Australia abuse made me 'mentally strong': Mohammed Siraj 

News Network
January 22, 2021

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Hyderabad, Jan 21: India bowler Mohammed Siraj has given his first public account of the crowd abuse he suffered during the Australia Test series, saying it made him "mentally strong".

Siraj said India, who stunned Australia to win the series 2-1, declined an offer from the umpires to walk off the field as players were abused in the third Test in Sydney.

According to Indian media, shouts of "monkey" and other insults rang out when Siraj and fellow fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah were fielding near the boundary.

"The crowd in Australia began to abuse me but it made me mentally strong. I did not let it affect my game and that was important," said Siraj.

"I told my captain Ajju bhai (Ajinkya Rahane) about the abuse and he spoke to the umpires who said you can leave the field. But Rahane said: 'We will play on.'"

He said Rahane told the umpires to take action over the abuse. Six fans were ejected and an investigation into the incident is underway.

India, despite being decimated injuries, battled to a draw in Sydney and then broke Australia's 32-year unbeaten streak at Brisbane's Gabba ground to claim one of the great series victories of all time.

Siraj, still grieving his father, who died just before the series, took 13 wickets including five in Australia's second innings at the Gabba, just his third Test.

He was speaking after receiving a hero's welcome in his home city of Hyderabad on Thursday, where he headed straight for his father's grave.

Siraj's father, an auto rickshaw driver, died as India were in quarantine in Australia, but the player decided to stay with the team.

"First of all it was very difficult for me. Mentally I was upset and depressed," he said.

"I had a chat with them back home and they said that I should complete Dad's dream (of playing for India)."

Siraj has emerged as a national player after becoming a key man for Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are led by India's regular captain Virat Kohli.

"I had a bad season in 2018, but RCB backed me. Virat bhai has always backed me, saying 'You have the power and you can do it'," he said.

"I will not let this performance go to my head. I cannot relax as there is the England series and the World Test Championship coming up."

India, now the world's top Test nation, are virtually assured of a place in the world Test final at Lord's in June.

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Agencies
February 25,2021

IOC confirms Brisbane as preferred bidder for 2032 Olympics | SuperSport

Brisbane, Feb 25: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has narrowed down on Australian city Brisbane as its preferred candidate to host the 2032 Olympic Games.

India was among the many countries that expressed interest in hosting the Olympics with Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju saying earlier this week that a green signal from the Centre is yet to be given on the matter.

IOC president Thomas Bach clarified that no final decision on the host city had been made, but that "more detailed discussions" with Brisbane would start, although he gave no timetable.

"The IOC Future Host Commission recommended that executive committee initiate a targeted dialogue with Brisbane and the Australian Olympic Committee for the organization of the 2032 Olympic Games," said Bach after the IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting on Wednesday, Xinhua news reports.

"The executive committee unanimously accepted this recommendation. The Brisbane 2032 project is fully aligned with Olympic Agenda 2020 and the new recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020+5. It proposes a sustainable Games in line with the region's long-term strategy and using primarily existing and temporary venues.

"It is not a decision against the other candidates, it is a decision in favour of a candidacy," Bach added.

Australia last hosted the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000.

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Agencies
February 24,2021

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Los Angeles, Feb 24: Tiger Woods was seriously injured when his SUV crashed into a median, rolled over and ended up on its side near a steep road in suburban Los Angeles known for wrecks, authorities said.

The golf superstar had to be pulled out through the windshield, and his agent said he underwent leg surgery.

Woods was alone in the SUV on Tuesday when it crashed into a raised median, crossed two oncoming lanes and rolled several times, authorities said at a news conference.

No other cars were involved. The 45-year-old was alert and able to communicate as firefighters pried open the front windshield to get him out.

The airbags went off and the inside of the vehicle stayed basically intact, and that gave him a cushion to survive the crash, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. Both of his legs were seriously injured, county Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.

They said there was no immediate evidence that Woods was impaired.

Authorities said they checked for any odour of alcohol or other signs he was under the influence of a substance and found none. They didn't say how fast he was driving.

The crash happened on a sweeping, downhill stretch of a two-lane road through upscale Los Angeles suburbs.

Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who was the first to get to the wreck, said he sometimes catches people topping 80 mph in the 45 mph zone and crashes are common.

I will say that it's very fortunate that Mr Woods was able to come out of this alive, Gonzalez said.

When the deputy arrived, a neighbour told him the driver was still in the vehicle. Gonzalez said he poked his head through a hole in the windshield and saw Woods with his seatbelt on.

The deputy asked Woods questions, including what day it was and where he was.

Tiger was able to speak to me lucidly, Gonzalez said. Woods appeared incredibly calm, the deputy said, likely because he was in shock.

Woods was in Los Angeles over the weekend as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, where he presented the trophy on Sunday. He was to spend Monday and Tuesday filming with Discovery-owned GOLFTV, with whom he has an endorsement. A tweet Monday showed Woods in a cart smiling with comedian David Spade.

According to Golf Digest, also owned by Discovery, the TV shoot was on-course lessons for celebrities, such as Spade and Dwyane Wade, at Rolling Hills Country Club.

Woods, a 15-time major champion who shares with Sam Snead the PGA Tour record of 82 career victories, has been recovering from December 23 surgery on his lower back. It was his fifth back surgery and first since his lower spine was fused in April 2017, allowing him to stage a remarkable comeback that culminated with his fifth Masters title in 2019.

He has carried the sport since his record-setting Masters victory in 1997 when he was 21, winning at the most prolific rate in modern PGA Tour history. He is singularly responsible for TV ratings spiking, which has led to enormous increases in prize money during his career. Even at 45, he remains the biggest draw in the sport.

The SUV he was driving Tuesday had tournament logos on the side door, indicating it was a courtesy car for players at the Genesis Invitational. Tournament director Mike Antolini did not immediately respond to a text message, though it is not unusual for players to keep courtesy cars a few days after the event.

Woods feared he would never play again until the 2017 fusion surgery. He returned to win the Tour Championship to close out the 2018 season and won the Masters in April 2019 for the fifth time.

He last played on December 20 in the PNC Championship in Orlando, Florida, an unofficial event where players are paired with parents or children. He played with his son, Charlie, who is now 12. Woods also has a 13-year-old daughter.

During the Sunday telecast on CBS from the golf tournament, Woods was asked about playing the Masters on April 8-11 and said, God, I hope so. He said he was feeling a little stiff and had one more test to see if he was ready for more activities.

He was not sure when he would play again.

Athletes and others from Mike Tyson and Magic Johnson to former President Donald Trump offered hopes that Woods would make a quick recovery.

I'm sick to my stomach, Justin Thomas, the No. 3 golf player in the world, said from the Workday Championship in Bradenton, Florida. It hurts to see one of my closest friends get in an accident. Man, I just hope he's all right.

This is the third time Woods has been involved in a car investigation. The most notorious was the early morning after Thanksgiving in 2009, when his SUV ran over a fire hydrant and hit a tree. That was the start of shocking revelations that he had been cheating on his wife with multiple women. Woods lost major corporate sponsorships, went to a rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi and did not return to golf for five months.

In May 2017, Florida police found him asleep behind the wheel of a car parked awkwardly on the side of the road. He was arrested on a DUI charge and said later he had an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine for his back pain. Woods later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

Woods hasn't won since the Zozo Championship in Japan in fall 2019, and he's reduced his playing schedule in recent years because of injuries. Tuesday's surgery would be his 10th. Besides his back surgeries, he's had four surgeries on his left knee, including a major reconstruction after he won the 2008 US Open.

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coastaldigest.com news network
February 17,2021

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The IPL 2021 auction will be held in Chennai on Thursday (Feb 18, 2021) and a total of 292 players will go under the hammer. There are some big international and Indian names in the list and it will be interesting to see how the teams react when some of the big names, released by the franchisees, are called out.

Kings XI Punjab, who will now be called as Punjab Kings, have the biggest purse and will rejig the line-up again. RCB too went for the jugular despite a play-offs finish last season.

CSK too will be looking to make some big buys to start afresh. Here is a look at how the 8 franchises are placed in terms of purse and slots left.

Available purse and team strengths of the team ahead of IPL 2021 mini auction

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Number of players: 18
Number of Overseas players: 7
Total money spent: ₹62.10 cr
Salary cap available: ₹22.90 cr
Available slot: 7
Overseas slot: 1

Delhi Capitals (DC)
Number of players: 19
Number of Overseas players: 6
Total money spent: ₹72.0982 cr
Salary cap available: ₹12.9018 cr
Available slot: 6
Overseas slot: 2

Punjab Kings
Number of players: 16
Number of Overseas players: 3
Total money spent: ₹31.80 cr
Salary cap available: ₹53.20 cr
Available slot: 9
Overseas slot: 5

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
Number of players: 17
Number of Overseas players: 6
Total money spent: ₹74.25 cr
Salary cap available: ₹10.75 cr
Available slot: 8
Overseas slot: 2

Mumbai Indians (MI)
Number of players: 18
Number of Overseas players: 4
Total money spent: ₹69.65 cr
Salary cap available: ₹15.35 cr
Available slot: 8
Overseas slot: 2

Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Number of players: 17
Number of Overseas players: 5
Total money spent: ₹50.12 cr
Salary cap available: ₹34.85 cr
Available slot: 8
Overseas slot: 3

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Number of players: 12
Number of Overseas players: 4
Total money spent: ₹49.10 cr
Salary cap available: ₹35.90 cr
Available slot: 13
Overseas slot: 4

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
Number of players: 22
Number of Overseas players: 7
Total money spent: ₹74.25 cr
Salary cap available: ₹10.75 cr
Available slot: 3
Overseas slot: 1

How Kings XI Punjab became Punjab Kings

Kings XI Punjab were on Wednesday renamed as Punjab Kings ahead of the 2021 IPL auction on Thursday in Chennai. A new logo was also unveiled on Wednesday. 

Speaking about the new brand identity, team CEO Satish Menon said: "Punjab Kings is a more evolved brand name, and we understand it was a right time for us to move focus on the core brand itself." 

"The change in brand identity is not about changing our brand ethos but celebrating our one-ness as we stand in unity like a family. The new logo honors the liveliness and vibrancy of the brand and provides modern elements, while we stand out from the rest of the teams."

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