Monday, August 22, 2011

Amla has named SA Sports Star of the Year

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's top order batsman Hashim Amla has been named as the country's Sports Star of the Year 2011 at an awards function at Sun City near Johannesburg. 

The 28 year old batsman, who was recently chosen vice captain of the Proteas ODI and T20 teams, pipped four other nominees Masters golf champion Charl Schwartzel, swimming world record holder Cameron van der Burgh, Springbok sevens flyhalf Cecil Afrika and leading Banyana Banyana goalscorer Noko Matlou for the top honor at the SA Sports Awards, held for the first time in three years, on Sunday. 

Along with the award, Amla took home a brand name new Lexus and R250,000 in cash. 

Incidentally, it was Amla's third major tribute in as many months. He had earlier won the Cricket South Africa Fans' Cricketer of the Year award at the 2011 SA Cricket Awards and was also named in the Mail & Guardian's yearly list of 200 top Young South Africans in June this year. 

Amla has also been selected for the LG People's Choice Award due to be offered at the 2011 LG ICC Awards ceremony to be held in London on September 12. 

The Other nominees for the award include World Cup winning India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, West Indian Chris Gayle, Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara and Jonathan Trott of England.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eidur Gudjohnsen signs two year deal with AEK Athens

Eidur Gudjohnsen

Former Chelsea and Barcelona forward Gudjohnsen has signed for Greek Super League side AEK Athens on a two-year contract.

Eidur Gudjohnsen, 32, had been close to a move to npower Championship club West Ham, but after the deal stalled he quickly decided on a move to AEK.

The Icelandic international has played for Tottenham, Stoke and Fulham in the past 18 months but told AEK's official website he is now looking further to the challenge of playing in a new country.

He said: "I'm happy and excited to be here. It is a new step in my career and a challenge for me. I will give it my all."

Eidur won the Eredivisie with PSV also as back-to-back Premier League titles during his time at Chelsea, while his spell at Barcelona culminated in winning the treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ICC Reverses Decision, Keeps 14-Team method for 2015 Cricket World Cup

Cricket’s ruling body reversed an earlier decision and will keep a 14-team format for the 2015 World Cup, allowing lower-ranked nations such as Ireland and the Netherlands to continue taking part.

Originally the ICC planned to cut the participants to 10 “full member” Test-playing nations, excluding the “associates” who don’t play the longer form of the game. Four lower-ranked nations will now take part after a qualifying process, the ICC announced at its annual conference in Hong Kong.

The ruling body’s original decision was made after criticism that this year’s World Cup took too long, lasting from Feb. 19 to April 2 in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. The ICC looked at the matter again after complaints from some national associations over the cut to 10 teams.

“The ICC executive board today reversed its previous decisions and approved a 14-team format for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to be held in Australia and New Zealand and a 12-team format for the ICC World Twenty20 events in 2012 (Sri Lanka) and 2014 (Bangladesh),” the ICC said in a release. Originally the Twenty20 events were to include 16 teams, up from 12.

The 2011 World Cup, won by India, also had 10 full-member teams and four lower-ranked squads.

While none of the lower-ranked nations made it to the quarterfinals, Ireland had one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history. It beat England after chasing down a record victory target of 328. The other second-tier members at the tournament were Canada, Kenya and the Netherlands.

Rankings System

The 2019 World Cup will be a 10-team event, with the ICC rankings system used to determine the first eight places, the ICC said today. A qualification competition will decide the other two.

Also today, the ICC confirmed that an umpire decision review system, or DRS, with a universal standard should go into effect in Test matches and one-day Internationals, using infra- red cameras and audio-tracking devices.

India had opposed DRS because it doesn’t regard ball- tracking technology as accurate enough. It has now agreed to the common standard as the ball-tracking element won’t be included. Instead its use will need to be approved by both teams taking part
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gambhir draws positives from loss against Mumbai

Gautam Gambhir
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir said they have positives to take away from their final round-robin game of the IPL what if the home team lost to Mumbai Indians in an unlikely fashion at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

After setting Mumbai Indians a tall 177-run target, the Knight Riders lost the match in the last over when, needing 21 runs, Laxmipathy Balaji conceded 23 including four fours and a last ball six to end their round-robin campaign on a disappointing note.

But Gambhir was in no mood to be bogged down by the defeat and said they have many positives to take away into the playoff stage of the tournament.

"Getting 176 itself was a big effort. It was more than a par score and we were very happy with the total. Spinners and Brett Lee bowled well. We have positives to take away from this game barring the last over. Getting the total was a fantastic effort," Gambhir said at the post-match press conference.

"You should see the performance of every player. I can't mention one area, we have done well in all departments. We have more positives to take than negatives," he said about the Kolkata outfit's round robin campaign, where they finished fourth with 16 points (eight wins) from 14 matches.

Gambhir also defended under-fire Balaji, who turned out to be the villain for Kolkata towards the end.

"Balaji dismissed Kieron Pollard in the previous over. (The loss) does not mean he was not good. We have all the trust in him. I am sure he will comeback harder." Finishing fourth behind Mumbai Indians, the Knight Riders will now have to face the same opponents in the elimination round to be played in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Gambhir said they would have to do things in hard way from here on as even after winning the eliminator, they will have to get past the loser of the first playoff to make it to Saturday's title clash.

"It will be a different ball game in the playoffs. We have to do the things in the hard way now," he said.

Gambhir said in Sunday's match Mumbai played fearless cricket as they had nothing to lose.

"They (Mumbai) had less pressure than us. They didn't have chance to get into top two. There was no pressure on them so they played freely."

Gambhir also credited James Franklin and Ambati Rayudu for pulling off the spectacular chase in the last over.

"They are quality players no doubt. All credit to them. It is such a format that anything can happen. It was one of those bad days for us," the left-hander said.

New Zealand all-rounder Franklin, who earned the man-of-the-match award for his match-winning unbeaten 45 that came off 23 balls, said "We were just trying to get the ball over the rope. Fortunately, we got a couple of lucky ones. Rayudu played a hell of a shot in the last ball."

Franklin also credited the Eden pitch for staying firm after Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh had set the tempo for the run chase with their 57-run second-wicket stand.

"Outfield was fast and the wicket played pretty well. Sachin (Tendulkar) and Harbhajan provided the momentum. In the last couple of overs, the asking rate got steep but overall it was quite achievable," he said.

"A great feeling in the camp now especially after getting the confidence back following the hat-trick of losses," Franklin added.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

IPL Moves on to Football

The Indian Football Association (IFA) plans to start on an Indian Premier League tournament from next year, bringing a mass of World Cuppers and well-known foreign coaches on board.

The 7-week tournament - christened as Premier League Soccer (PLS) - has been slated for February-March and will be held across the state among six franchisees to be based in Kolkata, Howrah, Barasat, Midnapore, Siliguri and Asansol.

It's a partnership between the IFA and Celebrity Management Group (CMG), with Mahuaa TV joining in as telecast rights holder. The first round cost has been fixed at Rs 25 crore.

According to organizers, each team will be led by one main player, while playing XI must consist of maximum three foreigners as well as another of Asian origin. The team will be managed by renowned overseas coaches with Fifa/Uefa 'A' licence.

The bidding and auction processes are expected to be over by July-August this year. Only limited companies with a minimum of Rs 10 crore can bid for a franchisee license.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Martin Kaymer world number one in golf

LONDON: Martin Kaymer of Germany is the new world golf number one, taking over from Lee Westwood who deposed Tiger Woods on October 31.

Kaymer reached the pinnacle by reaching the final of the WGC Matchplay tournament at the weekend in Arizona where he lost to England's Luke Donald.

Donald moves up to third, while US Open champion Graeme McDowell is at fourth relegating Woods to fifth place, his lowest position since before his breakthrough win at the 1997 Masters.

World top 20:

1. Martin Kaymer (GER) 8.36pts
2. Lee Westwood (ENG) 8.16
3. Luke Donald (ENG) 6.64
4. Graeme McDowell (NIR) 6.44
5. Tiger Woods (USA) 6.32
6. Phil Mickelson (USA) 6.23
7. Paul Casey (ENG) 6.02
8. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 5.65
9. Steve Stricker (USA) 5.49
10. Matt Kuchar (USA) 5.20
11. Jim Furyk (USA) 5.16
12. Ernie Els (RSA) 4.96
13. Ian Poulter (ENG) 4.77
14. Dustin Johnson (USA) 4.47
15. Bubba Watson (USA) 4.37
16. Retief Goosen (RSA) 4.36
17. Robert Karlsson (SWE) 4.34
18. Francesco Molinari (ITA) 4.27
19. Hunter Mahan (USA) 4.23
20. Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 3.86

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mercedes give sneak preview of MGP W02

Mercedes have given fans an early preview of the team’s new car ahead of its official debut later this week. A press image issued on Monday shows a head-on view of the MGP W02, the machine to be raced by Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher this season.

Like many rivals, Mercedes will take to the track for the first time with their 2011 challenger on Tuesday, at the start of this week’s pre-season test at Valencia in Spain. This should give the first hint as to whether the German-owned squad can become title contenders again, following a disappointing 2010 campaign.

After winning the constructors’ championship as Brawn GP in 2009, Mercedes GP fell off the pace last season, dropping to fourth in the standings behind Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.