Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Atalanta must beat Dinamo Zagreb or say goodbye to any lingering Champions League ambitions, so Luis Muriel and Papu Gomez lead the attack. It kicks off at San Siro at 20.00 GMT. You can follow all the build-up and action as it happens from this game and Juventus-Atletico Madrid on the LIVEBLOG. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men have struggled to sustain two major tournaments, especially as Duvan Zapata is still out of action, seven weeks since suffering a thigh injury while on international duty with Colombia. They lost their historic first ever Champions League match 4-0 in Zagreb and have since managed just one point, holding 10-man Manchester City to a 1-1 draw. Gasp changes his usual routine and starts Luis Muriel with Papu Gomez and Mario Pasalic, leaving Josip Ilicic on the bench. Simon Kjaer takes over in defence from Berat Djimsiti, in part because the Albania international is shaken by the earthquake in his homeland. Dinamo Zagreb are without suspended midfielder Nikola Moro, while Marko Leskovic, Komnen Andric and Sandro Kulenovic are injured. Midfielders Arijan Ademi needed a fitness test to start with Dani Olmo, who is reportedly being watched by Milan talent scouts this evening, but Amer Gojak isn’t ready. Bruno Petkovic was dismal during his time in Serie A and B, but has really found his scoring boots in Zagreb. Mislav Orsic is the man to watch, though, as he scored a hat-trick against Atalanta last time out. In order to take on this crucial match, Dinamo Zagreb move to a three-man defence to mirror Atalanta. Atalanta: Gollini; Toloi, Palomino, Kjaer; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Pasalic; Gomez, Muriel Atalanta bench: Sportiello, Masiello, Malinovskyi, Djimsiti, Castagne, Ilicic, Barrow Dinamo Zagreb: Livakovic; Theophile-Catherine, Dilaver, Peric; Stojanovic, Olmo, Ivanusec, Ademi, Leovac; Orsic, Petkovic Dinamo bench: Zagorac, Gavranovic, Gojak, Situm, Moubandje, Dira, Kadzior Ref: Karasev (RUS)
Antonio Conte has issued a rallying cry ahead of Inter’s Champions League clash with Slavia Prague. “We need this type of match to grow.” Inter must make up a three-point deficit on Borussia Dortmund going into their match against Slavia, whom held Conte’s side to a surprise 1-1 draw in September. “We very much know the importance of tomorrow’s game,” the former Juventus boss said at a press conference. “We’ll have to suffer like Barca and Dortmund did and we did in the first game, but today we’re much more of team than the one who played at San Siro. “We’ve had time to work and understand which kind of football we want to play. We need this type of match to grow. “The result is crucial, but 95 percent of the time it depends on the performance you put in. “I expect an open match. We don’t have too many chances to go through, but we have to take them. “In the Champions League you always play against top teams, often with a winning mentality, which is acquired over time, so it’s inevitable to come across a few more difficulties. “However, we’ll also grow in Europe. We’re still a ‘newborn’ team here.” The Nerazzurri’s task has been made more difficult by Nicolo Barella joining Stefano Sensi, Kwadwo Asamoah and Alexis Sanchez on the sidelines… “We have desire to do well and it makes no sense before a match to cry about the players we have out. “We’ve been working since day one on an idea, which all the players have married into. “There’s no reason to change the programme or fold if someone is missing. I’m calm because I believe in all my players. “Borja Valero’s introduction against Torino is the most striking example. It would be wrong to change. “Talking about the market today doesn’t seem right, plus it’s for the club to sort out. Today we must talk about those currently here and I thank them for getting us here.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) has sought Rs 10 crore from the Indian cricket board to build at least five stadiums, primarily to host cricket tournaments, across the country.The board has agreed to release the amount, provided the facilities are developed and used only for cricket.MP Pandove, treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said that the board has cleared the amount, though conditionally. He also dismissed the speculation that the all India Vizzy Trophy was being discontinued from the 2010-11 season.Former India and Mumbai batsman Sanjay Manjrekar was the last prominent product of university cricket.”The BCCI working committee has passed the Rs 10 crore for the development of cricket in universities with certain stipulations. We have told them that the infrastructure should be exclusively for cricket and the stadiums should not be used for any other sports,” Pandove told MAIL TODAY. “If they try to play other games at the same venues, we will not agree to it. Their proposal has to be cricket- centric because the fund is specifically for the development of cricket,” he stressed.”They can come up with a proper scheme and we will release the amount to them.” Sources in the AIU said that it was almost impossible to make a cricket- specific stadium in universities, though the association is keen to get the BCCI grant in the name of the sport.”We cannot have different stadiums for different sports in universities. It’s not possible to have cricket- only venues because, if we do that, other sports will suffer. We propose to build an athletics track around the cricket field and also have a football field, though the BCCI is not agreeable,” the source said. AIU still hopes that the BCCI would listen to it and allow other sports to be played alongside cricket.advertisementAs per the AIU proposal, it will be a one-time BCCI investment while the maintenance cost will be borne by the university concerned.”We have proposed it to be a basically a tri-partite arrangement between the BCCI, AIU and the university where the stadium would be built. Our aim is to build a minimum of five stadiums across the country,” said an AIU official. The AIU has, however, earmarked as many as eight universities, two each in each of its four zones, so that if a couple of universities back out, we can still have five for the proposed stadiums.”In north zone, we have chosen Kurukshetra University and Aligarh Muslim University and in south, the chosen ones are Gulbarga University in Karnataka and Manipal University,” he disclosed.”In east zone, they are University of Burdwan in Bengal and Ranchi University while in the west, Jiwaji University in Gwalior and Bhavnagar University have been picked.”VIZZY TROPHY IS ONThere have been some doubts about the Vizzy Trophy’s future vis-a-vis BCCI. But Pandove confirmed that the board will continue to fund and stage the tournament.”There is no doubt about Vizzy Trophy. It will be held from February 2-11 as has been earmarked in the BCCI tournaments calendar,” he said. “We have, actually, written to the AIU to raise the standard of the tournament by staging them at proper venues. Their selection of teams has been unrealistic.”According to the 2010-11 sports calendar of the Inter University Sports Board of India, the men’s zonal tournament will be played between November 25 and December 25. Two teams each from the four zones will progress to the all-India semifinals and the final. “The semifinals and the final will be of three- day and four- day durations, respectively,” said Pandove.He also pointed that there have been some issues pertaining to the grant that the BCCI gives to AIU every year for conducting the all India Vizzy Trophy.”They have not submitted accounts of last season and we are in the process of getting that from AIU. The BCCI gives Rs 8- 10 lakh every year to AIU conduct the tournament,” he said.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni termed the new rules for ODIs set by the ICC as “tricky” and said that getting reverse swing could be a problem as two new balls will be in use from both ends.According to the new ICC rules, there would be two new balls used from the two ends while batting and bowling powerplays needs to be taken within the 16th and the 40th over.”It’s a bit tricky as we have not yet played any match under this new powerplay. It would certainly need a different approach as the second and third powerplay will now be taken within the 16th and the 40th over.”Earlier while chasing, teams would be happy to keep the batting powerplay for the last five overs. But now we have to make few changes in tactics. It will be giving different results till we get used to it,” the Indian captain said on the eve of their opening encounter of the five-match ODI series against England.The skipper also seemed worried about the fact that there may not be a lot of reverse swing as both the balls will be only 25 overs old at the most.”A bit of swing will definitely be there but there may not be much reverse swing as we expect in the sub-continent.Now the reverse swing also depends a lot on the nature of outfield and how you make the ball but of course legally,” the skipper said.On the start of a new series after their abject surrender in England, Dhoni stressed on the fact that his team should keep it simple.advertisement”We should keep things simple. During the tour of England, performance of the batsmen was impressive. Here we have a different bowling department and it’s an opportunity for them to do well in home conditions. They have played a lot of IPL but this will be a different ball game.”Asked about the pressure on Ravichandran Ashwin to wear the mantle of senior spinner after Harbhajan Singh’s exclusion, Dhoni explained, “It’s not at all pressure but an opportunity for him. He has been my colleague in CSK for four years. He is an exciting character to have and is not afraid to take on challenges. He is not afraid to bowl in 1st or 2nd powerplays.”The Captain Cool didn’t seem unduly worried about the fact that the team consists of a lot of junior players though he did admit that missing seniors is a difficult thing.”Obviously, it’s difficult when you miss seniors but it is not at all difficult to manage junior players. Obviously, it’s a big opportunity for them and it is important for us to make a winning start,” said Dhoni.When a scribe reminded about India’s horrible run at the Uppal stadium having lost all the three ODIs here, Dhoni said with a chuckle, “I didn’t remember it until you told me.”About the track at the Hyderabad stadium, his observation was that it wasn’t a typical Uppal strip.”It’s a relaid track. Doesn’t seem like it is as flat as you get the wickets here. That’s why we have decided to have a look at the wicket tomorrow and decide on the XI.”Asked if the wicket remains a bit damp, he said, “Then it will be a problem.”The captain was also non-committal on the opening combination with senior opener Gautam Gambhir back in the team.”We have to analyse the situation as Parthiv (Patel) and Ajinkya (Rahane) have done well in England. Gautam has batted at No 3 at times but only when both Sachin (Tendulkar) and Viru (Virender Sehwag) have been available. But again he has also performed well as opener. So we will have to take a call on that also,” he opined.On a different note it was asked whether someone like Sreenath Aravind who has entered the Indian dressing room for the first time after a disastrous Champions League T20 would be low on confidence, the skipper answered, “That’s where the team management needs to sit down with him and guide him. He needs to be told about his strengths and weaknesses.”It is a process. Also one or two series is not good enough to judge a player. One needs to check the overall improvement he makes in the two series. Our support staff is good and he will definitely get better.”Dhoni doesn’t believe that they are “underdogs” and also ruled out the possibility that those who played in the series against England will have psychological scars.advertisement”We have had a few youngsters who did well in England.Also the wickets were very different out there. For us what matters most is good performance in all three departments,” he concluded.
India are touring Australia after four years and, for a change, it is clear the hosts appear to be under greater pressure.Sports View by S. Kannan.The way the Aussies have struggled this year is no joke. From the Ashes loss to the most recent defeat at the hands of New Zealand, it is Australia who have been struggling to get their act together.With India’s first tour match having been completed and the second one starting on Monday, there is just over a week before the first Test begins.The last time India went Down Under, there was a lot of acrimony and exchange of harsh words.The infamous Monkeygate incident notwithstanding, when skipper Anil Kumble said that only one team played in the spirit of the game, it made us all think if this is really a gentleman’s game, as cricket is often referred to.A lot has changed in the last four years because of interactions between the Indian and Aussie cricketers thanks to the Indian Premier League. Last week, David Warner, who plays for the Delhi Daredevils, admitted he has learnt a lot from Virender Sehwag.However, the dashing Aussie batsman was quick to add this will be a competitive series as always when the two teams clash for the Border-Gavaskar trophy. A few days later, Rahul Dravid delivered the Don Bradman Oration and spoke at length on Test cricket and how it needs to be preserved.Questions have been asked whether this Indian team has the ability to beat the Aussies in an away series. Keeping in perspective the fitness woes of the Aussies and how our own Ishant Sharma is struggling with his ankle, things are still hard to predict.advertisementThe Aussies are well-known for sledging and needling the opposition. But if at all any lessons have been learnt from the last series in Australia and how their players have come and bonded well with the Indians in the IPL, one should expect good behaviour from the players on the field.Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds are both not there. But the way the Indians have grown in stature, nobody can say they are a meek lot today. Maybe, in the good old days, the Aussies would have held the upper hand when it came to playing mind games.If you look at the Indian team today, you have perfect gentlemen in Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman who have seen it all over the years in series involving India and Australia.But if one looks at the younger lot, I don’t expect a Virat Kohli or Gautam Gambhir – both close- in fielders – to keep quiet. From the time Sourav Ganguly was the captain, the Indian team has learnt not to take things lying down.Down Under, Greg Chappell has promised to talk to the Australian players and tell them all he knows about the batting phenomenon that is Sachin Tendulkar. In the current state, the Aussies could do with all kinds of advice as they are besieged with problems relating to form and fitness.So after four editions of the IPL, with the Indians and Australians having been on the same side, it will be different when the Test series begins. Knowing the bruised and battered Aussies, they will do whatever it takes to get on top and win matches.Yet, if one doesn’t want to be reminded of the Monkeygate incident and how fielders appealed for catches which were taken on the first bounce, this is a good chance for the Aussies to present themselves differently. Whether they do it or not, time will tell.
India on Friday increased pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organisers of the London Games, seeking cancellation of the sponsorship deal with Dow Chemical.However, Games organisers have stuck to their guns and said there would be no rethink on the issue.The Indian efforts received a boost when Meredith Alexander, a commissioner on the Games Ethics Committee, quit on Thursday protesting the US multinational’s involvement with the quadrennial sports extravaganza.Both the government and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) renewed their demand that the sponsorship contract be cancelled as Union Carbide, the company which Dow has acquired, was responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.”We have written to the IOA that it lodges a protest with the IOC. Through our High Commission in London and through IOA, we have already lodged a protest,” sports minister Ajay Maken said. He said that the government would decide on its next move later. “The Games are in July so we have plenty of time to think what we have to do next.”IOA has written a second letter to the IOC Games organising committee asking them to remove Dow.”There is no need to carry this toxic legacy,” IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra wrote in his letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge, with a copy sent to the organising committee chief Sebastian Coe. He cited Meredith’s resignation as part of a worldwide outrage at the sponsorship deal.”Ms Meredith Alexander echoed, our position/ stand, when she said the organisers are falsely legitimising Dow’s assertion that they have no responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy.”advertisementLabour Member of Parliament Keith Vaz too joined the protesters. “I hope the organisers and the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 will now see that it’s untenable for Dow’s sponsorship to continue. The fact Ms Alexander felt it necessary to resign has brought the commission’s credibility into question. It’ll remain so as long as Dow remains a sponsor,” he said.The IOA acting president asked for quick resolution of the issue. “On behalf of the IOA, I again urge you to take steps to remove Dow as sponsor and settle the matter as early as possible. We are waiting for you response to our communications,” he said. He didn’t get a reply to his first letter. Malhotra said the British High Commissioner in India, James Bevan, had also been apprised of IOA’s stand and asked to convey the concerns to the organisers.Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan joined the protests and suggested that India should boycott the Games if Dow remained a sponsor. “It’s really a matter of great concern”, he said. “I will write to the Prime Minister urging the Centre to boycott the Olympics, if Dow’s sponsorship continues.”However, the organisers are refusing to blink. “I think that it’s great that we have got this independent function to oversee so all this is washed through transparently. I think that is fine but we are moving on.”
Former Indian Cricket Captain Kapil DevFormer India Cricket Captain Kapil Dev spoke to Editor Prabhu Chawla on the changing face of Indian cricket.Q. You won the World Cup for India. But you haven’t performed well as a coach.A. I was fortunate to be the captain of the team then. As,Former Indian Cricket Captain Kapil DevFormer India Cricket Captain Kapil Dev spoke to Editor Prabhu Chawla on the changing face of Indian cricket.Q. You won the World Cup for India. But you haven’t performed well as a coach.A. I was fortunate to be the captain of the team then. As for my coaching record, how can you expect results from an Indian coach when you don’t give him a free hand like a foreigner coach?Q. So coaches have more freedom now?A. I don’t think the Board will ever give them freedom. Without the inclusion of cricketers in the Board we cannot expect overnight changes.Q. The team is performing exceptionally well compared to your days.A. Today’s players are more professional, they play for at least nine months a year. Parents are encouraging their children to play cricket. This is the biggest change.Q. Is cricket no longer a sport for the rich?A. It was a game for the rich 40 years ago. People who live in AC rooms cannot play cricket for long.Q. Are youngsters being lured to cricket by money, publicity and security?A. Yes.Q. You said that people who have nothing to do with cricket are in control. What do you mean by that?A. What kind of policies can a bureaucrat make when he has never played the game? We have to change the constitution to include more former players to the policy-making committee. We should also utilise the money inflow constructively.advertisementQ. You said that a player should retire gracefully.A. Players must think of retiring before they are sacked. And the Board gives them that chance.Q. Should Sourav Ganguly retire or be sacked?A. Only he can take that decision. He has served the country well and that cannot be undermined.Q. But today he is being humiliated.A. Yes. It’s shameful.Q. If you were in Ganguly’s place, what would you do?A. Either quit or make a tremendous comeback.Q. What do you think of charges of match-fixing on you? Was that politically motivated?A. I was shattered by the charges after having played for my country for 20 years.
Through 2005, men went head to head in bitter conflict and an institution turned on itself.Sourav Ganguly vs Greg ChappellStand down all you, fake, feuding, Saas-Bahus. This is the real thing. Gloves off, mano a mano. In one corner, “Dada” Ganguly, former captain, struggling bat. In the other “Don” Chappell,,Through 2005, men went head to head in bitter conflict and an institution turned on itself. Sourav Ganguly vs Greg ChappellStand down all you, fake, feuding, Saas-Bahus. This is the real thing. Gloves off, mano a mano. In one corner, “Dada” Ganguly, former captain, struggling bat. In the other “Don” Chappell, the team’s tough-talking, finger-pointing, new coach.This heavyweight title fight has everything-trash talk, heavy punches, passionate, hollering lobbies. Everyone gets involved, takes sides-selectors, BCCI presidents past and present, media.The smell of acrimony lingers and then the selectors’ timing and finesse go badly off. Dada steps in, then crashes out. Don loses it, then wins it back. The bout goes on for four months.Turns out it is just a stupid soap, after all. The cricket is reduced to a sideshow between episodes. Now the season-ender can’t come quickly enough. Honestly, boys, take it outside.Jagmohan Dalmiya vs Raj SinghNever the twain shall meet. Except at the BCCI’s annual election where they courteously greet each other. Before an eventful BCCI election fought in court rooms and back rooms, Dungarpur robustly held Dalmiya responsible for the ills of Indian cricket, including protecting the under siege Ganguly.He played hit man for the Sharad Pawar camp during the elections and dealt Dalmiya a heavy defeat.Indian Hockey Versus ItselfLike some futile on-field formation, hockey first took an early step forward with the inaugural well-organised Premier Hockey League. Then came the obligatory steps in retreat: the national team got its 12th coach in 12 years with the outgoing German Gerhard Rach calling the IHF a “madhouse”.advertisementElection results were contested. The President and the prime minister were approached to intervene. The team bombed in the Champions Trophy. The lunatics kept running the asylum.
The brother of the injured fiance of Indian-American woman allegedly molested by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Luke Pomersbach on Friday said he would not let the accused go scot-free and get him punished under the law.Feroze Peerzada, whose brother Sahil Peerzada has been undergoing treatment in a city hospital since the incident, told Headlines Today: “We want to teach Luke a lesson from India… We will not tolerate that a foreigner comes and gets away with this.”An agitated Peerzada said had he have got the right under the law, he would have “tore him (accused) apart”.Upset over RCB co-owner Sidhartha Mallya’s derogatory remarks, Peerzada said, “Sidhartha Mallya can say whatever he wants… Anyone can ask for his BBM pin.”