Bingham plays blame game
Stuart Bingham blamed sanitized snooker balls for his struggle to get over the line against qualifier Ashley Carty in an empty arena at the World Snooker Championship on Saturday. The former world champion, who had fashioned a 5-4 lead in the opening session in front of a handful of fans at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre on Friday, went on to win 10-7. He then became the first player to wrap up victory since fans were belatedly barred after a change of government policy on test events for spectators. The World Snooker Tour said there are no additional protocols in place with regard to cleaning the balls. “I felt lost with the table and the balls. I don’t know whether they had been sanitized,” Bingham said. “I played a red near the green pocket, and screwed back past the blue pocket — I’ve never done that in my life, but it is what it is, and if it’s sanitized, you’ve just got to get on with it.”
Bairstow speeds up win
A “revved up” Jonny Bairstow put the disappointment of his Test axe behind him as he equaled the England record for the fastest one-day international 50 during the world champions’ four-wicket, series-clinching win over Ireland in Saturday’s second one-day international in Southampton, England. Bairstow’s 21-ball half-century equaled skipper Eoin Morgan’s mark against Australia in Nottingham two years ago, and he went on to make a dashing 82. Player of the match Bairstow told Sky Sports: “Sometimes I just need a bit of a rev up every now and again, whether that be picking a fight with something on the field or external motivators.” England won with more than 17 overs remaining after earlier holding Ireland to 212-9.
Howe quits Bournemouth
Eddie Howe on Saturday left his job as AFC Bournemouth manager by mutual consent, saying that it was the right time for the club to have a change following their relegation from the Premier League. Bournemouth’s five-year stint in the top division ended on the final day of the season after they finished third-bottom in the standings with 34 points. Howe, 42, departed after a discussion with Bournemouth officials, the club said in a statement. “Having spent a total of 25 years with the club as both a player and a manager this decision — made together with the club — is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” Howe said.
Immobile equals record
SS Lazio forward Ciro Immobile equaled the Serie A scoring record for a single season when he was on target in his side’s 3-1 loss at SSC Napoli in their final game of the season on Saturday. In a game that finished with an angry exchange between members of the two team benches, the 30-year-old took his tally to 36 goals, equaling the record set by Gonzalo Higuain for Napoli in the 2015-16 season. He also finished the season five goals clear of the next leading scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus. Tempers boiled over at the end, as Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso and his Lazio counterpart Simone Inzaghi were involved in a heated argument and Gattuso had to be restrained as he ranted at another member of the Lazio staff. “We said something to each other, there were a few too many words,” Gattuso said. “I went too far, I have to be honest.”
Taiwanese table tennis ace Lin Yun-ju on Wednesday handily downed Sweden’s Jon Persson 4-0 to advance to the round-of-32 at the World Table Tennis Championships Finals in Houston, Texas. World No. 6 Lin, who had a bye to automatically advance to the second round, defeated the 35-year-old Swede 11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Lin was yesterday to play South Korea’s Lim Jong-hoon. Compatriot and fellow Olympic veteran Chuang Chih-yuan crashed out after losing to Sweden’s Truls Moregard. Moregard, who is more than half Chuang’s age at 19, downed the 40-year-old world No. 25 4-3 in a
FEARS TOO GREAT: Denmark’s Union of Journalists urged reporters not to travel to Qatar to cover the World Cup, saying the country cannot be trusted after the incident Security forces in Qatar detained two Norwegian Broadcasting Corp (NRK) journalists for more than 30 hours and deleted footage they gathered at a migrant labor camp as they tried to report on worker issues ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup, authorities said on Wednesday. The Qatari government accused NRK journalists Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani of “trespassing on private property and filming without a permit,” as the two returned on Wednesday to Norway following their arrest. The journalists contended they had verbal permission from those they filmed there. The arrests sparked a diplomatic dispute between Norway and Qatar. Norwegian news agency
Former champion Shaun Murphy on Wednesday said that amateurs should not be allowed to play in professional snooker tournaments after he lost in the first round of the UK championship to 19-year-old Si Jiahui. The 39-year-old Murphy, who was runner-up in the world championship this year, fought back from 5-1 down to level the match, but lost the deciding frame to the Chinese amateur. Murphy, who has won more than ￡4 million (US$5.33 million) in prize money in his career, vented his frustration after the defeat in York on Tuesday. “I’m going to sound like a grumpy old man, but that young man
PRESIDENTIAL VISIT: Tsai Ing-wen attended pre-game events, with her staff saying that she wanted to show her strong support for the nation’s most popular sport Two home runs gave the CTBC Brothers a 2-0 victory over the Uni-President Lions in an otherwise pitcher-dominated Taiwan Series opener in Taichung yesterday. CTBC took the lead in the best-of-seven Taiwan Series, with Taichung Intercontinental Stadium fully open and filled to capacity with 20,000 spectators because health authorities have kept the COVID-19 pandemic at bay. CTBC fans dominated the stands, turning them yellow as so many were wearing their team’s colors. The CPBL’s championship series is to continue with Game 2 today, also in Taichung. President Tsai Ing-wen made an unannounced visit prior to game’s start, participating in the opening ceremony and posing