Women’s Cricket World Cup: Mithali Raj-led India ready for final vs England

India captain Mithali Raj has warned England not to expect an easy contest when they come up against her side in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.
Harmanpreet Kaur struck an astonishing unbeaten 171 — the highest score by an Indian player, male or female, in a World Cup knockout match — to set the platform for a thrilling 36-run semi-final victory over defending champions Australia at Derby on Thursday.

That set-up a rematch of the opening fixture of the tournament, where India beat England by 35 runs, to decide who lifts the World Cup trophy in front of a sell-out Lord’s crowd.
“As a team we are all very excited to be part of the final,” said Raj, reflecting on India reaching their first World Cup final since 2005.


“We knew that this tournament wasn’t going to be easy but the way the girls have turned up at every situation when the team needed, whether it was the batters or bowlers, this win has definitely changed the scenario in terms of how the girls will look up to the final.

“It definitely isn’t going to be easy for England. But it will come down to how we perform on that day. We really have to work on our planning and strategy because England have also peaked after being defeated by us in the first game.


“They have performed well in the run up to the final, so playing a host in their own country is going to be a challenge. But saying that this unit is up for it.”

Player-of-the-match Harmanpreet Kaur hit an unbeaten 171 off 115 balls, the second highest score of the tournament.

Only her third ODI century, Harmanpreet Kaur produced an innings of destructive batting, smashing 20 fours and seven sixes, as India set six-time champions Australia 282 to win.

Elyse Villani’s 75 kept Australia above the required run rate but their dreams of making it to a ninth final was lost when she was dismissed, despite the best efforts of Alex Blackwell (90) late on.

For pre-tournament favourites Australia, it meant a second international tournament in a row without silverware despite reaching the knockout rounds in both.

A defeated Meg Lanning cut a solemn figure and the captain believes there’s a lot for Australia to improve on if they’re to achieve more silverware, although they are still waiting on their future with contract discussions on-going between Cricket Australia and Australian Cricketers’ Association.

“It’s definitely a very disappointing finish to the tournament, we came here to win,” said Lanning who was out for nought.

“We’re going to have to look at a few things and see what we’re going to need to do, because all of the teams around the world are improving.

“We’ve got a fair bit of work to do to make sure we keep getting better to make sure we beat sides like England and India.”

Ravi Shastri also wants Bharath Arun as bowling coach despite Zaheer Khan’s appointment

New Delhi: Former Indian Captain Ravi Shastri who has now been appointed the new head coach of Team India is not happy with the Cricket Advisory Committee’s (CAC) selection for the coaching support staff.

Shastri is likely to pitch for the return of bowling Coach Bharath Arun despite the presence of Zaheer Khan in their ranks.

The former team director’s choice of bowling coach was always Arun and it is now apparent that CAC did not take Shastri into confidence while recommending Zaheer as the bowling coach although his role would be similar to that of Rahul Dravid that of a consultant.

According to the sources, it has been revealed that Zaheer is unlikely to give around 250 days a year that a full-time bowling coach will be required to and may not be available for more than 100 days. Zaheer’s salary package has not yet been inked as negotiations are still on.

Earlier, Shastri was asked about his choice of bowling coach, he had said Arun but one particular member of CAC was against it.

Shastri then apparently said that: “Give me Jason Gillespie then”. Gillespie is widely acknowledged as the best bowling coach in the cricketing fraternity. Even it is impossible that the BCCI could rope in someone like Gillespie, who is already contracted with Papua New Guinea.

The BCCI has also kept Venkatesh Prasad’s name on standby but it is unlikely Shastri will settle for anything less than Arun.

According to reliable sources to PTI, Shastri is expected to meet the top officials and the Committee of Administrators (COA) during the weekend as he is expected to cut short his trip to the United Kingdom.

“Ravi has highest regards for Zaheer but he believes that a full-time bowling coach is required. Let Zak create a roadmap for bowlers and it will be Arun who will implement it. Ravi is expected to speak to COA on Saturday and make it clear that he would like Arun to join the team from Sri Lanka tour itself,” a reliable BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

If Arun is reappointed as Coach, the Shastri –Ganguly rift will take another turn, as Ganguly is the person who backed Zaheer to be the bowling coach and only accepted Shastri as head coach if Zaheer was in the ranks as well.

Ganguly and Shastri haven’t seen eye to eye after the former Bengal cricketer picked Anil Kumble as coach ahead of Shastri last year, a decision that Shastri deemed unfair.

Regarding Arun’s appointment, it will be seen if the CAC and the BCCI will change the bowling coach or stick with their original selection. Arun had replaced Joe Dawes in 2014 and was there with the Indian team till 2016 when Shastri was looked over.

(With inputs from PTI)

Lionel Messi Set To Sign New Barcelona Contract

Argentina’s star footballer Lionel Messi, who recently got married to long-time partner Antonella Roccuzzo, will sign a new contract with Barcelona when he returns from his honeymoon in the middle of this month.

As per goal.com, Messi was set to return to the Catalan capital with his family over the weekend, but will now not be back until around July 12.

However, after the wedding, the couple changed their plans and is now in the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda for their honeymoon with sons Thiago and Mateo.

It is expected that Barcelona’s players are expected at the training ground in Sant Joan Despi for medical examinations on July 12 ahead of club’s pre-season preparations and Messi will be back by then.

The Argentine will be out of contract in 2018. However, a new deal is all but finalised after months of negotiations between the player, his father, Jorge, and the club.

The fresh agreement will keep the five-time Ballon d’Or winner at Camp Nou until 2021 with the option of one further season.

The 30-year-old, who made his debut for Barca in 2004, won 30 trophies during his time at the Catalan club, scoring more than 500 goals. This new contract could see him retire at Camp Nou, despite him reiterating his desire to end his career at his boyhood club, Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina, which he left at the age of 13 to join Barca’s youth academy.

Messi would be hoping that his recent marriage and the imminent signing of his new contract serves as a good omen for his new season, after a disappointing 2016-17 season by his extremely high standards. After the Euros, La Liga and back-to-back Champions League successes that his rival Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed, it would take an extraordinary start to the season for Messi to be crowned FIFA World Player of the Year, with Ronaldo looking the most likely to take home the crown.

(With ANI inputs)


Bhumika Sharma wins Miss World in bodybuilding crown competition in Venice, does India proud; all you want to know about this Dehradun girl

Bhumika Sharma who hails from Dehradun proved that Indian women are world beaters and that too even in the field of bodybuilding. Bhumika has just won the title of Miss World in this global bodybuilding competition that was held in Venice, Italy.

Bhumika Sharma who hails from Dehradun proved that Indian women are world beaters and that too even in the field of bodybuilding. Bhumika has just won the title of Miss World in this global bodybuilding competition that was held in Venice, Italy. The 21-year-old Dehradun girl grabbed all the limelight and became the talk of the town by winning the grand prize. She had received the highest points in different categories which included individual posing, body posing, and fall in. Bhumika won the title ahead of a total of 50 bodybuilders from around the world, according to Hindustan Times.However, her success did not come all that easily. Her journey was in fact quite tough. She had to fight her way out to reach this stage. Her father is a businessman and her mother is the head coach of the India women’s weightlifting team and that is where her drive for success and ability to do well in the sport comes from.

However, both her parents wanted her to make her career in shooting but the young bodybuilder had something else in mind. After much drama, Bhumika’s parents agreed and supported her to be a bodybuilder. Bhumika follows a strict fitness regime and spends about seven hours a day in the gym.

Her hard work and dedication were fruitfully awarded finally. Bhumika managed to achieve the best at both national and international level. She is now preparing hard for the Miss Universe title in the bodybuilding championship.

#KidambiSrikanth won his 2nd successive & overall 4th Super Series title by beating Chen Long

India shuttler Kidambi Srikanth defeated Olympic champion Chen Long in a dominating fashion to win the Australia Open Super Series men’s singles title on Sunday. Srikanth won in straight games 22-20, 21-16 to win his career’s fourth Super Series title.

Also Read: Srikanth has made the nation proud – Modi

This is world no 11 Srikanth’s second straight title victory in a week after he won the Indonesian Open Super Series Premier last Sunday.

Also Read: Rs 5 lakh cash reward for Srikanth

Srikanth had reached the final of the Singapore Open in April and Indonesia Open before this tournament and has thus become only the fifth player in the world and the first Indian male shuttler to contest three consecutive Super Series finals.

The opening game was an evenly contested affair with the two opponents exchanging the lead. At the start, the rallies were a bit long but both resorted to an attacking game from thereon.

However, aided by his deceptive shots and searing smashes, Srikanth took 11-9 lead at the break. After the resumption, Long crawled back with three straight points to take lead at 12-11. The game went down the wire with the Chinese saving a game point with a cross court smash but the 24-year-old Indian eventually prevailed to win it 22-20 and take 1-0 lead in 23 minutes.

He was in red-hot form in the second game where he bossed over Long after a engrossing rally to win the first point with a 323 kph winner.

HWL Semi-Finals: Fancied India crash out after suffering shock 2-3 defeat to Malaysia

For India, it is their second defeat against Malaysia in little less than two months. Roelant Oltmans’ men had earlier lost 0-1 to the same opponents in the Azlan Shah Cup last month.

London: Fancied India crashed out of the Hockey World League Semi-Final after suffering a shocking 2-3 defeat at the hands of Malaysia in a quarterfinal match here on Thursday.
It was hard-fought encounter as both the teams played with great intensity. The Indians only had themselves to blame as a below-par opening 20 minutes and some sloppy defending ruined their hopes.
India conceded as many as seven penalty corners, three of which were converted by Malaysia through Razie Rahim (19th, 48th minutes) and Tengku Tajuddin.


India’s goals came from the sticks of Ramandeep Singh (24th, 26th).

By virtue of this win, Malaysia have qualified for next year’s World Cup to be held in India.

For India, it is their second defeat against Malaysia in little less than two months. Roelant Oltmans’ men had earlier lost 0-1 to the same opponents in the Azlan Shah Cup last month.

Malaysia will face reigning Olympic champions and world number one Argentina in Saturday’s semifinal.

Argentina had earlier in the day defeated Pakistan in the first quarterfinal match.

Ranked sixth in the world, the Indians started as overwhelming favourites against 14th placed Malaysia but the script did not unveil as expected at least in the first 23 minutes of the game.

The Indians were yet again slow to get off the blocks and looked scrappy.

Malaysia, on the other hand, were compact in their defensive structure initially and also troubled India’s backline.

Malaysia pressed hard early on and secured two penalty corners but wasted both the chances. The first quarter ended goalless with Malaysia controlling the proceedings.

Malaysia continued their attacking game and got a great opportunity to break the deadlock in the 17h minute when a scoop from the deep found Nabil Noor alone inside the Indian circle but an alert goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya came off his line to deny Noor.

Two minutes later, Malaysia earned another penalty corner but this time Dahiya failed to keep Razie Rahim’s flick out of the goal as the ball went in after hitting his body.

A minute later, Malaysia doubled their lead against the run of play as Tengku Tajuddin neatly deflected in from their fourth penalty corner.

Down by two goals, it was time for India to bounce back strongly into the game and they did exactly that and levelled the scores with two goals in a span of two minutes.

Ramandeep scored from literally India’s first shot at the goal, deflecting in Sumit’s defence-splitting cross from the right flank.

Two minutes later, Ramandeep once again found himself at the right place at the right time and scored the equaliser after skipper Manpreet Singh messed up a variation effort from India’s first penalty corner.

After the change of ends, the Indians continued to dominate the proceedings and earned two penalty corners in quick succession but Harmanpreet Singh failed to deliver once again.

While the Indians played attacking hockey, the Malaysians preferred to sit back and defend and rely on counter-attacks.

Malaysia’s ploy worked and they secured two more penalty corners in the 48th minute, the second of which was converted by Razie Rahim for his second goal of the day.

Down by a goal, the Indians went all out attacking in the last 10 minutes and had three clear chances to score.

While Mandeep’s deflection off Harmanpreet’s pass went just wide, three minutes later veteran Malaysia goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam made a brilliant save to deny Akashdeep Singh.

In the final minute of the game, an unmarked Ramandeep had a golden chance to score his hat-trick and take the match into shoot-out but his deflection in front of an open Malaysian goal was wide by inches.

World Hockey League Semi-final, India vs Netherlands: Live Streaming, TV Telecast, Time, Venue

World Hockey League Semi-final, India vs Netherlands: Live Streaming, TV Telecast, Time, Venue

New Delhi: After thrashing Pakistan 7-1 in the quarter-finals of the World Hockey League, Indian hockey team takes on World No. 4 Netherlands for a place in the final.

Having heir campaign with a 4-1 win over Scotland, Team India defeated Canada 3-0 and then a resounding win over Pakistan.

As far as Netherlands’ results are concerned, they recorded 4-0, 3-0 and 3-1 victories over Pakistan, Scotland and Canada respectively and will now take on India, who are ranked 2 places below them at No. 6.

When and what time is the World Hockey League match between India and Netherlands?

The World Hockey League match between India and Netherlands will be played on June 20, 2017 at 6:30 PM IST.

How to watch the World Hockey League match between India and Netherlands on TV?

The match will be aired on the Star Sports Network.

Where is the World Hockey League match between India and Netherlands being played?

The match will be played at the Lee Valley Centre, London.

How to watch the World Hockey League match between India and Netherlands online?

The live streaming of the match will be available on Hotstar.

The commentary, updates from the match, reactions will be available at zeenews.com live blog of the World Hockey League match between India and Netherlands.


Indian hockey team wears black arm bands to condole attacks on soldiers

LONDON: India hockey team on Sunday wore black arm bands during its match against Pakistan at the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final to condole the deaths of martyrs in the recent attacks on the Indian army.

The Indian team support staff also wore the black arm bands.

India eventually thrashed Pakistan 7-1 in the match.

The hockey fraternity in India has always been vocal about the pride and respect it has for the Indian soldiers and always condemned such barbaric acts.

The players have often taken to social media to show their condolences for the martyrs of the country. In fact, PR Sreejesh had dedicated the team’s victory at the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy to the soldiers, where they beat Pakistan in the final.

“The players of the Indian hockey teams have always shown tremendous belief and support for the Indian Armed Forces who guard the safety of our nation. They are proud of the nation’s soldiers and are often inspired by their dedication and sacrifice,” said Mohd Mustaque Ahmad, secretary general, Hockey India.

“As sportsmen, the Indian hockey teams have always shown solidarity and compassion towards the soldiers and have often dedicated their victories to the Indian Army. Today, the team strongly felt the need to condole the recent attacks carried out in Jammu & Kashmir where Indian soldiers lost their lives.

“It was a unanimous decision to wear black arm bands to condole these deaths and they wish for peace to prevail in the state of Jammu & Kashmir,” he added.

Captain Manpreet Singh said: “We wanted to win on the field today to show not only our proud nation but all the world that we will stand up and fight for what we believe in through sport.”

Thailand Open badminton final live streaming: Watch B Sai Praneeth vs Jonatan Christie live on TV, Online

India’s B Sai Praneeth will be keen to raise the Indian flag high when the shuttler faces Jonatan Christie in the final of the Thailand Open on Sunday. After Saina Nehwal’s loss in the semi-finals of the women’s singles, all eyes will be on Praneeth, who has shown good form and maturity in the competition.

This could be a perfect chance for Praneeth to bag major headlines in Indian badminton as well. He has all the ammunitions in the bag for the final, but he needs to show some composure to win the title.
Praneeth has not dropped a single game in the Thailand Open so far. Though he might not have faced any top-seeded player, he has played some wonderful badminton to reach the final. He deserves his place.

The youngster from India is not an experienced campaigner when it comes to playing in finals. He has played in two big finals in Syed Modi earlier in the year and Canada Open last year. This could be his biggest final of his career so far, and Praneeth will want to prove everyone that he has it in him to win big titles.

Jonatan, like Praneeth, has also not dropped a single game and will be eager to keep that record intact in the finals. With both players confident ahead of the final, we are in for a cracker of a contest in Thailand.
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