: ‘She has a lot of potential, you have no idea of her talent.’ From there the journey started,” she said.Deepti likes calling herself a batting all-rounder but of late has turned her focus to improving her off-spin bowling, with the addition of the variations.”I keep watching Ashwin’s videos and try to learn from his variations. I haven’t met him yet but am a fan of the variations he uses in Test cricket,” Deepti said.”I tried the carrom ball at the nets but haven’t used it in a match situation as yet. It is necessary to have variations in your bowling as most of the non-Asian batswomen find it tough to handle quality spin bowling.advertisement”I am a batting all-rounder, generally open the innings. But I keep myself flexible to bat at any position where my captain wants me to. It all depends on the situation of the game,” she added.Reminiscing about her journey in the World Cup, the young southpaw picked out the win against hosts England in the opening match as a confidence booster for the Women in Blue.”The win against England in the World Cup opener was a confidence booster for us. From there on we started believing in our abilities and complimented each other’s efforts. We are a team who enjoy each other’s success.”When I went to bat in the final, the team needed 28 runs and my focus was on staying till the end. I focussed on taking singles and hitting the odd ball for a boundary.”It was a achievable target but somehow things did not work in our favour. No regrets as such as we fought hard before losing. It would have been a heart-break had we not given a fight.”Not many people recognised us before we went to the World Cup. But it is after our performance in the semi-final (against Australia) that people started hailing us. I feel proud to be a part of the team,” she said.On being asked about the experience of playing at the Lord’s, she said: “It’s a dream for every cricketer to play at the Lord’s. It was a dream come true for me , it was a capacity crowd and we were playing for the first time when every ball was watched and cheered by the crowd and millions back home.”Deepti revealed that one of the positives she took from the World Cup was her skipper Mithali Raj’s ability to approach high pressure situations with a cool head.”One thing I have learnt from this World Cup is to remain cool in pressure situations. Whatever the situation is, you need to stay calm which unfortunately we couldn’t in the World Cup final,” she said.”Mithali Raj is the (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni in our team. She is cool and keeps her composure at crucial moments. I always try to grab the good things and have benefited a lot,” she added.On being asked about the competition with three other frontline spinners — Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Poonam Yadav — in the team, Deepti said its more about bowling in partnership than competing with each other.”It’s a healthy combination with Ekta or the other spinners in the team. But everything depends on the conditions whether we approach the innings with two spinners and three pacers or a three-spinner attack,” she said.She also voiced her support for an Indian Premier League-style T20 tournament for women saying: “Women’s IPL should have started long back when the men’s IPL started in 2008, but its never too late. The sooner it starts it’s better for women’s cricket in the country.”advertisementAsked if she has received any job offers, she revealed: “There have been job offers from the Indian Railways, but nothing of this sort has come from the Uttar Pradesh government as yet.”It is time that the present dispensation in the state and fans start recognising her talent and make efforts to encourage her in this journey.
Pirates in PKL final Chennai, Oct 27 (PTI) Debutant Gujarat FortuneGiants will hope to cap a memorable run in the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season Five with a triumph when it takes on two-time defending champion Patna Pirates in the final at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here tomorrow. The Gujarat franchise outclassed Bengal Warriors 42-17 in Qualifier 1 to book a spot in the final while the Pirates rode on Pardeep Narwals brilliance to fight its way into the summit clash. Narwal starred in the teams 47-44 win over Bengal Warriors in Qualifier 2 here yesterday. He has been in tremendous form for the Pirates and would definitely hold the key tomorrow. Pirates captain Narwal said ahead of the final, “We started this season with only one goal in mind, to complete a hat-trick of titles for Patna Pirates.” “The journey has been great so far and I appreciate the effort put in by each and every member of the team, day in and day out. Its been a long and a fulfilling season for us with a lot of positives.” The Fortunegiants have a huge task at hand if they have to prevent their formidable rivals from making it three-in-a-row.However, the teams captain Fazel Atrachali was upbeat ahead of the finale and said, “We have played as one, where everyone had amazing synergy with each other and successfully overcame the language barrier.” “Well use the same strategy in the finals, with our eyes on the prize!” The coach Manpreet Singh said, ?A strong strategy is key to success in any sport. And that is a mantra that each team member of the Gujarat FortuneGiants follows. It a matter of pride that the team has reached the finals in our first year in the league.” Led by the dynamic Fazel Atrachali, the players have displayed great team work and strong sportsmanship. We have to now focus on winning the final.” The Pirates coach Ram Mehar Singh said Narwal had been the key player for the team, which had now set its sight on another title. “Belief is all we started this season of Pro Kabaddi League with. With back to back wins in Season 3 and 4, the pressure on us to perform was immense. I really appreciate the way this young team has come through in such a high intensity environment and performed to their fullest.” Pardeep has been a revelation in the way he has led from the front with phenomenal performances throughout the season. “Our eyes are firmly set on the title now and nothing less than a victory will satisfy the Pirates now,” he said. The final will get underway at 8 PM tomorrow. PTI SS APR APRadvertisement
Govt lauds India Today’s Operation Jihad Mafia, calls conversions by PFI serious national issue Addressing a press conference, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad applauded India Today for its Operation Jihad Mafia.Pakistan envoy in Dhaka summoned for distorting history, apology soughtThe Government of Bangladesh sought an apology from the Pakistani envoy calling his action a “breach of diplomatic norms and practices” and deliberate propaganda to spread shameless lies that would “jeopardise” bilateral relations.SEE PICS: Gadar actress Ameesha Patel trolled for hot selfie, asked to ‘age gracefully’Ameesha Patel was relentlessly trolled for two selfies that she posted on Instagram.Kidambi Srikanth recommended for Padma Shri by former Sports Minister Vijay Goel Kidambi Srikanth, on Sunday, became the first Indian and only the fourth shuttler in the world to win four Super Series tournaments in a calendar season.
Deepika Padukone’s upcoming movie, Padmavati, has caused enough buzz already. Even before the cast started promoting the film on social media, and certainly much before the trailer launch, Padmavati had started creating news, thanks to all the controversies surrounding it.While those controversies still loom over the much-awaited film, what we’re going to start seeing soon is the cast actively promoting the historical drama before it hits the silver screen.As a good start to the same, Deepika Padukone gave us this recent look, which she sported during the 3D premier of Padmavati.Picture courtesy: Instagram/shaleenanathani The Cocktail actress wore this exquisite black suit by Sabysachi, which has intricate gold work just on the bottom-half, and some parts of the dupatta. What took the look to a whole new level was the fact that even though a pristine white churidar does not really make sense with that kurta and dupatta, it definitely gave some graceful pep to the whole outfit.Picture courtesy: Instagram/afashionistasdiaries Deepika justified the white churidar by matching it with the white stone-work in her evidently heavy Amrapali earrings. What made the attire classy, ultimately, was the neckline and bodice of the kurta, and the fact that she chose to wear her hair in a neat, centre-parted bun.Hope you continue this fashion streak during the promotions of Padmavati too, Deepika!
New Delhi, Nov 6 (PTI) India captain Sunil Chhetris spectacular free-kick goal in Bengaluru FCs 1-0 win over Maldives Maziya Sports and Recreation in the AFC Cup has been nominated as one of the four best goals of the tournament. Chhetri curled past the Maziya defensive wall and the goalie to dump the ball into the net in the 57th minute of the group match in Bengaluru on May 31 to send his side to the inter-zone semifinals. The three other goals nominated were — Malaysian side Johor Darul Tazim player Nazmi Faizs winner against Beoungket Angkor, Iraqi side Al Zawraa striker Mohanad Abdulraheems strike against Al Jaish and Philippine club Ceres Negros midfielder Iain Ramsays effort against Tampines Rovers. The winner of the 2017 AFC Cup Goal of the Tournament will be decided by public vote on the AFCs Cups official Facebook and Twitter accounts. Bengaluru, the losing finalists last year, beat 4.25 SC of North Korea in inter-zone semifinals but eventually lost to FC Istiklol of Tajikistan in the finals. PTI PDS AT PDS
Infinix has been in India for a little over three months now and has since launched a couple of budget smartphones like the Note 4 and Hot 4 Pro. With the newly launched Zero 5, the company is now entering the mid-range segment that is populated with brands like Motorola, Samsung, Oppo, Vivo and Huawei sub brand Honor, to name a few. The latest smartphone from the Transsion Holdings-owned company can be seen as an attempt to produce a decent mid-range device.The Zero 5 has a lot of things to offer like a large FHD display, octa-core processor, dual rear cameras, and a large battery to name a few. The phone looks and feels ambitious from the company, which wants to find its footing in the highly competitive Indian market. It does impress in some aspects and seems to fall short in others. For a mid-range phone, the Zero 5 shows potential to take on the best. But at Rs 17,999, the Zero 5 faces a stiff competition and will need to bring an all-round performer to take on the likes of Oppo F5 and Honor 9i, among others. We take a look at everything the Zero 5 has to offer. Design and build qualityThe Infinix Zero 5 is a massive phone both inside and out. It sports a metal unibody design that feels smooth at the touch, albeit slippery at times as well. You’ll also notice chamfered edges around the frame and the frame doesn’t naturally curve onto the display which makes it feel more blocky. The handset is offered in a choice of Champagne Gold, Sandstone Black and Bordeaux Red. I got the review unit in Red, which I’m not a big fan of, but the Red is sober and it might just fancy those looking for a little more funky option. The phone looks nice in Black, which will likely be a favorite for most.advertisementThe rear also has a Huawei P9 thing going on with a black band across the top which is where the dual cameras and LED flash can be seen. You can find the fingerprint sensor just below the strip. Setting up your fingerprint can take a bit longer than usual, and the sensor isn’t as snappy as we hoped, but it is usually always on spot. The handset has a solid build, but is quite large and will be unwieldy for most. It may not provide the most comfortable one-handed experience for a lot of people out there. The design is also a lot less appealing and unattractive today as we’ve grown accustom to seeing larger display on a smaller form factor.The colours pop on screen and I enjoyed using it for my multimedia consumptionIf you take a look around the frame, you’ll see a USB Type-C port on the bottom, a single speaker grille on its left and a 3.5mm headphone jack on its right. The right side of the frame has the power button and volume controls as well as a dual-SIM (Micro + Micro) slot. The left side, meanwhile, has a dedicated slot for a microSD card, which will take up to 128GB of expandability. The Zero 5 weighs around 197 grams and feels light for a phone this size. It is, however, a large device to carry around in the hand or in your pocket.DisplayOne of the high points of the Zero 5 is its large 5.98-inch Full HD (1080×1920) display with a 2.5D glass on top. In my time with the Zero 5, I found the screen popped with vivid and bright colours that were honestly a delight to look at. This display is gorgeous and best enjoyed when watching 1080p videos on YouTube or streaming platforms like Netflix. The colours pop on screen and are quite detailed, and I enjoyed using it for my multimedia consumption. The reds and blues are vivid and crisp although they can seem a bit oversaturated, which I think is fine when watching videos, but users may not find it natural for photography. The screen is also pretty visible under bright sunlight. Viewing angles are good, although you will notice a slight red tint when viewing the display at extreme angles.Games look equally sharp and vivid, and I didn’t mind the bezels as they help get a better hold of the phone in landscape mode, which is how you’ll want to play games and watch your videos.Performance and battery lifeThe Infinix Zero 5 is powered by a 2.6GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P25 MT6757 processor coupled with 6GB of RAM. The device is offered with 64GB of storage on board although you will get around 53GB of storage to play with. Infinix also has a souped up version called the Zero 5 Pro which is essentially the same as the Zero 5 only with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage at Rs 19,999. There is microSD card support for additional storage expandability up to 128GB.advertisementOn paper, the Zero 5 looks pretty solid on hardware. For the most part, the phone performs well under intensive use. Playing graphic-intensive games and browsing heavy websites is pretty smooth, although I did occasionally find some drop in framerate when playing a game like Asphalt 8. The P25 chipset has been known to underperform in gaming, but it isn’t so bad as to alarm you.The 6GB of RAM handles multitasking with ease and is more than sufficient for a lot of people. The single speaker on the bottom can get loud at maximum volume, but it doesn’t produce the clearest sound. I’m also not a fan of its placement as well since my palm would often block the speaker when watching videos or playing games in landscape mode.Apart from the display, the other aspect that quite impressed me about the Zero 5 is its battery life. You get a fairly large 4350mAh battery, which is needed for a phone of this size. In my time with the device, I found the battery took me through the whole day and then some with above average use and on 4G. But what I was most impressed with was the standby time, which gave me a good 4-5 days when mostly idling away. Overall, you should get through an entire day of usage including messaging, calling, a couple of hours of gaming or multimedia, among other things.Overall, you should get through an entire day of usage including messaging, calling, a couple of hours of gaming or multimedia, among other thingsThe battery gets support for XCharge, which is a form of fast charging. Only the device takes a little over 2 hours to charge, so it isn’t the fastest to power up from zero to 100 per cent. But considering how much juice I got through the day, you should find yourself needing to charge before you sleep at night.SoftwareNow, if you’re in the market for a stock Android or near clean Android experience then this is not the phone for you. The Zero 5 runs on the company’s latest XOS 3.0 Hummingbird based on Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. It comes with some preloaded apps like Facebook and WhatsApp. The XOS also packs some privacy features that let you password protect apps and remotely delete your phone’s data, as well as apps like Freezer that essentially offloads apps you don’t want to use without having to delete them. Notably, some app icons like the Camera app have some pretty neat animations that make it look novel to say the least.The UI is fast enough, but it isn’t all that fluid. You’ll notice some stuttering when scrolling within apps and websites and touch responsiveness is not all that snappy. XOS has a good amount of bloatware that will feel heavy after a few months. Infinix has a bunch of in-house applications like XTreme for themes and wallpapers, XHide that will let you hide apps, videos, pictures, and XClub, which is a sort of Reddit-like social platform for XOS users. These add-ons cannot be deleted, which may put you off if you’re not a fan. advertisementCameraThe Infinix Zero 5 is also big on cameras, at least on paper. It sports a dual camera setup on the back with a 12-megapixel wide angle sensor and a 13-megapixel telephoto lens with features like Portrait mode and Professional mode. Photos captured via the rear cameras under ideal outdoor conditions look bright, colourful if a tad too oversaturated. The photos aren’t too detailed, so what you get are a little above average images. The detail and sharpness is lost further with indoor shots and starts to get noisy under artificial lighting. Portrait Mode for bokeh shots has become a stable feature nowadays with phones with a dual cameras. The Zero 5’s bokehs, however, don’t give enough reasons to brag about. You’ll manage to capture a few decent ones with a bit of effort. But in general, the Bokeh shots captured show some blurring around the edges and one should try their hand only under ideal outdoor light. XPreviousNextThere’s also a Pro mode that lets you customise ISO, white balance, EV and more for your captures. The rear camera also features 2x optical zoom, which does decent enough to focus on the subject, but colours tend to double up on saturation as well. Speaking of which, the rear camera is pretty quick on focussing on subjects, which is always a plus point.The photos aren’t too detailed, so what you get are a little above average imagesThe 16-megapixel front-facing sensor also captures colours but tends to let in a little too much light. Infinix has included a bokeh mode for the front camera as well, however, a couple of outdoor bokeh photos we took were below average. The subject felt artificially overlaid on the blurred background and the image in general looked overexposed. Normal selfies will look bright and the colours will pop when viewed on the phone’s 1080p display, but won’t translate well when you see them on your desktop or a larger screen.Should you buy it?Based on my time with the Zero 5, the phone does manage to hold its own in a few areas. Its big, vivid display, solid build and battery life are among its biggest selling points. The skin that, while doesn’t offer a pure Android experience, still offers some notable privacy features may find some takers as well. The cameras are decent, but just not the best-in-class. At Rs 17,999, the Zero 5 may find it difficult to compete against the likes of Moto X4, Oppo F5 and Honor 9i among others as the company is still trying to create its presence in the Indian market. Despite its ‘newness’, Infinix has provided a solid mid-ranger that should be considered if you’re in the market.Now, most of the phones the Zero 5 will be taking on also get an added boost of being bezel-less as well. Since that has been the general trend in 2017, the Zero 5 will have a hard time attracting users who are slowly moving toward all-screen smartphones. The Zero 5, for all its positives, may get buried due to lack of brand awareness as of now.Nevertheless, the Zero 5 is a bold move from the company that is just a few months old in India. Does it have enough to win consumers in the mid-range market? There are a few things to love about this phone. But the negatives such as its uninspiring design, laggy and bloated software and average front camera can put off users who want an all-round performance if they’re going to spend an upwards of Rs 17,000.Infinix Zero 5 review7/10Good stuffBright and vivid displayImpressive battery lifeSolid build qualityBad stuffUninspiring and bulky designBloated and laggy softwareAverage cameras
Virat Kohli and his girlfriend Anushka Sharma set the floor on fire with their dance moves at Zaheer Khan and Sagarika Ghatge’s wedding reception at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Monday.After demolishing Sri Lanka in the second Test, Kohli joined in the celebrations with Anushka. Kohli smashed a record fifth double hundred in Test cricket as India annihilated Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs to take an unbeatable 1-0 lead in the three-match series.Kohli has now equalled West Indies legend Brian Lara’s record as the captain with most double tons in the longest format.This was Kohli’s first double hundred against Sri Lanka. All five of his double tons have come against different opponents – West Indies, New Zealand, England , Bangladesh and now Sri Lanka.He also joined former South Africa captain Graeme Smith and Rahul Dravid in 12th spot in the list of most double hundreds by batsmen. The list is headed by the legendary Don Bradman (12), followed by Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara (11) and Lara (9).Kohli is also the first captain to smash 10 international hundreds in a calendar year. He has four Test hundreds and six one-day international tons. The 29-year-old also has nine fifties across formats.The likes of Sachin and Anjali Tendulkar, Ajit Agarkar, Ashish Nehra, Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech also graced the occasion.Virat Kohli & Anushka Sharma At Zaheer Khan’s Wedding Reception Last Night in Mumbai!#Virushka ?? pic.twitter.com/lltmreBYJf- Virat Kohli FC? (@ViratsPlanet) November 28, 2017[PICS]: Virat Kohli & Anushka Sharma At Zaheer Khan & @sagarikavghatge Reception Yesterday! #Virushka ?? pic.twitter.com/kSuEtb2KXJadvertisement- Virat Kohli FC? (@ViratsPlanet) November 28, 2017Zaheer married Bollywood actor Sagarika Ghatge on November 23 in Mumbai. Zaheer had announced his engagement with ‘Chak de India’ star Sagarika earlier this year. The two were scheduled to get married on November 27 at a five-star hotel in Mumbai but the date was brought forward to November 23.Image Credit: Yogen ShahImage Credit: Yogen ShahZaheer debuted for India back in 2000 in Kenya and went on to become an integral part of Indian teams subsequently. Zak, as he is fondly called by his teammates, played 92 Tests and picked 311 wickets. In 200 ODIs, he pocketed 282 wickets and played a major role in India’s World Cup triumph in 2011.Image Credit: Yogen ShahImage Credit: Yogen ShahHe retired from international cricket in 2015 while Sagarika was last seen in Naseeruddin Shah-starrer Irada earlier this year.Image Credit: Yogen ShahImage Credit: Yogen Shah
Huawei’s subsidiary brand Honor is set to unveil a new smartphone dubbed Honor 9 Youth Edition on December 21. The Chinese company has confirmed the date on its official Weibo page. According to the past rumours, the company could also launch the Honor V10 alongside the Honor 9 Youth Edition.Codenamed as Leland, Honor 9 Youth Editon recently received the TENAA certification. The listing also gives a sneak peek into the innards of the phone like it will sport a 5.2-inch full HD display with 16:9 aspect ratio and 1920 by 1080 pixels of resolution. The could be powered by a Kirin 659 processor clocked at the speed of 2.36GHz.As per the TENAA listing, Honor 9 Youth Edition will have 3 models bearing the following model numbers- LLD-TL10, LLD-AL00, and LLD-AL10.The phone will weigh 149 grams and have 3GB and 4GB variants. The model number LLD-AL00 will have both 3GB and 4GB variants whereas the LLD-AL10 and LLD-TL10 will have just 4GB RAM variant.The dual SIM-support Honor 9 Youth Edition will be available in Black, Blue and Gray colour options. On the camera front, the device will sport dual camera set of 13MP + 2MP on the rear as well as on the front. The phone is expected to run on Android 8.0 Oreo which means it will be a part of Project Treble and will receive timely software updates from Google.Also Read: Huawei Enjoy 7S with dual rear cameras, Android Oreo spotted online, to launch on Dec 18The phone’s design looks pretty much similar to the Huawei’s Enjoy 7S which is also set to launch on December 18. The phone is expected to have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and could be backed by a 2900mAh battery. The phone is rumoured to support 5V/2A fast charging.advertisementHonor 9 Youth Edition is expected to be a mid-segment device just like the Enjoy 7S. As per the rumours, the phone could be priced around 1299 Yuan(Rs 19,000 approx). Huawei is also going to launch the Honor 9 Youth Edition on December 18. The phone has also received TENAA certification and could come with a Kirin 659 chipset.
The pattern since last spring is familiar: The United States does well in the first half and fades as the final whistle approaches.Nicklas Bendtner took advantage of a defense that gave up two more late goals to score his first international hat trick, and Denmark rallied to beat the United States 3-2 in an exhibition game at Aarhus on March 25.“It’s very disappointing because it’s not the first time we let a game get away from us in the last few minutes,” Michael Bradley said after his first start as American captain. “It’s something that we’ve got to start to learn from.”Jozy Altidore scored in the first half and set up former club teammate Aron Johannsson’s goal in the second.But Bendtner tied the score for the hosts in the 83rd minute and got the winner in the first minute of stoppage time. Christian Eriksen looped a ball over the defense and Bendtner ran onto it, took a touch and beat goalkeeper Nick Rimando from about 15 yards for his 29th goal in 65 international appearances.Altidore was frustrated the No. 32 Americans “gave a game away like that.”“The goals we gave up were just soft,” he said. “We’re not hard enough to play against.”The U.S. is 2-6-3 since beating Ghana in its opener at the World Cup, where it was knocked out by Belgium in the second round. The Americans have given up 12 goals from the 80th minute on in their last 12 games.John Brooks had a chance to tie it in the third minute of stoppage time but put an open header wide off Bradley’s pass. The 28th-ranked Danes outshot the U.S. 12-4.“We have to step it up in terms of managing the game all 90 minutes,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “Maybe you’re just losing the focus for a second, just losing your marker because of heavy legs, getting tired a little bit.”Klinsmann changed seven starters from last month’s 2-0 home win over Panama, keeping only Rimando, midfielders Bradley and Gyasi Zardes, and Altidore.On a cool, 41-degree evening, Klinsmann changed his entire back line, starting Timmy Chandler on the right, Michael Orozco and Brooks in the center and Greg Garza on the left. Alejandro Bedoya and Fabian Johnson also were in the midfield of a 4-4-2 formation, and Johannsson was up front.Club America defender Ventura Alvarado, eligible to play for the U.S. and Mexico, made his international debut when he entered in the 80th minute.Altidore put the Americans ahead in the 19th minute with his 27th international goal. After an unmarked Bendtner tied the score in the 33rd, Johannsson gave the U.S. the lead in the 66th off a pass from Altidore, who played with him on the Dutch team AZ Alkmaar during the second half of the 2012-13 season. Johannsson made his first national team appearance since the World Cup.Before Johannsson’s goal, the U.S. had been outscored 9-0 in the second half of games since the World Cup while outscoring opponents 9-2 in first halves.Wearing its new navy road jerseys, the U.S. was missing regular captain Clint Dempsey and defender Jermaine Jones because of injuries. Klinsmann bypassed No. 1 goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defenders Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez.Altidore’s goal, his fourth in six games, came against the run of play. Chandler lofted a 40-yard cross from the right flank, and Altidore got by Daniel Wass. Running onto the ball after a bounce, Altidore took a left-footed shot from 8 yards that deflected off sliding defender Simon Kjaer and beat goalkeeper Stephan Andersen.Bradley created the second American goal when he played a 30-pard pass over the defense to Altidore, who burst past Wass. Altidore took a touch and laid off the ball to Johannsson, who scored from 8 yards on the field of AGF Aarhus, the club he played for from 2010-13.The Americans next play Switzerland on April 1 in Zurich. “We have to sit down tomorrow and in the coming week to figure out what we did wrong and fix that,” Johannsson said.TweetPinShare0 Shares
TweetPinShare0 Shares LONDON— Russia’s track and field federation was provisionally suspended Friday by the sport’s governing body, keeping the country out of international competition for an indefinite period — possibly including next year’s Olympics in Brazil.The suspension was approved by a 22-1 vote during a teleconference of the 27-member council of the IAAF.IAAF President Sebastian Coe convened the meeting after Russia was accused of widespread, systematic doping in a report released Monday by a World Anti-Doping Agency commission.Coe was under heavy pressure to take tough action, despite efforts by Russian officials to avoid a blanket ban by agreeing to cooperate and make reforms in their anti-doping system.The suspension will take effect immediately, barring Russian athletes from all international track and field events until the country can prove it has put its house in order. It’s the first time the International Association of Athletics Federations has ever banned a country over its doping record.The Russian federation is likely to be given a month or so before appearing at a disciplinary hearing, where the IAAF could then elevate the sanction to a full suspension.The IAAF and WADA will need to set out the terms for what the Russians need to do to get a suspension lifted, including complying fully with the global anti-doping code.With the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro nine months away, the big question is whether Russia’s track team will be allowed to compete in the games. Some Olympic officials have said Russia should have enough time to take the necessary steps to make it to the Olympics, which run from Aug. 5-21.Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Friday he is “completely sure” that Russia will be able to compete at the Olympics. Speaking before the IAAF meeting, he said he thought any suspension would be short.“We may miss one or two competitions, but for athletes with clean consciences to miss the Olympics or a world championships would be real stupidity,” he said in Moscow.In the short term, the suspension will keep Russian out of a dozen or so international events the rest of this year, including the European cross-country championships in France on Dec. 13. The athletes could then miss the indoor season, including the world indoor championships in Portland, Oregon, from March 17-20.Other big events that Russian runners could be ineligible for include the Boston and London Marathons in April.Russia also faces being stripped of the hosting rights of three IAAF events — the Moscow indoor meet on Feb. 14, the world race walking championships in Cheboksary from May 7-15, and the world junior championships in Kazan from July 19-24. Russia has been the dominant force in world race walking.Russian athletes would be eligible to compete in their own national events during a ban, which only covers international competition.Some officials, including IAAF vice president Sergei Bubka, the pole vault great from Ukraine, had argued against a blanket ban, saying it would penalize “innocent” athletes who haven’t been found guilty or implicated in doping.However, the report by the WADA panel outlined a deep-rooted, systematic doping system that cast doubt on the entire Russian athletics program, making it difficult to judge which athletes are clean or not.The IAAF council met by teleconference, chaired by Coe in London.Russia’s IAAF council member, Mikhail Butov, presented his federation’s position at the start of the meeting, but then recused himself from the debate and the vote.Russia’s initial reaction to Monday’s doping report was one of indignation and that the allegations were politically-motivated. However, in recent days, the tone shifted as President Vladimir Putin acknowledged the gravity of the problem and ordered an investigation by Russian sports leaders.STEPHEN WILSON, AP Sports Writer ___AP Sports Writer James Ellingworth in Moscow contributed to this report.
ATHENS (AP) — Coach Oscar Garcia made a winning debut with Olympiakos as they beat lowly Lamia 2-0 to claim the lead in the Greek league on Monday.Garcia, the former Barcelona player, is the club’s third coach this season. The defending Greek champion has struggled to cope with strong challenges from AEK Athens and northern club PAOK.Marko Marin scored early, bursting forward to meet a long pass from Kostas Fortounis.Karim Ansarifard punished some sluggish defending, helped by Guillaume Gillet, for the tap-in before halftime.On loan from Everton, winger Kevin Mirallas returned after a five-year absence to Olympiakos at Karaiskakis Stadium.TweetPinShare0 Shares
By Joseph Wilson, Associated PressBARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Nothing can silence the Camp Nou crowd like the thought of an injury to Lionel Messi — especially four days before a clash against Real Madrid.So a chill ran through Barcelona’s supporters during the Spanish league match against Valencia on Saturday when Messi sat down on the sideline, his right leg stretched before him, and received a massage from a team trainer.Little did it matter that the team’s all-time leading scorer had just struck two goals to lead Barcelona back from a two-goal deficit to secure a 2-2 draw. Any hint of Messi being sidelined with the season entering its critical phase with titles on the line immediately overshadowed yet another outstanding performance by the Argentine.Messi may have been hurt when Valencia defender Antonio Lato ran into him.The scare comes before Barcelona hosts Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal.“Please don’t let it be anything serious,” Barcelona midfielder Carles Alena said. “We hope he will be back in full form on Wednesday.”Coach Ernesto Valverde said Messi was undergoing medical exams.“He is bothered by something, but we will have to wait to see what the doctors say,” Valverde said. “I imagine that it is not that bad.”Messi missed Barcelona’s first clasico against Madrid in October due to a broken right arm. His teammates did fine without him, routing their fierce rival 5-1 and sealing the fate of coach Julen Lopetegui.Madrid, however, is playing much better now. It has won four straight before hosting Alaves on Sunday.Before his fitness put a damper on a thrilling match, Messi extended his scoring run to nine straight games across all competitions. His double took his league-leading tally to 21 goals in 22 rounds.Barcelona’s winning streak in la Liga ended at eight matches in a row. It leads second-placed Atletico Madrid by six points before its closest title rival visits Real Betis on Sunday.TRADING BLOWSValencia took advantage of Sergi Roberto playing out of position as a fill-in left back for Jordi Alba. Daniel Wass led several attacks from Roberto’s side, starting with a pass for Dani Parejo to test Marc-Andre ter Stegen before Denis Chershev put the rebound off the post.Parejo started a move that produced Kevin Gameiro’s opener in the 24th minute when he tackled Messi. That sprung a counterattack led by Rodrigo Moreno, who slipped a pass forward to set up Gameiro.Parejo doubled the advantage from the penalty spot after Roberto knocked down Wass trying to dispute a cross.Valencia lost Gameiro to injury shortly after when the striker asked to be substituted after being shaken up when he knocked heads with Gerard Pique.Messi got his first goal from the penalty spot in the 39th after Nelson Semedo was fouled by Lato.Messi struck again in the 64th when Arturo Vidal laid the ball off for him on the edge of the area. Messi quickly unleashed a curling, left-foot strike around two defenders, who impeded goalie Neto from seeing the ball until it was too late to react.“We played at a good pace, counterattacked well, scored twice and could have scored more,” Parejo said. “The team’s performance was magnificent.”SEVILLE SLIDECelta Vigo broke a five-match losing streak and escaped the relegation zone by beating Sevilla 1-0 at home thanks to Okay Yokuslu’s second-half goal.Fourth-place Sevilla has won only one of its last six league games.BASQUE DERBYReal Sociedad defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-1 to deal its northern Basque Country rival its first defeat since the arrival of coach Gaizka Garitano.Garitano had kept Bilbao unbeaten through seven league games since replacing Eduardo Berizzo in December.FAN VIOLENCEGetafe’s 0-0 draw at Levante was marred by 11 Getafe fans being arrested for provoking a clash with rival supporters outside the stadium in Valencia.Getafe, which condemned the violence, rose to fifth as the small Madrid-based club continued its impressive season on the field.TweetPinShare0 Shares
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — This week, Dubai unveiled its latest megaproject: A stadium in the heart of a super luxe shopping and dining destination.The arena, which will host sports events and concerts, is located in a leisure retail and residential destination called City Walk, which itself is new and was developed by Meraas, a company owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.It’s just one in a pipeline of projects the emirate is churning out in the lead-up to next year’s World Expo in Dubai, despite an economic slowdown and concerns that an oversupply is weighing down real estate prices.“Property is a cyclical business and we are in a period of a soft market,” said Craig Plumb, head of research in the Middle East for JLL, a real estate and investment management firm. Speaking at a real estate exhibition in Abu Dhabi, he noted that retail rents are also falling because landlords are responding to tougher market conditions by being much more flexible in their deals.Dubai’s major developers, like Meraas, Emaar and Nakheel, have plans for new cities, neighborhoods, malls, skyscrapers and fantastical concepts like floating homes with floor-to-ceiling glass rooms submerged in the waters off the emirate’s coast.The projects represent Dubai’s ambitions to grow as a tourism destination and financial hub, but the sheer scale of the developments is outstripping current demand.Already, real estate prices across the United Arab Emirates have fallen since oil prices began their slide in 2014. A boost in oil prices last year appeared to have little effect on Dubai’s bellwether real estate market.Real estate prices in Downtown Dubai fell by as much as 16% last year, according to a report by property agent Savills. Challenges surrounding a supply and demand mismatch are expected to continue through the year, the report said.Statistics released this week by Dubai’s government show that gross domestic product grew by 1.9% last year, a steady decline year-on-year since 2014 when growth clocked in at 4.6%.Despite the economic slowdown, major Dubai developers show no signs of slowing down their sprawling projects ahead of next year’s Expo.Nearly 10,000 residential units in Dubai were completed in the first quarter of 2019, according to JLL.Dubai predicts that the six-month-long World Fair, which runs from October 2020 to April 2021, will attract 25 million visits, although it is unclear how many of those will be visitors from outside Dubai.A study by Ernst & Young forecast that Expo 2020 will contribute around $6 billion to the UAE’s economy during the six-month-long duration of the fair. That figure is largely drawn from government data and EY stated in its report that it had not sought to establish the reliability of the sources it used nor had it verified the information provided to prepare the report. The report was commissioned by Dubai’s Expo organizers.Despite the building bonanza heading into the Expo and expectations it will be a boon for the economy, subcontractors are complaining of delays in payments rippling through supply chains in industries like the real estate sector.In a report issued last month, leading Dubai bank Emirates NBD also found that non-oil companies across the UAE had cut staff at their sharpest rate in nearly a decade amid the weaker economic growth — either through firing or a freeze on hiring.Foreigners make up the majority of the UAE’s population, but they are increasingly finding it difficult to keep up with the rising costs of living in Dubai and other neighboring emirates like Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. To alleviate surging school fees, Dubai barred private schools from raising their costs this year.When the cost of living becomes too high for families in Dubai, families reside in Sharjah and make the daily commute for work. Even that, however, has become too costly for some.“Families are going away,” said Balaskandan Raghunathan, managing director of an engineering consultancy that operates across the UAE.He said he knows of Indian families that have left Dubai because school costs were too high and there wasn’t enough job security.“They need to find a formula for families. The family should be here. Population growth is not enough,” he said.By: Aya Batrawy, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shares
SHENZHEN, China (AP) — The MVP was good. The USA was better.And the Antetokounmpo getting talked about most by the Americans when this much-anticipated World Cup matchup was over wasn’t Giannis — but rather Thanasis, the younger brother, who sent U.S. forward Harrison Barnes sprawling with an ill-advised foul from behind on a fast break in the final moments.Barnes avoided injury, and the U.S. avoided defeat. Kemba Walker scored 15 points and handed out six assists, Donovan Mitchell scored 10 on his 23rd birthday and the U.S. beat Greece 69-53 to move on the cusp of qualifying for the quarterfinals.“We played well,” Walker said. “We had a great game plan and we stuck to it and we were able to come out with a big win.”Giannis Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s MVP from the Milwaukee Bucks, scored 15 points but sat out the fourth quarter in a move Greek officials said was made to rest him for the team’s last-ditch effort to make the quarterfinals on Monday. He didn’t make himself available for postgame comment, telling officials that he was too upset.United States’ Harrison Barnes dunks during a phase two match against Greece for the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. United States beats Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool)The U.S. national team has won 57 consecutive games in international tournaments with NBA players, starting with the 2006 world championships bronze-medal game and continuing through every FIBA Americas, world championships, World Cup and Olympic event since. The streak started after a 101-95 loss to Greece in 2006 — a defeat that forced the U.S. to change its program.The Americans haven’t lost in the biggest tournaments since.“It was a good test for us,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said. “And it helped us get better. That’s our goal, to get better in every one of these games.”Barnes and Derrick White each scored nine for the U.S., which can clinch a quarterfinal berth Monday in multiple ways — the simplest being a win over Brazil. There also are ways for the U.S. to move on even if it loses Monday.It was the first time a reigning MVP faced the U.S. in a major tournament, and Giannis Antetokounmpo has made no secret of how much this event means to him. His eyes were closed as he mouthed along with the words of Greece’s national anthem pregame, and when the ball went up he came out firing.He spun his way to a layup on the first possession, made a 3-pointer on Greece’s second possession and got fouled on a baseline drive on the next trip down the floor. That was five points in the first 43 seconds for Antetokounmpo — but nothing came easy the rest of the way, as the U.S. used no fewer than five different defenders on him at times.United States’ Kemba Walker, right fights for the ball against Greece’s Georgios Printezis during phase two for the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. United States beats Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool)Barnes drew the initial assignment, followed by the MVP’s Milwaukee teammate Khris Middleton, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Myles Turner.“We just wanted to make it as hard as possible for him, and I think we did a good job,” Smart said.Antetokounmpo had a steal and dunk late in the third, which got plenty of fans out of their seats and Greek fans waving flags. But his night ended soon afterward, although the drama was still going.His brother’s foul from behind on Barnes came with 1:43 left in a 13-point game — Barnes jumped a pass for a steal near midcourt, had a clear path for a dunk and Thanasis Antetokounmpo sent him tumbling to the court with a hard hit that was ruled a common foul. Players from both teams engaged in words immediately after the play and again after the horn, and Barnes said he never got an apology.“Game was over, so probably was a frustration play or something of that nature,” Barnes said.TIP-INSU.S.: Mitchell’s birthday came a day after Joe Harris turned 28. … Smart, who has twice missed time with leg injuries this summer, slipped and fell as he chased a loose ball out of bounds with 1:11 left in the first. He stayed in the game. … The U.S. shot only 36%.Greece: The outcome came five years to the day after the Greeks were ousted by Serbia in the Round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup. … Nick Calathes became the third Florida player to be part of a loss to the U.S. this summer; Andrew Nembhard played in the Americans’ pre-World Cup win over Canada in Australia, and Scottie Wilbekin played for Turkey in its overtime loss to the U.S. in the group stage.HOLDING LEADSThrough four games, the U.S. has trailed for all of 7 minutes, 48 seconds — out of a possible 165 minutes. The Americans have led for 147:02, and games have been tied for 10:10.United States’ Harrison Barnes at reaches for the ball near Greece’s Thanasis Antetokounmpo, left and Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo at center during phase two of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. United States beats Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)CLAMPING DOWNThe U.S. has held Japan and Greece to a combined 98 points in the last two games. That represents the fewest points the U.S. has allowed in consecutive games of a major international tournament since the 1988 Olympics, when the Americans gave up 92 in a two-game stretch against Egypt and Puerto Rico.UP NEXTU.S.: Face Brazil (3-1) in a second-round finale Monday in Shenzhen.Greece: Face the Czech Republic (3-1) in a second-round finale Monday in Shenzhen.___By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball WriterUnited States’ Khris Middleton reacts near Greece’s Georgios Papagiannis, second from left and Greece’s Ioannis Papapetrou at right during phase two of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. United States beats Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)United States’ Harrison Barnes reacts after he is fouled by Greece’s Thanasis Antetokounmpo, center during phase two of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. United States beats Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to block United States’ Donovan Mitchell during phase two of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. United States beats Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)United States’ Harrison Barnes dunks against Greece during phase two of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. United States beats Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to block United States’ Donovan Mitchell during phase two of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. United States beat Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to get past United States’ Harrison Barnes during phase two of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019.United States beat Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)TweetPinShare1717 Shares
Aseel Al-Hamad will make another breakthrough for Saudi Arabian women on Sunday by driving a Formula One car ahead of the French Grand Prix.The lap of the Le Castellet circuit comes on the day a ban ended on females getting behind the wheel on the Gulf kingdom’s roads.Renault said Al-Hamad would drive a 2012 car as part of a parade of the French manufacturer’s cars to mark the return of the race after a 10 year absence.The same Lotus Renault E20 car took Finland’s 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen to victory in Abu Dhabi that year.FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FULL COVERAGE | FIXTURES | POINTS TABLEAl-Hamad is already the first female member of the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation and on the Women in Motorsport Commission set up by Formula One’s governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA).She first drove the E20 on a June 5 training day at the circuit as part of a familiarisation programme involving a range of cars.”I have loved racing and motorsport from a very young age and to drive a Formula One car goes even beyond my dreams and what I thought was possible,” she said in a statement.”I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and spirit to dream.”Michele Mouton, a former rally driver and president of the Women in Motorsport Commission, said she hoped Al-Hamad’s example would help pave the way for more women to embrace careers in motor sport.advertisementWomen in Saudi Arabia were able to take to the roads at midnight, ending the world’s last ban on female drivers, long seen as an emblem of women’s repression in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.The lifting of the ban, ordered last September by King Salman, is part of sweeping reforms pushed by his powerful young son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a bid to transform the economy of the world’s top oil exporter and open up its cloistered society.