IPL 2020: Top bowlers to watch out for
Fans of cricket's fastest and shortest format love to see fours and sixes, but it's actually the bowlers that can set up T20 wins either by limiting teams to average totals or striking at crucial moments during a run-chase. TOI looks at some of those key names who can strike it rich with the ball on the tracks in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, which are expected to get slower.
Glitzy IPL marks start of Indian sporting events in Covid times
Rohit Sharma's defending champions Mumbai Indians will be locking horns with MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings in what is likely to be a fittingly exciting opening showdown. The tournament, which has been shifted to the UAE due to five million plus Covid cases in India, is a 'TV-only event', expected to be lapped up by all and sundry who crave for cricket and Bollywood in equal measure during prime time.
Roger Federer sings Beatles classic for commercial
Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has been mesmerising fans with his breath-taking shots on the tennis courts ever since he turned professional in 1998. Now the Swiss legend has left his fans speechless with a rendition of a Beatles' classic.
Rajasthan Royals co-owners propose internal share transfer worth 26 million dollars
Emerging Media Sporting Holding - the parent company that owns Rajasthan Royals - has proposed to the BCCI that it wishes to transact an internal sale of shares between existing stakeholders. Emerging Media has offered to buy the 13.4% stake from Kelowna Investment Ltd, a Nigeria-based company run by Indian businessman Suresh Chellaram.
I perform well under pressure: Sheldon Cottrell
Sheldon Cottrell, 31, was picked by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) for Rs 8.5 crore in the IPL auction. With Rs 50 lakh base price, Cottrell triggered an intense bidding war between Rajasthan Royals, KXIP and Delhi Capitals, with Kings finally winning the bid.
Made-for-TV IPL in UAE to be prime-time viewing in India
In the original concept, it was a made-for-television event. And that will prove to be a good thing for the Indian Premier League (IPL), the lucrative Twenty20 cricket competition that has been delayed several months. It's now set to be played away from home in the United Arab Emirates because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The tournament starts on Saturday, with the final to be played on Nov 10.
Will a rested Virat Kohli and new coaches change things for RCB?
Despite having stars, Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore have finished last twice since 2017. Over the years, Kohli has come into the IPL either on the back of a demanding international assignment, or with a forthcoming series on his mind. But this season might well be a game-changer for the Indian skipper and his men.
IPL in UAE: Where and how to watch the cricketing action
IPL|: Dubai: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League will be played behind closed doors across three venues in the UAE — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. IPL 13 will feature 60 games, starting on Saturday and finishing on November 10, 2020. However, cricket fans in the UAE and around the world can watch all the matches live on television through broadcasters operating in their region. BeIN Sports have secured the TV rights for live coverage of IPL 2020 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and will broadcast and streamed live by BeIN across the 24 countries throughout the region. Countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen. BeIN Sports is available on Etisalat’s eVision TV. Etisalat are offering the IPL at Dh115 per month with a lock-in period of 3 months. If you subscribe for one year, you will receive the first three months free and then pay Dh82 month each for next nine months. The IPL will be available on Channel 753 (BeIN Sports HD 13). The IPL on TV around the world India: Star Sports, Star Gold, DD SportsUnited Kingdom: Sky Sports CricketUnited States: Willow TVAustralia: Fox SportsMENA Countries: BeIN SportsSouth Africa: SuperSportPakistan: Geo SuperNew Zealand: Sky Sport NZCaribbean: Flow SportsCanada: Willow TV, Hotstar CanadaBangladesh: Channel 9, Gazi TVAfghanistan: Radio Television AfghanistanSri Lanka: SLRC (Channel Eye)
Serie A 2020-21: Juventus’ Pirlo gamble makes season the most open for years
Football|: Juventus managed to hold on to their star man Cristiano Ronaldo during the summer, but one decision still managed to turn heads at the Turin club. The decision to hand the coaching reigns to untried Andrea Pirlo promises to make this season’s Serie A title race one of the most open in years with a queue of clubs waiting to pounce should the champions’ remarkable gamble backfire. SEE MORE IPL in UAE: Bravo, Narine, Pollard - Caribbean kings swell the IPL ranks in the UAE In pictures: Camel racing storms back in Sinai after COVID-19 hiatus US Open 2020 men's final: Dominic Thiem beats Alexander Zverev IPL in UAE: Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings in the field and on film The defending champions will be bidding for a 10th successive Serie A title this season, which kicks off on Saturday, but will do so under the leadership of a man who, for all his undoubted ability as a player, has never coached at senior level before. Pirlo, who makes his debut at home to Sampdoria on Sunday, only received his official badge on Monday after presenting his thesis at the Italian federation’s coaching school in Florence and it remains to be seen how he will adapt to the new role. Serie A 2019-20 Roll of Honour Champions: Juventus Champions League qualifiers: Juventus, Inter Milan, Atalanta, Lazio Europa League group stage: Roma, Napoli (Italian Cup winner) Europa League second qualifying round: AC Milan Relegated to Serie B: Lecce, Brescia, SPAL Promoted to Serie A: Benevento, Crotone, Spezia Top scorer: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) 36 goals “I’m the Juventus coach and it’s natural that anyone who comes here must win,” said Pirlo after a pre-season friendly against Novara. “I know I have to win, it was like that as a player and it will be like that as a coach.” There are further question marks over Juventus, including the way in which they staggered over the finish line last season, winning only two of their last eight matches, and their dependence on Ronaldo. Football: Cristiano Ronaldo commits future to Juventus Zlatan Ibrahimovic ready to take on Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus, will sign on again at AC Milan Football transfer gossip: Luis Suarez to join Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus Risk management: Juventus’ Pirlo can follow in Zidane’s footsteps to become coaching great While his record cannot be questioned, Ronaldo’s presence demands that the team is built around him, leaving his coach short on tactical options as Pirlo’s predecessor Maurizio Sarri found. With Juventus in transition, Serie A has become arguably the most difficult of the major European leagues to predict — not least because the transfer window does not close until October 5, two weeks after the opening fixtures. Inter Milan, who finished one point behind Juve in second place last season, appear to be the most dangerous and obvious challengers to Juve’s dominance if they can overcome the inconsistency which exasperated coach Antonio Conte last season. AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic argues with coach Stefano Pioli after his substitution Image Credit: AFP IBRAHIMOVIC INSPIRATION Their neighbours AC Milan are equally intriguing. After years of mid-table mediocrity, the seven-times European champions came to life in the second half of last season, partly inspired by the presence of 38-year-old forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Stefano Pioli, their experienced and amiable coach, seemed to have found the right blend of youth and experience — something Milan have been chasing for years — and they were unbeaten for their last 13 matches of the season. Yet most observers agree that none of those three played the best football last season. That honour belonged to Atalanta who blasted 98 goals on their way to finishing third. Although clubs of Atalanta’s size often struggle to keep their team together after a successful season, the Bergamo-based team appear to have escaped that fate. Instead, they have consolidated their position after their Champions League debut last season. Similarly, Lazio were outstanding for part of last season and led the table shortly before Serie A stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Their small squad struggled with the heavy fixture list after the break but they still finished fourth as forward Ciro Immobile equalled the Serie A scoring record for a single season with 36 goals. With a few reinforcements, they could launch another challenge this season. Lazio’s neighbours AS Roma, after exchanging one American owner for another following the takeover by the Texas-based Friedkin group, also finished strongly last season under Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca. Meanwhile, Napoli, who have been Juve’s main challengers for the past decade, overcame a mid-season crisis and finished with a trophy after winning the Coppa Italia. With the feisty Gennaro Gattuso at the helm, they can certainly not be written off. Fixtures SaturdayFiorentina v Torino (8pm), Hellas Verona v Roma (10.45pm)SundayParma v Napoli (2.30pm), Genoa v Crotone (5pm), Sassuolo v Cagliari (8pm), Juventus v Sampdoria (10.45pm)MondayAC Milan v Bologna (10.45pm)
US Open: Thomas takes advantage as Winged Foot goes easy on players
Golf|: Mamaroneck: All that hype over how tough the US Open can be at Winged Foot. All that history of so many scores over par. Thursday brought a surprise: All those red numbers. Justin Thomas led the way with six birdies and only one bogey from a bad lie in the bunker, finishing with a 25-foot birdie putt that he barely touched for a five-under 65. It was the lowest score in a US Open at Winged Foot, which is hosting the Open for the sixth time dating to 1929. And it was worth only a one-shot lead over Patrick Reed, Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Matthew Wolff, the 21-year-old Californian making his US Open debut. Rory McIlroy, who has been struggling to get off to a decent start in the majors, opened with a 67 and tried to contain his disappointment it wasn’t lower. He had a pair of three-putts that held him back, one on the 329-yard sixth where he hit driver on to the middle of the green and had to settle for par. SEE MORE IPL in UAE: Bravo, Narine, Pollard - Caribbean kings swell the IPL ranks in the UAE In pictures: Camel racing storms back in Sinai after COVID-19 hiatus US Open 2020 men's final: Dominic Thiem beats Alexander Zverev IPL in UAE: Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings in the field and on film McIlroy was among those two shots behind on a scoreboard filled with red numbers, an unusual site for Winged Foot. In the previous five US Opens, a total of 17 players were under par after the first round. On Thursday, there were 21. No one believes it will stay that way. Still, this was the day to take advantage. “It’s helpful with three days left, but it’s not even remotely close to being over,” Thomas said of his best start in a US Open or any major. “As great of a round and fun as it was, it’s over with now, and I need to get over it.” Thomas went into the week saying it was a “different kind of fun” to grind over pars, to hit middle irons to difficult pins instead of the low scoring at so many other tournaments. US Open: Let Winged Foot be Winged Foot, let golfers beware Golf: Padraig Harrington targets Galgorm for comeback Golf: Stewart Cink ends 11-year title drought with Safeway Open triumph Abu Dhabi Amateur Championships to return in December This was fun, too. Patrick Reed and Will Zalatoris made a hole-in-one on No. 7, and Zalatoris somehow missed another ace on No. 13. Spanish amateur Eduard Rousand holed out for eagle from the first fairway with his second shot in his US Open debut. Louis Oosthuizen holed out for eagle on second fairway. “Yeah, 65 is fun no matter where you play, especially at Winged Foot,” Thomas said. “I was in a really good frame of mind, and I was focused. I just was sticking to my routine and playing every shot, as opposed to getting ahead of myself. It’s one of those rounds where ... next thing you know, you make the putt on 18, you’re done for the day.” He played with Tiger Woods and PGA champion Collin Morikawa, who couldn’t get done fast enough. Woods was in five bunkers through five holes and then appeared to steady himself with three straight birdies around the turn to get under par, but only briefly. He made three bogeys coming in, still had a chance to post a reasonable score and then let it get away. From short of the steep shelf fronting the 18th green, he flubbed a flop shot, pitched the next one about 8 feet beyond the pin and missed the putt to take double bogey for a 73. “I did not finish off the round like I needed to,” Woods said, an expression he uttered five more times out of the six questions he faced after his round. Neither did Morikawa, who shot 40 on the back nine for a 76. Pieters and Wolff dropped only one shot along the way while playing in the afternoon, when the greens became a little more difficult because of all the foot traffic. Even so, low scores — at least by Winged Foot standards — kept coming. “There’s a couple of guys that went a little lower than maybe expected,” McIlroy said. “But it’s not as if the rest of the field are finding it that easy.” Raise your hand, Phil Mickelson. Returning to the scene of a double bogey on the 72nd hole that cost him the 2006 US Open, Mickelson opened with two birdies and still struggled to break 80. He went rough-to-rough on the 18th and shot 79. Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world, couldn’t make putts and shot 73. Low clouds added to the soft feel of Winged Foot. The greens were fast but not as firm. Jordan Spieth discovered that on the first hole. He was trying to figure out if his approach would take a hard hop and release or land soft and spin back. He guessed wrong, the ball rolled down the slope to the front of the green and he three-putted for bogey. He also shot 73. Thomas judged it correctly with a short iron left of the flag that spun back close to the hole for birdie. His only dropped shot came at the par-3 third because the ball settled on a downward slope of a bunker, leaving him no chance to get it close. There were few complaints the rest of the way. He also made three birdies around the turn, narrowly missing a fourth in a row from just inside 10 feet at the par-5 12th. Thomas felt at ease, and Winged Foot allowed him to feel that way. At least on Thursday. The previous low score for a US Open was a 66 by Fuzzy Zoeller in the second round in 1984. “The greens are very soft,” Thomas said. “I thought they’d be a little firmer, but I also understood that they need to err on this side of they can get them how they want this weekend. ... It’s still Winged Foot. You’ve still got to hit the shots.” Leaderboard 65 - Justin Thomas (USA)66 - Patrick Reed (USA), Matthew Wolff (USA), Thomas Pieters (BEL)67 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), Lee Westwood (ENG), Rory McIlroy (NIR)68 - Joaquin Niemann (CHI), Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP), Harris English (USA), Xander Schauffele (USA), Jason Kokrak (USA), Brendon Todd (USA)69 - Davis Thompson (USA), John Pak (USA), Rickie Fowler (USA), Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Jon Rahm (ESP), Shaun Norris (RSA), Rory Sabbatini (SVK)