Black Caps appoint Bond
Former paceman Shane Bond was appointed New Zealand’s bowling coach yesterday, ahead of a tough international season that includes Test series against South Africa, England and Sri Lanka. Bond, 37, said he had aspired to the role since 2010, when a succession of injuries that blighted his career forced him out of the game with just 18 Test caps in nine years. “This is a role I have worked towards since I stopped playing,” he said. “The experience of playing for New Zealand exceeded my expectations and I’m sure it will be no different as a coach.” Bond will accompany the Black Caps to Sri Lanka later this month and be part of the coaching set-up when New Zealand tour South Africa in December, then host England in February.
S Africa assistant coach dies
Thomas Madigage, assistant coach to South Africa’s national team Bafana Bafana, died in a car crash late on Thursday, police confirmed. “We can confirm that Mr Madigage passed away last night between 10pm and 12am,” police spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said. “It was an accident. He was alone,” Mulaudzi said yesterday. “There was a stray donkey that was crossing the road.” The 40-year-old Madigage was declared dead on the scene. Bafana coach Gordon Igesund appointed the former national midfielder as assistant coach in July. Madigage played for FC Zurich from 1995 to 1996 and for Jomo Cosmos and SuperSport in South Africa before his retirement in 2002. He then worked as assistant coach at SuperSport United, helping them to several league titles.
Canadian Tour gets boost
The US PGA Tour said on Thursday it has acquired the Canadian Tour, giving those playing the circuit north of the border an avenue into more competitive pro tours. Playing privileges on the developmental Web.com Tour — formerly the Nationwide Tour — will be awarded to the top five players on what now will be named the “PGA Tour Canada.” The next five players will go directly into the final stage of qualifying school for the Web.com Tour, which sends many of its best players onto the US PGA Tour. With the addition of a Canadian circuit, the US PGA Tour now has minor-league tours both north and south of the border. PGA Tour Latinoamerica has 11 tournaments and PGA Tour Canada will have at least eight events.
Teams to pay for failure
Singapore soccer chiefs will from next season impose a fine on the two teams that finish bottom of the S-League, a report said yesterday. S-League chief executive Lim Chin said the club that comes last in the 13-team league would be slapped with a S$50,000 (US$41,000) fine, while the team that comes second-bottom will have to pay S$30,000, the daily Straits Times said. At the same time the total prize money for the top 10 clubs will be increased from the current S$150,000 to S$250,000. It was not clear what would happen to the club that finishes 11th. “This gives clubs something to fight for till the last game and to finish as high up as possible,” Lim said, adding that the league had “got general consensus from the club chairmen that this is the way forward.” He said Singapore was not ready for a relegation system as there was no sustainable second division. However, the idea has been panned. The Straits Times story carrying Lim’s comments was sarcastically headlined “What A Fine League,” while an accompanying commentary was titled “A ludicrous idea that deserves the red card.”
Ticket prices skyrocket
The cheapest tickets in English soccer’s top four divisions have increased by an average of 11.7 percent since last season; more than five times the rate of inflation. A survey revealed on Thursday the average price of the cheapest match ticket in the Premier League has increased from ￡24.87 last year to ￡28.30 (US$40.10 to US$45.60) this year, an increase of nearly 14 percent. This was in stark contrast to the Consumer Price Index, one measure of inflation in Britain, which stood at 2.2 percent last month. The survey also looked at other costs associated with watching a football match. Newcastle United offered the best overall value in the Premier League for a day out, charging ￡23 for a ticket, a program, a pie and a cup of tea.
Love avoids surgery
The injury-hit Minnesota Timberwolves were given a welcome boost on Thursday when doctors said forward Kevin Love would not need surgery to repair a broken right hand. The two-time All-Star broke two fingers in his shooting hand while working out on Wednesday and consulted a hand specialist in New York the following day. “The evaluation revealed that surgery will not be required on his hand and confirmed that his expected return will be in six to eight weeks,” the Timberwolves said in a statement. Love, who won Olympic gold in London with the US basketball team earlier this year, said he suffered the injury while doing knuckle pushups at his home.
Lazio fined for chanting
Italian side Lazio were yesterday fined 40,000 euros (US$52,170) by UEFA after their fans’ racist abuse during a Europa League clash with Tottenham. Monkey chants were aimed at three of Tottenham’s black players Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend during the 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane on Sept. 20. Lazio have three days to appeal. Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas had said after the match that UEFA should take action if there was a case to answer. “UEFA is very active on this kind of situation and our overall objective is to kick racism out of football,” Villas-Boas said. The fine comes a day after both the English and Serbian federations were charged by UEFA over incidents arising from their stormy under-21 clash on Tuesday. England defender Danny Rose claimed he was subjected to monkey chants from the Serbian crowd in before the game finished in a brawl involving players and coaching staff.
Mundine accused of racism
Interim WBA light middleweight champion Anthony Mundine has been accused of racism after making disparaging remarks about the heritage of his upcoming opponent and fellow Australian Aborigine Daniel Geale. Mundine said of Tasmanian-born Geale at a pre-fight media conference that he thought “they wiped all the Aborigines from Tasmania out” — referencing a colonial-era policy that sought to resettle the indigenous inhabitants of the island state south of mainland Australia. Mundine added that Geale had “a white woman and white kids,” and “I don’t see him representing black or colored people.” Tasmanian state Aboriginal leader Michael Mansell yesterday described the comments as “ugly and racist, and an embarrassment to Aboriginal people everywhere.” “Racist comments are no less racist because they are made by an Aboriginal against other Aboriginals,” Mansell said.