Nita Ambani, Chairperson of Reliance Foundation will be presenting the ceremonial ‘Match Ball’ to NBA officials as a mark of welcoming the NBA to India for their first ever game in the country. Speaking on the eve of the match, Sacramento Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive said: “I am very excited as I am a Mumbaikar and returning back to a city were I took birth is matter of great happiness. Organising such a great event in hometown and my country is really very special moment for me. The contest has a long story behind and I believe in next 10 years we will produce great talents from India who will feature in the NBA. I also feel basketball will be the next most popular sport in India.”The first-ever #NBAIndiaGames are ready to take over India on October 4 & 5! Get ready for the action as it’s #NBAInMyBackyardTo book your tickets for 5th October, visit: https://t.co/[email protected] pic.twitter.com/EAbup3r2M4— NBAIndia (@NBAIndia) September 23, 2019 Kings had a decent run in the last edition of the game but failed to make to the play-offs. The teams will have several new members making their NBA debut in Mumbai — the Pacers alone have nine new players. Since these are preseason games, this will be the teams’ chance to try out new players and strategies before the season officially kicks off on October 22.
Chopper debate: Govt talks of invisible hand, Antony says dont threaten New Delhi, May 4 (PTI) The controversial AgustaWestland chopper deal today triggered a stormy debate and trading of charges in the Rajya Sabha with the entire opposition pressing for a Supreme Court-monitored probe while Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar spoke of an “invisible hand” in preventing an investigation in UPA tenure. Newly-nominated BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who was fielded by the ruling side, demanded recording of statement from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with others named in the judgement of an Italian court recently. The ruling and the opposition benches clashed repeatedly as the House took up a short-duration discussion on the raging row over the Rs 3600 crore deal in the wake of an Italian courts judgement in which certain initials like “AP” have been recorded. The five-hour debate ended with a walkout by Congress after its demand for SC-monitored probe was rejected by the government. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad described as an “insult” the Defence Minister reading out a prepared statement in his reply and said it contained only allegations. As Congress members raised objections to Parrikar reading out his reply from a prepared text, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien ruled that a Minister has all the right to read from a prepared speech. Swamy, who has already tilted at the windmills last week seeking to drag Sonia Gandhi into the row, refrained from naming her but made suggestive remarks on Congress leadership, repeatedly drawing protests from the opposition side. He asked, “We need to ask Mr Manmohan Singh whether you had decided not to give documents to the Italian government despite the request. Was it a Cabinet decision or a super Cabinet decision?” At another point, he said he would not name anybody and in an apparent reference to Gandhi, he just remarked “blank, blank, blank…” The Congress fielded the then Defence Minister A K Antony, Congress President Sonia Gandhis political secretary Ahmed Patel along with Abhishek Manu Singhvi to defend the actions of the previous UPA government, insisting that there was no wrongdoing. All of them pressed for a thorough and urgent probe into the matter to clear the air, with Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad wanting the investigation to be monitored by the Supreme Court and completed in three months. The government, however, rejected the demand. “Act now… Take strong action but dont threaten, dont blackmail,” said Antony, while contending that he had immediately taken action after allegations of corruption surfaced in 2012. He contended that it was the Vajpayee government which had taken all the “major” decisions, including with regard to the parameters of cabin height and flying altitude of the helicopters. Patel, whose name has been dragged into the row because of the initials “AP found on a hand-written note cited in the judgement, also sought a probe, declaring that he will quit Rajya Sabha as well as public life if any wrongdoing on his part was proved. While replying to the debate, Parrikar said the ongoing probe will focus on those named in the Italian Court judgement even as he suggested the role of an “invisible hand” in preventing a proper investigation earlier. (MORE) PTI SAP RNK LUX AKK VSCadvertisement
Luis Suarez put both Uruguay and hosts Russia into the second round of the World Cup while eliminating Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the same time.Suarez scored the winning goal in his 100th international appearance for Uruguay, knocking in a corner kick from Carlos Sanchez in the 23rd minute to give the two-time champions a 1-0 victory over the Saudis on Wednesday.It was the Barcelona striker’s 52nd goal for his country in a century of games.FIFA World Cup 2018: Luis Suarez takes Uruguay to round of 16″All we wanted to do was to win and qualify for the next round. Today was another demonstration that it is so difficult to win a game in a World Cup,” said man-of-the-match Suarez.”This World Cup is proving that what matters most is the result, and we’re very proud to have reached the last 16 for the third time in a row.”World Cup 2018, Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia: Match HighlightsThe 31-year-old became the first Uruguayan player to score in three World Cups. He is the ninth player overall and third from his country to score in his 100th international match.FIFA World Cup 2018: FULL COVERAGEBefore him, Sunil Chhetri (India), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Wayne Rooney (England), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Andrea Pirlo (Italy) and Clint Dempsey (USA) scored in their 100th game.Besides scoring, Suarez led his team with a hard-working performance. He fell back to defend and raced forward on the counterattack.Uruguay and Russia both have six points from their opening two matches, putting them into the round of 16. They will face each other on Monday in Samara with first place in Group A on the line.advertisement(With AP inputs)
World number five Alexander Zverev continued his poor recent form as he crashed out of the Italian Open in the second round while Serena Williams had to pull out of the women’s draw with a recurring knee injury on Tuesday.Serena had beaten Swede Rebecca Peterson in straight sets on Monday and was due to face sister Venus but the injury means her participation at the May 26-June 9 French Open is in doubt.Zverev, who has not got past the quarter-finals at any tournament since reaching the Acapulco final in early March, did little to suggest he could be a contender at Roland Garros after a 7-5 7-5 defeat by home favourite Matteo Berrettini.Roared on by a partisan home crowd at the Foro Italico, Berrettini took the opening three games before the German, 2017 champion and last year’s runner-up, regained his composure.Berrettini then saved five break points to take a 6-5 lead before the rattled Zverev, who beat the Italian in the same round last year, threw away the opening set with two unforced errors and a double fault.They traded breaks early in the second before Zverev, who saved a match point in the 10th game, committed another flurry of errors, capped by a forehand into the net that handed Berrettini a memorable win.”The environment was great, the match that I played was horrendous,” said the 22-year-old Zverev.Second set meltdown for Nick KyrgiosIn first-round action, David Goffin produced two blistering sets to fight back and beat Stanislav Wawrinka 4-6 6-0 6-2 while Nick Kyrgios treated the crowd to an array of his antics in a 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory over Russian Daniil Medvedev.advertisementThe flamboyant and unpredictable Kyrgios again displayed his best and worst as he combined spectacular shots with an outburst of poor behaviour.The Australian won the opening point of the match with what is fast becoming a trademark underarm serve and breezed through the first set before cheers from the crowd turned to jeers amid a second-set meltdown.Having dropped serve to hand Medvedev a 5-3 lead, Kyrgios blasted a ball over the stands, then bent over and turned his backside to Medvedev and finally exchanged words with the umpire before the Russian held to force a third set.As if nothing had happened, Kyrgios got back to business as he hammered in aces and winners, having also capped some good forays to the net with confident volleys to book a second-round clash with Norwegian Casper Ruud.Goffin dropped the opening set before he blew Wawrinka away in the next two, the decisive moment coming in the second game of the third when the Belgian saved a double break point at 1-0 down.He won the next five games and, although the Swiss briefly delayed the inevitable, Goffin was able to celebrate after his frustrated opponent blazed a forehand into the crowd.Also Read | Serena Williams out of Italian Open with knee injury ahead of round 2 tie vs VenusAlso Read | Nicole Gibbs pulls out of French Open after cancer diagnosis