Doncaster sign pop star
Doncaster Rovers made the most unlikely signing of the season on Thursday when they agreed a deal for One Direction pop star Louis Tomlinson. Doncaster-born Tomlinson is more well known for his exploits with the chart-topping British band, who shot to fame after appearing on the television talent show The X Factor in 2010, but the 21-year-old, who once worked at the club as a hospitality waiter and is a Rovers season-ticket holder, will get the chance to fulfill a boyhood dream after signing for the English Championship club as a non-contract player in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Sheffield. Tomlinson, who has been issued with the No. 28 shirt for the 2013-2014 season, said: “This has always been a childhood dream for me. I feel very honored to have been asked to sign for Rovers, and being able to help both the club and the amazing charity Bluebell Wood is what it’s all about.”
The Don’s bat up for grabs
A cricket bat used by Australian great Donald Bradman and signed by his 1948 “Invincible” team is expected to fetch up to A$20,000 (US$17,900) at auction this month, an auctioneer said yesterday. Charles Leski, whose company is selling the item, said Bradman used the Sykes bat to score 115 in his final first-class innings at home before the team traveled to England in 1948. The Invincibles went on to become — and remain — the only Australia side to go through an entire Ashes tour unbeaten. The item, which spent 20 years on display at the Western Australian Cricket Association from 1984, will be auctioned on Aug. 15 in Melbourne, Australia. “Few items of cricketing memorabilia overshadow those belonging to Sir Donald Bradman,” Leski said. “Of these, his bats are among the most prized possessions because they were his ultimate stock in trade.” The legendary Australia batsman, who died aged 92 in 2001, played his last match in England in 1948 and retired with a yet-to-be-topped Test batting average of 99.94, despite scoring a duck in his final innings.
Lions tour generated A$150m
The Wallabies may have lost the series, but Australia did very well financially out of the recent tour by the British and Irish Lions, a tourism industry body said yesterday. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the five-week tour generated an estimated A$150 million (US$134 million) for the economy. The bureau’s overseas arrivals and departures figures show international arrivals rose by 7 percent in June. Australia’s peak national industry body Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) said the month’s figures showed the impact of major events on the economy.
Haase rallies to make semis
Two-time defending champion Robin Haase reached the semi-finals of the Bet-at-Home Cup in Kitzbuehel, Austria, on Thursday by rallying to beat third seed Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Haase, who came off his third career final in Gstaad the previous weekend, broke the Spaniard at 5-4 in the second set and came back from a break down in the third. After winning in 2011 and last year, the Dutchman is now 12-0 at the event. He next plays eighth seed Marcel Granollers of Spain, who beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-3, 6-1 to reach his first semi-final. Second seed Juan Monaco defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Monaco next faces either Albert Montanes of Spain or Austrian teenager Dominic Thiem.