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Sports News on February 17, 2011

PM wishes Dhoni's men for 2011 World Cup
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Thursday conveyed his best wishes to the Indian Cricket team hoping that they perform extremely well in the 2011 World Cup. ANI

2011 World Cup kicks off in Dhaka with Bangladesh's national anthem
The spectacular opening ceremony of the 2011 World Cup began at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Thursday evening with Bangladesh's national anthem-'Amar Shonar Bangla', a song written and composed by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. ANI

Side playing consistently well over next six weeks will win World Cup: Dhoni
Indian captain M.S. Dhoni on Thursday said that the World Cup, which starts on Saturday, would be a closely contested tournament between the 14 participating countries. ANI

Krejza's place in final Oz XI as only spinner under threat from better batting part-timers
Australia's frontline spinner Jason Krejza's place in the team's final XI is under threat after taking 1-56 and 0-46 in warm-up matches against India and South Africa in Bangalore. ANI

Tony Parker spends Valentine's Day with NY brunette
Eva Longoria's ex-husband Tony Parker was apparently spotted canoodling with a brunette on Valentine's Day at Tao on East 58th Street, New York. ANI

Team India leaves for Bangladesh for World Cup opening ceremony
The Indian cricket team has left here for Dhaka for the opening ceremony of the ICC World Cup 2011 on Thursday ANI

Redknapp blames AC Milan skipper Gattuso of using racism card to justify head butt
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has blasted claims that his deputy Joe Jordan made a racist attack on AC Milan skipper Gennaro Gattuso, sparking a bitter touchline bust-up in the San Siro. ANI

Wenger says gamble on Arshavin paid off in amazing style in historic defeat of Barca
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said that his massive gamble on Andrey Arshavin paid off in amazing style, as they beat Barcelona 2-1 in their first leg of Champions League encounter. ANI

Man U striker Owen's injury curse strikes again
Manchester United striker Michael Owen is likely to be sidelined due to injury after damaging his groin in training. ANI

Hamilton's disabled brother to hit racetrack as inspiration for other 'challenged people'
Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton's disabled younger brother is all set to take to the racetrack. ANI

Pietersen to use 'game-changing Switch Hit' shot to surprise World Cup opponents
England batsman Kevin Pietersen has said that he would use unorthodox shots, particularly his 'Switch Hit', to challenge traditional field-setting during the World Cup, which gets underway on Saturday. ANI

Sangakkara warns team not to fall prey to 'biggest fear of losing at home'
Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has urged his teammates to not fall prey to the fear of defeat in front of the home crowds when their World Cup campaign gets under way on Sunday. ANI

Umpire Decision Review System set to make World Cup debut
The Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) is all set to make its debut in the World Cup in the Indian subcontinent, International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat has said. ANI

Akhtar, Akmal dope-tested ahead of ICC World Cup 2011
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal were amongst the first players to be taken for random dope testing ahead of the ICC World Cup 2011, according to a source. ANI

Hussey will be missed, but selectors made correct decision: Border
The Rock of the Australian team, Mike Hussey, will be missed during the World Cup, but selectors made the correct decision by not picking the injured batsman in their 15-man squad, according to former skipper Allan Border. ANI

Chelsea owner Abramovich's wealth declaration reveals his billions from business
Chelsea owner and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich owns 16 homes, seven cars, 22 bank accounts, six companies, one football club, and earned three billion pounds last year, according to a wealth declaration released under his country's election law. ANI

Australian cricket on brink of West Indies-style collapse: Rixon
Former wicketkeeper Steve Rixon fears that Australian cricket is on the brink of a West Indies-style collapse unless Cricket Australia takes tough decisions on key issues confronting the national team. ANI

Taylor keeps faith in Black Caps' World Cup campaign despite warm-up defeat to India
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has said that despite the heavy defeat in the warm-up game against India, his team was capable of progressing deep into the World Cup. ANI

O'Donnell backs Aussies to make strong comeback in World Cup
Ex Australian all-rounder Simon O'Donnell believes that the Australian team would still be a force in the World Cup despite losing their two warm-up games. ANI

McCullum says New Zealand have forgotten how to win
New Zealand all-rounder Brendon McCullum has admitted that a confidence crisis is dogging his team ahead of their World Cup campaign. ANI

Waugh predicts England will exit early from World Cup
After successfully defending the Ashes on Australian soil, England faces a difficult task to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup, according to former opener Mark Waugh. ANI

Mohd. Akram backs India, Sri Lanka as favourites to bag World Cup 2011 glory
Former Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Akram has tipped India and Sri Lanka as the topmost contenders to lift the coveted ICC World Cup 2011 trophy. ANI

Ponting 'selfish' in batting at No.3 in World Cup warm-up game against Proteas: Hogg
Australian captain Ricky Ponting was "selfish" in batting at No.3 when his struggling middle-order needed runs in the World Cup warm-up game against South Africa, according to former Australian fast bowler Rodney Hogg. ANI

Pietersen relishing new role as opener in England's World Cup crusade
Kevin Pietersen, who was promoted to the top of the order during the warm-up game against Canada, remains upbeat despite making a meager 24 run as an opener. ANI

Clarke says World Cup warm-up games more about 'giving blokes an opportunity'
Australia has been playing anything like the defending World Cup champions since they arrived in India, but vice-captain Michael Clarke claims that the two warm-up games have been a "good hitout". ANI

Butt's TV commentator job may be 'breach of ICC suspended sentence terms'
The International Cricket Council has "expressed disappointment" over the hiring of disgraced Pakistani cricketer Salman Butt by a local TV channel, and has asked the Anti-Corruption Tribunal whether this could be "viewed as a breach against the terms of his suspended sentence" in the spot-fixing case. ANI

'Cat-with-nine-lives' Swann cleared of drink-driving charge on legal technality
England off-spinner Graeme Swann has been cleared of a drink-driving case involving a late-night bid to rescue a trapped cat. ANI

Lance Armstrong retires from professional cycling
American road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong, who is best known for winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times after having survived testicular cancer, has announced his retirement. ANI

Porn star calls Hurley a mug for expecting fairytale romance with Warne
A p*rn star who claimed she bedded Shane Warne in September 2010 - at the same time he was wooing current flame Elizabeth Hurley - has said that the British actress was deluded if she thought she could tame bad-boy Warne. ANI

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