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Australia calls on David Warner to rein in the raging ‘Bull’

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Melbourne: Footage of David Warner being restrained by teammates in an off-field fracas with South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has been viewed dimly in Australia, where former players have urged the vice-captain to rein in the raging ‘Bull’.
The opening batsman could face an ICC sanction for his part in the ugly stairwell incident at Kingsmead on Sunday which shattered cricket’s unofficial rule of ‘what happens on the field, stays on the field.’
His captain Steve Smith suggested De Kock had enraged the hot-headed lefthander by getting personal in his sledding, the nature of which focussed on Warner’s wife, according to local media reports.
The South African camp retorted that whatever was said was payback for Warner’s own aggressive sledging of De Kock and other Proteas players out on the field.
Warner was nicknamed ‘Bull’ early in his career, a moniker that fittingly captured his rampaging batting and tendency to rack up violations for ill-tempered episodes during play.
But his 2015 marriage to ironwoman athlete Candice and fatherhood seemed to mellow Warner to the point that his teammates re-branded him ‘the Reverend’ for his quieter demeanor.
Warner shed his ‘Reverend’ persona prior to the recent Ashes series, however, as he called on teammates to summon “hatred” for the visiting English.
If there is a comfortable middle ground between the ‘the Reverend’ and the ‘Bull’, Warner has yet to find it, noted former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.
“It was really extreme the opposite way, and now he’s come back again saying ‘old Davey’s back’ and all his teammates are saying ‘the Reverend’s gone, Bull’s back,” Gilchrist told local radio.
“It’s always a worry in any situation when someone is so extreme in one direction or the other.
“I think Davey’s got to find somewhere in between that.
“Once the emotion and the aggression are taken away from it, David has to be a little bit disappointed that he’s done that and allowed this whole discussion to start up.”
Warner was involved in another unsightly incident on the field during the opening test in Durban when he unleashed a withering verbal spray at Aiden Markram after the rookie opening batsman was culpable in running out AB de Villiers in South Africa’s second innings.
Warner shook hands with De Kock after Australia quickly closed out their 118-run victory on Monday, to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
It was described by Australian media as a moment of reconciliation between the teams but Warner can expect little relief from the niggle by Proteas players for the rest of the series, according to former test all-rounder Brad Hogg.
“They’ll be trying to nag him in the next three test matches about his wife now,” Hogg told local broadcaster Fox Sports.
“To be frank, South Africa have found a little sweet spot with David Warner.”


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Ganguly backs Dhawan to shine at ICC World Cup

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Mumbai:There is not a bowler in the world that can stop Shikhar Dhawan when the opener is in determined mood and the left-hander will be crucial to Indias hopes at this years Cricket World Cup, former captain Sourav Ganguly has said.

Dhawan smashed 97 not out off 63 balls in Delhi Capitalsseven-wicket victory against Kolkata Knight Riders in Fridays Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at Eden Gardens, much to the delight of Ganguly, an advisor to the Capitals.

Captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma are India`s batting mainstays in one-day cricket but Ganguly puts Dhawan, who has 16 centuries from 128 ODIs with a 93-plus strike rate, in the same league.

 

“The three best players in one-day cricket — Dhawan, Rohit, Virat,” Ganguly told the IPL website. “When he (Dhawan) gets set and gets in he`s unstoppable.

“All I expect from him is determination. When he is determined, no bowler in the world can stop him.”

Dhawan`s second fifty of this IPL season, which catapulted Delhi into the top four, augurs well for India ahead of the May 30 to July 14 World Cup in England and Wales.

Along with opening partner Rohit, the onus will be on Dhawan to give India strong starts in the tournament and the southpaw has performed well on English soil.

Named man of the series in their triumphant 2013 Champions Trophy campaign, Dhawan was also the tournament`s leading scorer four years later when India lost in the final to Pakistan.

“If he gets set, he takes the game away. This is how he plays for India,” Ganguly, who led India to the final of the 2003 World Cup, later told reporters. “He`s a class act.”

Two-time champions India begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Southampton on June 5.

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Olympique Lyon’s Champions League spot under threat after Nantes defeat

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London: Olympique Lyonnais` Champions League qualifying hopes were hit as they were beaten 2-1 at Nantes in Ligue 1.

Third-placed Lyon, who hold the final Champions League qualifying spot, were undone by Anthony Limbombes late free-kick after Martin Terrier had cancelled out Kalifa Coulibalys opener for Nantes.

Lyon are on 56 points with six games left, six ahead of fourth-placed St Etienne, who play their game in hand at home against Girondins de Bordeaux on Sunday.

 

It was Lyon`s third straight defeat in all competitions after they were knocked out of the French Cup semi-finals by Stade Rennes and lost at home to lowly Dijon in the league last weekend.

The result leaves an even bigger question mark over coach Bruno Genesio`s future, with the club set to make a decision on whether to extend his contract at the end of the season.

With Nabil Fekir, Memphis Depay and Marcelo on the bench, Lyon got off to a bad start.

Coulibaly opened the scoring in the 11th minute after collecting a though ball from Majeed Waris.

Lyon were shaken by the hosts but weathered the storm and equalised one minute before the interval when Terrier curled a fine shot into the back of the net to finish off a counter-attack.

Limbombe earned Nantes victory seven minutes from fulltime with an inch-perfect free-kick, lifting the Canaries up to 15th in the table on 34 points.

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Defender Gomez sign two-year contract extension in East Bengal

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Mumbai: East Bengal fans will heave a huge sigh of relief after their star defender Borja Gomes decided to sign a contract extension with the club and not follow Jobby Justin to go out. The Kolkata-based club is in the process of becoming a part of the ISL next season with I-League’s future looking bleak.

East Bengal came agonizingly close to lift the I-League title yet again this season before Chennai City FC eventually won it as the Kolkata club finished second.And with I-League looking to either get dissolved or set to get demoted to the second division, it was important for East Bengal to finish high on the table.

However, that wasn’t enough for the club to retain their star striker Jobby Justin, who signed a pre-contract with two-time ISL champions ATK just after the I-League ended and the Super Cup was in its quarter-final stage. But, the club was quick to react after that setback and on Friday handed a two-year contract extension to Spanish defender Borja Gomez.

 

“East Bengal FC are pleased to announce the renewal of contract with Borja Gomez Perez for the next two seasons,” the club said in a statement.

“According to him, this is the best team and ‘fans are the best in India’,” the statement added.

The Madrid-born La-Liga star, who is nick-named as the ‘Senapati’, was one of the key members for the club last season and has been a motivator for the team both on and off the field. Gomez has previously played for Granada CF, Real Oviedo, Hercules CF, Real Murcia and more before East Bengal had signed him from UD Sanse in January last year.

East Bengal has already announced their bid for ISL in a board meeting and are currently waiting for the terms to get financially acceptable.

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