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ZODIAC

Found 36 results

  1. With the Indian Premier League (IPL) underway in full steam, we are bound to see many new-comers who will make a name for themselves and go on to earn laurels. Established youngsters such as Prithvi Shaw and Shubhman Gill, who are already in the limelight, can be the ones to replace the current Indian squad in the coming two to three years. These are the predicted top five youngsters who own the skills and determination to make it to the Indian team by the next World Cup, that is in 2023. 1. Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Capitals) © TOI The young Mumbai lad, Prithvi Shaw, is all set to make a comeback in the limelight of Indian Premier League under Delhi Capitals. Having a wonderful debut last year in the league, overshadowing Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and many other stars, Shaw definitely made a name for himself and got retained by the side during the 2019 IPL auction. Giving some prolific performances for the Indian Test side and that too at the age of just 18 is another proof of why he is referred to as the 'Next Master Blaster' of Indian cricket. Despite his worth still to be proven in limited overs cricket, he remains our top contender to make it to the Indian squad in the coming years, especially for ICC World Cup 2023. 2. Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Capitals) © Instagram The captain of the domestic as well as the IPL team of Delhi, Shreyas Iyer, is known to be the man of focus as this IPL season kicks off. Replacing Gautam Gambhir's leadership of Delhi Capitals since last year, Iyer has flowered as a captain and a better player too. From scoring in IPL to playing some great knocks for India A, the 24-year-old Mumbai lad has been in a prime form which if continues, will provide him with the great opportunity to support Virat Kohli by the World Cup 2023. 3. Shubhman Gill (Kolkata Knight Riders) © Instagram Soon after the arrival of Shaw, Shubman Gill became the next big thing to be talked about in the Indian cricket circuit. The 19-year-old batsman from Punjab is completely determined to achieve big things in international cricket and has continued to deliver consistently whenever the opportunity is provided. Ever since his phenomenal performance in the ICC U-19 World Cup 2018 in New Zealand, Shubman has been knocking at the door of the senior team. After being declared as the 'Player of the Tournament' during the2018 U-19 World Cup, he has been hailed by the experts as a player to watch out for. Getting an early entry into the Indian team and sharing the dressing room with big shots like Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn and Andre Russell for the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gill will definitely gain more knowledge of how to become a mature player. In the next few years, we will be seeing some major transformations in the youngster and we hope he goes on to break many records and might get us the 2023 World Cup too. 4. Mayank Agarwal (Kings XI Punjab) © Instagram “International cricket has made me calmer” was a statement given by Mayank Agarwal in an interview to Hindustan Times on Sunday. Having scored 2141 runs for the domestic team of Karnataka in the 2017-18 season and 3472 runs in 70 India-A matches, Agarwal's long wait of getting into the Indian team ended in December last year. Called to Australia as a replacement for Rohit Sharma, the 28-year-old was finally selected for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, where he responded with a brilliant 76, the highest score by an Indian debutant in Australia, and a 42 in the second innings. Now, making a comeback after his thumb injury for Kings XI Punjab, he seems all set to show the entire world what he is made of. Regardless of all the difficulties and drawbacks that he has had, we would still opt him as our favourite to showcase in World Cup 2023. 5. Mayank Markande (Mumbai Indians) © Instagram 21-year-old Mayank Markande, recently added an achievement to his resume as he received his maiden call-up for the India T20I squad against Australia. Playing for Mumbai Indians and sharing the dressing room with legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Mahela Jayawardene, will surely be helpful to the young leggie. Keeping World Cup 2023 in mind, it will be interesting to see how young Markande fills the shoes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
  2. Arguably one of the most consistent teams in the history of the tournament, Mumbai Indians (MI) continues to remain a top contender going into the twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Being the most valuable IPL franchise with a brand value of $106 million, MI always made sure that it stands on the expectations of their fans. They registered their name in the history books as they became the first team to win the IPL title for a record third time. Having a knack of making a comeback and winning matches, MI will certainly look forward to break their title-tie with CSK and bag their record fourth trophy. For their road to glory, here are the top five players to look forward too: Jasprit Bumrah Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians IPL is all about spotting Indian talent and giving them the platform, and Jasprit Bumrah is yet another prodigy of IPL. John Wright not only did MI favour but to the Indian Cricket, by spotting spotted the young gun in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy before drafting him into the squad. With time Bumrah has shown continuous improvement on both domestic and international level and now has become best bowler in the world. Being the second highest wicket-taker for MI last season, Bumrah will be all geared up to show his extraordinary skills for his home side once again. Rohit Sharma Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians One of the most successful captain in the league, Rohit Sharma, has profoundly proven his worth time and again. Playing an important role in all the title victories and bringing the team back from downfalls, Rohit has been a great tactician in his teams glorious run. Leading his team from the front, the right-handed batsman has the third highest runs in the history of the league and stands on the same position in his scorings of last season. Entering this season with quite a young team, Sharma ji would be expected to give a tough time to their title counterpart, CSK. Yuvraj Singh Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians Not having quite a season for the past few years, Yuvraj Singh still manages to get his name in the in Mumbai's list. We know its a long shot but one thing we all would agree with is that once this man starts hitting, there is no coming back for any team. We saw that short stint with both Delhi Daredevils (Delhi Capitals) and Kings XI Punjab in the past season where he performed in a few matches. Hoping to see vintage Yuvraj Singh back is a dream worth living, which not only entertains us fans but will also help in rejuvenating his career. Mayank Markande Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians The young leg spinner from Punjab has proved to be a big asset to the Mumbai Indians squad. Dodging the batsman with his unorthodox bowling style, he has impressed one and all with his consistency and his success in the last season. Bagging 15 wickets in 14 matches, Markande has more or less fixed his place in the playing XI. And the thing with leg spinners is that if they strike, they can take down the whole opposition within minutes, and we hope Markande does the same for MI. Hardik Pandya Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians The most stylish player in the MI dugout is known to be Hardik Pandya, but the most impressive thing about him is that he made sure that he never let his style affect his game and he even proved the same in the last season. Scoring a decent total of 260 in his 14 matches, he took everyone by surprise by taking 18 wickets and that too with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Mclenegan and Mustafizur Rehman being in the team.
  3. Rajasthan Royal is the most balanced side you will find in this season of Indian Premier League. From great batsman to some hard-hitting all-rounders and some world class bowlers, they have made sure that they excel in every department, on paper. Now the real task would be to pan out the action plan on the field. RR did taste the success once when the won the inaugural season of IPL in 2008 under the captaincy of Shane Warne. Since then the team has been a part of many controversies, but despite that, they made a good start in last year's IPL, securing the fourth spot by the end of the season. With a perfectly balanced team, it will be interesting to see how Rahane and his boys complete their puzzled combination of players. Here are the top five players who can play a crucial role for RR: Steve Smith Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals One of the finest Australian batsman in the modern day cricket, Steve Smith, is all set to make a comeback to the IPL after the ball-tampering scandal. Being barred from international cricket and IPL for a year has surely given him some personal space to reconnect with himself. And now being back in the RR, he will definitely want to make his presence count by showing his form, and especially when the World Cup is right over the head. Ajinkya Rahane Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals One of the most dependable batsman in the Rajasthan side, Ajinkya Rahane (Jinx) seems all set to take charge of the team. Jinks will once again look forward to entertaining the crowd with his silken touch in the shortest format of the game. Known for being calm, patient and determined on the field, Rahane has now been the backbone of the RR side for many years. Scoring the third highest runs in his team last season, Rahane will be in full swing to guide from the front. Ben Stokes Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals One of the most consistent all rounders in the league, Ben Stokes has worked as two players in one for RR. Filling the shoes of a full-time bowler and adding to the cavalry of the team, Stokes would be a perfect pick for any team. Now playing his second season with the RR, Stoke will be all set to prove his worth and shut his critics. Jaydev Unadkat Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals Once again the costliest buy of the season, Jaydev Unadkat, is bought by the same team who bought him last year, Rajasthan Royals, but this time for a little less than before, Rs. 8.4 crores. He did perform well last season and took 11 wickets for the team but everyone expected more from such a humongous buy. We hope this time Unadkat can stand tall above all and prove his metal. Jofra Archer Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals Jofra Archer was one of the most exciting picks in the VIVO IPL Player Auction 2018. Fetching a cool INR 7.20 crore, Archer proved to be a complete package for RR. Possessing the strength to whack the ball clean and hard, he can also bowl at flashing speed of 150 kph. Being the highest wicket-taker for his side last season(15), Archer will be expected to once again play a crucial role in this season.
  4. For a team that is never short on glamour and style quotient - thanks to its co-owner Preity Zinta, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), sadly, has not been able to live to the hype on the cricket field in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Despite boasting of some of the biggest names in the sport, KXIP's dream of clinching the IPL title continues to elude them. They came mighty close to realising that dream in 2014 as they went one opponent past another to win 11 matches alongside just three defeats that season. They were tipped as favourites to win the trophy after their spectacular win over a consistent Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the second qualifier. But, a their three-wicket loss in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) broke their hearts. After failing to secure a top-four finish in the last four editions, the Mohali-based franchise underwent a major overhaul as they spent a staggering Rs 32.50 crore at the 2019 IPL Auctions. And, the result is quite obvious. Punjab is now well-equipped with some of the most feared batsmen, proven bowlers and valuable all-rounders. Going into the twelfth edition of the IPL, here are the five key players from Punjab who can change the fortunes for their side this season: KL Rahul Instagram/@kxipofficial Arguably one of the highly-rated upcoming talents in India, KL Rahul, time and again, has proved his mettle with some blistering knocks in dire situations. He might have struggled a bit in the Indian colours lately, but Rahul, in the Punjab jersey, is a batsman who is more than capable of taking the game away from the opposition. Boasting of a wide array of strokes, the right-handed batsman took the IPL by storm last season. He was the leading run-getter for Punjab last year, scoring 659 runs in 14 games at a strike-rate of 158.41. And, the fact that out of the 659 runs he scored, 364 runs came in the first six overs at a strike-rate of over 157, shows how deadly he can be in the powerplay. Chris Gayle Instagram/@kxipofficial If Rahul adds teeth to Punjab's opening line-up, Chris Gayle ensures there is no shortage of fireworks early on. One of the most feared batsmen in limited-overs cricket, Gayle needs no introduction when it comes to sending the ball into the stratosphere. He might struggle in running between the wickets, but the 'Universe Boss' can easily make up for it by flexing his big muscles to send the ball over the fence at will. Released by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2018, Gayle sent a stark reminder to his previous employers by shining bright in the Punjab jersey last season. Though he played just 11 games last season, Gayle amassed 368 runs at a strike-rate of over 146. With a highest score of an unbeaten 104, Gayle also slammed three fifties alongside 30 fours and 27 sixes. If Punjab intend to challenge for the title this year, they'd surely need Gayle's firepower at the top. Andrew Tye Instagram/@kxipofficial Owing to his success in Australian domestic cricket and later in Big Bash League (BBL), Andrew Tye was roped in by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2015, only to warm the bench throughout the season. In 2017, signed by now-defunct Gujarat Lions, Tye made a sensational IPL debut, taking five wickets including a hat-trick. His bowling figures of 5-17 were the best by a bowler on IPL debut. But, with the Gujarat franchise completing its two-year term and bidding adieu to IPL in 2018, Tye found suitors in Punjab who were heavily benefited by his addition. Taking 24 wickets in 14 games, Tye emerged as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament last season. Punjab will once again count on the last year's 'Purple Cap' holder to work his magic for them this season. Varun Chakravarthy Instagram/@kxipofficial Karnataka-born Varun Chakravarthy was quietly sitting with his parents at home when he saw his life turn upside down. The 29-year-old Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) sensation saw Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings bid furiously for him. And, then came the big moment: Punjab securing his services for Rs 8.4 crore (42 times his base price of Rs 20 lakh). C V Varun spun a web in TNPL 2018. Will the batters be able to decode his magic in #IPL2019? pic.twitter.com/ha2aCjicdt — TNPL (@TNPremierLeague) 19 December 2018 So, what's so special about this leg-spinner, you'd ask? Well, the mystery spinner has seven different variations and, going by his hefty paycheck, they now officially cost more than Rs 1 crore each. For someone who spun Siechem Madurai Panthers to their maiden TNPL title last season, Varun will surely be expected to carry the baton for his new employers Punjab in latest edition of the IPL. Mayank Agarwal Instagram/@kxipofficial For someone who has been patiently waiting for a national call-up in limited-overs cricket, Mayank Agarwal has done pretty much everything a batsman can do to strengthen his case. The prolific right-hander has been busy scoring runs in domestic cricket over the past couple of years. He also looked in ominous touch on Test debut against Australia where he scored two clinical fifties for India. While he struggled to carry on his domestic form into the IPL last season, this could very well be his year. His unbeaten 85-run knock powered Karnataka to the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title earlier this year. And, with both Gayle and Rahul (World Cup prospects) expected to be used in limited capacity this season, Mayank can surely make the opportunity count with crucial knocks for Punjab.
  5. SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) were one of the best teams to be a part of last year's Indian Premier League (IPL), maybe even better than the current champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and if it wasn't for Shane Watson's heroic 117-run innings in the final, the men in orange and black could have even won their second title. Known for their exceptional bowling lineup, SunRisers came to be known as the 'guardians of low totals' because of their bowlers being able to not only hold their opponents to a low score but also take wickets in the process. Here are the key players for SunRisers Hyderabad, who will play a major part in the squad's attempt to bring home the trophy: 1. Rashid Khan View this post on Instagram ð¶ Woke up in the morning feeling fine, got @rashid.khan19 's magic spell on my mind ð¶ Hattrick hero. First player to take 4 wickets in 4 balls in a T20I. 11 wickets in the series. WHAT. A. PLAYER. 𤩠#OrangeArmy #RashidRush A post shared by SunRisers Hyderabad (@sunrisershyd) on Feb 24, 2019 at 8:55pm PST This 20-year-old bowler from Afghanistan is somewhat of the main man for the franchise. His variations with the ball has made him his opponents' worst nightmare and also provided him with the top position in ICC's T20 rankings for bowlers as he's bagged 75 wickets in 38 T20Is with a staggering economy of just 6.02 throughout his career. SunRisers clearly are in awe of this young star as they paid more than double of what they did last year to make sure Khan doesn't go anywhere else. Opening their season against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, the team will depend heavily on his wrist-spin bowling to bring them success. 2. David Warner Nothing much, just a fully focused @davidwarner31... ð¤·‍âï¸#OrangeArmy 𧡠pic.twitter.com/LEkRH6XsiX — SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) March 19, 2019 For any sportsperson, his integrity and respect in the eyes of his fans are very important, maybe even bigger than the championship, itself. After stepping down from captaincy and later being disbarred from playing in the league altogether last year, the 2019 season has to mean a lot more to David Warner than any of his teammates. Warner is one of those players who are a perfect fit for wherever they play. Being under contract with the team since the 2014 IPL auction, he holds the records for scoring the most runs by an overseas player (4,014), most half-centuries (35) and the highest individual score by a captain (126) in the league. 3. Kane Williamson View this post on Instagram 'When he's on song, Kane Williamson is the most attractive batsman to watch in world cricket' - Virat Kohli #TeamIndia skipper @imVkohli has heaped praise on his Kiwi counterpart's batting prowess ð #OrangeArmy, what do you make of #KingKohli's assessment of @kane_s_w? ð¤ A post shared by SunRisers Hyderabad (@sunrisershyd) on Jan 25, 2019 at 1:34am PST Known for his cool temper as a skipper but an absolute beast with the bat, Kane Williamson proved his worth to Hyderabad in the 2017 season when he amassed 256 runs with a strike rate of 151.47 in just seven matches and was promoted as the leader of the squad. In the 2018 season, the Kiwi outdid himself as he became the top scorer of the league (735), won the Orange Cap and took his side to the final. If the team wants to make it big this season yet again, Williamson has to play on a similar level. 4. Bhuvneshwar Kumar View this post on Instagram With figures of 2â£/4â£6⣠including a maiden, Bhuvi contributed in #TeamIndia's 7-wicket victory over New Zealand that sealed the series at Bay Oval ð #NZvIND A post shared by SunRisers Hyderabad (@sunrisershyd) on Jan 28, 2019 at 1:35am PST Having a bad run with injuries, one of the finest bowlers of the Indian cricket team, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a below-average IPL season last year when he was able to scalp just nine wickets in 12 matches. However, it seems Bhuvi is back to his ideal fitness conditions and his decent performance in the series Down Under and New Zealand have to have a positive impact on the pacer's confidence and that of the SRH team managers. 5. Manish Pandey View this post on Instagram #SyedMushtaqAliTrophy 2019 Champion ð . Congratulations to our Riser @manishpandeyinsta for leading Karnataka throughout the tournament! ð #OrangeArmy 𧡠. . . #SunRisersHyderabad #Hyderabad #Cricket #Champion #Karnataka A post shared by SunRisers Hyderabad (@sunrisershyd) on Mar 14, 2019 at 8:24am PDT Raw, brute force is what comes to mind when you try to define Manish Pandey's cricketing style and it seems to resonate with the owners of the team who literally invested a fortune behind his success. Keeping aside the retained players, Pandey was Hyderabad's biggest buy at Rs. 11 crore. Playing in 15 matches for SunRisers, the right-handed batsman scored a total of 284 runs at a 25.81 batting average which is not that great, especially for the mammoth deal with franchise. However, Pandey has shown significant improvement in his stint with the India A roster and during the latest Ranji Trophy season with Karnataka.
  6. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are entering the twelfth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the first game of the year against the three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Saturday, 23rd March 2019. However, the burden on their shoulders is a lot heavier as compared to their opponent. Having never won the title ever since the team's inception in 2008, the expectations and hopes of the people of Bangalore with regards to hosting the prestigious IPL trophy one day, are brutally crushing the team owners and the star-studded player line-up. Despite probably having the best coaching staff in the league and being captained by some of the greatest cricketers in the past, RCB have failed to seal the deal and their supporters are losing their cool. Having said that, after spending an amount as big as Rs. 16.35 crores at the 2018 IPL auction and retaining their best lot, the roster looks amazing. Here are the five key RCB players whom people should watch out for this IPL season: 1. Virat Kohli View this post on Instagram A post shared by Royal Challengers Bangalore (@royalchallengersbangalore) on Feb 15, 2019 at 6:43am PST Let's not spend too much time on the obvious. Virat Kohli, who is the captain of RCB and that of the Indian national cricket team, has to have an impact during this IPL season if he wishes to continue with the team as its skipper. Even though 2018 was his year and he won all the major individual awards put up by the International Cricket Council (ICC), Kohli has earned a bad reputation for himself as the captain of an IPL team. Having said that, Kohli is the second highest run-scorer in the entire league just behind CSK's Suresh Raina and became the first batsman to score 4000+ runs in the league during RCB's most successful season in 2016. As talented and gifted as Kohli is, he can manage to get runs even in his sleep. What is to be yet seen is how the King uses the supporting cast around him to take his team to the top. 2. AB de Villiers View this post on Instagram #TB to when @abdevilliers17's brilliance propelled us to a victory against Delhi Daredevils! #ThrowBackThursday #TBT #PlayBold #Repost @royalchallengersbangalore • • • • • If not for the roof, this would have landed in Cubbon Park. #PlayBold A post shared by Royal Challengers Bangalore (@royalchallengersbangalore) on Mar 14, 2019 at 2:35am PDT De Villiers was RCB's main man before Virat Kohli took the throne. The South African's furious batting style combined with years and years of experience as the captain of one of the leading teams of the cricketing world, made him an ideal piece of the puzzle that the team's road to title victory really is. Even though Mr. 360° is not the dynamic hitter he once used to be, he still possesses a lot of command over his bat and is very much capable of bringing home wins against many of the franchises from this season's matchups. 3. Yuzvendra Chahal View this post on Instagram Your focus determines your reality! ðð@yuzi_chahal23 #MondayMotivation #PlayBold A post shared by Royal Challengers Bangalore (@royalchallengersbangalore) on Mar 10, 2019 at 9:51pm PDT Yuzi Chahal has grown as a cricketer by leaps and bounds in the past couple of years. Putting in hours of practice in his craft has earned him a high chair in the Indian cricket team as he looks to represent his nation in the upcoming World Cup. Being Bangalore's leading wicket-taker, Chahal has earned immense respect and trust in the eyes of the team management that retained the leggy for his sixth season in red and gold. While bowlers like Mohammed Siraj and Washington Sundar will be at Kohli's disposal, the captain will turn to Chahal in the hour of need and demand of him the ability to break partnerships. 4. Marcus Stoinis Skipper @imVkohli with our new joinee, @MStoinis. Maybe he wants him to save his best for the upcoming VIVO IPL when he dons the red and black at #Chinnaswamy! #PlayBold #AUSvIND https://t.co/VQXFLo3JxV — Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) November 22, 2018 Aussie Marcus Stoinis is probably one of those rare cricketers who are on the list of every fantasy cricket club owner. Having being named Australia's men's One-day International Player of the Year, the allrounder was a gem to look at as he hit big runs and scalped many wickets. A reliable player in general with the capacity to score runs on cue, Stoinis will be expected to go out there and perform on the same level as he does for his national cricket team. 5. Shimron Hetmyer Shimron Hetmyer is BOLD. We acquire him at INR 4.20 Cr!#PlayBold #BidForBold #IPLAuction — Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) December 18, 2018 Getting paid for absolutely dismantling the Men in Blue during the Windies' visit to India in October 2018, Hetmyer was signed up by the RCB for Rs. 4.20 crores as they outbid literally every other team present in that ballroom during the IPL auctions. Known as a run-machine, this 22-year-old plays the sport like there is no tomorrow. Boasting a scary strike rate of 142.42, the lefty has scored 517 runs in the 21 T20 matches he has played so far. If Hettie brings even a fraction of his game to RCB, his presence in the team will be a huge boost for Virat Kohli and the rest of the squad.
  7. One of the original eight franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Delhi Capitals recently changed their name from 'Delhi Daredevils' after a rather forgettable season. According to Co-Owner and Chairman of the team, Parth Jindal, the reason behind changing the name was that Delhi is the power centre of the country and also the capital, hence the name 'Delhi Capitals'. Classic. Having never been able to make it to the Indian Premier League final, the last time Delhi Capitals made it to the Playoffs was all the way back in 2012 when the former Indian opener, Virender Sehwag stepped down from the position of the captain of the team following one of the worst seasons in the history of IPL in 2011. Having made significant changes to the team's name and roster ahead of the 2019 IPL season, the ownership hopes to bring success to the city and these five players will be crucial in doing so: 1. Shikhar Dhawan Bina Gabbar ke Holi bhi koi Holi hai? #HappyHoli #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/EewQPoc51G — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 21, 2019 Making his return to the team with which he made his IPL debut in 2008, Shikhar Dhawan has wreaked havoc against his opponents in the league. Although he has been struggling with the bat for the Indian cricket team for quite some time now, Delhi Capitals has sent a lot of talent including the rising allrounder Vijay Shankar, spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and the young Abhishek Sharma to SunRisers Hyderabad in the trade to bring back Dhawan. We look forward to seeing the veteran use his experience along with the young batting line-up consisting of Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw to bring back the glory days to the city. 2. Rishabh Pant When @RishabPant777 hits it, it stays hit Describe kijiye inki batting ek word mein... #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals #QilaKotla pic.twitter.com/HdcuT9BCLh — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 20, 2019 After getting accused of being one of the major reasons for India's ODI series loss against Australia, the 21-year-old athlete will be on a mission to redeem his worth and prove his abilities not only as a batsman but behind the wicket as well. This will be Pant's fourth season with his hometown team ever since he made his debut in 2016 and the franchise clearly has high hopes from him as he was one of the first stars to be retained by the owners. Although Ravi Shastri has made it clear that the IPL will have zero effect on the decision-making for squad selection for the upcoming ICC World Cup, the 2019 IPL may be Pant's final opportunity to convince the selectors of why he should be on the roster. 3. Prithvi Shaw SHER hai tu SHER Roarrrrrrrrrrrrr pic.twitter.com/HJm3uRtQTn — Prithvi Shaw (@PrithviShaw) March 21, 2019 The 19-year-old powerhouse that Prithvi Shaw is, he is certain to go for big hits throughout the tournament while it is highly likely for him to open the Delhi batting-lineup with the veteran Shikhar Dhawan on the other end. After being out of action for nearly three months suffering an ankle injury during India's tour of Australia, Shaw returned to the game in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy but failed to do well with the exception of a 71-run innings against Goa. Ever since Shaw came into the limelight, he has been referred to as a talent as good as any. Being great at such a young age has earned him comparisons to Sachin Tendulkar and if there is even the smallest truth in that, people better watch out for him. 4. Amit Mishra 3⣠hat-tricks. 1⣠and only Mishi bhai. Sunday se aayega mazaa Mumbai mein kitne wickets lenge hamare DC legend?@MishiAmit#ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/lo8xIHO1oe — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 21, 2019 One of the cornerstones of the Delhi team since the last four years, Mishra was retained by the team for the 2019 season. He has been consistent in collecting wickets and also boasts the record of becoming the first player to take three hat-tricks in IPL. He has been the most successful bowler in the history of Delhi Daredevils/Capitals history bagging 132 wickets for his side in the past four seasons. His ability to stick to the crease in dire situations makes him an essential player too. 5. Trent Boult Boult's name on the roster cost DC approximately Rs. 2.8 crores at the time of the 2018 auction which justifies his number two position on ICC ODI rankings for bowlers. In the recent ODI and T20 series against the visiting Indian cricket team, Boult's 12 wickets in five matches were crucial for the Kiwis, even though their side lost the series 4-1.
  8. Chennai Super Kings is literally the 'king' of this league as they have won three titles out of the ten seasons they have played. Despite being off the tournament for two years, CSK made an epic comeback by winning the last season with some prolific performances. Keeping their core team intact, CSK has been one of the most lethal sides in the Indian Premier League. A fact to back our statement is that CSK has made to the playoffs in all the ten seasons they have played. The MS Dhoni-led side has been cool as ever and is renowned for making some dramatic comeback with players like Bravo and Watson who can snatch the game away from you anytime they want. Despite the star-studded squad CSK have, here are our top five key players who can help them lift the title for record 4th time: 1. MS Dhoni © Instagram The most beloved player of the CSK squad, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, topping our list would come as no surprise because we all know the importance this man holds in the team. He is the most calm and clever captain you'll find on the cricket ground. His insane tactics and game-changing abilities make him the most threatening player in the squad. Equipped with his helicopter shot, MSD has every knowledge of when to strike and when to become an anchor for the team. Having the core team he requires, Captain Cool will surely give it all to win his fourth title. 2. Suresh Raina © Instagram Making a comeback in the big scene, Suresh Raina is definitely a player to look out for in this year's IPL. The leading run scorer in the IPL, Raina had a pretty decent season last year where he scored 445 runs (including four 50+ scores) in 15 innings with a strike rate of 132.44 Since then, he has been out of international cricket, firstly because of injury and later because of poor form. But he still is one of the most dangerous batsmen if he starts firing. Looking forward to rebooting his career with the IPL glory, Raina will do anything asked for to prove his worth. 3. Shane Watson © BCCI The most reliable overseas player in the CSK side would be none other than Shane Watson. Brilliant with the bat and handy with the ball, Watson ticks two crucial boxes in the team's side. Scoring massive 555 runs in 15 innings, the Aussie star has proved his worth time and again. Apart from his batting prowess, Watto will also provide an extra bowling option to Chennai in crunch situations. Adding to it, his precision with the medium bowling not only gives them an extra option but will also provide them helps them to cover the quota of four overs but also to get a crucial breakthrough at times. With that, he brings experience to the side which is certainly a boost for the younger players' confidence. 4. Imran Tahir © Instagram Another star performer of the CSK side is their South African leggie, Imran Tahir. Getting to bowl all the four overs in every match, Tahir plays an important role in CSK's win counts. One of the most experienced bowlers in the side, Tahir surely instils a whole lot of confidence in the team, both on and off the field. Though he got to play just six matches last season, we hope we get to see him in action more often so that he can prove his metal to the world. 5. Ambati Rayudu © Instagram The top run scorer in IPL 2018 journey for CSK, Ambati Rayudu is all set to own the yellow jersey once again. Having a mammoth total of 602 runs (comprising of a century) in 16 innings, Rayudu has already proven why he should be retained. Another important task for Rayudu would be to cement his place in the World Cup squad by performing well in the season. Having a robust last season, a whole lot will be dependent on him as the season passes through.
  9. Kolkata Knight Riders, being a side associated with huge celebrity status, have made sure that they don't let the stardom affect their performance. After displaying a poor form in the first few seasons of the Indian Premier League, they made sure they bounced back strong and have been in prime form ever since. Winning the trophy twice, once in 2012 and 2015, both by defeating Chennai Super Kings in the finals, they have made sure that they made the qualifiers every single time after that. With the 12th edition of the IPL right over their heads, KKR will be looking forward to opening their innings on a good note. The top five players who could become the knights in shining armour for KKR in this season are: 1. Dinesh Karthik © KKR Facebook Dinesh Karthik, the captain of the KKR for the second season in a row, will play a key role in guiding the team to glory. Leading the team from the front, DK was the top run scorer of the squad with 498 runs in 16 innings including two fifties. Having a good tactful mind, Karthik will be looking forward to at least make it to the playoffs and on the individual front, he would give his best shot so that he can make a place for himself in the final World Cup squad. 2. Sunil Narine © BCCI Arguably the most mysteriously successful bowler in the history of the game, Sunil Narine deserves to be the key player of the side. Beginning with his off-break bowling and ruling the 'purple cap,' he later stunned everyone with opening the innings and thrashing the ball in all directions. Usually, we expect him to be the leading wicket-taker but after his beating to all the faster bowlers and the pacers, he took his name among the top and the leading run scorer in the team with his 357 runs in 16 innings, comprising of two 50+ scores. 3. Andre Russell © KKR Facebook Another hard-hitter that KKR possesses is the Carribean star, Andre Russell. The Right-arm fast bowler is capable of snatching the match from the lion's mouth if once unleashed, both with the bat and the ball. An example of it would be his humongous knock of 88 in mere 36 balls (consisting of 11 sixes), which almost stole the show from Chennai Super Kings but they managed somehow. Another advantage Russell provides is his ability to bowl in debt overs and that too with precision. 4. Kuldeep Yadav © KKR Instagram Having a world-class bowler in the squad is always a perk and Kuldeep Yadav has proven to be the same for KKR. Having a wonderful season last year with 17 wickets in the bag, Yadav has been a go-to bowler for DK. The number of variations he owns and his ability to read the batsman's mind is counted to be his most lethal weapon, which eventually proves to be an asset for the team. 5. Chris Lynn © KKR Instagram The Australian blessing in the KKR squad, Chris Lynn, is another deadly weapon in the team's arsenal. The right-handed batsman has been a consistent scorer for the side and went on to score 491 runs, the second highest in the team. An opening partnership of Lynn and Narine proved to be a breathtaking combination in the last few seasons and we hope it continues to go their way.
  10. Indian Premier League(IPL), one of the most entertaining tournaments in the world, has been on a roll since its arrival in 2008. Not only has it improved the level of cricket but has also been instrumental in discovering new talent from around the world. Players such as Hardik Pandya, Sarfraz Khan and currently the no.1 ranked bowler in the world, Jasprit Bumrah, are few of the many stars who showcased their flair in IPL and later went on to become International heroes. The recent IPL promo follows the mantra of 'Name Chhod, Game Dikha,' meaning putting the game forward will ensure that the name would follow itself. Even this year, there are some immense talents who are just waiting for an opportunity to show the world their powers. Here are some of the new players who got their name on the IPL teams because of their prolific performances in the domestic season: 1. Prabhsimran Singh © Instagram Prabhsimran Singh, a wicket-keeper batsman from Punjab has turned out be a big talking point in this years IPL auction. Being bought for a hefty amount of Rs.4.8 crores by Kings XI Punjab, Prabhsimran is a lump of coal expected to turn into a shiny diamond as the season progresses. Talking of his achievements, the Patiala boy has given quite a performance in the Indian Under-19 because of which he has reached this stage. Inspired by his idol Adam Gilchrist, it would have been surreal for him to represent the same team that of the former Aussie skipper. 2. Prayas Ray Barman © RCB Website Royal Challenger Banglore has always had a knack of entrusting young guns, earlier it was Sarfraz Khan and now its the 16-year-old, Prayas Ray Barman, who they bought for Rs.1.8 crores. The Bengali leggie is all set to make a name for himself in this year's IPL. Making his debut for the senior side this year in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the teenager has already made a mark in the domestic circuit by picking 11 wickets in 9 games at an economy rate of 4.45. To beat that, another mind-boggling stat of his came on his debut game against Jammu and Kashmir, where he bagged 4 wickets for 20 runs to star in his team's convincing win. 3. Himmat Singh © BCCI Another Delhi boy, Himmat Singh, joins Virat Kohli in the RCB squad. The 22-year old right-handed batsman has been bought for Rs.65 Lakh by the Challengers. Singh is currently one of the most promising batting talents in the country. Coming through the ranks of Delhi's age-group cricket, he has been a leading star for Under-16 and Under-19 teams and is renowned for producing his best during the knockout stages. Currently a part of India's Under-23 side and a regular member of Delhi's senior team, the Delhi lad would be all geared up to take yet another challenge with the likes of Kohli and Ab de Villiers. 4. Shivam Dube © RCB Website Shivam Dube, a well-known name in the Mumbai circuit, is a medium pace all-rounder. Bought for Rs. 5 crores by RCB, Dube somehow seems to be a carbon copy of Sourav Ganguly in terms of style, turning out to be a right-arm bowler but a left-handed batsman. Gaining an edge over his fellow teammates, he gave his reputation a massive uplift in the last one year with some big hitting in the Mumbai T20 League. He has given some outstanding performances in the recent domestic season. One of them was when he hit Pravin Tambe for 5 sixes in an over in the Mumbai T20 league and soon after recreated the moment in a Ranji Trophy match against Baroda's Swapnil Singh, just a day before the auction. 5. Varun Chakravarthy © Facebook Another mysterious spinner from Tamil Nadu, Varun Chakravarthy, has been bagged by Kings XI Punjab for a sum of Rs.8.4 crores. Being an architect-engineer by profession, Varun sets to be a perfect example of a person following his passion no matter at what age. He has almost fulfilled every role on a cricket field, starting off as a wicket-keeper batsman in school, to be a pacer after reconnecting to cricket post his job (which didn't go well as his play was halted by a knee injury), to being a mystery spinner who could bowl over 7 variations. Already being tested and proven at club level, Chakravarthy would surely be one of the top stars in the upcoming IPL season. With all these budding stars on a roll, let's see “Kaun apni game se apna name banata hai”
  11. PUBG Mobile is undoubtedly one of the most popular titles which you can play on both Android and iOS devices. Millions of players are showing up on PUBG's servers to play the game on a daily basis. Despite the staggering success, the game's developer and publisher Tencent Games is currently dealing with a lot of criticism, thanks to the reports which claim that the game is highly addictive and is affecting the mental health of the players. © Tencent Mobile Following the serious backlash, Tencent Games has now decided to impose a digital lock that will lock out players under the age of 13. Tencent Games is said to have imposed the restriction to support the Chinese government's crackdown on gaming addiction, and players below 13 years of age will need a parent or guardian's permission to play. Tencent is said to be using technologies like facial recognition and player ID checks to ascertain the age and identities of the players. They are using similar technology to ban players in 'Honour of Kings', which is yet another popular Tencent Games title. In addition to the digital lock, Tencent has already imposed limits on how long players can play the game, streaming restriction, and more. © PUBG Corporation As of now, only the Chinese version of the game seems to have the digital lock. The ban has been imposed in 12 Chinese cities including Beijing, Chengdu, and Changchun. But considering how Indian parents have been complaining about the game's addictive nature, we think it's only a matter of time until we see a similar digital lock being imposed on the Indian version of the game as well. In a statement released following the backlash, Tencent said, "To foster a healthy and balanced in-game environment, we are developing numerous new features and enhancements which enables us to provide an environment for players to enjoy PUBG Mobile in a rewarding and responsible manner. We are honoured to have a passionate community of PUBG Mobile players in India and globally and continue to welcome their feedback to make PUBG Mobile the best game ever!" Source: Xinhuanet
  12. 'Apex Legends' has been on the news ever since its surprise launch in February. Thanks to its explosive launch, it took 'Apex Legends' just eight hours to attract 1 million unique players, and just 24 hours to reach 2.5 million players. And now, in just a week, that number hit 25 million, and now the game's developer Respawn Entertainment has confirmed that Apex Legends' player count total has crossed 50 million players. © Apex Legends - Electronic Arts A 50 million player count is just insane, considering the fact that the game was launched not too long ago. In fact, 'Apex Legends' was launched just four weeks ago, and it's growing at a much quicker pace than, say, 'Fortnite Battle Royale'. To put things into perspective, it took 'Fortnite Battle Royale' several months to hit the 45 million mark. Of course, 'Fortnite Battle Royale' was one of the pioneers of the Battle Royale genre, so it's not fair to compare something like Apex Legends, which in comparison, had enough time to polish the game and get almost everything right. However, there's no denying that 'Apex Legends' is onto something here, and the numbers are only going to grow from here. © Apex Legends-Respawn Entertainment That being said, let's not forget that 'Fortnite' is still one of the most successful Battle Royale titles of all time. Epic games just launched the 8th season, complete with new maps locations, skins and more. It's hard not to acknowledge the fact that millions of players are still enjoying 'Fortnite', and it remains to be seen if 'Apex Legends' will manage to amass the same level of popularity.
  13. Yes, the need for protesting the gross and infamous terror attack in Pulwama is the utmost right now. Throughout history, India's 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' ideology has been stretched, moulded and abused on a global stage in the most disturbing manner ever. For years, India's stand on not being the first one to go on the attack in a bilateral rivalry, has been understood as our weakness instead of our political maturity and we are running out of patience really fast now. However, this does not mean that we lose our ability to make rational decisions. While the BCCI officials were taking their time deciding how they'd deal with the rival Pakistani squad during the upcoming World Cup 2019, if they would boycott them during the points-round or campaign for a complete ban on the Pakistani cricket team, another lead on BCCI's unrealistic measure towards the Pakistan Cricket Board came to the fore recently. According to Indian Express, BCCI had plans to isolate Pakistan by putting all the foreign players in a 'Us Or Them' situation, forcing them to choose between playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Pakistan Super League (PSL). What needs to be realised is that while the IPL is more of a gold mine for these international players, (some of whom earn double of their annual salary by playing for 6 weeks here), Pakistan's security concerns, on the other hand, has led to their hesitations towards playing in the country. However, South African cricket legend AB de Villiers was one of the most influential stars to have publicly announced his willingness to play there in order to bring in more such stars. A special message from our mentor and player @ABdeVilliers17 “Main Lahore A Raha Hun” ð¤©#DamaDamMast #MainHoonQalandar pic.twitter.com/Ye8j65Jwxl — Lahore Qalandars (@lahoreqalandars) January 14, 2019 BCCI's plan to, therefore, make things difficult for PCB to bring in international cricketers and grow their viewership, seemed highly opportune but insensitive. According to the report, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) officials along with BCCI CEO Rahul Johri gathered to draw a conclusion of this idea. Thankfully, the authority decided against the notion deeming it inappropriate to force the international players to choose between the two cricket leagues. Why? Simply because of the fact that it is the IPL franchises (that are privately owned) and not the BCCI that take up the players during the auction. Putting the players under such predicament would, therefore, lead to disappointed team owners. Basically, the whole facade boiled down to the fact that any action taken in favour of this plan would have been bad for business.
  14. Whatever people say about cricket and its diminishing following in India, the game of bat and ball continues to be the favourite sport of majority of the 1,300,000,000+ Indian. Throughout the years and years of ardent worshipping of the game and its men, we have tried to involve cricket in our lives in whatever way possible. To add to this unique relationship that Indians have had with the sport, Sampurnanand Sanskrit University in Varanasi decided to spend a day becoming the part of the cricketing world in the most traditional way they could think of. On the occasion of the university's platinum jubilee on Tuesday, 12th February 2019, Dhoti-Kurta clad players entered the university's cricket field to celebrate the monumental achievement of the institution. In what was a one-day tournament, a total of five teams participated, as reported by the Times of India, all of which had their own respective 'jersey' in the form of colourful dhoti-kurtas. Even the umpires had donned the look from top to bottom. While the cricketers in their unorthodox sporting attires looked unbelievably comfortable, running around the field, what stole the show for the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University was the Sanskrit commentary. On what was a desk of the most distinguished, learned and knowledgeable professors of the university, sat two commentators who made their way through the entire tournament, talking about the smallest of details about the games in Sanskrit with the utmost ease and fluency. “The students of Sampurnanand Sanskrit university who usually carry vedas, prayer books and pen in their hands, have picked up a bat and a ball and are playing a game of cricket in their traditional clothes of dhoni, kurta and tika to celebrate 75 years of success of their institution of education,” said Acharya Pawan Kumar Shastri, one of the professors present at the venue to TOI.
  15. It's just been a week since Respawn Entertainment launched 'Apex Legends' and the game has found success in just a matter of days. It's a free-to-play Battle Royale game that is giving games like PUBG and Fortnite a run for its money. Respawn has now revealed that the game has hit 25 million total players and had "well over" 2 million concurrent players during the weekend. © YouTube To put things into perspective, 'Fortnite' took four months to achieve these numbers after its launch. At the moment, 'Fortnite' has over 200 million players and 8.3 million concurrent players which is a huge number for any game. This is partly because of the game can also be played on iOS and Android devices. © YouTube The studio is now using this achievement as an opportunity to promote the game's roadmap including new goodies for players for Valentine's Day. The company is also going to launch a paid Battle Pass next month that will work similarly to Fortnite's subscription programme. © Respawn Entertainment 'Apex Legends' builds on the Titanfall series and lore; which has been generally well-received amongst players. It uses the same combat mechanics with Battle Royale essentials such as looting gear, weapons and ammo. However, the game sets itself apart from other games, thanks to different characters that have different abilities. The game's marketing has also helped the game gain success due to its surprise launch and support from streamers like Shroud and Dr DisRespect. The game also does not implement any play-to-win micro transactions which make the game accessible to everyone for free. Have you been playing 'Apex Legends'? Follow our tips and tricks for getting your first win in the game.
  16. 'Apex Legends' is the latest and hottest Battle Royale game that is available to play for free on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was quite an unexpected release by Electronic Arts, however, the game has found success in a matter of days. Just three days after its launch, the game has managed to rake in 10 million players. The biggest game in the Battle Royale genre Fortnite was able to achieve the same milestone in two weeks. © Electronic Arts “We knew it would be risky to take the franchise in this direction, to go free to play, and do a surprise launch,” Respawn CEO Vince Zampella wrote in a blog post. “But we fell in love with Apex Legends and wanted, needed, other people to play it, too.” In addition to the overall player count, the developer also says that Apex has already reached 1 million concurrent players. © Electronic Arts The game is set in the Titanfall universe that has fluid and snappy controls and features some of the most popular features from different genres. It essentially has gunplay like 'Call of Duty' and has characters with special powers that you may be familiar with from Overwatch. It's this unique approach to the Battle Royale genre that made the game successful. © Electronic Arts Currently, you can download Apex Legends via EA Origins on PC and via respective online stores on consoles. Apex Legends is a completely free-to-play game with microtransactions that are only applicable to cosmetics. The microtransactions in 'Apex Legend' does not affect the in-game footage and work exactly as it does on 'Fortnite'.
  17. The basketball shoe has inspired generations by evolving with time. It's now a tool for players to express themselves. Here are 5 of the greatest customised pairs of shoes worn by NBA players.
  18. Tennis, a perfect combination of violent action, takes place in an atmosphere of total tranquility. Arguably the most strenuous game of all has its own rulers, who keep on changing with time. Power definitely accompanies monetary benefits and tennis' biggest names are no different. 'The big three' in tennis - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - are the usual suspects when you think of any tennis-related list. But the clear off-court winner here is the Swiss Maestro who has in fact been the numero uno on this list for almost a decade and a half. Then there's also the most successful singles player in history Serena Williams. Her financial records are the envy of the town as well. But who are the others on this list? Here's a look at the wealthiest (from the past 5 years) active tennis players on the circuit: 1. Roger Federer (Rs 197 crore) © Reuters Topping the list as always, comes the GOAT, who has earned a total sum of $41 million in the last five years as prize money. Club that with endorsements and he becomes unparalleled. From Wilson to Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Lindt and the most recent one, Uniqlo - an estimated deal of almost $300 million for 10 years - FedEx keep cruising on. According to Forbes, Federer earned almost $77 million in 2018, with $65 million of the tally from endorsements and appearance fees. Unsurprisingly, his off-court earnings from marketers are higher than any other athlete. 2. Kei Nishikori (Rs 127 crore) © Reuters Surprise Surprise..!! We are sure no one expected Kei Nishikori to take the number two spot in this list. But despite on not winning too many tournaments, his endorsements get him here. With only earning $1.6 million as tournament money, Nishikori renewed deals with Asahi, NTT, Japan Airlines, Lixil and Nissin over the last 12 months. All of which are sponsors for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Sponsors would surely look forward to position Nishikori as the face of the Tokyo Games. Other sponsors such as Uniqlo, Wilson, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Jaguar and Tag Heuer are just a few of the brands that have helped him take his endorsement earnings to $178 million in the past 5 years. 3. Novak Djokovic (Rs 126 crore) © Reuters The world no.1, Novak Djokovic has earned almost $67.6 million dollars in the past five years as tournament prize money (which doesn't include this year's AO sum). Other than this, Novak swapped Uniqlo for Lacoste as his apparel brand last year, which almost earned him a kitty of $110 million dollars. On top of this, his commercial deals also include brands like Seiko, Asics, which take his earnings to a sum of $177.6 million. 4. Rafael Nadal (Rs 118 crore) © Reuters The current World no. 2, Rafael Nadal, again made a great comeback at the Oz Open this year, winning the runner-up shield. Despite being injured for more than four months last year, he managed to earn good $14.4 million of prize money, and with endorsements for Nike, Babolat, Richard Mille, Kia Motors, Telefonica, Banco Sabadell and Emporio Armani. That takes his earning to a high of $165.6 million in the past 5 years. 5. Serena Williams (Rs 88 crore) © Reuters Serena Williams, despite going on a 14-month break for her first pregnancy, is still the highest paid female athlete. Because of commercial deals with Nike, Intel, Audemars Piguet, JPMorgan Chase, Lincoln, Gatorade and Beats, the highest paid female athlete has earned around $90 million in endorsements over the last 5 years. Regardless of earning just $62,000 dollars as prize money in 2018, the leading Grand Slam winner stands tall with a total earning of $123.4 million.
  19. The seventeenth edition of the Asian Cup has been full of surprises. There were thrilling goals, exciting contests and shocking results. Favourites South Korea were handed an early exit after losing 1-0 to dark horses in the last eight. Australia lost their chance to defend their crown when they were eliminated from the quarterfinals at the hands of underdogs United Arab Emirates (UAE). But, while scintillating plays and unexpected results surely enticed the fans, the tournament, sadly, also witnessed a disgraceful episode which is now being touted as a new low in Asian football. The spirits of the home side - UAE - were high as they went past one opponent after another to eventually set up a date with their bitter Gulf rivals Qatar in the semifinals. But, this was more than just a game. It was the 'Blockade Derby' as dubbed by many ahead of the fixture. © AP A regional political dispute in 2017 saw Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cutting all political, diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar. The quartet continues to accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilising the region - the charges Doha has consistently denied. A land, air and sea blockade on Qatar also meant that the private jet carrying the 25-player Qatari squad took a longer route and had to fly to the UAE via Kuwait. On the other hand, Qatari fans were also unable to attend the games and support their national team from the stands in the UAE, where showing sympathy for Qatar remains punishable with up to 15 years in jail. However, despite all the political drama and hindrances, the Qatari travelled to the UAE to participate in a tournament - that holds a rich legacy in Asia - and play a sport - which unites people across the globe. And, it was probably the political problems in the Middle East that saw a charged-up Qatari side stealing UAE's thunder in their own backyard and securing a spot in the final. Fans throwing shoes at the Qatari players after they score their 2nd goal ð² pic.twitter.com/zCxyhZeWOc — Jordan Gardner (@mrjordangardner) January 29, 2019 The home fans at the Mohammed Bin Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi had made their feelings clear when they booed the Qatar players and their national anthem before the game began. But, Boualem Khoukhi's strike in the 22nd minute didn't just shut the home fans, but probably got them agitated. And, as soon as Almoez Ali scored the second goal for Qatar 15 minutes later, the UAE fans began throwing shoes from the stands to interrupt the Qatari forward's celebration. They don't deserve to host the asian cup if that's how they behave !! No manners and no sport spirit — M (@Mazaaaj) January 29, 2019 From there on, every player that went to take corners for Qatar had to regularly deal with projectiles of shoes and bottles being thrown from the stands. And, things got worse for the hosts in the 80th minute when Hassan al-Haydos added a third in the 80th minute with a chip over the UAE goalkeeper. © AP Insult was added to indignity in stoppage time when UAE defender Ismail Ahmed was sent off following a VAR intervention for an elbow to the face of Salem Al-Hajri before Hamid Ismail's goal sealed the game for his side. This is bullsh*t, if this was fifa, they'd place a ban..and Fifa is trash! This is unacceptable, I can't count the number of times I have cursed at Messi #Russia2018 but I'll never throw shoes, it only ruins the game for everyone — Celeste/Celeste™ï¸ (@CelesteIsAnArmy) January 29, 2019 Following the fourth goal and a certain defeat of their team, the UAE fans erupted in anger, throwing more shoes and water bottles at the Qatari players who were celebrating their progress to the tournament's final where they'll take on four-time champions Japan on 1st February. Bad attitude reflects their behavior ,no wonder this is UAE — Fatima Al-Abdulla (@fmalabdulla) January 30, 2019 The demeanor of the UAE fans was not only unacceptable, but also disrespectful for the sport. Even if there are allegations against Qatar for supporting terrorism, the footballers playing on the pitch should be treated with respect. The Qatari players were just representing their country like the UAE side. And, most importantly, the political drama should not devour the spirit of the game.
  20. In a one of a kind incident, the first of five ODI matches to be played between India and New Zealand was temporarily halted as the setting sun was adversely impacting the batsmen's sight, causing them discomfort. Meanwhile in Napier...#NZvIND pic.twitter.com/3p5j18O3hg — ICC (@ICC) January 23, 2019 "The setting sun is directly in the eyes of the batsmen. So we got to consider the safety of the players, umpires. So we have decided to suspend play until conditions improve. This is the first time in my 14 years that I have seen something like this happen on a cricket field. Good news is we have 30 minutes extra time. We are hoping to be back in 30 minutes and it will still be a 50-over game," umpire Shaun Haig explained. The problem seems to be with the orientation of Napier's McLean Park cricket ground in which the wicket runs from East to West unlike a typical pitch running from North to South. After the match, when Bill Dalton, Mayor of Napier was asked about the uncanny incident by local press, he said: “To be absolutely honest with you, my view is that these guys are sportsmen who play outside. If they get a bit of sun in their eyes that's part of the game.” “It's an outdoor sport and they've got to toughen up… It's all a bit weird to me,” said the unsympathetic mayor. To be clear, the mayor was not targeting the Indian cricketers in particular. The decision to pause the game until sunset was that of both sides and Kane Williamson's silent agreement to the umpire's suggestion to delay the game was enough to prove the legitimacy of the issue. Clinical. #TeamIndia start off the series with a 8-wicket win against New Zealand in the 1st ODI. 1-0 ð®ð³ð®ð³ #NZvIND pic.twitter.com/P4lLKjoCvu — BCCI (@BCCI) January 23, 2019 The hold-up had little effect on the game as only one run and one over were reduced following the Duckworth-Lewis method. India won the game comfortably with eight wickets in hand while Mohammed Shami won the Man of the Match who scalded three wickets to become the fastest Indian to take 100 wickets in One Day Internationals.
  21. There's always been a battle between gamers who play on different consoles and LG took it to the next level to find out who was better. LG teamed up with Activision (The company behind Call of Duty franchise) to find out which gamers are the best. © Pexels The study used LG's Elite Reaction Test where participants were asked to click on targets as quickly as they could, in order to determine the best accuracy. The test had over 1,400 participants and was tested on every platform i.e. PS4, Xbox One and PC. LG says that their study found Xbox players to be “better” at video games as compared to people who favoured PC and PS4. The study further revealed that PC gamers came dead last which sounds kind of surprising. It also said that on average, Xbox players would hit 78 per cent of the targets while PS4 players managed 74 per cent. PC players, on the other hand, were only able to hit 70 per cent of the targets. Even though PC players weren't able to hit more targets than console players, they did have a faster reaction. In the test, several red targets were displayed on a screen and were given 20 seconds to click as many as possible to green as they appeared. © MensXP This activity by LG seemed more like a marketing gimmick than a proper test. First of all, players had to confirm their platform preference which sounds a little dodgy as anyone could have lied on the form. There's also a chance that the participants were not evenly split across platforms that could affect the final outcome. Finally, LG did not use a game to test reactions times or accuracy and instead chose a questionable “Red-target” test. © Pexles What LG seems to forget is that there's a lot more to gaming than just being accurate. In order to be the “best” gamers, you not only need quick reactions but need to have some form of skill as well. Not to mention, PC gamers are also used to playing on higher frame rates than console players, which may not have been factored into the test either. Overall, this entire test smells a little fishy. If you want to find out what your reaction time is, you can do this test for yourself here.
  22. With more and more talent flooding the courts of the league, the window for impressing the team managers and, of course, the fans, closes very quickly for most NBA players. A couple of bad seasons and you might be reduced to nothing but a footnote in another player's biography. A majority of the players do not get picked by any of teams and get detached from the league without even making a single news article. But, there is no way to figure out when and at what point in his career, a player might find his mojo back and stun the world with a surprising comeback. We are talking about the ones the world had forgotten or overlooked in the shadow of another player, but are dominating the league this season. 1. Derrick Rose - Minnesota Timberwolves Derrick Rose tallies a CAREER-HIGH 50 PTS in the @timberwolves victory! #AllEyesNorth #ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/L4U2XvTv2l — NBA (@NBA) November 1, 2018 Once known as the 'Windy City Assassin', Derrick Rose is the youngest MVP of the league, ever. But ever since he tore his ACL during his Chicago Bulls days, the MVP in him got lost somewhere deep down. Unable to perform after his return, Rose got traded a couple of times before he landed in Minnesota in the summer of 2018. Maybe it was the cold Minnesota weather or his reunion with coach Tom Thibodeau, Rose seemed to play like his old self from the get-go. Even having himself a 50-point-game, a career-high, Rose is averaging an impressive 18.9 points per game and is in the talks of becoming an All-Star and the Sixth Man of the Year. 2. Luka DonÄiÄ - Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic scores a career-high 31 PTS & adds 4 AST for the @dallasmavs in San Antonio. #NBARooks #MFFL #KiaTipOff18 pic.twitter.com/9ZMt8yLi3R — NBA (@NBA) October 30, 2018 Despite the Mavs performing poorly during the regular season, Dallas rookie and Slovenian wonder-boy, Luka is taking everyone's breath away. The 19-year-old was picked third in the 2018 NBA Draft and is considered to eventually become the greatest Maverick since Dirk Nowitzki. Already playing on an All-Star level, DonÄiÄ leads all rookies in total points and points per game, is second in total assists and assists per game and third in total rebounds and rebounds per game. 3. Victor Oladipo - Indiana Pacers View this post on Instagram Thankful ðð¿ A post shared by Victor Oladipo (@vicoladipo) on Dec 13, 2018 at 3:03pm PST Probably the most underrated player in the league right now, Victor Oladipo lost all traction after a below-average performance with Russell Westbrook's Oklahoma City Thunder and was traded to Indiana Pacers in a deal to acquire Paul George. While not quite settled in Indiana in 2017, the state has completely embraced Oladipo this season. Showing up in the clutch, Oladipo is having the best season of his career averaging 19.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists and has helped Indiana rank third in the Eastern Conference. 4. Pascal Siakam - Toronto Raptors View this post on Instagram Humble hustleðð¾ðð¾ð¶ #ripdad #doingitforyouðð¾ A post shared by Pascal Siakamðð¾ðªð (@pskills43) on Dec 30, 2018 at 8:07pm PST Not a very famous name in the league, Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is making a good case for the 'Most Improved Player of the Year' award. The absence of Center Jonas ValanÄiÅ«nas had provided the 24-year-old Cameroonian with the time and the opportunity to show the critics what he's made of. In a huge improvement since last season, currently, Siakam is averaging 15.0 points and 6.6 rebounds which is a significant upgrade since the 2017-18 season (7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds) and has helped the Raptors maintain their position as the number one team in the entire league. * All stats are mentioned as of 09/01/2019
  23. 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' or PUBG will hold a PUBG Mobile tournament called 'PUBG Mobile India Series 2019' with a total prize pool of Rs 1 crore for the Indian gamers. It is the first official open-to-all PUBG Mobile tournament hosted in India and the 1 crore prize pool will consist of cash prizes and phones sponsored by OPPO. © Nodwin (for representational purposes only) After registrations, players will have to compete against other squads and there are no limits on the number of teams participating. The qualifier rounds begin from 21st January followed by an online play-off of more than 2000 teams. The grand finale will be held on 10th March with a final of 20 teams. © Twitter There are multiple awards up for grabs, including an MVP Award, The Exterminators, The Healers, and a lot more. While the winning team will go home with the 1 crore rupee prize, this will be India's first ever gaming competition at such a large scale. Amid the ongoing excitement about the competition, NewsByte has compiled a list of top ranking PUBG players from India who have an edge at winning the tournament. 1. MADDOG: Currently leading the ETG Clan, this player is known to be fierce. With a solid fanbase and dedicated PUBG forums, he has led his team to win multiple tournaments in the past. He is currently a favourite of many, and with the upcoming tournament, all eyes are on him. 2. 8bit-Thuglife: Animesh Agarwal is the real name behind the username and he's from Guwahati. He established the 8-bit clan and they've gone on to make a name for themselves in the PUBG eSports community. Thanks to thousands of hours of training, he has mastered the Third Person and First Person perspective genres. © YouTube 3. iMaZik: A member of the GodL clan, he is actually an emulator player. Even though he has made a name for himself via an emulator, he is equally on mobile as well. His most recent achievement includes having the most kills at India Crew League PUBG tournament. 4. Experiment: A part of the SOUL clan, one of India's best PUBG eSports clan. He has mastered the First Person Perspective mode and his achievements include 100 Royal points. Not only does he belong to Ace tier, but also boats an impressive kill to death ratio. 5. MORTAL: Even he is a part of the SOUL Clan, and this makes the clan even more lethal. Naman Mathur is the real name behind the username and he's from Mumbai. The 23-year old is also known for his deadly encounters on Mini Militia. He has accurate headshots leading to over 10 kill-to-death ratio in PUBG Mobile.
  24. The new update on PUBG has resulted in new security measures that prevent a cheater from taking advantage of the game. As a result, over 30,000 players have been banned thanks to a new feature called 'BattleEye'. The feature basically flags players who use cheats, aimbots and other hacks that give them an unfair advantage over other players. The 'BattleEye' Anti-Cheating feature detects and bans user using methods such as Radar Hacking. © YouTube The Radar hacking method is the most popular way for users to win games as it discloses the location information of enemies. Professional players like Cageman, Sezko, Hoffman88, Kragen and numerous others were affected and got banned. This particular hack used VPN services while it received and sent data from the server. As the location of enemies could be tracked real-time through a secondary monitor or a device, it would let users unfair advantage as it would result in hackers getting highest kill numbers. Our official statement regarding TEXQS's VAC ban. pic.twitter.com/qChhp3CVQj — Pittsburgh Knights (@KnightsGG) December 21, 2018 Having said that, the new anti-cheat software is not perfect and at times accidentally bans innocent players. Even though the new software has banned 30,000 accounts, it may affect innocent players in case it detects suspicious activity. Having said that, the new anti-cheat software has not been applied to the mobile versions of the game. PUBG players on mobile phones have not yet been affected by the purge and can still play the game normally. You can, however, report suspicious behaviour in case you find something odd after being killed. In case you are facing difficulty in getting your first chicken dinner on the new Vikendi map, follows our strategy guide here.
  25. After a disappointing bronze-medal finish at the Asian Games in September, the Indian hockey fans hoped for a much-improved performance from the men's team ahead of the coveted Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. And, if anyone has followed the journey of Harendra Singh-coached side so far in the tournament, they'd agree that the 'Men in Blue' are eager to make a mark in front of the home crowd. The Manpreet Singh-led team made their intentions clear after blanking South Africa 5-0 in their opening match. And then, they produced a spirited performance in the dogged encounter against World No. 3 Belgium to snatch a crucial 2-2 draw. Their final pool game saw the hosts thumping five goals past the Canadians to secure direct qualification for the quarterfinals where they now await mighty Dutchmen in what is arguably their biggest test in the tournament so far. For a team, whose coach had already claimed that his side will secure a podium finish in the sport's biggest event, India, so far, have checked all the boxes. But, what really differentiates this Indian team from its predecessors is the way it managed to turn things around during a match, snatch momentum and get right back on top - something that has allowed the home fans to expect bigger and greater things from them in the coveted tournament. © Twitter/@TheHockeyIndia But, while the Indian team has elated the fans with some sublime performances in the tournament, some senior players, reportedly, drew flak from one of the top Hockey India (HI) officials on 11th December. During the crossover match between Netherlands and Canada - where the Dutch side secured a 5-0 triumph, the HI official in question humiliated some senior Indian players in front of general public and former greats. According to the TOI report, the official lashed out at the Indian players after watching them sign autographs and take selfies with fans in the VIP lounge of the Kalinga stadium. "The official paced towards the player and yelled 'get out of here' in front of all the guests, including former greats and legends from India and other countries," a former India player, who was present at the scene, was quoted as saying by TOI. "That's not how you treat national players. We give our heart and soul for the country and this is what we get," he added. © Twitter/@TheHockeyIndia As per the tournament guidelines, the players are not allowed to enter the VIP lounge. Thus, the Indian players being there was wrong in the first place, but there is no doubt that the matter could've been handled in a better manner. Speaking on the breach of protocols, the former Indian player said: "Even if that's the case, there's a way to send the message across. Embarrassing senior players in front of everybody, in public, is unacceptable". "Why was a certain member of the Indian support staff not asked to leave during the past few days that he (HI official) has been here?" the former Indian hockey player asked.
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