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Friday, December 2, 2011

Pakistan to take on England on opening day of Champions Trophy 2011

Karachi- Routers, Pakistan hockey team is going to face England in opening match of Hockey Champions Trophy 2011 here on Saturday.The winner of that match's opportunity to go for next round will be bright.
 In the eight-nation hockey tournament, Pakistan has been placed in Pool A along with Australia, England and Spain while Pool B comprises Germany, Holland, South Korea and New Zealand.
Pakistan has won Champions trophy 3 times.6 times as runner up, 6 times at 3rd place & 7 times at 4th place.
Defending Champion Australia has won this trophy 11 times.10 times as runner up,4 times at 3rd place and 3 times on 4th place.

Never scared from any one- I 've fearless blood in my body- Amir Khan

An Interview by Usama Abbasi

Five minutes' walk from the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, where Amir Khan is honing his skills for his latest fight, is the apartment block where he spends six months of the year. It is late afternoon and we are sitting next to the swimming-pool, where Khan is about to feast on chicken and rice. It has been another exhausting day. It began with a dawn run on the beach at Santa Monica, followed by rigorous, strength-sapping sprints up and down wooden steps where the coast road meets a raised cliff. 'There are 256 going up and on another flight there are 156 going down,' he says with a grin. 'The most I have done is 10 sets.'
The two-hour sessions are designed to build strength and stamina in his legs. Then, after a high-protein breakfast and a few rounds on the Xbox (fighting games), he has a 90-minute siesta before heading to the Wild Card for a further two hours of stretching, sparring and gym work. The routine runs like clockwork, six days a week, so that Khan is in peak condition for his world-title encounter next Saturday with Lamont Peterson. The fight, in his opponent's hometown of Washington, DC, is Khan's fourth in the US and the sixth defence of his WBA world light welterweight title. It is also the first defence of the IBF world title he won in July in a unification fight with Zab Judah.
Poolside, Khan exudes a relaxed air. 'You have to be confident when you've got someone in front of you who wants to beat you and take the title from you. But I think people mistake my confidence for arrogance or cockiness,' he says. 'I know what physical tools I have, I know what I can do. So I don't have to prove anything. The thing is, I'm never scared. It's just in the blood, really. My family come from a warrior clan background, the Rajput tribe from the Punjab, and that could be one of the reasons. Going into fights just seems normal to me.'
Khan's grandfather, Lall, came to Britain in the late 1960s, like many Pakistanis. The family were landowners from Rawalpindi; grandfather Khan saw the opportunity of a better future for his family in Britain and set up home in Halliwell, Greater Manchester, later bringing his wife, Iqbal Begum, and two sons over. Amir's father, Shah, was seven years old at the time. Lall got a job in a cotton factory, working his way up to manager. Shah trained as a mechanic, set up his own garage, and then had a scrapyard. He now oversees Amir's career full-time.
'We are all hard workers,' Khan says. 'It's in the genes. We're not ones to just sit there and chill. Once I've had a rest in between fights, I have to go back into the gym. I've got to be doing something with my life. My coach has to get me to slow down sometimes.'
The young Amir was a hyperactive child. 'I was never scared of anything, even then. I was always misbehaving, testing myself.' In other words, he was constantly getting into fights, not because he was a troublemaker but because he had no qualms about taking anyone on, no matter how big they were. He was eight when his father took him to an amateur boxing club in Halliwell and placed him under the tutelage of a local coach, Tommy Battle. 'It was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me,' Khan says. 'I loved it straight away.' He had found his niche. Three English schoolboy titles and three junior national amateur titles followed. In 2003, aged 16, he won a gold medal at the Junior Olympics in Detroit, followed by another gold at the Junior World Championships in Korea the year after.
While he was recognised as an exceptional young talent, many felt that the senior Olympics in 2004 was too soon for him. Some selectors didn't want him to go. After much debate, and while still a student at Bolton Technical College, he joined the squad for Athens, the youngest man to represent Great Britain at boxing for 30 years. He won Britain's only boxing medal of the Games. Khan's performances, which included beating the European champion and stopping two of his opponents within the distance, made him a star both in Greece (where a crowd of British supporters, including medal winners such as Matthew Pinsent, cheered him on) and back home. By the time he reached the final of the lightweight competition, against the reigning champion Mario Kindelan, from Cuba, regarded as the world's best pound-for-pound amateur, many felt Khan would win. In the end he had to settle for silver. Photographs of his father, Shah, dressed in a Union flag waistcoat, and his uncle Terry, also draped in the flag, became some of the most memorable images of those Games. 'Everyone in Britain suddenly knew me,' Khan says. 'I couldn't walk down the street without being stopped all the time, or people asking for my autograph. Until then I'd never signed an autograph in my life.
'At the press conference at Heathrow I was put on the top table with Kelly Holmes, Matt Pinsent and Steve Redgrave. It just hit me. I was thinking, "I hope they don't ask me a question." And of course who was asked the first question? Me.'
Two more amateur fights followed in 2005 – in the second of which he took his revenge on Kindelan, beating him in Bolton. Although he had said after his Olympic success that 'I want to stay amateur until I'm 22', the lure of the professional sport proved irresistible. He signed with the promoter Frank Warren in July 2005, aged 18, to great fanfare in the sporting media. Warren added to the hype, declaring Khan to be the most talented boxer he had ever worked with. Though he was still learning his trade, Khan's early fights were heavily scrutinised. His progress was steady, but he was under pressure to perform every time.
In 2008 he suffered his first (and so far only) professional defeat, a first-round knockout by Colombia's Breidis Prescott. Tean Khan acted swiftly and installed the esteemed trainer Freddie Roach, who has trained more than 20 world champions, including Mike Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao, currently regarded as the world's number-one boxer, the only man ever to win world titles in eight weight divisions. Pacquiao has become Khan's friend and mentor. Roach calls Khan 'the sponge' because he is so keen to learn. 'He is a deeply committed student, but great fun to be around, too,' Roach says. 'I have two great students in Amir and Manny. It has taken years for Manny to become the complete fighter, and Amir could go on to become the best boxer in the world. What he has is speed, and speed kills.'
Khan's workload is overseen by Alex Ariza, the lead strength and conditioning coach at the Wild Card Gym, located in a shopping plaza on Vine Street, on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard. Ariza is a tough taskmaster. 'My aim has always been to push Amir to the limit,' Ariza says. 'That is why I get him to start his training at five each morning, whether it is sprint sessions on the track at UCLA, running the steps at Santa Monica beach or swimming in freezing cold water in the sea.
'Amir has an amazing resistance to pain, and his mind is so strong in that respect. He's also ultra-competitive and is constantly testing himself against what Manny Pacquiao can do. What Manny does, Amir wants to do better. It's a great attitude to have. I want him to experience more pain in training than he would ever feel in a fight.'
Khan's family are closely involved with his career, though not with the technical business of training and fighting. 'I prefer it that way, and Freddie likes it,' Khan says. 'There are a lot of fighters with no family support, but your family are honest with you. Look at the types who were around Mike Tyson. They are not going to tell you when you are wrong, they'll just call you the champ.'
In many respects Khan does not fit the mould of the desperate fighter escaping poverty, or brought up on the wrong side of the tracks. The family were comfortably middle-class, and Khan remembers them moving to a 'nice posh area' when he was young. Though he spends half the year in America these days, he is proud of his Lancashire roots. When in Britain, he still lives in Bolton, across the road from his mother and father, his brother and two sisters, and sometimes helps out at his uncle and aunt's curry house.
'I grew up in a loving household,' he says. 'I was looked after and I was the favourite child in many ways. My mum is very caring. I was a mummy's boy; I still am. My mum still gets rid of the spiders off my walls. She comes over, picks them up and chucks them outside. There may be one in my bedroom, and I'll never sleep.
'My mum worries about me every time I fight,' he adds. 'She can't watch me fight any more. She came to some of the early fights, but when she started seeing blood and stuff, she said, "Forget this". She won't even watch at home. Mum came out to Vegas for my last fight in July, but she stayed in the hotel. She just prays.'
When in 2009 Khan won his first world title, the WBA light welterweight belt, against the Ukrainian Andriy Kotelnyk, his mother urged him to retire. 'Mum said to me, "You've got your world title, so isn't it time to retire now?" My sisters, Tabinda and Mariyah, come to the fights, and I can see them all praying at ringside. They get very nervous and I don't like putting them through that, but it's just one of those things. I tell them to stay at home, but they want to be there for me.'
Khan recently announced his engagement to Faryal Makhdoom, 20, a student from New York. If they have children, would Khan like his own son to box? 'No way,' he says.
'I won't let him do it. My kids will never, ever box. Ever. I know how hard it is, that's why I never want to put my kids through what I go through. Not boxing, anything but boxing. That's the rule.'
So far Khan has hardly put a foot wrong inside or outside the ring. Still only 24, he has amassed career earnings of some £20 million, and as long as he keeps winning he is two fights away from mega-paydays. He has won 26 pro fights, 18 by knockout. His all-action, TV-friendly style makes him a fans' favourite. As his profile grows in the US, the next 12 months could see him step up a weight division to fight Floyd Mayweather, for which he could earn £10 million.
'I haven't done too badly, but it's been a tough journey,' he says. 'I've achieved some of my goals and dreams. I'm fighting in America, I'm fighting big names, and there will be bigger fights for me in the future. I have two world title belts now, and I know that if I get through this contest against Lamont Peterson, it will take me to a better level, to a tougher fight, to a better fight. I know I have critics, people who probably hate me or people who talk bad about me. It's great to prove them all wrong.'
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Khan's US promoters, believes that 'Amir is truly on course to be a great fighter. He has everything: charm, good looks, he's a great athlete, and an ambassador for boxing and Britain.'
For Khan, success is satisfying but not surprising. 'It's brilliant to be where I am, but I never have to pinch myself. I knew these times would come. I knew that one day I'd be a famous world champion, have a nice car, a nice house. My ultimate goal is to be considered the number one pound-for-pound fighter, move up a weight division and win as many world titles as I can. I've always said I've got three big years left in this sport. I want to maximise my time and fight the best people.'
So will he, as has been suggested, step into the ring with his friend Manny Pacquiao? 'I don't think we have to fight each other,' he says. 'I'd never put Freddie in that position, because I know Freddie likes me, and he loves Manny. We're a team, and why would we split the team?'
His profile in America has now extended far beyond boxing circles. Earlier this year he was invited by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to dinner at the White House as part of a reception for Muslim athletes. 'It was a little bit nerve-racking because I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if they would ask me questions about religion and stuff, and I wanted to stay away from that part, but I thought I'd go there as a British Muslim sportsman. I had a conversation with Hillary Clinton and she was well cool. She wished me all the best in my career. I felt touched.'
Since Athens, part of Khan's appeal is that he has been seen as a standard-bearer for multicultural Britain. 'I can remember walking out of the airport [on returning from Athens] and there were a lot of British Muslims there. At that time British Muslims didn't have anyone to look up to. I want to be seen as a positive face, as a Muslim and as a role model to young British kids. They see me as a positive person, they want to follow in my footsteps and do what I'm doing, especially with all the bad stuff going on around the world.'
Khan goes to mosque every week, even if it's a fight week. He still fasts during Ramadan and has been to Mecca for the Hajj. In a business dominated by cold, hard money, he has maintained his ethical and moral standards. 'We've had a lot of offers to do ads for alcohol and for casinos, but I've turned them all down. Not everything is about money. It's about keeping respect and pride, and my religion is very important to me.'
Khan talks a lot about using his position 'to give something back'. After the 2005 Kashmir earthquake he visited Pakistan to hand out food parcels to displaced children. His former coach, Tommy Battle, now runs the Gloves Community Gym, a converted warehouse in Bolton in which Khan invested £800,000. Local boys pay between 50p and £1 to use the facilities, and the club has already nurtured junior champions. 'Naughty kids come in to do some training. We give them discipline,' Khan says. On a grander scale, he says he wants to start his own charitable foundation.
Khan's level-headedness is refreshing in a world of giant egos, big talkers and cod-philosophers. Inside the ring, he says his secret is that he does not allow himself to think too deeply about fighting. 'I just let it happen. When I go into the ring I don't think too hard or too deep, I just sit there before I go into a fight and go through everything Freddie has told me in my mind, quickly – work on my jab, my left hook, watch my opponent's right, be careful not to get trapped on the ropes. As soon as I step inside the ring, everything comes naturally, it's like a dream. Before you know it, it's over, and that is why I like watching my fights over again, because half the time I've forgotten what I did. It's like after you drive a car: you don't remember changing gears, you just do it all without thinking about it.'

Bell, Marlins agree to $27 million deal -NC TIMES

Closer Heath Bell has reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Miami Marlins. Associated Press file photo

MIAMI — All-Star closer Heath Bell has agreed to a $27 million, three-year contract with the Miami Marlins, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press
The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced. The agreement, which is subject to a physical, is the first free-agent deal for the Marlins since they began courtships last month with several top players. The deal was first reported by ESPN.
Bell had more than 40 saves each of the past three seasons for the Padres. This year he had 43 in 48 chances with a 2.44 ERA.
The Marlins are uncertain of the availability of their closer this year, Leo Nunez. He's on the restricted list after he admitted to playing under an assumed name.
Nunez, whose real name is Juan Oviedo, had 36 saves in 42 chances this year with a 4.06 ERA.
The Marlins' move into a new ballpark next year has improved their financial outlook, allowing them to become more active in free agency. They've courted slugger Albert Pujols, shortstop Jose Reyes and left-handers Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson, and they're interested in Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes.
Pujols remains a long shot, but the Marlins have high hopes of signing at least a couple of the others as they prepare to move into a new ballpark.
Bell was an All-Star for the third consecutive season this year, and made his appearance in the game memorable by sliding onto the infield grass before he took the ball to pitch. He'll be reunited in Miami with former Padres relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica, who joined the Marlins a year ago.

Dallas is going to set for Baseball World -Fox News

Stay prepared for a ton of baseball gossips, wild trade scenarios and free manager signings, because the giant schmooze fest known as Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings gets in progress next week at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. Unlike the snooze fest the meetings have been the last few years, this most recent edition of the get together facts to be action crowded as all of the major A- list free agents are still on the market.
The biggest fish, of course, still being Albert Pujols, who amazingly still has not been locked up long term by the St. Louis Cardinals. There is no way I see him leaving St. Louis, especially on the heels of a World Series title, but the longer this drags on it only keeps other teams involved. Not to mention opening the doors for teams you might not even be thinking of at the moment.
Miami made him an offer early on, but it was less than what he turned down last spring. Can the Cubs be players? Who knows? Reports this week linked them to Pujols, but that also may have been a well orchestrated leak from agent Dan Lozano to get the Cards moving.
Either way I can't imagine El Hombre leaving St. Louis for anyone, let alone the Cubs.
So, if Pujols reups with the Cardinals as most people expect look for the Cubs to then turn their attention to this winter's other big prize, Prince Fielder.
Like most of the free agent market thus far the Fielder talk has been surprisingly quiet, but that should change this week, as Seattle, Washington, Texas and Chicago are all expected to up their pursuit of the slugging first baseman.
The Nationals have supposedly made him their top priority this winter, but Texas continues to lurk in the shadows. Imagine him hitting in the middle of that order.
Will the big ticket items come off the board next week in Dallas? History tells us probably not, but there is one who could sign and that is shortstop Jose Reyes, who really hasn't gotten a lot of interest other than the Marlins.
Miami supposedly offered him a six-year, $90 million deal early on in the process but hasn't heard back. Other than that, though, there has surprisingly been next to no interest in the electric Reyes. The Marlins could be close to telling him to take it or leave it.
The Marlins will look to make a big splash this week. They have been the most active team here in the early going of the offseason, meeting with both Pujols and Reyes and signing closer Heath Bell on Thursday.
There also figures to be a ton of trade talk at next week's gathering, particularly in the starting pitching department. Atlanta is interested in moving Jair Jurrjens, Oakland will engage in some Gio Gonzalez talks, while the White Sox are dangling Jon Danks. The Cubs could also make Matt Garza available. Not bad options if teams don't want to pay the insane bounties C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle or seeking.
When it comes to the Winter Meetings, I have learned one very important thing: believe nothing. There are going to be a-million-and-one rumors over the next week, and chances are none of them will come true.