Connect with us

Sports

Minerva Punjab FC to have 11 players from last year’s title winning squad

I league

Agencies

Published

🕒

on

IST

Chandigarh :When the I League defending champions Minerva Punjab FC open their campaign in this year’s I League against Churchill Brothers at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Panchkula,, the Punjab team will only have 11 players from the last year’s title winning squad. With foreign players Chencho Gyeltshen, who was the third highest goal-scorer last season, Kassim Aidera, Bazie Armand and Eric Dano coupled with Indian players like Gagandeep Bali and Sukhdev Singh joining other clubs, it’s like a new start for the Punjab outfit.

“Yes, there will be pressure on us. But then that’s what has been the plan for Minerva Punjab FC in the two seasons. Some big names have left but they became stars after coming to Minerva Punjab FC. And that’s what the focus will be for this year’s I league too. Every player has the hunger to represent the club and this hunger motivates them. As the technical director, I want to see these players play at Asian level and for the country in future. They know that if they beat us, it will be huge for them and such wins count special for the opposition. And that’s why we also need to play our best game. We won the Punjab Super league for the first time and it also helped us to try out the combinations,” said Paul Munster, technical director of Minerva Punjab FC after the jersey launch of the club in Chandigarh.

The Daun village-based club finished ninth in their maiden I League season in 2016-17 before winning the title in January this year. Minerva Punjab FC claimed the title with 11 wins in 18 matches in the 10-team league. Bhutanese forward Chencho Gyeltshen was the leading scorer for the team with seven goals apart from William Opoku scoring six goals in the league. This year’s I League will see the participation of 11 teams and Minerva Punjab FC will attempt to become the first team to win successive titles since East Bengal achieved the feat in 2004. Apart from recruiting Indian U-17 World Cup team players Md Shahjahan and Nongdamba Naorem, the team has also got the presence of Japanese player Yu Kuboki, who signed with the club after a transfer from Australian club Sydney Olympic FC. The team will play 10 matches at Tau Devi Lal Stadium. While last year’s head coach Khogen Singh also left the club, Sachin Badhadhe has now donned the role of head coach.

 

“We have got the depth for playing consistently in the 11-team format. There are no stars in the team but we rely on combinations and exploiting the weakness of opponents. The squad of 27 players also sees the presence of players like Japanese Yu Kuboki apart from foreign recruits Nsabimana Aimable apart from last year’s sixth-highest scorer William Opoku. The Indian youngsters too are eager to perform well and with goal-keeper Arshdeep Singh being fully fit, we will rely heavily on him. The U-17 World Cup team-members also bring some young talent in the team and we will take it one match at a time in the league. The first two matches against Churchill Brothers and Real Kashmir FC will crucial for us as it would set the momentum for us,” Badhadhe said.

The Punjab outfit has also roped in former JCT coach and player Sukhwinder Singh as the technical director. Singh was the coach of the JCT team which won the inaugural edition of I league in 1996-1997. “Minerva Punjab FC has been the best thing which has happened with Punjab Football after JCT won in 1996-1997 season. Punjab has got the talent and the way Minerva Punjab FC tapped the talent and won the title last year speaks volumes about the club. When JCT won the title, we too saw a lot of players like Bhaichung Bhutia, IM Vijayan and others opting to play for other clubs in the next season. But we had a talent of 40-45 players who played for India. We won the federation the next year and we need to produce such talents in Punjab. It will be difficult to defend the title but the Minerva Punjab FC has the strength to do it,” said Singh.


Advertisement
Loading...
Comments

Sports

Dhoni ‘unavailable’ for West Indies tour, takes two-month break to serve his regiment

Agencies

Published

on

New Delhi: The mystery surrounding Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his future has been solved for now. The former India skipper has decided to take a two-month break and serve his army regiment after a gruelling India Premier League season and the 2019 World Cup.

It is no secret that Dhoni had already made himself unavailable for the tour of West Indies, but he has now informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he is joining the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army.

Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that the former India skipper has informed the BCCI of his plans and that this was in no way to be considered a move towards retirement.

 

“He has had a long season where he played the IPL with a sore back and then also played in the World Cup with an injury and he felt that it was important to take a break and come back fresh. With the selectors set to meet in Mumbai on Sunday to pick the squad for the Windies series, he has informed the board that he will be serving his army regiment for the next two months. This has nothing to do with retirement,” the source said.

Dhoni is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army. Earlier skipper Virat Kohli had made it clear that the team management hadn`t heard anything from Dhoni on his future. But the former skipper has now sent across the message to all concerned.

In fact, while rumours were doing the rounds that Dhoni would have called it quits after the World Cup, those close to him had made it clear that it was unlikely. With Dhoni now informing the board of the sabbatical, there is clearly more to come when it comes to Dhoni serving the national team.

Continue Reading

Sports

ICC’s suspension of Zimbabwe Board is a wake-up call for PCB

Agencies

Published

on

Islamabad: THE suspension of the Zimbabwe Cricket Board by the ICC due to government’s interference is a wake-up call for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) who need to exclude several clauses from its constitution which allow the federal government and the prime minister as its patron to intervene in the PCB affairs.

The PCB’s constitution was approved in 2014 during ex-chairman Najam Sethi’s tenure while earlier some amendments were also made by another former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf. Though the media at the time had raised concern over those clauses which allowed government’s interference in the PCB affairs, Zaka had dispelled such concerns and had claimed that the ICC had approved the constitution.

However, the recent decision of the ICC to suspend the Zimbabwe Cricket Board after the Zimbabwe government had dissolved their board should be an eye opener for the PCB as well as other boards who encourage such interference from the government.

 

In the PCB’s constitution, one of the major clauses (number 45) says: “The Federal Government may, if it deemed necessary and expedient, make amendment in this constitution by way of repeal, substitution, omission, modification or addition of any provision thereof.”

In yet another clause (3), the patron may, from time to time, give to the Board general policy directions and the Board shall implement the same.”Moreover, the patron, who has not been elected by any forum of the PCB but automatically gets this position for being the prime minister of the country, also has the power to remove the PCB chairman and also to dissolve the most supreme body of the PCB — the Board of Governors — under special circumstances mentioned in the PCB constitution.

Furthermore, two members of the Board of Governors are to be nominated by the patron, too, and traditionally, one of them is elected as the PCB chairman.

t may be mentioned here that the ICC in the past has suspended the memberships of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Nepal, prior to the Zimbabwe suspension for the same reasons of government’s interferences. However, the ICC chose to look the other way when the Indian Supreme Court formed the famous Lodha Commission to look into the BCCI affairs and to investigate the charges of corruptions in the IPL edition held in 2013.Though then BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke had verbally asked then ICC chief executive Dav Richardson to write a letter to BCCI, showing concern over government’s interference after the formation of the Lodha Commission, Richardson refrained from it and insisted that BCCI should first write a letter to the world cricket governing body apprising it of the situation and asking for action.

Shirke had alleged that ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, who was also president of BCCI in 2013, had submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court, highlighting the threat of the ICC suspension. However, he is reluctant to take any action as ICC chairman at the moment.

The PCB, which is pondering further amendments in the existing constitution to incorporate some clauses to change the currentt domestic cricket set up, will be well advised to revisit the clauses that allow govt interference in order to avoid any threat of the ICC’s action in the future.

Continue Reading

Sports

Morgan troubled by WC win, says not ‘fair to have result like that’

Agencies

Published

on

London: England captain Eoin Morgan admitted that he is troubled with the way the 2019 World Cup ended. England and New Zealand played out a match that was tied twice — first in regular play and then in the Super Over — and Morgan`s side won the title on the basis of their superior tally of boundaries in the match.

“I dont think its fair to have a result like that when theres very little between the sides," Morgan told The Times. "I dont think there was one moment that you could say: That actually cost the game there. It was quite balanced.”

In what has since been described as the greatest World Cup final ever and even the greatest ODI match ever played, the method of finding the winner has come under almost universal criticism and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was hailed for the way he handled the defeat. Morgan is normally known for his clear-headed approach and has been credited with leading a sea change in England`s attitude towards the white ball cricket but even he admitted that he is struggling to make sense of what happened in the final.

 

“Im black and white. Im normally going: I know. I was there, that happened. (But) I cant stick my finger on where the game was won and lost. Im not sure winning it makes it any easier. It would be more difficult to lose, of course,” he said.

“Theres no defining moment that youd say: Yes, we thoroughly deserved it. It`s just been crazy.”

The match ebbed and flowed and there were times when one side looked as likely to win the game as the other. Morgan said that he has been speaking to Williamson, with whom he has played on a number of occasions in the Indian Premier League, about the game.

“I spoke to Kane over the last couple of days on numerous occasions and none of us has come up with a rational explanation as to the various times we gave them the game and they gave it back to us. Like me, he can`t get his head around everything,” he said.

The 32-year-old, however, agreed that the final was probably the greatest ever cricket match. “By a long way. I cant think of a game thats come close. Madness. I should be cheery about it, shouldn`t I?” he said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 1,011,325 other subscribers

Advertisement

Archives

July 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Advertisement