Root fractures thumb
England batsman Joe Root is a major doubt for the World Twenty20 tournament this month after fracturing his thumb during England’s one-day series clincher in the West Indies. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Root was returning home from the Caribbean. “Joe Root has a fractured thumb and is returning home to see a specialist,” the ECB said on Twitter. “Ruled out of West Indies T20’s, World T20 decision not made yet.” The World Twenty20 begins in Bangladesh on Sunday next week. England’s first match is against New Zealand on March 22, followed by games against Sri Lanka, South Africa and one of the minor nations. Root played in all three one-dayers against the West Indies, scoring his first international limited-overs century in the final match to help England clinch the series 2-1 despite being struck on the thumb by a delivery from Ravi Rampaul early in his knock.
Aussies send Johnson home
Australia have withdrawn fast bowler Mitchell Johnson from their Twenty20 squad in South Africa and sent him home to rest before the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, Cricket Australia said on Thursday. Johnson left Cape Town just 24 hours after making a major contribution to the Test series win against South Africa and is to miss the three T20 matches against the Proteas starting tomorrow. Moises Henriques will stay on in South Africa as his replacement. “Mitch has had a very long summer and we think he will benefit from returning home for a few days of rest with his family where he can freshen up,” Australia coach Darren Lehmann said in a statement. “He will link back up with the squad in Bangladesh.” Australia’s first match of the World Twenty20 is against Pakistan in Dhaka on March 23.
Stokes allegedly hit ‘Elvis’
Celtic forward Anthony Stokes has been charged with assaulting a man dressed as rock-and-roll icon Elvis Presley. Republic of Ireland international Stokes is accused of striking Elvis impersonator Anthony Bradley, 42, at a nightclub in his hometown, Dublin, last year. The alleged incident happened at Buck Whaley’s nightclub on Lesson Street in the Irish capital on June 8. Following further investigations, the 25-year-old was on Thursday charged with assault causing harm at Dublin District Court. Stokes, who has scored 11 times for Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic this season, was first arrested and questioned in August about the alleged incident. Bradley was treated for a suspected broken nose and chipped teeth following the alleged altercation at Buck Whaley’s. Judge Michael Walsh remanded Stokes on unconditional bail and ordered him to appear again before the court on May 29.
Birmingham owner gets jail
Hong Kong businessman and Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung was yesterday sentenced to six years in jail for laundering HK$720 million (US$93 million). Judge Douglas Yau handed down the sentence in the southern Chinese city’s district court after convicting the 54-year-old of five charges of money laundering on Monday. “The sentence must include an element of deterrence to discourage those who are in a position to exploit the system,” the judge said. “Maintaining the integrity of the banking system is of paramount importance if Hong Kong is to remain an international finance center,” Yau added.