• Friday, August 22, 2014

Sports

All not bleak after Grenada heartbreak

Those who sat bleary-eyed in front of their television sets till the early hours of Thursday were rewarded with heartbreak as once again victory eluded the Tigers even though they were very close to breaking the jinx of a winless 2014. It is only natural that fans will despair over a defeat seemingly snatched from the jaws of victory, especially as there have been many such reversals so far this year. But unlike those occasions, the Tigers should not be castigated for Wednesday's three-wicket loss in Grenada. However, familiar grumbles about Mushfiqur Rahim's intransigent captaincy will be fueled, especially his obstinate obsession with saving his best bowlers' overs for the death even when the game may not reach that far. That was the case during the first ODI and has been for a while now. The result could have been different with a different team combination. One may ask whether the visiting think-tank was able to read the conditions properly and whether three spinners would have been the right choice on a slow, turning wicket. And Mominul Haque is a better option than Shamsur Rahman not only in the middle order, but also as a useful part-time bowler.  But it...

Spin or pace?

Will Bangladesh go with a three-man pace attack or add another spinner to the playing 11? That is the pertinent question...

Proteas sweep series clean

Proteas sweep series clean

Opener Quinton de Kock smashed 84 as a weakened South Africa...

Booters against familiar foes

Bangladesh face a familiar challenge in the 17th Asian Games football competition after they were drawn in Group B along with...

Kabaddi has little hopes

Bangladesh's hopes of winning medals in kabaddi event in the upcoming 17th Asian Games have been put on a rough road as both men's and women's teams have been placed in strong groups in the draw ceremony held in Incheon, South Korea yesterday. Bangladesh men's team were pitted in Group A along with India, Pakistan and Thailand while the women's team were also placed in Group A along with India and hosts South Korea. Before winning gold and silver medals in...

Wozniacki falls from New Haven

Camila Giorgi sprang an upset to defeat four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday and reach the quarterfinals of the WTA Connecticut Open, a final warm-up for the US Open. The Italian saw off the former world number one in 78 minutes to book a last-eight date with Spain's Garbine Muguruza, who eliminated Chinese qualifier Peng Shuai 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in another second-round match. The unseeded Giorgi also ousted Wozniacki in last year's US Open, but lost their only other...

Asiad Hockey

Bangladesh in Pool A

Bangladesh have been placed in Pool A along with hosts South Korea, last edition's runners-up Malaysia, Japan and Singapore in the 17th Asian Games hockey competition in the 10-team draw ceremony on Wednesday. The Pool B consists of holders Pakistan, India, China, Oman and Sri Lanka. Last time Bangladesh finished eighth ahead of Singapore and Hong Kong after losing to Oman 5-6 in the place-deciding match. However, this time Bangladesh are aiming to improve their position. "Our target is to do better...

Aamer Blind Love's hero

Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Aamer is set to make his big-screen debut, he told AFP Thursday, as he struggles to make ends meet while serving a ban for spot-fixing. Left-arm quick Aamer was rated one of the best young talents in world cricket until his fall from grace in the notorious Lord's Test against England in 2010. Aamer, then 19, was hit with a five-year ban from cricket after he was caught in a tabloid newspaper sting along with captain Salman...

Broad's knee op Sept 4

England pace bowler Stuart Broad will undergo knee surgery on September 4 as he targets full fitness in time for the 2015 World Cup. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had already confirmed that the 28-year-old needed to go under the knife to cure a long-standing tendonitis problem. "The ECB medical team confirmed that England pace bowler Stuart Broad is to have surgery on his right knee on Thursday 4 September," said an ECB statement. "A rehabilitation and recovery programme will...

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Mario on brink of joining L'pool

Mario on brink of joining L'pool

Mario Balotelli is on the brink of a shock move to Liverpool, media in England and Italy reported Thursday, two weeks after Reds boss Brendan Rodgers ruled out a bid for the controversial striker. According to sports channel Sky Italia, AC Milan have agreed to let the 24-year-old move to Anfield and a transfer...

Indian Super League Set To Kick Off

Mendy, Chopra star picks

Mendy, Chopra star picks

Former French defender Bernard Mendy emerged the top attraction at Thursday's draft for the troubled new franchised-based Indian Super League set to kick off in October. The ex-Paris Saint-Germain star will be paid $80,000 per season to play for last-minute entrants Team Chennai following the draft held in financial hub Mumbai. Mendy's fee was the...

LFP

Masche backs Messi

Javier Mascherano has backed his Argentina teammate Lionel Messi to respond to his World Cup disappointment on the pitch for Barcelona in the new season. Messi was named the best player at the World Cup after Argentina lost the final to Germany, a decision that was widely questioned after the forward's often lacklustre displays. The former world player of the year returned early to Barcelona to concentrate on pre-season training before the La Liga kick-off this weekend when Barcelona, who failed...

Man Utd seal Rojo deal

Manchester United completed the 20 million euro signing of Argentina World Cup defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday with Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal hailing the 24-year-old as a "gifted" player. Rojo signed a five-year contract after impressing during the World Cup where he helped Argentina to reach the final. Winger Nani has gone in the other direction, rejoining Sporting on a season-long loan, seven years after he left the Portuguese club. "It is such an honour to say...

Di Maria wants out

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that midfielder Angel di Maria has asked to leave the European champions before the end of the transfer window. The 26-year-old Argentine -- who missed the World Cup final defeat by Germany because of injury -- was a star performer as Real claimed their 10th European crown last season, but has fallen down the pecking order at the Bernabeu due to the arrivals of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos. Premier League giants Manchester United...

Dzeko signs new deal

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko on Wednesday signed a new four-year contract which will keep him at the Premier League champions until at least 2018. The Bosnian international's current deal had only 10 months to run and manager Manuel Pellegrini's determination to keep the striker was fully justified by his performance as City beat Newcastle 2-0 on Sunday. "I'm really happy here at City -- it's a second home to me so it was an easy decision to stay for the...

Benaglio quits int'l football

Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday, three weeks short of his 31st birthday and with 61 caps to his name. Although not considered old in goalkeeping terms, Benaglio said he was "not the youngest" and wanted to concentrate on his career with VfL Wolfsburg. Benaglio impressed at the World Cup, helping Switzerland to the round of 16 where they lost in heart-breaking style to Argentina who scored their only goal deep into injury-time. He appeared well...

Dhaka Bank Cup 2014
West Indies vs Bangladesh

Published Date: August 21, 2014
Tigers lose despite Anamul ton

Tigers lose despite Anamul ton

If the Tigers were worried about their ODI record this year before yesterday's game then their level of anxiety would have doubled after the match. This is the second time this year that Bangladesh have lost after having come so close to victory. After 15 overs of the second innings, with the hosts...

Dhaka Bank Cup 2014
West Indies vs Bangladesh

Published Date: August 21, 2014
No slow left-armer after a decade

There's no doubt that slow left-arm bowling is Bangladesh's forte. Right from the days of Enamul Haque and Mohammad Rafique to that of Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan, slow left-armers have always dominated Bangladesh's bowling attack. However, the exclusion of Abdur Razzak in Bangladesh's playing eleven against the West Indies in Grenada yesterday has broken a long tradition for the Tigers in international cricket. With Razzak excluded and ace-all rounder Shakib Al Hasan not touring, Bangladesh's bowling attack did not...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
No option other than MS!

Beleaguered India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni appears set to retain his Test captaincy role -- if he has the desire to continue -- due to a sheer lack of alternative options to take on the job after yet another calamitous overseas tour. India's propensity for foreign failures was exposed in 2011 when the side lost eight consecutive Tests with back-to-back 4-0 thrashings in England and Australia. If fans in the world's second-most populous nation, where cricket is treated like a religion,...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
Abul set for return

After a gap of nearly a year and a half from international cricket, pacer Abul Hasan has returned to the fray. His inclusion in Bangladesh A's preliminary squad for the series against Zimbabawe A in September -- announced yesterday by the BCB -- reflects the bowler's grit and determination. The bowler, who last played competitive cricket in March 2013, underwent two risky surgeries on his back and went through a long rehabilitation process before eventually beginning to bowl in the...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
Sk Russel start camp

Sheikh Russel KC began their preparation camp for the AFC President's Cup at the BUET ground yesterday, but the start was not a very pleasant one for interim coach Jakaria Babu as only eight players turned up for training, out of which two refrained from training due to sickness and injury. The coach worked with former Mohammedan goalkeeper Mamun Khan, winger Zahid Hossain and Sheikh Russel's old guns Shakil Ahmed, Rezaul Karim, Jewel Rana and Fazle Rabbi while Mithun Chowdhury,...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
'Zim tour serious'

Captain Michael Clarke on Wednesday insisted Australia's visit to Zimbabwe was not a "token tour" or World Cup audition but was all about winning as players return to international action. A 14-man squad departed Wednesday for Harare to play a two-week series that also involves South Africa -- Australia's first international commitment since the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh more than four months ago. "I think it will be a tough series. It's not a token tour, it's about winning," said...

Youth Olympic Games

Published Date: August 21, 2014
Hockey team's campaign ends in misery

Bangladesh five-a-side hockey team finished their 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games campaign with fourth consecutive defeat as they went down 3-4 defeat to South Africa in their last pool match at Nanjing YOG Sports Park Hockey Field in China yesterday. Bangladesh, who had lost 1-9against Spain, 2-5  against Australia and 1-4 against Canada, produced a were tied at 3-3 at one stage against South Africa before conceding the decisive goal in the last moment of the third and final quarter. Naimuddin,...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
WI, Gibson part ways

The West Indies parted ways with coach Ottis Gibson on Tuesday, just a day ahead of a home one-day series against Bangladesh. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) said the two sides "mutually agreed to terminate their association" with team manager Richie Richardson stepping in as interim coach. No reason was given for the departure of Gibson, who had been in charge since 2010 and led the West Indies to the World Twenty20 title in 2012. However, West Indies are currently eighth...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
Pakistan stun archrivals India

Pakistan pulled off a surprise 2-0 win over India Wednesday, with a late goal from Saddam Hussain ensuring them a share of the spoils in the first football series between the arch rivals for almost a decade. Pakistan's captain Kaleemullah put his side ahead in the 38th minute and a scrambled shot by Hussain in the 89th minute silenced the 5,000 Indian spectators at the Bangalore Football Stadium. The home fans had been hoping for more of the same after India...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
Atletico deny Real

Atletico deny Real

A Raul Garcia equaliser two minutes from time denied James Rodriguez a dream home debut for Real Madrid as Atletico Madrid salvaged a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Tuesday. Rodriguez had surprisingly started on the bench, but replaced Cristiano Ronaldo at half-time when the World Player of...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
UEFA starts probe against Tavecchio

European football's governing body UEFA has opened an investigation into a comment made by new Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio that has been widely condemned as racist. At a public meeting last month, Tavecchio, 71, said: "Here we get 'Opti Poba' who previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first-team player at Lazio." The comments, which appeared to be aimed at France and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, sparked controversy in Italy with many commentators condemning what they saw...

UEFA Champions League

Published Date: August 21, 2014
Arsenal, Napoli held

Ten-man Arsenal were left frustrated after a 0-0 stalemate at Besiktas in Tuesday's Champions League play-off round first leg while Athletic Bilbao earned the upper hand in their tie with Napoli following a 1-1 draw in Italy. Demba Ba nearly handed Besiktas a dream start in Istanbul when his audacious effort straight from kick-off came back off the crossbar after almost catching out Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Ba again tested Szczesny with a firmly-struck volley while Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
Martino names first squad

New Argentinian national coach Gerardo Martino kept faith on Tuesday with the players who got Argentina to their first World Cup final since 1990 and lost 1-0 to Germany when he named his first squad for a friendly with the same opponents in Duesseldorf on September 3. Martino, who stood down from the Barcelona job at the end of last season after they finished trophyless, was named as the new coach only last week and replaced Alejandro Sabella, who declined...

Published Date: August 21, 2014
FIFA upholds Barca ban

Barcelona will not be able to sign any new players until January 2016 after world football's governing body FIFA rejected an appeal over a transfer ban imposed for breaching rules on underage players. The Catalan giants will be banned from the national and international market for two consecutive transfer windows, starting in January 2015, FIFA said. Barcelona immediately announced they would appeal to sports' highest court, describing the decision as an "affront" to its youth training academy. "FC Barcelona announces that it...

Dhaka Bank Cup 2014
West Indies vs Bangladesh

Published Date: August 20, 2014
Tigers' WI mission starts today

Zero wins in 10 games. That is what Bangladesh's win-loss ratio in ODIs look like in 2014; the worst of the lot. In fact Afghanistan, Scotland, Kenya, Netherlands and even the UAE have fared better. It is with this nightmare of a statistic that the Tigers will take on a full-strength West Indies side, unlike their last tour in 2009, at the National Cricket Stadium in St George's, Grenada today. Seems like a task too hard? Considering the fact that...

Dhaka Bank Cup 2014
West Indies vs Bangladesh

Published Date: August 20, 2014
Mominul and the extra pacer

As Bangladesh take on the West Indies in the first ODI at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada today, there will be two issues that the team management will be looking to settle. The first will be Shakib Al Hasan's replacement at the top order and the composition of the bowling attack. While Imrul Kayes's recent form has almost confirmed him a spot in the precarious number three position, number four will be a three-way battle between Shamsur Rahman, Mominul...

Published Date: August 20, 2014
A central problem

After the national U-23 team's 3-1 win over Bangladesh Army in recent a practice match, head coach Lodewijk de Kruif expressed his concern over the backline, which looked ill at ease and leaked an embarrassing goal in the second half. The defence, especially the centre-back position, which used to be the strength of Bangladesh national team for a long time since independence, started to look vulnerable in the early 2000s. Rajani Kanta Barman and Mohammad Sujan were probably the two...

Published Date: August 20, 2014
SA take series

SA take series

Quinton de Kock tied a one-day international record as South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 61 runs on Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The 21-year-old wicketkeeper-opening batsman made 38 to equal the mark of England's Jonathan Trott in reaching the landmark of 1,000 runs in only 21 one-day games. Faf du...

Published Date: August 20, 2014
India send SOS to Ravi

India's cricket chiefs on Tuesday effectively sidelined head coach Duncan Fletcher for the one-day series against England following their 3-1 defeat in the Tests, placing former all-rounder Ravi Shastri in charge. Shastri, in England as a TV commentator, has been asked to "oversee" the squad for the five-match series as part of a shake-up in which the bowling and fielding coaches have also been ordered to stand aside. "The BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] has decided to avail...

Published Date: August 20, 2014
Phelps making int'l return

Record-breaking Olympian Michael Phelps will swim his first international meet since coming out of retirement at this week's Pan Pacific Championships as he seeks a return to winning ways. Phelps, 29, the 18-time Olympic gold medalist, will take his quest for form to Australia's Gold Coast after he ended this month's US Championships with a couple of near-misses but no wins. Despite this, Phelps made the powerful 60-strong American team for the Gold Coast meet, just four months after ending a...

Youth Olympic Games

Published Date: August 20, 2014
Bangladesh's dismal show continues

Bangladesh five-a-side hockey team continued their dismal show in the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games as they suffered a 1-4 goal defeat against Canada in their third match in Nanjing, China yesterday. Bangladesh conceded four goals before pulling back one back through Naimuddin. Bangladesh, who have lost all three matches, will play against South Africa today. In other disciplines, shooter Sharmin Akter became 19th among 20 participants in the 10m Air Rifle event after scoring 397 out of 436 points while...

Published Date: August 20, 2014
Nepal name friendly squad

All Nepal Football Federation (ANFA) yesterday announced a 20-member squad for the two friedlies against Bangladesh U-23 team, with the inclusion of seven booters who were in the national side during last year's SAFF Championship. However, two key strikers --Bimal Gharti Magar and Bharat Khawas have been kept out of the squad even though they have been included in the squad for the Asian Games. Bimal is currently playing in Belgium while Bharat is nursing an injury. The two matches will...

Barclays English Premier League

Published Date: August 20, 2014
Costa off the mark

Costa off the mark

Diego Costa began to pay back his hefty transfer fee with a debut goal for Chelsea as they recovered from the shock of going behind to seal an emphatic 3-1 win over Burnley on Monday. Spain striker Costa, bought from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid for £32 million ($53 million), cancelled out Scott Arfield's...

Barclays English Premier League

Published Date: August 20, 2014
A Cesc masterclass

A Cesc masterclass

Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas provided a swift demonstration of why Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was so keen to bring him back to the Premier League as he orchestrated Monday's 3-1 season-opening win at Burnley in commanding fashion. Fabregas spent seven seasons in England with Arsenal before making a move, three years ago, back to...

Published Date: August 20, 2014
'I won't bite again'

Controversial striker Luis Suarez said he was "very depressed" after the World Cup biting incident that led to the Uruguay international being initially banned from all soccer activities for four months. Suarez can now train with new club Barcelona and play friendlies, following an appeal hearing last week, before making his competitive return at the end of October. "I prefer not to look backwards," the former Liverpool forward said as he was presented to the media at the Nou Camp on...

Published Date: August 20, 2014
Suarez makes Barca debut

Suarez makes Barca debut

Luis Suarez made his first appearance for Barcelona after his move from Liverpool for a reported 95 million euros (£75 million, $127 million) as the Catalans hammered Mexican side Club Leon 6-0 in a friendly on Monday. The Uruguayan striker, who won't be able to play in a competitive game for Barca until October...

Published Date: August 20, 2014
Dunga rings changes

New Brazil coach Dunga announced the first squad of his second spell in charge of the Selecao on Tuesday, with only 10 of those who featured at the World Cup making the cut. After the traumatic semifinal exit from the World Cup at the semifinal stage to Germany last month, Brazil parted company with Luiz Felipe Scolari and brought back Dunga, the coach of the team at the 2010 World Cup. He named a squad of 22 players for the friendlies...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Shakib glad to be back on top

Shakib glad to be back on top

There has not been a lot going along Shakib Al Hasan's way lately. The suspended all-rounder has had to bear the agony of training separately from his national teammates. He also missed out on achieving a unique feat of winning both the Indian Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League -- his team...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Tigers' Caribbean threats

The lead-up to the last series that Bangladesh played against the West Indies, at home in 2012, was dominated with questions regarding the Tigers' strategy to deal with the likes of Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine. Now any team travelling to the Caribbean will no doubt have to keep in mind the damage that the latter's more celebrated players can cause, but when it comes to the Tigers, statistics show that it has generally been the more underrated players who...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
4 picked for WI Tests

The national selectors have picked four players to join the team in the West Indies for the two-match Test series. According sources close to the selection panel, left-arm spinner Taijul Islam is the fresh inclusion alongside Shuvagoto Hom -- who has so far played four ODIs since making his international debut in August 2011 -- and pacers Robiul Islam and Shafiul Islam. The 22-year old Taijul, who is considered a good young prospect for the longer version and who recently visited...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
On a high Jayawardene goes out

On a high Jayawardene goes out

Mahela Jayawardene Monday said a "gut feeling" prompted him to quit Test cricket as he turned his attention to one last World Cup campaign after near-misses in 2007 and 2011. "Players come and go, but the game continues," the 37-year-old said, after ending a 17-year Test career in which he became one of the...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Cricketers hit form

The Bangladesh team management were delighted with their thumping 95-run win over Grenada at Progress Park on Friday. The foundation of the win was set up by Tamim Iqbal's 86-ball 91 and Mahmudullah Riyad's 61-ball 78 that helped the Tigers to 322. In reply, the hosts were restricted to 215 for nine with Mashrafe Bin Mortaza picking three wickets. Team manager Habibul Bashar described the win as an extremely satisfying one. “There was bounce on the wicket and I thought our boys...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
A debacle 'Made in India'

 India's inept cricket during the five-Test series against England, which ended with an innings-and-244 run annihilation at The Oval on Sunday, has caused the country's cricketing fraternity to come down on the team and management like a ton of bricks. "Spineless India blown away," read the Hindustan Times daily's front-page headline about their 3-1 loss. "If Indian fans had thought nothing could be worse than the 0-4 Test series rout they suffered in England in 2011, they were in for a...

Published Date: August 19, 2014
Lanka sweep series 2-0

Lanka sweep series 2-0

An emotional Mahela Jayawardene ended his glittering 17-year Test career on a high Monday as Sri Lanka won the second and final Test against Pakistan by 105 runs to sweep the series 2-0. The tourists, who resumed their second innings at 127-7 chasing a target of 271, were shot out for 165 before lunch on the fifth day. Last man Junaid Khan was unable to bat due to injury as Pakistan lost their final wickets on the last morning. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who claimed nine wickets in the first innings, was once against the chief destroyer with five for 57 in the second.