West Indies not taking Thailand lightly

first_imgPERTH, Australia, CMC – West Indies Women captain Stafanie Taylor has put ICC Women’s T20 World Cup debutants Thailand on notice that her side will not be showing any mercy in their first match today. The Caribbean women will be giving all they’ve got, Taylor said ahead of their opening Group B match at the WACA here.After securing their first T20 World Cup Title in 2016 with an upset win over Australia in the final in Kolkata, West Indies were knocked out of the 2018 semi-finals hosted in the Caribbean. The regional side has struggled recently, suffering embarrassing whitewashes in their last two series to Australia and India, and winning only five of their last 17 T20 Internationals.In their first match of the 2020 edition of the T20 World Cup, West Indies will come up against a team that, although new to the competition, has played more T20Is in the last two years than any other nation. And Taylor, who was at the helm when the West Indies took the 2016 title, said the established West Indies will treat Thailand the same as any other opponent.“We’ll be looking at it exactly like playing Australia or India. We’re taking it very seriously, for sure,” she said.“We can’t think in the back of our minds that they know nothing about cricket because we haven’t played or seen much of them. We can’t assume we’re just going to hit them all around the park. If we adopted that plan, it would definitely backfire.” West Indies will be depending on some senior team members in their encounter. The squad is boosted by the return of allrounder Deandra Dottin following a long injury battle with a shoulder issue that kept her off the field for a year.Pacer Shakera Selman, one of West Indies’ most experienced bowlers, having featured in 76 T20Is and taken 41 wickets at 26.53, has been cleared to play after an injury scare in an official warm-up match against India in Brisbane.The Thailand squad, led by Sornnarin Tippoch, is largely the same as the one that qualified for their maiden T20 World Cup and includes off-spinner Nattaya Boochatham, who took more wickets than any other bowler in the format in 2019. Taylor said West Indies won’t be taking anything for granted.“The ball is round and anything could happen. We just need to keep a positive mindset and make sure we do everything right,” the Jamaican said.The skipper summed up the mood heading into the global event: “The experience I had back home in the Caribbean in 2018 was like no other, but the hype around this tournament has been really great.” West Indies open their bid for a second global title at 3 p.m. local time (3 a.m. Eastern Caribbean Time/2 a.m. Jamaica Time).They will play Pakistan Women on February 26 at Manuka Oval, Canberra; and England Women on March 1 and South Africa Women on March 3 at Sydney Showground.The tournament will culminate on March 8 with the final in Melbourne.Australia Women opened the seventh season of T20 World Cup yesterday with a contest against India Women at Sydney Showground. More than 15,000 tickets were  sold for the opener.last_img read more

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NBA H-O-R-S-E set to begin Sunday

first_img(Field Level  Media) Trae Young is planning on living at half court. Chris Paul is recognized as one of the best trick-shot artists in the NBA. Zach LaVine isn’t afraid to put his 40-inch vertical on display. Some of the NBA and WNBA’s best shooters, plus the likes of Paul Pierce and other recently retired players, are signed on for a nationally televised single-elimination H-O-R-S-E tournament starting Sunday.ESPN will televise all first-round matchups Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. ET and the semifinals and championship April 16 from 9 to 11 p.m. ET as a way to fill the absence of live sports competitions during the coronavirus pandemic.Title sponsor State Farm pledged $200,000 in support of coronavirus relief efforts. PointsBet’s Patrick Eichner told Field Level Media on Wednesday that it is looking into regulatory requirements and potential limitations of a filmed competition — as opposed to live games — that would negatively impact betting markets.Players will compete in the shot-for-shot competition from their own homes or courts of choice, most of which will be indoors. Social distancing and travel restrictions prevent players from being in the same venue.Young has an outdoor court at his Atlanta-area home, which could make for an entertaining twist depending on the weather. He’s also noted more for his shooting and not the dunking skills that helped LaVine become a first-round pick out of UCLA. “ABSOLUTELY NO DUNKING,” Young posted via Twitter, calling out LaVine.Young is scheduled to open the H-O-R-S-E tournament against retired point guard Chauncey Billups. WNBA Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings will play Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley, while Pierce and LaVine play and Paul takes on Chicago Sky star Allie Quigley.last_img read more

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Premier League confident about June restart

first_img(Reuters) – The Premier League is “as confident as we can be” about England’s top-flight soccer league restarting in June, its chief executive Richard Masters was quoted as saying by the BBC yesterday. The Premier League has been suspended since March 13 amid the COVID-19 crisis and June 12 has been identified as a possible date to restart. Players returned to training in small groups this week.Among the top European leagues only the Bundesliga has resumed.“We’ve taken the first step,” Masters told BBC Sport. “It’s great for everybody, including the fans, to see our players back on the training ground.”Masters said that the Premier League remains flexible on the date of resumption, contingency plans were needed and “curtailment” was still an option.“We wouldn’t have taken the first step to get back to training if we weren’t convinced we had created a very safe environment for our players,” he said. “It is the first step and we have to be sure when we go to contact training we have completed those processes.“We have done everything we possibly can to make return to training as safe as possible,” he added.“We think it is safe to return. We have to respect players’ decisions not to return to training. I would be comfortable to return to training.” Liverpool are top of the table with a 25-point lead over Manchester City.Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said on Wednesday that the return of contact training in elite sports could get government approval “later this week”.last_img read more

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The Head Game

first_imgI have often wondered why some athletes with great potential often disappoint, and why others with less physical ability and potential often exceed expectations and play really well. In the Sixties, when I was a medical student playing county cricket for Warwickshire, I spent a lot of time listening to the wise words of a former England player Tiger Smith who represented his country from 1911 to 1914. He often told me that there are two games of cricket. One is played on a large outfield and is visible to everyone and a second that is more important but less visible is played on a small area inside the head. Harmony is important and both games must be played well in order to get success on the field. He also said that in the Sixties, most of the players focused exclusively on the outer game. Consequently, little or no attention was paid to the more important head game. Six decades later, that observation still stands.VVS Laxman In the late Seventies and early Eighties, I was asked to work with Australian Rules football players and I got an opportunity to examine Tiger’s hypothesis. Australian Rules football is a rough, tough and extremely physical game that encompasses certain aspects of rugby, basketball and boxing. I informed the coaches that I knew absolutely nothing about the physical aspects, technical skills or the tactical and strategic requirements of the game, and that I had no desire to learn about them. My main aim was to seehow improving the players’ mental game would impact their performance on the field.The request from the football clubs came soon after the West Indies team’s outstanding performance in World Series Cricket. Then, many of my friends referred to me as the “witch doctor” because they believed that I could get into people’s heads and influence their thinking and behaviour. I never attempted to correct that belief. Instead, I used it to my advantage in my dealings with the footballers. To make my case about the importance of the head games I quoted basketball player Bill Russell who said: “The main difference between great teams and good teams is not physical skill, but mental toughness. That is, how well a team can keep its collective wits under pressure. Teams that can do this under the maximum pressure will win most of the time. Heart in champions has to do with the depth of their motivation and persistence, how well their minds and bodies react to pressure. It is concentration – that is being able to do the best under maximum stress, pain and fatigue.”That is a general outline of what the inner game is about. It is a game that is constantly played in our heads but most of the time we are not aware of it. It is an interaction between our thoughts and feelings, our goals and fears. Without a good inner game it is very difficult to play a good outer game.Rahul DravidImproving the footballers’ head game by enhancing self-image and self-belief worked wonders on the football field. Getting rid of negative forces like self-doubts, mental and physical tension, lapses in concentration, anxiety, fear, indiscipline, low motivation, limiting beliefs and poor management of pressure also produced great results. Every aspect of the teams’ performance improved. In fact, during the last seven years that I spent in Australia the football teams with whom I worked won five of seven grand finals, the equivalent of the American Super Bowls. The footballers soon learnt that they played many different head games depending on the challenges they faced. They also found out that those games were controlled by diverse motives and stimuli. Peter Thompson, five-time winner of the British Open golf championship often referred to the different head games that golfers play and the diverse motives that initiate and control them. He once told me: “High achievers in sport are sometimes desperate people crying out for love, recognition and public acclamation and it is at times sad to see them doing anything and everything to succeed. However, there are other motives such as winning or trying to make a living. I suppose the purest motive is to win for yourself and experience that quiet inner feeling of satisfaction and sense of achievement. That is the noble end. This motive seems to be the most powerful and keeps yougoing longer but there comes a time when that too loses its power.”Good concentration is one of the most important components of the head game. Although coaches and players talk a lot about the importance of concentration they hardly ever teach or control it adequately. During the execution of a task, concentration is most productive when it is focused in the present on the right cues, for example the batsman watching the ball out of the bowler’s hand and judging its line and length. In competition, most mistakes in concentration are made when attention is focused in the past on previous mistakes and failures or in the future on the result or imaginary disappointments and failures. The present is the point of power. Most good players will tell you that they play best when they stay in the present and focus on the basics.In truth and in fact, we become what we concentrate on, and in a real sense we are where our concentration is.VVS Laxman the former Indian Test batsman summed up his understanding of concentration when he said: “In any sport you will at times lose concentration and be distracted by the opposition, the crowd, the way you are batting, the score, and negative thoughts in your mind. As soon as you recognize these distractions you should immediately bring your attention back to the present and focus on the process.”Laxman’s colleague, Rahul Dravid, reinforced his message: “Concentration in batting is the ability to play one ball at a time and not get too far ahead of yourself or get caught up in the past.”Attention control is best achieved when the mind and body are calm, relaxed and alert; it is most inadequate when the mind and body are tense and tight. This is why the practice of meditation is so important.Players and coaches must now rethink their methods and try to understand that they will inhibit potential and diminish performance if they continue to ignore the most important game in sport, the head game. That advice is equally important to sports administrators.last_img read more

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World 400m champion provisionally suspended for whereabouts violation

first_img(BBC) World 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser has been given a provisional suspension for failing to make herself available for anti-doping tests. The Bahraini, 22, ran 48.14 seconds – the third-fastest time in history – to claim the world title in Doha in 2019.She could face a ban of up to two years for the whereabouts violation.Naser said in an Instagram live video: “I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be. I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It happens.”Explaining that the missed tests occurred before last September’s World Championships, she added: “Hopefully, it’ll get resolved because I don’t really like the image. It’s going to be fine. It’s very hard to have this little stain on my name.”World Athletics anti-doping rules say a whereabouts violation consists of any combination of three missed tests or filing failures in a 12-month period. Naser, who was born in Nigeria but switched allegiance to Bahrain in 2014, is the first Asian woman to be world champion in the discipline.last_img read more

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Rank Group signs deal to take Microgaming content via Quickfire

first_img Share Rank Group extends support for Carers Trust July 28, 2020 John O’Reilly – Erratic orders have placed UK casinos on life support August 4, 2020 Share Quickfire, powered by Microgaming, has signed a major UK casino firm in Rank Group.Entertaining Britain since 1937, Rank Group is one of the largest gaming entertainment brands in the UK. Its gaming services include Grosvenor Casinos, the UK’s largest multi-channel casino operator, and Mecca, one of the most popular community gaming websites in Great Britain.Rank has joined forces with Quickfire to bring Microgaming’s high quality gaming titles to its online brands. Taking both desktop and mobile content, Rank will gain access to an impressive catalogue of over 500 games, as well as content from over 20 development partners.Cíara Nic Liam, Head of Casino and Games at Rank Group, commented: “Intent on upholding our position as leaders in the UK market, signing for Quickfire was a must. It’s important we have the most impressive and extensive game portfolio for our astute player base, and that means bringing Microgaming’s grand collection on board.”Tom Chamberlain, Head of Quickfire at Microgaming, added: “We’re excited to be adding renowned gaming brands, Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca, to the Quickfire platform. They are staple names in the UK market, and we believe our content will be the perfect match for their players.”Visit Microgaming and the Quickfire team today at ICE Totally Gaming, stand N5-220. Submit Related Articles Gamesys tops list for GambleAware Q1 donations July 10, 2020 StumbleUponlast_img read more

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Orioles buy time with roster decisions by placing Tillman on DL

first_imgStill weighing final decisions for their 25-man roster to begin the 2013 season on Tuesday, the Orioles placed starting pitcher Chris Tillman on the 15-day disabled list on the same day he was named the club’s fifth starter.The right-hander has dealt with abdominal soreness since being scratched from a Grapefruit League start on March 10 and has only pitched in unofficial spring games recently, making his DL stint retroactive to March 22 and allowing him to return to pitch in the fifth game of the season on April 6 against the Minnesota Twins in Baltimore. Manager Buck Showalter hasn’t named a fourth starter for his Opening Day rotation, but all signs continue to point to right-hander Jake Arrieta with southpaw Brian Matusz beginning the season in the bullpen.If Arrieta gets the ball on April 5, it would mark the third straight year that the 27-year-old will have started the home opener.The decision to place Tillman on the DL not only frees up a roster spot for the first four games of the season but more importantly buys time as the Orioles try to figure out what to do with Rule 5 selection T.J. McFarland, a talented 23-year-old left-handed pitcher the club desperately would like to keep. For now, Showalter will stash McFarland in the bullpen as the organization tries to either move another reliever such as Luis Ayala or Tommy Hunter in a trade or work out a deal with the Cleveland Indians, McFarland’s former club, that would allow the Orioles to keep McFarland without him taking a spot on the 25-man roster.The Orioles also announced Thursday that outfielder Trayvon Robinson has been reassigned to minor league camp, leaving the club with 35 active players in its major league camp, which includes five non-roster invitees.Right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens also appears to be OK after leaving Wednesday’s start after being struck in the ribs with a line drive. X-rays taken Thursday morning came back negative and manager Buck Showalter told reporters that Jurrjens could be ready to throw over the weekend.The former Atlanta starter is expected to begin the season at Triple-A Norfolk but rebounded well after a difficult start to the spring.last_img read more

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Here are #WNSTSweet16 people who had a dream in Baltimore

first_img16. John ZiemannThere’s no doubt that John Ziemann had a dream of seeing the NFL back in Baltimore from 1984 through 1995 but unlike many local football fans, he actually did something about it. Something profound and beautiful and well-told by local film rock star Barry Levinson in The Band That Wouldn’t Die, Ziemann’s ability to keep the marching band of the Baltimore Colts together and see it through to the Ravens and two more Super Bowl titles makes him a dreamer who saw his vision to its fruition.How many times did Ziemann think or hear that his band would die long before – and hell would freeze  before the NFL would return to Baltimore? The Marching Ravens tie the community and its roots back to Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts of 33rd Street more than any other local tradition.Just for the record, Carroll Rosenbloom and Bob Irsay didn’t make our #WNSTSweet16 cut. They were a part of taking the Baltimore Colts from our city. Ziemann was the loudest and most authentic part of bringing the NFL back.See next page for No. 15 #WNSTSweet16 Dreamers These are people who’ve inspired, led, built and left or are leaving a legacy that affects people in Baltimore or elsewhere in the world. Some of them dreamed their whole lives, some had one big dream or act that keeps giving, producing and growing. Most of these “dreamers” have an eternal gift to have given something that transcends their initial efforts, legacy or life. Dreamers see the end before many see the beginning. I always think of guys like Walt Disney and the founding fathers of the United States of America, who built things.Let’s start our list, page by page and go through our rationale and rankings. Feel free to share, feedback or comment with your own lists and ideas.last_img read more

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B&B Big Story Banter: NCAA Bracket

first_imgBD: First of all, their has been a mid-major that has won a title in our lifetime (well maybe just my lifetime since you are basically still a toddler right?): UNLV in 1990.  Many don’t lump them into the conversation because they had three NBA players in their starting lineup (Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon).  But that team came from a small school, in a small basketball conference, probably starting the whole mid-major craze.The problem I see coming ahead for mid-majors is the NBA age limit actually helping big time programs, weakening the chances of  VCUs and Butlers and George Masons of the NCAA tournament.  Especially if the rule is changed, forcing two years of post high school, before eligibility for the draft. It would take away the key advantage that those Cinderella teams have over the big conferences; experienced rosters.  If every team is now filled with upperclassmen, all the sudden the teams with the most talent and top recruits are more likely to succeed.So I think if any team were to do it, it would have to come within the next couple seasons.  A senior filled roster, with tons of NCAA Tournament experience (with at least one run past the Sweet 16) and a strong defensive-minded coach could topple the big schools on their way to a national title.  That formula sounds eerily like this year’s undefeated Wichita State team.I didn’t pick them in my bracket, but they are a No. 1 seed, while virtually their entire roster is intact from last season’s Final Four run. It should NOT be a surprise if they are the best team in country.  After watching the consensus favorites in their region in No. 4 Louisville struggle against Manhattan and No. 3 Duke lose to Mercer, it may be March Madness to pick against them at this point…right? By: Brett Dickinson and Barry KamenBD: Barry, it was an exciting start to the the NCAA Tournament, where we saw a lot of upsets and overtime games.  Several mid-major teams made big strides in beating big conference NCAA tournament stalwarts, including Ohio State downed by Dayton, North Dakota State ousting Oklahoma, Harvard knocking off Cincinnati and Mercer beating DUKE!. The question is do you have confidence in any of lower seeds making a serious run and who are you predicting to be the ‘Cinderella’ of this March Madness ball?BK: The first full day of March Madness was one for the ages. The first game (Dayton-Ohio State) provided a back-and-forth game that ended with Georgetown transfer Vee Sanford taking Aaron Craft to task to hit the game-winner with just under 4 seconds left. I watched just a fraction of the 12 hours of college basketball on Thursday, but with numerous nail-biters and 4 overtime games, my heart and wallet are the biggest winner of the tournament thus far.What makes the tournament so enjoyable is seeing the country rally around an underdog take down the big schools. We were all captivated by George Mason’s run to the Final Four; Butler, Virginia Commonwealth, and Florida Gulf Coast have all seen their bandwagon’s grow for a few weeks in March and April. No one will soon forget Shaka Smart taking the Rams from the First Four to the Final Four, or when Sherwood Brown and “Dunk City” became the first ever #15 seed to reach the Sweet 16.My choice for this year’s Cinderella is North Dakota State. The school boasts the best FCS football program in the country, but the Bison basketball team is proving that the school is more than just a one-sport power. After defeating #5 Oklahoma in overtime Thursday night, North Dakota State prepares for a weak #4 seed in San Diego State, who nearly blew a double digit against #13 New Mexico State. In their win versus Oklahoma, the Bison were boosted by 28 points from Lawrence Alexander, who averaged just over 10 PPG during the regular season. If North Dakota State’s stars Marshall Bjorklund (13.4 PPG) and Taylor Braun (18 PPG, 43% 3PT) play to the level which they are capable of, San Diego State and #1 Arizona should brace themselves for a difficult game and prepare an exit speech.I mentioned a number of different mid-majors who have stolen our hearts over the years, but none have been able to get over the hump and actually win the national title (the closest that I can remember was Gordon Hayward for Butler, narrowly missing a 60 footer against Duke). There is no question that the gap between the mid-majors and the major conferences is closing. Brett, will the day come where we will see a mid-major win the national championship, and if so, how far away are we from seeing that day?last_img read more

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Wieters to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery

first_imgWhat was feared for more than a month became official Monday as the Orioles announced All-Star catcher Matt Wieters will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of the 2014 season.The club said Monday that the estimated recovery period will be nine months, which would put him on track to start the 2015 season on time. Renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews will perform the ulnar collateral reconstruction surgery on Wieters’ right elbow on Tuesday afternoon after the 28-year-old catcher had his follow-up appointment on Monday.The recovery time for Tommy John surgery isn’t as long for a position player as it is for a pitcher, but there haven’t been a great number of catchers to undergo the surgical procedure at the major league level. Sports injury expert Will Carroll of Bleacher Report believes it will be difficult to expect Wieters to be ready to catch by the start of next season.“Normally, we see that it’s nine to 12 months, 10 to 12 months for a pitcher,” Carroll said on AM 1570 WNST Monday morning. “For position players, we say six to eight [months], but even that’s a little aggressive, especially with a catcher who has to make certainly not as many throws as a pitcher but long throws, off-balance throws.“I’ve talked to some doctors and they say, ‘Honestly, treat him like a pitcher.’ I think it’s a little less than that. I would say you’re looking at nine or 10 months, maybe as many as 12. Opening Day is going to be really tight, even on the low end.”Though the news was not unexpected after manager Buck Showalter revealed last week that Wieters was not progressing as quickly as he’d hoped in his throwing program, the loss of one of the best catchers in baseball is a major blow for the Orioles, who have leaned on the trio of Caleb Joseph, Nick Hundley, and Steve Clevenger in Wieters’ absence. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 11 and hadn’t caught in a game since May 4.Wieters was leading American League All-Star voting at the catcher position and was off to arguably the best offensive start of his career, hitting .308 with five home runs and 18 runs batted in in 104 at-bats. However, the two-time Gold Glove winner’s elbow discomfort was apparent in his work behind the plate as he was only 1-for-12 throwing out runners attempting to steal, down from his career mark of 33 percent.Joseph has been praised for his defensive work as Orioles pitchers sport a 2.85 ERA when he’s catching, but the rookie is hitting only .130 in 54 at-bats while Hundley, acquired in a trade with the San Diego Padres late last month, is batting just .147. Clevenger was hitting .243 at the time of his late-May demotion and has been red hot at the plate at Triple-A Norfolk ever since, but the Orioles weren’t thrilled with his work behind the dish.Baltimore has pitched to a 4.92 ERA with Hundley catching and 4.85 when Clevenger was back there earlier in the season. For what it’s worth, Orioles pitchers sported a 3.88 ERA when Wieters was behind the plate this season.“We’ve got some things to pick from. That’s really been a challenge for us in the last few years,” Showalter said on Friday. “We always said, ‘What if Matt [gets hurt]? What are we going to do?’ Well, here we are. I hope that we get some good news on Monday, but you better prepare like you’re not.”Wieters is eligible to become a free agent after the 2015 season.last_img read more

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