Italy coach opens door to Balotelli return

first_imgBut following his disastrous stint at Liverpool and an ineffective loan spell at AC Milan, Balotelli has revived his flagging career at French side Nice, hitting eight league goals.“I think no one doubts Balotelli the player, his qualities are indisputable. He was sidelined due to other, behavioural factors,” Ventura told the Tiki Taka television programme.“He has to resolve these problems by himself. Sometime in the future I will be going to watch a couple of Mario’s games and I will speak with him.“Not to fix his problems, but to discuss them with him.”Balotelli is currently embroiled in a dispute with Ligue 1 club Bastia after claiming to have been subjected to monkey chants at the Corsicans’ ground last week.Born in Palermo to Ghanaian immigrants before being adopted by the Balotelli family, the forward’s career has been blighted by controversy.But he has also suffered racist abuse and in April 2015 British anti-discrimination body Kick It Out said he had received more than 4,000 racist messages via social media during the 2014-15 season.Italy are tied with Spain at the top of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group after winning three and drawing one of their first four games.They host Albania on March 24 and are expected to fight for top spot, which offers direct qualification for Russia, when they play Spain away on September 2.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Balotelli.PHOTO/FileMILAN, Italy, Jan 24 – Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura plans talks with Mario Balotelli, paving the way for the striker to put his troubled past behind him and rejoin the squad for World Cup qualifying.The 26-year-old Balotelli has not played for Italy since the ill-fated 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil, where the four-time champions exited at the first hurdle for the second successive edition.last_img read more

Breaking: Sourav Ganguly set to be elected as the new BCCI President

first_imgAdvertisement AdvertisementAfter Brijesh Patel looked to have nabbed the post for the next BCCI President, a dramatic turn of events has seen the former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly be elected as the rightful candidate.The new panel will see Union Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah take up the secretary post while Arun Dhumal will be the new treasurer. Dhumal is the younger brother of former BCCI president Anurag Thakur.“Yes, Brijesh was running for the President’s post with N Srinivasan actively lobbying for him. However, there was stiff resistance against him. We are happy Sourav is the new President,” a senior official from North East affiliated unit, told PTI.Brijesh was the favorite to land the post and was also backed by former BCCI President N Srinivasan. However Ganguly was finally accepted as the unanimous candidate.The new tenure will also bring an end to the 33 month term of Committee of Administrators (CoA), which was formed following the Lodha Committee reforms.last_img read more

Playing Ravichandran Ashwin and Co. will be a difficult challenge: Shakib Al Hasan

first_imgBangladesh’s seasoned cricketer Shakib Al Hasan said his side would like to put its best foot forward in the upcoming one-off Test against world number one India.”Playing a Test in India for the first time is exciting. We know it is not easy and India is number one at the moment. It will be difficult for us but that is why we play cricket – face the challenge and do well,” the all-rounder said. (Also read: India not underestimating Bangladesh, says Wriddhiman Saha)The Test match will be held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket stadium in Hyderabad from February 9.The team needs to put up a collective effort to the best of its ability to do well against India, he said.Observing that the Indian team is a formidable one at the moment with its spin attack, fast bowlers and batting department raising the bar, Shakib reiterated that his team needs to be at its best to make it tough for the host.He appreciated India captain Virat Kohli and others for their performances in recent times.He said his experience of playing in the IPL would come in handy.He said the young players, including the bowlers, in his side have been doing a good job.Meanwhile, India A bowler Aniket Choudhary, who claimed four wickets today at the Gymkhana grounds, said it is a good feeling.”It’s a big thing for me that I came to India A and doing well and took four wickets. It is a good feeling for me,” he said.advertisement”The wicket suited my bowling,” he added.Choudhary missed a hat-trick in the 61st over of the day.”The ball was changed. The ball (we were bowling) became old and soft. Then, we spoke to the umpire, spoke to the skipper that we should change the ball. The umpire said okay.I missed five wickets as there was a good chance but it’s okay. Next time, I will definitely take,” he said.”It’s very important for me to play for country. I have been doing well in Ranji trophy. I got this chance as well. He said he was expecting a India A call last year also,” Choudhary added.last_img read more