India team will follow nation’s lead on Pakistan World Cup boycott: Virat Kohli

India’s cricket team were “shocked” by the recent suicide bomber attack in Kashmir and will follow the nation’s lead on whether to boycott a World Cup match against Pakistan in June, captain Virat Kohli said. (AFP)
Updated 24 February 2019
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India team will follow nation’s lead on Pakistan World Cup boycott: Virat Kohli

  • An attack claimed by Pakistan-based militants killed dozens of Indian paramilitary troops in Kashmir
  • Angry fans, meanwhile, have demanded a boycott of the June 16 group World Cup match against Pakistan

NEW DELHI: India’s cricket team were “shocked” by the recent suicide bomber attack in Kashmir and will follow the nation’s lead on whether to boycott a World Cup match against Pakistan in June, captain Virat Kohli has said.
An attack claimed by Pakistan-based militants killed dozens of Indian paramilitary troops in the disputed Himalayan region on Feb 14.
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has written to the game’s global governing body to urge the cricket community to sever ties with any nation from where “terrorism emanates.”
Angry fans, meanwhile, have demanded a boycott of the June 16 group match against Pakistan at the World Cup in England and Wales.
The BCCI said it would make a call on a boycott after consultation with the government, and Kohli said his team would respect their decision.
“The Indian team and the whole set-up was shocked with what happened and are really sad with what happened,” he told a media conference ahead of a Twenty20 match against Australia in Visakhapatnam.
“Our stand is simple: we stick by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do.
“That is basically our opinion. Whatever the government and the board decide, we will go by that and we will respect that.”
India and Pakistan have not hosted a cricket series between the countries since 2013 due to political tensions.
Former India players are polarized on whether the team should boycott the World Cup match, which is scheduled to take place in Manchester.
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar said he wanted India to stretch their unbeaten World Cup record against Pakistan rather than forfeit the match but added that he would back whatever “the country decides.”
The International Olympic Committee on Friday suspended all Indian applications to host future events and urged international sports federations not to stage competitions in the country after two Pakistani athletes were denied visas to compete in New Delhi.


Embiid returns to help 76ers beat Nets for 3-1 lead

Updated 7 min 1 sec ago
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Embiid returns to help 76ers beat Nets for 3-1 lead

  • The 76ers seized a 3-1 lead in the first-round series against the Nets

NEW YORK: Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid returned from injury to score a game-high 31 points and grab 16 rebounds, powering the 76ers to a 112-108 NBA playoff victory at Brooklyn on Saturday.
Despite a third-quarter incident that saw two players ejected, the 76ers seized a 3-1 lead in the first-round series against the Nets and could advance in the Eastern Conference best-of-seven matchup with a home victory Tuesday.
In the other Eastern Conference game, Khris Middleton finished with 20 points and nine rebounds as the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks put the Detroit Pistons on the brink of elimination with a 119-103 win. The victory give the Bucks a 3-0 lead and they can wrap up the series with a win on the road in the Motor City on Monday.
Philadelphia, down by 10 points early in the third quarter, battled back most of the second half before taking the lead on a run of eight points by Embiid, who missed game three with a sore left knee.
A slam dunk and layup by Embiid gave the 76ers their first late lead at 102-101 but, after an exchange of layups and three-pointers as well as turnovers, fell behind 108-107 on a basket by Brooklyn’s Joe Harris with 25 seconds remaining.
On the next 76er possession, Embiid flipped the last of his seven assists to Mike Scott, whose corner three-pointer put Philadelphia ahead to stay 110-108 with 19 seconds remaining.
Australian Ben Simmons — who added 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the 76ers — stole the ball from Brooklyn’s Jarett Allen and Tobias Harris sank two free throws for the last of his 24 points to clinch the triumph.
Caris LeVert led the Nets with 25 points while Brooklyn had 21 points each from Allen and D’Angelo Russell.
Cameroon star center Embiid was issued a flagrant foul in touching off an altercation 4:18 into the third quarter that saw Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler Brooklyn’s Jared Dudley ejected. Embiid, who had elbowed Allen in the face in game two, was whistled for a hard foul on Allen that prompted Dudley to rush at Embiid, taking down the Sixers big man. Butler swung his left arm at Dudley, who wound up in the front row seats with Simmons at one stage, to earn his ejection.
In Detroit, Brook Lopez tallied 19 points and had seven rebounds and five blocked shots and Eric Bledsoe scored 19 points for the Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered 14 points and 10 rebounds for his third straight double-double in the series and Nikola Mirotic chipped in 12 points.
Detroit’s hobbled star Blake Griffin had 27 points in 31 minutes after he missed the first two games of the series with a sore knee.
Griffin was cleared with his leg heavily wrapped but it didn’t change the outcome.
The Pistons have now lost 13 straight playoff games dating back to 2008. In the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets — led by game highs of 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists from Serbian playmaker Nikola Jokic — pulled level with San Antonio at 2-2 in their opening series with a 117-103 road triumph over the Spurs.