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England win FIFA Under-20 World Cup



U-20 World Cup

Dominic Solanke believes a confident England have what it takes to win the Under-20 World Cup and follow in the famous footsteps of the heroes of 1966.

Paul Simpson’s side came from behind to beat Italy 3-1 in Thursday’s semifinal to set up Sunday’s showdown with Venezuela in Suwon, South Korea.

They are the first England side to reach a world final since Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley 51 years ago, but Solanke feels he and his teammates can bring the silverware home.

“It’s our time,” Solanke, who is set to join Liverpool from Chelsea on July 1, said. “Everyone will be rooting for us back home so hopefully we can make them proud.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin of England (16) celebrates with team mate Ademola Lookman

“The determination we have is what drives us on. We know that even if we’re losing we can bring it back. The disappointment we had in the U19 Euros last year [losing in the semifinal], we know that feeling, so we want to go and win this time.

“There have been no special words from the manager, he’s just told us to focus on the next game, as he always does. There’s one more game that we need to go and win and if we do it right we’ll be champions.

“We’ve seen some of Venezuela’s games and we know what a good team they are. It’s down to the last two now, so you’re never going to have an easy final.”

Solanke’s double against Italy took his tally for the tournament to four, one behind Italy’s Riccardo Orsolini in the battle for the Golden Shoe.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero are among the accolade’s former winners, but Solanke insists a team triumph comes before individual honours.

“I haven’t thought about being the top goal scorer, I’ve just been focusing on winning. But that would be a really good achievement for me and I would love to do that,” he added.

“After that win over Italy we’re all confident we can now go on and win on Sunday. We went 1-0 down early on, but we kept going and to get the 3-1 win showed that we are ready for anything.

“We were calm at half-time. We knew we had had a good amount of possession and that the game wasn’t over, despite being 1-0 down. We knew that if we carried on playing the way we were we would get chances.”


Mohammed Shami’s wife Hasin Jahan meets Mamata Banerjee



Hasin Jahan

Kolkata, March 23: Beleaguered India pacer Mohammed Shami’s wife Hasin Jahan, who accused her husband of domestic violence and extra marital affairs, on Friday met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the issue.

Jahan who also lodged a case against Shami and his family members for physical and mental abuse, and attempt to murder earlier sought “emotional support” from the Chief Minister.

According to sources close to Jahan, Banerjee met her in the state assembly on Friday afternoon, where they talked for around 10 minutes. She assured Jahan that she would look into the issue.

The meeting comes a day after the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) recommended to the Board of Control for Cricket in India to include the Bengal pacer in the list of centrally-contracted players from which he was left out following Jahan’s accusations that Shami was involved in match-fixing.

Jahan alleged that he was spending time with a Pakistani woman in Dubai and taking money from her.

Shami was also probed by the anti-corruption officials of the BBCI for allegedly taking money from Pakistani contacts and was found not guilty.

A case was registered against Shami and four others on March 8 on his wife’s complaint.


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Shooter Vivaan shines at Junior World Cup



Vivaan kapoor
Vivaan Kapoor (right) on the podium after winning bronze medal in trap at junior shooting World Cup (ISSF) (PC- Hindustan Times)

Sydney, March 23: India’s Vivaan Kapoor bagged the bronze in the men’s Trap event at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup here on Friday.

The 16-year-old shot 30 birds in the six-man final to come away with a podium finish after 40 shots of the 45-shot final.

Italy’s Matteo Marongiu won the individual gold in the event, getting the better of China’s Yiliu Ouyang in a shoot-off after both were tied at 39 hits a piece at the end of the final round.

Yiliu missed the second bird in the shoot-off.

Vivaan added a second medal later in the day, winning the team bronze in the event along with compatriots Lakshay Sheoran and Ali Aman Elahi.

Vivaan, Lakshay and Ali compiled a collective score of 328 to finish behind silver medalists Australia (331) and gold medalists China (335) in the team section.

In the individual event, Vivaan shot 113 in qualification to qualify as the fifth finalist after coming second best to the Chinese 4-3 in a shoot-off to determine minor places.

He then shot 26 out of the first 35 birds to edge out Chinese Taipei’s Kun-Pi Yang who also had the same number of hits but Vivaan had qualified in a higher position for the final, which ensured his first Junior World Cup medal.

India had another finalist on the day with Sam George Sajan Christopher Ramesh in the Junior Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Postiions, shooting 1140 in qualifying to eventually finish sixth in the final with a score of 402.5.

India have so far claimed two gold and three bronze medals in the competition and are placed second behind China, who have collected five gold, one silver and three bronze.


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IPL: Shami welcomed back to Daredevils squad



Mohammed Shami

New Delhi, March 23: Moments after the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) asked the BCCI to include beleaguered pacer Mohammed Shami in the central contracts, Delhi Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua on Thursday welcomed the seamer back into the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise.

“Happy to be informed that @MdShami11 has been cleared by #ACU of @BCCI and can play with @DelhiDaredevils in the #VivoIPL #DilDilli,” Dua wrote on Twitter.

Shami got a major reprieve from the BCCI anti-corruption unit in the allegations of match-fixing after which the CoA recommended he be included in Grade B of central contracts.

The Bengal pacer was excluded from the list of central contracts after his wife Hasin Jahan accused him of domestic violence and extra-marital affairs a day ahead of the announcement of the contracts.

mohammed shami

Shami was probed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s anti-corruption officials after allegations were made by his estranged wife that he had taken money from Pakistani contacts.

But at the end of the investigations by the head of the BCCI anti-corruption unit Neeraj Kumar, the paceman was found not guilty and thus the CoA has recommended that he should be placed in Grade B of the contract lists.

“Neeraj Kumar has submitted his confidential report to the CoA. Based on the conclusions in the said report, the CoA is of the view that no further actions/proceedings under the BCCI anti-corruption code are warranted in the matter,” a BCCI statement read.

“For this reason, the BCCI shall proceed with offering a Grade ‘B’ annual retainership contract to Mohd Shami,” the statement added.


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