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Andrew Symonds dies in car crash




Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds was killed in what police said was a single-car crash on Saturday night outside Townsville, on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. Police confirmed that the 46-year-old died at the scene of the mishap.

“Early information indicates, shortly after 11 pm (Australian time) the car was being driven on Hervey Range Road, near Alice River Bridge when it left the roadway and rolled,” the police statement said.
“Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant. However, he died of his injuries. The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.”
Symonds’ sudden death triggered an outpouring of emotional tributes in the cricketing world with a host of past and present players, including his Australian teammates and international stars, expressing shock and disbelief at the tragic news. His death follows in quick succession after compatriots Shane Warne and Rodney Marsh – due to heart attacks – in a triple whammy for Australia.
Born on the 9th of June 1975 in Birmingham to West Indian-European parents, Symonds grew up in Australia. He started his Cricket career for Queensland in 1994 where he scored 5000 runs and took more than 100 wickets.
He first grabbed attention in 1995 when, as a 20-year-old, he smashed a record 20 sixes for Gloucestershire against Glamorgan. It didn’t fructify immediately on the international stage, mostly for his temperament as he would admit later. “I was a man without a map when I went out to bat.”
Symonds’ old coach Toot Byron commented that he hated watching him bat. “He wasn’t in control of his shot selection. He’d get 24 off an over and then go out on the last ball of that over” Byron added.

Ten years later, Symonds came through for Australia after Ricky Ponting put faith on him at the 2003 World Cup. This was exactly the kind of break Symonds was eying. Among a masterful 143 off 125 balls against Pakistan, Symonds had a dream run during the tournament with many such invaluable knocks.
However, the roller-coaster ride had only started. In 2006 he was suspended for drinking issues. He bounced back in the 2007-08 season as an all-rounder. He scored 777 runs in nine Tests against Sri Lanka, India & West Indies.
He was the first one to embrace the 20-over format when the IPL came into existence in 2008, and one of the costliest players in the auction. His Deccan Chargers failed miserably in the first season, but went on to win the next season.
Disciplinary issues crept up again though. The infamous ‘Monkeygate’ altercation with Harbhajan Singh and alcohol problems before the 2009 T20 World cup proved to be his undoing.

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Upgraded VAR for offside at World Cup 2022 after trials in UAE and Qatar




The Aspire Dome Stadium in Doha, Qatar

Qatar 2022 will be the first FIFA men’s World Cup to use semi-automated offside technology as part of a wider innovation plan at the tournament.

FIFA says the new system will offer “a support tool for the video match officials and the on-field officials to help them make faster, more accurate and more reproducible offside decisions on the biggest stage of all”.

The tech was tested at the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup and 2021 FIFA Club World Cup ahead of being rolled out later this year.

Off-pitch officials will receive potential onside/offside alerts, with decisions evaluated away from the action before being communicated to the on-pitch referee to make a final decision.

Fans will also be shown how and why decisions are made via 3D animations on screen inside the stadiums with television viewers provided with an explanation.

The technology is more complex than current VAR and provides more ‘eyes’ on the action to give referees greater help.

Twelve dedicated tracking cameras — mounted in the stadium roof — will track the ball in play, and up to 29 data points will be placed on each player, 50 times per second, calculating their exact position on the pitch.

Those data points will map each relevant point on a player’s body, which can be considered active, to create a full picture of an offside call.

Alongside this, extra cameras will pinpoint player positions, and moving images of their bodies, while the new World Cup match ball will also play a role.

Each Al Rihla Official World Cup match ball will have a sensor placed inside it to send data to the video operation room 500 times per second to accurately assess the point the ball is struck.

Information on the selected kick point from the in-ball sensor, together with data points from cameras, provides an instant picture of the offside scenario to the officials in the video team and allows for a faster decision to be made.

Watch the explainer video:


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Manchester United: Erik Ten Hag must address these 5 issues




The Dutch revolution at Manchester United under new manager Erik ten Hag has officially
begun with the former Ajax boss starting pre-season training Monday at Carrington. Reports
suggest Erik ten Hag has given his United bosses a wish list of 5 players with Barcelona
midfielder Frenkie de Jong, sitting pretty at the top. There seems to be a deal there for United
as Barcelona are desperate to get their finances in order and want to offload De Jong because
he commands good value in the market and has exorbitant wages. Both of which are not a big
concern at United.With the new season just over a month away, we take a look at the top 5 concerns which Erik ten Hag must address to be successful at Manchester United:

1-Captain oh my captain !
According to reports in the English press, including the very reliable BBC, the Red Devils dressing room was split right down the middle over the issue of captaincy. Harry Maguire doesn’t command the respect on or off the pitch that someone wearing the armband should, and with Cristiano Ronaldo, David de Gea, and Bruno Fernandes, there are many contenders for that role.

2- A luxury goalkeeper!
With a $23 million annual salary, David de Gea is the highest paid goalkeeper in the world. Fact that he is unable to hold his place in the national team is testament to the mismanagement of Manchester United directors who felt he deserved such a high wage. This has made him impossible to drop for any manager, while also making him unattainable for other clubs. Many believed De Gea does not suit Erik ten Hag’s style of play which involves playing a high line, and the Spanish keeper lacks the athleticism to sweep his box, preferring instead to stick to the goal line. However, Dean Henderson is leaving on loan, so it seems DDG will be ETH’s first choice keeper.

3-Midfield McBurgers
The biggest area of concern for Manchester United has been the midfield. The first choice for the last couple of managers, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick have been Scott McTominay and Fred, the McFred midfield as it’s called. It’s a pairing which has become a bit of a joke with contrasting styles of play that create an imbalance in the middle of the pitch. As a result, United struggled to win back possession in midfield, or build attack from the backline. With Frenkie de Jong expected to join United it will be interesting to see who he gets paired with. Will United go from McFred to McFrenkie? Or will it be Fredkie ? Both sound terrible to be honest.

4-Floundering fullbacks
The style of play Erik ten Hag deployed at Ajax saw him utilise width across the pitch with creative use of his fullbacks. The likes of right back Noussair Mazraoui have since then been poached by German giants Bayern Munich. Ten Hag also deployed former Manchester United player Daley Blind on the left hand side to help pass the ball out from the back. At United this has been another area of concern. Ole bought Alex Telles, but the Brazilian has struggled with life in England. Luke Shaw remains United’s best fullback, but he has a tendency to get injured. Aaron Wan Bissaka has regressed in his progression and some reports suggest United are ready to listen to offers for the former Crystal Palace right back.

5-Misfiring strikers
Looking at Manchester United’s roster one would think attack would be the least of Erik ten
Hag’s concerns, strangely that’s not true. With Cristiano Ronaldo, United have a larger than life
presence in the dressing room which, last season, seemed to have cast a shadow on other
forwards, especially Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. The French forward headed off to
Sevilla in a loan move which ended in a disaster, while Rashford, a former Manchester United
player struggled for form all season. Many questioned his attitude, pointing to his off-field social
work as a possible distraction. There’s no denying the talents of both players, but to make them
click with the likes of Cristiano will be a challenge for ETH.

Written by Raghav Chopra, Senior journalist
(special to

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Nadal defeats Ruud for 14th French Open title




Rafael Nadal pulled away in the French Open final on Sunday to capture his historic 14th championship at Roland Garros and 22nd Grand Slam title overall, adding to two records he already owned. Nadal beat Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in a victory that came two days after his 36th birthday, making him the oldest title winner in the history of the clay-court tournament.

Ruud led 3-1 in the second set, a deficit that spurred Nadal to raise his level — he took the last 11 games.The Spaniard’s first triumph in Paris came in 2005 at age 19. No man or woman ever has won the singles trophy at any major event more than his 14 in Paris. And no man has won more Grand Slam titles than Nadal. He now is two ahead of rivals Roger Federer, who hasn’t played in almost a year after a series of knee operations, and Novak Djokovic, who missed the Australian Open in January because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and lost to Nadal at Roland Garros.

Nadal improved to 14-0 in finals at Roland Garros and 112-3 overall at his favorite tournament. For all that he has accomplished already, Nadal now has done something he never managed previously. He is halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam thanks to titles at the Australian Open and French Open in the same season.
Ruud is a 23-year-old from Norway who was participating in a Grand Slam final for the first time. He’d never even played in a major quarterfinal until now.He considers Nadal his idol. He recalls watching all of Nadal’s past finals in Paris on TV. He has trained at Nadal’s tennis academy in Mallorca.

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