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WT20: Injury-free football for Team India during training

The Indian cricket team devised a unique way of enjoying the Beautiful game and avoiding injuries at the same time. The Men in Blue were seen yesterday playing football with a unique rule during training at the Wankhede Stadium on the eve of the semi-final against West Indies. The 'D' area was outlined with a series of plastic markers and there was no goalkeeper allowed within. This was to ensure that the 'keeper did not suffer any injury in case any of the players attempted a powerful shot towards the goal.

India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L)and teammate Ajinkya Rahane play football during a training session at The Wankhede Cricket Stadium in Mumbai. Pic/AFP
India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L)and teammate Ajinkya Rahane play football during a training session at The Wankhede Cricket Stadium in Mumbai. Pic/AFP

Few takers for black tickets
There aren't too many tickets available but the few that are, are very expensive in the black market. A ticket for the Garware Pavilion which is originally priced at R9,000 is being sold for a whopping Rs 24,000. The North Stand, which is priced at Rs 1,500 is going in black for Rs 9,000. The Divecha Pavlion's upper tier, which originally costs Rs 750, is being quoted at Rs 12,000. Complimentary passes, which are meant for MCA members are available for Rs 13,000 according to a source. The takers are few said the source, which means the rates could drop a bit today.

Snappy Shastri
Known to be a pro at handling the media, India team director Ravi Shastri was at his short and snappy best while answering queries at yesterday's pre-match press conference. When asked for a reaction to West Indies big-hitter Chris Gayle's comments that he planned to go after the Indian bowlers, Shastri replied: "Bring it on!"
Then, when quizzed about his 18-month journey with the Indian team, he shot back: "If I begin talking about it, it will take a month to finish, and we have a semi-final game." Finally, when asked about his plans after the T20 tournament concludes, he quipped: "Let the match get over first. Then, there's the final. Let this weekend pass and then we will see what my future will be." Some mediapersons laughed but the answers did not necessarily make for interesting copy.

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