Rovers sign Robinson
Blackburn Rovers on Friday signed Tottenham Hotspur’s England goalkeeper Paul Robinson for £3.5 million (US$7 million), the Lancashire club announced. With the deal sealed, it is expected that Rovers’ long-serving keeper Brad Friedel will complete his £2 million move to fellow English Premier League side Aston Villa. The 28-year-old Robinson will be hoping for a fresh start at Ewood Park after a remarkable fall from grace at White Hart Lane that started when he was dropped as England’s No.1 and ended with his first-team spot under Juande Ramos threatened by Radek Cerny and summer signing Heurelho Gomes.
Steyn ruled out of Test
South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn will miss the third Test against England after suffering a fractured thumb. X-rays showed Steyn has injured the base of his left thumb and the 24-year-old is likely to be in a plaster cast for two to three weeks. South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee confirmed Steyn will miss the Edgbaston Test, which starts on Wednesday, after having the plaster cast fitted at a hospital in Worcester, where his side are currently playing a tour match against Bangladesh A.
Mexes’ daughter stolen
AS Roma’s French defender Philippe Mexes suffered a terrifying ordeal when thieves stole his car, with his two-year-old daughter inside. Police sources said the robbers abandoned the vehicle just a quarter-of-an-hour later having discovered baby Eva inside the car. Italian police claimed Mexes was present at the time of the theft, which occurred on Thursday night, a version that was denied by Mexes’ agent Olivier Jouanneaux. “Thursday night, Philippe Mexes was at training at Roma’s training ground at Trigoria,” said Jouanneaux, claiming that Mexes’ wife Carla had been alone with their two children, Eva and four-year-old Enzo. “She took her son into the house and the two men came in behind her and stole the keys. She saw them leaving with the car, with her young daughter still inside.”
Laxman move falls through
India batsman V.V.S. Laxman’s planned move to Nottinghamshire has fallen through after the deal was vetoed by the India Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI), the English county said. The 33-year-old had been expected to arrive at Trent Bridge next month after Nottinghamshire had received a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the BCCI two weeks ago. However, the BCCI have subsequently withdrawn the NOC by e-mail and Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell said the county would now search for a replacement player. “We followed correct procedures to complete the deal with the approval of the BCCI and it is extremely disappointing that they have reversed their stance,” Newell said. “We were very surprised to learn about the possibility of the deal collapsing in the media in the first instance.”
Porto sign the ‘Hulk’
Portuguese champions FC Porto on Friday signed Brazilian striker Givanildo Vieira de Souza, nicknamed the “Hulk” for his muscular physique, for 5.5 million euros (US$8.6 million) from Tokyo Verdy in Japan. “The contract runs until June 30, 2012,” a Porto statement said. The 21-year-old began his career with Corinthians in the Brazilian top flight, before moving to Tokyo Verdy in 2005.
Olympics to use tie-breaker
The Olympic baseball tournament will institute a new tie-breaking procedure in Beijing, beginning each inning from the 11th with runners on first and second bases. Teams may also start the 11th at any point in their batting order under format changes announced on Friday by the International Baseball Federation and adopted in time for next month’s Beijing Games. For example, a team that opts to lead off with its No. 3 hitter would begin with its No. 1 batter on second base and its No. 2 hitter on first with no outs.