Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Join us for all the build-up and action as it happens from Italy’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as Roberto Mancini tries to set a new record. It kicks off in Zenica in 19.45 GMT and the Azzurri have already qualified, but want to maintain their 100 per cent record and ensure top seed status in the draw. If you are on a mobile device or tablet, then follow the Liveblog HERE. Mancini has already equalled Vittorio Pozzo’s record of nine consecutive victories, set in 1938-39, but can become the first ever Italy coach to win 10 in a row. The only previous games against Bosnia were a 2-1 defeat in Sarajevo in November 1996, with Enrico Chiesa on target, and the 2-1 comeback Italy win at the Juventus Stadium in June 2019.
Top international players have decided to skip the $150,000 Yonex-Sunrise Indian Open Grand Prix Championship beginning in Chennai on Tuesday, giving Indian shuttlers an opportunity to garner invaluable ranking points.The decision by top players to keep away from the five-day event was taken in view of two back-to-back Super Series events offering more prize money and ranking points just after the Chennai event, the organisers said.The absence of top players has come as a disappointment to the Tamil Nadu Badminton Association (TNBA) officials, who had put in strenuous efforts to find sponsors for the event.”When we bid for it, we were told that all top players will be competing. But the players have let us down. I have explained our dismay to Badminton Association of India (BAI) and it will definitely make amends in the future,” Ashok Bajaj, BAI vice-president and TNBA president, told reporters.The players have the choice of selecting events and some of the top stars would not be competing in the Singapore Super Series as they would be preparing for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championship in Paris later.The Indian Open, a Level-3 event, offers ranking points ranging from 25 (first round) to 5,000 (winner) as against 40 to 9,200 that a player receives in the $200,000 Super Series.However, the event has thrown open an opportunity for Indians to reap maximum ranking points. Ranking points for a second-round exit in the Super Series events are equivalent to semi-final defeat in the Indian Open.BAI officials said they have pinned their hopes on world number six Saina Nehwal and Chetan Anand, ranked 19th.advertisementAnand and Nehwal are top seeds in the men’s and women’s singles respectively while the three paired events have a diluted field with a sprinkling of foreign entries nut none in the top-10 category.Malaysia’s Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, who is seeded 21st for the Chennai Open, looks a strong contender in the 64-player men’s singles event. In the women’s singles, Malaysia’s Mew Choo Wong, ranked 22nd and the second seed, is tipped to be the finalist along with Nehwal.The events have presence of handful of players from Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt and Singapore, besides a 27-member strong Indian contingent. read more
Salman Khan is angry and this time it has nothing to do with Vivek Oberoi. The Bollywood superstar, famous for being politically incorrect, is irked by the current state of affairs in the country.The 44-year-old star, who plays a corrupt cop in Abhinav Singh Kashyap’s upcoming film Dabanng expressed his displeasure on the micro-blogging website Twitter.”Whts India? Nation whr Pizza rchs home Faster thn Ambulance & Police…Whr u get Car Loan @ 5 percent bt Edu Loan @12 percent(sic!). Whr Rice is Rs 40 bt Sim card is free…Whr ppl worship Goddess Durga bt wnt to kill their girl child,” Salman wrote in a post.”Olympic shooter wins gold, govt gives 3 crore. Another shooter dies fighting with terrorist, govt pays 1 lakh. Really, Incredible India,” he added.However, the actor later clarified that the views expressed are messages he has recived which he forwarded through tweets. “The earlier twts r sms thtve been floating ard. I thot I shud shar it wit u guys!(sic)’,” Salman wrote on his page. read more
Pune FC brought out their best when they needed it the most, to cruise past Air India 2-1 and seal a semi-final berth in the Durand Cup on Monday.Having conceded a goal early on, not many expected Pune – who are fielding seven under-23 players – to win but they put up a great counter-attack to proceed to the next round.They will now take on Prayag United in the final four stage.In Monday’s other match, 10-man Mohammedan Sporting had a mountain to climb to surpass the challenge of the muchstronger Churchill Brothers, but fate failed them as they went down 0- 2, despite creating many more chances. Churchill will face Shillong Lajong in the semi-finals.Pune, whose key players have been rested ahead of the I-League, conceded early in the first half when Air India’s Sandesh Gadkari scored from a header off a Napoleon Singh corner in the eighth minute.Henri Ezeh led the charge for Air India, breaching the Pune defence time- and- again, and came closest to scoring the second for his team in the 40th minute when his powerful right-footer found the goalkeeper.The Air India players however could not take advantage of the rebound.Pune FC came back a much better side in the second half, mostly relying on counter-attacks. However, Ezeh came close again when his right footer in the 50th minute hit the crosspiece.Under such heavy pressure from Air India, Pune equalised against the run of play in the 75th minute when Lester Fernandes gave a through pass from the midfield to Paresh Shivalkar, who was lurking in the box. Shivalkar made no mistake to tap in the goal.advertisementEight minutes later, Pune got the winner with Rollingson Hungyo putting his name on the score- sheet. Lester Fernandes’s shot off Pear Douhou’s corner hit goalkeeper Pawan Kumar and fell to Hungyo, who was alert enough to score the rebound.Pune coach Derrick Perreira was happy that the bench players have proved their quality.”I’m satisfied with the way they came back into the match. Seven of the players are from our youth development, but still we are in the semi-finals,” he said.In Mohammedan’s match, the first shock for the Kolkata team came in the ninth minute when Mohammad Adeola Hassan brought down Churchill’s Bineesh Balan inside the box.Referee Arumuggan Rowan wasn’t hesitant in awarding a penalty. Roberto Silva made no mistake to give Churchill the lead.But further misery awaited Mohammedan as Sheikh Azim was sent off for arguing with the referee for awarding the penalty.Indeed, tempers were frayed throughout the match with as many as seven players seeing yellow cards.Mohammedan were able to thwart the advancing Henri Arnaud and Bineesh Balan thanks to Tapan Maity who held the left side tight. Roberto, who generally is the man behind Churchill’s moves, was marked well.Just ahead of half-time, Churchill had a chance but Roberto’s free- kick from the right of the box was headed outside by Lalrindika Ralte.Mohammedan returned with much determination in the second half, with lone striker Han Wook and midfielder Mohammad Muktar creating ripples in the Churchill defence.Muktar impressed with his crosses from the left. Had Mohammedan’s strikers been more accurate inside the box, the result would have been different.Churchill finally added one more in the 88th minute when Lalrindika’s left-footer off a cross from Arnaud found the back of the net.Churchill coach Manuel Gomes expressed his concern about the way his team played. “We did not play well. Though we won, we allowed them to attack so many times. In the next match we hope to play far better,” Gomes said.Wednesday’s match: First semifinal: Prayag United vs Pune FC (5.45pm) read more
The non-inclusion of Virender Sehwag in the team for Asia Cup took a curious turn on Thursday with a media report claiming that the opener had asked the BCCI for rest because of back spasms.”I have back spasms. I need some rest. I have never kept my team management in the dark as far as fitness is concerned. My injury is open for everyone to see,” Sehwag had told an Indian tabloid.However, this flies in the face of what the chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth said on Wednesday while announcing the team.Srikkanth said that Sehwag had been rested on fitness grounds and when a reporter followed up with some questions, the former India captain lost his cool, asking the scribe to “shut up”.If Sehwag had asked BCCI for rest, Srikkanth could easily have disclosed that to the media.Moreover, Srikkanth told a TV channel last night that Sehwag had a shoulder injury, while as the newspaper quotes the opening batsman as saying that he had “back spasms”.”I have never hidden my injury before, or fitness problems. Even my shoulder operation was planned after consulting the then coach Gary Kirsten and skipper MS Dhoni,” Sehwag said.The newspaper claimed that captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher told the selectors that Sehwag was seeking rest after a streneous tour of Australia.Later, Srikkanth called up Sehwag, who told him that he wanted rest but would be willing to tour Bangladesh if the selectors insisted. read more
Cyrus Poonawalla after a jaunt in his private Citation Excel jet which he added to his collection last yearHis is a famous name. Cyrus Poonawalla. Patriarch Cyrus calls himself a “socialist at heart”, yet surrounds himself with the trappings of alpha wealth-a private jet, thoroughbred racehorses, and vintage cars in,Cyrus Poonawalla after a jaunt in his private Citation Excel jet which he added to his collection last yearHis is a famous name. Cyrus Poonawalla. Patriarch Cyrus calls himself a “socialist at heart”, yet surrounds himself with the trappings of alpha wealth-a private jet, thoroughbred racehorses, and vintage cars in a temperature-controlled garage. Rubens and Rembrandts line the upper walls of this Pune-based billionaire’s mansion while the basement houses a private discotheque.His son Adar dresses in Savile Row suits, flies in his private aircraft and has a letterbox-red Ferrari Modena Spider as his new toy. But ask him about his interests and he says his goals at this point are all work-oriented and he doesn’t find “very much else entertaining”. Three passions drive Adar’s 33-year-old cousin Yohan- horses, cars and planes.Yet, what he would like people to talk and write about are the Poonawallas’ business achievements. One of his sisters, Simone, manages the young stock administration at the Poonawalla Stud Farms. Her twin Delna is a fashion designer. Welcome to Casa Paradox.The genial Cyrus prefers to be little known outside the arcane world of horse-racing and breeding. He says he is most at home in the restricted club of those involved in the manufacture of life-saving serums. Talk about his six-door Mercedes Benz, his fleet of limousines and custom-made Rolls-Royce and he changes the topic to Cydon (“For Cyrus-Don,” he chuckles), the first car that he and buddy Don Patrick put together as 21-year-olds.Cyrus Poonawalla with the first car he designedWonder about his exceptionally bred horses and he tells you how horses get restless when they are photographed. Mention his exquisite living room with its frescoed ceiling and Ming vases, and he steers the subject towards vaccines.”Besides my love for horses and cars, I am passionate about making the cheapest vaccines in the world. I started making life-saving drugs when I was 22,” he says. Now along with brother Zavaray, president of the Poonawalla Group, Cyrus oversees the Rs 750-crore Poonawalla Group that covers sectors as diverse as engineering and horse breeding and a pharmaceutical industry that supplies drugs to 137 countries.The chairperson of the Serum Institute of India and its mentoring force, Cyrus qualified as a doctor with a degree in anti-toxins before he parlayed his expertise into expanding the now hugely successful 350-acre stud farm started by his late father on the outskirts of Pune in 1946.Adar doing his morning rounds at the 350-acre Poonawalla Stud FarmsSince then Cyrus has been riding on twin passions- one his obsession with manufacturing affordable vaccines, the other the must-haves of any respectable billionaire: classic art, Brioni suits, rare watches, a flotilla of vintage cars and, of course, his beloved private Citation Excel jet.Even the awards he has got reflect this duality-from the Bio Spectrum Person of the Year Award and the equestrian Hall of Fame Award to the Padma Shri, Cyrus has got it all. Next month, he gets the humanitarian award from the Fabian Institute of New York.Close friend of 25 years, Solicitor-General Goolam Vahanvati calls Cyrus “a great showman”. Vahanvati says, “There are two types of people in this world: those who make money and hoard it and those who make money and spend it. Cyrus belongs to the second category. He has always liked the good things in life and makes no pretence about it.”advertisementOutside Pune, Cyrus spends most of his time in the winner’s enclosure at Mumbai’s Mahalakshmi racecourse where horses bred at his stud farm have won an incredible 266 classic races.His stallions, including the legendary Exhilaration (an Arabian regarded as one of India’s finest racehorses), are prized for the quality and class of their progeny. Vahanvati fondly recalls glorious wins by their filly, Her Excellency. “Even in the early ’80s, when the stud farm had just started importing good stallions and people drove around in Fiats, the Poonawallas sent a Rolls-Royce to fetch clients,” he recollects.Yohan with some of the beauties from his flotilla of vintage carsThe 350-acre Poonawalla Stud Farms is the leading stud farm in the country, having won five Champion Breeders Awards in the seven years since the award was introduced. It has produced winners of eight Indian Derbies and 54 Indian Classics, and is the highest stakes earning establishment in the country. The family sponsors the Poonawalla Breeders’ Multimillion classic race with a prize money of Rs 5 crore, the richest juvenile race in India.”Richest” is a word that seems custom-made for Cyrus’ Brioni-clad shoulders. As he says matter-of-factly, “I want to enjoy the money I make.” That may not be easy because he has quite a lot of it. Even so, the indulgences are Caesarsized- like his Pune mansion where the grand piano looks dwarfed under the gigantic, soaring ceiling of his 7,000 sq ft living room.Cyrus has an explanation for the size. “My wife and I smoke a lot and we like the space that it gives us,” he says. At 64, does he really need the glittering discotheque in the basement? “Oh, I am fit and young at heart, so I thought why not?” he laughs, adding that he still frequents discos in India and abroad.”I wanted one of my own at home but with a separate entrance and exit so that it wouldn’t disturb those living in the rest of the house.” And yes, you can always pass under the huge archway and the centre bar that stocks some of the finest liquors, past the artfully casual arrangement of period furniture, and take the lift down.advertisementCyrus Poonawalla (far left) shares a joke with friends and family at Poonawalla Breeders’ Classic RaceExquisite silverware on tables, Old Masters on the walls, an ornate ceiling-the atmosphere is one of classical taste and elegance. “We have worked on the design inputs ourselves,” says Cyrus, for once a hint of pride creeping into his voice. “It is more like an English home.”But amid the gilded frames, you won’t find modern art.Cyrus shrugs that he doesn’t like it, “not even Picasso”. In a reflective mood, this engagingly unconventional Parsi lets on that he has no role models and no great ambition left to fulfil. “I am happy and satisfied,” he says, “there is no burning desire to acquire anything now.”His son Adar has inherited Cyrus’ taste for the good things of life as well as his business acumen. Behind the wheel of his red Ferrari Modena Spider, Adar Poonawalla is like a boy with his favourite toy. He guns the engine of the convertible and the basement parking lot reverberates with the power of 400 horses.Alongside are parked what could have come from a Burke’s List of Automobile Peerage: Rolls-Royces, Mercedes, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, Lexus and Pontiacs. Cyrus and Zavaray’s love for fast horses and faster cars has clearly been passed on to the next generation.With some 30 cars in the family and an equal number of chauffeurs to drive the automotive beauties, life for the Poonawallas is velocity on the fast lane.Twenty-four-year-old Adar has a fleet of limousines and aircraft at his disposal and has his own private movie theatre at home. But the graduate from the University of West minster is surprisingly low-key about his material comforts. He might wear Gucci and Dolce & Gabanna but doesn’t like to discuss his expensive sartorial tastes. While his father’s flair and flamboyance often make it to the society pages,Adar is attempting to rise above the dazzle of his lifestyle and present a more serious, balanced countenance to the world.With three years in the family business under his belt,Adar is now an executive director on the board. Sent to England at the age of 10, he says he owes much to his boarding-school upbringing. “It made me independent and self-reliant. I don’t take anything for granted,” he says. And though he loves his hot wheels and horses, he also likes playing tennis and putting on the golf course, his latest hobby.advertisementCyrus Poonawalla’s 7,000 sq ft living room which is a picture of baroque splendourBut it is work that he is most passionate about. “I want to expand into new markets, mainly Europe and the US, with our vaccines and anti-cancer products,” he explains, adding, “I hope to achieve this by making acquisitions outside India and through technological agreements with some American companies.”Much like his sense of purpose, his style statement is simple. A pin-striped shirt with dark trousers make for formal wear and he slips into a Hugo Boss blazer before a quick helicopter hop to Mumbai. Their home Adar Abad in Salisbury Park, Pune-reconstructed on the site of their ancestral home in 1998-is where his extravagant side takes centrestage.The main hall is a picture of baroque splendour-heavy, gilt-framed Rubenesque paintings dominate the expansive walls while delicate Ming vases and alabaster figurines line the marble-decked corridors. Time cusps as ornate, 72-bulb crystal chandeliers glitter next to discreetly concealed close-circuit TV sets. In keeping with the Poonawalla pedigree, riding trophies are scattered through the house-the glitter of gold is everywhere.Cyrus Poonawalla’s swimming poolBut what takes your breath away is the frescoed ceiling of the grand hall. Reproductions of Michelangelo’s masterpieces from the Sistine Chapel embellish the dome, lending the room an opulent, old-world charm. The large room leads to a conference room, an office area and a billiards room with a 200-year-old billiards table. Adar poses next to an exquisitely engraved piano with great reluctance.”Makes me look so pompous,” he complains, as he steps into the lift that transports him to the swimming pool and jacuzzi in the basement. For his nights out, Adar prefers to be with friends. “I have grown out of clubbing and my social jaunts are limited to once or twice a month, on the behest of friends or my girlfriend,” says Adar, who is tight-lipped about the woman in his life.Another young maharaja-in-making is the older Poonawalla scion: Yohan, son of Zavaray. The cars in his garage at Poonawalla House, Koregaon Park, leave one in no doubt about which family Yohan belongs to. On the cobblestone driveway, a 1937 Phantom III in prime condition stands next to a gleaming, two-tone spectacle in silver and black, a 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom, Yohan’s latest addition to his fleet. That the car is priced at Rs 3.5 crore is dismissed with an elegant shrug.Yohan and Michelle with their Golden Retriever and Great DaneDirector of the Poonawalla Group, Yohan is already awaiting the arrival of his next car, a 2005 Porsche Cayenne, the first of its kind to come to India, to be followed soon enough by a gleaming Ferrari F430. “I can’t wait to get my hands on the Ferrari,” grins Yohan. Not surprising, coming from a man whose first car was a Mercedes E-Class when he was 18.Today, 15 years later, his car collection is the envy of automobile aficionados. While his new Phantom, with its plush interiors, ‘P’ monogrammed seats and 240 km/hr speed, preens in the stable, it is difficult to miss the 1934 seven seater limousine and a 1992 Silver Spur II that, along with the Phantom, make up Yohan’s Rolls-Royce collection.”The first RR, a Silver Shadow, came into our family before I was born. I guess a love for cars and speed is hereditary,” says Yohan. His personal collection of cars numbers “around 15”, with the Rollers heading the list. “I genuinely love cars. I don’t buy them for their prestige value. I have saloons, vintage cars and sports cars,” says Yohan, talking fondly of his BMW 760 LI and BMW X5. The former helped his wife Michelle “beat the pants off men in their sports cars” at the Speed Run drag race organized in Mumbai in February.”Horses, cars and planes,” says Yohan, summing up the nature of his fixation. A childhood desire to fly inspired Yohan to collect model airplanes at 14. The Citation jet parked in a hangar in Mumbai is only a large-scale addition to his collection of professional model aircraft.Adar at his grand piano”I have always loved planes,” he says, proudly displaying his Cessna 152 scale model with a 10-ft wingspan and a Tele-master with a 20-ft wingspan. His “babies” are well taken care of by a special team of mechanics which keeps them in pristine condition for Yohan’s flying sprees at the Gliding Centre in Pune or a free-wheeling flight from the Poonawalla Stud Farms.Michelle, who accessorizes her denims with diamonds, shares her husband’s love for cars and horses. An interior designer from the American College, London, Yohan’s wife of four years is soft-spoken and elegant, a foil to the young businessman’s genial temperament. She is also the one responsible for the spacious opulence of their home.The family’s love for thoroughbreds carries over to their homes. In Yohan and Michelle’s home, the focal point is a sculpture of a horseman astride a stallion-it is a theme that spills over to the horse-print throws and cushion covers.Adar goes for a quick chopper hop to Mumbai from the stud farmsThe passion for horses has filtered down to the fairer sex in the family too. Simone joined the family business in 1999 after winning gold medals at two intensive courses in Australia and Ireland in horse business management and thoroughbred breeding. On the other hand, her twin Delna has chosen to branch off into fashion design after training at the American Intercontinental University.Her signature label Delna Poonawalla is doing great business on the Mumbai fashion circuit. “I love her Parsi quirkiness,” says city-based jewellery designer Niharika Khan, who first introduced Delna to fashion circles through her store Purple Porcupine. The young Poonawalla, who has Yana Gupta, Pooja Bedi and Soha Ali Khan wearing her label, is setting new trends in the family business.Despite their starry living, a binding commitment to family and business runs through all Poonawallas. Each of them would rather talk about their business enterprise than their flamboyant lifestyle. “The flamboyance mainly comes from horse-racing. But the Poonawalla Group is a lot more than that,” says Adar. Agrees Yohan: “I would like people to know more about our business achievements. I want our work to propel the family name forward.”In keeping with that ambition, Yohan now wants to expand into the hospitality industry. “I have been actively looking to invest in a lucrative market in Europe,” he says.”We have recently bought stake in Grayshott Hall, one of UK’s leading spas. It is a little rundown nowadays and we are trying to turn the business around.”Also on his palmtop are plans for two more countryside hotels in the UK besides a seven-star boutique hotel in Pune. “The time is now,” says Yohan, glancing at his Rolex. That this limited edition watch employs meteorites obtained from NASA is just another bauble in the Poonawalla treasure chest. Whether on the racecourse, at work or indulging in their shared passions, the Poonawallas collectively are a breed apart.with Shefalee Vasudev read more