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Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi to win FIFA best player award for 4th time

ZURICH: Capping what he called the best year of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo won his fourth FIFA best player award on Monday.

The double European champion with Portugal and Real Madrid beat great rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards.

``It was a year that was magnificent at a personal level and at a sporting level,'' the 31-year-old Ronaldo said in Portuguese in his acceptance speech, which he began by exclaiming ``Wow, wow, wow.''

Ronaldo's fourth career FIFA award closed the gap on five-time winner Messi, who has been the runner-up to each Ronaldo victory.

His 34.54 percent of total voting points in a 23-candidate ballot was clearly better than Messi's 26.42 percent. Griezmann got 7.53 percent. Voting was by national team captains and coaches, selected media, and fans online.


Sourav Ganguly receives death threat

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has revealed that he has received "death threat" warning him against attending an inter-college cricket meet at the Vidyasagar University in West Bengal's Midnapore district on January 19.
Local sources in Midnapore told PTI that one Z Alam wrote the letter addressing to Ganguly's mother Nirupa warning the cricket stalwart against attending the programme where he has been invited as chief guest.
"Your son is hereby warned not to attend the programme. If he dares to come here, you will not see him again," is what has been written in the letter.
West Midnapore district SP Bharati Ghosh, however, said she is unaware of the development.
"We have not been informed about this," she said. The motive behind the letter is unknown.
Below is the first page of the letter. We haven't used the second page as it contains disturbing images.



Beleaguered BCCI top honchos accept SC verdict

NEW DELHI: Given the marching orders by Supreme Court+ , the sacked duo of BCCI President Anurag Thakur+ and Secretary Ajay Shirke on Monday said they will abide by the directive even though they made their skepticism with the verdict quite apparent.
Thakur and Shirke were told to quit office with immediate effect by an irate Supreme Court, which held that it was mandatory for the BCCI to implement the Lodha Committee recommendations on administrative reforms in toto.
The court ruled that, for the time being, the senior-most vice President of the BCCI will act as the stand-in President and the joint Secretary would carry out the Secretary's functions. DDCA Vice President CK Khanna, 64, is among the seniormost VPs in the Board right now.
The apex court also issued a contempt notice to Thakur seeking his response as to why he should not be held liable for obstructing the implementation of the Lodha reforms, which were first made mandatory on July 18 last year.


I am fine with it, says Ajay Shirke on sacking after SC order

Sacked BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke today said he is "absolutely fine" with the Supreme Court order asking him to leave office but hoped that the Board does not lose its international standing owing to the administrative upheaval here.

"I have no reaction to that (to his sacking). If that is the Supreme Court order, I cease to be secretary. It cannot get any simpler than that. My role in BCCI is over," said Shirke shortly after Supreme Court removed him and president Anurag Thakur as the office-bearers of the BCCI.

The two faced the wrath of the Supreme Court after BCCI failed to implement the Lodha panel reforms under their leadership.

When asked whether the situation could have been avoided had the Board implemented the sweeping reforms earlier, Shirke said there was no question of handling the issue differently.

"At the end of the day, the BCCI comprises of members. It is not about me or the president. It is about the members.


Supreme Court Sacks Anurag Thakur as BCCI President

Cracking the whip on a defiant BCCI, the Supreme Court today removed its president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke, saying they should "forthwith cease and desist from" the board's work.

The apex court also decided to initiate contempt proceedongs against Thakur by seeking his response as to why he should not be held liable for obstructing the implementation of the court's directions aimed at reforming BCCI.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said that working of BCCI will be looked after by a committee of administrators and requested senior advocate Fali S Nariman and senior advocate Gopal Subramanian, who was assisting in the matter as amicus curaie, to assist the court in nominating persons of impeccable integrity as the members in the committee of administrators.


Mohammed Shami faces fire over wife’s dress in couple’s photo

Mohammed Shami may have foxed batsmen with control and mastery of swing but was left to fend off shocking criticism for posting a picture of his wife in a sleeveless dress. Most of them demanded Shami ensure that his wife, Hasin Jahan, was not seen without wearing a hijab.
Mohammed Shami, currently undergoing rehabilitation for right knee soreness after missing the last two Tests against England, had posted the photograph on December 23.
Former India batsman, Mohammad Kaif, was among those who sprang to Shami’s defence, slamming those posting offensive comments.



Cricketer Irfan Pathan, wife Safa blessed with a baby boy

Baroda’s Irfan Pathan announced that he had become a father on Tuesday. Pathan put out a tweet saying that he and wife Safa Baig had a baby boy. Irfan and Safa had tied the knot in February 2016.
“Is ehsas ko Bayaan karna Mushkil hai…is me Ek behtareen si Kashish hay (sic.), blessed with a baby boy,” said Irfan’s post.
At his peak, Irfan Pathan was regarded as one of the most promising talents in India’s pace department. He was part of the team that won the inaugural T20 World World Cup in 2007 and man of the match in the finals against Pakistan. Irfan also has over 100 wickets in Test matches.


Karun Nair becomes second Indian to score triple ton, India score highest team total in Tests

Eight years back, Virender Sehwag demoralised a star-studded South Africa unit as he made his way to second triple century in Test cricket. That was in Chennai where the opener smashed 319 runs for India, still the highest individual score for India. It took right more for an Indian cricketer to repeat the feat and where better than Chennai to do it.
Karun Nair became the second Indian to score a triple ton in Test cricket as the smashed unbeaten 303 runs off just 381 balls and powered India to their highest ever team total in Tests.
India declared their first innings at 759 for the loss of seven wickets in the fifth Test against England. The total gave India a lead of 282 runs as England had bundled out for 477 in their first innings on day two.
The visitors were 12 for no loss, still behind India by 270 runs, from the five bowlers they faced on day four in their second innings.


India beat Belgium 2-1 to win hockey junior World Cup crown after 15 years

NEW DELHI: For the second time this year, Harjeet Singh's junior Indian men's hockey team beat Belgium on the way to lifting a trophy; this one, however, was the biggest prize of all.
In its first such final in 15 years, India overwhelmed Belgium 2-1 to lift the 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup at Lucknow's Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium on Sunday and become the second team, after Gagan Ajit Singh's colts in 2001, to get their hands on the most coveted title.
On the biggest day for Indian junior men's hockey since the class of 2001 claimed the Junior World Cup, Harjeet's dominating Indian team was put ahead within minutes when Gurjant Singh stunningly knocked one past Belgium goalkeeper Loic van Doren to give the colts a much-needed boost and an early lead. Up 2-0 by half-time following a Simranjeet Singh field goal, India never let off the pressure.
This win maintained India's 100% record in the tournament and underlined their status as rightful winners.


Messi meets Afghan boy famed for plastic bag shirt

An Afghan boy who became an online hit after wearing a homemade shirt bearing Lionel Messi's famous number 10 has met his hero.

A photograph of six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi wearing the shirt made from a striped blue plastic bag went viral in January and led to the boy receiving a signed shirt from the Barcelona striker.

The two -- the hero and his fan -- came face-to-face in Doha on Tuesday, according to Qatar's 2022 World Cup organising committee, reports BBC.

Barcelona were in Qatar to play a friendly match against Al Ahli club of the UAE and Ahmadi walked out on to the pitch with Messi.

"The image the world wanted to see," tweeted the Supreme Committee on Tuesday. "The six-year-old boy who dreamed of meeting his hero, #Messi, finally comes true."

Ahmadi, who comes from the Jaghori District, in the eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, was forced to flee the country to Pakistan in May.


India thrash England by 8 wickets to take 2-0 lead

India spinners once again held centrestage as the hosts produced a clinical performance to cruise to a comfortable eight-wicket victory on the fourth day of the third cricket Test and thereby take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

The trio of Ravichandran Ashwin (3/81), Ravindra Jadeja (2/62) and Jayant Yadav (2/21) shared bulk of the spoils to dismiss the visitors for 236 in their second innings.

Comeback man Parthiv Patel then made a mockery of the target of 103 runs, smashing his way to an unbeaten 67 off 53 balls studded with 11 fours and a six.

Fittingly he finished the match with a boundary over extra cover in company of Virat Kohli.

Parthiv and Cheteshwar Pujara (25) added 81 runs in only 15.2 overs in what turned out to be an easy chase completed in 20.2 overs.


Sindhu wins maiden Super Series Premier title

Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu clinched her maiden Super Series Premier title after edging out Sun Yu of China in the finals of the USD 700,000 China Open badminton tournament here today.

Sindhu, who became the toast of the country after becoming the first Indian women to win a silver at Rio Games, continued her rampaging run as she lifted the prestigious title after beating Sun 21-11 17-21 21-11 in the summit clash that lasted an hour and nine minutes.

World No. 11 Sindhu had come into the match with a 2-3 head-to-head record but then statistics counted little when she took the court at the Haixia Olympic Sports Center.

Sindhu dished out a dominating game as she zoomed to a healthy 11-5 lead early on. The Indian looked sharp and athletic as she engaged in a fast-paced game to bamboozle her opponent.


Virat Kohli celebrates his 28th birthday with Anushka Sharma

Virat Kohli celebrated his 28th birthday in style. The Indian Test captain was joined by bollywood actress Anushka Sharma in Rajkot where the team is gearing up to play the first Test against England from November 9.
Kohli and Anushka are the most talked-about couple in India. While Kohli has had a sensational year, scoring runs across all formats and shattering several records, Anushka was part of Bollywood blockbuster 'Sultan', alongside Salman Khan which released earlier this year.



India vs New Zealand: Amit Mishra five-for helps India beat New Zealand by 190 runs, win series

New Zealand had lost their openers at the end of the sixth over when Jasprit Bumrah had Tom Latham caught at mid-on after a leading edge. The score at the moment was 28 and it was New Zealand’s second wicket. From there, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor added 35 runs for the third wicket. Once Williamson fell in the 15th over at the team score of 63, the remaining seven wickets could only add sixteen runs as the Black Caps surrendered the match to India.
In the end, India won the match by a massive margin of 190 runs and with that sealed the five-match one-day international series 3-2.
Amit Mishra led the bowling attack with his five-wicket haul to run through the New Zealand batting and bowl them out for just 79 runs in the 24th over, the lowest played by the visitors in a completed innings. Axar Patel picked up two wickets while debutant off-spinner Jayant Yadav picked a wicket as well.


Lodha v BCCI: SC bars BCCI from releasing funds, asks for independent auditor

NEW DELHI: Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex cricket body not to disburse any funds, even for the match purposes, to them till they resolved to abide by the Justice R M Lodha panel recommendations on reforms.
The apex court also directed BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke to give undertaking on affidavit, before the Lodha panel and in apex court by December 3, stating how much time they would need to implement reforms.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur and comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao asked Lodha panel to appoint independent auditors to scrutinise all BCCI accounts.
The judgment, which was pronounced by Justice D Y Chandrachud, also directed the Lodha panel to ask the auditors to scrutinise the high-value contracts given by BCCI.


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