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Bolt will need to prove himself, say Mariners

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MELBOURNE:Usain Bolt will be granted all the time he needs to prove himself worthy of a contract at the Central Coast Mariners but the retired athletics superstar will have to prove himself like any other player, officials at the struggling Australian soccer club have said.
The Mariners confirmed on Tuesday the Olympics sprint champion would train “indefinitely” with the club, which finished bottom of the 10-team A-League last season and operates in one of the country’s smallest soccer markets.The open-ended arrangement has proved polarising in Australia, with critics dismissing it as a publicity stunt to boost the profile of a team that has failed to make the playoffs for the last four seasons.
The Mariners, however, defended the move on Wednesday, saying it had the potential to reap huge long-term benefits should Bolt make the grade. “This may take three weeks, this may take three months, this may take six months. It may take longer, who knows?” club CEO Shaun Mielekamp told reporters at their home base in Gosford.“Only time will tell but it’s exciting to see what this will do for our region.”
Bolt, who won eight Olympics golds before retiring at the World Championships in London last year, has trained with Germany’s Borussia Dortmund and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns. —


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PCB Chairman Sethi resigns, Mani to replace him

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Islamabad :There was a leadership change at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) , with Najam Sethi resigning from his chairmanship of the board and being promptly replaced with Ehsan Mani by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Mani previously represented the PCB at the International Cricket Council, cricket’s governing body, as Treasurer for three years and later headed the body for another three years from 2003 to 2006.
Sethi, who has had longstanding differences with Imran Khan, said he had been waiting for the new prime minister to take oath before submitting his resignation.
“I wish PCB all the best and hope our cricket team goes from strength to strength,” he tweeted on Monday. “Eid Mubarak. Pakistan Zindabad.”
The text of his resignation recalled his appointment to the PCB’s Board of Governors by ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif from 2014 to 2017, and then again by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from 2017 till 2020.
He recalled that PM Khan “said on many occasions that you have a vision for Pakistan cricket.”
“Therefore, it is only proper that you should assume charge and responsibility for assembling a management team for PCB that enjoys your full confidence and trust,” he added.
“In order to facilitate your objectives in the interest of Pakistan cricket, I hereby submit my resignation as Chairman of PCB and Member of its BoG,” the letter read.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had in 2014 accused Sethi of being ‘rewarded’ with the PCB chairmanship in return for ’35 punctures’ — an allusion to the ‘fixing’ of results of 35 constituencies in the 2013 election in favour of the PML-N.
According to the PTI chief and his loyalists, on election night (May 11, 2013), Najam Sethi had called PML-N party chief (and then prime minister) Nawaz Sharif and assured him that “35 punctures” had been fixed.
The tip-off about the phone conversation, according to Naeemul Haq, chief of staff to the PTI chairman and the first person to tweet about it, had come from an ambassador of a ‘key western power’.

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Afridi extends support to Kerala flood victims

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Mumbai :Kerala has been battling one of the worst floods in the history of the state with relentless rains wrecking havoc. Unending rains have resulted in massive flooding and landslides across the state with heavy damage to life and property. The flood victims have found support from people across the world with everyone doing their bit to help the needy and homeless. After several sports personalities came forward in support of the flood victims, former Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi too joined the chorus and offered support through his foundation.The whole nation has joined hands to help the people affected by floods and are offering support in the difficult times. The death toll of the floods have now increased to 350 as per the latest reports while thousands still are stuck in the neck-deep water with rescue operations underway in full swing. Lakhs of people had to relocate to the relief shelters after losing their homes.
Also Read: Kerala Floods: Indian cricketer Sanju Samson donates Rs 15 lakh, urges people to join hands and come forwardAfridi took to Twitter to express his grief over the sad state of affairs in Kerala and said he was devastated to learn about the floods. He assured that his foundation Shahid Afridi foundation stands with the brothers and sisters of Kerala and said he will pray to Allah to ease the sufferings of the victims. Also read: Nation stands beside you: Rohit Sharma posts heartfelt message for Kerala flood victims“Deeply saddened by the devastating floods in #Kerala #India. The @SAFoundationN shares your pain & stands with our brothers and sister in need. May Allah ease your sufferings & you find quick relief. #KeralaFloods #SAF #HopeNotOut for Humanity,” Afridi tweeted.
Afridi, who played 27 Tests and 398 ODI matches for Pakistan, is known for his social work through his foundation. The Shahid Afridi foundation has time and again came forward to help people in need. Indian skipper Virat Kohli too had earlier donated a signed bat in an incredible gesture to help the foundation raise funds for the poor. Meanwhile, Afridi is yet to join his Jamaica Tallwahs’ teammates in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL). He had pulled out of the tournament owing to a knee injury.

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Attitude not good enough from beaten United, admits Pogba

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BRIGHTON: Manchester United captain Paul Pogba admitted his side didn’t have the right attitude in losing 3-2 to Brighton & Hove Albion due to a shambolic defensive display.
For the first time in nearly two years, Jose Mourinho’s men conceded more than twice with all three Brighton goals arriving in a 20-minute span before half-time through Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and a Pascal Gross penalty.
“They had more hunger than us. I put myself first, that my attitude wasn’t right enough. We made mistakes we shouldn’t make,” said Pogba, whose penalty deep into stoppage time proved too little, too late.
United manager Mourinho warned of a “difficult” season when he wasn’t backed in the transfer market before the deadline for Premier League clubs closed before the opening weekend of the season.
Strengthening the heart of his defence was Mourinho’s priority and it showed as Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly endured a torrid afternoon on England’s south coast.
Bailly was particularly exposed and, having conceded a needless corner that led to Duffy’s first Premier League goal, he blundered in to foul Gross, who put away the penalty via David de Gea’s leg on the stroke of halftime.
Although Romelu Lukaku had earlier reduced the deficit with a trademark header, United looked ill-equipped to mount a comeback and were often second best to the ball as they fell three points behind defending champions Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur just two games into the new campaign.
Mourinho will now demand an instant reaction when United host Tottenham in their next game.
“We were punished by the mistakes we made. For me that’s the story of the game,” said Mourinho. “We made incredible mistakes in some crucial moments. Mistakes that killed us.”
Brighton’s Murray said their 3-1 home win over United last season gave them confidence that could spring another surprise.
“It was all about the balls being played in to me, I got quality support,” said the striker.

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