6-time All-Star former Major League Baseball MVP Miguel Tejada named manager of Karachi Monarchs

6-time All-Star former Major League Baseball MVP Miguel Tejada named manager of Karachi Monarchs
New Karach Monarchs manager Miguel Tejada (left) with franchise Honorary GM Adrian Beltre. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 June 2023
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6-time All-Star former Major League Baseball MVP Miguel Tejada named manager of Karachi Monarchs

6-time All-Star former Major League Baseball MVP Miguel Tejada named manager of Karachi Monarchs
  • Tejada will lead Baseball United’s Pakistan franchise in partnership with fellow Dominican baseball legend Adrian Beltre

KARACHI: Baseball United, the first professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, has announced that former Major League Baseball MVP and All-Star Miguel Tejada will become the first manager of the Karachi Monarchs.

Tejada will team up with fellow Dominican Republic baseball legend, Adrian Beltre, who was named the team’s honorary general manager last week.

The Karachi Monarchs are the first professional baseball franchise in the history of Pakistan and the second announced by Baseball United. The Monarchs will compete in Baseball United’s Dubai Showcase in November alongside the Mumbai Cobras, and two additional franchises that will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Cobras and Monarchs are expected to generate significant fanfare, building on decades of sports rivalries between India and Pakistan. The last cricket match between India and Pakistan was watched by more than 230 million people around the world.

“The leadership we are putting together around our Baseball United stacks up against any professional sports league in the world,” said Kash Shaikh, president, CEO and co-owner of Baseball United. “These are elite baseball minds and exceptional clubhouse leaders. Miguel Tejada fits that mold. He’s not only a former All-Star and one of the greatest Dominican players in history, but he’s someone who’s been through hardship, made mistakes, and recovered from them. When you have experienced the high highs and the low lows, you build a humility and resilience that enables you to succeed. I am looking forward to seeing Miguel in the dugout with Karachi across his chest.”

Tejada played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball and was the 2002 American League Most Valuable Player. He was selected to six All-Star games, winning the All-Star game MVP in 2005. Tejada, a shortstop, also won two Silver Slugger awards and amassed more than 300 career home runs. He played for six franchises, most notably the Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland Athletics.

“This opportunity means a lot,” Tejada said. “I’ve been blessed with a lot of good things in my life thanks to baseball, but I really believe this chance to lead the Karachi Monarchs will be one of the best. I truly appreciate Kash, John Miedreich and Eddie Diaz taking a chance on me, and giving me the opportunity to prove myself in this new role. I can’t wait to get on the field and start helping our players.”

Tejada and Beltre will partner with Miedreich, Baseball United executive vice president of baseball operations, and Diaz, vice president of Baseball Operations, to develop Karachi’s roster in advance of November’s Showcase. The league’s first full season will begin in late 2024.


Ronaldo, Mane and company don Saudi traditional attire for Al-Nassr Saudi National Day video

Ronaldo, Mane and company don Saudi traditional attire for Al-Nassr Saudi National Day video
Updated 9 sec ago
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Ronaldo, Mane and company don Saudi traditional attire for Al-Nassr Saudi National Day video

Ronaldo, Mane and company don Saudi traditional attire for Al-Nassr Saudi National Day video

 

RIYADH: Ronaldo once again takes center stage as Al-Nassr release Saudi National Day video filled with traditional dances, swords and garments.

Nassr fans were delighted to see their stars partake in the festive mood in the Kingdom as the club dropped a fun early morning video celebrating the occasion.

Saudi National Day is celebrated each year on the Sept. 23 and falls on a weekend this year.

The video mixes glimpses of the club’s past successes and history with its forward-looking revival, with some of the best players on the planet donning the famous yellow jersey in the past year.

The video begins with a group of youngsters gatecrashing the club’s headquarters in Tuwaiq and catching the first-team players getting ready for national day festivities.

In the 2 and half minute clip, Winger Abdulrahman Ghareeb and keeper Nawaf Alaqidi are shown preparing drums for the celebration.

Goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah shares some Arabic coffee with Otávio as the Portuguese midfielder gets a haircut for the occasion.

Talisca, the blonde-haired Brazilian attacking midfielder, is seen in the video taking measurements for head coach Luis Castro’s new white thobe.

Senegalese marksman Sadio Mane rests a sword on his shoulder as drumbeats resounding around him.

But it’s Ronaldo who takes center spot as he performs the Ardah with teammates Abdullah Alkhaibari, Mercelo Brozovic, and Sultan Al Ghanam.


Kapalua to host PGA Tour opener in January, 5 months after deadly wildfires on Maui

Kapalua to host PGA Tour opener in January, 5 months after deadly wildfires on Maui
Updated 22 September 2023
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Kapalua to host PGA Tour opener in January, 5 months after deadly wildfires on Maui

Kapalua to host PGA Tour opener in January, 5 months after deadly wildfires on Maui
  • The tour sent a memo to players Thursday that it will be back at Kapalua for the Jan. 4-7 opener
  • The wildfires killed at least 97 people, with at least 31 people still missing

NEW YORK: The PGA Tour is returning to Maui to start the new season with the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, five months after deadly wildfires destroyed nearby Lahaina and claimed at least 97 lives.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan had said last month he hoped the tournament could be a source of inspiration for Maui and Lahaina, about 10 miles away from where the PGA Tour has started its year since 1999.

The tour sent a memo to players Thursday that it will be back at Kapalua for the Jan. 4-7 opener. The tour previously had said Hawaii Gov. Josh Green told them to “go forward” with plans for the tournament and volunteer registration opened.

The wildfires killed at least 97 people, with at least 31 people still missing. It devasted Lahaina, destroying more than 2,000 structures and wiping out fabled Front Street that runs along the ocean and was a popular destination with its restaurants, shops and art galleries.

The property at Kapalua Resort was not affected, though a third of the staff who live in the Lahaina area lost their homes.

“Like so many around the world, we’re absolutely heartbroken,” said tournament director Max Novena, who lives on West Maui. “It’s a tight-knit community and we’ve experienced and shared compassion and generosity and aloha, and it’s been inspiring.

“Playing the Sentry in January is our responsibility and it’s a privilege,” he said. “We fully intend to use our platform to bring awareness, bring fundraising and community service to help West Maui and Lahaina rebuild.”

Green recently signed a proclamation that most of West Maui will reopen to visitors on Oct. 8. The area has some 11,000 hotel rooms, half of Maui’s total. The Bay Course at Kapalua opened on Wednesday, and the Plantation Course where the tournament is held is to open on Oct. 18.

Tyler Dennis, the tour’s chief competitions officer, said in Thursday’s memo that Green “has been emphatic in his support of our event and others.”

“There is no other organization in sport which rallies around those in need like the PGA Tour,” Dennis wrote. “Given the overwhelming support for playing the tournament, the tour and The Sentry are currently working on plans to further raise awareness and assist with fundraising and community service to Maui in a thoughtful and respectful manner.”

The tournament last year raised $694,705 that went to local charities, bringing the total to over $8.5 million since it became part of the PGA Tour schedule in 1999.

Wisconsin-based Sentry has made initial contributions to Maui United Way, Maui Food Bank and UH-Maui County, and Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa are among players contributing to relief efforts.

The Sentry Tournament of Champions, for years only for PGA Tour winners, now is for the top 50 from the previous year’s FedEx Cup along with any tour winner from 2023. Jon Rahm is the defending champion.


’We’ll see:’ Messi unsure about 2026 World Cup

’We’ll see:’ Messi unsure about 2026 World Cup
Updated 22 September 2023
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’We’ll see:’ Messi unsure about 2026 World Cup

’We’ll see:’ Messi unsure about 2026 World Cup
  • For now, Messi said he is focused on the 2024 US-hosted Copa America tournament
  • Messi reiterated his disappointment with not having received sufficient “recognition” at his former French club Paris Saint-Germain after holding aloft the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina captain Lionel Messi has said he is unsure about his participation in the next World Cup to be co-hosted by the US, Mexico and Canada in 2026, when he will be 39.

“I don’t know if I will get there,” he told Argentine media personality Miguel Garrados in an interview broadcast on YouTube Thursday. “I don’t think about it yet because it is far away.”

For now, Messi said he is focused on the 2024 US-hosted Copa America tournament.

“After the Copa America we’ll see, it will depend on how I feel,” he said. “There are still three years left.”

Messi led Argentina to victory against France in the World Cup final in Qatar last December.

In the interview, he reiterated his disappointment with not having received sufficient “recognition” at his former French club Paris Saint-Germain after holding aloft the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

He claimed he was the only one of his Argentine team mates “who got no recognition” from his club.

“It was not what I expected but I’ve always said that things happen for a reason,” Messi said of his Paris years, adding he “wasn’t well there.”

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner had already stated on numerous occasions that he was unhappy at PSG before moving to Florida to play for Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.


Dupont’s facial injury mars France’s 14-try romp against Namibia at the Rugby World Cup

Dupont’s facial injury mars France’s 14-try romp against Namibia at the Rugby World Cup
Updated 22 September 2023
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Dupont’s facial injury mars France’s 14-try romp against Namibia at the Rugby World Cup

Dupont’s facial injury mars France’s 14-try romp against Namibia at the Rugby World Cup
  • The Rugby World Cup’s seventh highest score was marred by Dupont’s game-ending injury, after he was in a head-on-head collision with Namibia captain Johan Deysel in the 45th minute
  • The heavy-hitters who made the scoreboard this time included winger Damian Penaud with a hat trick, and winger Louis Bielle-Biarrey, center Jonathan Danty and flanker Charles Ollivon who grabbed two each

MARSEILLE, France: A serious-looking facial injury to captain Antoine Dupont took the gloss off France’s highest ever score, a 96-0 romp against hapless Namibia at the Rugby World Cup on Thursday.

There were 14 tries, including a penalty try, and Thomas Ramos converted 12 of 13.

The Rugby World Cup’s seventh highest score was marred by his game-ending injury, after he was in a head-on-head collision with Namibia captain Johan Deysel in the 45th minute. Deysel was yellow-carded for the dangerous upright hit while Dupont walked off in distress. He left Stade Velodrome immediately for hospital scans.

“There’s a suspicion of a crack or fracture to his jaw. He’s gone for tests,” coach Fabien Galthie said. “We’ll wait for the (test) results before moving forward.”

Dupont will likely miss France’s last pool game against Italy in two weeks. The quarterfinals are in three weeks. Galthie will be second-guessed for leaving his best player on the field while the team was leading 54-0.

“How do you expect me to answer that? I can’t take 15 players off at halftime. We had planned to make changes to the rest of the team in the 55th minute,” Galthie said. “We’re always very concerned when a player goes off injured.”

France lost star flyhalf Romain Ntamack to a serious knee injury before the tournament and Matthieu Jalibert is a top-class replacement. But Dupont is considered the world’s best player, France’s inspiration, and irreplaceable.

Deysel’s yellow card was upgraded to red by a bunker review. By coincidence, Namibia’s only other Rugby World Cup red card was to Jacques Nieuwenhuis in 2007 also against France, which went on to achieve its previous record test score, 87-10.

The heavy-hitters who made the scoreboard this time included winger Damian Penaud with a hat trick, and winger Louis Bielle-Biarrey, center Jonathan Danty and flanker Charles Ollivon who grabbed two each.

“The tries are anecdotal. We’ll remember today’s victory,” Penaud said. “Now we’ve found a bit of cohesion on the pitch, it bodes well for the future.”

The other try scorers in the Marseille mauling were lock Thibaud Flament, replacement scrumhalf Baptiste Couilloud, replacement fullback Melyvn Jaminet and a last-gasp penalty try.

Penaud’s try-scoring run extended to six games and gave him a national record 13 in a calendar year, beating Phillipe Saint-André’s record from 1995, and put him one ahead of Saint-André for Les Tricolores with 33 tries overall.

France extended Namibia’s tournament losing run to a record 25 games.

“It was a tough day at the office. A little bit humiliating,” Namibia coach Allister Coetzee said. “Our objective is still alive, to win a game at the World Cup.”

Namibia had an intercept try five minutes into the second half scratched off after the TMO showed Deysel’s collision with Dupont.

Les Tricolores opened the tournament beating New Zealand 27-13 and followed with an uninspiring 27-12 victory against Uruguay. That game drew criticism and so Galthié picked a full-strength side which had the four-try bonus point inside 20 minutes.

“We got outmuscled and outclassed by a quality French side,” Namibia hooker Louis van der Westhuizen said. “We’ve got a lot of local boys only playing (club) rugby in Namibia, so for them to play on a world stage like this in front of a crowd like this is massive.”

France’s two-week break will include time with families. Italy on Oct. 6 will offer Penaud a chance to overtake winger Vincent Clerc on 34 tries and move closer to France’s record-holder Serge Blanco on 38.

Namibia lost 52-8 to Italy and were overwhelmed by the All Blacks 71-3. They conclude against Uruguay in Lyon next Wednesday when they hope to end a record 25-game losing run at the tournament since 1999.


Liverpool fight back again to edge LASK on Europa League return

Liverpool fight back again to edge LASK on Europa League return
Updated 21 September 2023
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Liverpool fight back again to edge LASK on Europa League return

Liverpool fight back again to edge LASK on Europa League return
  • Romelu Lukaku earned last year’s beaten finalists Roma a 2-1 victory at Sheriff
  • Bayer Leverkusen crushed Swedes Hacken 4-0, Rennes cruised past Maccabi Haifa 3-0 in France, Spaniards Villarreal lost 2-0 to Panathinakos in Greece

PARIS: Liverpool fell behind for the fourth time in five matches this season but fought back to beat LASK 3-1 in Linz in the Europa League on Thursday.
Elsewhere in the early matches in the first round of the group stage of the second-tier European competition, Romelu Lukaku earned last year’s beaten finalists Roma a 2-1 victory at Sheriff.
Bayer Leverkusen crushed Swedes Hacken 4-0, Rennes cruised past Maccabi Haifa 3-0 in France, Spaniards Villarreal lost 2-0 to Panathinakos in Greece.
Liverpool, playing in the Europa League for the first time since finishing runners up in 2016, changed their entire starting 11 away to LASK and quickly fell behind.
In the 14th minute, Sascha Horvath lobbed a corner to Florian Flecker just outside the Liverpool box. The Austrian midfielder controlled the dropping ball before smashing a rocket shot past Caoimhin Kelleher in the Liverpool goal.
Darwin Nunez levelled with a 55th-minute penalty kick after Luis Diaz was brought down.
After 61 minutes, Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp started to replace teenagers with regular starters.
Within two minutes they were ahead when Ryan Gravenberch burst down the right and crossed low for Diaz to score from close range.
Two minutes from the end Mohamed Salah, a second-half replacement, poked home a third.
In Moldova, Leandro Paredes scored four minutes into first-half injury time to give Roma the lead away to Sheriff.
Colombian Cristian Tovar levelled but Romelu Lukaku gave Jose Mourinho’s team a narrow victory.
In the Conference League, Aston Villa, returning to European competition after a 12-year gap, fell behind in the third minute to Legia Warsaw and despite equalising twice lost 3-2.
Pawel Wszolek met a cross from the left with a sliding volley to put Legia ahead.
Jhon Duran levelled after six minutes heading in a rebound after a Nicolo Zaniolo shot.
But the Poles regained the lead after 25 minutes when Wszolek crossed from the right and Ernest Muci scored on the half volley.
Lucas Digne levelled with a deflected shot from the edge of the box after 38 minutes but Muci settled the game with a low shot after 51 minutes.
Croatians Zrinjski Mostar came from three goals down to beat visiting AZ Alkmaar 4-3.
Myron Van Brederode, Sven Mijnans and Dani de Wit put the Dutch side three goals up by half-time.
Zvonimir Kozulj started the comeback after 48 minutes and ended it in the 81st minute, sandwiching goals from Josip Corluka and Aldin Hrvanovic.