The News International - Sports

Dec 142017
Fixing claims rock Ashes series, ICC begins probe

PERTH, Australia: Cricket chiefs voiced “grave concern” but said there was no evidence the third Ashes Test between Australia and England starting Thursday has been corrupted after a match-fixing bombshell rocked the series.British newspaper The Sun alleged two bookmakers, including an Indian “Mr Big”, had offered to sell it details of rigged periods of play in the Test in Perth which could be bet on to win huge sums.One of them claimed to have worked on the scam with former and current internationals including a World Cup-winning all-rounder. They said they liaised with a fixer in Australian cricket known as “The Silent Man”.No Australia or England players were named as being involved.The tabloid said their undercover reporters were asked for up to A£140,000 ($187,000, 158,000 euros) to “spot fix” markets such as the exact amount of runs scored in an over.“Before match. I will tell you this over, this runs and then you have to put all the bets on that over,” one of the bookmakers was quoted as saying.Asked if it was a good source, he said: “Absolutely correct information.”The International Cricket Council said the revelations were of “grave concern” and an investigation had been launched, but it did not believe the match, where England are battling to avoid going 3-0 down in the five-Test series, had been tainted.“From my initial assessment of the material, there is no evidence, either from The Sun or via our own intelligence, to suggest the current Test match has been corrupted,” said the [Read More…]

Dec 132017
Officials? team wins Bahria inter-department futsal

KARACHI: Shoaib Cheema (2) helped Bahria officials to mark 2-0 win against computer science department to win the Inter-Departmental Futsal tournament here at Bahria University.As many as seven teams participated in the two-day tournament: computer science, NCMPR, IPP, electrical engineering, software engineering, computer engineering and Bahria officials.Sports head Bahria University Ashiq Hussain told ‘The News’ that Futsal was the most popular game in the university. “There are many players showing interest in this game,” he said. Click for detailed story

Dec 132017
Form, history against England as Australia eye the urn

PERTH: Here it is, then. The last ever Test match – probably – at the WACA, a ground famous for being, at one stage during the 1970s and 1980s, the quickest and bounciest pitch in the world. Itis a venue which has embodied the tenets of Australian cricket perhaps better than anywhere else. To play well here at the WACA’s quickest, you needed to have courage, show aggression, have pace with the ball and daring with the bat. All are fundamentals of how Australia – even now – attempt to play their cricket.Yet it has not been the recent fortress some might like to believe. In all, Australia have won 24 of the 43 Tests at the WACA but in the last nine matches, they have lost four and drawn one. South Africa have won here on their last three visits, including last year, and New Zealand matched them blow for blow in a 2015 high-scoring draw. The pitch no longer has the pace and bounce it once had which has given hope to opposition teams. Something for England, perhaps, to cling to.The WACA has, however, been a place of punishment for English teams. They have won just once there, in 1978, when the home side were decimated by World Series Cricket. England have not escaped defeat at the ground since 1986 and their last three matches at the WACA saw defeats by the margins of 150 runs, 267 runs and 206 runs respectively. England will be very happy that [Read More…]

Dec 132017
Zaheer flays PCB over feeble role in new FTP

KARACHI: Former Pakistan Test captain Zaheer Abbas has taken a swipe at the country’s cricket authorities over their failure to safeguard Pakistan’s interests in the new Future Tours Programme of the International Cricket Council (ICC).Once finalised, the new FTP will hand Pakistan a raw deal as it will get fewer matches than most of the other full Test-playing nations. “I’m really sad and angry at the way Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has tackled this issue so far,” Zaheer, who has also served as ICC President, told ‘The News’ in an interview on Wednesday.“Among the various task entrusted on the people running the PCB one of the most important one is to make sure that Pakistan cricket gets its fair share in international cricketing action. From what I have read it seems that it hasn’t happened. The PCB has failed to fight for the cause of our cricket. They have not tackled the (FTP) matter well and that is a big cause of concern for all of us,” he stressed.According to reports, the new FTP which is being finalised by the ICC tilts heavily in favour of the nations who once formed the infamous ‘Big Three’ – India, England and Australia. In the new programme South Africa join them as the fourth team to get maximum benefit.Pakistan have been left to languish on the sidelines, almost degraded to the level of minnows like Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan. “That’s unacceptable,” Zaheer said. “I mean how can such treatment be justified? Pakistan is [Read More…]

Dec 132017
?No concerns over Tokyo Olympic preparations?

TOKYO: Tokyo organisers have shown they will complete all their 2020 Olympic venues on schedule, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Wednesday at the conclusion of a three-day visit.Coordination commission chairman John Coates insisted he had “no concerns” over Tokyo’s preparations after local organisers recently unveiled their first new permanent venue. “We received reports on the progress of venue construction and it’s just not an area that we have any concerns — I have any concerns — about,” he told reporters.“You’re meeting all your deadlines of construction and I see no reason why, in a country so sophisticated, that this won’t continue to be the case.”After bungling the rollout of the showpiece Olympic stadium two years ago, Japanese organisers have faced criticism but the successful opening last month of the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, set to host badminton and modern pentathlon fencing, brought a welcome public relations score.The original plans for the new national stadium were ripped up by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe two years ago because of public anger over its eye-watering $2 billion price tag. IOC officials have since called on Tokyo to make efforts to further reduce the current $12 billion Games budget.“We will continue to explore cost reduction opportunities,” promised Coates. “The next version of the budget is being completed by the end of this year and we’ll see that when we get to Pyeongchang (for the Winter Olympics) in February.”But Coates also added: “We are confident significant savings can be achieved. But we have [Read More…]

Dec 132017
Rohit smashes record double ton in India?s big victory

MOHALI, India: Skipper Rohit Sharma Wednesday became the first batsman to hit three double centuries in One-Day Internationals as he powered India to a 141-run win over Sri Lanka in the second match.Sharma’s unbeaten 208 steered the hosts to an imposing 392-4 and then restricted Sri Lanka to 251-8 to level the three-match series at 1-1 in Mohali.His epic knock, laced with 12 sixes and 13 fours in 153-ball stay, led the Indian charge after they were invited to bat first in overcast conditions.Sharma reached 200 in the 50th over, bowled by opposition skipper Thisara Perera. His first hundred came off 115 balls, and his second off just 38 balls.“It was a great day. Winning the game was important for me and the team after that loss in Dharamsala,” Sharma said after his first win as Indian captain.The right-hander scored 209 against Australia in Bangalore in 2013, and followed that double-hundred with his highest score of 264 against Sri Lanka a year later in Kolkata.Martin Guptill (New Zealand), Virender Sehwag (India), Chris Gayle (West Indies) and Sachin Tendulkar (India) have recorded a double century each in ODI cricket.Sharma made a bright start with his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (68) after the Indian batsmen’s horror showing in the opening ODI, when they were skittled out for just 112.“All three came at crucial times. 264 is obviously very close to me. I’ve said it many times, but I honestly cannot pick one,” Sharma said of his three double tons.“The Australia one was [Read More…]

Dec 102017
Kohli, Anushka set to marry in Italy

NEW DELHI: India cricket captain Virat Kohli is set to marry long-time girlfriend and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma in a much-anticipated wedding in Italy this week, according to media reports on Sunday.Rumours started swirling when Kohli pulled out of India’s limited-overs matches against Sri Lanka and Sharma also ducked out of her busy acting schedule in December.Indian TV channels have gone into overdrive over what they have billed as the “wedding of the year”. “A heritage property within a resort in Tuscany is being decked up for the wedding,” the Hindustan Times said on Sunday. “Arrangements for a typically Punjabi wedding are reportedly being made by the wedding planner,” the newspaper added, citing unnamed sources. The celebrity couple and their families have reportedly flown out of India for the week-long celebrations.A grand reception is also planned in Mumbai on December 26. There has been no confirmation from the couple.The Indian captain has said he needed to rest because of his “massive workload”, ahead of the national side’s tour of South Africa in January. Kohli and Sharma, both 29, started dating in 2013 after they met during the filming of a shampoo advert.The high-profile couple made their first public appearance a year later during a football match. Kohli is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes and a huge star in cricket-crazy India, and Sharma is one of the top actresses in the multi-billion-dollar Indian film industry. Click for detailed story

Dec 102017
Russian Yuskov breaks world 1500m record

LOS ANGELES, California: Denis Yuskov won the men’s 1,500 metre race in world record time at a World Cup speedskating event in Utah on Saturday, breaking an eight-year-old mark held by American Shani Davis.The three-time world 1,500m champion Yuskov, of Russia, clocked a time of one minute, 41.02 seconds at the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City.Davis, who finished 13th in Saturday’s race, set the previous mark of 1:41.04 at the same track in December 2009.Yuskov also spoiled a Dutch podium sweep in the event as Koen Verweij was second in 1:41.63, and countryman Thomas Krol was third in 1:42.63.American Joey Mantia was fourth in 1:42.77, while Canada’s Denny Morrison rounded out the top five in 1:42.92. Click for detailed story

Dec 102017
Vonn misses St Moritz super-G with back injury

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland: American skier Lindsey Vonn pulled out of Sunday’s super-G in St Moritz after sustaining a back injury 24 hours previously.With less than two months to go before the Winter Olympics, Vonn said: “Unfortunately I will not be able to race today. I am extremely disappointed but my biggest goal this season is the Olympics and I need to take care of myself now so I can be ready for next week, and more importantly, for February. As always, thank you for the well wishes.”Her tweet ended with icons of a red heart and hands in prayer.Vonn explained overnight that she had suffered an “acute facet (spinal joint) dysfunction”.“I got compressed on the 6th gate and my back seized up. Rested and had a lot of therapy tonight.”She added: “Our @usskiteam doctor checked me out and no imaging is needed, just need the joint and the muscles to calm down so I can move again.”After completing Saturday’s super-G, 33-year-old Vonn lay down and then struggled to stand up again. Bent over, as if she had pain in the small of her back, Vonn then made her way into a tent reserved for competitors.Vonn is one of the most succesful skiers in history and has made the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, her priority for the season. The Games begin on February 9.As it was, Vonn didn’t end up missing any time on the piste as Sunday’s super-G, which was also to count for Friday’s rescheduled combined discipline, [Read More…]

Dec 102017
Conte throws in towel as Kane sparks Spurs

LONDON: Chelsea manager Antonio Conte declared his side’s Premier League title defence over after Marko Arnautovic’s goal condemned the champions to a 1-0 loss at West Ham United on Saturday.Chelsea’s first defeat in eight league games left them 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, who visit second-place Manchester United in Sunday’s derby.“We have to consider that this is the fourth game we’ve lost in 16 games,” Conte told Sky Sports at the London Stadium.“In my previous experience, it won’t be possible to fight for the title.”Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur ended a run of four games without victory with a thumping 5-1 home win over Stoke City at Wembley.Having previously been beaten by Burnley, Manchester City and Crystal Palace, Chelsea have lost just one fewer game than in the entirety of their triumphant 2016-17 campaign.Austria international Arnautovic struck in the sixth minute, neatly exchanging passes with Manuel Lanzini and cutting inside Cesar Azpilicueta before curling a low shot past Thibaut Courtois.It was West Ham’s first win in nine league games and confirmed the progress they have made under new manager David Moyes, who saw his side narrowly beaten 2-1 at Manchester City last weekend.“The win, the spirit of the team, how they stuck together and more importantly a lot of the basics were done well today,” said Moyes. “All that really pleased me.”West Ham remain in the relegation zone, but they are now level on points with fourth-bottom West Bromwich Albion, who lost 1-0 at Swansea City in Alan Pardew’s second [Read More…]

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