Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella was furious at the referee for not checking VAR on the winning Lazio goal. “That’s what it’s there for.” The Viola were beaten 2-1 by a late Ciro Immobile header, but the issue was Jordan Lukaku winning back the ball from Riccardo Sottil – seemingly with a foul – to then provide the assist. “I don’t understand when there’s a decisive incident in the final minutes and you have this technology, why not use it? Just take a minute and go look?” the visibly irritated coach told Sky Sport Italia. “I said to the referee, if you see it afterwards and think it wasn’t a foul, I’ll buy you a coffee. If you see it and think it was a foul, you can buy me a coffee. “It’s not the first time this has happened to us. There might’ve been a penalty for Lazio on Lazzari, fine, but this was at the last minute and the decisive goal, why not go and check? That’s what VAR is there for. “The protocol is meant to be that the referee makes the final decision, but why can’t he go and evaluate it properly for himself? It was easier to accept without VAR, because we know that’s over in a second, but here we have the technology and aren’t using it. “We all stood around for four minutes waiting for the VAR to say if he should see it or not. If he’d just gone and looked at it, it would’ve been a minute or two longer, but at least we’d all be sure. “He may well have made the same decision that it wasn’t a foul, but at least we’d have the confidence he’d seen it.” Fiorentina had been unbeaten since September 1, but Montella picked the same starting XI for the seventh game in a row. “I am proud of the lads, as it was a difficult game, Lazio have been working together for a long time and are well-drilled. Lazio were more consistent, certainly. We struggled a little physically, which was strange, considering they had played on Thursday. “I think this is the first game in the last few weeks where the opponents have been superior in terms of performance, not by much, but it could’ve gone either way or ended in a draw.” Franck Ribery was livid at being substituted, spending the next 10 minutes in the dugout complaining about the decision and asking for clarification. “I thought he looked tired, maybe he was angry because he wanted to come off earlier,” joked Montella. “He’s a champion, I like the adrenaline and passion, he’ll have plenty of time to give his contribution. I was a forward, I know what it was like being substituted.” Ribery was visibly still furious after the final whistle, as there is footage of the veteran pushing the linesman as they walk off the field.
The traffic gridlock you face on the way to work and back home every day, well, it just got worse several times over.Starting this month-end or early next, Delhi Traffic Police will begin blocking one lane of several carriageways across the city to test a traffic plan that will be in force during the Commonwealth Games in October. The restrictions will be in place for all 24 hours of the day.Almost all of the roads along the 170-km stretch, beginning from East Delhi and leading up to the airport, will have one lane reserved for Commonwealth Games competitors and authorities. These roads, located in South, Central and East Delhi, will connect to all competing and training venues.Traffic police expect jams on these following roads, among others: Parade Road, National Highway-8, Safdarjang Road, Kemal Ataturk Marg, Aurobindo Marg, Lodhi Road, Ring Road, National Highway-24, DND flyover, Captain Gaur Marg and stretches of Outer Ring Road. “We are only waiting for the lane markings in green to be done, and we will start the trials soon after,” a police official said.The pilot project will most likely begin at the end of this month at Vinay Marg near Ashoka Hotel at Chanakyapuri.As part of the dry run, traffic police will start blocking one lane on these roads in phases.Ajay Chadha, special police commissioner, said the lanes will be out of bounds for commuters throughout the day, and that traffic police personnel will be deployed to ensure commuters don’t enter these lanes, which will be painted green.advertisementHe admitted people will face problems. “We know managing traffic will be a challenge,” he said, “but we’ll do our best to educate commuters so that traffic moves smoothly.” Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said traffic authorities will try their best to ensure traffic is not disrupted but added that trial runs were unavoidable as a lane had to be reserved for athletes during the Games.”There is no doubt that Delhi’s roads have huge traffic.But if traffic restrictions are managed well they’ll help in improving vehicular movement,” she said. ” It’s all about enforcing the rules. Trial runs will be carried out till authorities achieve some degree of confidence in the traffic plan.” But Dr P. K. Sarkar, professor of transport planning at the School of Planning and Architecture, is certain that city traffic will turn chaotic as a result of these trials.”There is bound to be chaos,” he said. “What else would you expect if a lane lies unused on a major road?” He warned that if Delhi Traffic Police does not plan the closures well, it could create a ripple effect on other roads.”People will try to avoid blocked roads and take other routes. As a result there will be traffic jams on several roads.” Traffic officials have decided to put up bollards on several roads where it is not possible to post traffic constables.”This will physically keep commuters away,” an officer said. He said there is no formal timeframe for the trial run.”It could continue right up to and certainly during the Commonwealth Games.” Rohit Baluja, president, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), said: “Such traffic schemes have to be planned much in advance so that agencies have time to implement it.There seems to be lack of planning here. Every agency does its work and there is hardly any coordination between them.” But that does not seem to bother the police. Chadha said if commuters don’t follow the trial route, police officials could invoke Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that makes flouting the rule an offence.”Managing traffic would be like a challenge and it would be the last option. After this, the vehicle can be seized,” Chadha said. He said there would be signage all over the city to ensure commuters find their way easily. We will also use the media effectively to educate commuters about the diversions.” Sources said the traffic plans were prepared in consultation with the Delhi Police, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, and the MCD, PWD and the NDMC. The decision to reserve a lane was taken at a high- level meeting convened by Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna.’Levy Congestion Tax’Union urban development minister Jaipal Reddy on Wednesday suggested that states levy congestion tax on private vehicle users.This would discourage their use, reduce carbon emissions and smoothen traffic.Heavy congestion tax, as it is levied in some of the busiest cities abroad, intends to discourage motorists from visiting some of the congested areas and instead force them to use public transport. Taxes are also levied on new vehicles.advertisement
The cricket agent Mazhar Majeed, who is at the centre of spot-fixing allegations, came up with a series of boasts to the undercover journalist who posed as an Indian businessman.Majeed also told journalist Mazhar Mahmood that he “very well” knew Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer and was “good friends” with former England cricketers Mike Gatting, Phil Tufnell, Geoffrey Boycott, Pakistan ex-skipper Imran Khan and former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi, among others, a court in London heard.He also claimed that he had several Pakistan players under his control, including Salman Butt, brothers Kamran and Umar Akmal, and Shoaib Malik and had access to other star cricketers like Chris Gayle, Brett Lee, Ricky Ponting, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh, espncricinfo reported.Majeed’s bragging was heard in a recording while Mahmood was in the witness box at Southwark Crown Court in central London, on the fourth day of the trial of Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, who have been charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat following the Lord’s Test in August. The two have denied the charges.The boasting raised smiles of disbelief in the court as Majeed was heard to claim he owned seven ice cream parlours – which he has Pakistan players to appear at for free – and bragged how he lived at different times in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Malaysia and Turkey as he studied religion and gave lectures.The court heard Majeed saying he was reluctant to work with former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi because “you have to kiss his arse every day”. He also boasted of turning down the chance of being part of the Oscar winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.advertisementMajeed said he worked closely with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and said he had a meeting with chairman Ijaz Butt about holding a domestic tournament.”I had a meeting with Ijaz Butt about doing a domestic tournament. What we were going to do was look at putting a sponsor with each region and do a Twenty20 league because Pakistani people are not getting any cricket to watch. They will come in droves.”
Man of the moment Virender Sehwag feels that opportunity to score a double hundred in an ODI comes once in a lifetime and he is happy to have broken his role model Sachin Tendulkar’s record.”I am happy to have broken my role model Sachin Tendulkar’s record. It won’t be easy for people to score double hundreds. Over the last so many years only two have done it. This opportunity will come only once in a lifetime and I am happy I have taken it,” Sehwag told the mediapersons at the post-match pres conference.Sehwag, dedicated his epic 219 in the memory of his late father.”I am very happy and I dedicate this knock to my father who is no longer with us,” he said.The ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ as he is fondly called informed that he has received around 800 congratulatory text messages but is yet to go through them.”I have received 700 to 800 messages and have talked with my mother, who is also very happy. Selection committee chairman Srikkanthji also called and congratulated me,” said Sehwag, who broke his idol Tendulkar’s record score of 200 not out against South Africa in Gwalior, early last year.”It is one of my very best innings. Unlike in Test cricket when one can bat longer, in One-dayers you have to keep an eye on the run-rate. The wicket was very good for batting but the bowlers are also trying to get you out. It was not easy to score 200,” he said.Sehwag was of the opinion that the 200 hasn’t come too late in his career.advertisement”I think it has come at the right time. One becomes more mature as a player when he is in his 30s. When you have played for 10 years in international cricket, you can achieve whatever you want,” he said.He also thanked former BCCI president Ranbir Singh Mahendra for having encouraged him to stay at the wicket for more time than what he did at Vishakapatnam in the second game.”Ranbir Singh Mahendra called up and told me that I should not get out like I had done in Vizag. He said, I was not even there when the spinners came on to bowl. I told him I would try and make a big one the next time. Today I kept talking to myself, that I should stay on the wicket and ended up with 219,” he said.Sehwag said right through his innings he was fit and never felt the need for a runner, a practice that has been banned by the cricket authorities.Sehwag also revealed that he took the decision to bat first if he won the toss only five minutes before the ritual.”We had decided to field first but we were told by players who had played in the Challenger Series on this ground as the wicket had deteriorated in the second innings. That’s why, I changed my mind,” he said.He said he and opening partner Gautam Gambhir had wanted to spend some time in the middle and then open out but the wicket was so good that they decided to play till at least 30 to 35 overs.”We said to one another that if we can play together for 15 to 20 overs we could put up a good stand and give the middle-order the chance to build on it. But the wicket was so good, we decided we can bat till the 30-35 overs. I am sorry Gautam was run out. I was very upset,” he said.Sehwag and Gambhir put on 176 runs in 22.5 overs before the latter was run out for 67.He also praised the bowling of debutant leggie Rahul Sharma and predicted a bright future for him.”He bowled very well. I was very impressed with his bowling. It was his debut. He has a very good future,” he said.Asked whether the great innings he played on Thursday would do him a world of good on the Australian tour, Sehwag said it was a different proposition.”I don’t know what I would do there. It’s totally different. We have done well there on the last two tours. We will try and do well this time too,” he remarked.
Taking potshots at the Indian cricketers for objecting to the Decision Review System, Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland has said that “some awful decisions” against them could convince India to use the technology.Indian players and the Cricket Board (BCCI) are not favour of using the DRS as they feel that the technology has many flaws and they were at the receiving end when one component of it was used.Before the ongoing Test series against Australia, there were calls for the use of DRS but the Indian cricket establishment, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has stuck to their guns of not using the technology.The ICC rules require both countries to agree to the use of DRS.But, Sutherland was adamant that the DRS should be introduced in all international matches.”The technology is here, the viewers are watching it on TV and we’re not using it,” Sutherland said.”Perhaps we need some pretty awful decisions to go against Indian batsmen,” he was quoted as saying by The Age.He said he is hopeful that the Indians will agree to the use of DRS in the near future.”My sense talking to Indian administrators is that there are a couple of players within the Indian team who don’t have a lot of confidence in DRS. I suspect that is perhaps a reason why the BCCI haven’t seen themselves in a position to really approve it at this stage,” Sutherland said.”It’s fact – the number of decisions that were correct have increased with the introduction of DRS and I think the entertainment value of cricket has increased as a result of DRS,” he added.advertisement
Diamond wiseBorn in the mines of the Indian city of Golconda, Beau Sancy has been been owned by royalty in France, England, Prussia and the House of Orange. This pear shaped, double rose cut diamond weighing 34.98 carats has been witness to 400 years of world history. It originated in,Diamond wiseBorn in the mines of the Indian city of Golconda, Beau Sancy has been been owned by royalty in France, England, Prussia and the House of Orange. This pear shaped, double rose cut diamond weighing 34.98 carats has been witness to 400 years of world history. It originated in India’s south central diamond basin where it was purchased by King Henri IV of France for his wife Marie de Medici in 1604 and used it to crown her tiara. After her husband’s assassination she was exiled and escaped to Netherlands where she was forced to part with her possessions and the white rock was acquired by Frederick Hendrick of Orange-Nassau. Hendrick however had to give up the gem soon, using it to seal his son’s wedding to Mary Stuart, daughter of Charles I of England. Stuart used it after her husband’s death to support her brother’s fight to the throne, pawning it to settle her debts. The jewel was now in the hands of Willem III of Orange-Nassau and Mary Stuart II, daughter of the King of England, James II. When the couple ascended to the throne it joined the collection of the Queen of England but went to back to the treasure chest of the House of Orange since the duo died without an heir. It finally came to rest when the newly crowned Prince of Prussia, Friedrich I, purchased it in exchange of all the jewels of his legacy in 1702. The coveted diamond will have a new owner once it is auctioned by Sotheby’s in Geneva on May 14 for an estimated price of $ 2-4 million (Rs 9 to 19 crore).Boat: Water babyLabelled as the ‘F1 on water’ Cigarette Racing is the only brand which has been permitted to use the coveted Mercedes AMG logo. With the performance traits of the luxury car in its DNA the 50 inch Marauder of the Black Series boasts of a maximum output of 510 horsepower. Its smooth efficiency is in step with its speed thanks to the high revving AMG 6.3 litre V8 engine which delivers stunning pulling power and accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The speed boat’s striking black and white exterior is matched with a luxurious Alcantara upholstered interior also used in high end and Formula One cars.Auto: Topless speed Upgrade to a new dimension of open top speed driving with the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. The brand kickstarted a new chapter of speed driving by designing the world’s fastest convertible. Succeeding the monstrous Super Sport which holds the current world speed record of 431 km/hr, this 1,200 horse power driven car impresses with its precise driving dynamics, extraordinary acceleration and braking, all of which is made possible with its 16 cylinder engine, four enlarged turbo chargers and intercoolers. To support the enhanced power the Bugatti has modified the chassis, guaranteeing the most powerful roadster.Luggage: Travel toughKnown for introducing a material used in body armour as a luggage fabric over 30 years ago, Tumi now launches Tegra-Lite. It uses advanced nylon ballistics to create carriers that are surprisingly lightweight and unparalleled in protection and durability. It also has a patented high impact X-Brace 45-handle system capable of withstanding extreme external forces while adding structural rigidity. The black exterior sturdy travel piece has wheels which enable the loaded case to be manoeuvred easily and is priced between Rs 37,000 to Rs 52,000.Fashion: Sunny side upCloudless skies and a glaring sun announce the arrival of summer, and if the irresistible cool waters are beckoning don’t forget to pack Louis Vuitton’s transversal summer collection which captures the relaxed spirit of the season. Light and natural cotton emerge victorious over luxurious crepes and warm cashmeres and the line is drenched in casual pastel hues. The silhouettes are short and feminine, and contrast with the glamourous oversized sun shades in vogue. Must have canvas totes come in chequer board patterns and can be teamed with flat sandals and chunky wedges. Complete the look with bright bangles and a yacht and flower charm neckpiece.Jewellery: Glam and curvyThe pairing of circular rings and rounded pearls results in a glittering duo with subtle curves which are ‘twice as feminine’. For the Trinity Pearls collection, Cartier swathed the three tints of gold- pink, grey and yellow, bringing together a stunning array of rare pearls which are shortlisted on the basis of their pale pigments, perfect shapes and a satin finish. The lustrous pearls punctuate the inward coiling spiral motion of the rings. Graceful, deliciously light and diaphanous, this range aims to highlight the calibre of pearls and is available with the Cartier Boutique in DLF Emporio, New Delhi.Watch: Time keeperLuxury watch and jewellery brand Chopard’s latest novelty is the Lunar One Grande complication model. Its perpetual calendar with an orbital moon phase display measures the difference between two lunar cycles to a mere 57.2 seconds, which equals one day in 122 years. Gold toned dauphinestyled hands tell time, pointing at the 1960 styled Roman numerals while three sub dials indicate the small seconds, month and day. The 43 mm diameter case in 18 carat rose gold optimises readability and is backed by a sapphire crystal case engraved with founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard’s initials. A classic worth procuring.CalendarDates that mean something.advertisementadvertisementInternazionale Salone de Mobile, a five day event held in Milan is a one-stop shop for furniture, accessories and bathroom fixtures. It celebrated its golden anniversary last year and promises to get more inventive with age.If fancy wheels and super boats are your thing, the ninth edition of Top Marques Monaco with its glitzy shenanigans is the place to be in.An artistic haven for all self confessed culture vultures The Gallery Weekend in Berlin features 51 of the city’s top art galleries for three days.Model behaviourEye candy you can’t get enough of.Lookers who live in the rarified world of fashion; a look at models of the moment.Kate Upton- This all-American girl stands out from the skinny pack with her famed curves. With a Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover, her own line of designer bikinis, and calls from Hollywood, the 19-year-old blonde seems set to reign.Lara Mullen- This 17-year-old Brit became a permanent fixture on the runways of Milan, Paris and New York over the fashion week season of 2011. The willowy teen was booked to walk for Milanese powerhouse Prada within four weeks of being discovered, and hasn’t looked back since.Laura Catterall- This plus size beauty is on the cover of French Cosmopolitan where she talks about her voluptuous frame and her love of chocolate. The 22-year-old Manchester local who is a UK size 16 is not size shy and is part of a growing new breed of models who are proud of that extra bit of meat on their bones.TalkCool news for a hot summer.Dior dramaHere is one rumour which keeps the grapevine busy; who will be John Galliano’s successor at Dior? The latest name tossed into the ring is Colombia-born Haider Ackermann and glossies including Vogue are abuzz with this latest tidbit. The fashion bible was told by a “source in Paris” that a bouquet of flowers arrived at Dior headquarters addressed to Ackermann. Is it just a case of flowers gone astray? Unlikely say web commentators who are describing it as a perfect match for the avant-garde designer who began as an intern with the couture house.Luxury’s lairThey are among the grand dames of hospitality and now Ottawa’s Fairmont Chateau Laurier and Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza are set to celebrate their 100th birthday. While the Canadian hotel will join the centennial club on June 1, its American counterpart will follow on Aug 19. Opulent celebrations are on the anvil including special offers for patrons, period costume tours and of course plenty of cake.Clash of the TitansTaking a dig at the austere aesthetics of fellow Italian powerhouse Giorgio Armani, the leopard-print loving Roberto Cavalli has compared the design czar’s pet project, the Armani Hotel in Milan, to a “psychiatric hospital”. Cavalli’s damning review was made public during an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica which quoted him as saying, “Between Armani and me there is an abyss. Have you seen that new hotel? It looks like a psychiatric hospital.”Royal connectCharlotte Casiraghi, one of the hottest blue-bloods around town has been snapped up by Gucci. The Princess of Monaco will now have her face splashed across billboards as part of the house’s new Forever Now campaign. Keeping with the brand’s fascination for horses and the fact that Casiraghi is a competitive equestrian, she was clicked in front of a stable by Peter Lindbergh for the brand’s first publicity image. The brand’s creative director Frida Giannini had earlier custommade a line of riding gear for Charlotte, who is the grand daughter of Hollywood icon Grace Kelly.The spice cellar: Viva ItaliaadvertisementSumedh SinghUp until the last few decades, almost every winery from the south of Italy was known to supply their grape produce to the north as well as other countries, which in turn would process these grapes and produce wines under their own label. With this widely prevalent practice, southern Italy was soon labelled a bulk wine-producing region.But there were some serious wine producing families who were improving the quality of their wine and growing the brand and presence across the globe. Feudi di San Gregoria is one such fine example. Founded in 1986, the label began to recover valuable authentic productions to identify a quality standard that would stand up to the most rigorous market demands.At a time when so-called international grape varieties flooded Italy, Feudi di San Gregorio bravely bucked the trend and placed all bets on its local viticultural heritage: Aglianico, Fiano di Avellino, Greco di Tufo and Falanghina.While the quality and commitment of Feudi di San Gregorio was enthusiastically recognised by the top authorities in the sector, it was the Gambero Rosso-Slow Food Guide-that gave it the definitive blessing in 1999 by awarding the coveted “tre bicchieri” (three glasses; the most important prize from Gambero Rosso) to a splendid 1994 Taurasi.Over a short period of time, Feudi received 21 ‘three glasses’ and became the most reputed winery in Southern Italy. Feudi di San Gregorio’s Greco di Tufo is the most noble of southern Italian grapes, with origins in ancient Greece. Greco is grabbing eyeballs of some of the most avid connoisseurs for its great structure, well balanced acidity, fine aroma and balance. To the discerning nose, distinct fruity essences- from the sweet notes of French green plums to the crunchy freshness of the pear-are practically unmistakable. The taste has a mineral structure that is distinctive of the Tufo grape.Another top favourite is the Aglianico grape, from the Aglianico vineyards at Feudi di San Gregorio that produce Taurasi, one of the most established, and powerful wine made from the Aglianico grape. Aged for at least 18 months, Taurasi has a lovely fragrance with the aroma of wild cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and anise. The taste is rounded and wellbalanced with sweet, smooth tannins that lend a lingering aromatic finale.While Taurasi has won accolades time and again, it’s not just fine wine but great cuisine that Feudi can boast of. They’ve also established a top restaurant, Marenn, as the ultimate expression of hospitality; the perfect venue to discover and explore the Irpinian and Campanian gastronomic traditions. Marenn received its first Michelin star in 2009. Their passion and belief in native varietals (Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, Falanghina, Aglianico) has helped them secure a place among the top 10 wineries in Italy. Salut to the spirit of Campania.-Sumedh SinghThe author is a wine connoisseur and CEO, wine division, Aspri Spirits.
India silver age: Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore wins laurels and the medalGo wrestle an alligator. Try drop kicking a giraffe. Or better still step into anouzo-soaked tavern on the Piraeus port side and announce that the Olympiakos football team sucks.Duel with death however you like. But do not, do not,India silver age: Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore wins laurels and the medalGo wrestle an alligator. Try drop kicking a giraffe. Or better still step into anouzo-soaked tavern on the Piraeus port side and announce that the Olympiakos football team sucks.Duel with death however you like. But do not, do not ever, tell the man with the old-fashioned moustache and a Perazzi shotgun, that Indians have no killer instinct.Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, trap shooter and one-time terrorist hunter, has tested out that theory in ways that we will never comprehend. Today as he stands on a hillside outside Athens, a silver disc in his pocket, the Meltemi wind blowing the flags of the world above his head, he has become the answer to the perennial question from a country haunted by sporting self-doubt. He is reassurance and redemption on two legs.THE MEDAL HUNTERMajor Rajyavardhan Singh RathoreNickname: Chilly Born: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, January 29, 1970 Height: 6 ft Weight: 80 kg World ranking: 3 ARMS’ MAN: He is the quintessential soldierEvent: Men’s Double TrapYear he began shooting:1998 Major achievements: 2002:Gold Medal, Commonwealth Games, Manchester. 2003:Bronze Medal, World Shotgun Championships, Nicosia, Cyprus.Gold Medal, Afro-Asian Games, Hyderabad. 2004:Gold Medal, World Cup, Sydney.Gold Medal, Asian Clay Shooting Championships, Bangkok.Gold Medal, Masters Meet, Czech Republic.Silver Medal, Athens Olympics. On a sweet Tuesday at the Olympic Games, Rathore had to call for his last two shots in the final of the men’s double trap. He did not look at the scoreboard but sensed the chasing pack was close. “I knew that we would get hurt if I missed,” he says. “We” is just one billion people whose ghosts had begun to gather in the usual foury early formation. Standing on the shooting station, Rathore thought of them too-the apocryphal stories of how Milkha looked back, how Sriram went too quickly and how Usha was just that lunge too slow. He should have had the shivers but he was too far gone.advertisementAs the announcer called out the names of the finalists, he stood unresponsive, head bowed, field of vision shrunk to the rim of the trap at his feet, noise blocked out by plugs stuffed in his ears. He was in a place without memory or emotion. “Because emotions make you weak,” he says.There was one memory, though, hardwired into his brain, when as a boy he would go hunting with the men in his family and was given one, maybe two bullets. His father’s words stayed with him. Make every shot count. Rathore’s gun barked twice and it was done.India won its first individual silver medal at the Olympics and its first in Athens. No killer instinct? Hey, go find someone else to pick on.War metaphors are ugly misfits in sport, but with Rathore, 34, they are impossible to ignore and actually form a part of his story. By the time he was 24, he, the only son of an army family, led 120 men in tracking militants in Kashmir with 9 Grenadiers. By 26, the unit he belonged to had killed 300 terrorists, he had been shot at several times and had collected four bullet holes in his rain cape. It should be the story of every crack Olympic shooter but it is not, for the sport is desperate to be seen as a gentle, middle-class pursuit. So Rathore’s past life makes officials jittery. The day after the medal, national coach Sunny Thomas flitted around anxiously as the questions came thick and fast.”Have you… killed a man? What is the difference between shooting and… shooting?” Arms crossed, Rathore explained calmly, “Target vs precision, minding life vs the life of the mind.” Rathore has turned the silver over to India. Whenever an Indian grasps his hand in Athens to congratulate him, he replies, “Congratulations to you.” He first stepped onto a range as recently as 1998, when the army decided to put up a shooting team. The sport and its discipline have sucked him in since.From the sportsman who loved hearing the cheers of the crowd when he competed as a young officer, now all he seeks is the clarity that comes upon the athlete in the pure silence of competition.Rathore says, “Your performance is a mirror image of yourself, how you feel inside. You are a champion one day and a loser the next.” Controlling who shows up when is the trick.The Indian public met Rathore the champion at the threshold of history on the Olympics finals day. He was the third Indian shooter to make to an Athens final in four days. There was nothing to him but an unknown face hidden by a visor and glasses and a voice calling “Pull” and that big gun.advertisementMinus the tools of his trade, Rathore is the quintessential Indian fauji, a term that does not quite translate into plain old soldier nor look half-way real when encountered in Hindi films. Champion act: Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in the finalHe is the onewholooks a little askance at us wild, clueless civilians but remains well-spoken and thoughtful, remembering to open doors for women and ask incisive questions of men, whose attachment to blood and nation runs a little closer to the bone and leaves the rest feeling like inadequate, ungrateful cynics. In this jaded day and age, who else but a fauji would want to send his precious Olympic medal around the country so children can look at it, touch it and be moved to seek more than silver? Yet this is a conditional sentimentality, detached from the mission, the job.When asked about the pressure of the Olympics, Rathore said he told himself that unlike the World Championships, only 24 countries would be shooting. He also told himself, “While it may be a big event for the media it is just another event for you.”Coming from anyone else, it would have sounded boastful but not, as it turns out, from a man who has made it to the finals of all major championships in the past 18 months.”I knew that we all would get hurt if I lost in the finals at the Olympic Games.” MAJOR RAJYAVARDHAN SINGH RATHORE, OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALLIST Rathore’s self-analysis is brutal. “When you pull the trigger it should be with courage, not weakness. If you miss a target for reasons other than technical ones, it means the pressure is getting to you, and you are being weak-hearted.”Rathore’s Olympics were a campaign planned with the expertise expected of this NDA graduate who took his master’s in strategic studies. He trained on his own until January this year and in April went west to work with the greats. Based in Lonato, Italy, he found a group to help him. Gunmaker Mauro Perazzi is one of them and after the final he rushed up shouting, “Rathoray!” Along with former world champion Luca Marini, he was coached by Australia’s former Olympic champ Russell Mark who was at hand to congratulate his student in Athens. “I am very proud of him. He showed character,” says Mark. Rathore’s mission in the past two years was to discover a simple truth: “Whether I was good enough or not.” In between competitions, he spent three hours at a time working with Perazzi to fine-tune the setting of the walnut-wood stock that jackhammers into a shooter’s shoulder every time a shot is fired. He alternated between shooting 70-80 shots a day and scaling down to stay fresh. Between April and August, he charted out the work to be done, the number of shots to be fired, events to be attended, to be missed. He has spent only four months in the past two years with family, his doctor-wife Gayatri and two children. As Athens drew close, he even knew what he would wear on competition day. advertisementFamily shot: Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore son Manavaditya, wife Gayatri and mother ManjuHe wore an army-style bandana like the soldiers do on night-time missions in Kashmir, but not black nor tricolour. He couldn’t have the flag on his head and not win. The Indian flag was sewn onto his special shooting jacket. Even when friends scolded him for bad PR, Rathore thought competition and not column inches in newspapers. He won’t talk about it but word is that when he went looking for corporate sponsorship, the response from the big wigs was at best farcical. Today the number of redfaced suits going “hell and damnation” will probably make up a handy new infantry regiment. This individual may have worked so hard, so alone and for so long, but he has already turned the medal over to the collective he represents-Indian shooting and India.Whenever an Indian shakes his hand in Athens and congratulates him, he replies, “Congratulations to you.” After the men’s 10 m rifle final, a group of shooters had stood around commiserating with Abhinav Bindra’s family. Veteran Mansher Singh said, “Shooting is going to take off the day an Indian wins an Olympic medal.You just watch the day it happens.”With disappointment at being hexed at the final hurdle yet again, Mansher’s dream had seemed like a very long way away.Twenty-four hours later, trapshooter Manavjit Singh got near Rathore, shouting, “Chilly… buddy!”, and hugged him for an eternity. The winner stayed composed and crushed, and for the younger man it wasn’t just the sun shining in his eyes. In the background, there was Mansher through with gabbling to Indian TV stations. He bellowed to no one in particular and the world at large, “The day is here!” Indian shooting must now seize it.
An unbelievable victory for Mumbai Indians, who looked out of the game for most parts at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Score | PhotosRCB were on fire in the first half of the game and carried all the momentum into the second half. Sachin Tendulkar fell for a first ball duck and the top order did almost nothing. Pollard and Rayudu were left with an almost impossible task, but managed to pull it off. Rayudu struggled early on but even he won’t remember it, given the way he finished things. Pollard played second fiddle for most parts but shifted gears when it mattered the most – in the final over.IPL 2012 – RCB vs MI – MI win by 5 wicketsRCB 171/6 in 20 overs lost MI 173/5 in 19.4 overs (Rayudu 81 n.o. , Pollard 52 n.o.) But one man, who took MI from the depths of despair to the delights of victory was Ambati Rayudu. No wonder, he was the Man of the Match award. Rayudu scored an unbeaten 81 off 54 balls, decorating his innings with 6 fours and 4 sixes.8:50 pm | 19.4 Gayle to Pollard, FOUR, that’s the game! And FIFTY for Pollard as well! Flat and straight, Pollard backs away and slaps it across the line to the deep mid wicket fence, the fielder dives in the deep but can’t stop it. What a game this has been. An absolutely stunning comeback win from Mumbai Indians, who are on a roll here. RCB have been stunned by this Pollard- Rayudu stand, who would have expected that?advertisement19.3 Gayle to Pollard, FOUR, unlucky for RCB but the game is heading towards MI now! A thick edge to the third man fence, it was a low full toss and Pollard looks to play across to the on side, instead gets a thick edge that goes past short third man19.2 Gayle to Pollard, SIX, a flick over deep square leg! Boy these grounds are small and these bats are too good! Fired in down the leg side, Pollard just flicks it and the ball sails over deep square leg19.1 Gayle to Rayudu, leg byes, 1 run, Gayle is lucky to get away with that! Fires it in down the leg side, Rayudu was down the track and got some boot on it to the on side, a leg bye there20:04 Better news. Looks like we will have a resumption soon..20:00 If the flood light doesn’t start working again, RCB will win by D/L method. They’re ahead by 26 runs. MI fans will outrage big time if that happens.97 from 53 is tough, but still possible!RCB are indeed going go-green. We’re still waiting for the flood light to start working again!One of the flood lights has stopped working now. There is more delay in play! Looks like this game will end only after the CSK vs KKR game at this rate. #frustratingKieron Pollard, right handed bat, comes to the crease7:44 pm | 8.5 overs: WICKET! Harshal Patel to Dwayne Smith, out Caught by Dilshan!! And the cheers are back in the Bangalore camp. Length ball and wide outside off, Smith reaches out and steers it straight to backward point. Dilshan doesn’t miss those, and MI need a miracle to get back into this game. Dwayne Smith c Dilshan b Harshal Patel 6(5) [4s-1] (MI 51/5 in 8.5 overs)Dwayne Smith, right handed bat, comes to the crease7:38 pm | 7.5 overs: WICKET! Muralitharan to Dinesh Karthik, out Caught by Harshal Patel!! Good catch that and Muralitharan strikes in his first over! Dinesh Karthik is furious with himself, he was the man looing in good form. Flighted up on middle stump line, Karthik sweeps and actually hits it well but doesn’t clear the ropes, Patel runs across to his right from deep square leg and holds on to it in the run. Yet another wicket after a strategy break! Dinesh Karthik c Harshal Patel b Muralitharan 16(14) [4s-3] (MI 44/4 in 7.5 overs)Ambati Rayudu, right handed bat, comes to the crease7:15 pm | 3.4 overs: WICKET! Another one walks back. MI start is as same as RCB’s – they too lost early wickets! Vinay Kumar to Rohit Sharma, out Caught&Bowled!! Vinay Kumar has his revenge and he is absolutely pumped up! Soft dismissal that – this pitched back of a length and grew big on the batsman, he was looking to work it across but got a slight leading edge back to the bowler. Simple catch, big wicket. Mumbai are in deep deep trouble. Rohit Sharma c and b Vinay Kumar 5(7) [4s-1] (MI 19/3 in 3.4 overs)Dinesh Karthik, right handed bat, comes to the creaseadvertisement7:03 pm | 1.2 overs: WICKET! Gibbs too fails to stay in the middle for long! Vinay Kumar to Gibbs, out Gibbs Run Out!! 2 runs completed. And this pair separates itself with some crazy bit of running. Gibbs flicks this short one over mid wicket, they got an easy 2 but Gibbs wanted to make it 3, he hesitated for it for a second and that cost him. Appanna chased, slided near the ropes and fired in a superb throw at the bowler’s end where Tiwary did the rest. RCB are on fire here, they have all the momentum with them. Gibbs run out (Appanna/Tiwary) 2(6) (MI 4/2 in 1.2 overs)Rohit Sharma, right handed bat, comes to the crease6:59 pm | 0.5 overs: WICKET! Okay, Sachin departs in the very first over! Zaheer to Tendulkar, out Caught by Virat Kohli!! A first ball duck for Sachin Tendulkar and I’m not sure if the crowd is happy or not, mixed emotions I suppose! Well planned too – they had a man at short cover-point and Tendulkar has hit is straight to him. Full and angled across, Tendulkar leans and drives it STRAIGHT to Kohli at that position. Zaheer is pumped up, who wouldn’t be if they get Sachin Tendulkar for a first ball duck? Tendulkar c Virat Kohli b Zaheer 0(1) (MI 2/1 in 0.5 overs)MUMBAI INDIANS: Target 172 in 20 oversROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: 171/6 in 20 overs (Dilshan 47, Agarwal 64 not out)Mayank Agarwal: Anil (Kumble) bhai just asked me to go there and express myself. I hit Murali for a six off my first IPL ball and I feel honoured that I did that. I need to keep putting in such performances. It is still green out there and there is some moisture so hopefully the bowlers can extract something from that.6:40 pm | 20 overs: INNINGS! Mayank Agarwal’s late heist takes Royal Challengers Bangalore to a respectable total. He scored 24 runs off Munaf in the 20th over. Here’s a break-up – 6-4-4-2-6-2. RCB score 171/6, thanks to Mayank’s superlative batting.19.5 Munaf Patel to Agarwal, SIX, this bloke has some strong fore arms! Full on middle and leg, Agarwal walks across his stumps and whips it away over long on for a maximum 19.4 Munaf Patel to Agarwal, 2 runs, slower delivery on middle, Agarwal whacks it straight down the ground. Rohit Sharma puts in a big dive at the boundary to prevent the ball from getting past him 19.3 Munaf Patel to Agarwal, FOUR, pretty pathetic bowling from Munaf Patel! Full toss on the off stump, Agarwal gets under it and drives it powerfully to long off for a boundary. That brings up his half century 19.2 Munaf Patel to Agarwal, FOUR, poor again from Munaf Patel! Full outside the off stump, Agarwal opens the face of the bat and drives it to deep backward point for a boundary – FIFTY up for Agarwal 19.1 Munaf Patel to Agarwal, SIX, massive! Poor bowling, full toss on the off stump, Agarwal steps out and employs a lofted drive to send it into the stands at long off advertisement18.5 Malinga to Agarwal, SIX, beautiful stuff from Agarwal! Slower delivery outside the off stump, Agarwal backs away and lofts it over the ropes at extra cover for a maximum 18.4 Malinga to Agarwal, FOUR, superb timing! Full on leg stump, Agarwal flicks it away quite effortlessly to deep square leg for a boundaryZaheer Khan, right handed bat, comes to the crease 6:28 pm | 17.5 overs: WICKET! Vinay Kumar walked out the way he got it – quick! RP Singh to Vinay Kumar, out Vinay Kumar Run Out!! 1 run completed. Suicidal stuff that from Vinay Kumar! Short outside the off stump, Vinay Kumar gets on top of the bounce and dabs it to deep point. Vinay Kumar completes a single and charges back for the second. Smith in the deep fires in a throw at the striker’s end. Karthik takes it well and demolishes all three stumps to catch Vinay Kumar short of the crease. Vinay Kumar run out (Dwayne Smith/Dinesh Karthik) 1(2) (RCB 134/6 in 17.5 overs)Vinay Kumar, right handed bat, comes to the crease 6:25 pm | 17.3 overs: WICKET! Dilshan falls after a sturdy 47. RP Singh to Dilshan, out Bowled!! Would you beleive it, Dilshan has missed a full toss! Full toss on the off stump, Dilshan backs away and tries to give it a real whack but misses it completely. The ball cannons into the off stump and leaves Dilshan looking rather embarrased. RP Singh gets away with a poor ball, Dilshan should have done better and he knows it. Dilshan b RP Singh 47(50) [4s-4 6s-1] (RCB 133/5 in 17.3 overs) 6:16 pm | 16 overs: RCB are 122/4 at the stage with Tillakaratne Dilshan (45*) and Mayank Agarwal (21*) in the middle. The run rate has risen to 7.62 after intital setback that saw as many as four batsmen, including Chirs Gayle fall early.Mayank Agarwal, right handed bat, comes to the crease 5:52 pm | 11.3 overs: WICKET! Another one bites dust! Pollard to de Villiers, out Caught by Malinga!! Slower one does the trick! Off cutter angled in to middle, de Villiers backs away and drives it uppishly towards cover. Malinga does well to take it, that ball was really travelling. Big wicket this for Mumbai. de Villiers c Malinga b Pollard 14(13) [4s-1] (RCB 87/4 in 11.3 overs)AB de Villiers, right handed bat, comes to the crease 5:33 pm | 6.3 overs: WICKET! Tiwary takes a walk! Harbhajan to Saurabh Tiwary, out Hit Wicket!! Disastrous way to get out! Flatter on middle and leg, Saurabh Tiwary looks to flicks it away to the leg side. Unfortunately in the process the left hander’s back foot goes into the middle stump. Saurabh Tiwary is absoulutely furious with himself and he charges off to the dug out. Saurabh Tiwary hit wkt b Harbhajan 21(16) [4s-1 6s-2] (RCB 47/3 in 6.3 overs)Saurabh Tiwary, left handed bat, comes to the crease 5:06 pm | 2.4 overs: WICKET! Munaf Patel to Dilshan, out Virat Kohli Run Out!! Confusion in the middle maybe, more like chaos actually! Length delivery on the off stump, Dilshan opens the face of the bat and drives it to backward point. Gibbs dives to his left and stops the ball from getting past him. Kohli is already half way down the track and Dilshan sends him back. Gibbs hurls in the throw at the non striker’s end and Munaf takes an age but manages to whip the bails off. Kohil is caught a long way short of his ground. Kohli slipped on his way back and after that he had no chance. Virat Kohli run out (Gibbs/Munaf Patel) 3(1) (RCB 11/2 in 1.2 overs)Virat Kohli, right handed bat, comes to the crease 5:03 pm | 2.2 overs: WICKET! Oops MI have got rid of Gayle; have the battle is won! Munaf Patel to Gayle, out Bowled!! Trying to force the issue but gets knocked over! Short and outside the off stump, Gayle steps away early and tries to slap it away. The ball gets a thick inside edge and goes back to knock out the middle stump. Gayle trying to be a little too aggressive on that occasion, very uncharacteristic of him compared to how he has played this season. Gayle b Munaf Patel 6(8) [6s-1] (RCB 8/1 in 2.2 overs)So finally the players have made their way to the middle. Bangalore has already witnessed one storm. Pretty sure the crowd will want another one, and I’m not talking about the rain. Harbhajan bowled just one over in the game against Kolkata, it will be interesting to see how many he bowls on a green and damp wicket todayTeams Mumbai Indians (Playing XI): Herschelle Gibbs, Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik(w), Ambati Rayudu, Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh(c), Lasith Malinga, RP Singh, Munaf PatelRoyal Challengers Bangalore (Playing XI): Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(w), Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Harshal Patel, KP Appanna, Muttiah MuralitharanKohli: We didn’t really pay attention to the fact that we hadn’t beaten Mumbai at home. Today is the day we wear our green jersey to support our green initiative and we hope it brings us some luck. I would have bowled first as well since the covers were on for quite some time. The grass isn’t binded well enough, but it is only 20 overs a side so it should stay the same through the game.Harbhajan: Last time they played better than us, we have come here with a win and some confidence. Hopefully we can repeat what we did in Kolkata. We are still going to play a 20 over game, so I don’t think things will change much. The wicket is green and damp, it is a good toss to win and hopefully we can bowl well and get some early wickets.4:35 pm | Toss – Mumbai Indians have won the toss and elected to field 4:18 pm | The umpires are inspecting the outfield. Some of the covers have been peeled off although the main cover is in place.4:10 pm | The rain has stopped now and the clouds are clearing. The super-soppers are in action and there is not much water on the ground to clear. Hopefully if the rain does not start again, we might see some action in an hours time.Live visuals from the stadium show that the covers are firmly in place and it is drizzling at the moment.
Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges With the match-ups now set, Pingris’ focus is on Star’s cohesion as it seeks to further develop its teamwork in the quarters with reinforcement Kristofer Acox in tow.“What’s important here is the chemistry we’re building. We changed imports so he needs to understand our games and know that it’s always going to be our defense which will help us win games,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Even if we’re twice-to-win, I want Ginebra,” said the energetic forward.Pingris has no problems even if the odds will be stacked against the Hotshots knowing that their team will be tested early, and what better opponent to have than the reigning Governors’ Cup champion to gauge themselves.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“It’s a great feeling to play because you’ll be facing a strong team. If you can’t beat them, how can you be a champion? It’s better to face a strong team early,” he said.Since coach Tim Cone left for the Gin Kings, the Purefoods franchise are 4-10 against its fierce rival and has lost its last four duels. Fajardo takes blame for SMB loss to Bolts View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES PBA IMAGES“To be the best, you have to beat the best.”And that’s exactly what Marc Pingris wants Star to do as he wishes for a collision course with defending champion Barangay Ginebra in the playoffs.ADVERTISEMENT Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans MOST READ Pingris went to as far as comparing the meeting to a championship series.“Every time we face Ginebra, we feel like we’re in the Finals. The history is there with Manila Clasico and a lot of fans are watching.”Pingris, though, will have to wait until the finals for his dream matchup to come true and given that both teams survive their respective quarterfinals and semifinals duels.Meralco’s 104-101 victory over San Miguel in the final eliminations game on Sunday propelled Ginebra to the No. 3 spot and Star to four.The Gin Kings will face the Grand Slam-seeking Beermen in the playoffs, while the Hotshots will have an early rematch with the NLEX Road Warriors, whom they beat 101-93 on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games