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Rohan Jaitley set to file nomination for DDCA president’s post

“Mr Jaitley wants to end factionalism in the DDCA and wants all groups to come together for betterment of cricket in Delhi,” said a member of a group.

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New Delhi: Lawyer Rohan Jaitley could file his nomination papers for the president’s post of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) — a position that his late father, Arun Jaitley, held for 14 years.

Jaitley on Monday confirmed that he was ready to contest, but pointed out a few cases currently being heard in the Supreme Court. He said that if the path became clear he would file his nomination papers on Wednesday, the last day of filing nominations. The three-day window for nominations opened on Monday, and the elections are scheduled to be held between October 17 and 20.

“Yes, nominations have started. But there are two-three days left [to file nominations]. There’s time. I am very open to it. There’s no problem; there’s no hindrance from my side,” Jaitley, 31, told IANS.

“But there are some legal cases going on, and clarity is yet to be determined on whether or not the elections will go ahead as scheduled. There is some grey area. I have no problem [contesting for the top post]. But October 7 looks too far when cases are on in courts. If I file my nomination, I will on October 7,” said the Delhi-based lawyer.

All major groups in the DDCA – at last count, there were five — have orally agreed to support Jaitley, who has agreed to jump into the fray on their request. But, according to the groups supporting him, Jaitley would enter the fray only if he is elected unopposed, something everyone has agreed to. So far, no group has even whispered about fielding a candidate against him.

“Mr Jaitley will announce his team on Tuesday and file his nomination papers on Wednesday, along with his team,” claimed the leader of a prominent group supporting Jaitley. He was confident that Jaitley would take the plunge, irrespective of the court cases.

“Our group has given Mr Jaitley virtually a carte blanche. He is free to make his team, a good team. We will back him fully and the responsibility will be his. We want him to cleanse the DDCA of all the dirt and turn it into a good place,” he said. “Our group, and others, have met him several times. Even on Sunday, Mr Jaitley met a group of about 30 people, and he had a few other meetings as well.”

Elections will be held for six posts, including that of president, treasurer, and four directors.

The president’s post fell vacant after Rajat Sharma, who was elected with a thumping majority in June-July 2018, resigned in November last year following infighting within his group.

A new treasurer needs to be elected after the new rules of cricket governance disqualified O.P. Sharma, a sitting member of Delhi Legislative Assembly, for being a politician/public servant. The four directors’ election was necessitated after four sitting directors retired by rotation, as per the rules of the Company Law Board.

Sources said that among others a close relative of former India opener Gautam Gambhir could also be in the fray. “There is an eligibility question mark against one of our prominent candidates, for the treasurer’s post, and if that person is found ineligible, a close relative of Gambhir could be the back-up candidate,” said a member of another group.

It is gathered all groups have given a few names to Jaitley, and full freedom to choose his team, much like his late father in 1999 when he entered the DDCA as its president beating former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi in a lop-sided contest. As it turned out, Arun Jaitley ruled the DDCA for 14 years, before opting out in 2013 ahead of the general elections.

“Mr Jaitley wants to end factionalism in the DDCA and wants all groups to come together for betterment of cricket in Delhi,” said a member of a group.

Jaitley has no experience of managing a cricket association as big as DDCA. But he has the pedigree, and has a master’s degree in law from Cornell University. Those supporting him feel he would be able to handle the issues – mainly financial — afflicting the DDCA.

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Argentina declares three-day national mourning for Maradona

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

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Buenos Aires: The Argentina government has declared three days of national mourning for the death of football legend Diego Armando Maradona, the office of the presidency has said.

“The President of the Nation will decree three days of national mourning from the day (of his death),” according to the statement on Wednesday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.

Maradona died due to cardiorespiratory arrest at his home in the Tigre district on the northern outskirts of the capital Buenos Aires.

His body did not show “any sign of violence” and everything indicates that he died of “natural causes,” the prosecutor general of the Argentinian town of San Isidro, John Broyad, said.

According to Broyad, Maradona passed away “around 12:00” local time (1500 GMT) Wednesday at his home in the neighbourhood of San Andres, on the northern outskirts of the capital.

In statements to the press, Broyad said that “at 16:00 (local time) the work of the Forensics Police began” on the body of the former footballer.

“No signs of criminality were evident, no signs of violence,” said the prosecutor.

In addition, he reported that an autopsy would be carried out at the morgue of San Fernando Hospital, to “reliably determine the causes of death”.

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

On October 30, Maradona had celebrated his 60th birthday.

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Diego Maradona (1960-2020): When death felt like a tackle from behind

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008.

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Diego Maradona, the shanty-town boy who became a supernatural footballer before his life went into a downward spiral of addiction and myriad health issues for over 30 years, died of a heart attack on Wednesday. He turned 60 on October 30.

Maradona had looked death in the eye a number of times and when he underwent successful surgery for a subdural haematoma recently, his fans would have been forgiven for thinking the worst had passed. In 2004, doctors said his heart was functioning at 40% efficiency. Back then, Maradona pulled through and went on to coach Argentina in the 2010 World Cup where amid the constellation of the planet’s football star, he — in a sharp suit, a diamond stud glinting from an ear and a wristwatch on either hand — was the cynosure till Argentina were gobsmacked by Germany one day after Holland sent Brazil home.

Life, it seemed, was sucked out of that World Cup because the curtains had come down on Maradona’s performance. At press conferences — where once he climbed over the dais to bearhug a journalist who then became the story — and on the pitch where his last memorable act was possibly burying his face on son-in-law Sergio Aguero’s back as Germany scored another goal in that 4-0 rout.

The year 2004 wasn’t the only time he had flirted with death and had the world praying and believing in a miracle. One year later, he had a gastric bypass surgery to help deal with obesity. And as a boy he had survived falling into a pit where he could have drowned. On turning 45 at a party with 400 friends for company, Maradona had said: “I am 45. And I am alive,” wrote Marcela Mora y Araujo, who translated his autobiography “El Diego” in The Observer. “He’s a crazy little giant who dices with death and toboggans unto hell on a daily basis,” wrote Araujo in the introduction to the autobiography.

So it wasn’t surprising that the Maradona of 2006 had again made way to a bloated version of the genius who slalomed his way past England in the 1986 World Cup to score one of the most memorable goals of the competition ever. In Russia in 2018, the version of Maradona that filled fans with dread was seen in the World Cup when he had to be helped from his seat during the Argentina-Nigeria game. He blamed it on wine and said he was fine and we got on with our lives. So when news broke of his heart attack at home in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, it felt like a tackle from behind. How could death win this round?

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008. In Egypt, bandits released a group of Argentine tourists on realizing they were from Maradona Country, writes Jimmy Burns, in “Hand of God” . But at least he had played a friendly there. He had not in Kolkata, where the Salt Lake stadium spilled over to see him move in a car. In Bangladesh he had not either, but it didn’t matter. Seeing God, the hero of the 1990 World Cup too and in the bit part he played in 1994 before failing a drug test, felt like an act of fulfillment itself.

Maradona’s rise coincided with football transforming into a billion dollar industry, in whose crosscurrents he found himself for most of his playing career. Except possibly the time at Napoli, where he handheld a team trod upon by the rest of the country to European glory. Two Serie A titles, two second-place finishes an Italian Cup and the UEFA Cup immortalized him in the city. It was while he was at Napoli that Maradona transformed from being an artful dodger to a messiah.

It was also where he came in contact with the Cammora, the city’s crime syndicate. It was where he became a cocaine addict. With Maradona, you see, the sublime and the ridiculous are never mutually exclusive, they exist cheek by jowl. Just as life and death did with him till the final blow on Wednesday.

“Maradona,” Burns begins in ‘Hand of God’, “is the story of a natural-born football talent who grew up to believe he was God and suffered as a result. It was on the pitch where he was the happiest, away from all his troubles, he had said. But while doing what he loved since his uncle gifted him a ball when he could barely walk, he also became a hero for the downtrodden, his ‘Hand of God’ epitomizing — justifying too perhaps — the chicanery that they needed to deal with life’s unfair hand. That magical left foot drew you to him, his outspokenness then endeared him to you.

“Poor old Diego. For so many years we have told him repeatedly, ‘You’re a God’, ‘You are a star’, ‘You are our salvation’ that we forgot to tell him the most important thing: ‘You are a man.’” The words of Jorge Valdano, Maradona’s Argentina teammate in the 1986 World Cup, sums up a life extraordinary.

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Our style of play is non-negotiable: Mumbai City boss Lobera

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

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Sergio Lobera

Panaji: After Sergio Lobera’s reign at Mumbai City got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to NorthEast United, the Spaniard said that his attack oriented possession-based game was non-negotiable.

“Our style of play is non-negotiable. I used some players in different positions from what they are used, for example Adam in right wing but I believe he has the experience to adjust. We have to improve a lot of course,” Lobera told media after the match.

Mumbai went in with two strikers up front with Adam Le Fondre playing as a make shift right winger along with Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Englishman created some good chances in the first half but a red card to midfield mainstay Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges conceding a penalty in the second meant at Mumbai ended up losing the match 1-0.

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

“Today (the red card) was a big problem for us. It changed the game, we were playing with 10 men and missing a very important player. But for the next game, I have 28 players, I am very happy with my squad. Just one player is not an excuse for losing the next game,” said Lobera.

“We need to improve, we had a short pre-season and have a short time between games. But it is my job to improve the level of the team and I am very positive that it is possible for the next game.”

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