Trott’s hand not broken
England will make a last-minute decision over the fitness of Jonathan Trott after scans showed the batsman did not fracture his hand in Sunday’s one-day victory over South Africa. Trott, England’s number three, suffered a painful blow to his right hand after being hit by a short ball from Dale Steyn during his side’s six-wicket win at Lord’s. With the 31-year-old showing obvious signs of discomfort during a century stand with Ian Bell, there were fears Trott might have broken bones. That would have forced England, who lead the series 2-1, to call up a replacement for the fifth and final one-day international at Trent Bridge on Wednesday. However, an England and Wales Cricket Board update on Monday revealed there was no break and Trott and the team’s medical staff will wait 24 hours before deciding if he is fit to feature against the Proteas.
Hernandez bolsters Pumas
Argentina have been bolstered by the return of first choice fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez and flanker Juan Manuel Leguizamon for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks. The return of Hernandez and the inclusion of 35-Test openside flanker Leguizamon are the only changes to the Pumas side that drew with South Africa 16-16 in Mendoza two weeks ago. Playmaker Hernandez, who was a late withdrawal from that match because of a hamstring injury, replaces Bordeaux’s Nicolas Sanchez and Leguizamon comes in the side for Alvaro Galindo. Argentina are being assisted in their preparations for this match by former All Blacks coach Graham Henry who is helping with the development of Argentine rugby.
Pakistan complains to ICC
The Pakistan Cricket Board has conveyed its concern to the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the omission of off-break bowler Saeed Ajmal from the shortlist of nominees for the annual ICC awards. Having been named in the ICC’s Test team of the year, Ajmal missed the shortlist of nominees for the international, Test and one-day international player of the year awards. The PCB said its concern was related to the Test award. “We have conveyed our concern to the ICC on the Ajmal issue and we hope they will reconsider his name for the final list of awards,” PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said. Ajmal, 34, was the leading wicket-taker in Tests in the 12-month award period, taking 74 wickets, and was also highly placed in the one-day international rankings. Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander (South Africa), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) and Michael Clarke (Australia) were nominated for the Test award.
Fenerbahce sign Meireles
Turkish club Fenerbahce signed midfielder Raul Meireles from Chelsea on a four-year contract, Turkish media reports said on Monday, hours after the club said it had started negotiations to buy him. No further details were available and there was no immediate confirmation from Fenerbahce, who announced the negotiations in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange earlier on Monday. The 29-year-old, who has played more than 60 times for Portugal, was signed by Chelsea on a four-year contract from Premier League rivals Liverpool last year. The Istanbul club, runners-up to Galatasaray last season in Turkey’s Super League, have been looking to bolster their midfield after Emre Belozoglu left for Atletico Madrid on a free transfer earlier this year.
Australia recall Beale
Australia coach Robbie Deans has recalled out-of-form utility back Kurtley Beale to the Wallabies starting side for their Rugby Championship match against South Africa in Perth on Saturday. Beale, one of Deans’s most dangerous attacking weapons when firing, was demoted to the bench for Australia’s second straight defeat to New Zealand in Auckland last month after playing a dreadful match in the opener in Sydney a week earlier. Beale slots in at fullback, with Adam Ashley-Cooper shifting to outside center to replace the dropped Rob Horne. Queensland Reds speedster Dom Shipperley will make his debut after being named on the right wing, replacing Drew Mitchell, who is injured. Back-rower Scott Higginbotham has been dropped to the bench in favor of 36-year-old Radike Samo, who takes the No. 8 position in an otherwise unchanged forward pack.
Lleyton set for record
Lleyton Hewitt has been selected to play against Germany in what will be an Australian record 33rd Davis Cup tie. The former No. 1-ranked Hewitt will beat the record he shares with Todd Woodbridge if he plays singles or doubles in the World Group playoff at Hamburg starting on Sept. 14. Hewitt was included in the squad announced by captain Pat Rafter on Tuesday, joining Bernard Tomic, Chris Guccione, Matt Ebdon and newcomer James Duckworth. Rafter said: “We obviously know that the German team goes in as favorites ... We have chosen a squad that we think will be undaunted and in great shape to fight and scrap every inch of the way.” Australia is aiming to return to the elite World Group for the first time since 2007.
Zenit sign Hulk, Witsel
Big-spending Zenit St Petersburg have splashed a record 80 million euros (US$100.9 million) on Brazil striker Hulk and Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, signing each to a five-year contract, the Russian champions said on Monday. Hulk, 26, joined Zenit from Porto and the 23-year-old Witsel moved from Portuguese rivals Benfica. “It’s now official. Both players had signed five-year deals,” Zenit spokesman Dmitry Tsimmerman said. A club source said Zenit had paid 40 million euros for each player. Hulk helped Porto to win three Portuguese league titles and the 2011 Europa League trophy after joining from the Japanese J League in 2008. Zenit, drawn in Champions League Group C along with AC Milan, Anderlecht and Malaga, will be able to use both players in Europe’s premier club competition.
Galatasaray sign Cris
Galatasaray have signed Brazil centerback Cris from Olympique Lyon on a year-long contract, the Turkish league and Ligue 1 clubs said on Monday. “Olympique Lyon announce they had agreed to break the contract of defender Cris, who signed a one-year deal on Monday with Turkish club Galatasaray,” Lyon said on their Web site. The 35-year-old will have his spell at champions Galatasaray automatically extended for a further year if he plays at least 25 games, the Turkish club said on their Web site. Cris spent eight years at Lyon, whom he joined from Bayer Leverkusen in 2003, winning four French league titles and two French Cups. He quickly became one of the best centerbacks in the French league, but struggled to find his top form after he suffered torn knee ligaments early in the 2007-2008 season. Cris has 18 caps for Brazil.