■ Ice Hockey
`Puck death' case settled
The family of a teenage girl, who died at a National Hockey League (NHL) game two years ago, received US$1.2 million in a settlement, the Columbus Dispatch reported on Wednesday. Court documents unsealed on Wednesday show that the parents of 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil split the settlement money from the club owners, the NHL and the arena operators, the paper said. Brittanie was killed when a hockey puck sailed into the stands of a Columbus Blue Jackets game. The incident resulted in protective netting being placed behind the goals in the majority of hockey rinks in both the US and Canada.
Pay agreement on the cards
England's World Cup-winning players could have a new four-year pay agreement in place before they head for Tests against New Zealand and Australia in June. "We would be failing in our duty if we didn't sort out a new four-year deal before the summer tour gets under way," Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Professional Rugby Players Association, told the Evening Standard. Negotiations to establish new payments to cover match fees and image rights with the Rugby Football Union and the leading Premiership clubs were halted after England's Six Nations defeat by Ireland.
Pacemen get contracts
England pacemen Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones have all been rewarded for their part in the history-making series win in the Caribbean by being handed contracts for the summer. The three bowlers as well as leading batsman Graham Thorpe were given six-month deals by the England and Wales Cricket Board on Thursday which take immediate effect and cover the forthcoming international season in England. That will involve three Tests against New Zealand and four against the West Indies as well as the one-day NatWest Series involving both touring sides.