Comment Torreira’s former manager at Sampdoria Marco Giampaolo is the new AC Milan boss (Picture: Getty)Torreira reaffirmed his commitment to Arsenal earlier this week, saying: ‘Nobody from AC Milan has got in touch with me, today I’m in the Premier [League] and happy to be part of the Arsenal.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘It cost me the adaptation, it’s not easy, but I only think about that team. I’m happy to be there.’Nevertheless, Milan appear to be growing increasingly confident that they can lure him back to Serie A as they bid to assemble a squad capable of finishing in the top-four next season.Giampaolo has also been linked with moves for Sampdoria duo Dennis Praet and Joachim Andersen, both of whom are reportedly on Unai Emery’s transfer wishlist.It seems unlikely that Arsenal would be willing to allow Torreira to leave on loan considering they spent £23m to sign him from Sampdoria a year ago while he impressed overall during his debut season.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityEmery is also operating under a strict transfer budget of around £45m this summer and he would have to find a replacement for Torreira if he were allowed to depart.Although Torreira’s form dipped towards the end of last season, he still made 34 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, scoring two goals and registering two assists.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal AC Milan are keen to bring Lucas Torreira back to Italy this summer (Picture: Getty)AC Milan are accelerating their interest in Lucas Torreira and aim to test Arsenal’s resolve with a two-year loan bid and an option to buy for the combative midfielder.According to Sky in Italy, Milan are looking to offer £4.5m to take Torreira on loan until the end of the 2020-21 campaign with a view to making it permanent for an additional £25m fee.The 23-year-old, who played for Pescara and Sampdoria prior to joining Arsenal last summer, is said to be interested in a return to Italy after struggling to settle in London.Milan’s appointment of Marco Giampaolo is another attraction for Torreira as he flourished during two seasons working with the Italian tactician in his time with Sampdoria.ADVERTISEMENT Metro Sport ReporterThursday 27 Jun 2019 12:37 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link298Shares AC Milan preparing audacious two-year loan bid to sign Lucas Torreira from Arsenal Advertisement Advertisement
Arsenal set to complete deal for winger George Lewis Mikel Arteta is set to have a limited budget this summer (Picture: Getty)Arsenal look set to finalise a move for Norwegian winger George Lewis after he impressed the club on a two-week trial, according to reports.The 19-year-old is a free agent after leaving Norwegian side Tromso and the Gunners would therefore not need to pay a fee to sign the teenager.Lewis spent a fortnight on loan with the Gunners earlier this year and was at Arsenal’s 1-0 win against West Ham in March as a guest of the club.The winger clearly impressed as Goal report that Arsenal are now in advanced talks over a move to the club and it’s unlikely that there will be any problem in signing the youngster.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTShould he sign, it’s likely that Lewis would join up with Steve Bould’s U23s where he’ll compete for a place in Arteta’s first team set-up. Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 7 May 2020 7:20 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link8.6kShares Comment Arteta was impressed by Lewis (Picture: Getty)Lewis was initially handed a seven-day trial but he impressed enough to convince the club to take a look at him in a second week.Arteta is keen on adding more flair to his side this summer having lost the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi last summer.The Spaniard is trying to convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay at the club but Arsenal face interest from Barcelona, who are fully aware that the Gabon international has just 14 months left on his deal.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArteta could be tempted to cash in on the £35m-rated forward to fund moves for the likes of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid.The Spaniard is facing a difficult summer and had been expected to be handed a limited budget before the coronavirus pandemic hit.MORE: Thierry Henry reveals why he wanted Liverpool to match Arsenal Invincibles Advertisement
Ricky Thornton Jr. took the $2,000 checkers in Monday’s Arnold Motor Supply Dirt Knights IMCA Modified Tour opener at Benton County Speedway. (Photo by Tyler Rinken)VINTON, Iowa (May 28) – A rare visit to Benton County Speedway resulted in a frequent result for Ricky Thornton Jr.Thornton passed race-long leader Troy Cordes following a late restart and led the last four laps in winning Monday’s Arnold Motor Supply Dirt Knights Tour feature for IMCA Modifieds. The checkers in the tour lidlifter were good for $2,000.“I had a really good run on the restart and was thinking I’d either win or finish last,” Thornton said of the roll-the-dice pass on the high side of the oval. “I had pretty good car and made a couple strong runs but might have to have settled for second without that restart.”Cordes led the first 26 circuits from his outside pole start. Jarrett Brown headed the pursuit through the first half of the race before Thornton made his way to second following a caution at midway.Hunter Marriott passed Thornton on lap 19 and challenged Cordes before going off the backstretch four laps later.That put Thornton back in second and in position to catch Cordes. His margin of victory was electronically timed at just over a second and a half; Brown, Ethan Dotson and Joel Rust rounded out the top five while Marriott raced back to sixth.The tour win was Thornton’s first in 10 career starts. His one previous victory at Benton County Speedway came at the Frostbuster two years ago.“Winning tonight was huge for us,” Thornton said following his ninth 2018 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying victory. “We wanted to see how tonight worked out. We’re definitely going to keep following the tour.”The next race will be one for the history books regardless of who takes the checkers, as the tour makes its first-ever trip out of state, for the $10,000 to win Clash at the Creek at 141 Speedway in Francis Creek, Wis., on June 20 and 21.Thirty-six Modifieds were entered in the Memorial Day event at Vinton.Jeff Mueller outran John Oliver Jr. and Scooter Dulin in a green, white, checkered finish to the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car main.Leah Wroten led all but the opening lap in winning the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature. Brett Vanous was second and Justin Wacha third.Joe Docekal took over up front just before midway and won the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature ahead of Joey Schaefer and Sam Wieben.Feature ResultsModifieds – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 2. Troy Cordes; 3. Jarrett Brown; 4. Ethan Dotson; 5. Joel Rust; 6. Hunter Marriott; 7. Darin Duffy; 8. Scott Hogan; 9. Kelly Shryock; 10. Bryce Garnhart; 11. Shane DeMey; 12. Todd Shute; 13. John Parmeley; 14. Kyle Brown; 15. Ronn Lauritzen; 16. Josh Most; 17. David Brown; 18. Matt Short; 19. Jeff James; 20. T.J. Smith; 21. Eric Barnes; 22. Brock Bauman; 23. Brad Dierks; 24. Corey Dripps.Stock Cars – 1. Jeff Mueller; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Scooter Dulin; 4. Norman Chesmore; 5. Shane Ebaugh; 6. Dean Kratzer; 7. Kevin Rose; 8. Russell Damme Jr.; 9. Lonnie Mercer; 10. Bob Ahrendsen; 11. Dustin Vis; 12. Damon Murty.Hobby Stocks – 1. Leah Wroten; 2. Brett Vanous; 3. Justin Wacha; 4. Jacob Floyd; 5. Matt Brown; 6. Mike Kimm; 7. Tonia Stevens; 8. Kyle Dulin; 9. Jeremiah Andrews.Northern SportMods – 1. Joe Docekal; 2. Joey Schaefer; 3. Sam Wieben; 4. Kyle Olson; 5. Austen Becerra; 6. Tyler Soppe; 7. Ethan Braaksma; 8. Shane Paris; 9. Justin Becker; 10. Ryan King; 11. Danny Dvorak; 12. Randy Lamar; 13. Richard Nelson; 14. Brady Hilmer; 15. James Roose; 16. Daniel Campbell; 17. Chuck Lewis; 18. Jacob Ellithorpe; 19. Ben Chapman; 20. Gage Neal; 21. Duane Roth; 22. Tony Olson; 23. Brandon Tharp; 24. Tom Lathrop; 25. Jared Waterman; 26. Chase Rudolf; 27. Dale Kite.
The American, who pulled out of last week’s Honda Classic midway through his final round because of injury, produced his best round for some considerable time to shoot a six-under-par 66. That put him just three strokes off the lead set by compatriot Patrick Reed but Woods, who has won four times at this venue before it was extensively remodelled for this year’s tournament, is the favourite heading into the last day. World number one Tiger Woods put his back problem well behind him to shoot the round of the week on Doral’s Blue Monster course and put himself in contention for an eighth WGC-Cadillac Championship. And though he is still not 100% fit Woods proved he is still capable of producing the form which made him the most feared golfer on the planet. “I was pretty sore last night but I’m having treatment day and my therapists are doing a fantastic job of getting me out here and playing and that’s probably my most complete round (of the year),” he said in his post-round press conference. “My swing is coming around. I just need to get healthy enough to put the club in that position. “It was nice to get back in the tournament again. I held it together yesterday on a long, tough day and that gave me a chance: I was only six back and I thought that was definitely do-able. “I got my speed right (on the greens) and I hit the ball better and left myself in good spots. “It is a totally golf course today, Yesterday was not what we intended it to be. Today it is so much more playable.” Woods’ tally of eight birdies was better than he had managed in the first two days and with just two bogeys he lifted himself to one under, within touching distance of the lead. His iron play was particularly impressive, hitting approaches to third, fifth, eighth, 11th and also his tee shot at the short 15th to within 15 feet. Reed, who has held at least a share of the lead every day, shot a three-under 69, which included a 41-foot eagle putt at the eighth, to reach four under. Compatriots Jason Dufner and Hunter Mahan are both two under after rounds of 68 and 71 respectively with Welshman Jamie Donaldson tied with Woods for fourth on one under after a 71. “I am enjoying myself. It is a tough battle out there as the course is playing really difficult,” Donaldson told Sky Sports. “I am getting slowly more used to playing golf over here. I just need to make a few more putts.” Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell let things slip slightly as he dropped from one under to one over after a 73 but compatriot Rory McIlroy fared even worse. He had two double-bogey sevens on the par fives at eight and 10 after finding the water but improved the look of his card slightly with a chip-in birdie from the side of the 18th to finish with a 75 for three over par. Press Association
ELLSWORTH — The Down East Family YMCA boys’ and girls’ basketball teams had solid showings in this weekend’s Sheriff’s Cup tournament held throughout the city.After advancing to the tournament quarterfinals, the DEFY girls’ team reached the last four with a 51-29 victory over Central Aroostook. The team then advanced to the championship game with a 56-45 win over Houlton in the semis before taking second place overall with a 43-34 loss to Nokomis.On the boys’ side, the DEFY A team earned a 59-37 win over Presque Isle in the quarterfinals. The team then lost 68-52 in the semifinals against Skowhegan, which went on to claim the tournament championship with a 49-46 victory over Brewer in Sunday’s final.This year marked the 19th edition of the annual tournament, which drew 33 middle school-level club teams (20 boys’ teams and 13 girls’ teams) from all over eastern Maine to Ellsworth to raise money for local charities. Games were held Friday through Sunday at Ellsworth High School’s Katsiaficas Gymnasium, both Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School gyms and the DEFY gym.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textEllsworth’s success in the Sheriff’s Cup continued a strong year for local youth basketball teams. The highlight of the year thus far came last month when the Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School boys’ team finished off an undefeated season.Playing Reeds Brook Middle School of Hampden for the Eastern Maine Middle School League title Feb. 12, Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School jumped out to a 17-9 lead in the first quarter before stretching its advantage to 31-14 at halftime. The Falcons cruised from there to seal the championship and finish with a 17-0 record.“The boys had a great season,” head coach Mike Harris said. Harris coached the team with Scott Kenny and Moe Pierson.Team members of the 2018-19 Falcons were Kaleb Conners, Drew Cote, Billy Garland, Lane Griffin, Michael Harris, Will Hutchins, Peter Keblinsky, Brady Kenny, Chance Mercier, Miles Palmer, Drew Pierson and Sam Wagenknecht.Other local youth basketball teams to win tournament championships this season include the DEFY fifth/sixth-grade girls (Eastern Maine Basketball League and Orono Memorial Hoop Classic; 31-1 overall record during travel season), fifth/sixth-grade boys (Lincoln Invitational) and third/fourth-grade boys (Glenburn Recreation Department Invitational). Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest Posts Bio Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020
London: Former England captain Alastair Cook said that the England and Wales Cricket Board should cancel the County Championship if the season cannot be played in full. Cook said that considering the circumstances around the coronavirus pandemic, it will be more rewarding to play a full tournament rather than a shortened County season.“In this year, over the next six months, the bigger picture is the most important,” Cook told the BBC.The ECB has postponed all cricketing action until May 28 because of the pandemic which has brought cricket around the world. It has claimed 1019 lives so far in the United Kingdom and there are 17,089 confirmed cases in the country, one of which is Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself.“Whatever happens, if we do play any sort of cricket, which hopefully we will, what I hope is that they don’t try and have a six-game County Championship or something like that,” said Cook.“I would rather have one or two full tournaments, because if you do then play that tournament or two tournaments it is so much more rewarding to win it.“If there is not time for a meaningful County Championship, say (you can only play) three or four games, there is probably not much sense us having it.” IANSAlso Read: Former England captain Alastair Cook becomes emotional in final TestAlso Watch: Quick Shoppe in Guwahati takes precautionary measures against the spread of Coronavirus
Update on the latest sports In other college basketball news:— Louisville has added graduate transfer guards Carlik Jones and Charles Minlend Jr. Jones was named Big South Conference player of the year last season after helping Radford win its second consecutive regular season championship, averaging 20 points, 5.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. Minlend averaged 14.5 and points and 4.7 rebounds to lead San Francisco to 22 wins, matching its highest win total in 35 years.— Graduate transfer Dimencio Vaughn has signed to play his final season with Mississippi after three years at Rider. Vaughn averaged 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds last season, ranking fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in both categories. He was twice a first-team All-MAAC selection and was considered one of the top available grad transfers.— Tennessee has picked up forward E.J. Anosike as a graduate transfer. Anosike averaged a team-high 15.7 points for Sacred Heart last season and ranked sixth nationally with 11.6 rebounds a game.— Minnesota has added frontcourt players Liam Robbins from Drake and Brandon Johnson from Western Michigan. The 7-foot Robbins has applied for immediate eligibility and will have two seasons left. The 6-foot-8 Johnson is a graduate transfer who’ll be eligible immediately for his senior season. Associated Press Among the plans being investigating is basing all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and using the 10 spring training ballparks there, along with the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field and possibly college facilities.Arizona’s governor says his state is willing to host all 30 major league teams when public health concerns allow, which eventually could lead to the start of the baseball season primarily in empty spring training ballparks. Having all teams based in the Phoenix area is among the contingency plans being examined.Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is cutting the salary of senior staff by an average of 35% for this year due to the pandemic’s impact on the season. MLB is guaranteeing paychecks to its full-time employees of its central office through May.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen says he tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago. Allen is the first active NFL player to acknowledge testing positive during the coronavirus pandemic. He’s not hospitalized and is “feeling good,” according to a statement issued by the team. The 24-year-old Allen became the Rams’ starting center last year in his second NFL season. He played in nine games before missing the rest of the season with a knee injury. Davis has died in a Santa Monica, California, hospital at 85. His wife, Carol, told the Packers her husband had been hospitalized for about a month with kidney failure.Davis was a five-time All-Pro while playing for the Packers from 1960-69. He was voted to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 1960s and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.Davis played college ball at Grambling and was taken in the 15th round of the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, where he spent his first two seasons.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEWSKentucky’s Montgomery, Washington’s McDaniels turning pro — The major college football conference commissioners have held a 30-minute conference call today with Vice President Mike Pence, stressing that college sports cannot return from the coronavirus shutdown until campuses have reopened. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Pence asked good questions and was “hopeful and optimistic” about the fight against the coronavirus. American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said they stressed the differences between pro and college sports and talked about how academics and college athletics were inseparable.— World Wrestling Entertainment started releasing professional wrestlers today in budget cuts related to the coronavirus pandemic. The moves came even with the company allowed to continue to run live TV shows in Florida after Gov. Ron DeSantis deemed WWE an essential business. Pro sports were added to a list of businesses permitted to stay open in an April 9 memorandum. WWE is allowed to continue putting on shows without shows.PGA-BYRON NELSON-NEW COURSENelson going to ranch for new home in ’21McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — The Byron Nelson is moving to TPC Craig Ranch, about 30 minutes north of downtown Dallas. — Vance Jackson and Jalen Tate are joining Arkansas as graduate transfers. Jackson averaged 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds for New Mexico last season. Tate leaves Northern Kentucky after being named the 2020 Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year and MVP of the conference tournament.— Washington has added Wichita State transfer Erik Stevenson and junior college standout Nate Pryor. Stevenson averaged 11.1 points per game last season for Wichita State. Pryor averaged 16.8 points and 4.1 assists per game last season for North Idaho. MLB-VERLANDERVerlander throwing againUNDATED (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander has resumed throwing as he recovers from a March groin surgery. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-OBIT-WILLIE DAVISHall of Fame DE Willie Davis dead at age 85UNDATED (AP) — Willie Davis was one of the defensive linchpins that helped the Green Bay Packers reel off six NFL championships from 1960-67, including the first two Super Bowls. Verlander dealt with the problem early in spring training and made just two starts during the exhibition season, compiling a 3.86 ERA over 4 2/3 innings.Astros manager Dusty Baker says Verlander is “doing great” and is throwing as he continues his rehabilitation from the March 17 surgery.MLB-HALLADAY-NTSBNTSB releases Halladay crash reportFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Halladay had high levels of amphetamines in his system and was doing extreme acrobatics when he lost control of his small plane and nosedived into Tampa Bay in 2017, killing him. That’s according to a report issued Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board. Garcia broke into the majors with the 1978 Yankees and was an All-Star for the Blue Jays in 1984 and ’85. He hit .283 with 323 RBIs and 203 stolen bases before his career ended in 1989.Garcia had several health problems in recent years, including a stroke, according to his son, Dámaso Jr. He was also dealing with respiratory issues, but the death is not related to COVID-19 according to his son.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSManfred wants MLB ready for businessUNDATED (AP) — Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred wants his leagues to be in position to take the field whenever government and health officials give the go-ahead. Manfred says he thinks it’s incumbent upon MLB to turn over every stone to try to play the game in 2020 if there’s any way it can in the environment. Halladay had amphetamine levels about 10 times therapeutic levels in his blood along with a high level of morphine and an anti-depressant that can impair judgment. The report says he performed high-pitch climbs and steep turns, sometimes within five feet of the water. The maneuvers put loads of nearly two-times gravity on the plane, an Icon A5 Halladay had purchased a month earlier.The NTSB is expected to release a final reason for the crash next month.MLB-OBIT-GARCIAEx-Jays All-Star Garcia diesUNDATED (AP) — Former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Dámaso (DAH’-mah-soh) García has died in his native Dominican Republic at 63. April 16, 2020 — At least one member of the Los Angeles Chargers organization has tested positive for the coronavirus and two others have reported symptoms. ESPN reported that the first positive diagnosis happened two weeks after the team facility was shut down on March 12. A team spokesman says owner Dean Spanos, general manager Tom Telesco and coach Anthony Lynn are fine.— This year’s Tour de France is now scheduled to be held from Aug. 29 through Sept. 20 and will be followed by cycling’s two other major races. The International Cycling Union announced the new dates after organizers were forced to postpone the Tour’s scheduled June 27 start because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. The UCI also says the world championships will go ahead as planned from Sept. 20-27 and will be followed by the Giro d’Italia and the Spanish Vuelta. No official dates were given for those two major races.— The parent company that oversees the NHL Buffalo Sabres has announced a series of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs and furloughs affecting 125 employees. Pegula (peh-GOO’-luh) Sports and Entertainment says 104 employees are being furloughed. Another 21 were laid off yesterday, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.— Speedway Motorsports has laid off 180 employees and furloughed 100 as part of a company restructuring during the sports shutdown. Speedway Motorsports owns the Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Kentucky, Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Sonoma and Texas tracks, all of which host NASCAR’s Cup Series races.— ESPN is asking some of its on-air personalities to take a 15% pay cut over the next three months because of the coronavirus pandemic. The network says the voluntary pay cuts would apply to ESPN’s highest-paid broadcasters. The network already has furloughed those who work on live events. UNDATED (AP) — The NBA draft list continues to grow.Kentucky sophomore forward EJ Montgomery and Washington swingman Jaden McDaniels have announced they are leaving school early to enter the draft.Montgomery averaged career highs of 6.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game with 31 blocks while starting 25 of his 28 games for the Wildcats last season. He ranked second on the team in rebounding and blocks.Montgomery follows pro announcements by Kentucky teammates Nick Richards, Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey.McDaniels is the latest one-and-done player for the Huskies and is projected as a middle first-round pick after an inconsistent season. McDaniels showed a lack of maturity and flaws in his game at times, but he averaged 13 points and 5.8 rebounds. Craig Ranch will host the tournament for at least five years, beginning next spring.The announcement Wednesday from the PGA Tour and the Nelson came three months after officials said the tournament was moving from the links-style Trinity Forest Golf Club.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA, (Reuters) – Neymar, fresh from his first win with Paris St Germain and his world-record signing for the club, became a goodwill ambassador for Handicap International yesterday, pledging to work for millions who are “less visible” but deserve equality.The Brazilian forward, whose 222 million-euro ($259.72M) signing from Barcelona this month doubled the world- record transit fee, mounted a huge statue of a chair outside the U.N. in Geneva that symbolises landmine victims.He kicked a soccer ball to fans standing below and into the U.N. grounds. Surrounded by his parents, Neymar Santos (Sr) and Nadine Santos, he wore a black baseball cap and Handicap International black t-shirt with the inscription ‘Repair Lives’.“I would like to begin by thanking you all for what you do for the least visible in the world, so they become more visible.“I have to say that I am very pleased to be here and to be the new ambassador,” the 25-year-old told a news briefing.Neymar, asked what work or field visits he planned, replied:“I hope this will be a very successful partnership and that we will be able to help a large number of people,” he said. “Millions want their rights, they want to be treated better. That’s what we are here for and that is what our aim is.”
JASON Holder has played down the prospect of “big name” West Indies players re-joining the Test team, stating “we have the best of the lot right now.”With Cricket West Indies having recently relaxed their selection criteria and offered an amnesty to those players who have chosen to play in T20 leagues, it had been presumed the likes of Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard (who has never played Test cricket) might come into consideration ahead of series against Zimbabwe and New Zealand.But Holder, West Indies’ captain, suggested that, apart from Bravo and perhaps Gayle, he “didn’t think there’s anybody interested in playing Test cricket that we can call upon.”“Darren Bravo is a guy who has done well for us in the recent past,” Holder said. “But apart from Darren I don’t think there’s anybody else who’s interested in playing Test cricket that we can really call upon or the so-called big names people are looking for.“Chris has probably hinted that he would like to play if he’s fit enough. He’s always said he would like to play. I spoke to him a while back. We would love to have a guy like Chris in our side. He brings a lot.“But apart from those two players I don’t think there’s anybody else we can really look to.”While Bravo’s return would appear close to automatic – Kyle Hope failed to take his chance in England, averaging just 6.83 batting at No. 3 in the series –Holder described himself as “extremely proud” of the performance of his young team and hinted that he would be reluctant to see too many of them replaced. Shane Dowrich, who averaged 4.80 and struggled with the gloves, might also come under pressure from the likes of Denesh Ramdin.“I think we’ve got the best of the lot [playing] right now,” he said. “I’m really, really happy with this squad to be honest. I enjoy playing cricket with this squad and I enjoy leading this squad. I wouldn’t trade this squad for the world.”Speaking after being beaten in the deciding Test against England at Lord’s, Holder was encouraged with the way his side had pushed for what would have been a shock series victory.“I’m extremely proud, can’t really fault the guys for effort,” he said. “We’ve still got a lot of room for improvement, still got a long way to go before we can get consistent performances. That said, not a bad tour of England, could have been better, obviously, but I’m still very proud.“The credit must go to the bowlers. After the Headingley Test match we asked for another big effort. The way we came out here first innings and bowled, I think at the start of the match if you said we’d have got England for 190, we’d have taken that.”While the bowling was consistently challenging after the aberration of Edgbaston, West Indies’ win at Headingley in the second Test – their first in England for 17 years – was built on the batting performances of Shai Hope, who scored hundreds in each innings, and Kraigg Brathwaite.Holder said he wanted the team to build on what they had started in their next two tours, in Zimbabwe next month and then New Zealand.“For a first tour here for many of us, I still think it’s a hell of an achievement and fight we put up,” Holder said. “Hopefully we can learn from this, we have New Zealand at the end of the year which could be similar conditions and similar type of bowlers, so it should be good chance to take what we’ve learned here into that series. But first we’ve got Zimbabwe, in a few weeks time, so hopefully we can really kick on from there.“Obviously Shai was outstanding in this entire series and we must not forget Kraigg’s contribution as well, he really did a hell of a job, especially at Headingley.Unfortunately we didn’t get more batsmen to carry on, lots of us got starts but didn’t carry on, and we let ourselves down with our fielding, probably this entire series. We dropped quite a few chances and gave good players two opportunities to bat, and in international cricket they’ll make you pay for it.“I think we’ve shown improvement. When we sit down and critique each series, we just try to look for improvement. We’ve definitely shown that, especially in our bowling, improving our consistency there … But hopefully guys can gain a lot of confidence form this series against a world-class side and top-class bowling unit. To be able to achieve something in this series speaks a lot.” (ESPN Cricinfo)
Organisers of the marquee competition have promised to make it rewarding and fun forspectators with refreshments and raffle draws for state of the art phones.“Matches are going to start at 10 am each day -Thursday to Saturday – at the Lagos Lawn Tennis club and matches would usually last through the evening with four matches following each other on the centre court. We therefor expect tennis followers to consider it a picnic where they get refreshments and possibly walk away with a smart phone.” Godwin Kienka of the ITA which coordinates the event said.Meanwhile, top players for the third place match are already in Lagos.Sylvester Emmanuel, Henry Atseye and Sarah Adegoke of Team Offikwu are expected to make up for their botched title defence by winning the consolatory third spot which attracts a N3 million prize money.They will have to contend with Team Ndoma-Egba’s Thomas Otu, who recently won the Dala Hard Court Championship, Emmanuel Paul and Aanu Aiyegbusi who all have their eyes on the bigger prize.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The six-month long NCC Tennis League is poised for a fitting climax at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club with playoff for third and fourth places preceding the championship match.The third place tie scheduled for Thursday and Friday Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 will be between Team Ndoma-Egba of Abuja and Team Offikwu, last year’s winners who were dethroned by Team Civil Defence in the second semifinals.The championship tie kicks off on Saturday Dec. 9 and ends on Sunday Dec.10 withthe presentation of prizes and awards.