• Thursday, December 18, 2014

Freedom in the air

Sports

Booters brace for Japanese challenge

Booters brace for Japanese challenge

Presuming that Bangladesh would play with a five-man backline, the Japan U-21 team trained at the match venue yesterday evening by building up the game from the two flanks, indicating that they are keen on playing aggressive football as they take on Bangladesh national team in today's international friendly at the Bangabandhu National...

SUPER SIXES The ultimate stage

The first phase of the Dhaka Premier League came to end this week, and in terms of the points table, witnessed...

Vijay makes it India's day

Vijay makes it India's day

Murali Vijay made Australia's bowlers toil in the brutal Brisbane heat...

Negre promises high-profile foreign coach

Negre promises high-profile foreign coach

Leandro Negre, president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), yesterday promised...

Hashim, AB put SA on top

Captain Hashim Amla and his senior lieutenant AB de Villiers both hit centuries as South Africa took command after early setbacks on the first day of the first Test against the West Indies here on Wednesday. South Africa were 340 for three at the close. Amla, captaining South Africa for the first time in a home Test, made 133 not out, while De Villiers hit an unbeaten 141. They added 283 for the fourth wicket, a South African record...

Cook won't walk away

Alastair Cook said he had no intention of stepping down as captain after his England side lost the seventh and final match of the one-day series against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. The left-handed opening batsman struggled for runs again, making just 32 as his team were beaten by 87 runs to slip to a 5-2 defeat in the series. "I haven't played as well as I'd like on this tour," said Cook at the presentation ceremony. "I'm working hard on my...

Women's v'ball team off to Nepal

A 17-member Bangladesh team left for Nepal yesterday to participate in the First South Asian Women's Volleyball Championship to be held from December 19 to 23 in Kathmandu. Six countries -- India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives and hosts Nepal -- will compete in the regional Volleyball meet, initially on league basis. Later, two top teams will play in the final. Bangladesh team trained for about five weeks at the Sultana Kamal Women's Sports Complex in Dhanmondi as part of preparation...

Josh's debut makes dad's pals richer!

Australian cricketer Josh Hazlewood's Test debut Wednesday is set to bring joy to a group of punters who placed a 500-1 bet on him playing such a game when he was still a teenager, reports said. Friends of Hazlewood's dad Trevor reportedly placed a 100 Australian dollar wager with British bookmakers almost nine years ago that Josh would become a Test player. They now look set to win 50,000 dollars each after he took the field for his maiden Test against...

Kane guides Kiwis

Skipper Kane Williamson hit a century to help steer New Zealand to 299-5 in the fourth day-night international against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The 24-year-old right-hander scored 123 off 105 balls while opener Martin Guptill made 58 after New Zealand won the toss and batted on a conducive batting strip at Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Williamson added 44 for the second wicket with Guptill and another 63 for the third with Ross Taylor, who made 26 to raise hopes of...

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'Pak players shattered'

Former Pakistan captain and senior batsman Younis Khan feels playing the fourth cricket ODI against New Zealand on Wednesday would be very difficult as the terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar had left the players shattered. "When the Australian batsman, Phil Hughes died recently it touched us all and one day's play in a Test match against New Zealand was postponed as a mark of respect. You can imagine what this terrorist attack must have done to us today,"...

Clarke surgery better than expected

Michael Clarke's hamstring surgery had "the best result" possible, former cricketing great Shane Warne said Wednesday, raising hopes the Australian skipper will make the upcoming World Cup. Clarke badly tore his right hamstring on Saturday during the first Test against India in Adelaide, a match he went into under an injury cloud given his long history of back complaints. The 33-year-old said after the match that he was unlikely to play any further part in the four-match Test series against India...

Cookies fail to energise

Cookies fail to energise

Chester's Gareth Roberts enjoys a packet of biscuits during his side's FA Cup second round replay against Barnsley on Tuesday. But the energy boost failed to work -- Barnsley comfortably won the game 3-0 to book their place in Round Three.         Internet

Bundes Liga

Robben's landmark

Robben's landmark

Arjen Robben grabbed his 100th goal for the club as undefeated Bayern Munich outclassed Freiburg 2-0 on Tuesday to extend their lead at the top of the table to 12 points and create a Bundesliga defensive record. Despite losing Xabi Alonso, Mehdi Benatia and Robert Lewandowski to injury during the match, Bayern claimed an...

Club World Cup

Real sail into final

European champions Real Madrid crushed Cruz Azul 4-0 to cruise into the Club World Cup final on Tuesday, totally outclassing their Mexican rivals. Goals from Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Garreth Bale and Isco saw Madrid record a 21st consecutive win in this semifinal at a packed and noisy Grand Stade de Marrakech, scene of last year's final where Bayern Munich beat Raja Casablanca 2-0. "This team deserves to win the world title," said Real Madrid's Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti after the...

Chelsea in League Cup semifinal

Premier League leaders Chelsea beat second-tier Derby County 3-1 to reach the League Cup semifinals on Tuesday, but at the cost of injuries to Kurt Zouma and Didier Drogba. Eden Hazard and Filipe Luis, with his first goal for the club, put Chelsea in control on a rain-soaked night at the iPro Stadium, before Craig Bryson replied for Derby in the 71st minute. But the hosts' hopes of a comeback were extinguished when centre-back Jake Buxton was sent off for impeding...

Johnson out for a month

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson will be out for around a month with a groin injury, British media reported on Wednesday. The 30-year-old tore his groin during the first half of Liverpool's 3-0 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and according to the Liverpool Echo, the England defender will be missing for at least a month. Johnson, who is out of contract at the end of the season, will undergo a scan to confirm the full extent of the...

'Ronaldo will score in final'

Carlo Ancelotti says that Cristiano Ronaldo is "saving a goal" for the Club World Cup final after he failed to score in Real Madrid's 4-0 hammering of Cruz Azul on Tuesday. The Portuguese forward was excellent in the semi-final clash but Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Isco were the four players who instead adorned the scoresheet. Most memorably, Ronaldo tested the Mexican opposition goalkeeper with an audacious, half-volleyed rabona, and Ancelotti was full of praise for his Ballon d'Or...

Dream tie for Yeovil

Third-division Yeovil Town earned a dream FA Cup third-round tie at home to giants Manchester United after beating fourth-tier Accrington Stanley 2-0 in a second-round replay on Tuesday. The game at Yeovil's Huish Park ground, played in front of 6,373 fans, looked to be heading to extra time until Simon Gillett and Kieffer Moore scored twice in the final six minutes. Yeovil were relegated from the second-tier Championship last season and currently sit in the League One relegation zone, 62 places...

2015 Gold Cup seeds revealed

Holders the United States, Costa Rica and Mexico were installed Tuesday as the top seeded teams for the three first-round groups of the 2015 Gold Cup. CONCACAF, football's governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, announced the seeds for the region's marquee tournament along with the 13 North American cities that will host games. The schedule will include an historic double-header in Canada, at the Toronto stadium that will also be utilized for the 2015 Pan American Games. Other...

Barca enjoy Copa stroll

Pedro gave Barcelona coach Luis Enrique a reminder of his talents on Tuesday with a hat-trick in the Spanish giant's 8-1 second leg thrashing of third tier Huesca to secure a 12-1 aggregate win in their last 32 Copa del Rey tie. Pedro, who has largely been relegated to the bench for Liga and Champions League games since Uruguayan Luis Suarez' long suspension ended, scored with a header, despite being off balance, a neat left-footed shot and then a bullet...

Kiwis draw level

Skipper Kane Williamson hit a sublime century and veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori scalped three important wickets as New Zealand beat Pakistan by 7 runs in the fourth one-day international against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The result means the two teams go into Friday's fifth ODI tied at 2-2. Williamson hit 123 to help steer New Zealand to a challenging total of 299-5. The 24-year-old right-hander scored 123 off 105 balls while opener Martin Guptill made 58 after...

Indian Super League

Kerala to face Kolkata in final

Atletico de Kolkata got their act right in the nick of time to humble crowd favourites FC Goa 4-2 in tie-breaker and advance to the final of the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) on Wednesday. Atletico de Kolkata will lock horns with Kerala Blasters FC in the summit showdown in Mumbai on Saturday. The second leg semifinal between the two fierce rivals went into extra time after they were locked goal-less in the regulation time. With both teams failing to break...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
BCB's match of showing respect

Habibul Bashar 'pulled' himself to a half-century; Naimur Rahman's juicy turners saw the off-spinner scalp three crucial wickets; and Akram Khan got stumped while attempting to smack Naimur out of the park. No, this is not one of those write-ups where we bring you the 'blasts from the past'; neither have we gone for a swirl into the '90s. These instances in fact took place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium yesterday morning. Cricket fans got an opportunity to witness...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Japan U-21s here for experience

Japan U-21s here for experience

After their arrival from Thailand yesterday afternoon, the Japan U-21 national football team wasted little time as they rushed to the Rajarbagh Police Lines ground for having their first session ahead of Thursday's friendly match against the Bangladesh national team. The young Japanese booters, who came here on the back of a 2-0 win...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Hockey icons roll back the years

Hockey icons roll back the years

A host of stars from yesteryears took up their hockey sticks for an exibition match at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday, organised to celebrate the Victory Day of Bangladesh. Hockey icons including Abdus Sadek, Bashir Ahmed, Jummon Lusai, Jamil Parvez Lulu, Ehsan Nammi, Mahbub Harun, Anvir Adil Khan, Mamunur Rashid and Rafiqul Islam...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Captains in spotlight

Captains in spotlight

Australia's willingness to confront a brave new world without captain Michael Clarke will see Steven Smith debut as skipper in the second Test in Brisbane from Wednesday, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni's recall to lead India has fanned fears of a return to the past. Dhoni takes back the reins from Virat Kohli after recovering...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Dilshan lifts Lankans

Dilshan lifts Lankans

Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed a century and grabbed three wickets in his 300th one-day international as Sri Lanka whipped England by 87 runs in the seventh and final match in Colombo on Tuesday. Dilshan passed the 9,000-run mark in one-day cricket on his way to a stroke-filled 101 to lead the hosts to a commanding...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Amla to make home debut

Hashim Amla will be seeking a winning start when he captains South Africa for the first time in a home Test match when a three-match series against the West Indies starts at SuperSport Park on Wednesday. Amla leapfrogged one-day international captain AB de Villiers to be given the Test captaincy following the retirement of long-serving Graeme Smith last season. Under Amla's leadership, South Africa gained away wins against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe earlier this year and his team will be strong...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
'Won't support Rubel if guilty'

Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan Papon has said that the board 'will not support' Rubel Hossain if the pacer is found guilty. The bowler, who is fighting a rape case filed against him under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, is in Bangladesh's 30-member World Cup preliminary squad. Whether he will be considered for the final squad however, will depend on the result of the case. "If he has done something wrong he will be punished. The BCB...

Sydney Siege

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Security up at Brisbane

Security has been beefed up with more police drafted in for this week's second Australia-India Test in Brisbane after a lone gunman laid siege to a Sydney cafe, officials said Tuesday. Queensland State Premier Campbell Newman said while there was no specific threat, his government wanted to reassure fans and make them feel safe. "We are concerned about these sorts of actions occurring as we have [been] for many months," Newman told reporters. "We will have all available officers out there at...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Pakistan can win series today

Stand-in captain Shahid Afridi is hoping Pakistan can maintain their winning momentum and seal the series against New Zealand in the fourth one-day match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pakistan lead the five-match series 2-1 after winning the first match in Dubai and the third in Sharjah. New Zealand won the second game, also played in Sharjah. Afridi, leading the side in the absence of Misbahul Haq who injured his hamstring and was ruled out of the last three games, said he...

Barclays English Premier League

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Barkley lifts Everton

Barkley lifts Everton

Ross Barkley produced a sublime solo strike as Everton cruised to a 3-1 win over struggling QPR at Goodison Park on Monday. Barkley's first goal of an injury-hit campaign was well worth the wait as the England midfielder broke the deadlock with a 20-yard thunderbolt after a driving run from inside his own half. The...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Henry calls it quit

French striker Thierry Henry said Tuesday he was retiring from football after two decades and will become a TV analyst for Sky Sports in England. "After 20 years in the game I have decided to retire from professional football," Henry said in a statement on his Facebook page. Henry, 37, a world and European champion with France, and the scorer of 228 goals with Arsenal including 175 English Premier League goals for the club, finished his playing career at New York...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Pirlo named Italy's best

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo claimed Serie A's player of the year award for the third consecutive year during a gala event on Monday organised by the Association of Italian Footballers. The 34-year-old playmaker celebrated alongside former Juve handler Antonio Conte, who picked up the best coach of the year award after leading the Bianconeri to their third consecutive Serie A title last season before quitting to become Italy's national team coach. "It's always a pleasure to win this award," said Pirlo,...

Lega Calcio

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Mancini off the mark

Roberto Mancini claimed his first win as Inter Milan coach following his return to the club after goals from Mateo Kovacic and Andrea Ranocchia gave them a 2-0 victory over Serie A strugglers Chievo on Monday. Mancini, who spent four success-laden years with the Nerazzurri from 2004-2008, took over in time for the Milan derby last month but after a 1-1 draw the 50-year-old was handed a reality check following defeats to Roma (4-2) and Udinese (2-1). Mancini, who aims to...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Pope sides with Rome

The tiny emirate of Qatar hosting the World Cup is one thing, but the Vatican -- officially the world's smallest country -- hosting the Olympics? Pope Francis wants exactly that to happen in 2024. A top cardinal has confirmed that The Vicar of Rome has backed Rome's attempts to win hosting rights to the Games in 10 years' time, and believes that the Vatican should be one of the host venues. So serious is the Supreme Pontiff that he is reportedly...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Neymar voted for Messi

Neymar has revealed who he voted for to win the Ballon d'Or, with Lionel Messi his first pick ahead of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo. The Brazil international was made captain of his country in September and is therefore able to vote for the first time. And he did so by putting Messi's arch-rival at second place. Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano took Neymar's third place vote after a series of impress performances for the Catalan giants at centre back last season. Neymar's...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Ronaldo vows big things

Brazilian football legend Ronaldo is promising great things for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers after becoming part owner of the North American Soccer League club. "I will be very involved with the management of the team and have already started to make introductions that will certainly help us to turn the Strikers into a global powerhouse," Ronaldo said in a statement last week, when his ownership stake was announced. "There are no doubts the beautiful game is growing exponentially in the United...

Published Date: December 17, 2014
Maradona on boosters?

Maradona on boosters?

Diego Maradona is on four viagra tablets a day, according to a television show in Argentina. The TV show El diario de Mariana claims the World Cup winner swallows the tabs to boost his relationship with young lover Rocio Oliva. Maradona, 53, is seeing Oliva, who is 30 years younger than the football icon,...

Published Date: December 16, 2014
BCB still working on High Performance!

It has been four months gone since the matter was discussed, but the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is still working to revive it's High Performance Unit. “It is taking time as we are looking to appoint a head coach for the national academy. We are hopeful that it will take shape very soon as we are closing in on appointing an academy head coach,” said BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury yesterday. “We are yet to finalise the formation of the unit,” he...

Published Date: December 16, 2014
Abahani take top spot

Abahani take top spot

Abahani Limited will go into the super six round of the Dhaka Premier League as league leaders as they beat Prime Bank Cricket Club by 33 runs in a low-scoring encounter at Fatullah yesterday. Prime Bank, on their part, will begin the super six round in the second spot. Both the teams though...

Published Date: December 16, 2014
'Most important event of 2014'

'Most important event of 2014'

Leandro Negre, president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), termed the foundation of a sand-turf at the BAF Shaheen College ground yesterday as the most important event for him in 2014, a year which also featured some big hockey tournaments around the world. “The year 2014 has been a very important year for hockey...

7th SL-Eng ODI Today

Published Date: December 16, 2014
Mahela's last home game

Making it obvious that he will retire after the 2015 World Cup, former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene on Monday revealed on social media that the seventh and final ODI against England on Tuesday will be his last at home turf. “Going for my last practice session with the boys at home going to have some fun,” the 37-year-old tweeted on Monday morning. His indication of retirement after the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand came just two days after...

Published Date: December 16, 2014
Smith made Test captain

Twenty-five year-old Steven Smith takes over as captain of Australia against India at the Gabba on Wednesday with a promise to pursue an aggressive style of cricket. Regular skipper Michael Clarke is expected to miss the rest of the four-match Test series due to injury and Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday handed the job to Smith following Australia's first Test victory in Adelaide at the weekend. "We've been playing some very good cricket and we're going to continue playing that aggressive,...

Published Date: December 16, 2014
Japan U-21s arrive today

A 35-member contingent of Japan U-21 football team is scheduled to arrive here today at 12:40pm to play an international friendly match against Bangladesh national team on Thursday. The visiting team, who beat their Thai counterparts by 2-0 goals in Bangkok on Sunday, are coming in Dhaka as part of their preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers. The 23-member squad, most of whom ply their trade for different J League clubs, is also being groomed for the 2018 FIFA...

Published Date: December 16, 2014
Shakib's Big Bash team confirmed

Shakib Al Hasan yesterday said that he has confirmed a team to play for in the Twenty20 Big Bash League in Australia, which commences on December 18. The talismanic all-rounder however said that he will disclose the name of his team only after he puts pen to paper, a process expected to be completed in two days time. “The team is confirmed but I am yet to sign with them,” said Shakib yesterday. Shakib previously played in the league for Adelaide Strikers. The...

Published Date: December 16, 2014
V-Day Sports

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) made a flying start in the Walton Victory Day Handball Tournament beating Bangladesh Ansar by 36-19 goals in the opening match at the Shaheed M Mansur Ali Handball Stadium yesterday. The winners led the first half by 19-6 goals. AIR FORCE LIFT KABADDI TITLE Bangladesh Air Force clinched the Victory Day Kabaddi title beating Bangladesh Army by 25-22 points in the final at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday. Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Arif Khan Joy distributed...

Published Date: December 16, 2014
Clarke to undergo surgery

Australian captain Michael Clarke will undergo surgery on his injured right hamstring on Tuesday, Cricket Australia said, as the 33-year-old fights to remain in the game. Clarke has switched focus to getting fit for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which starts on February 14, after being forced off in the victorious first Test against India at the weekend. "Michael was assessed by a surgeon in Melbourne early this evening (Monday) and will be undergoing surgery tomorrow to repair...

UEFA Champions League

Published Date: December 16, 2014
Chelsea face PSG, City tackle Barca

Chelsea face PSG, City tackle Barca

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea were drawn on Monday against Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City tackle Barcelona in two blockbuster Champions League last 16 ties. Chelsea's 'reward' for sailing into the knockout stages unbeaten was a testing match-up against the Qatari-backed French champions who they beat on away goals in last season's quarterfinals. Chelsea secretary David Barnard...

Published Date: December 16, 2014
Toni hits 300-goal mark

Evergreen striker Luca Toni admitted his delight after hitting his 300th career goal in a 2-1 win over Udinese that helped the former World Cup winner shade Antonio Di Natale in a 'battle of the veterans' on Sunday. Toni scored his fifth goal of the campaign when he levelled Di Natale's powerful 31st-minute header just before half-time after muscling his way past the Udinese defence to fire into Orestis Karnezis's top corner. Lazaros Christodoulo-poulos scored the winner for Verona seconds after...

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