One armed golfer hits hole in one

London, Aug.21 (ANI): One-armed golfer Harold Gilmore proved it was no handicap by hitting a hole in one.

Harold, 65, thought his ball had gone into a bunker. But playing partner Dave Houghton checked and told him: “It”s in the hole.”

“I was delighted. Usually the par three takes me four shots to get it into the hole,” The Sun quoted him, as saying.

Harold”s feat came with a seven iron on the 135-yard second hole at Bridlington Golf Club, East Yorks.

The retired carpet manufacturer, of nearby Hornsea, lost his right arm in a motorbike crash in the 1960s. He has a prosthetic arm but found he could not use it when he tried golf five years ago. (ANI)

Younis likely to return to national squad following Butt’s nod

Lahore, Aug.21 (ANI): After an overstretched tussle with former captain Younis Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt has reportedly cleared the way for his inclusion in the national squad.

According to PCB insiders, Butt has given his green signal to consider Younis for selection for the fourth and final Test against England.

“The board and selectors should be making an official announcement in next few days about Younis. But if the tour selection committee and selectors in Pakistan agree then he might be flown to England to join the team for the fourth and final Test,” The Daily Times quoted PCB sources, as saying.

Sources said that Butt has been under tremendous pressure from various quarters for not allowing selectors to pick the veteran batsman for the England tour despite him having a fairly good record there.

Both Younis and Mohammed Yousuf were slapped hefty fines and banned for an indefinite period by the PCB following the disastrous Australia tour earlier this year.

While Younis appealed against the ban in the PCB’s appellate tribunal and subsequently got it removed, Yousuf decided to retire from international cricket in protest against the punishment.

However, the PCB chief later allowed Yousuf to be selected in the national squad, but insisted on an apology from Younis for remarks he and his lawyer made against the board during the appellate tribunal’s hearing.

“Ijaz has changed his stance on Younis after the involvement of other parties and he is now keen to see Younis joining the team in England. The selectors have also been told to get in touch with the former captain,” sources added. (ANI)

Ancelotti says ‘first six victories’ key to reclaiming Premier League title

London, Aug 20(ANI): Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has set his team the target of winning all five of their Premier League matches before they face Manchester City next month.

Ancelotti said that the perfect start of six successive wins was the key to last season’s single-point triumph over Manchester United.

He believes that Chelsea can bolster their chances of reclaiming the trophy if they head the table when the two sides meet at Eastlands on September 25.

“We would like to arrive at the City game on top of the table. It’s very important to start the season well. Last year, it was the key to winning the title with those first six victories,” The Sun quoted Ancelotti, as saying.

“We improved our confidence, we played a new brand of football with new players and it was important for the players to do that.”

“It might be different this season because we already have that confidence in our play, but we must try and win those games,” he added.

The Blues made a great start to their title defence last weekend when they beat West Brom 6-0.

Ancelotti’s team now heads to Wigan today to face the side who halted that opening run, but whom they later destroyed 8-0 to clinch the title last May.

Chelsea then has home games against Stoke City and Blackpool and a trip to West Ham. (ANI)

F1 holiday shutdown will open up racers minds: Hamilton

London, Aug.21 (ANI): A Formula One holiday shutdown will have given McLaren boffins the chance to work out how to put their car back on the pace for the last seven races of the season, believes ex-champion Lewis Hamilton.

“Although it has been great for the whole team to have had the factory shutdown and a well-deserved holiday, I think we’re all really looking forward to getting back into the title fight,” the Daily Express quoted Hamilton, as saying.

“The break gave us some valuable thinking time to consider how to improve our car for the remainder of the season,” he added.

The teams head for Belgium and the great Spa track next week before the high speed of Monza and Hamilton expects improvements.

“We head into these two races not only optimistic of some better results but also of stronger pace for the rest of the year,” Hamilton said. (ANI)

Murray knocked out of Cincinnati Masters as heat takes toll during quarterfinal tie

Ohio (USA), Aug 21(ANI): British tennis ace Andy Murray found American Mardy Fish and the Ohio conditions too hot to handle as he was knocked out of the Cincinnati Masters on Friday.

Murray crashed out of the tournament after being defeated by Fish in an energy-sapping quarterfinal 6-7(9-7) 6-1 7-6(7-5) in two hours 56 minutes.

The defeat ends Murray’s seven-match unbeaten run, which includes his success at the ATP Rogers Cup in Toronto last week.

The 23-year-old was disappointed that tournament organizers had given him three consecutive starts in the midday heat.

Murray has played eight matches in 10 days, all between noon and 3pm, where on-court temperatures were over 38C.

“If you ask for a late match and you’re put on first, that’s not…that’s pretty,” The BBC quoted Murray, as saying.

“I don’t ever request really when to play. I don’t make many demands at all during the tournaments,” he added.

He also said that his request was rejected because organizers said opponent Fish was playing doubles later in the day.

“I’m not sure, the way the tennis works, I don’t think matches should be scheduled around the doubles because it’s the singles that’s on the TV,” he added.

World No. 36 Fish will now face Andy Roddick in the semi-finals. (ANI)

Oz conditions during Ashes will test ‘England star’ Morgan, says Bollinger

London, Aug 21 (ANI): Unorthodox England batsman Eoin Morgan’s emergence in Test cricket has prompted Australian fast bowler Doug Bollinger to continue his pre-Ashes mind games.

Bollinger pointed out that Morgan’s average of 47 after four Tests, against Bangladesh and Pakistan, makes him the most dangerous batsman for the Australians, but he would be severely tested in alien conditions.

“He is riding a wave, the team is winning and he has done well in games. It is all well and good when things are going for you, but when your back is against the wall and you have to tough your way out, that is when your true character comes out,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Bollinger, as saying.

“We’ll see if he can handle the conditions at the Gabba where it’s going to be quicker than what he’s used to,” he added.

Known for his dashing strokeplay and reverse sweeps, Morgan has been immensely successful against the Australians.

The 23-year-old had scored 103 from 85 balls in the first ODI and was named man of the series in the last series against the Ricky Ponting-led side.

He was also a critical member of the England side that defeated Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup in May.

England skipper Andrew Strauss has already marked Morgan as an Ashes must.

“I get excited about a player who is able to play match-winning innings. He is able to play the right shot at the right time against the right bowler, and you need that in Test cricket,” Strauss said.

“He has a very clear mind, reads the situation well and he doesn’t get overawed,” he added.

The first of the five Ashes Tests will be held at The Gabba in Brisbane from November 25 to 29.

It will be followed by Tests in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

Two Twenty20 clashes and a seven-match one-day series have also been scheduled between Australia and England. (ANI)

Delhi CWG 2010 tickets to be launched on August 25

New Delhi, Aug.20 (ANI): The Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 tickets will be available from August 25.

The Opening and Closing ceremonies of the XIX Commonwealth Games have attracted the maximum interest, so far contributing 25 per cent of the sales.

Among the sporting events, hockey is the front-runner, accounting for 14 per cent of the tickets sold so far, followed by athletics at 11 per cent and gymnastics at 10 per cent. Swimming is at the fourth spot with 8 per cent share of sales.

After a sedate start, when the sale of tickets began through the internet, the register is clicking fast every day with the opening of retail outlets across New Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). People have been queuing up at the ticket counters to ensure their presence in the much-awaited Games.

Apart from the Indian market, Australia leads the tally with maximum number of buyers for tickets followed by New Zealand and Britain.

Tickets can be bought from 20 selected Central Bank of India branches as well as seven nominated Hero Honda showrooms as well as the IRCTC outlet in Central Delhi. All the ticket related information regarding list of the outlets and booking is available on www.tickets.cwgdelhi2010.org.

The holders of the coupons from the website and Call Centers can redeem these for actual tickets from August 25 onwards from three outlets in Delhi — two branches of Central Bank of India at Organising Committee Headquarters and Parliament Street and IRCTC outlet at Central Delhi.

Apart from Delhi, tickets will also be available in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.

The Organising Committee is confident of the entire stock of 17 lakh tickets being booked ahead of the Commonwealth Games opening on October 3.

An added incentive for ticket-holders is free Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) rides on the day of the event, including the Opening and Closing ceremonies, All ticket-holders will be allowed one to and fro ride on the Metro and DTC buses for that specific day.

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, in an effort to make the tickets accessible to fans across the city and even to people staying in other parts of the country and abroad, has offered four avenues to book these tickets.

Though people can buy tickets over the internet, through a dedicated Call Centre and from the retails outlets during the games tickets will be made available through dedicated box offices as well.

Internet sales gave the initial fillip to the sales that began in June. People buying the tickets online on the official Commonwealth Games website were provided with an acknowledgement voucher that enables them to pick up the tickets from the retail outlets.

Those booking tickets through the Call Centre (1800-200-1294 and 1800-102-1294) can use credit cards to buy tickets. They would be given a transaction number which can be used to collect tickets from retail outlets.

The first phase of the three-phase ticket sale process was exclusively through the Commonwealth Games ticketing website, while second phase enables people to access the retail outlets as well. At the retail outlets, direct purchases can be made and those holding vouchers can also procure actual tickets there. The third phase will give people access to venue outlets as well. (ANI)

Azhar Ali vows to repay team management’s faith

London, Aug.20 (ANI): Young Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali, who played a gutsy knock of 92 not out in the first innings of the third Test at The Oval, has vowed to continue to impress with his performance and repay the faith of the selectors and the team management.

Ali, who usually bats at the important number three position, came at number six but adapted to the situation well and produced a brilliant innings to help Pakistan take a valuable lead of 75 runs.

Though Ali was disappointed at missing what could have been his maiden Test century, the right hand batsman said he would continue his good work.

“My emotions are a little mixed. On the one hand I”m a little disappointed about missing my century and not extending our first innings lead closer to 100 runs. I also owe a lot to the Pakistan management team who have stuck with me and hopefully I have repaid their faith and will continue to do so,” Ali told Cricistan.com.

He also praised veteran middle order batsman Mohammad Yousuf, who made an important 56 runs, saying the senior batsman helped him relax and play his natural game.

“When you walk out to the crease and see Mohammad Yousuf waiting for you then you immediately feel more relaxed. Yousuf bhai just soaks up the pressure and standing at the other end watching him play the bowlers without any trouble whatsoever made me more confident in my own skills too,” Ali said. (ANI)

Muralitharan eager to play 2011 WC to help Lanka repeat 1996 success

Lahore, Aug.20 (ANI): Legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has expressed his desire of playing in the 2011 World Cup to help his country repeat the success of 1996.

Muralitharan, who retired from Test cricket earlier this month but is available for one dayers, said winning the 2011 World Cup would boost the future of the game in Sri Lanka.

“I am hoping victory in next year’s World Cup will not only strengthen our future as a cricketing nation but will also help us produce more world-class cricketers who will go on to entertain the world with their flare, talent, charisma and prowess,” The Daily Times quoted Muralitharan, as saying.

The leading Test wicket taker also equated his 800-wicket feat in the oldest version of the game to the island nation’s 1996 World Cup triumph.

“Obviously winning the tournament in the Indian subcontinent in 1996 is something I rate as highly as my 800 Test wickets and reaching the final in the West Indies three years ago was also by no means a small achievement,” said Murali.

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the schedule for the warm-up games ahead of 2011 World Cup.

All the 14 teams would play two games each from February 12 to 18 before the tournament commences on February 19.

Warm-up matches schedule:

February 12: New Zealand v Ireland in Nagpur, Zimbabwe v South Africa in Chennai, West Indies v Kenya in Colombo, Sri Lanka v Netherlands in Pallekele, Bangladesh v Canada in Chittagong

February 13: India v Australia in Bengaluru.

February 15: Australia v South Africa in Bengaluru, Ireland v Zimbabwe in Nagpur, Kenya v Netherlands in Pallekele, Bangladesh v Pakistan in Dhaka

February 16: India v New Zealand in Chennai, Sri Lanka v West Indies in Colombo, England v Canada in Dhaka

February 18: England v Pakistan in Dhaka. (ANI)

Aussie tennis star Woodbridge ‘smells a rat’ in Federer ad stunt video

Sydney, Aug 20 (ANI): Australian Tennis star Todd Woodbridge said he doubted the authenticity of the recent ad stunt video featuring Roger Federer.

The video shows Federer knock a bottle off the head of a crewmember with his serve.

Federer is staying mum but Woodbridge told this website that although the clip was “fantastic”, he questioned whether it was real or not.

“I think it was very Roger. I like seeing him and how he reacts away from a real tennis court like that. But what I would say is that I know he’s good, but is he that good?” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Woodbridge as saying.

“The reason I say that is that I remember many years ago Mark Woodforde and I doing a piece for 60 minutes with Mike Carlton and we had to set up a shot where we needed to be at this corner of a clay court to hit the mark exactly perfect,” he said.

“And I promise you we didn’t do it in the first take nor the second take. But he pulled it off twice in a row? So my question is: I’m one of Roger’s biggest fans and in my view I think he is the greatest tennis player of all time – no matter what – but that [YouTube clip] exceeds even my expectations,” Woodbridge added.

Federer said that the serve was real for sure.

“I don”t do it that much, but, yeah, it was shot in one piece and it was … the guy took a chance. It worked out. I”m happy,” he said.

Later, when talking about the clip again, Federer said he had “done it before” but was again asked if the clip showed a real action and he said, “Not saying that. A magician doesn”t tell how his tricks work, so …”

However, Woodbridge is such a great fan he said he would be ready to give Federer the ‘benefit of the doubt’. (ANI)

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