Thailand Open postponed
This year’s Thailand Open has been postponed after the Thai government declared a 60-day state of emergency in the troubled Southeast Asian country, organizers of the golf tournament said yesterday. Emergency was declared on Wednesday, with the Thai government hoping to prevent an escalation in anti-government protests. Originally scheduled from March 13-16 at Thana City Golf & Sports Club on the outskirts of Bangkok, the US$1 million tournament would be moved to “a more suitable date” later in the year, organizers said in a statement. “We want to ensure the environment is stable in order to stage our world-class tournament and national Open,” Thailand Golf Association president Rungsrid Luxsitanonda said. The tri-sanctioned event was scheduled to be the season-opener for both OneAsia and the Japan Golf Tour Organization.
Warne to coach T20 spin
Shane Warne is to work with the Australia squad as a specialist spin bowling coach in the lead-up to the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh in March, the country’s cricket board said yesterday. The former Australia legspinner is to work with head coach Darren Lehmann as a consultant during the short-time assignment, Cricket Australia said in a statement. The 44-year-old is to join the Australia Twenty20 squad in South Africa ahead of a three-match series in early March. “We believe our national teams can really benefit from more specific skill-based coaching as and when it is needed,” Lehmann said in the statement. “In the case of the ICC World Twenty20, we believe spin bowling will be critical to success. There’s no better person than Shane to help guide the spinners we select in that squad.” Warne, Australia’s top Test wickettaker and second all-time behind Sri Lanka’s Murali Muralitharan, had regularly played the shortest format of the sport in domestic leagues in India and Australia after retiring from international cricket in 2007.
Sizemore joins Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox agreed to sign Grady Sizemore to a one-year deal on Wednesday, providing a new location for the veteran outfielder to attempt to work his way back from injury. Sizemore is to sign a contract for a base salary of US$750,000, but could earn up to US$6 million at the World Series champions based on incentives. The 31-year-old Sizemore has not played in the Majors since 2011, missing the past two seasons because of injuries to his knee and back. “I’m looking for an opportunity to play,” Sizemore said. At his best, Sizemore became a three-time All Star while playing eight seasons with the Cleveland Indians. He has a career average of .269, with 139 career home runs and 458 RBIs.
Aussies name largest squad
Australia has named 56 athletes in their largest-ever team for a winter Olympic Games. Two more competitors will be named from alpine disciplines and one may be added in biathlon, bringing the complement to 59, topping the 40-strong team sent by Australia to the previous two winter Games. The Olympics start in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 7. Australia have a target of four to five medals, which would eclipse the three-medal haul they achieved at Vancouver four years ago. Their best chances are thought to be Alex Pullin in snowboard cross, Lydia Lassila in freestyle aerials, Torah Bright in snowboard halfpipe and slopestyle, and Russ Henshaw in ski slopestyle.