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Manchester United extends manager Erik ten Hag's contract until 2026

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Manchester United extends manager Erik ten Hag's contract until 2026

Manchester, July 4 (IANS) Manchester United have extended manager Erik ten Hag’s contract until June 2026. The Dutchman was previously scheduled to stay with the club till the end of the 2024/25 season. Under his leadership, United won two trophies in two seasons but failed to lift the Premier League title. He had joined United from Ajax in 2022.

“I am very pleased to have reached an agreement with the club to continue working together. Looking back at the past two years, we can reflect with pride on two trophies and many examples of progression from where we were when I joined,” the 54-year-old said in a statement. “However, we must also be clear that there is still lots of hard work ahead to reach the levels expected of Manchester United, which means challenging for English and European titles. In my discussions with the club, we have found complete unity in our vision for reaching those goals, and we are all strongly committed to making that journey together,” he added.

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During his first season, United finished third in the Premier League season including the Carabao Cup title to end the club’s six-year wait for silverware.

However, the Dutchman’s second season was far more challenging as United advanced out of the Champions League group stages and ended eighth in the Premier League.

United’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup final in May paved the way for the extension of the Dutch manager’s tenure.

Dan Ashworth, Manchester United sporting director, said: “With two trophies in the past two seasons, Erik has reinforced his record as one of the most consistently successful coaches in European football.

“While the club’s review of last season highlighted areas for improvement, it also reached a clear conclusion that Erik was the best partner for us to work with in driving up standards and outcomes.

“This group of players and staff have already shown they are capable of competing and winning at the top level; now we need to do it more consistently. With our strengthened football leadership team now in place, we are looking forward to working hand-in-hand with Erik to achieve our shared ambitions for this football club,” he added.

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–IANS

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India advance in style in World Junior squash team event

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India advance in style in World Junior squash team event

India advance in style in World Junior squash team event

Houston, July 20 (IANS) India boys beat Brazil 3-0 to top three-team Group F with a clean slate on Friday in the team event of the World Junior Squash Championships in Houston and will meet Canada in the pre-quarterfinals.

India girls beat Brazil and Australia by an identical 3-0 margin to assure themselves of a quarterfinal berth and will play Hong Kong in their concluding Group D league match.

India results:

Boys (Group F):

India bt Brazil 3-0 (Yuvraj Wadhwani bt Caio Paiva 11-1,11-4,11-7; Shaurya Bawa bt Isaias Silva 12-10, 11-7, 6-11, 5-11,11-8; Ayaan Vaziralli bt Lucas Carlson 11-4, 11-7,11-6).

Girls (Group D):

India bt Brazil 3-0 (Nirupama Dubey bt Gabriella El-Masry 11-3, 11-2, 11-4; Anahat Singh bt Laura Da Silva 11-5, 11-2,11-3; Unnati Tripathi bt Alix Borges 11-4, 11-5, 11-3).

India bt Australia 3-0 (Shameena Riaz bt Emily Lamb 11-6,11-13,11-4,11-3; Anahat bt Hannah Slyth 11-4, 11-1, 11-3; Nirupama bt Joanne Joseph 11-5, 11-3,11-5).

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–IANS

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Geoffrey Boycott returns home after throat cancer surgery

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Geoffrey Boycott returns home after throat cancer surgery

Geoffrey Boycott returns home after throat cancer surgery

London, July 20 (IANS) Former England cricket captain Sir Geoffrey Boycott has been discharged from the hospital following an operation to remove a tumor from his throat.

The 83-year-old cricket legend, who was initially treated for throat cancer in 2002 with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, faced a recurrence of the disease last month.

A statement on his X account, issued by his family, shared that Boycott is now at home, continuing his recovery. “Lots of pain meds [medication] and a liquid-only diet for the foreseeable but he’s on the mend and looking forward to watching The Open and England cricket at home,” the post read.

Boycott’s illustrious cricket career spanned from 1964 to 1982, during which he played 108 Tests for England, amassing 8,114 runs, including 22 centuries. Known for his resilience and technical prowess as an opening batsman, Boycott averaged 56.83 and scored over 48,000 runs in first-class cricket, including 151 centuries. He also captained the England side on four occasions during the 1978 season in the absence of the injured Mike Brearley.

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After retiring from playing, Boycott joined the BBC’s commentary team, becoming a staple voice on Test Match Special until 2020. He stepped away from commentary following quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2018 and due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

–IANS

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'This type of cartoongiri is not good': Shami slams Inzamam-ul-Haq for ball tampering remarks

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Karan Tacker falls sick due to Mumbai monsoon

Karan Tacker falls sick due to Mumbai monsoon

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami has strongly defended his teammate Arshdeep Singh after former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq questioned the young pacer’s ability to generate reverse swing during the T20 World Cup 2024.

Inzamam’s comments came after India’s Super 8 match against Australia, where Arshdeep played a crucial role in India’s 24-run victory by taking three key wickets.

Despite Rohit Sharma being named Player of the Match for his explosive batting, Arshdeep earned praise for his spell, which included the dismissals of David Warner, Tim David, and Matthew Wade. Inzamam expressed skepticism over Arshdeep’s reverse swing, suggesting that it is unusual for a bowler to achieve such movement as early as the 14th or 15th over.

In response, Shami criticized Inzamam’s claims during an interview on Shubhankar Mishra’s YouTube channel. Shami, known for his expertise in reverse swing, dismissed the allegations and defended the integrity of his teammate and the sport.

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“I have said in an interview that I will cut the ball and show if there is a device or not. Abhi ek aur namuna khod ke dia hai inhone. They said, ‘How can Arshdeep Singh get reverse swing?’ I want to say only one thing to Inzamam bhai. I respect him a lot. If you do the same thing, isn’t it ball-tampering? Those who do well against them, will be their target. India and Pakistan are arch-rivals,” Shami said.

Shami further urged former cricketers to refrain from making baseless accusations and to avoid misleading the public with unfounded claims. He also backed legendary Pakistani bowler Wasim Akram, who had previously dismissed the idea of tampering with the ball to achieve reverse swing, asserting that umpires strictly regulate the condition of the ball.

“I don’t expect that despite being ex-players you can say such things. Even Wasim Akram said how umpires give you the ball and it is not possible to plant any device in it. This type of cartoongiri is not good. These statements are there to fool people,” Shami added.

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Arshdeep Singh was one of India’s standout performers in the T20 World Cup, finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets from eight matches at an economy rate of 7.61. His performances included a notable four-wicket haul against the United States.

–IANS

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PCB denies NOCs to Babar, Shaheen, Rizwan citing busy schedule

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PCB denies NOCs to Babar, Shaheen, Rizwan citing busy schedule

PCB denies NOCs to Babar, Shaheen, Rizwan citing busy schedule

Karachi, July 20 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has refused No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) to Shaheen Shah Afridi, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan for the Global T20 in Canada.

This decision follows shortly after a similar refusal for Naseem Shah’s participation in The Hundred, where he had a contract with Birmingham Phoenix. In a statement, the PCB clarified that the decision was made after consulting with the players and the selection committee, highlighting the demanding international schedule ahead.

“The PCB had received NOC requests from Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Afridi for the Global T20 event, amongst other players. After taking into consideration Pakistan’s busy and packed cricket calendar in the period from August 2024 to March 2025, which includes nine ICC World Test Championship matches and next year’s ICC Champions Trophy 2025, and following consultations with the three players as well as the national selection committee, it has been decided to decline their requests,” read a statement released by PCB on Friday night.

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“The three are all-format cricketers and their services are expected to be required in the upcoming eight months during which Pakistan will play nine Tests, 14 ODIs, and nine T20Is. As such, and in line with the PCB’s workload management policy, it is in the best interest of Pakistan cricket and the players that they skip the upcoming event in Canada so that they are in their best mental and physical shape for the season, which commences with the two-Test series against Bangladesh.”

While players like Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, and Asif Ali have been granted NOCs for various T20 tournaments, the PCB’s stance is stricter for those integral to the Test team, especially with a busy Test schedule approaching.

Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan are marquee players for Pakistan, and their absence from the Global T20 Canada is significant. Afridi had anticipated participating in the tournament, having already withdrawn from The Hundred. The decision may lead to discontent among players, as the central contracts signed last year allowed for participation in two overseas franchise competitions per year, provided they did not clash with international commitments. However, the PCB retains the right to refuse NOCs if it deems necessary for the national team’s best interests.

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The PCB’s decision to limit NOCs is not limited to the immediate future. With a packed international calendar from October 2024 to May 2025, the PCB has indicated that it will not entertain NOC requests for all-format players during this period.

Pakistan’s schedule includes home Tests against England, limited-overs series in Australia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, a Test series in South Africa, home Tests against the West Indies, a tri-series involving South Africa and New Zealand, the ICC Champions Trophy at home, eight white-ball games in New Zealand, and the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Bangladesh is scheduled to tour Pakistan in mid-August for two Tests, which will be held in Rawalpindi and Karachi, starting on August 21 and August 30 respectively. This tight schedule is a primary factor in the PCB’s decision to deny NOCs, ensuring that key players are available and fit for national duties.

–IANS

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Injury could be why selectors dropped Pandya as captain, says Pradeep Sangwan

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Injury could be why selectors dropped Pandya as captain, says Pradeep Sangwan

Injury could be why selectors dropped Pandya as captain, says Pradeep Sangwan

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Former Delhi pacer Pradeep Sangwan thinks the reason the selectors picked Suryakumar Yadav as captain of the Indian T20I team in Sri Lanka over Hardik Pandya because the all-rounder had suffered an injury.

Sangwan, who played under Pandya when he was captain of the Gujarat Titans in 2022 and 2023, said injury issues and fitness could be the reason why the selectors opted for Suryakumar over Pandya.

“But it happens, once a player suffers an injury then the selectors have to decide about his availability. They want a player who is fully fit and available throughout the season,” said Sangwan who has joined the Legends Intercontinental T20 and will represent Indo Kings in the upcoming season set to take place from August 16 to 28, 2024, at Moosa Stadium in Texas, USA.

“Hardik is a good captain. He has been troubled by a back injury for some time and that has been a hindrance for him. He did well for Gujarat Titans, helped them win the title once, and took them to the final another time, so he has led the team well,” said Sangwan.

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Asked about who could take the place of the retired Virat Kohli. Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja in the India T20I squad, Sangwan said there are several options.

“There are some very good young players. Virat and Rohit have a proven track record and recently they won a big title for India. There are some good options like Abhishek Sharma is doing well nowadays, and Shubman Gill has got some chances and has now been named vice-captain of the team for the Sri Lanka tour. So there are 3-4 good players that can come in as replacements,” he added.

Sangwan also believes that Legends League has a bright future and players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will become part of Legends League a few years from now.

“I have seen in other leagues and also heard from members of the committee that they are hopeful to have Virat Kohli, M.S Dhoni playing in the Legends League. I feel we will have such players in Legends league soon,” said the 33-year-old left-arm pacer who has played 58 first-class matches for Delhi at the domestic level,” he said.

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“I have joined this event as a player, have signed up for Indo Kings. I am also helping the franchise owners in selecting players for the team. The Legends League has a bright future, I feel it will go on to compete with major leagues in cricket as most of the players that have retired now or will do that in 2-3 years from now, have a fan following of their own. Like M.S. Dhoni has a fan-following.

“That’s why Legends League has a bright future. Retired players who are fit, like Ravindra Jadeja, have good fitness, they can participate in this league. Even after they retire, players maintain their fitness for 4-5 years. This is a short format, the event gets over in 2-3 weeks,” Sangwan added.

The inaugural edition of Legends Intercontinental T20, owned by US-based Brosid Sports LLC, is set to take place from August 16 to 28, at Moosa Stadium in Texas, USA, where legendary stars from various continents will showcase their skills and passion for the game.

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Seven teams—Indo Kings, Asian Avengers, Euro Rangers, American Mavericks, Trans-Tasman Titans, African Lions, and Caribbean Vikings—featuring icons from across the globe, will compete for the coveted trophy in the inaugural season.

–IANS

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