Kobe sees dominant performance by Gilas Cadets in Kuala Lumpur meet

first_imgUPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes Photo from Fiba.comNineteen-year-old basketball sensation Kobe Paras said Gilas Pilipinas will be a dominant force in the coming Southeast Asian Games and doesn’t mind taking a reduced role in the team’s gold-medal bid.“You can see the lineup, this is the best I’ve been part of,” said Paras, who has played in the US NCAA Division I, during a sendoff for Team Philippines Thursday night. “My teammates, when I was in high school, these guys are the ones I looked up to.”ADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Gilas Pilipinas routs Iraq, stays unscathed in Fiba Asia Cup Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Paras, whose father Benjie also won for the country a SEA Games gold, added that he will be taking on whatever role the coach requires of him.“You know I’m not selfish,” he said. “I won’t walk in and be like I wanna be the main scorer or anything like that. If coach tells me to defend, I’ll defend the best player out there. If he tells me to rebound, I’m gonna do it as much as I can.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout View comments LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

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Rockets could be without Paul for four weeks — reports

first_imgStronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion He along with newcomers Luc Mbah a Moute and PJ Tucker were brought in to give superstar James Harden more support as the Rockets seek to challenge the Golden State Warriors’ hegemony in the Western Conference.Paul, who was hurt when he banged knees with Memphis Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers in a pre-season game, was hampered by the knee in Tuesday’s season-opening triumph over the Warriors.He scored just four points and handed out 11 assists and sat out the Rockets’ game at Sacramento the following night.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort “It’s not a tear or something like that. It’s a bruise. We just have to make sure he’s 100 percent the next time he plays.“I don’t think there’s (concern). All indications are he should be OK.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut the New York Times and ESPN were among the outlets reporting that Paul could be sidelined for a month. ESPN, citing unnamed sources, said the team had been making inquiries about acquiring a fill-in point guard.Nine-time All-Star Paul joined the Rockets in the off-season via a trade from the Los Angeles Clippers. Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets checks on referee Tre Maddox #73 after he fell during their NBA game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on October 17, 2017 in Oakland, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFPHouston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni downplayed the seriousness of point guard Chris Paul’s knee injury, but US media reported Friday he could miss up to four weeks.“It’s only a bump,” D’Antoni told reporters as he revealed Paul would sit out Saturday’s home opener against the Dallas Mavericks.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Back to square one View comments CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPAlast_img read more

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PSL says Soltones fine sticks; PVL calls decision ‘absurd’

first_imgView comments Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nguyen ready for jeers as he fights hometown hero Folayangcenter_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ “I don’t see anything wrong with what Gretchel did. In fact she should be commended for helping in this fund-raising event by her participation,” said Ricky Palou, president of Sports Vision, which organizes the PVL.“The suspension and hefty fine on Soltones by the PSL officials is absurd and totally uncalled for,” Palou said in a statement. “In the first place, Soltones has no contract with the PSL. She is only on loan to the team of Iriga as her mother league is the PVL.”Palou added that the PVL All Star was scheduled at the start of the 2017 season, before Soltones agreed to play on loan for Team Iriga.Team Iriga could not vote during the deliberation.ADVERTISEMENT PSL representatives voted 7-0, upholding the league’s decision to ban and fine Soltones.Team Iriga, however, does not have a contract yet with Soltones, to the dismay of league officials who have imposed a rule on all teams to sign their players to a minimum of one year with a one-league rider in the contract, meaning players are not allowed to play outside of the PSL while they are under contract with their respective teams.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMinus the contract, it isn’t clear if Soltones herself would pay the fine or how the PSL plans to extract the sanction from the San Sebastian star.Soltones saw action in a one-game affair dubbed the PVL All-Star Game. The charity match was held to raise funds for the benefit of HERO Foundation. Philippine Superliga team owners unanimously voted to deny the appeal by Team Iriga to reconsider Grethcel Soltones’ one-year ban and P50,000 fine as penalties for playing in an unsanctioned match outside of the league.The decision was branded “absurd” by the Premier Volleyball League, where Soltones plays, saying the power-hitting star merely did her part to raise funds for a foundation established to raise scholarship funds for children of soldiers who gave up their lives in the line of duty.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Go easy, Tiger, Day urges ahead of comeback

first_imgView comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH The 14-time major champion has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems which forced him to miss the 2015-2016 season.“There’s no pressure. I think it’s a 17- or 18-man field, there’s no cut, he’s playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at,” Day said at the Australian Open in Sydney.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“From what I see on Instagram and what he’s been telling me, he says he’s ready and I’m hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he’s hitting it very long.“And if he’s hitting it long and straight, then that’s going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He’s always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.” Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Woods is included in an 18-man field which features many of world golf’s elite, including world number one Dustin Johnson and world number two Jordan Spieth.“I have no idea where his game’s at because the last time I spent time with him he wasn’t even hitting full swings yet,” Spieth said in Sydney.“But he was confident coming off of this last surgery to get back into it and to be able to have the time necessary and strength to practise as much injury free as possible.”‘Best he’s felt in years’Woods has not played competitively since February, when he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC He underwent surgery in April, his fourth operation on his troublesome back, and has been posting videos of himself in practice.He announced he would be making his comeback at the Hero World Challenge, an invitational event to benefit his charity foundation.“I did talk to him and he did say it’s the best he’s ever felt in three years,” said Day, a friend and confidant of Woods.“He doesn’t wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, ‘Look, it’s great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can’t live a happy, healthy life, then that’s difficult’.“I totally understand where he’s coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating.”Woods, who last won a major in 2008, has also battled personal demons. In May, he was arrested for driving under the influence after being found asleep in his Mercedes-Benz by a roadside.Woods, who was found to have five drugs including the powerful opioid hydrocodone in his system, later revealed he underwent professional treatment to help him manage his medications.Under a plea agreement reached in Palm Beach County, north of Miami, Woods will avoid jail time unless he commits major violations of his probation. Read Next Late rally pushes Lakers past Bulls Jason Day of Australia reacts to his tee shot during the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International golf club in Shanghai on October 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GOH CHAI HINJason Day assured Tiger Woods on Wednesday that he’s under “no pressure” ahead of his long-awaited comeback at an exclusive invitational tournament next week.Day, a former world number one, said Woods had told him he feels ready for his return at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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Roach open to Pacquiao fighting McGregor in a boxing match

first_imgRoach: Pacquiao is the most skilled fighter in the world2.6K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students PLAY LIST 01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: 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 athletes Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast The 38-year-old Pacquiao is currently in the middle of training camp for his fight against unheralded Jeff Horn set on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.McGregor, who reportedly had submitted his application for a boxing license from Nevada State Athletic Commission two weeks ago, hasn’t fought since successfully defending his UFC lightweight title with a second-round stoppage over Eddie Alvarez in November 2016.Mayweather, meanwhile, has stayed true to his word and hasn’t fought since announcing his retirement following his lopsided victory over Andre Berto in September 2015.Fernandez: Team Pacquiao likes a challenge4.3K viewsNewsVentuno Web Player 4.51 “It has to be a boxing match of course, in a boxing ring, in a boxing gloves and boxing rules,” Roach said on Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay. “The thing is, Manny is a world champion boxer and the other guy is a UFC fighter. If he wants to cross over, I have no problem with that.”“I don’t think the two sports really match up well. Whoever rules we go by I think is going to be the winner. If it’s a wrestling match, he’ll probably beat Mayweather and Manny but if it’s a boxing match, I think Mayweather and Manny will both absolutely beat him up,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingRoach was asked about the possibility of Pacquiao taking on Mayweather after Bob Arum, who promotes the WBO welterweight champion, told TMZ that the Filipino ring icon will be available if the two fail to come to terms.Mayweather and McGregor have been teasing sporting fans about potential megafight since 2015 with their interminable belabor well-documented all over their social media accounts. Pacquiao sparring partner predicts 7th round KO for Manny4.1K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession cloudscenter_img Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV MOST READ ADVERTISEMENT Pacquiao happy with conditioning 1 month before fight2.6K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Freddie Roach answers questions from the media after the PSA Forum Tuesday. Photo by Mark GiongoFreddie Roach sees no problem with the idea of his prized student Manny Pacquiao fighting Conor McGregor as long as it will be a boxing match.Roach, the Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer, is also certain that both Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has been rumored to fight McGregor, will dominate the MMA superstar inside the boxing ring.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games NBA: Tony Parker denies retirement rumors, expects to return by January LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

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Hockey men’s team to face England in semis-finals in quest for first CWG medal

first_imgAt the 1982 Delhi Asian Games, a capacity crowd watched in horror as Pakistan slammed seven goals past India on way to the gold medal.On Sunday, there was redemption of sorts at the same venue as the hosts exorcised the ghosts with a 7-4 defeat of their traditional rivals as they sealed a semi-final spot in men’sSandeep Singh (centre) was in phenomenal form, scoring twice.It was one of those occasions which does justice to the sport’s stature as the national game as the supporters and players displayed a passion rarely seen. Sandeep Singh, who has a habit of shining against the neighbours, was one of the stars, scoring two goals and setting up another.Shivendra Singh contributed two of his own while Danish Mujtaba, Sarvanjit Singh and Dharamvir Singh too chipped in to seal a memorable evening. India now take on England in the semi-finals on Tuesday in their quest of a first medal in men’s hockey at the Commonwealth Games.The noise made by the capacity crowd at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium made one’s own voice difficult to hear.The music played out by the public address system at every opportunity gave the occasion a rock concert feel. It brought back memories of the clash between the two sub-continent rivals at the World Cup at the same venue earlier this year.As on that occasion, Sandeep rose to the occasion with two penalty corner conversions in quick succession. India grabbed hold of the match from the first whistle itself and were ahead in the third minute.advertisementThe first penalty corner had India off to a dream start as Sandeep found the roof of the net with his drag-flick. The game was mostly confined to the Pakistan territory as the team from across the border was just trying to hold on.The next three penalty corners did not yield any result, but the fifth in the 11th minute saw Sandeep finding the corner to double India’s lead.By now, the visitors were rattled and started making errors in passing and trapping. Sandeep, whose prowess from open play has been questioned a few times, then found a sublime diagonal pass to an unmarked Shivendra, who found the target through the legs of Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah, who was coming off a stellar display against world champions Australia on Saturday.The sixth penalty corner for India saw another goal as the custodian made a smart save, only for Sarvanjit to find the net from the baseline. From Pakistan’s second penalty corner, they got a penalty stroke for an infringement by Vikram Pillay on the line.Muhammad Imran made no mistake and Pakistan revived their hopes of a comeback when Muhammad Rizwan deflected in a hit from Muhammad Irfan for their second goal. A draw would have taken Pakistan through and they would have thought they had a chance at half-time.But the hosts would have none of it as they kept their foot firmly on the throttle in the second period.last_img read more

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Asian Games: China ready to dazzle again

first_imgFor those who have still not got over the way New Delhi wowed the world at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, Friday is going to be a big surprise when Guangzhou showcases its culture, spirit and technical wizardry at the Asian Games opening ceremony.At 8:45 pm sharp local time (6:15 pm IST), on both sides of the Pearl River, the opening ceremony will begin and there is talk that this will be something even more pulsating than what Beijing had to show to the world at the Olympics in 2008.’Ever Onward’ has been the Asian Games slogan. In a literal sense, China will prove this on Friday as, for the first time, the opening ceremony will not be held inside a stadium but outdoors.Experts who have had a sneak preview of the show say that “nothing like this has ever happened before” as close to 14,000 athletes are expected to be paraded on the riverfront in boats.As if this is not enough, talk veers around to who will light the Games cauldron. As has been the case at the Olympics and Asian Games, lighting the cauldron is a big event. And who will do it is being debated. Apparently, six temporary stages have been erected on both banks of the river for the opening show. The grand show will also demonstrate the south China culture.Chen Weiya, chief director of the opening ceremony told the media that this opening ceremony will “break away from the confines of stadiums and use the city itself as background. You will see athletes parade into the ceremony on boats”.advertisementHuge LED screens will also be in place for people to see how China is ready to wow the world. Just to jog the readers’ memory, children have played a key role in opening ceremonies. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Nikki Webster had created a wave and in 2008 in Beijing, Lin Miaoke was the talking point.There is speculation that this time, too, the opening ceremony will feature talented children. In New Delhi, when traditional martial art forms were shown, people liked it. Wushu, a Chinese martial art, could be something big on Friday.That apart, explosive lighting, high-decibel fireworks and laser shows could turn out to be the talking point of the Asian Games.As far as the sporting events that begin a day later are concerned, China is set to retain the tag of the best country in Asia with a rich medal haul. As a nation which takes great pride in sporting excellence, the way China has emerged as a superpower is well known.What is even more surprising is they are keen to do well even in a sport like cricket, which they have taken to recently. Against such a backdrop, where Japan and Korea will also fight for overall supremacy, it will be interesting to see how India fares.After the highs of the Commonwealth Games (CWG), where India finished second in the medals tally behind Australia, it would be improper to think India will come up with a similar medal tally. At the last Asian Games in Doha, India finished with a tally of 53 medals (10 gold, 17 silver and 26 bronze).This time around, even though India did well in the CWG, expecting the athletes to again peak in such a short time span would be asking too much. Perhaps, in sports where only skill counts, one can hope the athletes will maintain focus. However, to expect India to shoot down the same number of medals in shooting, or expect Saina Nehwal to be a sure shot for gold in badminton, is unrealistic.The focus will be on men’s hockey in a big way, though making predictions will be foolhardy. If the CWG showing came as a surprise, one again expects that in cue sports, kabaddi, chess and golf, India can do well. But certainly not in tennis, where the depth is suspect.last_img read more

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Advani opens gold account, Alok creates history

first_imgStar cueist Pankaj Advani provided the first gold for India in the 16th Asian Games by clinching the title in billiards singles while Alok Kumar claimed a bronze in 8-ball pool event and the shooters accounted for a silver and bronze on the second day of competitions in Guangzhou on Sunday. MEDAL TALLYDefending champion Advani kept his reputation intact with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Myanmar’s Oo Nay Thway in the billiards final as India pushed their medals tally to one gold, three silver and two bronze to retain their fifth position on the table.Hosts China continued to rule the roost and maintained the top position on the medals table with a tally of 37-14-12 while South Korea (13-10-12) and Japan (8-20-15) were in the second and third spots respectively.The shooters were again in the spotlight with Heena Siddhu, Annu Raj Singh and Sania Rai claiming the silver in the women’s 10 m air pistol team event and Vijay Kumar bagging the bronze in the men’s 10 m air pistol at the Aoti shooting range.Alok became the first Indian to win an Asian Games medal in pool events by bagging a bronze though he lost his semifinal contest 5-7 against Kuo Po-Cheng of Chinese Taipei.Under rules of the event, both the losing semifinalists are awarded a bronze each instead of playing a third-place play-off.India’s men’s tennis team also assured itself of a bronze medal by securing a place in the semi-finals against top seed Chinese Taipei but the performance in other disciplines such as weightlifting, judo, swimming, cycling and triathlon left much to be desired on a day of mixed fortunes.advertisementThe day clearly belonged to the 25-year-old Advani who showed nerves of steel under severe pressure to clinch the first gold medal for India when he came twice from behind to edge out Myanmar’s Oo Nay Thway 3-2 and retain his title after a bitterly fought billiards singles final.Advani was down 1-2 after losing the first and third frames, but fought back in dogged fashion to clinch the fourth to take the match into a nerve-wracking final frame.A beaming Advani, who has won the world professional and IBSF titles in the past, said this was the biggest title of his career.”This feels great. This is Olympics for me as unfortunately we are not there in the Olympics. This time I made it a point to win the first gold for the country. It’s an absolutely emotional moment for me. I cant’t ask for more,” he said.After Narang’s exploits on the opening day, the Indian women shooters Heena Sidhu, Annu Raj Singh and Sonia Rai had their moment of glory as they won the silver medal in the 10m Air Pistol team event.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

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New Zealand PM John Key to visit the Ferozeshah Kotla

first_imgNew Zealand have played just four international matches against India at the Ferozeshah Kotla in 55 years of cricket exchanges and have not won a single match at the historical venue.New Zealand PM John Keys is expected to visit Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium a visit on June 27.So, when New Zealand Prime Minister John Key goes to the Kotla on June 27 he would wish that his visit brings luck to his national team the next time it plays a Test match or a One-day International (ODI) the longstanding jinx is broken.New Zealand have played two Tests and two ODIs and India have won one Test and both ODIs. No Test between the two teams has been played since 1965 at the Kotla while the last one-dayer was played in November 1999. No match is scheduled in the immediate future.DDCA vice-president Suresh Chopra said it would be an honour for the historical ground to host the Kiwi prime minister.”It will be a 45-minute visit, as they have told us. A delegation of the high commission, led by high commissioner (Jan Henderson), visited the Kotla a few days ago to inspect the ground. We asked them to send us a letter giving details of the programme and also what they want from us,” Chopra told MAIL TODAY.”During the visit, Fleming would be playing a 10-minute game with some children of a school the high commission is associated with. The game will be played on one of the practice pitches,” he said.advertisementKey may deliver a short speech while the DDCA may host high tea for the high-profile delegation that also includes the travelling New Zealand media. The Indian media, said Chopra, would also be invited.Amanda Vercoe, second secretary at the New Zealand High Commission here, said that visiting the Kotla was among the options for Key.”Kotla is among a wide range of options we have for the prime minister. But nothing has been finalised as yet,” Vercoe told MAIL TODAY.It is learnt that if Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who are recuperating from shoulder injuries, are in town and available on that day, they would most probably be present on the occasion.Chennai Super Kings’ coach Stephen Fleming and captain MS Dhoni.Chopra said Key is visiting Kotla possibly to organise some sort of felicitation for former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming for his role in Chennai Super Kings’ successful Indian Premier League campaigns.Key, 49, is leading a 25-strong trade delegation on his three-day state visit and he is schedule to visit Agra and Mumbai too.That he has managed to squeeze time out from his tight schedule to visit the Kotla conveys about his love for sports.Key will be departing his country on June 26 and returning on July 1, as per a New Zealand government statement. Besides New Delhi, the delegation will visit Agra and Mumbai.It will be the second visit by a prime minister to a Delhi stadium in less than a year. On July 29 last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was leading a high profile delegation, comprising Olympians Sebastian Coe and Sir Steve Redgrave, visited the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium and played soft-ball cricket with Kapil Dev on the artificial hockey turf.Among those present were former cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi, legendary athlete Milkha Singh and the 1975 World Cup- winning hockey captain Ajit Pal Singh.last_img read more

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