March 4, 2021

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In match number 37 of this European Cricket Series (ECS) Spain 2021, Raval Sporting will be up against Barcelona Gladiators in a Group C fixture. The Montjuïc Olympic Ground in Barcelona will continue to be the venue.Raval Sporting have had an inconsistent start to the season. They were comprehensively beaten by Minhaj (74 runs). The batting let Raval Sporting down as they could muster just 56/7 while chasing 131.They did come back strongly in the second game, hunting down 93 with eight balls to spare.On the other hand, Barcelona Gladiators were outplayed by Kharian in their first game.Barcelona Gladiators batted decently as they got 97 batting first but faltered with the ball and lost with 13 balls to spare. Thus, they will be looking to bounce back quickly.Squads to choose fromRaval Sporting: Gurwinder Sidhu, Amit Das, Karan Datta, Gaurang Mahyavanshi, Gurpreet Singh, Ishan Patel, Kishitij Patel, Manish Manwani, Muhammad Rizwan, Nandan Bathani, Naveen Kumar, Rohin Kumar, Yudhvir Singh, Lovepreet Singh, Numan Ali, Unnatkumar Patel, Davinder Singh, Sawood Masood, Sonu Jangra, Irfan Muhammad, Faizan Ahmad, Zain Abideen, Ravi PatelBarcelona Gladiators: Shahid Nazir, Ali Raza, Babar Basharat, Iqbal Muzzamil, Malik Nabeeb Iqbal, Mohammad Ur Rehman, Muhammad Ali Khan, Zahid Akbar, Usman Asghar, Harsoon Salik, Ihsan Ullah-Asda, Ameer Taimur, Muhammad Umar, Farooq Ahmed, Arslan Yousaf, Sagar Shahbaz, Nadeem Muhammad, Tahir Nawaz, Arslan Muhammad, Farhan Inayat, Amad Muhammad

Predicted Playing XIsRaval Sporting: Kishitij Patel (wk), Karan Datta (c), Davinder Singh, Manish Manwani, Amit Das, Muhammad Rizwan, Dawood Masood, Gaurang Mahyavanshi, Nandan Bathani, Sonu Jangra, Irfan MuhammadBarcelona Gladiators: Tanzeer Ur Rehman, Shahid Nazir, Arslan Muhammad, Babar Basharat (c), Haroon Salik, Sagar Shahbaz, Ali Zafar Khan, Nadeem Muhammad, Muhammad Umar, Ali Raza, Ihsan Ullah-AsdaMatch DetailsMatch: Raval Sporting vs Barcelona GladiatorsDate: February 17, 2021, 3 PM ISTVenue: Montjuïc Olympic Ground, BarcelonaPitch ReportThe track at the Montjuïc Olympic Ground in Barcelona has been an excellent one to bat on and batters have enjoyed these conditions. Teams have racked up big scores regularly and 110-115 has become the par score.There is not much on offer for the bowlers. Hence, a similar track is likely to be on offer for this game and the team winning the toss might want to bat first.ECS Spain Dream 11 Fantasy Suggestions (RAS vs BAG) Dream11 Team for Raval Sporting vs Barcelona Gladiators – ECS Spain 2021.

Fantasy Suggestion #1: Shahid Nazir, Karan Datta, Kishitij Patel, Haroon Salik, Amit Das, Davinder Singh, Tanzeer Ur Rehman, Arslan Muhammad, Ali Raza, Manish Manwani, Gaurang MahyavanshiCaptain: Arslan Muhammad Vice-captain: Kishitij PatelFantasy Suggestion #2: Shahid Nazir, Kishitij Patel, Ali Zafar Khan, Amit Das, Davinder Singh, Tanzeer Ur Rehman, Arslan Muhammad, Sonu Jangra, Ali Raza, Manish Manwani, Gaurang MahyavanshiCaptain: Tanzeer Ur Rehman Vice-captain: Davinder Singh
Published 16 Feb 2021, 18:25 IST

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KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that tickets for Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 6 will go on sale from tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10 am. 
According to the details, tickets for 30 out of 34 matches will be sold out in the first phase from tomorrow. Ticket denominations for the Qualifier, two Eliminators, and the final, to be played from 18-22 March, will be announced closer to time. Remember, only 20 percent crowd will be able to watch each PSL 6 match at both venues.
Tickets will be available online, as well as on Bookme helpline (03137786888) by showing CNIC and phone number.
On confirmation of the tickets on the helpline, the customer will be sent a token number on the registered ‘phone so that the customer can make the payment at the closest Jazzcash/Easypaisa shop. Upon payment, the customer will receive an e-ticket code along with a Quick Response (QR) Code, which the customer can use to print the ticket or show the SMS at the entry gate on match day.
Enclosures
At the National Stadium, enclosures reserved for the families are: Hanif Mohammad (VIP Enclosure), Wasim Akram (Premium Enclosure), Zaheer Abbas, Iqbal Qasim and Nasimul Ghani Enclosures (First-Class Enclosures), and Intikhab Alam Enclosure (General) while family enclosures at the Gaddafi Stadium include: Fazal Mahmood (VIP Enclosure), Saeed Anwar (Premier Enclosure), Abdul Qadir (First-Class Enclosure) and Nazar, Quaid, Zaheer Abbas and Majid Khan (General Enclosure).
For Saturday’s tournament opener between Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators, which will begin at 7pm, cost of VIP stands (Hanif Mohammad and Javed Miandad Enclosures) have been fixed at PKR5000, while price of the First-Class stands (Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal, Waqar Hasan, Majid Khan, Iqbal Qasim and Nasimul Ghani Enclosures) have been kept at PKR4,000.
Similarly, price of Premium stands (Quaid, Wasim Akram and Imran Khan Enclosure) have been set at PKR3,000, while the General stand tickets (Wasim Bari, Mohammad Brothers and Intikhab Alam Enclosure) have been fixed at PKR2,000.
For Sunday’s double-header between Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi, and Islamabad United and Multan Sultans, which will start at 2pm and 7pm, respectively, cost of VIP stands (Hanif Mohammad and Javed Miandad Enclosures) have been fixed at PKR4,000, while price of the First-Class stands (Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal, Waqar Hasan, Majid Khan, Iqbal Qasim and Nasimul Ghani Enclosures) have been kept at PKR3,000.
Similarly, price of Premium stands (Quaid, Wasim Akram and Imran Khan Enclosure) have been set at PKR2,000, while the General stand tickets (Wasim Bari, Mohammad Brothers and Intikhab Alam Enclosure) have been fixed at PKR1,000.
For matches to take place from Monday-Wednesday, cost of VIP stands (Hanif Mohammad and Javed Miandad Enclosures) have been fixed at PKR3,000, while price of the First-Class stands (Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal, Waqar Hasan, Majid Khan, Iqbal Qasim and Nasimul Ghani Enclosures) have been kept at PKR2,000. Similarly, price of Premium stands (Quaid, Wasim Akram and Imran Khan Enclosure) have been set at PKR1,000, while the General stand tickets (Wasim Bari, Mohammad Brothers and Intikhab Alam Enclosure) have been fixed at PKR500.
For the first match in Lahore on 10 March involving Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings, ticket prizes for the VIP stands (Imran Khan and Fazal Mahmood Enclosures) have been set for 3,000, followed by PKR2,000 for the First-Class Stands (Abdul Qadir and Sarfraz Nawaz Enclosures), PKR1,000 for Premium stands (A.H. Kardar, Rajas, Javed Miandad and Saeed Anwar Enclosures) and PKR500 for General stands (Inzamam ul Haq, Nazars, Quaid, Imtiaz Ahmed, Zaheer Abbas, Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Saeed Ahmed Enclosures).
Meanwhile, PCB will make sure to implement strict COVID-19 protocols during the matches at venues.
Personal hygiene
• Hand Hygiene through handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds• Use of hand gel with high percentages of alcohol (70%) or other appropriate product is an alternative• Sneezing and coughing into tissues or the crook of one’s elbow – disposal and cleaning hands afterwards• Avoid touching one’s face and nose• Spitting is banned within the stadium• Medical masks must be worn by everyone while in the stadium. Enough medical masks has been secured for the crowd to ensure risk free environment for everyone in the stadiumCode of Conduct• Wear a face covering before entering through the turnstiles, and continue to wear your face covering while seated in the stands. No mask, No entry• Ensure you are aware of the gate of entrance in advance by asking members of the management team/security staff positioned at the main gates of the stadium• Spectators must not attend if they experience any Covid-19 symptoms, are feeling unwell, or if they have been in close contact recently with anyone experiencing symptoms or who has tested positive• If you develop symptoms while at the stadium, please notify the nearest member of management staff immediately. Rights of admission will be reserved by PCB• At all times and in all parts of the ground, please observe social distancing and avoid close contact with others who are not in your support bubble• You must remain in your seat at all times unless you have to use rest rooms or exit the stadium. In such cases, seek guidance from the ushers and Security Guards available in each stand• When passing in the rows, please turn your backs if you must brush past other spectators, thereby avoiding face-to-face contact• Maintain good hand hygiene – use the sanitizers provided and use toilet facilities where possible to wash your hands• Please observe respiratory etiquette – always cover your mouth if needing to cough or sneeze
Toilet facilities
• A steward/care taker will be assigned at all times to monitor the flow of spectators and ensure that no more than three people use that facility at a given time• Hand washing facilities will be cleaned and sanitised at regular intervals• Provision of hand sanitizers will be carefully managed by designated staff.Distance between seating• Two seats will be left between two individuals or each group• Group must only contain one household to ensure social distancing is in place• A row between the successive rows shall be left vacant to ensure social distancing
Ticketing
• To be sold (CNIC Holders) to the families only for family exclusive stands and for General stands with individual seating• Applicants must supply their contact details at Point of Sale to help with track and tracing.• To be sold in advance only through online sale with helpline support through telephone. Tickets to be printed at home with QR codes or delivered through cash on delivery mechanism.• Ushers and Security Guards to ensure compliance in seating
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The UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is asking football clubs to refrain from discussing and promoting gambling on their social media sites in as part of an effort to avoid triggering problem gamblers. It’s move that may seem extreme to the layman, but will likely help keep UK gambling operators a step ahead of UK gambling regulators.
Guidelines for how football clubs should handle discussions of gambling were sent out by the BGC late last week and utilize a plea from 50 former gambling addicts to make the case. They pointed out that seeing their favorite club site promoting gambling caused them “distress” and “encouraged” them to place wagers.
As an effort to avoid these triggering moments, the BGC is recommending that football clubs refrain from promoting gambling operators or bonus offers and their “organic tweets”. This is a nod to the reality that gambling offers are ubiquitous on social media and that no one is really more than a click or two away from them on the internet anyways.
BGC officials sent a letter detailing the new code of conduct to 11 football clubs, as well as to social media operators.
In a statement reported on by SBC News, Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chairman of the BGC described the importance of the new standards saying, “Our members rightly have a zero tolerance approach to gambling by under-18s, so as an industry we are understandably concerned that children may be exposed to betting adverts on social media platforms. Our new guidelines make clear the standards expected of football clubs when they post gambling promotions on social media, and I look forward to them being put into practice as soon as possible.”
The BGC guidelines are not legally binding, but members of the BGC who wish to remain in good standing are expected to abide by them.
The post BGC ices gambling talk on football social media sites appeared first on .

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Karachi: Lahore Qalandars have appointed pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi as the vice-captain for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six.
The 20-year-old Shaheen has been with the Qalandars since the third edition of the PSL and has emerged as the core member of the franchise.
Aaqib Javed, LQ’s director of Cricket said that Shaheen Shah Afridi is face of Lahore Qalandars. His dedication towards Qalandars’ mindset is remarkable.
“Shaheen Afridi is a world class cricketer with exceptional bowling skills, his commitment and dedication for the team is unmatched and he is keen to take the team to the next level” said Aqib Javed.
Shaheen Afridi, in his message, thanked the Lahore Qalandars management and aimed to contribute towards team’s success.
“I am thankful to Lahore Qalandars’ management for this opportunity and really looking forward to play my part in success of Lahore Qalandars team” said Shaheen Afridi in his message.
Shaheen has taken 34 wickets in 27 matches. He was Qalandars’ leading-wicket taker of PSL 2020.
Read: Multan Sultans announce Mohammad Rizwan as captain for PSL 6
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At 23, Rublev is two years younger than Medvedev and grew up playing junior tournaments against him in Russia. For a long time Rublev, seeded No. 8, and Karen Khachanov, 24, the third member of Russia’s latest golden generation, were better than Medvedev. The rise for Medvedev came in 2018 and 2019, when he nearly beat Rafael Nadal in the 2019 United States Open final.“He reads the game really well,” Rublev said of Medvedev. “It’s amazing, the patience he has to stay so long in the rallies, to not rush, to take the time, because in the end these little details, they make him who he is.”Russia is the only country with two players in the top 10. Khachanov gives it three in the top 20. Aslan Karatsev, 27, another Russian ranked No. 114, came out of nowhere to make the quarterfinals here in his first Grand Slam tournament.Medvedev comes into the quarterfinal on perhaps the best roll of his career. He has won 18 consecutive singles matches. He won the ATP Tour finals in London in November, pulling off the nifty trick of beating the world’s top three players — Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Dominic Thiem — in a single tournament. For Russia at the ATP Cup, he beat Alexander Zverev of Germany, a 2020 U.S. Open finalist, in a tight, three-set match in the semifinal round.Medvedev spent his early childhood in Moscow and played few sports other than tennis growing up. He worshiped Russia’s last golden generation, which included Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who were in their prime when he was a young child. He moved to France to train as a teenager and became fluent in English and French.Medvedev could be heard screaming at his coach, Gilles Cervara of France, in French during his third-round match against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, as he frittered away a two-set lead before recovering to win the final set, 6-0.

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Serena Williams came through a huge test of her Australian Open title credentials to beat Simona Halep in a high quality quarter-final and reach the last four at Melbourne Park for the ninth time; The 39-year-old American will next face Naomi Osaka for a place in Saturday’s final

Last Updated: 16/02/21 10:31am

Serena Williams defeated Simona Halep to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open

Serena Williams turned back the clock to make it through to the Australian Open semi-finals where she set up a blockbuster clash against Naomi Osaka.
Williams made it through to her 40th Grand Slam semi-final after gaining revenge for her Wimbledon final loss to Simona Halep.Halep produced a sensational performance to stun Williams 6-2 6-2 at the All England Club in 2019 – one of four Grand Slam finals the American has lost since winning her 23rd singles title in Melbourne four years ago. Williams began this match with a determination to ensure there was no repeat and powered her way to a 6-3 6-3 victory. Williams gained revenge for her Wimbledon final loss to Halep Williams, who mixed 24 winners with 33 unforced errors over the contest, has not won a major since her seventh Australian Open triumph in 2017 and next faces in-form Japanese third seed Naomi Osaka with a place in the final on the line.In her on-court interview, Williams said: “I definitely think this is the best match this tournament and obviously I had to go up against the number two in the world. I knew that I had to do better and that’s what I did, so I’m excited.”The quality of the second set did not match the first, with Williams making a host of unforced errors, but Halep could not take advantage. The best I have seen @serenawilliams play in years! Movement and defensive skills were impressive. Huge semifinal vs @naomiosaka. Whoever wins this one in my opinion goes on to win the title.— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) February 16, 2021 Osaka will not be so generous in what will be a first Grand Slam meeting between the pair since their notorious US Open final in 2018, when Williams received a game penalty for verbally abusing umpire Carlos Ramos and Osaka’s first major title was accompanied by deafening boos and whistles.Since then the Japanese player has won two more major titles and is unbeaten on the biggest stage since last year’s Australian Open. 52 – Chris Evert44 – Martina Navratilova40 – Serena Williams37 – Steffi Graf Williams (left) receives congratulations at the net from Halep Williams shot out of the blocks on Tuesday, moving into a 2-0 lead with a combination of extreme power and incredible angles.Halep fought back to level but Williams forged ahead again and confidently served out the set.The 39-year-old, who is once again two matches away from finally equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 slam singles titles, made a shaky start to the second set, spraying unforced errors as Halep moved into a 3-1 lead.But the Romanian was unable to find the level to put doubts into Williams’ mind and the 10th seed finished the match with a run of five games in a row. For Halep, who reached the semi-finals last year and was losing finalist in 2018, it was back to the drawing board as she looks to add to her two Grand Slam titles at the French Open and Wimbledon.Don’t forget to follow us on skysports.com/tennis, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sports – on the go! Available to download now on – iPhone & iPad and Android

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It was widely presumed toward the end of their disastrous 2020 season that the Houston Texans would look to pull off a J.J. Watt trade. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has regressed in recent seasons. Houston is headed for a full-scale rebuild, especially if the Texans are forced to trade Deshaun Watson.
That’s why it was a surprise last week when Houston outright released the future first ballot Hall of Famer rather than pull off a trade and acquire needed draft assets.

Embattled owner Cal McNair attempted to explain the Texans’ decision. To say that it is the latest example of this organization falling flat on its face would be an understatement.Texans owner attempts to explain not pulling off a Watt trade

“There are several reasons (for not trading J.J. Watt. But suffice it to say, we evaluated those, and we’re confident that this is the right one for J.J. and for us,” McNair said, via MMQB’s Albert Breer. “And it’s one we mutually came to and agreed on. And we felt that it was really the right one for J.J. Not every decision is easy or easy to understand. But we always want to do right by our players and our fans. And we want to focus on bringing a championship to Houston.”
On one hand, giving Watt the pick of his litter when it comes to a new NFL city did paint the Texans in a good light after the drama we’ve seen from the organization and former players.
On the other hand (and this is is the point of the article), Houston could have still traded Watt to a team of his choosing while recouping draft-pick assets.

Following the 2012 NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers let Alex Smith give them a list a few teams to which he would like to be traded after Colin Kaepernick won the starting job. In the end, Smith was dealt to his preferred destination — Kansas City — for two second-round picks.
Doing right by a franchise player and attempting to build up a weak roster are not mutually exclusive. McNair and The Texans failed big-time in this regard.There was interest in a Watt trade

A number of teams were interested in a Watt trade. Heck, McNair went on record recently indicating that Houston had taken some calls.
For good reason. Despite some injury issues, the future Hall of Famer is just two years removed from recording 25 quarterback hits, 18 tackles for loss, 16 sacks and a resounding seven forced fumbles. He’d have been of interest to several contending teams.

Instead, a Houston Texans team that is reeling after Deshaun Watson’s trade request and doesn’t boast a pick in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft opted to give Watt up for nothing. In the process, he could even sign with a division rival.
This is yet another example of the Texans’ organization failing its fan base on a near never-ending loop. It’s pretty gross.

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Lionel Messi scored two goals of the highest quality in La Liga this weekend to take his tally to 15 for the season.Both of the Argentine’s goals were scored from outside the box in superb fashion, as he helped Barcelona on their way to a 5-1 win against Alaves.Messi may now make our leaderboard, but he is still some way off reaching the runaway leader, Robert Lewandowski.The Bayern striker scored again on Monday in the German side’s rearranged Bundesliga match versus Arminia Bielefeld which was moved due to their Club World Cup exploits over the weekend.Lewandowski now has 25 goals and 50 points.His nearest rival for the Golden Shoe is fellow Bundesliga striker Andre Silva, who has now scored 18 for the season.Liverpool may have lost against Leicester, but Mohamed Salah still scored a lovely goal to take his tally to 17.Georgios Giakoumakis of Venlo has scored an impressive 22 goals and is the highest player on our list who doesn’t feature within one of Europe’s top five leagues.A talented group on 16 goals for the campaign includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Romelu Lukaku, and Luis Suarez.2020/21 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE STANDINGS 2020/21 European Golden ShoeA reminder: The five elite leagues – Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 – all carry a weighting of 2, meaning that a player will be awarded two points for every goal they score in these competitions. For the leagues ranked sixth to 30 in Uefa’s coefficients rankings goals scored are given a weighting of 1.5, and goals scored in a league outwith the top 30, goals are given a weighting of 1. Ciro Immobile won the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, scoring 36 goals for Lazio in a tremendous Serie A season. 2020/21 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE (Summer Leagues) 2020 European Golden ShoePlayerTeamGoalsPointsKasper JunkerBomo/Glimt2740.5Amahl PellegrinoKristiansund2537.5Philip ZinckernagelBodo/Glimt1928.5Christoffer NymanNorrköping1827Rauno SappinenFlora Tallinn2626Veton BerishaViking1624Astrit SelmaniVerbergs1522.5Mushaga BakengaOdds BK1522.5Moses OgbuMjallby1421Anders ChristiansenMalmo1319.5Leke JamesMolde1219.5Maksim SkavyshBATE Borisov1919This is the 2020/21 European Golden Shoe race. If you want to see the final standing for the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, follow this link.

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As Americans continue to weather the pandemic, the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and spending bill passed by the federal government in December brought an unexpected and lasting gift: a new national park.The 5,593-page spending package included a raft of provisions authorizing little-known projects — the construction of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota, for one — and giving lawmakers a chance to advance a variety of long-delayed initiatives. Among them was the elevation of the New River Gorge, in southern West Virginia, to the status of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the country’s other most renowned outdoor spaces. The designation of the area — roughly 72,000 acres of land flanking 53 miles of the gorge — as a national park and preserve creates the 63rd national park in the United States and completes a multigenerational effort, started in the mid-twentieth century, to transform a tired industrial area into a national landmark.“Towards the end of this year, with these big bills coming down, I decided to strike,” said Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and the state’s junior senator, who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, introduced the New River Gorge legislation in 2019.“This was the right opportunity,” she said.A draw for rafters, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiastsThe gorge and its surroundings have been prized for decades as one of southern West Virginia’s more spectacular natural places.In 1963, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution seeking to designate the New River Gorge as a “national playground,” preparing to send the proposal to President John F. Kennedy, whose primary campaign was lifted substantially through support from West Virginia voters. But momentum to create a national recreation area stalled after Mr. Kennedy’s assassination later that year.Though the gorge remained a curiosity among rafters and outdoor enthusiasts, the area only received federal protection from the Interior Department in 1978, when it was designated a national river.Now, the outdoor offerings in the gorge have come to define the area as a premier destination for adventure sports in the East.The New River plunges 750 feet over 66 miles, resulting in long stretches of violent rapids that can reach a class five level, generally considered the most difficult that can be navigated by white-water boaters. (Licensed outfitters operate in several towns near the river, providing rentals and tours for rafting and kayaking.)The canyon walls, which soar as high as 1,600 feet, offer miles of cliffs that rank among the best in the East Coast for rock climbing. Sheer faces in the gorge made of robust Nuttall sandstone provide both traditional and sport-climbing routes across the difficulty spectrum.Bike routes are scattered throughout the park on both sides of the river, with options for both technical mountain biking and more casual pedaling along former railroad beds.A glimpse back in timeAccording to the National Park Service, geologists believe the New River — its name a misnomer used by early American explorers who often assigned the same name to any river they came upon for the first time — was a segment of the preglacial Teays River. This larger river, which traversed much of the current Ohio River watershed, was later diverted and broken up by glaciers. The age of the Teays is uncertain, but fossil evidence suggests it could be as much as 320 million years old, leaving its remnant, the New River, as quite possibly the second oldest river in the world.Beyond the millions of years of geological history on display, the gorge is also filled with signs of the region’s heritage as a major coal production hub.Miners once capitalized on the easy access to rich deposits of high-quality bituminous coal in the canyon, where the river had already shorn through hundreds of feet of rock. Especially after the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway linked the New River coal fields to markets in 1873, dozens of boom towns popped up along the river’s edge, thriving well into the 1920s.In 1963, a coal mine was still operating in the gorge, said Dave Arnold, a state tourism commissioner who operated a rafting company for more than 40 years.“In ’76 or ’77, if you were in my boat, we’d have been floating down the river and I would have been showing you, ‘here’s an old coal tipple, here’s the old hotel at Caperton, here’s this and that,’” he said.The demand for coal around the turn of the twentieth century was so high that towns existed every half mile along up the river, according to the Park Service. As the industry went into decline, however, by the 1950s many were already abandoned, leaving ghost towns scattered throughout the gorge. Additionally, logging during the late nineteenth century stripped vast portions of the gorge bare, clearing enormous swaths of virgin forest.The park contains the remnants of communities such as Nuttallburg and Kaymoor, which still stand near the riverbank and are accessible from points higher up. Seams of exposed coal are visible along some trails leading into the gorge and its towns, where abandoned mine portals and the foundations of coke ovens remain.Restoring an ecosystem with diverse wildlifeDespite the environmental degradation and pollution that industry unleashed, some unique ecological features make the gorge well-suited to a diverse combination of wildlife, which has slowly reappeared as time has passed.The river lies at the center of a migration corridor where plants and animals that typically range further north or south come together, including several federally endangered and threatened species, such as the Virginia big-eared bat and the Allegheny woodrat.According to Lizzie Watts, the park’s superintendent, the river itself is also notably warmer than surrounding areas, making it a popular warm-water fishing destination with more than a dozen public access points. The river is one of the premier spots for smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast, and muskellunge and walleye are common in the park today.“The next generation will have the opportunity to see what, in the last 150 years, it looks like when an area goes from being logged and mined to left alone,” Ms. Watts said. “The ecosystem has come back to full trees and mature forests.”As federal protections took effect after the Park Service began overseeing the area as a national river in 1978, wildlife has largely recovered, and many see an opportunity to showcase the region’s natural elegance.“To show off our rock climbing, our extreme sports availabilities in that area, is just really exciting,” said Ms. Capito of what she described as a “kind of wild and wonderful part of our state.” ‘The cream of the crop’The National Park Service, created in 1916, oversees more than 400 areas across the country, including national monuments, seashores and battlefields as well as parks, which together total more than 85 million acres.While the new title for New River Gorge does not fundamentally alter the area’s day-to-day operations, both lawmakers and the Park Service tend to view “national parks” as the crown jewels of the park system — a protection granted to some of the largest and most prized tracts of the country.“National Park status is usually considered like the cream of the crop,” Ms. Watts said. “But it really is just another one of those names.”The New River Gorge does not match the scale of many national parks in the western United States, where Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone sprawl over more than 1 million acres each.Nevertheless, officials expect the new designation to bring a substantial influx of travelers, boosted in part by a dedicated set of enthusiasts who strive to visit every national park.In typical years, around 1.3 million travelers visit the gorge, according to the Park Service’s tourism data. Based on studies of other areas that received national park status, Ms. Capito said she expects to see visitors increase by as much as 20 percent.“It does feel like the very beginning stages of transformation for the whole area,” said Becky Sullivan, the executive director of the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I’ll be very, very interested to see where we are in about 10 years.”Maintaining the community and its favored pastimesAs unique outdoor attractions throughout the Appalachian region have gained more national visibility, some concern has grown over the idea of a wealthy and mobile set from out of state trampling the communities adjacent to these places.West Virginia remains the second-poorest state in the country in terms of median household income, according to data collected by the United States Census Bureau. And while tourism has brought a needed injection of wealth to areas all around the gorge, it has also changed the makeup of neighboring communities, as more people have come to visit the park or settle down near it.Interest in the natural offerings around the park has brought slow but measurable change for small towns nearby like Fayetteville. Officials say that the advent of remote work during the pandemic has only hastened a trend of properties in the area being repurposed for vacation rentals and outsiders snapping up second homes.“You cannot find a house for sale in Fayetteville, because they’re just in such high demand,” said Sharon Cruikshank, the town’s mayor. “So that definitely changed the budgeting of the town as well as the county.”When legislation was first introduced to designate the area as a national park, pushback came from some locals. Hunters have long enjoyed access to secluded sections of woods around the gorge, and with hunting prohibited in federal parks, some protested the potential loss of thousands of acres of hunting grounds.In a compromise, more than 65,000 acres of the total area were designated as a nature preserve where hunting can continue as before, and only roughly 7,000 acres directly within the canyon are officially off limits as national parkland. A provision was included to empower the park to acquire more than 3,000 acres of private land around its current boundaries as well, to expand the size of the preserve and add public hunting grounds.In a nod to tradition, the legislation also enshrines the right for visitors to continue to make use of one of the park’s most famous features — the New River Gorge Bridge — at least once a year.BASE jumping, an extreme sport in which jumpers parachute from elevated structures or cliffs, is banned in every other national park.But, since 1980, BASE jumpers have been permitted to plunge from the top of the 876-foot-high bridge and parachute down toward the river once a year, on Bridge Day, held one Saturday in October. The legislation designating the area as a national park allows that tradition to continue.As many as 100,000 people typically come to watch the jumpers plunge, according to Ms. Sullivan, providing a major boost for businesses in the region. The event has only been canceled twice, including last year because of the coronavirus.Bridge Day’s organizers advise jumpers that the only dependable way to touch down safely is to plan to land directly in the river. In normal years, hundreds do so, often multiple times that day, gliding down and softly hitting the New River’s waters.

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After a bumpy start to the 2020-21 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors are getting back in form. They made several changes to their roster in the offseason and it took some time for the players to settle in. But with the All-Star break almost here, the Dubs are looking consistent. The credit for their newfound success goes to none other than their veteran duo of Steph Curry and Draymond Green. Recently, the two stars flaunted their skills against the Cavaliers in a comfortable 129-98 victory. Curry continued his hot scoring streak with 36 points against the Cavs. On the other hand, Green handled the facilitating duties for the team as he finished the game with 16 assists. The two stars have shouldered the burden for the team in the absence of Klay Thompson. But can the Warriors go all the way and win another championship? We will find out in the coming months. Steph Curry and Draymond Green: The two pillars for the Golden State Warriors Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) and forward Juan Toscano-Anderson (95) and guard Stephen Curry (30) and forward Draymond Green (23) during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SportsFollowing this sensational victory, Juan Toscano-Anderson gave an interesting post-game interview. He said: “I am a beneficiary of these guys, their hall of fame IQ. You know Draymond [Green] had 16 assists today and that’s amazing from our starting center. Last five games, he’s in double digits assists. … Either Steph [Curry] is open or Imma be open. “I’m aware that the defense ain’t gonna leave him so I just find those gaps and get those easy buckets. I know Draymond sees everything. Sometimes he sees it a little too quick before any of us see it, but it’s great to play with a guy like that.” Draymond Green has always been an amazing playmaker for the Dubs. Even during their stretch of dominance in the mid 2010s, he took on the role of a facilitator for their championship teams. This season, he is elevating his game further in that department. READ MORE | Steph Curry and LeBron James Ready to Move On From Intense Rivalry But is this enough for the Warriors to win another championship? Feel free to share your thoughts. Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops

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