Youngsters in the UAE get a free batting masterclass from former Windies coach Toby Radford

As far as seasoned coaches on the cricket circuit go, there aren’t many who boast a resume as impressive as that of Toby Radford. The former Middlesex batsman has held the assistant and batting coach positions for the West Indies among others in an extensive coaching career stretching to nearly two decades so far.

While he has also donned the head coach hat for Middlesex and Glamorgan, the crowning achievement of Radford’s coaching career remains West Indies’ triumph in the 2012 T20I World Cup. More recently in 2019, he was part of the Windies coaching staff during the side’s memorable Test series triumph over England in the Caribbean.

Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran and England’s Alex Hales are just some of the star names that have benefitted from Glamorgan native Radford’s guidance as a coach. Now, it is the turn of several youngsters in the UAE to make the most of Radford’s wisdom through a series of webinars being offered by Zurich International Life Limited in the Middle East.

With Radford on board, these free of cost webinars offer an enriching opportunity to cricket enthusiasts aged between 12 and 19.  The hour-long sessions being held on a weekly basis are allowing budding cricketers from the UAE to hone their batting skills under the direct supervision of Radford.

Being held via video conferencing tools such as Zoom, the batting masterclass sees Radford bring the best of his batting coach expertise to the table. The junior cricketers are being given a chance to gain an insight into the makings of a successful batsman from Radford and the rest of the coaching staff.

With an emphasis on the fundamentals of batting, the masterclass goes a step further by stressing on the importance of individual styles and differences. Radford imparts this lesson by

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Champions League return gives platform for Man U’s rebuild

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s third goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Thursday, July 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Shaun Botterill,Pool)

Manchester United’s return to the Champions League is a significant milestone as the Red Devils seek to close the gap to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in the battle for Premier League supremacy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men held their nerve on a final-day shootout for a place in the top four, winning 2-0 at Leicester to complete a 14-game unbeaten run in the league and end the season best of the rest in third place.

“Liverpool and City have been running away with it in the last couple of seasons so to get third is a massive achievement for the team,” said Solskjaer.

A huge 33-point gap to champions Liverpool shows the strides they still have to make to become title contenders again, but since the January signing of Bruno Fernandes transformed the mood and results at Old Trafford, no team in the Premier League has won more points.

“Bringing Bruno in, in January, has made a big difference,” said Harry Maguire, who cost United a world record £80 million ($103 million) for a defender at the start of the season.

“To finish third in the Premier League should be a minimum requirement from this club, but next season we have to keep improving and building.”

A third-place finish should buy Solskjaer time that did not look likely when Old Trafford turned on the team during a miserable 2-0 home defeat to Burnley in January.

The Norwegian has already proved himself adept at building a counter-attacking team capable of upsetting the odds. United have beaten both Chelsea and City three

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PBA, pro teams cleared to practice as order finally released

FILE – Barangay Ginebra holds practice session at Upper Deck on February 19, 2020. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ joint administrative order (JAO) allowing a handful of sports, including professional basketball and football to formally return to training, has been released Monday afternoon.

“This order aims to provide guidance for the conduct of exercise, sports and other forms of health-enhancing physical activities as well as play-for-pay physical sports activities for the duration of the Covid-19 response,” read the order, which takes effect immediately.

The JAO was signed by the Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusements Board, and the Department of Health.

“We are so happy and excited that finally after more than four months our professional football and basketball players can now shake off some pounds they may have acquired during the quarantine,” said GAB chair Abraham Mitra in a statement.

“We expect them to practice maybe for a month or two to be match fit and hopefully when quarantine levels go down, they may be allowed to eventually play,” he added.

The PBA initially eyed July 22 for its return to modified workouts, but encountered delays as the order, Mitra believed, was still undergoing examination by the DOH’s legal team.

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