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Bayern's Mueller says Champions League is 'our competition'

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Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller said on Monday the Champions League holders are “happy to be playing in our competition again” ahead of their group-stage game at Lokomotiv Moscow. Bayern visit the Russian capital on Tuesday looking to build on a 4-0 thrashing of Atletico Madrid in last week’s Group A opener.

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Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma set to miss Australia Test series | Cricket News

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(This story originally appeared in on Nov 24, 2020)

It may be the end of the road for Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma where the tour of Australia is concerned. Neither of them, as things stand, are likely to make it to the Indian squad to take part in the Test series in December-January.
Mirror has learnt that the two will not be able to recover in time for the four-Test series from December 17 to January 19 in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The two have been undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore for different periods and the report is learnt to be not so encouraging.
A meeting of the experts of the NCA is understood to have taken place recently when the fitness status of the duo was discussed and then informally conveyed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), national selectors and the team-management. A formal communication is expected soon.
So, when Ravi Shastri said the duo need to board the flight in 3-4 days to be able to participate in the Tests, he may have given it away.
“He (Rohit) was never going to play the white-ball series, they were just looking to see how long he needed the rest, because you can’t afford to be resting for too long. If you need to play in the Test series or any red-ball cricket, you’ve got to be on the flight in the next three or four days. If you aren’t, then it’s going to be tough.
“It’s a similar case (Ishant’s injury) to Rohit. You don’t really know how quickly he’ll be available to fly out. Like I said, if anyone has to play in the Test series, he has to be on the flight in the next four or five days. Otherwise, it’s very difficult,” Shastri told ABC Sports.
The team management is believed to have made it clear that the duo should be sent only if they are fully fit – that is after they’ve achieved the desired fitness levels required for international duty as opposed to that in the IPL, which Rohit played recently.
Besides, they also factored in the 14-day quarantine which means full confinement in Australia. The Indian players, having travelled from the IPL bubble to Australia, are being allowed to practise during quarantine. The same privilege may not be extended to Rohit and Ishant.
Chief selector Sunil Joshi did not respond to a message from this paper.


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A-League: ‘A-League has stagnated’: Footballers leaving Australia for India | Football News

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NEW DELHI: An influx of footballers to India from Australia has highlighted changing fortunes as the Indian Super League flourishes and the A-League hits lean times during the coronavirus pandemic.
Just two Australians played in the Indian Super League (ISL) last year, but 10 were among the 11 teams when the competition got under way in a bio-secure “bubble” in Goa last week.
Non-Australian A-League players have also made the move, including English striker Adam Le Fondre — last season’s second highest goal-scorer, with Sydney FC — along with German defender Matti Steinman and Aaron Holloway from Wales.
Much of the change is down to money, with the A-League salary cap expected to drop by up to 30 percent next season following a fall in broadcasting revenue.
It has made the ISL, which previously attracted a smattering of fading stars, a more attractive proposition for Australia-based players.
One of the players to head to India is Australian defender Dylan Fox, 26, who left the Central Coast Mariners in September to join Northeast United in Guwahati.
“With all the uncertainty around the A-League at the moment, it was a good opportunity to head overseas and test myself in Asia,” Fox told AFP.
“The A-League has stagnated in the last couple of years anyway and the other boys probably feel the same.”
The ISL has in six years outstripped the older I-League to become India’s premier football competition. FC Goa will next year become the first Indian team to play in the Asian Champions League.
Meanwhile the A-League, established in 2005, suffered a drop in revenues when broadcaster Fox Sports cancelled its contract during the coronavirus shutdown, before striking a reportedly cheaper deal.
It has helped give the ISL a sizeable Australian presence, alongside its numerous Spaniards and Brazilians and smattering of Brits, including former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor.
Australian get-togethers, however, will be off-limits as players are confined to their team hotels in the Goa “bubble”.
“It will be great to see all these familiar faces on the pitch at least,” said Fox.
India’s interest in Australians is also driven by a requirement that each team signs a player from the Asian Football Confederation.
“For Indian clubs when looking at AFC nations, there seems to be a preference for A-League players,” said agent Baljit Singh Rihal of Inventive Sports, which specialises in the ISL.
“Players from Iran and Uzbekistan are also willing to come to India but it is harder for clubs to find information and stats on these players, whereas the A-league is open in this regard and has all the records available.
“Indian clubs know what they are going to get in Australia. It is a known market.”
There are other reasons too. Former Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler left his position as head coach of Brisbane Roar in June. After taking over at East Bengal four months later, Fowler quickly signed three players from the A-League.
Defender Erik Paartalu, the longest-serving Australian in India and now into his fourth season with Bengaluru FC, has received plenty of phone calls.
“India provides more stability and things in Australia are a little uncertain,” Paartalu said.
“It is definitely more money than the A-League — not astronomically more but if boys are being told they will only get 70 percent of their salary then they will want to recoup what they are not getting.
“Now you are seeing players coming who would not have come in the past.”
Paartalu has told his compatriots that Indian teams treat foreign players well, with none of the payment issues that can occur elsewhere in Asia.
He said Australian players also provide value for money.
“We integrate well and lend a hand to try and get involved. Maybe there is a connection that comes from cricket and it helps that we speak English,” he said.
“We work hard, keep fit, don’t complain too much and are team players.”
There could be a lot riding on the Australian contingent this season. If the majority perform well, then there may be more opportunities in the future as Indian football grows.
Fox’s contract is just for one season, but it could be a turning point for the 26-year-old.
“I will see what happens as this is a big step in my career and I want to make the most of this opportunity,” he said.


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shubman gill: KKR should make Shubman Gill the captain: Aakash Chopra | Cricket News

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MUMBAI: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) should release the likes of Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik while letting the 21-year-old batsman Shubman Gill take over as the captain, former India batsman Aakash Chopra said on Monday.
“In my opinion, Kolkata Knight Riders should not retain too many players. I will take only three names — Shubman Gill, Andre Russell and Varun Chakravarthy. They should retain the three of them and make Shubman Gill the captain. I am thinking ahead, just like the Delhi Capitals did with Shreyas Iyer. So KKR should groom Gill for a better future,” he said.
“If KKR is seeing any captaincy material in Shubman Gill, then they will not get the chance again. If they let him go to another team, then Shubman Gill might do for that team what Rohit Sharma has done for Mumbai,” he added.
Rohit started his IPL career with Deccan Chargers, with whom he won one IPL title in 2009 before leaving for Mumbai Indians. He was made captain of the team in 2013 and went on to become the most successful skipper in the history of the tournament, leading MI to five IPL titles.


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