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ZODIAC

Found 47 results

  1. It has been more than two years since the Men in Blue lost by a massive 180 margin to Sarfaraz Ahmed's Pakistan cricket team in the final of the 2017 edition of Champions Trophy which took place at The Oval in London. Considered to be the most dominating force in the world of international cricket, Virat Kohli's boys were being viewed as the tournament favourites and were expected to take home the title for a record third time. But the Pakistan side were focused and had come to lift the trophy. After losing the toss, Pakistan were asked to bat first and thanks to some brilliant innings played by openers Fakhar Zaman (114) and Azhar Ali (59), their team total mounted up to 338 in 50 overs. On the other hand, bowler Mohammad Amir dismissed the best batsmen of the Indian side in Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, while Dhoni was dismissed by Hasan Ali. © Reuters Under such circumstances, when India desperately needed someone to control the bleeding and score big runs, all-rounder Hardik Pandya entered the field and was nearly successful in turning around the game in favour of his team. Hitting four 4's and six 6's during his innings, Pandya scored 76 runs off just 43 balls. However, a tiny miscommunication between Pandya and teammate Ravindra Jadeja led to the extremely unfortunate dismissal of the in-form batsman. In the 27th over, both batsmen came out of the crease for a single but Jadeja quickly turned his back on Pandya and saved himself, leaving Pandya in the middle of the pitch with Mohammad Hafeez running him out. This led to a fuming Pandya being forced to exit the field, visibly upset at his teammate. “When you are in that situation, nothing goes through your mind. That time it was just anger because I was in the zone… I went into the dressing room and started throwing things.” Pandya admits in the video interview with the International Cricket Council (ICC). “I went to 'Jaddu' and said 'I am extremely sorry. It was not intentional, no matter what happened, I am not that guy'.” “He is kind of a chill person who doesn't take a lot of pressure on himself,” Ravindra Jadeja praised Pandya in the same video. “He is kind of a rockstar, I would say.” It is such a camaraderie between the members of the Indian cricket team, one of the most effective and powerful sides in international cricket, that continues to bring in success for them.
  2. 22-year-old Kinsey Wolanski took the footballing world by storm as she invaded the pitch during this year's Champions League final. The American model stormed the pitch in a black swimsuit that sported the name of the adult website run by her boyfriend and YouTuber Vitaly Zdorovetskiy. She was immediately arrested by authorities in Madrid after her antics, before being released later. It has now come to light that as further punishment, she has been fined €15,000. According to reports, she has been handed a €5,000 (almost â¹4 Lakh) fine for storming onto the pitch and an additional €10,000 (almost â¹8 Lakh) fine for illegally trying to advertise her boyfriend's website. $3.97 million: Value, in equivalent advertising time as of 5:30pm ET, garnered by Vitaly Uncensored, an adult site featured on the clothing of streaking model Kinsey Wolanski, according to @ApexMGAnalytics. Wolansky is girlfriend of YouTuber Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, who owns the site pic.twitter.com/R3obTmdKYU — Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 1, 2019 However, the fine is a small sum to pay as the website has reportedly garnered â¹27 Crores in publicity through the fiasco and apparently, membership on the website has grown to 32 million members. Meanwhile, Wolanski's social media handles blew up predictably, before being taken down. In a rather uneventful game, in which a Mohamed Salah penalty in the 2nd minute and a surprise goal from Divock Origi was enough for Liverpool to clinch their 6th European Trophy, Wolanski's antics were the biggest talking point. © Reuters After the story broke, reports have come out saying that the cost of legally advertising a brand during the UCL final is close to $4 million (â¹27 Crore), ie, a little more than the revenue generated by the website through the stunt. Surely a fine of in and around â¹12 Lakh for â¹27 Crores worth of publicity is a small price to pay...
  3. The 2019 UEFA Champions League came to a close with Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool emerging victorious in a final, which was probably only enjoyed by Liverpool fans. The most interesting and controversial moment out of the blockbuster event actually turned out to be the invasion of a mysterious woman on the pitch, 20 minutes into the final. The woman in question is Kinsey Wolanski, a 22-year-old model who has appeared in Sports Illustrated, FHM, and Maxim. However, she is best known for her appearances on her boyfriend Vitaly Zdorovetskiy's YouTube channels and website. © Reuters In fact, as she stormed onto the pitch, the black swimsuit that she had donned had the name of her boyfriend's website written in bold. The website has in and around 32 million registered users and her act has said to have generated £3 million in publicity. On a personal front, as it can be expected, her online profile blew up massively. With around 350k followers before the final, her Instagram profile averaged 20k likes per post. But, within 24 hours of the final ending, her Instagram boasted 2.6 million followers, with an average of 500k likes per post. MY INSTAGRAM HAS BEEN HACKED ð — Kinsey wolanski (@KinseyWolanski) June 2, 2019 Wolanski posted a video of her being lead off the pitch by stewards with the caption: "Life is for living, do crazy things that you will remember forever.” Subsequently, her Instagram account has been now deactivated under mysterious circumstances and Wolanski has claimed that her account was hacked. Her boyfriend Vitaly, consequently, is quite notorious for similar reasons. Having streaked in the 2014 World Cup final, he is banned from attending any major sporting events. He has been an active YouTuber for several years with over 10 million subscribers and revealed after the final, that he wished to marry Wolanski. pic.twitter.com/xr9254mhgI — Kinsey wolanski (@KinseyWolanski) June 2, 2019 Following exciting contests and scintillating personal duels in the knockout phase, the Champions League final, sadly, failed to live up to the billing. Owing to a tame performance by the two Premier League giants, Klopp's brigade eventually lifted the coveted trophy with a 2-0 win. © Reuters But, while the summit clash of Europe's biggest club competition struggled to entice the fans, Wolanski's streaking undeniably gave everyone to cheer for and talk about in an otherwise a dull affair.
  4. In what has proved to be one of the most exciting and competitive seasons, the 2018-19 edition of the UEFA Champions League is now poised for a scintillating finale as rampant Liverpool lock horns with spirited Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on 1st June. Both Liverpool and Spurs turned around their deficits from the first-leg against Barcelona and Ajax to script memorable comebacks in the second-leg ties. While a Lucas Moura hat-trick proved to be Spurs saviour, braces by Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum got the Reds over the line. Going purely by form, Liverpool undoubtedly have an upper hand over Spurs and are rightly labelled as favourites to break their Champions League jinx this year. From boasting one of the best defenders in the world to deploying one of the most lethal attacking trio in Europe, Liverpool surely have it all. But, the most important ingredient in their title charge has been their pragmatic manager Jurgen Klopp. © Reuters Roped in after the sacking of Brendan Rodgers in 2015, Klopp has undeniably taken Liverpool to new heights in club football. From reaching the Champions League final last season to almost pipping Manchester City to the Premier League trophy this year, the impact and philosophy of the German tactician has been nothing short of sensational for the Reds. But, as the Anfield loyalists chase the dreams of European domination, Klopp's harrowing record in major finals poses a major cause of worry for Liverpool's title dreams. The last time Klopp won a major final as manager was with Borussia Dortmund in the 2012 German Cup final. But, since then, it has been downslide for the German. Going into this year's final, the Liverpool boss will be eager to end a six-match losing run in finals of major tournaments. Champions League Final (2013) After getting the better of Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid in the last four, Klopp powered Borussia Dortmund to the Champions League final as they aimed to become champions of Europe for a second time. But, their Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich had different plans for their old foes at Wembley. Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring in the 60th minute to put Bayern ahead. But Bayern's lead was nullified by Ilkay Gundogan who levelled the scoring for Dortmund with a clean penalty eight minutes later. The game went right down to the wire and it was Arjen Robben whose finish in 89th minute sealed a 2-1 win for Bayern and broke the hearts of Dortmund fans. German Cup Final (2014) Another season and another final for Klopp and Dortmund. But, just like last season, Dortmund and their manager were in for another heartbreak at the hands of Bayern, only this time it was Pep Guardiola in place of Jupp Heynckes. In a tight game that saw Bayern and Dortmund failing to break the deadlock in regulation time, the 2014 DFB-Pokal final reached extra time. With fatigue taking a toll on players from both sides, it all boiled down to will and hunger - something that tilted the tide in Bayern's favour. Arjen Robben got Bayern in front in 107th minute and it was Thomas Muller's finish (120+3') that sealed a 2-0 win for Guardiola's side. German Cup Final (2015) After seven years in charge, Klopp's tenure at Dortmund was finally coming to an end, but not before one last hurdle - the 2015 German Cup final. With Wolfsburg making their way into the 2015 DFB-Pokal final, Klopp must have been hoping for one last hurrah before travelling all the way to England to join Liverpool. But, contrary to popular perception, Klopp's misery at major finals continued as Wolfsburg stunned Dortmund with a 3-1 win to clinch the title. Dortmund got off to a roaring start as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got them in front in the fifth minute, but the likes of Luiz Gustavo (22'), Kevin De Bruyne (33') and Bas Dost (38') ran riot and washed away the hopes of Klopp whose farewell was marred with a major defeat. League Cup Final (2016) Four months into his stint at Anfield, Klopp would've been eager to make amends for his 2013 Champions League final defeat at Wembley when Liverpool reached the League Cup final in 2016. But, another heartbreak awaited Klopp as the Reds geared up for a record 12th League Cup final. Taking on Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City, Liverpool found themselves trailing early in the second half. Fernandinho opened the scoring for City with a low shot from a tight angle on the right side of the box, beating Simon Mignolet in the 49th minute. Raheem Sterling had a crucial chance to double the lead for City but his shot it wide. The 83rd minute brought the much-needed goal for Liverpool as Philippe Coutinho scored from 12 yards out. As the match finished 1-1, it all boiled down to the penalty shootout where City held their nerves to seal a 3-1 win. Europa League Final (2016) The same year presented an opportunity to Klopp to salvage some silverware when Liverpool reached the Europa League final. Three months after finishing runners-up in the League Cup, the Reds were hoping to get their hands around the Europa League trophy when they locked horns with Sevilla at St-Jakob Park in Basel. For a team that had brushed past Klopp's former team Borussia Dortmund with a 5-4 (on aggregate) win in the quarterfinals, Liverpool fans were confident that they will finally have something to cheer for. But, going by Klopp's record at major finals, there could've only been one outcome: another heartbreak. Despite taking the lead through Daniel Sturridge (35'), the Reds were outplayed by Sevilla - courtesy Kevin Gameiro (46') and Coke (64', 70') - in a 3-1 defeat. Champions League Final (2018) While Manchester City won the Premier League title with a record 100 points, Liverpool could only manage a fourth-place finish with 75 points for their showing in 2018. But, their fans weren't really concerned, after all, their team was vying for a bigger prize: Champions League trophy. On the back of consistent performances, Liverpool did reach the Champions League final but beating European giants of the might of Real Madrid was going to take some doing. In what began as a disastrous final, Liverpool lost star-striker Mohamed Salah to a nasty injury in the first-half. But, that was least of their worries. A massive blunder by goalkeeper Loris Karius saw Karim Benzema opening the scoring for Madrid in the 51st minute. While Sadio Mane found the equaliser in the 55th minute, twin strikes from Gareth Bale sealed the fate of Liverpool as Madrid romped to a 3-1 win.
  5. The second half of the UEFA Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal has to be engraved in the heart and mind of Eden Hazard for the rest of his life. While teammates Olivier Giroud and Pedro provided a solid 2-0 lead to the Blues, it was the Belgian who put the final nail in the coffin for the Gunners when he scored a penalty and a cheeky grounded shot in the 65th and 72nd minutes, respectively. KING. ð@HazardEden10 ð #UELfinal pic.twitter.com/YwrbcSOYif — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 29, 2019 After the final whistle blew and the ceremony got over, Hazard decided to make an official announcement about his thoughts of parting ways with Chelsea, a club that not only was a house to him for the past seven years but also helped him realise his dreams of playing in the Premier League. "I think it's a goodbye, but in football you never know," he told BT Sport to confirm what a lot of us were expecting for a long time now. Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said: "I know he wants to leave and I have to respect his decision." "He is a wonderful player. It took two or three months for me to understand him as a man and now I do, he's a wonderful man." "He's an extraordinary player. He is a strange boy but when he understands it is extraordinary." Hazard has been phenomenal for the Blues ever since joining them back in 2012. He has made a total of 352 appearances for the club and his two Europa League final goals moves his tally to 110 and 92 assists while winning the Premier League (2), Europa League (2), FA Cup (1) and the League Cup (1). He was also honoured with the PFA Player of the Year award and the FWA Player of the year award as a member of the team. Flooded with emotions, Chelsea fans took to Twitter to show their gratitude for the 28-year-old boy wonder for everything he has done for the club and wished him luck for wherever he plays next (we know it's going to be Real Madrid, isn't it?). 132 seconds on Chelsea & Eden mutha-f*cking Hazard pic.twitter.com/aetZhNWDDh — Alex Goldberg (@AlexGoldberg_) May 29, 2019 2012 - Didier Drogba scores to win Chelsea the Champions League and leaves a legend. 2019 - Eden Hazard scores twice to win Chelsea the Europa League and is leaving a legend. The King and the Prince of this club. ð — Mod (@CFCMod_) May 29, 2019 And we love you to @hazardeden10 ð #OnceABlueAlwaysABlue pic.twitter.com/SYTLdw8mXj — Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) May 29, 2019 Swimming in trophies - So many classics we got to witness over the years & I'm not going to take that for granted. Grateful that this man played for my football club & good luck in Madrid Sir Eden Hazard. pic.twitter.com/CsCTbP9AP3 — Ù (@HazardEdition) May 29, 2019 Eden Hazard leaving the way he started. Will be forever grateful for your service. ððªð» pic.twitter.com/67HL1MHY9z — CM (@CFCJorg) May 29, 2019 Stinks man, for the last 7 years no matter how my week had went, whether I was happy, whether I was down I knew at the end of it I could see Eden Hazard play for Chelsea and now that simple pleasure is gone — Ben (@CriminalCosta) May 29, 2019 Me telling my grandkids how I witnessed Eden Hazard's greatness at the Bridge for 7 years pic.twitter.com/qONJDRsIPx — Rahullð®ð³ (@rrcfc98) May 29, 2019
  6. Everyone knows what a disappointment the final episode of the biggest and much-loved TV series was, but was it the worst episode ever? Apparently, yes. The entire eighth season of 'Game of Thrones' has obviously received all the hate that it can get for ruining the entire series by just giving us the most unsatisfying ending while basically abandoning so many story arcs. Yes, a lot of things happening didn't make sense and totally out of character and the last episode turned out to be the worst offender. The finale now has a low rating of 4.4 out of 10 and this is a show that always had almost perfect rating earlier for all the episodes. Yep, fans are mad, and rightly so. Before this season, the lowest rated episode was 'Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken' which I feel was mainly because of the last scene where Ramsay Bolton rapes Sansa Stark on their wedding night while making Theon - or Reek - watch. Comparing this to the finale, the season five episode still had an 8.1 rating. While it's disappointing how the show went from being the best to the worst so quickly, it's really not surprising since no one has held back from expressing what they really thought of the last ever episode of Game of Thrones. The final two episodes of #GameofThrones are the lowest rated of the series: https://t.co/u2W9bSHLeL pic.twitter.com/Rk9Bml4Izj — El monstruo del cine (@godzineblog) May 21, 2019 Good point. Now everyone hates game of thrones, I have to laugh. We make things become objects of adoration for years to then drag them down to the lowest level in a matter of seconds, why do you all forget so fast about the good things it brought to you??? — ð¦ (@7thsenseus) May 22, 2019 But. Game of Thrones actors don't get a say in whether or not the show ended well. They're on the inside. They're seeing friends working hard onscreen and will defend them. I respect their opinion on the viewer outrage, but this IS the lowest ranked finale, and there's reason for it.. — Kyle (@standrkm) May 22, 2019 Peacefully. me going to sleep knowing that episode 6 is the lowest rated episode in game of thrones history pic.twitter.com/gPiq2b9OU3 — maia (@amidalastark) May 21, 2019 Another kinda valid point, I guess. i get that this last season has been underwhelming but y'all are CHILDISH for rating this last run of episodes so low. the previous lowest rated episode was an 8.1, for reference. come on now. #GameOfThrones pic.twitter.com/tfsOuqW3hF — Jeff Zoldy (@jeffzoldy) May 20, 2019
  7. When we think about the game of cricket, we think about a game of sheer passion, emotions and even a way of life for some of the fans who are tilted towards the 'crazy' side, which is not something to frown upon. One must have a passion for something in life and cricket, clearly is a popular choice. Take this young boy from Tamil Nadu who cries out a river when his idol, his 'Thala' got dismissed on an objectionable run-out at the hands of fielder Ishan Kishan in the Indian Premier League final against Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians. MS Dhoni run-out! Out or Not out? https://t.co/HW7L7XMx68 — Aditya Pandey (@adityapandey148) May 15, 2019 The fact that the decision was announced on the giant screen inside the stadium after the third umpire reviewed the footage again and again, convincing along the way, all Dhoni supporters thought that their captain just might have made it across the crease. But when the screen showed “OUT” in that big red font, this little man lost his cool and let his emotions get the better of him. Dhoni not out..... 3rd umpire sethuruvan ððð pic.twitter.com/PWXpeUpvps — Siva (@Siva68079003) May 13, 2019 Sitting in his mother's lap, the boy can be seen expressing his emotions. Watching Dhoni walk back towards the dug-out, he curses out at the third umpire, Nigel Llong who, let's just say is not a very popular character ever since he broke a door at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore after getting tired of arguing with Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, Virat Kohli. Anyhow, this is what the boy said in Tamil, according to The Times of India: “Third umpire will commit suicide for the wrong decision of the umpire on the ground.” In the background, his mother tries to convince him by saying that the Indian Premier League is scripted and that it was because of “match-fixing” that the third umpire gave the unjust decision for Mahi's wicket. In the defence of the young boy, we are still not 100% sure whether Dhoni was in fact out or not as one camera shows that his bat was well inside the crease when the ball struck the bails off while the second camera shows that Dhoni did not make it to the line in time. Even the adults of social media could not come to a proper conclusion: DHONI WAS NOT OUTð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ð¡ — KhushbuSundar â¤ï¸â¤ï¸â¤ï¸ (@khushsundar) May 12, 2019 I m Dhoni fan.. But kis angle se ye out ni lg rha bhai?? #IPL2019Final #MIvsCSK pic.twitter.com/ay800A9N5I — Jayâ¡ï¸ (@singh___sahab) May 12, 2019 Dhoni waiting outsude Third Umpire's cabin after he gave him run out#MIvCSK pic.twitter.com/DvATaaS0sr — urstrulyKajalð®ð³ (@BanarasiBasanti) May 12, 2019 Turning Point of d Vivo Ipl 2019..... Dhoni was not out.... ðððð Worst Umpiring Standards.... Hats off to Third Worst Umpire.....Low level Umpiring... Cricketing standards not at it's best.... Club Cricket Umpiring....ðððð pic.twitter.com/Uo1vBRqQVj — Nilesh Khedikar (@NileshKhedikar5) May 12, 2019 TODAY IT IS PROVED THAT MONEY SPEAKS FASTER THAN ANYTHING EVEN DHONI GOT RUN OUT IN FRONT OF MONEY pic.twitter.com/v0Ebr5iOio — Abhishek chicky (@Abhishe14832361) May 12, 2019 #IPL2019Final #GameofThrones Pic 1: Actually see the wicket is already came out a little bit There is no frame in between the 2 frames. So Dhoni must be a little behind Pic 2: This is different camera and frame in between those 2 is available. Therefore Dhoni was run out pic.twitter.com/UVk2VnEEKM — Dr Swamy Fan Club (@Swamybhakt1) May 13, 2019
  8. Spoilers. Kinda. Everything 'Avengers: Endgame' related has been a secret for the longest time, just because of how important of a movie it is. From manipulating the trailers to not even giving the actors entire scripts, the Russo Brothers did everything in their power to keep everything under wraps. But, there will always be rebels. This time, it was Chris Pratt. It's pretty understandable why no one would be allowed to film anything while on the set of the biggest Marvel movie ever, but obviously, the actors know how to sneak around and do something 'illegal'. Remember the whole 'Infinity War' is the biggest crossover ever? Well, it ain't got nothing on 'Endgame' because 'Infinity War' had all the actors, but the actors and their characters never shared any screen time together. Now, in 'Endgame', for people who've seen it, watched literally everyone come together and fight the giant purple grape. So, when they shot the final battle, it was probably the only time every MCU character was together and it's such a rare moment, of course. To remember that once-in-a-lifetime moment, Chris Pratt recorded a secret video of everyone on the set. View this post on Instagram I remember being blown away in this moment on the @avengers set. Nobody was allowed to film anything on their phones. I said screw it. No rule was going to stop me from seizing this once in a lifetime opportunity to capture this collection of stars, a groupthat likely will never be in the same room again. We are so blessed. A post shared by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on Apr 29, 2019 at 12:57am PDT Thank you, Chris, but sorry, you're still my least favourite Chris. Chris Evans being a cutie in the video will obviously take the top spot. He wrote in the caption, “I remember being blown away in this moment on the Avengers set. Nobody was allowed to film anything on their phones. I said screw it. No rule was going to stop me from seizing this once in a lifetime opportunity to capture this collection of stars, a group that likely will never be in the same room again. We are so blessed.” Even Evans agrees it's awesome. This is awesome. (I may or may not have stolen a few cool videos too) https://t.co/M9vaC4TWcx — Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) April 29, 2019 Groot is impressed. And Nebula. Diplo being Diplo. And, then there's Thanos himself. Lastly, the best part of the video.
  9. Before you start reading this article, please make sure you have watched season 8 episode 3 of 'Game of Thrones', for this one is full of spoilers, and surprises. Now that it's out of the way, we can get to the point. The Night King is dead. And who killed him? The one and only ninja assassin, slayer of entire houses, stabby little girl (not so little anymore after her 'interaction' with Gendry) Arya freakin' Stark. (c) Hotstar It came as a shock to everyone, but in hindsight, there was one scene that almost tried to tell us, point by point, that this is what is going to happen. The scene we are referring to is the much awaited reunion scene featuring Jon and Arya. Take a look at it here once more, before we delve deeper into discussion. Number 1: Arya sneaks up behind Jon Snow. Jon didn't so much as hear her come, to the point that that's how they start their conversation. He asks her: "How did you sneak up on me?". If that's not proof enough that Arya Stark perhaps is the biggest sneakmaster warrior there ever was, we don't know what is. (c) Hotstar Number 2: Arya doesn't answer the question. Instead, she asks: "How did you survive a knife through the heart?", to which Jon truthfully responds, "I didn't." We now know that Arya probably was just confirming whether it's possible to survive a knife through the heart. This is exactly what she did to the Night King, snuck up on him, and pushed her dagger through. (c) Hotstar Number 3: This is the exact location where she kills the Night King. The very same place. Has she been practicing? She did successfully manage to sneak up on Jon, who is, by the way, one of the best fighters in Westeros. The Night King is perhaps a better fighter, with all his magic, but he clearly couldn't escape Arya's crazy skills that she painstakingly obtained in Braavos while training under the Faceless Man. (c) Hotstar Guess they have been trying to tell us all along. Anyway, take a bow, Arya Stark!
  10. Nearly 50 games into the tournament, the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is already proving to be a big success. For one of the biggest T20 leagues in the world, the ongoing season did suffer a minor hiccup with the general elections raising security concerns. But, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL Governing Council have done well to segregate the tournament in phases to avoid problems. Keeping that in mind and of course the dew factor, the Indian cricket board has announced the revised timings for this season's Playoffs and the all-important final. Like last year, the BCCI has now decided to advance the 8:00 pm (IST) start to 7:00 pm (IST) for the knockout stages of this year's edition. NEWS: Change of Timings for #VIVOIPL Playoffs and Women's T20 Challenge Full details here https://t.co/KsukeSIpCA ðð pic.twitter.com/bJIP8Rq8ov — IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 29, 2019 Meanwhile, the BCCI also confirmed that the Qualifier 1 will be played at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on 7th May. It will be followed by the Eliminator on 8th May at the ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. Further, the Qualifier 2 will also take place in the Visakhapatnam stadium on 10th May, while Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium will host the IPL 2019 final on 12th May. On the other hand, the timings and dates for the Women's T20 Challenge have also been revealed. Comprised of some of the biggest names in women's cricket, three teams - Supernovas, Trailblazers and Velocity - will be seen competing against each other. The games will be held from May 6 to May 11 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, in Jaipur. While the matches scheduled on 6th, 9th and 11th May will start at 7:30 pm (IST), the second game, scheduled on 8th May will commence at 3:30 pm (IST). Schedule for IPL Playoffs & Final 7th May – Qualifier 1, Team 1 vs Team 2 at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai 8th May – Eliminator Team 3 vs Team 4 at ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam 10th May – Qualifier 2, Winner of Eliminator vs Loser of Qualifier 1 at ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam May 12 – Final at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad Timings – All Matches Will Start At 19:30 IST Schedule for Women's T20 Challenge 6th May – Supernovas vs Trailblazers 8th May – Trailblazers vs Velocity (3:30 pm IST start) 9th May – Supernovas vs Velocity May 11 – Final
  11. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the ideal example of how a mere idea and the passion to actualise it can snowball into something so massive and praise-worthy, having an impact, not only on the lives of the people involved in the making of these movies but also, the billions from various countries who can relate with these characters and make a commitment to them. Ever since the first piece of the puzzle was played with Robert Downey Jr. becoming Iron Man and really personalising the character of Tony Stark as himself, the seed was sown which would become this beautiful, magnificent tree in the next 11 years. What made these Marvel movies so special and different from the rest of the superhero movies of the past is the kind of effort put in the storytelling. Not only did the plots get into the deep integrities of character building but also took care of the tiniest of comic book details that we now know as 'Easter Eggs' and hid them across the MCU, making the experience even more awesome for the real fans. Credit: Iron Man 2 (2009), Marvel Studios Yet another attribute of Kevin Feigi's (President, Marvel Studios) vision was the small delights that came after the end credits of every MCU movie. Some gave us an insight about what to expect in the coming years, others were just to tickle our funny bones. Nonetheless, it was a great way to making the audience stay in the theatres until the name of every single cast member had appeared on the big screen. With time and the impressive post-credit scenes, it became a ritual for all MCU fans to patiently sit in their chairs and wait for what's next to come. Then came the final piece of the puzzle, 'Avengers: Endgame' and reports came pouring in saying that there are no post-credit scenes after the movie. While standing in line to enter into the cinema hall, people spoke about how the movie will end without telling us what's next and how it will end just like any other film we watch. After three hours and two minutes of being mesmerised however, something changed. Credit: Dissolve In spite of knowing that there will be nothing once the credits roll up into that black screen, not a single soul moved from their seat. They just sat there, not talking but in awe of what a wonderful journey it was and thanked the stars of the series, in their own little way, silently, in their hearts. Some happy, others overwhelmed with the conclusion, 'the quiet' was probably the greatest recognition an audience could honour Marvel with.
  12. Cersei Lannister's famous dialogue, “when you enter the game of thrones, you either win or you die” rings a bell now more than ever. As we settled down to sit through the viewing of the premiere episode of the final season of a global phenomenon called the 'Game of Thrones', years worth of journey with the main cast relayed before our eyes. © HBO Death and gore happen to be one of the dominant themes in the series, wherein people have been burnt alive, skinned to death, their heads crushed, stabbed in the eye and what not. While the body count at the beginning of the show rested at 26, it has undergone tremendous dips and rises over the last 8 years of its existence with the body count rising to a whopping 58 in season 6 following the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor by wildfire. © HBO So talking of death, we couldn't let go of the nagging feeling that death is indeed waiting to rear its ugly head even in the final season of 'GoT', and just like millions of fans across the world, we would not help but wonder which of our favourite character might end up dead in season 8. © HBO While speculations and memes have already started to fill the internet, we decided to do some digging and got our hands on this survey conducted by Morning Consult, who asked die-hard 'GoT' fans to vote for the character who is most likely to die in the final season of 'Game of Thrones' which premiered earlier today. View this post on Instagram April: the month that kills your favorite charactersâ #gameofthrones #avengers #endgame #9gag A post shared by 9GAG: Go Fun The World (@9gag) on Apr 15, 2019 at 12:00am PDT Now, while that is just a speculation, the survey has shown that, fans believe these 5 characters from the series are mostly likely to die by the end of season 8. *Insert Drumroll* 1. Cersei Lannister © HBO 36 percent of fans believe that Cersei, the cunning and extremely ambitious Queen Mother of the realm of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros will bite the dust this season. Known for her haughty, conniving persona, she is above the feelings of empathy, and bears a tongue laced with poison. Her betrayal of Daenerys and Jon was in keeping with her true nature. How many of you want her dead? 2. Night King © HBO Next up, almost 34 percent of fans feel the Night King will be dead by the end of this season. The supreme master and the first of the White Walkers is all set to lay siege to Winterfell, armed with a terrifying army of White Walkers, wights and an undead Dragon. Will he succeed? Or will he die trying? 3. Euron Greyjoy © HBO Currently the King of the Iron Islands, and uncle to Theon and Yara Greyjoy, Euron is cunning, highly intelligent, barbarous and dangerous in a number of ways. Having a reputation as the worst of all the Greyjoys, Euron fights on Cersei's side and 32 percent fans want him to be the one saying goodbye this season. 4. Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane © HBO With 31 percent fans voting for Sandor in the survey, this original House Lannister ally might just be the one. While fans are also anticipating that the final season will see him kill off his brother Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, we will have to wait and see how that unravels. Having shifted his allegiance over the years, we're still not too sure about believing him even now. 5. Theon Greyjoy © HBO Having grown up with the Stark children like a brother, he is also the prince of the Iron Islands. Theon has been on a quest to save his sister, Yara from the clutches of Euron Greyjoy, their uncle. 30 percent believe that Theon might be the one to warm the grave before the curtains fall this season. That is not all, fans have also voted for 20 other characters from the show, who might end up dead instead of the top 5 listed above. Take a look at the stats here: © HBO Who do you think will be dead this season?
  13. Before you start reading about one of the most important symbols in 'Game of Thrones', this is your last chance to turn away as there will be spoilers ahead. If you've already seen the previous seasons of 'Game Of Thrones' and the premiere of the final season, carry on reading. We don't know much about the White Walkers, their origin and the Night King's intentions; however, we've seen the dead army's stamp time and time again. It's called the “Death Swirl” and we got to see it again in the first episode of Season 8. It is probably the scariest swirl we've seen yet as it consists of limbs and Ned Umber bang in the centre. The swirl gets discovered by Edd, Beric and Tormund and we get to know more what it may mean. Beric tells us that it may just be a message from the Night King. But before Beric could tell us more about the swirl, Ned Umber comes back to life and interrupts Beric's explanation. We all know that the Night King was created by the Children of the Forest thanks to the Three-Eyed Raven's visions of the past. The swirl was created by the Children of The Forest as confirmed by David Benioff in an interview. © HBO "There are certain symbols and patterns that recur throughout the show. The first time we saw that was in one of the very first scenes in the pilot when Will the ranger sees the Wildling body parts in an odd pattern displayed by the White Walkers. We see it again north of the Wall with the dead horses displayed in a spiral pattern, and then you see it again here and learn where these patterns come from, that they're ancient symbols of the Children of the Forest used in their rituals, and the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers,” said Benioff. From what we can gather, the pattern is symbolic to The Children of the Forest and the message the Night King is trying to send is that he remembers, he knows his purpose and he won't stop until he achieves it. The Night King's intentions and purposes are still shrouded in mystery so we will know for sure when it's revealed. This is not the first time we've seen the swirl as the symbol has made an appearance in various scenes before. We see the symbol for the very first time in the very first episode of Season 1. It was made up of wildling bodies and limbs that were arranged in the pattern of the Death Swirl. © HBO The next time we see the swirl is in the third episode of season three when Jon revisits “Fist of the First Men”. His fellow Night's Watchmen were murdered by the white walkers and their horses were mutilated to form the pattern of the symbol. The horse's heads were arranged in a spiral giving us a confirmation that this symbol plays some form of significance in the Night King's story arc. The last time we saw the Death Swirl before Season 8's premiere was in Dragonstone and was discovered by Jon Snow. It was discovered when Jon was mining for Dragonglass under the forgotten outpost. This discovery is probably the most crucial hint towards the symbol's significance as murals on the walls of the cave depict the Children of The Forest working together with the First Men at the first battle of the Long Night. They were the first to defeat the White Walkers and the death swirl is carved in the cave paintings with much significance. The prominence of the swirl painting on the walls is a major hint that it played a vital role even during the first Long Night. The death swirl according to some theories has to do with some form of magic and maybe some kind of a reminder about how the White Walkers were created. Other theories suggest that the symbol has something to with the weather. The further south these symbols are created, the further winter would envelop these lands. Other theories suggest that it may hold the secret of defeating the Night King. © HBO The Night King was created by the Children of The Forest by piercing a man's chest with Dragonglass. Dragonglass is one of the materials that can also destroy white walkers. If this swirl played a role in the creation of the Night King, just like Dragonglass, it may just also hold the secrets of defeating the Night King. We can't entirely be sure what the Death Swirl means until it is finally revealed in the final season but we can be certain that it plays a crucial role. It may be related to the Night King's ultimate fate or it may just be bigger than that altogether. Remember, George RR Martin has already said in past interviews that the ending to the series will be bittersweet. It's best we forget the traditional “Good Vs. Evil” concept and start preparing for some major shock in the final season of 'Game of Thrones'.
  14. Game Of Throne's final season is just around the corner and I bet every 'GoT' fan is sitting at the edge of their seats, wondering what to expect for the next one month. In India alone, people are throwing 'Game of Thrones' theme parties, doing season re-runs and taking one quiz after the other to catch up with whatever they've missed out on, so they're in tune with the latest episodes. It's phenomenal really, how the most watched show on earth has put people together in such an awesome way. HBO Just recently, Instagram came up with some interesting data concerning Indian 'Game Of Thrones' fans and we believe it to be absolutely true and alarming at the same time. The data was gathered by Instagram depending on the relevant GoT conversations happening on the platform since the last 30 days and a lot of information regarding fan theories and watching habits were revealed. HBO In the data summation, it was gathered that India ranks fourth when it comes to discussing 'Game Of Thrones' on Intagram, and of course it was the fourth country across the globe which is most excited for the final season! The number one to be most excited about GoT is USA, then Brazil, Great Britain, India and then Germany. Which means, Indians on Instagram do interact about what they're looking forward to the most or about probable theories that could come to light in the final season. The level of attraction where GoT is concerned is a lot higher than any other topic on Instagram, according to the data. HBO The influence of GoT across all channels is so prominent that even dating apps like OkCupid have a relevant GoT feature on their app. They have made it possible for daters to date each other according to their favourite TV show and since GoT ranks the charts, users have been allotted GoT badges to help them find their perfect match based on the favourite GoT character or kingdom. I think that's fairly innovative and a great conversation starter to say the least! HBO Another fascinating data search found that many Indians also have favourite characters and are looking forward to their screen time in season eight. The most talked about GoT characters on Indian Instagram are Jon Snow, ranking number 1, followed by Daenerys Targaryen, Aarya Stark, Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister. So three Straks, two Targaryen's and one Lannister, who probably is a Targaryen according a popular fan theory, is who people want to watch in season 8! Not bad if I must say so myself. The nominated characters on Instagram actually all have a wise fan theory behind them, that's why their demand to see them again is most talked about. Well, most people just want to see what happens between Dany and Jon next TBH! HBO So, in case you're a GoT fan and you have participated on Instagram discussing the show, you're responsible for this apt and accurate data accumulation a day before the final season is out and we're happy we're progressing towards pop-culture in a slow yet steady manner. Here's to hoping all your theories and wishes regarding the series see the light of day!
  15. 'Game Of Thrones' first premiered in April, 2011. In the beginning it was just another show adapted from a book series. Today, GOT has become a huge cultural phenomenon in itself. Not only has it garnered a massive global following, but also has a number of storylines intertwined, with the most deaths witnessed in a show ever with an approximate of 174,373 people lost in all GOT episodes in the past seven seasons according to the youtuber Razon Compilations. This number is speculated to double up this season. However, the seventh season was premiered almost two years ago leaving us on a cliffhanger after the impactful series finale. Questions like: Who will sit on the Iron Throne? Or will everyone die by the hands of the White Walkers? Who is Azor Ahai? Will Jon and Dany still have *** after realizing she's his aunt? Questions that have bothered and haunted us for so long. And now that we are ready to watch the final season of 'Game Of Thrones' on Hotstar every Monday 6.30 am starting April 15, it's only obvious we can hardly wait. So, here is a list of super important questions that we need answers to this season. 1. What Will Happen To Brienne And Tormund's Unfinished Story? © HBO While we admire Tormund Giantsbane for his grizzly red beard and unhinged passion for fighting and killing people, his attraction to Brienne in the last season of GOT has really made us invested in this situation. But, in the coming episodes of 'Game Of Thrones', will she get the knighthood she deserves or will she fall for the marriage narrative that restricts women? We'll only know in the coming days. 2. When Will The Army Of The Dead Reach Winterfell? © HBO It took eight seasons to characterize the background of the Winter and the impending doom for this civilisation. The army of the dead were approaching at an alarming speed by the end of the last season of GOT, but how long before they attack Winterfell and take everyone down? Or will they be defeated before? Which episode of Game Of Thrones do you think this will happen? 3. What Happens To Jon And Dany's Relationship Once They Find Out They're Related Through Blood? © HBO Will it be Bran or Sam, Jon's closest friend who breaks the news to Jon? Dany (https://www.mensxp.com/entertainment/news/51880-game-of-thrones-episode-1.html) might not mind the fact that she's Jon's aunt but she will mind if she finds out that Jon is next in line and not her. After Gilly's perusal of an old Archmaester's records, Sam has learned that Rhaegar's marriage to Elia was annulled and the Targaryen prince wed “someone else” in “a secret ceremony in Dorne. This means that Jon is Rhaegar's true-born son and legitimate heir and that is a major unresolved conflict waiting right there. 4. Dany's Dragons Are Fierce But How Do You Even Kill Ice Dragons? © HBO The Night King hurled his spear at Viserion and resurrected him as an ice dragon. Now, we all know killing white walkers is practically impossible. So, how do you get around killing a full-fledged ice dragon? Can mortal people bring Viserion down? Following wight logic, fire, drowning, Valyrian steel, and/or dragonglass could slay the undead beast. But we don't think this beast is going down without causing major damage. Expect major deaths because of it or at least that's what we think. 5. Is Literally Everything Bran's Fault? © HBO The cute little kid who climbed walls and dreamed of being a fierce warrior is long gone. The know-it-all-Bran is cold and indifferent to the world around. With his gifted vision, he can change past events. When he “visits” his father at the Tower of Joy, he calls out to Young Ned, and Ned looks around as if he hears the voice. When he warged into Hodor's body, his connection between the past and present, between Meera shouting “hold the door” and poor young Hodor's mind left an irreparable scar on Hodor which we could not forget. If Bran can manipulate things, what if he set off the chaos by driving Aerys to madness? Side note: Aerys could hear voices that told him to burn things. 6. Who Is The Promised Azor Ahai? © HBO Is it Dany like she assumes, or is it Jon with the whole dramatic unveiling of his birth in the last season or is it... wait for it... Tyrion? Tyrion has been consistently underestimated and is possibly a Targaryen himself. Think about it: he had “dragon dreams” as a kid, and he is the only person besides Daenerys and Jon who has been able to touch a dragon. There must be some logic to that, right? I mean why do the dragons like him and no other mortal to touch them? Joanna Lannister, Tyrion's mother, died on her deathbed and Tywin really hated Tyrion so much and for so long that if you recall his last words, “You're no son of mine" it does suggest that the probability of rape at the hands of the Mad King. What if he's the promised one and not Jon and Dany? So, what do you think? Are you as excited as us to find the answers to these questions at the earliest? Or are these questions too much to handle at the moment? Whatever it is, WE CANNOT WAIT.
  16. The 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) ended on a high note when Quetta Gladiators successfully chased down Peshawar Zalmi's below average total of 138 runs in just 17.5 overs to claim their first ever title in the Twenty20 league's history. The Man of the Match award was given to Pakistan's Mohammad Hasnain who was able to snap three wickets while giving up 30 runs in his four overs. Quetta's Ahmed Shehzad led the team's batting order with his 58-on-51 delivery performance as former Aussie captain Shane Watson was dismissed early in the game with a run-out at the hands of Umar Amin. However, the highlight of the evening came after the match was over when, from the crowd of 32,000 cricket fanatics present at the National Stadium in Karachi, emerged an internationally familiar face of a different sport. During the closing ceremony of the 2019 PSL former FIFA World Cup winner and Barcelona FC captain Carles Puyol was brought to the stage followed by a collective roar of cheer coming from the stands. Legendary @Carles5puyol in action at NSK.#HBLPSL #KhelDeewanoKa pic.twitter.com/UbpZeQ9hjv — PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) March 17, 2019 Currently present in the city to promote World Soccer Star football games and the next FIFA World Cup in the country, Puyol said: “It's an amazing welcome, the people are very friendly. I'm very happy to be here.” “I thought Pakistanis only liked cricket but I have seen they like football a lot also and it made me happy,” continued the footballer in Spanish while addressing the capacity crowd. While the sporting fans of Pakistan were overjoyed with the presence of such a well known international figure in their stadium, not everyone on Twitter were able to believe their eyes. Lmao wtf is Carlos Puyol doing at the PSL Final in Karachi?!!! #MadRespectTho — ð»ðð¦ð (@daudthepaki) March 17, 2019 Carlos Puyol in Pakistan. All kinds of madness#PSL — Muneeb (@MuneebKhawar2) March 17, 2019 Wtf is puyol doing in PSL?𧠗 Prasad Suroshe (@PrasadSachinist) March 17, 2019 Why the hell is Puyol at the PSL's closing ceremony?! #PSLFinal — Fanatix (@fanatix63) March 17, 2019 The **** is Puyol doing in PSL? — Sameer (@Notacrickethack) March 17, 2019 We are really going to make Puyol watch the PSL final tomz. What a load of crap ð — Hassan (@AlphaGooner) March 16, 2019
  17. In what turned out to be a nerve-wreaking encounter, Melbourne Renegades clinched their first Big Bash League (BBL) title after getting the better of their city rivals Stars in the summit clash on 17th February. In the first ever all-Mebourne BBL final, Renegades found themselves in a spot of bother after posting a mediocre total of 145 runs. To make matters worse, a 93-run opening partnership between Ben Dunk (57) and Marcus Stoinis (39) had the Stars heavily favoured until their incredible implosion that saw them losing seven wickets for just 19 runs. For the better part of the game, the BBL trophy for the eighth edition looked to be heading towards the green side of the city. But, the Glenn Maxwell-led side finished their innings at 132/7, losing the match and title by 13 runs. While the Renegades pulled off a heist in the final, it was their captain Aaron Finch who stole the limelight. Straight to the pool room. #GETONRED #BBL08 pic.twitter.com/o4hgWpu1Yh — Melbourne Renegades (@RenegadesBBL) 17 February 2019 The Renegades captain became the topic of great discussion on the social media after he was caught destroying a chair with his bat, on his way to the dressing room. Asked to bat first, the Renegades fans were surely delighted to see skipper Finch in ominous touch early in the innings. Despite the loss of two early wickets, Finch was taking on the bowlers and timing the ball to perfection. He had smashed two boundaries and was looking dangerous when luck eluded the Renegades skipper. Cameron White was on the strike against Stars' Jackson Bird when the former played a straight drive that deflected off the bowler's boot and crashed onto the stumps, catching Finch - who was at the non-striker's end - short at the crease. Aaron Finch going berserk on a chair paired with a famous tune #BBLFinal pic.twitter.com/WfeFWrloC1 — corbpie (@corbpie) 17 February 2019 The freak moment left commentators and fans watching on in disbelief. “That's not run out is it?” Fox Cricket commentator Shane Warne said. “Can you believe it Howie? That's a shame. He looked in unbelievable touch, like the Aaron Finch of old today. You've got to be kidding,” he added. Adam Gilchrist agreed it was “stiff”. If the dismissal caught everyone's attention, Finch's antics - moments later - on the way back to the dressing room became the talking point on social media. Walking back in disappointment, Finch swung and smashed a plastic chair. His anger boiled over and he took his frustrations out on the nearest thing he could once he had walked off the ground. His antics instigated all sorts of reactions on social media. While some came to his support, others slammed him for his theatrics. Aaron Finch is every local cricketer who has been given out LBW by one of their teammates #BBLFinal pic.twitter.com/nEV1k9CvTi — Odds.com.au (@OddsComAu) 17 February 2019 Sporting dummy spit of the year goes to Aaron Finch playing in the Big Bash Final in Melboune.#BBLFinal pic.twitter.com/4PaNDm9Hqm — Sports Freakshow â½ðððâ¾ð (@aussiebeastmode) 17 February 2019 #BBL08 Aaron Finch hitting a chair with his bat in frustration. Not a good look!! Setting a poor example for the kids!!! — Dodgy brother (@dogebros) 17 February 2019 First sign of life and emotion in cricket all year ð — Simon K (@SimonSaysSport) 17 February 2019 Those freakin little legs just couldn't get back in-line. Bloody angry little man #BBLFinal @Australia @cricketcomau — Devil (@AvalancheBITW) 17 February 2019 Finch caught on camera smashing a chair with his bat. He'll probably be fined... because it was caught on camera #BBLFinal — Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) 17 February 2019
  18. A couple of days ago, in what can be considered as one of the most heartbreaking stories of 2019, Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala's body was recovered from a plane wreckage after over a month since his flight went off radar somewhere over the English channel. While the striker was suspected to be dead already for a couple of months, a private rescue party was still out there looking for him relentlessly until they finally spotted the debris from the crashed plane. In the first home game ever since Sala's body was given back to his parents for a proper funeral, his previous team, Nantes FC, a French Ligue 1 team, decided to carry out one final goodbye in the biggest and the most impactful way they could. 9ï¸â£.#PlayForSala | #FCNNO pic.twitter.com/13uReHJiL0 — FC Nantes (@FCNantes) February 10, 2019 The 28-year-old's former teammates came out of the locker room wearing all black with a sticker that read 'Sala' on their backs as the crowd chanted “La la la la…, Em-il-ia-no” before a loud roar of applause rose from the benches. Members from both the teams formed a circle along with their coaching staff to mourn together at the loss of a fine footballer. Just before the match began, a large screen showed all 48 goals he scored in 133 appearances during his four-year career with the French club. Nantes also retired Sala's jersey number 9, which is the first jersey ever to be retired in the 76-year-old history of the club. The visiting team, Nîmes Olympique too showed their respect for the dead footballer by wearing a black armband around their biceps. Les joueurs de Nîmes ont déposé un bouquet de jonquilles devant La Tribune Loire en la mémoire d'Emiliano Sala pic.twitter.com/R5WbDJNFfe — jean-marcel boudard (@JMBoudard) February 10, 2019 Nantes' head coach Vahid Halilhodzic was unable to hold back his tears after the news of Sala's death was made public on Friday. “He is someone who will leave an eternal memory in this club through his behaviour and his modesty,” said a very emotional Halilhodzic in a press conference.
  19. In sports, you simply aren't considered a real champion until you have defended your title successfully. Winning it once can be a fluke, winning it twice proves you are the best. And that is exactly what Vidarbha did today by defeating Saurashtra in the Finals of Ranji Trophy 2018-19 to win their second title in a row. The Ranji Trophy Final swung in multiple ways over the course of four days. In the first innings of the match, Vidarbha posted a decent total of 312, in response to which, Saurashtra tried to strike back but fell short of 5 runs, courtesy Aditya Sarwate's five-wicket-haul. Later in the second innings, Jaydev Unadkat and men managed to restrict Vidarbha to a score of 200, widening their chances of winning. But once again, Vidarbha's blistering bowling attack, consisting of Sarwate, Akshay Wakhare and Umesh Yadav, took the game away from Saurashtra as they wrapped them up on a mere total of 127, and winning the match and the title by 78 runs. © AP We all know that the most important role in winning a test match is that of a bowler's. You can't win a test until and unless either team bags all the ten wickets. Having said that, bowlers from both the end showed full character till the end. On one hand where Dharmendrasinh Jadeja took 7 wickets for Saurashtra, the 29-year-old Aditya Sarwate, who was playing on his home ground, turned out to be the trump card of Vidarbha, bagging 11 wickets. Despite their loss in the final, Saurashtra would surely take a lot of confidence from their magnificent performance throughout the season. Every single player has stood out in some or the other match, be it Ravindra Jadeja (scored 178 against Railways) in the beginning or Jaydev Shah (scored 427 runs in 9 matches) throughout the tournament. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (59 wickets and 276 runs) is another rising star who stole the show for Saurashtra at many occasions, not only with the ball, but also with his brilliant batting strokes. Cheteshwar Pujara (scoring 131 in the semi-final) was yet another big gun, who joined the team in the later half of the tournament, helping his team get into the final. Coming in the tournament as a nobody, Saurashtra managed to start on a decent note with a draw against Chhattisgarh, and later went on to beat big players such as Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra on their road to the final. The entire season was brilliantly commanded by Jaydev Unadkat (39 wickets in 11 matches) and a little help towards the end from the experienced Pujara, helped Saurashtra to get to this position. © AP We hope this thrilling performance by Saurashtra sets an example for other teams to showcase their talent and strive to come at the top in the seasons to come.
  20. With the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup, here is a look at what the members of the 2011 World Cup winning Indian cricket team are up to these days. Virender Sehwag © Reuters Although Sehwag did not have the perfect World Cup final as he was dismissed on the second delivery for a duck against Sri Lanka, he did have a great run during the 2011 World Cup tournament itself, which began with a massive 175-run innings against Bangladesh in the first match. After officially retiring from all formats of the game in 2015, Viru provides his expertise on various pre and post match analytical shows. Sehwag is a proud owner of Sehwag International School that has been producing some of the most talented players from the younger lot. He can also be seen on social media every now and then, roasting others and sometimes, even himself. Sachin Tendulkar © Reuters In his final days as one of the Men in Blue, the 2011 World Cup can probably be considered as the endgame for the master blaster. Having an above average run, Tendulkar was more or less consistent during the Group matches and also the Knockout rounds. Scoring 120 against England in the second match and 53 against Australia in the quarter finals, Tendulkar made it clear to the world that he's still got it. After lifting the cup during the victory round with the Wankhede Stadium chanting his name, Tendulkar retired from ODIs in 2012 after a disappointing series against England. What is remarkable about Tendulkar's post-retirement life is how much he has done to promote sports other than cricket. Owner of the Indian Super League franchise Kerala Blasters and Premier Badminton League franchise Bengaluru Blasters, Tendulkar is also the UNICEF ambassador for Hygiene and Sanitation and also launched a sports management company called STD in 2016. Gautam Gambhir © Reuters Probably the most consistent batsman throughout the 2011 World Cup, Gautam Gambhir played a crucial role in India successfully chasing Sri Lanka's respectable score of 274 in the final. Although Gambhir got bowled off Thisara Perera's delivery with 50 odd runs still left to be made, his heroic innings helped MS Dhoni reach the target a lot more easily. After winning the 2011 World Cup, Gambhir struggled to find his form and went off the radar for quite some time. He began to play domestic cricket and was even called to play a Test series against New Zealand in 2016. However, Gambhir announced his retirement ahead of his final match for team Delhi in the 2018 Ranji Trophy season, in which he also scored a century on 6th December 2018. Virat Kohli © Reuters Scoring a decent 35 in the final against Sri Lanka, Kohli was just 22 years old when India lifted the Cup. Although he became a familiar face for the Indian audience, not a lot was expected out of the future captain as players like Sehwag and Tendulkar were there. Kohli himself has expressed a lack of emotions after the win because he didn't feel like he earned it. A lot has changed in eight years. Not only has the 22-year-old outspoken boy evolved into a wise and calm (relatively) captain, he has also spearheaded the team to great heights, winning a Test series in Australia, for instance, which none of his predecessors were able to achieve. With the 2019 World Cup approaching, Kohli looks focused and will surely have strong emotions towards whatever the Indian Cricket Team has in store for themselves in the future. MS Dhoni © Reuters A captain, a wicketkeeper and a batsman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni aced in every category during the 2011 World Cup. A massive but more importantly, clutch innings put out by the middle-order hitter was a great testament of exactly how much we will miss Mahi when he finally decides to retire (hopefully after another World Cup). Named the Man of the Match in the final, Dhoni won the Cup for Team India in wonderful fashion with a six. Eight years later, despite many stints of bad form, Dhoni continues to be the 'finisher of games' for the Indian side. After winning the ODI series in Australia while acting as the backbone of the squad, Dhoni has proved his critics wrong once again and is making a great case for another hand at the upcoming World Cup. Yuvraj Singh © Reuters Other than getting out on the first ball against Pakistan in the semi final, Yuvraj Singh was steady as a rock for the Men in Blue for the entire tournament. His back-to-back 50s against England and Ireland in the initial rounds and a masterful 113 against the Windies in the 42nd Match were some of the best innings played during that year's World Cup. Soon after winning the World Cup, Singh was diagnosed with a rare cancer which spread into his lungs but after months of therapy and diet-control, Yuvi was able to make a comeback to cricket. Although, he has not yet announced his retirement, his absence from the roster is a clear indication of the inevitable. His Yuvraj Singh Foundation and cancer organisation, YouWeCan is focused on helping diagnosed patients get treatment and create awareness against the stigma attached to cancer. Suresh Raina © Reuters To be completely honest, Suresh Raina did not contribute a lot towards India's rise throughout the tournament and thanks to Dhoni's game-winning innings, did not get to bat in the final too. His best innings came in the semi final during which the batsman scored 36 runs. After being an integral part of Team India for years to come after the 2011 victory, Raina hit a slump in 2016 and has been on and off the team ever since. Having played his last ODI and T20I match for the national team back in July'18 against England, Raina is trying to make a comeback but it may be too late for the senior middle-order batsman to return. Zaheer Khan © Reuters In a time when Indian bowling was considered to be subpar, it was Zaheer Khan who led the attack when his side was fielding. Albeit, Khan proved to be expensive in the final three overs against the Lankans in the final, his consistency and deliverance throughout the tournament can not be questioned. Case in point, Khan's three-wicket attack against England in what was considered to be the toughest match throughout the tournament for India. After retiring from international and domestic cricket in 2015, 'Zak' has entered the fitness industry with his brainchild venture ProSport Fitness. Khan now has two fitness centres in Mumbai and is looking to expand to other cities as well. He also has a couple of restaurants and a sports lounge in Pune. S Sreesanth © Reuters 27 years old at the time, S Sreesanth was fierce with the ball. However, the World Cup proved to be a disappointment for the pacer who gave up 52 runs in just 8 overs in the final match against Sri Lanka. Sreesanth was a surprise pick for the playing 11 after Ashish Nehra was out due to an injury. His journey after winning the Cup was full of unfortunate milestones as two years later, the Kerala-born was caught in the infamous spot-fixing scandal during the 2013 IPL scandal and was sentenced a lifetime ban from playing cricket. Recently, Sreesanth became the 2018 season's runners-up of the reality show, Bigg Boss. Sreesanth has appealed to the judiciary, time and again to lift the ban on his cricketing career but it hasn't led to anything fruitful. Harbhajan Singh © Reuters Cricket is not all about aggressive bowling and trying to take wickets, it is also about preventing to concede runs and work towards forcing the opponent to put up the smallest total that they can. During the 2011 World Cup, Bhajji, who not only was the second highest wicket taker for the Indian side, he also had one of the best economy rate amongst the Men in Blue. Not having officially retired from the international scenario, Singh has no plans of playing international or first class cricket anymore. Having said that, he continues to play for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. Munaf Patel © Reuters Munaf Patel's impressive performance in the ODI series in Sri Lanka in 2010 got him a spot in the 2011 World Cup squad as Parveen Kumar and Ashish Nehra were out due to injury. While a lot of people belief Patel's role in the victory wasn't very eventful, the more technically sound fans call him the unsung hero. The then-bowling coach, Eric Simmons commends Patel's high degree of skills which covered up the lack of pace. Unfortunately for Patel, once the World Cup was over, his days with the Indian national team were numbered. Playing his last ODI against England in September 2011, Patel was last seen on the field, playing in the 2017 IPL for the Gujarat Lions. He has also expressed the desire to begin a career as a coach.
  21. Ladies and gentlemen! The stage is set for two of the best tennis athletes of this generation to go toe to toe, as the 2019 Australian Open (AO) will conclude with the final showdown between Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Spain's Rafael Nadal on Sunday, 27th January 2019. On Thursday, Nadal looked locked in as he won what looked like a very simple semi-final against the Greek marvel Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was probably the biggest surprise of the tournament this year as he defeated the great Roger Federer in four sets in the Round of 16. Ever since the first game, Nadal was looking for the corners to position his shots and to wear down his opponent through the three-set victory. While, on the other hand, Djokovic too looked at home competing against France's Pouille in the semi-final on Friday against France's Lucas Pouille. It was as if Djokovic took control of the French from the first set, dictating his every move with a shot of his own. After winning 6-0, 6-2, 6-2, Djokovic has eyes set on what will be his seventh AO title. Both men go into the #AusOpen final relatively refreshed. Djokovic time on court: 11 hours, 59 minutes Nadal time on court: 12 hours, 11 minutes pic.twitter.com/zxqXMCfT7l — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 25, 2019 However, there's only one man standing between the Serbian and his 15th Grand Slam and that is the 17x Grand Slam champion specimen of pure strength, the Spanish bull, Rafael Nadal. In the past, the competition between Djokovic (World Rank 1) and Nadal (World Rank 2) has been pretty even as Novak has won 27 games out of the 52 matchups while Nadal has won the remaining 25. This match is going to be a recap of one of the most memorable AO finals, which is recorded as the longest Grand Slam Final match ever. Held in 2012, the match between the two tennis stars lasted for almost six hours and was ultimately won by Djokovic in five entertaining sets with a final score 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 7–5, in favour of Novak. However, in what is considered to be a comeback tournament for Nadal, who has basically reinvented his game, depending more on technique than power and a new serve, we believe that the odds are stacked in favour of the Spaniard. If Nadal does manage to win against the current World Rank No. 1, it would be his first AO title in 10 years and second overall.
  22. Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus have found themselves in a bit of a sticky wicket, as their pursuit for the first title in the New Year is overshadowed by rage, protests and probably the most bizarre human rights violation in the history of football, as Saudi Arabia has banned 'women unaccompanied by men' to enter the football stadiums. As the reigning Serie A and Italian Cup champions Juventus prepare to go against A.C. Milan in tomorrow's Supercoppa Italiana final at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, in Jeddah, Amnesty International, an NGO which works for the Human Rights all over the world, have requested the both of them to not participate in the contest at all. The request came from the NGO following the assassination of journalist and women's rights activist, Jamal Khashoggi. Le donne alla #SuperCoppaItaliana vanno allo stadio solo se accompagnate dagli uomini. Ma stiamo scherzando? I signori del #calcio vendano pure i diritti delle partite ma non si permettano di barattare i diritti delle donne! — laura boldrini (@lauraboldrini) January 3, 2019 When Serie A made public the information about some seats being available only to men and that women may only be allowed to sit in the 'Family' section of the stadium, it only added fuel to the fire. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini showed his displeasure by calling the whole act “disgusting” and announced that he will not be watching the game. While no news from either of the teams about shunning the game is out yet, Saudi Arabia's decision to ban single women from stadiums cries for support from big influences like Juventus and A.C. Milan. Players like Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, who are loved by millions from all around ought to feel a sense of responsibility towards their fans and their human rights. But sadly, Juventus defender Alex Sandro feels that “the Saudis have taken a step forward," allowing at least married women to come and watch the sport. He believes that “they have a different fan base…” and hopes to have a good final. Partial human rights mean no human rights at all.
  23. After a dominating 137-run victory in the 3rd Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, BCCI announced the final 13-man squad for the 4th and final Test match of the series scheduled to take place at the SCG in Sydney starting 3rd January 2019. India name 13-man squad for SCG Test: Virat Kohli (C), A Rahane (VC), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, C Pujara, H Vihari, R Pant, R Jadeja, K Yadav, R Ashwin, M Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav A decision on R Ashwin's availability will be taken on the morning of the Test #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/4Lji2FExU8 — BCCI (@BCCI) January 2, 2019 A series of developments have taken place in the last two days as Rohit Sharma has gone back home to spend time with his newborn while Ishant Sharma didn't make the cut, despite earlier announcements of him replacing Umesh Yadav were made. Left-arm chinaman, Kuldeep Yadav is also included. Although all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, who's recovering from an abdominal injury has been named as one of the final 13, a decision on his availability will be made on Thursday morning just before the match begins. While fans are more or less convinced with the roster, the BCCI is being criticised for selecting out-of-form batsman KL Rahul in the final 13. @imVkohli @BCCI @RaviShastriOfc why kl rahul is included in team again? Do you have some standard left? Is performance any benchmark or just good looks are req for team selection? Everyone has to earn his place, not just being coach's favorite ð ð ð #INDvAUS — PruBaba (@theprashu) January 2, 2019 Where is ishant ? he would have scored more runs than kl rahul ð — arvind (@arvind_1352) January 2, 2019 KL Rahul & Umesh Yadav ðððso we have decided to lose the match. — Aditya ðð(@MyTakeOn_) January 2, 2019 I still don't know why these guys are ignoring Bhuvi he is better bowler than Umesh And considering present form better batsman than Rahul — Anjaneya Durgesh K (@AnjaneyaDurgesh) January 2, 2019 Are you serious. @mvj888 is more deserving than the useless @klrahul11 . Partiality at it's best.ð — ð²Sharad / Patel ð²(@iamsharad98) January 2, 2019 Quite surprised with Indian team selection's decision on inclusion of K L Rahul in 13 man squad !! Has he not been given enough chances ? He needs more polish to perform at the national level ! Half baked dish is harmful for India at this stage. — Pushpinder Singh Sappal (@Pushpin63862765) January 2, 2019 This is seriously shitty team selection. @mvj888 Got a ð¯in practice match at SCG, and just dropped after 2 matches is not given a chance, whereas @klrahul11 Who has been given 19 test innings and has failed (other than one off in England) is preferred ahead. — Saurabh Khatod (@Saurabh105) January 2, 2019 The opposition to KL Rahul's inclusion in the squad may be well justified, as despite being given numerous opportunities to prove his worth, Rahul has failed to perform time and again. Before being dropped from the playing 11 for the 3rd Test, Rahul scored 2 and 44 at Adelaide and 2 and 0 at Perth. The fact that debutant Mayank Agarwal put up more runs than Rahul's combined total in just a single inning, really puts things into perspective. With India leading the series 2-1, the Men in Blue are on the verge of their first ever Test series victory against Australia on their home turf. If included in the final roster, KL Rahul's success or failure would most definitely play a crucial role.
  24. Often considered the best player of his generation and regarded by many as one of the greatest players of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo needs no introduction to football. The Portuguese has won 26 trophies in his career including five league titles, five UEFA Champions League titles and one UEFA European Championship. For someone who has scored over 670 senior goals for club and country, it's not surprising at all to see Ronaldo boasting of a record-tying five Ballon d'Ors. Needless to say, Ronaldo has won almost everything there is in football. But, despite that, the 33-year-old is still hungry for more success - a trait that sets him apart from other footballers. It was his hunger to overcome financial adversities that saw him emerging from the Portuguese island of Madeira and taking over the football world with his impeccable skills. At a time when his arch-rival Lionel Messi was leading the Ballon d'Or race with four wins against Ronaldo's one, it was his hunger that pushed him to level the proceedings at five wins apiece. © Reuters And, as it turns out, that same hunger echoed inside the Real Madrid dressing room as Ronaldo delivered an inspirational speech to his teammates ahead of their UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool last season. History was on the line as Madrid aimed to become the first-ever football club to record three successive UCL title wins in Kiev. Seeking some encouragement and wisdom, Madrid turned to their talisman Ronaldo who told his teammates: "It's time to win, not to play". Urging his teammates to put everything on the line, Ronaldo added, "Let's run and fight, and then our quality will show." "It's worthy dying tonight to make history. We will be the first with three titles: play, win and make history. C'mon!," Ronaldo said in his motivational speech, which was caught in the recently-released documentary 'In the Heart of the Decimotercera' where Madrid re-lived another successful Champions League campaign. While Ronaldo couldn't get his name on the scoring-sheet, his words eventually inspired Los Blancos to a 3-1 win over Liverpool and allowed them to create history as the first club to win three consecutive Champions League titles. Savouring their historic win, Madrid were dealt with a big blow after Ronaldo dropped the bombshell about his desire to move away from Santiago Bernabeu right after their win in Kiev. Since then, Ronaldo has moved to Turin-based Juventus and is currently seen plying his trade in Italy, while Madrid saw Julen Lopetegui taking over the reins from Zinedine Zidane as their new manager.
  25. In 2015, when Son Heung-min signed a deal with Tottenham Hotspur for 22 million pounds, the South Korean footballer etched his name in the history books as the most expensive Asian player in history. For someone who honed his skills at Germany's Hamburger SV and then played for Bayer Leverkusen, Son eventually found his calling at the North London club, where he also became the top Asian goalscorer in Premier League history. If his club career scaled new heights, Son also proved his mettle on the international stage, representing South Korea. He was a vital cog of the South Korean football team at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. And, more recently, he became the joint top-scorer for his country alongside Park Ji-sung and Ahn Jung-hwan at the World Cup. At the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Son proved crucial for his side as South Korea finished the tournament as runners-up. © Reuters But, all of his records and achievements would mean nothing if Son loses the men's football final at the 2018 Asian Games on 1st September. South Korea will be looking to clinch the gold medal when they lock horns with Japan in the coveted final, but for Son, the match will probably be the last opportunity for him to save what has been a prolific football career. According to the South Korean government's policy, all able-bodied males in the country are subjected to complete at least 21 months of military service before turning 28. However, there is an exception to it. Those who have secured gold medals at the Olympics or Asian Games are automatically exempted from completing the mandatory military service for the said duration. © Reuters With Son now 26, the ongoing Games in Indonesia is probably his last chance to get out of military duty and fulfil his new five-year contract at Tottenham. But, it definitely is not going to be easy for Son and his teammates to contain fierce rivals Japan in the final. South Korea lost to Malaysia in the group stage and needed extra-time to battle past Uzbekistan in the quarterfinal. The South Koreans, then, defeated Vietnam 3-1 to storm into the final. On Saturday, when Son takes the field with his teammates against Japan in the final, apart from the South Koreans, the Tottenham team and their fans, too, will keep close tabs on the fixture in a desperate hope that their star goes on to secure the all-important gold medal.
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