18 Sep
2020

AB de Villiers speaks about comeback to South African side

first_imgTHE South African cricket team is going through a bit of a transition period. The situation had risen after the retirement of some key individuals who had carried the Proteas. Imran Tahir, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy are some of the players who have retired from international cricket. But, the early retirement of the South African batsman AB de Villiers has definitely impacted the side heavily.Recently, while playing in the Big Bash League 2019-20, the right-handed batsman had said that there have been talks of his comeback to international cricket. The comeback would see him primarily focussing on winning the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 for the South African side.Since Mark Boucher signed up for the role of head coach, his aim has been to take the side in the right direction. Boucher has openly expressed his desire to have ABD back in the side. Former skipper Faf du Plessis, also expressed his interest to have the retired star back for the ICC T20 World Cup.Speculations were that de Villiers will play some international cricket before the start of the IPL but that didn’t happen. With the cash-rich league being postponed till April 15, RCB player opened up on the possibility of an international comeback.“Let’s wait and see what happens. My focus is on the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the moment and helping Royal Challengers Bangalore realise our full potential. Then we will sit down and have a look at the rest of the year and see what is possible,” de Villiers said as quoted by Sportstar.For now, it seems AB is planning not to hurry into making any decision. The 36-year-old had retired from international cricket in 2018. He did try to get into the South African squad before the World Cup 2019. However, the team management didn’t let him. In the end, the World Cup turned out to be disastrous for the Proteas.Talking about his decision of retiring, he said, “Each player must consider his own circumstances and make his own decision. I reached a point where I wanted to see more of my wife and two young sons and seek a reasonable balance between family and cricket. “The mental and physical demands on the leading players are massive these days, but each player must decide what he can and can’t do.” (CricTracker)last_img read more

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17 Sep
2020

Braun: NCAA Tournament lock for Bo’s squad

first_imgFor you few avid Point-Counterpoint followers, you would know that a couple weeks ago, I predicted that the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team would make the NCAA Tournament.You probably all would have laughed in my face, considering the Badgers couldn’t buy a win at the time. They were in the midst of a six-game losing streak and blew lead after lead.Now, four wins later, including two big home wins over then-No. 23 Illinois and a tough Ohio State squad, I think I can safely say that the Badgers are NCAA Tournament bound. This time, though, I don’t think I would get ridiculed for saying so.Whatever was plaguing the Badgers during their six-game losing streak seems to have gone away. Saturday’s game is a perfect example to show how Wisconsin has put its rough stretch out of its mind.For those who watched the game Saturday, it seemed like the Badgers wouldn’t be able to pull out the victory. I mean, if you saw the way they played two weeks ago, you would just figure that they would find a way to lose the game. They couldn’t beat Iowa or Northwestern, but they would be able to pull out a win over a very talented Ohio State team?Well, I guess the Badgers are back.Before the game on Saturday, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had the Badgers as one of the last four teams in the Big Dance. Now, with a big win against the Buckeyes on the nation’s center stage, getting to the tournament shouldn’t be much of a problem.UW has two home games and three road matches remaining on its schedule. Although it might be presumptuous to say the Badgers will beat Michigan State or Minnesota on the road, they should be able to win the rest of their home games quite easily.First, Wisconsin heads to Indiana to take on Tom Crean’s joke of a basketball team. The Hoosiers have only beaten one team in the Big Ten, and with the Badgers playing as well as they have of late, a loss at Assembly Hall seems a bit far-fetched.After they face Michigan State, the Badgers come home to play Michigan and Indiana again. If you remember the way Wisconsin’s defense manhandled the Big Ten’s leading scorer in Manny Harris in the teams’ first match this season, a win at the Kohl Center shouldn’t be too far out of reach.That would leave the Badgers at 10-7 in the Big Ten going into their last game of the season (assuming they beat Indiana twice and lose to Michigan State), a tough road game against Minnesota at The Barn.The first time Wisconsin played the Golden Gophers, it blew a 14-point lead, something that reoccurred time after time during the Badgers’ losing streak. Now, though, the Badgers have a swing of confidence that they didn’t have earlier in the season, especially during that streak.With the season winding down, these aren’t the same Badgers that were NIT bound just two weeks ago. They’ve been doing what they’ve had to do to win their last four games.They’ve been able to allow an opponent to shoot over 50 percent from the field and still get a win.Jason Bohannon can shoot 1-for-8 from 3-point range and the Badgers can still pull it out.Trevon Hughes can miss eight of his nine shots, but it won’t really matter throughout the course of the game.Simply put, everything that wasn’t working then is working now.With only five games remaining, it won’t take so much for the Badgers to get a bid. As Bo Ryan put it after the win against Ohio State, “You have to just find a way.”If the Badgers continue to follow that slogan, then getting to the NCAA Tournament won’t be much of a challenge at all.Jonah is a sophomore majoring in journalism and Hebrew and Semitic studies. Still don’t think the Badgers will make the NCAA Tournament? Can Bo Ryan make it 11 straight seasons for Wisconsin? Send him your thoughts at jbraun@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

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27 Aug
2020

Warriors sweep aside Cavs to capture third NBA title in four seasons

first_imgThe Golden State Warriors earned their third NBA title in four seasons after completing a comprehensive 4-0 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.Coach Steve Kerr described the triumph as “the hardest so far” but his Warriors side routed the Cavs 108-84 to prevail in the fourth consecutive finals meeting between the teams.Stephen Curry scored 37 points for the Warriors, while LeBron James claimed 23 in what could be his final Cavs game.James is a free agent next month.The 33-year-old American, playing in his eighth consecutive finals, said he had “no idea at this point” about his future and would consider the decision with his family.’We just know how to win’The win added to the Golden State Warriors’ victories in 2015 and 2017 and was the first finals clean sweep since the Cavs were demolished by San Antonio Spurs in 2007. It was the second time the Warriors have secured the championship in Cleveland during Kerr’s four-year tenure.”I remember sitting in this room three years ago and it seemed like a dream. This feels like reality,” Kerr said. “I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant. It’s just the talent we have and the experience we’ve gained.”A James slam dunk had Cleveland ahead 39-38 halfway through the second quarter, but Golden State responded to lead 61-52 at half-time and eased to victory from there.”We just know how to win,” said Curry. “We keep waking up every day and trying to get better and we end up here. We can’t get enough of this feeling.”Wherever that puts us in the conversation in the history of the NBA or being a dynasty… we’ll have plenty of time to discuss that later. We want to keep this thing going as long as we can.” Curry top scored but it was Kevin Durant who was named Finals MVP for the second year in a row, adding 20 points, 12 rebounds and a post-season career high of 10 assists.It was the 28th consecutive play-off game in which he has scored at least 20 points.”They have five guys on the floor that can dribble, pass and shoot,” said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue. “Even when you do defend them well, they’ve got guys like Steph and KD who can make unbelievable shots.”‘Broken hand was self-inflicted’ – LeBronWhile Golden State are building one of the great basketball dynasties, Cleveland’s future is clouded by uncertainty.James, widely regarded as the greatest player of his generation, is expected to leave for a second time, having returned to the franchise in 2014 after departing for Miami four years earlier. The three-time champion revealed he had played the last three matches with a broken right hand, sustained after he scored his best play-off points haul of 51 in the opener.The Cavs’ talisman reportedly suffered the injury after punching a blackboard in frustration after his side spurned an opportunity to win in the final seconds.”It was self-inflicted,” he said. “I was very emotional for a lot of different reasons and I let that get the best of me.”On the night, James top scored for his side and left to a standing ovation after playing 41 of the game’s first 44 minutes, but it was his least productive performance of the series.”To be the best player in the world and to give everything you’ve got in your 15th season, play all 82 games and carry this team the way he did is a testament to his character,” Lue said. “He’s a bad boy and I love having him on our team. He fights and competes to the end. Sometimes you can give everything you’ve got and still come up short.”I hope he stays. But after a game like that I’m not in any position to talk about that.”last_img read more

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