Monaco: Out of the national team reckoning for a while now, India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh says he will continue playing cricket till 2019 before taking a call on his retirement.
Yuvraj, who last played for India in June 2017 in an ODI, said the upcoming IPL holds great significance for him as a good performance in the T20 event will help him keep in the fray for a spot in the 2019 World Cup.
“I am looking forward to a good IPL. It’s a very important tournament for me as it will only set me to play cricket till 2019. I am looking to play cricket till 2019, whatever cricket I get to play and take a call after that,” Yuvraj said.
A regular in the Indian ODI team till the 2011 World Cup triumph before his career was jeopardised by a rare germ cell cancer, Yuvraj’s only regret was that he could not cement his place in the Indian Test side. “Definitely, in the first 6-7 years of my career when I was at my best I did not get a lot of opportunities because there were such great players in the (Test) team and when I got an opportunity I was diagnosed with cancer. So that regret will always be there but these things are never in my control. I am just looking forward to whatever cricket I get to play,” the 36-year-old all-rounder said.
Yuvraj praised Virat Kohli and his men for the character they showed to bounce back in the limited overs series against South Africa after the close 1-2 loss in the Test rubber.
“I think it is a pretty great performance. They showed a lot of character after losing the Test series. It was as a hard-fought Test series, could have gone either way. But it was a very convincing win in the ODI series. Kohli led from the front with some big runs,” the left-handed batsman said.
“Spinners bowled very well especially Kuldeep (Yadav) and (Yuzvendra) Chahal and got South Africa into trouble. And then they stepped on the gas and won the T20 series 2-1. Going abroad playing three series winning two definitely shows India’s dominance.”
Kohli might have set his sights on winning the upcoming tours of England and Australia but Yuvraj said India will need consistent performances from the players to achieve the goal. “It’s a good start to believe that you can dominate outside. If you can consistently do that in England and Australia you definitely will have the belief,” he said.
“Now the team is set to conquer the world. England and Australia will be testing series but if we can get some consistent performances it will give a lot of self-belief to the players,” he added.
Yuvraj, who climbed up the ladders of age group cricket, offered some words of advice for the likes of Prthivi Shaw and Shubman Gill. “I think they are great talents and hopefully in the next coming years we will see them play for India.”
Ganguly backs Dhawan to shine at ICC World Cup
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 India
s hopes at this years Cricket World Cup, former captain Sourav Ganguly has said.
Dhawan smashed 97 not out off 63 balls in Delhi Capitals
seven-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.
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.
Olympique Lyon’s Champions League spot under threat after Nantes defeat
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 Limbombe
s 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.
Defender Gomez sign two-year contract extension in East Bengal
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.