Pavel Nedved says Juventus are “ready to seize every opportunity” that comes their way, including one of Cristiano Ronaldo proportions. Juve held their annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, where a plan to raise €300m through an increase in share capital was approved. When asked whether the Bianconeri could pull off another Ronaldo-esque deal, Nedved made it clear they would not shy away from one. “We’re always ready to seize every opportunity,” the Vice-President told reporters. “We’ve talked about development and we want to develop on all fronts, above all the sporting one because it’s a leading part of the club. “And with this, I’ve think I said everything.” The Czech when then asked about whether Merih Demiral had broken any club rules with his politically-charged salute while playing for Turkey. “I’ve talked to the lad. We wanted to understand it further. It was a strong gesture but, for us, he didn’t violate our code of ethics. “Now we’re awaiting any decisions made by FIFA bodies.” 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/
Jorginho admits “there is a little bit of Brazil in this Italy” after their 9-1 victory over Armenia. “We wanted to keep entertaining the crowd.” The former Napoli star was born and raised in Brazil, but moved to Italy at the age of 15 and has become a key figure in the Nazionale. “Maybe there is a little bit of Brazil in this Italy! We have an attacking approach, positive, we could’ve held back, but even with respect for our opponents, we wanted to keep enjoying our football and entertaining the crowd who came to the stadium to see us,” the Chelsea midfielder told Rai Sport. They won all 10 of their Euro 2020 qualifiers and can be dark horses for the tournament next summer. “We are preparing for the most important tests against the big teams. We’re working on improving our weak areas and relishing the stronger elements to our game. I think we can achieve some great things together. “It’s important for all of us to gain experience, as we have a young squad and much to learn, the kind of things you can only learn by playing at a high level. “So we must continue like this and hope to learn also from the big challenges that are coming up.” Jorginho confirmed his perfect record from the penalty spot for Italy and was asked if the juddering run-up was aimed at breaking the rhythm of the goalkeeper. “I can’t give away my secrets! You have to study and see. The important thing is that it goes in and I am very happy with the goal, as well as for this wonderful victory. It’s the result at the end of a lot of hard work from this team.” 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/
India will play the first one-dayer of their five-match ODI series against West Indies on November 29 in Cuttack, a BCCI release said on Monday.The visitors, who will start their campaign against India with the Test series from November 6 at Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium, will take on Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men in the first ODI at Cuttack’s Baramati stadium on November 29.The Caribbean team will then move to Vishakhapatnam for the second one-dayer on December 2, followed by Ahmedabad on December 5 and Indore on December 8 before culminating its two month-long trip at Chennai on December 11, BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale said in a release.The schedule:29 Nov: 1st ODI – Cuttack (D/N)2 Dec: 2nd ODI – Vishakhapatnam (D/N)5 Dec: 3rd ODI – Ahmedabad (D/N)
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button said on Thursday they want to win the inaugural Indian Grand Prix so that they can make a strong start next season.With three races left, Red Bull have already assured themselves of the championship title as they have 558 points while second placed McLaren Mercedes have 418 points.The British drivers, both former World Champions, said they want to make the most of the last three races and hope to make a strong start in 2012.”Red Bull has already won the championship this year but we were pretty close to them. We would be looking at winning the last couple of races so that in the next season we can have a good base,” said Hamilton.”We are working very hard and always pushing ourselves. We are the second best team in the last two years. I hope we would be able do well in the last few races. We are looking to win here as well,” he added.Button said it was important for McLaren-Mercedes to finish the season on a high.”There is no reason why we can’t take the fight to Red Bull. We’ve matched them at the last few races and I hope that trend continues until the end of the year. Although the world titles are settled, we’re incredibly motivated to win every race and if you win a Grand Prix in F1, you know you’ve done a great job. That’s what we’re aiming for in India,” said Button.advertisementHamilton, a 2008 World Champion, said he was quite surprised with the hype around the inaugural Formula One race in the country.”Cricket is the most popular sport in this country as the team has done well but I don’t think we ever expected there to be such a great following from Formula One fans, and now I am sure that even F1 will achieve that kind of a popularity,” Hamilton said.Button said the presence of Force India and Narain Karthikeyan, who will be driving for Hispania, should attract fans.”Formula One has been a hit in some venues where there is no local connection. But here we have Force India and Narain Karthikeyan and I think these two local connections are enough to popularise the sport,” he said.
Disappointed with the PCB’s handling of the spot-fixing trial at the end of which led to three of country’s cricketers being jailed in the UK, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has instructed it to provide all necessary legal help to the tainted trio. Interior minister Rehman Malik said Zardari, also the patron-in-chief of the PCB, is miffed with the way the matter was dealt with by the Board. The spot-fixing trial ended on Thursday with former Test captain Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir being jailed after 20 days of non-stop hearings. Malik said that he had briefed the President on the trial and sentences handed to the three players. “The President has directed that he be given a comprehensive report from the Pakistan Cricket Board on the issue and on the sentences given to our players,” Malik said. The President has also directed the PCB and Malik to look for ways to bail out the three players. While the court handed out a 30-month sentence to Butt who was captain when the spot-fixing allegations surfaced, Asif was given a one year jail term and Amir, 19, was told to spend six months in a youth detention and correction centre. Malik told reporters that he had asked Pakistan’s High Commissioner to UK Wajid Shamsul Hassan to provide necessary legal aid to the trio where possible. Malik had said that if it were a conspiracy against the players, it should be revealed to the world and a commission should investigate the issue from scratch. “We cannot rule out the possibility of any of the convicted players being innocent,” he said. Malik said that the players will not be left alone and that legal aid would be provided to them. But former Test captain Rashid Latif expressed surprise over Malik’s statement. “What is the use of seeking report now. What was the government doing when the trial first began in June. Why react now when the damage has been done to Pakistan cricket,” he said. Noted lawyer Umar Khayyam, who represented Test batsman Yasir Hameed in his complaint against the now defunct “News of the World” newspaper said the government has lost its opportunity to do something for the players. “There is a provision where before the trial goes to court a diplomatic clause can be evoked on the request of a government which is a member of the Commonwealth and considered a friendly country by the country where the trial is being held,” Khayyam said. He noted that since the start of the spot-fixing scandal the PCB and government had lagged behind and not been proactive in playing their role in the entire episode. “Under the diplomatic clause the PCB could have asked the government to use the diplomatic clauses to get the players back to Pakistan safe and sound and than put them on trial in Pakistan,” he noted.advertisement
Twenty-seven is generally not an age when a sub-continental fast bowler gets called up to the national squad for the first time. In India, especially, youth is the mantra, but Ranganath Vinay Kumar has defied the odds and made it to the Indian Test squad for the upcoming tour to Australia.The Karnataka medium-pacer replaces Jharkhand speedster Varun Aaron, who has been ruled out of the Test series due to a stress reaction on his back, sustained during the ongoing One-Day International series against West Indies.Vinay is the second change to the original squad, after his junior state-mate Abhimanyu Mithun replaced Praveen Kumar.An elated Vinay told Mail Today that his hard work over the years for his state and South Zone had paid off. “I have dreamt of playing Tests for India since I first picked up a ball, and my dream has finally come true. This is my eighth season in first-class cricket and my hard work has finally been rewarded,” he said.In 15 ODIs so far, Vinay has picked up 16 wickets, though his average and economy rate have been on the higher side at 36.31 and 5.76 respectively. His best performance came against England in New Delhi, where he took four for 30. His first-class record is excellent, with 241 wickets in 66 matches at an average of 24.29, including 11 five-wicket hauls and two match- hauls of 10 or more wickets. In 2007- 08 and 2009- 10, he was the second- highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy.Vinay’s bowling is reminiscent of another Karnataka paceman, Ventakesh Prasad, in that his forte is outswing and leg-cutters rather than pace and bounce. This has perhaps what has kept him away from the Test side in the past, since faster bowlers are available in the country.advertisementBut according to Vinay, legends like Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid have always believed in his abilities as an international bowler. “Whenever I felt disappointed at being ignored despite my consistent performances, I used to speak to my coach MM Prakash or even to seniors like Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid. All of them used to advise me to keep working hard, and said I was a good bowler. My coach told me never to worry about selection, and thanks to that, I’ve always looked to give my best shot in any match I play,” he said.The Indian fast bowling contingent for the four-Test series that begins in Melbourne on December 26 now comprises of a skilled veteran in Zaheer Khan, if he is match fit, two fast bowlers in Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, and two controlled seamers in Vinay and Mithun. Asked if the pitches in Australia would be a challenge for him, Vinay cited his previous tours there and said the experience will help. Interestingly, at one time in the middle of the last decade, Vinay and South Africa’s newest sensation Vernon Philander – who ripped the heart out of Australia’s line- up in their recent Test series despite bowling at 130- 135 kmph range – had played simultaneously Down Under.”I have been there a few times – for an Emerging Players tournament, once for India A and with the Karnataka team – and I have done well each time. Philander and I won the best player award in the Emerging tournament in back-to-back years. We are similar bowlers, and I always believe that if you swing the ball, even at a medium pace, it is still a challenge for any batsman,” Vinay said.V inay has done decently in the home one- dayers against England and West Indies, and is confident of translating that into Test success too, if given a chance. “I haven’t done too badly in the ODIs, I’ve taken a few wickets with my natural deliveries and the economy rate has been good. If you are going for about 4.5 runs per over on Indian soil, you’re doing alright, and my mindset is really good. I will just bowl to my strengths,” he said.
A thin line divides advisers who have the interest of their leader at heart and sycophants who feather their nests by flattering their bosses. Most politicians in the country fail to see this thin dividing line. And it is here that Mayawati failed and UP Chief Minister-elect Akhilesh Yadav seems to have succeeded.The outgoing chief minister not only blindly believed some of her cabinet colleagues and officers, who allowed only filtered information to reach her, Akhilesh has hand-picked only those who have a proven track record their respective areas and who have the ability to tell him bluntly where he’s going wrong.And unlike Rahul Gandhi’s backroom boys, who have impeccable corporate world credentials, Akhilesh’s confidants are more rooted in the Indian reality. Rahul’s team members, for instance, would quiz candidates about the composition of the crowds that would show up at their leader’s public meetings, but Akhilesh’s aides would simply mix with the crowd and ask the people what they disliked about their party and its candidates.Akhilesh’s team members, in fact, travelled to the farthest corners of the state to gather honest feedback for their leader. It was this exercise that resulted in new promises being made by the Samajwadi Party president, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and by Akhilesh in their election meetings in the latter half of the campaign.In the first two phases of the campaign, for instance, father and son used to talk about giving a laptop to each student and an unemployment allowance to jobless graduates, but as electioneering warmed up, they promised to put all Samajwadi goons, who had brought disgrace to the party the last time it was in power, behind bars. In the last three phases, they also kept harping about the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities, pointing their finger squarely at the Congress-led UPA dispensation. So who are the gents who form Team Akhilesh. Here’s a quick recce.advertisementNaved SiddiquiPopular Radio Jockey Naveed Siddiqui turns into SP’s instrument of change.The present state secretary of the Samajwadi Party is a man with a strong, loyal fan following of his own. Former All India Radio’s 39- year- old RJ chose Akhilesh Yadav over air waves when the former asked him to join the party one-and-a-half years ago.Reportedly, Siddiqui has travelled over 20, 000 kms with Yadav by rath and chopper during the course of the recent election campaign. While Yadav and the other faces addressed the crowds which thronged to the public meetings, Siddiqui would mix with the crowd and take feedback about the party’s candidates. While people are aware the fact that Yadav had changed over 50 candidates after announcing their nominations, only few people know that it was done on the basis of the many reports submitted by Siddiqui to him.”I had met Akhilesh through a common friend. While working for radio, I used to receive numerous calls from the people regarding their problems and many a times, it so happened that we would invite the officer the concerned department to directly interact with the aggrieved person. So when Yadav called me, I thought of doing the same job directly, without mediators or such. And now, I have got a chance”, Naved said.Presently, Siddiqui has been assigned to interact with English media and air the party’s view regarding development and modernisation. “I am least interested in a red beacon and power – I would love to remain a backroom boy. But I will certainly be an instrument of change in UP”, he added.”We are also in the process of making a committee to keep a watch on the activities of the leaders and workers of the party. They will not be allowed to tarnish the image of the SP. My other duty is to help out the troubled common man who is in trouble and I intend to do this with complete transparency.” The former RJ seems to know his waves well as he takes the daunting task of being a change that people need. Siddiqui has been assigned the task of interacting with the English media about the party’s stand on development issues. His other duty is to reach out to the common folkRajendra ChaudharyThe party’s senior spokesperson remains a close confidant of Mulayam and Akhilesh.The senior most in a team brimming with young people, Rajendra Chaudhary ( 52), is the official spokesperson of the state unit of the party. With the distinction of working for over three decades with Mulayam Singh, this man is known to be an essential part of the new Team Akhilesh.His importance can be gauged from the fact that while there are more than 50 senior leaders in the party, including those who are also family members, it was Chaudhary who accompanied Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav to Raj Bhawan to meet Governor BL Joshi a day after their victory.advertisementAsk him about his personal life and he’ll give you a dull smile, ” I’ll tell you about myself some other time.” But when you ask about his party’s stand on any issue, he becomes extremely energetic and passionate. When in public, Rajendra Chaudhary was often seen whispering into Mulayam Singh’s ears – now that the face of the party has changed, Chaudhary has already been noticed updating Akhilesh Yadav regarding important matters in the same way. Cleary, Chaudhary’s role in the party cannot be underestimated.Though there are more than 50 senior leaders in the party, including those who are members of the family, it was Chaudhary who accompanied father and son to Raj BhawanAshish YadavHumble Ashish Yadav prefers to be a low-key media manager.Having known Akhilesh Yadav since childhood when they used to play together, this 35- year- old man is a mine of information about the party. Dedication being his middle name, he remembers every word that Yadav, or in fact Mulayam Singh, have uttered in every public meeting, and every word that the newspapers have written about them.Ashish Yadav talks with great enthusiasm about every issue under the sun, but he immediately vanishes when you ask him more about his personal life.Ask him what his job in the party is, and without a moment’s hesitation he says, “To see you happy.” Reportedly, he refused to step out of his house during Holi fearing that people would drown him in colours. Before he steps back to regain the anonymity he seeks, he says, “I am a small man. Please let me continue to be small.”Abhishek MishraIIM-A professor Abhishek Mishra is SP’s expert on education.Armed with a PhD in Strategy and Marketing Management from Cambridge University, 40- year- old Abhishek Mishra used to teach in IIM Ahmedabad, where he would ask his students to join politics and do something, instead of just criticising politicians. Currently the MLA of north Lucknow, a large part of the credit for SP’s modernisation plans goes to him.Born and brought up in Lucknow, Mishra grabbed the first opportunity that Yadav offered – he joined the party and contested the elections.”I’d always tell my students to join politics. But I had always doubted if that could happen since no political party ever seemed interested in accepting well educated people. So I decided to leave everything behind and join Akhilesh’s team when I was actually given a chance,” he said.”My firm belief is that politics is the biggest platform if we want to be a harbinger of change. If you notice, most successful politicians in the world had the most educated set of people in their teams. The mind of a meritorious person can best be utilised in politics. I am happy that I am exactly where I should be”, Mishra said, “Now my job is to see that the quality of education improves in the state and industries become confident about coming here. The GDP growth of the state should be brought at par with the national average.”advertisementMishra, who has known Yadav for over 15 years, said that he came back to the state to ensure that the talented, meritorious youth, choose to stay back in UP, instead of seeking pastures in Pune, Mumbai or Bangalore.Rajeev RaiRajeev Rai, Karnataka education magnate, transforms into opinion-maker.At a time when the Samajwadi Party was trying to distance itself from Amar Singh and film stars, Akhilesh Yadav was looking for someone he could completely depend on, someone who could take important decisions, besides strengthening the party’s ideology. Yadav found all these in Rajeev Rai, originally from the town of Balia.With several educational institutions in Karnataka, 42-year-old Rai was no stranger to the present SP Supremo – they knew each other since mid- 90s and Rai officially became a part of the SP core team after the party lost in the 2009 Lok Sabha election.”Getting into his team was unexpected and I agreed to him immediately. The best thing about Akhilesh is that he is quick with decisions. Although I was very happy while planning the backroom strategy of the party during election, Akhilesh asked me to take over as national secretary of the party. Further, he asked me to play the role of an opinion maker “, Rai said. “It will not be true if I say that I have no ambition. But the good part is that I am getting everything I wanted, everything I expected. Since the election is over and we are going to have an SP government in the state, my job now is to stay in the Capital, and tell the people about the opinions of my party on various issues,” Rai added. But, Rai shies away from elaborating his most current role. According to sources, Rai is responsible for deciding who in the party should do what and who is best suited for a task, though, obviously, the final decision rests with Yadav.”For about two hours, from 5 pm to 7 pm, I get in touch with the people who are looking after my institutes in Karnataka. I have developed a foolproof system, which ensures things are smooth even if I don’t check on things for months,” said Rai.
With the routines of city life inevitably taking a toll on us all, a getaway can sometimes be as much of a routine as work itself. It doesn’t need to be this way though, with many new (and some old) alternative travel options coming up, promising not only a trip,With the routines of city life inevitably taking a toll onus all, a getaway can sometimes be as much of a routine as work itself.It doesn’t need to be this way though, with many new (and some old)alternative travel options coming up, promising not only a trip you’llnever forget, but possibly an experience of a lifetime. Read on as webring you some new-age travel options.Couchsurfing.org, startedin 2003, is now regarded as the granddaddy of alternative travel. Ifyou’re on a budget, looking for cheap accommodation and a chance tosample the local flavour of your destination, couchsurfing.org might bethe answer to your prayers. The site provides a platform for travellersfrom across the world to meet, and even stay at each other’s homes. Thewebsite currently has over three million members from 246 countries.Once registered on the site, you can look for people in different locationsaround the world, who are willing to host you for the duration of yourtrip. You even get to choose your host on the basis of his profile.Since couchsurfing.org has members from many Indian cities and secondtier towns, the site makes travelling around the country on a tightbudget that much easier. However, while we advise you to becareful while choosing your host, the site does provide you with theoption to get in touch with them either over the internet, or on thephone. References from other users can be found on people’sprofiles-which often serve as a reassurance of the particular host’scredibility.Ditch your package tours to Europe thisyear and head down to raft in Uganda or trek through the Attacamadesert, because with this travel company based in Delhi, holidays abroad will never be the same again.Fleetfoot Journeys, a travelcompany specialising in tailormade trips to 17 countries in Africa,Latin America and Southeast Asia is for the discerning traveller.A Fleetfoot trip can be anything from a photo-journey where travellersare accompanied by experienced wildlife photographers through privatesafaris in Africa to custom trips (where the length of the trip numberof activities are decided by the traveller) to locals such as Masai Mara in Kenya, known for scuba diving apart from wildlife safaris. There isno typical travel experience with Fleetfoot and each trip is one of akind. They help you plan your holiday, sitting with you for aslong as required to know what kind of experience you’d like andsuggesting options across the world that would fit your needs andpurposes. advertisementA week long trip can cost anythingbetween Rs 35,000 to two lakh (excluding flight charges), depending onthe location. They also arrange group treks and have a 10-night Namibian camping safari trip coming up in May. Get more information at:fleetfootjourneys. inIn times when city lives have becomeimpossibly fast, these Bengaluru-based graduates decided to take itslow, at least when they were travelling. It was with this idea thatChiraag Jain, Hitesh Kataria and Sumedhas R set up their travel venture, Nirvana Nomads. They organise trips to offbeat locales in and aroundvarious cities that can easily be packed into a weekend.On a typical Nomad trip, expect to visit places that you have never heardof or see a different side to popular tourist destinations. Travellersspend their time in one particular locale, either trekking or takingpart in the activities which vary according to the destination.The activity can be anything from extreme sports such as rafting inRishikesh or observing a king cobra in it’s habitat at Agumbe-or justgazing at the wonders of sheer natural beauty. The group size is alsorestricted to a maximum of 20 people.They have organised over 16 trips so far and a weekend trip can cost between Rs 4,000-Rs 7,000,depending on the destination. Get in touch with them through theirwebsite: nirvananomads.com
Beat the heat this summer with a range of interesting activities around town. Cool off at a pool party, spend sultry afternoons guzzling exotic fruit coolers or refresh your mind and body at a spa with soothing massages and wraps. No matter what you seek, there is something for every,Beat the heat this summer with a range of interesting activities around town. Cool off at a pool party, spend sultry afternoons guzzling exotic fruit coolers or refresh your mind and body at a spa with soothing massages and wraps. No matter what you seek, there is something for every need as restaurants dish out summer salads and menus, stores stock up on exotic drinks and resorts draw in families with hard-to-resist packages.Yoga (Shitali Pranayama)Yoga usually helps you reach a peaceful state of mind and body, but this summer, practice these asanas that will help you beat the heat, the spiritual way. The Shitali Pranayama is a yoga asana that is known for its great cooling effects, making it a unique yet effective way to beat the heat. Many yoga centres around the city facilitate Shitali sessions and centres such as Aum Yogavidyalaya in Ahmedabad and Pavan Yoga Mandir in Surat will also be offering special summer classes. If your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to visit the centres, a phone call is all that is required to have a qualified yoga teacher come to your home and teach you the asanas. Yoga is practiced best during the early hours of the morning, just before sunrise.Cost: Rs 100 to Rs 250 per class.Where: Paavan Yoga Mandir 303, Silver Crest Apt, Parlepoint, Surat; Aum Yogavidyalaya, Madhuban bunglow, IIM road, Ahmedabad.Tel: Pavan studio 09898045404; Aum Yogavidyalaya 09825017970.Timings: 5am to 10pm (only on weekdays).Marine National ParkMarine National Park and Sanctuary falls in the inter-tidal zone (expanse of land that goes underwater during high tides), along the Jamnagar coast and islands in the Gulf of Kutch. A cluster of 42 islands of which only a few are open to tourists, boasts of pleasant evenings with a cool breeze blowing in from the sea. To visit the national park, you will need prior permission from the concerned authorities. Apart from the park, there are sites such as the Barda hills, which are home to lush green woods with streams and little waterfalls, making it a trekker’s paradise. The Marine National Park itself is a highly fragile eco-system and is a treasure trove of colourful corals and sponges, giant sea anemones, jelly fish, sea horses, octopus, pearl oysters, Portuguese man of war, starfish, dolphins, sharks and many more varieties of underwater creatures and plants. The protected area has a great diversity of habitats-ranging from coral reefs, mangroves, mudflats, creeks, estuaries and sandy strands to saline grasslands, marshy areas and rocky shores. The Narara Island is a must-visit destination here, with its vast inter-tidal zone, which makes it ideal for observing marine life, especially the many varieties of marine invertebrates and corals. Similarly, Pirotan is another tourist attraction where the intricacies of this fragile eco-system can be seen in all its glory. Pirotan Island can be visited only during high tide though, and since there is a 12 hour gap between tides, you will have to wait half a day before heading back from the island.Distance: 30 kms from JamnagarStay: Hotel President, Teen Batti, Jamnagar, AhmedabadTel: 09824227786; 0288 2679355 (forest department).Cost: Rs. 2100 per person.advertisementWater ParksThis summer, have a great time while cooling off at water parks like the Shanku Water Park in Mehsana and Water Fun Park in Surat. Both offer special packages for those looking for a day-long outing and rides such as the ‘Pirates plunge’ and ‘Raging rapids’ are sure to get your adrenaline pumping. The parks boast of many other slick attractions, from towering slides and twisting rides to aqua tubes and rollicking wave pools. Kids can have a great time here as well, with the children’s section playing host to special attractions such as the dancing fountain and miniature water slides. The cost of most rides is included in your entry fee.Cost: Rs 350 per person.Where: Water Fun Park, Surat; Shanku Water Park, Mehsana.Tel: Water Fun Park 09904980234; Shanku Water Park 02762 282351.Water SportsWith a coastline that spans across 1600 kilometres, Gujarat provides many options to indulge in water sports such as parasailing, canoeing and jet skiing. Top spots around the state for water sports include Dudhani in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, where the Madhuban Dam built across the River Damanganga provides for a large water front. The water sports complex established here offers facilities for adventure activities like jet skiing, aqua biking, rowing boats, bumper boats and speed boats. Another great destination is Diu Bunder, where you can indulge in evening boat cruises which are equipped with live music and other attractions and commence at 7:30 pm everyday.Distance: 50 kms from Dudhni.Stay: Damanganga Valley Resort, Silvassa; Diu Bunder, Radhika Resort.Tel: Damanganga Valley Resort 09323666444; Radhika Resort 02875 252553.Cost: Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 onwards per day.advertisementSwimmingTake the plunge to escape the heat this summer, with swimming classes at centres like the Karnavati Club in Ahmedabad. The club has organised for special trainers during the summer who will provide individual attention to each participant in the classes. Classes are organised based on age groups, with separate sessions for 15 year olds and above and for those between 3-14 years. There are special sessions meant exclusively for women as well. The outdoor pool here is a 12 foot deep pool that is located beneath a shade, therefore completely cutting out the heat rays, even during the hottest summer months. Be sure to let your little ones have a go at the water slide ride here that ends in a shallow pool and is meant specifically for small children.Cost: Rs 3,000 for package of six months.Where: Karnavati Club, S.G.Highway, Ahmedabad.Tel: 079 26927591.Saputara and Wilson HillsSaputara is a charming little hill station in the state that boasts of pleasant weather throughout the year and offers great options to beat the heat, in both relaxed, laid back ways or with action-filled adventure sports. In recent years Saputara has developed as a major tourist hub with hotels and resorts springing up around the area making the hill station an ideal getaway option for Gujaratis. If you are looking for a laid-back holiday, try the cable car ride up the hill here, where you can enjoy beautiful sunset views before heading back down. Other options like the paddle boat or rowing boat rides in the lake here are ideal to drive the stress away as well. If you’re in an adventurous mood, try your hand at the paragliding sessions here. Wilson Hills, located inside the Vansda National Park, is a location where one would usually indulge in trekking or other such activities. It is one of the few locations in the world where one can see the sea, despite being atop a mountain! It is advised to stay at Saputara and plan a day’s trek to Wilson Hills. Cooler than Saputara, this trek is an experience you’ll surely enjoy.Distance: Saputara: 133kms from Surat.Stay: Aakar Lords Inn, Nasik Road, Dist. Dang.Tel: 02631 237551.Cost: Rs 3,500 onwards per night.Snow ParkEnjoy snowball fights and the feel of winter while the rest of the city is scorching. Maniar snow park is filled with over 100 tons of snow and everyday around seven artificial snow falls are created for people to enjoy. The snow park is sure to bring to life all your snow fantasies. Pick from activities like snow fights, snow slides and snow cruising among other options. While the snow park is the main draw here, there also have restaurants, play zones and attractions like a traffic park and toy train to keep guests entertained. At the time of entry you will receive warm jackets and snow boots along with gloves and caps.Cost: Rs 260 per person for an hour.Where: Maniar Wonderland Snow Park, Sarkhej-Sanand road, Ahmedabad.Tel: 079 65410896.Timings: 11am to 9pm.advertisementBeach DestinationsGujarat provides many options for beach-lovers. While Mandvi is one of the finest beaches on the Gujarat shoreline where the sea is pristine and ideal for swimming, nothing can quite prepare you for the treasure trove of Diu. The Nagoa Beach here is a beautiful, crescent shaped beach and is perfect not only for swimming but also offers options for water sports like jet skiing, knee board surfing as well as pony and camel riding on the beach.The erstwhile summer home of Maharaja Krishna Kumar Singhji of Bhavnagar, the breathtakingly beautiful sea coast with its spectacular limestone cliffs and great views, sea breezes and colourful birdlife offer an excellent break from the city.Distance: Mandvi: 124 kms; Diu : 167 kms.Stay: Mandvi Palace; Sugati Beach Resort.Tel: Mandvi Palace 09879013118; Sugati Resort 02875 252212.Cost: Rs 3,000 onward per night.Mocktail LoungeInstead of a chilled beer, why not try fruity mocktails at the Oriental Wave Mocktail Lounge this summer? The perfect drink to accompany you on a hot summer day, suggests beverage expert Kishore Sahoo, is Chatka Mary-India’s answer to the Bloody Mary. The drink is made with spices, guava juice and ice. Sahoo also suggests seasonal flavours like mango, phalsa or berries which are great coolants. As Gujarat’s liquor prohibition limits alcohol availability, a refreshing mocktail can be the perfect alternative to drive away the summer blues.Cost: Rs 130 to Rs 150.Where: Oriental Wave Mocktail Lounge, Hotel St. Laurn, Ashram Road, Old Vadaj, Ahmedabad.Tel: 079 40268000.Mount AbuIts proximity to Ahmedabad makes it a favourite hill station for Gujarati tourists. Cradled in a 24 km wide tropical valley in the Aravalli mountain range, the only access to Mount Abu is through the winding road that passes through the town, Abu Road. The picturesque location with green surroundings, temples such as the Dilwara Temple and the Adhar Devi Temple, lush hills and the huge lake here provide for a relaxing weekend.Distance: 234 kms from Ahmedabad.Stay: Cama Rajputana Resort; Hotel Hillock.Tel: 02974 238205; 09828441871.Cost: Rs 2,000 onwards for budget hotels; Rs 11,000 onwards for heritage resorts.SpaIndulge in one of these soothing therapies that spas across the state are offering to help you beat the summer heat. Centres like the Cambay Orient spa in Gandhinagar and Chandan Sparsh spa in Ahmedabad will be providing exotic treatments like mud wraps and aroma massages that are bound to work wonders for your sun burnt skin. De-tanning and detoxification treatments that help your skin get its glow back at Dr.Rajika Kacheria Beauty Refinery Spa and Salon are other exciting summer spa options. These unique treatments make use of a plethora of materials, where naturally extracted plant and flower extracts are blended with anti-oxidant rich, base oils, organic sugar and finely ground sea salt, which are soothingly applied by the therapists here over a 45 minute session. This therapy is good to remove dead skin cells, stimulate blood circulation and oxygenate your skin.Cost: Rs 350 onwards for de-tan and detoxification treatments.Where: Dr.Rajika Kacheria Beauty Refinery Spa and Salon, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad.Tel: 09898063683.
Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson dribbles during an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Oakland, California. AP PHOTO/Marcio Jose SanchezThe seemingly overpowered roster of the Golden State Warriors is once again primed to repeat as champion in the upcoming NBA season and could very well be on its way to establishing a dynasty.READ: NBA: Warriors to repeat as champs, LeBron to win MVP, GM survey saysADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Rest: Frowned upon when NBA games count, not in preseason LATEST STORIES View comments Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans “It was cool a couple years ago when we were chasing that 73-win season,” Thompson recalled. “Just being compared to that team is an honor. There’s definitely motivation. I would love to match up, play against Michael Jordan. That would be a dream. Obviously we don’t have a time machine, but that would be pretty special to see that. There’s definitely motivation to leave that type of legacy.”But despite their historic regular season run that year, the team failed to capture the Larry O’ Brien trophy after squandering a 3-1 series lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers.Still, the 27-year-old dead shot believes his current team is still the closest comparison to Jordan’s Bulls team.“Every time the Bulls came to town that was the ticket of the year. Now it’s when the Warriors come to town, that’s the must-see game,” he explained. “And we don’t take that for granted; that’s such a cool position to be in. We rarely play in front of a crowd that’s not sold out. That’s so special. It’s hard to really grasp that as a player. So I think it’s close, I still think we’re not on their level yet, but that’s what we aspire to be of the 2000s. We aspire to be that dynasty that will be in the minds of NBA fans forever.” Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENT No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims With the likes of superstars Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all in one team, it’s not hard to envision the Bay Area franchise to win its third championship in four years.In a recent interview with ESPN’s Nick Friedell, the Dubs’ sweet-stroking shooting guard Thompson couldn’t help but compare his squad to perhaps the greatest dynasty the league has ever seen, the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls of the ’90s.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“What’s that, six championships in eight years?” he said. “So we’re, what, like only a third of the way there? I think it’s close. We still have a long way to go, but I do see the fandom, the fanfare like the Bulls had in the ’90s.The Warriors, of course, are no strangers to eclipsing the Bulls’ historic records, having topped the team’s 72-win regular season in 2016. Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH