TURIN, Italy (AP):Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio will miss the European Championship after injuring his knee while playing for Juventus yesterday.Marchisio was stretchered off in the 15th minute in visible pain after making a tackle. Tests revealed he has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.Juventus beat Palermo 4-0 to move nine points clear in Serie A, with five rounds remaining.”Just got back home,” Marchisio said later in a post on his Instagram account. “The news from the scan obviously hurts me, but these are the risks of our job. I have strength and so much desire to get back well and as soon as possible.”Meanwhile, inside of me there is great joy for this win. We’re ever closer to the great aim. Well done lads. Until the end, we never give up.”Juventus said Marchisio will be operated on “in the next few days”. It is not clear how long he will be out for, but it normally takes around four to six months to recover from such an injury.Italy kicks off its Euro 2016 campaign against Belgium on June 13. It also faces Sweden and Ireland in Group E.valuable playerMarchisio is a fundamental part of the Italy team. The 30-year-old midfielder has made 54 appearances for the Azzurri since his debut in 2009, scoring five goals.”It will be a huge loss,” Juventus and Italy team-mate Leonardo Bonucci said. “Claudio is a leader in this dressing room and that of the national team, apart from being a really great footballer.”Bonucci also wrote on his Instagram account: “An important victory, but there is nothing to celebrate. Today, we lost, for several months, an important player for Juve and the national team. Stay strong Marchisio. We will win for you and we’re expecting you (back) stronger than ever.”
After India played and won their historic 500th Test in Kanpur, there’s another memorable milestone waiting for the team in Kolkata.The second Test between India and New Zealand at the iconic Eden Gardens will be India’s 250th Test on home soil and the Cricket Association of Bengal, which will be overseeing the affairs, is leaving no stone unturned to make it a grand success.The state cricket body, headed by former India captain Sourav Ganguly, has installed a giant Lords-like bell which will be rung to mark the beginning of the Test. In addition, cricket zone, food stalls, drummers, flash mobs, caricature artists, stylist stations and a host of activities have been planned to keep the crowd buzzing. (Lukewarm response to second India vs New Zealand Test at Eden Gardens)REASONS FOR LUKEWORM RESPONSE However, despite the best of its efforts, the CAB is unable to garner much attention for the Test match. All such efforts have so far failed to attract spectators, with the ticket counters wearing a desolate look.But why is it that there is such a lukewarm response for a historic Test match and that too at the Eden Gardens, the Mecca of cricket in India?The reason could be the fact that the second Test is getting underway on the day of Mahalaya, a precursor to Durga Puja – the biggest festival in West Bengal. Durga Puja preparation under way in Kolkata (Reuters image)The Kolkatans are known for their enthusiasm for sports, especially football and cricket, and would normally not miss a chance to get a glimpse of their favourite cricket stars.advertisementHowever, the fact that the people in that part of the world are equally crazy for Durga Puja is a contributing factor to the general disinterest among the locals. (India’s most iconic Test triumphs at Eden Gardens)The five-day Durga Puja carnival, beginning on October 6, celebrates the annual descent of Goddess Durga on earth.As a matter of fact, the BCCI had to move the third Test, scheduled to be held from October 8-12, out of Kolkata to Indore to avoid a clash with the festivities. But the move seems to have made a little impact on the Kolkatans as the CAB is still struggling to sell tickets.WEATHER ALSO A PROBLEMThe city’s weather might also be another contributing factor for such lack of interest.This is the first time a Test match is being played at the Eden Gardens in the month of September. The India Meteorological Department has forecast thundershowers and thunderstorms on the first four days of the match. (India’s Mecca of Cricket, Eden Gardens not a heaven for the hosts)However, the Eden Garden, which can accommodate over 66,000 spectators, might still not go entirely empty.CAB GOING THE EXTRA MILEThe CAB has joined hands with the Lions’ Club to bring in 4000 underprivileged children across the state to the stadium to watch the opening day of the Test.Furthermore, in order to spread the awareness of Test cricket, the association has decided to issue free passes to all the 44 schools that participated in the tournament organised by it. (India could reclaim No.1 Test spot after Eden Gardens Test )Also, in order to encourage the young budding talents, it has been decided to allot passes to approximately 200 cricket coaching centres that participated in the junior as well as to another 200 centres (approx) that participated in sub-junior cricket tournament.While the efforts of the Ganguly-led CAB is laudable, the BCCI’s decision to host an iconic Test match in Kolkata during the Durga Puja festivities is not a well-thought-out move.