OAKLAND — The Oakland A’s ranked 24th out of 30 teams in average attendance this season, but as the club prepares to host the American League Wild Card Game on Wednesday, it’s touting a unique home-field advantage that few, if any franchises can match.The A’s sold an average of 20,521 tickets for their 81 regular season home games, but fans have already purchased more than 50,000 tickets for Wednesday’s playoff matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays.“It’s big for our fans to see this caliber of …
8 July 2013The Proteas’ 2013/14 home schedule, released by Cricket South Africa on Monday, includes highly anticipated test series against India and Australia, backed up by seven one-day and five T20 international matches.The Proteas, ranked number one in the world test ranking, will play three tests against both countries. India occupies second place in the ICC test rankings, while Australia is in fourth.The Indians last toured South Africa in 2006/07 and convincingly won the first test by 123 runs in Johannesburg, after dismissing the Proteas for only 84 in their first innings. South Africa, though, fought back to win the second test by 174 runs and clinched a 2-1 series win with a five-wicket victory in the third and deciding test.Philander’s debutAustralia last visit to South Africa was in the 2011/12 season, when they played only two tests. The Proteas scored a resounding eight-wicket victory in the first test, despite making only 96 in their first innings, after debutant Vernon Philander knocked over 5 for 15 in the Australians’ second innings of just 47 all out.Australia, however, shared the series’ spoils after a tense two-wicket win at The Wanderers in the second test.There will be seven one-day internationals played against India, which recently won the ICC Champions Trophy, and is ranked number one in the 50-overs format. South Africa is ranked fourth.Five T20 internationals are on the cards for the sixth-ranked Proteas, two of them against the world number three Indians and three against Australia, who are ranked one place below South Africa.Indian tourIndia’s tour kicks off on 18 November with a match against a South African Invitation XI in Potchefstoom. It runs through until the third test match, which will be played in Johannesburg from 15 to 19 January.Australia’s tour starts shortly after that on 5 February in the same manner as India’s tour, with a game against a South African Invitation XI at Senwes Park. It ends on 14 March with a T20 international at Centurion.Commenting on the schedule, CSA Acting CEO Naasei Appiah said on the CSA website: “It promises to be a wonderful summer of hotly contested international cricket.“India are the current undisputed champions of 50 overs cricket and it was not that long ago that they briefly held the number one ranking in test cricket as well.Sachin Tendulkar“The Indian players have always been very popular in South Africa and their maestro, Sachin Tendulkar, has currently played a world record 198 test matches. It would be wonderful for his 200th test match to be in front of a packed New Year’s crowd at Sahara Park Newlands.“The last time he played a test match there, his battle with Dale Steyn thrilled a global audience.”Looking at the series against Australia, Appiah said: “Any series between Australia and South Africa in any sporting code always promises a spectacle of note and a contest worthy of some of sport’s most famous moments. Australia will be battle-hardened after successive home and away Ashes series against England.“The three KFC T20 International matches at the end of the tour will provide perfect preparation for both sides for next year’s ICC World Twenty20.”Details of the ticket sales have not yet been announced.TOUR SCHEDULESIndia Tour 18 Nov: T20: India v SA Invitation XI, Potchefstroom21 Nov: 1st T20 International, Johannesburg (Day/Night)24 Nov: 2nd T20 International, Cape Town (Day)27 Nov: 1st ODI, Durban (Day/Night)30 Nov: 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth (Day)3 Dec: 3rd ODI, East London (Day/Night)6 Dec: 4th ODI, Centurion (Day/Night)8 Dec: 5th ODI, Johannesburg (Day)12 Dec: 6th ODI, Bloemfontein (Day/Night)15 Dec: 7th ODI, Cape Town (Day)18-19 Dec: India v SA Invitation XI, Paarl22-23 Dec: India v SA Invitation XI, Pietermaritzburg26-30 Dec: 1st test, Durban2-6 Jan: 2nd test, Cape Town15-19 Jan: 3rd test, Johannesburg Australia Tour 5-8 Feb: Australia v SA Invitation XI, Potchefstroom12-16 Feb: 1st test, Centurion20-24 Feb: 2nd test match, Port Elizabeth1-5 Mar: 3rd test match, Cape Town9 Mar: 1st T20 International, Port Elizabeth (Day)12 Mar: 2nd T20 International, Durban (Day/Night)14 Mar: 3rd KFC T20 International, Centurion (Day/Night)
London, Jun 23 (PTI) Indian womens cricket team skipper Mithali Raj feels they should not be compared to their male counterparts and laments the lack of recognition despite representing a country where the sport reigns supreme. The veteran player came up with a snappy response when asked who her favourite mens cricketer was between India and Pakistan. “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is?” she said to the scribe in question. “I have always been asked whos your favourite cricketer but you should ask them who their favourite female cricketer is.” Raj was attending the opening dinner and media roundtable event on the eve of the Womens World Cup. Raj pointed out that the Indian women do not receive the same amount of publicity as the men. “Theres a lot of difference because we are not a regular on television. Now the BCCI has made an effort that the last two home series have been televised and social media has improved a lot of it but there is a still a lot of catch-up to do in terms of recognition,” she said. Raj said the team has benefitted under the guidance of coach Tushar Arothe. “Mens cricket sets the bar. We are always trying to reach where they set the standard. All of us follow mens cricket because we want at some point that womens cricket would be up there,” she said. “All of us at some point have been coached by a male cricketer. I strongly believe that they get a lot of intensity into the training sessions. They are very hard taskmasters. “I believe that if you are representing your country, your country should get the best of the best. Its nothing to do with women coaches (who) dont have the ability.” PTI AH AHadvertisement
Brad Paisley joined President Obama for a surprise trip to Afghanistan in the weekend to thank American troops and civilians stationed at Bagram Air Base for their service.Brad Paisley Performs In AfghanistanCredit/Copyright: Pete Souza, The White House via BradPaisley.comBrad played an hour-long acoustic set for the 3000 people at Bagram, before President Obama gave his address to the troops.“Tomorrow is Memorial Day,” said Obama. “At bases here in Afghanistan and towns across America, we will pause and we’ll pay tribute to all those who’ve laid down their lives for our freedom. And that includes nearly 2,200 American patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice, that last, full measure of devotion, right here in Afghanistan. I know you’ve stood in front of those battle crosses. I know many of you carry the memories of your fallen comrades in your heart today. We will honor every single one of them — not just tomorrow, but forever.“I thank you as your Commander-in-Chief because you inspire me. Your willingness to serve, to step forward at a time of war, and say ‘send me,’ is the reason the United States stays strong and free. Of all the honors that I have serving as President, nothing matches serving as your Commander-in-Chief.”Read the full speech here.