Mon, Dec 25, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Cricket

Ramprakash waltzes to win

Former England Test batsman Mark Ramprakash waltzed to a new career honor on Saturday when he won a television ballroom dancing competition. The 37-year-old took victory in the BBC program Strictly Come Dancing beating former England rugby union international Matt Dawson in the final. It was the second time a cricketer has won the show, after Darren Gough triumphed over athlete Colin Jackson in last year's final.

■ Cricket

Richards leads All Star team

Cricket great Sir Viv Richards will head a West Indies All Star team against a World XI to mark the reopening of Kensington Oval in Bridhgetwon, Barbados, on Feb. 17. Joining Richards will be fellow greats Joel Garner, Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose in the battery, and Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Richie Richardson in the batting lineup, the Barbados Cricket Association announced. The US$69 million redevelopment of Kensington Oval, the oldest cricket ground in the Caribbean, was slated to be finished by New Year's, but won't be handed over to cricket World Cup organizers until Feb. 19. The 123-year-old ground will stage six second-round matches from April 11-21 and the final on April 28.

■ Sailing

Rough conditions expected

Forecasters have tipped rough conditions for this year's Sydney to Hobart yacht race, where the "supermaxis" are again expected to dominate the Australian bluewater classic beginning on Tuesday. Initial warnings that gale force winds would buffet the 78-strong fleet have eased but crews will still have to contend with gusts of 30 knots (56kph) as they make their way down Australia's east coast. Conditions mean Australian supermaxi Wild Oats' record time of one day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds set last year is not expected to come under threat in the 62nd running of the 628-nautical mile (1,163km) race.

■ Cycling

Jan Ullrich plans return

Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, believes he can make a successful return to professional cycling. The 33-year-old German, who doesn't have a team or a license, faces three different investigations as a result of alleged links to the Spanish doping scandal that has engulfed his sport. "I know that the return to pro sport is a rocky road, but I am determined to fight and make it happen," Ullrich said on Friday on his Web site. Ullrich was fired by T-Mobile on the eve of this year's Tour de France. The decision by his team followed a Spanish police investigation which led to suspicions that Eufemiano Fuentes and other physicians provided top riders with performance-enhancing drugs from a Madrid clinic. Ullrich thanked his fans, management and family for their support.

■ Sponsorship

Stadium could be renamed

Berlin's historic Olympic Stadium could carry the name of a sponsor as the city's financial bosses look to maximize the cash benefits of the ground which hosted the World Cup final this summer. A report in the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper claimed that the sale of the rights to the stadium could bring in around 8 million euros (US$10.5 million) over an eight-to-10 year period. "The name of a sponsor for the stadium is in our interests," said Werner Gegenbauer, an official with Hertha Berlin, the Bundesliga soccer club which play their home games at the ground.

■ Baseball

McCarthy traded to Rangers

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