There was no shortage of goals as Paris Saint-German secured a 5-4 win over Saudi All-Stars in the exhibition match in Riyadh recently. Most importantly, for the most part of the match, people witnessed the two best players on earth today – Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo – on show. The action kicked-off with Messi breaking the deadlock inside the opening three minutes. Ronaldo then found the equaliser for the hosts as he successfully converted from the penalty spot after being fouled by PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas, with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, is set to feature for Al Nassr for the first time after his debut was delayed due to a two-match suspension handed down by the English FA for an incident during his spell at Old Trafford.
Messi, back with PSG after winning the World Cup with Argentina, got the first goal of the game before Ronaldo equalised for the Saudi select team – made up of players from Al Nassr and Riyadh rivals Al Hilal – with a well-struck penalty.
PSG were then reduced to 10 men but it didn’t stop them from attacking. Marquinhos restored the lead just on the brink of halftime but shortly after Ronaldo netted his second goal to bring things on level terms at the interval. The second half saw PSG start on a strong note, with Sergio Ramos scoring an easy tap in inside the first 10 minutes.
However, PSG’s celebration was cut short as Hyeon Soo Jang scored the equaliser moments later. Kylian Mbappe then restored PSG’s lead, successfully converting a penalty after a defender handed the ball inside the D. Hugo Ekitiké then made it 5-3 before Talisca scored the final goal of the match, which came in stoppage time.
Viacom18 bags women’s IPL media rights for Rs 951 cr for next 5 years
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that Viacom 18 has won the media rights for the upcoming Women’s IPL for a whopping Rs 951 crore for five years, pipping other bidders, including Disney Star and Sony, in the auction. The auction for the T20 League was conducted by the cricket board in Mumbai. The global rights comprise three categories linear (TV), digital and combined (TV and digital). In the men’s IPL, separate rights are sold across regions. The inaugural Women’s IPL is likely to begin in the first week of March. Five teams will compete and all the matches will be held in Mumbai.
Viacom18 had won the IPL digital rights for Rs 23,758 crore while Disney Star had retained the TV rights for Rs 23,575 crore for a five-year period starting 2023 during a three-day auction held in June, 2022. There will be a total of 134 matches in the five-team WIPL over five years, with 22 matches each in the first three years. The number could touch 34 matches each in the final two years. The BCCI is anticipating growth in WIPL over the next few years.
The Women’s T20 Challenge was initially held as an exhibition tournament, but the BCCI last year eventually made the decision to introduce the WIPL, with the first season’s opening match scheduled for March. The BCCI has not officially released the tournament’s schedule, but it is widely believed that the first season, which would consist of 22 matches, will take place between March 5 and March 23.
Shocking Nepal plane crash
The world was left in shock recently after one of the deadliest aviation disasters in the history of the Himalayan nation of Nepal. An ATR 72 twin-engine turboprop aircraft of Yeti Airlines crashed with 72 people onboard.
The plane, flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara on January 14, crashed into a gorge between Pokhara’s domestic and the newly inaugurated international airport just seconds before it was supposed to land.
There were 53 Nepalese passengers and 15 foreign nationals, including five Indians, and four crew members on board the aircraft when it crashed.
The five Indians have been identified as Abhisekh Kushwaha (25), Bishal Sharma (22), Anil Kumar Rajbhar (27), Sonu Jaiswal (35), and Sanjaya Jaiswal. All were reportedly from the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
On January 22 Nepali officials said that they have identified two more bodies of Indian nationals who lost their lives.