Dhaka, June 20 (UNB) — In the all-important clash against Australia today, Bangladesh might miss the service of all-rounders Mohammad Saifuddin and Mosaddek Hossain Saikat – both suffering from injuries.
Saifuddin, a right-arm pacer all-rounder, has been suffering from a back injury he sustained months ago. He had to take painkiller injection before playing the first match of Bangladesh in the World Cup. He played the other matches in the World Cup so far managing the injury.
Saifuddin bagged nine wickets in four matches to top the list of most wicket takers for Bangladesh in this World Cup. If he fails to make the playing XI today, it will be a big blow for the Tigers.
Right-arm pacer Rubel Hossain might be included in the XI as Saifuddin’s replacement. Rubel is yet to feature in this World Cup. He has played 97 ODIs for Bangladesh till the date and took 123 wickets with the best figure of six wickets for 26 runs.
Mosaddek, on the other hand, sustained a blow on his right shoulder in the previous match against West Indies that Bangladesh won by seven wickets. He is also doubtful to make the playing XI today.
If Mosaddek fails to satisfy team management in the fitness test, he might be replaced by Sabbir Rahman who is yet to play a match in the World Cup. Sabbir played 61 ODIs till date and scored 1,219 with a hundred and five fifties.
Bangladesh have won two matches out of five they have played so far. The Tigers are in dire need to win more matches to confirm a semi-finals berth.
However, defending champions Australia are always a tough opponent for the Tigers. But Bangladesh captain Masrhafe said they are upbeat to upset Australia in today’s battle at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
The match is scheduled to start at 3:30pm (BdST).
Paris, June (AP/UNB) — Florencia Bonsegundo converted a penalty kick in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time on her second attempt, and Argentina overcame a three-goal deficit in the final 30 minutes for a 3-3 draw against Scotland on Wednesday night that eliminated the Scots from the Women's World Cup.
Scotland built a 3-0 lead on goals by Kim Little in the 19th minute, Jenny Beattie in the 49th and Erin Cuthbert in the 69th, but Argentina became the first team at a Women's World Cup to get a point after trailing by three goals.
Milagros Menéndez scored on a counterattack in the 74th minute and Bonsegundo's long-range shot five minutes later hit the crossbar, bounced down and had enough backspin to go off the fingertips of goalkeeper Lee Alexander and across the line.
Sophie Howard had just entered the game when she slid into a leg of Aldana Cometti, who was streaking into the penalty area. After a lengthy video review, North Korean referee Ri Hyang-ok awarded the penalty kick. Alexander dived to stop the kick by Bonsegundo, who could not get the rebound in. But another video review showed Alexander came off her line before the kick.
Given the second chance, Bonsegundo kicked the ball to the right of the keeper, who dived left.
Scotland, which had been on the verge of winning a Women's World Cup match for the first time, could not muster a threat in the remaining stoppage time and finished last in Group D at with two losses and a draw.
Argentina finished with two points after opening with a 0-0 draw against Japan — its first World Cup point — and losing to England 1-0.
Four of the six third-place teams advance, and Brazil (six points) and China (four points) are assured of two of those spots. Nigeria finished third with three points.
Argentina would advance if both the Cameroon-New Zealand and Thailand-Chile matches on Thursday finish in draws. Argentina was eliminated in the group stage of its first two World Cup appearances.
Dhaka, June 20 (UNB) — Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza insisted that the Tigers are not over-reliant on Shakib Al Hasan who has been performing like no other in the ongoing ICC Men’s World Cup.
Bangladesh are all set to take on current world champions Australia today at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Mashrafe said they believe they can overcome the challenge but it will not be an easy task.
“Shakib is scoring runs; that’s a great thing for the team. But if you look at it, the other boys have stepped up. Mustafizur Rahman got some wickets, Mohammad Saifuddin came in and took the wicket of Chris Gayle early, we all know what he can do,” Mashrafe told reporters on Wednesday.
“So it has not been a one-man army, but Shakib has been doing outstandingly. Some other bowlers have to step up a little bit with what Shakib is doing. We really appreciate what Shakib is doing, and some of the other bowlers with what they have done, and we hope it will be carried on from here. It’ll be great to see,” the captain said.
Shakib scored 384 runs in the World Cup so far and took five wickets. Mashrafe noted that Shakib’s performance strengthened the belief of doing well in the team.
Bangladesh have played 20 ODIs against Australia and won only one of them, which was 14 years ago in Cardiff. Mashrafe is the only player from both teams who participated in that match. That win in 2005 is still considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of ODI cricket.
However, Bangladesh are equipped well to take on the Aussies this time. But Mashrafe said that victory against Australia will not be an easy target for his men.
“I know a few players in our dressing room who believe we can beat anybody, but against Australia, it won't be easy, for sure, especially the conditions and the form they are in,” Mashrafe added.
Bangladesh kicked off their World Cup campaign beating South Africa by 21 runs, but they suffered a major setback losing two consecutive encounters against New Zealand and England. A washed out game against Sri Lanka added more uncertainty to their dream of a semi-finals berth.
Tigers are now eagerly hoping to upset Australia once again to keep their hope of semi-finals alive.
Tokyo, June 20 (AP/UNB) — Want tickets for next year's Tokyo Olympics? Prepare to be let down.
Millions were disappointed starting Thursday when applicants in a ticket lottery — for Japan residents, only — began learning if they landed tickets. The answer is going to be overwhelmingly — no. The same will be true for residents outside Japan who could experience a similar dejection: too much demand and too few tickets.
This was not the case at the last several games — the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — when tickets were given away and volunteers were often summoned to fill empty seats for the television cameras. At times, there were too many empty seats to fill.
"This is probably going to be the most popular Olympics, and possibly one of the most popular events of all time," Ken Hanscom, the chief operating officer of TicketManager, told The Associated Press in an interview.
His Los Angeles-based company does not buy or sell Olympic tickets, but manages tickets for corporate clients, several of which are major Olympic sponsors.
Hanscom said he follows ticketing patterns for every major event and estimates that 80-90% of Japan residents who applied for tickets could get nothing.
"I'm interested in seeing what the reaction is and how the organizing committee addresses this," Hanscom said. "It's good news for the demand, and bad news on the ticket side and the public."
Tokyo's organizing committee was unable Thursday to say how many Japan residents got tickets, and it's unclear if — or when — it will disclose the overall numbers. Organizers will run a second ticketing phase where the odds will probably be even worse.
Japanese media immediately began reporting about disheartened fans. A completely unscientific AP survey of a few fans showed one ticket awarded in 15 application attempts. The millions who failed got this message in email from Tokyo organizers.
"Thank you for your interest in purchasing Tokyo 2020 tickets. The demand for tickets was incredibly high, and unfortunately, you were not awarded any of the tickets you requested in the lottery."
Simple math explains the supply and demand crunch.
Tokyo organizers say that 7.5 million residents of Japan registered to apply for tickets through the lottery system. Extrapolating from the 2012 London Olympic lottery, Hanscom estimates that Tokyo organizers may have received 70-85 million individual ticket requests. This could be at least 10 times more than what's available. Maybe more.
Organizers estimate there are 7.8 million tickets for all Olympic events, but 20-30% of those are for distribution outside Japan where buyers could face the same problems and end up paying more.
Buyers outside Japan must get tickets from Authorized Ticket Resellers, companies appointed by national Olympic committees. They were authorized to begin sales on Thursday.
The reseller for the United States is CoSport, which also handles sales in Australia, Jordan and several European countries. Cartan is the reseller for much of Latin America including Mexico.
Resellers are allowed to charge a 20% handling fee on every ticket. They can also use a generous currency exchange rate, and often package desirable tickets with top hotels that charge way over the usual going rate during the Olympics.
Ticket prices for buyers in Japan vary greatly and are listed in the competition section on the organizers' website.
The opening ceremony on July 24 features the most expensive ticket — 300,000 yen ($2,700). The most expensive ticket for the closing ceremony is 220,000 yen ($2,000).
Even with the soaring demand, many venues could still wind up with hundreds of empty seats that are typically set aside for International Olympic Committee officials, corporate sponsors, and local dignitaries. Often they don't show up while angry fans line up outside without tickets.
"I expect there will be a problem in Tokyo," Hanscom said. "The industry figure is that 40% of tickets that sponsors buy go in the trash," he said. He said the problem was acute for the Olympics and World Cup.
"Every Olympics you have a new group of people running ticketing," he said. "And you have new technology. So you're always scrambling to put the process together."
Even athletes could have a tough time landing many tickets for family members and friends.
All athletes can get two tickets for each session in which they compete. These tickets are sold by the organizing committee to national Olympic committees for distribution. For swimming, it's only one. In addition, some national Olympic committees pass on added tickets to athletes.
"The United States Olympic Committee has confirmed it will continue its program of supplying Team USA athletes with two complimentary tickets for each event they compete in," the USOC told AP in a statement. The USOC said this was in addition to tickets coming from the organizing committee.
Hanscom pointed out that "many countries don't make the same gesture, and many athletes who qualify late have added problems."
Given the shortage, scalping is sure to be a big problem, as it is at every Olympics and soccer World Cup.
The ticketing system for the Olympics and soccer's World Cup is murky, allowing for abuse, anger, and confusion with tickets often appearing in the hands of high-ranking officials.
Three years ago at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, International Olympic Committee member Patrick Hickey of Ireland was arrested on suspicion of ticket scalping. He is suspended from the IOC, but remains a member and has denied any wrongdoing. This was not the first time that a high-ranking member of the IOC or FIFA — soccer's governing body — was implicated in profiteering on the black market.
Hanscom predicted a "vibrant secondary market" will appear despite a law that went into force a few days ago in Japan that prohibits ticket scalping with the penalty of a 1 million yen ($9,100) fine and a one-year jail term — or both.
However, the law has a large loophole and does not apply to tickets distributed for free or given away as gifts, or tickets without a purchaser's name. This could apply to many tickets coming from the IOC, the 200 national Olympic committees, or some major Olympic sponsors.
Local Japanese Olympic sponsors have paid over $3 billion in sponsorship fees, and also sure to get a slice of tickets before they hit the public market.
"What I always say is that tickets are temptation," Hanscom said. "It's going to be challenging to enforce sales that happen internationally. I would expect there to be a large market that's outside the rules and regulations. These types of rules are not going to constrict the biggest brokers who have been doing this for 20 years."
Dhaka, June 20 (UNB) - You may not have noticed Michael Woods before. He is undemonstrative, despite his team's bright pink kit. He is slight, even by the standards of professional cycling, reports BBC.
Much of the rest is extraordinary - what happened to him on his way to the top; what he went through at the moment he reached it.
A man who continues to feel like an imposter in someone else's world is still meeting triumph and disaster all the way.
Stage 17 at the 2018 Vuelta a Espana was a brute: 157km through mountainous Basque country, the finish up a rough concrete track with an average gradient of 11% across its final four kilometres, with ramps towards the end of 24%.
That sort of road would be difficult to walk up. Racing up it - a thick fog on the mountain, thousands of spectators on the verges peering through the murk - produced a sort of slow-motion torture.
With a kilometre remaining, Woods was one of four alone at the front. With 600 metres to go, the Belgian Dylan Teuns attacked. Woods went with him.
"I was in a world of hurt," Woods says. "And when I then attacked, I assumed there were only about 150 metres left, because there was so much fog and so many fans, I just couldn't see up the road.
"When I looked up and saw 500 metres to go, I thought, oh man, I don't know how I can sustain this. And I started to die."
You watch back the final moments of that climb now and it still has an air of unreality: a man at his limits, mouth hanging open, barely managing to keep turning the pedals; the shouts of the fans, the flags and arms and clenched fists being waved in his face, his pink helmet and yellow jersey the only brightness in the oppressive gloom.
"I heard my sport director Juan Manuel Garate on the radio," says Woods. "Juanma is an incredible human, an incredible director, and he knew how much I wanted to do something for my family.
"He didn't use it all race. He waited for this very moment. He came on the radio said to me: 'Do it for your family, Mike. Do it for your family.'"
At that time, September 2018, Woods was in the best physical shape of his life. He had ridden well the whole year and arrived at La Vuelta in peak condition. Only his family and team knew that everything else was falling apart. A few months before, his unborn son Hunter had died suddenly at 37 weeks old.
"Both my wife and I were super-excited that this was going to be our first child, that we were having a baby boy," says Woods. "And we found in our final check-up that he had passed away.
"It was devastating. We had so much excitement and such high expectations. It was the hardest moment I've ever had to go through. I've never lost anyone that close to me before.
"It was especially hard watching my wife have to deal with it - deal with the trauma of post-pregnancy, when all these hormones and all these things are telling you that you should have this baby in front of you, and she didn't.
"I knew I wanted to do something special for Hunter. I wanted to honour him. I wanted to get a big result for him, because I just didn't know how to handle the grief. I immersed myself completely in cycling and training and preparing.
"I've never gone so deep in a race in my life. I couldn't even think, I was hurting that much."
Woods rode like a man trying to escape. Looking back repeatedly over his shoulder, desperately searching for his pursuers, he seemed to be staring back too at everything else in his wake.
Several times, he almost came to a halt. The last 200 metres took him almost a minute to cover, the road so steep, his body so spent. When he crossed the line, he seemed not to understand where he was.
He says: "It took me about 45 seconds just to collect my thoughts and get over the discomfort I was in and finally realise I had won the race. It was Hunter who got me across the line.
"It opened the floodgates. I cried for a while. I cried every day for a while after that. Just thinking about Hunter and thinking about what we'd gone through. Thinking how I finally won a World Tour race.
"I called my wife, and she picked up, and she said that she loved me, and I told her I loved her, and we just cried."
Short presentational grey line
Woods was never meant to be an elite pro cyclist. As a kid growing up in Canada, he loved ice hockey. No-one he knew raced bikes.
When he was told in his teens that he was too small for the crash and bang of hockey, he threw himself into running, and by the end of high school had broken national records at 1500 metres, finished seventh at the World Junior Championships and won the Pan-American Championships.
Those were the good times. The bad were the constant injuries. At 21, he was close to the Olympics. At 24, he was gone from the sport, back living with his parents in Ottawa, with no goals and no idea of what came next.
"I became this sad figure who worked in a running store and was kind of living in the past," he says. "Wishing I was running and racing but unable to do so."
Getting out of shape, getting big, he borrowed his dad's bike and began doing a few rides, first on his own, and then with a small group based around the local bike shop.
"Initially, I was just doing it for fitness," he says. "The plan was still to get back running and have success with that. But that autumn, in a local road race, I broke my foot for the final time, and afterwards I sat down with my girlfriend, and she told me I should maybe have a real stab at cycling.
"We were both completely naive and ignorant about how hard it would be to become a world-class cyclist. I just assumed that because I had been a world-class runner at one point that I should be super-fast at becoming a world-class cyclist.
"But because of that ignorance, I was able to do it. If I'd known what I know now, I probably wouldn't have got into it in the first place. It was too tough a transition."
A few other cyclists have transitioned from other sports before. Those who make it tend to stick to the track, riding solo against the clock, or specialising in time-trialling - all of the cardiovascular advantages of their old lives, very little of the bike handling and wheel-to-wheel carnage of a brutally competitive peloton.
Woods wanted more. With no money and no other avenue to chase, he also had nothing to lose.
"Because I had such a big engine, I was able to find myself at the front of bike races in Canada quite easily, just because the fields were so small," he says.
"You learn most in racing by being at the front, and although I was doing nothing, I was seeing how races unfolded, and I was able to learn fast. And because I had trained so hard as a runner, because I was able to push myself to my limits, I had some mental tricks up my sleeves.
"I committed every faux pas when I came in. I got teased mercilessly because I showed up to group rides looking like a triathlete.
"Running is such a pure sport. Especially where I came from, there was such an emphasis on having as few things as possible, being the most hardened bad-ass guy out there, just wearing a pair of sweat-pants on a run.
"When I came into cycling, there was such a huge transition in learning and navigating that sort of politics and snobbery. Ultimately I didn't really care too much what people thought about me. What I did care about was my bike-handling skills.
"I was fortunate to have that huge sports background playing hockey, doing downhill skiing. My parents put me in tons of different sports, so I was able to transition fast. But my bike-handling took a long time to develop, and I got some pretty impressive scars as a result."
Woods was a fast learner but the road was steep. Taken on for six months by a struggling Italian team, he crashed badly in a key race, sustaining facial injuries and a broken orbital bone. He joined the small US team 5-Hour Energy only for that to go out of business.
Only when the Cannondale-Drapac team took a late punt on him three years ago, when he was 28 years old and fast running out of time, did he begin to think he may have made the right choice.
In his first Grand tour, he finished 38th overall at the 2017 Giro d'Italia, and then seventh at the Vuelta a Espana four months later, his ability as a climber beginning to show through.
Nine months on, Woods - now 32 - is looking to the future again. He finished third at last September's World Championships and is eyeing up his first ever Tour de France in July.
Beyond that he is less sure. He is at an age when most riders are at their peak. Coming in so late, he may still have further summits ahead.
He says: "I'm a huge believer in personal improvement, and that one of the keys to having a fulfilling life is seeking to improve yourself. To challenge yourself.
"In Canada, when they find out you're a professional cyclist, they always ask if you've done the Tour, and until now I've had to say no, knowing that in their eyes that means I'm not a professional cyclist. So I want to do it just be validated.
"I feel too that in cycling I'm still improving, I'm still learning. And I'm still challenging myself, on a daily basis."