Bengaluru, April 11 (PTI) The upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will be a platform for the Indian mens hockey team to test its new methods and showcase its potential ahead of this years big ticket events, says chief coach Roelant Oltmans. Oltmans said India will be using the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia to test its bench strength and style of play ahead of this years important tournaments like the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final in London, HWL Final in Bhubaneswar and Asia Cup in Dhaka. “This (Azlan Shah Cup) is not the most important tournaments for us. The most important thing for us in this tournament will be to showcase (our potential). We are trying to introduce a new style of play before we embark on big tournaments, including the Hockey World League and Asia Cup,” the Dutchman told reporters after announcing the squad at the Sports Authority of India here today. India today named an experimental 18-member squad for the Azlan Shah Cup to be held in Ipoh from April 27 to May 6. The squad to be led by ace goalkeeper PR Sreejesh includes six players from last years Junior World Cup-winning side out of which four will make their senior debut in Azlan Shah Cup. Defender Gurinder Singh, midfielders Sumit and Manpreet and goalkeeper Suraj Karkera will make their senior debut in the tournament, while dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh and Harjeet Singh were other members of the junior team who have already played for the senior side. Oltmans said India will focus more on its forwar?dline in the Azlan Shah Cup. “We are practising very hard. We want to score more and more goals. Winning a medal for the country is all about scoring goals and to execute this plan we need more goal- scoring players like Affan Yousuf,” he said. Asked, who he considers to be the underdogs in the tournament, Oltmans said: “Japan has not played any international matches and it is difficult to know who are the underdogs. Also, there is England who did not have very good outing last year. They will be eager to perform better. So, let us wait and watch.” PTI BDN SSC SSCadvertisement
Whangarei (New Zealand), Apr 28 (PTI) Indias Gaurav Gill of Team MRF Tyres, the defending champion, set the early pace with a scorching night run of the Super Special Stage at the International Rally of Whangarei, the first round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship here. He led team-mate Ole Christian Veiby by 2.5 seconds. Gill and co-driver Stephane Prevot came up with an imperious drive during the two loops of the 1km long Super Special Stage that was also used for the mornings shakedown, where APRC debutant Veiby was the quickest. However, in the night run, it was Gill all the way as he took one minute, 49.2 seconds, while Veiby clocked 01:51.7, well clear of third placed Jan Ketomaa (Ville Mannisenmaki) of Mpart Sport (01:52.9). After the shakedown session, Gill expressed satisfaction and shrugged off Veiby being quicker than him, albeit by five-tenths of a second. High on confidence going into the new APRC season having dominated last year when he won all six rounds of the championship, Gill said: “I am hoping it would rain tomorrow, not much, but just enough so that it will help us. “Our MRF tyres have been working well and a bit of rain will be to our advantage,” added Gill during the pre-event press conference that followed the shakedown session. The region experienced mild showers in the afternoon, but the skies cleared by the time the Super Special Stage commenced after the ceremonial flag-off. With a cushion of 2.5 seconds, Gill hopes to build on the early momentum tomorrow when the rally moves north to run two loops of four Special Stages. PTI CM CMadvertisement
Opening batsman David Warner smashed a marauding 126 runs off 59 deliveries as Sunrisers Hyderabad registered a crucial 48-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday.The Hyderabad captain unleashed mayhem as he milked 10 fours and eight sixes to power his team to 209/3 in 20 overs. Kolkata could only score 161/7, as Hyderabad remained behind them in the points table at the third spot with 13 points.Warner and Shikhar Dhawan forged a 139-run partnership for the opening wicket as the former produced an astonishing show of power hitting. He also became the highest run-scorer of the tournament so far with a tally of 459 runs.After winning the toss and opting to bowl, Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir applied a strategy of completing the six overs of Powerplay with six bowlers. But none of them could stop Warner, who completed his 50 in only 20 deliveries. At the end of six overs, Hyderabad rocketed off to 79/0, with Warner at 62 not out off 25 balls.One delightful stroke that signified Warner’s belligerence was a switch-hit to Sunil Narine as the ball went for six over the short third man.Later, Warner got a life as Chris Woakes dropped an easy catch at long-off off chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the fifth ball of the 10th over. The catch went over the boundary line for a six and the following ball gave Warner another six to take him to 98.The next over saw Warner complete a double with a flick towards mid-wicket off a Umesh Yadav delivery as he registered his century in just 43 deliveries.advertisementAll this while, Dhawan played a perfect foil to Warner, scoring a run-a-ball 29 before being run out, with the hosts at 139/1 in 12.4 overs.Warner followed him to the dug-out soon, as he mistimed a slow delivery from pacer Coulter-Nile to Gambhir at short cover, with Hyderabad at 171/2 in 16.2 overs.Kane Williamson (40 off 25) later ensured that Hyderabad crossed the 200-run mark with smart stroke play.Chasing the big target was always going to be an uphill task and Kolkata’s poor start made their challenge even stiffer. Opening batsmen Narine (1) and Gambhir (11) mistimed deliveries from Mohammed Siraj and Siddharth Kaul, as Kolkata were reduced to 12/2 in 2.3 overs.They reached 52/2 in seven overs when rain halted the match for around 45 minutes. After the rain-enforced break, Robbin Uthappa and Manish Pandey (39 off 29) provided resistance, putting up a third-wicket 82-run stand in 8.3 overs. They took the attack to the opposition with some lusty blows.But seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar cut short Pandey’s stay when the batsman gave a return catch to the bowler, with Kolkata at 90/3 in 11 overs.Uthappa, meanwhile completed his fifty. But he soon was removed by Siraj, with Warner taking a catch at long-off to halt Kolkata’s progress.Yusuf Pathan hardly impressed as he scored a run-a-ball 12 before being caught by Kaul off leg-spinner Rashid Khan, with the visitors at 130/5 in 16 overs.With 80 runs required from four overs, Colin de Grandhomme and Sheldon Jackson (16) tried their best but couldn’t trouble Hyderabad, who won by 48 runs.
British boxing giant Anthony Joshua, who lifted the world heavyweight title after defeating Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley on Sunday, has expressed his desire to fight against a “real villain”, and none fits the bill better for him than heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.After winning a fight of unprecedented good manners against Wladimir Klitschko and 15 million pounds, Joshua is now willing to either defend his titles in a 50-million pound rematch in Germany in October or a bout against Fury.”At the end of the fight they cheered Wladimir but, yes it would be nice to fight a real villain,” the Guardian quoted Joshua as saying.”I think that we can definitely find someone to dance with again, to bring that sort of attention again. Anyone with a belt is good, to add more to the [collection]. We could rematch Klitschko again. I think that would be good because of the type of fight we had. And I think even guys without a belt would be good. Tyson Fury obviously hasn’t got a belt,” the 27-year-old said.Joshua believes a bout with Fury would definitely attract a lot of attention from all over the world.”Joshua is in no doubt: it would be either Fury or Dillian Whyte, whom he stopped in his most thrilling contest before the Klitschko show. Fury is definitely top of the list. Yeah, that’s a fight that would bring massive attention from the top to the bottom,” he added.The Briton has retained the IBF’s version of the heavyweight title while adding the vacant WBA strap. He’s now 19-0 with all 19 victories by stoppage.advertisement
Boosted by the six wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Delhi Daredevils will aim to carry on the good work when they take on Gujarat Lions in an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at the Feroz Shah Kotla here on Thursday.On Tuesday, Delhi rode on a collective batting effort to overhaul Hyderabad’s stiff target of 186, and rise to the sixth spot in the league table, keeping alive their dreams of reaching the play-offs.Gujarat, on the other hand, are back from two close defeats to find themselves in the penultimate spot in the eight-team standings.Going into Thursday’s tie, Delhi will once again hope for a good start by the top order, comprising the likes of Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer and Risabh Pant.Delhi finally got to a decent opening start on Tuesday, thanks to Samson’s (19-ball 24) and Nair’s (20-ball 39) before Iyer and Pant also managed to cross the 30-run mark.The middle order boasts of the big-hitting all-rounder duo of Chris Morris and Corey Anderson, who stitched together a 41-run unbeaten stand for the fifth wicket to take Delhi home with five balls to spare against Hyderabad.Among the bowlers, pacer Mohammed Shami stood out with his immaculate line and length and was well assisted by the senior leg-spinner Amit Mishra. Off-spinner Jayant Yadav and Morris also bowled decently but South African pace sensation Kagiso Rabada endured an off day in office, leaking 59 runs from his four overs.Meanwhile, Gujarat will hope for a turnaround in their fortunes after two close finishes against Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants. While the match against Mumbai needed a super over to decide the winner, Pune rode on Ben Stokes’ fiery century to deny the Lions a win.advertisementGujarat’s top order boasts of some of the world’s best T20 players in Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dwayner Smith and Suresh Raina, who can tear apart any top bowling attack on their day. Youngster Ishan Kishan has impressed everyone with his power-hitting at the top.The middle order comprising the likes of wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik and all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and James Faulkner can use the long handle in the slog overs if needed.The Lions will only be hoping for some luck going their way in the bowling department, which has lost sting after the injury of Andrew Tye.The all-Indian pace battery of Basil Thampi, Pradeep Sangwan, Ankit Soni, Nathu Singh, Irfan Pathan and Praveen Kumar have failed to click as a unit in the tournament while Jadeja also is due in the wickets column.Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (Captain), Ankit Bawne, Khaleel Ahmed, Corey Anderson, Murugan Ashwin, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite, Pat Cummins, Ben Hilfenhaus, Shreyas Iyer, Angelo Mathews, Chama Milind, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Nadeem, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant (WK), Pratyush Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Navdeep Saini, Sanju Samson, Shashank Singh, Aditya Tare, Jayant Yadav, Marlon Samuels.Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (Captain), Akshdeep Nath, Shubham Agarwal, Basil Thampi, Chirag Suri, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Manpreet Gony, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Brendon McCullum, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, Pratham Singh, Jason Roy, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Ankit Soni, Shelley Shaurya, Nathu Singh, Dwayne Smith, Tejas Baroka, Andrew Tye.
After losing to Rising Pune Supergiant in both their home and away encounters during the league stages of the Indian Premier League (IPL), table-toppers Mumbai Indians will need to pull up their socks when they take on Steve Smith’s side in the first qualifier at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday.There is a lot at stake as the winning team goes straight into the final to be played in Hyderabad on May 21, while the losing side gets another chance in the second qualifier, to be played on May 19 in Bengaluru.Mumbai Indians, even after resting six of their regular XI, outplayed the Kolkata Knight Riders in their last league match to secure the top spot.Going into Tuesday’s clash, Mumbai Indians are expected to be back with their tried and tested combination, except a few changes.Mumbai’s batting has clicked big time this season. When the likes of West Indians Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, stumper Parthiv Patel, skipper Rohit Sharma and young Nitish Rana fire in unison, they can destroy any bowling line-up in the world and Pune’s will be no exception.Besides the top order, the all-round duo of Pandya brothers, Krunal and Hardik, are delivering when needed and the hosts will expect them to rise to the big occasion.Among the changes, the home team can bring in an in-form Ambati Rayadu in place of Nitish Rana to bolster their batting.In the bowling department, Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga and New Zealand’s Mitchell McClenghan are likely to share the new ball before the death-over specialist Jasprit Bumrah comes in along with Hardik. Veteran Harbhajan Singh and leg-spinner Karn Sharma can take care of the middle overs.advertisementOn the other hand, Pune will desperately miss the services of their costliest buy this season, England’s Ben Stokes, who will join his national side ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy, next month.Stokes has proved his worth this season, both with the bat and ball whenever the situation demanded.But Smith’s side will take a lot of heart from the performance of their bowlers in their last league tie against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.Their pacers Jaydev Unadkat (21 wickets), Shardul Thakur (8 wickets) and Dan Christian (9 wickets) have been impressive and regularly taking wickets.The trio will need to strike once again to restrict Mumbai and also require support from Australian leggie Adam Zampa.In the batting department, Pune will bank on their top order comprising Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane and Smith to give them a platform for Manoj Tiwary and former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to flourish later in the order.It will be interesting to see who fills in for the loss of Stokes, who could play the long handle besides steaming in regularly at 140 km/hr.Teams:Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Lendl Simmons, Mitchel Johnson, Mitchell McClenghan, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel (WK), Saurabh Tiwary, Shreyas Gopal, Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Krunal Pandya, Keiron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Asela Gunaratne, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jagdish Suchith, Jaspreet Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Karn Sharma and R Vinay Kumar.Rising Pune Supergiant: Steve Smith (Captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK), Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Dan Christian, Adam Zampa, Shardul Thakur, Ankush Bains, Lockie Ferguson, Jaydev Unadkat, Usman Khawaja, Milind Tandon, Saurabh Kumar, Iswar Pandey, Jaskaran Singh, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Rajat Bhatia, Baba Aparajith, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Ashok Dinda.
The Europa League final should have been a “football feast” but has been inevitably overshadowed by the bomb attack in Manchester which killed 22 people, Ajax coach Peter Bosz has said.Speaking to a news conference at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Bosz opened by offering his condolences and those of the Dutch club to the victims and their families of Monday’s attack.”What happened yesterday (Monday) in Manchester was something that we all feel. On behalf of the players, staff and everyone at Ajax, we would like to express our sympathy with the victims that unfortunately fell,” he said.”The feeling that prevails for me is that the final doesn’t have this glow that it should have. Tomorrow (Wednesday) evening should be a football feast, but because of the events in Manchester we are all affected.”Monday’s attack following an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester has plunged the city into mourning.”I think about a week, ten days ago she (Grande) was in Amsterdam and the wives of the players went to the concert with their children, so it’s something that really touches us,” the 53-year-old said.UEFA announced that the game would be preceded by a minute’s silence for the victims and that the planned opening ceremony would be scaled back.Manchester United cancelled their planned press conference, instead taking a walk around the pitch before adjourning to their hotel, and Bosz declined to answer when asked if he would have liked the game to be postponed, saying that such decisions were outside of his control.advertisementBosz believes that when the game finally gets underway his young side have a chance against one of Europe’s richest clubs.”I think we only have a chance to beat Manchester if we play our own game. We have developed a way of playing this season that I always call the Ajax way of playing,” he said.”Tomorrow (Wednesday night), if we are capable of playing our way, we have a chance.”Bosz’s youthful charges will also benefit from the experience of some of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League-winning side.”The young players are blessed because a lot of those players are still working at Ajax,” he explained.”We have Edwin Van der Sar, Marc Overmars, Dennis Bergkamp is one of the assistant coaches, we have other players working in the youth academy,” he said.
Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has dedicated their Europa League triumph over Ajax Amsterdam to the victims of the deadly bomb attack in Manchester on Monday, while Juan Mata and Paul Pogba also paid tribute to those affected.A minute’s silence was held before the game, which turned into applause, in honour of the 22 people killed and 64 injured in the blast at an Ariana Grande pop concert at the Manchester Arena the night before the team left for the final in Stockholm.Goals from France international Pogba and Armenian Henrik Mkhitaryan in each half gave United their first European trophy since 2008, and their first Europa League crown.”I want to dedicate the trophy to the victims,” man of the match Herrera told reporters after Wednesday’s victory.”This is just football but what happened on Monday was horrible. We want peace in the world and respect. This happened in Manchester but everywhere we have to be a united world to fight for peace and to have no more attacks.”Yesterday morning we were devastated and really sad,” added the Spaniard, who has developed into one of Jose Mourinho’s most valuable players this campaign, his third at United, and has won the admiration of supporters for his dedication to the side.”It was difficult to train yesterday but the manager told us is that the only thing we could do is win this for them.”NOT EASYA little more than 48 hours after the attack, substitute Wayne Rooney took over the captain’s arm band and raised the Europa League trophy at the Friends Arena, the stadium where American Grande began her world tour back on May 8.advertisement”Obviously football doesn’t bring back the lives which were lost, but to try and give some happiness to the city was vital to us,” the 31-year-old club captain told reporters.”I knew people who were at the concert, so it’s not easy, it’s not a nice moment – not just for Manchester but for the whole of England, and we all felt that. Then we had to go out and put a performance in to win the game.Rooney could not say if the game would be his last in a Manchester United shirt.”I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know,” he said. “This is a time now that I will go and spend with my family, there’s decisions I have to make and I’ll do that over the next few weeks.”The Europa League success and United’s Community Shield and League Cup triumphs added some gloss to a disappointing Premier League season for United, who finished sixth in the standings, 24 points adrift of champions Chelsea.PROUD FANS”The motivation is always big when you put a United shirt on, because we represent the greatest club in England one of the biggest in the world,” added Herrera.”We know we could have done better in the Premier League so to finish the season by winning the League Cup and the Europa League is fantastic. We performed like a big team today and I think our fans can be very proud of us.”Herrera’s compatriot Mata said Monday’s shocking events in Manchester gave the win in Stockholm extra significance.”It means a lot as it is my first European trophy with United and after what happened yesterday it is nice to bring a trophy back for Manchester,” Mata told reporters.”It has been a really difficult week in the city of Manchester and we are happy to win for all the people that have suffered. We have won a trophy the club has never won so we are really happy.”Pogba, who moved to Manchester aged 16 to join United’s set up and returned last summer from Juventus for a world record 89 million pounds ($115.41 million) fee, added: “We know things like this are very sad all over the world. We had to focus. Manchester – we won for them. We played for England, we played for Manchester and we played for them — the people who died.”
His side comes into the Champions Trophy eighth in the ICC ODI rankings, but Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed is confident of making the most of having nothing to lose in the upcoming tournament.Pakistan have yet to lift this particular trophy, but come to England with a sense of freedom as they look to reach a first-ever final — with excitement the main emotion heading into the tournament.Edgbaston will first become Pakistan’s second home, playing arch-rivals India and South Africa in their opening two matches, while fellow sub-continent outfit Sri Lanka will be their last group opposition.It was here in Birmingham where Sarfraz stated his side’s ambitions for the tournament, confident that a care-free approach can pay dividends in a bid for a global title.”We have nothing to lose, we just want to play our natural game. We have just played a very good series in the West Indies, where the players performed very well,” he said.”We are very hopeful of playing well in this tournament and we want to win it. It is a very exciting time for us, there have been a lot of practice sessions at Edgbaston and we’re ready to play,” he said at his pre-tournament press conference.”Against the West Indies, we had a big fielding improvement, there were one or two dropped catches but it was an improvement so we are happy with that.”We don’t see us as having a surprise element, we want to come here and play free cricket, starting against India. We are taking matches one by one and the Pakistan team is hopeful of building some confidence starting in the warm-up matches,” he added.advertisementSarfraz also praised Bangladesh, with the two teams set to meet here for a warm-up match on Saturday.Bangladesh are in their first ICC Champions Trophy since 2006 and currently sit higher than Pakistan in the ICC ODI rankings, with Sarfraz admitting he has been impressed by Bangladesh over the last 18 months.From there, attention turns quickly to India, a team which Pakistan have a positive record against in the competition — winning two and losing just one of their previous meetings against the arch rivals.And while that game may be particularly special for the fans back home, Sarfraz insists his side will take its preparations one day, and one game, at a time.”Over the past one-and-a-half years, Bangladesh has performed very well. The warm-up game is a good opportunity for both teams before the Champions Trophy. Both teams want to win so it’s a good practice match to have,” he said.”Over the past few years they’ve done well and we’ll see its batsmen, like Tamim Iqbal, if we play in the semi-finals. We have a better record against India in the Champions Trophy, not in other competitions, but we do well in this,” he added.”We’re looking to maintain that against them and it’s very exciting.”Having taken over the captaincy in February, for Sarfraz the Champions Trophy marks the first major tournament at the helm.He boasts a positive record so far, winning three of his four matches as captain, coming from behind to secure his first series win as skipper in the West Indies.The 30-year-old was in the middle as the winning runs were hit in the final match, and with confidence high that Pakistan can flourish in the ICC Champions Trophy, he isn’t feeling the pressure of leading his country.”This is my first major tournament as captain, I’m definitely very hopeful and excited about the competition,” Sarfraz said.”My aim is to play my own game, to not play under pressure and to just play as I do in domestic cricket.”
Aprilia has introduced the Shiver 900 and Dorsoduro 900, adding a new racing dimension to India’s two-wheeler industry. These superbikes will be available through Piaggio Group’s Motoplexes in Pune, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad and will add to Aprilia’s existing superbikes portfolio of Tuono and RSV4. The bikes are now available with special introductory pricing on limited units until June 30th 2017 to encourage racing enthusiasts in the country. Equipped with a new 900 V-twin engine, the Aprilia Shiver projects maximum torque at any rpm delivering more power and adding to the characteristics without taking away the ease and comfort of riding. The design aesthetics of the bike have been revamped to include side covers on the fuel tank, side panels, tail fairing and front mudguard which highlights its sporty character. The mixed steel trellis and aluminium plates frame creates an extremely compact bike and enhances the riding experience of the discerning bikers. The refined mechanics and excellent chassis structure are set to make these bikes the best in class.The Shiver has an ultra-modern instrument cluster which comprises of a TFT technology display with a large 4.3″ screen. It has the ability to adapt the background and font colours based on the conditions detected by the light sensor. Smartphones can also be connected through the AMP kit and all data related to the calls and audio files can be accessed.For the first time, the Aprilia Shiver has an advanced traction control system, together with an upgraded version of the ride-by-wire technology which is an evolved ride-by-wire electronic accelerator system, now completely built into the throttle grip. Thereby, making the system lighter and efficient. Aprilia Shiver is the first street bike in the world to be fitted with the ride-by-wire technology since its introduction in 2007. The ride-by-wire technology has come from the Aprilia MotoGP bike and has been adapted by all manufacturers world over.advertisementAprilia Dorsoduro 900 Like the Shiver, the Aprilia Dorsoduro is also equipped with the ride by wire electronic accelerator system, which enables riders to change the engine mapping, thereby creating a change in the amount of power utilized. The Sport setting provides an immediate and aggressive throttle; the Touring is ideal for touring and daily use, providing a smoother response. The Rain map is ideal for difficult weather conditions and slippery road surfaces.The Dorsoduro is agile with advanced technical solutions drawn from the characteristics of a sports bike as well as a motard. Reflecting the racing heritage of the brand and derived from the sporting world, the bike has long and flat saddle capable of ensuring the most effective riding position at all times. The chassis of the Dorsoduro creates efficiency, balance and precision for extreme riding at the same time providing the ease for daily use.The combination of the traction control system along with the continental two channel ABS system adds to the sporty feel of the bike. The bike is also equipped with a new coloured TFT digital instrumentation which is similar to the one on Aprilia Shiver. The Dorsoduro, like all other Aprilia motorcycles, also has the multimedia platform which enables riders to share and manage all their trip information, interface with handlebar controls. Using this platform, riders can also receive indications on consumption, routes and Aprilia service centre locations.In addition, both the bikes are also equipped with a new, 540 grams lighter Kayaba front fork and lighter three-spoked rims.”It is our constant effort at Piaggio Group to make the Aprilia brand more accessible to the patrons in the country, with these superbikes- the Aprilia Shiver and Dorsoduro- we plan to appeal to the Aprilia enthusiast.” Said Mr. Stefano Pelle, CEO and Managing Director, Piaggio Vehicles Private Limited (India) on the launch of the superbikes. He further added, “These superbikes reflect the racing heritage of the brand and the riding experience is unmatched by any other product in the similar category.”The two motorcycles have been launched at a special introductory price that can be availed until June 30.PricesBikeIntroductory PriceStandard Price Aprilia Shiver 900 Rs 11.99 lakh Rs 13.33 lakh Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 Rs 12.50 lakh Rs 13.84 lakhAll prices are Ex-showroom, Pune.Also Read: Piaggio launches Vespa Elegante 150cc special edition in India at Rs 95,077
The Cricket Advisory Committee – Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman – met with India captain Virat Kohli and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the coach issue in a hotel in London on Friday afternoon.While they assessed Kohli’s thoughts and opinions on Anil Kumble and the coach’s position, it was decided that the issue should be further dealt with after the Champions Trophy.The BCCI will inform the SGM (Special General Meeting) about both the CAC (Cricket Advisory Committee) and Kohli’s thought process.Reports of a rift between Kohli and current coach Anil Kumble had surfaced soon after the BCCI issued an advertisement for the next coach. But the Indian board maintained it was only following procedures and processes.Ganguly, Laxman and Tendulkar, who had roped in Kumble as coach for a one-year period in 2016 in place of Ravi Shastri, have firmly backed the legendary leg-spinner to continue.India Today had reported last week that the CAC had asked for more time and wanted to hold discussions with BCCI and Kohli. The India captain has of course dismissed any news of rifts with the coach as mere rumour.Kumble, meanwhile, will travel with the team to the West Indies for a limited-overs series comprising five ODIs and a one-off T20 International after the end of the Champions Trophy.
Within three months of a cancellation, WBO Asia Pacific Super middleweight champion Vijender Singh’s proposed double title fight against Oriental Super middleweight champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali is back on track for an August showdown.According to the undefeated Indian’s promoters IOS Boxing Promotions, talks have taken a positive turn between SECA Worldwide, the Chinese boxer’s promoters.Both the boxers will put their respective titles at stake in a winner-takes-all clash that is likely to be held in the first half of August in Mumbai.The promoters of the respective boxers were in talks earlier this year as well, but due to “unavoidable circumstances the bout did not take place”. Maimaitiali had refused to fight without specifying the reasons.Speaking on a possible bout Edmund Chu, MD, SECA Worldwide said, “Zulpikar is training and preparing to fight Vijender Singh in the biggest showdown of the year. Due to certain unavoidable circumstances, the bout had to be postponed.”But we have been in talks with IOS Boxing Promotions for over a month now to work out the modalities and are hopeful for the bout to take place soon. Zuli is ready to enter the ring in India and put on a performance against Indian star Vijender Singh in front of his home crowd to become Asian King of Boxing,” he added.The 22-year-old undefeated Chinese boxer has fought eight bouts with 24 rounds under his belt. Zulpikar has won seven bouts with no less than 5 KO wins and one draw.The Chinese boxer debuted in the year 2015, and won the WBO Oriental Title last year in July.advertisementVijender has eight wins under his belt with seven of them being KOs and one by Unanimous Decision.He has played 30 rounds, which puts him a few rounds above his next opponent. Vijender won his maiden title last year in July after defeating Kerry Hope of Australia.Later, in the month of December, the former Olympic bronze-medallist was challenged by Francis Cheka of Tanzania for his title, which was retained by Vijender.Commenting on the next fight, IOS Boxing Promotions’ Neerav Tomar said, “We will apply to WBO to sanction the title once we lock the terms with SECA. As soon as our fight is sanctioned we will announce the date and venue of the fight night. We will try to make this fight happen in August 2017.”The fight night in August would also mark the professional debut of Olympians Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar.
Crystal Palace have appointed former Ajax Amsterdam and Inter Milan coach Frank de Boer as their new manager on a three-year contract, the Premier League club said on Monday.The 47-year-old Dutchman has been out of work since he was sacked by Serie A club Inter in November after winning just five of the opening 14 games of the season.”We have undertaken a thorough interview process to ensure we are in a position to appoint a manager of the calibre and experience that Frank brings with him,” Palace chairman Steve Parish said in a statement.”I am pleased to welcome him to Crystal Palace and I know he cannot wait to get started and prepare for our record breaking fifth season in the top flight.”Palace have been without a manager since Sam Allardyce opted to leave the south London club at the end of last season after securing their top flight survival.De Boer, who played for Ajax and Barcelona during a distinguished career which also saw him make 112 appearances for the Dutch national team, is only the second non-British manager of the club.”This role is a hugely exciting opportunity for me, and I cannot wait to get started in the Premier League with the players and staff here in south London,” said De Boer.Palace recorded 41 points and finished 14th in the league last season with 12 victories in 38 games.
As tennis turns to Wimbledon, there’s been a bit of a throwback feel to this Grand Slam season so far.At the year’s first major tournament, the Australian Open in January, Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal for the men’s title, and Serena Williams defeated her sister, Venus, for the women’s title.Matchups from a decade ago or more, right?Then, at the French Open in May and June, Nadal reached a second consecutive major final for the first time since 2014, and won one for the first time since that year.And now, when play begins at the All England Club, so many of the key story lines will involve those same four players: Federer and Nadal because of their recent resurgence; Serena Williams because of her absence (she’s expecting a baby in September); Venus Williams because she is one of only two past champions in the women’s draw.Here is what to watch on the grass courts of the year’s third Grand Slam tournament, which starts Monday:FEDERER THE FAVOURITEWasn’t all that long ago that folks were figuring Federer’s best days were long behind him. He hadn’t won a Grand Slam title since 2012, and as he entered his mid-30s, he was missing Grand Slam tournaments for the first time in more than 15 years because of injury. And now? He extended his record with an 18th major championship in Australia, opened the year 19-1, took some time off and then won a grass title at Halle, Germany. With defending champion Andy Murray off-form this season, Federer is a popular pick to win Wimbledon for what would be a record eighth time.advertisementNADAL GOES FROM CLAY TO GRASSThere was a time that Nadal excelled on any surface, winning Wimbledon twice and reaching the final on three other occasions while marching his way toward 10 French Open titles and completing a career Grand Slam, too. But then his knees became a real problem on grass and he not only started losing early at the All England Club, he started losing to players ranked 100th or worse. “When Rafael is good with his knees,” said Nadal’s uncle and coach, Toni, “he can play well on the grass.”WHO’S MISSINGNot only is seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams absent, but so is 2004 champ Maria Sharapova, who was forced to sit out last year’s tournament during a 15-month doping ban. She would have needed to qualify this time around but is now sidelined by a left thigh injury. Their absences lend the same sort of wide-open feel to the women’s draw that the French Open had.KVITOVA, VENUS, AZARENKASo the two past winners in the field are Venus Williams, a five-time champion, and Petra Kvitova, a two-time champ. Kvitova will get plenty of attention because of what she went through in late December: An intruder attacked her with a knife at her home in the Czech Republic. Kvitova wound up with cuts to her left hand – the one she uses to swing a racket – and needed surgery. Wimbledon will be the third tournament of her comeback; she won the second last week on grass. Another two-time major champion to keep an eye on: former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka. This will be her first Grand Slam tournament in more than a year; she returned to the tour in June after giving birth to a son.WHICH DJOKOVIC WILL BE THERE?Novak Djokovic has won three Wimbledon titles and normally would be considered a real likely candidate for a fourth, but he has not played up to his usual standards over the past year. He went from winning four consecutive Grand Slam titles, something no man had done in nearly a half-century, to failing to defend any of those championships; he lost in the third round at Wimbledon in 2016. He tried to look on the bright side recently, saying: “It is liberating a bit. I was very fortunate and privileged to have so much success in the last eight, nine years, and kind of entered most of the tournaments as one of the biggest favorites. So for a change, it’s good to not be one of the top favorites. It releases a bit of the pressure.”OSTAPENKO’S FOLLOW-UPAfter coming out of nowhere to win the French Open, what will Jelena Ostapenko do for an encore? She arrived in Paris unseeded, ranked only 47th and without a title of any sort on tour, then used a fearless brand of high-risk tennis to win the championship. Now there are new expectations, and no opponent will overlook her, but consider this: Grass is her favorite surface; she was the junior champion at Wimbledon in 2014.advertisement
Zimbabwe were seven wickets away from their maiden Test win over Sri Lanka on Monday after setting the hosts a target of 388 in their one-off match at the R. Premadasa Stadium.Sri Lanka were 170/3 in their second innings at stumps on the fourth day, still needing another 218 to beat Zimbabwe, who also recently won their maiden One-Day international series against the hosts.Kusal Mendis was unbeaten on 60 with Angelo Mathews, who stepped down as captain after the ODI series defeat, on 17 not out.Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer picked up 2/67 in Sri Lanka’s second innings to add to his five-wicket haul in the first innings.Earlier, Sikandar Raza’s first Test century helped Zimbabwe to 377 in their second innings after the touring side had resumed the fourth day on 252-6.Raza scored 127 and added 144 for the seventh wicket with Malcolm Waller, who made 68, to ensure his side set Sri Lanka a steep target to chase.Sri Lanka spin spearhead Rangana Herath picked up 6/116 – his 31st five-wicket haul in Tests – to total 11 wickets in the match.
The International Career and College Counseling (IC3) Conference was recently hosted at New Delhi’s JW Marriott in Aerocity where a study revealed the difference a good career counselling could make to students.Indian students do not get proper exposure and the lack of good career counselling means that most students and parents are completely unaware of the host of career choices available today.”As the survey insights state, Indian students have not been able to gain preference in comparison to the overseas students due to lack of exposure and right counseling at the right age. We really need to step up the counseling practices in India to help them gain the desired position in the international markets,” said IC3 Conference Chair, President and Chief Mentor, KIC UnivAssist, and former high school college counsellor Ganesh Kohli, according to ANI.The survey was conducted all across India and other important locations abroad by IC3 along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Four categories of people provided their opinions to build the survey: Students, High Schools and Counselors, Industry Leaders, and Universities and Global Academic Institutions.Following are some of the most crucial points from the IC3 survey:56 per cent of universities feel that students need to be helped by their high schools in making the transition from school to collegeA staggering 98 per cent of universities feel students need much more career counselling at school level to be prepared better for higher studiesThe two primary focus areas of universities when interacting with high schools is engagement or relationship building (58 per cent) and student recruitment (41 per cent)Though 45 per cent of universities feel their enrolment s the same as last year despite the political troubles around the world, 31 per cent say that they have seen a small increase of around 3-9 per cent in this year’s student enrolmentAs many as 35 per cent students depend on their parents’ opinion when it comes to selecting colleges while 33 per cent of students opt for internet research to make a decisionCareer related decisions are extremely stressed about by students and teachers, according to 46 per cent of educatorsPercentage of students opting for various types of industriesThe career counselling carried out in schools and colleges is way below the standards in colleges abroad. Since Indian students are unaware of the benefits they could get from various vocational courses, they like to play it safe by opting for science subjects, mathematics, engineering and technology. As per the survey, around 40 per cent students opt for these popular subjects, 22 per cent go for the entertainment industry, sports or arts, 17 per cent turn towards medical, while a meagre 1 per cent choose finance and business.advertisementCareer counsellors are now getting more reliant on technology to get their point across and a 38 per cent of the students involved in the survey agreed that their career counsellors used some sort of technology to make them understand their choices better.Global political tension doesn’t affect studentsThough the world seems to be in the throes of political upheaval with the situation more or less volatile in several countries, high aspiring students do not seem to care about it. In fact, the number of students opting to study abroad has actually gone up! Here is a list of the preferred destinations to study abroad along with the percentage of students opting for them:US: 45 per centCanada: 14 per centUK: 13 per centAustralia: 10 per centSouth East Asia: 8 per centEurope: 7 per cent”In today’s digital world transition of a student from college to career must be developed on the basis of individual interest. Industry today is looking at engaging with students through structured seminars and forums to equip them with a complete know-how of different career options,” said Asst. Secretary General-FICCI Shobha Mishra Ghosh according to ANI.More on the event:The event was attended by experts from various fields such as Chairperson of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia; Director – Education, Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. Pratik Mehta; Chief Architect- IoT Ecosystem Solutions, IBM, Shalini Kapoor; Country CEO and Managing Director – Renault India Operations, Sumit Sawhney; and UBER Central Operations, India, UBER, Pradeep Parameswaran.A special honour was awarded to Founder-Manager of City Montessori School for his contributions Dr. Jagdish Gandhi was awarded with a special honour for his contribution to the field of education.Read: Textbooks shouldn’t be used as ‘ideological battleground’ for any political point-scoring: Manish Sisodia For information on more latest news and updates, click here. advertisementClick here for more education related news.For more details, follow India Today Education or you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Born on October 15, 1881 in Surrey, England, Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse or better known as P.G. Wodehouse is a renowned name in the comic book circuit. Besides writing humourous pieces, he was also a lyricist, and playwright. He is best known as the creator of Jeeves, the supreme “gentleman’s gentleman.”He died on February 14, 1975 in New York, United States.In his lifetime, he wrote over 90 books, 20 film scripts and collaborated on more than 30 plays and musical comedies.Here are some facts on the life and times of P.G. Wodehouse:After his graduation, he started of as a banker working for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank in London for two years. He soon realised he had little interest in the financial world and started to writeMany of Wodehouse’s stories were first published in magazines such as Punch, Cosmopolitan, Collier’s, The New Yorker, The Strand, and Vanity Fair before being published as collectionsIn the year 1914, Wodehouse married Ethel nee Newton. The couple had no children of their own but Ethel had a daughter, LeonoraHe was captured by the Germans in 1940 during the World War II. He later humourously described his experiences in radio broadcasts from Berlin to the United States. His use of enemy technology caused an uproar in Britain. His books were ordered to be removed from shelves and he was laden with false accusations including treason and collaborating with the Nazis. George Orwell wrote a book about this called “In Defence of P. G. Wodehouse”After the war, Wodehouse settled in the United States. He became a US citizen in the year 1955. He was knighted in the year 1975.advertisement Some of his famous quotes:Unseen in the background, Fate was quietly slipping lead into the boxing-glove.There is only one cure for gray hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine.I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit.To find a man’s true character, play golf with him.The Right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say “When!””Elementary, my dear Watson, elementary,” murmured Psmith.I always advise people never to give advice. Interested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to email@example.com
Siliguri (WB), Nov 21 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the development in the Darjeeling Hills would never be “compromised” and the state government would work together with the local parties and people for its prosperity.Banerjee said this at a meeting with representatives of all political parties in the hills near here.”We want peace. We want progress. We want the hills to prosper and develop. People in the plains and the hills will work together for development,” she said at Pintail village.The chief minister congratulated people of the hills for restoration of normalcy.”Peace has returned to the hills. We are overwhelmed by the positive response from the people,” she said.The turmoil in the Darjeeling Hills began in June, after Banerjee announced her decision to make Bengali compulsory in state-run schools.While she had clarified that hill districts would be exempted from the rule, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) began an agitation that soon revived the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.Banerjee said her government will provide compensation to the families of those who lost their lives during the recent unrest in the hills.A sum of Rs two lakh each would be given to the families of the deceased, while the injured would receive a compensation of Rs 50,000 each.The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) would also provide employment to one family member of those who lost their lives.She said teachers will receive salaries for the period during which schools were shut in the wake of the protests.advertisement”We request all the teachers to take extra classes and complete the syllabus for this session so that students do not face any difficulties. We will pay them salaries for the period when schools were shut due to protests.”Banerjee said the state government employees would get two months salary, along with an adjustment of one-month special leave.”We will also ensure workers of those tea gardens, having not received salary and bonus during this period, be paid the same,” she said.A decision has also been taken to waive all penal action against activists during the time of the protests.On the development of tourism in the region, the chief minister said a festival would be organised by the GTA in Darjeeling in the last week of December or early January.”We have asked the GTA to draw up a comprehensive development plan for Kurseong and Kalimpong. They will also renovate the tourism centres in Mirik. We are building a 100- bed hospital in Mirik,” she said.The popular Darjeeling Gold Cup football tournament will also be revived.The Sports and Youth Affairs Department would organise the Vivek festival to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Subhash festival to observe the birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose, besides Chhatra-Jubo Utsab in January, science fairs will also be organised, she said.Banerjee said the state government was looking into a request for making Nepali an optional subject in the West Bengal Civil Service exam syllabus.”A proposal to make Darjeeling a centre for WBCS examinations is also being looked into.”The next date for the all-party meeting will be communicated soon, the chief minister added. PTI AKB SUS RBT KJ
By S S RamaswamyMumbai, Nov 26 (PTI) Her maiden entry into the quarter -finals of a WTA series event here, the USD 125,000 L&T Mumbai Open, has given a huge boost to her confidence going ahead, feels Indias top woman tennis player Ankita Raina.Ankita also wished that her coach Hemant Bendrey could travel with her on the WTA circuit overseas, going by the way his presence at the Cricket Club of India here helped her iron out some mid-tournament shortcomings.”I am happy it helped me with my confidence and made me believe that I could be at the top level and I could achieve that,” the 24-year-old Ankita told PTI a day after losing to Frances higher ranked player Amandine Hesse in the quarter-finals after blowing away quite a few chances to take the match at least into the deciding third set.The Ahmedabad-born, Pune-based Ankita ? ranked 293 which is bound to go up when the next weeks list is released – went down 3-6 6-7 to Hesse, but should have taken at least a set off the Frenchwoman, ranked 265.Had the Indian won, it would have given her a chance to line up against the fast-rising 19-year-old top seed Aryna Sabalenka, at 96 the only top-100 player in the draw, in the semi-finals.She had earlier got past Veronika Kudermetova of Russia and P Plipuech to reach the last eight.This, however, was not the first time Ankita, for long the countrys number one singles player, won a round in a WTA series event, having done it previously two years ago in China.advertisement”It was in the China 125K that I got in directly into the main draw with my ranking and won the first round,” she said, adding, “It was around similar quality tournament. The Chinese players were there along with other top players.”She had also played at bigger WTA events, including the USD 7,00,000 event in Birmingham, which is a warm-up event for Wimbledon, and had won a round there in the qualifiers.”I have played much bigger WTA qualifying events and won one or two rounds, but it was never splashed in India as I was playing abroad. In Birmingham, it was a USD 7,00,000 tournament, the warm-up before Wimbledon.”I won the first round, was the only Indian there (in singles). Sania (Mirza) was there in doubles. It was something. I did it in Stuttgart last year and in the Tashkent Open made the final qualifiers, as well as in Hong Kong. (But) this is the best performance,” she noted.Talking about travelling coaches, Ankita said everyone saw how the presence of her coach Bendrey helped her here.”Playing in your home country makes a lot of difference. The courts suited me, weather was in my favour and my family and coach were there to support me and look after me. Otherwise when you are travelling you have to arrange everything – from practice to recovery.”The coach was there to immediately rectify what I was doing wrong. As soon as he told me, we did a few drills. That makes lot of difference and everyone saw it.””This is the one thing I have been saying for a long time. If I can take my coach along with me that will really help. I play 25-30 weeks of tournaments in a year and I hardly get time to come back and train with my coach.”If not for so many weeks, but if he can come along for a few weeks it will make a world of a difference and now I am sure, having seen it happening,” she said.”You have seen other players travelling with the coaches. Even the top seed (Sabalenka) is travelling with her coach, added Ankita, whose career-best ranking of 222 had been achieved in 2015.On the improvement needed in her game, she mentioned power, fitness and recovery process after games.”Apart from power and fitness, I would mention my recovery after matches. You have to recover faster if you have to go deep in the draw as you have to play 4-5 matches to go to final.”She also did not forget to mention the huge financial support she is getting from the Sports Authority of Gujarat and thanked the organisers of the WTA event here, MSLTA backed by the Maharashtra government, for holding the big event and offering a golden chance to her to figure in the main draw.”I am very thankful for the support of the Sports Authority of Gujarat. Till now I have travelled it was with their support. It?s very crucial, their support.advertisement”The 125K is a great opportunity for which I want to thank all. It happened last in 2012. This was very much needed. I am thankful I got the opportunity and glad I could reach to some extent in the draw,” she concluded. PTI SSR RSY
A dramatic final over that included five wides and a top-edge six saw Perth Scorchers register a six-wicket win over Sydney Sixers on Monday to take the top spot in the Big Bash League points table.Chasing 168 for victory, Scorchers rode on Michael Klinger’s 61-ball 83 to reach the target with five balls to spare and maintain their unbeaten streak this season.Klinger was involved in a 96-run third-wicket partnership with Adam Turner, who made 45 from 32 balls, and then added another 40 runs with Tim David (17 not out) for the fifth wicket before perishing to Daniel Sams, who finished with figures of 2 for 25 in three overs.Sixers were in with a chance with the home side at 159 for 4, needing 9 runs in the final over, but Sean Abbott messed it all up by bowling two full toss deliveries.The first one was a wide down the leg side which went for a boundary as Nevill failed to stop the ball after it crossed the batsman and then Adam Voges top-edged the next ball for a six over the wicketkeeper’s head to take his team over the line and register their highest successful run chase at the WACA.What a way to seal the win! #BBL07 pic.twitter.com/t2lUbNkFPC- KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 1, 2018Earlier, Sixers posted a below-par 167 for 4 after being put into bat with Jordan Silk (45 not out), Sam Billings (33) and Peter Nevill (33) making significant contributions.David Willey picked up two wickets for Scorchers while Andrew Tye and James Muirhead got one each.advertisementThe Scorchers, who top the table with four wins from as many matches, will fly to Brisbane next to take on Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Friday.Earlier in the day, Hobart Hurricanes defeated Sydney Thunder by 9 runs at the SCG. The visitors posted 189 for 3 batting first D’Arcy Short falling just 3 runs short of a hundred while Ben McDermott made 49 not out in just 25 balls.Thunder in reply were restricted to 180 for 8 despite opener Jos Buttler scoring 81 off 43 balls. Jofra Archer and Cameron Boyce took two wickets each for the Hurricanes.