Starc remains Australia’s biggest weapon, says Marsh

first_img(REUTERS) – Fast bowler Mitchell Starc remains Australia’s most potent weapon with the ball despite their spinners stealing the show in the series-opener against India, teammate Mitchell Marsh said yesterday.On the turning track in Pune, left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe bagged 12 wickets while slow-bowling partner Nathan Lyon took five as the touring side thumped India by 333 runs inside three days in the first match of the four-Test series.Nature of the pitch meant left-armer Starc bowled only 11 overs in the first Test but his workload could increase significantly at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium which hosts the second Test from tomorrow.“He’s one of the best bowlers in the world, if not the best bowler in the world,” all-rounder Marsh told reporters yesterday. “He’s certainly the best reverse-swing bowler in the world.“In these conditions, whilst all the talk has been about the spinners he’s still our biggest weapon, I think.“It’s great if he’s in the Indians’ heads, hopefully he can take a few wickets for us.”The Bengaluru track is not expected to provide as much turn as Pune for the slow bowlers and the pacemen’s ability to reverse-swing the old ball could prove crucial.Marsh said Australia are well equipped in that department with Starc and Josh Hazlewood in their side.“In Pune the wicket itself did a lot of work for us, it’s not necessarily the square here,” Marsh said. “These balls scuff up well early on. Reverse swing will be huge for us.“If we can get it going we’ve got two of the best reverse-swing bowlers in the world. They will still be huge weapons for us.”On the slow and dry tracks in Asia, where Australia had lost their last nine Tests before their Pune heroics, defence was a key aspect of batting, according to Marsh.It’s a big part of playing well over here, and it’s something all our batsmen have worked on,” the 25-year-old said. “Against a turning ball if you can back your defence then attacking the ball that’s there will be much better.“In these conditions you’ve got to earn the right to attack and that’s by having a solid defence. That’s what I’ve been working on.”last_img read more

Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah ‘relieved’ after US travel clarification

first_imgBritain’s four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah says he is “relieved” he can return to his US home after it was clarified that President Donald Trump’s travel ban did not apply to him.Somali nationals are among those banned from travelling to the US under the executive order issued on Friday.That had applied to Farah, who was born in Somalia, until the announcement by the UK Foreign Office late on Sunday.Farah, 33, called Trump’s policy “divisive and discriminatory”.Trump’s executive order halted the entire US refugee programme and also instituted a 90-day travel ban for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson held conversations with the US government on Sunday. The Foreign Office then advised British travellers that dual citizens were only affected if travelling to the US from one of the seven banned countries.”We understand from the statement released this evening by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the executive order will not apply to Mo, and we are grateful to the FCO for urgently clarifying the situation,” said a spokesperson for Farah, who has lived in Oregon for six years with his family.”Mo is relieved that he will be able to return to his family once his current training camp concludes.”The statement added that Farah “still fundamentally disagrees with this incredibly divisive and discriminatory policy”.Writing on his Facebook page earlier on Sunday, Farah had said: “On 1 January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27 January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.” Farah said he believed Trump’s policy “comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice” and that his own story was “an example of what can happen when you follow polices of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation”.Farah, who moved to Britain aged eight, is at a training camp in Ethiopia as part of his preparations for August’s World Championships in London, and is not planning to return to the US for a number of weeks.last_img read more

Paris Saint-Germain in talks to form partnership with Beckham’s Miami MLS side

first_imgParis Saint-Germain are one of a number of interested parties in negotiations to partner David Beckham’s Miami-based Major League Soccer team.Miami Beckham United [MBU], the ownership vehicle behind the proposed MLS expansion franchise, has been seeking financial backing to help build a stadium and team.It is understood a link-up with Ligue 1 champions PSG, owned by Qatar Sports Investment, would be about more than just a funding relationship, but there is still some way to go before a deal is finalised.Manchester City have a partnership with teams in New York, Melbourne and Yokohama, and that format could be replicated – at least in part – in Miami.Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Beckham finished his playing career with PSG in 2012-13.The ex-England captain’s profile and the potential of the Miami franchise has also attracted interest from wealthy individuals across the globe.It may even interest Chelsea’s Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, as well as others in the Middle East, China and elsewhere.In a statement, MBU said: “As Miami Beckham United lays the groundwork for launching a world-class soccer club in Miami, our team has attracted interest from a number of potential partners.“David Beckham, Simon Fuller and Marcelo Claure are evaluating these possibilities, with the goal of bringing additional resources and international expertise that draws players, staff and fans from around the world.“At the same time, we are performing due diligence on our stadium site as we move toward finalising the acquisition of two privately held properties and a third county-owned parcel over the coming weeks.” 1 David Beckham launches his Miami-based MLS franchise last_img read more