Dilshan retires from Tests
Sri Lanka opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan is retiring from Test cricket to make way for the next generation, but will still be available for the shorter forms of the game. Sri Lanka Cricket said in a media release yesterday that Dilshan would hold a news conference today to officially announce his retirement. “I have decided to take this decision to allow Sri Lanka cricket to groom another youngster in my place,” Dilshan said. “I was to announce my retirement after the Zimbabwe Test series, but unfortunately the tour was postponed.” Sri Lanka were to play two Tests on their tour of Zimbabwe from this month. The aggressive opener made his Test debut in 1999 against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo and appeared in 87 Tests. In an international career spanning 14 years Dilshan scored 5,492 runs at an average of 40.98. His 16 Test centuries included a career best 193 against England at Lord’s in 2011 as captain. The 36-year-old will continue to play in the shorter 50 overs and Twenty20 formats. “I will discuss my future with the national selectors and if they need me I will play till the 2015 World Cup,” he said.
Pienaar stays with Ulster
South Africa international Ruan Pienaar has signed a three-year contract extension with Ulster, the Celtic League side announced on Tuesday. The 29-year-old scrumhalf or center, who joined Ulster in 2010, is now under contract at Ravenhill until 2017. He has played 63 games for the Northern Irish club, scoring 510 points. “I am delighted to be staying at Ulster,” said Pienaar, who has been capped 71 times by the Springboks. “I have really enjoyed my first three seasons at the province and I am looking forward to helping the team compete for silverware in the coming years.” Ulster’s director of rugby David Humphreys said: “To be successful, you need top-class players, therefore I am extremely pleased that Ruan, who is one of the best scrumhalves anywhere in the world, is extending his time with us. “The announcement of this contract will give everyone at Ulster Rugby — the players, the staff and the fans — a huge lift, especially as it had been wrongly reported that Ruan would be leaving us.”
Lynx eye second title
Seimone Augustus scored 20 points, while Lindsay Whalen had 14 points and five assists to push the Minnesota Lynx to the brink of their second title in three seasons with an 88-63 victory over the Atlanta Dream in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals on Tuesday. Rebekkah Brunson had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Maya Moore chipped in 14 points and eight boards for the Lynx, who lead the best-of-five series 2-0. Angel McCoughtry scored 15 points for the Dream, but she made just five of 18 shots and was in foul trouble for most of the night.
Oldest Aussie Olympian dies
Australia’s oldest Olympian, Basil Dickinson, who competed in the triple jump at the 1936 Berlin Games, has died. He was 98. The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) yesterday said Dickinson died at his home in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, on Monday. The AOC said Dickinson was one of 33 Australians who competed at Berlin and took 41 days to reach Europe by ship. The Australians had a live kangaroo mascot called “Aussie” on board with them. AOC president John Coates said Dickinson will be remembered “for the standards he set for the Olympians who followed over the next 70 years. He was a credit to his sport and the country in general.”
Eto’o in retirement U-turn
Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o has reversed his decision to retire from internationals, pledging on Tuesday to join up with Cameroon for next week’s World Cup playoff in Tunisia. Last month, the record four-time winner of African Footballer of the Year told his Cameroon teammates he was quitting the national team. His U-turn will be welcome news to the Indomitable Lions, who face Tunisia in Rades on Sunday, followed by the return leg in Yaounde on Nov. 17. “You can have all the problems in the world, but you have to see out your mission, and this time it’s to join my teammates in Tunisia and return with a good result,” the 32-year-old told Cameroon state radio. He was due to link up with the national squad in the French Cote d’Azur resort of Nice yesterday to prepare for the match. Eto’o has regularly disagreed with Cameroon coaches and his initial retirement may have been linked to the selections of present incumbent, Volker Finke.
Fellaini to play with splint
Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini will wear a wrist splint in his country’s final two World Cup qualifiers against Croatia and Wales, his club, Manchester United, revealed on Tuesday. The 25-year-old missed United’s 2-1 win at Sunderland last weekend due to a wrist injury and the Premier League champions subsequently revealed that he would sidelined for “at least a few weeks.” However, despite British media reports that he could be out of action until December, United said he would be able to play in Belgium’s game in Croatia tomorrow and next Tuesday’s home fixture against Wales. “Marouane Fellaini has trained with Belgium wearing a protective cast on his injured wrist,” a statement published on the United Web site said. Belgium have a five-point lead over second-placed Croatia at the top of European qualifying Group A and require only a draw from tomorrow’s game to secure qualification.
‘Pacman’ found not guilty
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones was found not guilty on Tuesday of an assault charge accusing him of punching a woman in the head at a nightclub. A judge at the Hamilton County Municipal Court heard the case after Jones, who has had a spate of legal troubles, waived a jury trial. Jones could have been sentenced to up to six months in jail if convicted. Jones was accused of hitting Shannon Wesley outside a downtown Cincinnati nightclub and was arrested in June. He had pleaded not guilty. Wesley said that Jones punched her in the head with a closed fist, knocking her to the ground, but she also said that the punch came after she poured beer on Jones’ arm in an attempt to get him to leave her and her friends alone. “The initial aggressor in this case was Shannon Wesley with the beer bottle,” Judge Robert Taylor said, adding that there was cursing and profanity from both sides involved in the altercation.
London to get third game
The roaring success of the two NFL games played in London will see the city host a third one next season, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Tuesday. Jacksonville, Atlanta and Oakland will all play home matches at Wembley Stadium, which sees the NFL assign three fixtures abroad for the first time in its history. Both the opponents and the dates will be announced at a later date. The first of the two games in London this season took place on Sept. 29, with the Minnesota Vikings beating the Pittsburg Steelers in front of 83,000 spectators.
A sudden shortage of locks in Australian rugby union has opened the door for Matt Philip to reclaim his Wallabies jersey, but the Melbourne Rebels player says that the uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have left him with a difficult choice. The Australian yesterday named Philip among 16 Rebels players either set to leave the Super Rugby club or seriously considering it, underscoring the challenge Rugby Australia faces to retain talent. Linked with a move to Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees, commonly referred to as Pau, in France’s Top 14, Philip said that he had yet to settle his playing future, and
When Chinese Super League club Tianjin Tianhai surprisingly thrashed Rafael Benitez’s Dalian Yifang 5-1 to stay in the league in November last year, disgruntled fans were quick to allege corruption — the legacy of a murky past that exploded into scandal 10 years ago. Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 UEFA Champions League title, was perplexed by one of the heaviest defeats of his coaching career, saying: “This is a game that I don’t quite understand.” Despite fan complaints to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), no case was brought and there is no evidence of wrongdoing. However, the haste with which some
As professional soccer returned to Denmark, fans used Zoom to be part of the action. Thousands of Danish soccer fans on Thursday logged on to the conferencing software and were transported to Ceres Park for a league match between AGF and Randers that heralded the resumption of the nation’s pandemic-affected soccer season. While the stadium itself was without fans, the faces of thousands of supporters who joined the Zoom call were shown on giant screens that ran along one side of the pitch. Families wearing club shirts and scarves cheered inside their living rooms. Some were seen clenching their fists in joy after
It is the land of the world champions, but is it really a soccer country? That is the question that some in France have been asking this week while its European neighbors work to bring the sport back after the COVID-19 shutdown. Debate has raged ever since Ligue 1 decided in late April to bring a premature end to the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed. By contrast, two weeks have passed since the Bundesliga restarted, while Italian Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora on Thursday confirmed that Serie A would return on June 20, and La Liga and the English Premier