Eoin Morgan urges England to embrace World Cup ‘dream’

England's Eoin Morgan during the press conference ahead of his side's Cricket World Cup semifinal against Australia at Edgbaston. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 10 July 2019
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Eoin Morgan urges England to embrace World Cup ‘dream’

  • On eve of crunch Australia clash, Morgan issued passionate plea for players to take pride in their achievements
  • Morgan can lead England to their first World Cup final since 1992

EDGBASTON, Birmingham: England captain Eoin Morgan has urged his side to embrace their World Cup dreams as they prepare for Thursday’s blockbuster semifinal against old rivals Australia.
Morgan can lead England to their first World Cup final since 1992 if they beat the holders at Edgbaston.
Advancing to Sunday’s title match at Lord’s would be the culmination of four years’ hard work for Morgan and his squad after their dismal performance at the 2015 edition.
On the eve of the crunch clash, Morgan issued a passionate plea for his players to take pride in their achievements so far and to relish their moment in the spotlight rather than be weighed down by pressure.
“Sometimes I’m guilty of it, you can lose sight of the position you’re in and the fact you’re living your dream,” Morgan told reporters on Wednesday.
“I think it’s possible to play with a smile on your face tomorrow.”
Asked if the World Cup hosts were feeling excited, nervous or simply focused on the task at hand, Morgan added: “All of those things. But I think excitement probably should be the dominant one.
“Everyone is excited to play this semifinal. The fact that through the group stages getting to this stage looked unlikely, or was called into question, makes it even more exciting for us.”
Morgan’s side have established a proud recent record against Australia, winning 10 of the last 11 one-day internationals between the old rivals prior to this tournament.
That counted for nothing in the group stages, when Australia claimed a 64-run win at Lord’s that left England’s hopes of top-four finish in doubt.
Morgan admits England were not themselves in that match, knocked off course by a tame defeat to Sri Lanka and the absence of injured opener Jason Roy.
Roy is back from his torn hamstring and England looked far more formidable in the wins over India and New Zealand that took them to the semifinals.
“We’re probably more confident than we were three games ago, we’re a different team,” Morgan said.
“The loss against Sri Lanka hurt us. I don’t think we were playing anywhere near our best cricket, there was a hangover from the Sri Lanka game. It feels like we’re back to the team we are.”


Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev dies after fight against Subriel Matias

Updated 23 July 2019
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Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev dies after fight against Subriel Matias

  • Doctors operated to relieve pressure from swelling on his brain
  • Dadashev, known as “Mad Max,” was unable to walk to the dressing room and was immediately hospitalized

MOSCOW: Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev has died from brain injuries sustained in a fight in Maryland, the Russian boxing federation announced on Tuesday.
“Maxim Dadashev has died in the United States following injuries sustained during his fight with Subriel Matias,” the federation said in a statement.
The 28-year-old underwent emergency brain surgery in Washington after his super-lightweight bout with Puerto Rican Matias on Friday was stopped after the 11th round by his cornerman James “Buddy” McGirt.
Dadashev, known as “Mad Max,” was unable to walk to the dressing room and was immediately hospitalized.
Doctors operated to relieve pressure from swelling on his brain.
McGirt, who said after the fight he “couldn’t convince” his fighter to stop but opted to throw in the towel when he saw him “getting hit with more and more clean shots as the fight went on,” told ESPN on Tuesday he was wracking his brain wondering if he could have done things differently.
“It just makes you realize what type of sport we’re in, man,” McGirt told ESPN — which streamed the fight on its ESPN+ platform.
“He did everything right in training, no problems, no nothing. My mind is like really running crazy, right now. Like what could I have done differently? But at the end of the day, everything was fine (in training).
“He seemed OK, he was ready, but it’s the sport that we’re in. It just takes one punch, man.”
Russian boxing chief Umar Kremlev told Russian media that Dadashev’s body would be repatriated home and that his family would receive financial aid.
Dadashev’s widow, Elizaveta Apushkina, also issued a statement, confirming the fighter’s death “with great sadness.”
She said: “He was a very kind person who fought until the very end. Our son will continue be raised to be a great man like his father,” she said of the St. Petersburg-born fighter who trained in Oxnard, California.
Dadashev took an unbeaten 13-0 record into the 140-pound non-title fight.
Dadashev, whose manager Egis Klimas also handles Vasiliy Lomachenko and Sergey Kovalev, turned pro in April of 2016 and relocated to Southern California to pursue his ring ambitions, eventually signing with promoters Top Rank.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum issued a statement recalling Dadashev as “a terrific young man.”
ESPN, which streamed the bout on ESPN+, also issued a statement.
“Our heartfelt thoughts are with Dadashev’s family, friends, trainers and the team at Top Rank,” the statement said.
Dadashev was rated in the top five by two world sanctioning organizations going into Friday’s fight in suburban Washington DC, an elimination bout for the right to become mandatory challenger for Josh Taylor’s IBF title.
Matias dominated, and after the 11th round McGirt could be heard telling Dadashev “I’m going to stop it, Max,” even as Dadashev shook his head.
McGirt, himself a former two-weight world champion, then told the referee: “That’s it.”