Lionel Messi has reportedly revealed that today will not be the last time he plays in an Argentina shirt, even if La Albiceleste fail to make the World Cup knockout stages. They will secure qualification for the last 16 if they record a win over Nigeria, who Argentina have beaten in all four previous World Cup meetings, and if Iceland do not defeat already-qualified Croatia in the other Group D game today. Even if Iceland claim a first World Cup victory, Argentina could still progress on goal difference or even goals scored. There are plenty of ifs, but one thing appears certain: Messi will not consider international retirement for the second time just yet. The Barcelona star, who turned 31 on Sunday, will be 35 when the next World Cup comes around. Many observers, including former team-mate Pablo Zabaleta, believe Messi will not feature in Qatar 2022 if he faces disappointment today. But the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will keep dreaming of winning a first major trophy with his country.
Bangladesh Women's cricket team took on host Malaysia women in their last group match of the ACC Women's Asia Cup 2018 today (on Saturday) at Kinrara Oval, Royal Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur and confirmed their berth in the final match against defending champion India beating Malaysia women by 70 runs. Winning the toss the Tigresses elected to bat first and got off to a very promising start as they scored 59 runs in 9.5 overs before Ayasha Rahman went back to the pavilion after scoring 31 runs off 27 balls. However, the Tigresses cruised along and put a total of 130 runs for four on the scoreboard courtesy of a late cameo from Fahima Khatun, who remained not out after scoring 26 runs off just 12 balls. Opener Shamima Sultana scored 43 runs off 54 balls. In reply, Malaysia women could only manage to score 60 runs for 9 in 20 overs as they struggled from the beginning. Only three players managed to reach double figures for Malaysia women cricket team with the highest 17 run knock coming from the skipper Duraisingam’s bat. The leg break bowler of Bangladesh women cricket team, Rumana Ahmed took 3 wickets for 8 runs from four overs while skipper Salma, Jahanara, Nahida and Khadija took a wicket each. Earlier, Bangladesh women started their ACC Women's Asia Cup 2018 mission with a six-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka women, who bounced back in the next match beating Pakistan women by seven wickets on June 4. Bangladesh eves caught the spotlight beating six times champion India women by seven wickets on June 6 and extended their winning streak smashing Thailand by nine wickets in the following day. India are the champion of all previous six editions of the tournament, who got Sri Lanka for four times and Pakistan for two times in the final encounters. The seventh edition thus is going to be witness of minimum one new finalist. Tigresses are now set to face India Women in the final of Women’s T20 Asia Cup at the same venue tomorrow (June 10). [b]Scores in brief Bangladesh:[/b] 130 for 4 in 20 overs (Shamima 43, Ayasha 31, Fahima 26 not out; Duraisingam 2-19, Sasha 1-29) [b]Malaysia:[/b] 60 for 9 in 20 overs (Duraisingam 17, Elysa 14, Yaakop 11; Rumana 3-8) [b]Result:[/b] Bangladesh women won by 70 runs. [b]Player-of-the-match[/b]: Shamima Sultana.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has appointed former England wicketkeeper Steve Rhodes as head coach for all three formats. BCB president Nazmul Hasan Papon came up with the disclosure after Rhodes met him at his Beximco office in the capital on Thursday. Rhodes will join Bangladesh team on June 20 while he will continue until 2020 World T20. The appointment ended the BCB's search for a new coach that has lasted eight months following Chandika Hathurusingha's resignation in last October. It has been learned that since the other candidates had not been called up for a face-to-face interview, Rhodes was BCB's No. 1 choice. It is also understood that Rhodes was Gary Kirsten's recommendation. Kirsten was recently appointed BCB's short-term consultant to find coaches. Rhodes, who will turn 54 next week, played 11 Tests and nine ODIs and is now known for his talent-spotting skills. He had been in charge of Worcestershire since 2006, having played for them from 1985 to 2004. But he was sacked last year by the county and relieved of his duties as head coach of the England Under-19 squad just before the World Cup, after it emerged that he had failed to report the arrest of a young allrounder - Alex Hepburn - in a timely fashion. He also oversaw the promotion of Worcestershire into Division One of the County Championship at the end of the 2017 season and had been recently made an England scout. His work with Worcestershire involved promoting a young and homegrown squad.
Argentina have cancelled their final World Cup warmup match against Israel, striker Gonzalo Higuain said on Tuesday, as political pressure grew ahead of Saturday’s scheduled fixture in Jerusalem. “They’ve finally done the right thing,” Higuain said in an interview with ESPN, confirming reports the game had been cancelled. The match at Jerusalem’s Teddy Kollek Stadium was to be Argentina’s last before they kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia on June 16. There was no initial reaction from the Israeli FA or from Israeli politicians. Reports said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called Argentinian President Mauricio Macri to ask him to persuade the team not to cancel their visit. Israel Radio quoted an unnamed diplomatic official who said the chances of salvaging the fixture were very slim. The visit of twice world champions Argentina has attracted huge interest among Israeli fans, mainly because of Barcelona great Lionel Messi’s planned participation. Palestinians celebrated the cancellation. In Gaza, people cheered and in Ramallah in the West Bank, the Palestinian FA issued a statement thanking Messi and his colleagues for cancelling the game. “The Palestinian FA thanks Argentina’s players led by star Messi for refusing to be used to serve a non-sporting goal.” Palestinian FA chairman Jibril Rajoub said: “Values, morals and sport have secured a victory today and a red card was raised at Israel through the cancellation of the game.” Rajoub called a news conference for Wednesday in Ramallah, which he will hold outside the Argentinian representative’s office. On Sunday, he called for Palestinians to burn replica shirts and pictures of Messi. The stadium that was to host the match is in west Jerusalem. The Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future state that will include the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. However, the status of Jerusalem is highly sensitive. The match was originally slated to be played in Haifa but Israeli authorities contributed funding for it to be moved to Jerusalem, irking Palestinians further following U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital. The U.S. embassy was moved there last month. The cancellation is just one more obstacle for Argentina, who were beaten finalists at the World Cup in Brazil four years ago and whose preparations have been troubled this time around. They suffered a heavy defeat to Spain in a friendly and lost their first-choice goalkeeper to injury, giving little encouragement to fans who watched the team struggle to qualify for the tournament in Russia. The twice World Cup winners face Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia in what is considered to be one of the hardest groups in the tournament. [i]Source: Agencies[/i]
Bangladesh women cricket team on Monday thrashed Pakistan by seven wickets in T20 Asia Cup with 13 balls remaining in Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur on Monday. Winning toss, Bangladesh skipper chose to field first. Pakistan scored 95 runs for 5 wickets at the end of their twenty overs. Sana Mir scored 21 runs hitting two boundaries and remained unbeaten, while Javeria Khan scored 18 runs. Bangladesh’s bowler Nahida Akhtar bagged 2 valuable wickets giving only 23 in four overs. Besides, Salma Khatun, Fahim Khatun and Raumana Ahmed took 1 wicket each. In reply, Bangladesh chased the 96 runs target easily losing only three wickets. Nigar Sultana scored 31 runs facing 35 balls, while Shamima Sultana scored 31 hitting three boundaries. Fahima Khatun got best player of the match award for her outstanding performance. She took one wicket and scored 19 runs (not out).
Cristiano Ronaldo cast doubt over his future with Real Madrid after they won the Champions League for the third consecutive season on Saturday in a 3-1 win over Liverpool. "Now is the time to enjoy this," Ronaldo said on television after the game in Kiev, Ukraine. "And in the coming days you will have my answer to the fans, the ones who have really been on my side. It has been very nice being at Real Madrid." Told that it sounded like he was saying goodbye, Ronaldo said: "In the coming days you will have my answer. Now we must just enjoy this moment. The future of one player is not important. We have made history." Ronaldo then tried to clarify his comments in a subsequent interview, though he also stood by his original comments that he could leave Real Madrid. "I am not saying I am going, in the coming days we will see," he said. "They took something out of context, that I should not have said. I did not know it would be so strong. I prefer not to talk and to enjoy this lovely moment to the maximum. "I didn't want to say that, but I'm not sorry either. These are situations which have been coming a long time and you put up with it, but sometimes you lose control. Things are not fixed with money, I have that, that is not a problem for me. "I cannot guarantee that I will stay at Real Madrid, but this is not the moment to talk, as Madrid have made history, but neither am I going to hide. It is difficult to be at a better place than Madrid, the best club in the world, but life is not just about glory." Ronaldo said in December that he wanted a raise after helping Real win the Club World Cup. A month later, he felt betrayed by the Spanish giants for not getting an improved contract, according to reports in Spain that were later confirmed to ESPN FC by a source close to the player. Ronaldo at that time told several Real teammates of his intention to leave Madrid at the end of the season, AS reported, after club president Florentino Perez promised Ronaldo a new contract shortly after he helped Los Blancos retain the Champions League last season. However, sources close to Manchester United said in January they doubted any claims that Ronaldo really wants to leave Real Madrid to return to Old Trafford and that he was merely trying to force a better deal out of his current club. The story was much the same last June as well, after widespread reports, including from ESPN, said Ronaldo had made up his mind to leave Madrid over issues with Spanish tax authorities. The Portuguese superstar, 33, has played for Madrid since leaving Manchester United in 2009. He signed a contract until June 2021 in November 2016 and said then it would not be his last as a player. Manager Zinedine Zidane didn't understand why Ronaldo raised fresh doubts over his commitment, saying: "He must stay. He will stay with us." Real Madrid president Florentino Perez played down a public rift with Ronaldo when asked about the comments, but said the interests of the football club remained above those of any individual. "Don't ask me these things on a day like today," Perez said in the mixed zone. "Everyone has the right to talk, but the most important thing here is the club, and we are all celebrating a Champions League win. "I do not get into a player's personal things. He has been happy, is happy, and will remain happy. It is not that he might stay, it is that he has a contract. Madrid is the most important, an institution with 13 European Cups." Asked about his relationship with Ronaldo, the long-serving club president pointed out that they had one thing in common -- five victories in the Champions League over their careers. "I am delighted that Cristiano has 5 European Cups, like me," he said. "My relationship with Cristiano is very good. Three in a row, four in five years, and I keep to the script. They are all happy, you only have to look at how they played." Ronaldo won the European title for the fifth time in his career -- the first player to do so in the Champions League era. Overall, he now only trails Paco Gento, who won six European Cups with Real Madrid from 1956 to 1966. Madrid became the first team to win three consecutive European Cups since the mid-1970s. Though he didn't find the net against Liverpool, Ronaldo finished as the top scorer in the Champions League this season with 15 goals. He has owned at least a share of the scoring title in each of the last six campaigns, and even suggested that they should rename the competition after him. "For a sixth year in a row I am the top scorer in the best competition," Ronaldo said. "I am not annoyed as when you do everything with your heart, you are not sorry about anything. I don't want to take over from the unique moment of my teammates who deserve it, who are real champions. Thanks to them I have won so much." However, Ronaldo came up one goal behind Lionel Messi, who scored 45 times in all competitions, to lead all players from Europe's top five leagues. [i]Source: ESPN[/i]
Bangladesh will face India in the final of the tri-nation T20I Nidahas Trophy as Tigers beat Sri Lanka by 2 wickets in the 6th match at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday. The hosts, thanks to Kusal Perera’s 61 runs, managed to score 159 runs losing seven wickets in 20 overs. The wicketkeeper Kusal Perera hit 61 runs off 40 balls with 7 fours and a six. Thisara Perera (c) bagged 58 runs of 37 balls which includes three sixes and three fours. For Bangladesh, Mustafizur Rahman earned two wickets off 39 runs. Shakib Al Hasan (c), Rubel Hossain, Mehidy Hasan and Soumya Sarkar shared a wicket. In chase, Bangladesh reached 160 runs losing 8 wickets with remaining a ball left. Tamim Iqbal hit a brilliant fifty to help Bangladesh to secure berth in the final. His innings of 50 runs off 42 balls includes 4 fours and 2 sixes. Sabbir Rahman bagged 13 runs off 8 balls with three fours while Liton Das hit duck. Mushfiqur Rahim scored 28 runs off 25 balls which includes 2 fours while Soumya Sarkar earned 10 runs off 11 balls. Captain Shakib Al Hasan scored 7 runs from 8 balls while Mahmudullah hit 43 runs off 18 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes to lift Bangladesh to the final. For Sri Lanks, Akila Dananjaya earned 2 wickets off 37 runs. Amila Aponso, Danushka Gunathilaka, Isuru Udana and Jeevan Mendis got a wicket.
Bangladesh will face host Sri Lanka in the third T20I of the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo today evening (Saturday). The match will begin at 7:30 pm (Bangladesh time). Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are at opposite ends of the confidence spectrum as they face up in the Nidahas Trophy. The visiting side could not register win in any international match since January 23. Tigers lost two One Day Internationals (ODIs), two Tests and three T20s at home. They lost 13 of their last 14 T20Is and will need to find ways to get back their form. Sri Lanka on the other hand looked like complete reverse with their success in Bangladesh. The host also secured a five-wicket win against India in the opener of the seven-match Nidahas Trophy showing their level of confidence while Bangladesh started the tournament campaign conceding a six-wicket loss against India on Thursday. Bangladesh XI (probable): Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad (captain), Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain and Nazmul Islam. Sri Lanka XI (probable): Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Upul Tharanga, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera and Nuwan Pradeep.
Neymar has left hospital after undergoing a "successful" operation on his injured right foot. The Paris Saint-Germain forward fractured his fifth metatarsal during his side's 3-0 defeat of Marseille in Ligue 1 on February 25 and is expected to miss the next three months. The Brazilian checked into the Mater Dei hospital in Belo Horizonte on Saturday for surgery and has now left to begin his rehabilitation, which will be overseen by Brazil and PSG physiotherapist Rafael Martini, who has been working with Neymar since he started his career at Santos. A statement on the club's website on Saturday read: "Neymar Jr underwent surgery today at the Materdei Hospital in Belo Horizonte. "The operation, conducted by Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, was successful. The operation consisted of the laying of a screw associated with a transplant fixed at the level of the lesion of the fifth metatarsal of the right foot. "Re-education will begin immediately under the direction of a club physiotherapist. Neymar's injury will be assessed in six weeks' time to establish a possible date for his return to training." Neymar is ruled out of Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid and now faces a battle to regains sharpness ahead of the World Cup.
Bangladesh scored 466 runs with loss of seven wickets in 117.1 overs in the second day of the first test against Sri Lanka at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Thursday. Earlier, Bangladesh completely dominated the first day of the first test against Sri Lanka as they closed on 374 for 4. Bangladesh were off to a flying start on the first day. The hosts began on the front foot with both opening batsmen. Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes were scoring run at a brisk pace. Tamim, who was the primary aggressor of the two quickly went on to stitch his 25th Test fifty in just 46 balls, giving his side an edge in the first session. However, he departed on 52 soon after. From there on Mominul Haque picked up the baton and went on to pile the runs. Mominul and Keyes stitched a 48-run partnership before Lakshan Sandakan dismissed Kayes for 40 just before Lunch. Mominul and Mushfiqur Rahim then stitched together a mammoth 236 run stand between them which put Bangladesh on top.. At one point it seemed like the hosts were well on course to reach 400 but late strikes by Suranga Lakmal helped the Lankans claw back into the game. At the end of Day one, Bangladesh are in a commanding position with Mominul Haque still at the crease on 175. He has now scored the most runs by a Bangladeshi batsman on the first day of a Test.
Bangladesh scored 82 runs with loss of all wickets in 24 overs. Tigers were in early trouble losing three wickets within the first five overs. Anamul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal all returned to the pavillion for single digit scores. Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza won the toss and decided to bat first against Sri Lanka in the 6th match of the seven-match tri-nation series at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Thursday. The variation of net run rate between two bottom-run sides-Sri Lanka (-0.989) and Zimbabwe (-1.087) is very close with having four points each, registering one win apiece. If Sri Lanka can manage a win against rocking Bangladesh, they will face each other in the final on Saturday without any further equation. In reverse result, the fate of the final berth will be decided by net run rate between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh girls thrashed India by 3-0 goals in their final group league game of the SAFF Under-15 Women’s Championship at the Kamalapur Stadium on Thursday. Anuching Marma scored the first goal for Bangladesh at 32nd minute. Defender Shamsun Nahar netted the ball taking 2-0 lead in first half. And finally Monica Chakma scored the third one. Becoming group leader, Bangladesh girls left the field. Earlier, Bangladesh beat Nepal 6-0 in their opening game and then beat Bhutan 3-0 in their second fixture of the regional age-group championship.