Current Indian pacers lack skill and discipline: Jeff Thomson

first_imgMumbai, Sep 14: Legendary fast bowler Jeff Thomson believes that the current group of Indian pacers lack skill and discipline, which was mainly exposed during India’s tour of Australia in the 2014-2015 season.Thomson is in the city as the Mumbai Cricketa Association (MCA) has roped him in for a month-long stint at its bowling academy where young pacers from around the city will be trained by the Australian legend.He will put in another month-long stint at the academy in May next year.“Indian bowlers lack the skill and discipline, where they pitch the ball all the time. That was the biggest thing I saw when the Indian team toured Australia last time. The bowlers did not ball in the right areas. They lost, then their concentration dropped, number of overs dropped and eventually made it very hard,” Thomson told reporters here on Monday.“With just good batsman one cannot win matches. You have to have that strength in the bowling also to pick 20 wickets of the opposition,” he added.The former pacer was specially known for his unusual slinging action and an aggressive approach which instilled fear in the hearts of several batsmen in the 1970s.Speaking about the aggressive ture of current pace bowlers, the 65-year-old, said, “A fast bowler has to be aggressive, you can’t be a nice guy and say that was good shot and applause the batsman. You have to come harder and harder at the batsman and try to get him out. You have to be aggressive; you want to be World’s No. 1 bowler.”“To be at the top spot, you have to be aggressive and bowl at your strengths. You have to better than his teammate. Someone you may fall short of that but you will learn from that,” said the former pacer who played 51 Tests and 50 One-Day Intertiols to claim a total of 255 wickets for his country.When asked about his thoughts on Ishant Sharma who recently had a successful Test series in Sri Lanka, Thomson remarked that the pacer is talented, but lacks discipline, just like most of the players in the Indian team.The Australian also felt that Ishant is not in the place where he should have been at this point in his career.“Ishant lacks a bit of discipline. Like I said the whole lot lacks a bit of discipline. He is playing for India for a long time. In between he lost the plot a bit. He also lost a lot of pace. He looked injured to me last summer in Australia. He is not where he should have been. He should have got more bounce and bowled well with the height he has. He has good skill but he has to be reminded what he has to do,” Thomson said.MCA have selected a maximum of 30 pacers in the 19 and above age group to be part of the foundation.The training for the young Mumbai bowlers will be held throughout the year at the Sharad Pawar Indoor Stadium, formerly known as the MCA Club at the Bandra-Kurla Complex.Speaking on his role as a coach, Thomson said, “I just want to pass on my knowledge to the young Mumbai bowlers and show them where they are lacking and where they need to improve.”“I see a lot of false coaching happening these days. I don’t want to me anyone, but lots of bad and false coaching is happening. The biggest thing in a fast bowler is skill and control, and that’s why I am here for,” Thomson said. IANSlast_img read more

For The Hill Academy lacrosse players, No. 45 isn’t just a jersey. It’s a way of life.

first_imgWhen Brendan Bomberry played his first game for Denver in 2015, he wasn’t wearing the jersey number he had waited years to. An upperclassman had already claimed No. 45.At North Carolina, coaches ensured the same didn’t happen to Bomberry’s high school teammate, Chris Cloutier. They knew Cloutier also went to The Hill Academy, a sports-focused center of fewer than 300 students in Toronto. They knew the story behind 45 and what it symbolized at Hill.“The second you walk through those doors at the Hill, they fully invest you,” Cloutier said. “You learn how to be a good leader. It’s one of the main focuses of the Hill. And, ya know, being able to wear 45 just takes you back to what you were taught.”At the Hill, the number is everywhere. It’s a part of the chant that ends each practice. It’s on a jersey hanging on the wall of the gymnasium. It’s pressed on a pinnie awarded to the practice player of the week. But the number is never worn in games.On a Monday evening in May 2008, a youth club box lacrosse team called the Toronto Beaches were playing a game in Newmarket, Ontario, when a defender struck Jamieson Kuhlmann with a blindside hit. The defender’s shoulder drove into the head and chest of the Hill 10th-grader and he collapsed. The kid teammates called “Jammer” couldn’t get up.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe team trainer, a long-time Kuhlmann family friend, ran onto the field. Jamieson passed out. The trainer helped carry him off and, minutes later, the sun sank below the horizon. Jamieson never regained consciousness, and after two days in the hospital, his parents removed life support.The Hill, which was only in its second season, retired its No. 45 lacrosse jersey in honor of Jamieson.“There’s a reason why he’s not here,” said Jamieson’s mother, Michelle Weber. “And for them to put such emotion into someone, and maybe even not trying to live his life, but taking aspects, pieces of it, and trying to make their life that much better, it overwhelms me. It really, truly does.”The next spring, after graduation, Jason Noble made a pact with several other teammates. If it was available, they would all wear 45 in college to honor Jamieson.In 2010, Noble wore 45 as a freshman at Cornell while Zach Palmer did the same at Johns Hopkins. A year later, Jason’s brother, Jeremy, claimed the number at Denver.The Hill Academy is slowly collecting jerseys from multiple alumni who have worn 45. Jason Noble’s jerseys are featured here. Courtesy of Brodie Merrill The same goes for Randy Staats, who has the number and a pair of wings tattooed on his right shin, started college in 2012 at Onondaga Community College. He eventually donned it for two seasons at Syracuse.And, for the past two, Bomberry has continued the legacy. The players wanted the number to serve as a daily reminder to work hard and be the best person you can be at all times.“Because you never know, if you take a day off or you’re not pushing hard enough, are you going to get that day back?” Jason Noble said.• • •Before Jamieson’s first game for the Hill, head coach Brodie Merrill came into the team’s dorm and told the newcomer he needed a jersey number. Jamieson looked across the room to dorm parent Dan Noble, who Jamieson called “D-Nobes.”The 26-year-old was in his first year at The Hill Academy after concussions ended his professional football career in Europe. Noble moved into the dorms of the Hill, living with the students and coaching strength and conditioning.Jamieson told Merrill he wanted 45.Jamieson wore it in part because Noble had as well, but Merrill also remembered he wanted it for Rudy, the hard-working title character in the 1993 film who wore the number after improbably walking on to the Notre Dame football team.Jamieson took interest in the underdogs who worked for everything because he saw himself in them. At a young age, he passed to everyone on the field, even if they weren’t going to catch it. He did it so much his mother questioned him about it one day, wondering why her son spread the ball around even if the other players weren’t as good as he was.“You know what, Mom?” Weber remembered her son saying when he was in middle school. “One day, they are going to catch it.”After Jamieson’s freshman year, his parents saw adolescence take its toll on their son. His grades slipped to a 62 average, his mother said, and he wasn’t as happy as he used to be. So, his mother sold her house to afford the Hill.She and Jamieson’s father, Mark Kuhlmann, saw the Hill as the solution because it prides itself on getting students out of their comfort zone. It pushes for high academic performance and Division I athletics, something her son embraced. It forced Jamieson to adjust, because at a school with fewer than 30 kids at the time, there wasn’t a junior varsity team for him to settle in with.Courtesy of Michelle WeberAt first, Noble remembered Jamieson being quiet and keeping to himself. The close-knit community soon changed that, though. His history teacher had told Weber that they had “never seen a kid read so much.” Before Jamieson went to the Hill, Weber didn’t remember him enjoying reading at all. Jamieson’s grades rose to an 81 average, she said.His rediscovered confidence translated to the field. He earned the nickname “Jammer” and learned to lead in different ways. He energized the team even when on the bench, and Staats remembered Jamieson always relaying a joke or sharing his infectious smile as players came off the field.Late one night during Jamieson’s time at the Hill, Noble overheard something he found remarkable through his floor. In the room below, Jamieson’s roommate, a hockey player, wasn’t sure if the Hill was the place for him. He considered leaving. As the classmate talked through his anxieties, Jamieson shared his own story. He reminded him there was nothing to lose, that he might as well just go for it.“His story and his legacy, it’s become so powerful because a lot of our students kind of see themselves and see what Jamieson did as inspiration,” Merrill said. “To be a good teammate. To be hardworking. To be humble in your approach.”During the spring term of his sophomore year, Jamieson filled out a self-evaluation sheet for the lacrosse team. He didn’t rank any part of his lacrosse skills higher than a six, except for conditioning. His highest self-graded marks came in work ethic, attitude, health and efforts in the classroom. In overall success, he granted himself a nine out of 10.“I think I have improved a lot but there is always room for improvement,” Jamieson wrote in the comments section of the sheet. “I think that because of the set up at the Hill (coaches, practice) and my work ethic, I will one day achieve my goal of playing college lacrosse.”Jamieson’s self-evaluation now hangs on the gym wall at The Hill Academy. Courtesy of Brodie MerrillBefore her son’s death a few months later, Weber wrote a letter to the Merrill family, which is in charge of the academy. In awe of how much her son had improved in less than a year there, she thanked them for all they had done.Jamieson embraced the Hill, which is an acronym for the four ideals of the academy. “H” indicates the highest level of achievement, pushing each student to reach their full potential. “I” stands for independence, emphasizing independent thought. The first “L” represents leadership, stressing that each member of the team must lead in their own way.In life, Jamieson mastered the first three. After death, he became the final symbol: a second letter L for “Legacy.”• • •Dan Noble never planned to stay at the Hill, but after Jamieson died, D-Nobes couldn’t leave. He had to pass on the boy’s legacy.“It was my purpose,” Noble said.At the first team practice following the accident, Noble got emotional. He changed the team chant, which had always been “Hill Pride.” From then on, the team would say “4-5 Hill Pride” after breaking down each meeting.“It was there to be a reminder that we never have to do any of this,” Noble said. “We get to do this and what an opportunity this is and to be grateful.”The papers Jamieson wrote his goals on now hang on the gym wall at the Hill, along with his old jersey. There’s an assembly each year to teach his story to the students who sat where he once did. The team awards a No. 45 practice pinnie each week to a player who embodies Jamieson and the Hill’s core beliefs.The number’s reach expands each year. Several Division I women players now wear it. Merrill has represented Team Canada in his former player’s number. Players often ask teammates from the Hill if any opponent wearing 45 is a fellow alum.Jamieson Kuhlmann Field was founded in 2008 in Toronto. Courtesy of Michelle WeberEvery year since Jamieson died, there’s been a memorial tournament in Toronto in his name. Before each game of the “Jammer Classic,” players are asked to read a plaque next to Jamieson Kuhlmann Field. The first part of the plaque expresses Jamieson’s values. It alludes to him throwing the ball even to those who might bobble it. They will “catch it in their hearts and remember you for the pass.”“May all those who play on this field draw inspiration from a remarkable young man who was called upon to play the game elsewhere,” the script continues. “Jamieson’s Legacy will remain with us forever.”It will carry on. Bomberry will graduate from Syracuse University next month with hopes that No. 45 will remain on the roster. He plans to pass the jersey on to Owen Hill, an incoming freshman who will be the third Hill Academy player to wear 45 with the Orange.“(No. 45 has) taken on a life of its own,” Noble said. “But it’s Jamieson’s life.” Comments Published on April 11, 2018 at 10:40 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Kotoko shoot to top of Glo Premier League table

first_imgChampion club Kumasi Asante Kotoko returned to the summit of the Glo Premier League standings yesterday after an emphatic victory over Arsenal at the Golden City Park toppled Berekum Chelsea who were crushed by Hearts of Oak in Accra.Very rarely do age-old rivals Hearts and Kotoko do each other favours in the league title race. For once, Hearts delivered a perfect gift to their arch rivals when their 3-0 thumping of Chelsea helped Kotoko leapfrog the Berekum lads to the top of the standings as the competition heads into the final four matches.It was exactly a week yesterday after the giants and the league’s most glamorous sides sold out a classic that ended in a 1-1 draw at the Accra Stadium. And despite the intervening mid-week’s varied fortunes for the traditional giants, the fate of facing Berekum’s two clubs was more than a coincidence.The paths of Arsenal and Chelsea — unlike their original glamourous counterparts of London — lie far apart, separated by a gulf in class, with Arsenal battling against relegation and Chelsea pursuing a second league title in three years.At Berekum, Arsenal’s bid for survival in the elite competition suffered a major blow when Michael Akuffo, Abdul Aziz and Kofi Nti Boakye struck to nail them to the 15th position in the 16-club league.It was equally frustrating for Chelsea in the nation’s capital as a brace by Gilbert Fiamenyo and Mahatma Otoo’s 16th league goal gave Hearts just their second win over Chelsea in 10 clashes. In a more straight route affair, Medeama beat relegation-bound RTU 3-0 at Tarkwa to revive their title aspirations as they moved into second position on the league log, while King Faisal pipped Ashantigold 1-0 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.The weekend’s top fixture saw Hearts outclassing table-topping Chelsea and showing glimpses of their once dominant form, writes Kwame Larweh.The Phobians have over the past few weeks shown some promising prospects reminiscent of their glorious past by thrashing Liberty Professionals 3-1, drawing 1-1 with traditional rivals, Asante Kotoko and pummelling RTU 4-0 last Wednesday before yesterday’s spectacular display which must sent their fans into frenzy.They dominated play from start to finish with a man-of-the-match performance by Fiamenyo, particularly in the first half, accompanied by two brilliant goals.Fiamenyo struck first in the 25th minute to give his side the opener when he headed home a beautiful cross from winger Ernest Owusu Bempah. The marauding attacker then increased his tally to two in the 41st minute after fellow striker Otoo skillfully dribbled past a defender in the goal area and passed it on to Fiamenyo who slotted past Chelsagoalkeeper Michael Osei.The striker could have scored a hat-trick from another chance, but his feeble shot was saved by goalkeeper Osei as Chelsea looked shocked by the fantastic display of the Phobians.Back from recess, the visitors tried to take the game to the Phobians but defenders Tetteh Luggard, Robin Gnagne, Moro Abubakar and Nuru Sulley stood tall and frustrated the visitors.Hearts regained control and were further boosted in the 57th minute when Chelsea’s Wilson Akakpo was shown the exit after a reckless tackle on winger Thomas Abbey for a second bookable offence.However, striker Abdul Basit of Chelsea still looked hungry for goals as he hit the post of the Phobians twice, the first a powerful shot that hit the bar in the 67th minute, and the second in the 80th minute when he dribbled past goalkeeper Tetteh Luggard but saw his shot hit the post again with only the net at his mercy. In the 84th minute, a goal-mouth scramble in the visitor’s area saw Mahatma Otoo’s cheeky tap drop in the net to increase Hearts tally to three without reply.last_img read more

Faris Handzic: I will try to Show my Best in Westerlo

first_imgA 19 year-old BH football player, Faris Handzic, recently left FK Sarajevo and signed for Beligan Westerlo. Speedy and skilled young player didn’t have a significant playing time on Kosevo, due to which he decided to change the club. His goal is to show his best in Westerlo and to deserve an invitation to U21 National team of BiH.“Sarajevo offered me contract extension, which was correct, but I want to play and I think that it is time to change my environment, I had a few offers from BiH, as well as from Slovakia and Hungary. I had a contact with all of them, but I didn’t enter into the specific negotiations“, said Handzic.Contact with the leaders of Westerlo started with the former BH national team player, Adnan Mravac, after which the cooperation had been agreed.“Former BH national team player Adnan Mravac have been watching me on one tournament and mediated in my contact with the people from Westerlo. They offered me a cooperation and we have agreed very quickly. I signed a contract for a year and half with the option of extension to two more years. I am very satisfied with the conditions“, said now former player of FC Sarajevo.(Source: klix.ba)last_img read more