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Thursday, March 18, 2010

India's first eco-friendly stadium to be inaugurated soon

The country's first eco-friendly Thyagraja Stadium and one of the most important competition venues for Commonwealth Games in October is ready for inauguration on 2nd April.

This was stated by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit here at a function where Public Works Department and Indraprasth Gas Limited (IGL) signed a pact for supply of 30,000 square cubic meter (scm) natural gas per day to gas turbines to the venue.

"This is the only stadium for the games which has been constructed right from the scratch to host netball. It has
been constructed as per green building concept," she said.

As per agreement, IGL will supply 30,000 scm of natural gas per day for 3.5 MW gas turbines installed at the stadium, which would be producing power through this on the principle of cogeneration where waste heat from turbine exhaust would be used to run 1300 TR VAM for air-conditioning.

IGL has already laid a pipeline to connect the stadium. The installation of meter and regulating station is almost complete and gas supply is expected to start in the last weekof March.

Dikshit said power generated will be more than enough for consumption of lights and air-conditioning of 1300 tones for
stadium without any additional cost.

Petroleum minister Jitin Prasada assured Delhi of more CNG supply for functional stations and other industrial use.

The IGL is meeting fuel requirements of nearly 3.5 lac vehicles running on CNG in NCR.

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Shane Warne puts up a brave front despite the absence of Smith and Mascarenhas

Rajasthan Royals will be without opening batsman Graeme Smith (broken finger) and all- rounder Dmitri Mascarenhas (twisted ankle) going into their game against hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore at theMChinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.
It leaves Shane Warne with the headache of picking right replacements. “They (Smith and Mascarenhas) are two important players. Their leadership in the team will be missed,” Warne said on the eve of the encounter.

However, as always the Rajasthan Royals skipper preferred to look at the positive side of the predicament he finds himself in. “There are 10 international players in our team to choose from. We have Adam Voges, Johan Botha and Damien Martyn joining us. We look at conditions and study the opposition before choosing our players,” Warne said.

The obvious lack of firepower will put the onus of scoring big runs on the carefree Yusuf Pathan. Warne, wisely, didn’t want to add pressure on his batting powerhouse. When asked if too much hinges on Pathan’s form, Warne said, “We have Paras Dogra, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala among others coming up with a good show. We have a very strong middle order. Dogra has played well in two tough situations. But Yusuf is one guy I would love to have in my team rather than in the opposition.”

Warne also played down his own lack of form in the early part of the tournament. “Even if you bowl not-a-bad ball you can still get whacked. That’s the nature of this game.”

Bowlers have a lot of room for innovation, Warne added. “From a captain’s point of view we have come up with different field settings. Other teams have copied us. We are looking
to attack.”

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Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Daredevils by 98 runs

It was a forgettable outing for Delhi Daredevils after two consecutive victories in the IPL, but they would be taking solace from the way the under-scrutiny Feroz Shah Kotla pitch behaved.

The ball came on to the bat fairly well, always a welcome sign for a team loaded with attractive stroke-players, though on this day, they were left looking on helplessly as Mumbai Indians took advantage of batting first, notching up 218 for seven.

The progress of the Kotla turfs has been of much interest after the venue was handed a one-year ban from international cricket for offering an ‘unfit’ pitch for a one-dayer against Sri Lanka. The one used for this match was adjacent to the track played on then, and had been worked on by former player Venkat Sundaram in the intervening period.

The venue, which is set to host four matches of next year’s World Cup, is banned till December this year but is hosting matches of the IPL, considered domestic cricket. Delhi skipper Gautam Gambhir’s decision to field first boomeranged as the Mumbai batsmen hit the highway straight away and his day did not become any better as he pulled a hamstring while fielding. The left-hander was sorely missed by the home side, who were bowled out for 120 in their pursuit of a challenging total.

It was the second consecutive victory for the Mumbai side, for whom Sachin Tendulkar and Saurabh Tiwary struck fine half-centuries.

Tendulkar gave the initial thrust, which was capitalised on by Jharkhand left-hander Tiwary (61) and Ambati Rayudu (34), the pair adding 71 for the fourth wicket. The left-right combination showed a penchant for big shots down the ground, their three sixes each propelling the score towards the 200-run mark. The
Delhi bowlers failed to put the brakes on the opposition, not helped the least by a rather indifferent effort by the fielders.
Tendulkar mustered 63 off only 32 balls. The record-breaking machine set the tone with a superb square-drive off Dirk Nannes and it was to be followed by a number of cracking shots on either side of the wicket. Dropped by Amit Mishra at point off other leg-spinner Sarabjit Ladda on 35, Tendulkar completed his 50 off 31 balls and it took a superb diving effort from Yogesh Nagar, running in from long off, to help Mishra make amends by dismissing the master batsman.

Nagar, who had earlier brought off a brilliant one-handed catch at mid-off to dismiss Sanath Jayasuriya, ensured Tendulkar’s damages were restricted to 11 in terms of boundaries hit and he was the lone bright spot for Delhi on the field.

The Mumbai team could not use the services of West Indian players Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo like they would have anticipated, but they proved pretty useful in choking Delhi with their bowling.

Bravo’s dismissal of Virender Sehwag, caught at long-off, virtually decided the outcome of the match what with Tillakaratne Dilshan already out and Gambhir ruled out. Sri Lankan all-rounder Farveez Maharoof was the highest scorer for Delhi, clouting two sixes in his 28, but his dismissal in the 12th over reduced the side to 106 for six and it was only a matter of playing out time from then on.

The lower-order batsmen struggled to get into double-figures, even as Harbhajan Singh and Jayasuriya helped themselves to two wickets each with their slow stuff.

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Anil Kumble book on photography provides a new 'angle' to Indian cricket

One thought Sachin Tendulkar is a hero but he did once turn into a ‘villain’. In fact a famous villain, and was caught on camera trying to chop off the hands of Anil Kumble. Sounds bizarre?

Well, former skipper Anil Kumble’s book, Wide Angle, showcasing his exploits with the camera, reveals just that.

In one of the team-building exercises held in Bangalore in 2008, the team enacted a scene from Sholay and Tendulkar played the role of ‘Gabbar Singh.’ Kumble was ‘Thakur’ with his hands tied.

The book, a compilation of pictures taken by Kumble during cricket tours, was released on Wednesday by Shane Warne and Kumble himself. The former India captain started taking a camera along with him since he was 17. He has captured some rare pictures that reflect a cricketer’s life beyond the cricket field.

“Anil has always been an avid photographer, and when I see the results in this book, they take me back. ...’as long as I am in the team, you will have no privacy,’ he would say, pointing to his camera and we would laugh. It was wonderful,” Sachin Tendulkar says in his foreword of the book.

Anil pointed out that he enjoyed clicking Javagal Srinath, Vinod Kambli, Venkatapathy Raju and Harbhajan Singh as they presented great off beat moments.

Kumble also managed to get some rare on-field moments, his favourite one being when Tendulkar got his 35th Test century in New Delhi. While cricket takes the centrestage in the book, there are also some amazing wildlife pictures. If one thought that Indian cricket was all about playing and shooting when not playing, Kumble provides a new angle about the Indian players.

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Five Indian boxers sign exclusive marketing deals

Indian boxing talents have been making the country proud by winning accolades consistently at all major international championships and have stormed the just concluded 5th Commonwealth Boxing Championship 2010 by winning 6 Gold medals.

Five young promising Indian boxers, Vijender Singh, Dinesh Kumar, Suranjoy Singh, Jai Bhagwan and Balwinder Beniwal have signed an exclusive marketing deal with Percept Ltd for a period of 3 years.

Though Percept has had various sports talents from the world of cricket and tennis, this is the first time they uave entered into a talent deal with boxers. Under this agreement, Percept will completely manage them as a talent and brand.

Asian champion Suranjoy Singh who stormed the finals in the commonwealth championship added “It’s a double whammy for me, the high of reaching the finals of this boxing championship only got better by shaking hands with Percept. I am confident that as my partner they will position me in an apt manner and forebring my talent to the right platform.

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Lionel Messi mauls VfB Stuttgart to send Barcelona through Champions League quarters

Lionel Messi's brilliance sent holders Barcelona through to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-0 dismantling of VfB Stuttgart on Wednesday.

Messi scored twice, including a 13th minute stunner that set the Catalans on their way, and was instrumental in the second goal from Pedro, before Bojan Krkic sealed a 5-1 aggregate win.

Barca's victory sent them through to the last eight for a third successive season and salvaged some honour for Spain after the elimination of La Liga sides Real Madrid and Sevilla.

"Only Manchester United have managed to get to the quarters the following season as reigning champions before and I want to congratulate my team for that," proud coach Pep Guardiola said at a news conference.

"Being among the eight best again and being able to compete with them fills us with excitement," he added.

The excitement during the match was supplied by the beguiling skill of Messi.

After collecting the ball just inside the visitors' half, he raced towards the retreating Stuttgart defence before unleashing a left-foot shot that fizzed past goalkeeper Jens Lehmann high into the net.

The Fifa World Player of the Year turned creator nine minutes later. A superbly weighted pass sent Yaya Toure clear on the left and forward Pedro timed his run to perfection to sweep home the Ivory Coast midfielder's low cross.

More smart work from Messi set up Toure in the 55th but his low drive flew just wide of Lehmann's right-hand post.

Messi beat Lehmann again with a low strike from the edge of the area on the hour, his eighth goal in four matches in all competitions, to end Stuttgart's hopes.

As Barca asserted their dominance, a rampant Messi almost completed his hat-trick with a header in the 68th, well saved by Lehmann, before Krkic wrapped things up a minute after replacing Andres Iniesta.

Stuttgart coach Christian Gross said Real's elimination by Olympique Lyon last week had probably been an extra motivation for the Barca players.

"They pinned us back and we couldn't make any headway down the flanks," the Swiss said. "They are the best team in the world and when they go ahead in front of their own fans it's very difficult," he added.

The draw for the quarter-finals is on Friday and on this evidence, Barcelona will again be the team to avoid.

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50 Cent wants to have fun with Ashley Cole

English footballer Ashley Cole seems to have an unlikely new pal in 50 Cent. The rapper has stated that he wants to meet Ashley and spend some time with him following his split with wife Cheryl.

he Chelsea star met the rapper while working on 2009 crime movie Dead Man Running. "We'll probably get together and have some fun. I've got his number. He's having a hard time," the Daily Star quoted 50 Cent as saying.

"You gotta take your bumps and wear your bruises. I'll definitely see what's up with him," he added.

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Shearer, Holmes in Sport Relief fundraiser

he celebrated British sports stars, Alan Shearer and Kelly Holmes, will be in Cape Town over the weekend as guests of UK fundraising giant Comic Relief and BBC Sport.

Shearer was one of the finest strikers of his generation and was capped 63 times for England's national football side.

He still holds the record as the all-time top scorer in the English Premier League with 260 goals, which he accumulated while playing for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.

In 2001 he received his Order of the British Empire from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Holmes is a double Olympic gold medallist after her all-conquering 800m and 1500m performances in 2004 at the Athens Olympics.

The retired middle distance athlete still holds numerous British records and her achievements were recognised the Queen who appointed her as a dame in 2005.

Comic Relief will be staging the Sport Relief Mile in Cape Town on Sunday and all the funds raised will go to Child Welfare South Africa for their many child protection and HIV & AIDS programmes, which takes in over two million children.

The race will start and finish at the V&A Waterfront and the route will take athletes past the magnificent new Cape Town Stadium.

The BBC will be filming the event and will flight a special two-hour BBC Entertainment Sport Relief TV Show that will be broadcast across Africa later on Sunday at 7.30pm.

Shearer and Holmes will be the television presenters.

The show will feature all the highlights from the day's event including interviews with celebrities, sports stars and other participants.

Comic Relief UK's Director of Global Strategy, Amanda Horton-Mastin, said the two stars have offered to lend their support to a worthy cause at a time when football fever was hotting up ahead of the World Cup in South Africa.

"Sport Relief wants to capture the excitement of the World Cup in South Africa and establish the Sport Relief Mile model of fundraising to raise money for disadvantaged children in South Africa," said Horton-Mastin. - Sapa

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Friday, March 5, 2010

LA Galaxy dash David Moyes' bid to keep Landon Donovan

Everton manager David Moyes's hopes of extending Landon Donovan's loan spell at Goodison Park appear to have been dashed by LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.

Moyes had hoped to keep Donovan beyond the end of his loan, saying: "I am keen to keep Landon and it sounds initially in America that they might say yes."

But Arena said: "We're not interested. Landon will be back here on 15 March, as we have said all along."

Everton's only hope is that the new Major League Soccer season is delayed.

League officials are in talks with the players' union about a new labour agreement, and the start of the regular season could be in jeopardy if no deal is reached.

LA Galaxy are due to get their campaign under way on 27 March.

In the event that the league does not start on time, Arena told the LA Galaxy website: "If we didn't have a league going on we would certainly entertain the idea of allowing Landon to stay there.

"If we have a league, Landon's going to be playing for the Galaxy."

However, Arena is expecting Donovan back in Los Angeles in a fortnight's time and that is sure to prove hard to hear for Moyes.

Donovan has impressed in his short time at Goodison Park, which has coincided in an upturn in fortunes for the Toffees, who have moved up into 10th place in the Premier League table.

The only low point was a bad miss against Tottenham last weekend, a game Everton went on to lose 2-1.

"In the main he has done a really good job for us," said Moyes. "It is very rare you can bring in someone in January on loan who can make a real difference to you but Landon has.

"But I think his manager at LA Galaxy would say the best World Cup preparation for him would be to start in their team.

"They will be keen to get him back so we will have to be respectful of their wishes. If we can keep him it would be nice but if not I totally understand it."

Should Donovan return to LA Galaxy as scheduled, it means Sunday's home match with Hull will be his last at Goodison Park.

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The Great Sachin Tendulkar

Full name Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

Born April 24, 1973, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra

Current age 36 years 307 days

Major teams India, Asia XI, Mumbai, Mumbai Indians, Yorkshire

Nickname Tendlya, Little Master

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm offbreak, Legbreak googly

Height 5 ft 5 in

Education Sharadashram Vidyamandir School

History rewritten by Little Master 200

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