Sport takes a hit again
Show must go on for city sports events
Gony is the king as Punjab rock KKR
Bangalore clinch a winner in Super Over
Narine’s ’trick: The mystery deepens
Royals face the Mumbai test
Can Nadal, the king of clay, keep his crown?
Pune never believed Yuvi was captaincy material: Ganguly
Victory for new Oz great Scott gave Masters a near-perfect
KP ruled out of NZ series
Juve 11 points clear by beating Lazio
Ecclestone willing to meet Bahrain opposition
Blake may miss 2 meets with hamstring injury
Boston, April 16
The first blast, which blew out the window of a store near the end of the race course at around 2:50 p.m.(7:50 p.m. British time), stunned the throng of people who had gathered in Copley Square for the race’s finale. A few seconds later, a second blast sent waves of fear and horror through the crowd.
“I saw multiple injuries. I saw people who looked like they had their legs blown off. There was a lot of blood over their legs,” said Anderson, a 33-year-old fisherman from Pembroke, Massachusetts, who had carried an American flag for the 26.2-mile (42.16 km) length of the race. The flag was still draped over his shoulder later on Monday afternoon, as he slowly walked away from Massachusetts General Hospital, where many of the wounded were being treated.
“Fly that flag high,” a bystander shouted. For Americans, the blasts called to mind the attacks of September 11, 2001, which destroyed the World Trade Centre in New York and damaged the Pentagon in Washington.
The blasts came about 2-1/2 hours after the winners crossed the finish line, but more than 5,700 amateur runners remained out on the course at the time. “They stopped us half a mile away from the finish line,” said Christine Haverly, 20, a Boston College student from Erie, Pennsylvania. “They just said two bombs went off, but they didn’t go into details about anything. We were standing there for like half an hour.” Runners crossing the line could be seen hitting the stop buttons on their watches just as the first explosion blew out the windows of a sporting-goods store along the course, spraying glass into the crowd.
“All the runners just stopped,” said Kathleen Earley, a 26-year-old teacher from Boston, who was about a mile from the finish line when the blast occurred.
“I was just hoping my friends and family were OK,” she said. Her mother, Rita, had come to the finish to cheer her daughter and emerged from a subway station just minutes before the first blast. — Reuters
Sport attacked in past
Munich, Sept. 5, 1972: Eight members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) splinter group Black September raided the Israeli team’s quarters in the Olympic village in Munich, killing a weightlifter and a wrestling coach. They took nine athletes and officials hostage, who were later killed during a rescue operation.
Atlanta, July 1996: A powerful nail bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park on July 27 during the Atlanta Olympics. One person died and more than 100 were hurt.
Karachi, May 2002: A car bomb exploded in Karachi near the hotel where the New Zealand cricket team were staying, killing 13 people including 11 French navy experts. New Zealand called off the tour after the attack.
Baghdad, May 26, 2006: Gunmen killed the coach of Iraq’s national tennis team and two of his players in Baghdad, days after militants issued a warning forbidding the wearing of shorts.
Iraq, May 17, 2006: Some 15 athletes and officials from a taekwondo squad were kidnapped from a highway in western Iraq as they travelled to a training course in Jordan. The decomposed bodies of at least 13 of the squad were found in the desert in 2007.
Baghdad, July 16, 2006: Up to 50 gunmen seized some 30 Iraqi sports officials, including the national Olympic chief Ahmed al-Hadjiya, and their bodyguards, in a daytime raid on a central Baghdad hall.
Lahore, March 3, 2009: Gunmen attacked a bus carrying Sri Lanka’s cricket team outside a Lahore stadium in Pakistan, killing seven people, including six policemen and a driver. Six of the cricketers and a British coach were wounded.
Congo, Jan. 8, 2010: A Togo soccer team bus, travelling from the Republic of Congo to the African Nations Cup in Angola, came under heavy gunfire from separatists. The team media officer and assistant coach were killed.
Berlin, April 16
Two bombs ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the illustrious race, killing three people, maiming others and injuring more than 100 in what a White House official said would be treated as an “act of terror.”
It was the worst bombing on U.S. soil since security was tightened after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
While the incident instantly raised the issue of security at outdoor city events, experts believe it will not affect their future, popularity or revenues.
“To have a 100 percent security is very, very difficult if not near impossible,” said Helmut Spahn, Executive Director of the International Centre for Sport Security. “There has to be a clear analysis of the situation and certainly no over-reaction. “More police, more military is not always the best solution,” Spahn, who was in charge of security for the 2006 football World Cup and the 2011 women’s World Cup in Germany, told Reuters.
“It should be a tailor-made security event instead of blanket security plan. Not just standard measures, a tailor-made concept and what is decisive for me is that safety and security can not been seen isolation,” he said. “It should be an integrated holistic approach. You cannot have for example a large number of police and military and then have holes in your accreditation system.”
For Spahn, the Boston blasts are unlikely to discourage other major sports events held in city courses instead of stadiums or indoor arenas where security can be much more controlled.
Boston is part of the World Marathon Majors, an association of the world’s biggest marathon races that includes New York, Tokyo, Berlin, London and Chicago.
London marathon organisers are already reviewing their security arrangements ahead of Sunday’s race. “We do not have them (blasts) every week. This is the absolute exception,” Spahn said. “You should not put yourself in a position where you give those who did the attack, what they really want, where you curtail all those liberties, all that what make up our society, freedom, the right to stage such events, freedom of movement.
“It is not that now it happened, now no marathon can take place. It is impossible to have no fan trouble in football anymore. If millions of people come together there will be always one or two who will have different plans.” Compared to day events like marathons, the Olympics are arguably even more at risk given several inner city sports events during their 16 days and global exposure of the world’s biggest multi-sports event.
Cycling, marathon, race walking and triathlon races are some of the events staged during the Games. “I don’t think it changes anything from a sponsor’s perspective,” former marketing chief Michael Payne said. — Reuters
Gony is the king as Punjab rock KKR
Mohali, April 16
A surprise — rather, shocking — and thrilling win over reigning champions Kolkata Knight Riders must have left the team in a daze.
That the winning margin was just four runs, and that too, after Praveen Kumar bowled a wide in what was supposed to be the last ball can only be termed as a miraculous escape for the team, especially after Sunil Narine had left them in a heap of misery with a sensational hattrick.
The towering edifice that the Trinidadian had built and Gambhir-Morgan partnership (104-run) garnished was ultimately left in the rubble, once Kings XI Punjab brought in the gigantic man from Mohali — Manpreet Gony. Once the aftershocks of the victory subside, Kings’ might realise the kingsize folly of keeping a gutsy all-rounder away from action all this while. Gony’s miserly spell (1/18) also highlights Kings’ bad economics of sidelining a 2-crore player till now.
However, there is still a lot of time to rectify that. Right now, Kings are on the seventh heaven, courtesy Gony’s blinding innings (42; 18b, 4x4,3x6). For, that crucial knock gave Kings XI Punjab (157/9) a credible chance of a victory after a tremblor struck them in the 15th over. The 29-year-old returned to scalp Gambhir (60; 39b, 6x4), who looked set to take KKR to an effortless victory. Kolkata, on their part, did the rest by losing the last five wickets for just 19 runs. Consequently, Knight Riders lost the match at 153/9. Had Kolkata batsmen backed up Sunil Narine and Jacques Kallis effort, the script would have been completely different. 160 was always a gettable total on a fast outfield and Gambhir-Morgan were running away towards a comfortable win though Azhar Mahmood had got rid of Kallis in the second over. Eoin Morgan’s (47; 38b, 6x4) top edge off Mahmood fell into David Hussey’s hand and the death knell was ringing for them. Even Yusuf Pathan (13) could not stop the inevitable.
Earlier, Kolkata won the toss and chose to field. Mandeep Singh shone for Punjab as he scored 41 runs off 30 balls. Seasoned all-rounder Kallis (3/24) as usual was at his best, bowling miserly and striking at crucial junctures. Sri Lankan spinner Sachithra Senanayake too played the second fiddle effectively, bagging two for 28. However, it was offie Narine who took the cake for the fielding side by bagging the first hattrick of IPL-6.
Kings XI Punjab
Gilchrist lbw b Senanayake 7
Mandeep c Bisla b Kallis 41
Vohra c&b Balaji 17
D Hussey c Bisla b Narine 12
Miller b Senanayake 20
Mahmood c&b Narine 0
Gurkeerat b Narine 0
Gony b Kallis 42
Chawla not out 11
Praveen c Pathan b Kallis 1
Awana not out 0
Extras: (b 1, lb 2, w 3) 6
Total (9 wkts; 20 overs) 157
Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-61, 3-70, 4-99, 5-99, 6-99, 7-109, 8-150, 9-152
Kolkata Knight Riders
Bisla c Gilchrist b Kumar 0
Gambhir c Gilchrist b Gony 60
Kallis c Mandeep b Mahmood 1
Morgan c Hussey b Mahmood 47
Tiwary b Awana 1
Pathan c Miller b Kumar 13
Das lbw b Mahmood 1
Bhatia b Awana 16
Senanayake run out 1
Narine not out 1
Balaji not out 0
Extras: (lb 7, w 5) 12
Total (9 wkts; 20 overs) 153
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-1, 3-106, 4-116, 5-117, 6-124, 7-147, 8-150, 9-152
Praveen Kumar 4-0-26-2
Bangalore, April 16
RCB scored 15 runs in the one over eliminator and then reduced Delhi to 11/2 to register a thrilling win.
Earlier, Bangalore successfully tied Delhi Daredevils’ total of 152/7 in 20 overs. Skipper Virat Kohli scored 56 runs, while AB de Villiers made 39 runs to level the score.
Royal Challengers Bangalore ended on the happier side of a Super Over this time, after their loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad few days back.
Delhi Daredevils failed to capitalise on a good start provided by their openers as they could score a fighting 152 for five against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Delhi failed to build any substantial partnership, the highest being the opening stand of 43 off 34 balls between Virender Sehwag (25 off 23 balls with four boundaries) and David Warner (15 off 13 4x3) at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
Kedar Jadhav top-scored with a 16-ball unbeaten 29 which he made with the help of two fours and a six while Sehwag, captain Mahela Jayawardene and Irfan Pathan were the other notable contributors. Bangalore bowlers put up a disciplined effort to deny the visiting side easy runs.
Pacer Jaydev Unadkat was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets for 24 runs. Two other bowlers, Vinay Kumar and Andrew McDonald, took a wicket each. Delhi were to blame themselves as most of them were out to loose shots as they lost four wickets for 91 in 14.1 overs. — TNS
Warner c & b Vinay 15
Sehwag c Kohli b McDonald 25
Juneja c Vinay b Unadkat 17
Jayawardene run out (Vinay) 28
Rohrer c Kohli b Unadkat 14
Jadhav not out 29
Irfan not out 19
Total (5 wkts in 20 ovs) 152
Fall of wickets: 1-43, 2-43, 3-73, 4-91, 5-122
RP Singh 4-0-48-0
Gayle c Yadav b Morkel 13
KL Rahul c Jaya b Nehra 12
Kohli c Jaya b Yadav 65
de Villiers run out (Morkel) 39
McDonald c & b Nadeem 0
Karthik run out (Pathan/Morkel) 5
Mohammad c Warner b Yadav 1
Vinay not out 1
Rampaul not out 12
Total (7wkts in 20 ovs) 152
Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-26, 3-129, 4-129, 5-136,6-138, 7-138
RCB’s de Villiers hits two sixes in last two balls to score 15/0; In reply, Delhi’s Warner gets out in first ball. Irfan clean bowled in the last ball. Delhi 12/2.
Narine’s ’trick: The mystery deepens
Mohali, April 16
It is not his vicious turn, or his unpredictable bounce, neither does it lie in his much-talked about variations. For those who blame it on his inscrutable bowling action, it does not even lie there.
If you believe the Trinidadian, the secret is embedded in the inner recesses of his mind. “I try to bowl in right areas. I try to stick to my line and length and stop the runs. When the batsman is forced to go for the runs, there lies my chance, and that is what I try to exploit. That’s it,” he said, unraveling the mystery.
That hardly sounds like any mystery at all.
If the carrom ball is counted as his weapon, there are handful of other bowlers who can deliver it with equal ease. Narine sparingly uses it, but when he does it, he does it with telling effect. He knows exactly which batsman to bowl to and when. He bowled it to a bits-and-part cricketer Azhar Mahmood, and it did the trick, he flicked it to a greenhorn Gurkeerat Mann, and it made for a funny sight. But he did not bowl it to a seasoned batsman in David Hussey, instead, he chose to fire in a fast off-break with extra bounce and extracted a top edge. “Of the three, Hussey’s wicket was the best one,” he said after the match.
The 24-year-old Trinidadian with a freaky Mohican cut said he does try variations but chooses not to overdo them. He even uses his stock ball cautiously. The important thing is he varies his pace and bounce according to the batsmen, while sticking to his line and length. His innocuous seeming off-breaks with scrambled seam leave the batsman twisting and turning.
There are, though, certain inherent advantages in his craft that the 24-year-old is gifted with. His biggest asset is his mind which keeps the batsmen thinking all the time, giving very little time to act. While other off spinners bowl the Doosra with the back of hand, Narine delivers it from the front. His inscrutable action only adds to the misery of the batsman facing him.
All these mysteries make him a lethal bowler but if the ultimate aim of winning the match is not fulfilled, it’s not worthwhile, he says. “It feels good to take a hattrick but if it does not contribute in winning the match, it’s not very enjoyable.” For the record, Narine is the highest wickettaker this season with 10 wickets. The hattrick against Kings XI Punjab is the first this season and 10th overall.
Jaipur, April 16
Skipper Rahul Dravid and his men will be playing in their own den and the conditions too would suit them, but relying on external factors would certainly not be enough to see them through against the formidable Mumbai outfit. The visitors’ all-round strength makes them the favourites.
Both Rajasthan and Mumbai have six points each from four outings having won three matches respectively, but the visitors have a better net run rate of +1.150, which have placed them at the top of the table. While Rajasthan, with a net rate of +0.230, are placed at the third position.
Happy with the “underdogs” tag, Rajasthan know it well that the visitors, despite having big stars in their ranks, have never been able to convert the early promise into a title win.
They finished runners-up once, losing to Chennai Super Kings in the final 2010.
The lavish spending has ensured that Mumbai have at their disposal greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, with T20 specialists Keiron Pollard, Lasith Malinga and Rohit Sharma only adding to the outfit’s strengths.
There are others such as Glen Maxwell, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayadu and Munaf Patel and they also have a good bench strength.— PTI
Today: PWI VS SH (4 pm)
RR VS MI (8 pm) live on set max
Monte Carlo, April 16
The Grimaldis are a line of princes and princesses, whereas nobody would dream of calling Nadal anything but the king of clay. Of all Nadal’s extraordinary records on his favourite surface, none can match those he has established here at the Monte Carlo Masters.
He is attempting this week to win the title here for the ninth year in succession, his only defeat having come in 2003, when he lost in the third round to Guillermo Coria. Since then he has won 42 matches in a row at this most special of tennis venues, perched on a steep hillside overlooking the Mediterranean. In his last 15 matches he has lost only one set, to Andy Murray in the 2011 semi-finals.
This year, nevertheless, feels different for the 26-year-old Spaniard, who until his return to the court in February had spent seven months watching the rest of the tennis world pass him by as he recovered from his latest knee injury. Even if his subsequent comeback was spectacularly successful — he has already won more titles this year (three) than any other player on the men’s tour despite having returned only after the Australian Open — Nadal still has to nurse his body through every day.
“I’ve experienced a lot of big emotions in the European clay-court season in the past, but this year is probably more special,” Nadal said yesterday as he sat back in a chair in one of the marquees overlooking the courts here.
“I have had a really tough year. Just to be back and playing in these places is fantastic news. I don’t feel the pressure that I felt these years in the past because I know that after all that has happened the normal thing would be not to repeat all of this. But I’m going to try to be competitive and try to give myself chances to play well.”
Nadal did not want to dwell on another medical bulletin but admitted that he had not practised much since his astonishing victory — on a hard court no less — at the Indian Wells Masters a month ago.
“I tried to recover well and tried to do the right things to be here in competitive condition,” he said. “I have to take care about my body. I have to be careful about the knee and about other things because after seven months without playing and practising I need time. But I am happy to be back on the tour and I want to enjoy the chance to work hard every day — and talking about the knee every day is not helping me. I prefer to be focused on the tennis. If something goes very wrong that doesn’t give me the chance to compete, I will let you know. Today I want to be focused on the tennis, not on my knee any more.”
— The Independent
Kolkata, April 16
Ganguly feels that’s the reason why Angelo Mathews and Ross Taylor have been preferred as captains ahead of the senior left-hander. “The management had decided not to make Yuvraj captain again after our first season (in 2011 where the team finished last). They thought he (Yuvraj) was not a captaincy material -- not the one who could lead the side. It was a decision that was taken after our first season (2011),” Ganguly told a regional TV channel.
Mathews was dropped yesterday as Taylor became the franchise’s fifth skipper from three seasons and the Kiwi led the side to a convincing 24-run win over Chennai Super Kings.
As it turned out, Steven Smith, who was Mathews’ replacement, came up with a match-winning performance with his pyrotechnic 39 not out as PWI looked a transformed side.
Ganguly felt PWI would stick to the line-up in future.
“The team looked balanced. Dinda did very well, while Rahul Sharma was magnificent. The foreign line-up in Finch, Taylor, Smith and Marsh also looked a settled unit.
“I would be surprised if they change the combination for the line-up against Surisers Hyderabad (tomorrow),” Ganguly said.
He said the Pune franchise have it in them to make the last four. — PTI
Victory for new Oz great Scott gave Masters a near-perfect
Augusta, April 16 Double major winner Cabrera gave Scott a thumbs-up after they each hit the green with their approach shots at the second extra hole, and the pair walked off arm-in-arm after Australian Scott had stunningly sealed the win with a 15-foot birdie putt. The two Presidents Cup team mates gave fans around the world a breathtaking reminder of how clutch golf can be played with integrity and honour, even during the white-knuckle intensity of a major championship down the stretch. All this after the opening major of the year had been tainted by two controversial rules incidents. China’s 14-year-old Guan Tianlang, the feel-good story of the tournament, incurred the wrath of Masters officials during the second round when he received a rare penalty for slow play that almost ended his amazing debut at Augusta National. Rules officials imposed a one-stroke penalty on the prodigy, a decision panned by Guan’s playing partner, twice former Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, but the Chinese narrowly survived to make the cut and seal the award for the best amateur player. The youngest competitor ever at the Masters, Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Guan commanded much of the spotlight during the week with his poise, demeanour and superb short game as he became the youngest player to make the cut at a major championship. While many fans and several players viewed the slow-play penalty as heavy-handed to say the least, Guan once again provided tantalising proof of the vast golfing potential in the Chinese market. The world’s most populous nation had celebrated another coup last June when Shanshan Feng, 22, clinched the LPGA Championship by two shots in Rochester, New York, to become the first person from mainland China to win a women’s major. The other rules controversy at the Masters involved world number one Tiger Woods, who had been a red-hot favourite coming into the week after winning three times in just five starts on the 2013 PGA Tour. A four-times champion at Augusta National, Woods was spared the ignominy of disqualification when the rules committee decided to exercise leniency over a serious infringement in the second round. Instead of sending the 14-times champion packing for taking an illegal drop at the par-five 15th after his third shot had ended up in water, they opted to slap him with a two-stroke penalty. Officials defended the decision, saying that Woods had initially been cleared of any wrong-doing after a video review. — Reuters
Augusta, April 16
Double major winner Cabrera gave Scott a thumbs-up after they each hit the green with their approach shots at the second extra hole, and the pair walked off arm-in-arm after Australian Scott had stunningly sealed the win with a 15-foot birdie putt.
The two Presidents Cup team mates gave fans around the world a breathtaking reminder of how clutch golf can be played with integrity and honour, even during the white-knuckle intensity of a major championship down the stretch. All this after the opening major of the year had been tainted by two controversial rules incidents.
China’s 14-year-old Guan Tianlang, the feel-good story of the tournament, incurred the wrath of Masters officials during the second round when he received a rare penalty for slow play that almost ended his amazing debut at Augusta National.
Rules officials imposed a one-stroke penalty on the prodigy, a decision panned by Guan’s playing partner, twice former Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, but the Chinese narrowly survived to make the cut and seal the award for the best amateur player.
The youngest competitor ever at the Masters, Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Guan commanded much of the spotlight during the week with his poise, demeanour and superb short game as he became the youngest player to make the cut at a major championship.
While many fans and several players viewed the slow-play penalty as heavy-handed to say the least, Guan once again provided tantalising proof of the vast golfing potential in the Chinese market.
The world’s most populous nation had celebrated another coup last June when Shanshan Feng, 22, clinched the LPGA Championship by two shots in Rochester, New York, to become the first person from mainland China to win a women’s major.
The other rules controversy at the Masters involved world number one Tiger Woods, who had been a red-hot favourite coming into the week after winning three times in just five starts on the 2013 PGA Tour.
A four-times champion at Augusta National, Woods was spared the ignominy of disqualification when the rules committee decided to exercise leniency over a serious infringement in the second round. Instead of sending the 14-times champion packing for taking an illegal drop at the par-five 15th after his third shot had ended up in water, they opted to slap him with a two-stroke penalty.
Officials defended the decision, saying that Woods had initially been cleared of any wrong-doing after a video review. — Reuters
London, April 16
Pietersen injured his right knee during fielding practice in the away series in New Zealand last month and was unable to play in the third and final test.
“Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the upcoming test series against New Zealand as he continues his recovery from significant bone bruising to his right knee,” a statement said.
“He will have a repeat scan next week to determine when he is able to resume training.” The injury also meant Pietersen was ruled out of the Indian Premier League.
England, who face home and away Ashes series against Australia this year, face New Zealand at Lord’s starting on May 16 before the second test starting on May 24 in Leeds.
All three test matches in New Zealand ended in draws. — Reuters
Rome, April 16
Vidal fired Juve ahead from the penalty spot after Lorik Cana brought down Claudio Marchisio in the eighth minute.
Chile international Vidal doubled his tally 20 minutes later when he latched on to a deflected Mirko Vucinic pass to slot the ball into the back of the net.
With six games to go Juve have 74 points and they enjoy a commanding lead over second-placed Napoli. AC Milan are third on 59.
“This victory is very, very important as it allows us to put another huge brick on the road to the title,” said coach Antonio Conte.
“We still need seven points and until we have something in our hands we won’t talk about it.”
Defeat dented sixth-placed Lazio’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League as they now trail Milan by eight points.
The top two clubs qualify for Europe’s elite club competition and the team in third goes through to the preliminary round. — Reuters
Manama, April 16
However, in comments that could antagonise rights campaigners and pro-democracy activists, the F1 commercial supremo also compared civil unrest in the Gulf island kingdom to threatened protests against Wednesday’s funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in London.
“I’m happy to talk to anybody about this, as I did before,” he said in comments to British reporters published on Tuesday, mentioning that he had met members of the opposition group al-Wefaq last year in London and Bahrain. “We don’t want to see trouble. We don’t want to see people arguing and fighting about things we don’t understand.” — Reuters
Kingston, April 16
Mills said that the right hamstring injury sustained by Blake during a 100 metres race on Saturday at the UTECH Track and Field Classic in Kingston was more serious than originally thought.
“An MRI done Monday afternoon revealed the hamstring injury sustained was more serious than first thought,” he said. “Blake could be out for several weeks as he recuperates.”
Blake, who finished second to training partner Usain Bolt in last year’s London Olympics 100 and 200 metres final, trailed former world champion Kim Collins of St Kitts & Nevis after 40 metres following a less than impressive start in his first 100 of the season on Saturday.
The joint second fastest man ever then pulled up, favouring his right hamstring as he tried to power past Collins. — Reuters