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RWFC-Lajong derby tickets on sale
By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The tickets for the Hero I-League derby between Royal Wahingdoh FC and Shillong Lajong FC to be played at the JN Stadium, Shillong on Sunday is up for sale. Besides the JN Stadium, Polo, tickets for the tie between the local rivals will be available at Little Chef and Swish Café in Laitumkhrah, Sports Spirit and Benetton in Police Bazar, Café Rock City, Wahingdoh, Kharbuli Restaurant, Mawlai, KhasiJaintia Archery Stall, Motphran and Sports Centre, Polo. The match will begin at 4.30 PM on Sunday.
Saina drops to world No.2 rankings
New Delhi: After reaching a career-high of World No.1 in women’s singles, Saina Nehwal dropped to No.2 in the revised Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings on Thursday as reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui re-took the top spot. The Hyderabadi had become the first Indian woman to reach No.1 last Thursday after finishing runner-up to reigning World Champion Carolina Marin at All England and winning the India Open in March. She skipped the ongoing Singapore Open to give herself a break. Meanwhile, P.V. Sindhu, who is out with an injury for some time, is still ranked No.9. (IANS)
‘India needs Grand Slam champion to inspire singles players’
New Delhi: Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic on Thursday said India needs a top singles tennis star to inspire a generation that will have success in the discipline. India have multiple Grand Slam doubles champions such as Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. But currently, India doesn’t have a player in the top-100 in both men’s and women’s singles categories. “India needs one big singles player. It is a huge country and (that’s why) you don’t need a guy who is top-50. You need top-10 player or a Grand slam champion who will bring the kids’ attention and take them to the tennis court,” Ivanisevic said here. He is a coach of the HSBC Road to Wimbledon programme that is tasked to “improve Indian junior tennis”.  “Here everybody goes to cricket. But you have good facilities and lot of kids are playing tennism, and I don’t think it is impossible (of producing top singles player).” Ivanisevic, who was known for his fiery serves in his playing days, was impressed with the Indian talent, especially girls. “In the last few days, I have been impressed by the talent available here. They have lot of skills but they need to work hard on both mental and physical aspects,” the Croatian said. “At this level, it is easy but when they grow into the later age, the game is a lot more professional. So, they need to work hard. The girls impressed me a lot and the boys need to wake up and work more.”The two-time French Open finalist said Indian coaches also need to improve themselves. (IANS)
Kamran backs Umar; accuses PCB of ‘destroying’ his career
Lahore: Throwing his support for younger sibling Umar Akmal, discarded wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for making his brother a sacrificial lamb. Umar was dropped for the coming tour to Bangladesh by the new selection committee earlier this week while Ahmed Shehzad was restricted to the T20 squad after head coach Waqar Younis and captain Misbah-ul-Haq apparently complained about the behavior of both youngsters during the World Cup. According to a report, Kamran said in an interview that Umar’s career was being “destroyed” for non-cricketing reasons. “Umar has always put the cause of the team ahead of any personal comfort. If there were any (disciplinary) issues then coach and team management need to guide youngsters and help them understand that they have done something wrong,” he said. “Discarding them like is not a smart option and it does not reflect well on part of the team management. Good teams can only be built by managing players properly,” Kamran added. He said his brother needs to be stopped being used as a sacrificial goat. “To his (Umar’s) credit, he has willingly compromised for the sake of the team without any complaints. This is not how good players are made. On the contrary, this is how you destroy good players,” the elder Akmal alleged. (UNI)
Chelsea to buy Japan striker Muto
Tokyo: English Premier League leaders Chelsea have offered to buy Japan striker Yoshinori Muto from FC Tokyo, the J-League club confirmed on Thursday. Japanese media Sports Nippon reported Chelsea offered about four million pounds ($5.9 million), which would be a J-League record from an overseas club. “It is true that we have received an official offer from Chelsea for Muto,” said a club spokesman. Muto expressed his delight at the offer but didn’t disclose his intentions. “Nothing has been decided. I’m honoured to receive an offer from this wonderful team,” the 22-year-old Muto said. Muto began his professional career at FC Tokyo last year, scoring 13 goals in 33 games to match the first-division record for a player in his rookie season. He has scored three goals in four games this season, helping FC Tokyo move into joint second place in the J-League standings just two points behind leaders Urawa Reds. (IANS)
Hazlewood pulls out of IPL after hectic Australian summer
Melbourne: Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has pulled out of the ongoing Indian Premier League after a hectic summer of cricket and a busy national schedule ahead. The World Cup-winning pacer was retained by the Mumbai franchise at USD 100,000 contract for the 2015 season after being bought in 2014, but Hazlewood decided to give this edition a miss. The Rohit Sharma-led side lost the IPL opener to defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday. “Josh’s workload has changed significantly since he first began attending the IPL,” Cricket Australia (CA) General Manager of Team Performance Pat Howard was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Thursday. “The IPL is the players’ leave period and in Josh’s case it was deemed that not playing was the best use of that time in the lead-up to a busy winter. This was agreed to with the IPL following discussions at the end of the Test series.” Australia begin their two-match West Indies tour in May end and play their one and only tour match starting May 27, three days before the IPL final. (PTI)

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