Dhonis suspended for rate
India’s horrific tour of Australia got worse when captain M.S. Dhoni was suspended for one Test by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday for a slow over rate. Dhoni was punished under the ICC Code of Conduct after being two overs behind the required rate, adding to the humiliation of his team’s defeat in the third Test by an innings and 37 runs inside three days. It means struggling opener Virender Sehwag, whose place in the team has been questioned because of his poor form against Australia, is likely to captain India in Adelaide for the fourth Test. Dhoni, who was also fined 40 percent of his match fee, is the first captain to be punished under the new two-strikes rule when captains are automatically suspended if they commit two over rate infractions within 12 months. His previous misdemeanor came in July against the West Indies in Barbados.
Female racer killed
A Japanese woman speedway rider whose glamorous presence in the pit lane revitalized the sport has been killed in a high-speed accident just months after her debut, Auto Race’s official Web site said. Hiromi Sakai, 27, only took part in her first full Auto Race in July, when she and her 19-year-old colleague, Maya Sato, became the first women to compete in the sport for more than 40 years. Auto Race is a Japanese version of speedway raced on tarmac rather than dirt, using powerful, stripped-down machines with no brakes and handlebars specially modified to make cornering easier. Gambling is allowed and top riders can make millions of dollars a year. Sakai was training with other racers on Sunday at a circuit in Funabashi, east of Tokyo, when the accident happened. She was traveling at up to 150kph, said Auto Race’s organizing body JKA. The exact cause was not clear, but Sakai flew off her bike and slammed into fencing. No other riders were involved.
Pensioner sinks two aces
A New Zealand retiree has hit two holes-in-one in a single round of golf, although he still grumbled about finishing on a “pretty poor” 14-over-par. Val Sills, 74, sank his first ace on the fifth hole at the Northern Wairoa course on Saturday, following up less than an hour later with another on the ninth. Club vice president Robert Nathan confirmed the feat, saying the double sent Sills’ fellow golfers at the tiny North Island course into raptures. “There was an almighty roar when we realized what he’d done,” Nathan said. “After the second I looked over at Val and he was just standing there holding his club, dumbfounded.” Amazingly, it was Sills’ third hole-in-one at the course. He hit another on the ninth hole about a decade ago. However, the retired dairy farmer was underwhelmed by his achievement, telling the New Zealand Herald that aces were merely “a fluke of chance.”
Sonny Bill to fight Tillman
New Zealand rugby star Sonny Bill Williams will fight American Clarence Tillman III for the vacant New Zealand heavyweight boxing title next month after the arrest of his original opponent on drugs charges. Williams, who has won all four of his professional bouts to date, had been due to fight Richard Tutaki in Hamilton on Feb. 8, but Tutaki is due in court today to face 10 charges, including possession of methamphetamine and receiving stolen property. Williams will now face 34-year-old Auckland-based American Tillman on the same date and at the same venue.