Qatar says 'no delays' in 2022 FIFA World Cup despite crisis

Qatar's 2022 World Cup preparations have been inconvenienced but not delayed by the political
and economic boycott by its neighbours, the country's most senior tournament organiser insisted on
Sunday.

Hassan Al-Thawadi, the secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy,
said alternative suppliers outside those countries involved in the ongoing dispute have been found
for tournament-related construction projects.

“The impact has been minimal,” Thawadi told Doha-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera English in an
interview to be aired later on Sunday.

“In terms of stadium progress or stadium construction and infrastructure requirements for the World
Cup, progress is being made as well.” He added that the crisis has “caused an inconvenience”.

Asked outright if projects had been delayed, Thawadi responded: “Projects are on schedule. No
delays have occurred.”

Qatar has been isolated since June 5, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and
Egypt cut ties with the World Cup host — accusing it of backing extremism and fostering ties with
Iran — triggering the biggest political crisis in the Gulf for several years. Doha denies the claims.

Qatar initially gave priority to Gulf suppliers for the vast construction projects — the country is
spending $500 million a week on World Cup projects — accompanying the controversial
tournament.

Since the conflict began some have questioned whether the gas-rich emirate can subsequently meet
deadlines to build or renovate the eight stadiums currently earmarked for 2022. But Doha has said
it swiftly replaced Saudi and the UAE companies with Chinese and Malaysian contractors, among
others, since June 5.

Qatar is soon expected to unveil its latest designs for further stadiums. Since winning the 2022 bid
seven years ago, Qatar has been dogged by controversy over allegations of corruption to secure
the tournament and the abuse of workers building stadiums, claims which it denies.
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Stuart Broad overtakes Sir Ian Botham to become England's second highest wicket-taker

Stuart Broad is England's second highest wicket-taker in Tests after surpassing Sir Ian Botham's
total of 383.

Former all-rounder Botham hailed Broad's achievement as 'absolutely brilliant' after the
Nottinghamshire seamer bowled West Indies wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich to claim his 384th
scalp under the floodlights on day three of the first day-night Test to be played in England.

"I think it's fantastic," said Botham. "If you are going to do it - and it was only a matter of when -
you'd much rather it was here, given the atmosphere.

"It would have been an anti-climax to have done it in a week's time at Leeds. It's absolutely
brilliant. It just nipped back through the gate and hit the top off off-stump."

It's the first time since 1984 that Botham has not been in the top two of the leading wicket-takers in
Test cricket for England and only team-mate James Anderson, with 491, has claimed more victims.

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South Africa's Hashim Amla is considering Kolpak deal, claims report

In another Kolpak development that could potentially leave a gaping hole in South Africa cricket, it
has emerged that Proteas batsman Hashim Amla is also considering signing a Kolpak deal, joining a
long list of South African players recently who have renounced the national team for a more secure
future in English counties.

According to a report in Independent Online, a South Africa-based news organisation, it has been
learnt that the 33-year-old has been approached by a few counties, and a London club is also
interested in him.

Recently, there were even reports of Morne Morkel considering such a move, although nothing
substantial has come out of it as of now.

Some of the players who have recently left South Africa are Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw, Stiaan
van Zyl and Dane Vilas. Although all of them were prolific players for the national team in their own
right, the impact of Amla leaving international cricket might be much larger.

Amla had earlier stated his desire to feature in 2019 World Cup, but it has been reported that he is
considering the move after a failed England tour.

South Africa are currently in talks to sign Ottis Gibson as the new coach of the national team to
replace Russell Domingo, with whom Amla is believed to have had a strong bond over the years. It
has been reported that Amla is looking at the deal as it could provide him the opportunity to play
under less pressure.

It has also been reported that Amla is considering the deal keeping in mind his young family —
having become a father for the third time recently.

However, Amla is listed as a marquee player for the Kingsmead-based Durban Qalandars in South
Africa's T20 Global league.

The crafty opening batsman has previously played for Essex and Surrey as an overseas player.
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Piedt, Hendricks keep South Africa 'A' ahead

Cape Town - Beuran Hendricks and Dane Piedt took six wickets between them to bundle out
India 'A' for 120 runs in 39 overs on day two of the first Cricket South Africa (CSA) Four-Day
match of the two-match series at Tuks Oval in Pretoria on Sunday.

The visitors were found wanting in their chase of the South Africa 'A' side's 346-run total, posted
after they picked up from their overnight score of 274/4.

Openers Ravikumar Samarth and Ishan Kishan both fell without scoring, the former run out by
Andile Phehlukwayo and the latter was caught by David Miller off Hendricks in the opening over of
their innings.

They were followed by Sudip Chatterjee, who only managed six runs before he was removed by
Junior Dala (1/36), leaving the Indians struggling on 37/3 on the nine-over mark.

The highest run scores came from Shreyas Iyer (31 off 32 balls), Vijay Shankar who retired hurt on
26 and Shahbaz Nadeem (21).

The rest of the  line-up could not manage more than Karun Nair's 15 runs as Piedt (3/32) and
Hendricks (3/23) ripped through them with seeming ease at the top and bottom ends of the innings.

Shaun von Berg (1/16) also chipped in with a wicket, seeing the end of Aniket Choudhary (6)
before Piedt dispatched Mohammed Siraj (0), bringing an emphatic end to the innings.

South Africa were 66 without loss at the close with a lead of 292.

Stephen Cook and captain, Aiden Markram are on a respective 32 and 34 not out.

They will hope for a better showing from the middle order and tail-enders who fell cheaply earlier
today.

Hendricks and Khaya Zondo were run out for 12 and 24 runs respectively with ducks coming from
Phehlukwayo and Piedt.

Only Heinrich Klaasen managed 29 runs and a 30-run, eighth-wicket stand with Von Berg (9) as
the home side slipped from 306/5 to 346 all out.
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Rogers Cup: Pliskova, Wozniacki win, Venus routed

World number one Karolina Pliskova was dragged into a mighty battle before being granted a
berth in the Rogers Cup quarterfinals when Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka retired with an
abdominal injury on Thursday.

Czech Pliskova, playing her first tournament with the top ranking, was pushed into a deciding set by
qualifier Osaka before the 19 year-old called for the trainer when trailing 6-2 6-7(4) 1-0 and
promptly withdrew.

“She played well, especially in the second set she was fighting pretty hard, much better than the
first,” said Pliskova. “I was just trying to stay in the game, the first game of the third set was very
tough I didn't even know she was injured,” said the world number one.

Pliskova, playing her first tournament since a shock second round defeat at Wimbledon, had shown
signs of rust in a ragged opening win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but looked more like a world
number one as she swept four straight games to take the first set from 50th ranked Osaka. But the
Japanese rallied to match the lanky Czech shot-for-shot in a gripping second set, then dominated
the tiebreak.

During the changeover, Osaka told her coach that she was feeling discomfort and was told to
withdraw if the pain persisted to avoid the risk of further injury. Osaka did just that, calling for the
trainer after dropping serve to open the third set.

“I think my game today was much better, especially my serve,” said Pliskova, who clubbed 13
aces. “I didn't lose my serve in this match today, I'm happy with the way I was serving today.”

Pliskova will need to have her serve firing on all cylinders when she meets sixth seed and former
world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the last eight.

Easy win

In a battle of former-Rogers Cup champions, a ruthless Wozniacki showed no mercy by sweeping
past her good friend Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3 6-1 in just 78 minutes.

The only hiccup in an otherwise polished effort against the 10th seeded Pole came when Wozniacki
was up 5-0 in the second and squandered three match points. But the Dane closed out the match
on the next chance with a stinging forehand winner.

“We've known each other since we were five and six years old so there are no secrets out there,”
said Wozniacki, who has reached five finals this season without winning a title. “It is always
unfortunate to play a good friend in such an early round but at the same time it is part of the game,”
she said.

Other matches

Czech Lucie Safarova also made the last eight by outlasting Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-7
(3), 6-2, while France's Caroline Garcia beat 18-year-old American Catherine Bellis 6-4, 6-2.

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina broke American Venus Williams six times en route to a near-perfect 6-2,
6-1 victory. Svitolina's 40th win of the year booked her first Rogers Cup quarter-final appearance.

Unseeded American Sloane Stephens upset former world number one Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-2
on Thursday as she continues her comeback from a year-long absence due to a foot injury.

Stephens will face Czech Lucie Safarova in the quarter-finals.

Fourth seed Garbine Muguruza dispatched Ashleigh Barty of Australia 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 at their centre
court meeting.
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Jadeja’s fifer spins India to innings-win over Sri Lanka

COLOMBOI: India buried Sri Lanka under a mountain of runs as they cantered to a
comprehensive innings and 53-run victory in the second Test, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the
three-match series here on Sunday.

The hosts, who put up their best batting show in the series so far were all-out for 386 in the second
innings despite twin centuries from opener Dimuth Karunaratne (141) and No 3 Kusal Mendis
(110).

Ravindra Jadeja (5/152 in 39 overs), after an indifferent final two sessions on the third day, found
his rhythm and more importantly length back to inflict the maximum damage.

Once Karunaratne and former skipper Angelo Mathews (36) were dismissed by Jadeja within a
space of five runs from each other, it was only a matter of time before India clinched the series.

Karunaratne and Mathews added 69 runs for the fifth wicket as Sri Lanka were 310 for four at
one stage before a collapse saw the last six wickets going down for 76 runs.

India have now won back-to-back away Test series in the island nation having clinched the
previous edition in 2015 by 2-1 margin. Interestingly, Kohli is the only India captain to have won
two Test series in Sri Lanka.

The quality, or the lack of it, of the Sri Lankan team will give Virat Kohli and his boys a chance to
complete a clean sweep in Pallekele (Kandy), where the the third Test starts on August 12.

Save Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, India have not had a chance to register an all-win record in an
away series in any country.

Not a great believer in enforcing follow-on, skipper Kohli said that a lead of 440 runs convinced
him to do so.

“The way the wicket behaved and how it was getting worse by the day and the lead of more than
440 prompted us to enforce the follow-on,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

While there was turn on offer and the pitch did deteriorate, but Karunaratne and Mendis, during
their 191-run second wicket stand last evening, had shown stomach for a fight.

“At the international level, you expect teams to come and play like that (on Mendis and
Karunaratne tons). They batted really well. You need to have those tough times to improve as
cricketers. If you enjoy the hard moments, you enjoy the good moments as well. Never get
complacent as a side – that’s important.”

However, after Sri Lanka were all out for 183 in the first innings in reply to India’s 622, it was
always going to be a catch-up game for the hosts.

The Indian bowlers — especially the two spinners — were made to work much harder than their
previous three innings in the Test matches so far.

Ravichandran Ashwin (2/132 in 37.5 overs), after a good first innings show, did not look half as
effective. He, however, got the final wicket of the Sri Lankan second innings to end the match.

In the post-lunch session, it was Jadeja who hit the right areas, extracting sharp turn and bounce off
the pitch.

Karunartane, after his 307-ball vigil, got a wicked delivery that jumped off his gloves with Ajinkya
Rahane running behind the wicketkeeper to take the catch.

Mathews then got one that had both turn and bounce with Wriddhiman Saha giving a superb
exhibition of glovework.

Dilruwan Perera (17) was then stumped as he tried to give Jadeja the charge.

The skipper was effusive in his praise for Saha.

“Four byes on that sort of pitch speaks of his (Saha’s) quality. He is definitely the best keeper in
this format I will say. How agile he is! He is very safe behind the stumps,” Kohli stated.

The ninth five-wicket haul for Jadeja came when Dhananjaya De Silva edged one to Rahane at first-
slip.

Niroshan Dickwella (31) threw his bat around before Hardik Pandya (2/31 in 15 overs) accounted
for his wicket.

At the start, Karunaratne added 40 runs with nightwatchman Malinda Pushpakumara (16) for the
third wicket.

The two continued to stonewall the Indian attack, and a few runs were added too. India struggled
to make things happen as they failed to latch on to the half-chances offered by the nightwatchman.

The big moment of the session came in the 66th over when K L Rahul dropped Karunaratne (then
on 95) at short leg off Jadeja, which didn’t prove costly in the long run.

The opener didn’t offer any more chances thereafter, reaching the three-figure mark in 224 balls.
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Hyderabad football legends to adorn Delhi Hall of Fame

Hyderabad: Footballers separated by generations came together on Wednesday to call upon the
authorities and administrators to take steps on a priority basis in order to ensure that Hyderabad
will be on the revival path and hopefully inch somewhere towards the halcyon days when
Hyderabad Police constituted the virtual Indian team.

Giving a clarion call to all those in a position to work on such a blueprint, 1960 Rome Olympian,
SS Hakeem, said it was a tragedy of our times that Hyderabad football continues to live in its
glorious past, when it ought to be working on bringing about the best of vibrancy and help restore
lost pride.

The best way to take forward the legacy left behind by illustrious sons of the soil was in evolving a
workable plan of action involving passion-driven old-timers, who could double up as coach-
administrators, he said during a news conference at Media Plus Auditorium.

“Let the government provide infrastructural support and we shall produce champions like in the
good old days,” thundered Hakeem, who is the son of coach extraordinaire SA Rahim ‘Saab’.  
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Indian Women's Cricket Team

India had a stupendous run at the World Cup, managing to reach the final before losing a close final
against England.

Modi posted photos of him meeting each team member individually and also wrote a message for
everyone,

Delighted to meet the proud skipper of a proud team, @M_Raj03. Congratulated her for her
leadership and her game, Modi wrote for captain Mithali Raj.

Met @mandhana_smriti. This remarkable player overcame an injury & played the WC. Her innings
against England at Derby was stupendous.

Was happy to meet Poonam Raut, who played consistently well through the World Cup. Her
contribution to the team is invaluable.

With the talented @ImHarmanpreet...congratulated her for her memorable innings against Australia
& wished her the best for the future.

Interacted with this all rounder par excellence, Deepti Sharma. At a rather young age, her
remarkable accomplishments make us proud.

Was great meeting you, @vedakmurthy08. Keep playing with the same focus and determination.
Good luck!

With @ImSushVerma...a reliable wicket keeper and wonderful player.

Jhulan Goswami is renowned not only in India but across the world for her bowling. Had a very
good interaction with her today.S

Shikha Pandey is a promising player who made India proud in the recently concluded World Cup.

The contribution of Poonam Yadav to the team is immense. Spoke to her on a wide range of issues
during our interaction.

Appreciated Rajeshwari Gayakwad's consistent bowling in the World Cup. Delighted to meet her
today.

Met Nuzhat Parween. Had a very good interaction with her earlier today.

Interacted with the well known cricketer Mona Meshram, whose batting is admired by many.

Had a fruitful discussion with Mansi Joshi.

It was wonderful to meet cricketer Ekta Bisht. She has distinguished herself as a skilled bowler.
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Still need a big jump in women’s tennis, says Sania Mirza

Even though young players like Karman Kaur Thandi and Prarthana Thombare are performing
well, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza on Tuesday said that women’s tennis still needs a big jump.

Mirza, who was accompanied with Bollywood actress Neha Dupia and WTA officials at the
‘WTA Future Stars Tennis Clinic’ held at her Tennis Academy on the outskirts of Hyderabad, said
after the women cricket team reached the final of the Women’s World Cup that women tennis still
needs time to make it to the next level.

“We have to look at it with hope. That is what we are trying to do. I think at the end of the day, we
still need time to probably to make it to the next level, especially in women sport. I think in men, we
are a bit brighter,” she said.

“Having said that, we still need a big jump to happen. Hopefully, it will happen.”

Mirza recently played at the Wimbledon Open in the doubles category but crashed out in the third
round of the womens’ doubles category after losing to former partner Martina Hingis and Chan
Yung-Jan.

After the tournament in London, the Hyderabadi player spent time in the city with her husband
Shoaib Malik and friends Shilpa Shetty, Ashish Nehra, Azhar Mahmood and Zaheer Khan in
London.
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After magical ton, Railway promotion for star batswoman Kaur

Mumbai, Jul 23 Promotion and felicitations are on the cards for batswoman Harmanpreet Kaur,
who hit a scintillating century to help India defeat mighty australia and enter the final of the ICC
Women's World Cup.

The 28-year-old right-handed batter hit an unbeaten 171 off just 115 balls in the semi-final match
to knock out the reigning champions from the tournament being played in England.

The Mumbai division of Western Railway (WR), which has employed her, said Kaur has shown
extraordinary talent, and therefore, it would recommend to the Railway Board to promote her.

"Certainly, we would recommend her name to the Railway Ministry for promotion. We will also
felicitate her when she comes back home," said Ravinder Bhakar, chief PRO of WR, yesterday.

Kaur is currently employed as Chief Office Superintendent in Mumbai, he said.

"Whenever, our players show excellence or perform outstandingly in international events, we
recommend their names for promotion," he said.

A senior official of Central Railway, Sunil Udasi, said the state-run transport undertaking takes a
good care of its players and provides them proper training.

Udasi, who heads the committee that selects members of Railways' women cricket team, said the
PSU has always promoted women.

"Railways women cricketers have always been in the forefront and the current national team is no
exception. As many as 10 players from the current 15-member team (taking part in the World
Cup) are from Railways.

"This is due to the robust domestic schedule and facilities such as 330 days special leave for
dedicated training being provided by the Railway sports Promotion Board (RSPB)," he told PTI.

Udasi, who is also chief PRO of Central Railway, said the RSPB has undertaken various initiatives
to impart regular training to players and prepare them for international events.

Apart from Kaur, members from the current national team like skipper Mithali Raj, Ekta Bisht,
Punam Raut, Veda Krishnamurthy, Poonam Yadav, Sushma Devi, Mona Mesharm, Rajeshwari
Gayakwad and Nuzhat Parween are from Railways, he said.
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