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The star men who guided England to the World Cup final
ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final – England v New ZealandVenue: Lord’s Dates: Sunday, 14 July Time: 10:30 BSTCoverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website. Live TV coverage on Channel 4 & Sky SportsEngland’s men will attempt to win the World Cup for the first time when they meet New Zealand in Sunday’s final at Lord’s.The hosts, playing in their first final for 27 years, will start as favourites against the 2015 runners-up.”It would mean everything to win it,” England captain Eoin Morgan said. “The good faith, support and enthusiasm we’ve been shown in the tournament has been brilliant. It’s a huge privilege to play in a World Cup final.” Morgan’s men will be looking to emulate the England women’s team, who won the World Cup on the same ground two years ago. They will do so at the end of a tournament which has taken in 11 venues across England and Wales and been watched by more than 675m people worldwide.World Cup final a crucial moment for cricket in this country – AgnewQuiz: How well do you know England’s World Cup finalists?Anything possible in final – WilliamsonThe final, beginning at 10:30 BST, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 4 LW, with in-play highlights on the BBC Sport website. As well as TV coverage on Sky Sports, it will be shown free-to-air on Channel 4 and More 4.”It is an opportunity to win the World Cup, but also an opportunity to sell this great game that we love on a huge platform,” said Morgan. England’s run to the final is a remarkable turnaround, given both their short-term and long-term World Cup history. From reaching the most recent of their three finals in 1992, they had not won a World Cup knockout match until Thursday’s semi-final victory over Australia. Amid a catalogue of World Cup failures, the worst was arguably four years ago, when they were dumped out in the first round.Since then, they have climbed to the top of the one-day international rankings through a renewed focus on limited-overs cricket.
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Jonathan Agnew takes over tube announcements for the Cricket World Cup final.
Off the field, former England director of cricket Andrew Strauss took steps to put greater emphasis on the one-day side with the stated aim of winning the World Cup, while on the field, Morgan has encouraged his team to play with freedom, with the outcome being some spectacular performances, particularly with the bat. Of the transformation, Morgan, who was also captain in 2015, said: “When you look back four years ago, it’s incredible. It’s two different teams, really, in the way we play. “Guys embrace every challenge we come up with, whereas before we might have shied away from it.”We really look forward to big games or big moments in games. One of those is tomorrow, and we’re excited about it.”Even though they began the tournament as the number-one ranked side, England have not had a straightforward passage to the final.Back-to-back group-stage defeats by Sri Lanka and Australia left them on the verge of being eliminated.They responded with wins against India, New Zealand and a phenomenal semi-final performance to hammer Australia.”We’ve gone from strength to strength since the India game,” said Ireland-born batsman Morgan.”Probably the best we’ve played was in the last game against a very strong Australia team. It’s great because it means we go into the final feeling quietly confident.” England beat New Zealand by 119 runs in their final group game just over a week ago, only for the Black Caps to then stun India in the semi-finals. They too are looking to win the World Cup for the first time, having being swept aside by Australia in their only final four years ago.
Kane Williamson is averaging 91.33 in this World CupOn being regarded as underdogs in the final, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said: “A lot of people have said that on a number of occasions, which is great. England rightly deserve to be favourites. “Heading into this tournament they were favourites and they’ve been playing really good cricket. “Whatever dog we are, it’s important we focus on the cricket we want to play. It’s shown over the years that anybody can beat anybody, regardless of breed of dog.” Both teams are likely to be unchanged from their semi-final wins. England batsman Jonny Bairstow required treatment on a leg at Edgbaston, but will be fit to play. Where the World Cup final will be won and lostThe miracle of New Zealand and their unassuming conductorLikely line-upsEngland: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood.New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.Weather forecast
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Dry and fine for the Cricket World Cup final
Tomasz Schafernaker, BBC WeatherThe weather looks good for Sunday’s World Cup final. Although it may start out cloudy with a little light drizzle first thing in the morning, rain isn’t likely to cause any interruption to play at all. Most of the day should be dry, with sunny spells breaking through by the afternoon. The wind will be light and temperatures will climb to around 20C.How’s stat?!England have won seven of their past nine ODIs against New Zealand, including a 119-run victory in the group stage of the World Cup.Before England’s triumph over New Zealand in this tournament, they had not beaten the Black Caps in the World Cup since 1983, suffering five consecutive defeats.This will be England’s seventh World Cup match at Lord’s. They have won four of their previous six games but lost their solitary fixture at this venue in this World Cup (a 64-run defeat by Australia).England have played one more match than New Zealand at this year’s World Cup (India v New Zealand in the group stage was abandoned), yet England have still hit more than 1,000 more runs than the Black Caps, including 100 more fours and 53 more sixes.The team winning the toss have lost four of the past five World Cup finals, Australia’s win over Sri Lanka in 2007 the exception.
When Diego Maradona played in Saudi Arabia – Arab world mourns passing of a legend
DOHA: Andres Iniesta scored his first goal in the Asian Champions League as Vissel Kobe powered their way to the last-16 with a dominant 3-1 win over Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande in their Group G clash on Wednesday. The Spain and Barcelona legend fired a right-footed shot from the center of the box in the 84th…
DOHA: Andres Iniesta scored his first goal in the Asian Champions League as Vissel Kobe powered their way to the last-16 with a dominant 3-1 win over Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande in their Group G clash on Wednesday.
The Spain and Barcelona legend fired a right-footed shot from the center of the box in the 84th minute to help the Japanese side consolidate their position at the top of their group with two wins from as many matches.
They are now five points ahead of Guangzhou and Suwon Samsung Bluewings and assured of a spot in the knockout phase after the group was reduced to three teams following Malaysian side Johor Darul Ta’zim’s withdrawal from the tournament.
In another match on Wednesday, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors pipped Sydney FC 1-0 in Group H with Na Sung-eun scoring in the 44th minute.
It was the Australian side’s third defeat in four matches while Jeonbuk revived their hopes with their first victory.
Iniesta, who was declared MVP of the match, had been an influential presence for Vissel Kobe throughout the encounter with his quick thinking and crisp passing, and that reflected in their first goal in the 44th minute at the Khalifa International Stadium.
The Spanish veteran dashed his way up on the left flank to control a long diagonal pass and after advancing further turned around near the goalline to tap the ball onto the path of the advancing Kyogo Furuhashi who struck with a clean, low shot from close range.
Furuhashi’s personal joy at scoring lasted only 10 minutes as the forward first conceded a corner and then watched in horror as his attempted clearance from the resultant kick found his own net to give Guangzhou the equalizer.
Cannavaro made three substitutions in a desperate bid for victory after having drawn their opening game against Suwon Samsung Bluewings. But although the two-time champions enjoyed a couple of brief purple patches during which they had the Kobe defence under pressure, the goal they were looking for never materialized.
Vissel Kobe regained the lead in the 74th minute when Douglas, who had just come in five minutes prior, took advantage of a great back-heel from Daigo Nishi and blasted the ball home.
Brazil-born Elekson, now known as Ai Kesen, had a goal disallowed for off-side on eight minutes and when Iniesta struck two minutes later, it extended Cannavaro’s misery in Doha.
“The result is bad. We tried but I know that something in my team is not clear. I don’t know if they are afraid to play or they are not confident anymore,” the Italian complained after the match.
“I need to try and do my best to give them the confidence to play. This is my job. I know they are very good players, and we can do much, much, much better.”
Vissel Kobe had landed in Doha after a string of disappointing results back home, conceding a whopping 58 goals in 33 league matches and losing five games in a row.
But their coach Atsuhiro Miura was basking in joy on Wednesday, saying he was ready with a game plan against a side packed with several Brazilians.
“Guangzhou is a very strong side, they have several good Brazilian players but we analysed how they play and how to prevent them from playing to their strengths,” said Miura.
“We did everything well and everything went how we wanted it to. That’s why we got this result.”
Going for goal: Saudi Arabia kicks off first women’s football league
RIYADH: First they opened the grandstands to women, now Saudi Arabia is encouraging them to cross the touchline and compete in the Kingdom’s first Women’s Football League tournament. The historic competition kicks off on Tuesday morning, with 24 teams across Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam competing for a championship cup, and a $133,000 cash prize. The…
RIYADH: First they opened the grandstands to women, now Saudi Arabia is encouraging them to cross the touchline and compete in the Kingdom’s first Women’s Football League tournament.
The historic competition kicks off on Tuesday morning, with 24 teams across Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam competing for a championship cup, and a $133,000 cash prize.
The Kingdom opened its stadiums to women football supporters in January, 2018, but this is the first time they will have been allowed to compete in a tournament.
The competition has been lauded as an important step for the Saudi sports world, with many in the game throwing their support behind the event.
Calling the competition a “positive step,” Abdullah Alyami, Saudi football coach and sports reporter, said he expects many more women to participate in future tournaments.
“This is a very happy day for all athletes, be they male or female. And based on what we’ve seen, and how beloved the sport of football is all over the Kingdom, I believe we will see many more of our sisters getting involved in professional sports,” he said.
عبدالله اليامي: انطلاق #الدوري_النسائي في #السعودية خطوة إيجابية.. وأتوقع إقبالا كبيرا على المشاركة في فرق كرة القدم النسائية#تواصل #قناة_الرسالة@m3sss3 pic.twitter.com/UxRa8pZSWo
— قناة الرسالة (@alresalahnet) November 17, 2020
Saudi sports reporter Riyan Al-Jidani tweeted his support.
“To all my dear sisters participating the Women’s Football League, your success in the tournament is a step in the right direction towards our dream of universality and representing our homeland to the outside world. Raising the flag on the field is a glory and pride,” he said.
The tournament was due to start in March – but the coronavirus pandemic stopped play.
But for some that just presented the opportunity to up their game.
“We started preparations early, and the delay due to the pandemic actually worked in our favor. We were able to take more than two months to prepare for the tournament,” Maram Al-Butairi, general manager and head coach at Dammam-based Eastern Flames FC.
Amal Gimie, 26, an Eritrean midfielder for Jeddah’s Kings United, previously told Arab News that she had been playing the beautiful game since she was eight.
“There was a match every weekend. The boys made us play as goalkeepers in the beginning, and in 2002, when I first saw the Women’s World Cup, it sparked my passion to learn more about this sport,” said Gimie, who is also a management information systems graduate. She joined her first female football team, Challenge, in Riyadh in 2014.
She said: “It was the first time I joined something organized. I was happy to be playing but at the same time I felt as though it was an unreachable goal (to become a professional athlete or join an official league), I felt like I was growing older without achieving anything.”
The matches won’t be broadcast, but Saudi’s army of football fans remain excited by the tournament.
Wejdan Al-Shammary, who grew up playing sports in school, said she would have tried for a team “in a heartbeat” if she had been just a few years younger.
“I played both basketball and football on my high school teams. I was a complete sports nut, but it makes me happy to know that even if it’s too late for me to achieve those dreams, there’s a chance now for young Saudi girls that I never had,” she said.
Najla Ahmed, a 16-year-old from Riyadh who plays on her school’s football team, said she would try for a local team in 2021.
“I’ll be 17, and therefore eligible, and I would love to see anyone try and stop me,” she said.
Both women said they hoped this was just the start and that more sports would be opened up to women.
“Football is just the beginning. I would love to see more focus on other sports, as well. Basketball, tennis, maybe even competitive swimming,” said Al-Shammary. “I’m sure we have so many potential Olympians among us who just need their talents nurtured.”
NFL game postponed over Covid-19 cases
Tennessee Titans’ long snapper Beau Brinkley (left) and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (right) have been put on the reserve/Covid-19 listThe NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has been postponed because of Covid-19 cases.The game will be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday after the outbreak among Titans players and staff.On Tuesday,…
Tennessee Titans’ long snapper Beau Brinkley (left) and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (right) have been put on the reserve/Covid-19 listThe NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday has been postponed because of Covid-19 cases.The game will be rescheduled for Monday or Tuesday after the outbreak among Titans players and staff.On Tuesday, defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson were put on the reserve/Covid-19 list.The NFL has since shut down the team facility.According to the NFL network, a fourth player also returned a positive test on Wednesday.The Titans played the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis last Sunday.The Vikings’ facility was also closed on Tuesday and Wednesday and it is unclear whether their scheduled game with the Houston Texans will take place on Sunday.