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Phillip Joel Hughes Biography

Posted On March 29th, 2015 By Celebrity Biographies

Phillip Joel Hughes Biography

Phillip Joel Hughes

Phillip Joel Hughes was a tremendous Australian cricketer who shot into fame at a very young age.  He was a left handed batsmen and represented Australian team in both Test matches and One Day International. He also played domestic cricket for Worcestershire and South Australia. Phillip Hughes was a left handed opening batsmen who was drafted into Australia’s playing eleven and made his test debut in 2009, when he was merely 20 years old.

It was the tour of South Africa, just after the legendary Australian batsmen, Matthew Hayden announced his retirement, that Phillip Hughes was announced as his replacement. Facing the fiery pace of South African bowlers, Phillip got out on 0 (duck) in the very first inning he played, but came out strongly on top with his 75 in the next inning. it was no mighty feat, but the best was yet to come. The second match took place in Durban and Phillip Hughes scored a century in both of the innings. He scored 115 in the first inning, thus becoming Australia’s youngest centurion in Test match history. In the second inning he scored a 160 and he shot into fame overnight, becoming the youngest ever international player to achieve this feat of two centuries in consecutive innings of a match. This was the sign of a promising career to follow from a talented left handed batsmen.

In 2013, Phillip Hughes got a chance to play for Australia against Sri Lanka in One Day International cricket in Melbourne. He scored a fine century smashing Sri Lankan bowlers across the park in this ODI debut, another feat that not many have achieved. He did have some highs and lows in his career but his talent was noticed worldwide and he achieved lot of respect for the same.

On 25th November 2014, Phillip Hughes was playing Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In a cruel twist of fate, Hughes was hit on the lower neck, by a bouncer bowled by Australian bowler Sean Abbott. Phillip immediately collapsed face first on the ground. He was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney where it was found that the blow by cricket ball has caused vertebral artery dissection that led to a subarachnoid hemorrhage. He had to undergo an emergency surgery and was later placed in an induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit. However Phillip never regained consciousness and was declared dead on 27th November 2014, three days shy of his 26th birthday.

Australia won the following Cricket World Cup in 2015, which took place in month of February-March at Australia and New Zealand.  The then Australian cricket captain, Michael Clarke, dedicated this World Cup to Phillip Joel Hughes.

Early Life & Cricket Career

Phillip Joel Hughes was born on 30th November 1988 in Macksville, New South Wales, Australia. He was born to father Greg and an Italian mother, Virginia. Phillip played junior cricket for Macksville RSL Cricket Club where he outshone others so quickly, that he was playing A Grade cricket at age of 12. He was a talented Rugby player as well. But his interests lied in cricket. Five years later, he moved to Sydney and started playing for Western Suburbs District Cricket Club in Sydney Grade Cricket. He scored a century on his grade debut, scoring 141* not out. He amassed 752 runs in the season of 2006-07 at an average of 35.81 with a highest score of 142* not out. Soon after, Phillip Hughes played on a world level when he represented Australia in the Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cup of 2008.

After scoring lot of runs for New South Wales junior cricket team, followed by Western Suburbs Grade cricket, Phillip was offered a rookie contract by New South Wales for the year 2007-08 season. On 20th November 2007, he played his debut first class game against Tasmania at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). He scored  a fiery 51 along with two catches to start his glorious season for New South Wales. He was soon upgraded to a full state contract by New South Wales, when he helped his team win the Pura Cup, after he scored a match winning 116 of 175 balls. He was 19 years old at this time and he became the youngest player to make a century in Sheffield Shield final. He won the New South Wales Rising Star” award for his achievements.

Phillip Hughes was signed by Middlesex, soon after for the English county cricket season of 2009. Although it was a short term contract, but that didn’t dampen his spirits or performance by any means. He scored a total of 574 in his three first-class matches at an impressive massive average of 143.50.

In 2010-11, Phillip Hughes scored back to back century for New South Wales. His score in the two matches were, 54, 115, 138 and 93. A super impressive performance that made him the most potential replacement for Matthew Hayden, who was the star opening batsman for Australia International cricket team at that time.

On 26th February 2009, Phillip Hughes was called in to replace Matthew Hayden, as the opening batsman for Australia. His first match was against South Africa and was set at the New Wanderers Stadium at Johannesburg, South Africa. Dale Steyn, one of the finest bowlers of the era, took his wicket on the very fourth ball of the match. He got out for a duck on his international debut. But he came back strongly to score 75 in the second innings with the help of 11 fours and 1 six.

On 6th March 2009, the second test match was set at Sahara Stadium in Kingsmead, Durban. Hughes went onto score a fine hundred in the first innings and then another hundred in the second innings as well. Thus becoming the youngest cricketer ever to score a century in both innings. He was 20 years and 96 days old at that time. Upon his return from this South Africa tour, Macksville, his hometown cricket club, announced a “Phillip Hughes Award”, which was to be awarded every year to the most promising young cricketer from the district of Macksville.

After this period, Phillip Hughes had highs and lows in his career. He was often dropped from the team and replaced by Shane Watson, who opened the batting for Australia and also provided an extra bowling option. He played against Pakistan, England in the Ashes, and New Zealand in the year 2009-2010, but his performances were not very consistent and he was usually added in the team when someone got injured. The bowlers got better of him as they started to learn about his technique and Hughes was found short of runs and form. His inconsistency led him off the international team and back into first class cricket.

He was playing for Worcestershire on the English County Cricket, when Hughes made much needed efforts to change his batting technique and that resulted in more strokes in his batting armory. Soon after he left his home state, New South Wales and started playing for South Australia. His started accumulating runs again in the Sheffield Shield and also in the Ryobi Cup. With his new found form, he was recalled to the Australian Cricket Team to play test match against Sri Lanka at Hobart in December 2012. It was the retirement of Ricky Ponting, that led to his place in the playing eleven. Hughes didn’t disappoint as he scored quick 86 in that match, batting at number 3. With the new found confidence, he amassed a total of 233 runs at an average of 46.60, including two half centuries. He quickly cemented his place at number 3 in the Australian side and was set to receive a $1 million contract from Cricket Australia.

In the end of 2012/13 summer, in lieu of Michael Hussey’s retirement, Phillip Hughes was picked for Australia’s ODI Team as well as the T20 team. His place was confirmed in all three forms of cricket on 6th January 2013.  On his ODI debut against Sri Lanka, Hughes scored 112 off 129 balls before he was dismissed by Lasith Malinga. In the fifth match of the same series, Hughes scored a match winning knock scoring 138* not out off 154 balls. His stint however came to end when he scored only 147 runs in eight innings at the average of 18.37, in the series against India. He was picked for the Ashes 2013, but was dropped after two test matched because of his lack of form. That was the last test he ever played. He continued to play ODI for Australia against India, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Pakistan in the year 2013-14, and a single T20 match against Pakistan.

Personal Life

Not much has been shared about Phillip Hughes personal life. He was a great friend in particularly with teammate Michael Clarke, David Warner and the boxer Anthony Mundine. Family business was of banana farming. As mentioned before, Hughes was a good player of Rugby as well and he grew up with Macksville’s and Australia’s league rugby player, Greg Inglis.

In 2013 end, Hughes bought a huge land (nearly 220 acres) and some Aberdeen angus breed cattle, which is particularly used in beef production.

Death

On 25th November 2014, Phillip Hughes was batting for South Australia against New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield, when a bowl from New South Wales bowler, Sean Abbott hit Phil, right on the neck. He was wearing a helmet, but the bowl hit on the unprotected area beneath the ear. He collapsed almost immediately and was rushed to St. Vincent Hospital in Sydney. After analysis, Hughes injury was described as a rare but sports related injury. It was a blunt cerebrovascular injury called a vertebral artery dissection which led to subarachnoid haemorrhage. Unfortunately Hughes never regained consciousness and died on the morning of 27th November 2014. The Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, said “For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration. He was loved, admired and respected by his team-mates and by legions of cricket fans.”

Phillip Hughes funeral was held on 3rd December 2014 at his Macksville High School. Thousand of people followed the service at Macksville via news on televisions and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

On 29th March 2015, Australia won the ICC Cricket World Cup and dedicated the victory to Phillip Joel Hughes. Cricket Australia has also retired Australia’s ODI Jersey number 64, in remembrance of Phillip Hughes.


Michael Jordan Biography

Posted On September 20th, 2011 By Celebrity Biographies

Michael Jordan Biography

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan, a basketball superstar, happens to be one of the most popular, successful and wealthiest athletes in professional, college and Olympic sports history.

Childhood

Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York on 17th February, 1963. He was one of the five children to Deloris and James Jordan. At the time when Michael was very young, the family migrated to Wilmington, where his father worked as a supervisor at the General Electric Plant, whereas his mother worked at a bank. His parents taught him to lead a respectable life since childhood. Although being good at sports, as a sophomore, Michael could not make it to the school basketball team. He later made it to the team after a year and won a basketball scholarship in the University of North Carolina. Dean Smith coached him at the University. After his session at the University, he was named the “college player” for two consecutive years by the “Sporting News”. After the junior years, he left North Carolina and was picked by the Chicago Bulls of NBA (National Basketball Association).

Early Years

At the time when Michael Jordan joined Chicago Bulls, they had only 6000 fans for the home game and were a losing side quite often. However, with his competitive spirit and style of play, he turned the tables for Chicago Bulls. He gained a lot of popularity amongst the fans for his hang time and leaping ability. He was honored as the “Rookie” of the league and was also called to the “All-Star” team. During this time, he was sidelined for 64 games because of a broken foot, however when he returned, he set a NBA playoff record of 63 points.

The next season during 1986-87 happened to be one of the most successful years in Jordan’s career. He received 1.5 million votes and started playing the “All-Star” game. After Wilt Chamberlain, he became the only player to score 3000 points in one single season. In 1988, Jordan started concentrating on improving his basketball skills and was titled as the “Most Defensive Player” in the same year. He was also honored as the “Most Valuable Player” of the league since he lead the league in stealing and scoring. Jordan was a part of the “Dream Team” in 1992 and took part in the Summer Olympic Games, held in Barcelona, Spain.

Business Life

Michael Jordan led a successful life as a businessman as well. He was a part of the profitable endorsements such as Wheaties and Nike. He owned a reputed golf company and introduced various products in the market. The Michael Jordan Cologne reportedly sold more than 1.5 million bottles within the 60 days of its release. Such a venture made him a multimillionaire instantly. On the other hand, he signed a $30 million contract in 1997 and it made him the highest paid athlete in the world. He also grabbed $40 million as endorsement fees during this year.


Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar Biography

Posted On March 7th, 2011 By Celebrity Biographies

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is considered to be one of the finest players in the Indian Cricket Team. In addition, he is regarded as one of the greatest batsman of all times. Wisden, the renowned magazine for Cricket, ranked him as the second greatest Test Cricket Batsman, right after Sir Donald Bradman in 2002. After Viv Richards, the magazine also ranked him as the second greatest batsman for One Day International (ODI).

Early Life

Sachin Tendulkar was born in Mumbai, India on 24th April, 1973. His father, Ramesh Tendulkar, was a Marathi novelist. His elder brother, Ajit Tendulkar, encouraged him to play cricket. While studying at Sharadashram Vidya Mandir, Sachin started playing cricket at a very early age. Under the strict guidance of his coach named Ramakant Achrekar, Sachin mastered the basics of this game. Later on, he showed his prowess in the game and was selected in the Indian team along with his school mate Vinod Kambli.

International Debut

In 1989, Sachin Tendulkar made his first Test cricket appearance in a match against Pakistan in Karachi. In the same match, another player from Pakistan made his debut, called Waqar Younis. Sachin scored 15 runs in the match and was soon bowled out by Younis. On 18th December, 1989, he made his first ODI appearance against Pakistan at Gujranwala. He could not score a run in this match and was caught by Wasim Akram after facing a Waqar Younis ball.

Accolades

Sachin Tendulkar is known as the “Little Master” by his contemporaries. The leg spinner from Australia, Shane Warne, addressed Sachin as one of the greatest players of all times. In addition, Sachin is the only one from the current generation of players, who made it to the dream team formed by Sir Donald Bradman. At the moment, Sachin Tendulkar is credited with scoring the highest number of runs in ODI and Test Cricket. Also, he has scored the highest number of centuries in both forms of cricket. He happens to be the first player to score more than 10000 runs in ODI cricket. For his services to India in the field of sports, he is awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the Padma Vibhushan Award.

Sachin Tendulkar has shown some of his best batting performances against Australia, supposedly the best team in the world. He scored his first test century at the age of 17 and he had scored 16 centuries by the time he was 25 years old. He surpassed Brian Lara and emerged as the biggest Test scorer in 2008.

Captaincy

Sachin Tendulkar was appointed as the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, twice in his international career; however none of the trials turned out to be successful enough. In addition, the pressure of captaincy suppressed his skills as a batsman.

For many, Sachin Tendulkar is a true gentleman and a brand amabassador of Cricket. And such is the humbleness and grace of Sachin Tendulkar, that many people do worship him as a God of Cricket! Sachin Tendulkar has the maximum records in Cricket history including “Most runs in a single inning (ODI)” and Highest Total runs both in ODI and Test Matches. He also has number of centuries in both formats of game!


Pele Biography

Posted On December 1st, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Edson Arantes do Nascimento

Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento)

Pele is one of the greatest soccer players ever. In his career, he has scored over 1200 goals, including several World Club, World Cup Championships and has covered 1360 games. This automatically translates to one goal per game.

Early Life

Pele was born as Edson Arantes do Nascimento on  23rd of October 1940. He happens to be the son of Dondinho (a Fluminense footballer) and his mother was Maria Celeste Arantes. His parents named him after Thomas Edison, the American inventor, however in order to create a unique name; his parents removed the “I” from the name and called him ‘Edson’. As the reports suggest, there seems to be a mistake on his documents, including the birth certificate and shows his name as “Edison”. His family originally nicknamed him as “Dico”. He received the name “Pele” only once he reached school, where the name was given to him according to the way he pronounced the name of his favourite player, Bilé. If we were to read his autobiography, Pele says that he had no idea how he got the name or what it meant. The only thing he knew that it was Hebrew for miracle and the word seemed to have no meaning in Portuguese.

Pele was brought up in Bauru, São Paulo and lived his life in poverty. He made some extra money while working as a servant in various tea shops. As a child, he could not afford proper football and was found playing with a sock filled with newspaper or a grapefruit tied with a string. When he turned 15, he later joined the junior team of Santos FC. Prior to joining the senior team, he played in the junior club for one season.

While his time at Santos, Pele got an opportunity to play along some of the gifted players of the time including Coutinho, Pepe and Zito. On 7th September 1956, Pelé made his debut for the Santos team and scored one goal against Corinthians. In the season of 1957, he was selected in a starting place and then he became the top scorer in the league, at the age of 16.

Personal Life

In 1966, Pele was married to Rosemarie Cholby, however they ended up being divorced in 1978. He later married a psychologist called Assiria Seixas Lemos. He had three children out of his first marriage.

Soccer Career
On July 7, 1957, Pele was asked to be a part of the national team of Brazil. He played his first international match against Argentina, in which he scored the first ever goal for his country. He then played his first international match against USSR in the World Cup of 1958. Pele happened to be the youngest player of the tournament and scored his first goal in the quarter finals against Wales. This was the deciding goal of the match, which took Brazil into the semi-finals. At just 17 years, Pele became the youngest player to score a World Cup goal on June 19, 1958. One of the goals that he scored in this World Cup is still considered to be one of the best goals in the history of soccer.

While Pele was still in the team, Brazil won three World Cups championships of 1962, 1966 as well as 1970. As soon as the 1962 World Cup ended, a few of the wealthiest European clubs wanted to sign Pele; however Brazil then declared him as the “national treasure” of the country.

On November 19th, 1969, pele scored the 1000th goal, which is now known as the “O Milesimo”. According to him, the goal that he scored against Sao Paulo at the Rua Javari stadium in 1959 happens to be the greatest goal of his life. Pele scored a “gol de placa” in March 1961. This goal was so impressive that it is still being remembered as the most beautiful goal. As far as the history is concerned, one of the most significant moments were when the Nigerian Civil War declared a ceasefire for 48 hours, just to watch Pele in an exhibition match.

On July 18th, 1971, Pele played his final international match in Rio de Janeiro against Yugoslavia.

After Soccer

Jose Alves de Araujo, a long time friend of Pele owns a company called Prime Licensing. This company is responsible for maintaining Pele’s brand along with his existing contracts including Pele L’uomo, Puma AG, Fremantle Media, Pelestation, QVC along with Pele Arena coffee places. Pele is active with his ambassadorial work for several organisations across the world. He was appointed as the UN ambassador for environment and ecology, in the year 1992. He was appointed as “Extraordinary Minister for Sport” in 1995 and was also the recipient of the Brazil’s Gold Medal. Later on he also served as the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. He took active steps to eliminate corruption within the Brazil football that was later referred to as the “Pele Law”. In 1997, he was honoured as the “knight” in the British Empire.

He has worked on several autobiographies, documentaries and semi-documentaries, along with a few musicals. Pelé was brought in as the Honorary President on August 1st, 2010 to revive the team “New York Cosmos”, so as to prepare them for the Major League Soccer.


Diego Armando Maradona Biography

Posted On September 10th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona is considered to be one of the best footballers of all times. He happens to be an Argentinean player and currently manages the Argentine National Team. As far as his international career is concerned, he scored a total of 34 goals and earned as many as 91 caps. He appeared in 4 FIFA world cup tournaments and captained a win for his team in 1986 against West Germany. He was endowed with the “Golden Ball Award” as the best player of the tournament. During his professional club career, he played for Boca Juniors, Argentinos Juniors, Sevilla, Napoli and Newell’s Old Boys. Maradona was one of the first players to receive world-record fees for his contracts. Amidst several controversies, Maradona became the head coach of the Argentinean National Team in 2008.

Early Years

Diego Maradona was born on 30th October 1960 and belonged to Lanus, Buenos Aries. Although being born in Lanus, he was raised in a town called ‘Villa Fiorito’ located on the southern outskirts of the province. He happened to be the first son in the family after three daughters. He also had two younger brothers called Hugo and Eduardo, both of whom became successful football players.

While playing in his neighborhood club called “Estrella Roja”, he was spotted by a talent scout at the age of 10. He joined as a junior with the Argentinos Juniors and as a ball boy, he amused the audience with his football skills during the half time break.

Personal Life

Diego Maradona was born to mother Dalma Salvadore Franco and father Diego Maradona Snr. On 7th November, 1989, Maradona married his long-time fiancée in Buenos Aries called Claudia Villafane. He has two daughters Dalma Nerea and Giannina Dinorah. Maradona has admitted in his autobiography that he has not been faithful with his wife and refers to her as the only ‘love’ of his life.

Maradona and his wife divorced in 2004, on mutual consent and continued to remain friends thereafter. They are often spotted together on FIFA events and other sporting occasions. After the divorce, Claudia went on to pursue her career as a theatre producer.

During the proceedings of his divorce, Maradona revealed that he fathered a son called Diego Sinagra in Italy. However, the Italian courts ruled this out in 1993. As of now, Diego Sinagra is a footballer in Italy.

Football Career

Maradona made his first professional football debut on 20th October 1976 with a club called Argentinos Juniors. He played with the club for five years, until he was offered a £1m contract with Boca Juniors. He received his first league medal while playing with the squad in 1982. After the world cup of 1982, he was transferred to Barcelona, Spain for a contract fee of £5m. During his time in Barcelona, he used to get in disputes with the team managers especially the club president called Josep Lluís Núñez. He was then transferred to Napoli, Italy for a world-record fee of £6.9m.

Maradona reached the peak of his football career during his time with Napoli. He led the team to several Italian Championships and soon became one of the most sought after players of the world

International Career

During his time at Napoli, Maradona found his fame in international football. While playing for the Argentina National Team, he played 4 FIFA Tournaments. He led the Argentinean team to the World Cup in 1986 and came second during the 1990 World Cup.

His full international debut happened when he was only 16 on 27th February 1977, in a match against Hungary. The goal made by Maradona during the quarter final match against England in the 1986 world cup is voted as the ‘Goal of the Century’ through an online poll conducted by FIFA in 2002. It is regarded as one of the greatest goals in the history of football.

Playing Style

Diego Maradona was extremely technical with the football, along with being a strategic team player. He could effectively run through limited spaces and would often fool the defenders. Apart from being short, he was extremely strong on the field and could hold the ball for longer duration, until he spotted a gap or a teammate.

Dribbling at full speed is one of his trademark moves and he is known to deliver accurate passes while approaching the goal. A reverse-cross pass shot, also known as the “rabona” was one of his preferred shots. Maradona has proved to be a dangerous free kicker. Diego Maradona was a predominant left-footer and he would often use his left foot, even if the ball would be ideally placed for a right foot shot.

Problems

While playing for Napoli in Italy, Maradona faced a lot of personal problems. He continued the use of cocaine and faced a fine of US $70,000 for missing practices and games, apparently due to stress. There was a huge scandal regarding the existence of an illegitimate son and he was also suspected of his relationship with Camorra. He was banned for 15 months from Napoli since he failed a drug test for cocaine. Maradona quit the club in disgrace in the year 1992. Thereafter he joined Sevilla, after a break of 2 years from professional football.

Due to his addiction to cocaine, his play was affected greatly. His health suffered majorly after his retirement and he had to be rushed to the emergency room while vacationing in Uruguay. The doctors detected damage in the heart muscles and traces of cocaine were also found in his blood. On his return to Argentina, he moved to Cuba to follow a strict drug rehab plan.

Maradona is known to have a tendency to put on weight and suffered from obesity. In March 2005, he had to undergo gastric bypass surgery. He appeared on Argentinean national television on May 8, 2007 and claimed that he had not consumed drugs or alcohol in the last two years.


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