England’s all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney decided to be the superannuated man, retiring from international football. He holds the most number of caps for the English football team and has a tremendous record of netting 53 times in his 119 appearances.
England manager Gareth Southgate ringed him up to inform him about his inclusion in the squad for the matches against Malta and Slovakia. But Rooney expressed his decision to relieve himself of international duties in that very telephone conversation.
According to ESPN, in a statement released to Press Association Sport, Rooney said, “It is a really tough decision, and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me.”
He also conceded that although leaving Manchester United was difficult, but he is all the more happy with the decision to join Everton, his boyhood club. Not having been part of a successful England tournament side was what he regarded as one of his very few regrets but at the same time, he showed his excitement about Southgate bringing new players to achieve that goal.
Rooney debuted at a young age of 17 in 2003 in a friendly against Australia and scored his first goal later in September that year against Macedonia,
In spite of coming close to Peter Shilton’s record of 125 caps, Rooney announced his retirement.
Indian skipper Mithali Raj created history as she became the leading run-getter in women’s one-day internationals. She achieved this feat during the ICC Women’s World Cup against Australia at Bristol.
She overtook England cricketer Charlotte Edwards’ record of 5992 runs by scoring her 34th run while batting against the Aussies. Edwards scored these runs in 191 matches, whereas it took the 34-year-old 184 matches to reach this achievement.
This was not the only record she broke. Apart from overtaking the Englishwoman, she also became the first woman to reach the 6000-run landmark.
With a 50-plus batting average, Mithali boasts the most number of ODI half-centuries, 49. Recently she created a streak of scoring seven consecutive half-centuries before that ended with getting out on 46 runs against West Indies at the ongoing World Cup.
She also grabbed headlines a few days ago during the tournament, when she was seen reading a book before getting down to bat. At a pre-World Cup press conference, she confidently retaliated to a sexist question from a reporter, drawing praise from all corners. According to Times of India, she was asked about her favourite male cricketer to which she had replied, “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is?”
Currently, Mithali has scored 6028 runs, including five centuries and 49 half-centuries.
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The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday announced that Alastair Cook has stepped down as England’s Test captain. Cook conveyed his decision to the Chairman of ECB Colin Graves on Sunday and also informed his desire to continue playing.
Appointed as the captain in 2012, Cook has led the England team in 59 tests matches which is more than any other captain ever led. The matches included series win in India and South Africa as well as Ashes victory in 2013 and 2015.
“It’s been a great honour to lead the Test team over the past five years,” Cook said. “Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team.”
The 32-year-old opening batsman has scored more centuries in test matches than in ODIs and is one of the most celebrated players with 11,057 runs in 140 tests. He has also been titled as the Wisden Cricketer of the year in 2012.
The hunt for the new captain has started by the ECB. Although there is no mention of a successor, Joe Root, the current Vice-captain is a probable candidate.
“Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can” he signed off.
British pop singer and songwriter, George Michael, died at the age of 53, in his home in England on Christmas Day, reported USA Today. The news was confirmed by his publicist Connie Filippello, who added that the pop star had passed away peacefully in his sleep, due to heart failure and requested everyone to respect the privacy of the family during the emotional time.
Thames Valley Police has rendered the death as “unexplained but not suspicious”, The Hindu reported.
Michael, born as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in North London, rose to fame as the lead singer of pop band Wham! in the 1980s and became a heartthrob for the teenage population. Later on, he split to create an immensely successful solo career, winning numerous Grammy and American Music awards. He sold more than 80 million records worldwide in four decades of his career span.
Michael’s solo work centred the themes of sexuality and desire. After being caught in a lewd act in a public toilet in Los Angeles by an undercover policeman in 1998, he didn’t shy away from the exposure and came out with his sexuality in his single “Let’s Go Outside” which became a huge hit and a popular gay anthem for millions.
He later on came into the limelight in various controversies regarding substance abuse and drunk driving, which took a toll on his health. He had recently been planning a comeback with a documentary named ‘Freedom’ focused on his rise to fame, his legal battle with producer Sony for his contract and the making of his music video “Freedom ‘90’”.
Various stars such as Elton John, former Wham! Band mate Andrew Ridgeley, Madonna took to social media to express their grief.
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English Premier League’s 1st Division club, Crystal Palace, has sacked their manager, Alan Pardew, after a poor opening to the season.
Pardew, who held the position since 2014, has been blamed for the club’s dismal performance in the 2016 season. Crystal Palace has won just four from 17 games they’ve played, and currently stand at 17th place on the EPL table.
After having taken the club to Wembley during the 2015-16 FA Cup finale, Pardew’s men lost 2-1 to Manchester United. Crystal Palace currently stand just one point above the dreaded relegation zone. This season is the fourth in a row where they have made it to the Premier League’s 1st Division.
Pardew, a former player for Crystal Palace from 1987-91, said in his statement, “Personally, I have a lot of good feelings for this football club and am sad that my time there has ended. I feel that I have a special bond with the club and hope that hasn’t been affected”. The contract has been terminated and a severance package of £5 million has been given to the former manager for his commitment to the club.
Former England manager, Sam Allardyce, is said to be the front runner to replace Pardew as manager of the Eagles.
SOURCES:New Hamburg Independent
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