Sat, Jan 31, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

PHOTO: REUTERS

■ Baseball

Taiwan star joins Mariners

Chen Yung-chi (陳鏞基), a middle infielder from Taiwan, agreed on Thursday to a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners. Chen, 20, is the second Taiwanese player to sign with the Mariners, following Wu Chao-kuan (武昭關). Chen was the youngest member of the Taiwan team which qualified for the 2004 Olympics. Chen was also selected as an all-star shortstop for his play in Taipei's NBC World Series Championship title in Wichita, Kansas, hitting .405 with 11 RBIs and 17 hits.

■ Soccer

Van Nistelrooy signs deal

Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has signed a contract which will keep him at Manchester United until June 30, 2008, the club said on Thursday. No financial details were immediately available for the deal, which follows manager Alex Ferguson's agreement on Wednesday to sign a one-year rolling contract from June 2005. Van Nistelrooy, one of the top scorers in the premier league with 14 goals so far this season, joined the English champions for ?19 million ($34.46 million) in 2001.

■ Soccer

Leeds players cut wages

Leeds United players have agreed a wage deferral of more than 20 percent to help the club in its bid to survive until the end of the season, players' union chief Gordon Taylor said on Thursday. Leeds, who are ?80 million (US$145.7 million) in debt, had have been given until 5pm yesterday to secure funds and are facing financial administration if they fail. The premier league club said later it was seeking an extension of its "standstill arrangements" with creditors until the end of the season. The Leeds players, some of whom earn more than ?50,000 pounds a week, are the first from a top division club in England to agree to wage deferrals.

■ Cricket

Autographed bats stolen

Australian cricket authorities appealed to the public yesterday for help in catching thieves who stole a batch of prized autographed cricket bats. The 43 stolen bats were signed by Australian and international sides from matches dating back a decade, including the 1999 World Cup won by Australia, Cricket Australia said. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the theft of the bats from a Melbourne storage facility was discovered in August and police had failed to track down the culprits. "We understand the police have several leads in their investigation, which has been progressing since August last year, but we are appealing to members of the public to come forward."

■ Soccer

Best on drink-drive charge

Former Manchester United great George Best was arrested for drink driving early yesterday, police said. "He's been charged with driving while over the alcohol limit. He will be appearing at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Monday," a police spokeswoman said. She said the arrest took place shortly after midnight in Merton in London. Best, 57, one of the most gifted forwards to play the game and part of the Manchester United side which won the 1968 European Cup, has attracted controversy due to alcohol problems in recent years. He underwent a liver transplant after years of alcohol abuse. Last month he spent Christmas night in jail over an alleged assault but was freed without charge.

■ Soccer

Gazza crashes car

Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne has walked away unhurt after crashing his car into a parked van, police said yesterday. A Northumbria police spokeswoman said 36-year-old "Gazza" swerved to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle and crunched his car into the back of a delivery truck. The accident happened on Thursday afternoon near his home in Tyne and Wear, northeast England. Newspapers showed pictures of Gascoigne's black BMW, its front end completely demolished. "I just ran into the back of the van. I'm fine but I am a bit shaken up," he told The Sun newspaper.

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