Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Sports UPDATE

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Neymar back in training with Barca

BARCELONA: Barcelona forward Neymar has trained with the squad for the first time since injuring his ankle last month and is close to a return to action, the club said on Monday. The Brazil international damaged tendons in a King’s Cup tie against Getafe on January 16, the latest setback for the 22-year-old who had not started a match since Christmas due to lack of fitness and a stomach bug. “Neymar Jr has taken one more step in his recovery and had his first training session with the team on Monday morning,” La Liga leaders Barca said on their website. Barca will be protecting a 2-0 lead in their King’s Cup semi-final second leg at Real Sociedad on Wednesday. They then host Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on Saturday before travelling to play Manchester City in a Champions League last-16 first leg on February 18. (AFP)

Karnataka drive home Irani advantage

Bangalore: Having taken a massive 405-run first innings lead, Ranji Trophy champions Karnataka had Rest of India on the mat at stumps on the third day of their five-day Irani Cup match here on Tuesday. At close of play, ROI were 114/3 in their second essay after Karnataka, resuming at their overnight total of 390/5, were all out for 606 with Chidambaram Gautam helping himself to a century (122, 168b, 17×4, 1×6). The only bright spot for Rest of India was 28-year-old Rajasthan seamer Pankaj Singh, who came away with 6-122. In the process, he reached a personal milestone of 300 first class wickets in his 77th game. Rest of India’s second innings was off to a shaky start as Vinay Kumar, who had taken six wickets in the first essay, continued to torment as the Karnataka skipper removed both openers, Gautam Gambhir (11), who was caught in the slip cordon, and Jiwanjot Singh, again trapped in front as the visitors slipped to 20/2. Earlier, Karnataka did not take their foot off the pedal in the morning as their batsmen continued to plunder a hapless ROI attack. Stuart Binny added only seven runs before being dismissed for 122. (IANS)

All 3 formats equally important: Srini

New Delhi: BCCI president N Srinivasan, who is set to take over as the new ICC chairman, said his prime focus during his tenure will be to make all the three formats of the game equally important. The International Cricket Council (ICC) board passed some key structural and financial reforms last Saturday, which formalised India’s role as the game’s financial bedrock and paved the way for Srinivasan to chair the ICC Board from July. “For me, all three formats are equally important. The endeavour is to look after all three formats as it is necessary for the health and development of the game,” Srinivasan told PTI here on Tuesday. Some of the key elements of the resolution are the creation of Test Cricket Fund to protect the traditional format of the game, providing opportunities to associate members to play Test cricket, a new financial model for Full Members and enhanced support for the leading Associate Members. Srinivasan said that the member nations will stand to gain more out of the new arrangement. The proposal received strong resentment from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa but the ICC was able to pass it after gaining the support of eight of the ICC’s 10 full members at the Executive Board meeting on Saturday. During the meeting, South Africa voted in favour of the plan while Sri Lanka and Pakistan abstained from voting. (PTI)

Moin Khan appointed Pak coach

Karachi: The Management Committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board appointed former wicketkeeper Moin Khan as head coach of the national team on Tuesday for the upcoming Asia Cup and World T20 Cup tournaments in Bangladesh, ignoring former Test captain Waqar Younis for the top job. The management committee, which met in Lahore under new chairman Najam Sethi, also appointed former Test captain Zaheer Abbas as chief cricket consultant of the Board who will accompany the team on all tours. PCB Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad told a media conference that the committee appointed Moin on the recommendations of the coaching committee which included Javed Miandad, Intikhab Alam and Wasim Akram. (PTI)

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