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I always feel so welcome in India: Brett Lee

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New Delhi: Former Australian pacer Brett Lee, who is a popular face on Indian television, wants One-day international (ODI) cricket to return to the days when totals in the range of 250-280 were considered competitive. And for that to happen in today`s “batsmen friendly” game, pitches that give bowlers something to work with have to be curated. He says he always feel “so welcomed” in India which has accepted him “as part of its own”.
“What the bowlers need are the wickets. They have to get wickets that (are) not totally flat (batting tracks) where someone scores 400 or someone gets a 450 score… I still think that a 250-280 score, max, is a good total,” Lee told IANS on the phone from Sydney.
Earlier this month, England made 481 for six against Australia in an ODI, drawing negative reactions from Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.
Tendulkar has also called the ICC rule of using two new balls in ODIs as “a perfect recipe for disaster”. What`s Lee`s take on it?
“I don`t think there`s an issue if they use one ball in 50 overs or two balls. Having two new balls in one day cricket can assist the bowlers,” said the 41-year-old, explaining that a 25-over-old ball can aid conventional swing.
However, he said the negative of using two balls is that “it doesn`t get old enough for reverse swing”, which he said is a “very important tool” for bowlers today.
Considered one of the most successful bowlers for Australia (718 wickets/2,728 runs), Lee said that to make the game “bowler friendly”, it`s important to ensure a conducive pitch with “good grass coverage”.
“That for me is the easiest way to do it… I`m not saying have an actual green top, but just have something for the bowlers to work with,” said the brand ambassador of Vitamin D friendly sunscreen Solar D which has been launched in India through Amazon India.
As someone who loves India, its culture and people, Lee has been closely associated with philanthropic efforts in the country.
“Every time I come to India, I feel like I am a part of this beautiful country. I feel so welcomed. India has accepted me as part of its own, which I am so humble and so grateful for.”
This latest association — to do with a product that lets through some of the UVB light that the body uses to produce Vitamin D while providing sun protection — he says is one way of “giving back” to people as it concerns their health and well-being.
“People are increasingly looking out to take care of their skin. When people use sunscreen, they think they are protecting themselves from skin cancer. Yes, you are. But you are also blocking out the good stuff that your body needs.
“Your body needs some sunlight in order to make Vitamin D,” he said, expressing concern about how children are preferring to remain indoors and indulging in computer or phone games instead of playing outdoors.
“This epidemic of people being obese, overweight and unhealthy needs to change. If everyone remains indoors and does not step out and breathe fresh air, take in a bit of sunlight… their body will not be physically fit. It`s like charging the battery for your phone. If we don`t go out and charge our bodies with natural sunlight, we`re going to end up with Vitamin D deficiency.”
Skin awareness, he said, is “extremely important”, and something he was taught as a child. Now he hopes to spread awareness about it.


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WC final was the best and worst day of my cricketing life: Guptill

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London: After coming out as the losing side in the ICC Mens Cricket World Cup final, New Zealands opening batsman Martin Guptill posted an emotional message on Instagram saying it was the best and worst day of his cricketing life.

“Hard to believe it`s been a week since that incredible Final at Lords. I think it was both the best and worst day of my cricketing life! So many different emotions, but mainly proud to represent New Zealand and play for the @blackcapsnz alongside a great group of mates. Thank you to everyone for all your support, it has been amazing,” Guptill wrote on Instagram.

In another post, Guptill thanked his family for always being with him through thick and thin.

 

“I couldn`t have been more proud to have my 2 best supporters with me for the ride. @lauramcgoldrick13 you are my rock. Thank you and Harley for being there through the good times and the tough. Love my girls more than anything,” Guptill posted.

The final between New Zealand and England at the Lord`s Cricket Ground on July 14 could not separate the two sides despite the 50-over match and subsequent super over as both ended in a tie.

England were finally declared the champions on the basis of boundary countback rule.New Zealand had set up a target of 242 for England to win the World Cup.

As the hosts needed nine runs off three balls, Ben Stokes hit the ball into the deep and ran for a double. Guptill had thrown the ball in an attempt to run out Stokes but the ball bounced off Stokes` bat and reached the boundary giving England six runs.

Former ICC Elite umpire Simon Taufel had said that there was a judgment error by the on-field umpires and the six runs should not have been awarded.

“There was a judgment error on the overthrow. The judgment error was the timing of when the fielder threw the ball. The act of the overthrow starts when the fielder releases the ball. That`s the act. It becomes an overthrow from the instant of the throw,” Taufel had said.

In the super over, New Zealand needed two runs of the final ball for the win, but Guptill was run-out, ending the over in a tie and leaving the batsman distraught. Many former cricketers had criticised the ICC for deciding the World Cup winner on the basis of boundary countback.

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Ronaldo will not face rape charge in Vegas

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London: Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo will face no charges in Las Vegas in connection with a 10-year-old sexual assault allegation because the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, prosecutors said.

Ronaldo, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time and plays for the Italian club Juventus, has maintained he is innocent.

Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in September 2018 in state court in Nevada accusing the athlete of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel penthouse suite in 2009, then paying her $375,000 in hush money.

 

A woman called Las Vegas police on June 13, 2009 to report that she had been sexually assaulted and police took her to the hospital for an examination, the Clark County District Attorney`s Office said in a statement on Monday. She declined to identify the person who she said assaulted her.

The statement did not identify the woman, but Mayorga`s civil lawsuit mirrors the allegation outlined by prosecutors.

Mayorga and Ronaldo reached a civil settlement in 2010 and law enforcement did not hear again from her until Aug. 28, 2018, when she asked police to reopen the investigation. She said Ronaldo was the person who sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

Las Vegas police on July 8 asked the Clark County District Attorney`s Office to prosecute the case.

“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the District Attorney`s Office said in a statement on Monday.

Ronaldo`s attorney, Peter Christiansen, did not return calls. Attorneys for Mayorga could not be reached for comment.

Las Vegas police said in January they had formally asked Italian authorities to obtain a DNA sample from Ronaldo.

Police did not immediately respond to emails asking if they ever obtained the DNA.

The civil lawsuit, in which Mayorga sought more than $200,000 in damages, has been moved to federal court.

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Tokyo adds robots to Olympic roster

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TOKYO: A roster of Olympic robots that will do everything from welcoming visitors to transporting javelins has been unveiled as Tokyo works to showcase Japanese technology at next year’s Summer Games.

Japan hopes the 2020 Olympics will be a chance to put its tech sector back on the map after years in which the country’s reputation as an industry leader has flagged.

Auto giant Toyota has a roster of five robots with different roles to play, from cutesy renditions of the Olympic mascots to a staid transport bot.

 

Undoubtedly the most appealing are the toddler-sized versions of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic mascots, the futuristic Miraitowa and Someity.

Blue- or pink-checked, with huge eyes and pointy ears, the mascot robots have multiple joints and arms which can be remotely controlled.

And while the pint-sized pair can’t move or talk, a camera inside their heads helps them interact with spectators and athletes, said Tomohisa Moiradaira, an official responsible for Tokyo 2020 robot development at Toyota.

“Thanks to the camera, the robots can recognise people’s expressions and respond back,” he told reporters on Monday. “If a person moves away it will look sad.”
The mascot’s ‘feelings’ are reflected in its eyes: they can display hearts or stars depending on emotions.

Toyota has suggested the mascot robots could welcome athletes and spectators, and possibly help engage children with the Games.

Significantly less cute — but slightly more practical — is the company’s Field Support Robot, a suitcase-sized automaton on wheels that will help Olympic staff.

“It is capable of following staff, while avoiding obstacles, and can be loaded with items like javelins or discusses, helping reduce the amount of time needed to retrieve items as well as reduce the amount of staff labour for events,” Toyota said.

Other offerings include robots designed to support people in wheelchairs or deliver food to spectators.

For those who can’t attend the Games, there’s the T-TR1, effectively a human-sized narrow screen on wheels equipped with a camera.

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