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Vaughan pokes Jaffer with 2002 memory and discusses social media perils

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Kuumar Kavita Shyam

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Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been in the thick of controversies for all the wrong reasons. He moved from one to another in a week’s time before getting on a flight to Dubai where he addressed young children of GEMS Modern Academy – this time for the right reason.

Joining the panel of a Mentors Academy, a joint initiative of the school with JMR Sporting, Vaughan told the children that beyond the playing skills, “it is important to enjoy the game and make sure that they share a relationship within the team or the dressing room.”

Vaughan’s words were pause worthy considering the man himself is in the middle of a racism controversy back home where a few Asian players have used an alleged comment of his from a team talk on the field many years ago as an example in court for highlighting their plight.

And barely a day before his address at the sprawling campus in Nad Al Sheba, he got into another tweet tit-for-tat bash with former Indian opening batsman Wasim Jaffer when Bangladesh stunned England to win a bilateral T20 series 3-0 on home turf. Jaffer rekindled their past banter on social media with a jibe “Hello Michael Vaughan, long time no see,” using a picture of himself with a Bangladesh shirt from the past when he was coach of the Under19 team.

Vaughan responded with a tweet (below) even as he has been battling a legal battle, which is getting closer to a judgement where words of one party is being verified with others.

He could not resist having another potshot at Jaffer: “He is one of the victims of my bowling in Tests, my first wicket. He couldn’t play my off-spin.” Vaughan scored 100 in that first Test against India at Lord’s in the 2002 series.

Asked in Dubai if he has an advice on the use of social media for the students, Vaughan said: “As great as social media is, it can be bad too. But, I would like to look at the positive side. I would tell the kids to make use of it, get information which can be handy for half an hour or so, but don’t make it your be all and end all of it. Sadly, the art of live conversation is dying out, which shouldn’t be the extent on social media. I am yet to see a person who is the same profile as they are on social media.

“I have written about 40,000 tweets, including a few I regret. It is a great resource to have powerful conversations, but cricket is getting too fast and serious nowadays. People are hammering others for one mistake in their lives. It is also a great place to have fun. Wasim and I have had some fun going, and it is important to have a bit of camaraderie and fun going.”

I have written about 40,000 tweets, including a few I regret. It is a great resource to have powerful conversations, but cricket is getting too fast and serious nowadays

As good as the memory of picking Jaffer’s wicket from two decades back serves right for Vaughan, he is being put in a box as the world waits to see a court come to a decision if Vaughan said anything objectionable.

Meanwhile, Jaffer’s teammate from that 2002 Lord’s Test Virender Sehwag is in Vaughan’s corner at the Mentors Academy along with former Sri Lankan fast bowler Chaminda Vaas and Pakistan women’s team vice-captain and all-rounder Nida Dar.

JMR Sporting, which has put the whole plan together to coach pupils on the other aspects of playing the sport, has some great cricketing facilities in Sharjah. “Five days of the week, the students will continue to train at GEMS Modern Academy and over the weekend, they will make use of our specialized equipment and coaching techniques in Sharjah,” said Jaffar Moidu, the founder.

“There are four pillars of our holistic approach towards cricket coaching, including mental health and awareness for other aspects. Then once a month or so periodically, we will have camps where one of the mentors will guide the children on things beyond the physical skills.”

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of eIndia.com. Now managing editor of Headline.ae, part of MEMc (https://www.memc.co)

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Global Chess League Unveils a Stellar Line-up of Icon Players for Season 2

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The Global Chess League, a joint venture between Tech Mahindra and FIDE, today announced the list of Icon players for the second season to be held in London from 3rd to 12th October at Friends House.

Sameer Pathak, CEO, Global Chess League, said, “We would like to extend a warm welcome to all the Icon players. With such renowned names at the helm of each team, we are confident that the exciting matches will offer millions of chess fans an incredible experience. In the following weeks, we will be announcing a host of superstar men, women, and prodigy players, which will only add to the excitement ahead of the player draft.”

The stellar line-up of Icon players includes world No.1 and five-time world champion, Magnus Carlsen, who also featured in the first season of the Global Chess League. In the second season, he will continue to play for Alpine SG Pipers.

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Magnus Carlsen, the five-time world champion, said, “The first season in Dubai was a fantastic experience. Chess has been an individual sport, but the concept of a team setting introduced by the Global Chess League is very exciting and refreshing. I look forward to playing again with the Alpine SG Pipers.”

To add to the thrilling level of competition, two new Icon players are joining the league for the first time. One of the world’s most popular and dynamic players, Hikaru Nakamura, will play for the new team American Gambits. Anish Giri will make his debut in the second season with PBG Alaskan Knights as the Icon player.

Joining as an Icon player for American Gambits, Hikaru Nakamura, said, “I followed the Global Chess League in its first season and was hooked to the format. It is an exciting opportunity not only for the top players, but also for fans as they get to pick a team with their favorite players to cheer on. I am excited to be a part of American Gambits team, and I look forward to meeting my teammates in London.

Grandmaster Anish Giri, who has been signed up as the Icon player by PBG Alaskan Knights, said, “The unique format of the Global Chess League takes the competition to a higher level. I am sure that the fans will tune in to see the exciting battles between teams comprising top men and women chess players. I am delighted to play in my debut season with PBG Alaskan Knights, and I am looking forward to the exciting times ahead.”

Returning in the Icon player role for Ganges Grandmasters is the five-time world champion, Viswanathan Anand. As the Icon player of the first season’s finalists, Mumba Masters, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will continue to lead from the front for the team. In the second season, Ian Nepomniachtchi will be the Icon player for the Triveni Continental Kings.

Viswanathan Anand, the five-time world champion and the Icon player for Ganges Grandmasters, said, “The inaugural season was a huge success with some very exciting matches. Chess is widely played across the world, and the game being televised in this unique format will only add to its popularity. I believe that fans who tune in will get to see intense battles between teams playing chess at their highest level. I am excited to be back playing for Ganges Grandmasters.”

Grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi, in his new role as the Icon player for Triveni Continental Kings, said, “After an exciting launch season, I am glad to be a part of the second season of the Global Chess League. Playing for the winners of the first season, Triveni Continental Kings, makes it even more special, and I am looking forward to play some exciting matches in London.

Former World Blitz champion and the Icon player for Mumba Masters, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, said, “Playing for my team Mumba Masters was a fantastic experience in the first season. The whole team came together beautifully and reached the finals. I am geared to return for the next season and collaborate with my team members.

The league will feature a minimum of three marquee showdowns every day between the Icon players as they lead their teams into the chess arena. The first-of-its-kind franchise-based league will feature a total of six teams. Each team will consist of six players, including one Icon player, two superstar male players, two superstar female players, and one prodigy player.

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Andy Murray says Paris Olympics will be final event – ARN News Centre

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Andy Murray, the first male player to capture two Olympic singles gold medals, said that the tennis competition at the Paris Games will be the final event of his glittering career before retirement.

Murray, widely regarded as one of Britain’s all-time great sportsmen, won gold in London 2012 beating Roger Federer in the final and successfully defended his title in Rio four years later by defeating Juan Martin del Potro.

The injury-plagued 37-year-old, who in 2013 ended a 77-year wait for a British men’s singles champion at Wimbledon and won the trophy again in 2016, had previously said he was unlikely to continue his career beyond this year.

“Arrived in Paris for my last ever tennis tournament @Olympics,” Murray said on X.

“Competing for Britain has been by far the most memorable weeks of my career and I’m extremely proud to get do it one final time.”

Murray received a star-studded, emotional farewell earlier this month at Wimbledon, the venue where he won two of his three major titles, following a first-round doubles defeat partnering his brother Jamie.

The Scot, who had surgery on June 22 to remove a spinal cyst which was compressing his nerves and made him lose control and power in his right leg, had decided he was not fit enough for the demands of singles competition at the All England Club.

The tennis competition at the Olympics begins on July 27 and Murray, who made his Olympic debut in Beijing 2008, will play in both singles and doubles in his fifth and final Games.

Murray resurrected his career after having hip-resurfacing surgery in 2019 but has struggled to make the latter stages of leading tournaments since and endured an ankle injury earlier this season.



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Tech Mahindra Global Chess League to Host its Second Edition in London

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The Global Chess League, a joint initiative between the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and Tech Mahindra, a leading global provider of technology consulting and digital solutions to enterprises across industries, is set for a highly anticipated second edition in London. Following the success of the first edition, the league aims to unite the world’s top chess players in one of the most historic cities.

The 10-day, one-of-a-kind chess league featuring top players will take place at Friends House, located in the heart of central London, from October 3rd to 12th, 2024. Based on the feedback from fans worldwide, London was selected as the venue for this season to connect with the fast-growing fan base and enthusiasm for chess in the European region.

Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, said“After a fantastic response to the inaugural season, we are excited to continue our mission of expanding the reach of chess worldwide and drawing in new experiences for chess fans. Tech Mahindra’s commitment to usher in a new era in the modern chess ecosystem is commendable, and we are confident that the second edition of the league will provide the right platform and push needed to further elevate the sport.”

Through this innovative league, FIDE and Tech Mahindra aim to revolutionize the fan experience of chess through a new format and ecosystem, providing an inclusive platform for fans to support their favourite teams and stars, similar to major global sports leagues. The second edition will feature top players from around the world, including reigning world champions and rising stars, competing in a unique team format that emphasizes strategy, collaboration, and high-stakes play.

Mohit Joshi, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Tech Mahindra, said, “Chess and business share key values such as planning, speed, strategy, and risk management. The infusion of technology opens exciting new opportunities, transforming both fields. The Global Chess League’s second edition creates a unique platform for the global growth of Chess.”

Building on the success of its first season, the league aims to further broaden the viewership base through live broadcasts, interactive fan experiences, and community engagement activities like soon to be launched Global Chess League Trophy Tour. In the tournament, the players will compete in a unique joint team format consisting of six players, including two top women chess players and a prodigy player per team. Each team will play a total of 10 matches in a double round-robin format, with the winner of each match being decided in a best-of-six board scoring system.

Peeyush Dubey, Chairperson, Global Chess League Board, said, “We will continue to leverage the Global Chess League’s innovative format and next-gen technologies to captivate and engage fans worldwide. The second edition is seeing unprecedented excitement from our partners and stakeholders. Together with FIDE, our vision for the league is to bring the best from the chess world.”

The second season will see FIDE and Tech Mahindra collaborate to tap into the growing chess fan base, build a larger audience for chess viewing, and engage in exciting fan activities such as the ongoing all-inclusive hackathon. The hackathon engages with participants of all chess skill levels and technical expertise and collates ideas for improving the way chess is experienced, played, and consumed. Participants can propose ideas in various categories, including education, digital innovation, social impact, business, and arts, among others.

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