Category Archives: Sports

all about world sports

Gautam Gambhir calls for India-Pakistan ties to be frozen till terrorism ends

New Delhi: Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday called for a complete freeze on ties with Pakistan till the time cross-border terrorism does not end, saying that “Indian lives are more important than sports”.

“I would not even think of playing cricket with Pakistan. Indian lives are more important than sports,” Gambhir told mediapersons at New Delhi.

File photo of Gautam Gambhir. AFP

Gambhir insisted that every Indian must put himself into the shoes of an army personnel before talking about keeping politics and sports separate.

“I absolutely endorse that we should not have any relation or ties with Pakistan until the time this cross border terrorism finishes. People need to put themselves in army’s shoes who have lost their kids, someone have lost their father, son.

“We can say this sitting in an AC room that cricket or bollywood should not be compared to politics as long as we don’t think ourselves as Indians, or think for our own countrymen. So I totally endorse that until the time we don’t secure our own Indians, our own countrymen, all other things can be kept aside,” the 35-year-old added.

Gambhir, who had recently made a comeback to the India Test team against New Zealand, is not the first Indian sportsperson to express his views on the issue of Pakistan.

India Test skipper Virat Kohli had condemned the Uri attack of September 18 on an army camp that claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers and former opener Virender Sehwag has also spoken out this on the social media.

Watch: Deepika Padukone, Indian sportswomen feature in inspiring #JustDoIt campaign

Deepika Padukone stars in an inspiring new video with Indian female athletes for a Nike campaign. Taking off from the brand’s tag line: “Just Do It”, the video sees Deepika training hard in the gym and on the badminton court as other athletes  like hockey player Rani Rampal, footballer Jyoti Ann Burrett and cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandana and Shubhlakshmi Sharma are also visualised pulling off their jaw-dropping feats.

Deepika in a still from the Nike #JustDoIt campaign video. Screengrab from Facebook

Sharing the video on her Facebook page, Deepika accompanied it with a post on how sports has helped her through difficult phases in her life:

“When I was growing up my father said to me, ‘To be the best, always remember the three D’s — Discipline, Dedication and Determination. Follow your heart. Do what you are passionate about.’ Sport has taught me how to handle failure. It has also taught me how to handle success. It has kept me grounded. It has taught me humility,” Deepika wrote on Facebook.

She also referred to her (now commonly known) battle with depression, and her efforts to overcome it.

“Two years ago I struggled with depression,” wrote Deepika. “I was sinking. I almost gave up. But it was the athlete in me that gave me the strength to fight and never ever give up!”

She goes on to exhort everyone to open their eyes to the power of sport, and its ability to make a positive impact on individual lives, and society.

“I want to say to every girl and every boy and every woman and every man…play a sport…because it changed my life…and it will change yours too! Sport has taught me how to survive! It has taught me how to fight! It has made me unstoppable!” Deepika added, before signing off with “‪#‎JustDoIt”.

The video by Deepika for Nike comes in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics at Rio, and is sure to generate even greater support for the Indian contingent as they head for the Games. It had 895,286 views within just seven hours of being uploaded by Deepika.

Not Virat Kohli: Saqib Saleem clarifies he isn’t playing the cricket star in ‘Dishoom’

Mumbai: Actor Saqib Saleem, who plays a cricketer in the film Dishoom, says that he is not playing star cricketer Virat Kohli and was not offered that role but it was his own decision to model his character on him.

About reports that he is playing Virat in the film, Saqib said in an interview, “Of course he (the character) is a cricketer but not Virat Kohli. I’m a Virat Kohli fan and I really love how he plays his game, how passionate he is. And when I got this role, I thought because of the fact that he is my favourite cricketer, why don’t I make it around him. It has been a fun journey.”

Saqib Saleem isn't playing Virat Kohli on screen, although his character in 'Dishoom' has been modelled on the cricket icon. Images from News 18. Getty

“Cricket is my first love and I got the opportunity to become a cricketer; there are two passions of mine — acting and cricket — and I got to combine these two, so that was a good feeling,” Saqib added.

Saqib was a part of the Mumbai Heroes team in the Celebrity Cricket League. He was also a part of the under-19 team in Delhi, where he was brought up.

“I played a lot of cricket, watched a lot of videos of Virat and other cricketers, just tried to make him a soldier on a mission, like how Virat plays his game. When he is batting, it doesn’t seem that he will get out. We feel that even if we have to make 400 runs, Virat alone would make it. He has given us that confidence and I wanted to get that confidence into this character. I even had interactions with the director,” he said about his preparations for the role.

Dishoom also stars Varun Dhawan, John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez and has been tagged as a “masala action comedy”, directed by Rohit Dhawan.

“It is a very intelligent commercial film; it has all the elements of a commercial film but there is an intelligence as well in it. I feel it is the best commercial film you will see in a long time because it is very well crafted, there is a good graph in the film,” he added.

Saqib added that though the hot weather during the shoot in Abu Dhabi was challenging, he actually enjoyed it as he likes shooting outdoors and in the sun.

Pacers Clinch Playoff Berth, Begin to Look Ahead

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers secured their spot in the 2016 NBA Playoffs tonight with a 129-105 thrashing of the Brooklyn Nets. Indiana’s seed is still yet to be determined, but as we’ve known for a while, they will either enter the postseason as the 7th or 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.

It’s always good to pick up a win, particularly one that clinches a playoff spot. Beyond that, however, is something gained from this that the team really needed.

The Pacers have had a number of poor performances in the latter part of the season, and part of the reason for their inconsistency has been lack of chemistry/lack of leadership. Indiana doesn’t have serious locker room issues, but they do have some that get in the way of team performance at times.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Frank Vogel recently talked about the team having “decent chemistry,” which is basically an admission that it is less than optimal – or worse. After a recent blowout loss to Atlanta (pictured above), guard George Hill was quoted as saying “it’s not about keeping people happy” when asked about fixing the Pacers’ problems. His comment was an allusion to some of his teammates being a bit more concerned about themselves than the team.

The game against Brooklyn, a blowout win in which everyone got to play and contribute, helps team chemistry, at least in the short-term. These guys all feel good about things after that type of victory, coupled with the accomplishment of making the playoffs.

I don’t think it matters who they play in the first round, but what does matter is how the team learns and grows from their playoff experience. Playing either the Cavaliers or Raptors is going to be a struggle, and it will be important to see how the players react when things aren’t going well. In the NBA, that’s usually when teams pull apart, rather than band together.

The Pacers aren’t going to advance past the opening round, but if they gain some valuable playoff experience during this process, and learn to stay together and play for each other when times are tough, then they will have accomplished quite a bit during their brief playoff run.

 

The Three Crucial Questions That Will Be Answered This Week

We are down to our last four games and all of it will have a vital effect into the standings!

Mahindra and Purefoods will be battling for the #8 spot, Meralco will try to put an exclamation point to their impressive elimination round, NLEX wants to have an outside for a top 6 finish in their game against Alaska and San Miguel will try to solidify their #2 spot.

Those games will not only settle the seeding for the playoffs but it will also answer three important questions, entering the Playoffs!

#3 Do the Star Hotshots still have the heart of a champion?
The most recent franchise to accomplish a grandslam has been a very shaky team when their former grandslam mentor, Coach Tim Cone, was shipped to their archrival, Ginebra San Miguel. Nobody expected that to happen because the management maintained the core of that Grandslam squad this year.

Marc Pingris, Mark Barroca, James Yap, PJ Simon, Ian Sangalang, Justin Melton, Allein Maliksi, Rafi Reavis, Alex Mallari and Jerwin Gaco were all part of that grandslam team and nobody expected that a championship core like this will not be able to handle the replacement of their mentor. Maybe, it was all about Coach in 2014. Maybe, they never develop a heart of a champion. We could find that out on Wednesday,

#2 Shane Edwards or Rob Dozier?
The judgement day is coming for the two resident imports of the Alaska Aces! There is a chance that it could happen earlier this week but if Coach Alex still go with Shane Edwards, I expect their game against NLEX to be the last deciding factor.

Rob Dozier is already 100% but the risk of him re-injuring his feet and not having the choice of putting Edwards back has forced the Aces to keep Edwards. The Aces have a hard time playing teams with legit bigmen and they will face another one on Friday, Asi Taulava.

I believe, size is the biggest difference between the two and that makes Rob more valuable against team with legit bigs. But, a good showing against NLEX, specially in defending Taulava, could satisfy coach Alex and make him remains.

#1 Who is the best Defensive Team in the Conference?
The game that I am most excited about is no other than the Brgy, Ginebra San Miguel versus Meralco Bolts. This is the battle of the best defensive squads this conference.

Meralco Bolts is putting up the #1 Points Allowed (91.0), #1 in FG% Allowed (40.9%) and #1 in 3FG% Allowed (31.0%). On the other hand, Ginebra is putting up the #2 Points Allowed (92.5), #2 FG% Allowed (41.4%) and #4 in Forced Turnovers (16.6).

The match-up is a great test for the two in the defensive end. Meralco will need to find a way to limit the very tall frontline of Ginebra while Ginebra will need to try and limit the inside-outside attack of Meralco. Defense is the #1 weapon of both teams but testing their offense against their top defense counterpart could be a good gauge entering the playoffs.