From K J M VarmaBeijing, Aug 24 (PTI) China today said it expects to hold talks with the Philippines on the tense dispute over the South China Sea at an early date, after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that discussions might happen “within the year”.Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said they hoped that the talks will happen at an early date.Lu was responding to the remark yesterday by Duterte, who said the talks over the South China Sea dispute might happen “within the year”.Chinese official media quoted Duterte as saying that he had no plan to take the South China Sea arbitration to the East Asia Summit next month, and would rather talk about the dispute with China face-to-face.An international tribunal last month adjudicating on a Philippine petition struck down Chinas claims over almost all of the SCS and upheld Manilas right in the area claimed by it.China, which has undertaken giant land reclamation works in disputed parts of the sea, has vowed to ignore the ruling.It has called for direct talks with the Philippines, but asserted it will not compromise on its claims.Besides the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the South China Sea, through which USD 5 trillion of annual shipping trade passes.Welcoming Dutertes remarks, Lu said China will always work with countries directly concerned, including the Philippines, to resolve any dispute through peaceful negotiation and consultation.China and the Philippines, as friendly neighbours, have the ability and wisdom to settle the issue through consultation and restore friendly relations, Lu said.advertisementFormer Philippine President Fidel Ramos visited Hong Kong as Dutertes special envoy earlier this month to pave way for talks with Beijing. PTI KJV ABH
New Delhi, Aug 31 (PTI) Fans of AB de Villiers can look forward to hearing the story of one of the world?s most explosive batsmen when his autography hits bookstores next month.”AB: The Autobiography” has been billed by publishers as “the story of a modern sporting phenomenon.”The book will cover key events and influences that have shaped his life and career, from his childhood and schooling at Afrikaanse Hoer Seunskool (Affies) through to his present successes, experiences and controversies as captain of the ODI team.It will offer access to the man behind the bat and beneath the helmet, exploring career-defining moments, on-and-off the field events and his relationship with various mentors, the publisher said.”This is ABs story, in his own words. The story of the youngest of three talented, sports-mad brothers growing up in Warmbaths, of a boy who excelled at tennis, rugby and cricket, of a youngster who made his international debut at the age of twenty and was then selected in every single test played by South Africa for the next eleven seasons, of a batsman who has started to redefine the art, being ranked among the worlds very best in test, ODI and T20,” it said.The autobiography will also explore de Villiers interests in music and business and how he pursues these alongside his international cricket career.The hardback edition of “AB: The Autobiography” will be released in English and Afrikaans locally on September 8, and simultaneously in English by Pan Macmillan in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and India.advertisement”For me, playing for South Africa through the past 11 seasons has been a fantastic privilege, from my debut against the West Indies right through to all the drama of the 2015 Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand a few months ago, and I am looking forward to telling my story,” de Villiers says.”This project is an immensely exciting one for Pan Macmillan. AB de Villiers has proven himself, on and off the cricket field, to be a South African leader and an inspiration to millions of people at home and internationally. We are proud to bring his inspirational story to readers around the world,” says Terry Morris, MD Pan Macmillan (South Africa). PTI ZMN TRS
Still known for the infamous ‘Don’t blush Baby’ comment to a sports presenter during a Big Bash interview earlier this year, Chris Gayle maintains he did no wrong and everyone targeted him because he’s a West Indian. (I am a complicated person: Chris Gayle to India Today) Speaking exclusively to India Today on the launch of his book ‘Six Machine’, in which he lambasts former cricketers for bashing him for his behavior, Gayle says, “The criticism was unfair and it was largely from the media.” (Chris Gayle asks female journalist: Have you ever had a threesome?) When reminded that actually many cricketers too found what he did in cheap taste, he goes on to say that’s only because they don’t like the Caribbean swag. “That was only from former cricketers who have now become commentators. They are made to take sides now. If they had taken my side they would have lost their jobs. Some of these cricketers were worse than me.” (Chris Gayle back in India, dances up a storm with Virat Kohli) Despite the nearly universal criticism he received for asking the reporter out on live TV and making personal comments about her, Chris maintains the backlash was uncalled for. “Most people don’t like West Indies players because we are talented and we dominate on the field. People gravitate to us. Fans like us. We have this flair and swagger on the field. We can do many things. We are so multi-talented in all aspects of sports. When we excel, they try to pull us down.” (Why Chris Gayle doesn’t deserve to play in Indian Premier League anymore)advertisementWhile some in the past too have made the point that a cricketer for example from Australia or England could have got away with what Gayle did, there is no denying his behaviour was in bad taste and made everyone comfortable. It opened up quite a Pandora’s box on sexism towards female reporters and even athletes in sports world wide. Gayle became a poster-boy of such behaviour with many of his past skeletons too tumbling out of the closet. If he calls the Big bash comment harmless, certainly asking a reporter if she had had a threesome was not. But Chris seems oddly alright with what he did or what he stands for. “‘Don’t blush baby’, was a sweet comment. It was a compliment. The person I said it too was not offended. An ex-cricketer said ban Gayle. That cricketer (Ian Chappell) had punched someone and was even locked up for that. Flintoff called me a chop but he took sexual enhancers during a match. It’s all out there. You just check their history. They have done much worse than me. And they tried to bring me down just for a couple of lines.”
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is one batsman who has proved his mettle world over. But India will throw one of his biggest challenges so far, both as captain and as a batsman.Indian spinners and the pitches that will assist them will pose a massive threat to the Kiwis. Williamson says he understands the challenges that his team will face on this long tour but in the same breath he also claims that his boys have come well prepared.Just 24 hours after they arrived in Delhi, New Zealand had a light training session at the Ferozeshah Kotla Ground, where they will play their first and only practice game against Mumbai from September 16-18. Their training session gave a good indication of how they are preparing for the tour ahead, which officially kicks off with the first Test in Kanpur on September 22. (Kohli’s ability to dominate in all formats makes him special: Williamson)Williamson prepared himself well for the low bounce that the batsmen may face on Indian pitches. He did some knocking with the bowlers bowling under-arm and Williamson had to bent down to play those deliveries.Also, Williamson then spent good 15 minutes practising the sweep shots. He played those shots continuously and also tried reverse sweeps to prepare himself well just like former Australian opener Matthew Hayden during his team’s tour of India in 2001.”India is a tough place to play. I suppose, in more recent years the pitches have been very tricky. I guess (when) you throw in world-class spinners, the challenges are very tough but at the same time we see it as a very exciting opportunity,” Williamson said during his first interaction before the three-Test series.advertisementWilliamson said the international calendar doesn’t allow the teams too much rest so it is a little difficult to prepare for a tour months in advance.The Kiwis hope to utilise the 10 days they have before the first Test but the pitch that is on offer for the practice game against the Mumbai team wouldn’t please them too much. (New Zealand eye reverse swing to escape India’s spin trap)The surface isn’t going to suit the spinners too much and New Zealand would have certainly liked their batsmen to get valuable practice against some quality spin ahead of the first Test.”With the international schedule these days, you don’t get too many opportunities for big pre-series practice. We have just come from South Africa; we have come off the back of quite a bit of cricket. We have had a week off to freshen up and nice eight-ten days build up for our Test match. Lot of preparation will be done and adapting to conditions,” Williamson stressed.
New Delhi, Sep 15 (PTI) Stars from the Indian cricketing world like Kapil Dev, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh were in attendance at a special screening of megastar Amitabh Bachchans upcoming thriller “Pink”, in the capital.The screening was organised by former Indian cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi, whose son Angad stars in the Shoojit Sircar-produced film.Sehwag came with wife Aarti, while Yuvraj attended the show with fiancee Hazel Keech and mother Shabnam Singh.Also present at the star-studded screening, last evening, were actor Irrfan Khan, who worked with Shoojit in “Piku”, former Indian bowler Murali Kartik and Minister of state for information & broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore.Angad, along with his father, welcomed the guests.The films team, including Bachchan, Shoojit, director Anirudhha Roy Chowdhury, was also present at the show.There was also a separate screening held for the family and friends of the cast.The leading ladies of the movie– Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang– shuffled between the two venues and Shoojit met the families of the cast post the show.Shoojit celebrated his birthday with the cast, post the screening.He thanked everyone for praising the effort. Bachchan, 73, could not make it to the screening for family members as he had to leave because of a foot injury, Shoojit was seen informing them.While Taapsee and Kirti were seen mingling around with their family members and clicking selfies with them,Bachchan, 73, also got clicked with his fans from the arena of sports. Post the screening the celebrities took to Twitter to praise the film.advertisement”Pink”, which is shot in Delhi, revolves around three independent working girls and their fight with power.The film will hit the theatres tomorrow. PTI SHD PSH PSH
Italian bike-makers have unleashed their latest beast on Indian roads, the X Diavel for a price of Rs 15.87 lakh (ex showroom, New Delhi). Ducati will place the new X Diavel between cruiser motorcycles and a high performance motorcycle. Moreover, the Ducati X Diavel will also get the X Diavel S variant in India, which is priced at Rs 18.47 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi).Ducati X DiavelALSO READ:Ducati Diavel Carbon stays true to its devilish looks and nameEngine:Ducati X Diavel The new X Diavel is the first bike from Ducati’s stable to run on a belt-drive that has a displacement of 1262cc, liquid-cooled engine churning maximum power output of 155bhp and maximum torque of 129Nm, mated to a six-speed transmission. The new Ducati X Diavel will come with three ride modes- Sport, Touring and Urban.Ducati X DiavelDimension:The upcoming Ducati XDiavel will come with a wheelbase of 1615 mm and 755 mm in height.Ducati X DiavelALSO READ:Ducati launches Multistrada 1200 Enduro; priced at Rs 17.44 lakhFeatures:Ducati X Diavel The new Ducati XDiavel will come with riding modes, Ducati safety pack (Bosch cornering ABS + DTC), DPL (Ducati Power Launch), RbW, Cruise control, Hands-free, Full-led lighting and Backlit handlebar switches.Ducati X Diavel power launchCompetition:Ducati X Diavel The new Ducati X Diavel will compete against the likes of Yamaha V-Max in India.ALSO READ: Ducati Multistrada 1200 Pikes Peak launched in India; priced at Rs 20.06 lakhDucati X Diavel
Indian youngster Ramkumar Ramanathan punched above his weight, putting up a brave fight before going down to Feliciano Lopez of Spain in four bitterly fought sets in the opening match of their Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie here on Friday.Spain thus took a 1-0 lead in the five-match tie.Virtually written off even before the start, the hosts were handed a major boost before the match as Spain’s star player Rafael Nadal pulled out due to a stomach bug with Feliciano taking his place. (Also read: Davis Cup: Rafael Nadal pulls out of first singles match vs India due to Delhi belly)Ramanathan, who was scheduled to face the might of the 14-time Grand Slam winner in the first singles contest of the tie, seemed to be boosted by the prospect of facing a lower rated opponent and fought bravely before going down 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 1-6 in two hours and 15 minutes at the R.K Khanna Tennis Stadium here.Playing in his second Davis Cup tie, Ramanathan, who had made his debut for India earlier this year, faced a stiff task against Feliciano, who is placed 26th in the world rankings.The 203rd ranked Indian started on a positive note, holding his serve before putting pressure on his opponent’s serve in the second game.The first set witnessed a lot of long rallies as both players fought fiercely for each point. Although Feliciano was clearly the better player, Ramanathan tested him on several occasions with his excellent placements. advertisementThe Spaniard however, claimed the advantage when he broke Ramanathan’s serve in the fifth game. He almost clinched a second break of serve in the seventh game as well before the Indian fought back to hold serve.The proceedings thereafter went with the serve as Feliciano took the first set to go into the lead.Feliciano started the second set on a superb note, breaking Ramanathan’s serve in the very first game. He put pressure on his opponent’s serve in the seventh game as well, but the Indian saved a break point before holding serve with a powerful ace.Despite losing the second set as well, Ramanathan was in no mood to give up. (Also read: Have India wasted home advantage against Spain in Davis Cup?)The third set went with the serve before Ramanathan, who was struggling in the hot and humid conditions, required a medical time out after the fifth game..But the 21-year-old from Chennai shrugged it off and took the lead by earning a break in the eighth game. He then held his serve in the subsequent games to take set.If that gave rise to hopes of an upset win for Ramanathan among the sizeable home crowd, they were dashed with Feliciano outplaying the local lad in the fourth set to seal the issue.
The first American to take charge at a top division club in Europe, newly-appointed Swansea City manager Bob Bradley insists that he can handle the pressure of the English Premier League (EPL).New Jersey-born Bradley’s first game is expected to be a tough one as Swansea will travel to Arsenal for an EPL clash on October 15.”One thing you learn in management is they can get rid of you any time. The first time I was USA manager I was the interim coach. But we’re all interim managers in football,” Bradley said. (Angry Klopp sparks Liverpool revival at Swansea)”Whether I am judged after one, two, three or five games, it’s no problem. I can take it. But one thing you can’t be is fazed by it when you stand in front of the players. The second they sense you are worried about your job you are finished,” he added.”I’ve been fired five times before. So I get the pressure in football — but I am not fazed by it.”The fact that Bradley has no previous experience of the high pressure atmosphere of the EPL may not go down well with the club’s supporters, specially since the Swansea Supporters’ Trust, which owns 21 percent share in the club and has a place on the board, was not even consulted when he was drafted in from French Ligue 2 outfit Le Havre.Bradley, however, is confident that he will win over the sceptics. (EPL: Aguero leads Man City past Swansea, Liverpool crush Hull)advertisement”The fans are the lifeblood of every team. I remind players every day that when you step on the pitch that you must always understand all of the people who love the club and come rain or shine stand behind the colours.”For me, the number one responsibility you have as a manager and as players is to make the fans feel proud,” Bradley was quoted as saying by the Daily Express on Sunday.”The connection between the club and community, and the passion with the supporters is so important. (Premier League: Controversial Costa scores twice as Chelsea hold Swansea)”I will work hard every single day to make sure we step onto the pitch and remember how much our team means to our supporters,” he added.
Karachi, Oct 7 (PTI) With diplomatic tensions between the two countries flaring in the wake of recent developments at the border, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has sought clearance from its government to send the hockey team for the FIH Junior World Cup to be held in Lucknow in December. PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed told the media that the junir hockey team would only travel to India if the government gives the green signal. “Given the existing relations between the two countries we have asked the Pakistan Sports Board to get us clearance for the tournament,” he said. The former Pakistan captain said that the Junior World Cup was a very important tournament for the future of Pakistan hockey but Indias reaction after the Uri attacks was not a very encouraging sign. “We will go if the government says we can go but we are concerned specially after the way the Indians didnt allow Pakistan to send its team for the World ongoing Kabbadi Championship in Ahmedabad,” the PHF secretary said. Hostilities between the two neighbours have escalated after India said last week it conducted surgical strikes in against militants in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK). The strikes came after alleged Pakistani millitants staged a deadliest attack on an Indian army base in Uri. Relations between the hockey federations of India and Pakistan have not been cordial since the 2014 Champions Trophy when Pakistani players went overboard with their celebrations after winning the semi-final against India. Hockey India, the national federation, has been demanding a formal apology from Pakistan and also threatened not to play any bilateral matches until then. Shahbaz said that the chapter was closed as the PHF officials at that time and even the head coach of the national team had expressed their regrets over the matter. “We are now focusing on the Junior World Cup and the Asian Champions Trophy in Malaysia this month because in both events India is involved,” he said. Pakistani Olympians have already expressed their disappointment at some of the statements coming from few Indian players about avenging the Uri attack by defeating Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy, starting October 20. Shahbaz said that in the past Pakistan hockey teams had been regularly visiting India and faced minor issues but overall they were well looked after. “If the government feels we can go and play there it is fine for us because security of our players and officials is responsibility of the FIH and host nation,” he added. PTI Cor SSC SSCadvertisement