Boycott decision looms
The Australian Cricketers’ Association executive is to meet today to decide whether players will boycott this month’s Australia A tour to South Africa after a failure to strike a new pay deal with Cricket Australia. The national body and the players’ union both confirmed that they had failed to reach an agreement on a new memorandum of understanding before Friday’s deadline, leaving players unemployed and threatening fixtures including this year’s Ashes series. Leading fast bowler Josh Hazlewood said the breakdown in pay negotiations has left a bitter taste with the players. “We are, obviously, willing to do what we need to,” he said.
Easter remains undefeated
Undefeated Robert Easter of the US on Friday retained his International Boxing Federation lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Russian southpaw Denis Shafikov in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Easter improved to 20-0 by judges’ scores of 120-108, 120-108 and 116-112, while Shafikov fell to 38-3 with one draw, his defeats all coming in IBF lightweight world title bouts. “I rate myself a B-minus,” Easter said. “I could have done a lot more better. Shafikov is a tough opponent, but we got the job done.” Easter, 26, landed hard right uppercuts in the early rounds, while the smaller Shafikov worked the body as the fighters stayed close to each other to trade numerous blows. Shafikov, 32, pressed the attack in the fifth and sixth rounds, connecting with his left hand time and again to frustrate the champion while setting the tempo. Easter connected on several combinations in the 10th round as both fights traded flurries to the 12th-round finish.
Villas-Boas, Hulk suspended
Former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas and Brazilian player Hulk have been suspended for two games each by the Chinese Super League for speaking out against an eight-match ban for their Shanghai SIPG colleague Oscar. Former Chelsea midfielder Oscar was banned after SIPG’s 1-1 draw with Guangzhou R and F on June 18 for kicking the ball into two R and F players in succession in the last minute of the first half, which led to a melee on the field. Villas-Boas subsequently wrote on his Instagram account: “355 career games; 5 years in the English Premier League; 47 appearances for Brazil; 70 goals. ZERO RED CARDS!!! 8 games suspended.” The Chinese Football Association on Friday said the SIPG manager had been banned for making an “irresponsible comment” on social media which had made a “bad impact.” Hulk was banned for wearing a T-shirt after SIPG’s win over Henan Jianye last Sunday carrying a slogan supporting Oscar which read: “Nothing to do, nothing to say.” Chinese international Wu Lei also wore a T-shirt similar to Hulk’s and was banned for two matches.
Huge Curry deal reported
Stephen Curry has agreed to a record five-year, US$201 million “super max” deal to stay at the Golden State Warriors, reports said on Friday. The deal came immediately after the NBA’s free-agency period began and was done under the league’s designated veteran player extension, the reports said. Under the new designation, which was added to the current collective bargaining agreement, Curry was eligible for the lucrative deal since he won at least one MVP award in the past three seasons.
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path