Sealey

20 Mar 19
Metro
Shane Warne is a Brand Ambassador for Rajasthan Royals (Picture: Getty) Shane Warne believes Rajasthan Royals are the favourites to win the 2019 Indian Premier League and has backed Sanju Samson to finish the campaign as the player of the tournament. Rajasthan won the inaugural IPL in 2008 but have reached the play-offs just twice since. They finished fourth last year, suffering a semi-final defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders. Australia legend Warne is Rajasthan’s Brand Ambassador this year, having captained the franchise to their solitary IPL title more than a decade ago. And the former leg-spinner says the Royals can come out on top at IPL 2019, with anything less than a play-off appearance a ‘disappointment’. View this post on Instagram Great to be back in Mumbai & in the pink for the @rajasthanroyals as brand ambassador. Exciting times as there is only 2 weeks to go till our 1st game. I believe with the squad the boys have put together – we are favourites to win the #IPL this year – so get on the boys in pink ! Plus I also think that @imsanjusamson will be the player of the tournament ! Agree followers A post shared by Shane Warne (@shanewarne23) on Mar 10, 2019 at 12:33am PST India batsman Sanju Samson has impressed in previous Indian Premier Leagues (Picture: Getty) He said: ‘I believe the Royals can win it. I really do. Look at the squad, the international players, the Indian talent. We’ve got so many big players. ‘It’s the strongest Rajasthan squad we’ve put together. Anything less than the play-offs is a disappointment. ‘You need a little bit luck to win the IPL. You need big star players need to perform. For me, Sanju Samson will be the MVP.’ Samson, 24, scored over 400 runs in 15 matches at last year’s IPL as he helped Rajasthan reach the play-offs. [metro-zone-post-strip]
20 Mar 19
Metro
Former Australia captain Steve Smith was banned for ball-tampering (Picture: Getty) Of all the players featuring in the 2019 Indian Premier League, few can expect to face the same level of scrutiny that awaits the disgraced former Australia captain Steve Smith. Smith has already made his comeback to elite cricket following last year’s ball-tampering scandal, playing in both the Caribbean and Bangladesh Premier Leagues in recent months. But the IPL is a different beast altogether and Smith will need to handle the occasion to be of use to Rajasthan Royals, who have not won the tournament since its inaugural year in 2008. The Royals reached the play-offs last season before suffering a semi-final defeat and will be looking to England duo Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for inspiration as they bid to win a second title. [metro-fact-box title=”Rajasthan Royals – The low-down” colour=”green” icon=”exclamation”] Owner: Manoj Badale Venue: Sawai Mansingh Stadium Coach: Paddy Upton Captain: Ajinkya Rahane Full squad: Ajinkya Rahane, Krishnappa Gowtham, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Gopal, Aryaman Birla, S. Midhun, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mahipal Lomror, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas, Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone, Shubham Rajane, Manan Vohra, Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag [/metro-fact-box] Smith has already proved himself a top-class performer in the IPL, averaging more than 35 in five of the six tournaments he has played in, with five fifties and one hundred. But it will be both a mental and technical challenge to deliver for Rajasthan in the aftermath of his ball-tampering ban. Players who have more reason to play a starring role in IPL 2019 are Stokes and Buttler. Both are key players in England’s one-day team which heads into the summer as the favourites to win the Cricket World Cup. Less than a month ago, Buttler played the innings of his life, smashing a 150 against West Indies in the Caribbean. Retaining Jorfra Archer also means Rajasthan will be able to call upon one of the most talented and in-demand cricketers on the planet. He will be desperate to succeed as he looks to break into England’s XI. [metro-fact-box title=”Rajasthan – IPL history” colour=”orange” icon=”exclamation”] 2008: 1st 2009: 6th 2010: 7th 2011: 6th 2012: 7th 2013: 3rd 2014: 5th 2015: 4th 2016: SUS 2017: SUS 2018: 4th [/metro-fact-box] 🚨 ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨 Khulaasa ho chuka hai! Here are our 1⃣4⃣ matches in the #VivoIPL2019 league stage. Time for a massive #HallaBol 💪 pic.twitter.com/JuiSannoBC — Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) March 19, 2019 STAR PLAYER – Ben Stokes (England) Ben Stokes was the MVP from IPL 2017 (Picture: Getty) After being named the MVP at IPL 2017, Stokes flopped 12 months, scoring less than 200 runs in 13 matches and taking just eight wickets. But last year’s tournament coincided with a time Stokes was absent from the England set-up and preparing to defend himself in court following a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub. He has since impressed for England and is ready to make a significant impact at the IPL once again. SURPRISE PACKAGE – Ashton Turner (Australia) Ashton Turner stunned India earlier in the month (Picture: Getty) Few outside of Australia had heard of Ashton Turner at December’s IPL auction but recent performances for his country suggest Rajasthan may have secured a valuable addition to their squad. The 26-year-old all-rounder featured in the recent ODI series against India and struck a magnificent 43-ball 84 to win his team the third match in Mohali. Turner will be accustomed to conditions in India and confident of enhancing his reputation in his first IPL. [metro-fact-box id=”8898705″ title=”Indian Premier League 2019 odds” icon=”exclamation” /] [metro-zone-post-strip]
20 Mar 19
Metro
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting says India can win the World Cup (Picture: Getty) Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting says India will win this summer’s Cricket World Cup if their captain and star batsman Virat Kohli performs to the best of his ability. Kohli, 30, became the first player to win all three major ICC awards at the start of the year. With an average of more than 50 in all three formats, Kohli is considered the best player of his generation and one of the greatest-ever one-day batsmen. Hosts England are considered as World Cup favourites by a number of pundits but Ponting says Kohli is capable of inspiring India to victory. Virat Kohli is considered one of the best players of his generation (Picture: Getty) ‘His numbers show that he is the best [in ODI cricket]. He’s 30 and he is going to play another 200 games,’ Ponting told the Times of India. ‘I don’t think there will be many people who are going to argue against him being the best. Virat’s ODI record is unbelievable. ‘That’s why I feel India are a very dangerous side. If Virat has a good World Cup, India will win.’ Ponting, the second highest run-scorer in the history of Test cricket, added: ‘If you can maintain an exceptionally high level for a long, long time, then you are a great. ‘The best way to describe greatness is someone who has dominated the game for long periods of time. Ponting insists Kohli will go down as a great (Picture: Getty) ‘Sachin [Tendulkar] did it, Kohli will. Virat has found a lifestyle to give himself the best chance to be the best player he can be.’ Australia legend Ponting also says MS Dhoni will be an ‘invaluable’ member of India’s team at this summer’s World Cup. He said: ‘I would never be negative towards Virat with regards to his captaincy because I have seen what he has done with the Test team over the last couple of years, and MS has not been around for that. ‘However, I think that the little bit of presence he brings on the field and a certain calmness to the batting when India is in a pressure situation, is invaluable.’ [metro-zone-post-strip]
20 Mar 19
Metro
Virat Kohli has been unable to fire RCB to an IPL title (Picture: Getty) Virat Kohli ‘should be thankful’ to Royal Challengers Bangalore for allowing him to remain their Indian Premier League captain, according to India hero Gautam Gambhir. RCB are serial under-performers in the IPL and have reached just one final under Kohli’s leadership. And Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles, says his former India team-mate Kohli is not a ‘shrewd captain’. Speaking ahead of IPL 2019, which starts on Saturday, Gambhir told Star Sport: ‘I don’t see him as a shrewd captain or a tactful captain. Gautam Gambhir has criticised the India star’s captaincy (Picture: Getty) ‘And he hasn’t won the IPL. So ultimately a captain is only as good as his record. ‘There are captains who have won the trophy three times, like MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma. ‘So I think he [Kohli] has a long way to go.’ Gambhir, who helped India win the World Cup in 2011 and the T20 World Cup in 2007, added: ‘You cannot compare him to someone like Dhoni or Sharma at this stage. ‘He has captained RCB and has been very lucky and should rather thank the franchise that they stuck with him because not many captains have had such a long run where they haven’t won a title. ‘He should be very thankful to the franchise as they have stuck with him.’ [metro-zone-post-strip]
20 Mar 19
Metro
Rohit Sharma is the joint-most successful captain in IPL history (Picture: Getty) Before MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings won the Indian Premier League in 2018, Rohit Sharma was the most successful captain in IPL history. Reclaiming that label will surely provide added motivation for Sharma as he prepares to lead Mumbai Indians into another campaign. Sharma is one of the best opening batsmen in world cricket as well a hugely impressive captain. In 2017, he became the first skipper to lead his team to three IPL titles. And there is no reason to suggest he cannot bag a fourth this season. Mumbai boast one of the strongest and most balanced squads in the tournament. Sharma – the first player to score four centuries in T20 international cricket – Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Yuvraj Singh and Kieron Pollard make up a fearsome batting line-up. De Kock, in particular, looks a shrewd addition to the squad despite the South African’s underwhelming campaign for Royal Challengers Bangalore last year. In the recent five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, De Kock scored one century and three fifties. [metro-fact-box title=”Mumbai Indians – The low-down” colour=”green” icon=”exclamation”] Owner: Reliance Industries Venue: Wankhede Stadium Coach: Mahela Jayawardene Captain: Rohit Sharma Full squad: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Quinton de Kock, Lasith Malinga, Anmolpreet Singh, Barinder Sran, Pankaj Jaiswal, Rasikh Salam, Yuvraj Singh [/metro-fact-box] A number of Mumbai bowlers enjoyed productive campaigns in 2018, with Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Mayank Markande all finishing in the top-ten wicket-takers. And despite that success, there could be more to come from all three on the back of successful years in international cricket. Bumrah is considered one of the world’s best fast bowlers across all formats, while Pandya and Markande have improved at an impressive rate. Fast bowlers Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne are also capable of producing match-winning performances, while the legendary Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga goes into his ninth IPL season somewhat under the radar. Malinga has struggled to fully recover from a number of injury setbacks but remains the leading wicket-taker in IPL history, with 154 wickets from his 110 appearances to date. [metro-fact-box title=”Mumbai – IPL history” colour=”orange” icon=”exclamation”] 2008: 5th 2009: 7th 2010: 2nd 2011: 3rd 2012: 4th 2013: 1st 2014: 4th 2015: 1st 2016: 5th 2017: 1st 2018: 5th [/metro-fact-box] That one thing all MI fans were waiting to hear 🙌#CricketMeriJaan #OneFamily @ImRo45 pic.twitter.com/dGvUP09GFz — Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) March 19, 2019 STAR PLAYER – Jasprit Bumrah (India) Jasprit Bumrah will be a constant threat for Mumbai Indians (Picture: Getty) Only six players took more wickets than India’s unconventional seamer in last year’s IPL, while only one bowler – Afghanistan sensation Rashid Khan – finished the season with a better economy rate. Bumrah has emerged as a key player in India’s Test side over the last 12 months but it is in one-day cricket where he really thrives and he will be a constant threat for Mumbai this season. SURPRISE PACKAGE – Evin Lewis (West Indies) Evin Lewis can be destructive at the top of the order (Picture: Getty) Destructive West Indian batsman Lewis failed to produce his best form in his first IPL campaign, scoring two fifties in 13 innings last year. But his overall T20 record is superb and the 27-year-old was in good touch during the recent Bangladesh Premier League, where conditions will be similar to India’s over the next month. [metro-fact-box id=”8898705″ title=”Indian Premier League 2019 odds” icon=”exclamation” /] [metro-zone-post-strip]
19 Mar 19
Metro
Real Madrid want to sign Eden Hazard from Chelsea (Picture: Getty) Roman Abramovich is resigned to losing Eden Hazard this summer with the Chelsea superstar closing in on a move to Real Madrid, according to reports. Belgium international Hazard has won two Premier League titles, the Europa League and the FA Cup since joining Chelsea from Lille in 2012. The 28-year-old has developed into one of the best players in Europe during his spell at Stamford Bridge and Real are determined to secure his services at the end of the season. The Spanish giants have held interest in Hazard for a number of years and returning manager Zinedine Zidane is a huge admirer of the Belgian. [metro-zone-post-strip] On Monday, it was reported that Chelsea had rejected an opening offer from Real Madrid to sign Hazard. But according to Spanish outlet AS, the Premier League club are preparing for Hazard’s departure, knowing they will be unable to resist Real’s approaches at the end of the season. It is claimed owner Abramovich and transfer chief and Marina Granovskaia are both resigned to Hazard leaving Stamford Bridge for his dream club Real. On Tuesday, Hazard insisted he would not be distracted by the mounting speculation over his future in England. Blues owner Roman Abramovich (Picture: Getty) [metro-video id=”1885108″ video=”https://videos.metro.co.uk/video/met/2019/03/18/3925040698789088984/960x540_MP4_3925040698789088984.mp4” image=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/03/18/06/11126142-0-image-a-8_1552891766244.jpg“] He said: ‘At the moment there’s nobody waiting for me. We still have two important months with Chelsea. We can win the Europa League. ‘We have to win the Europa League or we have to finish in the top four to play in the Champions League. ‘I am only thinking about that (last two months with Chelsea), not about what might happen in two, three, four months. I don’t know. We will see.’ Chelsea appeared to be planning for Hazard’s departure in January when they signed the United States international Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund. A number of Premier League clubs were interested in signing Pulisic but Chelsea won the transfer race, paying £58million to bring the 20-year-old to west London. [metro-zone-post-strip]
19 Mar 19
Metro
West Indian Andre Russell is one of the stars of the Kolkata Knight Riders team (Picture: Getty) For KKR, winning the 2019 Indian Premier League would not only bring immediate joy to the city of Kolkata, but would also see them become the joint-most successful franchise in the history of the tournament. Only Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians have won the IPL more times than two-time champions KKR, who lasted lifted the trophy in 2014 under the captaincy of former India star Gautam Gambhir. Finishing third for the past two years, Kolkata have established themselves as one of the most consistent teams in the IPL, but they will be desperate to avenge their recent play-off disappointment to add a third title to their collection this season. And, with a host of star names bolstering a squad led by the South African legend Jacques Kallis, many view KKR as genuine contenders ahead of the 11th edition of the IPL. [metro-fact-box title=”Kolkata Knight Riders – The low-down” colour=”green” icon=”exclamation”] Owner: Knight Riders Sports Private Ltd Venue: Eden Gardens Coach: Jacques Kallis Captain: Dinesh Karthik Full squad: Dinesh Karthik (c), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Carlos Brathwaite, Anrich Nortje, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, Nikhil Naik, Yarra Prithviraj, Shrikant Mundhe, Joe Denly [/metro-fact-box] Despite the fact only two KKR players finished in the top-20 run-scorers of IPL 2018, the franchise boast a formidable batting line-up, with Indian stars Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana joined by overseas players Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite and Sunil Narine. Narine, of course, has transformed from a specialist leg-spinner into a devastating all-rounder, smashing over 350 runs last year at a strike-rate of almost 200. The West Indian will expect to play a starring role with the ball as the seventh leading wicket-taker in IPL history. Narine, along with Kuldeep Yadav, form arguably the most impressive spin duo in the tournament. This week, Shane Warne named Yadav as one of his three favourite current bowlers. In signing England all-rounder Joe Denly and white-ball specialist Harry Gurney, KKR also enjoyed a productive IPL auction. Denly can make an impact with bat and ball while Gurney is rated as one of the most effective bowlers in the world, having helped Melbourne Renegades win the Big Bash this winter. [metro-fact-box title=”KKR – IPL history” colour=”orange” icon=”exclamation”] 2008: 6th 2009: 8th 2010: 6th 2011: 4th 2012: 1st 2013: 7th 2014: 1st 2015: 5th 2016: 4th 2017: 3rd 2018: 3rd [/metro-fact-box] Look who arrived in the city of joy yesterday! 💜Our SKIPPER 😍@DineshKarthik#KKRHaiTaiyaar pic.twitter.com/yOko2z6Nb2 — KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) March 15, 2019 STAR PLAYER – Chris Lynn (Australia) Chris Lynn is one of the most destructive batsmen in the world (Picture: Getty) Despite making his IPL debut seven years ago, hard-hitting Australian star Lynn has only made 28 appearances in the competition, missing a number of editions through injury. In his rare appearances, the 28-year-old has shown his class with a number of eye-catching innings. Lynn did not enjoy his most successful Big Bash this year but has the quality to make a huge impact at IPL 2019. SURPRISE PACKAGE – Joe Denly (England) Joe Denly can influence matches with bat and ball (Picture: Getty) A decade after making his international debut, Kent all-rounder Denly is back in the England team and set to feature in his first IPL after being signed by KKR for £110,000. A talented batsman and a more than useful leg-spinner, Denly will hope to cement a starting spot in Kolkata’s team and justify his significant price tag ahead of a summer that could see him feature in the World Cup and Ashes. [metro-fact-box id=”8898705″ title=”Indian Premier League 2019 odds” icon=”exclamation” /] [metro-zone-post-strip]
19 Mar 19
Metro
Alexis Sanchez has been linked with a move away from Manchester United (Picture: Getty) Alexis Sanchez insists he wants to ‘bring joy’ to Manchester United fans by helping the club win trophies. The Chile international has been heavily linked with a move at the end of the season after an underwhelming 15 months at Old Trafford. Sanchez developed into one of Arsenal‘s best players after signing from Barcelona in 2014 but has been unable to find his top form in a United shirt. The 30-year-old is battling to rescue his Manchester United career but his cause has not been helped by a knee injury that will see him sidelined for over a month. [metro-zone-post-strip] But Sanchez says he still has ‘belief’ in his ability and is desperate to help the Red Devils secure trophies going forward. He told Inside United: ‘I want to keep showing my love for football. I know what I can do. I have belief in my ability. ‘United are such an important club, not only in England but on a global level, and I would love to help bring a trophy to the supporters. ‘Obviously, I want to make the United fans really happy. I want to score goals. I want to bring them joy. I want to win silverware. [metro-video id=”1884622″ video=”https://videos.metro.co.uk/video/met/2019/03/17/5522923480573362424/640x360_MP4_5522923480573362424.mp4” image=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/03/17/08/11096818-0-image-a-2_1552810193744.jpg“] ‘When we lost last year’s FA Cup final to Chelsea, I was not happy. Not happy at all. In fact, I was sad because I just wanted to make our wonderful supporters happy. ‘When I was younger, I liked United. I swear. As a small child I liked United, I really liked them and I want to show this and bring the people joy because, obviously, I want to win.’ Sanchez suffered knee ligament damage in United’s Premier League victory over Southampton earlier in the month. And caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he is not ‘100 per cent sure’ the former Gunners star will rediscover his top form upon his return. [metro-zone-post-strip] ‘You can never be 100 per cent sure but Alexis is such a determined lad, he loves football and is doing everything he can to get back and show his best side,’ Solskjaer said. Manchester United, who were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves on Saturday, now have a week off before facing Watford in the Premier League on March 30. The Red Devils are currently fifth in the league, two points below top four rivals Arsenal. [metro-link url=”https://metro.co.uk/2019/03/19/bayern-munich-want-beat-man-utd-chelsea-gareth-bale-signing-8941602/” title=”Bayern Munich want to beat Man Utd and Chelsea to Gareth Bale signing”]
19 Mar 19
Metro
Former Australia captain Steve Smith (Picture: Getty) Steve Smith insists he is relishing the opportunity to link up with England star Jos Buttler at the 2019 Indian Premier League. The former Australia captain was banned from playing in last year’s IPL for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. Buttler was one of the stars of the tournament, hitting five fifties in 13 innings to help Rajasthan Royals reach the play-offs, where they were beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders. The wicketkeeper-batsman will hope for a similar return this season ahead of a crucial summer which sees the World Cup and Ashes come to England. Smith says Jos Buttler is an ‘exciting’ and ‘destructive’ player (Picture: Getty) Speaking to Rajasthan Royals’ social media channel, Australian batsman Smith said: ‘It’ll be great [to play with Buttler]. Batting with Jos makes things a lot easier for me! ‘He’s an exciting player and one of the most destructive batters around the world. I’m really excited to play with him.’ Smith underwent elbow surgery earlier in the year, sparking speculation he could miss the IPL as he attempts to regain his place in the Australian team ahead of the World Cup. But the 29-year-old enjoyed a swift recovery and has been pleased with his preparations for the Indian Premier League. Smith will play for Rajasthan Royals at IPL 2019 (Picture: Getty) ‘I’ll be hitting as many balls as I can, getting myself into a good rhythm,’ he said. ‘I started batting a couple of weeks ago back home and I feel like I’m hitting the ball really well.’ Smith is set to finally play for the Royals in Jaipur. In his first season with the franchise in 2014 the tournament was moved to the UAE because of India’s general elections. He then joined Rising Pune Supergiants before returning to the Royals ahead of the 2018 season, although he missed the tournament because of his ban. ‘I never actually got a chance to play in Jaipur with the Royals. I’m really excited about that,’ Smith added. ‘I’m sure the fans are going to come out in big numbers and support us.’ [metro-zone-post-strip]
19 Mar 19
Metro
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Manchester United’s David de Gea (Pictures: Getty) Thibaut Courtois has snubbed a potential move to Manchester United this summer in a swap deal with Real Madrid transfer target David de Gea, according to reports. Real Madrid have held interest in De Gea for a number of years and the Spanish heavyweights will revive their interest in United’s No. 1 at the end of the season. De Gea is settled in Manchester but has given thought to the idea of leaving Old Trafford and would be tempted by the prospect of joining Real despite his links with Atletico Madrid. According to The Sun, talks between Real Madrid and Manchester United resulted in a proposal which would see Courtois offered to United in exchange for De Gea. [metro-zone-post-strip] But it is claimed former Chelsea star Courtois has told Real he is determined to stay at the Bernabeu and if he does leave, he would prefer to sign for Paris Saint-Germain. Returning manager Zinedine Zidane dropped Courtois for his first game back in charge of Real but claimed the decision did not mean Keylor Navas was his first-choice goalkeeper. But Courtois’ future remains unclear under the legendary Frenchman and he could be offloaded this summer as Zidane looks to land Spain international De Gea. Despite emerging as one of the best shot-stoppers in the world at Stamford Bridge, Courtois has often underwhelmed in a Real Madrid shirt, receiving heavy criticism from the club’s fans. Courtois was dropped for Zinedine Zidane’s first match back in charge of Real (Picture: Getty) [metro-video id=”1884622″ video=”https://videos.metro.co.uk/video/met/2019/03/17/5522923480573362424/640x360_MP4_5522923480573362424.mp4” image=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/03/17/08/11096818-0-image-a-2_1552810193744.jpg“] The Belgian’s father, Thierry Courtois, has suggested his son is being unfairly victimised by Real supporters. ‘I feel that everyone is targeting Thibaut,’ he said recently. ‘The Spanish press, and also the Flemish. As a father, I can not ignore that. ‘A goalkeeper is always the first target, it is part of the job. For right or wrong, I let you judge that. ‘But after the match against Ajax, he was targeted because of the fourth goal after he’d played well. This single mistake has taken on huge proportions.’ Courtois made over 150 appearances for Chelsea before joining Real Madrid, helping the Blues win two Premier League titles and the FA Cup. [metro-zone-post-strip]
19 Mar 19
Metro
India spinner Ravi Ashwin will captain Kings XI Punjab (Picture: Getty) Considering the wealth of talent that has played for Kings XI Punjab over the last decade, it seems inconceivable that the franchise is yet to lift an Indian Premier League trophy. Virender Sehwag, Mitchell Johnson, Kumar Sanggakara, Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle have all called Kings XI their home at some point over the last 11 years and yet none have succeeded in their quests to deliver IPL success to the franchise. Kings reached the semi-finals in the inaugural tournament but it has been a sorry story since, with the team qualifying for the play-offs just once and finishing bottom on three separate occasions. For this reason, Kings XI Punjab must be considered serial IPL under-performers and they go into this campaign as the firm outsiders with the bookmakers. [metro-fact-box title=”Kings XI Punjab – The low-down” colour=”green” icon=”exclamation”] Owner: KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited Venue: IS Bindra Stadium Coach: Mike Hesson Captain: Ravichandran Ashwin Full squad: Ravichandran Ashwin KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Andrew Tye, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, David Miller, Moises Henriques, Nicholas Pooran, Varun Chakaravarthy, Sam Curran, Mohammad Shami, Sarfaraz Khan, Hardus Viljoen, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Prabhsimran Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, and Murugan Ashwin [/metro-fact-box] But it would be unwise to write Kings XI off, particularly as despite their struggles they produced two of the stars of the tournament last year. Australian bowler AJ Tye was the leading wicket-taker with 14 scalps, while India’s KL Rahul was the third highest run-scorer, averaging close to 55 from his 14 innings with a best of 95. Tye and Rahul are two players the impressive Kings XI captain Ashwin will be hoping can enjoy more success this season, while the IPL could be treated to a revitalised Chris Gayle. The West Indian is the most successful batsman to ever play Twenty20 cricket format and he put paid to the idea his powers are waning during a stunning series against England in which he smashed two centuries and two fifties. [metro-fact-box title=”Kings XI – IPL history” colour=”orange” icon=”exclamation”] 2008 – 3rd 2009 – 5th 2010 – 8th 2011 – 5th 2012 – 6th 2013 – 6th 2014 – 2nd 2015 – 8th 2016 – 8th 2017 – 5th 2018 – 7th [/metro-fact-box] Baatein shaatein with Ash paaji 🗣@ashwinravi99 shares his insights about our first 4 #IPL2019 games. Yeh toh bas teaser hai, full video coming 🔜#SaddaPunjab pic.twitter.com/tQQaOMdl9p — Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) March 13, 2019 STAR PLAYER – Chris Gayle (West Indies) Chris Gayle was in devastating form in the recent one-day series against England (Picture: Getty) Who else? Gayle has scored almost 4,000 runs in his IPL career and is the only player to hit 1,000 sixes in Twenty20 cricket. Seemingly rejuvenated during the recent series against England, Gayle could be back to his best for Kings XI, a dangerous prospect for the seven other franchises. SURPRISE PACKAGE – Sam Curran (England) Sam Curran has developed into a key player for England (Picture: Getty) Having emerged as a key player in England’s Test team over the last year, Curran earned his first IPL contract in December’s auction, fetching a fee of £800,000. For the third-highest bid to go to a player who is yet to play a T20I came as a surprise, but Curran’s lower-order hitting and skiddy left-armers caught the attention of IPL chiefs and the talented Surrey youngster will not let anyone down on his Indian Premier League debut. [metro-fact-box id=”8898705″ title=”Indian Premier League 2019 odds” icon=”exclamation” /]
19 Mar 19
A Thorny Rose

Planet Earth II, a sequel to the 2006 megahit BBC documentary narrated by English naturalist David Attenborough, is ranked as one of the most-watched television programs in the UK in 2016 (Worland 2017). With six episodes centering on different habitats, including islands, mountains, jungles, deserts and grasslands, Attenborough promised to bring the audience “closer to […]

18 Mar 19
Harpreet Kaur Creative

Since my last fews post describing my work and research in Copenhagen, Portugal and Australia, I have spent my time in Berlin, New York, Birmingham, Dorset, Mumbai and Shropshire over the last 9 months. For 3 months I resided in Neukolln, one of Berlin’s 12 suburbs next to Kreuzberg. This is a city in transition […]

18 Mar 19
Metro
Australia legend Ricky Ponting will coach Delhi Capitals again this year (Picture: Getty) Delhi will need more than just a rebrand to transform into Indian Premier League contenders. Founded as the Delhi Daredevils during the IPL’s inaugural year in 2008, they were renamed Delhi Capitals in the off-season after a change in ownership. Since reaching the semi-finals of the IPL in 2008 and 2009, Delhi have been one of the worst-performing franchises in the tournament, failing to finish higher than fifth in the subsequent nine editions. Despite boasting the Australian legend Ricky Ponting as their coach, Delhi finished rock bottom last year, winning just five of their 14 group matches. They bought ten players at December’s auction in a bid to freshen up the squad but coach Ponting, special advisor Sourav Ganguly and captain Shreyas Iyer still face an uphill battle as they bid to challenge for the play-offs. [metro-fact-box title=”Delhi Capitals – The low-down” colour=”green” icon=”exclamation”] Owner: JSW Group & GMR Sports PvT Ltd. Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla Ground Coach: Ricky Ponting Captain: Shreyas Iyer Full squad: Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Jayant Yadav, Manjot Kalra, Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Ankush Bains, Nathu Singh, Colin Ingram, Keemo Paul, Jalaj Saxena, Bandaru Ayyappa [/metro-fact-box] Delhi made a poor start to last season’s tournament and were never able to recover. Their hopes this season are likely to rest on a talented bowling attack which consists of Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada and Amit Mishra. All are match-winners in their own right. It was with the bat that Delhi really struggled last year and the absence of Glenn Maxwell does not help matters. Only skipper Iyer and India international Rishabh Pant finishing with a respected set of figures in 2018. Pant, in fact, was the second leading run-scorer, behind only New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, with almost 700 runs from his 14 innings at an average of more than 50. For a player hoping to become a regular for India, and perhaps oust MS Dhoni ahead of this summer’s World Cup, another productive IPL campaign will be seen as highly desirable. [metro-fact-box title=”Delhi – IPL history” colour=”orange” icon=”exclamation”] 2008: 4th 2009: 3rd 2010: 5th 2011: 10th 2012: 3rd 2013: 9th 2014: 8th 2015: 7th 2016: 6th 2017: 6th 2018: 8th [/metro-fact-box] All smiles on Day 1 😄 Hamare Tigers ko kya message dena chahenge season ki shuruaat se pehle?#TigersInTheCapital #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/XrAa27g68G — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 14, 2019 STAR PLAYER – Trent Boult (New Zealand) New Zealand paceman Trent Boult (Picture: Getty) Rapid left-armer Trent Boult is one of the best bowlers in the world and was Delhi’s leading wicket-taker last season with 18 scalps. Having impressed against Bangladesh and India recently, there is no reason why the Kiwi cannot surpass that figure this term and ensure he goes into the World Cup in prime form. SURPRISE PACKAGE – Chris Morris (South Africa) Chris Morris is often an unsung hero in franchise leagues (Picture: Getty) Capable of delivering match-winning performances with bat and ball, South African all-rounder Chris Morris represents a valuable member of Delhi’s squad. The 31-year-old only played four IPL matches last year but showed his worth for Chennai and Rajasthan in 2013, 2015 and 2016. He goes into the tournament having helped the Proteas defeat Pakistan earlier in the year with a number of influential performances. [metro-fact-box id=”8898705″ title=”Indian Premier League 2019 odds” icon=”exclamation” /] [metro-zone-post-strip]
18 Mar 19
Metro
Gareth Bale could leave Real Madrid this summer (Picture: Getty) Manchester United have no plans to launch a move for Gareth Bale this summer if the Wales international leaves Real Madrid, reports say. Zinedine Zidane’s return to the Bernabeu has sparked fresh doubt over Bale’s long-term future with the Spanish heavyweights. Bale joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 and has since won four Champions Leagues and a La Liga title at the club. But the 29-year-old has often underwhelmed in a Real Madrid shirt and has been the subject of controversial boos from a section of the club’s fan-base at times this season. [metro-zone-post-strip] Bale is reportedly keen for a return to the Premier League if he is offloaded by Real and Manchester United have been named as one of the teams who could try to secure his signature. But ESPN FC say the Red Devils do not plan to move for Bale this summer due to the prospective cost of the deal and the Welshman’s age. It is claimed that rather targeting more expensive and experienced players, the club will look to sign young and emerging talent to bolster a squad that Ole Gunnar Solskaer has already had a substantial impact on. Manchester United have been linked with a move for Bale for many years and Solskaer was asked about the club’s interest last week. Bale and Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Picture: Getty) Speaking on Friday, ahead of United’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Wolves, Solskjaer said: ‘I can’t really comment on Gareth Bale or specific names because they’re property of other clubs. ‘But we should look for quality players, definitely, and players who could improve us as a team. ‘There’s so many factors you need to think about when you sign players.’ Bale’s agent, meanwhile, says his client will make a decision over his future at the end of the season, following talks with returning manager Zidane. [metro-video id=”1884622″ video=”https://videos.metro.co.uk/video/met/2019/03/17/5522923480573362424/640x360_MP4_5522923480573362424.mp4” image=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/03/17/08/11096818-0-image-a-2_1552810193744.jpg“] ‘Gareth wants to play the rest of his career with Real Madrid,’ Jonathan Barnett told BBC Radio 5 Live. ‘If that doesn’t work out, then we’ll talk again. At the moment he’s very happy. He’ll talk with Mr Zidane and take it from there. We’ll see at the end of the season. ‘He (Bale) wanted to play one way and Zidane wanted him to play another way. I think that was the cause of it. Over the period of time it just got worse. ‘I think if you let Gareth play the way he wants to play and give him a run of games in a row, he can be right up there with anyone. He’s still got a great talent.’ [metro-zone-post-strip]
18 Mar 19
Metro
India skipper Virat Kohli is wary of West Indies (Picture: Getty) West Indies will be a ‘serious threat’ at the 2019 World Cup, according to Virat Kohli who believes at least six teams can win the tournament. Windies drew 2-2 in a recent ODI series against England, the top-ranked team in the world and the hosts of this summer’s World Cup. Jason Holder’s team are not being considered as one of the favourites to win the World Cup but Kohli says they are a balanced side and a ‘serious threat’. The superstar captain also named India, England, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan when asked about the favourites for the tournament. Chris Gayle helped the Windies draw to England (Picture: Getty) ‘Honestly, every team at the World Cup is a threat,’ Kohli said. ‘Anyone who gets on a roll at a World Cup, it’s very, very difficult to stop them. ‘Having said that, any team who’s on a roll can also be knocked out in the semi-finals. They can be defeated immediately by a side that’s more brave on that particular day and wants it more and is more expressive as a side. ‘I don’t think any team starts the World Cup as favourites. Any team is dangerous. ‘You see how the West Indies has come along. They are going to be a serious threat at the World Cup as well because of the balance that they’ve been able to crack. Kohli’s India will hope to win the World Cup in England this summer (Picture: Getty) ‘England have been a very strong side, Australia is now looking balanced, we are a strong side, New Zealand is good, Pakistan can defeat anyone on their day.’ India have been in fine form in all formats over the past two years but suffered a shock ODI series defeat at home to Australia earlier this month. Kohli’s team will not play anymore one-day cricket before the World Cup warm-up matches in May. The majority of India’s side will feature at the 2019 Indian Premier League, which starts this weekend with defending champions Chennai Super Kings facing Royal Challengers Bangalore. [metro-zone-post-strip]