Hazard doubles up with Footballer of Year honour

News4u-Sports Desk- Eden Hazard was named England’s Footballer of the Year on Tuesday after his consistently outstanding performances throughout the season helped Chelsea win the Premier League title.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was second in the voting by members of the English Football Writers Association with Hazard’s Chelsea club mate and captain John Terry third.

The 24-year-old Belgian international midfielder adds the award to the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) honour he collected last month and becomes the first player from his country to claim the accolade since it was launched in 1948.

Only two other Chelsea players have won England’s most prestigious and soccer’s oldest individual honour — Gianfranco Zola in 1997 and Frank Lampard in 2005.

Kane, who has scored 30 goals in his first full season for Spurs and was awarded his first England cap, was named the PFA’s Young Player of the Year last month, while defensive rock Terry has played every minute of every Premier League game to date.

FWA chairman Andy Dunn told Reuters: “The list of truly world class players on the Football Writers’ Association roll of honour is a long one and Eden Hazard is a worthy addition.

“A creator, a goalscorer and the hardest of workers, he has been a constant source of threat for the champions.

“He has started all 36 Premier League matches Chelsea have played so far and, considering the particularly close attention he receives from opponents, that is a feat in itself.

“His electrifying, attacking talent has made him the first Belgian to win the Footballer of the Year award.

“He is a brilliant successor to Luis Suarez and we just hope he stays in the Premier League for a lot longer than Luis did after collecting the trophy.”

Uruguay striker Suarez, who won the award after scoring 31 goals for Liverpool last season, joined Spanish giants Barcelona before the start of this campaign.

Hazard collected 53 percent of the vote making him a comfortable winner, while he and Terry’s Chelsea team mates Cesc Fabregas, Branislav Ivanovic and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois also featured in the top 10.

Four other players received votes: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal, David De Gea of Manchester United, Sergio Aguero of Manchester City and Esteban Cambiasso of Leicester City.Reuters


Hazard doubles up with Footballer of Year honour

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Pakistan hope to renew India cricket ties with series in UAE

News4u-Sports Desk- The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Sunday it expects bilateral series with India to resume in the United Arab Emirates in December but there was no confirmation from its powerful cross-border counterpart.

The series in the UAE will feature three tests, five one-dayers and two Twenty20 internationals, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said in Kolkata after meeting Indian board chief Jagmohan Dalmiya.

“The security situation (in Pakistan) is improving fast but we know that right now India would not be able to come for a full tour,” Khan told Headlines Today news channel.

“We therefore have decided that we’d play in the UAE,” said Khan, adding the boards have signed a memorandum of understanding to play each other five times over eight years.

India cancelled bilateral cricket series with its neighbour after Pakistani militants killed 166 people in Mumbai in 2008 but hosted Pakistan in 2012-13 for a short limited over series.

“It’s not that I’m hopeful, I’m very positive that we should resume our bilateral cricketing ties,” Khan said.

“If the approval of the government is required, fine, but we should make a very clear decision…the world wants to see Pakistan and India playing each other,” he added.

Pakistan have not hosted international cricket since the 2009 attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team which forced them to play home matches in the UAE.

Hosting the world’s most followed cricket team is naturally a lucrative prospect for the PCB but there was no immediate commitment from the Indian board.

“Regarding the resumption of bilateral cricket ties, it was felt that it is desirable to recommence such cricket contact,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur said in a statement.

“Since there are certain matters that need to be addressed and considered, it was decided to take appropriate steps. The two boards would be in regular touch and review the situation,” Thakur added.Reuters


Pakistan hope to renew India cricket ties with series in UAE

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India beat Japan 4-0, wins series 3-0

News4u-Sports Desk- India thrashed Japan 4-0 in the fourth and final match of the four-Test hockey series at Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

V R Raghunath gave the lead by converting a penalty corner in the 27th minute. The rest of the goals were field goals.

Akashdeep Singh scored twice and Dharamvir Singh accounted for the other goal.

The series, which India won three nil, was in preparation of the all-important FIH Hockey World League Semi-Final scheduled in June this year in Belgium.


India beat Japan 4-0, wins series 3-0

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Mayweather makes U-turn, says no to Pacquiao re-match

News4u-Sports Desk- Two days after saying he would be open to a re-match with Manny Pacquiao, unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr. reversed course on Thursday while describing the Filipino as “a sore loser”.

In an interview with Showtime to be broadcast on Saturday, Mayweather expressed his disgust that Pacquiao had blamed an injured right shoulder for his defeat by the American in the so-called “Fight of the Century” in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, the former eight-division world champion, lost a unanimous decision to Mayweather on Saturday in the richest prize fight ever before undergoing successful arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder four days later.

“I’m not going to buy into the bull— … and I don’t want the public to buy into the bull—-,” Mayweather said in a sampling of quotes released by Showtime on Thursday.

“He lost. He knows he lost. I lost a lot of respect for him after all of this.”

Asked by Showtime whether he had noticed Pacquiao being hampered by his shoulder during their 12-round bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mayweather replied: “Absolutely not.”

He then added: “He was fast. His left hand was fast. His right hand was fast and he was throwing them both fast and strong. Excuses, excuses.”

Barely one hour after the contest ended, Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, said the 36-year-old southpaw had been troubled by a previous injury to his right shoulder.

“You guys saw the fight yourself. When you review the film, you’ll see how infrequently he threw the right,” Arum told reporters.

On Monday, an MRI scan in Los Angeles confirmed the Filipino had a torn rotator cuff and on Wednesday he underwent surgery.

INITIAL WILLINGNESS ABOUT RE-MATCH

Earlier this week, Mayweather said he would be willing to give Pacquiao a rematch next year, telling ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that he would delay his proposed retirement from the sport.

“I will fight him in a year after his surgery,” Mayweather told Smith in a text.

Mayweather has one fight remaining on his Showtime contract and has repeatedly said he intends to quit after a bout in September, although after Saturday’s fight he told reporters that he is “human” and occasionally contradicts himself.

On Thursday, however, the 38-year-old American made a complete U-turn on that statement.

“Did I text Stephen A. Smith and say I will fight him again? Yeah, but I change my mind,” said Mayweather.

“At this particular time, no, because he’s a sore loser and he’s a coward … If you lost, accept the loss and say, ‘Mayweather, you were the better fighter’.” Reuters


Mayweather makes U-turn, says no to Pacquiao re-match

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Mesmeric Messi nets double as Barca romp past Bayern

News4u-Sports Desk- Two late moments of Lionel Messi magic and a goal from Neymar helped Barcelona break the resistance of Bayern Munich in a pulsating 3-0 victory in their Champions League semi-final first leg at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

After Barca had been frustrated by the brilliance of Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for most of the match, Messi fired home after 77 minutes and then doubled the lead with a delightful chip from six metres three minutes later.

Neymar completed a resounding late burst from the hosts when he raced clear and slotted calmly home in stoppage time.

It was a disappointing evening for Bayern coach Pep Guardiola on his return to his former club.

He had warned before the game that it was impossible to stop his former prodigy Messi and it proved the case as the Argentine orchestrated Barcelona’s emphatic victory that gives them a clear advantage heading into next week’s second leg.

“When Messi is inspired he is unstoppable and tonight he showed his talent again,” Barcelona centre back Gerard Pique told Spanish television.

Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben were among those sidelined in an injury crisis for Bayern, but a masked Robert Lewandowski started in attack despite fracturing his nose and jaw in his side’s recent defeat by Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup.

Barcelona’s first clear sight of goal came after 11 minutes when Luis Suarez scampered clear of the Bayern defence and was denied by a superb block from the feet of Neuer.

Minutes later a close range effort from Neymar was deflected wide by Rafinha.

The German champions slowly woke up and should have scored on the counter when Lewandowski slid a Thomas Mueller cross wide after 17 minutes.

Messi and Suarez were both showing delightful touches as they teased the Bayern backline while Neymar on the left side of their attacking trident found it more difficult to get into the game.

Barca continued to pass up opportunities in the second half before Messi scored made the breakthrough with a 20-metre drive that beat Neuer at his near post.

He then capped an excellent performance by lifting the ball expertly over Neuer for a record 77th Champions League goal and providing the pass for Neymar’s crucial late third.

“We played ok for long periods of time but we were caught on the break three times,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said. “It’s bitter, we had our chances but we lost possession, they break and that should not happen.”Reuters


Mesmeric Messi nets double as Barca romp past Bayern

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Tiger Woods endures ”brutal” stretch ahead of Players Championship

News4u-Sports Desk- Florida: Tiger Woods admitted on Tuesday to sleepless nights in the lead-up to this week`s Players Championship as he wrestles with the anniversary of his father`s death and recent breakup with Lindsey Vonn.

Returning to golf for the first time since his comeback at the Masters last month and since announcing on Sunday that his near three-year relationship with U.S. Olympic skier Vonn was over, Woods admitted the last three days have been “brutal.”

Sunday also marked the nine-year anniversary of his father Earl`s death, and Woods did not sugarcoat his feelings.

“Obviously it does affect me. It is tough. There`s no doubt. I`m not going to lie about that,” said Woods.

“This time of year is really, really hard on me. This three-day window is really hard. I haven`t slept. These last three days … is just brutal on me, and then with obviously what happened on Sunday, it just adds to it.”

But the 2013 Players Championship winner is ready to get back down to business, even if his practice round on Tuesday with Australian Jason Day was scratchy.

He lost a handful of balls and lost the ball both right and left in perhaps worrying signs ahead of Thursday`s opening round, where he will tee off with Australia`s Adam Scott and Germany`s Martin Kaymer.

But Woods, who tied for 17th at Augusta National, instead chose to focus on his practice coming into this week for what is widely regarded as golf`s unofficial fifth major.

“I`ve had some pretty good practice sessions. My short game still feels really good, and we made a couple little swing tweaks,” said Woods.

“I`ve always had to deal with circumstances and stuff outside the ropes, and once you`re inside the ropes it`s time to tee it up and time to play.” Reuters


Tiger Woods

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India’s Bangladesh tour schedule announced

News4u-Sports Desk-India’s upcoming tour of Bangladesh has been confirmed for a one-off Test and three One-Day Internationals.

The official BCCI Twitter handle tweeted that India would tour Bangladesh in the month of June to play a Test at Fatullah from June 10-14, and three ODIs on June 18, June 21, and June 24, all of which will be played at Mirpur.

CRICKETING relations between India and Bangladesh were slightly strained following the controversial quarter-final match at ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 between India and Bangladesh.


India’s Bangladesh tour schedule announced

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Indian shooters shine in Hannover

News4u-Sports Desk- India’s top rifle shooters win rich haul of three gold and two bronze medals at the International Shooting Competition of Hannover in Germany; Abhinav Bindra, Chain Singh, Gagan Narang, Apurvi Chandela will now take part in the ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup in the US.

India’s top rifle shooters, warmed up in style for the upcoming World Cup in Fort Benning, USA, by returning a rich haul of medals at the International Shooting Competition of Hannover.

The tournament, held at the National Shooting Center in the German city, featured more than 1000 shooters from around the world. Beijing Games gold medallist Bindra won both the individual and team gold in his pet 10m air rifle event.


Indian shooters shine in Hannover

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West Indies won the final Test match to level series

News4u-Sports Desk- London: West Indies defied the odds and a wearing pitch to complete a series-levelling five-wicket victory over England on the third day of the third and final Test on Sunday.

Set a daunting target of 192 after the tourists were dismissed for 123 in their second innings, a 108-run fifth-wicket partnership between Darren Bravo and Jermaine Blackwood tilted the match decisively the Caribbean side`s way.

That allowed them to celebrate their first victory over England since the opening match of the 2009 series in Kingston, Jamaica.

Bravo`s controlled knock of 82, his 11th Test half-century, ended when he attempted to make the victory hit off Ben Stokes as Stuart Broad pulled down the catch at mid-off.

It was left to Blackwood to finish off the match in the next over, hoisting Moeen Ali`s off-spin over long-on to finish unbeaten on 47 and complete a team and personal triumph following his first innings top score of 85 out of a total of 189.

He was named man of the match.

“I always try to play my natural game but you have to be mindful of the situation as well,” said Blackwood.

“(Darren) Bravo told me to just keep positive and we would be able to bring it home.”

West Indies seemed on the verge of another capitulation when veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul played on to James Anderson without scoring to leave the home side uncomfortably placed at 80 for four just after tea.

Anderson took the man of the series honours for his 17 wickets in the three matches, lifting his overall Test tally to 397.

“It`s disappointing, but they chased down that target very well,” he said.

Blackwood, who replaced Chanderpaul, capitalised on a significant moment of luck — a missed stumping by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler off Joe Root when only on four — to stay with his senior partner.

Gradually they wore down the England bowlers before unfurling the attacking shots that sped the West Indies to the target that seemed beyond them at the start of the chase given the state of the pitch and the low-scoring nature of the match.

“Losing the toss turned out really well for us. The bowlers performed superbly,” said victorious West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin.

“Anything over 220 would have been trickier, but we had a real belief in our team in this series.”

Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope saw off the early assault from Anderson and Broad, although not without a few anxious moments.

But the introduction of Chris Jordan into the attack brought the breakthrough that England craved as the debutant fell leg-before for nine.

In the very next over, Jordan`s brilliance at slip throughout the series was again in evidence as he held on to a sharp chance left-handed to remove Brathwaite off Ali`s off-spin for 25.

England had started the day brightly, putting on 51 in the first hour for the loss of just one wicket from a perilous overnight position of 39 for five.

Gary Ballance was that early casualty after England resumed in the perilous overnight position of 39 for five.

He became the first of two wickets for Veerasammy Permaul, the left-arm spinner removing the left-hander to a catch at slip and then breaking a 33-run seventh-wicket partnership between Stokes and Buttler via a miscued drive from Stokes (32) that was well held by Chanderpaul at short extra-cover.

Buttler kept on playing positively and was left unbeaten on a top score of 35.

Fast-medium bowler Jason Holder, who dismissed Jordan and Broad off successive deliveries, finished with the best figures of three for 15.

Permaul and pacer Jerome Taylor also picked up three wickets apiece.

“Getting dismissed for 123 in the second innings opened up the match this morning,” England captain Alastair Cook conceded.

“Defending 190-odd, you need to take every chance and we didn`t do that. We`ll have to take it on the chin because we didn`t do enough to win the series.”

England won the second Test in Grenada by nine wickets while the opening game of the three-match series in Antigua was drawn. AFP


West Indies won the final Test match

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Bangladesh rout Pakistan 3-0

News4u-Sports Desk- Bangladesh whitewashed Pakistan in a one-day international series for the first time after winning the third match by an emphatic eight wickets on Wednesday.

Bangladesh went into the match having already achieved a first ODI series win against Pakistan, and made more history.

Opener Soumya Sarkar struck his maiden century as Bangladesh raced to 251 for 2 in the 40th over, after bowling out Pakistan for 250 in 49.

Soumya was not out on 127 off 110 balls, smashing 13 fours and six sixes. Fellow opener Tamim Iqbal, who hit consecutive centuries in the last two matches, made 64 to take his run tally to 312, the highest for a Bangladeshi in any bilateral series, and the third highest in any three-match series.

Tamim hit eight fours and one six in his 76-ball innings. Tamim and Soumya shared 145 in their opening stand, to set the platform for Bangladesh’s 10th clean sweep in its history.


Victorious Bangladesh Cricket Team

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