Jack Rodwell isn’t the only free agent undergoing medical tests with Roma, as Marcel Buchel is also ‘auditioning’ for a contract. The Giallorossi are in the middle of an injury crisis, with long-term problems for Lorenzo Pellegrini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Amadou Diawara, Bryan Cristante and Davide Zappacosta. There is above all a lack of midfielders, so the club is going back on the market for free agents who can sign immediately rather than wait for the January transfer window. It has already been reported that English player Rodwell is in Rome for medical tests, but it seems he is not the only one. According to Il Messaggero newspaper, Liechtenstein international Buchel is also in the Italian Capital for a series of medicals. Coach Paulo Fonseca will decide over the next few days whether to sign one or both of these midfielders. Unlike Rodwell, Buchel spent practically his entire career in Italy with Siena, Cremonese, Juventus, Lanciano, Bologna, Verona and Empoli. He has 66 Serie A appearances under his belt, plus 80 in Serie B and 24 at Serie C level. 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/
Germany beat Uruguay 3-2 in the most hostly contested match at the FIFA World Cup, thus winning the third place here in Port Elizabeth. [See pics of the match]Paul the oracle octpus had tipped Germany to win this match and Spain tomorrow’s final against the Netherlands. [See pics of Paul the octopus]Thomas Mueller put Germany ahead with a goal in the 19th minute. Uruguay drew level nine minutes later with Edison Cavani’s strike.The score was 1-1 at half-time after which Diego Forlan scored in the 51st minute to put Uruguay ahead. The lead didn’t last long when Marcell Jansen headed one in 56th.Sami Khedira scored in the 82nd minute to give Germany the lead again. It all boiled down to a free kick for Forlan in the final play of the match.Forlan, who has been Uruguay’s hero in the Cup, hit the bar thus narrowly missing the chance to keep the game alive by taking it into extra time.Mueller and Forlan have thus finished their tournament with five goals each, level with Wesley Sneijder and David Villa. Having won the World Cup bronze in 2006 as well, Germany wanted to go out on a high against Uruguay, who had fought resolutely in this tournament.Germany’s march to the bronze round: beat Australia 4-0lost to Serbia 0-1beat Ghana 1-0R16: beat England 4-1 [Pics]QF: beat Argentina 4-0 [Pics]SF: lost to Spain 0-1 [Pics]Uruguay were beaten in the semifinals by the Netherlands and Germany by Spain.advertisementTheir march to the bronze round:drew with France 0-0beat South Africa 3-0beat Mexico 1-0R16: beat S Korea 2-1QF: beat Ghana 1-1 (4-2 P) [Pics]SF: lost to Netherlands 2-3 [Pics]One of the interests in this match was whether German striker Miroslav Klose could equal Ronaldo’s record of 15 World Cup goals.Klose, on 14 goals, failed to score and this may well be the 32-year-old’s final World Cup appearance.
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Actress Katrina Kaif could be a heartthrob of millions but she has also earned herself a sobriquet of being the “most dangerous Indian celebrity” in the cyber world.The actress has emerged as the most dangerous Indian celebrity online for year 2011 as the cyber criminals are using her name as a favourite key word that exposes computers to malicious software, according to a report by the internet security company McAfee.Fans looking for results on search engines using strings such as ‘name of celebrity’ combined with words like ‘free downloads’, ‘hot pictures’, ‘screen savers’, and ‘videos’ are at a risk of running themselves into websites with malicious software and online threats.McAfee researched popular culture’s most famous people to reveal the riskiest celebrity sportsmen, actors and politicians across the web to pick up the ‘most dangerous Indian celebrity.’ According to the report, Katrina is on top among the most dangerous celebrity-related key words in the Indian cyber space that expose computers to malicious software, leaving behind Deepika Padukone and Kareena Kapoor.”In a celebrity crazy country like India, cyber criminals find it very lucrative to use the names of popular figures as keywords to lure people to websites with malicious software.This year’s study found movie stars top the most dangerous list, while sports stars and politicians are among the safest,” Venkatasubrahmanyam Krishnapur, Senior Director, McAfee India, said in a statement.There is 10.26 percent possibility that the name of the British Indian actress and former model could lead the users to a risky web site, the report says.The list of ‘dangerous celebrities’ includes actors Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan.advertisement
Virender Sehwag got his wish of an improved batting performance on Friday as youngsters Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma pulled India out of a precarious position and drove them to victory.”I am pretty happy with their performance, especially Rohit’s. He had said in the press conference that he wanted to stay till the end, and he finished the game for us. Virat batted superbly – they both batted like mature veterans,” he told reporters after the match.The India captain defended his bowlers, who ended up conceding 269 despite having reduced the Windies to 170 for nine.”With the new ball, Umesh (Yadav) and Vinay (Kumar) bowled really well and took a lot of wickets, and then we had them at 170 for nine. But suddenly (Ravi) Rampaul came and started slogging and everything he hit was connecting well. The day belonged to Rampaul, he batted really well and deserves full credit. I tried everything but it didn’t work,” he said.” I am happy with the bowlers’ performance. Ashwin had an off-day, but that can happen to anyone.”Sehwag hasn’t really got going in the ODI series so far and struggled to time the ball on Friday. But he is not unduly worried.”I am not thinking about myself, my batting is natural. Sometimes you start hitting from the first ball, but I wasn’t connecting well. Everything was going to third man. But Ahmedabad is a different ground, a different day, so I’ll be fine.”Rampaul, who top-scored with 86, said he wasn’t surprised at his effort. “I didn’t surprise myself, I know I’m a capable batsman, and it was up to me to put a proper score on board. I played my natural game and it came off,” he said.advertisement
ALL FOR ONE: The teams at the ICC AwardsThe ICC Champions Trophy tournament, very frankly, is something of a freak. Alone among the cricket events, it remains unconquered by the behemoth of world cricket, Australia. There is much moaning about the amount of international cricket, there is much debate about,ALL FOR ONE: The teams at the ICC AwardsThe ICC Champions Trophy tournament, very frankly, is something of a freak. Alone among the cricket events, it remains unconquered by the behemoth of world cricket, Australia.There is much moaning about the amount of international cricket, there is much debate about the relevance of the Champions Trophy in a calendar crammed with one day fixtures. So, do the Australians really want it?Do kangaroos hop? Is Nicole Kidman a star? Does the sun rise in the east?Nuff said. The Aussies don’t play cricket because it is a great game of bat, ball and chivalry; they play because they intend to win. The question that needs an answer is-can they be stopped? More to the point, can the Indians stop them?Not so many months ago, Sourav Ganguly’s India could claim to be the second-best team in the world, the most worthy opponents to the Australians.Statistics of the performance of teams in the last 10 ODIsEven Brian Lara, who was touring South Africa at the time, turned India’s Test tour Down Under into a nostalgic memory, “I didn’t sleep too much on that tour. I was awake all night watching the Indians play-it was great watching them give it back.”But the evidence of the new season just begun tells another tale. Before the Champions Trophy India won four matches out of 11 played in the season, two of those being against lightweights UAE and Bangladesh.The dominance and consistency needed to become a genuine contender for the No.1 spot have thus far been missing in action.But the beauty of the Champions Trophy lies in how it gives everyone a chance. Four victories in a row seal the silverware but every match matters.The Champions Trophy singles out the sharpest team in the world, one that hits the ground running. More often than not, surprises have been par for the course with new talents dealing bold blows. Remember Yuvraj Singh in 2000?Statistics of ICC Champions Trophy at three different venuesClick here to EnlargeFor India and the world, the Champions Trophy will serve to establish a new world order. New Zealand would like to put the seal on their recent run of form, undefeated after nine matches. Sri Lanka have won 11 in a row but all wins were at home.If you went into a funk when India lost four in a row, spare a thought for the South African fan. Graeme Smith’s men have not tasted victory since February this year, losing 10 on the trot.It is a heavy fall for a team that once fashioned one-day cricket in its own image. For the first time in decades, the home team, England has found a talisman in Andrew Flintoff, who promises to rekindle their love for the short game after Test success.Pakistan have looked dangerous and organised, a rare combination for them. Earlier this summer, even as their Test game was going to pieces, the West Indies had enough in the one-day game to put England out of the Nat West final. Much is cooking in the cauldron of world cricket. Any minute now, the unexpected will begin to stir.advertisement
Mukul Mudgal, retired chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and an advisor to an independent ICC governance review committee, feels many of the 65 recommendations of the panel may be difficult to implement.Some recommendations by the Lord Woolf Committee – like having independent director on the ICC executive board, and giving more power to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) affiliated member countries – are almost revolutionary, and experts feel they would be summarily rejected at the ICC annual conference in June.”Of course, some suggestions are radical and according to me it creates a situation somewhat analogical to the [UN] Security Council members, who have a right of veto, being and asked to forego the right veto in respect of some other thing,” Mudgal, whose job was to only provide the Indian point of view, told Mail Today.”So, it’s only a report. It’s not binding on the ICC. After all, it’s for the ICC to decide how it functions, whether they want to dilute their powers or not. It’s (the report) like a commission of inquiry act,” he stressed.Mudgal, 62, doesn’t want to commit on the implementation of the report. “It’s difficult to predict, frankly. But it’ll not be easy for somebody who has the power to give it up,” he said.”There are two points of view: the general of view and the other is of administration. Everything what the public thinks may not be practical. So, good administrators have to take a call taking into account public sentiments, not necessarily giving in to every demand. Many correct decisions are not often popular,” he pointed out. “It’s extremely important because the report, if implemented, would also affect India in the sense that it’s an ICC full member, a few FTP (Future Tours Programme) programmes not being bilateral but being approved. So, the Indian context was necessary.”advertisementMudgal, who headed the committee that re-drafted the National Sports (Development) Bill-2011, suggested that national boards should chalk their own itineraries instead of the ICC.”Why should an independent board be denied its right to choose its schedule? But ICC is totally controlling it,” he said, referring to a specific Woolf panel recommendation. “Remember the time when Australia and England never used to tour India. We got tours after so many years, even after performing well. At that time nobody heard the voice of India.”Alternately, Mudgal proposed a way to give more exposure to fledgling nations. “I suggested that suppose India is touring England then one ODI against Ireland must be made mandatory. There’s not much expenses involved,” he said. “Similarly, if Australia and England is touring India, Bangladesh should be invited to India for at least one match. Even Afghanistan could be invited for one match with England and one with India. This way the schedule is not disturbed, and younger players also get a chance.”The Woolf panel has also proposed the top of the ICC pyramid be split into a president, who would have an “ambassadorial” role, and the additional post of chairman, who would lead the Board. When pointed out that former BCCI president Shashank Manohar once declined to accept the top ICC post but would, according to sources, not be averse to it once the ICC constitution is amended, Mudgal said he would be an “outstanding” choice.”He’d be a very good choice. Whatever I’ve heard of him – about his impartiality, fairness and integrity – he’s supposed to be an impeccably fair person. If he comes to the ICC, he would be outstanding,” he said. Mudgal, an ardent cricket fan, is pained to see the Indian team’s performance in Australia. He suggested: “Why not take 22 players instead of 15. The BCCI can afford it. It’ll be valuable exposure to our youngsters and in case of injuries immediately replacements would be available.”
India would look to continue their recovery from the horror tour of Australia while Sachin Tendulkar would aim to the get the burden of a 100th international ton off his back when the team squares off against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup league match here on Friday.The 50-run victory over Sri Lanka was just the kind of start India needed in the continental tournament after being quite literally thrashed during an over-three-month-long tour of Australia.The team’s batsmen, who were hopping about in misery on the pacy tracks Down Under, found comfort in the familiar sub-continental environs and made enough for their bowlers to come through despite leaking runs early on an unhelpful pitch.But one man, whose woes seem unending is Tendulkar. The 38-year-old right-hander, who has almost every international record under his belt, has been without a hundred for over a year now.The much-awaited 100th international ton has proved so elusive that it has raised concerns as to whether the stat is hampering Tendulkar’s form to an extent and the seasoned cricketer would be desperate to get the monkey off his back.Tendulkar’s determination can be gauged from the fact that he turned up for an optional net session on Wednesday where only three of India’s 15-member squad turned up.Tendulkar has gone 33 century-less innings, which is just one less than his longest barren spell ever.Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli have successfully carried their good one-day form from Australia to this tournament as well and both scored their 10th international centuries to make that point against Sri Lanka.advertisementSkipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also got some much-needed feel of the conditions when he pushed himself up the order against the islanders to fire an entertaining 46-run knock.Suresh Raina too seemed to be recovering from the disaster Down Under in the batting-friendly conditions here.It will be interesring to see if Manoj Tiwary, who did not play a single ODI in Australia, gets a chance to play.On the bowling front, the growing confidence of comeback pacer Irfan Pathan, who grabbed four wickets against Sri Lanka, is a massive plus for India. But given that express pace is missing from the attack, the bowlers would have to rely on their willow-wielding counterparts to bat oppositions out of the game.Despite being overwhelming favourites, India cannot afford to be complacent given Bangladesh’s past record of being giant-killers.They gave Pakistan a scare in the tournament-opener, showing they are quite a handful in front adoring home fans.Tamim Iqbal and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan batted well against Pakistan but the home team would expect stronger performances from the likes of skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and Nazimuddin.Their top bowler Mashrafe Mortaza would also be expected to tighten up against a formidable Indian line-up, which is known to flourish in sub-continental conditions.”We are confident about the next game against India and we are looking forward to do something good. It would be good game if we can restrict India within 260 to 265 runs on this wicket and I’m confident that’s possible for us,” said all-rounder Nasir Hossain.On the chances of senior India batsman Sachin Tendulkar scoring his elusive 100th international hundred against Bangladesh, Nasir came up with an interesting reply: “A good ball is a good ball for everyone irrespective of whether Tendulkar is playing it or not.”Teams (from):India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Manoj Tiwary, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashok Dinda, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Rahul Sharma, R Vinay Kumar.Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain; wk), Abdur Razzak, Anamul Haque, Elias Sunny, Imrul Kayes, Jahurul Islam, Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza, Nasir Hossain, Nazimuddin, Nazmul Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Shahadat Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal.Match starts at 1.30 pm (IST).
HISTORY ON WHEELS: Ravi Prakash and the gleaming LanchesterIt is a real beauty. All of five metres long, the sky-blue sheen of its sleek body is accentuated by the glowing rays of the evening sun. The look is sporty, even trendy, but the bronze badge beneath the bonnet reveals its,HISTORY ON WHEELS: Ravi Prakash and the gleaming LanchesterIt is a real beauty. All of five metres long, the sky-blue sheen of its sleek body is accentuated by the glowing rays of the evening sun. The look is sporty, even trendy, but the bronze badge beneath the bonnet reveals its vintage: 1928, Birmingham, England.A four-door, sports boat-tail, the Lanchester Straight 8 is a unique model. One of its kind in India and among 11 the world over, it is the oldest Lanchester in running condition today. Its bug-eyed, hoodless appearance was so unorthodox that the directors of the Lanchester Motor Company in Birmingham feared it would be spurned.This particular item was once the proud possession of Motilal Nehru, politician and father of Jawaharlal Nehru. It has changed many hands since-from Motilal to the governor-general of the Madras Presidency to the late car collector C. Ravi Kumar and then to surgeon Ravi Prakash.Karnataka-BangalorePresident of the Karnataka Vintage and Classic Car Club, 44-year-old Prakash has an enviable collection of 36 vintage cars, including a 1915 Ford T model, a 1937 Sunbeam Talbot and a 1961 Jaguar at his sprawling farm near Bangalore. But unarguably, it is the unique Lanchester that stands out in the entire fleet. Not without reason.For the past five years, Prakash – with help from his team consisting of wife Sabena, daughters Rupali and Shefali and a genius of a mechanic known simply as D’Souza – has done all that he can to restore the machine that was shipped to India in 1930.When he bought the vehicle from Kumar in 1999, it was a decrepit machine unused for 13 years. “Restoring the piece of history,” as Prakash puts it, “was not easy.” He trawled the Internet for parts, frequented flea markets and called friends and other contacts in England.advertisementThe efforts paid off with people like Chris Clark, author of the authoritative Lanchester Legacy, taking a personal interest in Prakash’s drive and ensuring that he got the precious bronze and metal badges which were with the exclusive Daimler & Lanchester Club.Prakash spent nearly Rs 8 lakh on its restoration, so it doesn’t matter now that it gives a royal mileage of 2 km to a litre of petrol.The Lanchester will soon be chugging along on a special trip touching the landmarks associated with Jawaharlal Nehru.Will any of the statesman’s descendants, part of the ruling family at the Centre, be hitching a ride? Prakash smiles. He is not telling.