“Flesh Fault” on tennis courts

AUSTRALIAN Open referees will double as fashion police to stamp out skimpy outfits at the Melbourne event.

Open officials have threatened fines of up to $2000 for any player caught flouting its strict dress code after French player Alize Cornet caused a stir at the Hopman Cup last week.

The teenager wore a short skirt and revealing, see-through top during a doubles match at the tournament in Perth (see above).

One of game’s great players, Margaret Court, condemned her attire last night, saying it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable.

And Open officials said they would review the rising star’s outfits ahead of the tournament from January 19 to February 1.

Tennis officials have also cracked down on trumpets, flares and other anti-social items at Melbourne Park.

Court, Australia’s greatest female player, said the revealing outfits of today’s female players made them “look like they should be on the beach”.

“I just don’t think the tennis court is the place to be everything clingy and showing everything,” she said.

Court, a three-time Wimbledon champion and winner of 62 Grand Slam events, said fashion had gone overboard.

“Women don’t need to expose themselves so much,” she said.

“You’re good at something, you do it well, you can look so nice without needing to reveal everything.

“If they think everybody’s looking at their body and they’ve got see-through and no bra (outfits), it would have to affect your game.”

Australian Open referee Wayne McKewen said player’s outfits would be scrutinised in Melbourne.

“They should be dressed in what we say is tennis attire,” he said. “The girls do know that they have to present themselves in a professional manner.”

Australian Family Association Victorian president Angela Conway said athletes should be conscious of the influence their choice of clothing had on children.

Racy clothes are not the only things banned at the Open – whistles, trumpets, flares, fireworks, laser pointers, musical instruments and political and religious banners, T-shirts and flyers are also prohibited.

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“Paranoia is knowing all the facts.” – Woody Allen

Christiano Ronaldo.. Player of the year 2008

Champions League Twenty20

The inaugural Champions League tournament, involving the domestic Twenty20 finalists from England, Australia, South Africa and the IPL, will take place over a 10-day period in late September and early October with US$5 million on offer for the winners.

The fine detail is yet to be confirmed, but Cricket Australia are currently drawing up the regulations which will deal with the issues of Indian Cricket League players and potential conflicts for players involved with more than one team.

It is possible that the Indian board will be generous towards ICL players after the success of IPL. It was also agreed, verbally, between the boards that foreign players will turn out for their local teams in the tournament. That undertaking was sought by the England and Australia boards at a meeting in Singapore.

However, it has been confirmed the event will feature 15 matches over 10 days, and will take place in either the Middle East or India. Alongside the huge sum for the winners, there will be significant prize money for the teams finishing second, third and fourth.

Stuart Broad, the England quick bowler, is excited by the move. “It’s certainly an incentive for domestic sides to take Twenty20 seriously which can only help the international team,” he said after the third day’s play against New Zealand. “I’ve always thought Championship cricket is the priority because it develops players for Test cricket and that’s the ultimate. But this could change the emphasis.”

Western Australia and Victoria from Australia, Rajasthan and Chennai from the IPL along with the Dolphins and Titans from the Pro20 in South Africa have already qualified. They will be joined by the two finalists from the English Twenty20 Cup, which starts next week.

Following meetings late last week between the ECB, represented by chairman Giles Clarke and chief executive David Collier, Cricket Australia’s chairman Creagh O’Connor and chief executive James Sutherland, an agreement was reached yesterday between Clarke, IPL commissioner and BCCI representative Lalit Modi, and Cricket South Africa president Norman Arendse.

“We are extremely grateful to our great friends from Australia, India and South Africa for their hard work and determination to get this tournament off the ground,” Clarke said. “The Twenty20 Cup will be even more fiercely contested this season in the knowledge that the two teams who reach the final will qualify for the Champions League and the chance to win US$5 million.”

This event throws up a number of potential conflicts, not least involving an players linked to the unofficial ICL. Chris Read, Vikram Solanki, Stuart Law, Niall O’Brien and Paul Nixon all appeared in the ICL, and if their counties qualify their inclusion will be a major conflict with the Indian board.

The other issue that will occur is involving players who are contracted to more than one of the teams involved, for example Mike Hussey who played for Chennai in the IPL and is also from Western Australia. The clash could also happen with overseas players in county cricket, for example David Hussey, who plays for Nottinghamshire and Victoria.

Somerset chief executive Richard Gould admitted to Sky Sports News: “We’ve already had some discussions and we’re basically looking to mirror what the IPL contracts are. It was first mooted at the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and it’s taken a while but now it’s there, I think it’s brilliant for club cricket. It gives it much more juice.”

IPL Teams – Bangalore Royal Challengers

Bangalore Royal Challengers is the team that is going to represent the city of Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, the inaugural Twenty20 cricket tournament to be held in India. The team is owned by the liquor magnate Vijay Mallya, the chairman of UB Group. Charu Sharma is the CEO of the team and Rahul Dravid, the captain of the team is the Icon Player. Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, has also been signed as a member of the management team. Venkatesh Prasad, the former Indian fast bowler and the present bowling coach of India has been declared the coach for the team.

Bangalore team was won by Vijay Mallya, who paid US$111.6 million for it. This was the second highest bid for a team in the IPL, next only to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries’ bid of $111.9 million for the Mumbai team.

Indian actresses Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif were signed as the brand ambassadors of the franchise.

Vijay Mallya wanted to associate one of his top-selling liquor brands, either ‘No. 1 McDowell’s’ or ‘Royal Challenge’ with the team. Ultimately, ‘Royal Challenge’ was chosen, and hence the team was given the name ‘Bangalore Royal Challengers’. The jersey colours of the team are red and golden yellow, and the logo consists of the RC emblem with ‘Bangalore Royal Challengers’ in standard format.

Players

The players in the team (except for Rahul Dravid, who was the Icon Player), were selected in an auction conducted by BCCI on 20 February 2008. South Africa’s Jacques Kallis at $900,000 became the costliest player to be selected to play for the Royal Challengers. This meant that Rahul Dravid, being the Icon Player would be paid $1,035,000 (15% more than the highest bid player in the team). Other players selected included the Indian Test cricket captain Anil Kumble along with his team-mates Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan, West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Aussies Nathan Bracken and Cameron White, South Africa’s Mark Boucher (Wicket Keeper) and Dale Steyn.
Name – Age – Country – Position

Batsmen
Rahul Dravid (Captain/Icon Player) – 35 – India – Right-handed Batsman
Shivnarine Chanderpaul – 33 – West Indies – Left-handed Batsman
Wasim Jaffer – 30 – India – Right-handed Batsman
Misbah-ul-Haq – 33 – Pakistan – Right-handed Batsman
Ross Taylor – 24 – New Zealand – Right-handed Batsman
Arun Kumar J. – 33 – India – Right-handed Batsman
Appanna K. P. – 19 – India – Right-handed Batsman
Bharat Chipli – 25 – India – Right-handed Batsman

Wicket Keepers
Mark Boucher – 31 – South Africa – Right-handed Batsman / Wicket keeper
Shreevats Goswami – 18 – India – Left-hand Batsman / Wicket keeper
Devraj Patil – 23 – India – Right-handed Batsman / Wicket keeper

Allrounders
Jacques Kallis – 32 – South Africa – Right-arm fast-medium
Cameron White – 24 – Australia – Right-handed Leg-break googly
Sunil Joshi – 37 – India – Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox spin
Akhil B. – 30 – India – Right-arm medium-fast
Virat Kohli – 19 – India – Right-arm medium

Bowlers
Anil Kumble – 37 – India – Right-arm leg-break googly
Zaheer Khan – 29 – India – Left-arm medium-fast
Nathan Bracken – 30 – Australia – Left-arm fast-medium
Dale Steyn – 24 – South Africa – Right-arm fast
Praveen Kumar – 21 – India – Right-arm medium-fast
Abdur Razzak – 25 – Bangladesh – Slow left-arm orthodox
Vinay Kumar R. – 24 – India – Right-arm medium-fast

Administration and coaching staff

Front Office:
Owner- Vijay Mallya
CEO – Charu Sharma
Adviser – Martin Crowe

Coaches:
Head Coach – Venkatesh Prasad
Assistant Head Coach – TBA
Physiotherapist – TBA

IPL Teams – Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians will be representative of the city of Mumbai in the Indian Premier League. The team will be led by Sachin Tendulkar, also the Icon Player for the team and coached by Lalchand Rajput, the former Manager of the Indian Cricket Team.

Reliance Industries Limited through its subsidiary Reliance Retail Ltd purchased the rights for the Mumbai franchise of Indian Premier league for a total of $111.9 million during the auction on January 24, 2008. The RIL bid has made the Mumbai Indians the most expensive franchise in IPL.

The team logo has the Sudarshan Chakra with the team’s name engraved in it. The team’s colour will be blue. The choice of the name “Indians” for a regional competition is widely regarded as a blunder.

The mascot is still unknown.
Players

Sachin Tendulkar is the designated icon player and also captain for Mumbai Indians. During the player auction Mumbai Indians successfully bid for 7 players, including two of the heroes of Indian Twenty-20 world cup side in Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa. Sanath Jayasuriya was also another prized catch, along with South African legend Shaun Pollock. The team also added the Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga.

Outside of the player auction, the franchise has also signed up Ajinkya Rahane and Abhishek Nayar (from Mumbai), Yogesh Takawale (from Maharashtra) and Pinal Shah (from Baroda)
Name – Age – Country – Position

Batsmen
Sachin Tendulkar (Captain) – 35 – India – Right-handed Batsman
Robin Uthappa – 22 – India – Right-handed Batsman
Loots Botsman – 30 – South Africa – Right-handed Batsman
Ashley Prince – 30 – South Africa – Left-handed Batsman
Manish Pandey – 18 – India – Right-handed Batsman
Saurabh Tiwari – 18 – India – Left-handed Batsman

Wicket Keepers
Yogesh Takawale – 23 – India – Right-handed Batsman – Wicket keeper
Pinal Shah – 20 – India – Right-handed Batsman – Wicket keeper

All Rounders
Sanath Jayasuriya – 37 – Sri Lanka – Slow left-arm orthodox spin
Shaun Pollock – 35 – South Africa – Right-arm medium-fast
Ajinkya Rahane – 19 – India – Right-arm medium

Bowlers
Harbhajan Singh – 27 – India – Right-arm off-break
Lasith Malinga – 24 – Sri Lanka – Right-arm fast
Dilhara Fernando – 29 – Sri Lanka – Right-arm fast-medium
Abhishek Nayar – 24 – India – Right-arm medium-fast
Ashish Nehra – 28 – India – Left-arm fast-medium

Administration and Coaching staffFront Office:

Owner – Reliance Industries Limited
CEO – R Balachandran
President – Mukesh Ambani

Coaches:
Head Coach – Lalchand Rajput
Assistant Head Coach – TBA
Physiotherapist – TBA

IPL Schedule

IPL’s complete schedule:
April 18: Bangalore v Kolkata at Bangalore
April 19: Mohali v Chennai at Mohali and Delhi v Jaipur at Delhi
April 20: Mumbai v Bangalore at Mumbai; Kolkata v Hyderabad at Kolkata
April 21: Jaipur v Mohali at Jaipur
April 22: Hyderabad v Delhi at Hyderabad
April 23: Chennai v Mumbai at Chennai
April 24: Hyderabad v Jaipur at Hyderabad
April 25: Mohali v Mumbai at Mohali
April 26: Bangalore v Jaipur at Bangalore; Chennai v Kolkata at Chennai
April 27: Mumbai v Hyderabad at Mumbai; Mohali v Delhi at Mohali
April 28: Bangalore v Chennai at Bangalore
April 29: Kolkata v Mumbai at Kolkata
April 30: Delhi v Bangalore at Delhi.
May 1: Hyderabad v Mohali at Hyderabad; Jaipur v Kolkata at Jaipur
May 2: Chennai v Delhi at Chennai.
May 3: Hyderabad at Bangalore at Hyderabad; Mohali v Kolkata at Mohali
May 4: Mumbai v Delhi at Mumbai; Jaipur v Chennai at Jaipur
May 5: Bangalore v Mohali at Bangalore
May 6: Chennai v Hyderabad at Chennai
May 7: Mumbai v Jaipur at Mumbai
May 8: Delhi v Chennai at Delhi; Kolkata v Bangalore at Kolkata
May 9: Jaipur v Hyderabad at Jaipur
May 10: Bangalore v Mumbai at Bangalore; Chennai v Mohali at Chennai
May 11: Hyderabad v Kolkata at Hyderabad; Jaipur v Delhi at Jaipur
May 12: Mohali v Bangalore at Mohali
May 13: Kolkata v Delhi at Kolkata
May 14: Mumbai v Chennai at Mumbai; Mohali v Jaipur at Mohali
May 15: Delhi v Hyderabad at Delhi
May 16: Mumbai v Kolkata at Mumbai
May 17: Delhi v Mohali at Delhi; Jaipur v Bangalore at Jaipur
May 18: Hyderabad v Mumbai at Hyderabad; Kolkata v Chenna at Kolkata
May 19: Bangalore v Delhi at Bangalore
May 20: Kolkata v Jaipur at Kolkata
May 21: Mumbai v Mohali at Mumbai; Chennai v Bangalore at Chennai
May 22: Delhi v Kolkata at Delhi
May 23: Mohali v Hyderabad at Mohali.
May 24: Delhi v Mumbai at Delhi; Chennai v Jaipur at Chennai
May 25: Bangalore v Hyderabad at Bangalore; Kolkata v Mohali at Kolkata
May 26: Jaipur v Mumbai at Jaipur
May 27: Hyderabad v Chennai at Hyderabad
May 28 and 29: Rest days
May 30: First semi-final at Mumbai
May 31: Second semi-final at Mumbai
June 1: Final at Mumbai