Labuschagne bats on after New Zealand double strike

first_imgSYDNEY,  (Reuters) – Marnus Labuschagne was 181 not out as Australia reached 354 for five at lunch on the second day of the third test against New Zealand at a sunbathed Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday. Black Caps spinner Will Somerville bowled Matthew Wade for 22 in the first over of the day and seamer Matt Henry, nursing a broken thumb on his non-bowling hand, removed Travis Head for 10 half an hour before lunch.Labuschagne, however, looked largely untroubled as he continued his golden summer, passing 150 for the third time in Australia’s five home tests this season and heading towards his first double century.Captain Tim Paine will resume alongside Labuschagne after lunch, having scored 10 from 26 balls. Australia have already secured the three-match series after thumping wins in Perth and Melbourne and another already looked on the cards when they resumed on 283-3.There had been concerns that the soaring temperatures forecast for Saturday might worsen the bushfire emergency around Australia and that the blanket of acrid smoke that has covered Sydney on several occasions in recent weeks might return.Play got underway under blue skies, however, and Somerville was soon celebrating his first test wicket at a ground where he played for four years for New South Wales. Wade is known for his sweeping but the tall off-spinner fired down a high, slow delivery that the Australian missed with the ball going on to hit the off stump.New Zealand, weakened by the absence through illness of Kane Williamson, batman Henry Nicholls and spinner Mitch Santner, fought hard for another breakthrough and finally got their reward through Henry, who broke his left thumb on day one.The right-arm seamer fired down a length ball that Head tried to cut only to catch an edge which New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling snaffled up behind the stumps.last_img read more

JFF will reorganise its structure to prevent FIFA sanction

first_imgPresident of the St Ann Football Association (St. A. FA), Danny Beckford says that the large number of administrative mishandlings that dogged the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) over the last two years is the main reason FIFA has restricted funding to the federation and demanded changes. Beckford said the two-day meeting (March 9-10) between FIFA Senior Governance Manager, Sarah Solemale and members of Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) hierarchy on amending the statues of the federation went well and he expects the changes to be fully implemented before the end of the year.“The things that happen to JFF is a wake-up call. When FIFA put you on a watch list and are withholding funds, something is seriously wrong. It has been months and we haven’t received the grants from FIFA, and it would be gratifying if the stop order is removed,” he said.More planning “Some implementation (statues) have started but the corona (virus) has put us back. But the most satisfying (thing) will be when we have implemented the things we have discussed. Once we implement these things, more planning and administration will be done minus the strong-hand politics and we will eliminate all incompetence,” he said.He says if Jamaica fails to implement these measures they could suffer a similar fate as Trinidad FA whose president William Wallace and newly elected board was disbanded by FIFA recently, after only a few months in office and a Normalisation Committee put in place. Also the fact that the JFF has been placed on a watch list by FIFA, who have withheld funds, should serve as motivation to get it done.“Things are going in the right direction. Trinidad has opened the board of directors’ eyes. Because if we continue, further down the line what happened to Trinidad might happen to us,” he said. “So within the next cycle for the (JFF) election things should be in place, even if there are dissenting voices. This is not politics because if in a year we do not get this done, FIFA will do to us what they did to Trinidad and we will only have ourselves to blame,” he continued.The issues discussed at the meeting included who should make up the board and who should be represented at congress. Solemale also recommended that regional bodies (parishes), interest groups (schools, referees etc.,) and the professional league should be represented. She also outlined the role and composition of the board and recommended that board members not be delegates. Great emphasis was also placed on the critical need for the separation of power between the board and the general secretariat.Meanwhile, JFF general secretary Dalton Wint said the meeting is part of the objective to modernise the federation. “It’s over a year now we have been inviting them (FIFA) to come and finally they did and we had a very cordial meeting. We want to modernise our statues and get more stakeholders involved in the decision making process of our football. This is something we have always spoken about and we are taking steps to have that corrected. So in the next two years we should have a new statues going into the next election,” Wint said. (Reprinted from Jamaica Star Newspaper)last_img read more

Italian PM says training can start in May, no date for Serie A re-start

first_imgROME,  (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gave the go-ahead yesterday for professional sports teams to start training again in May following the novel coronavirus outbreak but did not set a date for soccer’s top-flight Serie A championship to resume. Conte, announcing measures to ease the lockdown during a televised address to the country, said individual training could start on May 4, when players would still have to respect social distancing rules, and that team training could begin on May 18.Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus and Serie A has been suspended since March 9. The suspension followed a chaotic fortnight in which the country attempted to carry on with matches behind closed doors.Conte said sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora would work “intensively” with scientists and sports leaders to ensure training was safe. “Then we will try to see if they can continue with the championships that are suspended. We will only reach this conclusion if it can be guaranteed that it is safe. We don’t want our athletes to get sick.“I’m passionate for football,” he added. “Like many Italians, I initially found it strange that the championship could be interrupted or suspended but I think that even the most ardent fan understands that there wasn’t an alternative.”The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has already drawn up a medical protocol for training. For the start of training, each club will form a group of players, technical staff, doctors and physiotherapists who will be tested and then isolated in a summer-style training camp.  There are also plans to donate five COVID test-kits for each kit used by clubs to avoid the criticism that football is taking away much-needed resources from other areas.There are 12 rounds of matches still to play in Serie A plus a number of outstanding games from previous rounds. Title holders Juventus are one point clear of Lazio at the top.last_img read more

MCC to extend president Sangakkara’s term amid coronavirus crisis

first_imgLONDON, (Reuters) – Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara will be offered a one-year extension as president of the Marylebone Cricket Club in the “extraordinary circumstances” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the MCC said yesterday. Sangakkara became the first non-British president of the MCC, the custodian of cricket’s laws, when he took over in October last year.The disruption caused by the outbreak prompted the MCC committee to offer the 42-year-old to continue until Sept 30, 2021, a motion likely to be approved in its June 24 annual general meeting.“Whilst Presidents of MCC only normally serve for a twelve-month period, it is not unprecedented for longer terms to be introduced to respond to extraordinary circumstances,” MCC said in a statement, citing the stints of Lord Hawke (1914-18) and Stanley Christopherson (1939-45).last_img read more

Pakistan’s Hafeez to delay retirement if T20 World Cup postponed

first_imgLAHORE, Pakistan, (Reuters) – Pakistan all-rounder Mohammed Hafeez says he will delay his retirement if this year’s Twenty20 World Cup is postponed because of the coronavirus crisis. The 39-year-old former captain planned to end his 17-year international career after the World Cup in November but with hosts Australia labelling the tournament’s schedule as “very high risk” Hafeez is now ready to play on.“I gave retiring from T20 cricket after the World Cup a lot of thought,” Hafeez said in a video conference.“I want to retire from T20 cricket after playing a big tournament in which I perform well, and hopefully go out on a winning note. “This is my plan, and if the World T20 is postponed to November or some later time, that doesn’t mean I won’t play it.” Hafeez quit tests in late 2018 but remained active in limited-overs cricket and played the 50-overs World Cup in England last year.He was recalled to the Twenty20 squad for the home series against Bangladesh in January and has also been picked for Pakistan’s tour of England in August-September.While there have been growing calls for Hafeez to call time on his career, he said he was still good enough for international cricket. “I’m not going to quit cricket because someone asks me to, just like I never started playing at someone else’s behest,” he said. “I’ve spent the last 17 years justifying my selection, and I hope I’ll justify my selection again this time. All I’d like to say is – my career, my choice.”last_img read more

Simpson grabs lead, Watney exits with COVID-19 at Harbour Town

first_img(Reuters) – Webb Simpson delivered a putting master class to grab the lead and Nick Watney withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19 at the second round of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Friday. Former U.S. Open champion Simpson mixed nine birdies with three bogeys for a six-under-par 65 that left him at 12 under for the week at Harbour Town course on Hilton Head Island and one shot clear of Bryson DeChambeau (64) and Canadian Corey Conners (63).“I had a few par savers that kind of kept my momentum going, but I did drop three shots, all kind of physical errors,” said world No. 9 Simpson. “I’m thinking well right now, so I’d rather physical errors than mental errors.”The brilliant play of the leaders, who went out in the morning wave when scoring conditions were ideal before inclement weather forced a brief halt to play in the afternoon, took a back seat to the news of Watney’s positive test. Watney said he felt symptoms of the disease when he arrived to the course and got his positive result before starting his second round. He played his first round on Thursday alongside fellow Americans Vaughn Taylor and Luke List.The result makes Watney the first golfer inside the PGA Tour’s “bubble” to test positive for the disease since it returned from a three-month hiatus last week in Fort Worth, Texas, where Watney also competed.Vaughn, who will be tested again as part of the PGA Tour’s protocol, learned about Watney’s positive test midway through his second round. “Heart started racing, got a little nervous,” a shaken Vaughn told reporters. “Just hope Nick’s doing well and we get through this.”World number one Rory McIlroy said Watney texted him the news since the two had chatted with each other on a practice green earlier on Friday.“We were at a distance. He was just saying, look, I hope I didn’t get too close to you,” said McIlroy. “He feels badly that he was here today at the golf course. “I said, look, it’s fine. You never know. So I said to him, if I was in your position, I probably would have been here too. Look, at this point, you just have to concentrate on getting better and getting healthy.”Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed were among the players who missed the cut on Friday.last_img read more

Stephen Harris – bettingexpert: Cheltenham Festival

first_imgShare ‘Better for Bettors’: Better Collective’s formalised approach to sustainable development June 15, 2020 Coral relaunches cinematic campaign for racing’s return June 5, 2020 ITV secures three-year British racing broadcast deal August 5, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Submit We’re into the month of March, and the Cheltenham Festival is nearly upon us. So it was only right that we caught up with the resident horse racing guru at bettingexpert, Stephen Harris.We asked him how he feels about Cheltenham, how easy (or difficult) it is to pick a race winner, and how confident he is feeling about his number 1 favourite in the Supreme Novices Hurdle:______________________SBC: Hi Stephen, what does the Cheltenham Festival mean to you?SH: These days a lot of hard work with the free bettingexpert guide to produce and update! From a punting angle I am confined to Betfair these days and it does give an opportunity to play into a much more liquid market than usual (with plenty of public money rather than just the hardened sharks giving their cash a spin).SBC: It’s good to see you working hard! How many times have you been to Cheltenham and do you still feel the same excitement?SH: In my twenties I went every year and stayed locally. The buzz in the betting ring was electric until the exchanges took over…with some huge players backing their opinions on both sides of the fence. The roar on Day 1 as they line up for the first race is indescribable and everyone should experience it once.SBC: It used to be a three-day festival, but now takes place over four; is there scope for making it five days?SH: Less is more sometimes. The handicaps have already diluted some of the quality and spread the runners more thinly. That said I could easily see the Festival running from Wednesday to Saturday eventually, with the Gold Cup taking place as the highlight of the week on the final day.SBC: Do you think the festival has become too dominant on the racing schedule? SH: Yes. Horses are not running enough, avoid each other and the overall interest in the sport dwindles Monday to Friday.SBC: For all of our readers looking forward to having a bet, how easy is it to pick a winner during the festival?SH: It is horrifically hard and there are very few secrets by the time the meeting comes around…every angle has been mulled over and dissected to death by the media and 500 preview evenings. That said, if top class competitive racing doesn’t get the heart pumping then you are in the wrong game.SBC: And finally, how confident are you in your #1 favourite, Min?SH: There will be a lot of long faces if it doesn’t oblige…and the UK rivals to Willie Mullins star do all look an average bunch on balance.______________________Click here to read Stephen’s Cheltenham Betting Guide and Tips. Sharelast_img read more

Betfair states that Brexit will break £50m barrier

first_imgShare With ‘Remain’ currently trading at a 77% chance and with just 13 days to go, Betfair’s ‘Brexit’ market is set to trade £50 million and in doing so make political betting history. The EU referendum market has seemingly captured the attention of Betfair customers.There have been tens of thousands of individual trades ranging from £2 to £315,000 showing that it’s  been popular for the recreational punters and sophisticated traders alike.Based on the acceleration of betting in political markets in the days before the outcome, Betfair is predicting that the Brexit market will easily surpass the £40m traded for the 2012 US Presidential Election. This is the previous record traded for a single political event.Naomi Totten, BetfairNaomi Totten, spokeswoman for Betfair, said: “The level of interest in this market continues to transcend expectations and the Brexit may not only surpass political betting records but is also on course to reach the levels traded on ODI cricket matches and Grand Slam tennis finals.“Of the £22m on the market, £17m of that is on a vote to Remain. As it stands the market suggests there is only a 22% chance of Britain leaving the EU, which speaks volumes when considering just how much money has been staked.” Submit Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure  August 27, 2020 Share StumbleUpon EU research agency demands urgent action on loot box consumer safeguards July 29, 2020 Related Articleslast_img read more

Ravens place franchise tag on Rice; make cuts of Evans, Carr official

first_imgAfter weeks of speculation, the Ravens have officially placed their franchise tag on running back Ray Rice less than two weeks before he was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.After leading the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage and being named to his second Pro Bowl team, Rice will now be issued the franchise tender for running backs, reported to be $7.7 million in 2012. Playing out the final year of a four-year contract he signed as a second-round pick in 2008, Rice made only $550,000 in base salary as one of the best bargains in the league in 2011.“Obviously, I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere,” Ray Rice said following the season. “But, it’s just one of those processes where you want to wait and see what happens, and hopefully me and the Ravens come to a great long-term deal. That’s the goal. I see myself here — I’m a Raven.”Rice becomes only the fifth player in franchise history to receive the franchise tag, joining offensive lineman Wally Williams, cornerback Chris McAlister, linebacker Terrell Suggs, and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Of the previous four, only Williams failed to receive a long-term contract after receiving the designation. Given the short shelf life of running backs historically, some have suggested the Ravens should simply wait on a long-term extension for Rice and allow him to play with the tag in 2012, but general manager Ozzie Newsome has made his intentions clear when it comes to his star running back.“We have used the franchise tag only so we can get a long-term deal,” Newsome said at the NFL rookie combine in Indianapolis last week. “We would like for Ray Rice to have a long career in Baltimore. If we have to franchise him, that would be the reason why.”Newsome re-iterated that statement Friday.“As we have in the past, placing the franchise designation on a player allows us to keep negotiating on a long-term contract. Our goal is to keep Ray Rice a Raven. We’ve done this with other outstanding players through our history, including Haloti Ngata a year ago.”The Ravens will have until July 15 to reach an agreement with Rice’s agent Todd France on a contract or Rice must play the 2012 season under the $7.7 million tender. Baltimore would have the option of using the tag again in 2013, but Rice’s 2012 salary would increase by 120 percent.Throughout last season, Rice downplayed the significance of his expiring contract, acknowledging the business side of football and never questioning the Ravens’ commitment to him. The running back could elect to hold out during training camp if the sides fail to reach a long-term agreement in July, but history suggests the Ravens will take care of the 5-foot-8 back.Rice has rushed for a minimum of 1,220 yards in each of the last three seasons and scored a career-high 15 touchdowns in 2011.France and the Ravens held contract discussions in Indianapolis last weekend, but negotiations for both Rice and quarterback Joe Flacco — who has one year remaining on his deal — are expected to stretch into the late spring or summer before any potential deal is reached.“The reality of it is those [deals] are going to take a little longer,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We’re going to have a lot of contract conversations and different guys we’ll be talking to and even trying to get signed. Maybe even the draft will happen. Those guys will kind of overarch that whole process.“Ultimately, I think we all believe that those two guys will be on the team for a long time.”Ravens make cuts officialThe Ravens also announced the cuts of wide receiver Lee Evans and cornerback Chris Carr, who was told Thursday about his release from the team.The team is also prepared to release cornerback Domonique Foxworth, who missed most of last season while still recovering from a torn ACL suffered at the beginning of training camp in 2010, but the move has not been announced as of Friday afternoon.Evans had a $5.61 million cap number for 2012, and was set to make $3.3 million in base salary and was scheduled to receive a $ 1 million roster bonus on March 18th if he remained with the club.Evans, 30, battled an ankle injury all season after coming over in a preseason trade with the Buffalo Bills. He appeared in nine games and started two.He caught four passes for 74 yards and, of course, faced criticism for his key drop in the Ravens 23-20 loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game.Carr was released one season into a four-year contract he signed last summer.He was scheduled to receive $2.5 million in 2012.Newsome said those two moves were difficult for him and team personnel to make.“Each year, we have to make tough, difficult decisions to manage our roster,” Newsome said. “Chris Carr and Lee Evans were valuable Ravens, and both helped us get to the AFC Championship game and the brink of the Super Bowl last season with the way they played and the maturity they added to the locker room.”However, Newsome said the door is not shut on either one to return to the club.“As we talked about when we informed Chris and Lee of these moves, this does not close the door on them coming back to the Ravens.”WNST.net’s Ryan Chell contributed to this report.last_img read more

Ben Grubbs departs Baltimore for New Orleans with five year, 36 million dollar contract

first_imgThe Baltimore Ravens lost their third member of the 2011 squad to free agency Thursday, as guard Ben Grubbs, the team’s first-round pick in 2007 out of Auburn, signed a five-year, 36 million dollar contract to join the New Orleans Saints.The move came a day after the departures of linebacker Jarret Johnson, who signed a four-year deal with the San Diego Chargers, and DL Cory Redding, who also left for the Indianapolis Colts on a three-year contract.Grubbs, who went to his first Pro Bowl this season, was the second-ranked guard on the free agent market behind Carl Nicks, who ironically left the Saints to stay in the division with Tampa Bay.Grubbs visited New Orleans Wednesday night, and reportedly took a physical.The Ravens were a couple million apart with their left guard, but they are scheduled to bring in Evan Mathis-formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles-for a workout.Be sure to follow WNST throughout the day as we cover NFL free agency! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!last_img read more