Elizabeth Ponder, center, hugs her daughter Exodus Ponder, left, while standing in line at the Savannah Civic Center before evacuating from he path of Hurricane Irma, Saturday, Sept., 9, 2017 in Savannah, Ga. Irma regained Category 5 status late Friday. Thousands of people in the Caribbean fought desperately to find shelter or escape their storm-blasted islands, and more than 6 million people in Florida and Georgia were warned to leave their homes. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins escaped Hurricane Irma by beginning an extended stay in California.The Dolphins evacuated from South Florida before the storm’s arrival and will practice in Oxnard, California, next week to prepare for their delayed start of the season, a person familiar with the situation said Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Hurting Keys tells Stephens ‘drinks are on you’ Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients The person confirmed the Dolphins’ plans to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team hasn’t publicly disclosed them.Team owner Stephen Ross flew players, coaches, traveling staff and their families to Los Angeles on Friday as the hurricane approached Florida, the person said. Other players who had already left the state in advance of Irma are also arriving in Los Angeles.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Dolphins will have a team meeting Tuesday and will practice beginning Wednesday at the Dallas Cowboys’ complex in Oxnard. The Los Angeles Rams also offered the use of their complex.Miami will open its season at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 17. The Dolphins had been scheduled to open Sunday at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that game was postponed until Nov. 19. LATEST STORIES E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad 2 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self PLAY LIST 03:122 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers03:48Passengers flock to Naia one day before ‘Undas’01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Because of Irma, the Dolphins told players Wednesday to take the rest of this week off.
UP NEXT:Timberwolves: Host the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.Thunder: Host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins, center, is mobbed by his teammates after hitting the game winning shot at the buzzer in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. Minnesota won 115-113. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)OKLAHOMA CITY — Andrew Wiggins’ 3-pointer from a few steps inside halfcourt banked in as time expired to give the Minnesota Timberwolves a 115-113 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night.Oklahoma City’s Carmelo Anthony had hit a 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left to give the Thunder the lead before the Timberwolves inbounded to Wiggins, who rushed up the court and got free with help from a crushing pick by Karl-Anthony Towns before pulling up for the winner.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Wiggins scored 27 points and Towns had 27 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota (2-1).Russell Westbrook scored 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter for the Thunder, who were coming off a loss at Utah on Saturday night. Anthony scored 23 points and Paul George scored 14 points on 6-for-20 shooting. Steven Adams had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMinnesota led 61-54 at halftime behind 13 points from Towns and 10 from Wiggins.Adams scored 14 points before the break. MOST READ Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA The Timberwolves fought off several bursts by the Thunder and led 88-75 at the end of the third quarter.The Thunder opened the fourth quarter with a five-point run that led to a Minnesota timeout. Oklahoma City continued the surge and got the crowd back into the game. A three-point play by Anthony cut Minnesota’s lead to 90-87 as Westbrook returned to the game from a rest.Adams converted a three-point play to cut Minnesota’s lead to 106-105 with 1:50 to go, and a 3-pointer by Westbrook tied the game at 110.TIP-INSTimberwolves: Taj Gibson, who started for the Thunder at the end of last season, had 11 points and 10 rebounds. He barely got the ball inbounds on the final play. … Shot 57 percent in the first quarter to lead 28-23. … Minnesota beat Utah at home on Friday. … Jeff Teague scored 19 points and Jimmy Butler added 15.Thunder: Adams had eight points on 4-for-5 shooting in the first quarter. … Six Thunder players scored in double figures. Raymond Felton and Jerami Grant each scored 12 points.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Winless Suns fire Earl Watson after 3 games this season Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments
Chris Banchero led the Aces with 22 and three more tossed in 10 each in a balanced scoring attack that Compton counterpart Louie Alas could not find.Matthew Wright was bottled up the whole night and struggled to finish with 16 points—all of them coming from close range—as the Aces never allowed him to settle into a groove from the perimeter. He was 0-for-6 from beyond the arc.Pushed to the wall by an enemy taken lightly by almost everyone, TNT KaTropa did enough to avoid a laughable upset in the other game.“I didn’t see that they gave their best today,” coach Nash Racela said of his Texters, who barely nosed out cellar-dwelling KIA Picanto, 90-85, to climb to the upper half of the 12-team pack.It took two RR Garcia baskets inside the dying minutes for the Texters to pull this one out of the fire and rise to 4-3 for fourth place at the moment, as Racela stayed on target for at least a top-six finish.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa JRU boosts Final Four bid The Aces clamped down hard and gave up 24 points in the first two periods, and when the Fuel Masters tried making a game out of it in the fourth quarter by coming to within 14, Alaska scooted away for good on the way to rising to 5-2 and solo third.Only San Miguel Beer and Magnolia are better with 5-1 slates, though the Beermen and the Hotshots are sure to part ways as they still have to face each other later on.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPhoenix couldn’t find the same game it dished out in upsetting Barangay Ginebra last week and slipped to 3-4.“We gave up 24 (first half) points. If I can find a way to bottle that, I’d be a millionaire,” Alaska coach Alex Compton said with a smile, marveling at the great job they did on Phoenix’s offense. “It was one of those halves where our defense had a lot of teeth.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Read Next Meanwhile, Commissioner Willie Marcial suspended the referees who worked the Barangay Ginebra-San Miguel Beer game last Sunday because of the confusion that marred the final 4.6 seconds of a 100-96 Kings victory.Three referees got one-week suspensions each while a fourth one was slapped a three-week ban even as Marcial also suspended the game barker and a table official for failing to spot the error that led to San Miguel’s Chris Ross taking a free throw instead of Chico Lanete. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments PBA IMAGESStarting out hot and finishing at boiling point, Alaska mowed down Phoenix Petroleum, 93-75, on Wednesday night as the Aces—who have never looked this good in almost two years—are now staring the PBA Philippine Cup leaders in the face and are making a case for a twice-to-beat privilege.Calvin Abueva didn’t just warm up this time. He came off the bench at Mall of Asia Arena to pump in 21 points that went with 14 rebounds and four steals in 25 minutes and lead a hardnosed defensive stand by Alaska that starved the Fuel Masters to a franchise low total at the half.ADVERTISEMENT Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises LATEST STORIES 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers
John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding In the third quarter, the Spurs used an 11-1 run to go back in front. Davis Bertans buried a 3-pointer to put San Antonio up 66-61.The Jazz made 11 of 19 shots (57.9 percent) in the second quarter and just 4 of 22 attempts (18.2 percent) in the third.”This is one of those games you’re fortunate to win,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”You have to catch some breaks. We just continued to compete. That’s really all it comes down to. When you do that, you put yourself in a position to catch a break.”TIP-INSSpurs: F LaMarcus Aldridge (sore right knee) did not play. Aldridge leads San Antonio in scoring and rebounding. … The Spurs outscored the Jazz 54-40 in the paint. … Gasol recorded his 12th double-double of the season.Jazz: G Ricky Rubio (left hip soreness) missed his second consecutive game. … Ingles scored 10 of Utah’s first 15 points. He set a career high in scoring in each of the previous two Jazz victories. … F Jae Crowder finished with 14 points in his first home game since he came over from Cleveland in a trade.FAVORS FINISHESUtah’s Rudy Gobert found himself in an unusual spot in the final minutes. Gobert played just six minutes in the fourth quarter and watched from the bench while Favors finished out the game.Gobert had 10 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 31 minutes. But Snyder decided to ride the hot hand down the stretch. Favors totaled eight points, five rebounds and two blocks in six minutes in the fourth. He had back-to-back layups that helped the Jazz keep pace when the Spurs tried to pull away.Snyder asked Gobert if he wanted to go back in the game at one point, but the Jazz center deferred to Favors. He did appreciate being consulted about the crunch-time decision. Mitchell was just 9 for 28 from the field, but he delivered down the stretch. The rookie guard scored eight of Utah’s final nine points over the last 2:54 of the game. He hit a pair of go-ahead baskets and a free throw to give the Jazz the lead in the final minute after they trailed by as many as 13 points during the fourth quarter.”You can’t think about the misses, that’s the biggest thing,” Mitchell said. ”I was continuing to stay locked in and just stay focused and understand the shots eventually were going to fall. Fortunately, they did.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJoe Ingles added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Utah. Derrick Favors had 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.The Jazz (29-28) moved above .500 for the first time in more than two months. Defense played a big role in their latest victory. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers ”I don’t know if there’s a lot of coach-player relationships like we have,” Gobert said. ”He trusted me from the beginning, so I trust him too.”OUTSIDE SHOOTING WOESSan Antonio hung tough while playing short-handed because of injuries. But the Spurs were hurt by a rough night on the perimeter, going 6 for 25 from 3-point range.”We just have to figure out a way to win,” guard Tony Parker said. ”We were up 13. We had a good chance, but we didn’t make the shots in the end.”UP NEXTSpurs: Travel to Denver to face the Nuggets on Tuesday.Jazz: Host the Suns on Wednesday. Read Next LATEST STORIES 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates as he runs off the court following their NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Salt Lake City. The Jazz won 101-99. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell found his shooting touch at the right time for the Utah Jazz.Mitchell scored 25 points, including a go-ahead jumper with 39.2 seconds left, and Utah extended its NBA-best winning streak to 10 games with a 101-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH PBA All-Star voting begins on Friday Favors blocked a pair of shots in the final minute. San Antonio was unable to get a shot off after getting the ball back with 16.7 seconds left.Kyle Anderson scored 16 points and Pau Gasol had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs, who lost to Utah for the third time this season.”We were in the lead for most of the second half,” Gasol said. ”We just couldn’t finish it. We had some bad possessions offensively that led to opportunities for them.”San Antonio went ahead 83-70 on a jumper by Bryn Forbes with 9:29 remaining. The Jazz chipped away before Ingles and Mitchell hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it at 87 with 4:53 left. The teams traded baskets from there until Mitchell sealed it in the final minute.Utah used a 20-4 run in the second quarter to take its largest first-half lead at 54-42. San Antonio cut its deficit in half before halftime on layups by Gasol and Anderson.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:46Senators rally support for Robredo; laud her for accepting anti-drug post02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City View comments
Liverpool’s Emre Can celebrates scoring his side’s first goal during the Champions League qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Liverpool and Hoffenheim at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)LIVERPOOL, England—Juergen Klopp had just seen his Liverpool team slice open Hoffenheim to score a third goal in the opening 21 minutes when he turned to the celebrating Anfield crowd and roared: “That’s football!”Liverpool returned to the Champions League group stage in some style on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sandro Wagner headed in a late goal for Hoffenheim.“We were running around like headless chickens,” Nagelsmann said of his team’s display in the first 30 minutes, “and they were scoring the kind of goals they always score in the Premier League.”“Sometimes,” he added, “you just have to admit your opponent is better.”Liverpool produced its exhilarating performance without star playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who remains unavailable — officially because he is both ill and injured — amid sustained interest from Barcelona.On this evidence, the Reds don’t need him, although their defensive frailties were exposed again, especially on the flank of left back Alberto Moreno.Liverpool joins Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Europa League winner Manchester United as part of a five-strong English representation in the group stage.Here’s a look at the other second legs in the playoffs:Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Philippines scores gold in lawn bowls men’s fours Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo With the attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane combining brilliantly, Liverpool beat Hoffenheim 4-2 with a devastating attacking display to seal a return to Europe’s elite club competition after a two-year absence.The Reds advanced 6-3 on aggregate in the qualifying playoff and will be placed in the pot of third seeds in Thursday’s draw.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“The start of the game was like a thunderstorm,” Klopp said. “We were so dangerous, so clinical. We could have scored even more.”Hoffenheim is playing in European competition for the first time in its history this season and was swept away on another atmospheric night at Anfield. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Emre Can scored goals either side of Salah’s tap-in as Liverpool surged 3-0 ahead. The third goal was masterful, with Mane breaking clear, cutting inside and backheeling the ball to Firmino, whose cross to the far post was tucked home on the volley by Can.“I think we’ve scored a few nice goals,” Klopp said of his nearly two years in charge, “but that was outstanding.”With his team now needing five goals to progress, Hoffenheim’s 30-year-old coach, Julian Nagelsmann, threw on an extra attacker in the 24th minute and Mark Uth had an immediate impact, drilling a low shot into the corner four minutes later.Neither defense covered itself in glory in the first half, and the goals kept coming after halftime. Jordan Henderson robbed Hoffenheim captain Kevin Vogt to run through on goal, before passing across for Firmino to slot into the bottom corner in the 63rd.“He was impossible to defend,” Klopp said of Firmino, his deep-lying striker.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim
Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES The Philippines and its naturalized player Andray Blatche will be on opposing sides with the former NBA veteran leading the way for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, which will carry the name China Kashgar, his mother ball club in the Chinese Basketball League.Blatche carried China in the 2016 edition of the tournament, featuring 10 club teams from Asia, averaging closing to 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists per game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingAside from Blatche, China will also parade American guard Darius Adams, who was last year’s scoring leader norming 23.1 points a contest.National team coach Chot Reyes announced Gilas’ participation Tuesday. The team, which replaced Japan, will carry the Chooks To Go banner. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo The last time a club team from the Philippines ruled the tournament was in 1996. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Philippines’ center Andray Blatche dunks the ball against Singapore. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netGilas Pilipinas and Andray Blatche are likely to reunite in the 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup slated later in the month in Chenzhou, China.But it won’t be a typical reunion.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side MOST READ PVL: San Sebastian recovers from opener loss, sweeps JRU Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments
The Cricket World Cup 2011 is exactly one month away and to mark the 30-day countdown, the coveted trophy was unveiled at the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai on Wednesday morning. The glittering trophy was unveiled in front of an excited crowd at the BSE building.International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO Haroon Lorgat handed over the trophy to ICC president Sharad Pawar amid the presence of traders and custodians of the BSE. Lorgat and Pawar were also given the honour of hitting the official gong to begin trading for the day.The World Cup begins on February 19 in Dhaka and the final will be played on April 2 in Mumbai.
After a disappointing loss in their opening match, Kings XI Punjab will have to get their act together pretty quickly to bring their campaign on tract when they take on in-form Chennai Super Kings in their second match of the Indian Premier League in Mohali on Wednesday.Having lost to debutantes Pune Warriors by seven wickets in their last game in Mumbai, Adam Gilchrist-led Kings XI Punjab start as underdogs and will require a huge effort to bounce back into the tournament.Describing the defeat at the hands of Pune Warriors as a poor all-round performance, Gilchrist had said that the team would take a little time to settle down.Barring their semi-final appearance in the first edition of the IPL in 2008, the KXIP could not do much despite having big stars including Yuvraj Singh, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, who are now leading different IPL sides, in the later editions and they will be desperate to prove a point with a new-look team this time.KXIP crumbled to nine for four against Pune to eventually get bundled out for a 112 in their last outing and if they want to have any chance against Chennai, they would definitely need Gilchrist, Shaun Marsh, Paul Valthaty, Dinesh Karthik, Abhishek Nayar and Sunny Singh to fire with their bat.Bowlers in leg spinner Piyush Chawla, medium pacers Praveen Kumar and Nathan Rimmington, who could do little while defending a small total, would look to play to their potential.Defending champions Chennai, led by the World-Cup winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, made a good start to their campaign prevailing over Kolkata Knight Riders by two runs in the tournament opener and they would look to carry the momentum.advertisementDhoni and his trusted lieutenant Suresh Raina would be key in the batting department while young Anirudha Srikkanth, riding high on confidence after his 64-run knock against the Knight Riders, would also look to carry on with his rhythm.South African allrounder Albie Morkel and 35-year-old Kiwi veteran all-rounder Scott Styris, lend strength to the side.The bowling department also looks solid with Morkel, off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Styris, Kiwi pacer Tim Southee and Sri Lankan Suraj Randiv. In fact, Chennai would like to see Morkel and Southee exploit the bouncy track at Mohali.- With PTI inputs
“Who are the players on the final list?” Suresh Raina had just one question when Krishnamachari Srikkanth called him up last week in Chennai. The chief selector of the Indian cricket team had just broken the news that Raina was to replace Gautam Gambhir as captain of One Day International,”Who are the players on the final list?” Suresh Raina had just one question when Krishnamachari Srikkanth called him up last week in Chennai. The chief selector of the Indian cricket team had just broken the news that Raina was to replace Gautam Gambhir as captain of One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 teams on the West Indies tour. If the question was simple, the answer was not. Except for three players, every member of the World Cup-winning team was too fragile to play, he was told. Raina was to lead a new team of untested players.Gautam Gambhir: Saddled with a groin pull and torn shoulder tissues for years. Jammed his shoulder seriously at the World Cup this year by landing on an outstretched arm.Injuries cut an unprecedented chunk out of Team India last week. The neon-bright smiles of India’s willow stars seem to be fading into constant pain, chronic injuries, freak accidents, over-cricket and lack of rest. The adrenaline drain after the World Cup and months of IPL in scorching summer has now pushed them to the limits of their endurance. With Sachin Tendulkar, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan opting out, the nation is counting cricket’s walking wounded. “This mess of injuries and people seeking rest while a tour is on defeat the whole purpose of winning,” says former Indian captain, Bishan Singh Bedi.Specialists in sports medicine say the incidence of cricket injuries have been on the rise with the resurgence of the sport. “There’s just too much cricket,” says Dr Jatin Chaudhary of Delhi, who corrected Yuvraj Singh’s career-threatening knee injury in 2009 and also treats a range of players-from Tendulkar to tennis star Sania Mirza. “Although cricket is much less risky than a contact sport such as football or hockey, cricketers are playing all forms of cricket 250 days out of 365, often in appalling weather,” he adds.advertisementYuvraj Singh: Down with a pneumonitis patch on his lungs now. His Achilles’ heel is his left knee, with its torn anterior cruciate ligament.Achronic injury. Painful, to say the leastTo Dr Nikhil Latey, director of Sport Science and Rehabilitation for the Olympic Gold Quest, Mumbai, it’s not just a bloated schedule Indian cricketers are being subjected to. They don’t get adequate rest, travel constantly, play away from home for long periods and the stress builds up, he explains. “Muscle overuse and mental fatigue make them prone to injury. Without rest it can lead to burnout.”The injured A-listers, who ignited a country versus club row this week, would readily agree. They clashed head-on with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and struck a different nerve with the argument that their family, health and rest must come first. It’s not just a war of words. Post IPL, Sehwag is facing a second surgery on the rotator cuff muscles of his shoulder (the first was in 2009). Moreover, he was hit in the ribs by a short ball earlier this year.Gambhir caused his shoulder some serious harm during the final league match of the World Cup 2011, by landing on an outstretched arm. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan revealed the need for intensive treatment. Tendulkar, who has opted out to be with his family, has had a series of injuries since 2004-from a tennis elbow (he wields the heaviest bat) to shoulder surgery, injured hip adductor muscles (that occurs following forced push-offs) and now an mri on his left knee shows up a reactivated hamstring injury.Sachin Tendulkar: Carrying on despite a wave of injuries since 2004: tennis elbow (he wields the heaviest bat), shoulder, hip adductor, knee and back injuries. Atrue master.Yuvraj is disabled by respiratory problems. He has had torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-the main support structure of the knee-deficient knee, with pain, swelling and occasional stiffness since 2008. Zaheer is not destined to play either. Since 2002, he has been battling a slew of chronic injuries: hamstring pull, debilitating nerve twitch, shoulder inflammation, groin strain and knee injury.There’s something unique about the biomechanics of cricket that makes players vulnerable to recurrent, if not new, injuries. Former India opener and Delhi cricketer Akash Chopra calls it a game with its own demands: “Unlike other sport, it’s an off and on game, very dynamic and very passive at the same time.” The alternation between forceful movement and moments of immobility puts stress on the body. “Constant motion in other sport keeps heart rate and muscles warm throughout. But in cricket you cool down and then move suddenly. Be it bowling, deep field throwing, diving or hitting hard-the body gets jerked about constantly.” No wonder, “second injury syndrome” is very common in cricketers. Gambhir’s shoulder troubles and groin injury are chronic, just as Sehwag’s shoulder and knee conditions are. Tendulkar’s reactivated hamstring injury, Yuvraj’s acl deficient knee and Zaheer’s back problems are all recurrent problems of use and overuse of the same muscles.advertisementAshish Nehra: Had surgery on the middle finger of his right hand, fractured while attempting a catch last year.Four types of cricketing movements trigger injury, says orthopedic Dileep Nadkarni of the sport medicine unit at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai: impact (“Say, when a ball hits”), pivoting (“For instance, when a batsman starts running and then, for some reason, turns around. That can lead to knee or shoulder injuries”), twisting (“A player’s foot rolls over the ball while running, he twists his ankle and falls”), and stretching (“Say, diving for a catch. It can hurt the hamstring muscles”).Classic victims of such stress injury are fast bowlers. “They are like Ferrari cars,” says Nadkarni. “They need high class servicing, proper technique, rehab, prehab (personalised exercise regimen to reduce injury before they occur) and adequate rest. Moreover, we underestimate the dangers of dehydration due to excessive sweating in long competitive sport,” he points out. “Water makes up 40 to 70 per cent of an individual’s body mass. Our body needs water for supplying vital chemicals and electrolytes to cells, keep muscles and joints moist, maintain body temperature, protect the lungs, heart, eyes and so on.” Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, palpitation, loss of concentration, resulting in injury, he adds.Virender Sehwag: Has been playing in pain. Faces a second rotator cuff muscle surgery on his shoulder. The first was in 2009.Has chronic knee injury.The Old Guard, however, refuses to accept the reality or the rhetoric: “A player knows best when he needs to take a break. But if he rests during an Indian tour then the selectors should be strong enough not to select that player for future tours,” said former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar. Former Test cricketer Arun Lal agrees: “When England refused to send the best team to India, we felt insulted. Now we are doing the same.” Does anyone care about the fans, asks former Indian skipper Ajay Jadeja. “The West Indies cricket board is, justifiably, displeased with the Indian board.”That attitude doesn’t work in an age of physically demanding and competitive cricket. “Earlier the game was slower, the premium being on skill,” says Dr Pushpinder Singh Bajaj of Delhi. “Cricket is now a smart game of speed, hitting hard and taking risky singles, and needs absolute fitness,” says the expert in sport injuries and arthroscopic surgery, who has treated top players. “The cricketing mantra today is endurance, speed, power and accuracy,” he says.S. Sreesanth Put up with a shoulder injury on his bowling hand, a torn hamstring and a torn knee ligament.In 1983 when India won its first World Cup, the team had no physiotherapist, no team manager. Even in the late 1990s, the Indian cricket team had just one physiotherapist, Dr Ali Irani, and no specialised trainer to ensure the fitness levels of the players. It was New Zealander John Wright, who came in as coach in 2002 and insisted that the bcci should provide a specialist physiotherapist to the players. Andrew Leipus was hired for the side. He was joined by Adrian Le Roux as trainer for the team. As specialised training started, players were made to run a distance of 20 metres at various speeds, taught aerobic exercises, apart from getting trained in various power, strength and endurance exercises.The year 2008 proved to be a turning point as physiotherapist John Gloster submitted a damning report: most Indian players carried niggles because they had no time to recover from injuries or do the required rehabilitation. Gloster also charted out the range of injuries each player faced, along with recommended treatment strategies. He has recently suggested that Indian players should skip the IPL to retain their fitness quotient.advertisementBut Gloster’s legacy turned out to be a mixed blessing. As BCCI started counting the ever-rising wave of the “walking wounded”, a new awareness about the need for sport medicine and the role of physiotherapists began to percolate. The result has been like a game of musical chairs, with physiotherapists floating in and out. Paul Close, appointed ahead of New Zealand’s tour of India late last year, had to leave when players-including Sehwag, Tendulkar and Gambhir-expressed their displeasure with his approach. Close’s departure, right before World Cup 2011, has had a number of physiotherapists joining the National Cricket Academy (NCA).Click here to EnlargeThe BCCI has now started spending huge sums to preserve and protect crickting talent. The physio-trainer combo package costs the board anywhere between $75,000-100,000 every year (excluding travel and other expenses). Their specialised facilities cost BCCI another $50,000 a year depending on whether the players individually train at the NCA at Bangalore or the team trains them at a match venue, in India or overseas. BCCI also enables players to avail treatment facilities for injuries in other parts of the world. With it all, most A-listers now have access to as many as three physiotherapists: their own, the team therapist and the NCA experts.Raina, however, faces the uphill task of retaining India’s top slot in Test rankings and beating Australia to the first slot in ODI, with his untested team. His best bets are Shikhar Dhawan and Manoj Tiwary, replacements for Gambhir and Yuvraj. The likes of Abhinav Mukund and S. Badrinath (see Caribbean Club box) will feel the pressure of donning the jersey of a side with lean bench strength. Is the world’s richest cricket board worried? BCCI, at the moment, is busy celebrating India’s spectacular World Cup win after 28 years.- With Kaushik Deka