Nadal and Gasol campaign for COVID-19 response donations in Spain

Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol have launched a campaign to encourage donations in the hope of raising 11 million euros ($12.1 million) to help Spain fight the coronavirus.

The tennis and basketball stars said in videos posted on social media that they are supporting a Red Cross fundraising effort to help with the public health crisis.

Nadal and Gasol say they have made donations and urged others to follow their lead. Former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas quickly said he would pitch in.

Nadal says “I believe that we are who we are in large part thanks to your support and now we have to be there for you.”

Spain has 56,188 infections and more than 4,000 fatalities from the virus.

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The complete batsman – From AB de Villiers’ footwork to Kane Williamson’s balance

Cricket has always had an inherent bias towards batsmen. While it is very much an equal game between bat and ball, it is batsmen who have more often than not managed to capture the imagination of the masses.

Be it Sir Don Bradman, Sir Viv Richards or the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, those who wield the willow have always enjoyed far greater adulation compared to their bowling counterparts.

As the cliché goes, batting is an artform in which the batsman grips his bat like a paintbrush. With the entire cricket field a blank canvas, the batsman paints his masterpiece through the form of varied and elegant strokes.

What does make a complete or perfect batsman though? With an array of orthodox and unorthodox shots available, it is hard to settle on a unanimous answer to this question. Every batsman, including the greats, has his respective strengths and it is hard for anyone to achieve fluency in every single aspect of batsmanship.

Some batsmen are particularly strong on one side of the pitch, while others have a more all-round game. Some are particularly effective against spin, while others are more comfortable against pace. Batsmen who excel in subcontinental conditions might struggle in the swinging conditions of England, New Zealand and South Africa. Similarly, batsmen at their best against swing might have their troubles on Australian wickets which have more bounce.

Very few, if any, batsman can lay claim to have all the shots in the book while being adept at facing all kinds of bowling attacks in varied conditions. In recent memory, it is South Africa’s AB de Villiers who comes closest to this with his ‘360 degree’ strokeplay.

While it is near impossible to define what a complete batsman is, we have attempted to create the nearest version. To do this,

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Italian football chief ready to finish season in August

Prsident of the Italian Football Federation, Gabriele Gravina (3rdR) poses with schoolchildren Adam (L), Ramy Shehata (2ndL) and two others who helped police after being taken hostage during a March 20, 2019 school bus attack, prior to the Euro 2020 Group J qualifying football match Italy vs Liechtenstein on March 26, 2019 at the Ennio-Tardini stadium in Parma. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

Italian football federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina said Wednesday he was determined that the Serie A season would be concluded even going into August.

All sport in Italy has been suspended until April 3 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which has forced the postponement of Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics.

“We will do everything to complete the championships, if necessary we will ask for the support of UEFA and FIFA to go beyond June 30 and play also in July or August,” Gravina told Radio Marte.

“It’s premature to think of a date, but we must think positively, also for the health of Italians and hope that this situation will end as soon as possible.”

The FIGC chief had last week expressed his hope that the championship could resume on the weekend of May 2.

A meeting is scheduled Thursday between the representatives of the Italian league, FIGC, the players’ union, coaches and the government to evaluate the future.

“There are many issues,” said Gravina.

As for the suspended championship, Gravina rejected either cancelling or assigning the title as the table stands where champions Juventus were leading by a point when the season was halted.

“This would lead to an unpleasant scenario. As long as possible, I will continue to reject these options.”

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