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ZODIAC

Found 131 results

  1. Dhoni, 39, called time on his 16-year-old international career earlier on Saturday with a cryptic message on his Instagram
  2. Earlier this April, with the major Grand Slams getting rescheduled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Mutua Madrid Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court event, surprised everyone by turning the event into a virtual tennis tournament. The E-tournament saw the likes of Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber amongst others swapping their racquets for a PlayStation 4 (PS4) controller. It was not only a much-needed source of entertainment for fans, but also a good platform for tennis stars to rekindle their love affair with tennis amid lockdown protocols. While the virtual tennis tournament couldn't possibly replicate the emotions or environment of a match on an actual court, it was undeniably a practical option given the situation at hand. Last month, Novak Djokovic, perhaps motivated by the success of the virtual tennis tournament, decided to take it a notch up. With the world combating the fast-spreading virus, Djokovic was left stranded in Spain for two months before he finally arrived in Serbia. The star player marked his return to Serbia with the announcement of his very own exhibition tournament Adria Tour. Iâm proud to officially share the news that the #AdriaTour will be held across the Balkans 13 June - 5 July kicking off with a tournament in Belgrade. Very grateful and excited we could make this happen to play and support humanitarian projects across th⦠https://t.co/8eQsx7CkMu pic.twitter.com/QDVXa4FbqV â Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) May 22, 2020 The tournament was divided into four parts, beginning with the clashes in Serbian capital Belgrade on 13-14 June before moving to Croatian city of Zadar on 20-21 June. The final two parts of the tournament was to take place in Montenegro (27-28 June) and then Bosnia and Herzegovina's city of Banja Luka (3-4 July). #AdriaTour @AdriaTennisTour @novakfoundation @jelenadjokovic @ThiemDomi @filipkrajinovic @AlexZverev @GrigorDimitrov @Dutzee @troicki_viktor @jelena_jankovic @danilovic_olga pic.twitter.com/yPQ1Rfxf2o â Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) June 15, 2020 The tournament was set up by world no. 1 Djokovic to help players get back to match fitness after several weeks without competition due to COVID-19 outbreak. With prominent names like Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov amongst others in attendance, the first part of the tournament attracted 4,000 fans in Serbia and several thousand in Zadar. Dimitrov and co standing in the middle of a big crowd in Zadar (a really nice place in normal times) two days ago. You can actually hear him call it "crazy" and Coric explaining that they did actually go into lockdown. pic.twitter.com/HiHj4BF8po â Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) June 21, 2020 But, what was tipped to be a helpful tournament has now proved to be a disaster as Dimitrov and Borna Coric have tested positive for COVID-19. Both Dimitrov and Coric have tested positive for the deadly disease after playing in Djokovic's exhibition event. With both Serbia and Croatia easing lockdown measures before the events, players were not obliged to observe social distancing rules in either country and were seen embracing at the net at the end of their matches. Nightlife in Belgrade with Djokovic, Thiem, Zverev, Dimitrov, Serbian players.. 𥳠Video: @hotsportsrb pic.twitter.com/Rf3gURzHng â THE JOKER(S) ð·ð¸ (@NBASerbians) June 15, 2020 There are even photographs on social media from three days ago showing Dimitrov playing basketball with Djokovic, Zverev and Marin Cilic. He was also seen putting his arm around Coric before their match at the Adria Tour. While the fans showed their support for both Dimitrov and Coric, they heavily criticised Djokovic for organising the tournament amid COVID-19 outbreak. Don't need the 20-20 hindsight of Grigor Dimitrov's positive COVID-19 test, to say that Novak Djokovic had -- at very best -- a reckless attitude to the pandemic at his tournament in Belgrade last week. pic.twitter.com/a6JklCfXm1 â Ali Walker (@AliWalker24) June 21, 2020Concur fully..Nole is a born Joker & most irresponsible, at best.. â Capt. Arun G. Dave. (@ARUNGOPA754) June 22, 2020Novak Djokovic organised a Tennis Tournament called "Adria Tour" at Belgrade.. Freaked out.. Partied.. Now Grigor Dimitrov who played there tests positive for COVID 19.. Jeopardises resumption of WTA & ATP Tours which were to resume from August. @ranjonahttps://t.co/S5W4yKNrsP â Anirban Roy (@AnirbanFromRLF) June 21, 2020@DjokerNole this is why Novak is not admired and loved as much as @RafaelNadal and @rogerfederer because he is after all a joker and doesnât carry a gentleman attitude. Live with it. â Snowking (@iamsnowking) June 22, 2020The Djokovic ego can't beat COVID-19. â Maggie (@maggiemarks333) June 22, 2020Dimitrov has Coronavirus. This Adria Tour is dangerous. They are continuing to hug each other and shake each otherâs hands. Absolutely ridiculous. Hope Grigor is ok pic.twitter.com/iJiFn7cfjS â Olly ðªð¸ð¬ð§ (@Olly_Paton2020) June 21, 2020Irresponsible ND!!! Get well Grigor!! https://t.co/mKxhy6YkYZ â #20in2020!! (@Vamosgirl1) June 21, 2020I am FUMING. The organizers of this STUPID âtournament,â the players who agreed to take part, the parents who let their kids on the court blatantly ignoring the risks and the crowds who willingly bought tickets and showed up maskless and didnât distance are all to blame here. â No Match Windy, No? (@nomatchwindyno) June 21, 2020Yep this is a disaster. The tour should probably be called off, and everyone who came into contact with Dimitrov needs to isolate and get tested. Thatâs the first priority. â Owen (@tennisnation) June 21, 2020Same here. Furious. Risking other people's health for what reason exactly? I miss tennis like crazy but that exho felt all kinds of wrong and even more so now. â Patrycja ðªðº (@pasw_we) June 21, 2020If you really canât understand the problem isnât WHERE Dimitrov got the virus but the fact that the organization of Adria Tour allowed potential positive cases to spread the virus with the DISGUSTING way to ignore an ongoing pandemic. Fucking open your eyes. â F r a n ðªð¸ (@_rafaholic) June 21, 2020 View the full article
  3. While India remains obssessed with cricket, other sports including football continue to find its own feet in the country. Owing to the ever-improving Team India and popularity of Sunil Chhetri, football has struck a chord, especially with the country's youth. The promotion of I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) has not only brought football to the homes of Indian fans, but also allowed the sport to find a new fanbase. Though the salaries and prize money of ISL players still doesn't come close to the earnings and wages of cricketers plying their trade in country's cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), the state of affairs for the beautiful game has improved considerably in this part of the world. © Twitter/@bengalurufc Just like Virat Kohli, Chhetri reigns supreme on the football scene in the nation. Owing to his unmatched skills on the field which saw him notching up multiple honours and enjoying an illustrious career, Chhetri has has not only become the face of Indian football, but also a befitting role model for the youth. For someone of his stature, Chhetri is arguably the best Indian footballer around which explains the big bucks he has earned through central contracts and ISL deals. But, at 35, old age is catching up with Chhetri. While his unbelievable fitness levels remains up to the mark, Chhetri's market value that once soared at the top has gone down considerably, currently estimated to be 375,000 euros (Rs 3,09,07,618.66), as per 'Transfer Markt'. Here's a look at top five ISL players who have a better market value than the Indian football captain: Andy Keogh © Twitter/@NEUtdFC Joining NorthEast United earlier this January, Andy Keogh was roped in as a replacement for injured Asamoah Gyan by the John Abraham co-owned ISL franchise. The Irishman is well known for his time in the A-League with Perth Glory where he scored 55 goals in 122 matches. With 30 international appearances under his belt, Keogh also represented Republic of Ireland. He began his career in England with clubs like Leeds United, Bury FC, and Scunthorpe United before making the switch to the then Championship side Wolverhampton Wonderers, achieving promtion with the Wolves in 2009. The 33-year-old arrived in India after scoring eight goals in 17 matches in Saudi Arabia's second-tier side Al-Qadsiah. While he may no longer seem to be the goal-scoring machine he once was in his career, netting just once in 7 matches for NorthEast, Keogh remains one of the highly-sought-after footballers in the ISL. With a market value estimated to be 650,000 euros (Rs 5,35,67,800), as per 'Transfer Markt', the Irishman shares the top spot in the list of ISL footballers with highest market value. Roy Krishna © Twitter/@ATKFC Arguably one the hottest properties in ISL, Roy Krishna set the tournament ablaze after joining Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) from Wellington Phoenix - a New Zealand football club that competes in Australia's A-League. Arriving at ATK last June, the Fiji football team captain was arguably one of the best strikers on show last season. The 32-year-old, captaining ATK, emerged as the joint-top goalscorer with 15 goals in 21 matches, alongside five assists and a hat-trick to his name last season. His ability to find the back of the net allowed Atletico to become the first club to win a record three ISL titles. For someone who was roped in on a year-long contract, Krishna proved to be an invaluable asset for ATK last season. Owing to his success in ISL and other league clubs, Krishna currently has a market value of a staggering 650,000 euros (Rs 5,35,67,800), as per 'Transfer Markt'. He shares the top spot, alongside Keogh, in the elite list of ISL players with the highest market value. Marcelinho © Twitter/@HydFCOfficial Born in Rio de Janeiro, Marcelinho started his senior professional career at the age of 18 with the reserves of Atletico Madrid, followed by a stint with Getafe CF B. But it was at Greek club Skoda Xanthi where he really became a key figure with more than 100 appearances. Owing to his success in Greece, Marcelinho was bought in to play for Delhi Dynamos in the 2016 ISL season. In his debut season, the Brazilian footballer repaid the faith of his employers with a sensational season, finishing as the league's top scorer and bagging the 'Golden Boot' honour. His success at Delhi saw Pune City stealing him away in 2017 on a contract that saw him providing his services over a course of two seasons (2017/18 and 2018/19). Marcelninho continued his journey in the ISL, this time with new entrants Hyderabad FC who secured his signatures for the 2019/20 season. While Hyderabad had a catastrophic debut season, finishing at the bottom of the table with just 10 points in 18 matches, it didn't really affect Marcelinho's impressive market value that is currently estimated to be 600,000 euros (Rs 4,94,61,600), as per 'Transfer Markt'. David Williams © Twitter/@ATKFC Born in Brisbane, Williams played youth football at the Queensland Academy of Sport before making his professional debut for Queensland Roar. Williams has also played in Europe for Danish Superliga (Denmark) club Brøndby and NB I (Hungary) club Haladas. But, it was time playing for several A-League clubs including the likes of Sydney FC and Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix that really put on him on the world map. Arriving at Atletico de Kolkata last June alongside his former Wellington Phoenix teammate Roy Krishna, the Australian forward did his bit in his new club's 2019/20 title-winning campaign. His most notable contribution came in the second leg of the semifinals against Bengaluru FC where he scored a brace to help ATK script a spectacular turnaround and storm into the last season's final with a 3-2 aggregate win. The 32-year-old scored five goals and recorded four assists for ATK, but Williams' market value, thanks to his title-winning season, saw his market value rising to a whopping 600,000 euros (Rs 4,94,61,600), as per 'Transfer Markt'. Bartholomew Ogbeche © Twitter/@KeralaBlasters Born in Nigeria, Bartholomew Ogbeche moved to France to join the youth teams of Paris Saint-Germain at the age of 15. While the move was undeniably a golden opportunity to establish himself, Ogbeche's consistent run-ins with injuries kept the playing field at bay. Following inconsistent game time over a course of three seasons in Paris, the Nigerian had brief spells at SC Bastia and FC Metz before leaving France to join Al-Jazira in the Middle East. In August 2018, Ogbeche joined NorthEast United and scored on his debut against FC Goa. Few days later, he scored a hat-trick in a mere 10 minutes during the clash against Chennaiyin FC. Showcasing his goal-scoring prowess, Ogbeche finished his debut ISL season with 12 goals for NorthEast. Taking note of his exploits, Kerala Blasters secured his services and reunited him with his former NorthEast coach Elco Schattorie for the 2019/20 season. Handed the role of captaincy, the 35-year-old couldn't save Kerala from enduring a disastrous season, but that didn't stop him for scoring 15 goals in 16 matches, finishing as the joint-top scorer for the 2019/20 season. His success in the ISL has also allowed him to enjoy a handsome market value estimated to be 575,000 euros (Rs 4,73,61,600), as per 'Transfer Markt'. View the full article
  4. Call Of Duty: Warzone is literally taking the world by storm right now. It's the hottest new battle royale title to attract millions of players worldwide just in its honeymoon phase. Yesterday, the developers revealed that the game had managed to hit 15 million players worldwide. Now, that's an insane number because it hasn't even been that long since it came out. Heck, it hasn't even been that long since people knew that it existed. Activision managed to keep the game under the curtain for a long time. They revealed the game just a day before the release. We crossed 15 million players earlier today, thank you #Warzone fans. #FreeCallofDuty pic.twitter.com/6Xw7MyFk2C â Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) March 14, 2020Honestly, nobody knew that it even existed until 4 days back. And now, it already has 15 million players playing it worldwide. That's more than double the 6 million who'd started playing it in the first 24 hours. Just to put things into perspective, Respawn's Apex Legends was up to 10 million players in its first three days. And Fortnite, on the other hand, took weeks to get attract 10 million players. Obviously, the number will go down over the days, as it did for Apex too. © Activision After all, not all games can get a steady source of traffic and build a following so quickly. It's just a matter of time when the hype goes down. COD Warzone will have truly made it the day it achieves Fortnite's level of popularity and relevance in the world. It's highly unlikely, but we bet Activision will do anything in its power to achieve some crazy numbers. View the full article
  5. PM said 'all the foreigners are our guests' and instructed authorities to make special arrangements for safety
  6. The India versus Bangladesh U19 World Cup final turned out to be a lot more than just another 50-over match between two Asian countries for the most glorious recognition an Under-19 team could manage to win. After the weather gave the players and fans of the two teams a good scare as it rained for two days continuously at the Senwes Park, Potchefstroom, the match commenced with a low-scoring start by the Indian openers, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena. However, things soon took a turn for the worse when the Bangladeshi bowling attack began to irk Priyam Gargâs batsmen with some cheeky trash talking in between overs and after almost every other delivery. Watch: Shoriful Islamâs Inappropriate Send-Off for Yashasvi Jaiswal Cricket world has witnessed the famous celebration of Kesrick Williamson and Sheldon Cottrell after taking the wickets of rivals. Well, there is a new star who has come up with a uniqu... https://t.co/OVLk7aGtCG pic.twitter.com/EbQM2D8QKj â HAFEEZ PARDESI (@VOICE_2U) February 9, 2020 The situation began to heat up and even though Jaiswal tried his best to stay calm under the immense pressure, India kept losing wickets on the other side. The Young Tigersâ plan to keep up with the sledging alongside some excellent show with the ball finally worked as the Boys in Blue were wrapped up at a minimal score of 177. Despite a lot of ups and downs in the second half of the match and the rains disrupting the match for a bit as well, the Bangladesh batting order behind and heroic knock of Parvez Hossain Emon and skipper Akhbar Ali, was able to take home their maiden U19 trophy. Bangladesh lift the ICC U19 World Cup trophy for the first time!#U19CWC | #INDvBAN | #FutureStars pic.twitter.com/h9Ol7Btdha â Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) February 9, 2020 And even though it was one of the biggest matches of the young careers of all the players present on the field, it was the officials who arguably had the most difficult job throughout the day. On-field umpires Sam Nogajski and Adrian Holdstock found themselves to be babysitting the players from both sides with the hopes of maintaining the spirit of the game. While bowlers like Shoriful Islam and Ravi Bishnoi forgot about the gameâs âbeing gentleâ part and abused the batsmen on strike throughout their spells, the officials had to keep their calm and deal with them politely, given the gravity of the situation. Character separates the big -match player and just a player.Ravi Bishnoi pic.twitter.com/3UNmITofpM â Anish dalavi (@Anishdalavi14) February 9, 2020 Then there were times when the Indian skipper put Jaiswal and Saxena at silly point and short leg, who kept ganging up on the batsmen and tried to intimidate them. Holdstock had to ask them not to do that, with a gentle smile on his face. #INDvBAN Wow ..few minutes ago pressure was on india and now silly point and short leg!! well done #bishnoi ð®ð³.. #U19WorldCup #U19CWCFinal â INCOGNITO (@analonda69) February 9, 2020 The pressure of staying focused and look for the minutest of details during all the appeals India made during the second innings, especially during Bishnoiâs overs was also something they had to deal with for over three hours as well. As far as the third umpire, Ravindra Wimalasiri is concerned, he found himself to be in a unique predicament when he did not have to decide IF a batsman was out but WHO was out. Late during Indiaâs batting innings, the on-field umpires sent a decision upstairs to Wimalasiri to see who amongst Dhruv Jurel and Atharva Ankolekar was out as both of them ran towards the same side of the pitch and crossed the crease almost at the same time. Contrary to the commentatorsâ opinion, the third umpire announced that it was Jurel who had to head towards the pavilion. Atharva Ankolekar and Dhruv Jurel run out was a bizarre incident in Cricket history ever in ICC U19 World Cup 2020. #DhruvJurel #AtharvaAnkolekar #U19WC #U19WorldCup #U19WorldCup2020 pic.twitter.com/3uWrkDQLfn â Vikash Gaur (@thevikashgaur) February 9, 2020 As if all of this was not enough, the evening ended on a rather shameful note when a couple of players from either side got in a physical altercation and started pushing and shoving each other only to be separated by the officials. If you were a spectator, youâd think that the umpires were trying to get involved in everything and were micromanaging them instead of letting the boys play their game, but in retrospect I have some new found respect for the way they managed things on the field while maintaining the flow of the game. View the full article
  7. The final match of the ICC U19 World Cup 2020 had more twists and turns than an Abbas-Mustan movie. First, the Indian batting order, that had been exceptional throughout the tournament, failed to take their side over the 200-run mark. Then the Indian bowlers, especially Ravi Bishnoi, went on a four-wicket streak to bring the Boys in Blue back in contention. After that, Bangladeshi opener Parvez Hossain Emon had to go away with a hamstring cramp only to come back and play a match-winning knock. Character separates the big -match player and just a player.Ravi Bishnoi pic.twitter.com/3UNmITofpM â Anish dalavi (@Anishdalavi14) February 9, 2020 The rains also played a disruptorâs role and prolonged the suspense of who would bring home the trophy. But there was one thing that remained constant during the entire timeline of the clash and that was the constant trash-talking and verbal altercations between the hot-headed players from both teams. Be it Bishnoi teasing Emon to connect with the ball while abusing him with no second thoughts or Shoriful Islam getting under the skin of Priyam Gargâs strikers during the first innings with a pesky smile on his face, where you could cut the tension with a knife. Watch: Shoriful Islamâs Inappropriate Send-Off for Yashasvi Jaiswal Cricket world has witnessed the famous celebration of Kesrick Williamson and Sheldon Cottrell after taking the wickets of rivals. Well, there is a new star who has come up with a uniqu... https://t.co/OVLk7aGtCG pic.twitter.com/EbQM2D8QKj â HAFEEZ PARDESI (@VOICE_2U) February 9, 2020 And if you have been a part of such altercations in your life, you know there will be a time when the mounted tension and the passive aggression is about to vent and for the two teams, the time came after Rakibul Hasan chipped it over mid-wicket for a single and Bangladesh officially won their maiden U19 title. Bangladesh lift the ICC U19 World Cup trophy for the first time!#U19CWC | #INDvBAN | #FutureStars pic.twitter.com/h9Ol7Btdha â Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) February 9, 2020 As the entire Bangladeshi roster ran into the field to celebrate the victory, you could see a couple of players from both India and Bangladesh pushing and shoving each other while the officials had to step in and separate the two parties. The umpires had a lot of additional responsibilities during the match to make sure that the situation remained calm and within decorum but the physical altercation surely got out of hand. Former South Africna cricketer, JP Duminy shared a video of the incident while congratulation the Young Tigers on their historical win but the footage also happened to catch the moment when the fight began: Amazing scenes here in Potchefstroom as Bangladesh pull off a miraculous victory and are the u/19 world champions.. well fought india.. standard of cricket today and throughout this tournament has been world class.. congrats Bangladesh #U19WorldCup #FutureStars pic.twitter.com/JD7re0KLo2 â JP Duminy (@jpduminy21) February 9, 2020 Check out another angle of the quarrel: Shameful end to a wonderful game of cricket. #U19CWCFinal pic.twitter.com/b9fQcmpqbJ â Sameer Allana (@HitmanCricket) February 9, 2020Yes, it is true that these were just the Under-19 teams and you could say that the adrenaline got the better of them but to think that these athletes are the future of the game and will be seen as the flagbearer of the game of cricket at an international level within a couple of years is rather unfortunate. I hope that while their skills continue to improve, their temper does too. View the full article
  8. Australian, English and South African players will join their teams three days before tournament starts
  9. Players like Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada may hold the top spots in the ICC rankings in different formats of the game and may even be considered to be the face of modern cricket, but people who have put them on such a high pedestal are completely missing out on the bigger picture. Those who call themselves “ardent fans of the game” and believe that teams like England, India and Australia are the spearheading forces of cricket in the 21st century are either biased against the brilliance of Pakistani cricket or are oblivious to it. Hello! Horrible Performance by Pakistan Cricket team — Adil Chaudhary (@adilchaudhary15) February 27, 2016 Or maybe they simply lack the creativity to foresee what the game of cricket should look like in the next couple of decades. Earning shit loads of money, regardless of how good you are on the field, has to be the primary objective of any and every player that aspires to become a part of this game and that is all that players like Nasir Jamshed, Yousef Anwar and Mohammed Ijaz were trying to do when they indulged in bribery during the Pakistan Super League. Why is the judiciary system even trying to interfere with the whole situation anyway? So what if the players decided to promote spot-fixing? They only wanted to earn more money and quench their greed. Now that they have confessed to these “crimes”, albeit forcefully, we can't even say that they are dishonest. I remember when I broke this story that Nasir Jamshed is main character of PSL Spot Fixing that time they were saying now Shoaib will be in deep trouble as they will sue him,,,,, after a week PCB disclosed his name and now Nasir Jamshed is admitting his sin pic.twitter.com/ykmUdcZuGp — Shoaib Jatt (@Shoaib_Jatt) December 9, 2019 Another Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) affair that the world just can't seem to get over is this thing that they do with a few of their cricketers when they hide their real age. Unfortunately referred to an “age fraud”, PCB's image is being unnecessarily tainted by their own like Rashid Latif who believe that the Board is “making a joke” of themselves. پاکستا٠ٹÛÙ Ú©Û Ú©Ú¾ÙاÚÛ Ø§ÙÚر Û±Û¹ ÙÛÚº جا رÛÛ ÛÛÚº اÙÚر Û±Û¹ ÙاÙÛ Ø§ÙÚر Û±Û¶ ÙÛÚº اÙÚر Û±Û¶ (16) ÙاÙÛ Ø§ÙÚر Û±Û³ ÙÛÚº اÙر اÙÚر Û±Û³ ÙاÙÛ Ú¯Ùد ÙÛÚº Ùاپس جاÙÛ Ú©Û ØªÛØ§Ø±Û ÙÛÚº @TheRealPCB Ø®Ùدا کا Ø®Ù٠کر٠اÙر عÙرÛÚº درست کرÙائÛÚº اÙر د٠ÙÙبر ÚÙ¾ÙÙÙÛ Úاکٹرز Ú©Ûساتھ ÙÙکر ØªØ¨Ø§Û Ùا کرÛÚºØ Ø§Ùر Ùزا٠Ùا بÙائÛÚº ðððð — Rashid Latif راشد ÙØ·ÛÙ ðµð° (@iRashidLatif68) December 6, 2019 "Pakistani Cricket Team's players are going to U-19s. U-19s are going to U-16s, U-16s to U-13s & U-13s back to their mothers' laps. For God's sake PCB, correct the ages & don't destroy (your reputation) by working with crooked diploma doctors, don't make a joke of yourself," the former Pakistan captain tweeted. But it's a simple solution for them to win a couple of tournaments: make over-aged people play in younger age-group tournaments, what's wrong with that? And if you are still not convinced of Pakistani cricket's global dominance, take a look at their phenomenal performance on the field. Two T20I defeats by at least nine wickets followed by back-to-back losses by an innings in the two Tests against the Australians should not make a difference in their international superiority for two reasons: They are still the number one team in T20I FREE VACATION IN AUSTRALIA - FUN! Pakistan bowling worst I have ever seen in Australia: Ponting#AUS VS PAK#Cricket pic.twitter.com/qkm5ozAHBe — Muhammad Noman (@Nomancricket29) December 2, 2019 Despite all that, PCB is still wasting their time on talent-less amateurs like Babar Azam and Mohammad Amir and that just might be the only flaw to becoming a superpower in the world of cricket. Everything else is foolproof. View the full article
  10. Naseem Shah. Photo: FilePERTH: The Pakistan cricket team donned black armbands on day day of their tour match against Australia A in respect for Naseem Shah's mother who passed away last night.The sixteen-year-old who hails from Dir, is part of...
  11. The most difficult period during the start of a new gaming console generation is the transition from older consoles. Up until now, it has been a difficult task for console makers to support the player transition, especially since neither the PS4 nor the Xbox One supported backwards compatibility at launch. In fact, the PlayStation 4 still doesn't support it and is one of the major reasons why gamers tend to delay the purchase of a new console. The other reason being the lack of launch titles which makes it less viable to switch as an early adopter. © Twitter/LetsGoDigital However, it seems like, with the PlayStation 5, Sony wants to make the transition as smooth as possible. It has already been confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will support backwards compatibility for most PS4 games and it may have to do with the hardware and Sony's efforts. The PlayStation 5 is going to come with a next-gen AMD Zen 2 CPU and Navi GPU SoC and may be able to achieve 4k gaming. The console is also said to be able to push higher frame rates, however Sony has not clarified at what resolution or at how many frames per second. The PlayStation 5 is also said to come with a PCIe 4.0 SSD that will result in reduced loading times, faster read and write speeds, that in turn will install games faster than ever before. Having said that, the hardware needs to be easy to work with for game developers and we already know that was not the case with the PlayStation 3. It was particularly harder for developers to make games for the PS3 and it seems like the PS 5's power is easier to harness than any PlayStation console before. © Unsplash Developers and publishers have told Sony that it is quite easy for them to run their games on the PS5 dev kit and scale them according to the architecture. This results in games running better on the PlayStation 5 and having more playable games at launch that will eventually sell more consoles. This will also make the transition for PlayStation 4 gamers easier as they will be able to play their PS4 games on the PlayStation 5 at launch. Easy development of games will let developers bring over some of their PS4 titles to the PS5, making it convenient and easy for people to switch generations. The backwards compatibility feature will make more titles accessible to play on the PlayStation 5 and thanks to cloud save; players will also be able to bring their progression over to the new console. In a recent interview with GamesIndustrybiz, Sony's Jim Ryan says developers are having an easier time getting games to run on PS5 than any other system. "One thing that makes me particularly optimistic is, what we're hearing from developers and publishers, is the ease in which they are able to get code running on PlayStation 5 is way beyond any experience they've had on any other PlayStation platform.” Currently, publishers like EA, Activision-Blizzard, Ubisoft, Capcom, and Take-Two Interactive are already making AAA games for the next generation of gaming consoles. EA is reportedly working on a new Battlefield game while Ubisoft is working on 9 games that will launch in the next two years to support next-gen. As of now, we can already predict the PlayStation 5 will be a smash hit, however Sony has one more issue to resolve, the price. PlayStation 5 is expected to be expensive and the pricing in India doesn't really look that good. Source: GamesIndustrybiz View the full article
  12. CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi were arrested in Bangalore by a special unit investigating corruption and fixing.? Photo: FileNEW DELHI: Two former Indian Premier League players have been arrested for spot-fixing in a scandal-ridden regional tournament,...
  13. Eto'o believes that "African players are not respected" and are "not always properly appreciated".? Photo. AFP/filePARIS: African players still do not get the recognition they deserve, Cameroon legend Samuel Eto'o told AFP in an exclusive...
  14. Mushfiqur Rahim (standing) and Soumya Sarkar (centre, sitting). Photo: Prashant Bhoot/SportzpicsThe first T20I between India and Bangladesh in Delhi became a victim of the smog engulfing the city leading to Bangladesh's Soumya Sarkar and one other...
  15. A couple of years have gone by since a match was held in Feroz Shah Kotla stadium during Delhi's infamous winter season and the air condition of the region has continued to deteriorate with time. In 2017, Sri Lanka had come to India for a three-match Test series. After the first match ended in a draw and Team India won the second match, Suranga Lakma's men travelled to Delhi for the third and final match of the series with the hopes of ending it in a tie. Evidently a weaker team, there was little to no hope for the Sri Lankans to win against Virat Kohli's mighty side. So when their medium-fast bowler Lahiru Gamage complained of breathing issues which resulted in a 16-minute halt in the game, the fans of Team India thought that they were looking for excuses to delay or cancel the match. When Gamage called for the doctors once again, our skipper lost his cool and threw his bat in frustration and eventually declared the first innings at 536/7. The social media being its usual ruthless self trolled the Lankans for an “Oscar worthy performance”: And the oscar goes to Sri Lankan players for their amazing acting skills. #DelhiSmog #INDvSL #delhipollution pic.twitter.com/MSW8hFFsKz — Subhankar Banerjee ð®ð³ (@SubhankarBan) December 3, 2017 Sri Lankan actors showing their skills in India.#INDvSL pic.twitter.com/qDCiOvAShn — Murugesan Ayyandurai (@a_muru_masi) December 3, 2017 Sri Lankan Players Are Wearing Masks. No, That's Not Due To Smog. They're Hiding Their Face Out Of Shame. ð#INDvSL pic.twitter.com/bYGzQLki7E — VIJAYANANDA REDDY (@vizagleo) December 3, 2017 Sri Lankan actors showing their skills in India.#INDvSL pic.twitter.com/4uCAPCRz9a — Krishna (@Atheist_Krishna) December 3, 2017 It was however later revealed that Gamage and Suranga Lakmal's complaints of respiratory problems were real and that the two cricketers in fact ended up vomiting in the Sri Lankan dressing room. Later, all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva also reportedly threw up. What was rather surprising to see was the way the then acting president of the BCCI, CK Khanna reacted to the crisis, calling out the opposition for creating 'unnecessary fuss' simply because the 20,000 fans inside the stadium had no problems sitting there, breathing the same toxic air. "If 20,000 People In The Stands Did Not Have A Problem & The Indian Team Did Not Face Any Issue, I Wonder Why The Sri Lankan Team Made A Big Fuss. I Will Need To Talk To The Secretary And Ask Him To Write To The Sri Lanka Cricket."- BCCI Acting President CK Khanna#INDvSL #Kohli — Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) December 3, 2017 What was not accounted for in Khanna's assessment of things was the fact that Lakmal and Co. came from a land where the general air quality readings were below 50, which is at least 10 times better than what the readings for Delhi is on a good and healthy day. It is unfortunate to see that despite the incident took place two years ago and with a new administrative body taking care of Indian cricket, the BCCI's approach towards such serious concerns continue to be casual. @SGanguly99 It is truly disappointing that @BCCI is treating Bangladesh team so poorly. When there is already high pollution rate, how can our players play in such a condition ! Very Nasty work @BCCI_Tweet #INDvBAN — Sultan Mashud (@MaximSalman1) November 1, 2019 The Sourav Ganguly-led Indian cricket board, despite receiving numerous letters and requests from former players and environmentalists, are going ahead with the Delhi match which is scheduled for later today, further risking the health of the visiting Bangladesh side. Our interim skipper Rohit Sharma's take on the pollution sounds the same as that of CK Khanna from two years ago. "We didn't have any problem when we played the Test match here (against Sri Lanka). We are not aware of the exact discussion and I haven't had any problem," said the white-ball opener, completely ignoring the opposition's health. It's not a shame that we are discussing about pollution only when it threatens a cricket match. What's more embarassing is we discussed the same when it happened two years ago, and we did nothing significant to overcome it.#DelhiPollution#IndvsBan pic.twitter.com/j47tdGwj1g — MSK Saravana (@Ed_MSK) November 1, 2019 If we have said it once, we have said it a thousand times. Normalising the kind of pollution Delhi experiences every year is not the solution and if that is the way we want to spend our rapidly decreasing life-span, we have no right to expose people from other countries to such toxicity. View the full article
  16. Photo: AFPGerard Pique has said the Barcelona´s players have been willing to go to great lengths to buy Neymar from Paris Saint Germain and have offered to alter their own contracts to re-sign the star player. Barca attempted to re-sign Neymar,...
  17. Ever since smartphones are a thing, digital music players have seen quite a big fall in sales and demand. While simple MP3 players don't make sense today for audiophiles, using a digital music player is not a far fetched idea. If a music player can offer awesome sound quality and a range of features, it may just impress old skool music player lovers. FiiO is one of those brands that offers quality, high-resolution music players. Not all smartphones support Hi-Res audio and many are removing the headphone jack that pisses off audiophiles like me. I've mentioned in the past why Bluetooth earphones are no match for an analogue experience and you can read all of the reasons here. The FiiO M6 is actually quite similar to smartphones when you look at its design. It has an aluminium alloy body and 3.5D glass with a touchscreen at the front. It runs on an older version of Android which is more than enough for listening to music. It is quite small in size which means it is perfect to carry around in your pocket and backpacks. If you are afraid of scratching your player, it comes with a silicone case in the box that keeps it safe. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla When it comes to music players, the first concern is always storage. "How much music can you store and can you expand the storage?” are the first few questions that arise. You will be happy to know that the FiiO M6 comes with 2GB of internal storage to get you started and can be expanded via the micro-SD up to 2TB. You can potentially store your entire library in this little player. © FiiO Having said that, if you are the kind who also streams music, you can also take advantage of the M6's Wifi streaming capability. You can stream music from apps like Spotify and Apple Music via AirPlay. If you like to listen to music wirelessly, you can also pair your favourite Bluetooth earphones. Apart from using these features, you can also control the music player's functions with your Android smartphone using the FiiO link app. The FiiO M6 can also double up as an independent DAC (digital to analogue converter) for your Windows or Mac computer. The FiiO M6 also has great battery backup as it can last 13 hours on a single charge. It takes around 2 hours to get it fully charged and you can always extend your playback session with a power bank when travelling. When it comes to the sound quality, we would recommend you use the 1More Triple Driver earphones as it offers support for Hi-Res audio and delivers an awesome listening experience. The soundstage feels layered, multidimensional and wider at the same time. The sound is way crisper than anything you will experience from smartphones and the DAC chips convert the audio well when connected to a computer. The Fiio M6 also has support for apt-X HD, aptX, SBC, and LDAC codecs and can run all of these formats: ISO, DFF, DSF, APE, WAV, FLAC, AIF, AIFF, M4A, WMA, OGG, AAC, ALAC, MP3, DSD. The Final Say If you are a true audiophile and still want to experience good sound, the M6 is probably your best bet. You can always get the M9, but it is probably an expensive option to consider. You can use it to stream music from your favourite service or use it as a DAC for your computer. It is by far the most affordable sound upgrade for users who are looking for a simple music player that can deliver great sound fidelity as well.
  18. The Pakistan cricket team is probably the most unpredictable thing about the ICC World Cup 2019, which begins in a couple of days in England & Wales. While their loss to a team like Afghanistan in their warm-up games shows just how bad the team can be, they consist of a few extremely talented players who can take Pakistan cricket to a new high, maybe even get their first ever World Cup victory against the Indian cricket team. Here are the five key players of the team who can win it all for the cricket-crazy nation: 1. Babar Azam © Reuters Referred to as the “Virat Kohli of Pakistan”, Babar Azam plays like the Indian skipper too. At the age of 24, Azam easily dominated some of the deadliest of bowlers on the current time in Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier at the Proteas' home ground in South Africa a couple of months ago and seems to never lose his form with the bat. In his career in adolescence, Azam has scored 2544 runs in just 62 ODIs which includes 8 tons and 11 half-centuries. In 2019, Azam has batted in 10 innings for his team and scored 472 runs with an average of 52.4 runs per innings. 2. Imam-ul-Haq © Reuters Being the nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imam faced a lot of pressure during his introduction to international cricket during the U-19 Asia Cup in 2012. A fighter that he is, Imam has brought his flamboyant stroke-play to every match that he has played ever since. His debut for the national team of Pakistan occurred in 2017 against Sri Lanka, in which he not only chased the total and won the match but also struck his first ODI hundred. Imam's ODI journey has seen him play in 27 games while scoring a total of 1381 runs including his career's best single-inning performance, a 151 against the World Cup 2019 hosts a couple of weeks ago. 3. Fakhar Zaman © Reuters Probably as unpredictable as the Pakistan team, Fakhar Zaman is the opening batsman who will either bring you runs in big bundles or will not bring them at all. The series against England was the perfect example of his uncertainty as a batsman. Having said that, when he does stick to the crease, there is no force in the cricketing world that could stop him from getting a half-ton for his side. In his career, Zaman has featured in 34 ODIs, putting up 1585 runs on the board with a decent strike rate of 97.83 through his career. He has batted in 10 ODI innings this year and scored 367 runs. 4. Hasan Ali © Reuters While the team, which was once feared for their bowling attack, is now in search for some good bowlers themselves, 24-year-old Hasan Ali is probably the best they have heading into the World Cup, who's reverse swing with a slightly-used ball has got him some important wickets throughout his career. Ever since his 2016 debut in the ODI format of the game, Ali has scalped 78 wickets in just 47 matches with an economy rate of 5.56. 2019 has been a little expensive for the bowler as he has given an average of six runs per over in the past five months while collecting only five wickets. 5. Asif Ali © Reuters Pakistan's bravest athlete, Asif Ali faced a tragic loss in his personal life when cancer took away his two-year-old daughter from him a week ago. Aware of his duties towards the team and his fans, Asif returned to England to join the squad yet again before they take on West Indies on 31st May 2019. Stepping onto the crease at the number seven spot, Ali is known for hitting it strong and long on command. Ali has mustered 342 runs in the 16 games that he has played in the ODI format with a fierce strike rate of 131.03. In 2019, two of the four ODIs that he was a part of saw him raising his bat in the air for half-tons scoring 142 in total this year.
  19. For a team that upstaged the mighty Australians in the final to win the 1996 World Cup, Sri Lanka has, sadly, failed to follow it up at the major ICC events. The Lankan brigade came mighty close to securing their second World title in 2011, only to suffer a brutal heartbreak at the hands of Team India in the final. Since then, a lot has changed, but, sadly for Sri Lanka, not for the greater good. With their decorated cricketers calling time on their respective careers, needless to mention the deep infighting and disharmony, the Lankans have struggled for experience, with the young guns in desperate need for guidance and experience. Having lost the ODI and T20I series against England in October 2018, the Lankans were forced to endure whitewash defeats in New Zealand (3-0) and South Africa (5-0) which pretty much sums up their sorry state of affairs. Going into the World Cup, the Lankan fans will have bare minimum hopes (on realistic grounds) as this squad looks far from Arjuna Ranatunga's champion side from the 1996 edition. While getting their players acclimatised to the English conditions will be the first of the many hurdles they'll face, Sri Lanka will surely need the following players to step up big time if they intend to challenge stronger teams at the World Cup: Lasith Malinga © Reuters For a man who has 322 wickets in 218 ODIs, Lasith Malinga needs no introduction to seam bowling. The 35-year-old has been one of the impactful players for Sri Lanka over the years. And, going into the World Cup this year, the Lankans will desperately need the veteran to once again deliver the goods to pin down the opposition. Age might be catching up with the right-arm bowler, but Malinga's searing inswinging yorkers from his peculiar round-arm action are as destructive and distinctive as they were in the past. His cunning variations and lengths are one of the reasons why he still holds the record for most wickets in consecutive deliveries at the World Cup - something he achieved against South Africa at the 2007 edition. Angelo Mathews © Reuters One of the highly-rated players in the Lankan squad, Angelo Mathews has had his share of ups and downs in the recent past. In 2018, he was stripped of his captaincy owing to Sri Lanka's disastrous campaign at the 2018 Asia Cup. Since then, Mathews has claimed that he was made a "scapegoat" for his side's dismal show and continues to have his differences with coach Chandika Hathurusingha. But, despite his troubles, Mathews remains a vital cog in the Lankan set-up, especially at the coveted World Cup. His presence in the squad not only provides the much-needed solidarity to the otherwise brittle middle-order but also bolsters their bowling attack. Given his recent rifts with the management, Mathews should use the World Cup as an opportunity to reaffirm his credentials as a vital player. Dimuth Karunaratne © Reuters With Malinga struggling to keep the team together and Mathews unable to strike a chord with the team management, the Sri Lankan selectors were left with no choice but to appoint a total outsider - DimuthKarunaratne (coach Hobson's preferred choice) - as the captain of their World Cup side. Returning to ODI cricket after four years, Karunaratne began his captaincy stint on a positive note. During their ODI match against Scotland earlier this month, the left-hander led from the front scoring 77 runs in Sri Lanka's 35-run triumph (D/L) - a victory after eight straight defeats. He might not have been around as much as one would've liked, but Lanka will surely need Karunaratne's leadership skills to bolster their chances at the ICC mega event. Thisara Perera © Reuters Another veteran in the Lankan brigade, Thisara Perera has rediscovered his form to become a key player in recent times. While bowling is ostensibly Perera's major skill, often deployed in the middle-order, he is also capable of delivering furious finishes to an innings. Perera will need to deliver the goods with both bat and ball as an inexperienced side like Sri Lanka could surely use his all-round abilities to stay afloat in the tournament. Kusal Perera © Reuters Making his debut in 2013, Kusal Perera was immediately likened to batting great Sanath Jayasuriya for his style of play. Forging his career with aggression and reliability in equal parts, the left-handed batsman established himself as one of Sri Lanka's go-to openers in limited-overs cricket. Battling injuries in the recent past has surely affected Perera's form, but the strokeplay, the range of shots and the power-hitting style that he possesses will surely be crucial for Sri Lanka in England &Wales. Opening the innings, the Lankan fans will hope Perera rediscovers his form quickly to get them off to flying starts in the tournament.
  20. The Englishmen might have given us the sport that we've come to know as cricket, but the cricketing giants are yet to taste success at the ICC World Cup. In the decorated history of the tournament, England have bottled away three chances to lift the coveted trophy. They lost the 1979 final to West Indies before enduring successive heartbreaks in 1987 and 1992 to Australia and Pakistan respectively. But, that was a long time ago, and the upcoming World Cup promises England a chance to redemption, especially when they have the luxury to play in familiar conditions at home. However, that's not the only thing that makes them one of the top title contenders this year. Comprised of proven match-winners, England's 15-man squad looks solid on paper and their recent form is exactly why they've been tipped as one of the top contenders at the ICC spectacle this year. With star players like Joe Root, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler bolstering their batting and the likes of Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood and David Willey aiding the bowling department, England surely have a real chance of thriving at home. But, for the coveted World Cup trophy to be won at home, England will need their players to step up and make an impression in the tournament. Going into the World Cup, here are five key players who can help England establish world domination this year: Joe Root © Reuters For someone who was tipped as a future England captain at the age of 23, Joe Root has not only lived up to the billing, but has also successfully managed to rally his troops in the build-up to the World Cup at home. Rated amongst the top batsmen in the world, Root, on his day, is more than capable of running away with the game. At this year's World Cup, Root will surely be a key player, providing the much-needed stability to their batting line-up. If playing at home doesn't strengthen his case, the fact that Root has slammed 3,498 runs at an average of 58.30 in ODIs (since the 2015 World Cup) arguably makes him a vital cog in England's title aspirations this year. Eoin Morgan © Reuters One of the batting mainstays for England over the years, Eoin Morgan will once again be seen stabilising the innings for his side while plying his trade in the middle-order. The left-handed batsman has all the experience he needs to make this event his own and playing in familiar conditions further helps his cause. Predictions apart, according to the numbers, believe it or not, Morgan is placed fourth in the list of leading run-scorers in ODIs since the 2015 World Cup. The left-hander has scored 3,039 runs at an average of 46.75 - something that will surely bolster England's charge at the World Cup this year. Jos Buttler © Reuters A global T20 superstar, Jos Buttler needs no introduction to superlative batting. Owing to his wide array of strokeplay, the right-handed batsman has been a key contributor to England's cause in limited-overs cricket. Depending on the ever-changing match situations, the 28-year-old is more than capable of handling pressure and batting at any position to help his team. His batting might allows him to bat at the top and get his team off to a flyer, and, if need be, he can also bat down the order and unleash hell on the opposition bowlers to accelerate the innings in death overs. If that's not enough, Buttler's recent form further makes him a nightmare for the opposition. Coming off a brilliant run in the IPL this year, Buttler's skills were in full display during his unbeaten 110-run knock against Pakistan earlier this month. Jofra Archer © Reuters A towering Barbadian, similar to his fellow countryman Chris Jordan, Jofra Archer has been nothing short of being sensational in recent times. After much hue and cry, needless to mention careful deliberation by the selectors, the aggressive pacer was a late addition to England's 15-man squad for the World Cup. While the England team management and selectors took their own time to decide, Archer's inclusion comes as no surprise for the fans. After proving his mettle in the IPL, the 24-year-old also looked impressive against Pakistan in the ODI series earlier this month. The left-arm seamer's blistering speed and cunning variations saw him bagging five wickets including his personal best bowling spell of 1-6 in the recently-concluded series. Jonny Bairstow © Reuters Last, but definitely not the least. Jonny Bairstow has been one of the most consistent and impressive performers with the willow in recent times. His rediscovered form was key to Sunrisers Hyderabad's good show in the IPL earlier this year. The right-handed batsman scored 445 runs in just 10 games for Hyderabad before cutting short his IPL stint to join England's training camp for the World Cup. Expected to open the innings alongside Jason Roy, Bairstow will be expected to get England to a flying start in the World Cup. Batting in familiar conditions, with field restrictions early on, the 29-year-old can prove to be the difference for England. But, apart from smashing opposition bowlers all around the park, Bairstow is also capable of converting his starts into big individual scores - something that will surely come in handy for his team at the World Cup.
  21. Sony's upcoming next-generation console is not launching anytime soon. However, we already know a lot about it already, with more information pouring in every day. On the same lines, Sony's Vice President John Kodera has now confirmed that the new PlayStation 5, when it launches, will support backwards compatibility allowing you to play with PS4 players. According to Kodera, cross-generational play is very important to the company. He also noted that it's extremely important to keep the PlayStation community happy as it starts to migrate from PS4 to PS5. He didn't share a lot of details, but we're just happy to hear about the backwards compatibility support. It's great news for those who just bought a PS4 and were worried if Sony would just pull the plug. © Pexels Speaking of pulling the plug, it's also worth mentioning that Sony is also committed to supporting the PS4 for at least the next three years. Well, that makes a lot of sense considering the fact that there are millions of PS4 users in the world, and not all of them will be upgrading to the new console. It also goes to show how Sony isn't expecting a huge player to migrate to the new console in the first place. That being said, we already know enough about the upcoming console to tell you that it would be worth the upgrade. The next-generation PlayStation console is said to bring new things like a faster SSD, Ray-tracing support and more. The faster SSD, in particular, is what's said to make the most difference in terms of loading times, render times, etc. Obviously, there's still a lot that we don't necessarily know about Sony's next-generation console, but we do know that we have exciting times ahead. The new PlayStation 5 will definitely be worth the wait.
  22. Having won two successive World Cups in 1975 and 1979, West Indies almost came close to securing their third, only to lose the final to India in 1983. Since that fateful day, the Windies have managed to enter the playoff stage only on three occasions - a semifinal entry in 1996 and a last-eight place in 2011 and 2015. Needless to mention, their ODI record, over the last five years, has been abysmal by any standards. But, despite their troubles in recent past, their 15-man squad is not the one to be underestimated. The power-packed entertainers like Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are more than capable of winning the matches for their side single-handedly. The two super stars will also have adequate backing from swashbuckling Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Darren Bravo. © Reuters The Windies also have the luxurious services of Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse and Carlos Brathwaite at their disposal. These men will not only provide depth to their batting, but are more than capable of giving the ball a fair tonk. The pace attack, that has been their weapon of mass destruction in the early years, looks intimidating and dangerous with the availability of Shannon Gabriel, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell. On paper at least, the Windies do look like a side that can not only cause problems to the tournament favourites, but can also potentially reach the final. But, for that to happen, the following individuals must step up to the task: Chris Gayle © Reuters One of the most feared and a destructive opening batsman, Chris Gayle has undoubtedly lived up to his reputation as the 'Universe Boss'. The Jamaican marauder has been a force to reckon with in the limited-overs format, clearing the fence and tormenting the opposition bowlers at will. He might have struggled with his running between the wickets, but who cares about taking singles when you can send almost every ball in the stratosphere. A vital cog in the batting line-up for the Windies, the 39-year-old powerhouse has been in ominous form since his return to the ODI set-up after seven months in February this year. In his last five ODI innings, the left-hander has scored 424 runs including two hundreds and as many fifties. And, the fact that the Jamaican marauder is set to retire from ODIs after the World Cup further makes him a threat for the opposition. Andre Russell © Reuters While Gayle has reigned supreme at the top, Andre Russell has carved his own niche to become a key member in West Indies' middle-order. A sweet timer of the ball with enough experience to mould his innings, the 31-year-old's versatility to literally bat anywhere in the middle-order gives his team that extra cushion they'll need in crunch situations. But, that's not the only thing Russell is good at. Sprinting in to deliver his medium-paced deliveries, the right-arm bowler can also be more than handy with the ball. His cunning variations and testing lengths can give the Windies vital breakthroughs in dire situations. For the Windies to launch a stern title charge this year, Russell must carry on his fine form from the IPL to England & Wales. Shimron Hetmyer © Reuters One of the youngest members in the squad, Shimron Hetmyer might lack experience going into the World Cup, but make no mistake, this young gun is more than capable of running away with the game single-handedly. His brutal hitting abilities saw him rapidly gain a reputation as one of most destructive batsmen in recent times. Though the Windies batting line-up has numerous hard-hitting batsmen aiding their cause, but the presence of Hetmyer further bolsters what appears to be a solid middle-order. The youngster has already proven how devastating he can be against the quicks, but negating spin has proved to be a challenge for him in the recent past. With the Windies gunning for the title this year, Hetmyer will surely be expected to come to the party. Jason Holder © Reuters Tasked with the responsibility of leading the side at the age of just 23, Jason Holder might have taken his time, but he has surely emerged as the potent leader of the Windies brigade. A reliable lower middle-order batsman and a steady medium-pace bowler, Holder is also level-headed and mature - something that makes him a befitting captain. In this year's World Cup, Holder will not only be expected to deliver with ball (and bat, if required), but his decision-making abilities on the field and finding the right team balance will have on mark if the Windies intend to give their opponents a run for their money. Carlos Brathwaite © Reuters For someone who wrote himself in the history books by smashing Ben Stokes for four successive sixes to seal the World T20 title in 2016, Carlos Brathwaite has been relatively quiet in the recent years. But, the big Windies all-rounder remains key to his team's success in this year's World Cup. Owing to his explosive batting skills, Brathwaite is more than capable of providing the final flourish to West Indies in the death overs. His hitting abilities can help his team get that extra leeway over their opponents, while his innings can make all the difference in a crunch match. When it comes to bowling, Brathwaite might not be the West Indies' go-to wicket-taking option, but his medium-paced deliveries surely provide them an extra bowling option.
  23. Ever since making their ICC World Cup debut in 1992, South Africa have struggled to justify their talent. The perennial underachievers of cricket, the Proteas have reached the semifinals on four occasions but just couldn't hold their nerve to go all the way. But, as their hunt for an elusive maiden title goes on, the current crop of players and the new-look South African squad offer great promise going into this year's World Cup. Led by Faf du Plessis, South Africa's 15-man squad is a healthy composition of youth and experience. From batting to bowling, the Proteas have a lot of options to choose from but the key will be to find the right team balance to launch a strong title charge in England & Wales. © Reuters The availability of Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Du Plessis, David Miller, JP Duminy and Rassie van der Dussen in their squad allows the Proteas to forge a strong batting line-up. On the other hand, the likes of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi should make up for a competitive bowling attack. When it comes to all-rounders, the expertise of Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris will also come in handy for South Africa. On paper, the Proteas look solid but a lot will depend on their key players if the Du Plessis brigade aims to break the duck this year. Quinton de Kock © Reuters Arguably one of the most destructive openers in the world, Quinton de Kock needs no introduction to hitting the ball hard and long. The left-handed batsman has made the opening slot his own on the back of consistent performances for South Africa over the years. Going into the World Cup, he will surely be South Africa's first-choice for the opening slot, while Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram will be seen fighting to be his partner. Going by his form, De Kock is coming off a successful IPL campaign with Mumbai Indians (MI) who romped to their fourth title earlier this year. De Kock was key to their success while batting at the top and the Proteas will hope he carries his fine form into the World Cup. Given his batting might, De Kock will be bestowed with the responsibility of getting his team to a flying start and then build on his innings to propel South Africa to a big total (or chase down a target). Faf du Plessis © Reuters One of the most experienced candidates in the squad, Faf du Plessis will be seen leading the charge for South Africa in the World Cup. The 34-year-old has proved his credentials as a potent leader with favourable results for his side over the years. And, in England & Wales, the Pretoria-born cricketer will once again be expected to lead from the front to aid his team's cause. Apart from rallying his troops and making decisive calls on the field, Du Plessis has another key role in the South African side which is chasing the elusive title this year. Du Plessis' experience and craftsmanship with the bat will see him stabilising the middle-order. And, in case of a batting collapse, Du Plessis can surely come in handy to hold fort at one end. Chris Morris © Reuters Chris Morris might have been included in the South African squad as a last-minute replacement for injured Anrich Nortje, but that shouldn't overshadow his capabilities as a proven all-rounder. The 32-year-old possesses the pace and death-bowling skills that adds teeth to the Proteas' bowling attack, while his explosive batting provides the much-needed depth to their batting. Going into the World Cup, Morris will be seen providing adequate support to the likes of Rabada, Steyn and Ngidi in the middle overs. And, his role as a deadly finisher should also help the Proteas to accelerate the innings in the death overs. Kagiso Rabada © Reuters In recent years, no other fast bowler has managed to capture the imagination of fans the way Kagiso Rabada has. At the age of 23, Rabada has already established himself as one of the most consistent fast bowlers in the world. Tipped to be a South African great, Rabada has topped the ICC's bowler rankings in both Tests and ODIs, making him South Africa's key figures at this year's World Cup. Clocking speeds of 150kmph with a languid action, Rabada's ability to swing the ball both ways and delivering yorkers with pinpoint accuracy makes him Du Plessis' go-to man to get a breakthrough in dire situations. If that's not enough, Rabada's scintillating form (25 wickets in 12 IPL matches this year) further makes him a deadly weapon for the Proteas. Imran Tahir © Reuters Aged 40, Pakistan-born South African spinner Imran Tahir might seem old, but the age-factor takes a backseat every time you throw a ball at him. Known for his biggest weapon - the googly, Tahir has earned a reputation for being able to dictate the middle-periods of games while providing vital breakthroughs to his side. And, over the years, Tahir has proved to be a valuable weapon for the Proteas. A spinner whose celebratory run lasts longer than most fast-bowler's run-ups, Tahir has undeniably established himself as one of the best limited-overs leg-spinners of his time. Playing his last ODI tournament, Tahir carries his brilliant form from the IPL to the World Cup. Taking 26 wickets (most in IPL this season) and almost propelling Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to the title, Tahir could very well turn out to be the deciding factor for South Africa in the World Cup.
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